1 Thursday, 17th June, 1999
2 (Closed session)
13 Pages 23667-23719 redacted-Closed session
14 (Open session).
15 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing
16 now. Please be seated.
17 Mr. Registrar, would you have the next
18 witness brought into the courtroom, please?
19 (The witness entered court)
20 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, you need your
21 headset. Do you hear me, sir?
22 THE WITNESS: I hear you.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Could you please tell the Trial
24 Chamber what your name is, your given name, your date
25 and place of birth, where you reside, your current
1 profession, and your rank in the army, please?
2 THE WITNESS: Yes. My name is Robert
3 Alexander Stewart. I was a Lieutenant-Colonel in '92,
4 '93, I was the British commander underneath the U.N.
5 command in Bosnia, and I --
6 JUDGE JORDA: We'll get back to that. I
7 didn't hear -- could you give us the date and place of
8 your birth, please?
9 THE WITNESS: I didn't say it. 7th of July,
10 1949, and I was born in Preston in Lancashire in the
11 United Kingdom, and I am British.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Please
13 remain standing for a few more moments, the time it
14 takes to take the oath, Colonel Stewart, according to
15 the declaration that the usher is going to give you.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. You may
20 now be seated.
21 WITNESS: ROBERT ALEXANDER STEWART
22 [A witness called by the Trial Chamber]
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for having come to
24 the International Criminal Tribunal. Thank you for
25 having responded to its summons. This Tribunal, which
1 is now hearing the Blaskic case, the trial initiated by
2 the Office of the Prosecutor against the accused
3 Tihomir Blaskic who is in this courtroom to your left.
4 Colonel Robert --
5 THE WITNESS: I can't see Mr. Blaskic. Where
6 is Mr. Blaskic? Oh. Hello.
7 THE ACCUSED: Hello.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Okay. You have seen him. We
9 consider that it would be useful, in order to ascertain
10 the truth in this case, to hear your point of view
11 through several points that were mentioned in the
12 summons which I assigned and which was submitted to
14 First of all, the development of the military
15 situation, that is, your point of view about that, you
16 as the person at the head of BritBat in Central Bosnia
17 in October and May, 1992 and 1993; the chain of command
18 that you were able to take note of and to understand,
19 you as a military man; the principal themes of the
20 meetings in which you participated; everything that you
21 observed about the character of the accused, what his
22 reactions were to your approaches to him; and you could
23 also give us your points of view as a military person
24 about ethnic cleansing and the use of artillery, your
25 point of view about population movements and visits to
1 prisons. We would also like to hear your point of view
2 about Ahmici, the causes and consequences, the
3 investigations which may have been asked for, and any
4 other information.
5 You will make a free statement for the time
6 that you consider appropriate. We thought that it
7 would be about two or two and a half hours or even
8 three hours or, if you want, an hour. You will decide
9 depending upon the documents given to you. You can use
10 your documents but you cannot present a prepared
12 For your information, Colonel Stewart, let me
13 point out that this Tribunal has already heard Colonel
14 Watters and Colonel Landry.
15 After your testimony, the Prosecutor --
16 THE WITNESS: Who is Colonel Landry?
17 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Landry was the Canadian
18 commander in the European mission -- I think that's
19 correct, Mr. Fourmy?
20 MR. FOURMY: Yes, that's correct.
21 JUDGE JORDA: If you don't remember that,
22 there is no point to speak about that again.
23 Here you have more or less the scope of your
24 testimony. The Prosecutor will ask you questions; the
25 Defence will ask you questions. There will not be a
1 cross-examination. But after the Defence asks its
2 questions, the Judges will. You may now begin.
3 THE WITNESS: I understand. May I use a few
4 notes, or do you want me to speak without any?
5 JUDGE JORDA: You can use your notes. What
6 you cannot do is to read a prepared statement but, of
7 course, you will need your notes and documents. These
8 are events which are relatively distant in the past, so
9 that you can use any notes that you wish.
10 THE WITNESS: That's good, because I do not
11 have a prepared statement. So I will use my notes.
12 In August 1992 -- to be precise, the 22nd of
13 August, 1992 -- I was a Lieutenant-Colonel, the
14 commander of the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire
15 regiment. I was based in Fallingbostel in Germany. I
16 had been in Fallingbostel for eight months, and prior
17 to that, I had command of my battalion since April of
18 1991 and that included an operational tour in Northern
20 Am I going too fast or should I stop for --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Excellent.
22 THE WITNESS: No. I'm told it's fine.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much for
24 thinking about the interpreters because this is one of
25 our problems. For the time being, is there any problem
1 with this rhythm? No.
2 The interpreters are telling me that it's
3 fine, and we thank you for paying attention to that.
5 THE WITNESS: On the 22nd of August, 1992, I
6 was in Berlin, I was on holiday, and I was summoned to
7 the telephone at lunchtime and told that the British
8 Prime Minister had volunteered a battalion for service
9 in the Balkans with the United Nations, which gave me a
10 shock, especially when I was told I was the commander,
11 because, of course, I knew nothing about the Balkans.
12 However, I returned to my base, which took
13 me, say, three or four hours by car, and this being a
14 Friday, I think, I worked through the night with my
15 officers to decide how we would tackle the problem.
16 It was a hectic month that followed. We did
17 not know what our mission would be. We did not know
18 where we were going. We knew very little. So I
19 trained my battalion for one month on basic infantry
20 skills, particularly concentrating on shooting,
21 medical, and the history of the Balkans as far as we
22 could understand it, which is almost impossible,
23 certainly for soldiers.
24 I was summoned to the Ministry of Defence in
25 London on the 20th of September, 1992. I was surprised
1 to be summoned on a Sunday by civil servants. At 10.00
2 on Sunday, the 20th of September, I was briefed in
3 historic room 29 in the middle of the Ministry of
4 Defence by a series of Generals and high-ranking civil
5 servants on the potential mission I would have in the
7 The problem was that there was no mission,
8 and this is the first requirement of any military
9 officer, as Mr. Blaskic will recall, and we didn't
10 really know where we were going. We didn't even know
11 what part of the Balkans we would operate in. But I
12 was lucky, I suppose, because I was told that I would
13 go with a reconnaissance party on Tuesday, two days
14 later, to work out what the British plan would be.
15 On that Tuesday, we flew to Zagreb, and in
16 Zagreb, we arrived at the airport and went to a camp
17 called Pleso camp, which was a United Nations camp but
18 which also contained a British field hospital commanded
19 by a British officer. It was at that camp that we
20 determined that we would try to go to Tuzla in northern
21 Bosnia because, to the best of my knowledge, the French
22 had determined they would be deploying to Sarajevo, the
23 Canadians had determined they were going to be based in
24 Banja Luka, and the British were slow -- as they always
25 are -- to make up their minds and get their bids in, so
1 we didn't know where we were going to go, and so I was
2 told, "Try and find a place for us, but a place where
3 we will make a difference."
4 It was my decision to try to make a
5 difference in Tuzla, because Tuzla seemed to have been
6 isolated by the war and no one had been there. So we
7 thought maybe we would try and base ourselves in Tuzla,
8 with an approach from Belgrade, and our logistics would
9 come in from Belgrade. Thus we took two Land Rovers
10 and we drove to Serbia. We drove along an autobahn,
11 all the way down through Croatia and entered Serbia,
12 driving from Zagreb. It was a strange motorway because
13 there were no cars on it, only the occasional
15 We got into Serbia and for the next three or
16 four days we tried to reach Tuzla. This was difficult,
17 to say the least. In fact, it was not possible,
18 because every time we went near the lines we were
19 either shelled or we were stopped. This was by Bosnian
20 Serbs, Serb soldiers, or the Serbian army itself.
21 We tried to approach Tuzla via the bridge at
22 Zvornik. We lived in the field, and at one stage I did
23 speak to a Serbian General, and I wanted to set up the
24 British base in Northern Bosnia, and he thought that
25 would be possible and, therefore, I determined that I
1 would drive or get my way to Banja Luka and see if I
2 could see the commander of the Bosnian Serbs, who we
3 understood was based at Banja Luka.
4 Therefore, taking one of the Land Rovers and
5 an interpreter, I separated from the main party, which
6 I think was two or three Land Rovers, and tried to go
7 to Banja Luka, which was not easy. Anyway, we got to
8 Banja Luka. Then I went to the main Serb headquarters
9 in Banja Luka, Bosnian Serb army headquarters, and
10 tried to speak to the commander there.
11 I'm saying all this so that you understand,
12 because on the 2nd of June, 1995, I made a very
13 detailed statement to the court, in written evidence,
14 but I did not include this information beforehand,
15 because I'm coming to how I came to be in Central
16 Bosnia because I think it's important.
17 I got permission from the Bosnian Serb army
18 to position my troops in their area, and I thought that
19 was rather good. Then we would get through to Tuzla,
20 one way or another, across the lines because the lines
21 were difficult, but we would do it.
22 After that, I returned to Zagreb, where I
23 reported by radio -- I couldn't report by radio easily
24 to London, because our high frequency radio was down
25 most of the day because of the peculiarities of high
1 frequency radio, but I was able to speak by satellite
2 telephone to London. I was told that, actually, they
3 changed their mind in London, that our requirement was
4 no longer acceptable to go to Tuzla but that we would
5 go into Central Bosnia.
6 I have to say I was rather dismayed, dismayed
7 that we had wasted our time so much, but that's not the
8 point. The point is that Hercules aircraft arrived,
9 and we packed our vehicles on them and flew to Split in
10 Southern Croatia, landed at Split airport, stayed at
11 the Internacional Hotel one night, I think, and then we
12 drove into Bosnia via Croatia, approaching from the
13 direction of Tomislavgrad.
14 At Tomislavgrad we saw the first HVO
15 headquarters and we went to see the commander there.
16 The commander, I think his name was Siljeg, was not
17 there, but his second in command, a Canadian, a
18 Canadian Croat, was. He was kind, because he gave us a
19 guide to take us into Central Bosnia, across the
20 mountains. We would not have made it, I suspect,
21 without a guide because the track was difficult.
22 So we arrived in Central Bosnia. We found
23 the United Nations High Commission for Refugees was
24 present at the time in Vitez. In Vitez we found an
25 empty school that was not being used by school
1 children. It was empty. After some negotiations, we
2 decided that this would make a suitable base for us.
3 We made a plan which effectively was that we
4 would position the British Battalion with one company
5 at Gornji Vakuf, three companies in Vitez, with one of
6 those companies earmarked to leapfrog forward to Tuzla
7 when we could do that. The main headquarters would be
8 at Vitez, which was my headquarters. That was the plan
9 we made.
10 We returned to Germany on the 30th of
11 September, 1992, and on that visit, to the best of my
12 knowledge, I did not meet Tihomir Blaskic, but no doubt
13 he knew we were there.
14 The second reconnaissance I carried out in
15 Bosnia took place on Friday, the 16th of October. But
16 between the 30th of September and the 16th of October,
17 1992, the cabinet office briefing room had endorsed the
18 plan I had made. The cabinet office briefing room,
19 Cobra it's called, is the operational, political
20 directing staff underneath the Prime Minister.
21 So the plan was set. Now I had to do what
22 was normal for military officers, which was to carry
23 out a standard reconnaissance with my officers.
24 We flew to Split, as I said, on the 16th of
25 October, 1992, and on Sunday, the 18th of October, we
1 drove over the mountains, via Gornji Vakuf, where I
2 left a Major, to Vitez. We based ourselves at the
3 school. The school was close to Vitez. From there I
4 carried out a reconnaissance.
5 During that reconnaissance I did visit Tuzla
6 by going over the mountains. The distance to Tuzla is
7 something like 180 kilometres through the mountains,
8 and I was determined that my 4th Company would be based
9 in Tuzla by Christmas. That was my objective.
10 The first time I met General Tihomir Blaskic
11 was, to the best my ability, my memory, and using my
12 diary, something like 0200 on the 21st of October,
13 1992. The circumstances were unhappy. Not unhappy
14 personally between us, but unhappy because of what was
16 Almost while I was there on this
17 reconnaissance, open warfare had broken out between the
18 Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. This warfare
19 was, as far as I could ascertain with my limited
20 resources, because I didn't have many people with me,
21 specifically around the area of Vitez going to Novi
22 Travnik, that area.
23 I had arranged to meet Colonel Blaskic, as he
24 was then, although we never quite knew what rank
25 Tihomir Blaskic was properly, because the HVO had yet
1 to determine their command structure, as far as we
2 could -- it was only during the tour that Tihomir
3 Blaskic put on the rank, while I was there.
4 I arranged to meet him at 0900 on the 20th of
5 October, but he was not at the Hotel Vitez, which was
6 his headquarters, because of the hostilities that had
7 broken out. I met a man called Mario Cerkez, whom I
8 understood was the commander of the Vitez area for the
9 HVO. He told me that Colonel Blaskic was not there but
10 was in Novi Travnik.
11 I won't go into the details of actually what
12 happened for the remainder of the day. Suffice it to
13 say that I had decided that there was only one way that
14 my own soldiers could be deployed, and that was if the
15 hostilities had abated sufficiently so that we could
16 get our United Nations troops into the area.
17 Therefore, I would try my very best to arrange a
19 The apparent centre of fighting, the cause of
20 the fighting, seemed to be at Novi Travnik. Therefore,
21 I went to Novi Travnik. A battle had developed there
22 and was ongoing in Vitez too. There was certainly
23 mortar fire, I could identify that, and possibly
24 artillery fire as well.
25 Now, my statement of the 2nd of June, 1995
1 starts at this point. I notice that it's 1.00, and I
2 know that the court goes into recess. I have probably
3 about 10 or 15 minutes left.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to congratulate
5 you for your military punctuality, and pursuant to what
6 we ordinarily do, we will adjourn our work and we will
7 resume at 2.30. The court stands adjourned.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
10 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing will now resume.
11 Mr. Registrar, please have the accused
12 brought in and also have the witness brought in.
13 (The accused entered court)
14 (The witness entered court)
15 JUDGE JORDA: You may be seated. All right,
16 Colonel Stewart, we'll ask you to proceed now. Let us
17 proceed with your testimony.
18 I want to recall, for the attention of the
19 public gallery, Colonel Stewart is a witness who is
20 called by the Judges of the Trial Chamber.
21 Colonel Stewart, you may proceed.
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I would like to
23 extend the time that I may speak probably to about 40
24 minutes from this period simply because I feel that you
25 are probably not aware of all the detail of the 2nd of
1 June, 1995 statement I made, or it may not be exactly
2 coming to mind, and it does fit in with what I wish to
3 say. Are you happy with that?
4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course, Colonel
5 Stewart. About how much time did you schedule for your
6 initial comments before we ask you questions?
7 THE WITNESS: Fifteen minutes, and then now I
8 want to have 40 minutes from now.
9 JUDGE JORDA: You yourself consider that you
10 would take how much time? The free statement. An
11 hour? An hour and a half? What was your original
13 THE WITNESS: One hour and ten minutes.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Well, that's just fine. We've
15 used up about a half hour; isn't that right,
16 Mr. Registrar?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's correct, Your
19 JUDGE JORDA: There is no objection. Take
20 the 40 minutes that you need.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.
23 THE WITNESS: May I go back to the 20th of
24 October, 1992.
25 On the 20th of October, 1992, I was
1 originally intending to meet Mr. Tihomir Blaskic in the
2 Hotel Vitez at 9.00. He was not there, which was
3 unsurprising because there was a lot of conflict in the
5 Mr. Mario Cerkez was there. Mario Cerkez,
6 who I assumed and I was informed, was the HVO commander
7 of Vitez, through my interpreter, a British army
8 captain called Nicholas Stansfield, told me that there
9 was a serious problem in both Vitez and in Novi
11 The problem was that the Bosnian Muslims were
12 fighting with the Bosnian Croats, and I was told that
13 the Bosnian Muslim commander was at a school close by.
14 A man called Zeljko, who was second in command to Mario
15 Cerkez, offered to guide me to that school so I could
16 speak to the Bosnian Muslim commander, the BiH
18 I did so in a vehicle, a Land Rover, and I
19 met a man called Sefkija, I spell that, S-E-F-K-I-J-A,
20 who was the BiH commander. He told me that he had
21 instituted roadblocks simply to stop Bosnian Croats
22 going to Novi Travnik where he said they were killing
23 Bosnian Muslims. It seemed to me that I had no option
24 but to try and stop the fighting because my operational
25 orders were to move my troops into Central Bosnia
1 without getting involved in the fighting, and if the
2 roadblocks were instituted, there was no chance that I
3 could get my soldiers into Central Bosnia; therefore,
4 try and stop the fighting.
5 At 2.30 on that day, I put together a task
6 force of Land Rovers which I was going to lead into the
7 town of Novi Travnik. Going into Novi Travnik was
8 amusing because there was a lot of fire. I suspect the
9 crossfire was not aimed at us but it was, as I say,
10 amusing and frightening.
11 I went straight, when I got into Novi
12 Travnik, I asked people where the BiH headquarters was
13 as I knew nothing about the place. I met a man called
14 Lendo, L-E-N-D-O. He, I understood, held seven HVO or
15 Bosnian Croats as prisoners, and I demanded that they
16 be released instantly and that they would be given to
17 me because this was not a war that should be being
18 fought. Mr. Lendo laughed at me, but before I left
19 him, a prisoner was produced, a man, who was very
21 I took him with me, and I went in my Land
22 Rovers across town, guided by this man, to a cafe
23 called the Cafe Grand where I met Dario Kordic for the
24 first time.
25 In a darkened upstairs room of the bar, I met
1 Kordic and several other HVO soldiers, and it was clear
2 to me that Kordic had authority, the authority of the
3 soldiers around the room. When he spoke, they shut up;
4 when he spoke, they listened; and when he said
5 something, they did it.
6 On a mobile phone, we spoke to Zenica and to
7 a man called Dzermo Merdan, M-E-R-D-A-N, because the
8 HVO -- Kordic refused to deal with Lendo, who he said
9 was a war criminal. The agreement was that I would go
10 and fetch Merdan and I would bring Merdan to a meeting
11 in Vitez.
12 By the time I got back to my base at a school
13 near Vitez, it was close on dark; in fact, it was quite
14 dark. But I was required to go and pick Mr. Merdan up
15 from Zenica.
16 I took two Land Rovers and drove to Zenica
17 and found Mr. Merdan in the town hall. I subsequently
18 brought Mr. Merdan back to Vitez. At first we thought
19 the meeting would take place at my base, which was at a
20 school, but then it was changed to the Hotel Vitez.
21 At about 2.00 on the 21st of October, 2.00 in
22 the morning, I first met Tihomir Blaskic, to the best
23 of my recollection. I think he was wearing civilian
24 clothes, I cannot remember exactly, but I think that's
25 the case. But it was clear that he was the commander,
1 and subsequently I met with Mr. Blaskic many times.
2 Socially, he came to dinner at my
3 headquarters, and I went to dinner with him,
4 specifically on Easter Monday, the 12th of April,
5 1993. I also met his wife, and personally I consider
6 both him and his wife to be thoroughly decent in my
7 personal relations with them.
8 This cease-fire meeting that took place
9 something like 2.00 to 4.00 in the morning on the 21st
10 of October was a failure. It failed to stop the
11 fighting between the HVO and the BiH, but I left an
12 officer who subsequently, with the UNHCR, in the next
13 week or so, managed to calm down the fighting so that
14 my force could be brought back into -- or could be
15 brought into Central Bosnia.
16 I had to return to Germany to give out orders
17 and briefings, but I returned as quickly as I could,
18 and I am delighted to say, when I returned, the
19 fighting had ceased enough to get us in.
20 I want to choose points in my statement of
21 the 2nd of June, 1995, just to highlight them.
22 On the 22nd of November, 1992, Tihomir
23 Blaskic asked me to retrieve some dead HVO soldiers
24 from the village of Turbe, where the Bosnian Muslim
25 soldiers were in command. I went to Turbe, and I could
1 not get the bodies, although, to the best of my
2 knowledge, I think a Serb soldier was lying dead in a
3 cart outside the headquarters, and I asked if I could
4 take that body away as well. But that was refused.
5 I returned, on the 22nd of November, to the
6 HVO headquarters in Travnik. Mr. Blaskic was there
7 plus Colonel Filipovic, I think Kordic, and General
8 Prkacin -- I hope I've got that right -- P-R-K-A-C-I-N,
9 who was on the joint HVO-BiH council, or that's what he
10 said he was, and he had been in Turbe with me, and I
11 recall that he said to Tihomir Blaskic that I tried my
12 best to recover the bodies for them. My own personal
13 belief is that I will recover any body I can to return
14 it to its family, regardless of where it's come from or
15 what it is.
16 On the 12th of January, 1993, an incident
17 occurred at Vares. Apparently, one of my patrols was
18 stopped by a soldier on the road, and one of my patrols
19 offered that soldier a lift. That soldier got into the
20 vehicle and was lifted somewhere, apparently. This
21 caused a problem because the commander, Emil, who was
22 the HVO commander there, immediately lodged a serious
23 complaint that we had helped the BiH. To be honest,
24 I'm not quite sure what happened, but the effect was to
25 stop bridge-building, which my engineers were doing to
1 try to get us a decent road to Tuzla where one of my
2 companies was located and where I was under a mission
3 to try and get UNHCR supplies and any other supplies up
4 to the people of Tuzla. We needed the bridges to work
5 well so that we could carry heavier equipment or
6 heavier stores.
7 So this was a problem. My point of this is
8 to say that I was referred to Tihomir Blaskic for
9 decision by the commander, Emil, in Vares, and when
10 Tihomir Blaskic made the decision, the bridge-building
11 began again. We were allowed to continue.
12 My escort driver, Lance Corporal, Wayne
13 Edwards was killed on the 13th of January, 1993, shot
14 in the head, through the hatch in his vehicle, near the
15 town of Gornji Vakuf. Subsequently, I made a formal
16 complaint to the two people I felt were the commanders
17 most relevant. One was Mr. Merdan, who I've mentioned,
18 and the other one was Mr. Blaskic, because I knew him
19 but I also knew, by that time, that Gornji Vakuf was
20 probably not quite in Tihomir Blaskic's operational
21 area. It belonged to the Tomislavgrad Brigade under
22 the commander called Siljeg. Nonetheless, because I
23 was close to Blaskic, I actually made a formal
24 complaint to him.
25 My belief is that my escort driver was killed
1 not on orders from the HVO or the BiH, but in Bosnia at
2 the time, there was a lot of maverick shooting and it's
3 possible, and I believe it's highly likely, that my
4 escort driver was killed by a Bosnian Muslim soldier
5 firing without orders.
6 My point in this is to say that I actually
7 did continue to think that Mr. Blaskic was the
8 commander or at least could actually get into the
9 command chain.
10 There is some complication in the
11 relationship as I saw it between Dario Kordic and
12 Tihomir Blaskic. On the 4th of February 1993, Dario
13 Kordic wanted to see me. At the time and persistently
14 he told me that his appointment was Deputy President of
15 the HVO.
16 I went to meet him at the PTT building in
17 Busovaca. He was very agitated. It seemed to me that
18 he was also the commander of Busovaca at the time. The
19 problem was that Busovaca looked like it might have
20 been cut off or cut through and, therefore, the route
21 to Kiseljak for the HVO would have been isolated, and
22 the BiH army were coming south from the region of
23 Zenica and seemed to have some success. I was
24 requested by Mr. Kordic to try and stop the fighting,
25 particularly in the area of Katici and Merdani. Again,
1 at this time I was firmly under the impression that the
2 local commander of Busovaca was Kordic, local
4 On the 15th of April, 1993, I was walking in
5 Travnik. I was trying to talk to the soldiers on the
6 ground, of the HVO and the BiH, because there was so
7 much tension and not a little shooting. It was at this
8 point (redacted)
10 (redacted) got a radio message and asked me to go to
11 Zenica. I was reluctant to go to Zenica because it was
12 really not an area that I was particularly worried
13 about, but the point was that a man called Totic,
14 T-O-T-I-C, had been kidnapped. Some of his bodyguards
15 had been killed, and Totic was an HVO brigade commander
16 in Zenica.
17 So I drove to Zenica, where I attended a
18 meeting between one brigade commander of the HVO --
19 there were two brigade commanders of the HVO in
20 Zenica. One, of course, had been kidnapped, Totic, and
21 the other one, whose name I do not recall and I didn't
22 even know it at the time, was present at the meeting.
23 Tihomir Blaskic was not and neither was Cerkez or
24 anyone else I knew from the Vitez area.
25 The next day there was real fighting.
1 Serious fighting broke out in the Lasva Valley. This
2 caused me to shift my area of concentration from the
3 Vitez area going towards Travnik and actually try and
4 concentrate on trying to stop it. To this end, I went
5 to the Hotel Vitez, I think around about 10.00, to try
6 and speak to Tihomir Blaskic. I was informed there was
7 no one in command present at the Hotel Vitez. Nobody
8 was there.
9 As I approached, I was shot at or -- well, I
10 don't know whether it hit the vehicle, and there was a
11 lot of shooting. There were also a number of dead
12 bodies along the roadside. My escort driver counted,
13 because we went from Vitez on to Zenica, about 35
14 houses that had been destroyed in the last 24 hours
15 and, of course, a large number of bodies, including the
16 bodies of a family near a cemetery.
17 Before I got to the meeting I passed an HVO
18 headquarters, and on the way there I'd seen groups of
19 HVO soldiers, about five to six, normally along the
20 roadside, but around ten past ten, around about that
21 time according to my diary, I passed this building
22 called the Swiss chalet, which is several hundred
23 metres to the southeast of Ahmici. There were, say,
24 ten soldiers outside this building. All of them were
25 heavily armed, agitated, ready for battle. Clearly
1 ready for battle as I would identify soldiers. There
2 were some vehicles there too, including probably a sort
3 of multi-barreled anti-aircraft type weapon system
4 which could, of course, be used on the ground. They
5 didn't like me passing by. So I was glad to keep
6 going, because I was on my own with just a driver.
7 I met (redacted) about half an hour
8 later and said that I couldn't spare any more time to
9 stay in Zenica because my place was back with my
10 battalion. I did not see Mr. Blaskic on the 16th of
11 April, that is a fact, although I tried to.
12 A further fact is that on the 18th of April,
13 Tihomir Blaskic telephoned me. I cannot recall whether
14 he did it directly, but he certainly made an appeal.
15 As I recall, he was agitated, which might mean that he
16 did speak to me, through an interpreter. He appealed
17 to me as a professional officer to move and assist in
18 saving the Croats at a town called Cajdras,
19 C-A-D-J-R-A-S (sic). He said, "I plead with you," or
20 something like that, "to help by protecting these
21 Bosnian Croats who are in severe danger." This was on
22 the mountain road, the other side of the mountain,
23 between the mountain and Zenica, the Croat community.
24 I told him that he had no soldiers left
25 because all my soldiers were operating on the ground
1 and he said, "Please. You can do it," or something to
2 that effect.
3 As I say, I have respect for this man. If he
4 asked me to do something, I'd try and do it. So I
5 deployed my battalion headquarters vehicles, which had
6 not been out of camp, to the job, and I stayed in camp
7 and separated my headquarters and sent my battalion
8 headquarters to protect these people. They spent one
9 or two nights in Cajdras and effectively that helped
10 reassure the people.
11 On the 22nd of April, as is probably well
12 documented by this court, I personally discovered what
13 had happened in the village of Ahmici after I had been
14 directed there by some soldiers in the hills to the
15 north of Ahmici. The reason why I was in the hills
16 north of Ahmici was because (redacted) had
17 told me that he wanted me personally to try and stop
18 the fighting, and I had told him that I personally had
19 lots of things to do, but he had told me become that he
20 wanted me to do it. So I did.
21 In the hills above, to the north of Ahmici,
22 as it was, I was told that a lot of babies and women
23 had been killed in the village of Ahmici, to which I
24 did not believe that would be possible. I remember
25 responding that I did not believe that, it couldn't
1 happen, and that I would go and investigate, and so I
3 So I re-crossed the lines and drove to the
4 village of Ahmici. I discovered that I was wrong. It
5 was clear that massacres had occurred in the village of
6 Ahmici. I was extremely shocked. It was also clear to
7 me that the houses that were destroyed were Croat --
8 sorry, were Bosnian Muslim houses and all that remained
9 were Bosnian Croat occupied. Indeed, I was challenged
10 by a local unit of the HVO as to what right I had to be
11 there. My response was that I'm an United Nations
12 officer and I have every right to be there. In fact, I
13 think it was more rude than that, because I was in
15 Of course, I went back that night and I
16 spoke -- I sent a message to Tihomir Blaskic, demanding
17 to know what had happened and an investigation was to
19 On the 24th of April, two days later, I
20 actually went to see Mr. Blaskic and demanded to know
21 what was happening. I wanted to know who had done it,
22 who had been arrested for this and what was happening.
23 On the 4th of May, 1993, I challenged a
24 Mr. Valenta who said, once again, that he was the
25 vice-president of the HVO, who'd only recently moved
1 into the area, to the best of my knowledge, but rather
2 like Kordic said he was a vice-president to the HVO,
3 and Mr. Blaskic.
4 JUDGE JORDA: What date was that? Excuse me,
5 I didn't catch that. I didn't get the date.
6 THE WITNESS: The 4th of May, 1993.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.
8 THE WITNESS: To the best of my knowledge.
9 I'm taking these dates from my diary.
10 Again, I challenged and said there was no
11 response to my requirement to investigate who had
12 carried out the massacre of Ahmici and in the Lasva
13 Valley surrounding it. Nobody had been arrested for
14 18 days because the massacre occurred on the 16th of
16 I suggested to both of them that those
17 responsible for ordering the Ahmici massacre were
18 guilty, in my view, of at least complicity in genocide,
19 although I have to say I'm not a lawyer and I think
20 complicity in genocide was a fairly accurate
22 I think I saw Tihomir Blaskic once more
23 before I left Bosnia but I can't be certain of that.
24 I would like to end by giving my impression
25 and opinion. I want to place on record that personally
1 I have a great liking for Tihomir Blaskic. That was
2 until the massacre of Ahmici. I considered him someone
3 I could trust and who was good for his word and a
4 professional officer, and I was disappointed in his
5 response after the massacre in Ahmici.
6 I knew that Mr. Blaskic was ex-Yugoslav
7 national army and so was Mr. Merdan. They knew one
8 another well. To start with, I always considered
9 Tihomir Blaskic was the commander. Kordic was a
10 complication. But I knew from my sources that the HVO
11 didn't think of him as a soldier in the same way as
12 they thought Tihomir Blaskic. After all, Kordic always
13 told me he was the vice-president of the HVO, and his
14 background, as I understood it, was as a journalist.
15 In my opinion, Blaskic's area of
16 responsibility stretched from the north of Gornji Vakuf
17 to Travnik to Kiseljak and at least up to Vares. It
18 did not include Mostar or Sarajevo. He certainly had a
19 main headquarters at Hotel Vitez and I believe another
20 headquarters in Kiseljak, but, of course, he had the
21 right to operate throughout the area to any HVO
23 Commander Siljeg, with whom I negotiated for
24 a period of about ten days from the death of my escort
25 driver on the 13th of January, definitely was in
1 command of Gornji Vakuf from the HVO point of view.
2 Commander Siljeg was someone who I personally disliked
4 As I have mentioned, at times, we, the
5 British, were confused as to the exact command
6 structure, particularly complicated by Kordic. But
7 Blaskic was the main link to Petkovic, a chief of staff
8 of the HVO, and I saw them a couple of times together.
9 Not Kordic.
10 I am positive that the HVO carried out the
11 massacres, the major massacres, in the Lasva Valley in
12 April 1993. I find it very difficult to believe that
13 the HVO command in Vitez did not know or did not order
14 the attack on the village of Ahmici which is only 3.5
15 kilometres from Hotel Vitez. I do not believe that any
16 command structure doesn't know what's happening with
17 its soldiers that short a distance away.
18 In conclusion, despite my great personal
19 liking for Tihomir Blaskic, I believe that Tihomir
20 Blaskic alone was the HVO commander in Central Bosnia
21 and thus held command responsibility for the actions of
22 his soldiers.
23 Even assuming Tihomir Blaskic neither knew or
24 ordered any killing, why did he do nothing when I asked
25 for something to be done? I consider that nothing
1 effective was done while I was the British commander in
2 Central Bosnia, and I stayed there until the 10th of
3 May, 1993. To the best of my knowledge, no
4 investigation was carried out, despite my requirement
5 that a full investigation, including BiH
6 representation, should be carried out into the
7 massacres in the Lasva Valley.
8 Regretfully, I repeat that it is my opinion
9 that Tihomir Blaskic was the effective commander of the
10 HVO in Central Bosnia. As such, he must be held
11 responsible for the actions of HVO soldiers, even if I
12 believe it is perfectly possible that he was not
13 present in person when such crimes were committed.
14 That is the end of my statement. Thank you,
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Colonel Stewart. As
17 I told you, in order to organise our work properly,
18 without any further ado, I suggest that you answer, for
19 a certain amount of time, approximately an hour, even
20 an hour and a half -- we will speak with Mr. Harmon --
21 but the Defence will have the same time as the
23 First you will answer the Prosecutor's
24 questions. Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.
25 In light of everything that Colonel Stewart,
1 our witness, has said, in respect of the number of
2 questions you have -- I'm not asking for a specific
3 number right now. We'll see where we are as things
4 proceed -- but about how much time do you think you're
5 going to need?
6 MR. KEHOE: If I could, Mr. President, if I
7 could just take five minutes and consult with my
8 colleague, Mr. Harmon, I think we will have a better
9 idea of how much we are going to ask. I just want a
10 couple of minutes.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. Please
12 do that.
13 (Trial Chamber confers)
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Kehoe?
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I think we
16 will probably use half an hour, 40 minutes or so,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Proceed, please.
19 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President, Your
20 Honours, counsel.
21 Examined by Mr. Kehoe:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel. You and I have met
23 before. Welcome to The Hague, sir.
24 A. Thank you.
25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if I could, while we
1 are asking some additional questions, could I have
2 29C first be given to the witness? That is the exhibit
3 with the concentric circles on it that I think is known
4 to all in the courtroom. If we could just give that to
5 the colonel?
6 If we could just pan back a little bit on
7 that, please? We're interested in the area here,
8 Mr. Usher, from Vitez to Zenica. Thank you. Yeah,
9 that's good. Thank you very much.
10 Q. Colonel, this is a map. The concentric
11 circles are the distances away from the Hotel Vitez.
12 And, Colonel, I would like to direct your attention to
13 the morning of the 16th. You noted for us that on the
14 evening of the 15th and the morning of the 16th, you
15 were in Zenica. Are you comfortable, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I thought you were looking up at --
18 A. I'm wondering where this thing is being
20 Q. On the television camera on --
21 A. Oh, I see. I'm so sorry. It's just I'm
23 Q. Colonel, if you may, could you just -- from
24 the morning of the 16th, could you tell us the road
25 that you took? I know you mentioned the mountain road
1 from Zenica to Vitez, but could you just take a pointer
2 there and just tell the Judges exactly what road you
3 took from Zenica to Vitez?
4 A. Can you see that (indicating)?
5 Q. Yes, thank you very much.
6 A. That's the start point, up through Cajdras,
7 as I mentioned in my statement, up to the top of the
8 hill, and then down into the Lasva Valley and then to
10 Q. Now, Colonel, approximately what time of the
11 morning was that that you came from Zenica to Vitez?
13 A. Seven-thirty.
14 Q. Now, Colonel, during your drive from Zenica
15 to Vitez, did you see any ABiH formations along the
17 A. Did you say BiH?
18 Q. I'm talking about Armija, army of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina formations.
20 A. I did.
21 Q. Where did you see those?
22 A. On the outskirts of Zenica.
23 Q. And what did you see, sir?
24 A. A roadblock. And the guys refused to let me
1 Q. Did you get through?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Other than that, sir, did you see any large
4 ABiH formations that appeared to be moving down from --
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, both you and the
6 witness --
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
8 JUDGE JORDA: -- speak the same language, and
9 I congratulate you for that. You both speak very
10 quickly, like I do. But I would ask that you think
11 about our interpreters. Otherwise, we're going to have
12 to stop much earlier. Please be kind, think about
13 them, and also think about me because I'm following as
14 best I can on the transcript and listening to the
15 interpretation. Thank you very much.
16 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry, Mr. President. I'm
17 sorry to the respective groups.
18 Q. Colonel, you and I have to take probably a
19 little pause between the questions and answers to allow
20 for the interpretation, and I'll try certainly to slow
22 A. I think, Mr. Kehoe, you're more guilty than I
24 Q. Given the fact that I have been accused of
25 this before, I do believe that you are correct,
1 Colonel, and I will plead so.
2 Colonel, on that morning of the 16th, did you
3 see large ABiH formations moving down, attacking
4 formations moving down into the Lasva Valley?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. Prior to that time, Colonel, the 15th or the
7 16th of April, did you see a growth of ABiH formations
8 in the Lasva Valley getting ready for some type of
10 A. To the best of my knowledge, I did not, but
11 then I wasn't necessarily in that area. On the 15th, I
12 was definitely in Travnik.
13 Q. Now, Colonel, did you have, as your normal
14 practice, your soldiers in various companies out on the
15 terrain examining what was taking place in the Lasva
16 Valley and throughout your area of responsibility?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. Did they report back to you at any point
19 information concerning soldiers in the Lasva Valley?
20 A. I cannot recall.
21 Q. On the 16th of April, Colonel, did they
22 report back to you that they saw or did not see ABiH
23 soldiers attacking in the Lasva Valley?
24 A. I don't think they did, but I think -- I had
25 large reports of HVO in the Lasva Valley.
1 Q. Well, based on the information that you
2 received from your soldiers in the field and based on
3 what you yourself saw, who was doing the attacking on
4 the 16th of April, 1993?
5 A. It was clear to me that the HVO were
7 Q. Now, with regard to the particular villages
8 that were attacked, if you were to attack a village,
9 Colonel, would it be prudent for the attacking
10 commander to remove civilians from the village prior to
11 such attack?
12 A. Well, it's a difficult question to answer,
13 that, because I wouldn't attack a village where
14 civilians were present because it's not acceptable, and
15 therefore, trying to -- and in fairness, trying to
16 remove civilians would give away the element of
17 surprise. But, I mean, I have to say that I don't
18 really like the question because I just don't
19 understand what you're getting at.
20 Q. Okay, sir. Then we'll move on. Now, sir,
21 you said to us that on the 22nd of April of 1993, you
22 went to Ahmici and you discovered the massacre that
23 took place there. Just tell us a little bit about what
24 you saw there, Colonel.
25 A. Well, it was relatively early in the morning
1 when I was requested by (redacted) to
2 personally -- and I say "personally" because I didn't
3 want to do it -- go into the mountains above the Lasva
4 Valley to try and stop the fighting, to separate people
5 away, to separate the HVO and the BiH.
6 I led a patrol of about -- well, one platoon,
7 that's four armoured Warrior vehicles, and I also took
8 a section of Scimitars, that's two light tanks, and as
9 well as that, I took my own Warrior armoured fighting
10 vehicle, and I went down the road to the crossroads
11 where the mountain road joins the main Lasva Valley
12 road, and I turned left through an HVO checkpoint, up
13 the road into the mountains. And at the ridge -- I'll
14 just check the name -- I can't read it. At the ridge,
15 I turned right along a track that I had never been down
16 before, and periodically, I stopped. At this point,
17 there were most definitely large concentrations of BiH
18 soldiers in the hills.
19 I stopped at BiH soldiers, and on one or two
20 occasions, I pleaded with them to stop the fighting,
21 and on the second or the third occasion, I was told
22 that they couldn't stop the fighting because it was
23 reported that babies and women had been killed in the
24 village of Ahmici.
25 I already mentioned that I was shocked and
1 didn't believe it, but I said to the soldiers I would
2 personally go and check this. And so I did. I came
3 another route down. Again, I just had to map read --
4 we map-read through. We came back into the Lasva
5 Valley and then led down the Lasva Valley to the
6 turn-off that led to Ahmici. I drove through the
7 village of Ahmici, which is about a mile, actually.
8 It's a linear village, or it was a linear village. I
9 went to the end, and I dismounted my soldiers and I
10 then dismounted myself. I walked slowly down the road
11 with my soldiers fanning out, checking houses all the
12 way down on both sides of the road.
13 About a third of the way through the village,
14 I think, some soldiers shouted for me. I went there
15 and we discovered the first house where we could
16 identify dead bodies. A man and a child, probably a
17 teenage boy, were in the front entrance. At the back,
18 even worse, it looked like the remains of several
19 people. Clearly one adult, possibly two women, and
20 several children. So what I had said, I did not
21 believe was inaccurate. Of course, this was
22 well-documented because by this stage we had a lot of
23 press around us.
24 After that, I went back and I think I sent a
25 message to General Blaskic, Colonel Blaskic as he was
2 Q. Let us turn to that piece of correspondence
3 and the advice that you received, Colonel.
4 MR. KEHOE: I'd like to give the witness
5 Prosecutor's 456/56 and Prosecutor's 456/57. If I
6 could show both of these documents to the witness at
7 the same time it would be helpful.
8 Q. Just to clarify things, Colonel, the 456/56
9 is your letter of the 22nd to the accused, and 456/57
10 is Blaskic's letter back to you. If you could take a
11 quick look at those two. We'll just discuss them
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, the first letter, of course, is the
15 letter that you have spoken about in your initial
16 statement and just now, your letter to Blaskic. Then
17 Blaskic's return letter to you, in paragraph 1, he
18 notes that: "I am ready to send immediately the
19 investigation commission to the village of Ahmici." Do
20 you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let's talk a little bit about this
23 investigating commission, Colonel. Did you ever see an
24 investigating commission?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you ask for one?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell us a little bit about what you asked
5 A. I wanted an urgent investigation into who was
6 responsible, and I remember that I required Tihomir
7 Blaskic to also include BiH representation on this,
8 this commission.
9 Q. Now, with regard to this particular
10 commission, did Blaskic ever seek your assistance in
11 setting this commission up and did you refuse to give
12 that assistance?
13 A. Certainly not.
14 Q. Did he ask you -- did he ever ask you for
15 assistance in this investigation?
16 A. Well, this letter asks me but I don't recall
17 anything beyond that.
18 Q. Now, in a particular testimony of Blaskic, at
19 page 19165, Blaskic notes:
20 "In my letter, when I wrote it on the 23rd
21 to Colonel Stewart, and in all subsequent discussions
22 with representatives of the International Community, I
23 sought assistance in carrying out the investigation."
24 In your meetings with him, Colonel, did he
25 seek your assistance in carrying out the
2 A. No. I think my meetings with him were to
3 demand that actually something was done, and nothing
4 seemed to be done.
5 Q. Now, let me turn to an exhibit, and this is
6 an exhibit of your meeting that you talked about, and
7 this is an excerpt from your diary, Colonel. If we
8 could turn to this particular document.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Can you see that okay, Colonel, because we
13 have an extra copy for you?
14 A. I can see it.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. KEHOE: We also have a couple for the
17 booths as well, Mr. Usher.
18 Q. Colonel, this is a note from your diary, of
19 the 24th of April, 1993. If I can just take one moment
20 while the copies of this are distributed. I'm
21 interested in the first two paragraphs of this excerpt,
22 Colonel, concerning the events of the 24th of April.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. I'm just waiting for the French booth
25 to get a copy of that. Okay.
1 "Saturday, 24, April. The business of Ahmici
2 is really big now and I decided to go see Santic,
3 president of Vitez, and also Pero Skopljak, leader of
4 the HDZ. I drove into town in my Warrior and I found
5 them both in the basement of the PTT building. I was
6 fairly to the point. I informed them about what I had
7 seen in Ahmici, that it was a total disgrace, that it
8 might have big impact on American opinion and put it to
9 them that the Americans just might decide to arm the
10 Muslims. In short, it was a disaster for HVO politics
11 and those that were responsible should be identified
12 and dealt with as soon as possible. In addition, I
13 felt that the matter should be investigated fully with
14 Bosniak Muslims on a commission that did so. After
15 this I went to see Blaskic, who was in Hotel Vitez. He
16 readily agreed that it was his zone of responsibility
17 and that he must doing something positive. I told him
18 that it needed action at the very highest level. For
19 example, I suggested that the Security Council
20 Ambassadors might visit Vitez later today. The impact
21 would be severe and the HVO had better do something.
22 "After that, I returned to the PINFO house
23 where I briefed the press on what had taken place and
24 in particular, Blaskic's agreement that it was in his
25 area of responsibility. I stated that Blaskic had told
1 me that the top level meetings were taking place about
2 it too. In fairness to Blaskic, I also told them he
3 seemed very shocked about it all!"
4 Now, in this conversation, Colonel, that you
5 had with Blaskic, to the best of your recollection what
6 did he say about these troops that were in the area of
7 Ahmici, if you can recall, sir?
8 A. I cannot recall.
9 Q. Did he say they were his troops? Did they
10 say they were not his troops?
11 MR. HAYMAN: Asked and answered,
12 Mr. President.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. I -- oh, yes. All
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Well, General, did he ever explain to you,
17 when you were having these discussion was him about the
18 events in Ahmici, that there was some dual chain of
19 command and that he wasn't responsible for think
20 soldiers that were in Ahmici? Did he ever say that?
21 A. I presume you're talking to me as "General."
22 Q. I'm sorry, General. I just promoted you,
24 A. Well, that's very nice of you. Thank you.
25 Unfortunately, the British didn't agree with you.
1 The answer is no.
2 Q. No, he didn't explain any dual chain of
4 A. Although we had some suspicions there were
5 some complications, as I've referred to earlier, there
6 seemed to me, in apparent classic Communist style of
7 approach, there could have been a political and
8 military chain of command.
9 Q. Now, with regard to that, sir, with regard to
10 the military chain of command, did he ever indicate to
11 you there was some duality in the military chain of
13 A. No.
14 Q. Now, you note in this particular document
15 that: "In fairness to Blaskic, I also told them that
16 he seemed very shocked about it all!"
17 A. Yes, I do, and I wouldn't have written that
18 unless I felt it because, as I say, he's a decent man,
19 to me. I was shocked and I he seemed shocked too,
20 because both of us have families, and I always felt
21 that about Blaskic.
22 Q. Colonel, let me show you a document that you
23 probably haven't seen before. I want to show you
24 Prosecutor's Exhibit 456/58, which is a report written
25 by the accused on the 24th of April, the day of your
1 meeting, as references your meeting with Blaskic on
2 that same day.
3 MR. KEHOE: If I could take the document off
4 the ELMO so the witness can read it first? Thank you.
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, I would like the
7 document to be put on the ELMO before you ask your
9 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I was just
10 waiting for the witness to read the pages.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, absolutely. That's
13 MR. KEHOE:
14 Q. Colonel, in this particular document written
15 by Blaskic, is there any expression of remorse or
16 concern about the events in Ahmici? By him, not you.
17 A. From what I have read, no.
18 Q. Is there any request for an investigation at
19 all in this document?
20 A. I cannot see any requests for an
21 investigation, but I can assure you I made one.
22 Q. Now, with regard to the particular statements
23 that are in this document, Colonel, Blaskic says, at
24 the bottom of the first page: "I think that Mate Boban
25 should have been in Vitez today to indicate that the
1 reporting is extremely biased."
2 On the next page. If we could turn the page
3 over, Mr. Usher. The second point down: "To talk
4 about the extremely one-sided emphasis on the suffering
5 of only one people, expressing the suspicion that
6 journalists are being paid to report events
8 What do you think about that, Colonel?
9 A. I think it's laughable.
10 Q. What are you saying?
11 A. I just don't believe -- I mean, if the press
12 could have reported something -- the mainstream press
13 opinion was that, actually, the Muslims were being
14 battered at the time, and it would have been very good
15 for a reporter to have reported something to the
16 contrary of that. It would have got him better copy
17 and more attention, but they didn't because that wasn't
19 Q. Well, General -- let me ask you a question.
20 I'm sorry about that immediate promotion that I just
22 A. I like it. Thank you.
23 Q. You've noted there is no expression of
24 remorse or concern about Ahmici in this document. When
25 Blaskic expressed shock in this meeting, was he shocked
1 about what happened in Ahmici, Colonel, or was he
2 shocked that he got caught and that you are holding him
3 accountable for it?
4 A. I don't know the answer to that question. He
5 seemed shocked. Whether it was an act or whether it
6 wasn't, I don't know, but as my impression of
7 Mr. Blaskic was as a decent man, I took it on face
8 value that he was shocked.
9 Q. Let me ask you a question, Colonel. In your
10 experiences within the Balkans and in the Bosnia, had
11 you had the experience that one side or another
12 presented one face to the International Community and
13 yet a different face among their own ethnic group?
14 Have you had that experience, Colonel?
15 A. The answer to that is yes. I wouldn't trust
16 any of them. I didn't trust anything on face value.
17 My judgment was that I would never believe anything
18 either a Bosnian Muslim, a Bosnian Croat, or a Bosnian
19 Serb told me until I saw evidence of that intention by
20 actions on the ground. That was one of the lessons I
21 learnt quite quickly, because I had spent so many days
22 in negotiating cease-fires, and getting signed
23 documents, and watching the deadline go by that I
24 normally used to have a drink as the deadline went by
25 and the fighting just carried on.
1 So the answer to your question, in short, is
2 that, frankly, I never really trusted what people said,
3 but I did feel that Mr. Blaskic was upset.
4 Q. Colonel, let me turn to the next document,
5 which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 695, which is another
6 except from your diary on the 4th of May, 1993,
7 relating to your meeting with Blaskic and Valenta.
8 Again, if you could just take a moment or so,
9 Colonel to take a look at this. What I'm interested in
10 is the last paragraph for the 4th, which is actually on
11 the second page of that document, which starts with:
12 "When lunch was over." Do you see that, sir?
13 A. Yes, do.
14 Q. If I can read it quite briefly. If we can
15 put it on the ELMO now.
16 Colonel, if we can just briefly refer to this
17 and just ask a few questions.
18 "When lunch was over I took the ambassadors
19 into Vitez and there met with Valentin [sic] and
20 Blaskic. I stated that nothing had happened about a
21 Commission of Inquiry into Ahmici for 18 days, that
22 nobody was charged or arrested to my knowledge and that
23 I knew the names of men accused - which I would give to
24 the ECMM ambassadors. I insisted that the Government
25 of Vitez was also involved in 'complicity in
1 genocide.' By that I meant Valentin (who said he knew
2 nothing about Ahmici until 2 days later), Blaskic and
3 Skopljak. I said that I expected action and was backed
4 up well by the ambassadors. After that I returned to
5 Vitez Camp - having told about it to Sky News."
6 Again, Colonel, you were asking about the
7 commission of inquiry. Was this the same commission of
8 inquiry you were asking about on the 24th?
9 A. Well, it was, but I hadn't seen any evidence
10 of any commission of inquiry.
11 Q. Was Blaskic again -- did he, at any point in
12 this meeting, ask for your help to conduct this
14 A. No. Otherwise, I would have actually jumped
15 on the idea and the ambassadors would have also backed
16 me up. It's clear to me, you know, let's not beat
17 around the bush, that nothing happened -- nothing had
18 happened, and, you know, whatever way we put it,
19 nothing had happened by that time and nothing that I
20 saw convinced me that anyone was going to take action,
21 and I saw the end of my tour in Bosnia as this
22 happening and then it being forgotten about, but thank
23 goodness, it hasn't been.
24 Q. Colonel, another line in there says:
25 "Valentin found out 2 days later."
1 Do you see that little insert that you have
3 A. I do.
4 Q. What day would that have been if Ahmici took
5 place on the 16th of April?
6 A. The 18th of April.
7 Q. So would it be fair to say, Colonel, that
8 Valenta was telling you that he found out about it on
9 the 18th of April; is that right?
10 A. That is what I would assume.
11 Q. Colonel, the accused has informed this Court
12 that he did not find out about this event in Ahmici
13 until he received your letter on the 22nd of April,
14 1993. Given your prior testimony concerning the
15 locality of Ahmici, what's your assessment of that?
16 A. I regret to say that that's a lie. That is
17 my conclusion. I don't know it as fact. That is my
19 Q. Colonel, let me turn to the --
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
21 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the question
22 contains something that our client had not said,
23 namely, our client had said that he learned about the
24 events in Ahmici on the 16th at 11.48. But as for the
25 crime, as for the atrocities, he found out only later.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, let me remind you,
2 you will have all the time you need, after the
3 Prosecutor has finished his questions, to ask your own
4 questions. Let me remind you also that this is a Trial
5 Chamber witness, and this is not the procedural scheme
6 that you are used to, that is, an examination-in-chief
7 and a cross-examination. You will have time to ask
8 your questions. Have confidence in the Judges; you
9 will have the same amount of time as the Prosecutor
11 Mr. Kehoe, would you please proceed?
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. If I can
13 move to the next document, please?
14 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Colonel, do you recognise this note?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Is this in your hand, sir?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And it is to (redacted), ECMM
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. And I'll just read it just briefly:
25 "Ahmici Massacre - Possible People
2 1. Thomas Osorio (U.S.) and Payam Akhavan
3 (Can.), both members of the U.N. Centre for Human
4 Rights, have provided me with the following
6 2. Ahmici possibly had 800 (approx.) people
7 in it as of 16 April 1993. One hundred and three were
8 killed and --"
9 What's that's next word there?
10 A. "Another."
11 Q. "-- another approx. 35 are still unaccounted
13 2. The Government of Vitez is technically
14 'complicity in genocide.' That means Valentin,
15 Blaskic, Skopljak, etc.
16 3. The following people were present at the
17 Ahmici massacre:
18 Santic Nenad
19 Ivan Livancic
20 Christo Zarko
21 Vlado Krizanac - apparently said 'First kill
22 the men, then the male
23 children, then the rest.
24 Destroy all that is
1 4. This information is provided so that you
2 can use it in ECMM Ambassador's Report."
3 This is information that you received, I take
4 it, Colonel, from Mr. Osorio and Mr. Akhavan; is that
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Does that represent the sum total of people
8 involved or were there possibly others?
9 A. No, many more were involved, but this -- my
10 estimation was that it could be 40 to 70 people.
11 Q. Now, Colonel, you noted for us that you left
12 the theatre on approximately 11 May, 1993.
13 A. I left on the 10th and I was out of Bosnia on
14 the 10th.
15 Q. Up until the time you left, Colonel, had you
16 ever heard anything about Blaskic setting up any
17 commission of inquiry?
18 A. No, and neither did I give him these names.
19 These names were given to me by the U.N. Centre for
20 Human Rights. The advice I received was not to
21 broadcast these names but keep them so that they would
22 be recorded.
23 I was desperate to actually record the fact
24 that these names were known to me. I had no means of
25 ensuring that would happen, and therefore, I used the
1 ECMM to actually place it on record as I expected these
2 ambassadors to actually make sure that follow-up action
3 would ensue. That is why I sent that letter, simply so
4 that a record would be made. My own government
5 instructed me not to mention these names publicly.
6 Q. Colonel, I would like to move to another
7 exhibit at this point, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit
8 380, which is an interview with the accused by a
9 Croatian weekly called Danas.
10 Can I just see if that's the particular
12 That is the article, Colonel, and I would
13 like to direct your attention to the last question and
15 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Stewart, did you have
16 the time to read this? I know that if it were your
17 journal and your messages, things go faster, but do you
18 need a little more time to become familiar with this?
19 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, I haven't read it,
20 and in 20 seconds, I could have a quick read of it.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. We'll
22 start counting the 20 seconds. Go ahead.
23 MR. KEHOE: Judge, I have a few questions on
24 this particular document. If Your Honour wants to take
25 a break now and give the Colonel a little bit more time
1 -- or else I'll just continue.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I think that would be the best
4 Colonel, you're going to have much more than
5 20 seconds, you're going to have 20 minutes.
6 THE WITNESS: Twenty minutes.
7 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to take a break for
8 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
11 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.
12 Please have the accused brought in, and be seated.
13 (The accused entered court)
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Colonel, I'd like to direct your attention to
17 this last question and answer that's on the ELMO, which
18 is part of this article in an interview of the
19 accused. The question is: "You investigated a crime
20 in Ahmici. What is the result of the investigation so
22 By the way, this is dated in October of 1993,
24 "The investigation is still in progress.
25 Information is being gathered. In any case, this is a
1 well-planned scenario in which Muslim forces wanted
2 once again to cast a blemish on units of the HVO before
3 the world community.
4 "After the crimes that Muslim forces
5 committed in the areas around the Croatian villages of
6 Lasva, Dusina, Gusti Grab, and other villages in the
7 Busovaca municipality, the case of Ahmici was staged
8 and skilfully shown to foreign reporters and EC
9 observer missions with the assistance of the commander
10 of a British Battalion at that time, Bob Stewart.
11 "So far we are certain that the crime was
12 committed by members of the HOS, Croatian Defence
13 Force, in Zenica, which was mostly Muslim, and parts of
14 the Muslim forces of the MOS, Muslim Defence Forces,
15 and I've already said that the investigation is
16 continuing. It is certain that the HVO does not stand
17 behind the crime that others desire to attribute to
19 Now, Colonel, this particular comment by the
20 accused relates to you and the events that took place
21 in Ahmici. What's your comment on this, Colonel?
22 A. Well, I'm grateful for being called "skilful"
23 anyway. Of course it's absurd. The fact of the matter
24 is that I was directed, truly, by soldiers of the BiH
25 to the village of Ahmici, that is correct, but what I
1 discovered there was a crime. Even when I was there I
2 was challenged by HVO soldiers as to what right I had
3 to be there.
4 Now, as this was in the region of Ahmici, in
5 the area of Ahmici, actually in Ahmici itself, and HVO
6 soldiers were in the area, I would assume that they
7 would be delighted if I was there if they had nothing
8 to do with the crime. I make the assumption that I was
9 challenged by people that in some way or other either
10 knew or were implicated in that crime.
11 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel.
12 MR. KEHOE: I have no further questions,
13 Mr. President. Colonel, thank you again.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Registrar,
15 could you tell us about how much time was required for
16 the Prosecutor to ask the witness his questions?
17 Now, Colonel Stewart, as we told you, the
18 Defence counsel for General Blaskic, Mr. Hayman, will
19 ask you questions, and we will tell you about how much
20 time was used.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecutor used about 40
23 JUDGE JORDA: Forty minutes? You'll have 40
24 minutes but it will be counted flexibly.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, let me say that
1 before these witnesses came, the Court told the parties
2 that with respect to the major witnesses, the most
3 significant ones, the parties would have one and a half
4 to two hours for their examination --
5 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, I'm not getting
6 interpretation. I'm sorry, I'm not getting
7 interpretation. Excuse me, Mr. Hayman. I can feel
8 that you're speaking vehemently. I would like to have
9 the interpretation of what you are saying. Please say
10 everything that was said.
11 MR. HAYMAN: I will try, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE JORDA: I'm speaking to the
13 interpreters. I suppose it's been marked in the
15 MR. HAYMAN: Are you hearing the translation
16 now, Mr. President?
17 JUDGE JORDA: I don't know if I said two or
18 two and half hours, Mr. Fourmy, but these are Trial
19 Chamber witness, therefore, this is a Trial Chamber
20 decision. But, in fact, we did set some time. I
21 thought it could be rather balanced in respect of the
23 I would like Mr. Fourmy to remind me of what
24 was said, approximately. I've always tried, ever since
25 we've had Trial Chamber witnesses -- let me remind you
1 they are Trial Chamber witnesses who were not called by
2 the parties up to this point. I would like to remind
3 you of that as well. I simply wanted simply wanted to
4 do something equitably. Mr. Fourmy?
5 MR. FOURMY: Your Honour, as regards the
6 written decision by the Trial Chamber, unless I'm
7 mistaken, it was said that the parties would each have
8 one hour to ask questions of the witness called by the
9 Trial Chamber.
10 Having said this and in view of what appeared
11 from the significance of certain of the witnesses
12 called, each party was -- it was said that each party
13 could have longer and that the amount of time indicated
14 in the decision was the minimum, not the maximum, and
15 that was the framework that each of the parties felt it
16 could place itself.
17 As you've just said the Prosecution used 40
18 minutes. This does not mean that a little bit more
19 time could be given to the Defence.
20 JUDGE JORDA: But to go from that to two or
21 two or a half hours doesn't seem quite appropriate.
22 But having said this, nonetheless, Mr. Hayman -- go
23 ahead. I feel you still wish to say something in
24 respect of what Fourmy said. I don't want to take the
25 floor from you, although we are using time.
1 MR. HAYMAN: Since my earlier comments
2 weren't translated for you, Mr. President, I would like
3 to speak to you on this subject before you rule.
4 At the Status Conference we had before these
5 witnesses came, the Court said that as to the most
6 important witnesses, the parties would have one and a
7 half to two hours to examine them and that that was not
8 dependent on what time the other party used, that they
9 would have that. That would be a minimum.
10 In light of this witness's testimony and in
11 light of certain important documents that I have, and I
12 have a three-volume set of U.N. documents which in part
13 I need to review with this witness, it is not going to
14 be possible for me to examine him in what I estimate to
15 be less than two hours. I will do my best, but the
16 fact that Prosecutor wants to try and limit me to 40
17 minutes so he spends his time showing articles which he
18 claims were authored by the accused, although there's
19 testimony to the contrary, that should not be a tactic
20 that can be used to limit us to 40 minutes in light of
21 your prior directive.
22 JUDGE JORDA: We agree. This is the first
23 time at this Tribunal that the Trial Chamber is
24 bringing in witnesses. This is a procedure which is
25 outside the procedure that we're used to. Therefore,
1 if you please allow the Trial Chamber to decide how it
2 is going to have its own witnesses questioned, with
3 full respect of the rights of the accused, whom we are
4 not forgetting, and also to be sure that there is a
5 more or less equitable distribution of time. That is
6 why I asked Mr. Fourmy what could be done. I don't
7 want us to be bound in advance about too much time,
8 which might seem normal to you but which I -- I, who
9 have experience for two years now in this trial, I know
10 how much time could often be wasted by very detailed
11 questioning which were frequently far removed from the
12 purpose of what was being discussed.
13 This witness is here now and I know that he
14 knows that he has to come back tomorrow morning. I'd
15 like to speak with my colleagues now.
16 (Trial Chamber confers)
17 JUDGE JORDA: By calling its own witnesses,
18 those who were not called by the parties, I remind you
19 of that, the Trial Chamber has as its first concern the
20 ascertainment of the truth.
21 The Trial Chamber is not bound by any
22 procedural systems to which you're used to and,
23 therefore, it establishes a certain correlation between
24 the Prosecution's time and the Defence's time only in
25 order to ensure a certain possible proportion in the
1 proceedings, and it considers that to be desirable.
2 Mr. Hayman, let me reassure you, this is not
3 because the Prosecutor only used 40 minutes that you
4 are going to be given 40 minutes. I wanted to ask the
5 registrar how much time could be used for you.
6 After having spoken with my colleagues, we
7 said that it would be reasonable to give you an hour
8 and a half to question the witness and to ask him your
9 questions. It goes almost without saying that after an
10 hour and a half, we'll see where things stand. But
11 once again, we're going to see where we are, not
12 necessarily in respect of the interests of the
13 Prosecution or the Defence but, rather, in respect of
14 the Judges who must, in the end, make whatever ruling
15 they consider necessary.
16 Therefore, an hour and a half will be given
17 to you. That is one hour now, and we will work for an
18 hour, and you will have a half hour in the morning
20 If anything is important that has to be
21 further discussed, the Judges will decide, because as I
22 said to you, it is not the cross-examination and the
23 direct examination that are important, what is
24 important for the Judges to have as much information as
25 they can.
1 Having said this, I think that I have
2 protected the interests of your client as much as you
4 It is now 4.30. You can begin. And I thank
5 my colleagues for the wise advice they continue to give
7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President and
8 Your Honours, for your consideration of this matter.
9 I have distributed Defence Exhibit 591. This
10 is a new exhibit. It is in three volumes.
11 There is an index to this exhibit. The index
12 is at the beginning of Volume I, and Your Honours will
13 see on the front page of the index, there is an index
14 to the index. That's page 1, in outline form with
15 Roman numerals, and the index to the index lists
16 certain topics. This is at the beginning of Volume I
17 of Exhibit D591. So if we're looking at a certain
18 topic, we can go to that page of the index reflected on
19 page 1. And then within the index, there is an index,
20 topical-type index with tab numbers identified at the
21 left and certain descriptions of the documents, the
22 date of the document, the source of the document, and
23 very importantly, whether the document is under seal.
24 If "Yes" is in the "Under Seal" column in the index,
25 that means that the document was provided pursuant to
1 Rule 70 and must only be discussed in closed or private
2 session. There is a mix in these volumes of documents
3 that must remain under seal and documents that are
5 I will be endeavouring to ask the witness to
6 comment on some but obviously not all of these
8 Examined by Mr. Hayman:
9 Q. Colonel Stewart, good afternoon, and welcome
10 to The Hague belatedly.
11 A. Belatedly? Why belatedly?
12 Q. Well, because you have been welcomed by
13 others --
14 A. I see.
15 Q. -- and I didn't have an opportunity until now
16 to welcome you.
17 My name is Russell Hayman, and together with
18 Anto Nobilo, we have represented General Blaskic,
19 myself since the summer of 1996 and Mr. Nobilo a couple
20 of months thereafter.
21 A. And I've met you before.
22 Q. We met a couple of years ago in London for a
23 couple of hours; is that right?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. I wasn't sure if you would remember. I
1 certainly remember my pleasant meeting with you.
2 A. And I can remember my meeting with you.
3 Q. Let me ask you about your contacts with the
4 Prosecutor's Office. Have you had any contacts with
5 their office since your written statement in 1995?
6 A. Yes, I have, in the same way as you
7 interviewed me.
8 Q. Have you had any contacts with them in the
9 last three months?
10 A. No. In fact, I was surprised, because I
11 thought at least I would be given some direction apart
12 from the Judges' requirement for me to be here. So the
13 answer is clearly "No." So I am unguided.
14 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibits D341 and D343 could
15 be retrieved?
16 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President.
17 Mr. Harmon and I did meet with the witness sometime in
18 March, I believe it was in March, and I believe that we
19 informed Mr. Fourmy of that, and I believe it was
20 brought to the Court's attention that we had done
21 that. Thereafter, you --
22 JUDGE JORDA: I mentioned the issue of
23 interruptions to Mr. Hayman. I would like you to get
24 out of your favourite procedural scheme that you're
25 used to. This is not the same scheme. If you have
1 anything that you want to make clear, you can do that
2 in your closing arguments.
3 Mr. Hayman, please continue to ask your
4 questions of the witness, as you like.
5 MR. HAYMAN:
6 Q. While those two exhibits are being pulled,
7 Colonel, let me try and clarify something. You were
8 called to a meeting in Zenica after the Totic
9 kidnapping on the 15th of April, 1993; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Who called you and asked you to come to
13 A. To the best of my memory,(redacted).
14 Q. (redacted)?
15 A. Yes. I didn't want to go. But I had to go.
16 Q. Now, you had a meeting on the 24th of April,
17 1993, with Colonel Blaskic. This is after the letter
18 exchange on the 22nd and 23rd. Is it correct that
19 (redacted) was not at that meeting?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Do you remember?
22 A. I don't remember.
23 Q. Can you look in your diary and see if your
24 diary indicates whether (redacted) was at the
25 meeting on 24 April, 1993? I believe it's the first
1 paragraph is the reference to that meeting.
2 A. I can't see (redacted)'s name there.
3 Q. So you agree, in your diary at least, there
4 is no reference to (redacted) being there?
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. Now, a couple of pages later in your diary,
7 on the 4th of May, 1993, at the top of the page, would
8 you agree there is a reference to showing the ECMM
9 ambassadors around and that:
10 "When lunch was over, I took the ambassadors
11 into Vitez and there met with Valentin and Blaskic."
12 That's the first line of paragraph 4 on that
13 page. Do you see that? This is the page above the 5th
14 of May and the carry over from the 4th of May, starting
15 on the prior page --
16 A. You mean "When lunch was over," that
18 Q. "I took the ambassadors into Vitez and met
19 with Valentin and Blaskic."
20 A. Mm-hmm.
21 Q. Now, was (redacted) with you on that
22 occasion, 4 May, 1993, to the best of your
24 A. I would assume he might be, but the fact of
25 the matter is, if it's not in my diary, it is certainly
1 probably forgotten from my brain at this time.
2 Q. Is it fair to say then you have no
3 recollection other than possibly this meeting on the
4 4th of May, 1993, prior to the 4th of May but after the
5 Ahmici massacre, when you went to see Colonel Blaskic
6 with (redacted)?
7 A. I'm sorry, can you repeat the question?
8 Q. Yes. From the time period of the Ahmici
9 massacre --
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. -- to the 4th of May, which is noted in your
12 diary --
13 A. Mm-hmm.
14 Q. -- do you recall any meeting where you took
15 (redacted) with you to meet Colonel Blaskic?
16 A. In my memory, no. Maybe it is in the diary,
17 but I'm not a computer.
18 Q. I understand. It's been many years. If you
19 see anything overnight that suggests there was a
20 meeting that (redacted) had with Colonel
21 Blaskic before the 4th of May, 1993, please bring it to
22 the Court's attention. I would ask you to do that.
23 If Defence Exhibit D341 could be provided to
24 the witness, and perhaps the French could be put on the
1 You said that you were not aware of any order
2 to investigate the Ahmici massacre before your
3 departure from the theatre on or about the 10th of May.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. You have before you Defence Exhibit D341,
6 which is an order dated the 10th of May, 1993, to
7 conduct an investigation into events in the village of
8 Ahmici from Colonel Blaskic. Have you seen this
10 A. No. And I would note the time on that
11 document is 5.00. By 5.00, I was almost in Split.
12 Q. You were gone. Is that right?
13 A. I think so.
14 Q. After you left the theatre, did you have any
15 means of keeping abreast with what efforts Colonel
16 Blaskic either was or was not making to investigate the
17 massacre in Ahmici?
18 A. Not direct to Colonel Blaskic. Of course, I
19 requested frequently from the British military as to
20 what was happening.
21 Q. Did they brief you on Defence Exhibit 341?
22 A. This one here?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. No.
25 Q. If you could now look at Defence Exhibit 343,
1 a follow-up order dated 17 August, 1993, directing
2 further investigation and setting a deadline in another
3 30 days' time.
4 Is this an order you were briefed on, if you
5 can say, by your government, after your departure from
6 the theatre on or about 10 May, 1993?
7 A. No, it's not, but I notice it's four months
8 after the event. I mean, I demanded instant action and
9 nothing happened, and by the time I left on the 10th of
10 May, no action had been taken. In such instances, in a
11 fast-moving situation, one would expect and require
12 professional officers to take action quickly, and
13 giving me documents at the time, you know, 5.00, after
14 I have left and sort of four months later, I personally
15 think that's way too late. It doesn't in any way
16 exonerate the fact that action should have been taken
17 immediately. It was not taken immediately.
18 Q. Colonel Stewart, if you could listen to my
19 questions, it will facilitate this examination, and try
20 and answer my questions?
21 My question was: Were you briefed on Defence
22 Exhibit 343 by your government or was it otherwise
23 brought to your attention after your departure from the
25 A. Well, my answer is "No."
1 Q. Now I would like to go back to your entry
2 into the theatre. Let me ask you first: Your diary,
3 does it contain, the copy you have, the same date stamp
4 numbers that mine do in the lower right-hand corner or
5 only upper right-hand corner numbers?
6 A. It contains neither. It is my own diary.
7 Q. Very well. I will give you dates and
8 paragraphs to assist you to refer to your diary for
9 sake of speed.
10 Directing your attention to your diary, the
11 entry for October 18, 1992, and specifically directing
12 your attention to the beginning of the fourth
13 paragraph, is it correct that as you travelled north
14 from Tomislavgrad towards Vitez on the 18th of October,
15 1992, that about 5 kilometres south of Novi Travnik,
16 you came upon a roadblock blocking the road, manned by
17 the Territorial Defence?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, if you could go two pages
20 further in your diary to the entries for 20 October,
21 1992, and I would direct your attention to the third
22 full paragraph. It's the fourth paragraph if you
23 include the partial paragraph at the top of the page.
24 On this date, you describe you went to Novi
25 Travnik; correct?
1 A. Mm-hmm, yes.
2 Q. And you went to the Cafe Grand and saw
3 Mr. Kordic and some HVO soldiers.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was Colonel Blaskic there?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Is it correct that when you got back in the
8 early morning hours of the next day and you saw Colonel
9 Blaskic, that he was in civilian clothes and that you
10 concluded he had been wearing civilian clothes because
11 he probably had been trying to get into Novi Travnik
12 dressed as a civilian?
13 A. I think that was my conclusion at the time
14 because it was not easy to get into Novi Travnik.
15 Q. There was a lot of fighting, a lot of
16 checkpoints, and so forth?
17 A. Well, we came under fire, so I'm quite sure
18 that anyone else would have come under similar fire,
19 from all sides.
20 Q. Do you remember, after the fall of Jajce, the
21 mutiny that occurred among the HVO soldiers from the
22 Tomislavgrad area who had been manning the front at
24 A. I remember it.
25 Q. Can you describe it for the Court, please?
1 A. Yes. This was an occasion when, to the best
2 of my knowledge, there seemed to be a mutiny of HVO
3 soldiers who seem to have come from the area of
4 Tomislavgrad. They refused to soldier, what we call in
5 the military "refuse to soldier."
6 I had the greatest sympathy for Tihomir
7 Blaskic because it seemed to me that he was trying to
8 command an operational area with reinforcements from
9 outside that area, yet these guys were withdrawing, and
10 he had a serious problem and a problem that I am lucky
11 to say has never happened to me. So I had sympathy for
13 Q. Now, these soldiers, although native to the
14 Tomislavgrad area, they had been at the front against
15 the Serbs in Jajce, is that right, as far as you
17 A. Yes, the Bosnian Serbs, as far as I
18 understood. Not necessarily in Jajce but in the
19 village of Turbe and Travnik, and they were jointly
20 defending that area, as I understood it, with the
21 Bosnian Muslim army.
22 Q. Was this a large group?
23 A. Yeah, it was. It seemed to be a large group
24 of people because they spent, you know, at least a day
25 or two sitting on tractors ready to go, and they were
1 right the way through Vitez. It was an extremely
2 embarrassing moment, I think, for the HVO.
3 Q. Do you know ultimately, was Colonel Blaskic
4 able to direct them as a military unit, or did they do
5 what they wanted to do and did they leave the area?
6 A. I think it would be fair to say they departed
7 the area, scuttled out.
8 Q. Now let me ask you about the conflict in
9 January of 1993, and I would direct your attention to
10 the 25th of January, 1993. In the middle of the bottom
11 paragraph on that page, it is written:
12 "I visited ICRC and then went to the
13 commander of the 3rd Corps, BiH army. I complained
14 that they had really started this trouble."
15 Have you found that?
16 A. No, I have not.
17 Q. Okay. The entry for the 25th of January
18 begins on one page, there are three lines, then it
19 carries over to the next page. At the bottom of that
20 next page, in the middle of the paragraph there is a
21 reference to your visiting who I assume was
22 General Hadzihasanovic and complaining to him that the
23 conflict in January really had been started by the BH
25 Do you recall those events? If you need me
1 to direct you to the actual event itself, I can do so.
2 A. Yes. Direct me to the event itself, because
3 I'm quite prepared to accept that there might have
4 been -- that might have happened.
5 Q. At the beginning of that same day there is a
6 reference to an attack in Kacuni and the death of two
7 HVO soldiers. That's at the third and fourth lines
8 under that date.
9 A. I'm so sorry?
10 Q. The third and fourth lines under the date
11 25 January.
12 A. Oh, yes. I see. Yes.
13 Q. To the best of your recollection, when you
14 spoke to General Hadzihasanovic and said, "You, the BH
15 army, you started the conflict in January in Busovaca,"
16 were you referring to that ambush and killing?
17 A. Yes, I probably was. You know, I was very --
18 I tried to be as even-handed as I could be and,
19 certainly, let's get this clear, I was not in any way
20 supporting any particular side.
21 Q. I know it's a bit awkward, but when you
22 answer my questions, please direct your answer to the
23 Trial Chamber.
24 A. I'm sorry, Your Honour.
25 Q. When the Busovaca-Kiseljak road was cut or
1 severed as a result of that January conflict, was
2 Colonel Blaskic trapped in Kiseljak? If you need to
3 refer to your book, on page 234 there is a reference on
4 this subject.
5 A. I haven't got my book. But it's possible.
6 Q. Fine. We'll move on. Now, in your diary,
7 three pages further on, on the 1st of February there's
8 a reference to visiting a warehouse about two
9 kilometres off the road near Kacuni and finding in
10 cells certain ICRC personnel, Claire, and Dennis, and
11 Amela. They were interviewing about 30 Croats. "One,
12 at least, was very old. The place was freezing cold
13 and Clare complained about it. The detainees must have
14 been really cold."
15 Was this near Kacuni, off the road, as far as
16 you remember?
17 A. I know where it was. I'll look at a map.
18 This is my operational map, Your Honour.
19 Q. Was it the place known as the Silos, south of
20 the road near Kacuni? Doing that help at all?
21 A. I don't know what it was. It was a revolting
22 place. But if you want to question me further, I can
23 remember the place --
24 Q. Okay. Please take your time. Take a look.
25 A. Yes, somewhere south of Kacuni.
1 Q. So on the 1st of February, 1993, there are 30
2 Croat prisoners -- by the way, were some of them
4 A. They were all that sort of -- they were old
5 people and young people. It was a mixture.
6 Q. Where had they come from?
7 A. Don't ask me. I don't know where they'd come
8 from. I just knew they were there and I didn't like
10 Q. Do you have any reason to believe they came
11 from the area between Kacuni and Bilalovac that had
12 been taken over by the BH army?
13 A. No. I didn't know where they'd come from.
14 I'd just said that. But it's possible. It seemed
16 Q. Now let's move forward in time to the middle
17 of April 1993. There were some kidnappings of HVO
18 officers and soldiers in the days before the 15th of
19 April. Do you recall those kidnappings?
20 A. Not offhand. Is it in my diary?
21 Q. There are various references. You recall no
22 kidnappings of HVO officers prior to the Totic
23 kidnapping on the 15th of April. Is that your best
24 recollection now?
25 A. That is my best recollection now.
1 Q. Let me direct your attention then to the 15th
2 of April and to your diary entry. You went to a
3 meeting in Zenica and the Totic kidnapping was
4 discussed, correct?
5 A. No, it was the reason for the meeting.
6 Q. Yes. Exactly. Because this was a serious
8 A. It was a very serious incident, which I
9 considered I had to go and attend simply because I was
10 fully aware that if this kidnapping was not resolved,
11 it seemed to me the whole of the Lasva Valley would
13 Q. Now, on the 15th, did the BH army take the
14 position in this meeting that the Totic kidnapping was
15 not their problem and that the civil authorities were
16 responsible for any investigation?
17 A. To the best of my recollection, that is a
18 position not far off the truth. I mean, I seem to
19 remember that at this meeting that Merdan, and I
20 questioned him and I told him to his face I thought it
21 was appalling and that, you know, something had to be
22 done, and I seem to remember him saying it was a matter
23 for the chief of police or something, something like
24 that. I can't remember exactly, but I remember being
25 angry about it and saying I was very, very unhappy
1 about this.
2 Q. Would you agree, and I'm reading from page
3 281 of your book: "This kidnap of a senior Croat
4 officer in a Muslim stronghold created a terribly
5 volatile atmosphere"?
6 A. I would agree with that.
7 Q. Indeed, there was another meeting the
8 following day in Zenica regarding the Totic kidnapping;
9 is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Again, the BH army took the same position,
12 this was not their affair, or did they even show up to
13 that meeting? Do you remember?
14 A. I think Merdan was there but my diary will
15 have noted that, and I'm not that au fait with my diary
16 to know anything different.
17 Q. Very well. We'll move forward, and if
18 Volume II of Defence Exhibit 591 can be provided to the
19 witness. I'd like you to turn to tab 89 of that
20 exhibit. This is a milinfosum dated 15 April, 1993,
21 and my interest lies in paragraph 2, "Vitez" --
22 JUDGE JORDA: Could we have the exact
23 reference, please? It's 89, is it?
24 MR. HAYMAN: Tab 89 in Volume 2, Defence
25 Exhibit 591.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I've got it. Thank you. Thank
3 MR. HAYMAN: Cheshire milinfosum dated 15
4 April 19 --
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I have it, yes.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. HAYMAN: Which means it would have been
8 drafted on the evening of the 15th of April, after
9 certain events during the day.
10 Q. Have you had a chance to look at paragraph 2,
11 the Vitez paragraph, Colonel?
12 A. I'm looking at it now.
13 Q. All right. Take your time.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. Do you remember receiving word, either on the
16 night of the 15th or the morning of the 16th, that as a
17 result of two missing BiH soldiers the BiH, that is the
18 army of BiH in Vitez, on the night of the 15th, was
19 threatening retaliatory action against the HVO unless
20 the two officers were found?
21 A. No, I don't recall that. I remember another
22 thing, I didn't read these. They may have gone to my
23 staff, but I was very stressed at the time and
24 customarily I would not necessarily read a milinfosum.
25 Q. But you would attend the evening briefing?
1 A. Correct. I would attend the evening briefing
2 if I was in location, which I normally was not,
3 certainly at this time.
4 MR. HAYMAN: Now, Mr. President, I'd like to
5 go to a portion of tab 92, which is under seal. So we
6 need a private session. We won't put it on the ELMO.
7 I think Your Honours each have a copy. The Prosecutor
8 has a copy. We don't need to go to closed session, we
9 simply need a private session for a moment. May we do
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. Private
12 session for a few moments. I'm saying this for the
13 public gallery.
14 (Private session)
13 Pages 23801-23803 redacted-Private session
8 (Open session)
9 MR. HAYMAN:
10 Q. I'm referring to an event that you described
11 as follows, referencing a priest in the area. This is
12 the bottom of page 288:
13 "I told him what we had found at Cajdras and
14 Podbrdze. It was obvious that almost a thousand Croats
15 had been driven from their homes by the fighting."
16 Did you, in fact, see that on or about the
17 19th of April, large groups of Croats who had been
18 driven out of their homes?
19 A. I didn't only see it, they were blocking the
20 road and they didn't want me to go.
21 MR. HAYMAN: In fact, there's a picture in
22 the Colonel's book. I'd like to put it on the ELMO and
23 see if it comes out on the screen so the court can see
24 this event.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead.
1 MR. HAYMAN: If we can enlarge the picture
2 slightly, please. Thank you.
3 Q. Colonel, I apologise for leaning over your
4 shoulder, but in the interests of time, do you
5 recognise this photograph?
6 A. Yes, do I.
7 Q. That's you, isn't it, in the middle of the
9 A. Unfortunately, yes.
10 Q. From the rear.
11 A. From the rear. What a lousy view.
12 Q. And who are all these people standing around
13 in front of your Warrior?
14 A. These are Bosnian Croat civilians.
15 Q. How did they come to be there on or about the
16 19th of April, 1993?
17 A. Some of them had been driven from their homes
18 and they were at that village, Cajdras, and the man
19 that was talking on their behalf was the most amazing
20 man, who was a priest, who convinced me that I had to
21 do something to protect these people.
22 Q. Was that Father Stjepan?
23 A. I don't know his name. I just know that I
24 had the deepest respect for the man.
25 Q. I think there's already been testimony on
1 that from the party you've referred to.
2 MR. HAYMAN: Is it possible to take a picture
3 of a picture, Mr. President?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Would Mr. Hayman speak into
5 the microphone?
6 MR. HAYMAN: They're raising their hands --
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The interpreter asked
8 you to speak into the microphone.
9 MR. HAYMAN: I apologise to the
10 interpretation booth. I was asking the technical booth
11 if it was possible to take a picture of this picture.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Which means that if the usher
13 wants to do his job probably, it's very difficult,
14 Mr. Hayman, to speak that way. You have take charge of
15 the book, which will allow Mr. Hayman to express
16 himself more easily. Lower the light a little bit on
17 the projector.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The video booth said that
19 yes, a photograph can be made but not immediately.
20 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Mr. Hayman, the
21 photograph will be made and we'll have a reference
23 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D593.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.
1 Q. Now, later on --
2 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.
3 MR. HAYMAN:
4 Q. -- that day, Colonel Blaskic phoned you or
5 spoke to you through an interpreter, I think you said
6 you weren't sure, and pleaded with you to do what you
7 could for the safety of these people; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, I think it is.
9 Q. Do you think he was sincere in that request,
10 or was he trying to inflame passions and drive people
11 out of their homes? What do you think?
12 A. I think he was sincere and I appreciated
13 that, and therefore, I was determined to do something.
14 I've already given evidence to that effect.
15 Q. Yes, you have. Thank you. Now I would like
16 to direct your attention again back to your diary, and
17 the date reference is 29 April.
18 This is a reference to a visit by you and
19 Generals Halilovic and Petkovic to a portion of the
20 Kiseljak municipality for the purpose of trying to
21 further implement the cease-fire agreement.
22 Do you see in the middle of the second full
23 paragraph that you describe a visit to a village called
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Were there troops from the BH army in
2 Gomionica on the 29th of April, 1993, and did General
3 Halilovic meet with them and speak with them?
4 A. My diary says it did, and as I wrote it at
5 the time, I believe that to be the case.
6 Q. And those troops were about a mile northeast
7 from the road up in the village of Gomionica; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to direct your
10 attention two pages further on in your diary to the
11 carry over entry for the 5th of May, 1993, and the
12 specific reference is the first full paragraph
13 regarding a visit to a BH army prison in Poculica that
14 you made together with the International Committee for
15 the Red Cross on 5 May, 1993.
16 Have you found that entry towards the top of
17 the page I'm referencing?
18 A. Yes. Is it during the afternoon or is it --
19 Q. The end of the day because it grew dark, and
20 that's the factual point I'll be asking you about.
21 On that day, did you go, in the early
22 evening, to Poculica and find that the BH army had
23 interned about 20 Croat men, and was the purpose of
24 your visit to try and secure their release together
25 with the ICRC?
1 A. Of course. I didn't like anyone imprisoned
2 by any side.
3 Q. Did it take some wrangling and persuading to
4 persuade the keeper of these prisoners to release them?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And ultimately were they convinced to release
8 A. Can I just read?
9 Q. Yes, of course.
10 A. "Yes" is the answer, and they did it because
11 I asked them to do. Otherwise, I wouldn't have written
13 Q. Was there a technical problem with securing
14 their release on that day, the 5th of May, 1993?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you explain that to the Court?
17 A. The technical problem was that it was too
18 dangerous to take them out in night because we didn't
19 want them to be hurt by people firing at them.
20 Q. And was that a condition that the ICRC quite
21 reasonably imposed on the release of prisoners and
22 detained persons, that release had to occur in a safe
24 A. I don't know. I can't remember.
25 Q. Was that the case on this occasion?
1 A. As I say, I can't remember. It's possible.
2 Q. Well, was it your idea that they should not
3 be released or was it the ICRC's view that they could
4 not do such a release at such a dangerous time?
5 A. It seems, according to my diary, it was the
6 ICRC, but I cannot remember from my mind.
7 Q. But you agree your contemporaneous diary
8 reflects that that was the ICRC's position; is that
10 A. I think that's fair enough.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, directing your attention to
12 the next page, there's a reference to meeting
13 Mr. Valenta. That's on the 7th of May, 1993. I would
14 direct your attention to line 4. You and Alastair
15 Duncan went to see Anto Valenta, and is it correct that
16 "I hadn't seen very much of this character before as I
17 simply didn't know he existed. In fact, his office had
18 been in Travnik until recently."
19 A. That's what he said.
20 Q. Had you seen him before in the Hotel Vitez?
21 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.
22 Q. And that was as of the 7th of May, 1993; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Correct. Could I just add something? This
25 man, Valenta, sort of appeared like a joker to me. I
1 had no knowledge of him before about this period.
2 Q. Did he have use --
3 A. A joker coming out of the pack, I mean.
4 Someone who has suddenly sprung up.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Please face the Judges when you
6 answer, if you don't mind?
7 A. I'm so sorry.
8 JUDGE JORDA: I know that it isn't easy, but
9 try. Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Hayman, please proceed.
11 MR. HAYMAN:
12 Q. Now, directing your attention to the last
13 page of your diary. On the 9th of May, you took
14 Alastair Duncan and introduced him to Colonel Blaskic;
15 is that right?
16 A. Yes. So my statement earlier was incorrect
17 insofar as this is the last time I saw Tihomir
18 Blaskic. I'm sorry for that, Your Honour. But my
19 diary is right; my memory's wrong.
20 Q. Can you describe the conversation on that
21 occasion? Was it a courtesy call or was there
22 substantive conversation, and if so, what was it?
23 A. Alastair Duncan was with me. Prior to our
24 meeting with Tihomir Blaskic, to the best of my memory,
25 we decided that I would be hard, as I was leaving, and
1 he would say little.
2 I was particularly concerned that nothing had
3 happened about the massacre of Ahmici and in the Lasva
4 Valley, and I think that at this meeting I challenged
5 Tihomir Blaskic on the matter of who was in command,
6 who was responsible for the soldiers of the HVO, and I
7 believe, to the best of my recollection, although it is
8 not in my diary, when he confirmed that he was the
9 commander, I believe that I said to him words to the
10 effect that he will one day appear in court.
11 That is what I think happened at that
12 meeting, and I believe that Alastair Duncan was present
13 when it happened. I have not talked to Alastair Duncan
14 about this matter, so I do not know whether my mind is
15 playing tricks on me. But to the best of my memory,
16 that is the way I took that meeting.
17 I'm not sure when -- it says "Kordic turned
18 up." I'm quite sure that we drank toasts as well. And
19 I also seem to remember, and my diary confirms that,
20 that the ICRC were present, and I did not make such
21 statements until they had departed. It was only after
22 they had gone because I was conscious of trying to
23 avoid being entangled or them associated with something
24 that I was going to say.
25 Q. Let me switch to another occasion and then
1 we'll come back to the 9th of May.
2 In your book at page 310, you recounted a
3 meeting with Dario Kordic in which Mr. Kordic had
4 suggested that the Serbs had been responsible for
5 Ahmici. Do you recall that?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. I take it you find that an incredible
9 A. Well, yes. I just -- I remember laughing
10 myself sick.
11 Q. Would you agree that Colonel Blaskic never
12 made such an explanation to you for Ahmici?
13 A. I would definitely agree that Colonel Blaskic
14 never made such a statement to me, that the Serbs were
15 responsible for that action, which, of course, goes to
16 show, you know, that Kordic was not a soldier;
17 otherwise, he would not have made such an outrageous
19 Q. Now, that same day, demonstrating the kind of
20 balance you had spoken of, you paid a visit on General
21 Hadzihasanovic. Do you see that in the last page of
22 your diary, for 9 May, 1993?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you note, on the 9th of May, that:
25 "Apparently there are still some perhaps 300 plus HVO
1 prisoners in Zenica which isn't too good and displeases
2 Claire as the HVO have released all their prisoners in
4 A. Yes, I agree. I remember that Claire was
5 extremely angry that her part, which was working with
6 the HVO, she had got all the people that were required
7 to be released out, and I remember she was displeased
8 because she felt the ICRC had not done their job in
10 Q. Let me ask the registrar to please distribute
11 Defence Exhibit 592. This is an article from Reuters
12 dated April 24th, 1993, Vitez, headline "Croat
13 Commander Promises Inquiry Into Family's Death."
14 Why don't you take a moment to review this,
15 paying particular attention to the person being
16 reviewed and whether the name is correct?
17 If the registrar could be pulling Exhibit 340
18 while we're discussing Exhibit D592, I would be
20 Does this article in part recount an
21 interview with you, Colonel Stewart?
22 A. I'm confused by the article, Your Honour, but
23 I suppose it must have been with me. Brian Watters was
24 my second in command.
25 Q. The reference at the beginning of paragraph 2
1 to, "Colonel Bob Waters, commander of British U.N.
2 forces in Vitez," would you agree that that's actually
3 a reference to you and not to Lieutenant-Colonel
5 A. He was a Major at the time. I'm not sure of
6 which way to go, but I would suspect it was Colonel Bob
8 Q. Let me ask you about the third paragraph, and
9 I'll read the prior paragraph so that it can be fully
10 translated -- well, I'll start at the top:
11 "A Croatian commander has acknowledged that
12 the area where a family was brutally burned to death in
13 a predominantly Muslim village was under his command, a
14 British U.N. military spokesman said on Saturday.
15 "Colonel Bob Waters, commander of British
16 U.N. forces in Vitez in Central Bosnia, said that he
17 had protested to the commander of Bosnian Croat forces
18 in the region, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, and demanded
19 action against the perpetrators."
20 Again, this is on the 24th -- the story is
21 dated 24 April, 1993.
22 "I asked Colonel Blaskic if the HVO (Croat
23 militia) were responsible, and he said, 'It did happen
24 in his area,' Waters said. 'I am clear he is
25 absolutely horrified at what has taken place.'"
1 Is that correct, Colonel, that on the 24th of
2 April, 1993, you were clear -- it was clear in your
3 mind that Colonel Blaskic was absolutely horrified at
4 what had occurred Ahmici?
5 A. I think that confirms what I said earlier,
6 that I had the impression that he was upset by what had
8 Q. The word earlier used was "shocked," and I
9 wanted to be more precise, and thank you for confirming
10 this account.
11 Now, on down the page, before we leave D592,
12 there is a discussion of an investigative tribunal, and
13 here your name is used with respect to the quotation:
14 "Stewart said he wrote to Blaskic demanding
15 action against those responsible for the killings and
16 was told that a tribunal would be set up to
18 'But I said that for (the tribunal) to have
19 any credence, the Muslims must also be represented,'
20 Stewart said."
21 Is that accurate?
22 A. I'm not sure it's entirely accurate. I'm not
23 sure that we agreed that a tribunal be set up, I can't
24 remember that, but I remember asking for it, as I
25 earlier testified, and I already remember insisting
1 that the Bosnian Muslim representation should be on
2 that tribunal.
3 Q. Was there a meeting at which the HVO and the
4 BH army was present at a high level to discuss the
5 formation of a joint commission to investigate Ahmici?
6 A. I cannot recall.
7 Q. Do you know whether, after you received
8 Colonel Blaskic's letter of the 23rd of April, 1993,
9 did you speak with (readcted) about possible
10 ECMM assistance in an investigation, a joint multiparty
11 investigation of Ahmici?
12 A. I can't recall it, but it's exactly what I
13 would have done without the (redacted), because the
14 ECMM, I felt, were more appropriate to investigate such
15 a matter.
16 Q. When you met with Colonel Blaskic on the 24th
17 of April, didn't he agree that something positive, in
18 the nature of an investigation, did need to be done?
19 A. I don't know. I can't recall. But I would
20 hope that he did. I can't recall exactly -- well, I
21 can't recall, is the answer, Your Honour. I would hope
22 he would have said that.
23 Q. Based on what you know about him, do you
24 think it's likely that he would have wanted an
1 A. Yes, I think it is likely that he would have
2 wanted an investigation, but I don't know what
3 happened, what orders he gave, because certainly
4 nothing happened during my time in Bosnia --
5 JUDGE JORDA: I'd like to have the last part
6 reinterpreted. What was your question? Would you ask
7 your question again, please? According to what you
8 know about Colonel Blaskic, do you think that he would
9 have or that he did? I'm asking the interpreter to
10 clarify it for me. And the answer seems not to be the
11 same to me. What is the answer to that? Would you
12 give us your answer again, please, Colonel Stewart,
13 whether he would have or whether he did?
14 A. I don't know whether he did. I think he
15 would have. But I never saw any evidence, Your Honour,
16 of any action as a follow-up. As I say, Your Honour,
17 this man, until this time, was someone I respected.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Well, you said that. All
19 right. Thank you. Please continue, Mr. Hayman.
20 MR. HAYMAN:
21 Q. Now, I take it that what then happened was
22 the U.N. Commission for Human Rights dispatched certain
23 investigators to the area, and they, in fact, conducted
24 an investigation; is that right?
25 A. Yes. They were there very quickly, Your
1 Honour. I was surprised by the speed with which they
2 were there, within a couple of days, as I recall.
3 Their names were Thomas Osorio and Payam Akhavan, and
4 Mr. Osorio spoke Croatian, Serbian, whatever you want
5 to call it, fluently.
6 Q. And they went to Zenica, or one of them, and
7 interviewed persons who fled or victims; correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And they made an inspection at the scene?
10 A. That's correct. They also asked me to
11 investigate house number 7, and house number 7 was
12 where we found further remains, as I recall dogs eating
13 the bodies when we got there.
14 Q. Are they the ones that, on or about the 4th
15 of May, told you that, in their view, the civil
16 government of the HVO in Vitez and Tihomir Blaskic were
17 guilty of something?
18 A. They probably are, but that was also my own
20 Q. And they told you that they had gathered four
21 names as suspects, possible perpetrators; correct?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Did you meet with those individuals,
24 Mr. Osorio and Mr. Akhavan, on the 4th of May, 1993,
25 and was it agreed that that information, the four
1 suspects, those names would not be shared with Colonel
2 Blaskic or the HVO?
3 A. I certainly met with them. I don't know
4 whether the date was accurate. I certainly checked
5 with them that I could make public the names, to the
6 appropriate authorities, and I discussed with them
7 whether, in fact, we should make this publicly aware to
8 everyone. I do not recall that we decided absolutely
9 not to give the names to the HVO, but I think I
10 probably said I would not give the names to the HVO,
11 and my decision was probably that.
12 Q. Take a look at --
13 A. I'll tell you why I did that as well, because
14 I wanted -- if they were suspicious, if people were
15 suspicious, I didn't want them to disappear.
16 Q. Take a look at your diary, if you would, for
17 May 4th, the carry over page, the bottom of the second
18 paragraph. Do you see the line, "I agreed," and this
19 is in the context of speaking to these gentlemen:
20 "I agreed to raise the matter with Valentin
21 and Blaskic without giving them names."
22 A. Okay. Yeah.
23 Q. So it was discussed, and that was the
24 agreement; is that right?
25 A. I think that's more accurate than what I've
1 just said, but that's fundamentally the same gist.
2 Q. Is that because Colonel Blaskic, by the 4th
3 of May, had become the target or a target of an
4 investigation into who was responsible for the Ahmici
6 A. Absolutely not. At the time, at that period,
7 I was more concerned with actually who had done it on
8 the ground. I wanted those people brought to justice
9 as soon as possible. And the fact of the matter was,
10 in my mind, and it's not in any diary, in my mind, I
11 was not accusing Tihomir Blaskic of anything. Quite
12 the reverse. At the time, I wanted him to help his
13 cause, the HVO cause, by getting those responsible
14 brought to justice, and if you will recall, in my
15 evidence -- in that evidence, I repeatedly said, "This
16 will go against the HVO if this is not investigated
18 Q. Then why not give the names of the HVO
19 members to Colonel Blaskic so he could have them
20 arrested and detained?
21 A. Simply because I didn't want those people to
22 disappear, and that probably was what I thought at the
24 Q. So it was your and the ECMM view that Colonel
25 Blaskic could not be trusted with this information, so
1 you wouldn't give it to him; is that right?
2 A. I think that's probably true.
3 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, would this be a
4 convenient point to break?
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, it would. We will resume
6 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
8 5.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
9 the 18th day of June, 1999, at 9.00 a.m.