1 Wednesday, 18 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. This
9 is case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar.
11 I would like to greet all the people present in the courtroom this
12 afternoon, the representatives from the Prosecution, Defence counsel, and
13 the accused. We need to resume the witness testimony today, but before
14 that, the Trial Chamber is going to rule on four decisions. This will be
15 done orally.
16 The first oral decision to be handed down relates to the joint
17 application filed by the Defence to exclude the testimony of Witness B [as
18 interpreted]. This decision concerns the joint oral application of the
19 12th of October filed by the Defence with a view to excluding the
20 testimony of Witness B. The Defence has invoked the fact that the witness
21 refused to answer some of the questions put by the Defence teams.
22 The Chamber notes that the Rules of Procedure and Evidence does
23 not allow for the exclusion of such a witness. Paragraph of the Rules,
24 paragraph (A)(i) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence can only state
25 that a witness's testimony is excluded when he refuses to answer an
1 answer -- a question despite a question put to him by the Trial Chamber.
2 This is deemed to be contempt of court. In such a case, such a conviction
3 would have been out of proportion with reality of facts stated. Insofar
4 as contrary to what the Defence has ascertained, the witness in general
5 terms has answered the questions that were put to him with a degree of
6 reticence admittedly, but after having been asked -- after having been
7 asked to respond to these questions.
8 The Trial Chamber feels, therefore, that Witness B -- U's
9 testimony cannot excluded from the case file. However, the Trial Chamber
10 will bear in mind the behaviour of the witness during his testimony when
11 it -- the time will come to assess the weight to be given to the testimony
12 of this particular person.
13 The Trial Chamber will also do this in light of the entire case
15 The Trial Chamber therefore asks both parties to specify by next
16 Monday the number of the exhibits which will be asked to be tendered.
17 This has not been done yet.
18 Second oral decision to be handed down today. Oral decision
19 concerning to the objections filed jointly by Defence team to add on more
20 names of the witness list of the Prosecution.
21 On the 2nd of October, 2006, the Defence filed a written motion
22 whereby it objected to the testimony of Terry Cameron and Carry Spork as
23 the names were not on the list provided on the 19th of January, 2006
24 pursuant to Rule 65 ter of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. In
25 support of this, the Defence has alleged that the Prosecutor has
1 surreptitiously included these two names on the chart of the 14th of
2 September, 2006 thereby providing no further explanation and why these
3 people were called to testify.
4 In its response of the 13th of October, 2006, the Prosecutor
5 reminded us by providing this list on the 6th -- 19th of January, 2006,
6 the Prosecutor had stated that it might still call witnesses whose names
7 were not on that list when and if the testimony of this witnesses would be
8 useful to authenticate some of the documents. And that this would be part
9 of the case of the Prosecution case.
10 This is how the Prosecution justified the calling of these two
12 According to the case law of the Tribunal, the Prosecution must,
13 as a general rule, stick to the list of witness of the 19th of January,
14 2006 pursuant to Article 65 ter (E)(ii) of the Rules of Procedure and
16 The drawing up of such a list would become senseless if the
17 Prosecution could just change it as it pleased. Bearing this in mind, the
18 Trial Chamber reckons that if the Prosecution intends to call to testify
19 witnesses whose names are not on the witness list, it must file a reasoned
20 motion to this effect.
21 The Chamber therefore does not rule on the testimony of Terry
22 Cameron pursuant to 64 ter of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The
23 Trial Chamber is therefore waiting for the Prosecutor to file a motion on
24 this particular issue and thereby has stayed its decision.
25 Third decision, which is an oral decision, relating to the
1 admitting of documents presented through Witness BR. The Trial Chamber
2 will rule on the admission of the documents presented through Witness BR
3 who testified on the 10th of October, 2006.
4 The Trial Chamber has decided to admit the six following pieces of
5 evidence presented by the Prosecution for the foregoing reasons. They
6 are -- have a probative value and are of some relevance. I shall now
7 quote the exhibits in question: P 00608 under seal, P 00673 under seal, P
8 03234, P 02999, P 09704, P 00679.
9 In addition, the Trial Chamber asks the registrar to put under
10 seal Exhibit numbers -- documents 00640 and 009376 that have already been
11 tendered and admitted.
12 The Trial Chamber acknowledges the fact that the Defence team has
13 not asked to have any documents admitted.
14 This is our last oral decision relating to the admission of the
15 exhibits presented through Witness BT. The trial will rule on the
16 admission of the testimony of Witness BT, who testified on the 12th of
17 October, 2006.
18 The Trial Chamber has decided to admit the seven following pieces
19 of evidence presented by the Prosecution for the reason that they have a
20 certain relevance and probative value. I shall now give the numbers of
21 these documents. P 09714 under seal, P 03289 under seal, as far as pages
22 32, 38, 85, and 97 are concerned. P 03948 under seal, P 09696 under seal.
23 That said, this document had already been partially admitted. P 08736
24 under seal, P 03531, P 03325. Lastly, the Chamber would like to specify
25 the fact that Exhibit number 03234 has already been admitted during the
1 testimony of Witness BR.
2 The Trial Chamber acknowledges the fact that the Defence teams
3 have not asked to have any documents tendered into evidence.
4 In addition, other written decisions have been taken and have been
5 filed, and you can contact the Registry for further details.
6 I have been told that Ms. Alaburic has already had nine minutes of
7 her time. She therefore has 51 minutes left. After that, the Defence
8 counsel of Mr. Coric will have 30 minutes, and we shall hear another
10 I would like the Prosecution to think about this witness's
11 testimony. Perhaps the Prosecution could contemplate Rule 92 ter as far
12 as this particular witness is concerned so that we could gain some time.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon.
14 WITNESS: ANDREW WILLIAMS [Resumed]
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Williams, good afternoon. I will remind you
17 that yesterday we were talking about two orders issued by Milivoj Petkovic
18 of the 6th and 9th of January, 1993, and I will continue my
19 cross-examination based on those orders.
20 Let me remind you of a document, a milinfosum of the British Army
21 of the 11th of January, 1993, which was shown to you under number P 01094.
22 You may take a look at it, although I will not be asking you about any
23 details. It's P 01094. Paragraph five of this document refers to Gornji
24 Vakuf, and what the document notes for that day is that there was firing
25 on the village of Prusac from the Bosnian Serb army positions. That is
1 that the village was a target of artillery fire. There is a comment noted
2 alongside that piece of information, and that is that Prusac is person for
3 the defence of Bugojno.
4 My question is: In the first days of January, 1993, was there any
5 fighting between the Bosnian Serb army on the one side and the HVO and the
6 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the other?
7 A. In which particular area of the country?
8 Q. The area covered by you, the Gornji Vakuf area. I cannot ask you
9 about other areas because I assume you have no direct knowledge of those.
10 A. There were exchanges of fire that did not appear to be any big,
11 proper manoeuvre attacks going on. It was mainly just exchanges of fire.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were going to be talking
13 about Gornji Vakuf? How far is Prusac from Gornji Vakuf.
14 THE WITNESS: Prusac is by Bugojno so it would probably be --
15 without looking at a map, at an educated guess, I would say at least 10
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another question I have very
18 briefly. From where the Serb artillery was positioned, could the shells
19 have fallen on Gornji Vakuf?
20 THE WITNESS: I understand, Your Honour. Yes. If they brought
21 them close enough to the front line they would be able to shell Gornji
22 Vakuf. During the fighting, within Gornji Vakuf itself and around Gornji
23 Vakuf, there is at least one incident that was recorded, although I can't
24 remember the date, where we believe that one artillery attack that landed
25 near to Gornji Vakuf was actually fired by the Serbs to try -- to get the
1 two combatants to fight again, against each other again.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could there have been, as far as
3 UNPROFOR is concerned, that any, likelihood that in those milinfosums when
4 you write that it's the HVO that was attacking with the artillery, that it
5 might have been the Serb artillery firing actually?
6 THE WITNESS: Just that one isolated incident, Your Honour.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Williams, I put this question to you because of the next
9 question I wish to put: The orders issued by Milivoj Petkovic, which we
10 discussed yesterday and which are of a general nature, do they refer to
11 the fighting with the Bosnian Serb army in the nature of things?
12 A. As I recall from reading the document yesterday, it was a general
13 order to his OP zone commanders. It didn't specify whether it -- it
14 concerned the Bosnian Serbs or the armija, as I recall the document.
15 Q. Precisely so. Thank you very much. I would now like to go back
16 to your statements about the flag incident from early January, 1993.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, as you know, the
18 Trial Chamber is controlling the proceedings. You've just spent some time
19 discussing this Serb question. What are you getting at and what are you
20 trying to prove?
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the order issued by
22 my client, General Petkovic, was represented by the Prosecution within the
23 context of alleged fighting between the HVO and the army of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a document issued by the 9th of January. My
25 question about the fighting with the Serbs was put with the intention of
1 showing that the HVO was at that time dealing with a conflict with the
2 Serbs. Furthermore, that this was a general order and the way this
3 document was interpreted by the OTP is erroneous.
4 The document refers primarily to the fighting with the Serbs, who
5 at that moment was still the only enemies of the HVO.
6 MR. BOS: Can we be a bit more specific which particular document
7 Ms. Alaburic is talking about, because I'm a bit in the dark about it.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. This is a
9 document of the 9th of January, about raising combat readiness. P 01087.
10 Let me remind you that this document was shown as a kind of
11 intimation of the -- a conflict with the Muslims in the Gornji Vakuf area,
12 so I feel it my duty to point Their Honours to the true context of that
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You affirm what the intention was here. Are you
17 testifying for your client? It says in connection with Geneva talks, and
18 I wonder where from you draw the affirmation that this was primarily aimed
19 at the Serbs. The witness did not say so. The witness says it is
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness answered
22 my question in this way, but if we look at how the witness answered the
23 Prosecutor's question and the context in which this order was put by the
24 Prosecutor, you will see that previously it was interpreted as exclusively
25 an order aimed at the conflict in the Gornji Vakuf area. My intention was
1 not to interpret the document here but simply to clarify the context.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question, Witness. As
3 far as you're concerned in military terms, was there any need for the HVO
4 to step up its manpower levels because of the Serb problem?
5 THE WITNESS: As far as I'm aware, Your Honour, no, there was no
6 actual manoeuvre attacking going on. It was just exchanges of fire.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] In this context, by your leave,
8 another order has just been handed to me which I had not intended to
9 tender. It was issued by Zeljko Siljeg on the 8th of January, and in the
10 preamble it says: "Today the enemy had 18 casualties at Kupres." This is
11 Serb army. "And there is a high possibilities that the enemy will fire on
12 villages or infiltrate sabotage groups behind our front lines.
13 Accordingly, I order that combat readiness be raised to highest level at
14 all defence lines."
15 This is a document we will be using further in the proceedings.
16 By your leave, I would like to move on to another topic and that is the
17 flag incident.
18 Q. Mr. Williams, on Monday you told us that --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. This document
20 which you are quoting, does it have a number? Can we see it?
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The document I have just read out
22 is not a document I had prepared to tender now, and for this reason it has
23 not been handed to Your Honours. If you wish to check the accuracy of my
24 reading, the document can be placed on the ELMO and together with the
25 interpreters we can establish what its contents are.
1 However, that had not been my intention because I felt that this
2 would be what I have already elicited from the witness would be sufficient
3 to show what the context is.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I trust you.
5 MR. BOS: [Previous translation continues] ... just reading out a
6 document which nobody knows what the document is and nobody has a copy of
7 it, and she's just reading it out into the record. I strongly object by
8 the way this is being done.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will photocopy the
10 document during the break.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You should have done, Ms.
12 Alaburic, to support what you are saying. What you should have said is,
13 the order given by General Petkovic on the 19th of January, 1993 does this
14 apply to the Serbs or no and the witness says no and you pull out your
15 document and you say here I'm showing you a document which concerns the
16 Kupres incident, what do you think about it? And then the document -- you
17 show the document to him.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, I felt
19 it would be quite sufficient to show the Prosecution document to the
20 witness, P 01094, about the attack of the Serb army on the village of
21 Prusac, which is important for the defence of Bugojno. However, I do not
22 object to putting this document on the ELMO and tendering it, but we will
23 be spending a lot of time on that and I had not intended to dwell on this
24 incident so long. This had not been my intention to do this.
25 So let us move on to the flag incident.
1 Q. On Monday, you told us that the flag incident, which occurred in
2 early January, was one of the events that helped raise tensions between
3 the Croats and Muslims. Is this correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. You also told us that during the ceremony of raising the flag, a
6 Muslim policeman fired shots as a protest, and because of his reaction he
7 himself was shot, and that he was shot by a member of the HVO. Is this
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Answering a question by the Prosecutor concerning the events of
11 the 6th of January, 1993, when you were asked to go back to them, in
12 connection with the British Army information referring to that event,
13 document P 01068, you replied that the document reflected that incident.
14 I would now like us to look at this document together. It's P 01068.
15 In this document, the third paragraph, it says: "At around 1800
16 hours on Monday afternoon, the HVO raised a Ustasha flag in the town."
17 So let's talk about Monday. In the calendar for 1993, Mondays in
18 January -- one of the Mondays in January was the 4th. If Their Honours
19 wish to see the calendar for 1993 I have prepared it, but it's generally
20 available information.
21 If in your report of the 6th of January mention an incident that
22 happened on a Monday, this could only have been the 4th of January.
23 A. Yes, that is correct. This is the battalion milinfosum and it is
24 compiled after all the reports from the outlying stations have been
25 brought in, and so if it says at 1500 hours on Monday, then it will be
1 referring to that Monday the 4th or whatever Monday it was.
2 Q. Very well. As you told us about an incident of the 4th of
3 January -- of the 6th, not the 4th of January, interpreter's correction,
4 my question is: Were you referring to the same incident that this
5 information refers to?
6 A. Without reading to what you're referring to, the 6th of January, I
7 would say this one -- this paragraph here that we are reading now took
8 place on the 4th of January. We had -- our only connection to send
9 information upwards to Vitez was by fax, INMARSAT fax, and we relied on
10 generators and things like that, and so sometimes there were a couple of
11 days delays where for technical problems we couldn't actually push the
12 information upwards.
13 Q. Mr. Williams --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Witness, I'm a
15 little bit surprised here. You've said that you had technical problems.
16 It was difficult to send your messages, and you're telling us that there
17 were problems as far as electricity was concerned. Fine. And there is an
18 event which has been highlighted by the Defence. This event took place on
19 Monday, the 4th of January, the story about the flags. Did you know that
20 there had been a flag problem in Prozor a few months early on which had
21 caused a lot of problems? Did you know that in Prozor there had been a
22 similar incident in October, 1992?
23 THE WITNESS: We knew that there had been problems in the October
24 in the Prozor area, and -- but the specifics of them we didn't know other
25 than the imam was under house arrest.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When a major
2 incident occurs, can't you report this to your superior over the
3 telephone? You had a satellite telephone, didn't you? Couldn't you tell
4 them about this and inform them live as one says in your language.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, we could, Your Honour, but in October 1992 we
6 hadn't actually deployed. It was just our lead elements that were moving
7 through, and we had problems with the satellite systems, and we had
8 problems maintaining power for the satellite systems, and so sometimes
9 there were delays before we could get information up -- up the chain of
11 At that very early stage, the October, November time, we, to be
12 brutally frank, were not particularly bothered what the warring factions
13 did to each other so long as it did not close the route.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Williams, we'd be grateful to you if you'd explain to us what
16 the -- what kind of flag the Ustasha flag is that you mentioned.
17 A. It -- as I recall, it is a Croatian-type flag with a Croatian
18 shield in the centre, red and white chequer-board-type shield with a large
19 U on it.
20 Q. And was it that kind of flag with the U in the first square that
21 you saw being raised in Gornji Vakuf at -- at that occasion?
22 A. I didn't see it personally. It caused a great deal of friction.
23 Our commanding officer in B Company had both of the local commanders in
24 over it to try to diffuse the situation, and it was the claim of the
25 armija that it was a Ustasha flag.
1 Q. Very well. Yes. Then the situation is clear if that was
2 something that the BH army claimed.
3 Now, let's move on a few days and get to the 13th of January,
4 1993. Do you remember that on that occasion Mr. Siljeg and Mr. Andric,
5 that they came to Gornji Vakuf for negotiations with representatives of
6 the BH army? And we're talking about the 13th of January now, 1993.
7 A. I cannot be specific about the dates, and I cannot be specific
8 about who was together in which talk, in which set of talks, but I do know
9 Colonel Siljeg came to Gornji Vakuf for talks several times, and I do know
10 that Colonel Andric came.
11 Q. Do you remember those talks being held before the heavier
12 conflicts broke out in the second half of January?
13 A. As I remember or recall the events, there were a series of minor
14 events such as the flag event that you mentioned before that just
15 gradually stoked up and stoked up the situation. There was then a
16 deployment by the HVO, but where they secured a perimeter, so to speak.
17 And then there was the ultimatum, and then there was the main attack.
18 Q. Yes. We'll come to that. But do you remember the 11th and 12th
19 of January as reflected in the indictment?
20 A. Like I said before, I cannot remember the specific dates, but that
21 was the general order of things. You would have to ask me about something
22 specific for that date.
23 Q. I'll ask you something more specific, but I was sure that you
24 remembered the negotiations that took place before the more fierce
25 conflicts began.
1 Now, would you look in my sets of documents and also we'll place
2 the document on e-court, P 01115. It is an order by Milivoj Petkovic
3 dated the 13th of January, 1993, and it relates to conflict situations
4 between the Muslims and Croats, incidents that broke out. And in the
5 introduction, as you're able to see now on your screens, it says and I
6 quote "that over the past few days the relations between Croats and
7 Muslims has deteriorated and in order to prevent any conflicts which go to
8 the detriment of both sides, I hereby order, first of all, that all HVO
9 commands must identify the causes of conflicts in their territory.
10 2. Immediately establish contact with the Muslim side and solve
11 the problems through talks.
12 3. Prevent any possible attempts by lower commands to solve the
13 problems that arise.
14 4. Wherever possible, set up joint teams with the Muslim side to
15 solve the past or current conflicts.
16 5. Make efforts to remove roadblocks and newly established
18 6. To propose a meeting of the commands at least once during the
19 day to analyse the situation on the ground and envisage joint measures.
20 7. Forward regular and interim reports ..."
21 Mr. Williams, were you aware of these attempts made by the Main
22 Staff to contribute to quelling the situation on the territory of Gornji
24 A. Yes, I am. There were attempts by both sides to diffuse the
25 situation. However, the -- their success varied. Some cease-fires just
1 never came into effect at all and they were just totally ignored. Some
2 lasted a matter of an hour before it was started again, and some lasted
3 substantially longer so we could get some aid convoys through.
4 Q. Yes. That was more or less what it was like.
5 Now, I want to ask you this: Did you know about attempts made by
6 the HVO command to communicate directly with the commanders of the BH army
7 and to have them help diffuse the situation? In that context, let's take
8 a look at a document first, which in my set has the number 4D 00340. And
9 may we have it on e-court as well, please.
10 It is a letter from Mr. Arif Pasalic, commander of the 4th Corps,
11 in which he informs the command of the 3rd Corps of Milivoj Petkovic's
12 order that we looked at a moment ago. From this document, we can see that
13 Arif Pasalic had contacted Milivoj Petkovic to have him help diffuse the
14 situation, that Milivoj Petkovic, pursuant to that issued the order we
15 looked at a moment ago, that Milivoj Petkovic informed Arif Pasalic
16 thereof, and that Arif Pasalic in his turn then informed the command of
17 the 3rd Corps.
18 Did you know that the commanders of the two armies at the level of
19 command -- the commands endeavoured to solve the problems on the ground?
20 A. They gave the impression that they were trying to solve the
21 problems on the ground, yes, but --
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Now, with respect to the alleged ultimatum
23 that you mention, I'd like us to look at a document first P 01174.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please, before we
25 go on to the next document. I'd like to go back to the other document,
2 Witness, could you take a look at (c), 2(c), paragraph 2(c).
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you read the sentence out to
6 THE WITNESS: It says, Your Honour, possible attempts by lower
7 commands to try to solve arisen problems by force are to be stopped.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, in your
9 opinion, how would lower commands be -- how would it be possible for lower
10 commands not to follow the orders issued by superior commands?
11 THE WITNESS: At this particular time, you would have to
12 appreciate that there were an awful lot of people with guns, and so the
13 commanders would meet with some success in getting their proper troops
14 under control, but renegade elements would not stop, and that would slowly
15 suck the regular troops back in to -- to fighting, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. And you, Mr. Williams, for that clarification. Now, the next
19 document that I'd like us to take a look at is P 01174, and it is a
20 document signed by the commander of the 3rd Corps of the BH army, Enver
21 Hadzihasanovic, and it refers to talks held on the 16th of January, 1993,
22 which you described to us during your testimony and which are referred to
23 in the BritBat document for the 16th of January.
24 Let's start off by seeing what Hadzihasanovic wrote, and then
25 we'll compare this with the BritBat document.
1 Hadzihasanovic, and that's at the end of the second sentence, said
2 that at a meeting the representatives of the HVO presented the express --
3 their express views with the demands they wanted to be carried out. Set
4 forth an explicit position with the demands they wanted to be carried out.
5 Now, at the end of the document, it says: "Regardless of their
6 interpretation, these demands were not an ultimatum."
7 Now, on the basis of those two sentences, would it be valid to
8 conclude that the representatives of the HVO once again emphasised that it
9 was not an ultimatum but that they were explicit demands?
10 A. It was delivered as an ultimatum with a 24-hour deadline, and I
11 think if you look at page 2 it mentions that, where it says if these
12 demands are not carried out by tomorrow at midnight or there is no desire
13 to carry them out, they will not wait for the following day.
14 Q. Very well. Now, whether it was an ultimatum or explicit demand, I
15 suggest we deal with that issue later on, but tell me now whether the
16 representatives of the Croats at that time meeting, according to what
17 Hadzihasanovic recorded, did they say that it was an explicit demand?
18 A. They read out a list of what they wanted and gave the armija 24
19 hours to comply.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, if we look at what the
21 representatives of the HVO demanded of the BH army, and we can look at
22 that together, the bullet points or sentences after the bullet points, we
23 don't have a lot of time to go through it all, but if we could look
24 through it quickly. To pull out the units towards the villages, to have
25 all units returned to the places they came from in the first place, which
1 refers to Jajce. And I'm skipping over a few sentences now. To establish
2 a joint check-point with proportionate representatives of the Croat and
3 Muslim side, and it is necessary to have a mixed composition of military
4 policemen, and all militant units to be withdrawn to the villages and
5 town. Gornji Vakuf must not have a single soldier with a long weapon with
6 the exception of a mixed military police patrol.
7 Now, we can skip over the other parts. I think that will suffice.
8 It's enough for my question.
9 Now, these proposals, did they go along the lines of
10 demilitarising Gornji Vakuf in a sense, and would not compliance with
11 those demands in fact have meant that in Gornji Vakuf no conflicts could
12 break out by the same token?
13 A. If those demands had been put in place and had been applicable to
14 both sides, the HVO and the armija, then, yes, probably there would have
15 been no conflict.
16 Q. Can you tell us what was true for the BH army and not for the HVO?
17 Because it says all militant units. So which -- that does not mean just
18 the BH army. It would apply to the HVO as well.
19 A. Yes. Yes. As I -- as I just replied, if it -- if it would have
20 been applied to both sides, then, yes, it would probably have stopped the
22 Q. I'm trying to tell you that it did apply to both sides. That's
23 what I wanted to say. It was a proposal that applied to both sides.
24 A. Yes, I agree it was a proposal that applied to both sides, but it
25 never came into effect on the ground.
1 Q. And tell me, please, could it have taken root if the Bosnian
2 Herzegovinian army never accepted it?
3 A. No, because if -- if the armija wouldn't accept it, then neither
4 would the HVO. So basically it was a blanket thing. They either both
5 complied with it or neither of them would comply with it.
6 Q. Yes. Do you agree that the situation was as follows: That the HVO
7 made this proposal, which was to have applied to both sides, whereas the
8 BH army did not accept that proposal, and because of that, the proposal
9 couldn't be put into effect, take root?
10 A. Yes, I do agree.
11 Q. Thank you. I'd now like us to compare this report by Enver
12 Hadzihasanovic with the BritBat report. The number is --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. This
14 document is important, and I'd like some -- something to be specified.
15 The negotiating commission to resolve the problems in Gornji
16 Vakuf, the conflict there was made up of HVO representatives and BHA
17 representatives, and we can see Colonel Merdan among them. This report
18 was also signed by the commander of the 3rd Corps. It appears that this
19 report is the subject of a discussions between the BH army and the HVO,
20 and it would appear that the HVO explicitly stated its point of view in
21 formal terms. And I'm reading the first sentence where it says that the
22 organisation of provinces is based on reciprocity. And the second
23 sentence says that there was -- that they were in touch with Geneva
24 because this could be modified in Geneva.
25 Now, one gains the impression that -- and drawing conclusions from
1 that that the HVO is demanding of the ABiH to withdraw its units, et
2 cetera, and to subordinate the ABiH to the HVO with an HVO commander. And
3 then I can see that they don't want the BH army to be commanded with
4 Topcic, Agic, and Prijic, and that the new commander -- designated
5 commander would be Commander Merdan, Colonel Merdan.
6 Now, on page 2 of that same document, General Hadzihasanovic
7 indicates that this does not represent an ultimatum but a categoric
8 position, and that he considers that the demand is in fact an ultimatum.
9 Now, what do you think about all that? The demands made by the
10 HVO formulated through this commission, did they reflect the atmosphere of
11 the times, because it was a meeting that took place on the 16th of
12 January, 1993?
13 So the HVO taking these positions, does that correspond to what
14 they were thinking at the time? And perhaps you described that situation
15 through your milinfosums, or did the local HVO commanders tell you about
16 that? Was that their position you would say?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. The -- the -- the bullet points
18 in the document are -- are the points that were brought up as part of what
19 I refer to as the ultimatum. The reason we called it an ultimatum was
20 because of the time zone on it, that they had to be done within 24 hours,
21 or else.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So as far as you were concerned,
23 you had the feeling that the HVO was in fact putting an ultimatum to the
24 BH army.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, because of the time limit on it.
1 And the threat, Your Honour, that they would take further action.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If one would -- would formulate very succinctly,
3 is the demand not almost a demand to surrender?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand, Your Honour. The -- from the
5 Muslim perspective, yes, they regarded it as a surrender, and they were
6 not prepared to do it.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I note, Witness, that at the end
9 of the document, and you can take a look, the last paragraph, the 3rd
10 Corps commander demands that Izetbegovic is informed of this demand --
11 these demands.
12 What is your interpretation of that? Was the situation that
13 serious that President Izetbegovic, who was the Supreme Commander of the
14 BH army, should be informed? Did it merit that? What do you think?
15 THE WITNESS: As I recall the events of the time at a higher
16 level, the -- this particular incident would, if it went ahead, derail the
17 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and that was why probably Colonel Merdan wanted his
18 president to be aware of the situation.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
20 Q. Mr. Williams, I'm now going to show you another document that
21 we've already discussed and which I consider to be the key document
22 furnishing your opinion that this was indeed an ultimatum. Take a look at
23 the Prosecution's set of documents, their bundle, and it is document P
25 I did not prepare this document for Their Honours because I assume
1 that Their Honours still have the Prosecution bundle for this witness. It
2 is --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Rest assured, Counsel, that we
4 do have it. Yes. It's not leaving the table.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. It is a report by BritBat for the 16th of January, and under point
7 E, the meeting is recounted, and the alleged words used by Colonel Andric
8 or recorded, and the one but last sentence or two penultimate sentences of
9 Andric's alleged words in the BritBat report read as follows and I quote:
10 "There are two HVO brigades in Prozor, supported by tanks and artillery
11 which are ready to advance towards Gornji Vakuf. You have until tomorrow
12 to meet all our demands and to act upon them or to confront the
13 consequences as an alternative."
14 If you have had time to look through Enver Hadzihasanovic's report
15 in its entirety does he mention 2 brigades in Prozor ready with tanks and
16 artillery to move towards Gornji Vakuf, or did he hear something like --
17 or did the BritBat representative just hear of things like that that
18 recorded the minutes of the meeting?
19 A. No. What the notes here in the -- or the entry here in the
20 milinfosum is virtually word-for-word a translation of what was written
21 down in that meeting.
22 Q. I conclude that you cannot comment on how the BritBat member who
23 wrote this or attended the meeting heard about the brigade in Prozor, the
24 artillery and tanks, how they came to hear of it, whereas Enver
25 Hadzihasanovic didn't. You can't comment on that?
1 A. I cannot comment on that because I do not know what General
2 Hadzihasanovic did or didn't at this particular moment in time deem the
3 most important piece of information to get to his president.
4 Q. Very well. Fine. Now we can move on to the events -- or, rather,
5 the documents after the conflict, the 19th of January, and all those
6 documents so that we can see the efforts made by the top-ranking HVO
7 commanders to calm the situation down in -- on the ground.
8 When you spoke about the chain of command in the HVO, the
9 hierarchy there, you said that Zeljko Siljeg -- that Milivoj Petkovic was
10 Zeljko Siljeg's superior your in Mostar. Do you know who was another of
11 Zeljko Siljeg's superiors? Do you know who the Supreme Commander of the
12 armed forces of Herceg-Bosna was, for instance?
13 A. I can't -- can't recall, because I never actually met or dealt
14 with any paperwork concerning those gentlemen. I Just know Milivoj
15 Petkovic was, as I believe, the Chief of Staff for the HVO up at Mostar.
16 Q. Very well. Let us now take a look in my bundle at a document
17 numbered P 01211. It is an order by Mr. Mate Boban, who was the Supreme
18 Commander of the armed forces. I see that you're nodding. Does that mean
19 that you've just recollected that it was Mate Boban who was the Supreme
20 Commander? Have you just remembered that?
21 A. No. I misinterpreted your question. When you were referring to
22 earlier on, I thought you meant military-wise. Mate Boban was like a
23 politician-type person.
24 Q. Mate Boban was a politician, yes, but a civilian in all countries
25 is head of the army, in all democratic countries, and that what it was in
1 BH. He was the supreme -- on the 19th of January, Mate Boban issued an
2 order on banning HVO forces from implementing any offensives vis-a-vis the
3 BH army.
4 I don't want to read the whole document now, but tell me, the
5 document was sent to the representative of the defence department or,
6 rather, the head of the defence department and the Chief of Staff. Did
7 you know that the number one man of the armed forces of Herceg-Bosna, on
8 the 19th of January, issued an order ordering a stop to all combat
10 A. I probably would have known at the time, but I don't recall it now
11 because there were that many orders going down all the time to tell them
12 to stop fighting.
13 Q. Very well. Let's look at what happened on the following day. P
14 01238 is the document. The 20th of January. It's a joint order issued by
15 Milivoj Petkovic and Arif Pasalic, concerning the cessation of all combat
16 activities on the entire territory of Gornji Vakuf municipality, between
17 the HVO and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Tell us, were you aware that Milivoj Petkovic and Arif Pasalic
19 issued such an order jointly?
20 A. Again, I would have probably known at the time, but I cannot
21 recall specifically now. Like I said before, that were that many orders
22 coming from commanders to tell them to stop fighting, sometimes two or
23 three a day, that -- specific ones.
24 Q. Did these orders arrive in your headquarters, the headquarters of
25 your command? As a rule, did you know about the existence of documents
1 such as joint orders issued by the highest-ranking officers?
2 A. As a rule, yes, we as UNPROFOR in Gornji Vakuf were made aware of
3 these orders. And then they were passed down to our soldiers as well that
4 a cease-fire was about to come into effect.
5 Q. Thank you. Could we now look at P 01293. This is a handwritten
6 document --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. The Defence
8 counsel has just shown you an order dated the 20th of January, which is
9 specific insofar as it's signed by both authorities, Petkovic and Pasalic.
10 When you read the order, you can see that this order makes UNPROFOR play a
11 role. It specifies that UNPROFOR, as well as the ECMM, must organise a
12 meeting between the commanders of the HVO BiH and ABiH.
13 You seem to be saying that you don't recollect this order. Are
14 you quite sure?
15 THE WITNESS: I understand, Your Honour, yeah. The specific order
16 itself is just one of order after order after order about cease-fires.
17 There were cease-fires where the UNPROFOR and the ECMM were involved, but
18 I cannot be specific to specific orders and specific dates. I just do not
19 remember the actual intimate detail of which date which order was given.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Evidently there were some combat activities even after this order
23 was issued, and for this reason on the 20th of April, in document P 01923,
24 Milivoj Petkovic issued another order. This order was issued from Geneva
25 on the 24th of January, and the document before us is not dated. However,
1 from a subsequent document issued by Zeljko Siljeg, which refers to this
2 order, we will see that it is an order issued on the 24th of January.
3 Milivoj Petkovic was in Geneva, and there was he informed that the
4 conflicts had not ended. Therefore, he issued this order from Geneva that
5 the HVO units in Gornji Vakuf should cease offensive actions against the
6 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And he also insists that Mate Boban's order
7 of the 19th of January, which we saw today, be complied with, as well as
8 the order of the 20th of January that we have seen here today.
9 Tell us, were you informed about the attempts of the most senior
10 people in the HVO staff to have these conflicts stop?
11 A. We were aware that at senior level they were trying to stop it.
12 However, their ability to control their own troops was letting them down
13 all the time.
14 Q. Evidently, even after this order the fighting did not stop
15 completely. So let us look at document 4D 00358.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Let's still talk
17 about this written order which comes from Geneva. Could you look at this,
19 This order, strangely enough we see the order "Urgent" mentioned
20 three times. Normally speaking, you write the word "urgent" once only.
21 Quite clearly, the person who wrote this order put the word in "urgent"
22 three times. As I can see that this must have been sent by mail -- by
23 e-mail. This is Colonel Siljeg's e-mail address here.
24 At item 1, we can see that the HVO unit at Gornji Vakuf must cease
25 operations against the ABiH straight away, and the units must obey Mate
2 How do you understand this? According to you, the HVO units had
3 not complied with the cease-fire and were still attacking the ABiH. Can
4 you give us an explanation for this, or is the order based on wrong data?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was it?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand, Your Honour. As it says in the
8 order that HVO units in Gornji Vakuf are to cease offensive operations
9 immediately. Yes, there were still attacks going on all the time. In the
10 end, our commanding officer Colonel Stewart stopped using the
11 word "cease-fire" and started used the word "a reduction in firing"
12 instead because he thought that cease-fire was just a word that was
13 meaningless in that situation.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say Colonel Siljeg was
15 not complying with the orders, because of his own accord --
16 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour. From reading this I would say that
17 Colonel Siljeg was having problems with some of his sub-units and was
18 trying to make them comply with the order and that they weren't.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why did the sub-units go on
20 fighting? What kind of explanation can you provide for this given that
21 the negotiations were under way in Geneva and General Petkovic was in
22 Geneva in person, and the representatives of the ABiH were also in Geneva?
23 How can you explain this? As negotiations were under way, a cease-fire
24 had been decreed as was stated in the previous document we just saw which
25 was signed by Mate Boban. How could the units still be fighting?
1 You were an observer in charge of intelligence. How can you -- do
2 you understand this discrepancy about what's been decided in Geneva at the
3 highest levels of the HVO and that units on the ground were still
5 THE WITNESS: The main problem was that the soldiers were not
6 under control enough, and as a result, a minor -- we would get a cease or
7 a stabilisation of the situation and a reduction of fire, and then a minor
8 incident between two villages or even just two other soldiers somewhere
9 else would slowly suck them all back in again. For instance, there were
10 two particular villages above Gornji Vakuf who seemed to be having their
11 own little war between themselves. And so although you could get the
12 troops from both sides to stop, this village would continue fighting and
13 it would slowly suck the troops back in. And that was why the cease-fires
14 used to keep collapsing, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sir, are you aware of any action being taken
16 thereafter to discipline the commanders who had obviously disobeyed
17 orders, or was this simply passed under silence, or were there any efforts
18 to improve the enforcement of orders?
19 THE WITNESS: I am personally not aware of any discipline taken
20 against commanders who disobeyed their orders. However, these breaches
21 were brought up in negotiations and both sides said that they would deal
22 with the matter.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: With my colleague's indulgence. When he says
1 "sucked in" I think that needs clarification, because if I understand the
2 witness correctly, he's saying these undisciplined soldiers were provoking
3 and the provocations would cause clashes. I think that needs some
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. Basically to put it simply, the
6 example I used was the two villages. They would not stop fighting. One
7 village was Croat, one was Muslim. The soldiers nearby then got edgy
8 about whether their particular ethnic village was going to be attacked
9 properly or not, and so they would start firing in support of their
10 village, which would then mean that the other side's soldiers would start
11 firing in support of their village, and it would slowly stack up again and
12 the cease-fire would then collapse, Your Honour.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Williams, based on what you have just told us, to the best of
15 your knowledge and based on your experience as a professional soldier,
16 please tell us, could it be said that the HVO commanders had effective
17 control over the units on the ground, or, rather, over all the men who
18 were carrying weapons and participating in the fighting?
19 A. By and large the commanders on both sides managed to control their
20 men. However, there were renegade elements who were out of control, who
21 destabilised the situation again.
22 Q. But that would mean that they did not have effective control over
23 combat activities in a certain area. Would that be correct? If something
24 happened that they were unable to control, this would mean that they did
25 not have effective control over all the events in a certain area. Would
1 that be a logical conclusion from everything you have told us?
2 A. Yes, it would. They -- they would try to exert control, but some
3 of the soldiers were reluctant to stop fighting and so just carried on.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's imagine that such a
5 situation would have occurred inside a British Battalion. For instance, a
6 British Battalion would not comply with the orders. What would have
7 happened? What would the commander have done in such a situation, and
8 what must a commander do in such a situation?
9 THE WITNESS: The immediate commander of the sub-unit or even the
10 individual concerned would be removed from his position there and then on
11 the spot, as would the soldier himself or sub-unit itself, and they would
12 then face disciplinary action, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Given your fair knowledge and
14 understanding on the ground, during this period of time, had you knowledge
15 of disciplinary action being taken against the culprits.
16 THE WITNESS: I had no knowledge, Your Honour, of any disciplinary
17 action being taken. I cannot say whether it was or was not done.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Williams, when you told us what would be done in similar
20 situations were soldiers or officers of the British Army involved, let me
21 ask you the following: How long did the British Army need to establish
22 rules, a hierarchy, and discipline enabling a military soldier or an
23 officer to be immediately punished?
24 A. The history of the British Army is long and convoluted. We had a
25 regular army that we have now from about the mid-1960s onwards when we did
1 away with conscription. It has a set of regulations called the Queen's
2 regulations, and they are adhered to and soldiers dealt with accordingly.
3 There are -- we have what we call SOP, Standard Operating Procedures, and
4 we have standing orders, which is how they would behave at all times. And
5 the discipline within the British Army, if you breach it, is quite severe
6 to the extent that -- and you are held responsible for your men all the
7 time. And I can give you an example of that where I was find 300 pounds
8 because one of my soldiers had some ammunition and I was in hospital
9 having an operation at the time. That is the level of discipline within
10 the British Army.
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. I just wanted to hear that one
12 does need a long tradition and it takes time for things to begin
13 functioning properly. But to go back to my question which was about
14 effective control. So to conclude, there were groups that could not be
15 controlled. We said that the commanders could not have effective control.
16 And my last question would be: It follows from everything you have said
17 that those commanders, with respect to those individual groups, could
18 neither command nor control their activities. Would that be correct?
19 A. In specific areas, yes.
20 Q. Thank you very much.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I just need to know how much time I
22 have left in order to make the best use of it.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please.
24 You've had 44 minutes. You had 51 minutes left. You therefore
25 have seven minutes left. So if you could finish in seven minutes time and
1 then we'll have the break.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Williams, please take a look at document P 01344 in my set of
4 documents. So we have now finished with Milivoj Petkovic's order of the
5 24th of January from Geneva. On the 25th, all fighting stopped. And now
6 another document was issued on the 29th of January addressed to Zeljko
7 Siljeg, who was at that time in Prozor, where the chief of the main HVO
8 staff demands first that "All our extremists be arrested and locked up."
9 It's P 01344. You can see it on the monitor as well. "Arrest and
10 imprison all our extremists.
11 2. Give a sharp warning to people from the command who resist you
12 and think differently.
13 3. Point out to the other side that you have given instructions
14 for a list to be made of Muslim refugees from Gornji Vakuf municipality in
15 the Republic of Croatia and that we will return them to Vakuf as soon as
17 This is my order. And really do charge someone from the civilian
18 structure with obtaining a list. We will sort out Bugojno as soon as
19 possible," and so on.
20 If you wish to comment the remaining points, that's fine, but
21 these are the most important ones for us.
22 Did you know that the highest-ranking HVO officers were trying,
23 through their orders and activities, to establish order to the maximum
24 extent possible under the circumstances?
25 A. At that moment in time they were giving us assurance that they
1 were trying to get renegade elements under control, yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Now --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I add a question. Did you also see an echo
4 of this order? Was there any change in the behaviour? Did you -- did you
5 observe an effect?
6 THE WITNESS: I understand, Your Honour, yes. There was -- there
7 was a change in position of the HVO from -- during late January where they
8 became more interested in defusing the situation and getting some sort of
9 effective cease-fire into position.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: Your Honour.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Williams, could we just clarify your responses to His Honour
14 Judge Antonetti's questions as to whether HVO soldiers spent nights at
15 home or in barracks. From your response, one could conclude that those
16 who were married slept at home and that those who were not married slept
17 in barracks. That is why I will put the following series of questions to
18 you: In the factory where the HVO Brigade was quartered or where it had
19 its seat, that was in the immediate vicinity of the BritBat headquarters;
20 is that correct?
21 A. It was next door to us. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. In this factory, were there any dormitories there or no? Is it
23 correct to say that there were no dormitories there?
24 A. I cannot comment either way. I never went into the factory
1 Q. To the best of your knowledge, was there anything else there apart
2 from the command of the Ante Starcevic Brigade?
3 A. To the best -- again, to the best of my knowledge they had some
4 sort of stores or supplies there, and you would see lorries or small
5 trucks coming and going, delivering things and picking things up.
6 Q. I conclude from your report that nothing happened on the basis of
7 which you might conclude there were dormitories there and that soldiers
8 slept there. Would that be correct?
9 A. I cannot -- again, I cannot comment either way. Where they slept
10 was by and large up to them. It -- we noted some buildings that were used
11 as billets for troops, but it was not a big concern of ours where they
13 Q. Tell us, was it a rule for military units to be active in a
14 certain area composed of local people, people who actually lived in the
16 A. The -- both the local armija brigade and the local HVO Brigade
17 were mainly local, and within the armija organisation, there was the TO
18 who were mainly village defence.
19 Q. You told us about shifts going into combat, so let me ask you the
20 following: If soldiers were not holding the shift on the front lines,
21 they could be in their own homes; is that correct?
22 A. We worked on the assumption from what we had seen that they had a
23 shift that involved a period of time on the front line, a period of time
24 doing administration and sorting things like that out, a period of time
25 getting ready to go back to the front line and then a period of time back
1 on the front line. So we worked on the assumption that it was probably
2 roughly one-third in each bit as they -- as they rotated round.
3 Q. In other words, whether a soldier was married or not was not a
4 precondition for their spending nights at home. Would that be correct?
5 A. I would -- the welfare of the HVO I know little about, but I would
6 assume if they operate along the lines of other armies they would allow
7 married soldiers to go home, and they would allow soldiers who lived
8 locally, whose parents or whoever lived there, to go home for a period of
9 leave, R and R.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, General Praljak
11 would like to intervene, so I will cede to him my right to put the next
12 question. The question is exclusively to do with shifts and the marital
13 status of soldiers, so it's of a technical nature.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Does he want to deposit as a witness or as an
15 expert, or is there any other way in which we can hear him in this
16 context? I think not.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Only a question.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Judge Trechsel, Mr. President. It is --
19 it is well-founded in this Tribunal that normally Defence counsel and
20 Prosecution are allowed to ask questions following questions posed by the
21 Judges. I assume that General Praljak wishes to add a question based on
22 questions posed by the Judges as I have two particular questions that I
23 would like to ask for clarification purposes. I think it is a
24 well-founded rule, because generally, not always but generally, Judges
25 reserve questioning until after the parties have questioned. I'm not
1 saying that that's -- that should be the practice, but there may be times,
2 and this may be one of them, where one or two questions may be sufficient.
3 So it's not out of practice.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Alaburic, so it
5 will be taken away from your time.
6 Mr. Praljak, put your question to the witness now.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] A very simple question.
8 The barracks that the witness mentions was very near the BritBat
9 in Vakuf. The question is as follows: Did you ever see soldiers
10 exercising or having breakfast in the compound where the supposed barracks
11 would have been? Because soldiers come out, and they exercise or relax or
12 have breakfast or something like that. So was it just a gathering point
13 for people before leaving for the ground, or was it a barracks in that
14 sense that they slept there?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please answer.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand the question. Like I said, I
17 never went inside the building, so I can't say what went on inside it. We
18 used to see soldiers coming and going all the time and vehicles coming and
19 going all the time. We viewed it as the headquarters of the local
20 brigade. Whether the soldiers actually lived in there properly, I do not
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may General Petkovic
23 ask a question?
24 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one
25 question to this witness.
1 Witness, you keep referring to Territorial Defence unit here. Do
2 you know when the Territorial Defence units were abolished and no longer
3 existed in the BH army but the army of BH was formed?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I understand your question, General. The date
5 of the formation of the BH army I do not know at all. The BH army
6 themselves used to refer to these units as TO, which is how I even know
7 it's pronounced TO.
8 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Witness, during that time
9 you were there, the BH army couldn't have told you that it was the TO
10 units, because as such, they did not exist. They were abolished and the
11 BH army established. Are you aware of that?
12 THE WITNESS: The local army commanders used to refer to these
13 units as TO, General. We only have what the local army commanders tell
15 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] My time is up. Thank you for the
17 time allotted us.
18 Thank you, Mr. Williams.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's quarter to 4.00. We're
20 going to take a break for 20 minutes and reconvene at five past 4.00, at
21 which time the next Defence counsel, Mr. Coric's Defence counsel, will
22 have 30 minutes for their cross-examination, and then we'll conclude
23 because there's a second witness waiting.
24 We reconvene at five past 4.00.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's addendum: In the first oral
1 decision handed down today by the Presiding Judge, the Rule referred to is
2 Rule 77, contempt of the Tribunal. I quote the Tribunal in the exercise
3 of its inherent power may hold in contempt those who knowingly and
4 wilfully interfere with its administration of justice.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have 30 minutes.
8 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 I'll try and be as brief as possible, and if any technical explanations
10 are needed, then my client will ask the questions.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:
12 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Dijana Tomasegovic Tomic. I'm an
13 attorney at law from Zagreb, and I will be cross-examining you on behalf
14 of the fifth accused in this case.
15 Would you take the Prosecution bundle that you have before you and
16 look at P 01250. For e-court, it is page 3 of the document, paragraph 5.
17 The title is "Gornji Vakuf" in the English version. In the Croatian
18 version, it is also page 3, paragraph 1 this time.
19 Have you found the document?
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 Q. It's dated the 21st of January. It is from your regiment. Is
22 that right? A milinfosum?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. I'll start reading the passage that I mentioned starting out from
25 line eight of the English version in which it says as follows: "It was
1 reported that HVO forces this morning destroyed the majority Muslim
2 populated village of Hrasnica, TT 0441. The HVO soldiers responsible were
3 believed to be wearing blue helmets and to be equipped with three BTR-40s,
4 armoured vehicles. A blue BRDM-2 was reported to be located on the main
5 road junction GR 0272. Comment. Gornji Vakuf believe that these soldiers
6 may have been from a Herzegovinian military police unit."
7 While I was reading, I tried to emphasise "alleged"
8 and "possible." Now I'm interested in the following: Am I right in
9 concluding, in view of the words I emphasised, that the individual who
10 compiled this report was not quite sure about the reliability of this
11 piece of information?
12 A. No, that's not quite correct. The -- the person who compiled the
13 report was actually me. It was from debriefing a patrol on the ground,
14 and unless something as specific as this, unless I personally had seen it,
15 I would have to use a caveat, the caveat being "believed." I can't say
16 that that is what he saw. I can only say that that is what he told me he
18 Q. And that somebody who told you he saw it couldn't tell you which
19 unit they belonged to, but they could possibly belong to a military police
20 unit. I assume you knew which unit of the military police and from
21 what -- or, rather, had you known which unit and from what town then that
22 person -- or, rather, you would have written that; is that right?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Thank you. Tell me now, please, yesterday in response to
25 questions from Mr. Murphy --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Just a moment. I'm
2 looking at the rest of that passage. You said that it was you yourself
3 who wrote that report. Now, I'd like to know whether you also wrote
4 that "the BiH claimed to be holding 20 Croatian prisoners of which they
5 allege 17 were from a Croatian HV special forces unit which was normally
6 based in Split." So did you write that mention?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, I wrote that, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when you say the BiH told
9 you, who told you that?
10 THE WITNESS: The -- the BiH officers that were in our base. It
11 was one of the points they brought up during one of the cease-fire
12 negotiations when -- as a gesture of goodwill, our commander used to try
13 to get them to divulge on both sides how many prisoners they had, et
14 cetera, et cetera, and try to get them to swap them back.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And were they actually
16 exchanged, those prisoners?
17 THE WITNESS: I do not know, Your Honour.
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Tell me, please, I'm sure you'll remember, yesterday in response
20 to questions from my learned friend Mr. Murphy, you said that the members
21 of the army that you say were military police with the blue helmets and
22 blue armoured vehicle, that you saw them only once from a distance of 150
23 to 200 yards. That's what you said yesterday, is it?
24 A. Sorry. Yes, that was my personally.
25 Q. Now, do you remember when you saw them?
1 A. I cannot be specific on a date, no, I'm afraid not.
2 Q. Tell me, please, I assume in view of the distance from which you
3 saw them that you weren't able to talk to them; is that right?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. I'd now like to remind you of your first day in the courtroom, and
6 during the examination-in-chief I think that this question was posed by
7 His Honour Judge Antonetti with respect to the identification of
8 individual units, HVO units, why in your reports it doesn't say exactly
9 what units these HVO members belonged to. And you said at the time that
10 you couldn't do that every time because the only way you were able to
11 identify them, which unit, which HVO soldier belonged to, was if you
12 talked to him and then that he told you that. Do you remember saying
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, if you look at the Prosecution bundle again, the
16 next document, P 03090.
17 In the English version it is on page 26, and in the Croatian it is
18 page 22. May we have it on e-court, please.
19 It is a report on the work of the military police of the Croatian
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna, an analysis of the situation from between
21 January to June, 1993. You remember the document I'm sure.
22 A. Can you just confirm its 3090 and what page, please?
23 Q. [No interpretation]
24 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I think we'll have to have that repeated
25 because there was no English interpretation at the time.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Let me repeat. The document is P 03090. In the English version,
3 it is on page 26, the last two paragraphs, and the first paragraph of 27.
4 For the Croatian, it is page 22, last paragraph on that page, and page 23,
5 first paragraph. We have it on our screens, both pages.
6 From what you're looking at, I assume you can say that this part
7 of the report relates to the logistics service 233. And then the
8 "Quartermaster Service" is the last heading. And I think you'll agree
9 that it is a service which deals with logistical matters, supplies to
11 A. Yes. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. I'd now like to ask you to look at part of the text under the
13 title of "Quartermaster Service," which begins the following words, for
14 example -- it says: "For example, in this period we were issued with and
15 distributed: 1 camouflage trousers," so many pieces. I don't have to
16 read the figures. "Camouflage jackets," once again the quantity.
17 "Camouflage shirts, white belts", and under 5, "VP military police badges
18 or flashes".
19 Now, among this equipment, do you see helmets mentioned at all? I
20 think it is obvious that there are no helmets mentioned here.
21 A. I see there are no helmets mentioned and no boots either.
22 Q. Now, would it be logical that those helmets would have to have
23 been on the list if they had been issued to the soldiers during that
24 period of time?
25 A. If it was part of this issue, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, on e-court I'd like a Prosecution document which
2 isn't in the bundle to be put on the monitor, on the screen. 00956 is the
3 number. And may we look at the first page.
4 While we're waiting for the document, it is the same type of
5 document as the previous one, but the period is different. It is from
6 April to December, 1992. Comprises that period.
7 There's the first page. It is a military police report one
9 Now, on e-court, page 15 of the English and page 14 of the
10 Croatian, please.
11 On the English page it says "Logistics" again. May we turn to the
12 next page, that is to say, page 16 in the English. And we see a table
13 there with the following: It says the type of military police unit on one
14 side, and at the top it says "Type of equipment." Then we
15 have "Handcuffs," so many pieces.
16 In the Croatian version this is page 15. So the next page,
17 please, for the Croatian. It says page 14 in the Croatian. Not that
18 table. That's the wrong one. Page 14, please. That's 13. Next page,
19 please. But the English version is the proper page.
20 It says "Handcuffs," so many pieces, "White belt," so many, "Stop
21 sign," and then the figure, "Badges," and the figure, "Coat of arms," and
22 the figure, and "Insignia," also the number there. There are no helmets
23 either. So I assume that your answer would be the same as it was last
24 time, that had they been issued during that period of time, they would
25 have been included in the table; is that right? Is that what you'd said?
1 A. Yes, I would agree with that. And again, I point out it doesn't
2 mention boots either.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, would you agree that also no clothing,
4 no trousers, et cetera, were distributed in that time?
5 THE WITNESS: According to that table that I'm looking at, Your
6 Honour, yes, I would agree.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Would you take up document P 3090 or 03090 once again. The
10 document we saw a moment ago. The English version is page 6 and 7. Last
11 paragraph on page 6 and first paragraph on page 7. And in the Croatian
12 version page 5, last paragraph, and the first paragraph of page 6.
13 It is the same report. I'm going to start reading.
14 Have you found the page?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It says: "Operative zone of North-west Herzegovina." It's been
17 read already but not in its entirety. "At about 0800 hours on the same
18 day, the Military Police 2nd Battalion members from Livno and Posusje,
19 consisting of 30 military policemen, took control of the village of
20 Uzricje by which the ABiH circle around the town was penetrated. At 1435
21 hours, the military police 1st Light Assault Battalion members took
22 control of the village of Zdrince, which was already under BiH control."
23 And then on the next page: "During that time, the members from
24 the 2nd Battalion from Prozor took a number of villages and important
25 features held by the BH army in the part of the municipality which borders
1 with the municipalities of Prozor and Konjic."
2 In this report we can see that mention is made of two particular
3 villages, and they are Uzricje and Zdrince, and apart from that, other
4 villages are mentioned in part of the municipality bordering on the
5 municipalities of Prozor and Konjic. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. We cannot see any mention of the village of Hrasnica there at all;
8 is that right?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Now on e-court may we have the next document T 09276. It is a
11 collection of maps. Map 16, in fact. The ERN number is 05045969. That's
12 the map we need. It shows the Gornji Vakuf area.
13 MR. BOS: Just -- I'm looking at the witness, and he's looking at
14 the wrong map. Maybe just -- Witness, it's -- yeah, it's that map, the
15 blue map. Yes.
16 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] He can take a look on the
17 screen. It's come up on our screens.
18 Q. Can you see the village of Hrasnica on the map?
19 A. Yes, I can.
20 Q. Would you draw a circle round it, please. Have you got a pencil?
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Now, can you see Prozor and Konjic at the bottom on the map?
23 Prozor and Konjic.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. On the map, would you draw in the border between Gornji Vakuf
1 municipality and Prozor and Konjic.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Thank you. Now, is it evident from this that Hrasnica is not on
4 the border of the Prozor-Konjic municipalities for the Gornji Vakuf
5 municipality? It's not a bordering village, is it?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Would it also be correct, then, that Hrasnica does not belong in
8 the report to the villages mentioned as those having been taken control of
9 bordering on the Prozor and Konjic municipalities?
10 A. For the units mentioned and the date confirmed in the document,
11 that is correct.
12 Q. Tell me, please, in view of the fact that we're dealing with a
13 collective report here and it is for entire period, then following on from
14 that logics, it should record all the more important military operations
15 that the unit took part in or, rather, those military police units took
16 part in that the report refers to. Would that be correct? Do you agree
17 with me there?
18 A. For the units that I mentioned in the report that would be
19 correct, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, as far as I understood you, Hrasnica,
21 according to your testimony, was attacked by the military police three
22 times. Would it not be logical, since it was a continuous attack, that
23 this kind of operation would also be mentioned in a report of this nature?
24 A. It was -- in my testimony I gave yesterday, I did not say that the
25 military police attacked the village three times. I said the village was
1 attacked three times. On one of those occasions it was the military
3 Q. But you also said, if I remember correctly, that that village was
4 very important in the military sense. So such an important place would
5 certainly have been recorded, would it not, in a report of this kind? It
6 should have been.
7 A. It should have been. However, I can refer to the map that General
8 Praljak had up on the board yesterday, and you could see there was a
9 Croatian position on the road just below it. A Bosnian Croat position.
10 Q. I just asked you about the military police. I wasn't asking you
11 in general.
12 Tell me, please, in your statement you also said that during the
13 negotiations on a cease-fire that a subject of discussion --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You referred to General
15 Praljak's map, and I was just consulting it while you were talking. You
16 said that there was a position, an HVO position, under the village,
17 beneath the village at the level of Moscani there were Croatian elements,
18 but opposite them there were ABiH elements, because the village of
19 Hrasnica, on the basis of the map, was lodged between two elements, two
20 BiH elements, and the HVO was opposite the BiH forces. So if there was an
21 offensive on the village, the offensive should have been directed at
22 breaking down the BH lines, ABiH lines.
23 So on the basis of the map you're looking at, with your marker,
24 could you give us the axis of the HVO offensive. Which direction did it
25 take? Where did the HVO forces come from?
1 THE WITNESS: I cannot, Your Honour, because I did not witness it.
2 I just debriefed the patrol of soldiers who did witness it. The actual
3 direction that it came from I cannot say, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you.
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Now, the map with the markings, may it be given an IC number,
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Registrar. May we have
9 a number, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. That will be Exhibit IC 55, Your Honours.
11 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Tell me, please, during the examination-in-chief -- yes. The
13 witness should sign the map, place his signature and the date on the map,
14 please. I omitted to say that.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And could you just say that the bottom line represents the border
17 between the municipalities of Gornji Vakuf and Prozor and Konjic.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
19 Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
21 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I think that today's date is the 18th of October, not the 17th.
23 Thank you.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Tell me, please, during the examination-in-chief you said that the
1 subject of Hrasnica was a subject discussed a number of times in the
2 negotiations to reach a cease-fire after the attacks; is that right? You
3 remember that? You remember saying that? Just yes or no, please.
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. You also said that during the negotiations the HVO did not deny
6 that that might have been done -- that the attacks might have been carried
7 out by the military police. Do you remember that?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Tell me, please, in view of the fact that Hrasnica, according to
10 that report of yours, made an impression as an important event, should
11 that subject have been mentioned as a subject of negotiations in one of
12 your reports?
13 A. The --
14 Q. When you reported on the negotiations, should you have mentioned
16 A. The negotiations were long and time-consuming, and most of the
17 points of the negotiations were passed up our chain of command by our
18 commander, Major Jones or Major Rule, depending on who was in command at
19 the time. Only a brief outline would go into the information summary, and
20 Hrasnica was one of the villages that was visited when we had the --
21 finally established the proper cease-fire so that the damage could be
23 Q. Tell me, please, can you recall now at least one report of yours
24 mentioning Hrasnica as an item on the agenda at negotiations?
25 A. I cannot, no.
1 Q. I'm asking you this because in all the reports provided to us by
2 the OTP, I have not mentioned to find a single reference to Hrasnica. I
3 have one further question in this connection. In your opinion, does
4 denial imply admission? You already said in response to Mr. Karnavas that
5 failure to deny something could be a tactical move rather than being
6 equivalent to an admission. Is that correct?
7 A. That is correct. And I'd also like to point out that the
8 information summary that you read is the battalion one. It would not be
9 as detailed on my area as the one that I wrote up to the battalion, which
10 would include debriefs from patrols, et cetera, et cetera, and would be
11 anything up to three, four, sometimes five pages long. And they would
12 then take out what they wanted to pass up to our brigade. So you would
13 need to get hold of the Gornji Vakuf daily military information summaries
14 to get more detail.
15 Q. Well, we looked at everything we were provided with. Tell me now,
16 please, I wish to go back to part of your testimony on the first day. It
17 may have been an infelicitous choice of words, but when speaking of the
18 soldiers who chopped off the hand of a handicapped Muslim person - I need
19 not name him because we've already discussed him here - you said that a
20 conflict arose because the Muslims wanted him to be tried in a normal
21 court in Zenica. What do you mean by "normal court"? Was it just a
22 clumsy choice of words or why would the court in Zenica be considered the
23 normal court in your opinion?
24 A. It wasn't my opinion, it was their opinion, and they regarded the
25 court in Zenica as the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. I now wish to go back to the flag incident. In your statement,
2 you said, and you repeated here, that the flag incident occurred when the
3 Croats raised a flag of the Bosnian Croats and a Muslim policeman fired a
4 shot over the flag as a sign of protest and then he was shot by someone.
5 You confirmed this as being correct today.
6 My question now is: Do you remember having given a statement on
7 the 18th of May and the 22nd of May, 1995, to the OTP of The Hague
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. I will now read out a part of that statement referring to that
11 event. It reads as follows --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter does not have the exact wording.
13 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. "One day a TV crew filmed a policeman of the Bosnian Croats
15 raising the Croatian flag next to the flag of the Bosnian Muslims. The
16 Muslim policeman fired shots above their heads and started taking down the
17 Croatian flag. Then someone fired a shot at the Muslim policeman as he
18 was taking down the flag."
19 Do you remember this part of your statement?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Would this be the correct description of the event as you remember
22 hearing about it if you didn't see it yourself?
23 A. The correct event is the one that's written in the daily military
24 information summary. That -- it did go in that order.
25 Q. In your daily infosum it doesn't mention the Bosnian Muslim flag
1 already being flown and the Croatian flag being raised next to it, and
2 there's also no mention of shooting over people's heads.
3 A. As I said earlier, you would need to get the daily information
4 summaries from Gornji Vakuf. It would have been condensed up at Vitez,
5 and they would not have gone into the same amount of detail. They would
6 have removed things and shortened it.
7 Q. What I read out to you was the statement you gave to the Office of
8 the Prosecutor. I wish to know whether you abide by this statement or
9 whether what you said then is incorrect. That's what I'd like to know.
10 A. No. There was -- there was a Bosnian flag there as well. I never
11 saw the incident, as it says -- as I've said before, I never saw the
12 incident. It was what was reported to us, and it was what our commander
13 dealt with to try to defuse what was a potentially threatening situation
14 to the route.
15 Q. But a Bosnian Muslim flag is mentioned here, not a Bosnian flag.
16 But I'm running out of time, so I have another question for you.
17 As far as I was able to understand, as an intelligence officer you
18 received a lot of information from officers or authorised spokespersons of
19 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the ground. Of course, you also
20 received information from the Croatian side, but you did get information
21 from members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. We gleaned information from both sides by talking to them on
23 check-points, out on the ground. We also gleaned information of
24 situations further afield by debriefing patrols and convoys as they moved
25 through, and virtually anybody that we could speak to who had seen
1 anything we would speak to and debrief and get them to show us on the map.
2 We kept highly detailed maps of where check-points were, and we needed to
3 know the attitude of the soldiers manning those checkpoints. They were a
4 good combat indicator. If the check-point suddenly -- manning suddenly
5 went up or more check-points appeared, we knew there was a problem in that
6 area. We got information from anywhere and everywhere we could.
7 Q. In view of the number of events occurring on the ground and their
8 complexity, and in view of the fact that your main task was to control the
9 roads, if I understood you correctly, is it possible that due to all these
10 circumstances there may have been misinformation? Perhaps you could have
11 been supplied with erroneous information by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 which you were unable to verify properly and completely, thoroughly.
13 A. Again, that is possible. However, both local commanders were
14 present at the talks where our officer commanding Major Rule tried to
15 defuse the situation, and there was no denial from the HVO side that that
16 incident had occurred.
17 Q. Thank you, sir.
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 I have no further questions.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
21 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, how much time do
22 I have?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
24 Theoretically, Mr. Coric, you have no time at all because your
25 Defence counsel has had 34 minutes. What do we do?
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a tricky problem for us,
3 because we have our countdown. We will grant you 10 minutes and no more.
4 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your
6 Cross-examination by the Accused Coric:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, my name is Valentin Coric. I am an
8 accused. I will unfortunately have to shorten my list of questions, and I
9 will try to put very specific questions relating only to the military
10 police. Everything else I will leave aside.
11 With reference to my report to Bruno Stojic, His Honour Judge
12 Antonetti put quite a few questions, so I will not go into it, but in my
13 opinion, you showed a high degree of knowledge about the organisation of
14 the military police and the army as a whole. Therefore, I will mention
15 one activity, traffic control, and two points, Pavlovica, and
17 Can you tell me on what road are those two points?
18 A. Specifically, I can't without a map, but I believe Karamustafic
19 may be by the relay hill, to the south of Gornji Vakuf, but I cannot be
20 specific on that.
21 Q. Can we agree that those are main roads and that they're
22 significant check-points? Can you recall that?
23 A. I -- I can agree that the -- if that is where Karamustafic is
24 then, yes, it was on the main supply route. Going back to Pavlovica,
25 could that possibly have been the check-point to the north of Gornji Vakuf
1 on the road?
2 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I think it would assist if the witness
3 would have a map in front of him. It's a bit unfair that he has to give
4 response to these questions without a map.
5 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I don't have time, Your
6 Honours, but I do have a question.
7 Q. Do you recall that in the first 10 days of January, 1993, these
8 were joint check-points of the military police of the ABiH and the
9 military police of the HVO? Do you remember that?
10 A. I do recall there were joint check-points, yes, I do.
11 Q. I don't have time to show the documents I've prepared, so I'll
12 move on.
13 Did you meet the commander of the military police in Gornji Vakuf
14 on both sides, the HVO and the ABiH? Did you ever meet with them?
15 A. I cannot recall. I don't believe I ever met them, no.
16 Q. Does the name Hanafija Prijic, also known as Paraga, mean anything
17 to you? Have you heard of that person?
18 A. I recognise the name Paraga, but in why I recognise it I do not
20 Q. Paraga. I'll try and assist you. This person was the commander
21 of the military police at the time. He had about 300 men under his
22 command, and he is connected to the incident when Italian citizens who
23 were involved in humanitarian work were killed. Do you remember that?
24 A. I recall the incident but I believe it may have occurred just
25 after we left the country. Am I right in saying that Paraga was a Muslim
1 commander and he was at the time of the Gornji Vakuf trouble who was in
2 Bistrica or that area? Did he have a distinctive green beret with two
3 badges on?
4 Q. Yes. That's the man. I would like to jog your memory. In the
5 town there was a motel which was the headquarters of the Green Berets. Is
6 this correct?
7 A. The headquarters of the armija, as I recall, was in a hotel, yes.
8 Q. Do you remember an explosion that occurred in that hotel?
9 A. I remember there being an explosion at the hotel, and as I recall,
10 and I may be wrong, although there was a significant amount of damage,
11 there was no casualties.
12 Q. So no casualties. No one was injured or killed. Would that be
14 A. As I recall. I can't be specific, but if I remember right, there
15 was an explosion. But as I recall, nobody was injured or killed. But it
16 was one of the general series of incidents that was going on around that
17 time that stoked up what was to occur later on.
18 Q. Thank you very much. For the sake of brevity, I'll move on.
19 There was another incident when both military police forces were
20 holding that joint check-point. One day, I think it was the 7th --
21 between the 7th and the 10th of January, all the members of the HVO
22 military police were arrested at those two check-points. Did you hear of
23 that event?
24 A. I probably did at the time, but I don't recall it.
25 Q. Do you know what happened next with regard to those arrests?
1 A. I'm afraid I don't. But which check-point is it you're referring
3 Q. I'm referring to the two I mentioned before, Pavlovica and
4 Karamustafic. The two most important check-points in the Gornji Vakuf
5 area in the direction towards Novi Travnik.
6 A. I recall vaguely that -- that at least one of those check-points
7 was attacked in some way, but I don't remember the ins and outs of it.
8 Q. So the military policemen were arrested by the armed forces of the
9 BH army and taken from the check-point. You don't recall any of the
10 events that ensued in the town of Gornji Vakuf?
11 A. Again, this goes back to what I said earlier. There was a series
12 of events --
13 Q. Do you or don't you remember, please.
14 A. I don't remember what actually happened to those soldiers, no.
15 Q. I'm trying to assist you. Do you remember that soldiers on both
16 sides were arrested and that an exchange was carried out, so it ended
17 quite peacefully? Do you recall that? And your men participated in that.
18 A. There were a series of exchanges that went on virtually on a daily
19 basis, so I cannot be specific about a particular exchange. Indeed, I was
20 involved in one exchange, but that was civilians. But that one I don't
21 recall. There were exchange nearly every day.
22 Q. Well, I wouldn't agree with you there, but I'll ask you another
23 question with Their Honours' indulgence. Did you ever go from the centre
24 of Vakuf town towards the post office and then towards the Ina petrol
25 station and then towards Bugojno? Did you ever pass along that route
1 either in a vehicle or on foot?
2 A. Both.
3 Q. Would you agree with me that there was fierce fighting throughout
4 the conflict along that line?
5 A. Yes. As I recall, if this is the specific area that I recall
6 correctly, there was even a fight where -- involving a stuffed wild boar
7 where both sides kept seizing it off the other.
8 Q. Thank you. Very briefly, I wish to jog your memory, Witness, to
9 help you recall several incidents that contributed to the situation. You
10 mentioned the conflict between two villages, a Muslim and a Croat village.
11 Let me remind you that four persons from a Croatian village were cruelly
12 killed with an axe, if you recall.
13 Yesterday, we spoke about a Muslim who had his head chopped off,
14 but what I wish to remind you of is the following: In the report dating
15 from 1992 and presented by my Defence, I -- 1992, and it refers to the
16 period from April to December, it mentions the most significant incidents
17 that had happened in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and do you
18 know that neither more nor less than six are mentioned that relate to
19 Gornji Vakuf? If we compare this to the number of municipalities where
20 the HVO had military police, would you agree, and I hope that when you
21 took up your duties in Gornji Vakuf you were briefed on this, on the 26th
22 there was an armed conflict where people were killed on both sides?
23 Another incident happened on the 4th of August, 1992. That was between
24 those two villages. On the 11th of October, the command of the military
25 police was targeted from a hand-held rocket launcher.
1 All this was in 1992, just before this gentleman arrived to take
2 up his duties. And he arrived in November, as he told us.
3 Then on the 17th of November, 1992, that was when an HVO soldier
4 chopped off the head of a Muslim, and it states clearly here that he was
5 arrested. And all these incidents more or less ended rather well except
6 for the tragedies that occurred.
7 So my next question: When answering Judge Antonetti's question
8 about the reasons why over 20 per cent of the members of the military
9 police were killed in Gornji Vakuf, you were unable to reply. As a
10 professional soldier, could you now enumerate -- I'm just finishing, Your
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your time is up. So ask him the
13 last question so that he can answer it.
14 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. My final question is: As the witness was living in Gornji Vakuf
16 in that time period, could he give us the main reasons as to why so many
17 people were killed there? And I did mention the fighting in the town
18 itself. That was my question, my last question.
19 A. We are going back to when you first built the picture for the
20 question. We were aware that there were frictions between the Muslim and
21 Croatian communities, and we were aware that there had been incidents.
22 However, at the time of our initial deployment, we were not concerned with
23 that. We were just concerned solely with the road and what the warring
24 factions did to each other was, as far as we were concerned, none of our
25 business, so long as we could keep the road open and go where we wanted
2 As to why the casualty rate for the military police was so high,
3 I -- without being told where they were fighting exactly and who they
4 were -- which particular unit they were fighting against, I cannot say.
5 There's many reasons why the casualty rate of particular units may be
6 high. It could be due to poor leadership, lack of fire support.
7 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I have 30
8 seconds more, please?
9 Q. Sir, you did not even know the two main check-points on the road
10 that you're responsible for, Karamustafic and Pavlovica. How then could
11 you know about --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, you need to stop now.
13 You should have worked this out beforehand with your Defence counsel. You
14 should have taken the floor first and let your Defence counsel speak after
15 you. The questions were not of the same nature, I understand, and
16 understand that you're nervous about it, but we have to restrict you
18 You were raising your hand, Witness. What did you want to say in.
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I can give Mr. Coric a very quick
20 answer to that. Because we couldn't speak Serbo-Croat and couldn't
21 pronounce the words properly. We gave them code numbers instead.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, do you have any
23 questions for re-examination?
24 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
25 MR. BOS: In the interests of time, I will not have any additional
1 questions, only to admit the exhibits.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I have a couple of additional questions, Your
4 Honour, based on the questions that were raised. If not, I can just
5 briefly state what those questions are.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. Mr. Karnavas, there is no
7 question of --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... at some point
9 today, I would like to make my record. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What do you want to state for
11 the sake of the record?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... questions that
13 I wanted to ask. That's what I wanted to state the record for. Basically
14 that's it.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why didn't you ask those
16 questions during the cross-examination time?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you for asking that question, Mr. President.
18 Thank you. Because the nature of the questions that I wish to ask arose
19 as a result of questions that were posed by Judge Trechsel. And I think,
20 as I indicated earlier, the common practice has been that counsel on both
21 sides are given opportunities to ask limited questions based on what might
22 have come up through the questioning of the Judges, and that was the
23 reason. It's not something that I forgot or was --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But when a Judge
25 puts a question to the witness, the Judge puts a question either because
1 the Prosecution is examining the witness or the Defence. When I put a
2 question and the witness answers, you can still put a question to the
3 witness to clarify a particular point. But some other Defence counsel
4 could be interested in a particular question. They can write it on a
5 piece of paper and give it to you and say, "Be careful. He answered this
6 and that and answered the Judge's question such-and-such a way. Ask this
7 type of question to the witness." It's for you to appreciate the
9 If at the end of each question put by the Bench you have to give
10 the floor to six Defence counsel all in turn to know which additional
11 questions they wish to put, well, then we will never see the end of this.
12 So the best solution is to proceed in the following manner: When you put
13 questions to the witness and when the Bench puts question, you can
14 proceed, but if your other colleagues are interested in this particular
15 issue, it's for them to turn to you and say, for instance, "Mr. Praljak,
16 I'm interested in this. This is what we should do." Because you share
17 the time between you. If you have time left, then you do have time to put
18 the question. But if unfortunately your time has run out, ask your
19 colleague who is putting the question to the witness at that particular
20 time to put the question then to the witness through you.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I do appreciate all the advice I can get.
22 Sometimes it's after I have already completed my cross-examination that
23 the issues come up, and my colleagues have their own burden to carry, and
24 it's quite a burden, and the last thing they want is for me to be -- to be
25 giving them questions to ask on my behalf. And with all due respect,
1 they're not trained seals. I cannot force them to jump whenever I ask
2 them to jump.
3 In any event, there are just two issues. I can raise them after
4 the witness leaves for the sake of time. I just want to make sure that at
5 least the record is reflected that the questions that were posed, they
6 were posed in such a way that perhaps follow-up questions should have been
7 asked in fairness to the Defence. That's my position, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what were the two questions
9 you wanted to ask?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. One had to do with
11 discipline. Judge Trechsel asked if the gentleman saw any discipline
12 being administered, and he indicated -- I believe his answer was it was
13 brought up at the meetings. The follow-up question would have been,
14 perhaps, did you, sir, being that you were an intelligence officer, did
15 you do anything to verify whether any discipline was occurring, yes or no,
16 as opposed to whether he saw.
17 Also, in light of his previous testimony that he gave, the
18 question would have been: How possible would it have been to have
19 disciplined these rogue elements under the circumstances? Might it have
20 been rather dangerous for a particular low-level commander to try to
22 I see you're shaking your head, Judge Trechsel. I do think it's
24 One last -- one last point was where he had indicated -- the
25 gentleman indicated to a question posed by Judge Trechsel, he said that in
1 late January the HVO became more interested in defusing the situation.
2 That answer, that answer seems to -- to indicate that they were not
3 interested prior to that, and of course under -- the follow-up would have
4 been: What makes you believe that they were less interested than before
5 in light of all of your testimony that you had these rogue elements that
6 were not under command and control, not just control but command and
7 control? Everybody was on their own.
8 So those would have been my questions, and I just have them on the
9 record. At least now we're going to try to -- I just want to make sure
10 that we don't -- we don't believe something untouched.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 MR. KARNAVAS: And I'm trying to be due diligent as well.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. We listened to
14 what you had to say, and we have discussed it. We will take note of the
15 questions that you could have asked. I personally consider that the first
16 question was something that the witness already answered, because I think
17 I asked him about how they were disciplined, and the witness said that he
18 didn't know whether there was disciplinary action taken. So he couldn't
19 either confirm or refute it. And I think he answered the question there.
20 Now, as far as your second question, your second point is
21 concerned, in asking the witness this type of question, there could have
22 been a great deal of speculation.
23 But we did take note of your questions and recorded them. But I
24 would like to suggest to both parties that if you feel there are
25 fundamental issues, ask your colleagues to put the question in your name.
1 Otherwise, I'm sure you will understand that every time the Judges ask a
2 question we have to ask the six Defence counsel and then the six accused
3 whether they would like to ask additional questions, and that would keep
4 us here for hours and hours.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And I would like to make a brief declaration in
7 view of the fact that Counsel Karnavas referred to questions I had put.
8 I would declare that I -- when I put a question always have a
9 slightly bad feeling because I'm quite aware that it is risky to question
10 from the Bench. You cannot object very well to the Bench, and so I feel
11 uneasy and keep, if possible, to a minimum. And I would invite counsel to
12 put follow-up question, and I think that the practice is that we would be
13 on the moment itself prepared to allow that. It's just that we are, as
14 you know and as yourselves have stressed many times, under an extreme time
15 pressure, and now the time has been -- been extended today quite a bit
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. And I'm just trying to
18 be helpful. And to the extent that I can assist the Trial Chamber, I will
19 continue to do so on every occasion. But I thank you for that invitation,
20 and I will take full advantage of it.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I am very much aware of
22 the time, but for the record, let me just respond to a couple of things
23 that have been said.
24 My learned colleague Mr. Karnavas is indeed correct that in many
25 instances and many cases the parties are permitted to put questions to the
1 witnesses following questions put by the Bench, and I believe that was
2 actually the practice that we followed in the Hadzihasanovic and Kubura
4 With respect to the suggestion that Judge Trechsel just put on the
5 record in terms of follow-up questions, the potential problem, with all
6 due respect, that we see is that, for example, quite often during the
7 course of the direct examination, there will be questions put by the
8 Judges. If at that point in time one of the Defence teams or the accused
9 thinks that a follow-on question to the Judge's question might be in
10 order, we would then have the situation where the direct examination would
11 be even further hampered, thank you, by a series of questions from a
12 number of different parties based on a question from the Bench.
13 And perhaps, and I am hesitant to suggest this, Mr. President and
14 Your Honours, but perhaps one solution to this problem would be to go more
15 towards the model that is more common in the Tribunal in which, to my
16 recollection, was the one that was more the approach that we did take in
17 the Hadzihasanovic and Kubura case. That is the party who is calling the
18 witness and conducting the direct examination is more or less permitted to
19 do that with the bear minimum of questions coming from the Bench. Then we
20 have the cross-examination. And at that point, the Judges would ask the
21 majority of their questions if there were remaining questions that they
22 had or issues that needed further clarification.
23 Now, having said that, I am fully aware that it is the Chamber
24 that controls the proceedings and I am fully aware that there may be
25 instances where it's best to clarify an issue before moving on. But at
1 the same time, if we were to go to a party calling the witness with the
2 bare minimum of interruptions, and I use that word again hesitantly,
3 followed by cross-examination, questions from the Bench, and then any
4 follow-up questions from any of the parties concerning questions from the
5 Bench. That might be a way to solve this -- this dilemma as expeditiously
6 as possible, so that we don't have a situation where everyone is simply
7 jumping up to clarify further questions based on questions coming from the
8 Trial Chamber. And I simply say that as a suggestion with the greatest
9 respect to all of Your Honours and, of course, cognisant of the fact that
10 the Trial Chamber has the authority to control the proceedings. So I
11 simply, again, fully aware of the time, I raise that at this point.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right, but the
13 problem that we're facing with respect to the Hadzihasanovic-Kubura
14 dossier is that we are inundated by thousands of pages of documents. We
15 know that for this witness this is the number of exhibits. So when one of
16 the parties examines the witness on the basis of a document, if we wait to
17 the end in a few days' time to go back to the document, then we have to
18 take up the document again, whereas we have the document in front of us
19 now. So it would be better to wait to the end if we don't have the
20 documents. But since we do have the documents, orders, et cetera, then we
21 have to intervene straight away, because afterwards it's too late and we
22 can't ask the question two days later.
23 So that is a real problem, and it's here because we have thousands
24 of pages that everybody is examining, and sometimes we have to go straight
25 to the heart of the matter.
1 But as a general rule, when the Judge asks a question, the
2 question takes into account all the elements, and the answer given to the
3 Judge's question, in theory, should not raise -- give rise to additional
4 questions, to redirect, because everything has already been said. So if
5 we're asking the witness -- if we ask the witness can you tell us whether
6 in such-and-such a village there was a check-point or not, if the Judge
7 asks that type of question, the witness answers, no, there wasn't, for
8 example, and unless the Defence has a document to prove the contrary,
9 there's no need to take up the matter again and ask the question again
10 unless the witness was wrong. Then you can produce a document to show
11 that, that the witness was either lying or was wrong or whatever. But the
12 questions are put in such a way that they do not require additional
14 Having said that, we'd like to thank you, Witness, for having come
15 to testify and make your contribution. I'm afraid we kept you longer than
16 initially expected. You've been here for three days now. We thank you
17 for that. I'm going to ask Madam Usher to escort you out of the
19 And I'm going to ask the registrar to lower the blinds because
20 we're going to put in place protective measures.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're also going to take the
23 break straight away. As far as admission of exhibits is concerned, we'll
24 leave that to another time.
25 It's quarter past 5.00 or 20 past 5.00. Let's say 20 past 5.00.
1 So we reconvene in 20 minutes' time.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.40 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. We'll
5 go into private session, Mr. Registrar.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 8708-8711 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Mr.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may proceed.
25 MS. GILLETT:
1 Q. At the time when you were asked the questions by the investigator
2 from the Office of the Prosecutor, you answered the questions truthfully?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You did this voluntarily?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. And you remember the statement being read back to you at the end
7 of the interview with the investigator in your own language?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you remember signing that statement?
10 A. I remember.
11 Q. Could you take a look at the statements that are to your left-hand
12 side -- sorry, right-hand side. Can you take --
13 A. Your Honour, I am illiterate. I do not know how to read or write.
14 I think it says so in my statement, that I declared that. I cannot read.
15 I did not go to school.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I will resolve that
17 difficulty. Sir, do you remember that an investigator, when he asked you
18 to sign his document, through an interpreter, read back the statement to
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. And the text that was
22 read back to you in your own language, did it correspond to the questions
23 that the investigator asked you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. There were some small
25 changes. At my request he put that right, and everything was in order
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That means that the document
3 that you signed corresponds to what you told the investigator.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
5 MS. GILLETT:
6 Q. Finally, Witness, do you stand by the contents of that document as
7 being true to the best of your knowledge and recollection?
8 A. Everything I said in the statement I stand by. It is 100 per cent
9 correct and true.
10 Q. On page 4 of the English version of the statement and also the
11 B/C/S version of this statement, you talk about you and your nephew being
12 in a column. Do you remember that part of your statement?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Who else was in the column with you?
15 A. I couldn't give you all the names, but I know most of the names of
16 the people who were there, and if need be, I can give you a few of them.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Be careful not to name names,
18 name his relatives' names or things like that, because we're going to have
19 to waste time redacting the transcript if he does.
20 MS. GILLETT: Your Honour, yes.
21 Q. Witness, if I can turn to an exhibit numbered 1326. On page 4 of
22 the English version of that particular document is a list of names.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Usher, would you help the
24 witness, please.
25 MS. GILLETT:
1 Q. Noting, Witness, what you have said about your reading ability, it
2 is probably easier if I read the list of names to you, but what I would
3 like you to do is after each name, could you answer yes or no as to
4 whether that person was in the column with you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We'll move into
6 private session in case there are any names.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 8716-8748 redacted. Private session.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day
16 of October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.