1 Monday, 19 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon everyone in and around the
8 courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Prlic et al.
10 Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
12 This is Monday, January the 19th. I'd like to greet the accused,
13 the counsels, and particularly Mr. Khan, whom I'm pleased to see back. I
14 would also like to greet the representatives of the Prosecution, as well
15 as all those present in the courtroom.
16 I know that Mr. Registrar has a few IC numbers to provide me
17 with, so I give him the floor.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
20 through witness Milan Cvikl. The list submitted by 1D shall be given
21 Exhibit IC 00897. The list submitted by 2D shall be given Exhibit
22 IC 00898. The list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit IC 00899. And
23 the list submitted by the Prosecution shall be given Exhibit IC 00900.
24 Thank you, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar, for these
1 IC numbers.
2 First of all, I'd like to go to private session for a few
3 moments -- to closed session for a few moments.
4 [Closed session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. I
24 hope you can hear me in your headphones.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll ask you to stand to
2 pronounce the solemn declaration.
3 Could you state your name, surname, and date of birth.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] October the 30th, 1966.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a job currently,
6 and what is your current occupation?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a historian, and I work at the
8 Croatian Institute for History.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Already a witness before a
10 court, whether national or international, on Yugoslavia or the former
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I witnessed before this Court.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which case?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a witness in the case
15 Martinovic and Naletilic.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And were you a Prosecution or
17 Defence witness?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a witness for the Defence,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read the solemn
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: DAVOR MARIJAN
25 [The witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
2 sit down.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A few brief pieces of
5 information. Since you've already come to this Tribunal, you know how
6 our proceedings take place. You'll have to answer questions which will
7 be put to you by Mr. Stojic's counsels. I think Ms. Nozica will be doing
8 the questioning, after which the other accused's counsels will
9 cross-examine you. And after this, the Prosecution, who is on your
10 right-hand side, may also cross-examine you. This is the procedure under
11 our Rules. The four Judges before you at any time, and you will soon
12 realise that, will be likely to ask questions to clarify aspects which
13 may require so, so please be accurate in your answers.
14 If you do not understand a question, do not hesitate to ask the
15 one who posed it to rephrase it or to ask it again.
16 For your information, today we shall bring the proceedings to an
17 end at 1820, but for the coming days, the hearings will begin in the
18 morning at 9.00. It is possible that in the light of the time used by
19 Mr. Stojic's Defence and the other counsels' Defence, and on account of
20 the time required by the Prosecution, we may not finish by Thursday, in
21 which case you will have to stay at least until Monday, but let's be
22 hopeful, and perhaps things will turn out better than expected. This is
23 what I tell you, and I hope that if you have to stay, this will not cause
24 you any serious inconvenience.
25 Would there be a problem if you had to stay until Monday, sir?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I do have some family issues,
2 but I do hope everything will be okay.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I also hope everything will be
4 okay. And as I hope that everything will be okay, I give the floor,
5 without further adieu, to Ms. Nozica.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
7 afternoon to everybody in the courtroom. Good afternoon, Mr. Marijan.
8 I would just like to provide you with several introductory
9 technical remarks before I begin, but before that I would like to say
10 that this is an expert witness, the first witness presented by the
11 Defence of Mr. Stojic.
12 As for my technical remarks, Your Honours, and the witness, you
13 received four binders. There is a blue binder marked as binder X. In
14 that binder, we have important organisational acts which we shall refer
15 to on several occasions, and that's why they've been put into a separate
16 binder. Moreover, there is a red binder containing this expert witness
17 statement or report, rather, and there are also two binders containing
18 different documents.
19 We've provided you also with the expert witness's report that he
20 gave in the previous case, so that the Chambers may, if they wish, check
21 whether both of these reports touch upon the same issues and whether he's
22 testifying in the same manner.
23 With Your Honours' indulgence, and obviously with the indulgence
24 of my learned friends from the Prosecution, before we start with the
25 topic of this report, I would like to very quickly go through the
1 curriculum vitae and the expertise of this witness, and his scientific
2 work. I believe that this might be very important so that we'll learn
3 what is the extent of knowledge of the witness before he started -- what
4 it was before he started working on his report.
5 Examination by Ms. Nozica:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Marijan, I will kindly ask you, as I'm often
7 asked in this courtroom, if I start speaking too quickly when asking
8 questions, and you should also be mindful of this when you are answering,
9 we have to speak rather slowly in order for the Judges to be able to
10 understand us. That's a very important reason. But there's also the
11 second reason, and this is the gentleman taking minutes, the transcript,
12 should be able to record everything, and the interpreters should also be
13 able to do their job.
14 Just a few questions regarding your work experience.
15 In your CV, we can see that you participated in the war in Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina
17 HVO; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. I participated as a volunteer on three
19 occasions in HVO units in the period between 1992 and 1995.
20 Q. It is also stated here that you were a member of the
21 Petar Kresimir 4th Brigade in Livno. Could you tell me where you were
22 based and what were your tasks? Where was this brigade based, and who
23 HVO was in conflict with at that time?
24 A. I was a member of this brigade in 1992. This brigade was
25 continuously based an in the territory of the Municipality of Livno
1 was a member of the Students' Company of this brigade, and I was an
2 infantry soldier.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I've been warned that in line 1 of
4 the transcript, a year is missing. That was my question. So in my
5 question, I referred to the year 1992, and I would like to thank my
6 colleague for this warning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my answer, I did refer to the
8 year 1992, and I can only add that at that time we were at war with the
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In your CV, we can also see that you were a member of the 1st
12 Brigade, Petar Kresimir the 4th in Livno between July 1992 [as
13 interpreted] and April 1994. Could you please tell me where you were
14 stationed at the time and what were your tasks?
15 A. If you allow me, in line 12 it says "July 1992." Well, that was
16 actually July 1993. I was a member of the same brigade. I was the
17 commander of the Students' Company. That was the time of the war with
18 Muslims. Most of the time I spent in this brigade, I was at positions
19 facing the Bosnian Serbs, and I believe that on three occasions I was in
20 another place for periods of ten days each time. This was in the area of
21 Gornji Vakuf.
22 Q. The fourth time you came to Livno, the fourth time you came,
23 where were you then?
24 A. This was the third time. Then I was a member of a professional
25 unit of the 1st Guards Brigade of the HVO. I was a member of this
1 brigade between September 1994 and the end of July or August 1995. At
2 that time, I was in charge of the political activity in the department of
3 the Guards Brigade.
4 Q. Mr. Marijan, you said you were a volunteer and you came to Livno.
5 Could you please explain to this Court, what does this mean? So at the
6 time of your first coming in April 1992, where was your permanent
7 residence, what is your origin, when and why you came to Livno on the
8 three occasions mentioned?
9 A. At the time, I was a student. I studied in Zagreb. I lived then
10 and I still live in a small town in the vicinity of Zagreb called
11 Velika Gorica. Just before I began my studies, my father built a house
12 there, and this is where I've lived. I went to Livno on three occasions,
13 frankly speaking, because of my parents.
14 Q. What does that mean, because of your parents?
15 A. It was war. The war was on, and my feeling was that had I not
16 gone down there when my family was endangered, I could have never faced
17 coming there again.
18 Q. You said that you went because you could not have faced going
19 down there again in the future had you not gone on that occasion. Did I
20 understand this well?
21 A. Yes, you did.
22 Q. So we are talking about April 1992. Who was endangering your
23 family at the time in Livno?
24 A. My family was in danger because of the army at the time. It was
25 still called Yugoslav People's Army. Later, it was renamed into the
1 Army of the Republika Srpska. My village was at the very front-line
2 facing this army, and the attack started just a few days after I came
4 Q. I will try to go very quickly through your scientific expertise
5 and your work experience, which is very significant, also significant for
6 your report.
7 You said that you completed your studies of history and
8 archaeology at the Faculty of Philosophy in 1994; that you gained
9 Master's of Arts degree at the same faculty in January 2005, with a
10 thesis: Ustasha military units, 1941 to 1945; is this correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You got your Doctoral degree on May 11th, 2006, with the thesis
13 entitled: "Yugoslav People's Army and the dissolution of the Socialist
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1987 to 1992"; is this also correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Between December 1992 and September 2001, you worked at the
17 Central Military Archives and the Military Museum
18 Defence of the Republic of Croatia
19 A. Yes, it is correct, although they had me officially working at
20 the Military Museum
21 Central Military Archives at the time.
22 Q. You also mentioned that you worked at the scientific project
23 "Creation of the Republic of Croatia
24 1991 to 1995 to 1998," in the period between 2001 and 2007; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Your CV says that since 2007, you've been working as a researcher
3 and head of the scientific project: "The Republic of Croatia
4 Homeland War, 1991 to 1995"; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Furthermore, it says that in the summer of 2000, you participated
7 in drafting of the complaint of the Republic of Croatia
8 Federal State
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Furthermore, it says that following a request of the
11 Government of the Republic of Croatia
12 ICTY, you were in The Hague
13 significance of the war activities against the Republic of Croatia
14 A. Yes, that is correct. I don't remember the name of the person
15 for -- working for the investigative teams. I was offered at the time to
16 work for them as an expert, but at the time I believed that my knowledge
17 was not satisfactory.
18 Q. I hope that today you believe your knowledge is satisfactory to
19 testify as a witness.
20 A. Yes, but I need to mention that I've been interested in the
21 Yugoslav People's Army for a long time. I had information coming from
22 the media, the documents, and as we compiled the complaint against
24 documents that were created by that army and which were before kept by
25 the security services. I need to say that as -- that I found reading
1 these documents very hard, and the picture that I used to have about the
2 Yugoslav People's Army changed pretty drastically. So after 2005, I
3 gained sufficient expertise to witness about this subject.
4 Q. Thank you. Furthermore, it says that ever since 2002, you've
5 been an editor of the "Polemos" publication?
6 A. Yes, this is the only publication in Croatia that deals with this
7 subject matter.
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: [Previous translation continues] ... do many
9 times already before, and let me ask you, Madam Nozica, to be really
10 slowing down and making a pause between your question, and we ask the
11 witness, Mr. Davor Marijan, to wait a bit when you receive the question
12 and then answer it slowly.
13 Thank you.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. I have also noticed that you are starting with your answers too
16 soon. Please do wait for the interpretation of the question before you
17 start with your answer.
18 Furthermore, it is stated here that after spring 2003, you've
19 been an adviser on the archive in the Council for Military Property of
20 the MOD of the Republic of Croatia
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It is also stated here that you published seven books. Six of
23 them are monographies. Could you, Mr. Marijan, please mention the titles
24 of these books so if anybody is interested -- if anybody is interested in
25 further details, they might ask that later on.
1 A. Maybe it might be better if I said that these books regard the
2 period of the Second World War and of the war between 1991 and 1995. I
3 focused in particular on one of the battles, the Battle for Vukovar.
4 I also focused on two brigades, on one army, one particular
5 military operation, the Storm, in 1995, one battle from the Second World
6 War. And in one of the last books, there are some articles I wrote
7 regarding the last war, the war between 1991 and 1995.
8 Q. You did not list the titles, but did you write the book titled:
9 "The Collapse of Tito's Army and the Breakdown of Yugoslavia from 1992
10 through 1995"? And as far as I see, the book was published by the
11 Croatian History Institute in Zagreb
12 A. This is, in fact, my amended Doctoral thesis. It was published
13 by two publishers. One of them was my institute.
14 Q. Mr. Marijan, can you say a few words about your scholarly work?
15 I have a list of 24 papers of yours, but as we must proceed rather
16 slowly, I'm afraid that we will -- this will take much time, although
17 this is very important. So could you please summarise what is most
18 important with regard to the subject matter of this expertise? What were
19 your papers about?
20 A. Your Honours, the subject matter of my papers is the same as that
21 of my books. Some are about the Second World War, most of them about
22 this war. They deal with military issues, organisational issues, combat.
23 In brief, they all deal with war and the military. And let me just add
24 that they are all original scholarly works or papers that I worked at
1 Q. All right. Let us now go into the topic that has directly to do
2 with your expertise and your work.
3 Let me first ask you about the documentation that you took into
4 consideration. How did you come by the documentation, which was the
5 foundation for your work? Who gave it to you and --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question.
7 I have listened carefully to the answers that you've given to
8 Madam Nozica's questions regarding your curriculum vitae, and what I can
9 say at this point is that you were a member of a fighting brigade in
10 Livno, and therefore you have experience, first-hand experience of the
11 war. I also notice that you've studied history, which enabled you to
12 write a number of articles, and also you were fortunate to work in the
13 Military Archives, which enabled you to have access to documentation.
14 Myself and the other Judges have read through your report that
15 will be discussed during the questioning phases, but the question that
16 comes to mind, which I would like to put forward at this point so that
17 you understand exactly what the Chamber expects from you, is as follows:
18 At the time, that is, 1992-1993, there was a Department of
19 Defence with a minister of defence, and on-site there were a number of
20 military leaders like Mr. Petkovic, Mr. Praljak, Mr. Coric and others,
21 and unfortunately there were a number -- there were persons who were the
22 victims of military actions. This Court, this Chamber, must examine the
23 responsibility of the minister of defence at that time in order to
24 determine how the minister of defence or whether the minister of defence
25 had authority over the military personnel, whether he had any power to
1 sanction under Article 7.3 of the present Tribunal, what his relationship
2 was with Mr. Boban and Mr. Prlic, and how the command structure
3 functioned. Those are the issues. Those are the main questions that we
4 must deal with. Perhaps in your responses, you can contribute to
5 clarifying these matters, in particular the points that I have just
6 mentioned, and I wanted to let you know what we're expecting in advance
7 because perhaps you can answer the questions I have just put forward in
8 your responses.
9 Would you be able to confirm that you, as an expert, are able to
10 answer these various questions that I have just put forward?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't want to
12 question my own expertise.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, fine, thank you. We are
14 all expecting what's coming up.
15 Go ahead, Madam Nozica.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Defence counsel, please,
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you
19 for your instructions and remarks, and it is the very same issues that
20 you mentioned that we will also devote time to.
21 Let me just technically pass through what I consider rather
22 important; namely, to see which documents this expert witness had in
23 front of him and that were the foundation for the conclusions of his
25 Q. And, Witness, please do allow a little time to elapse after I
1 finish my question and before you answer.
2 A. Your Honours, I tend to speak fast, but I'll try to keep that in
4 My work is based on the documents that are received from the
5 Defence, the documents that are received from the Defence and are on the
6 list from the Prosecution. And let me say that research into the war in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina is part of my job description, as it were, so that
8 even earlier in my previous testimony a few years ago, I did have access
9 to documents in the HVO archives which are in the Croatian National
10 Archive, and in most of the documents I was shown had been known to me
11 from previous times. And of course all my work is based strictly on
13 Q. Mr. Marijan, did you have a chance to read the works of other
14 experts in military matters or experts in other subject matter that I
15 will ask you about and who have testified before this Court? More
16 specifically, are you familiar with the work or the paper and all the
17 documents mentioned by Expert Witness Pringle in this case?
18 A. I saw Mr. Pringle's expert opinion. I received it from you. And
19 I also read some expert opinions by witnesses who testified here. These
20 are expert opinions from witnesses in Belgrade, from the
21 Helsinki Human Rights Committee of Serbia, and some of those opinions I
22 took great interest in.
23 Q. You did not reply to my question, whether you read every single
24 document mentioned by Expert Witness Pringle before this Court.
25 A. I apologise for not replying precisely.
1 Yes, I did, I did read all the documents from the list that was
3 Q. Who did you contact while working on your expert opinion, talking
4 about the Defence team of Mr. Stojic?
5 A. I contacted you and a member of your team, an investigator.
6 Q. Did anybody influence you regarding the conclusions of your
7 expert opinion? Did anybody suggest to you that you should draw up
8 conclusions that are contrary to your conviction?
9 A. Your Honours, the conclusions are exclusively mine, and nobody
10 tried to influence me.
11 Q. All right. Can you now tell the Court, and now we are going
12 on -- or now we are about to deal with your expert opinion. I'll proceed
13 in a chronological manner, and we'll try to deal with things in the same
14 way that you laid them out in your opinion. We have singled out a
15 smaller number of documents than can be found in your footnotes, and now
16 I would like to ask you whether the documents mentioned in your
17 footnotes, and that we will not show here, whether those documents are
18 those documents that -- upon which your expert opinion is entirely based.
19 A. Yes, those are the documents upon which my opinion is based.
20 Q. Mr. Marijan, what was the topic of your expert opinion,
22 A. The topic of my opinion was the position of the Department of
23 Defence in the framework of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, as
24 well as the position of the head of the Department of Defence.
25 Q. Is that limited to a certain period?
1 A. It is limited by the role of the head of the department, so there
2 was a time-frame.
3 Q. Let me now ask you to take a binder. I believe it's the red
4 binder that contains your expert opinion. Please open it.
5 Can you now say precisely which period we are talking about? Do
6 mention dates.
7 A. We're talking about the period from the 3rd of July, 1992, until
8 about the 15th of November, 1993.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have a semantic
10 problem here. You have just mentioned the head of the department. When
11 you refer to the head of the department, what is the difference between
12 the head of the Department of Defence and the minister of defence? Is
13 there a difference, in your mind? And if so, what is the difference,
15 A. Your Honours, there is a difference between these two. "Head of
16 department" means that the body in question is a provisional body, which
17 is not at the level of a ministry. So it's a lower-level body and a body
18 whose name suggests that it is provisional. That can be also concluded
19 from some basic acts passed by the Herceg-Bosna when it was established.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the individual who carries
21 out the same functions as the head of the Department of Defence, but it's
22 not a temporary structure, is it then the minister of defence, is that
23 person the minister of defence?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think in that case the
25 individual would be called the minister of defence.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I could just ask one question.
3 I take it to be the result of your answers that the practical
4 functions were the same of a chief of department or ministries; it was
5 just the general framework, the structure, that changed, but he did the
6 same thing, same office, same binders, same people he worked with, same
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Department of Defence is a
9 similar function, but as I said, it is provisional or temporary. I was
10 able to hear some interpretations that the department is considered like
11 an outpost of a ministry.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May I ask you one more
14 question, Witness.
15 When a Judge asks a question, we have a very open approach.
16 There is no trap. You must keep that in mind. These are questions that
17 which aimed at obtaining information. So we have a very open, neutral
18 approach, and the only purpose is to find the truth and understand
19 exactly what occurs, and there is no trap and we're not taking sides. So
20 when I or one of the other Judges ask you a question, please understand
21 that we are simply trying to find the truth. That is our approach;
22 whereas obviously the Defence has its opinion, and the Prosecution has
23 its opinion.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. My
25 hesitation may have been interpreted as an attempt to contrive something,
1 but although I try to be slow, I may still be faster than the official
2 court reporter.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't worry. I am able to
4 follow in realtime. It's my colleague who prefers that there be breaks
5 in between the questions and answers.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Marijan, I can see that this technical issue of the
8 transcript is becoming very important to you. It may distract you, so
9 let me just say relax, just make a break, allow some time to elapse
10 between question and answer.
11 And you did reply to many of the questions just asked by the
12 Judges in your expert opinion, but nonetheless we will make a leap
13 forward, because there's something you deal with later.
14 Did you, sir, have a chance to see the documents, any documents,
15 and whether according to those documents that you saw, Mr. Stojic was
16 minister and the Ministry of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna when it was
17 established? So did you see any mention in documents that he was
18 appointed to that function? I'm asking this because Judge Trechsel asked
19 you whether those were the -- whether the secretary of defence did the
20 same business as a minister. And dealing with this topic, did you -- was
21 that an issue that you dealt with at all?
22 A. Your Honours, I did not research into the period after Mr. Stojic
23 left his position. I have never seen a document appointing him minister
24 of defence, but I did see some documents signed by him with the title of
25 minister, but I never saw an appointment.
1 Q. That is a correct answer. Mr. Marijan, you are saying that you
2 have not seen the appointment of Mr. Stojic as a cabinet member of the
3 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Let us go back to your expert opinion.
6 In the introductory remarks, you state something very
7 significant; namely, that you have not seen log-books -- the log-books of
8 Mr. Stojic. Is this important information that should have been
9 mentioned in such an expert opinion?
10 A. Your Honours, I think that this is important information. I do
11 not doubt that the approach of the Tribunal, the legal approach, and the
12 approach of a historian differ.
13 I, as a researcher, know that especially young researchers, when
14 they first go to archives, their first encounter with the documents there
15 starts with the log-book or ledger, so that the servers that run the
16 archives, that is, the staff working there, first offer you the log-book.
17 It's a book containing all the entries, everything that was done
18 in that context. I must say that I never look for that in the archives
19 in which I work, because it is my habit of going through all the
20 documents because my experience shows that if you look at the documents
21 without previous bias, you will get additional impulses for further work,
22 and that is fruitful. And -- but when you take a log-book, then you will
23 see a reliable list of documents which the person who compiled that, the
24 entirety of the documentation received.
25 In other words, it's a summary of all the work done on those
1 documents, on that documentation.
3 log-book, or should we add some more information to this definition?
4 A. The log-book, Your Honours, is something like an inventory of the
5 creator of a collection, which includes all the mail received, all
6 documents received. Talking about military cases, there are usually
7 several log-books. It is customary that these log-books are kept
8 separate because the documentation contained has different levels of
9 secrecy. It starts with the first day of a year and ends with the last
10 day of that same year. Those would be official log-books.
11 Q. Can we then immediately establish -- please take a look at the
12 first binder. It should be down there someplace. Document 2D 1399.
13 Your Honours, this is the first binder on your desk, 2D 1399.
14 This is a letter from the assistant minister of justice of
16 requested the log-book and that it wasn't found? Are you familiar with
18 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this letter, and that is indeed what
19 follows from it.
20 Q. Does it follow from it that the log-book was searched for in
21 several archives or, rather, only those archives where it could possibly
23 A. Well, they searched for it in the Military Archive of the
24 Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia
25 possibly been there. The only archive it could have been in is the
1 Croatian National Archive, because that's where the archives of the HVO
2 are -- the HVO are kept.
3 Q. Thank you. This now reads: "The Department of Defence in the
4 System of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna." This is the first
5 chapter of your expert opinion.
6 So the Presidency of the HZ-HB as a legislative body in 1992
7 passed two decisions that are very important for your expert opinion and
8 important for determining the position of the Department of Defence and
9 its head in that system. Could you please tell the Court which two
10 decrees these are?
11 A. Your Honours, these are two decrees with the same title; namely,
12 "The Decree on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of
13 Herceg-Bosna." One was passed on the 3rd of July, 1992, and the second
14 one on the 17th of October, 1992.
15 Q. I will ask you very briefly about the second one. It was, in
16 fact, an amendment to the first one?
17 A. Yes, it is an amendment and a supplement to the first one.
18 Q. Can you answer me, Mr. Marijan, what were the responsibilities,
19 duties and obligations of the head of Defence Department of the
20 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
21 A. Your Honours, the duties and responsibilities of the head of the
22 Defence Department of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna are grouped
23 into three categories.
24 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Marijan. We're talking about the armed forces
1 A. Right, the armed forces. So the first was leading and commanding
2 the armed forces. The second group of his responsibilities and duties
3 related to the staffing policy and the manning of the armed forces. And
4 the third group related to the mobilisation.
5 MR. BOS
6 talking about the minister of defence or if we're talking about somebody
7 else here, because I think the record doesn't make it very clear.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I am sorry. I thought I was rather
9 clear. I can't follow the transcript at the same time, but we are
10 talking about the responsibilities and duties of the president of the
11 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. If you want the name to be quite
12 clear, it was Mr. Boban. Those are the duties and responsibilities of
13 the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
14 Q. Correct, Mr. Marijan?
15 A. Yes. I understood you very well. I understood you as asking
16 about the president.
17 Q. Don't worry about the transcript. I will ask for a correction.
18 Do not be distracted.
19 So let's emphasise once again, we are talking about the powers of
20 the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, according to the
21 provisions of the decree of the 3rd of July, 1992?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, could you tell us
23 which number we can find this decree under, because I'd like to have a
24 look at the actual text.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I will show
1 all these decrees later. It is P2000289 [as interpreted]. It's in the X
2 binder, P000289. Those are all the founding documents that are relevant
3 for this part of the questioning.
4 To facilitate the work of the Bench, I'll give you the number of
5 the second decree. It's P000588. It was passed in the same year.
6 Q. Can you tell us what happened with the second decree? Did it
7 extend the powers of the president of the Croatian Community of
9 A. The supplemented -- the amended decree increased the powers of
10 the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, as I stated in
11 paragraph 2 of my report. And I can read it, if you want.
12 Q. Just what you believed to be important. Don't go into detail,
13 because we have your report. Anyone who wants to know more will easily
14 come back to it. What we are interested in are the powers of the
15 president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
16 A. These provisions are very interesting to me, very curious, the
17 possibility to mobilise even minors and the possibility to form a
18 commission to supervise the work of the Security Service.
19 Q. Can you tell me precisely now what are the obligations and powers
20 of the supreme commander of the armed forces, according to these
21 provisions, that is, the president of the Croatian Community of
22 Herceg-Bosna? You told us about his power to lead and command the armed
23 forces. First of all, we'll specify the article in these two decrees
24 that governs this. Tell us about the first decree first, and what were
25 the key powers granted him?
1 A. In both decrees, the first decree and the amended decree, the key
2 responsibilities are in Article 29. There is an enumeration of seven
3 responsibilities and powers of the president, Mr. Boban.
4 Q. Could you tell the Court what was in items 2, 3 and 7?
5 A. Mr. Boban had the authority to adopt a plan of use and employment
6 of armed forces. The plan of employment is, in some countries, called
7 "the war plan." In item 3, he provided guide-lines for taking measures
8 of readiness and mobilisation of the armed forces, and under 4 he was the
9 main architect of the staffing policy in the armed forces.
10 Q. Does item 7 confirm this, which is more specific?
11 A. Yes. It is part of that, in a way, appointing and relieving of
12 duty of military commanders.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, at Article 29, I'd be
14 interested in number 2 most particularly, because there are seven tasks
15 to be performed by the supreme commander, and I'm interested in task
16 number 2. I have the impression, reading Article 29(2), that it is
17 Mr. Boban himself who approves and orders armed force operations, armed
18 forces operations. Do you share this interpretation of all the documents
19 we have looked into? Because I'm talking about this particular
20 instrument, but it is something which is very important for us to find
22 Imagine in a municipality X, there is a military operation
23 carried out by a combatting unit. Why for, say, in Livno, for the
24 purposes of this, for the purposes of this military operation, is it
25 Mr. Boban at the very top who needs to approve the operation?
1 Let me clarify the question. If there is a military operation,
2 not a defensive military operation but an offensive military operation,
3 in such a case is it the supreme commander who's giving the approvals,
4 giving the green light, and who approves the plan developed, for example,
5 by the Main Staff?
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: Before answering the question asked by the
7 Presiding Judge, Judge Antonetti, I would like also to add as a follow-up
8 question, the following: That we have here, of course, originally the
9 question relates to what Madam Nozica asked, yes, Article 29, and which
10 is about the command and control of the armed forces; but as I have
11 looked at Article 10, I believe that the two articles should be read in a
12 way together, because Article 10 speaks about the executive bodies of the
13 HZ-HB and Defence Department, and then if we have a look at the different
14 departments' activities, it says: "The department shall engage in
15 activities pertaining to ..."
16 It is actual on page 14, page 14, Article 10. Then we will see
17 here that monitoring and coordination of activities to implement and
18 establish defence policy and the proposing of measures for its
19 development and implementation. And then, actually, sub-para 3 says:
20 "The formulation of a plan for the deployment of the armed
21 forces," and then 4: "The systems of command and control of the armed
22 forces ...," et cetera, et cetera. So my question is a follow-up to
23 President Antonetti's question. What, in your view, is the
24 interconnection and relationship of Articles 10 and 29, and what are the
25 roles both of, in this case, the supreme commander of the armed forces,
1 which was then Mr. Boban, and, of course, the department -- Defence
2 Department headed by the head of the department? So it is my question.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Witness.
4 Your Honours -- Your Honour Mr. Prandler, if you allow me, we
5 will deal very soon with Article 10, the witness and I. It's a very
6 important article governing the responsibilities and obligations of the
7 head of Department of Defence, and I believe it will be much easier for
8 the expert to understand your question if we go through the previous
9 three pages in this document.
10 But if I may, Presiding Judge Antonetti asked a question about
11 Article 29, a very precise and very interesting question, but I believe
12 the expert can answer but I would to ask the witness to take binder X and
13 have Article 29 before him so that he can give a precise answer to
14 Judge Antonetti.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you may have been
16 puzzled by my colleague's question, or perhaps my question was not as
17 clear as it should have been. Let me repeat this. This question of my
18 colleague may have caused some confusion for you because my question was
19 not clear.
20 Of course, I've already seen Article 10, but my question is not
21 on Article 10. My question relates to Mr. Boban, and I wanted to know if
22 it is Mr. Boban, himself, who had to give his approval to an offensive
23 military operation. And perhaps you could take an example -- or the
24 example I took was Livno, because you may have experienced that yourself.
25 So when your unit was in an offensive operation, your commander says,
1 Well, tomorrow morning we'll move to that-and-that location five
2 kilometres away, with, of course, the risk of combatting activities, and
3 I wanted to know if such decisions were taken by Mr. Boban himself, under
4 the paragraph, "Command and Control," if Mr. Boban himself was actually
5 giving the green light to such operations.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understood you well
7 both the first and second time. Your question was quite specific. Now,
8 let me say --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Usually, my questions are
10 crystal clear and everyone understands them, so thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this -- on this point, I would
12 like to say what the plan of employment of armed forces is.
13 The plan of employment, generally speaking in every army, is a
14 contingency document. One should not consider that if you have a plan
15 for wartime, and I'm speaking as someone coming from Croatia
16 instance, Croatia
17 both neighbouring countries, does not -- that plan does not mean that an
18 aggression is planned. It's just a preventative measure. However, the
19 plan of defence is more specific.
20 A plan can be defensive or offensive. Speaking of defensive
21 plans, what can happen is that you are attacked suddenly by surprise. In
22 that case, a military commander cannot afford to ask for approval from
23 his superior. He must immediately respond to the attack. However, if we
24 are talking about an offensive plan in a system that claims to be well
25 structured, the rules are very clear.
1 In this specific case, it would mean that a war plan had been
2 prepared in Livno or covering Livno as part of a larger operation. That
3 plan would have been made in the Main Staff, but it would have been
4 approved by President Boban. That would be the ideal scenario. That's
5 the only way we can read this paragraph, this article. But I must
6 confess I have not seen the plan of employment of armed forces, as it is
7 defined here, nor can I remember that Mr. Boban had approved any
8 offensive actions in any documents, which is easily understandable,
9 because the main characteristic of the HVO was that it was a defensive
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what you're saying is
12 very important, because this trial has been taking place for about two
13 years and -- this is, of course, my personal point of view. I don't know
14 if my colleagues share my view. But you have, in my view, made a
15 distinction of tremendous importance, and that's why I asked my question.
16 It was an open question for you to answer some question marks, the plan
17 was offensive, already offensive. And that's really my question, you've
18 added something which we've heard here for the first time, as far as I
19 know; that is, that according to you, the HVO never carried out offensive
20 actions, but had always had a defensive policy, and you've also added
21 that you had never seen any document on offensive action with Mr. Boban's
23 This is what you answered earlier on, is it not?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do need to clarify, Your Honour.
25 The system that is the basis of my military education, the system I dealt
1 with, uses the terms "defensive" and "offensive" in a strategic sense.
2 That means moving the entire army or the bulk of the army. That kind of
3 plan is something I have not seen in the HVO. I have seen offensive
4 activity by the HVO, but on a tactical level. That means minor forces,
5 but I have not seen it on a strategic level. That means I'm not saying
6 the HVO never attacked, but all that was on a lower tactical level. And
7 let me be quite clear, I mean the period covered by my report. Later, in
8 the years 1994 and 1995, I've also seen major --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me take a specific military
10 example. Say there's the front-line, the enemy cross it, and the
11 friendly forces are on one side. The friendly forces, the HVO, for
12 example, have a general defensive policy, a general policy which is
13 defensive. Imagine they realise that across the line, a mortar has been
14 moved by the enemy to a higher location on a hill, and therefore there is
15 an obvious military risk. So the HVO decides to attack the hill to take
16 that mortar which may pose a threat at a later stage, so the hill is
17 under attack. Now, this HVO offensive, would it be considered as the
18 implementation of a defensive policy, and the offensive activity can be
19 considered as a preventative operation, so this offensive operation in
20 such a case, should it be interpreted as part of the overall defensive
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on the example you set
23 out, in military terminology we would use the term "active defence." It
24 could be -- it may be part of a defensive strategy, but I must admit I
25 dealt for a long time -- I've been dealing a long time with an army with
1 a well-developed strategy. However, the problem with the HVO is that it
2 lacks what we call doctrinary documents, and any conclusions on its
3 strategy can only be made by analysing its activity. There is no other
4 basis for making conclusions about their strategy. That's why I'm saying
5 that the main thrust of the HVO was defence. Even after 1993, HVO is
6 what we called blocking defence.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can follow, but you'll agree
8 with me that this is quite complicated, because between active defence,
9 blocking defence, and all those concepts, one may get lost. But I do
10 understand, but I wonder if everybody's still with you. Should you not
11 define or clarify some concepts?
12 Earlier on, you said that the HVO did not have any doctrine
13 document. I'm astonished at this, because a lot of HV [as interpreted]
14 officers were former high-ranking officers of the JNA, so the military
15 doctrine, they knew all about it. So why did you say that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that for the
17 simple reason because I haven't seen any. I frankly doubt that a
18 document of that nature could exist without me seeing it. The Yugoslav
19 People's Army --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
21 continues] ... because usually I don't look at the transcript in English,
22 because I cannot look at you and look at everybody and at the same time
23 look at the screen. But it was by mere chance, and I happened to see the
24 English text. And since this is a very complex and difficult field, at
25 line number 8, I said that the HV officers were former JNA officers, not
1 Croatian Army officers, because in English it said "the HV." I said "the
2 HVO," and one may think that it was the Croatian Army on the spot, and I
3 didn't go that far and draw that conclusion. What I said is that HVO
4 officers, at least some of them, were former JNA officers. So line 8,
5 it's not "HV officers" but "HVO officers."
6 Please proceed.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the former Yugoslav
8 Army, in its 40 or so years of peacetime, had five doctrine-establishing
9 documents of this nature that determined and chart the doctrine. I have
10 to emphasise that a picture is being painted, and I cannot agree with
11 that picture, that a large number of trained JNA officers - and when I
12 say "trained officer," I mean a person who graduated from the Military
13 Academy - were numerous in the HVO. Such people were very few, in fact,
14 in the HVO. And in the period I'm dealing with, you cannot say that
15 these people occupied high positions. The highest reach of these
16 officers was commanding a battalion or an artillery battalion, so that in
17 terms of staffing, out of all the armies in Western Herzegovina and
19 officers, which we can see from the documents. And I did do comparative
20 analysis. I hope none of the accused will take this against me. But the
21 HVO had the poorest -- the weakest combat documents, which is an
22 indicator of the level of educational attainment, and training of the
23 entire officers' cadre.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a question or shall
25 we have the break?
1 My colleague has a follow-up question, and then we shall have a
2 break, because otherwise the cafeteria is going to be closing, and it
3 will be too late. I say this turning to Mr. Karnavas.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to ask you a question which might
5 in a way be a summing up of this last discussion.
6 According to Article 29, paragraph 2, Mate Boban has the power to
7 draw up a plan for the operation of the armed forces. In fact, he never
8 drew up such a plan; is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can say that I have
10 not seen it, I cannot guarantee 100 per cent, but when it comes to such
11 plans, when a general plan is drafted, obviously certain things are
12 delegated. In the former system, this was done by a decree, and this was
13 delegated all the way to the level of a brigade. So there should have
14 been a trace from that period somewhere.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Break for 20 minutes.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to
19 counsel, I'd like to read out a decision. I'm going to be reading it
20 slowly. I know the interpreters do not have a copy of the text, and it's
21 a bit long.
22 Oral decision regarding the request submitted by the Petkovic
24 In order to appeal or certify appeal of the oral decision made by
25 the Chamber, the Chamber has received a submission dated
1 14th January 2009
2 Chamber re-examine or to certify appeal of the oral decision made
3 January 12th, 2009
4 In this oral decision dated January 12th, 2009, the Chamber has
5 decided the following: Proprio motu, not to authorise the Petkovic
6 Defence to use two and a half additional hours in order to question the
7 expert witness, Davor Marijan, over and beyond the additional time which
8 has already been granted by the Chamber to the Petkovic Defence; that is,
9 one hour and thirty minutes.
10 At the January 14th, 2009 hearing, the Chamber ordered the
11 parties to present their submissions in response as of January 16th, at
12 the latest. On January 16th, 2009, the Praljak Defence presented a
13 submission in which they state they have joined the initial request
14 presented by the Petkovic Defence. In addition, on the same day the
15 Stojic Defence and the Prosecution have presented a filing in response,
16 in which they oppose the Petkovic Defence's request.
17 Having examined these submissions presented by the parties, and
18 having deliberated and discussed it, the Chamber decides to reject the
19 request for the following reasons:
20 First of all, as regards the request to reconsider, in keeping
21 with directive number 5 of the decision made April 24th, 2008, if a
22 Defence team wants additional time for the cross-examination of the
23 witness, it must justify such request in writing, and it is up to the
24 Chamber to determine the length of time for cross-examination on the
25 basis of this request and on the basis of the lists that have been
1 submitted, in keeping with Article 65 ter of the Rules and Regulations.
2 Although the Chamber agrees with the Petkovic Defence that indeed
3 the Chamber has authorised since the beginning of the Defence case, the
4 Defence teams have used their own time to present their case to
5 cross-examine other witnesses, we must nonetheless note that the request
6 for time on the part of the Defence teams is unreasonable. In particular
7 as, indicated in the contested decision, the request for additional time
8 made by the Petkovic Defence is excessive, inasmuch as it modifies
9 substantially the overall schedule of the hearing of the Stojic Defence
10 and would extend the cross-examination of the expert witness in a way
11 that is contrary to the requirements of a fair and equitable trial.
12 In not authorising the Petkovic Defence to use additional time,
13 over and beyond the additional time which has already been granted by the
14 Chamber, to cross-examine the witness Davor Marijan.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Davor Marijan, the interpreter makes the
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber is not intervening,
18 contrary to what the Petkovic Defence states, in the determination of the
19 Petkovic Defence strategy, but is simply using its power and its duties
20 to control the organisation of the examination of a witness in order to
21 provide that the accused benefit from a speedy and equitable trial.
22 The circumstances relating to additional time requested by the
23 Petkovic Defence would correspond to time which would be taken away from
24 the time used to present his own case, and that does not go against the
25 pre-mentioned conclusion. The Chamber, therefore, does not see any
1 reason to reconsider the oral decision handed down January 12th, 2009
2 Secondly, as regards the request to certify appeal, the Chamber
3 recalls that the decision taken December 11th, 2008, regarding in
4 particular the sharing of time for the witness Davor Marijan, was made
5 after the expert report was examined and that the Chamber considered that
6 one hour and thirty minutes was a sufficient time span as for the
7 cross-examination on the part of the Petkovic Defence.
8 Therefore, granting an hour and thirty minutes instead of thirty
9 minutes, which had been granted to the Petkovic Defence, if the Chamber
10 were to apply strictly paragraph 15 of the decision taken April 24th,
11 2008, the Chamber has been flexible in the overall granting of time for
12 cross-examination on the part of the Petkovic Defence and has taken
13 account of the particular characteristics of this report vis-à-vis the
14 Petkovic Defence.
15 In addition, the Chamber notes that the Petkovic Defence will, if
16 need be, be able to contest the contents of the expert report, in
17 particular when they present their case, by calling their own witnesses
18 or, as the contested decision indicates, by calling this witness as a
19 witness for its own case. Therefore, the Chamber does not see that there
20 be any circumstances in the January 12th decision, 2009, which would
21 compromise in any way the fairness and the speediness of the trial or its
22 result; and therefore that this could enable the procedure to progress in
23 keeping with Article 73(B) of the Rules and Regulations.
24 Well, it was a very long text, indeed, but I had to read it out.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
1 thank you for your decision and for your dealing with all of our requests
2 for additional time, which we have been repeatedly making. We would just
3 like to state that none of the counsels [as interpreted] for Mr. Petkovic
4 will talk about the Department of Defence. This is not our Defence
5 strategy. We will not be addressing the same issues that will be
6 addressed by this witness.
7 Thank you once again for your patience.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Madam, please continue.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
11 I would like, at the very beginning, to see whether we have a
12 correct translation of a very significant definition of the HVO that was
13 provided by the witness. I'm talking about the term "blocking defence,"
14 as it was translated on page 31. It was translated as "blocking
15 defence," so that was the term that was used in interpretation. My
16 colleague suggested that a much more appropriate term for what the
17 witness referred to, and it was also referred to in some other cases, is
18 "final defence" or "critical defence."
19 Q. So I would kindly ask the witness, if necessary, to explain one
20 more time what this term in B/C/S "odsudna odbrana" actually means so
21 that we can get a proper translation of the term.
22 A. Your Honours, I am obliged, before I answer to this, to finalise
23 my previous answer. When I spoke about the plan, I did see, for one of
24 the HVO units towards the end of 1992, something that could be described
25 as a defence plan. This had to do with the territory of Central Bosnia
1 And, similarly, in April or May 1993, also in Central Bosnia, I saw plans
2 that were particularly defensive, and this also goes along with this term
3 of "critical" or "decisive defence." I can confirm that I did see some
4 notes, so only notes without elaboration, from the end of 1992, which
5 according to my estimate were drafted in Tomislavgrad, and they referred
6 to something that was a very broad plan of the defence of Kupres, which
7 the HVO lost to the Serbs. So this is an addition to what I was saying.
8 These are the only examples that I can confirm that I did see. So,
9 indeed, even if you are -- if you are liberating a territory, you
10 obviously will attack, but I never saw any elaboration of these notes.
11 I apologise, but I felt obliged to mention this.
12 Q. Mr. Marijan, in order to have a precise interpretation, could you
13 please tell us what the term used by you in your language,
14 "odsudna odbrana," what does it mean, according to you?
15 A. This term is a military term which is used when you want to say
16 that whoever is defending himself is now in a very unfavorable position,
17 so possibly I might explain this by saying this is the defence on a
18 single line. So you are literally on a cliff, and you are defending
19 yourself facing a ravine. So I hope this was clear enough.
20 Q. Thank you. This will be enough for the moment. I would just
21 like to intervene with the transcript. Page 38, where we are using the
22 term in B/C/S, this is with a B, "odsudna odbrana," rather than with the
23 P as it stands right now.
24 A. This is the final defence, actually, at the very last line.
25 Though HVO actually never had two lines. It only had one, which says
1 something about the HVO.
2 Q. As regards the questions posed to you by Their Honours and what
3 you were saying regarding the doctrine just before the break, there was a
4 line of questions regarding Article 29(1), item 2. We were talking about
5 the first part from item 2, which says: "... adopts the employment
6 plan." You explained to the Chamber that according to you, HVO dealt
7 with this decisive or final defence. Is this something that could be,
8 according to you, related to a lack of doctrine, so can we make a
9 correlation between this decisive or final defence and the lack of
10 doctrine? I do not want to lead you in your answer any further, but if
11 you are faced with such a final, decisive defence, do you actually have
12 any time to develop a doctrine or do you have to do something more
14 A. Well, Your Honours, I concluded here, and I believe I explained
15 it in some other works of mine, that the basic characteristics of the HVO
16 was the defence. It was a defence organisation, and this is truly its
17 fundamental characteristic. So when you are defending yourself, there is
18 an advantage to this. Defence is considered to be a stronger method of
19 fighting, so it's easier, in other words, to defend oneself than to
20 attack. This is partially true, but if you are only defending yourself
21 and this defence is not elaborated thoroughly, then sometimes it can
22 happen that whoever is attacking you will have full initiative. They
23 will be able to choose time and place of the attacks, and this is exactly
24 what happened to the HVO. And because of this unclear engagement or the
25 impossibility to engage, you can find yourself in a position in which all
1 of a sudden you will come to realise that you are actually faced with
2 this final defence or critical defence.
3 Q. Mr. Marijan, due to a range of questions that were raised, and
4 the way in which you qualified the HVO, I would kindly ask you now to
5 address a topic which I actually planned to address later on, and this
6 is: In which way were these two decrees adopted?
7 Could you please take a look at this binder X. So these are
8 documents P289 - this is the Decree on the Armed Forces, adopted on
9 July 3rd, 1992
10 Decree on the Armed Forces adopted in October 1992. You are very
11 familiar with these two decrees. Could you please explain to the Chamber
12 what is the difference between these two decrees? We can see that they
13 are different in volume, but actually these amendments were adopted
14 relatively soon after the adoption of the original decree.
15 A. Your Honours, the Decree on the Armed Forces of the
16 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, as can be confirmed in Article 63, is
17 based on the general National Defence of Yugoslavia Act of 1983 and the
18 Act on Military Service from 1985. These acts, as you can see here, were
19 amended on several occasions, but at this moment this is not too
21 One thing that can be said about this decree from July 1992 is
22 that it simply took over some of the provisions from the General People's
23 Defence Act but not from the Act on Military Service. The second decree,
24 however, took over also the provisions from the second-mentioned act, and
25 this is why there is a difference also in approximately 110 additional
1 articles. Why was this done in this way, I can't really tell you. There
2 is also a rather strange formulation here, which could lead us to
3 conclude that the acts are not being suspended by the adoption of these
4 decrees, but only those parts which are contrary to the provisions of
5 these decrees.
6 In the largest part, the decree actually takes over all the
7 articles, so the second decree takes over all the articles from the
8 previous decree, but there are also some significant amendments of
9 several articles, and they have to do with the Department of Defence.
10 Q. Mr. Marijan, so would we be correct to conclude that this second
11 Decree on the Armed Forces, the document P00588, is actually a
12 compilation of the Act on General People's Defence and the Act on
13 Military Service that were effective prior to the creation of Bosnia
15 A. Your Honours, yes, we can say that because this decree took over
16 a great deal of provisions from the previous two pieces of legislation.
17 Obviously, it did not take over the provisions regarding the ideology of
18 communist Yugoslavia
19 certain executive bodies have been changed and accorded to the
20 organisational structure of Herceg-Bosna.
21 Q. Mr. Marijan, you've seen these two decrees adopted by the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. You are familiar with the previous
23 regulations. So do you believe that the Decree on the Armed Forces from
24 October of 1992 is a satisfactory amalgamation of these two previous
25 legislative acts?
1 A. In my view, it is not. In my view, it would have been better to
2 have two different decrees, one on the armed forces or defence, because
3 the defence deals with a wider scope of issues. So I might say that in
4 the HVO and in other armies, and in other societies and states created
5 after the breakup of Yugoslavia
6 themselves, as far as possible, from the ideology of the previous state,
7 but these attempts were not all that successful.
8 So HVO wanted to remove itself from the doctrine of the former
10 self-protection - this was its official title - this was actually a
11 doctrine of armed people, and HVO declaretorily [as interpreted] tried to
12 remove themselves from that, but this decree shows that they actually
13 didn't do that, because you still have the so-called civilian defence,
14 which was also one of the elements of the defence, you also have the --
15 you also have monitoring and alerting systems, so many elements, and the
16 very title of the decree does not correspond to the content of the decree
17 itself. This is why I believe that it would have been better, and
18 certainly it would have been more precise, if they had two decrees
19 instead of one. Why they opted for dissolution, I can only speculate,
20 and there is no point in doing that.
21 Q. Mr. Marijan, can you make a comparison? You mentioned these two
22 decrees from the previous period that were actually merged into one, and
23 they regulated the relations in the JNA. Can you explain to the Chamber
24 or make a comparison between the JNA and the HVO? And in terms of that
25 comparison, where would the position of the HVO be?
1 Let me mention that this was dealt with by Mr. Pringle, too, and
2 I would ask you for -- to provide arguments for your statements.
3 A. Your Honours, whoever tries to make such a comparison and says
4 that he or she did compare the HVO to the JNA either doesn't understand
5 what they're talking about or they are not being honest about it because
6 these two organisations are not comparable. Let me try to explain.
7 First, I noticed here, in some expert opinions made for this
8 Tribunal, that mostly, when talking about the armed forces of the former
10 of ex-Yugoslavia. The military force of ex-Yugoslavia were the armed
11 forces of the SFRJ. They consisted of the JNA and the Territorial
12 Defence. All these components were at an equal level. Let me mention
13 that this was the only such example in the world.
14 In all other cases, one component was dominant, either the
15 territorial one, which was a rare example, or the operational component,
16 which was much more frequent. But we can't go too deeply into the
17 history of Yugoslavia
18 Let me try to explain where it is possible to position the HVO in
19 this system of armed forces, and I believe it can be positioned in that
21 The JNA was a federal army. It has -- it had its peacetime
22 personnel, that is, professionals, although they were never called that.
23 They were officers, non-commissioned officers, and civilians serving the
24 armed forces. And in terms of numbers, the farthest -- the stronger part
25 of peacetime personnel were conscripts serving in the JNA.
1 From 1985 or 1986 on, these conscripts were trained to become
2 citizens able to engage in warfare in the case of a sudden aggression.
3 And the wartime personnel of the JNA amounted to about a million, which
4 is very strong, which is a very large number. So there was the JNA in
5 its peacetime strength, as the first echelon, and the second echelon
6 was -- were the reserve forces of the JNA.
7 The Territorial Defence was organised by federal units, the
8 republics. There was six republics and two provinces, and each had their
9 own Territorial Defence. And what I'm about to say is really a literal
11 The Territorial Defence is the widest form of the mobilisation of
12 the people and the population for combat. The difference between the JNA
13 and the Territorial Defence was that the Territorial Defence was an
14 exclusively wartime component.
15 In peacetime, it had a very small number of officers, mostly in
16 the municipalities. Every municipality of the former Yugoslavia had its
17 own Territorial Defence staff that comprised three to five persons. Only
18 in wartime would that structure grow.
19 I know the example of Croatia
20 mobilisation of close to half a million people, apart from the Yugoslav
21 People's Army. The Territorial Defence had its manoeuvre structure and
22 its spatial structure. The manoeuvre structure of the Territorial
23 Defence consisted of brigades, and the spatial structure consisted of the
24 staffs in the municipalities, and different smaller units were linked to
25 them or connected with them.
1 The difference between the manoeuvre component and the spatial
2 component was the following: The manoeuvre structure could be used
3 outside the territory of the municipality from which the personnel were
4 drafted, and even they could be used outside the territory of their
5 republic, their federal unit, but the spatial structure would remain in
6 their area. They are bound to its territory, and that's why they're
7 called "spatial."
8 If I were to rank them by value and under the criteria of
9 equipment, armaments, et cetera, the armed forces of the SFRJ could be
10 divided into four echelons:
11 The first is the peacetime army; secondly, the reserve forces of
12 the JNA; thirdly, the manoeuvre structure of the Territorial Defence;
13 and, fourthly, the spatial structure of the Territorial Defence.
14 So we can say that the spatial structure of the Territorial
15 Defence is the only part of the armed forces that can be linked to the
16 HVO, in terms of looking for its origin, how it came about. So this is
17 the only thing that can be compared, actually.
18 Let me mention the characteristics of the spatial structure. The
19 strong influence of local political and party structures because all
20 appointments of officials, the equipment of those forces were duties of
21 those municipalities, were within the remit of the municipalities. And
22 the third characteristic is the defence nature of those forces, defensive
24 As we progress, I believe that we will find corroboration for
25 these statements of mine in my opinion, unless you want me to do some
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of what you've
3 just said, I'd like to ask you a very specific question, and you can
4 possibly answer.
5 Let's take a theoretical case. A 22-year-old person who's a
6 Muslim and lives in Mostar. He knows he's in a country called the
7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He knows that this
8 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina has an army, BiH. He knows that there is
9 the Territorial Defence and so on. He also knows that there is a decree
10 adopted by HVO which is likely -- which would make him enlist as an HVO
11 soldier. So this young 22-year-old Muslim boy, what is he to do? Join
12 his country's army? Join the HVO? How can he solve the situation?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, do allow me to answer
14 your question, taking the example of Livno, which has been mentioned
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Take Livno.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. As regards the Livno
18 Muslims, I was a member of one of the stronger HVO brigades, in terms of
19 personnel strength. Until July 1993, I believe it had six battalions.
20 An entire battalion was made up of Muslim soldiers, and there were Muslim
21 soldiers the other battalions also, but in those other battalions they
22 were a minority. A 22-year-old Muslim man had the opportunity to choose.
23 He would have had three options: One, to join the Muslim Battalion of
24 the Livno Brigade, which also had insignia of the BiH Army, apart from
25 the HVO insignia; option 2 would be to join another battalion with a
1 Croatian majority; and there was also the option for him to leave the
2 municipality and join a pure unit, if I may call it that, of the BiH
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've just said something that
5 I am hearing for the first time, and therefore it's of particular
6 interest to me.
7 The brigade had six battalions, and therefore there was a
8 battalion composed totally of Muslims, and you added a small detail which
9 I've never heard thus far. You said that in that battalion, aside from
10 the HVO insignia, they also had the insignia of the BiH on their
11 clothing. Is that the case, and how long did that continue?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It really was that way,
13 Your Honour. I know not because I was in the sector of that battalion,
14 but for the simple reason that in my free time I would meet some
15 individuals of that battalion in town, people who had been at school with
16 me, and they did wear those insignia. I cannot say that this was the
17 case in other parts of Herceg-Bosna.
18 The mayor of Livno was a very tolerant man, and he certainly
19 wouldn't have insisted that the army, upon which he exerted a great
20 influence, remove these insignia. I will immediately add when I observed
21 that. Since September 1992, up until mid-July 1993, I was not at Livno.
22 Whether in the meantime they had removed these insignia, I cannot tell.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. Since these
24 were your school-mates, you said you knew some of them, I imagine you had
25 the opportunity to talk with them, what was their state of mind, given
1 that there was the Croatian Community that existed, the HVO, the army of
2 the HVO, and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Was there sort of a
3 schizophrenic atmosphere, they didn't really know where they were at, or
4 did they have the impression that the HVO was a component of the Republic
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it really wasn't a problem for them? In
6 particular, what was their state of mind when they knew that between the
7 HVO and the BiH, there were confrontations perhaps elsewhere, perhaps not
8 in Livno, but perhaps elsewhere?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wouldn't be telling
10 the truth if I were to say that we discussed these issues. We were young
11 boys at the time, and we mostly met in cafes and watched girls. That was
12 our upper-most interest.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can understand that, indeed,
14 that you be interested in girls. Everyone understands that, but yet
15 there was a political situation at the time.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only speak about 1992, and in
17 that year I did not have the impression that people of my generation, at
18 least, were bothered by that. They still had much influence in business
19 and in the authorities, and nobody can say that they were really
20 discriminated against, et cetera.
21 But later on, of course, the confrontations that happened in
22 other municipalities in 1993, which I know from stories that I heard
23 later - I wasn't there, down there at the time - that all that had an
24 impact, that there was dissatisfaction, and that there was -- that there
25 were divisions.
1 I can mention a naive relative of mine, as an example, who was a
2 company commander in Livno. And roughly about the time of when the
3 clashes between the HVO and the BiH army began, went to Bugojno, which is
4 a good 100 kilometres away, and he was taken prisoner at the check-point,
5 of course. Later on, he was released and didn't have any problems
6 because he had his notebook on him with a list of his soldiers, and some
7 of them were Muslims. I know that he told me later that he didn't have
8 problems on account of that. So this goes to show that there was a
9 strong local focus in all the communities that people didn't really care
10 what was going on in, I don't know, three municipalities away or so.
11 But, of course, in July 1993 the Muslims in the HVO were disarmed, that's
12 a fact, for preventative reasons.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Madam, please continue.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I would
15 like to return to some issues.
16 Q. If we could finish the topic that we were talking about. You
17 were making a comparison between the HVO and the JNA and you said that
18 the HVO had a spatial structure and that they were a defensive army.
19 Would you please explain to the Chamber whether the HVO had professional
20 forces and how they fit into this picture you are painting?
21 A. The HVO did have professionals in its ranks. There was a
22 regiment and a number of battalions and companies. I was in a brigade
23 that was a successor of a professional regiment. I know that their
24 nominal strength were 2.860 men, but I know that they never had over 460
25 infantry. Sorry, I said "400 infantry," 400 infantry. In all, the HVO
1 had about a thousand or 1100 professional soldiers to counter that.
2 That's a category that did not exist in the former system, and they were
3 meant to be a manoeuvre forces, but with a thousand or 1100 men. Well,
4 it is clear from the number that they weren't much of a manoeuvre force,
5 and they were not all in the same territory. Another characteristic of
6 theirs was that they were infantry units with light weapons.
7 Up until the summer of 1993, at least, the regiment that I
8 mentioned got its first 120-millimetre mortar. That was the heaviest
9 armament that they had. So for a year, they fought with weapons the
10 calibre of which did not exceed 60 millimetres, and that's the calibre of
11 a small mortar. The reserve brigades had greater fire-power, and they
12 made up the majority of the forces.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wanted to indicate the fact
14 that since time is of the essence, I would like to ask the Registrar
15 whether we can continue without a break until 17 minutes after 6.00, and
16 then we will have a break. So we can continue until 17 minutes past 6.00
17 without taking a second break, and that will enable us to gain 20 minutes
18 in our time.
19 Go ahead.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that is possible.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Let me now return to some issues that are important and follow
23 from the questions of Judge Antonetti about the young man in Livno.
24 You said that in July, the Bosniaks, for preventive reasons, were
25 disarmed in the HVO. This is something we didn't deal with in this
1 expert opinion, but let me ask you to be more precise about that. How do
2 you know about it, what did you know about it, what documentation did you
3 see, but briefly?
4 A. Your Honour, in the history of the HVO as a military component,
5 there is a watershed, if I may call it that, after which nothing was ever
6 the same again on that day, the 30th of June, 1993.
7 On that day, a significant part of the Muslims of the 2nd Brigade
8 of the HVO in Mostar betrayed their comrades and crossed the line to join
9 the BiH Army, a consequence of which was the fall of the barracks, apart
10 from any other problems, and that was a warning to everybody else. And
11 there was a risk, the risk of keeping Muslims in HVO units was too great
12 from that moment on; and the HVO, which until then had been the military
13 formation with the greatest share of members of other ethnicities, was to
14 enter into an almost mono-ethnic formation, apart from the Orasje
15 district, but the Orasje district is not relevant here, I believe. But
16 in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Muslims were being disarmed from
17 that day on.
18 Q. Briefly, do you have knowledge, based on the documents you saw,
19 that the ethnic Croats participated in HVO units in territories
20 controlled by the BiH Army, and together with them fought the Serbian
21 Army? Do you have such knowledge? We -- and if you know about such
22 territories, please mention them.
23 A. Units of the HVO and territories where Muslims were dominant,
24 well, there were HVO units in Sarajevo
25 then Tuzla
1 function as HVO for a while after that.
2 Q. All right, thank you. In connection with this, and we'll get
3 there yet, until the 30th of June, 1993, did you see any documents about
4 the number of Muslims in HVO units? I mean the numbers for the period
5 until the 30th of June, 1993. We will show a document later.
6 As a historian who had the chance to compare information about
7 persons belonging to other ethnicities and other armies, such as the
8 Serbian Army or the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you say what the
9 share of Muslims was in HVO units until June the 30th, 1993? I am
10 specifically referring to Herzegovina
11 A. I think that in my report, you can find a document of that kind.
12 It dates from the beginning of June 1993, and it depicts the share of
13 Muslims in the HVO. I believe it was over 16 percent. Out of that
14 number, most of them were in the Operative Zone Eastern Herzegovina, that
15 is, the valley of the Neretva River
16 Central Bosnia
17 Q. Thank you. We'll look at that document later, going through your
18 report, as well as many other documents, but I want this to be clear on
19 the record.
20 You personally saw these people, these Muslim friends of yours,
21 who wore on their sleeves at the same time the coat of arms of the
22 Republic of Croatia
23 A. Yes. I have -- I have one of those patches in my collection,
24 half HVO, half ABiH.
25 Q. Those were local Muslims who joined the defence effort?
1 A. Yes, mainly from Kotor Varos.
2 Q. And who were they fighting, just to be clear?
3 A. Against Serbs.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems to me there must be a
5 mistake on line 6. Did you say the patches of the HVO and not the
6 Republic of Croatia
7 talking about soldiers of the Republic of Croatia
8 6, page 52, must be "the coat of arms of the HVO and the BiH," it seems
9 to me.
10 Please continue.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes,
12 correct, that's exactly what I asked, coat of arms of the HVO and coat of
13 arms of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. You said, Witness, something which is very important to us here.
15 You made a connection, when you were talking about spatial structures
16 between them and a certain municipality. You linked them to a strong
17 political and party influence on the local level, and you said that the
18 mayor of Livno was a fair-minded man, a decent man who would have never
19 had a problem with anyone wearing that kind of insignia.
20 Now, a follow-up question would be about the influence of
21 municipalities on the armed forces and on the HVO, because you talk about
22 that in your report in several places, and I believe it's very important
23 to explain here the influence of municipalities. Could you give us more
25 A. Your Honour, after several stages of the founding and
1 establishment of the HVO, there existed municipal staffs of the HVO which
2 were renamed from TO municipal staffs. At the beginning, they were
3 headed by people appointed by municipalities, and thus it happened that
4 several months later, when the system was already gaining a definite
5 shape, some structures were already in existence that were greatly under
6 the influence of municipalities and they were funded by municipalities.
7 We could see that the kind of thinking, the kind of perception
8 that the HVO as a municipal force, answerable to the municipalities, but
9 in my opinion the real strength, the real power of the municipalities,
10 was that heads of municipalities were presidents of local communities, so
11 there were at the same time chiefs on the HVO level, and they were
12 represented on the legislative level. I think that is a bizarre
13 solution, and I've never seen anything like that anywhere else, but
14 that's how it was. Therein lies the key to the great power of
15 municipalities over the HVO, and that also explains great resistance to
16 decentralisation -- to centralisation. And writing this report, I came
17 to the conclusion that Herceg-Bosna would be best defined as a union of
18 loosely-connected municipalities.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, what you've just said is
20 important. It's not the first time that this topic has been discussed,
21 and I'd like to profit from the fact that you were here, because you were
22 present in Livno and also because you know a number of people.
23 In your opinion, the local individuals, these VIPs who composed
24 the Presidency, compared to Mr. Boban, because of the number of these
25 individuals in Livno, in Mostar and elsewhere because they were so
1 numerous, did they have an influence on Boban to the extent that Boban
2 simply executed orders or decisions made by these local leaders, or, on
3 the basis of the military documents that you have had the opportunity to
4 examine, was Boban the man executing orders, and the local leaders were
5 in the background so to speak? What is your impression?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think the intensity
7 and the frequency of meetings between Boban, as president of the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and presidents of municipalities
9 gives us a clear answer to this question.
10 As far as I know, in 1992 the Presidency convened for the last
11 time on the 17th October 1992, and I remember that date because that's
12 the date when the amendment to this Decree on the Armed Forces was
13 passed, and I cannot remember seeing that the Presidency met again before
14 the end of April 1993.
15 It is my impression that everybody was happy in their own
16 backyard, and I cannot guarantee, of course, that Boban tried to convene
17 sessions and they resisted - I haven't seen it on paper - but the rarity
18 of their meetings at that time leads me to conclude that the policy being
19 followed was, Don't rock the boat and everyone stick to your own
21 I know it's very difficult to define how much influence Boban
22 really wielded, because I have seen very few documents of that nature,
23 very few documents that could enlighten us in that way. I heard things
24 from people who knew him, but in my profession that is called hearsay,
25 and you must always allow the possibility that people have their own
1 ulterior motives for saying whatever they're saying. But I don't think
2 any of them held Mr. Boban in very high esteem. Some people even told me
3 that apart from his own municipality, he wasn't interested in much.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Marijan, I asked you, and I'd like you to come back to the
6 gist of my question, about the influence of municipalities on the HVO
7 military structure. You said that the Community of Herceg-Bosna was a
8 union of loosely-connected states, and if I can paraphrase, each
9 municipality was a state within a state, and you told us that
10 municipalities were territorially defined. But tell us now about 1992
11 and 1993. What was the attitude of those local chiefs and officials
12 towards the HVO and towards the financing of the HVO at this central
13 level? And we'll turn later to some other details.
14 A. The influence of municipalities, from the outbreak of the
15 conflict with Serbs and the conflagration of the war in April 1992 until
16 the founding of local bodies, municipalities had already gained a
17 considerable power over defence structures, but it was an inherited
18 power. It was nothing new, this influence they had over local structure.
19 They had money, and they were the main sources of funding for these
20 forces. And that turned out to be a problem later because members of the
21 HVO were not all equally paid, for the simple reason that some
22 municipalities were richer than others. And as new appointments
23 proceeded, it became more and more difficult to follow a definite
24 staffing policy because that led to a conflict with municipalities, and
25 municipalities were not subordinate to the HVO. Therefore, it was a
1 conflict with the leader of the municipality, who was also a member of
2 the Presidency of the HZ-HB.
3 In the summer and autumn of 1992, local staffs were, for the most
4 part, renamed into brigades. In the system which gave me my military
5 education and training, a brigade is considered to be a composite unit
6 that is not linked to a specific territory. However, from later
7 developments, you see that there was a huge resistance to the idea that
8 HVO units should go outside their territory. They simply didn't want to,
9 and it was only with enormous efforts from the Main Staff that certain
10 units started moving in the autumn 1993 and the winter of 1993-1994.
11 That is another proof of their essentially defensive nature. You can
12 call it what you want. You can call a car a Mercedes, but if it's not a
13 Mercedes, it will not perform like one. And you could say the same about
14 the units of the HVO.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Marijan. These issues you're talking about, the
16 influence of local authorities, did you notice that this caused problems
17 with mobilisation and other ways of catering to the HVO and supplying it,
18 depending on the municipality in question, its wealth, but also on the
19 leader of the municipality, who may have had a different concept of
20 defending his area?
21 A. I have seen a large number of documents from which you can see
22 that municipalities were striving for the greatest possible independence.
23 At one session of the HVO on the 14th October 1992, the president
24 of the HVO, the head of the HVO, said that municipalities were acting
25 like states, and at a later session in 1993, it was said that little had
1 changed; the municipalities had to contribute from their budget to the
2 Defence Department. But I have never seen any document about this. In
3 the Municipality of Livno
4 I know that on the example of Livno, the brigade was paid until
5 the end of 1992 from the municipality.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, 1993. Interpreter's correction.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So to reiterate, you know that the brigade in Livno, until the
9 end of 1993, was paid by the municipality?
10 A. Perhaps it's better to say until the autumn of 1993 because I'm
11 not sure if it's October or November.
12 Q. Let's not split hairs. It's partly autumn, partly winter.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I have a question which is
14 in line with what has just been asked.
15 You remained in those units. You know that there was the
16 so-called Croatian Community. Then there was the Republic of
17 Herceg-Bosna; right? When that transition took place, and when the
18 Republic of Herceg-Bosna was founded, in -- what happened in the minds of
19 the soldiers? What did they think, "We are a republic as we were under
20 the former Yugoslavia
21 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 change much at the end of the day, or the foot soldier or the officer or
23 yourselves had the feeling that something new was created -- was
24 established which eventually would become a state? How did you
25 experience this transition? And you were on the spot, of course, but
1 you're also an expert and you managed to review documents, and perhaps
2 there are documents which may help you answering the question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have to go back a
4 little. In fact, we have to go back all of 20 years. Over that time, I
5 was in the Students Platoon of the Livno Brigade, and it was a peculiar
6 unit. It just crossed my mind, I was commander of that platoon in the
7 independent sector held by a company, and it was a residual platoon of
8 the HOS that had stripped itself of its insignia, and there was even a
9 platoon of waiters and a platoon of students; a rather mixed company, you
10 would say. And you have to believe me when I say that I really don't
11 remember either my own reaction or any of my colleagues' to the
12 announcement that Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent republic.
13 We in Herzegovina
14 What bothered me a little, perhaps, is something that in 1992 and
15 1993 never happened, was that somebody would come to us soldiers and
16 explain something, so the members of this Students Platoon of the
17 Livno Brigade were totally uninformed about this political decision and
18 its political goal. From what I know from the documents, I would say
19 that Herceg-Bosna and its armed forces lived from day to day, and that's
20 something that bothered the Muslims more than others. But in the circle
21 of my acquaintance, and I must say I'm not sure that circle is
22 representative, in the circle of my acquaintances I said the indifference
23 to this was complete.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I'd like to take you back to your expert report and your
3 findings. We left off at something very important, the material
4 replenishment of the HVO.
5 Could you tell us very briefly about the tasks of the HVO, and we
6 can talk about the Decree on the Armed Forces up to Article 50, because
7 the provisions on readiness are very similar, and about the second decree
8 as well. What were the main tasks?
9 A. Your Honours, I commented on the tasks of the HVO in Chapter 4
10 based on these decrees. Its task was to implement the defence policy and
11 to conduct preparations for the defence of Herceg-Bosna. So there was a
12 plan of defence of Herceg-Bosna. And let me emphasise it's not a war
13 plan, because the plan of defence encompasses the whole society,
14 determining measures for improving defence, identifying sources of
15 finance, et cetera. I won't read on. You can see it in the report.
16 And, of course, one of its fundamental obligations was to provide
17 material supplies to armed forces.
18 Q. According to both Decrees on Armed Forces, let us take the one on
19 the 3rd of July, what were the tasks of defence -- of the Defence
20 Department, rather, under this decree?
21 A. The Defence Department -- excuse me. Do you mean only the
23 Q. It's paragraph 5 in your report. I mean only the provisions of
24 the Decree on the Armed Forces. We'll get to Article 10 when it becomes
1 A. The Defence Department of the HZ-HB was an organ dealing with
2 administrative and professional tasks within the sphere of defence and
3 security. That's its official definition.
4 Q. When do we find the first reference to the Defence Department?
5 A. In May 1992, in the statutory decision on the provisional
6 structure of the executive power in the HZ-HB, and it was amended on the
7 3rd of July 1992.
8 Later, when I speak about this statutory decision, I also mention
9 the amended decision specifically with a view to the Defence Department
10 because it was only established right then on the 3rd of July.
11 Q. Speaking of provisions to the armed forces, what is the principal
12 task of the Defence Department?
13 A. The principal responsibility of the Defence Department was
14 providing material and supplies to the armed forces; that is, weapons,
15 equipment, and other military materiel.
16 Q. And what was its secondary responsibility, and together with
18 A. "Secondary" is a good word. It performed it together with other
19 defence bodies, because this was wartime, after all. And in view of the
20 extent of the purview, other bodies had other responsibilities; providing
21 food, medical responsibilities, et cetera.
22 Q. Which article is that? I'm talking about paragraph 6 of your
23 report, which article governs these responsibilities of the Defence
24 Department providing combat and other equipment in cooperation with other
1 A. It's Article 41.
2 Q. Thank you. That suffices for now.
3 I would like now to move on. We've dealt with the influence of
4 municipalities, and now you can concentrate on the second part of your
5 report, which is called -- entitled "Defence Department." Could you
6 explain to the Judges when the Defence Department was created, what
7 preceded it, and why it was set up?
8 A. The Department of Defence was established to carry out
9 administrative and professional tasks from the domain of defence and
10 security. It was established on the 3rd of July, 1992, and started
11 functioning then. So it was established when there were some structures
12 of the HVO. The necessity for it had been known for quite a time. I
13 have mentioned the statutory decision dated May the 15th, but from that
14 decision until the creation of the defence, two months had to elapse.
15 The best example of why it was necessary to the HVO can be seen in a
16 document which is a letter dated 28th of June, 1992, where many tasks are
17 listed that should be carried out by the Department of Defence, so as to
18 unburden the HVO.
19 Q. We will have to reduce the number of documents I want to show
20 you, because we are making very slow progress.
21 Let me just ask you whether you are referring to document P279 in
22 binder 1, and you said that it was on the 20th of June, but the document
23 reads the 26th of June. Is this the document you have mentioned a short
24 while ago, so binder 1, the following document, this should be it? I can
25 tell from here.
1 A. Yes, that's the document. It's -- it is a good depiction of the
2 situation and about the municipalities. This shows also to what extent
3 the HVO is a defence force. Even in the case of luck at the front-line,
4 they do not continue to advance, which is, militarily speaking, almost
5 suicide if you fail to build upon your successes.
6 Q. We did note here the Defence Council.
7 A. The last two paragraphs on page 1 in the Croatia text; right.
8 Q. How does it begin?
9 A. After the shock that the enemy had to bear, et cetera.
10 Q. All right. Mr. Marijan, in your report you deal with issues that
11 Judge Prandler has mentioned, and these are contained in Article 10 of
12 the decree, so let us show what the tasks of the Presidency of the HZ-HB
13 were in defence matters and what were the tasks of the HVO to the HZ-HB.
14 What does Article 10 say, and is it identical, when we speak about the
15 versions from July and October 1992 respectively?
16 A. Your Honours, Article 10 makes a list of 24 duties of the
17 Department of Defence, and the decree of the 3rd of July mentions 25, but
18 only because item 6 is actually omitted. So this was corrected
19 subsequently. I believe that the list is completely identical, but let
20 me add that the duties of the Department of Defence cannot be understood
21 if Article 10 is viewed in isolation without connection to Article 11,
22 because only that latter article makes it clear.
23 Q. Mr. Marijan, let us make an analysis. I hope that we will be
24 able to do so in the remaining 20 minutes. Let us see what the duties of
25 the Department of Defence were and whether the Department of Defence,
1 according to the documents that you saw, did anything to implement them,
2 and how would you characterize these duties the way they are listed here,
3 and what they mean, in rough terms? Let us start with -- let me remind
4 you we're looking at document P00588, so it is in binder X. So the
5 document is P00588. We're looking at Article 10, because here the
6 numbering is correct. Please put it in front of you so you don't have to
7 turn around and you don't have to turn away from the microphone.
8 Tell me, please, what you mean by task number 1:
9 "Monitoring and coordinating activities aimed at achieving the
10 agreed policy of the defence system and presenting measures aimed at
11 gaining necessary momentum for the development and eventual realisation
12 within the HZ-HB."
13 I will always ask you to say if this was indeed done by the
14 Department of Defence and whether that is really a task that the
15 Department of Defence should realise.
16 A. Yes, it is, and I believe I saw some documents about this.
17 Q. Let us continue with item 2: "Assessing possible wartime and
18 other dangers."
19 A. This item, when it comes to other dangers, the assessment of
20 other dangers, is certainly within the remit of the Department of
22 Q. Let us continue with 3: "Making plans on the use of armed
24 A. That is not a task of the Department of Defence.
25 Q. Can you -- can you elaborate?
1 A. Can I continue, then?
2 Q. It seems that my question coincides with what Judge Prandler
3 wanted to say.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't know what Judge Prandler -- whether he
5 wanted to say something. I am Judge Trechsel, for your information, if
6 you were referring to me.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's remark: My mistake. Apology.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. It was an interpreter's involuntary
9 practical joke. I'm sorry.
10 I think I also want to hear more about this, and you seem to go
11 into that direction, and you have priority of course, Ms. Nozica. Go
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's
14 exactly what I wanted to say. I suppose that my additional question was
15 in line with the question you wanted to ask. I'm rather sure I did not
16 mention any names.
17 Q. So when we speak about assessments, we were discussing item 3:
18 "Making plans on the use of armed forces."
19 You said that this was not the task of the Department of Defence,
20 and I asked you to elaborate.
21 A. I think that what I have just said is best explained by
22 explaining Articles 10 and 11. Otherwise, confusion may arise, and we
23 don't want that.
24 Article 10, that provides for the rights and duties of the
25 Department of Defence, can only be interpreted correctly if we know the
1 content of Article 11. Paragraph 2 in Article 10, which says that the
2 Defence Department performs these tasks, in Article 11 we can see that
3 for the carrying out of these tasks, the Main Staff is being established.
4 Only then can we proceed to these 24 tasks, because they -- they fall
5 either under the Main Staff or under the Commander-in-Chief, but not
6 under the Department of Defence.
7 Q. If I understood you correctly, you said the following: In order
8 to determine precisely what the tasks of the Department of Defence or
9 other bodies were, that the Department of Defence carries out staff and
10 other technical work --
11 THE INTERPRETER: We would kindly ask the Defence counsel to read
12 less fast, if she has to read.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may finish. I am
14 reading and speaking as slowly that I believe I'll go on for -- I'll go
15 on all week, so I apologise to the interpreters.
16 Q. So we have to see this in connection with Article 11, which says
17 that for the carrying out of the tasks set out in Article 10,
18 paragraph 2, that the Main Staff is established; is that so, Witness?
19 JUDGE PRANDLER: I hate to [indiscernible] good at the computers.
20 I would like to read what our expert, Mr. Marijan, has said, and then I
21 will lose that if you continue. So let me then -- let me then point out
22 the following:
23 Mr. Marijan said that paragraph 2 in Article 10, which says that
24 the Defence Department performs these tasks, in Article 11 we can see
25 that for the carrying out of these tasks, the Main Staff is being
2 "Only then can we proceed to these 24 tasks, because they -- they
3 fall either the under the Main Staff or under the Commander-in-Chief, but
4 not under the Department of Defence." End of the quotation.
5 Frankly, I do not understand this. Then how come Article 10 says
6 in the preamble that the Defence Department shall engage in activities
7 pertaining to, and then we will have the 25 tasks? And that is true that
8 afterwards Article 11 specifies and points out that, and I quote:
9 "In order to perform the tasks stipulated in paragraph 2,
10 Article 10 of this decree ..."
11 And let me then again emphasise the tasks stipulated in
12 paragraph 2, Article 10 of this decree, that is, the department, the
13 Main Staff shall be established within the Defence Department, that is
14 true, but again I say that in my view all these articles should be read
15 and understood -- I mean, Articles 10, 11 and 29, whatever that was, 29,
16 they should be read and understood and interpreted as a common basis
17 about the defence forces and about the tasks of the defence. I stand to
18 be corrected, if you so wish.
19 Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What you said, Your Honour, is
21 correct. These three articles are deeply interconnected, and Article 11
22 cannot be understood properly without Article 29. Article 10 lists a
23 number of duties, and let me correct myself. These are, first and
24 foremost, duties of the supreme commander. There are ten of them, and
25 they are all -- almost all are mentioned here.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Marijan, you have now said something completely different
3 from what Judge Prandler wanted to say, so let me state the following:
4 Judge Prandler said that there was Article 10, there is
5 Article 29, there is Article 9, that stipulates which bodies have to do,
6 and he said we have to do that separately.
7 A. I apologise. I had the impression --
8 Q. Just a moment. So Judge Prandler wants to say, if I understood
9 him correctly, and I assume I did, that Article 10 makes a list of the
10 duties of the Department of Defence in 24 items.
11 Mr. Marijan, I'm not going to ask you questions about the
12 interpretation of law. We know that legal provisions can only be
13 interpreted by the Chamber. But I'll ask you, item by item, whether you
14 observed that the Department of Defence actually did that or why you
15 did -- why you think that this is -- should not be part of the duties of
16 the Department of Defence. And whenever you think that a task was
17 delegated or attributed to some other body and some other provision,
18 please say so.
19 So there is the drafting of plans and the employment of the armed
20 forces. Is that a task of the Department of Defence?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Whose task is that, do you think?
23 A. That is a task of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, sir, this question
25 of the Chief of Staff, which is an important issue in terms of the chain
1 of command, we see, under Article 10, the Department of Defence is
2 responsible for 24 tasks, but then Article 11 states that the Chief of
3 Staff is created within the Department of Defence or inside the
4 Department of Defence.
5 Therefore, this Chief of Staff, under Article 10 and Article 11,
6 comes under the responsibility of the head of the Department of Defence,
7 and this Chief of Staff, the structure of which has been defined by the
8 Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Boban, is going to appoint the general who will
9 be the head of the Chief of Staff, but that applies during times of
10 peace. But in times of war, it would seem that there is a different
11 structure, which is the War Cabinet.
12 Since we are talking here about the chain of responsibility, we
13 have to be certain that everyone understands this, that all of the Judges
14 understand this because if we were to make a mistake, that would have
16 According to what you have studied, was this Chief of Staff
17 integrated into the Department of Defence? And if that was the case, if
18 it's integrated, then the chief -- the head of the Chief of Staff is
19 subordinated to the head of the Department of Defence, in other words,
20 the minister of defence? This is the question I put to you. I don't
21 have the answer.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the General Staff or
23 Main Staff of the HVO is a part of the Department of Defence, but its a
24 part of the Department of Defence that has dual remit. I explained that
25 in my report. It is subordinate to the supreme commander for some
1 issues, and the --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, could the witness be asked to repeat
3 this part of his answer?
4 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. The interpreter is asking you to repeat your answer.
7 A. The Main Staff of the HVO is part of the Defence Department,
8 which we can see from the decree, and it was headed by the chief of the
9 Main Staff, who was responsible for administrative and professional
10 affairs, but he was answerable to the president of the HZ-HB. So the
11 Main Staff had a special position in the area of defence.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just say that
13 once again we have an incomplete interpretation. The witness said that
14 the chief of the Main Staff was answerable to the head of the Defence
15 Department inasmuch as technical and professional affairs were concerned.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, sir, this is an
17 important matter. Everyone realises that this is an important question.
18 We cannot continue at this hour of the day, for reasons of our schedule.
19 We will all have the entire night to rethink this matter, and
20 Madam Nozica, tomorrow at 9.00, will be able to continue asking questions
21 on this very issue.
22 Mr. Witness, sir, you have taken the solemn oath, and therefore
23 you must have no contact with the Defence or with anyone. The only thing
24 you can do is to inform your wife that everything is going well; nothing
25 more. I am giving you these instructions to avoid any potential problem.
1 We will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00. We will be meeting in
2 the morning, and we will most likely continue with these very matters.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm sorry, but I really
4 have to say this for the transcript.
5 If I were allowed to go at least through these principal founding
6 documents, and I believe I will be able to do that within the first half
7 hour tomorrow, then at least when we have gone through the founding
8 documents and what was being done in the Defence Department, it will be
9 much easier to ask questions, and we could go through the matter more
10 swiftly, because you are now invoking documents that I have yet to show
11 the witness. I will show them tomorrow, and then we can focus on issues
12 that are the most important.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, fine. We all agree on
15 We shall have a 30-minute break at this point and resume in a
16 different format that I informed you of. I won't say any more, because
17 this is a public hearing.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.16 p.m.
19 to be followed by an Ex Parte Hearing. The hearing
20 will reconvene on Tuesday, the 20th day of January,
21 2009, at 9.00 a.m.