1 Thursday, 24th June, 1999
2 (Closed session)
13 Pages 24148-24232 redacted-Closed session
2 (Open session)
3 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.
4 Please be seated. Have the accused brought in, please,
5 Mr. Registrar.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, let me turn to
8 you. I think I have forgotten my documents.
9 Mr. Registrar, if you have the documents
10 about the witness, you can give them to me.
11 I think that we are beginning -- I am saying
12 this for the public gallery because now we are in a
13 public session -- we are going to begin the rebuttal,
14 the general rebuttal; is that correct, Mr. Harmon?
15 MR. HARMON: That's correct, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE JORDA: You asked us -- you know, I am
17 absolutely obsessed with time, you know this by now --
18 you asked us and we gave you six days; is that right?
19 MR. HARMON: Yes.
20 JUDGE JORDA: So the six days will begin
21 right now. I don't know if you're going to actually
22 need six days.
23 MR. HARMON: We will need considerably less
24 time than six days.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Could you tell us
1 about how many days you need without really binding
2 yourself to that?
3 MR. HARMON: I'm not bound, Mr. President,
4 but approximately two days or less.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Two days or less. Very well.
6 I'm not going to make any conclusions, Mr. Hayman, that
7 we're going to take away two days from you. You asked
8 for two days for your surrebuttal; is that correct?
9 Will you need the two full days? Of course, I'm not
10 going to take them away from you, realise that. Just
11 because the Prosecutor has two days, you have to have
12 two days too, but we might hope that you would use less
13 than two days or ...
14 MR. HAYMAN: We may have none,
15 Mr. President. We have to wait and hear what we are
16 going to hear.
17 JUDGE JORDA: I think that July is going to
18 be devoted -- present us with enormous amounts of
19 written documents. I feel that coming. But for the
20 time being, we can begin with your rebuttal days,
21 Mr. Prosecutor, and I think you are going to introduce
22 a witness; is that correct?
23 MR. HARMON: That's correct, Mr. President.
24 Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel.
25 Our next witness will be Major Nicholas
1 Short, and he is a British officer that served in the
2 Gornji Vakuf area.
3 JUDGE JORDA: We've got the summary, so you
4 don't have to repeat it, and we will have the witness
5 brought in.
6 You're not asking for any particular
7 protective measures, are you?
8 MR. HARMON: No, we are not.
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE JORDA: You are going to tell the
11 Tribunal your name, your given name, your rank in the
12 army, because apparently you are a military man, your
13 residence, if you like -- you don't have to do that --
14 and then you will take an oath, and after that, you
15 will sit down.
16 THE WITNESS: My name is Major Nicholas
17 Short, serving in the British army. I am currently
18 stationed in Colchester.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Would you take the oath,
20 please, according to the statement which is being
21 handed to you?
22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
25 JUDGE JORDA: You may now be seated. Thank
1 you for having come to the Tribunal. You have been
2 called by the Prosecutor in the trial of General
3 Blaskic who, at the time of the facts, was a Colonel.
4 He is at your left. The Prosecutor called you, and he
5 will begin by asking you a certain number of
6 questions. After that, the Defence will ask you
7 questions, and perhaps the Judges will have some as
9 Mr. Registrar -- if there's nothing further
10 to say, you can begin, Mr. Harmon.
11 WITNESS: NICHOLAS SHORT
12 [A witness called in rebuttal]
13 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
14 Q. Good afternoon, Major Short.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. We speak the same language, so when I ask you
17 a question in English, if you could pause just while
18 the interpreters have time to translate the questions
19 and then give us your answer, it will prevent the
20 overlap or the merging of our questions and answers.
21 So let me begin. Major Short, could you,
22 first of all, tell the Judges about your background,
23 and when you answer my questions, would you face to the
24 Judges and direct your answers to the Judges?
25 A. I joined the army in 1983, and I am now a
1 company commander serving with the 1st Battalion of the
2 Royal Gloucester Barkshire and Wiltshire Regiment in
3 Colchester. My rank is Major.
4 Q. Major, could you tell us about your
5 experiences when you went to Bosnia and Herzegovina,
6 when you left Bosnia and Herzegovina, and what your
7 duties and responsibilities were when you were in
9 A. I deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in December
10 of 1992, and I left there in June of 1993. On
11 deployment, I was deployed as a military interpreter,
12 having done a language course in England before I
13 left. I was attached to "B" Company, 1 Cheshires,
14 initially, who were in Gornji Vakuf, and I remained in
15 Gornji Vakuf throughout my time, from November to June
17 Q. Did you eventually become a liaison officer
18 in Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. Yes. When the fighting started in Gornji
20 Vakuf, because of my rank and my military skills, in
21 that I was able to command an armoured vehicle, I was
22 used to move around the area in the role of a liaison
23 officer, and also being able to speak the language,
24 assisted in that.
25 Q. And you were a liaison officer from what date
1 until approximately what date?
2 A. I started my liaison duties, really, towards
3 the end of January, round-about, I think about the 23rd
4 of January, and I continued those duties through until
5 the Prince of Wales Own Company arrived, and then I
6 continued with them.
7 Q. Major, I'd like to focus your attention on
8 the conflict in Gornji Vakuf that erupted in January of
9 1993. Could you explain to the Judges those events?
10 A. To the best of my memory, in early -- up
11 until the 12th of January, 1993, there had been no
12 fighting at all in the Gornji Vakuf area, although
13 there was considerable tension due to the events in
14 Prozor the year before.
15 On the 12th, I was away up in Vitez taking a
16 convoy up through to Sarajevo. On our return that
17 evening, as we drove back into Gornji Vakuf, a large
18 amount of small-arms fire was breaking out. As we
19 drove back into the town, we were -- as the armoured
20 vehicles moved back along the road, a group of HVO
21 soldiers moved alongside us and then moved into
22 positions where they could obviously engage the ARBiH
24 Subsequent to that, between the 12th and
25 about the 17th, the conflict really was at a local
1 level, small-arms fire, sporadic use of hand-held
2 anti-armour weapons, and small mortar fire as well.
3 During this time, there were a number of negotiations
4 at a local level by UNPROFOR and the local commanders
5 to attempt to resolve the problem.
6 During this phase, the HVO commander of the
7 area, Zrinko Tokic, informed us, UNPROFOR and the
8 ARBiH, that if the problem was not resolved soon, then
9 outside forces from Prozor and elsewhere would be
10 brought in.
11 On the 17th of January, an ultimatum was
12 delivered to the ARBiH, and we were informed of the
13 ultimatum, and the ultimatum -- I can't recall the
14 details, but to the best of my knowledge, the sort of
15 bottom line was that it called for the ARBiH forces to
16 come under command of the HVO, to be suborned to the
17 HVO. That ultimatum was delivered on the morning of
18 the 17th, and it was not met by the evening of the
20 On the morning of the 18th, I received a
21 telephone call on the field telephone that we had to
22 the HVO headquarters from Zrinko Tokic, who informed me
23 that the HVO were about to attack Gornji Vakuf and that
24 we should take cover in our prepared bunkers.
25 Later, at about 0830, the attack started
1 which involved the use of tanks and artillery and a
2 mobile anti-aircraft cannon system. That fighting then
3 went on for approximately six or seven days, and during
4 that time, we could see quite considerable sort of
5 fighting going on around the Gornji Vakuf area, not
6 just restricted to the town. We could also see a
7 number of villages burning and also we could see smoke
8 from places that we couldn't physically see but we knew
9 generally where they were.
10 On about the 27th of January, we had been
11 negotiating, and we reached some kind of an agreement,
12 an agreement centred around a commission being formed
13 in the UNPROFOR headquarters in Gornji Vakuf and a
14 mobile team who would go out on the area and
15 investigate various claims from one side or the other.
16 This commission consisted of two Muslim police,
17 military policemen from Bugojno and two Muslim --
18 sorry, two Bosnian Croat policemen from Bugojno, and
19 myself and the ECMM.
20 Over the following days, we then went out on
21 the area and investigated various claims that had been
22 made by one side or the other and reported back that
24 During that time, it became apparent to me
25 that a number of villages had been burnt to the ground,
1 and in one particular area had actually been blown up
2 using military explosives.
3 Q. Major Short, I'm going to show you an
4 exhibit, and you're familiar with this exhibit because
5 last night you prepared this exhibit at my request, did
6 you not?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. While this exhibit is being marked and
9 distributed, let me ask you two questions: You said
10 while the fighting was going on from the 18th,
11 approximately the 18th of January until the 27th of
12 January, you could see the various villages burning.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Did you know the ethnic composition of those
15 villages that you could observe, that you observed
17 A. At the time, we could only -- we knew
18 roughly -- the ones we could see, yes, we knew what the
19 ethnic composition was. The ones that we couldn't see,
20 we didn't know at the time, but when I went round and
21 found out, then it became apparent that all the
22 villages that had been burned were Muslim villages.
23 Q. Now, Major, the court usher will be putting
24 this map up on the --
25 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 747.
1 MR. HARMON:
2 Q. Major Short, if you can explain to the Judges
3 what this document represents?
4 A. The map that is in front of you refers to --
5 the yellow highlighted groups of houses and villages
6 refer to the villages that I went and visited over the
7 course of about three or four days and discovered that
8 all the houses in those villages had -- sorry, the vast
9 majority of those houses in those villages had been
10 burned and were uninhabitable.
11 Q. Were those all Muslim villages?
12 A. Yes, they were.
13 Q. Now, Major Short, you remained in Gornji
14 Vakuf until June. To your knowledge, was anybody in
15 the HVO disciplined or punished for burning Muslim
16 houses in those villages?
17 A. No, not at all.
18 Q. Major, I want to direct your attention to
19 another area, another topic, and that is a particular
20 threat that occurred on the 5th of February, 1993.
21 Could you please expand on that particular area of
23 A. On the 5th of February, the fighting had been
24 fairly low-key at that stage, it was sporadic
25 small-arms fire. However, on the 5th, there was an
1 eruption of heavier fighting. As a result of that, the
2 HVO commander, Zrinko Tokic, rang up the headquarters,
3 and informed us as well, that unless the fighting
4 ceased, he would push two fuel tankers down from the
5 hill above the Muslim part of town, the relay, as it
6 was known, into the town and set fire to them.
7 Q. Major, did you and UNPROFOR take that threat
8 as a serious threat?
9 A. Once we had seen the two fuel tankers on the
10 hill then, yes, we did, and we had no choice other than
11 to take it as a serious threat.
12 Q. Was the plan executed?
13 A. No, it wasn't.
14 Q. Can you tell the Judges why, in your opinion,
15 it was not executed?
16 A. In my opinion, one, that there was no fuel in
17 the tankers, but we had to assume there was, but
18 probably more likely was that on the day or the day
19 subsequent to that, General Morillon visited, and there
20 was a large press attendance there, and I believe Sky
21 TV showed pictures of the two fuel tankers sitting
22 above Gornji Vakuf, and I believe, in my opinion, that
23 that is what prevented those being used in Gornji
25 Q. Now, let me focus your attention on the
1 conflict between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian
2 Croats in the last week of January, the first week of
3 February, 1993, in the Gornji Vakuf area.
4 Did you see troops from the Republic of
6 A. To the best of my memory, in either the last
7 week of January or the first week of February, I recall
8 seeing, in the area of Karamustafic, which was an HVO
9 checkpoint and had been used as a staging area, a band,
10 a group of approximately 20 soldiers wearing HV
12 Q. Did they have any marks of identification on
13 them indicating they were from the Republic of Croatia?
14 A. They were in combat, in camouflage uniforms,
15 with -- obviously prepared for combat operations with
16 their equipment, their weapons, and they had HV
17 shoulder patches on their uniforms.
18 Q. How far away was this from Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. Off the top of my head, Karamustafic is about
20 two to three kilometres south of Gornji Vakuf on the
21 road between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor.
22 Q. Did it appear to you, Major Short, that these
23 Croatian army troops were about to engage in combat
24 against another force?
25 A. I would -- I would say that they were in a
1 known staging area and it was obvious that they were
2 about to move forward. As to whether they were going
3 to engage in combat, I was not in a position to say
5 Q. My last question, Major Short, is: When you
6 and the various individuals who went around with you
7 from the commission inspected the villages that are
8 highlighted in yellow, could you give us your view on
9 how these particular houses had been set afire?
10 A. In all cases, the -- the area of Upper
11 Hrasnica which had been destroyed using explosives, in
12 all cases the villages had been burnt using some kind
13 of flammable material setting fire to the buildings,
14 and there was no indications that any combat had taken
15 place in and around those buildings.
16 MR. HARMON: Major Short, thank you very
17 much. I have no additional questions.
18 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, I'd like to
19 congratulate you, Mr. Harmon, for having fully
20 respected and followed the summary that you submitted.
21 I think that's very good. I would also like to thank
22 the witness who was very concrete.
23 We can now move to the Defence. The Defence
24 wants to ask some questions as part of its
25 surrebuttal -- its cross-examination, and please look
1 at the Judges when you answer. Thank you.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Hayman:
3 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, could we move the
4 ELMO slightly so that the witness and I can see each
6 Q. I didn't mean to enlist the witness's labour
7 on behalf of that mission, but I thank you, Major
8 Short, and welcome to The Hague. My name is Russell
9 Hayman and together with my colleague, Anto Nobilo, we
10 represent General Blaskic. Have you met General
12 A. I believe so, at a meeting once, in the Vitez
13 area in which I was escorting some HVO officers up to.
14 Q. What kind of meeting was that?
15 A. I believe -- well, the part of the meeting we
16 were involved in was to negotiate the move of the Jajce
17 Brigade, which was an ARBiH Brigade, up through there
18 to Zenica.
19 Q. Now, this Jajce Brigade, it had been in the
20 Gornji Vakuf area; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it had been in the Gornji Vakuf area
22 since the fall of Jajce.
23 Q. So this was a brigade. Can you give us an
24 estimate of how many ABiH soldiers were in this
1 A. It would be difficult to say, but we
2 estimated somewhere in the area between 500 and 600
4 Q. We need to pause between our question and
5 answer, although I understand how the President felt
6 when he had a native speaker in his own tongue. It's
7 quite a pleasure to speak with you.
8 Is it correct then that after the fall of
9 Jajce, this brigade of some 500 to 600 BH army soldiers
10 came to Gornji Vakuf?
11 A. They moved to an area about 12 kilometres to
12 the southeast of Gornji Vakuf. The name of the village
13 escapes me at the moment, but if I looked on a map, I
14 would be able to tell you.
15 Q. What had been the balance of forces in Gornji
16 Vakuf prior to the arrival of this BiH brigade from
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Would you agree that the introduction of this
20 brigade resulted in a significant change in the balance
21 of forces in the region?
22 A. I would say that in terms of numbers of men,
23 then possibly, yes. However, when we went to move the
24 Jajce Brigade, they only had very limited small arms
25 with them because they had lost them in the fall of
2 Q. Putting aside the Jajce Brigade, how many
3 BH army brigades were there in Gornji Vakuf?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Was there even one brigade based in the town?
6 A. I'm not sure. I know that there was both
7 local defence forces had forces there, and I could only
8 assume, because it was fairly early on in UNPROFOR's
9 role there and we were not there to collect
10 intelligence, we were there to escort humanitarian aid
11 convoys. So we were focusing on that rather than on
12 what units were located in the Gornji Vakuf area, but
13 there was -- in answer to your original question, there
14 was probably a parity of numbers, certainly what we
15 would see on a daily basis.
16 Q. There was a balance of forces before the
17 arrival of the Jajce Brigade; is that correct?
18 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes.
19 Q. After the conflict erupted, you were told, on
20 a number of occasions, that the arrival of this brigade
21 from outside the area had destabilised relations
22 between the HVO and the BH army in the region; correct?
23 A. Yes. The HVO were very keen that the Jajce
24 Brigade be moved because they felt that it had caused
25 some problems within the area and obviously had worried
1 people with 600 soldiers being moved into that area.
2 What I would say, also from Jajce, there were
3 a number of Bosnian Croat forces that came down from
4 Jajce as well, so it was not just one-sided.
5 Q. Is it correct that then Colonel Blaskic
6 agreed, at or after this meeting you alluded to at the
7 outset of your testimony, to permit the Jajce Brigade
8 from the BH army to pass into the Zenica region?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Were there any terms or conditions that were
11 part of that agreement, if you know, with respect to
12 the use, the future use of that brigade by the BH army?
13 A. Not that I know of. There were a number of
14 terms and conditions regarding the move of the Jajce
15 Brigade in terms of who was going to protect them in
16 case they were attacked en route and the amount of
17 weaponry that they would be able to take with them, but
18 I do not recall any conditions set on them for their
19 future employment.
20 Q. When did they move to Zenica? Can you give
21 us a month?
22 A. I can't, no.
23 Q. Was it before or after the January 1993
24 conflict in Gornji Vakuf?
25 A. It was after the January 1993 conflict.
1 Q. Are you able to tell this Court whether, in
2 fact, the -- was it the 305th Jajce Brigade?
3 A. I don't know the number.
4 Q. Are you able to tell this Court whether that
5 BH army brigade from Jajce, in fact, participated in
6 attacks in the Busovaca municipality, contrary to
7 express agreements between Colonel Blaskic and the
8 3rd Corps?
9 A. As I said, I operated in the Gornji Vakuf
10 area until June, and I went through the Lasva Valley
11 maybe twice in six months, so I couldn't give you an
12 answer on that, I'm afraid.
13 Q. Your answer is you don't know; is that right?
14 A. I don't know, yes.
15 Q. In the January 1993 conflict in Gornji Vakuf,
16 when was the first cease-fire reached?
17 A. There were so many, I'm afraid I lost track.
18 The first real sort of stopping in terms of the -- or
19 the major fighting I think occurred round-about the
20 26th, maybe the 27th of January. I do not have that
21 information with me.
22 Q. Let's back up a moment. You said that on
23 January 17th, there was an ultimatum for the BH army to
24 be subordinated to the HVO; do you recall that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Who made this ultimatum?
2 A. That ultimatum, as far as I recall, was
3 delivered by the HVO commander in Gornji Vakuf who is
4 Zrinko Tokic.
5 Q. Was that an ultimatum delivered to Gornji
6 Vakuf or was that an ultimatum made by the HVO
7 throughout the territory of Herceg-Bosna?
8 A. Again, I can't answer that definitely, but it
9 was to do with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan and the areas
10 that had been given to the Bosnian Croats under the
11 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, so I would presume, and this is
12 a presumption only, that it is to do with -- it was
13 widespread rather than just to Gornji Vakuf.
14 Q. What was the expiration date and expiration
15 time of that ultimatum?
16 A. That evening.
17 Q. Were there any other similar ultimata that
18 you heard of?
19 A. No, not that I can recall.
20 Q. So there was one ultimatum to expire on
21 17 January, 1993; is that right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. As a liaison officer -- and I'm not looking
24 for any details here -- but is it correct that you
25 reported material information to the milinfocell?
1 A. Yes, that is correct, but as part of the
2 commission, we reported to the joint table, which was
3 Zrinko Tokic, then Colonel Siljeg, and on the other
4 side of the table there was the ARBiH commanders as
5 well, so the information was freely available to all
7 Q. Did you have your own milinfocell in Gornji
8 Vakuf, or did the information that you provided as part
9 of that process make its way to the milinfocell in
11 A. We had our own milinfocell in Gornji Vakuf,
12 and I would presume, not working in it, but I would
13 presume that in the normal military chain of command,
14 they would pass their information to Vitez.
15 Q. Do you know whether the Cheshire Regiment
16 produced one milinfosum per day or were there separate
17 milinfosums produced in Vitez and Gornji Vakuf?
18 MR. HARMON: I'm going to object,
19 Mr. President. That's beyond the scope of the
21 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please.
22 Mr. Harmon, please, please. Mr. Hayman, continue.
23 MR. HAYMAN:
24 Q. I'm just trying to determine, Major, if we
25 were to look for a memorialisation of observations you
1 reported, would we look to the milinfosums that were
2 generated in Vitez or is there some other body of
3 documentation that would be relevant, such as a set of
4 daily milinfosums produced locally in Gornji Vakuf by
5 "B" Company?
6 A. I don't know. I would presume, and this
7 again is a presumption, that the information reported
8 in Gornji Vakuf was included on a "B" Company
9 milinfosum which was then sent to Vitez, and then Vitez
10 would distil the information from the companies and
11 create one milinfosum. So the Vitez one, I presume,
12 would be a distillation of milinfosums from all the
13 companies, and that is normally the way military
14 intelligence operates.
15 Q. You said that the fighting actually reduced
16 significantly on the 27th of January?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But that was the first significant lull or
19 reduction in fighting; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Do you know whether there had been, in fact,
22 a cease-fire ordered on the 19th of January by Mate
23 Boban in Gornji Vakuf, some eight days earlier?
24 A. As I said earlier, there were a number of
25 cease-fires, none of which worked, up until the point at
1 which we formed the joint commission and started going
2 round trying to resolve the problems.
3 Q. I know you said that, but I'm trying to take
4 the discussion to a higher level of specificity. Do
5 you know whether Mate Boban ordered a cease-fire by the
6 HVO in Gornji Vakuf on 19 January, 1993?
7 A. No, I don't recall that.
8 MR. HAYMAN: If Defence Exhibit 591, tab 169,
9 could be provided to the witness?
10 Q. Major, this is a document that, if you don't
11 have eye strain, it's almost certain to give you eye
12 strain. I can tell the Court I need new glasses as a
13 result of this case and these beautiful documents
14 provided to us in part by the Office of the Prosecutor.
15 Nonetheless, by what you can make out on this
16 document, it is a milinfosum dated 24 January 1993.
17 Paragraph 1 is titled "Gornji Vakuf," and it appears to
18 talk about Gornji Vakuf. I'm not going to try and read
19 the first paragraph or the outlined information, but I
20 am going to jump down to the bottom of the first page
21 where there's a paragraph that is legible, and I will
22 read it:
23 "A telex was handed in to 'B' Company's
24 location at 1800 hours this evening. It was reported
25 to be a letter from (Commander in Chief)
1 C in C Croatian Defence Council; Brigadier Milivoj
2 Petkovic to Commander HVO Prozor; Colonel Zeljko
3 Siljeg. It stated that the HVO were to stop all
4 offensive operations towards the BiH forces in Gornji
5 Vakuf and that Colonel Siljeg was to obey the orders of
6 President Mate Boban given on the 19th January 1993.
7 Colonel Siljeg was ordered to report to Mostar urgently
8 in order to brief Petkovic on the situation in Gornji
10 Now, my first question is: Were you the only
11 liaison officer attached to "B" Company in Gornji
13 A. No, there was Captain Mike Hughes as well.
14 Q. Are you familiar with this information
15 contained in this milinfosum of 24 January, 1993?
16 A. I'm not familiar, but now that you've put it
17 in front of me, I do recall something like this
19 Q. If, in fact, there was an order for a
20 cease-fire from the supreme commander of the HVO on the
21 19th of January, 1993, can you share with this Court
22 why it took until the 27th of January, 1993, for even a
23 partial cease-fire to take hold in Gornji Vakuf? Why
24 did it take eight days?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Well, perhaps it would be of assistance to
2 turn to another document within this exhibit, tab 22 of
3 Exhibit D591.
4 This is another milinfosum dated 16 January,
5 and if you turn, I would ask the registrar -- the
6 section dealing with Gornji Vakuf begins on page 2 and
7 the relevant paragraph is 2D, which is actually on page
8 3, so one more page over. Correct. Correct. And it's
9 the large text paragraph. Very good. Thank you.
10 "D. Gornji Vakuf reported that there was
11 still sporadic gunfire and the occasional mortar
12 landing on the town this evening. Last night, Gornji
13 Vakuf came under artillery fire. The resultant craters
14 were believed to be attributed to light artillery
15 shells. Comment: Gornji Vakuf is out of range of
16 light Serb artillery rounds. If B Company's assessment
17 of the craters is correct, then the Croats or the
18 Muslims must have been responsible for last night's
19 shelling. Comment ends. The situation is reported to
20 be worsened by the hard core extremists on both sides
21 who do not appear to be under the control of their
22 respective commanders."
23 Did you report that information to the
24 milinfocell, Major?
25 A. I reported the information concerning the
1 craters which I went and saw, and the information
2 further down on that page I would have reported as well
3 concerning the tank or the self-propelled gun.
4 Q. What about the information about the "hard
5 core extremists on both sides who appear to be out of
6 the control of their commanders"; was that information
7 that you reported or that Captain Hughes reported or
8 that someone else reported?
9 A. I would say that that information is an
10 assessment rather than fact that is being reported.
11 Q. Do you recall that you didn't report it, or
12 what is it that you recall that you can share with this
14 A. I did not report that, and I believe that
15 Captain Hughes did not report that either.
16 Q. You think it's wrong?
17 A. If you're asking me for my opinion or what is
18 fact ...
19 Q. Well, you seem very certain that you didn't
20 report it. Here we are six years later, and I'd like
21 to know why. Why are you certain you didn't report
23 A. Because that is an assessment and my job was
24 to report fact on the ground.
25 Q. Were there other personnel in "B" Company
1 that made those sorts of assessments and then passed
2 them up to the milinfocell in Vitez?
3 A. I would presume that that was done by the
4 intelligence personnel or the "B" Company personnel
5 working in the milinfocell.
6 Q. Do you know whether these groups,
7 extremist -- "the hard core extremists on both sides,"
8 can you further describe that element, either on the
9 HVO side or on the BH army side, for the Court? Was
10 there a name? Was there a unit? Was there a type of
11 dress or uniform?
12 A. No, not that I recall.
13 Q. Were there HOS in Gornji Vakuf?
14 JUDGE JORDA: Speak a little more slowly,
15 please, because the interpreters are running out of
17 MR. HAYMAN: My apologies, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Try to speak a little more
19 slowly. Thank you very much. Please continue.
20 A. Yes, I saw HOS soldiers, and on a number of
21 the houses that had been burnt in Uzrica and Dusi,
22 there was "HOS" written on the walls with spray paint.
23 Apart from that, I saw no other units which may be
24 regarded as extremists.
25 MR. HAYMAN:
1 Q. How could one differentiate a HOS unit from a
2 non-HOS unit?
3 A. The HOS units I saw were -- some of them were
4 wearing black jackets and they had on their arm a round
5 badge which said "HOS" and "Za Dom Spremni" written on
7 Q. Major, I know it's been six years, but can
8 you help the Court: Do you know whether General
9 Petkovic and General Pasalic jointly ordered a
10 cease-fire in Gornji Vakuf to take effect on the 20th of
11 January, 1993?
12 A. Again, no, I can't recall that. As you said,
13 it was six years.
14 MR. HAYMAN: If Defence Exhibit 591, tab 24,
15 could be shared with the witness, please?
16 Q. This, Major, is a milinfosum from the 22nd of
17 January, 1993, and there appears to be a translation of
18 a document attached to it. Perhaps we could switch the
19 document -- yes. On the back of the first page is, I
20 think, the first page of the attachment. If we move it
21 down a tad -- down a tad, thank you -- we see the
22 heading of the Croatian Defence Council, the main staff
23 of the HVO, and the headquarters of the BH army, a
24 reference number, Mostar, January 20, 1993.
25 "In order that the senseless conflict
1 between Muslims and Croats in Gornji Vakuf can be ended
2 and that we together fight against the Serbo-Chetnik
3 aggression, the headquarters of the HVO and the
4 headquarters of the BH army together issue the
5 following ..."
6 Then there's the text of a command or order.
7 I'll just read a couple of the points:
8 "Simultaneously and without condition all
9 fighting in the region of Gornji Vakuf between the
10 forces of the HVO and the BH army must cease. To bring
11 this about, the following must be completed:
12 "On receipt of orders, all Artillery
13 activity (Guns, Mortar, Tanks) must within two hours
15 And then I jump to paragraph 2:
16 "2. All troops from neighbouring regions be
17 removed from Gornji Vakuf. This must be completed by
18 1700 hours on January the 21st 1993.
19 "3. To form a commission ..."
20 And so forth.
21 If we then turn, Major, to the last page, I
22 think, of the milinfosum, what we will see is the end
23 of this order. It's typed and has a different
24 appearance. Yes, please. Thank you. We see that this
25 is a document that was or was to be jointly executed by
1 General Petkovic and General Pasalic.
2 Can you tell us, was this, in fact, a
3 cease-fire order that was issued? Was it proposed and
4 discussed? What can you tell us, please?
5 A. I've never seen this document before, so I
6 can't tell you anything.
7 Q. Well, if we could now turn to paragraph 4 of
8 the milinfosum itself which is entitled "Gornji Vakuf"?
9 The first line is not legible. That's why I was hoping
10 you could tell us what this document was so we didn't
11 have to try and pull it out of the milinfosum itself.
12 I see, starting on the third line: "General Morillon
13 and the" something party, something location and
14 "attended the cease-fire talks."
15 If this milinfosum is dated the 22nd of
16 January, were there cease-fire talks in Gornji Vakuf
17 around the 20th or 21st?
18 A. During that period, really, from the 18th
19 onwards, there was an attempt made by UNPROFOR daily to
20 create the conditions for a cease-fire, and I think to
21 help you on that document, it probably says the CO's
22 party, because I believe the commanding officer,
23 Colonel Stewart, came down during that period in an
24 attempt to bring about a cease-fire.
25 Q. So I take it you have no further recollection
1 of this document which was appended to and was made
2 part of this milinfosum?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. Can you tell the Court anything other than
5 what you've already provided in terms of the activities
6 that resulted in the burning or destruction of the
7 villages you've described or the units responsible?
8 A. No. As I said, we could -- there was so much
9 fighting going on and we had had one of our soldiers
10 killed and we were not in a position to move out from
11 the base and see what was going on, so we watched from
12 a distance whilst this was happening and then, as soon
13 as we could, and I believe, as I said, after about the
14 27th, we managed to get round in armoured vehicles to
15 see what was happening. So as to units involved, I
16 can't give you an answer on that.
17 Q. You said no HVO soldier was disciplined or
18 punished for misconduct that occurred during the
19 conflict in Gornji Vakuf in January. Have you seen the
20 disciplinary records of the HVO in Gornji Vakuf?
21 A. No. I said to the best of my knowledge, no
22 HVO soldier or ARBiH soldier was disciplined for any of
23 the things that were reported by the joint commission.
24 Q. Were there instances of misconduct, indeed
25 crimes or destruction of civilian property, reported on
1 both sides of the warring parties, that is, with
2 respect to both of them?
3 A. At that time, yes, there were. The bulk was
4 obviously against Muslim property, but there were a
5 number of incidents that were investigated that the
6 ARBiH had committed.
7 Q. These two petroleum tankers you described, if
8 they had rolled down the hill where they were, where
9 would they have gone?
10 A. They would have landed in the Muslim section
11 of Gornji Vakuf or the part of the town that was being
12 held by the ARBiH.
13 Q. Was the fighting in Gornji Vakuf going on
14 right in the middle of the town; in other words, was
15 the town split into two parts with the front line down
16 the middle, in essence?
17 A. That's a very simplistic view, but it was,
18 yes, effectively split in half.
19 Q. These 20 soldiers that you saw south of
20 Gornji Vakuf with HV patches, what did you see them
21 doing? What were they doing?
22 A. At the time, they were standing or milling
23 around the checkpoint area at Karamustafic. As I said,
24 I was on a patrol in two armoured vehicles and we were
25 stopped there waiting to pick up a convoy to bring them
1 back, to bring the convoy back through Gornji Vakuf,
2 and they were just standing around at the area of the
4 Q. Did you see them do anything other than
5 milling around?
6 A. No.
7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Major. No further
8 questions, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Harmon, do you
10 have any additional questions to ask?
11 MR. HARMON: I do not.
12 JUDGE JORDA: A question from Judge
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Major, I'm going to ask you
16 only one question: How do you distinguish between the
17 HVO soldiers and the HV soldiers?
18 A. Sir, the HV soldiers have a different badge
19 on their arm with just HV rather than HVO, and that's
20 what the soldiers were wearing, a large shield-type
21 badge with HV and the checkerboard underneath. I think
22 it was underneath.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major. I don't have
25 any further questions to ask you. We have finished.
1 You can go back to your unit now.
2 The registrar will accompany the witness out
3 of the courtroom, and we can move on with the rest of
4 our work this afternoon.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. This is part of the
7 rebuttal. Mr. Harmon, do you have any other
8 witnesses? Does this mean that you're not going to
9 have any other witness throughout your rebuttal? This
10 is a question which is of interest to the Judges.
11 MR. HARMON: We have one, possibly two more
12 witnesses, Mr. President. They will be brief
14 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. But according to
15 what Mr. Fourmy said, not before the week beginning the
16 6th of July; is that correct?
17 MR. HARMON: 5th of July, I believe, yes,
18 that's correct.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes.
20 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, let me move to
21 introduce Prosecutor's Exhibit 747 into evidence.
22 JUDGE JORDA: No comments? All right. It's
23 been tendered. 747 is listed as an exhibit for the
25 MR. HARMON: We have some additional
1 documents we would like to present to the Chamber,
2 Mr. President. Some will have to be presented in
3 closed session. I will reserve those till the end of
4 this afternoon or the end of this session, and I have
5 then two small items we're prepared to present to the
6 Chamber today.
7 Let me begin, first of all, Mr. President,
8 with a single exhibit. I, first of all, would direct
9 Your Honours' attention to the testimony of Colonel
10 Blaskic found at page 18062 and found at lines 1
11 through 4, as well as the same page, lines 9 through
12 12, and in his testimony, Colonel Blaskic said, and I
14 "From the 8th of November onwards, I was
15 responsible to Mr. Prkacin who, at that particular
16 time, was the commander of the Central Bosnian
17 Operation Zone."
18 Further in his answer, he says:
19 "In November, Prkacin commanded the entire
20 area of the Central Bosnia Operation Zone, and at that
21 first meeting held on the 8th of November, the
22 commanders of the municipal staff refused to comply."
23 We would submit -- Mr. President, we have
24 submitted other documents showing that Colonel Blaskic
25 was the Operative Zone commander at that time, but we
1 would offer now into evidence this particular document,
2 which I will just ...
3 JUDGE JORDA: Is this being contested?
4 Mr. Hayman?
5 MR. HAYMAN: I don't know what exactly
6 counsel is responding to. There was a joint command,
7 Colonel Blaskic was the Operative Zone commander; then
8 there was a joint command over the territory. I don't
9 know what this document is, so I can't say,
10 Mr. President, whether this is extraneous or not in
11 terms of the Defence's position.
12 MR. HARMON: I can be perfectly clear on
13 this, Mr. President. The state of the record and the
14 state of the testimony of Colonel Blaskic was, from the
15 8th of November onwards:
16 "I was responsible for Mr. Prkacin, and
17 Prkacin, at that particular time, was the commander of
18 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone."
19 That is the state of the record, and we are
20 offering this document and we have offered other
21 documents to show that in November, Colonel Blaskic was
22 the commander of the Central Bosnia Operation Zone, and
23 this particular exhibit indicates, at the end of the
24 document --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Let's not spend too much time
1 with that. You simply can file it and we will note it.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 748.
3 JUDGE JORDA: I hope that after two years of
4 trial, we're not going to begin challenging the
5 situation of the head of the Operative Zone in Central
6 Bosnia, which was Colonel Blaskic. That would be very
8 MR. HARMON: Well, Mr. President, it was just
9 a question of clarifying the record, and that's the
10 state of the record that we have found in part, and we
11 want to clarify the record, and we submit this as
12 evidence in respect of that testimony.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I hope that you're not going to
14 ask us to clarify every line of the 30.000 pages of
15 transcript, Mr. Harmon.
16 Very well. What is the exhibit number,
18 THE REGISTRAR: This is 748.
19 JUDGE JORDA: All right. It's been admitted.
20 MR. HARMON: And, Mr. President, what I
21 propose to do is just select certain areas of the
22 transcript and where there has been testimony on
23 particular points and submit to Your Honours evidence
24 of rebuttal in respect of that.
25 If I could direct your attention --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well. Very well.
2 Starting with the accused's testimony or testimony of
3 other people as well?
4 MR. HARMON: It would be other people's
5 testimony as well, and it's not in any particular
6 sequence, Mr. President, or by category --
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, do you have an
8 objection? I don't think so.
9 MR. HAYMAN: No objection to the presentation
10 of documents, Mr. President, but we do object to a
11 miniature argument with respect to each document,
12 because if counsel's going to frame why this is
13 relevant and this is what it is and this is what you
14 should conclude, that's not a rebuttal case, that's
15 closing argument.
16 The Court knows, we presented three volumes
17 of documents and we didn't argue to the Court. We gave
18 you the documents. This is his turn to give the Court
19 additional documents and then both sides can argue the
20 case at the end of the case.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I very much appreciate your
22 procedural lesson, but I think that you're really
23 obsessed with your own procedures. I come from a
24 system where, as you know, things don't work that way,
25 but I accept the proceedings that we use here, that the
1 Judges have adopted themselves. This is part of the
2 rebuttal, and I think during rebuttal, it is
3 permissible for the Prosecutor to choose things, he can
4 present witnesses, present testimony, bring in
5 documents, and can decide that in respect of this or
6 that point in the transcript or this or that testimony,
7 he wants to argue something, and perhaps you, during
8 your surrebuttal, you can answer. We don't have to say
9 anything further than that.
10 Would you like to surrebut further,
11 Mr. Hayman?
12 MR. HAYMAN: Can we comment on his rebuttal
13 documents in our surrebuttal, just counsel comment on
14 the document? Because we'd like to, if that's
16 JUDGE JORDA: You can do what you like during
17 your surrebuttal. I see no problem with that. But not
18 now. Now let the Prosecutor do his work, his rebuttal
19 right. Mr. Harmon?
20 I do like to consult with my colleagues here
21 so that we work together. I'm going to ask if I've
22 made a mistake, because I'm not always familiar with
23 the customs that you use procedurally, that is, between
24 Mr. Harmon and yourself, Mr. Hayman.
25 (Trial Chamber confers)
1 JUDGE JORDA: I can never thank my wise
2 colleagues enough. I think that the Prosecutor can
3 present exhibits and can make a short comment, not a
4 long one, and without arguments. Arguments are
5 reserved for July.
6 Do you agree with that position, Mr. Hayman?
7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Does it comply with your own
9 customs, your own procedures? And I would like to
10 thank my colleagues, as I always do.
11 Mr. Harmon, please continue. All right. You
12 are answering an argument or a passage? Explain what
13 it is. Say the passage that you are talking about and
14 move on to the next one. Thank you very much. We will
15 take a break in ten minutes.
16 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President. The
17 next --
18 JUDGE JORDA: I'm thanking the Judges.
19 MR. HARMON: The next item is -- the next
20 items are four exhibits. They relate to testimony that
21 is found on pages 13889 through 13892, and they relate
22 to Defence Exhibit 412. Exhibit 412 is a document
23 which indicates the date of death of a particular
24 individual whose name is Nedjeljko Grabovac. These and
25 the Defence Exhibit indicates that this individual died
1 on the 16th of April, 1993.
2 I tender to Your Honours four exhibits which
3 indicate that this individual died on the 22nd of
4 December, 1993, as is indicated in an exhibit that was
5 also tendered by the Defence, that is, Exhibit 345.
6 I don't want to belabour the point,
7 Mr. President. When you read the transcript and Your
8 Honours read the transcript, it will become apparent
9 precisely why these exhibits are being entered into
10 evidence. These are documents, Mr. President, that
11 were seized pursuant to a search warrant executed by
12 the -- a search warrant that was executed by the Office
13 of the Prosecutor and authorised by the Trial Chamber.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Are you going to
15 give it a number, Mr. Registrar?
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, while we're
17 waiting, I have two other sets of documents that need
18 to be presented but they should be presented in closed
20 Mr. Dubuisson, if you could identify which
21 exhibit number -- tell me, since I've given you four,
22 by referring to the ERN number on the upper right-hand
23 side of the document, it would assist me in marking my
25 THE REGISTRAR: All right. The document
1 which ends in 663 is document 749. The document ending
2 664 is document 750. The one which ends in 667 is
3 751. The one that ends with 668 is document 752.
4 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
5 JUDGE JORDA: I suggest that we take a break
6 now, Mr. Harmon. That will allow the public gallery to
7 realise that right after you're going to make a
8 different presentation. Are you going to take a long
9 time to present the documents? Will the closed session
10 go on for a long time? I'd like to say this for the
11 public gallery.
12 MR. HARMON: It will last about 15 minutes
13 and then we have no additional evidence to present
14 today. Thank you.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. We're
16 going to adjourn the hearing for about 20 minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
19 (Closed session)
13 Pages 24274-24282 redacted-Closed session
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
9 4.38 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
10 the 25th day of June, 1999, at 9.00 a.m.