1 Tuesday, 26 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Praljak not present]
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is in session.
8 Registrar, can you kindly call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
12 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
14 Today is Tuesday, 26th of January, 2010. I would like to welcome
15 the accused who are present, Defence counsel, Mr. Kruger, Mr. Stringer,
16 and their associates, as well as the witness and all the people assisting
18 Before I give the floor to Mr. Kruger, Colonel, I'd like to get
19 back to an issue which has been discussed yesterday already and which I'm
20 concerned about.
21 WITNESS: RADMILO JASAK [Resumed]
22 [The witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We saw a document yesterday
24 which referred to the fact that you belonged to the Croatian Army. I
25 mentioned to you yesterday that this document had varying pages with
1 different fonts. I could infer thereof that the Prosecution's exhibit is
2 a compilation of various reports. That is a possibility, but not a
4 You may know or you may not know that the OTP, a few years ago,
5 made requests for assistance to the Republic of Croatia
6 hand over any information they had to the OTP. The document we have is a
7 1996 document. I believe that is the case, and I believe it is the
8 answer to a request made by the OTP to the Croatian authorities at the
9 time, asking to have the full list of all Croatian officers who had been
10 part of the HVO. The authorities of your country, therefore, sent this
11 document in reply.
12 Since I do not have the request made by the OTP, this is where
13 the ambiguity lies. Did the Prosecution ask to have the full list of all
14 the officers that had been members of the HVO if no specific date had
15 been given? This may, therefore, have included officers who were
16 officers in the Croatian Army and then officers in the HVO, who then may
17 have returned to the Croatian Army, or officers like you who were part of
18 the HVO and who joined the Croatian Army afterwards. So we have several
20 You are testifying under oath, which means that you are not
21 entitled to make a false testimony. I must, therefore, also consider the
22 possibility that you were, first of all, a member of the Croatian Army
23 and then a member of the HVO. This is a theoretical assumption I'm
24 making. But if that is the case, I would also consider the situation
25 where the Prosecution might be wanting to go into this in detail and,
1 therefore, ask the Croatian authorities to disclose anything concerning
2 you. And if, at a closer look at your file, it appears that as of 1992
3 you were a member of the Croatian Army, and not in August 1993, the
4 Prosecutor could then issue an indictment against you.
5 I anticipate all problems. That is my role as a Judge, and I
6 feel I have the duty today to ask you, once again, to make sure we can
7 settle this issue. I want you to tell us whether, when you joined the
8 Croatian Army in August 1993, you did not draft a document stating that
9 you were already a member of the Croatian Army, because sometimes the
10 administration can make mistakes, mistakes which could be due to you or
11 which could be due to the personnel or people who recruited you in the
12 Croatian Army, because any mistake does have consequences. You may or
13 you may not have lied.
14 Please, can you confirm that when you left the HVO in August
15 1993, you incorporated the Croatian Army, you asked to be integrated into
16 the Croatian Army, but prior to that you had never been paid by the
17 Croatian Army?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour, I can
19 confirm that I was never previously paid by the Croatian Army. So if it
20 takes 20 years for one to be pensioned off, this period starts for me
21 from the 5th of August, 1994. That was the date when I started working
22 and signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are telling us the 5th of
25 August, 1994. What did you do between August 1993 and the 5th of August,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in training at the Croatian
3 Military School
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were training at the
5 Croatian Military School
6 or not?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All students were paid at the time
8 through the Croatian Military School
9 Military School
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll finish off with a
11 question. It's a shame that General Praljak is not here today. He's
12 ill, unfortunately, but his lawyers will certainly forward the question.
13 In August 1993, before leaving, you were still an analyst working
14 for the VOS within the Main Staff. We know that General Praljak took up
15 his position at the end of July 1993, which would mean that when
16 General Praljak took up his command, you were still there for a few days.
17 It wasn't a matter of weeks, but it was a matter of days.
18 When you left the VOS, did you then ask General Praljak for the
19 permission to leave, or did you just tell him that you had enrolled at
20 the Military School
21 bare facts ?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at that time towards
23 the end of August and one part of the month of July, I was on the payroll
24 of the VOS, and I was working in Sector North. And I left to be trained
25 upon the proposal by my chief and by General Praljak, which means that
1 General Praljak was aware of my leaving for training.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that
3 General Praljak knew that you were going to go on training. Well, that,
4 at least, is very clear. Thank you for your answers, which are very
5 clear. During the night, a few questions came to mind, and I felt I had
6 the duty to put these questions to you.
7 Mr. Kruger, you have the floor.
8 MR. KRUGER: Good morning, Your Honours, and good morning to
9 everybody in and around the courtroom.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Kruger: [Continued]
11 Q. Mr. Jasak, good morning to you, too.
12 Now, sir, last night we tried to look at a video and we had some
13 technical problems, so let's start this morning by looking --
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Let's start by looking at the video of a very small
16 part of the meeting between General Petkovic and Commander
17 Sefer Halilovic, and this is the meeting which you said last night that
18 you were not present at. And this takes place early in May 1993.
19 If we could just play the video. Sorry, for the record, it's
20 Exhibit P02187, and we are looking at a segment from 5 minutes and 27
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This should be a conversation
24 between us, the representatives of the army and the representatives of
25 the HVO. You may be present, but this talk is more an internal talk. At
1 this gathering imposing as to the number of participants as well as to
2 the number of functions of the people present here, we want at last a
3 final answer. Are we allies or are we enemies? If we are, indeed,
4 allies, then we have to know that and behave accordingly. And if we are
5 enemies, then we have to know that as well and behave accordingly. But
6 we will not disarm people in Central Bosnia and in Mostar, arrest them,
7 drag people out of their homes, and do all those things that are being
8 done while we are holding talks and establishing joint commands. And
9 while establishing joint commands, we won't have convoys with
10 humanitarian aid and other convoys.
11 It is known to the gentlemen to which convoys I'm referring,
12 standing still in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina, standing where they
13 shouldn't be, there where they should not stand, while at the same time
14 in Gorazde and in Eastern Bosnia and in Srebrenica and in North-Eastern
16 And you may not hold a convoy as you did two days ago, arrest five
17 clerics, seize 200.000 weapons, and so on.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
19 Q. Now, sir, at this stage when this meeting took place, and it's
20 late in May, if I'm not mistaken, it's not the 4th of May -- this takes
21 place sometime after the 9th of May; would you agree?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection to this
23 question. How should the witness know when this was recorded?
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think the witness can say that, that he does
25 not know.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I don't think so.
2 It is not fair towards the witness. We know how this film has been
3 marked. It has been marked as something that was taken on the 4th of May
4 in Jablanica. We've seen it a lot of times in this courtroom. There are
5 no dilemmas here, and I don't know what the foundation may be for this
6 question to be connected with the 9th of May.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I personally don't
8 believe that the Prosecutor tried to confuse the witness intentionally.
9 However, we have information about the evidence, and it has been said
10 about this film that we've already seen that this meeting took place on
11 the 4th of May. So if my learned friend is putting the film to the
12 witness, he has to start from the fair facts or otherwise he's trying to
13 set a trap for the witness, which I sincerely doubt that he is doing.
14 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I won't belabour the exact date of the
16 Q. What I will ask, sir, is: In May 1993, it's correct that the
17 ABiH and the HVO were still allies against the Serbs; is that correct?
18 A. I don't know when this film was recorded. However, in May 1993
19 the BiH Army and the HVO were allies against the VRS.
20 Q. And, sir, my next question is, then: If we assume -- if we
21 accept that this meeting took place in May 1993, can you tell the Court
22 what has the HVO done which would cause Mr. Halilovic to ask this
23 question, Are we friends or are we allies? Do you know?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the form of the question. First of
25 all, we don't know whether Halilovic is telling the truth and whether
1 he's just saying this for the purposes of the camera and those who are
2 there to witness the events. So I think it assumes a fact, first of all,
3 which certainly has not been proved. And also the gentleman indicated --
4 in fact, it was Mr. Kruger who started by saying, I know you were not
5 there. So if he wasn't there, how can he then begin to pose questions
6 about the meeting to which he wasn't present at?
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to add
8 something to that.
9 My learned friend says, before putting the question, We're not
10 going to dwell upon dates. I would like to remind you that this is
11 P2187, and on page 1 of the English transcript it says that the date is 4
12 May 1993. The question is whether the Prosecutor doubts his own
13 evidence. Does the Prosecutor want to confuse us by claiming that
14 something, in this particular case this piece of evidence, was recorded
15 on the 4th of May, 1993
16 not? How can we prepare our case on that? We start from the point that
17 what the Prosecutor has given us is probably true, but when the
18 Prosecutor doubts his own evidence, I really don't know what we are all
19 doing in this courtroom.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, this video so far
21 is dated the 4th of May, 1993. If you agree that it is on the 4th of
22 May, 1993, you then settle the issue, knowing that, of course, the
23 witness cannot answer.
24 MR. KRUGER: Witness, indeed, I accept that it's the 4th of May.
25 The mistake is entirely mine. I was listening to the clip, and just one
1 part of the clip certainly triggered my mind and set it off at a tangent.
2 Your Honour, but as to the objection by Ms. Alaburic,
3 Your Honour, I simply can't agree -- or, sorry, by Mr. Karnavas. The
4 witness was an intelligence analyst, and certainly this is a question
5 which he's entitled -- or fully entitled to answer. He was receiving
6 intelligence reports, and certainly he would know from his intelligence
7 notes if there was anything which could justify a question such as this
8 by Mr. Halilovic on the 4th of May.
9 And further, Your Honour, if there's also an objection as to the
10 foundation for asking this question, then certainly most of the testimony
11 that he was giving -- that he gave last week is also evidence that should
12 then not have been heard, because certainly there was then no foundation
13 for that evidence as well.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put your questions. I will
15 have a question after that.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Now, sir, you have heard that Mr. Halilovic says or asks to
18 Mr. Petkovic, General Petkovic, Are we friends or are we enemies? Now,
19 sir, can you tell the Court, do you know of anything which may have
20 justified General Halilovic asking such a question of General Petkovic at
21 this time?
22 A. As far as I know about the date 4th of May, and it was my
23 colleague Dinko Zebic who told me about that meeting, that meeting was
24 very skillfully used by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a propaganda
25 tool. Nobody was allowed to visit Croatian villages, most of which had
1 been burned by that time. This means that the media and the journalists
2 were used to dispatch something that was nothing short of a propaganda
4 Q. Now, sir, you still haven't answered the question. Were you
5 aware of anything which may have caused General Halilovic to ask this
6 question? And if I may ask you, sir, please do not look at
7 General Petkovic for approval. I see you constantly looking at
8 General Petkovic and looking for approval, and then General Petkovic nods
9 to you. Please don't do that.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really object to
11 this remark by my learned friend Kruger, and I must admit that I don't
12 see what is happening behind my back, but I'm absolutely certain that
13 General Petkovic is not giving any signs to the witness, nor that this
14 witness needs to look at anybody in order to be given a signal as to how
15 to answer. So I'm saying this remark as the Prosecutor's attempt to
16 discredit the witness.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one sentence, if
18 I may.
19 In our circles in Croatia
20 it poisoning the record. You just throw something and then it is
21 recorded, and when the Appeals Chamber reads it, they base their
22 judgement on that. This is a lie which has nothing whatsoever to do with
23 the reality. I've been watching the witness for four days now, and the
24 witness, when he answers, does, indeed, look all over the courtroom, but
25 that's not to say that he is asking approval from either General Petkovic
1 or anybody else. This should not be allowed because it doesn't hold
2 water, and I'm sure that if this, indeed, was the case, you would have
3 noticed that as well.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor put a
5 very specific question to you. Please answer that question now.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've already answered,
7 and I said that that meeting was nothing short of propaganda by
8 General Halilovic. That's how I heard it from my colleague Dinko Zebic.
9 That meeting followed after major conflicts when most of the Croatian
10 villages had already been burned, people had been killed or expelled or
11 were fully encircled. That is the time-frame, and that was around
12 Konjic, and that was nothing but propaganda.
13 MR. KRUGER: Let's have a look at a next clip from this same
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Before we look at
16 the next video-clip: Sir, this is a video we've seen already, and it
17 doesn't come as a surprise for us Judges. There is, however, a third
18 component here, which is a new one; i.e., the Spaniards. The Spaniards
19 are neutral, and under their aegis a meeting is organised between
20 General Halilovic and General Petkovic. And we realise that
21 General Halilovic puts the question, which is a fundamental question, Are
22 we allies or enemies? This is a topic which you addressed last week,
23 since you said that they were neighbours and a neighbour is a friend.
24 Therefore, there was a foundation to the question.
25 Since you brought this up last week, and General Halilovic turns
1 to his counterpart and says, Are we allies or enemies, and he did this in
2 the presence of the Spaniards, which means, in my view, that on the 4th
3 of May there is the HVO and the ABiH that are united, and the issue of a
4 joint command is definitely on the agenda, since it was raised at the
5 meeting. If they were enemies in the classic sense of the term, I would
6 find it difficult to imagine that a high-ranking Spanish officer would
7 convene a meeting between enemies. He would thus run the risk of people
8 bringing out their weapons at the meeting and people getting killed. I
9 assume that the Spaniard did take a number of precautions. He would have
10 not run the risk of convening a meeting between enemies. This is
11 something which I certainly take into account.
12 You did not attend this meeting, but as Mr. Kruger said, since
13 you were an analyst, you might have had some information about it, about
14 the reason behind the question. We have no specific answer from
15 General Petkovic, because as we can see, the question of the humanitarian
16 aid will be raised, the fact that there were blockades, and so on. Maybe
17 that was the reason, but maybe there were other reasons. In other words,
18 all the incidents that occurred before that, and what I think of as
19 Hamzici and Trusina and other villages. Perhaps General Halilovic, who
20 together with General Petkovic had been involved in the negotiations in
22 According to you, if General Halilovic puts this question, it is
23 due to skirmishes that occurred before. The mere fact that they share a
24 common enemy, i.e., the Serbs, that doesn't preclude the fact that there
25 might be skirmishes between the two. And since you were a VOS analyst,
1 you might be able to answer this question, or, as you say, it's just a
2 question of propaganda.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we're dealing with
4 the 4th of May, that date, this is just a segment. I received
5 information from my colleague that the whole event was made use of as
6 promotion, as a propaganda, and that the goal was to resolve the problems
7 of the Croatian villages in the area and the captured. And from the 18th
8 of April, we have an agreement between Boban and Izetbegovic. We have an
9 agreement on the 20th between General Petkovic and Halilovic. But we
10 also have, after that, orders issued by the BH Army for attack, and we
11 also have information from the Intelligence Service, from around the 23rd
12 of April, I believe, that the Croatian villages which were in the area
13 were either set fire to and the population expelled or that they were
14 under siege. So that was the situation that came before. But at that
15 meeting, to the best of my knowledge, they were supposed to agree to tour
16 those villages. And according to my information, I don't think that was
17 ever done. So this means that it was just used as propaganda by the
18 BH Army, that particular meeting. I don't know the details of it, of
19 course. I'm just speaking about the meeting based on the information
20 that I had received.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So according to you, what
22 Halilovic is saying is that he is speaking as part of a propaganda.
23 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
24 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Just to follow up on this, sir: In April, therefore, you were
1 aware of certain conflicts which had taken place between the ABiH and the
3 A. We had information about what happened in April, yes.
4 Q. And even before that? Did you have information about conflicts
5 in January and in October the previous year?
6 A. Everything that happened until the 23rd of March, 1993
7 with on a daily basis. So the more serious conflicts began on the 23rd
8 of March, 1993, in the Konjic area.
9 Q. And to your knowledge, had the HVO done anything to cause those
10 conflicts or contributed to causing those conflicts?
11 A. To the best of my knowledge, the HVO did not do anything to cause
12 those conflicts.
13 Q. Sir, I'm not going to show you the second clip. The second clip
14 dealt only with, once again, General Halilovic saying to Mr. Petkovic
15 that, Mostar will never be only Croat. All that I'll ask you about that
16 is: Were you aware that the ABiH and the Muslims in Herceg-Bosna were
17 not supportive of the idea of a Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
18 A. I don't understand the question. The BH Army and the Muslims in
19 Herceg-Bosna, that they did not support the idea of Herceg-Bosna? What?
20 Is that what you asked?
21 Q. Did the Muslims and -- or let's say the Muslims within the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, who lived within that area, are you
23 aware that they were not supportive of the idea of the establishment of
24 that Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
25 A. The Muslims who lived on this territory under the control of the
1 Croatian Defence Council were on a footing of equality with the Croats in
2 the Croatian Defence Council, so automatically they supported the idea.
3 Otherwise, they didn't have to be in the Croatian Defence Council.
4 Nobody forced them.
5 Q. Sir, let's move on. Let's look at Exhibit P01911, and this is in
6 binder 2. It's Exhibit P01911.
7 Now, sir, this document is a document from the ECMM, and it's
8 dated the 16th of April, 1993, and it's a political and military analysis
9 about the present Jablanica crisis.
10 Now, the first thing that I'd like to refer you to is paragraph 2
11 or section 2, which is titled "Regional Importance," and there it says,
12 first paragraph:
13 "The region immediately north of Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor,
14 Jablanica, Konjic Road is predominantly Muslim, yet under the
15 Vance-Owen Plan is due to fall under the control of Provinces 8 and 10.
16 The HVO signed the plan and have expressed a strong desire to implement
17 the plan."
18 Sir, you are aware of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
19 A. Yes, I know that a Vance-Owen Peace Plan existed.
20 Q. And you don't disagree with what is stated here, that these
21 provinces would fall within Provinces 8 and 10, which would fall under --
22 that these provinces would fall under -- that these municipalities would
23 fall under Provinces 8 and 10; you don't disagree with that, do you?
24 A. As far as I can see here, what it says, at least in the Croatian
25 version, that this is a document dated the 17th of April, and as far as I
1 know, the overall Vance-Owen Plan, the complete plan, was signed by
2 Alija Izetbegovic and Mate Boban with all the attachments and supplements
3 much before this. I think it was in March, the 25th of March, I think,
4 1993. So I don't see that the problem here was that there was a strong
5 intention on the HVO and BH Army to -- I don't see that there was any
6 problem in them implementing it. If the leaders of the two nations
7 signed it, I don't see the problem.
8 Q. Sir, you haven't answered the question. Is it correct that these
9 provinces fell within -- or these municipalities mentioned here fell
10 within Provinces 8 and 10?
11 A. I think they were municipalities under Provinces 8 and 10,
12 Jablanica, Konjic, and so on.
13 Q. And Provinces 8 and 10 are provinces assigned to the Croats; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Well, Provinces 8 and 10, well, yes, they're parts of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so they belong to everyone.
17 Q. Sir, Provinces 8 and 10 were assigned to the Croats under the
18 Vance-Owen Peace Plan? That's the question, and you don't disagree with
19 that; that's correct, isn't it?
20 A. Well, I agree that they were regions where Croats lived and that
21 they were in the majority there.
22 Q. Sir, your answer doesn't make sense. We're talking about Konjic,
23 Jablanica, Gornji Vakuf. Those are definitely provinces or
24 municipalities which are predominantly Muslim, yet these municipalities
25 have been assigned, under the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, to Provinces 8 and
1 10. That's correct, isn't it?
2 A. Absolutely, they were assigned, these Provinces 8 and 10, but
3 there were other municipalities, too, not only those two in those
4 provinces. So the provinces, if you look at them in their entirety, the
5 Croats were the most numerous populous there, according to the 1991
6 census, that is to say, in those provinces. One province had its
7 headquarters in Mostar, and the other one in Travnik, according to the
8 Vance-Owen Plan, if I remember correctly.
9 Q. And, sir, the next part of the report says:
10 "To the HVO, 'implementation' means 'taking control of,' with an
11 emphasis on 'ownership' of the provinces rather than 'responsibility' for
13 Is that correct, to your knowledge?
14 A. I don't know what "ownership" is meant here. In private
15 ownership, you know who the owner is, regardless of the province.
16 Q. Sir, on the next page, just prior to section 3 on political
17 activity, it says, and now we're referring to this region -- Jablanica
19 "Indeed, the region is not just important, it is strategically
20 vital both for military and economic reasons, not just in the history of
21 Herceg-Bosna, but for its future prosperity and security."
22 Is that a correct statement?
23 A. Just allow me a moment to read this. Political activities, is
24 that what you're referring to in point 3.
25 Q. No, it's -- sir, it's just prior to political activity, the last
1 paragraph of the section dealing with regional importance. It's that
2 last section. Is it correct that Jablanica --
3 A. "This region is not only important, but it is strategically vital
4 both for military and economic reasons."
5 But which region?
6 Q. This report deals with Jablanica, sir. This is the Jablanica
7 region, sir.
8 A. Well, Jablanica is vital for the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not
9 only for this particular region.
10 Q. Let's have a look at the political activity in paragraph 3 and
11 what the ECMM is observing, or how they view the events. It says, the
12 first paragraph:
13 "The clashes that have occurred in the past months have generally
14 followed provocation, and it is the experience of ECMM and some UNPROFOR
15 units that the provocation is usually HVO inspired."
16 Now, sir, if the internationals are saying this, do you know or
17 do you have any idea on what basis or what has led them to believe that
18 the HVO is actually the one provoking?
19 A. I don't know. Meetings like the one held by Sefer Halilovic,
20 that is to say, propaganda on the part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, probably
21 that. I don't know what else. That they had very strong propaganda.
22 Q. Didn't the HVO also have strong propaganda?
23 A. No, absolutely not.
24 Q. Let's look at the --
25 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I think that this deserves objection.
1 [Interpretation] My dear colleague asked us to focus on
2 paragraph 1 of point 3 of this document, and he put it to the witness --
3 he claimed that the ECMM was claiming and saying that the HVO, as it has
4 been recorded in the transcript, and I'll quote, that the HVO is actually
5 the one provoking. So the assertion is -- that was the assertion. And
6 then the witness is responding.
7 I'd like to draw your attention that that's not what the document
8 says. The document says as follows:
9 "The ECMM and some UNPROFOR units, that the provocation is
10 usually HVO inspired."
11 So obviously the author of this report does not have information
12 about who was doing the provoking, but he started out from the assumption
13 that the incidents or clashes or whatever took place because of -- caused
14 by confrontation.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry. "Caused by provocation," interpreter's
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] And then he writes the general
18 observation that usually -- they are usually. So the ECMM is not saying
19 who did the provocation, but they say, We think that it was usually
20 inspired by the HVO. And on that basis, the Prosecutor is categorically
21 stating that it was, indeed, the HVO who did the provoking and that
22 that's what the document says. Once again, that is improper questioning,
23 and he's trying to mislead the witness. The witness has been provided
24 with the document, and he could have said, There's the extract, take a
25 moment to read it, and may we have your comments.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: My comments and my fear go beyond this, because
2 I'm watching also the expression of the Bench, and at least one of the
3 members of the Bench is showing faces of incredulity at some of the
4 answers, which leads me to believe that at least one member of the Bench
5 believes everything that he reads in these reports as being true,
6 accurate, and complete.
7 Now, we have seen a great deal of propaganda on everyone's side.
8 In particular, we have seen where, for instance, even today's
9 vice-president of the United States was going around saying that, In
11 based on what he had been told by Silajdzic. And also we have documents
12 that Alihodzic was saying the same things. And my concern is that now
13 we're using this particular document to somehow validate what's in it.
14 Now, I understand the technique. If Mr. Kruger wishes to show
15 that this is what the ECMM is saying, especially when it gets to the word
16 "usually," as was pointed out by Mr. Kovacic, then -- and if the
17 gentleman then says, I don't know what you're talking about, it is up to
18 Mr. Kruger then to demonstrate concretely, with correct and accurate
19 facts, how it is that this ECMM report, or whoever he or she may be, has
20 actually come up to this conclusion.
21 In other words, we're using this and we're using vital time in
22 this courtroom in order to somehow bolster the credibility of this
23 particular report, and this is utterly improper, at least in an
24 adversarial system which to this date this Tribunal still abides by.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're a Defence
1 witness, and the Prosecutor is asking you a question based on a document
2 coming from a body of the international community; namely, the observers
3 from the European Union. According to them, and it is relayed by the
4 Prosecutor, the document seems to say - but I'm very cautious, I will not
5 be categorical on that - the document states that the HVO is provoking,
6 and it quotes a few examples such as the flag. You remember that the
7 flag has caused some incidents afterwards.
8 So what I'm interested in is the conclusion in the last
9 paragraph. It states that the ECMM concludes that the provocation of the
10 HVO is intense. This is what the document states. They may be right,
11 they may be wrong, they may not have all the information required, but
12 what I would like to know is: According to you, how did you see the
13 situation? What do you say about that?
14 And to clarify my question, it is obvious that this report is
15 only dealing with the activities of the HVO, while they could also have
16 looked into what was doing the ABiH, but they're not mentioning anything
17 about that because perhaps on the other side the same thing was
18 happening. But in this report, we're only dealing with the HVO. And, of
19 course, this could give the relative value of this document. I would
20 rather have a document that looks at the entirety of the situation, with
21 all of its components, Serbs, Muslims, Croats, rather than a document
22 looking only at one side of the story.
23 So given that you were an analyst, what is your take on this
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have already said,
1 looking at the parts I read, because this is the first time that I'm
2 seeing this document, it seems to me that this is the consequence of
3 strong propaganda on the part of the BH Army, and that it was a follow-up
4 to something that others attacked, and then they retaliated and took
5 control of the area.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to ask also a question, and
8 although our faces are sometimes watched, but I would like to ask the
9 witness about the following matter. And actually it is Chapter 7 of the
10 report, "The Present Analysis."
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No interpretation, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE PRANDLER: So then I will repeat again.
13 So I started saying that although sometimes our faces are
14 watched, but nevertheless I make an attempt to ask a question from the
15 witness, and it is about the last part of that report, chapter or part 7,
16 "Present Analysis." And here it is being said that the -- in the third
18 "At the time of writing, the HVO are making their most serious
19 attempt to isolate Jablanica before seizing it."
20 And here I would like to ask the witness if, according to his
21 knowledge as an analyst in VOS, how did he actually see the situation
22 there as far as the HVO attempts, according to the report of the ECMM,
23 that what kind of efforts have been made by the HVO, if any, to isolate
24 Jablanica before its seizing? So it is my question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it says here that the
1 document is dated the 17th of April, that's what it says on the document,
2 1993. At that time, we know what we have in the Konjic-Jablanica region.
3 We also know that large-scale activities on the part of the BH Army were
4 underway for the first time on the 20th [as interpreted] of March, 1993,
5 and then, following on from that, on the 13th of April, 1993, and that
6 the ratio of forces -- the balance of forces at that time in the region
7 was over 10:1 to the advantage of the BH Army. That's what we know for
8 sure. We know that that's how things stood and that almost all the
9 villages were under a blockade.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just to correct the
11 transcript, the witness gave us the date. He said the 23rd of March,
12 whereas the record says "the 20th of March." So "the first time on the
13 23rd of March 1993" is what we should read.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when I see a document
15 coming from an international body, I do not always give it 100 per cent
16 credibility or value: A judge in a criminal court of law looks at the
17 various documents, compares documents, so I will not draw any conclusions
18 from this document.
19 Now, I look at the second paragraph in that chapter "Political
20 Activity." Please look at this paragraph, second paragraph. In the
21 first paragraph of this chapter, the observers say that the HVO is
22 provoking. In the second paragraph -- and I don't understand why we
23 changed that. Please go back to point 3, Registrar. I don't understand
24 why we have moved. Let's go back to "Political Activities," please.
25 There we go, Chapter 3, "Political Activity."
1 Look at the way it's drafted. In the first paragraph, we talk
2 about the clashes, and as a conclusion we say that it's provocation from
3 the HVO. And then in the second paragraph, it says:
4 "There is always a good story attached to any clash ..."
5 And then it states that the Croatian media are talking about
6 Mujahedin extremists, but, in fact, when this is written they do not know
7 that Mujahedin extremists have committed crimes. It is not mentioned, it
8 is just quoted as a proof or as a token of propaganda from the HVO,
9 whereas in fact it is a fact, and this is why I'm very cautious when
10 looking at those documents because documents have to be compared with
11 everything else, and we should not only base any conclusions on one
12 specific document.
13 So as an analyst, I was wondering whether you knew that in part
14 of the BiH there were Mujahedins who were causing problems. Were you
15 aware of this, yes or no? Because according to European Observers, all
16 this is false and has never existed, this is provocation, this is
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They knew that there were
19 Mujahedin. We knew that there were Mujahedin in Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 And as far as this paragraph is concerned, let me try and explain.
21 That was a very specific period. How come there is nothing else
22 in the reports by the international community, UNPROFOR, and whoever was
23 there, can be explained by this. After the 13th of April, UNPROFOR was
24 forbidden to visit the Croatian enclaves in the territory of Konjic
25 BiH Army did not allow them to enter those areas on the 13th of April and
1 later on, including the 4th of May, when that meeting took place. They
2 could not reach those areas or enter those areas, and I believe that
3 that's why the report looks the way it does.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that after the
5 13th of April, UNPROFOR was banned from visiting any Croatian enclaves.
6 If they did not go to those locations, they didn't have a clear view of
7 the situation, which might explain these documents from the international
8 community. Is that what you are wanting to tell us?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, this is exactly what I
10 meant to say. Conclusions were reached based on the information provided
11 by the ABiH. They, themselves, could not inspect the area themselves.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Mr. Kruger, perhaps we've made some progress.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to, with your permission, add a
16 Mr. Jasak, would you look at the last paragraph on that page, and
17 the last paragraph of the chapter "Military Activity." Here the report
18 says, and I quote:
19 "The Muslims are not entirely blameless and have their own
20 extremists, though for the most part made, not born. Observation and
21 regular contact with the HVO suggests the presence of a hidden agenda."
22 How do you interpret this? What does the term "hidden agenda"
23 refer to?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I did
25 not find where you were reading from. Could somebody tell me in
1 Croatian? Could somebody refer me to the page in Croatian?
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can say that this
3 is page 3, last paragraph, above the title "Military Activities."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Correct.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what
7 "hidden agenda" means here in this report.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. It's a pity, because I don't know
9 either. It can refer to the plans you have spoken of of the Muslims, but
10 it can also refer to the HVO. I thought perhaps you had an idea. Thank
12 Mr. Kruger.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Q. Sir, Their Honours have dealt with most of the questions that I
15 did want to ask you. Just before stepping off this document, if we
16 look -- and this is the third section, "Political Activity," and it's the
17 third paragraph of that section. It says:
18 "Furthermore, the HVO have emphasised Muslim aggression."
19 Now, sir, my question to you is: If I listen to you, you're also
20 emphasising in your testimony Muslim aggression, but do you allow at all
21 that it's possible that the Muslims were actually reacting to prior
22 actions of the HVO? Isn't that possible?
23 A. I don't know what the Muslims could be reacting to. And here
24 that document was issued on the 17th of April, 1993. We know what the
25 situation was at the time. I don't know who, in their right mind, could
1 launch any activities against somebody who is tenfold stronger than them.
2 Q. And to quickly return to the propaganda issue, did I understand
3 you correctly that you said that the HVO was not involved in propaganda?
4 A. The HVO had its Information Service. However, the HVO never
5 launched any such propaganda [realtime transcript read in error
6 "proper today"] activities, nothing similar to what was done by the BiH
7 Army. And they used the same procedures later on when they launched
8 attacks. They pretended that they had come under attack by the enemy,
9 which made them defend themselves, and then they took a large part of the
11 MR. KOVACIC: Page 27, line 3, it is recorded:
12 "However, the HVO never launched any such proper today
14 The witness said, "The HVO never launched any propaganda
15 activities." I think that it was obvious.
16 MR. KRUGER:
17 Q. Now, sir, let's explore a bit whether the HVO wasn't, indeed,
18 doing anything which could have caused concern on the side of the
19 Muslims. And for the first document, let's look at, and this is still
20 binder 2, P0 -- sorry, P10926. It's about the eighth document from the
21 end, 10926.
22 Now, sir, this document purports to be an order from
23 Mr. Mate Boban, dated the 10th of June, 1992, and it says:
24 "Pursuant to the statutory decision on the provisional
25 establishment of the executive authority and administration on the
1 territory of the HZ-HB of 15 May 1992
2 "1. The establishment of the executive authority of the HVO in
3 the Konjic municipality ..."
4 Now, sir, were you aware that the HVO wished to establish its
5 executive authority in the Konjic municipality?
6 A. I was not aware of that. I don't know what that was about. At
7 the time, I was the commander of a battalion in Mostar. I was not
8 politically active.
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
10 apologise. We have not seen this document before. This must be an
11 excerpt from a book or a compilation of documents. I believe it would be
12 fair from the Prosecution to explain the origin of the document. Thank
14 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, when we tender the document or if we
15 tender the document, we'll fully explain the origins and why we believe
16 it can be admitted. But for cross-examination purposes, Your Honour,
17 I think I'm fully entitled to put the document to the witness for a
19 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I really have to
20 react to this response by the Prosecutor.
21 If Ms. Alaburic is going to prepare her re-examination, she needs
22 to be familiar with the source of the document in order to test its
23 probative value in her additional questions. This is the way I'm
24 thinking, and I don't think that it is appropriate to answer an objection
25 of this sort with such an answer.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, tell us where this
2 document comes from.
3 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the full origins of the document are
4 recorded in e-court, and it does, indeed, come from a book. And the page
5 numbers of the book are also recorded there. It's in the book
6 "Aggression on Bosnia
7 to 1993, and it's pages 317 and 379, with reference to Annex 20.
8 Q. Now, sir, this document clearly mentions the municipality, so
9 isn't it so that the HVO wished to establish executive authority in all
10 the municipalities which were being claimed for the Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna? Do you know about that?
12 A. Your Honour, as I've already said, as far as this document is
13 concerned, at that time I was the commander of a battalion in Mostar. I
14 don't know anything about the functioning of the civilian authorities. I
15 don't know that there were any conflicts during that period of time. Any
16 conflicts in the territory of Konjic
17 affairs, and they were solved on a daily basis and never posed any
18 problems. The problems arose only after that period: As far as I can
19 see, this document was issued in 1992.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Maybe the witness should give us
21 the year together with the date that he mentioned.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 23rd of March, 1993, that's when
23 the conflicts started, and this document apparently was issued in 1992.
24 MR. KRUGER:
25 Q. Let's move on to another document, then, three documents earlier
1 in your binder, document P10919. 10919.
2 Now, sir, this is a press release of the War Presidency of the
3 Konjic Municipality
4 co-ordinator of the BH Army and War Presidency of Konjic Municipality.
5 And in this public announcement from July 1992, he says:
"Regarding the announcement of the Konjic HVO of 5 July 1992
7 filed under" reference number, "we are making the following announcement:
8 "The Konjic HVO has surfaced as a self-proclaimed organisation
9 allegedly in charge of supplying a complete range of products from
11 "This is not correct. Our municipality gets all its food and
12 medical supplies, and oil and oil products, by buying them from bartering
13 through the Economic Staff and business operators in Konjic military, or
14 receiving them as a gift from domestic or international humanitarian aid
15 organisations. The HVO does not take part in that.
16 "On the contrary, the Konjic HVO interferes and obstructs the
17 flow of these products obtained with great difficulty ..."
18 Sir, do you know anything about the Muslims in Konjic viewing the
19 HVO as being interfering and obstructive? And this was -- and this was
20 1992 that we're talking to July -- June 1992.
21 A. I don't know that the HVO blocked anything. I've already told
22 you that at that time I was the commander of a battalion in Mostar, and I
23 know that we had excellent co-operation in the territory of Mostar
24 it came to the liberation of the city from the VRS. At the time, I was
25 the commander of a battalion in Mostar. Therefore, I know nothing about
1 this document.
2 Q. So, sir, from what you've said with regard to this document and
3 the previous one that I showed you, you don't know whether what is stated
4 in those documents is true or not; is that correct?
5 A. I was not even aware of the existence of the document, nor did I
6 hear anything about any such things happening, so I can't really tell you
7 anything. I've not -- I've never heard of anything that is referred to
8 in this document.
9 Q. But it is entirely possible -- because you don't know, it's
10 possible that it's actually true, what's being stated in these documents,
11 isn't it?
12 A. I can't tell you that. When a document of this sort is written,
13 I don't know what the purpose of it may be. At the time, as I've already
14 told you, I was in Mostar, I was the commander of a battalion, and I had
15 excellent co-operation with the BiH Army.
16 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, this sort of questioning, I suggest,
17 is really -- unfairly confuses the witness, because witnesses come to
18 answer questions and say what they know. They don't come to be asked to
19 agree to simple propositions of logic, such as if they don't know
20 anything about anything, then they can't say anything about that. So
21 this is really a waste of time and confusing for a witness.
22 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may briefly respond to that.
23 I would submit it's entirely appropriate, this line of
24 questioning, because the whole point is the witness has expressed very
25 categorical views on the ABiH being the aggressor and the HVO having done
1 nothing to -- or not having been responsible for provocations or for the
2 conflict. And the reason for putting this to the witness is simply to
3 ascertain whether the witness really knew what he was talking about, and
4 that's why I'm putting these documents to the witness. And if he knows
5 nothing about them, then it makes a point.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, he said that. That's the point. At
7 page 31, line 3:
8 "I wasn't aware of the existence of the document, nor did I hear
9 about any such things happening, so I can't really tell you anything."
10 So end of story there. Now, if Mr. Kruger then wishes to
11 challenge that and suggest that he does know something, or put something
12 to him to say that he does know something, that's an entirely legitimate
13 line of cross-examination, but not to go on, I submit, into these
14 propositions of logic. It's really just argument, then, and that's not
15 what witnesses come here for.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours -- my
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please. Mr. Kruger, you put
19 your question, which was a very specific question, and you were entitled
20 to do so. The witness answered your question and said that he could not
21 answer your question because at the time he was not involved in this
22 region, he was not there, and so on. On two occasions, you addressed the
23 issue again, and on two occasions he answered likewise. You can waste
24 your time and put the question a third time again, and he will answer in
25 the same fashion.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
2 permission, I was just going to say something along the same lines as
3 you, Your Honour Judge Antonetti.
4 The witness said it clearly as to what he was able to know at the
5 moment when he was the commander of a battalion in Mostar and what he was
6 in a position to know after the month of October and further on when he
7 was with the VOS and the Main Staff. I don't think that these two should
8 be mixed and disqualify the answer pertaining to the time when he was a
9 member of the VOS, because he was somewhere else before that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
11 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Well, sir, let's move, then, into October 1992, and let's have a
13 look at document P00581. And this is still binder 2. This is the third
14 document in your binder, sir.
15 Now, sir, this document is a document that's already in evidence,
16 Your Honours, from 15 October 1992
17 Herceg Stjepan Brigade commander, and it's to the Konjic Military Police,
18 Jablanica Military Police, Klis Military Police, and a few other military
19 police organisations. It says :
20 "This is to inform you that as of 17 October 1992, all persons in
21 the territory of Konjic
22 allowing them freedom of movement throughout the territory of the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of Croatia
24 their passes authenticated with the Herceg Stjepan Brigade's stamp.
25 "All persons in possession of passes that have been authenticated
1 with any other stamp than that of Herceg Stjepan Brigade shall be
2 invalid, and holder of any such pass shall not be permitted to enter and
3 tour this territory."
4 Now, just for the record, I note that the original document does
5 refer in this instance to "teritorija."
6 So, sir, were you aware of this order stating that only
7 Herceg Stjepan Brigade stamps would be valid for travel passes?
8 A. This is an order. I was not familiar with this. This had
9 nothing to do with military intelligence, because this referred to the
10 members of this brigade. It seems that the intention was not to allow
11 anybody else to deal with the members of his brigade, or maybe something
12 else. I really don't know. I've not seen this document before. In any
13 case, this was not a military intelligence document. It is possible that
14 he informs all the military police units that his men did not enough
15 duty, he is inquiring whether anybody else had let them go. I really
16 don't know.
17 Q. Now, sir, but even though you haven't seen the document before,
18 then, do you agree that on the face of it, this document says, in
19 essence, that travel passes which would be issued by the RBiH and its
20 authorities would not be valid? Isn't that what it implies?
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
22 Objection, Your Honour, to the question. If the document had been read
23 through, the reason would be obvious, the reason for the issuance of this
25 MR. KRUGER:
1 Q. Sir, can you answer? In essence, this would mean that travel
2 documents issued by the authorities -- the legal authorities of the RBiH
3 in Konjic and Jablanica would not be valid under certain circumstances?
4 A. I can't agree with that, absolutely not, because I can see a
5 reference being made here to the area of Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of
7 Somebody must have stolen a stamp or something to that effect. But a
8 local commander cannot put out of effect an existing agreement on
9 co-operation between the Republic of Croatia
10 which clearly demonstrates that the BiH Army and the HVO were both legal
11 and legitimate. I don't see how a local commander could have an
12 effect -- an influence on a pre-existing agreement. I don't see how he
13 can allow somebody to move or not move around the territory of
14 Herceg-Bosna. I don't know what the authorities of such a man would be,
15 vis-à-vis everybody else, unless it is only vis-à-vis his own troops.
16 Q. Sir, just before the break, perhaps: At that stage, October
17 1992, is it correct that all the municipalities which were identified to
18 be part of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna actually formed part of
19 the sovereign territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 A. All municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina are part of the
21 sovereign territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is very clear.
22 Q. And according to this order, somebody from Konjic or from
23 Jablanica who had a valid travel document issued by the authorities of
24 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to this, they cannot
25 travel into the areas being claimed for the Croatian Community of
1 Herceg-Bosna; that pass would not be valid, isn't that what this says?
2 A. Yes, absolutely, I said that this was a local commander, and
3 already at the time agreements existed on friendship and co-operation
4 between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia
5 at that time people were travelling from Konjic and Mostar, people coming
6 in, so I don't know of any such possibility that a commander of a local
7 brigade could have any such influence.
8 MR. KRUGER: All right, let's step off this topic.
9 Your Honours, is it time for the break or we still have a few
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, it's time for the
12 break, a 20-minute break.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
16 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
17 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Jasak, just before -- and continuing, it occurred to me that
19 you went to the academy in Zagreb
20 remained there until 1994. Do you know, is that the same academy where
21 General Petkovic at one stage was involved either as an instructor or had
22 some role there?
23 A. I attended the Command Staff School
24 appeared [as interpreted] as a lecturer there.
25 Q. During the time when you were doing your --
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. The
2 witness said General Petkovic was not a lecturer there.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Petkovic did not appear
4 during my schooling there as a lecturer.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you for that clarification.
6 Q. During your period subsequently after the Command Staff School
7 from 1994 onwards, did you have anything to do with General Petkovic?
8 Were you ever in the same units or working in the same sectors?
9 A. After I had completed my schooling, yes, during a certain period
10 of time. I think it was 1996 until 2000, thereabouts.
11 Q. Yes. And what was the relationship between you and
12 General Petkovic at that time, the professional relationship?
13 A. General Petkovic was my commander.
14 Q. Your immediate commander, and in which -- where were you working
15 at that stage?
16 A. At the time, I was working in the Ston Military District, and
17 General Petkovic was the commander of the Ston Military District, and I
18 was head of the Department for Personnel and Legal Affairs.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, let's continue, and let's have a look at
20 document P01139. This is two documents further on in the binder from
21 where you are now. P01139. This document is already in evidence.
22 This is a document from 15 January. It's an order signed by
23 General Petkovic, and it is to the HVO and the BiH. Now, sir, this
24 order, if we just read the preamble, it says:
25 "Pursuant to the decision of the HZ-HB HVO ..."
1 Before continuing, can you confirm or did you know what the HZ-HB
2 HVO was?
3 A. Yes, I do. The HVO is the Croatian Defence Council, and the
4 HZ-HB is the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
5 Q. Yes. And if there's reference to the Croatian Community of HVO
6 decision, would that be the body of which Mr. Prlic was the president?
7 A. I don't know where your question is going, because from the
8 memorandum -- or, rather, from the heading we can see it says "Republic
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina," from the header, and then "the Croatian Community
10 of Herceg-Bosna," and then "the Croatian Defence Council." That's the
12 Q. Okay. Sir, let's move --
13 A. And then it goes on to say "HVO Main Headquarters" or
14 "Main Staff."
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. Witness, this was a very easy question.
16 Did you know that Mr. Prlic was the president of this entity or not?
17 It's a yes-or-no question, no comment called for.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand the question to
19 be that, because at the time the president of the Croatian Defence
20 Council was Mr. Prlic, I think.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, that's the answer, then. The question
22 is -- yes, I know.
23 THE WITNESS: The civilian part.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, would you look at
25 the question, and you'll see that the question wasn't put that way. And
1 it's line 25, the question was "the Croatian Community of HVO," and that
2 is why the witness did not understand what the question referred to,
3 because the body that Mr. Prlic headed which was the HVO HZ-HB.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I didn't look at the literal formulation of the
5 question, which I agree to you is puzzling, but I was looking at the
6 document and what is set out on page 37, line 20. And that entity, I
7 thought, was what the question referred to.
8 Mr. Kruger.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. That was indeed so and
10 thank you for eliciting the answer or a response.
11 Q. Now, sir, if we go on, it's pursuant to the decision, then, of
12 the body of which Mr. Prlic was the head. And the order of the chief of
13 the Defence Department, you agree that that is Mr. Stojic being referred
15 A. Yes, I agree.
16 Q. " ... and pursuant to the Geneva Agreements on the structure of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces
18 Command in the provinces, I hereby order:"
19 And then it says:
20 "All units of the HVO Armed Forces and of the BH Army in
21 Provinces 3, 8, 10," those are Croatian provinces, "be placed under the
22 command of the HVO Main Headquarters, that is, under the command of the
23 Central Bosnia
25 And if we continue to number 4, it says:
1 "Members and units of the HVO Armed Forces and the BH Army who do
2 not submit to the commands in items 1 and 2 herein leave the province
3 where they do not belong; otherwise, they will be treated as paramilitary
4 units and disarmed."
5 Now, sir, my question to you is: You'll agree that this order
6 relates to the implementation of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan; you don't
7 disagree with that?
8 A. This order relates to the provinces contained in the
9 Vance-Owen Plan, yes.
10 Q. And from paragraph 1, what this, in effect, says, if we look at
11 those provinces, those provinces would include Konjic, for instance, and
12 it says the units in Konjic municipality are to be placed under the
13 command of the HVO Main Headquarters. And, furthermore, if those units
14 in Konjic do not do this, and it says -- who do not submit to the
15 commands, they must leave the province where they do not belong;
16 otherwise, they will be treated as paramilitary units and disarmed.
17 Now, sir, doesn't this mean that the ABiH in Konjic municipality,
18 that majority of the soldiers - I think you mentioned the number of
19 14.000 - according to this, they must submit themselves to the command of
20 the HVO, isn't that what this says, and if they don't, they have to
22 A. As far as I know, this order never came into force. It was never
23 acted upon and implemented.
24 Q. But, sir, this order -- that's not the question, whether it was
25 implemented or acted upon. Does this mean that those soldiers -- ABiH
1 soldiers in Konjic had to either submit to the HVO command or leave?
2 A. If the order was not implemented, then they didn't have to be
3 submitted to anybody.
4 Q. We're not talking about the implementation yet. I'm talking
5 about the practical implication. Does this order say, as it stands here,
6 or imply, as it stands here, that those soldiers in Konjic, Muslim
7 soldiers, ABiH, had to submit to the HVO or leave?
8 A. If it didn't come into force, then they didn't have to become
10 Q. Sir, if you look at paragraph 8, it says:
11 "This order shall be carried out by 20 January 1993."
12 Now, this order, if you place yourself in the shoes of the
13 Muslims in Konjic, for instance, the ABiH in Konjic, certainly you would
14 be very concerned about what the HVO is requiring of you; isn't that so?
15 A. I have no knowledge that this was sent to Konjic at all. That
16 does not follow from this. It doesn't follow that it was sent to Konjic.
17 But I say again I have no knowledge that this -- that any of the things
18 contained in this order were ever carried out. And if we go back to this
19 period, then there was another order at that time linked to the
20 Vance-Owen Plan. Perhaps I could try and explain that general period.
21 It was an order from the minister of defence of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina - his name was Bozo Rajic - and it related to all
23 three components, and initially it meant a truce, a cessation of all
24 hostilities. That's what it called for, and it had similar contents to
25 this. So it meant the temporary de-blockade of Sarajevo and the
1 withdrawal from areas where the Serbs were in the majority, where the
2 Croats were in the majority, where the Muslims were in the majority, and
3 so on. So this was something that was resorted to for that particular
4 time so that they knew who was in command of what forces in the
5 provinces, and then later on so that they could discuss overall
6 demobilisation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So the aim of that was an
7 immediate cessation of conflicts, and the Croats saw the Vance-Owen Plan
8 as a definite end to the war.
9 Q. Now, sir, you say the Croats saw the Vance-Owen Plan as a
10 definite end to the war, but certainly as an intelligence analyst you
11 must have been aware that the Muslim side was not in favour of this
12 Vance-Owen Peace Plan and they didn't agree with it. Isn't that so?
13 A. Upon returning from Geneva
14 back, the knowledge wasn't like that, because in January already it was
15 agreed with Alija Izetbegovic that he would accept the Vance-Owen Plan
16 and that he would sign it -- well, it was to have taken place in January,
17 but there was some technicality involved. And I remember that I was
18 personally given an assignment from General Petkovic to collect
19 information about heavy artillery deployment for the entire HVO for that
20 period and also the distribution of the minefields for the requirements
21 of the negotiations in Geneva
22 drew those maps and so on. So that means that the goal was to locate
23 where the artillery was located in order to prevent it from firing, and
24 to draw up maps and exchange them on the layout of the minefields.
25 Q. Okay. Let me put this to you: that the interpretation that the
1 Bosnian Croats had of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan was not shared by the
2 Muslims, the interpretation. They didn't agree with your interpretation.
3 What would you say to that?
4 A. I don't know how they interpreted it. All I do know is that the
5 Vance-Owen Plan was signed in its entirety in March 1993, and that, in
6 principle, they had agreed on all the points as early on as January 1993.
7 So if something was signed and a document existed, and you had a map,
8 then I think that's it, that's the end of the story.
9 As far as interpretations go, it is only the international
10 community that can interpret things, because it was under its auspices
11 that it was carried through.
12 Q. Sir, let's move on from this, and let's move to March 1993. And
13 I refer you to document 4D00454. This is the second-last document in
14 your binder. This document is already in evidence.
15 Now, sir, the document you have before you is dated the 20th of
16 March, 1993, and it's a protocol of the joint meeting of representatives
17 of the RBiH Army, commands and representatives of RBiH Ministry of
18 Interior, and the meeting was held on 20 March. The subject of this
19 meeting, we see just below "Protocol," it says -- at least "subject," you
20 will see just below the "Protocol," "Subject" is:
21 "The assessment of military-safety situation in the area of
22 Hadzici, Jablanica, Konjic municipalities with regard to the Croatian
23 Defence Council."
24 And then it starts off with saying:
25 "Upon analysis of the military-safety situation in the free
1 territories of the indicated municipalities, significant deterioration of
2 the relations between HVO and legal government authorities of the RBiH
3 and the Army of RBiH in the recent period, and particularly since
4 continued negotiations in New York
5 thereof lie in the establishment by force of parallel authorities by HVO,
6 which is manifested through:"
7 And then various instances of manifestation of this attempt to
8 establish parallel authorities is listed.
9 Now, sir, I put it to you that the HVO was, indeed, trying to
10 establish parallel authorities in various municipalities, including
11 Konjic and Jablanica.
12 A. I don't have any knowledge of any establishment of parallel
13 authority in the Konjic-Jablanica area.
14 Q. And the legal authorities in Konjic and Jablanica, the
15 authorities of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they were
16 concerned about the actions of the HVO? Do you allow for that, that this
17 could be a reason why later on, a month later, Mr. Halilovic asks
18 Mr. Petkovic, Are we still friends, or Are we allies or enemies?
19 A. I don't want to do any guess-work here. When you mention legal
20 organs, legal authorities, absolutely the HVO was a legal, and I think
21 we've established that already in the previous days, so I don't see how
22 the problem of legality crops up here.
23 Q. But those authorities were being interfered with or worked
24 against by the HVO. The HVO was usurping their power, isn't that so, and
25 their authority?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Could we have an example of how, in Jablanica, for
2 instance, when you had the doctor who was appointed by Izetbegovic to
3 take over that region, how is it that -- and in what concrete fashion did
4 the HVO in Jablanica or Konjic actually took over authority? And if he
5 can prove that and show that, then he can pose that question. That's the
6 predicate, as opposed to just hypothesising in the air, like a feather in
7 a storm.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I might remind
9 you that the topic of civilian authorities were not covered in the
10 examination-in-chief, and, therefore, I think that Mr. Kruger should
11 refrain from posing leading questions.
12 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may respond to that.
13 The summary makes it very clear that the witness testifies that
14 the position in Konjic Municipality
15 precipitated the conflict, they were responsible for it. These questions
16 go directly to that topic, because they are designed to indicate that
17 this simply is not so, and the HVO, be it the military or the civilian
18 authorities, had a very big role in provoking that conflict. And that's
19 why this falls squarely within the ambit of cross-examination,
20 Your Honour, I submit.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Once again, these are
22 objections that are wasting our time.
23 You have heard the Prosecutor. He's talking about provocations
24 from the HVO, and do you agree or don't you agree with that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't agree about these HVO
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, he doesn't agree, so
3 please proceed.
4 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, sir, let's move to the actual attack in Konjic, the ABiH
6 attack, on the 23rd of March, 1993. Now, your testimony, as I understand
7 it, is that on the 23rd of March, it's 1993, it's the ABiH which launched
8 this attack, and it was entirely unprovoked by any actions from the HVO
9 side. Is that your testimony?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Let's have a look at document P01747. 1747.
12 Now, sir, this document is an --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would that document be protected? It says
14 "Confidential" on the first page, and it's a SpaBat document, I think.
15 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, this is one of those documents where we
16 are allowed to talk about it, as long as we don't broadcast it, an image
17 of the document.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's good to know that. Thank you.
19 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour, and thank you for alerting
20 me to that. I missed that.
21 Q. Now, sir, this document is an UNPROFOR report from UNPROFOR
22 Kiseljak to UNPROFOR Headquarters Zagreb, and it's a weekly information
23 summary for the period 22 to 28 March. And we only have the translation
24 of the portions that I'm going to put to you, and the first part I'm
25 putting to you -- want to show you is paragraph 4(b), which is on page 3
1 of 8 in the English version. And 4 is the report for the BritBat Sector.
2 4(b) relates to Gornji Vakuf, and it says:
3 "The relationship between the Muslims and the Croats appears to
4 have deteriorated during the past seven days. On 21 March, according to
5 BritBat reports, the HVO to the east of Prozor attacked the Muslim
6 village of Here. Following this attack, concentration of soldiers from
7 both sides were noted in the surrounding villages."
8 Sir, are you aware or is that correct that on the 21st of March
9 the HVO attacked the village of Here
10 A. I don't know about this.
11 Q. But, sir, as an analyst, certainly if this is true, then
12 certainly this may or would have an impact on how the ABiH viewed their
13 security in neighbouring areas; isn't that so?
14 A. I've said a number of times that the HVO had less men, and in
15 case of any attacks it was clear what would happen, what the outcome
16 would have been. So I don't have any knowledge to the effect that the
17 HVO attacked anywhere.
18 Q. Sir, the fact that you don't know about this is just because you
19 weren't privy to all information regarding the HVO activities, even
20 though you were in the Main Staff; isn't that so?
21 A. I said that I was informed of the enemy activities in these
22 parts, and so, according to the reports we had, there were no conflicts,
23 which means that the HVO did not cause the conflicts, provoke the
25 Q. Sir, I put it to you that if we look at the ABiH attack in
1 Konjic, we simply cannot evaluate that attack on the 23rd of March, 1993
2 without taking into account this attack by the HVO in Prozor two days
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let us just be more
6 precise. It wasn't about the attack in Prozor that was referred to, but
7 the village of Here
8 MR. KRUGER: I'll reformulate.
9 Q. Sir, the attack of the ABiH in Konjic on the 23rd of March, 1993
10 we cannot evaluate or judge what happened there without taking into
11 account the HVO attack in the village of Here
12 municipality of Prozor, two days earlier; isn't that so?
13 A. I don't have knowledge of this attack in Here on the 21st of
14 March, but perhaps the attack in Konjic on the 23rd -- perhaps we can
15 view that through a different context, in a different context, where a
16 little while before that, both for the military and civilian authorities,
17 Safet Cibo was appointed for Konjic, Jablanica, and Prozor, and he
18 addressed the population over Radio Konjic, and then Croats could not
19 have any access to Konjic anymore. So propaganda again.
20 Q. Let's look at paragraph 5(b) of this report, which is a report
21 from SpaBat Sector, and paragraph 5(b) relates to Konjic. It says:
22 "According to Slobodan Bobic (HVO vice-defence minister), on
23 March 24th, Muslim elements killed two Croats, wounded eight more, and
24 arrested a further 22 of the HVO."
25 And it goes on:
1 "The situation abated somewhat when Bruno Stojic and
2 Brigadier Petkovic visited the area and organised the release of the
3 detainees. The comment is this activity was a consequence rather than a
4 cause of the tension which has been increasing in the Konjic-Jablanica
5 area during the past week. The heightened state of tension was
6 demonstrated by the significant increase in the number of check-points in
7 town as well as an increase in the manning of these check-points."
8 Sir, it seems that the internationals viewed that the events in
9 Konjic, that attack on the 23rd and then -- which was then stopped by
10 Petkovic and Stojic a day later, it seems that that attack was not --
11 should not be viewed only in the context of Konjic, you can't view it in
12 isolation. You need to look at the broader context. That activity was a
13 consequence rather than a cause of the tension; isn't that so? Konjic
14 you can't view in isolation; you have to view it in the broader context
15 of the region. What happened in Jablanica and Prozor would also impact.
16 A. If we look at 5(b), referring to Konjic, you will see that an
17 additional 22 HVO members were arrested, which means that prior to that
18 there were 150 HVO members arrested, as had been admitted by the ABiH,
19 and that the attack was going on across the area. On the 23rd, an
20 agreement was signed by the HVO and the ABiH in order to put a stop to
21 that conflict. And as I've already said it, after that the scale of the
22 conflict was first reduced and then the scale -- the conflict was
23 stopped, but a big contribution towards that was a very bad weather.
24 You can see that the report is not comprehensive and that the
25 number of 150 is not mentioned. We see that there is a reference to the
1 21st, but whereas the 23rd the report is not comprehensive, which may be
2 due to the fact that it was not easy to come by information at the time.
3 Q. Let's move on to the next month, April. Now, sir, with regard to
4 the events in April in the municipality of Jablanica
5 "To the best of my knowledge, the HVO had never planned that."
6 And that was on the 19th of January at transcript reference 48654
7 [realtime transcript read in error "48694"], line 20. Sir, by that do
8 you mean that the HVO did not attack in Jablanica in April 1993?
9 A. Absolutely, the HVO didn't launch any attacks on the town of
10 Jablanica. What the HVO did was to try and help the Croats who were
11 completely encircled there. That was an active defence.
12 Q. You are aware of the ultimatum -- the April ultimatum by the HVO
13 to the ABiH in April, issued on the 5th of April, to expire on the 15th
14 of April? Are you aware of that ultimatum?
15 A. I'm not aware of any ultimatum.
16 Q. Let's look at paragraph 18 -- Exhibit P01808. It's just the next
17 document in your binder. Exhibit P01808. This is in evidence.
18 Sir, this is a media report published in "Borba" on the 5th of
19 April, 1993, and we've provided in your binder an enlarged version of it
20 to make it easier for you to read. You'll see that there's a photograph
21 on the top right-hand side of the picture, and just beneath that
22 photograph there's an article entitled "HVO Ultimativno Trazi." You see
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. This article says -- it's about the HVO ultimatum: "HVO ultimatum
1 demands pullout of Muslim troops from three provinces:
3 pullout of Muslim troops from the provinces assigned to the Croats under
4 a UN peace plan, thus heightening the tensions between the nominal
6 "The HVO command set April 15 as the dead-line for
7 Alija Izetbegovic to sign a joint document which calls for a pullout of
8 troops and the creation of a joint command, thus confirming that there
9 are no disagreements between Croats and Muslims."
10 Sir, do you have no knowledge of this?
11 A. I have no knowledge of the ultimatum. However, another reference
12 is made to provinces. That was in April, and as far as I know the
13 Vance-Owen Plan was signed in March and included the proposals by both
14 the Croatian and Muslim sides. I don't see where the problem lies. I
15 don't know about any ultimatums.
16 Q. Sir, let's read the next paragraph:
17 "'If Izetbegovic does not sign the agreement by 15 April, the HVO
18 will unilaterally establish its authority in Provinces 3, 8 and 10,' says
19 a communique from the HVO General Staff in Mostar."
20 That's a reference to the Main Staff where you were working.
21 They issued this communique. Did you know about that?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the fifth time,
23 perhaps, I will have the following objection to a similar question. We
24 have already spoken at great length about the text in "Borba" and in
25 Reuters, and we had Veso Vegar as a witness in this courtroom, and I
1 believe that it was established in this court that no information was
2 issued by the Main Staff of the HVO. Could that please be borne in mind,
3 rather to use a newspaper text from the Belgrade-based "Borba," and ask
4 the witness about something that he could not have any knowledge about
5 and that has been proven in this courtroom as not being the truth?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, the Defence is
7 saying that the Main Staff never issued any press releases and that one
8 needs to be wary of this article published in Belgrade.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you for that, Your Honour.
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, a small correction, but it makes life
11 easier later, but the -- I was trying to find the reference at page 49,
12 line 20 of today's transcript to the 19th of January, given as 48694.
13 It's actually 48654. It's probably worth noting, because later we'll
14 look for it and it's not there.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you for that, Your Honour. It is, indeed, as
16 Mr. Stewart spoke. I misspoke on that, and I apologise.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Maybe not to forget later, the previous discussion
18 of my dear colleague Mr. Stewart is recorded as Mr. Kruger is speaking,
19 so later we would forget who is speaking what.
20 MR. STEWART: I suppose I should also point out that --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
22 MR. STEWART: I should also point out that if the corrected
23 references that I've just given don't then appear correctly on the
24 transcript now, nothing is achieved. And a few lines back, it's given as
25 "4655." What did I say, "48654," I think is what I said. Mr. Kruger can
1 confirm that. Thank you.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's wrong again. You said "48654," not "46,"
3 I think.
4 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
6 MR. STEWART: Now I've got it, thank you.
7 Yes, thank you, Your Honour. I did -- as I sat down, same old
8 problem. Once it happens once, it carries on happening, doesn't it?
9 That's a rule.
10 MR. KRUGER:
11 Q. Sir, you were in the Main Staff during April 1993. Was there any
12 talk that you were aware of in the Main Staff about an ultimatum and a
13 dead-line of 15 April?
14 A. I was not aware of any ultimatums.
15 Q. Let's have a look at the next document in the binder, which is
16 P01872. And we won't dwell upon this document. We'll just quickly look
17 at it. It's an order from Miljenko Lasic of the 14th of April, 1993
18 It's an HVO order. It says:
19 "In view of carrying out the combat mission in the
20 Prozor-Jablanica area, I order:"
21 And then follows what he orders.
22 Now, sir, you'd agree that this is very clearly a combat -- an
23 order preparing the HVO for combat missions? You don't disagree with
25 A. If we look at the date, which is the 14th of April, and
1 Miljenko Lasic's order, we will see that that was a reaction to the
2 activities previously undertaken by the BiH Army. This is what I have
3 already been talking about. That was when artillery support was
4 requested for Boksevica and for the areas penetrated by their sabotage
5 forces. If we look at the artillery of the Operations Zone South-East
7 explanation would be that that was that artillery support. It was not
8 previously planned. It was a reaction to something that had happened,
9 and an order was then issued to that effect.
10 Q. Sir, you've given a long explanation, but you still haven't
11 answered the question. You don't disagree that this is clearly an order
12 for combat missions by the HVO, regarding combat missions for the HVO?
13 A. I absolutely agree, and I would say that this was a combat
14 mission, of course.
15 Q. Let's go three documents further in your binder, and this is
16 document P01915, P01915.
17 Now, this is an interim report two days later. It's dated the
18 16th of April, 1993, and it's by Colonel Zeljko Siljeg. And if we note
19 the addressees, it's to the Department of Defence in Mostar and to the
20 Main Staff of the HVO.
21 Now, if we go to paragraph 7 and paragraph 8 of this report, it
23 "Co-ordinating with Tuta is done through the Posusje unit of
25 And 8:
1 "Beginning of today's operation on selected targets, next to the
2 village of Slatina at 7.00 and on the village of Sovici
3 Now, sir, my question to you is: This appears to be very close
4 to an attack order. Isn't this an attack order regarding the village of
6 A. This is not a combat or, rather, an attack order. I need to read
7 the whole document, but I can tell you that this is a report from a
8 commander who had his zone of responsibility, and he submitted a report.
9 For me to be able to comment upon this document, I have to read the
10 entire report to be able to tell you what's herein. So this is not an
11 order. This a report, reporting about the situation on the ground.
12 Q. And according to what you see there in this report, what is being
13 reported is that Sovici is going to be attacked at 9.00?
14 A. Here it says "Selectively on military targets." That's how I
15 read it.
16 Q. Have a look at paragraph 13, the very last item of the document.
17 It says:
18 "We continue to work according to plan."
19 Now, sir, do you allow that there was actually a plan being
20 implemented in this area by the HVO?
21 A. Here it says, looking at bullet point 1:
22 "In the command of the Rama Brigade, we are establishing a
23 forward command post."
24 This a plan to establish a forward command post in order to be
25 able to resist attacks which were mounting in the area. When you want to
1 establish a forward command post, it takes some time. In other words,
2 this is a plan to establish a forward command post in the area.
3 Q. Doesn't this refer to all the previous points in this document, 1
4 to 12
5 plan? Isn't that what this says?
6 A. This is a report by a commander. What exactly did he have in
7 mind? There's no way for me to know. But I believe that he was talking
8 about his plan to establish a forward command post as a reaction to what
9 had happened previously in the area. We see the date 16 April, and we
10 know that the intense activities started on the 13th of April. In my
11 view, as an analyst, I would say that I am right in interpreting the
12 commander's words, but what he really meant is a different story.
13 Q. Now, sir, as an analyst, you see that this report was addressed
14 to, inter alia, Mr. Stojic, and it was addressed to the chief of the
15 Main Staff, General Petkovic. Now, certainly Colonel Siljeg, when he
16 wrote this, it's safe to assume that when he refers to "the plan" or
17 "this plan," that Mr. Stojic and General Petkovic would know what he was
18 talking about. As an analyst, would you agree with that?
19 A. As an analyst, looking back at that time, I can say that
20 Mr. Stojic and everybody else got very much involved with a view to
21 pacifying the situation. It was common knowledge that there was a lot
22 going on, and you can see that something was done in order to prevent
23 further attacks against the units of the HVO which were deployed in the
24 area -- in the enclaves around Konjic.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission, I
1 allowed the witness to provide his answer, but I have to object. The
2 document doesn't say that it was ever sent to Mr. Stojic. It was sent to
3 the Defence Department. We have had documents which expressly refer to
4 Mr. Stojic. This is not one of them. And I just wanted to be very
5 precise in that respect. Thank you.
6 MR. KRUGER: I'll move on, Your Honour. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, this is an important
8 document in light of the indictment; namely, as regards Sovici and
9 Doljani. The case put by the Prosecution is that the HVO attacked,
10 together with Tuta's unit, and with a number of consequences.
11 I'm looking at this document as it stands in front of us. There
12 is something at the end which mentions a plan. In your language,
13 "planu," "po planu." A Judge that only reads this document can infer
14 that an offensive is being launched, but this would not take into account
15 what happened on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of April. And you addressed
16 this very briefly, and we've seen documents relating to that.
17 Since you were a member of the Main Staff at the time, since you
18 were an analyst, as far as you remember - it is very difficult to
19 remember everything after such a long time when so much happened, it's
20 difficult perhaps to jolt your memory - but at the time, as far as you
21 remember, did the HVO react after there had been an attack by the ABiH or
22 did the HVO launch an attack, which is not the same thing?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO absolutely reacted to an
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this document, if I analyse
1 it without taking into account what happened on the 13th, 14th, and 15th
2 of April, for which we have a great number of documents, there's a small
3 technical point of detail which caught my attention, and that has to do
4 with the radio connections and the fact that it was important to install
5 a mobile repeater coming from Tomislavgrad. Do you see what I mean?
6 It's mentioned here. After the list of artillery pieces, 1, 2, 3, and
7 then there is a need to install that; i.e., it is important to have four
9 If there is such a plan as put forward by the Prosecution, I
10 wonder why this hadn't been planned beforehand, to install the entire
11 communications system. This is clearly done in a hurry and there's
12 nothing there, so it has to be brought in from Tomislavgrad. Either they
13 are totally incompetent, which could well be the case, or this small
14 technical detail indicates that the HVO was faced with an offensive and
15 they had to prepare for a counter-offensive by installing an adequate
16 communications system which wasn't working properly.
17 I don't know exactly what your knowledge of military affairs are.
18 I know that you went to military school, I know that you're an officer,
19 but I don't know if you're currently involved in a number of operations
20 conducted by NATO, with the participation of the Croatian forces. I
21 don't know. But when there is a plan, in technical terms, are the
22 communications systems not a priority when such a plan exists?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, absolutely,
24 communications are a priority, and you can see that there was no plan in
25 place. If there had been a plan, then we, as the military intelligence,
1 would have had to provide elements for such a plan, and I know that we
2 have never provided such elements. And you can see here that this was
3 organised as a reaction to something and that we were taken by surprise.
4 A repeater was then brought in and set up in order to establish
5 communication among the different elements of the artillery.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have just mentioned a
7 detail which is important. This could be drowned in what you are saying.
8 You are saying that if there was a plan, the VOS would have been
9 involved beforehand, upstream, not at the last minute. As far as you
10 remember, while you worked as an analyst, do you have any memory of a
11 plan that would have been prepared beforehand?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only plan that had been
13 prepared and that I'm aware of at the level of the Main Staff was
14 Operation Tempest in the month of November, 1992, against the VRS, and
15 the Military Intelligence was a part of that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that this
17 famous Bura Operation which we have heard a great deal about, well, that
18 you were involved in that.
19 To conclude, if a large-scale operation in Sovici-Doljani had
20 been prepared, you should have been involved, and you are saying this
21 under oath. You are saying that you were not involved, We were not
22 involved, so there's no plan?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, I was not involved,
24 there was no plan in place.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just for the record, on page 59,
1 line 2, the witness said "Operation Bura." We have spoken about
2 Operation Bura on a number of occasions. Maybe we should stick to the
3 Croatian word rather than attempt to translate it into English.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Jasak, let's then look at another document, P01936. It's the
7 very next document in your binder, P01936, and this is another interim
8 report by Colonel Siljeg on the 17th of April, 1993, addressed to the
9 Main Staff of the Croatian Defence Council in Mostar and the Operative
10 Zone North-West Herzegovina
11 "Interim report for the situation at 0900 hours."
12 And then he says:
13 "This morning at 6.00, we began to implement the plan."
14 So, sir, there was a plan?
15 A. A plan? Well, it might just be the word used, "plan," plan to
16 help people under siege in the Konjic region, used that way. But there
17 wasn't a written plan as something that is elaborated for anything like
18 that. It's just a plan to assist those people who are in jeopardy.
19 Q. But you're just speculating on that, because you don't really
20 know, do you?
21 A. I know that at the level of the Main Staff, there was no plan.
22 So the word "plan," well, you can say -- we used to say, We're working
23 according to plan, but there was no actual plan.
24 Q. Okay, sir. Now, sir, just further on how the ABiH was viewing or
25 interpreting what they saw coming from the HVO side, let's look at
1 document P11078.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second.
3 Witness, the word "plan" is important, because there are two
4 versions, there are two cases. The Prosecutor argues that there was a
5 plan, and you are saying that there was no plan, and Judges will have to
6 rule on this.
7 I see in the B/C/S version the word "plana" or "plan," and I see
8 that it's a report from the 17th of April to the Main Staff and it's
9 coming from Mr. Siljeg. So it's coming from -- it's going to the top.
10 And Colonel Siljeg is reporting to the Main Staff, so going upstream,
11 probably saying to General Petkovic that, We started at 6.00 a.m. and we
12 began to implement the plan. And he points out that the operations are
13 going to go towards the villages of the Prozor municipality, and he gives
14 a list. This is what is puzzling, because you say that you had maps, you
15 had other documents, and you would jot down everything that was
16 happening. So if you are -- if what you're saying is true, in theory,
17 this report sent to General Petkovic would be sent to the VOS or to the
18 officer in charge, and on your map you are going to put arrows like
19 "Gorica," "Paros
20 be taken there.
21 So as far as you can recollect, were you given this document on
22 the 17th of April?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document -- well, I don't
24 remember this document, I don't remember having been given it. We
25 received from this zone -- from VOS, V-O-S, down our chain of
1 information, but this obviously went down the chain of command, whereas
2 from VOS, of the operations zone we would receive, on a regular basis,
3 information and reports.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm not trying to speculate,
5 but from a military point of view, 13th, 14th, and 15th of April, the
6 ABiH is launching an attack. The HVO shows some resistance and launches
7 a counter-attack. Colonel Siljeg, from his forward command post because
8 he is apparently in Prozor, is in touch via radio communication with
9 General Petkovic, and minute after minute he keeps him posted. And on
10 the 16th of April, either by radio communication or by telephone, they
11 set up the counter-offensive. And on the 16th of April, Colonel Siljeg
12 says to him, Tomorrow morning at 6.00 a.m., I will launch my attack on
13 all those small villages, and we are going to take part, and that is
14 Parcani, Visnjani, and so on and so forth. General Petkovic says, That's
15 well and good. Go ahead. And on the 17th of April at 9.00 a.m., which
16 means three hours later, he reports that according to the plan, this is
17 what happened.
18 From a military point of view, could this be a proper sequence of
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm looking at the
21 axis of action, Slatina mentioned here. As far as I'm concerned, it
22 would only -- the only logical thing would be to alleviate the Boksevica
23 and Neretva River Valley
24 very difficult position, so to reinforce them. That is the only logical
25 thing, that it went along that way. So in conformity with the assistance
1 they had asked for previously both from the Operations Zone South-East
3 about the pressure from the north, all I can see here is a request to
4 help the area out because the units were far -- had far less manpower --
5 the HVO had far less manpower and, as such, they found it difficult to
6 survive and to maintain the areas they controlled. So this is by way of
7 alleviating the situation in those areas.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a correction to the
9 transcript. In line 8, it was recorded as being the Neretva River Valley
10 area. The witness said "Neretvica."
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Neretvica.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Because they are two different
13 rivers; right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So according to
16 you, this plan, what was its purpose? Was it to lift some pressure off,
17 because the ABiH was putting pressure on the Neretvica region and
18 attacking those villages would lift some pressure off this region? Is
19 that what the plan was all about? Is that what you're trying to say
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think there was any plan.
22 It was just assistance, reaction to the existing situation, and that they
23 wanted to lift the burden over the units in the Konjic and Jablanica area
24 that were in a difficult position.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Witness, I'm going to skip a few documents. I'm going to refer
3 you to Exhibit P01949. 1949. This exhibit is already in evidence.
4 Now, sir, this is still the same period, and this is the 18th of
5 April, and it's an order for further action by
6 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, and it's addressed to, inter alia, Prozor,
7 Siljeg, and it says:
8 "1. Urgently reinforce the troops that are carrying out offensive
9 operations towards Klis."
10 So, sir, from this it's correct that the HVO was actually in an
11 attack mode, this time in Klis?
12 A. It says here:
13 "Urgently reinforce the forces carrying out offensive operations
14 towards Klis."
15 So that's precisely what I was saying, towards Neretvica. So
16 obviously the forces who -- which wanted to assist the area did not
17 succeed and that they needed to be reinforced to lift the burden off
19 Q. But, sir, the question is: From 1 it's clear that the HVO is
20 carrying out offensive operations, it's attacking towards Klis. Isn't
21 that exactly what it says here?
22 A. This part of the order being mentioned and what we have on the
23 ground, you should view this integrally, comprehensively, and we can call
24 it exclusively "active defence." So there are some elements of attack,
25 but exclusively to gain a better defence position and not to take control
1 of something, so that the defence could be put into a better position so
2 as to be able to resist enemy attacks.
3 Q. Paragraph 2:
4 "You should assess whether you have forces available for attack
5 on Here, Kute, and Scipe."
6 That's clearly contemplating attack?
7 A. If you look at this here, Here, Kute, Scipe, it's an area
8 north-west of the Neretvica Valley
9 from where the attacks came along the Neretvica Valley
10 towards the municipalities of Prozor and Vakuf. Now, they are Muslim
11 villages from which units arrived which attack this area. So here,
12 too -- now, Slatina is the lower side, southerly. This is northerly. So
13 they wanted to lift the burden of this entire siege. So in geographic
14 terms, it's one area which belongs to different municipalities, but it's
15 one general region.
16 Q. Now, sir, paragraph 4:
17 "Zeljko, I hope you understand the order."
18 Do you have any idea what General Petkovic means when he says
19 this? Is he giving a coded message to Zeljko Siljeg?
20 A. I don't know what coded thing this could be, except to be
21 understood just how important the area was. So unless assistance is
22 given, there wouldn't be any more HVO units there. It would have been
23 completely militarily routed. I don't know what else this could mean.
24 Q. Sir, before completing this topic, let's have one more look at
25 the ECMM report which we looked at earlier today. This is P02430.
1 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to ask the witness about the
2 following in connection with the number 4 question, which says that:
3 "Zeljko, I hope you understand the order."
4 And in this connection, I would like to ask Mr. Jasak about the
5 following: If in number 1 and 2 there are references to reinforce the
6 troops that are carrying out offensive operations, then:
7 "You should assess whether you have forces available for attack
8 on Here, Kute, and Scipe."
9 Then would you find any contradiction with number 3,
10 paragraph number 3 of the order, which says that:
11 "In accordance with the order to cease the hostilities, I will
12 meet with Halilovic tomorrow and UNPROFOR will have the role of a
14 So my question is that although in numbers 1 and 2 there are a
15 clear reference as far as the offensive operations, in number 3 there is
16 information that there will be talks about a cease-fire, in that context
17 what is your position on this order? And then probably you can
18 reconsider your previous answer about paragraph number 4, if it is coded
19 or not. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I tried to analyse
21 this as a soldier.
22 We have units that are under siege, in an encirclement. The only
23 way to try, from various axes, to attack -- the only way in which we can
24 lift the burden off these units, we had information that the BH Army was
25 attacking -- was on the attack, regardless of the fact that on the 18th
1 an agreement was signed, and we could see from their orders that they had
2 no intention of respecting it. So here I think that General Petkovic has
3 attempted, by issuing this order, to act and to ensure that his meeting
4 with General Halilovic does not result in a complete military routing of
5 the HVO, because then they would have nothing to discuss. That's how I
6 understand this.
7 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are you saying, Mr. Jasak, that this is an order
9 to implement a cease-fire?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. After this, the
11 24th [as interpreted] in Zenica, they agreed on a cease-fire;
12 Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, that is.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But the operations continued.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, might I correct the
17 transcript. In line 19, what was recorded is the witness having said
18 "the 24th in Zenica." The witness said "the 20th of April," "the 20th of
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, the document we have
22 is an important exhibit from the Prosecution, and it may be used in their
23 final submission as to what happened. Therefore, we have to look at this
24 document in detail. There are four paragraphs, and they have to be
25 linked to each other when read.
1 It seems that there is some sort of a code here. When
2 General Petkovic is sending this document to Colonel Siljeg, it is
3 encrypted, so it's confidential.
4 Point 1, it's obvious it's a surprise attack. We are not aware
5 of all the situation and we don't know what was the position of the HVO
6 and the ABiH in Klis, but you say that the situation was difficult.
7 As for point 2, as for Here, Kute and Scipe, it is obviously not
8 an attack. They have to first assess whether they have the forces
9 available. So this document is mainly targeting Klis.
10 Then we move to points 3 and 4, and here you have to really read
11 it carefully. At first glance, I see that in an official military
12 document, General Petkovic calls Siljeg by his first name, Zeljko. I
13 don't know whether he's saying the formal "you" or the informal "you,"
14 but it's: "I hope you understand the order." But is this referring to
15 number 1 or to number 3? If it's referring to 1, it's very clear, they
16 have to do their utmost for this operation. But if it's linked to
17 number 3, then we are buying into the case of the Prosecution, which
18 could be the following: In Bosnia-Herzegovina during this period, there
19 was some hostilities and there was some cease-fires. Here,
20 General Petkovic knows that. The following day, he will meet with
21 Halilovic, and that UNPROFOR is going to play its role. And as a result
22 of this meeting, there will be a cease-fire. It's obvious. And he is
23 trying to explain to Zeljko that since there's going to be a cease-fire,
24 they have to win immediately. So in military terms, it could mean that
25 you have to win this position immediately, and he's basically saying to
1 him, I hope you understand, because as early as the 19th of April, the
2 following day, UNPROFOR will blow the whistle and will say that it's the
3 end of the game. So he's pre-empting this.
4 So according to you, is point 4 to be read with a link to
5 number 3 or to number 1, if you have any knowledge as a military analyst?
6 If you don't know anything, you can say so and we can move on.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it refers to point 1. I
8 don't know in what context. It could relate to the rest, but the most --
9 essential point is that we can see here the forces acting towards Klis,
10 so if they are not being effective, they need to be reinforced. And to
11 lift the burden, it says in point 2, You should assess whether you have
12 forces available. I think that's what that refers to. And point 3 would
13 simply be that they should try and see that the villages -- these
14 villages don't fall until some agreement is reached, well, in military
15 terms. That's my interpretation of that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, please look at me
17 rather than looking either to your left or to your right.
18 The situation in Klis, what happened? Did the BiH attack? What
19 really happened in Klis, because I'm not aware of anything.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Klis, they were under siege.
21 The BH Army was attacking parts of the HVO in the Neretvica River Valley
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the HVO is
23 surrounded in Klis; correct?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO was encircled mostly
25 throughout the area of the Konjic municipality. There were enclaves that
1 existed, and it was in a very disadvantageous position, the HVO, and so,
2 in my view, all this was planned to make it be in a better position to
3 avoid failure, militarily.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
6 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. I'm not going to show you any further documents from this binder.
8 I'll just ask you one final question to wrap up.
9 Sir, from your testimony on various documents that I've shown
10 you, your testimony has essentially been that where the international
11 observers have come to the conclusion, probably based on their
12 intelligence or the intelligence available to them, that the HVO was
13 actually principally the party provoking conflict in the Konjic-Jablanica
14 area in 1993, are they wrong when they come to those conclusions?
15 A. I'm not claiming that they are setting out untruthful data, but
16 quite simply that information after the 13th of April, 1993
17 information could not have arrived, because they couldn't enter Croatian
18 enclaves. That was not permitted. They weren't able to see the
19 consequences of the actions of the BH Army.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
21 Your Honour, I propose stepping on to topics in binder 3, but
22 perhaps this may be a time for the break.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right, it's probably
24 better to have a break before we move to binder number 3.
25 We'll have a 20-minute break.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
4 Mr. Kruger, you have two hours and eight minutes left.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Jasak, I'd now like to turn to Mostar, and the first
7 thing I'd like to refer you to or ask you about is: On the 20th of
8 January last week, you testified, and I'll get the -- try and get the
9 reference right this time, at transcript reference 48681, and from line
10 10 this is the question:
11 "Mr. Jasak, in this courtroom we saw evidence that the vast
12 majority of these people were of Muslim ethnicity."
13 Now, this is talking about the people who were detained at Velez
14 Stadium on the 9th of May, 1993, and then taken to Heliodrom:
15 "Could you explain to us why there was such a disproportionately
16 large number of Muslims among these people, compared to the composition
17 of the population at that point in time?"
18 And, sorry, sir, I'm not referring to a document, so you needn't
19 look for a document. I'm reading from your own testimony.
20 Your answer to this question was:
21 "Well, I'll try. In my opinion, the only possible explanation is
22 that a large number of Croats had already moved out of that part of town.
23 They had taken their children to continue their schooling elsewhere. And
24 a large part of the inhabitants of Mostar came from the surrounding
25 municipalities, and they may have gone away for the weekend. Also, when
1 people heard shells falling, they left the town in their own vehicles."
2 Sir, from this response of yours, are you telling the Court that
3 the ethnicity of those arrested in Mostar on the 9th of May, 1993, was
4 totally coincidental?
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, an objection to the
6 use of the verb "arrest."
7 MR. KRUGER:
8 Q. Sir, are you telling the Court that the ethnicity of all those
9 people detained in Mostar on the 9th of May, 1993, was totally
11 A. I don't have any other explanation, save for what I have already
12 said in the course of my testimony. That's my opinion.
13 Q. Is it correct that 10 days later, General Petkovic was
14 negotiating about the release of these Muslims who were held at the
16 A. As far as the VOS is concerned, the VOS was not involved in any
17 negotiations at all. But I know that there were talks about releasing
18 all detainees kept both by the BiH Army and the HVO. It would have been
19 an exchange, all for all. That was all I know.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I deliberately
21 allowed the witness to answer. I would just like to remind everybody
22 that under the indictment, people who were detained at the Heliodrom on
23 the 9th of May were released within approximately eight days. So their
24 release could not have been negotiated after 10 days because they had
25 already been released.
1 MR. KRUGER:
2 Q. Sir, let's move on. Have a look at the very last document in
3 your binder, and that is a Defence exhibit that was shown to you last
4 week. It's Exhibit 4D01344.
5 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry, Mr. Kruger, but I believe at least in
6 my binder, the last one is 1242.
7 MR. KRUGER: My apologies, Your Honour. We're moving to binder
8 3. That's --
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: I see.
10 MR. KRUGER: My apology for not making that clear. Binder 3, the
11 very last document is 4D01344.
12 Q. And, sir, you remember this document? This the document showing
13 an agreement between General Mladic and General Halilovic, brokered by
14 Philippe Morillon on the 8th of May, 1993, the cease-fire agreement. You
15 recall this?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Now, just to refresh your memory, you were shown the document and
18 you were asked to interpret what the document showed regarding the
19 Muslims, and this is on the 20th of January, 2010; transcript reference
20 48675 -- sorry, 48676 from line 5. You said:
21 "I would interpret this document in the following way: that the
22 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina no longer intended to fight the Army of
23 Republika Srpska and that they were turning to the creation of their own
24 living environment, at the detriment of their hitherto ally, that is to
25 say, the Croats."
1 You remember saying that?
2 A. Yes, I do remember.
3 Q. And you also stated that you had information that since January,
4 the Muslims and the Serbs were negotiating with each other or talking to
5 each other; is that correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. You told General Petkovic about this?
8 A. VOS, well, about the knowledge that there were talks, we came to
9 that information and we sent it on further. The VOS, I mean.
10 Q. And this agreement on the 8th of May, 1993, was information on
11 this also forwarded to General Petkovic by VOS?
12 A. This was common knowledge, because it concerned UNPROFOR
13 representatives and it was generally known that they were negotiating.
14 But apart from this, some other talks were held that we knew about at
15 that time, too.
16 Q. Now, sir, you are aware of the fact that shortly after this,
17 General Petkovic and General Mladic, they also met under the auspices of
18 General Morillon, and Muslims were not present at that occasion? You
19 were aware that?
20 A. I don't know of that meeting.
21 Q. If I tell you that on the 16th of May, 1993, there was, indeed,
22 such a meeting, would that change your assessment that it's inappropriate
23 for the Serbs and the Muslims to meet, with no Croats being present?
24 A. Well, it wouldn't change it, because after these meetings there
25 were some other meetings, and they were talks about demilitarisation, for
1 instance, of the enclaves in Eastern Bosnia, and the BH Army units would
2 pull out of Central Bosnia, because it was about demilitarisation of
4 area of Central Bosnia. And that's what prompted us to see this
5 agreement as problematic because it would have large forces from
6 North Herzegovina, and this went along the lines of having an area void
7 of Croats or the BH Army.
8 Q. Sir, if you look at the document, you'll see that there's no
9 signature that appears. Do you know whether this agreement was, in
10 actual fact, signed?
11 A. We know that the talks were held, and this was indicative, as far
12 as we were concerned, for assessing co-operation between the BH Army and
13 the Army of Republika Srpska, that is, and for later activities which
14 stemmed from that. And we had information and knowledge that they were
15 working against the Croatian Defence Council, so this was confirmation.
16 Q. And so you did see this document at that stage; is that what
17 you're saying?
18 A. No, I'm not saying I saw the document, but that we knew about the
20 Q. This document here, do you know whether this is the whole
21 agreement that was concluded or not?
22 A. I don't know whether it was the whole agreement that was
24 Q. And, sir, if I show you a different part or even the rest of this
25 agreement, or the documents which form this exhibit or which form the
1 totality of the agreement, then you would have to reassess this document
2 in the context of all those documents; isn't that correct?
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kruger, I find that a difficult question.
4 How can the witness say something? He doesn't know what the other
5 documents are. All he can answer is, Perhaps. And I can answer for him.
6 MR. KRUGER: Indeed, Your Honour. I will show him the document,
8 Q. Sir, let's look at the totality of this document. And if you
9 turn to just the previous document in your binder, this is
10 Exhibit P11192, P11192.
11 MR. KRUGER: And, Your Honour, for the record, if I may point out
12 that the English version of the document which forms this exhibit
13 consisted of a number of pages in English and then one page in B/C/S.
14 And if we look at the translation, this was drawn from the EDS, and it
15 contains the document that was shown to the witness as 4D01344, but that
16 entire document on EDS
17 one page of English. For convenience, we have switched that single page
18 of English and single page of B/C/S so that one can look at the entire
19 English version and the entire B/C/S version without having to flip
20 between the two versions.
21 Q. Sir, looking at this document, the first page, if you just look
22 at the English version perhaps for a moment, the first page is an
23 agreement which is signed by various persons. Now, you may not be able
24 to read the English, but I put it to you that that is actually the signed
25 version of the document that we were discussing just before this,
1 4D01344. This is the cease-fire agreement:
2 "Cease all armed attacks or any hostile acts within the whole
3 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
4 That's the 8th of May, 1993.
5 But, sir, if we turn the page and we look at the next page, we
6 see that this is actually part -- or was concluded at the same time as
7 the agreement on the demilitarisation of Srebrenica and Zepa concluded
8 between General Ratko Mladic and General Sefer Halilovic on 8 May, 1993.
9 And if we actually look at section 1, the demilitarised zone is:
10 "To demilitarise the areas of Srebrenica and Zepa."
11 Now, sir, in that area of Srebrenica and Zepa, the HVO was not
12 really involved in that area as a party to that conflict; is that
14 A. That's right, yes.
15 Q. And, therefore, if you look at General Mladic and
16 General Halilovic meeting to actually deal with the conflict in
17 Srebrenica and Zepa, this actually is of little concern to the HVO. They
18 had no reason for being present at that meeting; isn't that correct?
19 A. I mentioned that within the context of later on, wherein it came
20 to the demilitarisation of Sarajevo
21 I'm talking about the overall activities about which we had knowledge
22 that they were ongoing. So we knew that this was going on in
23 Eastern Bosnia
24 would be able to move to an area of their desire on the basis of an
1 Also, that the demilitarisation of Sarajevo would move and
2 transfer the army to where they wanted to go. So as far as we were
3 concerned, that was indicative; that is to say, that the BH Army was
4 giving up the eastern part, but at all cost wished to do in Central
6 Q. But, sir, your response last week was:
7 "I would interpret this document ..."
8 And that's only the first page of the document. If you look at
9 the further pages of the document, that certainly must change your
10 categorical assessment that the ABiH no longer -- was actually abandoning
11 the HVO. We don't see that from this agreement, do we?
12 A. If we take this agreement and what I've just mentioned, the fact
13 that I knew about Sarajevo
14 place afterwards and where the artillery did open fire at HVO units, then
15 I think that what I said yesterday is absolutely fine and stands, because
16 I answered yesterday based on our knowledge, the information we had, that
17 something was being discussed, and the topics.
18 So now that you've shown me this document that I've never seen
19 before, that it's about Eastern Bosnia, I mentioned that before you had
20 put this document to me. So a large number of soldiers were to be pulled
21 out to the area of Central Bosnia, so we saw that as a danger for the
22 disappearance of the HVO.
23 Q. Now, sir, if you look at the final page of the document, it's a
24 joint statement issued by General Mladic and General Halilovic, signed --
25 or witnessed by General Morillon. And, of course, it informs in the
1 first paragraph about the agreement, but if we look at paragraph 3,
2 that's what I'd like to ask you about:
3 "We are informing the domestic and international public that we
4 shall be making further efforts," et cetera.
5 Now, sir, this appears to be a press release. Is it correct that
6 this meeting between General Mladic and General Halilovic, that wasn't a
7 secret thing? It was being conducted openly and in full view also of the
8 HVO; isn't that correct?
9 A. I don't know what excerpt you're referring to. I haven't been
10 able to locate that passage.
11 Q. The last page of the document, it's a joint statement, and the
12 third paragraph of that one, it says:
13 "We are informing the domestic and international public ..."
14 So the question is: This meeting between Mladic and Halilovic,
15 it wasn't being conducted in secret? It was an open affair. Everybody
16 knew about it, the HVO as well. It wasn't hidden?
17 A. Well, I said it was generally known and under the auspices of the
18 international community, but the meetings and agreements reached apart
19 from this, according to our information, indicated what I have told you
20 about, because if military-able men were pulled out of this general area
21 to Central Bosnia, then as far as we were concerned, it was a problem, we
22 had a problem, and that was the result of this meeting -- of this
23 agreement. So we are now assessing what the consequences were, that's
24 what we did, and we saw a danger there.
25 Q. Now, sir, let's just quickly turn to something else, then,
1 regarding the 9 May events in Mostar. That involved --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Colonel, I have a
3 follow-up question in connection with this document which we have seen
5 There is an agreement between Mladic and Halilovic, under the
6 auspices of the international community. As the document states, it
7 applies to the entire Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I emphasise
8 the entire country of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Mostar. What can
9 emerge from this? The document states that there is a cease-fire at
10 12.00 on the 9th of May. We see that this document considers two
11 specific situations. One is Srebrenica; the other one is Zepa. But
13 the 9th of May, at one minute past 12.00, no shots were fired anymore in
15 There are two possibilities. The first one is that you, the HVO,
16 you are aware of this agreement. And you answered Mr. Kruger's question
17 by saying, We knew about it. In that case, a new situation emerges. You
18 were side by side with the ABiH, and behind your back the ABiH signs a
19 pact with the VRS. Therefore, you risk having to confront two enemies,
20 the Serbs and the Muslims. As your intelligence service operates
21 extremely well, you realise that this agreement is going to enter into
22 force at 12.00, and that is why the HVO attacks the Main Staff of the
23 4th Corps in Mostar. That is one possibility.
24 The second possibility is that the ABiH and the Serbs agree to
25 stop. Then the ABiH knows that as far as Mostar is concerned, the Serbs
1 will not fire any shots at them. They know that at 12.00 sharp, there
2 will be no more shots fired by the Serbs on Mostar. But the ABiH has a
3 bit of a problem, because the international community, via
4 General Morillon, are involved in this, and there is no question of
5 deceiving him. The ABiH then, in light of the timing, attacks in the
6 morning, since the cease-fire should only enter into force at 12.00, and
7 they attack at 5.00 or 6.00 in the morning. Like that, General Morillon
8 cannot turn around and say, You've deceived me.
9 This document can be construed in different ways. What I would
10 like to know is this: The VOS, with its telephone tapping systems, via
11 its liaison officers which the HVO had and who were working with
12 UNPROFOR, knew that this agreement was going to be signed and that this
13 was going to enter into force on the 9th of May, 1993. What I would like
14 to know is whether you knew about this for sure, or were these only
15 rumours and, in fact, you know nothing about it?
16 Let me add, if you knew about it, in light of the new political
17 situation which was about to emerge after this agreement, Mr. Mate Boban
18 must have certainly received the information, who would have then got
19 together with Izetbegovic, Tudjman, and Morillon, Vance-Owen --
20 Cyril Vance and Lord Owen, and so on. We haven't seen a single document
21 from Mate Boban concerning this agreement. There might be such a
22 document, but we don't have an exhibit to that effect. Had you known
23 about this, the information should have reached Mate Boban, and in that
24 case something must have existed. When you say that you knew, are you
25 saying this because these were rumours, or are you saying it because you
1 knew it and you knew for sure that this was the case?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We knew for certain that that would
4 And I'd also like to mention the part relating to Sarajevo. So
5 that would be a lesser problem for us, because there was no HVO in
6 Eastern Bosnia
7 without an HVO representative in Sarajevo, then that is a problem and was
8 a problem for us. And that kind of thing would be contained in our
10 So a couple of days after this, I think that in one of our
11 reports the demilitarisation of Sarajevo
12 talks held on that topic. So as far as we were concerned, it was a
13 problem for us, the arrival of a large number of soldiers, which we
14 expected, as a result of these agreements into Central Bosnia.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I just inquire about something? I
16 don't wish to disrupt the course of the evidence, but at page 79, I've
17 got line 23, but it may be line 20, Your Honour said:
18 "I don't know whether on the 9th of May, at one minute past
19 12.00, no shots were fired anymore in Sarajevo. I don't know. I will
20 check this out later."
21 May I just invite Your Honour, with respect, to confirm that what
22 Your Honour has in mind is to check out in the evidence in this case. I
23 have, actually, no recollection, I must say, whether any such point is in
24 the evidence in this case, but I take it that is what Your Honour means,
25 that that search will be in the evidence before this Trial Chamber.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course I will check as
2 part of what we have in this file. But as far as I know, we don't have
3 anything, but you never know. Maybe one document would have gone astray.
4 But this is obvious what you're saying.
5 To go back to what the witness was saying, you say that you knew
6 that -- know that within the HVO, that if this agreement was implemented,
7 there would be the following consequences; namely, the arrival of new
8 troops from the Serb side, and perhaps also from the ABiH, and this could
9 lead to some consequences. Is that what you said?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that from the area where
11 demilitarisation was underway in Eastern Bosnia. So according to our
12 knowledge, we had knowledge and information to the effect that the
13 BH Army and the Army of Republika Srpska had reached an agreement to
14 enable the units to leave those protected areas and go where they wanted
15 to go, and it was our assessment that that would be Central Bosnia. So
16 if a large number of forces from Eastern Bosnia and Sarajevo
17 Central Bosnia
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I understand what
19 you are saying. But does that mean that from a military point of view,
20 the HVO could say, Well, we're going to make sure that this plan fails by
21 launching an attack on the 9th of May, in the morning? Could this not be
22 construed as a military answer to this plan with a cease-fire between the
23 Serbs and the ABiH? From the military point of view, don't you think
24 that an attack would make sure that everything that was planned would
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was absolutely no planning of
2 an attack, no planned attack at all. And I said earlier on that had
3 there been anything, that the VOS would have taken part in the planning
4 of such a thing.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm listening to you, and you
6 say, We knew. But does that mean that Mate Boban knew, that Mr. Prlic
7 knew, that Mr. Stojic knew?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they could have known. We
9 can assume that.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: At this point, Your Honour, I do object, because
11 so far the gentleman has not mentioned Mr. Prlic and we haven't seen a
12 single, solitary document that shows that anything came from VOS to
13 Mr. Prlic. So I do object to hypothesising and speculating as to what
14 Mr. Prlic might have known. If the Court wishes to pose a direct
15 question, whether he sent any information directly to Mr. Prlic, the
16 Court can do so. But to then speculate and throw names out there, I do
17 object to that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the counsel intervened,
19 you said that they were in a position to know. What did you mean when
20 you said that they were in a position to know?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, from the last paragraph, when
22 it says "by this we informed the international community," I assume that
23 they could have known.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you don't know whether they
25 got to know this, do you?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know whether they
2 arrived at that information and knowledge, except for the part where I
3 said that --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. As far as
5 you can recollect --
6 MR. STEWART: As far as I can see from the transcript, the
7 witness didn't finish his answer before the next question came from
8 Your Honour. That's what I heard on the English translation and what I
9 see on the transcript.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, I was listening to
11 the French version and I didn't check on the English version.
12 You didn't finish and I interrupted you. Go ahead. Could you
13 please repeat what you just said?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour, because
15 what I said is this: The information about co-operation between the
16 BH Army and the Army of Republika Srpska was contained in our reports,
17 those which were written in May, but after the 9th of May, after the 9th
18 of May, so this was an important portion related to Sarajevo. So that
19 was our focus, because it was talks -- a matter of talks without the
20 presence of the Croats or, rather, the HVO Sarajevo.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This will be my last question.
22 I did not have time to look at all the documents, and I will do this, of
23 course, later on. But as far as you can recollect or as far as you know,
24 on the 9th, on the 10th, and 11th of May, do you know whether the Serb
25 artillery opened fire towards Mostar East or Mostar West? Did they
1 start -- did they open fire or did they stop doing that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I know, fire was
3 opened on the HVO position -- positions.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
6 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Sir, just to finish, perhaps, on this agreement of the 8th of
8 May, 1993, between Mladic and Halilovic, sir, is it correct that this
9 agreement, it didn't stop the conflict between the Serbs and the Muslims?
10 Is that correct?
11 A. Obviously, even after this, there were activities. I don't know
12 whether the activities stopped at the moment when this was signed. We
13 know only too well that there were conflicts after this.
14 Q. So let's turn to something else regarding Mostar, the events of
15 the 9th of May, 1993. It's correct that on that day, there was a
16 large-scale HVO involvement in those events; you agree with that?
17 A. According to what I know, I've already told you what I know.
18 There was fighting around that time around the president's office, which
19 means in the area west of the agreed line of separation which existed at
20 the time, which points to the fact that the fighting didn't take place
21 east of that, which means that the HVO defended itself, because near the
22 president's office there was a parish office and the local priest was
23 also taken away in an unknown direction, and it was only in the evening
24 they will learn as to where he had been taken to. There were a lot of
25 refugees who were around North Camp who had been expelled to the right
1 bank. Fire was opened on the Tihomir Misic Barracks, Bijela Brijeg was
2 also shelled, and this is the long and the short of what I know.
3 Q. Okay. Now, from the long and the short of what you know, you can
4 perhaps answer the question: There was, indeed, large-scale HVO
5 involvement on the 9th of May in Mostar?
6 A. The HVO was involved in defence.
7 Q. And, sir, it's also so that on that day, the HVO displaced
8 thousands of Muslim inhabitants to Velez, and from there to Heliodrom?
9 You don't disagree with that?
10 A. I can't talk about numbers, and I believe that this was not a
11 resettlement. I believe that those people were moved from the territory
12 affected by combat, and I really wouldn't be able to confirm that they
13 were only Muslims.
14 Q. But they were moved by the HVO; that's correct, isn't it? That
15 you should know.
16 A. I don't know who displaced them. Maybe they, themselves, decided
17 to flee from the war. Maybe somebody told them where to go. I really
18 wouldn't be able to tell you how all that came about.
19 Q. And do you know that the people who were so displaced were taken
20 to Heliodrom and held there for many days by the HVO?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the problem is the word "displaced,"
22 and I think if we look at the previous answers, there seems to be -- this
23 is a term of art which the gentleman may be aware of. I don't want to be
24 giving any answers away, but perhaps a clearer choice of words might
25 assist in this exchange, because "displacement" does have a particular
1 connotation, and I believe that's what the gentleman was referring to in
2 his previous answer. Now we're bringing "displacement" into Heliodrom.
3 Before he was saying "arrest," then he said "detention," now it's
4 "displacement." He should pick one and stick with the term.
5 MR. KRUGER: Sir, with respect, I think that everybody in the
6 courtroom know what's being referred to, and the witness, being in
7 Mostar, certainly knows about large numbers of Muslims [realtime
8 transcript read in error "prisoners"] being taken to Heliodrom and being
9 held there for various days.
10 Q. And I'm simply asking: You know about that, sir, don't you?
11 A. I've already told you that on the evening news I learned about
12 all that.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
14 there seems to be a mistake in the way how Mr. Kruger's question was
15 recorded on line 11. It says here "prisoners taken to Heliodrom," and I
16 don't think that Mr. Kruger used the term "prisoners."
17 MR. KRUGER: I think that's entirely correct. I think that I did
18 refer to persons, or maybe it was Muslims, but the question remains.
19 Q. Sir, let's move on. You, yourself, also confirmed in testimony
20 last week that the HVO attacked the ABiH in the Vranica building. You
21 agree with that still?
22 A. I did not say that the HVO had launched an attack. There was
23 fighting for the Vranica building, and it was a reaction to previous
25 Q. So let me read your testimony to you, and this comes from the
1 transcript of the 19th of January, 2010, and the transcript reference is
2 page 48674 from line 5. The question was:
3 "Now my question, Mr. Jasak: Is it correct when it is asserted
4 that the HVO attacked BH Army positions in the Vranica building?
5 "A. To the best of my knowledge, this information is correct."
6 So, sir, are you now saying that you were wrong when you said
8 A. Within a context. The entire city of Mostar came under attack,
9 according to what I know. Fighting was taking place all over the city.
10 The HVO opened fire on the ABiH, but in order to defend themselves, not
11 in order to attack, to choose any part of the BiH Army as targets. That
12 was part of defence. There was combat, but as part of defence.
13 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, it's actually the 20th of January. The
14 page number is right this time, but the date is wrong.
15 MR. KRUGER: I stand corrected. The 20th of January. Thank you.
16 Q. Now, sir, why I'm asking you all of this is just to come to this
17 point, and I think this is the last thing that I'll touch upon before the
18 time runs out: On the 19th of January, last week, you were asked -- and
19 I'll give the transcript reference first. The transcript is T-48663 from
20 line 24. Ms. Alaburic asked you:
21 "Let me ask you for your opinion, if you believe you know enough
22 about what was going on at the time. Any continuation of these BH Army
23 activities --"
24 Just for context, we're referring here -- this was -- what was
25 being talked about was the ABiH actions on the 25th of April, 1993
1 it was alleged that they broke a cease-fire agreement:
2 "Any continuation of these BH Army activities, which in itself
3 flew in the face of the cease-fire that was agreed, do you think anything
4 like that could have been possible or would have been without the consent
5 of the high-ranking commanders in the BH Army?"
6 And to this, your response was:
7 "Nothing like this could have happened unbeknownst to
8 high-ranking commanders in the BH Army. Maybe something like this could
9 have gone on for a single day, but if anyone had failed to carry out an
10 order actually signed by President Izetbegovic, this person would then
11 have been removed, meaning even President Izetbegovic, himself, would
12 have known about this, as well as their supreme military command."
13 Sir, my question is: Given the large-scale involvement of HVO
14 military in Mostar on the 9th of May, and in taking a number of Muslims
15 to Velez Stadium, and taking them from there to Heliodrom and holding
16 them there for many days, are you prepared to make the same categorical
17 assertion with regard to the knowledge of the HVO's military leaders,
18 that they would have known?
19 A. This is an entirely different matter. On the 25th of April,
20 nothing [as interpreted] happened. And on the 18th of April, there was
21 an agreement between Boban and Izetbegovic. On the 20th, there was an
22 agreement between Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, which means that if
23 things had been done after the 10th of May, I would be able to agree. If
24 an agreement had been signed about Mostar between Izetbegovic and Boban
25 on the 10th of May, and if we remember that that was on the 18th, and
1 then seven days after that, on the 25th, so if this had been signed on
2 the 10th and if the fighting had taken place on the 17th, then I would
3 totally agree with what you are saying.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a correction. Line
5 21, it says that the witness said "on the 25th of April, nothing
6 happened," whereas the witness said "on the 25th of April, there was an
7 attack." And then he explained how this transpired seven days after the
8 cease-fire was signed. So instead of "nothing," we should have the word
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 We have reached the end of our session. We will meet again at
12 9.00 tomorrow, and I would like to point out to the Prosecutor that there
13 is still an hour and 35 minutes left. Thank you very much.
14 [The witness stands down]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
17 January, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.