1 Wednesday, 18 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
10 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
12 This is Wednesday, and I greet everyone here in the courtroom,
13 the accused, the Defence counsel, our witness, Mr. Kruger, Mr. Stringer,
14 and everyone helping them, as well as all those assisting us.
15 We are starting six minutes late. We're not to blame, because I
16 was at the door of this courtroom at 2.00 p.m. sharp, but the Gotovina
17 Trial Chamber once again, despite all the warnings we've given them, went
18 beyond the time allotted, as usual. So all my apologies for this, but
19 we're not to blame for this situation, and I will seize the President of
20 the Tribunal of this problem.
21 Now, I believe that the Registrar has an IC number to give us.
22 He has the floor.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 The Petkovic Defence has submitted its response to the
25 Prosecution's objections to its lists of documents tendered through
1 Witness Ivan Beneta. This list shall be given Exhibit IC01115. Thank
2 you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
4 Mr. Kruger, you have the floor.
5 WITNESS: BOZO PAVLOVIC [Resumed]
6 [The witness answered through interpreter]
7 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Good afternoon to Your Honours, and good afternoon to everybody
9 in and around the courtroom.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Kruger: [Continued]
11 Q. And Mr. Pavlovic, good afternoon to you.
12 Let's start by very quickly just revisiting part of your evidence
13 from yesterday and the day before, and this relates to the 30 June 1993
14 order by General Petkovic for the isolation of all Muslim men in your
15 units, and then military-aged men as well.
16 Now, you were asked about the fact that Brigadier Lasic had
17 forwarded this order to various units under his command, but not to the
18 1st Knez Domagoj Brigade. Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, sir, given the fact that you also testified that elements
21 from this order did come down to you for implementation, wouldn't you say
22 that it's entirely plausible that Brigadier Lasic had also provided this
23 order to Nedjeljko Obradovic separately or by another means?
24 A. Well, Brigadier Lasic could have sent the order to
25 Colonel Obradovic separately or by some other means, perhaps even orally,
1 but from the document, as far as I remember, he didn't send him that kind
2 of order.
3 Q. Okay. Now, let's turn very briefly, then, also to the briefing
4 that you had in Domanovici on the evening of the 30th of June. And for
5 this, I would like you to turn to Exhibit P03038. It's in your binder,
6 and it's about the 12th or 13th document in the binder. 3038.
7 Sir, the --
8 A. Could you help me, please.
9 Q. Sir, if I could explain. The tabs that you see are in
10 chronological order, even though they're not in sequence.
11 A. Okay.
12 MR. KRUGER: Thank you to the usher.
13 Q. Now, sir, this document is dated the 30th of June, 1993
14 a proclamation issued by Dr. Jadranko Prlic, as president of the HZ-HB
15 HVO, we'll see at the end, and by Mr. Bruno Stojic, head of HZ-HB Defence
16 Department, and this was issued on the day of the attack on the North
17 Barracks. And if we just look at the very first paragraph of the
18 document, it says:
19 "In relation to the new attack carried out by the Muslim forces
20 of the HVO --" or "on the HVO positions and the Croatian people that live
21 in this area, with which continues the war of conquest that started in
22 the territory of Central Bosnia
23 Council, Dr. Jadranko Prlic, and head of the Defence Department of the
24 Croatian Defence Council, Mr. Bruno Stojic, sent the following message to
25 the Croatian people that live in Herceg-Bosnia."
1 And if we look at the addressees or whom it's submitted to, it
2 says: All heads of the HVO municipalities; all officers for defence of
3 municipalities; military police command and civil police administration,
4 and media.
5 Sir, on the evening -- well, first of all, let me ask you this:
6 Are you aware of this proclamation? Do you recall it from that period of
8 A. To be quite frank, no, I don't.
9 Q. Let's look at the text of this, and in your version, the original
10 B/C/S version, I think it's the last paragraph on the first page. And in
11 the English version, it's the paragraph starting with: "Brothers
12 Croats ..." It says:
13 "Brothers Croats, in --" sorry.
14 Just before that, the previous paragraph describes what had
15 happened at the Tihomir Misic Barracks and gives an interpretation of the
16 events, and then it says:
17 "Brothers Croats, in this crucial moment for our people, the only
18 thing that can make us survive is the utmost patriotism and higher goals
19 of the Croatian survival, wherever our homes were built for centuries."
20 "We should unite all our forces from every Croatian village and
21 town from the whole Herceg-Bosnia in order to stop the Muslim aggression.
22 Croats from Siroki Brijeg, Posusje, Citluk, Grude, Livno, Tomislavgrad,
23 Capljina, Stolac, and other HZ-HB municipalities. Mostar was and
24 remained the Croatian town."
25 Sir, wasn't this document also discussed or put -- or made known
1 at the briefing at Domanovici on the 30th of June, 1993?
2 A. Could you repeat that last question of yours? I was reading.
3 Q. Sir, this document, with its appeal, wasn't this discussed or put
4 to everybody at the briefing of the 30th of June in Domanovici that you
6 A. I can't remember. And from the addressees, that is, to whom this
7 document was sent, it could only have been made public through the
8 information media, because I see that the media was sent a copy.
9 Q. Sir, in the piece that we've just read, it also says:
10 "We should unite all our forces from every Croatian village and
11 town ..."
12 From the next day onwards -- well, we've seen documents over the
13 past two
14 military police and the civilian police. From what you read here, if
15 this document was, indeed, issued, or this proclamation, do you think
16 it's entirely possible -- would you agree that it's entirely possible
17 that this is an indication where the authorisation comes from the
18 military to also employ military police and civilian police members or
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I would object on the grounds of speculation.
21 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I'm putting the question, and I think
22 that the witness is entirely capable of answering the question, given his
23 own position and relatively senior position at that time.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the gentleman has indicated he's
25 never seen the document. Now he's being asked to speculate as to whether
1 something in this document could have done something else. Frankly, the
2 answer is irrelevant, because he has no basis for the answer.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, this witness is a
4 senior officer, and he is well able to say, I don't know this document, I
5 cannot answer your question. And if he can answer, well, he will. Let
6 the witness answer.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, because
8 only part of the document was read out to the witness. The witness,
9 himself, said he's never seen the whole document. On page 2 of this
10 document, there's a portion which could relate to the question asked by
11 the Prosecutor. So the question by the Prosecutor has been construed
12 with the excerpts read out, and I think that it is very important, when
13 he mentions Mostar as the main city, the last -- or capital city, that it
14 was the international factors who recognised this, and that is in the
15 last sentence. So the second part of the document can be linked with the
16 military and civilian police, so only a partial reading of this document
17 to the witness, who says he's never seen the document, can lead the
18 witness to give the wrong answer.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Kruger. I must, to some degree,
20 agree with Mr. Karnavas. I find your question very complex with all, "is
21 there a possibility," "that there is a possibility that maybe." And I
22 cannot make much sense of it, I must confess, so perhaps you better
23 completely reformulate or go to something else.
24 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honours. I won't belabour this
1 Q. I would actually prefer to return to the whole issue of the
2 Bregava Brigade, sir.
3 Now, yesterday we concluded the examination, and we were
4 exploring the notion of whether the Bregava Brigade and its members had a
5 legitimate expectation or right to operate on the territory of Stolac
6 municipality. And we touched upon that Bregava Brigade wanting a larger
7 role, and my contention to you or what I put to you as well was that it
8 was actually being side-lined by the HVO, being prevented from assuming
9 that role. I'd like to continue looking at this aspect.
10 For this, I don't think we need to turn to this document, but you
11 recall that over the past two days there has been reference to an order
12 by Miljenko Lasic on the 6th of December, 1992, and it was the order
13 assigning certain positions to the Bregava Brigade and then also allowing
14 the Bregava Brigade to establish a headquarters in Prenj. Do you
15 remember that, that we have looked at that document, that we spoke about
17 A. I can't remember exactly which document that was in, but the
18 Bregava Brigade --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat what he said?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The village of Prenj
21 distance from the front-line of over 20 kilometres, and the -- if you
22 take the road, it's longer, so it's 20 kilometres as the crow flies.
23 MR. KRUGER:
24 Q. Sir, the interpreter has asked that you repeat the first part of
25 your question -- of your answer. My apologies.
1 A. What I said was that I can't remember what document you're
2 referring to, but I do know that the brigade, the Bregava Brigade, never
3 got the village of Prenj
4 command post ever installed in the village of Prenj
5 Brigade was given a part of the defence line around Prenj, that is to
6 say, 15 kilometres away as the crow flies, and if you take the road, then
7 it's over 20 kilometres.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, Mr. Kruger.
9 Mr. Pavlovic, could you explain where the front-line was, maybe
10 at least by naming villages? Like Djelojevici [phoen], would that be a
11 place where the front-line was?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can confirm -- I can tell you all
13 the places through which the front-line passed in that area, if we start
14 out from Golo Brdo -- Golo Brda, which is before Bijelo Jevici [phoen],
15 those are positions in front of the village of Bjelovici
16 3 to 5
17 Drenovac. And then the line went further along across a place called
18 Poprat. It's an area comprising several villages. And then it passed
19 along the cemetery, had a central position in front of Poprat at the
20 cemetery. And then it passed by the village of Ravnice
21 of Basilije, and then the village of Komonje
22 the villages of Lozanici [phoen] and Barane [phoen], through the village
23 of Hodovo or, rather, the outer-reaches of Hodovo, in front of the
24 village of Rotimlje, and then it passed in front of the village of
25 Vranici in the Kameni area, and then Podvelezje.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, that's quite helpful.
2 Please, Mr. Kruger.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Sir, let's quickly, then, indeed turn to the document of the 12th
5 of December, and it is the fourth document in your binder, the fourth one
6 from the beginning, and it is document P00868. Sir, you need to look at
7 the pages on the right -- left side of your binder.
8 Sir, you're looking at the wrong place.
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. Do you have it?
11 A. No, I haven't found it. Would you repeat the number, please?
12 Q. P00868. If you close your binder -- thank you, Mr. Usher.
13 A. Yes, I see. I apologise. I've found it now.
14 Q. Sir, this is the order 6th December 1992 by Miljenko Lasic, and
15 we see that it -- the addressees are: The Bregava Brigade, Stolac,
16 Southern Barracks, and then copied to the 1st Brigade and the 3rd
17 Brigade. And we see the order is simply for organisation of combat
18 activities at the battle-field in the municipalities of Mostar and
20 "I hereby issue the following order:
21 "The Bregava Brigade is to take over the responsibility for the
22 following defence line," and then gives a location.
23 And then if we look at the second-to-last paragraph of the order,
24 it says:
25 "The unit is to be accommodated in the Prenj locality (school or
1 any other suitable structure.)"
2 And it's correct this is what we were talking about earlier and
3 what you had already said that this was, indeed, accurate, or this order
4 was issued by Mr. Lasic?
5 A. Yes, from this we can see that the order was issued by Mr. Lasic.
6 Q. Now, sir, if we turn to the very next document, which is P01402.
7 And we see that this is a document from about a month later, and it's the
8 23rd of -- or at least it says at the end the document is -- the order is
9 to be carried out on the 23rd of January, 1993. It's an order by
10 Miljenko Lasic, and what I'd like to point you to is point number 3,
11 which says:
12 "The location for headquarters and the reserve unit," and this
13 would be of the Bregava Brigade, "is to be organised exclusively in one
14 of the barracks or in the military building in the area of the
15 Operational Zone South-East Herzegovina
16 agreed with the commander of the Operational Zone South-East
18 My question, sir, is: This is five, six weeks after the order of
19 the 6th of December, and is it correct that at this stage the Bregava
20 Brigade had still not established a headquarters in Prenj?
21 A. Yes, the Bregava Brigade never set up headquarters in Prenj. I
22 can confirm that. And I can also confirm that the positions stated here
23 are ones that I know very well, because they're located in the place that
24 I was born and where I live today. And I can also confirm one other
25 thing, and that is my professional military opinion, because I know the
1 situation from that time, and it is something that became clear to
2 everybody later on, but at the time when this first order was issued, the
3 Bregava Brigade was not capable of holding these positions because it was
4 only a brigade in name, whereas the actual brigade didn't resemble any
5 other proper brigades either by the number of soldiers or by virtue of
6 some other attributes that a brigade must have.
7 And so because it was incapable of taking these positions, as far
8 as I know, in the area of Kotarznica [phoen], which is a very sensitive
9 area, a very difficult area to hold, then they gave them some other
10 positions, that is to say, to the left of that area, small positions.
11 When I say "small," I mean an area of 500 to 600 metres, at the most.
12 And the Bregava Brigade held that for a time, and in the action by the
13 Serb forces that we mentioned earlier on, it lost those positions. And
14 this is yet further confirmation of my observations that the
15 Bregava Brigade at that time was truly not properly capacitated to be
16 able to hold those positions.
17 And if I might be allowed to add -- may I continue, please? Then
18 I can tell you a few facts which would make the situation clearer to you,
19 the situation in that particular unit. So may I do that? Can I go on to
21 Q. Can I first ask you this, sir: Is it correct that the
22 1st Knez Domagoj Brigade of the HVO, and the commander,
23 Mr. Nedjeljko Obradovic, that they were actually also opposed to the
24 Bregava Brigade situating its headquarters on the territory of Stolac
1 A. No. My understanding of the situation dating back to those times
2 is as follows: The 1st Brigade, to which I belonged, in part, did not
3 want nor could it take in any other unit in the central area of
4 responsibility and be held responsible for the defence lines. I'd never
5 allow myself to be in that position, especially if I was certain that
6 that particular unit could not perform its assignment properly. And that
7 unit, in actual fact, at that time was incapable of carrying out its
8 combat assignment, and I can state the reasons for that to make the
9 situation clearer to you.
10 Q. Before you say that, what period are you referring to,
11 specifically, that they were not capable of performing these assignments?
12 A. Well, they weren't able to carry out the assignments from their
13 very establishment, from -- until they were established first and until
14 they were disbanded, because they didn't engage in those assignments at
15 all. It was just a pretext for something else that they were doing.
16 Now, if you would like me to tell you, I can.
17 Q. Actually, I do want to explore this, but perhaps I'm going to ask
18 you questions and we'll see if we get the information you want to
20 You mentioned -- a part of your testimony yesterday and the day
21 before yesterday was that the Bregava Brigade -- you had intelligence
22 reports indicating plans of the Bregava Brigade to break off co-operation
23 with the HVO and to start combat actions with the HVO. You remember your
24 evidence to that effect?
25 A. I'm not sure what exactly this refers to. Could you please
2 Q. Yes, I'll explain. And your testimony was specifically that upon
3 the arrest of members of the Bregava Brigade and the command, documents
4 were found with the command which completely confirmed the intelligence
5 reports. Moreover, those documents proved that the BiH Army planned to
6 carry out its offensive actions against the HVO in co-operation with HV
7 soldiers of Muslim ethnicity. And then you were shown a number of
8 documents showing an order by Bajro Pizovic on the 5th of April, for
9 instance, ordering heightened combat readiness, and then a series of
10 documents after that. Do you recall that testimony of yours?
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but I
12 would like to ask my learned friend to provide a reference to the page
13 where this very answer of the witness was recorded, because I must admit
14 that my recollection of his answer is different.
15 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, actually, I was reading from the
16 summary provided, so it is, indeed, a bit of a paraphrasing, perhaps.
17 But I don't think it's contentious that that was the nature of the
18 evidence that he gave or the tenure.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the summary that we
20 submitted to our colleagues in the Prosecution and then the other Defence
21 counsels are my rendering of the events and not the very words uttered in
22 this courtroom, so we have to be vigilant because the witness did not
23 state that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, if you were
25 unclear, do rephrase your question.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll rephrase.
2 Q. Sir, a number of documents were shown to you on Monday evening
3 pertaining to April, and these documents were, for instance: 4D01809.
4 We needn't look at the document, but it's a 5 April order by
5 Bajro Pizovic for the Bregava Brigade to increase its level of combat
6 readiness. And then there were other orders: 5D03046, an order by
7 Pizovic on 15 April; there was an order on 16th April, 4D0033. But the
8 point that was being made by these documents was that the Bregava Brigade
9 was planning an offensive against the HVO in Stolac, and where these
10 documents came from was that these documents were obtained from the
11 records of the Bregava Brigade Command, if I'm not mistaken. Do you
12 recall that or is this a correct rendering of that evidence?
13 A. I cannot precisely say which documents these are, but I agree
14 that on Monday we saw a series of documents from which it could be seen
15 that the Bregava Brigade was planning to launch offensive actions against
16 the HVO units.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. And these documents, would you agree that they
18 generally dated from the period of -- or from April 1993?
19 A. Mostly, yes.
20 Q. Sir, I'd like to then turn to the next document, and this is four
21 documents further on in your bind. It's Exhibit P01804, P01804. This is
22 a document which is already in evidence.
23 A. 04, one down here?
24 Q. That's correct, if you turn to the B/C/S version, the translated
1 This, sir, is a media report, and it's dated the 4th of April,
2 1993. The headline is: "Bosnian Croats Demand Muslim Troop Pull-Outs."
3 You're looking at the English. If you could turn to the B/C/S version,
4 sir. Yes.
5 At the top, it's "4 April 1993, Sunday." Headline:
6 "Bosnian Croats Demand Troop Pull-Outs." And then it says: "Body." It
7 says, the first paragraph:
8 "Bosnian Croats on Sunday demanded the withdrawal of Muslim
9 troops from the provinces designated for Croat self-rule under a UN peace
10 plan, reviving tensions between nominal civil war allies who battled
11 early this year."
12 Now, sir, first of all before continuing, if we look at that
13 paragraph, you wouldn't disagree that this UN peace plan is a reference
14 to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
15 A. Probably.
16 Q. Okay. Now, we don't need to read this whole report, but if you
17 go one, two, three, four -- the fifth paragraph of this document, it
19 "The HVO set an April 15 dead-line for Bosnian
20 President Alija Izetbegovic to sign a joint communique ratifying the
21 withdrawals, creating a common high command, and certifying there were no
22 Muslim-Croat territorial disputes."
23 And then if we go down two paragraphs further, it says:
24 "'If Izetbegovic fails to sign this agreement by 15 April, the
25 HVO will unilaterally enforce its jurisdiction in Cantons 3, 8, and 10,'
1 the statement from HVO headquarters in south-west Croat stronghold of
2 Mostar warned."
3 And then the next paragraph it says that the Croatian Radio has
4 reported that Mate Boban had already signed the proposed communique.
5 Sir, were you aware of an ultimate issued by Mr. Boban on the
6 4th of April, 1993, to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, sir, Stolac, you don't dispute that that was actually
9 intended to be part of Province 8 in the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
10 A. As far as I remember, it was.
11 Q. And so if this ultimatum indeed was issued, would you agree that
12 its implication for Muslim units, such as the Bregava Brigade, on the
13 territory of Stolac would be that they would, by 15 April, either have to
14 disarm or perhaps even leave the territory of Stolac
15 A. I don't know about such an ultimatum. This is the assessment of
16 a journalist, and as far as I can tell, he is referring to statements
17 uttered at Croatian Radio Mostar or any other radio station, so I cannot
18 confirm that there, indeed, was an ultimatum, and I haven't heard about
20 Q. Sir, indeed there is other evidence before the Chamber also of
21 this ultimatum, but my question is: If this ultimatum existed, that
22 would have the effect that by the 15th of April, the Bregava Brigade may
23 have to either totally disarm or leave the territory of Stolac
24 municipality; isn't that correct?
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you allow me this
1 objection as regards the factual basis for this question. If the witness
2 doesn't know about the so-called ultimatum, and if he is not familiar
3 with all its elements, then he cannot reply to this question, because the
4 question does not offer all the options that, according to the
5 Prosecutor, were part of that ultimatum. So I believe it would be useful
6 for all of us if that could be done.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Objection overruled. This is a hypothesis which
8 is absolutely graspable, and it does not ask the witness to make any
9 factual actual assertion.
10 Please continue, Mr. Kruger.
11 The Chamber has ruled, Ms. Alaburic. This is a ruling of the
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I
14 absolutely accept. I have no intention of reiterating my objection. But
15 if you let me explain --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, we don't want any
17 explanation. The Prosecutor asked a question of the witness. The
18 witness answered, and he said he wasn't aware of the ultimatum. And so
19 he said -- what else do you want? Now, you're shooting yourself in the
20 foot if you intervene. He said he didn't know, so the Prosecutor is
21 going to try and make him understand that he's lying, that he knew, or
22 that he doesn't want to say anything, because if you intervene, you
23 weaken the witness's answers. That's what I don't understand. You're
24 calling the witness for your own case. As long as the witness doesn't
25 testify against you, let him do his job.
1 He said he didn't know about any ultimatum. Why did you take the
2 floor, all the more so since you're going to have re-examination and you
3 can always return -- revisit the issue if you're not happy with the
4 witness's answers? By taking the floor, you're just sort of working
5 against yourself. I don't understand.
6 And the Prosecutor is allowed to present his case. He believes
7 that there was an ultimatum. The witness answers that there wasn't any.
8 So let's go along and see what happens.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do consider it
10 necessary to say now that I am not objecting to the answers provided by
11 the witness, but I consider it my duty to object to the question. And if
12 the question is referring to a factual basis and it is incomplete,
13 I think it is my duty to object.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue, Mr. Kruger.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, could you answer the question, which basically is that: If
17 this ultimatum was in existence, wouldn't its effect be that the members
18 of the Bregava Brigade would most likely have to disarm and then, even by
19 15 April, have to leave the territory of Stolac
21 A. I'll repeat once more that I truly don't know of such an
22 ultimatum. If it had been issued in any form, I don't believe that the
23 units in the same combat disposition -- or that had been in the same
24 combat disposition for quite a time, would have disarmed, because
25 weakening the defence line is something that nobody could have ordered.
1 Q. We'll look at that in just a moment. But, sir, the members of
2 this Bregava Brigade, you'd already said most of them were from Stolac
3 municipality. Would you agree, sir, if an ultimatum such as this had
4 been issued, that those men would rightly have felt very worried about
5 their immediate future and what would happen to them on 15 April, when
6 the ultimatum expired? Would you agree?
7 A. I think that those people had no reason to worry at all, because
8 if they had kept their area of responsibility and if their command hadn't
9 continuously provoked, they would never have been moved from there.
10 Probably as the brigade would have grown in size and strength, it would
11 have been assigned a greater zone of responsibility. Nobody would have
12 considered it in their interest to remove a unit which lived up to its
14 Q. Sir, I put it to you that an order such as that issued by
15 Bajro Pizovic on April 5 for the heightened combat readiness of members
16 of the Bregava Brigade was a direct response to this ultimatum which had
17 been issued by Mate Boban.
18 A. No. That was the response to the constant warnings of the
19 brigade commander that they must leave the zone of responsibility of the
20 1st Herzegovina
21 village, and that they must take the zone assigned to them and return to
22 their command post, which is the Juzni Logor Barracks. And all orders
23 sent out by the Bregava Brigade commander were about such warnings, and I
24 know of no other warnings but that they were being warned that they must
25 leave the zone of responsibility of the 1st Brigade.
1 Q. Sir, let's have a very brief look at what, indeed, happened the
2 day after the expiry of the ultimatum, and this would have been on the
3 16th of April, 1993. And you were shown, in this regard -- or you were
4 shown on Monday evening two documents, and they are -- and I don't think
5 we need to turn to them. You'll recall them because you confirmed them.
6 Two orders by Nedjeljko Obradovic, P01900 and then P01913. What these
7 orders are about, both on 16 April, they're orders to disarm and detain
8 ABiH members, and ABiH members are not to be allowed into the
9 Knez Domagoj area of responsibility. Do you recall those two orders?
10 A. I believe that this refers to that request and the order that are
11 almost identical. We spoke about that yesterday. The "01" sequence was
12 missing in one of them. And I'm sure that at that moment, nobody went to
13 disarm the Bregava Brigade, but rather that this applied to members not
14 only of the Bregava Brigade, but members of all other units which,
15 without any permission and no approval, entered the zone of the
16 1st Herzegovina
17 At that time, we really made efforts for the relations between
18 the HVO and the ABiH to be good, and if you remember my order which I
19 interpreted yesterday, it grew out of the agreement between me and the
20 commander of the Bregava Brigade, Mr. Bajro Pizovic, during his stay at
22 To make it clearer to you, above the command, where the forward
23 command post of Stolac was, I believe on the second or third storey of
24 that building - I'm not sure which - in one of the apartments there was
25 the headquarters of the SDA party, and as Mr. Pizovic was one of the
1 vice-presidents of the party, he called at that place often and he had no
2 difficulties in going through HVO positions or passing through. But his
3 soldiers would leave their positions often without permission, and he
4 would then send military police from his ranks. And under the pretext of
5 collecting his soldiers, he would he would also pick up a dozen or so
6 young Muslims from the town of Stolac
7 mobilise them by force, and their families complained. Some even came to
8 our command to complain, and I insisted that Mr. Pizovic stop doing that.
9 I tried to agree with him, in a gentleman-like fashion, and we said that
10 if a soldier of the ABiH leaves his positions, without the permission of
11 the commander of the Bregava Brigade, and goes into his place of
12 residence, he should issue a request to our command and we will send out
13 military police that will search out that soldier and take him to the
14 Aladinici check-point, where the ABiH will take him over.
15 If anything like that should happen with a soldier of the HVO,
16 the same will apply vice versa. And this agreement was honoured for a
17 while, but then came a day when that came to an end, and probably the
18 brigade commander saw himself forced to issue such an order.
19 So that's what things were really like.
20 Q. Now, sir, we'll come back to that in one moment. Just to
21 complete, then, on this topic: This is your view now, that actually the
22 HVO was acting reasonably; it was the Bregava Brigade which was acting
23 unreasonably and which was provoking. I put to you, sir, that actually
24 the orders of 16 April 1993
25 execution of the ultimatum by Mate Boban. Do you agree with that or not?
1 A. I cannot agree with that in any case, but, of course, I cannot
2 prevent you from having your own opinion.
3 Q. Okay. And just one further item. Two other orders were also
4 shown to you, and these were documents 4D00033 of 16 April and 4D00034 of
5 18 April 1993
6 the ABiH. Do you recall seeing those two documents?
7 A. If possible, I would ask you to show them to me, because there
8 have been many documents and it's difficult to remember everything.
9 MR. KRUGER: If I may ask the assistance of the usher to perhaps
10 just show the original to the witness, if we could, perhaps. I have them
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I know what it's about.
13 MR. KRUGER:
14 Q. Sir, the only point I want to put to you on these is that: If
15 the ultimatum by Mr. Boban indeed existed, then the call by Mr. Pizovic
16 and the Bregava Brigade to Muslims in the HVO to join their side, it
17 actually then is much less sinister than it first looked; isn't that so?
18 A. I'll repeat once more that at the time I wasn't aware of any
19 ultimatum and that any documents issued by Mr. Pizovic or his
20 assistant - in this case it was probably Mr. Huso Maric - or, rather,
21 declarations or proclamations issued to HVO soldiers had different goals
22 and were not the reaction to any ultimatum.
23 Q. Let's move back to your earlier point. You said that you
24 approached Mr. Pizovic as a gentleman. Let's have a look at an occasion
25 where Mr. Pizovic may have been trying to approach Nedjeljko Obradovic as
1 a gentleman. Let's look at Exhibit P01997, and it should be just the
2 next document on from the one we've just been looking at. P019997 [sic].
3 Now, sir, this document, if we look at the back, it's by
4 Commander Bajro Pizovic, and it's addressed to the Command of the 1st
5 Herzegovina Brigade on 20 -- and it's unclear which date it is, but
6 I think we can assume that this is the 20th of April that this was
7 written. And I'd like to point you to the first paragraph. It says, the
8 last sentence of the first paragraph:
9 "Also, I felt the need to address you as my neighbour and the man
10 who commands the HVO forces in this area, in our fight against the common
12 "We are aware of the task which was given to the HVO forces and
13 to units of the HV Army in this area against the forces of the Army of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina and against the Muslim people which is,
15 unfortunately, against our wishes, and we hope also against your wishes,
16 in conflict.
17 "Acting in accordance with your activities, and especially after
18 your provocations towards us, using military force, even tanks, in order
19 to provoke us to enter into a conflict, I, together with my soldiers and
20 with people, do not want a conflict."
21 Now, sir, from this would you agree that Mr. Pizovic is actually
22 saying that it is the HVO which is provoking a conflict, not the
23 Bregava Brigade?
24 A. May I have a few moments to just finish reading it.
25 Mr. Pizovic here is saying -- or, rather, is stating some facts
1 as if he were the one who was attacked. However, he also says that the
2 HVO attacked him, units of the Croatian Defence Council. I might use a
3 rather harsh term now, but this is quite stupid, as far as I'm concerned,
4 because at that time there were no units of the Croatian Army in the
5 area, which leads me to think that the other facts stated here have --
6 are incorrect and have been fabricated, because I don't remember that
7 there were any similar situations like that.
8 Q. Sir, I put it to you --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
10 MR. KRUGER:
11 Q. I put it to you, and then we'll step off the topic, that it was
12 the HVO which was provoking the Bregava Brigade because the Bregava
13 Brigade created -- or was an obstacle to incorporating Stolac into the
14 HZ-HB. They wanted to get rid of the HZ-HB. They didn't want it on the
15 territory of Stolac. Would you agree?
16 A. I don't agree that the Bregava Brigade could have put up any
17 obstacles to anyone, because as I said a moment ago -- well, I described
18 the unit to you. It was a unit which was incapable of standing up to
19 anybody, and even the positions that we assigned to it, which it was
20 supposed to hold and a company could hold it, they weren't able to do
21 that, let alone to appear as some kind of authority able to defend
22 Stolac. So I can't agree with that, no.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I, Mr. Kruger.
24 Mr. Pavlovic, I seem to detect a certain contradiction in what
25 you have told us this afternoon, because in the first line of questions
1 the Prosecutor has put it to you that the HVO wanted to get rid of the
2 Bregava Brigade, which ought to have left the area, and you say, Oh, no,
3 that could never have been the case because we need them for the defence.
4 It's impossible to take them away, because that would weaken the defence.
5 And now you say, and you have hinted at that before, They were worthless,
6 they were completely useless. So I wonder whether you can clarify.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not say -- or
8 perhaps you didn't understand me properly. I did not say that the
9 relations between the units of the Croatian Defence Council and the
10 BH Army, up until the time -- or, rather, until the spring of 1993, were
11 not good. I didn't say that. They were at a high level, at an enviable
12 level, and we can see that from any of the documents. Relations were
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I wonder whether you've understood
15 my question, because I didn't refer to anything like that.
16 You have first said it would have been impossible to remove the
17 Bregava Brigade, not ABiH in general, because it was needed to hold the
18 lines. No reasonable commander would have withdrawn troops. Now you
19 also say, and you have said so before, The Bregava Brigade was of no use.
20 So it could not at the same time be necessary for the defence and of no
21 use, no power to stand up against anybody. This is the contradiction I
22 seem to detect.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Mr. President -- I mean, Your Honour, if
24 you can clarify the latter part. When you say "of no use," I understand
25 what you're getting at, but I may --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I can, I can, although it's actually the
2 question of whether the witness understands, not whether you understand,
3 and I'm amazed that you don't know. But the witness has just said that
4 the Bregava Brigade was so weak it could not stand up against anything,
5 it could not be an obstacle. So if it can't even be an obstacle, what
6 use can it be in defence against the Serbs?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I've
8 understood your question better now.
9 What I mean to say is this: I said that nobody wanted to remove
10 the Bregava Brigade, but they wanted to have the Bregava Brigade act
11 within its assigned area of responsibility. Now, when I gave my last
12 answer, my last interpretation, I said, and it was the truth, that the
13 Bregava Brigade lost that area of responsibility that was assigned to it
14 and dealt with other things, altogether other things, and not what had
15 been assigned to it, its prime tasks.
16 And at the beginning, it's true, we wanted this brigade to be
17 part of the defence system, to grow, and we had very proper relations
18 with it. However, on a daily basis, as time went by, it began dealing in
19 other affairs and not the assignments and tasks given it.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It might be helpful if you could tell us a date,
21 maybe approximate, when the Bregava Brigade lost its area of
22 responsibility. When was that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That happened in February. And
24 I think in the documents we looked at, we'll be able to find the right
25 date, but I think it was in February 1993.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. And what did they do afterwards?
2 What was their task afterwards?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Their tasks were to see to an area
4 of responsibility that had been restricted. They were kept at the same
5 positions, but given a smaller area of responsibility, because they lost
6 control of Feature 690, for example, which was of enormous strategic
7 importance for the entire area. And in Operation Bura, because of taking
8 control of that feature, we lost dozens of soldiers and some of our
9 legendary commanders as well.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 Excuse me for the interruption, Mr. Kruger.
12 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in April, could you
14 tell us whether you were commanding the 1st Brigade of the HVO?
15 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have a document
17 on the screen. Could you tell us who it was sent to, according to you?
18 You didn't know of this document, did you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You'd never seen it before?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I wanted to put
23 this on the transcript. This document was seemingly handed to the OTP on
24 August 16, 2000
25 the OTP was probably a French speaker because this letter was translated
1 into French, because I have a French version.
2 But, Witness, you do not know this document. I note that the
3 Prosecutor believes that it is dated April 20th, but in the B/C/S
4 document we see that the date is "20.0" blank, period, so we don't know
5 whether it's a "4" for "April." But, you might confirm, Mr. Prosecutor,
6 you might confirm that there is no mention of ultimatum here, and there
7 is no mention that weapons must be surrendered or that there is a need to
8 be subordinated or re-subordinated to the HVO.
9 Witness, can you tell us whether there is mention of all this?
10 Is there mention of an ultimatum, a re-subordination, in this document,
11 in the original version in B/C/S?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't had time to read it all,
13 except for the paragraph that I was asked about by the Prosecutor. So
14 might I take a moment to read through it, and then I'll be able to answer
15 your question. But as things now stand, I can't do that.
16 I don't see any mention of an ultimatum here.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Assuming that this
18 document was actually written in 1993, assuming, because we -- this
19 document was handed over in 2000, so everything's possible, let's assume
20 this is a genuine document, it would seem that at that moment there are
21 soldiers of the Bregava Brigade or ABiH soldiers who were arrested and
22 detained. What's your take on this? Is it true, is it false? At the
23 almost last paragraph, there is a request for a liberation -- a release
24 of these soldiers.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's highly possible that at that
1 time there were commanders or, rather, members of the Bregava Brigade who
2 had been arrested and detained precisely for the reasons that we
3 mentioned earlier on, because they often came to the positions and left
4 them without anybody's authorisation.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. You knew
6 Pizovic, didn't you? I think yesterday you told us that you knew this
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When reading this letter by
10 Pizovic, I note that the tone is very moderate, it's full of respect
11 towards the HVO, and the impression you get from this letter is that
12 Mr. Pizovic does not like conflict and is trying to find a solution. Is
13 it true, is it false? Does this correspond to Mr. Pizovic's personality?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a letter is one thing,
15 and the situation on the ground is something quite different again.
16 Knowing him personally, as I do, and knowing the situation on the ground
17 as well, I am really rather astonished that he wrote such a fine letter.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is what I
19 wanted to know, and this letter is very courteous. Does this correspond
20 to Mr. Pizovic's personality?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't want to give you my
22 personal, subjective opinion alone. We've seen many documents here that
23 are quite different in tone from this letter, so that's how I see him.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if he was
25 British, you could say he's a gentleman?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's precisely written in a
2 gentlemanly fashion.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Mr. Kruger.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, I'd like to very briefly touch upon the next document, not
7 spend much time on it, and that is document P02790, and it's about four
8 or five documents on -- further on in your binder. P02790. And, sir,
9 this is a document -- do you have it? This is a document --
10 A. Yes. You mean the report? It's a report; right?
11 Q. That's correct. It's a report of 15 June 1993, and it's signed
12 by Mr. Zarko Pavlovic, chief of the Security Service of the Knez Domagoj
13 1st Brigade. My first question is: This Pavlovic being referred to is a
14 different person; it's not mistakenly you referred to in the document?
15 A. Just the same surname.
16 Q. Okay. Now, sir, what this document is about -- I'm not going to
17 go through the whole document, but what it is about, we'll look at the
18 first paragraph:
19 "Having gathered information on the movement or intentions of the
20 BH Army, that is, the Bregava Brigade, about their location to
21 Bivolje Brdo or the Stolac hospital (patients were there only until the
22 Bregava Brigade arrived, and then the hospital should cease to exist), we
23 thought it was the last moment to use force to make them leave to
25 And then the next paragraph relates to the arrest of members of
1 the Bregava Brigade on 19 April 1993
2 Gubavica, only to be caught two days later at Osanici, and that's
3 correct, that's what happened? You don't dispute that; is that correct?
4 A. That is correct. Yes, several days later.
5 Q. And the document continues in saying that:
6 "On the 13th of June, the mopping up of the remaining army area
7 at Rotimlje started," and describes that.
8 And then, sir, what I'd like to go to is the very last
9 paragraph -- or, well, near the bottom. It says:
10 "By searching the terrain in depth of the brigade's zone of
11 responsibility, we will have a real picture of the strength of the line
12 of the Chetniks and facing the BH Army."
13 And then this part:
14 "Our aim is to create a situation in which the Muslims will not
15 trust one another, which will make them easy to control."
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Correction, or question. In the transcript, you
17 read, and I've heard you say so "we'll have a real picture," page 31,
18 line 10, "a real picture of the strength of the line of the Chetniks,"
19 and I read in the document "a strength of the line facing the Chetniks,"
20 which would be the other side.
21 MR. KRUGER: My apologies, Your Honour. You are, indeed,
22 correct. The text is "the strength of the line facing the Chetniks."
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 MR. KRUGER: "... and facing the BH Army." And then, sir:
25 "Our aim is to create a situation in which the Muslims will not
1 trust one another, which will make them easy to control."
2 Q. My only question to you on this document, sir, is: Isn't this --
3 doesn't this describe the attitude of the HVO towards the Bregava Brigade
4 throughout? They were trying to neutralise them, as such, in all their
5 actions since they were created; isn't that correct?
6 A. This document indicates -- or, rather, shows the opinion of an
7 officer of the Security Service, how he views the situation. Now, I
8 really don't know how that Security Service worked, so that many of the
9 things written down here are ones that I can't confirm.
10 Q. But my question remains. Wasn't it the basic premise of the HVO,
11 then, looking at those words, to at least control or neutralise, then,
12 the Bregava Brigade in Stolac? Would you agree with that or not?
13 A. Mr. Prosecutor, we talked about the efforts made by the
14 Bregava Brigade throughout our discussions here, and it's quite normal
15 that if you know that somebody is going to attack you imminently, that
16 you have to prepare for the attack and prepare for your defence. And
17 what I see here is that this particular person was preparing facts and
18 information gathered by his service.
19 Q. Let's look at the document just previous to this --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
21 [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor is putting a question to
22 you, but there is part of a document that he did not mention, and I
23 believe that it was a very important part.
24 If a reasonable Judge looks at the transcript without looking at
25 the document, he might make a mistake. And why is it? Well, the
1 Prosecutor is using this document because he believes that it's a genuine
2 document, since he's using them, and in this document I see that
3 Pavlovic -- Zarko Pavlovic is saying that the HVO arrested 183 ABiH
4 soldiers, and by looking at the documentation in the archives, there was
5 confirmation of the fact that the estimation made earlier by the
6 superiors was correct, because the Bregava Brigade had indeed prepared an
7 operation in order to occupy the area of responsibility of the 1st
8 Knez Domagoj Brigade. So according to this document, which is used by
9 the Prosecutor and which has probative value in the eyes of the OTP, it
10 seems that the arrest of these 183 soldiers was linked to a preventive
11 action, because the ABiH intended to later occupy the area of
12 responsibility. And so the potential aggressor was not the HVO, but the
14 Now, you were on the ground, so is that what you experienced,
15 i.e., that 183 of your fellow Muslim soldiers had been arrested, but
16 they'd been arrested because they were plotting an action against the
17 HVO? Is this what this document is actually saying or, according to the
18 Prosecution's version, is it because -- did you arrest them because that
19 was in line with the ultimatum made by Mate Boban and this had nothing to
20 do with the action that was being planned by the ABiH?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's precisely as you
22 described it. That's what I'm saying. That's how I claim it was. They
23 had to be disarmed as a preventive measure.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger.
25 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Just before the break, if I may ask just one more question,
2 Your Honour?
3 Q. Sir, in light of your earlier evidence, however, where you said
4 that the Bregava Brigade was not strong, and as it was also mentioned by
5 Judge Trechsel - I don't know if those were the precise words - but they
6 were pretty much worthless, according to your evidence, so any assertion
7 that they would try to take over the zone of responsibility and -- from
8 the Knez Domagoj Brigade or take on the Knez Domagoj Brigade, according
9 to your own evidence, that would be a laughable proposition; do you
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it's not a laughable proposition at all, because
12 they took over the area of responsibility beforehand and lost it, so
13 these were irresponsible soldiers. And most probably they would have
14 taken over our zone of responsibility, but what would have happened to
15 the zone is something we can only speculate about.
16 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I have one further document on this
17 topic, and do we have time? It's a brief document.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, finish with it. It's
19 better to finalise this topic.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Sir, if we could quickly look - I think it's two documents
22 earlier in your binder, and that is document P02640, P02640. Yes, you
23 have that document.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Sir, this document, if I look at it, it is a document by
1 yourself. Is that your signature at the bottom?
2 A. [No verbal response]
3 Q. You shake your head. Is that a Yes?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. And this is a document dated 5 June 1993 to the
6 military police in Stolac.
7 "Subject: Search warrant."
8 "This warrants the search of homes and property of the following
9 HVO members. All weaponry and military equipment found is to be
10 confiscated, saved that belonging to the HVO."
11 And then following -- 28 names follow. Is this indeed a document
12 prepared by you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The names of these 27 [sic] people, looking through them quickly,
15 these are all people of Muslim ethnicity; would you agree?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Sir, yesterday you mentioned that prior to the attack on the
18 30th of June on the North Camp, you were totally surprised, that you had
19 no indication previously that such an event could occur. In light of
20 that, isn't this an indication that actually you were suspicious of
21 Muslims even before that time? This is three weeks before that period.
22 A. Mr. President, as I wrote this document myself, I know what it's
23 about. None of these soldiers here was taken into detention. We, for
24 security reasons, searched them, searched the hamlet, or village,
25 whichever you like, and it was the village of Borojevici
1 because we had received certain information telling us that at that time,
2 in that particular village, there were people coming in who had a
3 destructive effect and that they were members of the BH Army, that they
4 were passing through the village or spent time in the village, and that,
5 anyway, in that particular village weapons and ammunition were being
6 hidden. And so we had to take this kind of action.
7 And as you can see here in the last five words of the
8 introduction, it says "military equipment should be confiscated, except
9 for that issued by the Croatian Defence Council and belonging to the
10 HVO." So our soldiers were not under threat in any way, and we acted
11 properly towards them to the very last day, in the way that I have
12 described during my testimony.
13 Q. Sir, I put it to you that it was actions such as this, aimed at
14 Muslims in Stolac, which raised the tension and the fears of the Muslims
15 that they were being targeted by the HVO.
16 A. All I can tell you is what I know, which is that none of these
17 people protested, and there was no fear, except in individual cases,
18 except in individual cases. Yes, certain individuals, yes.
19 Q. My final question, sir --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
21 Witness, there's something I can't understand. The order you
22 signed seems to be very kind, because should these soldiers have materiel
23 that they acquired illegally, for instance, military equipment that they
24 were not supposed to have, well, you should have ordered for them to be
25 arrested. But here, you're not saying that they should be arrested. And
1 you even add in this document that if they have equipment belonging to
2 the HVO, they should keep it. So I don't understand.
3 This document is used by the Prosecutor in support of its case,
4 and if you look at the document from a purely military point of view,
5 I think that this is very kind towards these soldiers, who could be
6 offenders because they have weapons that they acquired under apparently
7 illegal circumstances. So why didn't you demand them to be arrested in
8 this document?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, until you find
10 something in somebody's possession, you cannot charge him with anything.
11 So if we had found something here, we would have taken appropriate
12 measures. But ordering our soldiers to take measures against them,
13 without knowing that they had actually offended, was certainly nothing
14 that we wanted to do.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I fully agree with you,
16 Witness. But why did you fail to say the following: If equipment that
17 was acquired illegally is discovered, arrest the people holding them,
18 draft an indictment, and pass it on to the military prosecutor? Why did
19 you not say that in this document?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to the
21 report received from the unit that carried out this task, I would have
22 ordered such measures. But as far as I remember, to my recollection,
23 nothing was found on that occasion, apart from materiel issued by the
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. -- sorry. Mr. Pavlovic, on a legal level,
1 what you ordered was a measure that's normally in the hands of the
2 judiciary because it's an interference with a fundamental right;
3 protection of home. On what did you base your authority to take such an
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I based it on intelligence that I
6 received, because I must act in a preventive fashion.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I mean, you are not a lawyer. I will not
8 insist, but intelligence is certainly not a legal basis to interfere with
9 fundamental rights. On the opposite, fundamental rights are protected
10 formally. But I will not insist. You are not a lawyer. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, be quick because we
12 should have a break. If the other Trial Chamber had not taken six more
13 minutes, we would have been done by now.
14 MR. KRUGER:
15 Q. The last question. Number 9 on the list, Mr. Mustafa Obradovic,
16 is that the Mustafa Obradovic who was later killed in Gabela Prison; do
17 you know?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know the man personally, nor do I know
19 anything about that.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. If --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a 20-minute break.
22 --- Recess taken at 4.00 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed, Mr. Kruger.
25 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Sir, the next exhibit that I'd like to refer you to is
2 Exhibit P08637. Your binder's already open at the document. P08637.
3 And, sir, this document is a Security and Information Service's report of
4 8 January 1996
5 "We submit to you the list of HVO military commanders (with their
6 personal data) who were performing their duties during the mass exile of
7 Bosnian Muslims from the region of Stolac."
8 And then number 1 refers to:
9 "Bozo Pavlovic, son of Ante, born 24 October 1966 ..."
10 And that's you, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And it says that:
13 "At the above-mentioned time, he was the commander of defence of
14 the town of Stolac
15 Veseljko Raguz. Still, he remained there and he was present during the
16 exile and while arrests were carried out."
17 Is that correct, accurate?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, from the documents that we have seen so far it is
19 plain to see how long I was at Stolac and what my duties were there. I
20 cannot accept this kind of assessment, the assessment of the author of
21 this document. I cannot accept it at all.
22 Q. Sir, he refers to "exile," he uses the word in B/C/S I see it's
23 "progona." You wouldn't disagree with a statement that Muslims were
24 removed from Stolac municipality and that -- and to use his word, this
25 exile, that it was affected by the HVO? Would you disagree with that,
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I cannot prevent the author of this document from
3 calling it whatever he pleases, but I can say that these last words after
4 the comma are false, because I wasn't in the area at that time at all,
5 and it can be seen from other documents where I really was.
6 Q. Sir, but aside from where you were at that period, is it correct
7 that the HVO exiled the Muslims from Stolac, the Muslim inhabitants?
8 A. I can't find the right word for this qualification because I do
9 not know what happened there at the time. How the Muslim people left the
10 area of Stolac isn't anything that I can confirm. I can only relate
11 rumours that reached me.
12 Q. Sir, three months after July 1993, in September 1993, do you know
13 that Andjelko Markovic informed President Tudjman that not a single
14 Muslim remained in Stolac? Are you aware of that?
15 A. I've only heard it from you now.
16 Q. Before stepping off this document, number 33, right at the end of
17 the document, is a reference to Mr. Andjelko Markovic, and it says he is
18 a doctor by profession and he worked in the orthopaedic hospital in
19 Stolac at the time. That orthopaedic hospital in Stolac, is that the
20 "kostana" hospital?
21 A. Yes, until the start of the war, as far as I know, because I
22 didn't live in the area of Stolac then, but I know that Mr. Markovic is a
23 medical doctor. And as far as I know, until the beginning of the war, he
24 worked at the "kostana" hospital, the bone hospital.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, obviously back in
1 January 1996, following the Dayton Agreements or Accords, there were
2 investigations that were carried out to find out who did what, and here
3 we have 33 individuals being listed who may have played a part with
4 relation to the issue of Muslims in Stolac, and you are under number 1.
5 Therefore, as far as you know, in 1996 or thereafter were you called by
6 the police services to be interviewed as to your possible part or were
7 you never called?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I state under oath
9 that this is the first time anybody has asked me to speak about these
10 things. I have never been interviewed by anyone.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I think that you
12 already answered the next question I was going to ask you, but I still
13 ask it for the record. In the following years up to today, were you ever
14 called or interviewed by the OTP or were you never asked anything?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no service either in
16 or outside Bosnia-Herzegovina has ever demanded that I give any kind of
17 statement about wartime events.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At least this is a
19 very clear answer.
20 Mr. Kruger.
21 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Now, sir, there is a document in evidence, and I'm -- it's in the
23 binder, but I'm not going to let you look at it. I'll simply refer you
24 to what's in the document and then go on from there. The document I'm
25 referring to, for the record, is P02215. It's already in evidence. And,
1 sir --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour. Why shouldn't the witness
3 be allowed to look at the document? I mean, because he may be taking
4 something out of context. I find this rather incredible.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Mr. Kruger, sorry,
6 why don't you want the witness to see the document?
7 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, it's a simple question of time
8 economics, that if --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. But just say, well, you
10 have the document, and then you can ask your question. If he wants to
11 look at the document, he can. But at any rate, the Judges check
12 everything. Rest assured, nothing will escape my notice.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Sir, the document I'm referring to was an order by
15 Mr. Nedjeljko Obradovic on 7 May 1993
16 segment, which was bullet number 13, and it said:
17 "The commander of the Stolac Forward Command Post shall
18 immediately block admission of new patients into the osteopathic hospital
19 and the taking out of material and technical equipment from it."
20 My question to you, sir: Did you ever receive an order with
21 regard to the "kostana" hospital in May 1993?
22 A. If I could be shown the second page of the document, because
23 I can only see items 1 through 7 and you were referring to item 13.
24 Q. The document, if we -- there, it's on your screen now, sir.
25 A. Thank you.
1 Q. It's number 13.
2 A. Yes, yes. Yes, I received this order.
3 Q. And, sir, the patients in the osteopathic hospital or the
4 "kostana" hospital, were they also removed from the hospital?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, at that time, the time when I arrived at Stolac,
6 I cannot claim to be precise, but I'm sure that there weren't even ten
7 patients in that hospital. And when this order was drafted, there are
8 statements about there being over a hundred patients in the hospital, and
9 the commander of the brigade ordered me to provide security to that
10 hospital and to prevent them from taking in new patients.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, something is not clear
12 in my mind. It may be a problem due to translation.
13 I understand that you say that there were 10 seats and that there
14 were 100 patients, because in the English version it looks like there are
15 10 patients and then 100. So what did you mean to say? Did you mean to
16 say that there were only 10 beds and then that there were 100 people, so
17 you could not admit everybody? So what did you mean to say, exactly?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Here's what I
19 said: When I took over my duty at Stolac in July 1993, there were --
20 don't take my word for it, but fewer than 10 patients in the hospital.
21 And at the time when this order was drafted, the hospital had over a
22 hundred patients.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, now it's clear. Now
24 I understand, because when you took over the command, there were only 10
25 patients, and when Obradovic issued that order in May, there were 100
1 patients. Fine, everything's clear now. Thank you.
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, I'd like to refer you to the next document, and
4 it's towards the end of the binder, Exhibit P11098.
5 And if I may state up front, Your Honour, it's a new document and
6 it's being shown to the witness as a matter of credibility.
7 11098. Now, sir, this document is an ECMM report from the legal
8 adviser, and the subject is: "A possible war crime." And it's dated 2
9 June 1993, and it says:
10 "In Stolac," the second paragraph:
11 "In Stolac, on 9 May 1993
12 threw out about 100 people, some seriously ill, and the rest of the
13 following doctors and nurses from the staff: Dr. Mehmet Kadic, Mustafa
14 Pasarla [phoen], Dinka Seta," et cetera, et cetera, and then it says:
15 "The suspected perpetrator is supposed to be commander of Stolac HVO,
16 Commander Bozo Pavlovic."
17 Do you know about this?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Witness, my fellow
19 Judge draws my attention to something which is quite right. You're a
20 witness, so you answer questions. But at your level, if you feel that
21 the answer might incriminate you - one never knows - you can say that you
22 don't want to answer, and if he insists, he has to go through the
23 Trial Chamber, and based on the Rules the Trial Chamber may grant you
24 immunity, if you are of the view that in answering the question, you
25 might incriminate yourself. Well, I don't know, but you have to see for
1 yourself. This is something I was bound to tell you. I know it's quite
2 a complex rule, and I thank my fellow Judge for reminding me.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. And so, Witness, are you prepared to give us an answer to that?
5 Did you know about this?
6 A. Are you going to put to me a question or do you just want my
7 opinion on this document?
8 Q. Did you know about the fact that you were, in some circles, being
9 viewed as a potential war criminal?
10 A. Yes. Actually, I can tell now, only having seen these documents.
11 I didn't know it at the time. But I can explain.
12 Here, I have said that when I came to Stolac, there were fewer
13 than 10 patients in the hospital. They were seriously ill, with
14 disabilities, and they were there when the war started. It was an
15 osteopathic hospital, one of the best known of its kind in all of the
16 former Yugoslavia
17 faraway places, and their families were unable to evacuate them, so the
18 situation came about that the hospital management and the hospital staff
19 started collecting old women from the streets of Stolac and taking them
20 to the hospital because they wanted to receive humanitarian aid on
21 account of that, and the international community indeed provided such aid
22 in large quantities.
23 It is very important that I finish, if you allow me.
24 On one occasion, I don't exactly recall the name of the
25 gentleman, but he was an EC monitor, he called at my headquarters
1 frequently and then he would continue to the hospital, and I received
2 information that the director of the hospital, Dr. Kapic, was putting
3 forward very serious accusations against me and the HVO, even though I
4 was in good relations with him at the time and now, nowadays too. And
5 when that gentleman from the international community came the next time,
6 I expressed my desire to go to the hospital with him, and we sat down
7 with Dr. Kapic together.
8 After the informal introductory conversation, the gentleman from
9 the international community asked me to leave him to speak to Dr. Kapic
10 in four hours, and I said, No problem, but I would like to ask a few
11 questions of the doctor before I leave you. And then I did so, because I
12 had heard that we were treating the patients badly, and I asked him
13 whether our command had offered him to provide food to the hospital, fuel
14 for the ambulances, and all other provisions that our services had, and
15 the doctor answered in the affirmative. I asked him whether there had
16 been any problems between us, and he answered in the negative. And I
17 asked him how much food he was receiving for the hospital - this is very
18 important - and where that food was ending up, and how many meals the
19 patients were receiving, because I had information that the patients were
20 only receiving two meals, but there was food for four meals, and there
21 was much fuel for the hospital, but the radiators in the hospital were
23 Q. Thank you for that. I'm afraid I have to move on. Our time is
24 running out. What I --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I ask just one small question.
1 Can you approximately give a date of that visit of yours to the
2 "kostana" hospital?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't give you the exact date,
4 but I know that it was in spring 1993.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I would
7 like to point out something.
8 Since the same document under number P02612 is under seal, this
9 should be considered to prevent possible problems in the future.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Did you know that
11 it was a document under seal? I asked myself that question, but you seem
12 to be so confident that I thought I must have been wrong about it.
13 MR. KRUGER: If I can just check my situation for a moment.
14 I think I have the answer.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the meantime, Witness, based
16 on this document, well, the source is the (redacted)
17 (redacted). He mentioned -- he reported the
18 event. When you were on the ground, did you have any contacts with
19 SpaBat, and with this captain in particular?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a SpaBat in our area, but
21 I don't remember any individual by name. I probably wouldn't recognise
22 anyone if I were to see one here.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But there's a minor
24 problem. This operation apparently took place on the 9th of May in the
25 hospital, and we know that there were some events that took place in
1 Mostar on that same date. It may be a mere coincidence, but as far as
2 you know, as far as you can remember, but this may be a difficult
3 question, was there an overall plan by the HVO on the 9th of May to take
4 control of positions held by the ABiH?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know of any such plans.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, Mr. Kruger.
7 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
8 Your Honour, just to respond, the first part of the document
9 which is being shown outside the courtroom is, indeed, not under seal.
10 The second part of the document, which essentially says the same, is
11 under seal and shouldn't have been included in the binder. That is my
13 Q. Sir, just to conclude on this topic: You won't dispute that the
14 Muslim patients who were held in -- who were in "kostana" hospital ended
15 up in the Grabovina Barracks and from there they were ultimately expelled
16 to ABiH territory at a time later. You don't dispute that?
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, an objection to the
18 fact that he said Muslim patients. We haven't made that distinction yet.
19 All we spoke about was patients in general terms.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sustained. I was going to make the same
22 MR. KRUGER:
23 Q. Sir, the patients in the "kostana" hospital, those who couldn't
24 be taken by their families, they ended up in Grabovina Barracks in
25 Capljina; is that correct?
1 A. As far as I remember, that is partially correct, yes.
2 Q. And, sir, there's evidence before the Chamber by a person who
3 drove a truck a while later with patients on the back of that truck
4 from -- turned out to be from the "kostana" hospital and who were taken
5 to ABiH territory. You won't dispute that that happened to certain of
6 those patients?
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to object
8 once again. The question doesn't contain the time that the Prosecutor is
9 referring to. I know the time-frame that the witness mentioned, but the
10 fact is: Was this witness there at the time?
11 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I'm simply putting to the witness that
12 he doesn't dispute that that ultimately happened to these patients, and
13 it was a matter of two or three months after they were taken to Grabovina
14 Barracks, if that long.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, as far as I
16 remember, in that hospital the real patients that were unable to move,
17 and that's what the hospital was basically used for, incapacitated
18 patients, they were mostly of Serb ethnicity. Now, all the others, up to
19 a hundred of them, were people who were able to move around and they
20 didn't need to be hospitalised. Now, the Serb patients there --
21 MR. KRUGER:
22 Q. Sir, if I may, but do you -- do you dispute that fact or don't
23 you, or don't you know what happened? Whether that's true or not, my
25 A. What time-frame does that refer to?
1 Q. This would have been in June 1993, 'round about June 1993,
2 perhaps early July.
3 A. That could not have happened in June.
4 Q. And in July?
5 A. As for July, I can't say anything about that because I wasn't
6 there at the time.
7 Q. Sir, let's step on to another topic, which I will touch upon very
9 I'm going to refer you to a Defence document that was shown to
10 you, and we'll just look at it on the screen. It's 4D02000. It's not in
11 that binder. 4D02000. And you will recall this was the letter by
12 Mr. Markovic and yourself to Mr. Boban on the 22nd of May, 1993. You
13 recall that, that letter? It's --
14 A. It's the letter that I see in front of me here.
15 Q. Now, I'm just going to refer to one part of that letter, and it's
16 on the second page in the English translation.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, so you can work
18 correctly and so you don't waste time, let me tell you that you have just
19 30 minutes left, 3-0, 30 minutes.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. At the beginning -- or close to the top of the second page, it
23 "During the Serbian aggression, almost all Catholic places of
24 worship were destroyed, and not a single Islamic place of worship was
25 seriously damaged. Since the liberation of Stolac, there has been no
1 destruction of Islamic religious buildings, apart from that caused by
2 Serbian artillery attacks."
3 Sir, that's correct, at least on the 22nd of May, 1993, all the
4 mosques in Stolac were still standing?
5 A. Yes, this is an authentic letter.
6 Q. And if we say "all the mosques in Stolac," would that also
7 include the mosques throughout the municipality and not only those in the
8 town of Stolac?
9 A. Well, I think -- I think the answer to that would be yes.
10 Q. And, sir, early in July, when you were still the commander of the
11 Stolac defence, were all those mosques and Islamic religious buildings
12 still standing?
13 A. Until my departure, yes.
14 Q. And, sir, you are aware, coming from Stolac, that the town of
15 Stolac had an old Turkish market in the center of town, surrounding the
16 Sultan Selim Mosque; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that was also still standing at the time that you left Stolac
19 early in July 1993?
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. And, sir, is it also correct that shortly afterwards, all four of
22 the mosques in the town of Stolac
23 market at the Tepa [phoen] was totally obliterated and destroyed?
24 A. 200 per cent, yes. I think they all were, but --
25 Q. And, sir, do you disagree --
1 A. -- two -- I'm certain that two were.
2 Q. And, sir, do you disagree -- or you can't disagree that it was --
3 the destruction that took place that we're talking about now was caused
4 or perpetrated by members of the HVO?
5 A. I really can't know who the perpetrators of those crimes were.
6 Q. And at the time when you left, in the town of Stolac there was no
7 fighting; correct?
8 A. There was no street-fighting, but there could have been shelling.
9 Q. Sir, let's move on to my final topic, which deals with forced
11 And if I can very briefly refer you, just to set the tone, to
12 Exhibit P01765, P01765, and it's about six or -- seven or eight documents
13 into your binder.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
15 permission, I'd like to have it down on the record that we're entering a
16 new area which wasn't contained in the examination-in-chief, so I'd just
17 like the Trial Chamber to rule on whether or not they're going to permit
18 Mr. Kruger to broach a new area.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, this is a new
21 topic. Why do you want to deal with it?
22 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, with respect, it's a very relevant
23 topic, that the documents that will be shown to the witness in this
24 regard are documents which many of them bear his name, so he was
25 intimately involved in the whole process, and I think from that point of
1 view he can really assist the Chamber in understanding the issue of
2 forced labour, insofar as he was involved in the process.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Your Honour, because this issue has come
4 up before, and in anticipation of that I even brought the Federal Rules
5 of evidence from the United States, Rule 611(B) is the one that this rule
6 has been inspired by this Tribunal -- this Trial Chamber and others, it
8 "Scope of cross-examination. Cross-examination should be limited
9 to the subject matter of the direct examination and matters affecting the
10 credibility of the witness. The Court may, in the exercise of
11 discretion, permit inquiry into additional matters as if on direct
13 That's Rule 611(B), and that's what has been applied against the
14 Defence, and so I do think that this is a matter that is outside the
15 scope of cross-examination. I leave it to your discretion to determine
16 to what extent this matter fits within the credibility of the witness.
17 But from what I understand from Mr. Kruger, he sees these documents as
18 being interesting for the Trial Chamber and not for the credibility of
19 the witness. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me consult with my fellow
21 Judges and ask them whether they allow for these questions to be put.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, you may put the
24 questions to the witness, notably since we have a document where there is
25 mention of his name. So I'm sure he will tell us why his name is on the
1 document and why prisoners had to go and work. It might be interesting.
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, sir, you have the document there. This is the stamped
4 log-book of approvals for engagement of detainees and work from 2 April
5 1993 to 8 March 1994
6 line 82 in the document, entry 82. Do you have that?
7 And it says:
8 "Request for taking 10 detainees needed for work, 10 August
10 Reference number: "Third Brigade, Bozo Pavlovic."
11 Is it correct, sir, that you authorised people to take detainees
12 for labour, members from your brigade?
13 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this is a request probably signed by me, and
14 those detainees most probably went to work, but I can't see where;
15 perhaps in the barracks somewhere or something like that, because when I
16 leafed through it, through these documents briefly, I see that there are
17 another couple of people from the 3rd Brigade that are mentioned here.
18 For example, Ivica Matinovic, and that was a gentleman who at that time
19 was in charge of the Quarter-Master Service, and probably they needed a
20 warehouse somewhere, or a kitchen perhaps.
21 Q. Sir, I've gone through this document, and I've found entries
22 similar to this one in line 94, line 103, line 104, line 148, line 199,
23 and then entries from number 223 to 232. For time take, I'll refer you
24 to entry 230, line 230. You have that towards the end, and it says:
25 "Request for taking 10 detainees needed for work."
1 Again: "Bozo Pavlovic."
2 It's 21 of July. That's the day after you assumed command of the
3 3rd Brigade; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, sir, is it safe to say that for the three months that you
6 were in the command, or was it -- from July to October, throughout that
7 whole period you authorised members of your unit to take detainees for
8 forced labour, or labour, at least?
9 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the members of the 3rd Brigade unit at that time
10 on a daily basis used detainees or prisoners in order to perform the
11 daily jobs and work that had to be done on the territory of the
12 3rd Brigade. And I wish to stress here that the 3rd Brigade itself at
13 that time was holding positions behind which there were many military
14 facilities which were left over from the Yugoslav People's Army. We had
15 to maintain those facilities and use them. The Heliodrom complex, for
16 example, was a vast military facility, and life went on, on a daily
17 basis, quite normally there.
18 Q. If I can interrupt you and refer you to a related topic, then.
19 Is it correct that detainees escaped at times while performing labour for
20 members of your unit? And for this I'll refer you to Exhibit P03788.
21 It's about 10 documents on in your binder, P03788.
22 Now, sir, the document is from Mr. Stanko Bozic, the warden at
23 Heliodrom. It's dated 29 July 1993
24 Mr. Mijo Jelic, Zvonko Vidovic, and yourself, Mr. Bozo Pavlovic. It
1 "28 July, the request of 24 July from 3rd Brigade relating to
2 work until further notice, signed by Brigadier Bozo Pavlovic. The
3 request was satisfied."
4 And then there's a report that a detainee, Ahmet Trbonja, was not
5 brought back, and the aforementioned soldier explained that he had
6 escaped while working at the Buna work site.
7 Very briefly, sir, the Buna work site, was that on the
9 A. Mr. Prosecutor, as far as I remember, that could only have been
10 about people working on the bridge that was being built across the
11 Neretva River
12 hill, which is the start of Gubavica, and it's away from the front-line
13 at a distance of two to three kilometres, in fact, from the front-line,
14 and so those detainees were not under any threat at all, working in the
15 area. The bridge was under intensive construction at the time, and
16 construction work went on for several months.
17 Now, you asked me before that whether there were cases where the
18 detainees fled, tried to escape. There were lots of cases like that,
19 because the relationship of the people in our unit towards these others,
20 people working together with them, was really a little strange, because
21 they didn't feel themselves to be prisoners at all. I would come by and
22 see them all sitting down together, drinking, on that same bridge, to be
23 quite frank.
24 Q. Sir, I have a number of other documents which also are similar to
25 this one in showing that detainees had escaped, but let's turn it up a
1 step and see about detainees being wounded. And for this, I'm going to
2 show you a new document, and this does relate to credibility, and it is
3 Exhibit P11094. It's towards the end of your binder, P11094.
4 You have the document. Once again, it's an official note dated
5 24 July. It's from Mr. Stanko Bozic, warden of the Heliodrom Remand
6 Prison, and it's addressed to Mr. Coric, Josip Dodik, and to you,
7 Mr. Bozo Pavlovic. It says 22 July, on the basis of a request, once
8 again by the HVO 3rd Brigade, "prisoners were provided for work at the
9 Buna Bridge
10 returned from work with a statement that detainee Hasan Becirovic was
11 missing, having been wounded by BH Army and transferred to Metkovic
12 hospital for treatment."
13 Sir, did you know or were you aware of this instance where a
14 detainee had been wounded while performing labour?
15 A. That was two days after I took up my duties, but this is the
16 first time that I see this document. I've never seen it before, and I
17 don't know that this person was wounded. But quite possibly he was
18 wounded by an enemy shell.
19 Q. Sir, I put it to you that -- I can't show them all to you, due to
20 time constraints. I have a number of other documents similar to this
21 indicating detainees being wounded while performing labour.
22 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, my learned friend will no doubt forgive
23 me. Before he puts his next question, may I once again seek the
24 assistance of the Court Officer to request technical assistance? Once
25 again, it seems that gremlins have bedevilled the LiveNote transcript of
1 the Defence, and perhaps somebody could come into court to assist.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar is going to take
3 care of this.
4 Witness, you didn't come here to talk about forced labour, but my
5 question is going to go to the crux of the problem. As far as you know,
6 were detainees forced to work on the front-line or, according to you,
7 were they sent to do other kind of work, like bridges or kitchen duty?
8 In 394 [as interpreted], you'd asked for two women. I guess that was for
9 kitchen duty. So according to you, were these prisoners placed on the
10 front-line to dig the trenches and to fortify the front-line or were they
11 sent elsewhere to do other kind of jobs?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am speaking about
13 the time that I spent in the 3rd Brigade, and during that time the
14 prisoners, who were mostly from our unit who were disarmed, they worked
15 on facilities and features such as the kitchen. At least 10 or 15 people
16 worked in the kitchens on a daily basis, and in the washer rooms. They
17 cleaned the premises. They worked in the warehouses and in the various
18 craft shops. They maintained roads, built bridges. And that's all that
19 I can remember for the time being.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 There's a mistake on the transcript. Line 16, it wasn't "394,"
22 but "94." It was number 94. In entry 94, there is a request for two
24 Mr. Kruger.
25 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Sir, this exhibit that we're looking at was also sent to
2 Mr. Coric. Did you hear anything from Mr. Coric in regard to this?
3 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object.
4 This is a new document, and as Mr. Kruger previously said -- well, this
5 isn't a question related to the credibility of this witness, but it has
6 to do with Mr. Coric, himself.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber granted leave
8 to the Prosecution to put questions, and there is a document that was
9 addressed to Mr. Coric, as I can see. So that's all.
10 Mr. Kruger.
11 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Sir, did you hear anything from Mr. Coric?
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Kruger. I do not quite see how
14 this can help the Chamber to evaluate the credibility of this witness.
15 MR. KRUGER:
16 Q. I'll need to refer you to a different document which has the same
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'd like an answer from the
19 Prosecutor, because he must demonstrate that the gentleman indicated one
20 answer and now he is trying to confront him and challenge the
21 credibility. That's how it's done.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think he took my point and is going to another
23 document and is abandoning that line.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't aware of that.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, we must all listen sharply, but we cannot
1 always listen with full sharpness.
2 MR. KRUGER:
3 Q. Sir, I'll refer you to document 3939, P03939.
4 A. Is it toward the end or --
5 Q. It's more to the beginning, about a third of the way into the
6 binder, sir. This is a document which is, indeed, in evidence.
7 A. 3939, but I can't see it here.
8 MR. KRUGER: If I may ask the assistance of the usher, please.
9 Your Honour, if I may inform the Court at this stage, after this
10 document there are only two exhibits that I would still wish to show to
11 the witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, so that you don't
13 get lost or drowned in all these documents, you're now pointing to a
14 document, but there is another one, number 3788. It's the same document,
15 but with a different date. This is a report by Mr. Bozic, the warden of
16 the military prison, who sends his report to Mr. Coric, Mr. Pavlovic, and
17 another two individuals. So it could be that the witness does not know
18 that this report was sent to Mr. Coric, so bear this in mind when putting
19 your question.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Sir, this document is 4 August 1993, signed by Stanko Bozic, and
22 it's addressed -- sent to Mr. Coric, Mr. Jelic, and to you,
23 Mr. Bozo Pavlovic. And it says:
24 "3 August, request from Mr. Bozo Pavlovic ..."
25 So once again labour approved by you. It says:
1 "When the group returned from work, they were all covered in
2 blood and beaten up. Three of them had sustained grave injuries. The
3 reason given was that they had attempted to escape."
4 And the Central Military Remand Prison was not happy about this.
5 They say:
6 "... for the sake of its function and repute, these matters shall
7 no longer be tolerated."
8 Now, sir, from this, it would appear that this is a clear case
9 where a crime has been committed, prisoners had been beaten up. Would
10 you agree?
11 A. Yes, I remember this particular instance. I can explain it.
12 Q. If I may ask you, sir, did you hear anything from Mr. Coric or
13 from the military police in regard to this matter?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why do you want to intervene,
15 Mr. Coric? The witness is at the stand. He's the witness. If you
16 intervene, you may prompt his answer, so I fail to understand. Why are
17 you up? Well, now that you're on your feet, you can speak.
18 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I will not go into the usual
19 practice here to suggest an answer to the witness, but I would like to
20 ask the Prosecutor to provide a basis for this question. I'm not
21 objecting to this question, but it would be logical to ask Mr. Pavlovic
22 whether we were in the same command line, whether we had any contacts,
23 whether we had had any contacts, whether any one of us was superior to
24 the other. That was all I wanted to suggest.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but I thought that
1 the witness was about to answer because he wanted to provide an answer;
2 that's all the more reason.
3 The Prosecutor asked you something. You wanted to answer, and
4 then we had Mr. Coric, who explained what the problem was about. Now
5 please answer the Prosecutor's question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was going to reply along
7 the same lines as what Mr. Coric said.
8 Mr. Coric and I had practically no contacts throughout the war in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, apart from meeting each other at some celebrations or
10 festive occasions. That's where I -- that's how I know him, and those
11 were our contacts after the war, too. So Mr. Coric and I never spoke
12 about these events, if this is indeed an answer to your question, if I
13 understood your question well.
14 MR. KRUGER:
15 Q. Sir, I'm afraid I'd like to explore it further, but in the view
16 of time, I am going to move on, ask you one question and then show two
18 The further question: We've seen that detainees were wounded
19 while on labour. Is it also correct that there were detainees who were
20 killed while performing labour?
21 A. As far as I know, in the zone of responsibility of my brigade no
22 one detainee was killed while performing labour. And I said a short
23 while ago that I can explain this instance and that I gave orders to
24 launch proceedings against the perpetrators of this crime. And that was
25 the only thing I could do, because this wasn't even a unit of the
1 3rd Brigade. It was a unit of the Siroki Brijeg Anti-Aircraft Defence,
2 and I remember the situation.
3 On that day, a soldier from that unit heard that his brother had
4 been killed, and he started mistreating a detainee, but I remember that
5 the commander of that unit was ordered to launch an inquiry against that
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, earlier on, in that
8 document where mention was made of the 30 soldiers building the bridge, I
9 noticed that they were guarded by one soldier, whose name we have, but I
10 also noted that this was not a soldier from your unit. He was a soldier
11 from the 7th Brigade. So how is it that you could require prisoners and
12 that they were being guarded by other soldiers? Was that something
13 normal, militarily speaking?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm back to the
15 document in question. Here, this is about a soldier from the
16 7th Battalion, and it belonged to the 3rd Brigade. We had -- well, the
17 names that were used were a bit odd.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right,
19 7th Battalion, not 7th Brigade. Sorry for this.
20 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
21 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Sir, let's very briefly look at your authority. Where did you
23 derive your authority to authorise labour by detainees? And for this, if
24 you can look, it's a few documents earlier in your binder,
25 Exhibit P03592, P03592. This exhibit is already in evidence, and this is
1 an order -- I'll wait for you. 3592.
2 Mr. Usher, if I could impose on you, please.
3 A. 3592, is that the document you mean?
4 Q. 3592, that's correct. Sir, if you see, this is a written --
5 handwritten document, but if we look at the document which purports to be
6 by General Petkovic, it's dated 20 July 1993, and it says:
7 "In view of the fact that the last order to conduct engineering
8 work is not being observed, I hereby warn for the last time and order:"
9 And then it says, number 3:
10 "Continue to fortify all positions."
11 4 is:
12 "Engage the prisoners and available machinery in the completion
13 of this task," so "engage the prisoners."
14 Sir, this 20 July is the day that you assumed command of the
15 3rd Brigade; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's the date.
17 Q. And, sir, is it correct to say that your authority to authorise
18 the taking of detainees for labour actually derives directly from your
19 superior commander, Mr. Milivoj Petkovic?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, to my mind this can be a coincidence, I mean the
21 matching dates. But as far as I remember, upon my arrival at the
22 3rd Brigade, it had already been common practice for soldiers --
23 detainees, disarmed soldiers from our brigade and other brigades, other
24 brigades of the HVO, can be used for chores that I have already
25 mentioned, and there were many such chores. And I merely continued the
1 existing practice.
2 Q. Now, sir, let's look at the very last document that I'm going to
3 show you, and it is Exhibit P05873, 5873.
4 A. 11 --
5 Q. 5873.
6 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here it is.
8 MR. KRUGER:
9 Q. Now, sir, this, once again, is a document by
10 Mr. Milivoj Petkovic, dated 14 October 1993, and that's the time you were
11 handing over the 3rd Brigade Command to your successor, wasn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And this order says:
14 "I order -- I hereby prohibit the removal of prisoners to perform
15 any kind of labour in the brigades' respective zones of responsibility."
16 "Should such activity nevertheless be allowed, the permit shall
17 be issued by the HVO Main Staff."
18 Sir, so I put it to you again that the authority that you had
19 exercised previously, and subsequent to this, to authorise detainees
20 being taken for labour, that authority was derived from General Petkovic
21 in the Main Staff.
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I repeat once more that I cannot agree with this
23 qualification. This is merely a numeric coincidence. But I claim that I
24 took over the brigade -- the command of the brigade on the 20th of July
25 and continued existing practice.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
2 MR. KRUGER: Sorry, Your Honour, that wasn't translated. I have
3 two minutes?
4 Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Sir, my last question to you: On this issue of detainees, during
6 your months as commander of the 3rd Brigade, detainees had appeared --
7 I'm referring to labour authorised by you. Detainees had appeared --
8 detainees were wounded, injured, and I put it to you that there is also
9 actually one report of a detainee being killed. But the point I want to
10 ask you about is: Did you report -- in your hand, ever report to your
11 successor that there were problems with labour and that he should be very
13 A. Mr. Prosecutor, as far as I remember, there is a complete
14 protocol on the hand-over of duty in which it is recorded that I
15 acquainted my successor with all the problems in the brigade and on the
16 territory where I was, and that I was at his disposal for 10 days
17 subsequently. And I believe that I gave him good information about
18 everything and enabled him to discharge his duty in a good fashion.
19 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, sir. I regret we cannot continue our
20 discussion. I would have liked to do so, but thank you very much.
21 And no further questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 We're going to break for 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.59 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
2 We're doing redirect.
3 Ms. Alaburic, how long do you need?
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good evening, Your Honours. Good
5 evening to everybody in the courtroom.
6 I announced the redirect examination for Mr. Pavlovic in the
7 duration of, I think, an hour and a half. I will do my utmost, although
8 two very important new topics have been opened during the
9 cross-examination, but I will try to finish today. I will start with my
10 redirect examination where the Prosecutor broke off, and that is the
11 labour of detainees. And the Prosecutor's assertion that
12 General Petkovic, with some orders of his, actually opened the gates to
13 lower-level commanders to use detained persons for some types of labour
14 or work assignments.
15 I would also like to thank my learned friend Mr. Kruger who was
16 careful to be consistent in the use of "detainees" throughout his
17 cross-examination, which will help us to finish off this topic rather
18 soon with you, Mr. Pavlovic.
19 Re-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] If you have received the entire set of
21 documents, I would ask you to look at two separate documents, P514, 514.
22 I'll repeat, P514. That is correct. It is -- it's an instruction for
23 the operation of the Central Military Prison in Mostar. Let us
24 immediately turn to page 5 in the Croatian original, and it's page 8 in
25 the English translation.
1 We see here, under items 1 and 2, the definitions of two
2 categories of imprisoned persons. Item 1 defines the notion of prisoners
3 of war, and item 2 deals with the definition of military prisoners, or
4 military detainees, in the words of Defence counsel.
5 Tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, once a soldier of the ABiH is imprisoned,
6 to which category of these two does he belong?
7 A. A soldier of the ABiH is considered a prisoner of war, in my
9 Q. Prisoner of war?
10 A. Yes, so item 1.
11 Q. If you imprison a soldier of the HVO on whichever grounds, into
12 which category does that soldier fall of these two?
13 A. If I imprison a soldier from my unit, then he is considered a
14 detainee; that is, he falls under item 2.
15 Q. In all your documents that my learned friend has showed you, if I
16 read correctly, the word "detainee" is consistently used; am I right? Do
17 you remember that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell us, then, to who did those labour orders of yours
21 A. I seem to remember having mentioned that already. The facilities
22 I mentioned -- at the facilities I mentioned, the people who worked were
23 the disarmed members of our brigade, that is, the 3rd, and other
25 Q. So they were HVO soldiers; right?
1 A. Right.
2 Q. Let us look at the following document, P6805, 6805. And under
3 item 1 of this document, we can read -- sorry, item 5:
4 "It was decreed that prisoners could be used for work (arranging
5 the terrain) with the signature of the commander of the Military Police
6 Battalion, or the brigade, with the mandatory submission," I can't read a
7 word, "and a report after the return."
8 You told us, Mr. Pavlovic, that before you commanded the
9 3rd Brigade, it had already been practice for detained persons to be sent
10 to carry out some kinds of work?
11 A. Yes, and I can give you a specific instance.
12 On the 20th of July, when I took over the command of the brigade,
13 the first thing I did was visit the workshop and the kitchen, and I saw
14 detainees working there.
15 Q. According to these documents - I have no time now to read out the
16 documents in their entirety - it was clearly described that prisoners of
17 war are to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions; in other
18 words, that they must not to be sent to the front-line to perform work or
19 be used for military purposes. Were you acquainted with that, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And just one more question about this topic. If you were to
22 approach the prison director to give you a number of detained persons to
23 carry out some work, who was it that selected the persons to carry out
24 that work as requested by you?
25 A. I truly do not know who decided on who was to go. Somebody from
1 the prison. But I know that after a certain time, those who had filed a
2 request would ask to be given the same men again because they had, in the
3 meantime, become friends or at least they were known persons.
4 Q. Thank you. Now let's return to this larger set of documents.
5 The Prlic Defence showed you document 1D1704. That is a document
6 by which Mate Boban's order, dated 15th of September, 1993 --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat these last words?
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. This order is forwarded to all units of the Zone of Operations
10 North-West Herzegovina. And the second document is 4D1067, 1067, with
11 which the same order is forwarded to all units of the Zone of Operations
12 of South-East Herzegovina.
13 Please take a look at the third document in this set. This is
14 Mate Boban's order dated 15 September 1993, and the document number is
15 P5104, 5104. If you look at items 1 and 2 of this order, Mr. Pavlovic,
16 is there any doubt, to your mind, that these two items referred to the
17 armed forces of Herceg-Bosna?
18 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, may I just re-emphasise the point to my
19 learned friend. Of course, she is very experienced and is aware of it.
20 Re-examination, of course, is not a license to lead, and I would ask that
21 she ensure that non-leading questions are asked, and notwithstanding the
22 fact that ostensibly this re-examination arises out of cross-examination.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, please rephrase
24 your question, and be more careful in rephrasing.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, I'm grateful for this
1 suggestion. I will do so. I thought this was notorious, but anyway.
2 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, take a look at the -- to the distribution list to
3 who this order was forwarded.
4 A. To the Defence Department, the Main Staff of the Armed Forces of
5 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
6 Q. Let us look at the following document, P4275. These are the
7 minutes taken at a working meeting convened on the 18th of August, 1993
8 in the -- on the premises of the HVO HZ-HB. Mr. Pavlovic, please take a
9 look at the list of persons present. Was the commander of the Main Staff
10 there, his deputy, or anyone from the Main Staff or any unit of the Army
11 of the HVO?
12 A. I can see no familiar name from the Main Staff.
13 Q. Please look at the following page under Roman numeral II.
14 Conclusions are being listed, and please read to us item 3.
15 A. "The Defence Department, the Department of Justice and General
16 Administration are charged with undertaking measures and activities
17 relating to organising military prisons and adequate capacity to
18 accommodate prisoners of war, in accordance with international
20 Q. Tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, if you cast an eye on this document, is
21 any task issued to the Main Staff of the HVO?
22 A. Well, to the extent that I was able to read it out in this short
23 time, no, I wouldn't say so.
24 Q. Take a look at the following document, P4841. These are the
25 minutes of the working meeting of the Cabinet of the Croatian Republic
1 Herceg-Bosna, held on the 6th of September, 1993. Please take a look at
2 the list of persons present. Mr. Pavlovic, is any of these persons from
3 the Main Staff or any military unit of Herceg-Bosna?
4 A. I don't know all these persons, but those I know are not.
5 Q. Please read out to us Conclusion number 1.
6 A. "Determine locations for the detention of prisoners of war.
7 Adopt regulations on the conditions and procedure for the detention of
8 prisoners of war at centres for prisoners of war, which must be founded
9 on the provisions of International Law of War. Bring the conditions in
10 the current centres to the required level with maximum observation of the
11 regulations of International Law of War, International Humanitarian Law,
12 and other regulations mentioned above. Secure equipment and materiel,
13 and appoint staff to run the administrative services at centres for
14 prisoners of war."
15 Q. Now, please read out to us Conclusion number 3.
16 A. "In order to improve the conditions of accommodation and diet of
17 detainees, the Office for Expelled Persons, Refugees, and Displaced
18 Persons is tasked to ensure the necessary qualities of food, personal
19 hygiene items, and, if possible," or, "to the extent possible, equipment
20 and materiel needed for accommodation (blankets, mats, et cetera)."
21 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, you have now read out almost the entire document.
22 Was the Main Staff of the HVO given any task with relation to these
23 detention centres for prisoners of war?
24 A. That doesn't follow from anything I have read.
25 Q. Look at the following document, please, P5264.
1 I don't know whether it's been up-loaded to e-court. If it has,
2 we can continue.
3 It's a report of a French news agency about Bosnian Croats to
4 close Dretelj prison camp. It says:
5 "Bosnian Croat authorities, on Tuesday, are to close down the
6 Dretelj prison camp in Southern Bosnia, where more than 500 Muslims are
7 being held. The 'prime minister' of," now I quote, "the self-declared
8 Bosnian Croat republic said --" they're referring to Mr. Jadranko Prlic,
9 and the document goes on to read that:
10 "The dead-line for closing Dretelj is Tuesday afternoon, and that
11 dead-line was agreed between leaders of the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian
12 leaders for the bilateral and unconditional dismantling of all prison
14 My question to you, Mr. Pavlovic, is: Did you know that Dretelj
15 prison was closed down at a certain time?
16 A. I know that it was closed down. But when, I really don't
18 Q. All right. Mr. Pavlovic, to the questions of Mr. Coric's
19 Defence, you spoke partly about activities under documents that were sent
20 to the 3rd Battalion, or let us proceed upward, the 3rd Platoon of the
21 3rd Company of the 3rd Battalion of the Military Police. The question is
22 recorded on page 22 of yesterday's transcript; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell us, please, was that the brigade military police or the
25 military police? The brigade police or active military police?
1 A. What you've just said now, it was the active military police.
2 Q. Tell us, please, who was the commander of that 3rd Military
3 Police Battalion at the time?
4 A. I know who the commander of the platoon and company was, but I
5 can't remember who the commander of the battalion was.
6 Q. And do you know who was the immediate superior to the commander
7 of the 3rd Battalion?
8 A. The military police had its own establishment and it's chain
9 of -- vertical chain of command, but I really can't say what that was.
10 Q. Do you know who the chief of the Military Police Administration
11 was at that time?
12 A. The chief of the administration was Mr. Coric.
13 Q. Let's now look at the documents we've already discussed once
14 again. And the first of those is P1913, which is a request from the
15 Command of the 1st Brigade of the HVO, and the second document is P1900,
16 and that is an order of roughly the same contents, issued on the same day
17 by the same person.
18 Now, can you, Mr. Pavlovic, tell us why one of these documents is
19 called "Request" and the other is called "Order"?
20 A. As far as I can see, they were drafted on the same day, and I
21 really don't know what would come under "Request" and what would come
22 under "Order." Perhaps the person who wrote this made a mistake and then
23 wanted to put that right or whatever.
24 Q. Tell us, please, otherwise, according to military establishment,
25 when you table -- when do you table a request and when do you issue an
2 A. I issue a request when I am not a superior to that person, the
3 person I'm issuing it to, and an order is when I am that person's
4 superior officer.
5 Q. Tell me, please, the commander of the 1st Brigade of the HVO, was
6 he superior to the active military police?
7 A. No, except for the unit that was under his area of responsibility
8 for conducting military assignments.
9 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is P1972. It's a
10 report from the 3rd Company of the Military Police Battalion, and it
11 relates to the implementation of the order by Nedjeljko Obradovic. And
12 Mr. Coric's Defence dealt with that in great detail.
13 Now, could you tell me who this report was addressed to?
14 A. The 3rd Battalion Command, probably means the military police,
15 the Military Police Administration, the brigade command, probably
16 referring to the 1st HVO Brigade.
17 Q. Can you explain why this military police company is sending a
18 report to the Military Police Administration?
19 A. I can't explain that. It would be logical to go down the
20 vertical chain of command through the 3rd Battalion and to send out the
21 report through the 3rd Battalion.
22 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is 5D1054.
23 My colleague has just told me that there was a mistake in the
24 binder, because in the binder that document has the number P1054, where
25 it should be 5D1054, which is the document in the binder of the Coric
1 Defence. But we can also see it -- look at it on our screens.
2 Now, on page 35, you, Mr. Pavlovic, confirmed that you had signed
3 this document and sent it out; is that right?
4 A. Referring to this order?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Then, yes, that's right.
7 Q. Now I'm going to tell you what a witness said about this order in
8 the courtroom here. It was a protected witness who testified under the
9 pseudonym of C, and his testimony was recorded on
10 page 2257 [as interpreted] of the transcript. 55257 -- 22527 is the
11 number, 22527. This document that you signed, he commented in the
12 following way. I'm going to read out in English what he said and what
13 was recorded in the transcript, to avoid mistakes:
14 [In English] "As this is an order to a military police platoon,
15 the one located in Stolac, this order never arrived in the company
16 command. According to the book of rules which we have discussed just a
17 while ago, all orders relating to combat activities, none of this would
18 have been issued by a commander of a unit on the ground."
19 [Interpretation] And then the question that followed was as
21 "So this order was issued contrary to the establishment of the
22 military police?"
23 And the answer:
24 [In English] "Yes, both contrary to the establishment and without
25 the knowledge of the company command within the composition of which the
1 Stolac Platoon was."
2 [Interpretation] Now, may we have your comments, Mr. Pavlovic, to
3 this? Is it -- or, rather, was your order really unlawful, as has been
5 A. No. The military police platoon, which was in Stolac, I was able
6 to engage for military police assignments.
7 Q. Tell us, please, do you know that the chief of the Military
8 Police Administration -- whether he ever intervened --
9 MR. KHAN: I do apologise. I notice that the -- despite my
10 respectful admonition or objection, my learned friend has slipped again,
11 perhaps inadvertently, into some leading questions. I didn't object to
12 the previous one, but any question that starts, "Do you know," I would
13 just remind her to be careful in relation to leading.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to continue,
15 Your Honour?
16 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, can you tell us whether the chief of the military
17 police, Mr. Coric, ever intervened because of some unlawful act with
18 respect to the military police in the area for which the 1st HVO Brigade
19 was in charge up at the defence lines?
20 A. I don't know things like that.
21 Q. Very well. Now --
22 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just to
23 avoid any misunderstanding, from the witness's answer it's not clear
24 whether he didn't know about those things and thinks that Mr. Coric
25 should have intervened or that, quite simply, he knew nothing about
1 things like that, nor was he interested in whether Mr. Coric should have
2 intervened or not.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I hope that Mr. Khan is going to
4 intervene with a leading question of that nature. I hope he'll rise to
5 his feet.
6 Q. But, Mr. Pavlovic, perhaps you can answer that before he does.
7 A. I don't know that he intervened, and I didn't know about those
8 higher echelons at all, what happened at the higher level.
9 Q. Tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, had there been any complaints about the
10 military police's conduct in the Stolac area, could you not have known
11 about that? Was that a possibility?
12 A. Could you be more precise? Could you repeat your question?
13 Q. Is it possible that Mr. Valentin Coric protested over the fact
14 that you issued orders to the military police unlawfully in the Stolac
15 area, without you knowing about it?
16 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we don't
17 know whether Mr. Valentin Coric knew which orders Mr. Pavlovic issued,
18 because Mr. Pavlovic didn't send reports about the orders he issued. So
19 the basis for this question, that Mr. Coric should intervene, he must
20 have known what was going on.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow down
22 and speak one at a time. Thank you.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I think we would make some headway if
24 the gentleman were to first explain to us how is that you have military
25 police under him, directly under him, versus the other military police,
1 what were -- even the division of labour, and so on.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm quite aware of
3 the fact that my colleagues want to take up as much of my time as
4 possible, but I will readily ask for more time and continue my redirect
5 as I'd planned to do and carry on tomorrow.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: There seems -- we need some clarity. That's the
7 whole purpose of it. So what is it? Because as I understand it, he
8 should not have military police under him, and if he does, somehow either
9 Obradovic created his own military police for himself and others, plus
10 the other military police, or they're just using them as they will,
11 willy-nilly. But we need to know what was the division of labour, how
12 did they come into existence, and so on. And if we go step by step -- if
13 we go step by step, maybe then we can see whether, you know, they were
14 using them illegally or not. But also if I may -- just one second,
15 Mr. President. Some of the questions assume facts which are not in
16 evidence. They assume that this gentleman knows what exactly was being
17 told to Mr. Coric and whether Mr. Coric, based on that information, was
18 reacting. That's -- that's what's happening over here. So just step by
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, as to issues
21 related to the military police, I'm sure that we're going to revisit the
22 topic thoroughly when Mr. Coric calls his own witnesses. But now that
23 you have ventured into this topic, be careful. Ask the witness what he
24 knows and what his jurisdiction was over the military police so that
25 everybody just doesn't intervene whilst it is a topic that the Judges are
1 aware of as to the respective roles of the military police. We've seen
2 hundreds of documents on the topic. So ask him what he knows, exactly,
3 and then go along as you wish.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's how I asked my
5 question, Your Honour, does he know that there were any complaints with
6 respect to the conduct of the commanders in the military police. That
7 was all I wanted to know.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Pavlovic, you can repeat your answer.
9 A. Complaints and criticism to the conduct of the military police,
10 as far as I know, no, there weren't any. They went about their military
11 police duties, that's all.
12 Q. And on yesterday's transcript, on pages 25 and 26, and then 28
13 onwards, and in response to Judge Antonetti's questions, you said,
14 Mr. Pavlovic:
15 "If the active military police was attached to an HVO unit for
16 the performance of police duties, then I was able to issue it orders to
17 perform police assignments, but I could engage the military police in
18 combat only on the basis of permission from my superior officer."
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You remember your answer, do you? Very well.
21 Now, I am going to put to you what Witness C said on that same
22 topic. Transcript page 22326:
23 [In English] "If the commands, the orders, referred to the work
24 of the military police, then we could carry them out. But if they were
25 orders, whether they be written or oral, about tasks to be carried out up
1 at the front-line, then we would not carry out those orders, and we would
2 then ask the opinion of the Military Police Administration."
3 [Interpretation] Can you tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, whether that is a
4 correct description, or would you correct something in that testimony?
5 A. I think that the description is a valid and correct one.
6 MR. KRUGER: If I may at this stage perhaps just suggest that
7 this may be a misleading question for the witness, because this relates
8 to Dretelj and not Heliodrom, perhaps where his experience may lay
9 regarding obtaining people for labour. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, this hasn't got anything to do
11 with that. It's a matter of principle, pursuant to the command and the
12 deployment of the military police, so nothing to do with any centre in
14 Q. What did you tell us, Witness?
15 A. I said that he's right, although in practice I never had the need
16 to engage the military police, except to perform military police duties.
17 Q. Now let's take a look at another document which relates to you in
18 the 3rd Brigade. It is P3770. That's right, P3770, which is an order
19 from Valentin Coric, chief of the Military Police Administration, who is
20 addressing you as commander of the 3rd Military Police Battalion, and he
21 is re-subordinating a unit in order to secure the line around Heliodrom.
22 He's re-subordinating two platoons made up of 32 military policemen.
23 Now, Mr. Pavlovic, did you receive at that order to that effect?
24 A. From this we can see that, yes, I did.
25 Q. This name, Ivan Ancic, does it mean anything to you?
1 A. Yes. He was commander -- I'm not sure whether it was a company
2 at the time, but, anyway, a commander from the military police.
3 Q. Very well. I would now like us to clarify an answer that you
4 provided to Judge Trechsel's question. It's about document P3135. This
5 is a document drafted on the 3rd of July, 1993, by the commander of the
6 1st Brigade of the HVO, and he is referring to his unlimited authority
7 over civilian and military structures, in accordance with the extension
8 of the zone of responsibility.
9 If I may be allowed to draw my own conclusions, then
10 Judge Trechsel wasn't too happy with your answer, so let me ask you on
11 which day --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I owe it to my status to protest. I am not
13 "content" or "not content" with an answer. I'm not contrary to the
14 parties. I do not want to solicit a specific answer when I ask a
15 question, but I just want to know. So thank you. Excuse me.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It's all right, but it seemed to
17 me that it required some additional explanation because there was the --
18 the answer was provided with a certain smile.
19 Q. So let me ask you, when did your responsibility in the 1st HVO
20 Brigade end?
21 A. On the 3rd of July.
22 Q. And that is the day on which this order was issued; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I will now return to the Prosecutor's cross-examination.
25 Mr. Pavlovic, you tried to explain, on transcript pages 18
1 through 24, about the possible disarming of the Bregava Brigade, and that
2 you never thought of disarming a brigade, because that would mean
3 weakening the defence line. And a little later, you said that the
4 Bregava Brigade did not hold the defence line at the features assigned to
5 it very well. And Judge Trechsel asked you whether you could give an
6 example, and you said that it was about Feature 690, which was lost in
7 February 1993. Do you remember that reply, Mr. Pavlovic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It should be toward the end of this binder. Take a look at
10 document 4D1521.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this will be very
13 I was amazed when you mentioned 690, Feature 690. I was amazed.
14 What a fabulous memory, I thought. How is it that you remember that
15 feature? Did you just keep it in mind, or do you remember, by the meter,
16 how a feature is?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I must inform you now
18 that Feature 690 is a place that I visit very often, and it is 300 metres
19 away from my own farm. I own a piece of forest there, and I go hunting
20 there, et cetera.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And you cook, also?
23 A. Yes. It may be funny, but it's true.
24 Q. Let us look at the first document, 4D1521. It is
25 Miljenko Lasic's order. Let us look at item 2. Tell us, Mr. Pavlovic,
1 which feature was the Bregava Brigade supposed to hold?
2 A. TT-690.
3 Q. Please repeat your answer.
4 A. TT -- that is trigonometric point 690.
5 Q. Let us now look at document 4D477. 477, correct. This is a
6 report by Mr. Slavko Puljic, based on the command issued by the commander
7 of the Main Staff. He visited the positions of the 1st HVO Brigade and
8 the Bregava Brigade in some zones, including Feature 690.
9 Tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, how did it happen that an HVO officer also
10 went to inspect the positions of the Bregava Brigade?
11 A. I believe that I mentioned this before. The control in the zone
12 of responsibility of the Zone of Operations South-East Herzegovina can be
13 conducted by an officer sent to do so by his commander or a superior
14 officer, and since the Bregava Brigade was there, he had the right to
15 inspect that unit.
16 Q. In item 1, Feature 690 is described as deserted for good. Was it
17 really that way, Mr. Pavlovic?
18 A. Yes, it was.
19 Q. Let us look at the third -- last-but-three item. It says that:
20 "Redistribution of the responsibility areas of the brigades must
21 be conducted, since Bregava Brigade turned out to be unreliable."
22 Is that a fair assessment?
23 A. Yes, it is fair and correct.
24 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, today, toward the end of the first session, when my
25 learned friend Mr. Kruger examined you, you said that the Bregava Brigade
1 was relatively weak and unreliable, and we see corroboration of that here
2 where Feature 690 is mentioned. Then the Prosecutor put it to you that
3 it would be ridiculous to assume that such a weak brigade of the ABiH
4 could take -- could assume an entire zone of responsibility of an HVO
5 brigade. Do you remember that? I'll ask you a question about it.
6 According to the plans that we saw, should the Bregava Brigade
7 have assumed Capljina, Stolac, and other towns in this municipality or
8 should it have done so in co-operation with someone else?
9 A. The plans that they made, and that are available to us, and of
10 which we knew at the time, were made in that operational unit, but
11 probably the brigade should have been reinforced by substantial units in
12 order to carry out these tasks. And it is -- it can clearly be seen
13 there that it planned to perform these actions after being reinforced
14 with Muslims in the HVO.
15 Q. If really all Muslims from the 1st HVO Brigade had joined the
16 Bregava Brigade, would it have made it a respectable military force, in
17 terms of numbers, at least?
18 A. Yes, absolutely, because the 1st Brigade at a certain time had as
19 many as four and a half thousand men, and as far as I know, it was manned
20 by Muslims, who made up about 50 per cent of the brigade.
21 Q. And now I'll ask you a question about the osteopathic hospital.
22 The document shown to you by Mr. Kruger -- I will now refer to documents
23 which are already in evidence. P2612, 2612. Mr. Pavlovic, did we speak
24 about the document during the proofing?
25 A. This is a document which contains that item 13, as far as I
2 Q. Item 13 is a document by Nedjeljko Obradovic, and this document
3 is a report of the EC monitors which mentions the evacuation of the
4 hospital and states Bozo Pavlovic as the possible perpetrator of that
5 evacuation. Well, never mind. We have no time.
6 A. I don't remember that document.
7 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour. Sorry, if I may interrupt, the exhibit
8 being displayed at the moment is the one which is under seal, so if the
9 other page can be displayed. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I wasn't going to show the
11 document, because I only have one question about it.
12 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, you haven't told us the whole story about the
13 osteopathic hospital, and that's why I'm going to ask you now.
14 In that document, you were tasked by Nedjeljko Obradovic, under
15 item 13, to prevent the entry of new patients and to control the
16 hospital; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell us, did you ever receive an order from Nedjeljko Obradovic
19 to evacuate the patients from the osteopathic hospital?
20 A. I did not, and I never did so.
21 Q. So if the statement in the document of the European Monitors,
22 that you are the probable perpetrator of the evacuation of the patients
23 from the osteopathic hospital, is it true or false?
24 A. It is more probable for the sun to start shining now. It is most
25 certainly false.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I thus finish with my examination.
2 Thank you, Mr. Pavlovic, for coming here and for replying to questions.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On behalf of my fellow Judges,
4 I thank you for appearing on behalf of the Petkovic Defence to contribute
5 to justice being done. Have a safe trip back home, and the usher is
6 going to escort you out of the courtroom.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, Your Honours, take one
8 more minute.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you just want to say that
10 you're very happy, fine, but you don't need to speak as to the merits of
11 the case.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I just wanted -- because I was
13 unable to greet anybody at the beginning, I just wanted to give my
14 regards to everybody in the courtroom and thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You can leave.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next week, we are supposed to
19 have a witness. There's no need to go into private session. The Trial
20 Chamber is going to issue an oral ruling on motions for protective
21 measures. All this is going to be filed shortly, as early as tomorrow.
22 Therefore, you will have the entire and exhaustive decision.
23 Mr. Stringer, did you want to speak? You may proceed.
24 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
25 It's too late and I definitely don't want to venture into this
1 territory now, but it may be that at some point next week, or in one of
2 the next witnesses, the Prosecution would like to make submissions to the
3 Trial Chamber on the issues of new documents used in cross-examination,
4 and also now on the issue of the scope of the cross-examination. It's
5 our view that there are interventions which we think are not justified,
6 and would, at the very least, like to seek the clarification of the
7 Trial Chamber on how it's handling new documents presented on cross
8 versus tendered into evidence, et cetera. It's a complicated issue, but
9 it's one that we could benefit for some guidance.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you will very well imagine,
11 the Trial Chamber is aware of all these problems, and in our guide-lines
12 we expressed ourselves very clearly. The Appeals Chamber confirmed our
13 point of view. Now you revisit the issue. Since we often have Judges'
14 meetings, we are going to address the issue once again, but I cannot
15 preempt on the Trial Chamber's decision, but as far as I can see,
16 everything is crystal clear. Two issues have to be settled, credibility
17 or new topics. And I thought we had addressed all these issues already,
18 but we heard you, my colleagues have heard you, and we are going to take
19 all this on board.
20 Are you happy?
21 MR. STRINGER: Well, Mr. President, we certainly accept and don't
22 propose any revision or changes in the Trial Chamber's rulings, as well
23 as the Appeal Chamber's. It's our view that the procedure that seems to
24 be creeping in, which is that there are interventions every time a new
25 document is presented to a witness on cross, it's our view that that is
1 inconsistent with the guide-lines and the decisions that we have, and
2 that this distinction between using a document on cross-examination
3 versus subsequently tendering the document into evidence is being
4 blurred, it's giving rise to interventions which, in our view, are not
5 justified or in accordance with the current decisions that we recognise
6 apply. So that's something that we think is becoming more and more of an
8 It's more and more troublesome to us, in terms of the
9 Prosecution's constantly being asked -- or it's being asserted that the
10 Prosecution has to justify using this or that document simply by
11 presenting it to a witness in cross-examination. We don't think we have
12 to do that. We think that certainly additional justifications and
13 explanations are required if we tender the document, but that's what the
14 issue is about.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one thing, Mr. Stringer.
16 If the document has not been included in the 65 ter list, you
17 have to show good cause why you want to use the document. And if you
18 present it, you basically -- it boils down to adding it to the 65 ter
19 list. And the Appeals Chamber was very clear. You have to justify, to
20 show reasons that there was no lack of diligence on your part, because it
21 would be incredible that you would have had a document for four or five
22 years and you get it out at the last minute. So, I mean, every
23 Appeals Chamber decision is logical, is reasoned. I can speak about it
24 for hours. It seems very clear to me, but not obviously for the
25 Prosecution, who has problems with it.
1 Yes, Mr. Khan.
2 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, I'm most grateful. I am mindful of the
3 time, and I'll be brief.
4 I do note my learned friend had said that he wasn't wishing to
5 litigate today the issue, notwithstanding the fact he did, of course, go
6 into quite some detail. Your Honour has already pointed out that the
7 Appeals Chamber decision is standing. This is a contentious issue, and
8 it's one that is liable to take up quite some court time, if the
9 Prosecution seek to reopen matters that we thought had been settled by
10 the Appeals Chamber.
11 Your Honours, there's no objection if my learned friends for the
12 Prosecution wish to seek further clarification, but perhaps that can be
13 done by way of written motion, to which the parties can respond. But,
14 Your Honours, it is a matter that, if it's litigated in court, is going
15 to be quite contentious and, I think, take quite a lot time.
16 MR. STEWART: Actually, Your Honour, I was going to make a rather
17 different suggestion from Mr. Khan. It's quite -- by -- Mr. Stringer, to
18 be fair, made it clear at the outset he didn't particularly want to be
19 drawn into submissions this afternoon, but, Your Honour, our position is
20 that we're not accepting what he says this afternoon, but it is apparent
21 that there is some need for clarification. But where I disagree with my
22 learned friend Mr. Khan is that really it's not going to be resolved by
23 written motions. That's likely to make it worse. We've all got our
24 favourite procedures here, but this is an example of something which
25 won't be worked out satisfactorily by written motions.
1 What I was going to suggest, much more satisfactory, is that
2 Mr. Stringer - and he usually has no objection to this sort of
3 suggestion - if Mr. Stringer could just give some sort of note of -- just
4 a checklist, some sort of skeleton of the particular points that he has
5 in mind. We really ought to debate it in court.
6 Your Honour, as a matter of fact, whether or not that would put
7 Mr. Stringer under time pressure, probably not, because he's clearly
8 thought about the matter. We do have tomorrow, actually. We really do
9 have a whole day tomorrow where we could thrash this stuff out.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, but the Judges'
11 time is of the essence, is very precious, because we have to study
12 thousands of pages, hundreds of thousands of pages, umpteen documents.
13 Look at the number of documents through this witness alone.
14 Mr. Stringer raises an issue that has already been settled by the
15 Trial Chamber. We're going to discuss the issue among ourselves, and we
16 will tell you whether we want to have oral litigation or use the written
17 procedures. I usually have my answer, but there is four of us, so each
18 of us has to express their opinions. There's no point in sort of
19 discussing in a vacuum. If there is a legal problem, we can have a
20 motion, a written decision, and possibly the Appeals Chamber.
21 So let's not waste time on one new document that came up within
22 one week. So that's the problem.
23 So the Judges are going to discuss the issue, and we will tell
24 you on Monday what we're going to do. Either we litigate it in court or
25 we'll ask all the parties to file submissions.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say something which I say with
2 the greatest of respect, and it may not come as music to Your Honours'
3 ears. But there is a point -- Your Honours refer to the valuable time of
4 the Judges, but, Your Honours, there is a point at which, when counsel,
5 and I mean Mr. Stringer here, but also clarification is needed on our
6 side, there is a point at which when there is an issue which we, doing
7 our jobs, really wish to have discussed and have Your Honours ruling on,
8 that Your Honours' valuable time, really, with respect, might be made
9 available to us to do that. And, Your Honour, that is what we are
11 What is extremely valuable is --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, it is now 5 past
13 7.00. The interpreters have been working since the beginning of the
14 hearing. We shall, therefore, continue, possibly, but the Judges will
15 issue a decision, because you raise an issue that challenges a decision
16 by the Appeals Chamber. That's all. That's the problem you now raise.
17 The Trial Chamber is going to see whether there is any cause for review,
18 and then we'll tell you what our decision is. We're not going to start
19 the discussion now just because one of you raised an issue regarding one
20 single document.
21 The hearing stands adjourned.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.
23 to be continued on Monday, the 23rd day of
24 November, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.