1 Wednesday, 17 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Petkovic takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
11 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 Today is Wednesday, the 17th of February 2010. I would like to greet
14 everyone in the courtroom, the counsel, the accused, Mr. Scott, everyone
15 from the OTP, as well as everybody else helping us in the courtroom.
16 I would also like to apologise for the delay in starting this
17 session. It is my fault, but in a previous hearing that I was chairing
18 the Prosecutor wanted to take the floor for an administrative issue, and
19 unfortunately we finished late. So I would like to apologise for that.
20 I believe that Mr. Kovacic has something to say, so I'll give him
21 the floor immediately.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for giving
23 me the floor.
24 Good afternoon to Your Honours and everybody else in the
1 Your Honours, I'd like to ask the Trial Chamber to grant me an
2 extension of the dead-line for submitting the various submissions and
3 motions with respect to two rulings made by this Trial Chamber; first of
4 all, in respect of the Chamber decision of the 16th of February, 2010
5 which -- and that is the decision concerning Defence witness under
6 92 bis. I'd like to remind you that the decision is 20 pages' long, and
7 I'd also like to remind you that it was made two and a half months after
8 all the motions were submitted, the motion response, and motion replies,
9 and the Trial Chamber obviously needed a lot of time to get through that
10 job, which is no mean task.
11 As you know, we're a small team with small resources, and when
12 looking through it we saw some technical errors. We noticed some. We
13 didn't see whether they were more important or not, but we do think that
14 we'll need at least until the end of next week or, let me say, a Monday
15 week - not this Monday but the following Monday - to compile a reasonable
16 request for a re-examination of individual decisions, or parts of
17 decisions, or decisions on certain documents, or alternatively we should
18 like to lodge an appeal.
19 Now, as far as the other ruling is concerned, and it was the
20 ruling of the Trial Chamber of the 15th of February and was filed on the
21 same day, there, too -- I apologise. I must take a moment. I made a
23 In the first motion about 92 bis witnesses, there's no question
24 of reconsideration. We'd just like to have leave for a certification for
25 leave to appeal. So we'd like to ask for certification to appeal. And
1 as I said, it was a 20-page-long ruling. We, of course, understand the
2 dispositions in it, and we have a working translation from the French, of
3 course, as French is the official language or one of the official
4 languages. We did, nonetheless, wish to make sure we understood the
5 Trial Chamber's reasoning in its entirety and fully, so perhaps the
6 Trial Chamber could make a request that we receive a translation as soon
7 as possible and that the dead-line starts running after we receive an
8 English translation or, anyway, to be given a dead-line until Monday
9 week, not this Monday but the following Monday. So that's what I wanted
10 to say with respect to the 92 bis witnesses.
11 Now, as far as the 15th of February decision is concerned, which
12 relates to the adoption of exhibits used during General Praljak's
13 testimony, I'd first of all like to remind you that it concerns
14 255 documents in all. The Trial Chamber, once again, needed considerable
15 time to go through all those documents, and of course we will need quite
16 a lot of time to go through them ourselves. Up until now, we have found
17 that there are several exhibits which justify a request for
18 re-examination and reconsideration, and this relates to technical errors,
19 figures, or whether the document was on the 65 ter list or not, and
20 similar things, and also requires a lot of time to go through everything
21 and check it all.
22 And with respect to that ruling, too, we would also like to ask,
23 as I said earlier on, certification to appeal, and I'm sure you'll
24 understand that for both these motions, we require a little more time
25 than just seven days. And, therefore, I consider that in conformity with
1 Rule 127, there is good cause for us to make that request. If you wish
2 to hear the details, I'll be happy to give you them. I'll tell you of
3 the team we have and the difficulties that we're facing because one of
4 our important members will not be available until the 3rd of March. But,
5 anyway, for both those motions we should like to be given more time, at
6 least until the Monday week, especially for the 92 bis decision, and we'd
7 like to have the seven-day dead-line start running from the day that we
8 receive the English translation.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a point of clarification
11 before the Chamber confers.
12 The 92 bis decision or ruling is a 20-page document, and my
13 opinion is of 6 pages. So it will be 26 pages altogether, so I don't
14 know how long it will take for this translation to be made. But you
15 basically want two weeks once you receive the translation; is that
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't wish to be
18 immodest. I'm trying to be rational with the use of time. My request --
19 well, I have one request and an alternative request. The first request
20 would be a week after we have received the English translation. If that
21 seems to be too long, then, regardless -- as I said, one week after we
22 receive the English translation. If that seems too long to you or if the
23 English translation will take too much time, then we could live with the
24 next request if you give us time until Monday fortnight; so not the
25 coming Monday, but the Monday after that.
1 Yes, I apologise, but I seem to have lost my notebook where I
2 noted down the exact dates of that particular Monday.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has
4 unanimously deliberated and grants the Praljak Defence one week to do
5 their submissions, their original submissions, and that is going to be
6 starting from the time they receive the English translation.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. And the
8 Monday I mean is the 1st of March. I've just looked it up. So thank
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 Another administrative issue. I wanted to advise the
12 Stojic Defence, who drew my attention on the two lists that I have said
13 regarding the documents, in fact, three documents are not going to be
14 used. And I'm going to give the numbers, because those documents have
15 not been admitted. P00810 - it was actually the Stojic Defence that
16 contacted me - P01336, and P02646. Those three documents were signed by
17 Mr. Stojic, and those documents will not be put forward to
18 General Petkovic.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everybody in the
21 I'd just like to thank Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 We'll proceed, but I had a follow-up question, because I'm rather
24 slow and I think through things overnight. And I remembered an answer
25 made by General Petkovic, and I wanted to double-check it, because it has
1 legal consequences.
2 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
3 [The witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, when you left
5 on the Friday before the 9th of May -- Sunday was the 9th of May,
6 Saturday was the 8th, so Friday was the 7th, so when you left for Split
7 on the 7th of May to spend the weekend there, Split was in a foreign
8 country at the time, because this was the Republic of Croatia
9 left your position, because you were the chief of staff of the HVO, I was
10 wondering whether, either verbally or in written form, you delegated your
11 authority to one of your second-in-command, or another officer, or did
12 you do nothing at all?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, every time, for
14 justified reasons, I happened to be absent from the Main Staff for a day
15 or two; maybe longer sometimes. Then, in the log-book that we had for
16 coming tasks, for future tasks, a log-book where we recorded the
17 assignments, we would make an entry with tasks and assignments that are
18 expected over those one, two, or several days, so that people knew what
19 to focus on. And every duty officer and the duty team on duty at that
20 time knew that on such and such a day, these were the assignments;
21 number 1, number 2, number 3, and so on. So that every team had to know
22 this, and that is standard practice in every army, including the HVO. So
23 that was everybody's duty at all levels; brigade commander, up and down.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, General.
25 But I also had duty tasks at a very high level, and I know what it means
1 to find out who is going to replace whom. But when you said that you
2 left it in a log-book for the person on duty, what had to be done, I was
3 wondering, in case a need arised [as interpreted] -- in case there was a
4 need, did anyone know who they would have to speak to? And given that
5 you were in the Republic of Croatia
6 be contacted or would it be somebody else?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the practice was that
8 in addition to the people, there was an operative team made up of five or
9 six people who would be at home, on duty at home, and if need be they
10 would be called up. And in a document that Mr. Praljak had, we changed
11 all that, and we kept the whole operative team in the Main Staff at
12 headquarters. Otherwise, in addition to the three or four people who
13 were on duty, people were on duty at home, too, and they knew that if
14 anything was needed, they would be called up, which would mean a team of
15 seven or eight men at headquarters.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please listen carefully,
17 because my question is very important, and I don't waste my time asking
18 questions that are not important. So listen carefully.
19 You are in Split
20 where there is some members of the HVO, and there's a major offensive
21 from the ABiH, and you were not expecting such an offensive. So in a
22 matter of minutes your soldiers are out of sorts and you need immediate
23 back-up, and you are busy buying your tomatoes on a market-place and you
24 cannot be contacted. Who will make a decision to send a message to
25 all -- or to send an order to all commanders of operative zones to
1 strengthen all units that are in trouble, because you're not there,
2 you're in Split
3 this order?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if that kind of
5 information is received in the Main Staff, that there is some danger in a
6 certain part, then the team on duty has the responsibility of warning the
7 command of the operative zone and say, Gather up the operative zone team
8 and deal with the situation, take command of the situation. And with
9 that, the other people would come in that were on this what we called
10 operative duty, that is to say, duty at home. So the team at
11 headquarters and the team at home activates all the subordinate units,
12 bring them up to strength, gather them together, and that was the
13 standard practice. That was how these people were alerted and called in,
14 and that was how the normal chain of command functioned.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So I understand,
16 when you were in Split
17 back, it was for the officers on duty to manage any problem. Why was I
18 asking you this? Well, I wanted to double-check, because the
19 Appeals Chamber, in a recent decision of the 12th of November, 2009,
20 states the following, and I'm going to quote. It's not going to be very
21 long. It has to do with the Dragomir Milosevic case. So listen
23 "The Appeals Chamber would like to recall that when
24 Dragomir Milosevic was sent to hospital in Belgrade, it was his chief of
25 staff, Cedomir Sladojev, who was in charge of the SRK Command in
3 So the Appeals Chamber concludes that even if Dragomir Milosevic
4 had officially retained his rank and his function, the authority on the
5 ground was dealt with by the person that was the deputy on the ground.
6 This is why I asked the question.
7 Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, to
9 you, the Prosecution, you, General, and everybody else in the courtroom.
10 Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, may I just draw your attention to
11 something with respect to your -- what you last said on the previous
12 page, line 15. General Petkovic did not say that on the 9th of May, he
13 was in Split
15 afternoon. Just to avoid any misunderstanding on that score later on.
16 Examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
17 Q. Now, General, today we're going to deal with the 30th of June,
18 1993. To start off with, tell us this, please: If you told us that in
19 June 1993 the BH Army took control of Travnik and Kakanj, and if we know
20 that on the 30th of June it took control of the area north of
21 East Mostar, towards Jablanica, on the left bank of the Neretva River
22 then where is the difference between taking control of Travnik and
23 Kakanj, for example, and taking control of this area north of
24 Eastern Mostar?
25 A. Your Honour, as far as the area that the BH Army took control of,
1 there's no difference. But there is a difference in the grouping of
2 forces carrying out that assignment, because in April it was the BH Army
3 forces that took Kakanj and Travnik, whereas in Mostar our own Muslims,
4 Muslims within the HVO, committed a treacherous act, and then they went
5 on to take control of the territory.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can I correct the transcript. In
7 line 24, it says that the general spoke about April, but we're talking
8 about taking control of Kakanj and Travnik in June 1993.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember saying "April."
10 I think I said "June."
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I was just correcting the
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Talking about dates, I have to come
14 back to something which happened a bit earlier.
15 Mr. Petkovic, on the morning of the 9th May, where did you awake?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 9th of May, in the morning,
17 I woke up in Mr. Stojic's apartment.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And where was that; in Mostar?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, in Citluk, where his parents
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So you left Split on the -- sometime when?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I arrived at the Stojic family's
23 house in the evening hours of the 8th.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Another additional question. Which route did you take with
2 Mr. Stojic on the 9th of May?
3 A. We left for the Operative Zone in North-West Herzegovina. It was
4 our intention to arrive at Prozor, at Colonel Siljeg's command post.
5 Q. Let us return to the 30th of June. If I understood you
6 correctly, the difference between this event and the previous events is
7 the fact that the ABiH had taken the area north of East Mostar in
8 co-operation with the Muslim soldiers of the HVO. Is that what you said?
9 A. Yes, exactly.
10 Q. Tell us, General, before that was there a single incident in
11 which the Muslim soldiers of the HVO turned their weapons on their
12 Croatian colleagues in the HVO?
13 A. No, there have been no such incidents. But some of them simply
14 left the HVO after the 9th of May, but did not engage in any combat
15 activities against HVO soldiers.
16 Q. What was your reaction and that of the other HVO commanders once
17 you understood that part of the area was lost due to this act committed
18 by the Muslim HVO soldiers?
19 A. Well, we were afraid that this would trigger a chain reaction
20 throughout the HVO units that had a significant share of Muslim soldiers
21 in their ranks, so we were a little short of panic.
22 Q. In South-East Herzegovina, what was the average number of Muslims
23 in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Brigades of the HVO?
24 A. The average share was about 30 to 35 per cent in these three
25 brigades. It changed, of course, with -- or, rather, depending on
1 whether they grew stronger or weaker.
2 Q. Was this relevant for you, as chief of Main Staff, with regard to
4 A. Yes, of course it was relevant.
5 Q. How was it relevant?
6 A. There was the risk that the entire area to the east and south of
7 Mostar, even including the western part of Mostar, might be lost for the
8 HVO in that manner, because the worst thing that could happen to an army
9 is a rebellion in its own ranks.
10 Q. Let us look at the following set of documents, the first one
11 being P3019. This is your order dated the 30th of June, and you sent it
12 to the Operative Zone of South-East Herzegovina. What has been the focus
13 of our interest and will remain so is item 8 of this order, where you say
15 "In the units where there are soldiers of Muslim ethnicity, these
16 are to be isolated and disarmed."
17 And you also say:
18 "In places where there is a Muslim population, all able-bodied
19 Muslim men should be isolated."
20 And it goes on to say that:
21 "Women and children should be left in their houses and
23 I correct the document reference. It is document P3019.
24 Tell us, General, is this your order?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. On this 30th of June, in the morning, when you learned what was
2 going on in the area north-east of Mostar, and when you learned of the
3 treason of the Muslim HVO soldiers, did you speak to anybody about that?
4 A. I first stayed for about two hours in the Command of the
5 OZ South-East Herzegovina
6 that given moment, so it took us about two hours, from 7.00 to 9.00,
7 because we wanted to get -- to have a real picture of what was going on.
8 Once we were sure how things really worked, I received a phone call from
9 Mr. Boban. At 9.00, once the information had been collected, I returned
10 to the Main Staff, and I spoke to Mr. Boban. I presented the information
11 that was presented to me at the OZ to him. I listened to everybody who
12 was able to give any information, and I also used a map.
13 Q. General, can you reproduce your conversation with Boban as
14 faithfully as possible? What exactly did he tell you?
15 A. Once he heard what I had to say, he said that it did differ from
16 what he had heard before. I suppose that, among others, he also spoke to
17 the mayor of Mostar, so that information may be different from that
18 information which the army had. He asked me, General, you were
19 convincing us that you can rely on your soldiers of Muslim ethnicity.
20 Any warnings to the effect that this was risky was rejected by you --
21 were rejected? And he asked me what I was planning to do with my
22 Muslims, as he put it, and I said, Well, we'll wait a bit longer, and
23 then we'll assess the situation and see how it develops. At that moment,
24 he said to me, You know, General, from this moment on, you must start
25 disarming all these people you have in your units, if it isn't too late
1 already. Do you have any idea what's happening south of Mostar? As far
2 as I can tell and judging what happened, we will not only lose the entire
3 area south of Mostar, and also put Croatia in jeopardy, because you know
4 that it is their wish to reach the coast, because they want to take not
5 only Neum, they also want the port of Ploce
6 Q. Did you understand that to mean or that to be an order of your
7 supreme commander, or did you take that to be a piece of advice from a
9 A. No, the conversation continued, and we tried to find the best
10 ways and means of disarming the soldiers of Muslim ethnicity, and
11 everybody else who could be a threat for the HVO should be isolated. To
12 me, that was an order which I included in my order in this item that has
13 two components. Around 11.00 or 12.00, I started drafting that order,
14 once I received information from the OZ, because I wanted them to provide
15 information about the positions that we could take.
16 Q. When your supreme commander issued you this order to disarm
17 soldiers of Muslim ethnicity, did you consider that to be a legal or an
18 illegal order?
19 A. That was a legal order, and it would be such in any army in the
20 whole world. You must take care of a rebellion in your ranks in
21 whichever way you think appropriate, and disarming is one such way.
22 Q. From the aspect of security, the security of the HVO, did you
23 consider this order of your commander-in-chief justified?
24 A. Yes, fully.
25 Q. When you spoke to the supreme commander, did you mention the
1 number of Muslim soldiers of the HVO and able-bodied Muslim men that
2 would be affected by this isolation campaign?
3 A. Yes. He asked me about the number of Muslim soldiers who had
4 defected to the ABiH and how many were left in our units. He also wanted
5 to know how many collaborators, or, that is, able-bodied men that were
6 left who could join the ranks of the ABiH. Knowing the approximate
7 number of men, and taking into consideration that you certainly cannot
8 disarm each and every one, the estimate we came up with was 2.500 to
9 3.000 men.
10 Q. In your conversation with the supreme commander of the HVO, did
11 you mention the facilities of where these isolated Muslim HVO soldiers
12 and able-bodied Muslim men could find accommodation?
13 A. Yes. He said that the HVO had facilities that can put up this
14 number of men and that it was up to the army to disarm these men in the
15 safest manner, and everybody else was somebody -- oh, sorry, everything
16 else was for someone else to take care of.
17 Q. General, how did you feel when you wrote this order?
18 A. I felt cheated and double-crossed, because we were accepting a
19 large number of Muslim men into the HVO. On the other hand, whenever
20 anything happened outside of Mostar, where there were the most Muslims in
21 the ranks of the HVO, I tried to make it clear to my counterparts in the
22 ABiH that we can function this way and do everything with this
23 composition of our forces. And I tried to convince my colleague,
24 Mr. Halilovic, that this was the right way and that we should both go
25 about our work in this manner.
1 In such a situation, it wasn't easy to accept the fact that you
2 were backing up the policy of accepting people in the HVO and then they
3 turned against you.
4 Q. You're saying it wasn't easy, General. But how do you feel?
5 That's what I wanted to hear from you.
6 A. Well, I felt shattered, completely shattered. Everything I had
7 hoped for was simply falling apart, and I simply couldn't -- I couldn't
8 come by. And it wasn't easy to pass such a decision, and I feared that
9 there could have been losses due to fighting in the process of disarming.
10 However, that didn't happen, fortunately.
11 Q. When you were drafting this order to isolate able-bodied Muslim
12 men, how did you treat those people? At that moment, what was their
13 status to you, as an HVO man?
14 A. Able-bodied Muslim men, to my mind at that moment, were only --
15 could only be members of the ABiH.
16 Q. Did you, personally, consider those able-bodied Muslim men
17 prisoners of war?
18 A. Yes, they would come under that category.
19 Q. Tell us, please, General, at the point that you isolate Muslim
20 soldiers from the HVO, regardless of the reasons for that, in your
21 opinion, does that soldier retain the status of HVO soldier?
22 A. Yes, fully. There's no difference between him and somebody else
23 whom we detained because he refused to take up his position. So, yes, he
24 does retain his status as an HVO soldier.
25 Q. In this order, General, we see that the you say that the women
1 and children should be left in their homes and not touched. What was
2 your position on the protection of civilians, General?
3 A. My position was that this category was not a threat to security
4 in any way, and, therefore, that it was quite understandable and
5 reasonable that they should be left to remain in their houses, where they
6 lived, regardless of what people called total national defence. But as
7 far as I was concerned, this category, women, children and the elderly,
8 did not present a threat; that is to say, all those who weren't
9 able-bodied men.
10 Q. At the end of this document, General, we see that your order was
11 sent to the South-East Herzegovina Operations Zone and that the command
12 of that operations zone sent it on to the 2nd and 3rd HVO Brigades. He
13 forwarded it to them. Now, to the best of your knowledge, General,
14 Miljenko Lasic, did he forward your order to the 1st HVO Brigade as well?
15 A. I did not look at my order, the one that reached Miljenko Lasic,
16 so I didn't know what he did at that time, but I did know that the
17 1st Brigade started acting upon the order. So if it didn't receive the
18 order in this form, quite obviously it did receive it in another form, in
19 another way.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is not my
21 intention to pursue questions on this document, so if you would like to
22 ask the general anything on it, perhaps this is the opportune moment. If
23 not, we can move on.
24 General, let's look at the next document, which is 4D480.
25 Q. Tell us, General, is that one of your documents?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Tell us, General, did you personally send a document with these
3 contents to somebody else, or did you just send it to the
4 Defence Department?
5 A. This document went to the Defence Department, and I think late in
6 the afternoon the same contents and the same document was sent out I
7 don't know whether to all operative zones or just to Central Bosnia,
8 because they called to see what was happening with relation to the events
9 in Mostar, so we -- and they asked that the same document be sent to
11 Q. From this document - we've already looked at it in this
12 courtroom, but, anyway - in the penultimate paragraph we see that you say
13 that in all the units, measures had been taken to remove Muslims from the
15 Now, my question to you is this: Did you inform the supreme
16 commander of your order and of the measures of isolation to be taken for
17 Muslim soldiers in the HVO?
18 A. Yes, I did inform him on that same day, because we had further
19 contacts by night-time, and I told him that I had taken these measures
20 and that probably the very next day they would start acting upon them.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, let's look at the next document, which is P3175,
22 General. 3175 is the document number, and it's under seal. It's a
23 report from the European Monitors, a daily report, with
24 Nedjeljko Obradovic's statements and reports for the 4th of July, and he
25 speaks about the isolation of Muslim soldiers within the HVO because of a
1 possible threat from inside, and he also speaks about the isolation or,
2 rather, arrest of Muslim men aged between 18 and 60.
3 Now, my question to you, General, is: Did the HVO in any way
4 hide from the internationals that they had undertaken to isolate Muslim
5 soldiers in the HVO and Muslims who were able-bodied men?
6 A. No, we never kept that secret. They came to see Obradovic, he
7 received them, and I can see that he told them about the situation and
8 all the measures that had been taken. And this covers two pages in that
9 particular report.
10 Q. Now let's look at the next document, General. P3427 is the
11 number. Once again, it is under seal. It is another European Monitors'
12 report, dated the 13th of July, 1993, and they are conveying the
13 statement made by Kresimir Zubak.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, this document
15 is of international nature, and it relates to a talk Colonel Obradovic
16 had with the person who will later write the report, or maybe with
17 someone else. We don't know. Whatever the case, he says on July 4th,
18 and it's an important date, on July 4th the HVO started an operation to
19 remove the Muslim men from the forces; i.e., about 25 per cent of the
20 troops were removed from the HVO forces. And it is written here, black
21 and white, that these people were arrested, and that they were between 18
22 and 60. So nothing is hidden here.
23 Now, when Colonel Obradovic stated this, did he say this with
24 your authorisation or with Mate Boban's authorisation?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we talked to the
1 commanders and said that it would be a good thing to supply information
2 to the internationals, whether it be the Observer Mission, the Monitors,
3 UNPROFOR or whoever, because they were there on assignment and they asked
4 us to help them carry out their assignment. So they had to come and
5 visit our units, and you couldn't say, Colonel Obradovic is not going to
6 say anything, or, You go and see Petkovic or somebody else and they'll
7 tell you all about it. So we did allow them, at their request, to be
8 given basic information without entering into any political or other
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Among the 11.000
11 documents we have been presented with, we saw some documents where the
12 HVO sometimes made public announcements. So why is it that in this very
13 specific case on June 30th, in the morning, it wasn't envisaged to send
14 out a press release stating, for example, that: "The HVO this morning,
15 between 6.00 and 7.00 a.m.
16 for security reasons, given the events unfolding in the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina," something all these lines? I mean, I'm improvising
18 here, but something of that flavour. Why wasn't it done? Then it would
19 have been perfectly transparent.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now whether in the
21 form that you have presented here, but, anyway, on the 30th of June, in
22 the course of the day, a statement was issued, and we've seen it here
23 several times in the courtroom. And this was the statement issued by the
24 authorities of the HVO, and it was made public, it was a public
25 statement. And we looked at that document here in the courtroom a number
1 of times. So there was a statement on the 30th about everything that had
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think that Ms. Alaburic will
4 give us the number of the press release.
5 Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, we will
7 certainly find the number of that press release. We've seen it many
8 times in the courtroom, and I'm sure you'll remember it once we see it.
9 But let's move on.
10 Q. The next document, General, is P3427, once again the
11 Observer Mission
12 it was necessary to arrest the Muslim fighters within the HVO because
13 they led a rebellion. And then in continuation, he says that the HVO
14 will try and exchange them or do something else with them.
15 Anyway, General, to the best of your knowledge, did the
16 leadership of Herceg-Bosna do its best to see that the problem of
17 isolating soldiers and able-bodied men be solved in co-operation with the
18 international community?
19 A. Yes, that is right, they did try and resolve the problem with the
20 internationals, and they contacted them straight away so that no level
21 was left out and nothing was kept secret from any level; quite the
22 contrary, assistance was sought, especially humanitarian aid and
23 assistance and so forth.
24 Q. Now, the next three documents that we have prepared we're going
25 to have to deal with very briefly because our time is running out.
1 Anyway, General, they show that you did have knowledge about the
2 BH Army plans to take control of the area south of Jablanica, in the
3 direction of Mostar, and further on towards the sea. And the documents
4 are 4D948 and 4D702. You're familiar with those documents General, so
5 tell us now, please: Did you really have knowledge of those BH Army
6 plans, and did you take them seriously and consider the possible axes of
7 attack by the BH Army?
8 A. Well, our knowledge was that we followed the developments in the
9 BH Army and its offensive in Central Bosnia and in the Konjic-Jablanica
10 areas, and we expected a further attack or movements on the part of the
11 BH Army towards Mostar. And that is why we attempted to take certain
12 measures to prevent that, so these are measures out of caution.
13 Now, this other document is a letter to UNPROFOR representatives,
14 where I wrote to Mr. Walgren, who was commander-in-chief of all the UN
15 peace forces for ex-Yugoslavia, and to General Philippe Morillon. I
16 wrote to them about what had happened on the 30th, but I also say that
17 several days before that, in talking to them, I informed them that we
18 envisage that something could happen. But I never thought that it would
19 happen in this shape or form, to be quite honest.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before we continue
21 with General Petkovic's testimony, let me just say that the document we
22 just mentioned is a statement with respect to the events of the 30th of
23 June, is document P3038. 3038 is the number of the statement, press
25 Q. Now, General, I'm going to show you a series of documents, seven
1 in all, and after that I'm going to ask you a question related to those
3 The first document is 4D469. It is an official note from
4 Ivica Kraljevic, dated March 1993, in which he notes that pressure was
5 being exerted on Muslims in HVO and MUP units to leave those same units.
6 And if they failed to do so, then those Muslims are being threatened with
7 a physical liquidation or the burning of their houses.
8 The next document, 2D288, is a document from the
9 Security Administration of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of BH,
10 Fikret Muslimovic, who, in mid-April 1993, is making the following
11 assessments: He says that:
12 "It is realistic to expect further escalation in relations, and
13 an all-out confrontation between the BH Army and the HVO."
14 And then he goes on to state and he says:
15 "It is essential that all the Muslims should be pacified as much
16 as possible, Muslims who are in the HVO, and to prevail and see that they
17 leave the HVO and go to the BH Army."
18 Now, the next document, 4D33, is a document once again from the
19 security organ of a brigade within the 4th Corps of the BH Army. Once
20 again, the date is mid-April 1993. And among other things, it says, and
21 I quote, that:
22 "All Muslims, members of the HVO, should be called to take the
23 side of their people," to stand on the side of their nation.
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry, it is only a technical question. Did
25 you mention the next document, 4D33, because I do not see it here, but it
1 may be my fault. So then if you could clarify which document you are
2 talking about.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'm referring to 4D33, which
4 should be in your binder, and I'm adhering to the order in the binders.
5 Q. The next document is 4D34. The same author, the chief of
6 security in the 4th Corps brigade two days later on the 18th of April.
7 He also proposes security measures, and among other, I quote:
8 "... to establish co-operation with our fighters in the HVO and
9 tell them of the seriousness of the situation."
10 Now, the next document is 4D35; a brigade of the 4th Corps, on
11 the 18th of April, 1993. The commander is Bajro Pizovic, and among other
12 things, he says that:
13 "The Organ for Morale," IPD, "and Religious Affairs should devise
14 a plan for information to the Muslim soldiers who are in the units of
15 Capljina and Stolac."
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic. I was of the opinion
17 that we were dealing with the events of 30 June. Is that still the case?
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we are dealing with the
19 events of the 30th of June, but I'm trying to show you the defence and
20 security reasons for which the measure was taken to isolate the Muslims
21 from the HVO. And what I wish to show you on this occasion is that a
22 series of BH Army documents talk about the systemic way in which the
23 BH Army acted towards the Muslims in the HVO, to have them tie in with
24 the HVO Muslims, and I want to show you and prove that what actually
25 happened on the 30th of June, 1993, is a consequence of the long-term
1 plan that Bosnia-Herzegovina had and systemic work to try and win over
2 the Muslims from the HVO to the side of the BH Army.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Right, thank you. I fully understand that. I
4 was just impressed by the fact that it is two and a half months,
5 practically, before the main event.
6 Thank you. Excuse me for interrupting.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we showed a document
8 for 1992 because we wanted to show that this was a plan of the ABiH which
9 was being systematically implemented for months, and I only focused on a
10 few documents I consider most important.
11 Q. We're done with this document, General. The next one is 4D473.
12 It is also issued by Bajro Pizovic and dated the 18th of April, 1993
13 communicates with the commander of the 1st HVO Brigade, and he says, I
15 "You know very well that a large number of Muslim soldiers are in
16 your formations, and they are Muslims and belong to this people, so it
17 wouldn't be good if the organisation and establishment of your units were
18 to be disrupted."
19 And the next document is 4D36. It's a report of the commander of
20 the 4th Corps, Mr. Arif Pasalic, in which he, on the 2nd of May, 1993,
21 among others, reports that:
22 "We linked up with our men in the HVO."
23 And then he said that the men from the Capljina HVO have the task
24 of taking Tasovcici village and the bridge in Capljina in order to
25 prevent troops from coming in from the direction of Metkovic; also, that
1 they had assigned the task to seize the town of Stolac with "our people
2 in the HVO."
3 Now, General, we have seen reports of the SIS and other bodies
4 that controlled the security situation due to the large number of Muslim
5 soldiers in the HVO. Did you at the Main Staff have information about
6 such plans of the ABiH and their efforts to link up with the Muslim
7 soldiers in the HVO?
8 A. We did have some information, but at that time, when these
9 drastic things were going on, we didn't have such information --
10 information about that. Many activities in the brigades showed that this
11 was a matter that was being dealt with. We did have reports that some
12 soldiers hid their weapons and reported them stolen, or that they
13 reported they had run out of ammunition, although there was no fighting
14 in that area for days. We hoped that all these would stop some day, but
15 there was more and more of that. And what's worse, all this originated
16 from the very top of the ABiH; that is, Sarajevo.
17 Q. Up until the 30th of June, 1993, did you, personally, or any
18 other HVO commander, launch any action against HVO soldiers of Muslim
20 A. No, no such action was taken against HVO soldiers of Muslim
21 ethnicity, except for measures that applied to everybody who failed to
22 show up at the front-line, was facing sanctions, irrespective of their
23 ethnicity. So there was no specific action targeted at HVO soldiers of
24 Muslim ethnicity.
25 Q. If you remember, we analysed some reports from the 2nd and
1 3rd Brigades with Witness Radmilo Jasak about how Muslim HVO soldiers
2 were to be treated. What was the position of the brigade commanders?
3 Did they want to keep the soldiers of Muslim ethnicity in their units?
4 A. The commanders certainly wanted them to stay, but whoever asked
5 to be discharged from the HVO would be issued a regular document about
6 the end of his service in the HVO, once he had returned his weapons and
7 other equipment that was issued to him, and after that he was supposed to
8 report to the Defence Secretariat, but they -- and then they could go to
9 the ABiH, or somebody may have remained passive or joined their families
10 in Croatia
11 an interview, where he would be asked about his reasons, but they would
12 be let go. And they would also be able to return if they wanted to.
13 Q. You said that you agreed with General Praljak's assessment that
14 on that 30th of June, an all-out war broke out between the HVO and the
15 ABiH in this part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tell us now, in a situation of
16 all-out war, were you the right man in the right place at the right time,
17 as chief of the HVO Main Staff?
18 A. That is for somebody else to say. All-out war may require
19 somebody else who is much fiercer, much more determined, energetic, who
20 wouldn't have a soft side for some things, somebody who would -- whose
21 moves would be more energetic and the like. But it isn't for me to
22 assess myself; it's for others to do.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we're done with this
24 chapter. If you have no questions, I can continue. It seems that there
25 are no questions.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I must disappoint. Excuse me.
2 Mr. Petkovic, I'm not sure whether you can answer these
3 questions, but I would like to have a bit more concrete picture of some
4 of these events, of what actually happened. I would like to have a film
5 in my head so that I can really imagine the scenes.
6 The first moment is: How did the rebellion of the Muslims start?
7 Did they wake up in barracks, and shot their neighbours who were still in
8 bed? Apparently, at some places they were out at 3.00 in the night, and
9 then were they -- were they already assembled and organised in
10 previously-prepared Muslim units, or did they meet ad hoc, did they sneak
11 out? Do you have any idea of what actually specifically happened?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, north of Mostar, the
13 area that we're speaking about, starting from the barracks and all of
14 Bijelo Polje, up until the front-line facing the VRS, in providing
15 logistics to these positions there may have been a 50:50 ratio. There
16 was a battalion which was predominantly Muslim and another which was
17 predominantly Croat. They were battalions established based on the local
18 principle, so they were made up of locals.
19 According to the statements of the persons who experienced that
20 personally, they said that people were forced to give up their weapons at
21 gunpoint. And the barracks is an interesting example. I believe that
22 there were four or five sentries, and one guard would walk the line and
23 reach the neighbouring sentry point, and that's how the entire barracks
24 actually fell or was taken.
25 At the level of the brigade, the HVO was totally surprised, and
1 some 80 or 90 HVO soldiers, too, crossed the Neretva River
2 The only part of Bijelo Polje where they were unsuccessful was a place
3 that we call "the nun's house." The command of the battalion was there,
4 and the majority there were Croats. Some were able to escape and pass on
5 the information about the events, and that was the first information that
6 we received.
7 We only learned later that two or three hours after the beginning
8 of the events, the command of the OZ was informed. The command of the
9 brigade was blocked, the communications centre, and the barracks where
10 the Muslims were the majority. Only the battalion next to the nun's
11 house still had communication with us, and that's where we got our
12 information from.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I'm trying to mike in. You signed
14 so that it would make a break and I would not have to interrupt you,
15 because this is a bit lengthy, and I may want to come back to something
16 that is a bit further up already in the transcript.
17 You said that some battalions were predominantly manned by Muslim
18 soldiers. Would the commander of such a battalion and staff also be
19 predominantly Muslim?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was the 1st Battalion or
21 the 2nd, because the battalions were manned with the inhabitants of a
22 certain area. So if a certain area was predominantly Muslim, then the
23 soldiers in that battalion would be mostly Muslims, and fewer would be
24 Croats. But they worked together all the time.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. What I did not quite understand and
1 has not -- perhaps it's also a problem of translation, without me wanting
2 to criticise the interpreters: On page 28, at lines 17 to 20, you talked
3 about the barracks as being, I quote:
4 "... an interesting example. I believe that there were four or
5 five sentries, and one guard would walk the line and reach the
6 neighbouring sentry point, and that's how the entire barracks actually
7 fell or was taken."
8 Quite frankly, this is not very -- I cannot imagine this. I see
9 these sentries walking, and I have memories of my own military past, but
10 never the barracks were taken then. Perhaps you could be more specific,
11 if you know, of course.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly. This may not have
13 been interpreted the best way.
14 The barracks had four or five guards' posts manned by one guard
15 or sentry each, and the guards were never only Muslim or only Croats.
16 And if I'm the guard at one such post, another guard would be 300 metres
17 away from me or so, and we would walk our lines and we would meet now and
18 then. So measures were taken that especially at the entrance to the
19 barracks, the guard would be disarmed in order to let the ABiH enter, and
20 then they would go on to the other rooms and other buildings in the
21 barracks where the people slept. And the hallways and corridors, there
22 were the weapons, and these weapons were removed. So whoever woke up and
23 understood what was going on tried to escape, because they didn't have
24 weapons. Half of them swam across the Neretva with no clothes and
25 managed to reach the other bank.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That was the kind of
2 account that I had in mind, and this I find absolutely helpful.
3 The next question is a similar one, and it concerns the disarming
4 of the Muslims. Have you been present at any such occasion when Muslim
5 soldiers in an HVO unit were disarmed? I'm sure this did not happen in
6 the same way.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I didn't go out
8 to any area to see how this was done.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So you do not have information on that.
10 And the last question now is perhaps of a bit more theoretical
11 nature. You have told us that you have disarmed Muslims who had been in
12 HVO units, and that you had isolated them, but you also said that they
13 continued to be soldiers of the HVO, and -- POW and members of the HVO at
14 the same time, and this puzzles me to some extent. Did they still get
15 money, as soldiers, from the HVO, or is it perhaps again a problem that
16 -- or a situation where some misunderstanding has arisen?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's a
18 misunderstanding. I said that disarmed HVO soldiers were not prisoners
19 of war. They were still considered soldiers of the Croatian
20 Defence Council, the HVO. Prisoners of war were that category which
21 belonged to the BH Army, those who actually were members of the BH Army,
22 with everything that that entailed. They were POWs, and those who were
23 without weapons but were potential candidates for the BH Army, which
24 meant conscripts and so on. No HVO soldier could be a prisoner of war.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That would have been my reaction, too.
1 Now, the soldiers that still were HVO soldiers, we are talking of
2 such soldiers who were also isolated?
3 I see that you nod. You must say, Yes, so that it's in the
4 transcript, but you don't have to say more than that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, they were isolated,
6 isolated HVO soldiers, yes.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Then the next question would be
8 whether, according to you, this isolation could be equated to a
9 deprivation of liberty.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, "isolation" should not be
11 taken in the classical sense of deprivation of liberty. It should have
12 been temporarily removing these people to see what had done -- who had
13 done what and who was responsible for what, and then who should be
14 prosecuted further. And if not, if they weren't culpable, then they
15 should be released.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have just used the term "released." And to
17 be released, one must before be somewhat detained. You have also been
18 very careful in saying that they should not be taken as being deprived of
19 their liberty, in the classical sense. Simply, it is not clear to me
20 what you want to tell us in this respect. Do you want to tell us that
21 they were not detained and then, presumably, not released, technically,
22 but just said goodbye, to go home, and perhaps -- if you know, it would
23 be helpful if you could describe what the situation of these isolated HVO
24 soldiers was, practically.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those HVO members who were isolated
1 were supposed to be in one place, under supervision, and certain measures
2 should be taken to find the organisers from amongst them, to find who the
3 organisers were, who the leaders were in these individual groups, and to
4 see what each person's behaviour and conduct was, what they had done.
5 And then on the basis of that, to take certain measures if the
6 individuals were deemed culpable.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That could apply to detention on remand, someone
8 under an investigation. There is a certain suspicion, and then
9 questioning and other methods perhaps are applied to see whether the
10 suspicion is sufficiently serious to continue with the proceeding. Would
11 you agree to that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, for the most part, yes.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Then we're still back with the question: What
14 does it mean, they were "under supervision"?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was a group of people who,
16 at a given point in time, represented a threat to security.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. This goes not in the direction I am
18 curious. I would like to know: Were they in a hotel, where they could
19 go in and out as they pleased, or were they in a school, perhaps, where
20 the door locked, basically, and one or several guards in front of it, or
21 any other situation? Always, if you know.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they couldn't go out, they
23 couldn't leave, except to go to hospital or things of that nature. They
24 were in the facility, in the building, under supervision.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic. I've been a bit lengthy, but I was
2 really interested in this.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we'll break, because it's
4 almost 4.00. We'll break for 20 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I've been told that we have
9 44 minutes left, and I'd like to ask you, if we need extra time to
10 complete what we intended to tell you, Your Honours, that you should
11 allow us these few extra minutes. But I will make the request when I see
12 we are drawing to the end of the testimony. We will be finished today,
13 and I assume that my colleagues from the Prosecution and the Defence will
14 be satisfied if my time is extended, because then their time will be,
15 too, and it won't upset the plan, Your Honours that we move on tomorrow
16 with Judge Antonetti's questions and examination.
17 Q. Now, General, we're not going to deal with any more documents
18 because we don't have that much time --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I actually prepared myself to
20 start immediately, so you're actually causing a problem here.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] There won't be a problem,
22 Your Honours. After the break, we can move on with your questions, with
23 your examination of General Petkovic, but I assume that if we might need
24 an extra 10 or 15 minutes, that you will allow us that time.
25 Q. Anyway, General, we're not going to deal with documents
1 anymore --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you need additional time,
3 you will ask, and then the Trial Chamber will decide.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. General, Operation South, let's explain that to Their Honours in
6 the briefest possible terms. When did you learn about the plan to launch
7 an operation which came to be known as Operation South?
8 A. On the 4th of July -- or, rather, the 5th of July, 1993,
9 Your Honours.
10 Q. And who told you about the plan?
11 A. Mr. Boban called me and told me to prepare an operation like
13 Q. What was your response to that?
14 A. My response was that the HVO wasn't capable of undertaking any
15 operation and that it would be madness to do so.
16 Q. And what did he say to that?
17 A. Quite simply, that he would find a team capable of carrying it
18 out. And he was busy to come up with such a team.
19 Q. Who was at the head of the team?
20 A. At the head of the team was Brigadier Luka Dzanko.
21 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you in any way -- were you in any
22 way involved in the planning of that action?
23 A. No, in no way was I involved in the planning of that operation.
24 Q. Were you ever in the command of that operation which was in
1 A. No, I never joined that command, nor was I ever there.
2 Q. Tell us, please, General, before the beginning of the operation,
3 itself, was a meeting held at Mate Boban's?
4 A. Yes, Boban called all the participants of the operation to attend
5 a meeting which was held concerning the operation, itself --
6 Q. Can you give us the date?
7 A. The date was the 13th, because the operation was supposed to
8 start on the morning of the 13th, but there was a delay, and he called in
9 the command to see what had caused the delay. So on the 13th of July was
10 when it was supposed to have started, 1993. Right? I'm mixing up my
11 dates now.
12 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you attend the meeting at
13 Mate Boban's?
14 A. Yes, I did attend the meeting, and I sat to one side, listening
15 to the others to hear what they were going to do.
16 Q. Tell us, please, General, why couldn't the operation start on the
18 A. Because that morning the BH Army infiltrated a large number of
19 sabotage terrorist units in the Dubrava Plateau area, and so there was a
20 lot of disturbance and a lot of fighting and a lot of casualties in the
21 Dubravska Plateau area.
22 Q. Tell us, please, General, this operation, does it have anything
23 to do with your departure from the post of the number 1 man of the
24 Main Staff, the chief of the Main Staff?
25 A. Yes, it did. I considered that the supreme commander should have
1 believed me and not have taken the decision to bring in a whole command
2 team, made up of some 15 or 16 men, and to launch the operation of his
3 own bat.
4 Q. And did you ask the supreme commander to relieve you of your
5 duties as chief of the Main Staff?
6 A. Yes. On the 15th, in the evening, I talked to him, and I told
7 him that I would give him 10 days to find a replacement for me and that
8 that was proper procedure.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, why did you remain in the HVO? Why
10 didn't you leave? Why didn't you go home to Croatia?
11 A. Well, I felt the need to stay with the people that I'd spent so
12 much time with, and I also learnt that General Praljak would be replacing
14 Q. Did you know General Praljak, General, from before?
15 A. Not -- well, not before the 17th or 18th of April of 1992.
16 That's when we first met, when I arrived in the HVO.
17 Q. Tell us, please, General, knowing General Praljak, was it your
18 assessment that he was a man you could co-operate with in the Main Staff
19 of the HVO?
20 A. Yes, I did think that, because General Praljak didn't come to
21 take up some position or anything like that, but to help the people, and
22 it was easier to work that way.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Very well, General.
24 Your Honours, if any of you has any questions about this topic,
25 Operation South, pose them, but we'll move on.
1 The re-subordination of the military and civilian police is the
2 next area I'd like to deal with, and for that let's look at document
3 P3770. We're still dealing with the second binder. It's an order from
4 the chief of the Military Police Administration, in which it says
5 pursuant to the order from the head of the Defence Department, part of
6 the military police should be re-subordinated to the 3rd Brigade HVO
8 Now, does this order, General, show what should have been done
9 when a military police unit is re-subordinated to a commander?
10 A. Yes, this is standard procedure, because we're dealing with the
11 deployment of the military police in combat operations.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric.
13 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to say straight away
14 that for the umpteenth time we're repeating the fact that Defence counsel
15 is testifying, in fact, and is just asking for confirmation. Ten seconds
16 ago, she said, General, isn't it true that the head of the
17 Defence Department was supposed to issue an order to the chief of the
18 military police, and then so on and so on. I think that they are
19 statements on her part, so let's have that manner of conduct changed in
20 this courtroom.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric -- Ms. Alaburic,
22 given that you're touching on a sensitive issue, which is the military
23 police and the relationship with the chief of staff, it's a very
24 sensitive issue given the various interventions of Mr. Coric, I would ask
25 you to touch upon this issue in a most neutral possible way, because as
1 Mr. Coric rightly said so, if, in the question, you are already issuing a
2 position, one could have problems. So please be very careful when asking
3 those questions. General Petkovic will talk about it; I may ask
4 questions as well; and when Mr. Coric will have some of his witnesses
5 testifying, I'm quite sure that we will come back on this issue. So
6 please be very cautious when you are putting those questions. Don't
7 forget that you are doing an examination-in-chief here.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just add a technical remark.
9 I think the correct way would be if Mr. Coric would ask counsel
10 to make such intervention, because it's really something that is the role
11 of counsel, rather than the accused. I understand that you become
12 impatient. That's perfectly correct. And we have granted the accused
13 the right, personally, to ask questions, but as you are, in fact,
14 excellently assisted by competent counsel, this is the kind of thing
15 normally counsel should do.
16 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you for those
17 compliments addressed to my counsel. So on her behalf, I thank you, and
18 I thank Ms. Alaburic, too. But I will always get up when things are
19 repeated that should not be repeated in this courtroom, regardless of
20 your warning. I do respect you, Your Honour. However, when it's too
21 much, it's too much. Thank you.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't need to
23 comment. I'd just like to remind you that my question was whether this
24 document shows what should be done if a military police unit were
25 re-subordinated to an HVO commander. That was my question.
1 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] No, that wasn't your
2 question. That was not your question, what your question was like. Look
3 at the transcript. You made an observation. You didn't ask a question.
4 Have a look at the transcript again.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
6 permission, I'll move on.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In a criminal trial, I also
8 take on board psychological factors. It is important for the good course
9 of justice that everything happens as smoothly as possible, and when an
10 accused wants to take the floor, he has to be listened to, and one
11 shouldn't always hide behind applying rules. Rules may actually
12 sometimes be counterproductive, and therefore you are presenting a
13 document to the witness. Why don't you just read this document and say,
14 This is a document with such and such a date and such and such signatory;
15 what does this document say? And the witness will say, Well, this
16 document talks about re-subordination, and so on and so forth. And you
17 say, Very well, so what does that mean in military terms? And that's how
18 we can proceed, and in that case no one can argue about anything.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as you have said
20 this, I really now ask you to take a look at the transcript. And what
21 does Mr. Coric's counsel do? She reads out at least half the document
22 before she asks a question. Your Honours, I really don't think that we
23 should go into this any further. I am extremely considerate to what I am
24 saying and toward every other accused, but I appeal to every other -- to
25 all accused to be as patient as General Petkovic for us to deal with all
1 the documents that pertain to him. I do think that this reaction is
3 So if you allow me to continue my examination, I will do so,
4 about the civilian police.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric.
6 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] As I have been mentioned,
7 I would like to say that Ms. Alaburic has forgotten the fact that I
8 haven't yet examined anybody in chief, I have only conducted
9 cross-examination, and in a cross-examination leading questions are
10 allowed. Once we start examining in chief, Ms. Alaburic will be in a
11 position to say how I phrase my questions.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may respond.
13 I haven't mentioned examination-in-chief or cross-examination. I
14 have only referred to the technique of examining a witness; namely, that
15 half a document is read out before a question is put to the witness. So
16 we all know that. No need to waste more time on that.
17 Q. General, let's speak about the civilian police, how the civilian
18 police re-subordinated to a military commander.
19 Please take a look at document 3D2408. This is an order --
20 A. I can see it. I can give -- I can comment. Your Honours, this
21 is an order of the chief of the Department of Interior. He makes use of
22 his authority, and due to the worsening situation in Mostar he orders the
23 civilian police to go to Mostar and be subordinated to the OZ of
24 South-East Herzegovina
25 the head of the Department of the Interior.
1 Q. Who can decide that a unit of the civilian police should be used
2 in combat and, for that purpose, re-subordinated to a military commander?
3 A. It's the head of the Department of the Interior.
4 Q. Let us now look at document P3027. General, I must describe the
5 document for the sake of the transcript.
6 This is an order of the head of the Department of the Interior,
7 dated the 30th of June, 1993. The previous order was not described, so
8 the time reference is lacking from the transcript. That previous
9 document is dated the 9th of May, 1993. That's a reason why documents
10 must be described.
11 Now, General, this one is an order to form a joint police unit.
12 Can you comment on this, General?
13 A. Your Honours, the head of the Department of the Interior,
14 Mr. Kvesic, issued an order on the 30th of June to establish a joint
15 police unit and re-subordinate it to the commander of the military
17 Q. The head of the Department of the Interior, General, did he have
18 the right to take such decisions?
19 A. Yes, he was, because they were his units.
20 Q. Let us look at document P6027. It is an order issued jointly by
21 the minister of the interior and the minister of defence on the 23rd of
22 October, 1993. Tell us, General, what kind of order is this?
23 A. This is about the head of the Department of the Interior and the
24 head of the Department of Defence issued a joint command to the effect
25 that for the reinforcement of the HZ-H -- HR-HB forces, the entire
1 reserve police is to be reassigned to the armed forces, whereas the
2 regular units of the police that are on the front-line should be relieved
3 of their duties on the front-line, and that is a regular procedure.
4 Q. And now the following document in this set, which is P5573. It's
5 a letter sent by the head of the Department of the Interior, dated the
6 1st of October, 1993, in which in paragraph 5 we can read:
7 "The exclusive right to form these units and make decisions
8 regarding their size, commanding personnel and combat engagement,
9 observing the principles of subordination and command, no one else has
10 the right to render decisions regarding the establishment or combat
11 engagement of police, particularly at a local level."
12 General, is this position of the head of the Department of
13 Defence [as interpreted] a correct rendering of the rules governing the
14 use of police units?
15 A. Yes, it is, and the head of the Department of the Interior is the
16 only one who has the right to take such decision.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It has been entered wrongly in the
18 transcript. On page 43, line 6, the department reads "the Department of
19 Defence," whereas we are speaking about the Department of the Interior.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, the head of the Department of the Interior is
21 in charge of civilian police.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Please speak a bit slower and make a pause
23 between question and answer.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] General, we will now deal with the
25 issue of Stupni Do. Unless there are questions about the
1 re-subordination of civilian and military police, I would like to pass on
2 to Stupni Do.
3 Q. General, we have prepared a number of documents, but we will be
4 showing only some. But the Trial Chamber has a good overview of the
5 events at Stupni Do.
6 Tell us, General, why did you go to Kiseljak in October 1993?
7 A. I went there on the occasion of the pulling out of the wounded
8 HVO personnel from that area, and we had to use helicopters to complete
9 that task.
10 Q. When did you arrive at Kiseljak?
11 A. I believe it was on the 17th of October, 1993.
12 Q. How long were you supposed to stay there?
13 A. Until the 22nd of October, 1993, when I submitted a request to be
14 returned from there by helicopter.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I am looking at the schedule of
16 Petkovic movements that we have, and I cannot help noticing that this
17 does not coincide. I see that you have also noticed. So I just have
18 drawn your attention to it, and I leave it to you to continue.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the time being I
20 skipped the topic of the labour of detained persons, because I think due
21 to a shortage of -- the shortage of time, Stupni Do has precedence. But
22 if you will grant me additional time --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. You may have completely
24 misunderstood me. I was just pointing out that according to this paper
25 that you have presented us, Mr. Petkovic was in Kiseljak from 17 to 26 of
1 October, and you have just said, Mr. Petkovic, that you returned on the
2 22nd. Which of the two indications is the one that we should base
3 ourselves on?
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. If I may just
5 ask for a little bit of patience.
6 General Petkovic said that he was supposed to stay until the
7 22nd. He didn't say that he really did stay until the 22nd.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay, thank you.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let's take a look at the following document, General, 4D844. Is
11 this the document that you mentioned a short while ago about a flight
12 that you requested to be scheduled for the 22nd?
13 A. Yes. I requested to be returned to Herzegovina on the 22nd, and
14 this is it.
15 Q. Let's take a look at the following document, P6144. This
16 document says that you and Mr. Lucic, as well as Mr. Bandic, stayed at
17 Kiseljak because it was impossible to fly to Split due to adverse
19 A. Yes. There was -- we had bad weather, and the helicopters
20 couldn't take off at Kiseljak to fly to Split.
21 Q. Now, tell us, General, how long did you really stay at Kiseljak?
22 A. I stayed until the 22nd of -- sorry, 26th of October, 1993, until
23 9.30 a.m.
24 Q. And with who did you return to Herzegovina?
25 A. Ivan Bandic, Vinko Lucic, and the driver of Colonel Blaskic. I
1 can't remember his name now.
2 Q. General, tell us, when did Ivica Rajic, with some HVO units, set
3 off from Kiseljak to Vares?
4 A. Ivica Rajic left in the night between the 21st and the 22nd of
5 October, 1993
6 Q. Let's see the plans of the ABiH with regard to Vares. Please
7 take a look at document 4D523. It's a document authored by
8 Stjepan Siber, dated the 22nd of October, 1993, in which he replies to
9 the Command of the 3rd Corps.
10 I correct the document reference, which is 4D523, 4D523.
11 And he says, among others -- he was asked about offensive actions
12 in the wider Vares area, and Siber says:
13 "We agree with your proposals with regard to the offensive
14 activities in the area of Vares, the villages of Dragovici and Mijakovici
15 are mentioned, as well as the Plijes facility or building.
16 Tell us, General, in October 1993, while you were at Kiseljak,
17 did you receive information about the ABiH taking these locations
18 mentioned in Siber's letter?
19 A. Yes, some of the places were mentioned. I can see that the
20 village of Kopljari is missing, but Plijes, Dreznica, Borovica, they were
21 taken; and Dragovici and Mijakovici are also mentioned.
22 Q. Look at the following document, General, 4D520. This is an order
23 by Commander Abdulah Ahmic, dated the 23rd of October, 1993, in which he
24 states that combat activities are intensifying, especially in the
25 Stupni Do area, and he goes on to mention help and the unblocking of
1 Stupni Do. And he's also mentioned the Breza MUP intervention unit which
2 shall be kept ready to engage in combat along the axis, et cetera.
3 General, tell us, was there an ABiH unit in the village of
4 Stupni Do?
5 A. Yes, there was one.
6 Q. As far as you know, is the statement in this order true, that on
7 the 23rd of October, combat activities intensified, especially in the
8 Stupni Do area?
9 A. Yes, that is true.
10 Q. Take a look at the following document, 4D519. This is an
11 analysis of the performance or the execution of tasks involved in the
12 Vares operation. It's a document of the 6th Corps of the ABiH. It's a
13 lengthy document, it has about 16 pages. Did you read this analysis,
15 A. Yes, I read it fully, and it describes who did what in the
16 operation of taking Vares.
17 Q. Tell us, what you read in this analysis, does it correspond to
18 the information you have about the events in the Vares municipality?
19 A. Yes. Vares was taken, and everything -- all descriptions of that
20 process matches my information that I had at the time.
21 Q. According to this analysis, was the operation of taking Vares
23 A. The operation of taking Vares was planned in August 1993, a month
24 and a half after the fall of Kakanj. So Vares was meant to be the next
25 municipality with a majority Croat population that was to be taken by the
2 Q. This analysis speaks about the taking of the Kopljari village,
3 then Plijes, then Lijesnica. The places mentioned, were they taken
4 before Ivica Rajic set off for Vares?
5 A. Yes, they were taken before, and that's why panic broke out in
6 the Command of the Bobovac Brigade, and they requested help from the
7 operations group at Kiseljak.
8 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you agree to the fact that
9 Ivica Rajic, with a number of HVO soldiers, should move to Vares?
10 A. Yes, I did agree with that.
11 Q. At the time in Kiseljak, did you agree with Ivica Rajic, what
12 kind of combat activities would be undertaken in the Vares municipality
14 A. It was agreed that Ivica Rajic should try and deal with the part
15 of the defence where the BH Army had managed to break through, from the
16 village of Kopljari, towards Mijakovici, along that axis, the western
17 part of the municipality, and to see what the problem of command was
18 there and why a commander was being asking to be relieved of his duties,
19 and to look into the possibility of taking control of that area again or
20 to set up a new line there.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Now, Your Honours, may we go into
22 private session for a few moments, please.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
24 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. My question to you, General, is this: This statement made by the
22 witness, is it correct?
23 A. Yes, it's completely correct, and that's how he acted.
24 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is P9954. It is
25 information from Ivica Rajic, dated the 22nd of October, 1993, sent to
1 you, General Petkovic, about the fact that he had arrived in Vares. And
2 my question to you is this: Did you receive that information?
3 A. Yes, I did receive the information telling me he had arrived in
5 Q. Apart from this information, did you -- directly from Ivica Rajic
6 in Vares, did you receive any other piece of information in written form,
7 regardless of what the title of that was, while you were in Kiseljak
8 until the 26th of October?
9 A. No, no written information reached me from Ivica Rajic in
11 Q. Can you explain to us the reason for that. Because we have seen
12 some documents in the courtroom that were addressed to you, among others.
13 A. I think that Ivica Rajic realised that on the 22nd I had left
14 Kiseljak, because I said goodbye to him before I left, and I said, I'm
15 going to Herzegovina
16 regardless of the fact that I sent some documents from Kiseljak. He
17 didn't pay attention to that.
18 Q. Now let's look at the next document, which is P6026. And it's
19 information from Ivica Rajic, dated the 23rd of October, 1993, and it is
20 addressed, among others, to you, and it is addressed to the chief of
21 staff of the HVO Mostar, Milivoj Petkovic.
22 Tell us, please, General, could this piece of information reach
23 you -- have reached you while you were in Kiseljak?
24 A. No, Your Honours, this piece of information couldn't have reached
25 me, because Paket radio doesn't recognise my name and surname. It only
1 recognises the station to which it is sent, which was Mostar in this
3 Q. Right. Now let's look at the next document, which is P6028, and
4 that's a document signed by Slobodan Praljak, dated the 23rd of October,
5 about how the problems in Vares should be solved.
6 Tell us, General, did you receive written communication of this
7 type in Kiseljak on that day?
8 A. Yes, this did reach me late at night in Kiseljak.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, what did you think? The calming of the
10 situation in Vares, did that refer to the Muslims or the Croats? How did
11 you understand this?
12 A. No, this did not refer to the Muslims. It referred to people in
13 the command and those around the command and headquarters who clashed
14 with the command.
21 A. No --
22 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. Your Honour, out of an abundance of
23 caution, I think we should go into private session, because the nature --
24 in fact, I'd like to go into private session now, before I say anything
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. Let's go into
2 private session, and we'll see whether we have to lift confidentiality or
3 not later on.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 49616-49630 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record, we are back in open
23 session. Thank you.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We're obviously on
25 sensitive ground here.
1 Q. Now, General, military commanders in Herceg-Bosna, did they have
2 the task and responsibility of investigating crimes and undertaking
3 prosecutions and criminal -- filing criminal reports? Was that their
4 main task?
5 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm going to have to, at
6 this point, add my voice to that of others.
7 I think there's a very easy way to proceed here, and I know -- I
8 know Ms. Alaburic is concerned about time, but the general is a
9 professional soldier and an educated man. I'm sure if she could just
10 ask, Can you explain the procedures by which these things were done, he
11 could give us an answer in his own words, without being led by a series
12 of "yes" or "no" questions. I think clearly he can be asked, Can you
13 explain to us the disciplinary procedures that a commander would have
14 available to him in these circumstances? And he can give us a narrative
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have said
17 everything there is to say about disciplinary procedures. And from what
18 we have said so far, you clearly know that the chief of the Main Staff
19 did not have the authority and that officers and non-commissioned
20 officers could not have been punished by a term of imprisonment. I'm
21 just responding to Mr. Scott's comments.
22 Now, Your Honours, if you consider my question to be leading, I
23 will reformulate it and ask it in the following way:
24 Q. General, which organs in Herceg-Bosna were in charge of
25 investigating crimes and prosecuting the perpetrators thereof?
1 A. They were the security services and the crime organs, criminal
2 investigation organs, either attached to the military police or the
3 civilian police.
4 Q. Now, what organs were these? What were they called?
5 A. The Security and Information Service, with its organs.
6 Q. Give us the abbreviation of that.
7 A. SIS. And the crime departments attached to the military police
8 units and the units attached to the civilian police force, or, rather,
9 the Ministry of the Interior.
10 Q. General, repeat that again, because the translation is wrong.
11 A. SIS, the Security and Information Service, is the first; and
12 second is the crime Department attached to the military police battalions
13 and the crime departments attached to the Ministry of the -- the
14 Department of the Interior.
15 Q. Now, these crime departments, are they part of the military or
16 civilian police or not?
17 A. The one are parts of the civilian police, and the others are part
18 of the military police.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Now, Your Honours, since we've
20 entered into a realm of topics that was not the subject of my
21 examination-in-chief, and my time is short, I now tender a request, along
22 with your interventions, regardless of how long they last, to give me
23 time to the end of today's session, because -- and that might mean half
24 an hour to 40 minutes' additional time, so until the end of business
25 today. May I have that additional time, please?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So based on the original six
2 hours, you want 20 to 40 additional minutes -- 30 to 40 additional
3 minutes. So in that case, the Prosecutor will also have 6 hours and
4 40 minutes or 6 hours and 30 minutes. I'll ask my colleagues.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, if you want an
7 additional 40 minutes, you have them, given that you have actually a
8 credit. So it will be taken off your credit, out of the 55 hours that
9 you had. So there is no problem.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. Thank
11 you. I'd just like to add that not only the Prosecution will have
12 additional time, but the Defence teams, too, just to avoid any
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just talk for yourself. Don't
15 deal with the others. I think I'm going to spend another sleepless
17 In the meantime, we'll have a 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, just two more questions.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I have a
24 question for the Petkovic Defence.
25 When is it going to file its motion for admission of exhibits
1 according to Guide-Line 9?
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we're working on it,
3 and we'd like to file it on the last day of General Petkovic's testimony.
4 I sincerely hope that we'll manage to do that, but if not, we will file a
5 request to give us about 10 days after the completion of
6 General Petkovic's testimony and certainly not longer than 10 days after
7 the completion of our case.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, just two additional questions, staying with this topic
11 of criminal prosecution.
12 Tell us, in a situation in which a military commander knows that
13 a soldier of his, and knows the first and last name of a soldier,
14 committed a crime, is the military commander duty-bound to file a
15 criminal report to the military prosecutor?
16 A. The military commander is duty-bound to file a criminal report
17 with the military prosecutor, yes.
18 Q. Now let's take another situation. A crime has been committed.
19 The perpetrator or perpetrators are unknown, and it is not known whether
20 it is, in fact, a crime that has been committed. Who is going to be
21 responsible for gathering up the information and then possibly file a
22 criminal report with the military prosecutor?
23 A. Well, there are two services, the SIS, Security and Information
24 Service, or the military police, so two possibilities.
25 Q. Okay, General. Now let's return to that Stupni Do of ours and
1 look at P9895, please.
2 Tell us, please, General, have you ever seen this document
3 before? When I say "before," I mean, of course, before these
4 proceedings, so any time before this trial.
5 A. Do you mean what it says here, "Orders"?
6 Q. I mean document P9895. It is one word handwritten.
7 A. I have two 9895 documents. Do you mean where is says, "Ivica,"
8 the text beginning with "Ivica"?
9 Q. The third page of this document.
10 A. Very well. But everything is under document P9895. No, I never
11 saw this document before this trial.
12 Q. Now, in this courtroom, General, it was stated that you dictated
13 these words to Mr. Lucic. Did you dictate anything to anybody, General?
14 A. No, I had no need to dictate anything. I'm not incapable of
15 writing four sentences. I'm not lazy, so I would have written them
17 Q. General, in later communication with Mr. Rajic, did you ever hear
18 any comment of his about this document, or did you hear him question this
19 document at all, ask any questions about it?
20 A. No, Ivica Rajic never mentioned this document. Ivica Rajic acted
21 as he had been ordered to do and speed up the process of reporting. He
22 didn't refer to any document, in fact.
23 Q. Now, General, on the 26th of October, 1993, in the evening, did
24 you happen to talk to Mr. Rajic over the phone?
25 A. No. Mr. Praljak explained here in the courtroom that upon my
1 arrival in Kiseljak, I talked to him, and then I carried on my journey to
3 Q. Did you inform General Praljak, who was your superior officer,
4 about everything you learned about the events at Stupni Do?
5 A. Yes, we spoke about everything, and I informed him of everything
6 I could and what I knew based on the information that were arriving at
7 the Main Staff.
8 Q. Let's take a look at the following document, 4D834.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the
10 handwritten document that we have, P9895, sent to "Ivica," bearing the
11 name "Petkovic," when reading it any reasonable trier of fact could infer
12 from this --
13 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] We're not receiving
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, every time I'm putting an
16 important question, there is no interpretation. This is really strange.
17 Let me repeat.
18 Can you hear me, General Petkovic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You all have this
21 document on the screen, and I was saying that any reasonable trier of
22 fact, seeing this document, could infer - could, I say - could infer from
23 it that a person called Petkovic is telling Ivica that the order for an
24 investigation is merely a formality, that he must be cautious, and so
25 forth and so on. So in a nutshell, it means, Don't worry, Ivica. This
1 document is in the hands of the Prosecutor, because there's an ERN
2 number, so I don't know where you found it. Someplace in the archives,
3 probably. But if you gave absolutely no instruction whatsoever, why
4 would this document have been introduced, and why; to your detriment, to
5 harm you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, I do not know
7 why this document was introduced. Firstly, we are not duty-bound to give
8 the details about the investigations about (redacted)
10 (redacted), and there were three versions of this document.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I ask to pass into
12 private session.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into private
14 session. Madam Registrar, could we move to private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 49639-49642 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. On this 8th of November, 1993, where were you?
14 A. I was not at the command in Citluk, I was in Split, because on
15 the 7th I had a meeting with General Briquemont in Split, and
16 General Praljak testified to that effect. General Praljak received his
17 order on the 8th to take up another position, and he wanted all
18 documents -- all relevant documents, and then Ivica Rajic submitted the
19 first part of a report.
20 Q. And the second part?
21 A. The second part arrived, I believe, around the 15th of November,
22 so that the entire report has two parts. This was an amendment.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I failed to correct
24 the transcript on page 74, line 25. The general spoke about an
25 investigation conducted by Ivica Rajic, whereas the transcript reads that
1 it was an investigation about Rajic. So just to avoid misunderstandings.
2 Q. General, I'll produce only some SIS documents so that we may see
3 whether SIS was up to date with regard to the Stupni Do investigation.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. If I come back to an answer a short
5 while ago, I seem to see that -- oh, no, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, there was
6 an error in -- I thought I had heard something different. I withdraw.
7 I'm sorry.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. P6828, it's information from Marijan Biskic. He sent it to the
11 then defence minister, Perica Jukic. We've already looked at this
12 document and it's an exhibit. Remind us, General, if you can, how come
13 Marijan Biskic, the SIS sector in the military police, is writing from
14 the Main
15 A. Mr. Marijan Biskic arrived on the 9th of November. He came to
16 the HVO then. Mr. Biskic still hadn't received an office to work in, nor
17 had he relocated to Mostar. Mr. Biskic was, in fact, in Posusje for most
18 of the time, and probably as he was writing this document in Posusje, he
19 put "Main Staff, HVO, SIS," and "Military Police Sector." And I think a
20 document arrived on which it said -- because the person didn't know, but
21 it had these 12 or 13 people who came to the HVO, so somebody outside the
22 HVO had already written these positions, and the document does not
23 correspond to the actual situation in which Mr. Biskic was at the time.
24 But, anyway, he used the right stamp, the one he had at his disposal, for
25 his use.
1 Q. Now let's look at the next document, General, which is P6964,
2 which is a piece of information from the head of SIS. And mention is
3 made in this document of the following names: Dominik Ilijasevic, Como
4 Ante Ljoljo; Marinko Juricic; and so on. Tell us, General, are those the
5 names of the people who are mentioned in other documents as being
6 responsible for the crimes in Stupni Do?
7 A. Yes, that's right, those are the individuals who were in
8 Stupni Do and who were in command of certain groups in the attack on
9 Stupni Do.
10 Q. Now let's look at the next document. 4D499 [realtime transcript
11 read in error "4D4999"] is the number. It's a letter from the command or
12 assistant commander for SIS, of the Kiseljak Brigade for SIS.
13 Let me correct the number of the document. It is 4D499.
14 It's a document sent to the District Military Prosecutor's Office
15 in Travnik, telling them that documents are been supplied linked to the
16 investigation at Stupni Do.
17 Now, my question to you, General, is this: Did you know that the
18 Military Prosecutor's Office in Travnik was included in the Stupni Do
20 A. Yes, I knew that two days after my order. The military
21 prosecutor became involved ex officio.
22 Q. General, look at document 4D500 now, please. Is that the
23 document you mentioned a moment ago?
24 A. Yes, that is that document. It is the document from the Military
25 Prosecutor's Office, and the date is the 28th of October, 1993, linked to
1 the events in Vares municipality or, rather, Stupni Do.
2 Q. Now look at a document that comes before this document. It is
3 4D506. It comes before 4D500. Can you tell us, General, what this
4 document is?
5 A. This is a document from Mr. Perica Jukic, the then defence
6 minister of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, where he is seeking
7 assistance from UNPROFOR in Kiseljak. He's asking UNPROFOR to send us
8 the information that they have linked to the investigations -- their
9 investigations in Stupni Do.
10 Q. Now look at the next document, please, which is P6291. It is a
11 report on the information in Vares which, on the 31st of October, 1993
12 Ivica Rajic sent to the president of the HZ-HB, that is to say, to
13 Mate Boban. Tell us, General, at the time did you have any knowledge
14 about the direct communication between the supreme commander and
15 Ivica Rajic?
16 A. We knew about this communication, but we didn't know about this
17 document straight away. We didn't know that Ivica Rajic had compiled a
18 report linked to Stupni Do and addressed to Mr. Boban.
19 Q. Now look at the next document, which is P10255. It is a public
20 statement on relieving Ivica Rajic as commander of Operative Group 2.
21 Tell us whether Ivica Rajic was truly relieved of that duty or not.
22 A. Ivica Rajic was not relieved of that duty, and the information
23 was put out by the information media.
24 Q. Tell us what else important happened with respect to Ivica Rajic
25 giving notice to this position.
1 A. Well, I think that it was Mr. Boban's relationship and attitude
2 towards Kiseljak and Kresevo. The Kiseljak and Kresevo municipalities
3 held it against Mr. Boban, because in all the negotiations that were
4 conducted on the organisation of Herceg-Bosna, allegedly, they reproached
5 him for not defending their interests, and never put them in those
6 cantons where there was a Croat majority, but they -- that he allowed
7 them to go -- he allowed Kiseljak and Kresevo to become component parts
8 of provinces with a Croat majority. And that was one of the major
9 complaints by people from Kiseljak. They even threatened that they would
10 rather go with someone else than into the Sarajevo district, and that is
11 why Mate Boban was particularly well disposed towards the Kresevo and
12 Kiseljak municipalities and their leaders, and that's why they had free
13 communication at all times.
14 Q. But, General, you didn't tell us what important thing happened in
15 respect of Ivica Rajic's de-missioning [sic]. Was he still called
16 "Ivica Rajic"?
17 A. No, he changed his name to Viktor Andric a month or so after this
19 Q. Tell us, General, Mate Boban, did he know of this name change?
20 A. He must have known. He certainly did know, because two days
21 later he received a document from Kiseljak where Rajic signed himself as
22 "Viktor Andric."
23 Q. Now let's look at P7387, the next document I'd like to deal with.
24 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm not sure, but before we
25 leave the page, on line -- page 83, line -- approximately around line 20,
1 22, it doesn't seem to make sense, the answer there. On the one hand, it
2 says that Mr. Boban would not put Kiseljak and Kresevo in a Croat
3 majority province, but then turns around to say exactly the opposite. I
4 don't know if it's just -- if it was -- someone misspoke or what, but it
5 doesn't seem to make any sense. Perhaps counsel could clarify that.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, the end of the sentence, where it says that they had
8 free communication throughout, what the did you mean when you said that?
9 A. Kiseljak municipality and the leadership of Kiseljak
10 municipality, and Kresevo municipality - they considered themselves to be
11 Croatian municipalities - criticised Mr. Boban for not including them
12 into the Croatian provinces, if I can put it that way. And then from
13 this kind of relationship with them, well, he simply -- he tried to do a
14 service to the Kiseljak people and people in the Kresevo municipality and
15 was constantly in communication with them, promising them that their
16 situation would be improved, that after a certain amount of time that
17 district would be reorganised and so on.
18 Q. General, if I understand what you're saying, you mean direct
19 communication between Mate Boban with people from Kiseljak.
20 A. Yes, that's the communication I meant. Nobody from
21 Central Bosnia
22 military and civilian authorities from Kiseljak enjoyed, and then the
23 people from Kresevo joined in.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Still on this point, because I also have a
25 question before you go to the next document.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, unless -- and I'm speaking under
3 the control of Mr. Stewart. Unless I have misread or misunderstood, you
4 have told us that (redacted) or
5 something. No -- anyway, he changed it, we know. Now, could you tell us
6 what the procedures are, in the applicable law in the Republic of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that by law,
9 even today in Croatia
10 and you can stipulate your reasons. But in this case and at that point
11 in time, (redacted) didn't go that far, although later on he did collect
12 up the necessary documents for (redacted). And later on, some other
13 name, (redacted) or whatever.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And was it, to your knowledge, (redacted) --
15 are we in closed session, actually? We are not. We'll need some
16 redaction. I'm sorry.
17 Was it the person, itself, who decided on the new name that he
18 would bear henceforth, or were any authorities involved by suggestion,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For instance, I could request a
21 change of my name now, my first and last name. I might choose to be
22 called by some other name. Every person has the right and possibility of
23 asking for a name change, a change in name and surname, at least as far
24 as I know the law and regulations. I think every person is entitled to a
25 name change if they so desire.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That is actually not the answer to the question
2 that I had intended to put. I don't know whether Ivica Rajic even went
3 to someplace to ask for his name to be changed or whether he simply
4 spread the word, From now on I shall be known under the new name.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I know and
6 as far as I was able to learn later from Ivica Rajic's dealings, there
7 was mention of his having -- him having false documents, documents with
8 two names, one in the name of Viktor Andric and the other in the name of
9 Kovac. I think he took another name again. Now, how he came to have
10 official documents in these two names, I really don't know.
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I take it that you would say that no one
13 suggested the name change, let alone a specific name. There's two
14 questions, actually. Was it suggested to him that it would be a good
15 idea to change his name?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not as far as I know, nobody
17 made that suggestion. He made the decision himself. He decided to
18 change his name, and then sent out an information saying that from that
19 day forward, he would be Viktor Andric. And he had a document where it
20 said "Viktor Andric."
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
22 JUDGE PRANDLER: Sorry. It is only a very question of detail
23 that -- of course, I do agree with General Petkovic, that most probably
24 the former Yugoslavia
25 and family name, it is rather often happening, and there is no major
1 problem with this one.
2 I would also add that "Kovac" is a very nice name, too. It is a
3 Hungarian family name. Thank you.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, let's repeat. Did Mate Boban know about this name
6 change undertaken by Ivica Rajic?
7 A. Well, one can assume that he did know, because just a few days
8 after this name change, a letter was sent to Mate Boban with the new name
9 and surname, and I don't think anybody would dare do that unless this
10 person knew about it.
11 Q. Let's look at P7387 now, the next document. It's a letter which
12 Viktor Andric, on the 29th of December, 1993, sends to Mate Boban.
13 Now, General, from the contents of the letter, would you say that
14 Mate Boban knew who this man, Viktor Andric, was writing the letter, the
15 writer of the letter?
16 A. He most certainly did know, yes.
17 Q. Now let's look at the next document. It is P7386. Once again,
18 Viktor Andric writing to Mate Boban on the 29th of December.
19 General, from the contents of that letter, could Mate Boban have
20 known for sure who this person, Viktor Andric, was sending him this
22 A. Yes, the entire correspondence was in the name of Viktor Andric
23 from that time on.
24 Q. Now, we're not going to show the other documents, they're already
25 an exhibit, but tell us, if the person called Viktor Andric, did he have
1 communication with the minister, Lukic [as interpreted]?
2 A. Yes, he did, with the minister and with the Main Staff.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to correct the name
4 in line 17. It's not Lukic, but Jukic with a J.
5 Q. Now, tell us, General, did you know about this name change,
6 Ivica Rajic's name change?
7 A. Yes, I did learn of it.
8 Q. Did you communicate with him, as with Ivica Rajic?
9 A. Yes, I did, that's right.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we could move
11 into private session for a minute.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Closed session.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Witness EA --
14 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm done with the
7 Stupni Do chapter. Unless you have additional questions, I would like to
8 go through some of the topics that we had envisaged for the
9 examination-in-chief very briefly.
10 Q. The so-called ultimatum from April 1993, according to all
11 documents that you saw and to the best of your knowledge, did the HVO
12 Main Staff have anything to do with that so-called ultimatum?
13 A. No, nothing whatsoever, nor did anybody relate to the Main Staff
14 that there was an ultimatum of any kind.
15 Q. Prozor, in October 1992, how do you see the conflict between the
16 HVO and the ABiH in Prozor in 1992?
17 A. That was not a conflict. We see that as an incident which was
18 over after a day and a half.
19 Q. What did you do during the conflict in Prozor? What were you
20 preoccupied with?
21 A. A few days before that, I started organisational preparations for
22 the Bura operation in the Neretva Valley
23 from the OZ South-East Herzegovina, among them three Howitzers, and
24 deployed them to the Neretva Valley
25 Q. Gornji Vakuf, January 1993. Did you instruct your deputy,
1 Mr. Miro Andric, to go to Gornji Vakuf?
2 A. No, I was in no position to do so. I was still in Geneva
3 didn't do so from Geneva
4 Q. Did you, while Miro Andric was in Gornji Vakuf --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, my apologies.
6 You said that you were in Geneva
7 of command. How long were you in Geneva
8 day, because Geneva
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my first trip there
11 was on the 1st of January, and the conference started on the 2nd. I
12 stayed until the 6th of January, and in the afternoon of that day I
13 returned to Herceg-Bosna. My second trip there was along the following
14 lines: On the 10th, in the morning, I was already at the conference, and
15 on the 12th of January I returned to Zagreb and then continued my voyage
16 to Herzegovina
17 in the evening. And on the 23rd, in the morning, the working part of
18 this third conference began. And I returned on the 26th of January,
19 1993, in the afternoon hours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And did you go back to Geneva
21 in February, March, April, June?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. My next trip to
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were in Geneva
25 1st -- or the 6th of January -- from the 10th to the 12th of January, 22,
1 23, and 26th of January. So when you were there, who was in charge of
2 the command of the Main Staff?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the first stay, there was
4 Colonel Akrap who stayed there in my stead: On the 7th, Colonel Andric
5 was appointed to the Main Staff. On the 23rd and later,
6 Vukonik [phoen] Andric was on sick leave because he had injured himself,
7 so that this duty was again taken over by Colonel Zeljko Akrap.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And from the 10th to the 12th
9 of January?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the 10th to the 12th of
11 January, it was Mr. Miro Andric.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have two minutes before the
13 end of this session.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, until the end of
15 today's examination or until the end of my examination-in-chief?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have two minutes left. But
17 in fact you have used 6 hours and 23 minutes, so in fact you have
18 7 minutes left.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If you grant me 40, it will be 17
21 Q. General, I asked you whether you gave --
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, I don't think that's a very
23 respectful way of speaking to the Chamber. We have granted you until the
24 end of today, actually. And it would be correct to say that you request
25 that we give you some more. And you simply say, Okay, if you give me 40,
1 then it's 13 more. It's a bit loose. I would suggest that we end the
2 day, because it's been very heavy, and the speed you are keeping is
3 understandable but extremely tiring for us. So I would suggest that you
4 start to continue tomorrow morning.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I agree fully, and I
6 apologise if I wasn't precise enough and if I wasn't respectful enough.
7 I do apologise if my remark was inappropriate.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You will proceed tomorrow. I'm
9 sure that General Petkovic is also tired, because it's tiring to answer
10 all those questions. And I've been sitting here since 9.00 this morning
11 without a break.
12 So we will all come back here tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00.
13 [The accused stands down]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
16 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.