1 Monday, 26th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.08 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.
5 Mr. Registrar, please have the accused brought in.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the
8 interpreters, for their faithful and competent effort
9 and achievement. I wish to greet the Prosecutor of the
10 Prosecution, the counsel for the Defence. It seems to
11 me that we have several persons present, but Mr. Nobilo
12 and Mr. Hayman will probably explain that to us.
13 Let me add that we are in the final stage of
14 the trial before the International Criminal Tribunal
15 against General Blaskic, the accused here present, and
16 this week, the last week of the trial, will be devoted
17 to the final arguments and final statements, closing
18 statement on the part of the Office of the Prosecution
19 and the counsel for the Defence.
20 But first, let me address Mr. Hayman and Mr.
21 Nobilo for them to introduce any new colleagues which
22 seem to have joined us at the last moment it seems to
23 me. Were they behind the scenes working hard and
24 suddenly you wished to show them to us?
25 MR. HAYMAN: They refused to leave Southern
1 California until final argument, Mr. President. Good
2 morning. Good morning, Your Honours. Joining
3 Mr. Nobilo and myself are two lawyers from my law
4 office. I believe Mr. Andrew Paley the Court has met
5 before during the Defence opening statement. He is to
6 Mr. Nobilo's immediate left.
7 JUDGE JORDA: That's right.
8 MR. HAYMAN: To Mr. Paley's left is Robert
9 Perrin, also a lawyer in my law firm. They will be
10 joining us this week as will, from time to time, an
11 assistant from my office, Mr. Elias Guzman.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I think there is no
13 objection on anyone's part, on the part of my
14 colleagues, the Judges. Of course, also the
15 Prosecution. The assistants were introduced to the
16 Office of the Prosecution, I hope.
17 Mr. Harmon, is everything all right?
18 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President.
19 Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel, and
20 new counsel, welcome.
21 We also have, Mr. President, Kirsten Keith
22 who will be assisting us in the presentation of our
23 summation. She is also a new face in the courtroom and
24 I wanted to introduce her before we commenced the
1 We're ready to proceed, Mr. President. We
2 will proceed in a fashion where we will divide the
3 summation amongst us. Counsel will address different
4 aspects of the case itself. I would say, as Your
5 Honours are well aware, this case has been ongoing for
6 over two years and the volume of evidence in this case
7 is enormous.
8 The labour that went into the trial briefs, I
9 speak for the Prosecutor's office and I assume I speak
10 as well for the Defence counsel, will more exhaustively
11 cover the many topics and the evidence in greater
12 detail than we can conceivably do in the limited amount
13 of time we have to address Your Honours in respect of
14 this case.
15 During the course of our presentation in
16 summary of this case, we will be required to go into
17 private session on a number of occasions because we
18 will be referring to witnesses whose testimony were
19 heard in closed session, and in order to maintain the
20 integrity of the protections that were afforded to
21 them, it's important to go into closed session on
22 occasion. We will try to limit the number of times we
23 have to disrupt the proceedings by making that request
24 but there will be a fair number of those requests.
25 I would like to invite the Court to make any
1 inquiries it feels appropriate during the course of our
2 presentation. We would welcome any inquiries by Your
4 Without further ado, Mr. President and Your
5 Honours, Mr. Kehoe will begin the presentation for the
6 Office of the Prosecutor.
7 JUDGE JORDA: I should simply like to say,
8 and, thank you, Mr. Prosecutor, for all your
9 explanation, for the benefit of the public, the hearing
10 will be public throughout the week except for a few
11 minutes or longer periods when necessary.
12 I wanted to ask you, however, you have two
13 and a half days, I think, Mr. Prosecutor. Do you
14 intend to use that time?
15 MR. HARMON: We will use a large amount of
16 that time. I will be able to give you a better
17 assessment this evening at the close of business. What
18 I failed to take into account, Mr. President, in my
19 calculations earlier was the amount of time it's going
20 to take to physically manipulate exhibits and put
21 things on the ELMO, and also to essentially go in and
22 out of private session. So I think it will take a
23 little bit longer than I had earlier assessed.
24 Anyway, Mr. President, without further ado, I
25 would like to have Mr. Kehoe commence the address.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman? Before we give the
2 floor to Mr. Kehoe, Mr. Hayman, will you also be using
3 your two and a half days or you don't know?
4 MR. HAYMAN: We will, Mr. President. Mr.
5 Nobilo and I will. I only wanted to raise the one last
6 outstanding item of business prior to closing
7 arguments, and I think that is the matter of the
8 admission of D197. That had not yet been admitted when
9 we adjourned two weeks ago. That's the diary. We
10 would ask that be admitted before arguments begin so
11 that the matter is settled.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, is there any
13 objection? You know it was the diary, produced, I
14 think, within the framework of another case.
15 Mr. Fourmy?
16 MR. FOURMY: Yes, that is true,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Was there any objection on your
19 part or was there any objection on the part of the
20 other Chamber?
21 MR. HARMON: I don't know that,
22 Mr. President. I know we filed the appropriate papers
23 with the other Chamber and we maintained our objection
24 that it should be limited to the pages in that document
25 that were identified by the witness. If the other
1 Chamber has ruled, we accept the ruling of the other
3 JUDGE JORDA: As far as I know, it has not
4 taken a decision. Now we have to take our own
6 What do you think, Mr. Fourmy?
7 A priori, apparently the witness concerned
8 has given his authorisation that the appropriate
9 transcript can be disclosed. Do we need to have it
10 confirmed in the course of the day, Mr. Fourmy?
11 MR. FOURMY: This information was conveyed to
12 me, Mr. President, through the intermediary of the
13 department for the protection of witnesses, Victims and
14 Witnesses, who contacted the witness who gave his
15 authorisation for the relevant parts of the transcript
16 of his testimony made within the framework of another
17 trial may be used in this case, and the same measures
18 of confidentiality which should be able to regulate
19 matters at least regarding the part of the transcript
20 we are referring to.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I address the parties.
22 Therefore, there is no objection. Judge Shahabuddeen?
23 Judge Rodrigues?
24 Since the witness is the main person
25 concerned we will take the same protection for
1 witnesses and the relevant parts are admitted.
2 Is that all right, Mr. Hayman?
3 MR. HAYMAN: I think it's all right to admit
4 the diary, Mr. President. I can't consent in advance
5 to admission of a transcript that we haven't seen. I
6 don't know if a transcript can be admitted without
7 cross-examination and the like, but if the other Court
8 can confirm that the diary was authenticated by the
9 witness, both parties have seen the diary so we have an
10 opportunity to address it in arguments. But if some
11 transcript of the witness is admitted after arguments,
12 then we won't have the chance to even comment on it in
13 argument much less possibly to cross-examine the
14 witness. So we would ask that the diary be admitted.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, our position was
17 and remains that those portions of the diary that were
18 authenticated by the witness, we have no objection to
19 their admittance into evidence but he did not
20 authenticate all portions of the diary.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I think we have to resolve
22 this. We are not going to start a procedural debate
23 over this. We will reserve the same protection
24 measures. The witness agrees. Therefore, the diary
25 will be admitted.
1 What do you think, Mr. Fourmy? I think we
2 have to overcome this issue. We're in the final stage
3 and we're not going to have a battle over this exhibit
4 too long.
5 MR. FOURMY: I think that there is an
6 agreement between the parties for the admission only of
7 the portions of the diary that have been authenticated
8 by the witness, not the diary as a whole.
9 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, we will admit the
10 portions authenticated by the witness. Is that
11 acceptable? No other remarks? If you have other
12 remarks, please do so immediately, because we're not
13 going to come back to this issue again.
14 MR. HAYMAN: We just need to know, for
15 purposes of closing argument, what has been admitted
16 from the diary and what has not or else we won't know
17 what we can refer to, Mr. President. I'm not quibbling
18 with the ruling. The Prosecutor knows because he has
19 access to the sealed transcript. We're the blind man
20 touching the elephant: We don't know what parts of the
21 elephant are in evidence.
22 JUDGE JORDA: That's true.
23 MR. HARMON: My suggestion, Mr. President, is
24 Mr. Fourmy can advise the parties as to which of those
25 pages have been admitted into evidence, and having
1 reviewed the matter exhaustively, I think we should
2 then proceed on our summation. I think Mr. Hayman and
3 the Defence can wait, in the next couple days, to get
4 that decision, but as we delay now resolving this
5 issue, where there is an answer, Mr. Fourmy can tell
6 Mr. Hayman at a later time exactly what pages were not
8 JUDGE JORDA: In any event, we shall admit
9 the authenticated pages, and those pages will be
10 communicated to Mr. Hayman in the immediate future as
11 Mr. Harmon has been able to study them in the course of
12 his research. The decision has been made, and we
13 consider this incident closed.
14 It is twenty past ten. Mr. Prosecutor, you
15 wanted to begin. I think you wanted to give the floor
16 to Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. HARMON: Yes. Thank you very much,
18 Mr. President, Your Honours.
19 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, Your Honours,
20 counsel, good morning.
21 We have come to the end of this case and the
22 facts of this case, and as we reviewed it over the past
23 ten days or two weeks, since our final meeting, takes
24 me back to a line that was presented or a speech that
25 was given on the floor of the British parliament in the
1 latter part of the 18th century by a member of
2 parliament and a political philosopher by the name of
3 Edmund Burke, and he said in a speech and in a manner
4 laced with tensions involving religious events, he
5 noted: "An event has happened upon which it is
6 difficult to speak and impossible to keep silent."
7 We have been here some two long years talking
8 about the facts of this case, talking about those
9 catastrophic events that took place in Central Bosnia
10 in 1992 through 1994. But as we sit here some two
11 years down the line and some six years after the
12 events, it is difficult to still speak about it because
13 of what has happened and what has been left in the wake
14 of this violence.
15 What we have witnessed is violence, murder,
16 the destruction of a lifestyle, the destruction of a
17 portion of an ethnic group within the Central Bosnia
18 area in pursuit of a political policy, a political
19 policy that strove for uni-ethnic goals and also trying
20 to achieve territorial ambitions. The tragedy, of
21 course, is that in the pursuit of that political
22 policy, the wake has left hundreds of victims, both
23 dead and alive. I suppose one takes pause at this
24 juncture as to who is in a worse situation: Those who
25 have gone to a better life or those who have been
1 marked forever by what transpired in Central Bosnia.
2 Before we walk into and begin to discuss the
3 development of that political plan which was developed
4 in the halls of power in Zagreb, Croatia, by President
5 Franjo Tudjman and his political associates and
6 subsequently was deployed and employed by the Croatian
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna political structure as well
8 as the military machine of the Croatian Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna, the HVO, before we begin to discuss how
10 this entire matter developed, let us take a look at the
11 indictment and exactly some of the matters that the
12 accused has been charged with.
13 As I just noted, the facts of this case have
14 been difficult for all of us, heart-wrenching at times,
15 still painful. But the indictment and the charges that
16 are set forth in the indictment, Mr. President and Your
17 Honours, are basically very simple ones. They focus on
18 the sanctity of life and they focus on the protection
19 of civilians and they focus on the protection of
20 civilians who happen to be belonging to an ethnic
22 The indictment in this case charges crimes
23 against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of
24 war, violations of the Geneva Convention in various
25 categories, but they all can be discussed in rather
1 simple terms: What has been charged in this case is a
2 series of crimes directed by the defendant Blaskic and
3 his associates, those crimes directed against the
4 civilian population, the Bosnian Muslim civilian
5 population in Central Bosnia. They amount to
6 persecution of the Bosnian Muslim ethnic group within
7 Central Bosnia. That persecution was not only employed
8 in Central Bosnia but was part of an overall plan that
9 was widespread and systematic throughout the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
11 The other crimes more specifically relate to
12 the killing and murder of Bosnian Muslim civilians, the
13 destruction of the property belonging to Bosnian Muslim
14 civilians, as well as the destruction, desecration of
15 Bosnian Muslim religious sites in an effort to
16 essentially eradicate or certainly encourage that
17 ethnic group to either leave the area or be so injured
18 that they would be compelled to do so.
19 Suffice it to say this is a series of
20 attacks, armed, beginning with political policies and
21 then going to military policies that was directed
22 against this population, as I noted, killing,
23 destruction of their homes, destruction of their
24 religious objects, with an effort to remove them from
25 the area.
1 The defendant Blaskic is charged as the
2 commander, as the commander of the HVO troops who
3 employed the political policies set out by the Croatian
4 Community of Herceg-Bosna and the HVO, a political
5 policy that was developed in Zagreb, that moved down to
6 Grude and Mostar in the hands of the President of the
7 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, and
8 then was deployed politically in Central Bosnia through
9 individuals such as Dario Kordic, Ignac Kostroman, and
10 Anto Valenta. Blaskic was the tool, Blaskic was the
11 individual who worked hand in glove with these
12 individuals to accomplish the political goals of the
13 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Those political
14 goals, as I noted previously, include a uni-ethnic area
15 of Bosnian Croats, the removal of Bosnian Muslims from
16 the area that the Bosnian Croats considered to be
17 theirs and, candidly, the ultimate annexation of the
18 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna to the Republic of
20 Blaskic is the commander. Under the Statute
21 of this Tribunal, he is charged under 7(1) and 7(3) of
22 that Statute. In 7(1), the Statute charges Blaskic
23 with planning, instigating, ordering, or otherwise
24 aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation, or
25 execution of the crimes in the indictment. This
1 charges Blaskic with being part of this plan, with
2 assisting, planning, and instigating the coordinated
3 effort to remove and persecute the Bosnian Muslim
4 population from Central Bosnia.
5 Under 7(3), essentially a charge that charges
6 Blaskic with failure to punish and failure to prevent
7 the crimes committed by the troops under his command.
8 Blaskic knew that the troops under his command had
9 committed crimes, that they were about to commit crimes
10 and, ultimately, he knew, after those crimes had
11 occurred, as the commander, that those crimes had taken
12 place. He both failed to prevent those crimes before
13 they took place and also failed to punish the
14 perpetrators, the individual perpetrators of those
15 crimes, after those crimes transpired.
16 Before we move into the historical and
17 chronological view as to how this all happened, I think
18 we have to place Blaskic and his command and the areas
19 in question in some type of context, and with the
20 assistance of my colleague, Mr. Hooper, I would like to
21 put the first chart on the board.
22 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, this is
23 a chart, and if I could move closer, I could explain it
24 in a bit more detail.
25 This is a map, Mr. President, which I know
1 Your Honours haven't seen in a while, but it was
2 admitted during the early portions of this case, some
3 two years ago, and what it depicts is the three
4 relevant municipalities that we have been discussing
5 over the past two years. They include Kiseljak,
6 Busovaca, and Vitez.
7 The purpose of this map is to place in
8 context the area of command over which Blaskic was the
9 Central Bosnian Operative Zone commander. This
10 particular portion was only a part of the Central
11 Bosnian Operative Zone; however, these are the three
12 relevant municipalities that we have been discussing
13 throughout most of this case. As the accused has
14 discussed, there were numerous other locales within his
15 area of command, such as Zepce, Vares, and areas in
16 Sarajevo. However, these are the three areas that are
17 the subject of the indictment.
18 As Your Honours can see, what we are talking
19 about contextually in these maps and what we have done
20 is put the particular municipalities and overlay them
21 on a map of Holland. What Your Honours can see is the
22 areas over which Blaskic is charged, or the areas over
23 which the crimes in the indictment charge, is
24 approximately a territorial area that goes from The
25 Hague up north to approximately Haarlem, an area that
1 is significantly small. It is not large in any sense
2 at all for a commander of this particular area.
3 Before we actually go into the crimes on the
4 ground, Mr. President and Your Honours, I think it is
5 of use to put what happened in Central Bosnia in
6 context with not only things that happened throughout
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina but also how this all transpired.
8 Was this just some spontaneous event that erupted in
9 Central Bosnia on the 16th of April, 1993, when Ahmici
10 was attacked or does the history of this entire matter
11 take us back some years and show us the sequence of
12 events that, in retrospect, appears to be quite logical
13 in its development?
14 I submit to Your Honours that it does, and
15 the beginning point, certainly the beginning point for
16 the purposes of this argument, but one of the beginning
17 points of this goes back to the political aspiration of
18 the Republic of Croatia as articulated by its president
19 Franjo Tudjman.
20 Franjo Tudjman as Your Honours know, is and
21 continues to be the president of Croatian, and his
22 desires on portions of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not arise
23 in 1993. They didn't arise in 1992 or 1991, nor, for
24 that matter, in 1990. We can go back to at least 1981,
25 when through his own writings, Tudjman began to
1 articulate desires by the Republic of Croatia to absorb
2 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to object to that
3 division that had occurred in the past.
4 I refer first, and I'd like to read this
5 quite briefly if I may. If I can turn the ELMO on,
6 please. Thank you very much. If we can pull that down
7 a bit. That's good.
8 This is a book written by Tudjman in 1981.
9 I'm just going to read a portion of it that begins on
10 page 113 of this document, in the right-hand column,
11 starting with "But large parts."
12 "Large parts of Croatia had been
13 incorporated into Bosnia by the Turks. Furthermore,
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina were historically linked with
15 Croatia and they together comprise an indivisible
16 geographic and economic entity. Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 occupy the central part of this whole, separating
18 Southern Dalmatian and Northern Pannonian Croatia.
19 "The creation of a separate Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina makes the territorial and geographic
21 position of Croatia extremely unnatural in the economic
22 sense and, therefore, in the broadest national
23 political sense very unfavourable for life and
24 development, and in the narrower administrative sense,
25 unsuitable and disadvantageous. These factors largely
1 explain why the 1939 agreement between Belgrade, Prince
2 Paul and the Spetkovic government, and Zagreb, Macek's
3 Croatian leadership, included the following areas into
4 Bosnia, into the banovina of Croatia: The whole of
5 Western Herzegovina and Mostar and those Bosnian
6 districts where Croats have a clear majority, Bugojno,
7 Fojnica, Travnik, Derventa, Gradacac, and Brcko."
8 As you can notice from these locales,
9 Travnik, of course, is one of the major cities in the
10 Central Bosnian Operative Zone, the area under control
11 of the accused.
12 I think it is significant at this point, as
13 Tudjman has referenced it in his writings of 1981, to
14 place the banovina in context, because the banovina
15 becomes something that is very important not only to
16 Tudjman but ultimately becomes something that is
17 aspired to both by Mate Boban, the president of the
18 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and also by Dario
19 Kordic, the local vice-president of the Croatian
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
21 So before we begin to talk about some matters
22 concerning the banovina, I would ask the assistance of
23 Mr. Hooper to put the map of the banovina on the easel,
24 and that is Exhibit 16.
25 I don't know if Your Honours can see all of
1 this or get a closer view of it but, of course, this is
2 the map of the 1939 banovina agreement that was the
3 result of a Cvetkovic/Macek agreement from 1939. This
4 was the banovina plan that Boban references in his
5 writing from 1981 as being a suitable territorial
6 arrangement for the Republic of Croatia.
7 What is significant about this is, of course,
8 we can see a larger swath of land that has been
9 incorporated into Croatia, in the present-day Croatia,
10 but if Your Honours can focus on the bulge of land in
11 the latter part of this photograph or map, Your Honours
12 can notice that, of course, the banovina incorporates
13 Travnik and leaves the city of Zenica to the outside.
14 So quite clearly when Franjo Tudjman was
15 discussing his territorial ambitions that, of course,
16 we will note stayed with the president long after the
17 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina concluded, when he began to
18 talk about his territorial ambitions in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, he forever was interested in
20 including the area of the Central Bosnian Operative
21 Zone around Vitez, Travnik, and other locales, moving
22 south into Fojnica, Prozor, et cetera.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Kehoe, a little
24 earlier you referred to the writings of Mr. Boban in
25 1981 concerning this subject. Did you perhaps mean
1 Mr. Franjo Tudjman?
2 MR. KEHOE: I am, Mr. President. If I
3 misspoke and I was talking about Mate Boban, I was
4 referring to Franjo Tudjman. The writings that I am
5 discussing here refer to the writings of 1981 of
6 Mr. Tudjman about this area and not Mr. Boban. I
7 apologise, Your Honour.
8 This particular idea of Boban's has been
9 described by some of the witnesses that have been
10 presented before this Court, in a variety of fashions,
11 not the least of which is one witness that was brought
12 before the Court described it as an obsession with
13 Tudjman, ie. the annexation of portions of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina into the Republic of Croatia.
15 Not only did Tudjman talk about the
16 annexation of parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina into the
17 Republic of Croatia, as events transpired in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and also throughout the former
19 Yugoslavia, Franjo Tudjman acted upon it. He acted
20 upon it in concert and in conjunction with his
21 presidential counterpart in Serbia, that, of course,
22 being Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic.
23 In the early part of 1991, shortly before --
24 certainly after tensions had been raised but shortly
25 before war erupted in a large part in the Republic of
1 Croatia, President Tudjman met with President Milosevic
2 in a town by the name of Karadjordjevo, in the latter
3 part of March 1991, where they discussed in detail the
4 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with large parts going
5 to Croatia, large parts going to Serbia, with the
6 possible reservation of a small swath of land being
7 left to Muslims around Sarajevo.
8 A Defence witness himself, Dusan Bilandzic,
9 was one of the individuals who testified early on in
10 the Defence case was, in fact, one of the individuals
11 who participated in the meetings with the Serbs
12 concerning the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
13 where they discussed maps and tried to make some
14 decisions as to which particular ethnic group would get
15 which portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 I must say that Mr. Bilandzic denied most
17 that have before this Court. However, this particular
18 interview published in the Croatian periodical Nacional
19 described Mr. Bilandzic's actions and comments
20 concerning a division of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 pursuant to Tudjman's instructions in some detail, and
22 one of the last exhibits that the Office of the
23 Prosecutor submitted was, in fact, an editorial from
24 Nacional saying in substance what Bilandzic told us
25 concerning his meetings about the division of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina actually took place, and his
2 comments that Tudjman said that the Muslims were just
3 going to have to go along with this arrangement also
4 took place.
5 Nevertheless, we need not take
6 Mr. Bilandzic's comments to this Chamber in isolation.
7 There were other witnesses that came before this Court
8 in some detail and some rather high positions who
9 discussed this matter with Your Honours at some
11 If I could briefly just go into a private
12 session, I think I would like to discuss some of those
13 witnesses, and given the fact that they have been
14 protected witnesses, I will just like to comment on
15 them in a private session.
16 (Private session)
13 pages 24539-24545 redacted – private session
12 (Open session)
13 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. What
14 we can see from the testimony of Mr. Ashdown is that as
15 of mid 1995, Franjo Tudjman had not given up his desire
16 for the Republic of Croatia to take a portion of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina.
18 This particular conversation that occurred
19 between Tudjman and Ashdown took place at the Guild
20 Hall in London on the 6th of May, 1995, and the
21 celebration, of course, on the 6th of May was Victory
22 in Europe Day, the 50-year anniversary of victory in
23 Europe, to which, according to Mr. Ashdown, many
24 dignitaries were invited.
25 In an extraordinary conversation, and I use
1 the words "extraordinary conversation" in quotes
2 because those are, in fact, Mr. Ashdown's comments, he
3 had a conversation with Tudjman where clearly Tudjman
4 projected the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina between
5 the Croats and the Serbs. What transpired factually
6 was a map that was drawn on a menu by Tudjman and
7 Ashdown where Tudjman then signed or wrote through the
8 middle of the particular document, highlighting the
9 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, indicating
10 approximate portions that were going to go to Croatia
11 and Serbia.
12 After this took place, Mr. Ashdown asked a
13 question to Tudjman, and there's a fascinating answer,
14 and this is on page 7331, line 22 -- of course, this is
15 Mr. Ashdown speaking:
16 A. I asked him what about the Muslim area
17 and he said, "There will be no Muslim
18 area except as a small element of the
19 Croat State."
20 Continuing on page 7332, Ashdown states:
21 A. We then went on to talk about his
22 relations with the other two leaders,
23 that is, Mr. Izetbegovic on the one hand
24 and President Milosevic on the other.
25 He was very dismissive of President
1 Izetbegovic, who he regarded as "a
2 fundamentalist and an Algerian," were
3 his words. I have it in my diary, he
4 used the word "wog" as well but he found
5 it much easier to do business with
6 President Milosevic. He said President
7 Milosevic was, in his words, one of
8 us whereas President Izetbegovic was
9 not, and I recall him saying that
10 the Muslims were, after all, only Serbs
11 and Croats who could not stand up to the
12 Turks during the days of the Ottoman
13 Empire. I found this a truly
14 extraordinary conversation.
15 Speaking about exactly what all of this
16 meant, on cross-examination, Mr. Ashdown, on page 7345,
17 said, with regard to the land, the land in Bosnia and
19 A. I got it absolutely clearly that it
20 would be in federation with Croatia. As
21 far as I was concerned, this was going
22 to be the -- the impression I got was
23 this would be Greater Croatia.
24 He goes on to say that his other impression
25 was that this was a "done deal" or, in other words, a
1 deal that had been agreed upon.
2 So what is very clear from the sequence of
3 events and the sequence of meetings that we have been
4 discussing is that not only did Tudjman have a very,
5 very detailed view of what he wanted from the Republic
6 of Croatia but he was more than willing to discuss this
7 matter with international figures and other political
8 figures. And the question is: While the events were
9 taking place in Central Bosnia, did Tudjman forget
10 about this? Was this no longer part of his thinking?
11 Did he, all of a sudden, dispense with his desires, his
12 territorial ambitions in the Republic of Croatia, while
13 he was deploying troops from the Republic of Croatia to
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina to fight the army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, while he was supplying the HVO and sending
16 officers down there and advisors down there as well as
17 the chiefs of staffs? I submit to Your Honours: Of
18 course he didn't. Tudjman's efforts, that we will see
19 developing on the ground, were certainly part of a
20 concerted effort to bring about that aspiration, that
21 territorial aspiration, and the Bosnia-Herzegovina that
22 he wanted to achieve.
23 Now, how did he go about this? Well,
24 certainly we move from -- we talk a bit just about the
25 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but prior to that time,
1 certainly there was a war in Slovenia, a brief war in
2 Slovenia, and a horrific war in places of the Republic
3 of Croatia where, quite honestly, towns and areas of
4 the Republic of Croatia, such as Vukovar, were
5 devastated by the former army of the Republic of
7 But as we move into the latter part of 1991
8 and into 1992, we see a development by Tudjman of his
9 policies and of his political leaders within Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina to achieve what he actually wants.
11 Notwithstanding the difficulties that are taking place
12 in the Republic of Croatia during 1991, he nevertheless
13 knows that he will ultimately resolve them and he is,
14 quite candidly, preparing for the future. And what we
15 see is the development of an organisation that comes up
16 in November of 1991 called the Croatian Community of
18 Now, it's important to look at the Croatian
19 Community of Herceg-Bosna in context in November of
20 1991 because the context of that organisation changes.
21 In November of 1991, when the Croatian Community of
22 Herceg-Bosna comes into existence, it is a entity that
23 is different than the HDZ party of Bosnia. One of the
24 political parties that is extant in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina at that time is essentially the Bosnian
1 Croat party called the HDZ. That, of course, is the
2 same party that was Tudjman's party within the Republic
3 of Croatia.
4 At this time, the leader of the HDZ party,
5 the elected leader of the HDZ party, was a man by the
6 name of Stjepan Kljujic. Now, who is Stjepan Kljujic?
7 Interestingly, Stjepan Kljujic is testifying upstairs
8 as we sit here today. But nevertheless, Stjepan
9 Kljujic, as Your Honours have heard, was a moderate
11 What did he believe in? He believed in a
12 multi-ethnic approach to Bosnia-Herzegovina. His
13 beliefs concerning a multi-ethnic approach to
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina were, unfortunately, his downfall,
15 because while he believed in a multi-ethnic
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the real power behind the Croats,
17 Franjo Tudjman, did not.
18 So what did Tudjman do? Tudjman began or set
19 out to remove Stjepan Kljujic from his position as the
20 political leader of the HDZ party in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. After a period of time, he put an
22 individual into place by the name of Mate Boban, and
23 Mate Boban was the anointed representative of Franjo
24 Tudjman, who was there, by his own words, to fulfil the
25 policies of Franjo Tudjman and the HDZ party from
2 If I could briefly just go into private
3 session for two minutes or so, I would like to
4 reference the Court to a particular testimony in this
6 (Private session)
13 page 24553 redacted – private session
25 (Open session)
1 MR. KEHOE: Thank you. What we can see here,
2 Mr. President, is the policy of Franjo Tudjman
3 filtering down politically into the Croatian Community
4 of Herceg-Bosna, and the manifestation of that
5 filtering down of the policy comes through the politics
6 of Mate Boban and ultimately the subordinate of Mate
7 Boban, which is locally, in Blaskic's area, which was
8 Dario Kordic. I think it's interesting at this point,
9 how very early on in the politics of the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna and the articulation of the
11 political position of the Croatian Community of
12 Herceg-Bosna we see the manifestation of a
13 nationalistic view articulated by Mate Boban and by
14 Dario Kordic.
15 If I may go to the next exhibit, which is
16 4062, which I believe is a chart, and I believe we can
17 also place that on the ELMO because at this juncture it
18 may be a bit difficult for Your Honours to read.
19 Mr. President, this is a document which is
20 Prosecutor's Exhibit 406. The copy of this document on
21 the easel is English on the left side as you look at it
22 and French on the right side, and it is a document
23 which has been executed by Mate Boban and also by Dario
24 Kordic, and it is dated the 12th of November of 1991.
25 The document itself is the conclusions of a
1 joint committee -- joint meeting of the Herzegovina
2 regional committee and the Travnik regional committee.
3 Two committees within the Croatian Community of
4 Herceg-Bosna, one in Herzegovina and one in Travnik,
5 had a meeting and they came to conclusions which they
6 set forth in this document.
7 I remind Your Honours that this is November
8 of 1991 where these views are articulated.
9 The first point of this document is
10 instructive. It's instructive because, once again, it
11 points out and corroborates prior testimony concerning
12 the concert with which the leaders in the Croatian
13 Community of Herceg-Bosna were operating with Franjo
14 Tudjman in Croatia.
15 In this conclusion, on the second sentence
16 down, it notes as follows:
17 "On the basis of the conclusions of the
18 above-mentioned meetings in Zagreb, which were with
19 Tudjman, as well as the separate conclusions of
20 15 October, 1991 in Grude, and 22 October, 1991 in
21 Busovaca, and on this occasion 12 November, 1991, these
22 two regional communities have unanimously decided that
23 the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina must
24 finally embrace a determined and active policy which
25 will realise our eternal dream - a common Croatian
2 So in the latter part of 1991, we see,
3 through Tudjman's subordinates, the articulation, and
4 I'm not saying this is the first because this is the
5 only document that we have, but certainly the early
6 articulation of a desire for annexation to Croatia.
7 Down on the bottom part of point 2:
8 "We have to show Europe and the world which
9 territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Croatian
10 territories and where our future lies. Our people will
11 not accept, under any conditions, any other solution
12 except within the borders of a free Croatia."
13 As we move on in this document, we see
14 another articulable intention that bears direct
15 reference to the accused, and it bears on the accused's
16 selection, by these people, as the military commander
17 of the Central Bosnian Operative Zone and ultimately
18 the chief of staff of the HVO.
19 In point 3 of this document it notes, among
20 other things:
21 "In order to implement the conclusions from
22 the first two items of these conclusions, we must:
23 "(a) Clearly define the politics of the HDZ
24 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, strengthen its membership,
25 and select people who can see these tasks through to
2 To select individuals who were going to
3 employ the policies of the Croatian Community of
4 Herceg-Bosna. That's what they wanted in November of
5 1991. That's what they wanted throughout, and that, as
6 we will see, as we move through the chronology, is why
7 they picked the accused for his job. He was a man, and
8 we will see it as we go through these facts, as we go
9 through the chronology, was a man who was selected
10 because he was perceived by the political leadership
11 that he would carry out their platform.
12 Now, Mr. President, I'm about to go into
13 another -- probably a lengthy portion here. I don't
14 know if Your Honour would like to take a break now.
15 I'm certainly willing to go on.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, let's have a break, a
17 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.22 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.52 a.m.
20 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have
21 the accused brought in, please.
22 (The accused entered court)
23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, please
25 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President, Your
2 Mr. President and Your Honours, we finished
3 discussing the exhibit from the 12th of November of
4 1991 where Boban and Kordic articulate, first, the
5 desire for annexation to the -- for a common Croat
6 state and also their articulation of the selection
7 process for those who would bring about their stated
8 goals, i.e., persons to be selected who would see those
9 goals to their conclusion.
10 The clearest articulation of the
11 nationalistic motives that we have seen in this case as
12 articulated by the leaders of Central Bosnia is, of
13 course, the tape of 16 January, 1992, a tape that was
14 taken of a speech of both Kordic and another high
15 political leader within the HVO and the HDZ, Ignac
16 Kostroman, and the particular celebration is focusing
17 around the acknowledgment by the International
18 Community of the Republic of Croatia.
19 As we look and we see the development of what
20 has happened on the ground and we see the articulated
21 views of the politicians in the Central Bosnian
22 Operative Zone, where the accused not only was the
23 commander but also where he ultimately thrived, it
24 becomes easier to understand how the HVO resorted to
25 military means to accomplish their goals. While I know
1 that we have seen this tape in the past, we have not
2 seen it in context with many of the other matters that
3 we have discussed already this morning and also that we
4 will discuss.
5 So, Your Honour, with the Court's permission,
6 I would like to play the tape of this particular
7 rally -- this is Exhibit 234. It is a rally that is,
8 again, dated the 16th of January, 1992. The first
9 speaker is Dario Kordic; the second speaker is Ignac
11 I believe, Mr. President, I did give copies
12 of those transcripts, which are both in French and
13 English, to Your Honours through Mr. Fourmy, and if I
14 could ask that this particular tape be played at this
16 JUDGE JORDA: I wish to consult with my
18 (Trial Chamber confers)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Please continue,
20 Mr. Prosecutor.
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. With your
22 permission, we will turn to Prosecutor's Exhibit 234,
23 and I would ask the booth if they could dim the lights
24 and play this tape?
25 (Videotape played)
1 THE INTERPRETER (Voiceover):
2 "Dario Kordic: To begin with, I will just
3 say, I wish all of us the best with the independent
4 State of Croatia.
5 "Audience: Long live Croatia. Croatia!
7 "Dario Kordic: This splendid and
8 magnificent rally was worth shedding litres of blood
9 and sweat for, to experience this dream finally which,
10 for nine centuries, was just a dream for the Croatian
11 people: an independent sovereign state, tens of
12 thousands ..."
13 The rest is inaudible.
14 "And 50 ..."
15 The rest is inaudible.
16 "... state of Croatia! If last night we
17 feared perhaps that there would be no marking or
18 celebrating here in Busovaca, many were deceived. The
19 Croatian spirit lives here, in Busovaca! This, this
20 evening, is proof that the Croatian people in Busovaca
21 is also part of the united Croatian nation and how much
22 the Croats in the Croatian state ..."
23 The rest is inaudible.
24 "... borders ..."
25 The rest is inaudible.
1 "The Busovaca Croats live just as much with
2 the Croatian state ..."
3 The rest of the sentence is inaudible.
4 "It was announced that people from Kiseljak,
5 Kresevo, Fojnica, Vitez would be our guests this
6 evening, and I hope that they will come. If some of
7 them have arrived in the meantime, I greet them warmly
8 for coming here to elevate this rally of ours!
9 "Audience: (Applause)
10 "Dario Kordic: When I said that the
11 Croatian people waited for nine centuries, we must
12 remember the tens of thousands of people who died and
13 the dear lives ..."
14 The rest is inaudible.
15 "... centuries for the Croatian state.
16 Therefore, for all of those who, throughout the
17 centuries, sacrificed their lives ..."
18 The rest is inaudible.
19 "... their homeland and those couple of
20 thousand Croats who lost their lives in this dirty war
21 waged by the aggressor, the Greater Serbian army
22 against the Croatian nation, I would like us to observe
23 a minute's silence for the sake of eternal peace for
24 all those people, Croats who gave their lives for that
25 which we've experienced today ... Dear Lord, may they
1 rest in eternal peace.
2 "Dear Lord, may they rest in eternal peace.
3 "Now that I have said some words about
4 Busovaca to begin with, let me say that this Croatian
5 Community of Herceg-Bosna, which includes Busovaca,
6 also has the right to celebrate the big day of the
7 (perhaps) creation of the Croatian state! I would also
8 like to say that today, we are not becoming part of a
9 Yugoslavia in which there is still four republics, that
10 say that the Croatian people will not be part of any
11 other state. This is Croatian land and that is how it
12 will be!
13 "Audience: (Applause)
14 "Dario Kordic: Don't hold it against me,
15 but I am very anxious in this (inaudible) and although
16 I am almost never nervous, I am now. I must stress two
17 things: We must especially thank the German nation. I
18 would like to say now, may the German people and state,
19 who have provided us with much help, live long!
20 "Audience: (Applause)
21 "Dario Kordic: I could have ... I should
22 have mentioned our Holy Father, the Pope, first, but
23 may the Vatican and the Catholic Church live long as
25 "Audience: (Applause)
1 "Dario Kordic: If last night's words of our
2 honourable friend, the leader of the Croatian people of
3 Vitez, who said 'Good always comes back to you,' are
4 true, I would like to paraphrase them: the German
5 people and the Germany state similarly returned to the
6 Croatian people that which the Croatian people never
7 betrayed in history and also (inaudible) to the
8 Croatian people everything which (inaudible)
9 Christianity. The Croatian people always remained
10 (inaudible) to its faith in God!
11 "Finally, let me say that those who did not
12 believe that they would ever live to see a day like
13 this, and in the beginning there were only a few who
14 believed, we can see today that the dream which was
15 perhaps impossible has come true and that the Greater
16 Serbian machinery has been broken by the rock solid
17 Croatian warriors who showed a superhuman morale and
18 broke the military power which was among the strongest
19 in Europe! The Croatian people have proven that they
20 were and will be strong and that it cannot cease to
21 exist so long as this (inaudible) and time are here and
22 so long as there is God's help!
23 "Audience: (Applause)
24 "Dario Kordic: If we place our trust in
25 God, and the Croats do place their trust in God, then
1 (inaudible) on Croatian soil in Medjugorje just before
2 the events that followed the war and preceded the
3 Communist system, which means that God is with the
4 Croats and, as the old Croatian greeting goes, Bog i
5 Hrvati, and may the independent state of Croatia live
7 "Audience: (Applause)
8 "Dario Kordic: I would just like to say
9 that we are not alone. We have our neighbours who have
10 come to share this with us.
11 "Audience: (Applause)"
12 MR. KEHOE: This, of course, is a clip of
13 Ignac Kostroman.
14 THE INTERPRETER (Voiceover):
15 "Ignac Kostroman: Dear citizens of the
16 State of Croatia.
17 "It is difficult to (inaudible) words and
18 penetrate into one's thoughts and heart and say more
19 than what all of us here feel and say that which has
20 gathered all of us here.
21 "Ignac Kostroman: Dear brothers, our
22 historic dream, which has certainly been a dream for
23 several centuries now, and no one will ever tear it
24 away from us.
25 Audience: Here. Here.
1 Ignac Kostroman: We will build a state which
2 will be the state of citizens, and in the first place a
3 free state where all of us will have the same rights
4 and a state in which we will be able to say freely that
5 we are Croats and that this is our Croatian state.
6 Audience: Here. Here.
7 Ignac Kostroman: Here it turned out like in
8 the Bible. After darkness the day must come, and just
9 like in the Bible, when in a way we had been silent
10 just when we thought that evil would prevail, we saw
11 that only good can overcome evil. Our strength was
12 precisely in our belief, in our unity. With a strong
13 belief in a future state and in the good Lord who
14 surely led us, we gained a state right where they built
15 hatred, discord. It is a state which these days has
16 been recognised by the whole world. No one would have
17 known about Croatia had there not been bloodshed, and
18 at the same time no one would have known about it had
19 we not won in such a dignified manner. Now the whole
20 world knows about Croatia. We will make use of that
21 occasion. We will open the state to every person with
22 good intentions but, at the same time, as I said a
23 short while ago, it will be our dear state of Croatia,
24 where every person will be able to feel at home among
25 family, regardless of his ethnicity and religion, but
1 at the same time, to anyone who infringes upon our
2 rights we will say that they are not welcome and must
3 look for shelter elsewhere.
4 I would just like to say a few more things.
5 Now we ask ourselves where we stand with the territory
6 of Herceg-Bosna. I believe and maintain that we are an
7 integral part of the state of Croatia.
8 Audience: Here, here. Croatia. Croatia.
9 Ignac Kostroman: We will do everything,
10 through negotiations, to become an integral part of the
11 great state of Croatia. Most probably the borders of
12 our states will be precisely in these areas. We are
13 the best guarantee and we will be the best guarantee in
14 securing these borders.
15 Today (inaudible) all of us are gathered
16 here. Up to 50 cars set off from Kiseljak, Kresevo,
17 Fojnica. More than 200, 300 cars arrived here. This
18 means -- this means that we have gathered here with a
19 common purpose.
20 Croatian brothers, we knew that you were
21 fighting here, deserve to have us as your guests this
22 evening in our joint celebration.
23 I would like to ask all citizens of the state
24 of Croatia to refrain from causing any incidents and
25 provocation during this interim period. There will
1 certainly be attacks and provocation, perhaps more than
2 ever. Let's not provoke the enemy in any way. We will
3 try, through negotiations, to have the armed forces and
4 everything else withdrawn from these areas.
5 Audience: Down with the traitors.
6 Ignac Kostroman: The Serbian army is the
7 aggressor, and we said this a long time ago, and we
8 (inaudible), but we will allow them -- we will allow
9 them to leave honourably because they do not have to
10 defend our houses and homes.
11 Audience: Here, here.
12 Ignac Kostroman: As for the remaining
13 population in our areas, the question asked is, "What
14 about the Muslims? What about the Serbs and everyone
15 else?" We can say to them let them not worry about
16 anything. Let them live in our state of Croatia and no
17 one will miss even a hair on their heads if they accept
18 us as their brothers and accept the fact that they will
19 be citizens of the state of Croatia.
20 Audience: Here, here.
21 Ignac Kostroman: I will take this
22 opportunity to greet you on behalf of the president of
23 Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban, who was in Sarajevo today
24 and who was unable to come here but sends his regards
25 and congratulations for our celebrations together.
1 Audience: Mate, Mate. Dario, Dario.
2 Ignac Kostroman: It is a special honour for
3 me to greet your leaders, particularly the
4 vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Dario Kordic, who
5 certainly (the rest is inaudible).
6 Audience: Long live Dario.
7 Ignac Kostroman: I greet his closest
8 associates, particularly Mr. Ante Stipac, who spoke
9 before me and who has certainly done a lot.
10 I would like to stress just one more thing.
11 As we see it, perhaps there will not be any conflict in
12 our areas if we succeed in reaching agreement as
13 brothers, if one may say so, to fortify the borders of
14 Croatia in a peaceful way.
15 Audience: Here, here.
16 Ignac Kostroman: If we do not succeed in
17 this, you understand that the borders of every state
18 will have to be defended and so will these borders. We
19 are the best guarantee to defend them.
20 Audience: Here, here.
21 Ignac Kostroman: Once again, I greet you
22 most cordially and I thank you for all your efforts and
23 activity, particularly the people of Busovaca, who did
24 much for their neighbouring municipalities as well. I
25 hope that we will persevere together on this road
1 leading to complete freedom. We will indeed."
2 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, folks, in the video
4 Mr. President, what we heard here again was
5 the articulation of a nationalistic platform as set
6 forth by two of the most powerful leaders in Central
7 Bosnia and who were connected with the Croatian
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna, who was located in Grude.
9 Without going through the speeches at much
10 length, I believe a couple of comments made by Kordic
11 and in turn Kostroman merit some discussion.
12 Kordic himself refers to the area that they
13 are currently in as the independent state of Croatia.
14 Now, mind you, they are in Bosnia, in Busovaca,
15 describing this as the independent state of Croatia.
16 Now, that is interesting in and of itself, to
17 articulate the territorial ambitions that he certainly
18 is interested in, but yet there is another
19 interpretation to be culled from his use of the term
20 "independent state of Croatia."
21 Now, the independent state of Croatia, with
22 the acronym NDH, was, of course, the independent state
23 during the Second World War that was the "Ustashe"
24 regime that was governed by the puppet Ante Pavelic.
25 That, of course, was a regime that was a puppet regime
1 of Nazi Germany that engaged in numerous, numerous
2 persecutions of the population in Bosnia as a whole and
3 through the rest of the former Yugoslavia.
4 In addition to calling upon the citizens of
5 the independent state of Croatia, Kostroman echoes that
6 same concern, calling upon individuals as the citizens
7 of the state of Croatia and how the recognition of
8 Croatia is a fulfilment, and I quote, "of the historic
10 Now, this whole idea of an historic dream,
11 somehow an historic destiny, is a term and a concept
12 that is laced through many of the documents that Your
13 Honours have seen. Certainly it's set forth in
14 Exhibit 4062, the 12 November, 1991 minutes which were
15 set forth by Boban and Kordic. Naturally, here is
16 Kostroman talking about this historic dream once again,
17 which is the realisation of their territorial
18 ambitions, but Blaskic, interestingly, does the same
19 thing as well. While he is not present when this
20 speech takes place on the 16th of January, 1992, he
21 does, in his future documents, grasp on to this idea of
22 some historic dream, an historic ideal.
23 I just reference Your Honours to his order to
24 attack Kiseljak. I'm talking about the order of the
25 17th of April, 1993, where at approximately 23.45 on
1 the 17th he is ordering the attack on Kiseljak to
2 commence at 05.30 the following morning. He gives two
3 orders there, if I can just reference -- let Your
4 Honours recollect the sequence. He gives an order at
5 approximately 09.00 on the 17th saying attack various
6 villages in Kiseljak, and at 23.45 or approximately
7 23.45 that evening, he gives them a time to attack the
8 next morning, on the morning of the 18th, at 05.30.
9 What does he say at the bottom of that
10 document? He urges his troops to remember their
11 historic responsibility. What does that mean, an
12 historic responsibility? Historic responsibility is
13 engrafted in this idea that this is Croatian land and
14 that, "You, my soldiers, my brigades in Kiseljak that
15 I'm sending into battle, have to remember that. You
16 have to remember the historic goals that we have set
17 forth, and it is your responsibility, it is your
18 responsibility to take care of those things," that
19 Kostroman was referring to, i.e., defend our borders
20 with force if necessary.
21 Those two ideas are very, very intricately
22 connected. And it was no mistake, it was not a mistake
23 that Blaskic used those terms, "Remember your historic
24 responsibility," as he was sending his troops into
1 Just moving quickly through Kostroman's
2 speech. Again, a man who was a senior political and
3 governmental leader in Central Bosnia, this area
4 Busovaca, is an integral part of Croatia he tells us.
5 He tells us it's going to be a part of Croatia "by hook
6 or by crook." What does that mean, "by hook or by
7 crook"? Does that contemplate military action if
8 necessary? I submit to you it does. And as we go
9 through the rest of his speech, he acknowledges that.
10 He notes the borders of Croatia "on this very spot."
11 In the middle of Bosnia, in the municipality of
12 Busovaca, Kostroman is saying, "These are going to be
13 the borders of Croatia." He notes that this is an
14 interim period.
15 Then he comments what is the role of the
16 remaining Serbs and the remaining Muslims going to be
17 after this becomes, "this" being Bosnia, becomes part
18 of Croatia? What he says is something very
19 interesting. "They can stay as long as they accept the
20 fact that this is Croatia and that they are citizens of
22 He ends his speech saying that, "We, the
23 Croats, are, in fact, the best guarantors of our
24 borders," and they will do what's necessary to defend
25 them, because he notes that those borders must be
2 Now, is this particular speech given in
3 isolation? I submit to you it's not. If I could go
4 into private session in one very brief comment before
5 we go back into public session, we can refer back to
6 some more testimony and put this particular speech, as
7 well as the other political platforms of the Croatian
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna, in context.
9 (Private session)
18 (Open session)
19 MR. KEHOE: What transpires after this speech
20 in January of 1992 is a series of cataclysmic events
21 which ultimately caused the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina to rip apart through the various
23 entities, and at this juncture, combat activities with
24 the army of the Federal Republic -- or the SFRY or the
25 army, the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 As we move from February to March and into
2 April, combat does, in fact, ensue. In the early part
3 of April 1992, and this is after the Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina has declared their independence in
5 March, an order is issued by President Izetbegovic, on
6 the 8th of April, 1992, where he says that, "I am
7 disbanding the Territorial Defence structure that was
8 extant under the former Socialist Republic of
9 Yugoslavia, and the military force that is going to
10 protect the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the newly
11 formed Territorial Defence."
12 What we see on the heels of that is a
13 sequence of very, very interesting events that set out
14 the plan as to exactly what the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna is all about.
16 On the 7th of April, 1992, Franjo Tudjman
17 recognised the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 While also recognising the Republic of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, he gave citizenship to Bosnian Croats in
20 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a point that
21 was ultimately had an extremely destabilising influence
22 on the political framework of the Republic of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina.
24 On the next day, the 8th of April, 1992, the
25 HVO was set up by the Croatian Community of
1 Herceg-Bosna. A political/military entity, it engulfed
2 the entire governmental framework of the Croatian
3 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
4 On the 10th of May (sic), we see a sequence
5 of events that exemplifies the duality of the policies
6 of the Republic of Croatia.
7 The first item that takes place on the 10th
8 of May that I would like to put on the ELMO is an order
9 that is executed by President Mate Boban, and it is
10 responding to the order of President Izetbegovic,
11 establishing the Territorial Defence -- excuse me. I
12 said the 10th of May. This is the 10th of April. I
14 This order of the 10th of April, 1992,
15 rejects the decision of President Izetbegovic, and
16 President Boban notes the following on the 10th of
18 "The Presidency of the Croatian Community of
19 Herceg-Bosna has taken a decision that command over
20 these units belongs solely to the Croatian Defence
21 Council. This body is the only legal one and only this
22 name is official. The HVO has a main staff, the HVO
23 has municipal staffs, and all the municipalities of the
24 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Starting today,
25 10 April, 1992, the HVO main staff will communicate
1 only with the municipal staffs of the HVO."
2 This last line is the line that demonstrates
3 exactly why the HVO was set up and what their plans
4 were for the future. Boban writes:
5 "All other military formations in the
6 territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna are
7 either illegal or hostile. All other names will be
8 removed from official use."
9 So this state, this state within a state of
10 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, has taken it
11 upon itself to declare the Territorial Defence an
12 illegal entity as of the 10th of April, 1992; two days
13 after that entity, the Territorial Defence, was
14 established by President Izetbegovic and the
16 Now, what else is happening that date? What
17 else is happening in conjunction with this? And again,
18 this focuses on the duality of Tudjman's policy and his
19 efforts to undermine or certainly solidify his position
20 within the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 While Boban is outlawing the TO, on the 10th
22 of May (sic), Tudjman assigns General Bobetko to the
23 southern front in an order that is dated the 10th of
24 April of 1992. And what we see -- excuse me. My
25 colleague is counselling me that I'm using the term
1 10th of May. It is, in fact, the 10th of April of
3 What we see in this order of the 10th of
4 April, 1992, or on the heels of that order, is the
5 transfer of numerous HV soldiers or soldiers from the
6 Republic of Croatia into the ranks of the HVO and into
7 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
8 Now, the particular involvement of the HV
9 within the affairs of the HVO and the Croatian
10 Community of Herceg-Bosna will be discussed at some
11 length by my colleague, Mr. Cayley, so I don't want to
12 go into that in much detail at this point as it bears
13 on the international armed conflict issue under Article
14 2 of the Statute.
15 Nevertheless, in addition to its legal
16 implications, the factual implications are enormous
17 because what we see and what we examine over the course
18 of time is the nomination and appointment of a series
19 of chiefs of staff within the HVO that are essentially
20 soldiers of the Republic of Croatia. We start with
21 Milivoj Petkovic, we move from Milivoj Petkovic to
22 Slobodan Praljak, we move from Slobodan Praljak to Ante
23 Roso, and we go back to General Petkovic for a while.
24 All - all - of those officers had come from the HV,
25 come into the HVO, and then ultimately returned to the
1 HV once their service had been completed.
2 Those are the three most famous ones, and, of
3 course, there are others that you have seen during the
4 course of the evidence that were also deployed to the
5 area. Interestingly enough, General Bobetko issues
6 orders all in the same time frame, sometimes on HVO
7 letterhead and sometimes on the letterhead of the
8 Republic of Croatia, and there seems to be no
9 distinction or difference between these two military
10 entities, leading to the inescapable conclusion that
11 they are, in fact, the same and are directed from the
12 same place with the same policies.
13 Now, through the midst of this, through this
14 pre-planned strategy by the Republic of Croatia and
15 Tudjman in conjunction with the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna that takes place in the early part of
17 April 1993, we see the arrival of the accused. Now,
18 all of this is taking place in the first week of April
19 1992. As I noted, the establishment of the HVO is
20 dated as of the 8th of April of 1992.
21 Now, who is supposed to show up on the scene
22 while this pre-planned, coordinated activity is taking
23 place but the accused?
24 Blaskic testified to us that he arrived in
25 Zagreb on the 6th of April, 1992, from Vienna. He
1 stayed overnight with a plan of then travelling on to
2 Kiseljak by the next day. So if his plans had gone
3 according to how they were charted, Blaskic would have
4 arrived in Kiseljak either the day of or the day before
5 the HVO was established. Through other circumstances
6 and because of his prior service with the JNA, he was,
7 in fact, arrested and incarcerated for a period of time
8 by the JNA, which caused him to delay his arrival into
9 Kiseljak until the second week of April of 1992.
10 I think we have to go back to his testimony
11 to see exactly what the plan was.
12 Was it pure happenstance that Blaskic was to
13 arrive in Kiseljak at the same time that Petkovic was
14 to arrive in the HVO, at the same time that Bobetko is
15 setting up or taking over the southern front, at the
16 same time the HVO is coming into existence? I submit
17 to you it's not. I submit to you that what is actually
18 taking place and how the accused shaded the truth in
19 this regard is that he knew full well what the agenda
20 was and what it was going to be upon his arrival in
21 Central Bosnia and in Bosnia as a whole. So when he
22 told us he was unaware of exactly what was planned and
23 what was going to be, I submit to you this is just one
24 of the many misleading untruths that were presented to
25 this Trial Chamber by the accused under oath.
1 Nevertheless, his arrival, which comes in the
2 second week of April 1992, is followed very quickly,
3 very quickly, by his appointment on the 23rd of April
4 by the municipal staff as the commander of HVO forces.
5 The guy is there less than two weeks, a little more
6 than a week, and all of a sudden, he's in charge.
7 What we see when Blaskic is in office
8 commencing on approximately the 23rd of April of 1992
9 is the manifestation of the political policy of the
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Now, keep in mind
11 we saw on the 10th of April, 1992, the outlawing of the
12 TO. And what happens over the next several weeks is
13 the take-over of, certainly in Kiseljak and certainly
14 in Vitez and certainly in Busovaca, the take-over of
15 those municipalities by the HVO.
16 We see the increased marginalisation of the
17 Bosnian Croats politically -- excuse me, the Bosnian
18 Muslims, I'm sorry. We see the increased
19 marginalisation of the Bosnian Muslims politically,
20 culturally, economically, and certainly militarily.
21 Politically with the establishment of the crisis staff,
22 the Bosnian Muslims were outvoted and the Bosnian
23 Croats won every vote.
24 Culturally, we see the introduction of what
25 they call the Bosnian Croat language, the Croatian
1 dinar, that prices have to be in the Croatian dinar.
2 Educationally, we see an education curricula that
3 emanates from Zagreb that is taught according to the
4 edicts set forth from Zagreb.
5 While this is taking place, the person who is
6 ensuring that the Bosnian Croats are successfully
7 developing this plan and grafting this new society on
8 Kiseljak is the accused. He is the military commander
9 at the time ensuring that is taking place. As we see
10 the progression of events shortly after he arrives, we
11 can see how his thinking, or certainly his articulation
12 of his thinking, is in line with what is taking place
13 with the political leaders of the Croatian Community of
14 Herceg-Bosna. Keeping in mind, we will talk at this
15 juncture just about Kiseljak, but the same events are
16 transpiring throughout the Croatian Community of
17 Herceg-Bosna, and this Court has heard a significant
18 amount of evidence about similar events taking place in
19 Vitez and Busovaca, Mostar, and elsewhere.
20 The first sequence of events, of course, that
21 is in line with this Karadjordjevo agreement that
22 Tudjman had entered into with Milosevic is a similar
23 meeting that Mate Boban has with Radovan Karadzic.
24 Radovan Karadzic at that point, of course, is the
25 leader of the Bosnian Serbs and ultimately the
1 president of Republika Srpska. The military arm of
2 Republika Srpska normally has the acronym of the VRS.
3 Nevertheless, they reach an agreement on the
4 6th of May of 1992 where they have resolved all of
5 their differences, according to the published statement
6 that we submitted into evidence, the resolution of
7 those differences, of course, between the Bosnian
8 Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. That's on the 6th.
9 The 8th of May, 1992, we see the issuance of
10 an order coming from the main staff of the Croatian
11 Community of Herceg-Bosna and signed by General Ante
13 If we could put that on the ELMO? I believe
14 we have that. It is on the ELMO? Thank you very
15 much. Could we pan into that a little bit?
16 Now, this fellow, Ante Roso, before we go
17 into the elements of this, is a fascinating individual
18 in the scheme of things. Now, this individual -- and
19 we will hear much more about him -- at this point is an
20 officer in the army of the Republic of Croatia. The
21 evidence, as Your Honours have seen, it is beyond any
22 doubt that at this juncture, on the 8th of May, 1992,
23 he is part of the HV.
24 What does Roso do? Roso issues an order, and
25 if I may, on the 8th of May, 1992, that states as
1 follows, and I won't read the whole thing.
2 "1. The only legal military units in the
3 territory of the (Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna)
4 are units of the HVO.
5 "2. All other military units in the above
6 territory must join the single defence system and
7 recognise the HVO Main Staff as their supreme command."
8 If we can move down to point 5?
9 "5. This order supersedes all orders of the
10 Territorial Defence command, which shall be considered
11 illegal in this territory."
12 Now, this is an order that comes to the main
13 staff that Blaskic receives and he implements it. Now,
14 this is a man who has told us that he, in his spirit of
15 accommodation with the Bosnian Muslims, has taken all
16 efforts in order to achieve reconciliation and
17 coexistence. That's not true because the facts belie
18 his position.
19 Let us look at Exhibit 502. Exhibit 502 is
20 his order of the 11th of May. It is awfully difficult
21 to see on the ELMO, so I will try to reference through
23 This particular order is Blaskic's order
24 following Roso's order. Here is Blaskic in Kiseljak
25 following the order of a General from the Republic of
1 Croatia, and he references in the preamble, and you can
2 see in the preamble, "On the basis of the orders
3 received from the main staff, 01331/92 --" that is, of
4 course, the number of Roso's order that we just
5 observed in Exhibit 584.
6 And he notes:
7 "1. The only legal military units in the
8 area of the Kiseljak municipality are HVO units."
9 Going down to 5.
10 "5. By this order, all orders of the
11 Territorial Defence are rendered invalid and the TO is,
12 in this area, considered illegal."
13 Now, Your Honours, I'm sure you can agree
14 with me that this is hardly a series of orders that one
15 would issue in the spirit of accommodation and
16 coexistence. It is more in line with the plan or it is
17 directly in line with the plan of the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna to take over.
19 How do we know that?
20 We know that not only by Blaskic's written
21 word but also his spoken word. If we can, with the
22 assistance of Mr. Hooper, put the next chart up on the
23 easel, which is the Agence France Presse article that
24 we have discussed previously, Exhibit 545.
25 These are several excerpts from that article,
1 that Agence France Presse article, published, of
2 course, the same day as his order to outlaw the
3 Territorial Defence, and Blaskic said some fascinating
4 things that exemplify or clarify his political view of
5 things at the time.
6 Among other things, and I note, he says in
7 this exhibit:
8 "Tiho Blaskic, who heads the CVO forces in
9 Kiseljak, explained that the region was peaceful
10 because the Serbs, who make up only three per cent of
11 the town's population, 'have no designs on this land.'
12 "As for the embattled Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 government in Sarajevo, 'It has no legitimacy here.'
14 "Kiseljak would henceforth be part of a
15 Croatian canton or administrative region, and would
16 look to the west rather than to the east, Tiho Blaskic
18 "'It's closeness to Sarajevo never
19 contributed much to our town anyway,' he said."
20 I will read you a separate portion of the
21 testimony of another witness, and this is what a
22 witness said about another person within the HVO
24 He said he could not accept the constitution
25 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital Sarajevo.
1 That sounds like something Blaskic would say. And
2 Blaskic said that, "The Sarajevo government has no
3 legitimacy here." He could well have said that he
4 could not accept the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 and its capital Sarajevo.
6 This latter quote comes from a conversation
7 between Ed Vulliamy, a newspaper reporter for the
8 Guardian, and Mate Boban. Mate Boban told Vulliamy
9 that he could not accept the constitution of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina and its capital Sarajevo. Essentially the
11 same thing as Blaskic was telling the Agence France
12 Presse reporter on approximately the 11th of May of
14 So what does this do that seriously calls
15 into question yet another shading of the truth?
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do you say the date of
17 the Agence France Presse report was the 11th of May,
19 MR. KEHOE: 1992, I'm sorry. I apologise.
20 Sometimes, Judge, as we go through this stuff I
21 transpose these dates in my dyslexia. So I do
22 apologise. I get them a little confused.
23 Both of these statements were in 1992. The
24 Agence France Presse article is, of course, May of
25 1992. The comment given to Mr. Vulliamy by Mate Boban
1 was 13 August of 1992. So I apologise for transposing
2 some of those numbers, but I get them a little confused
3 from time to time.
4 So essentially these two comments are taking
5 place virtually at the same time and essentially
6 propose the same idea, that is, on Croatian land the
7 authority of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is
8 virtually non-existent.
9 Now, while this is taking place in Kiseljak,
10 i.e., the marginalisation of the Muslims, the outlawing
11 of the TO. Of course Your Honours, as I have noted
12 previously, have seen evidence that the same thing is
13 happening in other locales, and not the least of which
14 is Busovaca.
15 If we can turn to the next exhibit, which is
16 Exhibit 208, this is an order by Dario Kordic. I don't
17 believe that you can see that on the page on the ELMO,
18 but it is, in fact, on the second page of this
19 document, but significantly, two days after Roso's
20 order on the 8th of May, on the 10th of May, 1992
21 Kordic orders the following on point 3:
22 "All paramilitary formations, the so-called
23 TO, individually and others, are given the ultimatum to
24 hand over all weapons in their possession by Sunday,
25 12.00 hours, or place themselves under HVO command
1 which includes wearing the HVO insignia."
2 So this marginalisation is taking place
3 throughout the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. Blaskic
4 is accomplishing his goals in conjunction with the rest
5 of the HVO in Kiseljak, and the orders are emanating
6 from Dario Kordic where he is, in fact, doing the
8 Of course, in view of this order, what fact
9 transpires? We have seen evidence as set forth in
10 Exhibit 631, that the order on the outlawing of the
11 Territorial Defence was attempted to be executed, and
12 during this same period of time, fighting erupts
13 between the Territorial Defence and the HVO, to the
14 surprise of no one, given the fact that the HVO has
15 taken steps to outlaw the very body that was set up by
16 President Izetbegovic and the presidency of
18 The fighting then ebbs and flows throughout
19 this period of time, but what we see and what we have
20 seen from the testimony as we progress through May and
21 also through June, is essentially the entire take-over
22 certainly of the Kiseljak municipality while Blaskic is
23 the commander there. The testimony that we've received
24 is by no later than the 25th of June of 1992, the
25 entire political body within Kiseljak is now the HVO
1 executive board. The HVO executive body is now running
2 the Kiseljak municipality by approximately the 25th of
3 June, 1992.
4 Now, in light of this success, in light of
5 all of what happened, and what has happened, and the
6 control with which the HVO is now exerting over
7 Kiseljak, what happens to the accused? What happens to
8 Tihomir Blaskic? He's promoted. He's promoted.
9 On the 27th of June of 1992, Blaskic enters
10 into a meeting with Boban, Major General Roso, and
11 Milivoj Petkovic, and it is during this meeting on the
12 27th of June of 1992 that Blaskic is given the command
13 of Colonel -- or given the rank of Colonel by
14 General Roso. Not by President Mate Boban, not by the
15 so-called chief of staff of the HVO Milivoj Petkovic,
16 by a Croatian General he is given the rank of Colonel
17 and Commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.
18 Now, during this sequence we see yet another
19 shading of the truth by the accused. The 27th of June,
20 1992, Blaskic accepts the rank of Colonel and Commander
21 of the Central Bosnian Operative Zone. We have seen
22 the order of General Roso dated 8 May, 1992, which
23 Blaskic implemented, and prior to the 27th of June,
24 1992, Blaskic told us that he received approximately
25 ten orders from Ante Roso.
1 Mr. President, you asked the accused at that
2 point, "What was the role of Ante Roso within the HVO
3 structure?" What did he respond? "I don't know."
4 He implements one of the single most
5 important orders emanating from the HVO main staff at,
6 i.e., the dismemberment and the outlawing of the TO,
7 takes in approximately ten other orders from Ante Roso,
8 which he executes as a good soldier, yet he's testified
9 under oath before this Chamber that he didn't know what
10 Ante Roso's position was within the HVO main staff.
11 Why did he do that? Why? He didn't do that
12 because in his level of obfuscation of the truth, he
13 was unwilling, unwilling to testify truthfully in this
14 court that a Major General in the army of the Republic
15 of Croatia was giving him orders and he was following
16 it. That a Major General in the army of the Republic
17 of Croatia had given him the rank of Colonel and had
18 outlined the territory which was going to be the area
19 of his responsibility.
20 Blaskic knew full well the ramifications of
21 testifying truthfully that the HVO was so deeply
22 ensconced in the day-to-day affairs of the HVO --
23 excuse me, that the HV was so deeply ensconced in the
24 day-to-day affairs of the HVO. Consequently, he was
25 unwilling to tell this Court that an HVO officer was
1 giving him orders and that he was following them, or an
2 HV officer was giving him those orders and he was
3 following them.
4 I submit to you that his failure to identify
5 Ante Roso as an officer within the army of the Republic
6 of Croatia was a lie, was not true.
7 Now, let us talk just briefly -- and I don't
8 know -- Mr. President, I'm going to go into a private
9 session and talk at probably some length about Blaskic
10 himself being given this position in the -- as the head
11 of the Central Bosnian Operative Zone. I can go a
12 little bit over 1.00 or --
13 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps we should have the
14 lunch break now, Mr. Kehoe, don't you think?
15 MR. KEHOE: Certainly, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will resume work
17 at 2.30.
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.59 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.37 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please
3 be seated. Have the accused brought in, please.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, I think you
6 requested a private session for a few minutes?
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, and just
8 introducing this particular area ...
9 (Private session)
13 page 24595 redacted – private session
13 page 24596 redacted – private session
13 page 24597 redacted – private session
13 page 24598 redacted – private session
6 (Open session)
7 MR. KEHOE: As time progressed, after the
8 appointment of Blaskic as the Central Bosnian Operative
9 Zone commander, the continued subjugation of the
10 Bosnian Muslim population throughout Central Bosnia and
11 throughout the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
12 continued. There were conflicts, such as that in
13 Kiseljak and Duhri, for instance, where Blaskic was
14 present, and Blaskic, who testified that he was the
15 accommodator, he was the man that was trying to
16 constantly achieve coexistence, told us everything that
17 he tried to do to accomplish that goal. What he didn't
18 tell us was that when the Territorial Defence commander
19 from Kiseljak, Sejad Sinanbasic, was arrested and taken
20 to Busovaca and Blaskic was given the assignment to
21 secure his release within 24 hours, the commander of
22 the Territorial Defence, Sejad Sinanbasic, remained in
23 custody for approximately 25 to 28 days, and what
24 ultimately happened was that the Territorial Defence
25 militarily was decapitated and any possible military
1 confrontation with the Territorial Defence in Kiseljak
2 after that event was over.
3 The only nodding attempt to secure the
4 release of Sejad Sinanbasic was one that Blaskic said
5 was given to his trusted ally, Mr. Ante Sliskovic.
6 Ante Sliskovic, the same individual that he entrusted
7 to conduct the investigation in Ahmici, that is the
8 individual that Blaskic sent to secure the release of
9 Sejad Sinanbasic, the same Sejad Sinanbasic who
10 remained in custody from 25 to 28 days.
11 Without going through everything that
12 happened in these municipalities, I believe we have our
13 next exhibit to delineate exactly how successful the
14 HVO and Blaskic was in securing power in the various
15 areas in the Central Bosnian Operative Zone, and we
16 would like to turn to the next exhibit, which is just a
17 front sheet of Exhibit 456/109, which in the transcript
18 on occasion has been referred to as Exhibit 456/95. It
19 is both one and the same exhibit. So if I could ask
20 Mr. Hooper to put that up, that would be helpful.
21 This is a record of minutes of the meeting of
22 the HVO and the municipalities of Central Bosnia dated
23 22 September, 1992. Who was the working presidency in
24 this? Dario Kordic, Anto Valenta, Tihomir Blaskic, and
25 Ignac Kostroman. Now, Blaskic has told us he was not a
1 political person and that he did not sign this
2 document. But I think it is significant, Your Honours,
3 to see how these other men reacted to Blaskic.
4 Kordic, Kostroman, and Valenta were secure
5 enough in their opinions and assessments of Blaskic to
6 describe him as part of the working presidency of the
7 HVO in Central Bosnia.
8 What were the agenda items, the agenda items
9 in a meeting that he attended, Blaskic?
10 The first one that is listed here is
11 extremely significant:
12 "The implementation of decisions to
13 establish HVO authority."
14 Without going through all these, let's go
15 through the significant areas or the significant
17 On page 2 of this document, in Vitez, what is
18 their assessment?
19 "Vitez - There is still dual authority.
20 There is a possibility of confrontation between the
21 Croats and the Muslims because the HVO is taking
23 "Busovaca - HVO authority was set up on 9
24 May, 1992. HVO is the only authority in Busovaca.
25 "Kiseljak - HVO is in complete control.
1 Military HVO authority is dominant.
2 The latter observations of the municipalities
3 at the end of this document is very telling, and one is
4 particularly telling. In the latter part of this
5 document, again we have a comment by the HVO, these
6 municipalities, was remarkably similar to Blaskic's
7 comment to the Agence France Presse concerning the
8 legitimacy of the government from Sarajevo.
9 "Exiled B and H government and its bodies
10 with pro-Muslim policies are undesirable on our
11 territory and their possible activity contrary to the
12 principles of HDZ bodies shall not be tolerated."
13 What is the final assessment from this? The
14 final assessment from this is the HVO is in control,
15 and those places where it's not in complete control,
16 they're going to do what they can to seize control.
17 We then move to October, and October becomes
18 a somewhat seminal month because of the convergence of
19 several events that take place. What happens in
20 October on the political front is a significant event
21 vis-à-vis Mate Boban, because by October of 1992, Mate
22 Boban has secured the presidency of not only the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, but he is now also
24 the president and leader of the HDZ party, the HDZ
25 party in Bosnia. He is now the power in the Croatian
1 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
2 During this time he makes a very, very -- or
3 gives a very interesting interview to Ed Vulliamy,
4 which says, in essence:
5 "The HVO is the power in the Croatian
6 Community of Herceg-Bosna, and anybody who does not
7 agree with our policies must leave or step down in some
8 other fashion."
9 What happens in October is a concerted effort
10 on various locales to force the subordination of the
11 ABiH or the TO to the HVO.
12 One, Ed Vulliamy visits Mostar. He meets
13 with both the HVO Commander Lasic and the ABiH
14 Commander Arif Pasalic. What has happened is an order
15 and an ultimatum by the HVO to the ABiH to subordinate
16 themselves to the HVO and that the HVO is the only
17 authority in Mostar.
18 Vulliamy travels to another locale. What is
19 that locale? It happens to be the locale of Vitez
20 where Tihomir Blaskic is, and he overhears, during the
21 course of a press conference, Pero Skopljak, an HVO and
22 HDZ leader, state almost the exact same thing as Lasic
23 said in Mostar, and that is that the HVO is the only
24 power in Vitez.
25 In conjunction with that, we have an effort
1 on behalf of the HVO to secure the communication lines
2 in their territorial areas, and we have the onslaught
3 in two separate locations. The first, approximately
4 going on at about the same time, is Prozor. We recall
5 Ed Vulliamy going through Prozor, and Prozor is the
6 road going up to Central Bosnia and on to Novi Travnik
7 and into the Lasva Valley. In the latter part of
8 October 1992, Prozor is cleansed and approximately
9 5.000 Muslims are driven out of their homes. Their
10 homes are burnt, their houses are looted, and they're
11 sent into the mountains outside of Prozor.
12 While this is taking place, fighting is
13 ensuing on behalf of the HVO in Novi Travnik, the
14 locale not only on the communications road but also the
15 location of the Bratstvo factory, which is obviously a
16 factory that is significant and very important to the
17 HVO in Central Bosnia.
18 While this is also taking place, of course,
19 we then have our first conflict coming from Ahmici.
20 Ahmici, in the morning of the -- on the 20th of
21 October, 1992, the HVO is sending further troops up to
22 Novi Travnik to assist in the combat and there is a
23 roadblock there. Ultimately fighting ensues and the
24 roadblock is removed.
25 It is interesting in this sequence, if I
1 might digress for a second, of Blaskic's testimony
2 concerning what happened in this Novi Travnik incident,
3 and suffice it to say there are numerous occasions
4 where he clearly misled the Court. Some of that
5 misleading testimony was not only by commission but by
6 omission. One can lie and mislead by not telling the
7 Chamber the whole truth. If one tells simply half a
8 story, certainly that's not the whole story, and the
9 accused did exactly that.
10 There are some very easy ones as to how he
11 didn't tell the truth. Blaskic said the troops that
12 were going up on the morning of the 20th of October
13 to -- the morning of the 20th of October, that were
14 stopped in Ahmici, were on their way to Jajce. Well,
15 without playing the tape, the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna television reports reflect that, in fact,
17 those troops were on their way to Novi Travnik, and
18 that is in Exhibit 646.
19 The next issue is exactly where he was. He
20 says that on the morning of the 20th that he was
21 stopped in Busovaca and was never in Novi Travnik on
22 the 20th. Interestingly, of course, Colonel Stewart,
23 not only in his testimony but in the exhibits presented
24 to the Court, went to the Hotel Vitez on the morning of
25 the 20th. And what was Stewart told? Stewart was told
1 by Mario Cerkez that Blaskic was at Novi Travnik, again
2 where a good commander should be, in Novi Travnik,
3 where the fighting was going on.
4 If you examine Blaskic's direct testimony, I
5 ask Your Honours to ask one question: Why does Blaskic
6 not tell the Court that he was, in fact, in Novi
7 Travnik as reflected by one of his own orders that the
8 Prosecution produced? I am, of course, talking about
9 Prosecutor Exhibit 647. He never tells the Court
10 that. He never, in his direct testimony, as we go
11 through, laboriously, almost daily events does he tell
12 the Court that he was in Novi Travnik ever.
13 Well, the fact remains that on the 20th, when
14 there were meetings in the Hotel Vitez on the 20th with
15 Colonel Stewart, it was Blaskic, not the individual
16 acting in the spirit of accommodation but the one who
17 demanded at those meetings that the ABiH or the TO
18 subordinate itself to the HVO. It was Blaskic who
19 wrote in this order on the 21st of October, 1992, and I
20 quote from Exhibit 647:
21 "While defence operations are being
22 conducted, the vice-president of the Croatian Community
23 of Herceg-Bosna Dario Kordic and I are in Novi Travnik
24 continuously leading military operations with deep
25 knowledge of the situation and keeping all the forces
1 under control."
2 Now, I ask Your Honours why would testimony
3 such as that or facts such as that be omitted during
4 the course of his rather lengthy direct-examination?
5 There is another very interesting document.
6 If we could place that document on the ELMO. Do we
7 have that? 647. That's it right there.
8 If we look at point 6 of this document, if we
9 blow it up -- just move it down a little bit -- Blaskic
10 noted that this was some type of spontaneous eruption
11 of activities in Novi Travnik. Look at the numerous
12 locations in point 6, where Blaskic has his troops
13 deployed. His troops are deployed everywhere
14 throughout the various lines in the Central Bosnia
15 Operative Zone, in and around the Novi Travnik area.
16 In addition to that, I ask Your Honours to
17 examine the final line and consider this in context
18 with subsequent statements by Blaskic and view it in
19 light of Blaskic's statement about his "peasant army."
20 What does Blaskic say?
21 "The activities of our forces are organised,
22 fully coordinated and controlled by the command."
23 So as early as October the 21st of 1992,
24 Blaskic is articulating in writing that the command and
25 control in his area of responsibility works and is
1 fully coordinated.
2 There is another point with regard to this
3 particular event which I think bears some degree or
4 several points that bear some comment before we move
5 on, and that, of course, is a series of exhibits that
6 we have seen that we begin to detect a cooperative
7 setting between the HVO and the Serbs, especially up
8 near the Jajce front. We will then see a continuance
9 of that as we move into the activities in 1993, but
10 some of the exhibits Your Honours have received in
11 evidence do discuss, and they are VRS documents, do
12 discuss levels of cooperation that begin to take place
13 between the VRS and the HVO.
14 In addition to that, we might look at Exhibit
15 347 briefly. Thank you. 347 is an order that was
16 issued by Blaskic at the behest of Brigadier Merdan
17 after the cease-fire had ensued.
18 It is noteworthy, in this particular comment,
19 that Blaskic commands that:
20 "All measures shall be taken to prevent
21 setting fire to houses of eminent citizens of Muslim
22 nationalities in your zone of responsibility."
23 So as early as October of 1992, Blaskic is
24 aware that his troops are burning Bosnian Muslim
25 houses. Suffice it to say that as a result of this
1 particular effort, no Bosnian Muslim -- no HVO soldier
2 was punished for his activities in burning houses in
3 Novi Travnik. One can only guess what type of
4 preventative measures would have come about had he, at
5 that stage, begun to discipline or ensure that troops
6 who were burning houses were punished for this crime.
7 Of course, he did not, and what happened thereafter, of
8 course, is reflected in the facts we have seen depicted
9 throughout the course of this case.
10 It is interesting just to refer back to the
11 troop levels that he had at his command during that
12 period of time. At that time he had numerous brigades
13 at his command. The Vitez Brigade was not yet
14 formulated. That was yet to be formed out of the
15 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade in March of 1993, but units
16 such as the Vitezovi were present in the area. The
17 military police were certainly present in the area at
18 that time, while the anti-terrorist unit, the Jokers,
19 hadn't been formed yet. The foundation of the Jokers
20 and those particular political policemen were in there,
21 as was Zuti, who was a military policeman and part of
22 the Frankopan Brigade, as well as other special purpose
23 units such as the Tvrtko and the Maturice in Kiseljak.
24 So at this particular time, even several
25 months after he has taken power, when he is complaining
1 there is no command and control possible, he is
2 articulating that, in fact, command and control does
3 work with these units that are under his command.
4 Now, after the events that take place in Novi
5 Travnik, as we move into November, things do calm
6 down. Hostilities are not as tense over the course of
7 November and December of 1992, and there's a reason for
8 that. The reason for that, in sum and substance, is
9 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. People are negotiating for
10 some type of peace settlement, which ultimately becomes
11 the Vance-Owen Plan. That is going on through this
12 period of time. What we see during this period of time
13 is the first articulation of the Vance-Owen Plan which
14 takes place on the 2nd of January of 1993.
15 If we can have that particular map,
16 Mr. Hooper, of the Vance-Owen Plan?
17 Now, the design of the Vance-Owen Plan was to
18 break up Bosnia and Herzegovina into cantons or
19 provinces -- you hear it talked about sometimes as
20 cantons and sometimes as provinces -- with each
21 individual ethnic group having, where they had a
22 majority, having a majority rule in that particular
23 canton. It did not mean that the minority groups had
24 no rights. To the contrary. It was trying to be based
25 on a majority rule. As we will see in a few events,
1 that intent of the Vance-Owen Plan was, in fact, turned
2 on its head, if you will, and was not exactly employed
3 by the HVO and the HVO leadership.
4 In this particular document, we see the
5 cantons that fell under the white, being the ones that
6 fell under the Bosnian Muslim-controlled area, the pink
7 being the ones falling under the Republika Srpska or
8 the Bosnian Serbs, and the ones that have been the
9 subject of discussion throughout are the blue areas,
10 canton 8, canton 10, and canton 3. Those are the three
11 cantons that were assigned to the Bosnian Croats as a
12 result of the first iteration of the Vance-Owen Plan.
13 There are several other Vance-Owen Plan maps
14 in evidence and with those it is probably easier to see
15 exactly what areas are engulfed within the Croat areas,
16 but suffice it to say, Vitez, Travnik, Busovaca,
17 Fojnica are in canton 10, whereas Zenica is in canton
18 9, the Bosnian Muslim side.
19 What we can see from this is that this is a
20 large bulge of land that is not exactly but very close
21 to the territorial desires of the Croats in general and
22 very close to the territorial or the geographical
23 demarcations of the Banovina Plan of 1939. If we could
24 look at that and juxtapose the two? If we could pull
25 that map out, Mr. Hooper?
1 If you recall, Mr. President and Your
2 Honours, I was talking to you about the bulge in the
3 lower part of the --
4 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. Perhaps your
5 assistant can hold for us the other map above this one
6 and that way we can compare the two, and then the
7 camera can also show us what you are trying to tell
8 us. Just above. One above the other, please. That's
9 it. Now you can stand in front.
10 I think in this way you can present your
11 thesis. Please continue.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
13 As you can see, the bulge within the lower
14 part of the Banovina Plan is remarkably similar to the
15 incursion of land that would be given to the Bosnian
16 Croats per the Vance-Owen Plan. It's not exact. There
17 is some land that's in and some land that's out. For
18 instance, Jajce is incorporated in 10 and Jajce is
19 outside of the Banovina Plan. Nevertheless, the two
20 areas that are to go to the Bosnian Croats or to go to
21 the Croats in the Banovina Plan and in the Vance-Owen
22 Plan are remarkably similar.
23 Suffice it to say, this iteration, which came
24 out first on 2 January, 1993, was the high watermark,
25 if I can use that vernacular, the high watermark for
1 the Bosnian Croats, and they never were given this much
2 land in any other peace plan again, and that is in
3 large part why, two days later, the 4th of January,
4 1993, Boban signed the Vance-Owen Plan and this map.
5 They immediately accepted this map.
6 Thank you. If I can just step back?
7 Blaskic has told us that he is not a
8 political man and that he was always told that he had
9 little or nothing to do with politics. I submit to
10 Your Honours that we will develop through the facts and
11 the testimony that Blaskic was extremely interested in
12 the Vance-Owen Plan, as was everybody else on the
13 Bosnian Croat side, especially as it related to canton
15 Let us go through a list of things that
17 As I said, this particular map is signed on
18 the 2nd of January. The 4th of January, Mate Boban
19 signs it. By the 6th of January, Blaskic and his other
20 commanders are down in Grude discussing the Vance-Owen
21 Peace Plan with the Minister of Defence, Bruno Stojic.
22 That's from his own testimony.
23 So very early on, within two days of the
24 signature of Mate Boban on this, the command of the HVO
25 is discussing the plan. And he didn't stop. Of
1 course, it always remained of interest to him. It
2 remained of interest to him even up through May and
3 through the conflict, and if we can just put Exhibit
4 112 on the easel -- if we could, Mr. Hooper?
5 456/112. That's it right there.
6 These are exhibits that Blaskic talked about
7 at some length dated the 26th of May, 1993. The
8 significant part for the purposes of our discussion is
9 paragraph 2:
10 "It is well-known by now that high level
11 representatives of Croat and Muslim people have
12 militarily and politically agreed on implementing the
13 Vance-Owen Plan in provinces 8, 9, and 10.
14 Eight and 10 being, of course, the Croat
15 provinces, and 9 being the Muslim province within his
16 area of responsibility.
17 Now, Blaskic testified that with this
18 particular copy, the copy that is written in B/C/S, he
19 didn't sign it. He wasn't a political man. He didn't
20 authorise this and he would never have authorised this
21 because he is not a man that's involved in politics.
22 Well, of course, the actual facts defy that and the
23 actual facts fly in the face of that testimony because
24 dated the same day, the HVO had translated this letter
25 into English, and lo and behold, the accused signed
2 This is a careful soldier, a very methodical
3 soldier, a soldier who presumably doesn't put his name
4 to a document without knowing what's in the document.
5 He certainly knew what was in this document when he
6 penned his name to this document, and this document is
7 an articulation of his concern about the Vance-Owen
8 Plan. So any debate that he is not involved in
9 politics or doesn't have political concerns I think we
10 can put to rest with his signature on this document
11 alone because his testimony in that regard is not true.
12 He thought the evidence in possession was
13 only a document that related to this one document that
14 was not signed by him, but lo and behold, he had signed
15 another. He had signed it. And he knew full well what
16 was in it. There are other documents that we will go
17 into in a moment that reflect that Blaskic was
18 sensitive, in fact, to what was going on with the
19 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and I will turn to those in one
21 If I may stay, before we move back to
22 January -- do we have that? -- if I may put
23 Prosecutor's Exhibit 456/32 on the ELMO, and in his
24 requests that he sends to Mate Boban, Bruno Stojic, and
25 Milivoj Petkovic on the 7th of May, he requests very
1 clearly, in number 1:
2 "1. I request instructions in case the
3 Vance-Owen Plan is applied in line with query ..."
4 And he gives it a date order of 4 May, 1993.
5 Another exhibit, moving back to January
6 itself, and this is a rather interesting document
7 concerning command and control as rather the
8 information that was depicted in it. This is a
9 document that was submitted in evidence towards the
10 latter part of the Defence case. And if you recall
11 from Blaskic's testimony, keeping in mind the sequence,
12 that the Vance-Owen Plan is signed on the 2nd, Boban --
13 excuse me, the Vance-Owen Plan comes out on the 2nd of
14 January, Boban signs it on the 4th. By the 6th,
15 Blaskic is down in Grude talking about the Vance-Owen
16 Plan with Bruno Stojic, the Defence Minister, and by
17 the 9th, there are two units that show up in the
18 Central Bosnian Operative Zone: the Bruno Busic
19 Brigade that is in Novi Travnik and the Ludvig Pavlovic
20 Brigade that is garrisoned in Vitez.
21 From Blaskic's own testimony, he learns that
22 they show up on the 9th. He testifies he has no
23 control over them, they are not within his chain of
24 command, and they had come to the area because the
25 joint command sent them there. Well ...
1 Let's turn to a Defence Exhibit to show that
2 that is simply not true, and I turn your attention to
3 Defence 565.
4 Defence Exhibit 565 is an order that is given
5 by Blaskic at 2405 hours on the 9th to the 10th of
6 January of 1993, the day these guys show up. He,
7 Blaskic, is giving an order to the Bruno Busic Brigade
8 in Novi Travnik. On the front sheet of this document,
9 it is designated as the BB Brigade and the commander is
10 Anton Luburic.
11 What is the first individual item on that?
12 It has to do with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
13 "1. Localise the clash and strive to calm
14 the situation for the negotiations in Geneva to be
15 conducted without obstruction."
16 As a separate note, if we turn to page 2,
17 this unit that Blaskic says he's got no command over,
18 point 6 of this document, again a Defence document:
19 "6. The brigade commander and the
20 BB Unit --"
21 Which is Bruno Busic.
22 "-- commander are responsible to me for the
23 execution of this order."
24 Blaskic is asking this Court to believe that
25 he is giving an order to a unit, the Bruno Busic
1 Brigade, holding the commander liable to him for the
2 execution of this order while also asking you to
3 believe that he has no authority over this unit and
4 that he had no idea, given this chain of chronological
5 circumstances regarding the Vance-Owen Plan, why they
6 were deployed in his locale so shortly after his
7 meeting with Bruno Stojic.
8 Suffice it to say, Mr. President and Your
9 Honours, they were deployed through that area for a
10 particular reason, and that is, they have every desire
11 in the world to implement the Vance-Owen Peace Plan,
12 and we need only look at what was happening in Central
13 Bosnia in conjunction with what was happening in Gornji
14 Vakuf to exemplify that point.
15 On the 15th of January, 1996, Blaskic
16 received two orders from Milivoj Petkovic: one was a
17 combat order to put his troops on a combat setting; the
18 other was an order that came down from Perlic, the
19 President of the HVO, to Bruno Stojic, the Minister of
20 Defence of the HVO, down to Milivoj Petkovic. In that
21 order, it called for the subordination of the ABiH
22 units in cantons 3, 8, and 10, subordination to the
24 If we could turn to the first document, which
25 is Exhibit 659 -- do we have that on there? Thank you.
1 This, Mr. President and Your Honours, is the
2 final order in the trio of orders that we have
3 submitted into evidence. This is an order coming from
4 Milivoj Petkovic ordering that the ABiH troops in
5 cantons 3, 8, and 10 subordinate themselves to the
6 HVO. The deadline for this? The deadline for this is
7 the 20th of January, 1993.
8 What does Blaskic do in response to these two
9 orders? If I can move to the next document, which is
10 Exhibit 456/6, Blaskic puts his troops on a combat
11 readiness alert. As we can see from this document, he
12 has received an order from Mostar, which is 01/16/93,
13 and based on that order, he has put his troops on
14 combat readiness. So during this location, we have
15 movement of the Bruno Busic Brigade and the Ludvig
16 Pavlovic Brigade into his area, we have an order for
17 the subordination of the units of the army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina; Blaskic, the next day, putting his
19 troops on a combat readiness level -- and by the way,
20 the combat readiness includes all formations within the
21 Central Bosnian Operative Zone, including Bruno Busic,
22 Ludvig Pavlovic, the Vitezovi, the Travnik police, and
23 the 4th Military Police Battalion. It's interesting to
24 note in this document was Blaskic does say.
25 In point 2, about three down, he notes that:
1 "All HVO formations to be in maximum state
2 of readiness; all Muslims in the HVO formations who
3 disobey our orders are to be disarmed and isolated."
4 On the next page, point 5:
5 "IV Military Police Battalion is to control
6 the traffic and confiscate equipment and weapons from
7 all Muslim transports and put them at the disposal of
8 the HVO forces."
9 I submit to Your Honours, this is not
10 precisely an order that one would issue in a spirit of
11 accommodation and coexistence.
12 What they're getting ready for at this
13 particular point is a defiant ABiH refusing to come
14 under the command of the HVO in this canton, and it all
15 comes back to this misinterpretation by the political
16 leadership in the HVO that the cantonisation of a
17 particular area meant that it was supposed to amount to
18 uni-ethnic power as opposed to a majority/minority
20 So they're unilaterally calling for the
21 subordination. Blaskic puts them -- unilaterally
22 calling the subordination of ABiH troops on the 15th
23 with a deadline to do it on the 20th. The 16th,
24 Blaskic puts his troops in a combat readiness mode.
25 And what happens after that? If we could turn to 666,
1 which is the chart right there?
2 Now, this is the order of the 19th of January
3 where Milivoj Petkovic subordinates the Vitezovi to
4 Blaskic and the Central Bosnian Operative Zone for all
5 purposes. On the 19th. What also happens on the 19th,
6 the same day this order is issued, and we know this
7 fact from Defence Exhibit 250, the same day, the
8 Vitezovi, in conjunction with the Ludvig Pavlovic
9 Brigade, are out conducting a reconnaissance mission to
10 examine the deployment of ABiH troops. Of course,
11 Blaskic doesn't know anything about this. I mean, he
12 doesn't know anything about how and why, on the 19th,
13 the Vitezovi, who are subordinated to him, and the
14 Ludvig Pavlovic Brigade, are out doing reconnaissance
15 on the ABiH.
16 We can't take what's going on in Blaskic's
17 back yard in isolation because the same thing is
18 happening in Gornji Vakuf on a little bit of a quicker
19 timetable. As we know, the order comes from Milivoj
20 Petkovic on the 15th to have the ABiH subordinate
22 The commander in Gornji Vakuf is moving a
23 little quicker. He wants a subordination by the 17th.
24 He's not waiting till the 20th. He wants a
25 subordination and a disarmament by the ABiH by the
2 Of course, the ABiH don't and what happens?
3 They refuse this unilateral subordination and, of
4 course, in their time-honoured tradition which has
5 become the modus operandi of the HVO, they attack
6 Muslim civilian property, they burn the houses, and
7 they drive the Muslims out of the villages in and
8 around Gornji Vakuf on the main communications line.
9 The testimony we just heard recently from then Captain
10 Short reflects that.
11 While this ensues, there is fear even among
12 the Bosnian Croat population in Central Bosnia that the
13 violence that erupted in Gornji Vakuf on the 17th is
14 likewise going to erupt in Central Bosnia in the
15 Busovaca area. In fact, we heard a tape from Zvonko
16 Rajic, one of the individuals that was tragically
17 killed in the Dusina-Lasva killings, and in that tape
18 Zvonko Rajic notes:
19 "We have one fact, the conflict from Gornji
20 Vakuf spread all the way to these territories of Middle
21 Bosnia and the municipality of Travnik."
22 So there was an awareness that the conflict,
23 the conflict that is brought about by the HVO is going
24 to spread to the Central Bosnia region.
25 And by the way, Mr. President, we have heard
1 facts concerning the tragic death of Zvonko Rajic and
2 the other individuals, Bosnian Croats, who were killed
3 in those villages.
4 War crimes -- if half of what was testified
5 to was the truth, crimes were committed and people were
6 prosecuted. At no point, at no juncture during the
7 course of this case is the Prosecutor here to defend
8 that type of criminal conduct. That type of criminal
9 conduct must be prosecuted and hopefully will be
10 prosecuted. But nevertheless, what happened to
11 Mr. Rajic and the other individuals in Dusina and Lasva
12 on the 24th of January fell after there was an eruption
13 of hostilities at the behest of the HVO, that commenced
14 on the evening of the 20th and 21st of January. As I
15 noted to you that the ethnic cleansing and the
16 attacking that took place on the 17th in Gornji Vakuf
17 then erupted in Busovaca on the 20th of January.
18 Of course, the ABiH did not go along with the
19 deadline set out by the HVO command, i.e. the
20 subordination. The deadline in the Stojic order, I
21 believe, gave a subordination deadline of 19.00 on the
22 20th. By 20.00 on the 20th, with no subordination to
23 the HVO, checkpoints were placed in the town of
24 Busovaca, and according to the British Battalion
25 milinfosum that was received in evidence, and I'm
1 referring to, there it is, Exhibit 669, Your Honours
2 can read exactly what transpired.
3 There was attacks on Muslim homes, attacks on
4 Muslim businesses, and if we look at the comment on the
5 bottom of that page:
6 "Comment: The action of 20-21 January, 1993
7 appears to be a pre-planned coordinated attack on the
8 Muslim population."
9 That particular attack led to further
10 fighting. Excuse me, Your Honour.
11 That particular attack led to further
12 fighting, and the cutting off of the road between
13 Kacuni and Bilalovac, and an onslaught of additional
14 fighting in that area. It also led to significant
15 heinous crimes committed by troops under Blaskic's
17 What we heard from testimony by witnesses
18 before this Court was that hundreds of Bosnian Muslim
19 civilians were arrested and incarcerated in the Kaonik
20 military prison and taken to dig trenches, hundreds.
21 There is an exhibit in evidence at this
22 point, and it's Exhibit 678, that reflects that within
23 Busovaca municipality alone, 112 structures, this is an
24 HVO-controlled area, 112 structures are destroyed and
25 58 burnt to the ground in HVO-controlled areas.
1 The time-honoured modus operandi of the HVO
2 continues. Barring some testimony of Blaskic of two
3 individuals being prosecuted for killing Muslims who
4 were out digging trenches, nobody else, nobody else is
5 punished, dismissed, disciplined for the trench digging
6 that goes on. One witness testified that the trench
7 digs was so pervasive that every man, woman, and child
8 in Busovaca knew it was taking place.
9 From the 23rd or 24th of January on, yes,
10 Blaskic was in Kiseljak. With the communications that
11 will be discussed and the evidence that is in the
12 record right now of his communications with his
13 command, clearly he knew exactly what his HVO soldiers
14 were doing in the Busovaca area in January and early
15 February, and if he didn't, he certainly found out when
16 he got back in the early part of March of 1993.
17 But the burning that took place in Busovaca
18 should come as no surprise to Blaskic, because troops
19 under his direct command, when he was in Kiseljak,
20 ordered the same thing.
21 If we could turn to Exhibit 510, Mr. Hooper.
22 This is a document, Mr. President, Your
23 Honours, that is written by the brigade commander for
24 the Ban Jelacic Brigade. The man's name is Mijo
25 Bozic. He was a man that was, at the beginning of the
1 conflict, in Blaskic's headquarters in Vitez. In
2 approximately early January of 1993, he was appointed
3 by Blaskic as the brigade commander of the Ban Jelacic
5 When in discussions in cross-examination with
6 Brigadier Marin concerning Blaskic's relationship with
7 Bozic, I asked whether or not there was a trusted
8 relationship between Blaskic and Bozic, and Marin
10 "Given his position, first as the chief of
11 operations and then as a brigade commander, I believe
12 that Blaskic trusted Mijo Bozic."
13 Mijo Bozic gives an order which calls for
14 criminal activity, without question. It notes, in this
15 attack order, that the HVO forces are going to take a
16 certain amount of ground. To do so, they are ready to
17 burn everything in their way.
18 Now, this particular order, this threat to
19 burn civilian villages in their way, in the HVO's way,
20 was issued while Blaskic was in the Kiseljak barracks.
21 By his own testimony, he is in Kiseljak during this
22 period of time and his direct subordinate issues this
24 Why is this order so telling? Given the
25 proximity between Blaskic and Bozic and the issuance of
1 this order, it's quite clear, Mr. President and Your
2 Honours, that Mijo Bozic was very comfortable in his
3 belief that he would never be punished for issuing such
4 an order, never. And he wasn't. And lo and behold,
5 what a big surprise that we'll see later on during the
6 course of facts, that this same unit, the Ban Jelacic
7 Brigade, and the same commander, Mijo Bozic, and the
8 same deputy commander, Mato Lucic, when the events in
9 Kiseljak took off and the attacks took place on the
10 18th of April, lo and behold, this same unit burnt all
11 these villages, burnt Gomionica, Svinjarevo, Behrici,
12 Visnjica, Polje Visnjica, the same ones.
13 Again, what would have been the net effect
14 and the preventative measures had Blaskic punished
15 somebody as a result of this order? Maybe saved a few
16 lives. Maybe some people would be living today.
17 Certainly people would have houses to live in. But he
18 didn't do it. He didn't do it because that's what he
19 wanted them to do and that's how he wanted them to
21 There was a series of cease-fires after the
22 fighting in January and February, and a series of
23 cease-fire agreements that take place and are signed by
24 General Hadzihasanovic who was then 3rd Corps commander
25 and Blaskic as the Central Bosnia Operative Zone
1 commander. Those documents were signed on the 13th of
2 February of 1993.
3 During this same period of time, there is
4 continued negotiation about the Vance-Owen Plan. As we
5 move from February through March, while the Bosnian
6 Croats through Boban have immediately signed the
7 Vance-Owen Plan, neither the Serbs nor President
8 Izetbegovic have signed the plan.
9 And there is discussion. There is discussion
10 in the halls of Zagreb of exactly what the plan was
11 going to be in light of this fact. In light of the
12 fact that it hasn't been signed, what are the Croats
13 going to do?
14 I think the comments, at this point, of some
15 private-session witnesses about what the plan was of
16 the Bosnian Croats and also the plan within the halls
17 of Zagreb and President Tudjman is very telling. So if
18 I could take a very brief period of time to go into
19 private session, I would appreciate it.
20 (Private session)
13 page 24629 redacted – private session
13 page 24630 redacted – private session
13 page 24631 redacted – private session
13 page 24632 redacted – private session
20 (Open session)
21 As I noted, Mr. President and Your Honours,
22 the Bosnian Serb assembly voted on the Vance-Owen Plan
23 on the 2nd of April of 1993. They rejected the plan.
24 On the 3rd of April, the HVO issued a document calling
25 Alija Izetbegovic and the Bosnian Muslims to sign that
2 In that document, the HVO and Mate Boban
3 asked the ABiH to implement the Vance-Owen Plan and to
4 have ABiH troops subordinate themselves once again to
5 the HVO in cantons 3, 8, and 10, and respectively have
6 the ABiH forces subordinate themselves to the HVO in
7 the Muslim cantons.
8 What was also included in that document, and
9 this was a document that was issued by a man by the
10 name of Veso Vegar. Now, Veso Vegar, if you'll recall
11 from the testimony of Ed Vulliamy, Veso Vegar was the
12 essential public information officer for the HVO. He
13 was not a reporter like Mr. Vulliamy and others that we
14 have had contact with in our lives. This was a
15 spokesperson for the HVO.
16 As a spokesperson for the HVO, the HVO
17 included a threat, issued a threat, an ultimatum in
18 conjunction with this request to sign on to the
19 Vance-Owen Plan.
20 The HVO noted that the joint command has to
21 be set up by the 15th of April, 1993, and the
22 subordination also has to take place, and if, if the
23 Bosnian government does not go along with the edicts of
24 the Vance-Owen Plan, the HVO has decided to
25 unilaterally implement that plan. Unilaterally.
1 Now, do they say in that document that the
2 fighting is going to take place if it is not on the
3 16th? No, they don't. They don't say that. What they
4 do say is and the one date that they give for the
5 setting up of the joint command is the 15th of April,
6 1993, and if it doesn't happen, then they're going to
7 unilaterally implement this plan. Of course, there was
8 no subordination and, of course, we saw from the
9 subsequent facts there was an attempt at the unilateral
10 implementation of that plan.
11 Before we go into that implementation that
12 commenced on the 16th, let us digress for one moment
13 and talk about a series of events that took place.
14 Between the issuance of this ultimatum on the
15 3rd, that was then published in the newspaper on the
16 4th of April, and the actual deadline of the 15th,
17 several events take place. There were forces,
18 individuals of Muslim religion, who had kidnapped some
19 soldiers, some officers from Novi Travnik. They
20 kidnapped those officers because they were trying to
21 secure the release of their colleagues from the Kaonik
22 camp, which Blaskic ultimately did, by the way.
23 In addition to that, there was a terrible
24 homicide that took place outside of Zenica involving
25 Commander Totic, who was the Jure Francetic Brigade
1 commander in Zenica, who had many of his bodyguards
2 killed in a shoot-out in the early morning hours of the
3 15th of April, 1993.
4 Those particular events emanated not from a
5 conflict with the ABiH but from, as Mr. Remi Landry
6 testified, an effort by these Muslim groups to secure
7 the release of their colleagues who were in the Kaonik
8 camp. Prior to that time, these individuals had been
9 attempting on numerous occasions -- several occasions
10 at least -- to secure the release of their colleagues.
11 They were unsuccessful. They then engage in this
12 activity. But there is no evidence to suggest, first
13 and foremost, that the ABiH was behind this. As I
14 noted just previously, the person who ultimately
15 negotiated the release of these prisoners as well as
16 Commander Totic, Colonel Remi Landry from the Canadian
17 forces, who is an ECMM monitor, said that one had
18 nothing to do with the other. It was a totally
19 separate event.
20 So what took place on the morning of the 16th
21 was unrelated to the kidnapping and the deaths that we
22 saw on the 15th and the 14th of April. That's not to
23 say that those particular events didn't elevate
24 hostilities, didn't elevate emotions. They did. I'm
25 sure they did. And I know that the HVO and Kordic
1 spoke about it at length on television as a reason for
2 the combat to ensue or to begin. Nevertheless, all of
3 those events post-dated the ultimatum issued by the HVO
4 which came out on the 3rd of April, 1993, which is an
5 important ingredient as it goes to the question, the
6 question posed by the Defence, as to who started this
8 Given the facts that took place in the
9 testimony and given the context of this ultimatum, who
10 started this conflict? Blaskic, Zeko, and Marin
11 testified that it was the ABiH. Let's look at that. I
12 submit to you, Your Honours, that testimony is simply
13 not true. And let's look at a series of items in
14 context to demonstrate what the HVO did to get ready
15 for this conflict.
16 Mr. President, I see you're looking at the
17 clock. Do you want to take a break now or should I
18 continue on or ...
19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Quite so. A 20-minute
21 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
23 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Can we
24 have the accused brought in?
25 (The accused entered court)
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have the
3 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 At the break, Mr. President, Your Honours, we
5 were beginning to discuss the issue that was raised by
6 Blaskic and Marin and Zeko as to who started this
7 conflict on the morning of the 16th of April, 1993.
8 Well, we know from the evidence that has come
9 in that there was an ultimatum issued by the HVO due to
10 expire shortly after the 15th of April, 1993. But
11 let's look at other factors, other factors,
12 ingredients, that go into this planning.
13 We have an order issued by Anto Valenta
14 closing schools and businesses on the 14th of April,
15 1993, until the following Monday, which I believe is
16 the 19th of April, 1993. There were field hospitals
17 set up, as we heard from Witness F. What were the
18 logistics needed to conduct this combat activity?
19 Logistics, ammunition, troops, supplies,
20 transportation, reinforcements. All those things that,
21 for Ahmici alone, Colonel Stewart said would take at
22 least half a day to plan.
23 The evacuation of Croats from the Ahmici
24 area, Santici, Nadioci, et cetera, on the 15th of
25 April, 1993, and the existence of detention locations
1 that had to be preordained prior to the attacks of the
2 16th of April, 1993, or else how would HVO soldiers
3 know where to take all these people that they took into
4 custody? They had to know. It wasn't self-evident,
5 I'm sure, that a prison was going to be in the
6 Dubravica school and that there was going to be a
7 prison at the cinema building next to the Viteska
8 Brigade headquarters nor in the veterinary station nor
9 in the STK building. Nevertheless, these were the
10 areas that the witnesses testified that they were
11 brought to seriatum commencing on the morning of the
12 16th of April, 1993.
13 Interestingly, while all these preparations
14 are taking place by the HVO, there are no similar
15 preparations by the Muslims. There was no setting up
16 of a field hospital by the Bosnian Muslims in that
17 area, no evacuation of the Bosnian Muslim property from
18 that particular area. Nothing of that score.
19 Let's turn to the victim testimony.
20 The victim testimony unilaterally, across the
21 board, every victim/witness that Your Honours have
22 heard has testified to one thing: That commencing on
23 the 16th of April, 1993, the HVO attacked. Not the
24 ABiH. The ABiH didn't attack their own people and
25 murder and burn their own people on the morning of the
1 16th of April, 1993. Every victim attests to the fact
2 that it was the HVO.
3 Third party witnesses, independent witnesses,
4 the consensus of all of these witnesses is the same,
5 and in that group I'm including the British Battalion
6 witnesses such as Colonel Stewart, such as Colonel
7 Thomas, such as Captain Ellis, such as Colonel Watters,
8 then Major Watters, Colonel Landry, then Major
9 Baggesen, all of these independent observers came to
10 the conclusion at the time that the HVO launched their
11 attacks on the 16th of April, 1993, and on considered
12 reflection by the ECMM, they likewise came to the same
14 And if we could, with the assistance of
15 Mr. Hooper, I'd like to turn to the next two charts?
16 This is, of course, the front cover of a
17 report that was developed by ECMM. The reporter that
18 put this document together, this individual in the
19 upper left-hand corner, a military officer whose name
20 is Charles McLeod. The report is a Report on
21 Inter-ethnic Violence in Vitez, Busovaca, and Zenica,
22 April 1993.
23 I might note that he comes to a similar
24 conclusion, and if we could just go to the next page,
25 and for the record, this is Exhibit 242.
1 I know, Your Honours, this is difficult to
2 see, albeit in both French and English, but if I may
3 take the liberty of reading the pertinent portion as to
4 who started this attack.
5 Second paragraph -- it's on page 1,
6 counsel --
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, if you wish,
8 approach the easel, of course, you may do so.
9 MR. KEHOE: The second paragraph:
10 "The Croats in Vitez launched a coordinated
11 attack on 16 April against the Muslim villages around
12 Vitez and on Old Vitez, the predominantly Muslim part
13 of the town."
14 The assessment of an ECMM representative was
15 that after reviewing the individuals, the appropriate
16 players, if you will, in the Lasva Valley area, they
17 put together a series of facts, and I will note that
18 one of the individuals that he spoke to was the
19 accused, and he came up with the conclusion that it
20 was, in fact, the HVO that launched those attacks.
15 MR. KEHOE: I apologise, Counsel. You are
16 absolutely right. That was the last document that --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. KEHOE: ... with all due respect.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, will you switch on
20 your microphone, please?
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
22 JUDGE JORDA: The document is under seal?
23 MR. KEHOE: The Defence document I referred
24 to, counsel, is 100 per cent correct, it is under seal.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. Then we
1 need to redact the transcript accordingly.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President. It will
3 be done.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Continue, please, Mr. Kehoe.
5 MR. KEHOE: Let us continue on the issue as
6 to who started it.
7 There has been a production to this Chamber
8 of the reports, the pertinent reports of General
9 Hadzihasanovic, the 3rd Corps commander, concerning the
10 events of the 15th and 16th of April, 1993, and there
11 is no reflection in those reports of any preparation
12 for combat to ensue on the morning of the 16th of
13 April. There is no discussion about anything to put
14 the ABiH on a combat footing against the HVO. To the
15 contrary, General Hadzihasanovic said: Why would I do
16 that to myself? Why would I open up a second front at
17 the same time? If one looks at it as a military
18 strategist, it is not a wise thing for an individual to
19 open up a second front taking into account the huge
20 front that he was currently manning against the VRS.
21 Well, the document of General Hadzihasanovic
22 that is evidence reflects no such preparations. This
23 request has been made on several occasions, on numerous
24 occasions, for the documentation and the notebooks for
25 General Blaskic that he read seriatum throughout his
1 direct testimony. Those documents and that information
2 has not been forthcoming from any source. There is no
3 documentation to reflect what Blaskic is saying, no
4 documentation coming from the HVO or any other source.
5 Let's just look at what actually happened on
6 the ground. Are we to believe that the ABiH attacked
7 the HVO when we look at the documentation produced by
8 the Defence, and I am referring to Exhibit 345?
9 From the Defence document itself, this
10 surprise attack led to one death, and now maybe some
11 documentation submitted by the Defence makes it two
12 deaths, whereas in Ahmici alone, approximately a
13 hundred individuals were killed.
14 So when the surprise attack by the ABiH
15 resulted in a 100-to-1 ratio deaths of the Bosnian
16 Muslims as to deaths of the Bosnian Croats, not even
17 including - not even including - the countless houses
18 belonging to the Bosnian Muslim population that were
19 burnt, when we assess all of those facts, when we put
20 all of those facts together in the sober light of day,
21 there is just no credibility to the testimony by the
22 accused and his chief of operations, Marin, and his
23 intelligence officer, military intelligence officer,
24 Zeko, that the ABiH started this attack. That's simply
25 not true. There is simply no independent witness that
1 we -- any leaders that have corroborated that.
2 Now, let us look at what exactly transpired.
3 What has the Defence produced, what has the Defence
4 produced concerning the attack? They have produced
5 Exhibits 267, 268, and 269, and what do we know about
6 those orders? Let's assume for a second, without going
7 into a discussion about some of the things that weren't
8 on those orders and the sequence of those orders, let
9 us assume for the sake of argument that those are
10 legitimate orders, which the Office of the Prosecutor
11 does not agree with for a second, but let's assume they
13 What do we know about those orders? We know
14 from the facts on the ground that those were not the
15 only orders issued by Blaskic, contrary to both his
16 evidence and Marin's. We need only look at
17 Exhibit 269. What does 269 say? 269 deploys the
18 Viteska Brigade at 05.30. Now, mind you, 269 is the
19 written order that is written at 01.30 in the early
20 morning hours of the 16th deploying the Viteska Brigade
21 at 05.30.
22 What does Blaskic tell the Viteska Brigade?
23 He tells the Viteska Brigade, "When you take a
24 particular position blocking Vranjska and Kruscica, the
25 civilian police will be to your left, the Nikola
1 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade from Busovaca will be on your
2 right, and the military police will be in front of
4 What do we know about that? There is no
5 order deploying the civilian police at 05.30 in the
6 morning, none. He's got his troops on a combat footing
7 and there is no order to the military police -- excuse
8 me, to the civilian police.
9 Likewise, there is no order ordering the
10 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, the troops that are on
11 the Viteska Brigade's right flank, to likewise mobilise
12 at 05.30, and we do know there are other orders.
13 Let us turn to, if we may, to 521. If we
14 could put that exhibit up.
15 521, Mr. President and Your Honours, is a
16 report that comes from the Jure Francetic Brigade in
17 Zenica, a report back to the Central Bosnia Operative
18 Zone that Brigadier Marin said was received. I asked
19 him, "How long does it take for troops to -- ordered
20 and mobilised?" He said, "At least two or three hours
21 prior to mobilisation."
22 This particular report that is timed at 06.00
23 on the 16th reflects that the Jure Francetic Brigade in
24 Zenica had deployed sometime well prior to 06.00 on the
25 morning of the 16th. It notes:
1 "Operative report on the situation at
2 06.00. The night was quiet in the zone covered by the
3 brigade. All units are holding the positions they had
4 seized. The town is under control and our units are
5 letting unarmed civilians who are going to work pass
7 Where is the order issued by Blaskic telling
8 the Jure Francetic Brigade to seize positions in and
9 around Zenica? Where is it? This is a report back
10 from the field saying those positions had been seized.
11 Where is the order that Blaskic issued for them to
12 seize those positions? It doesn't exist. But more
13 importantly -- one fact, it does exist, but more
14 importantly, Blaskic and Marin said no other orders
15 went out.
16 Well, the question that the Chamber must
17 answer if that testimony were to be true is: How did
18 the Zenica brigade know what to seize? How did they
19 know when to deploy? How did they know what positions
20 to take? They knew what positions to take, they knew
21 when they were supposed to deploy, they knew when they
22 were supposed to report back because Blaskic issued
23 other orders that day that we haven't seen.
24 How do we know he issued other orders?
25 Because what he did militarily virtually defies logic
1 in light of the rest of his testimony.
2 What did he tell us? He told us at 11.30 on
3 the 15th of April, 1993 that many combat activities
4 ensued on Kuber Mountain and that there was fighting
5 and that he had wounded and that it was a serious
7 Now, given his belief that the ABiH was going
8 to begin their offensive at that time, what would a
9 commander do? Would a commander immediately deploy his
10 troops up to that area, or if he was interested in
11 truly securing the road between Vitez and Busovaca,
12 would he tell his troops to immediately take the high
13 ground above Ahmici, because Blaskic himself, he said,
14 that one cannot protect a road or a communication line
15 by being on the road, one has to take the high ground
16 above the road, which is perfectly logical. But when
17 this attack ensues at 11.30 p.m., we're talking about
18 23.30 on the evening of the 15th, Blaskic neither
19 deploys troops to Kuber, neither deploys his troops
20 above the high ground in Ahmici to secure the
21 communication, nor does he tell the Viteska Brigade
22 about this attack. He does none of the above.
23 Why? Why? He didn't do it, Your Honours,
24 because he had another plan for those troops. He had
25 another plan for the Viteska Brigade, he had another
1 plan for the military police, and he had another plan
2 for members of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade and
3 for the Vitezovi, and that plan was focused on Ahmici.
4 What other explanation could there be for Blaskic not
5 securing that high ground at the crucial point when he
6 believed his troops were under attack?
7 He didn't send them to the high ground. He
8 kept them there to commence the operation that he
9 wanted to commence at 05.30. He ordered these troops
10 in there at 05.30 to cleanse that operation, to ensure
11 that the departure of the Bosnian Muslim population
12 from the Lasva Valley was going to commence and it was
13 going to commence with a horrific event to drive people
14 out and others would follow.
15 What happened in Ahmici was a matter that was
16 commenced not by renegade troops but troops following
17 orders. Orders by the most powerful individual in the
18 Lasva River area. That most powerful individual is the
19 accused. They were following orders.
20 How do we know that? Let us turn to some of
21 the evidence in this regard. Abdulah Ahmic. I don't
22 know if Your Honours can recall Abdulah Ahmic. Abdulah
23 Ahmic was an individual, a young man who was taken out
24 from his house with his father and, I believe, his
25 brother, and they were shot at point-blank range.
1 Abdulah Ahmic lived because the bullet happened to
2 graze his cheek and come out the other cheek and he
3 survived, but his testimony on the issue of ordering is
4 instructive. This is on page 3731:
5 A. When this man came out of the house he
6 ordered the younger one, he said,
7 "Follow the orders." And the younger
8 one says, "I will not do it." He
9 repeated this two more times, and then
10 to both these orders he answered, "I
11 cannot do it." Then the big one says,
12 "Okay. I'm going to carry out the
13 order, but you'll remember this," and he
14 said it in a threatening voice. Then he
15 ordered me and my father to pass around
16 the southern side of the side and he
17 ordered that the younger one to guard my
18 mother and my sister.
19 My colleague Mr. Cayley asks Mr. Ahmic
20 further on page 3835:
21 Q. Mr. Ahmic, when your father and brother
22 were murdered outside your house, do you
23 believe that the soldiers who did that
24 act were acting according to orders, or
25 do you believe that they simply decided
1 of their own will to kill your father
2 and your brother?
3 A. In my statement, in all my statements,
4 they did it exclusively according to
5 military orders because that is what
6 they said, "Do as you are ordered." He
7 refused and then he said "Take care, I
8 will carry out the orders." And then he
9 did what he did. So this is clearly a
10 strict military order received from
12 That order, of course, was an order to kill,
13 and his father and his brother were, in fact, killed.
14 Witness F, on page 3688 notes as follows:
15 A. Then my husband addressed Ilija once
16 again and said, "Ilija please do not
17 kill women and children. Let them go
18 and do what you will with us." He said,
19 "My wife is pregnant like yours, and I
20 am sorry, but we have been given orders
21 to kill all the Muslims and the Muslims
22 will never live here again.
23 Later on, in a separate locale the next day,
24 Witness F testifies about those orders to kill again.
25 This is on page 3671:
1 A. In the meantime, another neighbour of
2 ours came. Approached my brother. This
3 is about two years after Ivica left. He
4 was looking at my brothers, my husband,
5 myself, all of us, because we were all
6 together. He offered them cigarettes.
7 I approached to see what was going on,
8 what he was going to tell me, and he
9 said, "I am really sorry, but I was
10 ordered to bring you out. I was ordered
11 by them." He stood there and they
12 smoked a cigarette, all of them. He was
13 still standing there.
14 Q. When you say "he was ordered by them,"
15 what did he say he was ordered to do?
16 A. They ordered him to bring out the three
17 of them. He said, "I have to bring the
18 three of you out so that you would be
20 Fatima Ahmic, 3955:
21 A. I started weeping. "Dear Drago, why did
22 you not save my Fahrudin?" He tells
23 me -- he approached me to give me
24 condolences. I said, "Why do I need
25 your condolences when you did not save
1 my Fahrudin? Do you know who killed my
2 Fahrudin?" He answered, "I do not know
3 who killed him. I did not kill him."
4 "Do you know who killed him?" "It was
5 the force majeure who ordered it. The
6 orders came from above."
7 In the last particular series of testimony on
8 this particular score, I would ask to go briefly into
9 private session.
10 (Private session)
13 page 24654 redacted – private session
13 page 24655 redacted – private session
13 page 24656 redacted – private session
13 page 24657 redacted – private session
20 (Open session)
21 JUDGE JORDA: Let us continue in open session
22 now. Please continue, Mr. Kehoe.
23 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, what we have
24 before you is a composite of a series of photographs of
25 victims and some family members of those victims,
1 unfortunately at happier times, which, of course, is
2 not the reason that we are here but, unfortunately, was
3 the end result that was wrought on the Bosnian Muslim
4 population in the Vitez municipality in Ahmici,
5 Santici, Nadioci, Pirici, and in other villages.
6 We will note, yes, there are young men of
7 military age in that collage, but it also includes
8 women, elderly men, young girls and young boys, people
9 that had nothing but their lives to look forward to.
10 Yet that was taken away, that was removed on the
11 morning of the 16th of April, 1993, in pursuit of this
12 policy of uni-ethnic dominance. That is the end result
13 of this powerplay by the HVO in their attempts to
14 unilaterally implement the Vance-Owen Plan. The only
15 thing they wrought on that area was pain, misery and,
16 ultimately, a tragedy.
17 What happened to those that survived? What
18 were they left with? Were they left with anything?
19 They certainly weren't left with their homes.
20 Let's go through a series of these.
21 The village of Ahmici, the village of
22 Gacice -- excuse me, in the village of Ahmici, I would
23 also like to show the upper mosque in Ahmici. We just
24 saw the lower mosque and now we will go to the
25 upper mosque. The village of Gacice, the village of
1 Pirici, the village of Nadioci, the village of Donja
2 Veceriska, and, Mr. President and Your Honours, there
3 are others. These were not the only villages that were
4 decimated by HVO troops under Blaskic's command
5 commencing on the 16th of April. There are other
6 villages and heaven knows there are countless other
7 houses purposely targeted and destroyed by the HVO
8 troops. And why? Why? One only need to examine the
9 testimony of various third party witnesses who noted
10 for Your Honours the one reason. These people were
11 killed or driven out and their houses destroyed to
12 ensure one thing and one thing alone: That they would
13 never come back.
14 Now, all this happened - all this
15 happened - in a relatively small geographical area.
16 If we can, Mr. Hooper, if we can put Exhibit
17 29C up?
18 Let's look at this exhibit, an exhibit that
19 I'm sure Your Honours at this point -- an exhibit that
20 is well-known, Vitez being at the centre of the ring.
21 If we can ... Santici, 3 kilometres away;
22 Ahmici, approximately 5 kilometres, or it was timed in
23 an exhibit that you will see as Exhibit 79, 4700
24 metres; Loncari, 7 kilometres away; Gacice, 2
25 kilometres away; Donja Veceriska, 3 kilometres away.
1 These villages that were decimated and destroyed by HVO
2 troops, Blaskic could stand out in front of the Hotel
3 Vitez and see. That's how close they were. And yet he
4 testifies that when these attacks ensued that he was
5 unaware certainly that this was going on in his locale
6 and, in fact, blames it on the army of
8 Given the locale, given the presence, and
9 given the level of this tremendous destruction, he's
10 got no other choice than to try to blame it on somebody
11 else because if he says it was his own troops that did
12 all this, it would defy logic that he wasn't
13 responsible. The fact of the matter is and the fact
14 that we see set forth here compels one to conclude that
15 he knew exactly what was going on, exactly what was
16 afoot, and consequently, which we will talk about
17 later, he never did anything to stop it and never
18 punished anybody for doing it.
19 The tragedy once again, the tragedy that we
20 see so often throughout Central Bosnia by troops under
21 Blaskic's command and he never punished anybody as a
22 result of the crimes on the 16th and, lo and behold,
23 those crimes continued, and we will continue to talk
24 about those crimes in a moment.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, there is a
1 small problem with the numbering of the exhibits. The
2 table that you had where you grouped the testimony of
3 all the victims and the compilation of the photographs
4 I assume is all an exhibit, is it not?
5 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Those
6 particular photographs are a series of exhibits that
7 have been received in evidence, and the only thing that
8 the Office of the Prosecutor did, as opposed to going
9 through each individual photograph, was to mount a
10 series of them as a collage.
11 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, there is no need
12 to give them any number. Anyway, this is not the time
13 to give exhibits a number. So this is just one way of
14 presenting your closing arguments. Are we in agreement
15 then? No objection?
16 Very well. Then let's continue.
17 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. The
18 last exhibit to put the geographical framework in
19 perspective, Mr. President, is the particular exhibit
20 that we have, Prosecutor's Exhibit 31, in evidence.
21 We have noted various locales and the
22 kilometre readings away from the centre, and this is an
23 overlay of distances on The Hague, a town which, after
24 some period of time, we've all become somewhat
1 "A" is designated as Central Station. For
2 here, we have the Hotel Vitez, if the Hotel Vitez, and
3 we're marking the distance it would be from the Hotel
4 Vitez at Central Station. "B" is Ahmici, which is at
5 the pier on the beach. So if we stand in front of
6 Central Station, the distance between Blaskic's
7 headquarters and Ahmici is the distance between Central
8 Station and the beach. That is a 5-kilometre range.
9 Of course, the other distances are even shorter.
10 Santici, being "C," is less than 5 kilometres; Gacice,
11 smaller still, approximately 2 kilometres, et cetera.
12 So what we're talking about between Blaskic
13 not knowing the full import of what was happening in
14 Ahmici until his testimony on the 22nd of April, 1993,
15 we're talking about a very, very small distance between
16 these two locales to plead ignorance to those events
17 for approximately a week's time.
18 Now, where was Blaskic on the morning of the
19 16th? Blaskic would have you believe, and certainly
20 Marin would have you believe, that both Blaskic and
21 Marin, while this surprise attack was under way, that
22 both Blaskic and Marin were buried away in the basement
23 of the Hotel Vitez, totally unaware of what was
24 happening a short 5-kilometres away from their
25 headquarters and in the other villages that were
1 significantly closer.
2 But what do we know about that and what do we
3 know about Blaskic? We know that Blaskic is a man who
4 is out in the field. Certainly we know in October,
5 both from his own document, the order 647, P647, and
6 through meetings that he was supposed to have with
7 Colonel Stewart, that he was out on the ground, on the
8 front line in Novi Travnik, while combat was taking
9 place. How many times did he tell us during the course
10 of his direct examination that he went to the front
11 line, such as Jajce, during the course of the events
12 that unfolded in Jajce during the fall of 1992?
13 In the attack on Kiseljak in January of 1993;
14 he commented that he was out on the ground during the
15 attacks that took place either the 28th or the 29th of
16 January with Mato Lucic conducting the attack.
17 When we move ahead to September of 1993 in
18 Grbavica, once again we have Blaskic, the military
19 commander, out on the ground nearby watching the
20 unfolding of events.
21 The only singular time when Blaskic
22 maintained he was not on the ground when combat was
23 under way was when the events on the 16th of April were
24 taking place. The only time. The facts reflect that,
25 in fact, he was out on the ground.
1 How do we know that? How do we know that?
2 Independent third party witnesses. Ten o'clock in the
3 morning. The one person that Blaskic, if he had been
4 attacked, would have wanted to see would have been
5 Colonel Stewart. The one person that could have
6 assisted him on a cease-fire right away, if, in fact,
7 that's what he wanted, was Colonel Stewart. Colonel
8 Stewart showed up, came to the Hotel Vitez at
9 approximately 10.00 on the 16th. Blaskic was not
11 Now, he's not the only one. And, by the way,
12 before we go on to the next witness, Colonel Stewart
13 did note that it was perfectly understandable to
14 Colonel Stewart as a military officer that a man such
15 as Blaskic would be out on the ground while combat
16 activities were under way and while his troops were
17 being deployed. So it was no surprise to Colonel
18 Stewart that Blaskic wasn't there.
19 The next witness, Major Baggesen. Major
20 Baggesen was an ECMM monitor who also tried to go see
21 Blaskic on the morning of the 16th of April, 1993,
22 totally independent of Colonel Stewart, and he notes on
23 page 1919:
24 Q. Did you try and --
25 He's talking about the 16th, the morning of
1 the 16th:
2 Q. Did you try and contact Colonel Blaskic?
3 A. We tried several times, but we were told
4 that Colonel Blaskic was not in his
6 Q. You were with a fellow army officer at
7 that time, I think a lieutenant-colonel,
8 am I right, from the Canadian army?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you discuss this lack of presence of
11 Colonel Blaskic?
12 A. Yes, we did, and we found out that maybe
13 we were not that surprised that we were
14 not able to get in contact with Colonel
15 Blaskic because it is normal during a
16 military operation that the commander is
17 at the forward headquarters so he can be
18 closer to the front and command his
20 Q. It is normal for a commander to be at
21 his forward headquarters to command his
22 operation on the ground, and you were
23 calling the Hotel Vitez, which was a
24 rear or central headquarters; is that
1 A. That's correct.
2 So it was no surprise that Blaskic wasn't
3 there. Blaskic wasn't there because he was on the
4 ground doing what military commanders do, which is
5 direct military operations. This testimony by Blaskic
6 and Zeko that they just sat down in the basement of the
7 Hotel Vitez for three days without poking their head
8 out of the front door is simply not true. It defies
9 logic and it certainly defies the testimony of
10 independent third-party witnesses, witnesses that
11 Blaskic, given his testimony, would have wanted to see,
12 and when they arrived at the Hotel Vitez or called the
13 Hotel Vitez, he wasn't there.
14 After the 16th, the combat activities ensued
15 in other locales, in other locales where Blaskic knew
16 HVO troops were present. The same modus operandi, same
17 methodology employed by the HVO.
18 The 17th of April, 1993, in Loncari,
19 approximately seven kilometres away from Blaskic's
20 residence, no combat activities. Women and children
21 rounded up, put into a mekteb, their houses burnt, the
22 civilians driven out of the village, all by HVO
23 troops. Blaskic, in his testimony, conceded HVO troops
24 in Loncari.
25 Later on in that week, on the 19th, Ocehnici,
1 again another village, this time burnt by the military
2 police, which is no question, on the 19th of April,
3 were under the command and control of Tihomir Blaskic.
4 This was not the only forum where such
5 activities transpired, and we need only turn to the
6 other prong of the attacking force. That other prong
7 of the attacking force focused its energies on
8 Kiseljak. Kiseljak, which was under the domain of the
9 Ban Jelacic Brigade, and Mijo Bozic, who is the author
10 of the burn order of the 27th of January.
11 If we could turn to Exhibit D299 and Exhibit
12 300. If we could turn to 299.
13 This is the first order of the early morning
14 hours of the 17th -- or not early, at 09.10 of the
15 17th of April, 1993, and this is an interesting order
16 for a couple of reasons.
17 Number one, we heard that earlier that day,
18 Blaskic was concerned of the death of civilians,
19 because one of his subordinates had observed civilians
20 as they were riding back from the Viteska Brigade on
21 the 16th. I think Your Honours will note, in looking
22 at this exhibit now and looking at this exhibit while
23 your deliberations are underway, Blaskic has no caveat
24 to protect civilians while he sets the Ban Jelacic
25 Brigade up to attack various villages, Bosnian Muslim
1 villages in the Kiseljak municipality.
2 This particular order is issued to Blaskic,
3 and we were told by Blaskic that this order has to be
4 read in conjunction with Exhibit 300. He testified
5 that this order tells the troops what to do, and
6 Exhibit 300 tells them when to do it. In this order he
7 orders a very simple thing:
8 "Take control of Gomionica and Svinjarevo
9 after a strong support. The attack of the main force
10 to be made from Sikulje and Hadrovici."
11 In Exhibit 300, he reiterates that and notes
12 in paragraph 2.2, and that is on the ELMO, he orders
13 his troops that their assignment is to capture
14 Gomionica and Svinjarevo. This is the order, of
15 course, that in the latter part, as you can see on the
16 bottom, he tells his troops to maintain a sense of
17 historic responsibility.
18 Blaskic testified to Your Honours that he did
19 not order his troops to take the village of Gomionica.
20 A review of these orders reflects that's exactly what
21 he told them to do. He told them to take the village
22 of Gomionica while also securing other villages that
23 might support the ABiH in Gomionica, and that's exactly
24 what they did.
25 He sent the same troops in who authored this
1 burn order to attack Gomionica on the morning of the
2 18th of April, 1993. Not only that, while he was
3 ordering this attack and while he was ordering the
4 further attack of these locales, a cease-fire order came
5 into play.
6 If you recall, Your Honours, there was a
7 cease-fire order signed supposedly for the 18th of
8 April, 1993. Nevertheless, as we move into the 19th of
9 April, 1993, Blaskic is urging his troops to continue
10 to take Gomionica and to continue their attack.
11 If I might go into private session one moment
12 to discuss some closed session testimony on this score,
13 I will be almost finished this area.
14 (Private session)
12 (Open session)
13 MR. KEHOE: As we noted, after we discussed
14 the burn order by Mijo Bozic that was issued on the
15 27th of January, 1993, in light of the absolutely no
16 sanctions imposed by the accused Tihomir Blaskic, it
17 was no surprise that similar events of burnings,
18 expulsions, killings, and evictions took place when the
19 Ban Jelacic Brigade commenced their attacks on
20 Svinjarevo, Gomionica, Behrici, and the other villages
21 in the Kiseljak municipality that commenced on the 18th
22 of April, 1993. A short view of some of these villages
23 reflects exactly what transpired.
24 The village of Visnjica. We can go to the
25 next one. The village of Behrici. The village of
1 Gromiljak. The village of Hercezi.
2 I think this photograph best depicts, and if
3 I can ask Mr. Hooper and I show this particular
4 exhibit, which is Exhibit 391, which is a panned view
5 of the village of Gomionica. This, Mr. President, is a
6 series of photographs put together, panning the
7 landscape of the village of Gomionica. I'm sorry.
8 Mr. President and Your Honours, this is a
9 series of photographs panning the landscape of the
10 village of Gomionica, showing the destruction,
11 expulsions and other damage on the Bosnian Muslim
12 structures in that village that commenced in April of
14 If I might turn to the next particular
15 document, which is Exhibit P395. Excuse me, P95.
16 This is a report, an ECMM report, again a
17 third-party document. If I may approach this document,
18 Mr. President.
19 This is a listing of the various villages
20 that were visited by Alan Lausten and one of the
21 witnesses that was before this Court, Lars Baggesen.
22 Very visited, the villages of Hercezi, Polje Visnjica,
23 Visnjica, Gomionica, and they go on to list the various
24 acts of destruction, but their conclusion is most
25 revealing as to what Blaskic's troops actually did.
1 Number 4, the team's conclusion:
2 "It is obvious that an ethnic cleansing had
3 taken place in the area."
4 Something that is no surprise given what we
5 know about troops under Blaskic's command. So while
6 troops under Blaskic's command are burning, looting,
7 and cleansing villages in and around the Lasva Valley
8 commencing on the 16th, on the 18th the same thing is
9 happening in the Kiseljak municipality. This is no
10 surprise. This is not a surprise. This is the modus
11 operandi that Blaskic has employed his troops to
12 undertake, and unfortunately, unfortunately, this
13 result published on the 29th of April, 1993,
14 approximately 10 days after these events reflects the
15 devastation and destruction on these villages.
16 Now, chronologically, Mr. President and Your
17 Honours, if we could move back to the Lasva Valley
18 area, what happens towards the 18th of April, 1993, is
19 that the Bosnian Muslim army, after being taken by
20 surprise on the 16th, begins to fight back. They begin
21 a counter-offensive and they begin to muster forces to
22 fight the HVO off. The response by the HVO is a series
23 of events to try to curtail the offensive being
24 conducted by the ABiH. The first such act is the truck
25 bomb on the 18th of April, 1993.
1 As you can see from these photographs, and
2 this is just a series or a sampling of a series of
3 photographs of the truck bomb.
4 What happened about 5.00 in the morning --
5 excuse me, 5.00 in the afternoon, about 17.00 on the
6 18th, was that a cistern, a truck full of explosives
7 was sent into Stari Vitez, and it exploded causing any
8 amounts of devastation, a portion of which you see in
9 these photographs, and causing obviously death in what
10 was described by the British Battalion as "a terrorist
12 Now, this was done by the Vitezovi, and what
13 they used was huge amounts of explosives, explosives
14 which unquestionably were under the command and control
15 of Blaskic.
16 What's interesting about Blaskic's testimony
17 is that prior to this particular event taking place, he
18 didn't know anything about it. Well, let's look at
19 that testimony, this knowledge that once again he was
20 unaware that this terrorist act was taking place. Let
21 us look, if we can, at P707.
22 Let's look at this exhibit, Mr. President,
23 and look at all the people that testified just before
24 this Trial Chamber that -- I'm sorry. Let us look at
25 all the individuals that testified just before this
1 Trial Chamber, both Prosecution and Defence witnesses
2 that knew that this explosion was going to take place
3 prior to it actually taking place.
4 Dr. Fuad Zeco. Where is he? He's in
5 captivity at the veterinary station. You heard
6 testimony that some individuals were kept in the
7 veterinary station as prisoners and taken out to dig
8 trenches. HVO soldiers informed him that there was
9 going to be an explosion.
10 The next one, Dr. Mujezinovic. Where is he?
11 He is in his house. He is told by other HVO soldiers
12 and his neighbours that an explosion is going to take
14 Sefik Pezer? Where is Mr. Pezer? Mr. Pezer
15 is held captive in the cinema. He, along with several
16 hundred individuals, are being held captive in the
17 cinema, both in the cinema and in the basement, near
18 the Viteska Brigade headquarters. While he was there,
19 he was told by an HVO soldier to go downstairs into the
20 basement and stay away from the glass because there's
21 going to be an explosion.
22 Witness E is a woman who informed that she
23 found out about this explosion, that it was going to
24 take place, from one of her neighbours, and that she
25 should ensure that the windows are open so that the
1 glass doesn't explode inward.
2 Lastly a Defence witness, Mr. Marijan
3 Strukar, who lived just south of Stari Vitez, who was
4 told by one of his neighbours to take cover, that
5 there's going to be an explosion.
6 Individuals completely out of the chain of
7 command, completely out of the know within the HVO, all
8 of which know that this explosion is going to take
9 place and the only person who's testified in this court
10 that he didn't know is Blaskic.
11 And why? Why? Why did he say that he can't
12 know? Because he cannot face the consequences of a
13 terrorist act of this magnitude. A particular act that
14 is so outside the rules, and laws, and customs of war
15 that it has to mandate -- has to bring with it criminal
16 sanctions. So to defend himself and protect himself
17 and his continuous pattern of concealment, he tells
18 Your Honours that he doesn't know anything about it.
19 Given the proximity of this particular
20 explosion, an explosion that took some 400 metres away
21 from his headquarters, and given the fact that
22 everybody else knew what was going on, his testimony
23 defies logic and is simply not true.
24 Mr. President, I'm about to embark into
25 another area at this point. It's almost 5.30. This
1 might be the appropriate time to break before I go into
2 that area.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We're going to adjourn,
4 and we will be resuming the hearing tomorrow morning at
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
7 at 5.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
8 Tuesday, the 27th day of July, 1999,
9 at 10.00 a.m.