1 Wednesday, 2 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
11 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 Today is Wednesday, 2nd of December, 2009. I'll first greet the
14 witness, General Filipovic, the accused, the Defence counsel. Good
15 afternoon, Mr. Scott and all your team, and the people assisting us.
16 Mr. Registrar, you have one IC number for us.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 2D has submitted a response to the Prosecution's objections to
19 their requests to the admission of documents tendered through
20 Witness 4D-AB. This list shall be given Exhibit IC01140. Thank you,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Before I give the floor to the Defence teams for their
24 cross-examination, just a short administrative reminder.
25 We'll have just one break tomorrow, and we will finish at
1 6.00 p.m. We might be finished by then. If we aren't, the witness will
2 return on Monday.
3 Regarding next week, we know that we're going to have a witness
4 who's scheduled for next week. The Defence should have two hours for
5 their examination-in-chief and re-direct. As for the other Defence
6 teams, they will have one hour, and the Prosecutor will have two hours.
7 Next week, we'll have three days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
8 We're not sitting on Thursday because there's the Judges' plenary meeting
9 on Thursday. This was by way of a reminder.
10 WITNESS: FILIP FILIPOVIC [Resumed]
11 [The witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're now into a new
13 stage of the proceedings. You're going to answer questions by the other
14 Defence teams. Thereafter, the Prosecutor, Prosecutor Scott, sitting on
15 your right-hand side, will have questions for you. I know that you are
16 very familiar with cross-examination, because back in April 2009 -- or
17 nearly nine years ago, you were cross-examined by Mr. Nice back then.
18 So to avoid any problem, if a question is asked of you, listen to
19 the question and then answer very freely. If you don't like the
20 question - that may happen - you then answer the question. Most of the
21 time, the Prosecutor will try to elicit a "yes" or a "no" from you. And
22 if he has additional questions, well, he'll put them to you, because he's
23 the one conducting the cross-examination. But it may happen that you do
24 not like the questions put to you because, of course, the Prosecutor is
25 trying to argue his case and will ask questions along his lines, just as
1 was done by the Defence for their own case. You may agree with the
2 Prosecutor, but you also may disagree with him. If you do not agree with
3 him, don't get angry about it. He's doing his job.
4 So this is what I wanted to tell you so that you understand the
5 type of system we work in. In your country, your domestic system is very
6 different. Judges put questions as I am used to doing it. You know, I'm
7 not in favour of one case or the other. When I put questions and when my
8 fellow Judges put questions, we just put comprehensive questions. But
9 here each side has its own point of view, and it may be that the
10 Prosecutor's view is not yours. You must understand that. That's the
11 rule of the game. But I think you understood, because I saw that in the
12 Kordic case there was no incident in the proceedings. You answered well.
13 But I just wanted to preempt any problem.
14 Therefore, without further adieu, I shall give the floor to
15 Ms. Nozica. She's ready, she has the lectern already, she has her
16 documents. She's ready to go.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Good afternoon, Your Honours, and everybody else in the
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon to you, Mr. Filipovic.
22 I'd just like to check whether the usher has the documents I want
23 Mr. Filipovic to look at. Yes, the witness does, too, yes. Fine.
24 Now, Mr. Filipovic, for your benefit and everybody else's here in
25 the courtroom, I'd like to emphasise that during my cross-examination I'm
1 going to be asking you about three topics. The first relates to January
2 1993 and the events that took place at the time, and that is how the
3 corridor in Busovaca was cut off, and there was a lot about that during
4 the examination-in-chief. The next topic will deal with April 1993 in
5 Central Bosnia, and the third area will be the events in June 1993 after
6 the signed agreement in Kiseljak.
7 Now, to be as efficacious as possible, let's start off with the
8 first document in my binder, because I'm sure that you haven't seen most
9 of these documents before, or maybe you have. The first is 2D3068.
10 Mr. Filipovic, you'll find that they're set out in the order I'm going to
11 take them.
12 So this is a report signed by Ignjac Kostroman, Tihomir Blaskic,
13 Dario Kordic, and Anto Valenta. It is a report of the 26th of January,
14 1993. It says here that:
15 "Open and brutal aggression by strong Muslim forces is continuing
16 from the direction of Zenica towards Busovaca, Vitez, Travnik,
17 Novi Travnik, and Kiseljak ..."
18 Now, Mr. Filipovic, these next few documents will refer to the
19 cutting off of the corridor, and I'd like to stress that you indicated
20 this to us yesterday on the map, and then the maps have received IC
21 numbers, 01337 is the first, and 1138.
22 It says here that all this is done with the objective to
23 completely destroy the HVO and the Croatian people on the territory of
24 Central Bosnia. Croatian villages are being burnt down, along with
25 churches and other monuments of culture of the Croatian people.
1 It goes on to say that this is an open aggression by more
2 powerful forces, and then there's a piece of information here which I'm
3 going to ask you about, whether you knew about this. Five mountain
4 brigades were sent on Busovaca, and the city is being fired at from all
5 directions, and that the Mujahedins and Green Legion, and other extremist
6 formations, are first when it comes to slaughter. At the same time,
7 Television Sarajevo is leading a brutal campaign and propaganda.
8 And then under item 2, it says:
9 "Our forces are quite stretched and cut off between
10 municipalities because they are holding the line towards the Chetniks,
11 70 per cent of its length, and now general mobilisation has been
12 conducted in order to protect the Croatian people from the slaughterers.
13 So far, the village of Dusina has been completely burned down, mixed and
14 only Croatian houses; they are slaughtering women, children, and the
15 elderly, and for the moment we do not have any reliable information on
16 the number killed."
17 Then it goes on to make three -- list three requests: First of
18 all, requesting immediate help in MTS and manpower, and that the public
19 needs to be urgently informed about the massacre in the Lasva region;
20 then under B, aid and ammunition; and then finally it says:
21 "You should know that every one of our people who was massacred
22 and slaughtered was killed by the Muslim forces."
23 Now, Mr. Filipovic, are you familiar with the data contained in
24 this report, and can you confirm that the report for this day and for
25 that period is correct and that the facts there set out are correct?
1 A. I do know the facts, and I know what the situation was like in
2 that general area, but I also know that the emphasis was on Busovaca.
3 This, to a certain extent -- not for this particular day, because we have
4 a date there, but this is, in fact, a report for the past seven or ten
5 days, and we were most hard hit by the fact that, for example, from the
6 Lasva Valley we couldn't pass through to Busovaca because there was this
7 obstacle at Ahmici. And what is also important for Busovaca is that the
8 road towards Kiseljak was cut off at Kacuni and Bilalovac, which means
9 that, well, the signature of these four men here who had this
10 information, well, Blaskic reported about the conflict even before this,
11 but they wanted to -- the document to have greater weight with these four
13 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Excuse me, Counsel.
14 I'm sure the counsel can identify for us some basis, but
15 nonetheless for purposes of the record, Your Honour, since this went on
16 quite extensively yesterday as well, I wonder if counsel might inform us
17 what relevance this has, other than tu quoque.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, I can inform you
20 My learned friend shows some documents, and these documents
21 support her thesis, and I consider them to be extremely important,
22 particularly these reports that came in from the HVO, because my learned
23 friend, first of all, based herself on the documents -- based what she
24 had to say on BH Army documents, and I'd like us to check out and verify
25 to see whether the reports that were coming in from the HVO were true and
1 correct, with the proviso that I'm not going to just base myself on HVO
2 reports, but will also base my case on reports sent out by the
3 international community about these individual points. I also refer to
4 point 31, or, rather, paragraph 31 of the indictment, and I do think that
5 this is important and relevant, and, first and foremost, that it is
6 linked to the examination-in-chief.
7 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, but with due respect to my
8 friend, the fact that she considers them important is really not a basis.
9 I consider a lot of things important, myself, but that doesn't
10 necessarily mean it's relevant to the courtroom. There's still no
11 articulated basis as to how this is relevant, anything other than
12 tu quoque. So my objection continues.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will render
14 an oral ruling on these issues tomorrow, when we start the hearing, and
15 it will solve the problem.
16 Whatever the case may be, please proceed, Ms. Nozica.
17 At any rate, Mr. Scott, under item 3 in this document, it might
18 be interesting about the international armed conflict, about your case,
19 about the fact that the Republic of Croatia can make a contribution in
20 MTS and in troops as well, so this document is at the very heart of all
21 our discussions.
22 Please proceed.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
24 as I feel that this is a comment to my part of the examination-in-chief,
25 I would like to indicate, as Ms. Nozica has already said, paragraph 31 of
1 the indictment, in which Busovaca is explicitly mentioned, and it is
2 mentioned in the following context: that on the 15th of January, when the
3 ultimatum expired, around that time the HVO took military and violent
4 actions to enforce the ultimatum, attacking and pressing the Muslims at a
5 number of locations, including at Novi Travnik, Gornji Vakuf, and
7 Therefore, what we're trying to prove here, in relation to
8 Busovaca and the cutting off of the corridor, is directly linked to
9 paragraph 31 of the indictment. Thank you.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Now, Witness, take a look at the next document, which is 2D3069.
12 It's the next document.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
14 General, I'm not really addressing the substance of this
15 document. I'm really surprised by the fact that we see Mr. Blaskic's
16 signature. It is co-signed by three main figures; Kostroman, Valenta,
17 and Kordic. I see also that this is an extremely urgent dispatch to
18 Mr. Tudjman, to the HVO commander in the forward command post, to the
19 head of the Defence Department, and also to the Chief of Staff. So upon
20 reading this document, my impression - and you will tell me yours - my
21 impression is Mr. Blaskic is bypassing his own chain of command, exerts
22 pressure on Mr. Tudjman for him to take action by sending MTS, soldiers,
23 to the Lasva Valley area. If I were Mr. Mate Boban, if I were the Chief
24 of Staff, if I were the head of the Defence Department, if I were
25 Mr. Prlic, in the very few seconds that follow I would relieve
1 Mr. Blaskic of his position, because he did not respect the chain of
3 Now, how do you account for this being possible? How could this
4 be done at the time? How could a commander, such as Mr. Blaskic, allow
5 himself to directly address a foreign head of state, with all the
6 political problems that it involves, without going through his chain of
8 Let me take an example. Let us imagine today that the American
9 commander, McChrystal in Afghanistan, directly goes to Mr. Brown, the
10 British prime minister. Everybody would find that absolutely abnormal.
11 So how could such a thing happen in your country?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in a sense, this is a
13 cry for help. They are intensively seeking assistance. Herceg-Bosna, or
14 Mate Boban, or Prlic, do not have the possibility of offering that
15 assistance by reporting on these events. There's no television, there
16 are no newspapers. And Tudjman can do that. That's one point.
17 Secondly, there was precedent. You mentioned the American
18 commander in Afghanistan. I remember from some memoirs that Eisenhower
19 addressed Stalin with some questions, and then Churchill was angry why
20 Eisenhower went directly to Stalin. But when it's a matter of life or
21 death, you choose the means you can.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your answer is to say that it
23 was the situation, at the time there was grave danger, you so say so he
24 went directly to Tudjman. Very well, thank you.
25 Please proceed, Ms. Nozica.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Filipovic, an additional question.
3 Do you remember where Mr. Boban and the leadership of the HZ-HB
4 on the 26th of January were located? Where were they? Were they perhaps
5 in Geneva?
6 A. I don't know. Perhaps that was the reason, but I really can't
8 Q. Now, I ask you to look at the next document, which is 2D3069.
9 You said a moment ago that Mr. Blaskic signed reports himself,
10 alone, and you also said -- you also mentioned the cutting off of the
11 corridor at Kacuni, so let's look at this report which is as of the same
12 day as the previous one. We can see who it was sent to. There's no need
13 to dwell on that. And then he goes on to say:
14 "Open and brutal aggression which has been in preparation for
15 some time against HVO formations, and it began with extremely furious
16 attacks by the Muslim forces who, on the 24th of January, 1993, in the
17 afternoon hours, erected a barricade at a previously designated place
18 called Kacuni, near Busovaca, and stopped five vehicles (tanks), the UN,
19 and a regular military police patrol vehicle. They fired a
20 rocket-launcher and opened intense fire from infantry weapons, thereby
21 wounding the deputy commander of the military police of the HVO of
22 Busovaca, Mr. Ivo Perovic, in the leg, wounded in the leg, who, after
23 brutal torture, was slaughtered."
24 His neck was slit. And then it says that a taxi-driver came to
25 his assistance, who was also wounded on the occasion.
1 Now, further down, paragraph 3, it says that for the execution of
2 this task given to the BH Army, the enemy withdrew forces from the
3 battle-fields at Visoko, Ilijas, Maglaj, and Zavidovici and infiltrated
4 the Mujahedins there -- inserted the Mujahedins. Then it goes on to
5 speak about "our forces," meaning the HVO. And then just like in the
6 previous document, it says that the line has been extended facing the
7 Chetniks. And there's mention of losses sustained.
8 Now, you said that the intention of the BH Army was that the
9 strong forces on the other side were grouped from Zenica, Perin Han,
10 Drivusa, Dusina, Lugovi, Kacuni, Zivcici, Pridol, Zenica-Kaonik,
11 Zenica-Vjetrenica, and Zenica-Han Bila, with the object of completely
12 cutting off Busovaca and Kiseljak and destroying the HVO in the Lasva
14 Now, this document has more purely military information, although
15 it's similar to the previous document that we looked at. Both these
16 documents are dated the 26th of January. One arrived, as we can see
17 look, looking at the stamp, it reached the Main Staff at 0820 hours, and
18 this one arrived at 0332 hours.
19 Can you explain to the Trial Chamber, or, rather, confirm -- or
20 do these two documents confirm what you are saying, that Mr. Blaskic sent
21 information to the HZ-HB and that the first document we looked at is a
22 cry for help? Could we put it that way?
23 A. Well, this is a purely military document. There's no doubt about
24 it, that it was drafted by Blaskic, although I think that drafting of the
25 document signed by the other persons was done by the same hand, but in
1 this document it's more elaborated. All the events are correctly stated,
2 except for maybe the assessment of the Muslim forces. When he says "five
3 brigades," well, then this issue of -- in how large an area. There could
4 have been more or less if we talk about -- strictly about Busovaca
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, can you tell us what the abbreviation
7 "RIR" at the beginning of the list of addressees refers to, what it
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Urgent, urgent, urgent." We are
10 probably in the mode of transmission, or maybe a code. I don't know.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
12 You have spoken of signatures. This document is not signed. The
13 copy I have, I do not see a signature. Did you find one?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no signature on my copy,
15 either, but I can confirm its authenticity. Knowing Blaskic, I can
16 confirm that he was the author.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] It's conclusive that this was
19 relayed through a packet radio service.
20 Q. Do you recognise the style or the signature, because there's no
22 A. The style, the thought processes behind this document.
23 Q. Let's take a look at another document, the next, 2D3067. This is
24 a consolidated report by Mr. Petkovic, dated 27th of January, 1993.
25 Please take a look at item 2, referring to Central Bosnia. Have
1 you found that? That's on page 2 in the Croatian version, item 2,
2 "Central Bosnia."
3 Let's take a look at the report from Vitez at 1600 hours. It
4 states -- well, Chetniks, we will skip that. That's not important:
5 "Muslims." During the morning hours, a strong offensive began from the
6 direction Zenica-Lasva-Dusina. According to estimates, Busovaca is being
7 attacked by about 8500 enemy soldiers, and also observed were tank
8 movements from Kakanj and Zenica.
9 Then we have another report from 2020 hours. Then, on the next
10 page, there is the midnight report, and it states there -- I'm showing
11 you because of the IC marks that you made on the map, that IC01137 and
12 IC11138 that you made on the maps.
13 It says here at 2400 hours:
14 "The situation in the responsibility zone of the
15 Brigade Zrinski-Busovaca is as follows. After the brutal aggression of
16 the Muslim forces from the direction of Zenica-Lasva-Dusina and Kacuni to
17 Lugovi, during afternoon hours a front-line was established on the line
18 Kuber (Saracevac elevation 957) to Putis, Grablje, Merdani, Dusina,
19 Nezidovici" -- those place are not reflected in the transcript, but it
20 doesn't matter. We will rectify that later on.
22 " ... Nezidovici, Proscica, Kacuni, Modrikamen, Pridolci, Luske
23 Staje, Busovaca Staje, and Rovna."
24 And it follows:
25 "During the day, Muslim forces brought in fresh forces from the
1 direction of Zenica with the objective to strengthen the corridor
2 Lasva-Dusine-Kacuni and connect between Lugova and Fojnica whereby they
3 would be cutting off Busovaca from Kiseljak and make it impossible to use
4 the road Kiseljak-Busovaca."
5 Mr. Filipovic, does this document confirm your reference to the
6 cutting off and the blockade that was effected those days Busovaca in
7 Central Bosnia?
8 A. As far as I can recall, that Chetniks are mentioned together with
9 Muslims in such reports. Up to that point, Busovaca was not at war,
10 because it was deeper within our territory with respect to the front-line
11 towards the Chetniks, but now we see all those place names, and the HVO
12 cannot leave from Busovaca neither towards Kiseljak nor towards Vitez.
13 For at least 10 to 15 days, Busovaca was completely encircled and had to
14 fend for themselves.
15 Q. Now let's take a look at P1349. It is a Cheshire Regiment
16 report - this would be the next document in your binder - dated the 23rd
17 of January, 1993. It states here that it covers the period from the 9th
18 to 29th, but since we have a different date here, I just focused on that.
19 It reads that a liaison officer team visited Mr. Commander Nikola
20 Jazinovic. He was a commander of the HVO in Busovaca. Do you know that
22 A. Yes, I know that person. He commanded the unit at Busovaca.
23 Q. Further on, it states in the report that in communication with
24 him, under A and B on page 1, that the HVO intercepted two fax messages,
25 one purportedly signed by the 3rd Corps commander, dated 16th of January,
1 asking for more manpower and reinforcement and munition replenishment for
2 the BiH forces in the Kacuni area until victory was achieved, and another
3 fax from -- dated 28th of January stating that all HVO prisoners were to
4 be taken to Zenica and that the BiH Army were to collect and bury all
5 Croat bodies from the villages of Nezirovici and Gusti Grab.
6 This is what Mr. Jazinovic said to the liaison officer of the
7 Cheshire Regiment Battalion. It states here that BiH Army attacked and
8 destroyed the following Croat villages, and Jazinovic thinks Muslim
9 extremists and the BH Army killed 12 old people at Dusine, that they took
10 another 30 people, that both Catholic churches at Dusine and Proscica had
11 been destroyed. The author of the document said they found the village
12 of Prosje, as they understood it to be named. And Jazinovic said that
13 the HVO's goal was to continue active defence of the front-line around
14 Busovaca. Then further on, it says Jazinovic stated that there were a
15 number of incidents "last week" on the 23rd of January. Sixteen HVO
16 soldiers who were on reconnaissance, commanded by Vlado Kriste. They
17 were captured at Kacuni.
18 Then it makes reference to the 24th of January event when a BH
19 Army soldier hit a military policeman from HVO, that Mile Rasic was
20 killed during negotiations.
21 I'm going to go quickly through this. Please turn to page 4, and
22 that would be 0027-4361 in the English version. It discusses the
23 situation at Vitez, and in the last paragraph of item 3, which refers to
24 Vitez, it says:
25 "We received samples of infantry weapons ammunition produced in
1 the Middle East. A reliable source told us that such ammunition reaches
2 the Muslim parts of Vitez via Muslim humanitarian food aid ..."
3 But this is no longer related reports coming from Mr. Jazinovic.
4 It would be a report sourced from the Cheshire Battalion.
5 And then the next paragraph is also important:
6 "Receive information that members of the Visoko Brigade of the
7 BiH Army took part in blowing up a bridge, thereby cutting off the road
8 between Kacuni and Kiseljak."
9 It stated that the bridge is not completely destroyed, that it's
10 still passable.
11 And, finally, let's take a look at page 7 in your version, and
12 that would be the English version 0027-4363, with respect to Travnik. We
13 received this document from the Prosecution. And referring to Travnik,
14 it says:
15 "The body of the two Britons ..."
16 Have you found this page?
17 A. I've just found out that I have a document in my own language.
18 Q. You are always provided with a version in your language.
19 "The bodies of the two Britons executed south of Travnik two days
20 ago have been recovered back to Zenica."
21 Today, on the 5th of February, 1993 -- it refers to medical
22 workers who were killed in the well-known stronghold of extremist
23 Muslims. It's stated here that on the 5th of February, they were
24 examined by a pathologist. Marks on both bodies indicated that the men
25 had been kneeling, with hands tied behind their back, when they were
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, such facts should be somewhat linked
3 to crimes alleged in the indictment, and where with these murder of
4 British soldiers, I fail to find any tie. I think it's a bit far-fetched
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I haven't gone too far.
7 I mentioned this detail because this item refers to the 5th of February,
8 1993. Let's make matters clear.
9 The whole document is dated - I wanted to be clear-cut about it -
10 is dated 29th of January 1993. But since the reference that is made to
11 the murder of those two British persons is the 5th of February, the only
12 conclusion I can draw is that this is a consolidated report. I wanted to
13 highlight that from the start so that there would be no doubt as to the
14 nature of this document.
15 May I continue?
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would advise you to come a bit closer to the
17 facts alleged in the indictment. And what you're telling me about the
18 dates I find strange, really. Do you think that the document --
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, I'll try to
21 The whole document, except for the last paragraph, refers to
22 events prior to the 29th of January. The last inclusions, under 4 in
23 Travnik, make reference to events taking place on the 5th of February,
24 1993, which lead you to a conclusion that the whole report was drafted on
25 the 5th of February. And to make sure that there is no confusion as to
1 the dates, I highlighted that, and I'm quite clear and close to what the
2 witness knows and what is the matter at hand, except for that last
3 reference which is dated the 5th of February.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please do not misunderstand me. I do not think
5 you are misleading. I think this document is simply contradictory.
6 That's it. There's no way around that. This document is quite
7 contradictory, and I don't think neither you, nor I, nor the witness can
8 explain why.
9 But please continue.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let's try to resolve
11 this through the witness.
12 Q. Mr. Filipovic, you had all the information that I related from
13 this document to you, the information provided by Mr. Jazinovic, that
14 information on BiH Army attacks concerning the village of Dusina, what
15 happened in Vitez, what I read to you about those events, and at Visoko,
16 that they blew up the bridge. I'm going to ask you about the information
17 relating to Central Bosnia towards the end of January 1993.
18 Can you confirm for us that all these events did really happen?
19 A. Well, first of all, Mr. Jazinovic, Nikola Jazinovic, who was the
20 commander of the brigade in Busovaca, but he did not hail from Busovaca -
21 he came from another part of Bosnia - he was one of the most professional
22 people, one of the best we had available in the area of responsibility of
23 our operations zone. This document relates his reports, that which he
24 conveyed to the Cheshire Battalion, and I know about those events to be
1 Furthermore, the area south-east of Travnik is the Bila River
2 Valley, which was a stronghold of the Mujahedin and where Sefer
3 established the Patriotic League, meaning the Han Bila area, but the
4 sequence of place names, the villages, it makes reference to all the
5 significant events during that period.
6 Q. Thank you. We are closing this chapter on January --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I still want to know what the murder of these
8 British soldiers has to do with our case. You have not given the
9 slightest answer to that question of mine.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the answer to your
11 question in relation to this document of the Cheshire Battalion, it
12 confirms everything that was previously shown in documents of the BH Army
13 and the HVO about what was going on in Central Bosnia in the days before
14 this document.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you please indicate where the murder of
16 these two British was mentioned before? And this still does not mean
17 that it's relevant. I think this is a detail which really goes beyond
18 anything that you can claim, in behaviour of the Muslims, to have
19 something to do with this case, frankly.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm going to explain
21 this for the fourth time.
22 It doesn't have anything to do with that, and I just showed it
23 because of the date of the document. But I didn't ask the witness to
24 confirm the events at all.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, you did, you did ask him to confirm the
1 events. And he did, actually.
2 But okay, we leave it at that. I'm not convinced that this is
3 relevant, but please go on, because the purpose is not to lose time. So
4 I'm not insisting in a further discussion on this.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we've lost quite a bit
6 of time, so I will ask another question to determine this question.
7 Q. Now, when you said that you knew the place names, the situation
8 mentioned in this document, did you include there or exclude the event
9 that relates to the killing of these two humanitarian workers? And I
10 didn't ask you anything about that myself.
11 A. I included it, and it's all linked together, spilling over in a
12 narrow area and in the broader area.
13 Q. Very well. Now look at P9008, the next document. It's a
14 statement of yours. We have to hurry up a bit now. And it was given on
15 the 10th. Would you take a look at this next document. It says:
16 "Major General Filip Filipovic, retired," personal information, and it
17 lists various topics. The document was compiled on the 10th of April,
19 Can you explain to the Trial Chamber what this is all about?
20 A. This should be a document prepared for the trial in The Hague.
21 Q. Will you tell us which trial, for the record?
22 A. The Kordic trial.
23 Q. Does this statement contain information that you provided?
24 A. Yes. Not to read it all now, I think that they were the pages
25 that were sent through Naumovski in the Kordic trial.
1 Q. I'm just going to focus on certain points, such as point 29 in
2 this statement. You have the Croatian version, I believe, and it refers
3 to the distribution of weapons at the beginning of the conflict with the
4 Serbs. And then point 34, 35, and 36, which refers to the 7th Muslim
5 Brigade, and you've mentioned that here; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You spoke about it in an almost identical fashion. And then
8 paragraph 44, about the Easter celebrations in Travnik, and you spoke
9 about that here, too. So this document, for the most part, confirms your
10 statements and testimony here. You weren't asked some things at the
11 time, and you weren't asked some things here during the
13 But can we just go to April 1996 -- I mean 1993. I beg your
14 pardon. And we'll skip one document and go on to 2D1468.
15 A. 68 or 86?
16 Q. 1486. You're quite right. This is a statement for the public,
17 coming from the Information Department for Central Bosnia, and it says:
18 "Yesterday, the terrorists, the Mujahedin in Novi Travnik,
19 kidnapped Miro Jerkovic, a driver, Vlado Sliskovic,
20 Zdravko Kovacevic [as interpreted], Ivica Kambic, all officers of the
21 HVO, and the bandits took away the HVO members towards Ravno Rostovo."
22 The date is the 14th of April, 1993. And then the next paragraph
24 "Last night, members of the Muslim military attempted another
25 terrorist act against Kruscica, Vitez."
1 And then the next paragraph:
2 "The public has already been informed about the horrendous murder
3 of Mirak, Stjepica ..."
4 And then it goes on to speak about the attacks on members of the
5 Kotromanic Brigade, and says at the bottom, since this is a public
6 information, "the HVO message is clear, we do not want a conflict with
7 the Muslim Army. We want the Vance-Owen Plan to be implemented, which
8 was signed by our President, Mate Boban, and by the Muslim president,
9 Alija Izetbegovic, we want peace," written in capital letters, "and if
10 the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina continues, we want a joint
11 front against the aggressor, the Chetniks. However, it is the holy duty
12 of the HVO to protect its soldiers, all Croats, and all citizens living
13 in the Croatian provinces, and the HVO is capable of doing that.
14 "That is why we entreat the BH Army to immediately deal with
15 their terrorists and extremists, or the HVO is going to do it,
16 efficiently and completely."
17 Now, Mr. Filipovic, tell me, first, do you remember this public
18 announcement, and were these the positions of the HVO in Central Bosnia
19 with respect to the conflict with the Muslims?
20 A. There's a lot of my own style here, and this was sent out through
21 Jadranko Topic -- Ilija Topic -- Topic? Yes, this is correct, but in
22 that last part here we emphasised that it was the Mujahedin's fault. We
23 didn't want all Muslims to be against us, because we were ultimately
24 weaker, so there are a lot of my thoughts and words in the composition of
25 this statement.
1 Q. Mr. Filipovic, you're using figurative speech, so could you
3 A. Well, it went through the Press Centre, but I don't know if I
4 dictated some of this, but a lot of the wording and the kind of style I
5 use is to be found here.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, your time is up,
7 your 30 minutes are up. But you can have some additional time, since the
8 two hours allotted to the Defence teams were not fully used by everyone.
9 Witness, before I give the floor back to Ms. Nozica, I have a
10 question for you.
11 I'm looking at this document, 2D1486, and I read that these
12 Mujahedins seem to be a cause for conflict between the BH Army and the
13 HVO; i.e., if they weren't there, there wouldn't be so many problems.
14 This document shows that they did several things against Jerkovic, and
15 there's also an attack against Kraljevic, and it says that they are
16 definitely fueling the conflict between the HVO and the BH Army.
17 I'm quite interested, because I'd like to know whether the
18 Prosecutor's case is right or whether the Defence's case is right, and
19 whether this was really the reason for the conflict that occurred between
20 the HVO and the BH Army.
21 Now, you were in the field at the time, so do you believe that
22 this reflects the reality, that the words used in this document reflect
23 the reality? In this document, it says that the Vance-Owen Plan exists,
24 that one can think what they want about it, but it does exist. It says
25 that Mate Boban and Izetbegovic both want peace, but that the Mujahedin
1 are playing a role. Now, what's your take on this?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reason for the conflict was
3 certainly not the Mujahedin. They were a component part of the overall
4 situation in the territory, but they were something quite different,
5 compared to the civilisation and history and situation in the area up
6 until then. That's all I want to say about the Mujahedin. I don't wish
7 to say any more, because there were about 1500 of them, but they were
8 burgeoning and their numbers grew because the extremist elements in the
9 population joined them.
10 Now, the conflict in the Lasva Valley was, in my opinion, due to
11 unresolved questions relating to the survival of people in the area and
12 the large number of refugees that were coming into the area. It was
13 becoming more populated. Villages became mixed. People were coming into
14 these mixed villages who had never lived there before, so this gave rise
15 to problems and conflicts.
16 And the whole war was a war of separation, division,
17 distribution, partitioning, so that each part endeavoured to find ways
18 and means of making a livelihood for themselves and seeking out a place
19 for themselves in the territory.
20 The Serbs took my heritage, the land of my forefathers, up at
21 Vlasic, for instance, and the people of Travnik lived on the basis of
22 what that area produced for centuries. And now you have all these
23 refugees coming in.
24 So I don't want to say that the Mujahedin were to blame for
25 everything, although without doubt they were a decisive factor in the
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
4 I apologise, Your Honours, but to avoid any misunderstanding with
5 regard to the allotment of time, I said yesterday that the Coric Defence,
6 according to the situation as it was yesterday, would probably not have
7 any cross-examination. However, a few moments ago the Stojic Defence
8 showed a statement of the witness given in the Kordic case. P09008 is
9 the number. Now, in view of the contents of that statement, and if it is
10 admitted into evidence as an exhibit, then Mr. Coric and I are going to
11 conduct -- or, rather, I'm going to conduct a cross-examination, although
12 it will be a brief one and will probably be shorter than the 24 minutes
13 that I have at my disposal according to the first allotment of time.
14 Thank you.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll bear that in mind.
16 And I've just informed my colleague Ms. Pinter that I will have two more
17 documents and be done within 15 minutes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Speed up.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may briefly answer Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic.
20 You can, of course, not condition your cross-examination on
21 whether the document is admitted, because that's a decision which will be
22 taken further on by the Chamber.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President --
24 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am fully
25 conscious of that. But out of an abundance of caution, I do wish to
1 cross-examine, because I don't know what the Trial Chamber is going to
2 decide. It might admit two paragraphs, reject the whole document, or
3 whatever. Thank you.
4 MR. SCOTT: While we're on the topic, Your Honour, it might be
5 appropriate for the Prosecution to state its concerns as well.
6 We think it's entirely inappropriate to -- if it's counsel's
7 intention - and at the moment I can only assume that it is - to tender
8 that statement into evidence. This is apparently an attempt to convert
9 this witness, in part, into a 92 ter witness, with no notice to the other
10 parties or to the Court. If that's the case, that substantially impacts
11 the Prosecution's ability to effective cross-examination. We've now gone
12 from -- potentially gone from Ms. Alaburic's examination, many of the
13 topics of which in this statement were never addressed. Now, on the
14 third day of this witness's testimony, the Prosecution is faced with the
15 prospect that another 18 pages or so -- 14 pages are going to become part
16 of the evidence of this witness, and we can't possibly meet that under
17 these circumstances.
18 So we object to the document being received at all or being
19 further considered in this case. If the Chamber is minded to consider
20 it, then we will ask for the witness to be brought back at such time as
21 the Prosecution has adequate time to fully prepare its cross-examination
22 on another 14 pages of material.
23 This is inappropriate. If there was an intention for a party to
24 call a witness as 92 ter, it should have been noticed, and the procedure
25 should have been followed accordingly.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With your permission,
2 Your Honour --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am surprised by what you say.
4 You say the witness will have to return for you to be able to
5 cross-examine him. I don't know how you prepare your work, but the
6 basics in any preparation for his examination would be to read his
7 testimony in the Kordic case.
8 Your colleague, Mr. Nice, together with Mr. Kordic's counsel,
9 when they put questions to the witness, they put it based on this
10 document, and they tackled each and every paragraph of it.
11 Earlier on, when I saw this document, I saw paragraph 4 and I
12 thought, oh, Mr. Coric might have something to say to this.
13 It doesn't take hours or days or months to understand a document,
14 especially four years into the trial. I mean, you are competent enough
15 to face any topic whatsoever. If not, that's a problem.
16 So at any rate, we were not dealing with the whole document.
17 Ms. Nozica only had a few questions on it, and Mr. Coric's lawyer wants
18 to address paragraph 40. That's all.
19 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, that's -- I'll start with the last
21 That's not really correct. Counsel didn't put a single question
22 to the witness about the statement, except to say, Is that your
23 statement? Which would be a 92 ter type of question. There wasn't a
24 single question to the witness on the content of the statement.
25 Now, Your Honour, I appreciate your compliments on my competence
1 as a counsel. I hope that's the case. But be that as it may, and there
2 is a procedure, there are rules to be followed, and it cannot be the
3 answer to every breach of a rule to say, Well, too bad, you can deal with
4 it yourself. Let's -- too bad. That's not the issue. There is a proper
5 procedure for tendering 92 ter evidence. It has not been followed in
6 this case.
7 I do prepare. I'll match my hours in the last 10 days preparing
8 this witness to anyone in the courtroom, the nights and the weekends that
9 I've spent here, but I prepared to meet the evidence of this witness and
10 the cross and the direct examinations that are conducted.
11 Ms. Alaburic completed her direct examination yesterday. The
12 topics that she didn't cover, some of those that I may have been aware
13 of, I did not -- have not pursued further on that basis. And this is
15 And yes, I'm confident, I think so, but I object to any procedure
16 by where any Prosecution counsel is put into a position or has to deal
17 with this evidence in this way. It's not appropriate, it's not fair, it
18 shouldn't be allowed.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this is now on record.
20 Yes, Ms. Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you allow me to
22 say a couple of words.
23 Immediately as Madam Nozica showed this document, I stated that
24 it was a witness statement. I wanted to suggest to her that this is not
25 a witness statement. This is a document prepared by Mr. Kordic's Defence
1 counsel, who was supposed to be the basis for the examination of this
2 witness in the Kordic case.
3 It is a fact that the English text of this document has been
4 verified and authenticated by this witness, but this is not a witness
5 statement. These are the wordings of Mr. Kordic's Defence counsel. So
6 in a certain way, I would support part of my learned friend Scott's
7 discussion regarding this document.
8 Another thing I'd like to say is that I find it quite
9 questionable that one Defence team cross-examines because another Defence
10 team broaches an issue or shows a document. If we permit that, then in
11 this courtroom expect very strange games, to the detriment of certain
12 Defence teams, and we shouldn't allow this to be a principle of conduct.
13 Thirdly, even if this document is put forward by the Stojic
14 Defence team for admission, since it's been the practice of this trial
15 that portions of documents be admitted that were discussed with the
16 witness, I'd like to point your attention to the fact that Madam Nozica
17 directed the witness towards paragraphs 29, 34 to 36, and 44. Therefore,
18 paragraph 40 has not been mentioned here.
19 And the broaching of the issue of military police in Central
20 Bosnia may be interesting if the Court allows. We are going to deal with
21 that in our redirect. But this is, indeed, a new issue being broached,
22 and if Mr. Scott deems that he should need some time to prepare to
23 discuss this subject, I would support his claim for that.
24 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I may have
25 misunderstood my learned colleague, but I'm not playing any games in this
1 courtroom. And the principle, whereby cross-examination is allowed for
2 issues opened or broached by other Defence teams, has been confirmed in
3 this trial for several times. We've been doing that for a long time, and
4 I'm not making a precedent here. I do not have any intention to broach
5 the subject of military police there, and if I were to be guaranteed by
6 the Bench that this is not going to be admitted, meaning paragraph 40 and
7 41, are not going to be admitted, then I would not cross-examine and I
8 would not object to that. But at this point, I do not have any
9 guarantees that this will not be admitted, so it is my duty to defend
10 Mr. Coric's interests and cross-examine.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May I interrupt?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow down
13 and speak one at a time. Thank you.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will cut this
15 unnecessary discussion short. I'm not going to propose this document be
16 admitted. I'm not going to propose its admittance, but I'm truly
17 surprised that the Prosecution is reacting to their own document. This
18 is the Prosecutor's document. I'm not going to seek admittance, because
19 this was meant to be just a reminder of the issues that the witness is
20 going to be examined upon.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your kind
22 co-operation. This solves the problems.
23 Please proceed.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Filipovic, some 15 minutes ago, when discussing 2D1486
1 [as interpreted], we discussed -- and that is the press release - you do
2 not have to seek for that document - at the end of that document it is
4 "We ask the BiH Army to get rid of their terrorists and
5 extremists; otherwise, the HVO is going to do that."
6 So we're not discussing the Mujahedin, but you spoke about
7 extremists in the ranks of the BiH Army. Were there those who wanted to
8 instigate conflicts with the Croats and there were others who wanted a
9 peaceful solution in Bosnia-Herzegovina; am I right in saying so?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I have to intervene.
12 On page 12, line 20 in the transcript, the number of the document
13 is incorrect. The correct number is 2D3067. Just an intervention in the
15 Q. So concerning this issue that we've broached, please take a look
16 at 2D686. That would be the next document in the binder. It's a
17 document signed by Mr. Stjepan Siber, deputy commander of the Staff of
18 the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of the Army of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You know that gentleman?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This document is addressed to the president of the Presidency,
22 Alija Izetbegovic, commander of the Staff of the Supreme Command of the
23 Army, and let me remind you - maybe unnecessarily, maybe you recall all
24 that - this document was created after the Kiseljak agreement dated the
25 10th of June, and Madam Alaburic showed this agreement under P2726. You
1 said that there was a replacement of the commander of the Staff of the
2 Supreme Command of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. Yes, a replacement was made.
4 Q. This is an exhibit, so we're not going to go through this whole
6 Mr. Siber is sending a message whereby he discusses the situation
7 in Zenica of the time, and you, yourself, said that this agreement was
8 never honoured and that the real intense fighting started after that,
9 initiated by the BiH Army; is that right?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. So it's stated here that on the 25th of June, it was
12 spoken [as interpreted] with the representative of the municipal
13 authorities in Zenica, and that he, in front of Karadzic, Franjic, and
14 him, he said that as a citizen he was disappointed with the leadership of
15 the 3rd Corps because they were implicated in looting and crime. It says
16 there are officers who execute people after looting.
17 In item 2 in this document, it says that on the 23rd of June,
18 there was a meeting with Hodzic and Karadzic, the president of the
19 District Government of Zenica, and it reads:
20 "Merdan is the main organiser of religious units of Cuvalic's and
21 of Puric's."
22 And then we come to the most salient point. It says that:
23 "Zenica and the 3rd Corps units are led by people who are
24 hardened criminals, who do not want, because it doesn't serve their
25 purposes, to defeat the Chetniks, but conflicts with the HVO play into
1 their hand."
2 The next document discusses the shooting of 50 civilians. That
3 would be the last paragraph of the document. The shooting of 50
4 civilians was done by the Mujahedin, dated the 26th of February.
5 And, finally, Mr. Siber proposes that instead of Merdan, somebody
6 of the same profile as Negovetic, Karadzic, should be appointed to the
7 joint command.
8 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, but I -- we just read a
9 document linked and then there was no question. I mean, that's even
10 taking all this even a step further. We at least, sometimes, go through
11 the charade of asking a real question at the end of a long reading, but
12 now we're not even doing that. We just read the document and then go on
13 and start reading the next document.
14 I really don't see the relevance of all this. I know the Chamber
15 said it will issue some sort of a ruling tomorrow. That won't do us a
16 whole lot of good right now. If this isn't tu quoque, counsel should
17 have to articulate -- with great respect, counsel should articulate to
18 the Chamber a basis why this is relevant other than tu quoque on
19 something in the indictment.
20 The fact that Busovaca --
21 Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm going to finish my submission.
22 The fact that Busovaca is mentioned in the indictment, doesn't
23 just simply make everything that mentions Busovaca relevant. And we've
24 spent an hour now reading documents.
25 I've never seen anything like it in my life, and I've been
1 practicing for 30 years. I've never seen anything like this. What is
2 the possible value of this?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you had better do as
4 I do. Look at other proceedings and see how your colleagues go about it.
5 Sometimes they read documents for a long time and then they ask
6 questions, and that's what she's doing. She reads the document that the
7 witness may know or may not know, and then there will be a question. And
8 I'm really anxious to hear the question, too.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 I would have had an opportunity to meet the witness, and I would
11 have proofed him, but I did not have that opportunity.
12 Q. So, finally, my question: Does it follow from this document that
13 the deputy commander of the Staff of the Supreme Command, Mr. Siber,
14 confirms exactly what you discussed in your examination-in-chief, in your
15 testimony, that in the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina there are extremists
16 who -- as it's stated here, who cause the conflicts with the HVO in
17 Zenica, for instance? And the date is very important because it covers
18 May and June, as can be divined from the date.
19 A. Siber, in my opinion, was on the other side, but I would kiss him
20 on the cheek for this document, because I know the persons who are being
21 referred to; Merdan, for instance, Vran, Haracic. I know of the
22 incidents which happened around this date in terms of the horrible crime
23 at Bikosi, and that's between Han Bila and Guca Gora.
24 On the 10th, I came to this area being referred to here and felt
25 the difficulties caused by those instigators of conflict that are named
1 by Siber in this document. What is -- it is relevant for the events and
2 the timing of those events within the area of Central Bosnia.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in the Kordic case the
4 Prosecutor, Mr. Nice, had asked you why you had not joined the BH Army,
5 which was the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he gave
6 you the case of Colonel Siber, which is mentioned here, too. And your
7 answer was that you preferred to go for another solution. So this is
8 what I remind you of.
9 Now, upon reading this document, which has been used by the
10 Prosecution already in another case - it is a well known exhibit,
11 Prosecution exhibit - we have a Croat of the ABiH who here incriminates
12 the 3rd Corps and its command, and lists all the crimes committed by the
13 Mujahedin, who are, according to him, under Merdan, and he is now
14 requiring for a relief of the command. So this document shows that
15 within the ABiH, there were disagreements. And if there are
16 disagreements of a military nature, that means that there are also
17 political problems and dissensions among various factions.
18 As far as you know -- we know that the HVO was wire-tapping the
19 BH Army phone calls. A witness came to tell us so. So when the ABiH was
20 conducting a military action against you, were they all in agreement, or
21 was there one faction that decided to carry out an offensive because
22 there was a specific problem, or was this an overall plan against the
23 HVO? What is your view on this, because this document may shed some
24 light on part of the conflict, even if the Prosecutor thinks it's not a
25 relevant document, but that's the Prosecutor's view.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you are following the
2 right track, but let me tell you at all times I considered myself a
3 member of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, be it
4 labelled "VRS," "BiH Army" or the "HVO," or any other label. I belonged
5 to Bosnia-Herzegovina. I belonged and I will belong to it. And nobody
6 had the right, be it HVO or anybody else, to put this in another context
7 except for that, the context of the defence of the people who lived
9 Let it be perfectly clear that I was -- I considered myself to be
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Before the war, I only used to be in Yugoslavia,
11 but from the start of the war I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I gave
12 nobody the right to put me on some other side.
13 Of course, secondly, there were radical forces and less radical
14 forces. In the period discussed by this document, let me tell you this:
15 The Travnik Muslims, since we were an enclave from the 10th onwards when
16 I came to that area, the Travnik Muslims were not killed in fighting
17 against us. Almost none of them -- there were 30.000 Travnik Muslims,
18 and none of them lost their lives in fighting against us. The Krajina
19 Muslims, the Mujahedins, members of other units brought in were those
20 casualties, but not a single Muslim from Travnik was killed in the
21 fighting against us. And this is an illustration of the situation.
22 When we make mention of Mujahedins, I can tell you that there was
23 a radical understanding that Bosnia-Herzegovina is to be the way that
24 Alija Izetbegovic says it should be, and it would not be a
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina in which I would have a right to live and to fight for
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that there
3 was some kind of radicalisation within the BH Army?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated that on the day before
5 yesterday. In June 1992, as early as that, there was a complete
6 reshuffling of the personnel, leading cadre in the Lasva River Valley,
7 from the municipal TO staffs, two commanders. I mentioned Lendo in
8 Novi Travnik, I think, or in Travnik, rather. Then Alagic shows up and
9 others, with all due respect to all of those that I name, they were,
10 professionally, working towards the interests of their own people, but
11 that was not a policy, or the way of life, or the civilisation that I was
12 used to and that I had grown up in that area.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will look at the last
14 document I wanted to deal with precisely on the topic you had raised.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we correct
16 something in line 17. The witness said it was not the policy, so the
17 "not" is missing there.
18 Or could you tell us, Witness, was it or wasn't it a policy? Did
19 you say it was or wasn't?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was talking about the Muslims,
21 and the way in which it was implemented was not the policy as it was
22 while I was growing up and living there and so on.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So, Mr. Filipovic, following on from the questions asked you by
25 Judge Antonetti today, and we started broaching the topic yesterday
1 towards the end of your testimony, let's see what the political framework
2 was in the territory; the political framework, not military. And in
3 order to do that, look at 2D3066, the last document.
4 This is -- well, it says: "Negative activities and behaviour of
5 the members of the 7th Mountain Brigade of the 3rd Corps." And it is to
6 the president of the Presidency and the Chief of Staff of the
7 Armed Forces, Supreme Command headquarters. And it is written on the
8 10th of March, 1993, which means three months prior to the events
9 described by Mr. Siber. It is signed by the head, Fikret Muslimovic.
10 And he was the head of the Security Department; am I right? Is that
11 right? Of the BH Army, that is.
12 A. Yes, Fikret Muslimovic was in the Security Service of the
13 BH Army, at the top, where the decisions are made.
14 Q. Here's what he says. He says that:
15 "The 7th Mountain Muslim Brigade, with its command in Zenica, is
16 operating within the 3rd Corps. Several negative events and occurrences
17 are tied to the formation of the Green Berets from this brigade, which
18 diminishes the reputation of the BH Army and the dignity of our
19 liberation fight, fight for freedom."
20 It says that members of the unit, ever since their establishment,
21 were conducting unauthorised searches of flats and houses, and that they
22 have come into collision with the BH police and the HVO units.
23 And then the last paragraph is the most important one, where it
25 "It is obvious that the activity of members of the Green Beret
1 units is not out of control and beyond the knowledge of the Command of
2 the 7th Muslim Brigade, and this has given rise to serious consequences
3 on military organisation. Opinions are widespread that behind such
4 activities sits the leadership of the SDA in Zenica," that they are
5 behind it, "and that this is proof that the president of the Presidency,
6 Alija Izetbegovic, only speaks of a civilian society, whereas in fact he
7 is setting up an Islamic state."
8 And this was written by Mr. Fikret Muslimovic in March 1993.
9 Now, does this, Mr. Filipovic, confirm precisely what you said a moment
10 ago in your response to Judge Antonetti's question.
11 A. Perhaps I said it, perhaps I didn't. Fikret Muslimovic was one
12 of the their strongest cadres, and in my view Delic was the number 1 man
13 and he was the number 2 man. I had a series of verbal and other
14 conflicts, but he noted the situation in the 3rd Corps. And later on, in
15 1994, Alagic complained to me and said that the 3rd Corps had received
16 salaries or donation, whereas the 3rd Corps [as interpreted] had not,
17 because the 3rd Corps was something different compared to the BH Army.
18 So the 3rd Corps, Zenica, Han Bila, and so on. So that was where Alija
19 conducted a review of troops, and so did others, Rostovo, and this was a
20 volcano which erupted. And the result of that was that 25.000 of my
21 fellow Travnik inhabitants couldn't remain living there, where they had
22 lived for all their lives.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to correct the transcript
25 On page 38, lines 19 and 20, the witness said he knew
1 Fikret Muslimovic and that he was one of the strongest cadres, and then
2 he went on to say that in his opinion, Rasim Delic - the name has been
3 left out - was the number 1 man, and that the number 2 man was
4 Fikret Muslimovic. So there's a mistake there in the transcript which
5 mentions Filip Filipovic.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you for that correction.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. There seems to be another mistake,
8 because if you go to line 21:
9 "Alagic complained to me and said that the 3rd Corps had received
10 salaries or donations, whereas the 3rd Corps had not."
11 Is that what you wanted to say? It seems a bit contradictory.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 3rd Corps did; the 7th did not.
13 And Alagic was the commander of the 7th Corps, so the 7th Corps did not
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you for that correction.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before Ms. Nozica puts her last
18 question, I have a question.
19 This is a document that I am seeing for the first time. I didn't
20 know it. It's extraordinary. It's on March 10, 1993.
21 Number 2, after Delic, seems to be challenging the 7th Mountain
22 Brigade and is directly challenging Mr. Izetbegovic, the president of the
23 Presidency, and he's actually sending this document to Mr. Izetbegovic.
24 And in this document, he is accusing Mr. Izetbegovic of actually wanting
25 to set up an Islamic state, which is contrary to the Constitution of
2 This is a political document, more than anything. Are you
3 surprised at this? Are you surprised that a person that you knew, but he
4 was on the other side, would actually directly challenge Izetbegovic?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Perhaps it was wrongly
6 interpreted or translated. But here it states clearly that the situation
7 that he refers to in the 3rd Corps is contributing to what otherwise, in
8 the enemy circles, is -- that they're saying that -- or, rather, the
9 other party says that Izetbegovic is forming an Islamic state, that the
10 3rd Corps -- or, rather, the forces who are claiming that
11 Alija Izetbegovic is forming an Islamic state, that everything they're
12 doing goes to support that. So what is happening in the 3rd Corps will
13 accelerate the situation and really help to bring it about, if they
14 continue in that vein.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I understand what
16 you're saying.
17 But in the BH Army, there is a chain of command. It would be
18 Izetbegovic-Merdan-7th Brigade. Then would your answer still be valid,
19 if this was the line of command?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chain of command goes like
21 this: Alija Izetbegovic-Delic-Mahmuljin, commander of the 3rd Corps --
22 so Izetbegovic-Delic -- no, no. Ah, we're dealing with March. Sefer.
23 Alija-Sefer-Mahmuljin, who was the 3rd Corps commander, or at least
24 I think he was at that time, or was it Hadzihasanovic, and Merdan was one
25 of the assistants in -- he was an operations man in the 3rd Corps, but he
1 was in the field all the time. He was in the negotiating commission and
2 maybe also in the Joint Command, but in actual fact he co-ordinated the
3 work of the 7th Muslim El Mujahid Unit.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. And now I have come to my last question, but -- or, rather, I was
6 to have come to my last question, but given the witness's response, I'd
7 like to follow on from that and say that the document does not speak
8 about the 3rd Corps, but it says there is widespread opinion -- and
9 that's a political assessment, according to Judge Antonetti, opinions are
10 widespread that behind this activity there's the leadership of the SDA
11 standing behind it in Zenica, and that this is proof that the president
12 of the Presidency, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, is only speaking about a
13 civilian society, whereas he's forming an Islamic state.
14 Now, where you were in 1993, did you have this same opinion, that
15 officially he is advocating and paying lip service to a civilian state,
16 where in fact he is creating an Islamic state -- or secular state and he
17 is creating an Islamic state?
18 A. Well, no, there's mention here about the Green Berets. I was
19 asked yesterday --
20 Q. I won't go back to that, but what I asked was: At the time,
21 1993, including this particular period and later on, did the Croats also
22 feel that Mr. Izetbegovic was, in fact, setting up an Islamic state,
23 whereas in his speeches he is referring to a secular state?
24 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Excuse me.
25 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Witness, excuse me.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Might the witness be allowed to
4 MR. SCOTT: I object, Your Honour. Which Croats? This witness
5 is now speaking for all Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina? I don't think
6 he has the competence to do that.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I asked about Croats in the area in
8 which the witness was, in Central Bosnia, so I just repeated my question
9 because the witness's answer had not been recorded.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, please reformulate
11 your question.
12 Witness, have you understood the question or do you want it to be
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did answer, but I heard that it
15 wasn't recorded. So I'll repeat what I said.
16 All the Croats in Central Bosnia led -- with me at the head or
17 with me at the end, considered that Alija was creating an Islamic, green
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas he keeps speaking about a civilian, secular,
19 multi-ethnic, whatnot state. Now, what kind of state is it in which --
20 well, we already had the events in Busovaca and everything else that we
21 talked about. Now, a secular, multi-ethnic state, I've already answered
22 that, and I answered it last time too.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Filipovic.
24 Thank you, Your Honours. I have concluded my cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's time for a 20-minute
1 break, and then the Praljak Defence will finish.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Praljak Defence.
5 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 General Praljak's Defence requests permission to allow
7 General Praljak to start the cross-examination to deal with questions of
8 an exclusively military nature and relating to General Praljak's meeting
9 with the witness.
10 But before we start the cross-examination, I would like to add
11 that -- or, rather, tell you the link between the cross-examination of
12 General Praljak and myself, what it has to do with the
13 examination-in-chief and the indictment.
14 The cross-examination will refer to paragraphs 33, 34, 37, last
15 sentence, and paragraph 39(A) of the indictment. Now, as for the link
16 with the examination-in-chief, we have document P1988, which was recorded
17 on page 21 of the transcript of the 30th of November this year, followed
18 by page 47418, line 10, also relating to the witness's testimony over the
19 past two days, and page 47462 onwards of the same transcript, followed by
20 page 47468 to 47470 of the 30th of November this year, and once again
21 document P1988.
22 Now, with the Trial Chamber's permission, General Praljak would
23 like to start off the cross-examination with some military matters, and
24 then I'll continue. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your
2 Honours. Thank you very much.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Praljak:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General Filipovic. I'm going to
5 do my best to make my questions clear, as precise as a Swiss watch. So
6 just say, Yes, No, or you don't know; affirmative, negative, or you don't
7 know about what I'm going to ask you.
8 Here's the first matter: You said that in May 1992, in Travnik,
9 50 buses arrived with roughly one and a half thousand Muslim soldiers.
10 Now, my question is this: From which country had they come to Travnik?
11 A. They came from Croatia. They couldn't have come from any other
13 Q. Do you know, the buses that they came in, did they mostly have
14 Croatian license plates or BH license plates?
15 A. Exclusively Croatian license plates.
16 Q. Do you know which the last town they rallied in before they went
17 to BH was?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know which route they took towards Travnik? Where did
20 they pass by?
21 A. I do know that. They could have come in from Prozor, Makljen,
22 Gornji Vakuf, Novi Travnik, Travnik.
23 Q. Across Mount Vran, following the salvation road; right?
24 A. Yes, Tomislavgrad road of salvation.
25 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Witness, would you please wait for
1 the general to finish his answer [as interpreted] before you -- to finish
2 his question before you answer, and not to overlap. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The people up there, were they wearing military uniforms when
5 they arrived and did they have weapons?
6 A. They had both uniforms and weapons, and were already a unit.
7 Q. Can we, therefore, conclude that they received weapons in
8 Croatia, and uniforms, too, and became a unit when there was an embargo
9 enforced by the United Nations?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Now my question: Do you know whether anybody from Sarajevo, the
12 government, the ministers, or whatever, gave any money to procure the
13 weapons, uniforms, buses, the dredges along the road of salvation, or did
14 you, yourself, ever, as a soldier of the HVO or anybody else, any
15 remuneration or any material resources, weapons and so on, from what we
16 call the government in Sarajevo?
17 A. The government in Sarajevo had nothing to do with this subject,
18 the arrival of the units in Travnik.
19 Q. Did you, as the HVO of Central Bosnia, at any time receive any
20 salaries from the central government, or weapons, shoes, uniforms;
22 A. Never, nothing.
23 Q. Yesterday, we saw a document on the type of weapons in possession
24 of the Army of BiH. My question would be this: In Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 was there, under the control of the BH Army or the HVO, any factory which
1 manufactured rifles, automatic rifles, light machine-guns, anti-aircraft
2 guns, cannons with one, two, or three barrels, or four barrels, Bofors
3 weapons, ZIS multi-barrelled rocket-launchers, cannon or howitzers, 105,
4 122, 150-millimetre howitzers, Zolja missiles, malutka missiles, Osa
5 missiles, RPGs or shoulder-propelled rocket-launchers, anything like
6 that? Could any of this be produced in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. Nothing except in the Bratstvo factory which I referred to
8 yesterday. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, none of those could have been produced
9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, except for the large-calibre artillery pieces at
10 the Bratstvo factory in Novi Travnik.
11 Q. But if it's -- was it possible to find some --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Pinter has kindly invited you to wait until
13 a question is interpreted, including allowing some time for translation
14 also. You have been overlapping totally.
15 Please continue.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So when I said Bratstvo and
17 large-calibre artillery, I meant those that had been manufactured
18 previously. But in 1992 or 1993, it wasn't possible. I don't know about
19 1994, however.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Filipovic, the stock of finished products at Bratstvo, how
22 was this divvied up between the HVO and the BiH Army?
23 A. I think I explained this already. Well, the basic thing was
24 this: We had to agree on a single opinion, in view of the distribution
25 of those numerous pieces there and in terms of political and military
1 actors on both sides, such as Genjac, Tamburic, and some other
2 individuals. So one-third went to the southern front-line, as per
3 agreement, because down there Muslims and Croats fought together, hand by
4 hand. One-third went to the Army of BiH, to Visoko, to their central
5 depot. And one-third was left to me in the area where I was accepted as
6 commander, to be shared with the Muslims, and this is what happened.
7 Q. So the last third you divvied up between the Army of BiH and the
8 HVO in the area where you were responsible; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. My question is as follows: If we were to -- if that -- weapons
11 that you saw in the possession of BH Army could have been taken from the
12 Chetniks, could have been there from previous times, or could have
13 arrived from Croatia? Out of those three possibilities, what would be
14 the correct answer, A, B, or C?
15 A. Well, each of them, in part, but 90 per cent is the answer C or
16 the latter.
17 Q. So 90 per cent of the weapons came from Croatia; is that your
19 A. Yes, that's my answer.
20 Q. Did the Army of BiH have communications such as packet radio
21 service or satellite telephones?
22 A. Yes, they did have.
23 Q. Did those complicated, sophisticated electronic equipment -- was
24 it manufactured in Bosnia or was it procured through Croatia?
25 A. It wasn't manufactured in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It came from the
1 territory of Croatia.
2 Q. Fine. General Filipovic, sir, 1993, Jajce fell -- or 1992, Jajce
3 fell. Did you immediately -- after the fall of Jajce, did you see me in
5 A. In Travnik.
6 Q. Tell me the following, please: The Travnik HVO, where did it end
7 up? Did it stay in the area of Travnik and Bugojno? And the Jajce HVO,
8 the HVO forces from Jajce, after being defeated, did they stay in Travnik
9 or did they go towards Croatia?
10 A. Since up to that point Jajce saw fierce battles and manned 100
11 kilometres of front, and there were 4.000 fighters, half of them HVO,
12 half of them BiH Army or the Territorial Defence, those 4.000 fighters
13 came to the area of Travnik. And with respect to the HVO, although we
14 tried to stop them there, make them stay there, they went and took the
15 salvation road to Croatia, and those Muslim fighters from Jajce stayed in
16 the area of Travnik, and some of them in the area of Zenica.
17 Q. Did the same thing happen with the Croatian and Muslim civilians,
18 the population? So is it true that civilians, Croats from Jajce, went to
19 Croatia, and Muslim civilians left in the area of Travnik, Bugojno,
20 Zenica, et cetera?
21 A. The fighters would not have left had the civilians stayed.
22 Fighters left because of the civilians leaving, and the Muslim civilians
23 stayed in the area.
24 Q. You just discussed this. It disrupted the ethnic balance and
25 gave rise to a host of problems, that fact. So is it true that the
1 refugees who were driven out of Central Bosnia by the Serbs, additionally
2 complicated and brought this problem to a head?
3 A. The problem of refugees arriving from other areas was already
4 present there. But when the Jajce Muslims came to the area, and we're
5 talking about more than 20.000 people from the whole municipality of
6 Jajce, was the final blow to the relations among the peoples in the
7 Lasva River Valley.
8 Q. So we are faced with a thesis of the Prosecution to the effect
9 that Praljak came up there so that we could occupy that area, drive out
10 the Muslims, and annex the whole area to Croatia. My question to you is
11 this: Logically speaking, how could it be possible for us to leave a
12 whole armed brigade to enter the area, leave our people and fighters and
13 civilians, to leave and let the alleged opponent to stay, all in order
14 for us to attack the Muslims and drive them away? Isn't it logical, in
15 your opinion?
16 A. The fall of Jajce did not mean just the fall of the Jajce
17 municipality, but also part of the Travnik municipality, and another
18 10.000 people, and in an area which was exclusively defended by the TO or
19 the Army of BiH. And the front-lines of the HVO were held firm, and they
20 repelled further advances from the Serbs. And when you came to that
21 area, you helped the Muslims more than the Croats, because the Croats had
22 held firm, although you did help us as well, because personally you
23 visited two prominent elevations with me where you could see that the HVO
24 was holding firm in the defence of the area of Central Bosnia.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Filipovic, could you please tell Their Honours whether I
1 managed to assist more the Army of BiH and create co-operation up
2 there - that's under A; under B, was Travnik shelled by the Serbs, and to
3 what extent? Please relate that situation to Their Honours, what we did
4 and what I did in that area, briefly. Did we manage to save Travnik, for
6 A. Well, the Territorial Defence or the Army of BiH in Travnik was
7 on the brink of complete disarray because exactly happened what I just
8 explained. One-third of the territory of Travnik municipality was
9 cleansed of its population, and particularly the inability of
10 Hamandjici [phoen], Softici and other units who were holding the
11 front-line there. There was panic in that area. The HVO was not
12 cool-headed about that, because the situation was very grave.
13 Two days after the fall of Jajce, Alija Izetbegovic stated that
14 the HVO was to blame for the fall of Jajce, which was blasphemous, as
15 some other of his statements.
16 I personally took it the hardest throughout the war, the fact
17 that Jajce fell, because I've invested quite a lot of time and my life
18 force, and I was wounded, and my investment was in the defence of the
19 Jajce area. And the fall of Jajce brought into question the defence of
20 Travnik, which until that point had not been jeopardised.
21 Q. Mr. Filipovic, I was a volunteer, a high officer in the Croatian
22 Army, assistant minister of defence. Which high officer of the BiH Army
23 walked with me on the hilltops, forced people to dig trenches, organised
24 the defence? Who, among the ranks of the BiH Army, was there with me?
25 A. Nobody, nobody, not a single person.
1 Q. And where were Valenta's [as interpreted] three battalions, and
2 why didn't they attack Komer [phoen] and extend the corridor towards
3 Jajce? Who was Lendo? Did he have three reserve battalions, and why
4 didn't he attack Komer earlier on, thereby expanding the corridor towards
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] A correction to the transcript.
7 Line nine, it says "Valenta's three battalions." It's "Lendo's three
8 battalions," just to avoid any misunderstanding later on. So could that
9 be corrected. "Lendo" is the name.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that there was
11 disorganisation in Travnik and Novi Travnik, so Novi Travnik wasn't
12 supposed to have any consequences from the fall of Jajce. And the
13 battalions that you're referring to, they should have been active. Now,
14 why they weren't active, I can't say at this point in time. But they had
15 such a favourable position because we held Mravinjac, which is three to
16 four kilometres as the crow flies, and Komer is a strategic bend from the
17 Lasva River Valley to Vrabac.
18 Q. Do you happen to know where Lendo's family was when this fighting
19 was going on?
20 A. I don't know. I know that the Lendos are a large family in
21 Opara. Now, where his family was, I really can't say.
22 Q. Now, while we were organising all this, how many shells did the
23 Serb Army use against Travnik on a daily basis? How many shells were
24 falling on Travnik from the Serb side?
25 A. The Army of Republika Srpska had positions around Travnik, and
1 long-range artillery and medium-range artillery was deployed, and there
2 were about a hundred heavy artillery shells falling on the town every
4 Q. Very well. That's what I wanted to learn from you about Travnik.
5 Did we pull out the wounded, all the wounded, did we take care of them,
6 and afterwards did I remain in the area? And to the best of your
7 knowledge, how energetic was I in working towards a rapprochement between
8 the HVO and BH Army?
9 A. I couldn't follow all your activities, there were so many of
10 them, but I do know that you had an overall influence, or your arrival
11 did, with respect to the defence of Central Bosnia.
12 Q. Was it negative or positive?
13 A. I don't think there can be any dilemmas on that score. It was
14 all positive, your positive involvement in matters of defence.
15 Q. Now look at document 4D01611, please.
16 Yesterday, there was a question as to where Izetbegovic's
17 signature was.
18 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] General, the number is 4D01611, if I
19 may correct you.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. On the 14th of June, Mr. Filipovic, had Travnik already fallen?
22 June 1993.
23 A. From Kiseljak, on the 10th, I crossed over, and on the 11th, I
24 was engaged in heavy fighting to stabilise the line and to prevent the
25 opposite side from breaking through deeper.
1 Q. Tell me, at the end of March and beginning of April 1993, did you
2 see me again in the town of Travnik?
3 A. Yes. I was surprised to see you moving around quite normally in
4 Travnik, without any escorts or anything like that. I came across you,
5 and you were sitting in front of a cafe where nobody usually sat, and you
6 were sitting there alone. That's not the kind of thing we did over
7 there, any of our commanders over there or anybody else.
8 Q. That's correct. I remember that, too, Mr. Filipovic. But in
9 Travnik, what was the ratio of HVO soldiers compared to the BH Army of
10 the 17th, 7th, or whatever unit? What was the ratio, the proportion of
11 the two sides' soldiers in Travnik in 1993, April?
12 A. It was a ratio of 5:1, roughly, to the advantage of the BH Army.
13 Q. And what about the ratio of the population, Croats, Bosniak
14 Muslims; what was that ratio at the time?
15 A. Judging by the 1991 population census, there was a negligible
16 amount of Muslims, whereas at that time already the ratio was 3:1 in
17 favour of the Muslims.
18 Q. Now look at the document. Doesn't it say here that this document
19 was delivered to -- or, rather, delivery of the text of the order issued
20 in Geneva -- now, if it arrived by packet link, could there have been any
21 signatures? Because when you have a packet link communication, there is
22 no signature, right, just like the other ones that Blaskic sent and so on
23 earlier on?
24 A. There cannot be a signature, in technical terms. It's
25 technically not feasible.
1 Q. Now, point 4, it says:
2 "The Presidency --"
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry.
4 Witness, you said it's technically not possible to have a
5 signature. This document has -- oh, I'm sorry, I'm looking at the wrong
6 one. I apologise. No, actually, I was looking at the right one,
8 You have a letterhead of the "Hrvatska Zajednica Herceg-Bosna,"
9 and you have, on the left side, an entry that is handwritten. Now, can
10 you explain to me how it comes that it is possible to write figures by
11 hand, but not possible to sign by hand?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This reaches us via the Main Staff
13 of the HVO in order for us to receive it quicker. I see nothing strange
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Maybe I did not express myself correctly.
16 You were asked how was this document, of which we have a
17 photocopy before us, how was that transmitted, and it was suggested that
18 it was transmitted by packet. And then you were asked, Is it possible to
19 transmit by packet a document with a signature? And you say, No, that is
20 not possible. Now, I assume that everything else is accurate.
21 Then I am amazed to find that this document has figures -- the
22 registration figures put on top left by hand, and I do not understand why
23 it would then not be possible also to have a signature put there by hand.
24 And that's what I would like you to explain to me.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This is a question to the witness, Mr. Praljak.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these technical
4 matters, you want a clear, precise answer. Now, if you consider that
5 Alija Izetbegovic did not send this document, or, rather, write it,
6 that's one thing. And the way in which it was sent to us, well, that's
7 what I'm talking about. I don't know what the technology of sending a
8 document like this was. There was some packet link, documents were
9 delivered in one way or another.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you did not say that when you were
11 asked. You gave a clear answer, although you did not know. Is that not
12 the case?
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The order is that there be
16 immediate cessation of all hostilities between the units, et cetera,
17 et cetera. To me, this is logical that it was written and that it
18 arrived. I don't know what it was that I said.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. We're not talking about what is
20 written in the document. We're talking about the fact that first you
21 have, without "if"s or "when"s, confirmed this was sent by package to
22 you, and it is not possible to send such a document by package to you
23 with a signature. But there are other handwritten notes, so maybe this
24 was not sent by package to you. I regard this as probable, or there is
25 -- but I find no explanation. It does not go together, what you said.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I
2 apologise. One moment.
3 Q. Witness, please read out --
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, I am asking the witness now, and I
5 have not received an answer. So if you want to go on, then go on, but I
6 stop at this and I find that I did not get a satisfactory answer. You
7 can go on now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. If that was what was wanted -- now, it says "delivery of the text
12 of the orders." That means that somebody from Geneva received
13 instructions, not an order. Petkovic would have written an order; is
14 that right? The BH Army, they write "Naredba"?
15 A. [No verbal response]
16 Q. Let's start from the beginning, let's go back to the beginning.
17 Somebody in Geneva --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I follow my fellow
19 Judge's question that remains unanswered, and I'm also quite disturbed by
21 There are three, if not four, possibilities; at least three. The
22 first possibility: This is a forgery, this document. It has been
23 manufactured for the case. After the conflict, it was archived in the
24 Croatian National Archives to convey the impression that Mr. Izetbegovic
25 was working hand in hand with the HVO. That's the first possibility.
1 Second possibility: There is a packet switch communication, so
2 the information is sent by packet, but the sender does not include the
3 figures "02-2/," et cetera. He does not mention it because he is in a
4 hurry and he forgot about it.
5 So it is sent, the document is sent, because you know, when you
6 send by packet there can be no handwritten mention at all. And then
7 later on, at a later stage, the officer, or the soldier sending the
8 document, noted that he had forgotten to register the document. So in
9 his own hand, he wrote "02-2/1-01-1058/93." And then when the conflict
10 ended, all the archives were collected, and this very document was
11 archived in the National Archives. So that's the second possibility.
12 That could be an explanation, in my book, because as was said by
13 Judge Trechsel, you cannot have a document that is sent by packet with
14 anything handwritten in it, because that could mean that you could also
15 sign the document. And anyone with a bit of knowledge about it knows
16 that it is then done electronically, and it is sent off straight away.
17 But Judge Trechsel wants to add something.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Having re-examined this, my conclusion and
19 hypothesis is the following one: There are two steps in this
20 communication. The first goes from Geneva to the General Staff, and
21 that's a packet communication. There, this document is received, and
22 then it is copied on this paper with the letterhead, and the signature is
23 put in by hand. And in this revised form, it is then distributed. Could
24 that be the case?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's like this: I'll take it in
1 detail, looking at the document.
2 The Main Staff of the HVO -- "delivery of the text of the order
3 issued by the Presidency of the RBiH in Geneva on," et cetera, and this
4 text -- this order is delivered to all the operations zones; not only the
5 Central Bosnia zone, but all the operations zones. Now, it could have
6 been sent by normal post, except to us in the operative zone in Vitez of
7 Central Bosnia, because at that point in time all communications had been
8 cut off. So it could have reached us a month later, when a helicopter
9 landed. Every seven days or once a fortnight, that's when the post was
10 brought in. That's why I said as far as the technology goes -- well,
11 we've lost a lot of time over this. I see no need to spend so much time.
12 But this case has been going on for a very long time, so I suppose you
13 can afford the time.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The responsibility for the time is with us, not
15 with you, Witness. You don't have to worry about it. It's none of your
17 Mr. Praljak.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Let's see how the army functioned. I send an order to
21 Tihomir Blaskic, for example. What does Blaskic do in that case? Does
22 he take the order, transcribe it, put his reference number, and issue
23 orders further down the line, or does he just send out my order? What is
24 customary in the army? How does the army go about this?
25 A. Blaskic has to send his order to his subordinates.
1 Q. So Alija Izetbegovic sends this man over here an order. What
2 does he do? To Petkovic here. I'm pointing to him, this man
3 here [indicates]. What does he do then?
4 A. In line with what I've said, he writes out his own order for his
5 own purposes.
6 Q. Does he put a reference number of his own?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So the Main Staff -- the chief of the Main Staff issues an order
9 to his units which he has received from the president of the Presidency,
10 so he conveys the original order, not "zapovjed," as command; is that how
11 it was?
12 A. It could not have been otherwise.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In that case, Witness, would not
14 General Petkovic sign as Chief of Staff, rather than send a paper which
15 says: "Signed, president" -- or not signed -- yes, it says: "Signed:
16 President of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
17 Alija Izetbegovic," if it is now Petkovic's order? Actually, we have
18 seen a number of these kind of orders which have been handed on. First
19 they came from Mate Boban, and then the next they went -- from the
20 General Staff, they went to the operation zones, and there the chief of
21 the General Staff handed this on as his order, as you have correctly
22 stated. I fully agree with the way you have stated this.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But, you see in item 2 it says:
24 "Persons responsible for fulfillment of this order are:
25 Commander of the Army of the BiH, Rasim Delic, and Commander of HVO
1 General Staff, Milivoj Petkovic."
2 So he conveyed that to impress upon us from which level this
3 comes or to impart the significance of that. He did not introduce - I
4 mean Petkovic - not a single element of his wording or phraseology.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Only the reference number?
7 A. But I meant he did not introduce anything of his into the
9 Q. Is this document, as you see it, registered in the Main Staff
10 under a reference number?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. This command, does it refer in item 2 to the commander of the
13 Army of BiH, Rasim Delic, and commander of HVO General Staff,
14 Milivoj Petkovic? You see "Komandant" and "Zapovjednik." There's a
15 difference between the two components. The first the Muslim uses JNA
16 terminology and the HVO uses Croatian terminology; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Okay. How much time do we
19 have left?
20 Q. Please take a look at document 1D03151.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I would like to know the answer to
22 your question. How much time do you have left?
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have used 25 minutes
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Well, so the document is 1D03151. Is this document something
3 which was called a regulation in the JNA, or a law, entitled "Brigade
4 Rules," how brigades should be run, et cetera; is that correct,
5 Mr. Filipovic?
6 A. Brigade Rules was equivalent to a Bible in the JNA.
7 Q. Thank you. So page 201, "Structure of the defence zone of a
8 brigade," you must know them by heart, don't you?
9 A. As I said, it was the Bible in the JNA.
10 Q. Please answer my question. Did you know everything in that
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Here, what is discussed is what should one be mindful, if he's a
14 brigade commander, with respect to the rear. So my question is whether
15 he is mindful only of military matters or also of civilian matters.
16 A. The brigade commander is exclusively responsible for military
17 matters, but he does co-ordinate matters, civilian matters, which have
18 ramifications on his defence efforts.
19 Q. It discusses a proper brigade, full complement of soldiers,
20 et cetera. Could you please tell Their Honours, how many tanks are there
21 in an armoured brigade, usually?
22 A. Battalion, 40; battalion, 43; battalions -- 120, just tanks, not
23 counting other armoured vehicles.
24 Q. Those tanks require ammunition, fuel, workshop for repairs, and
25 it must be secured in the rear, if not close to the front-lines?
1 A. That's correct, there are logistics bases in the rear.
2 Q. Then you have to provide dormitories, trucks, and that area is
3 safeguarded by the army; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. I'm not going through this book, what is written in it. Please
6 tell me the following: What has this model brigade in common with what
7 you had as a brigade in the HVO at that time? What did your HVO
8 brigade -- what did it have, in terms of all the facilities?
9 A. I would illustrate this with a frozen sea. The top layer of ice
10 is the front-line, and there is no ice deeper where the water is fluid.
11 This would be equivalent to people who manned the front-lines and sleep
12 at their homes, until 1994, at least.
13 Q. You mean that we do not have any in-depth area, we barely hold on
14 to the front-line?
15 A. Up to two kilometres is under our control from the very
16 front-line. We do not have any rear, in terms of deep territory for a
17 brigade to defend itself.
18 Q. Were there areas where this width was smaller than two
20 JUDGE PRANDLER: Please adhere to the rules and wait for each
21 other. Thank you.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would just add: We gave a few extra minutes
23 to Ms. Alaburic, and the same will apply to you. So if you are a few
24 minutes above today and under these special circumstances, we will not be
25 as strict as we have been at other times.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is my
2 last question.
3 Q. So up to two kilometres, was this the maximum width? But most
4 frequently, what was the width, depending on the lay of the land?
5 A. Well, from the trenches, it was two kilometres. But as a
6 tactician, I could say that it was up to two kilometres, but in essence
7 it was five metres at places.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
9 Mr. Filipovic, for coming here, for providing me with answers.
10 I apologise once again for the overlap. It's something that
11 really happens because we are quite lively when we discuss those matters.
12 I apologise to Their Honours, to the interpreters, and everyone else.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have three follow-up
14 questions for you, Witness, because we're going to turn into JNA
15 specialists with the text we have in front of us. Indeed, we really go
16 into detail, but details are important.
17 As I understand it, based on the JNA texts, and since there were
18 JNA officers in the HVO, BH Army, and the VRS, everybody must have worked
19 the same way, and you were a lieutenant-colonel in the JNA, therefore a
20 higher-ranking officer, a senior officer very knowledgeable in military
21 matters; hence, the relevant questions and questions of interest put to
23 So according to the JNA, a defence zone must be, at most, 20
24 kilometres, but as this document says, this is the brigade that is
25 holding this in-depth positioning that is 20 kilometres. And the
1 document says, regarding the defence of the battalion, it is only two to
2 three kilometres' long. And then General Praljak asked you questions
3 about the number of tanks in the brigade, and you said that the HVO
4 brigades, as a matter of fact, did not have the necessary means, and the
5 defence zone was not 20 kilometres, but it was, at most, 2 kilometres.
6 Is this really what you are telling us?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is breadth along the
8 front-line. In this case, as I've already explained, the brigade in
9 Jajce had to man 100 kilometres of defence line, but in our case, on
10 average, each brigade defended 10 kilometres, the length of the
11 front-line would be 10 kilometres. But depth of the zone was two
12 kilometres, up to two kilometres, from the very front-line.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been very accurate.
14 We'll all keep this in mind.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one correction.
16 In line 18, what is reflected in the transcript is that the
17 witness said "but the zone was two kilometres." The witness did not say
18 the zone was two kilometres, but the depth was two kilometres, up to two
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric.
21 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like
22 you to permit me to ask one military question to the major general, given
23 the discussion that we've had. Do you allow me? Very briefly, one
24 military question.
25 General, since we are discussing a combat activity zone, allow me
1 to say that I do know the HVO-controlled territory in Central Bosnia
2 quite well. Would you agree with me that the overall area in Central
3 Bosnia, particularly you said that there were distances of 800 metres
4 between front-lines, that whole area was a combat activity zone? Would
5 you agree with me if I said so? And if it was not, could you please tell
6 us, what was the area in Central Bosnia which was not part of a combat
7 activity zone?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the broader sense of the word,
9 the whole area was a combat activity zone. I would say that it's up to
10 the range of the enemy's artillery or weapons. There were areas which
11 were not in the combat activity area or zone, or had no contact with the
12 enemy because they were in too deep, but I could agree that this would
13 expend more than two kilometres from the front-line when it comes to the
14 combat activity zone.
15 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I agree with you. What was
16 the point in Central Bosnia that BH Army artillery could not reach?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they can reach all points
18 with their rifles, let alone artillery.
19 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
20 answer. I hope it's in the transcript.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a second question
22 regarding Jajce.
23 I listened to you very carefully. We understand that the BH Army
24 and the HVO withdrew towards Travnik. You mentioned the high number of
25 soldiers that were present, and you told us that the HVO soldiers had
1 left and left the Muslims on the ground, and you said that for you it was
2 a crucial factor; this fact that the Muslims stayed on in Travnik, that
3 changed the situation. And when I heard you say that, I wondered what
4 would have happened if the HVO had stayed. Would things have changed in
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had the Croats stayed at Travnik
7 after the fall of Jajce, they would have restored the order between the
8 two communities in Travnik before Jajce fell, but Croatians could not
9 stay in Travnik because by that time half a million or a million Muslims
10 fled to Croatia as refugees. They knew what their life would be in
11 Travnik and what their living conditions would be in Croatia or in a
12 third country.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question. I was very
14 surprised by a question put to you by General Praljak. You said that
15 every day at least 100 shells would fall on Travnik. I went to Travnik,
16 and I did not have the impression that Travnik had been as destroyed as
17 Vukovar or Stari Grad, say. So if there are shells falling on a town,
18 they destroy houses, are you really sure that there were a hundred shells
19 falling daily, destroying houses, because I didn't see the damage.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You destroy a town if you kick
21 things about. In absolute terms, 100 artillery shells is not too much,
22 it's not a large number. Of course, it affects civilians and those on
23 the receiving end. I don't know whether you noticed impact sites on
24 buildings or the repairs made to those places, but what I said was maybe
25 only a fraction of what really hit the town. And I refer to the period
1 when Mr. Praljak was in town.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying part of the town
3 what hit and there were impacts on the walls. It's true. When you go to
4 Travnik, you see all these impacts, but the houses weren't razed to the
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not necessarily they are
7 razed to the ground. I, myself, saw 100 shells, heavy shells, hit the
8 Borac factory within one and a half hours, for instance.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, that's very clear.
10 Ms. Pinter.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just another question with regard to this
12 artillery fire and shelling.
13 There are, of course, quite different ways of shelling. There
14 are grenades that explode when they hit the ground, and they will cause
15 destructions, and there are those that explode in the air, before
16 touching ground, with splinters all around dangerous for any soft target.
17 Now, were you saying that the hundred shells were all impact shells, or
18 was a proportion of them shells that exploded before hitting actually a
19 building or a street?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in the JNA we used to fiddle
21 with those fuses, time-operated fuses, but such -- their ratio was 15 to
22 20 per cent with respect to those impact shells that were a majority.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Pinter, just before the
25 break. I believe you can finish before the break.
1 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I'll do my best to finish by the
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Pinter:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you have before you the documents where
5 it says "3D --" documents marked "3D." Now, as we have little time,
6 we're going to skip over some of them, but I'd like to discuss 3D01731
7 with you now.
8 First of all, let me ask you whether you know Davor Kolenda.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you recognise his -- would you be able to recognise his
11 signature and whether it's on the end of that document? Do you know him
12 that well or not?
13 A. Davor Kolenda is a nephew of mine, and I know exactly what that
14 looks like.
15 Q. So you can confirm that that is his signature, can you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The next thing I want to ask you is this: I'd like to go through
18 the statement, and Davor Kolenda was in Travnik in 1992 and 1993; is that
20 A. Yes, with his whole family, his parents, and my parents too.
21 Q. Did he have a position of any kind?
22 A. For the last month or two, he was one of the clerks in the
23 civilian government, the Municipal Staff.
24 Q. Now, in this statement he says that he was arrested. Do you know
25 anything about that, that he was arrested sometime around the 20th of
1 April, 1993, by the BH Army?
2 A. Yes, moving from Manjac [phoen] to Kalibunar.
3 Q. Does the name Ivo Fistic ring a bell?
4 A. Ivo Fistic was also a clerk. He was one of his colleagues. He
5 was taken to Orasac or Han Bila and was incarcerated there for days and
7 Q. We're talking about 1993 now, are we, all the time?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right, fine. Now, do you know whether Davor Kolenda
10 conducted negotiations with the Serbs about pulling out civilians,
12 A. Yes. A few days before the people left to go up there, he went
13 to Vlasic and had a meeting with Slobodan, who was his best man or a kum,
14 and the Serbs respected the fact that the people had passed through the
15 territory of Republika Srpska, but --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat what he said at the
18 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What people are you talking about?
20 A. My people, my people from Travnik, except for my parents, who
21 remained in Travnik. So throughout the fighting of the last 10 months,
22 my parents were in Travnik.
23 Q. In 1993. And what about the people that went across Mount
24 Vlasic; were they Croats? Are you referring to Croats?
25 A. Yes, Croats.
1 Q. Why were they leaving?
2 A. We'd been talking about the pressures, the sporadic shooting,
3 flags, banners, clothing, conduct, arrests, people being released, and on
4 the map I pointed out four points at which communications were severed,
5 but communications were cut off at many more places. So there was
6 general uncertainty and firing. Do you know what it's like when there
7 are bullets whizzing past your head all the time? What does that mean?
8 Q. It means that there was fighting, combat.
9 A. Yes, fighting, combat.
10 Q. Very well. Now, did you know about an order from Colonel Blaskic
11 about moving the soldiers from Novi Bila, from [indiscernible] on page 5?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
13 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] It's also page 5 of the English
15 I have to repeat that. I'm sorry.
16 Q. Did you know about Blaskic's order on pulling out to Nova Bila,
17 both the soldiers and the people?
18 A. The person who replaced me as commander of the brigade, Leutar,
19 once the people had gathered together by the church in Ovcarevo which is
20 just two hours away from the Serbs, he tried to dissuade them, whereas he
21 arrived in an UNPROFOR vehicle, and he saw what the situation was like.
22 And when he did, he went back to the command, to headquarters, and
23 reported back about the situation. I assumed that Blaskic then issued
24 his order whereby the units -- well, if the people couldn't be prevented
25 from leaving, then the Travnik Brigade should be transferred across Mount
1 Vlasic and the area that was still not controlled by the BH Army - at
2 least he thought so - and should be moved to the lower part of Travnik
3 municipality and Vitez.
4 Q. The people who were gathering there in front of the church in
5 Ovcarevo, did anybody persuade them to leave the Travnik area and go to
6 Herzegovina [realtime transcript read in error "Sarajevo"]?
7 A. Well, that's a senseless question. I have to say no.
8 Q. I have to ask you that.
9 A. Well, all right.
10 Q. One more question. Do you know that Kolenda was in Manjaca?
11 A. Kolenda was in Manjaca with 800 or 900 people for some 15 days, I
13 Q. How did he come to be there?
14 A. Well, all the military-able men were transported by the Serbs
15 from there to Manjaca, and Manjaca was already at that time, and later
16 on, a synonym for suffering and the impossibility of being a human
17 being -- allowed to be a human being in the camp.
18 MR. KOVACIC: There is a problem in transcript, in order to -- in
19 order to avoid any possible mistakes later. It is line 12 on the current
20 page, 71. My dear colleague asked whether anybody was trying to persuade
21 the people to go to Herzegovina. The transcript said "to Sarajevo."
22 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Well, I couldn't have asked about
23 Sarajevo. The indictment says "Herzegovina."
24 Q. According to the statement that we're discussing now, and on the
25 basis of the questions I've been asking you - I'm saying this for the
1 record, that we're going through the statement - that 454 soldiers and 50
2 policemen, a total of 504 soldiers, then left for Manjaca and that they
3 were military conscripts aged between 15 and 55 years. Did Davor Kolenda
4 tell you anything about that, about the age of the people who were taken
5 to Manjaca?
6 A. Well, I've already said, the military-able men from 18 years old
7 to -- I'm not sure about 55. Maybe even 60.
8 Q. What about 15-year-olds?
9 A. Well, depending on the age group. If somebody had documents to
10 prove when they were born, then -- well, then these were minors. But the
11 Serbs didn't make a selection of any kind, whether 15 years old or 18
12 years old. If they were able-bodied, they were taken away.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, on page 9 of this document, this is what it
15 "On the 18th of June, 1993, in co-operation with the local priest
16 in Borovice, held a meeting with the locals and asked them not to flee
17 their homes. We promised them that we would defend them, and in Vares
18 there were already a lot of refugees from Vares and Kraljeva Sutjeska."
19 Do you have any knowledge about that, about what it says here?
20 First of all, do you know where Borovice is?
21 A. Yes, Borovice is an important village in Vares municipality.
22 They passed through Vares municipality and were deployed in the defence
23 over there. However, at that time the intensity of the fighting and
24 attacks by the BH Army were such that -- well, because of Kakanj and the
25 Kakanj refugees, they were not able to do that, especially --
1 Q. We've dealt with that document. Now I need less than one minute.
2 Just take a look at 3D03792, please. And it's a document which is
3 directly linked to P1988. It follows on from that document, when we
4 spoke about the Joint Command. It's a document written by -- it says
5 here "Colonel Filip Filipovic." Is that you? Did you write this
6 document, and do you know anything about the document?
7 A. [No verbal response]
8 Q. The document dated the 21st of June, 1993. It's about a joint
9 command, and international factors included, who ask for a resolute
10 answer, a clear response from you.
11 A. As a member of the Joint Command, and probably as a result of the
12 meeting with the representatives of the international community, this was
13 written as an inquiry, as a query, what to do. Let me repeat. It was
14 once again the period of intensive fighting.
15 Q. [No interpretation]
16 A. Well, yes, it's my document. I see the way it's written and this
17 FF; written by FF and typed out by KB. I'm trying to remember who the KB
18 was. Other people didn't do it in this way.
19 Q. But I'm asking you, because it says "Colonel Filip Filipovic."
20 Is that you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So does it follow from this that you were a member of the
23 Joint Command already at that time, that is to say, on the 21st of June
25 A. Yes, nobody abolished it.
1 Q. Had Travnik already fallen at that time?
2 A. Yes.
3 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you. I've completed my
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we'll break in a few
6 minutes, but I have a question, a question that I already wanted to put
7 to you yesterday. Now that we have some time, I'll put it to you now.
8 Yesterday, we saw a video where there was the meeting between
9 Petkovic, Halilovic, and so on, and others, and you were there. And we
10 also saw that there was a Spaniard chairing the meeting. I was thinking
11 about it overnight, and I wondered the following: This was a meeting
12 where you were face to face, you know, the HVO was in front of the
13 BH Army. I would like to know whether you had your weapons with you or
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If there were any weapons, it was
16 of the order of a pistol. But I personally didn't have a weapon, and I
17 don't know that anybody did, although the people that were escorts at the
18 back, the BH Army, they probably did.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There was a tent. Could you
20 tell us whether it was the Spaniards who put up the tent?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the provisional base of the
22 Spanish Battalion, so, yes, it was their tent.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: An observation to the transcript.
24 Page 74, line 3, the "21" before "June" got lost. It was said,
25 "21st of June."
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will break for 20 minutes,
2 and then Mr. Scott will start his cross-examination.
3 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
6 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Good evening to Your Honours, all those in and around the
9 courtroom. Good evening, Mr. Filipovic.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott:
11 Q. Sir, I want to start at least this evening in a fairly
12 chronological way. You left the JNA with a rank of colonel on 10 April
13 1992; yes?
14 A. Lieutenant-colonel, but I was supposed to be promoted to the rank
15 of colonel that year.
16 Q. And at that particular time, sir, why did you leave the JNA?
17 A. Because the JNA was no longer JNA. It was something completely
18 different. I'll give you an example.
19 A person with whom I spent 20 years of service, who used to be a
20 Yugoslav and he followed the Yugoslav line fraternity, brotherhood, unity
21 of all the people, well, that person, I found out one day that he just
22 moved to the Republika Srpska Army.
23 Q. I'm not sure that helps us a great deal. Can you tell us,
24 without telling me a story? Can you just give your reasons why you left
25 the JNA in mid-April 1992?
1 A. I would have left it in 1991, when I saw the columns leaving
2 Vukovar, hundreds of people under arms who were singing, "We will
3 slaughter the Croats, send us some salad to go with it." And since I was
4 high in command circles, I knew which units were engaged in attacking
5 Vukovar. And when you see on TV that a line of Chetniks appears, I knew
6 that it wouldn't have been possible without the knowledge of the highest
7 ranks, and I would have left then and there. But my wife was seriously
8 ill, she contracted cancer and she waited for surgery, so I waited until
9 April of 1992 to leave.
10 Q. Mr. Filipovic, some of these things will seem obvious to you, but
11 we have to make a record in this courtroom and make sure that we have
12 things as clear as possible.
13 When you say, I saw the columns leaving Vukovar, in your view,
14 what military force had attacked Vukovar and was causing these problems
15 that you've briefly indicated?
16 A. Everything that the JNA had, the best units that they had
17 according to the standards of the time, the 1st Guards Division, the
18 Novi Sad Armoured Corps, and I knew that from Backa Palanka an artillery
19 brigade. So the strongest units that the JNA had were sent to Vukovar,
20 and the best personnel was JNA, but then you see a line of Chetniks and
21 you realise that this is no longer a JNA, Yugoslav People's Army. And
22 this was when I realised that it was something completely different.
23 Q. And when you say it was something different, can I understand you
24 to say it had become a -- did you consider it a Serb army? Is that what
25 you're suggesting, in so many words?
1 A. Yes, yes, it --
2 Q. Sir, did you consider the JNA, as of least April 1992, if not
3 sooner, but did you consider the JNA, as of April 1992, to be the enemy
4 of the Croat people or at least Croatia?
5 A. Yes, enemy to the Croatian people.
6 Q. And then you arrived in the Lasva Valley on the 12th of April,
7 1992, and for a few weeks you were considered yourself to be the number 1
8 officer --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Scott.
10 Given the questions put by the Prosecutor, I must mention for the
11 record that as far as I'm concerned, I could not ask questions on these
12 parts because I'm also seized of a case, of the Vukovar case in another
13 trial, so I cannot ask questions. I wanted that to be on record. Thank
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. So you arrived in the Lasva Valley. You became for a time the
17 senior Croat commander on the ground, if I can put it that way. You
18 either knew or became aware that Mr. Petkovic left the JNA and had joined
19 the HV and then came to Bosnia-Herzegovina around the same time?
20 A. I don't know exactly when he came. I know when I came.
21 Q. Let me ask you to look, please, at P00163. It should be in the
23 I'm not sure if the witness -- thank you very much, Usher.
24 P00163. Sir, this is an order over the name of Janko Bobetko,
25 dated the 16th of April, 1992, very close to the time you arrived -- you
1 say you arrived in the Lasva Valley, appointing 11 individuals to the
2 command of the Grude Forward Command Post, including Mr. Petkovic, among
3 others, including Mr. Bruno Stojic. And can you tell us when you first,
4 upon arriving in the Lasva Valley, became aware that there was a command
5 centre at Grude called a forward command post and that Mr. Petkovic was
6 in charge of that?
7 A. That would be around mid-April 1992. That would be a couple of
8 days after I'd arrived to the area.
9 Q. And if you could next direct your attention to the exhibit
10 immediately before that one, P00162. If you turn back, please, one
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Scott. Your question was not
14 Witness, the question was whether you had been aware of the
15 creation of that command post. You have told us that it's about -- when
16 you arrived - you arrived a bit earlier, I think - but were you aware of
17 it? Did you know there was this forward command post in Grude?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't know.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 Excuse me, Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. When did you first learn -- you arrive on the ground. You're
23 trying to establish some sort of an armed force in that area. When did
24 you learn that there was some other people trying to do something
25 similar, perhaps at a higher level; that there were people in Grude, or
1 Mostar, or someplace else like this? What's described here in general,
2 when did you first find that out?
3 A. As I've already stated, five, six, or seven days after I arrived
4 to the area.
5 Q. All right. So by approximately the 18th or 19th of April, 1992,
6 you became aware of this organisation in Grude and Mr. Petkovic's
7 involvement there; is that correct?
8 A. I'm not sure whether I knew about Petkovic, but I did know that
9 there was a command that I was supposed to link up with or establish
10 communication with.
11 Q. That was part of my question, sir. So when did you? At some
12 point, presumably, sir, given the nature of your involvement
13 there -- you've told us you were involved at a very high level, you were
14 the number 1 commander for a very short time, then became deputy to
15 Mr. Blaskic a few weeks later. Surely, sir, at some time you became
16 aware of some of the people who were at this forward command post in
17 Grude. When did you first become aware that Mr. Petkovic was in charge
18 or command of that forward command post?
19 A. Well, towards the last third of April, I went to Grude to
20 establish contacts with that command post, and it is there that I met
21 Mr. Petkovic, got to know him.
22 Q. And in connection with the exhibit that I asked you about a few
23 moments ago, P00162, can you confirm it was your experience, when you
24 arrived at Grude on this occasion you've just told us about, as reflected
25 in paragraph number 2 of this document, you did, in fact, find that
1 Mr. Petkovic was in charge, he was the commander?
2 A. I arrived at Grude one day after Grude had been shelled. They
3 relocated to the basement of the hotel. There was no electricity there.
4 There were candles lit --
5 Q. I'm going to ask your co-operation, sir, in answering my
6 questions as succinctly as you can. I didn't ask you if anything had
7 been shelled. My question to you was: When, in fact -- when did you, in
8 fact, find that -- did you find, on going to Grude, that Mr. Petkovic was
9 in charge as the commander? And the answer to that question is either,
10 Yes, No, I don't know, and I don't need to know about whether it was
11 shelled or not. Did you find out, when you got to Grude on that
12 occasion, that Mr. Petkovic was the commander of the forward command
13 post; yes or no?
14 A. No. I spoke to several people. Among them was Petkovic in the
15 basement with the electricity and a candle --
16 Q. When did you find out he was the commander?
17 A. I think in May or June, by that time I learned that he was a
19 Q. Did you learn at some point -- I'm directing your attention to
20 paragraph number 6 of P00162. Did you learn at some point that also --
21 that Mr. Bruno Stojic was involved at the Grude Command Post in
22 connection with logistical support?
23 A. I spoke to Petkovic, Roso, Bender, and Jozo Maric. Stojic was
24 not there, or at least not at that moment.
25 Q. Let me repeat my question. Did you learn at some point that
1 Mr. Bruno Stojic was involved at the Grude Command Post in connection
2 with logistical support?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Did you understand that Mr. Petkovic -- or come to understand
5 that Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Stojic, among others, had been placed in these
6 positions by General Bobetko?
7 A. No, I have no idea about Bobetko.
8 Q. Now, there were other officers who had left the JNA -- who left
9 the JNA and joined the Croatian forces. You knew that -- was that
10 Mr. Petkovic, himself; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Blaskic?
13 A. Yes, Blaskic served in Slovenia and had left the JNA several
14 months before that.
15 Q. Mr. Siljeg came from the JNA?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Rajic, Ivica Rajic, came from the JNA?
18 A. Ivica Rajic came sometime in June 1992 from the JNA.
19 Q. And you indicated, in response to a question from Ms. Alaburic,
20 that in some cases you thought there was a lack of trust toward you
21 because of your JNA background. But as you've just indicated, sir, isn't
22 it correct that there were a substantial number of Croatian officers --
23 Croat officers who had come from the JNA?
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, an objection to the
25 lack of precision in this question. I do not understand what
1 "substantial number" means, given that my learned colleague listed three
2 or four people.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, let's not split
4 hairs. Of course, the word "substantial" could be 5, 10, 100, but this
5 is a clever witness. He's clever enough to really adjust the question as
6 need may arise.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those names were the only ones in
8 for the general HVO personnel. What I spoke about was the Lasva River
9 Valley, and they numbered three or four.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. When you say "they numbered three or four," what do you mean;
12 that there were three or four former JNA officers on the Croat side in
13 the Lasva Valley?
14 A. That's correct. I can list their names, if you wish.
15 Q. If you can do it very briefly, please.
16 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Lovrinovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Jazbinski, that
17 would be it - and myself.
18 Q. Well, Colonel Blaskic, too, correct, and Mr. Rajic?
19 A. No, no. No, that would be Kiseljak. Those two were at Kiseljak.
20 That's not the Lasva River Valley.
21 Q. Very well. Now, let me ask you, were you or to your knowledge,
22 any of these persons, were you or Mr. Petkovic or Mr. Siljeg or
23 Mr. Blaskic, or Mr. Rajic, any of the other former JNA officers, were any
24 of you accused or prosecuted for treason, or anything such as that, for
25 leaving the JNA and joining the other side?
1 A. To the best of my knowledge, I've not been.
2 Q. And you would agree, wouldn't you, that Muslims had at least as
3 much right to leave the JNA and join the BiH armed forces as you and
4 Petkovic and Blaskic had to leave the JNA?
5 A. All of them had the right.
6 Q. And, likewise, at a later time, for the same reason, sir, that
7 you and others wanted to leave the JNA when you considered the JNA the
8 enemy of the Croatian people, you would agree, sir, that the Muslims had
9 the right to leave the HVO and join their side, if you want to put it
10 that way, when they decided that the HVO was the enemy of their people;
12 A. That's correct, but let me tell you that the Serbs were the first
13 to leave the JNA, many individuals from the command that I was at, not
14 just --
15 Q. Thank you, sir. You've answered my question. And in fact, sir,
16 that's the view you expressed at the time, that you felt that if the
17 Muslims wanted to leave the HVO and join either -- what was initially the
18 Territorial Defence, which became the ABiH or armija, you felt that they
19 had a right to do so? And just to confirm what you're saying today, you
20 gave the same testimony in the Kordic case; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When you arrived in the Lasva Valley -- and you said in your
23 testimony on -- let me say that and put a time on this. When you gave
24 your testimony on Monday, you described as the beginning of the war being
25 April, May, and June of 1992; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And as I understand your testimony, sir, and from the summary of
3 your expected testimony which was provided by Mr. Petkovic's counsel,
4 when you arrived around the 12th of April, 1992, you found things to be,
5 shall we say, fairly disorganised, confused?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When you arrived there, did you find that there was a Croat armed
8 force ready-made, already existing, waiting for you to take command, or
9 did you find yourself basically, essentially, at a starting point to
10 begin to build an armed force largely from, we would say, scratch?
11 A. I said that I encountered armed individuals, but their level of
12 organisation was far from something that could be labelled an army. They
13 only had the wish and the will to take part in defence or to defend
15 Q. And as things developed around April and May of 1992, in fact,
16 the Croats and Muslims were doing many similar things at the same time to
17 develop and organise armed forces; correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And, in fact, probably the key officers on both sides at that
20 time, and when I say "both sides," I'm now saying the Croats and the
21 Muslims or Bosniaks, were indeed former JNA officers; correct? There
22 were a number of former JNA officers who had joined the Muslim armed
23 forces; correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And, in fact, as things developed, there were actually more
1 professional soldiers -- more JNA officers who joined the Muslim armed
2 forces than joined the Croat forces in April, May, June 1992; correct?
3 A. Not to the Croatian forces. Nobody joined the Croatian forces or
4 the HVO. They joined the Territorial Defence or the ABiH, when it
5 referred to the Muslims.
6 Q. My apologies if I misspoke. I did mean to say that there were a
7 larger number, in fact, of former JNA professional officers who joined
8 the Muslim armed forces; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And is it also fair to say, sir, that by May or June of 1992, in
11 fact, the Muslim armed forces, again whether you want to call it at that
12 time the Territorial Defence or the ABiH, in terms of personnel or
13 manpower, was a larger armed force than the Croat side, wasn't it?
14 A. Yes, in numbers they were larger.
15 Q. And, likewise, at that time the Muslim armed force had a larger
16 number -- larger percentage of professional former JNA officers in its
17 officer corps, didn't it, or didn't they?
18 A. Yes, a factor of several times.
19 Q. And you've told us now a couple of times it was approximately the
20 15th of May, 1992, when something like -- I heard once 1500, another time
21 2.000 Muslim soldiers or armed forces arrived in the Travnik area;
23 A. Yes, a unit arrived, the difference of what had gone on before,
24 and this one was that in mid-May a unit of 1500 people arrived. They had
25 weapons, they had commanders. A whole unit arrived.
1 Q. All right. And you testified on Monday, sir, and I just want to
2 confirm that I understood correctly. You said that as of June 1992, the
3 Territorial Defence or the BH Army was at a point where it could carry
4 its part of the burden and responsibility, it was on a footing of
5 equality, it was able to fight and man the defence lines. Do you stand
6 by that?
7 A. That's correct.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I thought that the
9 Prosecutor was going to stay with that topic, but he moved on.
10 I have a big problem with the document that we've seen to start
11 with, in which Colonel Petkovic could be standing in for Bobetko, and in
12 which an assignment is given to Mr. Coric [as interpreted]. This is a
13 document of the Croatian Army. There's no doubt about it.
14 So back in April 1992, there was a document saying that there are
15 two individuals, Petkovic and Coric [as interpreted], fulfilling specific
16 tasks and positions in that forward command post set up in Grude. The
17 document is dated 16th of April.
18 Remember, yesterday I asked you a question. I wanted to know
19 whether or at what time, in your view, General Petkovic was Chief of
20 Staff. I didn't know then that the Prosecutor was going to present you
21 with this document, because I'd asked myself when General Petkovic took
22 position, took office. And you said that you met General Petkovic and
23 you spoke about the situation, but when you met with General Petkovic,
24 did he tell you that when Bobetko was absent, he would be the one in
25 charge in the Croatian Army? Had he told you this, what impact would
1 that have had on you? What would your impression have been if
2 General Petkovic had told you, Well, look, I'm actually wearing two hats;
3 I'm on the southern front in the Croatian Army, but at the same time I am
4 a Chief of Staff in the HVO? Because this document raises a problem
5 which cannot be dodged at all, so I'm trying to understand the document.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this document introduces
7 Bobetko, but I did not know anything about Bobetko or the southern front.
8 I'm discussing the first moment when I met Petkovic, when I met Roso and
9 Bender, as I said, and I'm not at all interested in how this whole thing
10 is structured. I did not have a standard structured command up there
11 either. My task was to create units, create command structures. I
12 cannot tell you precisely when I learned about whether that was a forward
13 command post or when the Main Staff was set up and that Petkovic was at
14 the head of that Main Staff. I don't know that.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can't answer. I'm not
16 going to continue on this line, but another question.
17 In this document, it seems that there is a need to co-ordinate
18 combat action on the southern front. This is what we have in the heading
19 of the document. Now, this makes me wonder, isn't this -- we have a
20 situation where the HV is present because its territory is in jeopardy,
21 they believe they need to have an advance command post up to Grude, but
22 at the same time they have a, quote/unquote "agreement" with the HVO so
23 that the HVO, hand in hand with the HV, co-operate against the common
24 enemy, which are the Serbs, and in the framework of this co-ordination,
25 and there could be two entities, the HV and the HVO, and of course
1 because there's co-ordination there needs to be a chief, and a priori
2 it's Bobetko, but whenever Bobetko is not there, it's the other man who
3 takes over, i.e., Petkovic, does this make any sense, militarily?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That area of, that is to say,
5 Herzegovina and Croatia, is a united area, geographically speaking, but
6 also vis-a-vis the enemy, because at that time, to the west of Mostar,
7 some 10 kilometres to the west, and all Mostar was held by the Serbs.
8 Not only did they hold Mostar, but they held the area to the west of
9 Mostar. So co-ordinated action was designed to see that the aggressor,
10 the enemy, the army that was being formed, the Army of Republika Srpska,
11 the previous JNA, should be removed. So the answer is that without that,
12 there couldn't have been any co-ordination between the armed forces of
13 both areas and both countries, both states.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,
15 according to you co-ordination was possible between the HVO and the HV
16 against the Serbs.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor,
19 but I believe that this document created a problem and I wanted to go
20 into more depth. But I'm sure we'll see in depth, you know, whenever
21 Mr. Petkovic comes to testify. I'm sure we'll see the document again.
22 MR. SCOTT: Probably so, Your Honour.
23 Before I continue, Mr. President, just to correct the record, and
24 I noticed there were several people in the courtroom who noticed, and if
25 the President will allow, there were several references a few minutes ago
1 to it being Mr. Petkovic and Coric, and I think the record should reflect
2 it was Petkovic and Stojic. I think there won't be any dispute about
4 Q. Sir, turning on -- moving on, now, if I could ask you to be brief
5 because you've probably learned by now that time is a bit of a precious
6 resource here, what do you consider the characteristics and skills of a
7 good officer?
8 A. That he be well trained, a professional so that he can do the
9 business of an officer, honesty, loyalty. That would be it.
10 Q. How about information? How about situational knowledge, if you
11 will, if I can put it that way?
12 A. Well, when I said capacitated and well trained as a professional,
13 that would incorporate all of that kind thing.
14 Q. And during your military career, sir, did you consider yourself a
15 good officer?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Let's go to the time you were the commander of the Travnik
18 Brigade, from approximately the latter part of October of 1992 until the
19 latter part of April of 1993. Who did you report to during that time as
20 your immediate superior?
21 A. Colonel Blaskic.
22 Q. And during that time, did you have a deputy commander of the
23 Travnik Brigade?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who was that?
1 A. For a time, it was Lovrinovic. Then it was, well, the person who
2 was killed in Sarajevo, Leutar, Leutar.
3 Q. And in addition to having a deputy, I don't know did at the
4 brigade level, but did you have a Chief of Staff?
5 A. When Leutar was the deputy, then Lovrinovic was the Chief of
7 Q. And what did you consider the principle duties and
8 responsibilities of your deputy? What did you expect from them as their
10 A. I want to add something. I had a deputy who was the late
11 Nikola Grbesa. He was killed when Jajce fell.
12 Q. And can you tell me what kind of functions and responsibilities
13 you expected or performance you expected from your deputy?
14 A. I expected that what I was to Blaskic for a time -- that is to
15 say, that the deputy should, in the spirit of an agreement with the
16 commander, should perform the functions of replacing the commander at all
17 places where the commander was absent.
18 Q. Well, apart from the replacement function, which certainly is an
19 important one, but absent actually replacing the commander absence in his
20 or her absence, what have you, what would be the other ongoing daily
21 duties of a deputy vis-a-vis you, as the commander?
22 A. Combat, the defence line.
23 Q. Did you consider, at the time when they were in this position,
24 Mr. Lovrinovic and Mr. Leutar, did you consider them to be essentially
25 your right-hand man, if I can use that term?
1 A. Yes, associates, right-hand man, yes, in matters that had to be
3 Q. And what sorts of communication procedures or meetings existed
4 among the command staff at that time; you, Mr. Lovrinovic, Mr. Leutar,
5 perhaps others, just to keep the command up to date, share information?
6 Did you have a daily meeting, morning meeting, did you have a weekly
7 meeting? What sort of things did you have in place to keep the command
8 staff, if you will, on the same page?
9 A. In principle, daily morning briefings.
10 Q. As of approximately the 1st of April, 1993, how many soldiers
11 were actually under your command in the Travnik Brigade, approximately?
12 A. About one and a half thousand.
13 Q. And we've heard in this case about -- that military members, HVO,
14 and other -- and TO, other forces, did a lot of their military service by
15 what's been described as shifts? Was that true in the Travnik Brigade;
16 were people essentially deployed or assigned on shifts?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And at any given time, assuming you weren't actually in a combat
19 situation and active fighting going on, assuming you don't have active
20 fighting, approximately how many HVO soldiers in the Travnik area would
21 be on the line or on a shift at any given time?
22 A. 400 to 600.
23 Q. And perhaps the answer is the number you gave me a moment ago,
24 but just to be clear: If, indeed, active fighting started, how many HVO
25 soldiers could the Travnik Brigade, around April 1993 -- how many could
1 you put on-line, so to speak?
2 A. Depending on the time, but I could put all 1500 of them.
3 Q. All right. Now, there came a time, from approximately the 11th
4 of June, 1993, and at least for the remainder of 1993, you were the
5 deputy commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, deputy to
6 Mr. Blaskic; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And what I asked you a few moments ago about the characteristics
9 and responsibilities of a good deputy, and in fact you anticipated and
10 answered my question perhaps somewhat, but during the time that you were
11 a deputy to Mr. Blaskic, did you consider yourself a good officer and a
12 responsible deputy to him?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. On some of the documentation that the Judges may have seen
15 through the months, there is sometimes an abbreviation "ONO." Can you
16 explain what "ONO" stands for?
17 A. It dates back to Yugoslavia and would mean "total national
18 defence," "All-People's Defence."
19 Q. ONO?
20 A. "All-People's Defence," or it could be an abbreviation for a
21 place in the command at headquarters. Then it would be the operative --
22 the Operations and Training Department; so not an individual, but this
24 Q. Well, there was an ONO officer or operations officer in each
25 operations zone, wasn't there?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in Central Bosnia, were you considered not only the deputy,
3 but also the operations -- the chief operations officer, or did somebody
4 else hold that position?
5 A. No. The Chief of Staff was Franjo Nakic. Blaskic was the
6 commander. I was the deputy. The Chief of Staff was --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said "Blaskic."
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the operations person --
9 officer was Marijan something, Marijan --
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. All right. Well, perhaps we'll come to it. And during the time
12 that you were the commander of the Travnik Brigade -- well, excuse me.
13 My apologies.
14 When you'd become the deputy commander to Blaskic from June 11,
15 19 -- well, earlier than that, actually. But during the time that you
16 were deputy - excuse me for my hesitation - where was your duty station?
17 Were you in his office in Vitez, were you in the same building in Vitez?
18 Where were you located?
19 A. The deputy, well, his seat was in -- well, in 1992, at the
20 beginning of 1992, there was a facility called "Lovac" where I
21 established the headquarters in Vitez, and then Blaskic relocated it to
22 Hotel Vitez.
23 Q. And once you became his deputy, was that where your -- primarily
24 once it moved to Hotel Vitez, was your office also at Hotel Vitez?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And approximately what proximity to Mr. Blaskic? I mean, were
2 you next-door to each other, across the hall? How close was your office
3 to Mr. Blaskic?
4 A. I was mostly just four to five metres away.
5 Q. And let me ask you a similar question to the one I asked you
6 about the Travnik Brigade. On the Central Bosnia Operative Zone Command
7 Staff, did you also have a daily or morning briefing?
8 A. No -- or, rather, I didn't -- well, there were briefings, yes,
9 but not of any intensity.
10 Q. Well, how often were these briefings?
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could we just stipulate what time
14 the questions and answers relate to? What period are we dealing with?
15 MR. SCOTT: For the time being, if I didn't say so - I thought I
16 did - but I was talking from approximately 11 June 1993 to the end of
18 Q. So can I get back to my question? So how often were these
19 briefings or other meetings for the purposes of --
20 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, you're not asking me precise questions, so I
21 can't answer. You want a yes-or-no answer, but the question isn't
22 precise enough. And then you won't allow me to expand.
23 What I said was in June 1993, I spent days in the Travnik Brigade
24 to deal with the situation. What deputy? No, just direct fighting,
25 combat. But the time you're referring to, the months, I'll answer that.
1 Q. My question stands, and it wasn't in this case a yes-or-no
2 question. How often -- when were these briefings or meetings among the
3 Central Bosnia Operative Zone Command Staff and approximately how often
4 during the time from 11 June 1993 forward, to the end 1993?
5 A. The briefings were held twice a week.
6 Q. At Hotel Vitez?
7 A. Yes, and at the forward command post when we had to relocate, and
8 that was in Nova Bila.
9 Q. And you also mentioned in your previous testimony this week that
10 at some point in time operational groups were formed. Not operative
11 zone, but within the operations zone, the zone itself was divided into
12 operational groups, approximately four groups; is that correct?
13 A. That was from June 1992 right up until around October, so that's
14 when we met as commanders of the operative groups once a week, at the
15 Lovac facility.
16 Q. My apologies. When you say "October," sir, what year?
17 A. 1992.
18 Q. And the structure of operational groups continued until at least
19 November 1993; correct? It may have modified -- it may have had some
20 modifications, but there continued to be a level of command called
21 "operational groups" until at least November 1993; right?
22 A. Let me be precise and say until October 1992. I'm saying that
23 because up until then I was able to reach the brigade commanders for a
24 meeting within two or three days to report on my meeting with Blaskic.
25 Now, after October, I was no longer able to do that because it was
1 difficult to move around because of the conflict in Novi Travnik, so I
2 couldn't reach the brigade commanders on a regular basis.
3 Q. Sir, whether you could easily reach them or not, there continued
4 to be, until November 1993, at least, operational groups, correct, and
5 Ivica Rajic, throughout this period, was the commander of the operational
6 group based in Kiseljak; correct?
7 A. He was commander of the operative group in Kiseljak, yes. Now,
8 whether his group functioned until November, I really can't say now.
9 Q. Well, sir, let me just try to cut this a little bit short.
10 If the Judges have seen and continue to see HVO documents from
11 Central Bosnia describe an operational group based in Kiseljak that
12 Mr. Rajic was in charge of, and when it says such things like "OG-2," you
13 have no reason to disagree with me that that was Ivica Rajic; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Okay. How were General Blaskic's written orderings prepared? If
16 General Blaskic gave an order, I want to send this unit, I want the
17 brigade in Travnik to do something, I want the brigade in Busovaca to do
18 something, and he wanted to prepare a written order, take us through the
19 steps by which he would do that.
20 A. Blaskic would -- it would be his conception. He would write a
21 large part of it, and then his staff would give shape to it in writing.
22 Q. Well, when you say "his staff would give shape to it," help us
23 out a bit more. What particular staff would take his concept and then
24 take it to the next level and then, presumably, transmit it in some way?
25 A. Colonel Franjo Nakic, or Slavko Marin. I've just remembered his
1 surname, name and surname.
2 Q. And I agree with you, sir, Slavko Marin. And that was about
3 orders. Well, how did it -- did someone then take it to a communications
4 officer, to a duty officer? How does the -- how does the document then
5 get from Hotel Vitez to the field?
6 A. Well, yes, the order would then go to the Communications Centre
7 to be sent off to those -- to whom it could be sent off to, and that was
8 possible to almost all the brigades. You couldn't do it to Jajce.
9 Q. Now, let me ask a similar question. I was asking you about
10 orders. Let me ask you about reports.
11 In terms of reports that the operative zone had to send to the
12 Main Staff, how were those reports prepared and transmitted?
13 A. The reports were prepared more regularly than the orders, and, in
14 a way, they were regular, daily or weekly. And Blaskic, Nakic, Marin,
15 the communications man --
16 Q. And what was your role in connection with these documents, as
17 deputy commander? As the number 2 man in the operative zone, what role
18 did you play in the preparation of orders, the preparation of reports to
19 the Main Staff?
20 A. Requests for something to be stated more precisely. We would ask
21 Blaskic at the briefing, and if something needed to be done, then I
22 compiled it. But I didn't do that, in principle.
23 Q. Let me -- it might be the last question we have time for this
24 evening. Let me turn the other direction.
25 The reports that came to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone from
1 the subordinate units, either from the operational groups or lower down
2 from the brigades, do you know how those were received and processed at
3 Hotel Vitez?
4 A. It depended on the type of report, if it was directly from the
5 commander, but once again the staff.
6 Q. Well, let's make it a bit more concrete, if that might help you.
7 If a report was coming in, let's say, from the brigade in Busovaca, and
8 reporting information about activities there, perhaps combat activities,
9 presumably this is something that both you, as deputy, and Mr. Blaskic
10 would want to know about?
11 A. From the brigade commander, down to the military district,
12 through the system of communications, the staff, the commander.
13 Q. Okay. Now I just want -- I'm being very, very basic here, sir,
14 so we can understand some things. How did a report from the commander of
15 the Busovaca Brigade get on Blaskic's desk?
16 "Important matter. We think there's BiH troops coming this way."
17 Blaskic, please give us some direction."
18 Signed commander, Busovaca Brigade.
19 How does that information get to Blaskic so that he can do
20 something about it?
21 A. It was like this: Niko Jozinovic and the brigade commander
22 compiled a document, or rang up on the phone, or he solved the problem
23 that faced him. He sent out the document in the same way that he
24 received documents.
25 Q. How did it get to Colonel Blaskic or to yourself? It doesn't do
1 any good if it comes in, sir, and it sits in the communications -- in the
2 duty officer's "out" box. How did it get to you or to Colonel Blaskic so
3 that you -- either Colonel Blaskic or you, as the number 2 person, could
4 actually do something about it, or did you not keep yourself informed?
5 A. It's not possible that I wasn't informed. I'm talking about the
6 Communications Centre, the Operative Department, and then it reaches
7 Blaskic. It is recorded by the recording clerk or whoever. But don't
8 you think that the army -- or, rather, the HVO was an army as you would
9 expect it to be on paper and everything else, given the circumstances? I
10 don't know where your questions are leading, but, anyway, bear that in
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, for half an hour
13 Mr. Scott has been asking very specific questions, very specific, and I
14 thank him for that. Thanks to his questions, we can understand how
15 things worked at the Hotel Vitez. These are straightforward questions.
16 They're very specific, and you can answer, but you're not answering. I
17 don't understand why you won't answer. He's doing everything he can to
18 broach on the subject in a very neutral manner. He's saying, for
19 example, Let's take the Busovaca Brigade, sending a report, what happens
20 next? I mean, it's dead simple. All we want to know is if it's a packet
21 transmission, it will arrive at a transmission centre and it will be
22 recorded. This is what we want. Don't think that behind every question,
23 be it a question from the Prosecution, the Judges, or the Defence,
24 there's a trap. Absolutely not. You know, we want to know what's
25 happening, we want to know what happened. If you're always, you know,
1 thinking that there's going to be a trick behind the question, and if
2 you're on your guard, you know, I understand why you won't answer, but
3 these are straightforward questions. He's just asking you to say what
4 happens, in practice, when a report arrives at the transmission centre,
5 what happens. It's very simple. You're a general. I mean, a basic
6 private could answer.
7 I was a private at one point in time, and I managed, you know, to
8 record this kind of documents and so on. And you were a general, so you
9 must know what happened. And Mr. Scott absolutely wants to know about
10 this. I'm sure he'll revisit this tomorrow, because as of now, we don't
11 have the answer. At least I don't have the answer.
12 But it's 7.00 p.m., it's time to stop, but we will resume
13 tomorrow at 2.15. We'll have only one break, as I said, and we will stop
14 for the week at 6.00 p.m. And I'm sure that we will resume next Monday,
15 because we won't be done by tomorrow, 6.00 p.m.
16 Well, anyway, have a pleasant evening.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of
20 December, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.