1 Monday, 1 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Petkovic takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon, everyone in and
10 around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
12 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
14 Today is Monday. I would like to greet General Petkovic, I'd
15 like to greet the accused, Defence counsel, Mr. Scott and his associates.
16 I would also like to greet my colleagues, as well as all the people
17 assisting us in the courtroom.
18 Today we shall continue the Praljak cross-examination. The
19 Praljak Defence has given us two binders, and I believe that it is
20 General Praljak who is going to put the questions, himself. Or is it
21 Mr. Kovacic first?
22 Mr. Kovacic, who's starting?
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Good day to everyone.
25 We have decided that, as previously stated in our position,
1 General Praljak will take up all the time that has been allocated. Thank
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
4 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
5 [The witness answered through interpreter]
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
7 Good day to everyone in the courtroom. Good day, General Petkovic. Good
8 day to everyone.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
10 MR. KOVACIC: There are some remarks from colleagues that too
11 many microphones are connected.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Praljak:
14 Q. [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you spoke about the fact that
15 in 1992, you promised that the HVO would assist ABiH, after discussions
16 with Mr. Izetbegovic, with regard to the operation for the liberation of
18 was there any other military equipment that you gave to the ABiH, other
19 artillery, and what else did you provide them with?
20 A. Your Honours, a T-34 tank was given to them. A 130-millimetre
21 gun and a 122-millimetre howitzer was also directed provided to the ABiH.
22 And everything that was in the Herceg Stjepan Brigade was re-subordinated
23 to them. They re-subordinated the artillery to the command that was in
24 charge of the deblocking of Sarajevo
25 Q. General, was that your personal artillery or did you provide that
1 in agreement with the supreme commander of the HVO and other political
2 bodies within the HVO?
3 A. Your Honours, naturally that was my -- not my personal equipment.
4 It belonged to the HVO. It couldn't be provided without seeking leave
5 from the highest level of the HVO.
6 Q. General, were the tank and the howitzer returned to you
8 A. Your Honours, neither the tank nor the 130-millimetre cannon were
9 returned. They called it Sultan, the Sultan, in fact, and later used it
10 to open fire on us as events unfolded.
11 Q. Was the tank subsequently used against the HVO?
12 A. Yes, it was used in the territory of the Konjic municipality. It
13 wasn't returned to the HVO, and as a result it was used against the HVO.
14 Q. Thank you. Have a look at document 3D03796, please.
15 A. Your Honours, I don't have any documents before me.
16 Q. Document 3D03796. It's Matiez Frangiz's [phoen] book. He's a
17 Slovenian. It's about arms trafficking that was taking place in Slovenia
18 or through Slovenia
19 ABiH -- and to Slovenia
20 A. Yes, I've read this book.
21 Q. Please have a look at a passage from that book. Have a look at
22 page 72. Have a look at the Croatian text, where reference is made to
23 the 18th of August, 1992, to that date. It has to do with the agreement
24 between Fikret Abdic and Janez Jansa, the minister of defence of the
25 Republic of Slovenia
1 weapons, and so on and so forth.
2 Are you familiar with the fact that this is when this started,
3 and it continued throughout the war?
4 A. Yes, I'm aware of the fact that weapons were obtained through
6 believe, and the main person in Bosnia-Herzegovina was Hasan Cengic,
7 together with his assistants, but Hasan Cengic is the name I'm familiar
9 Q. Have a look at page 88, where Hasan Cengic is referred to. And
10 how weapons were stored in Brnik is discussed, and how it went missing
11 later, and it was a huge incident in Slovenia. Are you familiar with
12 this? Did you learn about this later?
13 A. Yes. This was a subject discussed in Slovenia. The weapons
14 arrived in Koper and then they disappeared, probably transported to
16 transported further on to Bosnia
17 Q. Please look at 112, where reference is made to the fact that
18 weapons had to be transported in humanitarian convoys, the Children of
19 Europe Fund convoys. It also refers to where the weapons came from, how
20 it landed in Budapest
21 the fact, and then this equipment arrived in Slovenia. The intention was
22 that it should then be transported to Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 also referred to, and Al-Fatiq Al-Hussein [phoen], a director is
24 mentioned. Are you familiar with that?
25 A. As far as the Children of Europe Fund is concerned, I've heard
1 about that. But the weapons were obtained in that manner at the time,
2 yes, that's quite certain.
3 Q. Have a look at page 130 and 131 in the Croatian text. Reference
4 is made to the amounts of money paid for equipment. So 520 soldiers of
5 the ABiH, for Bosnia
6 European countries, they were equipped there and were sent in two groups
7 in the direction of Bosnia and Herzegovina via Croatia
8 is made to how much that cost. My question is as follows: Are you aware
9 of the fact that there were groups -- volunteer groups from Western
11 were equipped and trained there, and they went from Slovenia, through
13 HZ-HB, they would enter Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were equipped and
14 trained members of the ABiH?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours, that was the usual route, but they weren't as
16 well equipped in Slovenia
17 more freely in Croatia
19 Q. On page 365, there's a list of names. Have a look at the name
20 "Hasan Cengic." How many times is this person referred to as someone who
21 is involved with arms? What do you know about Hasan Cengic, and what
22 sort of a role did he play in the ABiH? Whose money did he use to buy
23 weapons with?
24 A. Your Honours, I have heard that Hasan Cengic represented the ABiH
25 government. He was the main person who would receive money, and in
2 purchasing weapons. So he was the person through whom all these things
3 were done. He was a pivotal person.
4 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.
5 Before we continue, good afternoon, Your Honours, and all those
6 in and around the courtroom.
7 Just for the Prosecution to continue making its record on this
8 point, and I won't do it in every instance, to spare everyone in the
9 courtroom from that, but I want to make a record that this is yet again
10 another new topic. There was nothing about this or Mr. Cengic in any of
11 the examinations to date, so it's once again the type of new material,
12 new topic, that the Prosecution's noted before, and I want to make that
13 clear. Thank you.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may respond.
15 As far as I remember, the issue of armament requirement was
16 mentioned in direct. Hasan Cengic, as one who participated in this huge
17 job, was not, that is true, but the issue was. Thank you.
18 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I just want to make clear I don't
19 consider -- you can boil this down to such a general level, you can say
20 that this whole subject of armaments provided during the war, over a
21 three- or four year period, and that subject covers everything. I think
22 that's not fair or reasonable. You can't just continue on and on about a
23 subject because somebody mentioned it in some passing way and going into
24 a whole different area of it, so I think that's only fair. Otherwise,
25 the rule is meaningless.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. STEWART: Yes, sorry. I'll start again.
3 On behalf of the Petkovic Defence, we'd just like to make our
4 record that we don't understand and we suggest there's no basis on which
5 what Mr. Scott says constitutes any objection at all. Expiration of
6 these matters are well within the ambit of cross-examination, as has been
7 made absolutely clear on a number of rulings by the Trial Chamber. It
8 follows that since there is no valid basis for an objection, there is
9 really no valid basis for any comment at all as we go along in the course
10 of cross-examination of this witness by this particular accused.
11 Mr. Scott's made his record, but it wasn't appropriate and really
12 ought to be disregarded.
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, in that case, let me make it again.
14 It is my objection. My objection is to apply the rules of this
15 Chamber, which provides that when a co-accused goes into new materials
16 and new topics on an examination, it has to be treated as direct
17 examination and there shall be no leading questions. The time should be
18 charged against some bank of time used for that -- by that party for
19 their examinations-in-chief. So this examination being conducted now by
20 Mr. Praljak must be charged against some time that I suppose the Praljak
21 Defence still has left, and the Prosecution must be given equal amount of
22 time to cross-examine as the effect of direct examination.
23 So those are the rules and the guide-lines of the Chamber. I ask
24 that they be applied, and I do make my record on it.
25 MR. STEWART: That's an entirely different point -- those are
1 entirely different points which I don't propose to trouble the Trial
2 Chamber and take your time on that. It's maybe a battle we will
3 specifically fight when it specifically affects our cross-examination of
4 a witness in relation to other accused. But those are different points.
5 The first record-making that Mr. Scott made this afternoon or
6 purported to make had nothing to do with those points. If he wants to
7 object to a leading question, for example, he should object to a leading
8 question, and it's --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall read the guide-line of
10 the 24th of April, 2008, which settles the issue. Page 4, paragraph 8, I
11 shall read it out slowly:
12 "However, the cross-examination relating to an issue which has
13 not been mentioned during examination-in-chief is not a
14 cross-examination, per se, but an examination as is
16 Therefore, the rules that apply for the latter must be abided by.
17 Consequently, leading questions would not be allowed, when these type of
18 questions are being put.
19 General Praljak, do not put your question in a leading manner,
20 but address them in a neutral fashion.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, before -- before Mr. Praljak
23 proceeds, I want to recall some of the cross-examination that I conducted
24 last Thursday. You may recall on the one of the videos I asked the
25 specific question, with respect to a question asked of Dr. Prlic, on
1 foreign credits that the Sarajevo
2 for armament purposes. It would seem to me that this line of questioning
3 is in direct connection with that. You know, we're talking about a very
4 fluid event, so the issue has been raised. And, therefore, I just wish
5 to put that on the record and remind everybody.
6 And I understand the Prosecution's position. I think at some
7 point the Prosecution, as it has already, will be demanding additional
8 time because of these topics, and I think that's an issue that can be
9 addressed later on. But for these purposes, I think this issue has been
10 raised, and in my respectful submission, General Praljak should be
11 allowed to conduct cross-examination as opposed to direct examination
12 with time being taken away from some of his allotted time.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I
14 only have two sentences.
15 I consider the essence of Mr. Scott's objection being the request
16 for additional time to examine Mr. Petkovic. There is no rule, however,
17 no one paragraph in the guide-lines or in any case law of this Tribunal,
18 which would allow for the Prosecution's time for cross-examination to
19 depend on the time spent by other Defences. If Rule 90(H)(1) allows
20 addressing new topics in cross-examination, and if the Trial Chamber, in
21 its explicit decision, allowed the Prosecutor to -- even to cross-examine
22 the Defence witnesses even after the Prosecution case, and raise or deal
23 with new topics, I believe that the objection that -- or, rather, the
24 request to allow for additional time for the Prosecution on this basis is
25 totally unfounded.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. General, my final question, and it is not leading. How and
3 through which country or which organisation was the ABiH able to arm
4 itself, and how did it arm all the 250.000 men that Sefer Halilovic
5 claims they had in their ranks?
6 A. Your Honours, I wouldn't want to go into the issue of sources,
7 but it had to arrive through Croatia
8 this materiel arrived in Croatia
9 to the ABiH, and part of it arrived through Cengic to Croatia, from where
10 it was transported to the ABiH in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. The question -- the following question was raised already, and
12 you answered it, General. It has to do with volunteers in the HVO and
13 the ABiH, Croatia
14 document about it. How many citizens of the Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina were volunteers in the Croatian Army in 1991 and in
16 early 1992?
17 A. Your Honours, that number is anywhere between 10.000 to 13.000
18 soldiers. And let me add, in October 1993 there is information on record
19 that about 10.000 remained in the Croatian Army at that time, and they
20 were Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. And do you draw the conclusion from that that Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 was involved in the war in Croatia
23 A. The citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina went to the theatre of war in
25 Q. You answered Judge Antonetti's question about your having a
1 telephone in your vehicle. What kind of telephone was that, and from
2 where was it possible to make a phone call or engage in a phone
3 conversation, and who, apart from you, had such a phone in their vehicle?
4 A. Your Honours, as regards the army, I'm the only one who had such
5 a phone. None of my commanders at any level had one. There were four or
6 five at other levels, however, outside the army. They were the earliest
7 Benefons, as they were called, but you couldn't make calls everywhere.
8 Once you left Mostar and reached Siroki Brijeg and continued to Grude,
9 you may be -- you may have been available for a certain time. The best
10 connectivity was possible if you were in Croatia, and you could receive
11 phone calls from Croatia
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina didn't function well. That's why many people simply
13 left those phones in their cars and didn't rely on them much.
14 Q. General, tell us, what is the highest decoration in the Army of
16 A. As far as I know, and it's been mentioned today -- these days,
17 rather, it's the Golden Lily. There are some protesters mentioning that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic,
19 General Praljak has changed his line of questions. I would like to get
20 back to something.
21 When I put a question, it is because it is relevant, in light of
22 the indictment. I don't waste my time putting questions of no interest.
23 And if someone feels it is irrelevant, I should be told immediately.
24 Why is this business about the telephone relevant? It is
25 relevant in light of Article 7(3) of the Statute, i.e., your
1 responsibility during a particular period. The Appeals Chamber is
2 extremely vigilant in this regard. It feels that a commander should
3 exercise control, and that when there is no control over the events, this
4 means that he is not incriminated. This was the case of
5 Dragomir Milosevic.
6 When I put the question to you on the question of the telephone,
7 is that I had this at the back of my mind. I always have things at the
8 back of my mind, two essential questions, what relates to fact and what
9 relates to the law. As far as the fact was concerned, I wanted to know
10 how your telephone operates. And when it comes to the law, it has to do,
11 at the back of my mind, with the jurisprudence of the Tribunal. And
12 those two questions are always at the back of my mind.
13 You said that General Praljak came back, but I am totally lost.
14 You said that you were the only person having this telephone. Fine. But
15 when you were in Split
16 telephone, to contact your officers who had remained in Mostar, or were
17 you no longer in contact? At the same time as you, I had a Motorola,
18 which was a very similar telephone. But when I changed area, the
19 coverage wasn't the same, and sometimes there was a complete void and I
20 couldn't contact anyone. When you were in Split, was it possible to
21 reach you over this phone?
22 This is a very technical question, but behind this question there
23 is the essential issue of Article 7(3).
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the problem in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina was that the phone exchanges in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 once the repeater stations were destroyed in that republic, the exchanges
2 were -- could function only in the closest proximity. It was necessary
3 for you, to receive a call from Croatia
4 you through a repeater somewhere else. But these phones were very
5 unreliable, because otherwise they would have been used in more vehicles.
6 I used two vehicles, one offered vehicle and one personal car --
7 passenger car, rather, but I never took my phone from one car to another
8 because the function wasn't really -- the functioning wasn't good. All
9 Bosnian phone exchanges could only serve the needs of the local area,
10 because the repeater stations had been destroyed by the JNA, the one on
11 Mount Velez
12 speaking about that here. And that was the problem with regard to that
13 phone, so it was more of a decoration than a practical tool. For
14 a hundred metres or so there was coverage, and then for kilometres there
15 would be no coverage, so the phone was more or less useless. And that's
16 why they stopped procuring these phones and giving it to other command
17 structures, because it proved inefficient.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. So you said. Do you remember, General, while I was commander,
21 did I ever have such a phone, for the very reason that given an area of
22 10 square kilometres, you may be able to use it only at two or three
23 spots, so it was a totally unreliable means of communication?
24 A. Yes, exactly. The vehicle that had this in-built telephone was
25 eventually given to the Logistics Base at Grude, because once you set off
1 for Rama or Tomislavgrad, you weren't able to use it anywhere else. And
2 you know well that you received another off-road vehicle which I had used
3 before you.
4 Q. I haven't finished with the question about the Golden Lily. Did
5 you -- were you awarded that highest decoration of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. Yes. On the 7th of October, Ejub Ganic, in the presence of
7 Stjepan Kljujic and Stjepan Siber and three or four officers of the ABiH,
8 awarded me the Golden Lily. That was in 1992, in the building of the --
9 sorry, in the building of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. General, you replied to Judge Antonetti's question about whether
11 or not Sefer Halilovic could have been or could not have been or was or
12 wasn't a man who, in the JNA, was a high-ranking KOS officer, so please
13 take a look at 3D3023.
14 A. Is it in the back?
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, it's in the second binder. There are
16 two. You got two binders. This is in the second one.
17 And, Usher, if you would be so kind as to give the second binder
18 too. It is the last document in that binder.
19 [Interpretation] It's the last document in the second binder.
20 Yes, the last document.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There are three tabs, but
22 without any numbers.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. What you see is the MUP of the Republic of Croatia
25 for the Protection of the Constitutional Order. It's a document dated 24
1 May 1993, and it clearly says that Sefer Halilovic was an agent of the
2 Military Intelligence Service, he had the pseudonym "Boris," and this is
3 a summary of the relevant information. It also mentions that since
4 9 February 1977
5 A. Your Honours, I'm not familiar with this document, and that's why
6 I replied that I didn't have that information. I was in the HVO then and
7 contacted with Halilovic, so I could have used that information, but
8 unfortunately I never received it. However, given the fact that I
9 haven't read it, I cannot comment.
10 Now I can see here that this issue is extensively dealt with
11 here, but you know my answer.
12 Q. Under number 2 of the same document, you see a monthly plan of
13 activity, after which you can see personal information. It's a JNA
14 document and says that Sefer Halilovic, son of Rustem, was an officer, a
15 Muslim, and a collaborator of the security services, and so on. The most
16 important thing, however, are these minutes. So here's my question: Do
17 you know that on the 5th of November, 1993, the MUP in Sarajevo
18 State Security Service, to be more precise, questioned
19 Mr. Sefer Halilovic and that he gave a long interview in which he
20 ambiguously admits that he was a KOS
21 And at the end of that document, we can see both Halilovic's signature
22 and the signature of the one who interviewed him. Did you know that
23 Sefer Halilovic was questioned, once he was replaced, and that he gave
24 such a statement? Unfortunately, I cannot translate all this or have it
25 all translated, but it follows unambiguously from all this that he was,
1 indeed, a KOS
2 A. I can see in this document that it was compiled on the 5th of
3 November, 1993, and that Sefer Halilovic signed or initialled every page
4 of this statement. This is a document that his own security centre in
6 never had this statement on my hands before. This is that same problem
7 again with regard to what I do or don't know about Sefer Halilovic.
8 I can see that this document was made on the 5th of November, 1993.
9 Q. Thank you. Let's now go into something that was dealt with in
10 the examination-in-chief, and that was the use of the Croatian Army in
11 the south, along the border between Croatia
12 So please take a look at the map, 3D3163. It's in the back.
13 A. General Praljak, Your Honours, I know this map. This map was
14 produced in the command of the 4th Army District, whose commander I was
15 at the time. It bears the signature of my deputy, Mr. Petkovic, and
16 there's also my -- our military post office number. It was made as a
17 part of the effort to reconstruct wartime events in the Republic of
19 a commander there and then.
20 Q. General, please draw on this map the directions along which the
21 JNA attacked the south of Croatia
22 A. Your Honours, I will mark the direction that cuts through -- or,
23 rather, that goes along the territory of Croatia
24 cut through the territory, as well as the maritime blockade.
25 Q. Yes, please mark, and mark these directions and put the figures
1 1, 2, 3, next to them.
2 Your Honours, I sat down so I can see, so I hope you won't mind.
3 And please be clear what time-period this is.
4 A. I believe that this is the 8th of October 1991.
5 Q. Please draw the axis of attack.
6 A. Through the Republic of Croatia
7 Q. Yes, on the number 1.
8 A. [Marks] Number 1. This is under number 1, the taking of
9 Konovlje [phoen]. This is the first stage. This image is not very
10 clear. Can you enlarge it so I can see Dubrovnik, so that I can exclude
11 this area? I'm really trying hard here, but with these glasses --
12 Q. Further up at the highest point, can you see the river, the
13 Dubrovnik River
14 A. I'll try and continue. Above Dubrovnik, there is the second
15 stage, the breakthrough through Croatia
16 here, as far as I can see Dubrovnik
17 Q. General, have a look at the Dubrovnik River
18 that river under?
19 A. The Dubrovnik River
20 settlement of Mokosica was under the control of the Army of Yugoslavia.
21 Q. Could you mark this with number 3?
22 A. Should I use my finger? How can you erase this?
23 Q. Leave that there. Cross out number 3 and then mark the area
24 around the town itself, please.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, it is seen
1 that you can draw across -- you can cancel what you have written. Can
2 you delete what you have written? And you can reposition yourself.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps it would be
4 best if -- well, that's fine, yes.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Below the Dubrovacka River
7 A. I can see Dubrovnik
8 Q. What is this?
9 A. It's the town of Dubrovnik
10 of Yugoslavia
11 Q. Could you mark that with the number 3, please.
12 A. [Marks] Your Honours, this is the direction through the Republic
13 of Croatia
14 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina [Marks].
15 Q. Mark that with number 4, please, all of them.
16 A. [Marks] Do you want me to draw the line to the point that was
18 Q. Yes, please.
19 A. Could you help me? Is this the Bay of Ston
20 Q. Mark that with number 5, please. Is that the point that was
21 reached by the forces of the JNA? Did they take that territory?
22 A. Yes. The JNA was stopped there, and the Croatian Army, in May
23 1992, launched a counter-attack to liberate the south of Croatia
24 that point: I can also mark this [marks], the movement of JNA ships. It
25 was a naval blockade.
1 Q. Mark that with number 6, please.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Could you correct number 5, please, General?
4 A. If this could be erased, please, because I think that the tip of
5 the pen doesn't actually trace the line that I try to draw. Who assisted
6 me a while ago and erased number 5? [Marks]
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I crossed out -- I erased number 5,
9 the old number 5, and I've marked it with "5" again.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Could you mark this area with number 6, please?
12 A. You mean here [marks]?
13 Q. And what is this? What did you say?
14 A. This represents the ships of the JNA Navy. They were in the
15 vicinity of Dubrovnik
16 prevented humanitarian ships from reaching the town of Dubrovnik.
17 Q. General, in your opinion -- well, please, tell me, apart from
18 number 5, which remained free, were all the other areas occupied by the
20 A. Yes, this was the occupied territory of Southern Croatia
21 the exception of the town of Dubrovnik
22 actually occupied.
23 Q. Thank you. Let's have a look at the following document, 3D3800.
24 And before we do that -- and just a minute, please. Could we
25 have an IC number for this document?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, could we
2 have a number for that document.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The document just marked by
4 the witness, which is 3D03163, shall be given Exhibit IC01190. Thank
5 you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I have a
7 follow-up question:
8 We've just had a look at the document, and with the blue lines
9 you've indicated the attack direction by JNA, and you've given the date
10 of 15 May 1992 for Dubrovnik
11 know how relevant this is for the indictment. General Petkovic, I would
12 like to know why you consider that this is relevant for us to understand
13 what you are charged with.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one correction.
15 I mentioned May 1992 as the date when the Croatian Army launched
16 a counter-attack and repulsed the JNA. The attack on the south of the
17 Republic of Croatia
18 10th of October, 1991. That is when this attack was launched on the
19 Republic of Croatia
20 in order to defend this narrow part of its territory and to subsequently
21 liberate it, had to go into a certain depth beyond the border of the
22 Republic of Croatia
24 maintaining its units in its own territory. It had to defend itself and
25 attack the flank forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It had to wait in
1 the border area, but on the Bosnia-Herzegovina side of the border. So in
2 some cases the Croatian Army had to penetrate to a depth of 500 metres or
3 1 kilometre in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 to the flank attacks launched by the JNA against the Republic of Croatia
5 because the JNA used the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina quite
6 freely; and as a result, the Croatia Army had to take up the most
7 appropriate positions available at the time. And later on, the
8 Croatian Army, whenever possible, kept to its borders, once this southern
9 part had been liberated, stayed within its borders, but there were
10 certain areas; for example, the area of Popovo Polje, where the Army of
12 had to go to a distance of 300 metres, sometimes 500 metres, sometimes
13 700 metres. It wasn't possible to do this otherwise. The members of the
14 Bosnian Serb Army took advantage of this later.
15 You showed me a document from November 1992 which shows that I
16 had discussions with Mladic. It was November 1992. I think it was the
17 29th, something like that. And General Mladic requested at meeting of --
18 he wanted to speak about these forces in the border area towards the
19 south of Croatia
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question,
21 General Petkovic: You are not a legal expert, but you are the chief of
22 staff of HVO and you are a commander in the Croatian Army. You might
23 have a military answer, and this is relevant, and this concerns the
24 indictment. When you go into a foreign territory about one kilometre
25 deep, in your eyes do you consider that this is an armed -- an
1 international armed conflict?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that wouldn't be an
3 example of an international armed conflict. It was a matter of
4 necessity, in tactical and operative terms. It was necessary to resist
5 the forces that didn't want to put an end to their attack.
6 I should also mention the fact that after these events, you know
7 that in July an agreement on friendship and co-operation was signed
8 between the Republic of Croatia
9 president of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Izetbegovic,
10 mentioned border co-operation between the two armies. Mr. Izetbegovic
11 also thought that this was an attack -- if Mr. Izetbegovic had thought
12 that this was an attack on Bosnia-Herzegovina, he wouldn't have signed an
13 agreement with Croatia
14 co-operate in this border area or this cross-border area.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question.
16 Are you aware of the jurisprudence of the Russian
17 Constitutional Court
18 intervention of the Russian Army in Chechnya
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I wasn't familiar
21 with this. All I knew was the situation of the JNA, and we had the right
22 to drive back the enemy and set up defence positions in the most
23 appropriate places. That didn't mean we had to occupy the territory.
24 But with regard to the border, we had to take up positions at points that
25 were closest to the border. In other words, we had to take up positions
1 in the tactical depth, the so-called tactical depth.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, tell me, which was the furthest line that the Croatian
4 Army, in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, had its positions which was
5 the most distant line that it had its positions at?
6 A. That is the part in the south of Croatia. It's TG-2. It's to
7 the west -- or, rather, the south-west of the Bregava River
8 river is called the Bregava River
9 Q. Where is it from Stolac?
10 A. It goes from Stolac to Capljina and Svitava. It flows from
11 Stolac. I've already marked the positions here. You can see them. It's
12 three or four kilometres in the depth of the territory of Bosnia
14 Q. Tell me two more things. With regard to the liberation of the
15 eastern and western bank of Mostar, the southern part down there too, was
16 the Croatian Army involved in that liberation in 1992?
17 A. The Croatian Army was responsible for this part in the
18 border-line area. We had the witness Beneta who was here, and it didn't
19 cross the line by the Bregava River
20 Q. And now for another question. While the JNA was attacking what
21 you mentioned in 1991, while it was involved in activities in the village
22 of Ravno, the events in Ravno - we've heard about that on numerous
23 occasions here - what did the president of the Presidency,
24 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, have to state about that, and everyone else?
25 A. Well, that was a statement, Your Honours, that was relayed
1 through the media at the time according to which it was said that that
2 was not our war. It's not our war, is what he said. Everyone
3 interpreted this in his own manner, but however was involved in the war
4 took this to mean it's your problem, not mine, in spite of the fact that
5 a war was being waged in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And there
6 were these two places in Bosnia-Herzegovina that had been completely
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] And now for the following
10 document, which is 3D3800. 3D3800. It's a book written by the former
11 president of Croatia
12 do with the question put by Judge Antonetti, a question about whether the
13 JNA had the right to attack Dubrovnik
14 been recognised by the European Union, and therefore that might mean that
15 the army was punishing certain renegade bands, groups.
16 Q. General, you've had this book before you and you've seen this
17 book. It's page 202 in the Croatian version. It's -- the date is the
18 26th of October, 1991, Saturday. And who was heading in the direction of
20 A. Your Honours, at the time President Mesic had organised a
21 humanitarian convoy.
22 Q. He wasn't president at the time, was he?
23 A. Sorry?
24 Q. General, please, what was Mr. Mesic's title at the time?
25 A. President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, and the supreme
1 commander of the Armed Forces of the Socialist Federative Republic
4 this town and to break up the JNA blockade. He believed that as the
5 supreme commander, if he appeared in that area, he would be able to
6 exercise an influence on the command structure of the JNA and persuade
7 them to cease with the activities that they had started engaging in in
8 the territory of Dubrovnik
9 Q. How many boats were escorting the large ship we have referred to;
10 400, 500, or 600?
11 A. Well, there were quite a few of them. I can't tell you how many
12 exactly. Quite a few people joined -- joined up, decided to escort the
13 ship. There was the common will to put an end to the blockade of
15 Q. Have a look at page 207 and 208 now, please. It's in the
16 Croatian text. And please tell me what happened to the commander of the
17 JNA or, rather, to the president of the Presidency of the Socialist
18 Federative Republic Of Yugoslavia
19 book, and can you say whether what is stated here is, in fact, correct?
20 A. Your Honours, I have read the book. I've had the opportunity to
21 listen to Mr. Mesic, the president of the Republic of Croatia
22 on the events at that time. The JNA did not listen to him. They even
23 ordered him to change his course for Dubrovnik, that they had to go to
24 the war port of Zelenika which is in the Bay of -- the Boka Kotorska Bay
25 So there was significant problems. The JNA didn't want to listen to
1 Mr. Mesic, as the president of Yugoslavia
2 there was this intent to take the boat to Montenegro. It was difficult
3 to persuade them to do otherwise.
4 Q. Have a look at what Stipe Mesic says to Brovet. I quote:
5 "You suspect your own commander, your own president, and your
6 supreme commander."
7 I quote Mesic:
8 "Admiral Brovet, do you know what you are doing? You doubt your
9 own president and the supreme commander -- you are suspecting your own
10 president and the supreme command of terrorism."
11 And Brovet answers, I quote:
12 "Leave that alone, Mr. President. Leave that subject for your
13 happy presidential sessions. This is a war. Fire is opened. People are
14 dying. There are no attempts to politically out-smarting others here.
15 There are no tricks."
16 General, were any hostages taken? That's my first question, and
17 my second question is: Is this a kind of military coup? Who is in
18 charge of the state?
19 A. Your Honours, this is a classical military coup, and it happened
20 early. Initially, they tried to prevent Mr. Mesic from becoming the
21 president of the Presidency and to enable the army to take over. But
22 when Mr. Mesic finally managed to take up his position as president of
23 the Presidency, then the Presidency was split, it was four votes against
24 four and the Presidency was in a deadlock. That's the situation the army
25 used to do what they wanted to do. Serbia
1 Presidency and couldn't get a fifth one, so it was a deadlock, and this
2 was a sign for Brovet, Kadijevic, Adzic and the others that the JNA could
3 proceed the way it thought fit, and they acted accordingly. So that
4 Mesic was the supreme commander on paper only, but he didn't have the
5 support of the Presidency because it was in a deadlock. He needed
6 another vote.
7 Q. All right, all right. General, let me repeat the question: When
8 the army doesn't obey its supreme commander, but instead searches its
9 ship, what do you call that?
10 A. I call it a coup d'etat or a military coup.
11 Q. If you know, who was on board that ship of the French?
12 A. Mr. Kouchner, I believe his name was. I believe that sometime
13 ago he even gave an interview for Croatian Television.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Let me just correct
15 the transcript right away, because there may be misunderstanding and
16 additional questions.
17 Page 27, line 2, it says "searches its ship," so which can
18 mislead us to conclude that the JNA searched its own ship, but rather it
19 searched the president's ship.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Slavija was a large
21 passenger ship.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but on board that passenger
23 ship there was the president of the Presidency.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said Mr. Kouchner was a
25 foreign American, a Hungarian or a Swiss person. I don't know. This may
1 not mean much. Mr. Kouchner, who was Mr. Kouchner, who is Mr. Kouchner?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what his duty was or
3 his position in the French government. He was a French national and a
4 high-ranking French government official at the time.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Is he a minister of foreign affairs of the French Republic
7 A. Yes, that's the one.
8 Q. Thank you. I forgot to ask you about the documents about
9 Sefer Halilovic which you weren't familiar with. I'll be as accurate as
11 Is it possible, judging by the documents that we saw, that
12 Sefer Halilovic kept up his contacts with his former principals?
13 A. Well, that's difficult for me to tell, whether or not he remained
14 in contact with them.
15 Q. All right. Please take a look at the following document now,
16 3D00942. I'll have a short question for you about that, 3D00942. It's a
17 book that we've already seen. It's by Sefko Hodzic, "The Unsealed
18 Envelope," and I'll direct you to page 188, where it says, about the
19 Neretva 93 campaign -- he says:
20 "They were singing songs to Alija, Sefer and Haso," referring --
21 they -- he refers to the soldiers of the ABiH, and also songs about their
22 native town of Klis. And when they put up their tents and set off for
23 Voljevac to take part in the battle for Crni Vrh on the following day.
24 When they were on the trucks, they started singing. I quote:
25 "Wake up, 'balija.' May God strike you down. We're going to
1 Prozor. Fuck your father."
2 So, General, it is true that "balija" is a derogatory term, but
3 doesn't this show that they sometimes make jokes about this very term?
4 They, I think, call themselves "balija" sometimes. So this may sound
5 leading, but tell us what you think.
6 A. Yes, it's true that they communicated that way, and I witnessed
7 that in Edo Bajram's pub in Mostar, where both Croats and Muslims would
8 gather, and they communicated in this way. They called -- one called
9 another "balija," but nobody minded. Everybody laughed, et cetera,
10 especially at Edo Bajram's. That's a restaurant in Mostar where I would
11 go sometimes.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Let us now deal with the issue of the Bijeli Bridge
15 of Mostar being under siege. So please go to the following document,
16 because I'll first show you some documents, 3D00567. One of the
17 documents is an exhibit already. Take a look at it and tell us who
18 signed it. And what does the document say, clearly?
19 A. Your Honours, this is a document of the Command of the 4th Corps,
20 dated the 23rd of April, 1993. It's an order issued to the 44th Brigade
21 at Jablanica, and it's signed by Arif Pasalic, commander -- or, rather,
22 it says "Arif Pasalic, Commander," but in fact it was signed by
23 Mr. Budakovic. I know his signature.
24 Q. What does the document say, very briefly?
25 A. It says that the order is to be forwarded to the 4th Battalion of
1 the 41st Brigade, Dreznica, to de-mine the Bijela Bridge
2 Brigade was a part of the -- of a larger Mostar unit.
3 Q. Who controls the Bijela Bridge
4 A. The ABiH, because it says here that nobody can remain on the
5 bridge except for those securing it.
6 Q. 3D01018. It's dated the 6th of May, 1993.
7 You know Colonel Miljenko Lasic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What happened on Bijela Bridge
10 the bridge?
11 A. The Bijela Bridge
12 deals with an incident that happened when a convoy of the SpaBat was
13 returning from Jablanica, and ABiH members opened fire and wounded three
14 European monitors.
15 Q. 4D00768. You know who Rasim Delic was?
16 A. Yes, I do. At that time, Rasim Delic was the commander of the
17 Staff of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't go so fast. I find it
19 difficult to follow. I'm looking at the document to see whether
20 General Petkovic is changing his views or changing topic. Seemingly, the
21 bridge is not mentioned here anymore, but I'd like to get back to the
23 As you know, I put questions on the Mostar Bridge
24 My question seemed to me to be very relevant, since the Mostar Bridge
25 mentioned in the indictment.
1 In this case, we've just heard about the Bijela Bridge
2 mined by the ABiH. On listening to the answer you provided - you were
3 fortunate enough to go to a war school, which is not the case for all and
4 every one - can you tell us, as regards the training an officer gets, is
5 he told that a bridge which is of strategic importance should be mined in
6 case this bridge would fall in the hands of the enemy? Is this something
7 which you are taught at military school or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, that is
9 something that's taught at military schools, but the war plans of the
10 former JNA clearly laid out which bridge would be demolished and in which
11 situation, and each bridge were already prepared for demolishing. Of
12 course, the details were strictly secret, and they were part of the
13 so-called war plans of the JNA.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you say this, does this mean
15 that the rule could have applied to the Old Bridge
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the Old Bridge
17 for military purposes, yes, absolutely, the rules could have been
18 applied. Any facility or building used for military purposes,
19 irrespective of its nature, is something these rules applied to, because
20 whoever use this building or facility in such a way will bear the full
21 responsibility of any damage done to that facility or building.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The document is 4D -- take a look at item 3. It's dated the 27th
25 of July. Just item 3, and be very brief, please. Time is running out.
1 Look at what Rasim Delic is saying, "crossing over from Dobrinja to
2 Butmir and transport from Igman to Mostar," and so on.
3 What does that mean?
4 A. It means that this crossing, and he mentions the direction from
5 Dobrinja to Butmir, that includes the Sarajevo Airport, controlled by
6 UNPROFOR, and "transport" implies transportation of motor vehicles, and
7 the concrete direction here being Igman to Mostar, the first destination
8 being Igman and the final destination Mostar.
9 Q. And transport from Igman to Mostar, what does that mean,
10 something is transported?
11 A. Well, it means if you have 200 soldiers, you will have to put
12 them on six trucks or something, and you'll establish a column which will
13 move along the direction stated and finally arrive at the destination,
14 which in this case is Mostar.
15 Q. 4D726. The date is the 26th of October. It's the last document
16 in a series. Look at the signature and tell us what is now happening
17 with Bijela Bridge
18 A. This is also an ABiH document produced by its 4th Corps, and
19 Sulejman Budakovic signed for Arif Pasalic. He was his deputy.
20 This says that a line must be strengthened. They are mentioning
21 Kuci, Bijela Creek, and prevent the infiltration of sabotage groups on
22 the left banks in the region of Salakovac, Bijela Creek, and they are
23 requesting that 20 soldiers be sent there to that area.
24 Q. Now look at 3D03789. That's a map; or, rather, a satellite
25 photograph, 3D43-1385. General, tell us, please, very clearly, whether
1 the Bijela Most, until its eventual destruction, into which we can't go
2 now, was usable, and was even the roundabout road usable? And tell us,
3 if the water-level should go down, and who controlled the dams? Was it
4 possible to use the roundabout road even at the time of the fiercest ABiH
5 attacks against the HVO?
6 A. Yes. If you discharge water from the Salakovac Lake
7 of Bijela Bridge
8 error "Old Bridge
9 at that moment it became fully usable, and then it was possible to use
10 the road around this Bijela Bay
11 Dam was controlled by the ABiH, and that's downstream from Bijela Bridge
12 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. Praljak. I think -- I may be
13 mistaken, Your Honours, but so there is no confusion in the courtroom or
14 in the record, I think the reference here is not the old bridge in Mostar
15 but it's talking about another bridge that used to be near the Bijela on
16 the -- near the Bijela Bridge. If that could be clarified, please. It's
17 in the transcript as an "Old Bridge
18 to the Stari Most, and I don't think it is.
19 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, my colleague is correct. I also wanted to
20 tell that. It is error. "Bijela Bridge
21 which is mentioned in line 25 of page 32 --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I said "old
23 bridge," I was referring to the bridge that existed before the new one
24 over the Bijela Bay
25 bridge that was in existence before the new one was built. And when the
1 level of the water fell by two and a half or three metres in the Lake of
2 Salakovac, that old bridge would then appear -- re-appear and could then
3 be used to cross from one side to the other. Naturally, it was necessary
4 to carry out repairs on the entrance and exit to the bridge.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, tell me, who controlled the dams on the Neretva after
7 the 30th of June, 1993?
8 A. Your Honours, all the dams on the River of Neretva
9 of June, 1993, were under the control of the Army of the Republic of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. I'd now like to see P011081. It's a map that the Prosecution has
12 shown. P011081 is the number.
13 MR. KOVACIC: The usher -- I would kindly ask usher to remove the
14 first one -- the first map which is there. Mr. Praljak called the map
15 which is under.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] That's a map from the
17 Prosecution, a map of the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, of
18 the positions of the ABiH and of the HVO at the time of the conflict in
19 Mostar. That's the second half of the year 1993.
20 Q. General, please point out the positions of the artillery of the
21 Army of Republika Srpska from Rosci to the south.
22 A. I don't know whether you're referring to this map. Should I show
23 the positions or mark them?
24 Q. Mark them. Yes, mark them.
25 A. It's quite far away, so I won't be able to mark it and speak at
1 the same time.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we place it on the
4 MR. KOVACIC: Usher, please. I think we have it also in e-court,
5 so it could be on the ELMO and witness could make markings on the screen.
6 It will be more convenient.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do we have it?
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General Petkovic, this is a Prosecution map. It shows the
10 artillery positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, of the HVO.
11 Unfortunately, the artillery positions of the ABiH aren't indicated.
12 But, please, when the map does appear, could you show me the positions of
13 the artillery of the Army of Republika Srpska from Rosci, from the north,
14 to the south?
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, perhaps we should take a break,
16 because obviously there is a technical problem with that map.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is what the Registrar has
18 told me. There it is now.
19 Mr. Kovacic, would you like to have a break now, because the map
20 is on the screen?
21 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, still it would be good to make a break,
22 because it is a block of the questions.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a 20-minute break.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like to
25 ask for your leave to have contact with our client in the course of this
1 break. It has to do with regard to the Prosecution's response to the
2 request for additional time. We have our response, but we would like to
3 speak to the general and have his agreement for our positions in our
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall ask my colleagues if
6 they agree.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They agree, so you may.
9 Let's have a 20-minute break.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, you have the map before you now. Please use large
15 circles to mark the positions of the artillery of the Army of
16 Republika Srpska from the north, Rosci to the south.
17 A. This is the area of the so-called Rosci mountain [marks]. This
18 is number 2 [marks], and, Your Honours, we called this area Zijemlje.
19 It's a fairly large area. Number 3 is the location above Eastern Mostar
20 [marks]. Number 4 is the location that was to the west of Blagaj
21 [marks]. And you can't see an important location in this map, a location
22 which was to the east about four kilometres from Blagaj. I think the
23 name of the place was Cobanovo Polje. You can't see it in this map. In
24 this direction [marks] there is another location that is called
25 Cobanovo Polje. I think it was about four kilometres to the east of
1 Blagaj. That's where the last defence lines of the ABiH were, in this
2 area. So there were four significant locations at which the Army of
3 Republika Srpska had its artillery as well as tanks.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It would be better to put
5 this map on the ELMO. Could you please place it on the ELMO?
6 Could the usher assist us so that we can see the location I'm
7 interested in?
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I am a little bit confused, because
9 the question was mark the position of the artillery of the -- oh, yes, of
10 the Army of Republika Srpska. I thought it was about the JNA.
11 Mr. Petkovic, where was the JNA artillery? Yes,
12 Republika Srpska-JNA. But then at the end, did you -- I misunderstand
13 something. I'm very sorry. Please regard my words as not spoken.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, I have understood that.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
16 This is a Prosecution map. They pointed out that they received it from
17 the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the government. That's
18 the time when, according to the claims made, Mostar was surrounded.
19 That's what it says here.
20 So could we please place this map on the ELMO so that we can move
21 on and deal with other positions at which the Army of Republika Srpska
22 had its artillery. Yes, we haven't finished yet.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your map, according to you, you
24 have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I would like to know the month and the year.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, this is
1 from the second half of 1993, when there were clashes between the ABiH
2 and the HVO. The Prosecution made this map for that purpose, and they
3 pointed out, although the map has been signed, and I quote -- they said
4 that the map was drawn up by the organs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This
5 is a concept that is somewhat too broad, but that's what was stated.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But that's -- with reference to
7 what my colleague has said - he was talking about an important legal
8 issue - according to you, this is Republika Srpska or JNA, who's there,
9 or both?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, at
11 that time the JNA had withdrawn by June 1992, so these are the positions
12 of the Army of Republika Srpska. And I would just like to add something
13 else of importance.
14 These are positions that remained as such from the second half of
15 1992. These positions didn't change almost until the end of the war.
16 These are the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, as far as the
17 Herzegovina Corps is concerned.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic --
19 [overlapping speakers] -- withdrawn in June 1992, but when I ask a
20 question, I always have a legal framework in mind, always, and I'm going
21 to insist on this with all my questions. I asked the question because I
22 wanted to know whether it was the JNA or the Republika Srpska, because
23 the International Court of Justice, which is not very far from us, has,
24 in the decision that was rendered said that JNA had withdrawn in May 1992
25 and that it was the Army of Republika Srpska that was there. That's why
1 I was asking you to please be more precise.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar -- would you like to
4 have an IC number or not? You do not.
5 MR. KOVACIC: I think it is misunderstanding.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I have some other questions
7 for that map, and then I will ask for an IC number. But what we'll now
8 see on the ELMO is the southern area that cannot be seen on the first
9 map, so please have a look at the ELMO now.
10 Q. Have a look at the area that is to the south. It hasn't been
11 marked here. And, General, this is a Google map, and could you please
12 mark the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska on this map and the
13 positions of its artillery?
14 A. [Marks] Your Honours, I can only indicate this location above
15 Mostar here [indicates]. I marked this location on the previous map with
16 number 3. I don't know if General Praljak would like me to mark this
17 location with the very same number, number 3.
18 Q. Yes, please.
19 A. [Marks]. And this would be location number 4 [marks], which is
20 identical to the location referred to. Don't ask me to be more precise.
21 Let me see if I can locate Cobanovo Polje to the east of Blagaj.
22 If not, I'll just use an arrow to indicate the direction. This is Blagaj
23 here [indicates]. Cobanovo Polje --
24 Q. Mark it with an arrow.
25 A. I'll mark it like this [marks] and use an arrow pointing in this
1 direction. It was four to five kilometres to the east of Blagaj. That's
2 where the VRS had its artillery, and it's a location that we can't see on
3 the previous mark that was produced by the Prosecution. I'll mark this
4 location with number 5 [marks]. Perhaps it was a kilometre or a
5 kilometre and a half from this point that I have now marked.
6 Q. What was the ratio, when it comes to the forces, in the second
7 half of 1993? We can ignore the previous period. What was the ratio of
8 the artillery of the VRS and the HVO artillery in that area? So what was
9 the balance of forces in that area of South-Eastern Herzegovina?
10 A. The ratio was 8:1.
11 Q. And to whose benefit was that ratio?
12 A. To the benefit of the VRS, the Army of Republika Srpska.
13 Q. Use the very same map to indicate the positions of the VRS,
14 please. Mark it with number 6.
15 A. Could I please have a red pen, or shall I use the very same blue
17 Q. Use the blue pen.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. VRS?
20 A. General Petkovic, do you want me to mark this with number 6 to
21 show that this is the position of the VRS? [Marks]
22 Q. General, now please sign this map.
23 A. [Marks]
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] And could we have an IC
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map just signed by the witness
2 on the ELMO shall be given Exhibit IC01191. Thank you, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] While I'm putting my
4 following question, my next question, could we please -- or before I do
5 so, could we have the next map placed on the ELMO.
6 Q. General, the map -- the previous map doesn't have an IC number
7 yet, but on the previous map we don't have the positions of the artillery
8 of VRS marked. My question is: Did the ABiH, in fact, have artillery
9 positions, and when, in fact, did the ABiH have its artillery take up
10 positions in that area with regard to the HVO artillery?
11 A. The ABiH naturally had its artillery in this area. On the whole,
12 they had 120-millimetre mortars. However, they also had 122-millimetre
13 howitzers, and later that number increased when equipment arrived from
14 Jablanica, I think, two or three 122 howitzers arrived from that area.
15 So the relationship -- the ratio between the HVO and the ABiH was 1:2.5
16 to the benefit of the HVO.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to correct
18 the transcript. On page 40, line 24, the question seems to have to do
19 with the VRS and its artillery positions, but the general, in fact, said
20 that you couldn't see the artillery positions of the ABiH. And then the
21 question was whether the ABiH had artillery of any kind. Just to avoid
22 any confusion.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd also inquire if we
25 could have some assistance again on dates, as to what time-period we're
1 now talking about, when these supposedly 122-millimetre howitzers were
2 put in position, please.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The dates are important,
4 General Praljak.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General Petkovic, what we are marking here on several documents,
7 what time-period exactly are we talking about?
8 A. Well, to be precise, this is a time-period from the end of 1992,
9 when the ABiH first obtained howitzers in the operation of liberating
10 Mostar, and then they got two or three howitzers from the area of Mostar.
11 I don't know how many 105-millimetre howitzers exactly they had, three or
12 five, but they were in the area of Gnojnica.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, from 1992 on. But when I was
15 mentioning the HVO, I had in mind the HVO south of Capljina all the way
16 to Dreznica. So the area of the HVO is much larger.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General Petkovic, if we disregard Capljina, which isn't on this
19 map, tell us, during the conflict between the HVO and the ABiH, what was
20 the balance of forces -- of artillery forces in this area?
21 A. Well, the ratio between the Serbian artillery and the HVO would
22 have been the same, and whereas the ratio between the HVO and the ABiH,
23 especially from the 30th of June on, was 2:1 in favour of the HVO.
24 Apart from the 41st Brigade, we can see that the Prosecution
25 marked, that there was also the 47th Brigade and the 48th Brigade, so the
1 ABiH had three brigades where they formerly only had one. So they must
2 have come from somewhere. They were established in this area, and they
3 were included in the structure of the ABiH in these areas. So we mustn't
4 forget that there were three ABiH brigades there.
5 Q. So you said, in fact, that the Serbs had eight times more
6 artillery as the HVO, whereas the HVO had two and a half times more
7 artillery than the ABiH?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Please mark Rosci here on this map and what can be found there.
10 Who controlled Rosci?
11 A. [Marks] This is the area of Rosci, the Rosci Mountains
12 you want me to mark --
13 Q. Mark a number 1 where the artillery is. And whose artillery.
14 A. It's the artillery of the VRS. It's in the area of the Rosci
16 Q. Show us on this map, General, which roads leave the western part
17 of Mostar and go westward? There are two roads.
18 A. Number 1 [marks] is the road from Mostar. I forget what the name
19 of this suburb is. It isn't the main road; it's just an auxiliary road.
20 Q. It goes via Goranci?
21 A. Yes, you're right. I forgot. [Marks]
22 Q. And the other?
23 A. And road number 2 [marks] is the main road Mostar-Siroki Brijeg
24 and on. Another road diverges from it and goes left to Citluk.
25 Q. Could the VRS artillery target these two roads leading out of
2 A. Yes, certainly.
3 Q. Could the ABiH artillery target these two roads?
4 A. Yes, they were also able to do so.
5 Q. Thank you. Please mark on this map the positions of the VRS.
6 You don't have to be very precise. Just mark roughly.
7 A. [Marks]. The remainder of the area to Mount Rosci
8 Blagaj cannot be seen on this map. It's below Velez Mount.
9 Q. Yes. Please sign, and I also would like an IC number.
10 A. [Marks]. Do you want me to mark these positions in some manner?
11 Q. Yes. Put "VRS."
12 A. [Marks]
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we please get an IC
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
17 The marked version of page 2 of document 3D03798 shall be given
18 Exhibit IC01192. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Let us go back to the
20 previous map.
21 Q. General, from the positions of the VRS, that is, their artillery,
22 but also from the positions of the artillery of the ABiH artillery, was
23 Western Mostar just as encircled as that portion of the forces of the
24 ABiH that was between the HVO and the VRS with a free passage to the
25 north? Were they able to target with their artillery every road leading
1 westward from the city?
2 A. Yes, they were. Howitzers, 122-millimetre, have a range of 12
3 kilometres, a tank cannon 6 to 7 kilometres, mortars also about 6
4 kilometres, so they were able to target everything within range if they
5 wanted to.
6 Q. As far as you know, did the HVO ever issue orders to shoot at
7 civilians going -- moving along the axis north-south to Blagaj,
8 et cetera, or is there any information from international forces that
9 civilians were shot at?
10 A. No. I believe that there were two observation points north of
11 Mostar, but civilians were never targeted. Unfortunately, the
12 communication of the ABiH leading northward wasn't targeted often, but
13 it's very difficult to shoot at moving vehicles.
14 Q. Take a look at document 3D00 --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I may have misunderstood,
16 General. On line 3, page 45, you say that there were two observation
17 points. Who was there, who was holding them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said that there
19 were observers on the HVO side that observed the entire area. Also, on
20 the VRS side there were observers, and on the ABiH side, because you must
21 have observers for the artillery. Otherwise, artillery is of no use to
22 you. For artillery to be able to open fire, they must have observers or
23 scouts who observe the enemy. Every side had such artillery observers
24 monitoring the area.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have an objection
1 to the transcript. I'll just read out to you what was recorded.
2 General Petkovic, please say whether you really said that.
3 On page 45, starting from line 2, the English text reads that
4 General Petkovic said:
5 [In English] "Unfortunately, the communication of the ABiH
6 leading northward wasn't targeted often, but it's very difficult to shoot
7 at moving vehicles."
8 [Interpretation] Tell us, General, are these really your words?
9 Did you say "unfortunate"?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the HVO never even
11 fired at certain troop movements of the ABiH from Bijelo Polje northward,
12 let alone that they would dare open fire at civilians.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Look at document 3D00740,
15 please. It's an exhibit already.
16 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, General. The moment we get the next
17 document on the screen, we're going to lose this current map that we have
18 with the marking. Would you like a number for it?
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, please give us a
20 number for the document.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please give a number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the marked version of document
23 P11081 shall be given Exhibit IC01193. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I don't know
25 if Mr. Praljak is going to continue with the maps and the artillery
1 positions, but you will recall that last week I asked you questions about
2 these maps, and I had also asked questions to other witnesses, because my
3 concern is the following, and what I want to do here is explain how
4 relevant my question is.
5 We have documents. The documents are of an international source.
6 There were bombing from the HVO, and there were victims, according to
7 these documents. Now, as a criminal judge, it is necessary for me to
8 know the date of the bombing, who was in the artillery, who was holding
9 the Howitzer or the mortar, so that we can draw a conclusion without --
10 beyond a reasonable doubt that there were victims, and the victims were
11 the victims of fire from HVO. And I have to be 100 per cent sure,
12 because I cannot speculate and I cannot just risk suppositions here.
13 Why do I say this? Because my experience of international
14 justice has demonstrated that appearances can fool you. Remember
16 cutting, and the prosecutor, the Soviet prosecutor, and the judge, the
17 Soviet judge, did not want this to be discussed. At the request of the
18 German Defence team, three witnesses testified that it wasn't the Germans
19 who had killed the Polish officers, but the Soviet troops.
20 So when something looks like something, I always check, because
21 at the time of decision we cannot afford to make a mistake, because there
22 will be an impact, and that's why I asked you questions, and that's why I
23 asked where the artillery was positioned. I wanted to know what the
24 range of the cannons was, and I wanted to know whether fire, either from
25 ABiH or from VRS, could possibly reach Eastern Mostar.
1 Now, I'm asking the question again. As far as you know,
2 General Petkovic, given the positions that you have described - that
3 we've seen on the maps - was it possible for fire to reach Eastern
4 Mostar? I'm talking about fire either from ABiH or VRS or HVO.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, let me
6 start by saying that civilians would have come to harm if there hadn't
7 been any shelling. In artillery, it is usual to say, Shoot at the target
8 observed, and the target is an enemy soldier, a group of soldiers,
9 materiel, a command post, and et cetera.
10 And now to your question. I marked the positions of the VRS
11 artillery. Each position -- from each position of theirs, it was
12 possible to target Eastern Mostar. All positions of the ABiH were in
13 range of the HVO positions in Mostar, and vice versa. So the HVO
14 positions were such that they could open fire on all these targets. In
15 other words, all three sides had their respective positions along the
16 front-line from the Bijela Bridge
17 all these positions, to open fire at enemy targets.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I would
19 like to intervene with regard to the first sentence of the general's
20 reply. It starts on page 47. I'm not able to locate it in the other
21 transcript because the line references are different. So the first
22 sentence of the general's answer was if there hadn't been -- correction.
23 There was no shelling, in order to avoid civilians coming to harm. We
24 have now found the line reference. It's page 47, lines 21 to 23.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Exactly. I wanted to assist you on that, and
1 maybe it's -- I have noticed the same thing. I think there's something
2 wrong there. Perhaps you want to read it.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The transcript reads literally:
4 [In English] "Let me start by saying that civilians would have
5 come to harm if there hadn't been any shelling."
6 [Interpretation] Whereas the general actually said that there
7 wasn't any shelling, to avoid hitting civilians, meaning that there was
8 no shelling to avoid civilian casualties. But the general can explain.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
10 I said --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please rephrase? We cannot
12 understand what he's saying.
13 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] General, the interpreters are
15 asking you to repeat your reply. Start from the beginning and speak
16 slowly, and do monitor the transcript.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the artillery didn't
18 shell in order to hit civilians or to harm the civilian population in any
19 way. The artillery of all three sides in the area opened fire, first and
20 foremost, in fact, only against known military targets, and there are
21 various types of military targets.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, all the artillery positions that we saw of the VRS, was
24 it possible to fire on both sides of Mostar, the western and the eastern
25 side, from those positions?
1 A. Yes, it was possible to do so, and even further to the west of
3 Q. As for the ABiH artillery, could they open fire on the western
4 side of Mostar?
5 A. Absolutely.
6 Q. I forgot to say or ask whether the Bijela Bridge
7 control of the ABiH in April - that's the first date - and onwards.
8 A. Yes, the Bijela Bridge
9 the control of the 4th Battalion of the 41st Mostar Brigade. This was
10 continually the case.
11 Q. If the level of the lake fell, was the road around the Bijelo
12 Valley passable?
13 A. Yes. That was the road that used to be used, and when the level
14 of the water would fall, that route was, in fact, practicable.
15 Q. After the 30th of June, who had control of the dams on the
16 Neretva River
17 the water?
18 A. As of the 30th of June, Your Honours, 1993, all the dams on the
19 Neretva River
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I was hoping we would get
22 there, but so far we've only heard that it was possible to lower the
23 water sufficiently that the old bridge would be exposed. But unless I'm
24 mistaken, and if I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll be corrected, there's been no
25 evidence, and I'm wondering whether Mr. Praljak will ask whether, in
1 fact, that was ever done, or is this all just a matter of speculation?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, try and be
3 more specific so that there is no ambiguity or any grey areas.
4 I would like to let you to know that you have five minutes left,
5 General Praljak, so make sure that you finish in five minutes.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a lot of time
7 is wasted on procedure, unfortunately, putting maps on the ELMO, and so
8 on and so forth. But I'll answer this: Why should I prove whether the
9 ABiH was in a position to lower the level of the water? And we saw that
10 it raised the level of the water and, in fact, flood the entire area.
11 Why should I have to prove that they might not lower the water-level and
12 open up the road? If you could have lunch, but you don't, is that your
13 problem? What are we dealing with here? What is it that the Prosecution
14 wants? I don't understand. If they had control over the dams, and the
15 witness said that was the case, then the issue as to whether they want to
16 go over the bridge or if they wanted to go by a roundabout way, well,
17 that's a matter of what they want to do. Will they go over the hills?
18 So my question is: Is it possible that they went in that way? Is it
19 possible that they could use artillery to have control over the western
20 exits? The Prosecution also claims, for example, the HVO could have
21 control over the road that went in the direction of the north.
22 Please, may I continue?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, would you
24 like to answer this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the ABiH, as of the
1 September 1992 [as interpreted], would constantly let water out of the
2 Salakovac Dam. They flooded the entire area up until the dam of the
3 Mostar hydroelectric plant, and thus they placed under threat part of an
4 area under the HVO near the nun's home, but they also posed a threat to
5 the Mostar Dam. And the consequences for the town of Mostar could have
6 been extremely serious.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, "September
8 1992" is what I see here.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] September 1993.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could that please be
11 corrected, then.
12 3D00740. Could we see that document? 3D00740.
13 Q. General, are you familiar with this document? Are you familiar
14 with what the contents of the document are? What is this document about?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours, I'm familiar with this document. It's already
16 been shown in the courtroom on a number of occasions, and the HVO felt
17 the consequences of this document in the field. This is a combat order
18 from the 4th Corps Command according to which the western part of Mostar
19 and other parts of -- the remaining parts of Mostar should be placed
20 under the control of the ABiH.
21 Q. Have a look at item 4, and please explain the following for me:
22 What is the artillery group from the Rosci area? Whose artillery is
23 concerned? What is being directed at the HVO?
24 A. This group mentioned by Arif Pasalic is a group from the VRS on
25 the Rosci Mountain
1 Q. What does that mean?
2 A. It means that in September and in October, the offensive action
3 of the ABiH against the town of Mostar
4 from the positions around Mostar and mainly from the position of
5 Rosci Mountain
6 western part of Mostar and the hill of Hum.
7 MR. PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we see 4D00625. It's a map
8 that's already an exhibit. I just have one question about this.
10 Q. Who drew this map, General?
11 A. Your Honours, I did.
12 Q. My second question: When you've marked these areas in blue,
13 green and red, does this mean - and Judge Trechsel asked you about
14 this - does this mean that those areas are under the control of the army
15 or is the army only present at the demarcation lines?
16 A. The army is present at the demarcation lines, and the area was
17 taken to be the area that the first, second, or third government had
18 under its control.
19 Q. So the road from the north to the south and to the eastern part
20 of Mostar from Blagaj, via Bijelo Polje, the Bijelo Most and Jablanica
21 and Konjic, was this road always open to traffic, to members of the ABiH
22 who came from the north as well?
23 A. Yes. People used these routes -- this route, and ABiH brigades
24 also used these routes.
25 Q. General, when you plan for an attack, what must the balance of
1 the forces be, the ratio between those attacking and those defending?
2 A. Your Honours, the JNA rule was that you shouldn't launch an
3 attack unless the balance of forces were 3:1 in favour of those launching
4 the attack.
5 Q. What was the balance of forces in Central Bosnia, Konjic,
6 Jablanica, and Mostar? What was the ratio of forces between the ABiH and
7 the HVO?
8 A. In Central Bosnia, from April 1993 until the end of the year, the
9 ratio was between 5:1 in favour of the armija and even sometimes 8:1 for
10 the armija, ABiH. It depended on which areas they had taken from the
11 HVO. HVO forces would be expelled from that area, so their forces were
12 reduced and the ABiH forces were increased.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I apologise. You've
14 explained what these colours mean for the map. Could we have an IC
15 number for this map, and this is in relation to the questions that I have
17 Q. Please, General Petkovic, could you mark the map with the
18 numbers 1, 2, 3, these areas that are depicting various colours? What
19 did you say about these three colours. Does the army control and who?
20 A. The armija, the army, is at the first lines, and the government
21 controls the depth. Under 1, the red colour, depicts the area under the
22 VRS. The green area represents the area that was under the Bosniak
23 Muslim authorities. And the blue area was under the HVO authorities.
24 Q. Could you sign the map, please, and could you please mark the map
25 with those numbers?
1 Could we also have an IC number for this document?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
3 General Petkovic, you haven't marked 1, 2 and 3. Please mark
5 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And sign it.
7 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I used the wrong pen.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the marked portion of document
11 4D00625 shall be given Exhibit IC01194. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General Petkovic, now I have a question before I ask Their
14 Honours for some time. As deputy commander, when I was in command, did
15 you issue orders? That's my first question. And, two: Did you expect
16 those orders to be executed?
17 A. Yes, I issued orders, and the orders -- well, one would have
18 expected them to be carried out, because if you fail to carry out an
19 order, everyone will be held accountable by the commander.
20 Q. So did this rule apply to General Zarko Tole?
21 A. Yes, General Tole also had to be held to account by you for
22 carrying out orders that he had signed. That's quite natural.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, have you no
24 time left.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may make a
1 request. We were afraid that there wouldn't be sufficient time, because
2 in your decision you only granted us an hour and 20 minutes for
3 cross-examination. General Praljak selected a certain number of topics,
4 and I hope he'll be able to conclude with these topics in 20 to 25
5 minutes' time. If it's not possible to proceed in any other way, we'll
6 deduct this from the time that we were keeping for future use. So I'm
7 asking you whether General Praljak could be granted additional time for
8 his cross-examination, because the procedure has been a little more
9 lengthy than expected today, through no fault of our own. If you believe
10 that he can't be granted additional time for his cross-examination,
11 please allow him to use the amount of time he needs, 20 to 25 minutes, by
12 deducting that time from the time we still have at our disposal.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall turn to my colleagues,
14 and maybe I shall tell you what my personal view is. I shall turn to my
15 colleagues right now and ask them.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Judges deliberate on
18 the matter: General Praljak, are your questions new questions? Because
19 the Trial Chamber sees that as regards the questions that you have put,
20 these have been addressed already. You have to provide added value. Are
21 there any new questions which have a high added value which you would
22 like to put? Because if you just want to go over the same ground, then
23 we're wasting our ground.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, there are
25 certain clarifications that have to do with certain issues that haven't
1 been clarified, certain issues that aren't quite clear. There's the
2 Jeremy Bowen extract or film, video, that I want to put questions about.
3 So I think that new questions that would add value to what has already
4 been said might be put.
5 MR. KOVACIC: My dear colleague, Ms. Nika Pinter, was very
6 carefully, very carefully analysing each topic which Mr. Praljak is
7 planning to raise, and I can assure you that according to our analysis,
8 really each topic he would raise was in a way and rather directly, more
9 directly or less directly, raised during either direct or Your Honour's
10 question. And it is exactly what General Praljak said, where we felt
11 that there are certain facts connected to the raised issues, and those
12 issues need to be elaborated more in details, those questions -- better
13 to say such questions are on Mr. Praljak's list, and, of course, all
14 restricted by the military questions.
15 And I really want to say that what I just said is on good-faith
16 basis. Thank you.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, I seem to have missed something,
18 then, because the map we have seen last has been before us now at least
19 for the third time, and this had been put to this witness -- before this
20 witness by the President, in his interrogation. And I must missed what
21 new was added now when the same map was put before the witness by
22 Mr. Praljak. Perhaps you can clarify this, because I would not want to
23 disagree on something.
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, I think that it's
25 quite clear -- if you compare the transcript of previous discussions of
1 this map, I think it's quite clear that now General Praljak has gone into
2 more details, because it is only now, on the basis of General Petkovic's
3 answer, that it is quite clear as to where the other side was present,
4 the VRS and the Muslim side. It's quite clear where they had their
5 artillery positions. So this additional step has been made, the
6 situation has been geographically specified, and we have realised that
7 from all those positions it was not a problem to fire on Mostar, which
8 was within range of those artillery positions.
9 If you're asking me about the last map that we have just had a
10 look at, well, there was an additional explanation concerning the fact
11 that these three areas, depicted in different colours, are areas in which
12 the army didn't have control over the entire territory. That's not what
13 the colours mean. In fact, we had to confirm this, because it wasn't
14 clear. It's not quite clear on the basis of the image, if you're not
15 familiar with the background. And there were quite specific questions
16 put by the Judges about this matter, so we thought that it was necessary
17 to clarify this once and for all. So we have clarified who was
18 positioned at those locations. That was the additional question -- the
19 new question. I don't see any repetition, apart from the fact that it
20 was sometimes necessary to repeat certain things to determine what has
21 been demonstrated so far and what remains or remained to be demonstrated.
22 That can be somewhat confusing, because you have to go over the same
23 ground sometimes for this purpose.
24 There is another dilemma. I've spoken to General Praljak about
25 this on a number of occasions. You remember that the Prosecution, and
1 I'm not criticising for this, but the Prosecution regularly objects when
2 foundations haven't been laid for certain questions. We have discussed
3 this on a number of occasions, and in my opinion General Praljak always
4 lays the foundations, and the foundation in this case has to do with
5 prior discussions.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall turn to my colleagues
7 and ask whether they agree to grant an extra 20 minutes.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the
10 Trial Chamber unanimously grants you 20 extra minutes, but this goes
11 against your time credit.
12 I feel that all the questions you have put are not questions
13 which should be put during cross-examination. These questions should be
14 put during examination-in-chief, and I agree with the Prosecutor in this
15 regard. And the Prosecutor explained this in his formal written
16 submissions. All this should be addressed during the
17 examination-in-chief. This is not in line with the spirits of the Rules
18 of Procedure and Evidence.
19 Since you have two hours and 28 minutes left, this will be taken
20 off that allotted time. That is why I agree with my colleagues on this
22 Please proceed.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may briefly reply to Mr. Kovacic.
24 If you say that it is sometimes necessary to repeat -- to
25 recapitulate, I would not agree. I don't think that here this is
1 necessary, and I would hope that Mr. Praljak, in going on with the
2 questioning, will not follow the maxim that it is sometimes useful to
3 repeat, simply. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed,
5 General Praljak. You have 20 minutes left.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 P06365. That's a television clip by Jeremy Bowen, a journalist,
8 so I'd like to show the extract where he says that civilians are being
9 expelled from Western Mostar to Eastern Mostar at night, yes.
10 General Petkovic, take a close look, please.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 "The Reporter: ... Croats. They had to cross the River Neretva
13 to get to comparative safety on a bridge made of rope and planks.
14 Bosnian soldiers told them which way to go --"
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would like to draw
16 everybody's attention to the shadows.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 "The Reporter: The Croats were shooting at the people they just
19 made refugees. Only a few hours before, until the Croat gangs had come
20 for them and forced them over the front-line --"
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Stop. This is as far as I
22 want to go.
23 Q. General, while this was being shot, was there any electricity in
25 A. Your Honours, there was no light source to be seen anywhere,
1 which means wherever they were shooting, there was no electricity.
2 Q. Do you know that day can be turned into night, which is known as
3 American night, in movie-making by usually special filters, infrared
4 filters? So an IC filter turns day into night, and shadows originating
5 from unknown lamps, in a city without electricity, are like this? Have
6 you heard of anything like that?
7 A. Well, I have heard of such false nights. It is illogical,
8 though, that you can see people moving about allegedly at night and still
9 casting a shadow.
10 Q. We spoke at that time about this topic. What was the purpose of
11 making such a video-clip of forging reality, if I may call it? What was
12 Mr. Bowen's aim?
13 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, sir. How can this witness possibly
14 testify about what Mr. Bowen's state of mind was? Objection.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Well, the question is how Mr. Bowen could give us
16 such video. The Prosecutor should have called somebody else to verify
17 the video.
18 MR. SCOTT: No, I'm sorry. Don't --
19 MR. KOVACIC: The burden is on the Prosecution. The Prosecution
20 used the video, which we only lately understood that this cannot be
21 right, because the shadow cannot be seen in the dark. Simple as that.
22 And now the Prosecutor is objecting. Why?
23 MR. SCOTT: You're right, I am objecting.
24 Mr. Kovacic, don't try to shift the issue. The issue -- my
25 objection was: This witness cannot possibly speculate as to what
1 Mr. Bowen's intention or state of mind was, cannot possibly do that, and
2 that's my objection.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, one moment.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm rephrase my question,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, yes, it is
7 better if you rephrase your question. You should have put a very neutral
8 question, whereas the way you put the question was a way of calling for
9 the answer.
10 When I agree with Mr. Scott, I say so. When I disagree with him,
11 I say so also. In this instance, I agree with him. You cannot draw
12 conclusions about Mr. Bowen's intentions, so put the question to the
13 witness in another way.
14 Please go ahead.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Right, Your Honours. It's
16 a mistake I made because of a shortage of time. I analysed this video
17 with expert professionals, and I could spend as much as an hour on it,
18 but I won't.
19 Q. So, Mr. Petkovic, we saw people crossing mountains, we saw
20 shadows in a city without electricity, so what can you say about the time
21 when this video was made, and what can you say about the conversations we
22 had back then about Mr. Bowen's role?
23 A. I would like to --
24 MR. SCOTT: I'm still objecting the question.
25 I don't care if they speculated in 2010 or they speculated in
1 1993. In either case, they can't speculate as to what Mr. Bowen's
2 intention was. It doesn't matter but -- that we've shifted the time and
3 gone back in time. It's still speculation.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. --
5 MR. KOVACIC: It very much depends on what is Mr. Petkovic about
6 to say. He already said three words on the beginning of the sentence, so
7 I have the feeling that it's --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question was an awkward
9 question. It was extremely awkward, the one that was put by
10 General Praljak.
11 General Petkovic, we've just seen a video where we could see
12 shadows. That's the only question. What do you have to say to this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this was made in the
14 city of Mostar in August 1993, when, after the talk that Mr. Bowen had
15 with Mr. Delic, which he mentioned himself, Mr. Bowen set off for Mostar,
16 and this was before the start of the military operation. So Mr. Bowen
17 was probably -- it was his intention to be a first to report about the
18 ABiH having taken Mostar, but it didn't happen. So he probably -- he
19 went back to England
20 September/October to mark the historic achievement of the ABiH, the
21 taking of Western Mostar, but that failed too. And then he produced
22 something else, something that would look nice and that he could send out
23 to the world, but he didn't show the most important thing. And that's
24 why he --
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Mr. Petkovic just confirmed
1 the exact basis for my objections all along. He's done nothing but
2 speculation, pure speculation, that Mr. Bowen didn't get what he wanted,
3 he went back to London
4 probably didn't get what he wanted. This is nonsense. I move to strike
5 it. My original objection should have been sustained and he should not
6 have answered the question.
7 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] A moment, please. Since that has
8 to do with the interpretation, I think I should be the first to say
9 something and help assist everybody.
10 Mr. Scott rose a bit too soon, and he didn't give the
11 interpreters a chance to interpret Mr. Petkovic's last sentence. And
12 what Mr. Petkovic said was that Mr. Jeremy Bowen stated the following
13 himself -- now I've been misinterpreted. I didn't say that he stated the
14 following, but what I said was that Mr. Petkovic's words about Mr. Bowen
15 were the words that Mr. Bowen said himself.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've already seen this video.
17 It's not the first time that we see it. I must tell you that I hadn't
18 noticed the shadows, and I must tell you that before this question was
19 put to you around 10 minutes past 5.00 p.m., this was on my mind and I
20 thought that this had been shot at night. I, therefore, thought that the
21 journalist was showing what was happening at night in Mostar, people who
22 were leaving, people who were putting their lives on the line. At no
23 point in time had I imagined that this could have been shot in the
24 afternoon. But if that is the case, if this has been shot in the
25 afternoon, this is a way of forging the truth, and that is a serious
1 matter. I assume this video was broadcast in the media and the people
2 watching this thought that this happened at night.
3 A while ago you said something which I hear for the first time.
4 This is something I knew nothing about. You said that Mr. Bowen met
5 Mr. Delic. How do you know that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I
7 attentively listened to Mr. Bowen's testimony here. He contacted Delic
8 and then left Sarajevo
9 believe, a member of the ABiH, received him when he left Sarajevo
10 took him to Jablanica, and then Mr. Bowen was sent to what was known as
11 the mule trail to produce footage about that, although he could have
12 arrived at Mostar differently.
13 At that time, Mr. Delic planned the Neretva 93 operation, and
14 obviously he expected to take Western Mostar in August, or until
15 mid-September, at worse, but that failed. And then Mr. Bowen himself
16 said that he returned to England
17 in late September or early October, when there really was fierce fighting
18 in Mostar. And according to me, he was in a position to make footage of
19 the fighting at Hum, where the ABiH had 30 to 40 casualties in the
20 operation of taking Hum, but he was unable to produce anything else
21 except for the footage involving Pasalic, clean-shaven, having a
22 conversation with him.
23 And my conclusion from his testimony is that it had been his
24 initial intention to be the first to publish the news that the ABiH has
25 taken Mostar.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry that I cannot
3 continue analysing this footage with Mr. Petkovic, because if I were in
4 the position to testify about this being a movie director -- former movie
5 director and engineer of electrical engineering, but, anyway --
6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.
7 Well, Mr. Praljak, you're not in a position to testify. You've
8 already done that, and you can't testify now.
9 Again, everything Mr. Petkovic has said in the last five minutes
10 is pure speculation, whether it's what Mr. Delic thought at a given time
11 or what conversations may or may not -- this kind of speculation should
12 not be allowed. Any witness could come here and speculate all afternoon
13 long, and it doesn't -- it's a poor usage of time, as Judge Trechsel has
14 pointed out. This is sheer speculation. This is Mr. Petkovic just going
15 on in a fantasy world.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave,
17 I think that General Petkovic, who was present in this courtroom
18 regularly and listened to all witness statements, has the right to draw
19 his conclusions as to the testimonies of individual witnesses.
20 I would like to remind of the fact that the testimony of
21 Mr. Thornberry, who spoke here about how the media campaign was organised
22 to raise the sensitivity of Western European -- the Western European
23 public, with regard to this conflict, and pressurised the governments to
24 change their attitude towards Bosnia-Herzegovina. And Mr. Thornberry's
25 testimony fits perfectly in the picture of Mr. Jeremy Bowen's activities
1 in the area, so --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, a while ago I seem to have heard
3 you say that Mr. Bowen had declared he had seen Mr. Delic. Did you say
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said that at the
6 beginning of his testimony, he spoke about the departure from Sarajevo
7 and that he came to meet General Delic. What they did, I don't know, but
8 that's what Mr. Bowen stated here in this courtroom.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, let me quote to you what he actually says,
10 and this is on page 12778, line 21 and following. I quote:
"Before Mostar, I went to the office of Rasim Delic in Sarajevo
12 for example, and we got no information about those kind of things."
13 This is practically the only reference of any contact between
14 Mr. Bowen and -- well, actually, it does not say that there is a contact
15 with Mr. Delic. So probably I have not searched well enough, but to this
16 moment I cannot find confirmation for what you have told us.
17 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the 23rd of
18 January, 2007, page 12778 of the transcript of Jeremy Bowen's testimony,
19 the following is stated:
20 "Before I went to Mostar, I went to Rasim Delic's office in
22 So, therefore -- the line is line 22. And on that occasion, I
23 can't now go through the entire transcript, but a direct reference is
24 made to Rasim Delic and to the contact Jeremy Bowen had with him, and
25 this is what General Petkovic said. He said that that's what Bowen said,
1 so in this very courtroom.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm very sorry, Counsel. That's exactly the
3 lines that I have read a few minutes ago. I don't know why you repeat.
4 MR. KOVACIC: If I may add one sentence.
5 My colleague checked what you said in the transcript, and as we
6 have understood this part of the cited statement of Mr. Bowen is he met
7 Delic. In our colloquial language, when I said that I visited your
8 office, Your Honour, for example, your chambers, that means that I met
9 you. This is how every average person understands that.
10 I agree with you that in forensic analysis, yes, maybe that
11 wouldn't be sufficient. Maybe we would need one extra step, And there I
12 have seen this person. But when we said in colloquial language, I
13 visited Mr. Khan's office, that means I met him there.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, it's just that Mr. Bowen doesn't speak your
15 common-law -- everyday language, but he comes from England, and, I mean,
16 this, it doesn't really -- I am not convinced at all of your explanation.
17 That's all I want to say.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Your Honours, not to move on.
19 I think the most important question is not about this Delic issue
20 but if the general can give an opinion as to this particular video.
21 Having seen it, does he have an opinion whether it's accurate, whether it
22 accurately reflects the situation as it was at the particular time, given
23 the logistics, given the electricity, and so on and so forth. That is
24 the critical question that needs to be answered. I'm not sure it was
25 answered or was ever asked. And then I think we should just move on.
1 But I think that is the critical aspect of this testimony.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, I fully agree. The issue is whether the
3 witness can testify about the intentions of Mr. Bowen. That was put,
4 raised an objection, and I'm glad to hear that you are not of a different
5 opinion, and that the way you have put the question is absolutely -- I'm
6 in full agreement with that.
7 Perhaps, Mr. Petkovic, you are able to say something about the
8 weather in August of 1993, and, in particular, about moonlight.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, in
10 August in Mostar, every year, in 1993, too, the weather is very hot, it's
11 very sunny, it's almost 35 degrees or even more in Mostar.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. When does night fall? At what time does night fall?
15 A. After 9.00.
16 Q. In your opinion, does this mean that the night we can see here
17 isn't really night, it's not nighttime, it's daytime, but transformed
18 into night-time?
19 A. That's what is visible.
20 MR. SCOTT: He can't say that, Your Honour. He can't say that.
21 It's just speculation again. Looking at this, all I can do is -- all
22 Mr. Petkovic can do is the same thing all of us in the courtroom can do.
23 He can look at that and say, Well, it looks like it has a greenish tint
24 to it and there's some shadows. It shows what it shows, but he can't add
25 anything to that. It's sheer -- was he there when this video was taken?
1 Was he standing on the spot where Mr. Bowen was and when the people were
2 coming across the bridge from West Mostar? Was he standing there?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But such shadows are not possible,
5 regardless of the extent to which we say that night-time -- at night-time
6 it was visible or not visible.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Let's move on. P01139,
8 please. It has to do with the ultimatum. I have two short questions
9 about this. P01139. Could we have it on the screen, please. P01139,
10 it's the famous ultimatum that was referred to in the indictment.
11 Q. So, General, please just have a look at -- further down towards
12 the bottom. There are two items. Have a look at item 5. What does item
13 5 say? Have a look at what it says.
14 A. It has to do with the commands of the armed forces of the HVO at
15 the level of OZ brigades. It says that those commands have to be joined
16 by ABiH officers, and the ratio has to be a ratio that takes into
17 consideration the number of soldiers at the battle-field.
18 Q. If in Central Bosnia there are more ABiH soldiers in the
19 battle-field than HVO soldiers, who will form the majority in the joint
21 A. On the whole, members of the Muslim people or, rather, members of
22 the ABiH, and the percentage of Bosniaks or the ABiH members would have
23 to be greater by the same percentage that there were more ABiH soldiers
24 than HVO soldiers.
25 Q. Is this a fair approach or not?
1 A. Item 5 says that this is the implementation of an agreement on
2 joint commands. If we're reaching an agreement on joint commands, then
3 we won't threaten each other, if we manage to reach such an agreement.
4 Q. General, item 7, what does this so-called ultimatum start with?
5 How does it start?
6 A. It says that commanders of operative zones have the obligation to
7 initiate talks with the commanders of the ABiH in order to find the best
8 ways of setting up joint commands.
9 Q. In the course of your life, have you ever heard about an
10 ultimatum that starts with a reference to discussions, to the initiation
11 of talks?
12 A. No. This is an invitation to hold discussions in order to find a
13 common solution, a joint solution.
14 Q. A very brief question now. Judge Antonetti was very curious
15 about how I had taken over your role and you became the second in
16 command, so my question is: On the 19th of April, 1992, when you became
17 the chief of the HVO Main Staff, was I your subordinate, as the commander
18 of the South-Eastern Herzegovina Operative Zone?
19 A. As commander at that time, yes, you were subordinated to me at
20 that command post.
21 Q. Did that present a problem when it came to communication, when it
22 came to who issued orders to whom, or under the circumstances was this
23 not of such importance to us, it was of less importance to us than it
24 would have been in a normal army?
25 A. I didn't create any problems, we didn't create any problems -- at
1 least I didn't create any problems when you arrived down there and when
2 you became engaged.
3 Q. Did you know anything about this? Were you informed? Was I with
4 you at the front-line? Did I act without your knowledge? Did I act
5 against you? Was there a problem of any kind that occurred between us?
6 A. No, you never acted against me, because you were there performing
7 your duties for the territory where you had been born, for a territory in
8 which you had been born, a territory where you had lived.
9 Q. I have an entire new subject, but I have two or three more
11 What's the combat part of the HVO, the military part of the HVO,
12 and what's the non-military part?
13 A. The military part, the combat part of the HVO is in the direct
14 chain of command and from the Supreme Commander of the Main Staff of
15 operative zones, down to brigades, to battalions, to companies, to
16 platoons, to squads; so that's the entire structure that is involved at
17 the combat lines, at the front-lines, so that is the military structure
18 and it is at such locations that they perform their duties.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'm not sure the
20 transcript is correct, because the general said:
21 [In English] "The non-military part of the HVO is in the Supreme
22 Command and from the Supreme Command to the operating zones," et cetera.
23 [Interpretation] As far as I understood, the general he said that
24 that was the military part of the HVO, and when talking about the chain
25 of command he mentioned the Main Staff. So perhaps the general could
1 repeat that so that it doesn't seem as if he didn't to want to speak
2 about the Main Staff.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the military part is
4 represented by units of the HVO, it includes units of the HVO that
5 organised into brigades, battalions, military districts, which are under
6 the command of the supreme commander, the Main Staff, the operative zone
7 brigade commanders, brigade commanders, battalion commanders, company
8 commanders, and squad commanders. So that is the military part that goes
9 to the front-lines and is engaged in combat tasks at those lines.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And what is the non-military part?
12 A. The non-military part would be all the so-called service sectors
13 that other departments are involved in, other bodies are involved in, for
14 the needs of the combat part of the HVO.
15 Q. Could you list them, please?
16 A. The non-military part would include medical care, logistics
17 support, security for units, intelligence, providing intelligence, and so
18 on and so forth. So they assist the combat component.
19 Q. Who is in command of the combat component, and who is in command
20 of the non-military HVO component ?
21 A. Your Honours, I think that I have already said that the combat
22 component is under the command of command structures, starting with the
23 supreme commander, then you have the Main Staff, the operative zone, the
24 brigade, and then you have lower-level units. The non-combat
25 component -- the non-combat component includes the Ministry of Defence,
1 other structures, right down to operative zones and brigades. So those
2 are the non-combat components of the HVO.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I fear there is a little bit of confusion here.
4 What you have now answered, distinguishing combat and non-combat, that
5 makes sense, but earlier on the question was military and non-military,
6 and what you have referred to now, all these services, logistics,
7 intelligence, security, they are military, but non-combat; isn't that
8 what you were telling us?
9 I see our interpretation police chief. Ms. Tomanovic, please.
10 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I believe that the problem has to
11 do with the interpretation. At one point in time, the term "non-combat"
12 is used, and the other -- on other occasions "non-military" is used.
13 I think "non-combat" should be used at all times, because the general
14 didn't make any distinction between military and non-military structures,
15 but between combat and non-combat instructions.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters comment: The interpreter can
17 confirm what Counsel has just said.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's a combat and non-combat
19 component to a military structure. That is what one has to bear in mind.
20 That would be my answer.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That is a valuable
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] How much time do I have
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't know. Registrar.
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have seven minutes.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, perhaps it would be good to take a
4 break. It is, anyway, time for a break. And then maybe the general
5 could reorganise and wisely use those six minutes -- seven minutes.
6 Sorry, sir.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we're going to take a
8 20-minute break.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us resume.
12 Before I give the floor back to you, I'm sure you all know that
13 we will be sitting tomorrow morning at 9.00, that is, Tuesday, and
14 Thursday afternoon. I would like to make it clear that we will stop at
15 6.00, 6.00 p.m.
16 morning, because we had been scheduled to sit in the afternoon.
17 Judge Mindua is sitting in the Tolimir case, and I am sitting on the
18 Seselj case, together with two other Judges who are sitting on the
19 Karadzic and Stanisic cases, so we need to juggle with the hearings
20 because the Judges have several cases simultaneously, which is very
21 tiring. In light of the completion strategy, we need, however, organise
22 things in this manner.
23 I will let you know by the minute if there are any changes in the
24 courtrooms or any other information. We all do what we can to make sure
25 that this works out well.
1 You have seven minutes left, Mr. Praljak. Please proceed.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Let us go through this quickly, Mr. Petkovic.
4 Q. My question is: The Security Service, health-care inside the
5 HVO, logistics, information propaganda, military police, are these combat
6 or non-combat components, and who manages them?
7 A. They are non-combat components, unsecured -- they are --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the answer, the last
9 part of his answer?
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Please repeat once more. Are these services [B/C/S spoken]?
12 A. They are single services, individual services, or separate
13 services. The health-care is run by the head of the Health-Care
14 Department, and the structure SIS is run by the assistant head of
15 security. Logistics is in the responsibility of the assistant for
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may intervene
18 with regard to the first sentence of General Petkovic's reply, which
19 isn't correctly interpreted. The question was whether they are single
20 services. The translations given are not adequate. It should be
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: We don't agree with that
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the
25 interpreters wanted you to change the position of your microphones,
1 because they have a problem with it.
2 Thank you, Usher.
3 General Praljak.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General Petkovic, behind you there is a map. It is IC00219.
6 It's an exhibit. And here's my question: Are you familiar with that
8 A. Yes, Your Honours, I am.
9 Q. In April, in accordance with the documents produced here or shown
10 here, did the units of the ABiH plan to attack the western part of
11 Mostar, as shown by the green arrows on this map?
12 A. Yes, it was based on their orders dated the 19th and the 20th of
13 April, 1993.
14 Q. The attack of the ABiH on the 9th of May, was it carried out for
15 a major part along these axes shown here?
16 A. Yes, these are the only possible axes, bearing in mind the
17 situation that prevailed then in the city of Mostar.
18 Q. A series of buildings and facilities are listed here which the
19 ABiH has taken possession of for their needs. Did they ever talk to you
20 about that or did they do that without having reached an agreement with
21 you, including Vranica, where they put up their Main Staff?
22 A. The -- disposing of facilities and buildings are not within the
23 remit of the Main Staff. The correct procedure was to take possession of
24 a building you must file a request for the requisition of such a building
25 or facility, but the ABiH never filed such an application. They simply
1 took possession of vacated facilities.
2 Q. Please sign this map, and let us submit it to the Trial Chamber
4 A. Could I be given a pen, other than the one that I have already?
5 Q. While we're waiting, please find 3D3799.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, as my
7 colleague has just told me, you haven't annotated the map in any way.
8 The map has been admitted. Why do you wish to sign it? Why did
9 General Praljak ask for a number? Because this map has already been
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's no need.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Let us see 3D3799, please.
14 3D3799, that's a document dated the 1st of April, 1994 [as interpreted].
15 Q. We see, as signatories, the collegium of the MUP of Bosnia and
18 A. No, I haven't seen this before. I didn't have an opportunity.
19 Q. Do you know what all three sides signed about the constitutional
20 structure of Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the Cutileiro Plan?
21 A. The Cutileiro Plan offered the following structure: All three
22 sides, that is, the Croatian, Serb, and Bosnian, should have the same
23 status, and Bosnia
24 Q. Please take a look at the document and tell me whether it follows
25 from it that the collegium of the MUP with the Serbs and the Bosniaks
1 took the decision to split the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina into a Serb and
2 a Muslim component and whether that was based on an agreement with
3 Mr. Izetbegovic, because we can see Mr. Delimustafic's signature here?
4 A. Yes. The document reads that the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 should be organised into three -- or as three wholes, three components,
6 on the basis of the Cutileiro Plan, and each of these would be some kind
7 of organisational unit.
8 Q. And what would -- and what else?
9 A. Probably all other institutions -- common institutions should be
10 organised along the same lines as the MUP.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You are very, very strongly overlapping, so the
12 interpreters cannot follow.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All the more so,
14 General Praljak, since you have no time left, put your last question.
15 Your time is up.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. My last question. Just a small correction, General, to
18 somebody's question. I don't recall whose. You said, General, that the
19 war in Central Bosnia was such that everything became much worse after
20 Totic and his escort had been arrested. What was this about? We saw
21 some photographs of that arrest.
22 A. Totic was intercepted and arrested, and four of his escorts, four
23 persons escorting him, were killed on the spot.
24 Q. When was that, and who was Totic?
25 A. The 15th of April, 1994. He was the commander of the Zenica
1 Brigade of the HVO.
2 Q. Who killed them?
3 A. Members of the ABiH, and some people say that they were
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] This was my last question.
6 Thank you, General, for your answers.
7 Your Honours, thank you for your time and patience.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may intervene
9 right now. On page 77, line 20, the transcript reads that the document
10 is 3D3799, that this document is dated 1st of April, 1994. This is very
11 confusing, because the actual date is the 1st of April, 1992
12 know whether the general misspoke or something, but, anyway, it is clear
13 the document reads "1992."
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the document reads the "1st of
15 April, 1992."
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, the witness confirms.
17 After this remark, I would also ask the Trial Chamber's
18 permission for General Praljak to address the Chamber with a request of
19 his, which he has put in writing, but he would like to inform you of some
20 decisions he made and the reasons for these decisions. And then we will
21 formulate his position in writing so as not to use more time.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On line 6, page 79, it's not
23 the 15th of April, 1994, but 15th of April, 1993. Is that right,
24 General Petkovic? Mr. Totic was abducted on the 15th of April, 1993
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Instead of "arrested," I said,
3 I shall turn to my colleagues to see whether they agree that
4 Mr. Praljak takes the floor.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, the Trial Chamber
7 holds that it is for the counsel to intervene, not for the accused. Are
8 there any reasons for this?
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, whether there are
10 reasons or not is for you to decide. It is the Defence's position that
11 the accused, in line with the basic human rights, has the right to speak,
12 and that includes the courtroom, too. He will not venture into legal
13 analyses, but I don't doubt that he has the right that -- the right to
14 address the Trial Chamber personally, not through his Defence counsel,
15 because it's about a problem that bears heavily upon him, and he took
16 some decisions with regard to this trial. And, therefore, it is our
17 position that he should address the Trial Chamber in person, state his
18 decisions, and give the reasons why he decided to do so at this very
20 So to speak no longer, I think that it is his right to address
21 the Trial Chamber in person. Of course, it's for the Trial Chamber to
22 say, Not now, but, I don't know, tomorrow, first time in the morning, or
23 whenever, but this seems to be a convenient moment because my colleague
24 can hardly do anything valuable in half an hour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What do you wish to talk about,
1 the Olympic Games, the conditions in detention, the light bulbs that are
2 missing in his cell, whatever difficulties he wishes to share with us, or
3 does it have to do with the procedure? The Judges would just like to be
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I think the general should speak
6 about that himself. But as you're asking me, I will say that
7 General Praljak, after due consideration, and after assessing many
8 circumstances and consulting his lawyers and other persons, decided to
9 put an end to his active participation in these proceedings and refrain
10 from coming to the courtroom in the days to come because he wishes to
11 show that he's unwilling to participate in something which he cannot
12 accept due to the method -- for methodological reasons.
13 And I'll come back to what I've already said. I believe that in
14 these matters, it is an inalienable right of the accused which is
15 respected in other courts to address the Trial Chamber directly. I can
16 say that in the national jurisdiction of my country and as far as I've
17 been able to conclude in my analysis, in other national jurisdictions,
18 that is also possible, of course, if we respect the rules and if you stay
19 decent, et cetera. But here, in this Tribunal, too, the accused have had
20 the opportunity to explain their views to the Trial Chambers in their
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak would like to
23 explain to us why he will not be attending the court hearing of the next
24 few days. I believe that that is what he would like to talk to us about.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm not quite sure that it's a
2 matter of the next few days. For the moment, the general has decided to
3 no longer participate in the trial, to withdraw, to remain in the
4 Detention Unit while proceedings are ongoing. He knows that he has the
5 opportunity of appearing here, but he will not do so. As to whether that
6 will last for a few days or until the end of the trial, well, it all
7 depends on how things unfold, and naturally it also depends on his
8 subjective understanding of the matter.
9 Everyone takes decisions on the basis of the facts, as
10 interpreted by the person in question. And I believe that it is the
11 accused's right to state that that is his position, and the Trial Chamber
12 should act in a bona fide manner and listen to what the accused has to
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall turn to my colleagues
15 and ask them what they think about it.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have seen the Trial Chamber
18 deliberate on the matter. In the majority, the Trial Chamber has decided
19 that General Praljak can explain to us why it is he no [as interpreted]
20 wishes to come to the courtroom. But the Trial Chamber shall not take a
21 position on Mr. Praljak's stand.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think it is my duty to state openly that I am
23 the one dissenting in the Chamber, and I do this because I do not see any
24 basis for a right of an accused to address the Chamber beyond what has
25 been put before the Appeals Chamber, and the Appeals Chamber has given
1 two rulings, actually, on this. It is perhaps a bit formalistic, I will
2 admit that, but I think that's how the procedure ought to be regulated.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have put
6 all this in writing. I have drafted about 11 pages on the matter, and I
7 will be a lot briefer here.
8 I apologise to the interpreters. Sometimes the text is somewhat
9 confused, but the Judges will be provided with a full translation of the
10 text. It's a matter of acts of procedure and such matters of extreme
11 importance when a certain social structure is breaking up: How does one
12 act? At the time of the French Revolution, when the Nazi era appears, in
13 times of fascism, in times of communism, how should one act in war, in
14 wartime? How should one avoid committing errors, having wrong thoughts,
15 being guilty of omissions?
16 I have disturbed the Chamber with an issue concerning Heisenberg,
17 who asked Planck about the rise of Nazism in Germany. And I think I have
18 read all the relevant literature about this matter, and in the literature
19 on the matter, it says that each and every individual has to decide --
20 or, rather, decides about how to act when three variables are put in the
21 balance: courage and the unacceptability of being passive within a
22 system, a given system, and in the light of expected punishment --
23 anticipated punishment. Why are such things said? Because, in my
24 opinion, the cumulative development of minor and negative procedures in
25 this trial has led me to a position which I can no longer accept this.
1 The Prosecution's practice has been demonstrated in books. In
2 the book of Carla Del Ponte, for example, one has a demonstration of the
3 practice followed by the Prosecution, Carla Del Ponte, the Prosecutor.
4 We can find similar things in the book written by Florence Hartmann,
5 "Peace and Punishment." In many cases, the indictment is drafted in
6 order to satisfy certain political objectives, the interests of various
7 parties that aren't clear, it satisfies things that go on behind the
8 scene, and all this results in putting into question --
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: You said a few minutes ago that you are given
10 the floor, but, frankly, I thought that you are going to tell us
11 something which is relevant to our proceedings here, which is relevant to
12 your case.
13 Frankly, I am not interested to listen to various nice thoughts
14 about Naziism, et cetera, and I really do not understand what is your --
15 and Carla Del Ponte and Florence
16 it, these rambling speeches about everything. Please save us from that
17 situation, that we have to listen to you, and subject matters which have
18 nothing to do with our work here. And I believe that you have to
19 understand this. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I understand you,
21 Judge Prandler, but you have to understand me too.
22 In Carla Del
23 bitches, corrupt sons of bitches. I've asked 50 bodies, the UN and
24 others, whether I'm a son of a bitch and whether, given such a racist
25 position, whether the indictment was drafted on the basis of such a
1 racist position. That's what I asked, no one answered that question of
3 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to join with Judge Prandler in objecting
4 with this, and if we're going to allow speeches to be made, then the
5 Prosecution will have a speech in response.
6 This is inappropriate. That was a times for a motions to
7 challenge the form and nature of the indictment. If there was any basis
8 to believe that the indictment was invalid or improperly motivated, those
9 motions would have, I'm sure, been filed and adjudicated at the proper
10 time. We're way beyond that.
11 Counsel will remember there are all sorts of things,
12 jurisdictional motions, form of the indictment, amending certain
13 paragraphs. We're way beyond that, now that's what Mr. Praljak wants to
14 talk about. And if we're going to have speeches, then we'll have
15 speeches by everyone. So I'll get up and talk about my views as well, if
16 that's what the Chamber is going to allow.
17 I fully endorse Judge Prandler's comments. This is not
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the decision was
20 made by the majority. Judge Prandler and myself, we were in favour of
21 letting you explain very precisely why you would no longer attend the
22 proceedings. That's what we're interested in. The book written by
23 Ms. Carla Del Ponte, I haven't read it. I saw one page, I'm telling you,
24 but I didn't find it necessary to invest a few Euros in the purchase of
25 that book. So leave the book aside, please, and do explain why, from an
1 objective point of view, you no longer want to attend the proceedings.
2 That's what we're interested in.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, I'll be briefer, in
4 that case.
5 I'm quoting what you said, Judge Antonetti. You didn't agree
6 with the two of the Judges, and you read the following, I quote:
7 "I believe that excluding documents of this kind is tantamount to
8 a biased approach to the conflict."
9 I'm claiming that each and every decision of scientific
10 principle, each and every legal decision, must be publicly verified.
11 It's a matter of publicly verifying the results obtained through
12 scientific means and on the basis of the available facts. I am saying
13 that we all, and that includes the Judges, arrive at logical conclusions,
14 and we follow a methodology in accordance with our own knowledge or
15 ignorance, in accordance with analytical minds. Our conclusions also
16 depend on our physical and mental capacities, and so on and so forth.
17 But in no science, not at any cost, is it permissible to ignore and
18 exclude certain facts or premises that might challenge our conclusion,
19 the information we have, or the judgement that we hand down.
20 Therefore, I, in a fairly peaceful manner, can accept the fact
21 that the Judges may have committed an error when deciding on my guilt,
22 because it's a faulty interpretation. There is a faulty
23 interpretation -- or a faulty interpretation is in-built in each person,
24 it's a possibility -- as a possibility. However, I cannot accept, nor
25 can Judge Antonetti accept, the exclusion -- the dismissal of facts that
1 might serve to challenge the conclusion or the punishment that has been
2 meted out, the judgement.
3 As a result, in my opinion, there are several levels, legal
4 levels, from main supreme constitutional courts. In this Tribunal, we
5 have two levels. So in this case, certain sub-systems are being
6 dismissed. There are no Serbs, there are no Mujahedin in this case, all
7 the problems that concern refugees, expelled persons, all these problems
8 have been excluded. Issues that concern the idea of a civil war have
9 been excluded. The idea of a religious war introduced by the Mujahedin
10 has been excluded, and all this is because of the tu quoque principle.
11 And, finally why did Judges Trechsel and Prandler dismiss certain
12 evidence? Do Judges Trechsel and Prandler want to reduce the system to a
13 measure of their own understanding, to the framework of their own
14 understanding, or are they reducing the system to what can be proved in
15 advance, to a conclusion that can be proved in advance? Wouldn't it be
16 fairer, more just, to abandon all the evidence in the case and --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, Mr. Praljak. I must protest here. You
18 are speculating without real foundation on what my colleague and I,
19 myself, are thinking. You are completely wrong, and I must state this.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] You are saying that I am
22 wrong --
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Praljak, I also would like to ad that here
24 when you mention that we, in our understanding, we are using the system
25 and we are against you. What would you like to prove? We are at an
1 international court. Certain rules should be really respected and to be
3 I really believe that what you are saying, it is already too
4 much, and although I am a person who can go along with many explanations,
5 and I am, of course, careful not to be against anybody here, but, on the
6 other hand, I cannot tolerate something which is being advanced against
7 me and against my fellow Judges. So please try to be correct, and try to
8 understand that you are -- really, what you are doing, it is
9 counter-productive and you harm yourself. I have to tell you this
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Why would I inflict damage
12 on myself, act against myself, Judge Prandler, so that you are insulted,
13 so that you are angry with me, so that you don't arrive at a certain
14 judgement? You are professional judges, but on 50 occasions you are
15 incapable of agreeing on certain elementary matters. So that is why I'm
16 asking you whether it would be better to abandon evidence and to make it
17 possible to arrive at a different conclusion from the one that you might
19 In what way am I insulting you or the International Tribunal?
20 You have dismissed evidence, and you haven't made it possible to follow
21 scientific procedure that would enable one to reach a conclusion
22 different from the one that you might reach. Why should one be insulted.
23 Is it just because you are sitting there as a Judge, sitting at the
24 Bench? Should I deify you as a result? No, I have a lot of respect for
25 you. But on one occasion, Judge Prandler, I said that if someone should
1 jump into the water, well, then it would be Praljak, but this is a
2 rational issue I'm dealing with. I have 155 witnesses I wanted to call,
3 and you have prevented me from doing that.
4 I'm accelerating.
5 You select evidence. Someone might, for example, dismiss all
6 evidence on the nature of photons, but leave evidence on the nature of
7 other phenomena, so other scientists may just come to the conclusion that
8 there is only a matter of particle physics, certain things of that kind.
9 I won't accept errors as a result of dismissing evidence, as a result of
10 reducing the problem, because in the future other court bodies won't be
11 able to check the method that was used to reach the judgement. This
12 won't be possible in the future, and I won't accept that you prevent this
13 from happening.
14 When you reach your conclusions, you may say that this evidence
15 has no value, but we are not gods, so perhaps one might, on a scientific
16 and legal basis, come to other conclusions. So why should such a claim
17 insult anyone? We're just discussing methodology here, and, therefore, I
18 am trying to present the facts through 155 witnesses. I'm participating
19 in the proceedings, but evidence is being dismissed, and I don't see why
20 the picture should be distorted in this way. The very premises, not just
21 the conclusion, but the very premises are being distorted, so I don't see
22 why my human dignity should be trampled on as a result.
23 I'll be guilty, if that is what is proven, but, Your Honours, the
24 professional code of conduct states that all the elements have to be
25 available so that your conclusion could be overturned in the future, if
1 that is a possibility. There might be other courts. I might end up in
2 the Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg
3 European Union. While I'm still alive, I have the right to attempt to
4 prove my innocence. And if you bear in mind what has been said, for
5 example, by Carla Del Ponte, well, I have the right to prove whether I'm
6 guilty or not.
7 If you read the 155 statements I have, and I spent a lot of money
8 on them - it wasn't the Court's money - if you read that you will see
9 that if anyone were to give his arm for you and to cure you, Praljak
10 would do so. I don't even want to discuss the matter of mens rea. How
11 are we going to measure mens rea? Well, it's necessary to see what a man
12 is in a given moment, what he has done at a given time, in a given
13 situation. How did he act, what did he do?
14 Thank you very much. You'll receive a more detailed presentation
15 of my arguments in writing in English. I have a normal -- I can no
16 longer participate in this, but you can bring a judgement such as you see
17 fit. If I participate in this procedure, it means that I'm accepting
18 certain things, but throughout my life I have refused to accept certain
19 things. When certain elementary or scientific procedure is no longer
20 followed, I'm not in a position to accept such a situation.
21 Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges are not going to
23 comment. You say that you are going to send us something in writing. We
24 will read that document. That is all that I can say right now.
25 We have another 12 minutes before we come to an end. We have the
1 Defence counsel of Mr. Coric that should start cross-examination. Do you
2 want to start tomorrow or do you want to make use of those 12 minutes?
3 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe
4 it would be better if we started tomorrow. By the time we distribute the
5 documents, two or three minutes will elapse, and it may be better for
6 things to settle down and for all of us to calm down, and so I can start
7 tomorrow morning.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Something more technical. In the decision made by the Trial
10 Chamber, the 92 bis, I was told that there was a mistake in the English
11 translation and that a correction had to be made in the disposition. It
12 wasn't said that the claim had been dismissed, but that it had been -- I
13 don't know what it was based on, but there was a mistake in the English
14 translation. Now, the Trial Chamber's legal expert tells me that the
15 correction has been made this afternoon. So this has been postponed. It
16 hasn't been rejected. It's just been postponed. It hasn't been
18 In the Defence teams and in the Office of the Prosecutor, there
19 are no French speakers, unfortunately, that could explain the meaning of
20 the words of the decisions that we are making. Sometimes that could
21 allow us to avoid misinterpretations. But the correction has been made
22 in the course of the afternoon.
23 This is what I wanted to tell you.
24 We will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00. The Defence counsel for
25 Mr. Coric will have one hour and ten minutes. If I'm not mistaken,
1 that's 70 minutes. If we do not waste any time, we will hear the Defence
2 counsel for Mr. Prlic, and then we will continue with the
3 cross-examination by the Prosecutor, and we will make a decision on the
4 other time allowed for the Prosecutor tomorrow.
5 Thank you very much.
6 [The accused Petkovic stands down]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.51 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of March,
9 2010, at 9.00 a.m.