Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10369

1 Thursday, November 25, 1999

2 [Closed session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

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14 pages 10369 to 10430 redacted in closed session

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Page 10431

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7 [open session]

8 JUDGE MAY: I should say the Brigadier. I

9 beg his pardon.

10 [The witness entered court]

11 WITNESS: ALASTAIR DUNCAN [Resumed]

12 JUDGE MAY: Brigadier, thank you for coming

13 back. You remain, of course, under the solemn

14 declaration which you took before.

15 THE WITNESS: Yes.

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, I know you predicted

17 three hours yesterday. Perhaps you could try and

18 improve on that. See if we can get through the witness

19 today, because we've got a lot of business tomorrow to

20 do.

21 MR. SAYERS: There is no way that I will be

22 able to be completed with the witness today, I regret

23 to say, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's move on.

25 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers [continued]

Page 10432

1 Q. Brigadier, during your tour you had the

2 chance to sit down with the military leaders from the

3 Muslim forces and have a frank discussion with them

4 regarding their military objectives, didn't you?

5 A. Yes, I did. Yes.

6 Q. They confided to you, in fact, that their

7 strategic plan was to slice up the Vitez-Busovaca

8 enclave into a number of discrete pieces; correct?

9 A. That would have been -- yes, that was an

10 efficient way of doing it. Yes.

11 Q. They were completely confident of their

12 ability to do so, weren't they?

13 A. They were overconfident, yes.

14 Q. And indeed, throughout your tour, sir, which

15 lasted, I think we agreed in the last session that you

16 were here, seven months?

17 A. Yes, seven months.

18 Q. Throughout your tour they repeatedly

19 attempted to achieve this objective, did they not?

20 A. Yes, although I think in the last two months

21 of my time there they had begun to realise that this

22 task was beyond them, and they therefore stopped such

23 determined attacks, I would say.

24 Q. One of the military leaders with whom you met

25 fairly frequently, sir, I believe, was General Mehmed

Page 10433

1 Alagic?

2 A. Yes, it was. He is a commander.

3 Q. Did you ever discuss with General Alagic his

4 plans with respect to the position of the Muslims in

5 Stari Vitez?

6 A. It was a long-term aim of the BiH forces to,

7 if you like, liberate the Muslims of Stari Vitez.

8 Q. Were you aware that General Alagic had

9 actually published a book about the war in Central

10 Bosnia in 1997?

11 A. I wasn't aware, no.

12 Q. Let me just read you a section from page 26.

13 I would like to ask you whether these options and the

14 decision was discussed with you. He says:

15 "I was concerned by a specific issue, what to

16 do with the civilians if we entered Vitez. Should we

17 create conditions for their surrender? Or the second

18 option was to allow their movement to the south-west.

19 The third option was to keep them besieged and

20 pressured so that our supplies from Croatia would not

21 be completely withheld. Faced with this overall

22 situation, we chose the last option. Instead of

23 liberating Vitez, we chose to leave it as a strategic

24 vent for supplying of other parts of Bosnia."

25 Did General Alagic ever express those views

Page 10434

1 to you, sir?

2 A. Yes, he did. He did. The three options were

3 expressed. We discussed them. Yes.

4 Q. Were you aware that on the next page of his

5 book, General Alagic says:

6 "Through connections in the U.N., we

7 succeeded in getting some ammunitions, weapons into

8 Stari Vitez so that they could defend themselves."

9 A. I wasn't aware he put that in the book.

10 You've made me aware. He would use every effort he

11 could to get weapons, ammunition and food into that

12 pocket. Whether he achieved that or not, I do not

13 know.

14 Q. And just to conclude this line of questions

15 regarding General Alagic, do you recall meeting with

16 General Alagic on the 6th of November, 1993, just

17 before you had lunch with the Croat leaders?

18 A. Yes, I did. I think that's in my diary, the

19 extract which you have.

20 Q. Yes. In fact, why don't we make this an

21 exhibit.

22 Mr. President, I will say that there are no

23 entries here of a personal nature, and I appreciate the

24 Brigadier making these available. The entries in this

25 diary are all relevant to the events in this case. So

Page 10435

1 I don't believe that there would be any personal

2 embarrassment factor through making these a public

3 exhibit, unless the Brigadier objects to that.

4 A. Yes, sir. That's what you've asked me to do

5 and I've expunged the bits that I believe were

6 personal.

7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D133/1.

9 MR. SAYERS:

10 Q. If I might just ask you to turn to the last

11 page of this exhibit, sir.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Place it on the ELMO,

13 please, for the interpreters. Could the document be

14 placed on the ELMO for the interpreters, please.

15 JUDGE MAY: Have you got a copy for the

16 interpreters?

17 MR. SAYERS: If we could put this on the

18 ELMO. I have highlighted the portions with the

19 significant --

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but have you got copies for

21 the interpreters?

22 MR. SAYERS: I regret to say that we do not

23 have those copies with us today, for which I apologise.

24 JUDGE MAY: Well, some seem to have gone.

25 But over the adjournment we ought to make sure that

Page 10436

1 there are copies.

2 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we will do that.

3 JUDGE MAY: Meanwhile the interpreters should

4 have copies.

5 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Mr. President. That's my

6 fault and I apologise to the Court and to them.

7 JUDGE MAY: I meant to say "should have."

8 They are getting them. They are in fact getting the

9 copies. So there is no need to put them on the ELMO.

10 MR. SAYERS:

11 Q. Brigadier, the references to Enver, Dzemo and

12 Mehmed are all -- those are all first names or

13 diminutives, aren't they?

14 A. Enver Hadzihasanovic, Dzemal Merdan and

15 Mehmed Alagic.

16 Q. These gentlemen communicated to you that

17 there was a party line that they were prepared to

18 follow to the letter, and that was that the war would

19 go on as long as necessary to secure to the Muslim

20 side, if you will, their territorial gains; correct?

21 A. That's what they stated at that stage. They

22 told me a lot of things over the seven months, some of

23 which came to pass, a lot which didn't come to pass, a

24 lot which were good ideas, and a lot which I -- in many

25 cases they perhaps wanted me to know, or not, as the

Page 10437

1 case may be.

2 Q. Would it be fair to say that one of the

3 things that you were told was that there were plans to

4 shell the HVO headquarters at the Hotel Vitez at

5 approximately 5 p.m.; correct?

6 A. No, that's not correct. I said I was going

7 to lunch that afternoon with Blaskic and others, as a

8 farewell lunch, and Alagic said, "You had better be out

9 by 5.00." The locations weren't mentioned.

10 Q. And the last entry in your diary on that day,

11 I take it, refers to that: "The lunch went on a bit

12 long. The result was that the shells that Alagic had

13 promised came into the hotel area. Someone was

14 wounded, as we heard the screams."

15 And you conclude with the observation

16 that "Alagic will, of course, think the whole thing is

17 hilariously funny."

18 A. Yes, that's correct, yeah.

19 Q. Do you recall, on the subject of Stari Vitez,

20 Brigadier, a proposal that was made early on in your

21 tour, communicated, I believe, to Major Roy Hunter,

22 through Pero Skopljak, and that this proposal involved

23 permitting the troops or the Muslims in Stari Vitez to

24 leave Stari Vitez, provided that they surrendered their

25 weapons to UNPROFOR forces?

Page 10438

1 A. I can't honestly remember that proposal

2 directly. It is -- it is quite a reasonable proposal

3 to make. Whether the Muslims or the HVO or anyone

4 would agree with that, I don't know, but it is not an

5 unreasonable proposal to make.

6 Q. Let me see if I can jog your memory further.

7 As part of this proposal, the HVO government in Vitez

8 would guarantee the safety of the Muslim civilians in

9 Stari Vitez, and the forces in Stari Vitez, the Muslim

10 forces, actually turned down that proposal; does that

11 ring a bell?

12 A. That's quite possible. A not unreasonable

13 assumption. The track record, that far, of HVO forces

14 guaranteeing Muslims safety was not terribly good in

15 the Vitez pocket.

16 Q. Do you recall incidents where -- well,

17 actually, let me rephrase the question: You testified,

18 I believe, with respect to the killing of a UNHCR

19 driver by the name of Boris, and I believe that that

20 was August the 14th, 1993, as we had stipulated; do you

21 recall that?

22 A. Yes, I recall that the incident took place.

23 Q. Do you recall that ten days later, a UNHCR

24 convoy actually made it into Stari Vitez; lorries with

25 supplies, humanitarian aid, were permitted to enter

Page 10439

1 Stari Vitez. The lorries were unloaded, and as soon as

2 they left, the ABiH started blazing away at the

3 Croat-held part of town and the convoy?

4 Perhaps I can jog your memory, if the usher

5 would be good enough to show you Z1179, which is a copy

6 of milinfosum 117, sir, dated August the 24th, 1993.

7 The entry to which I would like to draw your attention

8 is a very short one. It's a paragraph numbered 3, just

9 under the "Vitez" entry.

10 Does that jog your memory, or do you have no

11 recollection of that particular event, sir?

12 A. Yes, I remember that -- yes, yes, I recollect

13 it now, having seen the milinfosum.

14 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Brigadier.

15 I've finished with that. Let's just move on quickly to

16 another subject, since time is precious here, if we

17 can.

18 A. Can I just ask if you are making the

19 insinuation that a UNHCR convoy which I was responsible

20 for escorting had taken weapons into Stari Vitez? If

21 you're --

22 Q. Absolutely not.

23 A. -- making that insinuation --

24 Q. Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

25 A. That's fine, then. Thank you.

Page 10440

1 Q. Now, there is no question, sir, that the

2 protection and control of main supply routes is an

3 overriding, important, and legitimate goal in an

4 infantry war; isn't that correct?

5 A. Yes, very important.

6 Q. In fact, you would agree that it's militarily

7 necessary to defend main supply routes to the maximum

8 extent of the power and ability of the forces having

9 those supply routes under their control; correct?

10 A. In balance; you would have to keep it in

11 balance. You would need to establish and maintain main

12 supply routes, with alternatives, in case they were

13 blocked. And you would adjust -- obviously adjust your

14 main supply routes as battle goes on.

15 Q. There's a certain amount of fluidity in any

16 kind of a warfare situation with the ebb and flow of

17 the military advantage between forces; wouldn't you

18 agree with that?

19 A. I would agree with that, yes.

20 Q. And in order to control main supply routes,

21 especially in areas such as Central Bosnia, which

22 consist of deep valleys and ravines and so forth, you

23 would agree that it would be vital to control any high

24 ground adjacent to the main supply route as an adjunct

25 to the overriding military objective of ensuring that

Page 10441

1 the main supply route remains under your control;

2 correct?

3 A. You would make an appreciation as to the best

4 way of protecting that main supply route. That may in

5 some cases mean picketing the high ground; in other

6 cases it may not. It's a question of the level of the

7 threat, the terrain, and a number of other factors.

8 Q. Right. But generally speaking, if high

9 ground can be captured by opposing forces, from which

10 they can fire down onto troops using the main supply

11 route for reinforcement, for example, or aid moving

12 back and forth, there is no question that the

13 protection or capture of high ground overlooking the

14 main supply route is a reasonable and legitimate

15 military objective?

16 A. It is a legitimate --

17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters appeal to

18 counsel to slow down, please.

19 A. It is a legitimate objective, yes.

20 MR. SAYERS:

21 Q. And you would agree, sir -- I don't think

22 there's any doubt about this -- that the key to the

23 defence of the entire Vitez/Busovaca pocket was the

24 main supply route that ran up from Novi Travnik,

25 through Vitez, along to Kaonik, and down through

Page 10442

1 Busovaca; isn't that true?

2 A. The key to the defence of Vitez was the

3 ability to move from -- quickly and rapidly across the

4 pockets. Whether that was on a main supply route or on

5 an alternative doesn't matter; it's the ability to

6 move, and not the main supply route, that's important.

7 Q. I was just picking up, sir, on a statement

8 that you made on page 4 of the statement you gave to

9 the investigators working for the Prosecution on the

10 12th of August, 1996, and the 16th of April, 1997. I

11 don't think there is any dispute about this.

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, may I interrupt here

13 on a matter. This is not the first time you've put to

14 a witness a question beginning "Do you agree that."

15 The witness then says he either does agree, or often he

16 qualifies what he's said. You then produce his

17 statement and contradict him.

18 Now, we are dealing with events here which

19 lasted a very long time ago -- took place a very long

20 time ago. We are dealing with statements which

21 witnesses gave a long time ago, four or five years ago,

22 and I don't think it's fair to expect them to remember

23 precisely what is in their statements, even if they

24 have been able to refresh their memory from it.

25 If you want to put something from a statement

Page 10443

1 to a witness, the fair way to put it is to read out

2 what he said in the statement and then say, "That's

3 what you said; do you agree with that still," rather

4 than the other way around, which I'm sure you don't

5 intend it, but looks as though it's a trick or a trap.

6 MR. SAYERS: It was not intended to be,

7 Mr. President. I'm grateful for the guidance, and I

8 will do exactly as you suggest.

9 Q. On page 4 of the statement that you gave to

10 the investigators two and a half years ago, sir, you

11 said --

12 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Sayers, could you

13 please slow down?

14 MR. SAYERS:

15 Q. -- "... Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca."

16 A. I'm sorry, you're going too fast for the

17 interpreters. Could you read that out again, so I can

18 just --

19 Q. Certainly.

20 A. -- catch the whole thing?

21 Q. It says: "The key to the Defence of the

22 Vitez pocket was the main road, Novi Travnik, Vitez,

23 Busovaca."

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you agree with that, don't you?

Page 10444

1 A. I agree with that, and I was -- I believe that

2 my statement goes on at that stage to describe how the

3 Vitez pocket was defended. It may not have been in

4 that particular part of my statement, but I did

5 describe in some detail the method, very similar to the

6 First World War, how the Vitez pocket was defended.

7 Q. Just a few final questions in this regard.

8 When your tour began and when it ended, the Croats had

9 essentially been squeezed into geographically isolated

10 enclaves; that's fair to say, isn't it?

11 A. They were -- during the -- they were quite

12 dominant in the Vitez area when I first arrived, but

13 during the course of my seven months, they were indeed

14 squeezed into a number of pockets, yes.

15 Q. You would agree that the Vitez/Busovaca

16 pocket was a vital area for the Croats for a number of

17 reasons, including the location of the armaments

18 factory or the explosives factory in Vitez itself;

19 correct?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 Q. All right.

22 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, we've already

23 been over the offensive launched in June of 1993, and I

24 don't believe it would be necessary to revisit that

25 territory.

Page 10445

1 Q. Addressing your attention, Brigadier, to a

2 separate subject, which is the military chain of

3 command of the HVO, you were aware that the supreme

4 commander of the HVO forces was the president of the

5 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban;

6 correct?

7 A. Yes. I was aware of that.

8 Q. And you were also aware that the chief of the

9 HVO general staff in Mostar was Brigadier Milivoj

10 Petkovic; correct?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. Colonel Blaskic reported directly to

13 Brigadier Petkovic; correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And in your view, operational command of all

16 HVO forces in Central Bosnia was exercised directly

17 from the Hotel Vitez, wasn't it?

18 A. Operational command for the defence of the

19 pocket, using the troops, yes, was exercised from

20 there.

21 Q. As a former battalion commander yourself, you

22 viewed yourself, in that capacity, as having sole

23 responsibility for the actions of troops under your

24 command, didn't you?

25 A. I was given that formal authority by the

Page 10446

1 commander of the British forces in former Yugoslavia

2 who was based in Split, who had delineated my

3 boundaries and those people under my command, yes.

4 Q. And that's a fairly normal situation for a

5 battalion commander, isn't it, to have sole

6 responsibility for the actions of the troops under your

7 command?

8 A. Yes, but there can also be other people

9 stationed in your area who you're not -- you have no

10 action -- it's to do with command states. There are a

11 number of varying command states in most forces which

12 describe those forces directly under those command,

13 those in location, those in locations you have some

14 authority over, and those in locations you might be

15 providing administrative support for.

16 Q. All right. Let me just suggest to you that

17 you testified on page 9040 of the Blaskic case as

18 follows: that you were in "sole responsibility for all

19 of the actions of the troops under my command, which is

20 quite normal. That was absolutely standard practice.

21 There is one commander, who is directly responsible for

22 all actions of his troops, good or bad."

23 Do you still subscribe to that view today,

24 sir?

25 A. Yes, I do, but it again depends on the

Page 10447

1 command status. I was given that authority. It is not

2 always given to everybody. It is not a standard

3 argument.

4 Q. Wouldn't it be fair to say that with a few

5 minor exceptions, Brigadier, you viewed the HVO as

6 similar to any modern professional army in the world?

7 A. Yes. And I've stated that their

8 organisation, with particular reference to their

9 territorial organisation, was the same as any modern

10 army in the world.

11 Q. The HVO, as far as you were aware -- and I

12 think it's been exhibited -- had a full code of

13 military discipline, didn't it?

14 A. Yes, indeed.

15 Q. Similarly, the HVO had established military

16 courts and also a district military prosecutor's

17 office; you were aware of that, weren't you, sir?

18 A. Yes, I was, and I have referred to it on a

19 number of occasions, when I've stated that I -- well, I

20 knew that something had happened; I couldn't actually

21 prove it had happened, but they -- soldiers had been

22 through jurisdiction. And I also stated on a number of

23 occasions that the HVO in the Vitez pocket, in their

24 command structure, had a different command structure to

25 the BiH, with this political element at the top. And

Page 10448

1 that has been produced, I believe, as an exhibit in the

2 past.

3 Q. You viewed the existence of a detailed code

4 of military discipline, the existence of military

5 courts, and a military prosecutor, as the sign of a

6 developed army with a good command structure, didn't

7 you, sir?

8 A. It is part of the structure of a developed

9 army, yes. Provided those courts are used. I mean,

10 anyone can produce a structure and a code. If the code

11 is used and followed, that's fine. Just because

12 standing institutions are in place, doesn't mean that

13 the right practices are done.

14 Q. Let me just draw your attention to page 9106

15 of your testimony against General Blaskic. You

16 testified as follows:

17 "I was aware that there was a full code of

18 military discipline backing up the HVO, as published, I

19 believe, by the government of Herceg-Bosnia, which

20 details right down to the detail of how to deal with

21 court cases and process for disciplining. That is a

22 sign of a developed army that has a good command

23 structure."

24 And you agree with that today as well, sir,

25 don't you?

Page 10449

1 A. I do agree with that. But I must go back to

2 my reply to your previous question. Even if the code

3 is in place, it doesn't necessarily have to be used.

4 And you will recall -- if I could, sir, be allowed to

5 mention that on the 8th of September, I think --

6 wrong. I'll reclarify. After the convoy came through,

7 when I spoke to Kordic, one of the agreements he made

8 was that he would investigate the deaths of the eight

9 people who were killed. No such investigation took

10 place.

11 Now we are saying there is a code there for

12 military forces, and the areas under martial law, and

13 no such investigation took place. That would imply to

14 me that the code wasn't being followed.

15 At other occasions the code was followed.

16 When I asked Blaskic to investigate the arrival of a

17 rocket in my camp, he dealt with that very swiftly.

18 Q. Just one question in connection with the

19 comment that you just made, Brigadier. Following the

20 deaths of the eight drivers in the Convoy of Joy, which

21 was a private convoy, wasn't it?

22 A. It was a Muslim convoy -- yes, it was not an

23 UNHCR convoy, that's correct.

24 Q. Did you ever have any further written or oral

25 communications with Mr. Kordic on that subject?

Page 10450

1 A. Of asking for an investigation?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. No, I asked him the once. And he didn't

4 follow it up.

5 Q. All right.

6 A. I didn't -- I mean, I could have badgered him

7 at every meeting. In fact, we didn't meet very often

8 after that, as you know. But there are other things to

9 be done.

10 Q. Do you know what role politicians played in

11 the process of military discipline within the HVO

12 military forces, sir?

13 A. I don't know directly, but I would assume --

14 Q. Well, there is no need to assume, sir. In

15 the British army what role, if any, do civilian

16 politicians play in the process of military

17 investigations and military discipline? None, isn't

18 that true?

19 A. Well, I think that's wrong, because every

20 year parliament has to vote and clarify that we are

21 allowed to keep our army. And in doing so it then

22 endorses the Army Act in the U.K., and we are allowed

23 to carry on soldiering for another year. Without that

24 vote, there is no authority for anything in the army.

25 Q. Right. I understand that, Brigadier. The

Page 10451

1 point I make is slightly different, and that is this:

2 Once a military investigation has been initiated, in

3 the British army civilian politicians don't play any

4 role whatsoever in that investigation or in the process

5 of court martial or military prosecution; wouldn't that

6 be fair to say?

7 A. There is a -- no, there is an organisation

8 sitting on top of the court martial process, which

9 ensures and audits all the trials that have taken

10 place, to make sure that they are acceptable within

11 military law and complying with civil law, and we don't

12 exceed any of our boundaries.

13 Q. All right. Once again, let me just ask you.

14 With respect to -- and I don't mean to badger you, but

15 I would like an answer to this question. With respect

16 to a regular investigation of a particular crime,

17 military crime, that is the subject of a court martial,

18 it's true, is it not, that civilian politicians in your

19 system, in the British army, play absolutely no role

20 whatsoever in the Prosecution or investigation of the

21 crime?

22 A. It depends on the -- I don't wish to evade

23 this. It does depend on the level of the crime. If a

24 soldier is caught drunk, he may well be dealt with at

25 the appropriate level. If he is caught committing a

Page 10452

1 murder, that will then escalate the level at which it

2 can be dealt with, and it certainly couldn't be a

3 commanding officer. It would then go to a court

4 martial. If it goes to a court martial, there is a

5 judge advocate general who sits on that, who is not a

6 military person. He is civilian. And he is there to

7 see we do our business again correctly. --

8 JUDGE MAY: No more questions on that point.

9 MR. SAYERS: I think the point is made, Your

10 Honour, and I will move on.

11 Q. With respect to the rules of military

12 discipline about which you testified, I think that it

13 was Exhibit Z200,1. I wonder if the usher would give

14 you a copy of that.

15 Do you have before you the English version of

16 this document, sir?

17 A. Yes, that's the one I recognise.

18 Q. Military discipline. All right. Let me just

19 go through some of these fairly lengthy provisions with

20 you in an expeditious way. Could you just turn to

21 Article 16.

22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not

23 have copies.

24 MR. SAYERS:

25 Q. You were aware that the Supreme Commander of

Page 10453

1 the HZHB armed forces, Mr. Boban, as you previously

2 testified, if so requested or proposed, could reduce,

3 mitigate or remit disciplinary measures of punishment.

4 Were you aware of that?

5 A. I wasn't aware. You have made me aware of

6 the sentence now.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Could it be placed on the

8 ELMO, please. The interpreters do not have copies of

9 this document.

10 JUDGE MAY: How many of these Articles do you

11 want to go through?

12 MR. SAYERS: Probably four, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE MAY: Why don't you just refer us to

14 them without --

15 MR. SAYERS: I will do precisely that.

16 JUDGE MAY: Because the interpreters don't

17 have copies and it's much more difficult for them.

18 What's the next one?

19 MR. SAYERS: For the Court's information, I

20 would just draw the attention to Article 51, which

21 provides that:

22 "Disciplinary offences shall be tried by the

23 general staff's military disciplinary courts of first

24 instance and superior military disciplinary courts."

25 The only question that I wanted to ask the

Page 10454

1 Brigadier in that regard was this: Were you aware that

2 there was a two-tier system of courts within the HZHB:

3 military disciplinary courts of first instance and

4 superior military disciplinary courts?

5 A. That's very similar to the system -- to the

6 one we have, yes.

7 Q. All right. Article 54 provides that military

8 disciplinary court trials shall be conducted by a

9 three-judge council, with one presiding judge. Is that

10 similar to the system that's in place in your armed

11 forces, sir?

12 A. Yes, that seems quite reasonable, and it's

13 very similar to most armed forces, yes.

14 Q. And the final provision to which I would like

15 to draw the Trial Chamber's attention is Article 95,

16 which provides to whom the presidents of the inferior

17 and superior Tribunals shall be accountable.

18 "The President of the first-instance military

19 disciplinary court and the prosecutor bear disciplinary

20 liability for their work in court and answer to the

21 chief of the general staff or commander of the

22 operative zone, where the military disciplinary court

23 is located."

24 Were you aware of that provision, sir, or are

25 you looking at it for the first time?

Page 10455

1 A. I am looking at it in detail for the first

2 time. Am I permitted to ask a question at this stage,

3 sir?

4 JUDGE MAY: Not normally, but on this

5 occasion.

6 A. Thank you very much. I have a -- this is

7 fine, looking through all these Articles, but there's a

8 basic premise in the British military, is whether that

9 the crime is a military crime or a civilian crime. And

10 very often the civilian authorities may claim

11 jurisdiction and take it off the military. It depends

12 on the nature of the crime. I believe that's common to

13 most countries.

14 MR. SAYERS:

15 Q. Thank you for that, Brigadier. But that

16 never happened here, did it, with respect to, for

17 example, the Ahmici investigation about which you gave

18 testimony?

19 A. I don't know. I'm not aware.

20 Q. The second part of Article 95, Mr. President,

21 to which I want to draw the Court's attention, is that:

22 "The President of the superior military disciplinary

23 court and the prosecutor shall bear disciplinary

24 liability for their work in court and answer to the

25 head of the Defence Department."

Page 10456

1 Now, sir, do you know who the head of the

2 Defence Department was of the HZHB, or the Republic,

3 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosnia, when you were

4 in Central Bosnia?

5 A. No, sir, I do not.

6 Q. All right. Let me just turn to a separate

7 subject, and that is the opinions you gave regarding

8 some units of the military police. I wonder if the

9 usher would show you first Exhibit Z881,1, which is a

10 milinfosum number 35 dated June the 3rd, 1993, and

11 about which you gave testimony in direct examination.

12 The page to which I would like to draw your

13 attention is the second page. Now, this is a

14 milinfosum dated June the 3rd, even though it appears

15 to be dated May the 3rd of 1993. I think you clarified

16 that, Brigadier?

17 A. Yes, I think we did. Yes.

18 Q. Who was the Vitez LO at the time of this

19 milinfosum?

20 A. It would have either been Captain Angus Hay

21 or Captain Lee Whitworth, one of the two. They took

22 over. I'm not entirely -- my memory can't remember

23 when they took over. But one of those two.

24 Q. There is a reference here to the 4th

25 Battalion HVO MP, meaning, I take it, military police,

Page 10457

1 AKA Jokeri, and then in brackets "Black Knights." Were

2 you aware that the Croatian for Black Knights is Crni

3 Vitezovi?

4 A. I am aware that the town of Vitez means

5 knight, yes. I mean, the extrapolation of that would

6 be to do with knights, yes.

7 Q. You are aware, I take it, that there is a

8 separate detachment of special forces known as the

9 Vitezovi?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Whose comment appears in this milinfosum? Is

12 that the comment of the military information officer

13 himself?

14 JUDGE MAY: That was the evidence.

15 MR. SAYERS:

16 Q. All right.

17 JUDGE MAY: The intelligence officer Captain

18 Harrison, is my note.

19 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Captain Simon Harrison.

20 Q. You would concede, sir, that there was doubt,

21 as of the date of this milinfosum, June 3rd, 1993, as

22 to whether the control of the Jokeri or the 4th

23 Battalion of the military police came under the direct

24 control of Mr. Kordic, wouldn't you, and apparently it

25 indicates that there is doubt on that subject; correct?

Page 10458

1 A. It says apparently, yes.

2 Q. Okay.

3 A. That doesn't mean it's 100 per cent

4 confirmed, but --

5 Q. Right. Absolutely. And once again the

6 comment says that if this is the case, then it would

7 confirm that Mr. Kordic would be senior in status to

8 Blaskic and that the HDZ controlled the HVO. So that

9 was still an open question at this time?

10 A. That is a comment, as we've said, from

11 Captain Harrison based on the information he received.

12 And I would assume he would have added it to

13 information he had also received in the past, in

14 gaining a body of evidence, if you like, about the

15 various organisations and command structures.

16 Q. And thank you for pointing that out. I think

17 that it's clear that these milinfosum, while they

18 represent a snapshot in time, if you like, when put

19 together show the evolution of BritBat's knowledge of

20 what was going on on the ground, with the politicians,

21 with the military. Would that be fair to say?

22 A. That would be fair, yes.

23 Q. All right. If we could -- the next

24 milinfosum I would like to show to you is in a

25 different format. And I apologise; I only have a

Page 10459

1 snippet of it. It's August the 8th, 1993. And if I

2 could show it to you. And there are sufficient for the

3 translators, my colleagues point out, Mr. President.

4 This milinfosum appears to contain some

5 further information regarding the Vitezovi. Apparently

6 this organisation, at least according to the relator,

7 Borislav Jozic, was controlled by Mostar and was

8 commanded by one Bruno Stojic. Did you ever have any

9 conversations with your military information officer or

10 liaison officers on this particular subject, sir?

11 A. Well, the inference is made by Borislav

12 Jozic, the statement as described here. Yes, we would

13 have discussed it. Yes.

14 Q. Mr. Jozic, unfortunately, was killed in --

15 later in August of 1993; isn't that true? Shot by an

16 ABiH sniper?

17 A. Yes. I mean, I don't know.

18 Q. And this staff officer in the headquarters of

19 General Blaskic's office denied that the Vitezovi

20 worked to Dario Kordic's direction. You were aware of

21 that particular piece of information as of the date of

22 this milinfosum in August of 1993, weren't you?

23 A. Yes. But, I mean, that doesn't make the

24 statement true or false. That was made by that staff

25 officer. It's merely a statement that was made and

Page 10460

1 recorded.

2 MR. SAYERS: Could we have that marked as the

3 next exhibit, please.

4 THE REGISTRAR: Document marked D134/1.

5 MR. SAYERS:

6 Q. And the final military information summary,

7 milinfosum, that I would like to show to you in this

8 regard, sir, is dated August the 10th, two days later.

9 Thank you. It's military information summary 103.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D135/1.

11 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

12 Q. The particular part that I would like to draw

13 to your attention appears on page 5 of this document,

14 sir, under the heading of orbats. And apparently the

15 PWO liaison officer, or whoever was the source of the

16 information upon which the military information officer

17 relied, finally confirmed that the Jokeri and the

18 Vitezovi were different units; correct?

19 A. That's what he concluded at that time, yes.

20 Q. And is that consistent with your recollection

21 of the organisational structure, that in fact those two

22 units were completely separate units with different

23 commanders?

24 A. Sorry, can I just read through this again?

25 Q. Absolutely.

Page 10461

1 A. Yes, I can confirm that at that stage we

2 believed that there were two separate organisations.

3 Q. Now, sir, with respect to the Jokers and the

4 4th Battalion of the military police, I suggest to you

5 that the commander of that unit and of the military

6 police in your area of responsibility was Pasko

7 Ljubicic, with his headquarters in the Hotel Vitez.

8 That's true, is it not?

9 A. I don't know that. I don't recognise the

10 name.

11 Q. All right.

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we will adjourn now.

13 We will sit this afternoon until half past 4.00, in the

14 hope that we can finish. We'll take a short break at

15 some appropriate time.

16 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I wasn't aware

17 that we would be sitting this afternoon. If we are,

18 then I may be able to be finished with the Brigadier.

19 Thank you.

20 JUDGE MAY: I didn't imagine you were going

21 to finish in half an hour. But perhaps you might in an

22 hour and a half.

23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.55 p.m.

24

25

Page 10462

1 --- On resuming at 2.45 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry we're late starting.

3 There was a hold-up with a local demonstration.

4 Now, Mr. Sayers, I have a note from the -- or

5 had representations from the interpreters about speed.

6 Now, I recognise the difficulty, because you're under

7 pressure of time, not least from the Bench; but you

8 won't be criticised for speaking slowly. So perhaps

9 you can practice that.

10 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. It

11 certainly makes a large difference knowing that we have

12 the afternoon as well as the morning.

13 Q. Brigadier, just to give you some notion of

14 where this cross-examination is going, and the Trial

15 Chamber too, there are four subjects that I would like

16 to cover with you. The first is continuation of the

17 discussion of the chain of command and your dealings

18 with Colonel Blaskic in that regard; the second is your

19 meeting or meetings with Mr. Valenta about which you

20 testified; the third is the five meetings that you had

21 with Mr. Kordic about which you have also testified;

22 and then a short final subject will be the civil

23 affairs office, Mr. Randy Rhodes, and the reports that

24 he generated.

25 So without further ado, let me start out into

Page 10463

1 the first subject. You would agree, sir, that Colonel

2 Blaskic was, like you, a professional soldier; correct?

3 A. Yes, he was. I understood he had been a

4 captain in the JNA before these events.

5 Q. You knew that he was a graduate of the

6 military academy in Belgrade, I take it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. He had a full education, as far as you were

9 aware, in the rules and regulations of war?

10 A. As far as I was aware, yes.

11 Q. And in tactics, how to plan operations, how

12 to conduct them; correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And in your view, sir, his mission was to

15 defend the Vitez pocket, the Vitez/Busovaca pocket;

16 correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. I believe that you are of the opinion that he

19 did an effective job in that endeavour?

20 A. Yes, I am. He did an extremely effective

21 job.

22 Q. You, yourself, sir, never had occasion to

23 discuss the Geneva Conventions, or the rules and

24 regulations of war, if you like, with Colonel Blaskic,

25 did you?

Page 10464

1 A. [No audible response]

2 Q. And it would be fair to say that you made the

3 decision only to deal with the military leaders of

4 Colonel Blaskic's status and not with his subordinate

5 commanders; correct?

6 A. Yes, I have already stated that we had

7 established a hierarchy to deal -- so we didn't have

8 duplication.

9 Q. And it is also true that you met with Colonel

10 Blaskic about once a week; correct?

11 A. Yes. As -- as and when we could, but

12 obviously it was difficult from time to time.

13 Q. In your view, sir, Colonel Blaskic exercised

14 full and complete operational command of all of the HVO

15 forces in Central Bosnia directly from his headquarters

16 at the Hotel Vitez; correct?

17 A. He was the senior military commander. I do

18 not know the exact command status of all the units, and

19 we have discussed and talked about the Orbat, Order of

20 Battle diagram, before, where we showed those main

21 units, those main brigade units, are under command, but

22 are not the detail of the other units that would have

23 been in the area.

24 Q. Isn't it true that on several occasions you

25 actually took the opportunity to question Colonel

Page 10465

1 Blaskic on the subject of whether he was in fact in

2 command in the Operative Zone covering each of the

3 isolated pockets about which we've spoken, and he

4 confirmed to you, when you asked him specific questions

5 on that subject, that he was indeed in command?

6 A. Yes, he always said he was the military

7 commander of the Ops Zone.

8 Q. Yes. The point I'm making is that you took

9 the opportunity to clarify with him that particular

10 subject on several occasions, didn't you?

11 A. Yes, I did, yes.

12 Q. And as to his status as a commander, as he

13 described to you, it was quite clear to you that he was

14 in fact very much the commander, wasn't it, sir?

15 A. He had -- he had the headquarters and the

16 capability of commanding, certainly.

17 Q. Right. You testified at page 9061 in the

18 Blaskic case about a year and a half ago, quote: "As

19 for his status as a commander, it was quite clear to me

20 that he was very much the commander."

21 And that's what you are saying today as well,

22 isn't it?

23 A. Yes, sir, it is.

24 Q. In fact, sir, he had all of the trappings of

25 command: for example, a large headquarters; correct?

Page 10466

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Well-equipped staff?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Deputy commanders, such as Franjo Nakic?

5 A. Yes, Franjo Nakic was there.

6 Q. And liaison officers, such as Mr. Gelic?

7 A. Gelic, yes, was the liaison officer.

8 Q. In fact, in your view, he was a capable and

9 successful commander, wasn't he?

10 A. Yes, he was.

11 Q. This was not just your view; this view was

12 shared by other people in your area of responsibility,

13 was it not?

14 A. Within my -- within my command, that view was

15 shared; but others, from other aid agencies, I can't

16 speak for them, obviously.

17 Q. You said in the Blaskic case, just a few

18 pages after the passage that I read to you, at page

19 9063, that "It was quite clear to me he was a commander

20 exercising command, issuing orders, controlling events

21 as and when required, in the classic style of any

22 military commander operating a large headquarters."

23 And I take it, Brigadier, that that remains

24 your view today as well?

25 A. Yes, sir, it does.

Page 10467

1 Q. And you also stated -- and I believe this

2 will be the last subject on that -- the last question

3 on that subject -- at page 9065, that:

4 "In order to operate the defence of the

5 Vitez-Busovaca pocket successfully, there must be one

6 commander.

7 Secondly, he must have everything in that

8 area directly under his command. And he must have an

9 adequate information and communication system in order

10 to be able to operate that defence. I have to say that

11 Commander Blaskic operated that defence superbly

12 because he had all of those ingredients."

13 And that also remains your view today, sir;

14 correct?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. One of the command characteristics, if you

17 like, which you saw yourself exhibited by Colonel

18 Blaskic, was his power to sign ceasefire agreements

19 without consulting anybody else; correct?

20 A. That's correct, yes.

21 Q. And he actually signed such a ceasefire

22 agreement, I believe, on June the 19th, with General

23 Enver Hadzihasanovic?

24 A. I would be uncertain of the date without

25 seeing the agreement, but yes, there were joint

Page 10468

1 signatures on a number of documents.

2 Q. On a related subject, sir, the subject of the

3 investigation into the terrible events at Ahmici was

4 raised, and you gave some testimony on that. You were

5 aware that Colonel Blaskic had in fact initiated an

6 investigation into the events at Ahmici, were you not?

7 A. I was aware that, one, an investigation had

8 been initiated. I wasn't aware of how far it had got.

9 And I think it was due to a report in May sometime, the

10 25th as a date that springs to mind, but I couldn't be

11 exact.

12 Q. Now, did you have any discussions with

13 Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart, the departing CO of the

14 Cheshire Regiment, regarding communications back and

15 forth between Colonel Blaskic and BritBat in connection

16 with how that inquiry was to be structured?

17 A. I didn't, no. All I had was the fact that an

18 inquiry was going to take place. We had communications

19 by fax and telephone at an early stage with Colonel

20 Blaskic's headquarters.

21 Q. Let me just suggest to you these documents

22 are already in evidence, and I don't think there is any

23 necessity to belabour this, but Colonel Stewart sent a

24 letter to Colonel Blaskic on the 22nd of April asking

25 him to initiate an investigation. Were you aware that

Page 10469

1 one day later Colonel Blaskic offered to convene a

2 multi-lateral investigative commission consisting of

3 the HVO forces, or representatives, ABiH

4 representatives, and BritBat representatives as well?

5 A. I wasn't directly aware of that, but it would

6 seem an entirely reasonable thing to do, to get to the

7 bottom of the problem.

8 Q. You were present in the area when

9 representatives from the United Nations Centre for

10 Human Rights actually came into the area and performed

11 an investigation into the events at Ahmici, correct?

12 A. Yes, we had a number of people came. Yes.

13 Q. Were you aware that the results of their

14 investigations turned up four specific names of people

15 believed to have been present at the Ahmici fighting on

16 April the 16th of 1993, and that those names were

17 subsequently put into a letter that was communicated to

18 Jean-Pierre Thebault, the ECMM regional centre head in

19 Zenica?

20 A. I wasn't aware of that at all, no.

21 Q. Were you aware or did you have any

22 discussions with Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart about the

23 fact that a deliberate and conscious decision was made

24 to withhold those names from Colonel Blaskic and the

25 HVO?

Page 10470

1 A. No.

2 Q. Brigadier, did you have any discussions with

3 Colonel Blaskic, after your first meeting with him,

4 which I think you said was on May the 9th of 1993, did

5 you have any other discussions with him regarding the

6 progress of the investigation into the Ahmici events?

7 A. There tended to be a standard list of

8 questions for most meetings, which after two or three I

9 realised were pointless. And I think on one occasion

10 we both agreed it was pointless, if we both sat down

11 and made the same five demands. So I stopped asking.

12 I had a responsibility to get the aid through the

13 pocket. It was therefore in order to ease the wheels;

14 there is no point in irritating people. And there

15 comes a point where you ask question after question,

16 and at that stage there was very little point in going

17 on any further.

18 Q. So would the answer to the question be that

19 after May the 9th of 1993 you did not actually raise

20 the events at Ahmici or the status of the investigation

21 with Colonel Blaskic again?

22 A. That's true, yes.

23 Q. All right. Let me address this subject a

24 little cautiously, Brigadier. Would it be fair to say

25 that you and Colonel Blaskic had a tense, distrustful

Page 10471

1 relationship, one of animosity and distrust?

2 A. If you are saying I disliked Colonel Blaskic,

3 that would be wrong. If you are saying I liked Colonel

4 Blaskic, that would also be wrong. But if you are

5 implying that my personal feelings against anybody I

6 dealt with in Bosnia at any time would cloud my

7 judgement, then I would -- I would dispute that. And I

8 dispute that because that is not the way the British

9 army does it. That is not the way I command it. And

10 having recently come from a military ethics conference,

11 of which I submitted a paper, it's something that I

12 think is immoral almost, to allow judgments like that

13 to cloud decisions.

14 Q. All right. You discussed an incident when a

15 RPG 7-round or rocket-propelled grenade hit the BritBat

16 base in Nova Bila, and that actually left you

17 absolutely furious, didn't it?

18 A. Yes. I think it's quite a natural reaction

19 to be extremely angry when somebody tries to kill one

20 of your soldiers, when you are actually there to keep

21 people alive as best you can by the provision of aid.

22 Q. That's perfectly understandable, Brigadier,

23 and you actually sent off a blistering complaint

24 immediately to Colonel Blaskic once that round had hit

25 your army base; correct?

Page 10472

1 A. Yes. He sent off blistering complaints to me

2 at regular intervals as well.

3 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, that at the end

4 of your tour you reviewed Colonel Blaskic's conduct and

5 concluded that he had demonstrated a pattern of failure

6 to act when it deemed -- when he deemed it not to be in

7 his own interest?

8 A. I understand the question. I have some --

9 are you asking for my feelings about Colonel Blaskic or

10 an estimation of his professional skills?

11 Q. Let me go through here. I am just referring

12 to page 9094, the testimony that you gave in the

13 Blaskic case on June the 3rd of 1998. You said:

14 "But when I look back, I see throughout these

15 events a pattern of failure by Commander Blaskic to act

16 when he deemed it was not in his own interest. He

17 would act only if he saw it as a direct benefit."

18 Does that remain your view today?

19 A. That does remain my view, yes.

20 Q. In fact, Colonel Blaskic made statements to

21 you that were, as you testified, I believe, on the same

22 page, blatantly not true; correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And, in fact, so untrue as to be almost

25 completely unbelievable?

Page 10473

1 A. Yes, that is -- but I found over the seven

2 months I was there, that whether it is a feature of

3 that part of the world, but there was a certain naivete

4 in threats and the way people did business. Some of

5 the suggestions made were in some cases childly naive

6 and rather foolish in the eyes of -- in my eyes and in

7 my country's eyes. We got -- you got used to that.

8 There was no point in going back and questioning it,

9 because that would have been rude and it wouldn't have

10 been very constructive at all.

11 Q. Well, along those lines, in your very first

12 meeting with Colonel Blaskic on May the 9th of 1993,

13 your conclusion was that the explanations that he

14 offered for what had happened at Ahmici were plainly

15 and completely, absolutely ludicrous, to use the words

16 that you used on page 9056 of the transcript one and a

17 half years ago; isn't that right?

18 A. Yes, it is. But I believe I also stated that

19 it was Colonel Bob Stewart who was leading that

20 meeting. And I was sitting in the back row and not

21 making any comment.

22 Q. But you concluded that the three reasons he

23 came up with were ridiculous, to use your words?

24 A. Yes, I did. Yes.

25 Q. In fact, sir, to go one step further, it was

Page 10474

1 your conclusion that Colonel Blaskic was deliberately

2 lying to you in your very first meeting with him;

3 correct?

4 A. I would say evading the truth rather than

5 deliberately lying.

6 Q. On page 9057, sir, of the transcript of your

7 testimony one and a half years ago, you said, in

8 response to this question:

9 "Brigadier, and pardon my directness in this

10 question, did you conclude that the defendant was lying

11 to you?"

12 And the answer was:

13 "Oh, yeah. There was no other conclusion.

14 He was lying. And the problem was, it wasn't even a

15 clever lie. It was very naive."

16 That's true, is it not?

17 A. Yes, that's -- I mean, that's what I have

18 said over the last two replies, I hope, that it was a

19 very naive reply.

20 Q. And moving forward to the Dobrila Kolaba

21 incident, and this is the only question I have on

22 that: Your conversation with Colonel Blaskic in

23 connection with the HVO investigation into that item

24 resulted in conclusions that you found to be almost

25 ludicrous, right?

Page 10475

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. In fact, you concluded that he was telling

3 you a complete lie. Not only was it a small lie, it

4 was such a huge and elaborate lie, as you stated one

5 and a half years ago on page 9079 of the transcript;

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Departing from this subject a little bit and

9 getting back into the chain of command, sir, and the

10 last set of questions on that. You were familiar with

11 the fact that a joint operations command had been set

12 up in early June of 1993, following the outbreak of the

13 hostilities in April and the ceasefire agreements that,

14 temporarily anyway, resolved those; correct?

15 A. Yes, the Travnik joint command.

16 Q. Yes. And that commission was established by

17 order of Colonel Blaskic for the HVO and General

18 Hadzihasanovic for the 3rd Corps in Zenica; correct?

19 A. Sorry. Yes, as the senior commanders, they

20 would be responsible for that.

21 Q. And as a result of that, there were a series

22 of joint meetings held between senior Croat and Muslim

23 military leaders in an attempt to try to defuse

24 tension; correct?

25 A. Yes, at which myself, the ECMM and UNHCR,

Page 10476

1 and, where possible, the Red Cross and others, would be

2 present.

3 Q. But one person was never present at any of

4 those meetings, and that was Mr. Kordic; isn't that

5 true?

6 A. Yes, it was a meeting of the military people

7 for a ceasefire.

8 Q. And indeed, the military commanders issued a

9 series of joint orders dealing with things such as

10 forbidding the expulsion of citizens from their homes;

11 correct?

12 A. As a result of the meetings, I issued a

13 record of the decisions taken, and then I asked them to

14 issue, down their chain of command, similar orders, to

15 make sure that the word was carried down to their

16 commands.

17 Q. And as far as you know, those orders were

18 passed down the chain of command by both sides;

19 correct?

20 A. Yes, they would be passed down. I mean, I

21 can't say that they got down to the lowest level; I

22 have no knowledge of how far they went. On some

23 occasions, I saw the published paper, which, when it

24 was translated, gave that effect. But as to how

25 effective they had been done, I have no knowledge.

Page 10477

1 Q. Other subjects addressed by these joint

2 commands were things such as maintaining peace in the

3 various communities; correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. As well as controlling criminal elements in

6 those communities; right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You would concede, sir, that that was a

9 pretty pervasive problem throughout your tour of duty

10 in the area, was it not?

11 A. It's a wonderful excuse, and I think

12 everybody throughout Bosnia -- and I mean wider

13 Bosnia -- used it. There were always criminal elements

14 somewhere. It's a -- it was used by everybody

15 consistently. The great criminal element; I'd like to

16 find him.

17 Q. But to be fair, those kinds of complaints you

18 found to be routine on both sides, the HVO and the

19 ABiH, did you not?

20 A. Yes. It's a -- it's a very convenient way of

21 denying responsibility.

22 Q. There were also joint orders issued dealing

23 with the treatment of prisoners as well; right?

24 A. Yes, that's correct.

25 Q. And my final question on this subject is, the

Page 10478

1 joint commission was actually disbanded; it fell into

2 complete disuse, if you like, following the ABiH

3 offensive in Travnik in June of 1993. Isn't that fair

4 to say?

5 A. That's -- that's absolutely correct, yes. It

6 collapsed.

7 Q. All right. We don't need to identify this

8 order unless you wish to see it, but you actually

9 issued an order which contained exactly that

10 observation: As a result of recent offensive

11 activities in the area, the joint commission should be

12 disbanded because it was no longer serving any useful

13 function?

14 A. Subsequent to a meeting where one side failed

15 to turn up, and I think it was the ABiH failed to turn

16 up, it was quite apparent there were so many violations

17 of all of the provisions that we were trying to work

18 for that it was pointless.

19 Q. One thing I simply don't know, and I don't

20 know whether any evidence has been adduced on this

21 subject; I suspect not: Do you know whether any such

22 joint commission was ever revived after June of 1993,

23 during your tour?

24 A. It would have been revived, I suspect, later

25 on in '94, in the latter half of '94, when the country

Page 10479

1 was -- the U.N. decided to have sectors, and at those

2 sectors, the concept of the joint commission was

3 revived, from the top to the bottom, in order to get

4 both sides working together. When it worked, it's

5 fine; but it relies on cooperation and understanding by

6 both sides. If that trust and cooperation breaks down,

7 it's very difficult to generate it.

8 Q. And if I have my history correct, that trust

9 and cooperation did break down, and there were no joint

10 commissions from the dissolution of the joint

11 commission in Travnik and Vitez in June of 1993 up

12 until the signature of the Washington Agreements in

13 March of 1994; would that be fair to say?

14 A. That would be fair to say, and that was

15 replaced by, if you like, a shuttle diplomacy at the

16 various levels, trying to calm tensions. Not very

17 successful, but we tried.

18 Q. Was Colonel Blaskic one of the shuttle

19 diplomats, Brigadier?

20 A. Colonel Blaskic was one of the people I used

21 to go and see, yes.

22 Q. All right. Let me depart this subject and go

23 into talking about Mr. Valenta, if I may. Did you ever

24 discover what Mr. Valenta's actual political position

25 was?

Page 10480

1 A. I think it's recorded in the back of one of

2 the milinfosums that's already been produced here as

3 evidence. He was deputy, I think, for the Vitez area

4 -- or head of the Vitez area HDZ. I wouldn't, off the

5 top of my head, be able to tell exactly what it was.

6 Q. Let me just suggest to you -- and I

7 appreciate that there's a confusion of acronyms and so

8 forth, and it's sometimes difficult to keep one

9 straight from the other, but in terms of the HVO, did

10 you know that he was actually a vice-president of the

11 HVO and had held that position since October the 17th

12 of 1992?

13 A. That -- that sounds about right, yes, I would

14 think, yes.

15 Q. And did you know that the president of the

16 HVO, who had held that position since August, I

17 believe, of 1992, was Dr. Jadranko Prlic?

18 A. That name does not ring a bell. I can't

19 remember that.

20 Q. All right. And just contrasting his position

21 a little bit with Mr. Kordic's, did you know that

22 Mr. Kordic was never a president, or vice-president, or

23 really an officer of the HVO, or held any office in the

24 HVO, other than on the commission of personnel, I

25 believe?

Page 10481

1 A. No, but I wouldn't -- I mean, Mr. Kordic had

2 influence. He may not have had an official position,

3 but he had influence. He spoke to me on behalf of the

4 Croat population of the pocket on one occasion. I

5 mean, that is somebody who feels he has influence. He

6 also appeared, I'm aware, a number of times on

7 television in that pocket. He was a man we thought had

8 influence.

9 Q. In your mind, sir, you actually placed

10 Mr. Valenta hierarchically higher, if you like, than

11 Mr. Kordic; you saw Mr. Kordic as really one level down

12 from Mr. Valenta. Isn't that correct?

13 A. In terms of -- I think I placed Mr. Valenta

14 as the author of -- and the man with the ideas; but

15 then the separate plans to initiate those ideas were

16 put by Mr. Kordic. And then, as I said before, I

17 believe that Colonel Blaskic was the one who provided

18 the soldiers to initiate those plans. So the

19 hierarchy, if you like, has gone from the concept to a

20 plan and to putting it into effect.

21 Q. You said in the Blaskic case a year and a

22 half ago, page 9054, that "The doctrine was there by

23 Anto Valenta. I assumed that Dario Kordic was a

24 politician, the next level down."

25 Is that still your view today?

Page 10482

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. All right. Now, sir --

3 A. Sorry, can I qualify that? I wouldn't say

4 that Dario Kordic was following the direct orders, as

5 it were, in a hierarchical -- it's not a military

6 hierarchical structure. It's a political structure.

7 It's to do with influence, and talking, and people

8 playing various parts. I wouldn't say they were

9 Number 1 and 2; they had influence in different

10 directions.

11 Q. Well, you did assume that Mr. Kordic was the

12 next level down, so one could infer from that --

13 correct me if I'm wrong -- that he basically took

14 direction from Mr. Valenta, in your view, or at least

15 that was your conclusion a year and a half ago?

16 A. It was my conclusion a year and a half ago,

17 yes.

18 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Valenta never tried

19 to --

20 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Pardon me,

21 Mr. Sayers; I think that we need to clarify this

22 situation for the benefit of the Chamber. I should

23 like to address myself to Brigadier Duncan.

24 In your view, was there a hierarchical

25 relationship between Mr. Valenta and Mr. Kordic?

Page 10483

1 A. No, sir, I don't believe there was a

2 hierarchical relationship. They were, if you like,

3 working on different subjects within the same

4 organisation. So they were -- there was left and

5 right; one being concepts and one making the plans. I

6 don't think anyone had primacy over the other. It is

7 easy to draw a diagram and put them down in a neat

8 little box, and that's what a military mind would try

9 to do; but this was a political organisation, not a

10 military organisation.

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] When you

12 refer to the concept, to the idea being established by

13 Mr. Valenta, what do you rely on to say that?

14 A. I rely on -- sir, I rely on the big -- the

15 large briefing he gave to me very early on in my tour,

16 I think it was on the 12th of May, when I went to the

17 Hotel Vitez and he explained to me his book and the

18 ideas in his book for how the country of Bosnia should

19 be organised. And he explained that in some detail.

20 That's why I thought he was the man with the ideas for

21 the future of his country.

22 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Brigadier

23 Duncan -- and this will be my last question -- I would

24 like us to be quite clear on this, because we are all

25 searching for the truth, which is why we are here.

Page 10484

1 When you say the concept on the basis of that book, did

2 you or any of your assistants or people on the ground

3 have -- did they address you, did you address

4 Mr. Valenta, when you had any strategic problem, to

5 seek a solution with him?

6 A. We -- I tasked my liaison officer in Vitez to

7 see Mr. Valenta to do with some problems to do with the

8 local area of telephones and -- and what I call

9 internal matters, as a political man, and I think that

10 Mr. Randy Rhodes would have had dealings with him later

11 on, as my political adviser. We only talked,

12 Mr. Valenta and I, on two or three occasions at the

13 most.

14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Did you

15 address Mr. Valenta for problems connected to military

16 actions or operations?

17 A. No, sir, not at all. Not the military side.

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you,

19 Brigadier.

20 MR. SAYERS:

21 Q. You actually had occasion to send a formal

22 complaint about HVO activities at Trnovac on May the

23 31st, 1993, both to Mr. Valenta and to Colonel Blaskic,

24 didn't you, sir?

25 A. That may well have been. I also recollect I

Page 10485

1 sent a strongly worded message to Mr. Valenta because

2 he complained about my choice of interpreters.

3 Q. But the point I'm making is a complaint was

4 made on a variety of topics, including some military

5 topics, to Colonel Blaskic and to Mr. Valenta in June

6 of 1993; isn't that true?

7 A. That will be true. I was not always entirely

8 clear who to address complaints to, and therefore some

9 of them you will see information copies and, if you

10 like, action copies.

11 Q. All right. Let's move on a little. You gave

12 some testimony concerning a book that was given to you

13 by Mr. Valenta. He never tried to contend at any time

14 to you, sir, that this book had been adopted as the

15 official policy of the Croat political institutions,

16 did he?

17 A. No, sir, but when you -- as I've said, I

18 think, on the record already, when you are briefed

19 by what seemed to be a senior political figure in that

20 area, within days of arrival, he takes the time and

21 trouble to brief the commanding officer of the

22 battalion there, who effectively is the senior United

23 Nations person on the spot, he takes three hours of one

24 morning to take me slowly through the ideas in that

25 book, you have to ask yourself why. I mean, clearly he

Page 10486

1 is not doing it out of benign interest; he wants me to

2 understand his ideas in that book. And he must have a

3 reason behind that; otherwise it would be wasting

4 everybody's time.

5 Q. Well, neither Colonel Blaskic nor Mr. Kordic

6 ever intimated to you that that book in any way

7 reflected the official position of the Croat political

8 institutions, did they, sir?

9 A. Well, no, they didn't, no. But I wouldn't --

10 I wouldn't expect that the subject of the book would

11 come under conversation, certainly with Colonel

12 Blaskic.

13 Q. When we were discussing Mr. Valenta in your

14 previous testimony, I asked you a question, which was

15 whether you were aware that he had recently returned to

16 Vitez. Did you know that he was actually a teacher in

17 Vitez prior to moving his office to Travnik?

18 A. I did know he was a teacher in Vitez, because

19 we discussed at that time a problem he had with, I

20 believe, another teacher, who was of a different

21 religion, who had left -- who had left the area.

22 Q. All right. And did Lieutenant-Colonel

23 Stewart tell you that he did not even know that this

24 gentleman existed prior to the time that Mr. Valenta

25 apparently moved back from Travnik to Vitez towards the

Page 10487

1 beginning of May of 1993?

2 A. I am not aware that Colonel Bob Stewart knew

3 that Mr. Valenta actually existed.

4 Q. Right. So there is no way that

5 Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart would have been in a

6 position to brief you regarding the --

7 JUDGE MAY: No.

8 MR. SAYERS: Very well, Your Honour. I take

9 your point.

10 Q. Let's take a look at the evidence that we

11 have relating to this meeting, sir. And I think that

12 you have reviewed your -- the notes that you made on

13 May the 13th of 1993; correct?

14 A. Yes. I think you will find I submitted, I

15 think, seven pages, which are -- the first items, which

16 are the direct photocopies from my diary taken after

17 those meetings.

18 Q. And the second source that we have consists

19 of your typewritten diary?

20 A. Yes, sir.

21 Q. And this was done contemporaneously?

22 A. That was written at about 10.00 that evening.

23 Q. And it summarised, to the best of your

24 ability, all of the significant events, conversations

25 that you had had during the preceding day; correct?

Page 10488

1 A. It's a diary. It doesn't summarise every

2 event. It summarises those I thought about, I wished

3 to record. It was a personal diary. It's not meant to

4 indicate anyone's views except my own.

5 Q. Well, apparently, sir, on the 12th of May of

6 1993, a delegation from Vitez town arrived at your

7 office at 4.30, including the mayor and Mr. Valenta;

8 correct?

9 A. That's correct, yes. In fact, I spoke to him

10 outside the back door of the school and at that time we

11 arranged a meeting for the next day in Vitez.

12 Q. All right. So the views that you've

13 described to the Trial Chamber were not articulated to

14 you on May the 12th, 1993, were they?

15 A. On the 12th. No, they were articulated on

16 the 13th in Hotel Vitez.

17 Q. Very well. This was just outside the back of

18 your office, was it?

19 A. It was indeed, yes.

20 Q. And you've got a reference in your diary to

21 the fact that Mr. Valenta has said that he would not

22 accept the Vance-Owen Plan, that he's the architect of

23 a holocaust throughout Central Bosnia. Where did you

24 get that information from?

25 A. The big question would be whether I typed my

Page 10489

1 diary that night or the next night, and I do not know.

2 I can't tell you that, in all honesty. I mean, you are

3 taking -- I have submitted my diary, as was requested.

4 I've struck out all the things I think were personal,

5 the things I've got in there, what I felt at the time.

6 I mean, if the day is wrong, the day is wrong.

7 Q. As you say, sir. Let me just show to you

8 milinfosum for the 12th of May, 1993 and the 13th of

9 May, 1993.

10 JUDGE MAY: We seem to be spending a long

11 time. This is Mr. Valenta that this is about,

12 Mr. Valenta's views. And I wonder how far it's going

13 to assist the Trial Chamber to go into it in this

14 detail.

15 MR. SAYERS: There is one detail, I think,

16 Your Honour, that is significant. Let me see if I can

17 wrap it up in just one question.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 MR. SAYERS:

20 Q. Colonel, you would agree that with respect to

21 all of the terrible views that you described, the "I

22 hate them" comment that you testified about just a

23 couple of days ago in 1999, in none of the

24 contemporaneous sources -- not in your notes, not in

25 your diary, not in the milinfosum -- is there any

Page 10490

1 reference at all to any of that, is there?

2 A. Sorry, reference to what specifically?

3 Q. The views that you described Mr. Valenta as

4 articulating.

5 A. The views -- you will see my reply to his

6 views in my notebook. I think it's important to point

7 out that those -- that my notebook records a number of

8 things, or can record a number of things. It can

9 record my thoughts before a meeting. It can record my

10 thoughts during a meeting. It can record the output of

11 a meeting. In general terms, I tried to avoid, as I

12 think I mentioned before, scribbling during a meeting,

13 which always appears to be quite rude.

14 If you look closely at what I produced in the

15 notebook, on that first issue of pages, the seven

16 pages, those are my replies to what was expounded by

17 Mr. Valenta. I don't list what is expounded. I put

18 the replies down.

19 Q. All right. Just to --

20 JUDGE MAY: You see, you put to him, to the

21 witness, that there is no mention of hating Muslims,

22 but the reference to the architect of a holocaust

23 throughout Central Bosnia suggests something of that

24 sort, doesn't it?

25 MR. SAYERS: Do you want a response from

Page 10491

1 that?

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I am asking you. You put

3 the question, and there is your answer in the diary.

4 MR. SAYERS: With all due respect, Your

5 Honour, I completely disagree. That was dated May the

6 12th, and the views that the Brigadier has stated were

7 expressed to him were on May the 13th. And there is no

8 reference to those views in the contemporaneous notes

9 that he prepared. There is no quotation or any kind of

10 paraphrase even of what was supposedly said to the

11 Brigadier by Mr. Valenta on the 12th or the 13th.

12 There isn't any reference in a milinfosum to that

13 either, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about the

15 milinfosum. It's in the diary.

16 You've heard what counsel has said,

17 Brigadier. What is your answer to that?

18 A. Well, sir, looking at my diary, and the bit

19 that is quoted about the architect, I am pretty

20 unlikely to have made that comment on the 12th, having

21 met Mr. Valenta for the first time outside the back

22 door of my headquarters and received a number of

23 complaints which he wanted sorting out. I'm much more

24 likely to have actually thought about that and made the

25 observation after my meeting on the 13th. If my diary

Page 10492

1 is wrong, it's wrong. It won't be the first time my

2 diary's been wrong. It's my recollections.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, let's move on.

4 MR. SAYERS:

5 Q. All right. Just one final question on this.

6 Your liaison officer, then captain, I suppose, Angus

7 Hay, accompanied you to the Hotel Vitez to meet not

8 only with Mr. Valenta, who, as you point out, is the

9 deputy minister in the HVO, but also with Mr. Santic

10 and Mr. Skopljak; right?

11 A. That's right. Yes, sir.

12 Q. I take it that these views were articulated,

13 these extremist views that you've related, were

14 articulated in front of all four gentlemen?

15 A. No, they weren't. They were just articulated

16 in front of myself, and Major Burton may have been

17 there, who was my bodyguard, and Mr. Valenta,

18 obviously.

19 Q. Let's leave that subject, Brigadier, and go

20 on to the third topic that I wanted to cover with you,

21 the five meetings that you had with Mr. Kordic. You

22 say that the first one occurred on May the 19th, 1993,

23 and Colonel Blaskic was also present; right?

24 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.

25 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that Mr. Kordic came in

Page 10493

1 just as everyone was about to leave that meeting, and

2 that a round of drinks was enjoyed by all involved: by

3 you, by Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart, Colonel Blaskic and

4 Mr. Kordic?

5 A. I thought he came earlier than that, but we

6 certainly would have finished with a round of drinks.

7 That was quite normal.

8 Q. All right. You would agree that Mr. Kordic

9 -- in fact, I think you said on page 35 of your

10 testimony on the previous day that you do not recollect

11 that Mr. Kordic made any comments at all?

12 A. No, I don't recollect he made any. He was

13 merely sitting at the back and listening to the

14 exchange of views between Colonel Stewart and Commander

15 Blaskic.

16 Q. All right. And yet your contemporaneous

17 diary entry says that you were later joined by a man

18 called Kordic, who was nominally a Colonel in the HVO,

19 but is in reality a hardline HVO political commissar.

20 Who actually told you that?

21 A. Colonel Bob Stewart told me that. And that

22 is an impression gained at that time from Colonel

23 Stewart and from what he told me. And, as I've said

24 before, it's an impression reinforced during my time in

25 Bosnia on a number of occasions.

Page 10494

1 Q. But it's true, isn't it, that

2 Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart never referred to Mr. Kordic

3 as a commander; he only ever referred to Colonel

4 Blaskic as the real commander of all of the HVO forces

5 in Central Bosnia, and that's what he told you?

6 A. He would, I think -- I mean, I have stated in

7 the past in this Court that I referred to the local

8 colonels, brigade commanders, as commanders, out of

9 politeness. It was very difficult to tell what rank

10 they were. When you meet somebody who is in uniform,

11 who is obviously a man in authority, I would call them

12 commander.

13 Q. All right. At your request, Brigadier, I

14 believe that milinfosums relating to the dates of all

15 of these meetings have already been provided to you and

16 reviewed by you. There is no reference in your diary

17 or in any of the milinfosums that contains any

18 reference to the three stories that you say that

19 Colonel Blaskic articulated to Lieutenant-Colonel

20 Stewart and you, is there?

21 A. No. And you will remember I stated before, I

22 didn't take notes at the meeting between Colonel

23 Blaskic and myself, the one on May the 9th. I didn't

24 take any notes during that meeting.

25 Q. With respect to this Colonel's status that

Page 10495

1 you've talked about, your view, as expressed to the

2 investigators for the Prosecution three and a half

3 years ago and two and a half years ago, was that

4 although Dario Kordic was a Colonel in the HVO, he was

5 not formally in command of HVO soldiers; his role was

6 more political. Right?

7 A. Yes. And in the same way that we have, as it

8 were, civil service ranks for civilians in Great

9 Britain which match military ranks. And it gives

10 people status.

11 Q. He was a sort of a honorary colonel, then, in

12 your view? Yes?

13 A. Well, he was of the status and -- I mean, he

14 had the car to take him round and the sort of things

15 that a commander had.

16 Q. In connection with the May the 19th meeting

17 that you discussed, there is a reference in here in

18 your notes. Would it be fair to say that there is no

19 -- we don't need to belabour what the notes say, but

20 there is no question that there is no record of

21 anything that Mr. Kordic said in this social luncheon;

22 right?

23 A. No. It's a bit out of place, when you are

24 having lunch, to produce a notebook and start writing

25 just as the fish arrives.

Page 10496

1 Q. But you actually made these notes up at 10.00

2 that night on May the 19th, 1993; right?

3 A. They would have been made up afterwards.

4 Q. And the only recorded conversation that you

5 wrote about on the 19th of May was a comment made by

6 Colonel Blaskic, who told you to shoot snipers if they

7 caused you a problem within 500 metres of your base at

8 Nova Bila; right?

9 A. Yes, because we discussed the problem of

10 military action close to the bases. I should add,

11 though, that after all these meetings, every single day

12 in my headquarters I had a conference at 1800 hours, in

13 the evening; where those who had been out on the ground

14 would, as it were, download the information they had

15 heard. So that was done as quickly as possible. That

16 would have been incorporated to increase our body of

17 knowledge, if you like, and also in milinfosums.

18 Q. All right. So you had a commander's briefing

19 and that information was distilled down -- filtered

20 through the military information officer and later put

21 into a milinfosum?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. I wonder if the usher could show you D132/1,

24 which is a milinfosum from the 19th of May, 1993. The

25 only part that I would like you to concentrate upon,

Page 10497

1 sir, is in item number 1 under Vitez, where it says:

2 "The HVO in the area appear to be commanded

3 by an 18-year-old and are clearly beyond the control of

4 a normal HVO hierarchy. When both Blaskic and his

5 deputy, Nakic, were independently appraised that the

6 fire was uncomfortably close and that the guard might

7 return fire, they agreed that this was the only means

8 of resolving the problem."

9 And that's the same comment that's reflected

10 in your contemporaneously made diary notes of May the

11 19th, right?

12 A. Yes. It's a nice way of putting that I would

13 be forced to open fire, if we look like being in grave

14 danger in the camp.

15 Q. All right. The third meeting that you had

16 with Mr. Kordic was in connection with the Convoy of

17 Mercy incident on June the 11th of 1993; correct, sir?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. As you stated, this was a private Muslim

20 convoy headed towards Tuzla, but it was actually headed

21 through Croat-held territory in the middle of a Muslim

22 offensive that had been launched in Travnik and had

23 resulted in large numbers of refugees flooding into the

24 Vitez-Busovaca pocket as a result; correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 10498

1 Q. These were people who had been evicted from

2 their houses; correct?

3 A. Yes. I mean, at this stage there were large

4 numbers of displaced people in the Croat pockets and

5 large numbers of Muslim people in the BiH-controlled

6 areas.

7 Q. Just one question, sir, on one other

8 subject. Were you aware that eight small Croat

9 children were killed when a shell fired from Stari

10 Vitez exploded in a playground in Vitez, blowing these

11 eight children apart at about 8.00 on the evening of

12 June the 10th, 1993?

13 A. I was aware -- I mean, that sort of instant,

14 I'm afraid, was happening all over Bosnia. It's not at

15 all unique. You will find that a few days before an

16 UNHCR truck ran over, I think by accident, a

17 four-year-old Croat child. These things, I'm afraid,

18 happen.

19 Q. The result of the convoy moving through what

20 was at that time enemy territory was that it was

21 apprehended by a huge mob of civilians in a very ugly

22 mood. Wouldn't you agree with that?

23 A. Yes, I will. But you will remember that

24 there was an agreement, a signed agreement with papers

25 from Mr. Boban allowing that convoy through. And the

Page 10499

1 military and political commands were entirely aware

2 that that convoy was coming through that pocket.

3 Q. Thank you, Brigadier. But isn't it a fact

4 that those papers were signed before the ABiH launched

5 its offensive in Travnik on June the 8th?

6 A. To say that -- I mean, they may have attacked

7 on June the 8th, but there was -- I mean, there was a

8 war zone on. I would not put any significance in the

9 date of signing of those papers and military activity.

10 I think it's an artificial inference.

11 Q. Your best estimate of the numbers of Croat

12 refugees in the Novi Travnik and Vitez area was about

13 20.000; correct?

14 A. That sounds about right, yes.

15 Q. And those people had been squeezed into the

16 area exactly where the convoy was routed; correct?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. All right. Let me just ask you, Brigadier,

19 wouldn't you agree that it would be a difficult thing

20 for displaced and hungry Croat refugees to watch a

21 convoy going past them, loaded with aid destined for

22 their enemies?

23 A. I can't speculate on a Croat, who suffered

24 horribly in a pocket, what his views or her views are.

25 I can't speculate what the Muslim views are. All I do

Page 10500

1 know is that the aid came through that pocket under

2 U.S. -- UNHCR auspices all the time, and that didn't

3 get raided.

4 And also we were providing aid back into the

5 Vitez pocket from the warehouse at Zenica. And we

6 spoke on a number of occasions, myself and others,

7 because the balance of aid between what was going to

8 Vitez and other areas in Central Bosnia was questioned,

9 quite rightly. And we wished to have -- at one stage I

10 think I suggested we should publish the figures on

11 television, but I don't think that happened.

12 Q. I wonder if the usher would show you Exhibit

13 Z1044, which is a milinfosum that contains a fairly

14 detailed chronology of the Convoy of Mercy or the

15 Convoy of Joy.

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, when we get to a

17 convenient moment, we'll have a five-minute break.

18 MR. SAYERS: This is a perfect time, Your

19 Honour.

20 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with this document

21 first, and then we'll go on.

22 MR. SAYERS: I am happy to do so,

23 Mr. President, but this is going to take probably about

24 five or ten minutes. If the Court wants to sit for

25 that long, I'm perfectly happy to go forward.

Page 10501

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's finish the document.

2 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

3 Q. Sir, there is no question that your units, or

4 units from your regiment, opened fire and killed two

5 Croats at around 7.45 on the 11th of June, 1993;

6 correct?

7 A. Yes. I think that's in the area of -- on the

8 Vitez to Novi Travnik road, quite close to the

9 headquarters.

10 Q. Would you tell me whether any investigation

11 into that was ever shared with Colonel Blaskic, the

12 results of any investigation that were performed into

13 that shooting --

14 A. The results of all the shootings that took

15 place by my battalion are recorded, and copies were

16 passed to United Nations and kept by the British army

17 for internal use.

18 Q. I understand, sir. That was not my

19 question. Did you ever share the results of that

20 investigation with Colonel Blaskic?

21 A. I explained what had happened to Colonel

22 Blaskic verbally. I didn't submit a formal report, no.

23 Q. All right. Now, the next entry of pertinence

24 appears at 9.11 a.m. on the 13th, and the entry reveals

25 that locals claim that they would only lift the

Page 10502

1 roadblock on the direct, personal orders of Dario

2 Kordic and were not interested in the orders of Tihomir

3 Blaskic.

4 JUDGE MAY: Where is this?

5 MR. SAYERS: It's, as I understand the way

6 that these entries are arranged, Mr. President, the

7 first two figures are the date, and the second set of

8 four figures are the actual times. So 110911 would be

9 9.11 a.m. on the 11th of June. And that's the entry

10 that I am reading from.

11 JUDGE MAY: Where is it on the milinfosum?

12 MR. SAYERS: It's approximately four inches

13 up from the bottom of the page, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE MAY: The first page?

15 MR. SAYERS: It's page 5. There is a

16 chronology of events attached to this milinfosum,

17 Z1044, and it's the first page of that chronology.

18 There is a Bates Stamp number on the bottom of it,

19 00273928.

20 Do you have that, Brigadier?

21 A. Could you just repeat the date and time?

22 Q. It's actually on the screen: 110911. Do you

23 see that?

24 A. I have it. Yes, thank you.

25 Q. All right. Now, were you present at this

Page 10503

1 incident where the locals claimed that they would only

2 lift the roadblock on the direct, personal orders of

3 Dario Kordic?

4 A. Yes, I was.

5 Q. And who were those locals?

6 A. The locals were a mix of women, men, in

7 uniform and out of uniform, and HVO soldiers.

8 Q. I think you've already stated that they were

9 chanting "Kordic, Kordic, Kordic."

10 A. When -- yes. I mean, that was -- having

11 asked, with Blaskic's authority, or Blaskic's authority

12 to move the soldiers and get people moved out of the

13 way, they spat on one -- certainly spat on the ground

14 and then they started chanting "Kordic."

15 Q. All right. It would not be particularly

16 surprising to you to want a popular political figure to

17 give his blessing, if you like, to defuse a potentially

18 explosive situation, is it, sir? After all, as you

19 said, Mr. Kordic commanded the hearts and the minds of

20 the people?

21 A. Well, you can speculate that Mr. Kordic would

22 have had a dramatic effect. I suspect, had he been

23 there, he would have opened up that barrier, which is

24 an indication of the power and influence with the

25 people there.

Page 10504

1 Q. All right. You actually described running

2 across General Petkovic, who was in the area; right?

3 Now, he didn't give you any help at all, did he?

4 A. No, he didn't. No.

5 Q. In fact, sir, he just laughed at you and

6 drove down south; correct?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. It's true, isn't it, sir, that Colonel

9 Blaskic didn't want to address the mob?

10 A. He didn't want to address the mob, no.

11 Q. He found them to be threatening, that

12 civilian crowd, didn't he?

13 A. Yes, he did.

14 Q. You knew that, or did you know at this time,

15 that Mr. Kordic was a popular media figure, with a face

16 that was well recognised in the Vitez-Busovaca pocket?

17 A. Yes, I was aware of that. Yes.

18 Q. In fact, he was the face of Croats in the

19 Vitez area as far as the TV was concerned? Wouldn't

20 that be fair to say? Or one of them.

21 A. I never personally saw him on television. We

22 didn't have access to the programmes. But I understood

23 he appeared on television on a number of occasions.

24 Q. All right. And I take it, then, that the

25 next event of significance occurred at approximately

Page 10505

1 1.30 p.m., or 1330 in military time. It's on the

2 second page, Brigadier.

3 A. Is that the one at the top?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Here it says that:

7 "The CO brokers an agreement with Dario

8 Kordic in the presence of Blaskic; Santic, the mayor of

9 Vitez; and Mario Skopljak, the HZHB President in

10 Vitez. Kordic gives his personal assurance, and that

11 of the Croat people, that all vehicles belonging to the

12 convoy will be returned and freedom of passage

13 granted. He also agreed to personally go to Novi

14 Travnik and investigate the murder of the eight

15 drivers. He also stated that UNPROFOR would be allowed

16 complete access through HVO controlled areas."

17 Was there anybody else present at that

18 conference, sir?

19 A. For myself -- no, I'm not sure whether

20 Brigadier Hay arrived at that point. I think he

21 wasn't. But that detail that's on the milinfosum there

22 is -- occurs quite clearly, I think, in my -- the copy

23 of my notebook from that period.

24 JUDGE MAY: If you are leaving the

25 milinfosum, Mr. Sayers, what was its number?

Page 10506

1 MR. SAYERS: Z1044, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE MAY: And its date?

3 MR. SAYERS: June the 11th, 1993.

4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

5 MR. SAYERS:

6 Q. And on that same date, Brigadier, I take it

7 that you wrote the entry that appears for the 11th of

8 June in your diary, where you say that -- it looks like

9 the ECMM ambassador "was hopping mad, and we

10 eventually, after some time, fetched Kordic and Blaskic

11 via the ECMM house to meet in the Hotel Vitez. On our

12 return to the convoy, we discovered that the whole

13 thing had been removed and stolen off into Vitez.

14 After some posturing, he agreed to let us through and

15 into Vitez. Blaskic agreed to everything, and Kordic

16 was sweetness and light."

17 Was this written the same day, or roughly

18 contemporaneously --

19 A. Contemporaneously, yes.

20 Q. Yes?

21 A. And I should add that -- and you've seen it

22 in the -- it's actually in the notebook, that the

23 events that -- and in the milinfosum -- the events that

24 Kordic agreed to were fairly sweeping agreement to a

25 number of events; and he also, I would stress,

Page 10507

1 apologised or gave the assurance of the Croat

2 population. Now, for somebody to give the -- I mean, I

3 didn't ask him for that; he said, "You have my

4 assurance of the Croat population that what I have

5 described will happen; that vehicles will be able to go

6 -- pass through; you will have freedom of movement for

7 UNHCR."

8 He was -- he was in control of that meeting.

9 Q. It would be fair to say that you had a

10 serious situation on your hands here; after all, your

11 soldiers had opened fire and killed two Croats. Right?

12 A. Yes, it was a serious situation.

13 Q. And you needed some help from people with

14 local political pull, and you consulted Mr. Kordic in

15 that regard; right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. He helped, didn't he?

18 A. Yes, he did.

19 Q. All right.

20 A. With horrific speed, I may add.

21 Q. Now, Colonel Blaskic gave you the impression,

22 sir, that he considered this convoy to be completely

23 fair game, didn't he?

24 A. I came to the opinion that -- that the pocket

25 -- the Croats in the pocket regarded as fair game to

Page 10508

1 take a slice out of this convoy.

2 Q. Colonel Blaskic gave you that impression,

3 too, didn't he?

4 A. Yes.

5 JUDGE MAY: Is that a convenient moment,

6 Mr. Sayers?

7 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE MAY: Court is adjourned until 4.00;

9 just a few minutes.

10 --- Recess taken at 3.52 p.m.

11 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

13 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.

14 Q. You related to the Court, Brigadier, a

15 suspicion that Mr. Kordic had arranged somehow for this

16 convoy to be stopped; right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you ever confront Mr. Kordic with that

19 suspicion?

20 A. No. I think I confronted Colonel Blaskic

21 with it.

22 Q. And there's no question that Colonel Blaskic

23 did not tell you that Mr. Kordic had participated in

24 the planning or had any role in the stopping of that

25 convoy; isn't that correct?

Page 10509

1 A. That's correct, but it's hardly very likely

2 that he would, would he?

3 Q. Did you know what political position

4 Mr. Kordic actually held, sir, when you were in Central

5 Bosnia?

6 A. I am sure it has been mentioned in the last

7 few days a number of times, but I can't at the moment

8 remember it. There was an official appointment. I

9 think he's a deputy president of the HDZ, but I'm not

10 sure.

11 Q. During the time that you were in Central

12 Bosnia, actually pursuant to the Stoltenberg-Owen plan,

13 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was declared or

14 established -- founded, as you will -- on the 28th of

15 August, 1993; were you aware of that?

16 A. Yes, I was aware that a slice of territory

17 had been founded as a specific Croat area in Bosnia.

18 Q. And were you aware that the president of that

19 republic was Mate Boban?

20 A. I was not -- I was not directly aware of

21 that. I was also not aware that anybody actually

22 recognised this state of Herceg-Bosna at all.

23 Q. And did you know that Mr. Kordic held no

24 formal position in the Croatian Republic of

25 Herceg-Bosna other than as being one of 69 legislators

Page 10510

1 in the House of Representatives and sitting on a couple

2 of legislative committees?

3 A. I didn't know --

4 Q. During your tour of duty?

5 A. No, I didn't know that, no.

6 Q. All right. Did you ever discuss the

7 political aims of the Croat institutions in Central

8 Bosnia with Mr. Kordic, as far as you can recall?

9 A. Not with Mr. Kordic. I would have discussed

10 with Croat commanders and Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, in

11 general terms, what people were trying to achieve. The

12 Croat forces in Central Bosnia were clearly very much

13 on the back foot for most of my time there, and I think

14 it was a matter of -- survival of the pocket was the

15 order of the day, and let's take it one step at a

16 time.

17 Q. Isn't it true that in your view, politicians

18 like Mr. Kordic, Mr. Santic, Mr. Skopljak, would

19 generally not be involved with decisions relating to

20 military tactics or military decision-making?

21 A. That's true from the point of view of,

22 certainly, Mr. Santic and Mr. Skopljak. I mean, if I

23 wanted things done, I would go and find the key. The

24 key to getting things unlocked after the Convoy of Joy,

25 in that case, was Dario Kordic. There is no point in

Page 10511

1 asking somebody who can't deliver. He could deliver.

2 Q. On page 5 of the statement that you gave to

3 the investigators, you were discussing the military

4 assault on Grbavica, and you said that "In my opinion,

5 the likes of Dario Kordic, Santic, Skopljak, and

6 Valenta would not deal with this type of matter; they

7 were more for policy issues." Does that remain your

8 view today?

9 A. Sorry, you're relating it to the Grbavica

10 incident --

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. -- which was a -- was the military assault --

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. -- on the hill behind the thing? Well, I

15 mean, they're not military commanders; they wouldn't do

16 that. They sit on the -- as I've said, they sit on the

17 conceptual side. There are others who can do -- take

18 military action.

19 Q. The fourth meeting that you had with

20 Mr. Kordic was on September the 27th, 1993; correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. This is summarised in your contemporaneous

23 diary. Everyone can read it, it's already an exhibit,

24 so I don't need to go into it, but you say that

25 Mr. Kordic gave you all of the usual assurances along

Page 10512

1 with Lieutenant-Colonel Williams; what kind of usual

2 assurances were those, sir?

3 A. Those were the usual assurances for freedom

4 of movement of our vehicles and the aid convoys.

5 Q. In the statement that you gave to the

6 investigators, you stated that "At this time, September

7 27th, 1993, Kordic was very pleasant, almost charming.

8 I assessed this to be partly because the incoming

9 commanding officer of the next BritBat contingent, the

10 Coldstream Guards, was present."

11 And that is accurate, is it not?

12 A. That is accurate, yes. I mean, it would seem

13 to be an entirely reasonable and logical line for

14 Mr. Kordic to take on first meeting my successor.

15 Q. The only entry that I can see in the

16 milinfosum that's dated that date -- and I don't think

17 there is any need to make this a separate exhibit,

18 because you've reviewed it -- appears in paragraph 3(b)

19 of the first page, which says that some information was

20 given to an LO by Mr. Kordic, who is described as the

21 vice-president of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

22 and it says: "Kordic claimed that Izetbegovic will

23 stall during the next five days whilst in peace

24 negotiations, the reason being so that the BiH can

25 proceed with military operations in the Lasva Valley."

Page 10513

1 And then the military information officer

2 comments that "It is doubtful that such information

3 would be available to Kordic."

4 Were you present during that conversation, or

5 is that --

6 A. No -- no, I wasn't.

7 Q. All right.

8 A. I'm slightly at odds with the comment, because

9 with the communications that I think the Croats in the

10 Vitez pocket had with Mostar, and then obviously with

11 Mostar's business elsewhere, he may well have picked up

12 something, but ...

13 Q. Would it be fair to say that you do not know

14 what power, if any, Mr. Kordic had, himself, to

15 initiate or participate in full military

16 investigations?

17 A. No, I did -- I did not -- that would be

18 entirely -- entirely correct to say that. I did not

19 know where his power finished and ended. I knew it was

20 significant, but I didn't know where it finished and

21 ended, and I didn't know into exactly which fields that

22 power would go all the time.

23 Q. Thank you, sir. One final question on that

24 point: Would it also, therefore, be fair to say that

25 you didn't know -- you, yourself, did not know, and

Page 10514

1 your intelligence resources or military information

2 resources did not know, as far as you're aware, what

3 power, if any, Mr. Kordic had to remove military

4 officers from their positions?

5 A. Not directly, but he had -- he had power and

6 he had influence. If he was a hard-line political

7 commissar, he would certainly have had the power to

8 remove people from appointments. If he wasn't, he

9 wouldn't. I mean, I don't know whether he did remove

10 people, but all I am saying is that over a period of

11 seven months, we got to learn that Dario Kordic had

12 power and influence.

13 Q. All right. But you don't know whether he had

14 the power to remove soldiers from their commands,

15 commanders from their commands, or brigade commanders,

16 do you?

17 A. As a direct question, no, I don't.

18 Q. That's fine.

19 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, there was

20 evidence given by the witness regarding the shooting of

21 Dobrila Kolaba, and the Grbavica assault, and some

22 other things. I don't propose to deal with those,

23 because I think the Trial Chamber has heard more than

24 enough evidence on that already.

25 Q. With respect to your testimony about a lone

Page 10515

1 sighting of HV troops, or troops that you identified --

2 A. Yes. Yeah.

3 Q. -- as from the Croatian army in the Prozor

4 area, that was in the sole time in your seven-month

5 tour that you ever saw such troops; right?

6 A. Myself, personally, yes, that was the sole

7 time, although you will see recorded in the milinfosums

8 where -- helicopters and other things recorded by

9 others.

10 Q. You never, yourself, saw any Croatian army,

11 HV troops or units or equipment in the Lasva Valley at

12 any time in your tour, did you?

13 A. I saw the helicopters, and some of my

14 soldiers said they had HV markings. I could not verify

15 that, because --

16 Q. Very well.

17 A. -- the helicopters were too far away.

18 Q. Coming to the end, Brigadier, the last

19 subject that I would like to discuss with you concerns

20 the civil affairs office and Randy Rhodes. When was

21 this office actually established, and what was its

22 function?

23 A. I couldn't put a specific date on without

24 reference to -- it was established as -- by Viktor

25 Andrejev, who was the head of civil affairs in Sarajevo

Page 10516

1 and Kiseljak. It was felt necessary to -- if we were

2 going to put the Vance-Owen Plan into effect, that this

3 should be done by the political people and civil

4 affairs people, and leave the military to their

5 specific task, because I think people felt at that

6 stage the military were being asked to do quite a lot.

7 Therefore Mr. Randy Rhodes was appointed to my area, to

8 live in my headquarters, along with other civil affairs

9 officers who were appointed to other areas. And his

10 job was to pick up the link on the political side and

11 civil affairs side.

12 Q. Thank you, sir. And would I take -- would I

13 be correct in assuming, then, that Mr. Rhodes would

14 meet regularly with political figures, such as

15 Mr. Kordic or others, as far as you are aware?

16 A. I would hope so. He and I, Mr. Rhodes and I

17 would meet, and we were quite clear on the divide

18 between our responsibilities and where our main efforts

19 should be. We then went our separate ways, as it were,

20 but he would attend a 6.00 briefing in the evening, at

21 which he would put his pitch as well. So we were kept

22 all informed.

23 Q. And it's true that the civil affairs office,

24 Mr. Rhodes specifically, generated various status

25 reports in writing, which were sent to you and others,

Page 10517

1 notes and weekly situation reports?

2 A. Yes. I think he did on a regular basis, a

3 weekly report, and then an as and when, if he felt it

4 was required.

5 Q. Do you remember Mr. Rhodes articulating or

6 describing an interview that he had had with General

7 Hadzihasanovic in September 1993 in which he was told

8 that the ABiH felt completely confident that it could

9 effectively take the completely surrounded pocket of

10 Vitez-Busovaca whenever he wanted?

11 A. That was a statement made to myself, as well,

12 by Enver Hadzihasanovic.

13 Q. All right.

14 A. I should add, he never delivered on it.

15 Q. Let me just show you, if I may, and have

16 marked as an exhibit several of these, and that will

17 conclude my examination, these being status reports

18 submitted to you by your civil affairs officer, the

19 first being one dated September the 22nd, 1993. Thank

20 you.

21 Just one or two questions about this exhibit,

22 Brigadier. If I could turn your attention to

23 paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this status report. There is

24 a description of meetings with the vice-president for

25 the HVO in central Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Valenta. Do

Page 10518

1 you recall any discussion or conversation that you had

2 with Mr. Rhodes concerning these meetings with

3 Mr. Valenta?

4 A. As I think I said, he would brief, at the

5 6.00 meeting in the evening, the content of his day's

6 business. So he would have told us all about this in

7 his pitch which came after all the military briefs.

8 Q. Just a brief question. There was a

9 reference, we just went over it, to a meeting between

10 your civil affairs officer and General Hadzihasanovic.

11 Why would a civil affairs officer be meeting military

12 figures such as a 3rd Corps commander?

13 A. Because you will remember from the orbat,

14 there was no parallel in the ABiH of the organisation

15 that we believed that Kordic and Valenta had in the

16 HVO. There was certainly a mayor of Zenica, I grant

17 you, but we didn't -- I wasn't aware of any senior --

18 any other senior figures in the Zenica area. Remember,

19 we were dealing with my area of operations.

20 Q. All right.

21 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if we could have an

22 exhibit number for that, please.

23 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

24 D136/1.

25 MR. SAYERS: And if I may just explain,

Page 10519

1 Mr. President. I don't believe that Mr. Rhodes is on

2 the witness list, and I don't see any other way to get

3 these exhibits into evidence other than through the

4 brigadier. So I apologise for taking a few minutes

5 just to authenticate these documents.

6 Q. The next document, sir, is dated one day

7 later, September the 23rd, 1993.

8 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

9 D137/1.

10 MR. SAYERS:

11 Q. To be fair, Brigadier, I think I have may

12 have mistaken this for a civil affairs document. This

13 looks like it was generated by UNPROFOR headquarters in

14 Kiseljak.

15 A. I would say it's almost certainly the case,

16 because it's from Viktor Andrejev, who was the chief

17 civil affairs in Kiseljak, and he's forwarding this to

18 Cedric Thornberry.

19 Q. The observation is made in paragraph 3 that:

20 "Commanders on all three sides are often

21 independent, usually hardline, and almost universally

22 reluctant to give up anything for which they have

23 successfully fought. No commander spoken to recently

24 by civil affairs indicates any willingness to hand over

25 territory."

Page 10520

1 Would that be a fair encapsulation, if you

2 like, of the attitude demonstrated by the leadership on

3 all three sides, as far as you are aware --

4 A. I mean, it refers specifically to

5 commanders. I know there was reluctance. Clearly, a

6 military commander who feels he's had some success, if

7 he is then told by his political master that he must

8 change and back off a bit, I should think that he would

9 be very upset, for a victory that's cost him blood and

10 treasure.

11 Q. The next-to-last document that I would like

12 you to identify is dated October the 13th, 1993.

13 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

14 D138/1.

15 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

16 Q. Just three points on this document, if I may,

17 Brigadier. The first concerns paragraph 2, where the

18 observation is made that the BiH seems to remain intent

19 upon gaining the ammunition factory and cutting the

20 Lasva pocket. Would it be fair to say that that was a

21 strategic objective of the ABiH throughout the time

22 that you were in Central Bosnia?

23 A. The ammunition factory, yes, certainly.

24 Q. The second point is connected with the second

25 page, paragraphs 4 and 6. There is a reference to a

Page 10521

1 rogue commander being discussed with General Briquemont

2 and the chief of staff during their visits, and that

3 appears to be identified as Commander Hadzihasanovic of

4 the 3rd Corps in paragraph 6.

5 Did Mr. Rhodes ever articulate to you the

6 view that General Hadzihasanovic was in fact a rogue

7 commander?

8 A. No, I don't you think he did. And these

9 observations were -- these are discussions somewhat

10 above my level of knowledge or activity.

11 Q. Fair enough. Then we can move on. If we

12 could just turn to the last page, the comment is made

13 there that the civilian leaders in the Lasva Valley are

14 not happy with their leaders in the so-called

15 Herceg-Bosnia. And observations are made about

16 Mr. Boban, and the fact that:

17 "As the valley is squeezed more and more by

18 the BiH, and the rumours that the BiH no longer take

19 prisoners continue, the status of over 70.000 Croats in

20 the valley becomes of extreme importance."

21 I take it that that was in fact a subject of

22 discussion between you and your civil affairs officer?

23 A. You've mentioned a number of aspects. I

24 mean, he submitted these reports, though his opinion

25 that went directly to Viktor Andrejev. We didn't

Page 10522

1 discuss the content of the report before it went

2 because I didn't wish to influence his view on things.

3 I received the copy, as it were. So whatever he put

4 was his view.

5 Q. So it would be fair to conclude from that

6 that you did not discuss that issue with Mr. Rhodes in

7 any detail, if at all?

8 A. We, subsequent to this report, we would often

9 meet and discuss what he had put, and tumble it through

10 and see whether it was -- whether I agreed with it and

11 how we could combine what he was doing on the civil

12 affairs side with what I was doing on the military

13 side, in order that we were speaking with one voice and

14 trying to move things forward.

15 Q. Thank you very much, Brigadier.

16 Then the last document that I would like you

17 to authenticate is dated October the 31st, 1993.

18 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

19 D139/1.

20 MR. SAYERS:

21 Q. Just two questions about this document,

22 Brigadier. With respect to paragraph 2, there is an

23 assessment by your forces, I take it, that the

24 Vitez-Busovaca pocket was unlikely to fall in the near

25 future, but that a siege mentality prevailed inside the

Page 10523

1 pocket. That was your view, was it not?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. All right.

4 A. Yes, it was.

5 Q. And the civil affairs officer also makes the

6 observation that HVO soldiers are determined and are

7 defending their positions with success. And I take it

8 that that's the view that you articulate as well?

9 A. The successful defence of the Vitez pocket,

10 yes.

11 Q. Basically orchestrated by Colonel Blaskic?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. All right. And the observation is also made

14 that it would take some time for the BiH to reorganise

15 another major attack on the pocket following the last

16 unsuccessful attempt, and that unsuccessful attempt was

17 in September, I believe, of 1993?

18 A. Yes, I believe so. The problem was that the

19 tactics demonstrated by both sides were not very subtle

20 and tended to use a lot of manpower up, and manpower

21 cannot be replaced quickly. And so once they have

22 expended their manpower, they were unlikely to be able

23 to have another go.

24 Q. All right. That's a military way, I take it,

25 of saying that there was an awful lot of killing on

Page 10524

1 both sides?

2 A. There was an awful lot of killing on both

3 sides. I think also at that stage, as you've already

4 mentioned, the BiH were probably realising in strategic

5 terms that the pocket was more important to ensure the

6 supply of aid than, in tactical terms, of what could be

7 seen flagged up as a BiH victory.

8 Q. The last question in connection with this

9 document concerns paragraph 4 on the second page, where

10 the observation is made that the Croats felt that they

11 had been basically ignored by the -- or abandoned by

12 international organisations, and they felt that

13 Sarajevo was getting special attention, while their

14 plight was being ignored. And the military -- sorry,

15 the civil affairs officer states that that's partially

16 true.

17 Was that your view too?

18 A. If I had an opinion on the balance of UNHCR's

19 effort between Sarajevo and myself, I wouldn't have

20 expressed it, as it were. It's not my business. That

21 was well above. My battle group, in the seven months

22 we were there, every single UNHCR convoy that got to my

23 zone got to its destination, and they were passed on

24 through. Every single one. And I often spoke with

25 Blaskic, who was my main point of contact, about the

Page 10525

1 importance of keeping those convoys going, and that if

2 any disruption came from anyone in the Vitez pocket,

3 they were not doing themselves much good.

4 Q. The last question I've got for you, sir, is

5 in the final meeting that you had with Mr. Kordic and

6 others, November the 6th, 1993, would it be fair to say

7 that you can recall nothing of substance being

8 discussed particularly?

9 A. I think that was the lunch, was it not?

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. No, that was not -- that was not a business

12 lunch. It was my farewell. And I thought, and I think

13 the Croats who were there, realised that it was perhaps

14 the one occasion when it wouldn't be a good idea to

15 talk about business.

16 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President, I have

17 no further questions for the Brigadier.

18 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

19 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I think I can

20 finish with him in half an hour. Half an hour or so.

21 JUDGE MAY: See how we get on.

22 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

23 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Brigadier.

25 My name is Bozidar Kovacic, I am a lawyer from Zagreb,

Page 10526

1 and with my colleague Goran Mikulicic, sitting next to

2 me. I am representing the second accused in this case,

3 Mr. Cerkez. We speak different languages and I should

4 like to ask you -- but of course first I might -- I

5 have to train myself to do that, to make a short break

6 between the question and answer so that the

7 interpreters could catch up with us.

8 Brigadier, may I begin by asking you, when

9 you were posted to Bosnia, I presume you attended

10 various briefings, you were given a sufficient

11 information so that you could perform your duty

12 properly when you arrived there. But, apart from that,

13 did you know anything about Bosnia, about its culture,

14 history, its religions, its peoples, and all the other

15 elements that make up a society? Did you have any

16 knowledge before?

17 A. The first point I should make out was that I

18 received very few briefings back in the United

19 Kingdom. The information I got on Bosnia was from two

20 reconnaissances, I think one -- both in early 1993, and

21 I can't remember the exact dates, both a week long,

22 prior to my visit there. The training we did was for

23 general war and not specific to the task. The task we

24 discovered when we arrived, and in discussion with the

25 United Nations forces on the ground. I had, in common,

Page 10527

1 I would suggest, with most of United Nations forces at

2 that time, very little knowledge of the Balkans area.

3 We learnt very quickly.

4 Q. When you arrived in Bosnia, did it turn out

5 that in spite of all the preparations and in spite of

6 the presence of your predecessors, and they must have

7 told you about their experience, that the problems are

8 really very highly complex and, to cut a long story

9 short, that the picture was not black and white, but

10 rather grey more often than not?

11 A. It was a very depressing picture in that I

12 was surprised to find, in a country that my brief

13 studies in the past had told me was one of the most

14 developed Communist countries in the world, had

15 unfortunately turned to the dark side and was involved

16 in a horrific ethnic-based three-sided conflict.

17 Q. During your tour of duty there, did you form

18 an impression or a conclusion as to the influence, as

19 to the power, as to the weight that the religion had in

20 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did that army pay

21 attention to religion in any form whatsoever?

22 A. The confusing thing for me, when I talked to

23 Bosnians in the country, was that all the young who had

24 been to Sarajevo, which at that stage was multi-ethnic

25 in the university, didn't seem to have a problem with

Page 10528

1 religion at all. And suddenly, and I can only assume

2 it was whipped up by relevant people in relevant

3 political circles who wished to ferment religious

4 hatred, suddenly the aspect of religion had come right

5 to the front, where perhaps it hadn't been before.

6 I talked to a number of well-educated people

7 who expressed not extreme but racist views, and I often

8 used the analogy of the country of Belgium, which you

9 will know has two different people in it: the

10 Walloons, and those who speak French. It has two

11 languages, and they can live in peace without killing

12 each other. And I hoped that eventually Bosnia would

13 learn tolerance and to live in peace.

14 Q. Thank you. Just one more question on this

15 topic. During those conversations, and you were

16 evidently eager to find out, but did you learn in those

17 conversations something about the relationship between

18 imans and commanders of units, of the BiH Army? What I

19 mean is the coordination of their relations, their

20 subordination, the co-work between them, where they

21 were in equal power.

22 A. I can't remember ever meeting an iman on any

23 of my visits to any ABiH unit. I think, sir, you will

24 be aware of an organisation called the 7th Muslim

25 Brigade. Whether this was fact or fiction, I don't

Page 10529

1 know. These were hardline, or purported to be hardline

2 religious zealots with Mujahedin, who had apparently

3 come from outside, but I cannot -- I never saw 7th

4 Muslim Brigade or saw anyone in it, so I can't verify

5 that.

6 Q. Since you mentioned this brigade, without

7 going through piles of documents -- there is

8 milinfosums and other reports. It is beyond any doubt

9 that that unit existed and that it operated in the area

10 of the Lasva Valley?

11 A. I believe the presence of 7th Muslim Brigade

12 was a very useful propaganda tool, which was used to

13 great effect by the ABiH. If you announced in loud

14 enough terms that it was arriving, you could perhaps

15 score an easy victory.

16 Q. In a war, and you are a professional soldier,

17 propaganda sometimes achieves results and is another

18 means of warfare, like artillery or any other type of

19 military equipment. Would you agree with me?

20 A. It would depend on what your military aim

21 was, and it would depend how much of the civilian

22 population were involved in a war. If you are purely

23 fighting another army, then you will seek to influence

24 that other army, but you are using less information

25 operations.

Page 10530

1 Q. I understand that as a definition. But it is

2 common knowledge that rumour is, in the Lasva Valley,

3 that the 7th Muslim was about to arrive, must have had

4 their effect on both the military and the civilians,

5 and there are examples of that. Are you familiar with

6 those examples, and would you agree with what I've just

7 said?

8 A. I would agree about the rumour. It was

9 rife. It was on both sides. I think Shakespeare said,

10 "Rumour, the great traveller." It was very useful and

11 everybody used it.

12 Q. Thank you. Likewise, among the units of the

13 BiH Army there was a unit called the 17th Krajina

14 Brigade, or the so-called Glorious Brigade, the

15 Glorious Krajina Brigade, which was also reputed to be

16 a very powerful and very determined unit. Are you

17 familiar with that, and was this reputation something

18 that you can confirm?

19 A. I think I am aware of the 17th Krajina

20 Brigade. I think it was based in Travnik, but I may be

21 wrong. And I was not aware it had any specific

22 fighting qualities that made it better than any other

23 ABiH brigade.

24 Q. Usher, can you help me, please. This is a

25 very short quotation in a milinfosum.

Page 10531

1 Brigadier -- can I have a number please?

2 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D45/2.

3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Could you read this? This is the end of

5 September, this quotation, and you are already getting

6 ready to go back home, and this is also the end of the

7 period for which my client stands charged.

8 A while ago, you already answered some

9 questions about it during the cross-examination, also

10 certain things during the examination-in-chief.

11 However, I'm not quite sure if you and other military

12 professionals understood clearly that the army of the

13 B and H, when the 3rd Corps reached Kruscica -- that

14 is, the immediate vicinity of Vitez -- that they really

15 could cut the valley into two. Do you think they had

16 enough strength, enough power, to do that and to

17 partition the valley?

18 A. The first thing I would like to comment is

19 that the report here is generated by an NGO, who is a

20 member of a nongovernmental organisation, and not one

21 of my military officers; and therefore I wouldn't hold

22 such value on its content as I would from one of my own

23 more trusted officers.

24 I think there were certainly attempts to cut

25 up the Vitez pocket by the ABiH during the time I was

Page 10532

1 there. Whether they had the power and the effect to do

2 it, I do not know. Whether, by telling me that they

3 were able to do it, they were trying to get a message

4 somehow to the HVO forces, I don't know. There were

5 certainly lots of plans made and lots of plans briefed

6 to me about how swiftly and effectively the ABiH could

7 cut up the pocket, but despite considerable expenditure

8 of their forces, they never did.

9 Q. Brigadier, do you think that the general

10 assessment would be true, and I believe you are well

11 qualified to answer it: At the time you arrived there,

12 as against the developments in summer, when the

13 fortunes of war or the military power -- when the BH

14 army had more power, had more strength -- perhaps I'm

15 not being clear enough; let me try to rephrase it.

16 I'll try to simplify it, and then of course we can go

17 into details.

18 At the time when you arrived, the correlation

19 of forces was so-so; that is, none of the two parties

20 had a major edge. But then, as of July, as of August,

21 the picture changed, and largely in favour of the

22 ABiH. Would you agree with this?

23 A. There was -- the conflict started after the

24 events of Ahmici, and that has been regarded by many

25 people, including myself, as a trigger to the conflict

Page 10533

1 in Central Bosnia. And certainly, from a position of

2 strength, the Bosnian Croat forces in the Vitez area

3 and the Lasva Valley became on the back foot and

4 suffered a number of defeats, leading up to the autumn,

5 when the situation stabilised. And I believe it

6 stabilised fairly firmly, and that stabilisation

7 carried through for months after I had left.

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, you are obviously

9 not going to able to finish within the next few

10 minutes.

11 Brigadier, I hope it's not going to be very

12 inconvenient for you to come back tomorrow morning?

13 THE WITNESS: I can come back tomorrow

14 morning, sir.

15 JUDGE MAY: It will be the conclusion.

16 We'll adjourn -- you won't be very long, I

17 take it, tomorrow morning?

18 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I just may -- I

19 made a small error in my prediction, because I just

20 lost one block; I thought that it was asked. But

21 certainly not more than -- I don't know, 40 minutes,

22 45 at most.

23 JUDGE MAY: Well, bear in mind that we do

24 have a conference tomorrow morning, the agenda for

25 which should have been passed out by the legal

Page 10534

1 officer. If there are other matters to be added, of

2 course, that can be done; but I would be grateful if

3 the parties would have a look at the agenda so they are

4 ready to deal with the matters which are mentioned.

5 Brigadier, would you be back, please, at

6 9.00 tomorrow morning, when we will continue.

7 THE WITNESS: Of course, sir.

8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

9 4.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

10 the 26th day of November, 1999, at

11 9 a.m.

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