1 Tuesday, 3 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. Good morning, Your Honour.
9 It's case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to greet all the people
11 present in the courtroom, the Prosecution, the Defence counsel, the
12 accused, as well as all those people who are assisting us today.
13 We shall have a 30- to 40-minute testimony of the witness during
14 the examination-in-chief, and the Defence counsel will have as we said
15 yesterday three and a half hours for its cross-examination. If we don't
16 finish today, Colonel, you will have to come back tomorrow morning, but
17 the Defence counsel might not need all this time. Much will depend on the
18 Defence of Mr. Praljak.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted
21 to ask in view of the examination-in-chief yesterday and the part about
22 the military police that took a long time, that the Defence of Mr. Coric
23 be given more than the half hour envisaged if possible at all, because
24 yesterday's examination-in-chief dedicated more than 50 per cent of the
25 time precisely to the military police.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You are quite right. The
3 question of the military police and the meeting with Mr. Praljak perhaps,
4 but I think the Prosecution is going to address this issue. Of course,
5 the other Defence counsel can give up some of their time, because they are
6 less concerned about this issue than you are.
7 So you have the floor now, the Prosecution, for 30 to 40 minutes.
8 MR. PORYVAEV: Good morning.
9 WITNESS: PETER HAUENSTEIN [Resumed]
10 Examination by Mr. Poryvaev: [Continued]
11 Q. Good morning, General.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. It falls from your witness statement that you had a number of
14 meetings with Slobodan Praljak; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. When did you see him first? Do you remember -- I'm not talking
17 about the date, at least about the month.
18 A. If I remember correctly, it's in the month of July. End of July,
19 into August.
20 Q. Do you remember the circumstances of your first meeting with Mr.
22 A. For the time that I was in -- in my area of responsibility, I had
23 not met him initially for the first couple of months, realising that I was
24 dealing with the OZ commander in that location on -- on a daily basis.
25 Q. But did you have knowledge that Mr. Praljak was already present in
1 the area?
2 A. I had heard that, and the reasons I say that is because on
3 occasion meetings would be cancelled with Siljeg who was the OZ commander,
4 and he would not be available because he was talking or apparently talking
5 to his -- to a higher commander. And I was under the impression at that
6 time that I began to know of his name as time proceeded -- with my time in
7 that mission area.
8 Q. Now, you mentioned Siljeg in your testimony today. What was
9 Siljeg's position?
10 A. As far as I was aware, he was -- his headquarters was in Prozor,
11 and he was the OZ commander, if I remember correctly.
12 Q. Which OZ, do you remember?
13 A. Of the Prozor area, I suspect.
14 Q. Okay. Then let's go down to your first meeting. Was it an
15 official meeting?
16 A. The one thing that stood out for me was that it was not an
17 official meeting. I believe we met for the very first time over coffee in
18 a town square, and I believe it was Prozor, and we were -- I had met him
19 for the very first time, and I remember his -- the deputy or Siljeg
20 himself or -- or whatever had been injured, and what stood out, he had
21 been hit in the foot or shot in the foot, and the comment that was made,
22 we were talking with each other, and the individual came over and we made
23 comments about, you know, what had happened to him, and the story came out
24 that he'd been shot the night before or the day before.
25 Q. What kind of conversation did you have with Mr. Praljak? Who else
1 was present at this unofficial meeting, let's say? If you remember, of
3 A. Unfortunately, I do not remember. I just remember my -- my
4 initial contact and that being of a friendly nature. And in fact, if I
5 remember correctly the -- I projected that in a report, that I had met him
6 and at that point in time had made some comment as to his demeanour and
7 what sort of individual he was and, more importantly, how he had, I would
8 say, come forward into the situation and had taken on responsibility for
9 the area.
10 Q. Did you know at the time what position was -- he was holding?
11 A. I don't think there was -- once again, if I was in the mode of
12 information or intelligence gathering I would have paid attention to that
13 sort of detail and would have probably recorded it as such. On the day I
14 probably began to understand that he was in fact the -- the commander
15 above Siljeg in the area. But I can't comment and tell you exactly was he
16 this specific, you know, division, brigade, corps, or whatever.
17 Q. Did you have any official meetings with Mr. Praljak afterwards?
18 A. I'm trying to do once again a memory check here, and I would
19 suggest that there was one other -- one other time that I can remember,
20 and I believe Siljeg and himself were present, and we met in the warehouse
21 and one of the offices, and we were talking about some -- once again,
22 unfortunately I'd only be trying to search my memory without direct
23 reference to reports on a specific day that would indicate that I was
24 there and certain information was discussed.
25 Q. To the best of your recollection, how Mr. Praljak introduced
1 himself to you.
2 A. I think what stood -- stood out in my initial contact was his
3 demeanour being the individual that was in charge. His presence was --
4 was well known, and I got the impression that there was no doubt as to who
5 was in charge and that he was there for a purpose.
6 Q. Did you introduce yourself as one of the representatives of ECMM
8 A. Absolutely. And that's the only way I would introduce myself as
9 an individual, because I wore a specific identification which was the 12
10 stars in those days, with -- 12 gold stars with a blue background, as well
11 as wearing an identification badge and wearing all white. So it was very
12 easy to see who I was and what I represented in those days.
13 Q. Did you take part in any official negotiations with Mr. Praljak
14 participation in which some other people were involved?
15 A. I think the answer has to be yes, there was. Now, from -- once
16 again, for me to recollect the exact circumstances and to what reasons, I
17 would find it difficult to recollect without direct reference to date and
18 time that are once again indicated in my reports. I have no doubt that
19 there are meetings and that these meetings are conducted in the presence
20 of himself and other commanders, and in my opinion there was no doubt who
21 was in charge.
22 Q. When you're talking about different commanders, was Mr. Siljeg
23 also present --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- at the negotiations? And who was chairing the negotiations? I
1 mean on the side of HVO and on your side.
2 A. I would be chairing if I was there by myself. If UNPROFOR was
3 there, then it would be a joint and it would be the two of us.
4 Q. And who was there from UNPROFOR?
5 A. It would be Major Graham Binns again.
6 Q. Okay.
7 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, now we should move into private
8 session because we'll have to deal with a document under seal.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 7649-7651 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are currently in open session.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session, the Prosecution
10 has informed the Trial Chamber that it has finished its
11 examination-in-chief. I shall therefore give the floor to Mr. Kovacic,
12 who will start his cross-examination, and then Mr. Praljak will put
13 questions to the witness.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel. I represent General
17 Praljak here present, and first I will put some questions to you, after
18 which General Praljak will ask you some questions himself.
19 You described your arrival in Bosnia and the preparations you had
20 been through, and we have had approximately the same thing from other
21 witnesses. Let me ask you this: While you were in V2 in Gornji Vakuf,
22 the director of the regional centre Zenica was Jean-Pierre Thebault. That
23 is what you confirmed, didn't you?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. While Mr. Christopher Beese, in May and June, was his -- was the
1 deputy, wasn't he?
2 A. I cannot recollect that, but if it is in the documents, then that
3 is correct.
4 Q. Very well. The Trial Chamber has seen enough evidence about when
5 exactly Christopher Beese was there and the rest you confirmed.
6 You said that on the 29th of May, you set out by car from Zenica
7 towards Gornji Vakuf and that was your first journey in the area where you
8 were going to spend another three months, and according to your statement
9 from 9th October, 2001, you were accompanied by Philip Watkins, Major
10 Skat-Rordam, and the driver Jens. Do you remember that?
11 A. 9th of October?
12 Q. No, the 29th of May.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note the statement was of the 9th
14 October, 2001.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. It was your first day in that area when you set out from Zenica to
17 Gornji Vakuf?
18 A. I am confused. The dates that are coming across here are --
19 indicate the 9th of October, 2001. I was nowhere near this. Maybe I'm
21 Q. I'm sorry, it's an error on the record. I am constantly talking
22 about the 29th of May, 1993, but that's an error in the transcript. [In
23 English] 29 May, 1993, it is your first day on the site. You're
24 travelling from Zenica to Gornji Vakuf with the mentioned colleagues;
1 A. 29th of May, 1993, yes, I travelled from the area of Split up
2 into -- past Gornji Vakuf into Zenica.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Very well. And in the course of that journey
4 your colleagues, whom you mentioned, started briefing you on the current
5 situation on the ground. It was your first day, and you were starting to
6 learn about the events; is that correct?
7 A. That was my first day in that specific area. I had been with the
8 mission already three months in another area. This -- this was very
9 specific briefings, and once again, remember, I did not go to Gornji Vakuf
10 directly and stay there. I went back up first to Zenica, got background
11 information there, and then moved forward or back into Gornji Vakuf and
12 which I then undertook the responsibility for Gornji Vakuf. And of course
13 Philip Watkins then moved on and Skat-Rordam who had been there already,
14 if I remember correctly, at least one month, we teamed up together from
15 that point on.
16 Q. Very well. Colonel, I will appreciate it if you give me brief
17 answers to my questions, and I will try to phrase them in a way that you
18 are able to answer with yes, no, or I don't know, and -- because our time
19 is limited, and if you give me extensive answers, I will not manage.
20 Thank you for this information. You told my about your
21 preparations. And you also had preparations in Zagreb on the 1st of
22 March, 1993, in the headquarters of ECMM, and you spent five days there;
23 is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In Zagreb, you also underwent training, if I'm not mistaken.
1 According to my information, training to handle Capsat equipment, also
2 first aid refreshment training and some other skills, and, most
3 importantly, you had a general briefing about the situation in the area
4 where you were headed; is that correct?
5 A. I correct the last statement. In general briefing, it is -- it
6 was an operational briefing which basically told you the whole situation
7 of the whole area, realising that as we arrived individuals were placed in
8 different locations and then got into more specific briefings on their
9 exact location which were being put to or placed.
10 Q. Witness, I will show you one document to refresh your memory,
11 because I don't think your recollection is correct. In -- it was in
12 Zenica that you received training about personalities and details. In
13 Zagreb you had a general kind of training. But let me put a document to
14 you to refresh your memory. [Previous translation continues] [In
15 English] ... put document on ELMO.
16 Your Honour, I apologise, I don't have the document in e-court
17 because I found it yesterday.
18 [Interpretation] This document, to inform others in the courtroom,
19 was Exhibit D76/1 from the case Prosecution versus Kordic and Cerkez. It
20 was originally received from ECMM back then, and it was exhibited in that
22 Witness -- in fact, I don't think it is under seal, but we should
23 check to avoid all possible mistakes. I don't think it's under seal, but
24 I'm never sure with these things. Let us assume it is not.
25 Witness, if you've had time to leaf through it, especially pages
1 2, 3. The document has 7 pages. It has an introductory part, and it is
2 divided into sections according to republics. The first part is about
3 Croatia and the situation in Croatia, pages 1 to 4. And then on page 4 --
4 would the usher please turn to page 4. On page 4 begins the part about
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, which actually covers three important sections.
6 We see above paragraph 21 the sub-heading "Bosnia-Herzegovina." There are
7 three subheadings. We see the first one, "The Bosnian Serb army," VRS or
8 BSA as we call it. Then on the following page we see the section about
9 HVO and another one about the BH army.
10 Now, having seen this, do you agree that this was the general
11 briefing about the situation you received in Zagreb before going to Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina, or even before going to your post that preceded Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina? Bulgaria, I think it was. Can you confirm that? Was
14 that the briefing you received?
15 A. I cannot confirm that. I -- if I remember correctly, I did arrive
16 in the ECMM in the March time frame. It was the 1st or 3rd of March. The
17 document I see is in fact dated the 25th of February. I mean, once again
18 to tell you that this was the briefing, I can't say that. I mean,
19 realising the situation changed daily, and as individuals came into --
20 into the mission area, yes, they were brought up to speed on -- on the
21 overall situation, but to say specifically this is the document or the
22 briefing, I can't give you that right now. And by the time that I moved
23 from Bulgaria to Macedonia and then back into Gornji Vakuf, obviously the
24 situation would have changed drastically from this initial briefing.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. You can remove this document. And can I
1 have document P 09603 in e-court.
2 Colonel, this was made by your colleague, Christopher Beese, this
3 schematic. It indicates your groups, coordination centres and regional
4 centres and the axes along which you moved. Is this schematic consistent
5 with your perception of the events?
6 A. No, it is not.
7 Q. Where is the discrepancy, please?
8 A. It's where you have Victor 2 and Mike 3 actually represented.
9 Mike 3 was not responsible for the Gornji Vakuf area. Once again, I'm not
10 sure at what point in time this was -- this map represents. Once again,
11 times changed and incidents changed and borders may have in fact changed.
12 Realising that CC Travnik was in Travnik and my area of responsibility
13 during the time I was there was the Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, and the Prozor
14 area. Excuse me. And so therefore obviously Mike 3 was not in that
15 location as indicated on the map.
16 Q. Very well. It's possible that the organisation changed in the
17 meantime, but Mr. Beese had arrived there slightly earlier than you and
18 was there most of the time that you were there. Anyway, it gives us an
19 overview of the area.
20 Let me ask you two more things. You told us yesterday something
21 about the organisation of your work, communications. I believe that part
22 is clear. But, Colonel, you personally and your colleagues moved as a
23 rule only along major roads, and the only exceptions was when you were
24 escorted by one of the factions. On those occasions you could go to use
25 byroads; is that correct?
1 A. That is correct based on the type of vehicle that we were
2 initially issued with and that we were one team. We were also escorted
3 by -- by UNPROFOR in a lot of these cases, and in some case we took a
4 risk --
5 Q. Colonel, I'm sorry to interrupt. I really don't have time for
6 that. You have just -- you have already explained that. I'm only
7 interested in one fact, namely, that you moved only along major roads for
8 the most part, and you never moved by night. I believe you said that as
9 well. Is that correct?
10 A. I never said anything we did not move at night. We in fact had
11 occasion to move at night. There were escorts but of varying types, and
12 there were times that we did move without an escort or in an area we had
13 not been to previously for other reasons, which if you wish we can
15 Q. Can we agree that for the most part you moved in daytime?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Colonel, when we look at this schematic, and if we
18 project it on the geographic map of the area, I will put it to you that
19 simple arithmetics show that you, the monitors, covered more -- less than
20 1.5 per cent of the territories where you were active, and I mean by that
21 all the three regional centres. So your movement and your direct
22 knowledge were derived from 1 to 1.5 per cent of the territory. Would you
23 accept that?
24 A. I would have to accept that, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Let us move on. In your statement, you dealt in
1 greater detail -- I mean, the statement you gave to OTP investigators, if
2 I may remind you. You said that your main task, and you repeated that in
3 your testimony here, was to gather information, to report to ECMM
4 headquarters in Zagreb and, subsequently, the ministers of the EU
5 countries, but you also had other tasks. You played the role of
6 negotiators or mediators in negotiations. You participated in the
7 distribution of humanitarian aid, because whether you liked it or not, you
8 had to get involved in that job, and you had to get involved in some
9 rescue missions.
10 Is it correct that you were engaged in all of these activities to
11 a greater or smaller extent?
12 A. Absolutely.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could the registrar please show us
14 document P 01221. That's an exhibit we've seen before.
15 Q. While the document is being placed on the screen, it follows from
16 the document that ECMM Regional Centre Split had 17 teams of monitors for
17 the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro, and south-west Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina. Can we please turn to page 2 of the document.
19 Does this figure sound realistic to you? Is that how you remember
20 the situation?
21 A. What specifically do you want me to comment on?
22 Q. The number of teams of monitors. Do you remember that Regional
23 Centre Split had only 17 teams of monitors that operated in Croatia,
24 Montenegro, and south-western Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's on page 3,
25 because the first one is the facsimile. You will see there Regional
1 Centre Split and in brackets there's a description. Somewhere in the
2 middle. The first sub-heading on the page. "17 monitor teams ..." It's
3 dated 19th of January, that's true, but I put it to you that this
4 situation did not change by May when you arrived. Is that correct? You
5 don't remember, you don't know, yes or no?
6 A. Once again, I cannot comment based on the fact that only what you
7 displayed here. If that was in an official report, then I would have to
8 say yes, it was there. I was responsible and in one location. I was not
9 responsible or had the -- the purview of those around me other than those
10 immediately to my left and right flank and my higher headquarters.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one follow-up question.
12 The Defence is showing you a document dating back to the month of January.
13 You arrived on the 29th of May. That is several months later. So the
14 Judges would like to know if the situation that you found when you arrived
15 was the same as in the month of January, because in this description of
16 the month of January, it -- in the description it says: Because of
17 artillery fire, whether from the Croat side or the Muslim side, the
18 movements around Prozor were limited. When you arrived because I looked
19 at the map between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor there are 12 to 15 kilometres.
20 They are connected by a road with this checkpoint at Makljen. But when
21 you circulated between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor in the period you spent
22 there, was there artillery fire that prevented your movement?
23 THE WITNESS: Not on my arrival. The situation in Gornji Vakuf
24 was -- had relatively stabilised itself to allow us to move in,
25 remembering the main road in was through Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, and then
1 over to Zenica.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Your Honour, I would like to return to an answer
3 you have given before or agreed to before, namely that you covered roughly
4 or at best 1.5 per cent of the territory. I am not quite sure what this
5 is supposed to signify. Does it mean that you actually -- you set foot or
6 wheel on that part of the territory or that your information was limited
7 to that? Because I can imagine that first when driving you saw large
8 area, so that must have been a relatively considerable part of the
9 territory, and you must have talked to people and the talk was perhaps,
10 it's for you to tell me, not limited to the locality where you were so
11 that maybe one could say intellectually you covered more than 1.5 per cent
12 of the territory.
13 THE WITNESS: My -- my immediate response is -- was given in
14 trying to understand what the question was. The unfortunate thing, I
15 think this is a question of how long is a piece of string. I'm not sure
16 how much territory I was supposed to cover based on the overall 100 per
17 cent. I know that my area of responsibility during that time frame
18 consisted of the Prozor area, Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno. I did travel
19 between Split and Prozor and of course Gornji Vakuf up to Zenica on
20 occasion and observed other areas or other territories, but once again, in
21 the three months that I was in that particular region my responsibility
22 was those three communities. Is that 1.5 per cent of the overall? I
23 can't answer you, yeah.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I -- I don't know whether that was really what --
25 what counsel meant with this question. I -- I understood counsel as
1 implying that in Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, and Bugojno, which was your area,
2 you only covered 1.5 per cent of that, but maybe that I misunderstood, and
3 then I'm sure Mr. Kovacic will kindly set me right.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this example that I
5 put to the witness and that was accepted by the witness is based solely on
6 the description of roads along which ECMM monitors moved. We have enough
7 evidence about that from earlier testimony and from Colonel's testimony.
8 So it is pure arithmetics. If we project these roads on which they moved
9 on the geographic map in the around Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor or on
10 the entire map of Bosnia, it doesn't matter, we get the figure of 1 to 1.5
11 per cent. I --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... this. How do
13 you come up with this figure? Do you make a string of all the roads that
14 are manageable and then you take the portion on which the witness has
15 travelled or -- it's not clear to me as a concept.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I took statistical data about the
17 territory, the area of those municipalities, and I calculated the portion
18 of these municipalities covered by main roads because the witness
19 testified that they only used main roads and, very exceptionally, along
20 byroads. And the witness confirmed it. In fact he said he never used
22 So it is my assertion, and we can check this with experts, that is
23 the case. This map was prepared by ECMM and it has not been contested.
24 Now, would I like to ask the witness another follow-up question on
1 Q. Colonel, you told us yesterday that you were the eyes and ears as
2 far as these events were concerned, but let me remind you that in another
3 case in which you testified as well, Prosecution versus Hadzihasanovic, on
4 page 7594, and I will quote you, you put it in stronger terms, in greater
5 detail: "[In English] We could not be the eyes and the ears everywhere."
6 I emphasise this "everywhere." "But we, and we were only one team in that
7 location, and that responsibility of those three communities."
8 [Interpretation] So in the context of the questions I put to you
9 before, and you said something similar at the beginning of yesterday's
10 testimony, I will ask you the following: Do you agree that your objective
11 possibilities of observation were not good, bearing in mind the territory
12 or the limitations you mentioned, all the jobs you had to do, the number
13 of teams and so on and so forth. Would you agree that objectively you
14 were unable to carry out a thorough monitoring?
15 A. I disagree.
16 Q. Well, let me ask you this in another one, Colonel. You're a
17 professional soldier. Had you been in a military operation in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina with your troops, would you have agreed to draw up
19 military plans based on the type of information you had as an ECMM
20 monitor, superficial and unverified information? Would you have embarked
21 on any serious kind of activity?
22 A. I would make the statement that I would use the resources and the
23 sensors that I had at my disposal as a commander. And even though as a
24 commander I don't see the whole battlefield, I have to use those resources
25 and make my best judgement based on the information I do receive. Where
1 I'm trying to -- to lead you here is the fact that I was, yes, one team,
2 but available to me were many different organisations that gave me that
3 capability to then digest information and then distribute it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question of the Defence is
5 very subtle, and you are not exactly answering the point. Counsel is
6 asking you in view of the information at your disposal as a representative
7 of the ECMM, in a military situation, would you have used as a basis the
8 same information you had for a military mission? That is the question.
9 All this is in order to test the reliability of your information.
10 So as a military operative, would you have embarked on a military
11 mission with the information that you had at the time, rather than a civic
12 or civil mission?
13 THE WITNESS: I'm not trying to avoid answering specifically the
14 question, but once again I draw your attention to the real reason I was
15 there. I was not there in a military capacity of trying to do military
16 operations. I would probably approach it in a much different manner. The
17 point being is that information was gathered from a variety of places. I
18 was one monitor. I had UNPROFOR nearby. I had NGO. I had other
19 humanitarian organisations. I had each of the sides. I worked with the
20 politicians. I worked with the civil authorities. I worked with the
21 military. And that whole picture enabled me to make appropriate
23 If you ask that if I was to do a military operation in that
24 particular area with those resources, I would say, no, for obvious
25 reasons. I would have my own sensors out there to gather that
2 Once again, it's what I was there to do and what I was there to --
3 what information I was required to take up.
4 This -- this statement that I only travelled the main roads I
5 would disagree with. I did not just travel main roads. I travelled many
6 roads in that location, and I saw many people. So it was an overall
7 assessment. Now, it has got to be obvious that one team in that area
8 would have been insufficient in any operation, but I mean we did the best
9 we could with the resources that we had, and more is always better even in
10 military context.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just one more question on this
13 topic, Your Honours.
14 Q. Witness, I understand your standpoint, and in any case, I'm not
15 saying that you, meaning all the ECMM monitors, not you personally, I'm
16 not saying that you did not carry out your role there to the best of your
17 ability and in the best way that you could. There is no doubt about that.
18 We can see what efforts you invested, and we can see what the results are.
19 What I am putting to you is that objectively, and I won't list all
20 the reasons, but objectively, you simply did not have the room to verify
21 each and every piece of information, to check it out, to accept the first
22 piece of information as initial information and then to proceed further.
23 You did try to verify some information, but evidently you were unable to
24 check things to the extent that you would have wished for objective
25 reasons. Would you agree with that?
1 A. I would agree with that.
2 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you very much, sir.
3 Your Honour, I would give over to my client, Mr. Praljak.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Praljak.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel. My name is Slobodan
8 Praljak. We have already met, or at least I remember your face very well.
9 I don't know whether you've forgotten mine.
10 Would the usher please put on the ELMO this document. Would you
11 put these and give the witness these markers.
12 Colonel, there's just one thing I would like to ask you. My
13 questions will be very brief, and in order to save time, as we are always
14 short of time, in order to receive as many responses from you as possible,
15 please be brief as you would in a military context.
16 Now, you see this aerial photograph here. You can see Bugojno
17 there. That's Bugojno, yes.
18 Sir, would you please take a marker and indicate if you know where
19 the 15.000 refugees you mentioned moved after the army of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in an offensive operation captured Bugojno in a
21 traditional-type war between two armies. Would you take a red felt tipped
22 pen and mark the route taken by the 15.000 refugees and say how many
23 soldiers there were among them. Would you indicate where the Serb forces
24 were, where the BH army forces were, and where the HVO forces were, and to
25 assist, the south is down from Bugojno. You can see on the left-hand side
1 north, south, east, west and Gornji Vakuf is where the clouds are. And if
2 you don't know, say so.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you know, as Mr. Praljak has
4 asked you to do, could you give us the locations where the Serbs were
5 positioned, the ABiH was positioned and the Croats were positioned on this
7 THE WITNESS: Unfortunately the map that has been presented to me
8 doesn't represent the whole area. To the north, in fact, were the Serb
9 locations of Bugojno which is not indicated on this map. And the area of
10 Gornji Vakuf is clouded. I can't tell you specifically, you know, where
11 they were situated. And I would obviously need a much larger map in my
12 opinion in order to try to draw out something.
13 Once again, I was not in the intelligence-gathering mode. I could
14 not tell you specifically as per the land exactly where boundaries between
15 brigades and front lines, et cetera. I can give you general impression
16 where I saw on -- what I saw on the ground. I at no time ever marked a
17 map or even had any intention to mark a map because that was not within
18 our responsibility.
19 The -- I can only indicate general arrows of where we believe --
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you very much. Yes, please go ahead.
22 A. And -- and the exact route of -- of the Croat forces that left
23 between the area of Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf, all I can comment on is that
24 it was hearsay that they went east, and I was told -- sorry, correction.
25 They went west into Serb-controlled territory, and they eventually were
1 met up down below.
2 There were -- I was at the location between Bugojno and Gornji
3 Vakuf in which they had come together, and it was a mixture of civilian --
4 Q. Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. We heard that yesterday.
5 Colonel, please, Their Honours have to reach a decision as to the guilt or
6 innocence of these men. That is why I only wish to discuss the extent to
7 which your information is precise and exact. If you do not know where the
8 Serb positions were on this map, that is sufficient for my purposes.
9 So please tell me, do you know what the route taken by the
10 refugees was and where the Serb positions were? If you need to use the
11 large map, you have a large map next to you and you may use that.
12 I would like you to understand that my time is very limited, and
13 therefore I have to put precise questions and get precise answers from you
14 to find out what precisely you know. I don't need explanations of why you
15 don't know something. So can you indicate this either on the little map
16 or on the big map next to you, please.
17 A. I can't indicate the exact route. All I can indicate to you is
18 the direction that they went, which was to the west and then to the south
19 to the Prozor area.
20 Q. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a Google map. Can't you
22 with a pencil just show us approximately? We have Bugojno here. Gornji
23 Vakuf is in the clouds. Can't you approximately indicate the route they
25 THE WITNESS: There is a small community between the area of
1 Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf which I say I can't tell you because I haven't
2 seen the scale on this map and the exact distances. As I remember
3 correctly, the area between Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf is about 35
4 kilometres and if we take somewhere halfway in between there -- they were
5 located initially -- and what I'm referring to is the Croats. And then
6 from that location I would suggest the Serbs were up north here around
7 Bugojno and kind of come down like this. Once again, I'm not familiar
8 with the scale. I can't tell you the exact locations and would suggest
9 that they went in this direction here and then south down into Bugojno. A
10 different coloured map here. This direction and then south. Once again,
11 I cannot verify this line here being the exact line other than trying to
12 visualise or see it on -- on a scaled map.
13 And as I -- and from down here, obviously down south here was --
14 in those days, this was Muslim controlled and this is what I referred to
15 yesterday that was also Croat controlled. Is that what you're looking
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness just please mark
18 these lines with S for the Serb line and R for the route taken by the
20 THE WITNESS: Unfortunately, this diagram does not --
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].
22 Q. Well, red or black is more easily visible. Thank you.
23 Colonel, thank you very much. This is more or less the exact
24 route taken by the refugees, and this is the cooperation mentioned by the
25 Prosecutor between the Croats and the Serbs. After losing a town and
1 after there being 15.000 refugees, the only way they could find to move
2 along was through Serb territories while all the convoys were moving
3 towards the very army that was causing all this.
4 And you will please look at the next map. It's also a Google map
5 and it shows Gornji Vakuf and Prozor. And while this map is being placed
6 on the ELMO, I wish to ask you the following: Yesterday, you said, and we
7 need not repeat it today, that at that time, which was late July, 1993,
8 15.000 people arrived in Prozor where at that time there were about 1.900
9 or one and a half thousand inhabitants. Would that be 10 times more
10 refugees, women, children, men, elderly, than that place had inhabitants?
11 Is the number of people who arrived 10 times larger than the number of
12 people actually living in that place?
13 A. I'm not sure what the infrastructure or population base was prior
14 to the war, in fact, how many total people were living there. But at the
15 time there was only, as you stated, about 1.500 people who lived there
16 when I was there and with the additional 15.000 that did arrive. That is
18 Q. Well, we have the census from 1981, and this did not change a lot.
19 This is from 1981. In the town there were 610 Croats and 1.448 Muslims.
20 So about 2.000 people in total.
21 In view of the war and some people moving out or fleeing, I stand
22 by my question as to whether this was 1.500 people, whereas the number of
23 people who arrived were 15.000.
24 In Paris with the surrounding areas there are 10 million
25 inhabitants, so what would the job of a commander look like? And I was
1 then a commander. If 100 million people were to arrive in Paris, who had
2 been expelled from their homes, who were there with everything with their
3 wives and children, as a soldier can you even imagine such a situation,
4 and then I will move on. Just tell me, can you imagine it?
5 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I object. It's a hypothetical
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll agree. I'll move on.
8 Q. Sir, can you tell me whether in the areas where you were moving
9 you ever saw five buses in a single place, five buses of Croatian army or
10 whatever parked on the road? Or five trucks in one place?
11 A. Yes, I had. You must -- I would ask you to give me a time and
12 place as to where I saw those five buses. I saw many buses.
13 Q. My question is: If you can fit 60 people into a bus, how many
14 buses would there have to be to move 15.000 people from that area across
15 Mount Vran, taking the Diamond road as you call it. We called it
16 the "Road of salvation." Would you need 300 buses to move these people
17 out? It's easy to calculate mathematically.
18 A. Are you referring to the amount of buses that would be required to
19 move individuals from the area between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor out or from
20 Prozor somewhere else? I'm sorry, I'm not getting what -- what
21 calculation you want me to make and for what reason.
22 Q. Colonel, you side quite clearly that these people arrived in
23 Prozor, and you indicated on the map what route they took, and you said
24 there were 15.000 of them. We also said there were 1.500 people in
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Praljak. The
2 Bench has a problem. We don't quite understand what you are getting at.
3 We know that there were 15.000 refugees that arrived in Prozor. What are
4 you trying to establish, that these 15.000 refugees were transported on
5 300 buses or trucks, and you want the witness to confirm this?
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
7 said here and the reports show that in late July Bugojno fell in the
8 offensive. We saw what the consequences were. The witness said that the
9 offensive of the BH army continued. We know that 15.000 people arrived in
10 a place where there were 1.500 people.
11 The question that arises is: What is the military commander
12 doing? What are the civilian authorities doing? And this witness, who
13 was monitoring and collecting intelligence, did he ever see in one spot
14 five buses?
15 MR. PORYVAEV: I object, Your Honour.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Because if 300 buses had to
17 be found --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. He hasn't
19 finished yet.
20 MR. PORYVAEV: The witness was not collecting intelligence. Mr.
21 Praljak is misleading the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Moreover, Mr. Praljak, we have before us not an
23 expert, but a witness. An expert might be able to say what the commander
24 should do or should not do. The witness can only say what he has seen,
25 heard, smelled, and so forth. So I think your question is not a proper
1 question for a witness.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm trying to
3 put the question in the correct way. If the witness says in his reports
4 how many tanks he saw, if he asks what my military speciality is and so
5 on, and it is not his mandate to ask me that, if he establishes there are
6 offensives and so on, then the witness is talking about facts and
7 gathering information.
8 Secondly, I asked the witness clearly whether he ever saw five
9 buses in a single spot, and the answer can be yes, no, or I don't
10 remember. Five empty buses.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you seen buses?
12 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ...
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. My question was not whether you saw them - please assist me - but
15 whether you saw five empty buses parked together in a single place and, if
16 so, where and when you saw that?
17 A. There was also -- I mean, there is a specific time that I can
18 refer to in which it was evacuation of the area of Rat, which was down the
19 "road to salvation" between Gornji Vakuf and Zenica in which I know that
20 the Croats were evacuating. We in fact escorted those full, initially
21 empty buses, and then full buses of people from that area to an area to
22 the east -- sorry, correction, to the west of -- the direction we went was
23 to the west back to Gornji Vakuf, south from Gornji Vakuf and then between
24 Gornji Vakuf and Prozor we went south or west again to another small town
25 up in the hills at which pointed in time -- Podgradje is in that area or
1 just south of that -- of which we then let the convoy released -- released
2 them into Croat territory. And, yes, definitely more than five buses, and
3 they were loaded.
4 Q. Colonel, I simply think we went left, right. There was a village
5 there. That this does not contribute to Their Honours' understanding.
6 But anyway, please look at this map of Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, and Prozor.
7 Yesterday, you said on two occasions, I don't have time to put documents
8 to you now, but you said that on that route you saw HVO soldiers with
9 rifles in their hands overseeing the digging of trenches and that it was
10 Muslims who were digging the trenches to the right and left of the road.
11 I will show you a military map of that area, and please tell me
12 where is that field to the left and right of the road that you were
13 talking about. And I will tell you that Their Honours have also travelled
14 along that road, and both you and I have travelled along it dozens of
15 times. So I will help you see both on this map and a more detailed one
16 that there is not so much as a square metre of field on either side, that
17 this road runs through a valley and that there is a forest on both sides
18 of the road.
19 So please look at the military map, the smaller one. Not this
20 one, the smaller one. Leave the previous map, please. Leave the previous
21 Google map. So the witness can say where going from Gornji Vakuf toward
22 Makljen -- well, first of all, can you tell me where the HVO positions
23 were and where the army of BH positions were so that we know where
24 trenches would have to be dug.
25 Show the witness the military map. Could you put the part between
1 Gornji Vakuf and Makljen on the ELMO so that Their Honours can see too.
2 Please explain to the Judges where the field is, and look at the
3 contour lines and show us where the lines between the HVO and the BH army,
4 which was on the offensive as you say, were.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have this map in
6 e-court. It might be easier for everyone to follow. It's 3D 00381. It
7 may be easier for the witness, but it will be easier for everybody else if
8 we look at it in e-court.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Gornji Vakuf, Rama, please. Could you pull it down a little bit.
11 Raise it, please.
12 Can you see Prozor? It's less visible here. Can you show us,
13 using the marker, where -- where the demarcation lines with the BH army so
14 that trenches could be dug at all, especially since you say you saw it
15 from a road and that it was in a field. Where do you see a square metre
16 of field between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor?
17 A. If you go to the north of Prozor toward Gornji Vakuf, you can move
18 down the map slightly. The other way. Good. You can see that in the low
19 ground there is in fact a creek that runs through that area or a river, a
20 small river. That area was completely surrounded by --
21 Q. Please, where to the north? Could you indicate it? You said
22 between Gornji Vakuf and Rama. Just show us where you had seen it. Time,
24 So where do you see a field here, and where are the lines? Where
25 was the BH army in Zdrinci, and where was the HVO? Would you draw in the
2 A. Once again, and I don't mean to avoid this, I had no direct
3 military knowledge of any of the positions. That was not my
4 responsibility and I was not in a position to gather that information or
5 keep record of where everybody was on the ground. I can give you a
6 general location --
7 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, sir. We have heard that several
8 times already. Thank you. If you can't draw it --
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Praljak, you have asked the witness to show
10 where in his view the locations of the -- of the two armies were. Now, he
11 just explained that he had no specific knowledge, but he would like to
12 show to you according to his knowledge where those front lines went. So
13 please allow him to do so what you have asked in the first place. Thank
15 THE WITNESS: If I -- if I may, I'm trying to look as well for
16 time and place as to exactly what you want me to draw. The issue at hand
17 obviously is that the lines changed in that three-month period. We
18 initially saw the line north of Gornji Vakuf and eventually it ended up by
19 the time I left to the south of Gornji Vakuf, and -- and in fact, right
20 beside our headquarters, beside our warehouse, which was the UNPROFOR
21 warehouse, was Zrinko's headquarters. So for obvious reasons at a given
22 point in time, there was occupation within Gornji Vakuf, and I want to
23 draw a line something like this up the valley here, which is the valley we
24 looked at and kind of came down like this. I can't comment -- and at a
25 point in time the "road to salvation" which I believe was -- unfortunately
1 the pen is getting away on me here. Is there a way to erase this, erase
2 some of the lines?
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] While you draw, I would like
4 to say this to the Chamber: I'm not rushing the witness for the sake of
5 rushing, but we have heard so much evidence and so many facts, and I have
6 so little time to clarify facts as precisely as necessary for the Trial
7 Chamber to be able to make a valid judgement on this situation at the time
8 when I was there and when the gentleman was there. If we are going to
9 skip over such things and if I am to have 40 minutes to clarify 15 points
10 that have been explicitly made here, then of course I have to resort to
11 attempts to get "I know" or "I don't know" from the witness.
12 Q. Can you tell us, where was the demarcation line between HVO and
13 the BH army in the end of July, early August, 1993? The demarcation line
14 between HVO and BH army.
15 A. Can you move the map to the north slightly more.
16 Q. Could you roll -- scroll the map down, please?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the registrar is
18 telling me that if you move the map upwards, you will lose part of the map
19 at the bottom of the map. So this is a technical problem.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
21 continues] ... possible. Since it is clear that the Colonel does not have
22 precise data about lines, then in fact --
23 Q. What is this, Colonel?
24 A. What I'm trying to do is come to grips with the time frame in
25 which you're talking about. The line to the north of Gornji Vakuf, which
1 extended up - excuse me - the "road to salvation", was in fact -- one side
2 was controlled by Croats in the south, and to the north was -- was the
3 Muslims. At a given point in time, as I understood -- as time progressed,
4 slowly but surely the BiH eventually controlled the whole of Gornji Vakuf
5 and shoved -- and moved the Croats to the south.
6 Just prior to this time actually occurring, the other circle that
7 I put on the map and which I've now hashed is the flat area that I was
8 referring to which is around the creek bed. And if I'm getting this
9 correctly, this is a 1:100000 map. So each grid square here is about 1
10 kilometer long. You can see very easily that the flat ground does occur
11 in the area as you approach down into Gornji Vakuf. And it was in this
12 area on the left and right around the creek bed that I observed this. And
13 I fully understand and acknowledge what the General is saying from the
14 perspective all the way up through this area it is restrictive and the
15 contour lines are very, very steep. And you're right, it is forested in
16 that area and it would have been difficult to see except for the high
17 features. So it is this ground here as you approached into Gornji Vakuf
18 that it flattened out and allowed you to see at least 300 to 400 metres in
19 both directions along that creek bed that I recall.
20 Q. All right. Thank you, Colonel. All this -- if I told you that
21 this was under HVO control all the time and has -- had never been lost,
22 that would be a waste of time. We can Google it again and we would find
23 out there was no flat terrain there, but I don't want to spend any more
24 time on that.
25 Could you please pass this map.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. There's a
2 contradiction here. Mr. Praljak is saying that the area which you have
3 hashed, which is a bed of the river where you saw people digging trenches,
4 Mr. Praljak said that this area was controlled by the HVO, and you're
5 saying that because of the ABiH offensive the area was then controlled by
6 the Muslims, and this is why you have plotted this line underneath. Do
7 you confirm this?
8 THE WITNESS: The line to the south I'm only assuming went that
9 far south realising that Gornji Vakuf in its entirety was taken by the
10 Muslims in that time frame in my opinion. I said I'm only assuming and I
11 cannot absolutely verify that it went that far south. All I do know is
12 that it was pushed from out of Gornji Vakuf and the area to the north-east
13 of Gornji Vakuf, that whole area was -- was eventually taken over by the
14 BiH. And once again, I cannot answer precisely that this -- this line is
15 absolutely accurate all the way through. It may in fact, as the general's
16 already indicated, stayed to the north.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that Gornji Vakuf
18 was taken by the ABiH. In which month was this?
19 THE WITNESS: This was in the month -- I want to say late July,
20 early August and later on in August. And the reason I know this is
21 because they attacked around us.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I had understood
23 that the V2 office was based in Gornji Vakuf. When the ABiH attacked, did
24 you leave your office or did you stay in that location?
25 THE WITNESS: We stayed in location and actually witnessed the
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you saw the
3 battle unfold. When a warring party occupies the territory, do they mark
4 the territory? I assume that the ABiH was controlling the road. Did you
5 ever see any ABiH checkpoints and, if so, could you indicate which ones
6 these are on the map, because when you take up a position, you control
7 that position and you control the roads. Did the ABiH establish any
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, there were check points. Initially there were
10 checkpoints between Gornji Vakuf and Prozor, which -- which moved
11 literally day by day, and you could literally see wherever the new
12 checkpoint was, then it would move further south and further south, and
13 eventually it was absorbed into the Gornji Vakuf area and therefore from
14 the August time frame there was no checkpoints between Gornji Vakuf and
15 Prozor proper. The checkpoints started to appear on the south side of
16 Gornji Vakuf and the road over to Zenica.
17 Once again, I have to see the whole map here to get whatever that
18 road was over to the eastern side to get an understanding that in fact the
19 feature that I may -- I mean, this road up here to the north may be the
20 wrong road and may in fact be this it one here that's the one to Zenica.
21 I'm not sure. But on this side, all up here, I got the appearance it was
22 controlled, and all the way up the valley here. And this was the valley
23 we knew stuff was happening, and the Croats were up in this area.
24 If that clarifies the situation. The road -- the road definitely
25 over to Zenica had -- had eventually BiH checkpoints, but -- and just to
1 put it in perspective, the Makljen was always, in my time, controlled by
2 the HVO.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a quick point, Your Honour, because later on I
4 assume that this is going to be moved into evidence. Perhaps during the
5 break the gentleman could just mark it and then when we go back on record
6 indicate the marks, what all these lines denote, otherwise, months from
7 now we won't be able to remember.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We shall now have a
9 20-minute break. Time is up. If you could mark this map during the break
10 this would be useful to all of us. We shall resume in 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Colonel, would you please be so kind as to sign this map so that
16 we can ...
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can you mark today's
18 date, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have an
21 exhibit number, please.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC 37, Your Honours.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could you now please put on
24 the ELMO the Google map that I have shown before, the Google map of Gornji
25 Vakuf and Prozor.
1 Q. And now, Colonel, please indicate on that map the exact spot where
2 you saw Muslim prisoners digging trenches under HVO. The Google map,
3 please. We can't see it. On the ELMO, please. Here it is.
4 Just indicate the spot, please, where you saw the incident of
5 trench digging. Put a date and sign it, please.
6 A. If I am to assume that this is -- what I'm indicating here is the
7 road down to Prozor -- is that correct?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Now please sign it and put a date.
11 A. [Marks]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can we have an
13 exhibit number, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC 38, Your Honours.
15 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I'm trying to come to grips with this here.
16 This does not look right. This is the town of Gornji Vakuf where the dot
17 is indicated on Google, and then this is the road down to Prozor? Is that
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Yes, that's the road towards Prozor.
21 A. On this location here. So it's outside Prozor to the south along
22 that road on the left and right, and this is that area that is flat and
23 goes up against the ridge-line on the left that I remember.
24 Q. Very well. The flat area. We can see that, that there is no flat
25 area there, in fact, but we'll deal with it later.
1 Please tell us, you said -- you said at one point that the BH army
2 took over Vakuf. Do you remember on which date, on which day it was? Yes
3 or no.
4 A. No, I cannot remember the date. And if I can recant on my
5 information I provided that I thought that Gornji Vakuf fell. It was
6 probably incorrect. In reflection, all I can remember is that Gornji
7 Vakuf was divided, and it was right down the centre of the town of which,
8 if you look to the south-west area which was controlled by the -- by -- in
9 my opinion the HVO, and of course the north-east and down to the road in
10 the north, and I'm referring to, if I may again, this area down in here.
11 If anybody can see that. Sorry, I've got the wrong finger going here.
12 Thank you.
13 So what I'm referring to is -- is a line something like that, and
14 then eventually it came on and dropped down like this. The -- if the
15 road -- if there is a road over this way towards Zenica, and I think this
16 may have been it over here, and I'll just mark the road like that, if I
17 remember correctly, and this -- this kind of line that got -- and this
18 kind of moved in that direction, if I'm not mistaken. But there is major
19 activity all up there if that's what you're looking for.
20 Q. Colonel, there is no road to Zenica there at all. It's a
21 non-existent track, in fact, towards Pojnica [phoen]. The road to Zenica
22 is in fact straight to the top towards Bugojno, but we don't have time for
23 that now. I have to note simply that you are not aware of the military
24 situation except in very general terms, and you wrote in your statement
25 that the BH army attacked Vakuf in that offensive. And will you please
1 look at that map indicating Neretva 93 that began at your -- in your time,
2 and tell us when you look at that map, do you know anything about that
3 open war between Croats and Muslims, about the activities? Behind you is
4 the map. On that board behind you is the map.
5 A. So what do you want me to indicate on the map?
6 Q. Are you aware, are you familiar with the overall activities, the
7 military activities of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina against the HVO
8 while you were performing your honourable duties there? Just look at the
9 map and tell me if you know anything about it, what you know? And if you
10 don't know anything, you can just tell me, "I don't know," and we'll move
12 A. This is the first time I've ever seen this map in this amount of
13 detail. I had a map that indicated front lines on the day from 1993, but
14 that was the extent of it. I'd have to take a very close detail. I
15 understand map symbols and I understand what is being portrayed there but
16 I'd have to take a look at everything to see what you're trying to portray
18 Once again, to ask me whether I knew the detail and specifically
19 where every location is, I have to answer no, I did not. Once again, we
20 were not in that business.
21 Q. Sir -- Colonel, would you please be so kind as to assist me. My
22 question is a very precise, a military question, and you are a colonel of
23 the Canadian army. According to this map, were you familiar with the
24 overall conflict, the open war between two armies in end July, in August,
25 and in September when you were there? Do you know about that? And if you
1 don't know anything about it, you can tell me so. Look at the map and
2 tell me in military terms what you knew, how much you knew. If you were
3 not aware of it, just tell me so and we'll move on.
4 A. I know that when I left the area to return home on leave that the
5 situation was relatively stable. When I returned some two weeks later the
6 situation had completely changed, and I knew there was an offensive
7 happening from the ABiH moving south from the north and that it eventually
8 ended up with two opposing sides going at each other, for lack of a better
9 term right now, to -- on the battlefield. One in the south, HVO, and the
10 north being BiH. That I --
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. Could you please indicate on
12 that map you marked the road towards Zenica, put a date and your signature
13 on the map that we see on the ELMO. Just indicate the direction towards
14 Zenica. You drew in the road.
15 A. I understand. Once again, I need to see the complete map here.
16 If I had the indication then I can draw where Zenica is and I can draw you
17 that road back. I need the map to the north of this in order to indicate.
18 Q. So you cannot testify that what you drew in here is actually the
19 road to Zenica. This has nothing to do with the road to Zenica, or does
20 it, what you just drew on the ELMO?
21 A. I would suggest if I may draw this back -- if I were to look at
22 the map and if I remember the map of the day there was in fact another map
23 sheet to the north which we used. And as he indicated on this map here
24 there is Novi Travnik, 25 kilometres. So if we take that, and I'll refer
25 to this -- this road here as that road that made lead up to Zenica and not
1 in fact this one down to the south. Is that correct?
2 Q. All right. Cross out this lower one, draw the one up north
3 towards Zenica, and write Z for Zenica, and erase that.
4 A. [Marks]. Is there anything else you wanted added?
5 Q. No, nothing. Thank you. Just put your date and the signature.
6 What is this thing to the right that you just drew? Would you explain?
7 A. This line here?
8 Q. Yes. You drew something to the right in the red marker. What is
10 A. I believe this -- this may have ended up, and I'm just -- sorry.
11 I'll get the eraser going here again. Once again, I'm trying to come to
12 grips with the actual lines at the time that I was now leaving the mission
13 area, and I do believe that once again Gornji Vakuf was still divided, and
14 HVO controlled this area which I'm indicating down to the south. And
15 obviously ABiH was in the north. So that, I believe, may have been the
16 front line.
17 Q. Could you please indicate the area covered by BH army in green.
18 A. I can do that in blue.
19 Q. Blue is fine.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Could you please write "ABH" and "HVO" below that.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. That's fine thank you. "ABH".
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. And "HVO" in red, and put a date and signature, please.
1 A. [Marks]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can we have an
3 exhibit number, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit IC 39, Your Honours.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. A short question. Do you know how large were the contact lines on
7 the front line between ABiH and HVO? What was the length of the contact
8 lines? Do you know?
9 A. I have -- I have no knowledge of that.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, another question that will be a complex one. You
11 told me you don't know the exact date when Vakuf fell. It is true that
12 HVO lost all lines on one day. We'll establish later which day. Were
13 those lines lost for -- in one day? How many people fled from the area of
14 Vakuf on that day, 5.000 or 6.000? Did HVO forces blow-up warehouses with
15 food and weapons? Was livestock killed by HVO forces, and did people
16 torch 25 of their own homes when they were fleeing? And is it the case
17 that all those lines were recovered by the evening of the same day, and is
18 it true that I recovered those lines in that famous film with Sylvester
19 Stallone? Have you heard anything about that incident at all?
20 A. The specific date that I believe you're referring to, the loss of
21 Gornji Vakuf, was the date where in fact the ABiH attacked around our
22 warehouse, and that evening I can remember prior to the fall of that
23 particular headquarters in which Zrinko was located, I remember showing up
24 with -- I refer to one of your battle buses which had stretchers on board
25 and it was an armoured bus that could take up to 30 people if I remember
1 correctly. And we got the phone call that something was up, and at that
2 point in time we moved the --
3 Q. Colonel, please. Those are details, and please don't take
4 exception, but those are the details that I'm not interested in right now.
5 The things that I have put to you, are they accurate to the best of your
6 recollection? Do you know or don't you know? Just tell me. Just tell
7 me. Are you aware of whether those things I put to you are true? Do you
8 know about them?
9 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour --
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I think I put a very proper
11 question. Mr. Prosecutor, my question was very proper. Is this gentleman
12 aware of those facts?
13 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, Mr. Praljak put a number of questions
14 to the witness, and he requests one response, yes or not. Maybe yes,
15 maybe not. It's unfair to the witness to conduct in such a way.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, ask one question
17 after another, step-by-step.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So you don't know how long the lines were. Do you know that in
20 one day, in the morning, all lines of the HVO fell and were abandoned? Do
21 you know that? Yes or no?
22 A. I knew the area that I was in that event had happened, because the
23 next morning the --
24 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Colonel. Do you know how many
25 people fled together with the army towards Prozor on that day? Do you
1 know how many people fled together with the army on that day towards
2 Prozor? Step-by-step. Yes or no?
3 A. I can only comment on the area which I was in, which was Gornji
4 Vakuf. Yes, I did know that there was a number of people that did move
5 from the Prozor down to do -- or sorry, from Gornji Vakuf down to Prozor,
6 because they were not there the next day.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know that I, climbing on top of a tank, lead
8 the army back, and that same evening I had recovered all HVO positions and
9 had them under my control? So they were back in that position again the
10 next day. Just give me a yes or no, Colonel. Don't beat about the bush.
11 A. You made me aware of that 13 years ago.
12 Q. Thank you. I'm not going to dwell any more on Vakuf. Could you
13 please put this paper with that large Tuzla convoy on the ELMO. The paper
14 that I drew about the convoy. I just have a couple of questions
15 concerning the convoy.
16 As for this map that the gentleman did not recognise, the big one
17 on the panel behind, could it be exhibited, please?
18 Yesterday, Colonel, you told us about the length of the Tuzla
20 This one. Yes. Right. Just can we see it all, in its entirety.
21 Thank you.
22 You stated yesterday that 500 trucks set out from Split and that
23 on the move they were 200 metres from each each other and that the whole
24 length was 14 kilometres and something. So according to my calculations,
25 if the distance between trucks is 200 metres, then the whole convoy is 100
1 kilometres. If the -- if the distance between them is 100 metres, then
2 length is 50 kilometres. And if the distance is only 30 metres, then the
3 whole convoy is 15 kilometres long. Can you confirm that? You said
4 yesterday that --
5 A. Yeah, okay. Understood. Now, with the understanding that I gave
6 you an average of 200 metres. If there was 200 metres. Sometimes there
7 may have been 10 or 15 metres. These are not disciplined military drivers
8 that would keep that standard 200 metres between each vehicle for security
9 reasons. I mean, this was a large convoy that moved en masse from one
10 location to another.
11 Q. Thank you. Colonel, we know that the convoy moves from --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I think there is an
13 error in B. It should be 100, not 200.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can we have that corrected,
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber misses
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. So,
19 Colonel, convoys move from one place to another. I can also ask a
20 question, what if the stars rise and then set. Hamlet gives speeches and
21 then blah, blah. We are now dealing with exact data.
22 The convoy set out from Split, 500 trucks, with three escorting
23 vehicles. Where is the army on earth that would allow one convoy to set
24 out at the moment when the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina took over
25 Travnik and when that number of refugees was moving away from Travnik?
1 How many refugees were moving from Travnik southwards, and why were there
2 only three UNPROFOR escorting vehicles with the convoy consisting of 500
4 A. Once again, there are specific instructions from our higher
5 headquarters, and I'm referring to UNPROFOR as well as our own, that this
6 convoy was made up of locals of Tuzla from all sides and we were not to
7 become involved. Once again, it was a situation where we inherited this
8 large number of vehicles coming into our area.
9 We -- we were, in fact, the ones that stopped -- may I continue
10 or -- or is --
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you. We've heard all that yesterday. There's
12 no need. I would allow you, but there's no need.
13 Do you know that Travnik fell at that moment, looking from the
14 Croatian side? Did you know that at that precise moment the HVO lost
15 Travnik and do you know how many refugees and troops were moving from --
16 fleeing from Travnik south?
17 A. I knew of that because we had been informed that things had
18 gone -- there was now a battle between us and where they needed to get to,
19 and that is one reason we stopped the convoy.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Would you please be so kind as to correct
21 the number 2 into a number 1 under B, please. Thank you very much. Thank
23 You worked with UNPROFOR. Would you tell us whether UNPROFOR had
24 a mandate, 500 metres to the left of the road and 500 metres to the right
25 of the road prescribed for the passage of a convoy, and I will put it on
1 the ELMO. They had the right to use weapons to defend the convoy. Was
2 this defined in the UNPROFOR mandate, that it had the right to use
3 firearms to protect the convoy moving along that road?
4 A. I cannot remember specifically the mandate of UNPROFOR in those
5 days. I know, however, that convoys were being directly threatened coming
6 up that road and eventually it came to the point in time where return fire
7 could be used if convoys, and I'm referring to UNHCR convoys, were
8 threatened. And their responsibility were UNHCR, not other humanitarian
9 organisations. And they eventually ended up taking on responsibility for
10 the escort of those UNHCR once there entered our region, and hence that's
11 why many of the resources of Graham Binns's company were spread thin
12 throughout that area and during that time frame.
13 Q. Thank you very much. I will now move on to talk about the
14 Croatian army and some other matters you raised here. So could we please
15 have 3D 0047. That's a CD. And could you show those two documents to the
16 gentleman. Could you please put those two documents, the "Road to
17 salvation did --" no. We'll do it after the CD. Very well.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Sir, you'll see me in Capljina. Stop here, please. And you will
21 see that I have a German flag on my pullover. Stop. You see? It's the
22 German flag. And -- well, it can easily be seen.
23 From the fact that you saw a German flag on my pull over, would
24 you conclude that I was a German soldier in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. If I had not met you before, ever, once again, I would not
1 consider you a German because I have not seen your full uniform or I had
2 not spoken to you. I mean, just by having a German pullover with a flag I
3 could not assume you were a German. I would have to see the pants you
4 were wearing or if you had any beret or headdress. But I cannot jump to
5 the conclusion that you're a German.
6 Q. Correct. So the fact that whether an army is present on a certain
7 territory or not can be ascertained in principle by the mission of that
8 army, its task, its orders, the route it is to take, the tasks it is to
9 perform. So would you then agree with me that when you come across a
10 soldier in Gornji Vakuf and you see an HV insignia on him, it does not
11 necessarily mean he is a Croatian soldier from Croatia. What it means is
12 purely that he's wearing a jacket with HV on it. Would you agree with me
13 that one would need more information than that to ascertain that the
14 Croatian army was present on a certain territory?
15 A. I would agree with your statement, but realising once again you'd
16 have to look at in its entirety. If you take an isolated patch and say he
17 is a Croat soldier or he's a German soldier, I would probably say that
18 would be impossible without seeing the first picture.
19 It is my opinion that I saw many soldiers with HV. They showed up
20 at a time and place where you would probably expect them because of the
21 offence that -- the offensive that was taking place at that particular
22 time on the ground, and uniforms were relatively new and they were
23 relatively in a lot better shape than the HV uniforms I had traditionally
24 seen on the ground during that time frame.
25 Q. So you say that when you see a new uniform the soldier is a
1 Croatian soldier, and when you see someone in an old shabby uniform he's
2 an HVO soldier. I won't go into this any further.
3 On page 9 of your report, I'll read out what you say. It's page
4 9. Of your statement, sorry. The statement you made, in the middle and
5 I'm quoting: "On that day in Prozor, I saw one soldier with a HOS patch
6 on his soldier, two soldiers with HVO patches on their shoulders, and four
7 soldiers with an HZ on a red and white chequerboard on their shoulder. In
8 my belief, these soldiers were part of the Croatian army which was
9 incorporated into the HVO forces."
10 Colonel --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note they do not have the exact
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. One HOS soldier, two soldiers with HV patches, and four soldiers
15 with an HZ patch, which I'm not familiar with, are sufficient for you to
16 conclude and sign this piece of information that you believe that the
17 Croatian army had been incorporated into the HVO forces. Would you just
18 say whether this is the statement you made? Is what I have read out
20 A. If you can give me a time and date as to that statement. I also
21 do not have it here in front of me. I cannot verify whether I made it or
22 did not.
23 Q. On the 17th of June, I don't know when you gave the statement --
24 oh, yes. Here it is. The 9th and 10th of October, 2001. And the day
25 when you saw this was on the 17th of June, 1993.
1 A. Once between, that would be directly related to a piece -- or a
2 documentation I would have written or made reference to. If this is a
3 statement that you have that I made and it is in fact confirmed I made
4 that statement, then I cannot deny and say, yes, that is correct.
5 May I also make the observation that military officers in wrong
6 uniforms are in violation, I believe, of a convention. I'm not sure, and
7 I would have to go and -- I would have to ask that. This is why
8 militaries tend to wear their own uniform and their own patches because
9 they are identifiable from that perspective, and you can assume that that
10 is in effect worldwide. I made that comment.
11 I would not be wearing --
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: General Praljak, I'm sorry to interrupt you. I
14 am a bit worried about the time frame of our hearings this morning. Let
15 me remind you that the Defence was given altogether three and a half hours
16 for -- for doing its job. Now I recall that you, General Praljak, you had
17 taken one hour this morning, and -- and I also would like to refer to the
18 fact that Mr. Poryvaev has finished his examination-in-chief in 20 minutes
19 this morning, which all in all would give to the Defence around four or a
20 bit more than four hours for doing the cross-examination. And of course
21 it would be only in a way welcome if we could finish the -- listening to
22 this witness -- Colonel -- witness here today because we are having other
23 witnesses scheduled for tomorrow and for Thursday.
24 So therefore I would like to ask the Defence really to see to it
25 that the time remaining would be -- would be in a way usefully used, and
1 since also we heard this morning that actually Mr. Coric would like to
2 have more time than originally envisaged. So I would really ask all of
3 you to take care of this -- to take care of those remaining hours and to
4 divide among yourselves as discussed and as agreed upon. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In addition, you used one
6 hour, 32 minutes.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
8 have been given time by the other gentlemen, and I'm adhering to the
9 amount of time I have been given. However, I stand by my opinion that
10 what matters is not that we hear 500 witnesses but that we learn the
11 truth, and the conclusions -- examine the conclusions of the witnesses on
12 which my fate depends.
13 I repeat that I wish to know what I have been found guilty of in
14 the end. And when a Colonel of the Canadian army comes here, who is an
15 expert and who has put forth an incredible number of facts in the
16 documents he has presented, I need to check this. If he has seen a total
17 of four soldiers, one many whom was a HOS soldier who was under the
18 command of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time and he concludes on this basis
19 that the Croatian army was there, we are on very slippery ground. That is
20 why I wish to check the standpoints and conclusions presented.
21 I will go on.
22 Q. On page 13 of the same statement, on I quote, you say --
23 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. Mr. Praljak --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the Chamber has
25 given you one hour. You have already had 1 hour, 32. We understand very
1 well what you're saying. The issue of HV, since the witness has explained
2 that according to him there was an HV presence there, you are certainly
3 not going to change his mind, or maybe you are, but try to ask him
4 synthesised questions, and please indicate how much more time you need,
5 because we have another Defence team to intervene on the very important
6 question of the military police, and there are other Defence teams as
7 well, and we have 3 hours 45 in total.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll conclude
9 very quickly. I cannot change the Colonel's opinion, nor is that my
10 intention. I just want to point out on the basis of what information he
11 arrived at what piece of information. He says "after our return we saw HV
12 soldiers in Gornji Vakuf where we had never seen them before. I don't
13 know how many of them there were, but they were wearing HV uniforms."
14 Q. Colonel, is it possible for a colonel in a professional army not
15 to note down the basic information of how many there were? So how is it
16 you don't know how many soldiers of the Croatian army, as you say you saw?
17 Please be brief so we can conclude this quickly.
18 A. Once again, I would suggest that it was my -- my limited and
19 restricted movement within that area that did not allow me to count every
20 trench with every soldier with every officer to add up to companies,
21 battalions, et cetera. I observed soldiers with certain patches. Those
22 numbers I'm -- on that day I have no understanding as to why I did not
23 indicate the numbers. I would normally indicate those numbers.
24 Q. Let's move on. Thank you. Thank you very much. It's not that I
25 don't think you wish to assist.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Praljak, the Chamber is
2 minded to stop you now because you have already exceeded your time. What
3 is the last useful question for your case, if you have one.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have one, Your
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honours, the
7 Defence of General Petkovic will give most of its time to General Praljak,
8 so that General Praljak can use 20 minutes of our time. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I won't need so much, Your
11 Q. Witness, I'll ask you the following: Document P 09658 and P
12 09665, the first is of the 23rd of August, 1993, and the next one is of
13 the 6th of August, 1993. And P 09620 of the 30th of August, 1993. At the
14 time of the fiercest attacks by the BH army on Vakuf, in all three
15 documents you include the following sentence: "UNPROFOR convoys are
16 passing through Gornji Vakuf." And in the second document of the 6th of
17 August you say the convoys are passing through Gornji Vakuf and on -- in
18 the third document, the 30th of August, 1993, the convoys are passing
19 through Gornji Vakuf and in another document you say it was between 50 and
20 100 trucks per day. I won't waste time showing you all those documents
21 but it's in there very clearly in all three documents so we'll only be
22 wasting time.
23 So who do you think under such circumstances made it possible for
24 the convoys to pass through, and what was the role of Slobodan Praljak,
25 HVO commander, in all that, if you know?
1 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I would object.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, Colonel.
3 Yes, the Prosecution.
4 MR. PORYVAEV: I think the witness should be shown at least a
5 single document Mr. Praljak means now to contest.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well. Document P 09658, please. The first
8 paragraph, "General situation," line 3: "UNPROFOR convoys passed through
9 Gornji Vakuf without any problems."
10 A. Are you asking me who insured their security, General?
11 Q. I'm asking you whether it's usual in such a military conflict for
12 convoys to be passing through the place where the conflict is taking
13 place, and they are taking everything that is needed by the army, which is
14 carrying out an aggression against me. So what kind of strength do you
15 need to let such convoys pass through in such a situation. And can you
16 give me an example of any war, between France and Germany, between Germany
17 and England, the war in the Baltic, along the Pacific, where such things
18 happened? The next document is P 079665. Can it be put on the ELMO while
19 we are hearing the witness's reply?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The document which
21 you've just used, the other documents show the same thing.
22 You've heard the question. Can you answer the question?
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] They all say the same, Your
24 Honour, yes.
25 THE WITNESS: Initially I would like to make a statement based on
1 my -- on your last comment on history. I'm sure there are many examples
2 in many wars where humanitarian aid was moved back and forth between the
3 front lines uninterupted but negotiated. The thing I would like to
4 indicate at that time is that by that time all convoys that were coming up
5 from Split were in fact under the escort of -- of Graham Binns's company
6 which he had to dedicate resources to. In fact, from the point in time
7 that they entered our area, platoons would be assigned to them to run them
8 through our area and then take them on to -- and pass them off further
10 The indication was is that prior to that happening, convoys were
11 threatened daily. So with the presence of UNPROFOR with armoured vehicles
12 that would return fire against anybody that actually fired on the convoys,
13 I think that was incentive enough why convoys were left alone as they
14 passed through, realising and understanding that the battle of the day was
15 not conducted on that route.
16 Q. Colonel, I only wish to say that I arrived there on the 26th, and
17 for the most part after that there were no problems with the passage of
18 convoys as you testified to in all your reports. These convoys, let it be
19 said, could have been stopped when entering Bosnia-Herzegovina, because
20 the territory up to Gornji Vakuf was controlled by the HVO all the way
21 from the border. So they demonstrate the attitude of the HVO --
22 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, here is a statement by Mr. Praljak.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. My last question, sir.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Mr. Praljak has
1 concluded. Do you agree with what he said or not? He said that when he
2 arrived on that location there was no problem with the passing through of
3 convoys. Do you agree with this or not, or do you have a different view?
4 THE WITNESS: I'm starting to recollect that in fact I may even
5 have talked to the general about this on -- on a meeting that we may have
6 had about, you know, unrestricting the convoys, allowing them through. I
7 may have. It's starting to come back to me based on what he is saying.
8 And I would suggest that that may be one of the reasons the convoys were
9 allowed to get through. But I must re-emphasise they were under the
10 escort of UNPROFOR, and I would suggest that that also ensured -- UNPROFOR
11 did not make a habit of running checkpoints. If they had been stopped,
12 they would stop and wait until it was negotiated. And by that time, by
13 indication on my reports, we were moving convoys through unobstructed but
14 they were still being escorted.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Very well. Their Honours know about the order of the 31st of
17 July. Of course it's easy to write an order. It has to be carried out,
18 but we'll deal with that in a different way.
19 Colonel, I wish to thank you. I would have more questions about
20 multiple rocket launchers, the tanks you spoke about. You said there were
21 three tanks there. I would like to discuss fuel, because we can agree
22 that tanks can be fuelled where they are. They're not taken 10 or 15
23 kilometres into the rear to refuel. But, Colonel, we had an excellent
24 cooperation up there. We had very nice meetings where we talked about
25 things that were not purely military, and not for a single moment had I
1 doubted your best intentions. I only wanted to establish here the
2 precision of what you saw and then the precision of what can be concluded
3 from what you saw, so that all of us and primarily Their Honours can
4 arrive at the truth of these events. Thank you very much.
5 And thank you very much, Your Honours. Please accept my apologies
6 and gratitude.
7 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, good morning. My name is Vesna
9 Alaburic. I'm an attorney-at-law from Zagreb. In these proceedings I
10 appear for the Defence of General Milivoj Petkovic.
11 I have reduced my cross-examination to several topics which I feel
12 are important for a good understanding of the context. I believe that
13 based on the documents shown by the Office of the Prosecutor yesterday,
14 which I will show you again if it should prove necessary, we can clarify
15 some important circumstances.
16 To begin with, could my learned friends give to the witness the
17 set of documents that were shown to the witness yesterday to avoid wasting
18 time. Oh, the witness has them. Thank you very much.
19 First of all, I'm interested in the mood of the Muslim population
20 and individual commanders of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina with respect
21 to the peace processes under way at the time of your mandate in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. For this reason, I would ask you to look at P 04440.
23 This is a report, a daily report shown to you yesterday.
24 MR. PORYVAEV: It's under seal.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Move into private session.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 7704-7705 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Your
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Defence counsel, you
7 have the floor. We are in open session.
8 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I am attorney-at-law from Zagreb, and I appear for Mr. Valentin
10 Coric in these proceedings. Sir, we heard in your testimony yesterday,
11 and I believe you will remember that, that you believe there was a direct
12 military connection between the military police in Prozor and the OZ
13 commander. Do you remember that?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. When we are talking about the military connection, would that
16 connection be a chain of command like we have military police, the
17 commander of that military police, and after that we have the operative
18 zone and the commander of the operative zone? Is my understanding
20 A. If it was set up in a traditional military structure, the -- and
21 if it was the size of a platoon, which is what I am assume -- assuming,
22 then the structure would naturally lead that the MP police commander would
23 be indirectly responsible directly to the OZ commander being a brigade
24 commander. There maybe several platoons of military police throughout his
25 area, but it would be directly within the chain of command in my opinion.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Can we have in e-court a Defence exhibit, 5D
2 00538. There it is.
3 Could you please tell us, sir, we see here in the
4 heading "Operative zone, North-west Herzegovina." Is it from what you
5 know the operation zone where Prozor was?
6 A. If you tell me that, then that is correct.
7 Q. Could we move, please, to the last page of the document to see the
8 signature. We see that it is signed "Commander Colonel Zeljko Siljeg."
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you. Would you be so kind
10 to tell us precisely on which page and which paragraph we can find what
11 you are referring to. Thank you.
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] The first thing I referred
13 to, "Operation zone," is to be found on the first page, just after the
14 description of the stamp on the left-hand side. And the signature is on
15 the last page, on the right-hand side. Just before the words "To," and
16 the indication of addressees.
17 Q. Have you seen the signature, sir?
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. Is that the same gentleman that was referred to already today as
20 the commander of the operation zone? I believe it was in -- in the
21 examination-in-chief that he was mentioned again.
22 A. I am to assume that. Once again, not seeing his picture or a
23 direct comparison, I only can state what I see in front of me is accurate.
24 Q. Can we please go back to page 1 again. Both versions, Croat and
25 English. Can we just raise the English version a little to see the second
1 paragraph that begins with the words "The meeting -- the following matters
2 were reviewed at the meeting." And point 1 is "Organisation and tasks of
3 the military police."
4 For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, I will just put some points
5 from this document to the witness and ask him a couple of questions.
6 Now, in the English version can we move to -- let me find the
7 page. Page 2, last paragraph. And in the Croatian version it's also page
8 2, paragraph 1, or point 1. I will start reading.
9 "The operations zone commander presented the main problems
10 regarding the formation, control and command of the Military Police.
11 According to the plan of the OZ S/ZH organisation and establishment
12 structure, the 2nd Military Police Battalion is also under it's command in
13 this operation zone, and supply, formation and training is carried out by
14 the Military Police Administration. In their areas of responsibility,
15 brigades can use military police units that have been formed in their
16 areas of responsibility. Military police platoons in brigades are formed
17 by each brigade that supplies and trains them and according to the chain
18 of control and command they are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the
20 And just one more bit from the next paragraph on the next page.
21 Somewhere in the middle of that paragraph, line three or four. So
22 paragraph 1 in English, it says: "Military Police Platoon commanders --"
23 it goes like this: "In the implementation of military police tasks, a
24 military police battalion commander is directly subordinate to the
25 operations zone commander, and military police platoons in brigades carry
1 out the orders of the brigade commander within their jurisdiction."
2 I'm through with this document, and I would like to ask --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. This
4 document -- the Defence counsel of the accused has just shown you a
5 document which you did not know anything about. She explained to you that
6 there were the 2nd Battalion of the military police and that each brigade
7 is responsible for its own military police units. Do you agree with
8 which -- with everything that was read out to you by Defence counsel? And
9 then your perception of the situation given the job you had and given the
10 fact that you were there as an observer.
11 THE WITNESS: What is described in this letter is for all intents
12 and purposes what I tried to make an initial stab at, what I thought the
13 organisation of -- any standard military organisation would be. There is
14 a technical chain of command, i.e., the military police talking to one
15 another as well as an operational chain of command, which would allow
16 commanders to command their MP platoons. In this case a brigade had an MP
17 platoon. In other cases it may be as big as a company. And in turn would
18 answer to a higher technical chain being the military police battalion.
19 This is -- I'm very familiar with this sort of a structure, and I would
20 have -- and once again, I would have assumed what I really started to talk
21 about, and this is confirmed by this piece of paper, that I am correct.
22 It was set up in a standard military fashion and the control of military
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. On page 7 of the
25 document in English, in point 4, we're going to give the floor to all
1 people in charge of the brigades. The commander of the Rama Brigade,
2 there are two of them. We can see there. Marinko Beljo will describe the
3 lines facing the Serbs. I think everything is calm and peaceful. A
4 number of problems have arisen due to the Muslims in some villages. And
5 in one settlement there's -- there are five Croatian families that had to
6 move out. The conclusion of this commander was to say that there are no
7 further problems.
8 This document is a document that's dated in the month of March.
9 You arrived after that, and you could see what was happening in Prozor
10 after that.
11 According to you, the Rama Brigade commander, would he have
12 reached the same conclusion in May, June, and July? Would he have
13 mentioned this to anyone?
14 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour, I've lost your train of thought
15 here. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to ask me here.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall sum up. The commander
17 of the Rama Brigade intervenes, and he takes stock of the situation, and
18 he says there are no problems. But this meeting is held in March, on the
19 9th of March. And you arrived after that, a few months later.
20 According to you, if this type of meeting had been held in May,
21 June, or July of 1993, would the person in charge of the military police
22 or the Rama Brigade, would he have said the same thing and said that there
23 were no problems whatsoever.
24 THE WITNESS: No, he would not. He would probably have painted a
25 very different sort of picture in that time frame.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. [No interpretation]. I will repeat because I see there's no
3 interpretation. Let me go back to your testimony of yesterday where you
4 described your contacts with the imam of Prozor.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Yesterday in your testimony you described one event saying that
7 you tried to visit the imam but you were prevented from doing so by the
8 military police.
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Could we please go into private session now, because I would like
11 to produce one Prosecution exhibit that was shown yesterday.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session.
13 [Private session]
11 Page 7712 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Your
11 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Should I repeat my question? Would you agree with me about the
13 Tuzla convoy, that it was privately arranged? It was not organised by any
14 of the humanitarian organisations.
15 A. Privately arranged from the point of view that, as I understood
16 it, it was made up of -- of those of the population of the Tuzla area,
17 because, and I think I already made this statement yesterday, because they
18 had been running out of supplies. No formal aid agency or organisation
19 was bringing stuff in, so they took it upon themselves to run trucks out
20 to the coast, to the area of Split, and to purchase what supplies they
21 could, which included fuel. And I'll just add that this movement took
22 place over almost a one-month period actually before they got loaded and
23 came back in. There was not a large influx of -- of trucks in our -- in
24 our area on the way down. They either moved down in small packages or
25 acquired additional trucks down in Split, but when they were all filled,
1 there was the mass move of one complete convoy from the -- from the west
2 into the east up toward Tuzla as a complete entity.
3 Q. From that one might conclude that it was a spontaneously organised
4 convoy arranged by private persons who needed aid.
5 A. I'm trying to come to an understanding what's private and what's
6 public in reference to aid convoys. It was organised by those of -- of
7 that area to get help, in my opinion.
8 Q. It was not organised by any of the organisations that normally
9 handle the gathering and distribution of humanitarian aid?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Tell me this, please: Do you know if this convoy was announced
12 and, if so, to whom and when? Was it notified to any of the authorities
13 on the ground?
14 A. We got word of the convoy via our own means and UNPROFOR means,
15 that they were gathering in Split and heading in our direction, and -- and
16 that's why we almost were in a situation of -- of literally hearing on a
17 daily basis were they coming, were they not coming. Once again, we had
18 not taken on responsibility for the convoy whatsoever, either in the Split
19 region or all the way through. It was through our communications that we
20 kept -- we were kept abreast as this large convoy moved in our direction,
21 because it was my opinion that the convoy was being actually formed once
22 things were ready. And I'll put also on the plate that we had the
23 situation to the north of us that had deteriorated. In fact, a battle was
24 now going on. In the meantime this thing was forming up and starting to
25 move in our direction.
1 If I remember, the group down south to us were actually feeding
2 this other 100 trucks or 200 trucks, now 300, now 400, and it kind of went
3 up in chunks of a hundred to eventually give us that 500 plus number of
4 vehicles moving in our direction. So this thing built over a long period
5 of time.
6 To say that it was ad hoc, well, you know, ad hoc over a long
7 period of time, which was, you know, finally became this very large
9 Q. From what you just said, should I conclude that the organiser of
10 the convoy did not notify the number of vehicles, the personnel of the
11 convoy, the contents of the convoy, or the destination to you or anyone
13 A. Well, it became known as the Tuzla convoy, so we obviously knew
14 where it was coming from.
15 Q. No, that's not what I'm asking you. I'm sorry, that's not what
16 I'm asking. I'm asking whether before it became known that a heap of
17 trucks was headed your way whether anybody, monitors, the authority,
18 UNPROFOR or anybody else notified that you that a huge convoy was coming
19 from Split headed there and there, with so many people, with shipment
20 documents, bills of lading, et cetera. Did you know any of these things
21 in advance, or did you find out when the convoy was already on the way?
22 A. We did not get any shipment documents. We did not have the time
23 nor the wherewithal to worry about shipping documents and lading bills.
24 This was in the middle of the war. That we had heard through our chain
25 that these trucks were moving in our direction. Once again I'm reminded
1 of our situation that the responsibility of UNPROFOR was the security of
2 UNHCR convoys, and after a while we became responsible and UNPROFOR, the
3 company, Graham Binns's company, we became responsible for a portion of
4 the route to salvation to conduct escort. Now, that included anything
5 that was moving on that road, and then that was from NGOs to other
6 humanitarian organisations.
7 Once again, it was an issue of inheriting this very large convoy
8 in our area of responsibility.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Tell me, please, when you reached that
10 convoy or, rather, it arrived in your zone of responsibility, you are
11 around the convoy, you and UNPROFOR, I'm not going to insist on dates, did
12 you and UNPROFOR check the shipment, what exactly was on the trucks, and
13 which persons were on the convoy?
14 A. I'll describe that -- or I'll very briefly refer to the very first
15 day that we came upon them, realising that we had been waiting out on the
16 road for them for quite some time, and our first real contact with them
17 was at that Prozor road junction in which vehicles were being hived off,
18 and from that point forward we were with the convoy I think for almost up
19 to a week, of which we began to talk to the drivers and realise what sort
20 of cargo they were carrying. This is one of reasons why we made a direct
21 or one of the reasons why our superiors made the direct observation that
22 we should not get ourselves involved because we could not verify what was
23 the content of every vehicle, especially 500 of them. I have no idea, I
24 cannot categorically state right now what was in every truck. What I can
25 state, it appeared to be all foodstuffs, supplies, fuel, that were moving
1 into that direction. And I will not verify one way or the other whether
2 or not there was in fact ammunition, weapons, or whatever. I personally
3 did not see any driver, any co-driver, any family member of that convoy
4 carry anything. No weapons were on that convoy that were visible, and
5 they were totally unarmed. There was, and I believe it may have been a
6 local official that was the individual that we had direct contact with who
7 also was the kind of guy in charge of the convoy from their perspective.
8 There was no armed guards present on the convoy. They were a
9 bunch of civilians trying to make out in a very unfavourable situation to
10 get home, in my opinion.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to have a break now. We
12 shall have a 15-minute break and resume at a quarter to 1.00 and then we
13 will have one hour left. I hope that we will have finished in the
14 remaining hour. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We can resume.
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Sir, I think we established before the last break that you did not
20 inspect the convoys but that you learned information about what the
21 convoys contained and what persons were in it from the drivers and other
22 persons in the convoy. Continuing on from this, I will ask you the
23 following: Would I be right in saying that at the time the convoy was
24 passing through the area there was fighting going on around Travnik?
25 A. That is correct, and that's why we stopped the convoy in our area.
1 Q. When you say that you stopped the convoy, yesterday you said that
2 at Makljen you could not pass through that. Passage was denied to you.
3 So did you stop the convoy at Makljen because of the fighting around
4 Travnik, or was it somebody else who stopped it?
5 A. I think it was a situation that we began to understand what it was
6 up against. I can remember personally talking to the lead vehicle, which
7 I believed contained the leader of the convoy, if you want to call it
8 that. I remember explaining him the situation that unfortunately a battle
9 had broken out between him and Tuzla, and that my recommendation would be,
10 you know, to hold tough until "we could release the convoy," and we would
11 be receiving that information from our higher headquarters through a
12 cease-fire or whatever. We explained the dangers that that may be ahead
13 for this convoy if they were to proceed. So we gave them advice, and from
14 that point actually made the recommendation to them. Once again, it was
15 left up to them to decide whether to proceed or not proceed. All we did
16 was presented what we knew as the fact, which was there was a battle up
17 front. "You're going to run into trouble. Are you sure this is where you
18 want to be or take these people?" And slowly but surely we began to
19 take --
20 Q. Excuse me, sir, for interrupting you. We are very short of time.
21 Could we conclude, then, that this convoy was stopped pursuant to an
22 agreement between you and the people in the convoy? I believe the answer
23 to be yes, so could you please just confirm and we can proceed?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, please tell me, it was from your
1 conversations with these persons that you learned that the cargo was
2 intended for Tuzla and for the civilian population of Tuzla.
3 A. We knew that beforehand as this thing started to build out of
4 Split and come in our direction. It was obviously confirmed when we
5 started talking.
6 Q. Who did you learn it from? Excuse me for interrupting you. Who
7 did you learn that from? Did you see the documents?
8 A. No, from my chain of command. Either -- and what I'm referring to
9 is, you know, through the daily report procedures that this convoy was
10 down there, conversations with the -- likely the team down toward
11 Tomislavgrad, through UNPROFOR. Of course they were getting word of it up
12 their chain that this thing was building, with the realisation that their
13 responsibility in those days was that piece of route was within their
14 sector. So it was from a variety of locations that we did receive this
16 Q. But you do not know for sure from what source, from whom, and
18 A. When we first heard about it?
19 Q. Yes, when you first heard about it, who told you, and whoever told
20 you, did they tell you how they had ascertained that, that is where the
21 convoy was going and for whom it was intended? And if they learned that
22 from the participants in the convoy, was that information checked and
23 verified and in what way?
24 A. I -- I would suggest that what needed to -- what we need to
25 understand is probably somewhere in one of my daily reports would be an
1 indication of when I first heard about it, realising that we were going to
2 inherit this convoy or was going to come into our area.
3 Q. But you can't recall right now?
4 A. To name a specific time and place, no, I cannot.
5 Q. Well, you're a soldier, so -- and a very well-educated and
6 well-trained soldier. So please tell us, a convoy of 500 vehicles arrived
7 in a war theatre. There was fighting nearby. Had you been the commander
8 of that area - and this is a hypothetical question - would you have wanted
9 to check what was in the convoy, check the contents of those trucks, in
10 view of the fact that the convoy was passing through your area and then
11 would be passing through enemy-held territory, which would mean that there
12 was a possibility it would bring supplies to those enemy forces? Would
13 you wish to see what the convoy contained? Would that be normal for you
14 to check that?
15 A. Yes, it would be normal, and I -- and I would -- if I may. I
16 would be checking, and I did check. My statement was initially made that
17 I did not check every single vehicle. This convoy was made up of all
18 three ethnic groups, Serb, Muslim, and Croat, that were in this convoy,
19 including children and wives or females of the drivers that was moving in
20 that direction. I -- over a one-week period that this convoy was in my
21 location, I began to understand and to know what this convoy was made up
23 I inadvertently would check back the vehicles by -- and I remind
24 you I spent time with them, by sitting in the middle of the convoy on one
25 night as I explained, and during the day I would be sitting with them and
1 I would be talking through my translator and get a feel for the -- for the
2 people and who they were and, more importantly, you know, basically get
3 the knowledge that they were peaceful and just a bunch of civilians that
4 were really trying to move in stuff for their -- for the Tuzla area.
5 Q. Very well. So again we can conclude that you were informed about
6 this from your conversations with those people.
7 Could we now move into private session, please. Maybe we can
8 check whether the following document is under seal. It's Prosecution
9 document 02688. Could the registrar please check. If it's not under
10 seal, we can remain in open session.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 7722-7726 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Your
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. By you do not know what unit the Kinder platoon belonged to? When
20 I say the Kinder platoon, I'm not talking about people whom you assume
21 might be the Kinder platoon, but yesterday if you had not been told what
22 those people were doing, you would never have arrived at that conclusion
23 because you don't really know who or what the Kinder platoon was. You can
24 only assume, conclude. But you don't have any first-hand information, and
25 until yesterday you had not heard of the Kinder platoon. Am I right?
1 A. That is correct, but the Military Police Platoon is the one I have
2 been referring to throughout my testimony, that I knew was active in
4 Q. Yes, we know that. You explained that yesterday. I just wanted
5 to see what it was you did not know. You did not know what the Kinder
6 platoon was.
7 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I have concluded my
8 examination, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examination by the Accused Coric:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Can you remember, my name is Valentin Coric. I
11 am an accused here in these proceedings.
12 I will now use a document which we cannot show on the screen now,
13 but I wish to tell you that you are not correct when yesterday you said,
14 and this was suggested by the OTP, that the military police in Rama was in
15 absolute control of the situation. Therefore, I ask you to be patient and
16 answer my questions. But before that, I would like to read a report of
17 the security and information service of the Rama Brigade. Have you heard
18 of the SIS, the security and information service?
19 A. I have not.
20 Q. In Rama did you ever ever come across Mr. Luka Markesic? Do you
21 remember that name?
22 A. I do not remember that name. If you showed me a picture I might
23 be able to identify him.
24 Q. Thank you very much. I would now like to read this report. It's
25 the only report I will use, and therefore I ask for the Court's
1 indulgence. The heading is "Rama Prozor brigade, security and information
2 service." The date is the 1st of June, 1993. The report is on events in
3 the villages of Klek and Donji Krancici.
4 "On the 27th of May, 1993, on the occasion of a conversation with
5 ECMM monitors in the headquarters of the Rama Brigade, it transpired
6 (information received from the imam from Prozor) that on the 26th of May,
7 1993, in the village of Klek an elderly man was murdered."
8 I have now been told by my Defence team - I will interrupt reading
9 this text - that this is P 02597. Could we please have it placed on the
10 screen. I see that there's poor coordination in my team.
11 So I'll continue to read and now you can follow. Do we have it on
12 our screens?
13 So: "On the 26th of May, 1993, in Klek one elderly man and two
14 elderly women were killed and one girl was raped. After this information
15 was received, the CIS of the Rama Brigade --" have you heard of CIS? I
16 didn't hear that.
17 A. No, I did not, or have not.
18 Q. SIS, rather, "security and information service came to conduct
19 investigation. The officer of the SIS, Franjo, officer of the Rama
20 Brigade SIS, who was sent there, and the doctor on duty, Dr. Sefik
21 Hadzic," do you agree with me that this is a Muslim name, the name of the
23 A. I cannot comment on that because I'm not familiar with the -- what
24 is a Muslim name and what is not.
25 Q. Thank you. I thought you might have learned in that time. "And
1 established the following:
2 "On the 26th of June, 1993, six soldiers in camouflage uniforms
3 came to the village of Klek with the intention of looting.
4 "These persons arrived in red-coloured vehicles and a grey Lada
5 station-wagon, and on this occasion they killed," and now we can see the
6 names that I'm not going to read, the names of the Muslims who were
7 killed, and the person who was raped, to speed things up.
8 "After that, the SIS of the Rama Brigade embarked upon a detailed
9 investigation and took into custody the suspects." I underline this.
10 A. Sir, I'm confused again. In referring to page 1, we're talking
11 about a date of 26 June, 1993, and now we jump to -- back and forth to
12 another date of 27 May. Was this event even related, or is this two
13 separate events? In the English translation I have June and then May, and
14 then back to May. Sorry, it starts with May, goes to June, and then to
16 Q. I'm being told that this is an error in dates. The 25th of May --
17 I think these are two incidents. In one incident two persons were
18 involved. In other incident six were involved. But if we read through,
19 it will become clear.
20 A. But on the 26th of June, that date is incorrect because the memo
21 is written on the 1st of June; is that correct?
22 Q. That's what the document says. I'm using a SIS document. This is
23 not a police document. I am using what I have, but we'll see later where
24 the problem lies.
25 If you will bear with me, I would like to continue and then we'll
1 deal with those issues.
2 So when we are talking about this service that you never heard of,
3 it seems to have taken these suspects into custody. Do you believe that
4 the service did take these persons into custody, that their offices --
5 A. What I believe and know are two different things. Unfortunately I
6 cannot comment on whether they were or were not. I didn't see it happen.
7 Q. Fair enough. Let's move on. "After initial interviews of the
8 suspects, it was established that all three of them were involved in the
9 crime together with another three members of the 1st Guard Brigade of the
10 HVO who are on the run."
11 So three were in custody, three on the run.
12 "Then it was established that they were participants in another
13 incident in Donji Krancici on the 27th of May, 1993, while the
14 investigation for the previous incident was still under way.
15 "These people came to Donji Krancici on the 27th of May, 1993, at
16 around 2000 hours and began mistreating old men and children, looking for
17 money and jewellery. They started confiscating motor vehicles and
18 destroying the property of the rest accidents of the village, which is
19 located in the liberated part of the municipality.
20 "We emphasise that Muslims from that village go to the first front
21 line facing the Chetniks.
22 "The detained Jozo Glibo and Zoran Petkovic are being questioned
23 by the Rama Brigade SIS, while the three so far unknown, unidentified
24 members of the 1st Guards Brigade are on the run, while Pero Vidovic has
25 been expelled to Croatia."
1 Signed "SIS officer Franjo Krizanac." And this document was sent
2 to the SIS of the operation zone north-west Herzegovina and the command of
3 the Rama brigade.
4 Therefore, can we conclude on the basis of this document that some
5 other services to in Rama municipality and Rama town around Prozor were
6 active? And I'm asking you whether you had any contacts with the Ministry
7 of the Interior, MUP, and the police station in Rama.
8 Okay. I understand you didn't have any contact with the SIS, but
9 did you have any contact with the civilian military police in Rama?
10 A. I would have had contact with the civilian police, because if I
11 remember correctly, it would have been collocated with the mayor of
12 Prozor. I'm -- but to say, you know, that there was direct interaction
13 about -- about these particular activities, first off I've got to openly
14 admit that I don't even know where this place you're referring to in this
15 document is in comparison to Prozor and whether it was even in my -- the
16 area in which I resided. Gornji -- I'm sorry, I can't see the name, the
17 second part of the down.
18 Q. Klek.
19 A. Where is it located?
20 Q. Yes. This is Prozor municipality, if I can be of assistance. So
21 we're talking about villages in Prozor municipality.
22 A. But obviously to the south of Prozor it became very vague as to
23 our -- where -- where our line was drawn. To say that it was further
24 south than where I was able to get access would tell you that I would
25 probably have limited or no knowledge of this occurring.
1 Q. But I should like to come back to this report that I'm dealing
2 with today, the only one, to read to you the first sentence. "On the 27th
3 of May, 1993, in talking with ECM monitors." So I'm asking you how is it
4 possible? Those were your men. On the 1st of June you were on duty, as
5 far as I recall.
6 A. But once again, I must emphasise that it could have been any
7 number of ECM monitors in that location that they may have talked to.
8 Whether it was specifically me, I cannot answer that unless I had my
9 report to refer to on that day. Remembering that, you know, 1st of June
10 is kind of my first sort of getting my feet wet in that area, and to say
11 that I had actual contact with the SIS, I cannot give you that. It may be
12 my partner. It may have been the -- another team from another location,
13 and I can give you no more than that. Unless you specifically identify
14 where this occurred, how it occurred, I can't further comment on it.
15 Q. Well, Colonel, you mean to say that in your area, Bugojno, Gornji
16 Vakuf and Rama, other teams were able to come and do your job? Were they
17 coming with your approval, or did they come without any notification or
19 A. Nobody else did my job. The situation is that I remind you that
20 the "road to salvation" moved through Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf. ECMM
21 monitors moved up and down through our area quite often, and we in fact
22 would inter -- we would interact with these -- with these individuals as
23 they moved through and did their work. Our AOR, area of responsibility,
24 included three communities.
25 Q. Excuse me. Excuse me, Colonel. A moment ago, in your previous
1 answer, you said that maybe another team talked to SIS officers, officers
2 of the service you never heard of. That's what you said. Could any
3 passerby, just anybody from the European monitoring team just walk up to
4 any member of the brigade and talk to them. Does that sound logical to
5 you? Could you comment?
6 A. The activity -- it would -- okay.
7 Q. I would appreciate a brief answer. I don't have time. The Judges
8 are already looking askance at me.
9 You can't have it both ways. It's -- you have to give up one of
10 these possibilities. Let me just remind you that the day before you went
11 to Rama to have a meeting and now you are testifying in The Hague about
12 killings, about rapes that are really documented, that really did happen,
13 that people are being tried for or have been tried for. So where are we?
14 What is the position? The day after that meeting you have no
15 information --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Coric, you are here to ask questions, and
17 maybe it would be a good idea if you let the witness answer. He started
18 to answer, you interrupt him. He starts again, you interrupt him. We are
19 interested in what the witness has to say.
20 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. I'm sorry, Colonel. Could you please answer.
22 A. There is to doubt about my area of responsibility and who played
23 in my area. In fact, I used to -- in fact, I got very upset when
24 individuals, and I'm referring to other agencies, would come into my area
25 and play without me knowing about it.
1 The ECMM, the way it was set up, allowed us to operate
2 independently within our areas of responsibility. The issue was that
3 teams would move through our area, through our area, as a stop point on
4 its way into Zenica. Now, if you're asking me is the possibility that an
5 individual would be -- an ECM monitor would be stopped and talked to by an
6 individual of the SIS, then it is possible. Whether to say it was me I
7 cannot answer that, because first of all, I do not know or understand
8 where this town is you're referring to. If I had that, then I can give
9 you a sort of general answer to say, yes, it probably was me. If it is in
10 an area very much south of Prozor, then you're running into Mike 2, which
11 is a different ECMM responsibility, and they may have had contact with the
12 SIS. That's what I'm trying to refer to. There is no doubt what was
13 happening in my area. I knew what was going on. And nobody played in it.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Colonel, when you speak south of Prozor, do you
15 have the limits of the municipality in mind for the location of the town?
16 THE WITNESS: No, I have the defined location between Mike 2 and
17 ourself. I have no idea what the limit -- sitting here right now, what
18 the limit of the Prozor municipality is. All I know is the distance is
19 halfway between Mostar and ourselves in Prozor, that major road was
20 divided, and everything to the north was mine and everything to the south
21 happened to belong to Mike 2, if I remember correctly.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. It would be possible to show you a
23 map where the town is indicated.
24 THE WITNESS: That would be helpful. Then I could help --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could the usher do that?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Place it on the ELMO.
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, this isn't helping me much either.
3 You're going to have to orient me.
4 I see Prozor in the centre here, and the town that you're
5 referring to is located where?
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think it is Klek, and it is located 4.00, the
7 direction 4.00. There is a square around it. It's marked.
8 THE WITNESS: It's the top of my pen right now; correct?
9 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] And Donji Krancici is just a
10 little way above. May I continue? I have only two more brief questions
11 and we'll be done.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please go ahead.
13 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So you met up with General Praljak in some sort of restaurant
15 didn't you. But this meeting on the 27th of May was held in the command
16 headquarters of the Rama Brigade, not just anyplace. That's what this
17 document says, if we go back to page 1. Is that what's written?
18 So, Colonel, my last question: Does this document demonstrate,
19 and not only this one but a series of other documents, that your
20 information as representatives and monitors of the European Monitors was
21 indeed reacted to by the HVO? They went to the scene, took the suspects
22 and the perpetrators into custody and started questioning them. The
23 offences involved were very serious. And I'm not questioning your
24 contribution. It is indeed very valuable that you provided the
25 information but would you agree that this is the case?
1 A. This is one incident which occured on the 27th of May, 1993. It
2 does not address the situation which happened in July and August.
3 Q. That's not what I asked you, Colonel.
4 A. This is one incident which was dealt with. It appeared to have
5 been dealt with by -- by the -- by the HVO. Of which I may not even have
6 knowledge of.
7 Q. Colonel, as you formed your opinions that you presented yesterday,
8 I could say by the same token, if the Trial Chamber allows me, that I can
9 produce another 40 documents that were developed during your mandate, and
10 I could tender them. But most of these documents have already been
11 exhibited, and they will be dealt with when we come to the last stages of
12 the Defence case.
13 I have no further questions. Thank you, Colonel.
14 Thank you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have 10 minutes left. I can
16 see that three Defence counsel have not taken the floor. Mr. Ibrisimovic,
17 Ms. Nozica, Mr. Karnavas. So what is it to be?
18 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have
20 already given up our time in favour of other Defence teams and we have no
21 questions of this witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'll try to be brief.
24 I don't know if I'll be able to finish within the allotted time.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
1 Q. Good morning, sir -- Colonel.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. First I just want to -- some housekeeping matters. Going back to
4 your testimony, the first time that you were here testifying --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Karnavas, could you please speak into the
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. When you testified the first time in the previous case on 18 May,
9 2004, there was a question posed to you and you were asked about some
10 specific names and you said that you could not provide these names unless
11 you referred to notes. That would be on page 7598 of the -- of the
12 transcript in the previous case, which would be the Hadzihasanovic on 18
13 May, 2004.
14 My question is: When you testified in that case, did you have
15 notes or were you referring to the reports that -- that you had generated?
16 A. I was referring to the reports, and I continue to refer back to
17 the reports because they are the concrete written record of what happened.
18 Q. And now, Colonel, when you were prepared for that case by the
19 Office of the Prosecution, did they actually show you your reports? Were
20 they available for you to look at and refer to in order to refresh your
21 memory? If you recall.
22 A. Not to the detail that we have here today.
23 Q. Okay. And when you came to The Hague, before and prior to
24 giving -- to give your evidence yesterday, I suspect that you met with the
25 Prosecutor, the gentleman who has been questioning you. Were all of your
1 reports made available to you at that point in time or just the report --
2 the reports that you generated and others generated for the purposes of
3 introducing into evidence?
4 A. What was made available to me was my previous statements and these
5 reports here.
6 Q. Okay. And so I take it from your answer that there are other
7 reports that you generated that were not made available to you, and that's
8 what you've been referring to for the last couple days, if you could refer
9 to your reports; correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. And I take it that you did not make copies of your own reports for
12 your own archive?
13 A. I did not.
14 Q. All right. Now, sir, I have a couple of questions with regard to
15 your statements. You gave two statements, and I find it rather curious.
16 Nothing to do with you, by the way, but just curious in the sense that the
17 first statement that you gave was on 9th and 10th October, 2001. You were
18 interviewed by a gentleman by the name of Brett Pakenham. Now, sir, if I
19 may ask, were you interviewed in Canada at the time?
20 A. I was not.
21 Q. Were you interviewed in The Hague?
22 A. I was not.
23 Q. So you were in theatre someplace?
24 A. I was.
25 Q. And I'm not trying to pry into exactly where you were. So they
1 actually had to come and get you to take your statement?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. The second time was a month later and that was on the 28th and
4 29th of November, 2001; correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Now, were you in the same location or had you moved back home
7 or --
8 A. I was in the same location.
9 Q. Okay. And I find it rather curious is as follows, and perhaps
10 this is more for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, is that on the first
11 statement that you give, you're asked questions that are exclusively
12 against the Croats, and a month later, when you're questioned by another
13 interview, Tom Parker, it would appear the same period, the same events,
14 you're only asked questions that would be against the Muslims. Would that
15 be a fair assessment, first of all?
16 A. That is a fair assessment.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I take it you were not conducting -- you were not
18 directing the flow of the interview. You were being asked questions and
19 you were answering the questions to the best of your ability; correct?
20 A. No. I was asked to give a statement as to what I felt had
21 transpired between certain dates on which I gave.
22 Q. Okay. Maybe I was inarticulate in that question. All right. You
23 were asked the questions and you provided the answers; right?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. All right. Now, I find it rather interesting that if you are in
1 theatre, as you were, working as a monitor, being a soldier and officer
2 and having spent at -- been on five different missions as I understand it,
3 you would -- you would agree with me, would you not, that in order to
4 understand a particular event or set of events one would have to look at
5 these events in context, would they not?
6 A. I would agree with that.
7 Q. Okay. In other words, we just can't take an isolated incident,
8 isolate it to one side and try to make sense of it without looking at all
9 of the events; right?
10 A. I would agree with that, yes.
11 Q. Okay. Now, again getting back to my earlier question, you were
12 not the one that had chosen to conduct these particular interviews in this
13 fashion, in other words, one for the Muslims and one for the Croats. That
14 was something that the Office of the Prosecution decided to do on its own
15 for reasons perhaps that were made available to you or not?
16 A. I'll clarify that a lot of the interviews were conducted based on
17 location and where things had happened rather than a specific ethnic
18 group, and that's what we explored throughout the interview process. So,
19 you know, there were -- in both interviews both sides came up on certain
21 Q. Right. Well, the reason I'm asking is I find it rather curious,
22 because I can tell you that in my jurisdiction, in the United States,
23 anywhere, whether it's state or federal, I expect it's the same in Canada,
24 no investigator would do it in this fashion. They would try to get one
25 complete statement from the individual, perhaps go back for clarification
1 purposes. I'm perhaps wondering why would the Prosecution in this case
2 send investigators on two different occasions to far places to get
3 interviews on matters of context?
4 MR. PORYVAEV: Is it a question to the witness about the actions
5 of the Prosecutor's office?
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. Did you question -- did you question the methodology, why would
8 they want to take these events out of context? Because it would seem to
9 me for instance if we wanted to understand what was happening in your zone
10 of operation or area of operation throughout that entire period we would
11 have to take you chronologically and get a chronological narrative, as it
12 were. Would that be correct?
13 A. I would suggest that when I was initially contacted, it wasn't by
14 one side and then the other side. It was -- I was contacted over the
15 events that I had experienced over a period of time which then two
16 individuals came down and interviewed me specifically about areas in the
17 north and areas in the south.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. And that's how we came about.
20 Q. All right. Were there other matters, because I just to ask this
21 last question, were there other the matters regarding your tenure which
22 you were not asked to give clarification on because I find it rather
23 interesting that one fellow would come in from the north, one from the
24 south. Did anybody come from the center, east, west, north, south? It
25 just doesn't make sense to me. So did they -- were there areas, were
1 there gaps in your statement because they, being the Office of the
2 Prosecution, failed to ask about particular incidents that might perhaps
3 be necessary that information that is in order to put entire events into
4 context and at least well on your watch?
5 A. I tried to project openly, and I have no favour against one side
6 or the other.
7 Q. I understand that. That's very clear. That's very clear.
8 A. And the issue that there were many incidents that had occurred in
9 a very, very short time frame of which I was witness to, and I tried to
10 project and give that information as openly as I could and not, once
11 again, trying to steer it in one way or the other.
12 Q. That's very obvious, sir.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, I know we're out of time. I have
14 approximately 10 minutes for tomorrow, 15 at the very maximum, but I think
15 I can keep it under 10 minutes. There are just some minor points I need
16 to touch on. And might I add I guess --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. You only need 10
18 minutes. Mrs. Nozica, do you wish to put some questions to the witness?
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I do have
20 questions, and I would like to use up the time allocated to us in the
21 beginning, 30 minutes. Maybe I will finish sooner but I would like not to
22 promise that now.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I would add that looking at the following three
24 witnesses, Your Honour, three witnesses for the rest of the week, unless
25 something unusual happens we do not intend to ask any questions, so that
1 would not interfere with --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Colonel, I'm sure
3 you've understood the Defence counsel still has 40 minutes. Can you stay
4 until tomorrow? Is that a problem for you?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, that is a problem, unfortunately, Your Honour.
6 I have other national obligations in a place far away from here or not too
7 far away from here which I must take part in tomorrow morning, and I have
8 no problem about continuing today for the total amount of time you need
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we will have to continue.
11 We will have a 10- to 15-minute break now, and then we shall resume.
12 --- Recess taken at 1.49 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.04 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The session
15 continues. Before I give the floor to the Defence, I apologise to the
16 interpreters for this extension. We will be working an hour longer.
17 I draw the attention of the Defence to the following: As I have
18 already said, when putting questions, put questions about the most
19 important points, the essential points relating to what is in the
20 indictment. Paragraphs 52, 53, 54, 55, are concerned with Prozor. This
21 morning we spent nearly two hours discussing convoys. Convoys are not
22 mentioned in these counts of the indictment. They are a separate issue.
23 There are fundamental issues which were not raised at all, and yet you
24 should have cross-examined the witness on them.
25 The result of all this is that you are not succeeding in
1 completing your cross-examination in the time set. We therefore have to
2 extend our sessions. Therefore, from now on we will have to be far
3 stricter in the time we grant you. From now on, before every session we
4 have to say that each accused has only so much time, and when that time
5 expires we will take the floor from you.
6 We now have an hour ahead of us. The witness must finish his
7 testimony today. He is unable to return tomorrow morning.
8 I now give the floor to Mr. Karnavas, who needs only a few
9 minutes, if I'm not mistaken. I wish to ask him not to put any questions
10 about convoys.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: As a matter of fact, Your Honour, there was one
12 question only because there's a document that the gentleman refers to, but
13 if you wish for me not to, I won't. But thank you, and of course we can
14 always use guidance from the Bench on asking the most relevant questions.
15 Q. Now, sir, you had indicated that the situation changed quite
16 dramatically while you were there, particularly after -- or while you were
17 on vacation, on leave, correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. And I guess I want to focus a little bit on that aspect of it,
20 because it was when you returned that obviously there was a push from
21 north to south, correct, by the ABiH army?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. And at one point, as I recall your testimony yesterday, in essence
24 there was a large number of -- of Croats that were more or less sandwiched
25 into an area; correct?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. And I think the figure is somewhere around 10.000 to 15.000. Now,
3 sir, you indicated that at some point those folks went, I guess it would
4 be east -- no, west, west, and then north -- and then south. I'm sorry.
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. So when they went west they would have gone into Serb-held
8 territory in order to go down south where -- where the Croats were still
9 there at that point in time; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, I looked at the transcript last night, but I thought I heard
12 you use the word that they escaped or were escaping. Some -- a word to
13 that effect. Did I hear you correctly, that in essence, given the
14 situation, you could tell us, in light of what was happening with the
15 battle going on, would it be fair to say that in light of where they were,
16 in essence, they had to escape that area in order to get -- to seek
17 sanctuary in a sense?
18 A. I believe that is a correct assumption.
19 Q. In other words, and what I'm trying to drive at is this was not
20 something that they did on their own volition in the sense that, okay,
21 let's leave the area so we can occupy another area. Because of the
22 circumstances, they being civilians in the middle of two warring factions,
23 they had to get out the way; correct?
24 A. You say between two warring factions. One of the warring factions
25 was the one that was sandwiched between the other, and I believe everybody
1 left, including soldiers. It was one of survival, because they knew that
2 things were going to happen. And while I was in that pocket I also was
3 present when -- when action -- actions were taken and they were being
4 fired upon.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. I was in the middle of it.
7 Q. So we could say this was an act of necessity on their part?
8 A. Both civilian and soldiers, yes, absolutely.
9 Q. Okay. Now, as I understand it, at that point in time the UNHCR
10 had sort of a different policy or --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, please. The
12 question that Mr. Karnavas is asking you is a very important question, and
13 it's the kind of question the Trial Chamber likes to hear.
14 Those refugees, you say that among them there were civilians and
15 soldiers alike, that they set out together. We on the Bench are
16 interested in the following: Did the civilians set out first followed by
17 the soldiers or did the soldiers leave their positions due to offensive
18 actions of the other side, and did that then result in the movement of the
19 civilian population? What would be your analysis of the situation? Was
20 it a movement of general panic, civilians and troops leaving at the same
21 time, or was it a movement that -- in which we can distinguish various
22 times of departure, first civilians, followed by troops, or the other way
24 If you could clarify the situation, please. And that is the type
25 of question that is very useful indeed.
1 THE WITNESS: When we came upon -- we were actually -- got word
2 that it was a mixture of both civilian and military. And when we did come
3 upon the situation, it was -- everybody was mixed in, everybody.
4 Realising that the call was made to rescue, and I use that word wisely, to
5 rescue injured who were trapped, we were given and had use of the battle
6 bus, I refer to the Croat battle bus, of which was armoured, armed as in
7 plating, armoured plating around the outside of the bus, and we were able
8 to use that with my vehicle and Warrior to go into this location to "take
9 out the injured."
10 When we arrived, there was panic, and to the point where men,
11 women, and children were attempting to hijack the bus to get out of there,
12 and my partner was forced to use physical force in order to remove people.
13 At the same time, we are trying to move injured from the casualty
14 collection point in a small house onto the bus, while at the same time we
15 came under mortar fire and the situation worsened.
16 The Brit company, one of its platoons was with me in close
17 protection went hatches down, yellow and myself, hit the dirt along a rock
18 fence and we sat out the situation in a very surreal situation of which
19 complete panic and disarray while we were sitting there having a
20 cigarette, literally.
21 The situation finally simmered down. We loaded who we could and
22 we took off down towards Prozor to drop off the injured. It was that
23 night then when we went back and found that everybody was gone and I'm
24 referring to soldiers, women, children, and men not in uniform. It was at
25 that time that we had discovered that they had moved.
1 I would also like to bring to your attention that buildings were
2 burned on their way out and things were placed on fire. In fact, even the
3 HVO headquarters in Prozor was torched prior to their departure.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. Thank you. And of course if they had to escape on short notice
6 and they had documents that might be secret -- of secret nature, maps and
7 what have you, one would understand why such a thing would occur, would it
8 not? At least the headquarters.
9 A. That particular headquarters was torched the night before.
10 Q. Okay. Well, but the situation, sir, on the ground as it was
11 unfolding was rather rapid, rather panicking, and it was rather evident
12 that they were going to have to evacuate the area or leave the area?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Okay. Now, I guess I want to focus a little bit on the UNHCR. To
15 what extent was the UNHCR providing assistance at this point in time to
16 protect these -- these non-combatants, the non-combatants at least to make
17 sure they didn't have to leave their areas?
18 A. I don't believe that was in the mandate of the UNHCR to protect
20 Q. I agree with you. I'm just asking if you saw anybody, because the
21 reason I'm asking that question is UNHCR, as I understand, had a
22 particular policy at the time that the displaced persons or refugees
23 should be kept where they are and not be moved or the -- the civilians not
24 be moved. And so if that's the UNHCR position, one would presume that the
25 UNHCR, being a United Nations organisation, coming up with such a policy
1 under these circumstances would obviously be providing comfort and safety
2 to those individuals.
3 A. Unfortunately, I -- I honestly cannot sit here and state that
4 UNHCR was even active in my area. I cannot remember meeting with the
5 UNHCR representative other than later on when things started to get
6 disconnected and we ended up meeting with representation of one-off, one
7 individual showing up and then discussions started to happen up north with
8 Father Janko, who is the priest in Bugojno and so on and so forth, and
9 that's when we started interacting.
10 Q. Were you interacting with the UNHCR Zenica office or UNHCR Mostar
11 office if you recall?
12 A. It would have logically been the Zenica office more than the
13 Mostar office.
14 Q. And do you remember if they strongly recommended not to remove the
15 DPs from the area in order to avoid mass movements of population?
16 A. Whether that was an UNHCR policy or not I'm not sure, but you can
17 understand the dichotomy that one ends up in. If ethnic cleansing is
18 taking place and you are in a position to remove people, are you not
19 achieving what they want to do? In other words, if -- if the population
20 is being pushed by one side to move and then you jump in there to save the
21 day and then move them, is that not what they tried to achieve? Does that
22 make sense?
23 Q. That makes some sense. Of course, the alternative is if you're
24 not trying to assist them in moving out of harm's way, one would expect
25 the folks in Geneva and New York and where have you would provide the
1 necessary wherewithal to make sure that they would protect those people.
2 So either the UNHCR would come up with the military or maybe the UNPROFOR
3 would be there to protect. So you being on the ground it was either UNHCR
4 or UNPROFOR capable, able, willing, and did they in fact provide the
5 necessary assistance in that period of time?
6 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I'm against this line of
7 cross-examination. What is the point of this cross-examination? Is it
8 emanating from examination-in-chief? It does not. Is Mr. Karnavas
9 contesting the witness's credibility? He is not. What is the relevance
10 of these questions with respect to UNHCR.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may -- well, the gentleman was absent last
12 week. Perhaps if he had been with us in other sessions it might be
13 relevant, but one of the key issues that's in the indictment and that the
14 Prosecution continues to advocate is that this was a form of
15 self-cleansing, that the Croats were cleansing themselves out of certain
16 areas in order to create a homogenous pocket, and here we have a gentleman
17 on the ground and he's telling us exactly that they had to escape, that
18 some had to be rescued. Contrary to -- to certain allegations that the HZ
19 HB was trying to self-cleanse certain areas. That's the purpose.
20 And my line of questioning was if the UNHCR or other UN agencies
21 have such a policy, are promoting a policy not to move populations, and I
22 agree with the gentleman with respect to ethnic cleansing, but if you find
23 yourself in a situation where a civilian population, large numbers,
24 10.000, 15.000, are trapped and you have this very rigid policy, one would
25 expect the UNHCR to step up to the plate with their army or to use the
1 UNPROFOR. So were you able to do that? Did they do that?
2 MR. PORYVAEV: Again, I'm sorry. Is it statement by Mr. Karnavas?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: It's a question. It's a question.
4 MR. PORYVAEV: And a very long one.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you've heard the question.
6 It was a lengthy question. Do you have anything to contribute?
7 THE WITNESS: The only thing that I would make a comment on is
8 reaction time. The situation, of course, was not good in those days, and
9 you had to make the call on the day as to what sort of reaction you had to
10 do and carry on. To call on the cavalry of the UNHCR or a bigger UNPROFOR
11 would not have happened. We had the resources we had. I cannot comment
12 on UNHCR policy or UN policy. I was ECMM at the time and which I carried
13 out my mission to the best of my ability, one team, one place, with many
14 different problems.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. When you say "we", earlier in your answer, was
17 that "we" ECMM or we UNPROFOR or collectively the internationals that were
18 there to make sense of --
19 A. I would -- I would make -- I would stand and state that "we" is
20 the collective here.
21 Q. Okay. I listened to you very carefully and you seem to choose
22 your words very carefully and you seem to be a careful individual, and you
23 made a point of telling us repeatedly that it was not within your
24 responsibility. I take it you were very concerned about what is common
25 referred to as mission creep, taking on more responsibility than your
1 mission calls -- calls for or your mandate; is that correct?
2 A. If you're asking me if I saw situations unfold which I then
3 morally put them up against that sort of criteria, I did something about
4 it, yes, I did, and if you want to call that mission creep, then so be it.
5 Q. Well, I think you misunderstood my -- my question. Repeatedly
6 you've been asked about information. For instance, do you know, you know,
7 how many soldiers were there, who they were and what have you, and
8 occasionally you would tell us that was not within my responsibility. I
9 was not there to count heads. I was not there looking at maps and what
10 have you. I take it you stuck to your, narrow as it was, one primarily
11 because it was rather narrow too. You were walking around in a white
12 uniform, unarmed, and being a professional soldier and having been in
13 theatre before, you know how dangerous it can be if you just start, you
14 know, acting up without the cavalry behind you; correct?
15 A. That is correct. And the resources that we had available.
16 Q. All right. Now, you said yesterday that you were collocated with
17 the BritBats that were there, and I happen to know that the Canadian Armed
18 Forces have a relatively good if not very good relationship with the UK
19 armed forces. They do training together and what have you. And I take
20 it, while you were being collocated and exchanging information, perhaps
21 you became aware of what is commonly referred to as the rules of
22 engagement for UNPROFOR. Would that be correct?
23 A. I can state that I did not read their rules of engagement. I
24 understood what the rules of engagement were, realising that they were
25 armed, had tracked vehicles and had firepower to do things.
1 Q. Okay. Could you tell us a little bit what their rules of
2 engagement were? I mean, what exactly could they do? I know if shot upon
3 they could shoot back.
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Barring that, however, they were not supposed to take sides; is
6 that correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. And we saw that in Srebrenica, in fact. But that was much later.
9 But nonetheless, what about for the protection of civilians? Were they --
10 was it within their mandate, within their rules of engagement, if it comes
11 within their rules of engagement, to, for instance, create a buffer zone
12 between the civilians and a particular warring faction that is on the
13 attack, on the offensive, trying to drive these people out?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was quite struck by what you
15 said when you mentioned the refugees. You explained that you were there,
16 that UNPROFOR was there, and that there was mortar fire, and the mortar
17 fire was also firing at the civilian population.
18 In a case like that, if it were a case of legitimate defence,
19 could UNPROFOR hit back and fire back if there was mortar fire, because
20 the mortar fire was landing on the civilians.
21 THE WITNESS: Mortar fire or any sort of indirect fire is
22 indiscriminate as to where it lands. You can get it within a grid square.
23 I overexaggerate. But if it's fired in your general direction it's going
24 to start to impact in and around you.
25 The immediate reaction of UNPROFOR in that particular circumstance
1 was to go to ground, and that is the likelihood of a round actually
2 hitting an armoured vehicle is limited to none but it would experience
3 shrapnel, and therefore as a result of that you tend to take a very
4 defensive mode. Unfortunately, the company was not equipped with any
5 anti-mortar capability, i.e., detection and/or counter battery fire. So
6 it had to make do with the resources that it had, and it was the only
7 Warrior with the 30-millimetre gun. So to say the mortar round came from
8 point X and fired at point X could not be achieved with the resources that
9 were there. So it was just a matter to get people to cover and more
10 importantly UNPROFOR itself to get to cover.
11 That's the indirect role. Obviously in the direct role you're
12 able to determine very quickly where rounds are coming from, and I would
13 suggest that it would -- UNPROFOR would have the wherewithal to return
14 fire in that particular case if it was direct fire.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Okay. And I guess I just want to make sure that -- that I
17 establish this point. Going back to Bugojno, obviously you have a push or
18 an advancement by the army of BiH. Do you know whether UNPROFOR at that
19 point in time could of sort of got in between as a buffer, a buffer
20 between the army of BiH and say the HVO and the civilians in order to stop
21 the advancement of the army of BiH?
22 A. Realising that when the offensive started to happen, I was in fact
23 not in location. Realising the size of the -- of the -- of the action, a
24 company would not have been sufficient, especially in the area of Gornji
1 Q. Okay. All right. Now, I believe I read somewhere that you
2 mentioned that at one point you saw some Mujahedin; is that correct?
3 A. That is absolutely correct.
4 Q. Okay. Where did you see them if your recollection serves you
6 A. Bugojno.
7 Q. And do you recall about what time -- what period would that have
9 A. Yes. At the period of time of the action that we're referring to
10 in the August time frame.
11 Q. Okay. And --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Trial Chamber feel
13 that the questions put during the examination-in-chief did not concern the
14 Mujahedin, so there's no particular reason for putting these questions to
15 the witness. Why do you want him to testify and to tell you that he has
16 seen Mujahedins in Bugojno?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... it's a very
18 common rule of evidence in trial advocacy, yes, Judge Trechsel, because
19 you seem astonished at what I'm about to say, and that is that simply
20 because a question isn't raised on direct examination, on cross, if it's
21 relevant to the Defence case, I can certainly go into it. It is relevant
22 for a couple of reasons. One, because we have heard testimony even from a
23 previous member of the ECMM that the mere mentioning of the Mujahedin
24 would cause people to run in any particular free direction and that even
25 the Muslims, Bosniaks themselves were afraid of these foreign fighters.
1 It is relevant again going back to why would these people flee the area.
2 So I think it's relevant. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Please go ahead.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. With respect to the Mujahedin, if you could tell us, did you
6 approach them in your capacity to find out who they were, what were they
7 doing, who is their commander?
8 A. No, I did not. I only observed them in the town of Bugojno in
9 groups that would be moving around the town.
10 Q. And I don't want to put you on the spot, but is there a particular
11 reason why you didn't -- I don't want to say confront them but ask them
12 like who are you, what are you doing over here, or was that beyond your
14 A. I dealt at -- I did not deal at the individual soldier level.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. Other than those I was confronted with on a particular road
17 crossing or -- or checkpoint.
18 Q. All right. In light of that answer, can I assume that at some
19 point you might have approached the ABiH commander or local commander to
20 find out under whose command these people were or is this something that
21 didn't alarm you at that point in time?
22 A. Whether they were under command, I would suggest that I did ask
23 that question. Are Mujahedin in the area? And the response would have
24 been yes. Now, to what size I cannot comment whether it was battalion or
25 individuals -- individuals fighting alongside particular units.
1 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that before you got into theatre,
2 into this particular area, the Gornji Vakuf area, you had stopped in
3 Zenica for some -- I don't want to say training but some -- to be briefed,
4 being correct?
5 A. Yes, mission specific training or briefings which basically gives
6 you the lay of the land that you're walking into.
7 Q. Right. At that at that point in time did they by any chance
8 inform you about the presence of Mujahedin?
9 A. No, they did not.
10 Q. Okay. So this was your first opportunity to come across and --
11 A. And that was to my surprise that they were there. We had heard
12 indications that they were operating in the southern portion down near
13 Mostar, but we had not seen anything in our area until that August time
15 Q. One last question on that. How did you know that they were
17 A. By their dress.
18 Q. And their appearance, beards and what have you?
19 A. Beards, tend to be in a karkeet [phoen] coloured clothing
20 consisting -- and there's probably a legitimate name for it, but
21 consisting of a long top shirt, went down to the knees, a hat round,
22 placed upon the head, and bandoliers normally strung across the front with
23 a vest of some sort and that's about it.
24 Q. So they stuck out?
25 A. They sure did.
1 Q. One last issue --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you had asked for
3 10 minutes. We are already up to 30 minutes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I have one last question. It's not about convoys.
5 I scrapped that one.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question, then.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
8 Q. This has to do with the Muslim refugees in Prozor. You told us
9 that at least we saw one particular report that as early as 1992 a large
10 number of refugees, Muslim refugees, had made it to Prozor as they were
11 being pushed out by the Bosnian Serb army. Do you recall that?
12 A. I do recall that report that we referred to yesterday.
13 Q. Okay. And do you recall -- do you know how many of those refugees
14 were still in Prozor or that particular time?
15 A. I have no idea.
16 Q. And do you know whether the folks that you saw that you said they
17 were there at the outskirts of the town and then one day they were sort
18 of -- they left and you caught up with the last truck, I believe, do you
19 know whether they were part of that refugee movement or were they actually
20 residents of Prozor?
21 A. These individuals were -- I would assume were individuals that had
22 been gathered over a long period of time, and it could have been a mixture
23 of people from the Prozor region or from any other region. There was a
24 grouping of about 1.500 people, if I remember correctly, all Muslim
1 Q. All right. Okay. Well, I -- thank you, sir. Thank you very,
2 very much for coming here and giving your evidence. No further questions.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next Defence counsel.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. I will put a few brief
7 questions to you so we can proceed very quickly.
8 Yesterday, in your responses during the examination-in-chief, you
9 mentioned the torching of houses in certain villages. This was when you
10 were shown a document, and I would like to have it on e-court. I don't
11 know if you still have your bundle of documents before you.
12 Could we please see P 02817 in e-court.
13 A. I have it.
14 Q. I can't see e-court. You have it. I don't know whether the
15 others in the courtroom can see it, but I will proceed.
16 First, on page 1, can we establish that this is a report of the
17 17th of June, 1993? Is that correct? And perhaps we can have page 7 in
18 e-court, which was shown to you by the Prosecutor. As I cannot see
19 anything on my screen, could you please look at the part where it
20 says "Gornji Vakuf, Prozor 2." Have you found it?
21 A. Page 7, what paragraph, sorry?
22 Q. "Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, V2." That's what the first few words are.
23 MR. PORYVAEV: We don't have connections, I'm sorry.
24 Ms. NOZICA:
25 Q. In English it's on page 5. It begins with the words "Gornji
1 Vakuf". Now, it seems we all have it, yes. Now we have that part in
2 e-court. If you could please take a look. The third paragraph. It
3 says "V2 attended a joint patrol with UNPROFOR east of route Diamond."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In this part yesterday, when responding to a question by the
6 Prosecutor, and this starts on page 83, line 23 and goes on until page 25,
7 line 6, you said that in your opinion the burning of those houses in those
8 villages, Stipici, and you also mentioned the village of Rat, both are
9 mentioned here, you said that in your opinion it was members of the HVO
10 that torched the houses; is that correct?
11 A. That is correct, but -- but may I bring your attention that the
12 houses that were burning at the time were houses that were on the way to
13 these locations, remembering that these three towns are up in the hills.
14 And the burnings that I witnessed on that particular day were on the main
15 route, Route Diamond, towards Gornji Vakuf and up towards Zenica. It was
16 the houses on the left and right of the road that were being torched, not
17 in the exact towns of Srebrenica and -- or sorry, and the three towns that
18 are stated there, which includes Rat.
19 Q. Did you at any time -- well, it doesn't say here who torched the
20 houses, but did you ever go to the villages of Rat and Stipici and see
21 people taking property out of these houses on the Sunday after the 11th of
22 June, and did you see who was taking property out of the houses and
23 possibly torching them?
24 A. There were two separate visits up to this location I remember.
25 The initial one was fairly quiet, and we were just going up into that area
1 to talk to people.
2 The second one was this situation where we started seeing the
3 burning happening.
4 And the third that comes to mind is the extraction or the removing
5 of those people from this area. And they were all brought to the
6 southern-most community, which was a perpendicular road to the -- to the
7 road that led from Gornji Vakuf up to -- up to Zenica, and this was the
8 place that I was talking about where buses were organised by the Croats to
9 evacuate people out of these communities of which I was witness to.
10 Q. In the village of Rat and in the village of Stipici and around
11 these villages, on both of these visits, did you ever see soldiers of the
12 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina taking things out of the houses? And when you
13 looked back, did you see them torching houses, and did you possibly
14 discuss this with members of the army of BH and inform the regional centre
15 in Zenica about it? And we are talking about June, 1993.
16 MR. PORYVAEV: Sorry, what is the foundation for this question?
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] The foundation for this question is
18 the Prosecutor's question of yesterday as to who was torching the houses
19 in the period in question.
20 THE WITNESS: If you are asking me whether I had witnessed others
21 doing this particular act, then the answer has to be yes, and not
22 necessarily in that location. There were many burnings of many houses,
23 including blowing them up.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Yes. We may proceed. My colleague Mr. Karnavas put a question to
1 you, and you replied that you had indeed made a statement on the 28th of
2 November, 2001, and as I feel that everything that happened in Bugojno and
3 in the area is extremely important for the Defence, since these events
4 spilled over into the events mentioned in the indictment, would the usher
5 please give the witness his statement of the 28th of November, 2001. And
6 for Your Honours, I have put the English version in the file. I am
7 referring to page 4, paragraph 2, and let us see what the witness stated
8 about this on the 28th of November, 2001.
9 Above this the date is the 11th of June, 1993. Let me remind you
10 that in the report when you mentioned the villages the date is the 17th of
11 June. However, I'm referring to the following paragraph: "For the next
12 week, we joined BritBat on patrols of the wider area visiting some of the
13 more remote villages and trying to get a feel for how far the fighting had
14 spread after the trouble in Travnik. We made a couple of trips up to the
15 villages of Rat and Stipici. On the second visit I remember driving past
16 a small group of ABiH soldiers emptying a house in Stipici of furniture.
17 I didn't think anything was particularly untoward - they didn't look
18 especially concerned to see us - and I assumed they were probably just
19 salvaging their own property. However, when we reached Rat and looked
20 back down the road, we saw that all the houses where the soldiers had been
21 working were now on fire. I made a note in my daily report to RC Zenica
22 to the effect that the armija was practising ethnic cleansing in Stipici."
23 Is this what it says? Well, there's no doubt that's what it says,
24 but has this refreshed your memory, and do you now perhaps remember this
25 event, and is it the same event described in the report? And let me
1 stress that the report is dated on the 17th. So this is the same time
2 period. Could you say something about this?
3 A. I think logically if you read through my initial statement, it
4 kind of moves from the 11th of June to the 18th, so I would assume that it
5 is around the same time frame, that is correct.
6 Did you want me to make further comment on this or ...
7 Q. Yes. What you said yesterday, that it was HVO soldiers torching
8 these houses, is not consistent with what it says here, that it was army
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina soldiers who were doing that. Am I right?
10 A. Considering that the events happened some 13 years ago plus a
11 statement of 2001 and plus my recollection of yesterday, maybe
12 misinterpreted by time. I put that forward and would make the
13 recommendation that on one side of the road one events were happening,
14 other side of the road other events were happening, and we're trying to --
15 in any recollection, trying to make it a clear delineation as to who was
16 doing what to whom.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, follow-up question.
19 Yesterday you were very clear, and according to what you said, these were
20 soldiers, HVO soldiers that set fire to the houses. In the written
21 statement, there are ABiH soldiers who are setting fire to the buildings.
22 Perhaps there's some confusion in your mind over this.
23 Do you remember having seen HVO soldiers set fire to these houses?
24 Perhaps this wasn't in Stipici. Perhaps it was elsewhere. Perhaps there
25 is some confusion in your mind.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, there may well be confusion. Over time
2 my mind does get a little bit grey. Unfortunately, I can openly state
3 that I witnessed both sides doing this action. And now whether this -- I
4 confused two different dates, that maybe the case, but I can also give you
5 other specific times where there is no doubt that it was HVO that was
6 doing it, if we want to explore that.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But on the other hand, you can't
8 tell us in which places you saw HVO soldiers setting fire to some of the
9 houses, and you can't give us a date either.
10 THE WITNESS: I can give you a -- I can give you that there --
11 that they were setting fire between the area of Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf.
12 I can also give you the fact that houses were blown up right outside our
13 camp on many -- or during many evenings or during the middle of the night
14 by the HVO rolling mines from the high feature to the south into occupied
15 houses and which would eliminate -- any one mine would eliminate five
16 houses, and we would pick up the pieces the next day.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are quite positive, and
18 you give us an example because you were next door you said that the HVO
19 were rolling mines from the top of the hill and that these mines, when
20 they hit the houses, the -- some of the houses were blown up. I think you
21 mentioned five of them.
22 THE WITNESS: That is correct.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: That's correct.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. May we now take a look at the following. Yesterday,
1 on pages 58 from line 10 to page 59, line 24, you spoke about the
2 exhumation of soldiers of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina that you happened
3 to come upon. Do you remember this?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. When the citizens were gathered there said that they had been
6 tortured, and yesterday in the course of your testimony you said that you
7 were unable to establish anything except that they were shot. Do you
8 remember who it was who was exhuming these people, digging them up?
9 A. It was civilians that were digging them up. They were surrounded
10 by civilian police, I believe from the Bugojno area. There was a doctor
11 there, if I remember correctly. There was ambulance service in order to
12 take the bodies away.
13 Once again, we came down the road and looked to our right and
14 there's large gathering of people, and people were trying to summon us
15 over to take a look at what had transpired.
16 Q. Were there Croat prisoners of war there?
17 A. Yes, there were. And I'm glad you reminded me of that one.
18 The -- there were Croats that were actually doing the digging, if I
19 remember correctly. They were the ones that were being tasked to dig up
20 the bodies, if I remember correctly. And you would probably find it in my
21 statement someplace. That was the thing -- kind of thing that stuck out
22 at me, because they were surrounded by people with -- with rifles, and
23 they were down actually doing the digging.
24 Q. I did find it in your report on page -- pages 7 and 8, but since
25 you remember it, we won't dwell on it any longer.
1 In your statement, you said that they dug up three Muslims.
2 Yesterday you said four, but you weren't sure of the exact number. Would
3 it then be logical to conclude that what you stated in your previous
4 statement is correct, because you say explicitly they were digging up the
5 grave of three Muslims? Take a look at your statement if you like.
6 A. Sorry, I'm missing -- was a misinterpretation as to who the
7 soldiers were who were dead or -- I'm not sure what the question is.
8 Q. No. Yesterday, you said that the number of Muslims dug up was
9 four, whereas in this statement you said it was three. So I think it's
10 quite important to establish how many there were.
11 A. Okay. Understood. Once again, things fade with time. What is
12 said in the statement could be put up against the daily report would
13 actually reflect the exact amount. And on going off the top of my head,
14 four is stuck in my mind. If it was three and it's stated in here a such,
15 then it was likely three.
16 Q. Let's now dwell on the situation in Bugojno briefly in the time
17 period we are talking about now. Did you visit any prisons in Bugojno
18 where Croats were detained at the time? Just very briefly what prisons
19 did you visit? How many imprisoned Croats there were in your estimation?
20 A. Over time I had visited three locations. They had been either
21 gathered, moved, and eventually moved on to another location. And the
22 total number, I want to guesstimate, probably just under 500 when you add
23 them all up, and that is a correct statement.
24 Q. Did Father Janko tell you anything about the crimes committed
25 against Croats at that time, and did he give you any documents or lists
1 confirming what he said?
2 A. Yes. And those lists were -- and that's what we were talking
3 about earlier, about our interaction with UNHCR, and we passed those lists
4 accordingly, and I spent almost a full day with Father Janko in order to
5 gather this information. And for the lack of --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I don't know
7 whether the name mentioned here should be mentioned. I don't know if this
8 person benefits from any protective measures. I shall ask the registrar
9 to make sure that this is taken off the record.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if it has to be
11 redacted, I can't tell you exactly where, but during Mr. Karnavas's
12 cross-examination the name was also mentioned. That's why I felt I could
13 mention the name.
14 Q. Did you want to add anything, sir? Excuse me. I see that your
15 reply was interrupted, so would you continue, please.
16 A. Just during that time that all formal structure of civilian
17 authority or military had disappeared on -- in the area of Bugojno on
18 behalf of the Croats. So the void was filled by the church and Father
19 Janko. So those that had remained behind tended to be drawn to the church
20 as a mechanism in which to bring forward as much information as they could
21 on particular events, and that's how we ended up interacting with them.
22 Q. And my last topic. Yesterday, you mentioned the imam from Prozor.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We have to
24 change the tapes round so we have to make a very short break. So we have
25 to count up to 10 and then we can start again.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Yesterday, you mentioned the imam from Prozor several times. In
4 any conversations in Prozor, did you learn anything about his previous
5 activities in arming the Muslim army? And I'm using this expression on
6 purpose. You will see why.
7 A. As -- when you do follow on there is more to this which is of
8 concern to me in that the imam basically took on the function very similar
9 to that of Father Janko except in opposite communities and opposite
11 Q. Excuse me. I appreciate this, but I have very little time left,
12 so I'm asking you a very specific, particular question. We are talking
13 about holy people, and I'm now referring to the arming of any side. So
14 did you have any information to this effect about the imam? I know what
15 the role of these people was in these communities, especially in times of
16 war, but my question is very specific.
17 A. I had no knowledge whatsoever the imam was involved in any sort of
18 arming of Muslims.
19 Q. Could we have placed on the ELMO, and I do apologise to the Court,
20 I only found these documents last night, I have not translated them, I
21 will read them very briefly, but if we could put document 2D 00185 on the
22 ELMO. They are two brief documents. And then I will ask the usher to
23 stay by the ELMO, and then we shall look at 184, and then we'll put a
24 question to the witness.
25 Would it assist you if I were to tell you that his name was Elkaz
1 Hidajet, the name of the imam?
2 A. It sounds familiar.
3 Q. Could we look at document 2D 00185 on the ELMO. Yes, this is it.
4 Yes. I will read it out slowly. In the heading it says: "The chief imam
5 of the committee of the Islamic Community in Prozor. Elkaz Hidajet Efendi
6 in Prozor the 4th of September, 1992. The title is the Kuwait Igasa,
7 Split office, esteemed brothers and there follows something in Arabic. On
8 Monday, the 31st of August, 1992, I was in your office in Split
9 accompanied by Salih Efendi Colakovic for talks on arming Muslim fighters
10 on the territory of Prozor municipality. We have been promised help by
11 the representative of the Kuwait Igasa in light infantry weapons and we
12 were also asked to deliver a specific list of the necessary weapons and
13 ammunition verified by the stamp of the armed forces of
15 "Enclosed with this letter please find the requested list
16 properly verified. Please help us as soon as possible and meet our
17 request. We also ask you to explain to the person bringing this letter
18 and this order when and where we can take delivery of the requested
19 weapons and ammunition. We also wish to inform you that I was -- I have
20 been prevented by my regular duties from delivering this order to you in
21 person, and I hope you will take this into account. Finally, I wish to
22 thank you for your assistance, and may Djalla Shannuh reward you with
23 djanet. Chief imam, Elkaz Hidajet," and there follows the stamp of the
24 Islamic Community.
25 Were you aware of the fact that this humanitarian organisation
1 called Igasa was active in Croatia and that this was in fact a
2 humanitarian organisation, a Muslim humanitarian organisation?
3 A. I was not aware. And this is from 1992, well before my time.
4 Q. Yes. I know it's before your time. I was just trying to
5 establish whether this was the same person, because more than once you
6 mentioned that this person's communications were somehow limited. So I'm
7 just trying to check whether this is the same person. And to round this
8 off --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Can the Defence
10 counsel tell us where she got the document from in this particular format?
11 Which archives did you turn to?
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] It's not from the archives. This is
13 a document found by the Defence. We will not tender it into evidence. We
14 are simply showing it to the witness.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you can't tell us where
16 this document comes from. This could be a forgery, a forged document.
17 You want to get across the fact that the imam in Prozor played a role in
18 arming the Muslims. So that's your theory. Seemingly, this is what this
19 document demonstrates, but we would like to know where this document comes
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] This was collected by the
22 investigators of Mr. Stojic. We have here the signature of the gentleman.
23 And this will not be the only document speaking to these activities. If
24 there is any doubt, we shall call an expert to examine the document.
25 However, as I said, I am not tendering it into evidence. I'm only showing
1 it. We will tender it when we have all the elements that will enable us
2 to do so.
3 Could we please have placed on the ELMO 2D 00184, which is the
4 order or the list mentioned by the imam from Prozor, and it's signed by
5 commander captain Muharem Sabic. And it says: "Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Prozor,
7 registration number, date 2nd of September, 1992". It's addressed to the
8 Kuwait Igasa, to the office in Split, and the subject is request for
9 assistance in arming the Muslim fighters of Prozor, and it says: "Please
10 deliver to us the following quantities of weapons and ammunition which
11 will be used for us in the defence and liberation of our home.
12 "200 piece of automatic rifles.
13 "50 pieces of light machine-guns.
14 "80 Zolja rocket launchers, and
15 "250.000 -- 250.000 bullets, 7.62 millimetres in calibre."
16 I wanted to ask the witness in connection with this imam, whether
17 from his communications with the imam, he was aware that he was one of the
18 organisers of the arming and equipping of, as he says, the Muslim army
19 while you would call it the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you aware of
21 A. I was not aware. My exposure to him was himself, his wife, and
22 his -- his children in the town of Prozor. When I arrived in that
23 location, that's the only exposure that I had to him from the point of
24 view of me visiting him in his home on a daily basis as much as I could
25 based on the situation. But I was unaware of this happening in the
1 background and, more importantly, from the 1991 time frame.
2 Q. 1992. Thank you. That's all. I have no further questions.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If there are no
5 further questions. There's no re-examination. In any case, we would not
6 have any time.
7 Colonel, thank you for coming to The Hague. We have extended the
8 time somewhat so that you could leave today. So on behalf of the Bench, I
9 wish you a safe journey home and to -- I would like the usher now to
10 accompany you out of the courtroom.
11 As far as the exhibits are concerned, we shall deal with that
12 tomorrow. We are not going to draw up a list of the exhibits right now.
13 I shall ask the Prosecution tomorrow to give us their exhibits, and I
14 should also ask the Defence to give us a list of exhibits tomorrow also.
15 It is a quarter past 3.00. The court stands adjourned, and we
16 shall resume the hearing again at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.14 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day
19 of October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.