1 Monday, 2 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Hello, Your Honours. It's
9 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar.
11 We are the 2nd of October, and a Monday today. I'd like to greet
12 all the people present in the courtroom, the attorneys for the
13 Prosecution, the witness, the Defence counsel representing the accused, as
14 well as the accused who are sitting at the back of the courtroom. I
15 should also like to greet all the people who are giving us a helping hand.
16 As you have realised we have switched courtrooms. We are now in
17 courtroom number I and not courtroom number III. This is a slightly
18 different courtroom because we sit closer to the Defence counsel and the
19 Prosecution attorneys, but the accused sit much further away from us than
20 they do in courtroom number III.
21 I don't know whether I told you already, but this week we were due
22 to sit on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we were supposed to be sitting in
23 the afternoon, but as this courtroom is empty, we shall have our hearing
24 tomorrow morning, Wednesday morning and Thursday morning in this
25 courtroom. So make your arrangements to fit this new schedule. The
1 hearings will be held in the morning.
2 I would also like to point out to you the fact that the witness
3 list has been disclosed to us last week. We've already mentioned it.
4 There is a witness which we shall be hearing for a period of two days, and
5 then we have another three witnesses who will be testifying pursuant to
6 Rule 89(F).
7 In addition, Judge Mindua is not here today and will not be able
8 to attend throughout the week. Pursuant to Rule 15 bis, he shall not
9 attend the hearing throughout the week.
10 If there are no urgent matters to be discussed, we shall hear the
11 witness and hear the swearing in of the -- the swearing of the witness.
12 The Prosecution had intended the examination-in-chief to last three hours,
13 which means that the Defence will have three and a half hours and Mr.
14 Praljak should have at least one hour, given that Mr. Praljak has met the
15 witness. Mr. Praljak should have at least one hour, unless the other
16 accused give him some of their time.
17 So, Witness, could you please stand up. You shall spell out your
18 first name and family name and give me your date of birth, please.
19 THE WITNESS: Peter Hauenstein, born 29th of January, 1957.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me what
21 your current occupation is?
22 THE WITNESS: I'm a military officer in the Canadian Forces.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me in 1992 and
24 1993, where were you?
25 THE WITNESS: Where was I; is that correct?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, in 1993.
2 THE WITNESS: 1993, I was seconded from the Canadian Forces into
3 the ECMM mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you ever testified before
5 an International Tribunal about the events that unfolded in the former
6 republics of Yugoslavia?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, I have.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me in what case
9 you have already testified?
10 THE WITNESS: I cannot remember that at this time. That was about
11 a year and half ago, sir.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't remember, but I do
13 remember, because you testified in Hadzihasanovic and I was the Presiding
14 Judge. And in the 800-page judgement -- now, on pages 3603, 3720, 3739
15 your name has been mentioned three times in the judgement that was
16 rendered in that case.
17 Please read the text of the solemn declaration now.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
19 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
21 WITNESS: PETER HAUENSTEIN
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we start this hearing, I
23 would just like to explain a few things to you. As you know, this is a
24 common law procedure. To begin with, you will have to answer a number of
25 questions which will be put to you by the representatives of the Office of
1 the Prosecutor whom you have met, undoubtedly, during the proofing
2 session. The Prosecutor, as I had mentioned a few minutes ago, had
3 planned for three hours of examination-in-chief. When the questions will
4 be put to you, the Prosecutor will certainly show you a number of
5 documents which you probably have before you. If you don't have them
6 before you, maybe it would be easier that you were provided with a set of
7 documents so that you can go straight to the document which is being
8 mentioned. There are tabs for each document so you can find your way
9 around easily.
10 At the end of the examination-in-chief, there are six Defence
11 counsel on the other side who will be taking the floor, and these Defence
12 counsel will put you questions, and this will be part of the
13 cross-examination. The cross-examination is designed to test your
14 credibility, and the Defence counsel will put questions to you and some of
15 the questions come from the accused whom they represent here.
16 The Trial Chamber wishes to respect due process and wishes to be
17 transparent in this case, and the accused are entitled to put you --
18 questions to you directly. So if the accused feel it is necessary, they
19 will put questions to you.
20 There are three Judges that form the Bench. Generally speaking,
21 there are four Judges. Today we are three. And the Judges, when they
22 feel it is necessary, can always put questions to you. As a rule, we
23 sometimes want a clarification -- a clarification point concerning an
24 answer you have provided or because we feel we want to try to understand
25 what the truth in the matter is. Sometimes an eyewitness can help the
1 Bench when the Bench has to rule on the relevance and probative value of
2 evidence material. This is why we have become accustomed to intervene and
3 put questions directly to the witness sometimes.
4 Please try and be as concise and accurate as you can, because
5 vague answers are not really useful to the person putting the question and
6 is even less useful to justice in general. But I have -- I'm not much
7 concerned about that. If you feel that a question has not been put to you
8 properly, please ask the person to reformulate the question so you
9 understand, as you should.
10 If you have a problem, do not hesitate to let us know about it.
11 As you know, because you have already testified before this Tribunal,
12 every hour and a half we make a technical break, a 20-minute break, which
13 means that the hearing will conclude at 7.00 this evening, and we shall
14 resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 until a quarter to 2.00. So you will be
15 able to get back home tomorrow afternoon if there is a flight available.
16 Let me now turn to the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to ask a short question. What is
18 your grade in the army?
19 THE WITNESS: Colonel.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Colonel. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you rather be called
22 colonel or sir?
23 THE WITNESS: Colonel is fine, sir.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much. Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Poryvaev:
2 Q. My name is Vassily Poryvaev; I am counsel for the Prosecution. I
3 have a number of questions to Witness Haunstein.
4 Colonel, to what position in Bosnia-Herzegovina ECMM mission you
5 were appointed?
6 A. In 1993, I was seconded from the Canadian military into the OSCE
7 and down into the ECMM as an ECMM monitor for a period of about seven
9 Q. To what team were you appointed?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. Just a
11 short question I would like to put to you. Canada is not part of the EU,
12 so as a Canadian, in what capacity were you there? I would like to repeat
13 because my microphone was cut off.
14 You are a Canadian citizen and you were part of a European
15 mission. As far as I know, Canada is not part of the EU. So in what
16 capacity were you, as a Canadian, enrolled in an EU mission?
17 THE WITNESS: During that time frame there had been an agreement
18 between the Canadian government, and as a member of the OSCE, there was
19 assistance required from the European Community in those days that asked
20 that Canada participate in the mission by providing observers. In any
21 given six-, seven-month rotation, 12 observers were given from Canada, all
22 from the military, and moved through the OSCE and into the ECMM as the
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much.
1 Q. So I repeat my question. To what position were you appointed in
2 1993, in Bosnia?
3 A. In Bosnia I was placed in a team, Victor 2, which was located in
4 Gornji Vakuf.
5 Q. What are the areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina that were included in
6 your area of responsibility?
7 A. My area of responsibility covered three major communities:
8 Bugojno in the north, Gornji Vakuf in the centre, and Prozor to the south.
9 Q. Is it correct to say that the abbreviated name of your team was
11 A. That is correct, Victor 2.
12 Q. Colonel, I suggest that before going down to mission you had a
13 sort of training, whether in Canada or in Zagreb. Did you have it?
14 A. Yes, we did. We were initially warned off. I at the time
15 happened to be serving as a squadron commander in my regiment, and from
16 that point, once identified, then I moved to Ottawa for a period of time
17 where I underwent training and cultural awareness, which also included
18 mission awareness.
19 From there, once the mission was given a go, we were moved from
20 Ottawa into Zagreb and met up with the EC Monitoring Mission headquarters,
21 and in that location we underwent further training for about a week,
22 familiarisation training and, once again, mission-specific training, and
23 then we were deployed to our areas of responsibility.
24 Q. Witness, yesterday, we agreed upon that you speak a little bit
25 slower, not only for the people present here in the courtroom but for the
1 interpreters as well.
2 A. I will do that.
3 Q. Did you have any special training on a system of communication
4 that would be in use in your area of responsibility?
5 A. There were three forms of communication that were provided to us.
6 One was cell telephones, the next was HF radio, and the third was a system
7 called Capsat, which was a computer-based programme which used to
8 communicate with a satellite and was used to communicate around the world.
9 Q. Were all entities of ECMM mission to Bosnia equipped with Capsat
11 A. As I was aware, yes. Each team had a Capsat.
12 Q. How did you communicate with UNPROFOR or humanitarian
13 organisations? By what method of communication? Did they also have
14 Capsat system?
15 A. No, they did not. In my specific Victor 2, we enjoyed a unique
16 relationship with UNPROFOR in that, in those days, within Gornji Vakuf
17 there was a British company assigned to UNPROFOR, at which point in time
18 we shared, or I managed to acquire from their stocks, a military radio
19 which I also had installed in my vehicle and was able to stay in constant
20 contact with them.
21 As for NGOs and humanitarian organisations, it was a matter of
22 meeting them on the ground face to face. But there was no formal
23 communication other than the connection with UNPROFOR or UNHCR convoys
24 which may be coming in, and we got it via UNPROFOR that these convoys
25 would be moving in our direction.
1 Q. Colonel, what was your understanding of your functions as a member
2 of ECMM mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. The function is summed up in the name of the mission, the European
4 Community Monitoring Mission. We were there to monitor the activities
5 that were ongoing in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time in 1993. A lot of
6 that was specifically not just realising the military situation but also
7 the humanitarian situation, which had deteriorated within that country.
8 Q. Were you supposed to coordinate your actions with humanitarian
9 organisations, UNPROFOR, other organisations which were involved in issues
10 in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time?
11 A. It was my understanding that it was a given that our relationship
12 was as -- I'll start from the beginning. It was felt that we took on a
13 specific mission to be the glue between the organisations that were on the
14 ground. There was a close relationship, yes, with UNPROFOR, but also we
15 developed relationships with many NGOs and humanitarian organisations that
16 were at work. We tended to become the eyes and the ears on the ground in
17 a very unfortunate situation in which a lot of the humanitarian
18 organisations and NGOs were in our area only on occasion. And
19 consequently we ended up being the wherewithal for them to understand the
20 situation when they came into our area.
21 Q. Colonel, since you yourself just told us that you were the eyes
22 and the ears on the ground, where did you take your information?
23 A. It was from a variety of resources, including those immediately
24 next to us. And what I'm referring to is our relationship with UNPROFOR,
25 who, of course, had a whole company in that area, and there was a close
1 relationship developed between that company and my team, as well as many,
2 like I said, NGOs that worked - ICRC, UNHCR, and Medecins sans Frontieres
3 and such organisations such as that.
4 As well, on the ground we developed relationships with the
5 Bosniaks on one side and, of course, the Croats on the other side, all the
6 way down the chain of command within the military as well as civilians, in
7 the structure of mayors and councillors within each of those areas; and
8 last but not least, a relationship with the religious organisations on
9 both sides which included the Catholic church on one side and the Muslim
10 on the other.
11 Q. Did you have an opportunity of having close relations with laymen?
12 A. Absolutely. In some cases we ended up interacting with
13 individuals on the ground. In those days it was a very difficult
14 situation in which to manoeuvre, but, you know, we came upon soldiers,
15 civilians alike on the ground and were able to talk with them through my
16 interpreter and gather information.
17 Q. How many people were there in your team? And what was your
18 official, let's say, title?
19 A. In those days I would say my official title was the team leader.
20 The team consisted, and it varied depending on what was happening, but for
21 all intents and purposes, it was two observers and one driver. So it was
22 myself, my partner and a driver.
23 Q. Your partner, was he, in fact or de jure, your deputy?
24 A. Yes. For all intents and purposes that is correct.
25 Q. What is his name?
1 A. There were two individuals in the time that I was in there. One
2 was Skat-Rordam, which was a Danish --
3 Q. Don't hurry, please. Spell his name.
4 A. Oh, boy. S-k-a-t, R-o-r-d-a-m, I believe, if I remember correct.
5 Q. And the second one?
6 A. And the second one was Rudy, and I'm sorry, I cannot at this time
7 remember his last name. His first name is spelled R-u-d-y.
8 Q. Okay. Maybe in the course of our examination-in-chief you will
9 recall his name, and then remind us that you just -- his name, just to get
10 to your mind.
11 General, now let's move to the structure of the ECMM organisations
12 on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and in particular on the
13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Let's start with upper echelons. What
14 was the highest body of ECMM on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, at
15 the time when you were on mission?
16 A. As I recall, the ECMM headquarters was located in Zagreb, and from
17 there, there was a structure, which was located throughout the area of
18 conflict, which also included teams to the east in Bulgaria, Macedonia,
19 and then, of course, into Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia.
20 Q. Now, in --
21 A. And Serbia.
22 Q. The structure in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. And the structure in Bosnia-Herzegovina was, as I understood,
24 there was an RC, which stood for regional centre, in Zenica. Underneath
25 the regional centre in Zenica were a CC in Travnik, and then under CC
1 Travnik was my team, Victor 2.
2 Q. Please explain to the Trial Chamber what stands for "CC".
3 A. Coordination centre, if I remember correctly, is what it stood
4 for. So you had a coordination centre, a regional centre, and then the
5 major headquarters in Zagreb.
6 Q. And what was -- who was your immediate commander? Was that
7 commander within coordination centre or regional centre?
8 A. I think the -- first, we have to understand the word "commander."
9 I don't think we used the word "commander." We were not in military
10 uniforms. I would say my next higher supervisor resided in CC Travnik,
11 and his name was Philip Watkins in those days.
12 Q. And who was your superior in Zenica regional centre?
13 A. The regional centre was a French diplomat by the name of Pierre
14 Thebault, if I remember correctly. It was a hyphenated name, I think.
15 Once again I'd have to refer to the reports of the day which has his name
16 at the bottom.
17 Q. Now, Witness, we'll pass on to the system of reporting within ECM
18 mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So you were the lowest, let's say,
19 unity within this mission and you were on the ground.
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. Please explain to the Trial Chamber the system of your reporting.
22 A. We were asked to produce a daily report, approximately, if I
23 remember correctly, between 1800 and 2000 hours each evening, of which was
24 submitted to our next higher headquarters, i.e., CC Travnik; but at the
25 same time we had to carbon copy our reports to our parallel or flanking
1 organisations and our higher organisations. So at the same time, RC
2 Zenica and Zagreb would also receive our daily report.
3 Q. Did you submit your daily report also to ECMM liaison officer in
5 A. Yes, that is correct. That liaison officer was an ECM
6 representative at UNPROFOR headquarters.
7 Q. Colonel, were there any other regional centres or coordination
8 centres of ECMM on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, in particular
9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the adjacent areas?
10 A. I can remember -- you know, once again, I would have to refer to
11 daily reports. But there was one in Mostar; the other one was in Tuzla;
12 Zenica, which I've already mentioned; Travnik I mentioned; and I believe
13 there was one even down to the south-west in Tomislavgrad. I'm at a blank
14 right now.
15 Q. Did you communicate with them on a regular basis?
16 A. Absolutely. It was our lifeline.
17 Q. What kind of communication was it?
18 A. Once again, it was that daily report via Capsat that we
19 communicated with each other, as well as, on occasion, when we could get
20 it, we used HF and as well as cell telephone when the network was working.
21 Q. Where did you have your headquarters, I mean team V2?
22 A. Victor 2 was collocated with the UNPROFOR company in Gornji Vakuf,
23 in the warehouse outside of the small town of Gornji Vakuf, to the
24 immediate east, about 400 metres.
25 Q. When you say collocating, what do you mean by that?
1 A. Our office and the living quarters were in the same building as
3 Q. In the same building or in the same space even?
4 A. That is correct. Our office -- my office specifically was in the
5 same office as the company commander.
6 Q. UNPROFOR office from what country?
7 A. It was from the UK, and it was from the Prince of Wales Regiment,
8 of which A company, which was in fact B Company, that company which was B
9 Company, that resided and was there in that area and had their area of
10 responsibility very similar to ours.
11 Q. And who commanded that company?
12 A. At that time, Major Graham Binns, spelled B-i-n-n-s.
13 Q. Did you have an opportunity of sharing information with them once
14 you were sitting in the same office?
15 A. Yes, absolutely. Once again, it was essential that we shared
16 information because of his capability of a full company, including a
17 formal military structure, which included platoons with platoon leaders
18 and of course vehicles. I was one team and had one vehicle. So
19 absolutely, we shared information. And because of the unique relationship
20 I enjoyed with the company commander, we represented ourselves equally at
21 given meetings, and at times we had to split and share information based
22 on the fact that he was in one location and I was in another and, in some
23 cases, enjoyed more freedom of movement than UNPROFOR.
24 Q. Did you at some point plan, let's say, joint operations?
25 A. Yes. On many different occasions we did, either by having joint
1 meetings or, in fact, doing and visiting areas jointly. Once again, his
2 vehicles were -- and especially in the very -- more dangerous areas, I, in
3 fact, travelled in UNPROFOR vehicles because they were armoured.
4 Q. Now let's pass on to just dissemination on information from the,
5 let's say, highest echelons of ECMM to the ground units. What kind of
6 documents, information, did you receive from the Zagreb headquarters?
7 A. The biggest understanding is the fact that there was a given
8 method of dissemination of information which was to ensure that everybody
9 knew what was going on around them, below them, and above them.
10 Now, our report was only one of many reports that were
11 disseminated or received, understanding, in a normal structure, at the
12 lowest level which was residing, I was responsible for initiating the
13 initial report on the ground, which then, throughout the evening, would be
14 rolled up into the CC Travnik daily report, which would then, in turn, be
15 wrapped up into the RC Zenica report, and then from the RC Zenica would go
16 up to, of course, Zagreb, to the headquarters. And all along the way,
17 your information was rolled up and was, in fact, disseminated back to you,
18 and so you had a good understanding what was happening to your left and
19 right flank as well as up -- once again, up and down the chain.
20 There was also information that was wrapped up specifically on
21 specific issues. The standard report that we used kind of divided
22 information into military aspects, political, humanitarian, and a general
23 summary of what had occurred. As --
24 Q. Did you -- sorry.
25 A. As an example, the humanitarian side of the house, there was
1 actually humanitarian structure at the headquarters in Zagreb which would
2 pull in all information from across the whole area and wrap up in a weekly
3 humanitarian report back down to us across the whole structure. So you
4 got kind of a week's summary in what had transpired in the humanitarian
6 Q. Did you receive any compilation of information from regional
7 centres or coordination centres?
8 A. Absolutely, on a daily basis. Once again, our report was done
9 once every day, which was due at a certain time. I said I think it was
10 either 1800 or 2000 hours. And then from there, by midnight we would be
11 starting to receive the wrapped up culmination of the CC Travnik report,
12 then the RC Zenica report, which would be -- which we would, of course,
13 receive on Capsat and read that report and understand it and how it
14 affected us in our area of responsibility.
15 Q. Did you ever receive any feedback from ECMM liaison officer in
17 A. Yes. We had received -- part of the reporting setup was also
18 inclusive of the ECLO because they, of course, had a direct link at the
19 UNPROFOR headquarters location and it just kind of culminated and enabled
20 that information we were sharing was, in fact, getting through.
21 I use the example, once again, that we shared information -- I
22 shared information with the company commander, and it was very comforting
23 to see that the information that would come back down his chain and the
24 information that would come back down my chain would easily fit one into
25 the other, because of the -- it was the same information that was going up
1 both chains.
2 Q. Colonel, when you received such kind of information or compilation
3 reports from your upper, just, bodies, did you ever notice that the
4 information had been edited, amended, or alterated [sic] [Realtime
5 transcript read in error "alterated in any way"]?
6 A. I think the --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, sir. I object to the question. I think
8 we need to have some background information, at least a predicate, that
9 would allow the gentleman to answer the question. Because if we look at
10 the question, he's being asked now if he knew it was edited. How would he
11 know? I think that -- that he needs to lay a foundation in order to --
12 for us to understand that the gentleman is competent to answer that
13 question the way it's formed at this time.
14 THE WITNESS: I'm comfortable to answer that question, if I may.
15 I had the privilege of seeing both sets of reports, the UNPROFOR reports
16 and, of course, my own which I sent. I think the term here is "editing"
17 in that it was summarised on both sides, because if you can imagine, as
18 information goes up through the chain, it is -- the most important aspects
19 are pulled out of the daily reports and are then passed up the chain. Not
20 everything is taken verbatim and moved up. But an understanding in some
21 critical situations there was word-for-word placement of reports, and it
22 was not unusual to read a Zagreb report with exactly the same information
23 that I had placed in it. And then, once again, I tried to reiterate that
24 on the UNPROFOR side, I would receive the UNPROFOR report and it was, once
25 again, my words that were in that same report.
1 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, on page 17, line 4, they should change
2 something. I didn't say "alterated in any way", just "alterated".
3 Q. Okay. Let's go down to your reports now since the Defence raised
4 this issue, and I think that we'll give a response in the course of the
6 I would like the General to be shown Exhibit 3909. I don't have
7 it on e-court.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, please. The
9 registrar tells me this document is under seal. So we have to go into
10 private session if you want to deal with it.
11 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us go into private session,
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 7560-7579 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 MR. KARNAVAS: While that's happening, if I may raise a concern
18 here, and my concern is as follows: The gentleman is being shown some
19 documents, starting with the document that he generated. Obviously he's
20 the most competent person to talk about that. And then from there, he
21 indicated that information would flow up to the CC Travnik and then to RC
22 -- from there, to RC Zenica and then on to Zagreb.
23 My concern is as follows: We saw in the previous document where
24 someone else had injected some information at another level, information
25 that was not contained in his initial report. Although he was competent
1 at least to testify about it, but nonetheless the person who injected that
2 information isn't here to be cross-examined. But more importantly, these
3 documents, especially the executive summary, contain information from
4 other areas, and simply to ask the gentleman whether he was receiving this
5 information and whether he had read this information is insufficient to
6 allow the content of these documents to come in without having someone
7 else to be cross-examined on those areas. He can be cross-examined on
8 Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, and what have you, the areas that he was familiar
9 with, but I fear that at the end they're going to try to introduce all
10 these documents, back-dooring it, by simply saying the gentleman was
11 familiar with it, so obviously everything was true, accurate and complete,
12 and therefore we need not worry. Thank you.
13 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I asked him a very concise and precise
14 question, the witness, and he responded to this question, and I asked him
15 not to dwell on this issue more at this point because I will ask a
16 specific point on the humanitarian convoys. I am not asking questions
17 relevant to Mostar or other areas. It is already clarified that they
18 received such kind of information. But I'm not going deeper in this
19 document with information not relevant to the area.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: But, Your Honour, perhaps my learned friend could
22 answer us: Does he intend to then submit the entire document or only the
23 relevant paragraph to which this gentleman here is familiar? That's the
24 whole issue.
25 So now with that clarification, perhaps he can answer us. Does he
1 expect the entire summary, for instance, the last document, to come in,
2 the executive summary, based on making reference to one particular
3 paragraph, or is it just the one paragraph that he referred the witness
4 to? And if that's the case, fine, I have no objection. But that's the
5 real issue.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have already made
7 a decision concerning admission of documents, and it's said that if a
8 document was important and consisted of several pages, what will be
9 admitted is the paragraph concerning which questions were asked.
10 So, in response to Mr. Karnavas's objection, in our case it will
11 be paragraph 122, which was already the subject of questions. And I want
12 to ask one.
13 Colonel, concerning paragraph 122 -- are we still in private
14 session? We have to switch back to private session in that case.
15 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Prosecution.
19 MR. PORYVAEV: Thanks a lot.
20 Q. General, some minutes ago you told the Trial Chamber that you had
21 very close cooperation with UNPROFOR company with which you were sharing
22 the office, and you shared information with them. How could you explain
23 that sometimes UNPROFOR, in their documents were references to team -- to
24 ECMM and team V2 as the source of the information?
25 A. If it's a unique situation, which I hope had been duplicated in
1 other places of the region in which we worked, I'm not and I cannot
2 answer, other than the ECLO which was collocated with UNPROFOR
3 headquarters, did the other teams enjoy a closer relationship. Because of
4 the very large area which we covered, and I, as an individual, could only
5 cover so much of that, and once again that Bravo Company had the
6 capability of being in a lot more places than I was, duplicated with the
7 fact that I got to places where they could not, this natural evolution of
8 sharing of information came about.
9 There were times and places where UN, UNPROFOR company commander
10 Graham Binns was attending a meeting in one location and I would be in
11 other location acquiring totally different information or finding out
12 additional. I would arrange meetings as well as UNPROFOR would arrange
13 meetings. And at the end of the day, we'd be able to compare and talk
14 about our experiences and bring them together to try to make a conclusion
15 of what was really happening, since we had access to all areas and levels
16 of military and civilian authorities.
17 I don't think we would ever have gotten a more clearer picture if
18 we had not done it this way. If we would have controlled our own bits of
19 information, we would only have had maybe a half or a quarter of the
20 story. It's because of this comparison and ability to talk to one another
21 that we were able to share information and, consequently, move information
22 up and down both chains of command to allow it to be digested by each of
23 the organisations.
24 MR. PORYVAEV: I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 3822.
25 That is page 3, paragraph 8.
1 Q. Witness, when they make references to ECMM in the Prozor area,
2 could it be understood that they meant yourself or V2 team as source of
3 the information?
4 A. That is absolutely correct. It is my team.
5 MR. PORYVAEV: Now Exhibit 4077.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please turn on his second
7 microphone. Thank you.
8 MR. PORYVAEV:
9 Q. General, please open page 2, paragraph 10, of this report. I
10 would ask you this same question: Who was the source of this information
11 or this piece of information that's about imam?
12 A. I was.
13 Q. Was this information included in your personal report? I mean not
14 personal, I mean team V2 report.
15 A. Yes, it was.
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 MR. PORYVAEV: Next, Exhibit 4517.
18 Q. Page 3, paragraph 11, dealings with the Muslims detained in some
19 detention facility.
20 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt, but before we
21 move to this next exhibit, could my learned friend, if he intends to move
22 the previous exhibit into evidence, that is to say, 4077, could it be made
23 clear which part of that document he was showing to the witness, and how
24 much of it, please.
25 MR. PORYVAEV: I will explain it very plainly, because some part
1 of my examination-in-chief will be devoted to some specific questions,
2 such as expelling of Muslim -- expulsion of Muslims from Prozor area,
3 detention of Muslims. Now I'm dealing with the system of information,
4 relevance of documents which came from other sources. That was the aim of
5 this part of my examination-in-chief. As for the specific questions on
6 the whole documents, we'll talk about it further when we dwell on specific
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed.
9 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes.
10 Q. Witness, who was the source of that information?
11 A. Are you referring to 4517 now?
12 Q. Yes. Yes.
13 A. I was.
14 Q. Thank you very much. You may put aside this exhibit now. And
15 let's go back to maybe the beginning of our examination-in-chief, because
16 Their Honours already asked some questions and I have to rearrange a
17 little bit my examination-in-chief by just abbreviating it.
18 Witness, what was your understanding of the importance of the
19 Prozor area from the military, economic, and geographic point of view, the
20 strategic point of view of the whole, at the moment when you arrived
22 A. Because of my background, I think I can make an honest assessment
23 that when I came across Prozor from the south for the very first time, I
24 was somewhat impressed of the dominance of the high ground to the north.
25 And it's only after a period of time spent there did I realise that this
1 piece of ground was very important for that central region and how it was
2 going to be controlled militarily, in that the one that owned that high
3 feature basically dominated all the ground to the south. And realising
4 that lines of communication were somewhat tenuous between Split and into
5 Sarajevo, as well as lines of communication being cut between Mostar and
6 Prozor, you could understand why this piece of ground became more
7 tactically sound to be able to hold onto.
8 Once again, I would suggest that it was more or less driven by
9 terrain rather than an economic base that I could even comment on. It was
10 the fact that this piece of ground was the dominating piece of feature in
11 that middle ground which would allow one side or the other to have
13 MR. PORYVAEV: Now let's go to private session, please.
14 JUDGE PRANDLER: Before we move to private session, I would like
15 to ask a question concerning the document 4517. On page 1, in paragraph
16 4, we find the following:
17 "Mario Cerkez, Viteska BDE Commander, claimed to BritBat that
18 Radio Vitez had broadcast an article accusing the ICRC of smuggling
19 ammunition to the Muslims and of moving their snipers."
20 And there is a comment:
21 "The majority of aid agencies are held in low esteem by the HVO in
22 Vitez. However, the ICRC are particularly unpopular in Croat eyes."
23 I would like to ask, Colonel, if you remember any follow-up after
24 this paragraph, I mean after this -- in a way, when this message was
25 received, according to paragraph 4. And do you know any -- about any
1 action that the ICRC might have taken concerning -- to refute the
2 allegations? Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: We had connections with ICRC in varying -- at
4 varying times and in varying places. But one of the biggest concerns -
5 and, once again, it was just watching this transition on the ground - was
6 everything in those days was focused, in my opinion I say, on what was
7 happening in Sarajevo. There was not much really understood, myself
8 included until I got into it, about the surrounding areas. Remembering
9 that the "road to salvation," if you want to call it that, which was the
10 road that was going from Split across into Prozor which was maintained by
11 the Brit engineers to sustain Sarajevo and then move up through Gornji
12 Vakuf and then over through Zenica, this whole line of communication was
13 built, if I remember correctly, the winter before. And there were convoys
14 of NGOs, aid workers, humanitarian, UNHCR, UNPROFOR, that were using this
15 road daily. Convoy upon convoy would be coming in. And, of course,
16 Gornji Vakuf and Prozor was one of, you know, the routes that they would
18 And it became very -- I would suggest very disheartening to the
19 locals that saw all this aid going forward into Sarajevo but not really
20 stopping at Prozor or Gornji Vakuf or maybe any other number of places
21 along the way which were just in bad, sort of, situations as others.
22 I can't comment specifically on this paragraph, but I would
23 suggest it's related around those sort of issues of why things became
24 quite sensitive about stuff moving through the area but not really
25 stopping, and to the point where UNHCR convoys would come in ridden with
1 bullets all the way down the convoys, including fuel trucks, and as well
2 as being hijacked on that route and material taken, money taken, and
3 vehicles taken, during my time there. And it was directly related to, I
4 believe, that nothing was stopping here; it was continuing to go
5 north-east into Sarajevo.
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Colonel.
7 MR. PORYVAEV: Now I would ask you to turn to private session.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 7590-7591 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are now in open session, Your
18 MR. PORYVAEV:
19 Q. Colonel, you informed the Trial Chamber that you had dealings with
20 local military commanders from both warring factions, both HVO and ABiH.
21 Could you just briefly inform the Trial Chamber who were the commanders in
22 the area of your team from HVO side and ABiH side.
23 A. Unfortunately, you have touched on the one weakness that I have
24 which is remembering names, and I would have to be referred to documents
25 and confirm that those were the individuals. There are names that stick
1 out for me. Zrinko was in the area of Gornji Vakuf on the HVO side. I
2 think I'm going to stop there because I'm going to need some guidance from
3 the perspective of -- you can show me documents that I have written and I
4 can tell you "Yes, they are" or "No, they were not."
5 Q. Do you know -- we are talking about Zrinko. Zrinko, is it his
6 first name?
7 A. I'm not sure whether it was his first name, last name, or his
8 pseudonym. I think it was his last name. Yeah. I'd have to look at the
9 documents again.
10 Q. Okay. If you don't remember the names of the commanders, but
11 could you describe the situation in both factions from the point of view
12 of organisation of each military faction, HVO and ABiH. Your impressions,
13 your conclusions.
14 A. I'll predicate my comments by saying that, once again, I was
15 not -- in those days I was not in the information-gathering or
16 intelligence-gathering mode, and I would not have recorded the structures
17 and how they would have been made up because it was not in our mandate.
18 What I can do is give you an opinion what I thought the structure was on
19 the day, and that was, up north was the BiH which were -- ABiH which was
20 controlled out of Bugojno, and the commander of the OZ was in that
21 location in which he had brigades and organisations who were in operations
22 to the south of Prozor and to the south-east, with the realisation that
23 the Serbs were to the north and to the west.
24 To the extreme south of Prozor, they were -- there was also an OZ
25 which was controlled out of Prozor, and its lines stretched from east to
1 west and swung up to the north on the western side, up to the west side of
2 Gornji Vakuf, and was kind of in a semi-horseshoe down to the Makljen
3 checkpoint and then directly to the east. And that was kind of the basic
4 lay of the land that I was able to determine.
5 Q. Did you have any personal meetings with them?
6 A. On all sides. I did -- at the beginning of -- of this session, we
7 talked about where people were located and, more importantly, who I had
8 contacts with, with the understanding that I had contacts on the ground
9 with individual soldiers; I had contacts with company commanders,
10 battalion commanders, as well as the OZ commander, and right up through
11 the chain in each of the sides. And they were -- the two individuals who
12 I knew were responsible both in -- in Prozor and, of course, north in
13 Bugojno --
14 Q. What issues --
15 A. -- which I talked to.
16 Q. What issues, what questions, were the subject matter of your
17 discussions with them?
18 A. I think it was realising that we were trying to cover everything,
19 and very difficult -- before we -- and in our daily reports, you saw this
20 kind of trend that started to happen, that we would prepare for the next
21 day's activities the night before, and we would try to come up with a
22 series of concerns or questions that we would bring forward to each of the
23 commanders of a particular issue.
24 One example, like I said, is the -- that if we heard of an
25 incident one side, then we would go over and talk to them on the other
1 side. Of course, for security and safety reasons, we did not divulge
2 where that information would ever come from, or who we, in fact, had been
3 talking to. It was a matter of, once again, addressing the humanitarian
4 side of the house as well as gathering general information about the
5 general situation throughout the area and who was doing what to whom.
6 It was a very reactive time which we were involved in, and we were
7 reacting to situations on the ground that were happening. And it was a
8 matter of it being a very active time frame in which things happened, and
9 then we addressed them as we could on the day. There was very little
10 long-range planning for talking or focus on what our work was. It was
11 literally day-to-day management, crisis management, in trying to sort out
12 very difficult situations.
13 Q. Did you address to them questions relevant to the humanitarian
14 situation in the area?
15 A. Absolutely. Specifically on movement of convoys, movement of
16 humanitarian aid, and movement of individuals. And, in some cases, there
17 was restriction and/or direct assault or attack on these convoys which
18 became very sensitive, and you knew that individuals that were doing this
19 were from the military side.
20 Q. Did you -- sorry.
21 A. Yes, were from -- what I'm trying to get at is they were somehow
22 linked to the military, and so we would take it to the military commanders
23 as to, do they understand what was happening, did they realise why it was
24 happening, and were there ever attempts to stop it or return stuff or
25 return trucks that had somehow disappeared.
1 Q. Did you address the issues of war crimes to both commanders?
2 A. The answer is yes. I can remember specifically on a joint meeting
3 that was held, not that I was trying to predict the future, but I can
4 remember openly throwing the Geneva Convention book that I had acquired on
5 a table and getting to my feet and making a very open statement that one
6 day the people around this table would become accountable for their
8 Q. Did you have any specific example for that, any specific incident
9 that you addressed to them?
10 A. There was --
11 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, sorry to interrupt, but the question is
12 vague and ambiguous. Addressed to them. To whom? If we're going to get
13 on to such an important subject, can we at least know the individuals with
14 whom the witness was talking?
15 MR. PORYVAEV: The witness -- sorry.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please go ahead.
17 MR. PORYVAEV: The witness does not remember the names of
18 commanders, but he was dealing with commanders of both local factions.
19 MR. MURPHY: Well, Your Honour, I don't know what that means.
20 Does it mean in a particular location, Gornji Vakuf? Does it mean
21 commanders at a particular level? Belonging to which side? Even if he
22 doesn't remember the names, can he identify them?
23 THE WITNESS: And I can --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Please allow me.
25 You mentioned a meeting between you and the commanders of both
1 factions. It was obviously a meeting that had been organised beforehand.
2 Who had organised it, had you or had they?
3 THE WITNESS: We had organised it. And what I'm referring to as
4 "we" --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well --
6 THE WITNESS: -- is the UNPROFOR commander, Major Binns and myself
7 had organised it --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. If you had
9 organised that meeting, you had good reasons for doing so. There must
10 have been an incident. What was the reason? Because if you bring along
11 the Geneva Conventions and you put it on the table and you say to
12 them, "One of these days you will be held accountable for what you have
13 done," there must have been an incident involved. Mr. Murphy would like
14 some clarification on this, and the Bench would also like some
15 clarification. Which incident are you talking about?
16 THE WITNESS: The meeting that I'm referring to specifically had
17 to do with the total deterioration of the situation, and this is around
18 the Bugojno offensive happening by the Muslims in pushing the Croats to
19 the south. And we knew at that point in time that the war was on in that
20 particular area, the battle was on. And we had managed to bring the sides
21 together at the headquarters in the compound at Gornji Vakuf.
22 The meeting I'm referring specifically to, Zrinko was present on
23 behalf of the -- the HVO, and I'm at a loss, once again, for names, but
24 obviously the commander on the -- on the BiH side was also present.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 THE WITNESS: This specific situation was dealing with a
2 cease-fire violation that had occurred in the area to the direct west of
3 Gornji Vakuf in which -- remember when I said the HVO had, in fact,
4 occupied on the south side -- sorry, on the west side of Gornji Vakuf and
5 then down to the south. So there was a valley that we could see from our
6 location that they were going at one another. There was a battle going on
7 in the middle of it. And every time we're putting Graham Binns' company
8 in between this, trying to monitor it, and they were constantly being shot
9 at and in the middle of this whole situation. And it was a matter of
10 trying to separate the sides.
11 In the meantime, in those days, there had been all sorts of
12 accusations - and they're in my reports - about atrocities that had
13 occurred from the perspective of finding a mass grave on one side to
14 prisoners of war being used on the front line to dig trenches, and other
15 incidents like this.
16 So this meeting was all around this whole activity. And what I
17 began to realise is that, if the warring factions were going to go at one
18 another, they were going to go at one another, and UNPROFOR nor ECMM could
19 have anything -- or could not prevent it from happening. And it was from
20 that point forward that we moved our efforts not toward the military
21 aspects they were going to play. It was a matter of now moving more
22 toward the humanitarian side and seeing what we could do there. If that
23 answers your question.
24 MR. PORYVAEV:
25 Q. A very brief question about Prozor military police. Did you have
1 any contacts with military police in Prozor?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. You're moving on
3 to another topic. We were dealing with an important issue. I shall give
4 you the floor back again. But just to add to what you've just said, from
5 what the Bench understands, you were convinced that an offensive was under
6 way. The offensive was launched by the ABiH and, therefore, the HVO
7 retreated. You then said that some people were found in a mass grave. I
8 don't know who these people were. Were they Croats or Muslims? You
9 didn't mention that. And in the light of all that was happening, you were
10 trying to broker a cease-fire between the two parties.
11 Who were the people in these mass graves? Were they Muslims,
12 Croats, or Serbs? I don't know.
13 THE WITNESS: Once again, this is very much related to the
14 situation which we were talking about earlier about civilians being used
15 as human shields to march them down the battlefield. This particular
16 incident I'm referring to happened in Gornji -- sorry, in Prozor to the --
18 This incident was dealing specifically with Bugojno, and to the
19 south of Bugojno, we were making our way up one day, just after the HVO
20 had been pushed out, and we came across a gathering of people, a very
21 large crowd of Muslims. The first thing they did was jump in front of my
22 vehicle and claim that there has been a mass grave found of which their
23 soldiers or individuals had been killed and dumped.
24 Being in a situation where I was -- I was in the process of trying
25 to find out what was happening, I also made the comment that we had to be
1 careful about calling this a war crime. And I remember walking over to
2 the site of which bodies were being pulled out. But what caught my eye
3 was that the bodies all contained uniforms. And it was my quick
4 estimation on the day that, in fact, it was not a mass gave but, in fact,
5 of soldiers of that had been buried.
6 Once again, we would have to go back into my reports and
7 specifically to how I reported it, but I can remember, you know, saying
8 that I cannot make an opinion that, in fact, it was a mass killing or a
9 mass grave or anything. The individuals in the grave had been shot.
10 There was no evidence other than they had been shot. And, once again, I
11 had reported it into our documents, and it was well beyond my purview to
12 make any sort of comment or judgement on that activity, other than that
13 there were lots of bodies.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They were wearing an ABiH
15 uniform, I assume.
16 THE WITNESS: That is correct.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many were there?
18 THE WITNESS: Four, that I can remember, in that site. And what
19 was -- I just want to bring this around to see how out of control things
20 can get.
21 After we had done this walkabout and taken as much information as
22 we could and sent it up higher, and my comment was that, "I can't tell you
23 what this is; we need the experts down here." I wrote that in my report.
24 And the very next day I drive up there and, of course, I run into more
25 residents who claim that the -- the ECMM has declared this a killing --
1 or, sorry, a mass grave and war crimes. And I said, "Wait a minute. I'm
2 the guy. I was guy who was here yesterday and I'm telling you I cannot
3 make that opinion."
4 So it's amazing how things kind of just flowed one into the other,
5 and a situation that probably could get out of control very quickly as to
6 whether it was or was not. And to this day, I cannot tell you whether, in
7 fact, it was just soldiers that were buried because of deterioration of
8 bodies or the fact that it was, in fact, an execution of some sort.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you have the floor.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I may try to save us some time.
12 For the past two and a half or maybe three pages, we have been discussing
13 almost exclusively Gornji Vakuf in 1993, at the time when the witness was
14 there, May 1993, and there was reference to Bugojno. That's the latter
16 Let us remind ourselves that Gornji Vakuf is mentioned in the
17 indictment only for the period of January 1993, and Bugojno is totally
18 absent from the indictment. So the Prosecution is now examining the
19 witness on irrelevant things. I do not really understand that.
20 MR. PORYVAEV: I respectfully disagree with Mr. Kovacic. I didn't
21 ask any question about Gornji Vakuf in 1993, in June or July. I did not
22 ask any questions relevant to Bugojno. I was questioning the witness
23 about Prozor.
24 May I continue?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed with the
1 questions on Prozor, please.
2 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes.
3 Q. My question was about military police in Prozor. Did you have any
4 contacts with the military police in Prozor?
5 A. Yes, I did, on many different occasions. Because of where they
6 were located, their building, which was right at the U-junction at the
7 bottom of the hill, we would pass by this location every couple of days
8 and we got to know these -- we had contact with these individuals from
9 that point on. I always tended to make a point of stopping in and trying
10 to find out information from them, and basically get a feel of what was
11 happening in Prozor.
12 I also met the military police in a variety of different
13 locations, a variety of different individuals, on the route all the way up
14 to the Makljen checkpoint and to areas surrounding Prozor.
15 Q. Do you remember the name of the chief of the military police in
17 A. I do not.
18 Q. Do you remember the name of his deputy?
19 A. I'm sorry, I do not. Other than if I had recorded it in my daily
21 Q. And my question is now: Did you have an impression that the
22 military police was properly carrying out its functions on maintaining law
23 and order in the area?
24 A. Going back to what I believe -- or what we referred to them as
25 paramilitary, were they carrying out their functions? I would say
1 definitely yes, but the method in which they carried them out was what I
2 have -- is what I would question.
3 I would suggest that they used a form of -- I'll use -- for lack
4 of a better term right now, but a form of terrorist tactics in order to
5 keep the population under control or within the realm. They had freedom
6 of movement, and you could tell that -- if I was in a situation where I
7 was talking to the locals or a particular side - I'm referring to if I was
8 talking to the Muslim women and children - these individuals would be
9 around me. There would be very distinctive eye contact between the person
10 I was talking to and those individuals that were, I believe, military
11 police, and the avoidance of that eye contact, or would, in fact, try to
12 avoid to say anything that would -- might be used against them at a later
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Colonel, while there is silence, could you
15 describe more precisely what you refer to by speaking of terrorism
16 tactics? Can you refer to more specific forms of behaviour?
17 THE WITNESS: I think I -- that's why I said I have to be careful
18 in using that term. I mean, there is no doubt in my mind who ran the
19 town, if you get that sort of image, and I referred to them earlier as,
20 you know, the sheriff and his posse. You know, they had the freedom of
21 movement. They restricted people they didn't want to move. There was
22 always this fearful sort of feeling I got every time I went into the town,
23 especially those of the Muslims.
24 I talk specifically about the wives and the children -- or the
25 women and the children that were in that particular area that were
1 restricted to move anywhere. I had personal conversations with more than
2 one female that had indicated that they were being selected and taken out
3 from the camp in the night, during the night, and these individuals were
4 doing sexual acts, including rape, and then returning the women back to
5 the camp.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This lady who told you that, did
7 you immediately go to the superior authority on the military side in
8 Prozor to tell him about that?
9 THE WITNESS: It was not a lady, it was ladies. If I remember,
10 there were at least two. I would have no doubt --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's even more reason to go
12 and see somebody about it. Did you bring up this problem? Did you draw
13 the attention of the authorities to that? Because you were a
14 representative of the European Mission. You represented the European
15 Mission on the ground, so you were somebody important. So what did you do
16 about it?
17 THE WITNESS: Sir, there is no doubt what I would do, because I'm
18 an individual that tends to deal with the issue right on the spot. If I
19 would have found out something like that, which I did, I would have taken
20 it immediately to the military police commander and to the area commander,
21 the Operational Zone commander, and I would have told him that. I can
22 tell you that categorically. It's my personality to do that. And I can
23 remember specifically on those days talking to --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what did they tell you?
25 THE WITNESS: Exactly what I'm getting to, sir, is that on that
1 day, I can remember taking it to the guard commander in charge of this
2 small containment of women and children, and the initial response
3 was, "Us? No, we would never do something like that. And more
4 importantly, we're here to protect these people. We are protecting the
5 front and the back end." But what was happening was that these
6 individuals were coming in from the east and the west, across the ground
7 which there were no roads and then dragging individuals out.
8 Once again, other than the hearsay of the ladies that told me that
9 and me confronting the individuals on the spot and then eventually taking
10 that to the military police commander and then following on to the
11 Operational Zone commander, that was all that I could do within that time
12 frame, realising the -- you know, how big a problem we were involved in.
13 Remember, we were right in the middle of a battle. And this was only one
14 of many different problems that were happening in the area.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. You say that it was
16 a small problem in a sea of problems, but this minor problem was the
17 reason, among others, why this Tribunal was instituted and why we are
18 here. The commander of this Operational Zone, first of all, who was he?
19 And what did he tell you?
20 THE WITNESS: If you remind me of the name, I would say
21 absolutely. His last name started with an S. I just -- as I said, my
22 mind's gone blank right at the present time as to his --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Never mind the name for the
24 moment. What did he tell you when you said to him, "I just talked to
25 women who explained to me that several of them had been taken out by night
1 by individuals and raped"? What did he say to that?
2 THE WITNESS: I'm honestly trying to search for that time and that
3 frame about that specific event, and I would only be placing words in
4 somebody's mouth that may not have been said about that specific event. I
5 honestly do remember taking it to that individual and telling him about
7 Now, as I've said, there were a lot of things happening, and
8 you've already addressed the fact that this is one of the important
9 reasons why we're here today, but other than probably trying to, once
10 again, refer back to my daily report from 13 years ago would I be able to
11 give you an answer specifically of what he did say or did not say. But
12 there is no doubt in my mind that I did bring this information to him.
13 MR. PORYVAEV:
14 Q. Now, Colonel, is the big issue of freedom of movement of
15 humanitarian convoys. What was the situation in your area of
16 responsibility as from May through August, 1993?
17 A. I think from the humanitarian -- first of all, to understand the
18 humanitarian convoys, there were many and from a multitude of
19 organisations that moved up and down freely on that road.
20 Initially when I arrived, the freedom of movement was totally
21 unrestricted, and everybody - I'll refer to this as a mom-and-pop shop -
22 that have one or two vehicles and have the desire to go help people, of
23 one or two trucks to move it, was able to use it all the way up to the
24 larger humanitarian organisations, like the UNHCR, were able to travel up
25 and down the road. And we would see all types.
1 As the situation started to deteriorate, so did the threat
2 directly against those convoys moving on that road.
3 Q. Witness, one question. When did the situation --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. PORYVAEV: Sorry.
6 Q. One question. When did the situation start deteriorating?
7 A. To be quite honest, you know, I arrived -- within a week of me
8 arriving in Gornji Vakuf. You know, we're looking at the end of May. And
9 as I said, there were incidents already starting -- there were indicators
10 that things were starting to happen. But it really got rotten the end of
11 July and the end of August.
12 But, you know, as time went on, it just got more and more
13 restrictive, and eventually it was a situation of UNPROFOR, and
14 specifically Graham Binns' company, literally being ordered to take on
15 convoy escort duty of UN convoys because we did not have the resources to
16 escort non-UN convoys, and non-UN convoys were ambushed along the way.
17 And UN convoys, even though they were under the escort of UNPROFOR, were,
18 in fact, shot up, targeted and were, once again, riddled with bullets as
19 they arrived in our location in Gornji Vakuf. The convoy -- the
20 UNPROFOR -- sorry, the UNHCR convoys that were not escorted were, in one
21 case I know specifically, hijacked and vehicles were stolen and people
22 were robbed, et cetera, et cetera.
23 So as time went on, all the way into August, it just got -- the
24 number of NGOs and non -- of humanitarian organisations were drastically
25 reduced because of danger on the route, and definitely there was danger in
1 my area, which is that when it entered into Prozor up into Gornji Vakuf
2 and then from Gornji Vakuf over towards Zenica.
3 Q. Do you remember any of the most notorious incidents with
4 humanitarian convoys in your area of responsibility that were reported by
5 you to your superiors?
6 A. The one that stands out in my mind became known as the Tuzla 500.
7 The Tuzla 500 convoy was made up of about, if I remember correctly, 512
8 trucks that had gone out from Tuzla the month before and had gathered
9 supplies from the area of Split, including taking on more vehicles --
10 Q. And what month? What month was it?
11 A. End of June, if I'm not mistaken. It's recorded, once again, in
12 my reports, when we took on responsibility for that convoy. I think it
13 was June or July. Once again, I'd have to refer specifically to date and
15 Q. You have the opportunity of seeing your reports, but now I would
16 like to hear just your information.
17 A. I think it fell apart. Okay.
18 The Tuzla 500, a story in itself. It all started with this 500 --
19 we got word through the chain, through our Capsat, that there was a convoy
20 made up of the locals of Tuzla who had taken upon themselves to -- because
21 the area of Tuzla was surrounded and were running out of supplies, they
22 took it upon themselves to run trucks out to Split to gather as much as
23 they could, including fuel, food, clothing, whatever. And by the time
24 this thing started to move, like I said, it was 500-plus vehicles. On the
25 move, it was 14.2 kilometres long; when it was stopped, it was about 5.1
1 kilometres in length, when all trucks were parked behind one another.
2 The Tuzla 500 arrived. And we got word that it was coming, then
3 wasn't coming; coming, then wasn't coming. Up through our chain we were
4 trying to determine where and what our responsibilities were for this
5 convoy. I had concern because, hearing the number of vehicles, I knew
6 darn well that 500 vehicles, with all the drivers and some co-drivers and
7 some with even families, could not be protected by a company worth of
8 people. It is impossible. The response that basically had come back, "It
9 is not a UN convoy; it is not our responsibility."
10 There was -- I still had concern because I knew that we were going
11 to naturally inherit this convoy. It was coming to our area and we had no
12 choice but to take it on. We knew something was -- and, like I said, we
13 could already start feeling things were starting to deteriorate in the
15 My partner and I kept UNPROFOR informed about this convoy, what we
16 knew about it and when it was coming. And we went to the area to the west
17 of Prozor in order to meet up with the convoy. We sat there for about 24
18 hours and still no sign of the convoy. We went back to Gornji Vakuf and
19 we got word once again that it was on its way, and they expected the
20 trucks to arrive the next day, and I want to say early in the morning,
21 probably about 9.00 or 10.00.
22 My partner and I, with our driver, proceeded down to Prozor. Just
23 as we were arriving in Prozor, the front end of the convoy arrives. At
24 the bottom of the hill in Prozor, there is a Y-intersection. The one road
25 to the south goes to Mostar; the other road to the north heads up the
1 switchbacks up to the Makljen checkpoint.
2 These trucks were arriving en masse, one behind the other. What
3 was strange when I came around the corner was to find the military police
4 of the building at the bottom of the hill actually doing traffic control.
5 I was somewhat stunned that they knew how to do it. And I jumped out of
6 my vehicle and I quickly noticed that for every four or five vehicles that
7 was being pushed up the road to the Makljen checkpoint, there was another
8 vehicle -- one of the vehicles of the convoy were being hived off or being
9 separated from the convoy and being pushed down the road, down toward the
10 Mostar road.
11 I quickly -- I'm adding things up here, and it makes sense that at
12 this stage and point in time, the vehicles are being systematically
13 separated from one another. Once again, I had no understanding why they
14 had even business in doing this, and I relate back to my original
15 comment: Here was humanitarian aid that, once again, was going through
16 the Prozor area of which nothing was there for Prozor. And it was then
17 that I made a quick decision to confront the individuals on the checkpoint
18 to tell them, what are they doing; this is not their convoy. It's not a
19 UN convoy or anything.
20 At that particular time I was forced to leave at gunpoint, being
21 told it was none of my business.
22 Q. By whom? By whom?
23 A. By the military police.
24 Q. Did you know that person before?
25 A. Yes, I do. I knew that person from before.
1 Q. What was his position?
2 A. He was a deputy military police commander.
3 Q. In Prozor or --
4 A. In Prozor. Never having to be told twice, I moved away from the
5 situation which I monitored from about 200 metres away. And because of
6 the Brit radio, I had to move anyways because the Brit radio only --
7 because the low ground, and realising where the Brits were in Gornji
8 Vakuf, on high ground, I could not communicate at that intersection with
10 I went 200 metres down the road, immediately got communication,
11 and I called the Brit company, informed Graham Binns that we had a
12 situation ongoing at the base of the hill. And I said, "You've got to get
13 a platoon down here with Warrior in order to sort it out." And I said I
14 would remain in location but "I can't do a darn thing right at the present
16 Upon that, Graham also realised how grave the situation was going
17 to become and that we, once again, were inheriting this humanitarian
18 convoy which was none of our business. And within a matter of 15 to 20
19 minutes, I had a platoon of Warrior down there, of which the platoon
20 commander I ordered to place his vehicles to block the road down to
21 Mostar. So they were -- they were forced to continue on their way up the
22 Makljen checkpoint.
23 The military police, realising they were out-gunned, backed away.
24 We managed to get the rest of the vehicles going, and, unfortunately, at
25 the top of the hill was the Makljen checkpoint which was controlled by the
1 HVO. At that stage, the Makljen checkpoint was closed on us. We could
2 not push forward the convoy, and it was a good thing that we didn't,
3 because what had transpired in the area of Travnik, while this convoy had
4 been in Split, was an all-out battle to the north of us, which would have
5 run this convoy into a very unfavourable position. So stopping it at the
6 Makljen checkpoint allowed us to actually start to protect, inherit to
7 protect the convoy. And what I mean by that is, we were able to take the
8 convoy and run it all the way back and forth across switchbacks all the
9 way from the Makljen checkpoint, all the way down to Prozor.
10 So these vehicles were able to be kept up against the side of the
11 mountain. One, access was denied from those trying to get in; two, we
12 were able to control who got in and out; and, more importantly, three,
13 that if we had incorrect fire, i.e., military -- sorry, artillery or
14 mortar fire, that the convoy could not be reached. They were safe. And,
15 once again, these were drivers and co-drivers and family members that were
16 in this convoy.
17 At the back of the convoy were fuel trucks. The thing I would
18 bring to the attention of this Tribunal is that a full tanker full of fuel
19 and the cost of that fuel I could only imagine is probably, in those days,
20 well over $100.000 for a tanker full of fuel.
21 In the meantime, we are consistently being told that we are not
22 responsible for this convoy. Somehow, we thought we had become because
23 they were in our area. And over a period of week, we -- they sat in our
24 area waiting for the battle to end in the north. But in the meantime we
25 were trying to keep things safe.
1 For that evening we parked the vehicles all along, all the way
2 up. With the limited resources, realising there were other things to do
3 in our area of responsibility - Graham had other things to do with his
4 company than protect this - we managed to put one vehicle at the front of
5 the convoy at the Makljen checkpoint and a second vehicle at the back of
6 the convoy. That whole convoy length, I repeat, was 5.2 kilometres long
7 from front to back.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Earlier on, Colonel, you had spoken
9 about 14 kilometres.
10 THE WITNESS: On the move, the convoy was 14.2 kilometres, because
11 vehicles would travel about 200 metres between each other. When they're
12 bumper to bumper, they're 5.2 kilometres. If you ask me how I know that,
13 in my real job, I am a recce guy, and we actually drove this convoy many,
14 many times and we actually took mileage and I recorded it as such because
15 I couldn't believe it. You know, of course, my military mind is saying,
16 How do you protect something this big? And what do you do about it?
17 Up against the --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. In the record we have one figure
19 which is 5.2 kilometres and the next one is 4.2, but I recall you saying
20 5.2. Line 24 as compared to line 18.
21 THE WITNESS: Once again it's probably my fast English. 14.2
22 kilometres long on the move and 5.2 kilometres stationary.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: So we're at the Makljen checkpoint with the convoy
25 5.2 kilometres long, with a Warrior parked at the front end and a Warrior
1 parked at the back end. And that evening everything has calmed down. We
2 got back the vehicles that had somehow gone down the Mostar road, and we
3 thought life was good. I went back to Gornji Vakuf.
4 The next morning I come back and I start to hear that, in the
5 middle of the night, trucks had been removed from the convoy by force and
6 taken back down to Prozor and emptied. And I'm referring to the fuel
7 trucks at the back. I never did ascertain whether it was one, two, or any
8 more than that. But there were fuel trucks that were moved off. And
9 doing further investigation, I found out that this had been done by force.
10 MR. PORYVAEV:
11 Q. By whom, to the best of your knowledge?
12 A. By the military police that were from Prozor.
13 As time progressed, once again, in consultation with Graham Binns,
14 I ascertained that we've got to move this convoy because now it's being
15 threatened from the very town they just moved through, to the point where,
16 in fact, drivers were being taken out from their vehicles and actually
18 I moved -- I managed to bring this to the attention of the
19 Operational Zone commander, telling him, "What's going on here?" And he
20 says, "I know nothing about this," and he was trying to separate, and he
21 says, "It's not our convoy. We have nothing to do with this. We just
22 want to get it out of our area." And I said, "Well, fine. Then open up
23 the Makljen checkpoint and we can push it on through."
24 In the meantime, I had worked it out and talked with the ABiH
25 commander that if the convoy was in their area they would protect it, and
1 I said that was a lot better than what we had at the Makljen. So in the
2 process, we got the Makljen checkpoint opened, and we moved the convoy to
3 the south of Gornji Vakuf. It was still 5.2 kilometres long.
4 The next night became a very interesting night, because, once
5 again, Graham only had the resources to put a protection on the front and
6 the back of it; but now I was getting reports up and down the line, and I
7 spent the night there in the middle of the convoy, that military forces
8 were coming out from the woods on either side of the convoy and attacking
9 drivers. And the drivers of the convoy started to congregate together or
10 come together in order to start to protect themselves.
11 It was at that point that I couldn't quite figure out who was
12 doing what to whom, and I -- I saw a car coming down the middle of the
13 road. I jumped out in the middle of the road and I stopped, and out jumps
14 our friendly military policeman from Prozor. I confront them. I say,
15 "What are you guys doing here?" and, through my translator, was told,
16 "They're here to protect the convoy." I said, Well, do you realise that
17 they are people, or soldiers coming from the woods on either side that are
18 actually attacking the convoy?" They said,"Oh, yeah, we know that.
19 That's why we're here."
20 In my naivete of the situation, I backed away, they took off, and
21 then I realised they were the ones that were actually doing and actually
22 confronting the drivers. And because the Warriors were at the front and
23 the back end, they were unable to steal trucks directly, because the order
24 had been given to Graham to stop any vehicle from leaving that
25 5.2-kilometre stretch. But these guys were jumping in and out of the
1 convoy all the way along, coming at them from all different directions.
2 Q. Witness, one second. While talking about Graham, do you mean
3 Graham Binns?
4 A. Yes, Graham Binns is who I'm referring to.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may ask a question. You said that you
6 realised that the attackers were members of the military police, those who
7 came from the woods.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And how did you recognise that?
10 THE WITNESS: It was the guys I had seen before. This was the
11 same gang that was in these vehicles, that move around in civilian
12 vehicles, and I recognised the guys as soon as I saw them.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would that be the same guys we refer to as Kinder
14 platoon? I mean, you then described the group which might be the same,
15 although you explicitly denied having known that name.
16 THE WITNESS: That is correct. I said that's the first time I'd
17 ever heard that name used for them. But they were all young guys.
18 Whether -- and I would suggest 18 to 22. You know, they were young guys.
19 And if that's the term that was being used, then I would have to say yes,
20 that's the same group. But it was the same group that I had been dealing
21 with, you know, for the full time that I had been there.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
23 MR. PORYVAEV:
24 Q. Witness, did you have any meetings with military authorities
1 A. Yes, absolutely, on both sides. One from the HVO to say what was
2 happening, and they said, "Well, it isn't our people who are doing this."
3 And then on the armija side, to say, "I want to move this convoy into your
4 area. Are you going to be able to ensure security?" And eventually I had
5 secured that.
6 So what I, in fact, did was stack the convoy. And what I mean by
7 that is, on the road I put them side by side by side. So instead of being
8 5.2, it shrunk it right down real quick. Because from Gornji Vakuf was
9 the front vehicle; 5.2 kilometres back was almost at the Makljen
10 checkpoint -- well, in that direction. And then by stacking it by, you
11 know, three lanes and pushing it all up, it got out of the area of
12 responsibility of the HVO and was now all in the area of the BiH. And was
13 able -- at that point in time, I was able to have Graham secure the back
14 and front end. We could actually see the front and the back from sitting
15 in the middle. And from that point on, the convoy was relatively secure
16 in our area.
17 Q. Did you have any meeting with the chief or commander of the
18 operation zone specifically on this issue together with UNPROFOR?
19 A. I don't know if I did it with UNPROFOR, but I can definitely state
20 I had it. I did. I mean, because it all started to add up as to what had
21 happened over the last two days, before I managed to push everything
22 forward, that, you know, certain selected trucks were being targeted - and
23 I refer directly to the fuel trucks - as well as the second night where
24 drivers were actually being attacked.
25 Now, remember in this convoy, the Tuzla 500, as I understood, it
1 was a mixture of the ethnic background of all three sides, and there were
2 men, women, and children in this convoy.
3 Q. I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 2709.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We have to have
5 a break now. I would like the registrar to calculate how much time the
6 Prosecutor has had, and you still have an hour left. It will be 6.00 when
7 we resume. It would be ideal if you could finish your
8 examination-in-chief over the next hour. The witness should still be here
9 tomorrow. So we shall resume at 6.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.43 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
13 According to our calculations, the Prosecution has had 1 hour and
14 34 minutes, so we have an hour left. So please do your best, and
15 otherwise you will have 30 minutes left tomorrow.
16 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes, Your Honour, I will do my best, but I'm afraid
17 I will not cover all the questions I planned to cover for this
19 So I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 2709, and that will be
20 page 4 in hard copy, paragraph 7. It begins with the words "Following
21 hijacking ..."
22 Q. Witness, have you found it?
23 A. Yes, I have.
24 Q. Please read it out. Witness, did you participate in this meeting
25 that they're talking about in the report?
1 A. I honestly do not recall. Once again, I would have to refer to my
2 daily report. This could have easily been one of these incidents where I
3 was somewhere else and Graham Binns, as the OC, was actually the one that
4 took that, realising the words that stand out are "hostile," and the fact
5 that I may have been sitting with the convoy while he went down, trying to
6 sort out of the situation and retrieve the fuel trucks.
7 So my only statement: I could have or could not have been. I do
8 not remember being in a meeting with those amount of people.
9 Q. Okay. And my last question relevant to humanitarian convoys: You
10 said that a deputy of the military police of Prozor was the one who was
11 involved in the incident at the checkpoint. Did you see him afterwards?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Did he retain his position in the military police?
14 A. Yes, he did.
15 Q. Did you have any other information about persons being punished
16 for their involvement in hijacking of military convoys and looting?
17 A. I was to understand that no such act took place. Business was as
18 usual in the military structure. The same people were in location doing
19 their business. So I have no idea whether they were or were not punished.
20 Q. My next set of questions now. Witness, at some point you were
21 away from the area and came back on the 23rd of July, 1993; correct?
22 A. That is correct. I went home on leave.
23 Q. Did you notice any changes in the situation in the area of your
25 A. Absolutely. This is where the situation up north in Bugojno had
1 completely deteriorated. HVO had been moved south, and there were two --
2 there was a distinct line between north and south.
3 Q. General, Your Honour just proposed me to abbreviate a little bit
4 my examination-in-chief, so we will be limiting ourselves now to
5 humanitarian issues, the humanitarian situation in your area of
6 responsibility in the course of your mission.
7 So, at the beginning of the examination-in-chief, you said that
8 you dealt with the civilian authorities in Prozor area. Did you have
9 meetings with the mayor of the municipality or the town of Prozor?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Did you have an impression that he was well aware of the situation
12 in the area?
13 A. Within his area of responsibility. What I'm referring to is that
14 he knew what was happening in his town; however, the movement of people,
15 the military actions in and around the town, he had no responsibility or
16 even full knowledge of what was happening.
17 MR. PORYVAEV: I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 9627.
18 It's not under seal, so we can discuss it in the open session.
19 THE WITNESS: You had asked me at the beginning the name of my
20 partner. It's on the back of this report. And it's Gerritsen, Rudy
22 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much. It came to mind.
23 Q. Okay. I would like you to take a look at paragraph 2 of the
24 document. Was it you who had a meeting with the mayor of Prozor?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is it correct that you were talking about issues relevant to the
2 situation with the Muslim population?
3 A. Not just the Muslim population, the population in general, of
4 which was indicated that about 30 per cent, as per my report, were still
5 -- were still there. You can see the breakdown of numbers. So it just
6 wasn't dealing with Muslims.
7 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. But out of an
8 abundance of caution, would my learned friend like to check whether this
9 document really is not under seal?
10 MR. PORYVAEV: No, it's not under seal.
11 Q. So they were talking about approximately 4.600 people moved out of
12 the area?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. How did he explain this situation?
15 A. I can only assume that he was having a great deal of difficulty
16 housing everybody, and even though Muslims were being moved from the town
17 of Prozor, he was substantiating the movement by saying, "Well, we've got
18 to move them because there's just too many people in the town." That's
19 what I'm assuming he was trying to get across here. And that it was being
20 overpopulated by displaced persons. Because, once again, I think the
21 mayor only had a piece of the puzzle as to actually what was happening.
22 And, of course, he's saying, "I can't support everybody here. I can't
23 give everybody what they require. And maybe it's not all bad that we move
24 people out in order to care for the people that are remaining."
25 Q. You also told the Trial Chamber that you were dealing with
1 representatives of religious professions. Did you have dealings with
2 anyone from the Prozor Muslim community?
3 A. Yes, I did. I regularly tried to and had visited the imam who had
4 remained in Prozor throughout the time I was there.
5 Q. Was it the same person throughout your period?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. Do you remember his name?
8 A. Unfortunately, once again, I would have to refer directly to a
9 document with his name on it, and I think one of these documents does have
11 Q. Now --
12 A. Sorry. If I may refer to the bottom of that document we were just
13 talking about, again, there is an example where I had been restricted to
14 see the imam.
15 Q. That's my next question. Okay. You claim now that you had some
16 restrictions. What kind of restrictions did you have?
17 A. In every attempt -- realising that the imam's house was less than
18 two blocks away from the military police compound or the military police
19 house, I should say, at the corner, every time we made -- attempted to
20 drive up, we were quickly surrounded or told that we could not see him.
21 Q. Told by whom?
22 A. By the military police.
23 Q. But did you address the situation to the military authorities or
24 to operation zone authorities?
25 A. I would say yes because they're in the same town. And in my -- in
1 my conversation, once again, I've got to reflect back to all the other --
2 if something on the day happened like that, there would be no doubt I
3 would actually go and be talking to the Operational Zone commander and
4 say, "What has been going on here?" or "What's the reason for it?"
5 MR. PORYVAEV: Now I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
6 9620. That's page 1, paragraph 2, "Political Situation."
7 Q. You were the one who drafted this document?
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. And is it correct, your allegation, that the Muslims were sent out
10 to come area inhabited by Muslims?
11 A. What I recall is that I was being told they were being relocated
12 south into other towns. Somewhere in one of my reports I probably can
13 even -- I probably already mention what those towns were.
14 The area which was -- or the interesting point was, once again, we
15 came upon this situation by driving down the road, and as we -- that
16 morning, which is probably the 30th of August, while coming down from the
17 Makljen checkpoint, I was -- and I had discovered -- we had discovered
18 this containment of Muslim women and children to the east side of the road
19 that I -- I made it a point that I was going to check in on them on a
20 regular basis.
21 So on that particular day, in moving down the road, it was at that
22 point in time I caught the last truck turning out of that contained area
23 onto the major road heading for Mostar. It was -- or down toward the
24 Mostar area. In confrontation and conversation with the people on the
25 ground, they told me that everybody had been taken from there.
1 Now, what I'm reading between the lines is, right after that I, of
2 course, went and he saw the mayor and said, "What has happened to these
3 people?" And that's why I made the comment before this that the mayor
4 really, really didn't know the whole situation and only knew a piece of
5 the puzzle. He wasn't aware that they were going to be moved, where they
6 were going to be moved, or what they were up to.
7 There was no doubt in my mind that this was a military operation
8 that moved these people. It had nothing to do with civilian authorities.
9 MR. PORYVAEV: Now we should go into private session.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
11 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Your
13 MR. PORYVAEV:
14 Q. That's page 5 in the hard copy. Electronic version, page 7.
15 Exhibit number 02817. It begins: "V2 attended a joint patrol."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did your team participate in that mission?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And what did you discover there?
20 A. In travelling down that road, all I -- one of the vivid memories
21 that stands out is that houses were put on fire, and there was actual
22 individuals moving from house to house to actually burn the houses. And
23 then by working our way further to the east, we went up into these two
24 small villages that are indicated in the area of Rat.
25 MR. PORYVAEV: Now we should go back to a private session, because
1 we'll have a number of documents which are under seal.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 7627-7629 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Your
22 MR. PORYVAEV:
23 Q. Exhibit number 9619. It's a short document. Was it drafted by
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 Q. What about the number of Muslims living there at that time?
2 A. Once again, I'll put this on the table, that we were one team. It
3 was impossible for us to count every single individual that was in that
4 town. This is probably just a general feeling of what was going on. And,
5 if you note, this was the day that we, you know, just basically started
6 asking questions around the area as to what was happening, and, more
7 importantly, what was happening with the Muslim population, specifically
8 with Prozor.
9 Q. Now Exhibit 9621. That's the paragraph "Humanitarian Activity,"
10 paragraph 4. And this document was drafted on the 20th of August.
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And the previous documents were just drafted on the 10th of August
13 and close dates. And now we see in these documents the same information,
14 that you were prevented from visiting some areas. Was it correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. And how would you explain the decision to prohibit you visiting
17 those areas? What was the foundation for that, if any?
18 A. I can only offer an opinion here that they didn't want us to know
19 what was really happening in each of those areas, either, as I already
20 stated there, what I think was happening, which was the rape and the
21 assaults; and number two, that they had intent, probably, to move people
23 Q. Exhibit 9627. Again, paragraph 4, "Humanitarian Activity."
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That's about the conditions of life.
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Is it correct that conditions of life were horrible?
3 A. Yes. For the Muslim community, yes, it was.
4 Q. And they say about Muslim men, the age from 16 to 60 years, being
6 A. That is correct, because in each of the community -- or every time
7 we visited the -- what stood out in my mind, every time we visited groups
8 of Muslims, it was children and women. The men were not there. And
9 children, I'm saying up to probably the age of 16 or 17.
10 Q. Okay. Next exhibit, 9630. That's about -- my question is: Were
11 the Muslim people in the areas allowed to leave? Did they have an
12 opportunity of moving around freely?
13 A. In my opinion, they did not have the freedom of movement.
14 Q. Why do you think so?
15 A. Well, I go back to the one place that really stands out, which is
16 that area to the east of the main road up to the Makljen checkpoint, and
17 which there were guards on the roadways in and out of this location. And
18 the houses were occupied by women and children in very large amount.
19 Q. Did you at some point see Muslim detainees in the area?
20 A. Yes, I did. And if you're referring to men, yes. I had been
21 taken to -- and this is all related around the fact of communicating with
22 both sides and trying to ascertain about prisoners of war or those that
23 were detained. And it is through many discussions that finally it was
24 revealed that there was a location where Muslim men had been taken. And I
25 believe that number was around 160 to 170 men had been retained or
1 detained at a technical school on the side of the hill in Prozor, which
2 eventually I got access to.
3 Q. You're saying "eventually".
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Please expand a little bit on that. Who prevented you from
6 visiting detention facilities?
7 A. Well, first off is the -- is trying to determine whether it even
8 existed. Secondly, once we realised that one existed, it was then getting
9 access to it, and the admittance that there was such place in Prozor.
10 And, I mean, I could only have gotten that information from the
11 Operational Zone commander. One day, finally, he says, "Yes, we do have
12 it." And then me pushing on the fact that these men were being detained
13 and that I would want -- I want to go visit them.
14 And the other thing that stood out prior to this - and maybe it
15 was an issue of, you know, too much evidence was there - was I can
16 remember moving between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor and watching soldiers
17 working in the fields to the left and right of the main road running
18 north/south. So they're on the east and the west side of the road and
19 they were digging trenches. But what was interesting was there were
20 soldiers standing around with weapons. And that didn't exactly add up as
21 to why there need to be -- if they're digging trenches, why there needed
22 to be soldiers with weapons actually in the carrying position. And I
23 started -- in my mind, started to put things together and said, "Wait a
24 minute. The people doing the digging of the ditches or the trenches
25 aren't necessarily those soldiers of --" yeah, back up. I would suggest
1 that they were being guarded to carry on an activity, which was digging
3 Q. But were they soldiers? Were they dressed in the kind of uniform?
4 A. Once again, uniform -- how do you describe a uniform? If you say
5 that some were dressed in camouflage-pattern pants or tops, then the
6 answer is yes; and if you call that a uniform, then yes. It was a mixture
7 of everything and anything. Some were in running shoes; some were in
8 combat boots. And, like I said, a variety of different dress on the top.
9 But, I mean, they were in a quasi-military uniform, I would suggest.
10 Q. And were the soldiers who were guarding them dressed in a kind of
11 uniform as well?
12 A. Yes, they were. They were dressed in a more formal uniform.
13 Q. Which uniform? What military faction?
14 A. Realising that I'm watching this from afar, I would suggest that
15 it was HVO because it was HVO territory to the south of Bugojno -- or
16 sorry, south of Gornji Vakuf.
17 MR. PORYVAEV: Now I would ask Trial Chamber to move into private
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 7635-7638 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Your
5 MR. PORYVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit 04517.
6 Q. That's paragraph 11.
7 A. Yes, I've found it.
8 Q. They are making reference to information that they had got from
10 A. Yes. And that information would have come from me.
11 Q. And here you're talking about the people digging trenches. Do you
12 mean the same situation you just told us today?
13 A. Yes. The only thing that I would draw your attention to is the
14 dates. This is a report from the 26th, and my original report which
15 actually spoke of this on the 19th and the 20th, which eventually got
16 pushed up, this may have been another -- another specific incident which I
17 would have picked up on driving from Gornji Vakuf down into Prozor, or
18 vice versa; that I, once again, saw another group of men in the sidelines
19 of the road actually doing digging.
20 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I just finished this part of my
21 questioning, but I also have some questions relevant to Mr. Praljak and a
22 couple of other issues. But, of course, perhaps it makes no sense to
23 start doing it now. It will not take me too long, I mean my
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How much time or how many
1 minutes will you need tomorrow?
2 MR. PORYVAEV: I think, Your Honour, I will cope with it in 40
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You said you had
5 questions to Mr. Praljak and a number of other issues. Couldn't you
6 address the other issues now?
7 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes, maybe one issue I can address now. Now we're
8 in open session so we can speak freely.
9 Q. Colonel, did you ever get information about cooperation of the
10 Serbian army in the area with one of the warring factions?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Please expand a little bit on that. What faction?
13 A. At the point in time where I had, or I was about to -- it's either
14 just before I went on leave or just after I went on leave, we managed -- I
15 indicated beforehand the situation where the warring factions had turned
16 against one another in the Bugojno area. And as a result of that, you
17 ended up with BiH being in the north and in the south, and with about, if
18 I remember the figure correctly, some 15.000 mixture of military and
19 civilians that were pinned between the two sides, between Bugojno in the
20 north and Gornji Vakuf in the south, and remembering that the Serbs were
21 occupying the area to the north of Bugojno and to the west of Bugojno. So
22 there was this kind of squeeze that had happened, with a small pocket of
23 15.000 Croats which were surrounded on the north, east, and south, and the
24 Serbs were on the west.
25 We went in there, and we managed -- into this pocket, and during
1 that time, we managed to pull out at least two busloads, if I remember
2 correctly, of injured while under fire. Certain things were happening.
3 We managed to extract these people. We knew it was difficult.
4 The next day, we went back and this whole area that had contained
5 this 15.000-plus people had disappeared, had gone. We deduced that there
6 was only one place they could have gone and that was into Serb territory.
7 And it was through further investigation and eventually going south down
8 to Prozor did we find out exactly what happened. And that group of
9 individuals that had been pinned from the north, east, and west had, in
10 fact, brokered a passage through Serb territory to the west and then south
11 back into Prozor.
12 So Prozor took a large influx of individuals into the area from --
13 the people from up north in Bugojno, which probably included the commander
14 and his soldiers from that area. So there was a small town to the
15 north-west of Prozor which I know had been occupied by a majority of these
16 people, and as well the civilians were now being shuttled back from that
17 location out of the area, out of the zone, out of the combat zone, and
18 with a view that they were being pushed down toward the Tomislavgrad area,
19 if I can remember correctly. So that's what I know about the crossing of
20 lines into Serb territory.
21 MR. PORYVAEV: I think that's all.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now 7.00. I would like to
23 invite all and everyone to return tomorrow morning when the hearing shall
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Microphone not activated].
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Tomorrow.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of October,
4 2006, at 9.00 a.m.