Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7447

 1                           Monday, 4 May 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Prlic and Coric not present]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the

 7     case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon,

 9     everyone in and around the courtroom.

10             This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus

11     Prlic et al.

12             Thank you, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

14             Today is Monday, 4th of May, 2009.  Let me first greet the

15     accused, the Defence counsel, the entire OTP - they're all there - the

16     usher, the Registrar, and all the people assisting us.

17             You have four IC numbers for us, Mr. Registrar.

18             THE REGISTRAR:  That's right, Your Honour.

19             2D has submitted its response to OTP's objections to its

20     documents tendered via Witness Ivan Bagaric.  This list shall be given

21     Exhibit IC997.  Some parties have submitted their lists of documents to

22     be tendered through Witness Dragan Juric.  The list submitted by 2D shall

23     be given Exhibit IC998.  The list submitted by 4D shall be given

24     Exhibit IC999, and the list submitted by the Prosecution shall be given

25     Exhibit IC1000.

Page 7448

 1             Thank you, Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

 3             Very well.  We're going to start the Praljak case today.

 4             Last Friday, the Trial Chamber was seized of a request by the

 5     Prosecution for a hearing, a 65 ter hearing or a discussion hearing, in

 6     order to limit the scope or the extent of Mr. Praljak's testimony.  The

 7     Trial Chamber notes that the dead-line for the other parties to respond

 8     is the 15th of May.  The Trial Chamber will rule, therefore, after the

 9     15th of May.  At any rate, the Trial Chamber, as of now, is going to move

10     to the 84 bis statement by Mr. Praljak, or declaration.  As part of the

11     84 bis declaration, Mr. Praljak is going to take an oath, as had been

12     decided by a previous ruling of the Trial Chamber, and in a few moments I

13     shall ask whether Mr. Praljak promises and says that he's going to say --

14     tell the truth and nothing but the truth.  Then Mr. Praljak will make a

15     statement for one hour and a half, so this might take us right to the end

16     of the day.

17             Once this part of the proceedings are over, Mr. Praljak is going

18     to testify as a witness.  He then will take the stand in front of us, and

19     Mr. Praljak will read out the solemn declaration that is submitted to all

20     witnesses.

21             Mr. Praljak's Defence counsel have given us a schedule.  There

22     will be several days in examination-in-chief, and we shall determine the

23     time for cross-examination by other parties.

24             Regarding questions that might be asked of Mr. Praljak by the

25     Judges, as far as I am concerned, and I only speak on my own behalf, I

Page 7449

 1     will only intervene when Mr. Praljak has answered questions by his

 2     lawyers and when the other counsel have proceeded to their

 3     cross-examination, if any.  Only then will I ask questions.  Only then

 4     will I put questions under three main headings, and I'm giving them to

 5     Mr. Praljak straight away so that he not be taken by surprise.

 6             My questions will first focus on his answers, but only related to

 7     the indictment and the pre-trial brief.  I will have questions based on

 8     the documents mentioned in footnotes in the pre-trial brief.  That's the

 9     first part of my questioning.

10             Second part, it will only be focused on the documents that will

11     be presented to him by his lawyer during the examination-in-chief.

12             The third part, if any, will relate to questions put by other

13     lawyers.  So I'll break down my questions into three parts:  first part,

14     indictment and pre-trial brief; second part, documents submitted by him;

15     third part, documents arising from questions by other counsel.

16             Yes, my colleagues want to intervene.  They want to explain to

17     you how they might proceed.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just as an observation.  On the record, on line

19     16, which is just about to disappear, it says that this will take us up

20     to the end of the day, and it should, of course, read "will take us up to

21     the beginning of the first break."

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this detail.

23             Mr. Praljak, please stand up.  I am going to ask you whether you

24     are going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

25     Are you going to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, Mr. Praljak?

Page 7450

 1             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour

 2     Judge Antonetti, Mr. President, I will be telling the truth, nothing but

 3     the truth.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

 5             Mr. Praljak, you may proceed for your opening statement under

 6     Rule 84 bis.

 7                           [Praljak Defence Opening Statement]

 8             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

 9             I would like to greet everyone in the courtroom, the OTP, Defence

10     counsel, the honourable Judges, and all those doing their work.

11             I was living in the hope that I would be allowed three hours, but

12     that was then limited to one and a half hours.  Therefore, I have

13     provided binders, and I will start with paragraph 15 in the binders.

14             The Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

15             The JNA attacked Croatia.  The front was throughout the former

16     Yugoslavia.  The rebelling Serbs, the army of the so-called Krajina,

17     together with the JNA, attacked Croatia.  The front extended throughout

18     the former Yugoslavia.  That was where the soldiers and the weapons were

19     coming from.  The JNA, the Krajina soldiers, the Army of the Republic of

20     the Serbian Krajina, attacked Croatia.  The front extended throughout

21     this entire territory, where attacks were occurring, the territory from

22     which the soldiers were coming who were involved in those attacks, the

23     territory in which the military equipment and weapons were being produced

24     that were used in those attacks, and all the territories and areas which

25     those weapons and equipment were transported.  The JNA and all the other

Page 7451

 1     armies did not simply attack Croatia alone.  They attacked all the

 2     territories and all the peoples living east of the

 3     Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica line, which was the imagined border of

 4     greater Serbia.

 5             Throughout this area in which they were carrying out these

 6     attacks which under the International Law of War is defined as a theatre

 7     of war, Croatia had every right to use military force to respond if on it

 8     had been able to.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, both as a territory and as a

 9     state, was attacking the Republic of Croatia under the provisions of the

10     international law.  Croatia had every right to respond by dispatching its

11     troops to any sector of the theatre of war, if only it had been able to.

12             A referendum was held on the 19th of May, 1990, for an

13     independent Republic of Croatia.  93 percent of the voters backed this

14     issue.  At the first multi-party election, held in the spring of 1990,

15     members of the Croatian Parliament were elected.

16             On the 25th of June, 1991, and there's an error here if that

17     could please be corrected, 1991, a constitutional decision was adopted on

18     the independence of the Republic of Croatia, as well as a declaration

19     proclaiming Croatia's independence and sovereignty.  This was the legal

20     and constitutive act creating the Republic of Croatia.

21             International recognitions were an important and principal

22     declaration of support to this newly-created state.  A state, however, is

23     created by the will of the people.

24             On the 30th of July, 1991, the Lithuanian Parliament passed a

25     resolution recognising the independence and sovereignty of the

Page 7452

 1     Republic of Croatia.  Next followed recognition by France, the United

 2     States, England, and Germany; and this recognition had a greater

 3     political significance.  Nevertheless, the first recognition that came

 4     from Lithuania, and then somewhat later from Iceland as well, had a

 5     greater moral significance, incomparably so, in fact, than those that

 6     followed when Croatia, despite predictions that it would soon be

 7     defeated, stood its ground.  Everyone, with the exception of Lithuania

 8     and Iceland, first waited until those predictions came true.

 9             Alija Izetbegovic, the president of the Presidency of the

10     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, could or could not desire -- or

11     desired not to:  A, prevent attacks on the Republic of Croatia from the

12     territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina; prevent the taking away of captured

13     Croatian soldiers from Croatia and Kostajnica to Serb camps in

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina; C, prevent the taking of Unista, VH territory, by

15     Martic's units; D, prevent the massacre that occurred in the village of

16     Ravno, or indeed he found this simply not to be their war, or as he said,

17     "This is not our war"; E, prevent attacks on Dubrovnik, Slavonski Brod,

18     Okucane and so on and so forth; F, prevent the recruitment of citizens of

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina into the JNA.  The question is where was the Croatia

20     Army allowed to go.  Under the provisions of the International Rule of

21     Law, this simply did not matter.  The Croatian Army was allowed to go

22     into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina simply because that territory

23     was used to carry out acts of aggression against Croatia.  It was a

24     theatre of war, from where Croatia stood, as simple as that.

25             Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, nevertheless, refused to sign a military

Page 7453

 1     agreement with Franjo Tudjman.  In order to not cause Serbs to become

 2     angry, he was not willing or wasn't able to protect Croatia from an

 3     aggression carried out by a state which he headed.  He couldn't -- was

 4     not able to or willing to protect the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  He

 5     could not do that for the Muslims either.  He, Alija Izetbegovic, has no

 6     power over 70 percent of this country's territory, and yet he is the

 7     president of the Presidency of this country.  Nevertheless, he behaves as

 8     the leader of that country.  He signs at that agreement on friendship and

 9     cooperation with the Republic of Croatia, allowing the Army of the

10     Republic of Croatia to carry out activities or intervene in the border

11     areas.  At the same time, he's negotiating an historic deal or agreement

12     with the aggressor, himself.

13             The Croatia Army did not cross into BH territory, except when an

14     operation was launched to liberate Dubrovnik.  The belt in which military

15     activity was underway was so narrow that there was no way around this.

16     The volunteers of the Croatian Army, and the Croatian Army included about

17     15.000 volunteers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, were on their way back to help

18     defend Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Unfortunately, there were too few of

19     them.  The figures never exceeded between 500, 600 volunteers who were

20     really involved in military activities, at least not before the 9th of

21     November, 1993, at which time -- or until which time I remained as the

22     commander of the Main Staff of the HVO.

23             The text now continues, and I've provided a list of law books

24     that I looked into, because it was my duty and because I wanted to look

25     into them, all the texts which I studied in order to be able to write

Page 7454

 1     this.

 2             "International Law Number 3," by Andrassy, Bakotic, Sersic, and

 3     Vukas, is one of the books I used.  Page 4 reads:

 4             "Under International Law of War, any area in which the warring

 5     parties can prepare for combat activities is considered a theatre of war.

 6     Above all, it encompasses the territories of the warring states, their

 7     land, their sea, their coast, and their aerial space, air-space.

 8     Nevertheless, military actions can also occur in territories not covered

 9     by the sovereignty of any of the warring states."

10             Therefore, according to International Law of War, a theatre of

11     war encompasses the open sea as well as no-man's land or "terra nullius."

12             The same thing that is stated here is repeated by Professor

13     Dr. Gavro Perazic, in his own book, who happens to be a Serb.  This is

14     the same book.  At page 7, it reads:

15             "A theatre of war can be in the territory of one of the warring

16     states, as well as any other territories not falling under the

17     sovereignty or control of any of the warring states, yet they may become

18     theaters of war under International Law of War in which combat operations

19     can be prepared or executed."

20             Therefore, there's a map, 3D03254, which I used -- which I found

21     in Salzburg's book, which I used to show how America in the Second World

22     War was dispatching too many countries in the form of loans, and this

23     continued from March 1941 and September 1946.  The quantities varied.

24     Obviously, the value of the dollar is implied at the time, but back in

25     the time it was an enormous amount of money.

Page 7455

 1             If you look at map 3D03254, it shows Europe after the Nazi

 2     conquests.  It clearly shows, for example, Norway.  The moment the units

 3     of Nazi Germany or, rather, the Wermacht seized Norway's territory,

 4     Great Britain, of course, dispatched its own assault units, having

 5     previously carried out no consultations with Norway's Kwistling [phoen]

 6     government, and having not previously considered international law,

 7     simply because these were important ports in which German shelters and

 8     submarines took shelter and which they used to control the supply routes

 9     across the North Atlantic.  That's on the following map, and the one that

10     I'm tendering is 3D035234.

11             The famous combat in Northern Africa between the Wermacht, on the

12     one hand, under the command of Field Marshal Rommel, and at the outset,

13     British units, later also the American units under the command of

14     Field Marshal Montgomery.  Therefore, they moved on towards Egypt, as the

15     Wermacht tried to take possession of areas in which the oil was

16     available, and then they also tried to cut across their supply route; but

17     neither Great Britain or the United States saw this as a hindrance in

18     terms of standing up to the enemy wherever the enemy happened to be.

19     Therefore, there was fighting going on for years.  We have the battle at

20     Kasserine, the famous battle at Kasserine depicted here, and that's where

21     Rommel was at the time.

22             The next maps that we have there are marked as number 12.  I'm

23     using these maps to show the honourable Judges, the Prosecutor and

24     everyone else in the courtroom to show the areas in which the SFRY

25     military forces were deployed pursuant to the Warsaw Agreement, also

Page 7456

 1     known as Plan S-1, the Warsaw Pact.  Obviously, it would take up too much

 2     of my time to go into any great detail about this, but there are several

 3     things that immediately become clear.  There was an attack that was

 4     expected to occur across Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and the strategic

 5     reserves or, rather, the last-ditch defence line was meant to be in

 6     Bosnia and Herzegovina, more specifically in Central Bosnia and

 7     Herzegovina.

 8             We can please move on to the next map, page 13, showing a

 9     deployment, and that's why drills were carried out under Plan S-2, the

10     deployment of the armed forces of the Yugoslav People's Army, in the

11     eventuality of a NATO aggression, showing again the axes in relation to

12     Italy and Austria, and especially from the open sea, from the south and

13     from Otranto.  The reserve here was moved further south and is now in

14     Serbia.  These military drills were being carried out throughout.  While

15     General Petkovic was still with the JNA in Slovenia, many times he had to

16     bring out his units in order to respond to a simulated attack from the

17     west.

18             Map number 14 shows the areas of the Serbs on rebelling in

19     Croatia.  In the lower part of the map, we see a description of what

20     bears mentioning here.  This covered about 25 percent of Croatia's

21     territory, 11 municipalities, predominantly Serb municipalities, where

22     144.344 Serbs lived, or rather a total of 29.4 percent of all Serbs in

23     Croatia.  In the remaining 91 municipalities, there was 75 percent of the

24     total number of Serbs living in Croatia; and they were not subjected to

25     any sort of vengeance or harassment by the Croatia authorities, save for

Page 7457

 1     a number of individual cases, which is something that always occurs.

 2             Map 15 shows the initial idea of an aggression against Croatia

 3     and Slovenia.  Look at the key.  Everything is described there.  You can

 4     see the deployment of all the corps there, the Guards Brigade and all the

 5     rest.  Should there be any questions about this, I will be happy to

 6     provide additional explanations during my cross-examination.

 7             If we move on to map number 16, we see the plan of the attack on

 8     the Republic of Croatia following the withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia

 9     in July 1991.  This is only a small addendum to the previous map.

10             Map number 17 shows the military and political situation in

11     Croatia between December 1991 on the cusp to January 1992, with the

12     occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia as well as the axes of

13     attack or, rather, in this case defence.  This was the plan, for the most

14     part unsuccessful plan, by the Croatia Army.

15             3D03173, 3D03173, what follows, are maps that I've already used

16     in this courtroom, the deployment of the JNA, its military structure in

17     January of 1985.  And then a significant change which occurred is

18     reflected in the following map, 3D03175.  Within the framework of the

19     conceptually complete military and political aspirations of Serbia, in

20     terms of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, which was already in progress,

21     there was a major restructuring effort within the JNA, and this coincided

22     with the political positions stated in the memorandum, as well as

23     Milosevic's desires which might be summed up as follows:  Slovenia, all

24     right, if it wishes to leave, it may as well do so, but if Croatia

25     decides to leave, only anything that remains north of the

Page 7458

 1     Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica line they might keep.  3D00859 is another

 2     exhibit in this case, showing the --

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.  I just want to make you

 4     aware of a little problem that you may not be aware of.

 5             You mention numbers of the e-court, like 3D00859, but I do not

 6     find this number on any of the maps.  You have indicated numbers of maps.

 7     I do not find those numbers on the maps.  You have indicated pages.  I

 8     have found that you spoke of maps which had another page number.  So

 9     perhaps it would be helpful if you grave us -- the maps have a title.

10     For instance, the last one we had was, I think, "12:  Military-political

11     situation in Croatia, December of 1991 to January 1992."  If you give us

12     this full title, then it's easier for us to follow.

13             The next map you want to talk about, if I am not mistaken, has as

14     title on the top left side simply the number "1985."  I don't know

15     whether I am correct, but to help you keep up the connection with the

16     Chamber, I think it's useful that you're made aware of this.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by way of explanation,

18     the general has received a list of documents in e-court for a simple

19     reason; so that the documents and maps could be shown on the screen.  And

20     the general is taking things in turn, and he's taking maps as they are in

21     the binder.  In your binders, you will not find e-court numbers because

22     you have been provided with a hard copy.  And just for the e-court,

23     numbers have been provided to the general so that he could read them and

24     so that the Judges could put them on e-court as the general mentions

25     them.

Page 7459

 1             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] And now we are looking at

 2     map number 18, and we are talking about the year 1985.  This is the

 3     deployment or the organisation of the Yugoslav People's Army, and it was

 4     as it is depicted here, the 1st Army, the 2nd Army, the 3rd Army, the 5th

 5     Army around Zagreb, as you can see it.  This is especially important for

 6     the fact that on the following map, which depicts the situation as it was

 7     in 1987, there was a reorganisation of the Yugoslav People's Army in

 8     keeping with the political aspirations of the Yugoslav People's Army and

 9     the Serbian leadership.  This was already explained in the memorandum of

10     the Serbian Academy of Sciences.

11             The explanation was this:  As Yugoslavia breaks up, Slovenia can

12     leave Yugoslavia, and as for the rest of the former Yugoslavia and its

13     other parts, the only area that can leave Yugoslavia was the area that is

14     delineated by the line which leads from Virovitica to Karlobag north of

15     Zagreb.  It's a minute part of Croatia.  And as for the rest, this was in

16     line with the thinking of the group that was preparing the war.  They

17     believed that the rest of Croatia belonged to the Serbian national

18     entity.

19             The following map, and the title is "The Operational Development

20     of the Armed Forces of the SFRY," and depicts the situation as it was in

21     1992, and I believe that the map is already an exhibit as 3D00859.  This

22     map depicts the deployment of the units of the JNA after having left the

23     Republic of Slovenia.  You can see that the 13th Corps went in the

24     direction of Montenegro, and that's the same corps that would later on go

25     on to attack Mostar and the area around there.  The 10th Corps moved from

Page 7460

 1     Knin to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 9th as well, and so on and so forth.

 2             The following map depicts the distribution of JNA forces in

 3     Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 20th of March, 1992, and this shows in

 4     great detail what the distribution of the forces was and how many corps

 5     there were, the 10th, the 9th, the 5th, how many soldiers each of them

 6     had and how many volunteers.  That map, as far as I can see, has been

 7     admitted into evidence as 3D00859.

 8             And finally, for your information, I handed up a little table

 9     depicting the number of killed and wounded children in Slavonski Brod as

10     a result of the artillery fire from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I have

11     nothing further to add to this document.

12             I'm now moving on to the topic under number 16, which is possible

13     methodological errors in understanding.  In contrast -- which changed

14     their political system.  In contrast which along with the change in the

15     political system emerged, or come into being, or constitute themselves,

16     in contrast which along with the change of the political system and a

17     simultaneous come into being must wage a war against an aggressor, in

18     such countries neither the president of the state of Croatia, nor the

19     Presidency or the president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

20     nor the government, nor the ministers, nor the army, which by its

21     voluntary nature enables the creation and existence of such a state, nor

22     the commanders of the army, nor the military police, or any other

23     structure of society, represent what these names mean in countries from

24     which the honourable Judges and the Prosecutors come from.  This is a

25     very frequent mistake of distorted nominalism, to include into the

Page 7461

 1     content of a notion meaning of a state/culture/civilian which the

 2     observer comes from.

 3             In such a way, we come to a communication error, an error in

 4     understanding.  The same word is used to denote quite different contents,

 5     and the interpretation of the system can be largely or even completely

 6     erroneous.  I've seen and heard a lot of this from all the observers

 7     which were hanging around our areas during the war, too little knowledge

 8     about the country they were coming to and too many cultural,

 9     civilizational and political patterns that are valid in the countries

10     from which the moderators of the crisis come from; for example, the

11     pattern or matrix about the army in a structured system, which includes

12     the training, law, troop tradition, finances, social aspects, positive

13     selection, education, such psychological support, sufficient redundancy

14     of human and material resources continues, control and checking of every

15     segment, communication and so on and so forth.

16             There is another matrix, the one about a democratic society which

17     starts functioning with the act of the passing of the law on free

18     elections.  The following is the matrix about the rule of law which

19     appears when good laws are passed, the matrix about the police, which do

20     their job well, when a group of citizens puts on uniforms and is provided

21     with badges.  Things are not as simple as that.  To be more precise,

22     things are much more complicated and harder, and usually take decades to

23     take place, but I could go on for hours talking about all that.

24             Since sociology is a demanding science, and everybody who is

25     anybody dealing with society, and everybody usually knows all about it,

Page 7462

 1     the most frequent mistakes that arise from that are as follows:

 2     reduction of a system to the level of one's own ignorance and, secondly,

 3     the introduction of wrong assumptions whenever we need an explanation for

 4     a certain phenomenon.  I don't want anybody to think that this means that

 5     those who do not have that, they don't have organised systems, that they

 6     have the right to commit any kind of crimes.  Certainly not.  I'm not

 7     saying that.  However, a lack of order in any social system necessarily

 8     leads to an increased number of those who, with time, for a number of

 9     reasons, cross the threshold of what is permissible.  This, of course,

10     depends also on the effort, work, behaviour of those who lead such

11     systems in the making.

12             I therefore think that only an all-encompassing and thorough

13     analysis of individual cases can provide an answer to the question

14     whether acts of crimes were incited, enabled through lack of punishment,

15     keeping secrets, tacit approval, or whether they fall into the usual

16     statistical distribution of adverse phenomena which every war and every

17     chaotic social situation bring with them.

18             For all those in the courtroom who might be interested, I have

19     prepared short excerpts from a book by Len Deighton under the title

20     "Blitzkreig," describing the Second World War.  I have emphasised the

21     part which explains the underlying causes behind the troops of Wermacht

22     of the Nazi Germany, commanded by Generals Rommel, Manstein and Guderian,

23     not far from the place where we are at the moment -- when I say "not

24     from," I mean Belgium and the Ardeni range, in a certain way -- in a very

25     simple way, broker French divisions and the English division corps.

Page 7463

 1             And now I would read just one thing from page 4.  One thing was

 2     clear.  Whatever they did, whatever game they chose to play, the Allies

 3     would have a bad time and would find themselves in a quagmire only due to

 4     an obstinate refusal on the part of the Belgians to cooperate in their

 5     own defence.  This attitude of the Belgians was finally confirmed when

 6     the Belgian ambassador in London, several hours after the intrusion of

 7     Germans into his country, visited the British minister of foreign affairs

 8     and handed an official protest note of his government, sent because the

 9     British Army crossed the French-Belgian border to fighter against the

10     aggressor without an official Belgian invitation.

11             On the following page, page 5, I have also emphasised an excerpt

12     to demonstrate how organised and trained troops might look when they are

13     exhausted and facing the chaos of war.

14             This is what a British inspector wrote about a unit of the

15     vitally-important 9th Army, and we're talking about the 9th Army of the

16     French military:

17             "Rarely does one have the opportunity to see such a disorderly,

18     dirty, and shabby unit.  Almost all of its soldiers were unshaven, their

19     horses un-groomed.  On the faces of the soldiers, you could not see a

20     trace of pride with oneself or the unit to which they belong.  Still,

21     what upset me most was the expression on their faces; solemn, frowning,

22     dissatisfied, disobeying.  Although an order had been given 'Salute to

23     the left,' they passed beside us with hardly any one of them making an

24     effort to salute."

25             Further on, it says in this paragraph about the lack of effort, a

Page 7464

 1     lot of propaganda, a lot of alcohol, and about a French state railway

 2     that had to set apart special rooms in all the major stations for the

 3     sobering of the dead-drunk soldiers.  There is also reference to the

 4     courage of French soldiers and some splendid units, and then on page 7 a

 5     reference is made to the Supreme Command.

 6             Very often, the Judges in this courtroom asked about

 7     communications in the army, who's contacting whom, how quickly one can

 8     react in situations like that, and so on and so forth.  Look at the state

 9     of disorder that reigned in the relationship between the command of the

10     French forces and the units of British forces subordinated to them, and

11     then within the command of the French Army, and you will all see that on

12     pages 7, 8 and 9.  Since the British Expedition Force was small, there

13     was no point in setting up a joint allied command, and that's why the

14     British soldiers were subordinated to the local French commanders, they

15     were subordinated to them.

16             It says later on that the structure of the French command system

17     was so rigid that one could not convey any commands necessary for rapid

18     reaction through such a rigid system.  It says further on that the

19     officers could not bypass this system of bad command.  It says also that

20     the Brigade General Charles de Gaulle did not receive almost any support

21     when he tried to continue fighting the Germans with the man who had lost

22     the war on the 21st of June and struck a deal and signed a peace accord

23     with the Germans.  French General Gamelin, if I am pronouncing his name

24     correctly, create the French strategy.  He appointed unit commanders.  He

25     issued orders not only to the French forces facing the Germans, but also

Page 7465

 1     the French forces on the Alps facing Italy and also the French forces in

 2     Syria and North Africa.  Interestingly enough, he did not have a general

 3     staff.

 4             The operative command of the large Allied forces in North-East

 5     France was the task of General George, whose title a very old and poorly

 6     defined title was made general of the army.  Even the chief of George's

 7     staff once admitted that his officer was not absolutely sure where

 8     Gamelin's responsibility stopped and where his own started, and so on and

 9     so forth.  And finally, when they lost the war, when he answered the

10     question of how quickly he could send orders to the battle-field, he said

11     that usually it took any order 48 hours to get to the battle-field.  In a

12     clash with the German units, the three generals who were close to the

13     front were facing the army with good communications, and that army -- the

14     French division simply did not stand a chance against the Germans.

15             And further on I would like to say something about fear, fear

16     from tanks, even when Guderian's tasks could not break the line of the

17     5th Division, and how the 5th created havoc within a whole division that

18     was deployed from Chaumont to Marfais [phoen] Hill.

19             And then it says on page 10 the command position of the 55th

20     Infantry Division -- let me start a bit before.

21             Interestingly enough, the stone which will turn into an avalanche

22     of catastrophe did not start rolling in that creek.  Actually, the

23     avalanche was launched around 1830 hours on that beautiful day by the

24     commander of a French artillery battery deployed near the village of

25     Chaumont, when he sent a report saying the German tanks had penetrated

Page 7466

 1     all the way to the hills of Marfais.

 2             The report was completely incorrect.  However, to every French

 3     commander who was tempted to throw it away as the fruit of sheer hysteria

 4     caused by fear, it gave the motive to change his mind when, a bit later,

 5     an artillery colonel from [indiscernible], south of Chaumont, sent to his

 6     corps commander another report, also premature, in which he claimed that

 7     the battle got dangerously close to his command post, so he had to either

 8     withdraw or reconcile himself to the fact that his unit would be

 9     surrounded, and so on and so forth.  The text goes on to talk about the

10     refugees, about the courage and morale of the French 213th Infantry

11     Regiment which unfortunately failed in its attempt, despite the fact that

12     the troops marched for hundreds of kilometres in order to join the fight.

13     This is just an illustrate of what illustrates something that escapes our

14     attention because of the nature of the work in this courtroom, and this

15     is the war conditions of chaos, death, and blood.

16             And now I'm going to move on to my Chapter 17, "Wishes,

17     Intentions, Action and Power."

18             If we were to interview people and ask them if they wanted the

19     problems of hunger, disease caused by poverty, wars, killings, to

20     disappear, the answer would certainly be "yes."  How come we then do not

21     manage to solve such problems?  Why did it take Baroness Statures [phoen]

22     several years to successfully solve the problem of the rampage of English

23     football fans.  Why did it take the French Minister of Interior Sarcozy

24     several months to sell the problem of rampage of French citizens, the

25     arson, killings, the malison of shops and cars in the suburbs of French

Page 7467

 1     cities.  And it happened only recently as we all remember.  How come

 2     responsible people in France cannot prevent the burning of cars every new

 3     year?  Last year, there were 1200, and in the last 10 years the number of

 4     burned cars has been over 30.000.  How come that the Greek government

 5     cannot stop the deluvial violence of its citizens in Athens which has

 6     been going on for months?  How come that the US Army cannot stop the

 7     killing of several hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq, a country

 8     from which 4 million Iraqis have fled or have been forced to leave?

 9     Would this be ethnic cleansing?  Would this be expulsion or flight to

10     save dear life?  Who is responsible, and how can these things be

11     prevented?  Why did Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland fight

12     for decades in a civilised corner of the world?  Are we not hurt by the

13     fact that over 20 years ago China destroyed one whole civilization and

14     culture in Tibet and that they continue to do so; and by doing that they

15     have brought a whole people to the very edge of survival?  What is it

16     that we can do, and why is there nothing that we can do there?  It would

17     be pointless to go on enumerating such examples.  It would just take us

18     too much time.

19             And, finally, when, in this huge sea of evil of atrocities which

20     floods this world of ours, we find out about some events, how often and

21     in which way do we get to know who the villain or the perpetrator is?

22     Isn't it a hard way between the realisation that something has happened

23     and finding out who the person behind the atrocities actually is?  What

24     do we need to have, in technological and organisational terms, and what

25     do we have to do in order to uncover the perpetrators in such situations?

Page 7468

 1             The impotence to do something to prevent or to uncover a crime is

 2     a terribly wretched feeling, but this is not a crime.  This terribly

 3     wretched feeling is not a crime.

 4             Chapter 18, the joint criminal undertaking or enterprise.

 5     Voluminous literature is in existence about social groups, large and

 6     small, professional, closed or open, more or less structured,

 7     heterogenous, homogeneous, etiological, et cetera, what is the logic

 8     behind the choice of this accused group?  The Prosecutor says all members

 9     of the HDZ, all members of the HVO and the like, and then he says "except

10     for some."  Whoever has studied logic to any extent, which is the basic

11     of all human reasoning presuming we do not include pure fantasy, the mere

12     chemical-neural activity of the frontal lobe will never write all and

13     then add "except for some," because if all are involved in something,

14     then those who are not all cannot exist.  And if they are not all, then

15     who are and who are not the members of the group of the joint criminal

16     enterprise, and why only four deceased persons and six currently alive?

17     What is the criteria on which the choice was made?

18             The question relating to the phenomenon of the society and war

19     and the cause or meaning of this phenomenon is even more complex.  Any

20     phenomenon which appears as a riddle, either in natural sciences or in

21     social sciences, is complex, and all these parts of a whole are

22     interconnected by causal relations.  Everything interacts with everything

23     else.  Thousands -- hundreds of thousands of variables interact, creating

24     complex differential equations, but there are no final solutions, no

25     final results.

Page 7469

 1             Two major theories in the 20th century are important for the

 2     understand of the world, the first one being the theory of determined

 3     chaos which teaches us that small changes on the input side of a system,

 4     if we iterate them, which means repeat them slightly, repeat the slight

 5     input values, we can cause large and unpredictable changes in the system.

 6             This appears to me especially important in relation to the

 7     situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because initial small things, when they

 8     were iterated, that is repeated, brought us to a single point of no

 9     return, a point from which on there was no control.  Then the other

10     theory is the QED by Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Dirac, Planck, which

11     introduced the principle of indeterminability as an essential part of

12     reality, then the laws of probability as a logical form of understanding,

13     and the principle of complementarity, which says no truly basic natural

14     phenomenon can be determined by the words of everyday speech.

15     Determination requires at least two mutually complementary notions.

16     Niels Bohr states as examples life, a quantum object, the physical

17     system, and the understanding of nature.  And then they go on to say

18     there is no science without art, there is no beauty without ugliness,

19     there is no evil without good, and sunlight passing -- having passed

20     through a prism is a rainbow, whereas having passed through a lens burns.

21     Why is especially the principle of complementarity important for our

22     case?  I will try to show so by introducing documents which have not been

23     tendered before to establish the total factual truth.

24             We know about 10 to 15.000 wars in human history, the number

25     depending on the definition of war.  Since the Second World War, there

Page 7470

 1     have been over 500 wars.  There have been over 200 military interventions

 2     of a great or a smaller scope of intensity of the USA after the Second

 3     World War.  There is the unfinished war between Japan and Russia, the

 4     unfinished war between North and South Korea, China and Taiwan or

 5     Formosa, China and India or Pakistan, then there are the Tamil Tiger, the

 6     Middle East, the Basques, Northern Ireland, Africa.  I could go on

 7     enumerating at infinitum.  The number of military conflicts of greater or

 8     lesser intensity never falls below 25 to 30 at any given moment.  In the

 9     last 300 years, Germany and France have waged war against each other 25

10     times.

11             Then there is hunger and diseases.  Millions of children die of

12     hunger every year.  Communism killed millions of people, et cetera.

13     Twenty-five girls get pregnant due to rape every year in the USA.  So

14     once they get pregnant, of course they are no longer girls but become

15     women.

16             And what about justice, judges and prosecutor agency since

17     Socrates was convicted 2300 years ago because he misled the youth, what

18     is there in the administration of justice that has been moral.  The

19     trials in Rome, where slaves were considered lower in rank and value than

20     a thing, trials in the name of the church or the king, communist Nazi,

21     racial class trials in the 20th century.  As late as 1962, America

22     banished racial segregation in schools, aided with the weapons of federal

23     troops.

24             Isn't it whole history of mankind just one joint criminal

25     enterprise.  Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm not judging, or I'm not

Page 7471

 1     preaching morals, but please don't speak about justice and the obscure

 2     concept of the international community with so much pathos.  If I'm

 3     pronounced guilty of anything, I will answer to the victims because I

 4     respect them.

 5             On the following pages, unusual as it may seem that I deal with

 6     these things, I even wrote a critique of the doctrine of the joint

 7     criminal enterprise.  I studied the works of Professor Marijan Damaska,

 8     who retired recently, but until his retirement taught at Yale University

 9     in the USA, and at page 4, he mentions some things.  I'll skip them over.

10     It's all here in writing.  I don't wish to appear as thinking I'm the

11     smartest guy around, but it's for the Judges to decide.  But of course

12     everybody is free to study law and think about these issues, and I did

13     study ethics for 40 or 50 years, and so I also had to deal with the

14     relationship between law and morality.

15             So among other things, here it says that on the objective side,

16     there must be a joint plan, design, or intent.  It should be determined

17     that the accused person committed an act, et cetera.  We'll skip that.

18             After that, at page 5 he mentions the fogginess which accompanies

19     a notion of a common intent.  I'll read -- I'll just read out the

20     following at page 6, how the international community behaved.  It's from

21     the book written by Florence Hartmann about the protected areas which,

22     based on the decision of the permanent members of the UN

23     Security Council, were declared protected areas, where people had the

24     right to survive, et cetera.  It says here:

25             "Paris, London, and Washington failed in 1995 to undertake all

Page 7472

 1     the necessary measures to prevent genocide which was step by step

 2     prepared in front of our eyes."

 3             As early as 1993, the intuitive international representatives

 4     called the tightening of the ring surrounding the besieged enclave a slow

 5     genocide or a gradual genocide.

 6             Throughout the entire last offensive against Srebrenica from the

 7     6th until the 11th of July, 1995, the major powers didn't stop claiming

 8     that the Serbian forces, in spite of their advances, have no intention of

 9     taking the enclave.  Feigning surprise and without lifting a finger, they

10     let Mladic enter the town on the 11th of July, 1995.  Then I'm skipping a

11     bit.  Jacques Chirac let this be known and tried to convince his partners

12     to intervene.

13             On the 11th of July, the French president proposes to

14     Great Britain, the USA and Germany that they reclaim this enclave by

15     force.  The next day, France addresses the Security Council and again

16     states that it is willing to put its forces at disposal for any military

17     operation which will be judged as useful and feasible.

18             On the 13th of July, Chirac persists and calls Bill Clinton and

19     tells him in Srebrenica they separated men, which are old enough to be

20     able to carry arms, from the women, there's a danger of they're being

21     slaughtered.  The civilised nations must confront fascism and conduct a

22     decisive and limited military operation, et cetera.  Disinclined to

23     engage American troops on Bosnian soil, Clinton refuses.  Kofi Annan,

24     still the commander of peacekeeping operations at the UN, assesses the

25     French proposal as unrealistic and unfeasible, and we know what happened.

Page 7473

 1             It goes on to say that Carla Del Ponte is aware of the joint

 2     responsibility of international forces for the crime committed in

 3     Srebrenica.  She confirmed in her own words, saying:

 4             "International forces knew that in Srebrenica a slaughter of

 5     massive proportions will take place.  They were speaking about it and did

 6     nothing to prevent it."

 7             And so on.  Ms. Carla Del Ponte, in her book, says at page 9 of

 8     my text:  One of the prosecutors of the Tribunal, a Canadian, well known

 9     in his circle for his wit and his anecdotes, had an aphorism that did a

10     good job capturing the difference between the Serbs and the Croats who

11     attempted to obstruct the work of the Tribunal.  "The Serbs are

12     bastards," he used to say.  In contrast, "The Croats are perfidious

13     bastards."

14             Through my attorney, I contacted dozens of relevant addresses,

15     sending them this letter you have in front of you, claiming that

16     Del Ponte used the phrase "he used to say," which means to say that this

17     was not a singular witty remark, but the habitual chauvinist and racist

18     characterisation of all Croats as perfidious bastards.  And, secondly,

19     Carla Del Ponte repeats the words of that prosecutor with no

20     restrictions, which means that she completely agrees with such an

21     opinion, which is in line with the formulation of that statement.

22             If I, Slobodan Praljak, had uttered such a statement, or in any

23     form about any people or any group during the war in ex-Yugoslavia, I

24     would have been sentenced to five years on account of that only.

25             Tab 19, quid pro quo or tutu quo, as said here in this Tribunal,

Page 7474

 1     the attack of the JNA on Croatian BiH, helped by the organised and armed

 2     formations of local Serbs, sent hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing

 3     from burning villages; concentration camps, the killing of civilians,

 4     destruction, rape, were all part of that aggression.

 5             As in social relations, there is nothing but a law of causal

 6     relationship, that is, the law of action and reaction.  When individuals

 7     or smaller organised groups outside of the control of the already weak

 8     government at all levels, the pain and despair makes them cross the

 9     threshold of what is legally permissible, revenge occurs.  This is true

10     of both attacked peoples, the Muslims and Croats alike.  It was like that

11     in every war, or has been like that in every war, to a greater or lesser

12     degree.  With the passing of time and due to the mixed population, the

13     war in BiH began, by the course of its own logic, to assume the

14     characteristics of a civil war.  The Muslims, pushed to the brink of

15     extinction by Serbian conquest, expulsion and other acts, along with the

16     international denial of the right to defence by the introduction of the

17     embargo on the import of weapons, accepted the help of the fighters from

18     the Islamic world, the Mujahedin.  The Mujahedin introduced into that war

19     chaotic elements of a religious war and substantially contributed to the

20     idea of attacking the Croats.

21             It is understood that a commander at any level, including others

22     who hold any kind of office in that chaos, cannot take decisions contrary

23     to International Law of War.  That is not disputable.  What is

24     disputable, however, is the thesis of the Prosecutor, and I fear the

25     honourable Judges might reduce the entire system in a similar war, that

Page 7475

 1     the impossibility of managing all the parts of that chaos is guilt.  That

 2     idea sprang in the heads of many who called themselves -- call themselves

 3     intellectuals and humanists.

 4             One of them says that in 1992 he came to Mostar to help, but when

 5     he saw the chaos, he returned home.  Most of that spurious

 6     intellectualism and humanism in people with such a mindset is then

 7     reflected in retelling these stories in lounges, stories about the people

 8     who remained, and if there is something they don't like in the

 9     phenomenology of war, they will put the blame on them.  I personally

10     despise the role of war theatre audiences and observers, and irrespective

11     of acts which must be sanctioned.  Here is what I say about 98 percent of

12     the boys and girls I commanded:  Glory be to those who decided to defend

13     the Thermopylae, which is a quotation from the Greek poet Kavafis.  I

14     respect their death, their wounds, courage, their freezing in the

15     trenches, their poor clothes and boots, poor food, the despair that

16     filled them when they thought about what would happen to their parents if

17     they get killed, the poor armaments and very often unclear aim and point

18     of this struggle, which had too many unprincipled and immoral conductors.

19             The unprincipled proposals of the international community in

20     wartime BiH bereaved those deaths from the only possible sense too often.

21     States are created by peoples, and not the other way around.

22             Finally, for the sake of truth, we should mention that even the

23     International Law of War in some cases accepts the quid pro quo logic.

24     This is what I found in the literature to which I had access; namely, the

25     book by Professor Gavro Perazic from Belgrade about the International Law

Page 7476

 1     of War; both that book and other books which I read during the war about

 2     the International Law of War, some Swiss books or books of other origin

 3     translated; and they say that in certain cases, when the enemy violates

 4     International Humanitarian Law constantly, there is the right to

 5     retaliation.  However, "retaliation" may be too harsh a word, because it

 6     points toward the biblical principal of an eye for an eye, so that

 7     nowadays "reprisals" is the more common word nowadays, and the definition

 8     of "reprisals" is:  Reprisals represent a breach of war law as a response

 9     to the breach of this law on the part of the enemy whose purpose is the

10     cessation of this breach.

11             Honourable Judge Prandler, it was not my idea for a moment that

12     tu quoque could be a form of law.  I always spoke only about the

13     following:  that in society, it can't always be avoided that in a chaotic

14     state and bearing in mind a causal response, the role of those who should

15     prevent and uncover, et cetera, becomes exponentially more difficult as

16     the wartime chaos grows worse, especially as this war went on for quite a

17     time.

18             How much time have I left, Your Honours?

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber's legal

20     officer told me five minutes, so that you've used so far one hour and

21     thirteen minutes.  You must have 15 minutes left so we could get to 4.00.

22     You've got the clock here in the courtroom here.  Make sure you finish at

23     4.00.

24             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Tab 20, war crime, crime in

25     war.

Page 7477

 1             When, in the Croatia language, we transform the noun "war" into

 2     an adjective, we get an assembly consisting of a non-flexible adjective

 3     and a noun, "war crime."  A non-inflexible adjective, "ratni," the term

 4     is the essence of the concept of the noun "rat" or "war" in front of

 5     which it is placed.  Likewise, Croatian orthography, Croatian literature,

 6     French wine, Swiss watches, in this manner a special meaning is given to

 7     a subset of orthography of wine and watches.  Likewise, to any crime in a

 8     war, a special cognitive content is given.  It is extracted from the

 9     individual and transferred and directed to the structural part of war,

10     the political and military commanding set.  I do not agree with this.

11     Why would a crime in a war be different from a crime in peacetime?  A war

12     crime is a crime which stems from a foundation, in the words of Hazel,

13     i.e., a political idea which is realised by war, by ways and means which

14     include crime, a political idea that can be realised only by crime.  This

15     is, for example, the idea of the Nazi German political thought.  This is

16     the idea of the Communist Stalinist in Poland and the killing of Polish

17     forces in the Katyn forest, and many other similar examples.  I will not

18     here expound on the Serbian political thought which led to the aggression

19     in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, or indeed on whether what

20     happened in that war confirms the war crime as founded.  I will also not

21     dwell on the Islamic declaration, nor will I explore whether goals

22     contained in that documents can be realised without war and war crimes.

23             One thing I do know beyond any reasonable doubt is that Croatia's

24     political and military structures in Croatia, and Croatian political and

25     military structures in Bosnia-Herzegovina, never had as their goal

Page 7478

 1     anywhere anything that could be realised only by one form or another of

 2     war crime.

 3             War itself favours an increasing in criminal acts by contrast to

 4     a social state of peace for a number of reasons, too many in fact to be

 5     listed here.  I will dwell on some aspects of social psychology at a

 6     later stage, though.

 7             As Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina can contemplate with this

 8     aggression, how to create their states and change their political

 9     systems, they were partly occupied with their utility, economic and

10     social structure in tatters, Bosnia-Herzegovina more so than Croatia.

11     The number of problems and difficulties in such a situation is difficult

12     to even imagine for those who have never experienced such a thing.  That

13     is why the crimes committed by the members of the Croatia people in

14     Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are crimes beyond any doubt at all, but

15     also it is beyond any doubt that these crimes are crimes in a war.  They

16     did not happen due to their foundation in an idea or a political desire,

17     inclination, aspiration, by those who managed and commanded, but in spite

18     of the foundation, desire, inclination, intention and action.  Just as we

19     do not use the phrase "Parisian crimes" for crimes that occur in Paris or

20     American crimes in relation to any criminal offences committed in the

21     course of a year in America or generally civilian crimes in relation to

22     everything that goes on in the civilised societies in peacetime, much in

23     the same way I think it is necessary to distinguish the meanings of

24     crimes committed in war before we go on to classify them as war crimes

25     or, alternatively, crimes committed in a war.

Page 7479

 1             On the contrary, taking into account the number of criminal

 2     offences, we could easily be attempted to accuse of joint criminal

 3     enterprise the governments, police, ministers, and mayors of many Western

 4     countries because they do succeed, in spite of all their resources at

 5     their disposal, in reducing the number of such offences below a certain

 6     not even very low limit, and the number of those they manage to bring to

 7     face justice is not really satisfactory, either.  In relation to certain

 8     forms of serious crime, the figure falls under 15 percent of the total

 9     number of incidents.

10             Just in order to save time, let's move on to tab 24.  If there's

11     time left, I would like to return to 21.  Now let us try to move on to

12     24, please.

13             Indictment.  Since the year 1102, the Croats have always been

14     fighting four their statehood and survival against all the states which

15     besieged them, conquered them, and occupied their territory.  Ever since

16     1102, all there was for the Croats was the fight for survival against the

17     Ottoman intrusion, against Venice and Italy, against Austria and Hungary,

18     against Serbia, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the unitary communist Tito

19     creation.  Likewise, in 1971, within the student movement and then within

20     the Communist League of Croatia, with a huge popular support, Croatia

21     tried to gain a greater political, cultural and economic autonomy and

22     decentralisation of the SFRY.  In other words, it sought to reduce Serb

23     domination and obtain greater democratic and autonomous rights.  The

24     counter blow was strong and merciless.  Hundreds of people ended up in

25     jails.  Thousands upon thousands were left without a job.  Thousands of

Page 7480

 1     others fled the country.  The majority of the best Croatian intellectuals

 2     ended up in jails, without work, or outside the country.  Many of these

 3     distinguished emigrants were killed abroad by Yugoslav Secret Police.

 4     Let me just mention the killing of Bruno Busic in Paris.  Vlado Gotovac,

 5     a distinguished Croatian intellectual, poet and writer, was brought

 6     before a judge as an indictment was read to him, verbal offence and

 7     attempt to overthrow the socialist self-management order.  Asked to enter

 8     a plea, he answered, "The indictment is absurd.  Therefore, it is

 9     irrefutable."  He sat five to six years together with the common

10     criminals.

11             When I entered a plea about the indictment against me, I said

12     that I understood it verbally; that is, I understood the words of the

13     language in which I read it.  Its logical, cognitive and legal essence,

14     however, escaped me.  The indictment is absurd.  When, during the trial,

15     I read the books of Florence Hartmann, Carla Del Ponte, and I confirmed

16     all my suspicions about political games going on around and in the

17     Prosecution, and I understood what way of reasoning predominated there,

18     my skepticism became fully grounded.  The virtual world of political

19     interests, stories, and repetition of the message about the good guys and

20     bad guys, partiality instead of wholeness, all of that demolished the

21     factual truth.

22             Hagel was once told by some people that some facts did not agree

23     with his philosophical postulates.  He answered coldly, So much worse for

24     the facts.

25             Number 24, "Statement."  Never, nowhere, not in a single meeting,

Page 7481

 1     conference or rally, in Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war,

 2     between 1991 and 1995, did I hear anyone plan, incite, tolerate cover up,

 3     or in any other way foster or advocate any misdeed or any act punishable

 4     by any positive law, nor indeed did I do this myself.  As for members of

 5     my own people, on various occasions I would swear and yell over and above

 6     any civilised norm of behaviour.  Sometimes I would even hit a person.  I

 7     falsely signed my -- signed documents as a general, although I was never

 8     a general of the HVO.  I exercised command over certain operations,

 9     although I did not have formal authority to do that.  I made threats.  I

10     threatened Croats, of course, with acts and powers that had no legal

11     foundation, and the like.  Obviously, I am prepared to answer any

12     questions regarding that during the cross-examination.  I'll explain what

13     motives led me to do that and what the meaning of all these actions was.

14             We were brought up to not speak about ourselves, particularly not

15     speak favorably and positively about ourselves.  It is not a polite thing

16     to do and, therefore, must not be done.  In numerous interviews and

17     conversations during and after the war, I never said a single word about

18     the good that I did or, indeed, about my behaviour in the war.  Then lies

19     started mounting, false constructions, false witnesses and false truths.

20     Eventually, I was brought to face a court as a criminal.  I have had

21     enough now.  I now switch back to first person singular free from any

22     consideration visibly the so-called civic politeness and that I claim

23     that there exists the Archimedes-Praljak law which says:  Praljak,

24     immersed into war, will reduce the quantity of evil in that war by the

25     unit of one Praljak.  This unit consists of energy, daily quantity of

Page 7482

 1     hours in which this energy is active.  As far as I was concerned, this

 2     amounted to about 20 hours per day; C, passion or the speed of burning

 3     this energy; D, courage; E, knowledge; F, intelligence quotient.  Of

 4     course, all of these belong to Slobodan Praljak.

 5             As far as some of the above elements are concerned, some people

 6     may have stronger qualities than me, such as knowledge and intelligence,

 7     but those are few and far between, and the differences cannot be that

 8     significant.  This might be qualified as arrogance.  Nevertheless, in

 9     relation to each and every one of these claims, I am prepared to be

10     examined by a psychologist.  They can study my IQ, and they can determine

11     the extent of my knowledge.

12             One thing I do not admit is that anyone at the time had the

13     qualities which, added up, would give more -- would yield more than one

14     Praljak, the unit defined by the Archimedes-Praljak law.  To achieve more

15     in those times and in that position, one should have had the attributes

16     of a god.

17             My time is up.  I regret the fact that I have not been able to

18     complete this, but I will try to do my best to finish this while I'm

19     being examined by Mr. Kovacic.

20             I thank the Judges for lending me their ears.  I thank the OTP

21     for listening to my statement.

22             Thank you.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  It's time for a

24     break.  We will now break for 20 minutes.  We'll resume after the break.

25     Mr. Praljak will go to the witness box, and he will answer questions put

Page 7483

 1     to him by Mr. Kovacic after having taken the solemn declaration, of

 2     course.

 3             We'll resume in 20 minutes.

 4                           --- Recess taken at 4.01 p.m.

 5                           --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.

 6                           [The witness takes the stand]

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's proceed with the solemn

 8     declaration.

 9             General Praljak, could you please stand up.  Could you please

10     tell us, for the transcript, your name, surname, and date of birth.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Slobodan Praljak, born

12     on the 2nd of January, 1945, in Capljina.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was your last occupation?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last thing that I'm dealing

15     with is this trial here.  Previously, I retired after a long career.  I

16     have done a number of different things throughout my career, so ...

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  One last question

18     before you read the text.  Have you already testified in this Tribunal?

19     If so, could you please tell us in which case?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, I testified in

21     the Naletilic-Martinovic trial.  I appeared there as a Defence witness.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

23             Mr. Usher, could you please give the text of the solemn

24     declaration to Mr. Praljak.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

Page 7484

 1     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

 2                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK

 3                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  You may sit down.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you know exactly

 7     how things will proceed.  For three years, you've been attending this

 8     trial.

 9             You will first answer questions put to you by Mr. Kovacic.  He

10     will show you some documents, and you will give us your opinion on these

11     documents, according to the questions put to you.  After that, the other

12     counsels will put questions to you during their own cross-examinations,

13     but this is a few weeks from now because you are going to testify for

14     quite some time.  The Judges on the Bench can ask questions, of course,

15     but I told you this morning when I would take the floor, and of course my

16     fellow Judges can take the floor if they feel a need to.  After that, it

17     will be up to the Prosecution to ask questions in the framework of their

18     own cross-examination.

19             Let me tell you that during the first phase, Mr. Kovacic, the

20     other counsels, and the Judges, during that stage everything should run

21     smoothly; but you know that the Prosecutor, according to the Statute, is

22     there to lead evidence; so maybe from time to time the questioning will

23     be a bit difficult for you; but please stay cool, please listen to the

24     questions put to you by the Prosecution and answer them.  And please

25     refrain from entering into controversies with the Prosecutor.  He's only

Page 7485

 1     here to do his job.

 2             I've read with interest the different cross-examinations that

 3     were led during -- when you actually testified, and everything ran very

 4     smoothly, so I'm sure here everything will run smoothly also.  So I trust

 5     you on this account.

 6             I say this to all witnesses, and I'm saying this to you also.

 7     Try to be very concise and specific in your answers.  This is a very

 8     important moment for you.  In the Rules, the accused can testify after

 9     taking the oath, and the Judges can give probative value to what is

10     actually said.  So this is a very important moment for you, and try and

11     be as specific as possible, and very specific.

12             This being said, I will now give the floor to Mr. Kovacic so he

13     can put questions to you for his examination-in-chief, and please answer

14     all the questions put to him [as interpreted] by your lead counsel.

15             Mr. Kovacic, you have the floor.

16             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

17             Good afternoon to all.

18             If I may, there is a technical issue to deal with before I begin.

19     Today, we submitted the IC list with a delay of about 17 minutes.  It was

20     supposed to be submitted, that is the IC list, in relation to the last

21     witness, Drago Juric.  We were 17 minutes late, and it was a technical

22     hitch-up that caused this delay.  Therefore, I would like to have the

23     Chamber's permission to get the list introduced in relation to

24     Witness Juric.  There was a technical delay - Dragan Juric - and we were

25     an additional 15 minutes late.

Page 7486

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me consult with my fellow

 2     Judges.

 3                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber deliberated

 5     and notes that you have handed the IC list, with 1.020 seconds -- it was

 6     1.020 seconds late, but still we accept this filing, and we're asking the

 7     Registrar to please give us a number for it.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, the list submitted by 3D for

 9     documents -- their documents tendered through Witness Dragan Juric shall

10     be given Exhibit IC1001.  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.

12             Mr. Kovacic.

13             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

14             There is another observation that I wish to make before I begin.

15     You said that I would be doing the examination.  In fact, I will be doing

16     part of the examination, and part of the examination will be taken by

17     Ms. Pinter, my co-counsel.  We tried to carve up the work in order to be

18     as effective as possible.

19             Secondly, I would like to say something about the witness, the

20     person now appearing as witness, and bearing in mind the procedure that

21     has applied throughout in this courtroom.  We would like to invite the

22     Chamber to interrupt the examination with no hesitation whatsoever at any

23     point in time should there be any questions that you wish to ask,

24     anything at all of interest, anything that you believe needs specifying,

25     or for any other reason whatsoever.  I believe General Praljak is willing

Page 7487

 1     to respond to any such situation that may occur, and we should find it

 2     easy enough to adapt and take everything in our stride.  I don't think it

 3     will cause any major disruptions to our examination plan.

 4             The same thing, of course, applies to the cross-examination, but

 5     that is too distant now and we shall cross that bridge when we come to

 6     it.

 7             With your leave, Your Honours, I would like to commence.

 8                           Examination by Mr. Kovacic:

 9        Q.   [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Praljak.

10        A.   Good afternoon.

11        Q.   You've mentioned all these things, but I would like to ask you,

12     nevertheless, your date of birth, the 2nd of January, 1945.  You stated

13     that for the transcript.  Why am I saying that?  Because the indictment

14     does not state that.  We filed something in writing to that effect, but

15     that was never included in the indictment.  So the 2nd of January, 1945;

16     right?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Place of birth, Capljina; right?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   General Praljak, given the fact that you were born in Bosnia and

21     Herzegovina, specifically in Capljina, and that you spent a large portion

22     of your life and most of your life in Croatia, which citizenship do you

23     hold?

24        A.   I am a citizen of Croatia or, rather, I'm a citizen of both

25     states.

Page 7488

 1        Q.   Dual citizenship, then?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Is that perfectly in keeping with the laws of both these

 4     countries?

 5        A.   I don't know, Mr. Kovacic.  But if citizenship was granted, those

 6     making the call probably knew what the law said on the matter.

 7        Q.   Very well.  Thank you very much.

 8             The transcript does not record this with any degree of clarity,

 9     but it is clear that we're talking about two countries, the following two

10     countries:  Croatia, on the one hand, and Bosnia-Herzegovina on the

11     other.  I think the question that followed made this abundantly clear.

12             General, your subjective view on this objective fact, the

13     existence of dual citizenship, in a formal sense, why do you feel or see

14     yourself as a citizen of both these countries?

15        A.   Because I spent time living in both these countries and working

16     in both these countries.  I was born in one of them.  I went to school

17     there until I turned 18 -- or, rather, 17 and a half was how old I

18     actually was when I left.  My parents continued to live there, as was my

19     sister, her husband, her two children, in Sarajevo, the parents in

20     Mostar.  Even when I was in Zagreb already, I still had Mostar for a long

21     time stated as my formal place of residence.  I was in Zagreb on a

22     temporary basis, and that situation continued for a long time.

23             We all have our native areas, formally speaking, but human beings

24     tend to behave as plants when it comes to their native surroundings,

25     unlike other animals.  How I perceive myself is as a person from

Page 7489

 1     Herzegovina, that's where I feel I belong, is the joy that I feel when I

 2     go there; it's this feeling of being pleased to see the native stones of

 3     my native area.  Obviously, I have a great time whenever I go to Paris, I

 4     like visiting museums and all that, but this is how I feel about this

 5     subject.

 6             I lived and worked in Croatia, but then there is Bosnia and

 7     Herzegovina too.  These two countries, I am a citizen of both these

 8     countries, which is not the most unusual thing that, well, one might come

 9     across, surely.

10        Q.   General, sir, what was the reason that as early as 1992, in those

11     difficult times, you decided to leave and go to Bosnia and Herzegovina?

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Kovacic, you have so kindly invited us to

13     ask questions to clarify.

14             Mr. Praljak, do you have two passports?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour.  I have

18     documents from both countries, but I don't have the BH passport.  I never

19     applied for it, the simple reason being the restrictions in travel for

20     holders of that passport are far greater than those applying to holders

21     of Croatian passports.  That is why I don't have both, but I have all the

22     on the personal documents, such as the ID card and all the rest.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  [No interpretation]

24             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to answer the question I

Page 7490

 1     asked you previously.  What was your motive?  Why did you go to

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, as early as that; your own personal,

 3     subjective motives?

 4        A.   It was with a very high degree of certainty and precision, or to

 5     the extent that it's possible in the setting of a social science, or any

 6     social science which always, by nature, is probabilistic, that I knew

 7     what the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina would be like, what sort of war would

 8     be waged.

 9             If the Chamber so wishes, or anyone else, for that matter, I can

10     bring a whole lot of people here who can tell you that I had predicted

11     the war in Yugoslavia 15 years before it even began.

12             My interest in the social sciences and my professional

13     inclinations, the amount of information I had available to me, was

14     telling me one thing.  The Yugoslav crisis could not be resolved in a

15     peaceful way.  The only way for it to be resolved in a peaceful way was

16     for someone from abroad to intervene in this crisis, what we refer to as

17     the international community or the great powers.  Everything that, in a

18     political and social sense in Yugoslavia, kept growing, kept

19     accumulating, ever since the 1970s; the movement that we refer to as the

20     Croatian spring, pointed to one thing.  The Serbian thought in a social

21     sense was developing in one direction.  They would never be willing to

22     allow for a peaceful disintegration of Yugoslavia by allowing the

23     republics who, under the 1974 Constitution, had state-like powers, and

24     this in turn was something that had been implanted in the first

25     Constitution in Jajce for Yugoslavia back during the war, and then

Page 7491

 1     particularly it was the power of the ZAVNOH, Croatia's partisan movement,

 2     at its meeting in Toposko, and it was then that Croatia was defined as a

 3     state and, as such, would form part of the Federative People's Republic

 4     of Yugoslavia.

 5             Needless to say, I could go on enumerating people who know about

 6     that, well-respected intellectuals and writers.  I harped on and on about

 7     this for years, knowing what would happen.  I also knew, when I was

 8     involved in the war in Croatia in Sunja, I told Pesa and a lot of other

 9     witnesses about this as well.  Besides, I was well familiar with the

10     plans being hatched by the JNA.  Those plans, as we are about to see,

11     based on books produced by JNA generals, envisaged, as one of their most

12     important objectives, to advance towards the sea through the Neretva

13     River valley from Kupres, the Kupres Plateau, having taken the Kupres

14     Plateau and Livno.

15             As someone who clearly and unequivocally made himself available

16     when Croatia was created as a state and as someone who is willing to

17     contribute to the resistance against the aggressor, my departure for

18     Herzegovina was nothing if not a logical conclusion of my moral views,

19     above all.

20        Q.   Thank you very much.  If I may just go back to some details.  In

21     the indictment, your nickname is stated as well.  Can you please tell the

22     Court if you have a nickname and what that nickname would be?

23        A.   I've had quite a number of nicknames throughout my life,

24     Zeleni -- when I went to school in Mostar, they called me "Zeleni," which

25     means the green one.  I used to wear a green shirt, which is why they

Page 7492

 1     called me "Green" or "Zeleni."  At university, they called me "George"

 2     for a while.  Back at Sunja, they called me "Hemingway."  In Siroki

 3     Brijeg, because I have a serious injury to my right leg and therefore I

 4     limped, therefore they called me "Limpy Sljakota."  And then they called

 5     me "The Beard," "Brada," during the war.  This is a perfectly common

 6     nickname for someone who supports a beard.

 7        Q.   What about this last name, "Brada" or "The Beard," is that a

 8     much-used nickname?  What about your close associates and friends, do

 9     they call you "Brada"?

10        A.   No.

11        Q.   Is that therefore something, a nickname that one only comes

12     across very seldom?

13        A.   I don't really know.  The nickname may have been used every now

14     and again.  It wasn't one that I liked or accepted, for that matter, but

15     people can do what they like.  I didn't really put up a fight when they

16     called me that.  They called me "Caca," "Sefer," "Stari," simply because

17     I was older than most of the lads there; therefore they called me

18     "Stari," which means "Oldie."

19        Q.   General, the Trial Chamber should maybe hear something about your

20     education, where it started, where it finished, about your degrees, what

21     you did as a student, and then we will move on to what you did after you

22     graduated.  Maybe you can start with your education, for everybody's

23     benefit.

24        A.   If I provided thorough information, it would take too long.  I

25     completed the first four years of elementary education in Rama and

Page 7493

 1     Prozor, where my father was a civil servant in the Communist Yugoslavia.

 2     He had been a partisan, both him and my mother, and then he went on

 3     working in the State Security Services.  We moved a lot, so the first

 4     four years I completed in Rama, and then the next six years in

 5     Siroki Brijeg.  That was the time when I acquired my first friends, when

 6     I forged my first friendships, and when I found my footing in a town

 7     where I lived.  I went to school with Gojko Susak, who would then go on

 8     to become a minister in the Republic of Croatia, a defence minister, and

 9     for three or four years we shared the same bench.  We were very good

10     friends, and I believe that they separated us because we were

11     mischievous.  They moved me forward to the front bench.

12             After that, I completed two years of grammar school in Mostar.

13     After that, I went to Zagreb, like a lot of students then because there

14     was no higher education in Mostar at the time, and all of my friends from

15     Siroki Brijeg went to university in Zagreb.  I enrolled at the School of

16     Electrical Engineering, and I graduated from that school with a GP --

17     grade point average of 4, and my graduate thesis was about the correction

18     of chromatic image in the main of an electrical signal, which belongs in

19     the area of telecommunications, and especially television work.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, it would be helpful if you would

21     tell us 4 out of how much is for the maximum, or is 5 the maximum, or 1,

22     or 6?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's why I'm saying that my

24     life has been rather rich and complicated.  Your Honour Judge Trechsel,

25     the study of electrical engineering lasts eight semesters, and the ninth

Page 7494

 1     semester is graduate semester.  It took me three years to complete

 2     three years to complete three -- the first -- the third and the fourth

 3     year, and then one to complete the second year.  In the second year of my

 4     studies, for very clear reasons --

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, please.  I seem to have badly

 6     expressed myself.  The question --

 7             MR. KOVACIC:  Your Honour, it wasn't your fault, it was the

 8     translation.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Anyway, I'm not -- the important thing is I'm

10     not blaming Mr. Praljak.

11             The only question was:  You said "Grade 4."  Your notes, your

12     result, was number 4.  Now, number 4 only has a content if one knows what

13     the scale was, 1 to 100, or 1 to 10, or 1 to 5.

14             1 to 5, you show with a show of hands.  Thank you.

15             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] The misunderstanding was due to

16     interpretation.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maximum, excellent, was 5.  My

18     graduate thesis was graded with grade 5 and my grade point average was 4.

19             In 1966, I enrolled in the School of Philosophy, because in the

20     second year of my electrical engineering studies, I realised that I

21     didn't want to be an electrical engineer all my life, and for many other

22     reasons I had fallen apart.  If you ask me, you Judges or somebody else,

23     why that happened, I can say that my education and knowledge that I

24     picked up in my parents' home was diametrically contrary to what I later

25     on learned in Zagreb.  The objective reality and the perception of

Page 7495

 1     Communism that I received in my parents' home was completely contrary to

 2     everything that I encountered later on in my life.  There were some other

 3     reasons, but for those reasons I had fallen apart.  It lasted for two

 4     years, and for the two years I did not go to lectures.  And then I

 5     started studying again in 1966, when I enrolled in the School of

 6     Philosophy, studying philosophy and sociology; and that was a

 7     precondition for enrolling in the Academy of Theatre Studies that I

 8     wanted to study.  The necessary precondition was for one to have

 9     completed four years of studying at the School of Philosophy in Zagreb,

10     and only then could you become a student at the Academy.

11             In 1968, when I was in the second or the third year of the School

12     of Philosophy, there was a reform of education and the curriculum of the

13     Academy was from then on lasting four years.  And as of that year, 1968,

14     over 125 students who applied for three places at the Academy, I was one

15     who had -- who was admitted.

16             In the meantime, I worked, I drank a lot of the time, I went to

17     Sweden to work there for three or four months, I washed dishes, and I

18     worked in the Akla [phoen] company in the street that the interpreter

19     cannot repeat the name of.  So in any case, my life was a typical student

20     life.  I worked, I worked hard, and I was rather confused at the time.

21             I graduated from the School of Electrical Engineering at the

22     beginning of 1970.  I graduated from the School of Philosophy in 1971,

23     and then I graduated from the film Academy in 1972 with a grade of 5.  My

24     graduate thesis at the School of Philosophy was the possibility of

25     establishing ethics within the philosophy of Karl Marx.  That was the

Page 7496

 1     essential question as to whether a system that perceived history only as

 2     a necessary evil for the development of production forces, would it be

 3     possible to establish any ethnic issue in such a system, and such issues

 4     obviously implied the issue of choice.  And the issues of the possible

 5     establishment of morality and the philosophical branch deals in morality,

 6     i.e., ethics, is something I've been interested in ever since with more

 7     or less success.  However, this would take me too far.

 8             Upon the graduation from the School of Electrical Engineering, I

 9     had to find employment, so first I started teaching at a technical

10     school, and I was the head of the laboratory for electronics there, and

11     that's how I earned a living.

12             In 1972, upon graduating from the Film Academy, I became a film

13     director.  I resigned from that school, and then I became a professional

14     artist without permanent employment.  I was a freelance film director.  I

15     directed some 20 theatre plays.  I also directed two television films,

16     one television series, one feature movie that was presented at several

17     film festivals, one of them being in Mannheim, where I was invited to

18     present my film.

19             Towards the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, when

20     the crisis in Yugoslavia was rampant and there was no money to be had, I

21     again started working at a school for adult education.  The education at

22     that school lasted for four semesters, and it was for adults who were in

23     permanent employment but still wanted to continue their education.  I was

24     teaching three subjects, the basics of electrotechnics, the theory of

25     electrotechnics, and the theory of automatic regulation, and I also

Page 7497

 1     taught a sociology subject with was the theory of communication.

 2             Of the theatre plays that you might be familiar with that deal

 3     with social issues, I directed Brecht's play, "A Man is a Man," which

 4     concerns the transformation of a peasant into a soldier.  I also directed

 5     a play by Jean-Paul Romber [phoen], "The Dreyfus Affair."  The text of

 6     that drama was rewarded as the best drama text in Europe that year, and I

 7     had seen it in Komaspiel [phoen] and Munich before that with Ronald Pekni

 8     [phoen] in the main role, a very brilliant actor.  I also adapted two

 9     novels for theatre.  One was "The Clockwork Orange," which served the

10     English director, a greater English director, to direct the movie.  I'm

11     trying to -- Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick.  However, Stanley Kubrick put a

12     ban on showing that movie in the States with the reign of Communism.

13     However, the author of the novel, Anthony Burgess, gave me the copyright,

14     and I used that to make my play in Zagreb.

15             I also directed a play by somebody who escaped Russia in the

16     1930s, and in that play he brilliantly described the functioning of the

17     Communist system, the expulsions, and the acceptance of people to accuse

18     their closest -- their dearest friends of the gravest of crimes without

19     any physical force because they believed that that would contribute to

20     the improving of the world by way of the Communist idea.

21             After that, political preparations started in Croatia.  I got

22     involved in the political life, fully aware of what lie ahead of us and

23     fully aware of the fact that my moral obligation was to join all that, or

24     the truth be told, I had never had any political ambitions before that,

25     nor did I think that in times like that politics should be discussed in

Page 7498

 1     the same way one discusses politics in organised societies.

 2             I call these pre-political times, because political times are the

 3     times when governments are dealing with agriculture, taxes, and things

 4     like that.  When a state is created, this is not politics.  It's a moral

 5     obligation of every human being.  These were the times that the Croatian

 6     people had gambled several times before that, and according to all of our

 7     analyses that was one of our last chances, if not the last chances, for

 8     Croatians, as a people, to gain their state in which everybody would be

 9     feeling as any other citizens of the civilised part of the world.

10        Q.   Thank you very much.  I would not dwell upon your

11     curriculum vitae too long, although there is a lot there that could be

12     discussed.  However, I would like to use the time to say a few things

13     about some general topics.

14             First of all, your time for the opening statement was cut short,

15     and you wanted to say some other things.  That's why I would like to use

16     my time to give you the floor and say something about the topics that are

17     close to your heart, the topics that you witnessed, and the topics that

18     you know a lot about.

19             First of all, let me ask you about the drinking water in Mostar

20     in 1992 and 1993, and especially after the 30th of June, 1993.  The

21     question that I'm putting to you directly arises from the indictment,

22     because there is a claim in the indictment that the HVO used drinking

23     water, i.e., the supply of drinking water for the east of Mostar, as a

24     means of coercion or inhuman coercion against Mostar.  Could you please

25     say something about that?  We've already heard a lot about that in this

Page 7499

 1     courtroom, but I believe that you're in a position to fill in some gaps.

 2        A.   I asked to complete my former answer.  While I was studying, I

 3     worked as a waiter in Germany for five summers in a row.  I took all of

 4     my exams very early in April, and then I would go to Schwiesel, close to

 5     Swiss and French border in Germany, and I would work there as a waiter,

 6     and that's how I was able to finance my studies.  I would earn quite a

 7     lot of money.  And after that, I got an official certificate from that

 8     hotel, and that certificate entitles me to the position of a waiter; not

 9     a bad one, I believe.

10             And now on to the question.  The Prosecutor says that from 30th

11     of June, 1993, there was no drinking water in the mains and accuses the

12     HVO for that.  Who was it, in 1992, who damaged the source of Radoje in

13     Mostar and Studenac in Rastani?  The sources that served to supply the

14     city of Mostar with drinking water.  Who controlled the source in Rastani

15     and up to then?  It was the BiH Army after the 24th of August, 1993.  Who

16     was it who destroyed bridges in Mostar?  Who destroyed the pipes in

17     Mostar that connected the sources of drinking water on the right bank of

18     the Neretva with the eastern part of the city, who and where and how they

19     did it, how they damaged the water supply network, how old that network

20     was, and what was the technical condition of the water supply network?

21             All these are things that the Prosecutor doesn't mention at all.

22     What was the loss of water?  Because of the poor state of repair of all

23     the pipes before the artillery attacks of the JNA on Mostar in 1992.

24     What was the quantity of water in those two sources in the summer, and

25     especially in the very hot summer of 1993?  What was the pressure of the

Page 7500

 1     water in all those pipes, and why there had to be pumps to pump waters up

 2     to the highest floors of the buildings?  Who and when and to what purpose

 3     took a generator pump that should have pumped water to the high -- higher

 4     levels of buildings on the eastern side of Mostar?  Why is it that during

 5     the time between June 1992, when the railroad bridge was destroyed and

 6     the northern entrance of Mostar, and thus the main pipe for the supply of

 7     water to Mostar from the source in Rastani was interrupted, and August

 8     1993, why that pipe was not replaced via a dam that was not far from

 9     there?

10             How come that the authorities in East Mostar, after the attack of

11     the BiH Army on the 9th of May, 1993, and the cease-fire that was agreed

12     after that, did not ask to inspect the main pipes on the boulevard and

13     the main valves there?  Why didn't they amend the pipes across the Old

14     Bridge?  After the attack of the BiH Army and the treason of the HVO on

15     the part of the Muslim members of the HVO on the 30th of June, 1993, why

16     didn't the authorities in East Mostar engage the UNPROFOR and present to

17     them the problem of water, like they did the problem of the wounded, and

18     the latter was then resolved?  How come they did not ask for the

19     procurement of a dozen of pumps?  With the help of fire-fighting hoses

20     and pipes, they would have been able to bring water to the sufficient

21     number of places.  I'm talking about the water from the River Neretva,

22     which was good enough to drink at the time.

23             Mr. Kovacic, the Prosecutor does --

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  Mr. Praljak, I cannot help noticing

25     that for about two pages of transcript now, you have been asking one

Page 7501

 1     question after another, all sentences which end with a question mark.

 2     Actually, I thought you want to deposit here as a witness, and the

 3     witness doesn't ask questions.  The witness gives answers.  He says what

 4     he has actually seen or heard or witnessed.  So I wonder whether it would

 5     not be preferable and more germane to the phase of the proceedings if,

 6     instead of this way of putting questions, you would actually behave like

 7     a witness and speak like a witness.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, there

 9     are questions which are simply answers.  I could answer all of my

10     questions by just saying that was that.  These are grammatical questions,

11     but not the questions of logic.  I am simply saying that all of my

12     questions are suggesting the answer, and the answer is this:  They did

13     not ask for the procurement of some 10 pumps.  They did not ask for the

14     problem of water to be resolved in the same way as the problem of the

15     wounded.  They did not repair the main.  They did not build a water work

16     across the dam.  These are not questions in the sense I could put be

17     putting them to somebody else.  These are claims shaped as questions.

18             All of these questions are actually claims, assertions.  What I'm

19     saying is that the Prosecutor should have asked the same questions.  They

20     should have asked the question how the water supplies filled were once

21     it's empty, what is the technical procedure, what is the health

22     procedure.  We should have been provided an answer to the question as to

23     who from the HVO and when issued the decision for the eastern part of

24     Mostar to be cut off from the water supply.  Who was it who implemented

25     the decision, how this was done in technical terms.  None of that were we

Page 7502

 1     able to hear from anybody.  We only heard that the HVO was to blame,

 2     either the military part or the civilian part, or the two together.  And

 3     if we don't manage to prove our innocence, that would be the fact.

 4             We have never been faced with facts denying things.  The Defence

 5     counsel and myself were drawing a map and they were saying they had a

 6     source in Rastani, they could talk to UNPROFOR, they had a possibility to

 7     build a water main, to ask for financial aid, like they did for the

 8     supply of electricity, the telephone lines, and so on and so forth.  I

 9     have used questions here to say one thing, a claim:  East Mostar does not

10     have water, the HVO is to blame, and that claim caused hours upon hours

11     of trying to prove some technical details, who, where, what, who remained

12     the pump from the water supply to take it to the war hospital, which of

13     course was important and was a valid thing to do.  However, it remains

14     unclear.  Why did they not ask for some ten pumps to be able to pump the

15     water from the Neretva River by using simple firefighters' hoses?

16             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I understood your additional

17     answer well -- Mr. Praljak, but I am not going to use the question form

18     any more.  I am going to transform them into assertions or in direct

19     speech, if you so wish.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Let me make it clear that the kind of answers

21     that a witness is expected to give are answers that can be true or

22     untrue.  You bring forward allegations, arguments, accusations, which do

23     not quite respond to this.  I just want to assist you to use your time in

24     the most effective possible way according to the rules of the procedure.

25             Thank you.

Page 7503

 1             Mr. Kovacic, please continue.

 2             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I believe that we will resolve one

 3     thing, that is partly due to the interpretation and partly to an

 4     incomplete sentence.

 5             In his answer, General Praljak asked rhetorical questions that

 6     contain assertions in themselves.  This is what he was trying to tell us.

 7     Partly, the answer was lost in translation, due to a misunderstanding.

 8     However, I'm going to resolve the dilemma with just one question.

 9        Q.   General, we heard your evaluation of the whole problem and all

10     the possible problems that may have originated from that, and from that

11     somebody might have drawn erroneous conclusions.  Let me just ask you one

12     thing.  Did the HVO intentionally cut off East Mostar from water supply?

13        A.   No.

14        Q.   Well, that's the case, yes.  Thank you very much.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.  General, let me

16     stray from what I promised to do earlier this afternoon.  I have a

17     question on your curriculum vitae; nothing to do with the merits of the

18     indictment, as such.

19             Earlier on, you told us that you studied and then you studied

20     electrical engineering, and then you became an artist, and as such,

21     that's the thing that struck me, you said that you directed several

22     plays.  You mention a "A Man is a Man" by Bertolt Brecht.  As you know,

23     this play was written in 1925, but rewritten in 1938.  It is the story of

24     a man who changed his life, is going to forget his wife, and then is

25     going to become a soldier in the British Army.  Under special

Page 7504

 1     circumstances, because there's a looting part in it, one does not want to

 2     give himself up.  And then Galigay [phoen], who is the central character

 3     in the play, joins this rifle infantry unit.  He changes his life.  The

 4     question is whether he's going to become a wise man or a monster.

 5             When you decided to put this play on stage, did it prompt you to

 6     join the army?  Did you draw a lesson from that play or not?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you were able to

 8     identify my basic interest.  This is exactly how I directed that play.

 9     An English unit lost a soldier someplace, and they -- well, that can't

10     be, and then in a very short time they turn a simple fisherman into a

11     soldier, and that unit later on destroys everything, et cetera.  I am not

12     a soldier, in the usual sense.  I was a discharged from the Yugoslav Army

13     as unable to serve.  I had problems with my leg and other problems.  I

14     underwent several operations because of many accidents that happened to

15     me.  I fell a number of times, et cetera.  But certainly war is one of

16     the most severe shapes human society takes, and many interpretations by

17     many sociologists reject that as something a humanist mustn't deal with,

18     something vulgar.  People are killed, and that isn't anything that we

19     should deal with, that isn't our problem.  It escapes sociological

20     analysis, because sociology only can look at things until a war and after

21     war.  War is a point of singularity where explosions are possible, and

22     things that happen like in the big bang, things cannot be forecast.

23             So at the individual level, that's something that some

24     sociologists deal with and describe it as an incident where a personality

25     is completely decompensated, and two things are very specially important

Page 7505

 1     here.  The Nobel Prize winner, Conrad de Laurent [phoen], who

 2     participated in the First World War and studied that, says that there are

 3     too variables; the moral firmness of a man and the duration of temptation

 4     are two very different things, two very different notions, and therefore

 5     what happens often is that people who initially we think that they have a

 6     very firm moral integrity, at a certain moment simply break up, fall

 7     apart, and other people, who didn't stand out by the force of their moral

 8     conviction, live through a war and, at the most difficult moments, they

 9     live up to the situation.  Well, he goes into the detail and describes

10     how moral decomposition takes place, et cetera.

11             So Brecht's interpretation is something that I read about this

12     war.  I read a lot about the Second World War, about the landing.  I was

13     interested in why the French military that had two and a half million

14     armed men and had prepared for defence for a long time could have been

15     defeated by much smaller units, what the command system was like, the

16     command-and -control structure, communications, et cetera; and that

17     directed me to two great researchers of war from whom the sociology --

18     not only the sociology of war started, and that was from Von Scharnhorst

19     and Klauzevic; and the Napoleonic war, the lines made up of Prussia,

20     Austria, England, and Spain were losing their first dozen or so battles

21     to Napoleon, and so these two theoreticians asked the questions:  How

22     come that these structured armies by functioning states can possibly lose

23     a war.  They had -- it is possible to lose a battle because of an

24     incompetent commander, but losing battle after battle is something else.

25             A France that had been out of a revolution, that was at the peak

Page 7506

 1     of its strength, but had a relatively untrained military staff, although

 2     Napoleon produced generals and field marshals at a more rapid pace than

 3     we did at the HVO, we had no choice but proceed that way.  And if we look

 4     at the Battle of Borodin against Kutuzov, both sides lost a total of

 5     about 100 generals.  That was a time when generals also got killed, and

 6     still Napoleon was able to continue the war.

 7             And war is a -- accompanies all of human history.  At schools and

 8     at universities, nobody has studied, except sporadically, how this

 9     phenomenon comes about and why we abound in war the way we do.

10             When the war -- or, rather, since the war started in

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to the information that we have, thousands

12     of people got killed all over the world, including Rwanda, et cetera.

13             I also studied Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the dropping of the

14     nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the ethical problem of

15     bombing Dresden and Nuremburg and Hamburg; and I read the transcripts

16     from the Nuremberg trials.  I had a huge amount of energy.  I read much

17     more than I do now, and most of what I read, I remembered.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stop you here.  You have

19     provided an explanation.  Of course, it could be much longer, but you

20     have answered my question.

21             Please proceed, Mr. Kovacic.

22             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Just one remark, please.  I'm not

23     really speaking to Mr. Praljak, but to Mr. Kovacic.

24             Mr. Kovacic, you asked the witness to speak briefly about his

25     school background and professional background, as well as university

Page 7507

 1     background, of course.  He's here testifying.  You did not ask him about

 2     his military background because you wanted him to speak about the water

 3     problems.  There's something missing, because rightly there was a link

 4     between the play that was mentioned and the very life of the witness.

 5     But have you planned to ask him about his military background so that we

 6     may learn a little bit more about his personality?

 7             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for

 8     pointing this out.  I just wanted to go through the CV briefly and then

 9     touch upon some issues, and then return to the CV.  But given your

10     intervention and given the fact that there is a natural sequence here,

11     perhaps we should stick to the CV, all the more so that as

12     General Praljak, by his previous statement, has actually returned to

13     that.

14        Q.   So, General, you said that you went to Bosnia-Herzegovina on your

15     own accord because it was your wish.  Bearing in mind the indictment, the

16     points of the indictment, and let us now stick to 1992, and please

17     mention the times and functions that you had there, as you went there as

18     a volunteer.

19        A.   Okay, let us finish this.

20             Then toward the end of 1988, many people in Croatia were aware

21     that some sort of disaster was nearing, and those who were in opposition

22     to the system started to meet and an underground political life sprang

23     into being.  In groups of five to ten people, we started preparing for

24     what was to come.  I was involved, and in February 1990 I was at the

25     constituting assembly of the HDZ, when a declaration was to be adopted

Page 7508

 1     and when a course of action was to be determined.  Those were very lively

 2     meetings, but we'll hear more about that.

 3             In the spring of 1992, I gave up all political office that I had

 4     and I was the general secretary of a major political party, and I went to

 5     Sunja as a soldier, as a private.  I had my boots, and I was ready to

 6     fight in the war.  Let me be very clear about it.  I would have fought

 7     and I wouldn't have surrendered whether Croatia had organised itself or

 8     not, I wouldn't have run.  So in Sunja, after seven days I became a

 9     commander, and I was there until early March 1992.

10             After that, I went down there.  It is true that about strategy

11     and tactics and all the essential elements of warfare, I knew a lot due

12     to my extensive reading.  Of course, I didn't know many technical details

13     about what a Zolja is, or an Osa.  I knew about digging trenches, though,

14     from the First World War.  You had to defend yourself against artillery

15     shells, what was very important for Croatian volunteers in the early

16     days, because they didn't have weapons to stand up against the enemy on

17     an equal footing.

18             But I had people skills.  When I lectured the boys and later on,

19     and after being promoted commander, I became the assistant minister of

20     defence for psychological and information activity.  This was called the

21     Political Department of the Ministry, which was an important department.

22     I had hundreds of people under me.  I organised all activities.  I had a

23     good team of psychologists, a number of people with doctorate degrees,

24     et cetera, because to my mind it was the most important thing to pick the

25     right people.  If you have the right people, things will work out.  And

Page 7509

 1     if you only have a structure on paper, but the people you have cannot

 2     work in accordance with those declarations and resolutions, then it will

 3     amount to nothing.

 4             So I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina from the 10th of April, 1992, in

 5     the Operation Zone South-East Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then I returned and

 6     lead the attack operations to liberate the right and then the left bank

 7     of the Neretva.  I left and came back.  I went to pacify the situation in

 8     Rama or in Uskoplje.  I spent an hour and -- a month and a half

 9     travelling from Travnik, Novi Sad [as interpreted], Travnik and Uskoplje,

10     Konjic, other places, but it will become more clear once we see the

11     documents.

12             Much work was involved in that.  I could go on for hours speaking

13     about it, but without documents it wouldn't do, so let's not proceed that

14     way.

15             I made notes of certain things, because my mind isn't so supple

16     as it used to be, and there is this excellent book, "Eclipse at Noon" by

17     a Jewish author, Arthur Kestler.  It's a book about the Stalinist system.

18             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm going to correct one particular point here.

19     When you speak about Kestler, he was not a -- although he was Jewish, but

20     he was Hungarian.  It is what I would like to note for the record.  Thank

21     you.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.  So then he was a

23     Hungarian Jew who escaped from Stalin's practices and wrote a brilliant

24     book.  Thank you, Your Honour.

25             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just a minor correction for the

Page 7510

 1     sake of the transcript, to avoid any misunderstanding.

 2        Q.   General, at the beginning of your reply you mentioned that after

 3     Sunja "I went down there," on page 60, line 20.  What did you mean?

 4        A.   I said so.  South-East Herzegovina, Mostar, Capljina.

 5        Q.   And then you mentioned the rest in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   Although it's implied, let me ask another concrete question to

 8     end with.  You spoke about your departure to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  In what

 9     capacity did you go there?  Did anyone send you?  Did they tell you,

10     Mr. Praljak, go there and do that, or was it of your own accord?

11        A.   It was of my own accord, it was my own will.

12        Q.   In the transcript, page 61, line 21, it says "Novi Sad."  It

13     should be "Novi Travnik."

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Good.  I would like to continue about the environment.  I would

16     like to know some basic conditions, and we will now start tackling some

17     subjects and then move on to some details.

18             Let me hear about the telephones.  Why are telephones important?

19     Who controlled them?

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak and Mr. Kovacic.  I would

21     like to add a question on your departure for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22             You had a position in Croatia.  I suppose you could not simply

23     abandon that without telling anybody, so how was that done?  Did you

24     resign, or did you ask for leave of absence, or what form was used?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will tell you

Page 7511

 1     exactly how it was.  This is what things looked like:  I didn't apply for

 2     discharge.  I didn't ask for approval.  I'll tell you how it was.

 3             According to all information coming to the staff, and me

 4     personally, it was clear that the JNA intended to cross the Neretva and

 5     pierce through our positions around Mostar to get to Split, and down

 6     there, there were embryonic units, units in Croatia.  When speaking

 7     officially to Gojko Susak, I would call him "minister," but unofficially

 8     we were on a first-name basis.  I called him "Gojko."

 9             And about March the 20th, 1993, in the evening hours, when we had

10     time to sit down for a while, when there was less to do, I said to him,

11     Gojko, the situation down there is bad.  They will pierce through our

12     position and get to Split.  I don't see how it can be defended.  Croatia

13     is narrow.  And he answered, But somebody - I forget the name - was down

14     there and told me the situation isn't as bad.  And then I got on the

15     phone, and I consulted my father, too, who had fought in the Second World

16     War for four years, and even after that war they were chasing some

17     remnants of the Ustasha regime down there, and I asked him, Dad, what are

18     things like down there?  And he said to me, It's disastrous, things are

19     very bad.  And on the following day, I said, Listen, Susak, your

20     information that things are good down there are contrary to the

21     information I got that things are bad.  And it went to and fro three

22     times like this, and then I was asked to go down there and see for myself

23     what kind of chance Croatia stood against the plans of the development of

24     the JNA if they pierce the defence lines, and the situation down there

25     was not good.

Page 7512

 1             When I got back, we had a meeting with Gojko Susak and with the

 2     president, Franjo Tudjman, and I asked them to make it -- to allow to the

 3     people who were born down there, and in accordance with this theory of

 4     the theatre of war and the right to defence, to go down there to try to

 5     organise a defence.  In much the same way, it was concluded that as a

 6     sort of assistance and also for liberating Dubrovnik, something be

 7     organised that is called in the documents the southern front, consisting

 8     of the HV, commanded by General Bobetko --

 9             MR. STRINGER:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  I apologise for

10     the interruption.

11             We're just looking at line 19, as it's about to move off the

12     page.  There's a reference to March 20th, 1993, and I wonder whether the

13     general was intending to speak about 1992 or if there was an error in the

14     translation.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was not an error.  It was

16     around the 20th of March, 1993.  No, sorry, it was 1992, yes, I'm sorry.

17             Right, and they were supposed to assist the Croats and Muslims

18     willing to fight.  On the opposing side, there were General Torbica and

19     General Perisic and the Uzice Corps, and we heard all about that, and I

20     was sent to the area that I know best, the south-east of Herzegovina,

21     Mostar, Capljina, and General Roso, who was born there, went to Livno,

22     and General Crnjac, who was also born in Herzegovina, took the central

23     part.  And I appeared there in that function on the 10th of April, 1992.

24             Four days later, General Petkovic arrived, who became the Chief

25     of General Staff, and we started structuring a completely chaotic

Page 7513

 1     situation.  And as you know, we managed to defend the Neretva Valley and

 2     to cope with the treason in Mostar.

 3             The commander of Mostar, until my arrival, was a certain

 4     Mr. Perak, who at a certain moment, being a former officer of the JNA and

 5     a commander of the HVO, or, rather, of the boys who still had no name for

 6     themselves, at a certain moment he commanded that Mostar be evacuated by

 7     both armed units and civilians, stating as an explanation that the JNA

 8     was so strong that it would destroy the town, and he wanted to be seen as

 9     the saviour of Mostar.

10             Fortunately, the commanders of the armies or militias of

11     individual suburbs refused that order because they were appalled, and

12     they stayed in Mostar.  And Mr. Perak vanished into thin air, and he left

13     for Serbia, and it became clear that he was a member of the KOS, the

14     counter-intelligence service of the army.  They were very influential and

15     very strong, and one of their operatives was this Mr. Perak.  In simple

16     terms, he wanted to give up Mostar to the JNA, but they didn't obey him.

17             After such an event, people no longer trust the military command.

18     For months, the people trust no one except those who they, inside their

19     group, made commander, so that my command over that zone was not a

20     consequence of my having a military rank, but rather of the fact that I

21     had to show on the ground that I wasn't afraid, that I wasn't scared to

22     die, that I was willing to go into Mostar dozens of times, driving down a

23     road which was being shelled and shot at, and only if I survive all that,

24     I get the right to command.  In such armies, you don't become commander

25     by being installed commander, but you become commander by your behaviour.

Page 7514

 1     Even in professional armies, okay, you can have a commander you must

 2     obey, but not everybody is held in high esteem by his troops.  But in an

 3     army such as ours, after Perak's treason, for 20 days on end you had to

 4     be seen in highly dangerous places to gain the respect of your soldiers.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm not going to ask a

 6     question on the JNA, who wanted to go to Split, through the Neretva, in

 7     March of 1992 because I believe this will be one of the questions of

 8     substance that I will put later after your testimony; but I would like to

 9     come back to your resume, because the difference between the procedure

10     used in my country and the procedure used here is that in my country,

11     when somebody is being judged for crimes against humanity or crimes of

12     war, there is an investigation on their personality, we have a

13     psychologist and a psychiatrist, and we can really explore the entire

14     background of this person, the family background.

15             Earlier, you gave us a small detail that struck me, it's the

16     first time I heard about it, and I would like you to provide us with some

17     details on it before the break.  You said that your father had some

18     knowledge of the army, some people in the army, and you said that after

19     World War II -- during World War II, I'm sure you'll tell us exactly when

20     it was, he had fought against Ustashas.  This is -- you said remnants of

21     the Ustasha system.  That's exactly the words you used.  So what did your

22     father do, exactly, and did this have any influence on you?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the Second World War ended,

24     and this is something that I prepared for the benefit of the Chamber for

25     this trial, the summary, historical summary, not about meetings of

Page 7515

 1     governments, and kings, or anything like that, but about the victims in

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina before -- well, during World War II and after

 3     World War II as well, if we don't have that framework in mind it's very

 4     difficult to understand anything that is part of this trial.  I went for

 5     an overall simplification.  I worked together with a historian to prepare

 6     a summary for this trial.

 7             As for individual destinies, my grandfather, the father of my

 8     father, was in prison in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as a Croatian

 9     nationalist.  For that same reason, his son was rotting in jail in

10     Mostar, because he had been distributing leaflets and giving speeches,

11     stuff like that.  And my father, through an organise called

12     Hrvatsko Gradise [phoen], which was then part of the greatest Croatia

13     political party, Stjepan Radic's party, he was sent to hone his skills

14     and learn a trade somewhere else, and then he joined the partisans later

15     on.  After the war, there were horrible crimes happening all over

16     Yugoslavia; Blajburg, the road to Kalvari, and so on and so forth.

17             In Herzegovina and in Serbia, especially in Western Serbia,

18     around places such as Foca, there were many leftovers of what any

19     textbook would probably define as renegades.  They were still fighting

20     these new Communists, and so on and so forth, killing their officials.

21     So my father, who at the time was an official of the State Security

22     Service, spent the next eight years, all the way up until 1953, fighting

23     those leftovers of the Chetnik regime in Serbia and the Ustasha regime in

24     Croatia, fighting the remaining renegades.

25             In 1953, a Chetnik duke called Bjelica was killed in Foca, and

Page 7516

 1     that put an end to it because that man had been running riot in the area.

 2     Then my father was retired.

 3             In 1963, Aleksandar Rankovic was pursuing some very negative

 4     policies, so he dismissed him, removed him from his post, because that

 5     man, too, was too Croatian, in a manner of speaking, for his taste.

 6             Nevertheless, I was 17 when I parted ways with my father, in

 7     terms of our political views.  My father and I did not share the same

 8     political views.  Deep in his heart, he was in favour of Yugoslavia

 9     throughout and remained that way.  I read more, I studied more, I learned

10     more, and at one point I began to understand that this country might

11     create some prerequisites if it was a democracy, if it was a state of the

12     peoples, but then again it was founded on crimes against the

13     Volksdeutscher population, the Croats, the Hungarians, the Poles, crimes

14     against the rich, crimes against intellectuals.  I inferred that a state

15     like that could not survive, that it was a Serb creation which kept other

16     peoples within it from evolving.  So we parted ways, politically, and we

17     had different ideas, a difference of opinion, you might say.

18             Nevertheless, my father was an honest man.  He was not affected

19     by Communist in any other way.  I continued to communicate with him all

20     the way up until his death in 1993.  He had spent his last two or three

21     months in a coma, after a cerebral haemorrhage.  That was in the summer

22     of 1992.  He was bedridden after that and was no longer able to work.

23             I'm the smallest boy in our family, all the other boys in my

24     family were bigger than me, and I was probably an example of stunted

25     growth and that's probably why I took up art.  Throughout all of these

Page 7517

 1     tribulations, obviously, it was very difficult for me to organise for

 2     this really bulky, large man who now couldn't move to be looked after

 3     properly and to find someone who could help him move and turn his body

 4     around.  He was beginning to have wounds all over his body because he was

 5     bedridden.  He was unable to communicate, and my mother was far too small

 6     and weak to manage a chore like that.  Therefore, ever since I was 17,

 7     and all the way up until the beginning of the war, I tried to explain

 8     this to myself, and in the process I reached certain positions that where

 9     now clear.  Someone writing a book about something like that or a person

10     dealing with that should have no doubter about matters such as these.

11             Of course, back in Herzegovina, there were a number of people who

12     were harmed by my father in the line of duty.  Some of those people

13     immediately had their backs up when they heard the name Praljak, needless

14     to say.

15             I will share with you a small anecdote illustrating the paradox

16     of a state like that.

17             My father is already retired.  He's in Zagreb visiting me.  We

18     meet a student.  I exchange some words with a student, and please try to

19     get this right to see exactly what is so absurd about this situation.

20     After my conversation with the student, my father comes up to me and

21     says, Don't go telling all sorts of things to the students, because he

22     works for us.  So you have this student working for the secret service,

23     and my father, who retired from that secret service, is wanting me not to

24     say all sorts of things to his student because I might end up in jail for

25     that.  Those systems are terrifyingly complex.  They cause a whole lot of

Page 7518

 1     frustration, an enormous amount.  People find it difficult to find their

 2     way around.  As far as that is concerned, I can tell you anything you

 3     like, because I spent at least 30 to 40 years looking into just that.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 5             Let's have a break.  It's 10 to 6.00, and we'll break for 20

 6     minutes.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 5.51 p.m.

 8                           --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

10             I believe Judge Prandler has a question.

11             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Yes, thank you.  Mr. President, as a matter of

12     fact, I have a follow-up question which I didn't want to put today,

13     because I wanted to follow your advice to wait with the questions up to

14     the -- to wait with the questions of the Judges until the end of the

15     questioning by Mr. Kovacic and Ms. Pinter.  But, on the other hand, since

16     the last questions had been related to subject matter which also rose my

17     interest, that is why I wanted to -- I would like to relate today, and

18     that was -- that is related to one of your statements which is also

19     included in your previous brief and declaration which you made during the

20     first phase of our work today, before the break, the first break today.

21             Now, it is the following, and now I do not find the exact text,

22     but it was about the fact that the Croatians, during the centuries, have

23     fought against a great number of enemies, starting with Hungary from the

24     12th century, et cetera.

25             Now, I would only like to recall, and it has nothing to do, in a

Page 7519

 1     way, with national pride, but simply for the facts of history, I would

 2     like to say that of course that is true that from the 12th century

 3     Croatia has been, although officially an independent kingdom, Croatian

 4     Kingdom, but the Hungarian king has become and continues to be always a

 5     king of Croatia as well; and that during these centuries, as far as I

 6     remember and as far as I know the history of our countries, this kind of

 7     cohabitation was not so bad and, of course, apart from the friction,

 8     which always happened when you have this kind of cooperation or forced

 9     cooperation, quote/unquote, between states and kingdoms, et cetera, then

10     of course we had some negative bad moments as well.

11             As far as I recall and I know, that one of the bad moments was

12     when, in the 19th century, in 1848-49, upon the request of the Court in

13     Vienna and during the War of Independence for the Hungarians, at that

14     time the Croatian Ban Jelacic has in a way waged war against the

15     Hungarians, and finally he was defeated September 29, 1848.

16             Now, I am mentioning this only because I would like to go on with

17     the enumeration of your events, when you mentioned that you were fighting

18     against Hungarians, against the Austrians, against Venice, against

19     various other combinations, when also Napoleon was there in part of

20     Croatia, et cetera, and as far as the modern history in the 20th century,

21     you did not mention an important part of our -- I would emphasise our

22     history, common history, of Central and East Central Europe, and it was

23     the war between 1940-1945, and then you did not mention that at that

24     time, too, what happened, and I would like to recall that of course -- I

25     would like to know what is your opinion about -- it is the major aim of

Page 7520

 1     my question.  What is your opinion about this part of our and your and my

 2     history as well, because definitely there were enemies, and of course

 3     those who fight and who fought against the enemies, and you also

 4     mentioned that period of time in which your father participated.  And

 5     this very fact prompted my question to ask that your father and your

 6     mother were among the partisans at that time, so I wonder if you also

 7     agree with me or you would like to say that this part of your history

 8     was -- I mean the history of Croatia, was also an important part when the

 9     partisans fought against -- at that time called themselves and they were

10     called Ustasha now, and the government of Ante Pavelic, so it is the crux

11     of my question.  How do you feel and what is your major evaluation of

12     this particular period of your country and my country as well?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Prandler, I tried

14     to be brief, and that's why I gave an overview of history and who ruled

15     Croatia, although ever since 1102, by the free will of the Croatian

16     governors, Croatia was placed under the governance of the Hungarian

17     King Koloman and we were a dual kingdom.  The Croatian Parliament always

18     had certain attributes of statehood, but the history of the relations

19     between Croatia and Hungary must be split up in two essential parts, the

20     first being a time when both states were threatened by the Ottoman

21     Empire, so the social and economic relations at the time were shared.

22     The other section of that history would be following the Hungarian

23     Revolution in 1848, quashed by Ban Jelacic, Croatia's ban, and then it

24     was different because the tangents were created between Croatia and

25     Hungary and wealth was distributed.

Page 7521

 1             Your Honour Judge Prandler, I'm unaware if you know that at the

 2     time, there was some very determined attempts to introduce Hungarian

 3     domination in Croatia.  Hungarian was introduced as a language to

 4     Croatian schools.  Croatian citizens rebelled.  Heads rolled.  The

 5     Hungarian language was introduced as the language used in the railway

 6     system.  Hungarian names were used, and then Croat names were not

 7     allowed.  Hungarians had part of their own state territory in the Rijeka

 8     in Croatia known as the Rijeka Sred, and the territory was governed by

 9     Hungary, by the Hungarian crown, and was subordinated to the Hungarian

10     crown directly.

11             Following 1848, when the Ottoman danger had long ceased, and all

12     the way up to the First World War, the relations with Hungarians --

13     rather, not Hungarians, with Hungary, as it was at the time, were quite

14     tense.  Hungary at the time had taken part of the Medjumurje territory

15     which today belongs to the Republic of Croatia.  After World War I, there

16     was fighting over that territory.  Both Croatia and Hungary were on the

17     side of the losers in World War I.  They had fought together, so the

18     problem was resolved when the victor's army, the Serb army that had

19     fought with the Allies, came in.  It was then that resolved the problem,

20     the problem that Croatia was facing, and also the problem with relations

21     with Hungarians, because in a way they took control of the area and

22     established their rule.

23             The reason I prepared this brief overview of these relations

24     throughout history, it was for the sake of the Chamber.  Of course,

25     Napoleon governed Croatia as well up to Zagreb, the River Sava, and then

Page 7522

 1     all the regions further south.  It was his fault that the Dubrovnik

 2     republic lost its independence.  Its independence was crushed when

 3     General Marmon's [phoen] troops came in.  As for Croatia's islands at the

 4     time, there were battles raging between France and Russia; for example,

 5     the Battle of the Island of Hvar, and so on and so forth.

 6             Croatia's destiny was not an easy one to bear.  And when Napoleon

 7     was defeated and Austria took control, they established their own rule

 8     over those territories, the German language, the rebellion against the

 9     German language and all of that.  I'm sure you know about the famous

10     saying adopted by the Croatia representatives in the Hungarian

11     Parliament, "A kingdom does not prescribe rules to another kingdom,

12     [indiscernible].  There was a constant struggle over Croatia's

13     sovereignty and its rights, and obviously everybody was trying to gain

14     the upper hand, as is always the case.  Nevertheless, I'll have a better

15     opportunity to talk about this when I get to this book that I prepared

16     for you.

17             As for World War II, Your Honour Judge Antonetti, matters are

18     very clear.  Croatia split up into two halves.  The best part of Croats

19     joined the partisans, especially those in Dalmatia and IstriaIstria

20     had been occupied by the fascists back in 1922, so they fought them;

21     Central Croatia as well.

22             At the time, the best part of the partisan movement originated

23     from Croatia.  The first uprising against Germany during the occupation

24     occurred in Croatia, near the town of Sisak.  A group came together

25     compromising some 15 persons, and they started an armed rebellion.  The

Page 7523

 1     group included General Bobetko, who has been mentioned before.  He was a

 2     partisan right from the start.  The other half of Croatia was facing a

 3     lot of pressure, not going into this at any great length now, but there

 4     was a lot of persecution by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, so that the other

 5     half joined Nazi Germany and their forces.  Something that was termed the

 6     Independent State of Croatia came into existence, headed by Ante Pavelic.

 7     The Ustashas quite certainly committed atrocious crimes, especially in

 8     the two camps, Gradiska and Jasenovac.  These camps are memorial centres

 9     today, and every year there are commemorations at those former camps,

10     always attended by the president of Croatia, by some Cabinet members, and

11     as of recently, high-ranking persons or officials from Croatia's church.

12     This is a deep wound and a long-lasting one that's difficult to forget.

13             Based on my knowledge, based on my information, there are two

14     periods in Croatia, one until the 9th of May, 1945, when the partisans,

15     the anti-fascists, fought the Nazi forces and armies.  Nevertheless, and

16     this applies in a particular way to the period following 1943 and the

17     fall of Italy -- the capitulation of Italy, I should say, the

18     anti-fascist partisan movement saw a new development.  All the key

19     positions were taken up by Communists.

20             Following the end of the war, the Communist ideology gained the

21     upper hand.  It staged a fictitious democratic election, a spurious one,

22     and committed unspeakable crimes which I will present in my book in great

23     detail.

24             Following the 9th of May, 1945, if we just look at the so-called

25     roads to Kalvari and what happened in Dragobrat and so on and so forth,

Page 7524

 1     they killed a minimum of 150.000 Croat citizens and soldiers who were

 2     retreating towards Austria.  The best part of that army surrendered to

 3     the English, General Alexander, but they refused the Croats' surrender,

 4     having previously received assurances from Tito that those people would

 5     be treated and handled in keeping with civilised standards and norms.

 6             Up until this time, over 800 mass graves had been unearthed or

 7     discovered in Croatia, and in Croatia itself over 900, and it was at

 8     those places that the Communists shot people, executed people, after they

 9     came to power, a large number of priests and common people, "common

10     people" I'm saying because there were common people retreating with the

11     Army of the independent state of Croatia as well.  Those who survived

12     were marched down the roads all the way down south to Macedonia.  They

13     weren't given anything to eat and they were hungry, and some of them

14     starved to death, as a matter of fact.  These marches are normally

15     referred to as the road to Kalvari because there was no meaning or sense

16     to it.

17             So my view, Your Honour, is in relation to this is there were

18     Nazi forces, on the one hand; but on the other, and that is my deepest

19     conviction, there wasn't really something that we might term an

20     anti-fascist coalition.  What existed was an anti-Hitler coalition.  The

21     anti-Hitler coalition had the following components:  The anti-fascist

22     component, the democratic coalition of countries such as the

23     United States, England, the French forces under General de Gaulle and so

24     on and so forth.  Then there were the Russian units, and what the Russian

25     units and what the partisan units did towards the end of the war was

Page 7525

 1     not -- what they constituted was not an anti-fascist coalition but rather

 2     an anti-Hitler coalition.  These two armies, the Communist Partisan Army

 3     and the Russia Army, I'm talking about the Katyn forest, about millions

 4     of Ukrainians and Chechen being killed, what they were doing amounted to

 5     the same thing as the Nazi forces.  They fought Hitler, yes, but that

 6     didn't necessarily mean that they were anti-fascist armies.  Hundreds of

 7     millions of victims, and I've got the book here, "The Crimes of

 8     Communist" by French authors, 100 million victims in the wake of

 9     Communism.  You will see all the tables with all the statistics and

10     figures there.

11             Therefore, I don't agree that following the 9th of May, 1945,

12     what was at work in Yugoslavia was an anti-fascist government.  It was a

13     Communist government which, and I'm ready to present all the data

14     necessary, expelled nearly half a million Volksdeutscher, many Hungarians

15     from areas such as Vojvodina, 15.000 Poles who were still there.

16     Thousands of those referred to as Kulaks were killed.  It was a

17     dictatorship, the garden variety.

18             I don't know if you share my opinion, but one thing I'm certain

19     about is I won't change my opinion.  I assert that the war did not stop

20     in 1918.  It was a low intensity war that simply continued.  Tens of

21     thousands of people ended up abroad as emigrants.  I'm ready to present

22     data to you.  I'm talking about France, Germany, and people, emigrants,

23     who were killed there by the secret service of Yugoslavia.  How many

24     priests were murdered.

25             Croatia is still divided, as we speak, and this is the problem

Page 7526

 1     that we found when we first started establishing this new country.  It

 2     was a particularly delicate and sensitive problem over in Herzegovina,

 3     because many of those poor peasants over there, who were growing tobacco,

 4     had joined Ante Pavelic's army, but then wanted to go back.  Many of

 5     those were killed.  They didn't know any better.  And the worst thing is

 6     after World War II, all the countries opened their books, in a way, and

 7     made it possible for innocent people to have a dignified burial, and at

 8     least to some extent attempted to punish the perpetrators.

 9             In Yugoslavia, every time anyone raised crimes such as Blajburg,

10     they would end up in jail in no time at all.  I only learned about

11     Blajburg when I was 22.  I was stunned and horrified by the facts that I

12     had been unaware of up until then.  The facts are truly horrific.

13             I have two books here, books authored by Slovene scientists, and

14     if the Chamber is willing to have a look, we have photographs there of

15     the blood-curdling crimes, the bones found there.  A month ago -- as

16     recently as a month ago, a mass grave was uncovered in Slovenia in a mine

17     where 13.000 people were dropped into the pit in that mine, and they were

18     alive when they were dropped there.  13.000 people.  They were buried

19     there in those trenches.  This is a crime without precedent,

20     Your Honours.  Those people lost their nearest and dearest.  They had no

21     right even to ask how their nearest and dearest had met their fate or

22     where they were buried.  This caused a lot of frustration and possibly

23     gave rise to forms of extreme behaviour.  Hatred lasts a long time,

24     especially if it's something that you can't externalise.

25             I've been dealing with this for a very long time, and there's no

Page 7527

 1     way I will change my opinion, regardless of 1941 to 1945, the fair

 2     struggle against the Nazis.  On the 9th of May, the Communists, at least

 3     as far as Yugoslavia was concerned, committed murder, murder of every

 4     shape and form.  We're talking about the Informbiro and all that.  The

 5     Communists became a criminal organisation, and they committed a great

 6     many misdeeds and crimes.

 7             Judge Prandler, you will remember about that book, "The Small

 8     Nations" and about Ban Jelacic who quashed to some extent the

 9     insurrection in Hungary.  Karl Marx, the great thinker, the great Marxist

10     thinker, declared Croats, and I think Serbs, too, as non-historical

11     people, and he simply claimed that one should wipe them out, erase them

12     from the face of history.  I can show you that book.

13             Dr. Franjo Tudjman, who was himself an historian, wrote a great

14     deal about this in his own book, "Great Ideas and Small Nations."  He

15     talked about how big ideas and important political decisions were

16     something for which the small nations had to foot the bill.  You know

17     about how two million people remained in Romania without being able to be

18     sent back to the state or the country in which they had been up to that

19     point.

20             If there is anything else that I can add to provide further

21     clarification, please go ahead and ask.

22             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

23             The only purpose was that when I had the paragraph, which I

24     already quoted before, and I do not want to go into the details of your

25     answer because we are not here, of course, for a lesson on history, a

Page 7528

 1     history of Hungary and Croatia and that part of the world.  But I simply

 2     would have liked to hear, and I'm satisfied with that part of your

 3     statement that when you speak about the Ottoman intrusion against Venice,

 4     and the intrusion of Venice and Italy and Austria and Hungary, and when

 5     you speak about Serbia and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the unitary

 6     Communist, Tito's creation, if you enumerate all those facts of life and

 7     history, then I am satisfied that you agree with me that also the period

 8     between 1940 and 1945 should be added as parts of your history against

 9     the -- I wonder if you would like to call it anti-fascist or anti-Nazi,

10     Italian, et cetera, powers, but anyway it was a fight which has to be

11     noted.

12             Thank you.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the 9th of May,

14     those were anti-fascist forces.  My answer is clear.  Before the 9th of

15     May, 1945, the partisan movement was an anti-fascist force which allowed

16     Croatia to be constituted on the side of the winning forces.  The Ustasha

17     movement of Ante Pavelic was not that.  They were on the side of the Nazi

18     Germany.  They had racial laws which they implemented.  In two camps,

19     they killed approximately 80.000 people.

20             My answer to you is really very clear.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.

22             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before we proceed,

23     just for the record, I would like to clarify two mistakes in the record.

24             Before the break, General Praljak, please follow my words and

25     confirm if I'm correct, page 64, line 8, it has been recorded as follows.

Page 7529

 1     I'll go to quote in English:

 2             [In English] "... went two and from three times like this, and

 3     then I was asked to go down there and see for myself what kind of ..."

 4             Et cetera.

 5             [Interpretation] What I heard in Croatian was that

 6     General Praljak said that he asked to be sent down there.  He was the one

 7     asking.  He was not asked.

 8        Q.   Am I right?

 9        A.   Yes, I was the one who asked to be sent or, rather, demanded to

10     be sent down there.

11        Q.   Demanded.  Well, thank you very much.  And in the same

12     discussion, on page 65, line 5 in English, it has been recorded as

13     follows:

14             [In English] "... and the Uzice [Realtime transcript read in

15     error "Ustasha"] Corps, and we heard all about that, and I was sent to

16     the area that I know best, the South-East Herzegovina."

17             [Interpretation] In Croatian, General Praljak said:  "We heard

18     about that, and I asked to be sent to South-East Herzegovina."

19             Is that correct?

20        A.   Yes, I was the one who asked to be sent to

21     South-East Herzegovina.

22        Q.   In the record, we see "Ustasha Corps," where it should be "Uzice

23     Corps ."  General --

24        A.   I owe Judge Antonetti a very short answer.  He asked me whether

25     it would be necessary to have psychological and psychiatric expertise of

Page 7530

 1     such persons in your country.  Your Honour, I fully expected that.  I

 2     thought that the Trial Chamber should be organised differently, in any

 3     case, and in order to show the continuity of some of my actions, because

 4     actions in certain points of time reveal the moral dignity of a certain

 5     person, and that's why there have been so many witnesses and so many

 6     witness statements that I am presenting to the witness before the war in

 7     Sunja and after that.

 8             Those who worked with the witness did not get into lengthy

 9     discussions with the witnesses.  They asked them to give us the factual

10     presentation of the facts, and what I did before the war, two writers,

11     Kemo Music, a Muslim, and Alez Majetic [phoen], who described an event at

12     the film festival in Pula, and it was about whether I would jump into the

13     sea, a very rough sea, in order to save a person's life, and how I

14     behaved at a cocktail party involving all the artists.  One stupid person

15     insulted a cleaning lady, and there are many people who can testify to

16     the facts.  And through so many things, through the factual basis, I

17     wanted to show that and to show how Slobodan Praljak behaved in such

18     situations before the war, during the war, and after the war.  I stand

19     behind any of these facts, and I am very willing to be subjected to any

20     study or expertise, be it psychological, psychiatric, or whatever the

21     expertise.

22        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I would like to take you back and ask you to tell us

23     something about the telephone system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

24        A.   In the spring of 1992, the artillery of the JNA destroyed a post

25     office in Mostar and a main switchboard.  The Yugoslav People's Army also

Page 7531

 1     blew up all the bridges on the River Neretva south and north of Mostar,

 2     and the ones in Mostar, except for the Old Bridge, which was damaged

 3     together with the bridges.  All the utilities were also destroyed that

 4     ran under the bridges.  The Republic of Croatia donated a small

 5     switchboard with some hundred numbers, a coaxial cable that went from

 6     Mostar to Siroki Brijeg, over its repeater on Mount Biokovo.  It enables

 7     a wireless transmission of the signal to Split and further afield into

 8     the world.  The hundred numbers -- the original hundred numbers were

 9     distributed in accordance with the needs, both Croats and Muslims, to the

10     SDA of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to individuals and institutions.  This

11     same and only connection via Split was used for communication with the

12     world by Tuzla, Zenica, Travnik, Bugojno, and anybody else in the

13     non-occupied part of Bosnia and Herzegovina who could find any hilltop

14     and any kind of repeater to achieve a wireless connection towards Split.

15     There is no single bill showing that somebody was asked to pay a single

16     kuna to the Croatian telecom for that.  It is therefore very odd when you

17     read that this code for Split, 021, was a number that was attached to the

18     Banovina of Croatia.  Following that logic, Zenica, Tuzla, Visoko, all of

19     that would be Banovina.  So much for that.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel.

21             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   This was enough, and the situation is clear.  I would like to

23     move on to the next question.

24             What was the situation with electric power in 1992 and 1993 in

25     Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Page 7532

 1        A.   In 1992, the Yugoslav People's Army and the Army of

 2     Republika Srpska destroyed the electric power-plants in Rastani, Cula and

 3     Rudnik.  They destroyed the 200 kilovolt, the 110 kilovolt and 35

 4     kilovolt power-lines and transformers which had enabled the distribution

 5     of electricity in Mostar, Jablanica, Konjic, Stolac, Capljina, Citluk and

 6     Siroki Brijeg.  With great but successful efforts on the part of the

 7     HZ-HB and the HVO, and I am referring to the military part thereof, and

 8     at every possible help of the Republic of Croatia, the damages were

 9     partly repaired.  Without the aid of the Republic of Croatia, this would

10     not have been possible.  With understandable difficulties, the power

11     system was kept functioning to connect it to the electric distribution

12     system of Croatia, and it functioned not only in the electric power

13     industry of the HZ-HB, but also in the electric power industries of all

14     the areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina which were not occupied by the JNA

15     and VRS.

16             Let me say just one thing.  We received instructions from France,

17     and I believe that the big concerning question was Glencorn, but I'm not

18     sure, and thanks to the skill of the engineers and the courage of

19     soldiers of the HVO, in the summer of 1992 the functioning of the

20     electric furnace in the aluminium factory in Mostar was successfully put

21     out.  The damage that was thus prevented is close to a billion Euros.  I

22     am saying this because of this:  If the furnaces had not been put out

23     following a procedure, it would have taken more money to put the thing

24     right and to build a factory somewhere else.

25             I repeat that there was a betrayal on the part of the Muslims in

Page 7533

 1     the ranks of the HVO, and that was synchronised with the attacks of the

 2     Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the HVO in Mostar and the

 3     Neretva Valley.  By that moment, the Muslim side occupied all the

 4     electric power-plants on the Neretva River and the HZ-HB was supplied

 5     with electricity only from one small reversible power-plant from Capljina

 6     and from Croatia.

 7             Your Honour, a reversible power-plant is one that provides

 8     electricity during the day from an accumulation lake, and during the

 9     night, when there is no demand for such a large quantity of electricity,

10     it pumps water and then uses that power the following day.  That's why we

11     call them reversible.

12             The question remains why the east part of Mostar did not have

13     electricity.  This was due to the fact that this was a very complex

14     technical issue, but one thing is sure.  The HVO, either its civilian or

15     the military part, did not have anything to do with the fact that after

16     the 30th of June, 1993, there was no electricity in East Mostar.  It

17     would be good to know who was it and when that turned the power off in

18     East Mostar, from which electric power-plant that was not in our hands,

19     from which electric transformer that was not in our hands, and so on and

20     so forth.

21             Please, I need to continue this.  What I'm saying is this:  The

22     Law of War, which I read before the war and during the war, in order to

23     behave properly when in doubt, says that in a war, the enemy side may be

24     prevented from accessing electricity, its electrical power-plants and

25     transformer can be destroyed, as well as the dams and trenches on certain

Page 7534

 1     conditions.  I read five books of the International Law on War, and --

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.  You are a witness to

 3     speak on facts.  Now you are pleading, you're presenting arguments.  You

 4     say what the law says.  It is for your counsel and for the Chamber to say

 5     what the law says.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Trechsel, I -- the

 7     final decision is certainly up to you.  However, the facts are what I

 8     know, what's in my head.  I simply studied the facts at the time, and I

 9     can't say anything else but one thing.  As a general and a commander of

10     the HVO in 1993, I issued an order to destroy one of the valves on an

11     accumulation lake above Mostar, because that power-plant was under the

12     control of the BiH Army.  They closed down the electric power-plant, and

13     the whole field above that power-plant was flooded, and there was a

14     threat that if all the valves were opened simultaneously, the entire area

15     south of Mostar would be flooded.  In order for me to issue such orders,

16     I obviously had to be well abreast of the provisions of the Law on War,

17     and that's why I'm saying I am familiar with it, I am quoting what it

18     says; but I am not trying to go beyond the scopes of my own knowledge.

19     My knowledge are the facts that I am aware of, and they are part of my

20     value system, the value system that I have in my head.

21             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   I believe that the principal information about the electricity

23     supply has been provided, and this is based on your knowledge and based

24     on what is allowed and what is not.  And now I would like to ask you

25     about the media.  I'm referring to the information you received in Bosnia

Page 7535

 1     and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993 via radio, television and newspapers.

 2        A.   In the summer 1992, Sarajevo was attacked, besieged, held, and

 3     was being destroyed by the JNA and the VRS.  The post office and

 4     telephone exchange were destroyed in Sarajevo.  The building of Sarajevo

 5     TV was badly damaged.  There was no electricity, and the repeaters on the

 6     surrounding hilltops were in the hands of the VRS.  All coaxial cables

 7     leading towards Sarajevo were out of function for numerous military and

 8     technical reasons.  The coaxial cables have to be maintained properly and

 9     inspected every now and then.  The main TV repeater on Mount Velez above

10     Mostar, which covered the area of Herzegovina, was destroyed by the JNA

11     and the VRS in the summer of 1992.

12             Outside of Sarajevo, one could, to a certain extent, listen to

13     Radio Sarajevo using middle and long wave, because the ultra-short sound

14     was not suitable for that, and there are radio amateurs with whom

15     communication was possible.  Thus, people in Mostar and Herzegovina

16     followed Croatian HTV, which used the repeater on Mount Biokovo, above

17     Makarska.  They also listened to Radio Split and Zagreb.

18             It was their choice.  It was not imposed on them.  And the same

19     is true of the newspapers that were printed in the Republic of Croatia

20     and the printed media that was printed outside of the Republic of Croatia

21     in Germany, for example.  There were also satellites that were used to

22     follow BBC, Channel 5, CNN, Rai Uno, and other TV stations.

23             In modern times, an information blockade is impossible to impose.

24     In the eastern part of Mostar, since the autumn of 1992, Radio Mostar was

25     continuously on the air, and their location was not seen as a military

Page 7536

 1     target by the HVO.  When I was in military command, I did not allow,

 2     despite the provisions of the International Law, for this to become a

 3     military target, as was Serbian Television during NATO campaigns against

 4     Serbia.

 5             I don't want to aggravate Judge Trechsel, although I don't know

 6     why he should be aggravated.

 7             Radio and TV stations are legitimate military targets, in

 8     accordance with the International Law.  I can quote some books.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  I cannot leave this in the room.

10     There's no issue of myself being aggrieved or anything, or having any

11     feeling.  It's just that it's a task of the Chamber to see to it that the

12     proceedings follow the Rules, and witnesses are to speak about facts and

13     not to give legal opinions.  You have, Mr. Praljak, studied many,

14     subjects, you have told us, but I cannot remember that you ever said that

15     law was a part of it, and I have not either seen that you are really an

16     expert.  And I think it is wise to leave this to counsel and stick really

17     to the facts, in the interests of yourself, in the first place.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Trechsel, it is true,

19     when I say something like that, irrespective of the rigidity of such

20     examination, I am still on the other side of the camera lens, every now

21     and then I will use some poetic license, even against my better

22     judgement.  It has never occurred to me to voice my opinions about the

23     law.  However, Judge Trechsel, it is impossible for me to say that I did

24     not read law.  And as a person who was very much interested in ethics and

25     for whom ethics was a profession, I researched the relationship within

Page 7537

 1     law and ethics, and that's why every now and then I will voice an opinion

 2     that I shouldn't, but please stop me.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  It's time, it's

 4     7.00 p.m.  We are sitting in the afternoon this week.  We'll resume

 5     tomorrow at 2.15 p.m.

 6             Thank you.  Have a good evening.

 7                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,

 8                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th of May, 2009,

 9                           at 2.15 p.m.