1 Monday, 30 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
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 Today is Monday, 30th of November, 2009. First of all, my
13 apologies for this delay, which is not to blame on us, but it is once
14 again due to the Gotovina Chamber.
15 And good afternoon to the accused, to the Defence counsel, to
16 Mr. Scott and his case manager, and good afternoon to all the people
17 assisting us.
18 Mr. Registrar, you have four IC numbers for us.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
21 through Witness 4D-AB. The list submitted by 4D shall be given
22 Exhibit IC01130. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
23 Exhibit IC01131. The list submitted by 3D shall be given
24 Exhibit IC01132. And, finally, the list submitted by the Prosecution
25 shall be given Exhibit IC01133. Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
2 I am going to read out a short oral ruling on a motion for leave
3 to file a reply.
4 On the 23rd of November, 2009, the Praljak Defence filed a motion
5 to seek for leave to reply to the Stojic Defence's and the Prosecution's
6 responses to its motion to admit documentary evidence of the 26th of
7 October, 2009. The Praljak Defence also sought to have an extension of
8 time to file its reply until the 18th of December, 2009.
9 The Praljak Defence wishes to respond to specific arguments which
10 it deems erroneously raised by the Prosecution in its response. The
11 Praljak Defence argues also that filing a reply will make it possible to
12 correct errors that are found in its motion of the 26th of October, 2009
13 In light of the submissions by the Praljak Defence, the Trial
14 Chamber decides to grant leave to file a reply. However, the Trial
15 Chamber is of the view that extension until the 14th of December, 2009
16 is sufficient for the Praljak Defence to prepare and file the reply.
17 So you have until the 14th of December, Mr. Kovacic.
18 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us have the witness brought
20 in, Mr. Usher.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
23 Witness, please state your surname and first name.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Filip Filipovic.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your date of birth?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 1st of March, 1946
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is your current
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm retired at the moment. I work
5 in de-mining.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are retired from the
7 army, I suppose.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was a professional officer,
9 and I'm now retired from the military.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was your last rank?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Major general.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, have you had an
13 opportunity to testify in a court of justice as to the events that took
14 place in the former Yugoslavia
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified in the Kordic trial and
16 the Cerkez trial before this Tribunal in The Hague.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you testified for whom?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kordic's.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: FILIP FILIPOVIC
24 [The witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. Please be
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, some information.
4 You have already testified in the Kordic case, and I know you
5 have because I have the entire transcript of your testimony in that case.
6 It was public testimony. So you know how things are going to take place.
7 First, you will answer questions by Ms. Alaburic. You must have
8 met with her. She's going to put questions to you, and she will also
9 submit documents that you can find in two binders. There's binder
10 number 1 and binder number 2 that you have in front of you. When she
11 wants to call a document, she'll give you the number, and you can find
12 the document in question. When she's done with her questions - she is
13 going to take four hours to do so, to ask the questions of you - then the
14 other accused's counsel are going to ask questions as part of their
15 cross-examination, following which the Prosecutor, who's on your right,
16 Mr. Scott, will cross-examine you. I believe you have had an opportunity
17 to be cross-examined in the Kordic case, where Mr. Nice, the famous
18 Mr. Nice, was the Prosecutor in chief.
19 You have four Judges in front of you. They can ask questions of
20 you at any time to go into a document with further detail or because an
21 answer you may give calls for some follow-up questions. They may also
22 have questions that would be necessary for truth to come to light.
23 You were a general, so normally you should be very rational and
24 speak to the point, so do try to answer accurately any questions put to
1 If you don't understand a question, do not hesitate for the
2 question to be rephrased, even if it is a Judge asking you the question.
3 And even if you notice that there is a mistake in the question put to
4 you, do say so to the person asking it.
5 Furthermore, we have breaks every hour and a half for 20 minutes.
6 You are under oath. Therefore, you are now a witness of the
7 Court. You're not supposed to have any contact whatsoever with anybody
8 during the days of your testimony. Needless to say, you may contact your
9 family, but you're not allowed to contact the press, the media, or
11 You are to testify on Monday and Tuesday of next week, according
12 to the schedule, so I suppose you made all the necessary arrangements to
13 stay here until the beginning of next week.
14 Also, if at any time you're not feeling well - it can happen, it
15 even happens to Judges - so do say so, raise your hand and ask for a
16 break for you to have a rest. You never know, especially with the stress
17 caused by the fact of testifying, you may feel unwell. It's never
18 happened so far.
19 So this is what I wanted to convey to you. Of course, we are
20 available to you if you have any questions related to your testimony.
21 This being said, you may proceed, Ms. Alaburic. I can see that
22 you have the lectern, so you're ready to go, you may proceed.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 I'd like to say good afternoon to you and everybody from the
25 Prosecution, especially Mr. Scott. Good afternoon to the rest of the
1 Defence counsel, to you, Witness, and to everybody else in and around the
3 Examination by Ms. Alaburic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Now, Witness, we're going to start off with a
5 short CV, but before I do that, let me ask you whether, about a year ago,
6 a request came in from the Prosecution to conduct an interview with you
7 before your arrival in The Hague
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Tell us, please, what was your answer to their request?
10 A. My answer was, yes, with the proviso that I did not wish to talk
11 to -- well, if I can say some clerks, but to the Prosecutor, personally,
12 if they wanted to contact me in that way.
13 Q. Do you remember which name you mentioned from the Prosecution,
14 which person you said you would accept talking to?
15 A. Well, I might have known a name from the media, but I can't give
16 you a name now. Ramak [phoen] or something similar.
17 Q. No, it was Mr. Scott, my colleague Mr. Scott. And since
18 Mr. Scott is in the courtroom here today, I believe that he remembers
19 that request of yours and that that is why he has decided to be in this
20 courtroom here this afternoon.
21 Now, General, let's describe your CV to the Trial Chamber and
22 everybody else, your education, training, career, and so on. You told us
23 that you were born in 1946?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where were you born? In Travnik, Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It was Yugoslavia
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'm now going to set out your CV, your education and career, so
6 please listen to me and correct me if I'm wrong at any point. And if the
7 information is correct, then confirm it, please.
8 Now, as far as your education goes, this is what you have had:
9 You graduated from the Military Academy
10 1966 to 1970. After that, you completed the Command Staff Academy
11 1979 in Belgrade
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Thank you. You started serving in the Yugoslav People's Army in
15 Then you went to Doboj, which is a town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you
16 spent six years there as battery commander again. And then four years
17 after that, you were the Chief of Staff of a regiment. Then you went to
18 Derventa, another town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you spent four years
19 there as the Chief of Staff of the regiment there. So you held the same
20 post there, too. And then you went back to Doboj and spent two years
21 there as the regiment commander. And from 1990 until April 1992, you
22 were in Sarajevo
23 the Yugoslav People's Army.
24 Tell us, please, General, is that information correct?
25 A. Yes, the chief of artillery of the 4th Corps, that's right.
1 Q. Thank you. And now your life's road was as follows: On the 8th
2 of April, 1992, you left the Yugoslav People's Army. On the 10th of
3 April, you arrived in the area of Travnik and Vitez. You spent a
4 relatively short time there, performing the duties of commander of the
5 Regional Staff of Bosnia
6 of the HVO for the Central Bosnia Operations Zone.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I thought Ms. Alaburic
8 was going to ask that question, but she didn't, so I'll ask it. What was
9 your rank in the JNA when you left it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was lieutenant-colonel. And that
11 year, I was supposed to be promoted to colonel because I had all the
12 necessary requirements, but I left as a lieutenant-colonel.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, anyway, in June 1992, you became commander of the
16 tactical group or operative group for the Travnik-Novi Travnik-Vitez area
17 in the Central Bosnia Operations Zone. In October 1992, you were
18 appointed commander of the HVO Brigade in Travnik. And roughly until
19 April 1993, you performed these three duties: Deputy commander of the
20 operative zone, commander of the Tactical and Operations Group, and
21 commander of the brigade. In April 1993, you were appointed to the joint
22 command [realtime transcript read in error "commander"] of the BH Army
23 and HVO, and you participated in the various commissions charged with
24 looking into possibilities for quelling the conflict. In June 1993, you
25 returned to the Vitez area and remained there, remained in that enclave,
1 and fought there until roughly April 1994. In April 1994, you became
2 commander of the Military District --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I was not going to interrupt
5 counsel until she finished her question, but in the event that it might
6 have been a transcription error or translation error, I just wanted to --
7 what we got on the transcript a few moments ago, it says:
8 "In 1993, you were appointed to the joint commander of the
9 BH Army and HVO and you participated in the various commissions ..."
10 I believe perhaps what was intended was that he became -- he was
11 appointed to a joint commission in Central Bosnia around that time. I'm
12 not aware of -- unless counsel can provide us some additional
13 information, I'm not aware of any joint command during that time-period.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott is absolutely
15 right, because in the Kordic case it was a question put to this witness.
16 He was a member of a joint commission. But please ask your question
17 again for this to be in the transcript.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to answer ?
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour will be able to
20 tell you, but we prepared one of the documents in the set on joint
21 command, and it is document 4D455, in which, to the joint command of the
22 BH and the HVO, the following were appointed: Mario Andric,
23 Filip Filipovic, and Zivko Totic. And so in this portion related to the
24 joint command, our case will be that, yes, a joint command was
25 established, in the sense that persons were appointed at the level of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and then at the levels of the corps or military
2 districts, so that I was not wrong. I very consciously and intentionally
3 said "joint command," but we can ask the witness to explain.
4 Q. So tell us, please, General, what were you in the spring of 1993?
5 What posts did you hold?
6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Before the witness gives the
7 answer, I do want the record to be clear, then. And I do appreciate
8 counsel's candour. What counsel has just indicated was this is
9 essentially an argumentative point. This is her interpretation, this is
10 her characterisation of the relationship. Having worked in the Kordic
11 case and having seen this testimony before, what was clearly described at
12 the time was this was a joint commission which existed for a few weeks,
13 met a few times. It had nothing to do with anything being like a joint
14 command function.
15 Now, I understand that counsel wants to argue her case, but this
16 is an argumentative point that's being made now, and I believe all the
17 prior testimony and evidence will indicate that what we're talking about
18 here was a joint commission that existed for a very short time. Thank
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I suppose that counsel is now going to ask an
21 open question so that she will take account of your objection.
22 I would, however, point out, too, a small but not insignificant
23 difference. I think that counsel -- that in the record we read that he
24 was appointed to the joint commander of the BH Army and HVO.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said "joint command."
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. I'm reading what I have in front of my
2 eyes. Please, interpreters, do not take this as criticism, and I
3 absolutely take your point. It's just that the record should be
4 "command" on line 22 of page 8. Thank you.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour, for
6 that correction. I took on board Mr. Scott's objection, so where it read
7 "joint commander," so it is "joint command." There were endeavours to
8 set up a joint command, but there was a joint commission as well which
9 toured the area of Jablanica and Konjic, and undertook a series of
10 measures to bring the situation back to normal, which was very tense at
11 the time.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, let the witness
13 answer, because you are now intervening as if it was him who was talking.
14 Mr. Scott raised an objection, and he knows the Kordic case very well.
15 You know that too. So please ask the witness whether he was part of a
16 commission or whether he was a member of a joint command, or both at the
17 same time.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First, I was in the commission. We
19 toured positions, resolved problems. And then I was appointed to the
20 joint command and personally went to Zenica to see the headquarters of
21 the joint command. I met with Siber, Hadzihasanovic, Sefer, at Zenica,
22 where it was support to be sited, and with them I went to Konjic. So the
23 joint command was appointed. There was work done to set it up. To what
24 extent it functioned, well, that's for us to elaborate upon later.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I assure you, Your Honours, that
1 the general is following very closely what I'm explaining about his
2 career, and he will correct me if I'm wrong. And my learned friend
3 Scott, if they think that something is wrong, they can deal with that in
4 their cross-examination.
5 Q. So, General, we stopped when you were appointed in April 1994 as
6 commander of the Military District of Vitez and Mr. Kordic went to the
7 Main Staff of the HVO. You stayed at that post for a year, and in
8 April 1995 you are at the Military District of Tomislavgrad. But as soon
9 as in May 1995, you go to the Joint Staff of the Army of the Federation
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the 31st of January, 2007, you retire from
11 active military service, holding the rank of major general of the Army of
12 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 In 1998, you were the director of the De-mining Centre for
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And from 2002 onwards, you volunteer in a
15 humanitarian NGO which focuses on de-mining, and the name is Provita.
16 General, please tell us whether the information is correct.
17 A. It's correct, thank you.
18 Q. For starters, while you were deputy commander of the Operations
19 Zone of Central Bosnia, who was the first commander that you deputised at
20 the time?
21 A. My first commander was Zarko Tole.
22 Q. How long did he occupy that post?
23 A. For some 10 days before he was captured by the Army of Republika
24 Srpska. I was deputy to Tole, then Mr. Zulu, for a very brief time, and
25 then Blaskic became commander. He was number 1 and I was number 2.
1 Q. Could you please tell us a couple of words about the activities
2 of Zarko Tole as commander of the Central Bosnia Operations Zone. What
3 were his first moves when he took over that position?
4 A. Zarko Tole arrived around mid-May, and before he met me he held a
5 number of meetings at municipalities, and at such meetings he advocated
6 the idea of joint struggle of Croats and Muslims. I encountered him in
7 the municipality of Travnik
8 it didn't take us long to agree. He said, You are going to be my deputy.
9 We have meetings tomorrow at Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno. We will continue
10 with our activities. And we went together to Bugojno, spent a couple of
11 days there, and then he was captured by the Army of Republika Srpska.
12 Q. General, please tell us, when, as a JNA officer, you came to the
13 area of Central Bosnia, what was the reception that you encountered there
14 by the local population?
15 A. In the area of Central Bosnia, the Lasva Valley
16 hail from - I encountered armed individuals. They were gladdened by my
17 arrival because they thought that some professionalism will be injected
18 into defence efforts, it will be improved. I knew some people in Vitez.
19 I knew nobody at Busovaca. But I attended a meeting of the then crisis
20 headquarters that I was supposed to command, the area of Bosnia
21 Posavina, which is a huge area. And the circumstances were that I did
22 not know many people in my home area, but I managed. Somehow I started
23 creating the preconditions to set up an army because I was aware of the
24 dangers that were lurking behind the horizon.
25 Q. Were there any cases of lack of trust because of your JNA
2 A. Yes, many occasions I encountered that. I came to that area as a
3 traitor and a Communist, and I left the JNA rather late, after it had
4 performed many negative deeds, but after a month I started being accepted
5 as a commander, due to my efforts that I invested in that time.
6 Q. General, you retired as a Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina Army
7 [as interpreted]; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you enter the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina Army as an HVO
10 officer or taking another route?
11 A. As an HVO officer.
12 Q. Could you please tell us whether the time you spent in the HVO
13 was calculated towards your years of service and retirement entitlement
14 as an FBiH Army officer?
15 A. Yes, like in everybody else's case, and the time I spent in
16 combat was counted as twice as long.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm going to put a
18 question to you which I've never put before. I could have done it
19 before, but I didn't really have the opportunity.
20 You were in the HVO, and then you joined the Federation of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where you had an official role. We have seen a
22 number of HVO personalities who became representatives of the Federation
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Mr. Prlic, for example, who was minister of
24 foreign affairs. When you joined the Federation, how was the climate,
25 the environment? Did they welcome you or was it difficult? Could you
1 tell us how you became integrated within the Federation? Was it done
2 naturally or were there a lot of reluctant people? Could you tell us
3 exactly what you felt at the time?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question is a bit vague, but
5 I'll try to explain.
6 When I came to the Travnik and Vitez area, I was accepted by
7 everybody, both the Muslims and the Croats, and later on both the
8 Territorial Defence and the HVO as commander, when it comes to combat
9 operations and professional aspects of combat, meaning de-mining of the
10 line of defence, deployment and disposition of forces, et cetera. And
11 even the Mujahedin, in May 1992, accepted me as commander, in terms as I
12 encountered them on the defence positions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question wasn't clear,
14 obviously you're not answering my question, because this is not what I
15 asked. I am asking what happened when you arrived in your position
16 within the Federation, but after the conflict. This is what I want to
17 know. How were you welcomed after the conflict, after the Dayton
18 Agreement, the Washington
19 Federation was set up? Within this army, there were former members of
20 the BH Army and former members of the HVO, and I would like to know what
21 the feeling was. Was it like other brothers-in-arms who found each other
22 when at one point in time they had been enemies or not? What happened in
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you specified 1994, after the
1 district, and after a while commander of the military district or the
2 corps. From 1992 and 1994, I both co-operate and combat -- fight
3 those [as interpreted]. You will have to specify your question in terms
4 of time. With General Alagic, in the first year of the war, I worked
5 perfectly well and co-operated. Then the next year, we fought. And
6 after the Washington Agreement, we then co-operated again. You will have
7 to specify the time-period.
8 When I came to the Joint Command of the Federation of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina Army, that was in 1995. Since I was the commander and
10 my opposite number from the Muslim side, we worked perfectly, and 1995
11 was very successful in terms of liberating territory and bringing the war
12 to an end.
13 So your question should be more specific. How did I feel? Well,
14 as well as I could in the circumstances, given the relations obtaining
15 [as interpreted].
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic.
17 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Correction. In the
18 transcript, you said that I was minister of foreign affairs of the
19 Federation. I just want to say that I was not Federation of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina minister of foreign affairs, but Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 and I was minister from 1994 to 1996. So this may have been a
22 mistranslation. I'd like to rectify that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
24 Ms. Alaburic, you may pursue.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. General, I'm going to show you several documents. Let us go
2 through them briefly to see how, from mid-1992, the HVO was deemed as an
3 integral part of the defence forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then we
4 will see how it was legislated upon by the Washington Agreement and the
6 documents briefly.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I apologies to Ms. Alaburic
9 and the witness but I do want to make a record early on, and I will
10 continue to object in the course of the direct examination, to any
11 characterisations, introductions, of the nature of the witness's
12 testimony and what the testimony -- what the witness is going to say
14 Just now, Ms. Alaburic said:
15 "I'm going to show you several documents," this all in front of
16 the witness, of course. "Let us go through them briefly to see how, from
17 mid-1992, the HVO was deemed as an integral part of the defence forces of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then we will show how it was legislated upon by
19 the Washington
20 I don't think we need prefaces and introductions as to the points
21 counsel wishes to make. Normal practice in the courtroom is that
22 questions are asked and answers are given.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, yes, you should
25 have said, I will show you a number of documents, show the documents, and
1 then you can conclude by saying, Well, according to the comments made
2 from these documents, do you really mean that the HVO was a part of the
3 armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina? But you're putting the horse before
4 the cart, and Mr. Scott is absolutely right when it comes to procedure.
5 But continue.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I thought I would
7 facilitate to everybody in the courtroom to make a preface to the topic,
8 but I'm going to skip from theme to theme and leave it for people to find
9 their bearings.
10 Q. General, the first document I'd like to ask you about is document
11 P339. This is the Friendship and Co-operation Agreement between
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia
13 please listen to me. When I want you to take a look at a document, I'm
14 going to indicate that.
15 This agreement was signed on the 21st of July, 1992, by
16 President Franjo Tudjman and President Alija Izetbegovic, and in the
17 sixth paragraph it says:
18 "The armed component of the Croatian Defence Council is an
19 integral part of the United Armed Forces of the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Croatian Defence Council will have its
21 representatives in the joint command of the Armed Forces of
23 My question, General: Did you see yourself as a member of the
24 Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and what did you
25 think -- what was the country that you were defending at the time?
1 A. First of all, I took part in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 I was defending myself, my family, the local community, and the wider
3 community in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know why you're asking me this.
4 Q. I would like to explain, but I'm afraid that Mr. Scott would
5 object to that.
6 Let me go to the next document, 4D410, 4D410. That's --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, we just looked at a
8 document that we have seen on numerous occasions, and the Judges know
9 this document inside-out. As Ms. Alaburic just asked you, on item 6 in
10 this document it says that the armed component -- that the HVO is an
11 integral part of the united Armed Forces of the Republic of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is what's written on paragraph 6. This was
13 signed by the president of the Presidency on July 21st, 1992.
14 Now, I have a question which is of a legal nature and might be
15 outside your scope of competence, but we know that the
16 Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina made a
17 decision declaring the HVO armed forces illegal. Now, there's one thing
18 I don't understand. On this we have, on the one hand, a document which
19 is an international agreement, which could be ratified by the Parliament
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but if this text goes against the
21 Constitution, the Constitution needed to be changed because there's a
22 hierarchy in legal standards. But the Constitutional Court still decided
23 that the HVO and its armed component was illegal.
24 Now, you were on the field at the time. Were you aware of the
25 decision made by the Constitutional Court, and were you aware of this
1 agreement signed between Tudjman and Izetbegovic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In terms of agreements and high
3 politics, this is something I learned about later. But all those
4 documents, agreements, did not mean a thing for me when I spent hours
5 every day being fired at. You have to understand this. I do not know
6 how to formulate this in legal terms. As I said, I defended
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina because it was internationally recognised as a state
8 at the time. See, the Territorial Defence and later on the armija of
9 BiH, HVO, or the Army of Republika Srpska, were either legitimate or
10 illegitimate because they were working to defend their own people. I do
11 not get the gist of your question. Three sides are in conflict with each
12 other. The Territorial Defence and the HVO fought together, hand in
13 hand, and the decisions of the Presidency, agreements, et cetera, they
14 may be relevant today, but they were not at the time. I never considered
15 myself as a paramilitary, as an illegitimate -- member of an illegitimate
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, the next document is 4D410. That is the Decree with the
20 Force of Law on Changes and Amendments of the Decree with the Force of
21 Law on Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was
22 adopted by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was
23 signed by Alija Izetbegovic. And in Article 1 of that decree, it reads:
24 "The Republic's armed forces shall comprise the Army of the
25 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and all the other units that are
1 subsumed under the Supreme Command."
2 General, did anyone take the floor away from you or bar you from
3 working at any meeting because you were a member of the Croatian Defence
5 A. No, nobody ever even thought that because I was a commander in
6 the Croatian Defence Council, that they would challenge the function that
7 I occupied until then. There was talk. They would say, You were a
8 paramilitary to the others. Now, if I'm a paramilitary -- well, when you
9 came across members of the Territorial Defence, but it had nothing to do
10 with meetings or any relevant facts related to that period of time.
11 Q. The next document is P1329, and it's a joint statement dated the
12 27th of January, 1993, which was signed in Geneva by Alija Izetbegovic
13 and Mate Boban. In point 1, it says that all conflicts between the
14 BH Army and the HVO should stop. And in point 2, it says that without
15 delay, a joint command should be established.
16 Now, tell us, General, at that time or perhaps later on, did you
17 ever come across any statements made by Alija Izetbegovic to the effect
18 that the HVO was not a legitimate army of the Croatian people in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and to everybody else who joined up with that army?
20 A. I never heard any statements of that kind.
21 Q. The next document is P1988. This is an agreement which, on the
22 20th of April, 1993, in Zenica, was signed by Sefer Halilovic and
23 Milivoj Petkovic. In point 1 of this agreement, it says that:
24 "The BH Army and the HVO are both legal military forces of the
25 Republic of Bosnia
1 This agreement was signed in the presence of General Morillon and
2 Mr. Thebault. Tell us, please, General, at that time did you have a
3 meeting with Sefer Halilovic and Milivoj Petkovic?
4 A. I think that already on the 20th, and certainly on the 21st and
5 22nd, there was a meeting in UNPROFOR, the UNPROFOR base in Vitez, but
6 Morillon wasn't there.
7 Q. Tell us, please, at that meeting in Vitez was Sefer Halilovic
9 A. Sefer Halilovic, Dzemal Merdan, and others on the side of the TO,
10 and Petkovic, myself, Blaskic, and others on the side of the HVO. And
11 the meeting was conducted by Colonel Stewart, or was it Colonel Williams?
12 Q. Tell us, please, the representatives of the BH Army, did they try
13 and reach an agreement with you, who were the representatives of the HVO,
14 or did they come to Vitez, as an illegitimate and unlawful army, to
15 disarm you and arrest you?
16 A. Problems were resolved on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 current problems, and in the Lasva River Valley
18 Q. The next document is P2078.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document, P1988, is a
20 document that the Judges have seen on several occasions. The date is
21 quite important. It's April 20th, 1993
22 this document was signed between the BH Army and the HVO in the presence
23 of the international community, General Morillon, extremely well known,
24 and Ambassador Thebault, representing the European community. Now, I
25 would like to know whether at the time you knew of this document.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, on the 21st or 22nd, I
2 already knew -- or, rather, there was this meeting in Vitez where they
3 elaborated this actual document, in operational terms.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that on the 21st
5 or the 22nd, you were aware of the document. When looking at paragraph 1
6 in this document, it seems that the international community is
7 recognising the fact that the military HVO exists.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was reality as of April 1992.
9 If this was the beginning of recognition, in the sense of an official
10 document, then maybe that might be the case.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were not present on
12 April 20th, when the negotiations occurred. But normally generals have a
13 staff with them and legal advisers, and when they -- of course,
14 General Morillon might not have studied law, but here we have the word
15 "legal" in this text in item 1. You were a member of the HVO at the
16 time, so did you feel that you belonged to a legal army?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, since we went back to this Zenica agreement of the 20th
20 of April, if you still have it in front of you, and it was P1988, let's
21 take a look at point 3 of the document together. It says that:
22 "A joint operations centre of Vitez was established at the level
23 of the 3rd Corps of the BH Army and the HVO of the Operative Zone of
24 Central Bosnia
25 which will be finally established in the coming days."
1 Now, was that the reason for the meeting in Vitez, General?
2 A. The reason for the meeting in Vitez was a follow-up from the
3 meetings in Vitez and Zenica. That's how I understood it, it was a
4 continuation of those previous meetings. So apart from this meeting and
5 this joint command, we had problems linked to the conflicts in the field,
6 in the territory. But I don't think the meeting was convened to solve
7 the joint command question, but it was to resolve the problems we were
8 facing in the field.
9 Q. All right. We'll come to that later on when we come to Central
11 But now let's look at the next document, which is P2078, 2078,
12 2078, that's right, which is a joint statement by Mate Boban and
13 Alija Izetbegovic, signed in Zagreb
14 April, 1993. And in point 3, it says that the BH Army and the HVO are
15 legal units on a footing of equality and that a joint command of those
16 forces should be established, composed of the representatives of both
18 And the document refers to attachment 1, so let's take a look at
19 that attachment 1 together, which is the next document. It is P2091,
20 supplement 1, and this is a military supplement co-signed by
21 Sefer Halilovic and Milivoj Petkovic, and it says here as follows:
22 "The BH Army and the HVO shall keep their separate identities and
23 organisation of the command."
24 Then point 2 says that they shall form a joint command which is
25 going to be responsible for control of operations in the military
2 And then point 3 says the joint command shall consist of two
3 supreme commanders, General Halilovic and General Petkovic, who shall
4 meet on a regular basis, et cetera, et cetera. We don't need to read the
6 Tell us, please, General, to the best of your recollections, was
7 that how it was? Did the BH Army and HVO need to continue as separate
8 identities and then have a joint command which would co-ordinate their
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. My apologies for my voice.
12 I seem to have a bit of a frog in my voice today.
13 Your Honour, I know the witness has already answered, but I did
14 want to object, in terms of time again, in terms of the question just
15 now, "was it that way?" Does that mean is that what the document says,
16 which we can all see what the documents say, or is that the way things
17 were in reality? So at present, we don't know what exactly that means
18 when the question is "was it that way?" I agree the document says that,
19 but that doesn't really assist us. Thank you.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I never ask the
21 witnesses whether it says something in a document, because we can all
22 read what a document says. My intention was to ask the witness whether
23 that was how things happened in reality; that is to say, that the BH Army
24 and the HVO kept their separate identities while attempting to establish
25 a joint command which would co-ordinate their activities or, in other
1 words, whether attempts were made to implement what was recorded in this
2 document. I apologise if I wasn't sufficiently clear, but I think that
3 the witness has already answered, I believe.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, as you know, the
5 Prosecutor may have a frog in his throat, and to avoid that because he
6 could just lose air and be unable to breathe, so do ask your questions in
7 a classical fashion.
8 As to the last document, you can see there's paragraph 3 that
9 says that this joint command must be located or established in Travnik.
10 The witness knows Travnik. Why don't you just ask him whether something
11 happened in Travnik? He will say, Yes, or he will say, No, and so on,
12 and then you could ask him whether he saw this document and whether the
13 document was implemented, and he can answer, Yes, No. This way, you
14 avoid objections.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I thought that as
16 Defence counsel for General Milivoj Petkovic, I have the right to
17 structure my examination-in-chief. So at present I'm not asking the
18 witness about the joint command and its make-up, because if you look at
19 the binder, this is going to be one of the next sections that we're going
20 to address with respect to the system applied. But my intentions at
21 present are to look at the HVO as a legal army.
22 Now, since I was prevented from saying what my case was, given
23 the documents, you're going to have to find your own way among these
24 documents, but for the moment I am putting these documents to the witness
25 exclusively from the standpoints of the HVO as a legal army and the HVO
1 as a component part of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, if
2 there are other exceptionally interesting things in these documents, I'm
3 not dealing with that now.
4 So I'll be showing these documents again -- I'll come back to
5 them when I deal with other issues of my examination-in-chief, but I
6 would like to assure you that I'm going to cover all the topics, and not
7 only the ones that the Petkovic Defence deems to be significant, but
8 those that the Trial Chamber is interested in as well.
9 Q. And now, Witness, General, would you focus on the next document,
10 which is 4D1611.
11 There's something wrong with the channels.
12 As I was saying, this was an order from Alija Izetbegovic, dated
13 June 1993, ordering immediate cessation to all hostilities between the
14 BH Army units and the HVO units. And in item 2, it says for the
15 implementation of this order, the following persons shall be responsible:
16 The commander of the BH Army, Rasim Delic, and commander of the
17 Main Staff of the HVO, Milivoj Petkovic.
18 Tell us, please, General, as a professional soldier yourself,
19 here the president of the Presidency of the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, is he issuing an order here to the chief of the
21 Main Staff of the HVO, Milivoj Petkovic?
22 A. Yes, the order relates to both the components of the army and to
23 both individuals, both Delic and Petkovic.
24 Q. All right, fine. Now, the next document is
25 1D26644 [as interpreted].
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, allow me to return to
2 this document, because if my memory serves me right, this is the first
3 document we can see drafted in this way. It is entitled "Republic of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina." So far, nothing to say about it. But then we
5 can see or read "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, HV," so one could be
6 tempted to think that this is a document --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Or "HVO," interpreter's correction.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One could believe that this is
9 a 100 per cent HVO document, but apparently it is signed by Izetbegovic,
10 although we can't see or find any signature in the B/C/S document.
11 This being said, if this is an authentic document, the president
12 of the Presidency signed a document which was stamped as
13 "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna/HVO." Unless Mr. Izetbegovic was not
14 able to read or had no education at all, if he signed this document, that
15 meant that, in his view, the HVO existed as such. What do you think?
16 When you see this document signed by Mr. Izetbegovic, whilst it is a
17 100 per cent HVO document, what is your conclusion?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The heading here was the right one
19 that was used from the first day, the HVO Croatian people, Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Defence Council, then
22 the operative zone or whatever. So most of the documents had this same
23 heading like a template.
24 Now, I don't believe that Alija Izetbegovic signed this document
25 in this form, but I do believe that it was conveyed to the HVO units or
1 to the people whom it concerned in this particular form. Now, whether
2 the signature is original or not or whether an original document was
3 signed or not wasn't relevant at that time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At any rate - the Defence will
5 tell me if I'm wrong - but this is the first time I see an HVO
6 document -- whilst we have 8.600 documents already, this is the first
7 document in which mention is made of Izetbegovic as the signatory of
8 Herceg-Bosna documents. There may be others, but this is the first one I
9 see. However, you, yourself, said that this document is not signed by
10 Izetbegovic, everybody can see that, but when you were in service did you
11 receive this documents, because I see it is addressed to all the
12 operative zones? Were you made aware of this document?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It must have been certainly in the
14 Central Bosnia Operations Zone. Each document reached the operational
15 zone. Whether it was distributed lower down the chain of command, that's
16 something I could not comment upon, but it could not have been
17 distributed lower down except in this form as we see it.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There are four essential items
19 in this document. The first one is cessation of hostilities. Item 2,
20 appointment of Delic and Petkovic. Third item, the role played by the
21 UNPROFOR. As to the fourth item, I can see it is that the Presidency of
22 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was to be a three-member
23 presidency, is unanimous; in other words, the Presidency of the Republic
24 of Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed with the entire above text. What do you
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In terms of timing, this came about
2 after the Kiseljak meeting which I attended, in which I did take part,
3 and it was then that we learned that Delic became commander instead of
4 Sefer, I mean commander of the BiH Army. After that meeting, well, I
5 simply -- the question is not specific enough for me to give you a
6 specific answer.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I highlighted the fact that
8 there were four items in my question, and I return to the fourth item
9 because it's always been said that Izetbegovic was the only one to rule
10 or ruled alone; however, here we can see that he acted as president of
11 the Presidency because it is written that the Presidency agreed with the
12 text. You were on the ground. You may not have noticed all this, but
13 I'm rather surprised to hear you say that this document was sent to the
14 operative zone, and I wanted to know whether you read it. And you seem
15 to say that you were not aware of it, so I'm rather puzzled, because this
16 is such an important document that it's rather extraordinary that
17 you -- you were on the ground. You were not made aware of it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The operations zone, the document
19 arrived to it because there were technical prerequisites for it to be
20 received at the operations zone. Very often, those technical
21 requirements were not present at the lower units.
22 The question is whether I saw that document at the time and
23 studied it. Well, when you asked me whether it referred specifically to
24 Petkovic, I answered, Yes. As for whether I saw that document,
25 personally, is that the gist of your question, whether I did see it at
1 the time? Nothing -- it would not strike me as strange for me to have
2 seen it. I can confirm that I saw it at the Military District of Vitez.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But wouldn't you have thought
4 it strange that an HVO document was signed by Izetbegovic? I mean, this
5 is really something out of the ordinary, isn't it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could not have reached us in any
7 other way as a document.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, please take a look --
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: General, Witness, I did not quite understand
11 your last answer. I could imagine that the Presidency of Bosnia and
13 president of the Presidency, and then sent to the addressees, including
14 the command of the HVO. You said the document could not have reached you
15 in any other way than under the letterhead of the HVO. Is my -- why is
16 my hypothesis, in your view, completely wrong? Why is it completely
17 excluded that such an order be forwarded to the operations zone on the
18 letterhead of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no technical capacities
20 for the document to be received at the operations zone. It could have
21 been brought by Sefer or Delic, or somebody of his personnel, in the form
22 as it was created in Sarajevo
23 Main Staff. There were no technical possibilities for the document to
24 get there. That was what I meant.
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm still trying to understand, if you allow.
2 Are you saying that while the president of the Presidency of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina had authority over the HVO, it had only the
4 possibility of addressing whom? You seem to say the Supreme Command, but
5 not the operations zone?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Let me reiterate.
7 The technical means -- for instance, on the 10th of that month,
8 the APC
9 there was no other way to go around on the 10th of June, so there were no
10 technical means for that document, dated later, but in the way that I
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In what technical -- on what technical way did
13 the substance of the document reach you or reach the operations zone; by
14 telephone, by telex, by fax, by satellite communication?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Maybe a combination
16 of what you listed. There were no mobile phones at the time.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And a last technical question. The document
18 says the decision was taken in full composition, yes, so it appears that
19 the Croat member of the Presidency also agreed to this. Do you know
20 whether this is true? Do you have any other source that confirms that
21 the Croat member of the Presidency also took part in this decision?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not have such information,
23 but I knew that there were two Croatian representatives or, rather,
24 representatives of the Croatian people there in the Presidency.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 Excuse me, Mr. Scott. Mr. Scott had been on his feet.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please, Mr. Scott.
3 Witness, through the questions put by my fellow Judge, I think I
4 understand what happened.
5 On the 13th of June, in Geneva
6 four points we have here. Somebody from Geneva, from the Presidency,
7 passed that on to the headquarters in Mostar, and at the Mostar
8 headquarters this order was sent to the operational zones, itemising the
9 four points that were communicated by telephone or by fax. Instead of
10 signing "General Petkovic, Headquarters Commander," it was signed by the
11 president of the Presidency, which would explain why the document is in
12 this form.
13 What do you think of this?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that was the only
15 reasonable solution. It had to arrive to the operations zone from Mostar
16 because there was no other way, except hand delivery, for it to have been
17 received from Sarajevo
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott might shed some light
19 on this.
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me again, Your Honour.
21 Your Honour, thank you. Mr. President, you just did, and that's
22 the point that I was hoping to clarify. I think the mystery is largely
23 assisted -- or answering the mystery is largely assisted, in addition to
24 your comments, Judge Antonetti, by the subject reference. "Delivery of
25 the text of," it's not an order from Izetbegovic. Someone, as you said
1 in the HVO, is apparently transmitting what they've been told as
2 something that Izetbegovic said, and it's not an order to the HVO. It is
3 apparently Izetbegovic saying, "I ordered the cessation of hostilities
4 between the ABiH and the HVO." So I think, Your Honour, you've noticed
5 the issue. Thank you.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was ready to
7 clarify this matter, but this is no longer necessary.
8 Q. General, let's expound on this. When you say the paper could not
9 have reached you, and you mentioned you were in UNPROFOR vehicles - we
10 are talking about the 14th of June, 1993 - did Travnik fall into the
11 hands of the BiH Army by that time?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell us, General, in June 1993 was there conflict in other parts
14 of Central Bosnia between BiH Army and the HVO?
15 A. This was the most intense fighting.
16 Q. Fine. Let's take a look at the next document, 1D2664, which is
17 minutes of a session of the Presidency of the Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina held on the 29th of June, 1993. I'm interested in the
19 discussion on whether the commander of the Staff of the Supreme Command
20 of the Army of BiH, Rasim Delic, can be a member of the Presidency of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina or not. And let me focus on two parts of this
22 transcript. General, please listen to me.
23 On page 1, it reads:
24 "We recognise the HVO as a constituent part of the armed forces."
25 And then discussion is held on whether Rasim Delic, as commander
1 of one of the components of the armed forces, could be a member of the
2 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 And later on, on page 8 in both versions, B/C/S and English, it
4 reads as follows -- Alija Izetbegovic said:
5 "For us, Mr. Delic is a member of the Presidency until it's
6 proven differently or otherwise."
7 And Mile Akmadzic responds, and Mile Akmadzic who was a Croat in
8 the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, says:
9 "Please state for me. In my opinion, Mr. Delic is not part of
10 the Presidency unless Mr. Petkovic joins him there."
11 In your opinion, General, pursuant to your -- to the documents
12 that you've seen so far and in your opinion, if the leading people of the
13 armies that defend Bosnia-Herzegovina are supposed to be part of the
14 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in your opinion, should members be
15 chosen from the BiH Army and HVO or as Mr. Izetbegovic was right, saying
16 that only Mr. Delic would have been there?
17 A. In my opinion, neither of them should have been members. Attend
18 meetings, yes, but it is blasphemous for me -- for them to be members of
19 the Presidency.
20 Secondly, around that time, although we tried to reach
21 agreements, at the time the Bosnia-Herzegovina Army exerted the most
22 intense pressure against the HVO units, and most of the Croatians
23 suffering during the war occurred around that time. And for Delic to be
24 a member of the Presidency while they were carrying out such policies on
25 the field, well --
1 Q. Please finish your sentence.
2 A. There was no way for Delic to be a member of the Presidency, but
3 if he was there, my opinion is that he should not have been there without
4 General Petkovic also in attendance.
5 Q. Let's take a look at the next document, 4D1300. This is an
6 agreement on the structure of the Joint Staff of the Army of the
7 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 26th of March, 1994
8 signed by Rasim Delic and Ante Roso. And it stated, among other things,
9 that the Joint Staff is going to comprise of ten members, five from each
10 side. And in item 3, it's stated that the erstwhile manners of
11 commanding BiH Army and HVO is continued and maintained during the
12 transitional period until federal army mechanisms are set up.
13 General, in spring-time 1994 were you familiar with the
14 establishment of such joint Army of the Federation of Bosnia and
16 A. This was after the Washington Agreement, when the fighting
17 stopped, and the Washington Agreement is being operationalised. And I
18 knew about this Joint Staff and Command. Fikret Muslimovic, for
19 instance, one month after fighting, spent a night at the Vitez
20 headquarters, in the command building at Vitez.
21 Q. Fikret Muslimovic was a high-ranking officer in the Security
22 Administration of BiH Army?
23 A. Yes, that's -- I shouldn't have mentioned his name, but, in
24 essence, he was the most competent person, after Delic, in the army. But
25 that's only my assessment. I knew him from our JNA days in Doboj.
1 Fikret Muslimovic was assistant to Aca Vasiljevic. The area of
2 responsibility was Drava
3 Rivers. They were very effective. Fikret Muslimovic was a very capable
5 Q. And now the last document in this section is 4D826 that I'd like
6 to look at.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let me return to the
8 previous document. It's several pages long, so by the time I've reached
9 the end, I'll let Ms. Alaburic put her questions about the document.
10 This is the 207th meeting of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Page 21, Izetbegovic is answering Boras, a Croat, and Izetbegovic
12 mentions the fact that nothing has been signed in Lisbon, that the
13 negotiations have been interrupted. He says that Sarajevo is not
14 destroyed by the Presidency or by the negotiations, but by those firing
15 from the hills. So now he has the Serbs in mind. But then he says, They
16 destroyed the city, and then he mentions Mostar. He says now Mostar has
17 been destroyed from two sides, from both sides.
18 How do you interpret the last sentence, when he said, And now --
19 so now that is at the date of the meeting, 29th of June, 1993. So when
20 he said, Now Mostar has been destroyed from two sides, what did he mean?
21 Did he mean the Muslim and the Croat sides, or the Croat side and the
22 Serb side? How do you interpret this sentence by Mr. Izetbegovic, who
23 said that, I quote:
24 "Now Mostar has been destroyed from two sides"?
25 What did he mean?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He probably meant the Serb and
2 Croatian side, because Mostar was destroyed until June 1992 by the Serbs.
3 They were destroying it until then. And then in the war between the TO
4 and HVO, they were destroyed by both sides, so that in fact three sides
5 were destroying it. But probably Mr. Izetbegovic meant the Serbs and the
6 Croats in this particular instance.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that
8 Mr. Izetbegovic meant the Serb and the Croat sides.
9 Well, then in June, in other words, back in June 1993, the Serbs
10 were still firing on Mostar; is that correct or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From time to time, yes, they
12 targeted it, but not in support of the fighting, just a sporadic gun-shot
13 here and there. But the heavy shelling in Mostar -- well, heavy shells
14 were falling on Mostar at that time, and the only people that could have
15 had shells of that calibre were the Serbs.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Listen to my question carefully
17 and think it through before you answer it.
18 You've just said that every now and then the Serbs would fire on
19 Mostar. Let us imagine a victim that was hit by shrapnel. It's just a
20 hypothesis. How can you ascertain that the shrapnel originates from the
21 HVO or from the Serbs? Do you have a military answer to my question?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I had been there, I would know
23 by the trajectory or the type of explosion, if I was there. If I were to
24 see the crater, I would know, once again, the direction the shell came
25 from. But the general public couldn't have known.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Just briefly on this document, and then we can take the break.
4 And it's 4D826, the next document that I'd like us to look at, which is a
5 Law on Defence of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And we're
6 only interested in one article there, and it is Article 37, para 2, where
7 it says:
8 "The Army of the Federation is composed of units of the BH Army
9 and the Croatian Defence Council, inclusive of the corps level and
10 military district, made up of peacetime and wartime components."
11 Now, as defined here, was the HVO entirely a component part of
12 the Army of the BH Federation?
13 A. This is the "Official Gazette" dating back to 1996, so there's no
14 dilemmas on that score. The Army of the Federation was made up of two
15 components, and at that point in time they had a joint staff, and most of
16 the activities they waged were the activities of a single army.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
18 I think we can take the break now, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to break for 20
21 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, let's move on to the next area. And in order to do
1 that, look at P280, which is an order jointly signed by Mate Boban and
2 General Roso, dated the 27th of June, 1992. And for commander of the HVO
3 Staff of Central Bosnia, as it was already, Tihomir Blaskic is being
4 appointed to the post, and he's being given various authorisations, as it
5 says here, for the full articulation of all combat operations in Central
7 at the time, but, anyway, Colonel Blaskic, Tihomir Blaskic, also
8 appointed and relieved of duty commanders of military units.
9 Tell us now, please, General, at that time did you know whether
10 the commanders of the other operative zones in the HVO had the same remit
11 and authorisations?
12 A. Well, I don't know when this document -- whether they did when
13 this document was actually written, but it was logical that
14 Tihomir Blaskic did have those authorisations linked to the territory he
15 was in command of and the people he knew, as this was a little separate.
16 Q. You said because of the isolation of the territory, because the
17 territory was isolated. The isolation of the territory of Herceg-Bosna;
18 is that what you meant to say?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
21 MS. ALABURIC: He did, he said so, but the transcript was wrong.
22 MR. SCOTT: All I can do, of course, is respond to what's either
23 translated orally or in writing, Your Honour, and I did not hear the
24 witness say that at all.
25 I also did not -- there's nothing on the face of the document
1 that says anything about it being involving the appointment or removal of
2 commanders, and there again I'm sorry to say it, because I have great
3 respect of Ms. Alaburic as a fine colleague, but it's again suggesting
4 answers to the witness, and the document -- the interpretation of the
5 document and where the document, on its face, says nothing of the sort.
6 All the document says is "is fully responsible for full articulation."
7 It says nothing about how that relates to the appointment or dismissal of
8 other commanders. That was completely injected by Ms. Alaburic, and it's
9 not appropriate, Your Honour, and I'm going to object. I do object.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if after four years
11 we have to discuss such a banal matter as the appointment and dismissal
12 of duties that Tihomir Blaskic conducted in Central Bosnia, then I don't
13 know what it is that we've been doing for all this time here.
14 Q. But tell me, to the best of your knowledge, General, did
15 Tihomir Blaskic, as the commander of the Operative Zone of Central
18 A. In point 2 of this document, it says "appoints commanders of the
19 HVO in Central Bosnia," so as far as I'm concerned that's clear. And in
20 practice, yes, he did appoint commanders in Central Bosnia. That's true.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Now, if Mr. Scott wishes to
22 apologise, I accept his apology in advance.
23 Let's now look at --
24 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I still submit that the
25 document does not say what counsel has indicated it does. It's
1 unfortunate, but I understand that she may wish that's what it says, but
2 the document doesn't say that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, so we have a document
4 in front of us appointing Mr. Blaskic as the main commander of the staff
5 of the HVO in Central Bosnia. This is a document signed by Mr. Boban.
6 But the thing that puzzles me is this: We can also see Mr. Roso, who was
7 then the Chief of Staff, who also signed the document.
8 You were there. You may know. Does this mean that
9 Mr. Mate Boban appointed the main officials within the HVO Command and
10 within the operative zone, and it happened that he appointed them based
11 on a document drafted by the headquarters that prepared this order for
12 appointment, as you can see, because you can see the number, 396, and
13 thereafter Boban signed? But since the document was prepared by the
14 Main Staff, it was also signed by the head of the Main Staff; is that so?
15 Is that the reason why we can see that Mr. Roso intervened in the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is correct is that the
18 proposals or, rather, appointments went from Boban -- from the Main Staff
19 to Boban. Now, why Roso's signature is here, I really don't know. Only
20 Boban's signature was enough, but you couldn't have just Roso's
21 signature. So why the two are there, I don't know. But Mate Boban's
22 signature gave legitimacy to the whole affair because it was the major
23 unit in the HVO of the operative zone or, rather, the corps.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In the same line, Witness, on the top left hand
25 of the document we read "Main Staff," so the origin of the document is
1 not at the Presidency, it appears, but at the Main Staff. Is it possible
2 that the chief of the Main Staff, General Roso, drafts this as a
3 proposal, perhaps after telephone conversation, then sends it with his
4 signature to Mate Boban, and Mate Boban signs to sanctify the document?
5 Could it have happened like that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that Boban signed first,
7 and then since it goes up the chain of command -- through the chain of
8 command and communications from the Main Staff towards the operative
9 zone, and I see nothing contentious there.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I wasn't implying anything
11 contentious. I'm just trying to find out the truth. Later on, we will
12 see what is of importance. Thank you.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these are just my
14 introductory remarks about Central Bosnia.
15 Q. Now moving on to Ahmici on the 16th of April and a few events
16 before that, but let's look at the next document, which is P661, and it
17 is the appointment of the commanders of operations zones which, on the
18 28th of October, 1992, was effected by the president of the HZ-HB,
19 Mate Boban. And here, under item 3, we see that he appointed for
20 commander of the operative zone Tihomir Blaskic.
21 Now, my question to you, General, is this: If you remember,
22 roughly when was it that the HVO was organised in such a way as to
23 establish operations zones?
24 A. I think that it was roughly this time, because the same unit and
25 the same commands were called differently before that.
1 Q. Let's look at the next document now, which is P554. This is an
2 order from Tihomir Blaskic on the organisation of units in the Central
3 Bosnia Operations Zone.
4 Tell us, please, General, were you aware of this order at that
5 time? Did you know about it?
6 A. It was -- I initiated this because it was an enormous zone, and
7 in order to facilitate command I proposed that four operative zones or
8 tactical groups within operative zones be established. And
9 geographically, they ran along Vrabac-Lasva, and emerging on to Zenica,
10 then the valley of Bosna
11 Lepenica, that general area, so tactically or operationally it was
12 justified to establish zones and the tactical groups. And there were
13 about six municipalities to one tactical group. I was the commander of
14 one of those, one of those tactical groups from Jajce to Zenica
15 inclusive, along with my regular duties, that is, as deputy commander of
16 the operative zone or military district of the corps.
17 Q. General, when you say you were at the head of a tactical group,
18 and you told us which one, is it the one that is stipulated in item 1(b)?
19 A. Yes, although the Dobratici municipality, or Pogradje, in
20 comprising Kotor Varos municipality and Skender Vakuf municipality, isn't
21 mentioned here, so that was that sixth area or entity.
22 Q. Right. Let's look at the next document, which is P658.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to know
24 whether, as far as this last document is concerned, in the chain of
25 command we have: Mate Boban as president, being number 1, then we have
1 the commander of the HVO, i.e., General Petkovic here, then number 3
2 would be the commander of the operative zone, Tihomir Blaskic, and then
3 in your own operative zone the commander of the tactical group, i.e.,
4 you, and then below you the commanders of brigades within this tactical
5 group? Does this represent the chain of command?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like to
9 draw your attention to the title of the post of Milivoj Petkovic on
10 page 44, line 13 -- or I correct myself, line 12. It is defined as
11 commander of the HVO, and the function was entitled "Chief of the
12 Main Staff." It is important, for the Defence case of General Petkovic,
13 to refer to him as chief of the Main Staff.
14 Q. General, let's take a look at the next document, P658.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you might be able to
16 shed some light on this. Can you tell us what difference you make,
17 yourself, between the commander of the HVO and head of the Main Staff?
18 Are these two different positions? If so, who is in command of the HVO?
19 And if not, what can you say about this? Because Ms. Alaburic seems to
20 make a difference between these two, and I would like to know exactly how
21 things stand.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Over different time-periods, there
23 was the commander of the HVO and the Chief of Staff or chief of the
24 Main Staff. However, for the most part, for most of the duration and the
25 existence of that, we had the chief of the Main Staff who was the link
1 between the president and units, in general. So if there was no
2 appointed commander of the HVO, then the chief of the Main Staff, for the
3 most part, held command role, except if it was otherwise in certain
4 areas. But I'm telling you this from my position, how I understood the
5 chain of command. So that would be Blaskic, Petkovic, or Roso, whoever
6 was chief of the Main Staff, and at the top Mate Boban in all his
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 7th of October,
9 1992 - that's the date of the document - who was the HVO commander?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the operations zone or the
11 corps, it was Blaskic.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was the HVO military
13 commander. I want to know who commanded the military HVO, the one who
14 was in command of all the operative zones. Who was it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The term "HVO" entails political,
16 military, and other dimensions. But in respect of the unit of the HVO,
17 the military wing of the HVO, Blaskic was the commander, but he was not
18 the commander to other elements of life and authorities in the area of
19 his responsibility, in military terms.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, because I'm totally
21 lost now.
22 I've been now involved 150 per cent of my time in this case for
23 four years, and now I'm discovering something totally new. Maybe it was
24 poorly translated; I don't know. But you just said, because I did ask
25 you this: Back in October, who was the HVO commander? And I specified
1 my question. I said I want to know who was in command of all the various
2 operative zones. And your answer is that, in your view, it was Blaskic,
3 so now I fail to understand.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we're discussing a document
5 which discusses tactical groups within the corps or operational zone,
6 then Blaskic was the commander of that.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand that. He was the
8 commander of the HVO in the operative zone. There, I agree with you.
9 But I wanted to know who was the HVO commander of all the operative
10 zones, of all of them.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mate Boban, Mate Boban.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So now this is a
13 very exact answer. You are telling me that the HVO commander was
14 Mate Boban. Then there's a chief of Main Staff, and that was
15 General Petkovic. And then there are operative zone commanders, so in
16 Central Bosnia
17 groups, and you were one of them for the 2nd Tactical Group?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ivo Lozancic was in Zepce, and that
19 tactical group comprised Zepce, Zavidovici, Teslic, Maglaj. In Lepenica,
20 there was Rajic, and it comprised Kiseljak, Kresevo, Fojnica, Vares, and
21 Kakanj. And the 4th Operations Group, Bugojno, Kupres, Gornji Vakuf,
22 Prozor, Jablanica, and Konjic.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Filipovic, I may be slow of understanding,
25 perhaps, dimwitted, perhaps, but I still am not quite clear on this,
1 because at one point the Presiding Judge put to you a line of command
2 which went: Boban, Chief of Staff, chiefs of operations zones; Blaskic
3 was the chief of an operations zone. You said above him there was Boban.
4 But according to the line of command previously established, above him
5 was Petkovic was the chief of the General Staff. Which of the two is
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Boban was the supreme commander,
8 and the Main Staff supports and works for him. The chief of the
9 Main Staff carries out the orders, the desires, of Boban, and chief of
10 the Main Staff relays to us, at the operations zone, in the form of
11 orders what we're supposed to do. So you asked of me to precise
12 [as interpreted] the line of command as per definition, but I am telling
13 you how I understood it to be. I knew that my immediate superior was
14 Blaskic. I was his deputy, and I knew that he -- his commander or person
15 who he reports to and receives orders from was the chief of the
16 Main Staff, and sometimes there was direct link to Boban. That was the
17 practice in use throughout that time, except for a time when the chief of
18 the Main Staff was number 3 in the military hierarchy of the HVO, because
19 there was the commander, then the deputy commander, and then the chief of
20 the Main Staff, but that was for a relatively brief period of time.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. You have clarified my question.
22 Thank you very much.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you, General. I have no supplementary questions to your
25 description. I just wanted to intervene as to the title of the function.
1 Let's take a look at the next document, P658. This is a
2 consolidated report for the 26th October 1992.
3 General, in respect of the Jajce theory, it is stated that the
4 Chetniks are attacking with everything they have and firing between 25
5 and 30 hundred [as interpreted] projectiles a day, so that everything is
6 burning. Tell us, General, since we have seen fierce discussions in this
7 courtroom whether Serbs and Croats did fight each other at that time in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, please tell us, did you conduct any combat
9 against the Serbs, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina Serbs, in 1992 and
10 after that date?
11 A. Well, this item is a wound still fresh in me. I've invested
12 quite a lot of my efforts into the defence of Jajce. This refers to a
13 period prior to Jajce's fall. And as far as the Serbian forces
14 throughout 1992 and 1993, until June 1993, the only enemy out there was
15 the VRS, the Army of the Republika Srpska. And when we lost in Central
17 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In our -- Jajce front-line was 100
18 kilometres' long because it was separate from the Lasva Valley
19 front-line, and they had constant fighting there.
20 Q. General, when you say that in Central Bosnia you lost contact
21 with the territory under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska, was
22 that the time when the Croatian enclave was created in Central Bosnia
23 did you mean something else?
24 A. In 1993? I said throughout 1992 and 1993, inclusive with June.
25 At that time, during that period, the only enemy was the VRS.
1 Q. In item 6 of this report, which refers to Travnik, it is stated
2 on the basis -- well, that part of the report refers to Central Bosnia.
3 It is a report by Tihomir Blaskic, and it states:
4 "On the basis of the order of the supreme commander, number 396,
5 dated 27th of June, 1992:
6 2. I reorganised the entire staff and relieved members of the
7 staff, and appointed Colonel Filip Filipovic as commander."
8 Just one note before I ask you a question.
9 General, the document that is being referred to is the document
10 that we discussed, the P280 document, so that was the document on the
11 basis of which Tihomir Blaskic appointed and relieved of duties
12 commanders. Could you please tell us, General, was that the time when
13 you were appointed the commander of the brigade in Travnik?
14 A. Yes. That's the period when the commander of the Travnik Brigade
15 was killed by Muslim forces, and this brigade was partly in disarray.
16 And on top of my other duties, I took, pursuant to this command, over the
17 command of that brigade, the Travnik Brigade.
18 Q. Please tell us, General, who was at the head of the Muslim forces
19 in Travnik at that time?
20 A. The Alpha and Omega, there was Colonel Alagic, Mehmed Alagic.
21 Q. General, could you please tell us whether and how did you
22 co-operate with Colonel Alagic?
23 A. We co-operated in the first year of the conflict. The second
24 year of the war, we fought intense battles. And after the -- in the
25 third year, after the Washington Agreement, we co-operated again. I must
1 say that Mehmed Alagic was a fair both ally and opponent in all respects.
2 He was a very difficult negotiator, but when you've reached an agreement
3 with him, you could be sure that the agreement will be implemented.
6 [Interpretation] General, may we have your comments to this
7 statement about the good co-operation between Filipovic and Alagic? And
8 it was an international observer in BH who presented this view.
9 A. This observation is highly technical.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'd just like to
11 correct the transcript on page 8 [as interpreted]. The question that I
12 quoted relates to Colonel Filipovic, not Colonel Alagic. So "Colonel
13 Filipovic" it should read, page 51, line 8. The question was:
14 "Do you know what became of Colonel Filipovic?"
15 Now, your comments about this statement that you cooperated well?
16 A. A professional view, realistic from those times. Perhaps it's a
17 little exaggerated to say that I let it be known that I was being
18 supported by my superiors. I always had very proper co-operation with
19 Blaskic, and I don't really know what that referred to.
20 Q. And can you explain to us, General, about this departure of yours
21 to another location, that final part of the portion I read out? What
22 would that refer to, if you remember?
23 A. Well, my departure from Travnik, probably. I went to the
24 commission that we already mentioned, as a member of the commission, as a
25 member of the joint command, so there should be no insinuations as to why
1 I left. It was quite logical that I should do so.
2 Q. Now let's look at document 4D1700, which is an order for defence
3 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia compiled by Tihomir Blaskic.
4 Tell us, please, General, are you familiar with this document? Did you
5 know about it before?
6 A. Yes, I think I took part in its writing, because it was a
7 consolidated document for a given period and for a given time.
8 Q. On the document, there is no date, General. So judging by the
9 contents, could you give us a date for the document, when it was written?
10 A. Looking at the names of the units, when they were established and
11 when they appeared, like the 2nd Zenica, and the Jure Francetic Brigade,
12 and the Travnik Brigade, this was the time -- well, I would say it was
13 mid-March 1993.
14 Q. In several places in this document, for example, in item 2 and
15 item 5(1), Tihomir Blaskic plans the organisation of Central Bosnia's
16 defence in co-operation with the BH Army units. My question to you is
17 this, General: Did you plan the defence of the territory which came
18 under your responsibility with respect to defence preparations and
19 combat? Did you plan to co-operate with the BH Army?
20 A. We co-operated with the BH Army throughout this time and jointly
21 held the defence lines, so that there's no question that co-operation was
22 envisaged with the BH Army units.
23 Q. The next document is 4D389, which is an order from the chief of
24 the Main
25 the introduction of this order, General, it says that interception of
1 Chetnik conversations -- by tapping into Chetnik conversations, the HVO
2 learnt that the Army of Republika Srpska considers that there was very
3 little to go, allegedly, to the end of the war, and that over the next
4 five or six days it would attempt to undertake some particular action.
5 Now, at that point in time, General, that is to say, at the end
6 of December 1992, for the territory on which you were active in the
7 defence, were you threatened by the Army of Republika Srpska in any way?
8 Was it a threat and danger to you?
9 A. It was a threat throughout in the war, and this is probably
10 linked to the Christmas holiday preparations. I am speculating here, but
11 looking at the date, I assume that we were to hold strong there, but the
12 Chetnik -- the defence lines facing the Chetniks was -- they were active
13 all the time.
14 Q. Now let's look at item 5 of this order, where combat readiness is
15 to be raised, and it says:
16 "In executing this order, achieve full co-ordination with the
17 BH Army units."
18 May we have your comments, General, to that item of this order by
19 the general?
20 A. Well, I don't know what you want me to comment. It was
21 understood, implied. And I'd like to emphasise once again that full
22 co-ordination is stressed once again with the BH Army, not to forget the
23 allies or the neighbour.
24 Q. Let's look at another document. It is 4D830. I am just
25 interested in the last portion of that document, to be found on the last
1 page. It's very short, General, but this is what it says. This is a
2 report from the chief of the Main Staff for 1992, and then it says:
3 "The HVO forces, in addition to the many problems and
4 difficulties, have successfully under their control 70 per cent of free
5 territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
6 Now, my question to you, General, is this: To the best of your
7 recollections, roughly speaking, what portion of the front-line facing
8 Republika Srpska were held by the HVO units?
9 A. Certainly, more than half. I would have to measure the distance
10 on a map, but I think that this piece of information here is correct.
11 Q. Now, the next sentence reads:
12 "By organising its own armed forces in the territory of HZ-HB,
13 the Croatian people defended themselves and the majority of the Muslims."
14 My question to you, General, is this: When you were defending
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Central Bosnia, were you just defending the
16 Croatian people or not?
17 A. I've already said I defended myself, my family, the local
18 community, the broader community, and the whole of Bosnia and
20 in fact, defending everybody in the area, including the Serbs and the
21 Muslims. And in the first two or three months of the war, it is true
22 that we managed to defend everyone, but as of June the Territorial
23 Defence or the BH Army carried its part of the burden and responsibility,
24 and it was only as of June 1992, on a footing of equality, was it able to
25 fight at the defence lines.
1 Q. Tell us, General, in the area that you were in, Busovaca,
2 Travnik, Novi Travnik and Vitez, that general area, roughly speaking,
3 ratios and proportions between the Croatian and Muslim population, was
4 there a majority ethnic group in the territory, more than --
5 A. In the Lasva Valley
6 generally speaking, it was a 50:50 ratio.
7 Q. Tell us, General, in the Lasva River Valley
8 coming into the area?
9 A. The refugees started coming in from the very first days, but the
10 majority came in May and June and later on in the autumn, because the
11 Serbs would send in the Muslims and some Croats, 4 to 5 per cent, but in
12 their masses, in large quantities, thousands of people coming in, coming
13 down from the Serb lines and crossing over on to our side, that happened,
14 too, and those refugees needed help and assistance in those first days
15 because they were a pitiful group.
16 Q. What year are you referring to, General?
17 A. 1992.
18 Q. You said that very few Croats were coming in, 4 to 5 per cent.
19 Now, tell us, please, if you can, whether the Croats from these areas of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina which were under the control of the Army of Republika
21 Srpska, did they go to some other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina or to some
22 other countries?
23 A. Well, quite logically, from that western area of Republika Srpska
24 or, rather, the area under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska,
25 it was easier for them to ship the Croats across the river. That's how I
1 understood it, across the Sava River
2 Q. Could you tell us, roughly speaking, how many refugees there were
3 until the end of 1992, who arrived in the Lasva River Valley
4 figure would that be?
5 A. Tens of thousands of people. The lowest figure that I can quote
6 is 20.000 people.
7 Q. And percentage-wise, as you told us, were these wholly Muslims?
8 A. Yes, Muslim refugees.
9 Q. Can you tell us something, General, about the first half of 1992
10 and the arrival of soldiers into the Lasva River Valley
11 into the area? Where did they come from? What ethnicity did they belong
12 to, and so forth?
13 A. As I've already said that they accepted me as commander in the
14 Lasva River Valley
15 respect to my activities and so forth. But the first people to arrive
16 were foreigners, El Mujahid later on, but a negligible number of them.
17 Anyway, sometime at the beginning of May, 50 buses arrived of a unit that
18 had been established. The 1st Krajina Brigade, that's what it was called
19 at the time, and it was put up at the barracks in Travnik. Up until
20 then, I had struck -- I had a fair balance between the BH Army and the
21 number of Muslims, but with the arrival of refugees and with the arrival
22 of others coming into the area, this balance was upset in Travnik, in
23 that general area.
24 And at first, I was happy to reinforce my own forces facing the
25 enemy. However, coupled with the arrival of the refugees, who had
1 nothing and needed everything, and were put up in the area, such as the
2 Croatian religious sites, the Croatian shrines, churches, the school
3 building and so on, all these buildings and facilities that could take in
4 large numbers of people --
5 Q. General --
6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Counsel. Before the next question, could
7 I just ask for assistance to get a date, because the only thing that's
8 been referenced so far was --
9 MS. ALABURIC: I wanted to ask that.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you very much.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, yes, that's why I interrupted you. You've been talking
13 for quite some time, but we've lost our bearings in terms of time.
14 Now, everything you've just described to us, what year was that?
15 A. The beginning of the war, that is to say, the first couple of
16 months of 1992 or, rather, April, May, and June of that year. And the
17 refugees continued to pour in in the autumn, and they culminated with the
18 arrival of all -- the whole of Jajce and Pogra [phoen] until the
19 beginning of November 1992.
20 Q. You mentioned the Krajina Brigade, and you said that its members
21 arrived in busloads, 50 buses. And if my calculations are correct, that
22 would make it about 2.000 soldiers. Would that be correct?
23 A. That would be the maximum number. Including equipment and
24 everything else, the figure would be less, around 1500. And I'd like to
25 mention that they arrived from the Republika Hrvatska -- Croatia area,
1 from the Republic of Croatia
2 defence during that first time.
3 Q. Can you give us a time-frame for the arrival of the Krajina
4 Brigade, once again?
5 A. It was about the 15th of May, 1992.
6 Q. Tell us, please, General, what ethnicity were the soldiers of the
7 Krajina Brigade?
8 A. They were exclusively Muslims.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, if, from the standpoint of the
10 territorial army or the manoeuvre army, you were to compare your own HVO
11 and this Krajina Brigade, what could you tell us about the HVO and about
12 the Krajina Brigade in those terms?
13 A. I have the Home Guards, who were put up in their own homes, who
14 lived at home. And when the time came for them to go up to the
15 front-line, then I would have about 20 per cent of my men up at the
16 front-lines, but I did not have any manoeuvre units able to intervene in
17 any way. The intervention platoons were only to arrive later. And the
18 Krajina Brigade, since it was a pure -- they were pure soldiers, they
19 were put up in the barracks, and it was a manoeuvre unit and the only
20 unit of that kind able to carry out manoeuvres in that area.
21 Q. General, now you've just said that the intervention platoons
22 arrived later on. Did those intervention platoons come from outside
23 Central Bosnia
24 own forces, your own men?
25 A. No, exclusively made up of my own men. When the need arose,
1 that's when that unit was established, because you needed a soldier that
2 you could command and send out in manoeuvres, and not only soldiers up at
3 the front-lines in the trenches. You needed someone to carry out the
4 manoeuvring actions.
5 Q. Tell us, please, General, this Krajina Brigade, once it reached
6 the Lasva River Valley
7 was it perhaps a sort of independent, autonomous force in the area?
8 A. At first -- or, rather, up until the arrival of Alagic and
9 Cuskic -- well, they did not arrive with them. It was, well, still
10 unidentified, or, rather, it conducted training and was being
11 established. But once we had the firm chain of command for the BH Army,
12 it became exclusively a component part of the Territorial Defence or,
13 rather, the BH Army. I use both terms because I don't know the date
14 exactly when the Territorial Defence became the BH Army or was divided
15 into the Territorial Defence and the BH Army.
16 Q. You mentioned, General, the hard-line corps in the Army of BiH.
17 Could you please explain what was that about?
18 A. When I came to that area in the Lasva River Valley
19 municipal crisis headquarters and some crisis headquarters which derived
20 from the times of Yugoslavia
21 those four municipalities, the president of the municipality would be a
22 Muslim, the executive council president would be Croatian, the secretary
23 for defence would be a Croat, a commander of the Territorial Defence
24 would be a Muslim, so I encountered four commanders of the Territorial
25 Defence staffs who were Muslims, which was a bit strange, in my opinion,
1 but that was so. I co-operated with them, and as I said, I was accepted
2 as a commander by all of them, and my orders were accepted by those on
3 the front-line. And there was a point where I realised that all four of
4 them have been removed from their duties, and --
5 Q. Before you continue, General, could you tell us when that was?
6 A. June 1992. In June 1992, there was a large number of Muslim
7 officers who arrived to the Lasva River Valley
8 municipalities were changed. In Travnik, there used to be Tamburic, but
9 he was replaced by Hodzic; in Novi Travnik, the commander was -- the name
10 escapes me, but Lendo replaced him. And there was a change in the
11 personnel, not only in terms of names but in terms of actions in the area
12 of responsibility of the defence lines.
13 Q. What was that change when the hard-lines came?
14 A. Well, the change was that they no longer accepted me as
15 commander, neither did they accept my suggestions, and if I had to change
16 or do something, I would have to go down to commands for activities to be
17 carried out as intended. They demonstrated their powers by moving forces
18 and units from one settlement to another. There was a large number of
19 such units established. The insignia in units and signs in the area
20 changed. A large number of green flags cropped up suddenly. Simply, you
21 could feel it. I could list you other occasions.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.
23 I would like to ask a question of you, Mr. Filipovic, regarding
24 page 60, line 9. You said that for commanders of the Territorial Defence
25 staffs were Muslims and added "which was a bit strange, in my opinion."
1 Would you be so kind as to explain why you thought this was strange, and
2 to what degree?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the 1990 elections, in this area
4 SDA and HDZ were the victors, and they combined their personnel to set up
5 authorities. And if this was so, then, in my opinion, they should have
6 mixed and combined the personnel and their cadres differently, more
7 smartly. It could not function at any time in Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 have a monolithic structure. You had to be mindful of both Serbs,
9 Muslims, and Croats. And to see four of them being Muslims, it was
10 strange -- seemed strange to me because of the way I was brought up.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. But you have spoken about several key
12 roles, and there was some, I seem to recall, where they were all Croats.
13 Is that not so?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Presidents of municipalities
15 would be Muslims. Presidents of executive councils of those
16 municipalities would be Croats. Secretaries for defence of
17 municipalities would be Croats, and commanders of staffs of the
18 Territorial Defence, meaning the army, would be Muslims. At first
19 glance, it would seem to be a good mix, but when it came to defence it
20 seemed strange to me that I had to co-operate with four commanders of
21 Territorial Defence staffs who were all Muslims, and them being all
22 Muslims was a bit strange to me.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you for the explanation.
24 Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic, for having interrupted.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, please tell us, did you have any problems in
2 co-operating with somebody just because they were Muslim? Was it
3 important to you?
4 A. No, it was not important. I did co-operate, and they did accept
5 me. But for somebody being brought up in Bosnia, that person should be
6 mindful of the three peoples in Bosnia
7 I would have a hay load on a cart, and there were some bronze rings
8 around the horses that were drawing the cart, I would then silence the
9 bells whenever I would drive through a Muslim village, being mindful of
10 the sensitivities of the Muslims.
11 Q. Those bronzes, you mean the bells?
12 A. Yes, the bells, but made of the same materials as church bells.
13 Q. Fine. We fully understand the example that you illustrated.
14 Please do explain to the people who do not hail from the territory of the
15 former Yugoslavia
16 by silencing the bells whenever you passed through a Muslim village. Why
17 was that?
18 A. Because you may upset the inhabitants of that Muslim village.
19 Out of respect towards people, out of understanding that this is a
20 different community and that you had to adapt your own behaviour; as
21 simple as that.
22 Q. Fine, General. Let's go back to the people who started arriving
23 at the Lasva River Valley
24 Did some other people come to the Lasva River Valley
25 A. The fiercest fighting up to that point in the Central Bosnia
1 theatre was in Jajce. There were 100 kilometres of front-line there. I
2 helped them through -- sending people through the Lasva River Valley
3 through woods to get to Jajce, and when Jajce fell some 2.000 combatants,
4 Croats, and 2.000 good fighters, Muslims, suddenly appeared in the area
5 of Travnik, the only difference being that the Croats continued through
6 to the Republic of Croatia
7 Muslims remained in my area of operation. And that tipped the scales and
8 the balance was lost, because automatically I knew that I was weaker by
9 4.000 men. While the balance was there, it was all fine, but now I was
10 weaker by 4.000 good combatants.
11 Q. One question for you, General. We're still discussing 1992. Did
12 you plan, in 1992, any attack on the BiH Army?
13 A. I was in no position to plan or to attack BiH Army at any point
14 in time, not because I was not irritated, but, first of all, I did not
15 have the forces, and the result of such an attack would be a defeat, and
16 both by the enemy against whom I maintained my defence lines, but also in
17 the rear. So it was out of the question to conduct military activities,
18 but what could be done was to prevent what was being done throughout that
19 time, in terms of threats or jeopardy to the defence of those who are
20 represented at the time throughout my life, and that would be the people
21 of the Lasva River Valley
22 Q. General, please tell us whether, in 1993, the situation changed.
23 A. Yes, but I would like to note that what I discussed was the
24 situation in the Lasva River Valley
25 were not similar in Zepce, Kiseljak, or Bugojno, in the other three
1 tactical groups.
2 Could you please repeat your question?
3 Q. Yes, we have to repeat your question [as interpreted] because you
4 continued answering my previous question.
5 My question was: As pertained to the River Lasva Valley
6 terms of planning attacks against the BH Army, did anything change in
7 1993? Did you plan to attack the army then?
8 A. No, it did not change -- nothing changed until June 1993, when
9 the only enemy left out there was the BiH Army.
10 Q. And in June 1993, General, did you start attacking the BiH Army?
11 A. I'm discussing a time where there could be no co-operation, no
12 agreements made or negotiated -- negotiations conducted, except for the
13 exchange of the dead and the wounded. This is the period I'm discussing.
14 Up to that point, there was co-operation, negotiations, avoidance of
15 conflicts, and everything else.
16 Q. General, if we had to define, of course, it's difficult to say
17 because of the many dissidents [as interpreted] who were first to do
18 something, but if we had to define who attacked whom and who captured
19 certain areas, what would you say? Who went on the offensive? Who
20 captures territory, the BiH Army or the HVO?
21 A. In terms of the area or in terms of successes, the HVO did not
22 achieve any successes, which means they did not attack. If anybody
23 achieved successes, it was the BiH Army, and they attacked. You see,
24 nowhere were those attacks of high intensity so that you could say a
25 whole brigade is attacking to reach a certain position. Up to June 1993,
1 those combat activities were of low intensity. There were skirmishes
2 here and there, incidents here and there. You had to try to solve them
3 or not. There was movement of and transport of population, people moved
4 out of the area where they were threatened, and the accumulation of those
5 low-intensity incidents provided you with an answer to the question who
6 got the initiative and who was attacking.
7 Q. In the transcript, you said "transport of population." We are
8 going to deal with that in great detail. General, please tell us, did
9 you say "transport of the population," or did you say that people left
10 the areas where there were combat activities going on? Please tell us.
11 This formulation could be --
12 A. I don't know where you got the transport. When the Serbs deliver
13 10, or 5.000 people, or 2.000, then we would transport them somewhere
14 somehow. Maybe the question is unclear. In this document that I'm
15 reading, do you mean that?
16 Q. No, we're not dealing with documents. I'm trying to analyse what
17 you said in the manner it was reflected in the transcript, and the
18 transcript reflects something that you did not say, and this is what I'm
19 trying to rectify. Let me be precise.
20 Page 65, line 10, reference is being made of transport of
21 population, and the witness mentioned that he never used the word
22 "transport" of the population? We are going to deal with June -- it is
23 line 10 in my screen.
24 General, we are going to deal extensively with June 1993, so I'm
25 going to stop here. If I understood you correctly, you never planned any
1 offensive activities against the BiH Army. Did I get you loud and clear?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Did you ever receive from Tihomir --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, earlier we had a
5 document on the screen, 4D830. This is a document dated February 1993,
6 but it's a report for the period from April 14, 1992, through December
7 31st, 1992. The document is signed by General Petkovic.
8 I was looking at this document, and I focused on the brigades. I
9 counted them all. There are 26 altogether. And according to this
10 document, I noted that there were 45.000 troops in HVO units. It's
11 written there are 955 professional soldiers, 85 officers, 91 NCOs, and
12 670 professional soldiers; this is the situation as described by
13 General Petkovic. And I tried to break this down into 26 brigades, and
14 as a ballpark figure we have about 2.000 soldiers for the brigade, we
15 have 85 officers. Divided by 26, that gives me 2 to 3 professional
16 officers per brigade, and about the same amount of NCOs. It seems that
17 the HVO is made up of a hard core of about a thousand professional
19 The Prosecutor's case is that the HVO had a plan and the plan of
20 the HVO was ethnic cleansing, so I'm wondering the following: I'm
21 wondering whether in the framework of this plan, it was possible to carry
22 out this plan with only a thousand professional soldiers, in terms of
24 So you were on the field, on the ground, and all the witnesses we
25 have are witnesses who were on the field, so I will put this question to
1 you: When you were there -- and you had a high rank, so you may be able
2 to answer my question. So I'd like to know the following: Given the
3 number of units in the HVO, given the very low number of professional
4 soldiers, officers, and NCOs, do you think that the HVO would have been
5 able to carry out an all-out action against the Muslims and against the
6 BH Army, given the number of troops that you had?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a flagrant lack of
8 professionals in the HVO units. In the Lasva Valley
9 than three or four professionals [as interpreted], where I had -- whereas
10 I had 5.000 or 6.000 fighters. We had reserve officers from the
11 Territorial Defence, but that, too, was few in number compared to the
12 number of inhabitants and the proportionate number that should have been
13 there. So there was a flagrant lack of people able to command and
14 conduct operations.
15 When you say "brigade," yes, it's true that we did call it a
16 brigade, but that brigade was just able to hold its positions, to hold
17 the defence lines. However, the Serbs weren't able to attack too much,
18 either, and that was comforting because there was an extensive
19 front-line. Otherwise, these units, which we referred to as brigades,
20 they would have been vanquished very quickly, in military terms. So
21 given these conditions, to plan attacks -- and if you planned an attack,
22 you could just have an intervention platoon going into action, and that
23 was only possible later on, at a later stage, once they were established,
24 so it would be completely senseless and mad to do that.
25 We had an HVO army only towards the end of 1994, an army in the
1 sense of -- well, we called it the Guards Brigade, but in operational
2 terms it was the strength of a battalion.
3 I don't know whether that answers your question.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps we could
5 correct the transcript straight away. Otherwise, the sentence doesn't
6 read properly.
7 On page 67, line 17, the witness said -- line 16, the sentence
9 "In the Lasva River Valley, I didn't have more than three or four
10 soldiers," professionals.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Professional soldiers, yes, that's
12 the point.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Professional soldiers, and the
14 witness has just made that point.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 When answering my question, you say that it's only in 1994 that
17 the HVO had a real army, not before. Now, let me be more specific in my
19 We've seen a number of documents and plans where the HVO and the
20 BH Army were facing the lines against the Serbs, so they were in position
21 against the Serbs. So there were these front-lines, but the HVO and the
22 BiH were deployed on the terrain also, not just on the front-line. Now,
23 looking at these maps, since I don't have the breakdown of HVO on the
24 front-line facing the Serbs, and HVO in the rear in Herceg-Bosna, able to
25 launch actions against the BH Army, but as far as these HVO deployed in
1 Herceg-Bosna but who were not on the front-line, I would like to know
2 whether they would have been able to launch attacks against the BH Army
3 in order to achieve the plan.
4 Let me tell you that we had a witness sitting exactly where you
5 are a few weeks ago, and he said that when you launch an attack, if you
6 want to win, the ratio has to be 3:1, if you want to win. If you don't
7 have this ratio, you just don't launch the attack. And this is my
8 question: Given the troops that the HVO had - I'm talking about here HVO
9 not on the front-line facing the Serbs - do you believe that you would
10 have been able to win an attack against the BH Army?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me repeat. We did not have a
12 unit for us to attack the enemy, the Serbs. We didn't attack anywhere;
13 not because we didn't want to, because we'd lost too much, but we weren't
14 able to. In Travnik, on my family heritage, there was this Serb, and I'd
15 like -- I wanted to have them expelled, but I wasn't able to. So when
16 somebody is under attack, then a mountain is made out of a mole hill, and
17 then you defend yourself not as an army but as an individual, if you make
18 a mountain out of a mole hill. And I'm speaking about the in-depth
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So taking up again this
21 formula, you said that when you are under attack, a mouse can become a
22 lion. If you look at the conclusion in this document signed by
23 General Petkovic, it looks as though the HVO forces were able to defend
24 themselves. That's what he says. So as I understand it, you were able
25 to defend yourself, but not able to attack. Is that so?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said compared to the
2 Serb forces, because the territory was very large and the Serbs didn't
3 have the kind of army they wanted either, but with this deployment, and
4 the level of equipment, and the establishment of units, we were
5 successful in defending ourselves. That's the truth of it. But to
6 attack, except for skirmishes or some smaller diversionary or sabotage
7 action, we weren't able to attack, so we couldn't attack the enemy, the
8 Serbs, and we especially couldn't attack on our territory in depth where,
9 in terms of numbers and equipment and the number of professional soldiers
10 we had, and other types of professionals, we were three or four times
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. General, we need a subject, verb, object here. So who do you
14 mean by "in depth"? Who was in depth, as far as you were concerned, who
15 you could perhaps attack, but that force was three or four times
16 stronger? Who is that?
17 A. I'm talking about the defence line, and the defence line was one
18 or two kilometres. And I'm talking about the in-depth area where the
19 population lived and where the soldiers were staying at home, in their
20 own homes. Well, perhaps it's clear to me, but not to you. But when I
21 say "in-depth," everything -- when I say "in-depth," I mean everything
22 that isn't up at the front-line, the defence line.
23 Q. So we have the defence line, the front-line. On one side are the
24 Serbs, on the other side are the Croats and the Muslims; is that right?
25 Is that how it was? Was that how I define the defence line and
1 confrontation line properly?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Does that mean, General, that the Croats and Muslims, together
4 with -- were together, were in-depth, that side of the defence line?
5 Were they together?
6 A. Yes, they were together, and so was life in general, it was on
7 that side of the line.
8 Q. Now, His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you about the capabilities
9 of the HVO of launching attacks, both vis-a-vis the Serbs and vis-a-vis
10 the Muslim army, and you said that you were not capable of launching
11 attacks on the Serbs. You explained why. Now, tell us, was the HVO
12 capable, in the Lasva River Valley
13 towards the BH Army to cleanse the Central Bosnia area of the Muslims and
14 have an ethnically-pure territory?
15 A. When I said "incapable," I spoke of the enemy that I had to
16 contend with on a daily basis. I had no thoughts about any attacks on
17 the Muslims. I don't know what you're actually asking me. I could not
18 have any idea of this. People were living there in that area. People
19 were doing the best they could to survive. So no attacks. All the
20 manoeuvres going on -- only forces engaged in manoeuvres could attack.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Allow me a follow-up question,
22 because you are the first witness who was clear enough, as far as I can
23 see, on something that could be quite essential.
24 I was listening to you carefully. You told us that there was a
25 front-line. We keep this in mind. And behind the front-line, there were
1 the Serbs. On the front-line, there was the HVO and there was the ABiH.
2 And you said that there was a defence line that was about one or two
3 kilometres' long. So you can see the front-line -- what a pity we didn't
4 think of having a map, because I could have asked you to draw it all and
5 to mark it all on the map. There was a defence line that was about one
6 to two kilometres' long, and then there's the in-depth territory. And
7 you say that in depth there were the soldiers that would go home, that
8 would go work in the fields or have a rest, and then return to the
10 Ms. Alaburic put to you a question about the in-depth territory
11 or the notion of "in-depth." In that so-called "in-depth" area, there
12 were the ABiH and the HVO; is that so? Is that what you're telling us?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The defence line was two
14 kilometres' long -- or two kilometres in depth and hundred kilometres
15 long, so it was only two kilometres in depth from the front. Everything
16 else was the depth of the population, the units, and so on. So I'm
17 talking about in-depth as compared to the front-line. So it is within
18 that depth that all the units, the BH Army and HVO units, were located.
19 Most of them -- 90 per cent of these soldiers were in their houses, in
20 their own homes, except for those who were refugees and had no homes to
21 go to, and where in the Krajina Brigade, the El Mujahid, the 7th Muslim,
22 they were in the barracks, whether they -- the barracks in Zenica or
23 Travnik. Everybody else was at home in their own homes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you've added something else.
25 You're telling us that there was the front-line, there was the defence
1 line where the depth is, say, two kilometres, and then in -- and this is
2 the specification you just added, in that defence line there was the HVO
3 and the BiH Army, and then there's the whole lot, the remainder; the
4 houses, the soldiers going back home, the rear, civilians -- well, you
5 didn't say "civilians," but it could be concluded that the civilians were
6 there, too, in the rear. And you added that there are also units, such
7 as the Krajina Brigade, the Mujahid, or the 7th Muslim Brigades, that
8 have their barracks. Is that a right summary?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because these are important
11 concepts. Sometimes it's hard to really fathom what it is, and I think
12 you are among the first witnesses who are clear enough on this issue.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this seems to be a
14 good time for the second break.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a 20-minute break.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General, let's move on to Novi Travnik, 1992, October 1992;
21 Travnik, October 1992. For those acquainted with the indictment, we're
22 dealing with paragraph 28.
23 Tell us, please, General, in Novi Travnik was there an important
24 factory there at all?
25 A. Yes, there was an important factory for Yugoslavia and for
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, manufacturing high-calibre artillery and tank
2 weapons. It was called Bratstvo.
3 Q. Tell us, please, General, at the beginning of the war in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who had access to the factory?
5 A. Both Croats and Muslims had access there, because there were no
6 Serb villages in the surrounding parts. And the JNA, in February 1992,
7 attempted to take out finished goods from the Bratstvo factory. However,
8 thanks to the members of the Croatian population, they prevented them
9 from taking weapons away, which could have been taken to Croatia at the
10 time. So the weapons remained in the Bratstvo factory. When I arrived,
11 I realised the importance that the factory had, and I did my best to
12 disperse the weapons away from the factory. And I learned from the
13 managing directors how much equipment there was there, how many weapons,
14 and then I discussed this with the decision-makers both on the Muslim and
15 Croat side about the dispersion of these weapons, because neither side
16 could pull them out without everybody knowing about it.
17 So I decide -- we made a decision to send a third to the southern
18 front, where the Croats and Muslims acted together, and then for the TO,
19 for the BH Army, a third was to go to them for the entire area of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then another third to me for my area of
21 responsibility, and that last third would be divided 50:50. So realising
22 the importance of the Bratstvo factory, I solved the problem and equipped
23 people with weapons.
24 Q. General, when you say a third stayed for the local requirements
25 and then was divided 50:50, half/half, half/half to whom, between which
2 A. The HVO and the Territorial Defence at the time, as
3 organisational forms in which the population was involved.
4 Q. Now, tell me, was there anything that happened in June 1992 with
5 respect to this factory?
6 A. In June, we referred to this as the first conflict where there
7 were dead and wounded between the Croats and Muslims, or HVO and BH Army,
8 for supremacy. It was a fight for supremacy over the factory. And, in
9 fact, the Muslims managed to eliminate the HVO -- or, rather, the Croats,
10 eliminate them from the factory, and the Croats no longer had access to
11 the factory. There was just one position from which you could see the
12 factory, but you couldn't approach the factory.
13 Q. And what was this position called from which you could see the
15 A. We referred to it as the relay, because there was, in fact, a
16 small tower for the local television station, and it was a prominent
17 position visible from the surrounding parts.
18 Q. Let's now look at a few documents on the situation in
20 consolidated report for the 19th of October, and let's look at item 3,
21 the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia
22 says, and I quote:
23 "In the evening hours on the 18th of October, 1992, there was a
24 serious deterioration in relations between the Muslims and Croats, the
25 HVO and BH Army, and this escalated to an all-out conflict in which a
1 member of the BH Army was killed and a member of the HVO was wounded by
2 sniper fire."
3 Now, my question to you, General, is this: This description of
4 events in Novi Travnik for that day, is that correct, was that what the
5 situation was like?
6 A. Yes, it was correct. But I'd just like to say that this incident
7 or, rather, the conflict took place on this repeater station because some
8 parts of the BH Army -- some members of the BH Army attempted to gain
9 control of that position, which was a strong topographical position, in
10 order to make it impossible for the HVO even to see the factory. There
11 were three or four soldiers at that particular vantage point, and they
12 managed to hold the position for a time, and this relates to the person
13 who was wounded and killed.
14 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is 4D896. It's page 4
15 of the Croatian, General, and point 2 relating to the Operative Zone of
16 Central Bosnia
17 October, 1992. And among other things, General, here it says that:
18 "The opposite side, the Territorial Defence, is proposing that we
19 issue an order urgently for a cease-fire and to undertake negotiations,
20 and it is our position a cease-fire with unconditional surrender of
21 Commander of the Territorial Defence, Refik Lendo."
22 And now Tihomir Blaskic is asking for permission to act in that
23 manner, and then it goes on to say that:
24 "Ivica Stojak [realtime transcript read in error "Stojic"], who
25 was seriously wounded, member of the Municipal Staff of Travnik,
1 succumbed to his wounds."
2 Now, let's see about this truce and Refik Lendo. Now, General,
3 did you know about this, that it was one of the conditions laid down by
4 the HVO for a cease-fire?
5 A. So far, I've said about the situation at the repeater location,
6 in the evening hours of the 18th, then on the 19th there are intense
7 combat activities. I strengthened the defence lines there, new units I
8 introduced. I personally was there throughout that day's fighting, but
9 now that conflict spreads along the lines or in depth of the territory.
10 At many points, conflicts flare up. The situation is becoming critical,
11 in my opinion. Both sides, and I'm referring to higher echelons, so
12 primarily in the BiH Army, they realised that they have not achieved
13 their goal, and that now they insist on negotiations. We say, Yes,
14 negotiations, but we want for you to surrender Refik Lendo, who is
15 responsible for tens of casualties. And I made a decision for a funeral
16 to take part in night-time, and for months in the Lasva Valley
17 funerals would take part during night-time because this whole territory
18 could be seen by the Muslim forces.
19 Q. I would like to correct the name, fourth line on the 77 page.
20 The name entered is incorrect. The correct name is "Ivica Stojak," not
21 "Ivica Stojic."
22 So, General, Ivica Stojak, was that the predecessor of the
23 commander of the Travnik Brigade, would that be your predecessor in the
24 Travnik Brigade?
25 A. Yes. But as I said, the conflict spreads into the depth of the
1 territory. Ivica Stojak was killed at the check-point Karnada [phoen],
2 which is when you leave Novi Travnik. He was the first commander in
3 Travnik and throughout that time had been commander of the Municipal
4 Crisis Staff and later on commander of the brigade. And because of his
5 death, as I explained earlier, I had to take over the command post of the
7 Q. We did not refer to him by name at that previous time, and now
8 I'm going to try and be more precise.
9 Later on in this report, with reference to the situation in
10 Novi Travnik, it's stated:
11 "Muslim forces do not allow our ambulance vehicles to transfer
12 the casualties to the hospital, and most of those who died died en route
13 to the hospital, and in certain cases members of the TO units even put
14 hand-grenades into the mouths of some of them and taunted them at the
16 Is that part correct?
17 A. The Travnik hospital served all those in that area, and it was
18 the only hospital from Jajce to Busovaca and Vitez. And when the
19 conflict around the repeater station spread, one of the ramifications of
20 that was the killing of Stojak, it was a major ramification, but another
21 was that our wounded had no place to be treated at. And this is the time
22 when we ordered that a hospital be opened up at Nova Bila.
23 Q. Before I ask you another question, General, the first part of
24 your answer did not enter the transcript. Is that part that I quoted
25 from, was that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. So that part of that report was correct? That was my question.
3 Please, General, briefly tell us, that part referring to
4 hand-grenades in mouths, did you hear at the time that a patient was put
5 a hand-grenade into mouth?
6 A. I don't know whether that was correct or not, but I had a barrel
7 of a gun put into my mouth. This is what I referred to as incidents.
8 But this was a new dimension. Up to that point, ambulance vehicles could
9 pass through check-points on both sides, but this was the first time when
10 an ambulance could not pass a certain check-point bearing a patient.
11 Q. Let's take a look at the next document, 4D897. It is referred to
12 as Central Bosnia Operational Zone, 21st of October, report at 2100
13 hours, and it's stated for the Novi Travnik battle zone, Muslim forces
14 continue heavy artillery shelling on the town, itself, using mostly
15 Howitzers, 122 millimetres. Would that statement be true, to the best of
16 your recollection?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. Bratstvo did produce and manufacture such
18 equipment. As I stated earlier, they received half of one-third, and we
19 could precisely state what kind of artillery was used. So this part is
21 Q. It is also stated in the report that the enemy had disarmed HVO
22 units in villages where the number of currents [as interpreted] was
23 negligible, such as the villages of Kopila, Torine, et cetera, et cetera.
24 Let me not list all of these. To the best of your knowledge, was this
25 statement about disarming them correct or not?
1 A. That's correct. I, personally, in front of the old hotel in
2 Novi Travnik, I encountered refugees from the village of Senkovici
3 is a mixed-population village, and it is located en route between
5 cleansed. Most people came from Senkovici because that village was most
6 important for my purposes.
7 Q. Later on in this report, under item 5, referring to HVO units, it
8 is stated:
9 "In Vitez, there is a barracks in the village of Ahmici
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you have just stated that Senkovici was
11 important for your purposes. Could you specify what your purposes were
12 and why this village was important for it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was important because I had to
14 have communication with the HVO in Bugojno. I could not have a situation
15 where just one side had communication, in this case TO or the BiH Army,
16 particularly in circumstances when the 7th Muslim Brigade and Mujahedin
17 held the Rostovo point, which means that my communication with Bugojno
18 had been disconnected, effectively.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do you recall, Mr. Filipovic, whether Senkovici
20 was in majority inhabited by Croats or by Muslims?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a mixed-population village,
22 a majority Muslim, but quite a large portion were Croats. And in terms
23 of hamlets around that village, some hamlets were occupied by Muslims,
24 some inhabited by Croats, but it was a majority Muslim village, I think.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Was the ethnic composition a factor that you
1 took into account when you examined the situation in a tactical
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the start of the war, I had
4 maps, and wherever I would come, I would indicate on the map the ethnic
5 composition; red for Serbs, green for Muslims, and blue for Croats. It
6 was important who lived where in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was important
7 for me because this was the only route to Bugojno that was which was not
8 now disrupted.
9 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry for interrupting, but for a
10 couple of minutes we don't have the transcript on our monitors; not only
11 me, but everybody around. We do have LiveNote, but we are marking the
12 transcript and we need that.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The technicians are about to
14 come, but we can continue, can't we?
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, I think the witness was still in
16 the process of answering my question, and I don't see why he should not
17 be allowed to continue.
18 Witness, you had said at the beginning you had a map where you
19 put colours for the composition -- the ethnic composition of places, red
20 for Serbs, et cetera. It was important to you, you said, because this
21 was the only route to Bugojno that was not now disrupted. My question
22 had been whether you did take into account, in your tactical planning of
23 operations, this ethnical composition, and you have given a first answer.
24 But would you please go on and answer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated at the beginning of the
1 war I had to know, because I commanded a large area. Senkovici were
2 probably underlined by the blue and the green colours. But in technical
3 terms, my communication with Bugojno had been very difficult, and had the
4 Croats left Senkovici, then I no longer can even think about gaining
5 access through that area. I would have liked for the whole area to be
6 populated by Croats, but it simply wasn't so. I don't know tactically
7 what you mean. When that happened, I knew that further communication was
8 impossible from that point on.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, by "tactical" I mean when you are faced
10 with a situation where, as a commander, you have to take a decision, you
11 make an analysis. You analyse the enemy situation, your own tasks, the
12 terrain, the weather, and so forth. This is a ritual which you are
13 better familiar with than myself. And when you look at the terrain,
14 would the ethnic composition of a town be an element that you would also
15 take into account? And if so, would it be important or would it be only
16 in extreme cases that it would prompt you to take one decision rather
17 than another one?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The whole time, it was important to
19 me. And at times when it's a make-or-break situation, then it becomes
20 decisive. Had I attacked, then I would have tried to discard all
21 possibilities of having them place a check-point in Senkovici to prevent
22 me from passing. And that's what the Muslim side did, too. So since
23 there was a conflict on, the conflict was expanding, they eliminated the
24 danger in Senkovici, Torine, and wherever else, but Senkovici were more
25 important because they were along the communication line along the road.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 Please, Ms. Alaburic.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I
4 didn't mean to interrupt the question and answer.
5 Q. General, let's go back to our report, which is document 4D897.
6 And we're now referring to the portion where the village of Ahmici
7 mentioned, and it says that in Vitez, the barricades in Ahmici village on
8 the main motorway from Busovaca to Vitez have been completely smashed,
9 and the Muslim forces had been driven out of the village and completely
10 routed. The Muslim forces, at their own initiative, handed over their
12 Now, my question to you, General, is this: It says here that the
13 village of Ahmici was on the main road from Busovaca to Vitez. Is that
15 A. As I know the terrain in detail, Ahmici is one and a half
16 kilometres away from the road. The mosque is up there, and the cemetery,
17 but 25 years prior to the war, with the fact that the area became more
18 built up, the village did descend down to the highway. But as far as I
19 know, it was Santici, a Croatian village, where as Ahmici was a Muslim
20 village. So the new houses that were built provided the possibility of
21 going out onto the main road, and the main road was 10 to 15 minutes --
22 10 to 15 metres from the houses. And Santici was the most sensitive
23 point between Busovaca and Vitez, as far as the Croats were concerned.
24 Q. General, could you repeat the last sentence, please?
25 A. Ahmici were [as interpreted] a position -- or, rather, Santici
1 was a position which was the most sensitive of the interruption of
2 communication between Busovaca and Vitez, and all the daily comings and
3 goings, so that was the most sensitive point as far as that road and that
4 communication line was concerned.
5 Q. Yes, the village of Ahmici
6 That's why I asked you to repeat the sentence.
7 Tell me now, at that position, Ahmici-Santici, what was the
8 breadth of territory, the width of the territory, which in 1992 and in
9 1993 was under the control of the Croatian forces?
10 A. Later on, we found that width to be 800 metres, but
11 topographically speaking, that's it, the Lasva Valley
12 was no conflict, then the breadth is even greater. But let me repeat,
13 where you had exclusively Croats, that is a breadth of 800 metres.
14 Q. Tell us, General, if you were Mehmed Alagic at the time, if you
15 were in his position and had the task of cutting across the
16 Busovaca-Vitez communication line, what point would it be that you would
17 choose to do that?
18 A. If I were in Mehmed Alagic's position, the only place where you
19 could do that successfully, without any large units, would be Ahmici and
21 Q. Okay. Now, carrying on from that, General, let's look at item 8,
22 where it says that the HVO suffered the following losses: 10 killed, 32
23 wounded, and 5 confirmed missing. And then it goes on to say that they
24 no longer needed reinforcement in manpower, which they had asked for --
25 which the Main Staff had asked for previously, the HVO Main Staff, that
1 is. And then it says that the forces that you sent and that arrived and
2 reached Prozor might be held there for a time or sent back.
3 Now, to the best of your knowledge, General, at that time, and
4 we're dealing with the 21st of October, was the situation calming down so
5 that no reinforcement was necessary from outside? Is that portion of the
6 report correct?
7 A. After two days of intensive fighting, along with the losses
8 mentioned here, but I'm not sure that all the losses are incorporated
9 there, anyway, all the defence across Jajce to Travnik and Zenica was
10 being broken, especially Jajce was the key point. Then both the Muslim
11 side and our side was doing everything in its power to deal with the
12 conflict as best they could. So the information here is correct, given
13 the time and period. Well, we asked for reinforcements at the beginning
14 of the conflict, when it wasn't just an incident but when we saw that it
15 was an all-out conflict, so we asked for reinforcements. But when the
16 Muslim side didn't manage to affect its target, especially when it came
17 to the relay station, but, yes, it did with respect to the
18 Bugojno-Novi Travnik area, then we no longer needed assistance, we no
19 longer needed reinforcements.
20 Q. Let's look at the next document, General. It is P644, and it is
21 an order for a cease-fire, dated the 24th of October, 1992, issued by the
22 chief of the Main Staff of the HVO, sent to Travnik, among others.
23 Tell us, General, did this order for a cease-fire reach you?
24 A. Yes, the order did reach me. Now, since I was in the military
25 district, it would have been in this form. If I was in Travnik, it would
1 have come in from Blaskic for the brigade in Travnik. But, anyway, it
2 did reach me, yes.
3 Q. Tell us, please, on your territory, was there a cease-fire even
4 before this order?
5 A. After an all-out conflict -- well, an incident and conflict and
6 so many dead, we needed days after that to deal with the situation, which
7 was particularly sensitive in Travnik because of Stojak's death.
8 Q. Let's look at what you've just said by looking at the next
9 document, 4D1179, which is a consolidated report for the 25th from the
10 operative zone. They are reporting that they have received the order on
11 a cease-fire, which we were looking at a moment ago, and this can be seen
12 from the reference numbers and so on, and it says that the Muslim forces,
13 despite the order from the chief of the Main Staff of the
14 Territorial Defence, on the 24th of October opened fire with mortars
15 targeting the town, and at the Streliste facility or firing range, they
16 kept firing for 20 rounds in 30 minutes and snipers were also active. So
17 is that part of the report correct about the sporadic shooting in
18 Novi Travnik and what happened on that particular day, the 24th of
20 A. Well, I'm not sure that I was in Novi Travnik at that time.
21 Otherwise, I would know all about this in detail. This does not
22 incorporate what my men fired, because as I said, with the calming down
23 of the situation, this went on for a number of days. Orders could be
24 issued, but you needed time for the situation to actually calm down, what
25 with people having been killed and people losing their nearest and
1 dearest, and so on and so forth.
2 Q. Very well, General. Now let's move on to Busovaca. January 1993
3 is the date. And for that, let's look at the first document which deals
4 with this; 4D392 is the number. Yes, 4D392.
5 This is an assessment -- a security assessment of the situation
6 from the Armed Forces of BH. It says the security organ of the 3rd Corps
7 is of the opinion that the forces of the BH Army in this area, if there
8 were to be a serious clash, could successfully fight back the HVO's
9 forces, on the condition that the BH Army cuts off the road
10 communications or the communication line from Busovaca, Kiseljak,
11 Fojnica, at Lugovi and Kacuni -- that the BH Army should cut off the
12 communication lines running from Busovaca-Kiseljak to Fojnica at Lugovi
13 and Kacuni, and also the road from Busovaca to Vitez, Busovaca-Vitez, and
14 Vitez-Travnik at Mecave, and that ammunition and grenades should be sent
15 to the area as soon as possible.
16 Now, may we have a map on e-court. 4D2014 is the number.
17 And I'm going to ask you, General, to indicate for us on that map
18 where the communication along the Lasva River Valley
19 to be cut.
20 May we have the usher's assistance in providing the witness with
21 a felt pen so that he can draw on the map.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we have a little technical problem
23 with this map also. I'm going to have to print out a hard copy of the
24 map so the witness can mark on it.
25 Is that okay, Counsel?
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If we need to do that, then I can
2 hand the witness my copy, although those places are already marked, to
3 avoid interruption.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We would also like to have it. It is not in the
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, it's not in the
7 binder because this will be an IC map, and I thought that we'd be able to
8 do it all through e-court because the witness has not prepared any
9 markings on the map.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, would it be possible to put this
11 issue aside for tomorrow morning and to have maps provided to whoever in
12 the courtroom would like to have them? I'm sure the Judges would for
13 tomorrow morning. Thank you.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. A constructive
15 proposal, as always. Thank you very much.
16 Q. Now, General, let's leave those maps for the moment.
17 A. May I say something? Can I just tell you which those places are?
18 Q. We'll come to that in due course when we have the map, because we
19 didn't mention the places where the Busovaca-Vitez road was cut.
20 So let's move on to the next document, which is P1200. This is
21 an assessment of the situation compiled by the commander of the
22 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic.
23 Please, General, under item 4, take a look, and it states here --
24 the heading "The Roads of Evacuation and Delivery." It reads:
25 "According to our personal assessments, all roads can be put
1 under the control of BiH Army, except for the road Vitez-Travnik, because
2 along the whole direction it borders the places impossible to control for
3 the BH Army."
4 General, could you please explain to us this assessment by
5 Mr. Hadzihasanovic? Why is it impossible for the BiH Army to control
6 this section of the road?
7 A. In respect to the previous document, that it was generated from
8 the Supreme Command of the BiH Army, and this one -- the present document
9 comes from the 3rd Corps, so they say they can control everything except
10 for this between Vitez and Travnik, but they could -- if you take Travnik
11 in a broader sense, they could do so at the eastern-most boundary of
12 Travnik. But in terms of communication between Vitez and Travnik, until
13 the very entrance to Travnik, it was impossible for them to do so because
14 of the composition of the inhabitants, even in terms of military
15 activities had they been in a position to effect defence operations.
16 Q. Could you please explain this ethnic composition which precludes
17 the army to control that communication?
18 A. Well, from that point to Ahmici, inclusively, and Vitez, there is
19 not a single Muslim village or any groups of newly-built homes along the
20 road where -- inhabited by Muslims where they could organise a cessation
21 of firing of either high or low intensity. In Bosnia, for instance, if
22 you had a hamlet within a village inhabited by a certain group, that
23 would give the right for the whole group to fight for the whole village.
24 If there are none of your members in a village, then there would be no
25 justification. For instance, in the war between Serbia and Slovenia
1 since there were no Serbs in Slovenia
2 from Yugoslavia
3 Q. Let's put Slovenia
4 assessment of Enver Hadzihasanovic. You say that this meant that there
5 was Croatian villages along that road, and for that reason the BiH Army
6 could not control that road; is this what you meant to say?
7 A. Yes, this is what I meant to say. I apologise for the
8 digressions that I make. I simply lose sense of time sometimes.
9 Q. General, please, to the best of your knowledge, did
10 Enver Hadzihasanovic and did other Muslim commanders take into account
11 which village was Muslim, which village was Croatian, and which were
13 A. Without a doubt. The same conclusion could have been done by
14 somebody in Sarajevo
15 Q. Referring to Judge Trechsel's question of you being mindful of
16 the ethnic composition of villages, could you tell us, was that
17 composition objectively important in terms of controlling certain area,
18 territory, or communications, and reliance on the local population, did
19 it mean something in the doctrine of defence that was applied?
20 A. Yes, I said it was an important factor. The personnel, the men,
21 are barracked at their own homes deep in the territory, and they can be
22 put into action. For a goal -- an offensive goal to be able to be
23 effective, you had to have a manoeuvring unit, and the composition of the
24 people under arms was, of course, very important in that area.
25 Q. Let's take a look at the next document, 421207 -- 4D1207. This
1 is a report from the defence staff of Zenica municipality. It comes from
2 the Muslim side, and it's stated here that there was fighting in the
3 village of Dusina between members of the army and the HVO in the morning
4 hours on 26th of January, 1993. And in this fighting, three HVO members
5 were killed, another three were wounded, and five or six were captured.
6 Is this statement about the fighting at the Dusina village on
7 that date correct or truthful or not?
8 A. Yes, it is true that they liquidated the HVO and the Croats from
9 the village of Dusina
10 those captured were later dead or killed.
11 Q. When you say later on those captured were dead, could you please
12 explain the cause of their death, despite the words that appears in the
13 English translation? What was the cause of their death?
14 A. They were executed later on, they were killed.
15 Q. General, please tell us, who killed those HVO members?
16 A. To the best of my knowledge, in Busovaca, I don't know the serial
17 number of the brigade, there were parts of the 7th Muslim Brigade in that
19 Q. Fine. Let's take a look at the next document, 4D1210. This
20 document, and this is a public announcement by the 3rd Corps Press
21 Centre, the situation is portrayed differently. In the military report,
22 we have that HVO forces were busted, and in this public announcement it
23 is stated that HVO forces are encircled. Now, I correct myself. The
24 inhabitants of the villages of Dusina, Gornja Visnjica and Brdo are now
25 surrounded by HVO forces.
1 General, when you compare, and if you could remember, the
2 previous military report and this public announcement, what would you
3 say? Would this public announcement be truthful, in terms of how things
4 are portrayed to the public, or is this distorted?
5 A. This is a propaganda warfare, where the situation is depicted
6 opposite to the reality. Three villages -- I repeat, three villages were
7 cleansed in that area. Ten members of the HVO were killed; not in
8 fighting, but they were executed. And for their public, they are stating
9 that villages are encircled by HVO, which means that Croats killed
10 themselves. The bottom line, it's propaganda warfare.
11 Q. Take a look at the next paragraph. It mentions conflicts within
12 the HVO forces, and Zvonko Rajic and another six extremists are referred
13 to. To the best of your knowledge, was their demise the result of
14 conflicts between their ranks or were they executed by the BiH Army?
15 A. No, they were executed, and they have to justify somehow not just
16 the executions, but the fact that they expelled three Croats from three
17 villages and now they are inventing this conflict among HVO forces. Who
18 the three brothers -- I had a sister of those three brothers coming to
19 me, trying to get me to intervene and bring the responsible persons to
20 book, but this notion is quite interesting. Internal conflicts within
21 the HVO, so they can whitewash and hide the fact that there were people
22 killed, but now they are explaining that away by internal conflicts
23 within the HVO.
24 Q. Now we're going to skip the next document, because it requires us
25 to make markings on a map, so we will deal with it tomorrow.
1 Let's take a look at document 4D1206.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, maybe it would be
3 best to continue tomorrow. Let me tell you that you have used up two
4 hours and ten minutes so far. You have one hour and fifty minutes left.
5 There are a great number of documents. Please be selective in your use
6 of documents.
7 Witness, let me remind you of the basic instructions I already
8 told you about. You are not to talk to anyone about the substance of
9 this hearing. We're sitting tomorrow in the afternoon, which means that
10 we are expecting you for 2.15. I hope we'll be able to start on time at
11 2.15 sharp and that we will not have to wait, which is a very unfortunate
12 habit we've been running into lately.
13 I wish you all a pleasant evening, and see you tomorrow.
14 [The witness stands down]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of
17 December, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.