1 Tuesday, 27th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.07 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the
5 accused brought in, please.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: The interpreters are here.
8 Good morning. Good morning to counsel for the
9 Prosecution, counsel for the Defence, the accused.
10 For the benefit of the public, I wish to say
11 that we are in our last week, and we are listening, for
12 the second day, to the closing arguments of the
14 It is still Mr. Kehoe, is it?
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
16 Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good
17 morning, Counsel.
18 Mr. President, I would like to take us back
19 to where we left off yesterday, and I just, before I
20 move in through the rest of -- or continue on with my
21 summation, I just, of course, would like to refer back
22 and just reference exactly where we are.
23 As I noted yesterday towards the latter part
24 of the day, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
25 ABiH, of course, reacted to the attacks by the HVO, and
1 the reaction, as we will see in some of the coming
2 evidence that we will discuss, was to shell the town
3 and to begin an offensive. In fact, Blaskic's
4 testimony reflects that the shelling was extremely
5 intense on the 19th of April, 1993. In fact, upon
6 review of these facts, Mr. McLeod, who, of course,
7 wrote this ECMM report, which is Prosecution Exhibit
8 242, noted that:
9 "The Muslim reaction from Zenica was to
10 attack the key road junctions East of Vitez and North
11 of Busovaca, effectively cutting off those two towns.
12 The Muslim forces were only prevented from achieving
13 this by accepting the intervention of the ECMM and
14 UNPROFOR who brokered a cease-fire."
15 So the 19th of April becomes a significant
16 day, because at this particular juncture, the ABiH
17 begins a rather strong offensive, and there are
18 reactions by the HVO, and I will address those when we
19 go back to the podium.
20 The first such reaction, Mr. President, Your
21 Honours, is the truck bomb incident that occurred on
22 the 19th -- excuse me, that occurred on the 18th of
23 April, 1993, but the more significant events occurred
24 on the 19th of April; and that, of course, commenced
25 with the Zenica shelling that took place in the midday
1 of the 19th of April, 1993.
2 Now, keep in mind, from Blaskic's own
3 testimony, from his own comments and from the testimony
4 of Slavko Marin and the reports that we have received
5 from the Defence, there was shelling, heavy shelling,
6 taking place on the 19th of April, 1993.
7 What was the response of the HVO? The
8 response from the HVO was the shelling of Zenica that
9 took place in the middle of the day on the 19th of
10 April, 1993.
11 Mr. Hooper, with your assistance, if we could
12 move to the next two photographs that are down below
14 Mr. President, what we see are just two of a
15 series of exhibits which reflect the carnage that was
16 inflicted on downtown Zenica on midday of the 19th of
17 April, 1993. These, as I say, are only two photographs
18 of numerous photographs. I believe at this point,
19 approximately 15 civilians were killed and numerous
20 others were wounded.
21 Mr. Hooper, if we can move to the yet third
22 photograph in this regard?
23 This is yet another photograph of the locale
24 in downtown Zenica that the HVO shelled on the 19th.
25 What is significant about this? It was
1 shelling that took place in the middle of the day in a
2 heavy civilian traffic area with no military targets in
3 the locale where these shells hit the area and, of
4 course, the predictable result occurred, i.e., the
5 death and injury to numerous Bosnian Muslim civilians.
6 What has been the reaction of the HVO and the
7 immediate reaction of Tihomir Blaskic? Of course, as
8 is predictable, "It wasn't us. It was the Serbs."
9 Well, let's analyse that. Let's take this by a process
10 of deduction and exclude the possibilities of who it
11 possibly could be.
12 Let us move, if we could, again with the
13 assistance of Mr. Hooper, if we could take these
14 documents down, and I will address the map that is on
15 the easel, which is map 469.
16 Mr. President, Your Honours, it is beyond any
17 doubt that the shell that hit Zenica at midday,
18 approximately midday, on the 19th of April, 1993, was a
19 122 shell. Major Baggesen testified to that. We had
20 testimony from Witness W as well as a Bosnian Serb
21 investigator, Judge Veseljak, who investigated that
22 matter at the time. So we know that, in fact, a 122
23 shell landed in Zenica, or numerous shells landed in
24 Zenica, killing those civilians.
25 The question on the table is: Who fired
1 that? Who fired the 122?
2 Let's take this by a process of elimination,
3 and let us examine this issue from the standpoint of
4 the Defence witnesses.
5 Early on in this case, the Defence called
6 Blaskic's military intelligence analyst, an individual,
7 now Brigadier Zeko -- I do believe, Judge Rodrigues,
8 that might have been before you joined us -- but
9 nevertheless, he was one of the early witnesses that
10 was called by the Defence.
11 In cross-examination by my colleague,
12 Mr. Harmon, Mr. Zeko placed the artillery pieces
13 belonging to the VRS, the artillery pieces belonging to
14 the Bosnian Serb army. Where did he place them? He
15 placed them at Location A and he placed them at
16 Location B. These, of course, are the notations that
17 were made by Brigadier Zeko.
18 A follow-up question: "Brigadier Zeko, did
19 the VRS have a 122 at either of these locations?" "No,
20 they did not." Brigadier Zeko, the military
21 intelligence commander, charged with knowing where
22 enemy forces and enemy artillery is placed so he can
23 advise Blaskic, testifies to this Chamber that there
24 are no 122s in that location, either location.
25 The next question asked by my colleague,
1 Mr. Harmon: "Tell us, Brigadier, what is the range
2 distance between Point A, where the Serbs had an
3 artillery piece, and Zenica?" His testimony is, 24 to
4 25 kilometres. Now, why is that significant?
5 Twenty-four to 25 kilometres is significant because
6 another - another - Defence witness, Professor
7 Jankovic, the individual who testified on the angle of
8 fire, said that such a distance was well outside the
9 range of a 122. The simple matter was that from
10 Point A to Zenica, you couldn't reach with a 122 shell.
11 Let us move to Point B. Point B, the second
12 point where the Serbs had an artillery piece, what is
13 the range or what is the distance between Point B and
14 downtown Zenica? Approximately 23 to 24 kilometres.
15 Again, well outside the range of a 122 and, of course,
16 as Brigadier Zeko added, they didn't have a 122 there
17 anyway, "they" being the VRS.
18 Where did the Defence witnesses testify that
19 the HVO did have a 122? What was the locale? The
20 locale that they picked was right here (indicating).
21 This particular locale is Pucarevo. Now,
22 from this particular location to downtown Zenica is the
23 direction of fire that Major Baggesen, Witness W, and
24 Judge Veseljak concluded from the splash marks was the
25 direction of fire. Not this angle and not this angle,
1 the angle from -- if I might point to it exactly? --
2 the angle of fire coming from approximately this
3 location (indicating).
4 Now, what else do we know from this
5 particular location? We also know from this location
6 that the distance between Zenica and this locale where
7 the HVO had their 122 piece is somewhere between 16 to
8 18 kilometres, depending, if you move this mobile piece
9 up and back.
10 Now, this mobile piece, of course, as we have
11 seen, is a piece that is taken from one location to
12 another. It is carried around on the back of a truck.
13 So when you place it at a particular location, after
14 you fire it, according to Blaskic's own testimony, you
15 don't keep that weapon in one locale, you move it
16 around because, heaven knows, you don't want the enemy
17 to key in on your artillery pieces by you keeping them
18 there in an unsecured location for a significant period
19 of time. But Marin tells us that, in fact, that
20 122 piece was located there.
21 Now, there's been much debate about the angle
22 of fire and the mathematics that Witness W took on the
23 date when the shells actually hit Zenica, and that with
24 the angle of fire as testified to by Witness W,
25 Professor Jankovic said, "Oh, it is impossible for a
1 shell to be fired from that locale with an angle of
3 Let's assume that Witness W made a mistake on
4 his field mathematics that he took that day. Let us
5 take us to the next question.
6 Mr. Cayley asked Professor Jankovic,
7 "Professor, if we had approximately a four-degree
8 discrepancy, a four-degree error in that angle of fire,
9 could that shell have reached?" What was his answer?
10 "Yes. Yes." The shell could have reached from this
11 location if the mathematics was four degrees in one
12 direction, and certainly if that weapon had been moved
13 up it could have reached as well.
14 So what do we have? We have field
15 calculations that -- based on what Witness W said are
16 possibly erroneous, but with an adjustment of
17 approximately four degrees the weapon could, in fact,
18 reach there, the 122. We know, based on Marin's
19 testimony, the chief of operations and at that point
20 the deputy chief of staff of Blaskic, that, in fact,
21 they did have a 122 at that location, and we know that
22 the VRS did not have a 122 within range. The weapons
23 that they did have were out of range and, in fact,
24 those weapons weren't 122s at all.
25 Now, assuming that the Bosnian Muslims didn't
1 shell themselves and murder their own civilians, which
2 nobody has made that argument, the only conclusion is,
3 and the conclusion of independent third parties on the
4 ground such as the British Battalion, was that the HVO
5 fired on Zenica on the 19th of April, 1993, and in a
6 moment we will answer why.
7 The answer why, Mr. President and Your
8 Honours, finds itself in the rationale given to this
9 Court by Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan Watters, then
10 Major Watters, the second in command of the Cheshire
11 Regiment as part of the British Battalion.
12 What did he tell us? On page 3409 -- now,
13 mind you, this is at a time when the Bosnian Muslim
14 offensive, the ABiH offensive is under way. What did
15 Watters testify to? He said:
16 A. Because shelling Zenica was going to
17 achieve no tactical advantage to the
18 forces in retreat into Vitez and
19 Busovaca, HVO forces, against the
20 onslaught of the BiH, and we could only
21 assume that the HVO had fired their
22 artillery into Zenica as a warning to
23 the Muslim forces to stop attacking.
24 Now, that is a rationale that was made on the
25 ground by Major Watters, in the British Battalion, in
1 and around the 19th of April, 1993. They rejected
2 Blaskic's explanation that the VRS had actually shelled
3 Zenica, and concluded that the HVO had done it, and
4 they concluded that they did it by saying, "If you
5 continue this offensive, we are going to shell your
6 cities and we can reach your civilians."
7 Now, the question that comes up: Is this an
8 isolated incident? Is this the only time that such an
9 effort was conceived of and thought about by the HVO
10 command and Blaskic? The answer is it is not. This
11 event took place on the 19th of April, 1993. Let me
12 take you up just several months in the chronology to
13 the Stari Vitez and Vitez attack on the 18th of July of
15 You recall Blaskic's testimony that on the
16 18th of July, 1993 Darko Kraljevic and others conducted
17 an offensive against the ABiH and, of course, the ABiH
18 responded. After that particular offensive by
19 Kraljevic or the HVO was under way and then the ABiH
20 responded, the ABiH was successful in repelling that
22 On the 20th of July, 1993, while the ABiH
23 counter-offensive was under way, Darko Gelic makes a
24 very interesting comment to Captain Lee Whitworth, the
25 liaison officer of the British Battalion. Of course,
1 Captain Whitworth is in the second generation of the
2 British Battalion, part of the Prince of Wales' Own
3 Regiment of Yorkshire.
4 But before we talk about that comment, let's
5 ask a question. Who is Darko Gelic? Darko Gelic is
6 Blaskic's hand-selected liaison officer to the British
7 Battalion and to international agencies. This is
8 Blaskic's man who goes out and takes care of business
9 and passes on information for Blaskic.
10 What does Gelic tell Whitworth on the
11 20th of July, 1993? Because what he tells him is very,
12 very probative of what the HVO intended on the shelling
13 of Zenica on the 19th of April.
14 On the 20 the of July, 1993, and this is in
15 Exhibit 711, P711, Darko Gelic says this:
16 "Darko Gelic, the three Op zone HVO liaison
17 officer claimed that if the ABiH attacked Vitez, then
18 the HVO will retaliate by shelling Zenica."
19 Now, I submit to you, Your Honours, does
20 anyone suspect that Darko Gelic came up with that
21 strategy on his own? That he would tell the liaison
22 officer for the British Battalion that the HVO would
23 shell Zenica in July if he hadn't consulted and spoken
24 with Blaskic? I submit to you no. That strategy, that
25 strategy of curtailing any BiH offensive was well
1 ingrained in Blaskic's thinking and within the HVO.
2 They had two cards in the deck that they were prepared
3 to use if an ABiH onslaught took place. Actually,
5 The first one, of course, is the shelling of
6 Stari Vitez, which we will talk about in a few moments,
7 which they did.
8 The second one, of course, is the blowing up
9 of the Vitez factory, which, of course, Blaskic
10 threatened to do, in documents that we've seen.
11 The third, and the one that we've seen
12 repeated both in April and in July, is the threat
13 against the town of Zenica and the civilian population
14 in Zenica.
15 There is no doubt that based on these three
16 events that the strategy of Blaskic, in order to
17 curtail the ABiH offensive into Vitez, is clear. One
18 of the prongs that he was prepared to use and, in fact,
19 on the 19th did use was the shelling of Zenica, a
20 purely terrorist, criminal act designed to accomplish
21 one specific goal, and that is to send the ABiH a
22 message and that message is, "If you come in here we're
23 going to get your civilians and we can reach them."
24 If I may, before we move to the next topic, I
25 would reflect on one point concerning the actual use of
1 artillery, and I think that Your Honours have to keep
2 in mind that the use of artillery, barring smaller
3 pieces that were designated to the brigades, the use of
4 artillery by Blaskic's own testimony was under his sole
5 command and control.
6 Let us move on. Mr. President, Your Honours,
7 one can not look at the particular event in Zenica and
8 the shelling of Zenica in isolation, because many
9 things happened. Numerous things happened on the 19th
10 as attempts by the HVO to curtail the ABiH offensive.
11 One of those most significant events and the
12 most serious threat at this time was the threat that
13 was conducted on the evening of the 19th to the 20th of
14 April, 1993. That is later on, on the same day as the
15 Zenica shelling, 19th of April, 1993, Dr. Muhamed
16 Mujezinovic, was brought to the cinema building. The
17 cinema building which is, of course, not only the place
18 where civilians are incarcerated and from which they're
19 taken out to dig trenches, but it's also, it's also the
20 headquarters of the Viteska Brigade and Mario Cerkez.
21 What happens that evening? Cerkez brings
22 Mujezinovic in and, of course, Mujezinovic is not only
23 a physician, he's also a political leader in Vitez, and
24 he makes a series of threats to him. Cerkez, in the
25 presence of Zvonko Cilic and various other members of
1 the HVO, brings Mujezinovic in and says, "Do you know
2 what happened in Ahmici?" Mujezinovic says, "Yes, I'm
3 aware of what happened in Ahmici." He says, "What I
4 want you to do," and this is Cerkez speaking, "What I
5 want you to do is go downstairs, get other leaders from
6 the Bosnian Muslim community, and call 3rd Corps, and
7 call Sarajevo, and call anybody you want and get them
8 to stop the offensive. Get them to cease the ABiH
9 offensive. And if you don't do that, I will kill the
10 2.225 civilians that we currently have in custody."
11 Now, when does this threat take place? This
12 threat takes place outside the back door of Blaskic.
13 By our estimates, it's approximately a one-minute
14 walk. By his estimates, it's approximately a 40 to 50
15 minute walk -- a 40 to 50 metre walk. These civilians,
16 where this threat is taking place, is essentially in
17 his backyard.
18 Now, not only is Cerkez making this threat,
19 but Blaskic's colleague and a person who he gets along
20 with very well and consults with, Ivica Santic and Pero
21 Skopljak, also make that same threat in the early
22 morning hours of the 20th of April, 1993. I believe
23 the record reflects it's somewhere in the area of 05.30
24 or approximately 06.00 in the morning that Santic and
25 Skopljak come back in and make the same threat. Ivo
1 Santic is, of course, the mayor of Vitez. Pero
2 Skopljak is an HVO leader and HDZ party official.
3 Just a reference back, Pero Skopljak is the
4 individual that I spoke about yesterday, who, on
5 approximately the latter part of October 1993, noted at
6 a press conference that the HVO is the only authority
7 in Vitez.
8 Nevertheless, in their efforts to engage this
9 cease-fire, what, in fact, do they do? They force
10 Dr. Mujezinovic to sign a document.
11 If we could move to the next exhibit?
12 What we see here, Mr. President, Your Honours
13 -- I'm not sure Your Honours can see this, but this is
14 Exhibit 86, French on this side and the English on the
15 right-hand side -- what we see is a compulsion by the
16 HVO, Santic and others, to force Muhamed Mujezinovic to
17 sign a document compelling him to what?
18 "4. Both sides agree that in Vitez and
19 Province 10, the Vance-Owen Plan should be
20 implemented --"
21 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. Can we please
22 have the text on the ELMO? I do admire you for the big
23 exhibits that you have made, but I think it would be
24 advisable for the benefit of the public to have these
25 documents on the ELMO.
1 Never mind then. Please continue.
2 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I can put the
3 French copy on the ELMO.
4 JUDGE JORDA: No. The interpreters don't
5 have the text either, I am told.
6 I am asking -- I can understand that the
7 registrar cannot have all the exhibits at hand; it
8 would take a lot of time. You have taken care, and I
9 thank you for it, for these very large exhibits. When
10 it is a map, we can see it on our monitor. So I don't
11 see why this document cannot also be shown. It would
12 allow the public to follow the debate more easily. I
13 think this is a possible improvement that we can make,
14 but we are not going to interrupt you, and please
15 continue now, Mr. Prosecutor.
16 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, just to assist the
17 public and to assist Your Honours, we have put the
18 French copy on the ELMO. We can flip back with the
19 French and the English, as need be. Hopefully that
20 will be of some assistance.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. That's very well
22 like that. Thank you very much. That's fine.
23 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Now, let us go back. What do we see,
25 Mr. President, Your Honours, in the midst of these
1 combat operations? What do we see are the desires of
2 the HVO? We see once again their desire to implement
3 the Vance-Owen Plan. At the possible threat to 2.225
4 civilians and other individuals in custody, they want
5 to implement the Vance-Owen Plan in their canton. That
6 is the overriding concern.
7 What do they say? "Both sides --" and this
8 is point 4.
9 "4. Both sides agree that in Vitez and
10 Province 10, the Vance-Owen Plan should be implemented
11 even before it is signed by the Serbian side. Also,
12 the army commands shall retain their structure in
13 conformity with the ethnic composition of the province
14 and the municipality."
15 Again, laced through everything that is going
16 on within the HVO is the political and military desire
17 to implement this plan in this canton. That explains
18 in large part the effort that is taking place
19 militarily on the ground that commenced on the 16th.
20 Of course, this counter-offensive by the ABiH
21 that is conducted on the 20th didn't subside, and there
22 are a sequence of events of exactly what transpired on
23 the 20th.
24 Now, contrary to the testimony of the
25 accused, the shelling continued on the 20th. He has
1 testified that there was very little shelling on the
2 20th, and there is a good explanation as to why he
3 decided to lie about that because of what exactly he
4 and other members of the HVO did during the 20th and
5 the use of human shields. Nevertheless, let us analyse
6 his particular contention that there were no human
8 What was taking place on the 20th? The 20th
9 saw yet another day in the counteroffensive by the ABiH
10 of shelling of downtown Vitez. How do we know that?
11 We know that, first and foremost, from Exhibit 187.
12 That is three exhibits up, 187, which is an ECMM
14 In this report dated the 20th of April, 1993,
15 in point 3, ECMM wrote:
16 "3. Ceasefire - Violations (unconfirmed).
17 T34 tanks --"
18 T34 being an old JNA-style tank.
19 "-- were told to be in positions on the
20 mountain road between Zenica and Vitez. Shelling
21 HVO HQ and the PTT building in Vitez. HVO is said to
22 be putting an ultimatum on Gacice, and after that
23 failed, HVO is said to have started attacking the
25 If we can just go into private session just
1 briefly, Mr. President, to refer to another small bit
2 of testimony in this regard?
3 (Private session)
11 (Open session)
12 JUDGE JORDA: I think we can continue now.
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 What was Blaskic's response to this
15 continuous shelling in downtown Vitez on the 20th of
16 April of 1993?
17 If we can take a look at the exhibit that is
18 on the ELMO, that is an exhibit that is a portion of
19 Exhibit 45. What it depicts are three locales.
20 Location A is the Hotel Vitez; Location B is, of
21 course, the cinema where the prisoners were being kept
22 and also Mario Cerkez's headquarters; and Location C,
23 to the left of the letter "C," is the communications
24 centre or the PTT building.
25 If you recall from the ECMM report that we
1 just discussed, on this same day, the HVO had completed
2 their attack on Gacice and had subdued Gacice, and from
3 the testimony that Your Honours have heard, they took
4 civilians and put them in various houses, I think it
5 was approximately seven houses, in Gacice.
6 What happens later on in the afternoon on the
7 20th of April? Two hundred and forty-seven civilians,
8 247 civilians are brought to downtown Vitez and are
9 told to sit in the space next to the Hotel Vitez.
10 If Your Honours view the ELMO, the overhead
11 that is on the ELMO, the area that is circled and is
12 designated number 1 is the area that was circled and
13 designated by a witness, (redacted)
18 (redacted) testified that the HVO soldier that brought
19 them down makes a comment that, "Well, you know, now
20 you're going to see what it's like to have people shell
21 you." But more importantly, he says that, "I am going
22 to come in and tell the commander that you are here."
23 Now, who is the commander in the Hotel Vitez
24 on the 20th of April, 1993? Who is the person who is
25 in charge on the 20th of April, 1993? Certainly not
1 Mario Cerkez. That's not his headquarters. It is
2 Blaskic's. It is Blaskic's headquarters.
3 He testified to Your Honours that he was
4 totally unaware of this gross violation of
5 international humanitarian law. But interestingly
6 enough, who was aware of it? His then acting deputy
7 chief of staff and his chief of operations, Slavko
8 Marin. Slavko Marin knew that those individuals were
9 there. What did he tell us?
10 On page 13554:
11 Q. Brigadier, let's talk about these women
12 and children that were taken back to
14 Because after they successfully acted as
15 human shields around the Hotel Vitez, they were taken
16 back to Gacice and stuffed back into several houses.
17 I will continue on with this testimony:
18 Q. Were they in downtown Vitez before
19 they were taken back to Gacice?
20 A. The village of Gacice is right next to
21 the town of Vitez, and as far as I know,
22 these civilians were in town, and I
23 cannot say what the exact location was,
24 I cannot say at this point. However,
25 the town of Vitez is not a very big
1 town, so it could have been between the
2 post office, the municipality building,
3 the cinema building, et cetera.
4 So he knows that these people are down
5 there. Of course, Blaskic denies it. His right-hand
6 man, the person he is operating with, stuck in the
7 basement on these two telephones knows about it, but,
8 of course, Blaskic does not. Because, of course, if he
9 knew something about it, he would have to do something
10 about it; and even if he found out after the fact about
11 it, he would still have to punish somebody because of
12 it, and, of course, he never stopped it because he knew
13 about it, and even if he did know about it, no one was
14 ever punished.
15 It goes on:
16 Q. Brigadier, on the 20th of April --
17 And this, I'm sorry, is page 13565:
18 Q. Brigadier, on the 20th of April did any
19 member of the HVO come into the Hotel
20 Vitez and tell you or Colonel Blaskic or
21 any other officer in the headquarters
22 that women and children were outside the
23 Hotel Vitez at this location that is
24 circled in Exhibit 158, the one that's
25 on the ELMO? Did any soldier do that?
1 Very interesting response by Brigadier Marin:
2 A. I am not aware of that, but I know that
3 out of those civilians who were brought
4 in, none were killed and none were
5 wounded that day. That I do know.
6 So he doesn't know about the individual
7 soldier coming in to tell him that they're there, but
8 he knows, he knows, that nobody was told and none of
9 those people that were surrounding the Hotel Vitez were
10 killed or injured that day.
11 How does he know that? How does he know
12 that? We are talking about a very small geographic
13 area several metres away from the main headquarters
14 where Blaskic is in charge. Both Marin and Blaskic
15 knew full well that those civilians had been brought
16 out there, knew full well the strategic and tactical
17 reasons why they brought those civilians and surrounded
18 the Hotel Vitez with those civilians on the 20th of
19 April, 1993.
20 I will note for Your Honours that during this
21 offensive, this is the only instance in the entire war
22 where civilians are brought to the Hotel Vitez. The
23 only time. Two hundred and forty-seven civilians
24 brought as human shields. The only time. And Marin
25 knows about it and Blaskic does not. I submit to you
1 he lied and shaded the truth significantly in this
2 regard once again because the consequences for Blaskic,
3 of course, bring with it criminal sanctions.
4 Let us continue on, because as we continue on
5 we probe yet deeper and examine Blaskic's total
6 disregard for the civilian population and for
7 individuals who are ordered to combat or outside of
8 combat and thereby should be protected under the Geneva
10 Where were the civilians and other
11 individuals who were out of combat incarcerated
12 commencing on the 16th of April, 1993? Two very
13 interesting locations. At the Dubravica school and at
14 the cinema building.
15 The Dubravica school, up toward the front
16 line, is not only the place where these individuals
17 were incarcerated, individuals, civilians that were
18 taken from Ahmici, and Santici, and Nadioci, for
19 instance, but it is also the headquarters of the
20 Vitezovi, a legitimate military target for any
21 counter-offensive by the ABiH, and Blaskic knew that.
22 Where is the second, and for the purposes of
23 our discussion, a much more interesting location
24 because of its proximity to his headquarters? The
25 second locale where hundreds of civilians were being
1 kept at various times is the cinema building. You
2 recall the testimony of various witnesses that some of
3 these prisoners were in the basement and it got too
4 crowded and some people went back up to the cinema
5 building. This is the same cinema building that is
6 approximately one minute away, by walking, from
7 Blaskic's headquarters. The cinema building is also
8 the same location that is Mario Cerkez's headquarters.
9 It's also known, for the purposes of our discussion, as
10 the Workers' University.
11 If we can move to these photographs, if we
12 can, on the easel.
13 This is a similar photograph to the one that
14 we viewed before. This is, again, a portion of
15 Exhibit 45, and again, just for clarity's sake, "A" is
16 the Hotel Vitez and "B" is the building that is both
17 the cinema and what they call the Workers' University.
18 It is a building that is connected, that has a
19 figuration of a "T", if you will, with the Workers'
20 University being the top of the "T" and the cinema
21 building being the bottom part of the "T".
22 Clearly, artillery fire directed at this
23 legitimate military target, which it was, would have
24 placed in serious jeopardy the numerous, the numerous
25 civilian -- Bosnian Muslim civilian detainees who were
1 being incarcerated in the cinema building from which,
2 of course, and we will talk for a moment, hundreds of
3 them were taken to dig trenches all throughout the area
4 of the Lasva Valley.
5 Now, Blaskic knew two things very, very
6 well. He knew the Geneva Conventions, and he knew the
7 Protocols, and he knew what was a violation of the laws
8 or customs of war, and he knew those things that were
9 not. He was aware, when I asked him on
10 cross-examination, of provision of Article 51(7) of
11 Additional Protocol 1, which reads in part:
12 "The presence or movements of the civilian
13 population or individual civilians shall not be used to
14 render certain points or areas immune from military
15 operations, in particular in attempts to shield
16 military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour
17 or impede military operations. The Parties to the
18 conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian
19 population or individual civilians in order to attempt
20 to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield
21 military operations."
22 Now, he was aware, by his own testimony, he
23 knew that those civilians were in the cinema building.
24 He testified he knew at least on the 17th. He actually
25 knew on the 16th, but he knew, by his own testimony,
1 that they were there on the 17th. He knew that putting
2 them in harm's way to protect a military target was
3 against the Geneva Conventions and the Additional
4 Protocols. He was also aware that the Workers'
5 University had been the subject of attack.
6 How did he know that? Let us turn to Exhibit
7 327, Defence Exhibit 327. If we look at first --
8 actually it's the second full paragraph.
9 "Around 16.00 from the region of Vjetrenica,
10 probably from the road, saddle Vjetrenica-Kuber, Muslim
11 forces shelled the town area of Vitez from a tank,
12 (probably T-34). The municipality building was hit,
13 and the enemy was probably targeting the buildings of
14 the Post Office, the Hotel, Workers' University as well
15 as civilian facilities in town."
16 Now, this is a report that he received on the
17 19th of April, 1993, that Marin testified came from the
18 Viteska Brigade. So he knew they were there on the
19 17th. He knew it was a violation of the law, and he
20 knew that the Workers' University was a target of
21 attack. And what does he say? "I couldn't do anything
22 about it. I had to wait for the ICRC to come in and
23 take their names down. I had to keep them there in
24 harm's way. I couldn't do anything about it. I
25 couldn't move these civilians to another locale. I
1 couldn't move them to a safer location. That would
2 have been a violation of ICRC's rules and
4 I submit to Your Honour, he never, ever, ever
5 gave that explanation to a member of the ICRC, and I
6 defy any ICRC individual to come forward to say that,
7 "We were against taking civilians to safer areas, to
8 places that were out of harm's way."
9 These people were in there on the 17th, at
10 least by his own testimony on the 17th, and they didn't
11 begin to get released until the 30th of April of 1993,
12 and some even after that, into the first week of May.
13 All that time, both in the Dubravica school and in the
14 cinema building, they were in harm's way and subject to
15 attack on legitimate military targets, and what did
16 Blaskic do about it? Nothing. Nothing. He took no
17 steps whatsoever to protect those civilians who were in
18 harm's way.
19 We have been focusing, of course, for most of
20 our argument on the cinema, but obviously the same
21 argument concerning not taking these civilians out of
22 harm's way pertains to the numerous civilians from
23 Ahmici and other villages around Ahmici that were
24 incarcerated and detained in the Dubravica school.
25 Now, let us move on to the next egregious
1 crime committed by Blaskic and the HVO, and that is the
2 pervasive, the ever-pervasive and continuous pattern
3 going back until at least January and continuing
4 throughout the HVO campaigns in April and, of course,
5 again in June, and that is the trench digging that
6 Bosnian Muslim detainees are forced to conduct.
7 Blaskic, by his own testimony, was informed,
8 was informed on the 5th of February, 1993, in a meeting
9 at which General Merdan participated that Bosnian
10 Muslim detainees were being forced to dig trenches.
11 He was told, on the 12th of February that two
12 Bosnian Muslim detainees, told to the ICRC, by the way,
13 a woman by the name of Iris, he was told that two
14 Bosnian Muslim detainees taken out to dig trenches had
15 been murdered. He says they were punished. He
16 couldn't answer some very significant questions in that
17 regard, the first one being, "What punishment did they
18 receive?" and the second one being, "Were they removed
19 from the HVO permanently?" He didn't know.
20 What we do know as regards that significant
21 event that he admits Bosnian Muslim detainees were
22 killed, is that the commanders in Busovaca, such as
23 Dusko Grubesic, were never dismissed or removed from
24 command as a result of this practice, never. And guess
25 what happens in April? Predictably, when Blaskic gives
1 the order to begin to dig trenches, a written order
2 drafted by Slavko Marin that goes out to the brigades,
3 what happens? Brigades and all units, excuse me. The
4 brigades comply with that order, and there is written
5 responses back from both of those brigades to Blaskic,
6 that the Defence has submitted into evidence, that the
7 trench lines have been dug. How have they been dug?
8 Through the forced compelling of Bosnian Muslim
9 detainees to dig those trenches.
10 A witness testified to this Court that in
11 February of 1993, every man, woman, and child in
12 Busovaca knew that Bosnian Muslim detainees had been
13 taken to dig trenches. It was such a massive practice
14 that everyone knew. Of course, except Blaskic. He's
15 in communication with his people in Busovaca but he
16 doesn't know.
17 History repeats itself predictably. In April
18 of 1993, where the practice becomes yet more massive
19 than that which was undertaken in February, hundreds of
20 Bosnian Muslims are taken and forced to dig trenches.
21 Detainees are forced to dig trenches. Taken from the
22 Kaonik camp, for instance, taken from the cinema
23 building about 30 or 40 metres away from his
24 headquarters, taken from the Dubravica school, taken
25 from the veterinarian station and the SDK building, all
1 being taken to dig trenches. And what's Blaskic's
2 explanation? He don't know nothin' about nothin'.
3 That's nonsense.
4 There is a key rationale as to what the HVO
5 is all about, and the rationale that was set forth by
6 the warden of the Kaonik camp, Zlatko Aleksovski
7 explains exactly what the HVO was doing when they were
8 forcing these Bosnian Muslims to dig trenches.
9 If I could, if I will, Mr. Hooper, if you
10 could put this chart back up on the easel.
11 This, of course, Mr. President, is again part
12 of Mr. McLeod's report, the ECMM report that he took in
13 May, 1993. It is part of Exhibit 242. What we have
14 done is blow up a portion of the interview that
15 Mr. McLeod conducted with Zlatko Aleksovski, the warden
16 of the Kaonik military prison, and what does he say?
17 He is complaining to Mr. McLeod about various
18 incidences. He says:
19 "The 5th is the kind of work that the
20 prisoners have to do because I know that the Geneva
21 Conventions do not allow prisoners to be taken for any
22 work if their lives are in danger. I have been warned
23 about that by the ICRC as well.
24 "But I am not the only one responsible for
25 this because I just carry out orders. The brigade
1 commanders in Busovaca and Vitez give them. Not that I
2 really want to avoid my responsibility, because I am
3 not the one who releases people to do the work. In
4 order to clear it up, I went with Beatrice of the ICRC
5 to the commander in Busovaca, where she protested for
6 the people to be taken to work under such conditions.
7 "She was given the answer I almost completely
8 agree with. We here actually do not have enough people
9 to do the security jobs. Somebody has to dig the
10 trenches, and it happened that the men to do that were
11 the prisoners. On the contrary, it would happen that
12 Busovaca would be occupied. I do not need to explain
13 what would happen if Mujahedin occupied it. So in a
14 way, the Muslims protected Busovaca."
15 So here we have direct subordinates of
16 Blaskic, his two brigade commanders in Busovaca and
17 also in Vitez, going to Kaonik camp and taking Bosnian
18 Muslim detainees out to dig trenches throughout the
19 area. This is not a work platoon. This is not some
20 work detail that has been set up by the defence
21 department as Blaskic testified about. It's nothing
22 like that. These are detainees that have been taken
23 out to dig trenches, and the reason given by Aleksovski
24 is the reason employed by Blaskic, "We need to dig
25 trenches. We don't have enough soldiers to dig these
1 trenches, so we are going to use these detainees."
2 That's the reason, a very cold, rational reason, which
3 also happens to be a violation of International
4 Humanitarian Law.
5 The trench digging, of course, Mr. President
6 and Your Honours, was pervasive and continued. It
7 didn't take place just in the Vitez area. We need only
8 go to the testimony of Father Pervan, another Defence
9 witness. Father Pervan was a Defence witness who
10 testified about numerous things. Father Pervan was a
11 priest, a Catholic priest from the Kiseljak area.
12 What was going on in the Kiseljak area? What
13 was taking place in Kiseljak was the same thing that
14 was taking place in the Lasva Valley, and that is the
15 forced -- or forcing Bosnian Muslim detainees and
16 civilians to dig trenches.
17 I think the view or the explanation given to
18 Father Pervan is instructive, because it parallels that
19 which was given by Zlatko Aleksovski in May of 1993,
20 and I am reading Father Pervan's testimony at 14523:
21 A. Yes, trench-digging I consider to be
22 wrong, just as I consider the war to
23 be wrong.
24 Q. Did you ever raise concern, the concerns
25 that you had, with the HVO command in
1 Kiseljak about the use of Muslim men for
2 forced trench digging?
3 A. Yes, I spoke about that, and I received
4 the following answer, "We need trenches
5 in order to remain, and let them dig
6 it. We give them cigarettes and
7 alcohol. Nobody is mistreating them or
8 beating them while they are doing this
9 work, and so, they are not, they are
10 alone. The Croats are there, too, and
11 they are escorted." That was the
12 answer that I heard several times.
13 The testimony that Your Honours heard, of
14 course, throughout this trial, is that civilians that
15 were on the front lines digging trenches were, in fact,
16 beaten; and civilians, Bosnian Muslim detainees that
17 were forced to dig trenches, were, in fact, killed
18 while they were performing this ever-dangerous work.
19 And the explanation given by Colonel Morsink and the
20 rationale given by Colonel Morsink as to why the HVO
21 did this is instructive and compelling. The HVO forced
22 Bosnian Muslim detainees to dig trenches on the front
23 line for one reason: It was dangerous. It was very
25 Colonel Morsink reasoned that they forced
1 them to do this because it would put them in harm's way
2 and they wouldn't expose their own personnel and their
3 own soldiers to that danger. That's the reason they
4 did it. And no one was ever punished for this
5 practice, what once began in earnest in April of 1993,
6 and no one was punished, disciplined, sent to gaol,
7 dismissed as a result of this practice; and lo and
8 behold, if we move ahead yet again several months to
9 September of 1993, we see Blaskic doing the same
10 thing: compelling Bosnian Muslim civilians to dig
11 trenches on the front lines.
12 If we could turn to three exhibits that we
13 addressed towards the end of Blaskic's testimony?
14 Those exhibits are Exhibits 715, 716, and 717.
15 This is a series of documents that we
16 addressed towards the end of Blaskic's
17 cross-examination, that he, of course, did not tell the
18 truth about until he was shown these documents, and the
19 first one is a document that is dated the 10th of
20 September of 1993 that reflects on the third full
21 paragraph -- if we can go up with that, Kirsten -- and
22 this deals with the forced work units:
23 "Two members of the work unit were killed
24 while at work and two were wounded."
25 I will not read the entire document, but I
1 would like to turn to the last page of this document.
2 I would like Your Honours to keep in mind that Blaskic
3 testified on direct examination that he never took or
4 never had individuals going to front-line positions to
5 dig trenches. That, of course, was before this
6 document was shown to him.
7 This is a document, of course, that is
8 written on the heels of the Grbavica offensive that
9 Blaskic conducted on the 7th and 8th of September of
10 1993. The Grbavica feature was taken by the HVO forces
11 on September the 8th, 1993, and this document reads as
12 follows. If we can focus in on that top paragraph?
13 "On 8 September 1993, a verbal order was
14 issued by Colonel Blaskic to engage a minimum of 100
15 people from the work units to work on the consolidation
16 and digging-in on the first defence lines on the
17 Jardol-Divjak-Grbavica axis towards Sadovace."
18 The bottom line in that paragraph:
19 "The remaining personnel are to dig in at
20 the first defence line."
21 Now, this is an order by Blaskic putting
22 these work units on a front-line position; not in some
23 back-line position to dig trenches, not in some
24 back-line position to dig dugouts. This is an order
25 that is given immediately after the combat in Grbavica
1 ends. These are first-line trenches on the front line
2 that Blaskic sends them to. And lo and behold, look
3 what happens?
4 If we go to the bottom part of that
5 paragraph, the bottom part of the last paragraph.
6 "Some members of the second group were
7 abused and beaten by some soldiers which can be
8 established on the basis of statements of the
9 commanders of the work unit."
10 "Beaten and abused" in September of 1993. I
11 ask Your Honours to hearken back to the testimony of
12 numerous witnesses from April and May of 1993 who were
13 beaten and abused while being forced to dig trenches on
14 the front line, and I ask the question once again that
15 keeps coming back, because it is inescapable, as to
16 what would have happened to these individuals who were
17 killed or beaten and abused in September had Blaskic
18 punished somebody, punished just somebody for beating
19 or abusing or killing a Bosnian Muslim detainee who was
20 forced to dig trenches in April of 1993? He didn't do
21 it. He didn't do it because he didn't want to do it.
22 And as a result of that, he signalled to his troops
23 that this was okay, and, in fact, he ordered them to go
24 to the front lines, which, in fact, they did.
25 The next document, and we will take 716 last,
1 the next document being 717, reflects a series of
2 individuals which are clearly Muslims by their names,
3 although Blaskic says they're Gypsies, Muslims all
4 being forced into work platoons.
5 And the last document that I would like to
6 talk about is a document on the 20th of September,
7 1993, which again, in accord with the verbal request of
8 Commander Tihomir Blaskic, yet more individuals are
9 taken to a front-line position to dig trenches.
10 If I may for one moment, Mr. President,
11 before we complete this document before the break, I
12 would just like to go into private session on Exhibit
14 (Private session)
13 page 24717 redacted – private session
13 page 24718 redacted – private session
13 page 24719 redacted – private session
13 page 24720 redacted – private session
13 page 24721 redacted – private session
13 --- Recess taken at 11.28 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.58 a.m.
15 (Open session)
16 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have
17 the accused brought in. Please be seated.
18 (The accused entered court)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Prosecutor, you
20 may continue.
21 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Mr. President and Your Honours, the next issue to be
23 addressed is, of course, in addition to the burnings
24 and killings we have any number of expulsions of the
25 Bosnian Muslim population that took place throughout
1 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.
2 By Blaskic's testimony himself, in
3 approximately March of 1993, approximately 60 per cent
4 of the Muslim population wanted to depart the Kiseljak
5 municipality. One need only ask the question: "Why?"
6 But that displacement and expulsion of the Bosnian
7 Muslim population, of course, increased in earnest
8 after the commencement of hostilities on the 16th of
9 April, 1993.
10 We need only take a case in point of what
11 happened to those civilians from Gacice, those
12 civilians that we were talking about earlier today that
13 had been taken and placed around the Hotel Vitez, which
14 of course Blaskic knew about. What happened to those
15 civilians when they returned to Gacice? Were they
16 permitted to conduct their lives as normal? Of course
17 not. They were kept in approximately seven houses,
18 jammed together, and then ultimately they were taken on
19 trucks by the HVO and taken, as so many other Bosnian
20 Muslims that we've heard about, they were taken to the
21 mountain road going to Zenica, taken to a checkpoint
22 and told to walk across no-man's land and walk into
24 How many of those individual Muslims were
25 expelled? I need only recall the testimony of Sefik
1 Pezer, one of the individuals who lived actually in the
2 town of Vitez itself. After he was expelled from
3 Vitez, he had occasion to visit the Red Cross facility
4 in Zenica. He was told of thousands, and he met any
5 number of those individuals who had been expelled from
6 the Vitez area during the time frame commencing on the
7 16th of April of 1993.
8 Blaskic knew about this, and his knowledge
9 and his failure to do anything about it was pursuant to
10 an organised plan.
11 If I may briefly go into private session in
12 this regard, Mr. President, I would appreciate it.
13 (Private session)
13 page 24725 redacted – private session
13 page 24726 redacted – private session
13 page 24727 redacted – private session
13 page 24728 redacted – private session
11 (Open session)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Let's continue now, please, in
13 public session. Please continue, Mr. Prosecutor.
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. As we move
15 into May, Mr. President, Your Honours, we see a
16 reduction in the hostilities in the Lasva Valley area
17 and an eruption of those hostilities and attacks by the
18 HVO in other locales, specifically in Mostar.
19 As of the 9th of May, 1993, the HVO attacked
20 the city of Mostar, and that encirclement and siege of
21 Mostar remained in place until, I believe,
22 approximately the 27th of February of 1994. Of course,
23 in that instance, as in others, thousands of Bosnian
24 Muslim civilians were detained and numerous Bosnian
25 Muslim civilians -- hundreds of Bosnian Muslim
1 civilians were killed.
2 While we move into June, a different sequence
3 of events transpires. The tide begins to change in
4 Central Bosnia. We begin to see, in June of 1993, an
5 offensive taking place by the army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the area of Travnik. The army of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina successfully takes Travnik. The
8 offensive that is going on at the same time is an
9 offensive that takes place down in the Kiseljak area,
10 where the attacks take place in villages such as Han
11 Ploca, Tulica, and other areas in that locale where the
12 Bosnian Muslims are attacked by HVO forces operating in
13 conjunction with the VRS, with the Bosnian Serb army.
14 This is a very interesting development, as we look at
15 the timing of it.
16 Now, Blaskic would have you believe that he
17 saw very little of Kiseljak during this time frame.
18 That is, of course, not the case. We, of course,
19 direct the Court to the testimony of Brigadier Duncan,
20 who notes that he and the other British Battalion
21 brought Blaskic to Kiseljak on the 29th of May, 1993,
22 initially for a meeting at the U.N., which was very
23 brief and meaningless, according to Brigadier Duncan.
24 And thereafter, Blaskic, with Milivoj Petkovic and
25 Ivica Rajic, go off to the Kiseljak barracks for a
1 meeting and meet for several hours, through the balance
2 of the business day.
3 As we move into June, we see a sequence of
4 events in various locales involving the Bosnian Serb
5 army and the HVO, and the common thread in all of those
6 locales is Blaskic. In mid June, we see the VRS, as I
7 noted -- I'm talking about the 12th and 13th of June --
8 the VRS and the HVO attacking Bosnian Muslim villages
9 in Tulica and Han Ploca together with the VRS offering
10 artillery support in those villages. As with so many
11 others, we have the time-honoured tradition of killing
12 civilians and non-combatants, burning of homes,
13 destruction of mosques.
14 In the Travnik area, we have HVO soldiers
15 moving, who were retreating, moving through VRS lines
16 with civilians, in through the civilians, and if we
17 look at an exhibit such as Exhibit 744, a document that
18 comes from the Krajina Corps, the commander the Krajina
19 Corps notes, in pertinent part:
20 "You may provide fire support for HVO forces
21 in requested areas."
22 So in and around the locale in Travnik, the
23 HVO is participating with the VRS, and that's not the
24 only locale. There is combat ensuing up in the Zepce
25 area. In the Zepce area, the HVO is again operating in
1 conjunction with the VRS in attacks against the ABiH.
2 Now, the question to be raised is: Who is
3 the commander in Zepce and Travnik and in Kiseljak?
4 Who is the common person? Certainly not Ivica Rajic.
5 The common person and common commander is the defendant
6 Blaskic, and I will note that in a document that the
7 Defence put in evidence, which is an interview of
8 General Alagic, General Alagic refers to conversations
9 and communications that Blaskic was having on regular
10 bases with VRS commanders on the Vlasic feature.
11 Nevertheless, as we move on, we again have
12 the time-honoured tradition in the attacks in June of
13 1993 in Kiseljak where civilians are detained, they are
14 again beaten and abused at the school in downtown
15 Kiseljak as well as the Kiseljak barracks, and those
16 individuals are taken relentlessly to dig trenches
17 throughout the area.
18 As of the 16th of June, there is a cease-fire,
19 a tripartite cease-fire, and after that, a joint command
20 is set up, which we will talk about at another
21 juncture, where Blaskic and Hadzihasanovic meet with
22 Brigadier Duncan and Ambassador Thebault to discuss the
23 protection of the civilian population, and if Blaskic
24 didn't know that all these civilians in Kiseljak were
25 being abused prior to these meetings, after those
1 meetings on the 19th, the 21st, and the 28th of June of
2 1993, he certainly knew then that civilians were still
3 being arrested, that civilians were still being taken
4 out to dig trenches, that the Kiseljak mosque was
5 destroyed, et cetera. Of course, consistent with this
6 prior conduct, nothing happens.
7 In response to all this, as we move into
8 July, we have the interesting attack of the 18th of
9 July, 1993, on Stari Vitez. What did Blaskic tell us
10 about Stari Vitez? He testified that this was an
11 attack that was conducted solely by Darko Kraljevic and
12 the Vitezovi and it was contrary to his orders and he
13 didn't know anything about it until he got back to
14 Vitez at 1800 hours and the entire time he was down
15 with the priest from Busovaca, going to mass and having
16 lunch, and he was totally unaware of the day's events.
17 Interesting story, but, of course, it's not true.
18 How do we know it's not true? We know it's
19 not true from the account of exactly what transpired,
20 and I turn Your Honours' attentions to Exhibit 708, and
21 708 is a military information summary that chronicles
22 what transpired on the 18th of July, 1993; and contrary
23 to Blaskic's testimony where he allegedly was
24 criticised for not giving artillery support to the HVO
25 troops, let us read what the British Battalion, that
1 was on location at the time, noted.
2 "On the 18th of July at 0045 in the
3 morning --"
4 0045 in the morning.
5 "-- an intense barrage of the Muslim area
6 began and involved occasional multi-barrel rocket
7 launchers and artillery fire as well as mortars, and
8 the fighting has continued throughout the day."
9 There is a commentary by Darko Gelic, the
10 ever-present Darko Gelic, who is Blaskic's liaison
11 officer. I ask the Court to look at this comment that
12 Darko Gelic gives to Captain Whitworth, in light of
13 Blaskic's testimony that he doesn't know anything
14 that's taking place in this attack. Darko Gelic, the
15 Operative Zone Central Bosnia liaison officer to
16 BritBat has confirmed that the HVO are attacking Stari
17 Vitez and that the artillery barrage was the
18 preliminary phase.
19 Now, how does he know that? How does he know
20 that this artillery barrage, commencing at 0045 --
21 artillery which, by the way, is under the control of
22 Blaskic -- but how does he know that this artillery
23 barrage is the initial phase of an attack? If he is
24 Blaskic's liaison officer, he's not even supposed to
25 know it's going to be taking place. It defies logic.
1 Gelic knew that the artillery attack was
2 taking place and that it was a preliminary phase
3 because that was the plan. That was the plan that
4 Blaskic ordered and that was the plan that was
6 Likewise, this is not only Darko Kraljevic
7 and the Vitezovi that received casualties as a result
8 of this. If we examine Exhibits P758 to P763 as well
9 as the actual death reports that the Defence put in,
10 D345, we see individuals killed from the Viteska
11 Brigade, the Vitezovi, as well as the military police,
12 and I believe that Exhibit 345, the Defence exhibit,
13 also puts individuals from Tvrtko II, another special
14 purposes unit, in the fray.
15 So this was hardly an attack that was taking
16 place merely with the Vitezovi; it was a coordinated
17 attack by various units of the HVO that are operating
18 at the same time in concert with artillery support, as
19 most military operations that take place undergo:
20 First an artillery barrage, and then an offensive
21 barrage by these four units.
22 To argue that Blaskic is the only person that
23 didn't know this was going to happen and that it did
24 happen is simply not true. All these units and their
25 unit commanders knew about it, Blaskic's LO, liaison
1 officer, knew about it. What does the Court have to
2 conclude? That he knew about it. He knew about it
4 What he doesn't want to admit and he doesn't
5 want to admit and the reason he doesn't want to admit
6 that he was involved in this operation to subdue Stari
7 Vitez once and for all: because it was a massive
8 attack on a civilian population. It was not only a
9 massive attack on a civilian population that was also
10 used, it was an attack that was indiscriminate in its
12 If you would put the next exhibit on the
13 easel, Mr. Hooper, which is a ...
14 What is this, Your Honours? This is a
15 photograph of something that is called a "baby," and
16 what this is the outside of a fire extinguisher that is
17 stuffed with fertiliser, benzene or some type of
18 accelerant, petrol, and it is launched and fired. What
19 is the problem with this particular piece of weaponry
20 or ordnance, if you will? You can't direct it. It
21 fires indiscriminately.
22 If Your Honours examine the testimony of
23 Captain Bower that was led by my colleague, Mr. Cayley,
24 he will tell you how these things actually -- what
25 direction they fire in when they land. They can't be
1 guided. They can be given a general direction, but you
2 don't know exactly when they're going to come down and
3 where they're going to come down. Why?
4 Because aerodynamically, they're not attached with the
5 type of fins that we normally see on ordnance that is
6 put on a mortar shell or is even put on a bomb that is
7 sent out of a bomber. In any event, it is a type of
8 ordnance that is totally indiscriminate. And what
9 Blaskic and his troops did was fire hundreds of these
10 things into Stari Vitez over the course of the war,
11 many, many, many of which were fired on the 18th of
12 July of 1993.
13 What does Blaskic know? Blaskic knows full
14 well that firing such a type of ordnance into a
15 civilian-populated area is a crime. So he can't tell
16 you he was there. And that's why, that's the reason
17 why he says he's down in Busovaca and knows nothing
18 about an operation about which his liaison officer is
19 fully informed.
20 I will note, Mr. President and Your Honours,
21 this is the same liaison officer, if I might remind the
22 Court, who, two days after this attack on Stari Vitez,
23 noted that if the ABiH offensive continued, that they
24 were going to attack Zenica.
25 The next sequence of events that we move
1 into, Your Honours, goes to Grbavica, the attack on the
2 town of Grbavica, the feature next to the British camp
3 that took place on the 7th and the 8th of September of
4 1993. What do we know about that particular attack?
5 We know several things about that attack from
6 Blaskic's own testimony. We know first and foremost
7 that he planned it. He, with his commanders, selected
8 the troops. He was the one who was out on the ground
9 examining this operation while the entire matter was
10 under way. There's no allegation that he was in the
11 basement of the Hotel Vitez, there is no allegation he
12 was at church in Busovaca or home in Austria or down in
13 Grude. He was there when this took place.
14 Who did he employ for this combat operation?
15 Well, certainly he employed members of the Viteska
16 Brigade and certainly there were members of the
17 Vitezovi involved as well. You only need look at
18 Exhibit 250 where the Vitezovi acknowledge that they
19 were, in fact, involved. Of course, when this
20 particular attack was conducted, nobody in the Vitezovi
21 was ever punished, disciplined, dismissed, or anything
22 else for crimes such as the truck bomb.
23 Who else was involved? The 3rd Light Assault
24 Battalion was involved. And who is the 3rd Light
25 Assault Battalion? The 3rd Light Assault Battalion is
1 the second generation of the Jokeri, the military
2 police unit that had conducted the atrocities and were
3 involved in the atrocities in Ahmici. Let me just take
4 you back and just take you briefly through the course
5 of events.
6 The Jokeri existed through approximately the
7 latter part of July of 1993 and early August. From
8 Blaskic's own testimony, the 4th Military Police
9 Battalion was taken over by Marinko Palavra, (redacted)
10 (redacted), and they established an
11 anti-terrorist unit called the 3rd Light Assault
12 Battalion, and the members from the Vitezovi became
13 part of the 3rd Light Assault Battalion.
14 Now, when Lee Whitworth examined the soldiers
15 that were involved in this Grbavica attack, he
16 recognised these soldiers as members of the Jokeri. In
17 addition to that, Palavra conceded that the 3rd Light
18 Assault Battalion or the Jokeri were probably involved
19 in Grbavica because his guys were not involved.
20 Last but not least, we know that the 3rd
21 Light Assault Battalion of the military police were
22 involved because Pasko Ljubicic, in Exhibit P357, three
23 years a military police, says so, that they were
24 involved as a combat unit in Grbavica.
25 What happened in Grbavica was similar to what
1 happened in numerous other locales.
2 The take-over and the initial attack on
3 Grbavica was a legitimate attack; it was a legitimate
4 military objective. It was a place at which the ABiH
5 had had positions and were denying access along the
6 road to the HVO. So there was no question that Blaskic
7 had a legitimate reason for attacking that feature.
8 But it is not the attack on the feature that
9 is the crime, it is what happened thereafter and some
10 of the methods that he employed while he was in there.
11 After these particular locales were secured,
12 what happened was the HVO soldiers burnt the houses,
13 looted the houses and ultimately the entire village was
15 If we could move to the next series of
17 If you recall the testimony of Captain Lee
18 Whitworth concerning this event, Captain Whitworth went
19 down to Vitez while the attack was under way on the
20 8th of September, 1993. In the transcript or in his
21 testimony he notes various pieces of interesting
22 information. On his way back shortly after lunchtime,
23 while the attack was still under way, he drove back
24 towards Grbavica and he examined the skyline which was
1 I believe we have another photograph that
2 also depicts that, Mr. Hooper.
3 This is a similar photograph, of Captain
4 Whitworth, taken on the 8th that also depicts the
5 burning of Grbavica.
6 Now, contrary to Blaskic's statement, Captain
7 Whitworth said the houses were burning before the
8 attack ever finished. What Blaskic testified to was a
9 handful of houses were burnt while the combat was under
10 way. Put that in stark contrast to the testimony of
11 Captain Whitworth who that said that that was simply
12 not the case. Houses were burning and burning during
13 the course of that day.
14 What happened after that? If we could move
15 to the next several photographs, Mr. Hooper.
16 Again, this is another photograph of HVO
17 soldiers. This one, of course, carrying a radio that
18 he looted from one of the houses.
19 Let's go to the last photograph. Yet another
20 photograph of HVO soldiers carrying looted weapons.
21 This is 433/24. Again, a different soldier carrying a
22 radio which he obviously looted from the location.
23 So what we have is burning of houses after
24 the HVO had successfully secured the feature, burning
25 houses that was totally unnecessary, sending, of
1 course, as Captain Whitworth noted, the message to the
2 Bosnia Muslims, "Don't return to Grbavica." They
3 looted those houses and certainly looting took place by
4 the civilian population thereafter.
5 One item I forgot, during the course of this
6 testimony, that was employed by the HVO, that Blaskic
7 forgot to mention, and that is the next photograph,
8 which is a photograph 433/28, a photograph taken by
9 Captain Whitworth, which is a baby in mid flight, being
10 launched onto the houses in Grbavica.
11 So in this operation that Blaskic plans, they
12 use illegal, unguided ordinance to attack homes, and we
13 have that in a photograph taken by a Captain of the
14 British Battalion while the weapon was in mid flight.
15 We thereafter have the time-honoured tradition of HVO
16 soldiers securing premises, burning the houses
17 unnecessarily. Of course, not necessary militarily.
18 And last but not least, the looting of the houses
20 What, of course, do we then know after that?
21 We then know that on the same day Blaskic, the 8th of
22 September, 1993, Blaskic orders that civilians be taken
23 to front line positions just the other side of Grbavica
24 to begin digging front line trenches.
25 So if we look at this particular operation
1 that Blaskic himself planned, his crimes are numerous.
2 Using illegal ordinance, permitting his soldiers to
3 burn Bosnian Muslim houses and directing their attack
4 against Muslim houses contrary to any military
5 necessity, the looting of those houses and, of course,
6 forcing civilians, Bosnian Muslim civilians to dig
7 trenches on front line positions, and this, by his own
8 testimony, is an operation that is planned by him and
9 him alone.
10 Suffice it to say it was all predictable. He
11 uses the second generation of the Jokeri, he uses the
12 Vitezovi, all these units that he said he's complained
13 about in combat operations, knowing full well what they
14 had done in the past, knowing full well what they were
15 capable of, and lo and behold they repeated their
16 conduct yet again.
17 So we come to an end of this portion of the
18 final argument before I turn the floor over to my
19 colleague Mr. Cayley.
20 The bottom line in all this, Mr. President
21 and Your Honours, is that when all is said and done, by
22 the latter part of 1993, there were virtually no
23 Muslims left in Vitez, in the area controlled by the
24 HVO. No Muslims left in the area controlled by the HVO
25 in Busovaca and fewer Muslims still in Kiseljak, in the
1 area controlled by the HVO, except possibly in the
2 village of Rotilj which had been described by the UNHCR
3 as a concentration camp, where hundreds of Muslims were
4 stuffed into that little village.
5 The Muslims were gone. The plan had worked,
6 they had been evicted from the area, and the tool
7 implemented that policy was the accused Tihomir
9 I can only hearken back to the comment Franjo
10 Tudjman made to the Right Honourable Paddy Ashdown on
11 the 6th of May of 1995, when Ashdown asked Tudjman what
12 was to become of the Muslims and the Muslim state, and
13 Tudjman responded, "There will be no Muslim state."
14 That was the plan, that was the design, and
15 that was what Blaskic was sent to the Central Bosnia
16 Operative Zone to do.
17 I thank you at this point, Your Honours. I
18 don't know, with the schedule, if should we turn the
19 floor over to Mr. Cayley.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe. In
21 principle, we should continue until 1.00 and, of
22 course, it is up to the Judges to give the floor to the
23 next speaker, and we welcome him. Mr. Cayley.
24 MR. CAYLEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President,
25 Your Honours, counsel. My task in the closing argument
1 is to address you on the special legal and evidential
2 requirements in those counts in the indictment which
3 are charged under Article 2 of the Statute, the grave
4 breaches provisions.
5 I will address you both on the most recent
6 law of the Tribunal and the evidence presented in this
7 case pertaining to those counts, and they are Count 5,
8 wilful killing; Count 8, wilfully causing great
9 suffering or serious injury; Count 11, extensive
10 destruction of property; Count 15, inhumane treatment;
11 Count 17, taking civilians as hostages; Count 19, also
12 inhumane treatment but in respect of conduct which is
13 discreet when compared to the evidential foundation for
14 Count 15.
15 If I could first of all hand out a binder.
16 My production is a rather more low-budget affair than
17 Mr. Kehoe. I don't have any large photographs to show
18 you. I've gathered some exhibits which I think should
19 be brought to your attention, and I've prepared a file
20 for each of you and for the Defence. They are not in
21 the order in which they were admitted into evidence, so
22 I've tabulated them, and I'll refer to the tabs along
23 the side when addressing you on the particular
25 What are the special legal requirements or
1 ingredients which are a prerequisite for the
2 application of Article 2? Most recently, they have
3 been enumerated in the judgement of the Appeals Chamber
4 in the Dusko Tadic case, and I would refer you to
5 paragraph 80 of the Appeals judgement.
6 The requirement is twofold. The conflict
7 between the parties must be international in nature.
8 The second requirement is that the grave breaches must
9 be perpetrated against persons and property defined as
10 protected by any of the four Geneva Conventions
11 of 1949.
12 Let me address you on the first requirement,
13 that the conflict between the parties must be
14 international in nature.
15 In a case such as the instant case before
16 you, where the Defence assert that there was an
17 internal armed conflict taking place between the
18 Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats, I would submit
19 to you that there are two primary areas of
20 consideration for you.
21 The first is this: What legal conditions
22 must be met to demonstrate that the HVO were acting on
23 behalf of the Republic of Croatia? The second
24 consideration is whether in this case the evidence
25 adduced satisfied those conditions.
1 What are the legal conditions that must be
2 met? The Appeals Chamber has recently confirmed that
3 the proper test to establish whether the control of
4 Croatian authorities over the HVO -- and I'm inserting
5 "Croatian" and "HVO", the test was, of course,
6 stylised in a generic fashion -- whether or not the
7 control of Croatian authorities over the HVO was
8 sufficient to make the armed conflict be international
9 is overall control, going beyond the mere financing and
10 equipping of such forces, and involving also
11 participation in the planning and supervision of
12 military operations. That you will find in the Tadic
13 appeal judgement at paragraph 145.
14 Has the evidence adduced in this case
15 satisfied those conditions? My submission to you is
16 that it has in overwhelming fashion.
17 The evidence supporting the assertion that
18 the HVO were de facto agents of the Republic of Croatia
19 can, in my submission, be neatly divided into Croatia's
20 political ambitions both directly and through her
21 agents in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and her military
22 intervention both directly and through her agents in
23 the same state.
24 In respect of the political intervention, I
25 will be very brief. My learned friend, Mr. Kehoe, has
1 already addressed you at some length on this. I think
2 I only need say that Dr. Franjo Tudjman stated both
3 publicly and privately that he had aspirations for the
4 territorial aggrandisement of the Republic of Croatia.
5 Testimony has demonstrated that this dangerous ambition
6 was to be fulfilled by an agreement on the partition of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina between the Serbs and the Croats.
8 As my learned friend, Mr. Kehoe, has recently said, the
9 Muslims were to be relegated to a small and
10 insignificant element of a Greater Croatian state.
11 The evidence shows, in this case, that this
12 doctrine was transmitted by Zagreb to the HDZ in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where it was publicly and privately
14 repeated by Mate Boban and his gang of subordinates in
15 Central Bosnia, comprising of Mr. Dario Kordic, who is
16 now residing with us here in The Hague, Mr. Anto
17 Valenta and Mr. Ignac Kostroman.
18 The evidence is overwhelming in this case
19 that the accused, General Blaskic, was tasked with the
20 military facilitation of this policy, and in that
21 respect I would refer you to your own witnesses,
22 Colonel Robert Stewart, [redacted], [redacted]. I
23 would also refer you to Prosecution Brigadier Alistair
24 Duncan and Witness DX who was called for the Defence.
25 Let me now turn to the evidence showing the
1 military intervention of the Republic of Croatia in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is at the heart of the
3 Prosecutor's position on this point.
4 The essence of the Prosecutor's argument is
5 twofold. Firstly, the Prosecutor says that Croatia's
6 overall control and support of the HVO gave rise to an
7 international armed conflict at the time that armed
8 conflict broke out between the HVO and the Bosnian army
9 in May of 1992.
10 Alternatively or in addition to the direct
11 military intervention by the Republic of Croatia and
12 participation of its armed forces on behalf of the HVO
13 in the armed conflict between the Bosnian Croats and
14 the Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina gave rise to
15 an international armed conflict at the latest by
16 January 1993, when units of the Croatian army
17 participated in military operations against the Bosnian
18 army and Bosnian Muslims.
19 Mr. President, Your Honours, the Croats of
20 Bosnia, from early on, looked to Croatia for military
21 support and guidance. On the 21st of March, 1992, the
22 then commander of the Herceg-Bosna Central Bosnia
23 command, Pasko Ljubicic, a character of whom you've
24 heard much in this case, requested by letter a meeting
25 with the Minister of Defence of the Republic of
1 Croatia, the late Gojko Susak, in order to receive
2 instructions on further actions in the area.
3 I would direct you, in respect of that
4 particular piece of evidence, to Exhibit 406/4, which
5 is in the two volumes of material which were submitted
6 last July and which, if you recall, I did an oral
7 summary of those documents.
8 On the 8th of April, 1992, after President
9 Franjo Tudjman formally recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 the HVO was created. Two days after this, President
11 Tudjman appointed General Janko Bobetko to the position
12 of commander of the southern front of the Croatian army
13 in charge of all land and sea forces between Split and
14 Dubrovnik. That is Exhibit 406/6.
15 What is the significance of this appointment
16 in this case? Well, it is this: Within eight days of
17 his appointment and on the 16th of April, 1992, Bobetko
18 established a forward command post of the Croatian army
19 southern front command in Grude in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 That is the first document that you will find in the
21 binder in front of you.
22 Now, I would ask you to review that document
23 with me briefly. One of the points that I would like
24 to make about this document is that you will see in
25 paragraph 2 that General Bobetko appoints as his
1 deputy, the language suggests that it is his deputy,
2 Colonel Milivoj Petkovic. [Redacted], the same witness
3 who you called to testify in this case, who stated that
4 in April of 1992, he left the HV and became a brigadier
5 and chief of staff of the HVO.
6 At this time, [redacted] apparently was still
7 in the HV and was answering directly to General
9 By his order of the 19th of May, 1992,
10 Bobetko had established a Central Bosnia forward
11 command post in Gornji Vakuf. Just over a month later,
12 the accused General Blaskic would command this
13 headquarters, a headquarters established, set up, by a
14 Croatian General who had been appointed to his position
15 by Franjo Tudjman.
16 The establishment of the Central Bosnia
17 forward command post you will find is document 2, is
18 tab 2. Again, if I could ask you briefly to review
19 that document with me, you will see it is issued on
20 headed paper of the Republic of Croatia, Southern Front
21 Command, Split Operative Zone Command, Ploca Forward
22 Command Post.
23 In this order, General Bobetko appoints
24 Brigadier Zarko Tole as commander of the forward
25 command post, and you will recall that the accused in
1 his evidence confirmed that this individual was one of
2 his predecessors in the position of commander of the
3 Central Bosnia regional command. The accused also
4 confirmed that Brigadier Zarko Tole was an HV officer,
5 a member of the Croatian army.
6 To orientate Your Honours, I have produced at
7 tab 3 a diagrammatic representation, a map
8 demonstrating to you the two headquarters that were
9 established by General Bobetko. You will see firstly
10 the forward command post at Grude, Croatian army
11 southern front command, and then you will see above it
12 the Central Bosnia forward command post established at
13 Gornji Vakuf which was to be General Blaskic's first
14 regional command after his time in Kiseljak. I have
15 also marked in for your orientation the towns of Vitez,
16 Busovaca, and Kiseljak.
17 I would briefly draw your attention to tabs
18 4, 5, and 6 which are orders issued by General Bobetko,
19 a Croatian General, to units of the HVO.
20 In tab 4, you will see that General Bobetko
21 is appointing key officers into the HVO: Zarko Tole,
22 Zeljko Siljeg, characters about whom you have heard
23 during the course of this trial. He makes no secret of
24 the fact that he has command over units of the Croatian
25 Defence Council, because if you look at the B/C/S
1 version of this document, it makes it quite clear. The
2 Croatian Defence Council is issuing orders to what the
3 Defence would have you believe is a completely separate
5 Tab 5 is another order, again on divisions of
6 zones of responsibility. The significance of this
7 order is that Major General Ante Roso, who is referred
8 to in paragraph 1, as I will probably demonstrate to
9 you after the lunch break, was a Croatian army officer
10 at the time, apparently serving, as far as this paper
11 would lead you to believe, within the HVO. He had not
12 yet even resigned from the Croatian army when this
13 order was being issued to him.
14 The last order is merely to demonstrate to
15 you that General Bobetko had full control over the HVO
16 and was able to issue orders just as he was able to
17 issue orders to units of the Croatian army, and you
18 will note in this document, tab 6, he is addressing an
19 order to General Slobodan Praljak again as commander
20 within the HVO. You will be surprised to hear after
21 lunch, if you recall, that General Praljak was the
22 Assistant Minister of Defence of the Republic of
24 Three of Bobetko's immediate subordinates in
25 the southern front command were HV officers:
1 [Redacted], who acknowledged to you when he was here
2 that he was in the HV from July of 1991 until April of
3 1992 when he joined the HVO as chief of staff. Not a
4 Bosnian returning to serve in the HVO, a native of
5 Sibenik in Croatia. Slobodan Praljak, an HV officer,
6 served in the HVO from August 1993 until November
7 1994. As I have already said to you, and this can be
8 seen from tab 7, and it is, in fact, the final
9 paragraph, the penultimate paragraph where it states --
10 I'm sorry, the final paragraph where it states that the
11 talks were attended by General Major Slobodan Praljak,
12 Deputy Defence Minister.
13 On the 21st of April, 1992, Bobetko ordered
14 the then HV General Ante Roso to the defence of Livno
15 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you will find that it is not
16 a document that I have incorporated into this bundle
17 but it document 406/11.
18 On the 27th of June, 1992, General Blaskic
19 acknowledged that he was promoted to be commander of
20 the Central Bosnian Operative Zone by Ante Roso who was
21 then a serving Croatian army General.
22 Now, General Blaskic stated to this Tribunal
23 that when he was promoted by Roso, he knew absolutely
24 nothing about General Roso's background or function.
25 Mr. President, Your Honours, armies do not work like
1 that. Officers talk with each other about their
2 background, about where their last posting was. It is
3 inconceivable that the accused did not know that this
4 individual was an HV officer.
5 You might wish to finish at this point
6 because I will need to move into private session in
7 order to address the next set of documents.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Let us have our
9 lunch break now, and we will resume at 2.30 in private
10 session. The hearing is adjourned.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.39 p.m.
2 (Private session)
13 page 24757 redacted – private session
23 (Open session)
24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, when the
25 Prosecutor asks for going back into public session, can
1 the booth hear this? Because I don't think that the
2 Judges are disputing this point.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, in principle, but the
4 booth always waits for my permission.
5 JUDGE JORDA: I see. That is the permission
6 of the superior. So I understand, Mr. Registrar. We
7 can't proceed any faster. So let's continue.
8 MR. CAYLEY: In April and May of 1992, the
9 then Colonel Blaskic acknowledged that he received
10 approximately ten orders from General Ante Roso, and I
11 submit to you this merely reinforces what I have said
12 already, that the accused lied when he said nothing
13 about Ante Roso's background. Why would he lie?
14 Because he did not wish to place a Croatian army
15 officer in the chain of command in the HVO in April or
16 May of 1992.
17 On the 8th of May, 1992, Ante Roso issued an
18 order banning the Bosnian Territorial Defence forces,
19 the forces of the government in Sarajevo on the
20 territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
21 The order further stated that the only legal units
22 within the Croatian community were HVO units.
23 If I can direct your attention to tab 11,
24 which is the order of Ante Roso, you will see I have
25 summarised what that order -- the essence of that
1 order, and I would ask you to note the confidential
2 order number, which is 33192 on that order.
3 If you turn to tab 12, which is an order of
4 the 11th of May, you will see that the accused was
5 issuing an order in almost identical form in response
6 to the order of General Ante Roso.
7 Blaskic does state in his evidence to this
8 Court that at the time there were armed conflicts
9 taking place in the Kiseljak municipality. It's
10 expressed in a somewhat confused form but,
11 nevertheless, there were Muslims and Croats fighting
12 each other during this time period.
13 It is, therefore, our submission that the
14 implementation of the order of the Croatian army
15 General Roso by the then Colonel Blaskic demonstrates
16 that by May of 1992, firstly, that the HVO was
17 controlled by the Croatian army and thus Muslims in HVO
18 controlled territory were in the hands of the Croatian
19 army and the Republic of Croatia; and secondly, that
20 the armed conflict that began in May of 1992 was an
21 international armed conflict between the Republic of
22 Croatia on the one hand and the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the other hand.
24 I now wish to address Your Honours on the
25 issue of control of the HVO by the Republic of Croatia,
1 and in order to do that we will need to move back into
2 private session. Thank you.
3 (Private session)
13 page 24762 redacted – private session
13 page 24763 redacted – private session
7 (Open session)
8 MR. CAYLEY: In respect of other evidence
9 showing HVO control, HV control of the HVO, I would
10 refer you to Prosecutor's Exhibit 406, volumes I and
11 II, and a summary of those documents that I gave to the
12 Trial Chamber in July of last year.
13 Now, the Republic of Croatia's involvement in
14 the war was not simply limited to its control of the
15 HVO and the structures of Herceg-Bosna, but it also
16 extended to the deployment of Croatian army units and
17 equipment to fight alongside the HVO against the
18 Bosnian army in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 By the 15th of May, 1992, there were
20 significant elements of the Croatian army present in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. By Resolution 752, the Security
22 Council recognised the presence of large bodies of
23 Croat troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina and called on the
24 Republic of Croatia to withdraw them from the territory
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to cease interference in that
1 State. The Republic of Croatia totally ignored this
3 If we could now return to closed session
4 testimony, with your permission, Mr. President.
5 (Private session)
13 page 24766 redacted – private session
13 page 24767 redacted – private session
13 page 24768 redacted – private session
6 (Open session)
7 MR. CAYLEY: In addition to all of the
8 evidence that I have referred to, there is a
9 substantial amount of documentary evidence which
10 demonstrates the presence of HV soldiers in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the provision of everything by
12 Croatia, from gasoline to heavy armour, throughout
13 1992, 1993, and 1994, and I would again refer Your
14 Honours to Volumes I and II of Prosecutor's Exhibit
16 Two documents which I think are worthy of
17 particular note in Prosecutor's Exhibit 600, which I
18 haven't put in the binders in front of you but I will
19 briefly summarise what that exhibit states, in that
20 exhibit, the commander of the HVO brigade in Gornji
21 Vakuf writes to the commander of the 4th Split Brigade
22 of the Croatian army stating that one of their
23 soldiers, Croatian army soldiers, was killed in combat
24 whilst fighting with the HVO brigade in
1 The next document is Prosecutor's Exhibit
2 601, which you will find at tab 16 in the file in front
3 of you. Here the commander of the HVO brigade in
4 Gornji Vakuf, Mr. Zrinko Totic, is requesting of the
5 2nd Brigade of the Croatian army that one of their
6 officers, Mate Kunkic, could remain with the HVO
7 brigade. The letter states that the Croatian officer
8 had been engaged in combat with the Bosnian army and
9 had, in fact, been entrusted with the command of the
10 defence of the town of Gornji Vakuf in
12 Now, I don't intend to read the entire
13 request to you, but I would commend it to Your
14 Honours. It certainly shows beyond doubt that there
15 was a very significant interchange of personnel between
16 the Croatian army and the HVO, and certainly the manner
17 that this is set out expresses a common struggle by the
18 Croatian army and the HVO against the Muslims. That is
19 very clear from this document.
20 I would now like to briefly refer to Croatian
21 army presence and participation in Central Bosnia.
22 In order to trigger the provisions of the
23 grave breaches, it is unnecessary for the Prosecutor to
24 demonstrate that Croatian army units were present in
25 Central Bosnia during the critical period of this
1 indictment. Be that as it may, it is my submission
2 that there is evidence, significant evidence, to show
3 that units of the HV were in Central Bosnia and were
4 operating both within and alongside the HVO.
7 she recalled soldiers wearing HV badges in the
8 Dubravica school. She spoke to one of the members of
9 the unit who stated that they had been specially
10 brought in to "sort out the problems with the
12 You will recall the evidence of Dr. Muhamed
13 Mujezinovic who observed soldiers from Croatia in the
14 Vitez health centre in January of 1993.
15 Major Roy Hunter, a company commander with
16 the British Battalion in the summer of 1993. His
17 opinion was that intelligence indicated that Croatian
18 army units were acting together with HVO units in the
19 Lasva Valley. He also confirmed that a Croatian army
20 helicopter was landing in the Vitez area in the summer
21 of 1993, thus ensuring both communications and adequate
22 supplies were coming from the Republic of Croatia.
23 Muslim victims of HVO attacks and forced
24 labour testified in respect of a large number of
25 sightings of HV soldiers, and I would refer you
1 particularly in this respect to Witness R, Abdulah
2 Ahmic, (redacted), Witness Q, and Witness BB.
3 Now, you will recall that General Blaskic has
4 maintained throughout this trial that there were no
5 Croatian army officers or soldiers present in the
6 Central Bosnian Operative Zone. The orders that he
7 issued requesting data on HV officers in his unit he
8 states were only issued because the general staff of
9 the HVO requested that the orders be sent out, and I
10 would refer you to Prosecutor's Exhibit 406/26 and
11 406/55 in that respect. I have, in fact, included
12 406/55 as tab 17 in the bundle in front of you, and you
13 will see it is an order by Tihomir Blaskic of the 12th
14 of April, 1993, in which he requests information about
15 Croatian army officers in the units under his command.
16 So, in essence, Mr. President, Your Honours,
17 we are all expected to believe that these orders were
18 transmitted up and down the chain of command in the
19 full knowledge that they had no application to anybody
20 at all. Hard to believe. Hard to believe because it
21 is not true.
22 On the 5th of June, 1992, Gojko Susak, the
23 Defence Minister of the Republic of Croatia, sent 13
24 members of the 101st Brigade of the Croatian army to
25 the southern front command on temporary assignment.
1 Included in that list were Colonel Miro Andric, Blaz
2 Andric, Mirsad Sivac, and Branko Kozul, and if you go
3 to tab 18 in the bundle of evidence in front of you,
4 you will see that order.
5 On the 3rd of May, 1993, the same Colonel
6 Andric reported back to the HV 101st Brigade that he
7 and the four servicemen that I have referred to were
8 serving with the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
9 pursuant to the Croatian Defence Minister's order.
10 Colonel Andric at this time represented himself as a
11 member of the HVO staff, the HVO main staff, and you
12 will see, if you go to tab 19, that the report is sent
13 from the town of Vitez and that the stamp on the
14 original document is the stamp of the accused from the
15 Central Bosnian Operative Zone.
16 Now, in his evidence, the accused denied that
17 he knew that Andric was a member of the Croatian army.
18 He stated that he thought he was a member of the HVO
19 command, just like he denied that he knew that Ante
20 Roso was a member of the Croatian army when he was
21 appointed by him. Now, General Blaskic does confirm
22 that Andric was participating in discussions with
23 Petkovic and he with the Bosnian army in Zenica.
24 Prosecutor's Exhibit 607, which is document
25 20 in the tabulated documents before you, indicates
1 that Mr. Andric went on to greater and grander things
2 in the Croatian army after his service in Central
3 Bosnia, to become a brigadier and later a general in
4 the Croatian army, and in 1997, you will see from this
5 report, this BBC report, in the very last sentence,
6 that he was, in fact, head of the Office for Military
7 Attaches and Protocol within the Ministry of Defence of
8 the Republic of Croatia.
9 It is our submission, in addition to my first
10 submission, that by early January 1993, at the latest,
11 Croatian army units had entered Central Bosnia and
12 Bosnia generally, and in conjunction with the HVO,
13 participated then on with HVO units engaged in military
14 operations against the Bosnian army in Central Bosnia
15 and elsewhere.
16 The Republic of Croatia did not advertise the
17 fact that its forces were present and fighting against
18 the Bosnian army in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A constant
19 stream of public statements by government officials
20 denying any presence of the Croatian army beyond the
21 Bosnian borders were made, and I would refer you to
22 Prosecutor's Exhibit 406/28, 406/64, and 406/70;
23 406/70, when Mr. Tudjman and his Defence Minister are
24 denying the presence of Croatian army units except in
25 the borderland areas.
1 The fact that HV personnel were serving in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina against Bosnian forces was often
3 concealed, as I have said, through the interchanging of
4 military paraphernalia and badges which would identify
5 the unit.
6 On the 3rd of October, 1993, Drazen Gvozden
7 was killed on Mount Hum near Mostar. At his death, he
8 was wearing an HVO uniform. On the 2nd of March, 1994,
9 President Franjo Tudjman posthumously conferred on
10 Mr. Gvozden the rank of reserve captain of the armed
11 forces of the Republic of Croatia, and I would refer
12 you to Prosecutor's Exhibit 609 to 614 in that respect.
13 Orders are in evidence requiring Croatian
14 army members to remove Croatian army insignia and
15 replace them with HVO insignia, and those are
16 Prosecutor's Exhibit 406/26, 406/31, and 406/36.
17 Admiral Domazet, the chief of Croatian
18 military intelligence, you will recall under
19 cross-examination refused to state the outer deployment
20 of Croatian army units in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He did
21 acknowledge to you, Your Honours, that those HV
22 officers, those Croatian army officers who went to
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina to serve in the HVO required
24 approval from the Croatian authorities to do so and
25 continued to be paid by the Croatian government. They
1 had an automatic right to return to the Croatian army
2 after their time in the HVO. That was Admiral
3 Domazet's testimony.
4 Now, the Defence say in their brief that the
5 Prosecutor has not sufficiently met the test set out in
6 the Tadic appeal judgement.
7 Your Honours, we have proved:
8 (1) A unity of political direction and
9 control going right from the top with Franjo Tudjman
10 down to Dario Kordic in Central Bosnia.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, slow down, please.
12 MR. CAYLEY: (2) We have proved a Croatian
13 General, Janko Bobetko, established by his own order
14 the regional command of the HVO that General Blaskic
15 himself would command. He appointed Blaskic's
16 predecessor, and that same General, appointed by Franjo
17 Tudjman to his post, demonstrated that he was able to
18 issue military orders to both the HVO and the Croatian
19 army in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 (3) Principal positions in the HVO were held
21 by HV officers. An HV officer, Ante Roso, indeed
22 issued the order banning the Bosnian Territorial
23 Defence in May 1992. Ante Roso appointed Blaskic to
24 his position in the HVO. Croatian army officers who
25 went into the HVO continued to be paid by the Croatian
1 army and had an automatic right to return to the
2 Croatian army.
3 (4) A Defence witness testified in this case
4 that the political leadership in Zagreb not only
5 monitored and controlled the HVO but appointed its
6 military leadership.
7 (5) The Croatian army was fighting with the
8 HVO from May 1992 until February 1994, and specifically
9 with the HVO in the Muslim-Croat war, providing it with
10 manpower, supplies, and equipment. Croatian personnel
11 regularly rebadged into the HVO.
12 Lastly, the accused himself was directly
13 transferred by Franjo Tudjman, commander in chief of
14 the Croatian armed forces, from the HVO to the Croatian
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Cayley, under (4),
17 you refer to a Defence witness who "testified in this
18 case that the political leadership in Zagreb not only
19 monitored and controlled the HVO but appointed its
20 military leadership."
21 Should I take it you have a good reason for
22 not being more explicit about the identity of the
24 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Judge Shahabuddeen.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: All right.
1 MR. CAYLEY: I mentioned earlier in my
2 submissions, I think I identified that witness in
3 closed session.
4 In conclusion, Mr. President, Your Honours,
5 it is our submission that in the Muslim-Croat war in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia played a
7 full and substantial part which I would ask you to
8 determine as overall control of the HVO, going beyond
9 the mere financing and equipping of such forces but
10 also involving the participation in the planning and
11 supervision of military operations. This, I would
12 suggest to you respectfully, is the only conclusion
13 that can be reached in this case.
14 Now, the second requirement that I stated to
15 you before lunch, and this will be a much shorter
16 submission, is that the grave breaches must be
17 perpetrated against persons and property defined as
18 protected by any of the four Geneva Conventions of
19 1949, and I will just read the first section of Article
20 4 of the IV Convention:
21 "Persons protected by the Convention are
22 those who, at a given moment and in any manner
23 whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or
24 occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or
25 Occupying Power of which they are not nationals."
1 The Defence say in this case that the Bosnian
2 Muslim victims prima facie found themselves in the
3 hands of Bosnian Croats, victims in the hands of
4 perpetrators of the same nationality. Do the Geneva
5 Conventions apply to this situation bearing in mind
6 what I have just read from Article 4?
7 They do, and the appeals judgement in Tadic
8 confirms this position, and I will read the relevant
9 sections of that judgement which I think are
10 applicable. It is three quite small sections.
11 First of all, paragraph 166:
12 "Under these conditions, the requirement of
13 nationality is even less adequate to define protected
14 persons. In such conflicts, not only the text and the
15 drafting history of the Convention but also, and more
16 importantly, the Convention's object and purpose
17 suggest that allegiance to a Party to the conflict and,
18 correspondingly, control by this Party over persons in
19 a given territory, may be regarded as the crucial
21 And then I will read two sentences from
22 paragraphs 168 and 169, and these are the final
23 sentence at paragraph 168 and the first sentence at
24 paragraph 169:
25 "In granting its protection, Article 4
1 intends to look to the substance of the relations, not
2 to their legal characteristics as such.
3 "169. Hence, even if in the circumstances of
4 the case the perpetrators and the victims were to be
5 regarded as --
6 I think there is a "the" missing.
7 "Hence, even if in the circumstances of the
8 case the perpetrators and the victims were to be
9 regarded as possessing the same nationality, Article 4
10 would still be applicable."
11 That legal reasoning, Mr. President, Your
12 Honours, applies as much to this case as it does to the
13 Tadic case.
14 I will briefly address the political and
15 military links between the Republic of Croatia and the
16 Bosnian Croats in order to demonstrate this test of
17 allegiance which the Tadic appeals judgement has given
18 to us.
19 As has already been stated, the aspirations
20 of President Tudjman in respect of Bosnian territory
21 were very clear; that these aspirations were shared by
22 the HVO and by Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina is apparent
23 from the evidence and can be seen in Exhibit 406/2
24 where the Croatian political leadership in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina is reaffirming and supporting the
1 Banovina Plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 President Tudjman granted Croatian
3 citizenship to Bosnian Croats at the time that
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised by the State of
5 Croatia, and that is apparent from Prosecutor's Exhibit
6 406/2. The Bosnian Croats reacted to this and applied
7 in their hundreds for Croatian citizenship, and that
8 can be seen in Prosecutor's Exhibit 406/47, 406/51,
9 406/52, 406/59, 406/68, and 406/69.
10 You will recall that Prosecution counsel
11 asked a number of witnesses for the Defence, "What
12 passport do you carry?" Slavko Katava from Busovaca,
13 [redacted], Tomislav Rajic all waved Croatian
14 passports in front of you.
15 If we can now move into private session?
16 I would add, if I'm not being clear, that all
17 of those witnesses were Croats from
19 (Private session)
10 (Open session)
11 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honours, the Croats of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina looked to the Republic of Croatia as
13 the land of their fathers. Every policy issued and
14 every statement uttered by the HDZ in Croatia and in
15 Bosnia has encouraged that polarisation and permanent
16 shift of allegiance by the Croats of Bosnia to the
17 Republic of Croatia.
18 I will briefly mention the relationship
19 between the perpetrators and the victims. It hardly
20 needs mentioning in this case that in Central Bosnia,
21 the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims came to
22 regard each other as bitter enemies.
23 When the HVO took Muslims into detention, or
24 beat them, or killed them, or burnt down their
25 villages, those Muslims clearly regarded themselves as
1 being in the hands of a party to a conflict.
2 What did the HVO think of the Muslims. Well,
3 I would briefly refer to Exhibit 406/95, which I have
4 not included in the bundle but I will read it out. It
5 is the minutes of a meeting of the HVO municipalities
6 held in September of 1992, at which the accused
7 General Blaskic, was present on the working
8 presidency. The minutes indicate that he spoke at the
9 meeting -- I'm sorry, it's 456/95. My learned friend,
10 Mr. Kehoe, has just corrected me. These are some of
11 the observations that were made at that meeting:
12 "New refugees are arriving daily, especially
13 Muslims. This could disturb the ethnic balance in our
14 areas. The policy should be such that our
15 municipalities serve as a transit point for Muslim
16 refugees who should be directed to Muslim
17 municipalities. Reception centres for refugees which
18 are planned by the government in Sarajevo on Croatian
19 territories are not acceptable to the Croatian
20 population, because that would mean the disruption of
21 the ethnic balance. If the war is prolonged, such
22 centres would be an Islamic fundamentalist's Trojan
23 horse on Croatian territory. Croatian refugees can be
24 provided for by Croats, without centres. Exiled Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina government and its bodies with
1 pro-Muslim policies are undesirable on our territory
2 and their possible activity contrary to the principles
3 of HDZ bodies shall not be tolerated. There is no
4 Bosnian language and it is an insult to the Croatians
5 when anyone tries to make the Croatian language into
6 some kind of Bosnian language."
7 I wish now to briefly consider with you the
8 enclaves, the Busovaca, Vitez and Kiseljak enclaves as
9 occupied territory within Article 4 of the Geneva
11 The Prosecutor also takes the position in
12 this case that the Vitez, Busovaca, and Kiseljak
13 pockets were occupied territory. The British manual of
14 military law, a book I'm very familiar with, in part 3
15 employs a two-part test to determine when territory is
16 occupied. The first part of the test is this:
17 "Due to the occupation, the legitimate
18 government is no longer able to exercise publicly its
19 authority in the territory concerned."
20 And two:
21 "The invading force, on the other hand, is in
22 a position to control and to enforce its authority in
23 the same territory."
24 The reference to this is contained in book I
25 of the Prosecutor's brief. It is, in fact, paragraph
1 503 of part 3 of the manual.
2 In this case, the evidence is such that you
3 may determine quite legitimately that the government of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Vitez, Busovaca, and Kiseljak was
5 no longer exercising any reasonable authority during
6 the relevant period of this indictment. The evidence
7 shows in this case that the HVO seized control in all
8 three municipalities. Croatia controlled the HVO and
9 the evidence shows in this case that the HVO both
10 gained and sought control in all of the municipalities
11 that were declared to be part of Herceg-Bosna, and I
12 would refer you back to Prosecutor's Exhibit 456/95,
13 which I have just read from, in which senior HVO
14 officials were discussing the level of control which
15 they exercised in those municipalities which they
16 regarded as Croatian territory.
17 It is our submission that at its highest, the
18 evidence demonstrates that the Muslim victims were in
19 the hands of an occupying power, the Republic of
20 Croatia through its de facto agent the HVO. Even if
21 you were to find, Your Honours, that the territory were
22 not occupied, the evidence demonstrates conclusively
23 that the victims were in the hands of the party to the
24 conflict, the HVO, again as de facto agents of the
25 Republic of Croatia.
1 I will now briefly address you on
2 co-belligerent status and diplomatic relations and how
3 this affects protection afforded under the Geneva
4 Conventions. The protection afforded under the
5 conventions does not extend to civilians in the hands
6 of a State that is allied and has normal diplomatic
7 relationship -- a normal diplomatic relationship with
8 their own State.
9 Now, the Defence has suggested in this case
10 that Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia,
11 during this war, maintained diplomatic relations and
12 were, in fact, co-belligerents against the JNA and the
13 army of Republika Srpska, the VRS.
14 The truth revealed by the evidence in this
15 case is that Croatia adopted a dual Machiavellian
16 policy with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Robert Donia, the
17 historian who testified at the beginning of the case,
18 mentioned this in his lengthy testimony. Where it
19 suited the Republic of Croatia to be in alliance with
20 the government in Sarajevo, it was so. When its
21 interest do not suit it to be in alliance, then it was
23 If we could go briefly, and I think almost
24 finally, into private session, please, Mr. President.
25 (Private session)
13 page 24787 redacted – private session
2 (Open session)
3 MR. CAYLEY: Witness DT then testified
4 himself, in fact, that the 5th Corps in Bihac
5 significantly assisted the defence of Croatia. He
6 confirmed this. Bobetko, in fact, stated that the HV
7 regarded it as a corps behind enemy lines.
8 But let us look at the reality of the war in
9 Central Bosnia. Defence Exhibit 345 is a list of 560
10 names of dead HVO soldiers killed in combat with the
11 Bosnian army. These are the dead of a war fought out
12 not between co-belligerents but between bitter
14 In May of 1993, Haso Efendic of the Bosnian
15 government made a public statement on behalf of the
16 government in Sarajevo, and that is contained at
17 tab 22, and I will read out a small section of that
18 statement that was made at the time:
19 "The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 states once again that it wishes to develop
21 all-encompassing relations and cooperation with the
22 Republic of Croatia on the basis of mutual trust and
23 respect. However, unless the attacks are immediately
24 stopped and the units of the State of Croatia are
25 withdrawn immediately from the territory of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina, the government of the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina will be forced to turn to the
3 International Community and request protection from the
5 Even Professor Degan, who was brought here by
6 the Defence to state that the relations were, in fact,
7 entirely normal between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia,
8 stated that the armed conflict between Croatian
9 soldiers and Bosnian government forces was unlawful
10 armed intervention against the sovereign government of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Moreover, Professor Degan
12 acknowledged that had the cutting of supplies and
13 military material occurred by the Republic of Croatia,
14 that would not be the act of a co-belligerent.
15 If we can very briefly go into private
17 (Private session)
13 page 24790 redacted – private session
13 page 24791 redacted – private session
13 page 24792 redacted – private session
6 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
8 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please
9 be seated. Have the accused brought in, please.
10 (The accused entered court)
11 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to continue now.
12 I wish to say for the benefit of the public
13 that we are in the final week of the trial against
14 General Blaskic, who is here present, and that we are
15 listening to the closing arguments of the Office of the
16 Prosecutor. Mr. Cayley has finished his part and has
17 left, and it is now Mr. Harmon's turn.
18 We are listening to you, Mr. Harmon.
19 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
20 afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon, Counsel.
21 I would like to, first of all, discuss with
22 Your Honours the HVO in Central Bosnia, and in that
23 respect, I would like to remind the Chamber of the
24 proposition that has been put forth by the Defence to
25 this Chamber that General Blaskic was commanding armed
1 peasants. That is a proposition that has been put
2 before you repeatedly, and it is something that I would
3 like to put into context because it gives the
4 impression that we are not talking about a developed
5 country, a highly industrialised country and a country
6 with a strong military tradition.
7 The former Yugoslavia had compulsory military
8 service for all men of military age, able-bodied,
9 between the ages of 18 and 26, and that compulsory
10 military service lasted a minimum of 12 months; and
11 during those 12 months, the able-bodied men of the
12 former Yugoslavia learned military skills and, more
13 importantly, they learned the principle of
14 subordination because one of the paramount
15 considerations and principles in the JNA was the
16 principle of subordination.
17 The principle of subordination wasn't an
18 alien concept that was brought over and dropped into
19 Central Bosnia; it wasn't the first giraffe that was
20 seen by Western Europeans; it was a concept that was
21 fully and completely understood.
22 If I could have the principle of
23 subordination placed on the ELMO?
24 Mr. President and Your Honours, this was a
25 principle that was immediately engrafted into the
1 decree of the armed forces of the Croatian Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna, and I will take just a moment to read
4 It is found in Article 32, which is in our
5 Exhibit 38, tab 2:
6 "Command in the Armed Forces shall be
7 founded on the following fundamental principles:
8 (a) unity of command and the obligation to
9 implement the decisions and carry out the command and
10 orders of a superior commander; and
11 (b) commanders of the Armed Forces shall be
12 responsible to their superiors for their work, command
13 and control."
14 So this, Mr. President, was a principle that
15 was well understood by virtually -- by everybody who
16 had served in the former JNA.
17 Now, when we talk about JNA, we are talking
18 about an army that was considered by the Western
19 powers, by the NATO alliance, to be one of the most
20 formidable armies and potential foes in Central
22 It was a large army. We have heard testimony
23 about the size of the army. It was an army that had
24 excellent training. It was an army that had officers
25 who came from military academies, the military academy
1 -- one of them was in Belgrade. General Blaskic
2 graduated from the military academy in Belgrade, other
3 officers in the JNA graduated from the military
4 academy. They also had a reserve officer training
5 programme, and the reserve officer training programme
6 resulted in individuals who didn't go to the military
7 academy being commissioned as officers and being part
8 of this potentially formidable foe, this large army,
9 the JNA.
10 You know, we have had some testimony in this
11 case about the quality of the reserve officer training
12 programme which made up a fundamental part of the JNA
13 officer corps. I got the sense when I was listening to
14 this testimony that the Defence in some way was trying
15 to denigrate the quality of officers that were coming
16 out of that particular programme, and I would like to
17 remind the Trial Chamber, we all come from different
18 countries, but in my country, the United States, not
19 every officer who serves in the military has graduated
20 from Annapolis or has graduated from West Point. There
21 are other ways to become an officer. Those officers
22 who come up through other mechanisms, through other
23 channels, are considered fine officers, they are
24 excellent officers, and they make up the bulk of the
25 United States Army.
1 Likewise, not every officer from the United
2 Kingdom graduates from Sandhurst or, from the French
3 army, graduates from St. Cyr. Reserve officer
4 programmes are fundamental aspects of large militaries,
5 it is a reality, and it was a reality in the former
7 Now, let me also mention that when the
8 discussion hit upon a peasant army, what we are talking
9 about is a level of training from the JNA that created
10 a vast pool of experience that was available to the
11 HVO, it was available to the ABiH, and it was available
12 to the VRS, and it is not as though the war -- the
13 former Yugoslavia disintegrated, the mandatory service
14 dissolved, and there was a hiatus of 15 or 20 years
15 where the experience level of people who were trained
16 in military elements disappeared, we are talking about
17 a transitional period from the disintegration of the
18 former Yugoslavia, 1991 and 1992, when there was
19 compulsory service, to the beginning of this war which
20 started in 1992 and 1993. So we are not talking about
21 a large gap where military-aged and eligible men for
22 service did not have military training.
23 The conclusion we can draw from the
24 compulsory military service is, there was a large body
25 of available men with training in the military, in
1 military skills, and primarily in the unity of command
2 that was available to all parties in this conflict.
3 We heard some testimony in the course of this
4 trial that the HVO didn't meet NATO standards. Now,
5 let's examine that because it has been conceded in this
6 trial that NATO had the most formidable military
7 services in the world. It has the best-trained officer
8 corps, it has the best armaments, it has the best
9 equipment in terms of communications. What we also
10 heard from Witness DX was the former JNA did not meet
11 NATO standards, and very frankly, most countries that
12 have signed up and have agreed to abide by the Geneva
13 Conventions don't meet NATO standards. That's a red
14 herring. The signatories to the Geneva Conventions,
15 whether or not they meet NATO standards, are still
16 obliged to abide by the provisions of those standards.
17 Let me move on to the next aspect of the HVO
18 that I would like to discuss with you, and that's
20 First of all, we have heard Brigadier Marin
21 testify in this case that the level of training in the
22 HVO -- first of all, he said there was none, then he
23 changed his testimony and ultimately he said, in
24 response to a question by my colleague, Mr. Kehoe, and
25 to another question by Judge Shahabuddeen, that the HVO
1 carried out a level of training that was "minimal and
2 most essential."
3 Let's examine what the HVO did in respect of
4 training this large pool of already-trained military
5 men who had done compulsory service.
6 If we could turn to the first exhibit?
7 This first exhibit -- and I won't present all
8 of the exhibits that discuss training -- but this first
9 exhibit that I would like to show is one dated the 10th
10 of May, 1992, and it is an order that was issued by
11 Colonel Blaskic in Kiseljak on the 10th of May, and in
12 point 4, he says:
13 "4. All Municipal HVO Commands must begin
14 with training and additional training of soldiers in
15 locations which must be under guard."
16 So Colonel Blaskic, as soon as he arrived in
17 the theatre, started to train his soldiers.
18 At the same time, we've heard testimony in
19 this case about HOS. HOS was another organisation
20 separate from the HVO. As we've heard, it ultimately
21 evolved into -- it disintegrated and many of the
22 members went into the HVO.
23 But let's take a look at the next exhibit,
24 which is D249. D249 is a report from Major Darko
25 Kraljevic, dated the 19th of July, 1992, to the HOS war
1 staff command in Zagreb. What does Darko Kraljevic
2 have to say about the level of training that's taking
4 If we turn to the third paragraph, Kraljevic
5 says in 3:
6 "3. The training camp in Vitez has been in
7 existence for four months now. Five hundred troops
8 have been trained there. Their operations and sabotage
9 actions are the best proof of the quality of
11 So in addition to the HVO training that was
12 being initiated by Colonel Blaskic in the Kiseljak
13 municipality, there had been training going on for four
14 months where 500 members had been trained.
15 Moving along, I'd like to turn the Court's
16 attention to Prosecutor's Exhibit 104, because the
17 training that was being given by Colonel Blaskic to his
18 subordinates wasn't limited to basic training.
19 If we turn to Exhibit 104, we can see that
20 this order issued by Colonel Blaskic on the 23rd of
21 July, 1992, deals with specialised training in
22 specialised equipment. In this case it's a Strela
23 artillery piece, and he identifies a large number of
24 soldiers in this particular document that will be
25 trained on this particular occasion in the use of that
1 particular weapon system.
2 If we turn next, Mr. President and Your
3 Honours, to July 24th, 1992, we can see another order
4 of Colonel Blaskic. This one is an order where he is
5 sending his subordinate soldiers to Croatia to be
6 trained. He discusses the needs of those soldiers and
7 what they will be trained in and when they will go.
8 Training was across the board in the HVO,
9 Mr. President and Your Honours, and I'd like to turn
10 next to an exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 484. Now this
11 -- I will only put on the ELMO the cover sheet of this
12 rather lengthy exhibit that we presented, and what this
13 is a training plan and programme for recruits of the
14 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. It is dated the
15 1st of September, 1992 and it is issued by Brigadier
16 Milivoj Petkovic.
17 I would commend Your Honours to examine this
18 document, because if in your deliberations -- in your
19 deliberations you will see, by merely looking at the
20 index, the contents of this training programme are
21 extensive. As I recall Brigadier Marin testified, this
22 training programme lasted 22 days and it covers a
23 variety of topics. What is more remarkable about this
24 exhibit, however, is the fact that there's not a single
25 moment of training in International Humanitarian Law,
1 on the laws and customs of war, on the Geneva
3 Now, if we move on in this, Mr. President and
4 Your Honours, we can see that in addition to the
5 training that I have described now taking place, there
6 was additional training that was taking place in other
7 parts of, as I say, other parts of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina by the HVO. I don't have a copy of it here
9 because there are too many exhibits, but I would refer
10 Your Honours to Prosecutor's Exhibit 457, page 17 in
11 that particular document, "Three Years of Military
12 Police History," which there is a report that deals
13 with what we've accomplished in the various -- from
14 January 1993 until June of 1993, and on page 17 you
15 will see that there is a reference to training 2.000
16 HVO soldiers.
17 In addition, Mr. President and Your Honours,
18 we have presented to Your Honours a film. You may
19 recall it. It was a film taken by a reporter,
20 Dan Damon, and it showed training where these soldiers
21 -- HVO soldiers dressed in combat kit, jumping out of
22 trucks and running around in movement, training with
23 dogs. It is another illustration of the level of
24 training that was being conducted by the HVO.
25 Now, if we move next, Mr. President and Your
1 Honours, to Prosecutor's Exhibit 106. This is an
2 exhibit that is dated the 20th of September, 1992.
3 This is also signed by then Colonel Blaskic, and in
4 item number 3 it says:
5 "3. The training of new recruits who have
6 not yet served in the Yugoslav army is to be basic and
7 specific. Recruit all able-bodied men over 18."
8 This goes to ONO, the operations and training
9 body. Now, who is the training officer for Central
10 Bosnia? Brigadier Marin. And the deadline for this
11 particular training for the neophyte soldiers is
12 indicated, 15 to 30 September, 1992.
13 The next exhibit I'd like to direct the
14 Court's attention to is Prosecutor's Exhibit 107. This
15 is a training schedule signed by Colonel Blaskic, and
16 it discusses, it outlines a training regimen that lasts
17 from 6.00 in the morning until 21.00 in the evening.
18 Once, Mr. President and Your Honours, the
19 conflict commenced, Colonel Blaskic sent a report to
20 his superiors on May the 7th. That's found in
21 Prosecutor's Exhibit 456/32. What did Colonel Blaskic
22 say in that report to Mate Boban, to Bruno Stojic, and
23 to Milivoj Petkovic? He says in point 2:
24 "2. Younger troops, especially in Busovaca,
25 38 killed and 108 wounded so far, are undergoing
1 special training according to the submitted training
3 So even while the war is -- shortly after its
4 most intense phase, the HVO continues to train its
5 young soldiers.
6 Now, Your Honours have heard a large amount
7 of testimony from third parties, independent observers
8 who were operating in theatre in the Central Bosnia
9 area. One of those individuals was Lieutenant-Colonel
10 Watters, and my colleague, Mr. Kehoe, asked
11 Lieutenant-Colonel Watters the following question: He
13 Q Let me ask ...
14 And I'm reading from 3649.
15 Q. Let me ask for that clarification.
16 Would you agree with me when I say the
17 HVO soldiers had been trained militarily
18 either in the former JNA or more
19 recently with the regular Croatian
20 forces? Would you agree with that first
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Watters responded:
23 A. The majority of the commanders I met, I
24 know them to be former JNA officers. I
25 cannot give a personal account of the
1 individual soldiers, sir, I did not talk
2 to them about it, but they were
3 certainly trained by their military
4 commanders. We saw them training.
5 Now, in fact, the next exhibit I'd like to
6 show you is a photograph that was taken by one of the
7 British observers who was in Central Bosnia, and this
8 photograph, he testified, shows young HVO soldiers
10 Now, what can we conclude, Mr. President,
11 from this testimony that we have heard that this was
12 only armed peasants? What we can conclude from this
13 about the HVO in Central Bosnia is this: They had a
14 large pool of people to draw from into their service
15 who had compulsory military service, who understood the
16 principle of unity of command, and who continued with
17 ongoing training in the HVO.
18 Now, we heard the next claim that was raised
19 by the Defence and raised by Brigadier Marin, "We had
20 lack of trained officers."
21 Now, Your Honours may recall that the
22 impression that one was left with when listening to
23 Brigadier Marin, was that there were only three trained
24 officers in all of Central Bosnia. It was, frankly, an
25 astonishing proposition. It was a misleading
1 proposition, and you may well recall that my colleague,
2 Mr. Kehoe, spent the better part of half a day of the
3 trial session identifying officers who were in Central
4 Bosnia and asking them about the level of training that
5 they had in -- and they had had before they joined the
7 I would direct your attention, Your Honours,
8 to the Prosecutor's brief, book II, pages 13 through
9 15, and you will see, and I will not repeat here, you
10 will see a list of some of those officers who were
11 identified. We did not identify all of the officers
12 who served under Colonel Blaskic, we identified some,
13 and you will see that the training that they had
14 included training at the military academy, training at
15 reserve officer training programmes, and you will see
16 that it's quite comprehensive, this list.
17 The problem in Central Bosnia, Mr. President
18 and Your Honours, wasn't the level of training with the
19 officer corps or the level of training of the lower
20 troops, the problem in Central Bosnia was the problem
21 of leadership, the problem of leadership of Colonel
22 Blaskic, because it was his failure of leadership that
23 led to these crimes in Central Bosnia.
24 His hand-selected commander for the Kiseljak
25 municipality was Mijo Bozic. Mijo Bozic was a military
1 academy graduate from Belgrade, and Mijo Bozic was the
2 officer who issued the illegal order to burn the
3 villages in the Kiseljak municipality. That order was
4 issued while Colonel Blaskic was in Kiseljak.
5 Mato Lucic. Mato Lucic was an active duty
6 JNA officer who led the attack on Svinjarevo. We know
7 what happened to Svinjarevo. In Prosecutor's Exhibit
8 85, ECMM concluded that there had been ethnic
9 cleansing, and you have heard the testimony of the
10 victims from that area and you have seen the
11 photographs of Svinjarevo, yet Mato Lucic was an active
12 military officer.
13 JUDGE JORDA: (No interpretation). Continue
14 please, yes.
15 MR. HARMON: Mario Cerkez had had reserve
16 officer training. You may recall the testimony of
17 Colonel Henk Morsink who testified that Mario Cerkez,
18 at a Busovaca joint commission meeting, felt confident
19 enough and comfortable enough to threaten to burn the
20 village of Kruscica to the ground.
21 Let's talk about Ivica Rajic, an active JNA
22 officer. He's been indicted for Stupni Do. He was in
23 Kiseljak when Tulica and Han Ploca were burned to the
24 ground, yet he was an active JNA officer.
25 The problem, Mr. President and Your Honours,
1 wasn't a problem of training, it wasn't a problem of
2 whether there was sufficient officers, the essential
3 problem in this case was leadership, and leadership
4 starts at the top and the top is Colonel Blaskic. The
5 question we have to ask is: What kind of leadership
6 did he provide?
7 We would submit to Your Honours that the
8 leadership he provided was such that it encouraged and
9 promoted his subordinates to engage in criminal conduct
10 because they were absolutely confident in the fact that
11 nothing would happen to them as a result.
12 Mr. President and Your Honours, the next area
13 the Defence raised and said that this was an area that
14 certainly impinged upon Colonel Blaskic's ability to
15 command and control, was the area of communications.
16 I think the characterisation was made that
17 the only thing Colonel Blaskic had was an amateur
18 packet communication system that any amateur could
19 crack, and on the 16th of April, he had two telephones
20 in his headquarters. We are left again with the
21 impression that Colonel Blaskic had very little at his
22 disposal, and again we must put this into context.
23 Mr. Kehoe discussed with you earlier the HVO
24 take-over of the various municipalities. That also
25 included the take-over of JNA facilities and that also
1 included the take-over of the equipment in those
2 facilities, including communications equipment. We
3 have heard testimony from various witnesses that the
4 equipment, if it was shared, wasn't shared equally
5 amongst the HVO and the ABiH.
6 We have submitted a lengthy exhibit to Your
7 Honours, it is Prosecutor's Exhibit 757, and this
8 particular exhibit identifies some of the equipment
9 that was made available to the HVO, the types of
10 communication equipment that was made available to the
11 HVO at various times in the municipalities commanded by
12 Colonel Blaskic, and I would urge Your Honours to
13 examine the 77 entries that are found in portion 3 of
14 this exhibit because this describes the various types
15 of communication that were sent to the HVO, to
16 Blaskic's headquarters, to Kiseljak headquarters, to
17 the Busovaca headquarters, and to other headquarters
18 and other elements of the HVO from the maintenance and
19 repair depot in Travnik, and you will see, on close
20 examination of this particular exhibit, you will see
21 that what was sent was radios, various types of radio
22 equipment, short-range, long-range radios, mobile
23 communications vehicles, telephone communications,
24 antennae, radio relay devices, teleprinters, battery
25 rechargers, field switchboards, et cetera, et cetera,
1 et cetera.
2 Let's be quite frank on this. Colonel
3 Blaskic got his fair share of this. He didn't limit
4 himself to two telephones.
5 We have also heard testimony that the HVO and
6 the Muslims were aligned against the VRS before their
7 conflict started. How was the HVO communicating with
8 its forces on the front lines against the Serbs before
9 this war started? On April 16th, 1993, did the
10 communications capabilities of the HVO vanish? I don't
11 think so.
12 When Colonel Blaskic said he had two
13 telephones in the Hotel Vitez, that was both false and
14 it was misleading. First of all, we have had the
15 testimony of a number of witnesses, third parties and
16 Defence witnesses, who have testified about what they
17 saw in the Hotel Vitez.
18 I refer Your Honours to the testimony of
19 Major Hunter, who was in the Hotel Vitez on May the
20 20th. He observed radios in the Hotel Vitez. Major
21 Baggesen, who was an ECMM monitor and who was in the
22 Vitez area when the attacks commenced on the 16th of
23 April, he observed radio antennae coming out of the
24 Hotel Vitez and he actually was in the Hotel Vitez and
25 he saw somebody talking on a radio. Brigadier Zeko,
1 Blaskic's chief of intelligence, said that there was a
2 communications area in the hotel.
3 Now, this testimony, "I only had two
4 telephones," leaves the impression again there was
5 minimal amount of communications capability.
6 Let's again examine reality, and reality is
7 the HVO had a communications centre located a few
8 metres across the plaza at the PTT telephone building,
9 and that communications centre was operational. It was
10 operational before the conflict on the 16th of April
11 and it was operational after the 16th of April.
12 How do we know that?
13 Let me show Your Honours some exhibits,
14 starting with D96, and this is only a sample of these
15 exhibits. If Your Honours examine the orders that were
16 sent out by Blaskic and the replies that were sent in
17 from his subordinates in the field, frequently there
18 was a stamp on the order in the B/C/S language
19 reflecting the date and time and location of the
21 Let me take Your Honours through just four
22 examples to illustrate my point. D96, you will see,
23 Mr. President and Your Honours, on the B/C/S version
24 that's on the ELMO, you will see a stamp, and that
25 stamp on the upper line says "CV HVO Vitez," which is
1 the communications centre stamp, and this was received
2 on the 27th of January, 1993.
3 If we move to Prosecutor's Exhibit D -- I'm
4 sorry, Defence Exhibit 264, I'll put the English
5 version on, and you will see, on the lower right-hand
6 corner, the translation of the stamp, Croatian Defence
7 Council HVO Vitez Communications Centre dated 15 April
8 1993 at 0711 hours.
9 Moving to now immediately after the conflict,
10 if we go to Prosecutor's Exhibit 288A, again on the
11 ELMO, Your Honours will see the English translation of
12 the stamp indicating Croatian Defence Council Vitez
13 Communications Centre, 17 April 1993 at 0614 hours in
14 the morning.
15 One last example for Your Honours is 303, it
16 is Defence Exhibit 303. Again, this is the B/C/S
17 version of the stamp. It indicates on the lower
18 left-hand corner again the HVO Communications Centre,
19 dated April 18th, 1993.
20 Mr. President and Your Honours, what we see
21 here is that there was a functional operational
22 communications centre a short distance away from
23 Colonel Blaskic, and when he says "I could only
24 communicate on two telephones," that's misleading and
25 it's false.
1 The next question arises -- we've heard
2 Colonel Blaskic testify about problems with his ability
3 to send secure communications. Again, Mr. President
4 and Your Honours, I commend you to Prosecutor's Exhibit
5 757, particularly the first portion of that exhibit,
6 because in that first portion of the exhibit, there is
7 a series of documents which show (1) that Colonel
8 Blaskic was receiving coded communications from
9 Mostar. I believe in that exhibit -- there are four
10 exhibits in there, four sample exhibits, where General
11 Petkovic sends Blaskic coded communications.
12 Second of all, in that exhibit there are a
13 number of examples of rudimentary codes that were used
14 by various subordinate units of Colonel Blaskic in
15 Fojnica, for example, I believe there is one from
16 Vares. It is inconceivable that Colonel Blaskic did
17 not use codes when he was fighting the Serbs. He was.
18 He used codes. There were codes as standard operating
19 military procedures. He was aware of them and he used
21 Could they encrypt their messages? What do
22 we know about that? We know that Brigadier Marin
23 testified before Your Honours -- now, Brigadier Marin,
24 again, was the chief of intelligence. He had an office
25 or a location in Nova Bila, which was near the British
1 base, and I asked Brigadier Zeko, "Did you have
2 encryption capabilities and could you communicate with
3 encrypted communications to the Hotel Vitez?" He said
5 So it is clear, Mr. President and Your
6 Honours, from the equipment that was available to them
7 and the communications centre that was there, that the
8 HVO and Colonel Blaskic had far more communications
9 capabilities than he said in his testimony.
10 Again, I'd like to turn Your Honours'
11 attention to the testimony of -- it was Major Baggesen
12 who testified that when he went to HVO positions on
13 Serb lines, he saw HVO communications officer
14 communicating on a radio with various other radio
15 stations in the HVO radio network. Now, that was when
16 they were fighting the Serbs.
17 Captain Jean-Marc Lanthier, who was a member
18 of the Canadian battalion in Kiseljak, his testimony to
19 Your Honours was the HVO had excellent communications
20 at various HVO headquarters. Colonel Stewart, when he
21 testified, testified that it was easy for the HVO
22 headquarters to pass commands down to subordinate
24 Let's examine another facet of the problem of
25 communications, and that is: What did the victims tell
1 Your Honours when they came to this Chamber and related
2 their tragic stories?
3 Many of these victims testified that, in
4 fact, while they observed these actions of the HVO
5 soldiers, they saw them. They saw them with
6 Motorolas. I believe a witness by the name of Sulejman
7 Kavazovic testified that in addition to Motorolas he
8 saw hand-held field telephones that were being used.
9 Now, if we could go briefly into private
10 session, it will be very brief, I'd like to --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, briefly. Mr. Registrar.
12 (Private session)
13 page 24816 redacted – private session
15 (Open session)
16 JUDGE JORDA: I must remind you once again,
17 in view of the fact that a maximum of publicity focuses
18 on this debate and that we must limit to a minimum
19 private sessions to only those witnesses that were
20 under protection. So please continue.
21 MR. HARMON: I apologise, Mr. President.
22 That's my mistake.
23 Let's turn to Kiseljak and discuss Kiseljak
24 for just a moment.
25 We have heard testimony from a professional
1 military officer, it was Captain Libert who said that
2 physical separation of command is not unusual. It
3 happened on a number of occasions and he cited examples
4 in the Second World War. Was that a problem for
5 Colonel Blaskic? Let's hear the words of
6 Colonel Blaskic. I will refer Your Honours to
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 380, and this is what
8 Colonel Blaskic said. He was asked the question:
9 Q. Kresevo, Kiseljak, and part of Fojnica
10 municipality also controlled by the HVO
11 are also in Central Bosnia but are not
12 connected with the forces of Vitez and
13 Busovaca. How are they holding up?
14 Blaskic -- I will read only a portion of this
15 answer given the time, and I'm reading from midway
16 through his answer:
17 A. ... They are carrying out in a
18 coordinated and organised manner all
19 commands connected with the defence of
20 the people and Croatian territories.
21 This physical separation is not an
22 essential or decisive factor, because we
23 figured out in our planning that the
24 temporary physical separation of these
25 areas could occur. Travnik is the first
1 Operative Group, Kiseljak is the second,
2 Zepce the third, and Sarajevo the
3 fourth. All operative groups are under
4 my command with the chain of leadership
5 and command functions absolutely,
6 without interruption.
7 So Colonel Blaskic agreed with Captain Libert
8 that physical separation did not necessarily pose
9 problems with command.
10 Now, I will not repeat the testimonies of
11 Brigadier-General Duncan or Baggesen or Lanthier, but
12 all of them testified to the effect that the command
13 functioned properly in the Kiseljak municipality, and
14 Blaskic told them that there were no problems with the
15 command, even though there was a physical separation
16 between the Vitez-Busovaca municipality and the
17 Kiseljak municipality. That's what he told them then.
18 What he's telling this Trial Chamber now is different.
19 What he told the Donis reporter in October is different
20 than what he's telling this Chamber now.
21 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, I'd like
22 to turn first of all to identify some of the units and
23 deal quickly with some of the units, whether
24 Colonel Blaskic commanded and controlled these units.
25 Let's start with the artillery.
1 My colleague, Mr. Kehoe, touched upon --
2 JUDGE JORDA: You're going to another
3 subject, are you? I'm asking you in order to be able
4 to follow you.
5 MR. HARMON: I am.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Are you still talking about
7 communications? Yes. Very well. Continue, please.
8 MR. HARMON: I'm now talking about units that
9 were under the command of Colonel Blaskic. I'd like to
10 start with, first of all, the artillery.
11 As I say, my colleague, Mr. Kehoe, touched
12 upon that this morning when he discussed the shelling
13 of Zenica on the 19th of April, 1993.
14 Blaskic himself testified that he commanded
15 the important major artillery pieces in his area of
16 operation. Why? Because artillery assets were
17 precious. The lower commands had mortars, smaller
18 millimetre mortars, they had anti-aircraft pieces, but
19 the big pieces were under Blaskic's control and only he
20 could give orders in respect of those. My colleague
21 mentioned why that's important. In part, the Zenica
23 Briefly let me put another exhibit on the
24 ELMO. This is Prosecutor's 690, and it relates to
25 Colonel Blaskic's testimony about the 16th of April,
2 On the 16th of April, as you will recall,
3 Colonel Blaskic testified that he was taken by surprise
4 by this attack on the Hotel Vitez. His artillery was
5 unprepared, and as I recall in his testimony, he was
6 not able to organise any artillery response until
7 approximately 9.00 or 9.30 that morning.
8 Now, let's take a look at what a third-party
9 observer identified? The third-party observer, as you
10 will see on this Exhibit A, says that at 06.45 hours,
11 they noticed the artillery piece, a field gun, started
12 to fire from an area and they give the coordinates.
13 Well, during the testimony of this case those
14 coordinates were identified, and those coordinates were
15 at a quarry known as Mosunj, which housed a
16 152-millimetre artillery piece that was under the
17 exclusive control of Blaskic.
18 So when Blaskic testified in this Chamber
19 that he didn't start the artillery fire until 9.00,
20 9.30 on the 16th, he had exclusive control over this
21 artillery piece that started firing at 06.45 hours.
22 I'd like to turn next to a special purpose
23 unit known as Zuti. Did Colonel Blaskic command and
24 control this particular special purpose unit?
25 If I could put before this Chamber the
1 following testimony of Brigadier Marin, who testified
2 at page 13965 and 13966. He said as follows:
3 A. The Zuti units, the yellow units, was
4 within the composition of the Frankopan
5 Brigade, so it was not a unit
6 organisationally linked to the Defence
7 Ministry or any other institution. It
8 was a unit which, that is to say, a
9 group of 30 individuals who proclaimed
10 themselves to be special purpose units,
11 and they acted within the frameworks of
12 the Frankopan Brigade, just as a company
13 or platoon with the framework -- within
14 the framework of the brigade.
15 So this, according to a Defence witness, puts
16 the Zuti special purpose unit directly into the
17 Frankopan Brigade, and we have heard testimony from
18 Colonel Blaskic that he controlled the brigades.
19 Let's take a look at Prosecutor's
20 Exhibit 456/37, an order, a command by Colonel Blaskic
21 dated June 19, 1993. In the distribution section of
22 this order it says and I quote: "All the independent
23 units under the command of the HVO 3rd OZ commander,"
24 and it lists, among others, the Vitezovi, TURTKO II,
25 and Zuti.
1 Now, let's talk about Zuti. How is this
2 Zuti, this organisation, characterised by the Defence?
3 If I can refer Your Honours to page 19612, a question
4 by my colleague, Mr. Nobilo. The following question:
5 Q. Would you remind us please, one of the
6 representatives, you say in a very nice
7 way the members of an armed group, but I
8 would like to say Mafioso groups, you
9 mentioned Zuti. Is it the same Zuti
10 that witnesses from the International
11 Community mentioned who was responsible
12 for hijacking of convoys?
13 Answer by Blaskic:
14 A. Yes, it was. He was one of the bosses
15 in the area.
16 So we have Colonel Blaskic testifying that
17 Zuti, in adopting the characterisation by my colleague
18 Mr. Nobilo, that Zuti was one of the Mafioso bosses in
19 the area.
20 Now, let's discuss Zuti a little bit more in
21 the context of war crimes. You may recall
22 Major Baggesen who testified before this Chamber. Let
23 me relate his testimony, starting at page 1978 and
24 going over to 1979. Major Baggesen answered:
25 A. We went to that area and witnessed two
1 Muslim families forced out of their
2 homes and their houses were given over
3 to Croat families.
4 Q. Who forced them out of their houses?
5 A. It was an HVO unit. We were able to see
6 that and we were told the commander of
7 this unit had the nickname Zuti.
8 Q. Did you witness this event actually
10 A. Yes, we did.
11 Further on down the line:
12 Q. Who did you complain to about this
14 A. On our way back we passed Colonel
15 Blaskic and we complained about this to
16 Colonel Blaskic.
17 Q. You said you passed Colonel Blaskic?
18 You passed the Hotel Vitez in Vitez and
19 you went to his headquarters and told
20 him about this incident? What did he
22 A. He said he was sorry and he would try to
23 do something about it.
24 Q. Did he do anything about it?
25 A. I do not think, because at this time it
1 only seems it's as a minor problem that
2 two families were forced out.
3 This occurred on the 11th of May, according
4 to Major Baggesen.
5 The question is: Assuming this was a Mafioso
6 group, a group that stole from international convoys
7 humanitarian aid and a group that, according to Major
8 Baggesen, evicted Muslims from their homes, did Colonel
9 Blaskic have the military might to suppress this
10 group? Absolutely. And I will refer Your Honours to a
11 testimony of Brigadier General Alastair Duncan who was
12 talking in the context of the Vitezovi but it applies
13 equally to Zuti.
14 Brigadier General Duncan testified that Darko
15 Kraljevic and his knights had a number of about 20 or
16 30 strong, and the question was put to Brigadier
17 General Duncan:
18 Q. Did Blaskic have enough troops under his
19 control to control 20 or 30 men?
20 A. Most certainly. If he wished to stamp
21 out 20 or 30 men, he could have done so
23 The next exhibit I would like to turn Your
24 Honours' attention to is Prosecutor's Exhibit 685
25 because the leader of the Zuti group was a man by the
1 name of Zarko Andric.
2 What happened to this man who ECMM advised
3 had evicted Muslims from their homes, who Blaskic
4 acknowledged had stolen from international humanitarian
5 aid convoys. What happened to him? Was he punished?
6 Was his group suppressed? The answer is "No" to both
7 of those questions, and the answer can be seen in
8 Prosecutor's Exhibit 685. Zarko Andric was personally
9 appointed by Blaskic to be the assistant commander for
10 the active forces in Central Bosnia on the 4th of July,
12 Let me turn to another special purposes group
13 very briefly, the Tvrtko II group. This Court has
14 heard testimony from Blaskic that on the 16th of April,
15 at 12.34 in the afternoon, Blaskic personally placed
16 the commander of the Tvrtko unit at the disposal of
17 Mario Cerkez and asked him to assist Cerkez in the
18 assault on Doing Veceriska that was taking place.
19 Yesterday my colleague showed Your Honours
20 pictures again of what happened in Doing Veceriska.
21 The Muslims were driven out, their homes were burned to
22 the ground. One of the participating units beside the
23 brigade that was under Blaskic's control was this
24 special purposes unit, and again, if there is any
25 question as to whether this special purposes unit was
1 under Blaskic's control, I would refer Your Honours to
2 456/37. I have referred to it earlier.
3 The next group is in Kiseljak, special
4 purposes unit known as the Maturice. This was a group,
5 Mr. President and Your Honours, that was part of the
6 Ban Jelacic Brigade, and as such, by Blaskic's own
7 admission that he controlled the brigades, he
8 controlled, obviously, the actions of this particular
10 Lastly, I would like to turn to the Vitezovi
11 because Blaskic tried mightily to distance himself from
12 the Vitezovi special purposes unit. What he testified
13 and what Marin testified about was that the Vitezovi
14 was led by Darko Kraljevic, and in order to give Darko
15 Kraljevic an order, an assignment, even after he had
16 been "attached," he would have to negotiate with Darko
17 Kraljevic, and only if Darko Kraljevic agreed could
18 Blaskic rely on the services of the Vitezovi.
19 He also testified that the Vitezovi was out
20 of control and that Blaskic complained all the time to
21 the main staff about the Vitezovi, about their actions,
22 about the actions of their commander, Darko Kraljevic,
23 and that, Your Honours, was a lie. Absolutely a lie.
24 Why did he lie about that? It is quite clear
25 why he did: Because virtually every crime in this
1 indictment has the fingerprints of the Vitezovi on it.
2 I refer Your Honour to a protected witness I
3 referred to a few moments ago who discussed
4 communications while in Ahmici and in the January
5 attack in Busovaca. I won't identify him in public
6 session, but he identifies the Vitezovi as
7 participating in the January attack where the Muslims'
8 houses were burned, where they were attacked, where
9 they were driven out.
10 The truck bomb. We have heard Colonel
11 Blaskic testify that the Vitezovi were the group that
12 was responsible. We have heard testimony of Blaskic
13 saying that the Vitezovi were assigned to guard around
14 his headquarters. We have heard testimony of victims
15 who testified about what happened to the Muslim homes
16 around the Hotel Vitez: They were burned to the
17 ground, civilians were driven out. There is testimony
18 of what they did through third party British officers
19 who drove into Vitez and observed the one-sided combat
20 taking place.
21 The Vitezovi held prisoners at the Dubravica
22 school from the 16th of April until early May, and I
23 would refer Your Honours to the testimony of Dr. Fuad
24 Zeco who testified that the Vitezovi threatened to kill
25 the prisoners in the Dubravica school if the ABiH, in
1 their counterattack, came closer and continued to
2 advance on Vitez.
3 The Vitezovi has been identified in Ahmici as
4 participating in the killings and the burning in
5 Ahmici. My colleague discussed the attack on Stari
6 Vitez on July 18th. Blaskic says, "The Vitezovi did
7 it. I was in Busovaca. I was at breakfast -- I was at
8 mass and I had lunch with the minister." They were
9 identified in Grbavica in September.
10 The point is that everywhere there is a
11 crime, the Vitezovi have their fingerprints firmly on
12 the crime. But Blaskic now needs to distance himself
13 from the Vitezovi. Darko Kraljevic is dead. He can't
14 respond to the claims that Darko Kraljevic was somebody
15 that was out of control.
16 The Prosecutor submits to Your Honours that
17 Blaskic controlled and commanded this particular
18 special purpose unit throughout the war, and they were
19 subordinated to him, they weren't attached to him. You
20 may recall, Your Honours -- if we may have the next
21 exhibit? -- Prosecutor's Exhibit 666, which is an order
22 from Milivoj Petkovic, dated the 19th of January, 1993,
23 and it subordinates the Vitezovi to Colonel Blaskic.
24 It forbids any independent action by that group, and it
1 "This order shall remain in force until I
2 personally change it."
3 This is dated the 19th of January, 1993.
4 Now, if we could go into private session for
5 just a moment?
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, indeed, because you are
7 referring to a testimony which is under protection, so
8 we will go into private session, please.
9 (Private session)
13 pages 24831-24836 redacted – private session
2 (Open session)
3 JUDGE JORDA: We are adjourning now. It is
4 5.30. We will resume tomorrow at 10.00.
5 I am reminding you that you should finish
6 tomorrow. That is an imperative. Are we agreed?
7 MR. HARMON: Yes, we are agreed.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. The
9 hearing is adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 5.31 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Wednesday, the 28th day of July, 1999,
13 at 10.00 a.m.