1 Tuesday, 8 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
9 number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm turning to the Prosecution,
12 to the member of the Prosecution who is in the second row. You may take
13 the floor.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
15 Honours, counsel and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
16 Prosecution, Matthias Neuner, Stefan Waespi, Daryl Mundis and assisted by
17 our case manager, Andres Vatter.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
19 for Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. There seems to be a new
20 member too.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Good day,
22 Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic this afternoon,
23 Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Vedrana Residovic will be assisting me
24 today. She is our interpreter and someone who helps us with various
25 matters on the team. We also have our legal assistant here, Ms. Muriel
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. Bourgon. Could we
3 have the appearances for the other Defence team, please.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
5 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic and Nermin
6 Mulalic, legal assistant.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber would like to greet
8 everyone on the 179th day of this case. I would like to greet the
9 Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused and all those in the courtroom
10 and outside the courtroom who are helping us in our work. We'll continue
11 with the hearing of our witness today. I would also like to greet the
12 witness who is present and who had to stay overnight here as it wasn't
13 possible to complete his examination yesterday.
14 The Trial Chamber still needs to know or still has to decide
15 whether we will allow the Prosecution to ask the witness questions on the
16 basis of new documents. The Chamber deliberated about the matter
17 yesterday, and the Chamber believes that the Prosecution pursuant to
18 90(H)(ii) may put its questions to the witness and may show the document
19 under tab 6 to the witness. In this respect, the Trial Chamber would like
20 to point out that the document mentions the subject of relations with the
21 HVO, and this is a subject that has been addressed by the Defence when it
22 was examining the witness because in the Defence's binder, there is a
23 bundle of documents entitled relations with the HVO.
24 The Chamber also notes that a document dated the 24th, 25th of May
25 also refers to the witness and bears his signature. This is a document
1 that the witness could comment on.
2 The Prosecution may continue with its cross-examination. And I
3 would also like to point out that the Prosecution said they needed another
4 six minutes for their cross-examination. You may take the floor now.
5 WITNESS: EDIN HUSIC [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 MR. NEUNER: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Neuner: [Continued]
9 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Did you ever serve as 3rd Corps duty
10 officer in 1993, particular in the month of May?
11 A. I was duty officer on a number of occasions or part of the duty
12 team. I can't really say whether that was the case in May, but while I
13 was in the corps command, I would occasionally also perform such duties.
14 Q. Did this part of your duty entail authorising reports about the
15 daily situation on the battlefield, the relations with the HVO, and such
16 information would be sent, then, to the corps commander?
17 A. Yes. It was our duty to inform the superior command and submit
18 special reports to them, and it was also our duty to draft a report. I
19 think there was a book that we entered such records in but, yes, we did
20 have such a duty.
21 Q. Do you remember having made an entry in this book on the 24th,
22 25th of May, 1993, in which you informed that seven members of the
23 7th Mountain Brigade diffused a minefield in the Bila Valley and that the
24 HVO reacted to this attempt by firing shells on the villages of Mehurici
25 and Poljanice? Do you recall that incident or having made an entry about
1 that incident?
2 A. As I have said, there were so many things happening at the time I
3 can't remember that particular event. But if you have a report, if
4 there's a written document, I could recognise my handwriting and my
5 signature, and naturally I could comment on such a document.
6 MR. NEUNER: May I ask the Trial Chamber to grant me leave to show
7 this document to the witness, please?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
9 MR. NEUNER:
10 Q. Look at tab number 6. This is a new document which bears of ERN
11 number, for the record, 01809764-01809767.
12 If you please look at the first page, you find in the letterhead
13 or the upper-left corner the dates 24th, 25th May 1993. And on the second
14 page, on the right-hand side after the first paragraph, you find the
15 signature. Is that your signature, please?
16 A. I'm looking at the document number 1089764, and on the following
17 page, yes, that is my handwriting and that's my signature.
18 Q. If you stay on the first page and on the upper right-hand side you
19 see it is addressed to somebody.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
22 Trial Chamber has granted leave to show this document pursuant to
23 Rule 90(H)(ii). I think one of the conditions of this rule is that my
24 colleague establish the information he wants to verify through this
25 witness and why such information important to the Prosecution's case.
1 Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Prosecution -- could
3 the Prosecution tell us what the purpose of this question is?
4 MR. NEUNER: For the time being, I'm just trying to establish that
5 this is indeed a report written by him and that it was forwarded to the
6 3rd Corps Commander. This is a preliminary question. As I said yesterday
7 at the end of the day, later on it talks about the 7th Muslim Mountain
8 Brigade presence, and I just wanted to ask the witness whether based on
9 that information which he entered whether he has a recollection about
10 additional details which are maybe not mentioned here in this report. I'm
11 in a preliminary step at this moment.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 We still don't know what the importance of this information is,
15 the information that the Prosecution wants to confirm and what the
16 relation is with Rule 90(H)(ii). We don't see how this information might
17 support the Prosecution's case.
18 Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.
20 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 This is, we should not forget, a new document that has been shown
22 to the witness. It's a document that comes from the Sarajevo collection
23 which the Prosecution has had in their possession since 1998. So it's not
24 a document that they couldn't have used in their case. It's one that
25 they're using now for the first time. And it should be made clear
1 whether the Prosecution, in asking these questions, is seeking at this
2 stage to strengthen its case. I say seeking to do that. It may not end
3 up doing that, but if that's what they're trying to do, in accordance with
4 Your Honours' ruling, they cannot do that -- for that purpose. So that
5 matter should be made clear as well, Your Honour.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. According to the Trial
8 Chamber, this should not be a means of supporting or reinforcing the
9 Prosecution's case. 90(H), Rule 90(H) can only be used if a new document
10 is being shown or only applied because the Prosecution has elements in its
11 position that might cast doubt on an witness's testimony. It would have
12 been more useful to ask the witness whether, as far as he remembered, the
13 7th Brigade, in May, participated in an operation. And if the witness
14 said no, he could then be shown the document.
15 You are proceeding too rapidly, and this is why the Defence had
16 objections to make.
17 Having clarified that, please proceed because the witness is in a
18 position to comment on a document. But in future, what we follow this
19 procedure, it would be necessary to remind the witness of what his
20 testimony was and then confront him with the elements in your possession.
21 You have to go stage by stage. I know that both parties want to move on
22 rapidly, and this might have resulted in some confusion, but the Trial
23 Chamber does understand the reason for the objections, and the Chamber
24 also understands the Prosecution's purpose. We'll assess this matter
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution just wants to point out it's not its
3 intention to strengthen its case why are we tendering this document into
4 evidence. Quite the contrary, to refresh the witness's recollection about
5 the incident and ask him for additional details he might recall or for
6 some other explanations which he can give about the report he has written
7 on the 24th, 25th of May, 1993.
8 If I may continue.
9 Q. You stated that you didn't recall that particular incident. If I
10 may refresh your recollection by looking at your report, if you please
11 look at page 1 and section 3, which is entitled "Relations with the HVO."
12 And on the bottom of the B/C/S original of the first page, on the third
13 line above the bottom there is the word "HVO," a sentence starting with
14 the word "HVO." Can you please read out that sentence for the purposes of
15 the record?
16 And in the English text it's the first page, in the second line
17 from the bottom it says "The HVO reported," there.
18 Witness, if I may ask you to read that sentence out, please.
19 A. "The HVO reported that our forces had attacked the village of
20 Postinje, but the fact is that seven members of the 7th Muslim Mountain
21 Brigade set off to clear a minefield, after which the HVO fired two
22 82-millimetre mortar shells on the villages of Mehurici and Poljanice."
23 End of sentence.
24 Q. Having read this after such a long time, does this in any event --
25 in any way refresh your recollection about the incident?
1 A. No, it really doesn't.
2 Q. You're mentioning here that seven members of the 7th Muslim
3 Mountain Brigade are clearing a minefield, or in the translation which is
4 available for everybody in the courtroom, it says they defuse a minefield.
5 Do you understand what clearly or defusing a minefield means, and can you
6 enlighten us on this?
7 A. Well, what I wrote down is something that I believe was contained
8 in one of the unit's reports. Right now, I couldn't say what was meant by
9 this because I wasn't in a situation in which I could issue instructions
10 of any kind. If this is something that was done, I have no further
11 explanations for it. My task was to draft a report on the basis of a
12 report from a subordinate unit, and that is what I naturally did.
13 Q. I understand this. But since you have worked in the military for
14 such a long time, clearing or defusing a minefield, this is sort of
15 military language. Can you explain what that means, please?
16 A. Yes, I can. To defuse or clear a minefield means to disable it.
17 You can clear a minefield in a number of ways. It can be partial or
18 complete. Well, that's all I could say, but if you require any other
19 details, please say so.
20 Q. My only question is: Do ordinary soldiers have the ability to
21 clear a minefield or is there certain training necessary to clear a
23 A. When I was being trained, we were all trained to do this. As a
24 rule, one doesn't use ordinary soldiers for such a task, but naturally
25 it's very important that if you find yourself in a situation in which you
1 have to help yourself to survive, and this concerned all soldiers at the
2 lowest level, too, it was necessary to be sure that you could take action
3 to survive.
4 Q. There are three places mentioned here in the one sentence,
5 Postinje, Mehurici and Poljanice. Do you know whether these locations are
6 located in the Bila Valley?
7 A. No. I know that -- well, as far as Postinje is concerned, no, I
8 don't know. Poljanice and Mehurici, I know these places. They should be
9 in the area of the Travnik municipality, in the direction of Vlasic.
10 That's all I could say.
11 Q. You stated earlier that you had forwarded -- or you had served as
12 duty team officer for -- on numerous -- or on some occasions within 1993.
13 Here you're reporting about members of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade.
14 Do you remember reporting about members of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade
15 in the Bila Valley in 1993?
16 A. No. I couldn't remember such a detail. So many things happened
17 that it's difficult to remember. But since I did write the report -- as I
18 have said, we wrote reports on the basis of what we received in operations
19 centre. We received reports from all subordinate units in the operations
21 Q. One more last question --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Defence counsel.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
24 think there's just a mistake in the transcript. There as something
25 missing. The witness said on page 9, line 6, that he didn't know where
1 Postinje is. This is what I understood the witness to say and this has
2 not been entered in the transcript.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Could the Prosecution ask
4 the witness whether he knows where the village referred to is, because
5 it's not very clear.
6 MR. NEUNER:
7 Q. Witness, you ever heard what the Presiding Judge has said. I
8 could show you a map on which you could look for the location of Postinje
9 and try to identify it, or do you recall where the village of Postinje is,
10 whether it is in the Bila Valley or not. Let me ask this question first.
11 A. As I have already said, I do not know where the village of
12 Postinje is. If you're asking me that again, that's my answer. As far as
13 the other two villages are concerned, I said that Mehurici is near Vlasic,
14 and it was probably in the territory of Travnik municipality, and that's
15 probably the case for the other village, Poljanice or whatever the name of
16 the village was.
17 MR. NEUNER: With the leave of Your Honours, a map could be shown
18 to the witness. This is tab 7 of this binder.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Defence is on their
20 feet. I would like to remind you, before I listen to what you have to
21 say, that he was the duty officer in May. So perhaps he is familiar the
23 Mr. Bourgon.
24 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 The map is not problematic, but we want to know what the
1 Prosecution is trying to determine. What are they after? Perhaps if the
2 Prosecution put a direct question to the witness, but if we knew what the
3 Prosecution was seeking to establish, we might be able to save a lot of
5 Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second Defence team.
7 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps it would
8 be good to clarify something. The witness said he didn't know where
9 Postinje was located, and my colleague wants to show him a map that any
10 one can read, a map within which these places are marked, so I don't know
11 what the purpose of showing him this map would be.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I think that Mr. Bourgon's
13 comment is relevant. What is the Prosecution trying to establish, because
14 we are running around in circles, and I personally don't see where you're
15 trying to go, and I think that the Defence, who also wish to save time,
16 would prefer you to put a direct question to the witness, all the more so
17 in that you are allowed to put leading questions to this witness.
18 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, I have twice asked the witness whether
19 he knows where Postinje is, the location marked -- mentioned in the
20 document, and the witness has twice responded he doesn't know, and
21 certainly it is the aim of the Prosecution to establish the presence of
22 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade's members in the Bila Valley, and this map
23 could just enlighten Your Honours that indeed the second location,
24 Postinje, mentioned is indeed in the Bila Valley. That's all the
25 Prosecution tries to show.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the Prosecution's
2 objective is concerned, the Prosecution wants to have confirmation of the
3 presence of the 7th Brigade in the Bila Valley, and in particular in these
4 three villages. What would the Defence say about that?
5 Mr. Bourgon.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Mr. President, whether the witness recognises the map or not, he
8 said that he received information, a report he forwarded. We can't ask
9 whether a unit was in a certain location or not. He said what he could
10 say. I don't see what other information we could obtain from this
12 Thank you, Mr. President.
13 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, in addition to that, this document was
14 shown to the witness as a new document to seek to refresh his memory. He
15 has stated that the document doesn't remind him of any of these details
16 and in our submission the matter should therefore be at an end. He has
17 looked at the document and he can't say anything more about the document,
18 having looked at it purely to refresh his memory, and in our submission no
19 further questions therefore can be put to the witness on this topic.
20 Thank you, Your Honours.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has deliberated and
23 believes that the Defence of General Kubura is absolutely right when they
24 say that the witness should not be shown the map.
25 The Prosecution is invited to put another question instead of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 showing the map to the witness.
2 You have very little time left, Prosecution.
3 MR. NEUNER:
4 Q. Witness, have you ever heard of a location called Postinje, which
5 is located approximately one kilometre away from Maline and two kilometres
6 away from Mehurici, Poljanice?
7 A. I may have heard, but I don't remember. I have just seen the map.
8 I have spotted that place, but it really doesn't ring a bell.
9 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution has no further questions.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Neuner.
11 And now on to the Defence. I believe that they will have some
12 additional questions arising from the Prosecutor's question. If you have
13 any new documents or questions that do not arise from the Prosecution's
14 questions, then you can always ask the Chamber leave to ask such a
15 question to avoid any confusion.
16 Mr. Bourgon, you may proceed.
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 The Defence of General Hadzihasanovic does have a few questions to
19 put to the witness. I would like to send the excuses of my colleague who
20 started with the examination-in-chief of this witness yesterday, but she
21 could not be present today.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have noticed her
23 absence, and now you have explained why she couldn't be here.
24 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Re-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Husic. I have just a few questions for you
2 arising from the cross-examination of my colleague, and the first one
3 deals with the very last issue which was raised concerning de-mining.
4 Now, I would like to know from you your opinion to the following
5 situation: If you have minefield to defuse and you have no specialist to
6 do it within your unit would it be normal to call upon another unit which
7 is not in your territory to provide you such specialist if they have some?
8 A. Certainly. If my task was such or if I was in the middle of such
9 a mission and encountered a situation for which I did not have a
10 specialist on my team, then I would ask for assistance. In any case, I
11 would try to avoid using my own men for that.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Husic. With respect to questions which were asked
13 to you concerning your role as a duty officer within the 3rd Corps, I
14 would like to know to what extent you assess the information that you
15 receive before passing this information up the chain of command.
16 A. We did assess information, especially urgent information. The
17 information speaking of certain incidents which did not show the signs of
18 developing further, we just stated them for what they -- what they were.
19 It was not our duty to put additional make-up on what we received because
20 this would not have been real reporting.
21 Q. So what you did receive, good or bad, it was passed on the chain
22 of command?
23 A. Of course.
24 Q. My next question, Mr. Husic, deals with the difference between the
25 intelligence map and the map found in the office of General
1 Hadzihasanovic, a question which was put to you by my colleague. I would
2 like to know, would it be normal for all departments within the 3rd Corps
3 Command to have a map on which would be plotted the information that is
4 specific to their function? For example, artillery would have
5 artillery-related information, engineers would have engineer-related
6 information, logistics would have logistics-related information, and
7 intelligence would have intelligence-related information. Is that the way
8 it works?
9 A. I really can't say. This is what it should be. I believe that my
10 colleagues had similar maps in their offices. How much was marked on
11 those maps it is hard to say. For example, on our intelligence map, we
12 did not mark the positions of our reconnaissance units unless those were
13 engaged. And I'm primarily referring to the unit that was under our
14 direct command.
15 As for the other level, the level below us, we did not -- we did
16 not receive information as to where the reconnaissance units were engaged.
17 We were not duty-bound to receive that information.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Husic, in response to a question by my colleague, you
19 said that General Hadzihasanovic did not look at your intelligence map on
20 a regular basis because he had his own map. My question is would the
21 information on the map which was in General Hadzihasanovic's office, would
22 that be information at the operational level if not the strategic level
23 because that is his function?
24 A. The information on the map which I can't recall would consist of
25 the information on subordinate units. Obviously, such a map cannot
1 contain every little detail. Those maps would usually cover bigger areas,
2 and they would not lend themselves to a great detail. And yes, yes, this
3 would be at the operational and strategic level.
4 Q. And, Mr. Husic, how much time ahead does a corps commander have to
5 think and to view the events?
6 A. Your question is very difficult. In many situations, it depended
7 on the development -- developments on the ground. And since I was never
8 in that role and since I am still not trained or educated for that, it
9 would be very difficult for me to provide you with an expert response to
10 this question.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Husic. I appreciate your candidness.
12 Now, in response to a question by my colleague, you were talking
13 about listening on the radio in terms of gathering information, and what I
14 would like to know is what is the importance of having secure radio
15 communications in wartime?
16 A. It is extremely important.
17 Q. And my question, Mr. Husic, is did the 3rd Corps have such means
18 to secure its radio communications?
19 A. I don't think so. As far as I know, we did not have any special
20 device for encoding, and what we had was used together with some codes or
21 signals. We did not have a special device that would provide you with a
22 dedicated radio line. Those people who were trained and educated knew
23 that this was a source of information, although there was a lack of
24 discipline in using such devices. This was one of the advantages to,
25 say -- when it came to the collection of information.
1 Q. And my last question on this topic, Mr. Husic: The fact that the
2 resources of the 3rd Corps were lacking to secure its radio
3 communications, would that -- did that make the 3rd Corps especially
4 vulnerable when looking at intelligence service of the HVO gathering
5 information on the 3rd Corps?
6 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
8 MR. NEUNER: During the course of the cross-examination, I haven't
9 touched upon the technology used for intercepting radio communications as
10 such. This could have been well covered during the examination-in-chief
11 done by Ms. Residovic yesterday. This is certainly a new question which
12 didn't arise out of the cross-examination, which didn't touch radio
13 communications, devices to intercept communications. To my recollection,
14 there wasn't a single question asked about the equipment available by the
15 Prosecution's side.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that you understand
19 the objection. You should have asked for our permission for this
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 With all due respect for my learned friend's objection, we have
23 asked this question because he came here to talk about that. If the
24 Prosecution decided to ask questions for -- about the means of
25 interception, I don't see why I should not ask the question in order to
1 confirm their resources. But I will strike that and I will move on to my
2 next question.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, maybe I have
4 omitted to remind you that yesterday the Prosecution asked a question
5 about the interception or the listening-in communication. The Defence
6 says that they should be allowed this question because yesterday you asked
7 the question about the interceptions. They should be able to ask that
8 question. Do you remember? Do you remember that you did indeed ask the
9 question about the interception?
10 Mr. Bourgon?
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I don't have the page in front of
12 me, but we -- I remember that a document was shown to the witness, the
13 document that was talking about the psychological and electronic
14 propaganda, and the -- and the witness asked from his units additional
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You may proceed. You can
17 ask that question because it is in the interests of justice.
18 MR. BOURGON:
19 Q. Mr. Husic, I will say my question once again, and it goes always
20 follows: Considering the lack of resources within the 3rd Corps to secure
21 its radio communications, did that make it or make the 3rd Corps
22 especially vulnerable to the capture of information by the intelligence
23 services of the HVO?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Neuner, the question is as
25 follows: Considering the lack of resources within the 3rd Corps to secure
1 its radio communications, did that not make the 3rd Corps especially
2 vulnerable to the capture of information by the HVO intelligence?
3 What is your objection to this question which at first glance
4 seems to be of a rather technical nature? I'm listening.
5 MR. NEUNER: At first glance it seems to be of a technical nature
6 but the use of the word "vulnerable" is turning this rather neutral
7 question into a leading question. If the witness is of the opinion that
8 this is indeed so he can state it after being asked a neutral question.
9 This means of equipment - and again the Prosecution hasn't asked any
10 question about it - that this is vulnerable is, in the Prosecution's
11 opinion, a leading question.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're right there. They word
13 "vulnerable" may turn the neutral question into a leading question, but I
14 believe that Mr. Bourgon did that to save time.
15 Mr. Bourgon, go ahead.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Let me
17 just clarify my question.
18 Q. [In English] Just as an add-on to my question, did the lack of
19 resources make the 3rd Corps vulnerable more or less because of the lack
20 of resources?
21 A. Without all saying whether we were more or less vulnerable,
22 generally speaking if you lack such means as we lacked at the time, there
23 is a far greater possibility for your communication lines to be tapped
24 into. And even if you -- you use certain codes or signals that could have
25 different meanings, it is more probable that they could be used by the
1 enemy if the enemy gets hold of the tables with all these signals. Even
2 if you do have encryption systems and encoding systems and if you have
3 people that do the coding, then if these people are well trained, then it
4 is much better than if it is done by an individual. And that makes you
5 less susceptible to intercept by the HVO. And yes, we were much more
6 vulnerable, because we did not have any such means. We would have been
7 less vulnerable if we had better means, and the HVO would not have had
8 such a huge opportunity to collect data on us.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Husic. I'd like to move to another topic which is
10 that of psychological propaganda. My colleague asked you many questions
11 in relation to this form which was sent to all units to fill in and send
12 it either on a daily basis or on a weekly basis. I would just like to
13 know from you whether the following are examples of psychological
14 propaganda that you would like the units to report to the corps command.
15 The first example is the following: If the HVO knows that the
16 armija has received orders to react only in self-defence, would the HVO,
17 attempting to spread rumours that the ABiH as launched an attack in a
18 village to create confusion, is that an example of psychological
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
21 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, this is a leading question. My learned
22 colleague may try to ask the witness what he believes what psychological
23 propaganda may mean, but in putting such very detailed examples and
24 abstract and hypothetical examples to the witness, my colleague is leading
25 this way.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 I don't believe that this is a leading question. The witness is
3 the one who was in charge of the intelligence service, and he was the one
4 who designed the form that was sent to all the units, and it served for
5 obtaining information from the units amongst those information on
6 propaganda. Maybe that is fear that he will mention the Mujahedin, but we
7 just want to show the witness certain examples, three examples, and ask
8 him whether these are the examples of what was done by the psychological
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we give you
11 authorisation, can you give us the other two examples? You have said
12 three, and you have just given us the first one. Can you give us the
13 second and the third example?
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 The second example is the fact of spreading rumours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Neuner, we're going to take
17 a stance, but we want to be very clear on the examples before we decide
18 whether the witness may answer or not. We would like to know what
19 Mr. Bourgon wants to ask, but before that, let's ask the witness to leave
20 the room.
21 Usher, can you please accompany the witness out of the courtroom,
22 because we don't want the witness to hear what Mr. Bourgon is going to
23 read to us.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. The second
1 example and the third example.
2 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Very quickly the second example:
3 To spread rumours that a brigade of the 3rd Corps has accepted to be
4 placed under the HVO control in order to inspire the other brigades to do
5 the same and create a feeling of defeat.
6 The third example: All the false rumour that may affect the
7 morale of the soldiers of the 3rd Corps.
8 We believe that the three examples will serve for the witness to
9 say whether these are the examples of psychological propaganda.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall retire to deliberate.
11 --- Break taken at 3.12 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 3.13 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] About the three questions to be
14 put to the witness with regard to the problems of psychological
15 propaganda, the Chamber believes that the three questions to be put can
16 only prompt one sort of response and that it will be yes and that in that
17 sense, the questions are leading, which is forbidden in the course of
18 examination-in-chief or additional questions arising from the
19 cross-examination. You cannot ask these questions because the questions
20 are leading, and they are already suggesting a response.
21 Mr. Usher, can you please fetch the witness.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed, Mr. Bourgon.
24 You have the floor.
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. [In English] Witness, I have one last topic I would like to cover
2 with you. This has to do with a document, a new document, which was shown
3 to you yesterday by my colleague in relation to a meeting held by the
4 corps commander. Do you have this document with you?
5 A. Are you referring to the document C3, or are you referring to some
6 other document?
7 Q. The document, Mr. Husic, is -- bears the number, looking at the
8 version in Bosnian, it bears the number -- no. I just have the English
9 version here. The version in your language, yes, it is the document C3.
10 Sorry. I had another copy here. It is the document C3.
11 Now, my first question, Mr. Husic, is yesterday, you mentioned to
12 my colleague that you did not recall a specific comment that was made but
13 that you did recall attending this meeting. I would like you to turn to
14 your contribution to this meeting.
15 And in the English version, it is on page 7. And in Bosniak, it
16 would be on page 01814209.
17 Have you found your contribution to this meeting?
18 A. [In English] Yes, I did.
19 Q. Mr. Husic, I would like you to read for yourself your contribution
20 to this meeting and tell us whether you remember the specifics of the
21 comments you made on that occasion.
22 A. [Interpretation] I've read it.
23 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how much of your contribution to
24 this meeting you remember today, 12 years later?
25 A. I really don't remember this meeting. Having read what it says
1 here, "intelligence assessment," well, this corresponds to the situation
2 at the time. That's what I could say about that.
3 Q. Witness, can you tell the Trial Chamber how many times it was
4 possible for the corps commander to get all of his officers together for
5 such a meeting?
6 A. Not that often.
7 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber what is the purpose of a
8 meeting where the corps commander gathers all of his officers together?
9 A. Usually one makes detailed breakdown on the situation in order to
10 make the appropriate assessments as to what action should be taken or if
11 there are important things that all the commanders should be informed of,
12 and the staff by the commander. Well, these are the situations in which
13 such things would be done, but naturally this is only possible if the
14 situation is such that everyone can be present, and it wouldn't be
15 possible for everyone to be present very often.
16 Q. And what would be the contribution, Mr. Husic, of the corps
17 commander at such a meeting?
18 A. Naturally, he could issue certain orders or, rather, he could
19 continue to work on matters of importance regardless of whether it was
20 important at the level of the corps, but he could try to help certain
21 units, perhaps. Of course, usually it's impossible to take decisions at a
22 meeting if the subject isn't familiar to everyone, but naturally if the
23 commander has certain information that he received from the superior
24 command, in such cases he can inform us of that, because naturally the
25 others have no contact outside the sort of contact that is established in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 professional terms.
2 Q. And my last question, Mr. Husic, is there a reason why General
3 Hadzihasanovic at such a meeting also requested the presence of the staff
4 officers from the command to be present?
5 A. Yes. Of course it was important to monitor what was happening in
6 subordinate units. So, for example, at least from what I can see in the
7 proposal that I made, this was one of the aspects of the work that I had
8 to do. Very often intelligence officers were not working in ideal
9 conditions, so I would usually suggest that they be relieved of certain
10 duties so that they could pursue their work, because we had very limited
12 On the other hand, if commanders of subordinate units made certain
13 requests that they submitted to command and these requests had to do with
14 my work or the work of my colleagues, they were there to respond to these
15 requests immediately or to continue reviewing them.
16 Q. Mr. Husic, I just have one more question for you, and relates to
17 that type of meeting in the sense that was it the opportunity for every
18 commander and staff officer of the corps to lay everything on the table so
19 that we knew exactly where the corps was going at that time?
20 A. Yes. That was a possibility. It was possible to provide direct
21 information and refer to issues that were burdening either the commander
22 or us and also to refer to the situation in units or to refer to the work
23 that staff members were involved in.
24 Q. And, Mr. Husic, would there be any big secret issue that would not
25 be raised in a meeting such as this one if it affected the corps?
1 A. I don't believe there were any secrets there, and in any event,
2 this is not an appropriate way to operate. It's necessary for there to be
3 trust in wartime when it's impossible to hide oneself. So I don't think
4 that there were issues that could have been dealt with outside of this
5 framework if these issues concerned everyone.
6 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Husic. I have no further questions.
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the other
9 Defence team.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
11 have a few questions for Mr. Husic.
12 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Husic, you've been shown a document today, a
14 document that was discussed at length yesterday and today. It's a report
15 dated the 24th and 25th of May, 1993. You recognise this document as your
16 own document and you signed it. You know the document in question?
17 A. Yes. That's a report that I drafted as the head of the duty team.
18 Is that what you are referring to?
19 Q. Do you have that report before you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Have a look at item 3, "Relations with the HVO." Have a look at
22 the sentence that starts with the words, "The HVO reported that our forces
23 have attacked the village of Postinje." The source of the information for
24 your report was the HVO report; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I would also like to clarify something else, the clearing of
2 mines. Mine clearing was conducted by special units or engineer units in
3 all armies as a rule, and that was the case in the ABiH as well. Is that
5 A. Yes. In our case, the engineer unit did that. Perhaps in some
6 other armies the units involved in this work do not form part of the
7 engineer units.
8 Q. Would you agree that clearing mines is not offensive action in the
9 usual sense of the term?
10 A. Not in the usual sense of the term.
11 Q. This would be defensive action in a certain sense, and it would be
12 carried out without weapons.
13 A. You can carry weapons. I'm not a specialist, but in any event,
14 one wouldn't carry weapons that would prevent you from doing your job,
15 because it's very easy to make a mistake that could cost you your life.
16 Q. If you have a look at this document, and my colleague suggested
17 that they mentioned -- or that mention was made of Poljanice and Mehurici.
18 If you read the sentence to the end.
19 A. Yes. Should I read the sentence out?
20 Q. I can say it. "After the HVO acted and fired two shells on the
21 villages of Mehurici and Poljanice." That's what it says in the report?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Sir, the presence of the 7th Muslim Brigade in Mehurici and
24 Poljanice is not mentioned in the report. All it mentions is -- what it
25 does mention is quite different.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Yesterday in the course of the day, you said that you
3 were a duty officer in the ABiH 3rd Corps. You said that you were
4 interested in the enemy or, rather, the forces of the Republika Srpska
5 army and later in the HVO forces.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. My colleague tried to paraphrase the testimony of some witnesses
8 who have testified before this Tribunal, and I'd like to tell you that
9 according to our records, 13 officers have testified here from units that
10 were in the Bila Valley, and they confirm that the 7th Muslim Brigade did
11 not exist as an organised unit in the Bila Valley. My question is as
12 follows: Since you were an intelligence officer in the 3rd Corps, you in
13 fact had no knowledge about which ABiH units were deployed in the Bila
14 Valley; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions,
17 Mr. President.
18 Just a comment on the transcript. On page 27, line 25, it doesn't
19 say that the witness worked as an intelligence officer. Thank you very
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As far as I'm
22 concerned, I have a few technical questions I would like to put to you,
23 colonel. I would like to obtain certain information. That will be the
24 purpose of my questions. I'd like to have information about the way you
25 worked as a duty officer.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 24th of May, you were on
3 duty according to a document we had. You were a duty officer how often in
4 the 3rd Corps? What were the periods you were a duty officer, as far as
5 you can remember?
6 A. As far as I can remember, perhaps two or three times a month.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When you were on
8 duty, were you on duty 24 hours a day or three times? Did you have three
9 eight-hour shifts? How was your duty organised?
10 A. There was a team which was on duty. The team had a head. I could
11 also be assigned the role of the head or I could just be a member of the
12 team. Naturally, we were present, we were physically present around the
13 clock, but it wasn't possible to sit and work for 24 hours nonstop. So
14 there were certain shifts in the operations, and there was a period of
15 time during which you could rest, but if the situation was such, they'd
16 call you to come down to the operations centre.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the head of the team, we can
18 see that on the 24th and 25th of May, you were in the head of the team.
19 How many duty soldiers is the -- or duty officers -- how many duty
20 soldiers is the head of the team in charge of?
21 A. I can't remember exactly, but I think that there were three of us,
22 perhaps four of us.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to the report that
24 you drafted, and you must have it before you, this written report, could
25 you assist us and tell us whether this report was a summary of unit
1 reports which were written or was it based on the telephone conversations
2 that you had? Was it a summary of the telephone conversations that you
4 For example, I noted that in the report you mentioned a problem
5 that had to do with cigarettes, and this concerned the 309th Mountain
6 Brigade. It's paragraph 2 under "Our forces." You mentioned the issue of
7 cigarettes, and further down you said that MUP members had salaries of
8 over 50 German marks.
9 This information that you wrote down, was it information that you
10 had been provided with over the phone or did you receive this information
11 via documents that came from the units themselves? Could you clarify
12 this, because as a Judge, I would like to know what the source of your
13 information was.
14 A. Usually it was the duty of units to provide written reports to the
15 corps command. In this particular case, I couldn't say whether this
16 information was provided in written or oral form. I did not gather this
17 information. This unit probably provided the information, and it's far
18 more likely that the information was provided in written form.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And my last
20 question: Have a look at page 2 of your report. We can see your
21 signature there, and there's another signature next to it. Could you
22 enlighten us and tell us who the other person who signed your report is?
23 And I'm putting this question to you because in the following
24 pages there are other reports which have been signed a second time. One
25 has the impression that this report was checked by your superior or is
1 this the signature of one of your colleagues who was on duty? I don't
2 know, but could you tell us who signed next to your signature.
3 A. I assume, I can't be a hundred per cent sure, but I assume this
4 might be the signature of the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Corps Command at
5 the time, Mr. Mekic Murad. We signed the report as the operations duty
6 officer, and later the report would be examined, and as far as I can see,
7 the Chief of Staff would then sign it.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chief of the Main Staff of
9 the 3rd Corps would then read the report and sign it. Did he sign it as
10 soon as you had drafted it or did a period of time elapse before it was
11 signed? Because as you can see on the following day someone else was the
12 duty officer. He drafted a report which he signed and there is a similar
14 Did the Chief of the Main Staff check the duty officer's report
15 immediately, on the same day?
16 A. I believe so. It was our duty to take the book that we had, and
17 usually that would be in the morning. Usually two soldiers on duty would
18 take up their shift, but depending on the situation, they would exchange
19 the information that was necessary to be exchanged. But when this was
20 signed and when the reports were read, I don't know, because that was not
21 something that I was involved in.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Very well, are there any other questions that arise from the
24 technical questions that I have just put to the witness who was the duty
25 officer at the time? The Prosecution, no questions? Defence counsel?
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] No, thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second Defence team.
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Colonel, this
5 concludes your examination. I would like to thank you for having come
6 from so far to testify. You have answered all the questions put to you,
7 and I would also like to thank you for having answered the technical
8 questions I put to you about the role of the duty officer at the time.
9 On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish you a good trip home, and I
10 will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's quarter to 4.00. We'll now
14 have our technical break, our obligatory technical break. We'll resume at
15 about ten past 4.00. I believe we have a witness available for the Trial
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We do have a
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will resume at
20 about ten past 4.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume. I believe
24 that the witness that is scheduled now has to leave tomorrow. I would
25 kindly ask the Defence to stick to the time. You said is you would need
1 an hour.
2 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Actually, I will be as brief as possible. It certainly will not take more
4 than an hour, maybe even 45 minutes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then we are going to
6 deal with the documents tendered through the previous witness tomorrow.
7 We shall now have the witness, please.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Let me first
10 check whether you hear the interpretation of my words in your own
11 language. If that is the case, can you please say so.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called as a
14 Defence witness. Before you take the solemn declaration, can you please
15 give me your first name, your last name, the date of birth and the place
16 of birth.
17 THE WITNESS: I am General Roderick Cordy-Simpson. I'm a retired
18 general. I was born in England on the 29th of February, 1944.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, you were in
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina. What was your position at the time?
21 THE WITNESS: That is correct. I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
22 was Chief of Staff of the United Nations Protection Force.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified
24 before the International Tribunal or a national court with regard to the
25 developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina or is this, rather, the first time
1 you testify?
2 THE WITNESS: No. I have testified once before in the case of
3 Dario Kordic.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were you a Prosecution witness
5 or a Defence witness on that occasion?
6 THE WITNESS: I was a Prosecution witness.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Kindly read the text of the
8 solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
10 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may be seated.
12 WITNESS: RODERICK CORDY-SIMPSON
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you have already
14 testified in the Kordic case. Were you a protected witness or did you
15 testify in open court?
16 THE WITNESS: I testified in open court.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I know that you have
18 to leave tomorrow morning. That's why we don't want to waste any time.
19 We want to finish your testimony this afternoon.
20 Let me give you some information. You're going to answer the
21 questions of the Defence. This will last about 45 minutes. The
22 Prosecution seated on your right will conduct their cross-examination.
23 After that, the Defence may have some additional questions to put to you.
24 The Judges may also ask you questions at any time. You have taken the
25 solemn declaration which means you are not to give us false testimony.
1 This is more or less the information that I am supposed to give you before
2 I give the floor to Mr. Bourgon who is going to start his
3 examination-in-chief immediately.
4 Mr. Bourgon, you have the floor.
5 Examined by Mr. Bourgon:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Sir Roderick. I would like to start this
7 examination-in-chief rapidly by introducing the members of my team this
8 afternoon. We have had the opportunity of meeting but for the transcript
9 my name is Stephane Bourgon. I am accompanied this afternoon by Ms.
10 Vedrana Residovic and Ms. Muriel Cauvin, and together we represent General
12 Sir Roderick, I would like to begin by going over quickly your
13 career, and I will do so by leading you through your resume with the
14 consent of my colleague.
15 You are a career armoured officer who spent 35 years in the
16 British Armed Forces before retiring in 1998?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. During your career you have participated on numerous occasions to
19 international missions including in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus on a
20 United Nations deployment, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina where you
21 deployed twice in 1992-1993, and again in 1996-1997.
22 A. That is correct. I left at the beginning of 1998.
23 Q. During your career, you have commanded soldiers
24 A. That is correct. I left at the beginning of 1998.
25 Q. During your career, you have commanded soldiers at almost every
1 level, from the tank squadron, which is the same level as an Infantry
2 Company, to the armoured regiment, armoured brigade, and even at the
3 armoured division level where you commanded the first United Kingdom
4 armoured division composed of 25.000 regular force troopers.
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. During your career, you also occupied eye-level staff positions
7 such as Chief of Staff northern army group, an international force; Chief
8 of Staff British army of the Rhine, and of course Chief of Staff of UNBH
9 command in 1993.
10 A. That is also correct.
11 Q. Before you retired, you were a three-star general, to use a
12 well-known expression, and you were deputy commander of NATO forces in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. Finally, following this deployment you were given your knighthood
16 by the Queen, hence your right to be called Sir Roderick, and today you
17 are the national president of the British Veterans Association?
18 A. I have just finished as the national president after four and a
19 half years. But, yes, that is correct.
20 Q. Thank you very much, General. My first question this afternoon is
21 I would like you to explain your duties as Chief of Staff of the BH
22 command in 1992-1993.
23 A. The headquarters was established in a fair amount of hurry, and we
24 were given warning of it in September 1992. I was Chief of Operations at
25 northern army group at the time, and therefore had a formed headquarters
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 which I was able to use to take to Bosnia-Herzegovina when we deployed
2 within a month. I of course had to leave over a third of my headquarters
3 behind because they were German officers, and they were not allowed to
4 deploy for political and national reasons. But I had a formed
5 headquarters that allowed me to deploy fairly quickly into theatre.
6 The role that we were given and my duties, therefore, were to
7 assist the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jose Maria
8 Mendiluce from Spain and his people in distributing humanitarian aid
9 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in order to do that, we had to
10 establish some form of security in the area so that the unprotected
11 convoys of humanitarian aid could be moved freely within
13 Q. Thank you very much, General. Can you, for the benefit of the
14 Court, say who commanded the BH command and what was your relationship
15 between the commander and yourself?
16 A. General Philippe Morillon of France was my commander. General
17 Philippe established his headquarters quite rightly in Sarajevo where he
18 was close to the political forces that were at work at that time within
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He had only a very small headquarters, and I
20 established the main headquarters of BH command in Kiseljak, which is some
21 12 kilometres north of Sarajevo. It gave me a more secure environment in
22 which to operate, as we were a headquarters and not a fighting force, but
23 it did create obviously a problem in maintaining close communications with
24 my commander at all times. As a result, I used to travel into Sarajevo at
25 least three times a week so that I was able to discuss things with General
1 Philippe Morillon, hear his views, take his orders, and then return to my
2 own headquarters to implement the commander's requirements.
3 Q. Thank you, General. A quick question: What is the advantage for
4 a commander of having a strong headquarters or command element to perform
5 his duties?
6 A. Clearly the need to have a headquarters that reacts quickly in a
7 situation that is as volatile as it was in Bosnia-Herzegovina is
8 absolutely essential. Having a headquarters that can operate under such
9 pressure is of paramount importance. I was very lucky. I had a number of
10 officers that I knew well, a number of soldiers that I knew well from my
11 time in northern army group who I could rely on and trust, and they could
12 get the headquarters and implement my orders very quickly. It allowed me
13 also to integrate the new members of the staff which came from France,
14 Canada and Spain; in other words, the contributing nations that weren't in
15 the northern army group. I was allowed to get them into the headquarters
16 in a way that they quickly were able to adapt to their new
17 responsibilities. In other words, we were able to plug into the team
18 rather than everyone coming in from different areas trying to find out who
19 was good, who was weak, who wasn't.
20 Q. Thank you, General. Would it be responsible for you to name the
21 major players you dealt with with respect to the VRS, the HVO, and the
22 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. The major players that I dealt with on a very regular basis - in
24 other words at least once a week - would be General Gvero who was the
25 deputy commander of the VRS, with Colonel Tolimir who was his political
1 military advisor, Colonel Blaskic who later became General Blaskic, with
2 Colonel Kordic representing the HVO, and Colonel Siber who represented the
3 BiH. We knew them at that stage as the Presidency forces.
4 Q. General, do you know who was the commander of the 3rd Corps at the
5 time, and was he ever involved in meetings you attended?
6 A. Of course I know that the defendant was the commander of
7 3rd Corps, and I am 99 per cent certain that during my time in 1992-1993
8 I'd never actually met the defendant in Bosnia-Herzegovina or anywhere
10 Q. And I take it, General, what this you refer to the defendant, you
11 mean General Hadzihasanovic.
12 A. I mean General Hadzihasanovic, yes.
13 Q. General, could you elaborate as to what was the focus of your work
14 and mission in Central Bosnia in 1992-1993?
15 A. My main task, as I saw it at this time as, was to ensure that we
16 produced some form of plan that enabled the UNHCR to operate as freely as
17 possible in the tasks that they had been given of producing humanitarian
18 aid. My further task was to try -- and in order to achieve this, my
19 further task would be to try and create some form of ceasefire so that we
20 could achieve security in the area. So I was dealing very much on at one
21 stage the political side but also very much on the senior military side of
22 what was going on in Bosnia.
23 I was also responsible for ensuring that Zagreb and New York were
24 kept informed with everything that we were doing, answering a constant
25 stream of demands, normally in the middle of the night from New York, as
1 to what was going on, and trying to anticipate what was going to happen
2 next. Finally, there was inevitably a huge amount of outside political
3 demands from the contributing nations who wanted also to know exactly what
4 was going on.
5 Q. Thank you, General. Could you -- do you remember how many United
6 Nations battalions reported to the BH command at that time?
7 A. Yes. I had a British battalion, a Canadian battalion that was
8 coming in. It had some difficulties getting into theatre because the
9 Serbs made it quite difficult for us. I had a French battalion in
10 Sarajevo. I had a Spanish battalion based in Mostar. Also in Sarajevo I
11 had an Egyptian battalion and a Ukrainian battalion, and those in turn
12 answered to commander sector Sarajevo, who was initially an Egyptian
13 brigadier general but subsequently was a French general, and they in turn
14 answered to me at Kiseljak.
15 Q. Thank you, General. With respect to the British battalion, do you
16 remember who was its commander at the time, and if so, what was the
17 performance of this officer during this period?
18 A. Commander of the BritBat, as we knew it, with the 1st Battalion of
19 the Cheshires was Lieutenant Colonel Bob Stewart. This was an armoured
20 infantry battalion from Germany. They came into theatre slightly after I
21 got there in October and early November 1992. They had a huge area of
22 responsibility at the time because, as I explained, the Canadian battalion
23 arrived a bit late because the Serbs made it very difficult to get them
24 in, and therefore their area of responsibility was right the way from
25 Gornji Vakuf all along the Serbian front line at Jajce, Travnik, all the
1 way out to Tuzla and all the way up the central part of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the area that we are probably going to discuss today,
3 which was also extreme -- became extremely volatile.
4 The battalion performed extremely well under great pressure. They
5 took casualties. And Colonel Stewart commanded them excellently. And I
6 would add that at the end of the tour, I was responsible for writing the
7 citation for him that got him awarded the distinguished service order,
8 which is about the highest award for bravery in command that our country
10 Q. Thank you, General. Do you remember any significant events
11 involving yourself and Colonel Stewart in January of 1993?
12 A. Yes. We had a major incident in Central Bosnia when there was
13 considerable pressure and the alliance between the Bosnian forces and the
14 HVO was beginning to fall apart. There was the road that ran through
15 Gornji Vakuf down through Vitez and all the way past Kiseljak, Busovaca,
16 Kiseljak and on into Sarajevo had a little village called Kacuni in it,
17 and I think on the 25th of January, that road was cut with a roadblock.
18 I could not allow it to remain blocked because it was essential to
19 the UNHCR to bringing all our humanitarian aid into Central Bosnia and,
20 furthermore, into Sarajevo. It also was essential for the whole of the
21 United Nations troops for the freedom of movement that we needed not only
22 to get our own supplies in, fuel, ammunition, et cetera, but in order to
23 carry out our task. I therefore ordered Colonel Stewart to come from one
24 side, from the north in Vitez to unblock it. And I would go from the
25 south to unblock it so that we could meet at Kacuni.
1 Q. Thank you, General. Do you remember yourself travelling to Kacuni
2 checkpoint to solve this issue, and if so, why would you at your level of
3 command or position be involved in an incident in a local area?
4 A. First of all, we had no troops south of the roadblock.
5 Secondly -- other than in Sarajevo, which I would not have been able to
6 extract. Secondly it was, as I've explained, of such importance that I
7 had to get that block -- roadblock open, and so I did. Yes, I travelled
8 north that day in a Land Rover, and on the way we met a number of HVO
9 checkpoints, illegal checkpoints, I would add. Some of them told me to
10 stop and I told them I intended to go on. I was -- eventually one tried
11 to stop me and fired at me with an AK47 which he missed. I think he was
12 probably the worse for wear for drink at the time. And we drove on.
13 There were a series of other roadblocks across the road of trees
14 with mines on them, but we managed to negotiate our way around them until
15 we got to Kacuni itself where there was a large tree lorry, a lorry that
16 carries trees, across the bridge in Kacuni effectively totally blocking
17 the road.
18 I stopped there and got out. There was a bit of firing going on
19 from around in the hills, and I met up with Colonel Stewart beside the
20 road. His Warriors were on -- the Warrior armoured personnel carriers
21 were on the other side of the bridge, but we met up and we had a
22 discussion as to how we were going to get this place freed up.
23 Q. Thank you, General. And can you explain what happened? Did you
24 succeed in opening up the checkpoint, and what did you do afterwards?
25 A. We persuaded the people who were controlling the lorry that the
1 road was not going to stay closed any longer and that I needed to get the
2 Warriors through onto our side and that once we were through we would then
3 come back up the road going back north towards Vitez. One of reasons for
4 that is that the press had arrived from the north and were on the wrong
5 side of the roadblock. But another reason I really wanted was to get the
6 roadblock open.
7 After some negotiations, probably of about an hour, they agreed
8 that they would allow the roadblock to be removed and they would allow the
9 vehicles to come back north later on.
10 I then proceeded south with Colonel Stewart and the press vehicles
11 that were on the wrong -- had been on the wrong side of the roadblock, and
12 we proceeded south to a little village just north of Kiseljak called
13 Podzivinisku [phoen], which is where the press were based. I then stopped
14 there and told them that they had now got back to their base and were
16 I then told Colonel Stewart that he was to return north and was to
17 make sure that he was to go to 3rd Corps and make the necessary
18 arrangements to have a ceasefire by 6.00 the next morning and that the
19 roadblock at Kacuni was to be lifted and he was to replace it with his own
20 vehicles, if necessary. I would go on to Kiseljak, which was only about a
21 half kilometre away anyway, and I would go and see Colonel Blaskic and get
22 a ceasefire from him.
23 I proceeded into Kiseljak and met up with Colonel Blaskic and had
24 two meetings with him that afternoon and evening and told him that I
25 required a ceasefire by 6.00 tomorrow morning and that I, he, and
1 representatives of the 3rd Corps were to meet up at my headquarters in
2 Kiseljak at 10.00 the next morning so that we could formalise a ceasefire.
4 Q. Thank you, General. And the meeting you are talking about for the
5 26th of January, did it take place, and if so, can you describe what you
6 recall from this meeting?
7 A. Yes. I recall it very clearly. It did take place at 10.00.
8 Colonel Stewart arrived with Colonel Merdan, who was a deputy commander of
9 3 Corps. General Blaskic arrived with his political advisor and one other
10 person who I don't recall but was there with him but didn't come into the
11 room. I believe that Patrick Russell from the ECMM was also present at
12 that meeting. There were of course interpreters as well.
13 We had a fairly long meeting about a major -- all the various
14 issues that we could, and we were making slow but nevertheless good
15 progress towards creating the necessary trust that was needed to get a
16 ceasefire signed.
17 At some moment about three hours later, the third man that I
18 referred to from the HVO contingent burst into the room that I was
19 conducting the meeting and gave Colonel Blaskic a piece of paper which he
20 read and said that his people were -- some of his people were being
21 massacred at a village which name I no longer can recall and that the
22 meeting, therefore, was -- he could not go on with the meeting any longer
23 and that he would now have to go away and investigate this.
24 I have to say that I clearly realised that the meeting was at an
25 end and there was no ceasefire signed, but I was also aware that the man
1 that had come in with the piece of paper had had no access to outside
2 information as he was inside my headquarters, and therefore I suspected
3 that it had been prearranged.
4 I told Colonel Blaskic that I expected him to return the next day
5 without fail at 10.00 and it was a matter of his duty to do so. I told
6 Colonel Merdan that he was to go and between now and 10.00 the next
7 morning to investigate the claims of Colonel Blaskic and report back to me
8 the next day at 10.00 but that I intended that this meeting would go ahead
9 without fail the next morning.
10 Q. Thank you very much, General. The next meeting the following day,
11 did it take place, and if so, can you describe the context in which this
12 meeting took place?
13 A. Yes. It took place at 10.00, as I had directed. Colonel Merdan
14 returned with Colonel Stewart. Patrick Russell from the ECMM was also
15 there. (redacted)
16 (redacted), and Colonel
17 Blaskic and his political advisor also came.
18 In order to ensure that no more outside influence happened to my
19 meeting ordered the Danish security guards at my headquarters that no one
20 was to be allowed in or out of my headquarters without my authority. Over
21 the next few hours - and I can't remember exactly how long - we
22 painstakingly went on with the meeting towards a ceasefire.
23 Colonel Merdan started by telling us what he had done in order to
24 ensure that the -- to investigate what had happened the previous day, and
25 he came in with a report that satisfied me that he had at least
1 investigated it to the best of his ability in the very limited time that I
2 had given him. It presumably satisfied Colonel Blaskic also, as he agreed
3 to stay on at the meeting, and we progressed slowly but surely towards a
4 signed ceasefire.
5 We eventually got to the agreement and the ceasefire was signed.
6 Almost immediately afterwards, another man appeared saying that Fojnica
7 and Busovaca were in flames, whereupon --
8 Q. I'm sorry I think I need to interrupt you. I believe the
9 Presiding Judge would like to intervene.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please have
11 a redaction on page 45, line 9. The name of the witness is mentioned
13 You may proceed.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, this is
15 my mistake.
16 Q. The matter is simply that some person mentioned did testify but
17 not in open court, and we needed to remove the name of this person from
18 the transcript. Please, can you resume describing what happened
19 immediately following the signature of this agreement on the 27th of
21 A. Yes. The -- there was a third person from the HVO delegation who
22 immediately said that Busovaca and Fojnica were in flames. Blaskic
23 immediately said that the agreement was off, but I held him there because
24 I was able to prove that Fojnica was calm. It was by pure luck that a
25 brigadier coming, a British officer, had just come from Fojnica and told
1 me that the whole town was totally calm. In fact, it was market day. I
2 was able to ring up the Dutch-Belgian transport company in Busovaca, who
3 were based there, and they confirmed that Busovaca was totally calm.
4 I was able, therefore, to say to Colonel Blaskic that his
5 information was totally false, and at that moment I then put him with
6 Colonel Merdan in front of the television cameras and the newspaper
7 reporters to say that they had agreed a ceasefire.
8 Q. Thank you very much, General. Did you obtain any further
9 information concerning those allegations made about Fojnica and Busovaca
10 later on?
11 A. Yes. About an hour later, the Dutch rang from Busovaca to say
12 that one house had been torched in Busovaca, but it was a Muslim house,
13 but that it happened considerably after the person had interrupted our
14 meeting in Kiseljak. So it was not directly connected.
15 More importantly, I was rung up at that moment by the military
16 assistant, I think, to Lord Owen who was in Geneva saying that Mate Boban
17 who was the political leader of the HVO in Geneva had announced that
18 Busovaca and Fojnica was in flames and therefore he was not proceeding
19 with the Vance-Owen Peace Agreement in Geneva. I was able to confirm to
20 him that it was not true and I could prove that it was not true. At the
21 same time, the BBC told me that Serbian Belgrade Radio was reporting that
22 Kiseljak was in flames, which they were picking up over their net, and I
23 was able to tell them also that it was not true.
24 It seemed to me there was a major disinformation campaign going on
25 at this particular moment, at this critical moment in Geneva to try and
1 persuade the world that the Bosnian forces were attacking against the HVO
2 forces and to derail the Vance-Owen Peace Plan in Geneva.
3 Q. Thank you very much, General. Now, do you see a link between this
4 disinformation campaign and the actions of the HVO during the meetings of
5 the 26th and 27th January --
6 A. Yes, I --
7 Q. -- along with the policy of the HVO?
8 A. Yes. I'm quite convinced that Colonel Blaskic did not intend to
9 sign an agreement and get a ceasefire in Central Bosnia. It was not in
10 the interests of the HVO, who could see that opstinas 8 and 10 were
11 critical to their future, and they were at that moment being discussed in
13 At the same time by the constant allegations of attacks in
14 Busovaca and Fojnica, they would be felt that they would be seen by the
15 world as the victims at the particular moment.
16 Q. General, I'm sorry, I have to repeat my question. I think you do
17 not have to answer question, but at line -- page 47, line 25, my question
18 was not on the transcript, and my question was whether you saw a link
19 between the disinformation campaign, the actions of the HVO during the
20 meetings of the 26th and 27th January and the HVO policy.
21 I now move on to my next question, General, and I would like to
22 know if during the meeting of the 27th January, the second meeting,
23 whether you remember setting up some kind of a commission during this
25 A. Yes. In order to maintain -- to monitor the ceasefire that we had
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 got, I set up a joint commission. I placed it under the leadership or
2 direction of the ECMM, who were based in Busovaca. I did so because, one,
3 they were based in Busovaca, which was the centre of where the problem
4 was; secondly, they had excellent communications and knew the area very
5 well. They had good radios, good equipment, good vehicles; thirdly, the
6 British battalion was fully stretched at that time in Gornji Vakuf, along
7 the confrontation line, in throughout their area of responsibility.
8 I insisted that the ECMM had with them a representative of the HVO
9 and a representative of 3rd Corps in order to give impartiality to the
10 commission, and I ordered them to -- that their task was to investigate
11 any complaints, go to any tension points to try and defuse them, and to be
12 able to report back to me within three days, I think it was, by the
13 Saturday, that they were to come back -- to report back how much they had
14 found, how much they were able to defuse so that we would then be able to
15 get a much more formalised agreement signed.
16 Q. Thank you, General. Now, the ceasefire negotiated on the 27th,
17 was it respected by the parties?
18 A. Fundamentally, yes. There were a huge number of never-ending
19 allegations of violations of it. Most of them were unfounded, and the
20 commission was able quickly to investigate them and prove them unfounded.
21 Some of them were almost certainly instigated by the HVO, but
22 fundamentally the ceasefire held during that period.
23 Q. My next question, General, deals with the meeting you -- or not
24 the meeting but you referred to the meeting of 30 January for the
25 commission to report. Do you know if such a meeting took place on
1 Saturday, the 30th of January?
2 A. Yes, it did. It took place in Vitez. I ordered Colonel Stewart
3 to lead it and to take forward and get a more formalised agreement with
4 both 3rd Corps and the HVO and to tidy up any details that we had
5 obviously missed three days before and as a result of what the joint
6 commission were reporting. I didn't do it myself because by now it was
7 firmly down at that level, and in addition, Sarajevo was going very sour
8 on us at this time and there was a considerable amount of fighting going
9 on in and around Sarajevo, and certainly we lost three French troops at
10 about that time, and I had to get my focus down there. In addition also,
11 there was a major troop contributing nations meeting about to take place
12 which I would have to represent BH command.
13 Q. Thank you, General. Now, do you know if this meeting chaired by
14 Bob Stewart, whether it led to further developments in respect of the
15 signing of ceasefire agreements?
16 A. Yes, it did. We then realised that we had the basis to take
17 matters further forward, but in order to do so, we had to involve both
18 1st Corps as well as 3rd Corps, and since it was now at that level, we
19 needed to give it even more publicity and strength, and General Morillon
20 decided to chair the meeting on the 1st of February, which again took
21 place in Vitez, and General Morillon - I remember speaking to him on his
22 way back down again from the meeting - I know had a successful meeting
23 there and was able to develop the way forward for these two -- for both
24 sides in this conflict.
25 Q. Thank you, General. Let me move on to a continue topic. I would
1 like to know whether you are familiar with the term "Mujahedin."
2 A. Yes, of course I'm aware of the subject of the Mujahedin, and they
3 were quite of lot spoken about during my time in Bosnia.
4 Q. Do you know whether Mujahedin were actually present in Central
5 Bosnia during your tour?
6 A. Of course there were huge allegations non-stop from the HVO and
7 the Serbs that Mujahedin were operating in Bosnia during this period. I
8 have no evidence that I ever saw a Mujahedin force at any stage, nor did I
9 ever have a report from any of my subordinate commands that they had seen
10 Mujahedin organised forces in their area of responsibility. Of course we
11 did get reports of foreign armed individuals being seen, but most of the
12 information we came to came from both the Serbs and the HVO to us rather
13 than from our own forces.
14 Q. Thank you, General. When did you leave Bosnia in 1993, and where
15 did you spend the next step in your career?
16 A. I left in April 1993, and I had a week's leave, and then I went
17 straight to Vincenza in northern Italy, to the headquarters of 5 Allied
18 Tactical Air Force, because by now the no-fly zones had been imposed by
19 New York. The humanitarian air drops were happening, and it was essential
20 that the NATO Air Forces had some idea what really was going on on the
21 ground in Bosnia so that we weren't facing the potential of a blue on blue
22 of our own forces being attacked, and to ensure that the air commanders
23 knew exactly where the front lines were and exactly where the food drops
24 were needed. And I therefore established a tiny liaison group for four
25 months. And I say tiny - there were only four of us - at Vincenza with
1 5 ATAF.
2 Q. And, General, did you continue within those four months to monitor
3 the events in Central Bosnia, and if so, what type of information did you
4 gather during this period?
5 A. Yes -- I apologise. Yes. I was in constant touch with Sarajevo
6 and Kiseljak. I received there daily sitreps so I knew what was
7 happening, and I was therefore able to brief the NATO air generals what
8 was going on on the ground from what I was receiving from Sarajevo and
10 Q. And during this period, General, were the Mujahedin an important
11 issue in the information you were getting concerning the conflict in
12 Central Bosnia?
13 A. Not during this time, no.
14 Q. General, I understand from your resume that in 1996 you returned
15 to Bosnia for a second tour. Can you explain which position you held at
16 that time?
17 A. I was the deputy commander of SFOR, the NATO implementation,
18 standardisation -- sorry, Stabilisation Force. I was the deputy commander
19 to an American four-star general, and as such I was in charge of NATO
20 operations in Bosnia.
21 Q. Did you during the period that you held this position, General,
22 obtain any information about Mujahedin?
23 A. Almost none about the Mujahedin as a military force. Because
24 under Dayton, of course, they were -- no outside forces were allowed to be
25 inside Bosnia.
1 I had one occasion when I was discussing the case with the Turkish
2 brigade commander in Zenica. He said that there had been a few incidents
3 in the summer of training camps for children up in the hills which
4 disturbed him as they were being conducted by what he described as Muslim
5 fundamentalists. He had said that he was very keen to disrupt them and to
6 get rid of them. And since he was a man that I had great faith in as a
7 military man and himself was a Muslim, I assumed, therefore, that it was
8 therefore quite a small operation on which he was very much on top of.
9 Q. Thank you, General. You mentioned the Turkish brigade, if I look
10 at page 52, line 21. Can you explain what a Turkish brigade was doing in
11 Zenica at the time?
12 A. Yes. We -- I think we had 35 different battalions in theatre
13 under command at that time, one of which was a Turkish -- quite small, but
14 a Turkish brigade. It was responsible for a fairly large area of
15 operational responsibility in Central Bosnia, answerable through MND north
16 at that time; in other words, the American division to us in Sarajevo.
17 Q. So am I right in saying, General, this was a United Nations
19 A. No, it was not a United Nations brigade. It was a NATO brigade
20 under command of a NATO command.
21 Q. Thank you, General. Now, I just have a few more questions for
22 you. Are you familiar with a document called milinfosum or military
23 information summary?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. Did you see such documents in 1993 and while -- and if so, what
1 did you do with this document?
2 A. Yes. Each battalion produced its milinfosum daily into
3 headquarters in Kiseljak. My staff would look at them. They would
4 produce a summary which I would see.
5 Q. And may I ask, General, what is your assessment of the reliability
6 of the information you found in milinfosums in 1993?
7 A. I think you've got to understand from the start that the United
8 Nations is a totally unbiased organisation that has -- takes no side in an
9 operation. As such, the gathering of military intelligence is an anthema
10 to it, and it is not allowed to have intelligence-gathering capabilities,
11 certainly not at that time in 1992.
12 Therefore, we were not in the game of actively producing military
13 intelligence. Therefore, we would produce milinfosums which would report
14 anything that was given or heard or seen by anyone, much of it purely
15 reported speech. It helped building up the overall picture of what was
16 going on in theatre, but it was information. It was not intelligence.
17 And I must emphasise it was not intelligence because it had not been
18 corroborated in any way whatsoever. It was, therefore, of limited value
19 as a document, and it was up to my military judgement as to how much
20 emphasis I put on what was in the milinfosums or not.
21 Q. Thank you, General. In the -- based on your experience, do you
22 believe that the HVO was aware that there was no real intelligence
23 gathering going on in 1993?
24 A. I think all three sides were well aware that we were not in the
25 active game of intelligence gathering. They therefore, all three of them,
1 used our position to feed us with as much information as they could,
2 knowing that it would probably appear in the milinfosums and some of it
3 would stick and some of it wouldn't.
4 Q. General, do you see a difference between the situation report or
5 the exceptional assessments produced by BH command in 1993 and mil
6 information summaries?
7 A. Yes. The situation report was a factual document. The one that
8 went out from BH command each day would be signed by myself and would go
9 to Zagreb and would go to New York and was therefore very carefully
10 produced and would hopefully only have real military information in it.
11 The military information summaries were there to try and aid us in
12 building up an overall picture of what was going on in theatre but was not
13 confirmed fact.
14 Q. Thank you, General. You mentioned at the beginning the issue of
15 Sarajevo and especially that at some point things were getting sour in
16 Sarajevo. Can you explain for the benefit of the Trial Chamber what the
17 situation was in Sarajevo at the time and the impact on this situation on
18 the conflict as a whole?
19 A. Yes. It -- Sarajevo was the focal point of everything that was
20 going on, as far as the world was concerned, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
21 fighting was normally fairly intense. I can hardly remember many days
22 when there was not sniping, shootings of some form or other going on in
23 Sarajevo. The roads were regularly cut, the airport was regularly
24 shelled, and everyone was looking at Sarajevo. Whether that was what was
25 intended we probably failed to understand at the time, because while the
1 Serbs were attacking Sarajevo, the world's press and everyone else was not
2 looking elsewhere, at some of the ethnic cleansing and attacking that was
3 going on in other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. While everyone was focused
4 on Sarajevo, probably some people were not watching with much care what
5 was going on in certain other parts of Central Bosnia, in Gornji Vakuf and
6 the likes, Turbe, Travnik, Tuzla, et cetera, all of which were suffering
7 pretty badly.
8 I believe in retrospect, and I failed to see it at the time, that
9 it was probably to many people's advantage to keep the eyes of the world
10 on Sarajevo. Certainly to the Serbs it was. Probably to the Croats it
11 was because it didn't directly affect them, and to a lesser extent in some
12 ways I believe it also was to the BiH as well.
13 Q. Thank you, General. I only have two more questions, and the first
14 one is could you provide your opinion on the situation in which the army
15 of Bosnia and Herzegovina 3rd Corps in Central Bosnia, what situation it
16 was in and especially the challenge faced by its commander due to the
18 A. Yes. I mean, they were a new corps of various disparate units
19 facing an enormous challenge. The first challenge of course was a major
20 attack from the north by the Serbs, the Bosnian Serbs, all down from
21 Travnik, Turbe, Jajce, all that area there.
22 The second challenge they faced was that they were, of course,
23 isolated in Central Bosnia. The Serbs had interior lines of communication
24 back to Belgrade to keep -- to Serbia to keep themselves resupplied. The
25 HVO also had interior lines of communication to keep themselves resupplied
1 from Croatia with food, people, weapons, et cetera.
2 The 3rd Corps had no such advantages. In fact, they had every
3 disadvantage. They were cut off. Food, ammunition, weapons once used or
4 lost could not be replaced. Therefore, in every way they had a major
5 military disadvantage over the other two factions involved in this
7 In addition, unlike my headquarters who arrived on the ground
8 trained, people knowing each other, they had no such advantage having not
9 had a proper corps before.
10 Q. What kind of challenge would that place, General, on the commander
11 of the 3rd Corps?
12 A. I would suggest to you it placed an enormous challenge on him and
13 one that I certainly wouldn't have like to have placed on my shoulders.
14 Q. My last question is one that deals based on your substantial
15 command experience. I would like to know, General, if you see a
16 difference between the responsibilities of a battalion commander and the
17 responsibilities of a corps commander towards soldiers and how much of a
18 personal involvement do each of those have.
19 A. Yes. It is my belief that battalion command is the last time an
20 officer will directly influence how his soldiers perform on the
21 battlefield. He is responsible. He is the man they see, and he can will
22 them to fight better than any other person in the battalion.
23 Once you become a brigade commander or a divisional commander or a
24 corps commander, that direct influence is lost. As a brigade commander
25 you tell your battalion commanders what you require them to do, but you
1 cannot permanently influence the individual soldiers within that battalion
2 to fight harder, fight better, or anything else. Certainly when you
3 become a divisional commander, you have totally lost that ability to
4 influence the battle of how people fight, and as a corps commander, you
5 are way above that. You are directing the battle at the high tactical, I
6 would put it, level, but you are not directly influencing how soldiers
7 fight on the ground at that particular moment.
8 Q. And in your view, General, what should a corps commander do to
9 prevent violations from happening, bearing in mind what you just said as
10 to what he can and cannot do?
11 A. He can only lay down to his battalion commanders, or in the case
12 of a corps commander to his divisional commanders and his brigade
13 commanders, how he wishes operations to be conducted and on what sort of
14 code of behaviour. Having passed that information, he must either expect
15 that his subordinates will carry out his orders, or if he finds subsequent
16 that they haven't carried out his orders, then he must order an
17 investigation into why that has not happened. But he cannot influence the
18 individual actions of soldiers on the ground at a particular moment in
20 Q. Thank you, General. I have one last question and one name that
21 did come up during your testimony is that of Blaskic. Could you provide
22 your assessment concerning Blaskic, and I would like you -- to refer you
23 to a specific incident which is commonly known as the potato incident.
24 A. Colonel Blaskic and myself knew each other very well. I met him
25 regularly at the Mixed Military Working Group. I met him regularly in and
1 around Kiseljak, and I respected him as a hard and tough soldier. He
2 clearly had a political agenda around this period in January 1993, and
3 I've referred to that throughout.
4 The potato incident is possibly slightly amusing. Sometime in
5 early 1993, Blaskic came to see me and he said, "I have" -- I can't
6 remember if it was three or four lorry loads of potatoes which he needed
7 taking to his people in Busovaca, which were starving, and he was worried
8 that the BiH forces would intercept his trucks and steal the potatoes and
9 would I give a UN Protection Force to see it through to Busovaca. He
10 persuaded me that his people in Busovaca were starving and that I had to
11 get this convoy through.
12 I somewhat reluctantly agreed because it was not my job to
13 effectively take food through for the warring factions. At the last
14 minute I ordered my headquarters staff to transfer all of the potatoes
15 from Colonel Blaskic's lorries onto UN lorries. In doing so, we found a
16 large number of hand grenades, quite a number of RPG 7 anti-tank rocket
17 launchers, and a vast quantity of small arms ammunition in amongst the
19 I was all for naming and shaming Colonel Blaskic for the incident,
20 but my commander General Morillon, being more subtle than I was, decided
21 that we would not name and shame him, but we would [Realtime transcript
22 read in error "hit"] let him know very clearly that we knew what he had
23 done and that if he stepped out of line again we would not be so lenient
24 with him, and that is what happened.
25 Q. Thank you very much, General. I have no further questions.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That's
2 the end of my examination.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will now give the floor to
4 Mr. Kubura's Defence team.
5 Mr. Dixon.
6 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Mr. President. We have no questions at
7 this time for the witness. I'm grateful.
8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. President.
9 There's an error in the transcript. On page 59, line 15. The witness
10 said -- I don't believe that that was General Morillon's intention or
11 General Cordy-Simpson's intention. I don't think it was the intention to
12 hit Blaskic.
13 Q. Look, General, at page 59 that is at line 15 and it says "decided
14 that we would not name and shame him but we would..."
15 A. Yeah. There's something wrong there. Be more subtle than I was.
16 Decided that we would not name and shame him but we would let him know
17 very clearly that we knew what he had done and if he stepped out of line
18 again we would not be so lenient with him. And that is what happened.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll give the floor
21 to the Prosecution now. Then I should point out that we'll be having our
22 technical break at 5.40.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:
25 Q. Good afternoon, General. I would just like to go over a few
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 points you discussed with my learned colleague Bourgon, and I will be
2 referring a couple of times to your testimony in the Kordic case.
3 MR. WAESPI: And just for your reference, Mr. President, the
4 witness testified in the Kordic case on 4th of August, 1999.
5 Q. Just on the last issue about Colonel Blaskic at that time, I
6 believe you testified in Kordic that you generally trusted Blaskic except
7 for that one occasion being the potato incident; is that correct?
8 A. Yes. That is fundamentally correct.
9 Q. And another quote from the Kordic case, you were asked the
10 following question: "On a more general level, did you find in your five
11 months in Central Bosnia that it was routine for fanciful claims to be
12 made on the part of each one of the three competent ethnic factions?"
13 Probably component ethnic factions. And your answer was: "Without any
14 doubt, yes. Exaggeration was all part of the game for propaganda
15 reasons." Would that be a fair assessment of your opinion at that time?
16 A. Yes. That would be a fair assessment.
17 Q. Let me go into the Mujahedin issue, and I would like to start with
18 an incident which took place very, very early on in your detail in Bosnia.
19 Do you remember that on the 29th of October, Colonel Blaskic had
20 informed General Morillon - and I paraphrase the information - that there
21 was growing infiltration of Mujahedin mercenaries posing as journalists on
22 diplomatic passports saying that there were some 3.000 to 4.000 of them
23 having joined Muslim fighters and being protected by diplomatic immunity?
24 Do you remember that? I believe you were also asked in Kordic about that
1 A. The answer is, yes, I do remember the [Realtime transcript read in
2 error: "ak case"] accusation. I was not with General Morillon on that
3 particular day because that was also the day that Jajce fell and I was
4 further north. But, yes, I remember saying it and the transcript coming
5 from Morillon's forward headquarters.
6 Q. And I believe in the Kordic case when presented with the Morillon
7 report, you said: "It was a constant theme of the Croat delegation," and
8 you continued, and then you said: "There was clearly some evidence that
9 there were some Muslim fighters from Arabic countries in Bosnia, although
10 I have to say the figure of up to 4.000 was probably -- we had little
11 evidence to bear such a high figure out." And that's in your Kordic
12 transcript at pages 6197 to 98. Would that still be your evidence today
13 somewhat later than in 1999 when you testified in Kordic?
14 A. Yes. Remember I did say there was some evidence of Muslim
15 fighters from Arabic countries, evidence, although no figure to bear out
16 such a high figure as that. I would repeat that seeing individual
17 fighters around does not, in my opinion, point to the fact that there are
18 large foreign bodies of Mujahedin in the country.
19 Q. Now, I would like to show you a document, in fact it's a Defence
20 exhibit, and I believe it originates from BH command. It dates
21 7th January, 1993.
22 MR. WAESPI: And, Your Honours, I would like perhaps first to give
23 you the proposed exhibits for this witness. And the document I would like
24 to show to the witness is tab 8. And that will be for the record DH0545,
25 7th January.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.
2 MR. DIXON: While the documents are being handed out, I just
3 thought as there's a break, if a clarification to the transcript could be
4 made, Your Honour. That's at page 61, line 18. It's recorded, the
5 answer: "Yes, I do remember the ak case," in the English transcript. In
6 fact, the witness said: "I do remember the accusation." That's the
7 accusation being made about the numbers of Mujahedin. If that could just
8 be corrected for the transcript.
9 Thank you, Your Honours.
10 MR. WAESPI:
11 Q. Now, sir --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. WAESPI:
14 Q. I take it you are familiar with this document, at least the
15 format, and I believe it even says information within the -- COS I take it
16 that's Chief of Staff. So you would have been privy to this information;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Yes. I'm trying to find out what page you're referring to at the
20 Q. I'm sorry. I apologise. It's tab 8.
21 A. Yes. I've got the page now.
22 Q. And you see info it says COS, Chief of Staff.
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. I guess that would be you?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Now, I'm interested in just the bottom of this document under B.
2 A. Yep.
3 Q. It says: "Locals in the BH area report snipers of Middle Eastern
4 origin in Bosanska Krupa. These individuals did not speak
5 Serbo-Croatian." And then comment: "The presence of Mujahedin from the
6 Middle East has been properly reported. These are seen as interlopers and
7 have even been reported to have fought with the local Muslims in the Bihac
9 Do you remember this specific message from BH command, a daily
10 information summary of 7th January, 1993?
11 A. The answer is, now that I've seen it, yes, but I'm going to have
12 to add that I was not in theatre on the 7th of January. I was trying to
13 get back to Sarajevo, and I was stuck in Zagreb. I didn't get back
14 because I know the date exactly because the assassination of the deputy
15 Prime Minister was now the focus of all my attentions.
16 I don't in any way deny the responsibility, but I was not actually
17 in Bosnia at that time, but I would have seen this document as
18 back reading on my return, and I accept that.
19 Q. And so before we heard about Colonel Blaskic reporting something
20 about Mujahedin, here we have a UN UNPROFOR document reporting similar
21 information about the presence of Mujahedin from the Middle East. So that
22 would be, in fact, the information you told me colleague you were lacking
23 information generated from your own kitchen, if I can put it as such.
24 A. It's a comment, and actually it's not a comment that would have
25 passed my signature at the time had I been the Chief of Staff present at
1 the time, because again it is a comment, and I feel that -- and I don't
2 believe that there is sufficient evidence to have made such a strong
3 statement as has been written there.
4 Q. Let me move on to the next tab. That's tab 9. And this appears
5 to be a different format, yet I believe you were the releasing officer.
6 A. Uh-huh.
7 Q. It states 17 January 1993. The subject: "Special assessment
8 waiting to return to Geneva." And it sort of ties in what you said in
9 examination-in-chief about the linkage perhaps between Geneva, Mate Boban,
10 the other players and what is happening in the ground in Bosnia. And in
11 the first paragraph you indeed talk about this proposed plan, Vance Owen?
12 MR. WAESPI: Your Honour, the document for the record is DH0590, a
13 Defence exhibit, tab 9 in this bundle.
14 Q. I'm interested in now, General, in the second paragraph. There
15 you say, assuming that you drafted it, the perhaps development or
16 whatever: "In the negotiations is paralleled by the relative lull in
17 combat between Serbs and the allied parties across the country. However,
18 tensions brought on by the uncertainty related to the proposed settlement
19 are exacerbating factional problems between the HVO and the principally
20 Muslim elements of the Presidency forces."
21 Now, assuming that you wrote it or perhaps you remember the
22 thought process, what is meant by "principally Muslim elements of the
23 Presidency forces"? And perhaps if you can tell us first again - I
24 believe you said it already - who are the Presidency forces?
25 A. In those days, we used to refer to the BiH as the Presidency
1 forces. The reason that it was done is that at my level in negotiations,
2 Colonel Siber would come from the Presidency in Sarajevo, and at that
3 stage the BiH command preferred to have themselves called, particularly in
4 Sarajevo, the Presidency forces. Subsequently, it became the BiH forces.
5 I don't personally read anything very significant into it but that -- if I
6 had put down the Bosniak forces or the BiH forces or the Presidency
7 forces, I was certainly not trying to make any significant point that I
8 can see.
9 I would though emphasise that a large -- I have no idea of the
10 size but quite a number of people that were fighting in the Presidency
11 forces were not Muslims. There were certainly a number of Croats,
12 Colonel Siber being one, and he was the Chief of Staff of those forces in
13 Sarajevo, and I am sure that there were others. In fact, I know there
14 were others.
15 Q. So by principally Muslim elements, these would be distinct from
16 the general mix of Muslim forces?
17 A. This would, at that stage being referred to -- up to that stage,
18 we had had a semi-joint command of forces fighting the Serb forces. Here
19 we were beginning to see the clear signs of a break-up in that fragile
20 alliance and, therefore, I have said the principally Muslim elements. In
21 other words, one was seeing the break-up of what had been a loose alliance
22 as a result.
23 Q. But the break-up occurring between the HVO and the Muslim army or
24 within the Presidency forces?
25 A. No. I believe -- what I'm referring to there is the break-up
1 between -- a clear delineation between the HVO forces and their partners,
2 their semi-alliance forces from the principally Muslim forces.
3 Q. But just turning again to this the principally Muslim elements of
4 the Presidency forces. I -- you know, it's very difficult for you to go
5 back and even for me to second-guess what you have meant, but does that
6 suggest that within the Presidency forces there were principally Muslim
7 elements which contributed to the exacerbation of problems?
8 A. I think I know where you're coming from. At that stage, I can
9 promise you I did not mean any fundamentally Muslim forces inside the
10 ABiH. I -- if I had wanted to, I would have said so, most categorically.
11 If that is where you want me -- you're trying to get me to say, I
12 categorically will state now that I was not meaning in any form some form
13 of fundamentalist Muslim forces within the BiH force.
14 Q. And again, then, what do you mean by principally Muslim elements?
15 That means just all the Muslims taken away, the Croats and perhaps Serbs
16 who were fighting within the ABiH? Is that what you're saying?
17 A. I was saying that BiH forces being principally a Muslim force,
18 they and their Croat loose allies up to then were breaking apart at this
19 stage. That is all I was saying.
20 Q. Let me show you a document which has been discussed with a
21 previous witness, and that's in your bundle, the tab number 11. That's a
22 milinfosum dated 29th.
23 Now, you told us that you has -- have seen summaries of
24 milinfosums and perhaps you may recall the -- this document. It's
25 number 11, tab 11 of this bundle. Its a 1st Cheshire milinfosum dated
1 29th of January, 1993.
2 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I see, Mr. President, that's a new document, in
3 fact. I don't intend to go into that. I thought it was the one we had
4 discussed before, Mr. President, and that will be tab number 7. So I'm
5 not going to rely on this document, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
7 MR. WAESPI:
8 Q. Yes. Tab 7. That's P944. That's again a milinfosum. I take it
9 you recall the format now --
10 MR. DIXON: Your Honours, sorry. This is also a new document
11 although it does have a P number. I'm sorry to interrupt my learned
12 friend. It was only introduced in respect of a previous witness, Colonel
13 Stewart in respect of refreshing his memory. So in my submission my
14 learned friend has to establish that there's a basis for showing this
15 document to this witness.
16 In addition to that, if he's going to show the witness the
17 paragraph about the 7th Brigade, this is a matter that was not raised at
18 all in examination-in-chief, and he would require Your Honours' leave in
19 order to address that as a separate and new topic.
20 Thank you, Your Honours.
21 MR. WAESPI: If the witness could be directed not to go into the
22 document at this point, please.
23 I'm happy, Mr. President, to ask a preliminary question to the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Put questions to the
1 witness to refresh his memory.
2 General, don't have a look at the document. You should look at
3 the member of the Prosecution who will be putting his question to you.
4 MR. WAESPI:
5 Q. General, do you recall having seen either a milinfosum or a
6 summary, as you told us today, of a milinfosum coming from the
7 1st Cheshire Battalion command commanded by Colonel Stewart dated the
8 27th of January, 1993, which talks about a specific battalion which in --
9 within the 7th Muslimanski Brigade that consisted, amongst others, of at
10 most 100 to 150 external Mujahedin from Islamic countries? Do you recall
11 having seen such a summary?
12 MR. DIXON: I'm sorry to interrupt again, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.
14 MR. DIXON: In my submission, my learned friend does have to ask
15 for your leave if he is going to address this topic because it was not
16 addressed at all in examination-in-chief. The 7th Brigade or any of the
17 brigades within the 3rd Corps were -- were not the subject of the
18 examination of this witness. Indeed this witness was way beyond what was
19 happening at the brigade level. As Your Honours know, Colonel Stewart
20 himself was not even engaged at that level and he was the subordinate of
21 this witness.
22 Thank you, Your Honours.
23 MR. WAESPI: If I could respond, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. On that question of the
25 Prosecution it's true that the Defence counsel did not mention of the
1 issue of the 7th Brigade. So if you immediately start referring to the
2 7th Brigade, you should state the purpose of putting this question to the
4 MR. WAESPI: First of all, Mr. President, I was surprised myself
5 that the witness started to talk about Mujahedin, because the 65 ter
6 summary of this witness doesn't mention anything in relation to that. But
7 then the -- my learned counsel asked him about any information of
8 Mujahedin, and the witness said that there was a lot of talk about that,
9 that the warring factions were making complaints, but he himself wasn't
10 appraised of any sort of hard information. And he also said that he
11 received summaries of milinfosums. So I take it he would have been
12 interested in any hard information coming from the British battalion about
13 these Mujahedin. So I think it's probable that by reading the milinfosum
14 it will refresh his memory.
15 And let me state another point, Mr. President, Rule 90(H)(i)
16 says: "Cross-examination shall be limited to the subject matter of the
17 evidence in chief." He talked about Mujahedin. Second, credibility of
18 the witness; I don't think that's an issue at this point. And third:
19 "Where the witness is able to give evidence relevant to the case for the
20 cross-examining party for the subject matter of that case." And he
21 clearly, Mr. President, can talk about the Mujahedin as he has proved
22 already. And that's obviously part of the Prosecution case.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But what the Defence seems
25 to be objecting to is the following: The witness did mention the
1 Mujahedin but you're establishing a link immediately between the
2 7th Brigade and the Mujahedin. You're moving on to the 7th Brigade
3 directly, but it would be appropriate to show the witness the relevant
4 documents and ask him whether among all the documents he had, the
5 milinfosums, et cetera, whether there was any reference to the matter.
6 It's necessary to prepare, to put this question to the witness, because
7 you've moved on to the 7th Brigade immediately, and you established a link
8 between the Mujahedin and the 7th Brigade, and this is the reason for
9 which Defence counsel raised an objection. Do you understand what the
10 Defence is objecting to? But perhaps Mr. Dixon could tell us.
11 Mr. Dixon. We will then have our break.
12 MR. DIXON: That's absolutely correct, Your Honour. My learned
13 friend started reading immediately from the document which mentions the
14 7th Brigade and that's why I objected. The witness was not asked any
15 questions about that brigade. And perhaps if my learned friend is to
16 proceed any further, that is the first question that must be asked,
17 whether he knows anything at all about that brigade, and if he doesn't,
18 given the level that he was operating at, it's of course for the witness
19 to answer that in some detail, then we can proceed from there. If he
20 knows nothing further, then in my submission no further questions should
21 be asked about this matter.
22 Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You can respond to
24 the objection and we will then have our break.
25 Mr. Waespi.
1 MR. WAESPI: Yes. The only point is the witness talked about
2 Mujahedin, and this document talks about Mujahedin bringing it into some
3 organised fashion being part of the 7th Muslim Brigade. I think the
4 witness testified he has not seen any evidence that the -- if I can quote
5 him directly: "No -- No evidence of any Muslim Mujahedin force, organised
6 forces." So that would suggest otherwise, and perhaps seeing it might
7 refresh the memory of the witness. And again, he testified he has seen
8 summaries. So it would surprise me that such an interesting information
9 would have escaped his memory.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's quarter to 6.00
11 now, and we will resume at about five past 6.00 or ten past 6.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will render our decision,
15 now. But Mr. Bourgon, is there another issue you would like to raise.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] There's the same problem. I wanted
17 to say something about what the witness said with regard to these
18 documents. The witness said [In English] They would produce a summary
19 which I would see.
20 [Interpretation] The witness never said that he had seen the
21 milinfosum, so I believe that this is important information, given that
22 the Trial Chamber will be rendering its decision on the matter.
23 Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What would the Prosecution
25 have to say about the comments just made by Defence counsel, before we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 render our decision, since as we said we will be rendering our decision
2 about allowing you to refresh the witness's memory by using the document.
3 So what would the Prosecution have to say in response to Mr. Bourgon's
5 MR. WAESPI: Well, I have full faith in the witness's independent
6 opinion. It's just a little dangerous, you know, if we sort of make these
7 arguments in front of the witness, but I'll do it anyway.
8 This document is not evidence, and we are not proposing to have it
9 put into evidence. It's really merely to refresh the witness, this
10 recollection. Perhaps he has heard it and that's our point of view. And
11 we don't seek to tender this document, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
13 deliberated on this issue during the break, and we accepted the
14 possibility of the Prosecution refreshing the witness's memory by showing
15 the document but only if the witness had previously been asked
16 so-called -- well, had previously been asked questions to refresh the
17 witness's memory. And it's only if the witness is still not quite clear
18 that you can refresh the witness's memory. So there are two stages.
19 Before refreshing the witness's memory, you should ask the witness your
20 question, because if the witness can answer your question it's not
21 necessary to show the witness the document in question. You should first
22 ask the witness your question, and if the witness is still not able to
23 remember, you may then show the witness the document to see whether this
24 might refresh his memory, because as everyone knows, the witness is
25 testifying about events that took place over ten years ago, and it's quite
1 possible that he has forgotten certain things.
2 I'll give you the floor now. First put your questions to the
3 witness, and you can then show the witness the document.
4 MR. WAESPI:
5 Q. When you reviewed the summaries of these milinfosums, do you
6 remember having read a summary which discusses the role of the Mujahedin
7 within the 7th Muslimanski Brigade? Do you recall that? And I'm talking
8 about the end of January 1993, specifically 27th of January.
9 A. I regret I don't now 12 years ago remember reading that
10 milinfosum. I -- as I said in earlier testimony, I tended not to read
11 each battalion's milinfosum. I tended more to read their sitreps, and of
12 course I then was responsible for producing the BH command sitrep and
13 occasional assessments, but no, I regret that I do not remember seeing a
14 milinfosum from a battalion on the 29th of January.
15 Q. 27th of January.
16 A. I apologise. 27th.
17 Q. No problem. Do you think it would refresh your memory if you see
18 this two-page milinfosum about this subject of whether indeed you have
19 seen it and perhaps incorporate it into the daily BH command sitrep? Do
20 you think it might help to refresh your memory?
21 A. I'm quite prepared to look at it, and it may refresh my memory,
22 but it's, as I say, a long time ago. And as I also said, I tended not
23 look at the battalion milinfosums as they tended to be at a level that my
24 staff dealt with rather than myself.
25 Q. Do you think the information about presence of the Mujahedin in
1 that area would have been important information which you would have been
2 interested in at that time?
3 A. Yes. Except that if there was a firm intelligence of Mujahedin,
4 then I would expect it to have been brought to my attention.
5 MR. WAESPI: With your leave, Mr. President, I would like to show
6 the witness this exhibit with the purpose of refreshing his memory.
7 Q. If you could now look at tab 7. That's this 1 Cheshire milinfosum
8 number 88 dated 17th January, 1993. And the paragraph I'm interested in
9 is on the second page, the second paragraph. And if you could just read
10 through it yourself, because it's been discussed here before and read out.
11 And perhaps you can tell us whether you have anything to say about the
12 information contained in here.
13 A. I don't recall having seen it. I probably should have done.
14 You -- as it is clearly an important element. However, you must recall
15 that on the 27th, 28th, 29th, as I have already explained in my testimony,
16 I was dealing with some fairly major incidences, some fairly important
17 conferences and trying to get a ceasefire in the Central Bosnia under
18 control. And also, I was dealing down into Sarajevo where there was some
19 quite unpleasant businesses going on.
20 I don't recall having seen it. An oversight, but probably an
21 oversight on my behalf or my staff's behalf in the fact that they didn't
22 bring it to my attention.
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 MR. WAESPI: If we could move on to the next exhibit,
25 Mr. President, and this is Defence Exhibit DH0664. And unfortunately I
1 have not prepared it as part of my bundle because the Defence had
2 announced it would use it but had not used any exhibits.
3 And my all-knowing case manager just tells me that this specific
4 document is tab 10 of the binder. Tab 10, DH0664.
5 Q. This, General, appears to be minutes of the meeting of 27th of
6 January 1993, which you chaired, and you see that in paragraph 1,
7 attendees. Can you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, first of all, in paragraph 4 it recalls that Colonel Blaskic
10 referred to yesterday meaning the meeting of the 26th about the
11 assassination of an HVO delegation, apparently the incident that was
12 mentioned the day before. Do you remember anything about this
13 assassination of an HVO delegation being discussed?
14 A. Not being discussed. But this was referring to the piece of paper
15 that had been handed to Blaskic the night before when he stopped the
16 meeting and walked away from it and said to me, Some people have been
17 murdered in a village, which I don't recall the name. That is the
18 assassination of which he is now referring to here as recorded by Patrick
20 Q. Could it be that this village was called Dusina?
21 A. I haven't a clue, I am afraid, it's so long ago.
22 Q. Now, I'm interested in the second page as well. Here after
23 paragraph 6, and I believe it's probably paragraph 7, it reads as
24 follows: "The chairman then asked both sides whether they were able to
25 control the forces under their," I take it their command, "and whether
1 they both wanted peace. Both sides answered both questions positively."
2 Do you remember that issue being discussed?
3 A. I have absolutely no reason to believe that I didn't say that. It
4 would have been precisely what I would have said to them to ensure that if
5 they left the room having agreed a ceasefire they could implement it.
6 Q. Was there any mentioning of any forces, you know, they had not
7 control over and which needed to be contacted in order that the ceasefire
8 be implemented?
9 A. No. They said that they would implement the ceasefire and would
10 go ahead and were able to do it.
11 Q. Now, we are finished with this document. Going back to a quote
12 from Kordic, your Kordic testimony, again on the same subject. You were
13 asked about, you know, Kordic and Blaskic as you were today, and you were
14 asked about your conclusions about their control over the HVO in Central
15 Bosnia. And you said, and I quote you: "It was quite clear that they had
16 signed at that meeting. They were able to -- what they had signed at that
17 meeting they were able to deliver insofar as the fighting died down. And
18 although we had isolated incidents of burning of houses and shootings, the
19 large-scale attacks that had been going on prior to this ceased.
20 Therefore, my conclusions were that Kordic and Blaskic between them were
21 able to exercise the necessary influence over the military forces in
22 Central Bosnia as was the 1st and the 3rd Corps Commanders of the ABiH
23 over their forces." Pages 6220 to 21.
24 Do you stand by that also today?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Let me move on to the next document, and this is now DH0648. And
2 while that's being distributed to everybody, I can ask you the author of
3 this document is a person, and we have heard evidence before, Ambassador
4 Beaussou or Beaussou. I believe he arrived in the scene in January and he
5 was an ECMM person. Do you remember having met this person or do you know
6 anything about him? Perhaps you can look at his name. He appears on the
7 second page as printed. Colonel Stewart testified his name was Beaussou
8 with an S at the end, so I'm not sure which one is the correct spelling.
9 An ECMM officer. Do you remember?
10 A. I vaguely remember him and nothing more than vaguely do remember
12 Q. Now, this document which he authors dates 25th of January, 1993,
13 roughly a week after your assessment which we have discussed before the
14 break. Now perhaps you can tell us something about a comment he makes.
15 And this shows up on paragraph 3 on the first page towards the bottom, and
16 I quote: "The dangers for the whole area are obvious for the outcome of
17 the Geneva talks, for the fate of the populations, as well as for the
18 possible interference of Islamist forces encouraged by the victimisation
19 of the Muslim community."
20 Now, do you something about the possible interference of Islamist
21 forces in this process you were about to embark or complete?
22 A. No, I don't know. I don't know what he based that evidence. I
23 mean, that is his assessment. It's not mine, and it's the first time I've
24 seen it.
25 Q. Very well. Let me continue with a slightly different subject.
1 You touched upon and said that: "The BritBat troops, the battalion,
2 performed extremely well under great pressure."
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And I believe Mr. Stewart in his book said, and I quote him: "In
5 my view, the soldiers I led in Bosnia are the best in the world." That's
6 page 211 of his book. I believe you have read his book.
7 A. I have.
8 Q. So that that would -- you would agree with his assessment?
9 A. Colonel Stewart would be bound to say that, wouldn't he. I'm sure
10 a French colonel would say the same about his battalion or a Swiss
11 commanding officer would say the same about his. They were very good, and
12 that is all I will say.
13 Q. Well, let me take it a little bit further. Where was the -- being
14 curious now and I'm sure the Trial Chamber is as well having seen the
15 commanding officer here. Where were the weaknesses, if anything? Was it
16 the officers? Was it the soldiers? Was it the equipment? Can you tell
17 us a little bit more?
18 A. Of course there was some weaknesses in the battalion. They were
19 pitched into a very, very serious situation at very short notice, and of
20 course mistakes were made. I don't think it's for me at this stage to
21 name individual weaknesses within the battalion, nor do I think that it
22 does any good. Of course there were times when I personally had words
23 with Colonel Stewart and corrected him on where I thought things needed
24 correcting. That was my job. No individual battalion is without a fault.
25 It is inevitable under such situation that people get tired. They make
2 Just before the incidents of which we are talking, a young soldier
3 in the Cheshires battalion was killed by a sniper. These tensions,
4 particularly for a battalion that has never seen war before, and young
5 soldiers, has an effect.
6 I think at that 1st Battalion Cheshires did extreme well under
7 very trying conditions. All battalions in theatre and all units in
8 theatre make mistakes. I don't think the Cheshires made very many.
9 Q. I accept that. Let me just ask something very specific. Did
10 Colonel Stewart in the contacts you had with him or perhaps he vis-a-vis
11 General Morillon or when the Prime Minister came to visit you, did he ever
12 complain about, for instance, that he had not enough intelligence or
13 he wasn't satisfied with the way his intelligence or gathering --
14 information-gathering unit was operating? Did he ever raise the issue
15 with you, that he needed to have it staffed up or anything? Do you recall
17 A. I don't recall it as an incident -- as an issue that he raised
18 directly with me. I think it would be fair to say that I was asked
19 whether I require additional intelligence-gathering forces at one stage by
20 the British and said that while I remained a United Nations force, I would
21 not have them in theatre.
22 Q. Who was, by the way, the person in charge of receiving all the
23 information coming from the different battalions, milinfosums, sitreps,
24 direct contacts with the commanders and so on, with your BH staff?
25 A. The chief mil information officer in the BH command headquarters
1 was a French colonel, Colonel Constantini.
2 Q. Let me - and I believe I have about two or three subjects more to
3 cover - briefly touch upon a command issue that you talked about at the
4 end of your chief. You were asked and you responded about the challenge
5 the corps commander was faced with and the difficulties, and you also
6 talked about the different levels, corps, brigade, battalion. I believe
7 there was a discussion about delegating something to the battalions.
8 Now, let me just ask you, and you have experience, an enormous
9 experience, obviously, and you have seen different commanders of different
10 countries, let me ask you about that and especially the word "delegation"
11 sort of made me little wonder. I just want to see where we are.
12 I have a quote from a British General, I'm sure you know him,
13 General Francis Richard Dannatt. He had testified in another case in the
14 Tribunal, also a case which concerned a corps commander. And let me read
15 out - it's very brief - what he said: "I have to say that because I go
16 back, Your Honour, to one of my earlier points of yesterday that command
17 is a personal thing, and the commander must take and does take personal
18 responsibility for all that goes on in his zone of responsibility."
19 Do you agree with General Richard Dannatt on this point?
20 A. Yes, of course I agree with him. He was well taught. He was one
21 of my brigade commanders when I commanded a division.
22 But being serious, what he has said there is absolutely correct,
23 but it doesn't say that he is responsible for every incident and every
24 single thing that happens in his enormous sphere of command. Of course
25 things will go wrong. It is the subsequent action that a commander takes
1 when things have gone wrong that is a test of whether he is a good
2 commander or not.
3 Q. I said that I would add that of course he needs to know, he needs
4 to put on notice of what's happening. It's no strict liability when we
5 talk about his responsibility. Do you agree with me? He needs to be put
6 on notice of what's happening.
7 A. If you're saying to me he needs to be informed when things are --
8 have gone wrong, yes, I agree. That is absolutely correct. He cannot
9 possibly know under such a large sphere of command what every individual
10 soldier is doing at every minute of the day. If he did, he would not be a
11 very good commander. He would be too much down, as we say, in the weeds
12 and not up doing his proper job as a commander.
13 Q. But nobody takes away his personal responsibility?
14 A. Not at all. But his personal responsibility at this stage,
15 though, if something has gone wrong is how he reacts to how it has gone
16 wrong and not try and shift the blame somewhere else but to investigate it
18 Q. Let me go to the meetings, the sequence of two or three meetings
19 on the 26th and the 27th of January, and I want to show you a couple of
20 documents. But let me ask you first. You testified that the meeting, the
21 first one on the 26th of January which you had sort of requested or
22 initiated, it started at 10.00 in the morning.
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And you are certain about that?
25 A. I'm fairly certain about it.
1 Q. Incidentally, you talked about this Kacuni incident, the
2 checkpoint, and you mentioned I think the lorry across the road. You
3 mentioned HVO. You didn't mention ABiH. Just to make it clear, that
4 checkpoint which cut the road between Kiseljak and the Lasva Valley, that
5 was an ABiH checkpoint; is that correct?
6 A. That is absolutely correct. It was amongst a row of HVO
7 checkpoints leading up to Kacuni, and then actually across the bridge in
8 Kacuni was an ABiH vehicle, yes.
9 Q. Now, there's been some issue about this piece of information which
10 Colonel Blaskic relayed to you and indeed the participants during that
11 first meeting, and you stated in your witness statement of 1995, in your
12 Kordic evidence, and today again that Blaskic's allegations were sort of
13 unfounded because you went and checked with an UNMO, and he reported back
14 that Busovaca was quiet.
15 A. No, I did not say that. I said that I checked with the UN
16 Transport Battalion, which was a Dutch-Belgian battalion based in
17 Busovaca, and I checked with them on the satellite phone and they informed
18 me that Busovaca was quiet.
19 Q. And that was that was on the first day, the 26th, or the second,
20 or on the both days?
21 A. That was on the second day which I presume was -- I can't remember
22 now but I think it was the 27th meeting. The first day failed, the first
23 meeting failed because of the assassination, in inverted commas, when
24 Blaskic and Merdan left. On the second day it was reported that Busovaca
25 was and Fojnica was in flames. I checked with the battalion in Busovaca,
1 which was a Dutch-Belgian battalion.
2 Q. So on the first day you did not check the information that was
3 relayed by Colonel Blaskic?
4 A. No. I ordered Colonel Merdan from the 3rd Corps to investigate
5 Blaskic's allegations and to report back to me at 10.00 the following
7 Q. And he came back and said yes, there indeed was combat operations
8 in Dusina and that there were casualties on both sides?
9 A. I can't remember what he said exactly, but whatever he did say, he
10 had investigated that they were presumably combat casualties and whatever
11 he said was sufficient to keep Blaskic at the meeting and therefore
12 satisfied him.
13 Q. Now, let me briefly show an exhibit, and this is in tab 3 of your
14 bundle, and that's an ABiH press release, Prosecution Exhibit 132. It
15 dates 26th of January, and it is 1545 hours. Just the first sentence of
16 this public announcement: "The suffering the Muslim people in the
17 territory of the Busovaca municipality continues," and then it goes on.
18 So would you agree with me that even the ABiH at this time agrees
19 that something is happening in the Busovaca area, at least on that day, on
20 the 26th of January?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, if we can go on to the next document, and that is a document,
23 tab 4. That's Prosecution Exhibit 133. Now, that date's the 27th of
24 January, 1993, and it is signed by -- or for Commander Enver
25 Hadzihasanovic. It's an evening report, and I would like you to look at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the second page. It talks about, just the last, penultimate paragraph,
2 chronology of events around Busovaca. And it starts: "At 0830 hours, the
3 villages of Gornja Visnjica and Dusina was shelled." And it goes on and
4 it says at the end of the paragraph: "The terrain around Lasva has been
5 cleared of HVO soldiers."
6 Now, just for your information these villages of Gornja Visnjica
7 and Dusina are about four to six kilometres north-east of Busovaca.
8 Perhaps you recall that. Now, doesn't that suggest that indeed only
9 the 27th there was some action going on in the Busovaca area specifically
10 in the Dusina area? And that's not HVO propaganda. It's by the commander
11 of the corps.
12 I'm interested because you told us that you thought the
13 information received from Colonel Blaskic was a major disinformation, and
14 perhaps, you know, you haven't seen these documents, I take it, at that
15 time, but perhaps that suggests otherwise.
16 A. I accept the fact that it suggests otherwise. I'm just trying to
17 work out the time. 8.30 in the morning seems to -- if that is correct,
18 well, so be it. I have no reports on it, nor did I ever see this
19 document, of course.
20 Q. Yes. Very well. Let me ask you, just to finish up a couple of
21 other points, I believe in late January --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a clarification, please.
23 With regard to the document that has just been shown to the witness, on
24 page 85, line 2, the number is wrong. The document is dated 27 January
25 1993, P525.
1 Can you please proceed.
2 MR. WAESPI: I'm much obliged, Mr. President. P525 and not P133.
3 Q. In late January, probably after these ceasefire negotiations,
4 there appears to have occurred a two-day seminar in Kiseljak when General
5 Morillon wanted to talk to his commanders, subordinate commanders and
6 discuss, you know, a unified approach to the problem. That's what Colonel
7 Stewart wrote in his book. Do you remember that two-day seminar?
8 A. Yes. One day was in Kiseljak and the second day was in Sarajevo.
9 Q. And I believe each commander had to brief, you know, his
10 subordinate commander. First of all, let me ask you, were you present?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, do you remember what Colonel Stewart told General Morillon?
13 He said in his book it was very brief, perhaps five minutes. Do you
14 recall anything of what he reported?
15 A. I can't remember. We had all the battalion commanders in. They
16 gave a situation report of what was going on in their area, really for the
17 benefit of the others. We also -- it had -- I think on the second day in
18 Sarajevo we had a press reporter to come and brief us what he saw and what
19 he understood we were doing right in his eyes and what we were doing wrong
20 in his eyes.
21 I can't remember much more about it. But during that seminar, of
22 course, life was also -- I was being called out fairly regularly for
23 dealing with a number of incidents that were going on, not least
24 complaints from one side or the other of violations of the ceasefire. But
25 I do remember the seminar, yes, but I can't remember everything that was
1 spoken there.
2 Q. Thank you very much. I appreciate your answers, General.
3 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I've eaten up my time, and I'm over.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Bourgon, you
5 have the floor.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
8 Q. Thank you, General. I have a few questions for you. I will try
9 and be as quick as I can because I see time is running out.
10 My first question, General, is in response to a question by my
11 colleague, you confirmed that in the Kordic case you mentioned that
12 complaints by all sides was part of the game and it was part of the
13 propaganda. If I would ask you to compare complaints made by HVO with
14 complaints made by the 3rd Corps, how would the two compare in terms of
15 whether -- the number of complaints and whether they were founded or not?
16 A. There was no question that in the period that we're talking about
17 there were more complaints from the HVO than the 3rd Corps, and I think
18 that would be fair throughout the whole of my period there of between the
19 HVO and the BiH, but it wouldn't mean that we didn't get a number of
20 complaints from the BiH as we did from the Serbs.
21 Q. And as to the results of those complaints once you had verified
22 them, is there anything you can say about the HVO complaints?
23 A. At this particular period, the majority of the complaints I
24 couldn't substantiate. That did not actually mean that they weren't true,
25 but it did mean that I could not substantiate them. Either I didn't have
1 the troops on the ground, or by the time we got to the area to try and
2 substantiate it, things had gone cold or had got totally confused. I
3 think one has to understand what an incredibly confused and difficult
4 operation this was at the time.
5 Q. Thank you, General. My colleague referred you to a conversation
6 between General Morillon and Colonel Blaskic where the issue of Mujahedin
7 was brought up. Now, without showing you the result of this discussion,
8 if in this paragraph Colonel Blaskic did not mention where these
9 Mujahedins were going and that they were not going to the area of the
10 3rd Corps, would that also -- would you also confirm that basically this
11 was just a complaint and you had nothing about it?
12 A. Yes. It was a complaint and I certainly did nothing about it.
13 And also, if I remember correctly, if was very early on, something like
14 the 29th of October. In which case, I was on the ground, General Morillon
15 was on the ground, but there were no troops on the ground. The troops
16 didn't start arriving, i.e., the combat troops didn't start arriving until
17 early November. And the British battalion was not chopped to under
18 command, BH command, until the 14th of November. I may be wrong just on
19 that date but it was about then.
20 Q. Thank you, General. You mentioned in responding to that question
21 that there was something about Jajce, the fall of Jajce took place on the
22 same day that General Blaskic made this comment on the 29th of October.
23 Do you see a link between those two events?
24 A. Possibly. I had no way of trying to verify it because I had no
25 troops on the ground. Colonel Stewart was on the ground, but he didn't
1 have a battalion on the ground, and it is he who told me that Jajce was
2 falling and alerted me to the fact, and I actually went out to watch the
3 HVO pulling back.
4 I haven't actually ever in my mind linked the two together, but it
5 is quite possible.
6 Q. Now, General, I would like to refer I to document number 8 which
7 was discussed by my colleague, which is a daily information summary. Now,
8 you mentioned in examination-in-chief, and this is at page 54, line 7
9 to 15: "We produced military information which would report anything that
10 was given or heard or seen by anyone. Much of it was purely -- sorry, is
11 purely reported speech. They are of limited value as a document. It was
12 information. It was not intelligence because it had not been corroborated
13 in any way whatsoever. It was, therefore, of limited value as a
15 This document at number 8, information summary, does this document
16 fall in the category of documents you were referring to? This is DH0545.
17 A. Not strictly in the way that a battalion -- this would be the best
18 information that we could gather and would make comment on, but you will
19 see that it says these reports have not been substantiated. For instance,
20 at paragraph 2, "Local and media information only are our source." In
21 other words, always being careful to point out that this information was
22 not hard intelligence.
23 Q. And I refer you to the same paragraph that my colleague referred
24 you to. First page, paragraph 1, where it talks about something about
25 Mujahedin fighting with local Muslim in the Bihac pocket. Which corps of
1 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was in Bihac to your recollection, and
2 would that information -- from which battalion, from which of your
3 battalions would this information come from?
4 A. I have some difficulty in recalling, I'm afraid.
5 Q. Maybe I can be more precise. Was Bihac in the area of 3rd Corps?
6 A. It was. But I can't see who was reporting this information to us
7 from BH command at that stage. I have a feeling it was a Danish battalion
8 who were up in the Krajina, but I'm afraid now I have difficulty in
9 recollecting 12 years ago who would have reported that to us.
10 Q. Now, would you be able to locate Bihac on a map, and is it
11 possible that Bihac was located away from the area of the 3rd Corps?
12 A. Yes, indeed. I mean, Zenica is here and Bihac is right up there.
13 I mean -- and I wouldn't know the areas or their boundaries at all at that
15 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to refer you to document number 10.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, with regard to this
17 document, as we promised yesterday, we have obtained the integral text of
18 the paragraphs which are very difficult to read, and I'm going to present
19 to the witness the paragraphs 5 and 11. If these could be placed on the
20 ELMO and after that I'm going to put my questions to the witness.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
22 MR. BOURGON:
23 Q. General, I'd like to refer you to the document used by my
24 colleague and first to paragraph 5 of this document. And you now have the
25 paragraph 5 in full. I would just like to ask you to look at this
1 paragraph and if this corresponds to the report given by Colonel Merdan
2 that you were talking about.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] For the record, this is document
4 0664, DH.
5 Q. Would you confirm, General, whether this is report given by Merdan
6 that you were referring to earlier?
7 A. In broad terms, yes, I do recall. That is the sort of language -
8 I'm not saying those were his exact words - that he gave to us at Kiseljak
9 on the second day, yes.
10 Q. Thank you, General. Moving on to paragraph 11, which you also
11 have, I would just like you to confirm that this is what you were
12 referring to a little earlier when talking about creating the commission.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
14 MR. WAESPI: I have no objection for him to confirm that, but I
15 didn't talk about the commission, so if he goes any further, I would
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm just asking for
18 the confirmation that this is the paragraph that the witness has made
19 reference to.
20 Q. General, to the page before at paragraph 9. Sorry. There was no
21 answer for the previous question, General. Can you answer?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Thank you, General. And is paragraph 9 what you were talking
24 about about the HVO trying to again break those negotiations when Blaskic
25 told you, as you said, that the agreement was off?
1 A. That is also correct.
2 Q. Could you provide additional reasons, General, why on both
3 occasions you were of the view, regardless of the information that was
4 shown to you, that this was theatre on the part of Colonel Blaskic?
5 A. It was all part of what was going on in Central Bosnia and what
6 was going on in Geneva at the time. I was quite convinced that the HVO
7 did not want to sign a ceasefire and they did want to derail Geneva at
8 that time. They wanted to appear the victims at that time. There may
9 have been some elements of truth in what Blaskic was saying at the time,
10 but it was all too much produced at the second for theatrical-type
11 performance to be plausible to me.
12 Q. Thank you, General. Now, my colleague showed you two documents
13 showing that there was indeed some activities in the Lasva Valley which
14 would correspond to the allegations made by Blaskic. My question to you
15 is: Did Colonel Merdan, when he made his report, try to say that nothing
16 had happened or did he say that combat did take place but that there was
17 no crime?
18 A. No. He accepted the fact that there had been fighting, and that
19 was his position. But he had done his best in his opinion to investigate
20 the sort of fighting that had taken place.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
22 MR. WAESPI: Just to remind again we don't have a chance to
23 cross-examine. If these questions would be put in a non-leading fashion
24 like after the meeting did Colonel Merdan talk to you, what did he talk to
25 you. You know, if he's presented with a multiple choice like he was here,
1 it's just leading and that's unfair to the Prosecution.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
4 two more questions before I finish.
5 Q. [In English] General, my colleague asked a question of you
6 concerning personal responsibility of a commander. Now, I just would like
7 to confirm with you that when you say that a corps commander is personally
8 responsible for everything, who is included in the everything in terms of
10 A. Ultimately the commander is responsible for everything that goes
11 on within his command. What I was trying to say was that as a commander,
12 you cannot personally oversee the actions of every one of your
13 subordinates, but you are responsible when they do not perform correctly
14 to ensure that the matter is subsequently investigated and, if necessary,
15 those who have perpetrated something are punished. That is the
16 fundamental on which military discipline is based.
17 Q. And how far does that go beyond subordinates, General? If it
18 does, of course.
19 A. Well, if I think -- the question I think you're leading me -- or
20 you're asking me is if someone above us -- the lowest level has been
21 responsible, then clearly if a company commander has failed to take the
22 necessary action, he must be punished. If a battalion commander has
23 allowed something to happen which he was fully aware was wrong, then he is
24 responsible and the punishment must go there. If a brigade commander,
25 clearly it -- he must be found responsible.
1 But the point I still was trying to make is the higher you get up
2 in command, all you can do is lay down clear instructions. And if they
3 are not correctly carried out, then you must investigate why they were not
4 correctly carried out. If it's then found that your orders were imprecise
5 or bad, then you must be responsible.
6 Q. Thank you, General. The -- what further to your last answer do
7 you expect the corps commander to do about crimes committed by people who
8 are not his subordinates?
9 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Prosecution.
11 MR. WAESPI: Well, that's the ultimate issue in this case, whether
12 they are subordinates or not under command and control, and I'm quite sure
13 that the Defence will have an expert who will talk about his issue. But
14 this witness has -- you would need to put all the evidence to him from the
15 Defence, from us. We say they were under the command and control.
16 Defence says no. It's unfair to this witness. Just, you know, let's
17 assume they were not under control to have him giving an assessment. I
18 think he said in theory, given his practical experience, what he can do,
19 but I think any further would be unfair.
20 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I believe that my colleague has not
21 understood the question.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the Judges have understood.
23 Your question was a general question. The Defence's question was a
24 general question that has nothing to do with this particular case. The
25 Defence asks the general, who has 30 years' experience in various
1 positions and who is at a high level and who is able to answer this
3 General, you have heard the questions by the Defence. Can you
4 answer this question, the question that has been put to you? This
5 question, mind you, is a general question. We Judges need that answer,
6 because we are not military experts.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Can you give me one second just to read
8 back the original question.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, perhaps you can
10 answer the question again.
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. [In English] I will ask the question again. You were mentioning
13 in your response to my previous question that the commander must, whoever
14 the subordinate is, company commander, higher or lower, I'm asking you
15 what do you expect a corps commander to do for crimes committed by people
16 who are not his subordinates?
17 A. Yes, I understand your question clearly. I think it depends
18 entirely whether he has any influence on that particular organisation
19 which accordingly is not part of his subordinates. All he can do is
20 report the matter higher, that there is some force that is behaving
21 outside control in his area. He has no ability because he has no command
22 function over someone who is not under his command.
23 It is a fundamental military principle and one that we, certainly
24 wherever I have been, you have to establish exactly your command
25 relationships with everyone in your area. And I don't want to confuse
1 people, but there is a huge difference in being opcon, operational
2 control, and opcom, operational command. And for me it would be one the
3 first things that I would establish, whether forces in my area were opcom
4 to me or not.
5 Now, that's easy because I come from an organisation that has been
6 brought up under Staff College trainings and all the rest of. It isn't
7 quite so easy in the confused situation that we are talking about in
9 I don't believe that if a force is operating which is not under
10 your operational command there is much you can do when they get out of
12 Q. Thank you very much, General. I have no further questions.
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, I am conscious of the time but there are
15 a few questions that I need to ask arising from the cross-examination of
16 the Prosecution. I will be no more than three minutes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
18 Further cross-examined by Mr. Dixon:
19 Q. General, at the outset I didn't ask you about command and
20 operational matters at the brigade level. The Prosecution has asked you
21 to address this matter. So can you please confirm that during your time
22 in Central Bosnia you had no dealings at the brigade level with either of
23 the parties involved in the conflict, the Bosnian army or the HVO; is that
25 A. That is absolutely correct. I did not have any dealing at brigade
1 level or, for that matter, with the Bosnian Serb army either.
2 Q. So is it correct then that you had no dealings with the command of
3 the 7th Brigade of the 3rd Corps?
4 A. I had no dealings with the command of the 7th Brigade.
5 Q. And that the issue of this brigade never arose in any of your
6 dealings while you were performing your duties in Central Bosnia; is that
8 A. That is absolutely correct.
9 Q. You were shown a military information summary of 27 January 1993
10 by the Prosecution. It's a new document that's marked P944. Can you
11 confirm that the allegation contained in it that you were shown about the
12 Mujahedin falls within the typical kinds of information and allegations
13 that you described in general that are contained in military information
14 summaries in that it is a reported speech, that it comes from an
15 unidentified source, that it is uncollaborated and not based on any
16 evidence or intelligence? Is that right?
17 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, before the witness answers, I believe
18 the witness said - and that wasn't argued by Defence - that he had nothing
19 to do with it, that he knew nothing about that, and he only read
20 summaries. So it would not be fair now to have the witness, you know,
21 comment about this compound question. I don't think he's familiar with it
22 as far as he told us, so how can he now talk about the reliability of a
23 source of something he's not aware of?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you have heard the
25 question. The Prosecution has the right to object, and they say that as
1 the Chief of Staff at the time, what can you tell us? How can you clarify
2 this issue to us?
3 THE WITNESS: I will accept the fact that it says a normally
4 reliable source in this document, but that I must repeat is not
5 intelligence. That is information, and therefore I must make a judgement,
6 we all must make judgements as to whether it is reliable and how reliable,
7 and in this case, since there was no collateral evidence, I would probably
8 have -- if I had even seen it, I would have noted it, but I would not have
9 taken it as being hard intelligence.
10 MR. DIXON:
11 Q. Thank you, General.
12 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, I merely ask the question because the
13 Prosecution had shown this document to the witness after some extensive
14 discussion about whether it should be shown to him in the first place.
15 Q. Only a few more questions, General. Can you confirm that the bulk
16 of the allegations and information about the Mujahedin came from the HVO
17 and the Serb armed forces?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You said in your evidence in chief that you had no evidence of any
20 organised formations of Mujahedin forces in Central Bosnia; is that right?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And is it also correct that you had no evidence of any organised
23 groups of Mujahedin within any of the brigades of the 3rd Corps? Is that
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Thank you, General. I have no further questions.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, we would like to thank
3 you for coming to testify here in The Hague. Your testimony is hereby
4 finished. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, we wish you a happy journey
5 back home. I'm going to ask the usher to accompany you out of the
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is late. I'm going to ask
10 the Defence the witness scheduled for tomorrow is he available?
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, he's available.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now adjourn. I would
13 like to thank everybody. I would like to apologise to the interpreters to
14 have kept them 15 minutes longer but that is the only way we could do it.
15 I invite everybody to come back tomorrow at quarter past 2.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.16 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
18 February, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.