1 Thursday, 29
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the
8 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
11 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
12 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
13 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 WITNESS: RUDY GERRITSEN
15 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
16 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you please tell the
17 Court your full name, sir?
18 A. I am Rudy Gerritsen.
19 Q. And you are, I believe, a Lieutenant Colonel
20 in the Royal Netherlands Army at present?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Colonel, I propose to take you very briefly
23 through some preliminary matters and we'll then get
24 into the heart of your testimony which really begins at
25 about paragraph 9 of the outline that we have prepared
1 and which you signed yesterday, I believe.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. You were born on May 9, 1954 in the
4 Netherlands, I believe?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And you are a Dutch citizen and you currently
7 live in Almere with your wife and three teenage
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. You are a graduate of the Royal Netherlands
11 Military Academy in 1976?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. I believe two years ago you graduated from
14 the University of Utrecht with a degree in business
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. I believe that you've been in the Royal
18 Netherlands Army since the age of 18, since 1972?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And your speciality in the military is as a
21 logistics expert?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. You worked at the information technology
24 department at the Dutch Ministry of Defence during your
25 28-year military career?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Posting to Lebanon in 1981 during the civil
3 war there, was followed in 1989 by a posting to Germany
4 as a member of the Dutch army, and I believe you stayed
5 there until 1992?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. I believe that you have actually taught
8 courses in your military speciality, logistics at Bussum
9 in the Netherlands for two years between 1992 and 1994?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And of relevance today, I believe, you joined
12 the European Community Monitoring Mission, the ECMM in
13 June of 1993 and remained with that organisation until
14 January of 1994 when you returned to your native
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. You work in Soesterberg as an account manager
18 for special equipment in the Royal Netherlands Army?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, in your own
21 words, prior to your assignment specifically to
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the ECMM what training, what
23 educational instruction, did you receive at the hands
24 of either the Royal Netherlands Army or the ECMM?
25 A. Prior to my assignment in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 I received a week-long training session regarding the
2 situation in Bosnia, former Yugoslavia. During that
3 week, I was instructed in history, culture, economics
4 and military situation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We were
5 also trained to use and deal with interpreters.
6 Q. If I might just interrupt a little bit,
7 Lieutenant-Colonel, I think that you are referring to
8 your statement, it would actually be helpful if you
9 could do it in your own words.
10 A. Okay. Well, we received three-week long
11 training, and one week was training in The Hague where
12 they talked about the political, economic, law and
13 humanitarian matters and also military matters of
14 former Yugoslavia, also the history of Yugoslavia and
15 how we have to deal with the interpreters.
16 It was, in my opinion, a training which was
17 rather short, but helpful for us and I used a lot of
18 material which we got on paper when I was that half
19 year in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was quite helpful.
20 The two-weeks military training, of course I
21 am -- I was at that time almost 20 years in the army,
22 so I was trained as a soldier, but not on the aspect of
23 a civil war which was going on in Bosnia.
24 In the two-weeks military training, we've got
25 all kind of things, like recognition of mines, how we
1 have to cope with roadblocks and such things, and just
2 normal military stuff, medical aid and so on and so
4 Q. All right. What was the principal role that
5 was being fulfilled by the ECMM in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 A. Well, the principal role of us as monitors
8 was to be in the terrain, where we have to monitor
9 political, military, and humanitarian matters.
10 Political was a bit difficult for me, because I'm not a
11 political guy, but we've got simple questions as what
12 do the people think of the outcome of negotiations in
13 the international forums. We ask that and then we get
14 an answer and we report that to Zenica.
15 Of course, we could see how the situation was
16 in the field on military aspects and humanitarian
17 aspects. We reported every day, a report to Zenica in
18 Bosnia; Zenica reported to Zagreb; Zagreb reported to
19 the -- how do you call that? -- the main cities in
20 Europe, Canada, and so on, on the memos of that
22 Q. As a monitor in the field, so to speak,
23 Lieutenant Colonel, did you or your colleagues have any
24 role in attempting to mediate disputes between the
25 warring factions themselves?
1 A. Yes, we did, all kind of matters, like a
2 change of the bodies, POWs, humanitarian aspects, if
3 they wanted to have medicines, all these kind of things
4 that were -- they had a lack of. And a lot of things
5 were -- was negotiating. For example, if we wanted to
6 visit a prison camp of POWs or civilians, mostly we
7 didn't get in. But if we had an exchange, for example,
8 POWs or bodies from the other party, we could get in.
9 So it was a lot of negotiation.
10 Q. And I believe that you also became involved
11 with humanitarian aid matters on both sides, the --
12 A. Yes, on both sides. We also talked with
13 UNHCR, ICOC, and other agencies who were at the time in
14 Bosnia. Because in my area of responsibility, which
15 was Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, and the war was
16 going on after mid-July in Bosnia, in that area of
17 responsibility, it was hard to get in for humanitarian
18 agencies, so we spoke to them and we got some materiel
19 and brought them in in the more dangerous areas. We
20 did that together with UNPROFOR.
21 Q. We'll get into specific incidents and crimes
22 later in your testimony in a fairly brief way, but just
23 generally, Lieutenant Colonel, did the ECMM have any
24 role actually in the investigation of crimes for
25 purposes of future war crimes investigations, or not?
1 A. Well, not specifically. Of course, we
2 reported the things we saw, but it wasn't the aim at
3 that moment to make specific investigations of war
4 crimes. I was more -- I dealt more with humanitarian
5 matters. But if we saw some, we reported them, but we
6 were not trained to investigate such specific matters.
7 Q. All right. You've previously described and
8 the Court's heard a lot of evidence about how the
9 monitoring teams were organised in the reporting chain
10 up through the regional centres, and you've previously
11 described that the regional centre to which you
12 reported was located in Zenica. And I believe that
13 while you were present in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there
14 were two heads of that regional centre, the first being
15 Jean-Pierre Thebault and the second being Sir Martin
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. As you understood it, was Ambassador Thebault
19 a soldier? Did he have a military background?
20 A. Ambassador Thebault, Pierre Thebault, was not
21 a military guy. He was a nice man, fine man, I think.
22 I met him not often. When I came in, I met Thebault;
23 when I went out from the area of Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno,
24 Prozor; and once in between. So I met him totally, I
25 think, three times, and I spoke to him and he was a
1 nice guy, I think. But he was not a military man and
2 we didn't see him in the field, contrary to Mr. Garrod,
3 Sir Garrod. He was a military man who was a monitor
4 before he became head of Zenica, and I could speak more
5 easily with him about certain matters.
6 Q. All right. Let me just move on to the next
7 subject, the reports that you prepared. Could you just
8 describe for the Trial Chamber the process by which you
9 prepared reports, to whom they were submitted, and what
10 happened to those reports, in your experience in the
11 country after they had been submitted to your
13 A. We made every day daily report. And it was
14 sent by CapSat to RC Zenica. There they put together
15 all the reports from several teams. And so it was a
16 compilation of several reports, a shortage. And after
17 that it went to Zagreb and there they made report of
18 the several RCs, which also was a shortage, and that
19 was sent to the capital cities. And my opinion of what
20 I saw was that very often only one line or no lines of
21 our reports were in the report which finally came back
22 from Zagreb. So we did our job, and sometimes nothing
23 was said about our job. And that was sometimes
24 disappointing, but it is not always interesting to
25 report to the capital cities what we have seen, I
2 Q. Lieutenant Colonel, I believe that you kept
3 on your own computer an electronic version of all of
4 the reports that you prepared, and you have provided
5 the Kordic Defence, me and my colleagues, with access
6 to these reports; is that fair to say?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You would have, I take it, no difficulty in
9 providing the Prosecution with access to the same
11 A. Say again, please.
12 Q. You would have no difficulty in allowing the
13 Prosecution, the people on the other side --
14 A. No, no. Not at all. Not at all.
15 Q. Just a matter of interest. Have you ever
16 been contacted by the investigators or by the
17 Prosecution in this or in any other case to --
18 A. No. This is the first time.
19 Q. All right. We're very grateful for the fact
20 that you've provided these reports, Mr. Gerritsen,
21 because we've been trying for two years to persuade the
22 ECMM to give us documents, so far without success.
23 MR. SAYERS: I may -- Your Honour, we have
24 prepared two packages of exhibits, the first consisting
25 of military informations summaries prepared by the
1 Prince of Wales Own Regiment of Yorkshire, which we'll
2 refer to very briefly in this case in the examination,
3 and the second consists of a selected package of
4 Mr. Gerritsen's reports, which will allow the Trial
5 Chamber to go chronologically quickly through his
6 testimony. If I could just have these numbered,
8 THE REGISTRAR: The bundle with the ECMM
9 reports will be marked D284/1, and the bundle of
10 milinfosums will be marked D285/1.
11 MR. SAYERS:
12 Q. Lieutenant Colonel, in the package of
13 documents marked D284/1 this is a compilation of your
14 reports, I'd just like to draw your attention to two
15 entries in Tabs 1 and 2 which describe the situation in
16 Bugojno, one of the three main municipalities in your
17 area of responsibility before the fighting broke out
18 there in mid-July of 1993.
19 Just turning your attention to Tab 1 of your
20 exhibits here under paragraph 2, it says, "Relations
21 between the Croats and Muslims in Bugojno continue to
22 appear very good." This is as of July 2, 1993, could
23 you just elaborate upon that to the Trial Chamber.
24 What was the political and military situation
25 amongst the Croats and the Muslims in the town of
1 Bugojno as far as you saw it in the very early part of
2 your tour of duty in the area, sir?
3 A. Well, I have to say that I came in the -- I
4 believe the 16th of July and then the clashes started,
5 so what I saw is what I heard. The situation between
6 the Croats and Muslims there was quite stable. They
7 were negotiating about civil matters and there were no
8 problems at that point there.
9 A year before, they fought against the
10 Bosnian Serbs, the front line with the Bosnian Serbs.
11 The outcome of the front line of the Bosnian Serbs was
12 in the neighbourhood of Bugojno and the Croats and
13 Muslims fought together against the Bosnian Serbs
14 and -- so that was the situation there at that time.
15 Q. So you -- you're telling us that you arrived
16 on July 16th which, I believe, was just two or three
17 days before the heavy fighting, actually.
18 A. One day before the clashes started. I
19 arrived on Sunday.
20 Q. If you could just take a look at the second
21 tab --
22 A. And I came there, maybe it's interesting to
23 say, because they got in Zenica because first I should
24 go to Tuzla and then they -- the military people and
25 intelligence from RC Zenica has heard that there were
1 reinforcements in the surroundings of Bugojno, probably
2 they had seen Mujahedin and several brigades so it
3 could be interesting, and monitor team in Gornji Vakuf
4 should be reinforced and then they sent me in.
5 Q. All right. But what you are telling us, I
6 think, is that you had been briefed and you had heard
7 from your colleagues that the political and military
8 situation insofar as Croat and Muslim cooperation in
9 Bugojno was concerned was amicable and without evident
10 problems, imminent hostilities?
11 A. Yes, they expected no war at that time.
12 Q. If you could just take a look at the second
13 tab of Exhibit D284/1, sir, this is another daily
14 report I think that was generated one day before you
15 arrived. Paragraph 2 describes a political meeting
16 held in Bugojno and the upshot of the meeting was that
17 the local politicians decided that they would continue
18 with two parallel authority structures until there is a
19 new political solution for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Is that your understanding of the way in
21 which the municipality was being run with two separate
22 power structures, if you like, one Croat and one Muslim
23 within one municipality?
24 A. Well, it was that way at that time. Later
25 on, I think one or two months later, they started again
1 with this structure, with these structures, so it --
2 Q. And then the next tab, Tab 3, is a report
3 that was generated on the day that you arrived. And in
4 the first paragraph, there is a reference to what
5 you've just referred to, Mujahedin soldiers in Bugojno
6 and soldiers from the 7th Muslim Brigade on the border
7 between the municipality of Bugojno and Travnik
9 This basically reflects what you saw yourself
10 with your own eyes when you arrived in the area, does
12 A. Well, I didn't see any Mujahedin. When I
13 came in, I didn't see the 7th Muslim Brigade, it's only
14 of hearing because I came in that day, and I was only
15 held up in Novi Travnik where I was shot by Muslim
16 snipers at a T-junction in Novi Travnik so I had a
17 delay that day, and I came in on Sunday afternoon. And
18 that was the situation and that they were seeing
19 Mujahedin was already known at RC Zenica.
20 Q. All right. And your colleagues who drafted
21 this particular report presumably told you about the
22 sightings of the soldiers?
23 A. Yes, Skat Rordan he was Danish guy.
24 Q. And there were claims being made as you can
25 see at the bottom of the page by the HVO in Bugojno
1 that there was incidents of rape and plunder taking
2 place in the Croat villages and municipalities?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. If you turn to the next exhibit, sir, July
5 19th, 1993, very briefly in paragraph 3 and paragraph
6 8, there are only two points I would like to draw to
7 your attention. The first is that there is a
8 contemporaneous record obviously of the -- that
9 fighting had started. Was this light skirmishing or
10 was this full-scale warfare?
11 A. It was full-scale warfare at that moment in
13 Q. And the observation is made by you and your
14 colleague, Mr. Skat Rordan?
15 A. It was only made by me because Skat Rordan,
16 had a problems with a Warrior from the British that we
17 were arriving with, and so particularly at that date,
18 happened that I went alone with the UNPROFOR to
20 Q. All right. Now, you say that no clear
21 picture of the fighting in Bugojno had emerged to you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. And there is a -- this is paragraph 10 of the
24 outline, Your Honours, you make the observation that
25 you do not know the exact cause of the ABiH offensive
1 but you give your views on the military fighting that
2 occurred in that area, and I wonder if you could just
3 give your views to the Trial Chamber, in your own
4 words, about your perceptions of the causes of the
5 fighting and its progress in the immediate days?
6 A. Yes, when I came in the first day, the
7 fighting was going on on a large scale. We saw several
8 soldiers acting like soldiers, shooting and hiding and
9 covering, and that was the not clear picture because we
10 couldn't see which direction they were going at that
11 time, at that particular day.
12 The next days, we saw that the BiH had an out
13 number of people and they were conquering first
14 Bugojno, the town itself. And they were quite
15 successful with the help at that time of Senad
16 Dautovic, which was a policeman, and other situation in
17 Bugojno very well, and they managed to isolate the
18 Croats in Bugojno.
19 In the surroundings of Bugojno, in the
20 fields, we couldn't get in, so we could only see what
21 we saw from the main road from Gornji Vakuf to Bugojno,
22 and each day, they came more in the direction of Gornji
24 So the conclusion you can make as military
25 men is that they were gaining ground and the Croats
1 were in a bad -- were in bad circumstances.
2 Q. If I could just interrupt you there, just so
3 that we can give the Trial Chamber an identification of
4 the actual local military units, I believe, the local
5 military unit on the ABiH side in Bugojno was the 307th
6 Brigade under the command of Tahir Granica?
7 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness give the
9 A. The specific units I have to look up in the
10 files because I never get them in my head which
11 specific brigade is where on the terrain. There are
12 all kinds of maps.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. Let me see if I can help you. Can you turn
15 to Exhibit D285/1 which is the compilation of the
16 milinfosums prepared by BritBat Tab 2, page 2,
17 paragraph 8 there actually identifies the commanders
18 and the brigades.
19 A. Yes, this one which I met later on, what I
20 can say more and -- on a more abstract level is that
21 the BiH had more soldiers. They had, I think, about
22 six or seven brigades and the Croats up there had only
23 two brigades. So the Croats were outnumbered by the
24 BiH and each unit has a number and at that time, we
25 have made specific organisations, military stuff, and
1 that information we've got and you could see the
2 results in the fields of that because they were gaining
4 Q. All right.
5 A. To gain ground, you have to have three times
6 more people and materiel than the defending party
7 because otherwise it's very difficult to gain any
8 ground and we could see that in the organisations which
9 we had on paper.
10 Q. And that force ratio, did that kind of force
11 ratio exist in the Bugojno area in favour of the
12 attacking ABiH troops?
13 A. Yes, at that time, that force ratio existed,
14 yes; seven, two, two, I think.
15 Q. Very well. Just two questions in connection
16 with the British milinfosum here, did you meet Tahir
17 Granica, the commander here?
18 A. The commander of the 307 Brigade?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Yes. I met him later when he was captured as
22 Q. And did you ever meet Ivica Lucic?
23 A. Oh, no, I met -- let me see, I met Ivica
24 Lucic, sorry, a field commander of the Edvard Kvaternik
25 Brigade; he was captured. And I didn't meet Tahir
2 Q. With respect to your conversations with local
3 Croats, was any information imparted to you as to
4 whether they had been prepared for conflict or fighting
5 with the Muslim adversaries or not? If that question
6 is unclear, I'll rephrase it.
7 A. Well, I read the question. Sometimes I need
8 some time because I don't speak English every day, you
9 know. They have been prepared for conflict of fighting
10 with the Muslim -- it isn't clear for me what you are
12 Q. All right. We know that the HVO and the
13 Muslims had been combining together to fight the
14 Bosnian Serb army on the front lines with that
15 institution, but did you receive any information from
16 Croats whether they had been preparing for a fight with
17 Muslims at around this time of 1993 or not?
18 A. No, I didn't receive any information of that
20 Q. All right. You make the observation in your
21 outline here that the Muslim forces conquered the
22 HVO-held positions in several days and you testified to
23 that today. If we could just go very briefly through
24 some of the reports that you prepared
25 contemporaneously. Turning to Tab 5 of the ECMM
1 documents, paragraph 3, there's the observation that
2 Bugojno was nearly at the stage where it is not even
3 safe to go in in Warriors, that the BiH --
4 A. Well, it's a bit exaggerated, I think. It's
5 never safe -- it's never safe to go into war, of
6 course, and but the Warrior was quite safe. You always
7 take risks at that moment, and -- well, that's our job
8 mainly. And sometimes it was quite -- it is an
9 understatement -- interesting to be there as a military
10 officer. What's safe? I think it's a bit exaggerated,
11 because we have by ourselves always the impression that
12 they didn't aim specifically at us. That was our
13 feeling at that time. So we felt quite safe. But it
14 wasn't safe to go with our own vehicles from the ECMM
15 at that time. The war is well shot with small arms and
16 not with anti-tank grenades or something like that. So
17 it is always difficult to say, is it safe.
18 Q. And the Court already knows that a Warrior is
19 an armoured vehicle.
20 A. It is an armoured vehicle from the British
22 Q. Now, the assessment that was made by the BiH
23 people to whom you spoke, or the ABiH soldiers, around
24 the 21st of July, was that they would have control over
25 the town within the next two days, within the next 48
2 A. Yes. But also they get a delay. It was some
3 days later, but -- before they succeeded. It was just
4 an assessment at that time.
5 Q. All right. And if you turn to tab 6, under
6 to the military activity section, you say that every
7 possible weapon except atomic bombs are being used in
8 the battle, but that steadily and easily the ABiH was
9 gaining control over the town. Was that your
10 observation as to the course of the heavy fighting,
11 with the exception of the nuclear analogy?
12 A. Yes. It was a real war going on. For me, as
13 a monitor -- it may be specific as a Dutch monitor. I
14 do not know, of course. But it was quite disturbing
15 that I was suddenly -- I came in from Holland and I was
16 in the war and it was a real war. So on one hand it
17 was interesting for a military person; on the other
18 hand, it's a war, and sometimes you are frightened.
19 And all possible weapons I know of were used. But it's
20 of course a bit humour in a daily report to RC Zenica,
21 but to stress the feeling of our meaning, of our
22 opinion, that real war was going on and they were
23 fighting tough up there.
24 Q. Just to touch very lightly and briefly on the
25 next two exhibits in the ECMM document package that
1 we've put together, tab 7 is a report dated July 25th,
2 1993. And under paragraph 3, the observation is made
3 that it is believed that the HVO are just about
4 finished in Bugojno. And then two days later, tab 8,
5 you make the observation, with your colleague,
6 Mr. Hauenstein --
7 A. Hauenstein. Canadian guy.
8 Q. -- that in Bugojno it is a different story.
9 The BiH control the complete town. And then later in
10 paragraph 3 you make the observation that militarily
11 the ABiH goal was to finish off the HVO in the area.
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And did that happen?
14 A. As far as Bugojno, yes. Not in all our area
15 of responsibility, of course.
16 Q. Now, just to turn to the question of
17 prisoners of war, paragraph 13 of your outline makes
18 the observation that several hundred HVO soldiers
19 became prisoners of war, and you also describe a
20 conversation with a commander, or former commander at
21 this time, of the 1st Battalion of the Edvard Kvaternik
22 Brigade. Could you just tell the Trial Chamber what
23 you remember about that conversation specifically and
24 the plight of prisoners of war, that you saw,
1 A. Well, when we came in at that particular spot
2 with our Warrior, we went out and -- before I'm going
3 on, is that the first time I spoke when -- at the
4 moment he was taking as -- he was taken prisoner as
6 Q. Just describe the conversation --
7 A. Okay. At that moment. Yes. We left the
8 Warrior to make some -- to see what was going on, and
9 at that time there was a lot of shootings. It was
10 quite dangerous. We walked around, and because of the
11 shooting we went under cover and we took another road,
12 just a couple of metres, of course. Maybe you can
13 imagine that situation. And because we didn't take the
14 normal road, we saw suddenly 40 POWs on the ground --
15 Q. We don't need the details. If you could just
16 describe the conversations that you had with this man,
17 that would be helpful. We don't have unlimited time.
18 A. It's interesting for me. Just memories, you
19 know. Sorry. And then we went to the POWs what was
20 going on there, and our question to the POWs was: "Are
21 you treated well as POW?" That was the question we had
22 at that time. And the other people told me that that
23 man was the battalion commander, so we spoke to him and
24 spoke to the battalion commander, and he said that at
25 that time he was just taken POW and there were beatings
1 and -- but not very severe. It was a short
2 conversation. And what he told me at that time was he
3 asked me if I could visit him in prison, I remember,
4 and that day -- and some talk about why they
5 surrendered to the Muslims, to the BiH.
6 Q. Did you ever --
7 A. That was mainly the conversation. It was
8 quite disturbing. Of course, at that time he was
9 frightened and -- a lot of soldiers, yes. It's not a
10 conversation on a high level or something like that,
11 you know.
12 Q. And did you ever have occasion to see this
13 man subsequently?
14 A. Yes. I saw him about 14 days later when I
15 visited POW camp, and what -- and that POW, it was in
16 the basement of a school. The circumstances were bad.
17 And suddenly at the time I saw the same man. And we
18 saw each other and we spoke -- we have spoken to each
19 other in the basement of that school. I saw he was
20 beaten up. He had bruises up here and bandages around,
21 I believe, his arm or something. And he had these
22 bruises and bandages at the time I saw him, when he was
23 taken POW, two weeks before. So it was at that time
24 clear for us that they were treated not well as POW,
25 like they should regarding the Geneva Conventions. So
1 that was our observation and we reported that.
2 Q. And did you have occasion to visit another
3 detention facility at the soccer stadium in Bugojno?
4 A. Yes. I was there twice in the soccer
5 stadium, and the same bad circumstances.
6 Q. All right. If we could touch very lightly on
7 this, Lieutenant Colonel. There are two reports that
8 you've prepared that we've included in the package.
9 Tab 11, paragraph 4, you make some reference to, under
10 the humanitarian activity section, to the fact that the
11 ABiH have now admitted that they had four POW cages in
12 Bugojno, about three or four hundred people
13 incarcerated there, the ABiH admitting that some of the
14 POWs had been beaten and contending that one such POW
15 had been killed while trying to escape. Do you
16 remember that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. They always tried to escape and then got
20 killed, yes.
21 Q. And then the next tab, tab 12, under the
22 humanitarian activities section there, you make a
23 reference to visiting five Croat POWs in a hospital in
24 Bugojno --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- who had been beaten on their backs. You
2 saw great spots of effusions of blood, and the POWs
3 told you that the prisoner who had died, reported in
4 the report we just looked at, actually died as a result
5 of a beating and not in the endeavour of trying to
7 A. Yes. That was interesting because of the
8 different declarations by the BiH and by these five
9 POWs, Croat POWs, so we reported this, yes.
10 Q. All right. Now, you make a reference to
11 detention conditions and your conclusions regarding
12 them in paragraph 15 of the outline that you signed
13 yesterday. I don't propose to go over that with you.
14 Everyone can read that. And if the Prosecution has any
15 questions about that, then they can certainly ask you
16 about that.
17 What I'd like to turn to now is the condition
18 in which the Croat civilians found themselves.
19 According to the 1991 census, Bugojno had a total
20 population, I believe, of 46.889, 16.000 of whom were
21 Croats. How many of these Croats actually fled from
22 the municipality in the face of the ABiH military
23 attack in mid-July of 1993, sir?
24 A. About 12.000 or more.
25 Q. All right. And what happened to the three or
1 four thousand or so that remained in the municipality?
2 A. We had a lot of negotiation about that. They
3 were treated not well all the time, and it was quite
4 confusing for us, because the Muslims and the BiH
5 always said that the Croats were welcome in Bugojno,
6 although 12.000 had fled, and it was not their
7 intention to have ethnic cleansing and the Croats were
8 still welcome in their city, Bugojno. But from the
9 Croats, the minority in Bugojno, we heard the
10 several -- how do you call it? -- allegations they
11 had: There was raping, they were brutalised, they were
12 kicked out of their houses. So it was a hard time at
13 that time for the Croat minority in Bugojno. Well,
14 that was the situation.
15 Q. How many civilians were killed during this
16 offensive, as far as you understand, approximately, if
17 you can recall?
18 A. I'm very bad at numbers, but I think 40,
19 something like that. It's in the file somewhere, but I
20 think 40.
21 Q. Very well. Let's just go through --
22 A. And 170 soldiers, I think. Oh, here, it is,
23 yes. One hundred and seventy.
24 Q. Could you turn to tab 9 of your package of
25 exhibits here, page 2. The note is made that V2
1 observed the looting and burning of houses by BiH
2 soldiers in the town of Humac. I take it that -- who
3 was V2?
4 A. V2, that was our team. V2 was called
5 Victor 2.
6 Q. So you observed incidents like this yourself?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. All right. And if you turn to the next
9 exhibit, or tab, the next tab, tab 10 --
10 A. Tab 10.
11 Q. There's a -- under the humanitarian activity
12 section there's an observation that the Croats in
13 Bugojno are worried for the future. They lack
14 supplies. They claim that they are being robbed from
15 on a daily basis.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was that consistent with the sorts of
18 conditions that you were hearing?
19 A. That was consistent, because we spoke at that
20 time a lot of people, and such messages are confirmed
21 several times, and we could see the results of beatings
22 and robbings.
23 Q. All right. Just a few more --
24 A. We were there on a daily basis, and so you
25 get a clue of the circumstances in the town, in the
1 field, and you see differences every day. And so you
2 get I think a clear picture.
3 Q. All right. If you could turn to tab 13,
4 sir. It's a report dated August 12th of 1993 that you
5 and your colleague prepared. On the first page the
6 claim is made or the -- you report that the BiH policy
7 in Bugojno states that:
8 "They want Croats to live with them in
9 peace, despite the fact that 12.000 had left. However,
10 at the lower levels, this has been very difficult to
11 implement. Further incidents have been brought forward
12 of beatings, rapes, robberies, and killings."
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So on the one hand, you had the public
15 declarations of the ABiH officials. How effective were
16 the Muslim officials now in control of Bugojno in
17 actually implementing this policy that was articulated
18 to you of wanting Croats actually to live with them in
19 peace and harmony in Bugojno?
20 A. They were not successful, of course, at that
21 time. It was too tense short after the fightings.
22 There was a lot of hate, and these things are not
23 successful, although I would not say that there
24 couldn't be an attention to reach such goals on a long
25 term. The political influences, it's hard to have a
1 certain appreciation of the political influences up
2 there and if they are correct. My opinion is that
3 because 12.000 Croats were expelled, the political aim
4 was to say, "Oh, you are welcome, of course. No
5 problem. Come in." Because the political aim was
6 to -- that was our feeling at that time -- to show the
7 world that they had good meanings for the future on a
8 long term. And what we saw on the ground was something
10 Q. Along those lines, Lieutenant Colonel, could
11 I just ask you to turn to tab 14. Under the political
12 situation column of your August the 15th, 1993 report,
13 you make the observation that the presidency of Bugojno
14 have now stated that it is official policy that Croats
15 cannot leave Bugojno of their own free will.
16 A. Oh yes, yes.
17 Q. Could you give us the context of the
18 declaration that have official policy?
19 A. Yes, I think the policy from above was to
20 show that in Bosnia, the three populations, Muslims,
21 Croats, Serbs could live together, that was the
22 intention of the political intention of Izetbegovic at
23 that time. He told the world as that.
24 So they had to show that they cooperate and
25 Bugojno there were almost no Serbs, only Croats and
1 Muslims almost, that they could live together and work
2 together. So the circumstances for the Croat minority
3 the 2.000 or 3.000 who live there were bad, and they
4 wanted to flee at that time. And it was political not
5 correct good to show at that moment to the world that
6 there were no Croats at all left in Bugojno. So I
7 think that's the deeper meaning of this statement.
8 Q. And if you turn to the next page of this Tab,
9 sir, you make the assessment that the Muslims in
10 Bugojno will start applying more pressure to the
11 remaining Croat community as information is received on
12 the status of other Muslims in the country. And that
13 was your view at that time, I take it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. And if you just turn to the next
16 exhibit, there's a report that you prepared some days
17 later on the 20th of August, 1993?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. There's no need to take too much time with
20 this and just for the Trial Chamber's reference I'd
21 also like to draw to your attention, Your Honours, on
22 the milinfosum compilation Tab 8, page 1, the same
23 sorts of reports are made by the British soldiers in
24 the region. But this particular report, sir, details
25 the allegations of murders, rapes, beatings, and so
1 forth. That speaks for itself. But the -- you
2 contemporaneously reported on this, did you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And as far as you are aware, was anyone ever
5 held accountable or responsible for any of these
6 murders, rapes, beatings, things of that variety?
7 A. No, there was no trials going on at that time
8 like here. But we spoke to the police officer there,
9 it's also on the same report, Senad Dautovic and, of
10 course, we got some declarations for him and
11 investigations ongoing. And sometimes they even said
12 okay, we have done that and we will punish the people
13 who have done these crimes, but we never saw any
15 Q. And to your knowledge, did you ever hear that
16 the few remaining Croats living in the municipality,
17 that they had ever been told that these investigations
18 were ongoing?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that measures were being taken?
21 A. Well, the Croats by themselves, in this case,
22 specifically Father Janko, who was the priest in
23 Bugojno, he talked with Dautovic and he handed this
24 kind of material over to Senad Dautovic and we talked
25 and so -- and so we were talking all together about the
1 same stuff and they were allowed to speak.
2 I also think to give them a feeling of
3 safteyness [sic] at that time because the war was over
4 at a certain amount.
5 Q. Could you turn to the next exhibit, Tab 16,
6 I'm not saying exhibit, it's the next tab under the
7 humanitarian activity section, second paragraph on page
8 1, it says, "The BiH Bugojno have reemphasized their
9 requirements for the region; food, water and fuel."
10 The BiH representative stated that if there are no
11 sufficient basic needs, food, et cetera, Muslim people
12 will start to rob Croat families. And the comment is
13 made that this is probably one of the reasons to keep a
14 Croat minority in Bugojno.
15 Now, was that your view at that time that
16 this report was written?
17 A. No, it's a reason too, but we were never
18 sure, of course, they won't tell us some things, but
19 it's possible reason, sure.
20 Q. And then in the next tab, sir, just to round
21 off this line of questioning, Tab 17, under the
22 political situation section, you make the observation
23 that although the civil and military authorities in
24 Bugojno had expressed a desire to reintegrate the Croat
25 minority into the mainstream, there had been a general
1 increase in violence against this group with a number
2 of beatings and one murder. And that's an accurate
3 recitation of what you were seeing on that day?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then finally on this line, September
6 13th, 1993, Tab 18, a meeting, I believe held in
7 Bugojno, where the political party of the Croats, the
8 HDZ expressed its main aim as that of saving Croat
9 lives in the community and they wished, therefore, to
10 maintain a good relationship with the city's civil war
11 Presidency. And then, I believe, a conversation that
12 occurred in Prozor, the civil and military authorities
13 in Prozor did not support the reintegration of the
14 Croat minority into Bugojno because they were asking
15 whether these people would live, all of the houses had
16 been burned.
17 A. What was the question?
18 Q. Is that an accurate recitation of the views
19 that were being articulated to you by the political and
20 military leaders in Bugojno and Prozor around this
22 A. Oh, yes. They told us so.
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. You asked not my meaning about this.
25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers,
1 you should let the witness -- you should give the
2 witness the opportunity to tell us about these events
3 in his own words rather than to tell it in his name, to
4 say it in his name and then ask him to confirm it or
6 MR. SAYERS: Very much so, Your Honour,
8 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber, sir, in
9 a -- in just a few words your views on the situation
10 that you saw during these months following the
11 offensive; the civil and military authorities on the
12 one hand saying we would like to see all of the Croats
13 stay or come back and then the actual realities of the
14 situation with murders, rapes, house burnings,
15 lootings, things of that variety.
16 What kind of tension did you see in those two
17 phenomena, what was being said and what was being done?
18 A. Well, there was a kind of a willingness from
19 the Muslims to have the Croats in Bugojno, maybe
20 because of political reasons I told already. I think
21 it's correct to say that people on a certain level can
22 always influence on the ground. We have criminals in
23 Holland, in our country too, but my opinion was that in
24 that country, former Yugoslavia, in a time of war, they
25 have a specific way to the warfare, and that one of
1 them is intimidation. And when you are raping and
2 looting, you are getting people out of town on a --
3 well, that's one reason. To let people do what you
4 want them to do, you can use these kind of what we call
5 war crimes or some crimes. It's helpful for your aims
6 at that time.
7 Not all houses in Bugojno from the Croats
8 were burned, but a lot of houses were burned, not all
9 houses. So what they say in Prozor -- but I can
10 understand the feeling from the Croats in Prozor. I
11 also can understand the feelings of Muslims in Bugojno
12 when they are talking about Muslims in Prozor and so
13 on. That is the situation, atrocities on both sides,
14 and that's the way they are doing their warfare.
15 And I think specifically in Bugojno, the
16 Croats were a minority and they were very frightened
17 because they have notice of what warfare in their
18 country is, so they were scared, of course, and they
19 wanted to flee. Although maybe for political reasons,
20 the Muslims, at that time, wanted a Croat minority to
21 reintegrate in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Izetbegovic told
22 very often so on television at that time. It was an
24 And all these things, then you have also hate
25 because of the war, and as for the people living in
1 that town, Bugojno, also very disturbing, I think. It
2 was for us, as monitors, disturbing, but also for the
3 people who are living there. And it was not clear for
4 us how directly they are directed by higher levels.
5 So sometimes we reported in this situation
6 what the several people in several towns said that
8 Q. Very well, sir, if I can just try to speed up
9 a little bit here, I'm going to pass over paragraph 17
10 and 18 of your outline and touch upon very briefly, the
11 part of your outline that deals with Muslim versus
12 Croat forces.
13 Could you just give the Trial Chamber a feel
14 for the degree of organisation you saw comparing the
15 HVO to the ABiH. Which one was better organised in
16 your view?
17 A. It was obviously the time that the Muslims
18 specifically in the surroundings of Bugojno, as far as
19 I could see, were better organised.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. And also their discipline was better, that
22 their uniforms looked better, you know. As a military
23 man, I say, okay, that's quite an army at that time,
24 but contrary, the Croats were less sophisticated,
25 rough, and they were louder when they spoke and -- that
1 was the situation at the time.
2 Q. Did that lack of sophistication flow over
3 into relations, for example, with the International
4 Community or the international media?
5 A. Yes. As we always said, the Muslims played
6 their cards better at that time, much better.
7 Q. In terms of media control or what, could you
8 give us some examples?
9 A. Yes, media controls and also in the
10 conversations with us. They, you know, when we spoke
11 to the Croats, sometimes not the minority in Bugojno,
12 but somewhere else, in Prozor or something like Prozor,
13 Gornji Vakuf, there was more struggle. They became
14 anger [sic] from time to time. They wanted us
15 something to do and we were not allowed to bring
16 packages or something like that and then they became
17 anger and that was not a way the Muslims were acting.
18 So a lot of people, I think, at that time,
19 had a feeling that -- had that feeling.
20 Q. Well, to turn to a specific example, Gornji
21 Vakuf, for example, do you have any observations
22 regarding the way that the Croat side or the Muslim
23 side used the civilian population for military
24 advantage that you can help us with?
25 A. Oh, yes. Our opinion was that the Muslims
1 held the civilian people in Gornji Vakuf in Gornji
2 Vakuf because of the shelling, and civilians get
3 wounded or get killed, and it was good for the news
4 outcome in the world because they were suffering.
5 That's one -- that's what they wanted to let see the
6 world, that was our opinion, because we have reasons to
7 believe that it was possible for the civilian -- the
8 Muslim civilians living in Gornji Vakuf to go out of
9 Gornji Vakuf but they were not allowed, and that's
11 Q. What happened to the Croat civilian
12 population in Gornji Vakuf?
13 A. They left and went to other places. So the
14 outcome was that only military people were left from
15 the Croats in Gornji Vakuf and only a few civilians,
16 medical aid and such kind of people.
17 Q. Very well. You make some observations
18 regarding reliability of intelligence reports received
19 from the Croat side and the Muslim side in paragraph
20 21, but I don't propose to go into that. In terms of
21 the military leadership of the Muslim forces as opposed
22 to the HVO forces, do you have any observations
23 regarding the level of experience, military experience
24 one side versus the other that you can help us with?
25 A. Military leadership of the Muslims was better
1 at that time. We could speak more easily with the
2 military Muslim commanders -- Selmo, I don't remember
3 his last name. He has --
4 Q. Cikotic, would that help jog your memory?
5 A. I think you are correct. But it was always
6 nice to speak with him, you know, and it was difficult
7 to speak with the military commanders of the HVO. You
8 could not always rely on appointments you made. You
9 also could not rely on appointments you made with the
10 Muslim side but they apologised. Most of the times
11 they were there. That was the difference.
12 And on the HVO side, I spoke fairly often
13 with Colonel Siljak and Praljak two times, two or three
14 times, and -- he was harsh big man, you know, but I
15 could speak to him because I was speaking some German
16 language. And he liked to speak German language, he
17 was very -- a man of theatre.
18 Q. Let me turn to paragraph 25 of your outline
19 and turn your attention to September 15th, 1993. Did
20 you have occasion, yourself, to travel to the village
21 of Uzdol and prepare a report that is attached as Tab
22 19 to Exhibit D284/1?
23 A. Yes, I was in Uzdol on the 15th and it
24 happened on the 14th and we were invited by the mayor
25 of Prozor together with the UNPROFOR, BBC and other
1 agencies, I think Reuters, but I'm not sure.
2 Q. I think you were interviewed by a BBC
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. With the Court's permission we have a short
6 video which I'd like marked as the next exhibit which
7 shows the circumstances at Uzdol, and it is a TV
8 interview that Lieutenant Colonel Gerritsen gave?
9 A. It's only a small part of it because my wife
10 in Holland had no chance -- oh, that's me -- to get the
11 whole interview to get the whole interview on the
13 MR. SAYERS: If I could ask the technical
14 booth to show the videotape that's been provided,
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. SAYERS:
18 Q. Lieutenant Colonel, if I can just finish up
19 very briefly, the three final portions of your outline,
20 did you or your colleagues in the ECMM in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina ever have, to your knowledge, any
22 definitive proof of the presence of Croatian army
23 units, soldiers in the territory of the country?
24 A. No, we spoke a lot about it. It was always
25 the discussion and it appeared to be for us fairly
1 logical that there would be HV involvement in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but we never have seen at that time
3 such influences nor materiel or soldiers.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sayers, you put the
5 question as to whether there was definitive proof and
6 he answered no. Could he elaborate on that definitive
7 proof would seem to suggest that there might have been
8 some evidence but not reaching that level. Could he
9 say what evidence there was, if any at all.
10 THE WITNESS: First there was a -- I have
11 never seen any evidence of that kind in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but we didn't find it fairly
13 logical but we didn't find anything. We asked several
14 people, we asked, for example, General Praljak about
15 that, and it was always denied and we didn't saw
16 anything. And we couldn't imagine that there was no
17 involvement, but we didn't find anything.
18 But I also have to say that my area of
19 responsibility was relatively small. That's all I can
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
22 MR. SAYERS:
23 Q. Two final points, Lieutenant Colonel, the
24 contention has been made in this case that the Croats
25 through their political institutions and military
1 organisations engaged in a widespread and systematic
2 policy or campaign of persecution of Bosnian Muslims in
3 the country. You were present in the Bugojno, Prozor,
4 Tomislavgrad, Gornji Vakuf area yourself for quite a
5 while, for nearly six months or perhaps a little longer
6 than that. Did you ever see any evidence of such a
7 policy being implemented by Bosnian Croats against
8 Muslims, sir?
9 A. Policy, what's policy? This certain point.
10 I saw a lot of things, and I also saw expelling of
11 Muslims out of houses in my area of responsibility in
12 Prozor. So -- but not at that amount of the expelling
13 of people in Bugojno and when a war is going on and you
14 see always that there is a lot of hate and when one
15 people is doing one thing to another, and other people
16 is doing something back, it's not like we should --
17 we -- supposed to act but people do. So I also saw
18 expelling of Muslims by Croats.
19 Q. In connection with the town of Bugojno
20 specifically, who was persecuting whom, in your view?
21 A. Muslims were persecuting Croats.
22 Q. And throughout your stay in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you ever hear the name of Dario
24 Kordic mentioned at all?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. Did you ever see him in Bugojno at any time?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And as far as you are aware, did anyone, any
4 of the interlocutors with whom you were speaking, any
5 of the soldiers, politicians anyone indicate that he
6 had any kind of influence in your area of
8 A. No, they never talked about him.
9 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much, Lieutenant
10 Colonel. Thank you Your Honours, no further
12 Could we have a number for the videotape?
13 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape will be marked
15 MR. MIKULICIC: I have no questions for the
16 witness, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Colonel, we're going
18 to adjourn now for half an hour. Could you remember,
19 please, not to speak to anybody about your evidence
20 until it's over and don't let anybody speak to you
21 about it. If you will be back, please, at half past
23 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the tone of the
2 summary served last night led us to prepare two bundles
3 of documents, but the nature of the evidence given
4 today means that we'll only have to look at a limited
5 number of them, I'm happy to say, and I should hope to
6 be completed really quite quickly with this witness.
7 JUDGE MAY: I understand there's a matter you
8 want to raise with the Trial Chamber.
9 MR. NICE: If it's convenient, I'd like a
10 short period of time after evidence on a couple of
11 administrative matters inter parte; and thereafter,
12 yes, if it's convenient, a very short hearing ex parte.
13 JUDGE MAY: It would be convenient. It would
14 be even more convenient if we could do it before the
16 MR. NICE: I'll do what I can.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
18 Q. Colonel, just a few questions before we look
19 at some more documents. And one: You saw no Mujahedin
20 yourself, but is it right that Croats speaking of ABiH
21 and Muslims used the word "Mujahedin"?
22 A. No.
23 Q. So if and when that appears in any of the
24 reports that we are going to look at, can you explain
25 how the word came to be used? It wouldn't have been
1 ECMM policy to use the word "Mujahedin," so it must
2 have come from somewhere.
3 A. Well, I think the word "Mujahedin" is more
4 sporadic than only in the context of ECMM. It's a word
5 I knew before I entered ECMM. And I can only say that
6 it was used. And I didn't see Mujahedin in my area of
7 responsibility; I saw Mujahedin when I travelled from
8 my area of responsibility to RC Zenica.
9 Q. I see. Right. That's fine.
10 Second question: You spoke of the Muslims'
11 better ability at dealing with public relations and so
12 on. I'm not in a position to challenge what you say
13 about that, but of course if they had better abilities
14 in your area dealing with public relations, you made
15 allowances for that when you wrote your reports; you
16 weren't persuaded by them just simply because they were
17 better at presenting themselves to you?
18 A. Oh, no, I wasn't persuaded by that; that's
20 Q. You made the point -- and I just want to be
21 sure I understand it -- towards the end of the period
22 of time that you're referring to, it was quite clear to
23 you that at the Izetbegovic level, for sure, there was
24 a policy of multiethnicity.
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. NICE: Thank you.
2 Now, Your Honour, what we've done is we've
3 prepared two bundles, one which relates to events
4 apparently within the Colonel's period of experience
5 there, or just before, July 1993. Although these
6 documents weren't prepared by him, I'd like his comment
7 on some of them. And then we have another bundle of
8 documents that he prepared himself. Because of the
9 time restraints on us, they haven't been page numbered,
10 but I think we can work our way through them without
11 too much difficulty. So if we can look at the first
12 set first, it's 2827.
13 And Colonel, what I'm trying to do is just to
14 look at contemporaneous documents for purposes other
15 than those that were explored by Mr. Sayers this
16 morning and to try and put things in some context, but
17 we certainly shan't be looking at all the documents
18 that we have before us.
19 Your Honour, I don't know if it would be
20 appropriate for the usher to be by the ELMO and to try
21 to follow matters.
22 Have we got another set for him, for the
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
25 MR. NICE: And if he could place the
1 documents on the ELMO from time to time. And if the
2 witness can at least follow with his own copy, it will
3 save time.
4 Q. And what we're looking at simply on the first
5 page of this, so that we can get context, is the 7th of
6 July. And at that time, as we see under the general
7 situation, Bugojno was slightly tense, sporadic
8 shelling from the BSA. And that's your understanding
9 of the history of the matter?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. If we go on three pages, we find ourselves on
12 the second sheet of a report for the 8th of July. Yes,
13 8th of July at the top. This is a report -- and we go
14 to paragraph 9 on the second sheet. Thank you -- where
15 your former monitor said that he visited the HVO in
16 Prozor to establish facts about Muslim males held in
17 custody. Do you have a recollection that Muslim males
18 were being held in custody in Prozor at that time?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. And later on also, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Then the next page brings us to
21 the 9th of July, and what we see in the developing
22 story, under 1, the general situation, is that Bugojno
23 was slightly tense, with inhabitants saying, "As well
24 as the sun will rise in the morning, the Serbs will
25 shell us today."
1 But then further down, under 3, military
2 activity, the HVO commander in Gornji Vakuf was saying
3 that full-scale war was inevitable in Gornji Vakuf and
4 likely to start in four days' time, and that the Armija
5 commanders had high morale. Does that fit with your
6 understanding of the history at that time?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. And then if we go over two pages,
9 we come to the 11th of July, just to see the developing
10 picture in your part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And under
11 military activity for the 11th of July, approximately
12 40 young, 18- to 20-year-old HVO soldiers observed
13 doing training, with identical weapons and uniforms for
14 the most part. This was all part of the build-up.
15 Two pages further on, to the 12th of July, we
16 see a record of a break in the shelling, under
17 paragraph 1, at the fourth line: "Bugojno hasn't been
18 shelled since the 9th of July." But what we -- yes. I
19 needn't trouble with the other reference. So a gap in
20 the shelling.
21 And over two pages, to the 13th of July,
22 this, under the general situation: "Prozor is calm,
23 but active as normal."
24 I'm trying to listen to the French so that
25 I'm not going too fast. And if I do go too fast, I do
1 hope an interpreter will let me know.
2 Under 1, the HVO are apparently using Muslim
3 males to dig trenches north of the Makljen Ridge. Were
4 you aware of that happening?
5 A. At the time I wasn't there, but --
6 Q. No. It's just before your period.
7 A. Just before my period. I think it's
8 correct. We saw on both sides males digging trenches.
9 Q. Thank you. Further down the page, under
10 military activity, the HVO in Bugojno seemed to have
11 withdrawn from some of their defence positions against
12 BSA, apparently in order to tie down the BiH forces of
13 Bugojno from reinforcing, i.e. Novi Travnik.
14 Do you recollect anybody giving you that
15 account of what the HVO had been doing?
16 A. No. I'm not aware of what they were exactly
17 doing before I came in. My understanding is that they
18 had some understanding what was -- of what was coming,
19 and they were preparing, of course. That's my
21 Q. Right. Towards the bottom we see something
22 that we're going to see recurring perhaps later under
23 other points, where we see that there was no
24 possibility of seeing the imam of Prozor without the
25 presence of HVO military police. Was that something
1 that recurred as a problem, that you were kept away
2 from the imam by the HVO?
3 A. When I was in Prozor in the beginning of my
4 duty there, I went to the imam in Prozor several times,
5 without problems; and after a period it was not
6 allowed, and then it was allowed again, and so on and
7 so on. So sometimes I could get in and sometimes not.
8 Q. This was controlled by the HVO?
9 A. Oh, yes.
10 Q. Before I come to the next document, there's a
11 general question I should ask you. In your time in the
12 area, did the military authorities for the HVO to whom
13 you spoke identify any politician to whom they
15 A. Well, they spoke about Mate Boban.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. And such politicians.
18 Q. But did they give any other name apart from
19 Mate Boban of a local person or not or can't you
21 A. Well, I think the last one we spoke about
22 political matters, they talked about their own major in
24 Q. Sorry, their own major?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who was a military man?
2 A. Mayor.
3 Q. Yes, absolutely. Can you remember his name?
4 A. No. I have it in the file somewhere, but I
5 can't remember his name.
6 Q. Don't accept this if it isn't accurate, but
7 for your purposes and during the time you were there,
8 you dealt face to face with military men?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you personally and your fellow monitors
11 didn't go behind the military men to see who was
12 running things politically if anybody was?
13 A. No. At the time I was in there, we didn't
14 met political men, only on the level of the mayor and
15 the priest and the imams and the military people
16 there. We were more involved in the humanitarian and
17 military matters than in political matters.
18 Q. Thank you. So if we go to the next document
19 which is the 14th of July, the next page, under item 6,
20 we see a report and this is still just before your
21 time, a long time ago, Colonel Sileg had told UNPROFOR
22 forces that HVO forces would give up Gornji Vakuf and
23 move their main Defence back to Makljen Ridge in case
24 Bugojno should fall to either the BSA or the BiH.
25 A. That didn't happen but they used Makljen
2 Q. But you weren't aware, you or your fellow
3 monitors, which, if any, politician would have been
4 involved in that decision?
5 A. Oh, no.
6 Q. Thank you. The next page I think is the 15th
7 of July and under one, "Bugojno is slightly tense due
8 to a number of incidents which covers killings of three
9 people, soldiers throwing civilians out of their
10 apartments and small scale exchanges. The BSA shelling
11 Bugojno started again with about 10 shells per day.
12 Gornji Vakuf tense." And then under the political
13 situation, "A so-called political meeting was held.
14 The only political decision taken was that they
15 continue with two parallel authority structures until a
16 new political solution."
17 So in your understanding, although the HVO
18 were plainly outnumbered in due course, each side was
19 still preparing.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Historically. So then we go over to the 16th
22 of July -- it sets out unpredictability, I don't think
23 I need trouble you with that. The next page is also
24 the 16th of July. And makes it clear that "Bugojno,"
25 under number one, "is becoming more and more tense,"
1 and here is what I wanted to ask you about, this is
2 under the authorship of your predecessor, but he does
3 say there that there are Mujahedin soldiers in Bugojno
4 and soldiers from the 7th Muslim Brigade.
5 Now, do you know if that's a reflection of
6 what he saw or if that's in any way his use of
7 terminology or don't you know?
8 A. I think it is his use of --
9 Q. Ms. Verhaag reminds me I should draw to your
10 attention that what is underneath at the bottom of
11 paragraph 3 when you go down about five lines it says,
12 "UNPROFOR saw eight extremely well-armed Mujahedin
13 soldiers in Bugojno today." So it may be that that
14 makes it clear?
15 A. That is UNPROFOR soldier and he reports it,
17 Q. But this was just before your time and you
18 never saw them yourself?
19 A. I never saw them myself.
20 Q. We also see under paragraph 3 this, "UNPROFOR
21 have made the following observations of incoming troops
22 in Prozor today." It sets out the soldiers and the
23 guns and the trucks laden with ammunition. "They were
24 well-dressed with new uniforms, new boots, no
25 insignia. They are believed to be HV since they were
1 drinking Tuborg beers which is brewed in Croatia and
2 hard to get in Bosnia."
3 Now, you remember His Honour Judge Robinson
4 inquired whether there was materiel not to the level of
5 proof that might have been available to you. Was it
6 this sort of materiel that might have indicated the
7 presence of HV soldiers?
8 A. This kind of materiel is used in whole former
9 Yugoslavia, and I think the beer is more interesting
10 than the materiel, the military materiel.
11 Q. So you think the beer might be significant?
12 A. Yes, it's quite interesting for me.
13 Q. Yes. Then we can go over to the 17th of July
14 again, the same point that His Honour Judge Robinson
15 raised, item 3, military activity, "An additional four
16 to five busses full of soldiers have been seen west of
17 Lake Ramsko moving towards Prozor." Would that be
18 suggestive of HV soldiers?
19 A. No, just a build up of soldiers.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Then on the 19th of
21 July, there's an unauthored document, but I hope you
22 will accept it for what it appears to be. Under 2, for
23 the day it says this, a few lines down, middle of the
24 page, "The BiH security officer in Travnik informed us
25 that a Serb battalion with about 15 trucks have been
1 seen to move on the area of Vlasic, Komar, Pogana and
2 Ravan. He thinks that the Serbs won't attack against
3 Bugojno with HVO groups."
4 Would you be able to interpret that for
5 us? It's just before you become active and start
6 reporting. I wonder if you can help.
7 A. Give me some time. Well, I should interpret
8 this in this way, now, at this time, maybe the BiH is
9 searching for some reasons to start a defensive war and
10 it is not a defensive war, could be, this is a possible
11 interpretation because the BiH security officer told us
12 so if it's true or not it's not confirmed, it's not a
13 confirmed message and I think the BiH used this kind of
14 information to have reason for starting the oncoming
15 clashes, that is just possible.
16 Q. And is it possible that there was --
17 A. But you can also have another explanation, of
19 Q. Is it possible that there was cooperation
20 even at that stage between the Serbs and the HVO or the
21 possibility of cooperation.
22 A. The possibility of cooperation. We are not
23 sure about that. The only proof we have that the
24 Bosnian Serbs were helping the Croats was at the time
25 the 12.000 people were fleeing, because they went from
1 Bugojno, they went through Bosnian Serb territory.
2 Q. Thank you. Could we move to the next
3 document which is the 19th of July, by the author
4 Jacques Wirtgen, and we see under paragraph 1, a
5 reference to still new confirmation of HV implication
6 in Herzegovina. And then at the bottom of the page, we
7 see this, more signs confirm -- perhaps I ought to read
8 the whole of it, "According to Spanish battalion, the
9 counter attack of HV or HVO south of Mostar in the
10 region of Buna was rather successful. From the same
11 source, it seems that the HVO Ljubina pocket would have
12 been taken over by the Serb army. More signs confirm
13 the collaboration HV HVO, for instance, an HV troop bus
14 was observed today by M-3 when entering BH in the area
15 of Neum 8 kilometres north of Ploca. Units from Zagreb
16 would presently man the front line and then there's a
17 number of vehicles with licence plates from Zagreb and
19 Now, I know this material wasn't handled by
20 you directly, but that's rather more than just
21 information, that's coming close to proof, isn't it,
22 vehicles with plates with Zagreb?
23 A. Yes. I think this is coming more to proof.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. But it is -- you can discuss about it of
2 Q. Yes, of course. Then on the next page, just
3 for completeness, in the middle of the page back to the
4 topic of Serb HVO cooperation, we see this, "But again
5 it's according to the BiH security officer of Travnik,
6 the Serb battalion would have been observed in the
7 region west of Trube. He meant that this unit was
8 going to Bugojno to join the HVO forces to attack the
9 BiH." Then it says, "HVO launched a severe attack on
10 the Muslim pocket in old Vitez."
11 So as to the union of HVO and BSA, would your
12 answer be the same as before that this might be the BiH
13 officer setting up for a defensive action?
14 A. I didn't set up that it was to prepare for
15 defensive action, only it is defensive actions are also
16 an excuse for an offensive. That's what I meant. And
17 maybe it's the same, maybe, because it wasn't at that
18 time possible, to be possible for HVO troops. So if
19 there were HV soldiers for both, it wasn't possible to
20 go to Vitez at that time because they have to go
21 through Muslim territory. I think for individuals it
22 was possible, but not for great build up.
23 Q. If we look down the page we see the first, I
24 think, account of the start of the Bugojno incident
25 under the authorship of your colleague, where it says,
1 "The most important event in the area," perhaps you
2 see that, it's in the last big paragraph, "The most
3 important event in the area was the start last night of
4 a severe fighting in Bugojno. Those events seemed to
5 have been the consequence of a single event at a
6 checkpoint followed by escalation from both parties."
7 Was that how the things seemed or was made to
8 look as if it started?
9 A. My opinion, it is not correct.
10 Q. Pardon?
11 A. My opinion it is just an escalation, a clash
12 at a checkpoint. I think it's not a correct
14 Q. And you believe there was an intentional
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I am seeking your comment, I'm not
18 necessarily challenging it. I just want your comments
19 on the contemporaneous documents.
20 A. We have several examples of such things.
21 Q. Yes. If we just go over to the last page of
22 this document which is two pages on, the comment, we
23 see this.
24 A. The 20th of July.
25 Q. It says, "The ongoing collusion of HV in
1 Herzegovina, also the probable one with BSA will give
2 new energy to HVO and counter attack."
3 So it appears that your colleagues were
4 becoming satisfied of the involvement of HVO, yes? HV,
5 I beg your pardon.
6 A. Yes. Oh, yes. There were a lot of
7 speculation about that.
8 Q. Then we come to the 20th of July. I may be
9 able to reduce the number of references I want your
10 help with. Maybe I will be silent for a few seconds.
11 I think we see a reference at the foot of the
12 first page in paragraph 2 to the detained persons and
13 this was, I think, a camp for Muslims; is that right,
14 in Ljubuski?
15 A. I do not know.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. I only know Medjurgorje. I've been there
18 once, and I know nothing of Ljubuski. I think at that
19 time over there was Martin Garrod, monitor, so he
20 reported this, I think.
21 Q. Can I just take you to the assessment. If we
22 go over a couple of pages, we reach the word
23 "humanitarian." And then we'll go to the last page,
24 which says "assessment." It says -- this is again
25 Jacques Wirtgen -- "The meeting with the commander of
1 the corps --"
2 A. Sorry. May I interrupt?
3 Q. Yes, of course.
4 A. For a good understanding, he's -- Jacques
5 Wirtgen is a OPs officer in Zenica, so the information
6 comes from one of the teams.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. And he says that the
8 present situation of BiH and the Muslims is almost sure
9 that they will continue to fight desperately and that
10 the whole region of Vitez-Travnik-Busovaca, such as the
11 area of Kiseljak, will be the theatre of new events.
12 And then he goes on to say this:
13 "The fighting in Bugojno, which was not
14 necessarily due to BiH eagerness to fight, are the
15 today example. They are too desperate to believe in a
16 political solution. On the contrary, some signs are
17 given in Herzegovina that would let think that the
18 Croats would be ready to accept a ..." I'm so sorry to
19 the interpreters. "... to accept a political
20 solution. Whether this is an indication of a weak
21 military position, which could only be maintained
22 thanks to the support of HV and BSA, or whether they
23 consider this is a correct sort of view to express to
24 the EC is difficult to judge at present."
25 So uncertainty about what was driving the BiH
1 to attack, and you'd accept that, would you, that it
2 was unclear, it was uncertain?
3 A. Yes. It is uncertain, and you can only
4 speculate about that.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. And we have our opinions, of course.
7 Q. Of course. Right. I think just -- if we can
8 go over -- I think I will have some questions. Can we
9 go over to the 21st of July, which I think is the last
10 one in this pack, as constructed. A few points that
11 you'll help with.
12 We see, under 1, following the reference to
13 Belgian National Day, it says that there's more and
14 more evidence of a close cooperation, at least for food
15 and medical matters, between the Croat town of Vares
16 and the Bosnian Serb army. Was that something which
17 ever came to your attention?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Thank you. It then says that the hoped-for
20 cease-fire in Bugojno did not take place, due to the
21 BiH position, which refused to accept it. And there
22 was then a following attempt, and I think you can
23 probably confirm that as a matter of history.
24 A. It's a matter of history, yes.
25 Q. Right. Well, let's look at the other bundle
1 of documents, which are all your authorship. And
2 there's a very considerable overlap between them and
3 the documents produced by the other side, but I'm
4 afraid I can't just match them together all at once.
5 If they can be 2824.
6 MR. NICE: And Your Honour, I'll try and deal
7 with these as swiftly as I can.
8 Q. Again, if you've got one to look at, it sets
9 the thing in context, I hope. On the 18th of July we
10 see you arriving. Administration: Mr. Rudy Gerritsen
12 The next document is the 19th of July. And
13 I'm happy to go to the second page, because you make it
14 clear, under assessment, simply that there is no clear
15 picture for the fighting in Bugojno at that stage. It
16 appears simply that it appears that the time for
17 resolving the situation has passed. And this was
18 all-out fighting and it lasted for what, ten days,
19 something like that.
20 A. Something like that.
21 Q. Something like that.
22 A. At the level of a real attack.
23 Q. Yes. The 20th of July comes next. And you
24 record here on the second page, under 8, that the BiH
25 have now got the upper hand, following the passage
1 about assessment. First of all, you say it would be
2 reasonable for the BiH to take out the Croat villages,
3 for the particular reasons that you set out. And then
4 you say, "Bugojno, it appears that the BiH have got the
5 upper hand. The BiH in Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno are
6 refusing to meet with the HVO." And you've told us
7 about that, right?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. So we can move on to the next document, if at
10 all. That's the one you've already dealt with, where
11 you made a reference to atomic weapons.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So then we can pass on to the 26th of July.
14 And we can see, just so that we can understand the
15 history, over -- under "assessment," that consolidation
16 had begun with the municipality of Bugojno, clearing
17 out any HVO resistance to their free use of the
18 Bugojno-Travnik road. Do you remember that happening?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I really must be more thoughtful to the
21 interpreters. What I'm doing, Mr. Gerritsen, is I'm
22 supposed to be listening to the French, to leave a gap
23 so that I don't ask a question until I hear the French
24 interpretation has come to an end. And if you want to
25 do it that way, it's quite an efficient way, if we both
2 A. Okay. It's more easy for me.
3 Q. The 27th of July you've already dealt with.
4 It was another reference to the finishing-off point.
5 The 28th of July, just look at that very
6 briefly, in light of an earlier question. First of
7 all, under paragraph 1, by this date we see civilians
8 are back on the streets. This is because of the battle
9 moving to the south. The HVO are still holding in the
10 areas reported yesterday. HVO have reported that Croat
11 civilians in the area are moving to the west towards
12 the Serbs because they could not accept the BiH offer
13 to move back to Bugojno.
14 And then, at the foot of the page,
15 unconfirmed reports from the BiH have stated the HV
16 troops have been observed to the west, heading north.
17 The west of Gornji Vakuf, heading north. And the
18 comment is made: "These may be the HVO troops UNPROFOR
19 observed in Prozor today."
20 This is your authorship, a little ambiguous.
21 Was it HV or HVO troops, or can't you now help us?
22 A. Well, the BiH is telling us that they are HV
23 troops. And it's not a confirmed message, and the only
24 thing we know of is that UNPROFOR saw HVO troops. So
25 maybe they have the same -- that's the whole story.
1 Q. Very well. Then at the top of the next page,
2 you visited two of the BiH cages, with 152 prisoners,
3 and they all appeared to be in good condition, being
4 cared for; correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. And under assessment, at the bottom:
7 Assessment not changed, and you simply say, reflecting
8 your evidence, the new factor, if it is true, is the
9 introduction of the HV.
10 Then we come to the 29th of July, which
11 starts off typically: From now on, Bugojno quiet, with
12 a few shells. And then under paragraph 4, humanitarian
13 activity: The third and last POW cage visited, being
14 treated correctly. Yes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. We can move swiftly over the 30th of July,
17 because it just reflects the improving conditions.
18 The 31st of July, again at number 4, deals
19 with some bodies by a road, which you certainly covered
20 in your summary, if not in evidence, but I'm not --
21 it's there for record.
22 Second sheet, paragraph 8, assessment: The
23 HVO in a difficult position. That is why we believe
24 both UNPROFOR and V2 were asked to speak with the
25 command, and of course the presence of Praljak. Stated
1 they received an order to cease all operations as a
2 result of the Geneva talks. However, the BiH are on a
3 roll and they are not stopping. And that was your
4 assessment, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. The 1st of August, the next
7 document, two thirds of the way down the page, shows
8 the Croats being worried about food supplies and so
10 And if we move to the 2nd of August, I don't
11 suppose there's anything on that I need draw to your
13 The 3rd of August. At that time your
14 assessment under the general situation was that Croats
15 in Bugojno appear to be safe for the time being.
16 They're running short of food and personal supplies.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. And then the 4th of August,
20 nothing. The 5th of August -- well, in fact, on the
21 4th of August, just under 8, by this time the HVO are
22 starting to hold their ground. I should have said on
23 the 5th of August, under paragraph 3, military
24 activities slowing down. Under humanitarian activity,
25 you learnt of the further BiH cages in Bugojno, and you
1 set out the numbers there.
2 And if we go to the 6th of August, you
3 visited, under item 4, you visited five Croat POWs who
4 had been beaten, and somebody died and so on, trying to
6 We can move, I think, more swiftly now. The
7 7th of August has a return to normality, or normal
8 state, with people on the streets; is that right?
9 A. Yes. That happened several times.
10 Q. If I can then summarise the position, I think
11 you found another prisoner of war cage or camp.
12 If we move on to the 13th of August -- I may
13 have gone too fast, but we'll see. We can look it up,
14 if necessary, in the 10th of August. The presidency
15 had already announced an intention to integrate and not
16 to separate, hadn't it, by then?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. But staying with the 13th of
19 August, again we see under paragraph 2 you were
20 discussing integration and personal safety, and indeed
21 we then come to the expressions later of specific
22 policy on that topic.
23 If we move on to the 18th of August, we see,
24 under paragraph 2, political situation, the plan for
25 restoring living conditions was announced to the Croat
1 community by the priest. Croatian workers have been
2 sent home because of the collapse of the economic
4 If we go over the page, however, we do see
5 this, right in the middle of the page, that the water
6 is still cut off by the HVO and they have no intentions
7 of turning it on. Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So that although they had been defeated, they
10 were still -- well, why were they doing that?
11 A. To tease the BiH, the Muslims.
12 Q. To teach them a lesson?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Then very briefly, the 19th of
15 August, under 2, you say something that I think you
16 effectively told us about already. The situation in
17 Prozor is identical to that of Bugojno except that the
18 Croats are in the majority and the Muslims are in the
20 A. Yes. It's opposite.
21 Q. It was opposite; it was mirror images, one of
22 the other?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. And indeed you go on to say this: "The
25 political situation is that the Croats held the power
1 and will not let the Muslims in, as in Bugojno, V2,
2 that's you, were attempting to reach a balance, we know
3 this is not policy, however, and exchange of minorities
4 might be the best solution in this valley."
5 That was not something you could pursue
7 A. No, of course not.
8 Q. And indeed over the page, at the top of the
9 page --
10 A. Interesting point.
11 Q. At the top of the page, we see this mirror
12 image reflected, where you deal with the Muslim
13 prisoners held, I think, in Prozor, and to cut it very
14 short, you simply say, about eight lines down:
15 "They're being kept in the same conditions or same
16 kind of conditions that the Croat prisoners of war are
17 being kept in Bugojno." So this was one the mirror of
18 the other?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. Thank you. And if we go to the 28th of --
21 one minute.
22 A. The 28th.
23 Q. If we go to the 28th of August, we see this,
24 again at the turn of the page, the top of the next
25 page, "A visit to the imam in Prozor provided some
1 additional disturbing news. The HVO have been moving
2 Muslims from Podgrade. Throughout the day, a number of
3 Muslims in this area was 1.760." You were then
4 restricted from entering. "We did, however, witness
5 the last truck leaving from the area with approximately
6 50 Muslims. No HVO present would answer our
7 questions. The imam had heard a rumour they were
8 heading for Ustirama and that the other two Muslim
9 places near Prozor were also affected. The comment was
10 that this would allow additional Croat detained persons
11 to be moved into the area."
12 So here was what, some forced movements of
13 Muslims by Croats?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Then on to the 26th of August, second sheet,
16 paragraph 8 -- I beg your pardon, 31st of August, my
17 mistake, 31st of August, paragraph 8, "Limited military
18 activity will continue in the region until the
19 political intentions are revealed. The worry still
20 continues over the fate of minorities in the region.
21 The equation has now changed. There are now more
22 Croats in Bugojno than there are Muslims in Prozor.
23 All deals are off for the exchange of minorities."
24 Do you recall that happening?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And had there been an identity of minority
2 representation in each place, would the exchange have
3 been more possible?
4 A. At this time, I think not.
5 Q. You think it was all -- it was all lost
7 A. Yes, it was more a naive belief of what we
8 thought at that time.
9 Q. Thank you. We can move, I think, just to the
10 4th of September, where, under the political situation
11 in parliament, "The Muslims will fight until there is a
12 solution preparing for a long, hard winter and ready to
13 die. The HVO in Prozor and Gornji Vakuf is well
14 organised and probably one of the best HVO units in
15 Bosnia. It sets out that Abdullah Topcic is willing to
16 negotiate, but he is a politician and cannot convince
17 the military leaders. He also stated that in the first
18 place, the Muslims in Bosnia are Europeans who want to
19 live together. There will be no Croatian community
20 only Bosnia and Herzegovina. If Croatia accepts Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina, there will be peace."
22 Was that a view you heard regularly enough
23 from the BiH side?
24 A. Yes, several times they made these kind of
1 Q. Did you have any reason to believe that they
2 were other than sincere?
3 A. It is hard to say. In the beginning, I
4 believe this kind of explanation there must be some
5 truth in it and afterwards, I was more -- I was not so
6 willing to believe these explanations because the
7 results were different. That's a matter of time. The
8 longer you are in the area, the more suspicious you
10 Q. We are very grateful to the usher, and
11 impressed, as we all are, who that come from
12 Anglo-Saxon countries, by the facility with language of
13 those who help us.
14 Can we go to the 9th of September. Under
15 item 4, I'm sorry there's been some bits blanked out,
16 but in any case, "...visited the HVO camp at Prozor.
17 This camp is not a military detention camp, but a
18 detention camp for civilian detainees located at the
19 town's technical school, 100 metres from the HVO HQ.
20 There were 228 civilians detained at the camp and
21 almost every day digging trenches. And at least four
22 detainees have, during the digging..." It doesn't
23 say -- do you know if that means died?
24 A. It's possible.
25 Q. Then it goes on to say that, "In the absence
1 of the camp guards, the internees mentioned that they
2 thought between 40 and 60 people had been killed
3 working on the trenches although this remained
5 So there it is, that's the way the HVO were
6 keeping people in Prozor, is it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then just to round it off, we come to
9 something that's got the 12th of September at the top,
10 although the -- there's XX in the entry for the date.
11 We see this is under item 7 is where you left the
13 A. The 15th.
14 Q. Yes, the 12th of September is referred to,
15 have you got that? Do you see that it says that
16 they've been informed that you were departing from the
17 team on the 12th of September?
18 A. On the?
19 Q. 12th of September?
20 A. Yes, but it was delayed until the 15th.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. We had some negotiations about my date of
24 Q. Yes, if we go to the 20th of September which
25 is, indeed, still -- I'm not sure if this is authored
1 by you or not, but --
2 A. I think not, because I wasn't there. The
3 20th, I was on leave, Stavros.
4 Q. I will deal with this and I may have to come
5 back to one. Here, on this date, on the 20th, the
6 Muslim under political situation, you set out or he
7 sets out that, "The Muslim population of Bugojno seemed
8 to be making an attempt to normalise relations with the
9 Croat minority of the city. The problem is there's
10 been a large influx of Muslim refugees and they are
11 focussing their despair against the Croat minority.
12 The imam was pleased with ECMM's efforts and he'll do
13 whatever he can."
14 Although it's a little after your time, does
15 that fit with your impression of what was happening at
16 the time?
17 A. Yes, that was normal level, no fightings, at
18 that time, were going on. And then you came in these
19 kind of talk with -- in this case, with the imam and
20 how you get normalisation in the relations. I think
21 that's what happened there, we all saw that all over
22 the area and when you look nowadays on the Internet,
23 you see that the relations in Bugojno are rather well
24 between Croats and Muslims, not in Gornji Vakuf. So
25 that's what I know of nowadays.
1 Q. And the very last one I want you to look at
2 actually is to come back in the pile, I overlooked it,
3 my mistake, it's the 13th of September.
4 A. The 13th?
5 Q. Yes, if we could come back to that one,
6 please. And here, this is you reporting under
7 political situation, you set out that you met with the
8 Bugojno HDZ leadership and were briefed on the
9 political platform. I'm not -- was this the only
10 occasion you met a political group or party?
11 A. In this setting, yes. I met some people
12 before. I don't know the names at this moment, but in
13 this setting, it was a larger meeting and we talked
14 about several things. We arranged this meeting.
15 Q. Yes. Did they say one way or another what
16 lines of political authority were to the military or
17 give any indication of that one way or the other?
18 A. No, and we didn't ask about that.
19 Q. No, no.
20 A. So that's --
21 Q. Colonel, I'm sorry I've taken some of your
22 time, but thank you very much. The documents we've
23 looked at swiftly but in order, do they give, in your
24 judgement, a fair picture of the way things developed
25 in that place and over that period of time?
1 A. I think so. I also know that a lot of --
2 certain amount of assessments. Well, you can discuss
3 about that. We discussed a lot when we were in -- at
4 that time, in that area, and it's difficult to be
5 certain about things, but I think the feeling we had
6 most of the times was correct and we tried to be fair,
7 of course.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I haven't asked the
9 witness anything about Uzdol. I think you'll find at
10 the end of this batch of documents, there's a report by
11 a name that's familiar to us that covers that topic and
12 I don't think I need take it any further.
13 Q. Colonel, thank you very much, I observed you
14 saying that you hadn't -- and I notice you said that
15 you hadn't spoken to anybody from the Office of the
16 Prosecutor so far. If they want to speak to you, are
17 you willing to do so?
18 A. Of course.
19 MR. NICE: Thank you.
20 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I was going to ask
21 some questions about the package of documents that
22 Lieutenant Colonel Gerritsen has been shown, but the
23 documents speak for themselves so I don't think I have
24 the need for redirect.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Colonel, thank you
1 for coming to the International Tribunal to give your
2 evidence. It is concluded. You are free to go.
3 THE WITNESS: Thanks.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE MAY: Could I raise something with the
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: Can I raise, I think, two or three
10 matters interpartes. First, going back to the evidence
11 of Mr. Cicak which I necessarily dealt with in a hurry
12 in the circumstances of his arrival and so on. The
13 Chamber may recall that associated with his affidavit
14 and produced by him in evidence, there were two
15 exhibits. One of, I think, four pages and one of --
16 another one of four sheets, but it may have been more
17 than four pages. It wasn't Cicak who produced the
18 exhibits, it was Dr. Pavlovic, of course, for that was
19 the witness.
20 I laid something on the ELMO and -- can I
21 just hold it up and show you what it was. It was a
22 sheet of A3, when folded, is a sort of two-page
23 pamphlet of a four, which are the four sheets that we
24 had. We looked at one sheet of this in order to see
25 that on Mr. Cicak's original, his wife's signature was
1 not present whereas on the version produced by
2 Dr. Pavlovic it was.
3 There are one or two other potentially
4 interesting differences between the two versions which
5 we would like to be able to refer to, if necessary, in
6 closing argument. So although I, at that time,
7 suggested that the original be not made an exhibit, I
8 would ask that copies of it be exhibited, the original
9 being available for counsel to look at now to confirm
10 that it's a proper --
11 JUDGE MAY: That should be retained by the
13 MR. NICE: The original or the --
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the original.
15 MR. NICE: Well, I think the problem is that
16 such documents Mr. Cicak would prefer to take with him.
17 JUDGE MAY: He is still here, is he?
18 MR. NICE: He's still here. And that's why I
19 was proposing if counsel could look at the original, we
20 can ask him further, of course he may be happy to hand
21 over the original, but certainly an alternative would
22 be for the counsel to look at the copies to satisfy
23 themselves that they are copies and then for the
24 original to be returned to Mr. Cicak.
25 JUDGE MAY: That can be done this afternoon.
1 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
2 The second --
3 JUDGE MAY: And I shall say we'll admit the
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MAY: Let's have the registrar,
8 [Trial Chamber registrar confer]
9 JUDGE MAY: Judge Bennouna suggests that what
10 we do is have the registrar confirm that it's a true
11 record and the court deputy is prepared to do that -- a
12 true copy, I should say. And that's what we will be
13 minded to do.
14 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
16 Your Honour. We have not had the opportunity of seeing
17 this, but we will see it later when it is submitted. I
18 only wish to say that I assume that this is not an
19 original either, namely, what Mr. Cicak got, or rather
20 his wife, is one of the seven copies that were made.
21 The original, I mean the original paper typed out, is
22 in the files of the institute.
23 On this original is the signature of the
24 person who took this document. Of course, Mrs. Cicak's
25 signature is not on her copy that was handed to her
1 once she received it, and there's no reason to do
2 that. The party concerned only signs that document
3 which remains in the file, so what will be shown to us
4 is one of the seven copies that were made, and that is
5 quite obvious from the last page, where it says who
6 copies are given to.
7 So let me simplify matters. The original is
8 only one document, the one that was typed out on a
9 typewriter, and all the rest are copies, these seven
10 copies, of which we received a copy as well.
11 That is what I wish to say in order to
12 facilitate the understanding of the Trial Chamber. I
13 thank you.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
15 MR. NICE: Yes, I'm happy with that.
16 JUDGE MAY: That will be done. Yes.
17 MR. NICE: The next point relates to next
18 Monday's witness, the expert on the tape. The Dutch
19 expert, subject to problems of funding his travel, if
20 he abandons his Monday flight to Rome, where he's due
21 in a conference, the Dutch expert is available, I
22 think, to assist me on Monday, and I shall certainly
23 want him to sit beside me while the Defence expert
24 gives his evidence.
25 I have raised with Mr. Sayers again of his
1 desirability of his being taken as a witness
2 immediately thereafter, it being so much more
3 convenient and helpful for the Chamber to have the
4 evidence of a piece. I think he will take the
5 objection that there's a time limit that hasn't been
6 met. I think it's probably within the Chamber's power
7 to abbreviate time limits, in any event, the Chamber
8 having in mind that, of course, what we've done in
9 serving this report is extremely helpful to the
10 Defence, consistent, though it is, with normal modern
11 practice, because it means that they have the rebuttal
12 report available to consider before they call their own
14 So I would ask that the Chamber, if there is
15 any objection to what I would say -- suggest is the
16 very good sense of having the expert witnesses, one
17 after the other, and I would ask the Chamber to
18 consider exercising its authority to abbreviate the
19 time so that the witness can give his evidence and be
21 JUDGE MAY: There's only one aspect of that:
22 Where is his laboratory? Is it Rijswijk?
23 MR. NICE: Yes, it is.
24 JUDGE MAY: So he doesn't have very far to
1 MR. NICE: No, he doesn't have very far to
2 come; that's absolutely right. But nevertheless, as --
3 nevertheless, and from our recent experience, it may be
4 that the Chamber would quite easily be persuaded of the
5 desirability of having two reports to read, two
6 witnesses to hear, one after the other, as the best way
7 of resolving all of these issues.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
9 MR. SAYERS: A number of responses to that,
10 Mr. President.
11 First, we already argued this issue on the
12 21st of this month, and I believe you said that if it
13 would not duly -- if it doesn't interrupt unduly the
14 Kordic case, maybe the week of the 24th would be
15 appropriate when we raised the point that we had not
16 been given the 21 days required by Rule 94 bis of this
17 expert report if they wanted to put the witness on.
18 Two practical problems that we are
19 encountering are these: First, our tape expert isn't
20 even getting into town from the United States until
21 Saturday, so we'll have, as a practical matter,
22 extremely little time within which to analyse the
23 report that's been given to us.
24 The second practical problem is that I'm sure
25 the Court can see from the so-called batting order
1 letter that we've provided yesterday that next week is
2 a pretty full week. We have eight witnesses. Some of
3 them are longer than others. And I very strongly doubt
4 that we'll have time to fit yet another expert witness
5 into the schedule without bumping some of the witnesses
6 towards the end of the week, which we are loathe to do,
7 since their travel arrangements have already been
9 That being said, we have not obviously had
10 the time yet to analyse the report fully, but perhaps
11 we can leave it at this. Maybe I can take the rest of
12 today, since we have a short day today, and let the
13 Prosecution know tomorrow whether we can accommodate
14 them or not. I'm simply not in a position to do that
15 right now, I'm afraid.
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, thinking aloud about the
17 matter, one advantage of having their expert is that
18 your expert would be here to hear him and instruct you.
19 MR. SAYERS: That is a point that had
20 occurred to us. I can assure, you, Your Honour. I
21 don't know whether there's going to be a problem. It's
22 really difficult to say without being actually able to
23 speak with him, and he has been on vacation and
24 basically out of contact with us, and is travelling, I
25 think, today or tomorrow.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll leave it till
3 Monday morning.
4 MR. SAYERS: Very well. Thank you very
6 MR. NICE: The third point relates to
7 witnesses. We've now got a running order for the
8 Defence witnesses until the end of the week after
9 next. As to the last week, I asked Mr. Sayers about
10 this yesterday and he was good enough to tell me that
11 one of the witnesses may be a witness who is due to
12 return, DK, and that there are I think up to three
13 others of differing lengths. I requested the
14 identities of them for two reasons, which I'll turn, or
15 three, but that was declined. And I would ask that the
16 Chamber require that we be notified now of who these
17 last three witnesses are. The general reason is that
18 we simply provided six weeks, or whatever we have
19 provided, as long a list as we could. It had to change
20 from time to time, but we always did our very best to
21 provide the longest possible list, and we didn't in any
22 sense ever confine ourselves to an interpretation of
23 the two-weeks order that was very originally made. And
24 simply as a matter of fairness and equality of means,
25 we should be informed now. It does help preparation in
1 general, and to have been kept to simply the two weeks
2 has been difficult. So there's every reason to grant
3 us the name and no reason not to.
4 Secondly, as I explained to Mr. Sayers, there
5 is a personal interest. I have to be away for at least
6 a day and a half, and it may be two days of that week.
7 I say I have to be. I am going to be, unless something
8 very surprising happens. And it may be that I would
9 want to be away for the whole of the week. Well, I can
10 make that decision if I know the witnesses are those
11 who I can quite properly leave to be dealt with by
12 Ms. Somers or possibly Mr. Scott. If I don't know the
13 names of those people, I can't, and I can't make
15 The third point that arises in any event in
16 relation to DK is that whether I'm away for a day and a
17 half or the whole of the week, I cross-examined DK to
18 begin with, and I think under the practice of the
19 Chamber, which is that there should only be one person
20 cross-examining on each --
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE MAY: We could make an exception to
23 that. That's the usual rule, but if there are
24 exceptional circumstances such as this, of course.
25 MR. NICE: I'm grateful for that. So that's
1 our request, really. And in our very respectful
2 submission, the time has come when we should be told
3 the rest of the remaining list, and it won't be any
4 disadvantage or disservice to the Defence if we are.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, can you let them have
6 the final order?
7 MR. SAYERS: I face once again, Your Honour,
8 a practical problem. We have, as I have told the
9 Prosecution, four witnesses that we're thinking of
10 calling that week. We may be able to accommodate the
11 Prosecution by perhaps slipping Witness DK into the
12 videolink week. He may be -- it may be that it's more
13 convenient for him to testify in Zagreb than here, for
14 just travel purposes, but I don't know the position on
15 that without speaking with our travel coordinator.
16 With respect to the other three, one we're
17 relatively certain about, "relatively," I say, because
18 I haven't spoken to the witness myself. The other two
19 are very much more equivocal. One appears to be
20 developing some serious travel anxiety, and that could
21 be very problematic for our ability to call the
22 witness. The other one perhaps less so. But --
23 JUDGE MAY: Let them know as soon as
24 possible, if you can; otherwise, of course, you must
25 follow the Rule.
1 MR. SAYERS: We will let them know as soon as
2 we can. We're not going to play games, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Now, that being so,
4 that concludes the business for open session, I take
5 it, unless there's something else anybody wants to
7 MR. NICE: No. Just on that last point --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. NICE: Just on that last point, I mean, I
10 really must just press it to this extent: If
11 Mr. Sayers can tell me who it is, then I can make my
12 decisions; otherwise I can't make my decisions. That's
13 my problem.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, I'm sure Mr. Sayers
15 will have that in mind.
16 MR. NICE: The only other matter is the short
17 ex parte hearing, which, I have to tell the Court, is
18 basically a matter of providing information in line
19 with one or two earlier hearings. It won't take very
21 MR. SAYERS: There are just two
22 administrative matters I wish to raise, more in the
23 matter of information than adversarial hearing.
24 First is this: On Monday we plan to file all
25 of the exhibits that we have proposed with the Court,
1 to give the Prosecution a copy of them all. May I
2 inquire of the Chamber whether it wishes us to supply a
3 copy, one full copy of all of the exhibits in the
4 appropriate indices for each one of the Trial Judges?
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. SAYERS: We will do so. And secondly, I
7 also think that on Monday we will file a list of the
8 transcripts of testimony from other cases that we would
9 propose for admission into this case. In both
10 instances, Your Honour, we have tried to be briefer
11 rather than more expansive. I believe that the full
12 universe of exhibits may be eight linear inches, and we
13 don't have more than six transcripts, I believe, that
14 we would propose to be admitted in this case, subject
15 to reviewing the matter over the weekend. But we
16 propose to file both things on Monday so that those
17 matters can be addressed and resolved prior to the
18 closure of Mr. Kordic's case.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
20 Well, that concludes the hearing inter
21 parte. The next hearing will be on Monday, at half
22 past 9.00, when we shall return to Courtroom II.
23 Now, if there's no objection from those
24 interpreting, we propose to hold the ex parte hearing
25 now so we can deal with the matter as quickly as
1 possible. There will be a break of five to ten
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
4 at 12.58 p.m., to be followed by an
5 Ex Parte Hearing