1 Wednesday, 27 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 Today is Wednesday, 27th of January, 2010. I would like to
14 welcome everyone in the courtroom, including the accused, the counsels,
15 the witness, Mr. Stringer, Mr. Kruger, and their fellow workers, as well
16 as everybody else helping us in the courtroom.
17 We're going to carry on with the cross-examination with
18 Mr. Kruger.
19 Mr. Kruger, you have the floor.
20 WITNESS: RADMILO JASAK [Resumed]
21 [The witness answered through interpreter]
22 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good morning to
24 everybody in and around the courtroom.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Kruger. [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Jasak, good morning to you.
2 Now, Mr. Jasak, I'm moving on to a new topic now, and I'm going
3 to explore with you the question whether the attack by the Muslims on the
4 30th of June, 1993, came as a surprise to the HVO.
5 Now, the first question that I want to ask you: Can you just
6 confirm once again that between the 9th of May, 1993, and the
7 30th of June, 1993, is it so that the HVO and the ABiH were still at all
8 times allies against the Serbs?
9 A. From the 19th of May to the 30th of June, the BH Army and the HVO
10 were allies in the Defence against the Serbs --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 9th of May.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- facing the Army of Republika
13 Srpska. The 30th of June was a surprise for the military leaders,
14 although according to our assessments, there were indications that
15 something like that could happen. But it was, nonetheless, a surprise,
16 and that because after the 9th of May, 1993, a significant portion of
17 Muslims left the HVO voluntarily, without any problems, and those who
18 remained in the units thought -- well, their commanders thought that they
19 sincerely wanted to fight with the HVO against the Army of Republika
20 Srpska, particularly since they were there from the very beginning, that
21 is to say, from 1992.
22 Q. Thank you. Sir, that confirms what you've told previously.
23 MR. KRUGER: Now, Your Honour, for the next three documents, if
24 we can move into private session, please.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please go ahead.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 48986-49000 redacted.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Now, sir, earlier you confirmed that between 9 May and
7 30 June 1993
8 the Serbs. Now, let's have a look at what General Petkovic and the HVO
9 is busy with during this period.
10 And now let's have a look at -- the next exhibit is P02910. It's
11 towards the first part of your binder, about the seventh or the eighth
12 document. P02910.
13 Now, sir, this document - it is in evidence - is a request by
14 Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, and it's dated the 22nd of June, 1993. And it's
15 to the Herceg Stjepan Brigade in Kostajnica, and it says:
16 "Request immediately from XY to open fire at Konjic and Celebici
17 at 4.30."
18 The XY side, that refers to the Serbs, doesn't it?
19 A. I said it about a previous document. I've not seen this before.
20 I don't know what this is about.
21 Q. So you confirm that "XY" refers to the Serbs; yes or no?
22 A. I don't know what it refers to in here. Earlier on, when you
23 asked me about another XY, my answer was affirmative. It is possible
24 that the same applies here, but I've not seen the document before.
25 Q. Sir, isn't it so that in that area, Konjic and Celebici, at least
1 then, that the Serbs and the HVO had a cooperative kind of understanding,
2 at least, at the time when the HVO was allied with the Muslims against
3 those same Serbs?
4 A. As far as Konjic is concerned, we know that some contacts were
5 made among locals from the area, those who were in Turija, Zabrdje,
6 Zaslivlje, and who saved the local Serbs during the complete ethnic
7 cleansing that had taken place during the previous month, starting with
8 the 23rd March, 1993, which was followed by a large-scale offensive that
9 was launched on the 13th of April. And that's when the ethnic cleansing
10 of all the area started and all non-Muslims were expelled. At that time,
11 they received a certain number of Serbs, they saved their lives.
12 Turija, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje politicians received Serbs, and through
13 them they established contacts in the area because --
14 Q. I have to interrupt you. It's all very interesting, but I wasn't
15 looking for an explanation. I was simply asking: Isn't it so that there
16 was a cooperative agreement between the Serbs and the Croats in that area
17 at that time, or a cooperative arrangement?
18 A. At that time, I don't know. I don't think that there was a
19 contact between the top of the HVO and the Serbs at the time when this
20 was written. This is a local level, and reference is made to the
21 Herceg Stjepan Brigade in Kostajnica.
22 Q. Okay. Now, let's move to the next document. But before moving
23 to it, just for the context in which this question is -- the questioning
24 is going to come, we have now seen that -- we've seen whether you agree
25 with it or not, information that would indicate --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as this document is
2 concerned, I have a question of a technical nature and a military nature.
3 Seemingly, Colonel Siljeg is asking the Herceg Stjepan Brigade to
4 contact XY to open fire at Konjic and Celebici at 4.30. A good
5 investigation would have checked the military documents of the VRS and
6 would have checked whether any request had been sent by the HVO. Then
7 proof would have been established.
8 I'm addressing myself to you now, as a military man. When a
9 request is made by someone, is there a written trace of this, in military
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how the possible
12 requests went. There is a paper trail here about Siljeg's request from a
13 brigade, but apparently all this was happening in Konjic, where the
14 situation was difficult. I don't know what the Herceg Stjepan Brigade in
15 Kostajnica had and what Turija and Zabrdje and Zaslivlje had, how they
16 communicated, whether they had radio communication. I don't know. This
17 is a request which went via the brigade. That was a small part that
18 still remained outside of the complete control of the Muslims at the
19 time, because if you look at the entire period when, for over a month,
20 perhaps 40 days or so, I don't know how many days exactly --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall pick up my question at
22 the other end.
23 Let's imagine that the Serbs are asking something from the HVO.
24 Would the HVO have written something down in a log-book, Have received
25 such and such a time, such and such a date, a specific request? Would
1 you have a paper trail of such a request?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know nothing about such requests.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, please listen to my
4 question. Please listen.
5 This is something I am assuming. If the Serbs -- if the Serbs
6 had asked something from the HVO, would there be a paper trail of this at
7 the HVO of the request and of the follow-up to the request?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that requests had to be
9 recorded and acted upon. Otherwise, how would anybody know that things
10 had been requested?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's all I wanted to know.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Now, sir, let's turn to Exhibit -- it's two documents further on
15 in your binder, Exhibit P02919. 2919.
16 Now, sir, this is a protest from Commander Rasim Delic, and it's
17 addressed to Mr. Milivoj Petkovic, and it's dated the 23rd of June, 1993
18 It says:
19 "Dear sir. By signing the accord on the cessation of the
20 conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina between the units of the HVO and
21 units of the Army of RBiH on 10 June 1993 in Kiseljak, and the protocol
22 about Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 June 1993 in Sarajevo Airport
23 again confirmed the accord from Medjugorje and the intention to eliminate
24 the basic causes of conflict between the HVO and the Army of RBiH. That
25 accord includes regulations on deliberation of all captives. The fact
1 that the Croatian Defence Council is hindering the implementation of that
2 accord causes doubts not only in the honesty of the intentions when
3 signing the accord, but also the possibility of its further
5 And if we go to the end of the document, the final paragraph, it
7 "Since these facts cause serious doubts in the readiness of the
8 HVO to honestly and without reservations give their contributions to the
9 accord implementation, we hereby protest against such behaviour, and we
10 demand strict respect of the obligations that you have taken upon signing
11 the accord."
12 Did you know about this protest or this document? Did you ever
13 see it?
14 A. I've never seen this document before, but I did know that what
15 they did at the time they ascribed to the Croatian Defence Council. So
16 they did not respect -- that is to say, the BH Army did not respect what
17 was signed, and then accused the HVO to gain in time for some of their
18 actions. They would get together, discuss the matter, and then --
19 because linked to Travnik --
20 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I must object to this, that the witness
21 is being prompted from General Praljak from the bench. I must object,
22 Your Honour, please.
23 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me. Mr. President, I apologise for the
25 We've been looking at some of the tape of some of the chatter
1 that's been coming from the accused over the course of proceedings this
2 week, and it's our view that there is coaching that's taking place.
3 There have been situations where we think answers are being suggested to
4 the witness, and we ask the Trial Chamber to be vigilant about that.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please wait, Ms. Alaburic.
7 This is an objection that hasn't got to do with the substance of the case
8 or with the position of Judges on one or the other part of the
9 indictment, but it has to do with the behaviour of General Praljak. And
10 the Prosecution has pointed out that, according to them, the witness
11 seems to be prompted by General Praljak when answering, or under the
12 influence of General Praljak. So it is totally unacceptable for an
13 accused to intervene when a question is put to a witness and when the
14 witness is to answer this question. I have always challenged this type
15 of behaviour, especially when some counsels are speaking. So the person
16 putting the question has to let be, and the witness has to also be in a
17 position to answer freely.
18 So, General Praljak, I would like to know whether you intervened
19 to coach the witness, because this accusation is very serious. Please,
20 General Praljak, can you answer?
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not say
22 anything to the witness, not once, but I did say to General Petkovic,
23 which might have been -- well, might have been picked up by the
24 microphone. I did say to him that a statement by Delic of this kind
25 relates precisely to the situation when they took control of Travnik and
1 Kakanj, because we've become ill from all this. A very complicated
2 situation, and then details are extracted which have nothing to do with
3 the truth. They took Travnik and Kakanj, and then they accused the HVO,
4 in an underhand manner. And I said that I was upset by this to
5 Mr. Petkovic, but I never said anything to the witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you say that
7 you spoke to General Petkovic, but when saying this it can be heard by
8 the witness, and I'm sure it was heard by the witness and by the
9 Prosecutor. I was not listening, because I was looking at the documents
10 and I did not look at what was going on. And given that I do not speak
11 your language, I would not have understood what you said, anyway. But in
12 future, please refrain from speaking to your fellow accused.
13 So as I was saying, please avoid to take the floor. In fact, you
14 should actually be positioned in such a way that you cannot really talk
15 to General Petkovic. If Mr. Pusic was between the two of you, this would
16 avoid this sort of problem in the future.
17 Yes, Ms. Alaburic. I don't know what you wanted to say.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
19 permission, may I just respond to the statement made by my learned friend
20 Mr. Stringer, because it does not relate just to General Praljak, but it
21 relates to the Defence witness, General Petkovic -- or, rather,
22 General Petkovic's witness, Mr. Jasak.
23 I do understand the efforts made by the Prosecution at great
24 length to discredit this witness, and one of the ways in which they've
25 been trying to do this -- that Mr. Kruger tried to do this ever since
1 yesterday is to say that the witness is answering and that he is being
2 coached by someone in the ranks of the accused. I think that is
3 completely unacceptable.
4 And as for looking at the tape to establish whether the witness
5 answered the questions posed straightaway or not or whether he asked for
6 an expected -- any suggestions from anybody in the courtroom, I suggest
7 that we all look at the tapes together, because then we'll be able to see
8 that the witness responded straightaway, without holding any
9 consultations with anybody, because this witness does not need to consult
10 anybody when providing his answers. And everybody looking at him and
11 weighing up his answers can come to the same conclusion, and that is why
12 I think Mr. Stringer's objection, referring to having examined the tapes
13 and then determining whether the witness is behaving in one way or
14 another, is incorrect, and I think that Mr. Stringer ought to apologise
15 to the witness for his observations.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, you're mainly involved
17 with this. As I said, I was looking at the document, but I was also
18 looking at you, and most of the time you seem to be looking towards
19 Mr. Kruger. So it seems that you were not looking at General Praljak.
20 But you are testifying under oath, and so you have to tell the truth. So
21 I would like to know whether you heard what General Praljak said to
22 General Petkovic, or were you mainly concerned by the question or by the
23 document or by the screen, and therefore you didn't hear anything?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was dealing with
25 what was on the screen and what was here, too, but I did hear something.
1 I heard General Praljak speaking, but I didn't need General Praljak to
2 tell me anything, because I said that I'd never seen this document
3 before, but I do know -- I'm aware of the contents.
4 So they were accusing the HVO of something that they, themselves,
5 did not respect. They signed something, but they did not abide by what
6 they had signed. So that's it.
7 But I didn't hear that from General Praljak, certainly not. And
8 I suggest if the Prosecutor thinks that suggestions are coming from the
9 accused, they could put up a screen. I can't monitor my actions and know
10 whether I'm turning to the left or right. So why don't they put up a
11 screen, and then we'll exclude that possibility. And I don't need
12 anybody to tell me what my replies should be.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wasn't in
14 court yesterday. I made no comments before that. I just dealt with some
15 of my affairs here exclusively, and I just said what I said a moment ago
16 to General Petkovic. I never wielded any influence on the witness, nor
17 is it my concern -- well, yes, at this point in time, because when this
18 letter was written, 40.000 Croats were expelled from Kakanj and Travnik
19 and were roaming around some hills. So this went on for four years, and
20 you haven't tried to find the truth. But tricks are being devised, and
21 that is something I have been saying here from the very beginning.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you have to
23 keep yourself together. When a witness testifies, he is the only one
24 speaking. You are not allowed to say anything. You can write notes to
25 your counsels, and, in fact, we have someone in this courtroom that can
1 help you to do so, but that's the only thing that you can do, because if
2 you say anything, if those words are heard in the courtroom, we may think
3 that you are expressing a view which could influence the witness. This
4 is the main issue at stake here, and this is why, when counsels are
5 raising objections, I would say please let the witness answer first. So
6 if I'm saying that to counsels, it's even more valid for you. So please
7 keep quiet and let the Prosecutor ask questions, and let the witness
9 And if you're not happy with the answers, then you can tell your
10 counsel that he made a mistake. You can do it, but you have to do it
11 through notes, in order for you to have a dialogue between you and your
12 counsel, because your counsel can then raise an objection, if this
13 objection is dealing with a mistake. But if it's in the substance, of
14 course, then you need to have Judges taking a position, and I'm against
15 this because I cannot actually have a position on some issues at the
16 moment, issues that are dealing with the direct responsibility or
17 liability of the accused. It would mean that they are guilty or they are
18 innocent, and I have not reached that stage yet in this trial. So this
19 is why, for some objections, I do not say anything, but for other
20 objections, such as the one coming from Mr. Kruger, that are perfectly
21 legitimate, and in which case, I do intervene.
22 Now, if my colleagues, when they have objections, want to take
23 the floor, they can also take the floor, but it is going to be their
25 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
1 MR. STEWART: I just ask a question, just a point of information.
2 The -- Mr. Stringer expressed his objection, but it's -- can we
3 be clear, it's not suggested, is it, and if it is, it's helpful to know,
4 that the witness has ever been able to hear a specific suggestion,
5 because, after all, the accused -- I want to make this point:
6 General Praljak and General Petkovic are -- as long as it's not
7 disruptive, they are perfectly entitled to discuss matters between
8 themselves where they sit. They are two gentlemen on trial for very
9 serious crimes, and if it is helpful to them, discreetly and not
10 disruptively, to discuss things, then that's a freedom that they
11 absolutely must have. But unless their microphones get turned on when
12 they do that, I'm not clear at the moment whether it's suggested that
13 it's actually possible that the witness, sitting there with the earphones
14 on his ears, could ever actually hear anything.
15 Can I just be clear about what is being suggested, because -- in
16 fact, if I could just add this: Ms. Alaburic's suggestion that, not
17 necessarily in open court, but we might at some point look together at
18 these tapes to see what it is that's being suggested by way of coaching
19 this witness is a sensible, practical suggestion, because we have a very
20 strong interest on General Petkovic's behalf in ensuring that there is no
21 doubt about this witness's evidence and no seeds of doubt are sown in
22 this particular way.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I am, of course, in a double role now as Judge
24 and witness, and I must say I am hard of hearing, I have the earphones,
25 but I have heard words from the bench of the accused through all this.
1 Of course, I couldn't have understood, but I think the incident is not as
2 completely harmless. I have several times, today and over the last days,
3 heard words being spoken. That is not the discretion which you rightly
5 MR. STEWART: To some extent, that's helpful, Your Honours. To
6 some extent, that answers my question. Well, it partly answers my
7 question. It deals -- I'm slightly surprised that it is technically
8 possible for words from the accused's bench, when their microphones are
9 not on, to actually reach the witness's ears. But if it happens, if it's
10 capable of happening, then, well, it's technically possible. There is,
11 therefore, my question whether Mr. Stringer is suggesting that actually
12 that method of communication has actually been achieved. So that is he
13 saying that the witness has actually heard words, as opposed to gestures
14 or some sort --
15 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Stewart, let me interrupt you, because I
16 would like to quote on the screen and it is now disappearing:
17 "I agree with you that they are --" I mean, "the accused have the
18 right to discuss amongst themselves issues," as you put it, "discreetly
19 and not disruptively."
20 This one, what you have said, that's correct. Nobody denies that
21 right from the accused to talk about issues, but, as you put it,
22 discreetly and not disruptively.
23 Now, frankly, I also would like to say what also was already
24 mentioned by Judge Trechsel and by others, that many times we have been
25 listening to noises, to discussion, et cetera. Probably it is due to the
1 rather strong voice by General Praljak, et cetera. I admit that. But on
2 the other hand, I believe that in the future they have to really behave
3 in a way that is not disruptive as far as our proceedings are concerned.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm not going to quarrel with
5 any of that, with respect. Part of my comment was provoked by some
6 slight concern about what the President said at page 25, lines 7 to 9:
7 "You should actually be positioned in such a way that you cannot
8 really talk to General Petkovic if Mr. Pusic was between the two of you,"
9 because that would remove what I've said and what
10 Your Honour Judge Prandler has specifically just agreed is a freedom that
11 the accused should have.
12 If the -- the accused, no doubt, are registering in the course of
13 this discussion the technical position that -- following what
14 Judge Trechsel said, that what they say might be apparently capable of
15 being heard and understood by a witness in his own language, so no doubt
16 their discretion in future ought to take account of that possibility.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stewart, it is a matter of keeping the
18 discretion, keeping the voices down. I feel disturbed. I hear talking
19 back there, and I feel disturbed, and that is not correct. And if it is
20 necessary to separate two accused because they disrupt, that is
21 absolutely legitimate, because the right to communicate cannot lead to
22 disrupting the proceedings.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say that --
24 [Overlapping speakers] ... Sorry. May I say, Your Honour, that what I
25 just said immediately before Your Honour spoke is, with respect, entirely
1 consistent with that. I'm suggesting that everything that is being said,
2 one hopes and trusts, naturally, will have been registered by all
3 concerned so that they can see that that freedom, which they should have,
4 should be exercised in a way that does not have any possible result. I'm
5 not saying -- I'm not accepting that that has happened. I just don't
6 know. I'm not a witness on this. But for the future, we want, of
7 course, them to have that freedom, but we don't want any sort of
8 disruption. But whether there has, in fact, been the result that
9 Mr. Stringer suggests, well, Your Honour, I don't know. I'm not a
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, you stood up. Do
12 you want to take the floor?
13 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 I was not here in the courtroom when what happened took place, so
15 I can't really talk about the matter, but what I have heard since I
16 re-entered the courtroom over the past two or three minutes, you're
17 speaking only of the consequences. You're not speaking about the causes,
18 why we have been brought into this position to sit one beside the other,
19 and not sitting with our Defence teams, as you proposed, Judge Antonetti,
20 at the beginning.
21 Now, whether by some Statute or other regulation regulated,
22 whether the accused sitting in this position have the right to
23 communicate, and how to communicate, and so on and so forth, so
24 everything that is happening here is just the consequence, the result,
25 and not the cause.
1 Now, the second point. The time of my Defence case is coming up,
2 and I'm going to address the Trial Chamber with a request, or, rather, my
3 Defence counsel will, that during my Defence case some matters are done
4 because they are impeding my Defence and the fair conduct of this trial,
5 and are impeding ultimately my health. So I think it is essential,
6 vital, in what position we are when we present our views and positions.
7 You're talking about your problems, but I'd like you to hear what
8 our problems are. Perhaps I'm bothered by other people talking, the
9 people next to me, or perhaps they're bothered by my comments. So these
10 are questions that should have been ruled upon at the beginning of this
11 trial, whereas we're dealing with it far into the trial.
12 So we're going to write a written request that when my Defence
13 case comes up, that certain things be established.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Prlic.
15 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] One sentence:
16 I think that we've exaggerated and gone on for too long with this
17 topic. The trial has been going on for four years now, and now suddenly
18 that somebody can gain the impression that somebody is behaving in a wild
19 manner is not the case. I consider that it's just a technical matter
20 that we're dealing with. I very often hear the Defence counsel and the
21 Judges for only one reason, because the person speaking does not take off
22 his head-sets and can't control the volume of his own voice. I've been
23 sitting here for four years, and I don't have the impression that anybody
24 is trying to influence the trial in any improper way at all.
25 [Overlapping speakers]
1 MR. STRINGER: I'm entitled to speak at some point, please.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer --
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I have just one sentence which
4 will follow on to what Mr. Prlic has just said. So might I be allowed to
5 state what I wanted, and then Mr. Stringer can react to the entirety of
6 what is being said?
7 Mr. Prlic has just said precisely what I was going to say, that
8 with respect to this particular witness, nothing different happened from
9 what has been happening here in this courtroom for four years. And the
10 endeavours of the Prosecution for the second witness -- week now to
11 discredit this witness at any price I consider to be a great compliment
12 to this witness.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.
15 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, maybe it is because the trial's
16 lasted so long that there's a certain familiarity that creeps into the
17 proceedings. But the fact is that people who don't have the floor in
18 this courtroom talk too loud, and it's something I've raised in the past,
19 whether it's other counsel or the accused. When you're in the courtroom
20 and you don't have the floor, if you've got something to say, you
21 whisper, you talk like you're in church, and nobody seems to do that in
22 this courtroom.
23 Getting to the point raised by Mr. Stewart, whether or not
24 coaching is going on, I can assure Mr. Stewart and the Trial Chamber that
25 it is highly distracting to us all the way over here, because we can hear
1 what's being said over there. We can't understand it, which makes it
2 worse, because the microphones are not on and what's being said is not in
3 the record, but it's highly distracting, even apart from whether there is
4 coaching going on. And it's impolite. And it's discourteous to whoever
5 has the floor at that time.
6 Now, whether General Praljak or any of the other accused are
7 intending to coach the witness, the fact is that whether they're talking
8 to the witness or whether they're talking among themselves, when they're
9 talking to each other in advance of an answer that's to come from the
10 witness, it can have the effect of coaching, and that's how we interpret
12 And so that's really all I've got to say. I think that if we
13 could go back to perhaps where we were at the beginning of the trial - I
14 wasn't here then, but the accused were, and I bet they didn't talk as
15 loud then as they do now. Maybe we all need to remember where we are;
16 we're in a courtroom. And when we don't have the floor, we should
17 whisper so that we don't disturb others and put ourselves in a position
18 of being accused of coaching or acting improperly. And on this, we'd be
19 grateful if the Defence could assist us, because if I can hear all of
20 this chatter all the way over in this courtroom, and admittedly
21 Courtroom I is worse than Courtroom III, but if we can hear it and if
22 it's such a distraction to all of us over here, it's clearly within
23 ear-shot of Defence counsel, who can understand, most of them, anyway,
24 what the Defence are saying. And it's, in our view, their
25 responsibility, first and foremost, to speak to their own clients and to
1 remind their clients about how they need to be acting in the courtroom so
2 that the Prosecution doesn't need to take the floor and to raise these
3 issues on its own. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, you have five
5 minutes before the break.
6 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Sir, we're still dealing with Exhibit P02919, and that is the
8 protest of Mr. Delic to Mr. Milivoj Petkovic. And -- no, it's the same
9 document you're looking at. We're not turning to a new one.
10 This protest by Mr. Delic to Mr. Petkovic, sir, it seems to me a
11 continuation of the theme which we saw in the video-clip we viewed
12 yesterday, where Mr. Halilovic asked Mr. Petkovic, Are we friends or are
13 we enemies?
14 Now, in the light of what we've seen previously, this morning,
15 about Muslim residents being expelled from Mostar, East Mostar, and in
16 the light of the one document I've shown to you which suggests a
17 cooperative agreement between the Serbs and the Croats, are you still
18 maintaining that the HVO has done nothing at this stage to warrant this
19 protest by Mr. Delic?
20 A. Absolutely. So when we were discussing the situation in that
21 part of Mostar until the 30th of June, when the Croats and the Muslims
22 were allies - that's indisputable - in Central Bosnia and
23 Northern Herzegovina
24 when this was being written, there were large-scale conflicts in
25 Central Bosnia
1 document, in my view, it follows on from the mistakes by others. And
2 what they failed to respect, they put the blame on to somebody else, and
3 I've already said that.
4 MR. KRUGER: Now, sir, I'd like to step on to a new document.
5 Your Honour, is there time for one more document?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we have a few minutes
7 left, and I would like to ask you a question, Witness.
8 I would like to have the protocol that is mentioned in this
9 document and was signed at the airport of Sarajevo
10 15th of June, 1993. And according to this document, it seems that an
11 agreement was reached between both parties, the ABiH and the HVO, for the
12 liberation of the prisoners -- the release of the prisoners.
13 General Delic is not happy with the situation and gives an example. He
14 says that, in Zenica, some captives or some prisoners -- some Croats were
15 released, but the HVO is not stepping up to the plate, and they caught
16 the case of the ABiH where 72 people were released, but there were 150
17 new prisoners. So General Delic has decided to contact General Petkovic.
18 What I would like to know is the following: Firstly, were you
19 aware of this agreement reached between the ABiH and the HVO on the
20 release, as early as the 15th of June, 1993, of all prisoners?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I knew of the agreement, but
22 all the agreement said, to release all the prisoners. But I'm certain
23 that not all the prisoners were, in fact, released. And here only a
24 portion in Bosnia
25 concerning Konjic. And at this particular time, when the release of
1 prisoners is referred to, that's when the large-scale attacks were going
2 on in Central Bosnia against the HVO units.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question before the break.
4 I would like to talk about the working methods of the Main Staff.
5 This type of letter received by General Petkovic, I was wondering
6 whether he would have a meeting with his close collaborators, such as the
7 head of the VOS, yourself, and other people, in order to look at what is
8 at hand and know how to answer? Were there some working meetings with
9 everyone, or was it General Petkovic who was dealing alone with this sort
10 of situation, or was this dealt with collectively when problems did
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When there were problems like this,
13 then General Petkovic would convene the people that he thought could
14 assist him for that particular issue.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was wondering
16 whether you took part in some meetings on various topics within the
17 Main Staff when General Petkovic was HVO commander.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the meetings that were held, my
19 chief, Mr. Keza, was there mostly. And as for General Petkovic, I had
20 talks with him and contacts, let's say, since I came into service, well,
21 just discussions at the staff, at the headquarters.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question would not be
23 complete if I did not ask the question for the period where
24 General Praljak was in charge. I was wondering whether General Praljak
25 had meetings with your line manager or your superior, with yourself, or
1 with other people.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When General Praljak arrived, I was
3 already in Sector North. And as for the meetings with the head of VOS,
4 well, the head of VOS held regular meetings, so that was underway.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But I believe that
6 you had already answered this.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Jasak, I would like to come back to an
8 answer you have given a bit earlier, when Mr. Antonetti confronted you
9 with these references to prisoners. And in your answers, you said:
10 "I'm certain that not all prisoners were, in fact, released."
11 Now, there were prisoners taken by both sides in this, and I just
12 wanted to know that when you said you are certain that not all prisoners
13 were, in fact, released, whether that refers to the HVO and to the ABiH
14 or only to one or the other.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thought that they had not been
16 released, that is, the members of the HVO who had been held prisoner by
17 the ABiH, which means that it wasn't true. He was still keeping the
18 prisoners, although he said that he had released them all.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And what, then, about the allegation that the
20 HVO had released some prisoners, but taken 150 new prisoners? Do you
21 have any comment on that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have a comment. I don't
23 know what's correct here. However, I know, from some previous
24 situations, that things were said at meetings to General Petkovic, that
25 there were still prisoners who hadn't been released, and then proposals
1 were heard to go and see where those places are, where those locations
2 are, to prove that the HVO was right all the time.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when Judge Trechsel
5 put the question to you a moment ago, I had understood this. My question
6 was extremely specific. I mentioned the HVO prisoners, and you answered
7 by only discussing the HVO prisoners. I gave you the case of Kiseljak.
8 When you answered, was it the HVO or the HVO and ABiH?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not sure that I
10 understood your question properly. When I answered before, what I meant
11 was that the BiH Army had not complied with the agreement, although they
12 say that they did. They had not complied. And in this particular time,
13 there may have been something in Kiseljak. In any case, at that time
14 there was an all-out attack by the BiH Army. That was a bigger problem
15 for the HVO than the prisoners, themselves, because there was danger that
16 the entire HVO could disappear, to be militarily defeated.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I'm logical. The
18 letter is sent to the HVO. General Delic is questioning Mr. Petkovic
19 about the status of the prisoners detained by the HVO. It's not the
20 other way around. So the question only aimed at understanding what the
21 situation for those prisoners of the HVO was. I believe you didn't
22 understand my question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this document
24 reflects the truth or not. Is that what you're asking me?
25 The VOS never dealt with prisoners. However, during this
1 specific period, when the prisoners are mentioned, that was the time of
2 an all-out attack by the BH Army against the HVO.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's time to have
4 the break. We'll have a 20-minute break.
5 MR. STEWART: If I may, Your Honours, it's a small point, and it
6 didn't affect the question and answer, but the word appears on the
7 transcript at page 39, line 6 to 8, Judge Trechsel:
8 "What about the allegation the HVO had released some prisoners,
9 but taken 150 new prisoners."
10 As it appears on the transcript, it doesn't quite accurately
11 reflect what the document says. The document's referring to old and new
12 prisoners. So I just thought I'd put that on the record. But I don't
13 think it affected the answer or the way the question was understood.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, your objection may
15 be upheld, since it has to do with the transcript and has nothing to do
16 with the merits of this case, you are right to state your position.
17 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. So far as it was an
18 objection, I'm very happy for it to be upheld, anyway.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you are absolutely right, Mr. Stewart. I
21 MR. STEWART: Thank you again, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall have a 20-minute break
24 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
2 Mr. Kruger.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Now, sir, just before the break, the last document we were
5 looking at was the protest by Mr. Delic to Mr. Petkovic, and I'd now like
6 to -- before looking at Mr. Petkovic's response to Mr. Delic, let's have
7 a look at some of the other things that Mr. Petkovic was doing on the
8 same day that he responded to Mr. Delic. And for this, please turn to
9 Exhibit P08341. It's about the fifth-last document in the binder,
10 P08341. This exhibit is in evidence.
11 Now, sir, this document, which is dated the 24th of June, the day
12 after Mr. Delic's letter of protest, it's from Mr. Petkovic,
13 Milivoj Petkovic, and it's dated 24 June 1993, and it's addressed to
14 Rajic personally. And are you aware that this is a reference to
15 Mr. Ivica Rajic? Would you agree with that?
16 A. I don't know who this could be. A reference here, indeed, is to
17 one Ivica Rajic -- to a Mr. Rajic, that is.
18 Q. Now, I'll just deal very quickly with this. If you look at
19 paragraph 1, it deals with Prozor forces are working their way towards
20 Kostajnica. Paragraph 2:
21 "Obviously Zelic does not appreciate the situation. It will be
22 difficult to have any effect on him."
23 And then he says:
24 "XY - we know he is impatient because he wants a good gift."
25 This "XY," is this a reference, to your knowledge, to the Serbs,
1 the Serbian side?
2 A. I believe that this is a reference to the Serbian side.
3 Q. Do you know what the "good gift" reference refers to?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Right. Let's turn to the next document, then. Oh, no, sorry.
6 Before we turn away from this document, please look at the end of the
7 document, bullet number 5. It says:
8 "Inundate UNPROFOR with warnings and reports."
9 Sir, does this mean -- or you, as an analyst, would you
10 understand this that Mr. Rajic must inundate UNPROFOR with warnings and
11 reports about the ABiH?
12 A. I would say that this is about the hardships of Croats in the
13 area, and it was very difficult to get hold of UNPROFOR and inform them
14 about the situation, if you take into account the fact that there was
15 nothing about Croats in UNPROFOR reports, about Konjic, because UNPROFOR
16 had not been able to enter the area, and they could only rely on the
17 information provided to them by the Muslims. So that's how I would
18 interpret that sentence.
19 Q. Sir, were you aware that the HVO and the VRS were dealing with
20 each other in MTS at this exact period in time?
21 A. I knew that, towards the end of June, a humanitarian corridor
22 towards Konjic was set up.
23 Q. Let's turn to the next exhibit, P02934. 2934.
24 Sir, this is a document dated the 24th of June, 1993
25 see that it comes from Commander Ivica Rajic, and it's addressed to the
1 head of the Defence Department and the chief of the HVO Main Staff. And
2 it says:
3 "Reply our query about contacts:
4 "As regards contacts and take-over of materiel from the XY side,
5 I have received a message that it should take place tomorrow,
6 25 June 1993
7 So, sir, "XY side," that's the Serbs, and is this, to your
8 knowledge, a report to Mr. Stojic and Mr. Petkovic that a meeting is
9 going to be taking place with the Serbian side in Stolac the next
11 A. I know, as I've already told you, that towards the end of the
12 month, sometime after the 25th of June, contacts were established between
13 the HVO and the VRS in connection with the evacuation of the wounded,
14 assistance to the civilians in Turija, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje, and
15 opening some humanitarian corridors for the benefit of those people. And
16 I know that it happened sometime around that time.
17 Q. Sir, this is for the take-over of materiel from the XY side. Is
18 it correct that the HVO was dealing with these Serbs behind the backs of
19 their allies, the Muslims, at this time?
20 A. I don't know what materiel is referred to here, but I know that
21 that time, possibly on the 25th of June, General Petkovic was supposed to
22 meet with Grubac and to agree to details of assistance to be provided to
23 people in the territory of Konjic
24 them, how to supply them with food, how to assist the civilians,
25 including the sick and the wounded. The humanitarian disaster in the
1 territory of Konjic was out of any proportion, and I know that something
2 was done in order to deal with that situation.
3 Q. Let's turn -- sir, at this stage, this is six days before the
4 attack of the 30th of June, and you confirm that the HVO and the ABiH are
5 still --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, regarding this
7 document, if we look at all the documents shown to us by the Prosecution,
8 I don't know exactly what this is all about. This is materiel,
9 equipment, money. I don't know. Maybe this has to do with materiel,
10 equipment. I just have some small idea.
11 I see that Rajic's response is also addressed to the Defence
12 Department. So, as you can see, there are two addressees here,
13 Defence Department and HVO Main Staff. The Defence Department was
14 involved with logistical matters. This may have had to do with equipment
15 or materiel, which means that it would have been of concern to the
16 Defence Department, which would explain why the Defence Department was
17 one of the addressees of Rajic's response to General Petkovic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's not much text
19 in here. It doesn't lend itself to a very good understanding. However,
20 judging by the date, I know that sometime around that time
21 Generals Petkovic and Grubac met in order to agree the details of the
22 humanitarian corridor and the assistance to the area, in terms of food,
23 medicines, clothes. For months, nothing had reached those people who had
24 been completely isolated for months. I'm talking about Turija, Zabrdje,
25 and Zaslivlje, as parts of Konjic municipality.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Sir, let's quickly, just to see what we're really talking about,
4 turn to Exhibit P02966. It's about five or six documents further on from
5 where you are. P02966.
6 This a document dated 26 June 1993, and again it's from
7 Ivica Rajic, and it's addressed to the chief of the Main Staff and the
8 head of the Defence Department. It says:
9 "Update on co-operation with XY side:
10 "As per your advice and as per their request of yesterday,
11 earlier this morning I sent a request to the main person on the XY side.
12 Around 3.00, I received a message that my request was on Ratko's desk and
13 that they could deliver 30 rifles immediately at 5.000 Deutschmarks
15 Sir, the materiel we're talking about is weapons. There was
16 weapons transactions going -- arms transactions going on between the HVO
17 and the Serbs at that time; isn't that so?
18 A. I would have to read the entire document to see what it's about,
19 but I said that a humanitarian corridor was being opened during that time
20 and that assistance was being provided to the civilian population in the
21 territories of Turija, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje.
22 Q. Okay. Now, sir, let's look at the response of General Petkovic
23 to Mr. Delic on the 24th of June, 1993. It's Exhibit P02938, and it's
24 about four documents before. P02938. It's by General Petkovic, and it's
25 addressed -- and it's "Reply to Protest of the 4th Corps." And it says:
1 "Your protest is insincere, unobjective, and self-incriminating."
2 Sir, I put it to you, and I want your reaction, isn't it so that
3 actually, from what we've seen, General Petkovic is the one who's not
4 being honest here?
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, an objection with
6 regard to the presentation of the document.
7 The document doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with the
8 prior -- Rasim Delic's letter. This is just an answer to a protest from
9 the 4th Corps.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, you have shown us a
11 letter of protest. After that, you showed a document mentioning XY. Now
12 you are showing us Mr. Petkovic's response. I also find it difficult to
13 follow, the logic. We can hear the witness's answer, but I feel a little
14 bit like Ms. Alaburic does. I don't quite understand.
15 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I'll rephrase the question and put it
16 not in the context, then, of Mr. Delic's letter.
17 Q. Sir, in this letter of the 24th of June, a reply to a protest of
18 the 4th Corps, do you see any reference there that the HVO is dealing
19 with the common enemy, the Serbs, regarding weapons?
20 A. What you can see here is that this is an answer to a protest from
21 the 4th Corps. I don't know what protest was that. It was sent to the
22 4th Corps, to UNPROFOR in Medjugorje, and UNPROFOR in Kiseljak. I'm sure
23 that the document would not have been sent to all those addresses if it
24 was to be kept secret. It says: "Your protest is insincere," and this
25 is an answer to the commander of the 4th Corps, which means that
1 everybody knew what the situation in Mostar was like, and everybody is
2 warned to adhere to the terms of the cease-fire. And this we already
3 mentioned with regard to (redacted). I've already spoken about
4 that at great length.
5 There was some renegade groups that roamed around the city, and
6 that was prevented -- or at least attempts were made to prevent that by
7 introducing joint patrols and a curfew. All that was done to prevent
8 them from creating havoc around town and shooting.
9 It says here:
10 "On our part, we are exerting influence and shall continue doing
11 so to ensure that the cease-fire is observed."
12 And I'm telling you that this protest is just a cover-up for the
13 plans to fuel up the conflict in Mostar. Every time they said something
14 to that effect and accused the HVO, it was always done to lay the ground
15 for some future offensive activities.
16 Q. Sir, please turn to the next document in the binder, which is
17 P02946. This document is already in evidence, P02946.
18 No, my apologies, Your Honour, it's not in evidence yet. That's
19 my mistake. I misspoke.
20 Sir, this is a BritBat report coming from the -- or dated the
21 25th of June, 1993, and it says, paragraph 1:
22 "Indigenous forces:
23 "A. OP Grapple:
24 "1. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said today that he and
25 Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban had agreed on the creation of a
1 confederation of three ethnic mini-states in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
2 called on Bosnia
3 Did you know about such an agreement taking place around the
4 25th of June, 1993?
5 A. No, I didn't.
6 Q. And if such a mini-state were agreed, would you disagree that the
7 Croatian ethnic mini-state would be the Croatian Community of
8 Herceg-Bosna's area?
9 A. I have no knowledge of them talking or having agreed on
10 something. As far as I know, Croats negotiated only under the auspices
11 of the international community. I'm not aware of any such conversations
12 having taken place ever.
13 Q. Now, sir, you, as an analyst, appealing to your skills as an
14 analyst now, seeing this, would you agree that this agreement between the
15 Serbs and the Croats, without the Muslims being present, threatens the
16 existence of the RBiH?
17 A. I don't know what the meaning of the mini-state is in this
18 context. All three sides are being requested to negotiate. I don't know
19 what about. I suppose there could not have been any negotiations without
20 the international community, so nobody would be at a risk. Three sides
21 are mentioned in here, and they're urged to sit at a negotiating table.
22 What is meant by that, I don't know. I've already told you that I don't
23 know. But I know that whenever the Croats sat down to negotiate
24 anything, for example, the future organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 they did it exclusively under the auspices of the international
2 Q. Sir, let's turn to two documents further on, then, P02953. And
3 this document --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before moving on to the next
5 document, I would like to look at this internal document of the
6 British Army. This is not an UNPROFOR document. Unless I'm mistaken,
7 this is a document which comes from the British Army. Therefore, this is
8 an internal document which does not engage the international community at
9 large; only the British Army.
10 Let's look at the first page, the beginning of the first page,
11 the top, paragraph A, paragraph 3. It says the BritBat reports states
12 that there has been an ABiH offensive in the Bila Valley
13 offensive is seemingly suspended for a while due to the fact that there
14 is an issue with the Serbs along the front-line.
15 This document is dated in the month of June. This document comes
16 from the British Army. This seems to indicate that the ABiH is attacking
17 in the Bila Valley
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was a bit too long.
19 I know that the BH Army at the time did engage in attacks in the
20 area against the HVO. I know that for a fact.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have seen how this report
22 was translated in your language. Does this confirm that it was the ABiH
23 that was attacking in this valley?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The BiH Army did launch attacks in
25 the valley.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you also say attacks against whom?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The BiH Army launched attacks
3 against the HVO.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, if we can turn to document P02953. Okay.
7 Sir, this is a document from Commander Marinko Puljic, and it's
8 dated "Stolac, 25 June 1993
9 a few lines down, it says:
10 "At 10.30, the military police increased road security due to the
11 arrival of General Petkovic, who was on his way to negotiate with the
13 "Negotiations lasted until 1.00, when Petkovic returned."
14 I ask you again. Were you aware that General Petkovic was
15 negotiating with the Serbs at this time?
16 A. To follow up on the previous documents, those were negotiations
17 towards establishing a humanitarian corridor in Turija, Zabrdje, and
18 Zaslivlje, and towards assisting those people who had been inaccessible
19 for months. If we're talking about the 25th of June, it was on that day.
20 I know that it happened sometime after the 24th. So that would be that,
22 Q. Have a look at the very next document, sir, P02962. This is a
23 document -- communication from General Petkovic to Mr. Rajic, and it
25 "Inform the other side that we completely accept the
1 already-concluded agreement on MTS on their conditions. We will carry
2 out the duty you have outlined."
3 Paragraph 2:
4 "At the last meeting in Sarajevo, two commanders discussed the
5 possibility of help, and Mr. Stojic was given assurances by the other
6 side's two main political leaders that there would be no problems during
7 the delivery of MTS."
8 And then look at point 5:
9 "Also request artillery support, and explain that helping us also
10 means helping them."
11 Sir, does this not indicate that General Petkovic is asking the
12 common enemy of the HVO and -- or suggesting that the common enemy of the
13 HVO and the ABiH should be shelling or helping in shelling the Muslims?
14 A. I've already told you that I have no knowledge of any such
15 activities, except the matter linked to Konjic.
16 Q. Now, sir, all these documents that I have shown you, these past
17 few documents, are all dated a few days before the 30th of June, 1993
18 when that Muslim attack occurred. Now, I put it to you that at this
19 stage, for any analyst on the other side it would have been clear that
20 the ABiH's ally, the HVO, had turned against them and had linked up to
21 fight against them with the Serbs. Isn't that so?
22 A. No, it's not so, and for this reason: As far as Mostar is
23 concerned, the very day before the 30th the joint forces -- our joint
24 forces held the line in the area from Bijelo Polje southwards -- south of
25 Mostar, so those are the facts. And it is my assumption here that this
1 was linked to Konjic, because it was a very, very difficult situation
2 there at that time.
3 Q. And, sir, I put it to you that for the Muslim members within the
4 HVO at that stage, all these indications that I've shown you would have
5 made them very concerned about the sincerity of the HVO, because they
6 were in the HVO to fight against the Serbs, yet it seemed that the HVO
7 commanders or leadership had actually become friends with the Serbs.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honours,
9 objection, because it is presumed that the Muslim soldiers within the HVO
10 knew something about co-operation with the Serb side, and the objection
11 is based on the following: Whether it refers to Muslims in the
12 Mostar HVO brigades, and, if so, how could they know what was happening,
13 for example, in the area of Central Bosnia or in the
14 Turija-Zabrdje-Zaslivlje enclave?
15 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may very briefly respond.
16 The documents that I've shown have not only referred to what
17 Ms. Alaburic has referred to. We've also shown the witness evidence or
18 information showing that Muslims were being expelled from Mostar, we've
19 shown information regarding co-operation with the Serbs regarding MTS,
20 and reports -- internal HVO reports going around. So certainly there was
21 every chance that soldiers on the ground may also have picked up these
22 goings on, and I'm simply asking the witness whether he is able to
23 comment on this.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When you mentioned expulsions, the
25 Muslims -- well, had it been the way it says in this report, well, the
1 Muslims would have left the HVO far earlier, would they not, because at
2 the time a large number of Muslims were in the HVO and on the right bank
3 of the Neretva River
4 completely different area that had nothing to do with Mostar, and it was
5 a humanitarian issue. Here, the talks and negotiations between the HVO
6 and the Army of Republika Srpska, as far as I know, referred to Konjic
7 and the humanitarian corridor during that period of time. That's when
8 this was discussed. And General Petkovic and the command on the Serb
9 side discussed the issue, and attempts were always made to calm the
10 situation down. And Mostar was the last town where this kind of conflict
11 took place, so this couldn't affect the people.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter notes: On the Serb side, it was
13 General Grubac.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second.
15 I have been listening to your comments regarding humanitarian
16 issues, and if I understand you correctly, you needed to have an
17 agreement with the Serbs and to give them some MTS, and in exchange you
18 could solve the humanitarian problems. Why not? However, paragraph 5 is
19 talking about the artillery, and what does it have to do with this in the
20 picture? Why are we asking the artillery support? What has artillery
21 got to do in such a dispensation?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the people who were in the
23 enclave did not have any artillery, so that's what that is about. If
24 they were to be attacked, to defend them. I don't know what else it
25 could mean.
1 MR. KRUGER:
2 Q. Sir, in the few minutes remaining, I'd like to turn to my final
3 topic, and I'd like to turn -- or explore your assertion that the HVO --
4 in the HVO at the time, there was no real opportunity to exercise
5 effective command. And this is what you said on the 18th of January,
6 transcript reference T-48491 at line 15, and you were responding to a
7 document shown to you regarding HVO soldiers protesting salaries in 1994.
8 On the basis of that, you said there was no real opportunity to exercise
9 effective control, or "effective command" were your exact words.
10 Sir, from that, are we to understand that no single order that
11 was ever issued by any officer in the HVO was obeyed?
12 A. I never said anything like that, that no order was ever obeyed.
13 But as for meetings of this kind, I said I knew that they were held.
14 Q. So you would agree, then, that combat orders were entirely
15 possible and could be obeyed; it wasn't necessary, when you were being
16 attacked or when you wanted to launch an attack, to first negotiate with
17 your troops? A commander could issue an order, and it would be obeyed;
18 that was entirely possible?
19 A. I said that I knew of only one attack operation by the HVO
20 against the Army of Republika Srpska in 1992 and what the problems were.
21 So the problem was to persuade people to come up to the front-line, let
22 alone some offensive operations, so I don't know what this is about.
23 Q. Sir, from what you've just said, you're not saying that it wasn't
24 at all possible -- or, rather, from what you said, it is possible orders
25 could be issued by commanders to their troops for combat operations,
1 which would be obeyed? It was possible in the HVO? A simple yes or no.
2 A. That wasn't the question. The question was, Is it possible to
3 issue orders? Now, whether they were carried out, that's another
4 question, but there was no offensive action at all.
5 Q. Sir, in a further part of your evidence you made the point, and
6 your exact words were:
7 "The HVO was a defensive army exclusively."
8 Do you stand by that?
9 A. Absolutely, the HVO was a defensive army.
10 Q. All right. Let's turn to Exhibit P06534, P06534. It's an
11 exhibit which is already in evidence.
12 Now, sir, this is an order from General Petkovic, dated the
13 8th of November, 1993, and it's titled "Order for Offensive Combat
14 Operations." And it's addressed to various addressees, and it says:
15 "In order to defend these Croatian territories, I hereby order:
16 "The HVO units on all sectors of the front must switch to
17 offensive operations immediately."
18 Sir, do you agree that from this it appears there are two
19 distinct modes, one of defence and one of offence, two modes?
20 A. This is a document which came into being when I wasn't in the
21 staff, at the headquarters. But, on the other hand, I can try and
22 interpret this as an order as it stands. It means that when active
23 defence is engaged in, it has a certain -- in a certain segment, it is
25 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but the question is simply -- and a
1 yes or no would suffice. Is it clear from this there would be two modes,
2 defence and offence, switch from the one mode to the other in this
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd just like the
5 witness to allow -- to respond to the question asked. And if you look at
6 the introduction to this order, regardless of who the author of the order
7 is, it will be precisely what the witness started to say. And I think
8 that it is in the Judges' interest to hear what the witness wanted to
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what did you want to
11 say, exactly?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try, Your Honours.
13 The fall, so this is one period when Vares fell, and there were a
14 large number of refugees in that period. Now, the Muslim forces
15 continued their offensive operations in the area of the Lasva River
16 Valley and the Zepa region, so throughout this area of Central Bosnia,
17 the aim was to route the HVO militarily. Now, to defend the Croatian
18 areas, an order is issued to the effect that the HVO units must switch to
19 offensive operations. It says "offensive operations," and that is
20 support and reinforcement to active defence, which means to lift the
21 burden of the small area that had not been routed by the BH Army. But
22 you cannot imply that they launched offensive operations, the attack.
23 So the units that you have primarily intended there for defence,
24 the efforts made were to try and help these units and to prevent the
25 total defeat of the HVO.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kruger.
2 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Witness, it sounds to me like you're playing semantics, because
4 certainly to just call an operation defensive, it doesn't change the fact
5 that if you order an attack, you can order an attack. It was possible in
6 the HVO, and they were doing it; isn't that so?
7 A. I was very concrete here, and I know that it was about a large
8 number of displaced persons and refugees from the area. So we can see
9 that Vares had fallen, and we also see that there were attacks against
10 the Lasva River Valley
11 with what forces you had available, they tried to save what could be
12 saved, catch as catch can. So there were no attack operations to gain
13 control of territory, but to save what could be salvaged.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, there might be an
15 issue with words here. It might not be only a question of semantics or
16 playing with words.
17 From a military point of view, you were in the military - I don't
18 know whether Mr. Kruger ever was - but you are a colonel at the moment
19 and I assume that you must have looked at military history. Perhaps you
20 looked at what had happened during the Second World War. Perhaps you
21 were aware of the Von Rundstedt offensive in 1994 and
22 1995 [as interpreted] in the Belgian Ardennes and in Luxembourg. This
23 was an offensive operation, and perhaps you were aware of the
24 counter-attack or counter-offensive of the allied armies against this
25 German general. So in military terms, you have an offensive and then you
1 have a counter-offensive or counter-attack.
2 In the document, the ABiH had an operation in Vares. That's what
3 the document says. And then the HVO is defending itself. It says "in
4 order to defend" in the document. So I was wondering whether the
5 relevant military term should have been an order for counter-offensive.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Vares had already
7 fallen here, by this time, and we know what happened when Vares fell,
8 what the problems were. And what is sought here is, if you look at the
9 area, to lift the burden and to have the Novi Travnik-Gornji Vakuf access
10 to help them, and the Kiseljak-Busovaca access. So we know that Kiseljak
11 had been cut off from Busovaca. We know that everything was under siege
12 up there, and it was a very difficult situation.
13 So what is stated here, exactly, is less important. What is
14 essential is that the primary thing was to defend the area and to send
15 reinforcements and help, because in the last point -- or, rather,
16 point 4, the Vitez Military District, with all available forces, put up a
17 persistent and decisive defence. That's what it says in point 4.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was wondering
19 whether, in your language, there is such a term as "counter-offensive."
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it does. "Counter-offensive,"
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And so why is this
23 term not used in the document, and do you think it should have been used?
24 If you don't know, you can just say so.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think this here, too, is
1 visible; that is to say, you could use that. But from this, we can see
2 what the goal and intention was.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Kruger.
4 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Jasak, I only wish to show you three more documents on this
6 topic, and that's all I'll have time for.
7 Please turn to P00460. I think it should be about the first
8 document in the binder. P00460.
9 Now, this is an order by Colonel Siljeg to the Eugen Kvaternik
10 Brigade to assist the possibility of elimination of Muslim forces in
11 Gornji Vakuf, and it's dated the 27th of October, 1992. And if you look
12 after the -- two paragraphs above his -- sorry. If you look below the
13 title, it says:
14 "We immediately request information on the situation in ..."
15 various areas, and then he says:
16 "Provide estimate of a possibility of passage on the roads," and
17 he mentions the route, and then he says:
18 "Provide an estimate of a possibility of eliminating the Muslim
19 forces in Gornji Vakuf."
20 Now, sir, that sounds to me like offensive language. Would you
22 A. I can't see anything here that smacks of offensive.
23 Q. Sir, you're an analyst.
24 A. A report is called for here.
25 Q. But certainly, sir, as an analyst, you would appreciate that to
1 eliminate the Muslim forces in Gornji Vakuf would require a positive
2 action on the side of the HVO. They would need to attack those forces in
3 order -- before they could eliminate them. So doesn't this show that in
4 the thinking of the HVO, certainly it did see itself as capable of attack
5 as well; isn't that so?
6 A. Absolutely not. Here it says "assess the possibilities," but we
7 should take into account what this is all about in the first place.
8 So during that period in Vakuf, trenches were being dug facing
9 Croatian villages, not facing the Army of Republika Srpska. And what is
10 called for here is a possibility, an assessment, an appraisal; nothing
11 specific, nothing concrete.
12 Q. Sir, just before stepping off this: On the last part of the
13 document, to the second paragraph above Mr. Siljeg's signature, or
14 Mr. Siljeg's name, at least, it says -- it's the paragraph starting: "We
15 are expecting a Merhamet convoy," and it goes on:
16 "... check whether they have permission for transporting weapons
17 issued by the Minister of Defence, Gojko Susak, or General Praljak; in
18 case they don't have these ..."
19 Is it correct that General Mr. Praljak at that stage was also
20 involved in the whole process of arms transport to the HVO?
21 A. I have to read this first, because you've said your bit and now I
22 have to read it to see what it's about, because it's a document of the
23 9th of September, 1992. And, at the time, I was commander in Mostar, of
24 the battalion in Mostar. So I want to see what this is all about and
25 what this is.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, I was wondering
2 whether this document would not be the compilation of two documents,
3 actually. If you look at the B/C/S version, I have the feeling that they
4 were two documents that were put together in one, they were copied. And
5 the English translations lead us to believe that there's only one
6 document that was signed by Siljeg, whereas, in fact, in the B/C/S
7 version we are dealing with two documents. There is a document, and
8 you're right in saying, that has got to do with the assessment of the
9 situation in Gornji Vakuf, and then you have a second document which has
10 to do with humanitarian convoys. Am I mistaken?
11 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, no, you're entirely correct. And in
12 trying to finish, it slipped my attention now.
13 Q. So indeed, Mr. Jasak, the document you're looking at now is a
14 second document, and it's dated the 9th of September, 1992. The
15 question, however, stands. In September 1992, was General Praljak
16 involved in the process of providing arms to the HVO or other forces?
17 A. We can see here that this was about supplying ABiH Army with
18 weapons. Those were Muslims forces, and the supplier was Merhamet, which
19 was their own organisation. Now, what was the case at the time? I said
20 I don't know. This was probably assistance that arrived from Croatia
21 the Muslim forces through their humanitarian organisation Merhamet, which
22 is very similar to what Caritas was for the Catholic population.
23 Q. Sir, let's look at the second-last document, P01107. It's the
24 fourth document in the binder, P01107.
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: Excuse me, Mr. Kruger. I'm sorry to interrupt
1 you, but I have to come back to this document, because, in his answer,
2 Mr. Jasak mentioned, and I quote, that:
3 "We can see here this was about supplying ABiH Army with weapons.
4 Those were Muslim forces, and the supplier was Merhamet, which is the
5 organisation. Now, what was the case at the time? I said I don't know.
6 ... the Muslim forces, through their humanitarian organisation Merhamet,
7 which is very similar to what Caritas was for the Catholic population."
8 Now, I believe that, of course, we have to speak about two issues
9 distinctly. One thing is Merhamet, but here, in this particular order,
10 there is a reference that, and I quote here from it:
11 "... check whether they have permission for transporting weapons
12 issued by the Minister of Defence, Gojko Susak, or General Praljak; in
13 case they don't have these authorisations, unload them and inform the
14 zone command."
15 So I believe that this particular part is addressing a question
16 not about Merhamet, not about humanitarian assistance, but about
17 transporting weapons. And then I ask the witness if he knew about those
18 issues and if -- according to his reading and according to his knowledge,
19 if some permission for transporting weapons were issued by the
20 Croatian Minister of Defence Gojko Susak or at that time, in 1992, by
21 General Praljak. It is the question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll try and clarify a
24 I said that during that period, I was involved in certain
25 matters, but I knew what Merhamet is. It's a humanitarian Muslim
1 organisation. I know that at the time assistance was extended by the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 Republic of Croatia
4 I suppose that some people had spoken with Siljeg, told him that
5 they had been provided with that from Mr. Praljak or Mr. Susak, and they
6 probably wanted to check whether that was indeed the case. I don't know
7 what else could be at stake, because I was not involved in the work of
8 higher commands. All I know is that the arming of the BiH Army and the
9 HVO was done through almost identical channels and almost in an identical
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Colonel.
12 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Sir, let's turn to Exhibit P01107. It's the fourth document in
14 your binder, and this is an order from Colonel Siljeg on the
15 12th of January, 1993, and it's in regard to the action of the
16 Operational Zone of North-West Herzegovina, forces in Gornji Vakuf and
17 Bugojno, and it's to all operational zone brigades. And he says -- he
18 orders, number 1:
19 "The attack forces of the operational zone and other forces from
20 Ante Starcevic, Eugen Kvaternik, and Rama Brigades are to route the enemy
21 forces in Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf with the following objective:
22 "Take control of towns and roads."
23 Number 2, if we continue:
24 "A. The Rama Brigade is to block the Jablanica-Prozor road and
25 secure our force's right flank."
1 The next sentence:
2 "Its main forces, co-operating with the forces of the
3 Ante Starcevic Brigade, are to route the enemy at Karamustapic's area."
4 And then if we go to B, it says:
5 "The main force of the Ante Starcevic Brigade are to engage and
6 clear the BH Army forces in Gornji Vakuf, secure the Gornji Vakuf."
7 And then it says a bit further on:
8 "Ensure that the Rama Brigade can launch an offensive, crush the
9 enemy in the Osredak-Voljice area, and prevent the BH Army forces from
10 intervening from the direction of Rostovo."
11 "C: Crush the enemy forces in Bugojno once again."
12 And my question to you, sir, is clearly: The HVO has an attack
13 capability; it is not purely a defensive army, as you alleged?
14 A. The HVO did not have the capacity for attack, and one has to see
15 what was the effect of that. So it wasn't as it says here; it was not
16 the case.
17 Q. So this order, as it stands on the paper, there's not
18 interpretation? This is not an attack order, according to you, to the
19 HVO brigades in this operational zone; is that what you're saying?
20 A. First of all, we're talking about an area which was not under the
21 South-Eastern Herzegovina Operational Zone. I'm trying to see what is in
22 the area of responsibility that was my primary responsibility. I would
23 have to go back and try to remind myself of what was going on on the
24 12th of January, what was happening, what was topical in the area. I
25 would have to read this at a bit greater length and see what the reasons
1 might have been for anything to be launched.
2 To be talking on top of my head is impossible. I would have to
3 see the details of the situation. I know that there were no offensive
4 activities going on. Everything was done to support defence or what I
5 mentioned under the term "active defence," in order to bring the defence
6 in a favourable situation, not to take control of anything. So when you
7 are defending yourself, you do engage in some activities that do feature
8 elements of attack, but they're still defence activities, not offence
9 activities. We're not talking about reaching certain lines in order to
10 launch a defence activity. This is just support to the defence
11 activities for the troops to reach a more favourable position.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a correction for the
13 record. In the second sentence of the answer, the witness is recorded as
14 saying, "This was my primary responsibility," and what he said was that
15 he was trying to discern what was happening in the area that was not his
16 primary responsibility, because Gornji Vakuf belonged to the area of
17 North-West Herzegovina.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here :
19 "Due to the deterioration of the situation between Croats and
20 Muslims and the BiH Army attempting to take some vital facilities in
21 Gornji Vakuf," which are under the control of the HVO. We're talking
22 about some vital positions where the HVO already had its troops deployed,
23 and the BH Army was attempting to take them. That's what is written in
24 the first sentence. Constant incidents, removing the Croatian flag from
25 its position in the center of town, the arrest of people, and the arrival
1 of the troops of the BiH Army from Central Bosnia, rather than locals in
2 Gornji Vakuf; the non-functioning of civilian authorities, and especially
3 in view of the attempts to eliminate the HVO in Gornji Vakuf on the part
4 of the BiH Army.
5 During that period, I know that that was sometime in January,
6 joint commissions were set up with the task of calming the situation
7 down, so this is a consequence of the activities of the BiH Army. And
8 attempts were made to alleviate the situation by way of launching an
9 active defence. This is a reaction, and you can see what the reaction is
11 And we said already that there were trenches dug out facing the
12 HVO and not the VRS. There was a problem here of the Muslims who had
13 been expelled by the Serbs from Donji Vakuf who found themselves in that
14 area, which caused many incidents.
15 You can see that there was also a problem of the flag. Only the
16 Muslim flag was allowed to be hoisted and not a Croatian flag.
17 MR. KRUGER:
18 Q. Sir, let's turn to the final document I'm going to show you.
19 It's the very next document in your binder. It's P -- no, it's about two
20 on, I think. P01162 is the next document, P01162.
21 Now, sir, this is a regular report by Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, and
22 it's dated the 16th of January, 1993. And if I can remind you, we've
23 spoken about this earlier. The Prosecution's position is that this is at
24 the time that an ultimatum was directed by the HVO to the ABiH in
25 January 1993 to submit themselves.
1 Now, in this regular report, which reports on negotiations
2 between the HVO and the ABiH in Gornji Vakuf, turn to the second-last
3 paragraph, please. And it says:
4 "Tonight at Gornji Vakuf, Colonel Siljeg and Colonel Andric
5 negotiated with BH Army representatives. There were no results. Unless
6 there is an agreement, Gornji Vakuf, southern strongholds, will be taken
7 and our line strengthened."
8 And then General Praljak sent them a message that they will be
9 annihilated if they do not accept the decisions of the HZ-HB. Now, sir,
10 my first question to you is that in order to annihilate the ABiH, that
11 would require an attack from the HVO; isn't that so?
12 A. An attack would have been necessary. But I repeat, this is an
13 area which was not my primary concern. I would have to read the entire
14 order or, rather, the entire report.
15 When I see a reference to Colonel Andric, I know that he was
16 trying to calm the situation down in Bugojno, Vakuf, Prozor, as I've
17 already said.
18 As for the dates referred to herein, and when you look at the
19 word "step over," this is a colloquialism. I don't know what that would
20 mean, but I know that at the time there were no strong offence
21 activities. I know that at the time, in the area of this territory, we
22 had suffered losses. We had fallen men who would be found by the road,
23 massacred, and in every shape and form. The situation was rife with
24 incidents on the ground. How they developed, I don't know. And how the
25 conversations and talks went on, I really can't tell you.
1 Q. Sir, the final part, which says General Praljak sent them a
3 "They will be annihilated if they do not accept the decisions of
4 the HZ-HB, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
5 Doesn't this reflect the entire attitude of the HVO during 1992
6 and 1993, being only the will of the HVO matters, Whatever the ABiH says
7 or decides is totally irrelevant; it's our will, and we will enforce our
8 will? Wasn't that the situation?
9 A. The situation was absolutely not the way you describe it. I know
10 that towards the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993, Colonel Andric
11 and General Praljak arrived in the area and helped dig up the trenches.
12 They didn't want to dig up the trenches that were facing Croatian
13 villages, and somehow they managed to agree with the local commanders as
14 to how to organise lines facing the Chetniks and link up all the local
15 commanders. The HVO did everything in its ability to calm the situation
16 down, but somebody added fuel to the fire, obviously. And this is just
17 one sentence. What was the context? I don't know. But I'm sure that
18 this was not an official position or a rule of behaviour.
19 When you look at the dates, then you know that positions were
20 being reinforced facing the VRS, alleviate tension in the town of
21 Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, and Prozor, and to engage joint forces in order to
22 defend those areas.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
24 permission, I would like to react to the record. I suppose that my
25 colleague Suzanna wanted to do the same thing. On line 13 of the record
1 I'm looking at now, it says that the witness alleged that they didn't
2 want to dig up the trenches. The witness actually said they didn't want
3 to fill up the trenches. "Fill up" was the words the witness used.
4 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] And maybe just one thing about
5 the same period and one more mistake in the transcript with regard to the
6 digging or filling of trenches. On page 68 -- I've lost it now.
7 Page 68, line 16, the witness said that General Praljak arrived and
8 helped to fill the trenches up, whereas in the record it says that he
9 helped dig trenches. Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And maybe one more thing to be said
11 about the same period.
12 In the VOS, we had intelligence that the VRS -- we intercepted
13 that information. The VRS said, Pound once and then pound the others.
14 They added a bit more fuel to the situation. And that's how things were
15 done. They pounded once and then they pounded the others in the area,
16 until the moment Operation Maslenica was launched in Croatia. And that's
17 when they had to dispatch some of their troops to go to that area and
18 engage in that offensive.
19 MR. KRUGER:
20 Q. And, sir, my final question to you, and the point may have been
21 lost due to the corrections in the transcript. The point -- the question
22 that I'd asked you is -- from what we see General Praljak said, the
23 question is: Doesn't this reflect the entire attitude of the HVO, that
24 only the will of the HVO mattered, whatever the ABiH did was irrelevant?
25 Now, you've given your response to that, and now my final question to you
1 is, sir: I've been listening to you for seven days now, and despite many
2 documents being shown to you which suggest that the HVO does not entirely
3 have clean hands, you were not once able to find any criticism regarding
4 the actions of the HVO, and isn't it so, sir, that in your eyes the HVO
5 could do no wrong?
6 A. As far as the HVO is concerned, I was talking from the point of
7 view of the Main Staff about some general positions. There were some
8 incidents on the ground. However, at the Main Staff level, initiatives
9 were launched to always calm the situation down. And in this case, the
10 situation was the same.
11 I believe that Colonel Andric, Miro Andric, was sent as an
12 experienced person, a person who knew a lot about the Muslims. He hailed
13 from Konjic. That's where he was born. He was brought up and raised in
14 Bijelo Polje, near Mostar. He was in command of the
15 1st Bijelo Polje Battalion, where 50 per cent of the men were Muslims,
16 and he was a successful commander. For a while, he was also the deputy
17 chief of the Main Staff. And if a person of that kind is given a mission
18 to calm the situation down, and if a person of that kind is sent to an
19 area, the intention is clear, the agenda is clear. A maximum is being
20 invested to calm the situation down and to try and engage joint forces in
21 a battle against a common enemy.
22 As far as Central Bosnia is concerned, as well as
23 North-West Herzegovina and the area of responsibility there, the majority
24 of the population there were Muslims, and most troops were Muslims. They
25 prevailed, and launching any military activity there was not logical from
1 a military point of view. The only thing that could be done was to reach
2 an agreement and act jointly against a common enemy.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. Jasak.
4 No further questions, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kruger.
6 We shall have a 20-minute break now and resume with the redirect
8 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
11 Judge Prandler has a medical appointment, and therefore he cannot
12 be with us from now on.
13 We're going to move to redirect. Ms. Alaburic, you have the
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Alaburic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jasak, let's try and clarify certain details
18 . First of all, tell us which body in Herceg-Bosna had at its disposal
19 the most complete information about the enemy armies, or the enemy army,
20 as a singular, depending on the time-frame.
21 A. It was the VOS of the Main Staff of the HVO, the VOS standing for
22 the Military Intelligence Service.
23 Q. When it comes to the VOS, which person had the most complete
24 information about the enemy armies, or the enemy army, singular, in the
25 territory of the South-East Herzegovina OZ?
1 A. I was the one who had the most complete information, together
2 with the chief for whom I prepared reports.
3 Q. If I understood you properly, with all of your colleagues you
4 worked in one room, you shared one room, and your chief had a separate
5 office. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. When it comes to your colleagues, if they monitored the situation
8 in Central Bosnia, would they inform you about any issues relevant for
9 the understanding of the situation in the South-East Herzegovina OZ?
10 A. Absolutely, they would. We discussed those matters, and I
11 reciprocated with the information coming from the South-East
13 Q. Did the VOS receive intelligence from the territory about crimes
14 that may have been committed by an HVO member or any other illegal
15 actions performed by any of the troops?
16 A. We did not receive such information or intelligence because we
17 were not authorised to receive such information.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness's answer either
19 be interpreted or -- I apologise. My mistake.
20 Q. Mr. Jasak, I'm now going to follow the sequence of the
21 Prosecutor's cross-examination in chief, which is the simplest way for me
22 to go about things.
23 Let's first look at the document in the Prosecutor's binder,
24 6534. You can see it on the screen in front of you.
25 Your Honours, all the documents that I was able to prepare
1 yesterday are to be found in a binder, and they follow a certain
2 sequence, but I'm also going to be referring to some documents that have
3 been used by the Prosecutor today and we did not have the time to include
4 them in the binder.
5 One of the last orders that the Prosecutor showed you was the
6 order dated 8 November 1993, in which bears the name of Milivoj Petkovic.
7 At the moment, we are not going to dwell upon who the author of the order
8 actually was.
9 To follow up on His Honour Judge Antonetti's questions,
10 Judge Antonetti asked you whether we have the term "counter-offensive" in
11 our language, and you said that, Yes, we do have that term in our
12 language. Mr. Jasak, if we take Vares, for example, which was taken by
13 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 with regard to the situation of the fall of Vares?
15 A. It would start with the grouping of forces and the return to
16 Vares, which means that Vares would have to be re-taken.
17 Q. If I understand you properly, a counter-offensive would be an
18 attack launched in order to return control over the territory that had
19 been lost. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now let's look at this order. Does this order relate to a
22 counter-offensive against Vares or any other part of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 A. This is not an order for counter-offensive against Vares or any
25 other part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We can see that an order is issued
1 to the effect that I have already explained, to alleviate the burden of
2 the remaining forces on the ground.
3 Q. In the introductory part of this order, it says:
4 "In order to defend the aforementioned Croatian areas," namely,
5 the Lasva Valley
6 A. Yes, that's correct, the Lasva Valley
7 came under threat. The forces that launched attacks against Lasva Valley
8 and the area of Zepa had to be redirected, and that's why all the
9 activities were undertaken.
10 Q. The two areas in question, are they Croatian enclaves in
11 Central Bosnia
12 A. Yes, those were two Croatian enclaves in Central Bosnia.
13 Q. A different topic now. The Prosecutor asked you about a document
14 issued by the British Battalion. The number of the document -- and you
15 just listen to me. The number is P2946. It is in the Prosecutor's
16 binder of documents. It is dated 25th June 1993. It is actually a
17 report of Radovan Karadzic having said that he had met with Boban and
18 agreed for Bosnia and Herzegovina to exist as a co-confederation of three
19 national mini-states.
20 Do you remember that document, Mr. Jasak?
21 A. Yes, I remember it, and I can see it on the screen at the moment.
22 Q. Tell us, please, did you ever hear about the
23 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan?
24 A. Yes, I did. Some unions of republics are also referred to in
25 that plan.
1 Q. And that plan, was that for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be a union
2 of three republics?
3 A. Yes, I believe that that was the gist of it.
4 Q. Tell us, please, did that plan become topical in mid-1993?
5 A. It became topical after the Serbs had turned down the
6 Vance-Owen Plan.
7 Q. When did the Serbs turn down the Vance-Owen Plan?
8 A. They turned it down -- they rejected it sometime after the
9 meeting in Athens
10 referendum to that effect. Karadzic had even signed it, but it was
11 nevertheless rejected after the referendum, I believe.
12 Q. Yes, you're absolutely right, sir. The Vance-Owen Plan that my
13 learned friend Mr. Kruger asked you about, when did Croats sign the
14 Vance-Owen Plan?
15 A. It was in January 1993.
16 Q. Did that plan envisage for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be a state
17 composed of 10 provinces?
18 A. Yes, that was the idea.
19 Q. And if those provinces had been established, would that mean that
20 Herceg-Bosna would disappear?
21 A. Absolutely. There would no longer be a need for Herceg-Bosna
22 because the state would have been otherwise organised.
23 Q. And now, Mr. Jasak, explain one thing, please. The leadership of
24 Herceg-Bosna in January 1993, was it aware of the fact that if provinces
25 were organised in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that would mean that Herceg-Bosna
1 would disappear?
2 A. Absolutely, there was no reason for them not to be aware of that.
3 It was very clear, because it was well known that Herceg-Bosna was a
4 temporary body that was meant to be put in place to organise the defence
5 of Herceg-Bosna.
6 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I apologise to my learned colleague to
7 interrupt. I do not want to disrupt her re-examination. I would just
8 request that she be careful with regard to leading questions,
9 Your Honour.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I am really trying hard, and I
11 believe that my question was not leading. My question lent itself to all
12 sorts of different answers.
13 Q. Witness, if provinces had been established in Bosnia
15 A. Yes, Herceg-Bosna would have disappeared and would have been
16 replaced by the provinces, and what would have remained was
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as such.
18 Q. Did the Croatian side in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to
19 what you know, do anything in order to prevent the implementation of the
20 Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
21 A. As far as I know, the Croatian side did not do anything to that
22 effect. They did not do anything to prevent the implementation of the
23 plan, and that is why the Croatian side accepted the plan as the first
24 signatory of it, as far as I know.
25 Q. The Prosecutor suggested to you or put it to you that the Muslim
1 side in Bosnia and Herzegovina was against, and I quote, "the idea of
2 Herceg-Bosna." Mr. Jasak, could you explain to us how come that the
3 Muslim side did not accept, or at least not immediately, an organisation
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina that would involve the disappearance of
6 A. My only explanation would be that there were some people who
7 wanted exclusively a unitarian Bosnia-Herzegovina without any provinces.
8 I don't know what else could have been the reason. There were some
9 forces in action that wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to be created as a
10 state of just one people or one nation.
11 Q. What about your personal view about the unitarian -- about a
12 unitarian Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. It would have been a state that would uphold the interests of
14 only one people, and the others would not have had any rights. There
15 would have been just one person, one vote, and in such a state, other
16 peoples would not have been able to defend any of their interests; if
17 they were minorities, that is.
18 Q. In view of the fact that you knew a lot of Croats, would you say
19 that they shared your views of the unitarian Bosnia-Herzegovina or was
20 there a difference between yourself and the others? I'm talking about
21 your acquaintances and friends.
22 A. My acquaintances and friends shared my view.
23 Q. I am again trying to elicit your personal position. At the time
24 when you were a member of the HVO, did there come a time when you started
25 thinking that you were doing something that would not have been
1 appropriate for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that probably led
2 to the separation of some parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. I never thought that I was working towards that goal.
4 Q. Mr. Jasak, let's move on to a different topic.
5 The Prosecutor asked you about the Muslim Army and the HVO,
6 whether they were allies between the 9th of May, 1993, to the
7 30th of June, 1993, and you said that they were, indeed. Could you
8 please tell us, which area did your answer refer to?
9 A. My answer referred to the area of Mostar, because those two dates
10 were very important in terms of the city of Mostar.
11 Q. And the Prosecutor showed you a number of documents to contradict
12 your answer, and showed that in certain areas the HVO and the VRS
13 co-operated. If we sum up those documents and if we tally them with your
14 answer, we will see that those documents referred to the area of Kiseljak
15 and the supply of humanitarian aid through the Croatian enclaves near
16 Konjic, Turija, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje.
17 My question, sir: The areas of Kiseljak and Kresevo, were those
18 areas Croatian enclaves?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And did that enclave lean, in part, on a territory which was
21 under Serb control?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. To the best of your knowledge, under such conditions, that is to
24 say, in an encirclement, was the possibility of collaborating with the
25 Serbs a prerequisite for the survival of the Croats in that enclave?
1 A. Absolutely, any kind of co-operation, well, it meant pure
2 survival. I was speaking about Konjic, mostly, because that was in my
3 primary zone of activity, which is something I knew about, and I also
4 knew that that co-operation was realised only when a humanitarian
5 catastrophe was looming.
6 Q. Tell us, Witness, the Croatian enclaves in the Konjic area in
7 May and June, how many enclaves were there?
8 A. Well, there was one enclave, Turija-Zabrdje-Zaslivlje. That was
9 one. Then there was another one around the Neretvica.
10 Q. When you say in the area of the Neretvica, does that mean around
11 the town of Kostajnica
12 A. Well, it's actually a village, not a town.
13 Q. Right, village. This other enclave around Kostajnica, did it
14 lean, in part, on territory controlled by the Serbs?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And did the enclave exist at the end of July 1993?
17 A. I think it disappeared by then.
18 Q. The other enclave by Konjic, Turija-Zabrdje-Zaslivlje, did it
19 lean, in part of its territory, on the territory under Serb control?
20 A. Yes, it did.
21 Q. And did that enclave survive to the end of the conflict with the
22 Muslim Army?
23 A. Yes, it did.
24 Q. Now, since it's your area, do you have any knowledge whether the
25 possibility of co-operating with the Serbs and collaborating with them
1 had an influence on the survival of that enclave?
2 A. Only by collaborating with the Serbs was it possible to survive,
3 for the enclave to survive, because before this collaboration with the
4 Serbs, there were humanitarian attempts, attempts via international
5 organisations. Various pressure was brought to bear, sending letters
6 stating that the situation was catastrophic, and that the BH Army simply
7 did not allow any contact on the other side, no aid and assistance to
8 come in or anything like that. So that was the only possibility open
9 after more than 40 days. And I think that for the first time then,
10 something was done.
11 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Jasak, co-operation with the Serbs in these
12 enclaves that we've just mentioned, is that the consequence of goodwill
13 on the part of the Croats, to co-operate with the Serbs against the
14 Muslims, or was it a consequence of the circumstances in which the
15 Muslim Army offensive actions brought them to, or is there something
17 A. Well, it was a necessary evil, if I can put it that way. The
18 circumstances were such which led to that. There was no other way out.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jasak. Now let's move on to another area, Mostar
20 and the moving out of people from flats.
21 Now, to the best of your knowledge, the Main Staff of the HVO,
22 were they in charge of seeing to law and order in Mostar?
23 A. No, it was not responsible for keeping public law and order.
24 Q. Tell us if the commander of the South-East Herzegovina
25 Operations Zone was in charge of keeping public law and order in Mostar.
1 A. No, that was not his responsibility.
2 Q. To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Jasak, the representatives of
3 the UNHCR, did they communicate with the civilian or the military
4 authorities in Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. I think they co-operated with the civilian structures.
6 Q. To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Jasak, the Main Staff, did it
7 manage the flats that had been left void or were empty for any reason?
8 A. I don't know that the Main Staff had or managed any kind of flats
9 or accommodation.
10 Q. Let us now look at document 4D1303 in my small binder, 4D1303.
11 It is a military report -- a report from the military police, dated
12 June 1993. And in paragraph 5, it says there that on the
13 31st of May, 1993, the military police received an order that as of the
14 1st of June, 1993, in co-operation with the civilian police, it had to
15 place a part of the town of Mostar
16 absolute control of the HVO-controlled part of the town of Mostar
17 "The order was issued because of a large number of criminal
18 offences and the looting of flats especially at night."
19 Now, Mr. Jasak, you told us about patrols and the introduction of
20 a curfew. Now, did you have any knowledge to the effect that the
21 authorities of Herceg-Bosna were trying to do everything in their power
22 to fight crime, to punish the perpetrators, and to prevent looting?
23 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I would object to that question. That
24 is very leading, Your Honour.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It's not a leading question. I'm
1 just asking whether he had any knowledge of that. If he didn't, I won't
2 pursue the matter. If he did, then I'll ask him to specify.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. I am not going to
4 rule on the Prosecution's objection, because this is a comment.
5 Mr. Kruger, you, yourself, put this question right at the end
6 when you asked the witness whether the HVO had done everything properly,
7 so you addressed this issue. Therefore, the Defence is addressing the
8 same topic. I don't see in what way this is a problem. You addressed
9 the topic, and she is addressing the topic; in a different form, perhaps,
10 but we're still talking about the same thing. What is important is that
11 the witness answers the question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Linked to this, well, the civilian
13 police quite obviously could not have complete supervision over some
14 groups that were -- well, there were Croats and Muslims. Whether they
15 belonged to units, but they were in uniform. There were skirmishes and
16 shooting around town; explosives were placed and so on. And quite
17 obviously they tried to eliminate such behaviour and incidents.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jasak. We'll probably return to that in due
20 course, but let's follow on from Ms. Senka Nozica's questions.
21 She showed you document 4D36, which is a report from Arif Pasalic
22 dated the 2nd of June, 1993 -- 2nd of May, 1993, sent to the
23 Supreme Command Staff of the Armed Forces of the BH Army. And in that
24 document, let me remind you, it was stated that:
25 "A linkage with our people in the HVO was affected and that the
1 bridge at Zitomislic should be taken control of, as well as two dominant
2 elevations in Buna and positions facing Domanovici and the village of
3 Stanojevici, and that Hodbine should be controlled."
4 And then I'm going to skip over the next bit, because what we'd
5 like to focus on is that:
6 "The manpower from the HVO of Capljina had the task of taking
7 control of the village of Tasovcici
8 taking control of the town of Stolac
9 the HVO."
10 And then it goes on to say that mortars, 60 and 82-millimetre
11 ones, had been positioned to open fire against the HVO, and so on and so
13 Now, my question to you is this, Mr. Jasak? Was this report
14 compiled before or after the meeting in Jablanica? And you saw a short
15 video about that, a five-minute video.
16 A. This was compiled before, because the other was the 4th of May,
17 and this date here is the 2nd of May.
18 Q. Now, if I remember correctly, at that meeting of the 4th of May,
19 Sefer Halilovic asked General Petkovic a question. He said, Are we
20 allies or enemies? Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Jasak, did the Prosecutor show you that
23 Sefer Halilovic had informed General Petkovic that his first immediate
24 subordinate, Arif Pasalic, had informed him of these plans for combat
25 against the HVO in co-operation with the soldiers of the HVO?
1 A. Absolutely not.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please. Thank you.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Tell us, please, Halilovic and Petkovic -- I mean Halilovic and
5 Pasalic - I misspoke - in planning activities of this kind against the
6 HVO and without informing the HVO about it, did they act as allies or
7 potential -- a potential enemy army?
8 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I have an objection to this,
9 Your Honour, that it's not in the record that there was, indeed, such an
10 agreement, at least not with regard to this witness, that there was any
11 such agreement between Pasalic -- or discussion between Pasalic and
12 Halilovic, and therefore the question is inappropriate, Your Honour.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to ask my
14 learned friend to read who sent this report to whom. That's what I'm
15 talking about.
16 Q. So, Mr. Jasak, Pasalic's and Halilovic's acts, were they acts of
17 allies or potential enemies?
18 A. This was an act of potential enemies.
19 Q. Now, staying with this document, Judge Trechsel asked you a
20 question. He asked you about the ultimatum from the 1st Brigade sent to
21 the BH Army, what kind of ultimatum it was, speaking about leaving
22 Gubavica. And your answer to that question was as follows: You said
23 that as far as you knew, it was entrance into the area of responsibility
24 of another unit, that that's what that was about, and that the rule
25 applied that without informing the commander of that other unit, you
1 could not enter an area of responsibility of another unit. Did I
2 understand you correctly to say that?
3 A. Yes, you understood me well. Regardless of whether it was a unit
4 when some other HVO unit would come into the area of responsibility, the
5 same would apply, the same rule would apply.
6 Q. Let's now look at a few documents to see if your answers are
7 reliable or not. And the first I'd like us to look at is 4D474, which is
8 an order from Miljenko Lasic, the commander of the South-East Herzegovina
9 Operative Zone, dated the 27th of March, 1993, in which, among other
10 things, it says that it is prohibited to enter areas of responsibility of
11 units without prior approval from the commander of that same unit and the
12 commander of the operative zone:
13 "And therefore I warn you --" and he goes on to say:
14 "... and I oblige you to dislocate the units and their commands
15 from the area of responsibility and the 1st HVO brigade, Knez Domagoj."
16 This order was sent to the 4th Corps as well and to the BH Army
17 brigade, the Bregava Brigade. Tell us, please, Witness, does this
18 document confirm or deny your answer?
19 A. This document confirms the answer I gave, because we can see
20 quite clearly that this was sent to the -- to allies. Nothing was done
21 behind their back. So what is asked for and how people should act was
22 sent to the 4th Corps of the BH Army and the Bregava Brigade, which was
23 the 42nd.
24 Q. Now let's look at the next document. P401 is the number. It is
25 a list of people working in the Municipal Staff of the HVO of Mostar,
1 dated the 22nd of August, 1992. You can see it up on your screen if you
2 can't find it, and my question will be brief.
3 Under point 9, point 9 of this document, on the list we see the
4 independent Mostar battalion, and the commander is Arif Pasalic, or,
5 rather, the next in command is Sulejman Budakovic. So Pasalic and
6 Budakovic, were they staff of the Municipal Staff of the HVO in
7 August 1992, as it says in this document here?
8 A. Yes, they were, absolutely. They were under the command of the
9 Municipal Staff of the HVO, in conformity with the previous decision
10 taken by the Crisis Staff.
11 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a document, 3D671 - listen to me
12 carefully now - 3D671, and it was a SIS Mostar report of the
13 8th of July, 1992, about the situation in the municipality. And that
14 report mentions that -- the alleged conflict between you, Mr. Jasak, and
15 the chief of the battalion, the dispute between the two of you. And
16 Judge Trechsel asked you a question in that regard. He asked you about
17 the relationship between a commander and a chief or the commander and the
18 chief, because his understanding up until that time was that a chief was,
19 in fact, the commander. Now, your answer to that, Mr. Jasak, was as
20 follows: You said you couldn't answer the question because in your
21 battalion there was no chief of staff. Is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let's look at the next document, P796 now, please.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I completely fail to grasp this last
25 dialogue. There was no reference to any chief of staff in that document.
1 There was the chief of the battalion and the commander of the battalion
2 were mentioned there. If I had read "chief of staff," I admit my
3 question would have been offendingly stupid. I ask stupid questions
4 sometimes, but not that stupid.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, your question
6 wasn't a stupid one at all. And had I considered it to be a stupid
7 question, I wouldn't waste time on it. Now, I consider that your
8 question was exceptionally important, because you had every reason to ask
9 the question, because in the SIS document it truly did just say "chief."
10 But in his answer, the witness, in fact, told you that a chief did not --
11 of staff did not exist in the battalion. So I wanted to use a document
12 and indicate the difference between "chief of staff," because that's all
13 that existed, unless he's a chief of some small organisational unit, but
14 you can only have organisation in those terms. But if you don't need
15 clarification between -- of the relationship between the chief of staff
16 and the commander, then I can move on.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just to be sure that I understand where we are:
18 Witness, are you saying that when that document uses the term "chief,"
19 that is sloppy language, and what actually is meant is "chief of staff"?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that that was it, that a
21 chief of staff of the battalion exists. And I understood you to ask
22 about "chief" like "boss," like the number-one man.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we've cleared that
25 up, then I need not go into that document. I see that time is pressing,
1 and I'm sure we'd all like us to complete this examination today, so
2 let's move on to Konjic.
3 Q. Mr. Jasak, let's try and resolve the question of Konjic now.
4 But before that, I'd like to thank Mr. Kruger for asking you a
5 question from which the Prosecution position is clear, whereby the
6 situation in Konjic cannot be understood if you don't know the situation
7 in Prozor, what that was like. So then the same would hold true
8 vice versa and would be applicable to other areas too. And I think that
9 by that, we have dealt with the tu quoque Defence objections.
10 The first document that I'd like us to look at, 4D139. 4D139 is
11 the next document. Let's try and see what the relative finale of the
12 clash over Konjic was for us better to understand some events that took
13 place before that.
14 Now, this document is already an exhibit, and tell us, please,
15 Mr. Jasak, is this -- are you familiar with this document?
16 A. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, to see it.
17 Q. Can you find your way in my binder? The orders go 2D, 3D, 4D, an
18 order. 00139 is the number, 4D00139.
19 A. Yes, I've found it.
20 Q. Are you familiar with this document?
21 A. Yes, I am. And I know when it was written, and I know that the
22 author of this document is my colleague Dinko Zebic, who originates from
23 the area.
24 Q. We have two parts here and Croatian villages listed in the Klis
25 area and the Konjic area, which the Muslim Army took control of, and
1 finally a note about the places in which fighting was still ongoing.
2 Would that be a summary of this document, Mr. Jasak?
3 A. Yes, it would.
4 Q. Let's take a look at document 4D1242 now, please.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. The document
6 4D139, I don't know whether it's been admitted or not, because this
7 document gave rise to discussions before this Chamber. I don't know
8 whether this document has been admitted or not. In the event that it has
9 not been admitted, I have understood that you told us that this document
10 had been drafted by one of your colleagues.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, I did say that. I
12 said that it was compiled by Dinko Zebic.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Based on all the information
14 which the Main Staff had as regarded the military situation?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was compiled on the basis of
16 everything that we had in Konjic. And I know that at this point in time
17 when this was compiled, because I was present there, that the people
18 personally who were expelled from the area provided certain information
19 about this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the record, this document
21 was admitted on the 28th of January, 2009, according to the
22 Legal Officer. Thank you.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 just said, this document is an exhibit already. But let's move on and
2 look at 4D1242.
3 Q. Mr. Jasak, this is a map. I don't know if you've found it.
4 A. Yes, I have.
5 Q. It was prepared on the basis of the previous document, and it
6 shows the villages taken control of by the Muslim Army and from which the
7 Croats were expelled. Then we have marked places that were still under
8 BH Army attack, and we also have the two Croatian enclaves that we
9 mentioned earlier on.
10 To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Jasak, does this map reflect
11 the situation as you knew it?
12 A. Yes, it does, because we can see the enclave here and the
13 Neretvica River Valley
14 Zaslivlje near the town of Konjic
15 Q. Now, while we still have this document on our screens, I'm going
16 to ask you something relating to General Petkovic's order dated the
17 18th of April, when he says that offensive operations should be stepped
18 up in the direction of Klis. Is that the area around Kostajnica, which
19 is in blue?
20 A. Yes, that is the area.
21 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is 4D1241. The
22 document is an exhibit already. It's an article taken from the 6th Corps
23 of the BH Army Journal, which was published in 1994, the month of
24 January. And I think in the central section there, it says literally as
1 "During the truce, the HVO planned an attack on the
2 16th of April, but our units, two days earlier, that is to say, on the
3 14th of April, by lightning attack, drove them down to Kostajnica, Vrci,
4 and Ljesovina, where they remained for approximately three and a half
5 months and then pulled out."
6 Tell us, please, these localities, the ones mentioned here, do
7 they have anything at all to do with Konjic?
8 A. Yes, they do. It's the Neretvica River Valley
9 Q. And is that the general area of Klis?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 Now let's take a look at the next document, which is P1803. And
13 it's a report from SIS of the Rama Brigade from Prozor, dated the
14 14th of April, 1993. And in section 5 or paragraph 5, it says that
15 certain members of the BH Army -- let me correct the date. The
16 4th of April is the date. Members of the BH Army, as I was saying, were
17 refusing the call-up to come up to the front-line facing the Serbs, and
18 organised themselves and left to go to Here, Kute, and Scipe, and there
19 they attacked the HVO units and looted Croatian villages which had been
20 left empty.
21 Now, in this courtroom, we heard -- have heard of these villages,
22 these three villages. Now, can you tell us why those three villages in
23 the Prozor municipality have significance?
24 A. They are three villages which are predominantly Muslim and which
25 are located along the borders of -- or between the borders of Prozor and
1 Konjic municipalities. And forces were brought in there from the area
2 south of Sarajevo
3 launched towards the Neretvica River Valley
4 located in the area.
5 Q. Now look at the next document, please, which is 4D91. And it's a
6 combat report from a commander in the Muslim Army for the
7 24th of April, 1993. You can listen to me. We don't have time to look
8 for the document now. Just listen to me. It says that for the
9 25th of April, the plan was to continue activities throughout the
10 front-line and to take control of Vrci and Budisna Ravan.
11 Tell us, please, Mr. Jasak, to the best of your knowledge,
12 Sefer Halilovic, at the meeting in Jablanica on the 4th of May, did he
13 inform the HVO representatives about the fact that his army was planning
14 to continue its activities throughout the front and to take control of
15 these two localities which were inhabited by the Croatians?
16 A. No, to the best of my knowledge, he did not inform
17 General Petkovic about that. He did not respect the truce, either, which
18 had been signed previously in Zenica, because he and General Petkovic
19 signed a truce -- an agreement for a truce on the 20th. No, I mean the
20 24th. I meant to say the 24th, not the 20th of April.
21 Q. Now, in your opinion, Mr. Jasak, Sefer Halilovic, did he act as
22 an ally or as a potential or actual enemy?
23 A. Well, he was an actual enemy in those parts already at that time.
24 Q. Let's look at the next document now, please, which is 4D454. And
25 they are the minutes from a meeting held on the 20th of March, 1993
1 which my colleague Mr. Kruger showed you. What I'd like to focus on is
2 point 7, in which it says that full control of the area should be ensured
3 along the axis of Jablanica-Kute-Here-Scipe, and that the forces should
4 be tied in with the forces of the armies in the neighbouring
6 Let's take a look at the next document, which is under seal.
7 IC1124 is the number. On this document, which is under seal, paragraph 5
8 sets out the tasks of [indiscernible] 5 of the 20th of March, and
9 paragraph 7 -- well, the order under item 7 that I read out earlier on.
10 We don't have the map on our screens yet.
11 A. I've found it.
12 Q. Once we all have the map on our screens, would you tell us the
13 following: If this axis, Jablanica-Here-Kute-Scipe on the right bank, if
14 you want to link it up with the neighbouring municipality, which
15 territory is it that the Muslim army needs to take control of? Just use
16 your felt-tip pen and draw lines across this territory to show us.
17 A. Up here [indicates] -- it's gone off the screen. Up here we have
18 Here [indicates]. It's gone off the screen again. It's back.
19 Here-Kute-Scipe up here [indicates], but now the pen isn't working.
20 Q. Just cross over the territory.
21 Can we have the map shown as it stands?
22 Now, Mr. Jasak, these three lines finish at the point of these
23 three villages? "Jablanica" is Jablanica municipality; Kute-Here-Scipe,
24 is Prozor municipality; and to the right of the line,
25 Jablanica-Kute-Here-Scipe, you have Konjic municipality. And this is
1 where --
2 A. Well, you see the lake down there, Jablanica Lake
3 Neretvica River Valley
4 Q. And now to the right of those lines, the Muslim Army wants to
5 gain full control and link up the municipalities of Konjic and Prozor,
6 which territory does it need to take control of?
7 A. It needs to take control of the territory
8 Boksevica-Neretvica Valley
9 was, which meant that the HVO needed to be routed, defeated.
10 Q. All right. Draw in that territory, please.
11 A. I can't. This pen won't write on the screen. I start writing
12 and the map disappears. No, no good.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can we place the map on the ELMO
14 and have the witness mark it there?
15 Mr. Jasak -- or, Your Honours, shall we continue tomorrow
16 morning, because I see that it's time for the break?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica or, rather,
18 Ms. Alaburic, how long do you need to complete your redirect?
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think I need some
20 10 minutes, if we don't have technical problems like this.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I made a circle around the
22 Neretvica Valley
23 circles here towards Konjic.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica [as interpreted],
25 you have 10 minutes. Because they have another hearing here, so I can
1 make an effort to extend an extra 10 minutes. So please complete in
2 order to avoid for everyone to have to come back tomorrow.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, I'll do
4 that much.
5 Let us just describe what the witness has drawn.
6 Q. Witness, you marked in the territory which the Muslim army should
7 take control of in order to accomplish the task of linking up the
8 municipalities of Prozor and Konjic, complete control over those
9 municipalities; right? Is that what you've drawn there?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Now, could you sign the map, and
12 may we have an IC number for the map?
13 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you please give a number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the marked portion of this map shall
16 be given Exhibit IC01167. Thank you, Your Honours.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Now, Mr. Jasak, if we recall the VOS document and the subsequent
19 events, did the Muslim army accomplish its goal, the goal that it
20 designed on the 20th of March, 1993?
21 A. Yes, it did accomplish its goal.
22 Q. In the next document - you needn't look at it, just listen to
23 me - it's P1872, it's an order from Miljenko Lasic dated the
24 14th of April, shown to you by my learned friend Mr. Kruger. It speaks
25 about the moving of artillery pieces to Sovicka Vrata and Risovac, those
1 two localities. When we say that artillery pieces need to be transferred
2 to a new location, does that mean that they were somewhere else and then
3 had to be brought to this new location?
4 A. Yes, that's what it means, that they were elsewhere and needed to
5 be transferred to this other place.
6 Q. Now let's see why Sovicka Vrata and Risovac are mention.
7 Document 2D246 is the one I'd like us to look at next. The other
8 locality that I mentioned is Risovac.
9 Now, in this document, it's an order from the Command of the
10 44th Mountain Brigade from Jablanica. From this document, we can see, if
11 we look at, say, paragraphs 5 and 6, that forces needed to be brought in
12 to take control of positions at Risovac and Sovicka Vrata and prevent the
13 possibility of the HVO bringing in reinforcements from other areas.
14 Tell us, please, Mr. Jasak, as you understand matters, the
15 arrival of the artillery pieces in the Risovac and Sovicka Vrata area,
16 did they have anything to do with the previous combat activities of the
17 BH Army?
18 A. Yes, it does, and it's a reaction to the former activities of the
19 BH Army, and it was exclusively for assistance to the area that we looked
20 at a moment ago and that I encircled in the Neretvica River Valley
21 Q. P1915, the next document, is a report from Zeljko Siljeg, dated
22 the 16th of April, 1993. And in that report, among other things, it says
23 that a wire connection with the Herceg Stjepan Command has been
24 established. What I'm interested in is paragraph 12 of the report, which
25 says that a detailed and precise report is required on the situation, and
1 precise demands for action. And he's asking this from the Command of the
2 Herceg Stjepan Brigade.
3 Tell us, please, what brigade is that Herceg Stjepan Brigade?
4 A. It's the Konjic Brigade which was under siege, in an
5 encirclement. And we saw the call for help earlier on, so they want to
6 act upon that, but then they don't know what the situation is,
7 specifically, because they don't have all the details.
8 Q. Now, from this report, does it follow that the Zeljko Siljeg
9 units acted upon the request made from the Konjic Brigade?
10 A. Yes, and you can see that from the previous request by the
11 Command of the Konjic Brigade when he asks for assistance from all sides.
12 Q. And now the last document I'd like you to comment on is P2760.
13 It is a piece of information or proposal from Zarko Keza, dated the
14 14th of --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the month.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Now, Mr. Jasak, you told us -- let me repeat the date. The
18 14th of June, 1993, is the date. You told us that the document was
19 issued in a situation that was an extraordinary one. So apart from the
20 two Croatian enclaves in the Konjic municipality, was there any single
21 patch of territory in that municipality where there was still Croatian
23 A. No, I didn't have any information to the effect that anybody --
24 any Croats had stayed on.
25 Q. Now, up until that time, tell us, please, the Muslim Army, did it
1 take control of Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Kakanj in Central Bosnia?
2 A. Yes, it did, and because we're dealing with mid-June. That's the
3 mid-June period.
4 Q. Now, at that time, did you know about the BH Army plans at all
5 that from Central Bosnia and the Neretva River Valley
6 the sea?
7 A. Yes, we did have knowledge about that.
8 Q. Was this alarming news or improbable news?
9 A. They were absolutely alarming. It was alarming information. And
10 I said yesterday that information of that kind led to proposals of this
11 kind for very difficult situations.
12 Q. Now, this document from your immediate superior, he proposes that
13 the BH Army -- the term "BH Army" should no longer be used, but that the
14 term "Muslim forces" should be used in future, so I'd like to enforce the
15 Sanction system for us to take a look at paragraph 2 of the appeals
16 judgement in the Blaskic trial to see what the Court had to say and what
17 this Tribunal called the army of the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 It says the following:
19 [In English] "The events giving rise to this appeal took place
20 during the conflict between the Croatian Defence Council and the
21 Bosnian Muslim Army in the Lasva Valley
22 [Interpretation] Et cetera.
23 Now, to the best of your knowledge, Mr. Jasak, at the end of
24 June 1993, was it correct to call the army led by Rasim Delic the
25 Muslim Army or the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. The correct way was to call it the Muslim Army, because that's
2 what, in fact, it was.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] My last question, but for that may
4 we move into private session. And this will, indeed, be my last
6 [Private session]
11 Page 49083 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session, we have
12 extended the time here. I apologise to all and everyone.
13 I'd like to thank you, Witness, for having come to The Hague
14 the request of the Petkovic Defence team. I wish you a safe journey
16 We shall meet again on Monday, the 8th of February, at quarter
17 past 2.00. Thank you.
18 [The witness withdrew]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.
20 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of
21 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.