1 Wednesday, 13 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Today is Wednesday. Let me first greet and wish a good morning
13 to all the people in and around the courtroom. Good morning to you,
14 Mr. Maric. Good morning to all the accused, the Defence counsel, and my
15 renewed wishes for a Happy New Year for Mr. Karnavas who is here with us
16 today for this year 2010.
17 And good morning to you Ms. West, and to your case manager.
18 Including in my greetings all the people assisting us.
19 Today we're going to continue with the cross-examination.
20 Without further ado, you may proceed, Ms. West.
21 MS. WEST: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, everyone in
22 and around the courtroom.
23 WITNESS: VINKO MARIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Ms. West: [Continued]
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maric. I'd like to start off from where we
2 left yesterday. When we finished, we were talking about ammunition and
3 the HVO. And specifically I was showing you a comment that
4 General Praljak made during his testimony.
5 MS. WEST: Can I have Sanction, please.
6 Q. And it regarded control of the ammunition. We'll just wait a
7 moment for that comment to come up. Here we go. And in it he was asked
8 generally about ammunition and who was in charge of it, and his answer at
9 line 19, in transcript 24407, is that:
10 "The chief of the artillery of the Main Staff controlled the
11 amount of ammunition used, how much ammunition there was left in the
13 So, sir, my question for you is: did the Main Staff control the
14 amount of ammunition used?
15 A. The Main Staff collected information from lower levels, and thus
16 it did have at its disposal information about the quantity of ammunition.
17 Q. Thank you. And on a more general level, yesterday we also spoke
18 about the different artillery regiments, specifically the rocket
19 regiment. We spoke about the ammunition used -- excuse me, the artillery
20 used in brigades and the battalions and also the operation zone. And on
21 a more general level, in regard to all that testimony, would you say that
22 it's fair to conclude that the Main Staff exerted strong control over the
24 A. The Main Staff did have control, and I wouldn't be able to call
25 it strong control. It was just control like in any other military.
1 Q. Okay. If you can't call it strong control but you have compared
2 it to control in any other military, what sort of adjective would you
3 use? Was it competent control? Was it direct control?
4 A. That control went from the superior commands to the inferior
5 commands to the extent the brigade can -- had control at its level to the
6 same -- to the same extent the military district had control over its
7 units. Professional organs conveyed information from time to time to
8 professional bodies in the Main Staff. At their briefings, those bodies
9 probably briefed their own superiors in the Main Staff.
10 Q. Just for the record, I believe earlier, I don't have it on my
11 transcript, it's line 6, page 2, when I refer to a transcript that was
12 44407 - the transcript says 2.
13 So let's talk s little bit more about this control. And I'd like
14 to go to a document. So you have the binder in front of you, and I'm
15 going to give you numbers, and you can turn to them. At the same time on
16 the screen in front of you, you'll also see the documents. The first is
17 P00343. It's the very first one, I think.
18 So, sir, this is the first document in the binder, and it's a
19 document dated July 22nd, 1992
20 artillery commanders." This is a document issued by General Petkovic and
21 it says:
22 "Artillery commanders or persons in charge of artillery shall
23 report to the main headquarters of the HVO on July 22nd ... to give
24 details on the types, number, and deployment of artillery."
25 Mr. Maric, would you agree with me that this document evidences
1 that the Main Staff, at least in July of 1992, resorted some type of
2 control over the artillery?
3 A. Your Honours, I don't see in this document the area where I was
4 active, and I wouldn't dare to comment upon the rest of the document. In
5 other words, the specific document does not refer to the area where I
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. We're going to go directly to that area
8 now, P03983, P03983. This is a document dated August 6th, 1993, and it's
9 signed by General Tole.
10 A. Please, would you repeat the number of the document.
11 Q. Yes, 03983. And perhaps, at least in the beginning, the usher
12 might be able to provide assistance. You have in front of you. Thank
14 A. I've got it on the screen, actually.
15 Q. So this is August 1993, and this is to the south-east command.
16 It's an order, and number 1 says:
17 "I hereby appoint Mijo Jelic, commander of the defence of the
18 town of Mostar.
19 "2. All units in Mostar are placed under his command."
20 And then if you move down to 5, it explicitly says:
21 "The HVO Main Staff is to take over the command of the defence of
23 So, sir, come August 1993, not only was the HVO in direct command
24 over the south-east command zone, as we talked about yesterday, but in
25 August of 1993, it directly took over the defence of Mostar; correct?
1 A. Your Honours, it arises from this document that the Main Staff of
2 the HVO indeed took over the defence of Mostar.
3 Q. So when the Main Staff took over the defence of Mostar, you'd
4 agree with me that it also became directly responsible for those weapons
5 controlled by the operational zone of the south-east command in Mostar,
6 specifically Mostar?
7 A. It arises from this document that the Main Staff took over the
8 command over one part of the front line which up to then was under the
9 command of the operation zone South-east Herzegovina. Only in one part,
10 not in the entire front line of the South-east Herzegovina operation
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. And as I indicated, we're specifically
13 talking about that one part. We're talking about the city of Mostar
14 That's where you were located; correct?
15 A. Your Honours, my office was in the city of Mostar, and my
16 interest and my zone of activity was across the entire area of the
17 South-east Herzegovina operation zone, which means that the latter was
18 much broader than the zone of the city of Mostar itself.
19 Q. And expanding out from the city of Mostar, would you agree, sir,
20 that the Main Staff had control over artillery in all the operational
22 A. Not in operative terms, because in operational zones and in the
23 units that composed the strength of those operational zone, the command
24 over all units was primarily in the hands of the commander of the
25 operational zone where the units were deployed.
1 Q. So let's look at operator -- excuse me, operative terms -- or,
2 rather, operations. I'd like to go to P01874, 01874. You're going to
3 see it shortly in front of you. And this is an example of artillery in
4 another operational zone. This is the north-west zone. It's a document
5 dated April 13th from General Petkovic. And under number 1, the last
6 paragraph, he writes:
7 "I requested from the Rama Brigade to submit an extraordinary
8 report and ordered them to prepare conditions for artillery activity
9 against mentioned area, but that they should not open fire without our
11 So this is an example where the Main Staff is involved in the
12 operations of an operation -- of a command zone; correct?
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection to the way
14 the report is being interpreted. I believe that in these proceedings we
15 have established that this is a collective report from the operation
16 zone. If somebody is talking in the first person singular, it would be
17 the commander of the operational zone, rather than Chief of the
18 Main Staff. The person is mentioned herein, but he's not the author. It
19 says here that this is a report from the South-east Herzegovina
20 operational zone, so when the first person singular is used, then this
21 refers to the part that came from Tomislavgrad. I just want to make sure
22 that everybody understands who is that, me or I, who writes the report.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This has already been
24 addressed. The Trial Chamber is aware that this is a joint report coming
25 from various operation zones and that Petkovic signed this document,
1 which is a compilation of various reports.
2 Please proceed.
3 MS. WEST:
4 Q. Thank you, sir, and we'll go back to this. Would you agree with
5 me that this shows that the Main Staff was involved in overseeing or
6 understanding or knowing what the artillery operations were in various
7 operation zones?
8 A. Your Honours, since this refers to the zone in which I had no
9 previous doings, I had no previous information about the nature of the
10 organisation there, about the nature of combat activities that were
11 taking place there, I wouldn't be able to comment upon this document
12 because this doesn't refer to the area or the zone where I perform my
13 duties and where I was active as an officer.
14 Q. So, Mr. Maric, we'll talk a little bit more about -- about
15 exactly what your job was. And on Monday you were asked by Ms. Alaburic
16 what -- the question:
17 "As chief of artillery did you have any command capacity?"
18 And your answer at page 35 of the daily transcript was:
19 "The chief of any branch whatsoever does not have any direct
20 connections to any unit nor is he able to command."
21 Sir, I'd like to look at P05361. P05361. This is an August 1993
22 document. And in it, under number 1, it says, "Decision on action."
23 It says:
24 "In accordance with the orders of the chief of artillery of the
25 Main Staff, deputy Chief of the Main Staff, chief of artillery of the
1 South-eastern Herzegovina operation zones opened fire at the following
2 targets ..."
3 And then it lists some targets. Sir, you were the chief of
4 artillery of the south-east operational zone; correct?
5 A. I was the chief of artillery in the South-east Herzegovina
6 operational zone, yes.
7 Q. And this document says:
8 "In accordance with the orders," you being one of those people,
9 it suggests your order, "they open fire at the following targets,
10 Rastani, Orthodox church," and then it goes on.
11 Do you remember giving such an order, sir?
12 A. Your Honours, Madam Prosecutor, this is not an order. This is a
13 report sent from an operational centre of a unit, and it was signed by a
14 lower-ranking officer, the so-called administrative clerk. The chief of
15 artillery could not personally do anything or issue such an order. The
16 chief of artillery could only implement orders received by his -- from
17 his superior commander. What you read in this report does not arise from
18 the fact that the chief of artillery of a branch or at one level had
19 indeed issued an order.
20 Q. But, sir, were you aware of this? Do you remember this?
21 A. Your Honours, I remember those days, and I remember certain
22 activities on the front line in the military district of Mostar -- or,
23 rather, South-east Herzegovina. However, I cannot confirm nor was it
24 possible for a chief of branch to issue an order to any unit whatsoever.
25 Q. Not -- notwithstanding, sir, you did indicate if -- you've agreed
1 that, indeed, you were the chief of artillery for the South-eastern
3 April -- August of 1993 the HVO would be targeting an Orthodox church?
4 A. Your Honours, in August 1993, the Orthodox church was nothing but
5 a heap of stones. In some places in the vicinity those stones were used
6 to construct shelters for equipment and manpower. That building had been
7 destroyed long before.
8 The term that the duty operations officer might use and the
9 practice that he might use guided him to mention the general region where
10 military targets were. In military documents, all targets are
11 enumerated. They are assigned numbers. This officer, at his level, did
12 not necessarily have to know the numerical designations of such targets.
13 He was probably only familiar with the region. This report mainly served
14 for logistical purposes and provided an opportunity to monitor the
15 ammunition status at any point in time and its consumption. And this was
16 the purpose of this report. This was an internal unit report which was
17 never sent anywhere, either to a lower or to a higher level. It was
18 primarily and exclusively used by the unit and in the unit.
19 Q. Sir, I'm going to change subjects, and on Monday you were --
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just ask a little question regarding this
22 document. It is signed -- it is signed, I quote, "Gospodin Darko Eric."
23 That strikes me as not normal for a military document. Normally a
24 military officer would sign with his grade. Do you have an explanation
25 for this?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this gentleman Darko
2 Eric, is an NCO. And that time he had no rank, no rank at all. Only
3 later did he become a non-commissioned officer. And generally he was a
4 desk officer, an administrative person. He -- his qualification was in
5 writing. He couldn't really describe military situations.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, may I point out that just in case it
8 causes anybody to raise questions in their heads, that the dates above
9 the signature in the report compiled the 24th September, 1994, that's
10 just an error. The original says 1993. Just in case it set any alarm
11 bells ringing.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
13 Colonel, I must tell you that when I saw this document I see that
14 the target here is an Orthodox church. I initially felt that this
15 document might be a Prosecution document. And it's stated that only the
16 stones were left, but I think there's something missing for any
17 reasonable trier of fact.
18 According to you, when was this church actually destroyed, on
19 what date?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't recall the
21 date, but it was much earlier during the conflicts with the Army of
22 Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People's Army, sometime in the middle
23 of 1992, that is to say perhaps over a year before this document.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document could in effect be
25 construed in the way you are saying it, because the document states a
1 number of places and not specific targets. What is the place -- where
2 was this Orthodox church located? Thirteen places are mentioned here.
3 Where was this church actually?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: This could be
5 incriminating evidence, instead of Prosecution evidence.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Orthodox church is located to
7 the east of Mostar, some hundred metres above the M17 road connecting
8 Konjic, Jablanica, Mostar, Metkovic, and Neum, in an unpopulated area.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was it around Rastani?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It's about 3 kilometres away
11 from Rastani, perhaps 4. East of Mostar, on an elevation overlooking the
12 M17 road.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand correctly, the
14 soldiers of the opposing party picked up the stones to build bunkers; is
15 that right? So you felt that it was necessary to fire shots on this
16 location to prevent them from building any bunkers.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the nearer and more distant
18 environs of that church, there are natural features that with minor use
19 of these rocks provided adequate shelter from the firing of the enemy
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Sorry, Your Honour. With your
22 leave, I just want to draw your attention to something illogical that is
23 obviously an error in the original document, and thus in the translation
24 as well. If we look at the date of this document, we'll see it's the
25 24th of August; and if we look at the last line in the document, it says
1 the report was done for the day of 24 September. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 MS. WEST:
4 Q. Mr. Maric, on Monday you were asked about the procurement of
5 artillery, and the question was:
6 "Tell us briefly, Mr. Maric, how did you procure artillery
8 And your answer on daily transcript 37 was:
9 "We started in the end of 1991 acquiring a very small number of
10 artillery weapons. And in the beginning of 1992, we acquired a larger
11 number from several sources. Part of the artillery weapons procured in
12 my area came from Travnik, because Travnik had certain bases. I don't
13 know exactly what sources in Travnik, but I know that we required some
14 more from Travnik. I know we required more from Croatia because there
15 were still no public borders at the time."
16 Mr. Maric, what is the time-frame for your acquisition of weapons
17 from Croatia
18 A. Precisely that period, the beginning of 1992.
19 Q. And did you get artillery from Croatia any time later than the
20 beginning of 1992?
21 A. Your Honours, Madam Prosecutor, I as technical professional
22 officer had the duty to draw up the assignment -- to describe the
23 assignment to my superior and state our requirements in keeping with the
24 situation on the front line. By that time the logistics was already in
25 place as a separate department, and it was their job to deal with
1 procurement. I did not have to know when and from where those weapons
2 were required. My job was, one, to use the existing personnel and the
3 weapons we had to create a good team, a good unit that would meet the
4 requirements in combat in keeping with the rules of fire and other rules
5 that had existed first in the JNA and that we had taken over and used in
6 that first period.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric.
8 A. Procurement didn't go through me.
9 Q. All right. You just said procurement didn't go through you, but
10 when we look at what you said on Monday, it appears that you had detailed
11 knowledge in regard to procurement. So I'd like to look at P03071.
12 P03071. This is a July 1993 -- July 1st, 1993 order -- sorry, not order.
13 It looks to be a letter from Bruno Stojic. And it is to an individual
14 named Rojs, R-o-j-s. It's entitled request for artillery ammunition.
15 And it says:
16 "Since we were left with no artillery ammunition for
17 203-millimetre howitzers and 152-millimetre howitzers, please deliver to
18 us whatever quantity may be possible."
19 Mr. Maric, you're distancing yourself from procurement, but would
20 you agree with me that at least in July of 1993 there appears to be, from
21 this document, artillery coming from Croatia?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one remark.
23 It's not weapons, it's ammunition.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to see
25 the date, but if I can rely on my memory, the army of Bosnia and
2 colleagues from the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they frequently
3 voiced requests to use my connections and the logistics of the HVO to
4 procure these things for them. I remember clearly that at one
5 co-ordination meeting I asked a logistics officer from Mostar, from HVO
6 Mostar, to try to get this for them.
7 MS. WEST:
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric.
9 A. However, we did not succeed. In the military district at that
10 time, we did not have these assets. Once I tried to serve as
11 intermediary to get this ammunition for the army of Bosnia and
13 MS. WEST:
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. You can't see it on the screen, but
15 there's a third page attached to this; it's a fact sheet, and that's
16 where I got the date.
17 Now you've just given us information regarding the BiH Army voice
18 request to you to get -- I'll use your connections and logistics at the
19 HVO to procure these things for them. But assuming that July 1, 1993, is
20 the correct date of this document, you'll agree with me that can't be --
21 this cannot be an example of that; right?
22 A. In that case I tried to intercede not in this case but in a
23 different one. I have no comment on this. This is the first time I hear
24 of this request.
25 Q. Mr. Maric, subject -- excuse me, subsequent to July 1993, did you
1 ever hear about the HVO procuring more weapons from Croatia after July of
3 A. I have no such information because, I repeat, particularly in the
4 period in mid-1993, my duties and the situation on the front line
5 required me to deal solely with the use of assets in the military
6 district of Mostar. That was a time when the logistics of the HVO had
7 already grown into a respectable organisation that made acquisitions in a
8 way that I was not familiar with.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric, but if you forgive me, I'm going to press
10 you a little bit more on this. Because on Monday when you were asked
11 this question from Ms. Alaburic, you gave a very detailed answer in
12 regard to how the HVO procured weapons. I'd like you to look at P05562.
13 This is an October 1993 document from Mr. Stojic. P05562. Again this is
14 to Croatia
15 "In agreement with Bruno Stojic, defence minister ... Mr. Santic,
16 president of the Vitez HVO, the MTS is to be transported to the Grude
17 logistics base.
18 "We therefore kindly ask you to transport the following MTS ..."
19 And it lists some MTS.
20 Sir, you would agree with me this document would suggest that as
21 far into 1993, October 1993, the HVO was still getting, in this case, MTS
22 from Croatia
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I am really sorry. I have to object
24 to this question. From the first sentence it is quite obvious whose
25 assets these are. They are assets from Croatia, but I would appreciate
1 it if --
2 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone, please. Thank you. [Overlapping
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I would appreciate it if the witness
5 were allowed to read all of the document. The first sentence makes it
6 clear whose assets these are, and I don't think the question of the
7 Prosecutor is entirely in keeping with the context of the document. Let
8 the witness read the document, and if he has any knowledge he can impart
9 it. I believe this question could mislead the witness.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer, Your Honour, regarding
11 this document is that I know nothing about it. As to whether it is
12 authentic and whether this was possible, I don't know, but I had nothing
13 to do with this kind of task, nor could I know anything about it.
14 With Mr. Bruno Stojic I had only one contact, in the beginning of
15 August. And throughout the war all my work was in the organisation of
16 artillery, and my sole responsibility was towards my superior commander.
17 MS. WEST:
18 Q. Mr. Maric, it's been your testimony that in 1993 there were no
19 offensive actions taken by the HVO, and on Monday daily transcript 35,
20 the question was:
21 "If we set aside the operation Bura, Storm, that was executed in
22 1992, were the activities of the HVO predominantly defensive or offensive
23 at that time?"
24 And your answer a witness:
25 "Our activities at the time were exclusively defensive."
1 So just to be clear, is it your testimony that your actions --
2 HVO actions in 1993 were exclusively defensive as well?
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Again I have to object to this
4 question, because the reference to the direct examination is not
5 complete. In direct examination we discussed planned offensive actions,
6 which I believe is very important, not offensive actions that would have
7 defence significance, and so the purpose of recovering the territory that
8 had been lost shortly before. So the discussion was about planned
9 offensive actions.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer? Perhaps you've found
11 it in the transcript when I said that we mainly dealt with defence and
12 organised defence. You will probably find as well the place where I said
13 I was personally involved and helped with the organisation and planning
14 for the Operation Tempest. So it is true I participated in
15 Operation Tempest by organising and planning in keeping with my duties as
16 chief of artillery.
17 Q. So let's look specifically at April of 1993 in regard to HVO
18 activity. Specifically look at P01868. P01868. This is an April 14th
19 document. At the top it says - you have it in front of you now:
20 "As per order of the head of the defence department, head of the
21 department of interior, and OZ commander, we herewith present our joint
22 plan for intensified control over the town of Mostar."
23 And then the paragraph is entitled "task." And it says:
24 "Due to the increasingly complex security situation, which as a
25 result of the conflict between the BiH and the HVO in Konjic, all police
1 units and civilian -- and civilian police are to be immediately and not
2 later than 14 April ... at 2200 hours put on active alert, while the 2nd,
3 3rd, and 5th battalions, and potentially the 4th, of 2nd Brigade are to
4 be put on increased alert, carry out blockade of all entry points,
5 intensify control in the town of Mostar
6 crossroads ... the snipers as a precaution measure, and intensify patrol
7 between 600 and 2200 hours."
8 Sir, April 1993, this was the period of time when you were in
9 Mostar; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you remember these things happening?
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection. This is
13 a document from the military police. This is a document from the
14 military police; it does not relate to the army in the operation zone.
15 MS. WEST: Your Honours, this witness can testify to this because
16 he was in Mostar in April 1993. And my question was, "Do you remember
17 this happening?" As a layperson in Mostar he can answer that question.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I only reacted when the question
19 was asked, "Do you remember these things happening?" because it relates
20 to the actions of the military police.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, the witness and
22 Colonel sitting before us is an intelligent man. He is able to realise
23 that himself without a lawyer intervening. And then it carries much more
24 weight when he says it. It carries more weight than if you say it.
25 Colonel, you have a document in front of you. Who does this
1 document concern, the military police, the army, the civilian police?
2 Are you concerned in any way by this document?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document does not
4 relate to me, and could I not comment on it.
5 MS. WEST:
6 Q. So, Mr. Maric, I'm not asking you to comment on it from an
7 artillery standpoint. But in April of 1993, you were a resident of
8 Mostar. So my question: As a resident, as a person who lived in that
9 city, did you see any activity that would suggest a plan by the HVO for
10 intensified control over the town of Mostar
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is precisely
12 why I objected. How can we talk about this as a plan of the HVO to
13 control the city of Mostar
14 General Petkovic who was in charge of the Main Staff at the time. And
15 this document is issued by the military police, an institution that has
16 nothing to do with the Main Staff. That is the point of my objection.
17 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to say only the following, that if
18 you have a look at page 1, and in the second part of page 1 under "Combat
19 equipment," here we find that, and I quote:
20 "In addition to regular armament at the disposal of the
21 above-mentioned units, the following is to be provided:
22 "Artillery pieces," so-and-so, "armoured combat vehicle and
23 Bofors anti-aircraft gun," and then, "additional equipment," probably
24 equipment, with snipers, hand-held rocket launchers, and other grenades.
25 So I believe that this very part of that plan for intensified control
1 over the town of Mostar
2 relevance to the artillery actions. So I believe that the witness is
3 able and hopefully ready to make comments on this issue. Thank you.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we wish to
5 discuss this document in that way, then I believe the witness should be
6 allowed enough time to read the entire document rather than relying on
7 what he can see on the screen, just the first page without any header,
8 and he hasn't been given time to see who created the document.
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] May I just say briefly
10 since military police is mentioned. One can see when one reads the whole
11 document it was not issued by the department of the military police by --
12 but by a person who is within the military police but on behalf of a
13 group. A special separate group was created but not headed by Mr. Coric,
14 who is not mentioned in this document, by the way, either as a recipient
15 or in any other way by name as a person involved in this action, and we
16 can see who was involved.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] To be fair, I have to say one more
18 thing. I agree with what my colleague says, but my inference that it was
19 a document of the military police is based on the seal.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I was about to say
21 something. Judge Prandler mentioned what I was about to say. You don't
22 know this document because clearly it comes from people who are working
23 for the military police, 3rd Battalion, 1st Company, and so on. I had
24 noted that Mr. Coric is not the recipient of this document, but I had
25 noted, like my fellow Judge Prandler, that these people were being
1 equipped with artillery pieces, and I therefore wondered whether the
2 colonel who is sitting before us knew that the military police could be
3 equipped with artillery pieces, and did he play any role in the -- the
4 providing of this equipment? Maybe the equipment came from elsewhere,
5 maybe not. And we felt, both I and my fellow Judge, that you might be
6 able to tell us something about this.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the chief of
8 artillery in the military district of Mostar had the responsibility to
9 worry only about the artillery under the direct command of the operations
10 zone Mostar. That means that any other units existing outside the
11 command of the operation zone Mostar and do not form part of its
12 organisation are not subject to the direction of the chief of artillery.
13 He does not have to take care of their replenishment, including assets
14 that are referred to as artillery. But I have to say, to be precise,
15 that these are 60-millimetre calibres which are deployed in assault units
16 as regular infantry weapons. However, according to the characteristics
17 they are similar to artillery weapons, and that word "artillery" was
18 sometimes used even when it was not quite correct to use it.
19 I have another remark. I have only parts of the document on the
20 left, on the right. Therefore, I'm missing parts of the sentences here.
21 MS. WEST:
22 Q. P01868. Do you have it?
23 MS. WEST: Thank you, Madam Usher.
24 Q. Sir, if we look at the -- you can look at the B/C/S page 2.
25 You'll also note this was copied to the Main Staff and the OZ commander.
1 So I'm going to repeat my question which is in April of 1993, were you
2 aware of this plan for intensified control over the town of Mostar
3 A. No.
4 Q. P01928.
5 MS. WEST: Madam Usher, if you could please assist. P01928.
6 Q. This is an order from one of the brigade commanders in your
7 operational zone, and it says:
8 "Due to the current situation in the area of responsibility of
9 the 1st Brigade ... I hereby issue the following order:
10 "The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd battalions of the 1st Brigade of the HVO
11 are to prepare one company each. These companies, composed of Croats
12 only, should go on full alert ..."
13 Mr. Maric, do you have any idea as to why on April 17th
14 Colonel Obradovic would be preparing Croat-only companies?
15 A. I cannot answer why the document was issued in this form.
16 Q. P01998, P01998. This is a document from April of 1993, and it
17 talks about highest level of combat readiness.
18 Sir, yesterday you were asked a question about combat readiness
19 as well, and it's at page 15 of the daily. Question yesterday was:
20 "Mr. Maric, is there a difference between an order to raise
21 combat readiness and an order to launch a certain combat operation?"
22 And your answer was:
23 "An order to raise combat readiness means that all the elements
24 of a unit should be raised to such a level of preparedness that they can
25 be used should that become necessary."
1 So, Mr. Maric, my first question to you is: would you agree with
2 me that an order for combat readiness shows that a military organisation
3 is planning an operation?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Let's look specifically at this one: P01998, April 20th. It's a
6 Lasic order.
7 "For the aim of achieving the highest level of combat readiness
8 and due to the escalation of enemy attacks, I hereby issue the following
9 order." And then it's 1 through 11. And these -- they appear to be a
10 positioning of certain artillery, certain crews. And then number 11 says
11 the deadline for implementation of this order is 24 hours.
12 Sir, do you remember this order from April 20th, 1993?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And would you agree, then, that south-east operational zone in
15 Mostar was preparing itself for the highest level of combat readiness?
16 A. Your Honours, April the 20th, 1993, was the day when the
17 intelligence services of the HVO informed the OZ command about the order
18 which contained the intent of the BiH Army to organise themselves and
19 raise their combat preparedness, as well as the objectives that pointed
20 to the fact that in the shortest possible time the BH Army in the
21 territories that had been defended by the OZ command would carry out
22 offensive actions. In keeping with that, the minimum duty of a commander
23 was to analyse that intelligence and to issue a set of instructions to
24 his units accordingly, instructions or orders. That's how I interpret
25 the content of this order.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Maric, you would agree with me, then, by April 20th, or
2 at least on the deadline of this, 24 hours, the next day, that the
3 south-east command HVO then was ready for a combat operation.
4 A. Units in the south-east OZ were ready for combat from the moment
5 they had been established; that's as far as the units were concerned.
6 They were always ready to defend the front line, and this order was just
7 another reminder to the units on the front line to be ready for possible
8 attacks launched by the BiH Army --
9 Q. Mr. Maric --
10 A. -- that was only and exclusively with the purpose of defence.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Colonel. You
12 know we're working in three languages: your language, the Prosecutor's
13 language, and French, because eventually the judgement will be issued in
14 French. Earlier on the Prosecutor asked you whether this document showed
15 you were combat-ready, and you answered, but there is a nuance, because
16 when you say to be combat-ready, you can be combat ready in responding to
17 an enemy attack, or you can be combat-ready whilst sort of starting
18 combat yourself, an attack yourself. So there are differences used in
19 all these new concepts. And in my language every word has a meaning, and
20 we really have to mince our words.
21 When the Prosecutor asked you whether you were combat ready, that
22 meant that you were the attacker in that case. Can you grasp the
23 difference there is? So back then what did this document mean exactly in
24 military terms? Did it mean that you were going to attack, or
25 alternatively that you were positioning yourselves and that you would
1 respond to an attack if any? So what does this have as a meaning in
2 military terms?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that
4 yesterday in the course of my testimony I already answered a similar
5 question. If the combat readiness of a unit is increased or in terms of
6 defence, that means that some of the troops should be in the trenches,
7 some of them should be resting. However, those who are active should be
8 as ready and alert as possible. At the moment when an attack is being
9 prepared, I said it already yesterday, it takes a period of at least
10 several days to prepare combat documents which are an integral part of
11 the operation and are used to carry that operation out. And based on
12 such documents, the success or failure of the operation is evaluated post
14 What this is about is raising combat readiness in keeping with
15 the intelligence about the offensive activities of the enemy, to prepare
16 the unit for successful defence.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can offer this to be clear in
18 everybody's minds, whether it be the Prosecutor's side or the Defence's
19 side or the Judges. If I take the instance of the crew under item 5,
20 which is to be positioned in bunker 2 in Hum, is there with the equipment
21 as described, but does nothing. He's going to wait in case there is an
22 offensive action for the plan that is being prepared to be put into
23 action, which is not the case, but it's there positioned in bunker
24 number 2. And he's being -- if he's being fired on, he's going to
1 Is that the way it should work in military terms? Because, you
2 see, we're not from the army; we're not military men, and we have to
3 understand this.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is precisely so. A soldier in
5 his position has to be prepared to engage at any moment should his
6 position come under attack. And you, Your Honour, show that you
7 understand the situation well. I believe that you said that you had been
8 an artillery man.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you see, but I'm a Judge,
10 and I have to be modest in my knowledge. That's why I lend a listening
11 ear to each and every one.
12 Please continue, Madam Prosecutor.
13 MS. WEST:
14 Q. P11162, P11162. This is May 3rd, 1993. It's towards the back.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Mindua.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Sorry, Ms. West. I just -- I had
17 this question I wanted to speak -- to express for a long time, but I was
18 reluctant disturbing the course of your cross-examination, but since the
19 ball in -- is in the Judges' court, I'll ask my question now.
20 Let's go back in time, Witness, regarding the document that
21 Ms. West has just submitted to you, P01928. This was an order, P01928,
22 an order dated 17th of April, 1993. In the order, under paragraph 1, it
23 was said that companies had to be made ready, and they were all to be
24 composed of Croats only.
25 Have you found this order?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've got it.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Yesterday during
3 examination-in-chief, we examined document 4D1225. It may not be
4 necessary to look at it again. I'm going to sum it up for you. So it
5 was document 4D1225. It mentions mobilisation of a certain number of
6 Muslim soldiers because they had not reported to their respective units.
7 The interesting thing about this is that when we discussed the
8 issue, you said that in June 1993, the Muslim soldiers who wanted to
9 remain within the HVO were allowed to do so. So they could stay within
10 the HVO. So that's why I was a little at a loss before when I saw that
11 in document 1928 mention was made of companies that were to be made up of
12 Croats only.
13 Do you have an explanation for this?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I did not have an
15 explanation for this. At that time in the units under my control, the
16 numbers of Bosniaks and Muslims equaled the numbers from six months
17 before that. As far as I'm concerned, I don't have an explanation for
18 this. I suppose that this was due to some other reasons. I didn't have
19 any reason at the time to suggest that anybody in the artillery should do
20 the same.
21 Mr. Obradovic is OZ, and he was the one who drafted the document,
22 was quite large. The regions and neighbourhoods were segregated in
23 ethnic terms. At the beginning of my first day of my testimony I said
24 that all the units had been riddled with their old habits by religious
25 and ethnic customs and habits, and that was not forbidden. Sometimes for
1 very highly humanitarian reasons things could happen at the time which
2 are nowadays being interpreted in very negative -- in very negative
4 It's very hard to describe everything that was going on, on just
5 one page. There was some habits that existed in the units at the time.
6 The army was not well organised. The state was still young. At that
7 time, it was allowed for people to group around ethnic affiliations or
8 religious beliefs, because at the time everybody in the unit was allowed
9 to have their religious affiliations and beliefs.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West.
12 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. P11162, which is at the back of the binder, the very end. 11162.
14 It's going to be on the screen shortly. This is May 3rd, 1993. This is
15 a letter from Petkovic and commander -- one more.
16 MS. WEST: Madam Usher, may we ask for assistance, please. There
17 you go.
18 Q. May 3rd, Stojcic, Marko Stojcic and Petkovic. And it's addressed
19 to the head of artillery zones South-east Herzegovina. That would be
20 you; correct?
21 "Urgently send me the number of weapons and ammunition in your
22 zones of responsibility."
23 Mr. Maric, do you know why they wanted this information?
24 A. Your Honours, in the HVO we had continuous obligation to send
25 reports about the status of artillery pieces, ammunition, and other
1 materiel and technical equipment, and we did it as required and as
2 necessary. We also reported about technical inspections and all the
3 other activities that were carried out in the artillery. We sent those
4 reports to our superior along the professional lines.
5 Since this is a report-like document, my superior Marko Stojcic
6 do not sign it himself but, rather, requested approval or somebody to be
7 his cosignatory, and it was Milivoj Petkovic, chief, but somebody signed
8 on his behalf. In other words, this order was part of the correspondence
9 that existed between the superior-inferior professional bodies or between
10 a higher-ranking and a lower-ranking unit.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. And indeed at the end of the day yesterday
12 and the beginning of today we spoke about this issue of recording;
13 however, this document, would you agree, appears to be a bit unusual in
14 that it starts with:
15 "Urgently send me the number of weapons and amounts of ammunition
16 in your zones of responsibility!"
17 So I will ask you again, my question is: do you know why they
18 wanted this information so urgently?
19 A. Your Honours, as I've just said it, the BH Army still has a lot
20 of shortcomings. I have personally witnessed that, and I've personally
21 witnessed of the shortcomings that existed at that time. It did happen
22 that officers in other zones did not submit timely reports as I did. I
23 tried to do it in the timeliest possible fashion. So they didn't submit
24 professional reports in a timely fashion --
25 Q. Mr. Maric.
1 A. -- and this was requested based on the order that was signed by
2 an officer from the Main
3 ranked than the chief --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please, Witness.
5 This is not a neutral document, because it can be read in at least two
6 ways, and I'm going to state them for you.
7 The first way or angle is that within the HVO there may be
8 statistics, and then every month you have to know in each operation zone
9 how many ammunitions and equipment there is. That could be every 30th or
10 31st of the month. And then a lower-ranking officer discovered on the
11 3rd May that he did not have this statistical information at his
12 disposal. Therefore, there was a reminder requesting the information to
13 be sent, which would account for the exclamation mark and the mention
14 saying "Urgent." That could be one reason. The other reason could be
15 that this was on the 3rd of May, six days before the 9th of May. And the
16 Prosecution case is that the HVO attacked on the 9th of May. And as part
17 of the plan that I haven't seen so far, that I don't have in front of me,
18 the attack was organised. But before it was organised one had to check
19 what was the status in terms of materiel, weapons, and ammunition. So
20 this is this urgent request. So there are two possibilities. There may
21 be a third one, I don't know. But what is, in your view, the reason why
22 it is urgently requested from you to have information, statistical
23 information as to ammunition and this on the 3rd of May?
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: An observation on the transcript. On page 29,
25 line 5, you are reported as having said:
1 "The BH Army still has a lot of shortcomings."
2 In the context, I suppose that you wanted to speak about the HVO
3 here. No?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No. Your Honours, I'm talking
5 about the present day, about the present situation in the BiH Army,
6 because I am very much interested in that. Some of the officers quoted
7 here, even the officer mentioned in this document is the third or fourth
8 ranking officer in the current army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 don't think is of little relevance. He is one of the ten most prominent
10 officers in the BiH Army as things stand today. And in order to respond
11 to the Honourable Judge's question about the time, this is just one such
12 order. I'm sure that before that date and after that date, there are --
13 there were at least a dozen similar orders. Why is that? It happened
14 that certain officers for objective or subjective reasons did not send
15 timely responses to certain queries from their superior commands or from
16 their superior professional bodies.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps -- because I -- I may be wrong, of
19 course. Not the first, neither the last time.
20 I thought that we were talking about the document P11162.
21 Perhaps that is an error. That document is signed by Mr. Petkovic and
22 one Marko Stojcic, who is commander of the artillery. The witness --
23 Mr. Maric, you have been speaking of a low-ranking officer. I --
24 I don't understand. And I don't understand what this says about the
25 organisation of the BH Army. So I would like to be clear on this.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was talking about the
2 presentation situation in the organisation of the BiH Army, and I wanted
3 to tell you that it is far from ideal, even 15 years on. It could not
4 have been expected to be ideal at the time when this order was issued
5 with a view to collecting reports on the artillery in this OZ. This was
6 my way to illustrate the situation and to tell you that it was no -- not
7 a surprise if somebody was late with sending their reports, and it was a
8 way to alert them to their omission.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, you had added
10 something else. You looked at the signatures, just as I did, and you
11 observed that the signatory was not Colonel Petkovic and was not
12 Marko Stojcic either, because you noted, just as I did, that it was on
13 behalf of. So those who signed must have been lower-ranking officers,
14 those officers who did not have the same rank as Stojcic or Petkovic. Is
15 that what you meant? Because in your language, where it's bit like mine,
16 you know, we speak fast, and there is some nuance that may escape us. Is
17 that what you meant then?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. That's what I meant.
19 Marko Stojcic's signature and Petkovic's signature, actually, these are
20 not their signatures. Marko Stojcic's was signed by the advisor for
21 artillery, and Petkovic's signature -- actually, it was signed on his
22 behalf by somebody else. However, us, who were familiar with the
23 organisation at the time, when we read such orders and when we see these
24 signatures, if I may say so, we give somewhat less significance to such
25 documents than we do to the documents that were personally signed by the
1 persons whose names are typed on such documents.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, following up on your
3 way to analyse the possible significance of this document, and I totally
4 agree that the two alternatives that you presented are absolutely
5 possible, maybe you should ask the witness who the document was addressed
6 to. If we are able to identify the addressee and the region, we may be
7 able to either establish or lose the connection with the region of Mostar
8 where the present witness was active. Maybe you should ask him about the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is the addressee of this
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the addressees were
13 chiefs of artillery in the OZ South-east Herzegovina, and the other two
14 int he HVO. What I'm saying is that those were not bodies that could
15 have proceeded to act. The only thing they could do was to draft reports
16 or do something similar as prescribed by the duties of chiefs of
17 artillery. They could not issue any orders. They could only compile
18 statistical database on this document.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction in the
20 transcript about a line or two lines are missing. The witness said OZ
21 South-east Herzegovina, and the other two OZs. What is missing is the
22 fact that the figure two relates to OZs.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The operational zones for those
24 people who are interested in that are listed in the document. All you
25 need to do is read the document.
1 It's time for the break now. It's already 35 minutes past 10.00.
2 I should like to remind Ms. West that she will have an hour and a half
3 left. We shall have a 20-minute break now.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
7 Mrs. West.
8 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. We're going to briefly go back to P11162. This is the urgent
10 letter from Petkovic and Stojcic. And I don't have your testimony in
11 front of me, but I think we'll all remember that in answer to a question
12 you propose that a possible explanation for the urgency tone in this
13 letter was because some OZs had been tardy in their reports and that
14 perhaps this was an urgent reminder to get them to send their reports.
15 Now, sir, I'm going to ask you again. Let's put that possible
16 explanation aside and ask for your specific memory, because this document
17 was sent to you, specifically to you. Do you know why they wanted this
18 information so urgently?
19 A. At that time, as in any other time when something similar was
20 required by the superior command or by the superior professional organ,
21 that information was always sent in this form. Sometimes urgently,
22 sometimes less speedily. It depended mostly on the person drawing this
23 up or the organ concerned.
24 Q. P02209. P02209.
25 MS. WEST: Madam Usher, I think the witness is going to need some
1 help with these documents. He seems not to be able to get through the
2 binder very quickly.
3 Q. P02209. May 6, 1993
4 Ludvig Pavlovic unit, to Dragan Curcic, who was a witness here, to him
5 personally. It was on May 6th, and says:
6 "Due to the situation in the Konjic and Jablanica sectors, and
7 with the aim of providing assistance at the defence lines, I hereby
9 "1. Increase unit combat readiness to the highest level."
10 So again, Mr. Maric, we see this language "combat readiness to
11 the highest level." Sir, do you agree with me that this could be one of
12 those occasions outside the norm where General Petkovic's asking that the
13 units be on extra alert, more intensive alert, not just the normal alert
14 that you spoke about earlier?
15 A. Madam Prosecutor, from the very establishment of HVO units in
16 1992, I emphasised that there were, along territorial, family, and
17 similar principles, frequent allowances. Depending on the situation on
18 the ground, it was necessary for the competent superior commander, from
19 time to time, to send an officer out from the command or to send document
20 ordering a higher level of alert and readiness, because we know that
21 there was a service in every command that a monitored some actions that
22 had the potential to disrupt the existing degree of mobility and
23 readiness of a unit.
24 Q. Sir, were you aware that troops were being sent to Jablanica; yes
25 or no?
1 A. No.
2 Q. But generally you understand that the road from Jablanica running
3 south -- ran south from Jablanica to Mostar; correct? We talked about
4 this yesterday.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This was a road which could be used as a route by which the ABiH
7 could supply their troops in Mostar; correct?
8 A. The BH Army, until 9th of May, 1993, was fully able to use the
9 M17 road from south towards Jablanica, Konjic, and on to Sarajevo.
10 Q. Now let's look at the time after May 9th. You would agree with
11 me that if the HVO was able to control this road from Jablanica, the HVO
12 could limit the amount of supplies the ABiH could bring into Mostar from
13 the north; yes or no?
14 A. If you mean this order, it doesn't say anywhere that this unit is
15 going to Jablanica or along which route.
16 Q. No, Mr. Maric, that wasn't my question. Let me ask you in a
17 different way.
18 Subsequent to May 9th, in the summer of 1993, would you agree
19 with me generally that if the HVO was able to control the road that ran
20 from Jablanica to Mostar, it would limit the amount of supplies the ABiH
21 could bring into Mostar?
22 A. In that period the HVO did not control that road.
23 Q. Sir, what is your opinion as to who started the war between the
24 HVO and the ABiH on May 9th?
25 A. It is my deep conviction, Your Honours, that the conflict between
1 the BH Army and the HVO on the 9th of May was started and provoked by
2 extremist factions in the BH Army, which at that time had a predominant
3 role in decision-making within the BH Army.
4 Q. P02215.
5 MS. WEST: Madam Usher, if you can give us some assistance.
6 Q. P02215. This is a document from the 1st Brigade, 7 May 1993.
7 2215. This is from -- an order from Colonel Obradovic. And number 1, he
9 "All unit commanders and complete commands are to go to their
10 command posts immediately."
11 Number 4:
12 "The 3rd Battalion in co-operation with the police is to
13 reinforce its check-points and not to allow any Muslims through.
14 "5. Immediately mobilise all Croats in the companies which are
15 on leave."
16 I'm going to skip - you have the B/C/S in front of you - to 7.
17 Makes a number of points. One of them is the full readiness, the
18 Medical Corps.
19 "10. Chief of the anti-aircraft defence is to immediately
20 ensure ..." and then it speaks about certain guns. And then number 11
22 "The chief of artillery shall ensure the full readiness of his
23 units reconnoiter with the following positions as agreed upon."
24 And you go to number 12.
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: Please.
1 MS. WEST: Sorry.
2 Q. Mr. Maric, it says:
3 "All chiefs shall establish contact with their vertical superiors
4 and draw up plans and maps."
5 Mr. Maric, were you aware of this order?
6 A. I can't recall it. I don't remember that it came to my desk.
7 Q. Okay. So May 7th of 19 -- 1993, this is a 1st Brigade order.
8 But under 12 it says:
9 "All chiefs shall establish contact with their vertical superiors
10 and draw up plans."
11 And, sir, you were not -- you were the assistant commander of
12 artillery to the OZ, to the south-east command, so you would have been
13 one of those vertical superiors to this brigade when it came to the issue
14 of artillery; right?
15 A. Yes, I was. This order was sent to the structures of command and
16 control within this unit. And as far as I know, and I believe I remember
17 well, I did not receive any request or information. And this can be
18 associated, perhaps, with the previous document, which means that
19 somebody must have or should have informed me if urgent reaction was
20 needed. I don't know of this order. No documents were sent to me.
21 Q. Mr. Maric, you earlier testified that you believe on May 9th that
22 event was started by extremist factions in the BH Army.
23 I'm going to -- we're going to move to other peoples and
24 organisations' opinion about the same event and talk about that. I'd
25 like to go to P02241, P02241.
1 MS. WEST: It's under seal, Your Honour. May we go into private
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 48298-48308 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
8 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 The next document can be in open session, but it cannot be
10 broadcast. This is P02237. P02237. This is an ECMM report dated
11 May 9th. 2237.
12 Q. I'm going to read a couple parts of this, and ask you a question.
13 Under number 1, second paragraph:
14 "After checking by CC Grude, it is now confirmed that fighting
15 using, in particular, mortars, started this morning at 0500 hours with
16 clear HVO attacks on BiH positions inside of the town. Attacks were
17 simultaneously conducted on BiH forces north of Mostar halfway to
18 Jablanica, in Dreznica, which is quite the last stronghold of BiH in the
19 centre of a completely HVO-controlled road to Jablanica."
20 And if you go under number 3, "Comments" --
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Please slow down.
22 MS. WEST: Yes, sorry, Your Honour.
23 Q. Number 3, "Comments."
24 "If a large-scale offensive is sustained by the HVO in Mostar --
25 if a large-scale offensive is sustained by the HVO in Mostar and its
1 large area, as it seems to be the case, it will confirm quite definitely
2 its plans to take control asap of all Western Herzegovina, despite all
3 promises made previously."
4 Sir, my question for you is whether you were aware of any such
6 A. Your Honours, I was never aware of such plans. The term "Western
8 the way to the border of Croatia
9 May the line was set up deep in Mostar and that deep in Mostar there was
10 a territory under the control of the BiH Army, which proves that --
11 Q. Mr. Moric, excuse me. This is one of those occasions that I was
12 looking for an answer that was either a yes or no or I don't know. So
13 I'll ask you another question, and we'll try to see if you can respond in
14 that way.
15 P01866. P01866. April 13th. This is entitled "Record," from
16 Brigadier Lasic. April 13th. It says:
17 "Record of the South-eastern Herzegovina operation zone
18 commander's meeting with the commanders of the immediately subordinated
19 units and assistant commanders."
20 Sir, you were an assistant commander; correct?
21 A. Your Honours, I was not assistant commander. I was a
22 professional member of the command of the Eastern Herzegovina OZ. There
23 is a big difference and a substantial difference there. I was a
24 professional member of the command. That's what I was.
25 Q. And this is a record of a meeting, and this is Lasic's record of
1 it. And under number 2, if you go to the bottom, it says:
2 "The responsible military structures (Defence Office and
3 Main Staff) are expected to define and state in a clearer way their
4 attitude concerning those who are stalling the implementation of the
5 provinces in the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
7 in order to prevent what happened in Prozor, Konjic, Kljuic from
8 happening in other municipalities of the Neretva valley."
9 So I want to focus here on the language "implementation of the
10 provinces of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna."
11 Sir, would you agree with me that it was the HVO plan to take
12 over the provinces in the area of Herceg-Bosna for the benefit of the
13 Croats who live there?
14 A. Your Honours, the translation here refers to the Republic of
15 Herceg-Bosna, and I don't see it in the document -- or, rather, in the
16 interpretation I heard a reference being made to the Republic of
17 Herceg-Bosna, whereas this doesn't exist in the document.
18 Q. Mr. Maric, why don't you read out number 2 in your language.
19 A. In my language it reads, "The Croatian Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna," which is nothing like the Croatian Republic
21 Herceg-Bosna. Quite the opposite.
22 Q. No, sir. Mr. Maric, I want you to read all of paragraph 2 --
23 or number 2.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the paragraph
25 in your language, and your words will be translated by the interpreters.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The responsible military
2 structure, the Defence Department, and the Main Staff are requested to
3 take a more clear stance towards those who are preventing the
4 implementation of provinces in keeping with Vance-Owen plan within the
5 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 they should emphasise how the fighting is being conducted, how it should
7 be conducted in order to prevent what happened to Prozor -- in order to
8 prevent what happened to Prozor, Konjic, and Jablanica from happening in
9 other parts of the Neretva valley. Lastly, they are expected to clarify
10 whether there are any bodies and which ones exactly that co-ordinate
11 these issues at the level of the HZ HB."
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West then asked the witness
13 to read out this text because I saw the English version, and I read "The
14 Croatian republic." So, indeed, this could be a considerable
15 incriminating piece of evidence. But in the original it's not said
16 "Republic" but "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna." Well, not quite the
17 same thing. This is not the first time that supposedly incriminating
18 documents have been translated in a doubtful way. This is really very
19 kind on my part.
20 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate that. I hope
21 nobody was prevented from understanding the full implication of this
22 document, but it is dated April 1993, and it's clear that that's not when
23 the republic existed, so I think we all understand it to be the
24 community. But we'll go right to Mr. Maric's words as they were
25 translated. And he says that:
1 "Take a more clear stance towards those who are preventing the
2 implementation of provinces in keeping with the Vance-Owen Plan within
3 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
4 Q. So, sir, would you agree with --
5 MS. TOMANOVIC: Microphone not activated] -- say something. Just
6 a second. [Interpretation] I apologise for the interruption from what
7 Madam Prosecutor replied to Judge Antonetti's remark, it seems that she
8 doesn't see a problem with the translation of this document. I totally
9 agree with His Honour Judge Antonetti about the difference being
10 substantial. I would kindly request the Trial Chamber to order the
11 Prosecution to have the document translated properly and that the
12 existing translation be replaced in e-court by a new correct translation.
13 Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, anyway, it's now on
15 record because this has been interpreted or translated by the
16 interpreters here in the courtroom, and it has been mentioned that it is
17 not the republic, but the community. I think that's settled.
18 But there's a difference, Ms. West, between the HZ HB and the
19 HR HB. Do you agree with that or not?
20 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I do agree with that. My only point is
21 it's now corrected. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Please proceed.
23 MS. WEST:
24 Q. So I'll go back to my question which is at line 13, page 52.
25 Would you agree with me that it was the HVO plan to take over the
1 provinces in the area of Herceg-Bosna for the benefit of the Croats who
2 lived there?
3 A. Your Honours, at that time what was offered was a plan drafted by
4 the highest authorities who dealt with the issues of the conflict in
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Q. Mr. Maric excuse me --
7 A. The plan that was in place was considered --
8 Q. My apologies again, but this about the fourth time I've asked
9 that. When I ask you a question where the appropriate response is yes,
10 no, or I don't know, I would expect that answer. So again my question
11 is: would you agree with me that if the HVO plan to take over the
12 provinces in the area of Herceg-Bosna was for the benefit of the Croats
13 who lived there. If the answer is no, say no. If it's I don't know, say
14 I don't know.
15 A. I don't agree with you that the HVO intended to take those
16 provinces which were inhabited by Croats.
17 Q. Thank you. Sir, yesterday you were asked questions by
18 Judge Antonetti in regard to the Old Bridge
19 4823 -- yep?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move on to the Old
21 Bridge, let us return to the previous document. Madam Prosecutor, this
22 is a meeting of the 13th April that you tie up with the 9th May events.
23 You're looking for a motive behind the events of the 9th May. And she
24 said to you, Look at this meeting mentioned in this. So she's making a
25 connection between this and the 9th of May. But I first note that the
1 commander of the 1st Brigade, the Knez Domagoj Brigade, was absent from
2 the meeting. That's somewhat curious to me. Because if this 13th April
3 meeting should prepare what is about to happen on the 9th May, number one
4 officer, Obradovic, why is he not at the meeting? That's my first
5 remark. Second observation, under paragraph 2 that Ms. West asked you to
6 read out, which you did and it's now recorded in the transcript, my
7 impression is that Miljan Koljesic [sic] is trying to get together the
8 military and the civilians around these politically orientated problems,
9 reminding what happened in Prozor, Konjic, and Kljuic, and in other
10 municipalities of the Neretva valley, expecting these people to clarify
11 all this and expecting some kind of co-ordination for action to be taken
12 at the level of the Croatian community. So on reading this I'm wondering
13 this: Within the military HVO could it be that there were various and
14 varying factions or trends? You were in the HVO; you had a command post
15 or position in there. In your view were all the other officers in the
16 same line, or did they have various thoughts about the Vance-Owen Plan,
17 what was happening in Geneva
18 would explain why Mr. Lasic is trying to get everybody together again
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document was signed by
21 Commander Lasic, but in all armies like in the military district of
22 Mostar, there was an organised department for political activity, and it
23 is this officer that led this meeting. His rank was equal to mine. It
24 was a regular political briefing on topics that cropped up at the moment.
25 Why the commander of the 1st Brigade was absent, he probably had the same
1 information from the press or any other media. This was widely discussed
2 in the street and in family homes, because whatever agreement was
3 proposed, we looked at it eagerly and hopefully.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are only partly answering
5 my question. What I would like to know is this: All the military and
6 officers within the HVO, were you all in favour of the Vance-Owen Plan or
7 were some people not in agreement? You might have been among those
8 people. I don't know.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was never able to review the
10 Vance-Owen Plan in detail. I knew about it only from briefings like
11 this. It was up to my superiors and my colleagues to accept what was
12 required of us. Decisions were mostly unanimous. There was no lack of
13 discipline and nobody disagreed.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour
15 Judge Antonetti, I don't know how it was interpreted, but the witness
16 answered your question precisely, the question how the Vance-Owen Plan
17 was accepted. He said, "We looked at it like it was a ray of sunshine."
18 That means with joy, and let the witness deny this if I'm not correct.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The English translation does
20 not quite coincide with what the witness has said. Did you say in your
21 language what Mr. Praljak has just said?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we in Bosnia
24 but I will probably need to be more specific in my statements. Yes, this
25 correction is correct.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you used a metaphor to
2 qualify the standpoint of the officers of the HVO.
3 Mrs. West.
4 MS. WEST: Thank you.
5 Q. At transcript page 48231, Judge Antonetti asked you:
6 "If General Praljak had decided for some reason to destroy the
7 Old Bridge
8 to see with him how best to go about it to destroy the Old Bridge
9 And your answer was:
10 "If that had been the plan, I'm sure that he would have called
11 me. Either me or anybody else in that position. If it had been me, I
12 would not have taken upon myself such a duty."
13 Mr. Maric, why would you not have taken it upon yourself such a
15 A. Because the Old Bridge
16 woman in Mostar. It was a part of me. And despite the fact that it was
17 used many times as a military facility for crossings by the BH Army and
18 for crossings by the HVO at the time when we were waging war against the
19 JNA, I would have never allowed myself to do something like that. In
20 fact, I would have tried to prevent it.
21 Q. Sir, your good opinion of the bridge was shared by many Muslims
22 and Croats alike; correct?
23 A. I didn't hear this very well. Could you repeat?
24 Q. Your good opinion of the bridge was shared by many Muslims and
25 Croats alike?
1 JUDGE PRANDLER: There is a typing noise when you listen to the
2 translation, so probably somewhere the typing should be stopped. Thank
4 MS. WEST: Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Maric, did you know other Croatian HVO soldiers who would
6 also have been against destroying the bridge?
7 A. Maybe will be a better answer if I say that I didn't know a
8 single Croat, a single soldier who would want to destroy the Old Bridge
9 I did not know anyone who would wish to destroy the Old Bridge
10 means that all the people I knew did not want it.
11 Q. And you would agree with me that any decision or desire to
12 destroy the bridge would have been controversial and unacceptable even to
13 soldiers in the HVO?
14 A. That would be controversial, unacceptable, and unfeasible within
15 the circles of the HVO.
16 Q. And you would agree that if it had been destroyed, the
17 expectation would be that it would garner worldwide attention, which of
18 course it did.
19 A. I agree that the destruction of the Old Bridge
20 garnered public attention in the whole world, as well as opprobrium, and
21 I hope that in the near future truth will finally be established, the
22 real truth will finally be established about the destruction of the
23 Old Bridge
24 Q. Sir, if there had been a person who had ordered the destruction
25 of the Old Bridge
1 of the expected outrage that such an order would receive and would want
2 to keep his identity unknown?
3 A. I don't quite understand the question. Could you perhaps put it
4 in simpler terms.
5 Q. Yes. It was probably a bad question. Would you agree with me
6 that if a person had ordered the destruction of that bridge, they would
7 know that that was an order they wanted to keep it quite? They wanted to
8 keep it a secret. They didn't want everybody to know they were the one
9 who did it.
10 A. Your Honours, the destruction of any building and especially a
11 bridge, and particularly in a position where the Old Bridge
12 was such a tall order organisationally and in terms of execution, that it
13 could never ever have been done by a small group or an individual. That
14 could not have come down from a superior command. I reject the idea.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. Let's look at an order, P06534. P06534.
16 This is -- yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
18 Mr. Maric, I'm still on the Old Bridge
19 working on it, and I'm going to put a question to you. The Trial Chamber
20 is seized of several versions concerning the destruction of the
21 Old Bridge
22 General Praljak has told us that it is likely that the Muslims blasted
23 the bridge with explosives and a strong jet of water, and that is why the
24 bridge collapsed, and on a video which I intended to show you, but we
25 won't have time for that, we can she that shots have been fired from a
1 tank, but we can also see that a project -- projectile comes from the
2 other side, the other bank. So this is where it comes from. However, we
3 also know that there were tank drivers inside the tanks. And if I
4 remember correctly, there were three of them. It seems that one died and
5 two remained.
6 I was very surprised about the fact that the Prosecutor did not
7 call those two tank drivers, those two survivors, to ask them who had
8 given them an order to shoot at the bridge. Then we would have gone up
9 the chain of command. That is very easy. That is how you conduct an
10 investigation. It is as easy as pie. Perhaps we have never seen these
11 tank drivers. We don't know what's become of them. We know that an
12 investigation was carried out, and then everything just vanished into
13 thin air, and nobody did anything about it. The only people seized of
14 this issue is actually the Trial Chamber.
15 You were a military in the HVO at the time, and I've put the
16 question to you already, but you haven't quite answered the question.
17 How is it then that the command of the HVO did not order an
18 investigation, a detailed investigation, into this matter for the truth
19 to rise to the surface? Because 16 years down the road, the truth has
20 still not be revealed. How can you explain this? If you just with very
21 a banal investigation process, lead it the way it should be led, we could
22 have gone up the chain of command. We could have understood who gave the
23 order. We would have seen the tank drivers who would have told us who
24 had actually given the order. Why was this not done?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know why this
1 has not been done thoroughly and finalised. I know you are interested in
2 the Old Bridge
3 position that is said to have been the origin of the projectiles is such
4 that with all available means from the positions of the BH Army the
5 bridge can easily be destroyed by the very first projectile.
6 As an officer and as a human being, I could never be persuaded by
7 anyone that the units on the left bank of the Neretva River
8 have prevented it unless they have been -- unless they had been involved
9 themselves. Thus with all assets available to the BH Army, that position
10 could have been instantaneously neutralised. That is perfectly clear to
11 anyone and everyone in Mostar, on the left bank and the right bank of the
12 Neretva alike. That's why I said that we are still no closer to the
14 Let's not forget that the rulers of the town sold their property
15 on the left bank and the right bank and went to live elsewhere. I went
16 -- the rulers further to east and the ruling classes, and they did that
17 the moment they realised their intentions had failed.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a question of a technical
19 nature. If, for instance, a cannon or a unit under your command opens
20 fire and supposing the cannon had destroyed the Old Bridge
21 understand this is a working assumption, you're not involved. I'm
22 just -- would you like me to repeat it? So I shall repeat. So let's
23 imagine that an artillery unit, an artillery piece placed under your
24 command opens fire, fires are shot and it destroys the Old Bridge
25 an investigation would have been conducted and the -- and the person who
1 fired the artillery piece would be asked whether he had fired the shot.
2 It's a firing officer who has asked us and told us to fire at this
3 target. And would the officer then be asked, Who asked you to do this?
4 And then he would have turned around and said, It was Colonel Maric.
5 Is that how things would have happened? I'm talking in military
6 terms, if such an investigation had been conducted by the military.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably. It would have had to be
8 like that then.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Mrs. West.
11 MS. WEST:
12 Q. P06534.
13 MS. WEST: Madam Usher, I believe the witness needs some help.
14 Q. P06534. This is November 8th. This is an order for offensive
15 combat operations. It's a packet order, so it's not signed. And it's
16 from General Petkovic. Number 1, it says --
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe my learned
18 friend probably anticipated my objection because he -- she correctly said
19 this concerns Paket radio, and it's not signed. We discussed this
20 already during the testimony of General Praljak, and he said that on that
21 day General Petkovic had not been in Citluk. It is recorded on 44461
22 page of the transcript and on other occasions as well. So this order can
23 be -- cannot be considered as an order from General Petkovic regardless
24 of the name on the document.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you.
1 Q. And just procedurally --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
3 MS. WEST: -- I certainly understand Mrs. Alaburic's concerns,
4 but they're better placed in a question on redirect or in closing. So
5 I'll continue.
6 Q. P06534. It says, Order, number 1:
7 "HVO units on all sectors of the front must switch to offensive
8 operations immediately."
9 And then it says:
10 "2. Focus the attacks on the following axis: Gornji Vakuf to
12 And then:
13 "3. In the Mostar military district carry out offensive
14 operations with smaller formations in the areas of Salakovac,
15 Bijelo Polje, the town of Mostar
16 And then it says:
17 "Shell the town of Mostar
18 Mr. Maric, in your experience in military -- well, in your
19 experience, when orders were issued regarding offensive operations, did
20 they normally include a specific targeting information? We've seen a
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you aware that the day before this order was issued on
24 November 8th, the day before, November 7th, there was a meeting called in
1 A. I'm not aware, Your Honour. You'd have to remind me.
2 Q. We can go to 3D00793. This is the loose one, I think in the back
3 or under the binder. 3D00793. This is dated November 7th. It's also on
4 the screen. And this reflects conclusions from the meeting of the
5 Main Staff --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me for being meticulous, Ms. West.
7 MS. WEST: Yes.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The document here is called 4D00793. Is this an
9 error in the writing or in the speaking?
10 MS. WEST: I think there's both 3D and 4D. So I'm looking for
11 3D793. And, Your Honour, it's loose. My apologies.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Got it. Sorry.
13 MS. WEST: So 3D00793.
14 Q. It's conclusions from a meeting with the Main Staff and
15 commanders of certain zones. And it says:
16 "On the 7th of November, from 1800 hours and 1900 hours, a
17 meeting of the commander of the Main Staff with the commanders of the
18 districts of Tomislavgrad and Mostar, as well as individual troops, has
19 been held."
20 And then it goes into what was discussed. I'm not going to go
21 into those issues. But I'm going to go to the second page where you have
22 a number of people listed, and these are the people who are listed at
23 this meeting.
24 Sir, I know this was a long time ago, but I see your name,
25 Vinko Maric. And above it I see Miljenko Lanic. I believe it's a typo.
1 But does this help you remember whether you and General Lasic attended
2 this meeting on the 7th?
3 A. Yes. I was present at this meeting on the 7th of November, 1993
4 Q. Do you have any memory of General Petkovic being there?
5 A. I'm more inclined to believe that he was not. I can't recall
6 exactly, but I don't think General Petkovic was there. Maybe somebody in
7 this courtroom knows better.
8 Q. Nonetheless, there are many people there, and I imagine there
9 were all sorts of discussions. Is it possible that there were
10 discussions to which you were not privy?
11 A. At this meeting or generally?
12 Q. At that meeting.
13 A. There are elements here with which I personally was not familiar.
14 Q. P06524.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm still on this document
16 which has already been mentioned.
17 At the time I put a question. I believe it was to
18 General Praljak. And I see all these officers who address themselves to
19 the president of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 to the government, to the Main Staff, and I was wondering whether this
21 might be the signs of sedition inside the military HVO where some are not
22 happy with what is happening and are asking people to address their
24 As by way of an example, look at item 6:
25 "Establish a unique line of command, a one and only line of
2 So I thought that if officers write this, it means that there
3 must certainly have been parallel command lines. Otherwise, why would
4 they have included this?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Replace Republic of
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It so happens that you attended
8 this meeting. What did you wish to demonstrate with this kind of
9 meeting? Because in other countries officers are sometimes unsatisfied,
10 and this ends in a coup d'etat sometimes. And the government in place
11 executes the rebellious officers. Was this a moment of dissatisfaction,
12 and you turned to the politicians at the time? But my question is why
13 did you organise such a meeting?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I know for a fact
15 this was not an attempt -- an attempt to impose military will on civilian
16 authorities. I know that for sure. I also know that at this time, we
17 were completely exhausted, materially and morally. We had suffered many
18 aggressive attacks, and we felt spent in terms of materiel and human
19 resources. And words of caution were probably called for from this level
20 as well to take certain steps to raise the HVO to a level that would
21 enable it to do its job properly in defending the lines and the
22 territory. That is how I understand it.
23 If it had been a really dramatic meeting, I would have remembered
24 more details, which I can't. I remember that I spent the most time in
25 this meeting with my colleagues from artillery with whom I met very
1 rarely, and I believe I joined this group at my own request more in order
2 to see them than to discuss the agenda of the meeting.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is 12.30. We
4 need to have our last break for this morning. We shall have a 20-minute
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I know that -- I know that
11 both today and tomorrow time is the concern, but nonetheless there's a
12 matter that I think is sufficiently important, in the Prosecution's view,
13 that needs to be raised before the end of this week. I was hoping -
14 frankly, I think the witness that we're now on - might end a little bit
15 earlier, and we'd have time today to deal with it. However since we're
16 now in the last session, I felt that I had no real alternative but to
17 raise the issue now because time tomorrow will be no less sensitive
18 presumably than today, and I don't want the week to end, with all respect
19 to the Chamber, without raising what for the Prosecution -- what the
20 Prosecution believes is an important issue.
21 Your Honours, the Court well knows that Rule 65 ter (G)(i)(b)
22 requires that before the commencement of the Defence case, the
23 Pre-trial Judge shall order the Defence to file a witness summary for
24 each witness to be called including the points in the indictments as to
25 which each witness will testify. In connection with the decision
1 postponing the commence of the Defence cases on the 28th of January,
2 2008, the Trial Chamber delayed the commencement of the Defence cases
3 from 17 March 2008
4 stated at page 6 as one of the reasons for delaying the start of the
5 Defence case is that it, quote, and I'm quoting:
6 "Had to ensure that the right of the Prosecution to a fair trial
7 is respected and that it has the possibility to prepare the
8 cross-examination of defence witnesses."
9 As part of the same 28 January decision, the Trial Chamber
10 ordered the Defence to make all of their rule 65 ter (G) filings
11 including witness summaries, quote, "at the latest by 31 March 2008." At
12 page 7 of the Court's decision. I say again, quote, "at the latest."
13 The various Defence teams, including the Petkovic Defence, made
14 their 65 ter (G) filings on 31 March 2008
15 65 ter (G) filing listed Milivoj Petkovic as Witness number 16. He was
16 listed as a witness on the Petkovic Defence witness list.
17 The Petkovic filing, however, concerning the witness Petkovic
18 provided no summary and no other information except that his testimony
19 would relate to "all counts." Again, contrary to Rule 65 ter (G),
20 contrary to the Trial Chamber's 28 January 2008 order, the list provided
21 no summary for Mr. Petkovic's testimony, provided no information as to
22 which paragraphs in the indictment his evidence would address, provided
23 no list of exhibits that would be used in connection with his testimony.
24 Now, before continuing on, Your Honours, let me make the
25 foundational Prosecution position clear. According to the rules and the
1 Trial Chamber's own orders, the Prosecution should have received a fully
2 adequate witness summary for Mr. Petkovic not later than 31 March 2008.
3 By that measure and jumping ahead for a moment to the fact that we did
4 finally receive a summary on the 11th of January, 2010, which I'll come
5 back to momentarily, by that measure, Your Honours, that summary is more
6 than a year and a half late.
7 Now, continuing on the history more generally, the Prosecution
8 submits that since the commencement of the defence cases in May 2008 and
9 ever since then, I'm sure the Chamber knows and perhaps has grown weary
10 at times of hearing it from us, but the Chamber knows the Prosecution's
11 position on the timely receipt of fully adequate witness summaries. It's
12 been addressed a number of times which we believe is fully consistent and
13 required by Tribunal jurisprudence, rules, and practice.
14 In one of its ongoing rulings on this topic, in fact, on the 22nd
15 of January, 2009, the Trial Chamber said that it was not required that
16 the Prosecution raise all of its objections to all possible summaries at
17 one time, but that the appropriate procedure would be to raise them on a
18 case-by-case basis. And that is what we have tried to do ever since.
19 On the 24th of April, 2008, in its decision adopting guidelines
20 for the presentation of Defence evidence, the Trial Chamber in guideline
21 number 4, paragraph 3, provided that a party presenting its case must
22 provide to the Trial Chamber and the parties, "a schedule of the
23 witnesses it intends to call for one month."
24 On the 2nd of October, 2008, the Trial Chamber issued a further
25 decision on this topic in which it made it clear that as to the witness
1 calendar that a party must file concerning all the witnesses, all the
2 witnesses it will call for one month, this schedule, quote, "must be
3 filed 30 days before the testimony of the first witness for the month to
4 which the schedule refers."
5 Now, by practice and by the Prosecution's understanding, that
6 would mean, for example, that the trial calendar for -- for all of -- for
7 the entire month of February was due to be provided to the Prosecution on
8 the 1st of January, 30 days before the first witness to be called in
10 Now, the Prosecution submits, Your Honours, that the practice
11 that has evolved is the Prosecution following the above guidance has
12 generally not raised issues about the adequacy of witness statements or
13 witness summaries until the time when it -- when it first receives or
14 receives the monthly calendar in advance of the first witness to be
15 called in the following month. While the Prosecution -- while the
16 Prosecution during the fall of 2009, in at least two letters, on
17 18 September and 16 November, raised the question of notice and a witness
18 summary for Mr. Petkovic, it had no notice that Mr. Petkovic would --
19 would be called as a witness commencing on 1 February until it received
20 for the first time the Petkovic Defence trial calendar for February on
21 January 1.
22 Throughout the past number of months, since at least our first
23 letter on the 18th of September and a second letter on the 16th of
24 November, the Prosecution understood that it would receive a fully
25 adequate summary concerning Mr. Petkovic's testimony if not on 31 March
1 2008, when it was first required, but at least no less than 30 days
2 before he would commence giving his testimony. In fact, Your Honours,
3 separate and apart from anything else, the Prosecution understood that we
4 had an agreement with the Petkovic Defence based on an exchange of
5 correspondence on the 16th and 17th of November of 2009, that a fully
6 adequate summary would be received by -- from the Petkovic Defence for
7 each person giving testimony at least 30 days in advance at the same time
8 that they provided the trial calendar that the Chamber requires.
9 However, when we received -- when the Prosecution received the
10 Petkovic calendar on -- for February, we did not receive a summary for
11 Mr. Petkovic when he was listed to commence his testimony on the 1st of
13 In our letter to the Petkovic Defence addressing this situation
14 sent on the 4th of January, 2010, a week ago, we objected to the fact
15 that we had not received a summary, and we asked once again to please
16 receive one. We also gave notice that we opposed and would oppose the
17 commencement of Mr. Petkovic's testimony until we had a fully adequate
18 summary at least 30 days prior to the commencement of his testimony.
19 Now, apparently the Petkovic Defence says that there was a
20 misunderstanding and that they never agreed to provide a summary for
21 Mr. Petkovic. We take a different view, Your Honour. The Chamber, if
22 its minded to, can look at the correspondence at some point, but we
23 certainly understood that was our agreement in addition to everything
24 else. But be that as it may, even putting a -- whether there was an
25 agreement or not to one side, it is the Prosecution position that it has
1 been owed a fully adequate summary for Mr. Petkovic since 31 March 2008
2 and every day thereafter.
3 Consistent with the provision of trial calendars and practice, we
4 fully expected to receive such a summary at least a full 30 days before
5 Mr. Petkovic would commence his testimony. In fact, as I mentioned a few
6 moments ago, following our letter objecting to the situation, we did
7 receive a summary for Mr. Petkovic this past Monday, on the 11th of
8 January, 2010
9 Your Honours, we ask that Mr. Petkovic's testimony should not commence on
10 1st of February, but only at least 30 days after the Prosecution has had
11 the fully adequate summary required by the rules according to the time
12 schedule that the Chamber has applied in the past. By that,
13 Your Honours, we submit that Mr. Petkovic's testimony should not commence
14 until 11 February which is 30 days after we received the summary. That
15 is our position. It is simply to apply the rules and practice that this
16 Trial Chamber has applied for a long time and the rules of the Tribunal.
17 The Prosecution should not be at a disadvantage by not having received
18 that summary within the time agreed and provided and, in our respectful
19 submission, required.
20 Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to state
23 my views. Unfortunately, until a minute ago I didn't know that my
24 learned friend Mr. Scott will raise this issue today. However, I'm ready
25 to respond. I'll start with last things first.
1 The Petkovic Defence does not object to the Prosecutor's request
2 to be allowed additional time to prepare the cross-examination of
3 General Petkovic. The general Defence, however, would like to express
4 its surprise that after four years, the Prosecutor - and six years after
5 the indictment was issued and ten years into the investigation in this
6 case - needs additional time to cross-examine any of the accused in the
7 proceedings. However, if my learned friends from the Prosecution deem
8 that they still don't know the case sufficiently enough in order to carry
9 out the cross-examination the way they wish, we absolutely do not object
10 to additional time being accorded to them.
11 I would like to provide several clarifications, because I believe
12 that my learned friend Mr. Scott has misinformed you about the essence of
13 our communication.
14 As far as our possible agreement with the Prosecutor as to
15 whether we will provide them with the summary or not, I would like to
16 decline any possibility for anybody to believe that we had -- we have
17 agreed on anything with the Prosecutor's office. We have informed the
18 Prosecutor's office about our positions as to when we would do things,
19 and we do what we think we should do in keeping with the rules of the
20 Tribunal and the rules that have been established by the Trial Chamber.
21 And this involves not only the Prosecutor's office but all the other
22 Defence teams which are certainly interested -- as interested, if not
23 even more interested, to know what General Petkovic will say during his
24 testimony, because the other Defence teams also have the right to have
25 enough time to prepare for cross -- cross-examination.
1 Irrespective of any possible interpretations as to whether an
2 accused has different rights and obligations with regard to any other
3 witness, we did not have any doubts that we would indeed provide a
4 summary of the facts that General Petkovic will testify about as is
5 prescribed by the rules. I am looking at the transcript, and I would
6 like to correct a few things. Not summary of the facts, but summary on
7 the facts - [In English] Summary on the facts - [Interpretation] that the
8 General will be talking about, but because this is prescribed by the
9 rules of this Tribunal.
10 As far as the practice of this Trial Chamber is concerned, we
11 have relied on what happened during the General Praljak Defence case. If
12 we calculated the time well, General Praljak provided his summary about
13 18 or 19 days prior to the beginning of his testimony. The
14 Prosecutor's Office did not have any objection to that. We provided the
15 summary of General Petkovic's testimony some 20 days prior to his
16 expected testimony. The schedule for Mr. Petkovic's testimony has been
17 provided to all the parties and the Trial Chamber in due time in keeping
18 with the guidelines. All we are going to hear from General Petkovic
19 during his testimony as regards topics and basic thesis is familiar to
20 everybody in the courtroom from the 26th of October, 2009, when the
21 Petkovic Defence outlaid the essential thesis of its Defence case in its
22 opening statement.
23 As far as the time accorded to the Prosecutor for
24 cross-examination, we would like to say the fact that General Petkovic is
25 going to testify has been known at least since 31st March 2008. In our
1 65 ter list, there is a list of documents that the Defence intends to use
2 during Mr. Petkovic's testimony. In addition to those documents we also
3 have the right to use all the other documents that are already in
4 evidence. Therefore, the Prosecutor should not find it surprising.
5 I would like to restate if my learned friends need additional
6 time, I don't object because the General Petkovic team is looking forward
7 to a good cross-examination, the part of the Prosecutor's team.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to add a
9 couple of words to my learned friend Alaburic's words. I don't want to
10 embark on a discussion. This is the matter of the interested parties.
11 I would like to support my learned friend Alaburic's words, save
12 for one position where she says that General Petkovic's team is tolerant
13 towards the Prosecutor's office and they do not object to additional time
14 being given to them before the testimony of this witness starts. I
15 object to that. I don't think that we have the luxury of any more delays
16 in this courtroom. Very soon we will have spent four years in this
17 courtroom. We all know what the reason for that is. Nobody could
18 influence that, either us or the Trial Chamber. The situation is what it
19 is. I'm just reminding you of an obvious fact, and that is that the
20 accused are detained. My client has been detained for such a long time,
21 and any delays, further delays, are out of the question because that
22 would jeopardise the right of the accused to an expeditious trial, and
23 this cannot be done for any banal reasons.
24 If the Prosecutor has not grasped so far what General Petkovic
25 might be testifying about, they should not have issued the indictment in
1 the first place.
2 Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Ms. Alaburic, you
4 told us that if the Prosecutor should need any additional time, you would
5 not object to it. But would this mean that were General Petkovic to
6 testify on the 11th of February, you would call other witnesses between
7 the 1st and the 11th, so that there's no gap. Or does that mean that we
8 have to stop until the 11th of February?
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we designed our
10 defence in such a way that Mr. Petkovic would be the last witness. We
11 know we have more time at our disposal, but we thought we should leave
12 some time aside in view of the position of the Trial Chamber that in case
13 the need arises to examine the witnesses of other Defence teams for
14 longer than the Petkovic Defence would normally have, we might use for
15 that purpose our own time. And we estimated that in order to examine
16 future witnesses, especially from the Defence of Praljak, we might well
17 use our own time to cross-examine them. Since in view of the
18 Trial Chamber this use of time would be considered as part of the Defence
19 case, we would not use our time to examine Petkovic witnesses, but we
20 saved this time for witnesses who might be speaking to the same events,
21 the same localities.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm at a loss, Ms. Alaburic,
23 because I seem to understand that Mr. Petkovic would have 6 hours as of
24 the 1st of February, and that you would have further witnesses. Now
25 you're telling that Mr. Petkovic is going to be your last witness. In
1 other words, we have Colonel Maric now, then we have tomorrow's witness.
2 There's another one scheduled for two weeks. Then there would be
3 General Petkovic, and that would be it. You have no further witnesses.
4 Is that right?
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour. I
6 thought what I was saying would be abundantly clear, because we left the
7 second half of February without any witnesses.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, if the
9 Trial Chamber were to grant Mr. Scott's request, the testimony of
10 General Petkovic would start on the 11th of February. So there would be
11 no hearing for ten days. Is that correct?
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor
14 back to Mr. Scott, but let me say this, for Mr. Scott to understand fully
15 what I meant to say, regardless of the Trial Chamber's view and decision:
16 Firstly, the Security Council, on the 19th of December, issued a
17 Resolution extending my own mandate until June 2010. So I don't know at
18 all what is going to be my fate after June. If the trial were not to be
19 concluded, finished, I should have another mandate extending the current
20 one, but I have no clue about it.
21 In this Resolution, which I'm going to quote in an opinion that
22 I'm going to file today, it is said that the Security Council is asking
23 for the proceedings to be sped up, and General Petkovic has testified in
24 other proceedings, in two other proceedings. So what he may say is well
25 known to the Prosecutor, and I'm somewhat surprised that the Prosecutor
1 should need so much time to prepare for the cross-examination of
2 General Petkovic.
3 Thirdly, let me add this, this issue of the summaries:
4 Personally, I think that an accused who testifies is not any ordinary
5 witness. I believe that there's no need for a prior summary before an
6 accused testifies. That's my take on the rules. An accused at a stretch
7 can sit down and say, I'm innocent, you've heard me. Thank you very
8 much, I'm going to go back to the dock. And that would be his testimony.
9 There's no need for a summary. But if my fellow Judges were of a
10 different view, it may be that Mr. Scott's request will be granted.
11 This being said, what do you have to say, Mr. Scott?
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. I'll start
13 at the end and work a bit backwards.
14 I don't think the completion strategy should be used to the
15 disadvantage of any party in the case, including the Prosecution. The
16 current schedule, and whether there's down time in February, that is not
17 of our making. That is not of our making, and it's not fair to lay any
18 disadvantage at the foot of the Prosecution. We didn't make that
19 schedule. It could have been -- we could have received the summary when
20 we should have received it. That was not of our making. The schedule is
21 not of our making. But what I hear the president saying is, is that,
22 Well, if there's a problem now, it should work to the advantage of the
23 Prosecution. I must respectfully disagree with that, Your Honours.
24 And I will start with another smaller point. As to the timing of
25 Mr. Praljak's summary, long story short, when Mr. Praljak began his
1 testimony everyone in the courtroom knew that his direct examination
2 would be going on for weeks, if not months. It's a completely different
3 situation in terms of the time that the Prosecution had to prepare for
4 his cross-examination. That direct examination went on for months. Of
5 course during that time, the Prosecution had a chance to prepare its
6 case. Not a six-hour direct, which Ms. Alaburic says is the time that
7 she will use for Mr. Praljak. Completely, utterly different situation.
8 There is no distinction, Your Honours, under Tribunal law between
9 a witness and an accused for purposes applying Rule 65 ter. At least two
10 Chambers have specifically ruled to that effect, Judge Moloto in the
11 Martic case on 7 July 2006
12 "If you, the Defence, are going to call Mr. Martic as a witness,
13 then he is a witness. You must give a 65 ter summary for his testimony.
14 If you're going to call Mr. Martic as a witness, by the time that you
15 give the detailed summaries of the witnesses to the Prosecution, you must
16 have a detailed summary of Mr. Martic's testimony."
17 Judge Orie ruled the same way in the Galic case on the 22nd of
18 January, 2003.
19 "There is no support in Tribunal jurisprudence Rules or practice
20 as the Rule 65 ter (G) for making any distinction between an accused and
21 any other witness."
22 When the witness -- when an accused takes that witness stand he
23 becomes a witness. He becomes a witness, and he takes an oath. He has
24 to tell the truth, and the procedural rules apply, and there's no
25 Tribunal rule to the contrary. In fact, the only Tribunal law on the
1 topic supports the Prosecution position.
2 Now, Your Honour, the other thing, and you know, we hear this
3 every time. Oh, the Prosecution, why don't they understand their own
4 case? Well, that's not the point, Your Honour. We shouldn't have to
5 come in here and justify the application of the rules. The rules are the
6 rules. You're essentially -- the Chamber's essentially asking us to --
7 well, justify to us why we should apply the rules. The rules should be
8 applied because they're the rules, not because the Prosecution has to
9 come in here and beg and give some specific reason why the rules should
10 be followed. The rules should be followed because they are the rules.
11 Now, we're not required to guess at what Mr. -- what Ms. Alaburic
12 might cover in her six hours. A six-hour testimony in this case from the
13 accused, quite frankly, is a very limited amount of time. I submit to
14 the Chamber that Ms. Alaburic is going to have to be very selective in
15 the topics that she chooses to cover in six hours. The Chamber,
16 Your Honours, are well aware of the usage of time in the courtroom and
17 how much time it takes. She'll have -- she says she's going to use six
18 hours. It's a small amount of time for an accused.
19 Now the Prosecution in that context can't be left in the
20 situation of simply guessing of what selective topics Ms. Alaburic is
21 going to cover in that six hours. It could be hundreds of things. Well,
22 we're going to talk about the whole case. Well, no they're not, because
23 they can't talk about the whole case in six hours; it's impossible. She
24 is going to have to be selective, and we have the right and should have
25 the opportunity to be equally selective, if you will, in preparing to
1 meet not just any imaginary testimony, not one of a hundred, 500 topics,
2 but the very topics and the testimony that he proposes to give. We have
3 a fundamental right, I submit to Your Honours, the victims in this case,
4 the international community, and the Prosecution that represents those
5 victims has the right to a fair trial too. And we have the right to an
6 adequate preparation to meet not just any imaginary or fantasy testimony
7 of Mr. Petkovic, but the actual testimony that he will give in this
8 courtroom. And that requires, and Tribunal law requires, that we be
9 provided a fully adequate summary. That should have been provided to us
10 on 31 March 2008; we didn't get it. We've waited. We sent
11 correspondence in the fall; we didn't get it. We thought we would get it
12 at least 30 days in advance.
13 Excuse me. Excuse me. I'm not going to compete with comments.
14 We thought we would at least receive it within the 30 days, so we waited;
15 we were patient. And then we received a calendar for the first time on
16 January 31, which we appreciate, 30 days in advance of February, telling
17 us for the first time that that's when Mr. Petkovic would in fact be
18 called; fine. We didn't get our summary. We sent our letter to the
19 effect saying, Where's the summary? We didn't receive it.
20 Your Honour, that's just -- I don't need -- I don't think -- and
21 with the greatest respect to all the Judges and the Chamber, I don't
22 think the Prosecution should have to come up and justify why the rules
23 should be applied. We should have gotten a summary. We should have
24 adequate time to prepare. Ms. Alaburic says she doesn't object. Well,
25 if she doesn't object; she doesn't object. And if there's issues about
1 the scheduling, those are not of the Prosecution's making. Those are not
2 of the Prosecution's making, and it shouldn't be -- that should not be
3 laid at our feet.
4 Now as to the schedule, Your Honours, if you notice -- if you
5 look at the calendar for February, you will note that instead of, in
6 fact, getting a full calendar for the full month, we, in fact, only have
7 a calendar through the 16th of February. We should have received, the
8 Trial Chamber should have received, the other co-accused should have
9 received, we should have received, a calendar of all the witnesses for
10 February. Instead, from 5th -- from the 17th of February on, for the
11 next week and a half, all we have on the calendar is "spare/contingency."
12 Week and a half. That's down time. That's downtime.
13 Now, why should we disadvantaged because of that?
14 Now the Chamber may want to ask what that time is going to be
15 used for. And it also raises the question of when is the Coric going to
16 begin? And when do we receive the list of the first Coric witnesses? We
17 should have received that already, because we should have received a full
18 calendar month schedule for February on the 1st of January. That means
19 for the second half of February, we should have that schedule now. The
20 Trial Chamber, the Judges, should have that schedule now. We have half a
21 month calendar.
22 Your Honour, none of these issues, none of those problems are
23 issues of the Prosecution's making. We're in here, and we're trying to
24 do our own -- the best job possible. Maybe no one cares much about the
25 Prosecution, maybe the Prosecution doesn't get much sympathy. But we
1 take our jobs as professionals. We're trying to do the best job we can
2 for the Judges and present to the -- our positions and the evidence to
3 the Chamber. The Chamber may ultimately disagree with our positions, but
4 we're here trying to do a professional job. The rules should be applied
5 because they are the rules, and we should get the time provided, and
6 Ms. Alaburic has even told us she doesn't object. Thank you.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I want your leave
8 for a few words. I'll be very, very brief. I kindly ask you to allow
9 me. I can't remember exactly at what moment this happened, but I think
10 it might have been at the beginning of the testimony of General Praljak,
11 and I remember this very clearly. I said several times in this courtroom
12 that General Petkovic would be testifying, and I know for a fact that
13 Honourable Judge Antonetti asked me how we planned to organise his
14 testimony, whether it would be at the beginning of our case, and I said
15 unequivocally at that time that it was our plan for General Petkovic to
16 be our last Defence witness.
17 At the time we presented our calendar for February, it was a fact
18 that I considered completely beyond doubt. We planned that
19 General Petkovic, according to our schedule, would be finished in the
20 middle of February, and at that time I must confess I thought his
21 testimony would last much longer because we expected questions from
22 Judge Antonetti who questioned General Praljak for 22 hours, and we also
23 expect that his questioning of General Petkovic might be not so long, but
24 would still be long. And the testimony might thus extend to the end of
25 February. But for purposes of scheduling, this is not something we could
1 have planned exactly, because we don't know at this time for how long
2 Judge Antonetti would be questioning General Petkovic.
3 I would like to say something about certain words that are
4 sometimes uttered by Mr. Scott in this courtroom in a tone that I believe
5 is inappropriate and unprofessional.
6 And the third thing I want to say is our commitment to the
7 application of rules and principles. Claiming that he is committed to
8 the application of rules, Mr. Scott actually told us that the Prosecutor
9 in fact didn't care at all when General Praljak would hand in his summary
10 because it was known in advance that his testimony would be long. But he
11 does care when General Petkovic would hand in his summary because his
12 testimony would be short.
13 I perfectly understand the point Mr. Scott made, but what he said
14 has nothing to do with the rules or the principles of this Tribunal.
15 And in conclusion, let me respond to the position of
16 Judge Antonetti concerning summaries. I just want to say that the
17 accused, we believe, is entitled until the very end of this trial before
18 this Tribunal, regardless of whose case it is, is entitled to say that he
19 wants to testify, and the Trial Chamber would certainly not allow itself
20 to refuse any of the accused this right just because they did not
21 indicate it in time. And the accused in this right can in no way be the
22 same as regular witnesses except in as far as their obligation to tell
23 the truth is concerned.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
25 continues] ... a moment. I shall give the floor to Mr. Coric's Defence
1 counsel. If I don't agree entirely with Mr. Scott, I do agree,
2 nonetheless, with the fact that we don't have the list of Mr. Coric's
3 witnesses yet. On that point, he is perfectly right. Why do we not have
4 this list?
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, until now,
6 it was the practice in the courtroom to provide the list of witnesses
7 30 days prior to the first witness's appearance. Even if
8 General Petkovic finishes on the 16th of February, the deadline for me
9 would be the 16th of January. I had an exchange of correspondence with
10 Mr. Scott, and I indeed reckoned with General Petkovic's testimony
11 lasting until the 1st of March, so I said that in view of the possibility
12 of this change and in view of the possibility that we might have to begin
13 on the 16th of February, I promised Mr. Scott that he would get our list
14 of witnesses by the end of this week. That's one thing.
15 Second, neither Mr. Scott nor anyone else in the courtroom should
16 worry if General Petkovic finishes with his case on the 16th or any other
17 date. We are ready to begin our case without any delay, without any
18 break. And we are also ready, regardless of the fact that we have much
19 less resources than the Prosecution to start cross-examining
20 General Petkovic without any delay.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will
22 deliberate on the matter, and we shall hand down a decision, which will
23 most certainly be an oral decision. This will be next Monday because
24 between then and the beginning of February or the 11th of February, we
25 still have time. We shall deliberate and issue a decision on the points
1 addressed by Mr. Scott. We shall bring the witness into the courtroom
2 now. The Prosecution has 50 minutes left, so we shall not finish today,
3 and the witness will come back tomorrow.
4 The following witness will start in the course of tomorrow, and
5 we shall see whether he will come back on Monday or on another day.
6 Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour, as the witness is being
8 brought in, and that's exactly the next issue that I wanted to raise.
9 It's -- well, I say obvious. I suppose anything's always possible in a
10 courtroom, but it's highly unlikely that we would finish the witness
11 tomorrow given the entire circumstances. So I'm not sure what
12 Ms. Alaburic is telling us what the future will be for this witness. I
13 understood that he could not come back on Monday. There was some
14 discussion earlier in the week that the Trial Chamber, Your Honour
15 Judge Antonetti, inquired whether Ms. Alaburic might inquire that he
16 could possibly stay over. I don't remember ever hearing an answer to
17 that. It seems fairly obvious that we won't be able to finish the
18 witness tomorrow. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Alaburic, what did the
20 witness tell you, that he could stay till Monday, or that he would need
21 to come back?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had an answer to
23 that question ready yesterday morning. I even communicated a message to
24 your staff that I would like to express that, however it was not
25 necessary. The witness who is supposed to appear tomorrow cannot stay on
1 Monday. He is fully prepared to come at some other time but not in
2 January. January is a reporting month for him. He has a lot of
3 commitments. But he can be back in February.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry to intervene on this point, but this
7 raises the question whether it is worth having a little piece of
8 testimony tomorrow of this witness, and then in an uncertain future,
9 perhaps the end of February start again afresh. We have had cases where
10 cross-examination followed quite a long time after direct or not at all,
11 I think, if I'm not mistaken, in one case. And that is not a very --
12 very good organisation. Now, as it appears that there is some empty time
13 anyhow, I -- I wonder whether it would not be a better idea to send the
14 witness home now and then have him come back for a full examination and
15 cross-examination in one piece, as it were.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, I
17 would like to propose a compromise. The witness who is supposed to
18 appear tomorrow is a witness for both General Petkovic and
19 General Praljak, but he is not a joint witness. For each of the Defence
20 teams he's speaking about a totally different subjects. If we hear him
21 tomorrow as Petkovic's Defence witness, in one hour of direct
22 examination, an hour for cross-examination, and half an hour for each of
23 the other Defence teams as has been planned, we can finish that part
25 The next time the witness comes back as General Praljak's
1 witness, can come with all the other witnesses who are on 92 bis list. I
2 believe that this is a logical division that will be suitable to all.
3 I've already spoken about that with my learned friend Mr. Kovacic,
4 Mr. Praljak's counsel, and he is in agreement with me.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That said, the Prosecutor still
6 has 50 minutes left, and there might be a redirect. So it might not be
7 so certain that you can finish with this witness tomorrow. Since the
8 Prosecutor will have an hour to cross-examine him on 92 bis issues, it
9 might be preferable then for the Prosecutor to cross-examine the witness
10 as part of the Praljak Defence. And then you can pick up from there.
11 The Trial Chamber will see how this works out. Whatever the case
12 may be, the witness is here, and that is the most important question.
13 I apologise. We made you wait, but we had procedural matters to
14 see to. This means that we will ask you to stay on until tomorrow. We
15 thought that we would be able to finish today, but that is not possible.
16 You will have to come back tomorrow.
17 JUDGE PRANDLER: The President is talking.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor has -- can you
19 hear me all right?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you now.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was saying that you will be
22 coming back tomorrow morning because we won't have finished with your
23 testimony. We have ten minutes left for today, and the Prosecutor has
24 50 minutes left to put questions to you. So you will be coming back
25 tomorrow morning. I hope this is not a problem for you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it's only tomorrow, then it
2 won't be a problem as regards my health. And I'm here to tell the truth,
3 not to pose any conditions as to how long my testimony's going to last.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have now
5 ten minutes left. I shall give the floor to Mrs. West.
6 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I proceed? Yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 MS. WEST:
9 Q. Mr. Maric, while you were gone, we actually tabbed your binder.
10 And the document I'm going to talk about right now is the one right in
11 front of you, which is P06524. This is a document dated November 8th.
12 When we left off before the break, you had seen the Paket order from
13 Petkovic on November 8th, and you talked about the meeting of the
14 Main Staff in the Mostar district and Tomislav district on November 7th.
15 So this is another order from November 8th, and this is Lasic order, and
16 it says:
17 "Pursuant to the order number," and it lists a number.
18 "1. In all parts of the Mostar military districts theatre, all
19 units must plan to launch offensive operations without delay.
20 "2. Plan offensive operations with small units in the following
21 areas: Salakovac, Bijelo Polje, City of Mostar, and Blagaj."
22 And then it says:
23 "Shell the city of Mostar
25 Mr. Maric, that language is familiar to you; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Because it appears that Lasic just took the Petkovic order and
3 forwarded it down the chain of command; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And whether this order specifically articulated targeting the
6 bridge or not, isn't that exactly what happened on November 8th, sir?
7 A. I don't see a reference to the bridge as a target.
8 Q. No, that's exactly right. You don't see specific language as --
9 of the bridge as a target, but isn't it a fact, yes or no, that on
10 November 8th, the Old Bridge
11 A. Under item 2 it says selectively shelling. At that moment the
12 HVO knew about military targets and their nature, and that referred
13 exclusively to those military targets which under the war doctrine served
14 for the purpose of military units. They were used for the planning and
15 the conduct of combat activities and operations.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. This order is timed at 1700 hours, and I
17 want to go forward a bit more in the evening to P09993. You should see
18 that tabbed right in front of you. This is a report from the same day
19 from Lasic. Do you see that, P09993? And this is just two hours later.
20 And in this report, under number 2.1, second paragraph, he
22 "We fired 122-millimetre mortars on the Razvitak building at
23 900 hours, and at 1000 hours we fired two 88-millimetre -- apologies are
24 you receiving that?
25 A. I have not been receiving any interpretation. I'm sorry. I
1 didn't have any interpretation.
2 Q. Are you getting any interpretation now?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. So under 2.1, second paragraph:
5 "We fired two 120-millimetre mortar shells on the Razvitak
6 building at 900 hours. And at 1000 hours, we fired two 88-millimetre
7 shells on Sipad and Fejiceva Street. We fired two 120-millimetre MB
8 shells on Muslim positions at the Bulevar between 1000 hours and 1015.
9 And around 1430 we fired two projectiles from a 120-millimetre gun on the
10 Bulevar just opposite to the health centre when at least three enemy
11 soldiers were killed. We fired six 82-millimetre MB shells on the
12 northern camp in Zalik during the day."
13 And then the next sentence is:
14 "From 8.10 in the morning our tank was opening fire from Stotina
15 during the whole day, and it fired 50 projectiles on the Old Town
16 MB also fired two projectiles on Stari Grad around 1400 hours, and our
17 PZS from Hum was opening fire at the south exit from the town today.
18 So my first question, Mr. Maric, is on November 8th, would you
19 agree that there is an HVO tank on Stotina firing on the Old Town
20 or no?
21 A. Tanks were not under my authority, so I wouldn't know whether
22 there was one or not.
23 Q. Well, sir, you testified earlier in this case that you had to
24 have an understanding of the full HVO military operations in the town of
25 Mostar to do your job. So would you agree with me that your knowledge of
1 that tank was something you should have known?
2 A. Your Honours, neither then nor now did I have any ambition to
3 know all the details. My attention focused on artillery, and in that
4 part I was concerned with any serious activities such as the ones
5 described in here.
6 Q. We can go to P09992.
7 JUDGE PRANDLER: Excuse me.
8 MS. WEST: Yeah.
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would only like to ask a clarification from
10 the witness.
11 If the 120-millimetre gun or guns had been under your command or
12 under the command of other units of the HVO? It is my first question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that was a
14 120-millimetre mortar. It was not a cannon. It's a different piece with
15 different technical and tactical characteristics. It was under the
16 command of the brigade commander that held the front line in his area of
17 responsibility. What I'm saying is that he was in direct command of that
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have to adjourn. It's
20 quarter to 2.00. There is another hearing in the afternoon. Let us
21 reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day
24 of January, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.