1 Thursday, 22 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. Good morning. This is case
8 number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are Thursday today, and we
10 are running 10 minutes late through no fault of mine. We are starting the
11 hearing. I would like to thank everybody present in and around the
12 courtroom. I should like to greet the representatives of the Prosecution,
13 of the Defence team, as well as all the people present.
14 Mr. Kovacic, you have the floor.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Kovacic.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I wonder if that would
17 be a proper time to introduce -- to tender the documents in evidence.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you drawn up a list of
19 documents? Very well. We have a list here. So we shall discuss it
20 between us and rule on it at a later stage.
21 We shall now move into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 3682-3694 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session,
8 Mr. President. Thank you.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Witness BJ, you were then assigned to the Tactical Group Canarias,
11 which was part of the Spanish army Rapid Action Force when you were
12 deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. And it is correct, sir, that your first time in Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 was as part of a reconnaissance mission in March of 1993, and you arrived
16 for your permanent duty, or your mission duty at that time, on
17 approximately the 20th of April, 1993, in Medjugorje?
18 A. 19th of April, not 20. I heard 29th, but I arrived on the 19th of
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. And you and your group, the Canarias
21 group, were then deployed in this mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina until
22 October, 1993, and perhaps if you recall you can give us the particular
23 date of that as well.
24 A. I believe that we arrived 30th of September or 1st of October. We
25 arrived in Split.
1 Q. All right. Sir, can you tell the Judges now -- describe briefly
2 what the mission or mandate of the Spanish Battalion, the peacekeeping --
3 the UNPROFOR peacekeeping force known as Spanish Battalion, or as I'm sure
4 we'll hear in the course of the day SpaBat, can you tell the Judges what
5 the mission or mandate of SpaBat was during this time.
6 A. The task was to escort humanitarian aid convoys when they came
7 under our AOR on the defence of people, UN personnel in the area.
8 Q. When you say OA -- AOR, excuse me, for the purpose of the record,
9 does that mean area of responsibility?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Now, in addition to the answer you gave a moment ago, were there
12 times when the Spanish Battalion or its senior officers became -- also
13 became involved in various negotiations related to peace agreements or
14 cease-fire negotiations between, for example, the HVO and the army of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, we did participate in talks.
17 Q. And were there also times when you participated, not you
18 personally necessarily, but that SpaBat participated in such things as
19 body exchanges between the warring parties?
20 A. Yes, we did participate in the exchange of bodies.
21 Q. Sir, I think you may be the first officer from UNPROFOR that has
22 appeared in the trial so far, so I'll ask you a couple of questions about
23 UNPROFOR. Can you tell the Judges where the headquarters for all of
24 UNPROFOR was based in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Where was that located?
25 A. Yes. The general headquarters of UNPROFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 was in Kiseljak, and there was also a detachment in Sarajevo.
2 Q. The main operational headquarters was in Kiseljak; is that
3 correct? Just for the record.
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Now, you mentioned the AOR a moment ago. Can you tell the Judges,
6 during the time of the SpaBat's mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you
7 tell the Judges what your area of responsibility, or the battalion's area
8 of responsibility was.
9 A. From the Metkovic area in Croatia and all along the road arriving
10 in Mostar to a village known as Kontic on the West M Prolog.
11 Q. Excuse me.
12 MR. SCOTT: With the usher's assistance. I think most of the
13 documents will be in e-court. If we could maybe bend the ELMO apparatus
14 down a bit so I can see the witness. Thank you so much. Thank you.
15 Q. Can you describe to the Judges, please, the locations, the
16 principal locations where the Spanish Battalion had its bases of operation
17 or outpost, but the specific more or less permanent locations that you
19 A. The Spaniards were deployed first in Croatia, in Split, which was
20 the logistics area; in Dracevac, which is where the Spanish Battalion was;
21 in Medjugorje we had forces; and in Srebrenica [as interpreted] we also
22 had some forces but we were active mostly around Mostar area.
23 Q. Was the headquarters and the military police component of the
24 Spanish Battalion primarily located at Medjugorje?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. And did the Spanish Battalion have a -- a more or less permanent
2 post in or in the vicinity of Jablanica?
3 A. Yes. Some 150 to 200 men.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, Judge.
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to make a correction in the text. I
7 believe the witness mentioned Jablanica and not Srebrenica. In the text
8 it is Srebrenica. So it should be corrected. Thank you.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Witness, is that correct? The transcript may have said
11 Srebrenica. Did you in fact refer to Jablanica?
12 A. That's right. That's correct.
13 Q. And can you tell the Judges, did you -- did there come a time the
14 Spanish Battalion also had a regular presence in the city of Mostar?
15 A. We didn't have a permanent detachment, but for almost four months
16 we had some forces in the city, in the vehicles.
17 Q. Sir, just before moving forward then and off the topic of the
18 Spanish Battalion's area of responsibility, can I just confirm with you
19 then, as it related to this case, that the Spanish Battalion's area of
20 responsibility included such areas as the municipality of Mostar and
22 A. That is correct. Also Konjic.
23 Q. Capljina?
24 A. Also Capljina.
25 Q. Stolac?
1 A. Stolac was a point for talks when we came in contact with the
2 Serbs. The village was just on the border of the AOR.
3 Q. Ljubuski?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And Citluk?
6 A. Yes, that too.
7 Q. Now, as you -- as you and the Spanish Battalion learned that you
8 were being sent, being tasked to Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you tell the
9 Judges, please, what sort of orientation or training you and the battalion
10 received in preparation for the mission.
11 A. In the previous six months another unit had been deployed and it
12 sent information about what was going on in the area. We, over a month,
13 were detached to Almeria in order to prepare the Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 Q. And can you tell the Judges a bit more about what sort of training
16 or information you received during this training or transition period.
17 A. We were provided with information, with documentary information
18 produced by the Malaga group. We received this in the Almeria
19 headquarters, and we perused all the information contained therein.
20 Q. Now, you made a point that perhaps I should clarify or make clear
21 to the Chamber. Your group, the Canarias group, was not the first
22 contingent of the Spanish army in the UNPROFOR force, but there was also a
23 force called the Malaga group, or force, prior to you; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. The Malaga Tactical Group was deployed six months before
25 then. The Canarias detachment was sent, and then we ourselves were then
1 followed by the Madrid group.
2 Q. So in sequence, those are the three components of the Spanish army
3 that performed as part of the peacekeeping operations in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina during that time?
5 A. There was another group, if I'm not mistaken, but it was when the
6 change from UNPROFOR to NATO took place.
7 Q. Now, sir, I want to talk about then the structure of the Spanish
8 Battalion during its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the
9 moment when I talk about these positions, sir, I'll ask you not to mention
10 the individual names of officers or Spanish Battalion personnel but simply
11 to -- we'll talk about these things in terms of their position. If we get
12 to a point where a specific name appears to be necessary or appropriate,
13 then we will go in private session, or at least I'll ask to go into
14 private session.
15 Is it correct, sir, that the Spanish Battalion, the command
16 structure was divided into approximately five sections or working groups?
17 A. Well, not the command, the advisors to the heads of the
18 association, the advisors were five. The colonel staff [as interpreted],
19 that is.
20 Q. There was a section called S1, I believe, and the section S1, was
21 that involved with personnel?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Was there a section S2?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 A. And had to do with information and intelligence.
2 Q. And again, I'm going to caution you on this. I'll caution you
3 again not to mention any names at this particular point, but was there
4 also a section S3?
6 Q. And the section S4, what was the name and function of that
8 A. Logistics for our battalion.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, before we go further, if we could have
10 -- if I could please request that the portion in which the witness
11 identified -- which he said was a part, if that could be-
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, being a bit systematic, as we have
13 five sections, could I ask what S5 would have been.
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, I was going to get to that. I can
15 do it now and perhaps we can go back.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I was premature. It's your
18 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. My only point was to say
19 could we please have the part where the witness said -- referred to his
20 part, on line 24, page 20, redacted.
21 Q. And, sir, could you tell us, then, was there also a section called
23 A. Yes. Civilian affairs.
24 Q. What kinds of operations or functions were they involved in?
25 A. Are you asking me in relation to S5? Contact with the parties
1 involved, contact with the civilian personnel and with the organisations
2 of humanitarian aid and non-government organisations, relations with the
3 United Nations, relations with the organisations for refugees, and also
4 contacts for -- in relation to vehicles. Contacts in general.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar. Yes, please give
6 an order for the request just made.
7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if we could in that regard also go into
8 private session just for a few moments, please, to talk about the
9 witness's specific function, which would tend to identify him.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Private session,
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 3703-3705 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session, Your
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Witness, can you tell the Judges, given these five sections, what
9 -- how they operated together. What was the flow of information and
10 reporting from one section to another and to the commander?
11 A. Every day there was a coordination meeting where we all met, all
12 the sections, with the chief of staff who coordinated all the sections.
13 We all reported in terms of information we had to report on, and we also
14 coordinated basically what had to be done throughout day in terms of
15 operations movements or searches for information or any other matters that
16 we needed to attend to.
17 Normally, the S3 and S2 worked together. It was a group that
18 worked closely, intimately. We were in constant contact, and we also
19 worked together with S4. We worked together always, and S5 cooperated and
20 worked with both groups, and there was a series of negotiations and we had
21 been given a number of information reports which had been circulated from
22 one section to another as well as a series of information reports that was
23 circulated among the various sections not only in terms of logistics but
24 also in terms of intelligence.
25 Q. Your Honour, just for the record -- it was just corrected. Thank
1 you. Just a correction in the transcript.
2 Sir, you just mentioned the reports that were shared or circulated
3 among the various sections, and that was exactly my next topic. Is it
4 correct that as part of the Spanish Battalion's operations during this
5 time, as I understand it there were three principal types of records or
6 reports that were made, and I'll -- I'm going to ask you about these in
7 more detail, but the first one was called an intrep; is that correct?
8 A. Affirmative. Intrep, a report on intelligence or intelligence
10 Q. Which of the sections would prepare an intrep generally?
11 A. My section was in charge of preparing the report, the situation
12 report. Sitrep, situation report.
13 Q. Your Honour, I'll ask for the correction of line 2, the redaction
14 to "my section."
15 Let me let me just direct your attention, Witness, specifically
16 again to the intrep first. Which section was specifically responsible for
17 preparing that particular report, the intrep?
18 A. Section 2. Section 2.
19 Q. And were those reports prepared on a daily basis?
20 A. Affirmative. There were daily reports, and they were addressed to
21 all the command posts in Spain as well as the rest of other units of the
22 Spanish Battalion.
23 Q. And what was the typical time of day that the intrep for that day,
24 if you will, would typically be issued or completed and put out, if you
1 A. This would change, but as a rule that would be towards the end of
2 the day, around 7.00 or 8.00 p.m.
3 Q. Now, I'm going to go on to another report. Was there also
4 something called the intsum? What was that?
5 A. It wasn't intersum, it's intsum. It was a report, it was a
6 summary of specific points that were not on a regular basis. They could
7 be on a regular basis every week or every two weeks and they were in
8 relation to concrete items and often there were situation reports or
9 intelligence reports which would come from command posts all the way down
10 to us. And that was in relation to specific points, not general items.
11 Q. And did the S3 section produce a report called a sitrep?
12 A. Affirmative. On a daily basis, towards the end of the afternoon,
13 we would produce a report in relation to the situation of the Spanish
14 Battalion at that time or what operations we had foreseen for the rest of
15 the day.
16 Q. And that was again a report that was issued essentially at the end
17 of each mission day?
18 A. Affirmative. Towards the end of the afternoon, and also it would
19 be addressed to the same correspondents, the chiefs of staff as well as
20 UNPROFOR and the heads of the battalions and the advisors of the staff.
21 Q. Okay. So just by way of a quick summary, we have the intrep or
22 what we might call the intelligence report, intsum or intelligence
23 summary, and the sitrep or situation report; is that correct?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. Now, you've made references to this already but I wanted to be a
1 bit more specific on this. When each of these reports were prepared, can
2 you tell the Judges what the circulation of these reports to -- excuse me,
3 were, what the circulation was, I suppose I should say, what the
4 circulation was, not only internal to the Spanish Battalion but where
5 these reports might have gone outside the immediate Spanish Battalion
7 A. All these reports in terms of intrep and sitrep, they were
8 addressed to the chiefs of staff in Spain, to the chiefs of UNPROFOR, and
9 also they were distributed to all the subordinate sections in the
10 battalion, the different companies, the sapper units, and the chiefs of
11 staff of the 4th, 5th division, and other advisors of the General Staff.
12 MR. SCOTT: With the usher's assistance, and again with the
13 understanding that it will not be broadcast outside the courtroom, can I
14 have the assistance display to the witness and to those in court Exhibit
15 P 03018.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, we are going to find
17 it difficult to find our way around.
18 MR. SCOTT: My apology. It is in the two smaller -- let me say
19 for the record there are two, if you will, relatively speaking, smaller
20 binders of tabbed exhibits that specifically will be used with the witness
21 and then there's the larger collection of binders containing all of the
22 selected Spanish Battalion material, and I am now looking in the bundle of
23 exhibits. The top one is 2481. The documents are arranged numerically.
24 And we're looking now at Exhibit 3018.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Witness, can you see -- you have that document before you now in
3 the Spanish language, I take it?
4 A. Affirmative.
5 Q. Just -- the reason I'm showing you this document, sir, is so you
6 can explain to the Judges just in general terms, not as a specific point
7 of information, this particular document. Can you tell the Judges what
8 this particular document, what type of document this is of the ones we
9 discussed a moment ago.
10 A. This is a fax message which had been sent to a number of
11 addressees, the intrep. Here I cannot see the number. Maybe scroll down.
12 And that is dated the 30th of June. To whom it was addressed and all the
13 relevant stamps in relation to receipt and exit, the PDC receipt, which is
14 the control tab for confidential documentation, and this is a typical
15 document of the Spanish Battalion.
16 Q. Would this document -- you just said -- for the purposes so the
17 record is very clear, would this document, in your view, be typical or
18 representative of a document that you have described today as a sitrep?
19 A. No, not in -- not concretely this one in particular. It's not a
20 sitrep. But the -- the cover page will be very similar.
21 Q. I misspoke, Witness. My fault. Would this be representative of
22 an intrep document that you've mentioned?
23 A. Affirmative. Affirmative.
24 Q. Now, if I could just ask you to briefly cast your eyes over the --
25 at least on the English version the -- what would appear to be the bottom
1 half of the first page, where it indicates the from, the to, information,
2 and would you just look at that and, generally speaking, say is that again
3 -- would that be typical or representative of the distribution of such a
5 A. Affirmative. It was sent by the chief of the group, and it was
6 addressed to the different chiefs, the chiefs of sappers, of logistics, of
7 explosives, and other units. And also, these type of documents, when they
8 may be of interest to other parties, they are included and it is explained
9 for their knowledge without any further action required. And they could
10 be different chiefs within the army or other groups of the EGM -- JEME,
11 rather, that could be in relation to chiefs of press matters. And also
12 S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 were also parties in relation to the information.
13 Q. All right. Could I ask the witness next to be shown Exhibit
14 P 02235, and for Your Honours it will be in -- excuse me.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. As we
16 are going to be talking about these documents, I'd just like to clarify
17 one point. In this document, in Spanish we can read "fiabilidad" and
18 "credibilidad." We see C-2, credibility and reliability. Is there a
19 scale as far as reliability and credibility is concerned? If that is the
20 case, could you tell us what kind of scale is used. I'm talking about the
21 document that would be the most reliable to the document that would be the
22 least reliable.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The garners [as interpreted] go from
24 1 to 6. The first one is in relation to whether the news item is reliable
25 or not. The second number, from 1 to 6, in terms of A, B, C, D, the
1 second one would be in relation to numbers 1 to 6 and relates to the
2 reliability of the source of the information. And the highest reliability
3 or the highest and most reliable information would be a 6, and the least
4 one would be a 1.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document we can see -- we
6 see C-2 reliability, which is just the opposite to what you just said.
7 Reliability is represented in terms of figures and credibility in terms of
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The letters relate to credibility of
10 the news, of the information, and the number is the credibility or
11 reliability of the source. So whether it's reliability, credibility, it's
12 in relation to the news or source, the person who is issuing the news or
13 the information, and also in relation to whether the news or the
14 information is accurate or incorrect or inaccurate. So it goes both in
15 relation to news and source.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I meant is this -- perhaps
17 we could have a closer look at the document, please. Could you show this
18 document on the screen, please, Registrar.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not have the report -- the
20 document on screen. It has been removed.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is -- it's not the first
22 page, it's the second page, and we can see that there's "Confidential"
23 written on it.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not have it.
25 MR. SCOTT: I see on one -- on e-court, at least the screen that
1 the Prosecution is looking at [Spanish on English channel]. If we can go
2 on to a further page somewhere.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have page 59, 29, and 99.
4 MR. SCOTT: We should be able to go forward. It seems to ... We
5 can put it on the ELMO then, I suppose. Again, it won't -- not to be
6 broadcast outside.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 MR. SCOTT: Actually, it can be shown to the witness, I suppose,
9 if he --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put it on the ELMO so that
11 everyone can see it, please.
12 So here we have it. If you could look at the fourth line,
13 "Reliability/credibility: C-2." So reliability is expressed in terms of
14 letters and credibility in terms of figures; is that right?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Affirmative. Affirmative. But in
16 relations to -- reliability in relation to news and in terms of
17 credibility, that goes in relation to the source.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the source is
19 number 2, and reliability is the letter C, whereas you said that you
20 referred to A, B, C and D. So when looking at these documents, we need to
21 look at this more specifically. You may proceed.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. If we could next go to -- then to Exhibit P 02235. I will try to
25 do it electronically, but -- if we can. And it will be in the -- that
1 document will be in the other of the two bundles, again in numerical
3 Do you have that, sir?
4 A. I cannot see it. I cannot see it. Now I can. Thank you.
5 Q. All right. Will you please look at that for a moment, and can you
6 tell the Judges, is this particular document representative of the type of
7 document that you've indicated or identified this morning as a sitrep?
8 A. Yes. It is a typical sitrep document.
9 Q. And again, looking at that, such things as the distribution, the
10 format of the document, type of information reported, if you need to look
11 further, but again, this would be representative of such a document in
12 general; is that correct?
13 A. That is enough, thank you. This document, while I haven't really
14 seen the distribution, distribution is only to the higher echelons, to the
15 command post. It's not showing whether it's going to any lower units.
16 This being said, the answer to your question whether this is
17 representative is yes.
18 If you can lower it down a little bit so I can see the rest of it.
19 Thank you. No, no. A little bit higher. I made a mistake. Stop it
20 there. Thank you.
21 Yes. We see in this document this one is only to be distributed
22 to the command post Comfar in Spain, not to the lower units on the spot.
23 For this one particular document, that is.
24 Q. All right. Unless the Judges have a particular -- we'll be
25 looking at a number of these kinds of documents, but unless the Judges
1 have a question on this particular document, I'll move on.
2 Sir, can you, in addition to the three reports that we've briefly
3 covered now - and we'll see a number of those in the course of the next
4 few hours, I believe - was it part of the official record-keeping of the
5 Spanish Battalion that there was also something called the diary of
6 operations or logbook of operations?
7 A. Affirmative. Yes. The third section did have a logbook of
8 operations or a diary of operations, as we would call it in Spanish, where
9 we recorded the history of the unit, the day-to-day history of the unit.
10 Q. If I could have the registry's assistance, please, to display
11 Exhibit P 01717. And, Your Honours, that will be the first document in
12 one of the two bundles. 01717. If we could let the witness see a bit
13 more of the document possibly, or maybe reduce the size. Maybe if we can
14 get a page, maybe, at a time. Could we show him the first several pages,
15 possibly? Can we leaf through the first couple of pages, if possible?
16 A. I certainly recognise this operations logbook. It is the
17 operations logbook of the Spanish Battalion at the time I was there.
18 Q. And can you tell us, sir, from having looked at this document and,
19 in transparency, not just at this particular moment but when you reviewed
20 this document over the past several days, can you confirm to the Judges
21 that this is the operations logbook or diary of the Spanish Battalion unit
22 during its tour of operations from approximately the middle of April until
23 October, 1993?
24 A. Affirmative. The answer affirmative. This is the operations
25 logbook of the Canarias group.
1 Q. And in fact, if we look at the document, there may be a few
2 entries that predate back, it appears to be, as to the latter part of
3 March; is that correct?
4 If the witness could be shown, for example, approximately the
5 third page of the document.
6 You see an entry, sir, for the 29th of March, 1993, by example?
7 A. That is right. That is correct.
8 Q. And if I can direct -- if it's possible for the registry to please
9 go to the end of that document, the very last page of that document, and
10 for the Chamber to the last page of the hard copy. As soon as you have --
11 sir, can you tell us, and again without -- there is no reason in
12 particular at this moment to mention the person by name, but when you look
13 at the bottom of the last page of the log, does it bear the signature of
14 the commanding officer of that group at the end -- at the approximate end
15 of the tour of duty?
16 A. Affirmative. Affirmative. Yes, that is the big chief of the
17 Canarias group.
18 Q. Thank you, Witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, this operations
20 logbook, we don't seem to have the translation into English, do we?
21 MR. SCOTT: You should have it. I think Your Honours have both.
22 In fact, in this particular document I believe you have both the Spanish
23 and the English.
24 Your Honour, looking at the clock, and I'm about to change topics,
25 if this might be the time for the break.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It is now time to have a
2 break. We shall have a 20-minute break and resume at five minutes to
4 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
6 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, while the witness is being brought in,
7 may I just indicate to the Court that at a convenient time, whenever this
8 can conveniently be done, may I have about two or three minutes to address
9 Your Honours on the subject of the admissibility of the documents that
10 were produced yesterday by the witness Mr. Hujdur. That's a matter which
11 Your Honours have not yet ruled on. I would just like to speak to it at
12 some convenient time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We'll do that at the end
14 of the sitting.
15 Let's resume.
16 MR. SCOTT: If I could have the registry's assistance by going
17 next to Exhibit P 02192.
18 Q. And, sir, if you could just look at that document, and if you can
19 see enough of it, and you'll just have to assist us, please, if you need
20 to see another part of the document, you may have to tell us what you need
21 to see. Can you tell us, is this an intrep, number 162, dated
22 approximately the 4th of May, 1993?
23 A. 3rd of May.
24 Q. And if I could refer -- if I could ask the -- that the witness be
25 shown in the Spanish document pages 3 and 4. And on the English version,
1 for those looking at the English version, page 4. And for the section
2 referencing Jablanica.
3 It just may assist, since people are looking at different versions
4 -- I think we just had it a moment ago. Okay. Some part of it carries
5 over, I see, on the Spanish page.
6 The document refers, it appears, to a meeting, an escort going
7 towards Sovici and Doljani and provided for a number of people, Generals
8 Halilovic and Pasalic, Petkovic, and Basic, SpaBat's commanding officer,
9 and others. Towards the end of that particular entry, if you see, it says
10 the following, and I'll ask you a couple of questions about this: "The
11 town of Doljani, utterly destroyed and torched, was the first place to be
12 visited. On leaving this locality, some women indicated that all the men
13 had been taken to Sovici. Later Sovici was visited where some 60 elderly
14 men were being detained in the school building." Do you see that, sir?
15 A. Yes, of course I do see it. I see the document and this is a
16 document issued by the Canarias group, and the information given there is
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I intervene at this point? The witness says
19 the information is correct. No hesitation. If we look at the title, we
20 find again C-2 as to credibility. On page 2, the fourth line. And that
21 is relatively low. There seems to be a contrast between what you affirm,
22 Colonel, and this classification. We've had it before already. Is it --
23 is it routine that you put in C-2 here, or how could you explain this?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I could explain. Perhaps
25 there's a routine aspect involved, but we speaking about a whole document.
1 I'm not speaking about a specific trip to Doljani or to Sovici. We're
2 speaking about the whole of the document wherein much more information is
3 concerned. So regarding all of the information concerned in the document,
4 it only rates a C-2, not the specific bit of the visit to these towns. We
5 hardly ever get maximum reliability and credibility in any document.
6 Hardly ever. We never -- I don't think we ever gave a document an A-6 top
7 credibility and reliability rating. In this case it got a C-2 no doubt
8 because there were other elements of information which were not as
9 credible as this particular one. Thank you.
10 MR. MURPHY: Well, Your Honour, following on from that, then, may
11 I ask that it should be made clear in relation to each of these documents
12 what the level of reliability and credibility may be as to each item that
13 Mr. Scott asks about and not about just the whole document generically,
14 because one matter that Your Honours are going to have to decide at a
15 later time is the probative value of these documents, or to put that
16 another way, what rating on the numerical and alphabetical scale amounts
17 to proof beyond reasonable doubt, and it's important, I think, to have an
18 evaluation of the facts Mr. Scott is asking about and not just a generic
19 evaluation of the entire document.
20 MR. SCOTT: If I may make some inquiries, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 MR. SCOTT: Before we turn --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If we've asked the question,
24 then we realise the importance of it. Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
1 Q. Before we go to the specific question raised by counsel, Witness,
2 which I assume you've heard and we'll come to in a moment, in terms of the
3 ranking system, let just me make sure that I understood correctly. I
4 don't have the transcript from earlier in front of me now. The
5 alphabetical references, the references A through F, or whatever you
6 mentioned -- excuse me, may have mentioned earlier, is the A the higher --
7 the highest of the grade and then going down from there?
8 A. Affirmative.
9 Q. And in terms of the numerical references, is it also similar that
10 number 1 represents the most reliable information?
11 A. Affirmative.
12 Q. All right. So the reference just so we're all --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. This is in contrast to what --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. It's
15 the other way around. I made a mistake. The other way around in numbers.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. So when you say "the other way around" again, for the very reason
18 that Judge Trechsel has indicated, that's why I want to be very clear. So
19 when you say "the other way around," are you saying that number 6 is the
20 highest rating or number 1 is the highest rating?
21 A. 6 is the highest credibility rating, sir. I repeat: 6 is the
22 highest credibility rating.
23 Q. So the highest rating we could possibly get, if I understand the
24 system correctly, would be an A-6. Would that be correct?
25 A. Affirmative. That would mean a really true fact.
1 Q. And stating the converse, so again that we're all on the same
2 page, the lowest possible rating would be an F-1; is that correct?
3 A. F-1 indeed.
4 Q. All right.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. While
6 we're dealing with this issue, I would like the witness to tell us when it
7 comes to reliability and credibility, reliability is - as far as I
8 understood it, but I might be wrong - the origin, the source providing the
9 information, and credibility is the value attributed to the contents. Is
10 that correct or not? Could you tell us the difference once again between
11 reliability and credibility. What is related to source and what is
12 related to content?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's an opposite of
14 what you have said, the opposite. Reliability is the reliability of the
15 news itself, the news item itself. That is reliability, whether the news
16 is true or false, whether it's really reliable.
17 Credibility is the credibility of the source of the news, whether
18 or not we can trust the source from which that news item emerges or is
19 emitted. This is what I said earlier, and this is what I am now
20 repeating, sir. Credibility source, reliability news. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will keep that
22 definition, although one could think differently, but we're going to stick
23 to your definition.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. Now, what --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Witness, let me next turn to a question that was raised a few
4 moments ago. The practice of the Spanish Battalion was to give this
5 rating to the overall -- to the report as a whole, if I understood your
6 testimony a few minutes ago; is that correct?
7 A. I'm afraid I haven't really understood your question.
8 Q. My apology. The question was raised in reference to the rating,
9 and in this particular instance let me make sure that I'm also looking at
10 the correct document myself. 02192, we have a reference to a C-2. You
11 have that -- if you can see that part of the document. Do you see that?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. If I understand the point that was being made earlier, please
14 correct me if I'm wrong, that this rating relates to the document as a
15 whole, the information contained in the document as a whole.
16 A. Affirmative.
17 Q. Was there any place on this document that you can show us on this
18 document where the individual items or the individual entries were rated
20 A. I'm afraid I really don't know what you're driving at. Are you
21 driving to a specific part of the document, a specific element of the
23 Q. Yes. Correct. If we looked, for example, as to any entry in the
24 document, if you look to the section on Konjic, for instance, on page 5 of
25 the English version -- I saw it a moment ago in the Spanish version, but
1 if you can find the section on Konjic. It's one that catches my eye at
2 the moment.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Page 4.
4 MR. SCOTT: Page 4 of the Spanish version. Thank you very much.
5 Q. Is there anything that you can -- is there any rating in the
6 document that tells us -- any rating as to the credibility and reliability
7 of that specific piece of information?
8 A. I'm very much afraid that I did not draft that particular intrep.
9 I don't know what the sources are. As I did not draft this document, I
10 cannot tell you what the rating would be, whether this is a truth or a
11 falsehood. I do remember having read this document at the time. I may
12 have an opinion of myself -- myself, but it's just an opinion. It's very
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... little bit
15 more specific. Under letter (b) in Konjic, there is a reference to a
16 patrol of SpaBat which heard, I think, members of the mixed commission. I
17 guess, but it's for you to tell me, that the credibility and the quality
18 of the source when it is one of your own patrols is better than C-2; is
19 that correct?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There can be no doubt if the
21 information comes from one of us who was present at the time, then
22 reliability is total. For instance, if there is a SpaBat patrol that
23 actually carried out something in that particular action, that information
24 is totally correct. But the paragraph underneath speaks about some local
25 information, you see. And whether or not that is true, whether or not it
1 is correct, we don't know. That is a local source, and I cannot actually
2 tell you how credible it is.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think, then, it is justified to conclude that
4 the general assessment of the credibility and viability of the document is
5 of rather little value because it does not make sense to give a global
6 level of credibility to a document which has such diverse pieces of
7 information. Is that correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can be quite right, but that
9 just happens to be the regulation system in our army. It is very
10 difficult to rate news item per news item.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm done.
12 MR. MURPHY: Well, Your Honour, I just want to add, if I may, one
13 thing to that, and that is that even with respect to information coming
14 from a SpaBat patrol, I would ask that the Prosecution find out from this
15 witness in any particular case whether what he's saying is based on his
16 own personal knowledge or whether he's merely indicating that he thinks
17 the document's reliable because an entry has been made in this report. It
18 may be, Your Honour, that the practice -- I don't seek to attack the
19 practice in drafting military reports. They have their own uses in the
20 field, but when they are offered as evidence, then we have to look at them
21 in an entirely different light, and I would ask that the Prosecution, if
22 they are seeking to introduce these documents in evidence, at least elicit
23 that information.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if we're going to continue to engage in
25 this discussion, I would ask that we excuse the witness from the
1 courtroom. I believe now we're getting into matters of evidence and law
2 which I disagree with counsel, but if we're going to engage in a lengthy
3 discussion of this then we should excuse the witness and go on for an hour
4 or two, go on for an hour or two talking about what the evidence requires,
5 rules of evidence require.
6 MR. MURPHY: It's not my intention to engage in a lengthy
7 discussion. There are some general issues that do arise, and on Monday,
8 as Your Honour knows, the Defence has been working on a response in a
9 somewhat different context to documents offered by the Prosecution on
10 another occasion when they made written submissions to the Court and Your
11 Honours said that we might have the opportunity to respond. That response
12 will be filed on Monday, and it will address not only the documents which
13 were then in question but certain more general issues of evidence, and it
14 may be that that would be the appropriate time to have this discussion. I
15 don't want to take up the time of the Court now, but these are matters
16 which we will have to get into at some point.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're not going to
18 broach an in-depth discussion now, and it's been a question that's been
19 discussed over the 10 years that the Tribunal has been in existence. We
20 have the cross-examination, which will allow us to test allegations made
21 in a document. There are also direct questions, that method, direct
22 questions from the Prosecution, and the Defence can at any time say that
23 such-and-such a document is of no value and can ask it to be rejected.
24 But let's wait and see before we draw our conclusions. We've just started
25 the examination-in-chief conducted by the Prosecution, so let's not make
1 any definite conclusions at this stage. The Judges asked a few questions
2 in order to establish the value and importance of letters and figures for
3 reliability and credibility. We heard the answer, and we'll draw the
4 appropriate conclusions in due course.
5 Please continue, Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. In reference to the fact -- the report about the situation in
8 Doljani and Sovici, can you just give the Chamber an idea as to when this
9 information would be reported, say at the end of the day or at the next
10 morning briefing, how would that sort of information affect, if any, what
11 the Spanish Battalion do -- would do in its day-to-day operations?
12 A. This type of information is usually given in a document when the
13 chief of SpaBat goes back to headquarters and reports on what has
14 happened, where he has been, what has taken place. The influence that may
15 have on the operations run by the Spanish Battalion is very minimal
16 because the Spanish Battalion has specific concrete missions to carry out.
17 When he was there, he wasn't allowed to go out looking for intelligence or
18 for news, weather reports. It had its own very specific missions to carry
19 out. What it tried to do was to make sure that the various parties could
20 sit together around the same table, because we managed to get this, they
21 wouldn't fight each other, but otherwise, it would have absolutely
22 influence on our specific missions.
23 Q. In this particular mission, if I understand the entry correctly
24 and the information immediately above the reference to Doljani and Sovici,
25 as part of this operation, if you will, or what was done that day, that
1 involved the SpaBat commanding officer; is that correct? Again, you need
2 not mention the person by name, but according to this report, the
3 commanding officer was involved; is that correct?
4 A. Affirmative. He attended the meeting. He visited the towns
6 Q. Let me ask you to next -- for the registry next to go to Exhibit
7 P 02081. If I can refer you particularly to -- I believe it may be on
8 page 4 of the English document, and it may carry over from page 1 to page
9 2 of the Spanish document. The reference concerning Mostar. If you'd
10 find that, please. This is an intrep on the 25th of April, 1993.
11 Sir, can you find the language where it says "In Mostar fighting
12 --" the entry fighting. "There were minor skirmishes during the night
13 and some shots were fired during the day, however joint mission patrols
14 supported by UNPROFOR continued to keep the situation under control."
15 Going on down below, it says: "The headquarters of the BH army has been
16 moved to the quarter of Mahala." The -- there's a reference in this
17 document to joint commission patrols. Can you tell the Judges, what was a
18 joint commission patrol at this time?
19 A. An agreement was reached to try and keep dialogue alive, to
20 organise patrolling in the city of Mostar with representatives of armija
21 and of HVO, and there was also Spanish officials. And these patrols went
22 all around the city, checked on the situation, see -- tried to identify
23 problems, movements of population, et cetera, checkpoints at some
24 crossroads, et cetera, and particularly when there was a problem, they
25 immediately rushed to where people said a problem had occurred. It was
1 essential to try to obtain information. All three parties involved, the
2 two warring ones and SpaBat together, to try and ascertain really what was
3 going on in the city.
4 Q. Do you recall, and if you so can you tell the Chamber generally,
5 by the end of April, early part of May, 1993, what was the status of
6 freedom of movement, if you will, both for the SpaBat or UNPROFOR and also
7 for the public in general? What was the status of being able to move
8 freely around the Mostar area?
9 A. When these dates you mentioned, April, circulation was practically
10 entirely free, both for UNPROFOR and SpaBat, and the civilian population
11 totally freely. When they approached us, they greeted us, they talked to
12 us. Although you could feel the tension in the air obviously.
13 Q. Did that freedom of movement change over time as your tour of duty
14 continued? And tell us about that.
15 A. Yes, the situation did change when there was attack in Mostar in
16 -- towards the Muslim area. And then in the Bulevar area there was
17 widespread fighting, and then people stopped circulating around Mostar.
18 Only within their own limited neighbourhoods, but there was no exchange
19 between them, and the Spanish units were withdrawn to the west of the
20 city, to the hospital area, from which we could dominate the city. We had
21 quite a view of the whole of the city but we were outside the
22 confrontation area. We were told by the Croats that combat was about to
23 begin and for our own security we had to withdraw.
24 Now, our mission would have been obviously to try and maintain
25 peace, but we did have to withdraw our units to continue observation from
1 a secure post.
2 Q. We'll talk about some of those points you just made in a few
3 moments. Could I ask you to next look at Exhibit P 02220. And I believe
4 the entry that I'll refer -- I'll refer you to is on page 3 of the English
5 version and perhaps pages 2 carrying over to page 3 of the Spanish
6 version. And this is intrep number 165, apparently dated the 7th of May,
7 1993. The 7th or the 8th. You can assist us on that.
8 Do you have that document, sir?
9 A. I can see it, yes.
10 Q. If I can ask you to look at the page reference that I just
11 mentioned a moment ago. I believe it will be on pages 2 to 3 of your --
12 of the Spanish original. Can you see the language where it says: "The
13 HVO CP in the vicinity of Konjic is still blocking the passage of all
14 except the UNPROFOR vehicles"? Do you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. For the record, can you say -- can you tell the Judges what the
17 reference "CP" refers to.
18 A. Checkpoint. That means checkpoint.
19 Q. If I can please direct your attention a bit further on in the
20 document, not too far but a bit further on where there's reference to
21 Mostar. Do you see the language: "The captain of the company serving in
22 the city received reports from HVO and BiH in which they accused each
23 other for failing to comply with conditions of the agreement that both
24 parties had signed"? And then continuing on down: "Comment. The
25 situation has deteriorated to the extent that an open conflict seems to be
1 unavoidable, which perhaps hasn't happened yet because of the
2 tranquillising presence of the SpaBat units."
3 Two questions. When it refers to the company -- excuse me, the
4 captain of the company, are you referring to the captain of the Spanish
5 Battalion company that was operating in Mostar at this time?
6 A. Affirmative. There was a permanent company. In our joint
7 commission there's a company that was patrolling in the whole of the city
8 on the command of a captain who belonged to the joint commission together
9 with the other two parties.
10 Q. Now, it makes reference to the "tranquillising presence of the
11 Spanish Battalion units." Can you give the Judges again some further
12 sense of what the Spanish Battalion was doing around the 7th or 8th of May
13 in terms of trying to, if you will, keep things peaceful.
14 A. Well, basically our order was not actually to impose peace on
15 anybody, but we tried to remain in that area, to be present at crossroads,
16 to be visible around the city, to reassure the civilian population that we
17 were not abandoning them, that they could count on us if need be. But
18 actually being able to do things, there was very little we were able to
19 do. But it was mostly being present and visible to reassure people.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to have an explanation
21 to evaluate what you're saying. We're speaking about the 8th and 9th of
22 May, 1993. Now, your office, where was it physically? Where were you,
23 physically speaking?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Medjugorje.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Thank you. And did you
1 go to Mostar from time to time to see with your own eyes what the
2 situation was like in the town?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did go to Mostar couple of
4 times, on the 7th and 8th, or 8th and 9th, I'm not sure. But I did
5 habitually go and I tried to visit the company there detached because we
6 had some contacts with the HVO headquarters, or the armija headquarters.
7 I was there a couple of times, yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The situation, yes.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation in the city was, as I
10 said before, tense. But the civilian population welcomed us. They came
11 to us, brought us coffee. They smiled at us, at least.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for giving me that
14 Mr. Scott.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Sir, if I heard you correctly, and the transcript -- at least the
17 live transcript we're getting has moved off that information now -- but if
18 I heard you correctly a few minutes ago, you said that there came some
19 information from the HVO that the Spanish Battalion or its component in
20 Mostar should leave the area or take some action because of fighting that
21 was anticipated. Can you tell the Judges more, please, specifically about
22 that. What information was received from the Spanish Battalion and when
23 was that, and what happened?
24 A. On the night in which the fighting broke out in Mostar, the patrol
25 -- part of the patrol were near bridges near the conflict area and the
1 separation area between Croats and Muslims. That night the officers in
2 charge of the patrols were approached by HVO members, warning them that
3 their security was in danger because there might be fighting. That item
4 was passed on and arrived at the headquarters in Medjugorje.
5 Q. When you say, "On the night in which the fighting broke out ..."
6 Please be as precise as you can and as your memory allows. Are you
7 talking about the night before? Is this the night of the 8th of May or
8 the night after fighting started on the 9th of May?
9 A. I'm referring to the early hours of the day in which fighting
10 broke out. I seem to remember it was the 8th of May. I would have to
11 refer to the logbook, but I do believe it was the 8th of May.
12 Q. Do you recall more specifically about what the information was and
13 what the directions or -- strike that. What the information received from
14 the HVO was? Was this a suggestion that SpaBat might want to follow or
15 was SpaBat ordered out of the area?
16 A. It was a suggestion, if I might add almost an order, because our
17 security was endangered when we heard or when we -- it was suggested to us
18 that we had better leave, I suppose they were discharging themselves of
19 any responsibility should any harm ensue.
20 Q. What did the Spanish Battalion or the element that was in Mostar
21 at that time do in response to this information, if anything?
22 A. Aside from passing on this information to the higher echelons in
23 UNPROFOR, it was made clear that our task was what it was. The chief of
24 SpaBat decided to withdraw from the area and to move more towards the west
25 of Mostar some one to one and a half kilometres away from the conflict
1 area, and the patrol was then stationed there.
2 Q. Can you tell the Judges now, because it may come up in the next
3 few minutes in reference to various things, from the position, the new
4 position that the Spanish Battalion element took up you say to the west of
5 Mostar, did they continue to have a view on the city?
6 A. Yes. Yes. We had a view of the city not in detail. Perhaps we
7 missed out, or they missed out at checkpoints or crossroads, but yes, a
8 general view of the city.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please allow me to say something
10 at this stage. You've just said that after having received the
11 information from the HVO of an imminent threat of an attack, the person in
12 charge of the battalion who was touring Mostar decided to leave the area,
13 and that unit had been given a mission, and did they have to patrol the
14 area? Was that part of the assignment of these men? And in the event of
15 an imminent danger, were these men entitled to leave or did the head of
16 the battalion contact his superior to -- so that the latter would give him
17 an order telling him that he could leave the place? Could you please tell
18 us more about this. Because when you're in the army, you have very -- a
19 very specific assignment, and if you change your assignment, this means
20 that you've received an order. So could you shed some light on this for
21 me, please, and tell me how these men who were patrolling around town left
22 the place.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The mission was to be present in the
24 city. They could not use force nor undertake any other mission. They had
25 to be there so that the civilian population be aware that the UN was there
1 in the city. The moment conflict broke out, the moment that the Spanish
2 troops' security was in danger, the chief of the battalion decided to
3 withdraw the troops from the conflict area because its mission was not to
4 keep peace. The Spanish Battalion took on this mission of being present
5 aside from the EU and other missions. But the moment the security of the
6 troops was in danger, the order to withdraw was given but to remain around
7 the area in order to be able to inform UNPROFOR, but not to participate in
8 anything else.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Scott, you have
10 the floor.
11 MR. SCOTT: If I can ask the witness next to be shown Exhibit
12 P 01717, the logbook. And I believe in the English version it will be on
13 page 58. In the Spanish version, I can only refer to the -- what we refer
14 to as the ERN on the page, which I believe it will be at ERN 0167814, if
15 that assists.
16 Q. Witness BJ, as soon as you have that on your screen, if you'd just
17 let me know.
18 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, while the witness is -- while we're doing
19 this, I'm just wondering out loud - and no disrespect to the Spanish
20 language - I wonder if, for the witness's purposes, whether it would be
21 easier to provide him with the hard copy of the Spanish version since he
22 presumably is the one making most frequent reference to the Spanish
23 version, and then we can use the English on -- yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. All right. That's exactly
25 what I would have done had I been in your shoes.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This means that we can save some
4 MR. SCOTT: Because I know from the witness he can turn to the
5 particular entries by date I think quite quickly himself.
6 Q. So if you can find your entry, sir, for the 9th of May, or the
7 diary entry for the 9th of May, that would be very helpful, please.
8 A. I have found it.
9 Q. Sir, if you can find this -- these references, and I'll ask you --
10 then I'll ask you several questions and of course the Judges may have
12 In your report on that day, it says: "At 0500 hours in the Mostar
13 area, the HVO carried out an attack using artillery, mortars, and heavy
14 and small arms on the Muslim quarter in the city. The attack centred on
15 the American bridge (Tito's bridge) and the armija headquarters. Due to
16 the fighting the company that was deployed in the city had to retreat
17 south-west of the city."
18 Now, let's stop there for a moment. In reference to the questions
19 that were raised a moment ago, the reference to the company retreating
20 south-west of the city, is that consistent with the information that had
21 been received from the HVO and that what you've told the Judges is that
22 this unit then did withdraw to an area west or south-west of the city?
23 A. Yes. This is what I have been saying before. When we received
24 the news item, the company withdrew to the hospital area to the south-west
25 of the city.
1 Q. Going on in that entry: "The access routes to the city were
2 blocked. The fighting continued throughout the day. The HVO controls all
3 access routes to the city. Citizens were observed gathering in the
4 football stadium and being moved out of the city in buses. At the
5 checkpoints on all roads the HVO was making the passage of our units
6 difficult with trivial excuses (asking to see the documents, et cetera)."
7 To the best of your knowledge, sir, is that an accurate entry in
8 terms of what you knew and heard and understood to be happening on the 9th
9 of May in Mostar?
10 A. Yes, completely. Absolutely correct.
11 Q. Is it correct for us to understand, and most importantly for the
12 Judges to understand, that when it says, for example, civilians were
13 observed gathering in the football stadium, these were observations that
14 were being made from the SpaBat element that had taken some ground just
15 outside of town?
16 A. Yes. This is news coming from the units deployed in Mostar. I
17 don't know whether the news arrived when they were moving towards the west
18 or south-west, but in any case, the news was coming from the units
19 deployed in Mostar.
20 Q. All right. Still directing your attention to the -- to the 9th of
21 May, but not reflected, I don't believe, in this particular entry, can you
22 tell the Judges whether there was any incident or situation that day in
23 which the BiH army officer Pasalic was held or delayed somewhere?
24 A. Yes, because I was there. General Pasalic was escorted from
25 Jablanica for a meeting held with General Petkovic, if I'm not mistaken,
1 and at the entrance to Mostar he was stopped at a Croat checkpoint, and he
2 was not allowed to go through. HVO knew about the movement of the
3 general, because when commanding officers moved about we had to inform
4 about these movements, and with a profusion of apologies he was detained
5 some four to five hours, I can't remember. Because I was involved in
6 telephone negotiations with Mr. Vasic [as interpreted]. And at the end of
7 those very many hours, and because we were responsible for his security,
8 we obtained from Mr. Vasic the authority for Mr. Pasalic to come to our
9 detachment headquarters, and for the sake of his security we took the
10 general to the Medjugorje headquarters, and he was there for two to three
11 days. That's when the attack on Mostar took place, the same day.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the transcript you say that
13 you -- in English we read Mr. Vasic, but in the translation I heard Kosic.
14 Who was the person with whom you negotiated?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bozic. Bozic.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Bozic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was deputy minister of defence,
18 if I'm not mistaken.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. The full name of this individual, if you recall, sir, was that
21 Slobodan Bozic?
22 A. Yes. That's correct. He was the person with whom we got in touch
23 when we had any problems or when we had to negotiate with the HVO.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did he speak Spanish?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, English. And we had an
1 interpreter -- well, I had a Croat-Spanish interpreter in order to talk to
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. And this individual, sir, Mr. Bozic, you say he was the deputy
5 minister of defence. He was the immediate deputy to Defence Minister
6 Bruno Stojic; is that correct?
7 A. I believe so. I think he was the second in command, yes, from the
9 Q. Just looking ahead for the moment, did you have a number of
10 dealings with Mr. Bozic during your tour in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes. Every time there was to be negotiations over a convoy which
12 had been detained on its way to Jablanica, or when communications were
13 cut, we almost always talked to Mr. Bozic, either me personally or any
14 other officer in charge.
15 Q. Sir, I'm looking further, and I'm sorry I didn't direct your
16 attention to it before, but also on the 9th of May in the operational
17 journal there is indeed, I believe, further down the page, a reference to
18 the fact that Mr. Pasalic was being delayed for -- it says "waiting for
19 more than seven hours, and then they all moved to Kresevo where they spent
20 the night." Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, seven hours. Yes, you're right. Seven hours. I said four
22 to five earlier. Well, it was seven then. I can't quite remember. I
23 suppose it must be seven since this was so written in the logbook.
24 Q. Did you understand, sir, again just as you knew Mr. Bozic, did you
25 understand that Mr. Pasalic was the overall commander of the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the area of Mostar at that time?
2 A. [No interpretation]. Yes, we were clear that that was so, sir.
3 Q. Can you tell the Judges, in your experience as a professional
4 military man and as a senior officer yourself, would the HVO have had any
5 reason to keep Mr. Pasalic out of Mostar for those approximately seven
7 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, that clearly calls for speculation and
8 once again we get into the area of the Prosecution turning a witness into
9 an expert without giving us the proper notice and opportunity to respond.
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, let me restate the question. As to being an
11 expert, Your Honour, this man is a professional soldier. All his career,
12 having graduated from the academy in 1976, I believe. I believe he can --
13 he can express a view on certain military matters without being designated
14 as a testifying expert as such.
15 As to -- I think he can tell us generally in his experience why
16 would -- why would some opposing force want to detain the commanding
17 officer of the other side, what the advantages of that would be at the
19 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, firstly I'm not disputing the witness's
20 experience and ability as a military officer. That's not the question.
21 The question is that there are rules to be followed if the Prosecution
22 wishes to designate him as an expert.
23 Secondly, Your Honour, the question that he's being asked is
24 speculative. The issue is not whether he can imagine any reasons for what
25 the HVO may have done or may not have done, he's being asked to speculate
1 as to what the motivations of persons within the HVO may have been, and we
2 don't even know who these persons are that he's being asked to speculate
4 MR. SCOTT: Let me ask some additional questions, Your Honour.
5 I'll rephrase the questions.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's just the way the
7 question is formulated, because you can achieve the same result without
8 the Defence standing to its feet.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Witness BJ, during this time, were you conducting most of the
11 negotiations with the HVO side to obtain the freedom of movement of
12 Mr. Pasalic?
13 A. Yes, I negotiated with Mr. Bozic the freedom of movement for
14 General Pasalic.
15 Q. And that was my next question. Throughout these conversations
16 over this, at least here 7-hour period, did you have -- were all your
17 conversations or dealings with Mr. Bozic?
18 A. Yes. Not all seven hours. We kept on phoning up. When
19 communication went down, we kept on phoning each other on and off. We
20 were not on the phone for seven hours in a row. We were on and off two or
21 three hours but this in the period of seven hours.
22 Q. And perhaps you can just tell the Judges if you recall, how long
23 was it before Mr. Pasalic was able to go on about his business and move
24 about freely after being detained or delayed in this way?
25 A. How long did it take for him to regain freedom of movement? Well,
1 if there was seven hours' delay, once the permit or authorisation was
2 given for us to take him to our headquarters, he was allowed to move.
3 Q. And then how long was he at your headquarters before he then was
4 free to move about the area without Spanish Battalion escort, if at all?
5 A. Between 48 to 72 hours before he was returned to his area in
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, when you spent a lot of
8 time over the telephone to make sure that Mr. Pasalic can move around
9 freely, what motivated you? What did you do this? What was the reason
10 behind all of this? Why did you want Mr. Pasalic to be able to move
11 around freely? Was it because of the consequences that could have? Why
12 did you actually do this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as pursuant to the agreements
14 between the parties, UNPROFOR could move freely in the area, and if
15 escorts were undertaken, they were undertaken for VIPs known to both
16 parties that should be able to move freely, and the security was the
17 responsibility of SpaBat. Some eight or nine months before, an armoured
18 vehicle, I believe a French vehicle, had killed a Serb, I believe, I can't
19 remember, and we were afraid that something might happen to General
20 Pasalic. It was our mission, therefore, to escort him and to take him to
21 a safe place and to keep him in a safe place. That was our concern.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So insofar as Mr. Pasalic was a
23 prominent figure, you as part of your assignment were to escort him when
24 he moved about, and in this particular case he couldn't, and this is why
25 you contacted Mr. Bozic. Is this how we are to understand what you did at
1 the time?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We had held a meeting at
3 Jablanica. Mr. Pasalic was there, and we had agreed with the armija and
4 the HVO that they would meet in Jablanica with representatives from both
5 parties. And on the way back from Jablanica to Mostar was when General
6 Pasalic was stopped at a checkpoint, he was threatened. His escort called
7 me and told me that there were threats, that the vehicle might be
8 assaulted, that there was some danger to General Pasalic's security.
9 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps it will assist us on the topic, I've jumped
10 over a document or two and come back. If I could have the witness direct
11 his attention to Exhibit P 02273, which is a sitrep, which is sitrep 168,
12 apparently for the 10th of May, 1993. It should be found -- the entry
13 should be found, I believe, on pages 3 or 4 -- and 4 of the English
14 version and page 1 to 2 of the Spanish version. Let me make sure I've
15 given you the right ...
16 Sorry, Your Honour. I'm not -- ah, okay. Yes. The top of page 4
17 of the English version.
18 Q. And if you can find the reference, sir, in that document, it says
19 -- some might call them bullet items, and at one point it says: "General
20 Pasalic, commander of the 4th Corps of the BH army, is in Spanish
21 detachment in Drecevo and some HVO checkpoints have been put up around the
22 detachment in order to prevent him from leaving." Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do see it. It's here in the document.
24 Q. And following on that, it says: "The deputy commander of the
25 Capljina brigade showed up in the detachment, demanding that General
1 Pasalic be handed over, which the detachment commander refused."
2 Were you being briefed and kept advised of these developments as
3 they were ongoing?
4 A. Yes. I was informed continuously when the second in command was
5 demanding that the general be surrendered to them.
6 Q. And your testimony is that as a result of all of these events it
7 was approximately somewhere, 48 to 72 hours before Mr. Pasalic could
8 actually then go on about his way; is that correct?
9 A. That is correct. I do not recall the period of time. I would
10 have to look into this, but I think that that was between 48 and 72 hours
11 that he was actually there within the detachment.
12 Q. All right. If we could go then next to Exhibit P 02241. Yes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Before
14 we go on to the next exhibit, sir, could you take a look at the next page
15 of the document.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please scroll up?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And you have point 3
18 "Operaciones Mostar." Now, paragraph 3, in Spanish, it says: "Se han
19 observado concentracion de civiles en el campo de futbol ..." And so this
20 refers to the concentration of civilians on the football stadium.
21 Now, did you send men to go and see what was going on? Because
22 apparently there was a football match. So did you send anybody to see
23 what was going on? They were not attending a football match.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once we were in the western part of
25 the city, in the area of the hospitals, there was no possibility of
1 movement, so we knew that there was a conflict within the area of the
2 hospital. And we could see the football field and we could see the
3 movements, and the company was there and did inform to us that there were
4 some -- some -- there was something happening there, and not because there
5 was a match going on.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With binoculars you weren't able
7 to see the football field?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the hospital, yes, you could
9 see the football field and all the movements that was -- that were taking
10 place. But there was a shorter distance from the hospital to the football
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
13 Mr. Scott.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Following up on the President's questions, if we could now go to
16 Exhibit P 02241, which is an intrep 167 for the 9th of May, 1993. I
17 believe the information will be at page 4 of the English version and page
18 2 of the Spanish version. Sir -- thank you.
19 A. I have the document here.
20 Q. Could you find on -- forgive me. I think my own note is wrong, so
21 let me just reorient myself. At the bottom of page 3 of the English
22 version, but if you see -- your section number 1.2 areas and then you'll
23 see Mostar, and then the entry "Shelling," then it says: "At 0500 hours
24 mortar attacks were launched against the Muslim sector from HVO
1 Now, I think other -- I will not need to read out loud everything
2 that follows, but in reference to the question that His Honour Judge
3 Antonetti raised a moment ago, if you read on down in that section, it
4 says: "Other information. The Spanish section on duty in the city made
5 its way to the outskirts of Mostar but its way to the 'illegible' was
6 barred by HVO personnel. At 1246 hours buses driven by armed HVO
7 personnel and loaded with people were seen arriving at the football ground
8 at --" again illegible. I don't know if you can help us with some of
9 these. Maybe the Spanish is clearer to you. "At 1313 hours the arrival
10 of more civilians was observed (this time standing up) in buses driven by
11 armed personnel."
12 Now, referring to the question by Judge Antonetti, did you
13 understand that the Spanish Battalion element that was still in the
14 immediate vicinity of the Mostar had such a position and such observation
15 equipment, binoculars or what have you, they were able to make these
17 A. Affirmative. The company had not withdrawn from the city, it had
18 withdrawn itself from the city centre but was in an area next to the
19 football field and could observe the movement of people with a number of
20 observation measures, normal, standard observation measures, be it
21 binoculars and other devices.
22 Q. Further down on that same page before we leave the document,
23 moving away from Mostar for a moment, on the same page you see an entry --
24 or at least in the English version it's the same page. Forgive me, it may
25 or may not be in the Spanish. The section for Jablanica. Page 3, I
1 believe, of the Spanish version. And under that section it talks about
2 act -- excuse me. "At 1247 came confirmation of HVO attack against the
3 Muslim battalion at presume Gornji Dreznica. The attacks were launched at
4 13 --" Do you see that, sir?
5 A. Yes, yes, yes, I do see that completely.
6 Q. So in addition to what was happening in Mostar at this time, were
7 you continuing to receive reports from the Spanish Battalion element in
8 the Jablanica area?
9 A. Also we received information from a detachment in Jablanica and
10 they were telling us what was happening there and what they could observe.
11 Q. Now, in connection with the observations that we've been talking
12 about, can you tell the Judges was some video footage made by the Spanish
13 army, by components of the Spanish Battalion on the 9th of May, showing
14 some of the things that we have talked about so far today?
15 A. Yes, there was a video footage but I cannot recall whether it was
16 in relation to the 9th of May or the exact dates. I cannot recall that.
17 But, yes, there was video footage that was taken of the movement of
18 civilians on the part of the armed HVO forces, transferring the civilians
19 from one area to another. I cannot recall the -- the date, and I did not
20 see the video footage. It was sent as a document to Spain. Yes, I did
21 see it, but I cannot recall the date. I cannot remember whether it was
22 the 9th or the 11th or the 15th.
23 Q. Let me break that down into a couple of smaller pieces. You
24 confirm that a video was made around this time; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Did you personally see the video yourself, and did you see the
2 content of the video played before you?
3 A. Yes, I did. I saw the video in its entirety.
4 Q. What did the video show?
5 A. The movement of civilian personnel, men, women and children, being
6 led by armed forces of the Croat army.
7 Q. Was this video sent to Spanish army headquarters in Madrid, or at
8 least in Spain if not Madrid?
9 A. Affirmative. It was sent to the headquarters as part of the
10 information that had been received, and I am certain that it was also
11 published on the Spanish TV.
12 Q. Can you tell the Judges, did you ever receive any complaints from
13 the HVO that this video had been made?
14 A. I do not understand in relation to the copy. Yes, we had received
15 complaints that we had made this video, because it was not part of the
16 intelligence, but, yes, we had indeed make or produced a video and
17 published it, broadcast it. I did not receive the complaint, but the head
18 of the Canarias group actually received the complaint himself.
19 Q. Can you tell the Judges as best you recall what the complaint was
20 and who made the complaint.
21 A. I do not recall who actually made the complaint. I think I
22 believe that it could be Bozic, but I do not recall. But basically it was
23 to do with the complaint that it was a lack of loyalty to them because we
24 had broadcast or we had produced images which could have led people to
25 believe that there were facts that were not real.
1 Q. Do you recall there being some reference, as you just said -- I'm
2 just looking at the transcript, at least the translation, that it was put
3 to you that this was somehow showing a lack of loyalty to the Croats or to
4 the HVO? In what sense was any loyalty owed to the HVO?
5 MR. MURPHY: Just so we're clear about this. The question is
6 whether the witness would like to speculate about whether a person he
7 thinks may have been Mr. Bozic may have said to a person in charge of the
8 -- his unit, which this witness did not see or hear at all. Is that the
10 MR. SCOTT: The question is the question I put to the witness, and
11 which he just said in page 67, line 2, "... basically it was to do with
12 the complaint that it was a lack of loyalty to them because we had
13 broadcast or we had produced images ..." I'm simply asking the witness if
14 he recalls more about that and specifically anything in reference to the
15 issue of "loyalty."
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Could you answer the
17 question, because apparently we see there was some complaint, complaints
18 made because of the fact that this video was broadcast on Spanish
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was. There was an official
21 complaint on the part of the HVO to our group for having broadcast images,
22 in fact images which had been recorded. I do not recall precisely the
23 reason. I could not affirm this, but I do believe that the reasons
24 alluded to was because of the lack of loyalty and because we had not
25 informed them prior to the broadcasting of these images, and I believe
1 that that's where it was left at that time.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I ask, Witness, were you involved when this
3 was discussed? Were you a party to the discussions about how to react to
4 this complaint?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not personally involved when the
6 complaint was received by the colonel, but I knew that he was in the
7 office that was next door, and the group, the leader of the group, the
8 head of the group actually told us what had taken place.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, are you going to show
12 the video or not?
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm not sure whether I should raise this
14 in front of the witness or not. There is an issue about that, but I'm
15 just not sure how to proceed. I can -- let me see if I can -- I don't
16 know if the witness can help us on this but I'll ask questions and see if
17 we can achieve it that way.
18 Q. Witness BJ, can you tell us whether to your knowledge that video
19 still exists? Is it still in the custody of the Spanish army?
20 A. The video was sent to our headquarters in Madrid, and I believe
21 that it must be archived somewhere. That is my opinion. I don't know. I
22 have not seen it again. I don't know if it has been lost or gone astray
23 or stored, but I do know that it was broadcast on Spanish television.
24 Perhaps the Spanish TV stations could have a copy of it.
25 Q. Again, just to make the record as complete as possible, did you
1 have any involvement in any efforts in the past several years to locate
2 the videotape at the Spanish army?
3 A. No. No. I did not have any responsibility of that matter when I
4 was in Spain.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, at this time all I can tell -- all I can
6 do, really, is inform the Chamber that the Office of the Prosecutor has
7 made a repeated request for that tape to be produced to us for a number of
8 years and has never -- the tape has never been produced. It has been
9 represented to us that the tape cannot be located. That's all I can say
10 further at this moment.
11 There is another -- I can indicate to the Court that there's a
12 future -- there's another Spanish Battalion witness who confirms the fact
13 that a video was made that I believe will give evidence in the future.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In Spain there are a number of
15 television channels, but there's the TVE, the major television channel.
16 Now, to the best of your recollections, was that video -- what television
17 channel was the video shown on?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Affirmative. What I know and what I
19 recall, I cannot say it on a hundred per cent, but it was seen -- it was
20 actually broadcast on the TVE, the Spanish network.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] TVE that broadcast it. But
22 you're not quite sure. You're not a hundred per cent certain.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not on a hundred per cent certainty
24 because I wasn't there, so I don't know what was actually broadcast on the
25 Spanish TV station.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please resume,
2 Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Moving forward, sir, but still early in this 9th, 10th of May time
5 period. Can you tell us, sir, around this time was a Spanish officer by
6 the name of Lieutenant -- I think in this particular instance probably,
7 unfortunately, the name doesn't matter, but Lieutenant Castellanos was
9 A. On the 11th of May we went to the east of Mostar to take some
10 blood products, and during the time that we were there, we went through
11 the eastern Muslim area, and we were the subject of a mortar which was
12 launched, and as a direct result Lieutenant Castellanos was killed.
13 Q. Let's take that a bit further. Do you recall how it was that the
14 request had been made or how it was that the Spanish Battalion had been --
15 become involved in moving some medical products or blood into the East
16 Mostar area?
17 A. Well, demarches were made with the Croat authorities for blood
18 plasma to be taken to the eastern part of Mostar to the hospital in the
19 Muslim area, and we even reached an agreement of cease-fire of about one
20 hour, if I recall correctly, at around 12.00 noon, and around 2.00 p.m.,
21 two armoured vehicles of Spain went to the Muslim area and we delivered
22 the blood plasma in the Muslim hospital. And the agreement was that we
23 had to actually move a Catholic priest from this area. I cannot recall
24 his name. And we went in search for this Catholic priest at his domicile
25 in the Muslim area, and when we did this we were the subject of a number
1 of mortars which had been launched, and as a result Lieutenant Castellanos
2 was killed.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Were you present when this occurred?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was present.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. Sir, if I understood you correctly, would it be fair to say that
7 there was -- an agreement had been reached, the quid pro quo, if you
8 would, was that some blood would be allowed to go into East Mostar and on
9 the other hand you would bring -- the Spanish Battalion would bring a
10 Catholic priest out of the area; is that correct?
11 A. Affirmative.
12 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, as much as you recall of the
13 approximate location. I don't -- strike that. Not the location in terms
14 of a street name, but what was the area? What was the nature of the area
15 where Lieutenant Castellanos was hit? Was he in an open area? Was it a
16 visible area, or what more can you tell us about the nature of the
18 A. In the Muslim area where Lieutenant Castellanos was killed, we
19 went in search of the Catholic priest in an open area of courtyards. And
20 when I went back three or four days later with the UN police to undertake
21 the investigation into the death of Lieutenant Castellanos, we looked at
22 the area where the explosions had fallen and where the shots had been
23 fired from and where the mortars had actually fallen, and we looked at the
24 area where Lieutenant Castellanos had actually been killed, and it was an
25 open, visible area.
1 Q. At the time that Lieutenant Castellanos was killed, was he wearing
2 a -- a blue helmet identifying him as a UN member?
3 A. We were all with blue helmets. We were all bearing or wearing
4 blue helmets. As well as the blue helmets, there was an interpreter who
5 also happened to be carrying a blue helmet, and a Muslim officer, he was
6 also accompanying us.
7 Q. Do you recall, sir, approximately how many mortar rounds were
8 fired before the round that struck and killed Lieutenant Castellanos?
9 A. The area was an area of a lot of explosions in the area. Not only
10 in the area where we were but particularly where we were two -- two shells
11 had actually been launched, and not only in front of us but also behind
13 Q. All right. My question to you is, if I can ask you, please, not
14 the overall explosions in a broader area but in the immediate area where
15 you and this Spanish Battalion component was at the time, was it these --
16 specifically these two mortar shells, only two mortar shots were fired,
17 one of which killed the lieutenant?
18 A. I'm sorry, I understand that not two. Two shells were launched
19 practically simultaneously, one in front, one behind, and I think it was
20 the two shells. I cannot really tell you which one of those two shells
21 actually killed the lieutenant.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You said, sir, that from the location you could
23 see where the positions of the mortar were. Can you tell us where these
24 positions were from where the shots had been fired?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From Mount Hum [Realtime transcript
1 read in error "Hul"]. From Mount Hum.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Once again following that line
3 of thinking, you said shots, but on the basis of your knowledge as a
4 militaryman, your technical knowledge, was that a mortar shell? Where did
5 the shell come from and what was the calibre the shell that fell? Can you
6 give us some more specific technical details about that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were explosions of two
8 grenades of mortars of 82 millimetres -- of a mortar of 82 millimetres.
9 It was two grenades. That was as a result of the investigation and the
10 [indiscernible] must be there somewhere. Also as a result of the UNPROFOR
11 police investigation that was there with me.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this type of weaponry and
13 ammunition, and do you use -- do you have a viewfinder, and do you have
14 charts for firing or do you not use this?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's -- it's in relation to
16 particular obstacles. It has a trajectory that follows a curve, and this
17 is done usually behind a certain obstacle in relation to certain buildings
18 or a house. I don't know if that answers your question.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But I don't know -- yes,
20 that does answer my question, but I'm not quite sure. I don't know
21 whether the person who is opening fire has to calculate where his target
22 is, or can you open fire without doing that? These 82-millimetre mortars.
23 And you were there -- is that -- did it just happen randomly or did it
24 happen because you calculated the firing on the basis of the charts?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Am I to understand the question if
1 they had been seen before they had been launched or when they had been
2 launched against us, I cannot affirm that tacitly. I was convinced,
3 because I was there, and I do believe that first the group went there in
4 search of the Catholic priest, and there was another escort group, and
5 perhaps in relation to the distance or in relation to the time that the
6 grenade takes from being launched to arrival, maybe the grenades fell on
7 the same site where we had been previously located and maybe they hit the
8 lieutenant, but I cannot affirm that we were in their direct view and
9 therefore we were the object.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Let me follow up again to the Judges' questions which is part of
13 what was trying to come to earlier. You've told us in the last few
14 minutes your group was moving around the area for some time, trying to
15 find this Catholic priest, if I understand correctly; is that right?
16 A. Well, not really a whole lot of time. We knew exactly where we
17 were going to. The Muslim -- the Muslim official was leading us, and it
18 was about 500 metres to 1.000 metres between the armoured vehicles, and
19 where the Catholic priest was, the armoured vehicles couldn't go through
20 that because they were twisting and they're narrow streets. And so we
21 came under small-arms fire, so we had to be extremely careful. We had to
22 go -- proceed street-by-street, taking care of our safety, and so this
23 took a great deal of time. This is why we have to move through
24 courtyards, et cetera, before we actually came to the Catholic priest. It
25 would have taken about 15 minutes in all actually rescuing the priest,
1 picking him up and taking him out of there.
2 Q. Yes, precisely. So you exited the armoured personnel carrier,
3 you're moving about on foot for approximately a 15-minute period, and you
4 also came under small-arms fire; is that correct? No translation, sorry.
5 Sir, to repeat my question: So you were moving around on foot for
6 approximately 15 minutes and you also indicated that you came -- your
7 group came under small-arms fire; is that correct?
8 A. [No interpretation].
9 Q. Apparently we have a technical --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, could you repeat your
11 question again.
12 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
13 Q. Sir, you were -- your group -- this group that you were moving
14 about with after looking for the Catholic priest, you said you were on
15 foot, moving about the area for approximately 15 minutes. At some point
16 your group came under small-arms fire; is that correct?
17 A. Affirmative. Affirmative. But I'm not saying that small arms
18 were actually directed at us. It was taking place while we were looking
19 for the priest.
20 Q. Okay. And my next question then was: The two mortar rounds, were
21 those the only two mortar rounds that were fired at that time or were
22 there other mortar rounds that had impacted in your immediate vicinity? I
23 mean immediately around you.
24 A. No, there were other shells. There were other mortar rounds. We
25 were going through very narrow streets, and we were hearing all of these
1 explosions. I didn't actually feel that they were close to us, but I
2 could hear them around us. It's not like these two ones, one of the ones
3 that killed the lieutenant.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. SCOTT: If I can have the witness be shown, right before the
6 break - I believe we can finish this - Exhibit P 09612. We can give a
7 hard copy if it's going to be -- maybe it's coming.
8 Q. Sir, just so the record is clear, if you can look at the
9 photograph that's on you, when you said earlier -- it came out in the
10 translation -- at least, on transcript, as Mount Hul. Were you referring
11 to Mount Hum, and is that the feature in the photograph that you
12 understood the mortar round came from, the position from which the mortar
13 round came?
14 A. Affirmative. Yes. That's exactly the place where I think that
15 the mortar shells came from.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. There seems to be a certain
17 discrepancy. The document you have indicated shows the Vranica building.
18 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry. Maybe I got the number wrong, Your Honour.
19 My apology.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It is 14. 14, not 12.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. For the record, Exhibit
22 P 09614. But this is the photo -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. I'm getting
23 different information here myself.
24 According -- I'm sorry, Your Honour, and perhaps we can sort it
25 out during the break, if necessary. Ms. Winner is telling me that it is
1 in fact 612. The bundle may be -- unfortunately, your bundle may be in
2 error for whatever reason. I have the same -- I have the same thing, Your
3 Honour. My 9612 is the Vranica building. You're right. So they must
4 have been ...
5 For the purpose -- perhaps for completing this particular part of
6 your testimony before the break, because I think we're about due for a
7 break, Your Honour, if I'm not mistaken, the feature that is shown -- do
8 you have the photograph now of a hill, of a -- overlooking the town.
9 A. Yes, I can see that hill.
10 Q. Do you recognise that feature -- whatever the number of this
11 document is, do you recognise that feature as Mount Hum?
12 A. That's exactly right. Yes. There's no doubt about it.
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think there must be an error in the
14 numbering that we'll have to sort out. Sorry.
15 And, Your Honour, I suggest that may be the time for the break.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Before we take
17 the break, we have the photograph in front of us and we see the hill.
18 Sir, you're telling us that the shot came from the hill. Who was
19 on the hill?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were positions occupied by the
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right at the top of the hill, in
23 the middle of the hill, or to the bottom of the hill? Because we can see
24 the whole hill on the photograph. You don't know that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to our information, the
1 mortars were behind the hill. You see -- you see that cross on the right?
2 It's right behind that cross where you have the mortars. And probably
3 even to this day you will find those mortars right there behind that
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you take up the pointer
6 and show us on the photograph. Point to where the mortars were.
7 Is that possible, Madam Usher?
8 We have the most sophisticated and up-to-date technology here, but
9 maybe we can take a pencil or something and indicate that on the
10 photograph itself where the mortars were, to the best of your recollection
11 and knowledge.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in -- it's behind what I'm
13 pointing at. It's actually behind.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Behind. And it was coming from
15 that way, making a trajectory, a parabolic trajectory.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Affirmative. You see, a mortar
17 always follows a very curved line. So on top of a hill probably you had
18 the observers who were directing the mortar people when to fire.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So for technical
20 reasons we're going to have to take a break now, take the technical break.
21 It's 25 minutes to 1, and we'll reconvene at 5 minutes to 1, which will
22 give us 50 more minutes. I hope you'll get through in that time.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, we have a photograph
1 here, and are you going to be tendering this document into evidence?
2 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. If we can have the marked
3 photograph given an IC number, please, by the registrar.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is a
6 marked document, IC 00025. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 MR. SCOTT: Just before moving on, Your Honour, my understanding
8 is that in terms of what's in e-court and what's in the official record,
9 the numbers, the exhibit numbers and the item matches. It was apparently
10 when the bundles were put together, the hard copy bundles, which are not
11 the official set, there were some errors made, unfortunately. My
12 understanding is that in the actual e-court record the numbering is
13 correct. I apologise for that.
14 Q. Witness, we've come up to the point where Mr. -- or excuse me,
15 Lieutenant Castellanos was hit by the mortar round and then some
16 additional investigation or information that was obtained about that. Was
17 there an effort to get medical care for Lieutenant Castellanos immediately
18 and to get an ambulance into the area?
19 A. Yes. First we -- he was treated at the Muslim hospital in the
20 West Mostar area, and once there, then we called an ambulance, a Spanish
21 ambulance which was stationed in the west of the city. There were some
22 problems for the ambulance to be let through the checkpoints, the Croat
23 checkpoints, that is. The General Praljak was, as it happened, nearby. He
24 was asked to give authority for the ambulance to get through so that the
25 lieutenant could be picked up.
1 Q. All right. And so the record is clear, and I'm not sure it's even
2 in the transcript at this point, the individual that you just identified
3 when you said the general, were you talking about a man named Praljak?
4 A. Yes. Then General Praljak -- Mr. Praljak then.
5 Q. Did you -- had you known Mr. Praljak prior to this occasion on the
6 11th of May, 1993, or had any dealings with him?
7 A. I had visited or, rather, he had visited the Spanish detachment,
8 and I believe that the day before blood was transported to Mostar the
9 negotiations were undertaken with him. I believe he was the one who in
10 fact did request a cease-fire so that the blood could be transported to
11 the Muslim area.
12 Q. Where were these negotiations -- excuse me. Where did these
13 negotiations take place? That is, you say, the day before, that
14 Mr. Praljak was involved in.
15 A. If I'm not -- if I'm not wrong, on the afternoon on the 10th. It
16 was on the afternoon of the 10th, on the afternoon of the 10th at the
17 Medjugorje detachment. I'm not a hundred per cent certain, but I think
18 that is so.
19 Q. Was it a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Praljak or was this done
20 over the telephone or can you give us any additional information, please?
21 A. It was a face-to-face negotiation. I did not participate
22 directly. I was present, but it was S5 normally in charge of such
23 negotiations. I was present in order to know which escorts were needed
24 for a given action or movement. So it was a face-to-face negotiation. He
25 came to the Spanish detachment, as I seem to recall. I mean, he came
1 quite a few times, so I don't know whether at that time he was there for
2 that particular negotiation.
3 Q. Now, you said that after Lieutenant Castellanos was hit, that you
4 were trying to obtain this medical care and get an ambulance into the
5 area, and somehow Mr. Praljak came -- became involved. Can you tell us a
6 little bit more about, if you know, how it was that Mr. Praljak was in the
7 area or how he came to be in communication with your unit about this
9 A. When we went to look for our ambulance, our ambulance which was
10 outside Mostar, our units had withdrawn following the attack, but they
11 stayed on the sidelines when attacks took place. So we went to look for
12 that ambulance to pick up our injured lieutenant. When we tried to return
13 through the western zone in order to arrive at the Tito bridge to pick up
14 our lieutenant, when we tried to get back, the Croat checkpoints did not
15 allow the ambulance to go through, and so we were involved in this
16 discussion as to whether we were let through or not. And quite by chance
17 - I mean by chance - the vehicle of Mr. Praljak came by, and given that
18 my accompanying person knew him, he approached him, explained what had
19 happened, explained that there was an injured officer on the other side,
20 and requested that the ambulance be let through, and admittedly
21 automatically Mr. Praljak said the ambulance ought to be let through, and
22 it was thus done.
23 Q. Can you tell us, please, how Mr. Praljak was dressed was at the
24 time that you saw him on the 11th of May in Mostar.
25 A. I did not see him. It was not me. It was not I who approached
1 him to ask him to let the ambulance through. It was a colleague of mine,
2 another major, if I'm not wrong. I'd seen Mr. Praljak the day before, and
3 he was always in his uniform, so I suppose he was in his uniform that day,
4 but I cannot, obviously, say so.
5 Q. When you say -- sorry. Yes, please.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I note a certain contradiction, because I thought
7 that you had said that you addressed General Praljak because you had known
8 him and met him before when he came. Now you say that you were not there.
9 So could you perhaps clarify.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was there when the
11 negotiations took place the day before but not when we negotiated for the
12 ambulance to come into Mostar. I had stayed at the hospital with the
13 injured lieutenant, and it was my colleague who went in an armoured
14 vehicle to call in the ambulance from where it was, and this colleague --
15 this colleague of mine was the one who met with Mr. Praljak, who informed
16 him of the fact that we had an injured officer. So it wasn't on that day
17 that I saw him. It was the day before.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And I suppose that your companero also knew
19 Praljak and had seen him before?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He was the head of S5, so he
21 knew him.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Witness, on the day before then, when you said -- now clarified
25 that you did see him and meet with Mr. Praljak at the SpaBat location in
1 Medjugorje, and you said he was dressed in a uniform. Did you notice at
2 that time what insignia or patches he wore indicating of what military
3 force or armed force he was a part of?
4 A. No, I cannot remember the insignia or badge, but through
5 information we had about General Praljak and from what we knew, we knew
6 that at some stage he had the HVO insignia, but I cannot say that he was
7 wearing that insignia on that particular day. I cannot recall it.
8 Q. What information -- was Mr. Praljak -- just follow on your answer
9 just now. Was Mr. Praljak such a person that he was someone that the
10 previous component of the Spanish army that had been there before the
11 Canarias group, that he was the type of person that they would have
12 compiled information about?
13 A. I can't quite follow your question. Mr. Praljak, I think, was
14 just beginning. He did not have authority in the HVO army, but he did
15 have a certain authority, and it was -- he was beginning to be an
16 interesting person to know and to have contacts with, but I cannot really
17 remember if then he was the chief of anything. I think that's when he was
18 beginning to be known in our area. I don't know whether this answers your
20 Q. Let me follow up by saying did you -- let me come back. I've just
21 been handed a note. I don't know if the translation is correct or not on
22 the page -- earlier when I asked you about what military force that he had
23 been a part of, did you say HVO or did you say HV?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In fact, HV it says here, but I said
25 that we knew that he was wearing the HV insignia, the Croat army insignia.
1 Later, I saw the HVO insignia on his uniform.
2 Q. Now, in talking to your colleague, the one who apparently had the
3 direct discussion with Mr. Praljak that day about obtaining movement for
4 the ambulance, did your colleague report to you anything more about how it
5 was that Mr. Praljak had obtained a quick resolution of that matter? Did
6 he say if he issued an order? Did he go somewhere else and meet with
7 someone? If you know, did your colleague provide you any more information
8 about how it was that Mr. Praljak was able to obtain the movement for the
10 A. Quite simply he issued an order to the checkpoint and admittedly
11 automatically the ambulance was let through.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one point of clarification,
13 please. During this period and when the ambulance had to go through, as
14 far as you know what was the highest military authority in the Mostar area
15 on the HVO side? Who --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand that the head, of the
17 army of the HVO army was General Petkovic, if I'm not wrong. And he --
18 and General Praljak was beginning to gain a certain authority. But right
19 now who the head, the number one of the HVO was in Mostar I cannot recall.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. If we can move forward, then, apology to the usher for putting
22 that document back. If I could direct the witness's attention to Exhibit
23 P 01717, the logbook. And for the courtroom, page 72. Page 72 of the
24 English version. And if you can find your entry, sir, for the 26th of
25 May, 1993.
1 The first item on that day, if you have it, it says: "Isolated
2 rifle shots could be heard in Mostar during the day. An attempt was made
3 today to get a humanitarian aid convoy into the Muslim quarter in the
4 city. The passage through a checkpoint was barred by the HVO. They
5 insisted on checking the cargo first and then, once they had done that, to
6 discuss who would receive the cargo."
7 Can you just tell the Judges, what was the -- in reference to this
8 and around the end of May, 1993, what was the situation with being able to
9 get humanitarian aid into the city of Mostar?
10 A. Well, obviously the days, you know, I cannot recall exactly when
11 humanitarian aid was allowed through and when not. You can see what we
12 attempted to do. On that day we tried to make a humanitarian convoy
13 arrive, but it was impossible because the Croat checkpoint prevented this
14 -- prevented this convoy from going through. We had to negotiate day by
15 day and case by case the humanitarian aid convoys. And this is why not
16 very many humanitarian aid convoys arrived at the city. I cannot say -- I
17 cannot recall whether this happened every day or every week. I would have
18 to go through all the documents in order to ascertain this.
19 Q. If I could ask you to go to the page 75 -- well, to 30th of May in
20 your log. And on the English, page 75. I would like to ask you a
21 question about this entry.
22 It says: "Civilians continued to cross by bus from one bank of
23 the river Neretva to the other in Mostar. The HVO selected the Muslims
24 who were then -- who then were able to cross, and the SpaBat responded to
25 this situation by sending a letter of protest."
1 Do you recall any particular criteria or did the Spanish Battalion
2 come to know what criteria were being -- was being applied by the HVO to
3 decide which Muslims could cross and which ones could not?
4 MR. MURPHY: Well, again, Your Honour, if I could object. It does
5 seem that that's asking the witness to speculate. Can we please establish
6 whether that was based on his own knowledge or on information, and, if so,
7 from whom.
8 MR. SCOTT: Let me ask an additional series of questions, Your
9 Honour, then.
10 Q. Sir, in your entry you said that as a result this of situation
11 SpaBat responded by sending a letter of protest. Do you know whether
12 SpaBat received any information about the basis for which these -- in
13 response to the protest or otherwise, the basis on which these decisions
14 were being made as to which Muslims could cross and which ones could not?
15 A. I don't remember. I don't remember. But I don't believe there
16 was an answer to this letter. Perhaps there was an oral answer but not a
17 written letter.
18 Q. Down below, in the next entry, about halfway through, it says:
19 "When the buses reached the HVO zone, they let the Croats pass but not
20 Muslims." Did that situation come to your attention and was anything more
21 said about that? Was that the subject of a Spanish Battalion protest?
22 A. We were familiar with the situation. The mixed commission wanted
23 everyone to go back to their place, whether west or east. So those people
24 who had been left in the west because of the change in ethnic group, so to
25 speak, should go back to their own place. But in our attempt to get
1 people to move freely, HVO prevented Muslims from passing or going to the
2 western side of the city. I remember that a written protest was lodged on
3 the 27th or 28th, but I don't know whether there were further written
4 protests or whether this was raised with the mixed commission or committee
5 when we met.
6 Q. If I can ask you to go to or be shown Exhibit P 02583. That will
7 be, I believe, on page 8 of the English version and page 3 of the Spanish
8 document. Just one -- one quick question, if you can assist us.
9 The -- there's an entry on that page saying that there were
10 continued problems with the line that was supposed to have facilitated the
11 movement of persons from one side of the river to the other. Under
12 "Other information." Can you tell us just what was the line? Maybe it
13 was the problem of the English translation, but "continued problems with
14 the line." Do you know what that refers to?
15 A. When there's talk about the line, we're talking about the
16 confrontation lines or the separation lines, the Bulevar and the river
18 Q. But this seems to be making reference to the line that was
19 supposed to have facilitated the movement of persons, which doesn't seem
20 to quite fit with that. If you don't know, you can simply -- certainly
21 tell us that.
22 A. Well, reading the document, it's as though a comma were missing.
23 "Line --" "problems are continuing along the line, that should facilitate
24 movement from one side to the other." At least this is how I understand
25 it when I read the Spanish draft.
1 Q. Thank you. If you could next direct your attention, with the
2 registry's assistance, to P 04698. And in particular, if you will,
3 please -- well, looking at that document, if you can, you have a chance to
4 see, so you can tell us overall what the document is. Let's start with
5 that. And tell us, please, if you need to see other parts of the document
6 to answer my question. Is this a -- what type of document is this that
7 we're looking at now? Is this --
8 A. Could I -- could I see the whole of the document and see the first
9 page of the document, because I can't see the first page. Actually, it
10 may be a report -- do we have the other page?
11 Q. I'm being told this is apparently the first page. Okay. I'm --
12 apparently not, so --
13 A. And the second page, then? The next page. It looks like an insum
14 referring to Mostar. It might be part of an intrep if it was issued by
15 S2, as it says -- as it says on the upper corner, right, that might well
16 be so, but I can't quite see. But certainly it is a document issued by
17 the Canarias group.
18 Q. My question to you was about just in terms of the form of the
19 document in case it might come up with other similar documents. This
20 looks different than the ones we've been looking at primarily today. It
21 doesn't look like the daily report. Is this something else? And, if so,
22 how would you describe this type of document?
23 A. Well, it might be part of an insum, which is a specific document
24 issued at a given time for a given reason about a specific question. It
25 could be part of an intrep because the situation required that the
1 document be expanded, given the seriousness of the situation, and it could
2 also be part of the report drafted once the group, the Canarias group,
3 finished its mission and had to report on the whole duration of the
4 mission. I cannot quite say that now. But it is an intelligence document
5 no doubt. S2 intelligence, that without a doubt.
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I understand
7 correctly, the witness is confirming that this is evidently part of a
8 document. I think either we admit a whole document from first to last
9 page, or we don't admit it at all, especially if it's not certain what
10 part of the document is being admitted. [In English] I was just warned by
11 my assistant that we cannot see the date on the document. So that is in
12 addition to what I said.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm -- I don't believe I can assist the
15 Chamber any further on my feet at this moment. I can certainly make
16 additional inquiries. Let me just -- give me a moment to speak with some
17 of my colleagues and see if they can help me.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. I can't -- unfortunately, Your Honour, I can't assist the Chamber
21 any more at the moment, but the witness is -- I can say that obviously the
22 witness said he does recognise the document as a SpaBat report, but
23 whether there's other pages to the document we'll have to do a further
24 investigation, I'm afraid.
25 Sir, if you can look at the type of report. Was it customary that
1 at the end of a mission the group would make a report, some sort of
2 after-mission, if you will, post-mission report?
3 A. Yes. Once the mission is over, the group that withdraws from the
4 area draws up a full report on its six-month tour and draws up a report.
5 Each body involved, each body of officers involved and troops involved
6 have to draw up a report for what they did.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I may make a contribution
8 here. At the bottom of the document in Spanish we can see "AGT Canarias
9 pagina number 33." So this document is an excerpt or is -- comes after
10 another document, because we have page numbers which don't coincide here.
11 As we know that in the Spanish documents of the Spanish Bat there are a
12 great number of stamps, these stamps on page 33 are not entrance or exit
13 stamps. These are just stamps to prove that the documents have been
14 handed over to the Tribunal. So I assume that this stems from a more
15 general document. The Prosecution will make the necessary investigation.
16 That's your job.
17 MR. SCOTT: Correct, Your Honour, and as I say, I can't assist the
18 Chamber any further at this particular moment, although I do see that one
19 of the stamps on the page indicates that authorisation to produce one copy
20 of document number consisting of pages 33 to 45. So that -- it may very
21 well be that for whatever reason those were the particular specific pages
22 produced to the Tribunal, but we will make further inquiries, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The only question I would like
24 to raise as far as this document is concerned, I'd like to know whether
25 this document comes from the Spanish Battalion or not.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No doubt at all about that. It is a
2 Spanish Battalion document drawn by Section 2 of that battalion.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Sir, on that -- on that note, and it may be more difficult in the
6 electronic format, but if you could be -- if the registry could assist by
7 allowing you to page through several of these pages, can you tell whether
8 the document seems to be something of a chronological report talking about
9 events roughly but continuing on from day-to-day, not every day, but in a
10 chronological fashion of the events during this time? If the registry can
11 assist you however possible, please.
12 A. I believe it's part of a general report of the -- of the group. I
13 think that in there, in the whole report, I do not recall the precise
14 structure or nature, but it could have been done in chronological order or
15 in terms of dates, but probably the chronological order is what is being
16 followed here, but also in terms of areas, that is the area of Mostar.
17 Maybe another one in relation to Jablanica. I would have to actually see
18 the whole report to be able to determine which order it was followed.
19 Q. If I could continue to direct your attention for the moment then
20 to page 34 of the Spanish version, and page 3 of the English translation.
21 I think the Spanish reference may not be correct. Well, yes it is. Given
22 the numbering, it would be page 34 as we were talking about earlier. Page
23 3 of the English version. If you can find the entry, it says: "The
24 situation is degenerating very rapidly. It comes to a head on May 9th,
25 the date which may be considered as the start of all the hostilities
1 between the HVO and BiH units." Do you see that?
2 I think it's -- yes. The top of that page, sir. Do you -- the
3 second entry on that page, sorry.
4 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
5 Q. All right. If you can go down to the third paragraph below that,
6 I believe, the paragraph -- if we can scroll down a bit more on the
7 Spanish version, please. Okay. Thank you.
8 In that paragraph, let's -- starting "La Compania de SpaBat ..."
9 in that paragraph, is that again a reference to the fact that at that time
10 the SpaBat company which was in Mostar was, as it says here, "However, at
11 1200B --" which I'll ask you about in a moment. "However, at 1200B at the
12 request of the HVO, they are compelled to leave the city." Do you see
13 that? What is the reference --
14 A. Yes, I see it.
15 Q. What is the reference in military jargon, if you will, to 1200B?
16 A. I was going to ask you. I'm not really sure what you mean by 12B.
17 It is not military terminology that we used. Maybe it's an error in the
18 mistake -- it's an error in the report or a mistake in the report. Maybe
19 it's in relation to the -- that 1200B, I don't know exactly what it is.
20 Q. Let me see -- make sure that I haven't directed you to the wrong
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In Spanish, if you look at the
23 sentence which starts with "Pero es ..." isn't one saying here around
24 12.00 at the request of the HVO, we need to leave the city? Don't you
25 think it's a typing error here or something that hasn't been spelled
1 properly? Don't you think that's what it should read?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That could very well be the case.
3 If I read the report I am to understand that, that at 12.00 noon -- I
4 wouldn't add the B, I wouldn't take regard of the B -- maybe the HVO tells
5 the Spanish Battalion to abandon the city. If I am to read the report, I
6 would understand it in that way. But I don't really know what that B may
7 refer to.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the B shouldn't be in there.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It could very well be an
10 error. I'm not really sure. I'm sorry, I'm unable to clarify that issue.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, back to
12 you. Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may. This is
14 evidently, we now realise, a document that has been translated only in
15 part, 33 to 45, and it's been adduced only in part, but if we don't see
16 what it's a part of, if we don't see the first part of the document, it's
17 hard to talk about this part. It may be dealing with only a certain type
18 of event, but we do not know if it can be tendered unless it's entire.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we've understood that.
20 Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
22 Q. Just before we leave this particular document, on page 4 of the
23 English version -- let me see if I can give you a reference point in the
24 Spanish. Well, several paragraphs down from the one we were just at, in
25 fact. Skip one paragraph and there's another paragraph which should
1 start: "A fact which renders even more difficult the freedom and facility
2 of movement..." If you can see that, sir. I think I can see it there.
3 A. Yes, I can actually see it.
4 Q. Can you just quickly tell the Judges what you recall, if anything,
5 or what the Spanish Battalion learned around this time of the destruction
6 of the Bijeli bridge between Mostar and Jablanica.
7 A. No, I cannot clarify anything further than what is being reported
8 in the document. On the 3rd of May, we found out that the bridge had been
9 blown up and that we couldn't follow the main route in terms of
10 humanitarian aid, and we had to actually search for alternative routes
11 since the bridge was no longer available.
12 Q. At that particular time do you -- can you give us any assistance
13 as to whether that information would have been reported by the Spanish
14 element in Jablanica or was it coming from some Spanish element operating
15 out of Mostar?
16 A. I do not recall that clearly, but I think that it was one of our
17 vehicles that was going in the direction to Jablanica bordering Mostar as
18 it couldn't come through Mostar and realised that the bridge had blown up
19 -- had been blown up. So I don't know exactly how we found out or how we
20 came to find out of this information.
21 Q. Can you tell us, there's been a reference in the trial to a
22 temporary road, detour, around the bridge being built. Would the Spanish
23 Battalion have anything to do with building the road that then detoured
24 around, contoured around the geography to replace the bridge that had been
1 A. No. Obviously we couldn't use it. We had to use alternative
2 routes. And there were tracks that were already there and perhaps the
3 SpaBat members had to perform some minor repair but there were tracks that
4 were already there. So instead of using the main road we had to use
5 secondary roads.
6 Q. Changing -- I want to change the topic, sir, to at the end of --
7 at the end of June of 1993, around the 30th of June, 1993, there was an
8 attack by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the government forces, on the
9 northern camp or northern barracks area of Mostar. Using that as a time
10 mark, can you tell the Judges what happened after that in connection with
11 being able to gain access or provide humanitarian aid into East Mostar.
12 A. I'm trying to see the report. I'm trying to remember whether it
13 actually had an impact on the humanitarian aid. I think it was a combat
14 between the two areas, and perhaps the checkpoints had been further
15 reinforced and strengthened, and I think that this could have created
16 further difficulties for our movement but I don't think it had an impact
17 on the attack on this camp in relation to humanitarian aid.
18 Q. Let me ask the question differently. Did there come a time in
19 mid-1993 that East Mostar was completely cut off from the Spanish
20 Battalion or any other international organisation?
21 A. Yes, Mostar was completely isolated. The Muslim area was
22 completely isolated and we had physical contact with them, but I would
23 have to check the actual dates, but we spent, I believe, a period of a
24 month, a month and a half without any contact, that is in relation to the
25 Spanish Battalion and the Muslim area of Mostar. We only had radio
1 contact with the area of Jablanica.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I see the time. There is -- I have to
3 say there is no way that I would be able to finish today. I think you can
4 observe that it's been a bit slow going, but I know there are some other
5 matters that need to be addressed before the witness is excused. For
6 instance, I need to schedule a time for return because in particular
7 special arrangements have to be made with the translation service as to
8 when they can next arrange for Spanish interpretation, and of course now
9 that -- I'm not able to speak with the witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So if I understood you
11 correctly, you would like to resume with the examination-in-chief at a
12 later stage, which would be the wisest solution of all, I think. And just
13 before the cross-examination.
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that we would have a degree
16 of continuity. I see Mr. Murphy nodding. I think that would be the best
17 solution. You could then supply us with those missing documents.
18 I also have another question to put to you. You gave us a 16-page
19 document with a list of all the exhibits. I assume that at the end of the
20 examination-in-chief you will ask to have all these documents tendered
21 into evidence even if some of these documents were not shown to the
22 witness. But as the witness was a member of the Spanish Battalion, he
23 could authenticate all these exhibits. Is that how you intend to proceed,
24 Mr. Scott?
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, exactly right. At the end of my --
1 what I had put at the end of my outline, if you will, was to have Mr. --
2 have the witness, excuse me, confirm that he had, just as we did with
3 these similar exercise previously, to confirm that he had reviewed the
4 full collection of documents.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, all right.
6 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... prepared to do
7 that. If I might add, Your Honour, in terms of scheduling --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
9 MR. SCOTT: -- I did raise the possibility because that I knew at
10 least the cross-examination would have to be scheduled, and I did take the
11 liberty in speaking with the witness the other day whether he would be
12 available in the second half of August --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. SCOTT: -- and I believe, if I understood correctly, that he
15 would be available during that time.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We'll see to that. But
17 before talking about dates, let's see what can be done. We will have to
18 set a date and then the witness can return. You then resume the
19 examination-in-chief because, according to my calculation, you have had
20 two hours and 20 minutes, I think, so far. We shall look into this I
21 think you have probably got an hour and a half or two hours left. So once
22 you will have finished, and there will be a break and we will hand over
23 the documents to the witness and the witness will check all the documents
24 that are in this list, and he will confirm that all of these documents are
25 Spanish Battalion documents, and he will say then that all these documents
1 I have seen are documents that come from my military unit, and then we
2 will start the cross-examination.
3 So we have understood and you have understood that your testimony
4 will resume in a few weeks' time. We had envisaged the end of the month
5 of August. I know that that's a holiday period in Spain at that time.
6 Perhaps you have made your own arrangements for that time, which would be
7 quite understandable.
8 Is there a moment in time which would suit you and suit the Bench,
9 because you will have to come back. We will need to have you here for two
10 or three days. Is there a date you can give us offhand today or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not have any problems in any
12 dates that you may wish to propose.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if we ask you to come back at
14 the end of August, that's all right, is it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues] ...
16 any problems.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]. So, Mr. Scott, what kind of
18 date did you have in mind?
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm sorry, there was a
20 problem with translation for a moment. I'm not going to mention other
21 names in front of the witness, this witness, of course, but as you know,
22 we have a witness scheduled for the 17th of August, and we also then have
23 another witness scheduled to return on the 21st of August. So it seems to
24 me that the next available date, if it works for the witness, would be the
25 week of the 28th, the week beginning the 28th of August.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the 28th of August is a
2 Monday. So please make the necessary arrangements to be able to come back
3 on the 28th of August. And the registry will look after that. So that
4 will be the 28th, the 29th, and maybe the 30th as well. In the month of
5 August the weather is usually fine in The Hague. It's not as hot as in
6 Spain, admittedly, but it will be a very pleasant moment. So please make
7 your arrangements so that you can be back on the 28th, the 29th, and 30th
8 of August.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Without a problem.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the meantime, you must not
11 talk to the Prosecution nor to the Defence counsel nor to the Bench, and
12 if you come across somebody on a beach, don't discuss these matters with
13 him or her. You are not allowed to talk to anybody about all this. Have
14 you understood me well?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perfectly so, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I shall ask the usher to
17 escort you out of the -- out of the courtroom, but please lower the
19 It's all right now. Perfect.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, what about next week?
22 Can we move into private session? I think we are still in private
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're currently in private
1 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are currently in open session,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor, Mr. Scott,
11 in open session, to let us know what the schedule is for next week.
12 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I was only hesitating because --
13 whether the names should be mentioned in open session, but I don't think
14 there's -- I don't think there's any issue about it with these two
16 Next week, Your Honour, Mr. Kljujic should be arriving and should
17 be available to begin testifying at 2.15 on Monday. He is the only
18 witness scheduled for next week. I understand that next week is a
19 three-day week because of the Plenary is my -- am I correct on that?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On Thursday we have the Plenary
21 for the Judges, so we will be sitting on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
22 That's fine.
23 So having nothing more on the agenda for today, I would like to
24 ask you to come back at 2.15 for the people concerned.
25 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, may I have the -- a word for just a
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy, usually when the
3 Judges have stood up, that means that the Court stands adjourned, but what
4 would you like to say?
5 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] I had mentioned that I wanted --
6 wished to take the floor.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise. I had
8 completely forgotten about that.
9 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] I would just like to object to the
10 tendering into evidence of the documents mentioned by the witness,
11 yesterday's witness, Mr. Hujdur. I -- we are going to be filing a request
12 on Monday. The --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're talking about the
14 documents that have been filed by the Prosecution?
15 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because they have been given an
17 exhibit number, so you would like this number to be withdrawn; is that
19 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] They have -- these documents have
20 been given a number, but I don't think you've rendered a decision, I don't
21 think you have said whether yes or no these could be tendered into
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you check
24 this out, please, because if I remember correctly -- the registrar has
25 just confirmed that this has not been done. So you are going to file a
1 written submission or are you going to make an oral submission?
2 MR. MURPHY: [Interpretation] I shall continue in English. It
3 will be more efficient. [In English] Mr. President, the Prosecution --
4 Your Honour -- in writing regarding documents that had been, I think,
5 produced or identified by the witness, Mr. Beese, and in response to that,
6 we indicated that we would like to make a written response. The Trial
7 Chamber agreed that that would be appropriate, and that response is nearly
8 complete. We hope to file it on Monday. And it will indicate our
9 submissions not only about those documents but also matters of more
10 general principle regarding the way in which the Trial Chamber should
11 approach the question of admissibility. And briefly stated, I think the
12 difference between the two sides is that we would contend that there is a
13 judicial function important to -- to go through before the documents are
14 admitted and not simply afterwards in assessing their weight.
15 In relation to the documents produced by yesterday's witness,
16 Mr. Hujdur, Your Honours will recall that these documents were reports
17 which he said had been issued by the commission or body of which he became
18 a member, dealing with damage to property and other similar matters, and
19 Your Honours raised the question of why they had not been signed. The
20 witness indicated, I think, that he had been --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, yes.
22 MR. MURPHY: In one case a report on the destruction of houses,
23 P 015764, we established that there was annex missing which may have been
24 of some importance and generally there was just no indication of where the
25 information came from, how many levels of hearsay were involved in
1 compiling it, and, Your Honour, it is our position that the Trial Chamber
2 could legitimately have a reservation about even accepting these documents
3 because of their low probative value, and because under Rule 89 you are
4 able to consider whether the demands of a fair trial outweigh a low
5 probative value. And the Trial Chamber may also request verification of
6 the authenticity of these documents. And all of these subjects, Your
7 Honour, will be addressed in more detail in our written memorandum. I
8 would simply ask that the Court take note of our objection and consider it
9 in conjunction with those written submissions that we will make.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I shall give the
11 floor to Mr. Scott so that he can respond.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, only very short for now. I just -- as
13 was -- as came up this morning already, some of these issues keep coming
14 up and they are indeed quite --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes indeed.
16 MR. SCOTT: -- and no one says to the contrary, but I suggest that
17 now is not the time to get into a lengthy dialogue on this particular
18 topic. My only comment for today is this: I invite the Chamber, if it
19 will assist the Chamber, and of course the Chamber will decide, but if it
20 would assist the Chamber that there indeed be a more deliberate discussion
21 or hearing specifically on these matters, not in two minutes when
22 everybody wants to leave the courtroom, let me just say this, though: I
23 just -- we are not writing here, and I think the Chamber knows, we are not
24 writing here on a completely clean slate. Anyone of us who were to start
25 the ICTY over again might or might not design a different set of rules,
1 but there is an established jurisprudence and there is a set of practice
2 that has been followed here for approximately the past 12 years or so.
3 And there is a reason for that. There is a reason that the rules and the
4 practices are what they are, and we'll certainly ask the Chamber to be
5 mindful of that. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. All of this will be
7 settled by a written decision. We were supposed to render a written
8 decision relating to Witness Beese, which is in progress, so please make
9 your written filings, the Prosecution will respond, and we shall render
10 our decision. As far as I'm concerned, I felt that this had already been
11 settled because we'd set guidelines in an order which had been rendered at
12 the beginning of the trial, so we shall respond in writing.
13 It is now 2.00, and we're going to have a 30-minute break. I need
14 to move back into private session, Registrar, please.
15 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are currently back in open
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in open session the Court
1 stands adjourned for today, and I would like to ask all of you to come
2 back for our next hearing, which will be on Monday at a quarter past two.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of June,
5 2006, at 2.15 p.m.