2 Monday, 28 August 2006
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
7 the case number, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today Monday, the 28th of
11 August, 2006. I would like to greet never have I one in the courtroom. As
12 you will be aware, we are continuing our work today and we are continuing
13 with a witness who has already been heard. He appeared before the Court
14 recess. I'd like to remind you of something though.
15 The Prosecution has taken up two hours and 33 minutes, which
16 means that they have between an hour and a half and two hours left. Having
17 noted that, we made certain calculations regarding the cross-examination,
18 and the results are as follows: For each accused, for Mr. Praljak's
19 Defence, one hour and 30 minutes; for Mr. Petkovic Defence, an hour and 30
20 minutes; for Mr. Stojic's Defence, one and a half hours; for Mr. Pusic's
21 Defence 45 minutes; for Mr. Coric's Defence 45 minutes, and for Mr. Prlic's
22 defence, 45 minutes.
23 We took into consideration the principle of flexibility when
24 calculating the time they should have and the necessity each accused had to
25 present their Defence case. As a result we gave more time three of the
1 accused than the other three since the testimony of (redacted) relates more
2 directly to these witnesses.
3 And secondly, I learned yesterday that the Prosecution made a
4 motion to have 380-odd documents admitted for Witness Beese. Having cast a
5 rapid glance at the Prosecution's submission, at the Prosecution's motion,
6 it was possible to conclude that the motion did not correspond to the
7 guidelines in a decision of ours. We explained that in order to request
8 the admission of certain documents, certain criteria had to be met. One
9 had to treat the matter criteria by criteria, apparently, a certain number
10 of criteria had not been referred to in the Prosecution's motion, and that
11 at least concerns why the documents are necessary. And as a result, if
12 nothing is amended, it's very likely that this motion will be rejected. If
13 Judges take very precise decisions, it's because this is all part of a
14 general framework, note the good administration of justice.
15 On a number of occasions, the Trial Chamber has noted that the
16 Prosecution fails to comply with the -- our guidelines, with our requests,
17 and in particular concerns Rule 65 ter. We're waiting for your submissions
18 in September. If you had met the requests previously made, we would have
19 been able to avoid a certain number of problems. I would also like to
20 remind you of the fact that the parties can make suggestions, but it's the
21 Judges who are -- finally take the decisions that are relevant. It is not
22 the other way around.
23 Tomorrow we will be rendering a decision concerning documents
24 that concern last week's witness. We'll render this decision in the
25 presence of the registrar, who is not here today, but he will be present
1 tomorrow. We'll render our decision when he is present here tomorrow. It
2 is not necessary to render the decision today. The matter is not that
4 Having said that, we may now continue with hearing Witness BJ.
5 As the blinds have been lowered, we can now call Witness BJ into the
6 courtroom. And since protective measures had been granted to this witness,
7 we'll be proceeding with the hearing of this witness now.
8 Could the usher please call the witness into the courtroom now.
9 And I'd also like the registrar to make an order so that a certain matter
10 can be amended.
11 I think that's why Mr. Murphy is on his feet.
12 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I had a slightly different matter to
13 deal with briefly which I could address while the witness is being brought
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
16 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, on Friday we --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
18 MR. MURPHY: -- we received a letter from the Prosecution
19 indicating their intention to use an exhibit with this witness. The number
20 for of the exhibit for the record is P 03545, which they said was
21 inadvertently not included on the list of exhibits concerning the present
22 witness. Your Honour, for the record, we object to this document now being
23 produced and used. It's a document of great significance, and we object to
24 its late use in the manner the Prosecution proposes.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I have just learned
2 about a problem. According to the Defence, there is a document that you
3 would like to use. This document was not part of the list of documents
4 that the Defence had to be provided with prior to the beginning of the
5 cross-examination and the examination-in-chief. According to the Defence,
6 this is your responsibility. You made this mission take. You forgot to
7 produce or, rather, list this document. I don't have the document before
8 me, so it's impossible for me to assess how important this document is.
9 What could you tell us about the reasons for wanting to use this document?
10 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Might I be able to
11 address before that the question of the motion concerning the ECMM
12 documents and the Witness Beese. We will certainly review our filing, Your
13 Honour. We don't know, based on the court's comments, exactly which
14 criteria you are concerned about, but we will certainly be reviewing that
15 this afternoon to see where we are, and perhaps we can take those matters
16 up with your legal officer staff to determine what the concerns are more
18 We did indicate in our filing that because the larger filing that
19 is due on the 4th of September, a few days from now, since that filing was
20 imminent and since, as you might understand, the Office of the Prosecutor
21 is devoting a huge amount of resources to the finalisation of those charts
22 which are quite voluminous, we felt that some of the criteria indicated in
23 the Chamber's guidance concerning the ECMM documents would be covered by
24 the ECMM chart, and it was a matter of essentially duplicating effort
25 within a few days of each other. But having said that, Your Honour, we'll
1 be happy of course to review our filing further and see if we can identify
2 the Chamber's further concerns about that.
3 In connection with this witness and specifically Exhibit 3545,
4 Your Honour, it was in our existing 65 ter exhibit list. It was handed out
5 to the Chamber when the witness, Witness BJ, was here in June of this year.
6 It was noted again to the Defence recently that we were going to use the
7 document. We said in our letter that it was inadvertent, and, Your Honour,
8 when one is dealing with this many documents, it is not -- it probably
9 won't be unusual, to be perfectly honest, for a document to be left off a
10 list from time to time given the volume of material that we're dealing
11 with. And it was simply that. I can tell you that it's been in my outline
12 since day one since I began preparing for this witness before he came in
13 June, and it's always been our intention to use the document, and again as
14 we said, it was inadvertently found not to be on the witness list for this
15 witness but certainly was on our Rule 65 ter list that we filed in June --
16 sorry, January.
17 Once we determined that it wasn't on the list and reviewing and
18 preparing for this session, obviously we've been doing a lot between the
19 time that the witness was first here and today, and when we began to
20 prepare again at the end of last week for this witness, it then appeared to
21 us that the document was not on the list that had been given to the
22 Defence, and that is why at the earliest opportunity sent the letter to the
23 Defence to notify them of the omission.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, if I have understood
25 you correctly, you are saying that this document, 3545, is in the chart
1 which includes a summary of the testimony. However, there was a material
2 omission that was committed when you forwarded the complete list or the
3 full list of documents to the Defence, apparently this is something that
4 you forgot.
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I think that's correct. I mean,
6 as I understand what the Court has just said, that's correct.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Murphy, the
8 Prosecution has just said that the Defence initially knew that a certain
9 witness would be heard and that there were certain documents that concerned
10 the witness. This is in conformity with 65 ter, the Rule 65 ter. And then
11 in the list that was provided a few days before the witness appeared, a
12 mistake was made and something was omitted. So it's not a document that
13 has appeared out of the blue. A reference has already been made to this
15 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I -- I think I'm right in saying that
16 it was not in the chart with the summary of the testimony. It may well
17 have been in the original 65 ter exhibit list. I don't have that in front
18 of me, but I think that Mr. Scott would confirm that it was not on the
19 chart summarising the witness's testimony. If I'm wrong, I'll be corrected
20 about that.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, no. We've been quite transparent, I
22 think. On the most recent chart that was handed out in connection with the
23 witness closest in time to his previous appearance, it was not on the list.
24 However, it has twice before been disclosed. It was disclosed first of all
25 in January in our Rule 65 ter exhibit list. It was also disclosed
1 specifically connected to this witness in April of 2006. The Chamber will
2 recall that as an interim measure when the full charts had not been
3 prepared, Your Honour directed us to prepare certain charts for the first
4 groups of witnesses, and that was done and that was filed in April. I
5 don't have the exact date in front of me, but that was filed in April. And
6 I'm now looking at the screen of an electronic copy of that chart that was
7 filed in April, and indeed Exhibit 3545 is specifically listed specifically
8 in connection with this witness.
9 So again, Your Honour, I repeat that it was inadvertently omitted
10 from the third disclosure document but disclosed in the first two.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges, having deliberated,
13 believe that the Prosecution should be allowed to use this document.
14 WITNESS: WITNESS BJ [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, first of all I would
17 like to greet you on behalf of all of the Judges. You are receiving the
18 interpretation in your own language of what I'm saying, as well as the
19 interpretation of what the parties are saying?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Yes, indeed,
21 Your Honour. I can hear perfectly well in my own language.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. I will now
23 give the floor to Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
1 Q. Good afternoon, Witness BJ.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 MR. SCOTT: I would like to also remind you, you are testifying
4 under certain protective measures, that is, you have been given the
5 pseudonym BJ, and we will not be referring to you by name. You've also
6 been provided the protective measure of having your facial image blurred or
7 obstructed so that your face is not broadcast outside the courtroom.
8 I will also caution you, sir, that if you give certain testimony
9 that is very specific to yourself that may tend to identify you, I ask you
10 to think about that and exercise some caution, and I will do and do the
11 same. Thank you.
12 Witness, we left off from your testimony in the latter part of
13 June of this year talking about the humanitarian situation in East Mostar
14 in the early summer of 1993. And to begin on that again, sir, I would like
15 to direct your attention.
16 If the witness could please be shown Exhibit P 01717, which is
17 the operations -- I'll remind everyone in the courtroom is the operations
19 I think, Your Honour, what we did the last time this witness was
20 here was he was provided a hard copy set of the Spanish language materials
21 which facilitated him being able to work with the material most
22 efficiently. I would suggest that we do that again if the Court agrees.
23 With the usher's assistance, we will provide him -- we've given
24 in hard copy as well. Our experience last time was it was helpful for him
25 to have that.
1 Q. Sir, you're going to have in front of you now at least what I can
2 see the document electronically in the Spanish language. You've also been
3 provided a binder with various hard copy documents in them. I leave it to
4 you to decide how -- what's most helpful to you in working with the Spanish
5 language version of the documents. I suspect that most of the other people
6 in the courtroom will be looking at either the English or the B/C/S
7 versions. Perhaps not.
8 Sir, if you have your -- the logbook, P 01717, if I could direct
9 your attention using the numbers on the upper right corner the page, in the
10 Spanish version it would be at R0167850. In the English version, I believe
11 you will find it -- those in the courtroom will find it at page 113.
12 Do you have that, sir? Entry for the 17th of July, 1993. 17
13 July 1993. The English version starting on the bottom of page 113. Yes.
14 Electronically it's in front of you now also, I believe.
15 A. That's right. I do have them right in front of me. Thank you
16 very much.
17 Q. Thank you. Sir, on the 17th of July, 1993, there is the
18 following, and I will review it with you and then I'll ask you a few
19 questions about it.
20 "All movement of UNPROFOR vehicles remain prohibited in the
21 direction of Mostar and Capljina. Intense fighting continued in the Mostar
22 area increasing, in particular, at the southern entrance to the city.
23 Buna is the confrontation line between the two sides. Radio contact was
24 established with the BH inside the city. They reported that the situation
25 was critical. There was a shortage of food, medicines. For some days now
1 they have -- they had had no water and electricity. The number of
2 explosions in the town of Jablanica went down today. Passage remained
3 denied to all UNPROFOR vehicles in any direction that would require them to
4 pass through G. Dreznica," which may be Gorani Dreznica but I leave the
5 note to you. "A reconnaissance patrol was carried out in the Jablanica-
6 Kostajnica area. They reported that the area is calm. UNHCR suspended all
7 the convoys because the HVO demanded that a certain percentage of aid be
8 distributed to both communities before authorising passage through their
10 Now, sir, I direct your attention first of all to the date, 17th
11 of July, 1993. And just to summarise or if we can say catch up again with
12 the testimony that you gave in June, did the Spanish Battalion of UNPROFOR
13 have access to the city of Mostar? Were you actually able to go into the
14 city of Mostar on the 17th of July, or in that time period, of 1993?
15 A. No, we were not able to go into the city of Mostar on that date.
16 Q. And during this time --
17 A. I understand that when I say -- are you talking about the -- are
18 you talking about the Muslim side or the Croatian side of the city of
20 Q. In particular, the city -- the part of East Mostar where most of
21 the Muslim population was located.
22 A. We were not able to go in.
23 Q. Now, approximately -- can you remind us during approximate --
24 what a period of time -- excuse me, what period of time was that the case?
25 From approximately when to when was the Spanish Battalion blocked for
1 barred from going into the Muslim part of Mostar?
2 A. Well, I have to look it up in the logbook, but personally I would
3 say about a month. But I'm being rather bold here in putting forward 30
4 days, but I would say somewhere between 20 and 30 days. But if you want me
5 to I can look it up and give you the exact detail.
6 Q. I think, sir, that will be stated in the documents that are
7 either already available to the Chamber or will be available to the
9 Can I ask you this: During the time when the Spanish Battalion
10 was barred from the city, what was the principal means, if any, by which
11 the Spanish Battalion was receiving information or reports of what was
12 happening in the Mostar part of the town -- excuse me, the Muslim part of
13 the town at that time?
14 A. We had radio contact with the Muslim side of Mostar, and we had
15 such reports which reached us from the Muslims in Jablanica where we had a
16 detachment in contact with them, and they got information from the Muslims
17 from Jablanica. And those Muslims from Jablanica did have contact with the
18 Muslims in Mostar.
19 Q. Apart from the -- yes, sir.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is something I would like
21 to clarify, something that I believe is important. The question/answer, is
22 somewhat confusing or gives rise to a question. In the first line it says
23 the movement of UNPROFOR vehicles was prohibited. It said all movement of
24 these vehicles should continue to be prohibited. So you could not
25 circulate because of the shots. That's what it says in the first line of
1 the document. Was it because the BH, the ABiH, or the HVO said you did not
2 have the right to circulate in the area? What was the main reason for this
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, any time we tried to move
5 towards Capljina or towards Mostar, we came up against HVO checkpoints
6 preventing us from proceeding forward. Whenever we engaged in
7 authorisations that we tried to obtain from HVO, it would take forever,
8 forever. In fact, they actually told us we cannot go anywhere.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And within your mandate, given
10 your mandate, were you free to move around or did you have to stop at
11 checkpoints according to the mandate?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the UN Resolution that
13 is quite true, but in practice it was an entirely different story. We did
14 not have that freedom of movement.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when the problem arose on
16 the first day, they didn't authorise you to circulate. Were the HVO
17 authorities informed by your heads of the problem?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Affirmative. That is quite true.
19 We did get in touch with the headquarters of the HVO. We told them that we
20 are blocked, that there was a checkpoint at this particular point on the
21 road, that we were impeded in our movement forward. We asked them to get
22 in touch with the people manning that checkpoint to ask them to authorise
23 us to proceed, but in practice that authorisation never came. They
24 actually said, "You can't move," but in the end there was never an answer.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when HVO controlled you,
1 were they soldiers who were armed or was it a matter of tanks? Because you
2 had armoured vehicles, didn't you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it seems a little bit
4 preposterous to say so here, but an army with armoured vehicles like ours,
5 we were much stronger and we couldn't move but we were not authorized to
6 resort to force. And any man with a Kalashnikov and a couple of mines
7 could say, No, you can't move any more, and we couldn't use our own force.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But if there's a soldier with a
9 Kalashnikov at a checkpoint that you have an armoured vehicle at your
10 disposal, you can move on. What could such a soldier do with his weapon?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, there may have been
12 mines hidden on the road. The road may have been mined. Anti-tank mines.
13 So we would have had to get town from the tank, actually try and locate the
14 mines, remove the mines and all of that under enemy fire. Perhaps -- thank
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to go a bit back to the contacts
17 you had with authorities. You said that the headquarters of HVO was
18 informed of such incidents?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is so. Every time we were
20 stopped at a checkpoint and we couldn't proceed, we had contact lines with
21 the HVO headquarters. We informed the headquarters of the incident. We
22 were told that we would be phoned up to try to solve the problem. And
23 after a couple of hours they would phone back saying that we could not
24 proceed because there was combat ahead. They always gave us a thousand
25 different excuses to stop us at that particular checkpoint.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... any names
2 of persons with whom you had contacts or who were named to you as those
3 making the decisions?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We normally at the headquarters had
5 a liaison officer. I phoned very many times Mr. Bozic who was the person
6 whom I maintained most contacts. Not just myself, last the Spanish
7 Battalion members. He was in some way the person who was in charge of
8 solving problems.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was deputy minister of defence.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps while the
14 transcript is still on our screens, on page 13, line 2, I think there's
15 something missing. The negative is missing there, because the witness said
16 that the HVO did not say that they were not to pass through but they never
17 actually could. So there's the "not" that's missing there, I think.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is this a question? Yes. They
19 never said we could not go on. We just never could go on.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir, if we could also, in terms of transcript I believe this was
22 corrected the last -- during your last prior testimony, on page 14, line 9,
23 we have the reference in the transcript to Mr. Bosik [as interpreted] which
24 is now spelled Bosik. Your Honour, from my review of the transcript of the
25 prior testimony it was previously confirmed that was Slobodan Bozic, B-o-z-
1 i-c. If we could have that correction, please.
2 Sir, Mr. Bozic was your principal interlocutor in terms of the
3 HVO during your tour in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct. It wasn't always him because very often duties,
5 of course, prevented him from taking phone calls, but he was normally the
6 most efficacious person who could solve things and cooperation with him was
7 fairly good. They tried to cooperate and we always managed to talk to him
8 whenever we managed to talk to him, he always tried to solve things but
9 throughout that time we could never in fact achieve freedom of movement.
10 Q. Am my follow-up question to you. Apart from Mr. Bozic, do you
11 remember anyone else that you had regular contact with? By that I mean
12 more than once or twice, but was there another person at HVO headquarters
13 other than Mr. Bozic that you had any regular dealings with?
14 A. Yes. I remember a couple of officers from the HVO, but I do not
15 recall their names, I'm sorry.
16 Q. Sir, the note -- the entry in the logbook that I directed your
17 attention to a few moments ago included this particular passage, it says:
18 "Passage remained denied to all UNPROFOR vehicles in any direction that
19 would require them to pass through G. Dreznica." And I realise this is
20 some time ago, but do you recall any information today about why that
21 particular location appears to have been problematic?
22 A. Well, right now I would have to see the map of Bosnia, locate
23 Dreznica. I think that it was an obligated way to go somewhere else, but I
24 cannot quite recall. I think that we had to go through Dreznica to go
25 somewhere else, hence why we could not proceed through Dreznica. But quite
1 clearly I cannot recall.
2 Q. All right. Further on in the passage you say that: "UNHCR
3 suspended all the convoys." Can you explain to the Judges what the
4 relationship was, if any, between UNHCR's humanitarian convoy work and the
5 mission of the Spanish Battalion?
6 A. The main SpaBat mission in the area was to escort humanitarian
7 aid convoys in the area. Within the area and also for all other convoys
8 travelling towards Sarajevo and Central Bosnia. That was our main mission,
9 our main duty, and everything was aimed at being able to escort those
10 convoys. Our efforts were aimed at so doing.
11 Q. Just following up on the question that the president asked you
12 for moments ago, when you not just you personally when the Spanish
13 Battalion had the mandate to escort the humanitarian convoys, did your
14 rules of engagement allow you to use armed force for those convoys to get
15 through if they were blocked or impeded in some way?
16 A. No. We could defend the convoy, but we could not force our way
17 through. If the convoy came under threat or if the UNHCR personnel came
18 under threat, we would defend both the convoy and the people, but to force
19 our way through a blockade of the HVO's or whoever was not part of our
21 Q. Could I ask you, sir, to next go to Exhibit P 03597. And for the
22 courtroom, those using the hard copy bundles, it will be in the second
23 bundle. 3797. I'm sorry. My apology. 3597. My mistake. 3597. I
24 believe it is on page 8 of the English version and page 3 of the Spanish
25 version, sir. And there --
1 A. Excuse me. Excuse me. I have not been able to locate the
2 document yet because you are speaking too far away from the microphone and
3 the interpreters cannot hear you.
4 Q. I'm sorry, it's difficult with the courtroom configuration as
5 everyone knows. It's 3597, sir.
6 A. The date. Perhaps you could tell me the date of the document I
7 would be able to locate it better.
8 Q. Okay. The 21st of July, 1993. It's your intrep number 239.
9 A. 17th of July you mean.
10 Q. My date indicates the 21st of July, sir. And I think we do have
11 it on the document in front of -- on the electronic version.
12 A. I have found it.
13 Q. Now, on page 8 of that document, sir, I believe -- well, in the
14 English version and page 3 of the Spanish version, I believe you'll find
15 the -- an entry, an that says the following: "1. BH army sources reported
16 that the civilian population in Mostar is in a critical situation. There
17 is not enough food and there is still no water or electricity. The
18 hospital lacks medicines, anaesthetics and other items essential for
19 treating the wounded from the fighting. However, they said that their
20 morale was high and that they were prepared to defend their part of Mostar
21 at all cost."
22 This again is the 21st of July, 1993. And also following up
23 again on questions that have been put to you by the Judges, do you recall
24 whether the Spanish battalion was making continuing efforts during this
25 time period to --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Scott. I think we do not see
2 this text in the document the way you have quoted it. You said you quoted
3 from number 1?
4 MR. SCOTT: On my document, page 8, there is a (1), but maybe my
5 -- maybe somebody's given me the correct me if I'm wrong document.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: It's under "Other information," so it would be on
7 page 8 as opposed to page 7.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But before that, I was --
9 my attention was drawn to the first document. Can we go to the very top of
10 the document, please. The beginning of the document, please.
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. The previous page, the
13 page we were looking at a moment ago. No, after that. I would like to see
14 the page that we had on our screens before Judge Trechsel intervened. Yes.
15 No. No, that's not it. The next page.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that is the
17 last paragraph of the page that was on our screens a moment ago.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that's it. Scroll down to
19 the beginning, please. No, up. Yes. Right.
20 Now, Witness BJ, can you read the first paragraph that starts
21 with the number 2 underneath the "Confidential" stamp? Can you read that
22 sentence out to us, please, so that the interpreters can interpret it?
23 It's number 2, and it says "Segun fuentes BiH," et cetera. Can you read
24 that out in your own language.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
1 Microphone. The interpreters cannot hear the witness, I'm sorry.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "HVO sources, reliable sources at
3 that, informed us that today with no opposition, the Cilu [as interpreted]
4 village was occupied. Apparently, the HV forces heard a message whereby
5 the village was being abandoned. When the troops were withdrawing and
6 before the BSA," -- excuse me.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, no. Can we go back to
8 the document again, and I'm going to ask Madam Usher to leave that portion
9 of the document on our screens and don't touch it any more.
10 Now, would you read the first paragraph right at the top. It
11 says number 2, and then number 3. Read number 2. The top of the page.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "According to HV sources [as
13 interpreted], amongst the prisoners of war captured, there is an HV
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, my question is about that.
16 What does that paragraph actually mean?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember this specific
18 case, but what it means from what I can gather is that a colonel was
19 captured, a Croat colonel, not from the HVO but from the Croat army. But I
20 don't recall the case.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
22 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
23 One more question from the Judge.
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you. Previously, you have mentioned, sir,
25 that in many instances when you tried to deliver to civilian population the
1 assistance which they needed, you were stopped by -- by the HVO, and there
2 was a request or a demand to -- to share with their own population or
3 people as a kind of 50/50 arrangement. So my question is if it happened or
4 not. That is my first question.
5 The second question, that your assistance which you were supposed
6 to deliver to the civilian population, was it earmarked for a particular
7 group of people, for example, civilian population in Mostar or East Mostar,
8 or it was a kind of general assistance to deliver to certain major areas?
9 And my third question is that has it happened any time then you
10 might have accepted the urgent requirement which was submitted to you by
11 the HVO checkpoints that you have shared the assistance which you were
12 delivering to the civilian population?
13 So I may repeat the first question to be quite clear, that did it
14 happen in practice that you -- you gave, let's say 50 per cent of your
15 assistance to certain -- through certain checkpoints to the respective
16 people, let's say Croats or Bosniaks or anybody who lived there?
17 Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We did not distribute
19 humanitarian aid to the civilian population. We escorted the UNHCR
20 convoys, and it was this organisation that decided where aid was going to
21 go. But, and I can give you a very clear example from a later time
22 however, I can give an example then of the following: When negotiations
23 were undertaken in order to let the convoys through, the HVOs always
24 demanded that humanitarian aid be forwarded to both Croat and Muslim areas
25 but we never had to leave humanitarian aid in situ. But before the convoy
1 was led through the HVO demanded that their refugees received aid too.
2 I don't know whether I have answered all three questions of
4 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems to be there
6 is a misunderstanding in the transcript again, because we had the document
7 in Spanish on our monitors. I think that we ought to have the English
8 version of the text, because the witness is looking at the original
9 documents in Spanish in front of him. So I think we should have either
10 English or French on our screens, the two official languages. And now I
11 see on page 19, line 18, when the witness read out paragraph 2 that we're
12 looking at on our screens, the witness quite literally, according to the
13 transcript said: "According to HV sources, among the prisoners of war
14 there was one HV colonel." That's what it says in the transcript.
15 Now, what we can see on the monitor, on the document, as far as I
16 know -- can read Spanish, the witness said, "According to BH sources,"
17 whereas in the transcript it appears to be the HV. So it would appear that
18 they were HV sources. But we'll come to my later queries during the cross.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The witness said,
20 according to BH sources, BiH sources, not HV source. So there was a
21 mistake in the transcript there. But anyway, it would be visible that if
22 the witness has the documents in Spanish, that those of us who do not know
23 Spanish can look at the documents in English and in French, and I think
24 that technically it is possible to have two documents on our screens,
25 half/half, half the screen with the Spanish document and half the screen
1 with the English version.
2 We have them now.
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Scott, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. We'll try to work with
6 both documents side by side as much as possible, although sometimes when we
7 put them side by side the text becomes fairly small, but we'll try it.
8 Q. Sir, going back to the part of the document that I had referred
9 you to some moments ago, which was on page 8 of the English version, and
10 it's -- I see it's directly -- I see on the electronic version, it says,
11 "BH sources reported that the civilian population in Mostar is in a
12 critical situation. There is not enough food and there is still no water
13 or electricity. The hospital lacks medicines, anaesthetics and other items
14 essential for treating the wounded from the fighting. However, they said
15 that their morale was high and that they were prepared to defend their part
16 of Mostar at all cost."
17 Can we understand then, sir, that based on your previous
18 testimony most of these communications from the Muslim part of Mostar were
19 coming via the radio during this period?
20 A. Most of the information came via our radio at Medjugorje, but we
21 also had information sources through Jablanica in the Muslim area and
22 through the Muslims therein. Mostar and Jablanica were in fact linked
23 through hills. There was, in fact, a corridor as it were. That's how we
24 reached one place or the other. Thank you.
25 MR. SCOTT: Can I ask you please, sir to go next to Exhibit P
2 MR. KARNAVAS: And while that's being done, Your Honour, if I may
3 make an inquiry. I'm a little confused as to what was the purpose of doing
4 this sort of direct examination. Is it that the gentleman does not recall
5 any of the events and this is sort of a past recollection recorded and
6 therefore he is being refreshed or being presented with the opportunity to
7 read often documents and therefore comment on them? Is it to just sort of
8 bolster what's on the paper already that will obviously come in via the
9 rules of evidence? I'm not quite sure whether this is testimony. What is
10 the purpose of this? I think we should get a narration from Mr. Scott
11 through the witness. He can ask open-ended questions, and I think if he
12 needs to point to something to bolster the testimony, that may be fine, or
13 for other purposes, but at this rate I'm not quite sure what it is that
14 we're doing.
15 MR. SCOTT: I'm happy to --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott. The Defence is
17 wondering what your purpose is by reading paragraphs. Do you wish to
18 highlight the critical situation of Mostar, or what was the object of this
20 MR. SCOTT: Several answers to the question, Your Honour, and I'm
21 happy that Mr. Karnavas has raised it because I think it does in fact raise
22 an important issue and one that we've been discussing for some time.
23 Number one, if does indeed indicate the contemporaneous record of
24 the international observations of what was happening in Mostar during this
25 time period. It may occur to the Chamber as time goes by in months ahead
1 and if the Chamber reviews certain documents in the future. If the witness
2 has said, as he has, that the Spanish Battalion was excluded from the
3 Mostar area for a period of time how was it that they were reporting these
4 observations? I thought the Chamber might want to know that in fact they
5 were reporting -- they were receiving the information in the ways that the
6 witness has indicated in the last few minutes, by radio, by other sources,
7 by Muslim sources in Jablanica and elsewhere. It seems to me that this is
8 information the Chamber might want to have.
9 Thirdly, Your Honour, this illustrates exactly the point of the -
10 - frankly the quandary or the difficult situation that the Chamber views
11 about the admission of documentary evidence causes. If I do not show the
12 witness the document, the Defence and perhaps the Judges will say at the
13 end of the examination the document won't be admitted because it was never
14 put to the witness. So I have to then take the witness through, according
15 to these rulings, document by document by document. Now, I don't think
16 that's the most efficient way to proceed, but if that's where we are, then
17 I have no alternative.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may briefly respond, Your Honour. First of
19 all, I don't see how this sort of line of questioning in the manner in
20 which it's being done establishes some sort of contemporaneous record, that
21 fact that Mr. Scott alluded to.
22 Secondly, with respect to radio communications and what have you,
23 how they were receiving the information, if we go back, the gentleman was
24 shown a particular paragraph. Mr. Scott read it and then asked him a
25 question about how were you getting your information. Now, he could have
1 done this very simply. How were you receiving your information? Without
2 showing him the document, of course. In other words, get a narration.
3 I understand - now, the third point that Mr. Scott raises is
4 rather interesting, because if I spend four days in just glancing through
5 the documents and reading the critical ones and then I'm given by the
6 Chamber 45 minutes to do cross-examination, here he is, he's complaining
7 that he can't get his 3.000 documents in unless he does it in this fashion,
8 and that poses the problem for us as well. And I think it might be more
9 useful for perhaps the Prosecution to tailor its target, to figure out what
10 it is they want to accomplish. What points are they trying to establish,
11 and then perhaps introduce documents that establish those points or assist
12 in establishing the points. But to throw at us, you know, thousands of
13 documents is not helpful.
14 Also, this is not an examination. I'm sorry. Reading a document
15 and then asking him something that has nothing to do with the document is
16 not exactly getting information from the gentleman. The gentleman is here
17 to give us testimony. Let's ask, who, what, why, where why how and let him
18 explain and then show a document for a particular point.
19 I'm just trying to assist the Trial Chamber here.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott, as the Defence
21 has said, and I agree with him, you should be pursuing an objective. The
22 paragraph that appeared on the screen was apparently used to describe the
23 humanitarian situation in Mostar. Therefore, one should have asked the
24 question -- one should have asked the witness the following question: Sir,
25 could you describe the humanitarian situation in Mostar. Then he would
1 have said there was no water, no medicine, et cetera, et cetera, then you
2 would have shown him the document and said, Given everything you have said
3 -- is everything supported by this document? And he would have said yes
4 and then we would have moved on.
5 Try to pursue your objective first and then present the relevant
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. If we can go on, sir, to Exhibit P 03705. While you're looking
9 for that document, sir, if I can ask you, did you -- did the Spanish
10 Battalion continue to make efforts during this time period, June, July,
11 August, 1993, to gain access to Mostar or to block -- to break the blockade
12 of the HVO to Mostar?
13 A. The SpaBat efforts were always aimed at doing precisely that, at
14 being able to gain access to Eastern Mostar and to deliver humanitarian
15 aid, because although we didn't know from reliable sources, we gathered the
16 situation was critical, but we always came against the impossibility of
17 getting the convoys through because of the HVO opposition.
18 Q. Do you recall whether the Spanish Battalion officials, senior
19 officers ever had occasion to have direct communications with HVO officers
20 other than Mr. Bozic, such as General Petkovic, for example, or General
21 Praljak, for the purposes of trying to gain access to Mostar?
22 A. Affirmative. Yes, we did try to establish contact with all the
23 officers of the HVO, including the chief of our operations unit as well as
24 other different chiefs of the headquarters. We tried to establish contact
25 at all different levels including the officers in charge of the HVO who
1 happened done in the area or with whom we had regular contact, Mr. Praljak,
2 Mr. Bozic, Mr. Peskovic [as interpreted] and other officers of the
3 headquarters of the HVO. I don't recall their names. It would be
4 impossible after 14 years to recall all their names, but yes, we did try to
5 establish contact with all of them through the headquarters. We tried to
6 see them face-to-face. And the effort was to try and gain access into
8 Q. Sorry, just to correct the transcript. On page 27, when you
9 mentioned in Praljak, Mr. Bozic, Mr. Petkovic as compared to the transcript
10 says Mr. Peskovic. Is it Mr. Petkovic, P-e-t?
11 A. I don't recall exactly the spelling of Mr. Petkovic. I'm not
12 really sure, but now I can see it on the screen. I remember he was the
13 officer in charge or the boss of the HVO, but I don't recall the act
14 spelling of his surname.
15 Q. Looking at exhibit P 03075, sir page 8 of the English version I
16 believe it will be at stage 2 of the Spanish document.
17 A. Could you tell me what the date is that I can find it quicker?
18 Q. Yes. It's the --
19 A. More quickly.
20 Q. It's the 25th of July, 1993.
21 A. Yes, I do have it.
22 Q. Excuse me one moment. In the first -- well, there's a paragraphs
23 that starts out it says "BH officials in Mostar." Toward the end of that
24 paragraph it says "It is impossible for food and other essential items to
25 reach this part of the town because of an HVO blockade of all access roads.
1 According to these sources, there will soon be no food to feed so many
3 Can you tell the Judges approximately how long this HVO blockade
4 existed before you or the -- you being the Spanish Battalion or other
5 international organisations were able to get access to Mostar, to the
6 Muslim part of Mostar?
7 A. I would like to be able to ascertain the date and the duration in
8 detail, but I would actually have to study in detail the logbook of
9 operations because I cannot recall. But I think as I said it before in my
10 statement it would have been for a period of between 20 and 30 days
12 MR. SCOTT: If I can next direct your attention, please, to
13 Exhibit 39 -- 0398.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I'm looking at
15 the documents before me, certain subjects have already been addressed, but
16 I can't fail to ask the following question: If you have a look at the
17 document in front of you, have a look at the second paragraph. It says,
18 "... Medjugorje." There are certain comments, observations concerning the
19 vehicles circulating there. Could you read out the paragraph that starts
20 with "Vehiculo blanco y verde," the white and green vehicle.
21 A. "White and green police type-vehicle bearing the number plates
22 HV/Croatian Army/687, two military trucks with lowered tarpaulins, no
23 number plates were driving next to this vehicle. A completely white Nissan
24 Petro, one of the models used by SpaBat bearing the plate HVO-880-M."
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why does the document mention a
1 vehicle with the registration number HVO 687? Why is it important?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe it was important because
3 of the vehicles but particularly because they carry the number plates of
4 the HVO and also because they were painted white and they could have been
5 used as a UN vehicle.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Sir, we were about to go to Exhibit 3 -- 03980. If I
9 could ask you to look at page 3 of the Spanish document and direct the
10 courtroom's attention to page 5 of the English version. I'll point out one
11 observation to you, and I have a question for you based on that. It is to
12 -- it is dated the -- there is a number of dates on these documents. I
13 want to give you the correct date if I can. 6th of August, 1993, your
14 intrep number 255. And on page 3, I believe the Spanish version, if you
15 can find -- it's a report again about what's happening in Mostar and there
16 is this specifically, this specific passage if you can find it, please:
17 "The food shortage and the increase in the number of refugees is making HVO
18 operations against the Muslim zone easier." Do you see that?
19 A. Dating to the 6th of August? No, I cannot find what you have
20 just read.
21 Q. All right. Let me see if I can assist you. If you look in
22 Exhibit -- it should be 3980.
23 A. Yes, I do have that.
24 Q. All right. If you will go to I believe if you will look, please,
25 at page 3 of the Spanish version of the document. A report concerning
1 situation -- the condition and situation in Mostar. Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I can see that.
3 Q. There is specifically the passage I read to you a moment ago and
4 that is -- starts -- the sentence starts out "The food shortage." Do you
5 see that?
6 A. Yes, I can see that.
7 Q. Sir, as a professional military soldier, can you assist the
8 Judges with how a food shortage and an increase in the number of refugees
9 in Mostar would make the HVO operations against the Muslim zone easier?
10 A. That is -- that has been used throughout all wars to exert
11 pressure on the civil population due to the look of food shortage and the -
12 - an increased number of refugees. It makes it difficult for actions to be
13 undertaken by one particular army and therefore facilitate, without a
14 doubt, military action on the part of the HVO. So there is a siege. And
15 what you try and do within a siege is to try and cut down means of
16 transportation and food delivery to the population.
17 Q. Sir, if I can next direct your attention to Exhibit P 04423,
18 which is dated the 22nd of August, 1993, and should be your intrep 271.
19 And, sir, if I could ask you to look, please, at page 3, page 3 in the
20 Spanish version, page 5 in the English version.
21 If you can find the following language, sir: "Under other
22 information, heading capital, large capital A, "A convoy of the Canarias
23 group entered the area of Mostar today. The people in the convoy were Mr.
24 Thornberry, UNPROFOR civil affairs, Colonel Morales, et cetera." Do you
25 see that passage?
1 A. Yes, I can see that.
2 Q. And, sir, this report is dated the 22 of August -- or 19 -- or
3 21st of August, 1993. If you can confirm that to yourself, please. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. That is the date of the intrep, the time
6 of entry that was 21 August.
7 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges whether it was this time toward the
8 latter part of August, 1993, was the first time after substantial period of
9 time that the international community was able to gain access to Mostar,
10 actually enter the city of Mostar.
11 A. Yes, indeed, within the movement of this convoy. I know very
12 well because I was part of it and I was in it. It was the first time after
13 a long period of time that we were able to enter into Mostar and take
14 humanitarian aid to that area of Mostar.
15 Q. Can you tell us, sir, a bit more about how that convoy, if you
16 can recall, how at that convoy was organised and anyone on the HVO side
17 that you or your senior colleagues had dealings with to arrange this?
18 A. Within this convoy after a number of negotiations we arrived at
19 the conclusion or at the decision, rather, to be able to take humanitarian
20 aid both in the Muslim and Croat areas of Mostar, and we formed a convoy
21 whereby we would take materials or supplies to both areas, a convoy, a two-
22 branch, if you want, a convoy, I would take that convoy. I was in charge
23 of both branches. And -- and that was -- that took a lot of work to be
24 able to go into the eastern part of Mostar, because in the city of Cilu [as
25 interpreted], which was an area that belonged to the Croat, the refugees
1 were made to stop in front of the convoys and for a period of two or three
2 hours were not able to continue, and thanks to the intervention of Mr.
3 Praljak, of the then General Praljak, who then organised a passage of the
4 convoy to the Muslim area. We were in the Muslim area that evening and
5 that night, and it was that convoy that was also detained by the Muslims
6 for a number of days, five days to be precise. There was the UNPROFOR, and
7 we were detained in the eastern part of Mostar. And I don't know whether
8 you need any further details or whether that should suffice.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. Before we go on, on the name of the town. I
10 don't have the transcript in front of me. You -- in the transcript we have
11 Cilu on page 10 of line 32. The name of the town you referred to a moment
12 ago where you said the convoy was stopped, was that in the village of
14 A. Citluk. I do not recall the spelling exactly, but I think that
15 as it appears on the screen now it should be correct, but I'm not certain.
16 Q. Thank you. Could I ask you please sir to look at -- this will be
17 in the earlier bundle. It is the logbook which -- it may be quick enough
18 it we can see -- if we can show the witness the Spanish version of P 01717.
19 It's the logbook.
20 And, sir, if I could direct your attention to the entry in the
21 logbook the 26th of August, 1993, and for those using the English version,
22 page 152.
23 A. Sorry, what date was that again? Did you say 29 or --
24 Q. 26th of August, 1993, I believe, sir. You look at the numbers on
25 the document you're using, the numbers in the upper right-hand corner. You
1 might find the number R016-7873, if that assists you.
2 A. Yes, I do have it in the logbook of operations dated 26th of
4 MR. SCOTT: Sorry. Give me a moment to find ...
5 I'm sorry. I may have the wrong reference. Sorry, Your Honour.
6 I don't want to take the Court's time. Perhaps during the break I'll be
7 able to find it. Somehow my point of reference seems to have gone missing,
8 at least for me.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] While you're looking for the
10 document, one of the Judges would like to put a question to the witness.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd just like you to
12 clarify something else for us. You said that you had difficulties in front
13 of the town of Mostar. You couldn't get in, and you often had to contact
14 the HVO authorities, and they provide you with rather positive explanations
15 but in fact it wasn't possible to enter the town. In front of the town of
16 Citluk you contacted General Praljak, and the situation was resolved. Did
17 you then continue to avail yourself of this possibility in order to
18 accomplish your mission more easily? Did you contact people who had more
19 influence in the field, the others who had higher positions like the vice
20 Minister of Defence but in fact failed to obtain practical results in the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Frankly, in the statement I said
23 that many of the movements were actually forbidden, but in the relation to
24 this convoy movement, when we were trying to get into Mostar negotiations
25 had already taken place, but with the HVO as well as BiH to come into the
1 two areas, the Muslim and the Croat areas. And in relation to the
2 refugees, there was no contact with the HVO. I correct myself. I use the
3 word contact with the upper echelons, but we did not gain access. I
4 personally did not come into contact with anybody, but despite after two
5 hours, we saw the emergence of General Praljak and him made it possible for
6 passage to be made available and for the convoy to continue to the eastern
7 part of Mostar. And I remember that with the Croat minister who tried and
8 yet this yielded no results, and when he ordered for passage to be given,
9 no passage was achieved or obtained. So it was rather difficult period of
10 time. We went through a very difficult time. Then because the population
11 was very alarmed and they were trying to attack the vehicles, this was
12 civilian population, and Mr. Praljak resolved this matter.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To pursue this question which
14 the Judges believe is very important, I'd like to ask you the following:
15 Mr. Praljak, General Praljak, arrived at the site by chance as far as you
16 can remember, or did he arrive there? Did he appear? Because that was the
17 result of negotiations that had previously commenced.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand that -- that both the
19 HVOs and the BiH had come to a decision to allow the convoys into both
20 parts of Mostar. I think that they had committed themselves and they were
21 going to see it through. But in terms of the refugees at Citluk, we
22 established radio contact with our headquarters or upper echelons in
23 Medjugorje, and I think it was them who established contact with the HQA of
24 the HVO. And I understand that when the news was reached by the HVO
25 headquarters, it was then General Praljak who took the initiative to attend
1 in person to try and resolve this issue in situ. And I think that if one
2 of the telephone calls made by our upper echelons to the upper echelons of
3 the HVO, well, that made it possible to gain access.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prior to this event, yourself
5 or your collaborators or your bosses, did they contact General Praljak to
6 resolve the problem of UNPROFOR movement?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had established contact with the
8 HVO to facilitate the movement of that convoy. I do not recall. It wasn't
9 my mission to establish the negotiation or to undertake the negotiations.
10 I simply directed the operations of the convoys, and it was not me who
11 established the contact. But I -- I think that there was contact made
12 between the authorities and arrangements had been made for the convoy to
13 enter the eastern area of Mostar, so that then humanitarian aid could be
14 provided to both the Muslim and Croat areas of Mostar.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say there was contact
16 with the HVO, that doesn't mean anything for the Judges. What we want to
17 know is who, within the HVO, actually took the decisions? To say that
18 there was contact with the HVO doesn't help us make headway. I believe I
19 have understood you well when you said that you had contact, frequent
20 contact, with the deputy minister of defence, but did you have any other
21 form of contact at a higher level?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Spanish group had contact,
23 maintained contact, never lost it, with the high command of the HVO. With
24 whom did we speak in particular directly? Well, it depended on who
25 initiated the negotiation. If it was somebody within the high command or
1 the higher command of our group, it was then possible to establish a higher
2 command with the local counterparts. But if it was the idea to try and
3 establish contact with the higher authority, it would have been then the
4 minister for defence or General Praljak or the minister of defence himself,
5 Mr. Bruno Stojic. So we -- yes, we always went to the leader of the
6 command wherever possible.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question before we have
8 the break. Was the liaison officer that your battalion had in the HVO
9 headquarters, was there a liaison officer in the HVO headquarters?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't working exactly like
11 that. It was not to amaze who had liaison officers within the high are
12 commands. We would contact the high command of the HVO and would speak to
13 one of the officer and we would tell them that we wanted to talk to the
14 authority who was in a position to resolve the problem. As a general rule,
15 it was the highest authority within the HVO or directly General Praljak or
16 simply directly --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Spanish Battalion did not
18 have a liaison officer in the ABiH headquarters or in the HVO headquarters,
19 and as a result when there was a problem you would make a phone call, and
20 you would then reach some low-level officer. You wouldn't have direct
21 contract with high-level officer since there were no liaison officers. If
22 there had been a liaison officer, you would have contacted your liaison
23 officer who would then have gone to the office of the HVO command -- to the
24 office of the HVO command.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is affirmative. We tried to
1 establish a liaison officer at the HVO, because after a number of days,
2 this official or this liaison officer was not very effective or efficient,
3 and we were not able to establish contact with the higher authorities. We
4 had to then go to the highest-level authority, and this wasn't always
5 possible because there were four people, whom I had mentioned before, who
6 were not always there.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say he left because this
8 didn't bear any fruit. Is that what you're saying, or your command ordered
9 him to leave?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Affirmative. In two normal -- our
11 in cooperation, there is an exchange liaison officers, and it is through
12 them or themselves that requests are made. In this particular case, the
13 cooperation with the HVO had actually was not occurring any more, and
14 whereby access to vehicles was not allowed. It was absurd to have a
15 liaison officer in this area where this liaison officer had nothing to do.
16 So there were times when he was placed there and there were other times
17 where in particular at a particular time on at that date there was no
18 contact, there was no liaison officer therefore, and the conversation was
19 not fluent. Normally it would have been fluent and we would pick up the
20 phone and we would say that our boss or our officer in charge wanted to
21 establish communication with one of the HVO authorities. Normally it would
22 have been the minister of defence, General Bozic, and we wanted to
23 establish contact with him or any other one of their military officers in
24 charge. The relationship was a rather fluid one. There was no problems of
25 relationship with them. Whether they listen to us or not, there was a
1 different issue altogether, but there was no problem in communicating with
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you. It's quarter
4 to 4.00, so we're going to take the technical break and reconvene. I've
5 just been told for technical reasons we'll have to make a half-hour break.
6 So -- I don't know why, but we'll reconvene at 4.15.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
10 Counsel Nozica, you have a problem with the transcript?
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I do.
12 The last part of the witness's sentence in response to the question when he
13 was talking about communication with Mr. Bozic, he said, "But I did not
14 have any problems in communicating with him," and that was recorded, and he
15 added, "I don't know how far they listened to us," which was not recorded
16 and which I consider to be important. We can, of course, ask the witness
17 first whether he did indeed say that, and then I'd like to have that
18 sentence added for the record. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't quite get the
20 question. What is the question? Did I say that? Is that the question?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you say that you had no
22 problems communicating with Mr. Bozic, but that when you rang up, I don't
23 know whom, you didn't know whether they listened to you. Is that what you
24 said? That's how the Defence understood it. Is that what you meant?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not exactly what I said. I
1 said that we did not have any communication problems. We could speak with
2 the Croatian authorities, and I wasn't referring to anybody in particular
3 but to the high command officials, and then I said that they would not heed
4 us. They would not heed us. They would not pay any attention to us. We
5 could always speak to them, we could say, We want to go through such-and-
6 such a checkpoint, but then they would not heed us. It was not that they
7 would listen to us but they would not pay any attention to our request.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you saying that they heard
9 what you said but they didn't heed what you said? Is that right?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed, affirmative.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Witness BJ, in the few minutes before the break, there was a
16 series of questions coming largely from the Judges in terms of what efforts
17 the senior officers of the Spanish Battalion made to interact and have
18 communications, in fact we were just talking about it again, with senior
19 officials on the HVO side. Can I direct -- in this connection, can I
20 direct your attention, please, to -- we were looking a moment ago at
21 Exhibit P 01717, the logbook, and if you can please find the entry for the
22 15th of August, 1993. And for those in the courtroom using the English
23 version, I believe it will be found on page 141.
24 Sir, do you have the entry for the 15th of August, 1993? If you
25 will look down several items --
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. My apology. If you will look down, sir, several items until you
3 get this language, "Talks were conducted it highest level to make it
4 possible to repair the Bijeli bridge. To this end, a dinner was organized
5 in the Medjugorge detachment, attended at the representatives of the HVO
6 Mr. Prlic, Prime Minister, Mr. Stojic, Defence Minister."
7 Do you recall, sir, whether you attended that dinner meeting with
8 those two officials? Would it have been the normal custom for you to
9 attend such a dinner function?
10 A. Had I belonged to the detachment at the time, I would have
11 attended that dinner because I would have attended that type of dinner, but
12 I remember that precisely at that date I was absent. I was in Spain. I'm
13 not altogether certain, but I do not remember having attended a dinner with
14 Mr. Prlic.
15 Q. Do you recall the situation concerning the Bijela bridge and
16 whatever problems that presented to UNPROFOR and the international
17 organisations during this time?
18 A. See, yes, at -- the Bijela bridge, it was destroyed. We were
19 trying to repair it so as to facilitate the transportation of convoys.
20 There was a Slovene detachment, I think, repairing it. We put them up with
21 the Spanish detachment. We carried out all kinds of studies in order to be
22 able to carry out the repairs, but the HVO did not allow us to get anywhere
23 near the bridge either to carry out the studies and much less the repair.
24 Q. I ask you to go forward several days in your -- in the logbook to
25 the 7th -- excuse me, to the 19th of August, 1993. For those using the
1 English document, page 145.
2 And in connection, sir, with the access to the city of Mostar,
3 can I please direct your attention to this language: "A commission
4 composed of Mr. Cedric Thornberry, deputy head of the civil affairs of the
5 UN in the former Yugoslavia, Colonel Morales and the various
6 representatives of the civil affairs and of the SpaBat command staff
7 entered the city of Mostar today. They had a meeting with Croat officials
8 in city, Mr. Bruno Stojic, HVO Defence Minister; Mr. Slobodan Bosic, HVO
9 deputy Defence Minister; and Mr. Zeljko Toler HVO deputy commander.
10 Can you tell us, sir, do you recall attending that meeting on the
11 19th of August, 1993?
12 A. [No translation].
13 Q. I didn't get any translation.
14 A. I did not attend that meeting.
15 Q. Can you tell us what the role of Mr. Thornberry was at this
16 particular time?
17 A. One thing I think I remember and it's stated here in the logbook,
18 he was the second man in command of civil affairs at the United Nations. I
19 can't remember who the first man was, but I think he was second. And he
20 was with us in the convoy that got into Mostar. He was on that convoy with
22 Q. All right. And in that respect, sir, then if I could direct your
23 attention forward finding the reference that I was looking for earlier
24 today, if you'll look at the 21st of August, 1993. In the English document
25 it's page 147.
1 Do you see the references to "After long negotiations in the
2 previous days, it was possible to enter the Muslim quarter in the city of
3 Mostar. The group commander led the convoy. He was accompanied by Mr.
4 Cedric Thornberry, international press, and members of the command staff."
5 Now, sir, did I hear you correctly earlier today when you said
6 you were also present in this convoy?
7 A. Affirmative. I was in charge of that convoy, militarily
8 speaking. Now, if the high chief of the Canarias group who was there,
9 because Mr. Thornberry was present, would also be presents, obviously he
10 would take in control, but I was in charge of that particular operation.
11 Q. And continuing on, it says: "After crossing the lines of both
12 sides and two mine obstacles in the area in the Mostar airport area, we
13 managed to enter the Muslim area after almost two months of inability to do
15 Now, sir, I've asked you about this time period several times
16 day. Does that refresh your memory that there was an approximate two-month
17 period until the end of August that the Muslim part of Mostar had been
18 under blockade?
19 A. Yes. Every single time you've asked me I'd actually didn't know
20 because I didn't have the logbook in front of me and I didn't actually know
21 the dates. But having seen the logbook now, perhaps not really two months,
22 but 20 days, definitely, 20 days definitely during which Mostar was
23 completely off-limits, East Mostar. You could sometimes get the impression
24 that you were getting into Mostar but you were not actually getting into
25 Mostar itself. This is why I previously made a mistake.
1 Q. When you entered Mostar around the 21st of August, 1993, did you
2 have occasion to see both East Mostar and West Mostar?
3 A. Yes. We got into both areas, east and west.
4 Q. Can you tell the Judges briefly, please, your own observations as
5 to the situation and conditions in East Mostar when you arrived on the 21st
6 of August?
7 A. Let me correct something here that I have just seen now looking
8 at the dates. Perhaps you are looking at a convoy of the 27th and now
9 we're speaking about a convoy on the 21st. On the 21st when we got in, it
10 was only for negotiation and it was only the Colonel, Mr. Thornberry and
11 some vehicle. In that convoy I was no part of. I was speaking of another
12 later convoy with humanitarian assistance where Mr. Thornberry was also
13 present as well as Colonel Morales. On this particular one on the 21st of
14 August I was absent and if I said earlier I was present, I now apologise.
15 Q. Let me turn your attention, please, to the entry for the 26th of
16 August, 1993. On page 152 of the English document.
17 On the 26th of August, there is this entry about the fourth entry
18 under that date: "The convoy that entered the Muslim quarter in the city
19 of Mostar yesterday with a total of 19 trucks." Yesterday, by this log,
20 being the 25th of August. Is that the date when the convoy actually
21 entered Mostar, the 25th of August, 1993?
22 A. Affirmative. 25th of August at dawn, at dawn. It could already
23 be the 26th of August, around 2.00 or 3.00 on the morning of the 26th of
24 August because there was an exchange of corpses in the evening prior to
25 that. So when we got into Mostar it would have been day break so that
1 could have been 2.00, 3.00 in the morning of the following day.
2 Q. Going back to the question I put to you a few moments ago, can
3 you tell the Judges, then, when you arrived on the 25th of August, 1993,
4 what were the conditions or situation that you observed in East Mostar, the
5 Muslim part of Mostar?
6 A. Well, the city was under siege. The most elementary things were
7 lacking, were missing. In fact, our own food from our own armoured vehicle
8 we gave out to the population. We emptied out our vehicle. We kept
9 nothing for ourselves. People were really downcast, morale was very low.
10 The entry of the convoy was like a boost to the morale of the population.
11 This is what we noticed. But basically the most basic items were missing.
12 We were shown part of the hospital, a lot of wounded. Many things were
13 missing of all kinds for the whole of the population.
14 Q. Now, I asked you a few moments ago, sir, did you also on that
15 date or around that time also have occasion to go into West Mostar on the
16 other side of the river, and I believe you said yes. Can you describe the
17 condition and situation as you saw them on the west side of Mostar on the
18 25th of August?
19 A. Well, on that particular date I did not go to the west side, I
20 personally, but some of our convoys did go, and the overall impression was
21 that on the other side of the river there was no need for humanitarian aid.
22 There was a permeable, perfectly permeable border with Croatia, and there
23 was nothing missing.
24 Q. You've mentioned earlier today that when the -- after the convoy
25 arrived in Mostar, the Muslim community did not want the convoy and
1 UNPROFOR to leave, that they made efforts to detain the convoy. Is that
3 A. Affirmative. The Muslim army placed civilians right in front of
4 the armoured vehicles for us not to leave, but it was the Muslim army who
5 directed them to stand in front of us. It wasn't the population of their
6 own volition.
7 Q. And do you recall the Muslims, either those representatives of
8 the army, the ABiH, or members of the civilian population, telling you why
9 it was they didn't want you, that is you being UNPROFOR, not to leave?
10 A. Well, the person who was telling us why they didn't want us to
11 leave and they didn't let us out, in fact, was Isakmo [as interpreted] who
12 was head of the Mostar Brigade if my memory doesn't fail me, a Muslim of
13 that particular unit. He came up onto our armoured vehicle where the
14 colonel and I were present, and he told the colonel, "Sir, you're being
15 with -- detained here, and you will not be allowed to leave Mostar."
16 In fact, his point was for the international community to know
17 what conditions Mostar was under, and he felt that if we were kept in
18 Mostar, that would put an end to any bombing or to any acts of aggression
19 against the city of Mostar.
20 Q. In the entry that I just directed your attention to a few moments
21 ago for the 26th of August, 1993, in the same paragraph do you see this
22 language: "The BH officials claim they had detained the convoy because
23 they were expecting an imminent attack by the HVO"? Do you recall
24 something like that being said?
25 A. Well, the Muslims gave all kinds of reasons. This is one of the
1 reasons they gave, but basically what we all understood was that they
2 wanted at least some sampling of the international community within Mostar
3 so that they could bear witness of the bombing and the acts of aggression
4 against the city.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, Mr. President, at this point, the
6 Prosecution would propose to play some video material which I will get the
7 exhibit number for you in a moment. Exhibit P 09676, which is a video that
8 covers certain parts of the Spanish Battalion's tour in Mostar in the
9 summer of 1993. We will be playing that in sanction.
10 Q. And, sir, if you will follow along the video. We may have --
11 there may be several questions either from me or from the Judges or later
12 from the Defence concerning the video.
13 [Videotape played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Last Tuesday, these images went
15 around the world. After five days and six nights detained as hostages in
16 the city of Mostar, kept as human shields by the Muslim militias and the
17 civilian population of the city, 63 Spanish legionnaires managed to return
18 to their headquarters in Medjugorje in Central Bosnia."
19 "All started as a routine mission, in this meaningless war which
20 is destroying the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia has turned into the most
21 critical zone. The possibility of partitioning this country into three
22 republics, Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim, has brought the three forces in
23 conflict into a relentless ethnic cleansing with an aim to secure the
24 possession of as much territory as possible. In this war, the Muslims,
25 abandoned by Europe and the US, get the worst part of it, under an imposed
1 general weaponry embargo which in practice only damages them. They were
2 reduced to small part of territory of less than 30 per cent of the country
3 in which they were majority and under terrible sieges: Sarajevo, Graz and
5 "In Mostar, which the Croats expect to turn into the capital of
6 the self-proclaimed Republic of Herceg-Bosna, there is a Muslim ghetto with
7 between 38.000 to 50.000 people. They're piled up without water,
8 electricity, food, no medicine. Mostar is situated within the area of
9 responsibility of the blue helmets of the Tactical Group Canarias, the
10 Spanish contingent group, whose mission is to maintain open the corridor of
11 humanitarian aid along the Neretva River, a peacekeeping operation for
12 which the Spanish soldiers have paid a high price: Ten deaths and around
13 30 wounded."
14 "Through the ministry of foreign affairs, measures are being
15 taken in New York, at the United Nations, in Geneva, the seat of the peace
16 conversations in Zagreb, and in other European capitals. On the other
17 hand, our military representatives in the field have conducted direct
18 negotiations with the local leaders, which resulted in our managing to
19 complete our objective from the very beginning: A cease-fire. The aim was
20 not to rescue the detained Spanish soldiers but to obtain a cease-fire that
21 would protect the civilian population from the sufferings they had been
22 experiencing for several months already."
23 "In the area of Mostar, the escort of eight convoys is the
24 responsibility of the Spanish blue helmets, but in Bosnia the convoys of
25 humanitarian assistance sent to one of the parties in the conflict
1 frequently bump into the ill-will of the adversaries. There had already
2 passed two months without an ounce of humanitarian assistance succeeding to
3 get through the Croat fence around Mostar, when Colonel Morales, chief of
4 the Spanish blue helmets force, decided on the 21st of August to send a
5 convoy with medicines to the Muslim sector Mostar."
6 "The first convoy for Mostar went through safely. The Spanish
7 legionnaires on board of their armoured vehicles delivered to the Muslim
8 neighbourhood two tonnes of medicine taken from their own field hospital
9 based in Medjugorje and were received with great joy by the population.
10 The Spanish gave their own individual food rations to the women and
11 children that besieged their vehicles."
12 "The success of this first mission made Colonel Morales
13 determined to organise a second convoy, this time with 300 tonnes of food
14 to be transported with the United Nations trucks. After difficult
15 negotiations, both with the Croat militias and the armija, the Bosnian
16 Muslim army, the Spanish blue helmets contained an agreement to deliver the
17 convoy to be followed by a cease-fire and an exchange of dead bodies
18 between Bosnian and Croats. The convoy started on the wrong foot. The
19 Croat population from Medjugorje and Citluk blocked the path denying the
20 possibility for an assistance to be sent to the population of Mostar. This
21 delayed the progress and it was not before the evening that the convoy
22 reached the outskirts of Mostar. There, on an abandoned airstrip of the
23 airport, the exchange of dead bodies from both sides, victims of the latest
24 combats, took place. Meanwhile, the cease-fire was being observed, and the
25 macabre exchange was done under the lights of vehicles. Thereafter, in the
1 dark, the convoy proceeded to cross the confrontation lines and went into
2 Mostar. When we finally arrived, I believe you can see the satisfaction
3 reflected on my face because of the fact that we have arrived with a convoy
4 of humanitarian aid to Mostar, although with many difficulties along the
5 way, many negotiations and many stops, but I believe that it is rewarding
6 and comforting to see all these people that have around us satisfied and
7 happy because we have arrived to this side of Mostar."
8 "The 300 tonnes of food were unloaded in three hours. Meanwhile
9 along their armoured escort vehicles, the Spanish legionnaires awaited an
10 order for departure. The cease-fire was kept, and the civilian population
11 was friendly with the Spanish. Nevertheless, when, at 3.00 in the morning,
12 an order was given to depart, the mood changed. The armed members of the
13 armija started encircling the convoy obstructing their departure, fearing
14 that immediately after the cease-fire ended the Croats would launch an
15 attack. The armija placed women and children on the road obstructing the
16 passage for the convoy and threatened that it would shoot at the convoy if
17 they abandoned the city. 160 people, Spanish military and members of the
18 UN, stayed as hostages in Mostar. Whether that was ordered by the armija
19 or leaders of some other group which is also a possibility, I cannot say
20 with certainty at this moment. I cannot confirm it at this time. But what
21 we cannot do ever, neither the Spanish soldiers nor the United Nations, is
22 that we cannot respond to these people in any violent form. We tried to
23 negotiate and to make them understand that perhaps this is not the best way
24 to continue receiving humanitarian aid, but we cannot put pressure on them
1 "In the Spanish general headquarters in Medjugorje as well as
2 Sarajevo and at other I national levels, five days of tense negotiations
3 followed. Hopeless and mistrusting both the United Nations and a Europe
4 that had abandoned them, left on their own, the Muslims from Mostar
5 demanded part of the Spanish blue helmets to stay indefinitely there to
6 prevent future Croat attacks, disobeying even the orders from their own
7 government in Sarajevo. On the other hand, Colonel Morales, a hard and
8 experienced man, refused to make any kind of concessions until the totality
9 of his men were safely out of Mostar. Only for security reasons he
10 allowed, after a couple of days, the exit of civilian personnel that were
11 part of the convoy, but he and his military men stayed on the main street
12 in the city under an intolerable heat, without water, insufficient food
13 during five days. Five days of tension that did not prevent the Spanish
14 legionnaires from continuing helping the civilian population as was the
15 case of saving a wounded man on a street under sniper fire."
16 "Finally, on Tuesday the 31st, Muslims from Mostar permitted the
17 convoy to exit the town pursuant to a general agreement with included an
18 extension of the cease-fire in the city. Mr. Javier Solana, minister of
19 foreign affairs. 'Spanish soldiers fulfilled their obligation which was
20 fundamentally to provide humanitarian assistance and avoid the situation of
21 danger. I believe that we must first say that the conduct of the Spanish
22 soldiers was magnificent and was recognised by the whole world. Spanish
23 soldiers did not want to leave Mostar without getting a cease-fire
24 agreement first. We were working together with the UN and with both
25 parties to obtain the cease-fire agreement so that the Spanish soldiers
1 could leave Mostar only when the main goal of the mission had been
2 accomplished and this was the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
3 Together with their colonel, the 62 Spanish soldiers and 12 armoured
4 vehicles crossed the confrontation line and travelled the 30 kilometres to
5 Medjugorje and then and only then did Spanish patrols start to go into the
6 Muslim and Croat sectors of Mostar in order to monitor the cease-fire.
7 "Finally the blue helmets arrived to the headquarters in
9 "The left, Muslim side, for Muslims and all those who believe in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Spanish Battalion is the last hope, a final
11 link before withdrawal and perishment. In the same way that Sarajevo is a
12 symbol for Bosnia, Mostar is a symbol for Herzegovina, the symbol of multi-
13 ethnic community, Serbs, Croats, Muslim, Jewish tradesmen under Ottoman
14 Empire, the destruction which was first caused by Serbs last year when they
15 were driven out by Muslims and Croats has grown 10 times larger since May
16 9th. Nowadays, Croats want their part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbs
17 too. Their argument is clear: The Croatian state is where Croats live.
18 Blue helmets, it's pretty but they are destroying it. When people are
19 killing each other. I mean, the fighting against a country and then the
20 fighting amongst each other, but well, let them do what they want to."
21 "This is destroyed. There's nothing to do here. Well, we're
22 trying to prevent them from hitting each other but they still do it."
23 "Well, we don't know how long we'll be staying. We came here
24 for 24-hour guard duty but that could be extended because it could happen
25 later on that the control in charge of letting us pass through never
1 arrives. We always come here with at least three days' worth of rations,
2 and as I already said, the situation is difficult."
3 "Didn't you receive special instructions precisely because there
4 is a possibility that you might find yourselves under specific situations?
5 "Well, we don't know why we arrived here and initially in
6 principle we must not respond to fire unless it be straight directly --
7 directed straight to us. Rifle fire within these armoured vehicle is no
8 problem because it's well prepared to stop it. But of course a mortar
9 shell or a grenade, yes, that can hurt. And we see anyone aiming a mortar
10 at us, then of course we'd have to open fire."
11 "As Spanish troops testify daily, tragedies are lining up one
12 after another in the face of the realistic general state of indifference.
13 Like in Mostar where ethnic cleansing is still being carried out, the
14 Croats are intimidating, expelling and gaoling Muslims with the aim of
15 transform the town into a purely Croat town. This man says how he was
16 expelled last year by the Serbs. He lost a son last year. He still has
17 one other son and another daughter and he thanks God because things could
18 still be worse, he says, or this Bosnian soldier who is fighting for a
19 state which everybody things is already dead. With some 30 or so bullets
20 per soldier, they are facing a much more numerous force, well-equipped, and
21 in solid artillery positions, which is holding them in sight from the
22 heights just like the Serbs held them in Sarajevo."
23 "We will resist till the end he says. We no longer believe in
24 peace nor in the Croats and we say to them that we will fight to the last
25 man. We have nothing to lose."
1 "To isolate them even more, Croats from the HVO, a paramilitary
2 organisation, the Croatian Defence Council, trained and supported by
3 Zagreb, are trying unsuccessfully to blow up this bridge reconstructed with
4 humanitarian aid from the US. Due to an escalation in conflict along the
5 Neretva River in Herzegovina, in the zone in -- in the zone which is under
6 their control, in order to support them in their difficult task people who
7 are spending entire days in their armoured vehicles without the possibility
8 of coming out are enduring marathon shifts, 200 new soldiers, 70 logistics
9 personnel and 120 legionnaires have arrived as reinforcements.
10 "Since a massive house to house arrests of Muslims by Croats
11 from the early dawn which began last may 9 most of whom are still held in
12 the Heliodrom in Mostar, the position of the Spanish blue helmets in the
13 area is delicate. We're currently trying to solve what we can to mediate
14 and to try to avoid further shooting, but mostly we are dealing with the
15 civilian population and refugees whom we are rescuing to ensure that people
16 are no longer taken prisoner and to avoid houses being vacated."
17 "Whilst trying to negotiate in order to maintain some sort of
18 stable or unstable status quo, hatred erupts amongst both sides."
19 "It was useless for international mediators to meet again with
20 representatives of both sides. In the high-level meetings under the
21 auspices of the Spanish Battalion, the Bosnian and Croatian representatives
22 attended. However, this only underlined the tremendous disagreement
23 existing amongst the parties."
24 "The day after the meeting in Siroki Brijeg, Franjo Tudjman--"
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]
2 Could we perhaps stop this, because Mr. Praljak has, in fact, stood up.
3 Mr. Praljak, you have the floor.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] We should have the dates
5 put in order here, because all the years and months are confused in this
6 film. We need some order, chronological order in order to be able to
7 follow what is happening. This is a collage of various excerpts and covers
8 a period over one year. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perhaps the questions that will
10 be put after we've seen the video will clarify anything that is not quite
11 certain. Can we continue now.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] The powerful lobby from the region
14 had paid for his campaign and was now requesting that it be an integral
15 part of Croatia."
16 "In the field tents, the Bosnian military leader Mr. Halilovic,
17 Mr. Petkovic, the Croatian one often discussed in the presence of the
18 Spanish colonel Mr. Antonio Morales. 'A month ago I begged you on my knees
19 that you helped us to rescue people from the mountain both Muslims and
20 Croats but you negotiated with the Serbs you didn't realise that they
21 wanted to finish with us first and then to finish with you as well.'"
22 "Colonel Morales: In about an hour, an hour and a half, these
23 two sides which are situated in the region and that are EC observers and
24 the members of the Canarias Tactical Group will see what is going on in the
25 field in order to inform the mixed committees about it. There was only one
1 opportunity to take both sides to see the devastated areas in the region.
2 A few kilometres from the base, both sides looking at each other with
3 mistrust and preparing for what may follow. The Croats have tanks, mortars
4 people who alive along the road they control. The Muslims who have taken
5 up positions, rarely get weapons, and when it does happen they hurry to
6 learn how to handle them in groups. The greatest strength on the other
7 side both in the town and on the mountain lies in that they are going for
8 all or nothing. The main task of the Spanish blue helmets is to reduce
9 tensions between the Croats and the Muslims even though they have already
10 suffered some casualties because of this."
11 "Lieutenant Colonel Alonso: In the remaining part of the road
12 towards Tarcin, we have an area of conflicts in Konjic. There's a group of
13 snipers that pound the road and do not allow the movement of vehicles,
14 mainly civilian vehicles. They have not fired at us yet, but we have
15 already detected certainly firing at civilian vehicles using that road in
16 both directions."
17 "From their positions on hills on the western part of Mostar,
18 the HVO forces started at dawn the savage attack on the left bank of the
19 Neretva River, the heart of the capital of Herzegovina populated by
20 Bosnians. Their initial targets, Titov bridge and the headquarters of the
21 4th Corps of the BiH army, are located in a civilian building. Like in the
22 worst case of the most savage dictatorships, the prisoners, the majority of
23 them civilians, are taken to a football stadium. The Croats have made
24 civilian prisoners by arresting them in their own homes. Prisoners have
25 been taken in the direction of Citluk and they will be confined in the
1 Tito's army former helicopter pilot's headquarters in Rodoc. In total, it
2 is estimated that the fate of 400 people is unknown. The propaganda from
3 the HVO keeps releasing false communiques according to which their
4 operations of putting Muslims in prisons are only preventive operations.
5 They claim that this region belongs to them since the 13th century."
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Witness BJ, you have watched this video material that has been...
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Witness BJ, you have just watched this video material being
12 presented in the courtroom. Can you tell the Judges, please, what you saw
13 in this video, does that give a fair presentation, a picture of what you
14 saw and experienced in Bosnia in 1993?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours. Your Honours. Excuse me, sir.
16 Going back to Mr. Praljak's objection. We don't have a foundation for this
17 film. We don't know what period it covers. As was indicated, it is a
18 montage, and now it seems that we're using footage from God knows where
19 just to sort of ask general questions. I don't think it's proper. I know
20 that in this Tribunal, anything goes as far as bringing in evidence. I
21 mean, anything, but this is beyond the pale as far as showing something and
22 then saying, Well, does this comport with what you saw happening. You
23 know, so it goes along the same lines as someone's feelings, you know.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, very briefly.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, shortly before
1 the end of this video they mentioned the beating of the Muslim part of
2 Mostar or the shelling of the Muslim part of -- of Mostar, and the video
3 quite clearly demonstrated that it was the other part of Mostar that was
4 being shelled. So it's an error, and there are many such errors.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Scott, the first
6 problem is the problem that concerns the dates. The video contains various
7 elements that the witness could certainly put a date to. There were his
8 colleagues, Colonel Alonso and others, who held meetings. Perhaps on that
9 basis one could arrive at precise dates. They could put things back into a
11 MR. SCOTT: I will be happy --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. SCOTT: I will be happy to ask additional questions, Your
14 Honour. As explained, the Court may remember back to when Mr. -- when
15 Witness BJ was here before and the efforts to obtain this video footage,
16 and as we've explained to the Defence in several letters since we obtained
17 it some weeks ago, this came from a Spanish television station in Spain
18 which obtained much of the footage from the Spanish Battalion, which is the
19 footage that Witness BJ referred to when he was here in June.
20 Now, I will -- let me first of all, sir, ask you the general
21 question that I asked you and then I'll go back and take you there some
22 additional specific questions. And my general question to you, sir, is
23 what you saw this afternoon in the few minutes of video material that were
24 displayed, is that -- does that present a fair portrayal of your
25 experiences and observations during your tour of duty in the Mostar region
1 in 1993?
2 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, let me interpose the same objection.
3 It obviously calls for speculation on the part of the witness, and to make
4 a general question of that kind when we had so many different episodes
5 portrayed in the -- in the video, there being no foundation that this
6 witness was present on most of those occasions, Your Honour, it's not an
7 acceptable question. It calls for speculation, and as Mr. Karnavas said,
8 even by the lax rules of evidence here, it's not an admissible way to
9 proceed. So I make that objection.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, many things have been said in the last
11 two minutes are just flat wrong. Perhaps the counsel does remember the
12 previous testimony of this witness either in June or today. The witness
13 clearly gave testimony in June about footage being taken on the 9th and
14 10th of May, 1993, which showed people being gathered on the football
15 pitch, which showed people being taken, led -- men being led to Mostar. He
16 testified about that in June, and that was covered in the film. He has
17 also testified or would testify about the meetings, some international
18 meetings that took place in the Mostar region around the 18th of May. He's
19 also talked about the arrival of the convoy on approximately the 21st,
20 excuse me, or that is the 25th of August. He spoke about that. He spoke
21 about how the UNPROFOR people were kept in Mostar by the population. That
22 was shown on the video.
23 Your Honour, the witness has discussed virtually everything that
24 was on the video, gave testimony as to everything that was on the video.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. If I may intervene. It appears to
1 us that the Chamber is able to relate what the witness has already said to
2 what the Chamber has been shown, which is not entirely different from other
3 image material that we have also been shown.
4 I wonder whether the witness could not be asked whether there
5 were any images of events in this video in which he attended and what his
6 specific memory of the specific event is.
7 I must confess that the appreciation of the film is not
8 facilitated by the fact that it practically ends with the beginning,
9 because what we see in the very end is the shelling of the headquarters.
10 That was the very start of it all, and so one -- I must confess that it is
11 somewhat confusing. It's a nice illustration, but to what extent it is
12 really useful as evidence, I think, is in fact open to doubt. I must
13 confess that I am not unimpressed by the objection of the Defence. So
14 perhaps if you could turn around and go to specific experiences of the
15 witness rather than general impression.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I could add something to
18 what Judge Trechsel has said -- just said. Could the Prosecution ask the
19 witness to distinguish between the images that he was an eyewitness of. He
20 participated in certain events, and could he then distinguish such events
21 from events that he didn't participate in. Then we're just speaking about
23 This TV footage covers a period of number of months, and as the
24 Defence has said, the footage has been put together. Mr. Praljak mentioned
25 an important problem. There was an HVO shelling apparently, but the
1 headquarters wasn't the right one. So there's an entire series of
2 questions that one has to ask oneself. So please proceed in a concise
3 manner so we can avoid the Defence getting up to raise objections, because
4 this results in wasting time. Please move on progressively on the basis of
5 what you are certain of and taking into account things that you are less
6 certain of.
7 In order to save time, I'll put a question to the witness.
8 Sir, you have just seen a video, and could you tell us whether
9 there were any events that were depicted in this video that you were
10 present at?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In very many of the images I
12 was present.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, please
14 proceed and do your work. I'm not going to do the Prosecution's for it.
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I've been trying to do for some
16 minutes now.
17 Let me just indicate before I continue with the witness. The
18 video was received from the Spanish television station. The OTP did not
19 seek to edit if any sort of way. We presented it the way it was presented
20 to us. If it was not nicely done, I regret that. It was presented by the
21 Spanish television station. Obviously, the Prosecution has not had the
22 ability to meet with the witness since obtaining this because, as you know,
23 the witness has sequestered from the Prosecution in the meantime so I've
24 only had a chance to play it for the witness in the courtroom without
25 having reviewed it with the witness previously at all. So we are operating
1 at some disadvantage.
2 Q. Now, having said, sir, you just indicated that there were certain
3 parts of this video, events depicted in the video, that you were personally
4 involved in or present. Can you identify and perhaps we'll talk about some
5 of them in more detail but can you identify by identifying for us the parts
6 of the video in which you were directly involved?
7 A. Well, there's been two films here, two video films. In the
8 second -- well, the second one is, in fact, covers the first two months or
9 one and a half months of the time my grouping was there in Bosnia, and the
10 second film is a film which basically talks about how the convoy was
11 detained in Mostar. This is what I saw.
12 As for the detention of the convoy while I was there, and I was
13 present throughout the period, throughout the period covered by the film.
14 So I have first-hand knowledge of what happened then with the convoy. I
15 was involved in the negotiations.
16 In the first part which corresponds to the second part of the
17 film where there's a mixture there of images which may have come from
18 television files or archives. There's a fundamental reason for this
19 perhaps. The journalist who interviews in the first month Angela Rodicio
20 [phoen], was there. She was the one who filmed that. And in the send part
21 there was a different journalist who was present during the convoy's
22 detention in Mostar. There are old images also involved, such as attacks
23 on Croats or Muslims, bombings of Mostar, which I don't believe belong to
24 the dates in which I was there, but I have to see the film again to confirm
1 You saw also the transferral of Muslims by Croats something that
2 happened in June, that I'd seen already and that was filmed by the Spanish
3 Battalion, by units of the Spanish Battalion, and is shown at the beginning
4 and at the end of the films. You see us going down the hill led by Croats.
5 You see negotiations by Mr. Halilovic and Petkovic in Jablanica, and I was
6 involved directly as a witness. I was not involved in negotiating itself.
7 And you saw them within a tent. This is what we did. We provided a
8 premises for them to negotiate.
9 I was also involved in the tour undertaken by Colonel Morales and
10 Petkovic in the northern part of Jablanica. That also was seen on the
11 film. And I also participated, although I was not present when attempts
12 were made to stop fighting against -- to stop fighting between HVOs and
13 Muslims. So in the film itself you might see me a couple of times. Well,
14 my back actually because I'm not very keen on being filmed but you can see
15 me on the film itself on a couple of occasions.
16 Now, if there's anything more specific I could perhaps be more
17 specific or I clear up whatever you want me to clear up.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked to slow down for the
19 sake of the interpreters.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Did you hear that, sir? You've been asked to slow down a bit for
22 the translation.
23 All right. Sir, based on your answer just now let me go back and
24 take you through some parts that you've told us. Accepting for the moment
25 that the order of the video material might have been presented differently,
1 did you see, in the video that was presented this afternoon, images that
2 correspond to what you understood happened on approximately the 9th and
3 10th of May in connection with the attack on Mostar and the arrest, the
4 taking of people to a football pitch and to the Heliodrom?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour. The question is whether
6 he understood --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: The question is whether he understood what
9 happened. I guess perhaps it should be asked of what he saw, not what he
10 understood. In other words, what he was told. So did he witness what
11 happened on those dates and, if so, then the question can be does it
12 correspond with as opposed to whether he understood something that was told
13 to him.
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't accept that, Your Honour. The
15 Court --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: -- well knows that hearsay is fully acceptable in
18 evidence here. It's not necessary that this witness personally heard it or
19 saw it. Hearsay is admitted in this Tribunal every day, and has for the
20 last 12 or 13 years. I don't accept Mr. Karnavas's position.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, let's step back --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Karnavas, we've
23 understood the point, and let me assure you that I will have to guide the
24 witness's testimony and I'm going to go to the heart of the matter.
25 You said that the Spanish Battalion filmed the presence of the
1 citizens of Mostar at Heliodrom and their departure afterwards. That's
2 what you've said. You've told us that. So we saw the footage, and we did
3 see people on the stadium and people marching, the Velez stadium, and
4 people on the move.
5 Now, when this was asserted, were you there yourself? Did you
6 see it for yourself?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, negative. This was filmed by
8 special units belonging to us, and we saw the film that was shot that very
9 morning, but I wasn't present there.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Thank you. When you
11 say "special units," does that mean filming crew or secret agents?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Within our group, a unit of special
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have said that you have seen these
15 videotapes the same day.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I refer exclusively to the images
17 taken by the Spanish Battalion which was the transfer of the Muslims who
18 had been detained along the way and also at the Heliodrom. These images
19 were shot by the Spanish Battalion unit and I was talking how we saw that
20 on the very same day or the afternoon.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But that is an exception. Other parts of the
22 film you have never seen before or have you seen some of it before or for
23 the first time today?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Many of these images I had already
25 seen them on TV when I saw the interviews or the TV programmes, but not
1 like they had been seen here in a continuous mode.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that
3 special units filmed the presence of people at Velez stadium, the
4 inhabitants, and then when they were on the move. That was also filmed by
5 these special units. And you, yourself, in the battalion, you saw those
6 images the same day; right?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue,
9 Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. All right. Witness BJ, I think we've covered the portion on the
12 9th and 10th of May. Did you also see in the tape meetings attended by
13 such people as Mr. Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman, Lord Owen, Mate Boban and
14 others? Did you see them in a meeting room around a series of tables? Did
15 you see that portion of the tape?
16 A. Affirmative. I was there present at that meeting. I was one of
17 the people in that meeting. I was a spectator at a meeting.
18 Q. Do you recall, sir, that on approximately the 18th of May
19 following the events of the 9th and 10th of May, that these series of
20 meetings took place in the Mostar area?
21 A. Around that time I do not recall the dates exactly. Of course I
22 would have to check the documentation, but yes indeed there were a number
23 of meetings, and many attempts at a cease-fire, many cease-fires that had
24 already been signed upon, had been agreed upon and which we thought we had
25 overcome and nothing had been overcome. And there were other meetings, but
1 if I had to refer to them, I had to look at them in detail. This one that
2 was part of the video image, yes, I was present at those two meetings, but
3 I would not like to refer to these meetings on a general basis.
4 Q. Could I ask you, sir, to look in Exhibit P 01717 for the date --
5 for the entry of the 18th of May, 1993. And for the users of the English
6 document in the courtroom refer them, please, to page 65.
7 If you can find the 18th of May, sir. The second entry for that
8 day, sir, the second entry for that day, do you see reference to a meeting
9 at the highest level attended among others by Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo
10 Tudjman, Lord Owen, Mr. Thebault, General Wahlgren, Mate Boban, Petkovic,
11 Halilovic? Do you see that, sir?
12 A. Affirmative. Yes, I can see that, that there was the meeting
13 that was actually shown on the video.
14 Q. Now, in your -- in the video we also saw -- excuse me. You made
15 reference a moment ago when you said what you saw to meetings that took
16 place in the Jablanica area. Can you tell us a bit more about that part of
17 the video? When, approximately, do you recall those meetings occurring?
18 A. There were perhaps two or three other meetings or two or three
19 day, rather, during which the military chiefs met, and I was present at one
20 of them during which a tour was organised in which I participated with
21 General Petkovic on General Morales to see the northern area. We were
22 present in the detachment of Jablanica, and we made all the needs available
23 to them and to allow them to engage in meetings and negotiations, and that
24 was also seen in the video. You see one of the officials who is standing
25 up. He is not participating directly in the negotiations. But we were
1 there. We just made the space available to them.
2 I remember that there were possibly three meetings, but of course
3 there were a lower number of meetings but at least two, if I could say, of
4 that order, of that level of meetings.
5 Q. And finally, sir, a large portion of the presentation was
6 concerned -- excuse me, concerned the arrival of the humanitarian convoy in
7 Mostar. Is that the convoy that arrived, sir, on approximately the 25th of
8 August, 1993, and then was detained there for a number of days?
9 A. Indeed, what you see in the video are two. One arrived on the
10 21st of August which we referred to previously, and personally -- you see
11 in this Colonel Morales in the armoured vehicle and in the other one, a
12 larger convoy with Belgian trucks, and that entered on the 26th or 27th of
13 August in that area, and that is also seen in the video.
14 Q. And again, sir, were you personally involved in those events, the
15 arrival and the convoy on the 25th of August and the days thereafter?
16 A. On the first one I did not participate personally. I
17 participated in the organisation ,and the escort of that convoy. On the
18 second opportunity, yes, I did. And in fact, you see my face in the video.
19 MR. SCOTT: don't say anything more to identify yourself, please,
20 but I think we can leave it at that.
21 Mr. President, I intend to move forward off the video material
22 unless the Judges have additional questions at this time or -- yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Scott, I'm looking at
24 the clock. How much more time do you need to complete the examination?
25 MR. SCOTT: I'm afraid Your Honour, it will require the rest of
1 today's session at the pace we've been able to go, which has been quite
2 slow, I'm afraid.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Registrar, could we
4 have the calculations, please? But anyway, we have until quarter to six,
5 which means 20 more minutes before the break, Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
7 Q. Sir, do you recall whether the Spanish Battalion during its --
8 and the Canarias group in particular, during its tour from approximately
9 April 19th to approximately the 30th of September, 1993, did it make
10 entries in its reports and log books about the evictions and transfers of
11 Muslims from Mostar and other parts of Herzegovina?
12 A. I understand the question, whether I know of any transfers and
13 detentions of Muslims in the area of Mostar. Could you repeat the
15 Q. Yes. That wasn't exactly my question. Do you recall when the
16 Spanish Battalion made entries in and gave reports about these things
17 happening in its reports and logbooks during this period? Do you recall
19 A. Perhaps if I were to look into the logbook of operations, but I
20 think that those entries have been included.
21 Q. Well, as an example, sir, can I ask you to look at Exhibit P
22 03744, which is not the logbook but it is the intrep or it would be -- yes,
23 the intrep number 246, for the 27th of July, 1993. Do you have that? And
24 again, it's Exhibit P 03744.
25 A. Perhaps if you could show it on the screen I'll be able to see it
1 as well. Thank you.
2 Q. Okay. If we could have the assistance of the usher then. If you
3 can pull it up in the Spanish version, please.
4 I believe it's on page 3 of the Spanish document, and
5 approximately page 9 of the English document.
6 Q. Under the heading of "Miscellaneous," sir. If you can find
7 number 5, miscellaneous. And under that, item number 2. It says: "An HVO
8 police car which had its rotating lights on was seen in Vitina on the
9 Grude-Ljubuski road. It was followed by three buses and 15 trucks carrying
10 a large number of civilians, women, children, and the elderly, some of whom
11 were seated and some were standing. An HVO military police van with five
12 uniformed and armed individuals was at the tail end of the convoy. All the
13 vehicles were drivable by uniformed military personnel. No luggage or
14 parcels were seen on the vehicles. The civilians looked like country
15 people. They appeared dispirited and some women were crying."
16 Do you see that, sir?
17 A. Indeed. I see these here on the document.
18 Q. And you recall, sir, in your -- you said last time you were here
19 there was -- there was a daily meeting, like a command staff meeting.
20 Remember - do you ever remember things like that being discussed or
21 reported in the daily reports that you also described the last time you
22 were here?
23 A. Indeed. These information, even though this was covered during
24 the briefing session, was convoyed to the operations unit and of course
25 this information was known to us.
1 Q. Sir, do you recall any efforts that the senior officers of the
2 Canarias group at this time, was any effort made to raise, to lodge
3 protests or complaints with the HVO when observations, things like that
4 were seen or observed?
5 A. I believe that every time that news were heard of events such as
6 these occurring that conversations were maintained with the HVOs, and we
7 asked them what were, the reasons behind these type of things, and we tried
8 to establish or ascertain the movement of personnel or civilians, et
9 cetera. And always the general response was that they were being displaced
10 for security reasons.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Try and speak slower, please.
12 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Scott, and also Mr. BJ, please kindly
13 understand that you need the time for translation, and also you have to
14 wait until the translation is being in a way done after each question and
15 answer. Thank you very much indeed.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Witness BJ, I think had you finished your answer, you finished
18 before the Judges' quite proper intervention, and you said, "And always the
19 general response was that they were being displaced for security reasons."
20 Had you completed your answer? Was there any other further answer you want
21 to make?
22 A. They -- it was always the general case that they provided that as
23 an excuse, and it was always to do with security reasons, and that -- that
24 was the reason why they were displacing the people, for security reasons,
25 and that's -- that was how I concluded my statement.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You say that the HVO gave
2 you the answer that this was for security reasons. Now, I thought I
3 understood that you had special units.
4 Now, these convoys escorted by the military police, they were
5 going somewhere, weren't they? Couldn't you tell the responsible people in
6 the HVO that such-and-such a convoy would be in such-and-such a place on a
7 particular day at a particular time?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Normally this type of information
9 would almost always be obtained on a casual basis, and if one of our
10 officers would observe something like that, would report this to us. And
11 it wasn't that we were following the HVO officers or were undertaking
12 intelligence work, because they were banned from doing this type of work.
13 But every time there were patrols within the area, at times they would
14 observe situations such as this.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Is it correct, sir, to assume that it would not
16 have been in accordance with your mandate if you had, for instance,
17 surveyed such transport, followed them, seen what happened to those
18 persons? That was not your task, was it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed. It was not allowed for us
20 to undertake intelligence work.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But you did so
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. What I make in -- and
24 operations and undertaking some sort of intelligence work.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Well, following on with your questions --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. SCOTT: My apology.
5 Q. Following on with the questions put to you by the Judges, you've
6 said in fact you did have conversations with the HVO, with HVO officers,
7 and that the reason given was that these were -- or this displacement was
8 for security reasons. Did you ever -- did you or General Morales or any of
9 the senior Spanish Battalion staff receive satisfaction that this would be
10 stopped or did you see it being stopped after you complained and protested
11 about it?
12 A. It was always the same type of warning or the same type of
13 notification given to the HVO. And in concrete terms in the film that we
14 have seen here and the moment they -- they became aware of its existence,
15 we told them that this will have serious consequences for you the moment
16 the international community becomes aware of these types of events.
17 Q. Sir, you told us the last time that you were here about the death
18 of Lieutenant Castellanos who was hit by, I think, mortar fire on the 11th,
19 about the 11th of May, 1993. Was that the only time in the tour of the
20 Canarias group that a Spanish soldier, Spanish officer was killed or died
21 in the course of the peacekeeping duties there?
22 A. During the time or the months in which the Canarias group was
23 there, I think we had like 10 deaths and some over 30 people who were
24 injured, and three people died when an armoured vehicle fell into the
25 river. One lieutenant died being shot by a sniper. A lieutenant died as a
1 result of a mortar being launched, and two others -- well, it could be said
2 that it was as a result of suicide. Another one through a mortar grenade
3 in Jablanica. One of them was being a sentinel at the detachment and when
4 he was hit at the time. He was is sentry at the time.
5 Q. Can I ask you be shown Exhibit P 04995. P 04995, which is an
6 intelligence report, intelligence report number 294, 13th of September,
7 1993. And direct your attention to page 2 of the Spanish version. And
8 directing others to page 5 of the English document. Under the heading
9 marked -- it's 1.2, areas, and the first heading under that is Mostar, and
10 then shelling.
11 And do you see the section that talks about: "Today, 60
12 artillery/mortar grenades have fallen in the area of the main road of the
13 Muslim quarter"?
14 A. Indeed I can see that.
15 Q. And, sir, if we look through virtually your daily reports, these
16 reports that were made on a daily basis, is that the kind of information
17 that was routinely entered in your reports and logs?
18 A. Affirmative. After the detention of the convoy, the -- the
19 mission was to inform on this type of shelling, and the launching of
20 projectiles in the Muslim area of Mostar. There was another section
21 included in the report but almost always the shelling took place in the
22 eastern part of Mostar, and therefore they were reported on regular basis
23 in all the intelligence reports and in all reports dealt with the shelling
24 of Mostar.
25 MR. SCOTT: Let me next -- let me take you to the next exhibit
1 which is 0 -- I'm sorry. My apology. 04698. 04698, which is the report
2 dated -- sorry. This is the part of the end-of-tour report, I believe,
3 that we talked about last time, which we did replace it with the full
4 version that was provided to us, which has been disclosed to everyone.
5 Could I have the assistance the usher to provide the witness with
6 a hard copy of the complete document.
7 For the record, Your Honour, full versions of that document have
8 also been provided to the Chamber. They were previously provided to the
10 Q. Sir, again, if I could direct your attention, then, it's the part
11 of the report concerning the area of Mostar. It is on -- hold on, Your
12 Honour. We're pulling up the ...
13 Sir, if you can find in your report where it talks about the --
14 it's the Tactical Group Canarias part of the report, the area of Mostar.
15 It talks about the events on the 9th and 10th of May. If you find that.
16 Do you have that, sir? And if you go down --
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. Thank you. And if you continue down several paragraphs you'll
19 find a paragraph that says: "In consequence of the agreement signed by
20 General Halilovic and General Petkovic, SpaBat units returned to the city."
21 Do you see that? Okay.
22 A. [No interpretation].
23 Q. And then skipping a couple of language, you'll see this sentence
24 which is what I want to ask you about: "In the confrontation in the city,
25 one of the parties to the conflict to wit the HVO is not very happy with
1 the UNPROFOR presence in the city, direct and deliberate sniper attacks
2 (boulevard) on SpaBat vehicles are therefore starting."
3 Now, can you tell the Judges a bit more about the -- what you
4 experienced and what the Spanish Battalion experienced in terms of as
5 what's described here as "direct and deliberate sniper attacks"?
6 A. Yes. Whenever SpaBat moved around the area of Mostar they came
7 under sniper fire. Now, this sniper fire obviously could not hurt us
8 within our armoured vehicles. Nonetheless, there was a lot of it. And
9 there was even an anti-tank missile that was aimed at one of our cars, and
10 that did considerable damage.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when we come
13 to cross-examine this witness tomorrow, for example, about the 60 grenades,
14 and when he's asked about Operation Neretva-93, the witness will state that
15 he wasn't there at the time, and then what? What are we going to do then?
16 Or, for example, the convoys being mentioned now in which a high-ranking
17 HVO officer was, whereas the gentleman was in Spain. So how are we going
18 to deal with that problem and resolve it?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, why not wait until
20 tomorrow rather than interrupting the examination-in-chief? You can say
21 what you want tomorrow. But anyway, it's a quarter to 6.00. We've already
22 been working for an hour and a half. So we're going to take a break and
23 reconvene at 5 minutes past 6.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Witness BJ, some of those making a record in the courtroom have
4 asked me to ask for your assistance. Early this afternoon you made
5 reference to the name of someone you described as the Mostar Brigade
6 commander. For those who might wish to follow, it was at page 46, line 4,
7 and what's written in the transcript now seems to be something along the
8 lines of "Isakmo." I don't know can you possibly give us any other
9 assistance of the name of the Mostar Brigade commander that you referred to
10 earlier this afternoon?
11 A. Yes. The last name of that person is Humo, H-u-m-o.
12 Q. Thank you. Sir, we're going to have to try to move fairly
13 quickly to --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If you plan to move, I have a question. The
15 last events that you have referred to, Witness, was you said that you were
16 shot at by snipers and even by anti-tank guns. Have you complained of this
17 to the HVO? To whom have you complained? What was the reaction?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Whenever we were shot at, we
19 complained to whoever we thought was firing at us. The problem is that
20 very often that kind of fire was -- was right on the confrontation line, on
21 the front line, and both sides said that the other side was responsible.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. On one of those particular incidents, sir, let me direct your
25 attention to --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Let me direct your attention to the 11th of June, 1993. Did you
4 have an officer by the name of Lieutenant Aguilar killed by a sniper on
5 that day?
6 A. [No interpretation].
7 Q. Can you tell the Judges briefly because as I said our time is
8 limited now because we'd like to finish your direct examination today, what
9 happened concerning the shooting of Mr. Aguilar, Lieutenant Aguilar?
10 A. Do you want Aguilar's section was giving humanitarian assistance
11 to the Muslim hospital in Mostar. An agreement had been reached with the
12 HVO to allow free passage to such medical assistance as long as there was a
13 television crew filming it. And in fact, we had our own cameraman from the
14 Spanish army, because we couldn't get hold of any press people at the time.
15 We moved towards Mostar, and when we crossed the Tito Bridge,
16 normally in that area the armoured vehicles were close and the Spanish
17 soldiers got into the vehicles because this is when you came under fire, as
18 I said earlier. However, in this -- in the instant case, Lieutenant
19 Aguilar, in fact the only thing he did was to take shelter but without
20 actually getting into the vehicle and closing it down. And unfortunately,
21 as he -- as his armoured vehicle was crossing the Tito Bridge he was shot
22 by sniper fire, crushed his spinal cord. He died immediately. We tried to
23 react to that fire but we didn't know exactly where it had come from.
24 Thereafter, there was an inquiry. The HVO authorities did take
25 part in this inquiry into the death of Lieutenant Aguilar. We spotted the
1 exact place from which the fire was shot -- from which that particular shot
2 was fired, rather, and that's it.
3 Q. Can you describe to the Judges the location from which the shot
4 was fired that killed Lieutenant Aguilar according to the inquiry?
5 A. Yes. It was a building.
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: Listening to the French interpretation, it was
7 not the same like what we see on the transcript, because in the English
8 text it is said that, "We spotted the exact place from which the fire was
9 shot," and then, "From which that particular shot was fired, rather, and
10 that's it." I believe it is not -- it doesn't reflect what probably our
11 witness, BJ, said. So I wonder if you may repeat that particular paragraph
12 which is -- which was your last part of your statement about Lieutenant
13 Aguilar's death, which In English starts, "Thereafter, there was an
14 inquiry." I wonder if you may repeat it for our benefit. Thank you very
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What I said -- I'll repeat
17 it. I'll repeat it.
18 We located the area from which that shot was fired, and there was
19 an investigation carried out by UN police, the Spanish authorities, the
20 HVO, Croat authorities also cooperated throughout the investigation. They
21 actually made it easy for us to carry out that investigation into the death
22 of Lieutenant Aguilar, and we actually were able to spot the exact place
23 from which that shot was fired. We took a picture of the building from
24 which we believe that fire -- that shot was fired that killed Lieutenant
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You who were at the site, would
2 you say that it's possible that an individual out of control might open
3 fire on an UNPROFOR member? Is this, technically speaking, a possibility?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Technically, of course. A sniper
5 is always alone. He's never under the orders of anyone, and he can fire
6 any time if he's got a target in view. Whether it was that sniper's own
7 decision or a decision taken by the Croatian authorities is something I
8 will not say.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But did your investigation make
10 it possible for you to identify the unit he was a part of or did it make it
11 possible for you to identify a paramilitary group, or do you know nothing
12 about this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The sniper himself was not
14 identified, but the place from which he was shooting. It was a sniper post
15 definitely, and we saw exactly the trajectory of the bullet, and so
16 therefore we know -- we believe, to the tune of 90 per cent, we know
17 exactly where that shot originated.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Are you able this afternoon, sir, to describe that location for
20 us, the building or location from which this shot was fired? If you can
21 give us a physical description of the building as best you can recall.
22 A. [No interpretation].
23 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, we're not getting any English
24 translation, I'm afraid.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Apologies from the English interpretation.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. The building that --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please repeat your answer
3 because it was not working in the B/C/S and English booth.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The building opposite the Tito
5 Bridge some 500 to 600 metres away. The distance then from the sniper to
6 where the lieutenant was some 700 to 800 metres. It was the top of the
7 building, the attic, a sort of -- it was a sort of makeshift building on
8 the top of the building. The sniper had a very clear view of the whole
9 Tito Bridge area and the Muslim region entry.
10 If I could see plans of the area I could pinpoint the exact
12 MR. SCOTT: Can I ask that the witness please be shown Exhibit P
14 Q. Do you have it, sir? No. Do you see the photograph, sir?
15 A. I do indeed.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. This is not exactly the way to take
17 testimony, we show a picture and say, "Is this the building?" Mr. Scott is
18 seasoned enough to know that.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Is that the building, sir, from which the shot was fired
21 according to the inquiry that was made?
22 A. Well, I'd have to see the whole of the area, not just the
23 building itself, because I'm really unable to say to say, in all certainty,
24 whether this is the actual building. It looks like it, but I would have to
25 see the whole area to give you an answer.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in your opinion, the sniper
2 was right up on the terrace or in a room?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the area in which the sniper
4 was, we believe, was the terrace, a short of makeshift building. From the
5 terrace, he was shooting. You cannot see it on this building actually.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As part of the investigation
7 when you went up to the top of the building, in the course of the
8 investigation did you discover any cartridges on the ground?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, lots. It was obvious that a
10 sniper had been shooting from there because of the ammunition we found
11 there, the rest of the ammunition we found there.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And did the Spanish Battalion
13 have elements of the civilian police or the civil guards who looked for
14 fingerprints and other traces?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. When a death occurred, the UN
16 police undertook the investigation. It was a Norwegian police in the case
17 of Lieutenant Munez [phoen]. In the case of Lieutenant Aguilar, I cannot
18 remember the nationality of the police that undertook the investigation,
19 but it was the UN police that undertook the investigation.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. I'm moving to different topic, sir. When you -- you've told us
23 several times in your previous testimony and again today that one of the
24 principal persons you had dealings with on the HVO side was Mr. Bozic. Did
25 Mr. Bozic ever indicate to you in the conversations and meetings that you
1 had with him whether he himself was making the decisions that he conveyed
2 to you or whether those decisions were being made by somebody else?
3 A. I can't answer this question. He never said anything of the
4 sort. And when I say that I maintained conversations, it wasn't me
5 personally who was involved in the talks. Sometimes other members of the
6 command staff were involved, and he never said anything of the sort to me.
7 He said that he was a deputy minister of defence and that he had to consult
8 his superiors, but I cannot answer the question further.
9 Q. When you had occasions to meet with Mr. Bozic or other people at
10 the HVO headquarters -- excuse me, in the HVO, my apologies, can you
11 describe for us where you met these individuals?
12 A. Well, either in the HVO headquarters or in the Spanish
13 headquarters, or we could maintain telephone conversations. The most
14 important or most frequent contacts were over the telephone, but we were
15 certain that the conversations we held with Mr. Bozic were conversations
16 that led to resolving problems.
17 Q. Can I ask you, please, to be shown -- that you be shown, please,
18 Exhibit P 09613. Can you tell us, please, if you recognise that location?
19 Do you have the photograph, sir?
20 A. I think, I think it's the HVO's headquarters or Mostar HVO
21 offices, but I think so.
22 Q. And did you ever have occasion to meet Mr. Bozic at this
24 A. Once again, I wasn't the person deployed for negotiations when we
25 moved around for negotiations. If at any one time I had to negotiate
1 because I was on duty, it was because I was the only one available.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But if I ever met with him, I never
4 met with him at the general headquarters. I did visit -- visit him, but
5 out of courtesy, and I believe those visits did take place at this office
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. If I understand and recall your testimony of the earlier session,
9 Witness BJ, and if not I'm sure I will be corrected, in connection with the
10 testimony you gave about the death of Mr. -- Lieutenant Castellanos. You
11 indicated that you had negotiated, you or people on your staff had
12 negotiated again a mission to take -- to give assistance on the east side
13 and you had negotiated that the day before Lieutenant Castellanos was
14 killed. Do you recall that?
15 A. Yes, negotiations did take place the day before.
16 Q. And do you recall who you negotiated or met with or spoke with on
17 that occasion?
18 A. Well, in my previous deposition, I believe I said that I had not
19 participated personally in the agreement. I believe Mr. Praljak had
20 authorised things, but this is mere speculation, because the truth is I do
21 not remember.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: And point, Your Honour, I would make a request
23 that no more questions be put to the witness with respect to this
24 particular issue. I think it's made very clear to us in the last two or
25 three answers that the gentleman, while saying in the past "we," does not
1 necessarily mean he himself participated in negotiations. Therefore I
2 would request that any questions posed this gentleman first be prefaced by
3 whether he, the gentleman, whether he indeed was present or participated in
4 any meetings. If the answer is affirmative, then to proceed. If not, to
5 move on.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott on a number of
7 occasions the witness said he did not attend certain meetings but on each
8 occasion, you went back to the subject. Perhaps you should have asked the
9 witness which meetings he attended, and you should have perhaps avoided
10 mentioning the other ones.
11 MR. SCOTT: Again, Your Honour, with all respect, I think the
12 witness has. There may be some confusion, but the record will speak for
13 itself. The witness has, on a number of occasions, been very clear that he
14 was involved at a number of these events. He said so again today, he said
15 so in June. The record will speak for itself.
16 Secondly, it is quite proper, quite acceptable practice of the
17 Tribunal for the witness to speak about what he knows from what other
18 officers have conveyed to him, his testimony is not limited to his personal
19 knowledge or personal direct involvement. So there's nothing improper
20 about him saying what he knows or what he understands from working with --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I do agree but it would
22 still be necessary to tell the witness, If you did not attend certain
23 meetings, were you provided with a summary of them, yes or no. If he says
24 no, no one told me about anything, no one summarised anything, then you'd
25 move on to another subject.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, do you recall a dinner meeting with a Bruno Stojic in the
3 summer of 1993, Mr. Stojic and others?
4 A. I did have dinner with Mr. Stojic not only in summer, also on
5 other occasions. So I don't know which dinner you're referring to
6 specifically, but yes, I did have different on a number of occasions.
7 Q. Well, can you give us -- can you give the Judges a rough idea how
8 many times you had dinner with Mr. Stojic, then?
9 A. Well, I'd probably make a mistake, but we were in the Croat area,
10 and we always had dinner with the Croat authorities. Whether Mr. Stojic or
11 was not present is something I cannot recall. Maybe two or three. I do
12 not know. It would be mere speculation, but approximately one, two, three.
13 I don't know.
14 Q. Well, you just said now you said you always had dinner with the
15 Croat authorities. "Always" seems to suggest more than one, two, or three
16 occasions. What do you mean? Can you explain to the Judges further? What
17 do you mean when you say, "We always had dinner with the Croat
19 A. Well, if when we arrived in the area, out of politeness we met
20 with the Croat authorities, we visited them in the zone, they might invite
21 us for a coffee, and we in turn, in order to get to know them, invited them
22 to dinner in our barracks. When a Spanish authority, a Spanish general or
23 some other authority came, perhaps we organised dinners to which we invited
24 Croat authorities, and most representative authorities including the
25 commander of the brigade in the area or the mayors, and there were some
1 three or four dinner parties. We're talking about two units that
2 maintained polite relations in the area.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And did you also invite members
4 of the ABiH, the Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the beginning when they had
6 their headquarters in the western part of Mostar, we did invite them and
7 they did come and we visited them in their general headquarters as we
8 visited the HVO. When they set up or when they were isolated in the
9 eastern area, it was more difficult, but they did come to some meetings and
10 we brought them in our armoured vehicles, but not to a social dinner party,
11 rather, to a working meeting, an important meeting with a view to solving
12 some problems. We did on a number of occasions, in fact, ferry those
13 authorities to our headquarters.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Going back to these different meetings, then, do you recall today
16 having one of the dinner meetings with Mr. Stojic on the 18th of July,
18 A. Specifically I don't know. I cannot -- I cannot remember
19 specifically whether we had dinner on that date or not.
20 MR. SCOTT: I'll ask that the witness please be shown Exhibit P
21 03545. Let me know, sir, when you have that document. It appears to be
22 intrep number 237 dated 18th of July, 1993.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot find the actual
24 document, the paper document, but if you show it to me perhaps --
25 MR. SCOTT: Can we have it put on the screen, please, in e-
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- I could find it.
3 MR. SCOTT: Or if not, Your Honour, if I could ask the usher to
4 provide the hard copy to the witness, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have found it now.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Sir, under the heading -- there's a heading called "Other
8 information," and then a number 1. It says: "A dinner was held yesterday
9 with Mr. Bruno Stojic," et cetera. I'd just like you -- would you just
10 look at that passage for a moment?
11 A. Yes, I have found that paragraph actually.
12 Q. Does that refresh your memory about having a dinner meeting on
13 the 18th of July, 1993?
14 A. Yes. Undoubtedly the dinner did take place.
15 Q. And to the best of your recollection, sir, did you attend this
17 A. I think so.
18 Q. I would like for you, sir, to look at the report of this meeting.
19 The first item under the general heading I just referred to refers to
20 certain humanitarian issues. There is a second item that says: "Mr.
21 Stojic appeared to be convinced in the capacity of his forces to resolve
22 the situation in their favour once and for all."
23 And you can scan down through the rest of the record of that
24 dinner meeting if you like.
25 Do you have any reason, sir, to doubt the accuracy of this
1 report, of this contemporaneous report made of this meeting on the 18th of
2 July, 1993?
3 MR. MURPHY: Well, first of all, Your Honour, can it be
4 established -- all we know is that the witness said he thinks he was
5 present at the meeting. May it be established whether he recalls hearing
6 anything like this or if it was reported to him by somebody else or at
7 least some basis for the opinion that Mr. Scott is trying to elicit here?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well.
9 You say that you think you had dinner with Mr. Stojic. Do you
10 happen to remember the discussion at the dinner? What did you talk about
11 during the dinner?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember that dinner
13 specifically, but if all this is in this document, then all this certainly
14 did take place at that dinner party.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, without the
16 document, you wouldn't be able to tell us what actually happened during
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because if I cannot remember
19 the dinner party or the comments, I can say nothing. Once my memory is
20 refreshed via the document, I can say that I do believe that this was
21 talked about at that dinner party because I ascribe a fair deal of
22 reliability to a document drafted by a colleague of mine, but I personally
23 cannot recall.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. Sir, just wrapping up now with a couple of final questions. I'm
2 going to direct your attention back now to the night of the 8th of May,
3 1993. One might describe it as the night between the 8th and 9th of May,
4 1993. Were you on duty at that time?
5 A. I'm sorry, but you're talking about the night between the 8th and
6 the 9th of May. Yes, I was on duty that night.
7 Q. And I believe you told us in your testimony earlier that you saw
8 a number of military vehicles pass the Spanish Battalion encampment at that
9 time heading in the direction of Mostar; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Could you tell the Judges, please, at that time could you
12 identify any of the insignia or symbols that were on any of these vehicles
13 that were headed in the direction of Mostar?
14 A. At that time, it was difficult because neither the vehicles nor
15 the battle fatigues were pursuant to duty, and you could not really see the
16 badges or insignia. So I cannot recall what insignias they were carried.
17 I suppose -- I suppose this would be contained in documents. This would be
18 borne out by documents that it could not be clearly seen what insignias or
19 badges were carried.
20 Q. Now, finally, sir, in connection with the records and documents
21 at the Spanish Battalion --
22 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour. [Interpretation] Your Honour, with
23 your permission, in view of this problem -- in view of this problem whether
24 he remembers the details or not, we should take note that in giving his
25 answers, the witness, despite the fact that he's doing his best to try and
1 remember what took place on the basis of the documents, can nonetheless not
2 provide the answer to the question. And it's quite normal if he can't
3 remember, he can't say, but anybody reading the transcript six months later
4 won't be able to realise that.
5 MR. SCOTT: I don't know what to make of that, Your Honour,
6 frankly. The record is what it says.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I think -- I think what Mr. Kovacic was -- was
8 bringing to the Trial Chamber's attention is as follows: A question was
9 posed to the gentleman. The gentleman said that under the conditions he,
10 himself, could not provide an answer. He then went on to say that perhaps
11 it's in the document itself. So at least from this particular witness, we
12 cannot get any answers.
13 Now, as to whether the document itself, whatever is contain in
14 the document is accurate, truthful, and complete, well, it all depends,
15 because then we have to bring in the individual who made that recording,
16 because obviously this gentleman was on duty at that particular day,
17 brought this matter to the attention but is unable to provide any answers.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think we have this objection now on the
19 record, and that's probably all you -- we need. So we can proceed. Are
20 you agreed?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Absolutely, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Good.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Witness BJ --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Witness BJ, when you were here previously in June of this year,
3 in preparing to give your testimony you were asked to look at a large
4 number of documents which I'll represent to you were approximately 274
5 documents that were organised and presented to you in eight binders. Do
6 you recall that?
7 A. Indeed. I do recall, and I did -- I did go through all of them.
8 Q. And can you tell us, sir, on the basis of your review, can you
9 tell the Judges whether you were able to determine that all the documents
10 that you reviewed were in fact records or documents of the Spanish army in
11 connection with the Spanish army's mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. Affirmative. All documents that are actually reviewed during the
13 time of preparation had been produced by the Spanish army and the Canarias
14 and Madrid groups. I also would like to mention here that there were
15 documents that were rejected as not recognised at the time. I had not
16 recognised those documents, as I thought that they -- it could very well
17 have been the case, but I didn't recognise those documents and, therefore,
18 I had to reject them.
19 Q. And do you recall, sir, that when there were certain documents
20 that you rejected, do you recall that those were physically removed from
21 the binders in your presence?
22 A. Affirmative. At no time during my testimony was I ever
23 questioned on a document that I had rejected.
24 Q. Sir, can you assist the Judges just generally by indicating some
25 of the various factors that you considered by which you can say that all
1 the documents that you reviewed are Spanish army documents relating to this
2 time period?
3 A. Apart from the characteristics of the documents with which I am
4 familiar as pertaining to the type of documents used in the Spanish army, I
5 recognise signatures. I recognise the name of the people who actually
6 wrote those reports both in the terms of the group I belonged to, the
7 people involved, the signatures, the way they compiled those documents, and
8 I have no doubt whatsoever at all who it is written there or stated what
9 they are.
10 MR. SCOTT: Witness BJ, on behalf of the Prosecution, I'd like to
11 thank you for your testimony and coming to The Hague on these two
12 occasions. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, as far as the time taken,
14 according to the registrar, that was four hours, 30 minutes for the
15 Prosecution. Who is going to confirm that?
16 As I've said, the Defence will have six hours, 45 minutes
17 approximately. It's up to you to decide who's going to start off. Having
18 said that, Mr. Stojic, Petkovic, and Praljak have one hour 30 minutes each,
19 and the others 45 minutes. If everything goes according to plan, and I
20 think the Judges will have less questions to ask, we should be finished
21 with the cross-examination on Wednesday, or finished with the witness on
22 Wednesday, because on Thursday we have another witness scheduled, which
23 means we have eight hours left, and that means four hours tomorrow, four
24 hours Wednesday, which will give the Defence eight hours in total, and that
25 should be enough to complete the examination of this witness.
1 Now, since we have a few minutes left, I'd like to give the oral
2 ruling that I promised, and I'd like to ask the Prosecution to listen
3 carefully. The title of the oral decision concerns the Prosecution motion
4 on admission of evidence relating to Christopher Beese's testimony. The
5 date is the 25th of August, 2006.
6 The Prosecution filed a motion concerning the admission of
7 documents concerning Mr. Beese's testimony. In its motion, the Prosecution
8 requested the admission of 383 documents from the ECMM. With this regard,
9 the Prosecution provided an annex and communicated confidentially a chart
10 for each of the documents they were requesting to be admitted, and
11 different conditions were mentioned relating to the Chamber's decision
12 concerning admission -- admissibility of evidence. The date concerned was
13 the 13th of July, 2006.
14 The Trial Chamber, nevertheless, notes that the Prosecution's
15 motion does not fully comply with the criteria requested in paragraph 6 of
16 the decision referred to.
17 One, the motion does not describe the indicia of reliability for
18 each of the documents that they want to have admitted into evidence. The
19 Trial Chamber believes that this information is all the more relevant in
20 that ECMM is not the origin of some of the documents that the Prosecution
21 wants to have admitted into evidence.
22 Two, the motion does not contain references for some of the
23 documents. It doesn't contain reference to the relevant paragraphs in the
25 Three, the motion doesn't mention the reasons for which the
1 documents that the Prosecution wants to have admitted into evidence could
2 not be presented to some other witness and not to Mr. Beese. In this
3 respect, the Trial Chamber concludes that most of the documents that the
4 Prosecution wants to have admitted into evidence under paragraph 5 of the
5 Prosecution's motion seem to be such that they could be introduced through
6 other witnesses.
7 Four, the motion doesn't mention the reasons for which the
8 documents are indispensable for a fair determination of the matter. The
9 Chamber insists on the fact that the decision of the 13th of July, 2006,
10 and the guidelines concerning the admission of evidence that accompanies
11 this decision are definitive and must be respected to the letter. Since
12 the parties haven't appealed against this decision, it's the Trial
13 Chamber's responsibility to rule.
14 The Chamber, therefore, believes that the information provided in
15 the Prosecution's submissions on Friday, on last Friday, is not complete.
16 The Chamber invites the Prosecution to complete its motion in the light of
17 the decision dated the 13th of July, 2006, and in the light of the
18 explanations provided and within 10 days, the 10-day deadline mentioned in
19 the decision. This should, therefore, be before the 1st of September,
20 2006, failing which the motion will be definitively rejected.
21 This is what I mentioned to you earlier on at the beginning of
22 the hearing.
23 Mr. Scott, it's necessary to sit down and respond to the four
24 points I have made by the 1st of September.
25 It's almost time to conclude now. We'll see each other tomorrow
1 at 9.00. In the meantime, you shouldn't meet anyone.
2 I see that Mr. Murphy is on his feet now.
3 MR. MURPHY: Mr. President, as far as the Defence response to the
4 Prosecution motion is concerned, may I take it that the time for that
5 response will run from the date when the Prosecution submits an amended
6 motion in accordance with your ruling?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Obviously, because you have to
8 state what your position is with regard to the four points I mentioned. So
9 that is quite logical. I didn't mention that because it seemed to be self-
10 evident to me.
11 There's something that Mr. Prlic would like to say.
12 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a
13 request to make, but I could make the request tomorrow morning. Just two
14 minutes, but I can do that tomorrow morning, because I see we've almost
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. We still have a few more
17 minutes, so please go ahead.
18 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] It's about our work
19 programme, our schedule. I have looked at the name of the witness coming
20 in on Monday. He is my colleague, a historian from the 19th century, and -
21 - or, rather, this next witness will testify for nine hours. But looking
22 at the proofing chart, apart from the joint criminal enterprise and the
23 rest of it, the object is to look at 801 mentions made -- mention is made
24 of my name, paragraphs 2, 3, 17.1.
25 It is my position that in general terms, all this can be dealt
1 with in an hour or two of examination. However, bearing in mind the fact
2 that the indictment reads as it stands, that it has been confirmed and that
3 we have a decision according to which this gentleman is being introduced as
4 an expert witness, we consider that each of these allegations, 801, must be
5 dealt with during the cross-examination. Of course, some of them are
6 linked to the same documents of the 457 that are going to be tendered. But
7 if there are additional documents added to that number, then we consider
8 that the minimum amount of time, if we accord three minutes to each one of
9 those 800 mentions, is 3.400 minutes or exactly ten working days just for
10 my own Defence counsel.
11 So I'd like to have a ruling from you, a suitable ruling and one
12 which will ensure that my rights are respected in this trial or to give us
13 some other guidelines. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We listened to what you have
15 said. It's 7.00 p.m. now, so the Judges will examine the issue you have
16 raised, and there will be a decision with regard to your motion, with
17 regard to your request.
18 But at this point in time, Mr. Scott, would you like to make a
19 response given that Mr. Prlic has evoked a number of issues, the duration
20 of the examination-in-chief, the cross-examination? He has also mentioned
21 800-odd documents -- 800-odd references that concern Mr. Prlic, the
22 documents that you want to present, and if we spend two minutes on each
23 document, Mr. Prlic says we'd need over 3.000 minutes to reach -- for the
24 hearing. Is there anything you'd like to say about this at the moment?
25 MR. SCOTT: No.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have all night
2 to think about this. I'm not sure whether you will be examining this
3 witness or one of your colleagues.
4 But Mr. Prlic, rest assured that the Judges will examine your
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think for the record and to be precise, it
7 would be correct if you would tell the name of the witness you are talking
8 about. I think you have not mentioned him.
9 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: Yes, Your Honour. I didn't mention the name.
10 This is Mr. Tomljanovich.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I guessed so, but thank you for telling us.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is several minutes after
13 7.00. I wish you a very pleasant evening, and we reconvene tomorrow
14 morning at 9.00.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day
17 of August, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.