Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7474

1 Monday, 17 May 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

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

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus

8 Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.

11 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,

12 Your Honours. Good afternoon, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl

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

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

15 And the appearances for the Defence.

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

17 day, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina

18 Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Mirna Milanovic,

19 our legal assistant. Thank you.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And could we have the

21 appearances for the other Defence team.

22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On

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

24 Mulalic, our legal assistant.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll resume now

Page 7475

1 after the weekend break. I would like to greet everyone present in the

2 courtroom, members of the Prosecution, of the Defence, the accused, and

3 everyone else present in the courtroom.

4 We have a witness scheduled for today, but before the witness is

5 brought into the courtroom, I will now render my oral decision about the

6 documents. We have provided the interpreters with a copy -- no, in fact

7 we haven't. I will read it out slowly, because it is quite long, and I

8 would like to ask both parties to take good note of what has been

9 decided.

10 I would like to remind you that the Prosecution has requested

11 that exhibits in its consolidated list be admitted into evidence.

12 Defence counsel has contested a significant number of these exhibits.

13 They are opposed to them being tendered into evidence because they claim

14 that they lack relevance and are not reliable. The explanations provided

15 included a list of documents and categories in which they explained the

16 reasons for which they were not satisfied with these documents.

17 The Trial Chamber has decided that the originals will be provided

18 to the Chamber and a chronological list of the documents will be

19 established. The Trial Chamber notes that the Prosecution complied with

20 this request.

21 Before taking a final decision with regard to the request made by

22 the Prosecution, the Trial Chamber has decided on the following measures.

23 These measures will be divided into three broad categories.

24 Category A: The Trial Chamber, given the agreement reached

25 between the parties, requests that the Prosecution provide all

Page 7476

1 information on the documents provided to it by governments, either of

2 their own accord or in response to a request submitted by them. That is

3 the first measure that we have decided on.

4 The second one is as follows: The Trial Chamber requests that

5 the Prosecution should call as witnesses archivists who are responsible

6 for the Sarajevo and Zenica archives.

7 We request that the Prosecution, to the extent that this is

8 possible, inform the Trial Chamber of any material it has in its

9 possession that proves that these documents were sent and received.

10 Fourthly, we request that the Prosecution calls as a witness a

11 former high-ranking member of the military from the BH army who held the

12 position of commander in order to testify with regard to the drafting of

13 orders, the transmission of orders, the power of delegating, and to

14 testify with regard to the orders followed in 1993.

15 Fifthly, we request that the Prosecution provide the Trial

16 Chamber with examples of the accused's signatures.

17 Sixthly, we request that the Prosecution inform the Trial Chamber

18 in writing on the origin of the documents provided by the governments,

19 with the exception of the archives from Sarajevo and Zagreb.

20 And finally, we request that the Prosecution provide all the

21 operational logs and all the war diaries with full translations into

22 English and into French. So that is as far as A is concerned.

23 Under B, the Trial Chamber has also decided that the Prosecution

24 will provide next Friday a list of witnesses in a position to

25 authenticate the documents and the Prosecution shall make reference to

Page 7477

1 the documents that regard these witnesses.

2 Under 2, the Prosecution is requested to provide the documents

3 missing from the binders, including the missing translations. And to

4 this effect the Trial Chamber will provide via the Chamber's legal

5 officer a list of the missing documents or the documents that are not

6 complete. The Prosecution will also confer -- will also consult in order

7 to respond to this request the list established by the Defence on the

8 19th of April, 2004.

9 Thirdly, the Prosecution, after having carried out a strict

10 examination of the documents provided, should provide the documents that

11 are currently missing, the documents which have only been partially

12 disclosed, and in particular the documents referred to in the annex.

13 Fourthly, as far as the videotapes are concerned, the videotapes

14 will be broadcast in public at a subsequent hearing. The Prosecution

15 shall provide, if it has not yet done so, a full transcript of the text

16 on these tapes. When the tapes are broadcast, the Trial Chamber will

17 give both parties the floor. If following a debate between both parties

18 there's any serious doubt as to the authenticity of the videotapes, the

19 Trial Chamber shall reserve the right to request that the Prosecution

20 call the person who made the video as a witness, given that Mr. Angus Hay

21 and Jason Medley, two witnesses, have been scheduled, the tapes that

22 concern them will be broadcast on the day that they are heard as

23 witnesses. The video on the Mujahedin may, if the Prosecution deems that

24 this is useful, be broadcast when witness Hogg is heard.

25 And under number 5, concerning the telephone intercepts. The

Page 7478

1 Prosecution will disclose the origin and the manner in which these

2 intercepts were forwarded. They will provide us with information on

3 this. The Defence will then state what its position is with regard to

4 these intercepts.

5 Under C - and this is the third part of the decision - the Trial

6 Chamber has decided that the witness Mika Tauru should testify about how

7 the sketches presented by a witness who has already been heard were made.

8 The Trial Chamber hereby informs both parties that it has

9 decided, in a written decision which will soon be provided to the

10 Prosecution and to the Defence, that the witness (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 And finally, the Trial Chamber requests that with regard to the

13 eight binders of noncontested documents, of documents that haven't been

14 contested by the Defence - these documents have also been admitted by the

15 Trial Chamber - we request that the Prosecution provide the missing

16 documents. And with regard to this matter, the Trial Chamber would like

17 to request that the Prosecution provide as soon as possible document

18 P332/E -- for document P332/E the annexes mentioned in the document dated

19 the 1st of February, 1993, under number ERN 03086589.

20 So I would like to ask both parties to carefully reread the

21 transcript because there are a number of measures that we have decided

22 on, and following these measures, once these measures have been

23 accomplished, the Trial Chamber will render a final decision concerning

24 the documents.

25 And following this decision, it seems that the -- it is evident

Page 7479












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7480

1 that the videos will be broadcast in public, and there are three

2 witnesses who can provide support for presenting these videos. And in

3 any event, the videos will be broadcast, and after they have been

4 broadcast, the Prosecution and the Defence will take the floor to express

5 their position on the videos.

6 So the same is the case for the telephone intercepts. And on the

7 basis of the transcripts which were noted, the Prosecution will inform

8 the Trial Chamber of how these transcripts were made and forwarded, and

9 the Defence will express its position.

10 The Trial Chamber has decided that a number of witnesses should

11 be called in order to testify about the documents, as I have already

12 said. So the Trial Chamber, having examined all the binders, realised

13 that there were certain missing documents. Either there were documents

14 that weren't translated or there were annexes that were missing or the

15 documents themselves were incomplete, which is why we have mentioned in

16 our decision that we are requesting the totality of the documents,

17 complete documents.

18 Please read the transcript through carefully, and naturally it is

19 the Prosecution's duty to have the witnesses come and to fit them into

20 the schedule that they have planned.

21 But we have requested that a measure be taken by next Friday in

22 this particular case. In 24 hours or 48 hours, we will render our

23 written decision about the witness who will be called. We said that the

24 archivists had to appear before the Court in order to authenticate the

25 documents that are being provided, and in addition with regard to the war

Page 7481

1 diaries or the -- and the logbooks, it is necessary to have all of them.

2 And we must also have full translations of these documents. And to make

3 sure that there are no uncertainties, we are requesting that we have

4 translations from B/C/S into English and a translation of B/C/S into

5 French, in order to be able to compare the English and French

6 translation. We don't want to have any doubts as to the contents of

7 these diaries or logbooks.

8 So this is our decision, and the final decision about the

9 documents will be taken later.

10 Without wasting any more time, we have a witness. Could the

11 usher call the witness into the courtroom.

12 [The witness entered court]

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day. I would first like

14 to check that you are receiving the interpretation of what I am saying.

15 If that is the case, please say so.

16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were called here as a

18 witness for the Prosecution. Before you take the solemn declaration, I

19 would like you to tell me your first and last names.

20 THE WITNESS: Bryan Watters.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me your date of

22 birth, your place of birth, and your nationality, please.

23 THE WITNESS: I was born on the 28th of October, 1953, in Tiko,

24 British Cameroon, and I'm British.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are British.

Page 7482

1 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me what your

3 current position is, what your current profession is.

4 THE WITNESS: I am a serving military officer in the British

5 Army. I'm a colonel. And I'm currently deputy director of the British

6 Defence Leadership Centre.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What position did you hold in

8 Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993?

9 THE WITNESS: I was the second-in-command of the British

10 Battalion, 1 Cheshire Group.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already

12 testified with regard to the events of 1993, either before an

13 international or a national court, or is this the first time?

14 THE WITNESS: I've testified here before, sir.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you remember which case you

16 testified and were you called as a witness for the Prosecution or for the

17 Defence or as a witness for the Trial Chamber?

18 THE WITNESS: I was a Prosecution witness in three previous

19 trials, sir.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me the names of

21 these cases, if you can remember them

22 THE WITNESS: The Blaskic case, sir; the case of Kordic; and the

23 case concerning the massacre at Ahmici.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As you will be

25 testifying now, could you please read out the solemn declaration.

Page 7483

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

2 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down

4 now.


6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you have testified on a

7 number of occasions, you are perfectly familiar with the procedure

8 followed before this Tribunal. Nevertheless, I would like to remind you

9 that as you are being called here as a witness for the Prosecution, you

10 will first of all have to answer questions put to you by members of the

11 Prosecution, who are to your right. You have certainly met members of

12 the Prosecution before today, in order to prepare for your testimony.

13 After this phase has been concluded, Defence counsel, who are to

14 your left, will conduct their cross-examination. And you will

15 immediately realise that the questions put to you by the Defence are not

16 of the same kind as those put to you by members of the Prosecution. The

17 purpose of the questions put to you by Defence counsel is to check the

18 credibility of what you say or to obtain any useful information for the

19 Defence.

20 After this stage has been concluded, the Prosecution may

21 re-examine you.

22 The three Judges sitting before you may also ask you questions if

23 they think that this might be useful. As a rule, the Judges prefer to

24 wait for the end of the examination-in-chief, the cross-examination, and

25 re-examination before asking you their questions. When a Judge asks you

Page 7484

1 some questions, the Prosecution and the Defence may also ask you

2 questions based on the answers that you provide to the Judges' questions.

3 As you are used to this procedure, you know that the procedure is

4 mainly oral, and this is why the answers that you provide are so

5 important. To the extent that this is possible, try to be clear,

6 precise, and concise when answering questions. If a question seems to be

7 too complicated or incomprehensible, ask the person putting the questions

8 to you to rephrase it. If the question seems to be too complex to you,

9 take your time before you respond. If you feel that there are

10 difficulties of any kind, you can inform the Trial Chamber of the fact.

11 I would also like to remind you of two other important factors:

12 First of all, given that a witness has made a solemn declaration, he

13 should not give false testimony. If false testimony is given, a witness

14 could be prosecuted, because false testimony is a violation which is

15 subject to penalties. And secondly - but this should not really concern

16 you; nevertheless, I want to point it out - when a witness answers a

17 question, the witness may refuse to answer a question if by answering it

18 the witness provides information that could be incriminating. In such a

19 case, the witness can refuse to answer the question. This is common-law

20 procedure. But it is possible for the Trial Chamber to compel the

21 witness to answer the question. Nevertheless, the witness is guaranteed

22 a form of immunity if he answers the question.

23 So roughly speaking, this is the procedure that will be followed

24 in the course of your testimony. We will have the entire day for your

25 testimony, and I will now give the floor to Mr. Withopf, who will be

Page 7485












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7486

1 conducting the examination-in-chief.

2 Examined by Mr. Withopf:

3 Q. Good afternoon, sir.

4 A. Good afternoon.

5 Q. Sir, can you please for the benefit of the Trial Chamber briefly

6 summarise your military career within the British Army, with a focus on

7 your deployments abroad, if any.

8 A. Sir, I've been a professional military officer for 32 years. I

9 first deployed on operations in 1974 to Northern Ireland, where I

10 subsequently served five and a half years on operations in different

11 capacities. I served in the former Rhodesia as part of the British

12 Commonwealth Monitoring Force, deploying there to bring the war to an

13 end. I served for a year in Central America, in Belize, supporting the

14 Belizean government in maintaining their national integrity and

15 supporting operations against narcotics. I served a year in Hong Kong in

16 support of the Hong Kong government in illegal immigration operations on

17 the border with China. I served in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the

18 United Nations in 1993. I subsequently served in Kenya, and for two

19 years I served in Brunei, Dar El-Salaam as the commander of our jungle

20 warfare school. And that probably does it.

21 Q. Thank you very much, sir.

22 In respect to Brunei, did you experience anything that was

23 connected to the war in the former Yugoslavia?

24 A. I was serving in Brunei immediately prior to deploying to Bosnia.

25 Other than reading about it in the paper with specific interest as

Page 7487

1 obviously my own regiment was there and rather startled to see a picture

2 of an old friend of my future commanding officer in the newspapers,

3 Brunei Dar El-Salaam is a Muslim country and there was a considerable

4 feeling of moral support for the Muslim peoples within Bosnia-Herzegovina

5 and there were regular recollections of money at road junctions. And on

6 occasion, I was stopped at a road junction and asked to contribute to the

7 Muslim cause in Bosnia, which I found slightly ironic, as I was shortly

8 to deploy there.

9 Q. Sir, can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the commanding

10 positions you held over the years at the various levels.

11 A. I'm an infantry soldier. I began my infantry career commanding a

12 platoon, which is 30 soldiers; I then became a specialist platoon

13 commander in what we call an anti-tank platoon. We had a variety of

14 weapons designed to destroy tanks, and I commanded those. I was a

15 company second-in-command of an armoured -- of a light infantry and

16 mechanised infantry. I was a company commander of a light infantry

17 company. I was a second-in-command of the battalion, including our

18 period in Bosnia-Herzegovina and later in Northern Ireland. I commanded

19 the battalion as the commanding officer for two years in Northern

20 Ireland, a period in the United Kingdom, and a period in Kenya. And

21 today, although a full colonel, I don't have a command position. I'm

22 working in a education establishment.

23 Q. You mentioned it earlier on, sir, but can you repeat it for the

24 sake of the transcript. What was your rank whilst deployed in Central

25 Bosnia?

Page 7488

1 A. I was a major, and my appointment was that of the senior major

2 within the group, second-in-command to the battalion commander, and also

3 the de facto Chief of Staff of the battalion group.

4 Q. And what's your rank today, sir?

5 A. I'm a colonel.

6 Q. And can you please provide the Trial Chamber with some

7 information in respect to your current responsibilities, being the deputy

8 director of Defence Leadership Centre in the United Kingdom.

9 A. I'm specifically responsible -- the centre itself is charged by

10 the Ministry of Defence with improving leadership throughout the Ministry

11 of Defence and the Army, Navy, Air Force and the civil service, and I'm

12 specifically the director of our defence strategic-leadership program for

13 newly-promoted brigadiers, commodores, air commodores, and senior civil

14 servants, those entering the first level of strategic leadership within

15 our defence forces.

16 Q. Colonel, let's move on to your deployment with UNPROFOR BritBat

17 in Central Bosnia. Can you please inform us from when to when you were

18 deployed with UNPROFOR BritBat.

19 A. I arrived in Bosnia at the beginning of February 1993. My

20 battalion had already been there for a couple of months, and I replaced

21 the existing second-in-command on a already preplanned rotation. And I

22 left halfway through May 1993.

23 Q. Just for clarification, I understand you were the

24 second-in-command?

25 A. Yes. What that means is I'm the deputy commander and command the

Page 7489

1 organisation if the commanding officer isn't present, as well as

2 coordinating the staff efforts of our intelligence - although on that

3 tour that function was described as military information - operations,

4 and logistics.

5 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber, Colonel, who was the

6 commanding officer at the time you were deployed in Central Bosnia.

7 A. He was then Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stewart.

8 Q. To what extent, Colonel, were you already familiar with the

9 situation in Central Bosnia at the time you arrived; and did you have a

10 chance to familiarise yourself with the military situation after you

11 arrived?

12 A. Prior to arrival, I'd found scant information, other than what

13 I'd read in the newspapers, although I did find a book by somebody called

14 Misha Glennie, which I read. As part of my professional

15 responsibilities, I'd also studied the Partizan operations in Yugoslavia

16 during the Second World War. And so I had an understanding of some of

17 the fundamental principles of the terrain, et cetera.

18 On arrival, my predecessor, Major Tim Park, and I undertook a

19 reconnaissance of our deployed areas, and I also in speaking to the

20 various military commanders that we encountered, I also attended the

21 first of the Busovaca commission meetings, run by the ECMM, on the 13th

22 of February, which I found very useful, because I there had the

23 opportunity to speak to the senior commanders within our area of

24 responsibility from the BiH and the HVO. And then I also tapped into the

25 considerable source of information that our military-information cell had

Page 7490

1 been able to gather and also discussed with our company commanders and

2 Italian liaison officers, to familiarise myself with personalities,

3 military objectives of the different warring factions, the geography, and

4 history of that part of the world.

5 Q. Would it be fair to say, in order to summarise what you just

6 said, that within a few weeks after your arrival you were familiar with

7 the situation on the ground?

8 A. I'd say I was familiar with the situation on the ground. My

9 understanding of the complexities of the situation evolved during my

10 entire time there. I was still learning when I left.

11 Q. Can you please inform us, Colonel, where were you based? Where

12 were you headquartered at the time?

13 A. In Vitez, in the Lasva Valley, which is where the battalion

14 headquarters was based. Our companies were based in different parts of

15 our areas of responsibility.

16 Q. And where exactly were the companies based?

17 A. One company to the north in Tuzla; another company in Gornji

18 Vakuf.

19 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the area of

20 responsibility of BritBat.

21 A. It was a large area. Depending on the conditions, it could take

22 us anything up to 12 to 15 hours, for example, to get from Tuzla to Vitez

23 or vice versa. And Gornji Vakuf would take probably a morning or an

24 afternoon. None of the arterial roads were usable, because most of them

25 were in range of Serb artillery.

Page 7491












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7492

1 Q. Do you --

2 A. Sorry. And the area was essentially bounded by front lines,

3 between the Serbs, if you like, on the outside of our area, and the ABiH

4 or the HVO or an alliance of the two on the inside of our area.

5 Q. The area of responsibility of BritBat you just described, was

6 there an overlap with the area of responsibility of the ABiH 3rd Corps?

7 And if so, to what extent?

8 A. Yes. The 3rd Corps was based in Zenica, which was within our

9 area of responsibility. And the majority of our interaction with the

10 ABiH was through the 3rd Corps, either through brigade commanders or the

11 corps commander himself or his deputy. And we also liaised with -- I

12 think it was 4th Corps in Tuzla.

13 Q. Can you please briefly inform us about the structure of BritBat

14 and the chain of command.

15 A. BritBat was based on a British armoured infantry battalion

16 equipped with just over 50 Warrior fighting vehicles. We had specialist

17 anti-armour and mortar platoons. We had been brought up from what we

18 would describe as a peacetime establishment in our base in Fallingbostle

19 in Germany to war establishment, with the inclusion of an additional 100

20 or so soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, and

21 they reinforced our existing 54 Warriors.

22 In addition, we had a Royal Engineer Squadron, a squadron from

23 the 9th-12th Lancers, which was a light-reconnaissance regiment equipped

24 with the Scimitar light tank. We also had the specialist signals

25 detachment to enable our reeled communication to the UK, and we also had

Page 7493

1 a -- what we called the mobile surgical team. That was a fully equipped

2 surgical team with a full range of surgeons and other medics. We also

3 had other additional small organisations to help with our logistics.

4 Q. And can you please inform us about the chain of command.

5 A. The chain of command. Within the 1 Cheshire Group?

6 Q. Yes, please.

7 A. The chain of command was the commanding officer, Lieutenant

8 Colonel Stewart, who commanded directly each of the company commanders,

9 Headquarters Company, Alpha Company, Bravo Company, Charlie Company,

10 support company elements, the Royal Engineers and the 9th-12th Lancers.

11 And he would command those directly. And if he was present and

12 commanding, I would act as his Chief of Staff. If he was not present,

13 then as his deputy I would assume command and command in his place.

14 Q. And was there a chain of command within UNPROFOR?

15 A. Yes, there was. We were commanded from Headquarters UNPROFOR in

16 Kiseljak, command by General Philippe Morillon.

17 Q. Can you please, Colonel, inform the Trial Chamber about the

18 mission and the goals of BritBat or the tasks and the purpose why BritBat

19 was operating in the area.

20 A. That's an interesting question. When we were deployed, the whole

21 of UNPROFOR was deploying at the same time, so there wasn't an

22 infrastructure into which we plugged which had established missions and

23 tasks and purposes. And so we were operating, if you will, within a sort

24 of overarching understanding of the intent of UNPROFOR, which was to do

25 its best for the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to support the other

Page 7494

1 United Nations agencies that were there. And so if you will, that was

2 our understanding of the reason we were there.

3 We ourselves refined that and gave ourselves the mission

4 essentially of facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid in order

5 to save life. And that conformed with our doctrine of mission command,

6 where we set ourselves and our subordinate organisation missions

7 consisting of a task and a purpose working with an overall superior's

8 command and intent.

9 Q. What at the time, Colonel, what were the essentials and the keys

10 to ensure the success of your task and its purpose?

11 A. The commanding officer articulated that in what we describe as a

12 scheme of manoeuvre, and that was to create across our area of

13 responsibility an overlay of security on the key routes that would

14 enable the UNHCR to distribute humanitarian aid wherever they felt it was

15 required. And we would use our combat power to interdict any area of

16 fighting that would threaten other members of the United Nations and

17 prevent them facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid.

18 We tended to prefer not to escort single convoys by putting

19 vehicles at the front and end of them, although on occasion we did do

20 that, in areas of specifically high turbulence or threat. We preferred

21 to patrol widely and purposefully to deter violence against the UNHCR.

22 Q. You were just mentioning, Colonel, that you were creating an

23 overlap of security. Was the gathering of information a means to create

24 such an overlap of security?

25 A. Yes. Within the scheme of manoeuvre, as well as a means of

Page 7495

1 creating this overlay of security, a web of security, if you will,

2 critical to that concept was the deployment of a number of liaison

3 officers whose task was to get to know political and military commanders

4 in their specific area of responsibility in order to learn as much as

5 possible about their agendas and their areas, to facilitate the

6 commanding officer or myself in future discussions; and also, again, to

7 build trust on the impartiality of BritBat and UNPROFOR and our

8 commitment to trying to bring peace to Bosnia.

9 Q. You were just talking about the liaison officers, sir. Can you

10 please inform the Trial Chamber how and where they were deployed and were

11 they also deployed within 3rd Corps units -- ABiH 3rd Corps units?

12 A. We had specific areas that individual liaison officers were

13 responsible for: The Lasva Valley area, the Tuzla area, the Kakanj sort

14 of area; Vitez, specifically within the Lasva Valley; and sometimes an

15 individual whose area became very active would be reinforced with another

16 person to help him. So for example, when Vitez and Travnik became very

17 active, we would try and support that particular liaison officer in his

18 task in those two towns. And also in the sort of Zenica area as well.

19 The specific liaison with the 3rd Corps headquarters, although

20 there was a liaison officer who focussed on Zenica and initially created

21 the introductions, those liaisons with the senior members of the HVO or

22 the ABiH were routinely the commanding officer.

23 Q. Which would have been Colonel Stewart?

24 A. Robert Stewart.

25 Q. Right. You were just mentioning the Lasva Valley area. How in

Page 7496

1 geographical terms would you describe the Lasva Valley area?

2 A. From Turbe through Travnik down through Vitez down to Busovaca,

3 generally. And Busovaca we'd call the beginning of the Kiseljak valley.

4 Q. Would you include Zenica in this area or --

5 A. Yeah. Sorry, I went over Zenica. It's between sort of Busovaca

6 and Travnik. Indeed. Zenica, if you like, from our perspective was the

7 centre of the Lasva Valley.

8 Q. Earlier on, Colonel, you were briefly touching on the issue in

9 respect to the difference between information and intelligence. Can you

10 please inform the Trial Chamber what actually the difference is about.

11 A. It's a slightly semantic difference on one level. Our

12 organisation has an intelligence cell headed up by a captain and that was

13 reinforced with other specialist intelligence personnel. In our role in

14 UNPROFOR, the United Nations doesn't run intelligence, it runs

15 information. And so our intelligence cell was converted to a military

16 information cell. And although it was a subtle difference, it was an

17 important difference because we were not gathering information and

18 processing it into intelligence about our enemies. We were gathering

19 information widely -- and as very much part of our scheme of manoeuvre

20 was the gathering of information -- and this information would then build

21 up pictures to enable us to understand things day by day, week by week;

22 and these were concentrated, articulated within the military information

23 summary that we would issue each day, which was an assessment of our

24 understanding on that particular day. And we would also pass this

25 information up our chain of command and down our chain of command to

Page 7497

1 spread our understanding and coordination of information.

2 Central to our scheme of manoeuvre was this understanding of the

3 situation going through information. Every patrol, every commander,

4 every logistician who was deployed as part of UNPROFOR would be debriefed

5 on our return as to what they had seen, what they believed they had seen,

6 asked to try and articulate what it is they interpreted by what they had

7 seen, and all this information was gathered and cross-referenced to try

8 and create a broad picture of understanding within our area of

9 responsibility.

10 Q. Sir, may I please ask you a number of follow-up questions. Would

11 it be fair to say whatever is called "information" in a milinfosum is in

12 fact intelligence in military terms?

13 A. That's why I said the difference is slightly semantic. We have a

14 very formal process of turning information into intelligence, called an

15 intelligence cycle. I'm not a specific expert in that. I'm not an

16 intelligence officer.

17 You could describe it as intelligence. We maintained our view

18 throughout our time in Bosnia that that was military information, and we

19 didn't classify it, which we would do with intelligence. We didn't -- we

20 passed it in its raw form with comment up and down our chain of command.

21 We didn't ascribe to it the rigour of the procedures for judging

22 information as intelligence.

23 Q. Although not being an intelligence officer, can you please inform

24 the Trial Chamber what was your part, if any, in respect to the gathering

25 and disseminating of information.

Page 7498

1 A. As all other members of BritBat, I had a responsibility when I

2 was patrolling or visiting to record what I'd seen and heard and report

3 that back, as any other member of the group. As the Chief of Staff, I

4 was responsible for the coordination of the intelligence cell with --

5 sorry, the information -- military information cell with operations to

6 ensure that the information we had was available too. And also they

7 would act as a commentator on the value of some of the information we

8 have and sometimes would advise on the -- from an operational point of

9 view, on the utility of some of the information we had and how it met the

10 operational sense of what was happening on the ground.

11 Q. Colonel, you were already touching on the issue that BritBat at

12 the time made efforts to ensure the reliability of the information

13 gathered. Were double-checked made or cross-checks made? And can you

14 please explain to the Trial Chamber if so what sort of checks were made.

15 A. It was cross-referencing different sources of information, and I

16 can give you an example. A number of reports came in about a

17 particularly -- an area we were quite sensitive about, which was a

18 particular road junction, and our understanding that there was a HVO sort

19 of prisoner-of-war centre, and we used to keep an eye on that. And a

20 number of reports came. For example, one report from a patrol said

21 they'd seen some men digging in a field with a grid reference; another

22 report came in saying that a patrol had seen some HVO soldiers guarding a

23 group of prisoners walking down the road in whatever direction, and the

24 prisoners were carrying shovels. And another -- several other reports

25 similar to those. And we were able to draw the deductions that the HVO

Page 7499

1 were using BiH prisoners to dig trenches, military defensive positions,

2 in a particular area. And that, again, caused several comments. One was

3 the fact that this was an illegal act against the Geneva Convention, and

4 we reported that to the UNHCR and to the ICRC. It was a combat indicator

5 to us that the HVO, by digging defensive positions, were expecting some

6 form of military activity in that area. And that is a sort of small

7 example of how a number of different reports could begin to contribute to

8 the picture, where any one on their own would not be necessarily

9 significant.

10 Q. And after having made such cross-checks and cross-references,

11 were you satisfied -- or did the information gathered, did it serve the

12 purpose to enable BritBat to achieve its mission purpose?

13 A. It was an important part of our understanding of the situation

14 and the understanding of the situation was central to our conducting of

15 our mission.

16 Q. Can you please describe for the benefit of the Trial Chamber how

17 your average work day looked like, briefly, please.

18 A. I did have a few of what you could call average work days. There

19 weren't many. We worked on average about an 18- to 20-hour day and would

20 take four hours or so sleep, maybe five or six, depending, in every 24

21 hours. And we ran shift systems within our key areas, the operations

22 centre, the milinfo centre, and so on. And as the second-in-command, I

23 would choose to sleep at whatever point in the 24 hours I felt was the

24 quietest time. I would try and do that in the dark, if I could. So it's

25 very difficult to give you a -- you know, it wasn't 9.00 till 5.00, sort

Page 7500

1 of thing. I was there seven days a week from the day I arrived until the

2 day I left immersed in what we were doing.

3 Q. Was 1800 hours a particular point in time during a day?

4 A. In terms of routine, we would try and establish certain routines,

5 like mealtimes, and 1800 hours was a time-out, if you like, where the

6 commanding officer or myself, if he wasn't there - and he would

7 endeavour to be there - would sit down with the liaison officers, who

8 were tasked to endeavour to be there, and there had to be a very good

9 reason why they weren't, and with the available company commanders,

10 milinfo staff and operations staff and have a coordinating conference

11 where each of the liaison officers would report on what they had seen and

12 heard during the day, as would the operations staff, the milinfo staff.

13 And it enabled the commanding officer to get a verbal brief and be able

14 to cross-question people as to the situation in the preceding 24 hours.

15 So it would be 1800 hours to 1800 hours. And it was an important part

16 and, if you like, of what we would describe as sort of the battle rhythm

17 of our organisation.

18 Q. Very well. Did this meeting, did it provide the participants of

19 the meeting with a comprehensive picture -- did the meeting, sir, did it

20 provide the participants of the meeting with a comprehensive picture of

21 the events that had happened during a particular day on the ground?

22 A. Yes, it did.

23 Q. And did, Colonel, did this information, this comprehensive

24 information which was provided during the 1800-hours meetings, did it

25 finally form part of the milinfosums?

Page 7501

1 A. Yes, it did. Although, it wasn't the milinfosum wasn't the

2 product of this meeting. The milinfosum was normally produced to reflect

3 sort of other activities as well. But it certainly was a capturing of

4 our understanding for the preceding 24 hours in Gornji Vakuf, Tuzla and

5 Vitez. The information from Tuzla and Gornji Vakuf would come by radio

6 and would be presented either by the milinfo staff or the operations

7 staff.

8 Q. And, Colonel, who was actually supposed to read the milinfosum?

9 A. All commanders, and we sent them also up our chain of command to

10 Kiseljak.

11 Q. You already touched on this issue earlier on briefly. In respect

12 to the milinfosums, were facts, non-corroborated information, analysis

13 and comments, were they distinguished?

14 A. We would try to distinguish them just for our own benefit. And

15 remember, the milinfosum was essentially for our own benefit and also

16 for the benefit of our chain of command, to inform them from a

17 milinfosum/intelligence perspective as to what we thought, as to posed to

18 the daily situation report, which was totally factual. And the summation

19 of the day would be gleaned from reading both of the reports.

20 And the difference between the milinfosum and the situation

21 report is the milinfosum would contain comment and hypothesis, while the

22 situation report tended to deal just in facts. And also the milinfosum

23 when published was a reflection of our understanding; but quite often two

24 or three days, you know, what we thought earlier in the milinfosum, we

25 had received additional information that would quite often cause us to

Page 7502

1 re-examine and realise that what we'd thought, for example, on one day

2 may not be an actual reflection of what happened and we hadn't gathered a

3 more informed view for a number of days. So if you like, it was our sort

4 of best bet on that day as to what our milinfosum team thought was the

5 situation.

6 Q. And in the event there was a re-examination, was the

7 re-examination then reflected in one of the next milinfosums?

8 A. If there was a point in doing it. If the whole thing was

9 overtaken by events, then we just let it go and focussed on the current

10 situation.

11 Q. Very well, sir. Let's move on to a different subject, namely the

12 military situation within the area of responsibility of the ABiH

13 3rd Corps. Did I understand you correctly, Colonel, that the area of

14 responsibility of BritBat was overlapping to a certain, if not a high

15 extent, with the area of responsibility of the ABiH 3rd Corps?

16 A. Yes, that's the case.

17 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber which army at the time of

18 your arrival in Vitez in early February 1993, which army could be

19 described as being the more dominant army?

20 A. The Serb army, the Bosnian Serb.

21 Q. And talking about the ABiH and the HVO, which one was the more

22 dominant in early 1993 or in February 1993?

23 A. I think that's quite a difficult question, because I -- you'd

24 have to define what you mean by "dominant."

25 Q. Which one was on the attacking side, on the attacking move?

Page 7503

1 A. In February 1993, when I arrived, the BiH and HVO were

2 essentially on the defence. Following a series of Serb advances -

3 notably, the fall of Jajce springs to mind just before I'd arrived, and

4 we were dealing in February with a large number of sort of refugees from

5 Jajce and Banja Luka, that the Serbs were sort of transporting to and

6 then abandoning in the front lines behind Turbe; and a similar situation

7 manifested itself later over towards Tuzla, with the Serb fighting in the

8 area of Srebrenica. The BiH and the HVO were conducting counterattacks

9 along the front lines, and I've never really reflected on which I thought

10 was doing the most of that. At a guess, I would probably say it was the

11 BiH who had a predominance of sort of infantry, whereas the HVO had a

12 pre-dominance of sort of artillery and armour, and "artillery" I use in a

13 very broad sense.

14 Q. At what point in time, sir, in your view, did the conflict

15 between the HVO and the ABiH break out?

16 A. From my personal perspective, things began to go -- there were --

17 the alliance between the two held strongest where the imminent Serb

18 threat was greatest. Where the Serb threat wasn't great, there was less

19 of a unity of purpose between the two military groups -- military forces.

20 From about the 1st of April, 1993, which was the declaration of

21 the NATO no-fly zone, we had a series of incidents involving ourselves

22 and the Serbs. We came under artillery fire from them and we also, at

23 the behest, personal behest of General Morillon, sent a reconnaissance

24 force to a place called Konjevic Polje, which ended up losing some of its

25 armoured vehicles. And I went to Zvornik to recover the vehicles. And

Page 7504

1 while I was in Zvornik things were taking place in Travnik, notably the

2 visit of Mate Boban. And following that, there were a series of murders

3 of BiH soldiers by HVO predominantly, although there were also some HVO

4 soldiers murdered by BiH soldiers, we understood. And that -- and then

5 there was a general -- in the view of the liaison officer for sort of

6 Travnik and Vitez and Turbe, there was a general worsening of the

7 relationship. And this was also -- had to be viewed, which was one of

8 the things that we made attempts to do -- this also had to be viewed

9 within the bigger picture of the, you know, what was going on beyond the

10 boundaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, most notably various proposals that

11 were on the world stage for potential solutions to the war in Bosnia, and

12 notably the Vance Owen peace initiative, which itself appeared to be

13 contributing to the increased tension between the Muslim people and the

14 Croat people, the BiH and the HVO.

15 And there were a series of situations leading up to -- I think it

16 was the 16th of April, when we heard reports from our logistics

17 organisation, which was closer than we were to Vitez, of mortar --

18 considerable mortar fire and small arms fire from Vitez and its environs

19 up towards Kruscica, and it was at that point that we realised that

20 something had gone very wrong.

21 Q. I understand, sir, that in your view the ABiH-HVO conflict

22 started at around the first half of April 1993. Would this summarise --

23 A. Yeah.

24 Q. -- what you just said?

25 A. Yeah.

Page 7505

1 Q. And making reference to what you said earlier on, would it be

2 fair to say that the HVO was the stronger army in terms of military

3 equipment and the ABiH was the stronger army in respect to the manpower?

4 A. I would take that -- I agree with that as a generalisation, not

5 specifically in the Vitez and its environs in the Lasva Valley at that

6 point in April, because, for example, 3rd Corps was heavily engaged in

7 fighting the Serbs in the east or consolidating their position in the

8 light of some Serb advances. And so there was an imbalance in Central

9 Bosnia at that time where the HVO had a -- outnumbered, both in terms of

10 personnel and materiel.

11 Q. Did there come a time later on during your tour in Central Bosnia

12 when the situation changed? And if so, as to when and how did it change?

13 A. Sorry, do you mean broadly the situation?

14 Q. The situation within the area of responsibility of the ABiH

15 3rd Corps. And in particular, in the area you were just describing.

16 A. Do you mean the -- sort of the situation where the HVO launched

17 what we certainly believed to be a surprise attack and the BiH reaction

18 to that?

19 Q. In general terms, was there a change in the capability and in

20 respect to the ability of the ABiH 3rd Corps to counter HVO attacks?

21 A. Initially the HVO were very successful in their surprise

22 offensive against the ABiH in the sort of Lasva Valley area from about

23 the sort of 15th, 16th of April. And I could give you examples to

24 illustrate why I believe that, should you wish.

25 The situation was stabilised by the garrisons of Vitez and

Page 7506

1 Kruscica, specifically, in holding out against superior force and then

2 the ABiH were able to bring reinforcements from -- and specifically the

3 3rd Corps -- were able to bring reinforcements having disengaged their

4 operations in the east and moved their soldiers and equipment west to

5 mount a counterattack from roughly the Zenica direction, slightly around.

6 And then essentially come in and reverse the tables on the HVO. And the

7 ABiH by about the 21st of April had regained the initiative and were now

8 in a very strong position in terms of their numbers in relation to the

9 HVO in Central Bosnia.

10 More specifically, they were militarily more capable. Numbers

11 aren't necessarily the issue. They're what we would describe as their

12 moral component, their morale, if you like. They were just more

13 committed to the fighting, they were better at fighting, and they were

14 better led. And they caused the HVO to be on the defensive. And it was

15 at that point that we initiated a cease-fire and a process to disengage

16 the two opposing factors.

17 Q. Since you were mentioning the 21st of April, 1993, does the 21st

18 of April, 1993 have a particular meaning for you?

19 A. Well, it has particular meaning for me in that I found myself

20 representing Colonel Stewart at a conference chaired by the ECMM

21 ambassador and I was the senior UNPROFOR military representative, and the

22 conference was designed to establish a cease-fire. It was supported at

23 the highest levels, obviously, and the senior representatives of the HVO,

24 Petkovic, and the ABiH HVO - I think I'm pronouncing it correctly -

25 Halilovic, came down, supported by Blaskic supporting Petkovic; and

Page 7507

1 Merdan, who was Hadzihasanovic's deputy, supporting 3rd Corps with

2 Halilovic.

3 Do you want to know more about it?

4 Q. When you were -- or when you had the duty to broker a cease-fire

5 agreement - I think that was the purpose of the different meetings you

6 were referring to - what did you tell the representatives of the ABiH,

7 including Merdan and Halilovic?

8 A. I think it was a very difficult tactical situation for them to

9 reconcile, in terms of the fact that they were now being successful in

10 their prosecution of a counter-offensive against an enemy who had sort of

11 taken advantage of them and taken advantage of their alliance. It was

12 not difficult to convince the Croats to engage in a cease-fire for the

13 first time. It had been impossible to convince them to engage in a

14 cease-fire preceding that, when they thought they were winning.

15 The challenge for Halilovic and Merdan was to recognise from our

16 perspective that they were in a position to demonstrate strategic

17 thinking, to understand that although they were militarily in a position

18 to win this particular battle and they had militarily within their grasp

19 Busovaca, which was a very emotional as well as physical command centre

20 for the HVO and the whole -- the sort of Herceg-Bosna ideals, and they

21 had to understand that despite this capability of winning this particular

22 battle and taking revenge for the disloyalty, if you like, the

23 behaviour - I'm grappling for the right word - the quite despicable

24 behaviour of the HVO in terms of pursuing political advantages through

25 military endeavour at an opportunity when the 3rd Corps in Central Bosnia

Page 7508

1 were not able to reconcile this, they had to put that behind them and

2 demonstrate a degree of what we described -- I described as generalship

3 on the part of Halilovic in order for the greater good of his -- of the

4 ABiH and the Muslim people generally to exercise restraint, exercise

5 command and discipline over their forces, and from UNPROFOR's

6 perspective -- my perspective representing UNPROFOR and UNPROFOR's

7 perspective -- to retain the moral high ground in this situation in

8 Central Bosnia, at that time.

9 Q. Earlier on, Colonel, in describing the situation immediately

10 prior to the 21st of April, 1993, you were making a comment that the ABiH

11 3rd Corps troops were led better. What made you conclude that in terms

12 of leadership of troops the ABiH 3rd Corps was better at that point in

13 time?

14 A. It's a subjective judgement on my part from my knowledge,

15 personal knowledge and broader knowledge, of the two commanders,

16 basically. And it has been my experience that the -- an organisation

17 tends to reflect the quality of its commander. And Hadzihasanovic was a

18 better military commander, in all senses that I would use to judge, than

19 his opposite number in the HVO, Tihomir Blaskic. And I saw that

20 personified, if you will, with the elements of the ABiH that I personally

21 came in contact with. It wasn't a value judgement of their goals. It

22 was simply a value judgement of the quality of their military officers

23 that I met.

24 Q. Earlier on at the beginning of your today's testimony you

25 mentioned that money was collected in Brunei for the -- in broad terms --

Page 7509

1 for the Muslim cause in Bosnia. During the time you were deployed in

2 Central Bosnia, did the ABiH possess, to your knowledge, the financial

3 means to make things happen or to create circumstances that were in

4 favour of the ABiH 3rd Corps?

5 A. To my personal knowledge, no. We understood from other sources

6 that weren't necessarily corroborated that the one thing that the ABiH

7 wasn't short of was money. They were short of materiel. And

8 paradoxically, despite their sort of local -- in our area of

9 responsibility, their local superiority, if they could muster themselves

10 in time and space, as they did for their counter-offensive in the Lasva

11 Valley, they didn't have as strong a stream of potential reinforcements

12 that the Serbs or the Bosnian Croats had. They had, if you like, no land

13 link to an ethnically supportive nation. They, if you like, were sort

14 of -- were ringed by potential enemies.

15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, may I please suggest to have the

16 break now?

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have our customary break.

18 It is quarter to 4.00, and we will resume at 4.15.

19 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.

20 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]

22 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you, Mr. President.

23 Q. Sir, did you have --

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will resume with a few

25 minutes delay, Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.

Page 7510

1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise. There seems to be

2 a slight technical problem.


4 Q. Sir, did you at the time you were deployed in Central Bosnia with

5 BritBat, did you meet with then-Colonel Hadzihasanovic?

6 A. Yes. On a few occasions. And I have a recollection of speaking

7 to him on the phone as well. I first met him in February at the -- in

8 Kakanj at the Busovaca commission's inaugural meeting. I later met him

9 at his headquarters in Zenica. I spoke to him on the phone -- at least,

10 I think it was him. It was through an interpreter, so my belief was it

11 was him. And the majority of my dealings, however, with the 3rd Corps

12 were with Colonel Hadzihasanovic's deputy, Commander Merdan.

13 Q. We will come to Merdan in a few minutes. Let's talk first about

14 Hadzihasanovic. Having talked and met him a few times, what was your

15 impression about his competence and his military abilities?

16 A. My first impression of him when I first met him was of an

17 intelligence man, a military officer who seemed capable of taking a

18 operational or strategic perspective on issues, not getting overemotional

19 about the tactical situation. I have a vivid recollection of him

20 remonstrating with his HVO counterpart who didn't seem to be able to, on

21 occasion, rise intellectually above the sort of tactical situation.

22 He was respected by the other members of the commission and his

23 peers as a capable military officer, which I later discovered to be the

24 case. And so an intelligent, experienced and able military officer.

25 Q. You were just saying, Colonel, that he was respected. Does it

Page 7511

1 mean that he was in command and control of his subordinate troops?

2 A. That would be my assessment, yes.

3 Q. Being an intelligent, capable military commander, was the

4 then-Colonel Hadzihasanovic aware on what was going on on the ground

5 within 3rd Corps? Did he give you the impression that he was an informed

6 commander?

7 A. Yes, that was certainly my impression. And again, my total

8 impression of Colonel Hadzihasanovic was not simply in my few meetings

9 with him but was also in discussions with his subordinates, who were very

10 clear of their confidence in their commander.

11 Q. You informed the Trial Chamber, sir, that you had more contact to

12 Hadzihasanovic's deputy, namely Dzemal Merdan. How close was

13 Hadzihasanovic to his deputy, Merdan?

14 A. Do you mean personally, which I really can't comment on, or

15 geographically?

16 Q. I mean, did Hadzihasanovic -- I mean in military terms. Did

17 Hadzihasanovic get to know what Merdan got to know? Were they in each

18 other's minds? In that respect.

19 A. That was certainly Merdan's perspective, that he was in the mind

20 of his commander, Hadzihasanovic. And he reported and got guidance from

21 Hadzihasanovic if he wasn't sure on the way to proceed within a

22 particular situation.

23 Q. Can you please inform us on what occasions you did meet Merdan

24 and what was the subject of discussions.

25 A. I met Merdan several times. He was detached to be the 3rd Corps

Page 7512

1 representative with the Busovaca commission, which again was a

2 demonstration from my perspective on Hadzihasanovic's commitment to that

3 particular organisation as a means of establishing normality, or at

4 least contributing to normality. So that further demonstrated my -- or

5 impressed me with the commander of 3rd Corps's commitment to the

6 situation.

7 And where he was at the Busovaca commission, I met him several

8 times, and we chatted. The most vivid occasion which we met was on the

9 21st of April, at the peace conference in the ECMM house in our base in

10 Vitez, and we had both practical and philosophical discussions together

11 with Halilovic, and I was again impressed with the quality of Merdan and

12 also with -- by default with the quality of his organisation.

13 Q. "Quality" means the professionalism? The military capabilities?

14 Is that correct?

15 A. Quality of the individuals and also the quality of the

16 organisation. I mean, I can't comment firsthand on the detail of how

17 3rd Corps ran its operations, other than on my visits to the corps

18 headquarters there appeared to be a capable military infrastructure

19 there.

20 Q. Let's briefly address one issue in respect to the capable

21 military infrastructure within 3rd Corps. Did you get the impression

22 that the ABiH 3rd Corps had the technical communication abilities to

23 enable the commanders, including Hadzihasanovic and his deputy Merdan, to

24 be informed?

25 A. They could certainly communicate with each other. There was

Page 7513

1 still a sort of land-line infrastructure within Central Bosnia, albeit we

2 were excluded from it, as our telephones were switched off -- all but

3 one, which nobody knew we had. The radio communication was slightly more

4 problematic because of the terrain, and we relied on high frequency

5 radios. They may have been able to put in place transmission boosters,

6 because it was ground in which they had spent their entire sort of

7 professional time, in that immediate context. I'm aware from discussions

8 that there were difficulties in communicating to some subunits actually

9 on the ground. We had incidents in order to implement the cease-fire

10 after the 21st of April conference, where we had to support the HVO and

11 the ABiH in transporting their commanders around the battle space to pass

12 orders on to the ground. Whether that was a physical communication

13 problem, i.e., that they didn't have radio communication, or whether that

14 was the fact that radio communication couldn't convey the reality of

15 those orders and they had to be given face to face, I was never quite

16 sure. But they carried radio systems and they had access from different

17 headquarters to telephone systems. And by and large whenever they wished

18 to communicate with us, they could, and I took that as an indicator that

19 they could communicate among themselves as well.

20 Q. Let's move on, Colonel, to the last issue I wish to discuss with

21 you today, namely the issue of Mujahedin. Did you get to know whether

22 Mujahedin were operating within the ABiH 3rd Corps area of

23 responsibility?

24 A. We understood that was the case, yes.

25 Q. To your knowledge and from what you got to know whilst you were

Page 7514

1 deployed in Central Bosnia within the ABiH 3rd Corps area of

2 responsibility between February 1993 and May 1993, within which ABiH 3rd

3 Corps military unit, if any, were the Mujahedin concentrated?

4 A. That's quite a difficult question. I did not personally meet

5 anybody who I could identify as Mujahedin. I occasionally was shot at by

6 ABiH soldiers waving green flags and wearing green headbands which I

7 presumed to be Mujahedin and would remonstrate with ABiH commanders as to

8 objecting to being shot at.

9 And in conversation with brigade-level commanders and other

10 sources, my understanding was that "Mujahedin" was a term that was used

11 to cover the more committed Muslim ABiH soldiers, whether they be foreign

12 fighters who had come on a Jihad-type mission to Bosnia or they were

13 Bosnian Muslim citizens who had a more fundamentalist view as to the

14 future of their nation.

15 We understood and I understood that the accommodation of these

16 more -- stricter practicing Muslims had a sort of cultural clash with the

17 more - how would I phrase that - the less -- the cultural norm for Islam

18 within the majority of Bosnia that we knew and the majority of Muslims

19 that we in the ABiH or citizens that we interfaced with were not strict

20 Muslims that I had seen in other parts of the world, for example in the

21 Middle East. And what I mean by that is their women -- they didn't

22 subscribe to Sharia law, the women wouldn't go covered, they would drink

23 beer. They had quite a Western interpretation of Islam. That probably

24 isn't how they would interpret it; it's how I do.

25 The stricter practicing Muslims, and specifically those coming

Page 7515

1 from abroad, as sort of fighters, the mainstream of the ABiH found them

2 quite difficult to accommodate because they were rather disillusioned by

3 what they saw as a lack of adherence to Islam, and so they were

4 concentrated in the 7th Brigade, which we understood was a brigade that

5 consisted of soldiers who had a greater propensity to the detail of a

6 slightly more Middle Eastern interpretation of the Koran and the

7 practicing of Islam. I'm sorry I'm not being totally succinct, it's

8 quite difficult because these were impressions.

9 I never met the 7th Brigade, and understood, again, from

10 discussion that they didn't particularly seek to meet UNPROFOR. And

11 their reputation tended to precede them and their reputation for fighting

12 and commitment to the cause was -- sort of kept them apart, in our

13 understanding, from the majority of the 3rd Corps.

14 Q. How were the Mujahedin, who according to you were concentrated in

15 the 7th Brigade - how were they used by the ABiH 3rd Corps in military

16 terms?

17 A. They were based on Zenica, as we understood. And unlike many of

18 the brigades that we worked with within our AOR, which, if you like, were

19 quite regionally-based brigades, the 7th was one of the manoeuvre

20 brigades - there were others - and would be used to conduct offensives or

21 to carry out operations which were specific to the intent of the corps

22 commander at that time.

23 If I give you views that I had received from the HVO, the HVO had

24 a considerable fear of the 7th Brigade, disproportionate to any other

25 brigade in many ways; and such terms as sort of "Mujahedin" created an

Page 7516

1 effect if the minds of HVO soldiers opposing the BiH during the sort of

2 April period totally disproportionate to the size of that brigade and its

3 equipment. And so if you will, they had an ability to create an effect

4 in the minds of their sort of opposition out of proportion to their

5 actual size. And I viewed that as a considerable advantage to the

6 command of the 3rd Corps in military terms, and I am sure -- and again,

7 this is just a personal view -- that he was easily militarily astute

8 enough to understand the effect the 7th Corps would have on the

9 willingness to fight of the HVO.

10 Q. Are you referring to the 3rd Corps commander in referring to

11 "he"?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. To your knowledge, was the issue of the Mujahedin ever been

14 addressed with Hadzihasanovic and/or Merdan?

15 A. Specifically, no, other than personal curiosity on occasion to

16 just try and get behind what this name "Mujahedin" actually meant in

17 reality. And I've explained my understanding of that, which was foreign

18 fighters plus Bosnians who were more comfortable in a more strictly

19 Islamic infrastructure.

20 Q. And to your knowledge, what was the attitude of Hadzihasanovic

21 and/or Merdan towards the Mujahedin issue?

22 A. I've never discussed that with Hadzihasanovic. I have

23 recollections of discussing it with either Merdan or other commanders.

24 And again, it was really professional curiosity more than anything else,

25 built around, if you like, our own doctrine, which we describe as the

Page 7517

1 manoeuvrist approach in conducting military operations, where we focus on

2 the will of our enemy to fight us rather than focussing on their strength

3 in materiel terms. So it's a case of an indirect approach, rather than

4 an attritional approach.

5 And I saw rightly or wrongly, from my own perspective, that the

6 3rd Corps with the concept of Mujahedin had a military capability to

7 attack the will of their enemy, which would fit very well within our own

8 understanding of the cleverest way to fight and would reflect on that

9 from my personal perspective, on how I would use something like a force

10 viewed as Mujahedin by my enemy and the conflict of interest that that

11 may produce in my own mind.

12 I can't put my own views into the mind of either Merdan or

13 Hadzihasanovic, as it was my own personal reflections, but gained in

14 discussions as to what this phenomenon of Mujahedin actually represented.

15 Q. And what were actually your own views?

16 A. My own views were that they were a very capable asset, in terms

17 of their ability to attack the will of an enemy to fight, and they would

18 be used on what we would call our main effort. And I suspected as a

19 professional officer that commander 3rd Corps would think in similar

20 terms. And indeed we had reports of the Mujahedin or the 7th Muslim

21 Mountain Brigade deployed in many areas simultaneously, which patently

22 meant they were not in all of them. And I would do a very similar thing,

23 that sort disinformation, to strike terror into the hearts of my enemies

24 as to the fact that my most capable brigade was facing all of them

25 simultaneously. And again, I would suspect that commander 3rd Corps

Page 7518

1 would be capable of very similar thoughts.

2 I think the difficulty arose with the fact that certainly the

3 foreign fighters were not necessarily aligned to the political and

4 military intent that 3rd Corps represented as part of the ABiH.

5 And I think I personally would have had a problem dealing with

6 the capability that a concept like Mujahedin gave me with the effects of

7 their extremist behaviour. And we had an example of that where two

8 British mercenaries working with the ABiH were allegedly murdered by

9 Mujahedin. They were certainly murdered; they had their throats cut.

10 And we retrieved their bodies and buried them. And that sort of

11 behaviour by an organisation, encapsulated with the idea of Mujahedin,

12 would have presented considerable conflicts as to how one dealt with

13 people whose very fanaticism, which was the cornerstone of their

14 reputation, manifested itself in ways that were not consistent with the

15 behaviour that I would expect from soldiers.

16 Q. Did you get to know, Colonel, whether Hadzihasanovic, the

17 3rd Corps commander at the time, whether he undertook any efforts to

18 solve the conflict? Or was he more, as you just described earlier on, in

19 some sort of a dilemma - and you described it yourself - to be forced

20 because of the military situation and because of the positive military

21 effect of the Mujahedin to accept them?

22 A. We certainly asked for an investigation into the murder of the

23 two British mercenaries and understood that that had taken place. We

24 never found out whether anybody had been held to account for it or not.

25 And it wasn't that they were British or it wasn't that they were

Page 7519

1 mercenaries; it was just that they were two dead members of the ABiH, or

2 at least people who we understood to have attached themselves to the ABiH

3 who had been murdered. And, of course, because they were British, we had

4 a degree of interest in seeing people who had murdered them brought to

5 account. We were never aware that happened.

6 There were other incidents - and there were not many that came to

7 our notice - of actions by the ABiH that resulted in what we would term

8 as "murders", as opposed to sort of "military casualties." And when they

9 were discovered, they were reported by us to the ABiH and we trusted the

10 ABiH to pursue them with a full rigour.

11 And we certainly had a view - that was the view as well of the

12 commanding officer who knew Hadzihasanovic better than I did - that

13 Hadzihasanovic had given his assurances on several occasions that

14 incidents would be investigated, and we believed him.

15 Q. Thank you, Colonel.

16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this concludes the

17 examination-in-chief.

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

19 I turn now to Defence counsel for the cross-examination.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

21 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:

22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel Watters. My name is

23 Edina Residovic, and with my colleague Stephane Bourgon, I am

24 representing General Hadzihasanovic. I wish to thank you for meeting

25 with my colleague Stephane Bourgon prior to your testimony today.

Page 7520

1 Colonel, you have already said that you have testified in this

2 Tribunal three times, in the Blaskic, Kordic, and Kupreskic cases; is

3 that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. In addition to that, you also made a statement for the

6 Prosecution on the 6th and 7th of May, 2000 and on the 13th of May, 2000;

7 is that correct too?

8 A. I certainly made statements. I will take your word that they

9 were the dates.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 [No interpretation]

12 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, we are not receiving the

13 interpretation.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat the question, please.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. In answer to a question from my learned friend the Prosecutor,

18 you said that you arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 6th of

19 February, that you were deployed in Central Bosnia as a member of the

20 British Battalion, and as deputy commander of the 1st Cheshire Battle

21 Group; is that right?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. In addition to being deputy commander, you were de facto Chief of

24 Staff of the battalion; is that right?

25 A. That is correct. I wouldn't call the 1st Cheshire a battle

Page 7521

1 group. We would call it a battalion group. We were not equipped to

2 fight battles.

3 Q. Thank you for this clarification. But your battalion was well

4 equipped for the mission that you had to perform within the United

5 Nations forces; is it right to say that?

6 A. We were better equipped than most, yes.

7 Q. These were professional soldiers who before coming to Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina, and before you yourself arrived, had special training to be

9 able to carry out their mission in the wartime conditions that prevailed

10 in Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?

11 A. As we were the first battalion group from the British Army to

12 deploy to Bosnia as part of the United Nations, there was no precedent

13 for what the conditions were that we would find. And so the pre-tour

14 training planned by my predecessor, which I discussed with him at length,

15 reflected a balance of procedures and drills that may or may not prove to

16 be necessary in Bosnia. Future British battalions who deployed had

17 training that more reflected the reality in Bosnia gained from the

18 experience of ourselves and the battalion that replaced us, the Prince of

19 Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire.

20 Q. Thank you, Colonel. My learned friend also asked you about the

21 communications that existed on the ground when you arrived. Is it right

22 to say, Colonel, that in some situations you in your battalion did have

23 to grapple with poor communications so that it would happen that Colonel

24 Stewart, though he was the commander, frequently was unable to have full

25 command over all units on the ground?

Page 7522

1 A. That's correct. We were equipped with radios that did not suit

2 the terrain of Bosnia in that our main command radio system was VHF,

3 which is a line-of-sight system; also, it was old and unreliable. We

4 also had to use high-frequency radio, HF radio, which is notoriously

5 unreliable at certain times of the day, as it's affected by atmospherics.

6 The result was when Colonel Stewart was deployed on the ground in his

7 Warrior or in his Land Rover visiting a part of our organisation or the

8 opposing factions, he would routinely be out of communications for

9 extended periods of time and thus I would command in his absence as his

10 deputy.

11 Q. Thank you. You've answered my second question as well.

12 Want to with respect to communications that you knew the ABiH

13 army had, would you agree with me if I say that those communications were

14 functioning well towards superior commands - that is, from the corps to

15 the higher levels of command - whereas communication to lower-level units

16 were frequently interrupted and difficult to establish?

17 A. I would say that that would be a very fair supposition, yes.

18 Q. You also said, answering a question from my learned friend, that

19 upon arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina you didn't know much about what

20 was going on there and that once you arrived you did your best to learn a

21 little more about the history of the Balkans and about Bosnia and

22 Herzegovina; would that be right?

23 A. I endeavoured to learn as much as I could.

24 Q. You studied the problem and you devoted your full attention to

25 it, at least for the first 48 hours upon your arrival; but in view of the

Page 7523

1 great problems you had to address, there was quite a bit of confusion in

2 your mind and lack of clarity as to what was actually going on there.

3 A. [Previous translation continues] ...

4 Q. What you knew for certain was the fact that Bosnia and

5 Herzegovina had a year prior to that - that is, in April 1992, after the

6 break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - been

7 recognised as an independent state and that after that she was admitted

8 to United Nations membership. Were you aware of that fact?

9 A. That wasn't a factor that I focussed on. I think some of our

10 interpreters, who were very proud of their country, told us these things.

11 I don't have a memory of reading about it.

12 Q. I apologise, Colonel, but I think that your answer to my previous

13 question has not been recorded, and my question was whether you had

14 sought to find out more about the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I

15 know that you did so during the first 48 hours but that there was still

16 some confusion left regarding the actual state of affairs over there.

17 You did answer my question, but it wasn't recorded in the transcript, so

18 could you answer it once again, please.

19 A. I think to say that the situation was confused is an

20 understatement. I was endeavouring to understand.

21 Q. Thank you. Were you aware that the Army of Bosnia and

22 Herzegovina was the legitimate armed force that was in the process of

23 being formed at the time, the legitimate force and declared as such and

24 defined by the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state?

25 A. My understanding was that within Bosnia there were three armies:

Page 7524

1 Bosnian Serb, Bosnian Croat, and Bosnian Muslim.

2 Q. However, throughout your stay there, you didn't try to find out

3 which army was the legitimate armed force of Bosnia and Herzegovina but

4 you accepted the situation on the ground as it was in fact.

5 A. That is the case. My understanding was that the legitimate army

6 was an alliance between the HVO and the ABiH.

7 Q. At the time of your arrival, did you know that as early as 1992

8 the Yugoslav People's Army and the Army of Republika Srpska had attacked

9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and that already that year it had occupied more

10 than 60 per cent of the territory of the state, in the north, north-east,

11 and east of the country? Were you aware of that fact?

12 A. Yes. In fact, it was our reconnaissance as a group that

13 established exactly the extent, from the UN's point of view, of the Serb

14 aggression into -- Bosnian Serb aggression into Bosnia-Herzegovina, as on

15 our deployment the United Nations did not have a definitive understanding

16 of the extent to which the Serbs had pushed back the boundaries of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina in a literal sense. And we spent a great deal of our

18 time monitoring what we termed "the front lines" and spent a great deal

19 of time visiting them.

20 Q. Actually, the front lines towards the Serbian forces, or the

21 forces of Republika Srpska, were the lines which marked the end of the

22 area of responsibility of your battalion; is that right?

23 A. Technically, no, because our area of responsibility extended in

24 behind the Serb front lines. We did not have the combat power to force

25 passage -- oppose passage through these lines, and so we were unable to

Page 7525

1 exercise our responsibilities in those areas of our AOR that had been

2 captured by the Serbs. Therefore, the de facto AOR, the pragmatic AOR,

3 was that that was occupied by the HVO and the BiH forces, who did grant

4 us passage into their different areas.

5 Q. This demarcation line toward the Army of Republika Srpska was

6 actually the front line or the defence line of the Army of Bosnia and

7 Herzegovina, more precisely of the 3rd Corps. And if you can confirm

8 this for the Trial Chamber, it extended along a length between 250 and

9 300 kilometres.

10 A. That's an interesting question. It would depend on your

11 perspective. We used the term "front lines" as the line whereby the ABiH

12 and the HVO opposed the Serbs, and so it was either their defence line or

13 the Serb's front line, and both terms are correct. It was the line that

14 demarcated the advance of the Serbs and the point at which the

15 3rd Corps-ABiH-HVO had been able to hold the Serbs.

16 Q. I was putting it to you that this line, if we look at it

17 geographically from the west, north-west, was about 250 to 300 kilometres

18 long and that three corps of the Serbian army were behind it: The Banja

19 Luka, the Bosanski, and Romanijska Sarajevski [as interpreted] Corps.

20 Would this statement be true, to the best of your knowledge?

21 A. It is certainly true that there were Serb corps behind those

22 lines. Ten years later, I'm sorry, I can't remember which they were. I

23 know there was a Banja Luka Corps.

24 Q. Thank you. When you arrived, you observed that both the HVO and

25 the Army of Republika Srpska and shortly after that some representatives

Page 7526

1 of the international community as well started calling these armies on

2 the basis of the ethnic composition of the majority members of those

3 armies. They were referred to as the Serb, Croat, and Muslim armies. Is

4 that right?

5 A. That's right within the colloquialisms of our organisation. We

6 were quite clear that there was a differentiation between Bosnian Serbs,

7 Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Muslims and Serbs and Croats.

8 Q. However, in your communications with the Bosnian army and its

9 commanders and political representatives, you knew full well that the

10 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a multi-ethnic army, regardless of the

11 fact that some units were composed predominantly of Muslims, Bosniaks.

12 Was that difference between the army and these other two armies?

13 A. I was only aware of one brigade that I would describe as a fully

14 integrated brigade, a fully integrated multi-ethnic brigade. I was not

15 aware personally of other parts of the ABiH and the HVO that I witnessed

16 having a multi-ethnic chain of command. And so the manifestation to me

17 was that they were the ABiH and the HVO, with the exception of this one

18 brigade and they were an alliance that constituted the Army of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is my perspective.

20 Q. In fact, you can confirm many things that have to do with the

21 structure of the army, its relation with the legitimate organs of power.

22 And on the relations between the HVO and the BH army, with regard to all

23 these matters, there are certain assumptions you have made. But you were

24 never in a position to observe what their strategic objectives were or to

25 observe what their legal basis was. You weren't in a position to obtain

Page 7527

1 a clear perspective, a clear view of the armies in question.

2 A. It was very clear to me in April that the strategic objectives of

3 the HVO had nothing to do with what was in the best interests for the BiH

4 or the Muslim people. And the Croat offensive of mid-April 1993 - and I

5 should say the HVO, Bosnian Croat offensive - which at the time had the

6 potential to involve Croatia, was conducted solely at the strategic

7 level; certainly the operational level. You'd have to define "strategic"

8 very carefully in this context.

9 Q. When you arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as you have already

10 testified, you believed that the HVO and the BH army formed an alliance

11 and together they attempted to oppose the Republika Srpska army. And

12 this was the subject of the first meeting you attended in February 1993;

13 is that your understanding of the situation at the time?

14 A. That is correct.

15 Q. However, you certainly knew from your commander and your

16 predecessor that the HVO had previously attacked certain BH army

17 positions in 1992, in Prozor, Novi Travnik, and Vakuf, and in January it

18 did this in Busovaca and Kiseljak and in Gornji Vakuf. But with the

19 assistant of members of the international community in Bosnia and

20 Herzegovina a solution was found in order to establish a cease-fire.

21 These conflicts were overcome. Is this the situation you were familiar

22 with? Is this the knowledge you had when you assumed your duties?

23 A. Yes. But I think it would be naive to say that I believed, we

24 believed, or the situation on the ground demonstrated that the conflicts

25 were overcome as you stated. The situation in Gornji Vakuf continued,

Page 7528

1 and there were constant exchanges of fire between the ABiH and the HVO in

2 Gornji Vakuf throughout February and into March.

3 Q. Although at the time you didn't see any specific orders from the

4 HVO on attacks, on ultimatums to the BH army, you saw that the HVO was

5 attacking villages inhabited by Muslims; you saw that they erected

6 checkpoints and prevented the BH army from passing through and they

7 expelled the Muslim Bosniak population from the area of Busovaca and

8 Kiseljak. Is that what you were able to see in the field, and is this

9 what led you to the conclusion that you have just mentioned now?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. The discussions in Geneva about the Vance-Owen Plan incited the

12 HVO to use force to take over and surround territory that they thought

13 belonged to them and they were following the example set by the Republika

14 Srpska army. Would this be a correct description of the way in which the

15 HVO behaved at that time?

16 A. I would describe that they were incited, to use your word, by the

17 Vance-Owen Plan to consolidate the populations within the designated

18 cantons and to secure routes that they viewed as strategic, either within

19 or between these cantons; and to do so they embarked on a programme of

20 offensives which involved ethnic cleansing on a model that we had seen

21 used by the Serbs, but equally one had seen it in other parts of the

22 world as well.

23 Q. Would it be correct to say that the HVO sent an ultimatum to the

24 BH army requesting that they disarm and place themselves under their

25 command and then in April, as you have said, they organised a large-scale

Page 7529

1 offensive in the Lasva Valley? They took over territory, expelled the

2 Bosniak population, and Ahmici and other places were places in which

3 serious crimes were committed by them.

4 A. I don't have a recollection of being aware of an HVO ultimatum

5 being sent to the ABiH. But I agree with the rest of what you have said.

6 Q. My learned colleague from the Prosecution spoke to you about the

7 military might of the HVO and the BH army. Would you agree with me if I

8 said that after the attack of the JNA and the Republika Srpska army the

9 BH army, which was still being established at the time, regardless of the

10 number of troops they had, was in a fairly difficult situation and on the

11 whole they attempted to hold the defence lines and to prevent the Serbian

12 army from gaining access to other territory? For these reasons, it was

13 in their interest to keep the HVO as an ally and they had no intention to

14 fight a war with another enemy.

15 A. I think your comment "was in a fairly difficult situation" is an

16 understatement. I think they were in an extremely critical situation.

17 And would agree that it was a matter of their survival that the HVO was

18 an ally.

19 Q. In fact, if I may use the words used in a previous case, the army

20 was like an island which was encircled. And now this is what I'm adding:

21 In European countries, both near -- which were both near to it and which

22 were further away from it, they couldn't find any allies that would

23 support them. Would that be correct?

24 A. That was my interpretation, that the Bosnian Muslims had no

25 immediate ability to draw on allies to support them. They could only

Page 7530

1 draw on the moral support of the wider Islamic world, and that support

2 manifested itself both in a moral commitment to their cause and the

3 pressure that that could bring within the world community and a number of

4 individual or small group reinforcements of the type of people that have

5 been described as Mujahedin and financial support. But critically, none

6 of these two factors, financial support or the infiltration of small

7 bands of Mujahedin, would enable, in my view, the ABiH to withstand an

8 offensive by the Serbs and even with the support of the Bosnian Croats,

9 the HVO, that support would be conditional on reinforcement from Croatia.

10 In summary, you could describe them literally as having their backs to

11 the wall.

12 Q. As the Republika Srpska army and the HVO had traditional allies

13 in Europe, in certain European countries, then what is of special

14 importance is the fact that they had the daily support of neighbouring

15 states, the neighbouring state of Yugoslavia; and the HVO had the support

16 of Croatia. This was not the case for the BH army.

17 A. As I mentioned in my previous answer, that is correct. The ABiH

18 did not have any neighbouring states who would lend support.

19 Q. In addition, the HVO could count on continual support for

20 logistics, arms, and other equipment that they needed to fight; is that

21 correct?

22 A. And people.

23 Q. Yes. Thank you. You pointed out that when performing your

24 duties in one of the Islamic countries, in Brunei, you saw that money was

25 being collected in order to assist the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Page 7531

1 At that time, and subsequently, you never found out that that money was

2 used for the BH army; and in particular you didn't have any information

3 according to which the money collected in this way arrived in the

4 territory of the 3rd Corps, was used for the needs of the 3rd Corps. Is

5 what I have said correct?

6 A. Specifically for the 3rd Corps, no. We were aware from sources

7 that money was able to make its way into the Muslim community within

8 Central Bosnia. We were also aware that the ABiH was able to buy

9 weapons and ammunition from other belligerents within Central Bosnia -

10 bizarre as that may sound - specifically through Sarajevo. And in Tuzla

11 we were also aware that logistics supplies, including arms and munitions,

12 were delivered to the ABiH from air drop.

13 Q. When we spoke about military power, you mentioned a lot of

14 factors that were important for an army to have power. Would it be

15 correct to say that in the Blaskic case you said that without a doubt in

16 spring 1993 the HVO was stronger than the BH army? It had supremacy.

17 Would you stand by this claim today?

18 A. That was many years ago. I have no reason to change my view. I

19 would probably in order -- for accuracy have to explain what I meant

20 by -- if I had used the word "supremacy," what I meant by that. As I

21 think I mentioned earlier today, and I can possibly best encapsulate this

22 in the way we think about supremacy or what we describe as combat power,

23 which we would articulate as having three components: A physical

24 component, which is men and materiel; a moral component, which is a

25 willingness to fight; and a conceptual or intellectual component, which

Page 7532

1 is understanding how to fight.

2 Q. When referring to manpower, to the human factor, would you agree

3 with me if I said that if you take into consideration the number of

4 brigades at the disposal of the HVO in Central Bosnia and the number of

5 brigades that the Republika Srpska army had at the line of confrontation

6 and the BH army had opposed them at all times, in such a case not even

7 the number of troops of the BH army was greater than the number of troops

8 that the HVO and the Army of Republika Srpska had in combination.

9 A. I'm sorry, I'm trying to understand. Are you asking me that the

10 ABiH had a smaller number of available soldiers than the HVO and the

11 Bosnian Serbs combined?

12 Q. Let me clarify the question. Very often the question is asked as

13 to whether the number of troops in the BH army was once or twice the

14 amount of the HVO troops. I'm now suggesting, because this is what you

15 have testified about, that the BH army had to hold a 2 to 3 hundred

16 kilometre line facing the Republika Srpska army. My question is: Given

17 that the army had two enemies at all times, would it be correct to say

18 that even in terms of manpower, if you take into consideration the

19 manpower of the Republika Srpska army and the manpower of the HVO, if

20 this is taken into consideration, the 3rd Corps didn't have supremacy in

21 terms of simple physical power.

22 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, if my recollection is not wrong, I

23 think the witness stated earlier on today in answering a question by my

24 learned friend from the Defence that it was the ABiH and the HVO which

25 were on the front lines towards the Serbs.

Page 7533

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, could you try to

2 answer the question, because in a few seconds we will have to have our

3 technical break.

4 In line 8, page 56, a question was put to you. Try to answer

5 this very complex question. And it would be good for you to read the

6 question, think about the answer, and then answer it.

7 THE WITNESS: I think the first thing to clarify is the term

8 "brigades," because a brigade was not a specific organisation in the HVO

9 or the ABiH. Different brigades were of very different size, and so it's

10 not a currency with which to judge.

11 The commitment of the ABiH to their front-line positions opposing

12 the Serbs meant in Central Bosnia that they were not as capable as the

13 HVO of assembling soldiers in time and space at the same tempo that the

14 HVO were because more of 3rd Corps were deployed further east. And so

15 if you take the totality, the BiH had in our view more actual soldiers.

16 Whether those soldiers could be assembled to deal with, for example, an

17 immediate threat was -- it would take time. So in Central Bosnia, the

18 HVO could more quickly assemble a superior number of soldiers than could

19 the BiH.

20 But the number of soldiers isn't actually the critical aspect.

21 That is merely one part of what I've described as combat power, which I

22 did that rather laborious explanation. The means to fight is the

23 physical component, and soldiers are part of the means to fight, as are

24 other weapons systems that act as force multipliers within the physical

25 component. And so I think it's a rather simplistic question to ask

Page 7534

1 whether they had more or less. It would depend on what they could

2 assemble in time and space to meet a particular threat.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

4 It's quarter to 6.00 now more or less. We will now adjourn and

5 we will resume at five past 6.00.

6 --- Recess taken at 5.42 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall give the floor again to

9 Defence counsel. We normally adjourn at quarter to 7.00. If we don't

10 want to keep the witness here until tomorrow, I would kindly ask Defence

11 counsel to go to the essentials so that the cross-examination should be

12 useful and so we can release the witness. Otherwise, he will be forced

13 to come back tomorrow.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I just wish to

15 address you. We looked at the time that we would need to complete our

16 cross-examination, and further to your earlier ruling and to abide by

17 that ruling, I shall certainly try and put the most important questions

18 to the witness. But as I wish the witness to have sufficient time to

19 hear the translation and for me to receive a translation of his answers,

20 this slows down the process. So I would like to appeal to you, Your

21 Honours, if we don't complete our cross-examination today, that we be

22 allowed to continue it tomorrow.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us try and finish it today.

24 But please proceed.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

Page 7535

1 Q. Colonel Watters, is it true that in canton number 10, which the

2 HVO wanted completely to cleanse of the Bosniak population, that large

3 towns such as Travnik, Bugojno, and Gornji Vakuf were majority Muslim

4 towns and they were in this province? Is that right?

5 A. I would have to see a map of the then-Vance-Owen proposed canton

6 10 to under oath say that those places were in it, as I can't remember

7 the exact boundaries of canton 10.

8 Q. But in any event, you do know that these were towns in which the

9 majority population were Bosniak.

10 A. As far as I remember, that is correct.

11 Q. There was another matter that was of special strategic importance

12 and that was the roads and communication links. And my question is: Is

13 it right to say that the HVO wanted to gain control of the main road

14 communications and to link up the so-called Croatian areas because it was

15 common knowledge that who has control of the roads, he also controls the

16 Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is that right?

17 A. That is my understanding, yes.

18 Q. In answer to a question from my learned friend, you said that the

19 conflict started with Mate Boban's arrival in Travnik in April 1993,

20 where the state colours of the Republic of Croatia were hoisted

21 everywhere and when because those flags were torn down, the HVO attacked

22 members of the army and killed two or three of those members. Is that

23 approximately what you said in your testimony?

24 A. I'm not sure I'd say "the conflict started with Mate Boban's

25 arrival in Travnik." But certainly, following his arrival and the

Page 7536

1 appearance of the flags, there was a breaking down of the relationship

2 between the Croat and Muslim populations, manifesting itself in a number

3 of murders in Travnik. That's correct.

4 Q. Is it correct to say that the HVO at the time took up positions

5 around the town of Travnik and that it blocked all roads so that Travnik

6 was virtually isolated in relation to Zenica?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Is it also correct that the HVO used the highly aggressive

9 propaganda whereby it sought to frighten the Croat population and to

10 force it to move to territories that were under HVO control?

11 A. I was aware of a situation in Zenica where the ABiH - and we

12 presumed it was the 7th Brigade - attempted to evict the minority Croat

13 population, which we secured overnight in a church, contacted the

14 3rd Brigade headquarters -- 3rd Corps headquarters, sorry. And the mayor

15 of Zenica intervened, secured the return of the Croat population to their

16 homes in Zenica and personally guaranteed their security.

17 I'm not aware that that population were required to leave Zenica

18 by the HVO. And although there were rumours that minority HVO

19 populations were being extorted to move, I personally didn't see it. I

20 don't speak Serbo-Croat and so wouldn't have, myself, seen the means of

21 this propaganda, leaflets or whatever. I don't know how this alleged

22 propaganda took place. I had no personal knowledge of it, but I was

23 aware of rumours.

24 Q. Is it true that the HVO used their propaganda against UNPROFOR,

25 claiming that UNPROFOR was transporting weapons for the Army of Bosnia

Page 7537

1 and Herzegovina?

2 A. That is correct. And claimed many other lies [Realtime

3 transcript read in error: "lives"] as well.

4 Q. Is it true that the HVO resorted to intensive propaganda about

5 the constant attacks of the BH army forces on all fronts, claiming that

6 that army was committing massacres of Croats; and that in connection with

7 such claims you did some investigations in several places -- Grahovcici,

8 Guca Gora, Jelinak -- and that the findings of the British Battalion

9 showed that there were no traces of any such crimes there? Is that

10 right?

11 A. Your Honour, the answer to my previous question is transcribed as

12 "and claimed other lives as well." I actually said "lies," not "lives".

13 Madam, I'll just address your question.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In view of the remark made by

15 the witness, the transcript will make clear that the witness has

16 clarified the meaning of his answer, that he didn't say "claimed other

17 lives," But "lies." Is that, Colonel, what you wanted to say?

18 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

20 Could you please answer the question in line 23, please.

21 THE WITNESS: Sir --

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In line 23, the Defence is

23 asking you a question regarding what happened at Grahovcici, Guca Gora,

24 and you are being asked whether the British Battalion found any traces of

25 war crimes there.

Page 7538

1 THE WITNESS: Sir, after the HVO atrocity in Ahmici, we received

2 constant reports from the HVO of massacres of their people and we

3 patrolled to investigate each of the allegations. I personally went to

4 Grahovcici and Guca Gora; another patrol -- and found nothing -- We

5 tasked another patrol, who went to Miletici, I think it was called --

6 yes, Miletici. And there they found five men had been murdered. And the

7 accounts of the local people described it as having been committed by BiH

8 soldiers who were not known to them and who had behaved in a way that

9 hadn't been characteristic of other BiH soldiers that they had known.

10 And we later recovered those five bodies. They were Croats.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Colonel, if I were to ask you now a question about the events in

14 Miletici, would it be right to say that Miletici was visited by UNPROFOR

15 and by the European observers and that the reports of both after talking

16 to the population indicated that these murders can be -- had been

17 committed by the Mujahedin? Would it be right to say that?

18 A. This is very difficult. I don't remember seeing the word

19 "Mujahedin" in the reports. They may well have been there. I haven't

20 read those reports for ten years. They certainly, from my memory, were

21 described as renegades or not the -- they didn't behave in the way that

22 the ABiH soldiers had traditionally behaved towards the people in this

23 village. They were not soldiers known to them. And they described them

24 as something akin to renegades. I don't ever remember the word

25 "Mujahedin." But as I've said earlier, I've found the term "Mujahedin"

Page 7539

1 meant all things to all people.

2 Q. Thank you. On the other hand, the HVO not only in Ahmici but

3 also in the villages of Nadioci, Santici, Hrusica [as interpreted],

4 expelled the entire Bosniak population, killed a certain number of

5 civilians, and totally destroyed these villages; is that true?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. In addition, the HVO used impermissible methods, that is, a bomb

8 truck in old Vitez was used, so that you were forced to report that this

9 was a war crime; is that right?

10 A. That's correct. We considered it essentially an act of

11 terrorism.

12 Q. Is it true that the fierceness of the HVO offensive and the

13 crimes committed caught the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina by surprise

14 and that they were shocked by the fact that their ally had betrayed them?

15 Could that be put in that way?

16 A. My meeting with the ABiH commander in Vitez on the morning of

17 the -- I think it was 16th of April, I would -- my view of his reaction

18 would concur with your statement.

19 Q. In actual fact, many of the UNPROFOR members like yourself felt

20 that unless the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina halted further attacks,

21 that this would virtually mean the end of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

22 and of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state. The army had their backs to the

23 wall. Is that right?

24 A. That is certainly the case in Central Bosnia. It obviously

25 wouldn't be the case in, for example, Tuzla. But it certainly was the

Page 7540

1 case in Central Bosnia.

2 Q. Colonel, is it right that thanks primarily to one of the factors

3 of combat readiness of the Bosnian army, that is, its readiness to defend

4 lives, the army consolidated its ranks quickly and responded with a

5 counter-offensive and managed to gain control of an important junction

6 and restore control over part of the territory lost? Is that right?

7 A. That's correct. And from a professional point of view, I thought

8 it was an outstanding piece of military conduct, military art.

9 Q. At the time, the HVO asked for a cease-fire for the first time,

10 though up until then it had refused to seize control over areas captured,

11 it refused to cooperate, and it refused to allow the return of the

12 population to the homes from which they had been evicted. This was the

13 first time that the HVO was able to negotiate. Is that right?

14 A. Not quite right. The HVO from the first morning of their

15 offensive entered into negotiation for a cease-fire and essentially

16 misrepresented their intention. In simple terms, they just told us lies

17 upon lies. So they didn't fail to enter into a cease-fire negotiation;

18 they did. But they -- it was quite plain to us after a while were

19 essentially prevaricating with no intention of, A, telling us genuinely

20 what they were doing, and with no intention of adhering to any of the

21 cease-fire negotiations that they were having with us. That changed on

22 the 21st of April, after the ABiH had re-established a superior position

23 and were poised to attack Busovaca.

24 Q. In answer to a question from my learned friend the Prosecutor,

25 you referred to that meeting on the 21st of April and described the

Page 7541

1 efforts of the army to halt the fighting with highly favourable terms and

2 you felt that it was a significant contribution towards saving lives.

3 Was that the attitude you took in relation to the efforts of the army

4 commanders to establish a cease-fire?

5 A. When you say "army commanders," do you mean the army commanders

6 of the BiH and the HVO or just the BiH?

7 Q. I mean the army of Halilovic and Merdan, who participated in

8 those negotiations.

9 A. The procedure for this negotiation was after the initial meeting

10 chaired by Ambassador Thebault, the ECMM ambassador, he then handed over

11 the detail of a negotiation, having established a cease-fire in

12 principle. The two delegations, the HVO and the BiH, were in two

13 different rooms. I asked them to put the dispositions of their forces

14 accurately onto maps for me individually so neither would -- the

15 opposition would not see their dispositions and they would take my word

16 that I would not divulge dispositions to either party.

17 And essentially I saw it as my challenge to argue the case to the

18 BiH for restraint. And I think my exact words, as they're burnt into my

19 memory, were along the lines of, "The world community will judge you on

20 the way you behaved today in the future. And I know as soldiers, I'm

21 asking you to do a very difficult thing, and if you do it, you will save

22 a great many lives, both of the people of Busovaca and Vitez and your own

23 people in the future, as this war is bound to continue. Because the HVO

24 are preparing to reinforce with regular forces from Prozor."

25 I was very impressed with Halilovic and Merdan's disposition and

Page 7542

1 the courage that they showed in being prepared to risk considerable

2 criticism, I felt, personal criticism. And I was quite clear also that

3 Merdan was operating with the authority of his corps commander,

4 Hadzihasanovic. And so I was impressed with them and I think their

5 action that day was statesmanlike and in the wider interest of all people

6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

7 Q. Would it be correct to say that the commanders went directly to

8 the lines and spoke to the subordinate commanders and they explained to

9 the soldiers how important it was to reach this agreement and not to

10 continue losing lives, both Bosniak and Croatian lives?

11 A. Not immediately, no. We had initially agreed a -- if my memory

12 serves me, an immediate cessation of fighting and an initial withdrawal

13 to a line we agreed on a map, withdrawing from Busovaca, I think it was

14 north. I'd have to look at the map. But in the direction of Zenica, so

15 away from the line of their advance, withdrawing over ground that they

16 had already fought over. And they agreed to do that within 24 hours.

17 About 12 hours after the conference, 3rd Corps got back to us to

18 say that they were unable to achieve their withdrawal in 24 hours because

19 they were having difficulty in contacting and convincing the soldiers on

20 the ground that they should withdraw. We agreed that we would support

21 both themselves and the HVO in the commanders personally going onto the

22 ground to talk to the soldiers, their subunit commanders, and we

23 achieved this by putting the commanders into our Warriors and taking them

24 where they wished to go on the battlefield to visit their subordinate

25 commanders and soldiers. And in doing that, they then convinced -- and

Page 7543

1 sometimes with quite heated discussion and exercising considerable

2 leadership -- they convinced their subordinate commanders of the

3 requirement to withdraw.

4 Q. In fact, at the time it was quite clear to you that the

5 commanders of corps were issuing orders, but as far as the implementation

6 of these orders were concerned, this depended to a large extent on the

7 local commanders. And you are a witness of the fact that Merdan often

8 engaged in negotiations and spoke to local commanders in order to ensure

9 that the orders would be carried out. Is that the situation in the

10 Armija in the spring in 1993? Is this the situation you were aware of at

11 the time?

12 A. That was certainly the situation on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th of

13 April, 1993 that I personally saw.

14 Q. In fact, it was a very reasonable decision of the commander of

15 the 3rd Corps. He decided that by -- that he should go into the field

16 himself and convince his commanders and troops of the importance of

17 carrying out certain orders. He acted in this way in order to discipline

18 his troops. Is that the conclusion that you would draw?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. In fact, it was clear to you that the 3rd Corps was being

21 established and all the efforts made by the commander and his

22 headquarters in fact made it possible to see that the BH army was getting

23 better organised from day to day. It was becoming more professional than

24 it was at the beginning.

25 A. I was aware that the commander of the 3rd Corps was taking a very

Page 7544

1 personal, hands-on command, which is why he was unable to be represented

2 at the conference on the 21st and was represented by his deputy, Merdan.

3 As to what he was actually doing, I couldn't say, as I wasn't there. But

4 the 3rd Corps responded having the local commanders being convinced of

5 the rationale of the cease-fire and its architecture.

6 Q. You praised the abilities of the command of the 3rd Corps and of

7 his deputy and of part of the officers -- of some of the officers from

8 the 3rd Corps headquarters. Would you agree with me if I said that the

9 officers and the professional structure in the command, the structure of

10 the commanders and the brigade commanders, is very important when

11 ensuring the line of command and functions properly and when ensuring

12 that there is discipline among the troops?

13 A. I would agree with you, yes.

14 Q. If I told you that when you were performing your duties in

15 BritBat only 9 per cent of those in the 3rd Corps command had finished

16 military training and half of the brigade commanders had no military

17 education whatsoever, would you then agree with me that the corps

18 commander had an extremely difficult task when trying to create the army

19 and establish normal chains of command and ensuring that there was

20 discipline among the troops?

21 A. Yes, I am, we were aware of the challenge that the 3rd Corps

22 commander and his staff faced in what essentially was a citizen army, a

23 militia, fighting for its survival.

24 Q. In response to a question from the Prosecution, you said that you

25 drafted milinfosums in the BritBat and these milinfosums contained

Page 7545

1 essential information that your company commanders and liaison officers

2 and other personnel had obtained in the course of any given day. Would

3 you agree with me if I said that the contents of such milinfosums

4 frequently depended on the reliability of the sources from which you

5 obtained certain information?

6 A. Yes, that's why they were called information summaries. They

7 didn't necessarily represent fact. They just represented the best

8 interpretation of reality that we could establish on that day. So I

9 would agree with you that they were totally reliant on the quality of the

10 sources of the information as well as our interpretation of them, which

11 also could be flawed on occasion.

12 Q. Would you agree with me if I said that there was also the risk

13 that certain rumours that were forwarded in your milinfosums could --

14 they could be dangerous because other parties, a third party, might take

15 such information to be factual?

16 A. I don't know who the third party would be, because we didn't

17 distribute milinfosums outside the United Nations chain of command, and I

18 also don't quite know what you mean by "dangerous." Dangerous to whom?

19 Q. Well, for example, if you obtained information about the HVO

20 according to which the BH army had committed certain acts and this hadn't

21 been checked, if this was forwarded through your chain of command or

22 through other international bodies and if this was then included in the

23 daily -- in the weekly reports of, for example, the European monitors, in

24 such cases such information might be taken to be fact in spite of the

25 fact that its reliability had not been previously verified.

Page 7546

1 A. I would certainly agree that rumours could be transposed into

2 people's belief that they represented fact. One of the challenges that

3 we faced in trying to establish an understanding of reality in Bosnia at

4 that time was the fact that Bosnia seemed to totally function on rumour.

5 And one of our endeavours was to try and cross-reference as many of the

6 rumours as we could, corroborated by our own people's observations and

7 reports or not, as the case may be. And we were always quite clear what

8 was a rumour, as opposed to what we understood might be a fact. I can't

9 speak for how that could be misrepresented outside our own chain of

10 command.

11 Q. You spoke about foreign combatants, the so-called Mujahedin, and

12 you spoke about the 7th Muslim Brigade. My question is: Would it be

13 correct to say that quite frequently certain rumours, criticisms, or

14 stories about the 7th Muslim Brigade and the Mujahedin came from the HVO

15 in fact and the success of the 7th Muslim Brigade left quite a -- made

16 quite an impression? The greater the successes of the Armija, the

17 greater --

18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the question please be repeated.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am turning to the Defence.

20 The interpreters didn't quite seize the question. Could you

21 please repeat the question.

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Would it be correct to say, Colonel, that the various rumours

24 about the 7th Muslim Brigade and about foreign combatants in that area

25 came mostly from the HVO and in addition, as the BH army had more and

Page 7547

1 more success, these rumours from the HVO were more widespread, became

2 more widespread?

3 A. Within -- yes, I would say that is a fair comment.

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'll have 10 to 15

5 minutes for my questions tomorrow. I have tried to be as brief as

6 possible. But I would like to request your permission to continue

7 tomorrow if I can't conclude my cross-examination today.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you will need ten minutes.

9 Does the other Defence team have the intention of asking this

10 witness any questions?

11 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. Yes, we do have some

12 questions to ask. We will need no more than 15 to 20 minutes at the

13 most. Thank you, Your Honours.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So ten minutes plus

15 15 minutes adds up to 25 minutes.

16 I think that Mr. Withopf had additional questions for the

17 witness.

18 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, so far I can't see any

19 questions. That may change after the Defence for the accused Kubura has

20 asked their questions.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll continue for another ten

23 minutes though. If you make an effort, I think we'll manage. If the

24 questions are shorter, less convoluted, I think that the witness will be

25 able to answer them easily. We'll try to conclude, because otherwise we

Page 7548

1 will make the witness stay overnight for the sake of an additional 15

2 minutes of cross-examination.

3 Mrs. Residovic, you may continue.

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Colonel, you described the position of the BH army and you said

6 that it was a very difficult one while you were performing your duties in

7 Bosnia. If the corps commander felt the need to open up a third front,

8 if he felt this was necessary, would you agree with me that he didn't

9 have the forces to do such a thing and such a decision in those extremely

10 difficult conditions couldn't be taken by him independently?

11 A. I'm not quite sure who the third front would be against. And he

12 would have been unwise to open a third front against the United Nations.

13 I don't believe that the commander of the 3rd Corps had the

14 necessary combat power to open a third front, as his two fronts were

15 extremely difficult to simultaneously fight. And as we saw, if it hadn't

16 have been for some quite outstanding military endeavour, they came very

17 close to losing Central Bosnia. So the idea of a third front makes no

18 sense to me at all. He wouldn't have been sensible to do it, and I can't

19 believe for a moment that he could unilaterally have declared some third

20 front.

21 Q. Colonel, I would like to ask you to listen to an opinion of mine,

22 and I would like you to comment on it. It concerns the issue of foreign

23 combatants in the territory of the 3rd Corps. So as not to waste any

24 time, I won't show you any documents, but I would like to present you

25 with certain facts which you were perhaps aware of at the time and I

Page 7549

1 would like to present you with other facts that you couldn't have been

2 aware of at the time. Then I would like to ask you to comment on them.

3 And this will be my last question for you.

4 You said that you personally didn't have any contact with the

5 foreign combatants, but you believed that they were linked to the 7th

6 Muslim Brigade. You also said that they were linked to the BH army 3rd

7 Corps. If I said that on the 13th of June, 1993 Commander Enver

8 Hadzihasanovic reported to the Supreme Command Staff of the BH army about

9 foreign combatants and local Bosniaks attached to them. And in that

10 letter he said that these elements did not want to communicate with him.

11 And he said that he knew that they were probably engaged in discussions

12 at a higher level. In that same letter he asked for this issue to be

13 resolved because he had no influence over them and he did not want to be

14 held responsible for their acts in his territory.

15 If you also were aware of the fact that two days later in

16 response to this letter the commander of the BH army issued an order to

17 Enver Hadzihasanovic requesting him to send them to Igman so that they

18 could join the special unit linked to the Supreme Command Staff, and if I

19 said that if they refused to do so he should refuse hospitality to them

20 and he should disarm them.

21 Furthermore, if you were aware of the fact on that on the same

22 day when he received this order, Enver Hadzihasanovic, when speaking over

23 the phone to the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command said that carrying

24 out this --

25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.

Page 7550

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

2 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I object to this question. This

3 question obviously overburdens the witness. Is question is meanwhile at

4 the very least 20 lines long. I would ask, in compliance with what just

5 has been said by the Trial Chamber, to break down the question in order

6 to enable the witness to answer the question.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Could you break down the

8 question, because it's a very long one. The Judges are following you,

9 but the witness certainly finds it difficult to follow a question that is

10 50 lines long. So could you break up your question into its constituent

11 factors and could you mention each factor individually.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I can collect all

13 these documents for the witness. If we'll be continuing tomorrow, he can

14 then have a look at them and I will ask him very brief questions. I

15 thought we would save time if I paraphrased evidence that has already

16 been admitted. I can't do that if the I break the question down.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated]

18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. President, please.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. How many facts would you

20 like to refer to?

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Five. Five facts.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Go ahead. Mention

23 the five facts. Because the witness has told us that he is capable of

24 following you.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 7551

1 Q. If in the course of a conversation on the phone

2 General Hadzihasanovic informed the Chief of Staff that an attack against

3 the Mujahedin would amount to opening up a third front and he asked for a

4 new order telling him how to deal with the situation; and if towards the

5 end of August the order signed by Commander Hadzihasanovic hadn't been

6 carried out because they weren't under his command; if Commander

7 Hadzihasanovic at the beginning of November in the course of a

8 conversation with Cermud Gerantil [phoen], the chief of the ECMM in

9 Zenica said that they were attempting to deal with the problem of the

10 foreigners by placing them under their command or by sending them back to

11 their countries; and if, finally, at the beginning of December General

12 Williams informed the commander --

13 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Withopf, if you

15 paralyse the Defence, we'll lose a lot of time. What do you want to say?

16 Because the witness has told us that he's able to follow everything. And

17 I think this was the last fact.

18 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I certainly do not want to make

19 things complicated. But my learned friend is asking the witness about

20 his views on certain events or certain alleged events that went far

21 beyond the time frame the witness spent in Bosnia. The witness was in

22 Bosnia from February to May 1993, and we are hearing since three to four

23 minutes nothing else than situations that were in November and December

24 1993 and maybe even later on. I find it very difficult that the Defence

25 is allowed to ask such questions.

Page 7552

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the witness will

2 integrate what you have just said in his answer. Some facts occurred

3 after he left Bosnia and Herzegovina. The witness is a colonel and he

4 knows how to deal with concepts. He can answer the question and can bear

5 your comment in mind.

6 So please go ahead.

7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. At the beginning of December in a letter that the commander of

9 the BritBat, General Williams, sent to the commander of UNPROFOR at the

10 time, it was stated that the Mujahedin were not under the control of the

11 commander of the 3rd Corps at the time - that was Commander Alagic - and

12 in February the commander of the BH army met him in order to force them

13 to recognise the command of the BH army.

14 In such a case, Colonel, if we assume that all these facts are

15 correct, would you agree with me that they indicate that the Mujahedin

16 were elements outside the control of the 3rd Corps and Enver

17 Hadzihasanovic, as commander, took the essential and reasonable measures

18 required in order to solve this problem?

19 A. I'm aware from my conversations with BiH commanders - not with

20 Hadzihasanovic but with Merdan and others - that the conduct of the

21 Mujahedin, whoever they were and under whose -- under whatever command

22 they were, presented a difficulty for the 3rd Corps. I don't believe up

23 until I left in the middle of May that it would have made any military

24 sense for Hadzihasanovic to deal with the difficulty that we were

25 aware -- I was aware that the conduct of the Mujahedin presented, as he

Page 7553

1 needed all the combat power he could get, despite the problems that --

2 and ill-discipline of the Mujahedin.

3 However, I am reassured that you have said that once the position

4 had stabilised, that Enver Hadzihasanovic was able to reconcile that

5 situation and deal with the difficulties, both professional and legal,

6 that the Mujahedin's conduct presented to the 3rd Corps particularly.

7 And it would not surprise me, in my understanding of the commander of the

8 3rd Corps, that he would act in this way when the situation allowed it.

9 Q. So you would agree that what I have said is correct. They were

10 not under the command and control --

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Residovic, the Chamber is

12 getting impatient. How much more time do you need? Tell us. Otherwise,

13 we'll have to delay things for tomorrow, because I think your questions

14 touch upon questions that the other Defence team may have.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm almost done, Mr. President.

16 Q. So you agree with me that Enver Hadzihasanovic did take all

17 reasonable steps as commander in the way I have described.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team, how

19 many minutes do you need, please?

20 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, I do need 15 minutes to go through a few

21 questions that I have prepared.

22 [Trial Chamber confers]

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that we

24 need another 15 minutes and that perhaps Mr. Withopf may have some

25 re-examination, we will postpone the continuation of this hearing to

Page 7554

1 tomorrow.

2 Colonel, unfortunately the Chamber did its best to have you

3 released this evening, but unfortunately the questions did not allow

4 this. So we would like to ask you to come back tomorrow. The hear

5 willing begin at 9.00. If the Defence of General Hadzihasanovic has a

6 few more questions, I will give her the floor then.

7 Then, therefore, could Madam Usher accompany the witness out of

8 the courtroom, and we invite him to come back tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.

9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

10 [The witness stands down]

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, just a few

12 seconds. Could you tell us what you have planned for tomorrow. We have

13 the continuation of this witness's testimony. Do we have another witness

14 ready?

15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, yes, we have another

16 witness ready for tomorrow, namely the one who is scheduled for tomorrow.

17 And if you would allow me three to four minutes to address a number of

18 issues that are related to the witness schedule. I can also do it

19 tomorrow morning.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please continue,

21 Mr. Withopf.

22 MR. WITHOPF: Can we for this purpose please go into private

23 session.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, private session,

25 please.

Page 7555

1 [Private session]

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

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 7556












12 Page 7556 redacted, private session














Page 7557

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 7.13 p.m.,

14 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of

15 May, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.