Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 5327

1 Wednesday, 31 March 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10 And for the Prosecution, please.

11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your

12 Honours. Good morning, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis,

13 Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper, the case manager.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15 Now for the Defence, please.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.

17 Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic,

18 Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel

19 Cauvin, legal assistant. Thank you.

20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On

21 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin

22 Mulalic, legal assistant.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 After the break we had yesterday, I bid good morning to all

25 persons present, the representatives of the Prosecution, the

Page 5328

1 representatives of the accused, the accused, and all the staff of this

2 courtroom.

3 Today we have two witnesses planned. There appears there may be

4 a problem with one of the two witnesses. But before addressing the

5 problem of witnesses, there are two points to regulate.

6 First of all, the Chamber notes with satisfaction the presence of

7 the famous model that we have in front of us, which will allow the

8 witnesses coming to indicate the places, as marked by the small cards.

9 So it will be easier to find the various localities.

10 From the position of the Chamber, we can see white and green. We

11 assume that the green are wooded areas and the green areas, but certainly

12 we will be given additional explanations.

13 In any event, this model will be very useful for all of us.

14 A second point that I wish to address has to do with the question

15 of documents which the Prosecution wishes to tender into evidence. The

16 Prosecution drew up a table, and the Chamber received yesterday the

17 comments of the Defence regarding those documents. I spent a part of the

18 afternoon looking at this table and making calculations regarding the

19 documents admitted and those contested. According to me, there are 212

20 documents that are not contested and 655 that are. So we have a hard

21 core of more than 200 documents which have not provoked any objections on

22 the part of the Defence.

23 These documents, therefore, are referred to in the table which

24 has been attached by the Defence to its written submissions.

25 The Defence in its brief indicates that it contests documents

Page 5329

1 principally for two reasons: First, on the grounds of relevance; and

2 also, contesting the authenticity of documents, either because of the

3 quality of the signatures or various other reasons. So these are the two

4 grounds on the basis of which a certain number of documents are

5 challenged -- not a certain number, but 655 documents, which means that

6 these documents will be produced by the Prosecution through future

7 witnesses and that then the Defence counsel will object to them on the

8 grounds of relevance or authenticity. So we need to regulate the fate of

9 212 documents.

10 You had your administrative meeting yesterday in this connection,

11 and one of the solutions envisaged would be for the Chamber to render a

12 decision in writing regarding these 212 noncontested documents. This can

13 be done. We will discuss it amongst ourselves during the break.

14 But the problem that could arise is the following, and that is

15 that these documents are documents that we haven't seen and that we do

16 not know the contents of. The Prosecution has disclosed them to the

17 Defence, who of course studied them, but we don't have them. It would

18 appear that the Prosecution is producing copies of those documents now.

19 Will we have those documents before the date envisaged in April, that is,

20 next week? We, of course, are not requesting all of the documents, but

21 we could have at least the 212 noncontested documents. Because the

22 Chamber will have two possibilities - but we are going to discuss it -

23 and that is if we don't receive those documents from now until the date

24 envisaged, they can be marked for identification, which will be

25 transformed into an exhibit number when we get the documents; or a second

Page 5330

1 solution would be that we trust both parties regarding their relevance

2 and then our decision will mean that they will be given a final number.

3 But before we deliberate amongst ourselves, I should like to hear

4 the position of the Prosecution regarding the copying of these documents

5 and when the Chamber may gain possession of them and have them in

6 binders.

7 Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.

8 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, in respect as to when

9 the Prosecution will make available the documents which are not

10 contested, it was the understanding of the Prosecution to date that we

11 would produce such documents on the 8th of April.

12 It's the understanding of the Prosecution that based on a

13 decision of the Trial Chamber, what has been the suggestion of the

14 parties in the course of the yesterday evening's meeting, following a

15 proposal by the registrar, that then the P numbers would be given to the

16 documents and afterwards, namely on the 8th of April, the Prosecution

17 produces nine or ten binders of such documents containing the

18 noncontested ones.

19 It's a huge effort for the Prosecution to put together the

20 binders, and the Prosecution will most likely outsource this work.

21 Therefore, the Prosecution, as the Defence as well, would very much

22 appreciate if the Chamber could render its decision in the course of this

23 week.

24 It's the view of the Prosecution - and obviously it's the view of

25 the Defence as well, since they did not contest such documents - that

Page 5331

1 these documents are relevant to the current proceedings. Therefore, it's

2 the suggestion of the Prosecution that once the Chamber has made its

3 decision detailing the P numbers, the Prosecution will take care of

4 putting together the respective numbers of binders and will hand these

5 binders over and will tender these documents on the 8th of April.

6 If I may address a second issue you, Mr. Presiding Judge, have

7 briefly talked about. Defence in their yesterday's submission has shown

8 and has indicated that they for a number of reasons - namely,

9 authenticity or relevancy - do contest the majority of the documents.

10 The Prosecution would like to address the Defence concerns and their

11 challenges; however, it would be very beneficial if Defence could

12 enlighten both the Chamber and the Prosecution in respect to each

13 document, what the challenge is about, since only then the Prosecution

14 has a position to actually address the concerns of the Defence.

15 This may have an impact on the Prosecution calling certain

16 witnesses. If the relevancy is challenged, this is more or less a pure

17 legal issue. If, however, the authenticity or the chain of custody is

18 challenged, the Prosecution would need to call certain witnesses.

19 Therefore, the Prosecution would very much appreciate if the Defence

20 could inform both the Chamber and the Prosecution in respect to each and

21 every document what their challenges are about. Thank you very much.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will give the floor to the

23 Defence, but just a small point so that there should be no

24 misunderstanding.

25 Originally, the Chamber indicated that the 8th of April would be

Page 5332












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Page 5333

1 the date when the documents would be officially admitted. At the time -

2 and you can refer to the transcript - it was indicated that we would

3 spend that day of the 8th of April in giving numbers to the 92 bis

4 testimony and also giving numbers to documents, having stated at the time

5 that we would have those documents in our hands. And as indicated at the

6 time, Mr. Registrar would give them a number document by document.

7 Subsequently to what was said then, the Defence and the Prosecution, who

8 thought the matter over, suggested that they meet with the legal officer

9 so as to envisage a different procedure which would enable time to be

10 saved. And it is within the context of this new procedure that it was

11 suggested that the Chamber make a written ruling on the admission of

12 documents. So that is the problem as I wish to recall.

13 If we order the admission of those documents, there's a risk of

14 us taking a decision prior to the 8th of April without having the

15 documents. The Prosecution tells us that there will be nine binders by

16 the 8th of April and not ten, so I don't know why there are -- there's

17 one on standby, but there must be a reason. We are told that these

18 documents will be put in binders, but there are only two methods of doing

19 it: Either the method following the numbers, binder number 1 covering

20 exhibit numbers appearing in the Annex, and then one can find one's way;

21 or another, more elaborate form of classification, which would be to put

22 the documents in relation to the offences or the locations. But that

23 would be rather more difficult. But it is up to the Prosecution to

24 decide, of course, though there are several methods of proceeding in this

25 classification of documents. But we will render a decision on what is to

Page 5334

1 be done.

2 The Prosecution has raised an important problem, and that is that

3 there are 655 contested documents. The Defence teams, could they tell us

4 at this stage why they are contested in rough terms? I gather that it is

5 either on the basis of relevance or authenticity. But as the Prosecution

6 has indicated, if documents are contested on the basis of relevance, that

7 can cause graver problems than those contested on the basis of

8 authenticity.

9 I now turn to the Defence to hear their point of view regarding

10 the documents. On the 29th of March -- their brief is dated the 29th of

11 March, but it is rather brief. It's only a page and a half.

12 Mr. Bourgon, as I know that you were working on this submission, I give

13 you the floor.

14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good morning, Madam Judge. Good

15 morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Mr. President. The position of the

16 Defence, Mr. President, was expressed in the document that we filed

17 yesterday on behalf of the Defence for the two accused. Our objective in

18 filing this document was to follow up on the decision of the Chamber.

19 The difficulty that we faced was that the documents for which the Defence

20 was able to agree to, even before the documents were presented to the

21 Chamber, those were the documents on which we agreed regarding

22 admissibility. You mentioned the figure of 212; the figure that I have

23 was a bit higher, but I don't think it is a significant matter for this

24 morning. What is important to note is that regarding the other

25 documents, whose either authenticity or relevance we contest, we're of

Page 5335

1 the opinion that for those documents to be admitted there must be a

2 certain discussion before the Chamber document by document, as the

3 Chamber had indicated.

4 The documents which are mentioned in our response filed yesterday

5 are documents which can be admitted without even having a debate about

6 them. Regarding those documents, to facilitate the proceedings we

7 suggest that the Chamber could give them a number for identification,

8 which would allow the Prosecution to produce the binders, as we discussed

9 yesterday, and then simply the ID would be removed and all those

10 documents can be admitted en bloc, which would be a sound basis for these

11 proceedings.

12 The question of marking for identification was not discussed

13 yesterday, but in view of what the Chamber has said this morning, this

14 would be a way of avoiding all problems: A decision by the Chamber with

15 numbers for identification; the Prosecution produces the documents and

16 then the whole set of documents is admitted and the identification

17 removed.

18 As for the other documents, we as the Defence are ready to

19 proceed in two ways, either case by case, witness by witness in the

20 course of the trial, and then at the end of the trial the documents which

21 were not admitted can be the object of a debate. Or, if the Prosecution

22 and the Chamber prefers, we could have a discussion document by document

23 before that. We simply thought, Mr. President, to convey our

24 observations document by document in writing would not be productive at

25 this stage. Thank you, Mr. President.

Page 5336

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bourgon, for

2 your remarks. Mr. Dixon.

3 MR. DIXON: Firstly, Your Honours, we fully appreciate that Your

4 Honours do have to have the documents before you before they can be

5 admitted in order that they are considered by Your Honours before a

6 formal decision is made. And as Mr. Bourgon said - and I'm sure my

7 learned friends from the Prosecution would be able to do this - a copy

8 can be provided with identification numbers before admission.

9 Secondly, on the question of the documents that are challenged,

10 Your Honours, what would be most helpful for us is if the Prosecution

11 could indicate - which is a normal procedure in many jurisdictions -

12 could indicate which witnesses relate to which documents, which witnesses

13 they envisage would introduce the documents. Because part of the problem

14 we face when considering a number of these documents is we can't fully

15 appreciate relevancy because we are not sure which witness is going to

16 comment on the document. And likewise, authenticity; if the source of

17 the document is uncertain, then we have challenged it because we're not

18 sure which witness would in fact be able to indicate that the document

19 does exist and is a document that was properly prepared. So that would

20 be a first step, from our part, is if the Prosecution could indicate

21 which witnesses may be able to comment on those documents. And then we

22 could consider whether or not it was possible at that stage to perhaps

23 narrow the number of documents further.

24 I would suggest, Your Honour, that this is an ongoing process and

25 perhaps we could keep working with the Prosecution on this, to see

Page 5337

1 whether it was possible to reach a solution before we brought it before

2 Your Honours again. Thank you, Your Honours.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon. The

4 problem that we now face is as follows: We have hundreds of documents

5 which will be admitted through witnesses who will be called to give their

6 testimony. It would be very useful if, based on the tables that were

7 made by the Prosecution and the Defence which indicate one document by

8 another -- which witnesses will be talking about which documents. This

9 is a good indicator which will allow both the Prosecution and the Defence

10 as well as the Chamber to have a much clearer picture of all that.

11 In addition to that, it may be useful, but it is up to the

12 Prosecution to give it a thought - it is based on my experience that I am

13 telling you this - with regard to the duties that you perform - and I

14 myself have performed various duties - that's why I'm telling you that it

15 would be very useful to mention if there is a reference to either the

16 indictment or the pre-trial procedure, to mention that. It would -- this

17 would be useful for all of us. This applies to the Defence at the time

18 when they start presenting their evidence. So this remark applies to all

19 of us. It would help all of us to get our bearings.

20 Since we have now heard the position of the Defence, and they are

21 faced with hundreds of documents that have to be admitted through

22 witnesses, and according to the Defence they wish to have at least an

23 indication as to what witnesses will be tied to certain documents.

24 Mr. Withopf, the Trial Chamber has still not rendered a decision.

25 We are going to discuss before we decide. But based on what you have

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Page 5339

1 heard, is there anything you wish to add? The discussion has enabled us

2 to seize the problem and to try and find the best possible solution.

3 Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.

4 MR. WITHOPF: There are a number of areas the Prosecution would

5 like to touch upon. The Prosecution would prefer, as earlier on in the

6 proceedings indicated by the Trial Chamber, that there is a discussion

7 about the contested documents, followed by a decision of the Trial

8 Chamber.

9 Such proceedings would certainly accelerate the trial

10 proceedings, taking into account that the Prosecution envisages to have

11 about 25 more witnesses in these proceedings which will appear live in

12 court. What means by 625 or so documents, the Prosecution would have to

13 tender more than 20 to 30 documents via each one of the witnesses, which

14 would certainly have a serious impact on the speed of the proceedings.

15 For that reason only but also for a number of additional reasons, it

16 appears to be more efficient to have a discussion document by document,

17 even if it takes a full day, and then to get the Trial Chamber's decision

18 in respect to the admissibility of such documents.

19 In respect to the context, Mr. President, Your Honours, Defence

20 has always taken a very broad view what the context, the historical and

21 political and military and economical context, should be about and to

22 what extent it should be discussed and considered in the course of these

23 proceedings. Therefore, the Prosecution at this point in time, without

24 having got additional information by the Defence, to some extent does not

25 understand why the Defence is contesting such a high number of documents.

Page 5340

1 The Prosecution also wishes to draw the attention of Your Honours

2 to the fact that amongst the many contested documents there is an

3 extremely high number of documents which are official documents, and the

4 Trial Chamber repeatedly has expressed its views that such official

5 documents, with stamps and signatures stemming from whatever state

6 authorities, should be admitted into evidence. There are a number of

7 orders by the accused Kubura which are contested. These are just

8 examples that show why the Prosecution is, at this point in time, without

9 additional information from the Defence side, not in a position to

10 address the challenges of the Defence. I'm referring in that respect to

11 numbers 227 to 229 on the Defence list. There are certainly far more.

12 This is just an example.

13 In respect to the wish of the Trial Chamber that they want to

14 have a copy of all documents which are not contested in order to allow

15 them to make an informed decision once the Prosecution wishes to tender

16 these documents, the Prosecution is certainly able to produce such a

17 binder prior to 8 of April for the benefit of the Trial Chamber. That

18 shouldn't be too much of a problem. Otherwise, the Prosecution is in

19 agreement with the Defence in respect to the tendering of the

20 noncontested documents. The decision of the Trial Chamber could identify

21 the ID - marked for identification - numbers and then on the 8th of April

22 these documents should be given a final exhibit number.

23 Thank you very much, Mr. President.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.

25 Let me summarise. The position of both parties is as follows:

Page 5341

1 The Defence has just told us that they contest a number of documents.

2 They wish those documents to be tendered through witnesses.

3 As for the other documents which have not been admitted through

4 witnesses, the Defence proposes that there should be a special conference

5 about these documents.

6 As for the Prosecution, they have a view somewhat different to

7 the Defence; they want a conference to be organised about the contested

8 documents and then call the witnesses, in order to gain time.

9 With regard to this proposal for a meeting that would deal with

10 the contested documents, I believe that such a meeting would take several

11 days because a certain number of documents are likely to be contested by

12 the Defence, in which case there will be a discussion between the Defence

13 and the Prosecution. The Judges will have the last say in that, but this

14 may take a few days. This is a problem that we are facing.

15 For example, on the list of the documents that we have - and this

16 document originates from Serif Patkovic, the list of officers of the

17 7th Muslim Brigade - this is an official document, however it has been

18 contested. I believe that it hasn't been contested because of the names

19 of the officers but because of its relevancy. If the list of the

20 officers is what is being contested, then it will take some more time.

21 This list could also be admitted through a witness. This is just an

22 example of problems which may arise.

23 Bearing in mind the proposal put forward by the Prosecution,

24 which is that there would be a meeting to discuss documents, what has the

25 Defence to say about that?

Page 5342

1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

2 First of all, the Defence would like to give a few clarifications

3 with regard to the documents that have not been contested. All the

4 documents that are official documents, all the documents that originate

5 from the government or which are enactments issued by the parliament have

6 been accepted by the Defence. At the same time, the documents that

7 originate from international organisations, such as the European

8 Community Monitoring Mission or the United Nations Protection Forces, all

9 of these documents are also something that the Defence can accept.

10 We have a problem, however, with regard to all the other

11 documents. I believe that it would be useful for me to give you an

12 example with regard to the admissibility of documents based on the

13 signature, documents that originate from the 3rd Corps which have been

14 signed by General Hadzihasanovic.

15 When we recognise General Hadzihasanovic's signature, we accept

16 such a document. However, if we were faced with the document originating

17 from the 3rd Corps and if we didn't recognise the signature, if we were

18 aware of the procedure that led to this document, and if we know that the

19 document was signed not by the accused but by somebody else, we will

20 again accept this document.

21 As for the documents that we contest with regard to their

22 admissibility, those documents are the ones for which we cannot establish

23 what was the procedure according to which those documents were drafted.

24 Those documents are the ones which do not originate from the 3rd Corps,

25 but those are the documents which may have been exchanged among the

Page 5343

1 brigades within the 3rd Corps, for example, the 306th Brigade. This is

2 not only about the 7th Muslim Brigade but also the two brigades within

3 the 3rd Corps. It is very difficult for the Defence to voice their

4 opinion about the admissibility of such documents without some prior

5 information.

6 As my colleague Dixon has already said, as for the relevancy of

7 the documents, if the Defence is aware of the link between the document

8 and the indictment, it would be much easier for us to examine such a

9 document in the light of the indictment and to be aware of how the

10 Prosecution wants to use this document.

11 As for the proposal put forward by the Prosecution, we believe

12 that discussing each and every document may take time, may last several

13 days. It would be a long process in order for us to look at the

14 document. So it is quite possible that it might take several days.

15 However, if the Trial Chamber has to render a decision on the

16 procedure, Mr. President, we would like to establish a link between the

17 indictment and the witness who might assist us in establishing the

18 relevancy of such a document with regard to the indictment. Maybe it

19 would be best for us to introduce documents through witnesses who come to

20 give testimony before this Trial Chamber. That's how we would be certain

21 that all the oral evidence has been heard, and it would be much better at

22 that moment to establish the relevance of every document.

23 And finally, with regard to the context, it is true that from the

24 very beginning of this procedure the Defence has tried to establish the

25 relevance of the context. We have explained that in several written

Page 5344

1 submissions, and we believe that the context is very important to

2 understanding the legal significance of some of the admitted documents.

3 The context is important because it played a direct role and it had a

4 bearing on the capacity of the accused in performing his duties of

5 commander. However, Mr. President, when the Prosecution speaks about the

6 context it is very important for them as well, because it doesn't have

7 the same relevance with regard to the duties. The context has to be put

8 in the perspective of the counts of the indictment. When the Defence

9 mentions the context, we imply the conditions under which the accused

10 perform his duties. In both cases it is the same context; however, the

11 goal of presenting it to the Trial Chamber is not the same.

12 I would like to give one more clarification at the end, and this

13 refers to the chain of custody of the documents. It is very important to

14 say, Mr. President, that most of the documents which we contest originate

15 from the collection called the collection of documents on Sarajevo, which

16 was taken from the archives of the government in Sarajevo. The process

17 should be explained before the Trial Chamber. The documents were first

18 taken from Sarajevo. They were transferred through the -- to the

19 Tribunal. This was done by the OTP. When we arrived in Sarajevo in

20 order to request some documents, there were none left, and this is when

21 we started negotiating with the Prosecution in order to find out where

22 the documents are, how they can be returned to Sarajevo so as to enable

23 us to have access to them over there.

24 The OTP have given us documents either on CD-ROM, on the

25 electronic media. We don't have any doubts about the procedure. We are

Page 5345

1 just talking about several stages of the procedure: First, the documents

2 were classified in Sarajevo. Then they were transferred to the Office of

3 the Prosecutor. They were then put on the electronic media and given to

4 the Defence. There are some documents which are questionable and which

5 require some additional information.

6 Thank you, Mr. President.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, I'm going to give

8 you the floor, but before that Mr. Dixon wanted the floor.

9 Mr. Dixon, you have the floor.

10 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Mr. President. Our position would be that

11 at this stage it is too soon to look to have a discussion in the

12 courtroom about each and every document. Our proposal would be that,

13 rather, what we do is now that the Prosecution is on notice about the

14 documents that we contest or the ones that we have a question mark over,

15 that they proceed on that basis with the rest of the presentation of

16 their case, seeking to introduce the documents that they wish to rely

17 upon through the witnesses that are still to come, and there may be more

18 witnesses as well, and that at the end or towards the end of the

19 Prosecution case the situation can be reassessed.

20 Your Honours, in our submission, it would be very difficult to

21 discuss these documents in abstract. They have to be looked at in

22 relation to the evidence. And perhaps at the end of the case we'll then

23 have a better idea of what documents are still contested or are still

24 outstanding. And then the matter could be reconsidered again before Your

25 Honours.

Page 5346

1 What I said earlier on may still be of application in that we

2 could, between the Prosecution and the Defence, as the witnesses are to

3 come, keep our discussions open and keep meeting with the Prosecution to

4 try and see what are the real issues that are contested so as to focus

5 the evidence that the witnesses might need to give. And only at a later

6 stage, then, bring it back before Your Honours again.

7 There is one other matter which I should emphasise in relation to

8 why some of the documents are contested, and that applies particularly

9 for Mr. Kubura, and that is that many of the documents, including some of

10 the orders that were mentioned by my learned friend, are not orders that

11 were issued, it appears, during the time of the indictment. And they are

12 either orders that were issued before the time of the indictment or much

13 later. Your Honours will be aware that the Prosecution on many occasions

14 has contested documents the Defence has sought to introduce because

15 they've been outside the time frame of the indictment, and we have made a

16 similar objection. But it might be when -- when a witness is called

17 that that document can be shown to be relevant in some way, and in that

18 procedure, with the witness here, we can then resolve the matter.

19 So our suggestion would be we should continue with the

20 Prosecution case. They are on notice of what are the documents that are

21 contested. And they can now adjust their case accordingly. And so that

22 extent this process, in our view, has been extremely helpful. Thank you,

23 Your Honours.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.

25 I'm going to give the floor to Mr. Withopf. And at 10.00 we are

Page 5347

1 going to bring the witness into the courtroom.

2 Mr. Withopf has mentioned 25 witnesses. Can you please tell us

3 whether these are witnesses that will start arriving today, or are these

4 additional witnesses with regard to the schedule that we have received

5 for the months of April and May? The 25 witnesses that you have

6 mentioned, are they on top of the list or are they already on the list

7 that we have received? Can you please clarify. You have the floor,

8 Mr. Withopf.

9 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the 25 witnesses - and

10 I actually wish to emphasise that these are about 25 witnesses, there may

11 be a few more or even a few less - are the witnesses which the

12 Prosecution has already detailed in its recent submission detailing the

13 order of the witnesses the Prosecution will call in April and in May.

14 There are obviously a few additional witnesses, so the total number will

15 figure between 25 and 30, maybe even less.

16 If I may please address a number of issues which have been raised

17 by our learned friends from the Defence side. Even if one would proceed

18 following the suggestion by the Defence to tender documents through

19 witnesses, it would still be very helpful for the Prosecution to know for

20 what reasons certain documents are contested, since it makes a difference

21 whether a document is contested because if -- because it's alleged

22 non-relevance or because of its -- or because of issues of authenticity.

23 Again, even if one wishes to proceed along the lines Defence has

24 suggested, it would still be extremely helpful and it would accelerate

25 proceedings if Defence could inform us in more concrete detail about

Page 5348

1 their concerns.

2 The Prosecution not necessarily does share the concerns of the

3 Defence that a discussion in court about the contested documents would

4 last for days, since it can be anticipated that issues related to the

5 relevance of documents can be decided upon en bloc, since relevance

6 issues, as we have seen in the past, can be treated in certain categories

7 and such categories would certainly enable the Trial Chamber to render

8 its decision on short notice, if necessary.

9 My learned friend from the Hadzihasanovic Defence has addressed

10 the Sarajevo collection. The Sarajevo collection is an issue which has

11 been discussed over the last two and a half years on all -- basically on

12 all Rule 65 ter Conferences and Status Conferences. There is a full

13 record of all issues surrounding the Sarajevo collection on the official

14 court records.

15 The Prosecution would be in a position, if needed, to present

16 evidence in respect to the chain of custody, in respect to all documents

17 that stem from the Sarajevo collection. Actually, we have the impression

18 that most of the documents which are contested by the Defence actually do

19 stem from this collection. This, for the information of the Trial

20 Chamber, is a collection of about 50.000 pages of documents which was

21 seized in October 2000 by the Prosecution from the ABiH main archive in

22 Sarajevo. These are all official documents.

23 Orders, reports - and this addresses a further issue raised by my

24 learned friend from the Hadzihasanovic Defence - orders which were not

25 issued by either of the accused but were reported between different

Page 5349

1 units, such as orders and other reports are usually, as Defence is very

2 well aware of, are usually copied to the 3rd Corps command, what would

3 imply that the accused Hadzihasanovic became certainly aware of such

4 materials.

5 The Prosecution in its pre-trial brief extensively in the many

6 footnotes has indicated to both the Defence and the Trial Chamber which

7 documents relate to which portions of the indictment, and it's also

8 pretty easy by carefully reading the pre-trial brief and the references

9 made in the pre-trial brief to the documents to identify which documents

10 relate to which charges.

11 The Prosecution - and this is to address the very last proposal

12 made by our learned colleagues from the Defence side - is a bit hesitant

13 to follow a suggestion that the parties discuss all related issues to the

14 admissibility of contested documents amongst themselves for the only

15 reason that the Prosecution -- and I really wish to remind both the

16 Chamber and the Defence to the fact that there was a huge debate at the

17 beginning of these proceedings, Mr. President, Your Honours, about

18 stipulations. At some point in time we were told by the Defence, "We

19 will come back to the Prosecution and we will discuss it." At no point

20 in time Defence came back to the Prosecution. For that only reason, the

21 Prosecution is extremely hesitant to leave this issue of the

22 admissibility of the contested documents for the parties alone to somehow

23 discuss it and at the very end of the proceedings to make the Chamber --

24 or to put the Chamber in a position to make a decision. Therefore, the

25 Prosecution continues to suggest that these issues are discussed in one

Page 5350

1 of the court sessions in the near future.

2 Thank you very much.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will deliberate amongst

4 ourselves, and we will convey to you our final position regarding this

5 issue as quickly as possible so that you should know. Everyone

6 understands that the objective sought by everyone is to avoid wasting

7 time uselessly and to have proceedings which will certainly establish the

8 truth and allow for an adversarial debate, because that is one of our

9 main principles. So we will deliberate amongst ourselves and then let

10 you know what our final position is. It is a good idea for everyone to

11 be able to express their point of view, which will allow us to make an

12 enlightened decision in the light of your observations.

13 Mr. Withopf, I understand that one of the two witnesses has been

14 withdrawn. Could you inform us about that, please.

15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, for this purpose,

16 could we please go into private session?

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let's go into

18 private session, please.

19 [Private session]

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 5351

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 [Open session]

8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.

10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Before

11 the witness arrives, the Defence would simply like to indicate that we

12 would like to address the Chamber regarding the witnesses planned for

13 next week, because -- in view of the communications between the two

14 parties regarding documents of the Monitoring Mission of the European

15 Union. That will be addressed next week. So we would like to address

16 the Chamber on this point.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it would be best if you

18 do that straight away. That is simpler.

19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

20 So briefly, the situation has to do with the documents coming

21 from the Monitoring Mission. We had some exchanges with the Prosecution

22 on this point. We are aware of all the efforts that have been made by

23 the Prosecution to give us access to those documents. According to the

24 latest available information, as discussed yesterday evening, the

25 Prosecution should be or could be in a position to provide us today with

Page 5352

1 the list of documents which it has in its possession so that we might

2 tell them which documents are missing. According to the numbers given to

3 us, the Prosecution has about 3.500 documents in its possession

4 originating from --


6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] As I was saying, 3.500 documents in

7 all, in different categories.

8 When we have the list, we will immediately and as quickly as

9 possible look through them to identify those that are missing, that we

10 didn't obtain. Either they were not used by the Prosecution since the

11 beginning of the trial or which we did not obtain from the archives in

12 Sarajevo.

13 We believe that in the best of cases the response to this

14 question will affect a number between 500 and 1.000 documents that we did

15 not receive. We will communicate this result to the Prosecution as

16 quickly as possible, in the best of cases on Friday morning. Then the

17 Prosecution should once again contact the Mission in Sarajevo, as well as

18 one of the governments that gave these documents to the Prosecution. And

19 once they get a reply, then we will be provided with those documents. In

20 the best of cases, we will not be able to have those documents before the

21 end of business on Monday or Tuesday.

22 And the witness planned for next Tuesday is a witness coming from

23 the European Union Monitoring Mission in Central Bosnia. For this

24 reason, we have conveyed to the Prosecution that we would like to have a

25 minimum of two days between the day when we receive the documents and the

Page 5353

1 time when the first Monitoring Mission witness appears before this

2 Chamber. If we receive the documents on Monday, the Prosecution would

3 not be able to proceed with that witness before Wednesday or even

4 Thursday, the 8th of April, which could be a problem.

5 The Prosecution has suggested that we have the

6 examination-in-chief next week and then the cross-examination could take

7 place later, once we familiarise ourselves with those documents. I think

8 it is important to highlight the situation to Your Honours. We are

9 discussing the matter with the Prosecution. We have suggested that they

10 change the order of witnesses. Apparently they have difficulties in

11 doing that, but my learned friend will explain that for you. For us the

12 point is that we should receive the documents at least two days prior to

13 the hearing of that particular witness of the European Monitoring

14 Mission.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before continuing,

16 Mr. Registrar, let's go into private session again.

17 [Private session]

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

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Page 5360

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 [Open session]

9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.

10 [The witness entered court]

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me

12 first check whether you hear the interpretation of my words into your own

13 language. Can you hear me?


15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You have been

16 called by the Prosecution to give your testimony in court, and within

17 this testimony I have to ask you to take the solemn declaration. In

18 order to do that, you first have to identify yourself. Can you please

19 give us your first and last name.

20 THE WITNESS: Hakan Birger.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you give us your date and

22 place of birth.

23 THE WITNESS: I'm birthed in Sweden. The place is Tomelilla, and

24 it was the 26th of August, 1955.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current

Page 5361

1 profession, sir?

2 THE WITNESS: I am a lieutenant colonel in the Swedish Army.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993, what were your duties

4 in Central Bosnia? What did you do there?

5 THE WITNESS: I was company commander in the 1st Nordic Battalion

6 in Bosnia.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you ever testified before

8 a court, either before an international court or before a national court?

9 Have you ever given your testimony?


11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is the first time that

12 you give a testimony.

13 You have to take the solemn declaration, so can you please read

14 the text that you are going to be given by the usher.

15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

16 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.

18 THE WITNESS: Thank you.


20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the

21 Prosecution for their examination-in-chief, I have to give you some

22 information about the way your testimony is going to take place. You are

23 a Prosecution witness. You are going to testify about the facts that you

24 witnessed in 1993. You're going to answer the questions put to you by

25 the Prosecution. Try as much as possible to give complete answers,

Page 5362

1 because we don't have any written documents and the only thing that

2 counts is what you are going to tell us, because the procedure before

3 this Tribunal is oral. And to that effect, the Prosecution is going to

4 ask you questions.

5 Once they are finished with the examination-in-chief, the Defence

6 counsel representing the accused, who are seated on your left, will also

7 put some questions to you within the scope of the cross-examination.

8 They're going to ask you questions in order to verify your credibility

9 and also in order to clarify the context within which the events that you

10 witnessed developed, and also they are going to put questions to you to

11 corroborate the Defence case.

12 The Defence are going to ask you precise questions. Can you

13 please answer in the same way. If at any point in time you think that

14 the question is too complicated, the person who has put it to you may be

15 asked to rephrase it. Don't hesitate to ask the person who has put a

16 question to you to rephrase it.

17 When a question is complex, take your time before you answer.

18 Since it's been ten years since the events that you are testifying about,

19 and if you can't remember the facts, you may say so. That is also going

20 to provide you with -- provide us with a precise answer.

21 The three Judges, who are seated in front of you, may also put

22 questions to you should they deem necessary to do so. The Judges may ask

23 you technical questions about your military career. The Judges can also

24 interrupt either the examination-in-chief or the cross-examination in

25 order to ask questions whenever they need clarification. If at any time

Page 5363

1 the Judges believe that there is something that needs to be clarified,

2 they may interrupt the questions and ask -- and put questions to you.

3 You have taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth, which

4 means that you are not supposed to give false testimony. False testimony

5 may expose the witness to a penalty. And there's also another situation

6 in which a witness may object to making any statement which might tend to

7 incriminate him, which means that at that moment the witness may refuse

8 to answer. It arises from the common law that a person cannot testify

9 against themselves. It is then up to the Chamber to compel the witness

10 to answer the question. The witness will then answer. However, the

11 testimony compelled in this way cannot be used as evidence against the

12 witness.

13 So in general terms, this is how this Tribunal functions, and

14 this is how this procedure develops. Since this is the first time you

15 are giving your testimony, I just wanted to help you to get your

16 bearings, and that's why I have given you the clarifications.

17 In front of you you see a model. Maybe during the testimony that

18 you are going to give you are going to be asked to find certain

19 locations.

20 Without further ado, I'm turning to the Prosecution and I'm

21 giving them the floor for their examination-in-chief. Mr. Mundis.

22 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you, Mr. President. I add my greetings to

23 everyone in and around the courtroom.

24 Examined by Mr. Mundis:

25 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber,

Page 5364

1 can you briefly describe your military career, starting from the earliest

2 time when you donned a military uniform.

3 A. I started with my conscript 1972, 1973. After that, I was

4 starting -- studying for a military career and in 1981, I was an officer.

5 And I belonged to a mechanised brigade. That means both infantry and

6 tank in the brigade. And I was more or less an infantry. And to the

7 time of 1992, 1993 - sorry - I was battalion commander in the brigade

8 and -- yeah. That's my background.

9 Q. You told the Trial Chamber that in 1993 you were in Bosnia. When

10 did you first go to Bosnia?

11 A. In the middle of September 1993, I was -- belonged to a racket

12 team for one week. We started in Sarajevo airport, and with APCs up to

13 Kiseljak, Vares, Tuzla. And then after this week we went back again to

14 Scandinavia, to Denmark, to train together with Danish part in the

15 battalion.

16 Q. Can you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber how it came about

17 that you were involved in this mission to Bosnia.

18 A. Well, first I have looked a lot in the television what's going on

19 down in Bosnia, and I don't like what I can see there, what is happening

20 with the civilians and the children and so on. So I said to myself,

21 "Somebody better do anything about it." And in the spring 1993, the

22 Swedish government decided to be ready with a battalion, not to take

23 part, to get down there, but to be ready. The battalion commander

24 couldn't handle it, so he asked me to be one of the company commanders.

25 What I say before, what I have seen on the television and the news and so

Page 5365

1 on, and I know him very well and I like his leadership. And he -- we

2 have the same opinion about how we should use mechanised units and so on.

3 So it was very easy to said yes.

4 Q. At that point in time in the spring of 1993 and, in fact,

5 throughout 1993, what rank did you hold?

6 A. I was major in the Swedish Army.

7 Q. When in fact did your company deploy to Bosnia?

8 A. I was down there in the last September with my platoon leaders.

9 We were about eight or ten soldiers in my company. We arrived to Tuzla

10 this day, and the next day, the 1st of October, we used our vehicles and

11 got down to Vares, and where we lived together with a Canadian engineer

12 company to somewhere outside Vares. And my first soldiers arrived the

13 20th of October. And after this they came day to day, but they were also

14 delayed from -- because they were in Pancevo in Serbia and it was not so

15 easy for the unit to fly into Bosnia.

16 Q. Sir, what year are these events that we're talking about taking

17 place?

18 A. 1993.

19 Q. Can you briefly explain why your soldiers were delayed in

20 Pancevo, in Serbia, what they were doing there.

21 A. The first, we don't take down the whole battalion in the same

22 day, but the plan for that, we train from Denmark, so it takes time; we

23 have a lot of equipment, vehicles, and so on. And the second was that

24 they have to wait because there was some problem with the train to go

25 from Pancevo to the border of Bosnia. And I don't know, maybe it was

Page 5366

1 something from -- to stop us to get inside. I don't know. It's not my

2 level to discuss that.

3 I was already inside. I wait for my soldiers. And until this

4 time we also went out in the terrain, to try to learn the terrain and how

5 we could use my unit down there.

6 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, can you please tell us what type of

7 briefings or training you received prior to the arrival of your company

8 in Bosnia.

9 A. You mean in Sweden before we ...?

10 Q. In Sweden or anywhere else, the type of briefings and training

11 that your unit or you, as the commander of that company, received.

12 A. Sweden, we have more or less a long tradition to be out in

13 peace-keeping missions, so we have a lot of experience, officers and so

14 on. So we was trained first week only with the officers in Stockholm in

15 the middle of June. And after that, we trained, the whole battalion,

16 each company and each garrison. And it was also with officers there who

17 had experience to be out in peace-keeping missions. We also studying the

18 background of the conflict, try to understand what is going on. I have

19 experience of Cyprus before, since 1987, so I understand myself that it's

20 very important to know the long history, hundreds of years' background.

21 So I try to -- to read a lot of books to understand what is going on down

22 there.

23 And we also trained by the Danish in Denmark. They have

24 experience from the Danish Battalion in Croatia. And we trained

25 together with them, and they gave us their experience they have. And it

Page 5367

1 was very -- some moment I don't really understand it, it could be so

2 tough, but they have this experience. And when we came down to Bosnia, I

3 was very happy that we have trained in that way.

4 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, can you describe for the Trial Chamber

5 how the Nordic Battalion was structured.

6 A. We -- we start from the mechanised organisation, what you say an

7 ordinary mechanised battalion in Sweden. That means there is one staff

8 company, two mechanised company, and two tank companies, one artillery

9 company, and one supply company. We couldn't use the tanks. We put them

10 out. We put one more mechanised in -- company in. We put together the

11 supply -- the staff and supply company. So that means we have staff and

12 supply company, three mechanised company.

13 And later, in the summer 1993 it was some agreement --

14 cooperation with Sweden and Denmark, so Denmark put in one tank company.

15 And, of course, we also have a staff of about 50 members.

16 Q. What was the approximate total manpower of NordBat in late 1993?

17 A. I don't really understand.

18 Q. How many soldiers were in the Nordic Battalion in late 1993

19 approximately?

20 A. I think it was about 800 soldiers. We was about 150 in my

21 company.

22 Q. And what was the name or numerical designator of the company that

23 you commanded?

24 A. It was 8 Mechanised Company.

25 Q. How long did the 8th Mechanised Company remain in Bosnia?

Page 5368

1 A. As I say, we arrived the beginning or the middle of October 1993,

2 and we started a rotation in last week or something like this in March

3 1994, and it was right in the middle of April. So more or less six

4 months in the area.

5 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, what geographic area the

6 Nordic Battalion patrolled or covered.

7 A. The battalion's area of responsibility was more or less the

8 so-called Tuzla pocket. A little bit more. We also have Serbian areas

9 to Zvornik in the east and even up in the north, but it was more or less

10 the possibility for us to have some patrolling in the north. And we only

11 do it when we have convoys, humanitarian convoys, and supply convoys from

12 our own battalion in the east to Zvornik. In the south, it was down to

13 the border to the British and Canadian Battalions. That means a little

14 bit south of Vares.

15 Q. What was the area of responsibility for the 8th Mechanised

16 Company, the company that you personally commanded?

17 A. We have our company camp just outside Vares, and the area was

18 from south -- south of, I think it was Dabravina or something like that,

19 and up in north-west, the area of Ribnica, ending off west, north of

20 Kladanj. And in south-east, what you could say east of Olovo.

21 Q. You told us a few moments ago there were about 150 soldiers in

22 your company; is that correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can you tell us, please, the types of vehicles that your company

25 had and the approximate quantity of vehicles that your company had.

Page 5369

1 A. I had three, what you could say, infantry platoons, and every

2 platoon have three armoured personnel carriers, Swedish-built one. And

3 they have 20-millimetres automatic cannon. And we also have a 4th

4 platoon, with the same vehicle, three of them, and it was anti-tank

5 missile platoon. I have one staff and supply platoon. They have some

6 ordinary vehicles and also some -- and one medical APC on wheel. And I

7 also have, from the staff and supply corps, I have the whole time a

8 medical unit. So I had more or less six platoons. That means I have one

9 staff and supply platoon, three infantry platoons, one anti-tank missile

10 platoon, and one medic platoon.

11 Q. And these armoured personnel carrier that is your company had,

12 were they tracked vehicles, or wheeled vehicles, or a combination?

13 A. The infantry and anti-tank missile platoon they had a tracked

14 vehicle, APC 302, Swedish-built. And we also have, what I said, medical

15 APCs. It was Finnish, on wheel. And we also have one more for the

16 supply platoon and it was also with wheel, but it was also armed with

17 heavy machine-gun. The medical APCs was unarmed.

18 Q. Colonel, what colour were these vehicles that your company had?

19 A. White with black "UN.

20 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber the mission of the Nordic

21 Battalion at the time your company, the 8th Mechanised Company, was in

22 Bosnia.

23 A. Tuzla pocket was one of UN safe areas, and our mission was to

24 support all humanitarian aid to this pocket. And that means, for my

25 company, we have to the whole time have a road open from south of Tuzla

Page 5370

1 -- sorry, south of Vares up to Tuzla. It was one -- more or less the

2 only way up to this pocket. This was also one way from east, via

3 Zvornik. But I think most of the humanitarian aid came from the south

4 via Vares and north direction.

5 Q. You have told us, sir, that your unit was garrisoned near Vares.

6 Can you please tell us precisely where your company was located and

7 describe for us the camp where your unit was stationed.

8 A. Vares is a town within the valley, and the road is going through

9 this town, and in the direction to Tuzla after Vares there is a tunnel,

10 and after this tunnel there is a sawmill on the left side of the road

11 where I have my camp. That means about -- not more, I think 7, 8 hundred

12 metres from Tuzla -- I'm sorry, from Vares.

13 Q. Can you please describe your camp briefly.

14 A. When I arrived, it was a Canadian Engineering Company there, and

15 they have tents outside. I understand that I'm going to be there in

16 wintertime, so I don't want to be outside with my tent. So we negotiate

17 with some owners of the sawmill down in Vares and we have possibility to

18 put our tent inside the buildings. So where we put up our so-called

19 camp, and used what you can say only the half part of the sawmill, more

20 or less the factory where were built some furniture and so on.

21 Q. How many of your platoons were garrisoned at the sawmill near

22 Vares?

23 A. More or less all of the platoons was there, but as I say, they

24 are not arrived. The first platoon arrived the 20th of October, and the

25 last APCs and the last soldiers arrived in the beginning of February.

Page 5371

1 Q. During the period from the 20th of October, 1993, when the first

2 platoon arrived, until mid-November 1993, how many of your platoons were

3 in place?

4 A. I have all of my platoons there without three APCs from the

5 anti-tank missile platoon. They arrived in February.

6 Q. And if I understand you correctly, sir, all of your platoons were

7 garrisoned at the sawmill near Vares.

8 A. Yes. They had -- this was, so to say, our camp. But I also used

9 them to be out in the terrain for observation posts, checkpoints, and to

10 patrolling, and that means that they sometimes was not back on the camp

11 at night-time; they were out even at night-time.

12 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what types of

13 tasks - you've mentioned a few - what types of tasks your platoons were

14 sent out to do within the first few days of your deployment in Bosnia.

15 A. I had been down there some weeks, and I understand -- I'd been

16 informed too that it was something going on in Vares area. And when I

17 was out in the terrain, I understand that it was a sensitive area and it

18 was more or less some shooting in the west between the Bobovac Brigade

19 and what I understand, the 3rd Corps, or the units from the 3rd Corps.

20 I understand also that it was sensitive in this, what you could

21 say, south-west part of the Bobovac Brigade area. There was two

22 villages, Muslim villages. I think the name was Mijakovici and

23 Dragovici, something like this. And I was a little bit afraid that the

24 Bobovac Brigade should do anything wrong to these people in this

25 village. And I visit them in those village one day, I think, in the

Page 5372

1 beginning of October. And I understand that the situation there was not

2 so good. They have not got a lot of food.

3 And so I decided to, my first soldiers, to have them in a

4 position up on the hill outside the village, the Croatian village with

5 the name Kopjari. And the Bobovac Brigade, I think they also want me to

6 be there because I was afraid to be attacked. But of course we -- our

7 mission was not to take part in this war. And we -- it was very clear to

8 my soldiers and to my officers that they shouldn't be close to the

9 trenches and to the positions of the Bobovac Brigade's positions. And my

10 missions was to observe down to the two Muslim villages so we could be

11 there so they don't do anything wrong with them.

12 Q. Colonel, let me briefly interrupt you. You have mentioned the

13 Bobovac Brigade. Do you know to which army or military force the Bobovac

14 Brigade was a constituent part?

15 A. I don't -- in this beginning, when I was down there, talked to

16 the 2nd Corps up in Tuzla what was on the battalion level. But my

17 battalion commander informed me that the commander of the 2nd Corps says

18 to him that the Bobovac Brigade was a part of the 2nd Corps. If I asked

19 the brigade commander if he was a part of 2nd Corps, he said, "No. I'm

20 an independent unit in this area."

21 Q. Okay. Sir, you've mentioned the 2nd Corps, and you also a few

22 moments ago mentioned the 3rd Corps. To what army or military force were

23 the 2nd Corps and 3rd Corps that you've mentioned --

24 A. The BH army.

25 Q. After this meeting that you've told us about, did you

Page 5373

1 subsequently determine what military force the Bobovac Brigade belonged

2 to?

3 A. What I can understand - I could also see it on the vehicles - it

4 was HVO.

5 Q. And to your knowledge, where was the Bobovac Brigade located or

6 headquartered in October 1993?

7 A. It was in Sport Hotel, maybe 200 metres after my camp in

8 direction to Tuzla. The left side was a Sport Hotel. And there they had

9 the headquarter of this brigade.

10 Q. So this was in the vicinity, then, of Vares.

11 A. Sorry, it was ...?

12 Q. In the vicinity or region of Vares.

13 A. Yes, it was the Vares area.

14 Q. From your location near Vares, where was the 2nd Corps of the

15 BH army located?

16 A. They had -- as I say, my company area was so-called also outside

17 the Bobovac Brigade area. That means I also start immediately to

18 negotiate with units from the 2nd Corps. That means I have contact with

19 the brigade commander in Olovo. I also have some meetings with what you

20 can say the command of the 3rd Operation Group in Kladanj.

21 Q. And to which army did the 3rd Operation Group, located in

22 Kladanj, belong to?

23 A. The 3rd Operation Group in Olovo belonged to the 2nd Corps in BH

24 army.

25 Q. Again, sir, I'm not sure -- the transcript doesn't reflect an

Page 5374

1 answer to my previous question. But where was the 2nd Corps of the BH

2 army located in relation to where your company was garrisoned in Vares?

3 A. The 2nd Corps have -- the area of the 2nd Corps was more or less

4 Tuzla pocket, and the headquarters was up in Tuzla. The units I have

5 contact with from the 2nd Corps was the brigade in Olovo and the

6 3rd Operation Group in Kladanj.

7 Q. And, Colonel, from -- or in relation to where your unit was in

8 Vares, where was the 3rd Corps of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army located?

9 A. What I understand -- I don't really know it in this time, but I

10 understand it later, some months later, that they have the headquarters

11 in Zenica. And the border between -- like I say, the Bobovac Brigade

12 from HVO, they had positions in west, from the north to the south in the

13 village of Borovica and down to the village of Kopjari. West of these

14 two villages, more or less, it was units from the 3rd BH army Corps.

15 Q. Would it be correct, then, sir, based on what you've told us,

16 that within the area of responsibility of your company the 2nd Corps and

17 the 3rd Corps of the ABiH were both in that area?

18 A. Yes, but it was most the 2nd Corps. I -- I don't really remember

19 the border for my company, but I think it was more or less the same

20 border between the 2nd -- sorry, the Bobovac Brigade and the 3rd Corps.

21 Maybe I have little bit more. But I don't really remember exactly what

22 the border was.

23 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, can you describe for us the situation

24 on the ground towards the latter part of October 1993 with respect to

25 these various military units on the ground.

Page 5375

1 A. Well, beginning in -- when I arrived, the first I observed when I

2 came to Vares, it was that there were a lot of refugees inside the city.

3 And what I could understand and what I'd been informed about was that

4 they have -- that it was, what you call, Croat people and they was

5 escaped from the area of Kakanj and the surrounding areas from this area.

6 Inside Vares area it was, what you say, Bobovac Brigade, meaning

7 in my opinion it was not a brigade. It was smaller, but they call it a

8 brigade. It was a mix between policemen, soldiers, and armed civilians.

9 Q. Was the situation from a military point of view calm, or was it

10 tense, or was there actual fighting going on at the end of October 1993

11 in the vicinity of Vares?

12 A. It was -- when I arrived down there and before my platoon came

13 down there on the 20th of October, it was small-arms shooting between,

14 what you can say, the 3rd Corps units in west and the Bobovac Brigade,

15 especially in the village of Kopjari and even in south. I think the name

16 of the village was Planica or something like this. This means south-west

17 or south of Vares.

18 And they also informed us that they have wounded and dead

19 soldiers there. And one day one of my officers and my medic officers was

20 visit field hospital where they have transport with wounded Bobovac

21 Brigade soldier, and this hospital was in 2nd Corps area, west of Kladanj

22 in the Sport Hotel, and we was a little bit surprised about that because

23 the Bobovac Brigade belonged to HVO. They was more or less fighting in

24 west and south with BH army, but in north and east there was cooperation

25 with -- to take care about wounded soldiers.

Page 5376

1 And I also know that the brigade commander in Olovo, when I ask

2 him about Bobovac Brigade, he informed me that they were talking

3 together, they were never fighting. And I asked him about that, and he

4 said that "We are friends. We are not fighting." "But they are fighting

5 west," I said. And he said, "Yes, but that is the 3rd Corps. That is

6 not the 2nd Corps. The 3rd corps, is more, so to say, angry or more hard

7 line about this brigade than we are."

8 Q. Did there come a time in late October 1993 when the tensions

9 dramatically increased in the vicinity of Vares?

10 A. Yeah. After Kopjari, the 21st of October in the morning, the

11 village of Kopjari was attacked. And I have -- my information before

12 was it was not a surprise for me. I only was waiting when they should do

13 it. And the attack was very successful for the BH army. They used

14 infantry units to attack. They used also to -- we had a small attack, I

15 think, in the direction of Borovica. But the big attack came from the

16 small village near Mijakovici and Dragovici, up from the valley up to the

17 hill. And everything was over for some hours.

18 They also used the fog when they attacked. And in my opinion,

19 they do it very well in a professional, military way. I have a unit

20 there and they observed and report everything to me.

21 And I arrived to the area about -- just before lunchtime. I was

22 stopped in the checkpoint, temporary checkpoint from the BH army and

23 stopped there. I was not allowed to enter the area. And it was maybe 1

24 or 2 kilometres from the village of Kopjari.

25 I tried to negotiate to come up to the village. When I was out

Page 5377

1 of my vehicle, it was heavy fighting up in the woods, on the right side

2 of the valley. I could hear a lot of small arms and also grenades.

3 Q. Sir, let me briefly interrupt you at this point. Do you know

4 which unit or units were engaged in this small-arms fire that you heard

5 at this point in time?

6 A. Yes. The defending was from -- the defender was Bobovac Brigade,

7 HVO. And what I understand, later it was -- BH army have attacked and it

8 was units from the 3rd Corps.

9 Q. Let me draw your attention, sir, towards the latter or the last

10 few days of October 1993. Can you describe for us what the situation in

11 the area of Vares was like in the last few days of October 1993.

12 A. Yeah. After Kopjari was taken over -- control of the BH army, it

13 was -- it was some escalation down -- down in Vares. We observed new

14 people or new soldiers there. And they don't -- we observed that that

15 because they were more armed than ordinary HVO soldiers was in Vares.

16 They have what you call, a cross in the ear, they have cross in the neck

17 here, and they were very provocative towards us and towards civilians in

18 Vares. So we understand that something is going on in Vares and it was

19 not HVO soldiers from the area. They came out from some place in Central

20 Bosnia.

21 Q. Sir, do you happen to know these people that you've described and

22 who were very provocative, do you know to which side of the conflict they

23 were affiliated?

24 A. They were belonging to the HVO. It was what you can call HVO

25 soldiers.

Page 5378

1 Q. Did you later become aware of what these soldiers were doing?

2 A. Yeah. The 23rd of October at the morning, I have one of my units

3 drove up to the village of Kopjari to have some rotation of unit. They

4 were stopped in Vares, north part of Vares, was not allowed to go up the

5 road to -- to the direction Kopjari. I had one report from my military

6 police was not allowed to -- had no freedom of movement in Vares. We

7 have that before. So something was going on.

8 So I immediately use my car to the Bobovac Brigade headquarters

9 in the Sports Hotel and nobody there want to talk to me. Normally I have

10 lots of -- I have good cooperation -- not cooperation -- good contact

11 with them. But no commanders want to talk to me.

12 And it was some staff officer there who could speak English and

13 he said it was a bad day for the Bobovac Brigade, something was wrong.

14 They had been attacked in the south. And the village they had been

15 attacked was Mir -- Mir, you know, Mir which means "peace." That's very

16 bad. They do that and that. And he also has informed me that they have

17 attacked, in that case, the village of Stupni Do. And he explained

18 therefore it was to have an open supply road. In the military view of

19 that, I think it was nothing wrong about that. But the situation was I

20 was not allowed to talk to them, I was not allowed to have freedom of

21 movement. I was sitting there more or less the whole day.

22 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, you just mentioned the village of

23 Stupni Do and you told us that that village was attacked. Do you know

24 which force attacked Stupni Do?

25 A. Yeah. It was forces from HVO. And when I was sitting there, I

Page 5379

1 was observing because I had a view of the entrance to the hotel, that

2 they arrived with some wounded HVO soldiers who was black in the face and

3 ... and I understand that something was going on there.

4 I also understanded that it was a -- it was a Muslim village. I

5 don't know that before. And we tried to negotiate to have a possibility

6 to visit this village, to look to and observe that they don't do anything

7 wrong against the civilian people. But the answer was no because we have

8 no commanders there and so on.

9 And when I was sitting there, suddenly a group of men arrived.

10 They say, "Now the men from Kiseljak has arrived." And in this group

11 also was one man named -- Ivica Rajic, and he more or less took over the

12 command in the Bobovac area when he is arrived.

13 Q. What -- to the best of your recollection, sir, what day or date

14 did the attack on Stupni Do occur?

15 A. The attack started in the morning of 23rd of October, 1993.

16 Q. Let me now take you to the 31st of October, 1993. Can you please

17 describe for us the situation on the ground in the area around Vares on

18 the last day of October 1993.

19 A. But you mean the 21st of October?

20 Q. The 31st of October, the last day of October.

21 A. The last day of October, it was -- a lot of village have been

22 fallen around Vares. The BH army have also start attacked from the

23 north. And I think the village of Borovica was taken by the 3rd Corps.

24 And they also have started attack from south. I don't know if -- which

25 name of the corps. I have heard of about 6th Corps and 1st Corps. So

Page 5380

1 that was the situation. I mean, I think the HVO brigade in Vares was

2 pressed more or less to the Vares area and in the east to the village of

3 Dastansko.

4 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, how long did the Bobovac Brigade of

5 the HVO remain in Vares?

6 A. I don't really know when they start, but I think they take the

7 command there in the summer 1993, sometime like this. And until they

8 leave in the beginning of November 1993.

9 Q. Can you please describe the circumstances, if you're aware of

10 them, of the departure of the Bobovac Brigade from Vares in the beginning

11 of November 1993.

12 A. They was to say -- there was civilians in the road between Olovo

13 and Vares. They escape. It was very bad to look at that, civilians, old

14 people. And so I tried -- I have information from my battalion

15 commander in Tuzla. You can try to negotiate with the 2nd Corps, because

16 we have some forward staff unit in -- I think the name was Rijeka or

17 something like this, north of Vares. So I used an APC, some guards, and

18 an interpreter, and get to the north.

19 And I came to the front line, and it was no problem to take me

20 through this. And I meet there deputy commander of 2nd Corps up in

21 Rijeka. It was one civilian there. It was a mayor of Vares -- sorry, of

22 Tuzla. Mayor of Tuzla. And it was also the commander of the

23 3rd Operational Group from Kladanj. We was talking about a situation.

24 We was trying before to have some cease-fire in the area, both the

25 BH army in Dabravina and now I try to do it up with this 2nd Corps.

Page 5381

1 So they give me a letter. In that letter it was written about to

2 the HVO in Bobovac Brigade that "you are a part of -- of 2nd Corps. Be

3 our friends. Don't shoot, fight any more. And came up to have a meeting

4 here tomorrow in Rijeka." Something like this was what was written in

5 that letter.

6 When I came back to Vares, it was dark, and I stopped my APC

7 outside the Bobovac Brigade headquarters, the Sport Hotel. It was

8 hundreds of civilians there. They was angry about me from the UN. It

9 was maybe a little bit dangerous to leave APC, but I do it. And me and

10 my interpreter, we walk up to the Sport Hotel. It was dark there. It

11 was no electricity. They was burning papers, and I understand that they

12 was ready to leave this headquarters. That was the situation that --

13 this day.

14 Q. And do you recall the approximate day or date that this happened?

15 A. I think it was the 2nd of November.

16 And the next day, the 3rd of November, it was -- I have a report

17 immediately at the morning at the Bobovac Brigade headquarter in the

18 Sport Hotel that there was burning. It was more or less already

19 destroyed, totally destroyed. And even also it was a lot of people,

20 thousands of them, in Dastansko area who have escaped from Vares area and

21 surrounding areas. We also have reporting from my units down in Vares

22 and there was no more HVO soldier there. They have more or less leave

23 the town.

24 And so I -- I have decided the evening before to try to open the

25 school, because we know that there was more than 200 Muslims men inside

Page 5382

1 there and we was afraid they -- we know that they beat them up, but we

2 was also afraid they should kill them. So I decided to lead an operation

3 in the next morning in the daylight to broke up the school. And we do

4 it, but it was no policemen there. It was no HVO soldier there. It was

5 only these prisoners, Muslims men. And we find all of them, and some of

6 them was beaten up, but they have not killed them.

7 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, you've told us that on the 3rd of

8 November you had a report that the hotel was burning and that there were

9 no more HVO soldiers in the town. Do you know why there were no more HVO

10 soldiers or why the Sport Hotel was burning?

11 A. What I understand, they burned the hotel because it was a

12 headquarter. They don't want it to fall in the BH army's, so-called,

13 hands. I also meet one man, a Croat man, who was burning his own house.

14 And I asked him, "Why? Why do you burn such a beautiful house?" And he

15 said, "I must leave, and I don't want it came to Muslims. It's my house.

16 And it's only for my family."

17 But this morning it was this house and it was another house just

18 outside my camp also was burning. And it was some accident down in the

19 hospital in Vares and it was a small firing even there, a small -- but

20 that was all.

21 And it -- when I was down in Vares this morning, the prisoners we

22 have take out from the school, we could hear small, single shooting in

23 the town, but that was all. I couldn't observe any soldiers.

24 When I was later this morning up in the mayor house and inside

25 this house to look after some paper, I heard two shots from the police

Page 5383

1 station. It was on the opposite side of the square. And I sent

2 immediately in soldier there is because I was afraid we had killed

3 somebody there, but they only destroyed the television. But we also find

4 one man -- old man there and he was very, very bad beaten up.

5 Q. Sir, on this day, that is, the 3rd of November, 1993, can you

6 tell us whether or not there was any fighting in the city of Vares?

7 A. No fighting.

8 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what happened the

9 following day, that is, 4 November 1993.

10 A. Yes. We -- under these days we have a lot of international

11 journalists. That means also from -- big journalists, BBC, Reuters, AP,

12 and so on. And they have been living in my camp and they have been there

13 and we have good cooperation. But they -- I understand that they always

14 was looking for some interest to sell to the international media. So

15 after the 3rd, at the morning of the 4th the -- the BBC team informed me,

16 "Thank you for your hospitality. We don't want to be any more nice.

17 Nothing is happening here now, so we leave." And after -- I don't really

18 remember, one hour, 30 minutes, I don't know, they came back and informed

19 me that, "Now you have soldiers down -- from the BH army down in the

20 south part of Vares and they have taken our food, what we have to drink,

21 and maybe some clothes or something like this." And they also informed

22 me what was, they called the 7th Muslim Brigade. I have never heard

23 about that before, so I said okay.

24 And I immediately ordered my quick-reaction platoon to be ready,

25 and I used my APC and we get down to Vares, and I meet them in the middle

Page 5384

1 of Vares more or less, that means the square about the mayor's house.

2 And I stop my APCs, put them in a half-circle in front of the attacking

3 unit from the 7th Muslim Brigade. And they was walking in two columns in

4 the left and the right side of the street, what you can say more than

5 ordinary infantry attack in this type of terrain, in urban terrain. And

6 they was cross-firing. The left was shooting on the right; the right was

7 shooting on the left. And they were shooting -- a lot of shooting.

8 And I immediately get out, together with my interpreter and some

9 guards, and I walk towards them and I was saying, "Komandant. Komandant,

10 Put out." And one -- of them get in front of me. And I also inform my

11 interpreter to tell them that they immediately have to stop shooting

12 because it's no enemy here, it's no soldiers here. It's only civilians.

13 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened when you told

14 this individual that.

15 A. They was stopped shooting, and they more or less immediately

16 start to have some celebration. They had already smashed a lot of

17 windows, shops. They was taking chocolate. They was taking bread and

18 so on. But they were stopped shooting. They -- I understand that they

19 -- they understand that there was no enemy there any more.

20 And they -- when I was talking to the soldier who say he was --

21 maybe it was company commander or battalion commander; I don't know. I

22 have no sign for that. And he -- when I was talking to him with my

23 interpreter, one of the soldiers was smashing a window, right in front of

24 you and me now. And it was a shoe shop. I think it was only for ladies.

25 And he was -- "Get inside there and start to take shoes." And I

Page 5385

1 immediately take a step aside and point with my right hand in Swedish and

2 say, "Stop about that and get out from this." And he do it. It was not

3 necessary to translate it.

4 Q. Sir, can you tell the Trial Chamber the soldiers that you saw

5 coming down the street towards you, what they were wearing.

6 A. Yeah. They wore -- they have a lot of green flags and they also

7 some green band here. And some of them was singing maybe

8 "Allah-u-ekber," and something like this. I never see this type of unit

9 before. It was clear, what you can say, Muslims. I was very -- when I

10 was in Bosnia, it was very important for me to don't say Muslims army. I

11 always say BH army, because it was the BH army. But in this moment it

12 was very, very clear it was Muslims. It was green light colour, like

13 here, this green, and it was -- I've never seen it before.

14 Q. Okay, sir, you've -- you've pointed to a model here in the

15 courtroom. Can you please describe in words so it's reflected in the

16 transcript the shade of green that you're referring to.

17 A. Yes. It was more or less this light green colour. I mean, this

18 type of light green colour, what you have here on this. Light green.

19 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber

20 the flag that you -- or flags that you said these people were carrying.

21 A. Yeah. They had a flag with -- with a moon, a half -- what is

22 sign of -- Muslim sign. And I don't remember really, but I think it was

23 with some written words maybe. But I really don't remember what.

24 Q. You've told us about the soldier that you were able to stop by

25 simply telling him to stop. Can you please continue with the story, what

Page 5386

1 happened after that soldier stopped.

2 A. Yes. I also informed the commander of this unit that he

3 shouldn't do anything wrong with the Croat civilians who still was in

4 Vares because they have nothing with Stupni Do to do, because in my

5 opinion it was people outside Vares who came to do with Stupni Do.

6 Q. Sir, sorry to interrupt. Why did you tell this person or why did

7 you mention the name Stupni Do in this context?

8 A. Because I was afraid they should do some revenge to the

9 civilians -- Croatian civilians in Vares. So therefore I informed them

10 that they have nothing to do but Stupni Do, and I also said, "You should

11 not do anything wrong to these people. Let them go. Don't do anything

12 wrong." But he was very tough, and he said, "Both UN, UNPROFOR, and the

13 civilian Croats we should now push out from Vares." And I said, and

14 pointed my APCs, "You're welcome. We can start now." And he only said

15 [indiscernible] and then walked -- sorry -- and then walked away.

16 Q. Sir, you just told us about having fears that there would be some

17 kind of revenge on the Croatian civilians in Vares. What was the basis

18 for this fear or concern that you had?

19 A. Afterwards -- I can't understand. You mean about Stupni Do?

20 Q. Well, sir, you've told us -- and the quote from the transcript

21 is, "I was afraid they should do some revenge to the civilians, Croatian

22 civilians in Vares."

23 A. Yeah. What I understand -- what I've been informed and what I

24 have in my own opinion was that some of this, as you could call, bad

25 soldiers in HVO who do this, they more or less killed, murdered civilians

Page 5387

1 in Stupni Do and destroyed the village. And what I understand, it was no

2 people from Vares. They came from -- they said they came from the

3 Kiseljak area. And they also informed me that they was -- one HVO

4 policeman told me one moment that "You must be careful about these people

5 because they are crazy. They have a lot of revenge because they have

6 been pushed out from Kakanj area. They have raped, maybe, and they

7 have -- members of their family have been killed," and so on. So it

8 could be some revenge in Stupni Do. It could also be some old business.

9 I don't really know.

10 Q. Can you please, then, continue with what happened on the street

11 in Vares as you had this discussion with the 7th Muslim soldiers.

12 A. After the commander had walked away, after I have tell him that

13 he was welcome to start to push me out, he don't want to do that. He

14 walked away. And one of the soldiers asked me about the sign. It was

15 mayor house and up, it was a sign about -- with HVO red-and-white check

16 sign. And I understand him, together with my interpreter, he asked me if

17 he was allowed to take this sign down. And I said, "Yes, of course, I

18 don't have anything about that to do." But I shouldn't say that, because

19 they shoot it down.

20 After that they stopped shooting again. And I have a lot of

21 informing at that moment, also from my units in Vares that there was a

22 lot of looting in Vares. So I sent out patrols in different streets to

23 stop looting. And they have smashed a lot of shops, a lot of bread

24 shops -- every shop was more or less smashed, the windows were smashed.

25 And we tried to be there and there to stop them, but it was what you can

Page 5388

1 call a cat and rat game. When we was there, they stopped. And when we

2 leave them there, they start again.

3 So I decided to be in three points, to protect the Catholic

4 church, because we have also starting to shooting against this; to

5 protect the two UNHCR stores for food for civilians. And one of these

6 stores was in a shop. They have already smashed the window. So I

7 ordered one of my APCs to back in the back of the APC in this shop, to

8 put out wire outside. And when I was there, with commander I have a

9 meeting in the square there too. And he said, "You must leave us the

10 food. Because it's all logistics. It's all logistics to take the food

11 when we enter an area. We have no food for days and weeks and something

12 like this," he told me. I said, "You're not allowed to do that because

13 this food is not yours. It belongs to the UN. And if you enter that

14 area, we are going to open fire our weapons."

15 Q. Now, sir, what -- just for the record, what day and approximately

16 what time was it where you had this discussion?

17 A. It was before lunchtime, sometime before lunchtime.

18 Q. On which day?

19 A. The 4th of November, 1993.

20 Q. Now, you've told us that there was a lot of looting going on.

21 Can you tell the Trial Chamber who was doing this looting.

22 A. In my opinion, it was soldiers from this unit what they called

23 was the 7th Muslim Brigade. Maybe it was soldiers from other units

24 [Realtime transcript read in error: "our unit"] too -- I mean in BH army.

25 I don't know. I also meet one policeman from BH army with a Kalashnikov

Page 5389

1 and I tell them that you must stop them. You're a policeman. And he

2 said, "I can't do that. I'm alone." So he don't do anything. And I

3 understand him.

4 Q. When did this looting in Vares by these soldiers stop?

5 A. I don't really know, because we -- as I said, we concentrated at

6 three places. We have shooting in the air to stop them, but it was

7 impossibility for us to be everywhere the whole time. And --

8 Q. Stop, sir.


10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I

11 believe that there is a mistake in the transcript. When the witness was

12 talking about other units that may have been in the town and they were

13 looting, in the transcript it says -- it should have said "from other

14 units," page 60 -- 59, that is, and line 25. So it should read members

15 of "other units" not "soldiers from our unit too."

16 MR. MUNDIS: I thank my learned -- I thank my learned colleague

17 for that correction to the record.

18 Q. Sir, again, the question was: When did the looting by soldiers

19 in Vares stop?

20 A. I understand it was stopped sometime after the afternoon this

21 day, because in the same time I also was informed about that it was some

22 massacre up in the village of Pogar, so I was up there with the patrol

23 and we find 20 bodies of more or less old men and it was a funeral there.

24 And my medic was observed and looked at some of them. And I think one of

25 them or two was killing by not shoot, but it was nothing -- the civilians

Page 5390

1 don't want to say anything.

2 And under this time the Battalion commander, Colonel Henricsson,

3 also have arrived to Vares and was down there. And he informed me in the

4 evening when I was back from Pogar to my camp that it had been some

5 military police there from BH army and -- stop the looting, and then

6 maybe they also have used the weapons to stop them. I was not there that

7 afternoon. I only have report from my soldiers and from my commander

8 that they have stopped at -- late this day.

9 Q. During the next day or the day following that, that is, sometime

10 on the 5th or 6th or 7th of November, 1993, did you have an opportunity

11 to be in the town of Vares?

12 A. Yeah. At the evening this day, the 4th, if I remember right, it

13 was one company from the French Battalion in Sarajevo also arrived to

14 help us up in the area. And I have no command over these soldiers. It

15 was under command of my -- commander, Colonel Henricsson. So he gave

16 them orders to take positions down in Vares, to stop -- to take care,

17 what you say, control over the city so it's no more looting, and

18 important positions, they put them out. And I think it was this day at

19 the evening. So it was calm there. The next day it was more or less

20 calm in the city.

21 Q. So when you say "the next day it was more or less calm," that

22 would be the 5th --

23 A. The 5th.

24 Q. The 5th of November, 1993.

25 A. Yeah.

Page 5391

1 Q. On that day, sir, were you able to personally observe the results

2 of what had happened the previous day?

3 A. Yes. There was -- more or less every shops was looting --

4 looted. And it was -- we have no -- they have no burnt down some houses

5 or some like this. It was looting. And they have taken a lot of, also I

6 think furniture or something like, this because I have also reporting

7 from my soldiers up in Kopjari. I have still observation posts there.

8 And they observed and reported to me that it was some trucks and cars

9 with furniture and other equipment, and maybe they came from this area,

10 or another village around Vares.

11 Q. Colonel, it's a bit unclear from the record. Did you or did you

12 not observe houses which had been burnt down?

13 A. No. No houses down in Vares had been burnt down, only looting by

14 shops.

15 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Birger, thank you very much for your answers.

16 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further

17 questions at this time for the witness.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.

19 We still have about 15 or 20 minutes before the break. Would the

20 Defence prefer to have a break now? Mr. Bourgon.

21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Although

22 the Defence of General Hadzihasanovic has very few questions for this

23 witness because the accused Hadzihasanovic is not charged with the events

24 that took place in Vares, still, we would like to have a break now and

25 then begin with the cross-examination after the break.

Page 5392

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.

2 It is ten past 12.00. We are going to make a half-an-hour break,

3 and we will continue at twenty to 1.00 and work for the following hour

4 without a break.

5 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.

6 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. The

8 cross-examination can begin.

9 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

10 As I had occasion to mention earlier on, General Hadzihasanovic

11 is not charged for the events that took place in Vares. Nevertheless, we

12 would like to ask a few questions of this witness for the context and

13 also for an understanding of the sector where these operations took

14 place. And for that purpose, I should like to use the model that we have

15 in front of us, and I would like to ask the witness if he can recognise

16 certain locations on the model.

17 Cross-examined by Mr. Bourgon:

18 Q. Colonel Birger, good day. We've had the opportunity of meeting

19 yesterday with my colleague Mr. Dixon. Today I am in company of my

20 colleague Mrs. Residovic and my colleague Mrs. Muriel Cauvin, and

21 together we represent General Hadzihasanovic.

22 As I've mentioned, we have very few questions for you. However,

23 because you were on the terrain at that time, we would like to use your

24 expertise and to -- if we can ask you to walk towards the model on the

25 right side with a pointer, you will be assisted by the usher who will

Page 5393

1 give you ear phones that you can hear what I'm saying as well as a

2 pointer and I will simply ask you to point for the benefit of the Chamber

3 to some of the areas on the model.

4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is the first

5 time that we are doing this, so ...

6 [In English] If I can ask the technical booth to put the small

7 video camera on, please.

8 Q. Colonel Birger, if you can -- can you hear what I am saying?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can I ask the usher -- oh, you have to have the microphone.

11 I'm just waiting for the video booth to put the camera on so that

12 the -- it is on? Okay.

13 Colonel Birger, if I can ask you to look on the model and using

14 the pointer to locate for the Trial Chamber the town of Vares.

15 A. It's here, in the valley.

16 Q. And if I can ask you now to look at the town of Stupni Do.

17 A. It's up here.

18 Q. And if you can illustrate the link between Stupni Do going

19 towards Vares.

20 A. I think it's not pointed out here, but it's two links. It was

21 one up here or, something like this, and also one you -- came from the

22 north, north-east.

23 Q. If I can ask you now, Colonel Birger, to look at the map and to

24 indicate where you can see the two towns that you've mentioned earlier

25 on; namely, Dragovici and Mijakovici.

Page 5394

1 A. Here is the valley. There's one name but I don't -- Orasac

2 [phoen], so it must be south, here -- Mijakovici ...

3 MR. BOURGON: If I can ask the usher to put the microphone

4 further back, because we see it on the screen.

5 A. Here you have Mijakovici.

6 MR. BOURGON: Okay. Can we have the small camera again -- yes.

7 Q. Okay. Can you locate Mijakovici and Dragovici.

8 A. From Vares we used this road down here. And when we came here we

9 have them on the left side on this end of this road. This must be here.

10 And here also we have a name, I can see Mijakovici. This was inside this

11 small valley here.

12 Q. And finally, Colonel Birger, if I can ask you to point at

13 Kopjari. Now, Kopjari I know personally the name is not on that model.

14 However, if you can point towards Ratanj.

15 A. Kopjari --

16 Q. Ratanj. The town of Ratanj?

17 A. Bratanj?

18 Q. Ratanj.

19 A. It's not -- I think it's a village west of Kopjari. And Kopjari

20 must be up here on this place, something like this, because this was up

21 on the hill and when we have Mijakovici and Dragovici down here in the

22 valley. So someplace here you have this village, Kopjari. And west of,

23 you have, I think, Ratanj, if I remember right.

24 Q. Now, Colonel Birger, can you by looking at the model and the

25 towns that you have just located, would you say that this model is a fair

Page 5395

1 illustration of the type of terrain; namely, the mountains, the forest,

2 and the difficulty of the roads between these areas?

3 A. Yes. It was a lot of mountains, and the road was like

4 serpentines up in the road. So yeah, it's very likely the terrain down

5 in this area.

6 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. If you can go back to the witness

7 seat.

8 MR. BOURGON: I will now ask the usher, please, to look at

9 Exhibit DH84, which is the map of the area of Vares. DH84 is 1 to

10 100.000, and it's the map that bears the number 475, Vares.

11 [Interpretation] Mr. President, for future witnesses, we are

12 going to take the maps which are 1 to 25.000, and we are going to collate

13 them together and make a big picture out of them, and this will cover the

14 same area as the model represents.

15 Q. [In English] Colonel Birger, now, using this map, can you locate

16 for the Trial Chamber the town of Vares, always using the pointer.

17 A. Here.

18 Q. And can you indicate in a general area where it is located on the

19 map so that the Judges of the Chamber can see it. About where on the map

20 do you find it?

21 A. [Indicates]

22 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, have you found the

23 same spot as the witness on the map?

24 Q. [In English] Now, from Vares, once again, Colonel Birger, can you

25 with the pointer follow the road down to Stupni Do.

Page 5396

1 A. Here. So the road is one here and you also can use from the

2 north. Here we have it in a small valley.

3 Q. Now, again using the pointer, if you can take a look at the road

4 leading from Vares to the two towns that you've mentioned earlier; again,

5 Dragovici and Mijakovici.

6 A. We used the road up the Pogar. That means here. And then the

7 road down here to these two villages. It was also breached here where

8 you can use on the right side up to Kopjari and then left of the bridge

9 you came down to this Dragovici and Mijakovici.

10 Q. Now, on this map, Mr. Birger, we can see the town of Kopjari.

11 Can you point at the town of Kopjari?

12 A. It's up here. And you have Ratanj here.

13 Q. And can you also point towards the town of Borovica.

14 A. Yes. Borovica, it's bigger, a lot bigger village. It's over and

15 down Borovica is down here, north of Kopjari.

16 Q. Now, Colonel Birger, am I right in saying that when there was an

17 attack on Kopjari, that initially, the initial thrust came from Borovica?

18 A. Sorry?

19 Q. The initial stage of the attack on Kopjari started in Borovica.

20 A. I have some report about that. But the attack, it was more what

21 you can say to -- I don't find the English word -- to do an attack. I

22 think that they should attack Borovica. But -- but the main attack was

23 down in the village of Kopjari. And the attack came from the village of

24 Mijakovici.

25 Q. Would I be right in saying, Colonel Birger, that what happened in

Page 5397

1 the area of Borovica was basically to draw the HVO into that part while

2 the main thrust of the attack would be coming from both Mijakovici and

3 Dragovici?

4 A. Maybe it was a plan like this, yes.

5 Q. And would it be right in saying that this was sound military

6 planning and attack that was displayed on that occasion?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you.

9 MR. BOURGON: We can put the map aside.

10 Q. I have a few questions relating to the attack on Kopjari. You,

11 in response to a question put to you from my colleague of the Prosecution

12 earlier, you mentioned that the attack on Kopjari was not a matter of

13 whether it would be attacked but actually when it would be attacked. Can

14 you elaborate on this response.

15 A. If I understand you right, you mean the [indiscernible] available

16 when they attacked; yes. The [indiscernible] were available. But I

17 understand already the day before that maybe they were going to attack

18 because I was down in the both village, Mijakovici and Dragovici, and

19 there were a lot of soldiers from BH army there and I have -- they are

20 not been there -- not been there when I was there the first time.

21 Q. And can you confirm, Colonel that, the attack was short,

22 effective, that fog was used as an advantage, and that it was an overall

23 well-performed attack?

24 A. Yeah, it was -- they used the fog, and they -- I can say, in my

25 opinion, they have used good tactic in the plan, to use the terrain, to

Page 5398

1 use the weather.

2 Q. And you reported in a statement that you provided the Office of

3 the Prosecutor with that on this attack in Kopjari some casualties were

4 reported to you, namely two dead people or three - I don't recall

5 correctly - but those -- that those were battle casualties.

6 A. When I arrived, I had a message from one of my officers who was

7 commanding up in this place, that he needs help up there because there

8 was civilians there and the attacking soldiers from the BH army tried to

9 push them out, said they were not allowed to be there any more. So when

10 I arrived up there, it was a lot of -- 20 civilians, maybe more -- around

11 the APCs, old people, children. They were of course afraid. And I could

12 also observe a lot of BH army soldiers there, some have helmets. So I

13 understand it was more -- more professional soldiers, so to say. They

14 were attacking soldiers.

15 One woman said to me, crying, said, "It has been a massacre here,

16 killed people," and so on. So I sent my military police and one of my

17 officers to look at this place. And what I can remember, I find one

18 soldier. He was lying in his trenches. Maybe he had been shooting

19 against attacking and he has a bullet here somewhere. So he was only

20 lying like this. So in my opinion, it was not massacre; it was -- he was

21 killed in this fight. And also, one soldier was wounded and maybe the

22 BH army soldier had tried to help him because he had some first aid here,

23 But he was already dead.

24 Q. That was a soldier from the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina who

25 had taken care of a wounded soldier from the HVO.

Page 5399

1 A. What I can understand, maybe it had been in that way, yes.

2 Q. Now, you yourself, Colonel, did not see the troops actually

3 performing the attack on that day.

4 A. No. It was my platoon leader of 1st Platoon and his soldiers.

5 Q. And it is only later on that you were told by some soldiers

6 within the Bobovac Brigade that actually 3rd Corps had performed this

7 operation; is that correct?

8 A. I -- what I can understand, it was units from the 3rd Corps,

9 because when I was talking to -- he said he was maybe battalion

10 commander. He informed me that -- that the civilians, Croat civilians,

11 should not be there any more. They want to push them out. And I said

12 no. And after some hours, they arrived some staff officers and they said

13 they came from the headquarters of the 3rd Corps. And they said the same

14 aim to me. They said it was not allowed to be there. And I said it was

15 all right for them to be there because it was -- belonged to these

16 people, and that BH army was a government army, and why should they push

17 them out.

18 Q. And Colonel, if I mention to you that this attack could have been

19 performed by a mix of both soldiers from 2 Corps and 3 Corps, is that --

20 would that be a possibility?

21 A. You mean from -- in my opinion, it couldn't -- never been from

22 the 2nd Corps. Never.

23 Q. Now, if I move on, Colonel Birger, to the events which followed,

24 and that was on the 23rd of October. You mentioned in response to a

25 question from my colleague an attack that took place on Stupni Do. Can

Page 5400

1 you confirm that this was an attack which was performed by the HVO?

2 A. Yeah. They -- that's right. They informed me about that, and

3 they said they have -- are going to attack Stupni Do because they need

4 the road opened on to the village of Mir. And afterwards we also could

5 confirm that when we get into the village.

6 Q. Now, Colonel, when -- this attack in Stupni Do, would I be right

7 in qualifying this attack as the worst scene during your time that you

8 were in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that this attack would indeed qualify

9 as a massacre?

10 A. I have -- I was not personally inside Stupni Do. It was -- my

11 commander was there, some of my officers, and one of my platoons, and one

12 platoon from another company in the battalion.

13 What they described for me, it was awful. It smelled awful.

14 They have tried to destroy the bodies, that means by put them on fire.

15 And -- we also find -- one of my officers found three women inside in the

16 basement under the floor. They opened the bottom, inside the house and

17 they find three women together, shotting in the head, and so on. So it

18 was a massacre. That's a right word about it, yes.

19 Q. And, Colonel, if I -- am I correct in saying that you tried

20 yourself to go to Stupni Do both the same day and the following day and

21 you were prevented from doing so?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. And when you insisted to go to Stupni Do for a full day, and as

24 you mentioned to my colleague you were getting a bit impatient because of

25 going around asking for someone to speak to, you mentioned that at some

Page 5401

1 point some person from the Bobovac Brigade basically told you to take

2 your vehicles and to go back to your compound and then from that point on

3 you would not be allowed any kind of freedom of movement? Is that a fair

4 statement?

5 A. Yes, that's right. And it was the 24th of -- it was Sunday, the

6 24th of October. I remember it very well because it's also UN Day,

7 therefore I remember it very well. And I try -- I've been try to talk to

8 them the whole day, and at this evening they put -- put off their earlier

9 operation. An officer in this Bobovac Brigade. And he said, "I'm now

10 the brigade commander." And he was very afraid. And he told me that "If

11 you don't take -- remove your soldiers and vehicles inside your camp, we

12 are going to destroy them and kill them. And we're also going to use

13 snipers to shoot inside your camp," because it was very slopey down the

14 valley. And I tell him, "If you do that, we're going to use all our

15 equipment, all our weapons to defend. And I'm not going to move any of

16 my units," and then I leave the headquarters.

17 Q. And Colonel, am I right in saying that that same night the HVO

18 actually started to shoot at your camp and that at that moment you had to

19 take all necessary actions to respond to this threat, including telling

20 your soldiers to shoot to kill and not to shoot to warn? Can you explain

21 those events of that night.

22 A. Yeah. I -- about 10.00 in the evening, maybe - I'm not really

23 sure, but about that - I have an information from one of my soldiers

24 inside the camp that they're going to threaten my soldiers down in Vares

25 outside the school. And I tell him to tell my soldiers we were radioed:

Page 5402

1 "Don't move. We're staying there because we don't want to do anything.

2 I don't think they are going to do that." And after the few minutes, he

3 came back again and said, "They are doing that. And you must came." And

4 I understand that I must go out to my staff tent.

5 And I could in the same moment also I heard a lot of shooting

6 down -- and also bigger smashing, like grenades, down in Vares, and it

7 was a lot of bullets. You could see them in the air too over the hills.

8 When I came out from the building, there also was shooting over

9 the road, over the camp, over the head of us when I ran out to my tent .

10 And I gave order to my -- one of my platoon leaders down in Vares, he was

11 with his own APC, to shoot warning shoot with automatic cannon. He do

12 that. And then they shoot more. And they also threw hand grenades

13 through Red Cross APCs, destroyed the wheels. So we must take them away

14 up to the camp.

15 And I ordered him to shoot real fire with automatic cannon to

16 defend themselves and the Red Cross APCs. But he don't do that. And I

17 think it was right, because he had done, that had also penetrating the

18 houses where there was civilians, so he don't do that. So we went back

19 to position. And we use also smoke grenades, when we was backing back to

20 a position where they don't shoot against us any more.

21 They also threatened one APC down in -- the checkpoint up to

22 Stupni Do, and they came out with small anti-tank weapons. And I ordered

23 this APC to move the area and put it up to the others -- just outside,

24 but simply say, the other side from my side of the tunnel in the north

25 part of Vares, where we have positions for the rest of the night. And at

Page 5403

1 the morning we again get down in Vares and take control over all the old

2 positions. And there was negotiations to the Bobovac Brigade and

3 informed them that now we should warning shoot night. We're not going to

4 shoot warning shoot anymore. If you're shooting against me or my

5 soldiers, we're going to open fire to shoot back. And they was very,

6 very afraid. You could see that in his face. And they never shoot

7 against us any more.

8 Q. Thank you, Colonel.

9 If I move on quickly. This armed conflict that UNPROFOR and your

10 unit was involved in with the HVO and then was also put to this conflict

11 by a letter which had to be issued all the way up from General Petkovic;

12 is that right?

13 A. I can recognise that name, but I'm not -- remember his positions.

14 I could recognise --

15 Q. But do you remember, Colonel, receiving a letter saying that the

16 Bobovac Brigade had to stop any threat, threatening action towards


18 A. That's right. We have a letter from Kiseljak, I think, about

19 that. And for sure was some letter about that.

20 Q. Now, Colonel, I have a few general questions with respect to your

21 deployment and then that will be it from me. The first question is: Of

22 course your headquarters was located close to the Bobovac Brigade near

23 Vares.

24 A. It's about 200 metres' distance, yes.

25 Q. And you almost had daily contacts with the Bobovac Brigade, at

Page 5404

1 least for the period of October and November 1993.

2 A. More or less, yes.

3 Q. And Kresimir Bozic is the one where initially during your

4 deployment he drew the confrontation lines and the areas of

5 responsibility on your map; is that correct?

6 A. That's correct. And his position in this moment was information

7 officer. He said so. But later, on the 24th of October, he said he was

8 the new brigade commander.

9 Q. And your battalion or your company operated mostly during your

10 complete tour, or at least again October and November, in the area of

11 responsibility of 2 Corps; is that correct?

12 A. 2 Corps and the area of the Bobovac Brigade.

13 Q. Now, you were aware at that time, Colonel, of the history of the

14 relationship or the previous relationship between the HVO and the ABiH,

15 were you?

16 A. I don't understand what you mean. You mean ...?

17 Q. Were you aware of the relationship which had existed prior to

18 those events between the HVO and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

19 A. I don't really understand what you mean.

20 Q. Sorry. I will try to make my question more precise.

21 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand.

22 Q. Were you aware that the HVO and the ABiH fought together before

23 these events?

24 A. Maybe they have -- do that, because the 2nd Corps told my

25 commander that the Bobovac Brigade was a part of 2nd Corps. And I was in

Page 5405

1 negotiation up in Rijeka, I think it was the 2nd of November, the deputy

2 commander of 2nd Corps also, writing his letter to the Bobovac Brigade, I

3 came to us to more as friends. Be a part of 2nd Corps . Don't fight any

4 more.

5 Q. And, Colonel, you as a professional officer and staff-trained

6 officer, you were aware of the strategic importance of Vares, were you?

7 A. Yes. It -- it is the only road up to Tuzla more or less from --

8 it's the only road from south up to north.

9 Q. And you were also aware, if I'm correct, that throughout the

10 summer of 1993 - that is, prior to your arrival - the Serbs had been

11 attempting to cut 2 Corps from the rest of the Army of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina.

13 A. Not in this moment. Later in November, they tried -- they

14 attacked the area between Dastansko and Olovo in the north direction and

15 take control over some two or three Muslims village. And we were afraid

16 they tried to cut the road, yes.

17 Q. And you were aware early in your deployment in Bosnia that the

18 situation elsewhere in Central Bosnia was very tense between the HVO and

19 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

20 A. Yeah, that's right.

21 Q. And you were also aware at that time that there were even some

22 allegations that the HVO and the Serbs were uniting their efforts with a

23 view to defeating the ABiH.

24 A. Not really. I understand when I was in Vares that there was some

25 cooperation between the Serbs and the HVO because they used the road in

Page 5406

1 Bosnian Serbs' area down to Herzegovina. That's my opinion, that they

2 have some cooperation about that.

3 Q. Okay. Thank you. This was my question, that the Serbs and the

4 HVO were cooperating and that you had evidence to that effect.

5 Now, my next question is: Of course the area you were in was

6 very mountainous and forested areas with peaks, as we have seen from the

7 model. Do you agree that the communications in this context was a very

8 difficult endeavour, even though you yourself managed to be in constant

9 contact with your headquarters in Tuzla using satellite and radio

10 communications?

11 A. Yes. We have problems with radio communications. We have also

12 put out an observation point in the village of -- oh, I don't remember

13 the name, but it is a mountain west of Olovo. We have an observation

14 post to try to have radio contact. But mostly in the beginning or more

15 or less the whole time we used the satellite telephone to have a contact

16 to the battalion headquarters in Tuzla.

17 Q. And to your knowledge, Colonel, the satellite telephone that you

18 had available was not available to either the HVO or the ABiH; is that

19 correct?

20 A. No, I don't remember that we used them to -- to -- some other

21 parts. We only used in negotiation with the HVO and the BH army. But we

22 never via radio or via satellite telephone.

23 Q. And you're not aware that they had such equipment allowing them

24 to communicate faraways.

25 A. I suppose they had. But from what I remember, we never used this

Page 5407

1 communication.

2 Q. And if the HVO or the ABiH had some -- this type of equipment, it

3 would have been held mostly with the most -- more senior commanders.

4 Would that be a fair statement?

5 A. Yeah. We -- I know that my -- the staff, the battalion staff up

6 in Tuzla, have some contact with -- with fax and so on, when we tried to

7 deploy the unit inside Bosnia even directly with Palewej [phoen]

8 sometimes. But we never have it in my level.

9 Q. Now, Colonel, you mentioned in response to one of the questions

10 that towards the end of October there was a situation which developed in

11 Vares whereby more than 200 Muslims were held in a school. I'm not sure

12 I got all the situation as it happened. Can you elaborate a bit more on

13 what happened and what you did exactly in response to these events.

14 A. It was also Sunday the 24th. We tried, as I said before, to come

15 into the Stupni Do. We tried to talk to the Bobovac commanders. But we

16 have no success about that.

17 So I -- in that moment, I used my car and some of my soldiers and

18 we went up the road up to Pogar. That means west of Vares, to try to

19 look over the village, over the mountains down in Stupni Do, because we

20 could see smoke over the hills. And when I was there, staying there,

21 there came a woman - maybe she was about 50 years old - and she could

22 speak a little German, and she informed me that it was hundreds of men,

23 Muslims, between twenty years to old men inside the school and she

24 described the place, the school. And I understand the place.

25 I immediately take my car, went down to Vares. And if you are

Page 5408

1 in -- at the square, you have the mayor house. On the right of the mayor

2 house, you have that school. And when you are looking in this direction,

3 behind you you have the police station. So I went into the police

4 station, and I think I say like this, "You know and I know what's

5 happening inside this school. I want to have a list of the prisoners."

6 And immediately they gave me a list. And every name have a number, and I

7 could follow immediately through the papers, and I think it was 233 names

8 on this paper. But it was only some seconds. And immediately he take it

9 back again, because I think he understand he had done a mistake to show

10 it to me.

11 And I also -- there I want to talk to the commanders again. He

12 said they was out in terrain. There was no police chief, no military

13 commanders, nobody to talk to. So I remember I was very angry, took my

14 helmet, and threw it very hard into the table and said, "Now, I want to

15 talk to one commander." And he was afraid, one of the policemen, and he

16 used the telephone to try to talk to the commander. And I could hear

17 from the phone that they were angry that he had called him. So I

18 understand that it was no meaning to be there any more. So I left, and

19 it had been dark outside. And when I came out, one of my soldiers called

20 me and said, "You must come here. We have some people here who want to

21 talk to you." And behind the Red Cross APC, one Red Cross and one

22 ordinary APC were -- it was two HVO soldiers. One, he has a red cross

23 here. It was some type of medic. And he could speak English and he

24 informed me that inside this school there's going bad things there, and

25 he also asked me if I was the highest UN commander in Vares. And I said,

Page 5409

1 "For the moment, yes." And he said, "You must do something. Because

2 it's my friends. I'm from Vares. But don't say it. I have to say

3 something." And then he walked away into a side street.

4 And in that moment I decided to have one APC there. I don't want

5 to be provocative, so I put one Red Cross APC there, only to observe and

6 report. I went back to the Bobovac Brigade. And when I meet the new

7 brigade commander, only in this moment he said to me to take all my units

8 inside my camp.

9 Q. Now, Colonel, just for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, can you

10 confirm that when you mentioned the word "APC" you referred to an

11 armoured personnel carrier, which is a track vehicle that carries

12 anywhere from seven to ten soldiers?

13 A. This type, I have -- on the platoons, it was tracks APC,

14 personnel carrier APCs. But the Red Cross APC was on wheel; they have no

15 weapons. And the APC I used for my commanding APCs, it was not there.

16 That one was in Pancevo. So I used a wheeled APC. And it was not from

17 my company. It was from some guard platoon from the staff.

18 Q. Colonel, can you confirm that towards the end of October, early

19 November the HVO blocked a humanitarian convoy which wanted to go through

20 Vares and that this is the reason why the mayor of Tuzla actually came to

21 Vares, to try and get this convoy to travel to Vares?

22 A. I don't really know why he was in -- from Tuzla was down in this

23 area. I don't know why.

24 Q. But are you aware, Colonel, that there was a humanitarian convoy

25 which was prevented from travelling through Vares by the HVO?

Page 5410

1 A. Yes. Maybe because it was convoys more or less every day. And I

2 remember it was in this evening when I have met him, when I was going

3 back to Vares and it was a bridge between the two different parts. But

4 in this moment this was no longer the line, because it was moved south

5 directions. But this bridge where I still have a checkpoint, and I was

6 not allowed to use a bridge. And there was also part of 10th Mechanised

7 Coy there and I was going down to my area and I was going back Rijeka

8 again and had a paper from the commanding of 2nd Corps to get down there.

9 If it was some humanitarian convoys, I don't remember.

10 Q. Colonel. I have almost finished with my questions. You've

11 mentioned a lot of details of the attacks which were led by BiH soldier

12 and you qualified them as being professional attacks. Would you agree

13 with me that the nature of the operations, the military operations in

14 that area during the time frame from late October to early November would

15 have necessitated coordination at the very high level of the ABiH?

16 A. I don't know how they coordinated, because as my commander

17 informed me, the 2nd Corps was a little afraid for the 3rd Corps because

18 in this moment the 2nd Corps also have, as I say before, attacked from

19 the north to the south, and they was afraid to meet the 3rd Corps in

20 Vares. So they also ask him if we could be between with two -- our corps

21 in the same army. But it was not our mission to do that.

22 Q. But as a professional officer, Colonel, if you say that 7 Brigade

23 was involved into an operation, Vares, which is in the 2nd Corps, you

24 know as a professional officer that this requires authority or permission

25 from a very high level, mainly the supreme headquarters, to allow a unit

Page 5411

1 to cross the border of one corps to another.

2 A. Yes, I understand that. But in my opinion, when the 7th Muslim

3 Brigade was going to attack from the south, they was no under command of

4 the 2nd Corps. No.

5 Q. When you mentioned about the operations in Vares and the result

6 after, when Vares was taken, would you agree with me that the net result

7 was that 2nd Corps was reunited once again with 1 Corps, 2 Corps, and

8 3 Corps?

9 A. In my opinion, Vares was attacked from the north by the 2nd

10 Corps; from the west, by the 3rd Corps; and maybe it was also -- with

11 some moment they said 6 Corps, but I have never heard about that before.

12 And also, the 1st Corps. But what I understand, when they take control

13 over Vares, it was more or less by the -- the 7th Muslim Brigade from --

14 they came from south. In the same moment, you have -- if you look at the

15 map, north-west of Vares in the village of Pogar. Pogar was under

16 control by forces from the 2nd Corps.

17 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. I have no further questions.

18 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much.

19 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21 And the other Defence counsel, please.

22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

23 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:

24 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I'm Defence counsel for Mr. Kubura, and on

25 behalf of our Defence team I will have a few questions for you regarding

Page 5412

1 some very specific events that you testified about today.

2 Colonel, during your testimony, you said that you were a witness

3 of the events when Croatian civilians were leaving Vares; is that right?

4 A. Yes, that's right.

5 Q. Would you agree with me if I say that a major role when leaving

6 Vares by the Croatian civilians was played by the Croatian authorities of

7 the Croatian Defence Council, the HVO?

8 A. I think it was both. They well understand it was under attack.

9 We could hear it. The civilians could hear it. It was shooting a lot.

10 It was grenade impacts in the area. And of course, they also informed

11 them that - what you say - the Muslims was attacking them, and they

12 informed them about that, yes.

13 Q. Is it true that representatives of the HVO on a loudspeaker

14 system called on the population of Vares to leave the town?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. Would you agree with me in saying that this significantly

17 affected the feelings of the population and their fears and their

18 decision to leave the town of Vares?

19 A. Yes. They was -- it was a lot of people was afraid. They was

20 escaped. But there was also people that was staying, still, in the city.

21 But some thousands of refugees leave Vares.

22 Q. During your testimony today, you mentioned that when leaving

23 Vares some destroyed their own property. And you gave us an example of a

24 Croat setting fire to his own house. Is that right?

25 A. I only -- it was, what I remember. One family, it was a house

Page 5413

1 north of Bobovac Brigade. It was a very beautiful house. And I think it

2 was a member of the Bobovac Brigade staff. He put it on fire. And I

3 asked him, "Why do you do it?" And he said, "I'm now leaving and I don't

4 want any Muslims should use it."

5 They also put on fire the headquarters in the Sport Hotel. It

6 was also one more house on the opposite side of the road of my camp. But

7 it was not, so to say, destroying. It was only these houses I just

8 described. And it was also one small fire down in the hospital in Vares.

9 But in my opinion, it was some accident where with electricity.

10 Q. Is it true that in addition to the events you described a moment

11 ago, the detention of Muslim civilians, that the soldiers of the HVO when

12 leaving Vares were looting the property of Muslims?

13 A. Not what I can remember in this moment. They have been looting

14 down in some Muslims' home some days before down in Vares, but I can't

15 remember it was some looting when they leave. They have do it some days

16 before, and also raped some women there.

17 Q. You have also mentioned that in the operations that took place

18 around Vares that the 2nd and the 3rd Corps of the BiH army took part in

19 those operations; is that true?

20 A. If you mean attacking on Vares, the answer is yes.

21 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the 304th Mountain Brigade,

22 310th Mountain Brigade, the units of the territorial staff of Vares, as

23 well as some units of the 2nd Corps from the direction of north

24 participated in those operations? Are you aware of that?

25 A. They were attacking Vares area, but they were not inside Vares in

Page 5414

1 which days we are now talking about.

2 Q. Sir, are you aware of the fact that the units of the 7th Muslim

3 Brigade, although involved in the operation, did not take part in combat

4 activities?

5 A. No. It was -- what I can understand, I'm only talking about the

6 day when I meet them in Vares. And on this day, it was no HVO units

7 inside Vares. It was empty, so more or less one day ago. And that was

8 also my reason to stop them to shooting inside the town.

9 Q. At the moment you told them that there were no members of the HVO

10 in the town itself, the soldiers that you perceived as members of the

11 7th Brigade started shooting in the air; is that correct?

12 A. Yes. After they have -- when I meet them, they were shooting --

13 cross-firing on the left side and on the right side of the street, up in

14 the houses. And after I have stopped them and informed them that it was

15 no more HVO soldiers there inside the town, and when they understand

16 that, that's right, there was also some shooting in the area. And it was

17 as I said before some type of celebration. I think it was a big victory

18 for the BH army. And they also then continued to looting.

19 Q. They took this as a victory, a victory without fight.

20 A. That is correct. Both yes and no. I mean, this day that was

21 correct. But maybe they have fight the day before against the HVO. But

22 it was no fighting which day inside Vares, that's right.

23 Q. Can you confirm, sir, that the town of Vares was not exposed to

24 heavy artillery or any shooting in the town itself?

25 A. That's right. And we tried -- we negotiate about that a lot of

Page 5415

1 days and informed the BH army it's -- when we are going to attack, don't

2 use it as a revenge for Stupni Do, to shell the town and so on. And in

3 my opinion, they used a lot of artillery but only in the surrounding

4 area. As I remember, it was no impact inside Vares.

5 Q. Most of the damage was the result of the celebratory shooting.

6 A. No, not celebratory shooting. The most was in two phases. The

7 first was going inside Vares. I said before we came along the street in

8 two long columns. They were shooting up in the houses and destroy a lot

9 of windows and houses. And after that, they also destroyed shops and so

10 were cross windows for looting.

11 Q. On two occasions you mentioned today that soldiers were

12 interested in food. The soldiers took bread, chocolate. Is that

13 correct?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. The soldiers that came in contact with you, the commander that

16 you spoke to told you that they hadn't seen any food for weeks. Would

17 that be correct?

18 A. Yes, weeks or days. I don't remember. But I could see they were

19 hungry. They were tired. And he also informed me that when I tell him

20 that they were not allowed to looting the shops and the UNHCR stores, he

21 said, "That is all logistics." I mean, it was a tactic, a logistic for

22 them, to take what they find.

23 Q. On direct you said that it was possible, that there may have been

24 some other units in the town itself.

25 A. What I mean about that is this soldier what I meet in the square,

Page 5416

1 it was, as I say, a member from the 7th Muslim Brigade. I said also

2 before we couldn't be everyplace in the town. And I mean about that if

3 there came more units or soldiers from another unit from the south into

4 the town to -- also looting, I don't know, but I know that this brigade

5 was there in two days and they was stopped by the military police by the

6 BH army that afternoon, the 4th of November, 1993.

7 Q. If I put it to you that the units of the 126th Mountain Brigade,

8 310th Mountain Brigade, 304th Mountain Brigade, as well as the units of

9 the Territorial Defence of Vares, would you agree with me that this is

10 correct?

11 A. I don't remember these numbers of brigades. I couldn't -- it's

12 ten years ago, so I don't remember. But I know that it was some type of

13 brigades later I negotiate with in Vares, and they arrived one or two

14 days after these first -- these Muslim soldiers. So it was some type of

15 rotation. They'd take them out and it came another BH soldier. And also

16 it also came soldiers from the 2nd Corps. But it was days later. I

17 don't remember how many.

18 Q. You said that the soldiers were also interested in the storage of

19 food that was manned by the UNHCR; is that correct?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. This storage, however, remained intact and all the food remained

22 in the storage; would that be correct?

23 A. I was only person, myself, in only one of them, and they have

24 tried to get into it, because it was in a shop. And we stopped it. But

25 what I can remember, I don't think they take something from this, because

Page 5417

1 we concentrate our units there to stop it. And if they take something,

2 it was only small things. I don't remember if they do that. But they

3 tried to do it, and we stop it.

4 Q. As I was listening to your testimony, would you agree with me

5 that that -- at that moment the situation in the town of Vares itself was

6 chaotic?

7 A. Yes, a little chaotic. That's right. Because -- that's my -- I

8 remember we talked about it in the evening. We said first it was members

9 of HVO who was bad guys, so to say, in the town, looting and raped. And

10 then it came a part of BH army don't rape but were looting. It was first

11 one side and next day -- some days later the other side.

12 Q. Would you agree with me if I told you that in such a situation at

13 that moment it was very difficult to control those soldiers?

14 A. Both yes and no. I mean, I successed to speak to them in

15 Swedish, and they clearly understand that they was not allowed to get

16 into a shop with shoes in. So it's on the commander's level to stop

17 things like this.

18 Q. Were you familiar with the fact that members of the 7th Brigade

19 entered the town of Vares by not obeying their commander's order not to

20 enter the town?

21 A. I don't really understand. Please repeat your ...

22 Q. Are you aware of the fact that members of the 7th Brigade entered

23 the town of Vares of their own will?

24 A. No. I've never heard about that. No. Sorry. Never.

25 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the brigade commander, once he had

Page 5418

1 learned that the soldiers were in the town, issued an order for them to

2 leave the town of Vares immediately?

3 A. What I remember, they leave Vares maybe two days later, the 6th

4 of November. And what I can understand as a professional officer, they

5 do it when they have an order of that.

6 Q. Thank you, sir.

7 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We

8 have no further questions from this witness.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. The Judges

10 have certain questions.

11 Mr. Mundis, do you have any additional questions? It would be

12 very good if we could finish with this witness today.

13 Mr. Mundis.

14 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I just have one or perhaps two

15 questions which arise actually from an abbreviation or an acronym that

16 the witness has used.

17 Re-examined by Mr. Mundis:

18 Q. Witness, listening to your testimony and observing what was

19 appearing in the transcript, is it correct to say that you're using the

20 term "coy" as an abbreviation for company?

21 A. Sorry?

22 Q. Are you using the term "coy," as an abbreviation for the term

23 company?

24 A. Coi, C-o-i, yes.

25 Q. Coy, in English.

Page 5419

1 A. Charlie, October, Yankee.

2 Q. Yes. So when there were references in the transcript to

3 8th Mechanised Coy, that should actually be Coy, C-o-y.

4 A. That's correct.

5 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you. The Prosecution has no further

6 questions.

7 Questioned by the Court:

8 JUDGE SWART: Good morning, Colonel. I'd like to put to you a

9 few follow-up questions on what you told us this morning, the looting of

10 Vares itself. You were a witness to the entrance of the 7th Brigade into

11 Vares from the very first moment?

12 A. No. I was not in the south part of Vares. I have a report from

13 the BBC media team that they have observed them and they have take some

14 food and something more for them. They came up to my camp and

15 immediately after that I get together with one of my platoons down to

16 Vares, and we meet this attacking soldier in the square where the mayor's

17 house is.

18 JUDGE SWART: But when you arrived there, they were still

19 entering the town -- or the village?

20 A. Sorry?

21 JUDGE SWART: When you arrived there, they were still marching

22 in.

23 A. Yes. They were doing a tactic, what infantry do in this type of

24 terrain, shooting cross like this, up in the houses. And it was

25 therefore where I tried to stop them because it was not necessary to

Page 5420

1 shoot and maybe kill civilians.

2 JUDGE SWART: You talked about the 7th Brigade. That would sound

3 that the whole 7th Brigade was involved. Could you give me an estimate

4 of how many soldiers there were in Vares at that day.

5 A. I could only answer what I could see in my own eyes, and it was

6 maybe 100, up to -- a little bit more. But it was also soldier in them

7 all -- more, on both sides of the street in the town. But at the same

8 moment I could only see about 100, up to 150.

9 JUDGE SWART: But you also heard from your own colleagues in your

10 unit stories about numbers or places or so.

11 A. Yeah, in this moment, it was soldier in the whole town. They

12 spread it out, and it was looting everywhere. Every shops and so on. So

13 I don't know exactly how many soldiers. I could only observe about 100,

14 150 in one moment.

15 JUDGE SWART: You would say perhaps more than one battalion,

16 or --

17 A. It's very, very difficult to say. But I think it was -- it's

18 also difficult to use these words. Because when I'm talking a battalion,

19 I can look at my own battalion home in Sweden, it was more than 900

20 soldiers. Here it was brigades down in this area. It's nowhere near 900

21 soldiers. They used maybe -- wrong words about which type of unit. But

22 if you use company, up to -- I mean, the battalion, maybe it's right

23 number, of some 100 soldiers, what I understand it could be there.

24 JUDGE SWART: Okay. You also told us about a conversation you

25 had with the commander or you had several conversations, I understand.

Page 5421

1 What rank did he have?

2 A. I don't know. He was more or less civilian clothes with some

3 camouflage jacket. And he said he was a battalion commander or -- I

4 don't really remember what he said -- what type of unit he was. He said

5 -- because I pointed out, I said, "Komandant," and he walked forward and

6 at the same moment I was informing to him to stop shooting.

7 JUDGE SWART: But you said he was a battalion commander.

8 A. I don't remember. I don't remember. It could be -- I don't

9 remember. Sorry.

10 JUDGE SWART: And obviously you don't recall his name, do you?

11 A. They never tell us their names. Not in these moments, these

12 situations. Only in moments when I sitting in tables with more

13 conversationable negotiations.

14 JUDGE SWART: Now, you told us this was the 7th Muslim Brigade.

15 I wonder, was this a conclusion out of the fact that you'd never seen

16 this brigade before or was it based on some other observation?

17 A. I have an information from -- also from this BBC team, because

18 they have seen them before, and they said it was them. And I also

19 understand it was some Muslim unit because I've never seen that before,

20 light green flags, a lot of flags, a band on the head with light green,

21 and they were saying "Allah-u-ekber."

22 JUDGE SWART: Did you also observe distinctives or insignias or

23 something like that?

24 A. Sorry, about ...?

25 JUDGE SWART: Did you also observe distinct emblems or distinct

Page 5422

1 insignias?

2 A. I don't remember that.

3 JUDGE SWART: You don't remember.

4 A. No.

5 JUDGE SWART: I would like to put you a few questions also on the

6 scale of the looting. You have given an estimate of the number of

7 soldiers that were present. And you have told us that at a certain

8 moment you were engaged in a cat-and-rat play, so to speak. And you

9 tried in vain to stop the loot looting. And then you concentrated on the

10 church and on the stores of the UNHCR, I understand. How long has this

11 process of cat-and-rat playing been pursued? How much time was involved

12 in the process?

13 A. In this looting or ...?

14 JUDGE SWART: How much time were you chasing after the looters or

15 trying to prevent the looting?

16 A. My unit was staying there, whereas to this day. And we stayed

17 there until the French Company arrived at the evening, until one

18 position, and it was the Catholic church. We stayed there, I think,

19 into -- January, February, something like this.

20 JUDGE SWART: But at a certain moment the looting began while you

21 were still trying to prevent it. At another moment, you went to the

22 church and the stores of the UNHCR, because you realised you couldn't

23 stop the process of looting.

24 A. That's right. Because --

25 JUDGE SWART: And how much time was in between there?

Page 5423

1 A. I don't remember. But it could be -- maybe some hour, maybe a

2 little bit more. Because we tried to do it. We was also shooting in

3 there with some places. But they stop when we was there. When we go to

4 another place, we have reporting we need more help; they were looting.

5 We get there, when we went back that this situation, they start looting

6 again. And so I understand after maybe an hour, that it is not necessary

7 for us to running, running, running around the town to stop it. You must

8 concentrate it to these places.

9 JUDGE SWART: There was some discussion earlier on, on the things

10 that were looting and the question especially related to food. Were

11 other things looted, or was it a question of only taking food from

12 various shops?

13 A. Yes. I mean, in the small shop it was chocolate, newspapers,

14 pens, and so on. And when I break it up, there also took pens and so

15 on. And they -- wanted to give me one, but I said, "No, thank you." So

16 they take what they find. But especially I understand they were -- I

17 could understand they were hungry, and they also inform me that it's all

18 logistics to find food.

19 JUDGE SWART: And later on in the day it remained food? Or it

20 became also other objects, like refrigerators or whatever else, electric

21 equipment you may have?

22 A. Yes. If we're beginning in Kopjari, the 21st of October, when

23 they tried to put the civilians out. The next day, the 22nd of October,

24 I have a report from my soldiers up there that they start looting the

25 village. We have also earlier observed that they were looting in Ratanj.

Page 5424

1 And so after Vares was taken under control of BH army, we again have a

2 report from the observers post up in Kopjari that it was trucks and cars

3 with equipment from houses. It was furniture, it was refrigerators and

4 so on.

5 JUDGE SWART: Did you observe that too at this day in November in

6 Vares?

7 A. Not that day. As I say, I was only there to give an order to

8 take this position at the church. I was in one of the stores and talked

9 to the BH soldier that you're not allowed to use it and we are going to

10 shoot you if you enter this place. After that, I have a report on my

11 radio there was some massacre or something like this up in the village of

12 Pogar. So I leave Vares and get up there with a patrol --

13 JUDGE SWART: You talked about this already.

14 A. Yes.

15 JUDGE SWART: About the looting itself, did you also or any

16 member of your unit observe that private houses were looted, not only

17 shops?

18 A. As I say, I can only remember what I could observe now. It was

19 most things shops on the main street they looted. But we also observed

20 trucks and cars when they threw it away. That must be also by private

21 homes.

22 JUDGE SWART: Okay. Some questions still on the afternoon. On

23 the one hand you told us that there was a unit from Sarajevo coming to

24 reinforce you, a French Battalion or a French unit.

25 A. That's correct.

Page 5425

1 JUDGE SWART: And on the other hand you said that the looting was

2 stopped by the 3rd army, members of the 3rd army, I suppose the military

3 police. I don't know. What is the relationship between the two? If you

4 say "We got reinforcements from the French from Sarajevo," implying that

5 you had a need for it, then you may also think as a listener that this

6 was the event that stopped the looting.

7 A. Yeah. We asked for help before, when we tried to get into Stupni

8 Do. We also have help from the BritBat. We were -- one mechanised

9 company. And they have now get back to Vitez. And my commander was down

10 in Sarajevo, so I think, if I remember right, they start leaving

11 Sarajevo at the morning or something like this, when we have this

12 reporting, when it was going on again inside Vares. And they arrived at

13 the evening of this day.

14 JUDGE SWART: And then the looting had stopped already.

15 A. What I can remember, it was stopped end of afternoon by military

16 police from the BH army. I don't know if they came from the 3rd Corps.

17 It was from the BH army.

18 JUDGE SWART: Did it resume the following day, or was that the

19 final end of it?

20 A. Yes, it was still fighting outside Vares, especially in the area

21 of Dastansko, were the rest of the Bobovac Brigade was put together now,

22 a small pocket. It was the next day very calm in Vares. And what I can

23 remember the next day, that means the 6th of November, the Muslim brigade

24 left.

25 JUDGE SWART: But in between that time, there was no looting.

Page 5426

1 A. Not that I can remember, no.

2 JUDGE SWART: Did you observe the moment the 7th Brigade left

3 Vares?

4 A. No. I don't observe that. We have -- what I can remember, it

5 was some rotation. It came as other units. I remember one of the

6 officers I talked to have a sign, "Vares." Maybe it was the name of a

7 unit from the BH army.

8 JUDGE SWART: So you're not in a position to -- to state whether

9 or not things were taken with the 3rd Brigade, looted things, accompanied

10 the 7 Brigade in leaving Vares.

11 A. What -- what brigade? The 7th -- sorry, what corps the

12 7th Brigade was -- belonged to, I don't know. And what I remember was

13 that they leave after one to two days after they have arrived.

14 JUDGE SWART: No. My question is simply: Did the 7th Brigade

15 take looted goods with them on cars or buses or trucks or something? You

16 didn't observe that, I understand.

17 A. Not that I observed and remember now when they leave. Maybe they

18 have done it before because we saw. But no. But I can't say that they

19 do so.

20 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much, Colonel.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have just one military

22 question for you. You've told us that you saw them lined in two columns,

23 and you've also told us that this was a customary tactic, that soldiers

24 would move in two columns. One was shooting at the walls on you

25 left-hand side.

Page 5427

1 Now, this happened quite a number of years ago. Do you remember

2 whether these people, some 100 people that were there, had at their

3 disposal a radio set or a walkie-talkie? Did they have radio

4 communication with the higher authorities, that is, their superiors who

5 were outside of that area? Theoretically speaking, in every corps of a

6 well-organised army there's always a radio communication. As far as you

7 can remember, did these people have some sort of a communication, radio

8 communication with their superiors, or were they totally on their own?

9 A. What I can remember: Normally you don't have this radio

10 communication in the front, in the first soldiers. They are more back.

11 And I can't say that they had so, because I cannot remember that I could

12 observe that they had some radio communications.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me just complete my

14 question. According to you, those who were in those two columns believed

15 they were still members of the HVO. They were, according to their own

16 belief, in a typical military situation. And in such a situation, there

17 is a radio communication with the superiors outside of the territory.

18 Wouldn't that be correct?

19 A. Yes. Normally they -- I think they have so. Because we have

20 observed that we have small, what you carry, not walkie-talkie but

21 something like this. But I couldn't observe that -- not what I can

22 remember in this soldier in the front here. And I also have to say that

23 normally in my army we don't have a communication in the front. So maybe

24 they have it more back in this unit. But I can't remember I could

25 observe that.

Page 5428

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence, do you have any

2 additional questions for this witness? Are there any questions?

3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, we don't

4 have any questions.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.

6 We have already extended our time.

7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, just one or two questions arising

8 from questions put to the witness by Judge Swart.

9 Further examination by Mr. Mundis:

10 Q. Colonel, you said that shortly after Vares was -- or this looting

11 that was observed occurred in Vares, one of your observation posts in

12 Kopjari reported vehicles carrying looted goods; is that right?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. Towards which direction were these vehicles coming and in which

15 direction were they vehicles going?

16 A. From east to west; that means from the road from Vares-Pogar in

17 the direction of Ratanj and Kakanj.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Defence.

19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has

20 already replied; however, the question that was put by my learned friend

21 was the subject of the examination-in-chief already.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We have taken

23 note of your observation.

24 If there are no other questions, we would like to thank you, sir,

25 for having come here to give your testimony. We wish you a safe journey

Page 5429

1 back home.

2 I would like to ask the usher to take you out of the courtroom.

3 [The witness withdrew]

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

5 Mr. Withopf, tomorrow it seems that we will have a problem. The

6 witness that was envisaged for Wednesday cannot be heard tomorrow. Can

7 you please clarify and tell us what we have now as a result of the new

8 elements that you have told us about earlier this morning.

9 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, for this purpose, could we please go

10 into private session?

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

12 Mr. Registrar, can we go into private session, please.

13 [Private session]

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 5430

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.07 p.m.,

14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 2nd day of April,

15 2004, at 9.00 a.m.