1 Thursday, 29 July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with two
9 administrative matters first.
10 First of all, this afternoon we, because of
11 the heat in here, we shall move to courtroom II and
12 have the afternoon's hearings there.
13 Secondly, tomorrow we have to adjourn at
14 12.00. There's a Status Conference in another case
15 which two of our number have to attend. So in order to
16 get more time in, unless it's inconvenient to anybody,
17 we'll start at 9.00, sit from 9.00 to 12.00, perhaps
18 have a slightly shorter break.
19 Yes, Mr. Stein.
20 MR. STEIN: Thank you, Sir.
21 Yesterday I was criticised by the Prosecution
22 relative to my cross-examination of Dr. Donia and an
23 excerpt from Colonel Stewart's testimony, and that was
24 read into the record. I suggest that the reading by
25 Mr. Nice yesterday was out of context. The pages prior
1 to and after the quote are important, and I'll leave it
2 for the Court to decide, because I have pages 23826
3 through 23829, and you can see for yourself whether or
4 not the context of which my question and the answer
5 were appropriate.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If you would like to
7 hand those in.
8 MR. STEIN: Yes.
9 JUDGE MAY: I might say that in relation to
10 these sort of disputes between the parties, that I
11 regard some of it as forensic. It's not the questions
12 which matters, it's the answers.
13 MR. NICE: Quite so.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. NICE: On the question of timetable, I'm
16 not going to pick up with Payam Akhavan, because
17 Colonel Watters, who has been here twice before, is a
18 witness whose examination in chief I hope will last
19 less than half a day. I'm told by the Defence they
20 require a day for him, but it may well be, as with some
21 of their other forecasts, the forecasts will be longer
22 than the reality, and it's really quite desirable that
23 he should be concluded, this being his third visit, by
24 tomorrow, if at all possible. He certainly can't be
25 here next week for reason of other commitments.
1 He is a colonel. His last deployment was to
2 Northern Ireland, and for that reason I'm not going to
3 ask him his present whereabouts. But obscuring his
4 present whereabouts relates to that assignment and not
5 to any anxiety about what happened in the former
7 Because of the temperature of the court
8 yesterday, I told him that it would be sensible for him
9 not to turn up in uniform but to wear civilian clothes,
10 and that's why he will appear dressed as he does.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's have the witness in.
12 Mr. Kovacic?
13 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I'm sorry, Your
14 Honours. Just one word.
15 Will you please bear in mind, even though you
16 said that we would be discussing it on Thursday, but
17 still would you like just to note down that the summary
18 we received from the Prosecution regarding witness
19 Bryan Watters is the third or the fourth that we're
20 getting 30 or 40 minutes before the hearing. Thank
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, as far as that's
23 concerned, the arrangement was, I thought, to be that
24 the summary should be handed over, if possible, before
25 the adjournment, the night before, so that the Defence
1 would have a chance to look at it. If what is
2 contained in the summary is merely what's in previous
3 statements, then it seems there's less cause for
4 complaint, but of course were there to be new matter,
5 that would be a more substantial matter of complaint.
6 MR. NICE: Well, as the Chamber will recall,
7 this is an innovation designed to assist. It's outside
8 the Rules. It's a voluntarily supplied document. My
9 practice has been to provide it as early as possible.
10 In nearly all cases, it is a reflection of material
11 that the Defence have had in the form of statements or
12 prior testimony. Whenever I can provide them the night
13 before or even earlier, I do so. But in order that
14 witnesses may not be inconvenienced too much, it's
15 frequently the case that they only come in the day
16 before they give testimony, and therefore the documents
17 can't be prepared earlier. This was such a one. But
18 I'm, in all cases, doing my best to ensure they are
19 prepared as early as possible.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
21 MR. STEIN: Your Honour, in that regard,
22 since this is an experiment, some of the Prosecution's
23 summaries have parentheses and where you can find the
24 statements or the source, others do not. Of course,
25 there's no formal rule. It would certainly be helpful
1 to follow the current format, which is chapter and
2 verse being cited, so new matter would pop right up for
4 JUDGE MAY: That seems sensible.
5 MR. NICE: That's what I'm doing, yes.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's have the
7 witness, please.
8 Let the witness take the declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
12 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat,
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Sir.
15 WITNESS: BRYAN SHAUN CHARLES WATTERS
16 Examined by Mr. Nice:
17 Q. Your full name, please?
18 A. Bryan Shaun Charles Watters.
19 Q. A professional soldier in the British army
20 for over 25 years, deputy commander of the 1st Cheshire
21 Battle Corps during its deployment in Bosnia in 1993.
22 Since then, have you been the lieutenant colonel in
23 command of the 1st Cheshires, an appointment you
24 relinquished at the beginning of this year, you
25 remaining in the army as a professional soldier with a
1 career ahead of you?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. On deployment in February of 1993, was your
4 first task to familiarise yourself with the difficult
5 military situation facing the warring factions, and in
6 the course of that exercise, did you meet a number of
7 key personalities in the military and political arena
8 in Central Bosnia, particularly in Vitez, Kiseljak,
9 Travnik and Zenica?
10 A. Yes, I did, sir.
11 Q. Was the British Battalion's operation known
12 as Grapple?
13 A. Operation Grapple 1, yes, sir.
14 Q. Was its formal objective or perhaps first
15 objective to facilitate the movement of humanitarian
16 aid throughout the area of responsibility?
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. I've put in the summary and, in inverted
19 commas, the phrase "implied task". Can you just
20 explain that to us, please?
21 A. Our mission was to facilitate the movement of
22 humanitarian aid throughout our area of
23 responsibility. Within our doctrine in the British
24 army and within the mission statements, there are tasks
25 that are implied, and the tasks that were implied were
1 to achieve the mission statement, we had to undertake
2 various military tasks, and those tasks we would
3 describe as implied tasks; for example, to stop
4 fighting, to stop the loss of life, to stop ethnic
5 cleansing, and anything we saw that prejudiced our
6 ability to save life, which was the end state, if you
7 like, or the ultimate implied task of our mission
8 statement. The reason we were facilitating
9 humanitarian aid was to save life.
10 Q. By application of this motion or doctrine or
11 whatever it may be of implied task, did the range of
12 functions performed by the British Battalion mirror and
13 match the functions performed by other battalions, to
14 your knowledge, or was it greater or lesser?
15 A. By and large we all had the same task. We
16 did it in our own way, and that largely depended on the
17 capability or combat power that each of the battalions
18 in the United Nations force had. By virtue of being an
19 armoured infantry battalion, with our Warrior fighting
20 vehicle, we had considerable combat power which others
21 didn't possess.
22 Q. On your arrival, was it your duty to analyse
23 the strategic goals of the ABiH and HVO, both on
24 arrival and during the time of your stay?
25 A. It was part of our process to understand the
1 situation in order to execute our mission. And as the
2 second in command of the battalion, my major
3 responsibilities, as well as being the deputy
4 commander, were to coordinate the information and
5 operational cells and to develop the situation reports
6 for the commanding officer.
7 Q. On information and intelligence coming to
8 you, what view did you form about the approach of the
9 ABiH in February 1993 and their approach towards
10 alliance with the Croats?
11 A. The unifying threat to Central Bosnia was
12 posed by the Serb forces, and that threat was such that
13 the only way the remaining area of Bosnia was going to
14 be able to deny Serb aggression was for the Muslim and
15 Croat forces to unite in an alliance which would give
16 them sufficient fighting power to be able to defend
17 Central Bosnia against the Serbs. If they were to try
18 and do it individually, then the Serbs would able to
19 destroy them.
20 Q. Did the ABiH have any outside supporters or
22 A. Within Europe, the ABiH had very few
23 champions or supporters. Their support was largely
24 based on their religion of Islam, and the Islamic world
25 had great sympathy and support for the Bosnian
1 Muslims. But that wasn't able to focus itself on
2 immediate materiel support, although we were aware of
3 considerable sums of money, both pledged and moved into
4 Bosnia, to support the Muslim people.
5 Q. The HVO, what was their position so far as
6 outside supporters was concerned?
7 A. The HVO were directly supported by Croatia,
8 and within Europe, there was a large body of support
9 within Germany for the Croat and Bosnian Croat cause.
10 Q. How did the Vance-Owen Plan affect the
11 approach or objectives of the HVO?
12 A. The Vance-Owen Plan affected not only the
13 HVO, it also affected what was going on with the Serbs
14 in other parts of Bosnia. But your specific question,
15 the implementation or the likely implementation of the
16 Vance-Owen Plan resulted in the creation of a series of
17 cantons within Bosnia. And the one that most impacted
18 on our area of responsibility, certainly in April '93,
19 was that, I think, of canton 10, which was essentially
20 centred on Vitez and Busovaca. And that likely
21 implementation galvanised the HVO/Croat thinking as to
22 how they were going to exist as a grouping post the
23 Vance-Owen Plan, and there was a great deal of talk
24 among military commanders and the general population as
25 to the impact of this plan on them.
1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
2 about the Vance-Owen Plan, I should like to ask the
3 witness, Colonel Watters, to tell us if the adoption of
4 the plan and its acceptance by the HVO perhaps induced
5 the HVO to think that they could take positions by
6 force, which was accorded it by the Vance-Owen Plan, as
7 the witness said. Was it planning to take these
8 positions by force?
9 A. Before the 15th/16th of April, we thought
10 this was a possibility, but we hadn't seen anything to
11 indicate that this was imminent. Our main focus at
12 that time was on what was happening in the Muslim
13 pockets, where the Serbs, in -- I think it was western
14 Bosnia, Srebrenica -- the Serbs themselves were trying
15 to ethnically cleanse the Muslim population, because
16 the Muslim population was driving the shape of the
17 cantons in that part of Bosnia.
18 I had a conversation in Serbia with a series
19 of Serbian military commanders who explained to me that
20 their offensive in Srebrenica and Konjevic Polje was
21 designed to remove the Muslim majority population to
22 enable the Serb minority, who owned 70 per cent of the
23 land, to control the canton. It was that thinking and
24 briefing from those Serb commanders that caused me to
25 discuss and debate, after the events of the 15 and 16,
1 that the Croat operations in Central Bosnia were
2 mirroring what the Serbs were doing in other parts of
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. So specifically dealing with Judge Bennouna's
6 question as to whether they felt they could take by
7 force that which was accorded by the Vance-Owen Plan,
8 in your judgement, did they think that at any stage,
9 either before or after the 15th or 16th of April?
10 A. I believed that they did think that they
11 would be able to secure the boundaries and routes in
12 and around canton 10 and routes to support canton 10
13 from Croatia proper, and I believe that is why they
14 launched their offensive on the morning of the 16th of
15 April. And --
16 Q. Just to pause there, we're going to deal with
17 that at the conclusion of your evidence, when the
18 events leading up to it have been --
19 A. In -- the simple answer to the question, sir,
20 is "yes." I and our team did not realise that prior to
21 the 15th and 16th of April, but in analysing the
22 situation during the offensive and after it, and in
23 discussions with Croat and Muslim senior military
24 commanders on the 21st of April, I was very clear in my
25 mind that that is exactly what the Croats, the HVO, had
1 attempted to do on the 15th/16th of April.
2 Q. We'll come back to paragraph 6 of the summary
3 at the end of the evidence. Before I turn to paragraph
4 7, on arrival, and as far as you could judge from your
5 knowledge of what had happened before, was the fighting
6 at maximum level, or was there something of a lull in
8 A. I'm sorry, sir, the period ... ?
9 Q. When you arrived, was it at full force, the
10 fighting, or was there something of a lull?
11 A. No, when I arrived, there was a lull. There
12 had been -- in November/December '92 there had been a
13 major Serb offensive from Banja Luka down to Donji
14 Vakuf and stopping at Turbe and Travnik, and that was
15 the major focus of military activity around Christmas.
16 Just after Christmas, and when I arrived, there was
17 some fighting in the Kiseljak valley, between Busovaca
18 and Kiseljak, which had ceased or was at a very low
19 level, and our main preoccupation on my arrival was
20 actually policing ceasefires in the Kiseljak valley.
21 The main area within the Lasva Valley was
22 generally peaceful, and our main focus, really, was the
23 evacuation of refugees following the Serb offensive
24 from Banja Luka and the fighting with the Serbs north
25 of Travnik. So within Central Bosnia, essentially, it
1 was moderately quiet, and other than occasional
2 disagreements at the lower tactical level in the
3 village, between the different ethnic groups in Central
4 Bosnia, at the sort of tactical or strategic level, the
5 alliance against the Serbs was generally in place.
6 Q. Following your arrival, did you meet Dario
7 Kordic? If so, roughly how many times and in what
9 A. I met Mr. Kordic once in his headquarters in
10 Busovaca, following the hijacking of a vehicle, and our
11 liaison officer, Captain Foregrave, was endeavouring to
12 solicit the support of Mr. Kordic to try and have the
13 vehicle returned. I met him on another occasion, very
14 briefly, in Busovaca, just on a general call when we
15 went to see him. He was actually very busy in a
16 meeting, and we didn't actually get to talk to him.
17 Q. Dealing with the vehicle, tell us what
18 happened in the end so far as that vehicle was
20 A. Right. There were several incidents, one
21 before my arrival, with a soldier who had been abducted
22 in Kiseljak, which Mr. Kordic arranged -- or at least,
23 after speaking to him, the man was released; we
24 believed Mr. Kordic had arranged that. And we would go
25 to him or our liaison officers would go to him to
1 resolve situations because of his obvious political
2 influence in the area.
3 There was a situation, I think it was in
4 March '93, where a Dutch officer driving alone in his
5 vehicle was apprehended at a Croat checkpoint, and he
6 was beaten up, his weapon stolen and his vehicle
7 stolen. Having failed to get the vehicle back, we sent
8 a liaison officer to speak to Mr. Kordic, and
9 Mr. Kordic said he would do what he could to have the
10 vehicle returned, and shortly afterwards, the vehicle
11 was returned.
12 Q. With or without the firearm?
13 A. Without any weapons, just the vehicle itself,
14 with most things removed from it.
15 Q. Another incident involving an aid convoy?
16 A. There was a convoy that we had negotiated the
17 movement of from Zenica to Travnik. The convoy was
18 abducted at a Croat checkpoint at the Busovaca/Vitez
19 road junction.
20 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I would just like
21 to interpose an objection here, a very short one. If
22 we're dealing with paragraph 8, it appears that the
23 witness is going to be invited to give hearsay several
24 times removed about something that he was told that
25 that person was told by a person at a checkpoint. And
1 obviously that's double hearsay, or worse, and we
2 object to it.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's hear the background
4 to the evidence and how it got to the witness.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Carry on, Colonel.
7 A. The convoy was abducted. What essentially
8 happened was the convoy commander, who is a young
9 officer, his Warrior had anti-tank mines placed at the
10 front and back of its tracks so he couldn't manoeuvre
11 his Warrior, and then the Croat forces got onto the
12 runningboards of the vehicles, smashed the window with
13 their rifle butts, and put their rifles through the
14 window and ordered the drivers to drive around the
15 Warrior and up into Busovaca.
16 I was in the operations room when this
17 happened. I contacted the headquarters of Colonel
18 Blaskic in Vitez, as we had negotiated with him, as the
19 regional military commander of Croat forces, the safe
20 passage of this convoy from Zenica to Travnik. He
21 informed us that he would see what he could do, and we
22 then waited.
23 I then received a report over the radio, and
24 I can't tell you who gave me the report, it was either
25 the platoon commander or one of his other vehicles,
1 that the soldiers at the checkpoint who were dressed in
2 black uniforms, which was not the normal uniforms of
3 the Croat forces, it was more the sort of special
4 units, had said, when told that this convoy had the
5 authority of Colonel Blaskic, that they didn't take
6 their orders from Colonel Blaskic.
7 MR. SAYERS: Objection, Your Honour. That's
8 precisely what we're talking about. We're talking
9 about obviously comments which required
10 interpretation. Those, in turn, were related to the
11 unidentified source that Colonel Watters has just
12 talked about, and that person is not available to be
13 cross-examined, as far as we are aware, since he's not
14 identified. How can we possibly challenge or evaluate
15 the reliability of that testimony? So we object to it
16 on the grounds of double-hearsay or worse.
17 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if I've got this
19 Colonel Watters, you were in the control
21 A. Yes, Sir.
22 JUDGE MAY: You received a report on the
23 radio --
24 A. Yes, Sir.
25 JUDGE MAY: -- from a platoon commander or
1 somebody similar?
2 A. Through his company ops room, Sir, yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Through the company ops room.
4 The report was to the effect that the soldiers at the
5 checkpoint were dressed in black uniforms and had said
6 something about where they got their authority from?
7 A. Yes, Sir.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, did you want to say
9 something about it?
10 MR. NICE: No. Well, there's more evidence
11 that ties Kordic in with responsibility for this,
12 including what he said himself later on, as we can see
13 at the foot of paragraph 8. There's also the actions
14 taken to release the convoy, which again fit with it.
15 So the evidence is, in any event, under the Rules of
16 this Tribunal, prima facie admissible, questions of
17 weight, and the evidence overall will satisfy the
18 Tribunal as to Kordic's responsibility.
19 (Trial Chamber confers)
20 JUDGE MAY: We'll hear all the evidence on
21 this point, and then we'll make a decision as to what,
22 if any, should be excluded.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. The information that you received came from
25 someone you can't now name?
1 A. I couldn't -- I can't remember which of the
2 platoon commanders in A Company or in Cheshire it was
3 that was commanding the convoy that was abducted.
4 Q. Who led the convoy? Which officer had led
5 that sad convoy?
6 A. A platoon commander. I don't remember which
7 one. We had nine of them.
8 Q. Did you debrief him?
9 A. I spoke to him later to ascertain what he had
10 done that had allowed the Croat checkpoint to abduct
11 his convoy, because we had procedures designed to
12 prevent that happening. In discussions with him, he
13 had failed to enact those procedures, and I wrote an
14 order reminding all company commanders to practice our
15 procedures for securing convoys in the event of them
16 being stopped at checkpoints.
17 Q. Was there anything said by him inconsistent
18 with the intelligence you had that offered that the
19 hijackers had said they wouldn't take orders from
20 Blaskic but only from Kordic?
21 A. The convoy commander had known that the
22 authority for the convoy, which we had gone to quite a
23 lot of trouble to plan because it was going from a
24 Muslim town, through a Croat area, to a Muslim town and
25 we expected there would be some difficulties with it,
1 and he knew that the regional military commander,
2 Colonel Blaskic, had given authority for this convoy to
3 move through. And when the soldiers were confronted by
4 the convoy commander with the fact that they had
5 authority from Colonel Blaskic, the people at the
6 checkpoint said to him they didn't take their orders
7 from Colonel Blaskic, they took them from Kordic.
8 Q. As a consequence of what you learned, both
9 over the radio and perhaps by debriefing the person
10 commanding the convoy or leading the convoy, what next
11 step did you take?
12 A. We contacted Colonel Blaskic's headquarters,
13 and they said there was really nothing they could do
14 and suggested that we spoke to Mostar.
15 I was commanding the battalion at that time,
16 as the commanding officer was away. I ordered the
17 officer commanding A Company to assemble a combat group
18 and to be prepared to go to Busovaca and take back the
19 convoy by force using a company of Warriors, and I set
20 a deadline for him to launch his assault.
21 I then spoke to our headquarters in Kiseljak
22 and asked them to speak with General Petkovic in Mostar
23 and try and get orders given from Mostar to Mr. Kordic
24 in Busovaca to release the convoy before we attacked
25 Busovaca to take the convoy back by force.
1 Q. So far as you know, did UN-HQ do what you
2 asked of them?
3 A. Yes, they did. I personally spoke with the
4 headquarters. They had spoken with Colonel Petkovic's
5 headquarters in Mostar, and they had assured United
6 Nations headquarters that they would pass instructions
7 immediately to Busovaca because it was in no one's
8 interest for the United Nations to assault the Croat
9 forces to capture a convoy that they had illegally
10 taken. It was in no one's interest for this to happen,
11 and they would ensure that the orders were given to
12 Mr. Kordic to release the convoy.
13 Q. Was the convoy released?
14 A. Yes, it was, and Major Thomas, I think it
15 was, or one of the liaison officers went to see
16 Mr. Kordic, and he explained that the reason the convoy
17 had been taken was to make a political point that there
18 was an unfair distribution of aid between the Muslim
19 communities and the Croat communities and he believed
20 the Croat communities had been disadvantaged, and he
21 had made his point.
22 Q. That was said to whom?
23 A. Again, I'm sorry, it wasn't at the time of
24 huge significance, and I don't remember. It was either
25 Major Thomas, now Colonel Thomas, or one of the liaison
2 Q. It wasn't said to you?
3 A. Not by Mr. Kordic, no. I didn't go and see
4 Mr. Kordic.
5 MR. NICE: An error has crept into
6 paragraph 8 and it shouldn't have been there, but it
7 can be corrected. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE MAY: That's the evidence on that
9 point, is it?
10 MR. NICE: Yes, it is.
11 (Trial Chamber confers)
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
13 MR. SAYERS: Just a couple of points, Your
15 First of all, the purported admission isn't
16 an admission at all. Mr. Kordic, even according to
17 this hearsay testimony that was given to Major Thomas,
18 now Colonel Thomas, or someone else, says the reason
19 the convoy --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,
22 MR. SAYERS: Yes. The reason the convoy had
23 been taken was to make a political point. That's
24 exactly what Colonel Watters said. He didn't say that
25 he had ordered this convoy to be taken or that he had
1 any culpability or responsibility for it.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel speak
3 slower, please?
4 MR. SAYERS: One other point I would like to
5 make is the perniciousness of receiving these offers of
6 proof just minutes before trial. There's no statement
7 in here, you'll notice, in any of the prior testimony.
8 This witness has given hundreds of pages of testimony
9 before this Tribunal. He's given a statement which is
10 23 pages long to the Prosecution. He actually prepared
11 his own statement in 1994. There isn't a peep, not a
12 word, about this in those statements or in his prior
14 But the main point is, Your Honour, it's
15 hearsay many times removed. This witness didn't hear
16 it, he's not in a position to evaluate it, and I think
17 that the alleged tie-in, the alleged admission, isn't
18 an admission at all, by this witness's own testimony.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: How many times removed is
20 it, Mr. Sayers?
21 MR. SAYERS: I beg your pardon?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: How many times removed is
24 MR. SAYERS: By my count, it looks like it's
25 at least three times removed, Judge Robinson. It looks
1 like the soldiers supposedly shouted something
2 presumably in Croatian. Maybe it was translated. If
3 it was translated, then that would be four times
4 removed. But the soldiers shouted something to
5 someone, who then reported it to the platoon commander
6 or someone, who then reported it to Colonel Watters, so
7 there's at least three levels of hearsay there and
8 perhaps four.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, unless the platoon
10 commander heard it himself and reported it to
11 Colonel Watters. No doubt these are matters which can
12 be explored in cross-examination. We think this
13 evidence is plainly admissible. Although it's hearsay,
14 the Tribunal Rules permit hearsay to be given, and so
15 that it's a question of weight very often. Here we
16 note that this communication was given to this witness
17 in the operations room and also in the very moments in
18 which it was all happening.
19 Now, whether these are matters which should
20 be the subject of cross-examination is a matter for
21 counsel, but they are plainly admissible. What weight
22 we give to it, of course, will be a matter we'll have
23 to determine.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. Colonel Watters, what judgement did you form
1 of Mr. Kordic's role in Central Bosnia from your
2 encounters, brief though they were with him, and from
3 intelligence coming to you?
4 MR. SAYERS: I hate to be a pest, Your
5 Honour, but I have to object to that. That's calling
6 for an opinion from this witness based upon one meeting
7 at which he spoke to Mr. Kordic, and I don't believe
8 that this witness is competent to give any meaningful
9 opinion about the subject of Mr. Kordic's alleged
10 authority or leadership in the region.
11 JUDGE MAY: Let's look at it this way:
12 Colonel, did you actually meet Mr. Kordic, first of
14 A. Yes, I did, Sir, in his headquarters in
16 JUDGE MAY: I think you said on two
18 A. I went to his headquarters on two occasions.
19 The second occasion, he was in a large meeting, and we
20 got in, I saw him, but we didn't interrupt him because
21 I don't know what was going on but it was obviously of
22 great concern to him, so we left.
23 JUDGE MAY: On the other occasion, you had a
24 conversation with him, did you?
25 A. Yes, I did. I was introduced to him by the
1 then Captain Foregrave, having recently arrived as
2 second in command of the battle group.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice, do you want to
4 deal with that conversation?
5 MR. NICE: We may deal with the conversation,
6 but there is also a lot of other evidence that will
7 lead to the same general topic, and perhaps I can deal
8 with it in another way.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. First of all, that conversation, can you just
12 help us with that?
13 A. Really, it was just a general -- I can't
14 recollect the exact detail of the conversation. It was
15 an introduction. He was introduced to me as
16 vice-president of HVO, a very influential man who had
17 been to visit the battalion on several occasions, and
18 Colonel Stewart had told me that he was politically
19 influential within Central Bosnia and appeared to head
20 up the political focus and Colonel Blaskic headed up
21 the military focus, and they were the two Croat
22 personalities of influence in our military area of
24 Q. Before we move on to the next bits of
25 evidence about chains of command, help us with this
1 detail. At the time of your arrival, were you
2 expecting necessarily trouble with the Croats, or the
3 Muslims, or between them, or were you hoping for the
4 possibility of conciliation and peaceful progress?
5 A. In my introductory briefings, I was briefed
6 on the alliance. In my personal meetings with the
7 various groups, there was no doubt that there were
8 great tensions, there were very old wounds from
9 previous fighting, there was a degree of distrust
10 between the two communities, and that the lower the
11 level one spoke, the less trust there was within the
12 two military groupings and, in essence, there was very
13 little love lost between the two communities, and their
14 alliance appeared to be borne out of sort of mutual
15 threat. But it certainly wasn't an alliance of
16 friends. It was an alliance of antagonists, really.
17 Q. In that situation, what was your intention,
18 so far as leading figures were concerned? Did you
19 intend to get close to them, to get to know them, to
20 keep them at arm's length? Explain.
21 A. My specific role as the deputy commander was
22 not to personally liaise with the commanders on a
23 routine basis, other than when I was standing in as the
24 commanding officer. That role was largely that of the
25 commanding officer, and our modus operandi was for the
1 liaison officers, six or so that we had appointed, to
2 do that as their primary function, to get to know the
3 military, political, and civic leaders within our area
4 to facilitate negotiation by myself and the company
5 commanders in the place of the commanding officer if he
6 wasn't available.
7 Q. Did those liaison officers report back to you
8 and to the commanding officer?
9 A. Primarily, they would report back to the
10 commanding officer and report back to me in his
11 absence. I would obviously monitor the situation and
12 sit in on those briefings with the commanding officer.
13 Q. In the situation which you found yourself,
14 was it important or not to have an understanding of the
15 chain or chains of command of other forces?
16 A. It was very important to understand the
17 structure of the indigenous forces in Central Bosnia so
18 we knew where to interdict and at what level within the
19 chain of command we needed to interdict to carry out
20 our mission of facilitating the movement of aid.
21 Q. What sort of information did you have to
22 inform you of the chain of command of the HVO?
23 A. We had a wide variety of sources, both human
24 sources and other sources, to put together a structure
25 of the military and political chains of command.
1 Q. Did you form a view as to whether there was a
2 unitary chain of command or not?
3 A. There were two -- our understanding was that
4 there were essentially two chains of command. There
5 was a military chain of command and a political chain
6 of command, which wasn't unusual; it's how it is in
7 most European countries. Where it got a little
8 confusing was the situation in Central Bosnia, where
9 there would appear to be disagreement or contradiction
10 between the political chain of command, focused on
11 Mr. Kordic, and the military chain of command, focused
12 on Colonel Blaskic.
13 Q. Confusion in what sense or -- sorry,
14 disagreement or contradiction in what sense?
15 A. The fact that Colonel Blaskic would give
16 instructions and assurances, as in the case of that
17 convoy I referred to earlier, and those assurances
18 wouldn't be manifested on the ground, and we would have
19 to then go to Mostar to interdict the political chain
20 of command and have direction given to Mr. Kordic. We
21 couldn't go through Colonel Blaskic to Mr. Kordic,
22 because he didn't appear to take his orders from him;
23 which isn't unusual, because he wasn't a military
24 person, although we would then see him wearing uniform
25 and behaving like a soldier, and that caused us a
1 degree of confusion.
2 Q. I'll complete the contents of paragraph 9
3 when all the evidence is in.
4 On the 13th of February, was there a meeting
5 in Busovaca -- I beg your pardon, in Kakanj?
6 A. Yes, in the French engineers' camp in Kakanj,
7 yes, there was a meeting to address the ceasefire
8 arrangements following the fighting in January in the
9 Kiseljak valley, between Busovaca and Kiseljak.
10 Q. The result of that meeting?
11 A. The result of that meeting was a series of
12 ceasefire agreements and agreements on our part to
13 position soldiers in their Warriors at certain key
14 bridges and junctions on the road to verify the
15 ceasefire and to facilitate the free passage of Muslims
16 and Croats between -- essentially along the road.
17 Q. On the 8th of April, the next event I want
18 you to deal with, had you been to Vitez, and did you
19 return from Vitez to learn of a visit paid to Novi
21 A. Yes. There had been a visit to Travnik by
22 Mr. Boban, and the general Muslim population were very
23 nervous and alarmed, as Mr. Boban had incited, in their
24 words, the Croat population to be manifestly more Croat
25 and less of an alliance.
1 One particular point he had highlighted was
2 the lack of Croat flags in Travnik, and he had told the
3 Croat leaders of Travnik that they were to fly more
4 Croat flags and manifest their identity to a greater
5 extent. This resulted in a few nights of civil
6 disturbance, during which several Muslim youths were
7 shot -- I can't remember the exact number -- attempting
8 to either take down flags or banners that had been put
9 up in Travnik. It generally sort of unsettled the
10 status quo.
11 Q. We then come to --
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
13 could you tell us, since you spoke about the chain of
14 command, the chain of command, where is -- we heard
15 about Colonel Blaskic, about Mr. Kordic; where would
16 you say -- what was Mr. Boban's place in that chain of
17 command? Could you tell us.
18 MR. NICE: Mr. Boban was a senior political
19 figure within the Croat government.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... take on
21 military uniform or have any apparent military rank?
22 A. I don't know, sir.
23 Q. Did he ever, to your knowledge, have direct
24 military control of people on the ground?
25 A. Are you talking about Boban?
1 Q. Boban, yes.
2 A. Not in my judgement, and Mr. Boban operated
3 at a level sort of higher than BritBat was, in all
4 honesty, interested in, until he came into our area of
5 responsibility in Central Bosnia. So he wasn't a
6 figure that I or BritBat had any requirement to track
7 or be specifically interested in, other than being
8 aware that he was a senior and very influential
10 Q. We come to the 15th and 16th of April. There
11 had been the ceasefire. If you can identify or
12 encapsulate the state of expectation on the 15th,
13 perhaps you would do so; and if you can't, we'll just
14 move to the facts.
15 A. The -- I need to put it, really, in context.
16 Our major focus was with our company group in Tuzla,
17 where we were involved in the evacuation of refugees
18 from Srebrenica. On the 15th, there was a kidnapping
19 in Zenica of the HVO commander -- I think Commander
20 Totic was his name -- and there had been the murder of
21 his bodyguards in a vehicle. Colonel Stewart went from
22 Vitez to Zenica to investigate the situation and ensure
23 that this didn't lead to a complete breakdown between
24 the Muslim and Croat peoples in Zenica. But we
25 considered this to be a very serious incident. We
1 didn't understand it, and we were endeavouring to speak
2 to the 3rd Corps commander -- which is why Colonel
3 Stewart went to Zenica -- Hadzihasanovic, to establish
4 what on earth was going on, basically.
5 And so that was the situation. So it was
6 tense, as an immediate result of this -- this act,
7 terrorist act in Zenica, and the kidnapping of the HVO
8 commander. And that was essentially the situation,
9 with most of our effort, as I say, focused in the
11 Q. And in north, on which troops?
12 A. Well, our own company group in Tuzla, and the
13 reinforcement, specifically helicopters, that we were
14 using, with our own people in them, to go into
15 Srebrenica to evacuate the wounded.
16 Q. So we come to the 16th. Commander Colonel
17 Stewart had gone to Zenica; did he stay in Zenica that
19 A. Yes, he did. We spoke on the phone on the
20 evening of the 15th and decided that it was too
21 dangerous for him to risk coming back in the dark, as
22 the situation was very tense following the kidnapping
23 of Mr. Totic, and he should remain in Zenica overnight.
24 Q. Had there been an ultimatum delivered in
25 relation to Totic?
1 A. Yes, there was, which was what had created
2 the tenseness, and that was if Mr. Totic wasn't
3 recovered very quickly, then the HVO would evacuate the
4 Croat people from Zenica, which was a major situation.
5 And so, suddenly, if you like, our focus very quickly
6 turned from Tuzla back down into Central Bosnia, as
7 this situation appeared to be very quickly gaining
9 Q. The evacuation of the Croat population of
10 Zenica suggesting what sort of consequence?
11 A. Well, a major schism and breakdown in the
12 alliance between the Croats and the Muslims, and the
13 possibility of returning to full-scale fighting.
14 Q. On the morning of the 16th of April, an event
15 that, as I think you know, isn't in the summary, but
16 just tell us about it: 2.30 in the morning?
17 A. Yeah. Well, very early in the morning; 2.00,
18 1.30, something like that, I had only just gone to bed,
19 and I was woken up to be told that there were some
20 journalists in our base in Vitez who had just been
21 forced from their accommodation and were in state of
22 considerable shock, and so I came down to speak to
23 them. They said that they had been staying in the -- a
24 sort of guest house just between our school and Vitez.
25 There was a bear in a cage at this boarding house, sort
1 of a small hotel, which is how we knew it, the hotel
2 with the bear in the garden. They had been staying
3 there, and in the very early hours of the morning, the
4 owners -- who were Muslim -- of the boarding house had
5 been arrested by Croat soldiers wearing balaclavas,
6 their faces covered, and the journalists were told that
7 if they didn't leave, they would be killed, and they
8 weren't to take their possessions, they were just to
9 go. So they got into their car and drove to our base.
10 It was just a very strange incident, and on
11 top of what was going on in Zenica, was of considerable
13 Q. Did you in due course receive reports of
15 A. Yeah. Shortly afterwards, we got reports --
16 initially, I think, from the Dutch transport squadron
17 based near Vitez -- that there was shelling in the town
18 of Vitez. We then had reports from our own Echelon
19 logistic base outside Vitez that there was shelling.
20 And this was unusual. It was quite common in the night
21 for there to be small arms firing, but very unusual for
22 there to be mortar or shell fire, and certainly, of the
23 sustained frequency that was being reported to us,
24 meant that something unusual and very large was
1 Q. Was BritBat able to assess from where the
2 shells came? Just "Yes" or "No."
3 A. Immediately, no.
4 Q. Subsequently?
5 A. By looking where they were falling, which was
6 in the Muslim areas of Kruscica and Vitez, it made
7 obvious sense that they were being fired by Croats.
8 Q. To your knowledge, at that time, who had
9 authority to deal with this scale of attack on the HVO
11 A. Sorry, there was one other -- there was a
12 large artillery piece in a quarry that I think we
13 called -- or that was called "Bertha," or something,
14 which was a Croat artillery piece that was also firing,
15 and we, as a -- our reconnaissance units identified
16 that. So that was a single piece that we knew was
18 The use of artillery was controlled at the
19 regional level of command, which would be Colonel
21 Q. What steps did you take on discovering this
22 shelling was taking place?
23 A. I ordered reconnaissance parties to go out to
24 Vitez and the environs to try and establish what was
25 happening and to try and -- and sent the liaison
1 officers to make contact with the Muslim commander in
2 Vitez and the Croat commander in Vitez to ask them what
3 on earth was going on.
4 Q. Did you achieve any contact with Blaskic?
5 A. We couldn't speak to Colonel Blaskic, who
6 wasn't available. We spoke to the Vitez Brigade
8 Q. Who was that?
9 A. That was -- Cerkez.
10 Q. Did you see him yourself, or did somebody
11 else see him?
12 A. I saw him later that morning, at 9.00, half
13 past 9.00, in his headquarters in the cinema in Vitez.
14 Q. Do you know his first name?
15 A. I mean, I did; let me think.
16 Q. I don't think there's any challenge to that.
17 What about the Muslims: Did you make any contact with
18 Muslim commanders?
19 A. Yes, I went also to see the Muslim commander
20 in Vitez, having spoken with the Croat commander -- I
21 think it was that way around -- and invited them to
22 attend a ceasefire meeting in Vitez school at 12.00 on
23 the 16th.
24 Q. At your first contact with the Vitez Brigade
25 commander, can you help us with what, if anything, he
1 said or what his response was to your concerns?
2 A. His response was to agree to come to a
3 ceasefire meeting. Both sides said the others were
4 attacking them. From my own observations within the
5 town and the environs, it was no doubt that the HVO
6 forces had the upper hand, and most of the destruction
7 and casualties and dead people I saw were in the Muslim
8 areas of the town.
9 Q. Yes. Can you look first, I think, at some
10 photographs -- I hope various exhibits have been
11 distributed to everyone. They're slightly out of
12 order; in fact, they're significantly out of order,
13 because they have been given an order that matches
14 their numbering, but that's not in fact the appropriate
16 If we go, please, to the second-to-last
17 photograph from the album, 2007. It may be that --
18 yes. Is this an appropriate photograph of this part of
19 your testimony, Colonel, or not?
20 A. Yes, I took that photograph myself, from the
21 turret of my Warrior, as I was driving into Vitez.
22 Q. And it shows, simply ... ?
23 A. It shows the town and columns of smoke coming
24 up from the town.
25 Q. If we come back, in this little collection of
1 paragraphs, one photograph, again, is Z1749 appropriate
2 to this stage of your testimony, to make sure I've got
3 it right?
4 Colonel, is this an appropriate photograph
5 for this part of your testimony?
6 A. Yeah, it's representative of what I saw. I
7 couldn't take any photographs within most of Vitez
8 itself because we were being fired at, and so I had
9 closed down my Warrior. On the far side of Vitez,
10 going off down towards Dubravica, just past the
11 Catholic cemetery, as I turned out of the bottom of the
12 hill, there were a line of bodies, at the entrance to
13 some houses, that had been lined up along the side of
14 the road, and I took a quick photograph of them as I
15 went past. That looks like it's the photograph, or
16 very similar.
17 Q. These bodies appear to be in a line.
18 Anything significant in that?
19 A. Up till then, the bodies we had seen were
20 lying in the street, hanging out of windows in
21 buildings. These bodies struck me as quite shocking.
22 It's a strange emotion, but because they had been sort
23 of neatly lined up at the bottom of a drive, in a line,
24 they appeared to be almost a statement. And it wasn't
25 unusual for us to see sort of bodies displayed as
1 warnings or as political statements.
2 Q. I'll just deal with that, as a small topic,
3 here. It's not covered in the summary, but it's a
4 topic I was going to get you to deal with.
5 The display of dead bodies, over the period
6 of time that you were there, to what degree did you see
7 this or some kinds of display?
8 A. On several occasions. Bodies that had been
9 mutilated or having been sort of -- the people killed,
10 the bodies themselves mutilated, and either left as a
11 demonstration of the work of the perpetrators, and
12 these bodies themselves acted as a huge and
13 understandable provocation for the continuing of a sort
14 of cycle of revenge and killing. Sometimes they were
15 just left on the field of battle or in the village that
16 had been attacked, and on other occasions they were
17 more starkly on display. There was a specific body,
18 that we could actually see from our camp, which
19 appeared, which had been quite hideously disfigured and
20 tied to a lamppost just on the hill overlooking our
22 We were often beseeched by both sides to
23 retrieve these bodies from fields of battle, because to
24 do it themselves was obviously very dangerous; and so
25 on several occasions the commanding officer agreed to
1 retrieve bodies to reduce the tension in a particular
3 Q. Just help us with this from your experience,
4 as it may help, and it may be interesting, but in what
5 other countries and theatres have you been, if any,
6 where you've seen this sort of behaviour?
7 A. In varying degrees, but the only country that
8 I've served in as a soldier where I've seen the use of
9 sort of ritualistic murder to make statements was
10 probably in Africa during the Rhodesian war.
11 Q. Can we look at Z2240, please, which is the
12 aerial photograph of Vitez. You may not have had
13 enough time to review this photograph since you
14 arrived, this aerial photograph, since you arrived
15 yesterday, but I think you can probably help us with
16 it. This has been marked on a previous occasion, and
17 it may be marked by you. If so, can you say as much
18 and tell us what the markings show?
19 A. I certainly did mark an air photograph of
20 Vitez to show my route in on the morning of the 16th,
21 which is here (indicating). And also later, I think it
22 was on the evening of the 16th, at the request of the
23 Muslim forces and supported by Colonel Blaskic, I took
24 a group up into Kruscica to retrieve some wounded
25 people from the fighting there.
1 Q. The view from the turret taken roughly where?
2 A. It was roughly about -- about here
4 Q. That's towards the bottom -- well, the main
5 road --
6 A. The main road into town.
7 Q. Travelling up on this plan?
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. The bodies, either similar to or exactly as
10 photographed in Z1749, can you tell us where they were
11 lain out?
12 A. About here, just below the cemetery. I think
13 the cemetery was about there.
14 Q. And that is the top left-hand part?
15 A. Yeah. It's quite -- quite difficult to see.
16 There were considerable numbers of bodies in Stari
17 Vitez, in the southern part of the town.
18 Q. Were these the ones hanging from windows and
19 so on?
20 A. And in buildings and by the side of the road,
22 Q. Thank you. So you made contact with the
23 commanders, you did your tour of Vitez, and what did
24 you notice of the areas inhabited by Croats, typically?
25 A. It was stark, in that the majority of the
1 fighting went up to the Hotel Vitez, which was actually
2 the HVO headquarters of Colonel Blaskic. And there was
3 a sort of buffer zone, about 100 or 200 metres, between
4 the Hotel Vitez, up here (indicating), and Stari Vitez,
5 and there was a definite front line of defence which
6 the Muslims were holding, and the majority of the
7 physical destruction of buildings was in the Muslim
8 quarter. And as you passed the Hotel Vitez and went
9 into the northern suburbs, which were the Croat side of
10 the town, although the place was utterly deserted and
11 there wasn't anything on the streets -- other than some
12 mines; parts of the road had been mined -- it was as if
13 nothing was going on. It was -- the buildings hadn't
14 been touched, and it was as if you could draw a line
15 through the town, and on one side there was fighting
16 and on the other side there wasn't fighting.
17 Q. Did you, that same day, receive reports of
18 fighting elsewhere?
19 A. Yes, we did receive reports of fighting up
20 and down the Lasva Valley, focused on most of the small
21 Muslim villages and hamlets.
22 Q. Can you name the ones of which you heard
24 A. Yes, at Ahmici -- I'm sorry, I mean the names
25 don't stay in my mind.
1 Q. Very well. But up and down the Lasva Valley?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mostly on the small Muslim villages and
4 hamlets. What about the --
5 A. We did send patrols to these various places,
6 and our Warriors evacuated civilians from these areas
7 of fighting for most of the 16th and 17th and moved
8 them to wherever the ethnic grouping was that they
9 belonged to, whether it be into Vitez or into Travnik.
10 Q. What state of preparedness was the ABiH seen
11 by you to have been in?
12 A. My professional judgement was that they had
13 been taken by surprise at the scale, coordination, and
14 sort of momentum of the HVO attack.
15 Q. Picking up on the word "coordination", what,
16 if anything, did that indicate to you as to the
17 fighting that had taken place?
18 A. Well, it was the first time that I had
19 witnessed a coordinated offensive in the area. We had
20 seen lots of sort of punch-ups between small
21 communities, different villages, but we hadn't seen a
22 coordinated offensive where there were attacks
23 happening simultaneously up and down the valley and
24 being reported to us at the same time.
25 If you can imagine, the morning of the 16th
1 was a very, very confusing situation, as we were
2 getting dozens of reports from the United Nations, the
3 UNHCR, the HVO, and the BiH and our own reconnaissance
4 forces, of fighting up and down the valley north of
5 Kiseljak, Jelinak, Kruscica, Novi Travnik, and so on.
6 Q. What targets, military or otherwise, were the
7 object of these attacks?
8 A. As the 16th and the 17th passed, the
9 objective of all the fighting appeared to be at the
10 Muslim villages. These were villages in which the
11 Muslim people live and the men of those villages were
12 soldiers, and the tradition was that soldiers having
13 come from the front line took their weapons home with
14 them, and so within the villages, that the men would be
15 armed. But I wouldn't describe them as military
16 objectives. They were villages in which men, women,
17 and children lived, and the men were fighters and at
18 that point, we thought, allies of the HVO.
19 Q. At the time of these attacks, where was the
20 concentration of forces that were engaged in fighting
22 A. The majority of the 3rd Corps, which was the
23 Muslim main military formation for that part of Bosnia,
24 was, like our own attention, largely focused on the
25 Serbs and the fighting in the pockets and reinforcing,
1 I think it was, 5th Corps in Travnik, and so there were
2 no Muslim reserves in Zenica and in the environs. The
3 3rd Corps, which was based on Zenica, was involved in
4 fighting with the Serbs.
5 Q. The meeting you had arranged, who attended?
6 A. Is this the meeting on the 21st?
7 Q. Well, no, on the 15th or 16th.
8 A. On the morning of?
9 Q. Of the 16th, yes.
10 A. At lunchtime. It was attended by the Muslim
11 commander and representatives of the Croat commander.
12 I don't think, in the end, he came. I could be wrong.
13 I don't think he came. I think he sent a couple of
14 representatives, although he may have appeared for a
15 short time, because I do have a recollection of talking
16 and finding it how strange that two people who were
17 fighting each other could sit down in my office and
18 have a very sane conversation. So I think he may have
19 appeared, and at a later part of the meeting or at a
20 subsequent meeting, he didn't appear and sent
22 I'm afraid I'm a little confused in my memory
23 there, but I certainly have a recollection of speaking
24 to both of them and agreeing that what was happening
25 was in nobody's interest, and again not quite realising
1 the scale of what was happening, believing it was
2 confined largely on the morning of the 16th to Vitez
3 and was just a major fallout in Vitez and a little bit
4 of Kruscica, that we would be able, as three sort of
5 sane human beings, to actually bring this madness to an
6 end. That was my thinking at lunchtime on the 16th.
7 It transpired to be very naive thinking.
8 Q. Was the representative of the Muslims
9 prepared, willing, or anxious to sign a ceasefire?
10 A. Yes, he was very anxious and was very
11 agitated. He was -- I don't know how long he thought
12 he could hold out, but I certainly got the feeling that
13 he believed his ability to hold out was finite.
14 Q. What was the attitude of either the commander
15 from Vitez or his representatives to a ceasefire?
16 A. Less tense but still very concerned at what
17 was happening within the town of Vitez. I mean he
18 didn't appear to be taking any satisfaction from what
19 was happening.
20 Q. Was a ceasefire formally arranged?
21 A. Yes, it was.
22 Q. Was it implemented?
23 A. No, it wasn't.
24 Q. Did you subsequently go to Kruscica?
25 A. Yes, I did, that evening.
1 Q. Whose headquarters were there?
2 A. It was a Muslim headquarters, and the reason
3 I went to Kruscica was the Muslims, I think as a
4 precondition to their ceasefire, required the
5 evacuation of some women and children casualties,
6 because the Croat forces had cut the road to Kruscica
7 here (indicating) and also the side road to Kruscica
8 here (indicating), and so the Muslim forces were unable
9 to evacuate their casualties to the medical aid in Novi
10 Travnik, or in Stari Vitez, or in Travnik, and so they
11 were isolated within Kruscica and couldn't evacuate
12 their casualties. So we were asked, and it was agreed
13 by the HVO as a humanitarian act, that we would be able
14 to go into Kruscica and retrieve these casualties.
15 Q. What did you see of fighting that was going
16 on or had been going on at that village?
17 A. There was considerable fighting. There was
18 very little fighting within Vitez itself in the evening
19 when I went up, and we entered Kruscica just after last
20 light and there was a great deal of RPG 7 mortar and
21 small-arms fire coming from the high ground and woods
22 here (indicating) into the village. And there was
23 artillery and mortars, I couldn't tell which, just
24 large explosions in the village, which was destroying
1 I went to the Muslim headquarters -- our
2 vehicles were hit several times coming in, but only by
3 small-arms fire -- and they gave me a guide to take me
4 to the house where the casualties were. It transpired,
5 in fact, all the casualties were men, they weren't
6 women. They were in civilian clothes, and we evacuated
7 them anyway, put them in our vehicles. I had taken
8 half a dozen Warriors and half a dozen armoured
9 ambulances, and we evacuated these people and then made
10 our way back down -- I think I actually took that route
11 (indicating) back down into Vitez through the minefield
12 here and then along the sort of ring road around Vitez
13 back to our own base, and then took the casualties on,
14 in our ambulances, to Travnik.
15 Q. Did you see any military reason for the
16 shelling that was taking place? Could you identify any
17 military target in that part of Kruscica?
18 A. It was like the other areas, there was a
19 Muslim headquarters there, which I visited, which was a
20 military headquarters with radios and, you know, the
21 normal paraphernalia of a headquarters, and the actual
22 assault was on the village itself. But there was also
23 fire being returned from some of the houses, and so
24 there was no doubt that the Muslim forces within
25 Kruscica were defending the village. But there was a
1 far-greater fire coming into the village than was
2 leaving it.
3 Q. What effect, if any, did this attack have on
4 the population?
5 A. Well, apart from sort of killing and injuring
6 them, I mean the population themselves were quite
8 Q. Do you know if they stayed there or if they
10 A. I don't know the answer to that. They were
11 sheltering in their cellars when I went there. Whether
12 they subsequently moved out of the village or not, I
13 don't know.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it's 11.00. If you're
15 moving to another topic, that might be a convenient
17 MR. NICE: Yes.
18 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for half an
20 Colonel, will you please remember, in this
21 and any other adjournments, not to speak to anybody
22 about your evidence, and that does include the
23 Prosecution, not to speak to anybody until it's over.
24 THE WITNESS: Certainly, Sir.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Half past.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
4 MR. NICE: Paragraph 19.
5 Q. On the 18th of April, Colonel, were you
6 informed by Blaskic about a peace document that had
7 been signed?
8 A. Yes. There had been a peace document signed
9 at the very highest level, allegedly, and this peace
10 document Colonel Blaskic said required a ceasefire to
11 be imposed. We had not heard about this document
12 initially through our own chain of command, and we made
13 enquires about it and established that such a document
14 did exist.
15 Q. The attitude of the HVO to this document and
16 its contents, apparently?
17 A. The HVO's attitude was the document was
18 binding to themselves and the BiH and required an
19 immediate cessation of fighting.
20 Q. What did it involve, so far as canton 10 was
22 A. Well, in essence, if the ceasefire had been
23 implemented on the 18th, it would have consolidated the
24 gains made by the HVO forces after their offensive on
25 the 16th.
1 Q. The attitude of the Muslims?
2 A. The Muslims initially denied knowledge of the
3 document and certainly ignored the document and didn't
4 refer to it or give it any credibility until a
5 meeting. On the day of the 20th, we heard they were
6 sending a delegation on the 21st to a peace conference
7 in Vitez.
8 Q. Meanwhile, on the 18th and 19th, the ABiH,
9 who had, in your judgement, been unprepared for what
10 happened, were doing what?
11 A. They were launching -- having the centres of
12 Muslim population largely held out or, having said
13 that, contracted slightly, and the HVO had gained
14 control of key routes and key junctions, and the actual
15 core areas of the Muslim population had been able to
16 defend themselves, with some exceptions of ethnic
17 cleansing and, as we later discovered, wholesale
18 destruction of villages along the Lasva Valley. But
19 there was still the key areas of Kruscica, Stari Vitez,
20 and villages down the Kiseljak valley were still
21 actually holding out.
22 The 3rd Corps launched a counteroffensive out
23 of Vitez -- out of Zenica, linked up with these
24 isolated Muslim enclaves, and by the 20th had actually
25 rolled back most of the HVO gains and were in a very
1 strong position on the evening of the 20th.
2 Q. On the 18th, was there a report of a truck
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We've heard about that, so we can deal with
6 it quite shortly.
7 A. Right.
8 Q. Were there many killed and wounded?
9 A. Yes, there were, and also it caused quite a
10 wholesale evacuation of civilians from Stari Vitez, who
11 came up to our echelon base just outside Vitez.
12 Q. Your judgement of this as what sort of an
14 A. It was a straightforward act of terrorism.
15 Q. Any legitimate military objective in it at
17 A. Only probably to destroy the will of the
18 people of Stari Vitez to resist and to remain there and
19 by destroying their religion sites and, in so doing,
20 possibly hoping to destroy their will. But one
21 couldn't call the murdering of men, women, and children
22 as a legitimate military target.
23 Q. Paragraph 21. On the 19th of April, the
24 shelling of Zenica. Your judgement about that. First
25 of all, the calibre of artillery and its place of
2 A. It was large-calibre artillery. We estimated
3 probably about 155 millimetres, from the examination of
4 the strike sites in Zenica and also the range at which
5 we believed this artillery had been fired.
6 Q. Was there any Serb artillery within that
8 A. No. The nearest Serb artillery we knew
9 about -- and I can't say there wasn't some Serb
10 artillery, but if there was Serb artillery within
11 range, it would have had to move through the
12 Croat-Muslim lines to have got in range, so behind the
13 Serb lines, on our analysis, we couldn't identify any
14 gun positions that could be in range of Zenica, given
15 our knowledge of the Serbian artillery characteristics.
16 Q. To what, if anything, was this an apparent
17 reaction, this shelling?
18 A. The shelling coincided with the 3rd Corps
19 counteroffensive which had taken control or
20 re-established control of some of their former
21 positions and had, in essence, isolated or was in
22 danger of isolating the towns of Busovaca and Vitez.
23 It was my judgement and our judgement that
24 the firing on Zenica, which I think killed 13 people,
25 of artillery was a demonstration by the HVO that
1 although with the combat power available to them in the
2 Lasva Valley, they were unable to hold back the Muslim
3 counterattack, they had the strategic means to cause
4 considerable damage to the Muslim people. The shelling
5 of Zenica was a demonstration of their ability to
6 continue to inflict considerable damage on the Muslim
7 people, even though at the time they were unable to
8 defend the attack -- unable to prevent the Muslim
9 forces from capturing the key junctioning and routes
10 around Busovaca and Vitez.
11 Q. Any legitimate military target that you could
12 identify? If not, to what did you liken this attack?
13 A. Zenica was certainly not a military target.
14 I mean it was a densely-populated civilian large town,
15 small city, even more densely populated following the
16 fighting on the 16th to 19th of April, as most of the
17 refugees from the Muslim areas in the Lasva Valley had
18 actually moved into Zenica. I mean I think it's simply
19 likened to a demonstration of the seriousness and
20 intent the HVO had to go down fighting if they were
21 forced to defend Vitez and Busovaca.
22 If one was to draw an analogy, it was a --
23 no, I think I'll leave it there. It is simply the fact
24 that they showed that although they were unable to
25 defend in the field at that time, they possessed the
1 capability to cause horrendous casualties and damage
2 and make the capturing of Busovaca and Vitez not worth
3 the loss to the Muslim and BiH.
4 Q. At about this time, was Blaskic saying things
5 about the British Battalion?
6 A. At this time, and more intensely later on, we
7 were being bombarded from Colonel Blaskic's
8 headquarters with a series of faxes and telephone calls
9 accusing us of a wide range of crimes, from desecrating
10 the Catholic church in Vitez, which is patently
11 ridiculous, and equally ridiculous to the transporting
12 of Muslim soldiers and transporting weapons to the
13 Muslims fighting in their isolated areas. Those were
14 an orchestrated propaganda campaign by the HVO against
15 BritBat to discredit us and discredit the efforts we
16 were taking to bring the situation under control.
17 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at a short clip
18 of a video of Mr. Kordic.
19 MR. NICE: It's part of Z162,2, if that could
20 be played.
21 MR. SAYERS: One brief point, Your Honour:
22 May we know the date of this document?
23 MR. NICE: April '93.
24 MR. SAYERS: April the what, though?
25 MR. NICE: I don't think I can be precise.
1 If I can, I will be.
2 (Videotape played)
3 I only want to talk about things which we can
4 prove. One thing we are certain of is that twice, some
5 people from UNPROFOR, I don't want to accuse all of
6 UNPROFOR or the British, but unfortunately some did
7 transport arms to the Muslims in their APCs to the
8 villages where we were attacked. We gave proof of it
9 to our commander, which he took to Mostar. He can show
10 you, if you want to take pictures to prove that the
11 arms were made in Britain.
12 MR. NICE: Thank you.
13 Q. How did the things being said by Blaskic --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice,
15 please. Microphone for Mr. Nice. Microphone for Mr.
16 Nice, please.
17 JUDGE MAY: Can we have the question again,
19 MR. NICE: Yes.
20 Q. How did the things you were told by Blaskic,
21 or had received in faxes, compare to what you have just
23 A. Along very similar lines.
24 Q. What was --
25 A. Although, on occasion, far more specific than
1 Mr. Kordic was in that video about it actually being
2 specifically BritBat that were doing it as opposed to
4 Q. Thank you. What was, to your knowledge, the
5 HVO's communications systems potential?
6 A. The HVO appeared to have quite reasonable
7 communications, certainly within their command
8 structure. The commanders that I met would either
9 carry radio -- walkie-talkie-type radios or mobile
10 phones, and they would appear to be in constant contact
11 with their headquarters. During the period of the HVO
12 offensive, all our phones went down, and the only time
13 our phones came live was when we were phoned up or
14 faxed by the HVO headquarters.
15 Q. When they needed to contact you by those
16 electronic means, did they appear to have any
18 A. No. They were obviously controlling the
19 telephone systems.
20 Q. On the 19th of April, did you make a visit
21 with the UNHCR official?
22 A. Yes, I went to Zenica and escorted back a
23 UNHCR official, in a small convoy of vehicles, from
24 Zenica back to Vitez.
25 MR. NICE: And I think -- may the witness
1 have Z1946, please, which is a full aerial photograph.
2 Q. The aerial photographs don't ordinarily face
3 north/south, Colonel. You're probably adept at reading
4 maps from all points of the compass, but if I put this
5 one down north/south, it may generally help our
6 attention, if you can orientate it north/south. Can
7 you? Don't worry if you can't.
8 Well, we lose the advantage with the labels,
9 but that doesn't matter; we can read them sideways.
10 A. I'm happy to have it that way up. It makes
11 no difference to me.
12 Q. Very well. In which case, tell us a little
13 more about this.
14 A. This is the road down the Lasva Valley, from
15 Zenica down to Vitez. The Bungalow, which is a term
16 that was a colloquial term for a military police or
17 HOS-type unit that was stationed here, just outside
18 Vitez, and who were characteristically dressed
19 differently from the remainder of the HVO, in that they
20 tended to wear black uniforms and generally looked sort
21 of more efficient and capable, and we had observed them
22 training and zeroing their rifles, et cetera, in the
23 environs of the Bungalow for many weeks.
24 We came across them ethnically cleansing a
25 group of houses up here. What exactly happened was we
1 were coming down the road, and as our Warriors, and my
2 Warrior leading, came around the corner, a group of
3 women and children ran into the road and sat down on
4 the road so we couldn't pass. We dismounted from our
5 Warriors and through an interpreter inquired what was
6 going on. The women were quite frantic, and explained
7 that the HVO were taking their houses and were going to
8 kill the men.
9 I went to speak to the commander of the unit
10 that was conducting this operation --
11 Q. Pausing there, do you know the name of the
13 A. I'm sorry, I can't remember. It was the unit
14 that was based in the Bungalow.
15 Q. Thank you. Yes?
16 A. And asked him what the hell he thought he was
17 doing. He said that they needed these buildings for
18 Croat refugees, these houses, and that his orders were
19 to clear the Muslim population.
20 I asked him then why he had taken the -- sort
21 of teenage boys and old men as prisoners, and he said
22 they were his orders, and that they were to be taken
23 away, but the women and children could leave with us in
24 our vehicles.
25 Obviously the women and children didn't want
1 to leave without their men, and told us that the men
2 were to be killed, and told us that if they -- they
3 were told if they didn't leave the buildings
4 themselves, the HVO soldiers had told them they were
5 going to kill them.
6 So it was obviously a very fractious
8 Q. Resolved how?
9 A. I spoke to the HVO commander and told him
10 that he wasn't going to take the men prisoners, and we
11 were going to evacuate the women and children and the
12 men and take them to a place of safety, and that I
13 would report this to the United Nations and also to
14 Colonel Blaskic.
15 In the end, we came to a compromise. I made
16 it very clear to him that I was not leaving until we
17 had resolved the situation, and we came to a compromise
18 whereby the women and children could leave with us in
19 our vehicles, whereas the men would have to leave on
20 foot. And we remained in the area with these soldiers
21 while the men made their way on foot to Zenica, and
22 then we took the women and children to Travnik.
23 Q. The BritBat Echelon garage, whereabouts was
25 A. That was on the road leading out of Vitez
1 towards Novi Travnik.
2 Q. On the 20th of April, was there a gathering
3 of refugees there?
4 A. Yes, it was just after the truck bomb had
5 exploded, and there were a group of refugees that had
6 gathered seeking sanctuary. We didn't have the
7 authority or the mandate to bring refugees into our
8 bases, as it would compromise our role as part of the
9 United Nations, but we did arrange with the UNHCR for
10 these people to be evacuated to Zenica.
11 While they were sheltering against the side
12 of our base, they were opened fire at by snipers from
13 adjacent houses. Several of them were hit and a couple
14 killed. We positioned some armoured vehicles between
15 the houses and the refugees and mounted an assault on
16 the houses that had contained the snipers and captured
17 the snipers. These we arrested and then informed
18 Colonel Blaskic what was happening and asked him to
19 take action.
20 Q. Just Blaskic, or anybody else that you
22 A. We might have -- well, we certainly informed
23 our own chain of command. We probably spoke to the
24 brigade commander in -- the town commander in Vitez.
25 Q. What was the reaction of Blaskic, and/or the
1 town commander in Vitez, to your intention to fire at
2 snipers, or the fact that you had already done so?
3 A. In all honesty, I was a little concerned,
4 because after this bombardment of propaganda, that we
5 were actually taking the side of the Muslims against
6 the Croats, the fact that we had now actually attacked
7 some Croat soldiers in some ways really fed this
8 ridiculous propaganda war, which is why I was keen to
9 speak to the HVO and explain to them why we had done
11 Colonel Blaskic was actually supportive of
12 what we had done, and said that those soldiers weren't
13 following his orders, and that if it happened again we
14 should do it again; we should continue to protect these
16 Q. The reaction of the town commander, if you
17 can help us?
18 A. I can't remember the detail of it, I'm
20 Q. 21st of April, did you see some prisoners
21 with their hands tied?
22 A. Yes. I was coming from Zenica down the
23 Dubravica road, or the mountain road, as we used to
24 call it, and there were a group of Muslim men, with
25 their hands tied behind their back, being escorted to
1 what we later discovered was a prison camp in
2 Dubravica. And we were told by the ICRC that they had
3 been used to dig trenches for the HVO.
4 Q. Did you see the trenches?
5 A. Yes, we did.
6 Q. Whereabouts?
7 A. They were on the -- above the town of
8 Dubravica, facing up the hill towards Zenica.
9 Q. And whose trenches were they, by what process
10 of calculation or deduction?
11 A. They were HVO, because the soldiers carrying
12 rifles in the trenches, around the trenches, and
13 guarding these prisoners, were all HVO, wearing HVO
15 Q. 21st of April, was there a ceasefire meeting?
16 A. Yes, on the 21st of April, there was a
17 ceasefire meeting arranged by the U.N. headquarters in
18 Kiseljak, and the participants were the HVO and the
19 BiH. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Thebault
20 from the ECMM commission, and in the absence of the
21 commanding officer, I was the military representative
22 at the ceasefire meeting.
23 The HVO were represented by General Petkovic
24 and Colonel Blaskic, and the BiH were represented by
25 General Halilovic and Mr. Merdan, who was the 3rd BiH
1 Corps' deputy commander, because the corps commander
2 himself was unavailable.
3 Q. I'm going to come back to the second sentence
4 of paragraph 26 in a minute. But in the course of this
5 meeting, did you or did someone seek reassurances or
6 assurances from Petkovic?
7 A. The structure of the meeting was that
8 Ambassador Thebault essentially established a
9 willingness on both sides for a ceasefire and a genuine
10 desire for peace and a genuine desire to enforce a
11 ceasefire. Having done that, he then handed the
12 meeting over to me to establish the details of the
13 ceasefire, and I suggested that we adjourn to two
14 different rooms. And we put some maps on the table,
15 and the BiH marked on the maps their positions and the
16 HVO marked on the maps their positions, and from that
17 we would work out a methodology of imposing a workable
19 Having done that and established what was a
20 potentially workable plan, my main concern was the
21 ability of Colonel Blaskic to deliver this plan, given
22 the fact that in the past, his orders and assurances to
23 us had been overturned by Mr. Kordic. And so I asked
24 General Petkovic if the plan that he had agreed and
25 signed up to, to be implemented by Colonel Blaskic,
1 would be overturned or interfered with by Mr. Kordic,
2 and General Petkovic said that Mr. Kordic would obey
3 his orders and not interfere with the ceasefire.
4 Q. Was Kordic making any contact with those
5 taking part in these negotiations?
6 A. Not directly, to my knowledge. There were
7 reports that Mr. Kordic had become increasingly
8 alarmed, understandably so, as Busovaca was essentially
9 cut off and then surrounded by Muslim forces. And
10 later, when we learned of the massacre in Ahmici and
11 some of the other villages around, I understood
12 Mr. Kordic's concern, if he knew about those. There
13 would be very little doubt in his mind as to what the
14 Muslims would do if they decided to take Busovaca.
15 There was no monopoly on either side for sort
16 of outrageous acts.
17 Q. The second sentence. Did you have an
19 A. Different interpreters.
20 Q. But on this occasion?
21 A. Yes, I had an interpreter.
22 Q. Ethnicity?
23 A. He was a Muslim.
24 Q. Was there a time when Petkovic and Blaskic
25 were speaking together?
1 A. There was an aside. The full consequences,
2 at the time I didn't really take on board, were General
3 Petkovic was giving Colonel Blaskic a severe talking to
4 and was obviously very annoyed over something, and the
5 gist of the conversation, translated to me by the
6 interpreter, was essentially were things under control,
7 and Blaskic said, yes, they were under control. And
8 Petkovic said something along the lines, "Well, they
9 better be." I found it odd, when translated to me, A;
10 the impact it had made on the interpreter, who was
11 shaking because he had heard this exchange, and,
12 secondly; that it was a bit ridiculous for Blaskic to
13 say things were in control when his forces were being
14 mopped up and rolled up by the Muslims.
15 With hindsight later, when Ahmici unfolded, I
16 interpreted that conversation in a slightly different
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Could you slow down,
20 A. I'm sorry, Sir.
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Thank you, for the
23 A. I presumed and interpreted the conversation,
24 and understood then the absolute terror on the part of
25 my interpreter that he had been privy to this
1 conversation, that what actually they were talking
2 about were the massacres that had been conducted and
3 whether they, themselves, were under control or not.
4 MR. NICE: There's a map on the easel. It
5 will have to be given a new number, because although
6 it's similar to a map that the witness marked in an
7 earlier trial, it's a fresh marking. And therefore
8 Z2618, which you may have in your bundles of which
9 comes from the earlier trial, is to be distinguished
10 from this, which should become 2618,1.
11 I wonder if the witness could stand and very
12 kindly take a pointer, and if the map is sufficiently
13 visible, either at a distance or by use -- or on the
14 screen, at this stage simply point out where the
15 various lines of withdrawal and so on were agreed at
16 this meeting.
17 Now, I don't know whether the -- I haven't
18 tried this before. Does the equipment allow us to
19 focus on the map so that it comes up on the screen? I
20 wonder if that can happen.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Could the technical staff
22 photograph the large map, please, not Mr. Nice. Thank
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at this map in a
1 little more detail in a few minutes, but just for the
2 time being, if the camera could go up just a little
3 bit, please, to the top. Thank you so much.
4 Could you please just point out the towns?
5 They don't show up very visibly at the moment on the
6 map. Just remind us, what's what at the top part?
7 A. Yes. Zenica (indicating), a largely Muslim
8 town; Vitez (indicating), a largely Croat town;
9 Busovaca (indicating), a largely Croat town; Kacuni
10 (indicating) and down to Kiseljak (indicating). So
11 when I've referred to the Kiseljak Valley, I've meant
12 here (indicating). The Lasva Valley follows the River
13 Lasva here (indicating), with the main areas of
14 interest to us being the mountain road down into
15 Dubravica here (indicating) -- sorry, that's there
16 (indicating) -- the junction here where the Kiseljak
17 road out of Busovaca meets the Lasva Valley road
18 (indicating), Vitez (indicating), then the main
19 junction on the way to Travnik (indicating).
20 Q. I'm going to stop you there. Those are your
21 points of interest, and we will come back to looking at
22 some of those.
23 For the time being, we see there are three
24 blue marks, blue lines, on the map. Can you explain
25 those, please?
1 A. Yes. What they represent was the agreed
2 lines of separation that I negotiated with the HVO and
3 the BiH. This line here (indicating) --
4 Q. The southern line?
5 A. The southern line, south of the Lasva Valley
6 road, was the line behind which the Croat forces were
7 to withdraw within 24 hours of the ceasefire being
8 agreed, and the line marked "Alpha" here (indicating),
9 the northern line, is the line behind which the BiH
10 forces were to withdraw within 24 hours, and the second
11 line was the line with which the BiH were to withdraw
12 within 48 hours back into Zenica (indicating).
13 Q. The northernmost line?
14 A. The northernmost line.
15 Q. Can you remind the Chamber where, in relation
16 to those lines, Ahmici itself is?
17 A. Ahmici is there (indicating).
18 Q. So it lies between the southernmost and the
19 centre line?
20 A. Yes, in what we call the zone of separation.
21 Q. Thank you very much. If you would like to
22 take your seat again for a moment.
23 It was within that zone of separation that
24 Ahmici fell. Just tell us, what was the process
25 whereby the massacre at Ahmici was discovered?
1 A. The commanding officer led the initial
2 reconnaissance force to establish, 24 hours after the
3 agreed ceasefire, that the Croats had moved south of
4 the southern line and the Muslim forces had moved north
5 of line Alpha.
6 When moving on the high ground south of line
7 Alpha, Colonel Stewart found groups of Muslim soldiers
8 who patently were south of line Alpha. When he asked
9 them why they hadn't followed the orders of command of
10 3rd Corps and General Halilovic and moved north of line
11 Alpha, they said to him that they weren't moving
12 because of the massacre in Ahmici.
13 Although we had heard and knew of fighting in
14 Ahmici, and indeed one of our Warriors had evacuated
15 civilian women and children from Ahmici, we weren't
16 aware that there had been a massacre or any greater
17 degree of fighting in Ahmici than there had been in the
18 other towns along the valley, and so Colonel Stewart
19 said that, initially frankly disbelieving and thinking
20 that the BiH were prevaricating, Colonel Stewart said,
21 "Well, I will go and personally check the village of
22 Ahmici and then come back and report to you." So he
23 moved down into the village and found that indeed there
24 had been a massacre there and there were bodies, and
25 the vast majority, if not all of the Muslim houses in
1 the village, had been destroyed.
2 Q. You, I think, visited Ahmici on at least two
3 days, the 22nd and 24th of April, for the recovery of
4 dead bodies.
5 A. Initially, I went on a reconnaissance.
6 Following Colonel Stewart's return, he was in
7 a considerable state of sort of anger and shock, and I
8 led another reconnaissance party back to the village to
9 confirm what he had seen and also to further explore
10 the extent of what had happened.
11 Q. Were photographs taken, I think, by either
12 you and others?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. NICE: If the usher would be so good, we
15 can go quite swiftly through the small album, and on
16 this occasion we can start at the beginning. For
17 public record purposes, they must just be briefly laid
18 on the ELMO.
19 Q. Rather than me interrupt, you can probably,
20 as it were, deal with them yourself, Colonel, giving
21 the Chamber time enough to understand the points you're
22 making, starting with Z1504.
23 A. There was one particular house that at that
24 point had the majority of the bodies that we had, to
25 date, discovered, and this is the entrance to that
1 house (indicating), where there was a body that we
2 thought to be a man lying in the entrance to the
3 house. The house itself had been burnt.
4 Q. Z1505?
5 A. This is a picture in the cellar of the same
6 house that the first picture was at the entrance to.
7 This is in the cellar, where there were a number of
8 bodies among debris in the cellar, and this is one of
9 those bodies (indicating). You can see the shape of
10 the head (indicating) and the torso, and these bodies
11 had also been burnt.
12 Q. 1506?
13 A. That's another angle of the same photograph
14 that's just preceded it.
15 Q. 1507?
16 A. These are more bodies, and this is one of the
17 walls of the cellar here (indicating), and there were a
18 line of bullet strike marks against the wall and what
19 we took to be blood on the wall of the building -- of
20 the cellar, and there were a line of bodies in front of
21 this wall which had also been burnt.
22 Q. 1508?
23 A. That, I think, is another shot in the
24 cellar. It's quite difficult to tell. I mean that's
25 certainly a skull (indicating), and I think it
1 certainly looks like it's a shot from the cellar.
2 Q. 1509?
3 A. Yeah, that's another shot in the cellar. If
4 you look very carefully, you can see a rib cage here
6 Q. 1510?
7 A. That's a similar picture to the two before,
8 where you can see the skull against an upturned sink or
9 something here (indicating).
10 Q. 1511, it would be same again, I think.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. 1512?
13 A. That's another body in the cellar that was
14 close to the wall where there's sort of the blood on
15 the wall here (indicating).
16 Q. 1513?
17 A. That's another picture of bodies in the
18 cellar. You can see the rib cages.
19 Q. 1514?
20 A. This is another house. The pattern of
21 destruction in most of the houses was very similar, in
22 that the houses had been burned and either blown up and
23 the roofs dropped into the bottom storey of the house
24 or, in a few instances, the house were left like the
25 house we've just seen, and within the debris of some of
1 the houses, there were charred human remains, which we
2 took to be human remains, which later proved to be
3 human remains.
4 Q. Here I think you can see a particular human
5 remain, if you look?
6 A. Yes, you can see part of a rib cage there
7 (indicating), part of a torso.
8 Q. The photograph again at 1515?
9 A. Yeah, that's the same house.
10 Q. 1516?
11 A. That -- if I remember it, we walked around
12 several of the houses, and one had a rib cage in it and
13 the other one had a skull. That might be the one with
14 the skull, but I can't see it clearly from that
16 Q. 1517, the felled mosque minaret?
17 A. That's the part of Ahmici that abuts the main
18 Lasva Valley road, where the minaret had been blown up
19 and dropped on top of the mosque.
20 Q. Run through to 1520.
21 A. That's a close-up. You can see the
22 reinforced concrete and steel that had been blown up.
23 Q. 1521, basically --
24 A. Yes. More of the same, really.
25 Q. Just go on to 1521. There's the removal of a
1 body, presumably?
2 A. Yes. That was removing bodies from that
3 cellar and the house, which we conducted several days
4 later as parts of a military operation. We were asked
5 to do this by the BiH authorities, as they didn't feel
6 it was safe for them to go and retrieve the bodies
8 Q. 1522?
9 A. That's a picture looking into the house that
10 the bodies were in the cellar, and you can see the body
11 on the stairs (indicating) there was a close-up of in
12 the first picture.
13 Q. 1523 is, I think, the same again, isn't it?
14 A. No, that's another body, in fact. That's the
15 bottom of the stairs. The previous picture was the top
16 of the stairs, and there was another -- there was a
17 body here and then a body at the top, and then there
18 were bodies in the cellar.
19 Q. And simply for completeness, because we've
20 done all photographs bar one of this small album, on a
21 separate topic, the very last photograph, 2690, shows
22 what of significance?
23 A. One of the main HVO force multipliers, if you
24 like. It's a four-barrelled anti-aircraft gun mounted
25 on a flatbed lorry which was used as a fast support
1 weapon to support infantry attacks or to simply shoot
2 up villages and houses.
3 Q. What sort of efficiency did this weapon have?
4 A. It was awesome. It's a 423-millimetre, I
5 think they were, anti-aircraft cannon with a very high
6 rate of fire, and when used in the ground role, they
7 were devastating. They certainly would have destroyed
8 our vehicles.
9 Q. Including your Warriors? They would have
10 destroyed your Warriors?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As a matter of fact, can you remember when
13 this photograph was taken and where?
14 A. I can't. I have a clear recollection of that
15 vehicle and vehicles similar to it in and around the
16 area of Vitez and Busovaca during that time.
17 Q. And to complete this, the uniforms that you
18 can see here, can you tell us --
19 A. Yes, they are HVO uniforms.
20 Q. Before I come back to sweep up one or two
21 outstanding questions, but only a few, I want you to
22 help us again with the map.
23 So if you could go to the map, and if the
24 technical department could get as good a picture of the
25 map as a whole, I would be very grateful.
1 Colonel, if you would remember again that
2 although the map will be available for the Chamber in
3 either this form or, if they desire it, in some reduced
4 form, it's necessary to spell out the towns because
5 they obviously can't be read on the television screen
6 or from the distance that the Chamber is from you.
7 Did the attacks of which you became aware
8 initially make any military sense?
9 A. In the morning of the 16th and early into the
10 17th, they didn't appear to make any military sense,
11 other than the fact they were coordinated. It was as
12 time passed, especially after my discussions at the
13 conference on the 21st with General Halilovic and
14 General Petkovic, that the form and the need for the
15 coordination of the offensive began to explain itself.
16 Q. Can you help us then first with what routes
17 there were to Croatia for areas that were
18 Croat-dominated in this part of Bosnia?
19 Your Honours, I'm not sure actually how well
20 the marking shows up, but I hope it's sufficient.
21 A. Right. We're talking really about the main
22 centres of Kiseljak, Busovaca, and Vitez, and with the
23 small villages in the environs, including Fojnica
24 here. The traditional road south into Croatia proper
25 was down to Mostar. This road was completely dominated
1 by the Serbs, who had taken positions on the high
2 ground and were able to control the roads with mortars
3 and artillery and essentially deny that for use as what
4 we would describe as an MSR.
5 The main route that was used was the same as
6 we used, because we also got shelled and bombed by the
7 Serbs trying to go down the main road, and that was I
8 think we called it Route Triangle, I can't recall it's
9 exact name, and that essentially went up to this
10 junction here just short of Travnik and down this road
11 system here to Gornji Vakuf, down into Prozor and down
12 into Tomislavgrad and into Croatia proper.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, can I ask the
14 witness, apart from the element of time, the attacks
15 starting about the same time, was there any other
16 factor that indicated that the attacks were
18 A. The use of heavy artillery, which was not a
19 resource that the village-level commanders would
20 ordinarily be able to get to support their sort of
21 military attacks. If -- in isolated inter-village
22 inter-brigade disagreements that resulted in fighting,
23 there was very rarely used large-calibre indirect fire
24 weapons such as heavy mortars and artillery. And on
25 this morning, the propensity of heavy artillery and
1 heavy mortars led us to believe that it was coordinated
2 and driven from a high level of command.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. And the artillery pieces would have to have
6 been put in place in advance?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And allocated in advance?
9 A. And supplied.
10 Q. In addition to the route you've already
11 pointed out leading down to Gornji Vakuf and Prozor,
12 were there other routes leading to other places, in
13 particular down to Prozor?
14 A. In the week or so preceding, Major Rule, who
15 commanded B Company in Gornji Vakuf, had been tasked to
16 find out what the fighting was reported by the UNHCR in
17 the villages to the east of Prozor, here (indicating).
18 And we couldn't initially understand why there was
19 fighting in what had been ordinarily a very quiet area,
20 and certainly, given the size of the Croat population
21 of Prozor and the relative tiny size of the minority
22 Muslim population in these villages --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down
24 for the interpreters?
25 A. -- that it could only be a Croat agenda. It
1 couldn't be a Muslim agenda, because if they tried to
2 do anything, they would be destroyed.
3 Major Rule was unable to get into these
4 villages because a very large force, including tanks,
5 denied his access and refused to allow him. He came
6 back and said unless he received authority to fight his
7 way through, then he wouldn't be able to get through.
8 We spoke with our headquarters, and it was decided at
9 that time that there was very little to be gained by
10 actually launching a formal attack on the Croats.
11 In subsequent analysis, and ongoing analysis
12 during that week and into the week following the 16th,
13 we deduced that it was actually the route that led up
14 to Fojnica from Prozor that the Croats were actually
15 trying to dominate, by removing the Muslim villages
16 that were across this road. And although the road
17 petered out to poor tracks in this area here, there was
18 nevertheless a viable route linking Fojnica, Kakanj,
19 and up to Busovaca, and therefore Vitez and Kiseljak,
20 with Prozor.
21 There was a bottleneck here (indicating) of
22 Muslim villages that prevented unimpeded access for the
23 Croat forces from Prozor to the Lasva Valley without
24 using what was also a bottleneck in Gornji Vakuf,
25 because Gornji Vakuf was a very mixed community, which
1 had had considerable fighting in the previous month,
2 and the fighting essentially was for control of the
3 village itself.
4 Q. So up to -- what, two routes into Croatia?
5 A. Having the Serbs denied the main route, there
6 were the possibility of two routes: one down through
7 Gornji Vakuf, which presented a problem with the
8 bottleneck here, and one down through Fojnica, which
9 presented a problem with the bottleneck here, and it
10 was at both those bottlenecks where the Croats were
11 fighting. The routes up here were secured and largely
12 in Croat hands.
13 Q. Before we come, then, to any comprehensible
14 military objective in what happened at Ahmici and
15 thereabouts, can you explain the other markings on the
16 map? First of all, the green markings, which are just
17 about visible as photographed.
18 A. The green lines are those that we had deduced
19 and were shown to me by Mr. Merdan and General Petkovic
20 as the axes of the BiH counterattack from the 17th,
21 18th, 19th, 20th, of -- sorry; about 18, 19, 20 of
23 Q. The red markings, some of them being lines,
24 some of them being lines with arrows?
25 A. They are the -- the areas of fighting in the
1 Kiseljak Valley, the area around Kakanj, and out of
2 Vitez into Stari Vitez, Kruscica, along the Lasva
3 Valley, clearing the main road between Vitez and
4 Busovaca, and also up at -- I can't remember its
5 name -- Pucarevo. And also in Pucarevo. So these were
6 the -- as the morning of the 16th dawned, as we marked
7 up our maps showing the fighting, these red areas
8 showed where the fighting was on the morning of the
10 Q. Now, the routes that you've identified had
11 what political or military significance?
12 A. With the onset of canton 10 and the
13 establishing of a largely Croat canton and area, it was
14 in danger of being isolated, in the west by the largely
15 Muslim population of Travnik, in the north by the very
16 large concentration of Muslims in Zenica, and the small
17 but vociferous Muslim communities along the Kiseljak
18 Valley. And equally, the community in Stari Vitez and
19 on the villages along the main Lasva Valley, which
20 dominated the road, they all had the ability to cut the
21 road and isolate the Croat community within -- within
22 the Lasva Valley. And so, essentially, they would be
23 surrounded and not have vehicular access out of their
25 Q. The need to give access for that canton to
1 Croatia proper being ... ?
2 A. Well, for it to have any form of sustainable
3 political and military cohesiveness, it would have to
4 have the means to resupply itself without being at the
5 beck and call of the Muslim community. If they didn't
6 have a secure route from Central Bosnia down to
7 Croatia, then, really, it wasn't sustainable.
8 Q. Just deal in detail with the checkpoint in
9 Kacuni, if you can.
10 A. Kacuni, here (indicating). There had always
11 been a checkpoint at Kacuni, which was a strategic
12 junction with the Kiseljak road and the road leading to
13 the main dual carriageway through Zenica, as there was
14 a checkpoint in Vitez and as there was a checkpoint in
15 Novi Travnik, I think this generic area was called, and
16 each of those checkpoints were fundamental to the
17 securing of the route. And the routes -- and the
18 significance of the routes in a mountainous country is
19 stark and obvious, because you can't take any viable
20 group of people or vehicles over the mountains. You've
21 got to use the routes, and the routes tend to be in the
22 valleys, and so these routes were of strategic
24 And the way that the Bosnian people
25 controlled their routes was by placing checkpoints on
1 them, especially at the beginning and end of major
2 towns and villages. These checkpoints were of tactical
3 and strategic significance, and it was the fall of the
4 checkpoint, following the BiH offensive, that
5 essentially signalled to Colonel Blaskic that he had
7 Q. Let's pick up that point. You spoke of the
8 ceasefire negotiation, the last one, being conducted in
9 circumstances where Kordic was at risk of being
10 surrounded, or was surrounded. Can you just point that
11 out to the Chamber on the map a little more
13 A. Yeah. Essentially, the main three axes of
14 the 3rd Corps counterattack came down here and
15 essentially captured just the high ground above
16 Dubravica, therefore cutting the road here
17 (indicating), to Vitez, and dominating Vitez. They
18 came down here (indicating) and cut the road at the
19 strategic junction here (indicating), and they forced a
20 group around to relieve Kruscica through Kakanj and cut
21 the road down to Fojnica from Busovaca.
22 And so, essentially, all the routes out of
23 Busovaca, either down to Kiseljak, Fojnica, Vitez, were
24 essentially cut, and so the people and garrison in
25 Busovaca couldn't be resupplied, couldn't be
1 reinforced, and couldn't evacuate their casualties.
2 And so, essentially, they were surrounded.
3 Q. If one looks at the map, Ahmici is not
4 necessarily distinguishable from other villages along
5 the --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could you speak into the
7 microphone, closer to the microphone, Mr. Nice,
8 please. Could you come closer to the microphone,
9 Mr. Nice, please.
10 JUDGE MAY: There's a request from the
12 MR. NICE: I'm sorry. I'm very sorry. I'll
13 come closer to the microphone. Thank you.
14 Q. Ahmici, on the map, might look much like many
15 other villages. Did it in fact have any particular
16 significance? How does it fit as a military target, or
17 otherwise, on this particular morning?
18 A. It had two significances that we
19 established. The first was its position on the main
20 road that leads along the Lasva Valley and the ability
21 of it to influence that road; and secondly, and a
22 slightly more esoteric significance, was it was
23 essentially a centre of Muslim culture within that part
24 of Central Bosnia and produced, for example, a
25 disproportionate number of imams than other villages of
1 comparable size. So within the psyche and culture of
2 the Muslim people of Central Bosnia, Ahmici had a very
3 special significance. And so by destroying Ahmici, not
4 only do you achieve the objective of securing the road,
5 but you also hope to destroy the morale, break the
6 will, maybe, of the people of Central Bosnia, the
7 Muslim people.
8 Q. Yes, thank you very much. Would you like to
9 take your seat again.
10 MR. NICE: It may be, in the previous trial,
11 the marked map was reduced to a map of this size, which
12 can act as an aide-memoire because you can see the
13 colours on it, but you can barely see the villages. If
14 the Chamber lets me know what, if any, version of this
15 map it would like other than the original, I'll
16 endeavour to have the appropriate size printed for
18 Q. Colonel, just a couple of outstanding
19 issues. As a final -- it's paragraph 6 of the
20 summary -- you've dealt with the strategic value of the
21 lines of communication. As to the populations or the
22 inhabitants of the various places attacked, what was
23 the purpose being served by the attack?
24 A. The purpose being served was to remove, in
25 our judgement and my judgement, was to remove the
1 minority Muslim population from canton 10, and so --
2 especially on the fringes of it, and in so doing,
3 secure it, and most importantly also secure the routes
4 within canton 10 linking the major centres of Croat
5 population, and also provide a main supply route or a
6 road link out of canton 10 down to Croatia proper.
7 Q. You've now dealt, I think, with the whole
8 history, bringing us to this point in April. Were
9 there any later contacts you had with Blaskic or
10 Kordic? Or was that it?
11 A. I didn't speak to Mr. Kordic again, and I had
12 various meetings with Colonel Blaskic right up until
13 the day I left Vitez in May, dealing with ceasefire
14 violations and generally re-establishing a regime and
15 the facilitating of the movement of aid within that
16 part of Bosnia, very much moving back to the original
17 mission statement we had, as opposed to embroiling
18 ourselves in the conflict, which we had done for the
19 previous six weeks.
20 Q. Did any of those encounters with Blaskic, or
21 any other experiences, displace the judgement you'd
22 formed about the command structures within the HVO?
23 A. Not at all. The only thing that I formed an
24 opinion of, and it was not -- it couldn't be attributed
25 to a specific sentence or phrase, was that the
1 relationship between Mr. Kordic and Colonel Blaskic had
2 cooled somewhat and that Colonel Kordic had allegedly
3 accused Colonel Blaskic of failing in his military
4 mission and endangering the lives of the people of
5 Busovaca. We encountered a slight frostiness or
6 division within the relationship between those two
7 particular individuals.
8 Q. You had, of course, now had the experience of
9 the ceasefire negotiation where Kordic was not present
10 but you sought assurances from Petkovic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Your view of the dual chain of command
14 A. Yes. Yes, it did.
15 Q. To what did you liken it, if anything, from
16 other experience or knowledge?
17 A. Well, one couldn't help -- and without
18 wanting to make sort of an hysterical statement, but
19 given the very close similarities between the Croatian
20 and German culture, and the similarities between the
21 Croatian army and the German army, and their
22 relationships in the Second World War, you couldn't
23 help but look at the structure of the HVO in many ways
24 as the German army had been structured during the
25 Second World War, and that the sort of paramilitary
1 element of the army appeared to follow the political
2 chain of command, where the political chain of command
3 appeared to have specific military units dressed
4 differently and more efficient-looking units to
5 implement, if you like, strategic decisions, whereas
6 the majority of the army were implementing the overall
8 And certainly in Central Bosnia it appeared
9 that Mr. Kordic exercised control of these
10 military/paramilitary forces, and Colonel Blaskic
11 exercised control over the more conventional military
12 forces. And on occasion, they came into conflict -- I
13 don't mean physical conflict; I mean disagreement -- as
14 to the primacy of particular tasks and missions on any
15 given occasion. And I had very little -- from my
16 personal experience and understanding, I had very
17 little faith, as time went on, that we could guarantee
18 to have something delivered on the ground without it
19 being directed from Mostar, to ensure that the
20 political chain of command was also following the party
22 Q. One other matter that I haven't covered on
23 the summary, and indeed I haven't asked you about
24 before, so deal with these questions, please, just
25 cautiously and with a "yes/no" approach wherever
1 possible. Was there any information coming to you to
2 the effect that perpetrators of the Ahmici massacre had
3 been named by anyone? Just "Yes" or "No" to that.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Without giving names, that's what I at
6 present want to avoid, tell us what it was you learnt
7 of the naming of them.
8 A. A list of names had been given to BritBat,
9 and that list of names, which I saw, was held by
10 Colonel Stewart, and he confronted Colonel Blaskic with
11 that list of names and asked him what he was going to
12 do about it. It was a great source of dismay to
13 Colonel Stewart, who quite admired Colonel Blaskic on a
14 professional basis, that he at that point appeared to
15 do nothing about it and contravened the rules of war.
16 Q. So those names were made available, they were
17 put in to the Croat chain of command?
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. How many names were there?
20 A. Off the top of my head, I can't remember; I
21 think there were about 11, but I could be wrong. It
22 was something that was dealt with -- it was very
23 sensitive, and the source of the names was very
24 sensitive, and it was dealt largely with by Colonel
1 MR. NICE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I wanted to have a
3 clarification on two matters from the witness. First,
4 he has identified two chains of command, a military and
5 a political; his assessment as to the chain that
6 Mr. Kordic would fall under. And secondly, he said
7 that in his view, Mr. Kordic exercised control over
8 paramilitary units. If he could give an example of
9 those units.
10 A. The first question, sir, was Mr. Kordic
11 exercised control over the political chain of command;
12 and the example of the hijacking of the convoy outside
13 Busovaca and our need to negotiate directly with
14 Mr. Kordic through our headquarters in Kiseljak and the
15 HVO headquarters in Mostar and get Colonel Petkovic to
16 give him a personal order, to Mr. Kordic, because
17 Colonel Blaskic was unable to exercise authority over
18 that situation.
19 The defence, itself, of Busovaca, and the
20 increasing military role in the defence of Busovaca,
21 that Mr. Kordic took during the fighting between the
22 16th and the 21st led to my and our judgement that he
23 had a military/paramilitary role. He wore a uniform,
24 carried a weapon.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
1 MR. NICE: Thank you, Colonel. You will be
2 asked some further questions.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
5 Q. Colonel Watters, my name is Steve Sayers. I
6 represent Dario Kordic. I'm going to ask you a series
7 of questions, and this is a rather artificial
8 environment in some ways. You tend to speak very
9 quickly, and the interpreters don't like that, and I'm
10 the most notorious offender of that rule. I speak very
11 quickly, too. So I would really appreciate it if you
12 would pause a little bit between my question, think
13 about your answer, then give your answer, and that
14 would give the interpreters an opportunity to
16 A. Right.
17 Q. The problem is that we speak the same
19 A. All right.
20 Q. Now, your testimony concerns your experiences
21 during a 93-day sojourn in Central Bosnia; right?
22 A. I've never added up the days, but that sounds
23 about right, sir, yes.
24 Q. You arrived in Central Bosnia on February the
25 6th, 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you left on May the 10th, 1993?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. And you actually acceded to the position of
5 Lieutenant Colonel Stewart's second in command, I
6 believe, on February the 20th?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. And as of February the 20th, Colonel Stewart
9 was your commanding officer, I take it?
10 A. Correct, sir.
11 Q. Do you speak Croatian, sir?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Now, as I understand it, you functioned as
14 Colonel Stewart's chief of staff?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And your duties were to control the
17 operational branches within your battalion
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. Informational branches, too?
21 A. Yes, sir. I would say to coordinate them.
22 Q. As I understand it, there were three
23 companies in your regiment: Alpha Company, based in
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. All right. Bravo Company, based in Gornji
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. And Charlie Company, based in Tuzla?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. We moved them around, but at the time of the
8 16th of April, that was the disposition. In addition,
9 we had a Royal Engineers squadron and a reconnaissance
10 squadron of the 9th 12th Lancers. So they were two
11 further manoeuvre units.
12 Q. Those manoeuvre units fell under your command
13 as well?
14 A. Yes, Colonel Stewart's command.
15 Q. But you were in command when Colonel Stewart
16 was not located at battalion headquarters; right?
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. All right. And the centre of your operations
19 was in the town of Vitez?
20 A. The centre of operations was in Vitez, yes.
21 Q. And that's a relatively small town, isn't it,
23 A. It is very small.
24 Q. In fact, its population is something in the
25 range of seven to eight thousand, is it not?
1 A. I'll take your word for that. It certainly
2 isn't much bigger.
3 Q. And the base that your battalion occupied was
4 actually in the even smaller hamlet, if you like, of
5 Nova Bila, somewhat to the north and west of Vitez;
7 A. Correct, sir.
8 Q. Now, sir, you are familiar with giving
9 testimony in the cases that arise out of the events in
10 the Lasva Valley in April of 1993, aren't you?
11 A. This is the third time I've given evidence,
13 Q. Yes. You testified for two days in the
14 Blaskic case, did you not?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. That was on November the 10th, 1997, and the
17 next day?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. And then you testified for two days in the
20 Kupreskic case, on August the 17th, 1998, and on the
21 next day?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. In fact, you were the first witness to
24 testify in the Kupreskic case, weren't you?
25 JUDGE MAY: I don't suppose the witness knows
2 MR. SAYERS: He may not, Your Honour.
3 Q. You also gave a short statement to the
4 Prosecution investigators on September the 1st, 1994;
5 do you remember that?
6 A. I do remember talking, sir. I couldn't
7 remember the date.
8 Q. Do you remember giving the statement then?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And do you remember reviewing it?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. It's true, isn't it, that the name "Kordic"
13 doesn't appear anywhere in that three-page statement?
14 A. I don't actually recall. I wouldn't be
15 surprised if it didn't.
16 Q. Then you gave another much more detailed
17 statement to the Prosecution on April the 16th, 1997,
18 which is four years after you left your area of
19 operations; correct?
20 A. Correct, sir.
21 Q. That was 23 pages, wasn't it?
22 A. I'll take your word for that.
23 Q. You reviewed those statements in preparation
24 for your testimony today?
25 A. I've reviewed an abridged version of that.
1 MR. SAYERS: Oh.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow
3 down, please?
4 MR. SAYERS:
5 Q. [Inaudible] -- the version for you?
6 A. The Prosecution counsel showed me a six-page
7 statement last night.
8 Q. Was that a statement that you had prepared or
9 they had prepared for you?
10 A. They had prepared it. I went through it and
11 amended it.
12 Q. I see. Did you review your testimony in the
13 Blaskic and the Kupreskic cases in preparation for your
14 testimony today?
15 A. No, sir. I arrived last night, and I hadn't
16 had time to come on an earlier visit to review any of
17 my statements.
18 Q. All right. Reviewing that six-page document
19 that was put together by the Prosecution for you, did
20 that help you refresh your recollection as to certain
21 events connected with your tour of duty through Central
22 Bosnia six years ago?
23 A. Yes, it did, sir.
24 Q. Now, you joined the British army, I believe,
25 in 1972.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Essentially, you've been with the 1st
3 Cheshire Regiment ever since?
4 A. I've done my what we would describe as
5 regimental tours with my regiment, the Cheshire
6 Regiment, and have done a series of other appointments
7 on the staff or in training establishments away from my
9 Q. How many soldiers are actually in your
11 A. It fluctuates, depending on the role that we
12 are doing and how well recruited we are. The
13 establishment for a Warrior battalion, which is what we
14 were in Vitez, is 612 soldiers and about 35 officers.
15 Q. But at the regimental level, how many
16 soldiers are there?
17 A. That is the regimental level. That doesn't
18 include the attachments of engineers, lance -- the
19 reconnaissance, or other administrative staff.
20 Q. How many soldiers were there under the
21 command of the Cheshire Battalion in Central Bosnia in
23 A. In the region of about 800, I think.
24 Q. I believe, sir, that you actually took
25 command of the regiment in 1996.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You've essentially been in the army, and
3 you're a professional military man, for the last 26
5 A. Correct, sir.
6 Q. You anticipate spending the rest of your
7 professional career in the army?
8 A. If they'll continue to employ me.
9 Q. Right. Would it be fair to say that you've
10 been all around the globe during your two and a half
11 decades in the British army, sir?
12 A. I've served in a lot of countries, yes.
13 Q. It is true that you have spent your entire
14 professional life as a soldier; right?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. All right. You don't have any political
17 training, do you?
18 A. Other than that training that we give our
19 officer core in defence and international affairs,
20 which is a thread of training that runs through our
21 professional education.
22 Q. But that's it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, you had, I believe, a range of military
25 information and intelligence documentation and
1 resources available to you.
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Those, at least some of them, were prepared
4 contemporaneously with the events that occurred
5 certainly in Central Bosnia, for example?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Was there any marked departure from the
8 regularity of preparation of those sorts of documents
9 in your tour of duty in Central Bosnia, as opposed to
10 other tours of duty that you have been on in the world?
11 A. I had not before served as a member of the
12 United Nations, and the procedures and documentation
13 that is done within the United Nations differs from
14 other things I've done.
15 Q. All right. Now, the information resources
16 available to you would have included, for example,
17 military information summaries, or milinfosums, as they
18 are popularly known; correct?
19 A. Yes. They were actually prepared by our own
20 milinfo cell.
21 Q. That was headed by Captain Chris Leyshon;
23 A. Yes, it was, and that was Sergeant Major
25 Q. Right. Those are daily correlations of the
1 most significant information available to your various
2 intelligence-gathering arms in the battalion, and they
3 are prepared day by day?
4 A. Information gathering, yes.
5 Q. In your view, are those military information
6 summaries generally accurate?
7 A. What they represent each day is an assessment
8 of the events of the day, set in context of as what has
9 happened before, and depending on the availability of
10 people to agree them, the judgement either of the
11 commanding officer, myself, Captain Leyshon, or
12 Sergeant Major Connelly as to the interpretation of
13 those events. So any one taken in isolation
14 represented on that day our views and opinions and
16 The next day, we may well contradict, as we
17 receive further data, what we say the day before. So I
18 don't think you can ever say that on a day, they are
19 accurate. But as time went on, they became more
20 informed and more representative, possibly, of the
21 reality. But they still represented an information
22 summary as opposed to fact.
23 Q. So they may or may not be accurate --
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. -- on a particular day?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Did you have available to you a battalion war
4 A. Yes, we did.
5 Q. Have you reviewed that document?
6 A. Not for a number of years.
7 Q. Does that document contain any reference to
8 the dual lines of command that you've theorised existed
9 in Central Bosnia, to the best of your knowledge?
10 A. To be honest, I can't remember. The war
11 diary was maintained largely by the adjutant, and it is
12 not a necessarily authoritative document. I would rely
13 more on the milinfosums and the daily situation
15 Q. Now, the daily situation reports, sir, could
16 you just tell the Trial Chamber what those might be?
17 A. They were prepared by the operational centre
18 of the battalion and essentially dealt in the facts as
19 reported into the operation cell from the various
20 companies and would be a summary of those, with an
21 interpretation either by the commanding officer or
22 myself at the end.
23 Q. Who was it that directed tanks and ambulances
24 into the village of Ahmici at about 11.00 a.m. on April
25 the 16th, 1993, sir?
1 A. In overall terms, probably myself, and in the
2 detail, I think it was OCA Company, Major now Colonel
4 Q. Yes. There isn't any doubt, actually, that
5 your battalion's tanks and ambulances were in the
6 village of Ahmici at about 11.00 a.m. on the 16th of
7 April, 1993, is there, Colonel Watters?
8 A. There is no doubt at all that they were in
9 parts of the village of Ahmici, but you would have to
10 understand the geography of Ahmici to understand that
11 you can be in parts of it and not see other parts of
13 Q. Well, the question was, sir, that you had
14 armed and armoured vehicles in Ahmici on the 16th of
15 April at about 11.00 a.m. Did you not?
16 A. Yes, we did.
17 Q. Yes. Now, radio --
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, if you're moving on
19 to another topic, it's now 1.00.
20 MR. SAYERS: That would be fine, Your
22 JUDGE MAY: We will move to courtroom II this
23 afternoon. Perhaps someone could direct the witness
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 MR. NICE: Before Mr. Sayers resumes, the
3 Court's been reconstructed with the map on view, but
4 the English booth has expressed their disquiet because
5 they can see nothing; apart from any claustrophobia
6 that that may instil, they also find it much more
7 difficult to do their job without the advantage of
8 seeing the people, by and large, who are speaking.
9 JUDGE MAY: Are there any questions,
10 Mr. Sayers, about that map in particular?
11 MR. SAYERS: The only question that I would
12 have, I think, Your Honour, would be just to get the
13 witness to reaffirm that that green circle that he's
14 put on there, or someone put on there, represents the
15 encirclement of Croat forces by the forces of the 3rd
16 Corps on -- I believe he said April the -- between
17 April the 19th and April the 20th, 1993.
18 A. That is correct, sir, as I remember it.
19 MR. SAYERS:
20 Q. Other than that, I don't think I would have
21 any other questions, with maybe one exception, and that
22 would be with respect to the village of Kacuni that
23 you've talked about, Colonel Watters, could you just
24 indicate where that is on the map for the Trial
25 Chamber, please?
1 A. Kacuni (indicating).
2 Q. And the village of Bilalovac, please. It
3 should be just a kilometre or so southeast of that.
4 A. (indicating)
5 Q. All right.
6 JUDGE MAY: Is that all?
7 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's take the map
10 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
11 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Before the lunch break, Colonel Watters, we
13 were just discussing the sources of intelligence and
14 information available to you and your colleagues. You
15 had mentioned daily situation reports. Do you know
16 whether there were any daily situation reports
17 maintained by your battalion between April the 15th,
18 1993, and April the 21st, 1993?
19 A. There would have been one each day.
20 Q. So those should still be available, I take
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. In existence?
24 A. They should be. Yes.
25 Q. Those daily situation reports would reflect
1 the reports that were being received from the various
2 British Battalion call signs who were driving around
3 the Lasva Valley and its environs during those dates?
4 A. It would be a synopsis of them. It wouldn't
5 give the detail of each report, sir.
6 Q. Now, your battalion also kept routine radio
7 logs, didn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And have you consulted those radio logs to
10 determine whether there is any reference at all to the
11 conversation that you described to the Trial Chamber
12 with some unidentified person who supposedly spoke to
13 one of the soldiers in your battalion, who supposedly
14 spoke with an HVO unidentified person, and the name of
15 Mr. Kordic was mentioned in connection with the
16 apprehension of a convoy?
17 A. No, sir.
18 Q. Is that the kind of document or is that the
19 kind of event that would be recorded in a radio log,
21 A. That's a very difficult question to answer,
22 because the radio log is maintained at battalion level
23 by a lieutenant or captain and at company level, which
24 is where the detail of the conversation would take
25 place, by a private or lance corporal. And it would
1 really depend on the amount of other things that were
2 going on, and so -- he should do; whether he does or
3 not, I couldn't say. I don't know if that radio log
4 exists, and I don't know today the location of the
5 majority of those radio logs.
6 Q. So would it be fair to say that the only
7 evidence that we have is your recollection of that
8 conversation six years ago?
9 A. Yes, it is, and the fact that I had to deal
10 through Kiseljak to Mostar to get Mr. Kordic to agree
11 to release the convoy, which supports my memory that he
12 was the focus for the taking of that convoy that we had
13 to release.
14 Q. Well, who did you speak to at Mostar?
15 A. I didn't personally speak to Mostar. I spoke
16 to Kiseljak.
17 Q. Who at Kiseljak?
18 A. I would have spoken to the operations desk,
19 and I have a memory of speaking to the chief of staff.
20 Q. Who was that?
21 A. Brigadier Cordy-Simpson.
22 Q. Who did he speak to, if you know?
23 A. I believe he or his representatives spoke to
24 Mostar, spoke to General Petkovic.
25 Q. Was it Brigadier Cordy-Simpson, or one of his
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. You weren't there at that conversation, were
5 A. No, I was using a --
6 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, could you please
7 slow down for the interpreters.
8 MR. SAYERS:
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to whom
10 they spoke?
11 A. Correct, sir.
12 Q. And similarly, you have no idea who was
13 contacted -- who contacted whom following that call
14 that may or may not have occurred to Mostar, do you?
15 A. The call did occur, sir. I can't tell you
16 who made it, no.
17 Q. You don't know who they called, and you don't
18 know who that person called in Busovaca or Vitez or
19 wherever, do you?
20 A. Sorry, sir, I don't follow your question.
21 Q. Well, you don't know who received the call
22 from Mostar relating to the release of this convoy, do
24 A. I wouldn't expect to, sir, no.
25 Q. You certainly don't know whether any call was
1 made to Mr. Kordic in that regard, do you?
2 A. It was -- I was told by Kiseljak that
3 Mr. Kordic had been told by Mostar to release the
4 convoy, and the convoy was released. That was the
5 beginning and end of my interest in it at that time.
6 Q. But my question to you, Colonel Watters,
7 was --
8 JUDGE MAY: I think it's fairly obvious that
9 -- the witness has given his evidence, and he doesn't
10 say that he was present at any of this. He is
11 describing what he has heard.
12 MR. SAYERS: I'll move on, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. SAYERS:
15 Q. Now, just turning your attention back to
16 February of 1993, Colonel Watters, you had stated that
17 when you arrived in Central Bosnia, your biggest
18 challenge, to use your words, was to get a clear
19 understanding of Balkan history; right?
20 A. I wouldn't say so much Balkan history.
21 Certainly, what was happening at the time and what had
22 led up to it.
23 Q. Right. You needed to get an understanding of
24 the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina; right?
25 A. Specifically in our area of responsibility,
2 Q. And in the State of Croatia?
3 A. Not in the State of Croatia, as such. I was
4 interested in the British area of responsibility.
5 Q. You wanted to obtain an understanding of the
6 current aspirations of the Serbs, the Muslims, --
7 A. Correct, sir.
8 Q. -- and the Croats within your area of
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Throughout the former Yugoslavia, for that
13 A. That would probably be quite an arrogant
14 thing to try and -- say I was trying to do. I was
15 immediately concerned with what was going on in the
16 area for which I was about to be the deputy commander.
17 Q. You spent, I believe, 48 hours doing that.
18 A. No. I spent, I think you said, 93 days doing
20 Q. Well, do you remember sending a statement --
21 actually, an amended witness statement, through your
22 captain, Captain Dutton, on the 16th of April, 1997, to
23 the Prosecution?
24 A. I remember sending several things, sir, yeah.
25 Q. Do you remember saying the following, on
1 pages 2 to 3:
2 "When I first arrived, my biggest challenge
3 was to get a clear understanding of Balkan history and
4 the current situation in BiH, Croatia, Serbia,
5 Montenegro, and Macedonia. I also wanted to
6 understand, as far as I could from the available
7 reference material, the current aspirations of the
8 Serbs, Muslims, and Croats within our own area of
9 responsibility and throughout the former Yugoslavia. I
10 spent 48 hours doing that"?
11 A. That's correct, yes. In general terms, the
12 wider picture. In other words, I had not actually been
13 aware of what was happening in the former Yugoslavia
14 until I arrived there, and so I had a steep learning
15 curve to understand, first of all, where in Europe I
16 was, what had been going on there, and what our role
17 was in the former Yugoslavia.
18 Q. I believe that shortly after your arrival,
19 perhaps within a week, you attended a meeting of the
20 Busovaca Joint Coordination Commission.
21 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
22 Q. That meeting was held in the town of Kakanj?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you recall who the European Monitoring
25 Mission representative was at that meeting?
1 A. No, I can't remember.
2 Q. Do you remember the name of Jeremy Fleming?
3 A. Fleming, that's right.
4 Q. He was the chairman of the commission, was he
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Sitting on the commission were not only
8 Mr. Fleming but your C.O., Colonel Stewart; correct?
9 A. Not on that day, no, because he was on R & R.
10 Q. But generally speaking?
11 A. Generally, yes.
12 Q. You were there as his representative, I take
14 A. No, I was there. The then second in command,
15 Major Tim Park, was there as his representative. I was
16 merely there as an observer.
17 Q. Very well. In addition, I believe that
18 Colonel Blaskic, from the Central Bosnia Operation Zone
19 of the HVO, sat on that commission.
20 A. That's correct, sir.
21 Q. Along with his deputy, Colonel Franjo Nakic?
22 A. Yes, I remember that.
23 Q. The other representatives on the BiH side
24 were General Enver Hadzihasanovic; correct?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Also his second in command, Colonel Dzemal
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Mr. Kordic never sat on that commission, did
5 he, sir?
6 A. Not to the best of my knowledge, no.
7 Q. He wasn't involved in any way with the
8 Busovaca Joint Coordination Commission at any time
9 throughout its existence, to your knowledge, was he?
10 A. No, he wasn't.
11 Q. Now, when you arrived in Central Bosnia,
12 would it be fair to say and accurate to say that you
13 arrived in a situation of the utmost military,
14 political, and ethnic confusion, if you like, in the
15 middle of a civil war?
16 A. I certainly found it that way, yes.
17 Q. Everyone was fighting everyone, the Serbs
18 fighting the Muslims and the Croats; right?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. The Muslims and the Croats fighting the
21 Serbs; right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Occasionally, the Muslims and the Croats
24 fighting each other?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Were you aware, sir, before you arrived in
2 the theatre, that approximately a week and a half
3 before your arrival, there had been a massacre of Croat
4 civilians in the villages of Dusina, Lasva, Nezirovici,
5 Gusti Grab, and other villages?
6 A. Not first-hand, obviously, because it was
7 before my arrival. I was aware that there had been
8 accusations of massacres all over Central Bosnia. I
9 didn't focus on any particular ones.
10 Q. Do you know where Dusina is and Lasva?
11 A. I probably did. Today, I would have to study
12 the map.
13 Q. Would it be fair to say, to the best of your
14 recollection, they are about five kilometres northeast
15 of Busovaca, both of those small villages?
16 A. I'll take your word for it, sir.
17 Q. I don't think there's any dispute about
18 that. Would it be fair to say that Gusti Grab is a
19 village that is adjacent to one of the villages that
20 you pointed out to the Trial Chamber, Kacuni?
21 A. Again, I don't remember the specific name of
22 every hamlet and village, but I'm sure it is.
23 Q. Also would it be fair to say that the United
24 Nations actually controlled the checkpoint at Kacuni at
25 the time of your arrival in the theatre?
1 A. That's correct, sir.
2 Q. Would it be fair to say that throughout your
3 time in the theatre, Colonel Watters, the stretch of
4 the main supply route, the MSR, I believe you called
5 it, from Kacuni to Bilalovac was controlled by Muslim
7 A. Yes, I think that's a fair comment, I think,
8 for virtually all of the time. I can't actually say,
9 during the period 16th to 18th, exactly what was going
10 on down there, but for the majority of time there were
11 Muslim checkpoints on that part of the road. Certainly
12 every time I travelled that road, there were.
13 Q. Right. That basically cut the
14 communications, from the Croat perspective, anyway, --
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. -- throughout the time that you were in the
17 theatre; right? In other words, there was no
18 communication between, for example, the town of
19 Busovaca and the town of Kiseljak further to the south?
20 A. I wouldn't agree with that.
21 Q. Why not?
22 A. Because part of the reason for us being there
23 and putting checkpoints was to facilitate the free
24 movement of people up and down the road.
25 Q. Well, humanitarian convoys; right?
1 A. No, the free passage and safety of all up and
2 down the road.
3 Q. You're saying that Croats were free to
4 travel, at least from your perspective, I gather, from
5 Vitez to the Kaonik junction, and then south through
6 Busovaca to Kiseljak, without interference or
7 obstruction by Muslim forces?
8 A. Certainly to Busovaca. From Busovaca to
9 Kiseljak, there was always the problem of interference
10 because of the Muslim checkpoints on the road, and
11 that's why we were asked by Colonel Blaskic and the
12 Busovaca commission to place checkpoints ourselves on
13 that road, to give security and confidence to the
14 civilian population.
15 Q. Did you see any of the joint orders that were
16 signed by Croat forces and Muslim forces at the
17 Kakanj/Busovaca Joint Coordination Commission meeting
18 on February the 13th?
19 A. Yes, I did, sir.
20 Q. Mr. Kordic did not sign any of those
21 documents at all, did he?
22 A. No, sir.
23 Q. In fact, he wasn't involved for a second in
24 the negotiation of any of those documents or orders,
25 was he?
1 A. As you said before, he wasn't at the meeting,
2 so no.
3 Q. Those orders dealt with things such as, for
4 example, the withdrawal of troops; right?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. With the return of people to their homes;
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. With the release of detainees?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. With the removal of checkpoints?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. With the filling in of trenches and bunkers?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. And with the resolution of incidents that
16 might occur in the Busovaca area?
17 A. The name of the commission is a slight
18 misnomer. It was named because it was accommodated in
19 Busovaca. It was responsible for the area of Central
20 Bosnia, and at that time its main focus was the then
21 disputes along the Kiseljak Valley road.
22 Q. Well, the commission actually changed its
23 seat, if you like, from Busovaca in January and
24 February of 1993 to the BritBat base at Nova Bila, just
25 outside of Vitez, in March of 1993; isn't that right?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. So the commission that resolved incidents in
3 the Vitez/Busovaca area, from March of 1993 until the
4 end of your tour, operated in Vitez, essentially?
5 A. Correct, sir, and became marginally less
6 effective as the troubles developed.
7 Q. All right. Now, as I understand your
8 testimony, your battalion's area of responsibility
9 stretched from Kiseljak through Busovaca, up to Zenica,
10 then along the Lasva Valley through Vitez to Travnik,
11 and actually as far as Maglaj to the north and Jajce to
12 the west.
13 A. I think Jajce was actually behind the Serb
14 lines, but in that direction, yes, and then north to
16 Q. The principal mission statement that you had
17 while you were in Central Bosnia was to facilitate the
18 movement of humanitarian aid through your area of
20 A. Correct, sir.
21 Q. You've also referred to some sort of implied,
22 I believe was your word, mission statement, which was
23 to stop the loss of life?
24 A. That was an implied task of the mission, sir,
25 yes. I think to prevent loss of life is how we phrased
2 Q. To prevent loss of life. You would certainly
3 agree with me, would you not, that BritBat had, to use
4 your words, the combat power to achieve that mission
6 A. No, I wouldn't support that, sir, because we
7 singularly failed, for a start.
8 Q. I beg your pardon?
9 A. I say I wouldn't support that because we
10 failed to prevent the loss of life. We didn't have the
11 combat power. What we did have was considerably
12 greater combat power than any of the other Bats at the
13 time in UNPROFOR.
14 Q. Do you know Lieutenant Colonel Alistair
16 A. Yes, I do. I haven't seen him for a number
17 of years. He's now a brigadier.
18 Q. Brigadier Duncan told Jane's Defence Weekly,
19 in October of 1995, that during his sojourn in Central
20 Bosnia, he was the most powerful man in Central Bosnia,
21 with 50 Warrior infantry fighting vehicles. He was
22 actually Colonel Stewart's immediate replacement,
23 wasn't he?
24 A. His battalion replaced our battalion, and he
25 was the commander of Op Grapple 2, which was the
1 successor to our operation, yes.
2 Q. Yes. Along the lines of what he said, I
3 believe that your battalion actually had 53 Warrior
4 armoured vehicles.
5 A. I think we had about 51 when we left, because
6 we had several blown up by mines. But, yes, that was
7 approximately our figure.
8 Q. You had other armoured vehicles --
9 A. Yes, we did.
10 Q. -- such as Scimitars?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What is a Warrior? Could you just tell the
13 Trial Chamber what this vehicle looks like? Is it
14 armed, and if so, with what?
15 A. A Warrior is a 30-ton armoured fighting
16 vehicle. It consists of a chamber, which is protected
17 by armour, in which sit eight infantry soldiers, and on
18 top of it is a turret which has a 30-millimetre cannon
19 and a coaxially-mounted machine gun.
20 Q. It's a Hughes 7,62-millimetre chain gun;
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. It has an extremely high, rapid rate of fire?
24 A. It's a very efficient machine gun.
25 Q. The 30-millimetre Radan cannon with which the
1 Warrior is equipped fires high-explosive shells and has
2 a range of up to 2.000 metres, I believe.
3 A. It fires a variety of ammunition at a variety
4 of ranges, yes.
5 Q. What's the maximum range of the weapon, sir?
6 A. Depending on which ammunition you select to
7 use, around a thousand metres.
8 Q. How do you aim this weapon?
9 A. Through an optical sight.
10 Q. A telescopic sight?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The Scimitar vehicles that your battalion
13 deployed in Central Bosnia were also equipped with a
14 30-millimetre, high-velocity cannon as well; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. I believe that you said you had something in
17 the order of 800 soldiers at your disposal in Central
18 Bosnia --
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. -- and that you had combat power, as you've
21 just described, that others did not possess?
22 A. Correct, sir.
23 Q. All right. Just a few more general questions
24 before we start hitting specific areas, Colonel
1 Would it be fair to say that the social,
2 political, and military situation that confronted you
3 during your three months in the area from February
4 until May of 1993 was a situation of complete anarchy
5 and chaos?
6 A. I wouldn't -- in actual literal
7 interpretation of those words, I wouldn't agree. There
8 was a degree of anarchy and there was a degree of
10 After the Serb offensive stopped in November,
11 December, there was a degree of order established
12 within our area of responsibility, and we were able,
13 with the support of the BiH and the HVO, to facilitate
14 the movement of aid throughout our TOR. So I think to
15 say "anarchy" and "chaos" is probably exaggerating it.
16 Q. Well, there was a huge crime wave that was
17 cresting throughout your area of responsibility during
18 your tour through Central Bosnia; wouldn't you agree
19 with that?
20 A. There was certainly lawlessness, yes.
21 Q. In fact, that crime wave overarched
22 everything that you'd been dealing with, didn't it?
23 A. You would have to explain what you mean by
24 that. I mean, it didn't interfere with us doing our
25 business; it just added to the work we had to do.
1 Q. Well, do you remember testifying in the
2 Blaskic case two years ago, at page 3382, lines 21
3 through 24: "There was a great deal of crime going on
4 throughout the area. It overarched everything we had
5 been doing because dealing with criminal activity,
6 thefts of vehicles, robberies, and so on."
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Is that true?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. But you were talking about anarchy and
12 chaos. There was a crime wave, and it often deflected
13 us from what we were there to do. The point I'm making
14 is it didn't -- although it made our lives more
15 complicated, it didn't prevent us also doing what we
16 were there to do.
17 Q. Yes. Well, you found the military situation,
18 and the environment generally, upon your arrival -- I
19 think you would agree with this -- very confusing and
20 difficult to understand?
21 A. Correct, sir.
22 Q. Do you know when the civil war actually broke
24 A. In Bosnia?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. About six months before the U.N. deployed, so
2 we're probably talking -- in the immediate area, I
3 think it was about -- beginning of '92; somewhere
4 around there.
5 Q. Did you know that the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina was actually founded on the 6th of
7 March of 1992?
8 A. I probably did then, sir, but I -- I have to
9 admit I haven't kept that sort of information in my
11 Q. Would you agree that the city of Mostar was
12 surrounded by Serb and JNA forces on March the 16th,
13 1992, just ten days after the republic had been
15 A. I have a memory of being briefed to that
16 effect. I need to just explain that I was living in
17 Borneo at the time, and we didn't have television.
18 Q. Would you also agree that one month later, in
19 April of 1992, the capital of the country, Sarajevo,
20 was completely surrounded and cut off by Serb forces?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. By "Serb forces," I mean people of Serb
23 ethnicity from Bosnia-Herzegovina; not people from
25 A. Yes, I do remember that, sir. In fact, I
1 visited Sarajevo a couple of times, and there were
2 still Serb checkpoints governing the routes in and out.
3 Q. So that by the time you arrived in Vitez on
4 February the 6th, the country had been independent for
5 eleven months and at a state of civil war for about ten
6 months and twenty days?
7 A. That would seem right, sir, yes.
8 Q. When you arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
9 did you know that the Armija of Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 had issued general mobilisation orders in January of
12 A. I was aware of it, yes, sir. Yes, I was.
13 Q. That's just a few weeks before you arrived,
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And in fact, all of the local Muslims in the
17 Vitez area were receiving call-up orders by January the
18 13th, 1993, were they not?
19 A. Yes, we had information to that effect.
20 Q. Do you recall reading that information in
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And that was accurate, to the best of your
25 A. To the best of my knowledge, people were
1 being called up, yes, but they were being called up
3 Q. All right, sir. Let me just show you, if I
4 may, a document, and ask you whether you recognise it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
7 MR. SAYERS:
8 Q. Just take a few minutes, Colonel Watters, and
9 just tell us whether you recognise that document.
10 A. Yes, I do. Yeah.
11 Q. Who wrote it?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Do you recall when you wrote it?
14 A. Yes, I do. It was in April, I think, '93.
15 Q. Would it be -- would it refresh your
16 recollection for me to suggest that it was written on
17 April the 7th, 1993, approximately nine days or eight
18 days before the events that you've principally
19 testified about today?
20 A. Yeah, that would be about right.
21 Q. What led to you write this letter, sir?
22 A. I hadn't communicated with my father and
23 various other people, and so I wrote a sort of standard
24 letter to them to tell them what I was doing and what
25 was going on where I was.
1 Q. What did you need to clear your conscience
2 for, as you stated in the first paragraph?
3 A. That I hadn't written to people. My
4 conscience was that I hadn't written to my father.
5 Q. And when you wrote the observations that are
6 contained in this document, sir, did you -- these were
7 sentiments expressed from your heart, if you were --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- if you like?
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. And if you take a look on the second page,
12 you make the observation about halfway down in the --
13 or just more than -- a little more than halfway down in
14 the first paragraph, "We have pushed our mandate to its
15 limit. We have, for example, transported displaced
16 military units whose existence was upsetting the
17 delicate Croat/Muslim local ethnic balance"?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Is that true?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. You previously described to the Trial Chamber
22 a contention that was made by Colonel Blaskic relating
23 to BritBat supposedly transporting Muslim units as a
24 contention that was, to use your words, I believe,
25 "patently ridiculous"?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Did you actually transport Muslim military
4 A. The innuendo from Colonel Blaskic that we
5 were moving these people -- or the actual specific
6 allegation was that we were moving these people within
7 our Warrior vehicles. The actual convoy I'm talking
8 about here was a convoy of about 15 buses that Captain
9 Sherlock, second in command of A Company, escorted from
10 Gornji Vakuf to, I think, Zenica, I think in February
11 or March, at the request of the HVO, because this
12 brigade -- which I think was called the Jajce Brigade
13 -- after the fall of Jajce had moved into the area of
14 Gornji Vakuf and had upset the status quo, and we were
15 asked, as part of our ceasefire negotiation in Gornji
16 Vakuf, to assist with the moving of this brigade from
17 Gornji Vakuf out of that area and into another area,
18 which is what we agreed to do.
19 Q. So what Colonel Blaskic was saying actually
20 was not patently ridiculous, was it, at all? It was
22 A. No, it was patently ridiculous, because it
23 was the HVO that had asked us to move the Jajce
24 Brigade, which was a Muslim Brigade. The accusation
25 Colonel Blaskic was making was that during the
1 fighting, from the 16th to 20th of April, we were
2 engaged in moving groups of Muslim soldiers inside our
3 Warriors around the field of battle, which was patently
5 Q. And you've previously described, on the
6 evening of the 16th of April, I believe, transporting
7 some wounded men from the Muslim headquarters in
8 Kruscica to a medical facility; do you remember that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And those people were taken from the Muslim
11 headquarters in Kruscica, weren't they?
12 A. No, they were taken from a house in
13 Kruscica. They weren't taken from the headquarters.
14 They were in the cellar of a house.
15 Q. You were asked to go pick up some injured
16 women and children, I believe?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And you found injured men instead?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And you did transport them, didn't you?
21 A. Yes, we did, in our ambulances.
22 Q. All right. Thank you.
23 A. And reported the fact to Colonel Blaskic,
25 Q. Now, could you tell us what the Croatian
1 Community of Herceg-Bosna is, please?
2 A. Sorry?
3 Q. Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna: What is
5 A. A community of Croatians in Herceg-Bosna.
6 Q. Do you know what it is? Does that name ring
7 a bell at all?
8 A. I'm sorry, I don't see the point of the
10 Q. Have you ever heard --
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's a question which is
12 being -- Mr. Sayers, this isn't some sort of test.
13 What is the point of the question?
14 MR. SAYERS: Well, the point, Judge May, is
15 that this gentleman and others--
16 JUDGE MAY: And don't address me by my -- you
17 should not address the Court by its name. You know the
18 way to address the Court.
19 MR. SAYERS: Very well, Mr. President. The
20 point is this: Colonel Watters and other military
21 officers have all testified that they took efforts to
22 inform themselves of the military and political
23 structure of the various communities which they had
24 within their area of responsibility. Clearly the
25 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was one of the most
1 significant of the political communities within the
2 area of responsibility of this soldier and other
3 soldiers like him, and I think it's significant that
4 he's hearing -- at least I think he is hearing --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow
6 down, please.
7 JUDGE MAY: Does the expression "the
8 community of Herceg-Bosna" mean anything to you? Now,
9 Colonel Watters, you've heard that question. What
10 would your answer be?
11 A. Again, I'm afraid my memory is dulled by
12 time. It evokes a memory of a very ideologically
13 strong Croat Bosnian community that was establishing
14 its right to existence within the country of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent cultural group;
16 not as a sort of outstation of Croatia, but as actually
17 ethnic peoples within themselves. That's -- I couldn't
18 give you the actual thrust of it. That's my memory
19 from six years ago.
20 MR. SAYERS:
21 Q. Thank you very much for that, Colonel
22 Watters, but your understanding was that this was a
23 cultural organisation, essentially?
24 A. When I say -- I said a culture, I mean, with
25 its aspirations for self-determination, its own
1 structure, its -- you know, its military capability, a
2 peoples within the -- the peoples, the Catholic
3 Croatian people of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. Thank you. And do you know whether
5 Mr. Kordic had any role or position or office within
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
7 A. He was a vice-president.
8 Q. And you've mentioned the name "Mate Boban"
9 before; do you know whether Mr. Boban was the holder of
10 any office within the Croatian Community of
12 A. Yes, he was a very senior member of that. I
13 can't remember whether he was the president or a senior
14 vice-president, I'm afraid. He only entered my area of
15 interest on his visit to Travnik. I really didn't look
16 too much at the political structure of Mostar because
17 it was outside of our area of responsibility.
18 Q. Very well. Now, do you know who was the head
19 of the HVO government in Vitez when you were there,
21 A. The mayor of Vitez was an influential
22 political figure in Vitez, and I would -- I would
23 presume he was.
24 Q. Do you know what his name was?
25 A. I did, and I can't remember. I met him on a
1 couple of occasions.
2 Q. As the Court has properly pointed out, this
3 isn't a memory contest: Does the name Ivica Santic
4 sound familiar to you?
5 A. Santic, yeah, I think we used to pronounce
6 it. I'm afraid our Bosnian pronunciation was not
7 particularly good.
8 Q. All right. Do you know what the name of the
9 mayor of Busovaca was when you were there, sir?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Have you ever met a gentleman by the name of
12 Zoran Maric?
13 A. I don't have a recollection of meeting him.
14 He might have been with a group of people I met.
15 Q. Would it be fair to say that you concentrated
16 principally upon the military structures within your
17 area of responsibility as opposed to the political
19 A. That would be very fair.
20 Q. Very well. Do you know the name of the HVO
21 military brigade that was stationed in Busovaca?
22 A. I did, and no, I can't remember the name of
24 Q. Let me see if I can jog your memory, if I
25 could ask the usher to show you Exhibit D49/1, please,
1 and also Exhibit D50/1. I'm sorry; it was D51/1.
3 Turning your attention to Exhibit D49/1, do
4 you recognise this as a copy of milinfosum 97 on the
5 6th of February, 1993?
6 A. Without sounding pedantic, it looks like that
7 is what it is. I can't say I remember it. I think
8 this was just after I arrived, and I don't have a
9 recollection of what each daily milinfosum looked
10 like. But it's of the format that we produced, and I
11 do remember reading on a milinfosum a summary of the
12 command personalities.
13 Q. If you take a look at page 3, what was the
14 name of the brigade -- well, does it jog your memory,
15 in looking at this document, that it was the Nikola
16 Subic Zrinjski Brigade that was located in Busovaca?
17 A. To be honest, the name doesn't actually leap
18 into my consciousness; but if the milinfosum said
19 that's what it was, then it would most likely have been
21 Q. Did you ever meet with the commander of the
22 Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade, Niko Jozinovic?
23 A. I don't have a memory of meeting him, no.
24 Q. Did you ever meet the deputy commander, Anto
1 A. I don't remember him either.
2 Q. If you take a look at the next exhibit, it's
3 another milinfosum, a little bit difficult to read, but
4 on page 1, the commander of the Nikola Subic Zrjnski
5 brigade on the 26th of February, 1992, appears to be
6 Dusko Grubesic. Do you recall ever meeting with
7 commander Grubesic?
8 A. His name is more familiar than the other ones
9 you've given me but I don't have a specific memory of
10 meeting him. May I explain something?
11 Q. Absolutely.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 A. The brigades is a slight misnomer in the
14 nomenclature that I would use because they essentially
15 were the village troops of that village, and some of
16 the brigades were hundreds strong, some were in their
17 20s. And the responsibility within BritBat for
18 liaising with the brigade commanders was bestowed on
19 the liaison officers and the company commanders. I
20 tended to focus with the commanding officer, at a
21 slightly higher level and didn't involve myself in
22 meeting and establishing personal relationships at that
24 Q. So would it be fair to say that you did not
25 liaise regularly yourself with the military commanders
1 in Busovaca itself?
2 A. That would be very correct.
3 Q. Now, your intelligence section, I believe was
4 known as G2?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And would it be fair to say that your G2
7 section had accumulated, by the time that you left
8 Central Bosnia in May of 1993, an enormous amount of
9 intelligence relating to the chain of command of Croat,
10 Muslim, and Serb forces in your area of responsibility?
11 A. Information, not intelligence, yes.
12 Q. Do you remember --
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Excuse me.
14 I'm sorry, Mr. Sayers; could we hear from the witness
15 what is the distinction between intelligence and
17 Would you please tell us, how would you
18 define intelligence as opposed to information?
19 A. Intelligence is corroborated material on
20 which one would base military decisions. Information
21 is uncorroborated information that is used to form
22 decisions, but you wouldn't necessarily make military
23 judgements on it.
24 In addition, as members of the United
25 Nations, we had no remit to gather or process
1 intelligence; we only had a remit to gather and process
3 MR. SAYERS:
4 Q. Thank you for elucidating that, Colonel
5 Watters. In your view, therefore, there is an
6 extremely sharp distinction between intelligence on the
7 one hand and information on the other?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. When you use the term intelligence or
10 information, you use it in a deliberate rather than an
11 inadvertent way?
12 A. I try to, sir, as we all do. The slight
13 problem is that our G2 cell is traditionally called an
14 intelligence cell in the British army. On deployment
15 to Bosnia we had to retitle it the information cell and
16 it was very easy to slip back into the old nomenclature
17 without actually meaning to.
18 Q. Do you remember giving an interview to the
19 Prosecution on the 1st of September, 1994?
20 A. Yes, I think I did.
21 Q. Let me just read to you from the second page
22 there, quote: "The G2 (intelligence section) has an
23 enormous amount of intelligence relating to the chain
24 of command on both the Croatians, Muslim, and Serb
25 structure. This information could be released with a
1 formal request to the Ministry of Defence."
2 A. Yeah, I hold my hand up to mixing my
3 nomenclature. I should have called it the information
4 cell but at that time it was called the intelligence
5 cell, because we were not in Bosnia. The intelligence
6 I should have referred to as information, because
7 that's what it was in Bosnia. I'm afraid we just
8 really muddling nomenclature. It was not my remit to
9 be able to release any of the material that we
10 possessed. It would ultimately be the remit of the
11 United Nations who would have to be approached, or our
12 Ministry of Defence.
13 Q. Very well. Do you ever recall seeing any
14 organisational charts summarising the military
15 organisation and chain of command of the HVO in Central
16 Bosnia and which were prepared by your colleagues or
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. I'll just show you, if I may, a document
20 which I would like to have marked as the next exhibit.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
23 MR. SAYERS:
24 Q. All right, Colonel Watters, have you taken a
25 look at that document?
1 A. Yes, I have, sir.
2 Q. Do you recognise it?
3 A. No, sir.
4 Q. Never seen it before, I take it?
5 A. Not to the best of my knowledge, no.
6 Q. Then that need not detain us particularly
7 long. Would it be fair to say that below the brigade
8 level, you did not know what the chain of command or
9 organisational structure --
10 JUDGE MAY: What is this document,
11 Mr. Sayers?
12 MR. SAYERS: This was a document that I
13 thought, Your Honour, was prepared by BritBat. It was
14 actually Exhibit 378 and 379 in the Blaskic case.
15 JUDGE MAY: It hasn't been exhibited in this
17 MR. SAYERS: Not to my knowledge, no.
18 JUDGE MAY: For the moment we'll disregard
19 it, because it's not been produced and this witness
20 can't recognise it.
21 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely.
22 JUDGE MAY: Give it back.
23 Q. Returning to my question, Colonel Watters,
24 would it be fair to say that below the brigade level,
25 you did not know what the chain of command or
1 organisational structure of the HVO was?
2 A. Personally, not in detail, unless I happened
3 to focus on a particular brigade and ask to be briefed
4 on what we knew about it, and we would endeavour
5 through the liaison officers to understand the command
6 structure within the brigades, although the liaison
7 officer principally would focus on the brigade
9 Q. All right. Now, you've referred to a
10 detachment that was located in a building called the
11 Bungalow in the village of Nadioci. Do you remember
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Which brigade did that detachment belong to?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. Who was the commander?
17 A. I don't remember his name.
18 Q. Did you ever speak to the commander?
19 A. I think I did. I think it was the commander
20 that was dealing with the situation on the 19th of
21 April. At least he said he was the commander.
22 Q. Did he ever say that he reported only to
23 Dario Kordic as opposed to Colonel Blaskic?
24 A. No, he didn't.
25 Q. So it would be fair to say that you just do
1 not know to whom that person reported?
2 A. That -- other than he was HVO, and therefore
3 I presume came under the command of Colonel Blaskic,
4 that would be correct. I didn't know in detail who he
5 reported to up his chain of command.
6 Q. Right. And you never discovered any
7 information or were told any information by anybody
8 that led you to a contrary conclusion?
9 A. Only a supposition of coincidence. The
10 description of those soldiers fitted the description of
11 the soldiers who had hijacked the convoy whom we were
12 told took their orders from Mr. Kordic.
13 Q. But that was actually the only incident that
14 you ever heard of that variety where the --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Sayers, would you
16 please slow down.
17 MR. SAYERS:
18 Q. -- throughout your three months in Central
19 Bosnia; right?
20 A. Correct, sir.
21 Q. What was your understanding of the military
22 organisation of the HVO, sir, if you had one?
23 A. I'm sorry, what was my understanding of it?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. It was a region which had a series of
1 operating areas, each with commanders, and under that
2 were a series of brigades, and it was quite a formal
3 structure with a clearly defined chain of command.
4 Q. At the top of the clearly defined chain of
5 command, would it be fair to say that an Operative Zone
6 would be roughly equivalent to a battalion?
7 A. Yes, as -- that would be a fair comment.
8 Q. All right. I would just like to get an idea
9 of the numbers of soldiers that we're talking about
11 A. That was the problem we had. It was very
12 difficult. The terms used, of brigades and operation
13 zones and so on, were difficult for us, because the
14 nomenclature of "brigade" in our terminology is a sort
15 of minimum of three battle-group groupings, and so the
16 numbers of what the British army would describe as a
17 brigade didn't equate to what was described as a
18 brigade in Bosnia.
19 Q. How many soldiers, if you know, were in the
20 Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade, for example?
21 A. I don't know. Whether I did know or not, I
22 can't remember.
23 Q. Do you know whether there was a widely
24 variable number of soldiers within each brigade that
25 was a member of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?
1 A. That's correct; I mentioned that earlier.
2 Some of them could be in their 20s and others could be
3 in their hundreds.
4 Q. Now, turning to Colonel Blaskic, I believe
5 that you first met him on February the 13th, 1993?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. That was in Busovaca; right?
8 A. Yes, I think it was.
9 Q. That was at a meeting attended --
10 A. Sorry, no, it wasn't in Busovaca.
11 Q. Where was it?
12 A. I think I first met Colonel Blaskic in the
13 French engineers' camp, at the meeting of the Busovaca
14 Commission, was when I first met Colonel Blaskic, I
16 Q. All right. That would have been in Kakanj?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I believe that Colonel Blaskic's immediate
19 commander was there too. Is that correct?
20 A. To be honest with you, I can't remember.
21 Q. I'll just mention the name and see if that
22 jogs your memory. Brigadier General Milivoj Petkovic?
23 A. I don't remember meeting him at that
24 meeting. I may have done, and if he was at the
25 meeting, I probably would have done. I remember
1 Colonel Blaskic. I don't remember General Petkovic,
2 and my only clear recollection of meeting him was on
3 the 21st of April. If you remember, I was essentially
4 an observer of that meeting and so may well not have
5 actually met him or been introduced to him.
6 Q. Well, throughout your acquaintance with
7 Colonel Blaskic, there was absolutely no doubt in your
8 mind that he was the overall commander of the Central
9 Bosnia Operative Zone, was there?
10 A. No, there was no doubt in my mind that that
11 is what his title was and that was the authority he
13 Q. To you, he had all of the natural authority
14 of the commander, did he not?
15 A. Yes, he did.
16 Q. He reported directly to General Petkovic, in
17 your experience, did he not?
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. He signed documents as regional commander of
20 the HVO in your presence, did he not?
21 A. Yes, he did.
22 Q. Dario Kordic never did, did he?
23 A. He did not.
24 Q. I believe that Colonel Blaskic's headquarters
25 was in the town of Vitez. Is that consistent with your
2 A. Yes. He had another headquarters in
3 Kiseljak, but the one that I met him in was in the
4 school -- the hotel in Vitez.
5 Q. Actually, Colonel Blaskic came from the
6 Kiseljak region, did he not?
7 A. Yes, he did.
8 Q. Now, Colonel Blaskic initially said to you
9 that it was the Serbs who had attacked Ahmici on April
10 the 15th and 16th, 1993; isn't that right?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. You thought that that suggestion was
13 ridiculous, didn't you?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. He also mentioned to you that if it wasn't
16 the Serbs, it could have been the Muslims themselves
17 that had attacked Ahmici?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Did you think that that suggestion was
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Have you ever read your commanding officer
23 Colonel Stewart's book "Broken Lives"?
24 A. Yes, I have, many years ago.
25 Q. Let me just read to you a short excerpt from
1 it. He describes meeting Lieutenant Colonel Colm
2 Doyle, who was a regular officer in the Irish army. He
3 had just finished being Lord Carrington's special
4 envoy, and I'm reading from page 29 to 30 of the book:
5 "... and was shortly to return home after
6 having spent the best part of a year in the region. He
7 said that most people of Bosnia were very good at
8 twisting the truth to suit their purposes. 'I never
9 knew how much they can lie.'
10 "He declared in his experience, all parties
11 to the conflict were sometimes prepared to attack their
12 own people, with the intention of placing the blame on
14 Then on page 280 to 81, that theme is
16 "Colm Doyle, Lord Carrington's special
17 assistant, had once told me that all sides in Bosnia
18 were perfectly capable of killing their own for
20 Did Colonel Stewart ever describe those
21 conversations with Lieutenant Colonel Doyle to you,
23 A. Yes, he did, and I also had conversations
24 with Colonel Doyle.
25 Q. Did he express the same views as those
1 described in Colonel Stewart's book to you?
2 A. Yes, he did.
3 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of this? I
4 mean is it being suggested that it was the Muslims who
5 attacked Ahmici?
6 MR. SAYERS: I think that there is extremely
7 considerable doubt as to that question.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, listen, Mr. Sayers. It's
9 not your thoughts that I want, it's your submissions
10 which you must give to the Court.
11 Now, if you are suggesting that this was a
12 Muslim attack in which there were 96, I think it was,
13 Muslim casualties, the evidence we heard the other day,
14 and five Croat, then it's something which should be put
15 to the witness in order that we can have his evidence
16 upon it.
17 Now, if you're going to suggest at any time
18 to the Court that it was a Muslim attack upon Ahmici,
19 you must put it to the witness that that was what
20 happened. Are you going to make that suggestion?
21 MR. SAYERS: I can't make any suggestion one
22 way or the other, Your Honour, because I don't know,
23 and I don't believe the Defence knows who was
24 responsible for the attack in Ahmici.
25 JUDGE MAY: But you are appearing in this
1 case. At the end of the case, you are going to have to
2 make submissions about what happened in Ahmici.
3 Now, the Prosecution case on this is clear.
4 It is that this was an attack by the HVO, which ended
5 with the casualties in the way that we know is
6 suggested. Now, if the Defence want to suggest
7 something to the contrary, then it should be put to the
8 witnesses who were there in order that they can deal
9 with it.
10 This witness has given evidence that, in his
11 judgement, it was an attack by the HVO. Now, if you
12 want to contradict that in due course, you must give
13 him the opportunity of dealing with the case.
14 Well, if it's suggested, Colonel Watters,
15 that this was an attack by the Muslims or by the Serbs,
16 what would your evidence about that be?
17 A. From first-hand accounts of survivors who I
18 spoke to after the incident, the reports of our
19 soldiers who, during the day of the 16th, were
20 evacuating casualties from the lower part of the
21 village, and my observations of the general movement of
22 troops around the area, I would say it's completely
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 MR. SAYERS: Just so I can clear it up,
1 Mr. President, our position is that there was fighting
2 at Ahmici; that Ahmici, we believe, was defended not
3 particularly heavily but defended nonetheless. In
4 fact, I believe that some of the soldiers who were
5 deployed in Ahmici on the morning of the 16th, namely,
6 Lieutenant Dooley and Mr. Wooley, actually saw soldiers
7 carrying AKM weapons on that day. So I think that our
8 position is that the village was defended.
9 There's no question that there was fighting
10 there. Who started the fight, we just don't know.
11 That's what this trial is all about, in some respects,
12 I suppose.
13 JUDGE MAY: Of course you may not know, but
14 you're going to have to adopt a position in order that
15 the issues can be clarified. If the position is no
16 more than, "We are not in a position to dispute what
17 the Prosecution say about it," so be it. But at some
18 stage, these matters are going to have to be
21 MR. SAYERS: Let me just turn to the
22 observations that I made to the Court and just ask
23 Colonel Watters.
24 Q. Do you remember, Colonel Watters, speaking
25 with Lieutenant Dooley, following his deployment to
1 Ahmici on the morning of the 16th, and being told that
2 British troops had actually spotted armed Muslim troops
3 carrying AKM weapons?
4 A. There were BiH and HVO troops all over the
5 Lasva Valley carrying weapons on that morning, and I
6 had several conversations with Dooley and various other
7 people. I cannot recollect, in all honesty, a specific
9 Q. All right. Do you recall speaking with I
10 think it was Sergeant Wooley, Matthew Robert Wooley?
11 A. I think he was a lieutenant in the 9th 12th
12 Lancers. I could be wrong.
13 Q. Well, I guess we'll take that up with
14 Lieutenant Wooley. But he did say to the Prosecutors
15 in February of 1997 that, "I wish to mention that I
16 came across not more than ten combatants from the
17 Muslim side. Four are seen in photographs," which we
18 haven't seen. "Some of them are carrying AKMs. Some
19 did not have any weapons at all."
20 Do you remember him telling you that?
21 A. No, I don't. Sorry, he saw them where?
22 Q. In Ahmici.
23 A. I don't remember having that conversation
24 with him. There were -- as I say, there were groups of
25 people all over the place. It wouldn't surprise me
1 that there were groups of armed Muslims in and around
2 Ahmici and all the other villages.
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Sayers,
4 I should like to ask a question of the witness to add
5 something to what was explained by Mr. President to
7 Just a moment ago, when you looked at the
8 photographs, you told us that after the events in
9 Ahmici, you went through the village with your men.
10 You went there from one house to the other, and we saw
11 the photographs which you identified. When you entered
12 the village and saw those houses and saw what happened
13 here and there, those photographs of the barn and so on
14 and so forth, all that you saw, did it seem to you the
15 effect or the aftermath of a normal battle between
16 armed forces, conducted in a conventional combat? That
17 is, did it seem to you the aftermath of a normal battle
18 waged by some regular army soldiers? Did it look like
19 the aftermath of a normal battle, conventional battle?
20 A. No, Sir, it looked like the aftermath of a
21 massacre, and the thing that was stark and most obvious
22 was the -- the village of Ahmici is essentially two
23 parts, the upper part of the village up the valley,
24 which was the largely Muslim part, and the lower part,
25 which was a little more mixed, and about halfway up the
1 village were a line of Croat houses. Beyond the line
2 of Croat houses, there wasn't a single building, of the
3 20 or 30 buildings, houses, that had not been totally
4 destroyed, and there wasn't a single piece of damage
5 done to the Croat houses.
6 I banged on the door of one of the Croat
7 houses because I could see they were in there. They
8 wouldn't come out and talk to us, and at that point we
9 were shot at from up above these houses, from the
10 woods, and we then withdrew.
11 In my judgement, if there had been resistance
12 from those Bosnian Muslim soldiers who might have been
13 in that village, they weren't able to resist very well,
14 because their entire village was destroyed. Every
15 house was burnt, and later we buried 96 people from the
17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Those
18 persons whom you found in the village and whom you then
19 buried, were they, to your mind, in your view,
20 civilians? Were they civilians or military or
22 A. The majority were women and old men, and
23 there were some younger men who may well have been
24 soldiers. But the vast majority of the bodies that I
25 saw were civilians, but one could never -- because a
1 body was in civilian clothes, one could not say it
2 hadn't been a soldier. That's quite a technical point,
3 Sir. But the vast majority of the people to me looked
4 like civilians. There were a few younger men who could
5 have been soldiers.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Thank you.
7 MR. SAYERS: Thank you for that,
8 Colonel Watters.
9 Q. Would it be fair to say that in your
10 experience in this militarily- and politically-confused
11 time that characterised your tour of duty through
12 Central Bosnia, that all men of military age, between
13 the ages of, say, 16 and 65, were mobilised?
14 A. Yes, sir, the vast majority. I wouldn't say
15 up to 65. I can't remember the exact age. But
16 whenever you came into a situation, it was very rare,
17 in a civilian situation in the villages or towns, to
18 find men of military age. They were mostly on the
19 front line.
20 Q. Occasionally, when they rotated back to their
21 villages, they would bring their weapons with them, I
22 take it.
23 A. That appeared to be the norm, sir, yes.
24 Q. And whatever bits and pieces of uniform that
25 they may have been able to accumulate over the past few
2 A. Yes. They would normally be wearing a hat or
3 a jacket or an arm band or something like that
4 designating their particular military group.
5 Q. Would it also be fair to say that you found a
6 huge variation in uniform styles and in terms of
7 uniformity of uniforms, if you like, within both the
8 Croat and the Muslim side?
9 A. That's correct, sir.
10 Q. Thank you. Let me turn, if I may just for a
11 minute, to the meeting that you described with General
12 Petkovic and Colonel Blaskic. I believe that you said
13 it was on April the 21st of 1993.
14 A. That's correct, sir.
15 Q. Would it be fair to say that you observed
16 Brigadier General Petkovic giving Colonel Blaskic a
17 good dressing down?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Would that be too harsh a way to put it or
20 would you phrase it any other way?
21 A. I mean he was certainly talking to him in
22 short, sharp words of one syllable.
23 Q. You could certainly appreciate Brigadier
24 General Petkovic's anger if all of the Croat forces
25 found themselves on that day surrounded by Muslim
1 forces and essentially back on their heels in Colonel
2 Blaskic's area of responsibility, could you not?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Did you see General Petkovic's face when this
5 exchange was going on?
6 A. Yes, I could, sir, yes.
7 Q. Could you see Colonel Blaskic's face?
8 A. Yes, I could.
9 Q. You yourself don't know what was said, do
11 A. No, I don't, sir.
12 Q. Your interpreter, I believe, was a nervous
13 type of an individual, you've previously testified in
14 other cases.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. What was it that he told you that this
17 exchange had consisted of?
18 A. There were two aspects to it. The first was
19 his reaction to what he had heard, which had frightened
20 and shocked him, and the second was that he believed
21 that what he had heard could endanger his life and was
22 visibly frightened and shaken.
23 When I then asked him what on Earth he had
24 heard that had caused him to react like this, he then
25 started explaining that essentially General Petkovic
1 had been asking Colonel Blaskic about things being
2 controlled, things not being in the open, things being
3 in the open, and I didn't fully understand at that
4 point what it was about, thought it was largely to do
5 with the defeat of the Croats, albeit they had been
6 together quite a while by this stage and it seemed an
7 odd time to berate him, and that, in itself, didn't
8 appear to make sense as to why my interpreter was so
9 terrified about what he had heard. It was later that
10 the full implications for what he had heard actually
11 sort of became clearer.
12 You would have to understand that as a member
13 of the Muslim community in Central Bosnia, he already
14 knew about certain things we had only heard as specific
15 rumours, i.e., the rumours of massacres which we had
16 heard, and you yourself mentioned some alleged by the
17 HVO earlier, and they were right throughout the whole
18 of Central Bosnia. We were dealing with allegations of
19 massacres north of Tuzla and Srebrenica at the time,
20 and so we had learned not to overreact to the rumours
21 of massacres, and I was not necessarily -- I didn't
22 necessarily have empathy at the time with what my
23 interpreter was trying to explain to me. I hope that
24 puts it in context.
25 Q. I think it does. Thank you. Did you
1 actually look at any milinfosums that immediately
2 preceded your arrival in Central Bosnia to bring
3 yourself up to speed with the recent history of what
4 had been going on?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. I would just like to show you one milinfosum,
7 number 90, from January 29th, 1993.
8 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
10 MR. SAYERS:
11 Q. Do you know who the liaison officer for
12 Busovaca was at this time?
13 A. I think it was Captain Martin Foregrave.
14 Q. Do you recall reading this particular
15 milinfosum as you were researching recent events in
16 your area of responsibility?
17 A. I read every milinfosum from the day the
18 battalion deployed until I arrived, and I can't
19 recollect a single one of them in isolation, no.
20 Q. You gave some testimony about mutilations of
21 bodies and things of that variety. Were you aware that
22 there were any mutilations associated with this
23 incident, where supposedly BiH extremists had massacred
24 12 old people and had arrested a further 30?
25 A. I do have a recollection of the murder or
1 massacre of some Croat people by Muslims before my
2 arrival, and I do remember accounts of mutilation, yes.
3 Q. Isn't it true that Zvonko Rajic's heart had
4 been cut out of his body after he had been shot to
5 death with about a dozen bullets?
6 A. To be honest, I don't remember the detail of
7 the mutilation. It wouldn't surprise me.
8 Q. All right. On the third page, there's a
9 reference to Muslims having been arrested, then
10 released, and then there had been incidents of HVO
11 soldiers and Croats being sniped at, and this had left
12 them with no option but to rearrest the Muslims,
13 according to the HVO commander, Commander Niko
15 On the question of snipers, sir, was it your
16 experience that snipers were an endemic problem in the
17 area throughout your three months in Central Bosnia?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On both sides?
20 A. Yes. All three sides.
21 Q. All three sides. Do you remember one of the
22 first meetings that you had was with an enterprising
23 merchant in Novi Travnik or Travnik, I believe, who
24 actually manufactured rifle silencers?
25 A. Yes, I do. He had manufactured a silencer
1 for a Draganoff sniper rifle.
2 Q. I would just like to show you a picture, if I
3 may -- it was reproduced in Colonel Stewart's book --
4 of a silencer. It appears to be on a rifle, and I
5 would just like to ask you if you've ever seen
6 something like this in your area of operations.
7 THE REGISTRAR: D59/1.
8 MR. SAYERS:
9 Q. If you just take a look at the reproduction
10 of the photograph on the bottom of this page, did you
11 ever see any large rifle silencers, it looks like, of
12 that type when you were in Central Bosnia, sir?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. That appears to have been put on a regular
15 hunting rifle as opposed to a more sophisticated
16 military assault weapon such as an AK-47 or a Draganoff
17 sniper's rifle?
18 A. Correct, sir.
19 Q. You also said, Colonel Watters, that there
20 had been some sniping around your compound at Nova
21 Bila, I think, in the area of April the 16th to the
22 18th, and do you remember raising the issue of snipers
23 with the HVO commanders at that time?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. What they told you was that you should feel
1 free to shoot those people if you could find them;
2 isn't that true?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. There's no doubt, indeed, sir, that the
5 Muslim forces in Stari Vitez were regularly and
6 successfully sniping at Croat positions, is there?
7 A. No, there's no doubt about that at all.
8 Q. In fact, I believe that two Croat soldiers
9 who were participating in the peace negotiations that
10 you brokered on April the 16th were actually shot while
11 they were under the escort of your soldiers. Is that
12 correct? ^^rs
13 Q. Those were Mr. Marko Prskalo and Mr. Zoran
15 A. Correct. They were shot just outside the
16 Hotel Vitez.
17 Q. They were two of the HVO negotiators that
18 were under your protection; right?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Would you agree with me that it's extremely
21 difficult to tell where a sniper firing at you is
22 actually firing from?
23 A. It is difficult, yes. We try and train
24 ourselves to be able to do it. It's impossible if
25 they're using a silencer.
1 Q. Right. And in fact, when you first went to
2 Central Bosnia and the incident I've just described,
3 you actually had a demonstration of the effectiveness
4 of a silenced sniper's rifle up to ranges of up to 200
5 metres; right?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. You couldn't tell where the shot was coming
8 from at that range, could you?
9 A. Not from a silenced weapon, no.
10 Q. Towards the end of your testimony in chief,
11 Colonel Watters, I believe that you expressed your
12 views about the strategic importance and significance
13 of the main supply routes, the MSRs, running through
14 your area of responsibility.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Would you agree that, from a military
17 perspective, it was extremely important -- indeed,
18 crucial -- to have those MSRs under effective control?
19 A. Yes, I would.
20 Q. The protection of those MSRs, the protection
21 of supply routes by which your forces could be
22 reinforced or could reinforce, was a legitimate and
23 important military objective, in your view, wasn't it?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. Indeed, I believe that you've previously
1 testified, and I think that this was an extremely terse
2 and accurate way to put it, quote: "The man that
3 controls the valleys or the man that controls the
4 routes controls the country."
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. That's still your view, sir?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would it be fair to say that a majority of
9 the fighting that occurred both before the April
10 hostilities and actually during April of 1993 was
11 devoted to efforts to secure these strategically vital
12 main supply routes in Central Bosnia?
13 A. It was certainly a major factor. I think
14 there were requirements for taking ground and taking
15 villages, certainly within the Serb agenda. But when
16 one analysed the final front lines of the Serbian
17 positions, as well as their territorial gains, it
18 enabled them to control the main routes that then
19 existed in and out of Central Bosnia.
20 Q. And turning -- just narrowing the focus to
21 the Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak area, you would agree
22 that both the Croat side and the Muslim side viewed the
23 control of those main supply routes as an absolutely
24 critical, indeed, overriding, military objective?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. And indeed, the securing of those main supply
2 routes was a principal objective behind the Muslim
3 counteroffensive or the Muslim offensive, if you like,
4 on April the 18th, 19th, and 20th, wasn't it?
5 A. It was -- I'm not quite sure what their
6 end-state objective was. At one point I was very
7 concerned that their end-state objective was the
8 destruction of Busovaca and Vitez. I had a
9 conversation with General Halilovic to that -- along
10 those lines. The point at which they halted their
11 advance, prior to any final assaults on to Vitez and
12 Busovaca, had severed all the main routes, as I
13 explained, and essentially cut off each of the HVO
14 units and Croatian communities and had essentially
15 isolated them.
16 Q. It would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that
17 the Muslim forces' offensive on April the 18th, 19th,
18 and 20th, was incredibly successful?
19 A. Yes, it was.
20 Q. The forces attacking Croat positions were
21 successful in recapturing basically all of the main
22 choke points, weren't they?
23 A. Yes, they were.
24 Q. For example, the Muslim forces took control
25 of the Kaonik junction?
1 A. Yes, they did.
2 Q. And controlled it until the forces pulled
3 back; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. To the north and east of Vitez is a fairly
6 mountainous or hilly area; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the Muslim counteroffensive swept down
9 the spinal road that leads from Zenica to Dubravica and
10 then on to Vitez; correct?
11 A. Yes, as I showed on the map, that's correct.
12 Q. The Muslim forces, as they were pursuing that
13 military objective, took control of the high ground, as
14 you would expect them to do, didn't they?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. That enabled them to be in a position to
17 shoot down at the Croat forces or whoever happened to
18 be at a lower elevation; right?
19 A. Yes, it did.
20 Q. All right. Now, just before the conflict
21 broke out, your testimony, I believe, was that Mr. Mate
22 Boban made a visit to Travnik in April of 1993.
23 A. Yes, he did.
24 Q. Did you see him there?
25 A. No, I didn't.
1 Q. Who told you he actually made that visit?
2 A. UNHCR, and our interpreters who lived in
3 Travnik, and the BiH in Travnik.
4 Q. All right. You did understand, and I think
5 that there isn't any dispute about this, that he was
6 actually the central political figure in the Croatian
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna, didn't you?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. And it was your testimony, I believe, to the
10 Prosecution's investigators two years ago, if they
11 wanted indicators, that things started to go
12 drastically wrong after Mr. Boban's visit to Travnik on
13 April the 8th, 1993?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. You gave some testimony -- I think you
16 briefly touched upon the kidnapping incident involving
17 commander Zivko Totic in Zenica on the evening of April
18 the 15th?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. That was one day before all of the fighting
21 erupted in the Lasva Valley, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes, it was.
23 Q. Did you ever see on the television any
24 programmes that depicted the condition in which
25 Commander Totic's bodyguards were left after the
1 kidnapping incident?
2 A. I don't believe I did. I had it described to
3 me that they had been shot.
4 Q. Would it be fair to say that they had
5 actually been executed?
6 A. I mean, "executed," to me, would mean that
7 somebody was sort of stood up with their hands tied
8 behind their back and shot at close quarters. I don't
9 know the answer to that.
10 Q. Did you know that the bodyguards had been
11 wounded in a hail of gunfire and then shot to death by
12 being shot in the head?
13 A. I was aware -- I was only aware they had been
14 killed. There had been quite a fierce firefight, and
15 they'd been killed, and the commander hadn't, and had
16 been abducted. I can remember thinking it was a rather
17 strange scenario, at the time, that he would survive
18 and everyone else would die, but that's what had
19 happened, and sometimes life's like that.
20 Q. Do you remember reports to the effect that it
21 was the 7th Muslim Brigade, or detachments within the
22 7th Muslim Brigade, that was responsible for that
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. So-called Mujahedin; right?
1 A. No, the 7th Brigade weren't Mujahedins. The
2 Mujahedin were a generic term. The 7th Brigade
3 contained soldiers who considered themselves to be
5 Q. Did you also hear reports to the effect that
6 it was the 7th Muslim Brigade that was responsible for
7 kidnapping four other HVO officers the evening before,
8 in Novi Travnik?
9 A. There was an incident where some -- an escort
10 party went from Novi Travnik to Gornji Vakuf, and I
11 believe they were abducted. I can't remember the exact
12 details of it. They were HVO.
13 Q. Right, and abducted by the 7th Muslim
14 Brigade, as far as you were --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,
16 Counsel, please.
17 A. That was the information we were given.
18 MR. SAYERS:
19 Q. Is it also fair to say that the information
20 you were given concerning the massacre at Dusina was
21 the work of the 7th Muslim Brigade too?
22 A. I understand that is what we were told.
23 Q. Then following Ahmici, there was another
24 massacre, at Miletici, I believe, on the 24th of April,
25 where five young men were tortured and beheaded; was it
1 your understanding that that was the work of the 7th
2 Muslim Brigade as well?
3 A. Sorry, I don't recollect that incident.
4 I think, also, in these references, the
5 sources of the information were largely HVO, and the --
6 everything that happened appeared to be blamed on this
7 brigade, which obviously had considerable capability
8 and geographical spread to be doing what it was alleged
9 to be doing. And to be honest, we tended to treat with
10 a pinch of salt the fact that the HVO said the 7th
11 Muslim Brigade had done things. It was quite clear
12 that what was being done was being done by Muslim
14 Q. Well, do you remember meeting a gentleman by
15 the name of Payam Akhavan?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you remember discussions with Mr. Akhavan
18 concerning what he --
19 JUDGE MAY: I don't see there's much point
20 asking this witness about matters concerning
21 Mr. Akhavan when Mr. Akhavan is a witness, and you can
22 ask him.
23 MR. SAYERS: Very well.
24 Q. Let me just show you milinfosum number 177,
25 if I may.
1 JUDGE MAY: And also, the fact is that we
2 have the evidence now about Miletici and these other
3 matters which you put to the witnesses. Again, how
4 does it assist us to hear it again through this
5 witness? What is the point, apart from repetition?
6 MR. SAYERS: Just -- well, if the Trial
7 Chamber doesn't think that the evidence is of
8 assistance to it, I'll willingly move on, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) No,
10 Mr. Sayers, I believe that what the President just said
11 does a lot to clarify the situation. That is, if you
12 are producing some evidence, you also need to show us
13 the relevance of it as to the aim [Realtime transcript
14 read in error "name"] that you are pursuing. I do not
15 think we should go into history for the sake of
17 This is, after all, a judicial process. So
18 please tell us that you are pursuing such-and-such
19 objective, and that to this particular end, you want to
20 produce this and that. And if something was already
21 produced or said, I do not think we need any additional
22 repetition. And if you intend to produce something
23 which makes part of the Defence strategy, then will you
24 please tell the Court that. I believe we are quite
25 clear about that. I believe that the Chamber is quite
1 clear about that.
2 MR. SAYERS: Well, if I can just put the
3 final full stop on this particular line of questioning,
4 there is a milinfosum that deals with this, and I would
5 just like to ask the witness if he has seen it and to
6 authenticate it, and I'll move on swiftly.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document D60/1.
9 MR. SAYERS: If it would be convenient to the
10 Trial Chamber, I only have two questions, and that
11 might conveniently conclude today's examination, and
12 I'll try and be brief with Colonel Watters tomorrow.
13 Q. I only have two questions for you in
14 connection with this, sir --
15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Mr. Sayers, in the
16 transcript, you need to show the relevance as to "the
17 name." (Interpretation) The aim which is being
18 pursued; it should be "aim," not "name." "Aim" which
19 is pursued, to be corrected, because it makes no sense
21 MR. SAYERS: Very well, Your Honour.
22 Q. Do you recognise this as milinfosum
23 number 177, or a copy of it, dated April the 25th,
25 A. Yeah, it certainly looks like it, or it's
1 similar to the sort of thing we produced.
2 Q. And if you would just turn to the fourth
3 page, there are two items I would like to cover with
4 you on there. The first is right at the top of the
5 page. Is it fair to say that the HVO front lines
6 observed by the soldiers under your command ran from
7 the villages of Dubravica to Pirici, Vidovici, and
8 Ahmici, up to Loncari?
9 A. Yes, I mean, I -- that would be about right,
10 after the withdrawal following the 21st of April
11 ceasefire agreement.
12 Q. All right. And when you use the word "HVO
13 front line," what do you mean by that?
14 A. That was the line behind which we required
15 the HVO to withdraw.
16 Q. All right. So on one side there would be HVO
17 forces and on the other side Muslim forces?
18 A. Well, no, because on that line, we had asked
19 for a zone of separation following the ceasefire of the
20 21st of April, which we patrolled, to just south of
21 Zenica. Very rarely, actually, did they move much
22 further north from the line Alpha I drew on the map.
23 Q. And then the last question is, there's a
24 description of events at Miletici and a description or
25 an identification of the victims. Have you ever seen
1 this milinfosum before? Does it look familiar to you?
2 Does it jog your memory?
3 A. Yeah. Having read it now, I do remember it.
4 Q. And Miletici was actually behind the front
5 lines that were established during this ceasefire
6 period; right?
7 A. I'd have to look at where Miletici was on the
8 map, I'm afraid, to answer that.
9 MR. SAYERS: I don't think there's any
10 dispute about where it is, Your Honour, and I think, if
11 that's convenient, that concludes our questions for
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Sayers, we have to
14 finish this witness tomorrow. You say you don't have
15 too much more?
16 MR. SAYERS: I would estimate that we could
17 be through, if we start at 9.00, Your Honour, by 10.30.
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, will that give Mr. Kovacic
19 enough time?
20 MR. KOVACIC: From -- you mean until the
21 lunch break?
22 JUDGE MAY: Until 12.00. We're adjourning at
24 MR. KOVACIC: I'm rather optimistic, but
25 please don't -- I think I will be able.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, perhaps you could
2 arrange with Mr. Kovacic an equitable distribution,
3 bearing in mind you've had a couple of hours already.
4 MR. SAYERS: I will try to do that,
5 Mr. President. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now.
7 Colonel, would you be back, please, at 9.00
8 tomorrow morning.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Mr. President.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 4.20 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Friday, the 30th day of July, 1999,
13 at 9.00 a.m.