1 Wednesday, May 15 2002
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-98-29-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Stanislav Galic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Is there anything to be discussed before we resume the
10 cross-examination of Mr. Carswell?
11 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, if you wish it, I could briefly
12 indicate our considered position in relation to the exhibits, the
13 documentary exhibits in respect of -- perhaps I should not mention his
15 JUDGE ORIE: We know what exhibits we are talking about.
16 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, having checked the transcript, it is
17 necessary for the Prosecution to tender the documents and, therefore, we
18 have followed the procedure which you suggested yesterday and excised the
19 relevant passages. Perhaps my friends should have an opportunity to
20 consider the appropriateness of those decisions before we formally tender
21 them to you. In the meantime, as you may have noticed yesterday, Mr.
22 President, I'm doing my best to have read on to the transcript either by
23 myself or the witness the relevant passages from documents so as to avoid
24 this issue arising.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Ierace. I then expect that you
1 will hand out a copy of the document as you want to tender it to Ms.
2 Pilipovic and Ms. Pilipovic will then have an opportunity to prepare what
3 the position of the Defence will be and then they will finally take a
5 MR. IERACE: And Mr. President, by way of timetable, assuming that
6 the present witness will be finished in the next 15 minutes or so, the
7 next witness will be taken by Mr. Mundis and then I will take the witness
8 following him, I anticipate, therefore, I will be back in the Trial
9 Chamber well before 7.00 tonight.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. First of
13 all, I would like to apologise for my involuntary absence yesterday, but
14 since Mr. Ierace was standing and before he leaves, could he give us some
15 answers to the question that we have been asking for some time. And the
16 question is: To get an answer as to the documents that we defined, the
17 documents that have been manipulated, interfered with.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, could an answer be given -- I think it
19 was Mr. Stamp that dealt with the documents and you indicated yesterday
20 that you would confer with Mr. Stamp or wait until he would be back in
22 MR. IERACE: Yes, Mr. President. Having clarified that issue
23 yesterday, I made some enquiries and perhaps at the same time that we deal
24 with the tender of the documents in relation to last witness, I could
25 formally respond. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So, if we will do that then later today.
2 Then, Ms. Pilipovic, you are ready to resume the cross-examination
3 of Mr. Carswell. Mr. Usher, could you please guide the witness into the
5 [The witness entered the court]
6 WITNESS: MICHAEL KENT CARSWELL [Resumed]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Carswell.
8 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, sir.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it is not necessary, but may I remind you
10 that you are still bound by the solemn declaration that you gave at the
11 beginning of your testimony
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, please resume your cross-examination.
14 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examined by Ms. Pilipovic: [Continued]
16 Q. During your examination-in-chief yesterday asked by my learned
17 colleague you spoke about the meeting that you had with General Stanislav
18 Galic. Could you please tell us when was it that you personally spoke
19 with General Galic?
20 A. Yes, ma'am. The instance when I was there, I was again as a
21 number two, the sector commander, Commandant O'Keefe was leading the team
22 and that would have been late March.
23 Q. Could you tell us when you say "late March" who was together with
24 General Galic as other members of his team?
25 A. My memory is not entirely clear on that, ma'am. On the -- I
1 believe -- I believe there were one or -- I can't be sure. I have a
2 recollection, I believe, of one major being there. I am afraid it is not
4 Q. Following that meeting or because of this meeting, did you compile
5 a report following that?
6 A. A report dealing specifically with the meeting, ma'am, would have
7 been compiled by the sector commander, Major O'Keefe.
8 Q. So you are telling us that you personally never spoke to General
10 A. I believe at the time, and I wish I could give you the exact date,
11 although I have it in my diary. I believe at the time I spoke with him
12 and we were dealing with -- my points were more on the fire, the artillery
13 fire or mortar fire that was falling close --
14 Q. I am sorry. Could you tell us when was that and where did this
15 discussion take place when you spoke to General Galic. You say that you
16 made a note of it in your diary.
17 A. Yes, ma'am, I did. Unfortunately, I don't have my diary in front
18 of me. I believe it was -- I think it was 24 March.
19 Q. Could you tell us at that time when you spoke to General Galic who
20 was with him then and where did this meeting, this conversation, this
21 discussion take place?
22 A. As I mentioned before, ma'am I believe -- there was one staff
23 officer, I think he was at the rank of major. It took place in Lukavica
24 in a conference room which adjoined the UNMO quarters.
25 Q. Did you, at the time when you spoke to him, when you said you had
1 a conversation or discussion regarding the shelling, could you tell us
2 specifically about which incident was it -- was the discussion about on
3 that 24th of March when you met General Galic?
4 A. I believe I spoke specifically about the shelling that was
5 occurring around our OPs on the Papa side. The actually --
6 Q. Could you tell us of which operation -- observation points?
7 A. It could have been any one of the three, ma'am.
8 Q. In which language did you speak to General Galic?
9 A. In English, ma'am.
10 Q. Did General Galic have an interpreter with him?
11 A. I believe he did, but I cannot be sure. The interpreters were
12 generally present.
13 Q. Following this discussion, this meeting, did you compile a report?
14 A. No. As I mentioned before, it would have been mentioned in my
15 sitrep, but the sector commander would have made the report.
16 Q. At the time on the 24th of March when you spoke to General Galic
17 did -- was your superior Mr. Cutler?
18 A. No, ma'am. It was in the Irish Army, Commandant O'Keefe, and as I
19 mentioned before, without consulting my diary I am not exactly sure it was
20 the 24th.
21 Q. When you say that you are not certain that it was on the 24th,
22 what do you mean by that? You are not sure that this took place on the
23 24th of March?
24 A. Without consulting my diary.
25 Q. At this meeting did your Commandant O'Keefe also attend?
1 A. Yes, ma'am.
2 Q. So, on both these meetings, there was your commander was with you,
3 so you were never personally on your own with General Galic?
4 A. Quite correct, however, I did have points that I would bring up on
5 behalf of the military observers. The first meeting, was with the chief
6 military observer. He accompanied me, I accompanied him; and the second
7 meeting was with Commandant O'Keefe and I might add --
8 Q. Could you tell us, at this first meeting, who was present for the
9 team that you were a member of, who was the commander there, the
11 A. For the team would have been me. I was with the chief military
12 observer and my commandant was not present at that time.
13 Q. Did you at the time also have the rank of a major?
14 A. Yes, ma'am.
15 Q. Did you as a major, was it possible for you to speak to the
16 general as a Corps commander?
17 A. Yes. However, I might add on a number of occasions, we attempted
18 to put together meetings with either General Galic or his staff, his
19 senior staff, and were unable to do so. And I understand -- I understand
20 not being able to do so in that there was a war going on.
21 Q. Did you at the time when you spoke either at one or the other
22 meeting, did you hand a written protest to General Galic? Did you inform
23 him in written form about what the subject of your protest was?
24 A. I believe that protest note was handed by the -- on one occasion,
25 by Commandant O'Keefe, and I am not sure what the chief military observer,
1 if a protest was handled -- sorry, handed over or not. I do know that
2 Lieutenant Cutler, although I don't have them with me at all, I know that
3 Major Cutler sent some letters of protest. Colonel Cutler.
4 Q. Do you know whether General Galic answered these letters?
5 A. No, ma'am, I do not. But I will answer that when we delivered our
6 verbal comments to his staff and on the occasion that I had the
7 opportunity to speak with him that what I had asked for was actioned.
8 Q. I asked you whether General Galic answered in writing your
9 protest, do you know anything about it; if you can answer by yes or no?
10 A. No, I do not know.
11 Q. In your diary, on the 24th of January, and we spoke about it
12 yesterday and I asked you a question about the oxygen bottles that were
13 used to transport gunpowder, escorted by UNPROFOR, and you made a note of
14 that in your diary of the 24th of January. Could you tell us, did you
15 undertake any measures to find out who agreed on behalf of the UNPROFOR to
16 have the gunpowder transported into Sarajevo in oxygen bottles.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace.
18 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, my friend has informed the witness of
19 an entry in his diary. I think it would be appropriate, it would be
20 appropriate for my friend, my learned colleague to show that entry to the
21 witness so he can check its correctness.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic.
23 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday -- I showed
24 this yesterday. Mr. Carswell had the document before him. This is the
25 document we spoke about yesterday and because of the time, I just want
1 this to be more efficient and I believe that Mr. Carswell confirmed that
2 he knew about this incident. It is page number 9 and the document is 752,
3 entry for the 24th of January. And I just wanted to be a little more
4 precise and also to ask the witness to be a little more precise and to
5 answer whether he personally, as a member of the UN team, take any steps
6 to find out who gave authorisation for this, approval for this.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, in the translation, it said "diary." I
8 now do understand that you are referring to the monthly report of -- of
9 the month of January.
10 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is. I apologise.
11 Q. Mr. Carswell, do you remember yesterday we spoke about this date,
12 the 24th of January, when in that monthly sitrep it was established that
13 the Lima side UNMOs were called to the Blazuj hospital to witness that two
14 of the oxygen bottles delivered by the UNPROFOR were found to contain
16 JUDGE ORIE: The text reads that it is UNHCR and not UNPROFOR.
17 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am looking at the original
18 text as well, now.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I think you quoted it almost, apart from the saying
20 "UNPROFOR" instead of UNHCR.
21 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the translation it
22 says UNPROFOR. I apologise. I am reading the translation.
23 Q. Mr. Carswell, did you, following this incident, receive and did
24 you ask for certain information and certain checks?
25 A. No, ma'am, I did not and I will answer why. The --
1 Q. Do you have any knowledge -- yes, go on, please.
2 A. We demanded of the UNMOs as observers, and as I mentioned
3 yesterday, the action taken in that case, we immediately passed our
4 observations on to the CivPol, I believe it was the CivPol. And it was
5 handled by them. We had no means to do an inspection, nor any mandate to
6 do any inspection, ma'am.
7 Q. Did you have any knowledge that the transport of gunpowder in
8 oxygen bottle was known as "Operation Oxygen", did you have that
10 A. No, ma'am.
11 Q. Do you have any knowledge which members of your team, of the UNMO
12 team -- who discovered that there was gunpowder in oxygen bottles?
13 A. The UNMO team did not discover. They were called on to the scene
14 once it was discovered. However, I was not there, nor do I remember the
15 time lapse between the delivery of the bottles and the discovery.
16 Q. Did you later, during your stay, during your mandate, find out
17 that such transport of oxygen bottles had been done earlier as well,
18 escorted by UNPROFOR, and that it was used by the BH army and that it was
19 used for the manufacturing of weapons, did you have any knowledge of that?
20 A. No, ma'am, I did not. And I would be very surprised if they --
21 would have been very surprised, if they would -- if information like that
22 would be passed along.
23 Q. Why would you be surprised by that? Could you give us that
25 A. There was a war going on. I don't believe we would have or should
1 be involved in anything like that. That is civilian police job, not ours.
2 Q. When you spoke yesterday about your monthly sitrep about the
3 shelling of the water queue in the eastern part of Sarajevo, did you
4 personally check whether there was a front line nearby and how far was
5 the water queue in relation to the positions of the warring parties in
7 A. At the time I may have, but the information doesn't come back.
8 Q. During your mandate, did you know about the activities of the BH
9 snipers within the part of town which was under the control of the BH
11 A. Yes, ma'am.
12 Q. Did you -- did you go to any of the sniper -- so-called sniper
13 nests in those parts of Sarajevo?
14 A. No, ma'am.
15 Q. Do you have -- did you have any knowledge from which positions and
16 from which buildings in the city of Sarajevo snipers of the BH army were
18 A. No, ma'am, not specific locations.
19 Q. When you say, "No, not in specific locations," could you tell us,
20 did you know more generally, in a wider sense, in which parts were the BH
21 army snipers active?
22 A. Sniping was active, ma'am, virtually around the city on both
24 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
25 Defence has nothing further.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Pilipovic. Mr. Ierace, is there any
2 need for re-examination of the witness?
3 MR. IERACE: Very briefly, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 Re-examined by Mr. Ierace:
6 Q. Yesterday, you were asked a question by my learned colleague as to
7 whether you were able to determine the positions from which firing
8 occurred onto the road and airport runway. You answered that question in
9 relation to the road. Were you able to determine firing positions for the
11 A. No, sir.
12 Q. Today you were asked questions as to the meeting that you had with
13 General Galic, that is, the meeting which was also attended by Mr.
14 O'Keefe, and you said you would need to consult your diary in order to
15 confirm the date of that meeting.
16 MR. IERACE: I ask the witness be shown Exhibit P3448. In fact, I
17 withdraw that. I think I have the only copy here, although it's marked,
18 my copy is marked as a Prosecution Exhibit, we withdrew it at the last
19 minute as a definite exhibit. So perhaps my copy can be shown to the
20 witness. I indicate the Defence is being provided with a copy.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have a receipt of the copy of the document?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Counsel. Microphone,
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The technical department
25 will -- no, I don't have it on hand on one side, but on the other hand, I
1 believe that Mr. Ierace could perhaps give us the B/C/S translation of
2 this document. Then we would be certain that the General did receive it.
3 Do you have that?
4 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, a copy was disclosed to the Defence on
5 the 26th of November, 2001. That information is contained in a letter
6 that was sent to the Defence and copied to the Trial Chamber Bench, and
7 there is not a B/C/S copy of the document. I am not sure whether my --
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I would like the witness
9 doesn't look at this document until we have it. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps, we wait, Mr. Carswell, to look at the
11 document. I have no information that -- yes, please.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. It may
13 well be that this document was given to us in English, but I don't have it
14 in Serbian and I don't think that General Galic could have seen it. I
15 believe that this is a very voluminous document. That seems obvious.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Piletta-Zanin, as you know, the Chamber has
17 drafted a form on which the Defence may indicate that there is not a
18 translation available to them and it is an exhibit that has been
19 indicated, and 3448 is indicated on the list in view of Mr. Carswell.
20 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, but it says it may not be
21 tendered. That is what it says in the document. Consequently, I thought
22 that these documents would not be handed over and so I did not see the
23 translation in any case, Serbian translation, because it was never given
24 to us. It was never offered.
25 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, perhaps I could assist by making clear
1 that I do not intend to tender it. It is a document of the witness which
2 I give him in order for him to refresh his memory. In other words, simply
3 to check his contemporaneous note, that is, his diary, in order to
4 determine the date of the meeting. There is no need to tender it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You just wanted to ask about the date of the meeting
6 in order to take away any uncertainty about the memory of the witness?
7 MR. IERACE: That is so, Mr. President.
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. President,
9 what I am surprised is that these pieces are produced not in the
10 examination-in-chief, but in the sort of supplemental part. That is my
11 first remark. The second remark is that General Galic would like us to
12 confer, and that is his right, and I insist on this. Am I authorised to
13 confer with his Excellency General Galic?
14 JUDGE ORIE: You are always authorised to confer with your client,
15 Mr. Piletta-Zanin. As far as the production or at least showing the
16 document to the witness, it has been during cross-examination that it was
17 stressed several times whether the recollection of the witness was
18 precise as far as the date of the meeting was concerned, so it did not
19 surprise me that much that the Prosecution would like to -- would like to
20 avoid any misunderstandings. But please confer with your client.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before I do
22 it, would it be possible to do the following: To ask Mr. Ierace which is
23 the page that he would like to show to the witness and then hand it to us
24 and that so we can show it to General Galic and then confer with him?
25 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I have handed the witness the entire
1 diary for him to check, but if my friend wishes it, I am happy, of course,
2 to go to the relevant page. It is, of course, for the 24th of March. My
3 friend will see there are two entries on that page, that is the 24th and
4 the 25th of March and both of those, I anticipate, will be
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could we then perhaps show to the Defence both of the
7 relevant pages or the two entries on the specific page.
8 Mr. Usher, could you please take the diary and bring it to
9 Ms. Pilipovic and Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it will take
11 half a minute. Thank you.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: It may happen that Ms. Pilipovic will have
14 more questions on the basis of this document.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The document is not tendered, Mr. Piletta-Zanin. It
16 will just be used for refreshing the memory of the witness, so --
17 MR. IERACE: And only as to the date, Mr. President.
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my position is
19 the following: This document, since it has not been translated into
20 Serbian, and General Galic was not able to read it in his own language, it
21 should not be submitted, shown to this witness, for a very simple reason,
22 since that there are things in it on which there would be some questions
23 that I could ask on behalf of General Galic and obviously we will not have
24 time to do it during this hearing without the translation.
25 JUDGE ORIE: But, it will not be tendered. It will just be used
1 to refresh the memory as far as the date of a meeting is concerned.
2 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. But it
3 contains the period in question, the 24th. There are two pages of text
4 and there are certain things regarding which the Defence would have
5 questions to ask on behalf of General Galic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you have had full
7 opportunity, either to tender this document or to put whatever questions
8 the Defence would have liked to put to the witness in respect of the
9 entries in the document so this is not a moment to restart either the
10 examination-in-chief or the cross-examination on other subjects. But let
11 me just confer one moment.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Since Mr. Ierace has indicated that he would use the
14 document only for one question, which was repeatedly put to the witness
15 during cross-examination, we will allow the witness to refresh his memory
16 on the basis of this document. And, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, if you say you
17 expected the document not to be tendered, first of all, it is not tendered
18 by the Prosecution, but, secondly, if it says "it may not be tendered,"
19 that means that it is uncertain whether it will be tendered or not and you
20 would not expect it on the basis of that indication, that it would not be
21 tender said. But it will not be tendered, but the witness may use the --
22 his diary, at least the document, to refresh his memory. I take it that
23 you opened the document on the very date or the dates that are relevant,
24 so could please the document be presented to the witness. I think you
25 would agree, Mr. Ierace, on that specific time period. Oh, it is closed
2 Mr. Ierace, could you please find the page in the document which
3 you think the witness would need to refresh his memory. Mr. Usher, could
4 you please give the document to Mr. Ierace.
5 Could you please locate the relevant page or pages.
6 MR. IERACE: My apologies, Mr. President. There is now a coloured
7 marker on some of the letters. I expect that was done by the Defence. I
8 have no problem with that. The document is open to the relevant page.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Was it done by the Defence?
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, I am sorry. In the heat
11 of the battle, I am really apologise, but this was done in the heat of the
12 battle and we may have confused that document with ours. There was no
13 malice, Mr. President. It was just -- we were trying to be swift about
14 it. I apologise.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I do notice that Mr. Ierace is grateful for the
16 assistance you gave in this respect.
17 Mr. Ierace, would you please open the document to that page and
18 Mr. Usher, could you please show that page to the witness. Mr. Ierace, I
19 take it that you now have a question for the witness.
20 MR. IERACE:
21 Q. Sir, would you look at the page in front of you and could you
22 answer this question with just a yes or no. Firstly, are you able to
23 determine from the diary the date of the meeting in question?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Would you please give the date and nothing else.
1 A. 25 March.
2 Q. What year?
3 A. 1993.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. IERACE: Might that be returned.
6 Q. And finally --
7 JUDGE ORIE: I did understand that you said the 25th of March?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
9 MR. IERACE:
10 Q. Finally, you are --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, would you please return the document to
12 Mr. Ierace.
13 MR. IERACE:
14 Q. Finally you were asked questions yesterday and again today on the
15 topic whether you carried out any investigation in relation to the
16 discovery of gunpowder in oxygen bottles. Yesterday you said that you
17 thought that it had been turned over to an investigative body and today
18 you said you thought indeed it was CivPol. You have had read to you a
19 passage from your entry for the 24th of January, 1993 in the monthly
20 report which you drafted, do you -- withdraw that.
21 MR. IERACE: Might the witness be given P752.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, would you please hand over to the witness,
24 Q. Would you open that document at page 9 and look at the entry for
25 the 24th of January. About halfway through that entries do these words
1 appear: "Lima side UNMOs were called to the Blazuj hospital to witness
2 that two of the oxygen bottles delivered by the UNHCR were found to
3 contain gunpowder. Once confirmed, this matter was turned over to
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. What was CivPol?
7 A. The civilian police, sir.
8 Q. Would you please look at the entry for the 25th of January 1993 on
9 the same page. Five lines from the bottom does this sentence appear: "The
10 CivPol have take over the oxygen bottle investigation."
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. IERACE: Nothing further, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ierace.
15 Mr. Carswell, Judge Nieto-Navia has one or more questions to you.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: Thank you Mr. President. Continuing with the
18 CivPol, when you mentioned the CivPol, was the BH or the UN --
19 A. The UN CivPol, sir.
20 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: Yesterday, we had a lot of questions and
21 answers on the issue of the random shooting.
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: And you said on page 32, line 23, that you
24 personally saw no random shooting. You, personally, you didn't see random
25 shootings. How do you know that there were random shootings?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I am not exactly sure of that discussion, sir, but when I say "I
2 did not see random shooting," the way I would define that is I didn't see
3 a gun fire a round and that round land in a marketplace or definitely not
4 military target. I did see rounds landing, artillery rounds landing in
5 areas that we would not expect to have seen, in other words, not on the
6 front line. So when I say I didn't see something, I wasn't able to look
7 you square in the eye and say I saw that gun fire that round which landed
8 there, on a marketplace or some such. There certainly were rounds that
9 were landing, it appeared, randomly, throughout the city.
10 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: So you are -- idea is that there were random
11 shootings --
12 A. Most definitely. And when I talk about that, sir, I talk in the
13 terms of artillery. In those days, when we did our ammunition counts, the
14 hits in and outside of the city in the Serb lines and in the Bosnian
15 lines, we do not count anti-aircraft fire or heavy machine-gun fire or
16 rifle fire in that there was simply too much. We counted from 82
17 millimetre mortar up, therefore, very small artillery up to the larger
19 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: Thank you.
20 I have to ask something to Ms. Pilipovic, clarification. And it
21 is the following: Yesterday in one of your questions, you said that the
22 "2nd, 6th and 3rd brigades, BH brigades, had Howitzers" but the document
23 that you tendered yesterday, 108, doesn't mention a 6th Brigade. Was
24 there a 6th Brigade or wasn't?
25 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the document I
1 mentioned yesterday was the document of the 1st Corps. I spoke about the
2 6th Motorised Brigade which had a self-propelled artillery Howitzer
3 battery, but I did not offer that document. I simply mentioned it to the
4 witness. Self-propelled Howitzer battery.
5 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: [Previous translation continues]... the 6th
7 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, the 6th Motorised Brigade did
9 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi also has some questions to you.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
12 would like you to tell me about the precise sense or, rather, the exact
13 meaning of the word "random." Do you mean that there was no method or
14 without a conscious decision?
15 A. Yes, sir. As I had mentioned earlier, there were some mobile
16 weapons, mortars, in particular, that we couldn't control, in that they
17 were mobile and constantly on the move. I suspect - suspect - there may
18 have been some random shooting, basically, putting a round either into the
19 city or out of the city. And I -- the second part of your question, sir?
20 I am sorry.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] The exact meaning of the term
23 that you used, of the word that you used.
24 A. Yes, sir. "Random," the way I would term it, with artillery,
25 would be a round that would be fired with no real military value.
1 Basically, the gun just lead into an area, in and on an area, and fired
2 with -- without having identified anything specific in that area.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So, you are saying, if I
4 understand you correctly, you are saying that "random" means that these
5 were shots that were not targeting military targets; is that correct?
6 A. In my opinion, yes, sir.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. You said, and I am quoting
8 in English, you said in relation to the shelling of the hospital, you
9 said -- I believe that you said [In English] "Were under the impression it
10 was a military target."
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] How did you come to that
13 conclusion? If you allow me to explain my question. Did they follow
14 orders coming from their superiors in the hierarchy saying that this was a
15 military target?
16 A. Yes, sir. On my observations on the gun positions, when they were
17 firing, it is easy to -- relatively easy to determine the sequence of
18 events on a gun position. If I could use an example of one shoot, sir,
19 the gunners were relaxing, having a cigarette, drinking coffee. The fire
20 mission came down to the headquarters, to the battery headquarters, at
21 which point they alerted the guns, did their plotting on the map, sent the
22 information to the guns, and they fired. That was not random. I can't
23 say that wasn't random, because I don't know the target. Obviously, I
24 was well behind, out of sight. But the gunners on the guns in this
25 particular case, in the number of cases that I saw, were controlled by
1 their battery commander and I believe controlled by information that was
2 passed down to him.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
4 You spoke about the meeting that you had with Mr. -- with General
5 Galic on the 25th of March. His reaction, could you perhaps inform us a
6 little more about his reaction, because I believe that this was only about
7 the attacks on the positions of the UN, not on the attacks on the targets
8 in the city. Is that correct? Is that correct?
9 A. The questions I asked, sir, I believe were -- my questions were
10 dealing with targets on the OPs, on the UNMO positions.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, and his reply, his
13 A. I obviously cannot quote it verbatim. However, I remember, on the
14 occasions that I spoke with him or his senior staff, the shelling of the
15 OPs, of our OPs, the UN OPs, ceased for a short while.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. So perhaps I have one last
17 question for you: You spoke about knowing about the snipers that were
18 members or part of the BH army. According to you, who were they
20 A. Their targeting on the Serb side was much the same as the Serb
21 targeting into the city. It appeared to be random. The father of my Serb
22 interpreter, when I was working on the Lukavica side, was shot in his
23 backyard. However, being a professional soldier, sir, I really do object
24 to the term "sniper," and I do know that is common usage. It was random
25 shooting going back and forth, and it seemed to me that virtually
1 everything was fair game.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you as well, Mr. Carswell.
4 You were talking about targeting a hospital and you mentioned
5 Kosevo hospital. Do you remember when that was?
6 A. Specifically, no, although that is -- I know it is in my sitreps.
7 That was generally -- generally very important in that CNN seemed to get
8 there before any of us. Almost on a daily basis, sir, but I can't -- in
9 and around, but I can't, without looking at my sitreps, pin it down, sir.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So if we would have the sitreps, we could find out.
11 That is during your stay?
12 A. The UNMO sitreps would be much, much more illuminating than this
13 document, which is simply excerpts.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You talked about Kosevo hospital as a civilian
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever receive any information that the Kosevo
18 hospital grounds be used by the ABiH forces to fire from?
19 A. On many occasions, sir.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Many occasions. If you are saying "many," is that 5,
21 50, 500?
22 A. That is 25 or more, sir.
23 JUDGE ORIE: 25, yes. Yesterday, you used the expression when
24 asked about the means of communication: "Motorola." I know that is a
25 make, but what exactly were you referring to?
1 A. A short range set, hand-held wireless set.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You also told us that, to your knowledge, fuses of -
3 I think it was mortars - was set in such a way that they would explode at
4 a height of 20 or 30 metres so that there would be a shower of shrapnel.
5 Was this the usual way, in your experience, these projectiles were used?
6 A. They were mortars, they were anti-aircraft guns. They were light
7 anti-aircraft, probably from anywhere to 20 to 40 millimetre.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So that would not be similar as far as mortars are
10 A. No, sir, definitely not.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You told us yesterday that, according to your
12 knowledge, that the Bosnian Serb forces were quite accurate in their
13 targeting. You also told us that from their positions, with two
14 exceptions, they could not see their targets.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain to us on what basis you could
17 testify that they were accurate in their targeting, but could not see
18 their targets?
19 A. Yes, sir. Three things: The first, when I checked the mechanism
20 of the guns and had a look at them, there was allowable play, very little
21 play in the mechanisms when I moved the barrels, which told me that that
22 gun, once laid with -- properly, would probably fire where it was supposed
23 to, according to the data that was given to the gun crew. The second was
24 the professionalism of the command post. The command post crew were, as I
25 mentioned, probably manned by ex-JNA and they were good at their work.
1 They were very efficient.
2 The third point, and most telling, is that the guns did not move,
3 therefore, the first few missions they fired into town would probably have
4 a lot of adjustment to do to get the rounds to drop. Usually, it takes
5 sometimes up to five rounds. You are lucky if you hit one with three.
6 You can be close at three, but you're lucky if you hit. With five rounds,
7 you can definitely do well. Those guns never moved. I suspect a lot of
8 the targets that came down were the same. So they knew virtually exactly
9 where the rounds would land.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand you well, it is your testimony that
11 all the circumstances were there for very accurate targeting, which is not
12 the same as accurate targeting?
13 A. On the preregistered targets, the targets that they had fired
14 before, if the guns had fired those targets before --
15 JUDGE ORIE: They could have accurately --
16 A. Yes, they would be very accurate.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You told us yesterday that you saw sniper rifles from
18 a distance at the Bosnian Serb side. Could you tell us under what
19 circumstances you saw them? I mean --
20 A. They were being moved, sir. A sniper does not advertise his
21 profession or his location. And I saw them on both sides, on the Bosnian
22 side and on the Serb side. I didn't see many but I saw some. The object
23 of a sniper is to be able to go --
24 JUDGE ORIE: My question is under what circumstances did you see
25 it? I mean, people carrying sniper rifles or being stored in apartment
1 block building or --
2 A. People moving them from one location or to another. Either to a
3 vehicle -- either to a vehicle or to a building.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That means not in use, not in storage, but being
5 taken from one place to another.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You told us about your meetings with General Galic.
8 You also told us that there was an interpreter there. Did you observe any
9 fact which would indicate that General Galic would understand the English
10 language as well? Or did you ever hear him to speak in words of English?
11 A. I never heard the general speak in English. It was my impression
12 that there was some understanding of English.
13 JUDGE ORIE: On what basis did you get this impression?
14 A. By people-watching, sir. When you make a comment, it is standard,
15 before when you make a standard, before it goes through the interpreter,
16 to watch the individual.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One of the questions that was asked to you, and
18 I just like to clarify whether your answer was specifically to that
19 question. The question was as it reads in the transcript: "During your
20 mandate, did you know about activities of the BH snipings, I think it was,
21 within the part of town which was under the control of the BH army?"
22 Did you understand this question on which you answer was: "yes,
23 madam." Did you understand this question to be about sniping within the
24 part of town that both firing and receiving the fire was within that part
25 of the town; or did you understand the question as relate to firing from
1 within the town, which is not the same, because then the fire could be
2 received out of that part of the town.
3 A. My understanding, sir, was firing from the Bosnian side to the
4 Serb side.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Within. . .
6 A. From within the city to Serb side.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for your clarification.
8 Yes, these were my questions. Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just a
10 clarification following the questions asked by the Chamber, I just wanted
11 to clarify one point f you will allow me, it is just one point to clarify.
12 But it is important.
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... question of the
14 Chamber, you may.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Thank you very
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. Piletta-Zanin:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I will speak to you in French. First of
19 all, good afternoon.
20 You answered a question by the Chamber and it was whether the
21 shelling could have been considered as very precise and you answered
22 "yes." And I am indicating that this is page 25, line 10. And you
23 answered you said, you replied in the affirmative, you said what you said
24 "if the guns had fired to those on those targets before." Could you,
25 Witness, if that is the case, confirm to us that with the expression
1 "guns" you were meaning the cannons, rather than mortars; is that
3 A. It would have been both, sir.
4 Q. Isn't it true, Witness, that a mortar is much more mobile than a
5 cannon, and therefore, your explanation about the stability of heavy
6 artillery like cannons, would not be applicable to mortars?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Witness, in relation to what you said about the stability of the
9 canners, can you confirm to the Chamber that this is the case, that any
10 cannon has a has a hitback mechanism, and that this hitback mechanism, a
11 recoil mechanism could move the cannon by itself; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. So, therefore, after a certain number of hits that means that the
14 target, the site, has to be adjusted after several hits were fired; is
15 that correct?
16 A. It is adjusted after every round is fired, sir
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No further questions, Mr.
18 President. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it, Mr. Ierace, that this does not raise
20 any need for further examination of the witness?
21 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, it does, but I again, I am very
22 conscious of time constraints. There will be an artillery expert. I will
23 wait until then.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carswell, this concludes your testimony in this
25 court. I would like to thank you very much for coming and answering the
1 questions of both parties and the Bench. It is important for us to hear
2 answers from witnesses for the task that we will have to fulfill. Thank
3 you very much for coming. And would you please, Mr. Usher, escort Mr.
4 Carswell out of the court.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace.
7 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, just before Mr. Mundis calls the next
8 witness, I would like to raise the issue of timetable. I note that Mr.
9 Carswell has left the Trial Chamber one hour beyond the time which would
10 have been taken if cross-examination and other issues had been confined to
11 double that which the Prosecution took in chief. Please, understand Mr.
12 President, I am in no way being critical, of course, of questioning of the
13 Bench, far from it.
14 Mr. President what I am concerned about is the issue of the
15 Defence interjecting with objections which consume much time, and which on
16 many occasions, in my respectful submission were rather unnecessary or
17 avoidable. In particular, Mr. Piletta-Zanin consumed some minutes at
18 least in stating to the Trial Chamber that he did not have an opportunity
19 in effect, to -- at least the Defence did not have an opportunity -- to
20 cross-examine Mr. Carswell on the contents of his diary. I drew to the
21 attention of the Trial Chamber that a copy was disclosed to the Defence
22 for the first time on the 26th of November last year.
23 Now, it was disclosed after that and perhaps Mr. Piletta-Zanin
24 will be reminded by me saying this, that last Thursday, the 9th of May, he
25 met with a member of the Prosecution legal trial team, Stefan Waespi, who
1 handed him a copy of the diary, 200 pages in English and Mr. Piletta-Zanin
2 said that he wanted it for his trip to Zurich. They then discussed
3 whether a B/C/S translation was required.
4 Now, perhaps, Mr. Piletta-Zanin now remembers that. My basic
5 point is this: That if the Prosecution is to have any hope of reaching
6 the target, the matters which are beyond its control and are not
7 necessary, perhaps could be confined to a minimum. Thank you, Mr.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ierace. The Chamber has taken notice
10 of your observation. Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I do not wish to enter further
12 into this subject, moreover because I never travelled to Zurich. But
13 before another witness comes into the Chamber, and to speak of things that
14 are infinitely more serious, the Defence heard the evidence as formulated
15 by the witness, that a very important fact came to light and that was that
16 military equipment of first class equipment material, gunpowder for
17 cannons was transported in a secret way --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you are now commenting on the
19 evidence. In due course you will be in a position, so will you please
20 come to your point.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise, I am coming
22 to the point which is the following: The evidence came to light that UN
23 civilian services carried out an investigation on this point. Now in
24 application of the Rule 71 of the Rules, Mr. President, it is within the
25 authority of your Chamber --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, I do understand that you in one
2 way or the other want to introduce evidence in relation to that
3 investigation. Did you ask the Prosecution whether they had anything
4 available and did you consider then to, while presenting your case, to
5 tender that evidence? I first want you to communicate with the
6 Prosecution rather than starting raising issues in this court which have
7 not been discussed before. If the discussions would result in nothing or
8 if there are serious reasons to bring the matter to the attention of the
9 Chamber, we will hear the observations, but not until you have discussed
10 the matter with the Prosecution.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, we will come back to it
12 tomorrow, Mr. President. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, or the day after tomorrow, depends on when you
14 will have an opportunity to meet with the Prosecution.
15 Mr. Mundis --
16 MR. IERACE: Might I be excused, Mr. President? I don't think
17 there are any exhibits in relation to that witness.
18 JUDGE ORIE: In relation to Mr. Carswell, we will still have 698,
19 I think 752, and 816, if I am correct. Madam Registrar, could you confirm
20 that. And that would be -- 698 would be a --
21 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, might I respectfully interrupt. Two
22 matters. First of all, there is the issue of confidentiality, in relation
23 to the documents, but secondly, the manner in which I referred the witness
24 to those documents, the various documents, I think negates the need to
25 tender them and is respectful of your express desire yesterday that the
1 tendered documents be kept to an absolute minimum.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Would that be as well as for 752?
3 MR. IERACE: Excuse me, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That is the January report.
5 MR. IERACE: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we had D108, which was not tendered by the
7 Defence finally, if I do understand well. Just be shown to the witness,
8 he said he didn't know the document, yes.
9 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, that is right.
10 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... on which we have
11 to take any decisions. Mr. Mundis, your next witness will be?
12 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution calls Jeremy Peter
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, please escort the witness into the
16 May I use the short break to stress again that the Defence has to
17 remain within the time limits of the examination-in-chief, which was not
18 the case.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 WITNESS: JEREMY PETER HERMER
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please put on the headphones in case
22 someone might use another language and the witness doesn't understand.
23 Can you hear me in a language you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you are speaking English. Mr. Hermer, I assume.
1 THE WITNESS: Correct, sir.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before giving testimony in this court, you are
3 required to make a solemn declaration that you will speak the truth, the
4 whole truth and nothing but the truth. The text of the declaration will
5 be handed out to you now by the usher and may I invite you to make that
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
8 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Hermer. Please be seated.
10 Could you please come close to the microphone and, Mr. Usher, do I see
11 well that one of the microphones is off? Yes, both on. You will first be
12 examined by counsel for the Prosecution. Mr. Mundis.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you already in advance to find a suitable
15 moment for a break in up to 10 minutes.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
18 Q. Mr. Hermer, you are currently a major in the Royal Marines?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. And how long have you been in the Royal Marines?
21 A. I have been serving with the Royal Marines now since 1990.
22 Q. The summer of 1993, were you posted as an UNMO in
24 A. I was.
25 Q. When did you commence that duty?
1 A. I commenced as an UNMO in late July 1993. I moved from sector
2 south in to Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 23rd of August, 1993.
3 Q. Where were you assigned upon arrival in Bosnia in August 1993?
4 A. I was assigned to Sarajevo to the -- what was known as the Lima
5 side, the Lima team working on the Serb side of the front line in Sarajevo
6 out of Lukavica barracks. I was then sent immediately on to Mount Igman
7 with a team that was operating in that area.
8 Q. When did you arrive on Mount Igman?
9 A. Pretty much as soon as I arrived in the Sarajevo area and that is
10 where I continued to work from.
11 Q. So that would be approximately 23 August 1993?
12 A. Approximately then. One or two days for administration when I
13 first arrived in Sarajevo, and then straight up onto the mountain.
14 Q. What were your duties on Mount Igman?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the witness please slow
16 down for the interpreters. Thank you.
17 A. My duties were initially to oversee an implementation of an
18 agreement which had been reached between UNPROFOR and the warring factions
19 to withdraw forces from the area of Mount Igman. I was required to liaise
20 with local commanders, to ensure that the withdrawals had taken place in
21 accordance with that agreement. That meant moving extensively around the
22 area, liaising with Bosnian commanders, Serbian commanders and assuring
23 that no infiltration of the area was taking place by either warring party.
24 Q. How long were you posted on Mount Igman?
25 A. I remained on Mount Igman from late August until mid-September.
1 Q. Where were you then posted?
2 A. I was then withdrawn from Mount Igman down to Lukavica barracks
3 which was the Lima side headquarters and I was then moved from one
4 observation post to another. I can't remember how many I visited on the
5 Lima side for approximately a week.
6 Q. Other than visiting the Lima OPs during this week period, what did
7 you do while you were in Lukavica barracks?
8 A. I was working as an UNMO on the Lima side, working in and around
9 the headquarters, assisting in various duties. And basically travelling
10 around, as I said, from one OP to another getting to know the ground,
11 getting to know the area on the Serb side and also meeting with a few
12 local commanders.
13 Q. After this approximate one-week period of being at Lukavica and
14 the Lima OPs, where were you then posted?
15 A. I was then sent into Sarajevo to the military observers, the
16 UNMOs' headquarters in the PTT building and I was assigned the task of
17 MIO, military information officer.
18 Q. Do you recall the approximate date that you arrive for duty at the
19 PTT building?
20 A. Approximately 12, 15th of September.
21 Q. 1993?
22 A. 1993.
23 Q. Did you remain posted at the PTT building for the duration of your
24 tour as an UNMO in Bosnia?
25 A. Yes, I did. I stayed, my main post was within the PTT building in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the UNMOs' headquarters, the operations room until the remainder of my
2 tour until January 1994.
3 Q. During this period -- during this period, did you also primarily
4 or were you primarily quartered in the PTT building as well?
5 A. Yes, throughout I was quartered in the PTT building.
6 Q. What were your primary duties as military information officer or
8 A. My primary duties were to collate information which was coming in
9 to the headquarters from a number of sources. Those sources would be the
10 other military observers in the various OPs. Information received by
11 satellite communications, information from local commanders and
12 information from the other UN battalion MIOs. Once we have collated, my
13 responsibility was as far as possible to analyse that, to extract it, and
14 then once daily to assist in the compilation of the sector situation
16 Q. Among the sources that you relied on, did you rely on incident
17 reports from the various Papa and Lima observation posts?
18 A. The vast majority of information coming in to the operations room
19 was real-time information, which was coming in on a minute-by-minute basis
20 on the VHF radio frequency net. That information was coming in as it
21 happened on the ground. It was reported to me in the Ops room and I would
22 then note that in the incident log and obviously that would go towards the
23 situation report at the end of the day.
24 Q. These records were referred to as "incident reports" or IncReps;
25 is that correct?
1 A. That is correct, yes.
2 Q. Did you also rely upon daily sitreps coming from the Papa
3 headquarters and from the Lima headquarters?
4 A. That's correct. Both sides, both Lima and Papa would compile
5 their own situation reports, which would be with me by mid to late
6 afternoon. I would use those to form a basis of my own situation report
7 which would then get pushed up to headquarters.
8 Q. When you say "headquarters" do you mean the UNPROFOR headquarters
9 in Zagreb?
10 A. Yes, primarily our reports went to the UNPROFOR headquarters in
11 Zagreb. It was also passed, that information, on to Kiseljak, to Geneva
12 and to New York, I understand.
13 Q. What type of information would be included in the IncReps coming
14 from the OPs?
15 A. What would normally happen if I can just take you through a
16 sequence of events, if I may, on the ground. There would be an incident
17 on the ground, say, for example, a shell would land. If a Papa side
18 observation post saw that landing, they would report an IncRep, so
19 immediately it occurred, they'd report a date, a time, and as near as
20 possible a location for that incident, and then they would describe it as
21 best as possible, incoming fire, outgoing fire, whatever it might be.
22 Q. Major Hermer, do you have any idea why you were assigned to be the
23 person collating and collecting this information?
24 A. I was assigned into the that location, to the best of my
25 knowledge, because I was a native English speaker. There was a vast
1 amount of information to be processed in realtime. There was a distinct
2 advantage to being a native English speaker and that is why I found myself
3 in the headquarters able to deal rapidly with information, process it and
4 to report and communicate effectively in English.
5 Q. The sitreps, the outgoing sitreps were done in English is that
7 A. That were done in English, that is right.
8 Q. And at the time you were stationed as an UNMO in Bosnia, you were
9 a junior captain, is that correct?
10 A. A very junior captain, that is correct.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President this would be an appropriate time for a
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mundis. We will have a break until 20
14 minutes past 4.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
16 --- Upon resuming at 4.24 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis, you may resume the examination-in-chief.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Major Hermer, prior to the break you were telling us about
20 incident reports that you received from both the Papa side and the Lima
21 side. Can you give the Trial Chamber a ballpark figure as to the
22 breakdown of the specific incident reports that you received from each
24 A. In terms of a ratio?
25 Q. Yes, please.
1 A. The ratio of incident reports was quite largely biased towards
2 those reports coming from the Papa side. I -- that is, incidents
3 occurring on the Bosnian side of the confrontation line. As a ratio, I
4 would say that we would receive approximately 100 incident reports on the
5 Papa side for 1 or 2 occurring on the Lima side. You need to bear in mind
6 that these reports weren't just incoming rounds, they were outgoing rounds
7 as well. So, for example, if a gun were firing on the Lima side on the
8 Serb side, that would also be reported as an incident report. But the
9 vast majority of reports were explosions or incoming rounds or sniper
10 activity, on the Bosnian side, because those things, by their very nature,
11 are easier to see and witness than weapons firing.
12 Q. When you say "on the Bosnian side" do you mean that the Bosnian
13 side was, for lack of a better term, the recipient of that shelling and
14 sniping activity?
15 A. Yes, that is exactly what I mean.
16 Q. And again, unlike the situation reports, incident reports would
17 only be generated when something happened; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct, yes. They were reported realtime as a result of
19 an action taking place on the ground, physically.
20 Q. On the basis of these numerous incident reports that you received
21 from the Papa side, were you able to draw any overall conclusions about
22 events that were happening on the Bosnian side, on the inside of the
23 Bosnian lines?
24 A. It was quite easy to draw conclusions from the evidence that we
25 were witnessing, on a minute-by-minute basis. The conclusions which I
1 think we all drew, certainly which I drew, were that there was a vast
2 amount of ordinance or ammunition landing on the Bosnian side of the
3 confrontation, i.e., in the city of Sarajevo.
4 Q. Did the incident reports that you received contain information as
5 to what were the objects of this incoming fire?
6 A. They would. Initially, of course it wasn't always obvious to the
7 observer. Sometimes, of course, it was. However, where possible, they
8 would give an indication of what they thought the intended target was or
9 otherwise, be it a legitimate military target, or a random round landing
10 in a residential area, for example, with no obvious military target at the
11 end of it.
12 Q. Major Hermer, do you have any specific recollection as to the
13 approximate breakdown of the incident reports that you receive concerning
14 legitimate military targets or as you put it "random rounds"? Do you have
15 any recollection of the breakdown of those two categories?
16 A. It would be very difficult to give you a breakdown. There were
17 times when there were obvious military actions taking place, when there
18 was sustained fire coming into the city, around the front lines that was
19 obviously directed at military-type targets. But for the majority of the
20 time, i.e., throughout a 24-hour period, there would be continual
21 background activity if you like, of ammunition, small arms fire, heavy
22 weapons fire, shelling, which would be landing seemingly randomly
23 throughout the Sarajevo area, inside the city. It was almost impossible
24 to say with any conviction that the majority of this activity was directed
25 at any specific military target because in the majority of cases, wherever
1 the ammunition was landing, there was no military target present.
2 Q. Upon receipt of these incident reports, did you or any of the
3 other UN personnel in the PTT building, or on the ground, attempt to
4 locate the source of the fire, whether it was artillery or sniper fire?
5 A. Where possible, we would always try to locate the source of the
6 fire. Occasionally, I say occasionally, some of the time, an incoming
7 incident report on the Bosnian side reported by a Papa OP, would also
8 correspond directly with an outgoing, i.e., a firing incident report,
9 reported by a Lima OP on the Serbian side of the line. It was, therefore,
10 relatively easy to draw a correlation between the two, and to come to the
11 conclusion that the two were linked, i.e., the gun that had been witnessed
12 firing was responsible for the round that we saw landing, but that didn't
13 always happen.
14 Q. And in the event there was no direct evidence of this type of
15 firing and impacting, were you nonetheless able to reach any type of
16 conclusions, and if so, how?
17 A. Yes, we were. Through experience, really, time served in the
18 city, we were able to make judgments as to which gunlines, or gun
19 positions or front line positions, various impacts or sniping was coming
20 from. Quite apart from that, after the incident had taken place, it was
21 possible, certainly with cases of indirect fire, mortar fire or shell
22 fire, to carry out a crater analysis which would given an indication as to
23 the range and direction of the firing point.
24 Q. How frequently were crater analyses undertaken?
25 A. The vast majority of incidents were not analysed in any way, only
1 those which were noteworthy or significant in terms of the impact or the
2 effect they caused. For example, if a significant number of civilians
3 were killed.
4 Q. Why were crater analyses not conducted routinely?
5 A. They were simply not the manpower, the available expertise or the
6 time to deal with every incident that occurred. We are talking on some
7 days many hundred of independent shell impacts. It would not be possible
8 to carry out detailed analysis of those incidents.
9 Q. And all of the incidents that you are talking about occurred on
10 the Bosnian side of the line, that is, these crater impacts, these
11 shellings that you are describing right now, occurred on the
12 Bosnian-controlled side of the line?
13 A. No, no. There were impacts indeed on the Serb side of the line as
14 well. There were markedly less, far fewer, but there were incidents of
15 rounds landing on the Serbian side too, yes.
16 Q. During the time that you were assigned to the Lukavica barracks
17 and you travelled from OP to OP, did you have the opportunity to visit any
18 VRS gun positions around the city of Sarajevo?
19 A. Yes, I did. Both to the south of the city, along the Pale road
20 area, to the west of the city, Vogosca area and its environs, and to the
21 north of the city as well.
22 Q. I will ask you more specific questions about those sites later,
23 but for now I have just a couple of questions.
24 First, with respect to those artillery positions that you saw to
25 the south of the city, was there -- excuse me, was there also a Lima OP in
1 the general vicinity of those gun locations to the south?
2 A. Wherever possible, the Lima headquarters would attempt to place
3 its Lima OP in the near vicinity of a gun position or gun positions. This
4 wasn't always possible for a number of reasons.
5 Q. Can you elaborate, please.
6 A. The -- although the vast majority of the gun positions were fixed,
7 there was or the Serbs retained the ability to move their guns fairly
8 rapidly, which would obviously be done without us receiving any prior
9 warning. There were also restrictions put upon our movement, on the Serb
10 side of the line. These restrictions would sometimes be more severe than
11 other times they would be increased and decreased without warning. And as
12 the UNMOs in HOP were generally required to accommodate themselves there
13 as well, we were limited in our choice of location because the OP had to
14 give not only good fields of view and access to gun positions, but also
15 had to accommodate the team that occupied the OP. We were also obliged to
16 put a request in through the Lukavica barracks headquarters for increase
17 in OPs and for accommodation and that wouldn't always necessarily be met
18 with approval.
19 Q. You testified a few moments --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I was
22 waiting for the end of the sentence of the witness. When witnesses is
23 answering far too quickly and I have seen or heard rather some
24 difficulties in the French interpretation. I did not intervene in order
25 not to stop the rhythm, but if the witness could be asked to speak more
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hermer, you heard the observation. Can you
3 please slow down in your answer, everything has to be translated.
4 MR. MUNDIS:
5 Q. Major Hermer, a few moments ago you told us that the Lima OPs
6 would submit incident reports if they were aware of firing from the
7 Bosnian Serb army gun positions; is that correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. You have also testified that on some days there were hundreds of
10 shells landing in the city of Sarajevo; is that also correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Can you explain in light of your answer that there were Lima OPs
13 near gun positions to the maximum extent possible, why there weren't more
14 incident reports of outgoing VRS artillery fire?
15 A. Well, there are probably a number of reasons why that would be the
16 case. Firstly, the nature of gunfire, when it is coming from the gun
17 position, in terms of sound, et cetera is far less easy to detect than
18 impacting ammunition, i.e., an explosion. If atmospheric conditions are
19 wrong, then it is possible that a gun position could be firing its guns
20 only a few hundred metres away and you wouldn't be able to detect that.
21 The Lima side of the front line was quite extended. I forget now how many
22 kilometres were being covered, but there were very few teams to cover that
23 and there were a great number of gun positions that we were responsible
24 for covering.
25 That problem of not being able to detect the guns firing or mortar
1 firing was sometimes exacerbated by the fact that during intense periods
2 of activity, we would have a blanket movement restriction placed upon us
3 on the Lima side. So our UNMOs would not be able to travel around and
4 observe the gun positions, as they would wish to do.
5 Q. During the time that you were in Sarajevo do you recall
6 approximately how many Lima OPs were functioning?
7 A. In total, my recollection is that we had up to 12 OPs, but there
8 were times when, due to manpower shortages, or indeed restrictions placed
9 upon us, we had to close OPs down. So the maximum number that I recall is
10 12, although we were frequently operating with less.
11 Q. Major Hermer, during the time that you were assigned as an MIO in
12 Sarajevo, did you have any responsibilities with respect to communicating
13 with the VRS liaison officers at Lukavica barracks?
14 A. Yes, I did. Both as the MIO, and then later in my tour as I
15 became the operations officer, I had responsibilities for, wherever
16 possible, communicating with the Serbian liaison officer, officer, based
17 in Lukavica. And that would be carried out as and when necessary.
18 Q. Do you recall -- do you recall the name of the Serbian liaison
19 officer at Lukavica barracks?
20 A. The Serbian liaison officer with whom I had most contact was one
21 Major Indjic.
22 Q. Did you ever personally meet Major Indjic?
23 A. On a number of occasions, I met with him.
24 Q. Do you recall the first time that you met with him, approximately
25 when that was, and where?
1 A. The first time I met Major Indjic, I believe, was early in my time
2 in Sarajevo when I was first deployed up on to Mount Igman. I believe
3 that I met him, if not on my first day, then possibly my second day, at
4 Lukavica when he was introduced to me as the liaison officer.
5 Q. Did anyone explain to you what his role was as the liaison
7 A. No. His role was never clearly explained to me. I made the
8 assumption, I guess, that he would have the duties of any liaison officer.
9 A. And based on your military experience, what were the
10 responsibilities of the liaison officer?
11 A. To my knowledge, and having been a liaison officer myself,
12 responsibilities are to build relationships with the factions concerned,
13 or the elements concerned, and with personalities and to facilitate a
14 transferral of information backwards and forwards, and really that's
15 pretty much it.
16 Q. Do you know which unit or military organisation Major Indjic was
17 attached to?
18 A. It was never clearly stated. And again, I believe, at the time I
19 made the assumption that he was, in fact, working for the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps headquarters.
21 Q. Why did you make that assumption?
22 A. As his permanent place of residence, or rather his permanent place
23 of work, was Lukavica barracks, and as time progressed, it became evident
24 to me that he was able to somehow influence, or have an affect on what was
25 occurring with the fighting troops on the front line.
1 Q. We will go into that in slightly greater detail in few moments.
2 But let me ask you this: When you were stationed in the PTT building, did
3 you have regular interaction with Major Indjic?
4 A. My answer is: Yes, either directly or indirectly, I had regular
5 contact with him.
6 Q. Through what means was that contact established?
7 A. There were a number of ways in which our paths crossed. Firstly,
8 I would meet him occasionally in the Lukavica headquarters itself, where
9 he was often in and around the military observers or the UNMO operations
10 room. I would have access to him or to his office via a fixed landline
11 communication link, which I would use to contact either the Lima UNMO Ops
12 room or indeed to talk to him directly.
13 Q. In civilian a fixed landline communication link would be a
14 telephone; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct, as simple as that.
16 Q. How frequently would you speak with Major Indjic on the telephone?
17 A. It is difficult for me to remember how frequently I spoke to him.
18 My recollection is that I had a number of telephone conversations directly
19 with that individual, however, if I wasn't able to speak to him directly,
20 then my messages or requests or complaints would be passed directly to him
21 by one of the Lima military observers.
22 Q. In what language did you communicate with Major Indjic?
23 A. In English.
24 Q. And based on your discussions with him, was it clear to you that
25 he understood English?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. On those occasions when you spoke with him on the telephone, did
3 you dial his number directly, or did you dial a different number?
4 A. My recollection of that is poor. I am unable to remember whether
5 I had a specific telephone number for his office or whether I only had the
6 one number that would link me to the military observers. What I do recall
7 is that it was possible to get him on the end of the telephone.
8 Q. The Lima operations room at Lukavica barracks, do you recall in
9 which building that centre was located?
10 A. That was in the -- the only building which I had access to, which
11 was the largest building directly inside the main gates on the right-hand
12 side, which I understood to be the main headquarters building of Lukavica
14 Q. To your knowledge, was the Sarajevo Romanija Corps head quartered
15 in that building?
16 A. To my knowledge, there were elements of headquarters staff working
17 from that building.
18 Q. Where was Major Indjic's office in relation to the Lima Ops
20 A. I am not aware of where his office was, specifically. Again, my
21 recollection is not good of that particular question, but I am inclined to
22 believe that it was located on the first floor somewhere near the UNMOs
23 Ops room.
24 Q. Do you have any knowledge or information about the location of
25 General Galic's office?
1 A. No.
2 Q. During any time when you were at Lukavica barracks, did you have
3 any discussion with General Galic?
4 A. No discussions.
5 Q. Did you ever encounter or meet General Galic in that building?
6 A. I encountered General Galic on, to my knowledge, possibly, two
7 occasions. On one occasion, he was very very briefly introduced to me, in
8 passing, and on the other occasion, we just happened to be in the same
9 area at the same time.
10 Q. On those occasions when you picked up the telephone and dialed the
11 number for Lukavica barracks, whom were you intending to speak to on the
13 A. Normally, it was my intention to speak to the Lima UNMOs, either
14 the Lima duty officer, whoever that might have been on the day, or the
15 Lima team commander who was, at that time, a Danish officer.
16 Q. Approximately how many times, during the five-month period that
17 you were either the MIO or the Ops officer at the PTT building, did you
18 phone the Lima OPs centre at Lukavica barracks?
19 A. Again I could not realistically put a figure on that, not even an
20 approximate one. But if you consider that I was in the operations room in
21 the PTT building for essentially five months, and depending on the
22 severity of the actions taking place in town, and the level of activity,
23 the number of phone calls I would make would range from none to five or
24 six in a day.
25 Q. Do you recall periods -- you have said "none in a day." Do you
1 recall periods where there would be several days that would elapse between
2 days of a phone call?
3 A. There were certainly quiet periods when there was no reason to
4 telephone. I actually want to rephrase that. The telephone line was used
5 regularly, but for administrative purposes a lot of the time. I would use
6 that line to speak to the Lima headquarters, if necessary, to carry out
7 routine conversations. What I said previously about not using the line at
8 all, was with regard to making specific complaints or requests, based upon
9 the military action going on in Sarajevo at the time.
10 Q. What type of complaints or specific requests would you be making
11 when you called Lukavica barracks? Can you give a few concrete examples?
12 A. I can give you some -- I can give you some generic examples,
13 certainly. If there was activity happening in the city, it may well occur
14 that a Bosnian local commander would lodge a complaint through the Papa
15 UNMO headquarters team. The complaint could be that there was extensive
16 shelling, for example, or sniping in one particular area that was not
17 directed at any specific military target, and possibly that civilians were
18 being injured. That complaint would be passed to me, either via VHF radio
19 or by telephone, in the PTT building and I would then, if I thought it
20 necessary, contact the Lima headquarters to pass on my concern or to ask
21 for an explanation of the activity that was taking place.
22 Q. Other than complaints lodged by local Bosnian commanders, was
23 there any other source of the complaints that you would then pass on to
24 Lukavica barracks?
25 A. Yes. The military observers themselves may well place a request
1 or a complaint. For example, on a number of occasions we had shells
2 landing very close to our OPs, within metres in fact. Or we had our
3 patrolling team, who were being engaged by snipers. I would receive a
4 message to that effect and, of course, would then contact Lima
5 headquarters to try to ascertain why that was occurring and to request
6 that it be stopped.
7 Q. I am going to focus now your attention on the phone calls
8 concerning complaints that you lodged with Lukavica barracks.
9 In order to clarify your earlier answer, there were some days when
10 you made no such phone calls, and on other days you called, I believe you
11 said, five or six times; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct. It varied, depending upon what was going on
13 at the time.
14 Q. With respect to the phone calls concerning complaints, do you have
15 any idea how many times you spoke to Major Indjic?
16 A. Again, I couldn't give you a specific figure of the number of
17 times we spoke. Again, I refer back to the explanation I gave earlier.
18 Over a five-month period, there were times when I would speak to him
19 regularly, sometimes, as I say, directly; maybe five and six times in one
21 Q. Were there other occasions when you would speak with one of the
22 Lima duty Ops officers when it was clear to you that Major Indjic was in
23 the room?
24 A. Yes, that is correct. There were times when it was obvious to me
25 or it seemed obvious to me on my end of the telephone line that the
1 operations officer on the Lima side or the duty officer were having a
2 conversation directly with a Serb liaison officer. And out of experience,
3 I would have guessed that that would be Major Indjic.
4 Q. On those occasions when you spoke directly with Major Indjic, with
5 respect to complaints about shelling or sniping what type of responses did
6 you receive from Major Indjic?
7 A. There were a number of types of response one could expect to
8 receive. And they ranged from total indifference and unwillingness to
9 communicate to a denial, a flat denial of any action taking place. It may
10 well be that he would be aware of what I was referring to and his retort
11 was that this was legitimate military action and a response to earlier
12 Bosnian actions. On occasion he would, again, appear to be aware of to
13 what I was referring and would, in fact, say that he would try to do
14 something positive to help the situation.
15 Q. Based on your experience did Major Indjic do anything "positive"
16 to help the situation?
17 A. It certainly appeared to me and to a number of my colleagues that
18 at times, Major Indjic seemed to be able to cause an effect on the
19 battlefield, if you like, in that when a request or complaint had been
20 lodged, the incident to which the complaint referred often ceased.
21 Q. How do you know it ceased?
22 A. Sometimes difficult to tell whether or not it had ceased as a
23 result of Major Indjic's intervention or whether it had naturally abated.
24 But a pattern emerged eventually, whereby it would be difficult to say
25 that it was pure coincidence that when these complaints or requests were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 lodged. The specific request that we had placed happened within a short
2 time frame.
3 Q. Based on this pattern, whereby you would make a specific request
4 and shortly thereafter the conduct of which you were complaints would
5 cease, did you draw any conclusion about the effectiveness of contacting
6 Lukavica barracks to lodge a complaint?
7 A. There was always the possibility that contacting Lukavica barracks
8 would elicit some kind of positive action. Therefore, I was dutybound
9 always to make that contact in the hope that something positive could --
10 could happen. As I said previously, it wasn't always the case. But on
11 the occasions where either Major Indjic, directly or through one of my
12 colleagues on the Lima side, indicated something could happen then
13 generally something did appear to happen. So I would say that there was a
14 chance that something would happen when a request was lodged and,
15 therefore, there was the possibility that our request would be granted,
16 which leads me to believe that Major Indjic, or somebody in that
17 headquarters, had the ability to cause an effect on the front line.
18 Q. How frequently, when you made these calls, did they result in a
19 positive outcome or a positive result?
20 A. Not as frequently as one would have hoped. On the occasions when
21 there was a positive response, and a positive effect caused then those
22 occasions became quite significant, especially in my memory. It wasn't
23 unusual and it was possible to put pressure on.
24 Q. Such as?
25 A. Well, I know on a couple of occasions when, I think, on one
1 particular occasion, there was some severe sniping taking place, we had
2 lodged a complaint by telephone to the headquarters in Lima and Major
3 Indjic had come on the line. On that particular occasion, I recall that
4 he was denying anything was happening. I have to confess at that time to
5 fabricating a story and telling him there was a CNN newsteam on the ground
6 filming it, to which I recall his response was "I will get back to you. I
7 will see what I can do."
8 Q. Did he, in fact, get back to you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And what did he tell you when he got back in touch with you?
11 A. The details of the specific conversation are not very clear, but
12 the effect was that something would be done and that there was a
13 legitimate reason for the sniping taking place however, it would stop.
14 Q. Did you have any confirmation that the sniping did, in fact, stop?
15 A. It stopped.
16 Q. Based on your experience in the military, did you draw any
17 conclusions about Major Indjic's area of responsibility or his duties
18 within the Sarajevo Romanija Corps headquarters?
19 A. You mean personal conclusions?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Yes, I did. I was, I think, somewhat surprised by the level of
22 influence that Major Indjic appeared to have on what was happening at the
23 front line. On many occasions, when asked to do something about the
24 situation, when he agreed that, in fact, he would, he intimated or
25 indicated by his manner and tone that it was him directly that was having
1 this effect, by talking to commanders. I don't know whether that is the
2 case or not or whether in fact he would have gone to the operations staff
3 and spoken to them, I don't know. But it seemed to me that on many
4 occasions, he was able to make almost independent -- or take independent
5 decisions. Usually, with regard to what was happening in terms of the
6 conflict. I was also required to speak to him regularly to try to
7 facilitate clearances and freedom of movement agreements. In those case
8 where he was obviously dealing with policy pertaining to UNPROFOR, he
9 would never make a decision. He would always refer it up to his high
11 Q. Were there instances when you lodged complaints, with respect to
12 shelling or sniping, where Major Indjic intimated to you that he was going
13 to speak to his chain of command?
14 A. Well, he would --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] The question seems very
17 leading, since it contains the answer in itself. It should not be phrased
18 in this way.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis.
20 MR. MUNDIS: I will rephrase the question, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
22 MR. MUNDIS:
23 Q. Were there instances, other than the instance in which you have
24 said, Major Indjic told you that he would get back to you, were there
25 other instances where Major Indjic informed you that he would call you
2 A. Yes, there were.
3 Q. Did he tell you why he was going to call you back?
4 A. Generally, he would sometimes he would indicate that he was,
5 indeed, going to find out the facts, really, for want of a better word,
6 better explanation. I could be wrong, but I don't specifically recall him
7 using the need or citing the need to consult with the chain of command as
8 a reason for delay.
9 Q. Based on your, again, experience in the British military, would
10 you characterise the chain of command within the Sarajevo Romanija Corps
11 as being one that was relatively tight and rigid or one that was
12 relatively loose?
13 A. I believe there to be a tight chain of command within Sarajevo
14 Romanija Corps. There were obviously professional officers working in
15 that organisation who were able to maintain that rigid military chain of
17 Q. What do you base that on?
18 A. Based on 17 years of military experience.
19 Q. Let me ask you a few questions now concerning incidents of
20 sniping. During the period of time when you were stationed and billeted
21 in Sarajevo, did you personally witness any events of sniping?
22 A. Yes, I did frequently.
23 Q. Do you recall a specific incidence near the Holiday Inn?
24 A. Yes, I do recall it. Would you like me to take you through that?
25 Q. If you could, and first of all tell us the approximate time period
1 in which that incident occurred.
2 A. It was in October of 1993, the exact date and time, I am not able
3 to recall. But it was a significant event for me inasmuch as I was under
4 sniper fire myself. I was travelling in my light military vehicle in
5 eastern Sarajevo, the Old Town.
6 Q. Let me just interrupt briefly. What do you mean by a "light
7 military vehicle"?
8 A. A civilian-style four-wheel drive. The vehicle, in this case, a
9 Toyota Landcruiser.
10 Q. What colour was the vehicle?
11 A. It was painted white and it was carrying the full United Nations
12 insignia, along with other decals which indicated in Serbo-Croat that it
13 contained unarmed military observers.
14 Q. Please continue.
15 A. I heard one of our teams, one of our Papa teams, who were, at that
16 time, responding to some heavy sniping that was going on in and around the
17 area of the Holiday Inn. The team, as I recall, indicated that there was
18 a significant amount of sniping and that at that time two people had been
19 killed, two civilians had been killed. One was a pregnant woman. And
20 that team, the Papa 1 team had moved to that location to observe what was
21 happening. I was only a matter of a few hundred metres away from that
22 incident and decided to go and assist.
23 As I arrived at the Holiday Inn, my vehicle came under fire from
24 small arms and I was able to put my vehicle behind a large concrete block
25 which protected it from the fire, as the fire was coming from the south.
1 Q. Do you know an approximate location or building from which the
2 fire was coming?
3 A. It was between 400 and 500 metres away. To the south there was a
4 block of flats. There appeared to be more than one sniper in that
5 building and we could, in fact, observe a muzzled flash.
6 Q. Do you recall on which side of the confrontation line the sniper
7 or snipers was located?
8 A. According to our knowledge at the time and the mapping that we had
9 and our experience, that building was, in fact, on the Serb side of the
10 front line.
11 Q. Please continue.
12 A. What -- the scene that I witnessed when I arrived is that there
13 were a number of civilians in that area who the evidently been going about
14 their normal daily business, when the sniping had started and were
15 essentially, therefore, for want of a better phrase, "pinned down" and
16 unable to move as every time somebody tried to move in that area then they
17 were engaged by the snipers.
18 Q. Do you recall approximately how many civilians were in this
19 cluster of people?
20 A. Number. It is difficult to recall because people were taking --
21 people were taking cover and people were bunched together.
22 Q. Other than yourself in the white UN vehicle, did you see any
23 significant military presence of the ABiH in the immediate vicinity?
24 A. At that time when I was there, there was none and as I understood
25 it, there had been none previously either.
1 Q. How long did you remain at this location?
2 A. Less than half an hour. We did contact the headquarters in the
3 PTT building, asked them to report this to the Lima side, what was
4 occurring, to try to cause some effect.
5 Q. Do you know if, in fact, the Lima side was contacted and what, if
6 any, effect did this contact have?
7 A. The Lima side was contacted, as I remember. Ultimately people
8 were able to move from that location, i.e., the snipers ceased their
10 Q. Let me draw your attention to another incident involving sniping
11 that you witnessed long sniper alley near the government buildings; do you
12 recall that incident?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. Do you recall approximately when that incident occurred?
15 A. That incident was later. It was in --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I am not certain about this,
18 but I don't think I heard this witness speak about Sniper Alley as such.
19 Could perhaps Mr. Mundis tell us where he referred to it. I mean, page
20 and line.
21 MR. MUNDIS: I can elicit that from the witness, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] And also, Mr. President, I
24 apologise but I have two sets of headphones and one of them is very
25 uncomfortable, because I would like to have the ability to follow the
1 French booth as much as I can.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, if you are able to solve the
5 problem on your own, we would not have had to spend a minute on it. Of
6 course I am willing to assist you, if necessary, but finally you solved
7 the problem and the pause was not necessary at all.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Mundis.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Major Hermer, do you recall give a statement from an investigator
11 of the Tribunal in June of 2001?
12 A. Yes I do.
13 Q. And in your statement did you make reference to Sniper Alley?
14 A. I think that is very likely. The answer is, yes.
15 Q. Was that a term that you came to be aware of during the time you
16 lived in Sarajevo?
17 A. It was a term which was synonymous with Sarajevo and it referred
18 to an area in the city which was particularly prone to sniper fire.
19 Q. Do you recall what area of the city that term refers to?
20 A. It refers to the main thoroughfare running from east to west into
21 the Old City or Stari Grad, particularly from the area of the Holiday Inn
22 towards the government buildings and along the river. It also encompassed
23 an area known as Grbavica.
24 Q. Let me draw your attention to an incident in which you were
25 travelling along Sniper Alley near the government buildings and you
1 witnessed some sniping activity. Do you recall that incident?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Do you recall approximately when that occurred?
4 A. Yes, I do. There was snow on the ground at the time. It was
5 early December, 1993.
6 Q. Can you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber what you witnessed
7 on that occasion, please.
8 A. I was driving from east to west, having just visited the Papa UNMO
9 headquarters, and I was in the vehicle with one other military observer.
10 We were driving a white, United Nations marked, GMC truck, which was the
11 only armoured vehicle that we had, within the UNMO team.
12 As we were driving just past the government buildings heading from
13 east to west, to our front, some 15, 20 metres in front of us, there were
14 three large strikes, ammunition strikes or ordinance strikes on the road
15 to our front. Simultaneously with this, I noticed a change in the
16 mannerism of the large number of civilians who were also in that area. It
17 was a phenomenon which I experienced regularly in Sarajevo and I liken it
18 to the way a flock of -- rather a school of fish will change direction all
19 at once, without any prior warning. As the rounds hit the ground in front
20 of us, the crowd which consisted of I don't know between 20 and 50 people.
21 Simultaneously, lowered their bodies and ducked their heads and moved into
22 cover. Everyone did this simultaneously. It was if it was a
23 well-rehearsed drill. From my first observations, the fact that there
24 were three rounds landing almost simultaneously and the size of the
25 impact, I assessed that this was, in fact, a heavy-calibre weapon which
1 was being fired into the road.
2 The only possible targets in that area were the civilians, the
3 road and my vehicle. So, myself and my colleague, again, put the vehicle
4 into cover, got out of the vehicle, in cover, and observed the road to our
5 front. Within a few seconds, there was more firing and what had happened
6 effectively was that the crowd of people who had been moving from east to
7 west across the road were now stuck either side of that road. I remember
8 clearly that there was one mother with her child who was separated on one
9 side of the road from her child who was on our side of the road.
10 What had happened at that stage was that because the gun that was
11 firing had a clear line of sight all the way down this road, this
12 effectively split the city, at that point, into east and west. And any
13 transit across that road was potentially lethal. We remained in that area
14 for approximately 15 minutes, I would say, throughout which time a number
15 of people were brave enough to cross the road. Each time somebody emerged
16 from cover and tried to cross the road, another burst of automatic heavy
17 machine-gun fire would come down crashing down in front of us.
18 When nobody was moving, the gun wasn't firing.
19 Q. Were any of these civilians crossing the road struck by gunfire on
20 that occasion?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You have characterised the impacting rounds as being large calibre
23 machine-gun fire. Do you have any knowledge about what calibre you
24 believed those rounds to be?
25 A. It is impossible to tell specifically at the point of impact the
1 calibre of a weapon, but, based on experience both in the UK and
2 particularly in Sarajevo, I made the assessment that it was at least 12.7
3 millimetre heavy machine-gun fire and that was characterised by the size
4 of the impacts and indeed the sound of the gun firing.
5 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to the location of the gunner on that
7 A. It was quite easy to assess the time between impact and hearing
8 the gunfire -- through calculating the time between impact and hearing the
9 gunfire that the position was quite a few hundred metres off to our south.
10 What was actually happening was that the rounds were hitting the ground in
11 front of us before we heard the gun firing because the sound was taking
12 quite some time to travel that distance. And, indeed, the rounds were
13 travelling faster than sound. So that, combined with the angle from which
14 the ammunition was coming, led us to assess that the gun was being fired
15 from up on the hill from the Serb-held positions just below the road to
17 Q. Major Hermer, were there instances when you were on the Bosnian
18 Serb army side of the line and you witnessed weapons being fired?
19 A. Yes there were.
20 Q. What type of weapons did you witness being fired?
21 A. I witnessed all manner of weapons being fired, but over the period
22 of my tenure in Sarajevo however, the majority of them were what I will
23 term "indirect fire weapons", artillery or mortar pieces, and it wasn't
24 always possible to see where those weapons were aimed and where the rounds
25 were landing.
1 Q. Do you ever recall seeing any anti-aircraft artillery weapons
2 along the Bosnian Serb army side of the confrontation line?
3 A. Yes, there were a number of weapons that were specifically
4 designed to be used in the anti-aircraft role, which were being used in
5 the ground --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, you are standing?
7 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes I have to do it. I am
8 sorry. In the French transcript, we may have an error and it is important
9 to underline this. We are talking about the Serb confrontation line. I
10 do not think that there were Serb or Muslim confrontation lines. So I
11 think it would be necessary to clarify this.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Piletta-Zanin, we have the small yellow
13 papers for these minor things. It took, again, a minute.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Mundis.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you.
16 Q. Major Hermer, you were talking about triple-A guns, that is,
17 anti-aircraft artillery guns, and I believe the point when you were
18 interrupted you said they were being used in the ground and then it
19 stopped. Can you tell us what you were about to say, please.
20 A. Yes. The weapons were being use against ground targets rather
21 than airborne targets for which they were designed.
22 Q. Did these weapons have a specific mode that would allow them to be
23 used in that capacity?
24 A. Yes, although the weapons were designed to work in high-elevation
25 angles, it was possible, or is possible, to depress the barrels of these
1 weapons so that they can, in fact, be used to engage ground targets.
2 Q. On the occasion when you saw these guns, were they, in fact, in
3 this suppressed mode?
4 A. Yes, they were. You have to understand that generally, around
5 Sarajevo, there were no aircraft movements. These weapons represented a
6 highly effective tool to be used in the offensive role and so
7 understandably they were being used against ground targets.
8 Q. What would be a military use of a triple-A gun in the ground mode?
9 A. If I understand the question, do you mean how would I use it in
10 the ground mode?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. It is very unlikely that as a British troop, I would ever use
13 anti-aircraft weapons in the ground mode unless the situation was dire or
14 an emergency because the ammunition is specifically designed really for
15 engaging aircraft. And the ammunition is extremely expensive. If any air
16 threats exist, then any normal commander would be loath to use those guns
17 and the ammunition in the ground role, but would indeed reserve it for
18 potential air threats.
19 Q. What made the type of rounds fired by a triple-A gun unique or why
20 were they so expensive?
21 A. They are not necessarily unique. They are expensive, in terms of
22 unit financial cost and also in terms of logistic impact, because they are
23 large and they are heavy and they are difficult to move around. But the
24 rounds themselves are extremely high velocity and they generally have an
25 explosive warhead.
1 Q. What is the approximate calibre of these rounds?
2 A. Anti-aircraft weapons vary enormously in calibre, from 12.7
3 millimetres up to 100 millimetres plus.
4 Q. Do you recall the approximate barrel size of the weapons that you
5 saw on the VRS lines?
6 A. My experience told me that they were probably 30 millimetre plus.
7 Q. What type of effect would result from firing a triple-A gun in the
8 ground mode?
9 A. From the point of view of the gunner, of the user, a very
10 satisfying effect.
11 Q. How so?
12 A. Because the rounds are accurate within limits. Because they are
13 high velocity and because they have an explosive warhead, the effect on
14 target would be large. Far greater than a normal calibre, or a similar
15 calibre weapon, firing solid ammunition.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis, if in the next few minutes you could find
17 a suitable to have the next break.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I was about to move on to shelling so
19 perhaps this would be a most convenient time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We will then have a break until 6.00 sharp.
21 --- Recess taken at 539 p.m.
22 --- Upon resuming at 6 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mundis, please proceed.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Major Hermer, I would like to turn your attention now to incidents
1 involving artillery and, specifically, shelling of the city of Sarajevo.
2 Did there come a time when you personally witnessed any artillery
3 shells impacting the city of Sarajevo?
4 A. Throughout my stay in Sarajevo, on numerous occasions.
5 Q. Do you recall a specific occasion when you witnessed a shelling
6 incident from the PTT building?
7 A. Yes, I do. I witnessed a number of shelling incidents from the
8 PTT building. It was possible to stand on the roof of the building or on
9 the fire escape and within a few minutes, it would be easy to witness
10 shells impacting somewhere in the city.
11 Q. Let me take your attention to an incident you described in your
12 statement, involving a civilian dwelling being struck by artillery. Do
13 you recall that incident?
14 A. Yes, I do, amongst others. I think it stands out because of the
15 unexpectedness, and because of the relative devastation that one round
16 appeared to cause.
17 Q. Do you recall approximately when that incident occurred?
18 A. I believe it would have been late November or December 1993.
19 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what you witnessed
20 on that occasion.
21 A. As I recall, I was inside the PTT building. Considering where I
22 was, I think I was probably, either finishing or just about to commence my
23 lunch and I was looking out of the window, across to the north to the
24 feature known as Zuc. As I looked out of the window, all seemed quiet.
25 There was very little happening at that time. And before my eyes, one of
1 the dwellings, the civilian houses, on the side of the hill simply
2 disintegrated into a ball of flame and smoke, in front of my eyes. This
3 is some 600 to 800 metres, possibly a bit more, from where I was located.
4 Q. Once the flames or smoke dissipated, what did you see on the spot
5 where the house had been located?
6 A. There was nothing there, other than the remnants of the building.
7 There was no indication to me, or indeed during the subsequent follow-up
8 by a Papa team, that there had been any specific target of a military
9 value there at all.
10 Q. Do you recall the specific findings of the Papa team with respect
11 to this incident?
12 A. As I recall, as a result of that incident two people were killed,
13 two civilians. That is the report that came back as a result of the Papa
14 team's on-the-ground investigation.
15 Q. Do you recall any incident reports with respect to the outgoing
16 fire or the source of fire that impacted that house?
17 A. I do. On this occasion, I made my way back to the operations
18 room, from where I had moved to have my lunch. A colleague was covering
19 the operations desk at the time, and there had been a report from the
20 Lukavica team, Lima team, of a report of outgoing fire which coincided,
21 almost to the second, with the impact which was observed on Zuc.
22 Q. At the time you saw the house being destroyed on Zuc, which
23 military force controlled the area encompassing Zuc Hill?
24 A. The -- well the area encompassing Zuc Hill was split more or less
25 centrally. There was a very distinct line of trenches running across the
1 hill, and so it was separated between Bosnian and Serb forces. But the
2 point of impact of this particular round was very well within the
3 Bosnian-held area.
4 Q. Do you recall approximately how close the house was that you saw
5 being destroyed to these trenches?
6 A. It was more than 1.000 metres, a lot more. The nearest front line
7 to that house ran some 1.500 metres to the west, and then came back across
8 onto the line of Zuc Hill but was effectively in dead ground, i.e., behind
9 the brow of the hill from that house.
10 Q. During the time that you were stationed in Sarajevo, did you
11 become aware of any incoming mortar fire?
12 A. I became very aware of it. It was occurring on an hourly basis,
13 what we believed to be mortar fire, although it wasn't always possible to
14 differentiate between artillery and mortar fire at the point of impact.
15 There were countless examples of mortar fire which I personally witnessed,
16 both the mortar fire itself, the impacts and the aftermath.
17 Q. Were you able to draw any general conclusions about the use of
18 mortars against the city of Sarajevo?
19 A. Not specifically, other than the fact that mortars were being used
20 because we had witnessed from our Lima teams mortars being fired and we
21 were able to assess that some of the ordinance that was impacting inside
22 Sarajevo was indeed mortar ammunition, rather than artillery ammunition
23 and quite a lot of it.
24 Q. Did it seem to you, based on your experience in Sarajevo, that
25 this mortar fire was being used in a coordinated military -- effective
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 military attack?
2 A. I saw examples of indirect fire, both artillery and mortars, being
3 used in an extremely well-coordinated, professional fashion against what
4 were obviously specific targets. Normally, around the areas of the front
5 line. There was no doubt in my mind that the operators of those weapons
6 were proficient and had good drills and communications. One particular
7 example which I could cite, which, again, I recall occurred in late
8 October was where indirect fire was being use to support what appeared to
9 be an infantry attack and there was also coordinated illumination these
10 are special -- this is special ammunition which is fired from mortars and
11 guns to illuminate an area of operations at night. The combined effect of
12 the mortar and artillery fire and illumination being coordinated, led me
13 to think that the people, or what I was witnessing was extremely
14 professionally executed.
15 Q. Did you also see examples where mortar fire was being used against
16 other than specific targets, as you have put it?
17 A. Yes. The -- within Sarajevo throughout that period there was what
18 I would term "general background activity" throughout any one 24-hour
19 period. For example, one would experience general impacting of indirect
20 fire within the city. And this was very different from the coordinated,
21 sustained attacks on specific targets that I have mentioned. These rounds
22 on this -- these incidents appeared to be essentially random, often single
23 rounds fired from artillery or mortar weapons without any kind of
24 follow-up action, which, in respect to indirect fire weapons, is very
1 Generally, with an indirect fire weapon, it is very difficult to
2 hit a specific target, if not impossible to hit a specific target, with
3 one round. These weapons by their nature are what we term, "area weapons"
4 and they are designed to cover an area of ground with fire. They are not
5 of any real use used individually, one at a time, firing one round. Even
6 if a weapon has been accurately sited and accurately adjusted on to a
7 target, atmospheric conditions will change throughout any given period, be
8 it temperature, wind speed, or humidity and this will affect greatly the
9 accuracy of that weapon so that you could never guarantee where a round is
10 going to land. Therefore, to fire one round and not follow it up or
11 adjust it on to a target would seem pointless, in military terms.
12 Q. Does this type of tactic that you just described, does this have
13 any type of generally accepted military term for this type of attack?
14 A. The only situation on which I could imagine advocate the use of
15 such weapons in such a manner, would be to generally suppress or harass a
16 large area.
17 Q. Major Hermer, during the time period that you were in Sarajevo,
18 did you ever see or hear any type of multiple launched rocket system
19 attacks on the city?
20 A. My experience and reports that came in from my colleagues
21 suggested very strongly that, indeed, rockets of some type were indeed
22 used in or against Sarajevo during my period.
23 Q. Do you have any specific knowledge of instances in which you saw
24 or heard such rockets impacting Sarajevo?
25 A. Again, if we go back to October 1993, in that time frame, there
1 had been reports coming in from our military observers on the Lima side of
2 rocket-launched systems having been sighted. We indeed had reports or
3 IncReps coming in that indicated from our Papa observation post that
4 rockets had been fired.
5 On one occasion I am fairly confident that I witnessed a rocket
6 attack be it not visually, but certainly orally, because the
7 characteristics of a rocket attack are somewhat different to the
8 characteristics of say, normal indirect fire.
9 Q. When you say orally, are you stating that you heard this?
10 A. That is right. The -- as I say, I heard characteristics of fire
11 that would -- that led me to believe that I was actually witnessing a
12 rocket attack, yes.
13 Q. During the time that you have been in the British armed forces,
14 have you trained on these type of rocket systems?
15 A. I have not trained on them personally, but I have witnessed them
16 firing and I have been on the ground where they have impacted.
17 Q. What is the military use of these type of weapons?
18 A. There are a number of uses, depending upon the calibre and the
19 range of such systems. But in general terms and as far as I am aware,
20 with regard to the types of systems that were probably used in Bosnia at
21 that time, the main purpose is to cause a rapid and devastating effect on
22 the target. On an area target, these weapons are not accurate by any
23 stretch of the imagination. They are designed to cause a great
24 psychological effect upon the troops or the targets against which they are
25 used. But they are not generally used in close support as they cannot be
1 trusted to hit specific targets.
2 Q. Thank you, Major Hermer.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further
4 questions at this time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mundis. Mr. Piletta-Zanin, since you
6 are standing, do I take it you will be cross-examine the witness? You
7 will be cross-examined by counsel for the Defence. Please proceed.
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Piletta-Zanin:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Hermer.
11 A. Good evening.
12 Q. I will allow myself to ask my questions in French. You now have
13 the rank of major, is that correct?
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. So you are a military person, that is your career, you are a
16 career soldier; is that correct?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Thank you for your answer.
19 Major, to become a career soldier, as you are, could you briefly
20 give us some information on what is necessary in relation to your
21 training, that is on your didactic [Realtime transcript read in error
22 "dactic"] from training?
23 A. I didn't understand the word "dactic", sorry.
24 Q. Didactic. Pedagogical training.
25 A. Yes. In my own personal case, I first joined the ranks as a
1 soldier. Underwent basic military and specialist commando training from
2 the age of 16. At the rank of corporal, at the age of 21, I was
3 commissioned as an officer. I returned to a training environment and was
4 subjected to a further 24 months of intensive military and commando
5 training. Upon the completion of which, I was posted to a Royal Marine
6 commando unit.
7 Q. Is that all?
8 A. Do you wish me to go into specific detail regarding the training I
10 Q. Yes. In order to become a major and a career soldier officer, did
11 you never receive or discord in certain military schools, did you have any
12 historic training, a historic background training, theoretical training?
13 A. Yes, a large amount of my training was theoretical, studying past
14 conflicts, political and military interaction. I also attended staff
15 college in 1997 where this theory was taken to a much higher level. In
16 particular, we studied operations at brigade and divisional level.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you for your answer, Witness.
18 I would also like to ask you, therefore, some questions regarding
19 your competencies in theory and in history, but for the moment, let us go
20 back to Sarajevo and to Mount Igman. Could you please tell us during your
21 stay in Sarajevo what was the army which controlled the heights of Mount
23 A. When I arrived in late or mid-August 1993 the heights of Mount
24 Igman which, if I'm right, are known as Bijelasnice, were not controlled
25 by any army other than UNPROFOR. The army of the Serb Krajina-- my
1 apologies -- of the Republika Srpska was essentially to the east and the
2 north and west of Mount Igman whilst the United Nations were controlling
3 the gap between the Serbian forces and the Bosnian forces which
4 encompassed the heights of Mount Igman.
5 Q. Very well, thank you.
6 How many observation posts were there in that area of Mount Igman
7 during the time while you were in Sarajevo?
8 A. I assume you are referring to military observer, UNMO, observation
9 posts; is that correct?
10 Q. [In English] Absolutely correct.
11 A. There was one.
12 Q. [Interpretation] From what time, Witness, if that is the case,
13 was Mount Igman, and I mean the heights, mounts of Mount Igman were under
14 the control of the Muslim army, that is, the so-called Sarajevo army?
15 A. The answer to that is, that during my tenure, the heights of Mount
16 Igman were not controlled by the so-called Sarajevo army. There was a
17 company of UN troops, either French Foreign Legion or French Marines who
18 occupied that area throughout my stay.
19 Q. Witness, isn't it true that, at a certain moment, some troops of
20 the Muslim army were able to gain advantage, military strategic advantage
21 to position themselves on the slopes, if we can use that term, on Mount
22 Igman, and if that was so, when was that?
23 A. Throughout my time on Igman and throughout the time of my
24 colleagues who were there subsequent to me on Mount Igman there were
25 incursions of the so-called UN controlled area and by both sides. You are
1 right in saying that, at one stage, Bosnian army troops did occupy areas
2 of Mount Igman that, according to the agreement, they should not have, but
3 it is always fair to say, I think that there were incursions, in the form
4 of fighting patrols by both sides.
5 Q. Very well.
6 Thank you for this answer, Witness. Isn't it true that there was
7 a battle that was fought in order to gain or to keep, to maintain the
8 control of Mount Igman?
9 A. There was. There were battles fought over Mount Igman because,
10 obviously, it was strategically a very important territory. Throughout my
11 tenure, however, the United Nations retained a presence on that mountain
12 and although perhaps not 100 per cent effective in controlling it and
13 denying it, I would not go so far as to say that either side effectively
14 controlled that narrow corridor across Mount Igman.
15 Q. Very well. But since you are telling us that the UN personnel had
16 an effective presence there, could you tell us which brigade of the Muslim
17 army were positioned at the time on Mount Igman or around it?
18 A. My memory in these matters and specifics is not 100 per cent
19 clear. I recall a so-called Bosnian Mountain Brigade. I say "so-called"
20 because in normal military terms, this was not a brigade, who had a
21 headquarters up on the area of Mount Igman, but out with the area
22 controlled by the United Nations. As for other units up there. The
23 specific --
24 Q. Witness, I will just stop you here, in order not to waste time.
25 So you said that there were HQ and you are talking about the HQ of the
1 Muslim army, if it is possible, can you just answer with a yes or no,
3 A. I can't answer that with a yes or no, I am afraid.
4 Q. Did you know or did you not know as a military observer and as a
5 major, which was the -- which was which side had HQ there? Were they
6 Serbs or were there Muslims?
7 A. They were Muslims, but the phrase you used --
8 Q. Thank you for your answer. You can continue your description,
9 please, major.
10 A. Thank you. The term you used was "Bosnian army headquarters." It
11 was not an army headquarters. There was an headquarters element located
12 on the mountain, yes.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel. Microphone,
14 please, counsel.
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I apologise.
16 Q. I am taking note of that, Witness, but if you could continue with
17 what you were going to say before I interrupted you.
18 A. No, I am sorry I have to look back through the text. Please bear
19 with me.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You were talking about headquarters and you said as
21 far as other units up there, the specific -- that is where you ended.
22 THE WITNESS: As far as other units operating in that area, the
23 specific titles of those units I can't remember in detail.
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Very well, thank you.
1 You were talking about units and I am talking about brigades.
2 There is a difference. You do not remember any more about Muslim brigades
3 which were at the time on Mount Igman?
4 A. Not from memory, not without --
5 Q. Very well, thank you.
6 Would you please confirm, Witness, if the following is the case:
7 The number of 105-millimetre cannons which were in the region under the
8 control of the Muslim army?
9 A. No, I cannot confirm that number.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you.
11 Could you confirm, Witness, the number of 102-millimetre cannons
12 that were under the control of that army in 122-millimetre cannons that
13 were in control of that army and that region?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could you confirm, Witness, of the -- of the rocket launchers that
16 were held by that army at that time in that region?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Could you perhaps tell us the same answer or no answer regarding
19 the Howitzer, the 130-millimetre cannon.
20 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you, Mr. Hermer, do you have any specific
21 knowledge on numbers of heavy weaponry in that area?
22 THE WITNESS: Specific knowledge, no. Other than what we saw,
24 JUDGE ORIE: No specific numbers.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Q. Therefore --
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, I asked
4 another line of questioning. Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Were you, yourself, on several occasions involved in missions on
6 that region in that area that we are talking about, that is on Mount
8 A. I would like to you please define "mission."
9 Q. Yes, I can be very precise in fact. I believe that you were on
10 mission of the United Nations, but perhaps I could rephrase the question.
11 Were you at any time, in any capacity, on Mount Igman during your
12 stay in Sarajevo?
13 A. Yes, I was. I was on Mount Igman for approximately 20 days in
15 Q. 20 days out of how many days, please, in total?
16 A. My entire stay in Sarajevo was just a little more than five
18 Q. So would you agree with me if I said that that was approximately
19 150 days then?
20 A. That would be a fair approximation.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... approximately 150
23 days, please proceed.
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
25 Q. During those 20 days that are approximately about 20 per cent of
1 your time, you have never seen a weapon of those that I mentioned earlier,
2 on those heights above Sarajevo?
3 A. If you are talking about Bosnian weapons, yes, many.
4 Q. I am talking about the weapons which I mentioned earlier, precise
5 weapons I mentioned earlier.
6 A. Some of those calibres, weapons were present, that is, true, they
7 were present on the mountain --
8 Q. Could you please tell us which ones. Which ones, could you please
9 tell us which ones?
10 A. They had the Howitzers.
11 Q. How many?
12 A. A total number I do not know.
13 Q. Approximately?
14 A. It is impossible for me to say.
15 Q. More than four, more than five, for instance, more than six?
16 A. Less than five.
17 Q. Thank you very much. And perhaps more than three. So for the
18 other weapons, please?
19 A. The 120-millimetre mortar that you mentioned, I believe.
20 Q. That is right.
21 A. These weapons were more abundant. These weapons were -- I viewed
22 these weapons regularly. There were a number of them, a specific number
23 again --
24 Q. I will have to interrupt you. When you say "specific number so
25 what do you think approximately how many were there?
1 A. Again, because these weapons are mobile, it is impossible for me
2 to say, but -- I can't give you a figure.
3 Q. More than, less than?
4 A. More than one.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 Now, these weapons were used in a fixed way, the 120-millimetres?
7 A. These weapons, the ones that I saw, were often in a fixed
8 position, what we would call a "gun line." But I have no doubt that they
9 were moved regularly so they were not permanently fixed, no.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel. Microphone,
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I apologise.
13 Q. Thank you, Major. You saw these weapons on several occasions and
14 several locations, so when -- the crews that were serving these mortars,
15 were they different?
16 A. It was not possible to view the crews. Often these weapons were
18 Q. Thank you very much.
19 I am going to go back to other weapons, 105 and 122. What would
20 you say about them?
21 A. The 105-millimetre I don't recall. Are you talking of the 122
23 Q. No. I was talking about what is called in Serbian cannons,
24 122-millimetre cannons. I don't think they are Howitzers. These are
25 field guns, probably.
1 A. I again don't recall having seen field guns of that calibre on
2 Mount Igman.
3 Q. Would you have seen field guns of a different calibre, perhaps?
4 A. Not up on Mount Igman, no.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 You spoke, Witness, earlier about a gun line and these weapons
7 would have been placed on a gun line and this gun line would be positioned
8 between what and what else?
9 A. The nature of the gun line, gun lines that I witnessed, were on
10 hard flat ground without any overhead obstructions obviously placed in a
11 location whereby they could be brought to bear rapidly onto a target.
12 They weren't placed between anything specific.
13 Q. Witness could you please tell us if this is the case and since you
14 went there: What was, strategically speaking, the view that the observers
15 were able to have, either from Mount Igman on Sarajevo?
16 A. I am sorry, do you mean the physical view?
17 Q. When I say "view" I don't just mean the physical view, of course,
18 but also strategic view. That dominating point from a military point of
19 view, if there was any?
20 A. There was a strategic view which was gained by the military
21 observers on that mountain. The physical view as you have referred to it,
22 was limited, but the overall view which that observation team gave us was,
23 we believed, important at the time because Mount Igman was the strategic
24 entry point --
25 Q. Witness, I will have to interrupt you here, please.
1 I wanted you to tell us, if that was the case, whether you could
2 just confirm by a yes or no whether from Mount Igman it was possible to
3 have a dominating strategic position viewing therefore the entire city
4 from above?
5 A. Certainly from the area which I have frequented --
6 Q. Thank you for your answer, Witness?
7 A. I don't think you understood my answer.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please clarify yourself.
9 THE WITNESS: I hadn't finished, certainly from the area where I
10 was located and frequented, there was no view whatsoever. However, I paid
11 one visit to the top of the highest point. From there the view was
12 significantly better, but did not give a good view of the whole of
13 Sarajevo, no.
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 You spoke about the armies. Could you tell us how many
17 soldiers -- how many soldiers were deployed by the Muslim army in by the
18 Sarajevo Sector?
19 A. I am assuming that -- that you are referring to Mount Igman and
20 therefore I will say that it was difficult to be specific. People,
21 commanders, were not forthcoming when asked to divulge numbers of men and
22 it was not possible to carry out a detailed head count of the troops
23 involved. But I would say not a significant number in military terms.
24 Q. Thank you, Witness. The last thing on this point: You spoke
25 about heavy artillery. The troops that you saw, did they also have light
1 artillery weapons?
2 A. We are talking now about Bosnian troops?
3 Q. Yes, still.
4 A. On Mount Igman, I can't recall having seen specific light
5 artillery, I presume, you are talk about calibres of 105 millimetres or
6 below, although there were a significant number of mortars.
7 Q. No, I was asking the question whether Muslim army soldiers had a
8 light weapons, the Kalashnikov and so on?
9 A. Yes, I am sorry. I thought you said artillery. The answer to
10 that is: Yes, they had small arms weapons, machine-guns and even, what I
11 would term "civilian weapons", shotguns and the like.
12 Q. What do you mean by the weapons? I am just going to check in the
13 transcript. What do you mean by "civilian weapons"?
14 A. By that term I refer to weapons that are not of -- generally
15 regarded to be of a military specification.
16 Q. For instance?
17 A. A hunting gun, firing shot rather than bullets, or a civilian
18 hunting rifle, that sort of weapon.
19 Q. So many soldiers were armed with such weapons of a civilian
21 A. Not many, no, but they were notable.
22 Q. Thank you for your answer.
23 Among the soldiers that we are talking about now what was their
24 situation in relation to how they were dressed? Uniforms, did they have
25 uniforms or not?
1 A. No, not what I would regard to be complete military uniforms. A
2 number of them were wearing possibly one item of military clothing, a
3 jacket or trousers and no more.
4 Q. However, these people had weapons, they were able to carry
5 weapons, to be armed?
6 A. That is correct, yes.
7 Q. Thank you, Major, for this answer.
8 Since we have asked these questions in relation to Mount Igman, I
9 would now like to ask you a more general question and whether would your
10 answer also apply to other areas in the theater, so to speak, as far as
11 you were able to find out and to know.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just ask you, all the questions you asked
13 about --
14 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, I am
15 talking about the very last question, the weapons in relation to the
17 JUDGE ORIE: So you are talking about the civilian weapons and
18 the uniforms?
19 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: Absolutely correct.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, that certainly applied in the city of
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 Witness, we had here testimonies regarding the fact that very
25 young people would visit certain military facilities and installations,
1 apparently in the hope that they would find food there.
2 Did you see yourself, did you know about such facts?
3 A. Yes. I certainly witnessed on a number of occasions, as you term
4 it, "very young people," around military installations. Whether they were
5 looking for food or not, I don't know, but there were often young children
6 around military positions, yes.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 When you say, Witness, "young people" am I to conclude from your
9 answer that we are talking about people below the military age?
10 A. Considering, I think, it was difficult to define the military age
11 in that theater, these people were very young and certainly below the
12 age of 16, yes.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 Major, as you are a professional soldier, did it happen
15 occasionally, did you see people that is, children below 16 years of age,
16 who were even, lato sensu, bringing assistance to the military personnel
18 A. If you include in the term "assistance" carrying out errands and
19 small tasks, yes.
20 Q. Was this very frequent or relatively frequent?
21 A. It was common place.
22 Q. Thank you for your answer, Major.
23 You said "small errands." Could you perhaps clarify this and tell
24 us briefly what you mean by "small errands" by just giving us two or three
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I don't know if I can give you three examples, but the sort of
2 thing which I witnessed was small children bringing food supplies to the
3 soldiers, possibly cleaning their equipment for them, in return, I assume
4 for a small reward, who knows. And generally doing the types of
5 labour-intensive, mundane tasks you wouldn't normally give to a child.
6 Q. Thank you very much for what you said, Witness. So cleaning the
7 equipment, that would also mean oiling weapons or checking the cleanliness
8 of canons and et cetera?
9 A. I do not specifically recall children cleaning or maintaining
10 weaponry. I did see children with weapons, but not necessarily cleaning
12 Q. Which weapons, Witness? Or what type of weapons?
13 A. Small arms, personal weapons.
14 Q. Guns?
15 A. Rifle.
16 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know
17 how long we are -- we can go on and considering that what we have to do,
18 I believe that this would be an excellent moment to stop, but I can
19 continue, if you wish
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... so therefore, if
21 this is a suitable moment --
22 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- then we will adjourn. But before adjourning, may
24 I ask you one question, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... in your
2 observation made at approximately half past 5.00, did you give a small
3 yellow paper to those who are assisting us?
4 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: Did I --
5 JUDGE ORIE: I asked -- you made a small comment on the
6 transcript and especially the French, that is what at 17:31.
7 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: If I gave a small yellow paper to someone?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, a small yellow paper as I indicated before that
9 we could give to the people doing the transcript so that we can
10 guide them and at least assist them in performing their task.
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have a
12 number of information that I have to do, however, it is mostly white but
13 I suppose I will do it immediately, thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We will adjourn until tomorrow, but not the usual
15 time, due to some initial appearances. We will start at a quarter to
16 3.00. So we will adjourn in this same courtroom and I cannot guarantee
17 that we will be able to start at a quarter to 3.00 because it depends on
18 the time the initial appearances would take. So, therefore, I have to
19 ask for your patience, if we could not immediately start.
20 Mr. Mundis? No. Then we will adjourn until tomorrow,
21 same courtroom, at a quarter to 3.00.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
24 the 16th, day of May, 2002, at 2.45 p.m.