1 Monday, 17th January, 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: The witness today is Colonel
10 Stewart; he's here and ready to go. He would obviously
11 like to be finished today, if at all possible. We have
12 not yet had from Trial Chamber I an order releasing the
13 document that I've referred to on earlier occasions,
14 and therefore I haven't been able to show the document
15 to this witness for his comments. I'm hopeful that in
16 the course of the morning there may be notification
17 from Trial Chamber I that the document can be
18 released. If it is released, I'd ask for the witness
19 to have a short adjournment at a convenient time to
20 consider the document, and I'd ask to be allowed to
21 speak to him if there's anything he wants to say about
22 it, but of course limited to that document and nothing
23 else at that stage as he will have already started to
24 give evidence.
25 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider that in due
2 MR. NICE: May the witness come in then.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, before we do, there are
4 various formal matters. The first is this, that there
5 are only two Judges sitting today, Judge Robinson being
6 away, as is known, for urgent personal reasons. We
7 propose, therefore, to make a further order under Rule
8 15 bis because we regard it in the interests of justice
9 to get on with this case and to hear this evidence, the
10 witness being here or witnesses being here this week.
11 We propose to make the order for three days, as the
12 Rule provides, unless anybody has any submissions to
14 MR. NICE: No.
15 MR. STEIN: No, Your Honour. Other than what
16 we've said earlier, we have none.
17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Very well. I take
18 that to be a reference to the amount of reading for
19 Judge Robinson. It is something which we covered or I
20 covered in my conversation with him which I referred to
21 last week. Accordingly, we'll make the order in the
22 interests of justice under Rule 15 bis.
23 The next matter is this, that we have had the
24 transcript of Colonel Stewart's evidence in Blaskic.
25 It's evidence which was given under oath and subject to
1 cross-examination, and we would propose that it be made
2 an exhibit in this case so that it's part of the
3 record. Is there any objection to that course?
4 MR. NICE: No objection.
5 MR. SAYERS: No objection, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
7 MR. KOVACIC: The same, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, Mr. Kovacic. I didn't
9 ask you about the Rule 15 bis order.
10 Since the transcript was part or is part of
11 the record and since we've had the opportunity of
12 reading it, it would be sufficient for counsel to refer
13 to passages in it on which they rely. There are more
14 references, I note, to Mr. Kordic, for instance, than
15 appear in your summary, one or two.
16 MR. NICE: Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: But albeit, if the same points
18 are to be made, then a reference to the transcript
19 would be sufficient rather than taking the witness all
20 the way through it again, saying, "Do you agree," and
21 of course, he will say, "Yes, I agree with what I said
22 on oath three months ago," or "six months ago," and I
23 hope in that way we can speed things up.
24 You anticipated you would be about an hour,
25 Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: Probably less.
2 JUDGE MAY: Probably less. It really would
3 be in everybody's interests so we can get through the
4 work this week and also so that the witness himself can
5 get away if we can conclude his cross-examination
6 today. I hope that's going to be possible.
7 If there are references to the witness's book
8 and his diary, again if counsel want to rely on parts
9 of it, there's no need to go over it all, we can be
10 referred to it and we can read it at our leisure.
11 Can we have the witness, please.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, perhaps just a
13 technical question for later work. Since the
14 transcript of this witness from his testimony in the
15 other case will be somehow, how should I say it, I'm
16 missing the technical word, tender it --
17 JUDGE MAY: Part of the record. It will be
18 part of the record in this case.
19 MR. KOVACIC: But should it then have a
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it probably should have a
23 MR. KOVACIC: So we know how to handle it
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course. A Prosecution
1 Exhibit, I suggest.
2 MR. NICE: Yes. Can we think of the
3 appropriate number to give it, given that we've been
4 attaching numbers with significance. We'll try and
5 find an appropriate number. Maybe transcripts should
6 start a new series at a high number, but I'll think of
8 JUDGE MAY: If you will deal with that
10 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
17 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
20 WITNESS: ROBERT ALEXANDER STEWART
21 Examined by Mr. Nice:
22 Q. Full name, please.
23 A. Robert Alexander Stewart.
24 Q. We have to leave a gap between questions and
25 answers to allow for simultaneous translation to take
1 place, or translation to take place.
2 Colonel Stewart, were you commanding officer
3 of the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment in Bosnia
4 October 1992 to May 1993?
5 A. I was.
6 Q. Have you reviewed now the witness statement
7 you gave, as well as the testimony you gave in the
8 Blaskic case? Do you have any comments to make by way
9 of correction of either of those documents?
10 A. I have reviewed the documents and I have no
11 amendments or adjustments to make.
12 Q. Roughly how many times did you meet Dario
13 Kordic in the course of your tour of duty?
14 A. I think about four or five times.
15 Q. Can we just confirm that you've seen a
16 summary of your evidence today? Indeed, it may be
17 before you at the moment. Is that summary something
18 with which you also agree?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. Although it may be before you, if you would
21 be so good as to try and speak directly to the Judges
22 on questions, using, as it were, the words that come to
23 you today, I would be grateful, to give vitality to
24 your evidence.
25 In forming conclusions about Kordic, I want
1 to check that we've listed the sources of information
2 available to you. Did those sources include the
3 personal encounters with Kordic himself?
4 A. Yes, they did, Your Honour.
5 Q. The system of reporting from your patrols,
6 how did that information reach you; directly or
8 A. It reached me directly, and often I formed my
9 own conclusions because I was out on patrol a lot, and
10 so there were various sources of information that
11 reached me as the commander.
12 Q. Before information reached you, did it pass
13 through an intelligence officer or a system of
14 intelligence handling?
15 A. The answer to that question is it depended.
16 It depended -- if it was considered to be vital, it
17 would come direct to me, unfiltered. But the normal
18 system was that all patrols were briefed and debriefed
19 both before -- they were briefed before they went on
20 patrol and they were debriefed on return from patrol by
21 what I call the intelligence section and by the
22 briefers in the intelligence section.
23 Q. Did you also receive information from ECMM
25 A. Yes, I did. They were quite useful, because
1 they used to operate in areas that I didn't necessarily
2 patrol, and the reason why they would operate in areas
3 I didn't necessarily patrol was because they generally
4 operated in the more passive areas, whereas I wanted to
5 concentrate my efforts in the areas where there was
6 more trouble, indeed where the ECMM, who were unarmed
7 and unprotected by armour, could not operate, except
8 sometimes I lent them armour that I -- from my own
10 Q. Did you receive information or intelligence
11 from locally-employed staff, including interpreters?
12 A. Well, yes, I did, but in many ways the
13 information I received from the interpreters was gained
14 by the fact that they were with me or with our patrols
15 when we were operating.
16 Q. Did you receive information direct from the
17 HVO and from the BiH army?
18 A. Yes, we did, but we made sure, as a
19 principle, that we didn't pass on information we
20 received from the HVO, the BiH, to the opposition. It
21 was one of the unwritten rules that I laid down, that
22 we would not pass information given to us by one side
23 to the other. Otherwise, of course, one, we would be
24 distrusted sometimes more than we were before, and
25 equally I didn't think that was proper.
1 Q. Finally, did you receive information directly
2 from local inhabitants to whom you or perhaps others
3 but you certainly spoke?
4 A. This was the most important source of
5 information. As I was on the ground quite a lot, what
6 someone who lived in a house that I visited told me
7 must have been the most important raw data. The fact
8 that someone who lived there all his life was telling
9 me something gave it the greatest credibility. So in
10 my view, receiving information direct from the people
11 that lived on the ground, whether they be Bosnian
12 Croats or Bosnian Muslims, was the most important and
13 crucial information I was to receive, and for that
14 reason and that reason chiefly, I spent a lot of my
15 time actually talking to people on the ground.
16 MR. NICE: May the witness have, please, the
17 map 2781,2 for reference as he may decide. If it can
18 be left on the ELMO, I expect Colonel Stewart knows how
19 to use it, from his evidence in the other case.
20 Q. We've listed, Colonel Stewart, personal
21 encounters with Kordic to which you attach particular
22 significance, and in relation to each of those, I'd
23 like you, please, to summarise, in a couple of
24 sentences, what happened, and then to say what
25 conclusion you draw from it.
1 First, was there an incident at Novi Travnik
2 on the 20th of October of 1992 that you can tell us
4 A. Yes, I can. This was at a time when my
5 battalion was not in theatre. It was during the
6 reconnaissance, when we were deciding how and where we
7 would actually position my troops in Central Bosnia.
8 I was on my own, insofar as I had a maximum
9 of about 20 people with me. We were based in the
10 school in Vitez, which was empty, actually using the
11 gymnasium to sleep in there, and what happened on the
12 20th of October was that there was serious fighting
13 which had erupted in Vitez and the surrounding area.
14 It was so serious that I thought it would terminate --
15 could possibly terminate the deployment of United
16 Nations troops into Central Bosnia, which of course
17 would destroy the mission I had been given. For that
18 reason, I took immediate action to try and sort the
20 I remember that on the 20th, I went into the
21 Hotel Vitez, which I had stayed at previously, to try
22 and find who was in charge. I was told by the
23 commander there that the reason why there was fighting
24 and the reason why there were roadblocks was because
25 the Muslims were causing trouble. In fact, there was
1 some shooting around the Vitez Hotel, which was the HVO
2 headquarters as well.
3 And having done that, I was told I ought to
4 go and see the Bosnian Muslim commander, which I did.
5 He was in a school, and I remember he was sitting, when
6 I went in to see him, in the sort of headmaster's
7 office, and the window was smashed, the result of an
8 RPG 7 or anti-tank missile hitting just below the
9 window, so which had smashed all the glass. He said
10 that had happened during the night.
11 Anyway, on return to the Hotel Vitez --
12 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Stewart, forgive me. Let
13 me interrupt you, because there's something which I
14 would like clarified.
15 You were told to go and see the Bosnian
16 Muslim commander, and you did so, and you saw him in
17 the school. That I take it to be in Vitez. Who was
18 that, please, if you remember? If you don't remember,
19 just say so.
20 A. I do remember. A guy called Sefkija. That's
21 the way I wrote it down.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
23 A. And I was sent to that area by Cerkez, the
24 HVO commander, as he said, in Vitez.
25 Anyway, I saw Sefkija. I returned to the
1 hotel. It wasn't particularly easy because there was a
2 heck of a lot of shooting, but we didn't come under
4 Then I went to Novi Travnik, which was
5 extremely difficult, and something like in the
6 afternoon I set up a convoy and went to Novi Travnik,
7 got stopped at a roadblock outside Novi Travnik by an
8 HVO -- by HVO personnel, and then drove into Travnik.
9 It was, to say the least, extremely hazardous. We were
10 driving Land Rovers, and it seemed to me like we were
11 walking into an ambush. I don't know why none of my
12 vehicles were hit. And we careered through Novi
13 Travnik, going initially to find the BiH headquarters,
14 apparently commanded by a man called Lendo.
15 I spoke to Lendo when we got there, an
16 unpleasant man, and told him that the fighting had to
17 stop. And apparently he had some prisoners or
18 hostages. I demanded that he give them to me
19 immediately. He refused. I said I wasn't prepared to
20 have a refusal, but he still refused. Then as I was
21 about to leave, he produced one man. This man was
22 terrified. In fact, as I recall, he didn't seem to
23 have the basics. He had a shirt on and he probably
24 had -- you know, I had the impression of shoes without
25 laces and things like that. But he was clearly a very
1 frightened individual.
2 Anyway, I thought one was better than none,
3 and I told Lendo that the fighting had to stop, that it
4 was disgraceful, and to that end I was going to go to
5 the HVO headquarters. Once I got some sense out of the
6 so-called HVO hostage, once he stopped being so
7 frightened, he agreed to direct me to the HVO
9 There was still some firing as we crossed
10 town and we went to a place which I think was called
11 the Cafe Grand, and inside the Cafe Grand I met Kordic
12 for the first time. It was an upstairs bar in the Cafe
13 Grand, and again my task, as I saw it, was to try and
14 get both the HVO and the BiH to stop fighting.
15 In answer to the question finally, and I'm
16 sorry it's taken so long to get there, that is the
17 first time I met Kordic.
18 Q. How was he dressed? Was he alone? If not,
19 what sort of people were with him? In a sentence or
21 A. He was dressed in military fatigues without
22 insignia; in fact, the HVO didn't seem to carry
23 insignia at the time. He was surrounded by people who
24 were similarly dressed and he appeared to be the
1 Q. Did he speak to you and negotiate with you as
2 the commander or not?
3 A. He did.
4 Q. Did he or did anybody else identify any
5 senior HVO commander in Novi Travnik to whom you should
6 have referred at that stage, or were matters conducted
7 on the basis that Kordic was in charge?
8 A. Well, to be honest, I went there expecting to
9 find Blaskic and so I was somewhat surprised when
10 Kordic was there but Blaskic was not, because one of
11 the reasons I had come to Novi Travnik was also to
12 speak to Blaskic. Blaskic wasn't there but Kordic
14 Q. Was there any suggestion that Kordic was
15 deferring to Blaskic or that you would have to refer to
17 A. No, there was not. In fact, the fact of the
18 matter was I didn't really contemplate the matter at
19 all because as far as I was concerned I had one urgent
20 overriding priority, that was to stop the fighting, and
21 I'd deal with anyone who could help do that, and Kordic
22 appeared to be the man in charge at the time.
23 Q. Let's move to the next incident, but we'll
24 take "C" ahead of "B" because I think this may fit
1 In summary, was there an incident involving a
2 Danish soldier kidnapped by the HVO in respect of whom
3 the United Nations had been asked for help?
4 A. Yes, there was. At one stage, the Danish
5 contingent in Kiseljak had apparently lost a soldier
6 who had been along the road, on his own, I think, and
7 he was kidnapped. The fact of the matter was I knew
8 Dario Kordic.
9 I was telephoned from Kiseljak by the United
10 Nations command and asked if I could help to get this
11 soldier freed. In fact, I'd had dinner with Dario
12 Kordic either the night before or the night before that
13 in my headquarters, along with the commanders of the
14 BiH, a dinner night as we call them, and I sent Captain
15 Martin Foregrave to see Dario Kordic to ask if he could
16 use his influence to get this soldier released.
17 Apparently it had some influence because the soldier
18 was released four hours later.
19 Q. Let's move to subparagraph --
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, can we establish a date
21 for this incident?
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Are you able to establish a date for this,
24 Colonel Stewart?
25 A. No, I'm not.
1 Q. But where do you believe it to fit in
2 relation to the next incident which I was going to deal
3 with, the 4th of February, 1993?
4 A. Before it.
5 Q. So dealing with the 4th of February in
6 Busovaca at the PTT building, and referring to the map
7 if that's going to assist us, tell us what happened and
8 what significance you saw in it particularly.
9 A. I visited the PTT building in Busovaca on the
10 4th of February. Kordic was by that time the military
11 commander of Busovaca, as I recall, still not wearing
12 military rank but certainly wearing military fatigues.
13 He was quite agitated, which I thought was unusual. He
14 was agitated, I felt, because of the advance of the BiH
15 across the hills towards Busovaca. He asked me to do
16 all I could to stop the fighting, which I took to be a
17 sign that actually the HVO might be losing this
18 particular matter.
19 I think on that date I went into the area of
20 Katici and also -- it doesn't show on your map, it has
21 to be opened out. It's still not helpful. Can I have
23 Just to orientate, Vitez is there
24 [indicates]; Busovaca is here. This road is the valley
25 road along the Lasva Valley that goes round to Zenica.
1 This junction here [indicates], the T-junction is
2 strategically important because this is the dividing
3 line between going to Zenica and going down to
4 Kiseljak, and Busovaca stood here [indicates]. The PTT
5 building was obviously in the centre of Busovaca.
6 I visited the PTT building here [indicates]
7 and was told the fighting was enormous around up here
8 [indicates], and could I help. I went to Katici and
9 Medani in my armoured vehicle, and I think it was
10 getting dark at the time. Again, this was a serious
11 area of confrontation and we came under fire when we
12 did so.
13 Q. What, over all, did this encounter with the
14 agitated Dario Kordic show you about military command
15 in him at that time?
16 A. My conclusion was that Kordic had decided or
17 had been put in charge of Busovaca from his position as
18 the political director to try and get a control over
19 the situation there, and my conclusion was, and I'm
20 sure of this, that at the time he was the HVO commander
21 in Busovaca.
22 Q. I turn to the 22nd of February. Was there an
23 incident there involving a roadblock on the Zenica
25 A. Yes. I had negotiated that this roadblock,
1 which, if you look at the map, would of course be a big
2 problem, it was somewhere near here [indicates] where
3 the main road came close to the river, and there was a
4 cliff and the cliff had been brought down to
5 effectively block the road with explosives -- it had
6 been brought down by explosives to block the road.
7 If you can imagine, there were only two
8 routes into Zenica; one, the easiest route along the
9 main road and the other, the valley route where there
10 were frequent roadblocks and where there was an area of
11 confrontation. To actually lose the easy access to
12 Zenica where all the international agencies tend to
13 have their headquarters and their control points was a
15 Q. You said the alternative was the valley
16 road. Did you mean the alternative was the mountain
18 A. Yes. Forgive me, I meant the mountain road.
19 Q. We'll be looking at that in a few minutes, so
20 press on.
21 A. So I was very concerned to get this roadblock
22 removed, and I remember one of my company commanders, a
23 Major Jennings, was tasked by me to get it fixed. He
24 didn't really manage that, and so I put a lot of effort
25 into getting it removed. I spoke to Blaskic and he
1 agreed that the route could be opened. When I visited
2 Kordic, he didn't agree that the route could be opened
3 and said that Blaskic's word on this did not matter, it
4 was not to be opened.
5 Q. Was it opened or did it remain --
6 A. No, it wasn't opened then. It took a few
7 more days and required me to guarantee that I would
8 provide security on that route by having a checkpoint
9 of my soldiers permanently established there. This was
10 something I really loathed doing. I did not like
11 establishing checkpoints because it -- well, it sort of
12 implicated a lot of my soldiers in static duties and
13 took a lot of manpower, and frankly I didn't think it
14 was particularly effective.
15 Q. We've heard evidence already and, indeed,
16 seen film already of your discovery of the massacre at
17 Ahmici. That's been dealt with also in your testimony
18 in the Blaskic case, and I'm not going to take you
19 through it at all. But did you, after that discovery
20 on the 26th of April, have an encounter with Kordic,
21 where he gave an explanation to you for what had
22 happened at Ahmici?
23 A. Yes, I did. Kordic told me that the incident
24 at Ahmici had been caused by Bosnian Serbs seeking to
25 kill Muslims and blame the HVO.
1 Q. Your response at the time to that?
2 A. I thought it was laughable and pathetic and
3 obviously was wrong.
4 Q. Did you tell him as much?
5 A. Oh, yes.
6 Q. I turn now to your conclusions from all the
7 sources of information about Kordic. How connected was
8 he to the top of the HVO?
9 A. He was definitely connected to the top of the
10 HVO, as he told me himself. He was the Deputy
11 President, a political Deputy President or
12 Vice-President. He was proud of that, and he was
13 primarily, in my view, a political leader in Central
14 Bosnia, political in the sense, I have to add, in the
15 sense of giving direction to the military.
16 Q. I'll return to that conclusion a little
17 further on but deal with some detailed matters first.
18 How connected to Valenta?
19 A. My impression was that Valenta was almost his
20 professor, almost someone from whom he derived
21 inspiration or -- Valenta had written a book. I never
22 read it because, of course, I can't read Croatian. But
23 when he explained it to me verbally, it seemed to me
24 rather like Mein Kampf, insofar as Mein Kampf suggested
25 ethnic cleansing and so too did Valenta's book,
1 apparently, from what he said to me.
2 Q. Subparagraph (D), because we've dealt
3 with (C). As things developed, did you judge whether
4 Kordic's involvement in military affairs was constant
5 or diminished or grew? Tell us about that.
6 A. The answer is he started as a political
7 controller, although the incident on the 20th of
8 October, 1992, seemed to demonstrate that he was a
9 decision-maker too in the military, you know, with
10 regard to the Novi Travnik business. But he got
11 increasingly involved in the military situation,
12 witnessed by the fact that by the end of my time in
13 Bosnia, he was the commander in Busovaca.
14 He most certainly was not a military officer
15 by profession, Blaskic was, an ex-JNA officer who had
16 personal knowledge and, I suspect, some liking for
17 people like Merdan in the BiH, as Kordic's background
18 tended to be as a journalist and also someone
19 politically involved.
20 Q. Did you see some indication, from individual
21 members of the HVO, how they regarded Kordic's military
23 A. Yes. I believe that the HVO soldiers who
24 were doing the fighting often didn't have much time for
25 Kordic and considered him inept in terms of being a
1 military commander. "Laugh behind their hands" would
2 be an English way of putting it.
3 Q. But did that necessarily find reflection in
4 their refusing to honour or to obey any orders that may
5 have come from or via him or not?
6 A. I don't think so. It was just an aside that
7 I felt. I mean the situation was always confusing. My
8 view was that Blaskic was the military commander and
9 Kordic was the political commander.
10 As someone that has studied the Soviet armed
11 forces for most of my time in the British army, there
12 was no surprise that the opponents in the Balkans would
13 be organised along the kind of Soviet-type principle
14 whereby there was a military commander and a political
15 commander side by side. That was how the JNA was
16 organised, you know, initially along Soviet lines
17 before the split with Tito, but probably continued.
18 And so therefore the experience of people who
19 had been in the armed forces was that these two
20 political/military commanders would work side by side
21 and that in normal times the military commander would
22 have to get the agreement of the political commander to
23 do anything. And so my view was and remains that
24 Blaskic was the appointed military commander for
25 Central Bosnia and that Kordic was the appointed
1 political commander for Central Bosnia.
2 But remember, when you say "appointed", this
3 was the HVO at a time when it was forming itself. You
4 know, I have sympathy for the fact that, you know, all
5 these things were being done at great speed, so it
6 wasn't, you know, as if they had manuals and books and
7 standard operational procedures. It was done really,
8 you know, as needs must.
9 Q. Thank you. I think we've dealt effectively
10 with subparagraphs (E), his influence at the
11 negotiations in October 1992, (F), his military command
12 in Busovaca in 1993. (G), you've really dealt with
13 his status vis-a-vis Blaskic and the fact that he
14 countermanded on overruled Blaskic on the 22nd of
15 February. I turn to (H).
16 Did you ever see Kordic personally involved
17 in war crimes?
18 A. No, I never did, and I think that's fair. I
19 never did that, and neither did I have the impression
20 that he had personally been involved in war crimes.
21 Q. As to the Ahmici attack, what amplification
22 from what's in your summary -- by the time of the
23 Ahmici attack, was there any evidence available to you
24 of the developing situation and what was happening?
25 A. Ahmici occurred on the 16th of April, 1993.
1 It was clear to me that the situation in Central Bosnia
2 had been deteriorating for some time with regard to the
3 relationship between the HVO and BiH.
4 The attack on Ahmici must have been
5 pre-planned. You know, as an experienced military
6 officer, you don't assemble the number of troops to do
7 that kind of operation without some pre-planning, and
8 therefore the attack on Ahmici must have been known and
9 condoned -- I mean agreed to by Mr. Kordic, because he
10 was still at that time the political -- dare I use the
11 word -- commissar for Central Bosnia.
12 I cannot see Blaskic or anyone else involved
13 in this operation carrying out such a disgusting crime
14 without political agreement. Political agreement in
15 Central Bosnia came through Kordic.
16 Q. Finally and more generally on this topic, any
17 other policies that the Chamber may find existed about,
18 for example, ethnic cleansing generally, to what degree
19 must they, in your judgement, have involved political
20 approval or contribution?
21 A. I think that the decisions on ethnic
22 cleansing stemmed from two sources. One was the
23 political strategy of the HVO, led by people like Ante
24 Valenta, and as I previously said, Kordic seemed to be
25 a disciple of these thoughts. And the other catalyst,
1 I'm afraid to say, was the suggestion that the area of
2 Central Bosnia would be divided under the Vance-Owen
3 Plan into certain areas which seemed to be rather
4 absurd. For example, Gornji Vakuf, largely Muslim, was
5 given to the Croats, and Novi Travnik, very much
6 Muslim, was given also to the Croats, and the Croats
7 were meant to sort of centralise in Zenica.
8 One of the reasons I think why the trouble
9 that had been brewing for some time started was to
10 quickly expedite this so-called political solution so
11 that people could, de facto, change the situation
12 before the International Community realised they got it
13 wrong, the International Community represented by
15 But fundamentally, any ethnic cleansing in
16 Central Bosnia must have been agreed to by the
17 political leadership of the HVO.
18 Q. And so the setup, as you saw it, was that one
19 where political controllers could overrule military
20 commanders or where military commanders could overrule
21 political commanders?
22 MR. SAYERS: Objection to the leading nature
23 of that question, You Honour, and to the extent that it
24 calls for speculation and conjecture.
25 JUDGE MAY: I don't think it is leading. It
1 is open-ended, because it wants an "either/or" answer.
2 A. The answer is that I felt that political
3 always led.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. Did you see any example of Kordic's orders
6 being overruled either by the military or by anybody
7 further up any political or military chain and
8 therefore superior to him?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. We know from other evidence that you required
11 investigation into Ahmici from Blaskic. At the time
12 you made that requirement and based on your experience
13 as a soldier, would written documents have existed or
14 not to show what had happened?
15 A. I think that there would have been written
16 orders to prepare for the attack on Ahmici. I suspect
17 there may have been a written debrief for what happened
18 at Ahmici. But most clearly, because of the
19 disgusting, disgraceful situation that happened in
20 Ahmici and elsewhere, such documents would have been
21 suppressed or destroyed, because they were like
22 political dynamite.
23 I want to say one more thing at this stage.
24 There were -- I found evidence that there were also
25 crimes against humanity perpetrated by the BiH, but
1 not, in my area, at least, in any way like the scale of
2 those that normally occurred in the Lasva Valley.
3 Q. And was any report or were any raw documents
4 ever produced to you by Blaskic or anyone else in
5 defence of the various positions they took to explain
6 Ahmici and to explain why the HVO weren't involved?
7 A. Well, there was an answer to the letter I
8 sent immediately after I discovered Ahmici, sent to me
9 by Blaskic. I saw it in the Blaskic trial. I'm quite
10 sure and I'm perfectly willing to accept it came. I'm
11 not willing to accept, though, that anything was done
12 in my time, and I departed from Central Bosnia on the
13 10th of May, 1993, that there was absolutely nothing
14 done to investigate openly, with access to anyone, what
15 had happened at the village of Ahmici on the 16th of
16 April, 1993.
17 MR. NICE: May the witness see, in order to
18 refresh the Tribunal's recollection, D64/1, as the
19 document, I think, to which he is referring. If we can
20 lay that on the ELMO.
21 Q. Is that the document you had in mind when you
22 say that there was a reply shown to you in the Blaskic
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 MR. NICE: The Chamber will have read it
1 before and there's no need to reread it.
2 May we go into private session just briefly
3 because of the sensitivity of another potential
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. NICE: And would the Chamber have to look
7 at but not to lay on the ELMO document 887.2. I'm so
8 sorry. I was going too fast.
9 [Private session]
13 page 12307 redacted – in private session
13 page 12308 redacted – in private session
22 [Open session]
23 MR. NICE: We're now in public session, I
25 Q. You've been asked --
1 THE WITNESS: Can I know what the difference
2 between private and public session is?
3 MR. NICE: Private session is that nothing is
4 heard by the public gallery, so that what you say can't
5 be broadcast.
6 THE WITNESS: But in private session, what I
7 say can still get out of this court; is that correct?
8 MR. NICE: The Court has powers to control
9 the dissemination of information and the Defence
10 counsel are under duties to not disseminate publicly
11 what is revealed only privately.
12 THE WITNESS: What about the defendant?
13 JUDGE MAY: Well --
14 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. I would like to
15 know this, sir, because, you know, I'm talking about
16 something that matters very much.
17 JUDGE MAY: If there's a matter which
18 troubles you about this, we'll give you leave to talk
19 to Mr. Nice during the adjournment about it and then it
20 can be explained to you, and if there is a matter which
21 should be drawn to the attention of the Court, we'll
22 deal with it.
23 THE WITNESS: Can I answer, it's nothing
24 suspicious. It's just that general military practice
25 in the British army does not necessarily identify
1 people who work for special operations.
2 JUDGE MAY: Of course not. But, as I say, if
3 you would like to have a word with Mr. Nice about it,
4 it can either be cleared up or we'll make some sort of
5 order if we need to.
6 THE WITNESS: I don't need to, sir, but I
7 just wanted to be clear on that because I'm concerned,
8 because normal practice is that we don't identify.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. With the map to hand and bearing in mind that
12 the learned Judges haven't visited the area, can you
13 just explain a little more about the mountain road, you
14 might want to unwrap it, unfold the map, and show us
15 the utility to you of the mountain road in contrast
16 with the valley road.
17 A. If I can orientate you again, Vitez is here
18 [indicates], there; there is Zenica [indicates] where
19 the international agencies tended to be based; here
20 [indicates] is my military headquarters where I tended
21 to be based. The only two routes to Zenica were as
22 follows: the valley route which went down the Lasva
23 Valley to a junction here [indicates], this road went
24 to Sarajevo; and if you turned left or kept going, you
25 went into Zenica. A good well-maintained acceptable
1 road for the deployment of logistic transport and
2 humanitarian aid, obviously.
3 The valley road was the best route for
4 getting heavy vehicles into Zenica. The alternative
5 route was what we always called the mountain road which
6 went high up to this point, the highest point, and then
7 all the way down this valley into Zenica. This was
8 obviously quicker as a bird would fly, but this may
9 well have been quicker by virtue of the ease of
10 transport, you didn't have to climb.
11 Personally, I would generally use the
12 mountain road if I was in a Discovery Land Rover and
13 the valley road if I was in an armoured vehicle.
14 Q. How frequently or otherwise did you use the
15 mountain road? What about at the time of Ahmici?
16 A. At the time of Ahmici, on the 16th of April,
17 I probably went in three times to Zenica in that day --
18 at least two, probably three times. You have to recall
19 that my diary was written the next day and I didn't
20 necessarily -- I was tired and I just sort of bounced
21 around and put down most things, but it wasn't a
22 blow-by-blow account.
23 Q. To make sense of that and to connect it to
24 what the Chamber's dealing with, you've been asked
25 about and do you have any recollection of any incident
1 where you were given assistance with the moving of
2 mines on the road?
3 A. Yes. I mean, sometimes people would help me
4 move mines on the road, any road, and sometimes I'd do
5 it on my own. Obviously we learnt relatively quickly,
6 we hoped, that all the mines were not -- the anti-tank
7 mines, vehicle mines, were not booby-trapped. They
8 generally were movable. In fact, I don't think I can
9 recall an instance even with so-called tilt switches,
10 which is rods on top of anti-tank mines, that they were
11 booby-trapped, which was normal custom in a
12 professional armed force.
13 Q. Picking up your evidence of a couple of
14 answers ago, you've looked at your diary in relation
15 to, as it were, day return trips over the mountain road
16 to Zenica, you've dealt with the 16th of April. Does
17 your diary allow the possibility of any day return trip
18 to Zenica on the 15th or not?
19 A. On the 15th I went to Zenica but I didn't
20 return. I was summoned by --
21 Q. Well, again, that's all we need. If you went
22 there and you didn't return, then it wasn't a day
23 return trip?
24 A. The 14th, no. I was in Tuzla.
25 Q. And the 15th?
1 A. The 15th I spent the morning in my
2 headquarters dealing with paperwork. In the early
3 afternoon I was in Novi Travnik until I was summoned to
4 go to Zenica.
5 Q. Did you regularly enough pick up people that
6 you met on the roads whether or not that accorded with
8 A. Sir, the official policy was that we were not
9 to take people on board our vehicles, but the official
10 policy was nonsense when I considered there to be a
11 threat to the people, and so I countermanded that
12 order, which is a United Nation's order, and gave
13 instructions to my soldiers that where people's lives
14 were at risk or they considered it to be a humanitarian
15 purpose, i.e., someone who needed to go to hospital or
16 even a soldier, I didn't consider that a soldier wasn't
17 human, if a soldier was wounded and we could help him
18 by saving his life, we were to do so.
19 So the answer to the question, I'm sorry I
20 put that in context, the answer to the question is I
21 would willingly pick up people who I felt there was a
22 need to give them a lift, whether they be Muslim,
23 Croat, or whoever.
24 Q. Thank you. Two other matters of detail and
25 then I'm done.
1 First, and again this is not covered in your
2 summary but I think you may want to make reference to
3 it, you saw one or more than one places used as prisons
4 in the area of Busovaca or Busovaca/Vitez.
5 A. Actually, in the area of Busovaca, two; one I
6 call Kaonik and another one which is unnamed but to the
7 south of Busovaca.
8 Q. Any significance to the fact that there were
9 two places used as prisons in the area of Busovaca?
10 A. I think it was convenience more than anything
12 Q. Then one document only to look at, please.
13 It's Exhibit Z306 coming up. This is a milinfosum, the
14 6th of December of 1992, and it's the passage at the
15 foot of the first page where there's a reference to the
16 man called Marinko, did you know the man called
18 A. I might have done, but I can't recall his
20 Q. Yes. We can see that as reported, Marinko
21 stated that he knew Kordic well and described Blaskic
22 and Kordic at that time, the end of December or the
23 beginning of December, as two bodies, one mind,
24 claiming that Novi Travnik was a Croat town and would
25 form part of the new State of Herceg-Bosna, being happy
1 that Muslims should leave for, say, Zenica. How did
2 that expression of views fit or otherwise with your
3 understanding of the position at the time?
4 A. Well, I mean this is what I understood to be
5 accurate. I think this is something that comes from
6 Valenta's book, and I think this information was
7 probably gathered by one of my liaison officers.
8 I personally didn't have either knowledge or
9 input to this military information summary. It was
10 done normally by the staff, and normally I didn't have
11 an input unless I told them to put something into it.
12 MR. NICE: Thank you. Your Honour, subject
13 to the matter that may arise if we have an appropriate
14 order from the other Trial Chamber, that's all I ask of
15 the witness.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President, and
19 good morning, Colonel Stewart.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
21 Q. My name is Steve Sayers. I'm one of the
22 attorneys representing Dario Kordic in this case.
23 Behind me are Mr. Kovacic and Mr. Mikulicic, and they
24 represent Mario Cerkez.
25 The questions that --
1 A. Can I just ask, Mario Cerkez is not on trial
2 here, it's just Dario Kordic?
3 MR. SAYERS: Mario Cerkez is on trial.
4 JUDGE MAY: There are two accused.
5 A. There are two accused here, same trial?
6 JUDGE MAY: Two accused here. I'm sorry you
7 weren't told about that. Both in the same trial, yes.
8 MR. NICE: I thought he was, and indeed I
9 realise I omitted to deal with paragraph 9, which I
10 would have wanted to have dealt with, but it can be
11 dealt with, because it's all favourable, in a sense, it
12 can be dealt with now or in cross-examination later.
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, we can read paragraph 9.
14 No doubt Mr. Kovacic can ask some questions about it,
15 if he wants.
17 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Colonel, for your purposes and for the Trial
19 Chamber's purposes, let me just say that I propose to
20 ask you three broad areas of questions. I hope to be
21 complete by today, but that depends on the kind of
22 progress that we make.
23 First, I want to ask you some general
24 questions about the diaries or the diary that you
25 maintained and the book you wrote, some general
1 questions on the HVO chain of command. I will also ask
2 you about a couple of other subjects on a general
4 Secondly, I would like to take you through,
5 carefully and chronologically, the events in which you
6 have personal knowledge and about which you've given
7 some testimony today, and that's going to be the
8 largest part of the cross-examination.
9 Finally, I'll ask you some questions in
10 connection with the Ahmici opinions that you've given
11 today. And I'll try to do my best to let you know when
12 the break is so that you can prepare yourself for that.
13 A. That's very decent of you. That's very
14 much. I appreciate that.
15 Q. As I understand it, you've made two
16 preliminary visits in the nature of reconnaissance
17 visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina before actually leading
18 your regiment or the 1st Battalion of your regiment to
19 their tour of duty in Central Bosnia. The first
20 reconnaissance visit was at the end of September;
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you very briefly visited the town of
24 Vitez at that time?
25 A. Umm-hmm.
1 Q. Is that "yes"?
2 A. Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, I did. It lasted two
3 weeks, actually. I spent some time in Serbia as well,
4 one week in Serbia and one week in Central Bosnia.
5 Q. Most of your visit, though, was spent in the
6 Tuzla region, was it not?
7 A. In the first instance, my -- most of my visit
8 in Serbia was spent trying to get to Tuzla. I never
9 got there. I got stuck in around the area of Zvornik.
10 And when I was in Central Bosnia, I did get to Tuzla
11 from the town of Vitez.
12 Q. And then your second visit lasted from, I
13 believe, October the 18th to October the 22nd, when you
14 flew back to Split; correct?
15 A. Yes. I'm not sure, without reference to --
16 but the answer is, yes, it sounds right.
17 Q. Now, you testified in the Blaskic case that
18 you were instructed to keep a contemporaneous diary
19 from Lieutenant General Sir Jeromy McKenzie. I would
20 just like to show you a copy of the diary you
21 maintained, and we'll have it marked as an exhibit,
22 with the Trial Chamber's permission.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
25 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
1 Q. The document that was marked D151/1 and which
2 I've just had the registrar put in front of you is an
3 accurate copy of the contemporaneous diary that you
4 maintained; is that correct, sir?
5 A. Yes, it looks it.
6 Q. Well, if you just keep that by you, we'll be
7 referring to that occasionally during the course of
8 your cross-examination.
9 The second document I would like to show you
10 is a completely separate document entitled "The
11 Commander's Diary, 1 Cheshire," and I believe this is
12 the official battalion war diary, and I would just like
13 you to identify this for the record, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document D152/1.
15 MR. SAYERS:
16 Q. Colonel, the document that we've just shown
17 you is the official diary of significant events that
18 was maintained by the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire
19 Regiment; correct?
20 A. Yes. This is done by my second in command.
21 Q. And that's in the nature of an official
22 record, if you like, of the doings of the battalion
23 during their tour of duty in Central Bosnia; correct?
24 A. As he saw it.
25 Q. As he saw it?
1 A. As he saw it.
2 Q. Very well. And your second in command
3 initially, I believe, was Major Tim Park. Correct?
4 A. That's correct, until Christmas.
5 Q. And he was replaced then by Major Brian
6 Watters or then Major Brian Watters?
7 A. Right.
8 Q. Very well. Finally along these lines,
9 Colonel, you were requested by the British army to
10 write a book about your experiences in Central Bosnia,
11 and that book was published, I believe, by Harper
12 Collins in 1993 and entitled "Broken Lives." Correct?
13 A. It was the director of public relations,
14 army, that actually suggested I write a book and told
15 me to go to an agent, and the reason why he did that
16 was because he said that it would make absolute sense
17 to do so and it would stop people pushing me.
18 Q. And the book obviously was written in the
19 same year as your tour of duty; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. SAYERS: All right. Let me just have the
22 registrar mark the various portions of the book to
23 which we'll be referring during this
24 cross-examination. Thank you.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
2 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
3 Q. All right, Colonel. Let's just start with
4 the book "Broken Lives." That's your picture on the
5 front, I take it.
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to make much
8 progress if we ask that sort of question. It's
9 obviously his picture. Let's move on.
10 MR. SAYERS: Very well, Your Honour.
11 Q. You opine, sir, on page 319 of the book, that
12 Bosnia was undergoing a classic civil war fought by
13 civilians against civilians; a civilian one minute is a
14 soldier the next. I take it, sir, that you still agree
15 with that overall view of the situation that confronted
16 you and which you endured, actually, throughout your
17 tour of duty in Central Bosnia in the first half of
18 1993 and the latter two months or the latter month --
19 two months, I suppose, of 1992; correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. In addition, you relate, on page 19 of the
22 book, in connection with the initial briefings that you
23 were given to prepare you to lead your men into Central
24 Bosnia, sir, that Sir Peter Inge told you on September
25 the 13th that the hatred generated between the opposing
1 factions was almost impossible to believe. Do you
2 recall that briefing that you were given by --
3 A. I think Inge had been to Sarajevo before
4 that, and I do recall him telling me that.
5 Q. In addition, sir, just the final question
6 along these lines, on page 6 you relate that,
7 historically, relations between Serbs, Croats and
8 Muslims had been appalling for centuries; rivalries
9 between each group had frequently led to wars and
10 massacres; the place has always been considered a
11 powder keg. I believe that that's essentially the
12 briefing that you received to prepare you for your
13 duties. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Actually, not the briefing that you received
16 but some of the information that was communicated to
17 you as background; correct?
18 A. It was about all I got.
19 Q. In fact, sir, you knew nothing about the
20 Balkans before your posting to Bosnia-Herzegovina; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Beyond where they were and a bit of history,
24 Q. All right. In connection with the
25 intelligence section that you've described in your
1 direct examination, Colonel, that's what you called the
2 milinfocell or military information cell; is that
4 A. Yes. The United Nations initially told me
5 that there was no such thing as intelligence for a
6 United Nations operation, and I said that I disagreed
7 with that. I think they called -- they told me to call
8 it the information room. I refused to do such a
9 thing. I said intelligence is required in order to
10 operate as a military organisation.
11 Q. Your intelligence section, I believe, was
12 under the command of Captain Christopher Leyshon.
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And you always found him to be a reliable and
15 trustworthy and effective young officer, did you not?
16 A. He was effective enough.
17 Q. The Trial Chamber has heard a lot of
18 information already, Colonel, about military
19 information summaries or milinfosums and the military
20 information cell generally, but it's true, is it not,
21 that the task of the intelligence section was to
22 prepare contemporaneous reports and summaries of
23 significant happenings and events in your area of
24 operations, your AOR?
25 A. No. The task of an intelligence cell is to
1 prepare the soldiers that go on the ground to do their
2 job and take information from -- which they receive on
3 that patrol and investigate, collate it, so that
4 actually we are more effective next time we go on. As
5 part of its responsibilities, it has a reporting duty
6 as well, but the primary task of an intelligence
7 organisation is to assist those people that go on the
9 And while we're on that subject, just because
10 an intelligence cell produces an assessment doesn't
11 necessarily mean that people like myself read it.
12 Q. I understand, Colonel, but I'm just trying to
13 get an idea of how the information is put together.
14 A. I'm sorry, it was an aside. I'll answer the
16 Q. It's true, is it not, that the commander
17 would generally hold a briefing every day, and this
18 would be attended by the representatives of the
19 milinfocell as well as by the liaison officers?
20 A. It not only was general, it happened at 5.00.
21 Q. All right. And you reported, you yourself
22 and your liaison officers, reported the results of
23 their investigation each day; correct?
24 A. The staff reported the investigations. I
25 didn't necessarily.
1 Q. You felt that your liaison officers, for
2 example, Captain Foregrave or Captain Dundas-Whatley,
3 were effective, and you had a high opinion of their
4 operational efficiency during your tour of duty;
6 A. Well, the answer to that question in the
7 book, I would say they were great, but when I actually
8 assessed them as individuals, I might give a different
10 Q. Just before you visited Bosnia-Herzegovina,
11 you were actually given some background information
12 about what you could expect to find from Lieutenant
13 Colonel Colin Doyle; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And he told you, and this is recorded, I
16 believe, on pages 29 and 30 of your book and also on
17 page 280 of your book, and it's also recorded in your
18 diary, sir, on September 25th of 1992, that Lieutenant
19 Colonel Doyle told you that you should be very careful
20 to ascertain the truth, because all people in Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina were really good at twisting it;
23 A. Yes, I think that's right.
24 Q. Indeed, he instructed you that all parties
25 were quite prepared to attack their own people and to
1 blame it on someone else; correct?
2 A. He told me that, yes.
3 Q. In fact, it was your experience that it was
4 absolutely routine for the warring parties to point
5 fingers at one another when incidents occurred;
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. Let me just ask you a few questions, Colonel,
9 on the HVO chain of command.
10 You knew that the --
11 JUDGE MAY: If you're moving on to another
12 topic, I think that would be a convenient moment for
13 our break.
14 Mr. Nice, if you make your application to
15 speak to the witness, would you want to do that over
16 the longer adjournment?
17 MR. NICE: I'm not aware of any order coming
18 from Trial Chamber I in relation to the other matter.
19 I'll check with the witness whether he wants to say
20 anything, but I think his last answer was that he
21 didn't need to say anything else. But I'll have a word
22 with him, if I may.
23 JUDGE MAY: You may to ensure that nothing
24 else is to be added. But in due course you're going to
25 make an application in relation to the document if it
1 comes from Trial Chamber I.
2 MR. NICE: Yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, you can do that before the
4 longer adjournment.
5 MR. NICE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn for half an hour.
7 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.36 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
10 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Colonel, just before the break, I told you
12 that we were going to go over the chain of command
13 within the HVO, and I would like to address that in a
14 fairly summary way right now. These questions should
15 be fairly simple. If you need to expand on any answer,
16 just let me know.
17 First, you knew that the headquarters of the
18 HVO general staff was in Mostar; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that the commander in chief of the HVO
21 armed forces was Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic; correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. The military command of the HVO was actually
24 divided into various so-called operative zones; for
25 example, the Central Bosnia Operative Zone under the
1 command of Colonel Tihomir Blaskic and the Northwest
2 Herzegovina Operative Zone under the command, at least
3 during your tour of duty, of commander Zeljko Siljeg;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Each of these operative zones was commanded
7 by a separate commander who in turn reported to the
8 commander in chief of the general staff in Mostar,
9 Brigadier Petkovic; is that right?
10 A. That was my understanding.
11 Q. And insofar as the operative zones were
12 concerned, Colonel, they were actually divided into
13 municipality-based brigades; correct?
14 A. If you want to call them brigades, yes.
15 Q. Right. To the extent that they were
16 brigades, there was a brigade, for example, located in
17 Vitez, one in Novi Travnik, and another in Busovaca,
18 just as examples; correct?
19 A. As examples, yes.
20 Q. Each of the brigades was commanded by a
21 brigade commander who in turn reported to the operative
22 zone commander; correct?
23 A. As far as we could see it.
24 Can I just -- it was not -- we never had an
25 order of battle laid down, this was supposition as we
1 determined it, and neither were we indiscrete enough to
2 ask exactly what it was, indiscrete, I mean, from the
3 point of view that I thought it was inappropriate to
4 ask such questions and make suppositions.
5 Q. All right. So you never obviously asked
6 Colonel Blaskic what the relationship with Mr. Kordic
7 was insofar as the military chain of command was
8 concerned, did you?
9 A. No. I think I might have done actually
10 because I didn't totally comprehend -- it wasn't
12 Q. Right.
13 A. I think I might have done, but I don't think
14 it's recorded in my diary.
15 Q. Right. You knew that, for example, Colonel
16 Blaskic had the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in
17 Busovaca under his command, did you not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You knew that he had the ability to issue
20 orders to the 4th Battalion of the military police
21 headquartered in Vitez; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Similarly, he had under his command so-called
24 special purpose units, such as the Vitezovi under the
25 command of Darko Kraljevic; do you recall that?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You do not. Very well.
3 Now, you testified in the Blaskic case that
4 there could have been a political and a military chain
5 of command, that there was suspicions along those
6 lines, but that the British remained confused as to the
7 chain of command and never actually confirmed it.
8 MR. SAYERS: For the Trial Chamber's
9 purposes, I merely refer to pages 23764 and 23749.
10 Q. And that's still your impression today, isn't
11 it, Colonel?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Colonel Blaskic never once claimed to you
14 that there was any duality in the chain of command
15 whatsoever, did he?
16 A. Colonel Blaskic never once claimed to me that
17 there was duality and there was duality in the chain of
18 command, that is correct. Sorry, I am just rehearsing
19 the question again, just so I'm clear. No, I don't
20 think he did.
21 Q. All right. And you never raised the subject
22 with Mr. Kordic as to whether he had any military
23 authority at all, did you?
24 A. I don't think so.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. I don't think so.
2 Q. And the same is true with respect to any
3 other Bosnian Croat leader to whom you spoke, including
4 Brigadier Petkovic and Colonel Blaskic; correct?
5 A. Well, no, I think I might have talked to
6 Blaskic about it actually, you know, because he was --
7 no, I think I might have done but I can't say it's
8 fact. I've got this impression I might have done.
9 Q. Now, there was no doubt in your mind, and I
10 think you've said this in your direct examination and
11 you certainly said it in the Blaskic case but I'd just
12 like to ask you one question on this, there's no doubt
13 in your mind that Colonel Blaskic was the military
14 commander of the HVO armed forces in the Central Bosnia
15 Operative Zone; isn't that correct?
16 A. He said he was; I accepted that; he seemed to
18 Q. All right. And you always considered him to
19 be the commander, didn't you?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. In fact, I believe you told
22 Judge Shahabuddeen, on page 8355, that in your opinion
23 Colonel Blaskic was the real commander of the HVO
24 forces in Central Bosnia and you never thought of
25 Mr. Kordic as the commander and never referred to him
1 as the commander. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct, too, except with the
3 Busovaca thing.
4 Q. All right. Did you ever tell anybody that
5 you considered Mr. Kordic to be the military commander
6 in Busovaca?
7 A. I think I have said -- yes, I think I have
8 said that, yeah.
9 Q. To whom?
10 A. I don't know. It's generally -- it's what
11 appeared in my diary, what I appeared -- it appeared
12 correct at the time. And remember, going to the
13 evidence I've already given this morning, that
14 Mr. Kordic did appear to have the military command
15 decision-making in Novi Travnik on the 20th of October,
16 although I didn't think that was permanent. But I did
17 think that he was commander in Busovaca, correct, and I
18 don't know -- I've said that openly, so I don't know
19 who I've said it to. Lots of people, probably.
20 Q. Did you inform your military intelligence
21 section of that opinion, sir, do you think?
22 A. I think they knew about it. I mean sometimes
23 I would walk down and debrief -- be debriefed so that
24 we had a record of it, but to be quite honest, I didn't
25 have very much time on my hands.
1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Colonel
2 Stewart, sorry to interrupt you, but I have to ask if
3 Colonel Kordic had the command over the Busovaca area,
4 would that appear in military documents such as orders,
5 for example, or would that become transparent in
6 military type of relations that you entertained in
7 Busovaca? Did you have to go through him whenever you
8 dealt with some military operations in Busovaca, for
9 example? Was it possible for you to conclude from some
10 of the military operations that he really did have
11 command as far as the Busovaca area is concerned?
12 A. Well, I never called Mr. Kordic "Colonel".
13 It was the first reference I've heard to him as
14 "Colonel", which would make him equivalent rank, of
15 course, anyway. But the answer to your question, Sir,
16 I considered him to be the military commander de facto
17 in Busovaca at the time I visited him in the evidence
18 I've given, because he was the man -- you know, there
19 are indications of someone being a military commander.
20 An indication is that he sits in the operations room
21 and is surrounded by a staff. An indication is that no
22 one contradicts him. An indication is that when he
23 gives instructions, they are generally carried out. An
24 indication, indeed, is the fact he might disagree with
25 someone who was the de facto military commander of
1 Central Bosnia like Blaskic, and I've given evidence
2 this morning as to that fact with regard to the
3 landslide that was brought down on the Lasva Valley
4 road. I'm not sure whether that's an answer, Sir.
5 It's the best I can do at the moment.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. SAYERS:
8 Q. Colonel, in just a few minutes we'll go over
9 each of the Orbats, the orders of battle that your
10 regiment prepared in connection with the Central Bosnia
11 Operative Zone, but are you telling us that you
12 instructed your intelligence section that in your view,
13 Mr. Kordic was, in fact, the military commander in
15 A. I'm not sure I said that to them.
16 Q. All right. Now turning to Mr. Kordic for
17 just a second --
18 A. Did you say "Kordic" or "Blaskic" then? I'm
19 sorry. Did you say that Mr. Kordic was the commander
20 in Central Bosnia?
21 Q. I asked you, sir, whether you had ever
22 informed your intelligence section in the Cheshire
23 Regiment, your milinfocell, that in your opinion
24 Mr. Kordic was, in fact, the military commander in
1 A. I might have done, I might not have done. I
2 don't know.
3 Q. Very well. In connection with Mr. Kordic,
4 let me just ask you a few general questions before we
5 start going through the chronological material.
6 Were you aware that there was an entity by
7 the name of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna that
8 was in existence at the time of your tour of duty in
9 Central Bosnia, sir?
10 A. A sort of political organisation, you mean?
11 There are many phrases for it, HD -- whatever it is.
12 Yes, I realised there was a political organisation.
13 What it was called, I don't know.
14 Q. Let me just ask you this, and if you don't
15 know, you don't know, and that's a perfectly fine
16 answer. Were you aware that the HVO, the Croatia
17 Defence Council, was separate from the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna, had a separate governance
19 than people in positions of authority, and that those
20 two entities --
21 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Before you start
22 putting these matters, these may be matters which are
23 in dispute and shouldn't be put as fact.
24 MR. SAYERS: I think that's fair enough, Your
25 Honour. Let me lay a foundation.
1 JUDGE MAY: Ask a more open-ended question,
2 if you would.
3 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Sir.
4 Q. Three entities that I would like to ask you
5 to concentrate upon, Colonel. The first is the
6 so-called HZ-HB or the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna, which I've already discussed. Do you
8 know who the president of that entity was?
9 A. Not offhand. It was something to do with
10 Valenta, I think, and others. They are all connected.
11 This is the sort of Kordic line, yeah.
12 Q. Now, with respect to the HVO, the Croatian
13 Defence Council, do you know who the president of the
14 Croatian Defence Council was when you first arrived in
15 Bosnia in September of 1992, sir?
16 A. I haven't a clue.
17 Q. Have you ever heard the name Dr. Jadranko
19 A. I've heard of it, but beyond that --
20 Q. You don't know who it is that --
21 A. You know, this was irrelevant to me. I was
22 on the ground, trying to actually sort out a very
23 chaotic situation. Who the hell was the president of
24 an organisation which I didn't really understand, to be
25 honest, was something I couldn't have the time to even
1 think about. Forgive me, that sounds rude. I'm not
2 trying to be. I'm just trying to say it was very
3 difficult for me to try to concentrate on high-level
4 stuff when I had enough problems already.
5 Q. All right. Were you aware that Mr. Valenta
6 was, in fact, a vice-president of the HVO, having been
7 appointed on the 17th of October, 1992?
8 A. No, but it comes as no surprise. I thought
9 he was a vice-president of the organisation you've just
10 described or the president, but very high ranking.
11 Q. Did you know that Mr. Kordic was never a
12 vice-president or president of the HVO and that he
13 never had any formal role within that organisation
14 other than as a member of a committee on personnel?
15 JUDGE MAY: That, again, is highly
16 contentious. You're putting it as a fact. I don't
17 think that we are going to advance much further. The
18 witness has given his evidence as to what he knew about
19 Kordic at the time. Now let's move on to something
21 MR. SAYERS: All right.
22 Q. Let me turn to the third entity that I wanted
23 to ask you some questions about, because there are
24 several references to this in the milinfosums. Did you
25 know that Mr. Kordic was one of five vice-presidents of
1 the political party the HDZ-BiH?
2 A. Actually, I did. That's what he told me he
3 was. Or that's what he said he was. Let's be
4 factual. That's what he said he was.
5 Q. Just a general question, sir. It would be
6 fair to say that you were not aware of the distinctions
7 between the HVO, the HZ-HB and the HDZ-BiH; correct?
8 A. The answer is I was aware that there was
9 separate organisations. I personally felt they were
10 very closely connected.
11 Q. All right. There was a speech given by
12 Mr. Kordic on November the 5th that's already been
13 exhibited, Your Honours, Exhibit 129/1A, where
14 Mr. Kordic is identified as the deputy president of
15 Herceg-Bosna. Do you recall reading that speech at
17 A. No.
18 MR. SAYERS: All right. I'd just like the
19 usher to show you, if I may, milinfosum number 87,
20 dated January the 26th, 1993, D106/1. I have one for
21 the witness and one for the ELMO. Thank you,
22 Mr. Usher.
23 Q. Colonel, if you would just turn to page 2, I
24 would like to draw your attention to some observations
25 made by the military intelligence section of your
1 regiment in the middle of the page there regarding an
2 incident in which certain mines were moved. And the
3 comment is made by the military intelligence officer
4 that Dario Kordic is the local representative for the
5 HDZ, he claims to be the deputy to Mate Boban, and has
6 considerable influence in the local area. Is that your
7 understanding of what his position was as of January
8 the 26th, 1993, the local representative of the HDZ?
9 A. Sounds fine by me.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, you've
11 previously stated --
12 JUDGE MAY: Are you finished with that
14 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we have.
15 JUDGE MAY: It ought to go back.
16 MR. SAYERS:
17 Q. Colonel, and I would just like to draw the
18 Trial Chamber's attention to page 23872, you told
19 Judge Rodrigues that with respect to Mr. Kordic's
20 perceived status as some sort of a military figure in
21 Busovaca, you said that that was an impression.
22 "Forgive me. That is an impression, it's not a
23 fact." And does that remain your testimony today, that
24 your impressions regarding his perceived military
25 status are just that, impressions and not facts?
1 A. Well, an impression was gained by me that he
2 was the commander. I didn't factually see an order of
3 battle in which he was, you know, ascribed to that
4 position. An impression was that when I went there, he
5 was in charge, when I went there, he sat in the
6 operations room, and I've outlined these impressions
7 which lead me to that assumption already.
8 Q. All right. Let me just -- as we go through
9 the military intelligence summaries for the various
10 descriptions of Mr. Kordic's positions and the things
11 that he was doing contemporaneously, let me just start
12 with the December the 14th, 1992 milinfosum, and it's
13 not actually numbered, but let's have this marked as an
14 exhibit, please. I'd like to draw one passage to your
16 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit is numbered
18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much.
19 Q. The portion that I'd like to review with you
20 is on page 3 of 4. Under paragraph 10, it says: "The
21 Busovaca Brigade ..."
22 A. I'm sorry. I'm lost.
23 Q. On that page that you were looking at.
24 A. I see. Page 3?
25 Q. Actually, it's page 3 of 4, up at the top
1 right-hand corner.
2 A. Oh, yes, I see it.
3 Q. It's true that the HVO commanders and
4 deputies are listed here, and the Busovaca Brigade
5 commander, at least in the view of the Cheshire
6 Regiment on the 14th of December, 1992, was Zoran
7 Maric; correct?
8 A. That's what it says here.
9 Q. Yes. Thank you.
10 A. It wasn't necessarily my opinion, but that's
11 what it says here.
12 Q. Very well.
13 A. In my opinion, "I don't know" is the answer.
14 Q. Thank you. I've finished with that
15 milinfosum, and the next one I would like you to review
16 is a document that has already been marked D102/1,
17 milinfosum number 75.
18 MR. SAYERS: If the usher would just place
19 page 1 of that on the ELMO, please.
20 JUDGE MAY: What's the date, please, of this
22 MR. SAYERS: It's January the 15th, 1993,
23 Your Honour.
24 Q. The only portion I would like to draw to your
25 attention, sir, is under subparagraph B, under heading
1 one, "Busovaca," where it says: "The HVO brigade,
2 'Brigada Nikola Zrinjski,' is commanded by Niko
3 Jozinovic." Do you see that?
4 A. I see that.
5 Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Niko
6 Jozinovic as far as you're aware, sir?
7 A. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I'm lost. Where
8 is it? It's 2(B)?
9 Q. It's 1(B).
10 A. It's 1(B).
11 Q. It's right at the top of the screen there, if
12 you see it. It says: "The HVO brigade, 'Brigada
13 Nikola Zrinjski' is commanded by Niko Jozinovic."
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you ever have any contact with Commander
16 Jozinovic, sir, at any time during your tour of duty,
17 as far as you can remember?
18 A. As far as I can remember, I don't know.
19 Q. Very well.
20 MR. SAYERS: Thank you. I'm through with
21 that, Mr. Usher.
22 Q. The next document that I would like to review
23 with you has been marked previously as Exhibit Z429,
24 4-2-9, Z.
25 If you would turn, sir, to page -- it looks
1 as if it's page 4, right on the top right-hand side,
2 where an analysis is made under paragraph 7: "HVO
3 command structure in Central (Middle) Bosnia ..."
4 MR. SAYERS: It's the earlier page,
5 Mr. Usher, the page before that. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MAY: The date again, please,
7 Mr. Sayers.
8 MR. SAYERS: The date, Your Honours, is
9 February the 1st, 1993, and this is milinfosum number
11 Q. The observation there, sir, is made that
12 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, under paragraph 7(A), "Colonel
13 Tihomir Blaskic commands all HVO military operations in
14 the Central Bosnia region. Central Bosnia consists of
15 three operational zones containing nine brigades." And
16 that was your understanding, was it not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And it says that each brigade is then divided
19 into a number of manoeuvre units which in turn are
20 split into operational sectors. Is that your
21 understanding of the way that the military organisation
23 A. Just about. That's correct.
24 MR. SAYERS: If you would turn to the next
25 page, Mr. Usher, right at the top of that page.
1 Q. In the 2nd operational zone, the commander of
2 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, as of February the
3 1st of 1993, is listed as commander Niko Jozinovic;
5 A. It's listed as that. I wonder whether in
6 fact de facto it was.
7 Q. Very well. And the deputy commander is
8 Mr. Anto Sliskovic; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you ever meet or speak to Mr. Sliskovic,
11 as far as you can remember?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Very well. Now, were you aware, sir --
14 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher, I'm
15 finished with that.
16 Q. Were you aware that there was actually a
17 change in command in the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade
18 that was occurring early in February of 1993, in fact,
19 at the same time that you had your February the 4th,
20 1993 meeting with Mr. Kordic?
21 A. I was not. It wouldn't surprise me.
22 MR. SAYERS: Could I ask the usher to show
23 you Exhibit 109/1.
24 Q. I wonder if you would turn, sir, to the third
25 page, and, Your Honour, this is milinfosum number 103,
1 February the 11th, 1993. Under item 5, it says:
2 "Busovaca. The HVO brigade in Busovaca is now
3 commanded by Dusko Grubesic."
4 Were you aware that a change in command of
5 the Busovaca Brigade had occurred in early February of
7 A. Well, my staff may have been. I personally
9 Q. Very well. Did you ever, during your tour of
10 duty, sir, have occasion to speak to Commander
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Very well.
14 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
15 Q. The next document I would like you to review,
16 if I may, is document 108/1. That would be milinfosum
17 number 96, dated February the 4th of 1993, Your
19 Just one question in connection with page 1
20 of this, sir. The document states that the HVO
21 commander in Busovaca, Jozinovic, stated that Mujahedin
22 had attacked the Croat village of Kula from BiH
23 positions in Dusina with artillery and support, and
24 then the milinfosum goes on to record that Commander
25 Jozinovic stated that he had been ordered to move back
1 to Zepce in order to command a joint headquarters
3 Were you aware that that change in command --
4 I think you said you weren't. You know of no details
5 in connection with Commander Jozinovic's move to Zepce
6 and his replacement by Commander Grubesic; correct?
7 A. The situation is clear to me that I only
8 really concentrate -- I went there and spoke to the
9 people who were there. That was generally the way I
10 operated. This is perfectly conceivable.
11 Q. Right. In other words, you're saying that
12 when you went to Busovaca and you met Mr. Kordic there
13 in February, for example, you saw him in what you
14 determined to be the headquarters and you concluded
15 from all of the surrounding circumstances that he must
16 have been the commander; correct?
17 A. Absolutely.
18 Q. But you never asked him whether he was the
19 commander, did you?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Usher.
22 The last next document that I would like you
23 to look at in this series, sir, is Exhibit D128/1.
24 And this, Your Honours, is an orbat that
25 appears to be dated the 26th of February, 1993,
1 although frankly the date is a little difficult to
2 see. I can't say whether it's the 25th of February or
3 the 26th of February.
4 All right. Once again, sir, this was
5 prepared by your intelligence section, was it not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And it lists the HVO commander in the Central
8 Bosnia Operative Zone as commander Tihomir Blaskic;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It also lists the chief of police or the
12 commander of the military police as Pasko Ljubicic, I
13 believe. Did you ever meet Mr. Ljubicic, sir?
14 A. I'm probably sure I did but I don't know
16 Q. And then the HDZ representative is listed as
17 Mr. Dario Kordic; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And once again, sir, with respect to the
20 command structure of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade
21 in the 2nd operations zone, Commander Grubesic is in
22 command of the brigade and his deputy is listed as Anto
23 Sliskovic; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you never -- strike that.
1 There's no question in your mind that Colonel
2 Blaskic had the military authority to issue military
3 orders to the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, is there?
4 A. There's no question in my mind that he had
5 the authority to issue orders to any brigade in his
6 operational area.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. Whether they were carried out is another
10 Q. Colonel, I've now completed the first part of
11 the cross-examination, just the general questions, and
12 what I'd like to do now is go through the chronological
13 history of your involvement in Central Bosnia during
14 your tour of duty with some care.
15 You did not meet either Colonel Blaskic or
16 Mr. Kordic during the first reconnaissance that you
17 carried out at the end of September of 1992, did you?
18 A. I'm not sure that's accurate. I think I
19 might have met Mr. Blaskic.
20 Q. Well, you said on page 23730 that you did not
21 meet Colonel Blaskic. If it's now your recollection
22 that you did, then --
23 A. What I said is, forgive me, I can't
24 remember. If I wrote that down, that's accurate, I'm
25 inaccurate here. But I seem to remember that I knew
1 Blaskic from very early on.
2 Q. Now, looking at the overall military
3 situation that confronted you during your tour of duty,
4 it's true that the Bosnian Serb forces were in control
5 of about 70 per cent of the territory of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. They had launched major offensives in the
9 west, in the north, and in the east that had resulted
10 in a huge influx of refugees, unfortunately, displaced
11 persons, into Central Bosnia and Northern Herzegovina;
13 A. Yes. Displaced persons, not refugees.
14 Q. All right. The capital of the country,
15 Sarajevo, was surrounded, essentially besieged and cut
16 off and had been since April 1992; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that remained so throughout your tour of
19 duty, sir; right?
20 A. Yes. There was one access to it and I went
21 there once.
22 Q. All right. Now, as I understand very
23 generally the front lines in Central Bosnia, the
24 principle front line between the Serbs and the
25 Muslim/Croat alliance was located in the area of the
1 town of Jajce and Turbe to the northwest of your
2 headquarters in Vitez; correct?
3 A. Yes, and up to Maglaj as well.
4 Q. And on the eastern, the front lines were
5 located --
6 A. Look, you can't just say that. The front
7 lines were not like front lines you would imagine in a
8 normal war. The front lines tended to be where the
9 majority of people happened to be Serb, Croat,
10 whatever, and the front lines, which we used the word,
11 actually stretched up from -- to the west of
12 Tomislavgrad, across the mountains up to Gornji Vakuf,
13 then across, but they tended to be -- the fighting
14 tended to be concentrated around towns where the
15 majority of people happened to be of another ethnic
16 persuasion. So the front lines were -- you know, there
17 was a lot of fighting around Tomislavgrad. There was
18 fighting around Gornji Vakuf. There was fighting
19 around Novi Travnik, and then north up to Zepce and
20 Maglaj, particularly Maglaj was a ghastly place, and
21 then it swept around and went on to Tuzla. So I don't
22 think you can quite say that it was concentrated in any
23 particular area, so that's the answer.
24 Q. I appreciate that. Would it be fair to say
25 that, in your view, the fighting throughout your tour
1 of duty consisted of struggles essentially for the
2 control of sections of the main supply routes?
3 A. There were two halves to the fighting around
4 my -- there was the main fight where the Bosnian Croats
5 and the Bosnian Muslims were supposed to be in
6 coalition against the Bosnian Serbs, and then there was
7 the internal fighting between the Bosnian Croats and
8 the Bosnian Muslims as they fought to get sectors,
9 probably with lines of communication important to
11 Q. Well, let's depart from the general and go
12 straight into some specific areas of testimony that you
14 You arrived in Central Bosnia for the second
15 time on October the 18th of 1992 in the midst of an
16 outbreak of fighting in the area of Vitez and Novi
17 Travnik; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You met with the ABiH commander, Sefkija
20 Djidic, I think his name was, and he told you that
21 Muslim forces had actually erected roadblocks to the
22 east of Vitez in order to prevent Bosnian Croat troops
23 from, in his view, reinforcing Novi Travnik; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. These were troops coming from the east, from
1 Kiseljak, Busovaca and so forth?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. At this same time, though, sir, the town of
4 Jajce was under serious attack by concentrated Bosnian
5 Serb forces; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. Now, you say that you drove into
8 Novi Travnik at, I believe, about 2.30 p.m. on the 19th
9 or 20th of October in the middle of fighting; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You met the Muslim forces commander, Refik
12 Lendo, and asked him to release or demanded that he
13 release prisoners immediately, and his response was to
14 laugh at you, was it not?
15 A. Yeah, absolutely right.
16 Q. Now, you --
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, there is no need to
18 go over the evidence which the witness gave in Blaskic,
19 as I've said. If there are matters you want to rely
20 on, perhaps you can go to them directly. If there are
21 matters you want to refer us to so we can read the
22 transcript, you can do it when the witness is
23 finished. But let's concentrate on matters which are
25 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed. Thank you very
1 much indeed, Your Honour, and I will try to do
2 precisely that, and I'm sure if I don't, I will be told
3 to move on, which I will do smartly.
4 Q. You actually went to Vitez initially looking
5 for the HVO commander, Colonel Blaskic, did you not?
6 A. Yes, I did, sir.
7 Q. And you weren't looking for Mr. Kordic, were
9 A. No.
10 Q. In fact, you didn't even know that Mr. Kordic
11 existed when you went to Vitez, looking for
12 Colonel Blaskic; correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. All right. Mr. Cerkez, I believe, told you
15 that Colonel Blaskic was in Novi Travnik, and so that's
16 where you went; correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And you never actually met Colonel Blaskic in
19 Novi Travnik, did you?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. Instead, you arrived unannounced, if you
22 like, without prior arrangement? I don't mean to
23 suggest anything other than pure coincidence.
24 A. And I don't take offence, either. No, I
25 certainly arrived unannounced.
1 Q. You arrived unannounced at the Cafe Grand,
2 and Mr. Kordic was there but not Colonel Blaskic;
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Was Colonel Filipovic there?
6 A. I don't think so.
7 Q. And you understood, sir, that Colonel
8 Filipovic, from your later dealings with him, actually
9 had command of the Travnik-Novi Travnik area, reporting
10 directly to Colonel Blaskic; correct?
11 A. I think that's right, but he was moved later,
12 too, I think. He was a very decent man.
13 Q. Yes, sir, and you've said so in your book.
14 You then related a conversation that occurred over the
15 telephone between Mr. Kordic and Colonel Dzemal Merdan
16 in Zenica, with Mr. Kordic, I believe, insisting upon
17 Sarajevo-level authority for ceasefire negotiations; is
18 that correct?
19 A. That is a fact. I remember that plainly.
20 Q. And you were then asked to go and pick up
21 Colonel Merdan from Zenica on the 20th of October,
22 1992; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that's what you did?
25 A. I did. I had never been there before, and
1 neither was it easy.
2 Q. And you brought Colonel Merdan back to the
3 Hotel Vitez, the HVO headquarters, and at that point
4 Colonel Blaskic and Colonel Merdan basically hammered
5 out a negotiated agreement, did they not?
6 A. No.
7 Q. They did not. What did they do?
8 A. They talked from about 2.00 until 4.00. I
9 tried to run the meeting. There was no agreement to
10 stop fighting that day. It took several days or a week
11 later, and I left that job to the officer I left in
12 command of the small detachment that was still in
13 Vitez, Captain Simon Ellis.
14 Q. But the point is, I guess, that the
15 negotiations occurred between Colonel Merdan and
16 Colonel Blaskic, with Colonel Merdan not insisting that
17 Mr. Kordic be present there and, indeed, not even
18 mentioning Mr. Kordic; isn't that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. One matter of detail with respect to
21 Commander Refik Lendo is in one of the first
22 milinfosums that your battalion prepared. Let me just
23 show it to you and have it marked as an exhibit.
24 If you would just turn to the last page, sir,
25 the observation is made by Captain Leyshon that
1 Commander Lendo --
2 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
4 MR. SAYERS:
5 Q. -- Commander Lendo is believed to have
6 started the fighting between the HVO and the Bosnian
7 army in Novi Travnik, and that resulted in many
8 deaths. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was that your understanding?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Is that -- do you not recall reporting that
13 to Captain Leyshon yourself?
14 A. Leyshon has written that himself. That's his
15 writing, isn't it?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. He is the intelligence officer. He's
18 perfectly entitled, in the British army, to form his
19 own views, and I don't -- quite honestly, I don't wish
20 to throw doubt on that. It may well have happened.
21 That's not my intention.
22 Q. All right. It was quite clear to you that
23 Colonel Blaskic was the HVO commander when he was
24 negotiating with Colonel Merdan in the Hotel Vitez on
25 October the 20th; correct?
1 A. He was the HVO commander in Vitez, and I
2 assumed that he had -- I wouldn't have allowed it to
3 happen if I didn't assume that he was the commander and
4 had some authority to act.
5 Q. Of course. All right. Now, shortly after
6 the negotiations between Colonels Blaskic and Merdan,
7 you left, as you said, and I believe that you arrived
8 back in Central Bosnia on October the 30th of 1992. Is
9 that correct, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And one day later, the town of Jajce fell to
12 a sustained military attack by Bosnian Serb forces
13 immediately to the northwest of the BritBat base at
14 Nova Bila; is that correct?
15 A. Yeah, I was quite away and it was well
16 beyond, but the answer is factually accurate.
17 Q. Yes. And that resulted in vast swarms of
18 refugees, Croat and Muslim, into your area of
19 responsibility, didn't it?
20 A. Yes. At least 10.000 passed the school I was
21 based at, and it was upsetting to see this.
22 Q. All right. At this point, there was a sort
23 of loose cooperation between the Muslim and the Croat
24 armed forces at that point; a loose alliance I think it
25 has been described as. Is that your impression?
1 A. Well, I was rather hoping it was rather more
2 than that, to be honest, that it was rather less loose
3 and more solid. After all, they seemed to be fighting
4 alongside one another against what was a common enemy,
5 and the fact of the matter was they seemed to be
6 working together in Travnik and up towards Turbe.
7 There was a military headquarters which at
8 least I went to with both Croats and Bosnian Muslim
9 soldiers, BiH soldiers, in Turbe itself. And later in
10 the tour, the fact that the Bosnian Croats, the HVO,
11 were pulling out of Turbe I thought was an act of, you
12 know, treachery to this alliance, because they left
13 them on their own.
14 Q. At least that's what you were told, wasn't
16 A. Yes, that's at least -- that's what I
17 understood. But I didn't see many HVO soldiers around,
18 and I did actually work up in that area and on foot, so
19 I wasn't just driving around. I wasn't as fat then as
20 I was now -- I am now.
21 Q. The next meeting that I think that you had
22 with Mr. Kordic was on the 22nd of November, 1992, at
23 the joint headquarters that you've talked about in
24 Turbe, and I would just like to show you milinfosum
25 number 22, dated November the 22nd, 1992. I'd just
1 like to ask you if that jogs your memory about this
2 incident, sir. The date of this, Your Honour, is the
3 22nd of November, 1992.
4 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
6 MR. SAYERS:
7 Q. If you would just turn to page 3, Colonel, I
8 think that -- and on page 2, a reference is made that
9 the CO visited the Turbe HQ, and then on page 3 there's
10 a list of or a summary of the people that were there.
11 You met there General Ante Prkacin --
12 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness get his bearings.
13 A. I'm sorry.
14 JUDGE MAY: What is it you want to ask the
15 witness about? Do you want to ask him about the visit
16 to Turbe or --
17 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
18 JUDGE MAY: -- something else? Very well. At
19 the bottom of page 2, "CO visited the Turbe HQ." Is
20 that the point you want to pick it up at?
21 MR. SAYERS: Yes. Over the next page, Your
22 Honour, the meeting is described right at the end of
23 the first paragraph.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness read it first.
25 A. Oh, I see. I'm sorry. Being a military
1 officer, I was looking at the pages as per the military
2 thing. I'm now with it. That's why I'm being so
3 silly. Yes.
4 MR. SAYERS:
5 Q. Okay. You met there Mr. Kordic, the
6 self-proclaimed deputy-president of Herzeg-Bosna, who
7 was present along with Blaskic, the HVO commander for
8 Central Bosnia, and General Ante Prkacin from Mostar;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And, sir, Mr. Kordic presumably did tell you
12 that he was the deputy-president of Herceg-Bosna;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Thank you.
16 A. And just for the record, the General was in
17 Turbe when I went there to prove they were working
18 closely together at the time. This General was the --
19 he told me he was the coordinator between the HVO and
20 the BiH.
21 Q. Very well.
22 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much. I'm
23 finished with that exhibit.
24 Q. The next item that I'd like to cover with you
25 is an incident described in your diary on December the
1 19th of 1992 involving one of your soldiers, one of
2 your subordinates, Sergeant Gilbert, who, I believe,
3 had been arrested in the Vares area by the commander of
4 the Bobovac Brigade in Vares, Emil Harah. Do you
5 recall that incident, sir?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. You personally intervened in that incident
8 because prior arrangements had been made to build a
9 bridge to facilitate the transportation of, amongst
10 other things, humanitarian aid, and those
11 bridge-building operations had been interrupted or
12 halted as a result of this incident involving one of
13 your subordinates; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. The whole thing was really strange,
15 this incident. This sergeant was apparently arrested
16 and somehow or another was accused of giving Serbs a
17 lift along a road or something like that. I never
18 really got to the bottom of it, but I didn't really
19 mind whether I got to the bottom of it or not. What
20 the matter was, I wanted to open the route to Tuzla so
21 that we could get aid through, and we were rebuilding,
22 I think, up to six bridges so that we could put heavy
23 lorries down there.
24 I know where you're going, so I could cut it
25 down. Yes, I did go -- I was told by the commander in
1 Vares that the only person who could give authority for
2 these bridges to be rebuilt was Tihomir Blaskic. I
3 went to Blaskic, Blaskic gave the order, and the
4 bridge-building recommenced.
5 Q. You absolutely forecast where I was going,
7 One final question in this regard. There was
8 not any contention that Mr. Kordic had any kind of
9 military power or influence in the Vares area, was
11 A. Not to the best of my knowledge. Quite
12 frankly, I wouldn't have even thought of that.
13 Q. Right. All right. Let me go to the next
14 item chronologically. January the 10th, 1993, I
15 believe there was another outbreak of violence,
16 fighting, in Novi Travnik, and you went there to see
17 the HVO commander in Novi Travnik, a Major Malbasic,
18 who you described, I believe, in one of your statements
19 as a decent fellow; correct?
20 A. Mm-hmm. Yes, correct.
21 Q. You did not have any dealings at all with
22 Mr. Kordic relating to this renewed outbreak of
23 fighting in Novi Travnik, did you?
24 A. No.
25 Q. All right. The next item that I'd like to
1 draw your attention to is the fighting, the serious
2 outbreak of fighting, I think it was, in the Gornji
3 Vakuf area in the middle and end of January of 1993,
5 You say in your book, at page 205, that the
6 fighting erupted in Gornji Vakuf "and we never
7 discovered its cause," and that remains your view
8 today, doesn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In your testimony in the Blaskic case,
11 Colonel, you --
12 A. Well, can I just actually qualify that, given
13 a second to think about it. Maybe it was the
14 Vance-Owen Plan that was a catalyst for this fighting,
15 I think I've actually said that somewhere. Actually,
16 in rethinking it through, the answer to your question
17 was, no, I don't know, but maybe it was this silly
19 Q. Very well. Just a few points of detail with
20 respect to the fighting, sir. In your testimony in the
21 Blaskic case --
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
24 MR. SAYERS: I'm sorry, Mr. President.
25 Q. Colonel, in the Blaskic case, you gave your
1 view that Gornji Vakuf was outside of Colonel Blaskic's
2 operative area, his AOR, if you like, area of
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. The Northwest Herzegovina Operative Zone was
6 actually under the commander of Colonel Zeljko Siljeg,
7 a gentleman, how shall we say, that you did not get
8 along particularly well with; is that correct?
9 A. Not the sort of chap I'd go down a road with
10 on a dark night, that's for sure.
11 Q. All right. But this gentleman, Colonel
12 Siljeg, was definitely in command of the Gornji Vakuf
13 area; correct?
14 A. Well, if he wasn't in command, I would find
15 it strange because I went to get him to bring him back
16 to meetings because he wouldn't come unless I went and
17 got him, and I took him to meetings in Gornji Vakuf,
18 and he seemed to be very firmly in command.
19 Q. Yes, sir. Throughout your entire tour of
20 duty, you never saw any evidence at all that Mr. Kordic
21 had any kind of military influence down there in Gornji
22 Vakuf, in Herzegovina, did you?
23 A. No, I did not, no.
24 Q. Now, the conflict in Gornji Vakuf was
25 actually the subject of a negotiated ceasefire
1 agreement that took some considerable time to
2 negotiate; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You state in your book, sir, "Broken Lives,"
5 at page 224, that Mate Boban personally ordered the
6 ceasefire there. Did you know that Mate Boban was the
7 president of the entity that we described a few hours
8 ago, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
9 A. Well, the reason why I stated that was
10 because I was getting no where after days. I'd lost my
11 driver, or my escort driver had been killed, probably
12 by a Muslim fighter, and I'd been there, and I was
13 getting increasingly frustrated because it seemed to me
14 I wasn't protecting the people of Gornji Vakuf. In
15 desperation, in absolute desperation, I think something
16 like a Sunday, which is unusual for the British, a
17 Sunday, I rang the foreign office in London and
18 demanded to be patched through to Lord Owen in Geneva
19 and demanded that Owen did something to effectively
20 give some orders down to stop Siljeg's continuing
21 advance into Gornji Vakuf where he was deliberately
22 using his tanks to take out, house by house, and
23 destroying it one after the other. I was frustrated
24 and that's actually what happened.
25 So Mate Boban was apparently in Geneva.
1 Apparently, and this is all hearsay, Owen did
2 something, and I was in a meeting when I saw Siljeg
3 change his views, or he changed his views subsequent to
4 that meeting or before the meeting, because when I went
5 in, I was about to tell him that I'd really gone right
6 to the top and he suddenly became compliant before it.
7 So it seemed to me that orders had come down from
8 somewhere for actually him to cool it, which I was
9 extremely grateful for.
10 Q. Indeed, sir, the agreement was actually
11 signed resulting in a ceasefire in the Gornji Vakuf
12 area on January the 20th of 1993, and it was signed by
13 Brigadier Petkovic for the HVO and the commander of the
14 ABiH 4th Corps, Commander Pasalic; do you recall that?
15 A. I recall the agreement signing -- being
16 signed. Well, that shows how important it was because
17 Petkovic had come to it.
18 Q. Right. Very well, sir. Let me turn on to
19 another subject which is the buildup of tension and the
20 ultimate outbreak of fighting in the town of Busovaca
21 in January of 1993.
22 Chronologically, I think, the first serious
23 incident in the Busovaca area was the erection of a
24 Muslim checkpoint on January the 20th of 1993 at the
25 town of Kacuni, just a few kilometres south of
1 Busovaca; is that consistent with your recollection?
2 A. That sounds about right.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. I'm so sorry. I'm sometimes not clear
5 because it's been a long time and I didn't -- I haven't
6 got a brain like a computer. So I'm inconsistent
7 sometimes but I try my best.
8 JUDGE MAY: Colonel, nobody is going to
9 criticise you for not remembering precise events seven
10 years ago. If you don't remember, simply say so.
11 THE WITNESS: I will, Your Honour, I promise
12 you. I'll do my best.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. Thank you, Colonel. It's our job to try to
15 jog your memory if it fails on any particular point.
16 A. You're doing a good job, too.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. SAYERS: Let me just ask the usher to
19 show you a copy of milinfosum 103/1 -- sorry,
20 milinfosum number 81, Exhibit 103/1, and that's January
21 the 20th, 1993.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we've had very
23 considerable evidence about Busovaca. Unless there's
24 any specific point that you want the witness to deal
25 with, there are, of course, all the documents.
1 MR. SAYERS: I think that's absolutely
2 correct, Your Honour. Let me see if I can accelerate
3 our progress through this particular incident.
4 JUDGE MAY: Until, of course, you come to the
5 meeting on the 4th of February.
6 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: Then, of course, you can examine
8 about that.
9 MR. SAYERS:
10 Q. Is it your recollection, Colonel -- well,
11 let's just take a look at this milinfosum, January the
12 20th. There's a reference to a Muslim checkpoint
13 erected at Kacuni on January the 20th on page 3, under
14 item number 4, Busovaca.
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. Does that help jog your memory as to the
17 date, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Good. So we've established that
20 the checkpoint was established by the Muslim forces on
21 January the 20th.
22 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher, I'm
23 through with that.
24 Q. Is it your recollection also that the 7th
25 Muslim Brigade had been reported to your military
1 intelligence section as having moved units just north
2 of the Kacuni area immediately prior to the outbreak of
3 fighting in Busovaca; sir?
4 A. I don't know about that. I do know about
5 Kacuni because I lost my toecap there to an HVO
7 MR. SAYERS: Let's have the usher show you
8 Exhibit D61/1, and maybe that will help jog your
10 Q. If you turn to page 2 of this report,
11 Colonel, under note 4, it's reported to your
12 intelligence section that "Separate sources state that
13 elements of the 7th Muslimski Brigade are deployed
14 north of Kacuni. This is a mobile brigade controlled
15 directly from Zenica. Reliable information indicates
16 that at least 80 soldiers from the 7th Brigade were
17 moved to the area approximately five days ago."
18 Do you recall ever finding out that
19 information or being apprised of that information
20 yourself? And if you don't, please say so.
21 A. I think I met some of them.
22 Q. Members of the 7th Muslim Brigade?
23 A. Yes, you know, on the ground.
24 Q. Right.
25 A. I didn't read these things. I saw people,
1 what they were doing on the ground. Certainly, there
2 were some Muslim soldiers there.
3 And when you use the word "brigade," it's so
4 misleading that I just would like to point out that a
5 brigade in a normal military unit is normally up to
6 5.000 or 6.000 strong, and here you're referring to a
7 brigade that's 50 or 60 soldiers. It does make it
8 confusing, I have to say, for people who are military
9 as well as non-military.
10 Q. Thank you for that observation, Colonel.
11 Thank you. I'm done with that as well.
12 In connection with the fighting that
13 occurred, sir, there's no question that the spark that
14 set off the fighting was the murder of two Croats at
15 the Kacuni checkpoint, and you subsequently had
16 conversations with General Hadzihasanovic and Colonel
17 Merdan about that; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In fact, you told both General Hadzihasanovic
20 and Colonel Merdan, one day later, that they were at
21 least responsible for the outbreak of the fighting that
22 occurred on the 25th of January, and they both agreed,
23 did they not?
24 A. Yes, I think I certainly told them. Whether
25 they necessarily agreed, I can't remember.
1 Q. At page 232 of your book, "Broken Lives", you
2 record an exchange with Colonel Merdan, where you said
3 that -- well, let's just see what exactly you did say.
4 You said:
5 "I felt that this time, at least, the
6 Muslims had been responsible for causing much of the
7 trouble by killing two Croat soldiers. Did the Bosnian
8 Muslims really want a full-scale war in the Kiseljak
9 Valley? It seemed to me that they were going the right
10 way about it. If they did, it was simply not good
11 enough and something must be done. Merdan agreed,
12 apologised, and said he was ready to come himself and
13 try to sort the problem out."
14 Do you recall that?
15 A. Not in as much detail as that, but if I wrote
16 it in the book, it was much more at the time. And,
17 frankly, I have no problem with that at all, as you've
18 reminded me.
19 Q. Very well. Do you remember seeing the
20 evidence of many, many burned houses south of Kacuni,
21 sir, lots of evidence of recent destruction, as you
22 describe it on page 230 of your book?
23 A. Yeah. The whole area was ghastly, yeah.
24 Q. Did you realise that those houses were Croat
25 houses, the ones that were burned south of Kacuni, sir,
1 in the village --
2 A. To be honest, I didn't know.
3 Q. Very well.
4 A. You only discovered when it was a Croat house
5 or Muslim house when going into the things, because the
6 communities were so close. Generally, you would find
7 evidence of crucifixes in Croat houses.
8 Q. Without wishing to dwell on this, Your
9 Honour, I merely draw the Court's attention to Exhibit
10 D105/1, which is milinfosum 86, which describes house
11 burnings of Croats in -- burning of houses belonging to
12 Croats in the Kacuni area, the occupants having been
13 ethnically cleansed by the Bosnian army. And I don't
14 say that to say that it's right, that the same thing
15 should occur. It's just a sad state of affairs, sir,
16 that that was what was going on all the time in your
17 area of responsibility throughout the spring of 1993,
18 isn't it?
19 A. Absolutely, yeah.
20 Q. All right. Did you receive any information
21 from your soldiers or other sources of information that
22 you had at your disposal regarding massacres of Croat
23 civilians at the villages of Dusina and Lasva, sir?
24 A. I think I did, and I think I've referred to
25 them already, that sort of evidence.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Most certainly, I tried very hard to
3 investigate any reports of Croats being massacred by
5 Q. Just one question on that regard. Did you
6 ever hear of anyone being prosecuted or
7 administratively punished, removed from command, or
8 anything like that in connection with those massacres
9 at Dusina and Lasva on January the 25th and 26th, 1993,
11 A. I think that Merdan told me that the people
12 concerned were going to be court-martialled.
13 Q. And do you know whether they ever were?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You didn't do anything in the intervening
16 five months before your departure from the area of
17 operations to determine whether that had actually
19 A. No, I probably didn't, much to my regret.
20 Q. Let's move on to one subject before we get to
21 the meeting that the Presiding Judge just mentioned.
22 The fighting in the Busovaca area, sir, was
23 resolved as a result of a negotiated ceasefire
24 agreement on January [realtime transcript read in error
25 "June"] the 30th, 1993. Do you remember that?
1 A. Offhand, no. Can you remind me?
2 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I wonder if the usher
3 would show you Exhibit D54/1 and Exhibit Z421,1A.
4 Q. Turning your attention first to Exhibit
5 D54/1, this is an English version of a ceasefire
6 agreement that appears to be signed by six people, and
7 if you just --
8 A. I remember it now.
9 Q. Very well. And you're one of the
10 signatories, Colonel, I believe.
11 A. Umm-hmm. I think I drafted the document.
12 Q. Yes. And Colonel Merdan, on behalf of the
13 Muslim forces, signed it, and Colonel Nakic, on behalf
14 of the HVO Croat forces, signed it; correct?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. I may have misspoken. Apparently on line 21
17 of page 94, I said "June the 30th, 1993," and it should
18 obviously have been "January the 30th."
19 A. I've got January 30th open in my diary, so I
20 understood you.
21 Q. All right. Is it your recollection, sir,
22 that Colonel Blaskic had been caught by surprise in
23 Kiseljak and couldn't actually make the trip from
24 Kiseljak to Vitez because the main supply route was
25 blocked between Kacuni and Bilalovac?
1 A. I don't know whether it was surprise, but he
2 certainly wasn't there. And of course with that route
3 blocked, it's difficult to move between Kiseljak and
4 Vitez. In fact, once I gave him a lift, so he could
5 make that journey, in one of my Warriors.
6 Q. No one ever suggested that Mr. Kordic had to
7 be present for these negotiations, did he, even though
8 the negotiations occurred to resolve fighting that had
9 occurred in the Busovaca area?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Colonel Merdan never insisted that it might
12 be helpful for him to be there, did he?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Never insisted that it was crucial for him to
15 be there, did he, sir?
16 A. No, he did not.
17 Q. And, similarly, you made no attempt to
18 procure Mr. Kordic's attendance at these peace
19 negotiations, did you?
20 A. No, but I would have accepted Mr. Kordic
21 there or -- what I wanted was someone who could
22 actually make a decision. Here, you see Nakic signing
23 up. I believed he had the authority. I would have
24 accepted Kordic there as well.
25 Q. You never --
1 A. No, of course I didn't. No, I didn't. I
2 wanted Blaskic there every time.
3 Q. Yes, sir. And, similarly, Jeremy Fleming,
4 who was the senior European Community Monitoring
5 Mission representative at the time, never suggested
6 that it might be helpful for Mr. Kordic to be present
7 at these negotiations, did he, sir?
8 A. I can't remember.
9 Q. He certainly never insisted that it was
10 critical for Mr. Kordic to be present at these
11 negotiations for them to mean anything; isn't that
13 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.
14 Q. Very well.
15 A. But I can't speak for him. I just speak --
16 the answer to your question is, no, there was no
17 question that we needed to have Dario Kordic present
18 for these meetings.
19 Q. Right. And in connection with these
20 agreements, sir, I would just like to draw your
21 attention to paragraph 6.
22 There was an agreement with respect to a
23 simultaneous release of all detainees to be organised
24 through the ICRC, the International Committee of the
25 Red Cross. It's true, is it not, that there was no
1 actual agreement for the immediate release of all
2 prisoners at this time? That had to be arranged
3 subsequently by the ICRC in due course; correct?
4 A. If you notice that the ICRC delegate is
5 present, I think, on the signature block in the next
6 page, I don't know, Witter --
7 Q. Iris Witter?
8 A. Iris Witter. What I was trying to do was to
9 set it up so that it could happen, and that's why it's
11 Q. Very well.
12 A. And I agreed to that with her in advance.
13 Q. Thank you very much. I'm through with that
15 Moving forward chronologically, sir, you gave
16 some testimony regarding a detention facility known as
17 the silos at Kacuni, which you visited along with
18 representatives of the ICRC on February the 1st, 1993.
19 Do you remember being disgusted by the detention
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Freezing --
23 A. But I didn't visit it with the ICRC. I
24 happened to go there when they were there.
25 Q. I'm sorry.
1 A. Disgusted with the conditions? Absolutely.
3 Q. And about 30 people were being detained
4 there; correct?
5 A. To the best of my knowledge, in cattle sheds.
6 Q. And following your --
7 A. I think we gave them blankets to try and keep
8 them warm.
9 Q. Following your visit to that detention
10 facility, you then visited or you then hosted, shall we
11 say, a meeting chaired by General Morillon on February
12 the 1st at your base; correct? That's recorded in your
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it your recollection that Lieutenant
16 Colonel Duncan was there too?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And senior representatives of the regional
19 zone commanders on both sides were there,
20 Colonel Blaskic, General Enver Hadzihasanovic; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Along with representatives of UNPROFOR and
24 the entourage of Lieutenant General Morillon; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were there, and also representatives of
3 the ECMM, the Red Cross, and the UNHCR; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Kordic was not there, though, was he?
6 A. No.
7 Q. He wasn't [realtime transcript read in error
8 "was"] invited to be present at this meeting, was he,
9 sir, as far as you know?
10 A. As far as I know.
11 Q. Right. Let's turn to one of the products of
12 the peace negotiations, sir, the so-called Busovaca
13 Joint Commission, also sometimes known as the Busovaca
14 Joint Coordination Commission.
15 You stated in your book, at page 238, that
16 you said in your opinion, this was one of the best
17 ideas that you witnessed in Bosnia, and that remains
18 your view today, does it not?
19 A. Yes. There was two reasons for that. One is
20 that actually it seemed to work, and two is it took
21 that work off me. So there was self-interest in that
22 rather self-satisfied remark. But the truth of the
23 matter is it also seemed to work, because decent men
24 sat together and tried to work it out and went and
25 visited places to try and stop the fighting.
1 Q. As I understand it, sir, the executive
2 committee of this commission, if you like, consisted of
3 you, Mr. Fleming for the ECMM, General Hadzihasanovic
4 for the ABiH forces, and Colonel Blaskic for the HVO.
5 Is that correct?
6 A. Well, generally the de facto meeting took
7 place between myself, Fleming, Merdan, and generally,
8 and I totally understood this, Blaskic couldn't be
9 present so he would send his deputy, who was a very
10 decent man.
11 Q. That's Franjo Nakic; correct?
12 A. I think so, yes.
13 Q. And for whom you have respect?
14 A. I have respect for a lot of people on all
15 sides there.
16 Q. Is it right, Colonel, that this commission
17 met every day for several months, at least until June
18 of 1993?
19 A. I don't know whether it met every day. What
20 we did was set up an office and a house for it right
21 beside my base, and there was -- and I also supplied it
22 with food, vehicles, and its own detachment of soldiers
23 to get it around. And I'm not sure whether it met
24 every day, but it met.
25 Q. Just to be precise, Colonel, it's true, is it
1 not, that the commission was originally located at the
2 DutchBat base in Busovaca and then moved, in March of
3 1993, to the ECMM building just outside of your base in
4 Vitez or outside at Nova Bila; correct?
5 A. It was moved because we felt we could be more
6 effective -- it could be more effective if it was
7 closer to us.
8 MR. SAYERS: My colleague points out that
9 there's an error in the transcript which I would like
10 to have corrected, if possible, page 99, line 24, where
11 I was asking about Mr. Kordic. The transcript says "he
12 was invited." It should actually read "he was not
13 invited" to be present at the meeting.
14 Q. Along the same lines, if I may return to the
15 subject we were just discussing, Colonel, Mr. Kordic
16 never attended a single meeting of the Busovaca Joint
17 Commission or Joint Coordination Commission, as far as
18 you're aware, did he?
19 A. No, not as far as I'm aware.
20 Q. In fact, as far as you're aware, he was not
21 even asked to attend, was he?
22 A. No. We didn't need him to attend because we
23 had the military commander's representative there.
24 Q. And as far as you can remember, no one
25 suggested that his attendance would be important or
1 even useful; correct?
2 A. Well, no one suggested he would attend. I
3 never thought his attendance would be not useful.
4 Q. Now, let's turn to the meeting you had with
5 Mr. Kordic on February the 4th of 1993, and I wonder if
6 you would just turn to your diary in that regard, sir.
7 It says, with the page number 1441 up at the top
8 right-hand corner, that Dario Kordic wanted to see you;
9 he was in Busovaca. And so you travelled there to the
10 local HVO HQ. Kordic and you agreed that you should go
11 to Katica and Merdani, where there was serious
12 fighting. That's the sum total of what you recorded
13 contemporaneously regarding this meeting on February
14 the 4th of 1993, isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You say that or at least you told the Court
17 that he appeared to be agitated in some respect. In
18 your view, that was out of character for Mr. Kordic,
19 wasn't it?
20 A. No, no. He's -- in my view, Mr. Kordic is a
21 highly-strung, excitable man anyway, but he was out of
22 character in this respect, insofar as he was concerned
23 about what seemed to be a threat.
24 Q. Right. He was concerned that there was a
25 significant outbreak of fighting just a few kilometres
1 to the north, northeast of Busovaca; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And he asked you to try to do something about
4 it, and that's exactly what you did; is that right?
5 A. I went there to try and stop the fighting,
6 yes, by being there, and tried to talk to both sides.
7 Q. You don't have any current recollection of
8 speaking to the brigade commander at that time,
9 Mr. Jozinovic, or his replacement, Mr. Grubesic, if he
10 was installed as the brigade commander at that time, do
12 A. No.
13 Q. Very well. And when you got to these
14 villages, Katica and Merdani, both, I think, tiny
15 villages, they looked a complete mess to you, many
16 fires and so forth; is that correct?
17 A. When I got there, it was getting dark. It
18 was very difficult to get there. I took my own
19 Warrior, my own armoured vehicle, and one other,
20 Sergeant Kudzovinski's [phoen] vehicle. It was icy.
21 It was difficult getting up embankments with 30 tons in
22 weight. I did climb the embankment, and getting along
23 there, I went along a railway line.
24 The answer was I arrived late. I went
25 straight into the middle of the battle zone. We got
1 shot at. I tried to go into Merdani but decided it was
2 too dangerous from the point of view of trying to take
3 the vehicles there, and I lost my second Warrior
4 returning because it somersaulted. And after
5 ascertaining people were okay, I left them there.
6 Q. Very well. And you returned to the British
7 headquarters at Nova Bila; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Indeed, the very next day you convened -- or
10 Mr. Fleming chaired a meeting, and this is reflected in
11 your diary, and please feel free to consult it.
12 A. Thank you.
13 Q. It's right, isn't it, that Mr. Fleming
14 chaired a meeting to consider the state of the
15 ceasefire; correct?
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. Present at that meeting were Colonels Blaskic
18 and Merdan; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you were also present there along with
21 some other international NGO, if you like,
22 representatives; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Kordic, once again, wasn't invited to
25 this meeting, was he, sir?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Very well. Proceeding on chronologically, do
3 you recall, sir, that joint orders were finally signed
4 in the town of Kakanj on the 13th of February, 1993 by
5 Colonel Blaskic and by General Hadzihasanovic
6 implementing commitments that were made pursuant to the
7 January the 30th, 1993 ceasefire agreement? Do you
8 have any recollection of that?
9 A. None because I was on leave.
10 Q. All right. Did you ever see the orders?
11 A. I might have done, but my second in command
12 was commanding my battalion.
13 Q. All right. In that case, we can move on.
14 JUDGE MAY: If we are moving on now to beyond
15 the witness's leave, it might be a sensible moment to
16 take the adjournment.
17 Mr. Nice, have you got any further
18 information or not?
19 MR. NICE: I suspect that it won't be
20 possible for me to have any order, or even assume one
21 is forthcoming, because a signature is required which
22 may not be available, I think, until after lunch, as I
23 understand it. Local jurisdictional problems or
24 something like this, whatever it is.
25 JUDGE MAY: Please consider what course you
1 want to take.
2 MR. NICE: Yes. On a different matter, can I
3 tell that you the transcript could conveniently be
4 numbered as 2791.
5 Reverting to the point that Your Honours
6 mentioned, I think if I get leave to show the document
7 to the witness, I will certainly want his assistance on
8 it, and I suspect that it would be of potential value
9 to the Chamber sufficient to justify keeping him here
10 tomorrow if he would otherwise be free to go tonight.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, provided it's not going to
12 cause inconvenience or serious inconvenience to the
14 MR. NICE: I don't know whether the Chamber
15 is able today to sit a little later, were that all that
16 would be required to take care of this as a problem.
17 JUDGE MAY: Provided we can finish with the
18 witness today, yes, we can sit later.
19 Mr. Sayers, you seem to be making reasonable
20 progress, judging by the rate you're going through the
22 MR. SAYERS: I'm making -- frankly, Your
23 Honour, and I don't see any reason to get his
24 cooperation when that -- I hope that we can --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the counsel,
2 MR. SAYERS: I'm making better progress than
3 I thought, Your Honour. I don't see any reason why
4 that shouldn't continue to be the case, and I hope that
5 I can be through by the end of the day.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Make every endeavour.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if you are trying
8 to estimate the time, I think I will need approximately
9 half an hour or so, not more than that.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 Mr. Nice, it may be convenient, if you wanted
12 to talk to the witness about his own arrangements, for
13 you to be able to do so.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'll clarify
15 this. If it helps the Court, I will stay here until
16 it's done, end of story. That stops inconveniencing
17 everyone else. I just want to help get this case
18 done. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. I should say, though,
20 the Rule normally is that witnesses can't talk to
21 anybody about their evidence until it's over, that does
22 include the Prosecution; however, if you want to
23 discuss your arrangements, of course you can do that,
24 and if we give leave, if this document emerges, of
25 course you can speak to the Prosecution about that.
1 Thank you. We'll adjourn now until half past
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.36 p.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we've now had an
5 order from Trial Chamber I. I think we're still in
6 open session so it's necessary to speak carefully.
7 That order is permissive via the exercise of judgement
8 and discretion by this Chamber of the use of a
9 particular document. I would ask that that discretion
10 be operated so as to allow this witness to look at that
11 document. It was, after all, a document he had been
12 hoping to see and had commissioned and ordered a long
13 time ago. Of all witnesses before you, he's one of
14 those most likely to be able to assess it --
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Have the Defence got a
17 MR. NICE: They haven't yet got a copy of the
18 document because we've only just had a copy of the
19 order. They have seen the order.
20 I'd ask that he be allowed to see it and read
21 it, obviously without the pressure of having to read it
22 in court, it's too long to do that, and that I be
23 allowed the opportunity to talk to him briefly
25 What I would respectfully suggest as a
1 possibility, if the Court is minded to allow us to show
2 him the document, is that we might, for example, work
3 until such time as we could take a break that would be
4 of assistance to the interpreters and to the Chamber
5 and prevail on Colonel Stewart to read and work through
6 the break so as to optimise our use of time.
7 JUDGE MAY: Let us consider the matter when
8 the cross-examination has finished, that's what we're
9 dealing with, and if necessary we'll have to go into
10 tomorrow to deal with it --
11 MR. NICE: So be it.
12 JUDGE MAY: -- if that's more convenient.
13 But let's continue with the cross-examination
15 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Colonel, as we were proceeding
17 chronologically through the incidents that occurred
18 during your tour of duty, we had reached February of
19 1993, and you gave some testimony concerning an
20 incident that occurred on February the 22nd. Actually,
21 you did not meet Mr. Kordic on the 22nd of February.
22 What you were relating to the Court was what you were,
23 in fact, told by the commanding officer of C Company,
24 Major Jennings; isn't that right? If you want to take
25 a look at your diary to refresh your memory in order to
1 be able to answer that question, please do so, sir.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. All right. What you related was an incident
4 in which some roadblocks had been put up actually to
5 make a political and a humanitarian point, and that
6 point was that there had been a paucity of aid
7 deliveries to Busovaca in the recent past; do you
8 recall that?
9 A. I don't agree with it but that's possible.
10 Q. I wonder if I could show you two milinfosums
11 that may shed some light on that and help you to
12 refresh your memory, sir. These are milinfosum 115,
13 dated February the 22nd, 1993 and milinfosum 118, dated
14 three days later. Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Milinfosum number 115 will be
16 numbered D157/1 and number 118 will be numbered
18 MR. SAYERS:
19 Q. Turning your attention first, sir, to Exhibit
20 D157/1, the February the 22nd, 1993 milinfosum, if you
21 just take a look at page 2, there's a report here,
22 presumably from Major Jennings that various
23 checkpoints -- "two checkpoints were reportedly placed
24 following direct instructions from Dario Kordic, HDZ."
25 The report goes on to say that "Kordic stated
1 that Busovaca had only received one aid delivery in the
2 last 39 days. He had given the order to block the road
3 with a lorry to bring this point to the attention of
4 all agencies concerned."
5 Does that jog your memory as to whether this
6 incident was to make a political and a humanitarian
8 A. Well, I don't know whether that's the case or
9 not. It jogs my memory that there was a roadblock put
10 in; it jogs my memory that Kordic had ordered that that
11 roadblock be put in.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. Well, according to you, at the time he wasn't
14 the commander, though, was he, so he wouldn't have
15 given an order to block it.
16 Q. Well, let's take a look at the next
17 milinfosum, sir, document D158/1, page 2, under item 6,
18 "Busovaca." The military intelligence gathering
19 resources in your regiment said, about halfway down:
20 "The reason for the establishment of these additional
21 CPs is unclear but is believed to be linked to an HVO
22 claim of unequal aid distribution." Do you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And is that consistent with your
1 A. No, it's not. I can't remember it and it's
2 not for any other reason that my mind's gone, but I
3 wasn't necessarily informed of this at the time.
4 Q. No problem. Turning to another incident that
5 occurred shortly around this time frame, sir, you
6 recall that a Mercedes armoured vehicle, I believe,
7 belonging to a Dutch captain was hijacked by some thugs
8 outside of Vitez, on the road between Vitez and
10 A. Yes, I remember very well.
11 Q. All right. Do you recall, sir, that you
12 actually turned up at the Hotel Vitez to complain to a
13 military police officer about this and to request his
14 assistance in arranging the return of the vehicle?
15 A. I'm sure I did.
16 Q. All right. If the usher would show you
17 D114/1, that might help.
18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I'm
19 finished with those two documents that we were
20 previously looking at. If you'd put this one on the
21 ELMO and turn to page 2, please.
22 Q. This document, sir, is a milinfosum dated
23 February the 23rd, 1993, and it's recorded here
24 that "Co. 1 Cheshire and the Vitez/Travnik LO visited
25 the HVO Vitez to request the return of the vehicle and
1 its contents." Do you see that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And presumably that was you and one of your
4 liaison officers.
5 A. Mm-hmm. I didn't just visit them, I visited
6 the mayor too.
7 Q. That's Ivica Santic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Very well, sir. Then you also visited, I
10 believe --
11 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher, I'm
12 through with that.
13 Q. You visited Novi Travnik and spoke to the
14 chief of police there who, according to your diary,
15 seemed as if he was fairly switched on; correct, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. And then the next day you went to
18 see Colonel Filipovic in Travnik to see if he could
19 throw any light on the matter, and was he able to do
21 A. No.
22 Q. All right. Just as an aside, you've
23 previously described that you found Colonel Filipovic
24 to be a decent man; you liked him and you found him to
25 be an impressive individual; correct?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Very well, sir. Do you recall, sir, that the
3 Mercedes was actually returned to the Dutch Battalion
4 but that a local Mafia group apparently disagreed with
5 the return of that vehicle by Mr. Kordic in Busovaca?
6 A. Yes. In fact, I met the head of the Mafia as
7 part of the -- it's not in the diary. I went to see
8 this criminal.
9 Q. Right. And that was a fellow by the name of
10 Zarko Andric, also known as Juti, I believe.
11 A. I think it was. He was a very unsavoury
13 Q. As we --
14 A. Forgive me, but I think the point was that I
15 think Mr. Kordic helped get this back, and I think that
16 the Mafia had definitely taken it, and I believe that a
17 certain amount of pressure was also put on us by the
18 Mafia; me personally putting pressure on him, not Mr.
19 Kordic, the Mafia guy.
20 Q. And you, of course, did not have any personal
21 dealings at all with Mr. Kordic in that regard. Those
22 dealings were rather arranged between Major Jennings
23 and Mr. Kordic; correct?
24 A. Yes. I think Mr. Kordic got on well with
25 some of my officers.
1 Q. As we go through chronologically, sir, the
2 next item I've got, and there has been some testimony
3 on this, concerns the unfortunate death of one of your
4 soldiers, Mr. Rock, I believe, Corporal Rock, who shot
5 himself while larking around with a loaded rifle; isn't
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. It was an accident; correct?
9 A. I hope so.
10 Q. It wasn't a suicide, in your view, was it?
11 A. I think he was a soldier of unstable nature
12 who was drunk, and I think he played around and by
13 accident killed himself.
14 Q. I just refer the Trial Chamber's attention to
15 page 5925 on that subject.
16 The next item that I've got on my
17 chronological list, Colonel, is a high-level meeting of
18 what you referred to in your diary, I think, as
19 politicos that was arranged in Zenica by Ambassador
20 Thebault who was the chair of that meeting. Do you
21 recall attending that meeting?
22 A. Can you tell me, sir, the date?
23 Q. Yes. It's March the 25th, 1993, sir. I'm
24 sorry for not mentioning the date when I asked the
1 A. Yeah, sounds like it. Seems possible. I
2 didn't see a record of it here.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, let me turn to
4 the events that immediately preceded one of the main
5 topics upon which you've given testimony, the Ahmici
6 killings of civilians.
7 It's true that prior to April the 16th, there
8 had been a significant slowly-escalating build-up of
9 tension between the Croats and the Muslim forces in the
10 Lasva Valley; isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. For example, in Travnik, on April the 10th, a
13 bomb had been thrown at the HVO headquarters there. Do
14 you recall that?
15 A. Not offhand. I'm not sure it's in my diary.
16 It might be in the military intelligence source
18 Q. Very well. Suffice it to say though, sir,
19 that you were being told by the Muslim authorities in
20 Travnik that there was simply no way that they would
21 agree to submit to Croat rule in Province 10 under the
22 Vance-Owen Plan; do you recall that?
23 A. Yes, I'm sure that was the case.
24 Q. And I believe, sir, that there was an Easter
25 party that was held at the HVO headquarters on April
1 the 12th of 1993, thrown by Colonel Blaskic and
2 Mr. Kordic, and you attended that, did you not?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. There was an HVO president there. I believe
5 you record in your diary that his name escapes you.
6 Have you recalled, in the intervening years, the name
7 of that gentleman or is it still --
8 A. It might have been Valenta. I don't know. I
9 can't remember.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. I use the word "HVO president" probably
12 because I wasn't sure, anyway, what he was.
13 Q. Yes. The next event --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down,
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we're having a
17 request from the interpreter for you to slow down.
18 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour. I will.
19 Q. Not your fault, Colonel, absolutely mine.
20 I'm afraid I'm a notorious offender.
21 Were you aware that an assassination attempt
22 had been made against the life of Darko Kraljevic
23 outside Kruscica on April the 13th, 1993?
24 A. I don't think I can recall that.
25 Q. Let me turn to the next event, which is the
1 kidnapping of the four HVO staff officers outside of
2 Novi Travnik by Mujahedin members of the 7th Muslim
3 Brigade. You were aware of that incident, were you
4 not? Yes?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you actually complained to Ambassador
7 Thebault about what you perceived to be a bungled
8 attempt by the ECMM to try to investigate that
9 situation and resolve it; correct?
10 A. If that's the incident where I offered them
11 vehicles and they denied them and then they got lost or
12 I had to go and get them out, yes, I think it probably
13 is. In fact, I was very angry.
14 Q. In fact, in your diary, on April the 15th you
15 relate, sir, that you demanded an explanation for the
16 extraordinary behaviour of the ECMM and that you had to
17 take extensive steps in order to get these people out
18 of Novi Travnik; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct, and the extraordinary
20 behaviour was an unprofessional approach to dealing
21 with the problem.
22 Q. And they had put themselves into a situation
23 that required the intervention of the British forces,
24 and you arranged that intervention to help them and get
25 them -- extract them, if you like, from Novi Travnik;
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Isn't it true -- or let me actually -- let me
4 not be tendentious. Let me just ask you, do you
5 remember the Muslims claiming that this entire incident
6 was a contrived hoax designed to cast a negative light
7 on the Muslim forces and especially the 7th Muslim
9 A. I don't.
10 Q. I wonder if you could be shown Exhibit D70/1,
11 which is a milinfosum dated April the 14th, 1993. If I
12 could ask the usher to turn to page 2, right at the
13 bottom of the page. "The observation is made by the
14 intelligence section that the BiH claim that the whole
15 kidnapping incident is an elaborate HVO hoax designed
16 to cast a negative light on local Muslim forces,
17 particularly the 7th Muslim Brigade." Does that jog
18 your memory, sir, that those allegations were being
19 made by the Muslim forces?
20 A. No, it doesn't, but my only comment on that
21 is that I believe that these guys were taken and they
22 were taken by Mujahedin, and there was no hoax there.
23 That would be my comment. I don't know exactly.
24 Q. Very well, Colonel. I think that's
25 absolutely right. And were you aware that these
1 gentlemen were subsequently released in a bilateral
2 HVO-Muslim forces release about a month later on May
3 the 19th, 1993? I know that was after the termination
4 of your tour, but did you keep up with things and did
5 you learn of that?
6 A. I recall it, yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MAY: Are we finished with that?
9 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we are indeed, Your
10 Honour. Thank you.
11 Q. All right. The next incident, Colonel, I
12 believe occurred on the morning of April the 15th,
13 1993, and involved the abduction of Commander Zivko
14 Totic and the execution of his bodyguards and the
15 killing of a passerby. You do recall that incident, I
16 take it.
17 A. It wasn't an execution, it was absolute
18 murder. It was an attack to get hold of Totic, in
19 which they killed, whoever did it, killed his
20 bodyguards and hurt people around. Yes, I recall it.
21 I wasn't there.
22 Q. Did you receive any reports from any of your
23 soldiers who actually witnessed the aftermath of this
24 incident, sir?
25 A. I was deeply involved in the aftermath
1 myself. I was summoned by the European Community
2 Monitoring Mission ambassador, as a result of that
3 incident, to move immediately to Zenica, something I
4 didn't want to do at the time, and he rather used his
5 political might to inform me that he really needed me,
6 and I took the hint and went, which I didn't want to
7 do. And I went to try and stop it, because I knew that
8 this particular incident could well be the catalyst
9 that would actually really cause huge problems.
10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. And you've given
11 testimony about your views concerning the significance
12 of the Totic kidnapping. I just refer the Court's
13 attention to page 23798, 23826, 827, and 878, and
14 there's no point in going over it again. You've said
15 what you said, sir.
16 But you actually -- you travelled straight to
17 Zenica from Travnik, I believe, over the mountain road
18 once you had been, how shall we say, summoned there by
19 the ECMM ambassador; correct?
20 A. I don't know whether it was the mountain road
21 or the valley road, but I went a heck of a speed, in my
23 Q. In your diary?
24 JUDGE MAY: There's a point which I have in
25 mind which I meant to ask earlier. Colonel, could you
1 help us with this? How long would it take to get from
2 Vitez to Zenica by the various routes?
3 A. I think about half an hour, Your Honour, both
4 ways, depending on the vehicle you were using, and if
5 it was a straight run through on the valley road, you
6 could probably do it slightly faster. And it depended
7 on the -- the choice depended on the situation and the
8 vehicle that you were driving in.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.
10 MR. SAYERS:
11 Q. Suffice it to say, sir, you don't recall
12 whether you travelled to Zenica on the 15th via the
13 mountain road or the valley road; correct?
14 A. I'm trying hard to think. If I was to bet, I
15 would probably say the valley road.
16 Q. The valley road; very well. Now, when you
17 got there, a conference was under way. Colonel Merdan
18 from the Muslim side was there, I believe it to be the
19 case, and you told him that you thought that this
20 abduction incident was absolutely appalling, did you
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And he denied that it was the Muslim side
24 that was to blame, did he not?
25 A. Not very well.
1 Q. But nonetheless, he did deny it?
2 A. He denied that it was soldiers under his
4 Q. Right. And he actually said that this was a
5 matter for the civilian authorities and not the army;
7 A. Yes, he did.
8 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, in the
9 vernacular, that you did not buy that?
10 A. That would be fair to say.
11 Q. And were you aware that Commander Totic was
12 subsequently released by the Muslim side as part of the
13 release involving the four HVO staff officers on May
14 the 19th of that year?
15 A. I was.
16 Q. All right. In your diary, sir, on the 15th
17 of April, you record your view that the fighting at the
18 end of the day or early the next morning was all to do
19 with Totic, and indeed that's what the HVO
20 representative was saying on the night of the 15th, was
21 it not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. There had actually been an outbreak of
24 violence that evening towards the east of the Lasva
25 Valley, I believe. Is that your --
1 A. I can't recall that, but I would follow what
2 the HVO representatives said at that time.
3 Q. And you agree with the views that he
4 expressed, I take it.
5 A. I can't remember what views it was, but if it
6 was that this is going to cause us trouble, we're going
7 to have a bit of fighting over this, I would follow
8 along with that.
9 Q. Yes. All right, sir. Now, in your -- you
10 spent the entire evening, I believe, in Zenica
11 following the conclusion of the conference chaired by
12 the ECMM ambassador?
13 A. Umm-hmm. It was late, yes.
14 Q. And then the next day you received, I think,
15 a communication from your second in command, then Major
16 Watters, at around 5.30 a.m. that there was an
17 explosion of violence around the Lasva Valley;
19 A. Absolutely.
20 Q. And you made the decision then to return as
21 quickly as expedient and prudent to Vitez and proceeded
22 to do so early on the morning of the 16th.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it your recollection that you started out
25 from Zenica at around 7.15 or 7.30?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That would be first light?
3 A. Well, I was going to come at 5.30, but I was
4 really on my own. The serious problem I had was that I
5 might be wiped out.
6 Q. Right.
7 A. So I was going to go, but my second in
8 command gave me an order that I was not to go until
10 Q. Very well, sir. And I believe that you
11 actually used the mountain road to return to Vitez,
12 following the receipt of reports of heavy fighting.
13 You related to Judge Shahabuddeen on page 23857 that
14 you were travelling fast, very fast. In fact, you were
15 trying to get back to Vitez as soon as you could;
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. There's no mention of picking up anyone on
19 the way back in your diary, sir, for April the 16th,
20 and please consult it if you wish --
21 A. No, I don't need to consult it. On the way
22 back across the mountain road, I certainly didn't pick
23 up anyone early in the morning. There were three
24 minefields to cross, several checkpoints to go through,
25 and I certainly didn't pick up anyone. In fact, I was
1 in fear of my life all the way.
2 Q. All right. Now, when you got to Vitez, sir,
3 that was around 9.00 a.m., I believe.
4 A. Maybe earlier.
5 Q. You came to the HVO headquarters looking for
6 Colonel Blaskic; correct?
7 A. Yes, I came looking for Colonel Blaskic
8 almost immediately.
9 Q. And you weren't able to find him, were you?
10 A. No, because he wasn't there.
11 Q. Would it be fair to say, Colonel, that you
12 never made any effort to see Mr. Kordic or to call him
13 on the telephone on April the 16th at any time?
14 A. I think that's extremely fair to say. I
15 certainly didn't.
16 Q. Very well. And then, sir, unable to find
17 Colonel Blaskic, I believe you drove along the mountain
18 road, past Ahmici where you could see houses burning
19 and bodies strewn along the road; correct?
20 A. No. I think I went on the valley road. I
21 went in on the valley -- oh, you see, that day, that
22 day I was into Zenica two or three times. When I went
23 into Vitez, I was in my Discovery and then I must have
24 driven from Vitez to Zenica almost immediately, and I
25 really have this impression that I went down the valley
1 and that there were a lot of bodies around as I did,
2 and I do recall that, I think, an HVO patrol fired an
3 RPG-7 at me.
4 Q. Let me see if I can just jog your memory on
5 that, sir, since you appear to be somewhat fuzzy on
7 A. I'm trying not to be.
8 Q. That's all right. At page 23861 of your
9 testimony in Blaskic, you related driving around 10.30
10 a.m. on the 16th of April and you passed what was known
11 as the Swiss cottage. That was the building that's
12 been identified in this case as the Bungalow at
13 Nadioci; do you remember that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Does that jog your memory now, that you were
16 actually driving along the --
17 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Is that the
18 mountain road or the valley road?
19 A. That is the valley road, sir. So I'm right,
20 I went down the valley road.
21 MR. SAYERS:
22 Q. Very well. So it would be fair to say that
23 you actually drove right past Ahmici at around 10.30
24 a.m. on the 16th of April, 1993.
25 A. That's correct. The timing is fuzzy,
2 Q. All right. Sir, you were aware that -- I
3 take it you were aware anyway that Lieutenant Wooley,
4 or then Lieutenant Wooley, and then Lieutenant Dooley
5 were present along with other of your soldiers in
6 Ahmici on the morning and afternoon of April the 16th.
7 A. Yes, I know. Not actually in the main part
8 of it, just on the edge.
9 Q. Did they tell you that they had stacked up a
10 number of dead bodies by the cemetery to the east of
11 Ahmici and had sort of shuttled wounded back and forth
12 between -- well, shuttled wounded back from Ahmici to
13 the hospital in Travnik on the 16th of April?
14 A. I recall that they were operating in the
15 area; I don't recall exactly what they told me about
16 bodies or shuttling.
17 Q. Very well. Were you aware that they had seen
18 approximately 50 dead people in the vicinity of Ahmici
19 on the 16th of April?
20 A. No, I'm not. I wasn't -- I mean, I saw
21 probably 15 or 20 myself where I went, and I wasn't
22 patrolling. They wouldn't have bothered mentioning --
23 that sounds very callous, but they wouldn't have
24 bothered mentioning it. It was irrelevant, and I don't
25 mean this in a cruel way, it was irrelevant to what we
1 were doing. We were just flat out. So they didn't
2 tell me, no.
3 Q. Very well, sir. Let me turn to the next
4 day. Were you aware that your second in command had
5 actually conducted ceasefire negotiations in Vitez and
6 that those negotiations involved Colonel Blaskic and
7 the ABiH local commander of the 325th Mountain Brigade,
8 Mr. Sefkija Dzidic?
9 A. I can't recall it. It's perfectly normal. I
10 always used to leave him to try and do that sort of
12 Q. Very well. Do you recall that two HVO
13 negotiators on the team of negotiators, Mr. Pilicic and
14 Mr. Prskalo, while they were being escorted from one of
15 your Warriors to another building in Vitez, were
16 actually shot by ABiH troops from Stari Vitez, by
18 A. No. I wish I'd known that. Were they
20 Q. I do not believe they were killed.
21 A. Good.
22 Q. The next item chronologically is a
23 conversation I believe you had with Colonel Blaskic on
24 April the 18th of 1993. Do you recall that
25 conversation, sir?
1 A. Was this the Cajdras incident?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Yes, I do recall it.
4 Q. He asked you or appealed to you to help save
5 some Croat refugees who had gathered around a village
6 on that mountain road called Cajdras; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you went up there and saw about 1.000
9 refugees and actually addressed them with your
10 interpreter and an UNHCR representative; correct?
11 A. Yes. Well, I gave them -- I was upset to see
12 so many people who had clearly been moved out of their
13 houses, and I gave them my word that I would help them
14 if I could.
15 Q. Suffice it to say, sir, that these displaced
16 persons, in your opinion, had not left their houses
17 voluntarily, had they?
18 A. No. This was clearly done by -- well, some
19 of them might have done because they were frightened,
20 but I think a lot of them had been blown up, because I
21 went to go and see where they had come from and their
22 houses were on fire. So the answer is, I don't think
24 Q. In your opinion, they'd actually been
25 expelled, or those had been expelled, involuntarily by
1 Muslim forces attacking Croat villages from Zenica;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Indeed, sir, there was a Muslim
5 force backlash after April the 16th. In fact, one
6 aspect of that backlash was that the HVO buildings, all
7 of them, in Zenica were taken over by Muslim forces;
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Both of the brigades were surrounded and
11 ultimately had to surrender, both of the HVO brigades
12 in Zenica; correct?
13 A. Well, Totic had gone, he'd disappeared, and I
14 was really concerned for his safety. The other guy's
15 brigade, yes, you're right, I think some of his guys
16 were at Cajdras too, and I was concerned for them too.
17 Q. I'd like to turn, if I may, just for a few
18 minutes, Colonel, and we're making excellent progress
19 here, to the negotiations that were held between the
20 national military commanders and the zone commanders on
21 April the 18th and thereafter.
22 You were aware, I take it, that a ceasefire
23 agreement had been reached between the highest level of
24 the Croat political administration and the Muslim
25 political administration on April the 18th, signed on
1 the one hand by President Boban of the Croatian
2 Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croat leader, and on the
3 other hand by President Izetbegovic for the Muslim
4 side; is that correct?
5 A. Right at this moment I can't recall it, but
6 it seems fair.
7 MR. SAYERS: Just for the Court's
8 information, that's Exhibit D83/1.
9 Q. Following that, sir, is it your recollection
10 that an unilateral ceasefire order was issued by the
11 commander in chief of the HVO military forces,
12 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, on April the 18th, 1993?
13 A. I don't know. Always the problem was that
14 from the -- what is said at the bottom -- what is said
15 at the top doesn't percolate to the bottom, and indeed
16 I had instances of both Bosnian Croat or HVO and
17 Bosnian Muslim forces saying that they did not accept
18 orders from above when it concerned their homes, as
19 everyone in this Court might understand.
20 Q. Yes. I appreciate that, Colonel. But, in
21 fact, an attempt was made, I think, and you were
22 involved in that attempt, to make sure that the orders
23 from the top, so to speak, did percolate down to the
24 bottom by arranging for the field visits of the two
25 commanders in chief, General Halilovic for the ABiH and
1 Brigadier Petkovic at the end of April; is that
3 A. Yes, and I accompanied them myself.
4 Q. It was actually pretty effective, wasn't it,
5 in making sure that the orders finally did percolate
6 down to the lower echelons, if you like?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let's get back on track with the chronology,
9 though. Do you recall that there were, indeed,
10 high-level negotiations held in Zenica on April the
11 20th, 1993 with Brigadier Petkovic and Colonel Blaskic
12 representing the Croat side and General Halilovic and
13 General Hadzihasanovic representing the Muslim side?
14 A. Was that with General Morillon present too?
15 Q. And Ambassador Thebault, I believe.
16 A. Yes, I do recall.
17 Q. In fact, General Brigadier Petkovic had asked
18 you, according to your diary, to get hold of Blaskic
19 and you agreed; right?
20 A. Yes, I think that's correct.
21 Q. All right. Now, would it be fair to say that
22 Mr. Kordic was at no point involved in any of these
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Once again, no one asked him to attend or
1 thought that it was important for him to attend;
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. No one from the Muslim side or the Croat side
5 or any of the international organisations present or
6 military organisations contended that his presence was
7 in any way necessary; correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And, indeed, sir, do you recall that the
10 formal agreement was signed by Brigadier Petkovic and
11 by General Halilovic on April the 20th?
12 A. I don't recall that. I recall that Morillon
13 was there. I recall on that day, and I was angry that
14 I'd spent most of the day trying to find General
15 Morillon, he was like the illusive Pimpernel, which is
16 a story.
17 Q. Let me just show you Exhibit D24/1.
18 MR. SAYERS: We can just put it on the ELMO.
19 I don't think there's any necessity to get the original
21 Q. I'd just like to ask you, sir, does that jog
22 your memory that the agreement was actually signed on
23 April the 20th by the people I've described and
24 actually countersigned by Lieutenant-General Morillon
25 and Ambassador Thebault? If you take a look at the
1 second page, the signatures actually appear there.
2 A. Yes. I have no problem with that.
3 Q. All right. In your book, at page 293, you
4 say that these two military commanders were the two
5 people who could control the fighting if anyone could,
6 the two top commanders; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Very well.
9 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much, Mr. Usher.
10 Q. Moving on to April the 21st, I believe that
11 additional negotiations occurred at the zone level
12 between Colonel Blaskic and Colonel Merdan the next day
13 at your headquarters in Vitez; do you recall that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. And there's no question, is
16 there, that --
17 A. It wasn't at my headquarters, actually. It
18 was in the ECMM building near my base, and Petkovic was
20 Q. Right.
21 A. So was Halilovic.
22 Q. Right. These were negotiations between the
23 two zone commanders, Colonels Blaskic and Merdan, but
24 overlooking their efforts were Brigadier Petkovic for
25 the HVO and General Halilovic for the ABiH; correct?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. Very well, sir. Is it right that by April
3 the 21st, 1993, in the assessment of the British army,
4 the HVO was engaged by five ABiH brigades and that the
5 3rd Corps was militarily in the dominant position in
6 the Lasva Valley and to the north?
7 A. That's what I was thinking, yes.
8 Q. All right.
9 MR. SAYERS: We just refer the Court's
10 attention to Exhibit Z776, which is a milinfosum of
11 that date, April the 21st, 1993, and precisely that
12 observation is made on page 2.
13 Q. Now, sir, turning to April the 22nd and
14 beyond, would it be fair to say that the area was
15 visited in short order by a large number of people from
16 the press and from a variety of international
17 organisations and bodies?
18 A. It wasn't until after the Ahmici massacre was
19 discovered, but it was a really horrendous time and I
20 think that there was a huge number of press people
21 around anyway.
22 Q. All right. You actually conducted the
23 ambassadors of three countries represented on the
24 Security Council around the Ahmici village at some
25 point in late April; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You also met two investigators from the
3 United Nations Centre for Human Rights; correct?
4 A. Akhavan and Osario, yes.
5 Q. They had been sent, as far as you understand
6 it, in response to your request that an investigation
7 be done into the dreadful events in Ahmici; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, that in your
10 assessment, the British army itself lacked the
11 resources or experience to do a forensic investigation
12 of the type that you expected to be done?
13 A. Well, absolutely, with regard to my
14 battalion, we're a fighting battalion, we're not a
15 police unit. But within the British army, there would
16 have been that expertise, yes, but they weren't in
18 Q. And so you made a request to the United
19 Nations Centre for Human Rights for assistance, and the
20 two investigators that you identified were sent along;
21 is that correct?
22 A. I'm not sure that I requested. I think they
23 just appeared.
24 Q. Now, in your first visit to Ahmici on the
25 22nd of April, do you recall -- or you actually said to
1 the Blaskic Trial Chamber that you recalled large
2 concentrations of ABiH soldiers in the hills
3 overlooking Ahmici; it was a dangerous environment. Do
4 you remember that?
5 A. Yes. It wasn't large concentrations. Again,
6 it was maximum-size groupings of 20. You know, "large
7 concentrations", you know, explicitly suggests, you
8 know, people of 100 plus. But there were sufficient
9 soldiers in the hills above the village of Ahmici for
10 me to reckon that was a defence line.
11 Q. Very well. I just refer the Court's
12 attention to page 23757 where you say: "At this point,
13 there were most definitely large concentrations of BiH
14 soldiers in the hills." But you've explained, I guess,
15 what you meant by that.
16 A. Yes. I think you've got me there. What I
17 mean -- exactly what I mean is there were about 20 --
18 groups of 20.
19 Q. Very well. And it was upon your return from
20 this visit to Ahmici with the -- was it with the
21 Security Council ambassadors at that point -- that you
22 wrote your letter to Colonel Blaskic?
23 A. Yes. Let me explain, because it's muddled.
24 I, Your Honour, was asked by Jean-Pierre
25 Thebault to stop the fighting. I personally was
1 pleaded with by him to do it myself, not send anyone
2 else. That was on the morning of the 22nd of April. I
3 was most reluctant to do this because, you know, I had
4 been away, I had a whole battalion to command, and it
5 wasn't just Vitez. It stretched to Tuzla.
6 But I did what I was bid, and I took a
7 grouping of people, some armoured vehicles sufficient
8 for protection, some light tanks, and one vehicle from
9 the press, as I was bound to do in accordance with
10 British army instructions, but I minimised the press
11 that were with me.
12 I took this convoy up the mountain road to
13 the top, to the cull at the top. En route, I already
14 negotiated two checkpoints. One was an HVO checkpoint
15 at the bottom; another was a BiH checkpoint as I neared
16 the top.
17 I then went along the ridge of the mountains
18 between Zenica and the Lasva Valley or Vitez. As I did
19 so, I stopped every time I came in contact with a large
20 concentration of troops, 20 or so. I dismounted and I
21 spoke to them all, telling them to stop fighting and
22 the fighting was to cease.
23 In fairness, and I recall now, thinking it
24 through, that there was one very aggressive Muslim
25 commander, one of the first ones I came across, and I
1 told him he was to shut his mouth and he was to stop
2 fighting. Forgive me for being explicit. But the
3 majority of people were just frightened.
4 But what really got me going was that some of
5 the soldiers, some of the private soldiers, were
6 shouting to me that they could not stop fighting
7 because in the village of Ahmici there were women and
8 children who had been killed by the HVO. I said to
9 them, "The HVO wouldn't do that. This is not HVO's --
10 they wouldn't do it. They are human beings." They
11 insisted that they wouldn't stop fighting until they
12 knew the truth. I said I would find the truth.
13 And so I came down from the hills through --
14 again through the lines, and I drove to the village of
15 Ahmici, a place I had never been to before because it
16 was off the main route.
17 As I drove through the village of Ahmici, it
18 was like a graveyard, really. The whole place was
19 deserted. There wasn't anyone. Practically every
20 single house had been destroyed. The mosque minaret,
21 you know, had been toppled and it looked like a sort of
22 rocket pointing into space, and there were dead dogs
23 and dead animals lying around. Now, the evidence
24 already is that people -- my soldiers had been moving
25 some of the bodies away, but I didn't see immediately
1 evidence of dead bodies, which I was really thankful
3 I drove through the village, which was
4 increasingly going high up the valley. It is a linear
5 village with a single road that goes all the way. At
6 the top, I dismounted and instructed my soldiers that
7 they were to do a sweep through the village into the
8 valley to ascertain that there were not dead women and
9 children, and I walked down the road myself.
10 About one third of the way through the
11 village, some soldiers called me over. They were being
12 sick, and I don't blame them. We had discovered the
13 first house that was massacred. Actually, since I know
14 of the Ahmic house -- of course, they are all probably
15 called Ahmic in Ahmici -- there was a man -- the body
16 of a man and the body of a boy, clothes burnt off, in
17 the front entrance. But it was worse around the back,
18 because in the cellar there were clearly probably four
19 babies, the remains of two women. And the soldiers
20 were being -- just couldn't take it. It was then that
21 I realised that what the soldiers in the hills had told
22 me was correct.
23 I had the BBC with me and I had the ITV with
24 me. Martin Bell is a distinguished correspondent, now
25 a member of parliament. They filmed everything that
1 happened. I couldn't believe it. We then found
2 further evidence that people had been killed.
3 And that's what happened on that day, and I
4 certainly then was quite clear that whoever had done
5 this had carried out a gross crime against humanity and
6 determined that I would do everything in my power to
7 actually make sure people realised it, so I did.
8 Sorry. That was rather a long answer.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel. One of the first things
10 that you did, when you returned to your base, was to
11 write a letter to Colonel Blaskic on April the 22nd,
12 1993; correct?
13 A. I also tried to telephone him.
14 Q. All right. And the letter has previously
15 been identified as Exhibit 63/1. There's no point in
16 showing it to you. And your testimony is that
17 Colonel Blaskic immediately wrote back to you, saying
18 that he was ready to send a joint investigative
19 commission into Ahmici; correct?
20 A. No, I can't recall that coming -- that letter
21 coming in, but I'm perfectly willing to accept that it
22 did come in the next day, the 23rd of April. I don't
23 wish to dispute that in any way.
24 Q. All right. We'll get into the exchange of
25 correspondence and what went on with respect to
1 investigations in the last part of my
2 cross-examination, but let me continue on
3 chronologically, sir.
4 You have previously identified Mr. Akhavan
5 and Mr. Osario as the investigators who arrived on the
6 scene from the U.N. Centre for Human Rights. They
7 actually became your main source of factual information
8 about what had happened at Ahmici; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In your view, they did a full criminal
11 investigation; correct?
12 A. No. In my view, they were not qualified to
13 do that or backed up to do that. They took evidence
14 from people -- they took statements from people. And
15 we were actually on the ground, still trying to find
16 out what had happened. So, for example, from their
17 evidence, we went to house number 7 in Ahmici and
18 discovered some more bodies, children's bodies, and a
19 family there. So I don't think, to my recollection,
20 they were there, you know, to start something that
21 would end up in a court. I think they were just to
22 establish and write a report. But I may be wrong.
23 Q. You know that Mr. Osario and Mr. Akhavan
24 interviewed a large number of victims from the Ahmici
25 incident in Zenica; correct?
1 A. Yes. So did the International Committee of
2 the Red Cross.
3 Q. And, indeed, you were informed that the names
4 of suspects had been gathered as early as May the 4th
5 of 1993, and you got a number of names from them, as
6 we've seen?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You decided not to give those names to
9 Colonel Blaskic or to the HVO; correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And that decision is actually recorded in
12 your contemporaneous diary on May the 4th, 1993, is it
13 not, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. And the reason why was obvious.
17 Q. Yes. You concluded that Colonel Blaskic
18 could not be trusted with the information; correct?
19 A. No, I concluded that these men might just
21 Q. All right. I'll just address the Court's
22 attention to page 23820 and 821.
23 This list, however, was given to the press,
24 to Mr. Damon; correct?
25 A. I don't think it was given by me. Dan Damon
1 of Sky News?
2 Q. Yes, sir.
3 A. Might have seen it, but I don't think I gave
4 him the names. I gave the names, as far as I'm
5 concerned, to the ECMM ambassador. Maybe Damon took it
6 or I gave it to him, but I can't recall that.
7 Q. All right. Let me turn to the meetings that
8 you had following the exchange of correspondence
9 between Colonel Blaskic and you.
10 On April the 24th, sir, you had a meeting
11 with authorities in what you refer to as the government
12 of Vitez, Mr. Santic and Mr. Skopljak. Do you recall
13 that? I think it's recorded in your --
14 A. It's in my diary, yes. It would help me to
15 look. Yes, correct.
16 Q. And the next visit that you had immediately
17 afterwards was with Colonel Blaskic? After you had met
18 the civilian political leaders, you went to see the
19 military leader in Vitez; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And it's true, sir, is it not, that
22 Colonel Blaskic readily agreed that Ahmici was in his
23 zone of responsibility --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- and that the soldiers involved in the
1 Ahmici operations were soldiers under his command;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. He never contended, on the 24th of April or,
5 really, thereafter, that the killings of the civilians
6 were carried out by people -- rogue elements operating
7 beyond his control; isn't that true?
8 A. I can't recall him saying that. I'm not
9 sure, on the 24th of April, that I said that he -- if
10 he was responsible, I would see him in court one day,
11 but I certainly said that to him at some stage.
12 Q. We'll get into that statement, but you did
13 tell Colonel Blaskic that in your view, after he had
14 admitted that the soldiers were his and that Ahmici was
15 in his zone of responsibility, you told him that in
16 your view, he was a war criminal, didn't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. And then immediately after that,
19 you went to the pinfo section, the public information
20 section of the British army, and briefed them that
21 Colonel Blaskic had, in fact, agreed that Ahmici was
22 within his area of responsibility?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. You reported that he had taken operational
25 responsibility for the actions of his soldiers in the
1 area of Ahmici; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. He said that to you, didn't he, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that confirmed, in your own mind, that
6 Colonel Blaskic was the operational commander for what
7 had occurred in Ahmici; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Just stepping back a little bit, Colonel,
10 isn't it fair to say that Colonel Blaskic appeared
11 genuinely to you to be shocked to discover what had
12 actually happened in his area of responsibility?
13 A. Yeah, he did, utterly. He was really quite
14 shell-shocked, and I felt for him.
15 Q. You never reached the opinion or formed the
16 view that Colonel Blaskic deliberately ordered troops
17 to go into Ahmici and just slaughter civilians
18 willy-nilly, did you, sir?
19 A. Let me think about that.
20 JUDGE MAY: I think --
21 A. I really think that's -- the fact of the
22 matter is I thought he was the commander and his
23 soldiers did it, so I mean that's it. I mean I didn't
24 really start thinking about it beyond that, to be
25 honest. I would need to think about what that question
1 meant. Sorry.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we've covered it as
3 far as we can.
4 MR. SAYERS: I agree entirely,
5 Mr. President. Let me move on.
6 Q. Let me touch very lightly on this, Colonel.
7 Proceeding chronologically along after your
8 meetings of April the 24th, were you aware that there
9 was a massacre of Croat civilians in the village of
10 Miletici on April the 25th of 1993 to the north of your
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. The next event, as I can
14 understand, is one that you related, a meeting that you
15 said you had with Mr. Kordic on April the 26th, 1993,
16 and that is recorded in your diary, is it not?
17 A. Umm-hmm.
18 Q. Is that "yes"?
19 A. I'm just -- sorry, I'm just reading it. Yes,
21 JUDGE MAY: What page is this, please, of the
23 A. This is page 44, Your Honour. Monday, the
24 26th of April.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes.
1 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
2 Q. Now, sir, there's no reference in there to
3 the statements that you contend that Mr. Kordic made,
4 is there, about the Serbs being responsible for the
5 killings in Ahmici?
6 A. No, no, no.
7 Q. All right. So you're just operating on pure
8 recollection when you gave that testimony?
9 A. I remember it, you know.
10 Q. In fact, I think you said, and this is on
11 page 23812, you remember laughing yourself sick when
12 you heard that explanation, you thought it was
13 ridiculous, and that it all went to show that Kordic
14 was not a soldier; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, let me ask you, sir, did you ever hear
17 Colonel Blaskic at any time make similar kinds of
18 statements to the effect that it was the Serbs who were
19 responsible for the killings of civilians in Ahmici, or
20 that it was the Muslims dressed up as HVO, or the
21 Muslims themselves?
22 A. No. He wouldn't have said something as silly
23 as that to me, because I would have laughed at him.
24 Q. And you considered, Colonel, after
25 essentially six months in the area of operations and
1 many, many meetings with Colonel Blaskic, that you had
2 got to know him fairly well; is that correct?
3 A. No, not at all. I don't think I got to know
4 anyone fairly well whose language I didn't speak, you
5 know, and I think, you know, I was existing on
6 impression, nothing else.
7 JUDGE MAY: Is it disputed, Mr. Sayers, so
8 that we can understand this, that Mr. Kordic stated, as
9 recorded by the witness or as mentioned by the witness
10 in his evidence, that it was the Serbs who were
12 MR. SAYERS: I do not believe that that is
13 contested, Your Honour.
14 Q. Now, immediately after your meeting with
15 Mr. Kordic, you went to visit the -- I think you said
16 you went to see the Muslim offensive being mounted in
17 the village of Putis and Jelinak to the north of the
18 Koanik junction; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You saw evidence of people being thrown out
21 of their homes and killings there as well, did you not?
22 A. Putis and Jelinak aren't near Koanik. They
23 are actually, as I recall, northeast of Busovaca in the
25 I saw, when I went up that day -- I went
1 through the HVO lines and I went to the BiH positions,
2 and when I got there, I dismounted and tried to
3 persuade the BiH to give me the body of an HVO soldier
4 so I could take it back to Dario Kordic, which I
5 thought was at least decent. And they refused, so I
6 buried him, having taken his personal possessions.
7 Q. You recorded in your diary that you saw some
8 clear evidence of Muslims cleansing Croats by burning
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You do remember that, do you not?
12 A. Mm-hmm.
13 Q. All right.
14 A. Let me just see where it is in the diary.
15 Whereabouts is that? Yes, there we are, I've found it,
16 the bottom of page 44.
17 Q. Yes, sir.
18 A. But it wasn't near Busovaca, it was on the
19 mountain road.
20 Q. There isn't any dispute about this. Putis
21 and Jelinak are just a few kilometres north of the
22 Kaonik junction; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Now, sir, let me see if I can --
25 on April the 28th, you decided to drive through
1 Busovaca to check out the fighting in the area, and I
2 think you made a contemporaneous diary entry at that
3 point. You actually drove into Busovaca yourself,
4 didn't you?
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. Yes?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You don't remember that there were any
9 problems at all with UNHCR convoys being held up in
10 Busovaca on that day, the day before, or the day after,
11 do you?
12 A. I think around that time there were problems
13 on that road.
14 Q. All right. There's no record in the
15 commander's diary, sir, of any such problems. I wonder
16 if you could be -- do you have the commander's diary
17 before you?
18 A. No. I accept if there's no record, but I
19 remember -- the point is, that road between Busovaca
20 and Kiseljak was blocked quite a lot at that time, so
21 convoys couldn't get through.
22 Q. Right. But there's no mention in your diary,
23 sir, of any problem with a convoy, is there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Just so that we have a full record here, I
1 wonder if you could be shown D1 -- well, let me just
2 put it to you.
3 There's no reference of any convoy problems
4 in the milinfosums on the 28th of April, 1993 or the
5 29th of April, 1993, so --
6 JUDGE MAY: I doubt the witness is going to
7 be able to answer that. You can make the comment to us
8 in due course.
9 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
10 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Sayers, we are coming to
11 a conclusion, I hope, given the time.
12 MR. SAYERS: Yes. As I said, I hope to be
13 through by 4.15, and I still hope to be through by
14 4.15, Your Honour.
15 Q. Would it be fair to say, Colonel, that you
16 yourself have no recollection at all of any specific
17 convoy problems on April the 28th, 1993; correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And, indeed, you went back to Busovaca the
20 very next day, on April the 19th [sic], with General
21 Halilovic, Brigadier Petkovic and Ambassador Thebault
22 in tow; correct?
23 A. It was the 29th, yes.
24 Q. The day after the 28th, obviously.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You've never heard of any possibility of an
2 armed assault on Busovaca by British troops in this
3 time period, have you, April the 28th/29th?
4 A. Well, I don't think so. You know, every
5 single round my soldiers carried they had to come to me
6 if it was fired. So an armed assault on a position, I
7 would know about it because they'd have to replenish
8 their ammunition and I'd know who'd fired.
9 Q. And there never was any talk in your
10 battalion about such an armed assault at the end of
11 April, was there, Colonel?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Let me move on, sir. I touched upon this
14 very briefly but let me just ask a few more questions
15 on this subject.
16 Brigadier Petkovic and General Halilovic were
17 persuaded to stay in the area for about ten days to
18 make sure that the news of the ceasefire and its
19 details filtered down to the lowest level of the
20 combatants; is that fair to say?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you remember paying a visit to the village
23 of Gomionica on the 29th of April, 1993 where there
24 were ABiH troops present about one mile up the road
25 northeast of that village and to whom General Halilovic
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you remember, sir, that Brigadier Petkovic
4 stayed put in the armoured fighting vehicle, which you
5 thought was quite right of him to do?
6 A. Yes. Remember that at this time, roundabout
7 this time, an officer, I think a Bosnian army officer,
8 was killed in Sarajevo, when being guarded by the
9 French, by the Serbs. So I was very conscious that I
10 had responsibility for people I had in my vehicles,
11 whoever they were.
12 Q. Actually, are you referring, sir, to the
13 sniper death of Mr. Hakija Turajlic, who was actually
14 the vice-president of --
15 A. I think it might have been after this, but
16 all the time I was conscious of it.
17 Q. Very well. At each location visited by the
18 senior representatives of the armed forces, Brigadier
19 Petkovic and General Halilovic, it appeared to you that
20 the troops obeyed the orders given by these two
21 Generals and stopped fighting; correct?
22 A. I think so. I think so.
23 Q. Marching on chronologically, sir, I'd like to
24 turn your attention to a meeting that you had with
25 Mr. Anto Valenta on May the 4th of 1993.
1 Is it fair to say that, to your knowledge,
2 this was the first meeting that Mr. Valenta had had
3 with you?
4 A. I think that's correct.
5 Q. In fact, you were not even aware of his
6 existence essentially until this meeting with him on
7 May the 4th; would that be fair to say?
8 A. Yes, he told me -- I recall he told me that
9 he'd moved recently into the area.
10 Q. You said that you really knew nothing about
11 this character before May the 4th of 1993 in the
12 Blaskic case, and that's still your recollection; isn't
13 that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. You don't recall ever having discussed
16 Mr. Valenta with, for example, Mr. Kordic at any time
17 prior to this date, do you, sir?
18 A. Mr. Kordic might have mentioned him to me but
19 I can't recall.
20 Q. You just have no recollection on that. Very
22 Mr. Valenta told you that he was the
23 vice-president of the HVO, did he not?
24 A. I think that's right. The HVO, I don't
25 know. Vice-president of the organisation, I don't
1 know. I wouldn't say HVO.
2 Q. Very well. In your first meeting with him,
3 you told him that you considered him to be at least
4 guilty of complicity in genocide along with the Vitez
5 government; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You also told him that you had a list of
8 names that you were going to give to the ECMM; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Valenta told you that he knew nothing
11 about the Ahmici killings until two days after they had
12 occurred; is that right, sir?
13 A. Quite possibly.
14 Q. That's what you said on page 23715 of the
15 Blaskic transcript, and I take it that that --
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, you know, we don't really
17 need to go over the Blaskic transcript again. If there
18 are matters you want to rely on, Mr. Sayers, it would
19 be sufficient to refer it to us.
20 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll
21 move on.
22 Q. One final question about this meeting,
23 though, sir. When you related to Mr. Valenta that the
24 government of Vitez was involved in complicity in
25 genocide, you recorded in your diary that by this you
1 meant Valenta, who said he knew nothing about Ahmici
2 until two days later, Blaskic and Skopljak; correct?
3 A. Yes, because they were all working together.
4 Q. One day later, sir, on May the 5th of 1993, I
5 believe that you visited an ABiH detention facility
6 close to the brigade headquarters of the ABiH in
7 Poculica; do you remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you saw about 20 Croat prisoners being
10 held there; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Let me draw your attention to a
13 meeting that you had with Mr. Valenta three days later
14 on May the 7th of 1993. This was your second meeting
15 in three days; correct?
16 A. Mm-hmm.
17 Q. And you actually brought Lieutenant-Colonel
18 Duncan along with you; do you remember that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In your May the 8th diary entry, sir, you say
21 that, in your view, the HVO high command was behaving
22 like Hitler and that Valenta and Boban had given
23 instructions to carry out ethnic cleansing.
24 MR. SAYERS: That's May the 8th, Your
1 Q. That's actually speculation on your part, is
2 it not, sir?
3 A. Well, not really. I took that from the fact
4 that Valenta gave me his theories in the book that he'd
5 written. If I quote back from my diary which is
6 written in sort of soldier's language, "Valenta gave
7 Alastair and I a long lecture about the origins of the
8 trouble, expounding his theories that each the Serbs,
9 Croats, and Muslims should have and be confined to
10 their own cantons. He gave me his book which is
11 probably much like Mein Kampf, much the same as a guide
12 for action. He stated that he had forecast what was
13 happening in his book."
14 Q. Right.
15 A. "They can say that he's putting his theories
16 into action."
17 Q. He never told you that, though, did he, sir?
18 He never said that he issued any instructions along
19 those lines.
20 A. No, he didn't, but he told me his theories.
21 Q. And you never read the book, did you? I
22 think you've already --
23 A. Totally, I didn't read the book.
24 Q. And you never saw anything that would suggest
25 that President Boban had ever issued such an
1 instruction; isn't that correct?
2 A. Correct. Remember, this is a private diary
3 as well.
4 Q. Yes, sir. Now, let me turn your attention to
5 the next diary entry that records a meeting that you
6 had with Blaskic on May the 9th. Your diary records
7 that on that day you tried to arrange a meeting between
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan and what you termed "the
9 local hoods"; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is that how you viewed Colonel Blaskic as
12 of this date --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- a local hood?
15 A. I mean, you're getting increasingly emotional
16 here, or I am, as I see nothing happening to actually
17 put right what I considered to be a great wrong. So if
18 you look at the words, they get increasingly -- like
19 "hoods" because these people had done nothing.
20 Q. Very well. You did, indeed, have a meeting
21 with Colonel Blaskic, and this was your last meeting
22 with him; is that correct, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You had decided in advance, with
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan, to be hard on him; is that
2 A. Well, yes. The way we decided, I said that I
3 was going to challenge him on the matter of Ahmici, I
4 was going to be extremely robust that nothing had
5 happened, and that I was going to probably fall out in
6 a major way with Blaskic. But that was fine because I
7 was dead meat, because I was out of there the next
8 day. It would be better for the new commander to start
9 with a fresh slate.
10 Q. And you had representatives of the ICRC with
11 you because they were actually having a personnel
12 change as well, and you wanted to introduce them to
13 Colonel Blaskic; right?
14 A. No. They were already there as I arrived,
15 and I waited for this until they left because I didn't
16 want to involve them.
17 Q. So the ICRC people left, and then that's when
18 you had the confrontation with Colonel Blaskic; right?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. You specifically challenged him on the matter
21 of who was in command of the HVO troops, did you not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And he said it was him, didn't he?
24 A. Yes, he did.
25 Q. He confirmed that he was the commander and
1 said that he was responsible for the actions of the
2 soldiers under his command, didn't he, sir?
3 A. He did.
4 Q. And it was on that occasion that you told him
5 that one day he would appear in court; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. And then, just as everybody was
8 about to leave, Mr. Kordic turned up on May the 9th;
10 A. Is it there? Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: Now, where is this in the diary?
12 MR. SAYERS: It's on May the 9th, Your
13 Honour, the first paragraph, three lines up from the
14 bottom of it.
15 JUDGE MAY: It's barely legible.
16 MR. SAYERS: It says: "Dario Kordic turned
17 up as well," or: "Just as we were about to leave,
18 Dario Kordic turned up as well and so that delayed
19 things a little, and another round of Slivovic was
20 summoned and drunk with toast." Is that right, sir?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you're quite sure, sir, that at this
23 meeting, Colonel Blaskic never said that the killings
24 of civilians in Ahmici had been done by Serbs, Muslims,
25 or Muslims dressed as HVO troops; correct?
1 A. To the best of my knowledge.
2 Q. Thank you, Colonel. That concludes the
3 chronological odyssey, and I would like to take up the
4 matter of Ahmici and the investigation and
5 correspondence on that with you as my final topic.
6 Your decision not to give the list or names
7 of suspects to Colonel Blaskic was as a result of
8 instructions that were received from the British
9 government; is that right?
10 A. No. I can't remember exactly. It might have
11 been I talked to the brigade headquarters. It might
12 have been I sought some kind of legal advice. But to
13 the best of my recollection, I think I just -- no. I
14 think it was a discussion, because my inclination was
15 to give him the names and I think someone persuaded me
16 not to for the reasons I've outlined.
17 Q. All right. And you discussed this decision,
18 I take it, with Mr. Osario.
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, does it matter who this
20 decision was made with?
21 MR. SAYERS: Perhaps it doesn't, Your
22 Honour. Let me move on.
23 Q. In your view, sir, the Ahmici operation was a
24 cordon sweep operation, I think is how it's described
25 in military parlance; Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And with all of your experience, you believe
3 that it would only have taken about half a day to plan
4 and mount the entire operation, don't you?
5 A. Well, it could -- yes, it could take -- how
6 long is a piece of string? "Yes" is the answer. Half
7 a day would be fine.
8 Q. Now, you do not know if Colonel Blaskic ever
9 did give orders to any of the troops in Ahmici actually
10 to kill civilians, of your own personal knowledge?
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, we've been over this. The
12 witness hasn't asserted that in his evidence so far.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. There's no question, sir, that Colonel
15 Blaskic could not gain access to Zenica, which was
16 controlled by Muslim forces at this time in the latter
17 half of April while the hostilities were still going on
18 and the ceasefire was being negotiated. He had no
19 access to interview people in Zenica, did he?
20 A. I don't think so, not unless I took him.
21 Q. Right. And that's where, as far as you
22 understand, all of the eyewitnesses to the awful events
23 in Ahmici actually had been taken?
24 A. The majority of them escaped or ran away to
25 Zenica. When they were released -- about 800 people
1 were imprisoned by the HVO in the Vitez vicinity. I
2 mean there were about 800 people actually all up in
3 prisons, so-called prisons, like schools, in the -- and
4 just to balance it, the Muslims were doing the same in
5 Zenica. So there was quite a lot of activity.
6 Q. Right. But the concluding point that I'd
7 like to make is, as far as you were aware, the
8 eyewitnesses from Ahmici itself were located in Zenica,
9 and they are the people that actually the U.N. Centre
10 for Human Rights --
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. SAYERS: Colonel, thank you very much,
13 indeed. I have no further questions, unless the Court
14 has any for me. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: No, thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Stewart, it looks
18 realistically as though you will have to come back
19 tomorrow, I'm afraid.
20 THE WITNESS: That's my military assessment
22 JUDGE MAY: It's a legal one.
23 Mr. Kovacic, you will be about half an hour
24 in the morning, you anticipate, something like that?
25 MR. KOVACIC: Half an hour.
1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Nice, you can have leave to speak to the
3 witness about the document; nothing else, of course.
4 If you can, you must pass on what's said, if anything
5 is said, --
6 MR. NICE: Yes, of course.
7 JUDGE MAY: -- in the normal way. What I
8 suggest is this: that we will conclude the witness's
9 evidence on all topics and then return to the document,
10 cross-examination following upon that and limited to
11 that only.
12 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if we might be provided
13 with a copy of the document, Your Honour, and I have
14 one 15-second matter that I need to take up with the
15 Court following Colonel Stewart's exit from the court.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. There's no reason why the
17 document can't be handed over.
18 MR. NICE: No. Now that we've got release, I
19 think the Court is in a position to order its
20 production and does to the Defence.
21 JUDGE MAY: If it's required for us to make
22 such an order, we do. Yes.
23 MR. NICE: Is the Court thinking of
24 adjourning now rather than, say, using another 15
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MR. NICE: I make the point that we have two
3 witnesses scheduled for tomorrow and a longer witness
4 scheduled for -- probably a full-day witness for
6 JUDGE MAY: One witness will be short, I
8 MR. NICE: Both tomorrow will, I hope, be
10 JUDGE MAY: Is the second one here or likely
11 to be here?
12 MR. NICE: Yes. There are two here waiting
13 for tomorrow and then one coming in late tonight for
15 JUDGE MAY: We'll start tomorrow with the
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MAY: Judge Bennouna reminds me that we
19 have not made any protection orders in relation to the
20 document. We do so. It's not to be released to
21 anybody else at all outside the immediate members of
22 the Defence. The usual order will suffice. A written
23 order will follow tomorrow.
24 Colonel Stewart, could you be back, please,
25 at half past 9.00 tomorrow morning.
1 MR. NICE: I think Mr. Sayers had something
2 to raise.
3 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. If you wouldn't mind
4 going, Colonel Stewart. Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 MR. SAYERS: This is a very minor matter,
7 Your Honour, but Mr. Stein wanted me to raise it. On
8 day 103, at page 11760, line 9, he inadvertently
9 mentioned the name of a witness whose identity has been
10 subject to protective measures, and we would appreciate
11 it if the transcript could accordingly be redacted.
12 JUDGE MAY: I think that was caught. The
13 registrar nods. If it wasn't, it can be checked and it
14 will be redacted.
15 MR. NICE: While we are in open session but
16 without the witness here, I know that both tomorrow's
17 witnesses -- I think both tomorrow's witnesses are
18 seeking protective measures; I know one is and it's
19 already been served. I hope very much that by one
20 means or another, we will be able to deal with the
21 issue of their protection and, if granted or if
22 allowed, to take their evidence tomorrow.
23 As to the first witness, I know he wants, I
24 think, full protection for reasons that are set out,
25 and at some stage tomorrow I can discuss that with the
1 Chamber, although the Chamber is only a Chamber of two
2 Judges. But I nevertheless hope that the matter can be
3 dealt with.
4 The first witness is, of course, a witness
5 who is here substantially as a result of the lines of
6 cross-examination taken by the Defence and, indeed,
7 he's a witness whose help they require into a matter --
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we have in front of
10 us the application, in respect of the first witness
11 tomorrow, setting out the reasons. They are different
12 to the usual reasons, but they seem to be sufficient.
13 Have you any observations to make?
14 MR. SAYERS: I've only received one
15 application for protective measures, and I think it
16 related to the second witness who wished to testify in
17 closed session.
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, see overnight if you can
19 have a look at this. If you have any objections, raise
20 them, but we would be minded to grant the order.
21 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MAY: And no doubt that witness can be
23 taken fairly shortly tomorrow, the first one.
24 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: In fact, has that been served on
1 the Defence?
2 MR. NICE: It may have been served at this
3 stage ex parte only because of the sensitivity, but
4 perhaps I can deal with that after, if I'm allowed in
5 the exercise of my discretion to reveal the detail of
6 it to the Defence. Perhaps I can deal with it in that
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Sayers, I hadn't
9 appreciated that you would have been acting in the
10 dark, but no doubt you'll be informed in due course.
11 MR. NICE: Two other points.
22 (redacted). Accordingly, at some stage,
23 although I know it's an inconvenience, I'll need to lay
24 out the material about that witness and probably to do
25 so ex parte. It's always inconvenient, I know, but for
1 administrative reasons, to go into an ex parte
2 hearing. Possibly, that can be dealt with on Thursday,
3 at the same time as we have the status hearing.
4 JUDGE MAY: That would be the most convenient
5 time, obviously, to deal with it.
6 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE MAY: Obviously, the two witnesses
8 tomorrow partly depend on how rapidly the Prosecution
9 can deal with them.
10 MR. NICE: Certainly.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
12 4.09 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
13 the 18th day of January, 2000, at
14 9.30 a.m.