1 Wednesday, 3 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Praljak not present]
5 [The Accused Petkovic takes the stand]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
12 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Today is Wednesday, the 3rd of March, 2010. Let me first greet
15 General Petkovic, Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Coric, and Mr. Pusic. Good
16 morning to the Defence counsel, to you, Mr. Scott, and all your team
17 members, and a very good morning to all the people assisting us.
18 Before we start, one first thing. Mr. Kovacic has to be on the
19 transcript. Mr. Praljak is absent, therefore, you are assisting and
20 representing him; is that so?
21 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. Yes, thank you for asking. Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's now been
24 General Petkovic, in a few moments you are going to answer
25 questions by Mr. Scott. He's going to start with his cross-examination.
1 You have attended many such occasions, many cross-examinations, and you
2 know that Mr. Scott is going to ask you leading questions that may not
3 please you, in which case you have to remain calm and cool-headed. You
4 have to ponder the question he's putting to you, and you answer calmly.
5 As was said on several occasions, cross-examination is a practice
6 in which you answer, Yes, or, No, I don't know, I don't understand the
7 question. And then should the Prosecutor wish to dig a little deeper, he
8 will do so. But let's not go into long speeches, because the
9 Prosecutor's time is precious and he has to put his case to you through
10 the questions he's asking.
11 Furthermore, I do invite the Defence counsel not to interrupt at
12 any moment, because the Prosecutor does his job, even if you don't like
13 it at times, that's what he does. And if you have objections, they must
14 be on account of technical substantial errors, or technical issues, but
15 not on the merits, because the Prosecutor is entitled to put his case
16 through the questions he's going to ask Mr. Petkovic.
17 Mr. Scott hardly ever intervened during your
18 examination-in-chiefs and the cross-examination, so I hope you will do
19 the same. What is important is the question and the answer.
20 When I hear a question and I see that somebody's on his feet on
21 the other side, I think that the answer that is about to be given is not
22 going to have the same weight as if the answer had been provided without
23 intervention of Defence counsel, or of counsel. So I think you get my
25 Mr. Petkovic, you've got the binders in front of you, so you can
1 follow the documents as they are submitted to you.
2 So very well. Everything's ready. General Petkovic has got his
3 documents, and you may proceed.
4 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
5 [The witness answered through interpreter]
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Good morning to each of Your Honours. Good morning to counsel,
8 all those in and around the courtroom who are helping us.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott:
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Petkovic.
11 A. Good morning.
12 MR. SCOTT: Let me, just as a housekeeping matter, indicate that,
13 while, ultimately there are a number of binders of documents that might
14 be used in the course of this examination. To make it easier, I hope,
15 for everyone today, I believe all the exhibits -- the documents today
16 will be in the first binder, with the exception that there might be a
17 couple -- I think there are a couple of loose exhibits that, because of
18 my fault, didn't make it into the binder. But we should in binder
19 number 1, and I think in the course of the day there will be maybe a
20 couple of loose exhibits as well. And in the days ahead, we'll probably
21 move into some of the other binders.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Petkovic, we know by now that you previously testified
23 in both the Blaskic and Kordic cases under oath; correct?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours, that's correct.
25 Q. In the Kordic case, where you testified the second time, that is,
1 after the Blaskic testimony, at transcript page 26800, 26800, you
2 affirmed and adopted your Blaskic testimony. You said:
3 "There is nothing I have to change or would want to change."
4 And is that still correct today? Do you stand by your Blaskic
6 A. Yes, Your Honours, I stand by what I said in the Blaskic case.
7 Q. And, likewise, Mr. Petkovic, I am sure -- or at least I presume
8 that in the course of preparing to give your testimony in this case,
9 before you got up and Ms. Alaburic started putting questions to you, you
10 had occasion to review your testimony in the Kordic case, didn't you?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours, I went through my testimony in the Kordic
13 Q. And can I ask you, sir, a similar question as I asked you about
14 your Blaskic testimony? Do you affirm your Kordic testimony as true and
15 accurate, or is there anything in your Kordic testimony that you wish to
17 A. I stand by the testimony that I gave in the Kordic case.
18 Q. Now, we understand, I think, fairly well by now, sir, that you
19 arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina to take up certain of these new duties and
20 responsibilities on about the 14th of April, 1992; correct?
21 A. Yes, Your Honours. That's the date that I always refer to when
22 speaking about the time at which I arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 14th of April, 1992.
24 Q. And, sir, you've seen -- you've been sitting in this courtroom
25 with all of us these past several years, and, of course, you've seen a
1 number of the -- well, virtually all of the witnesses, I suppose, and
2 seen a lot of documents. And there's just names of a few persons I'd
3 like to cover with you, if you will, for a few moments.
4 You saw Mr. Filipovic, who was here and testified in your case,
5 and we also have some documents that we've seen a number of times from --
6 regarding Mr. Siljeg. You knew and know both those individuals; correct?
7 A. Yes, Your Honours, I know Colonel Filipovic, and I also know
8 Colonel Siljeg.
9 Q. And do I correctly assume, sir, that you brought Mr. Filipovic as
10 a witness here because you believe that he was a good officer, a
11 professional soldier, reliable and credible?
12 A. If I hadn't believed that he was such a person, I certainly
13 wouldn't have called him here.
14 Q. That's what I thought. And you would trust his judgement? You
15 respected his work in the past as a professional officer; is that
17 A. When I was at the head of the Main Staff, as far as I knew, there
18 was nothing I could object to the duties performed by Colonel Filipovic.
19 Q. And Mr. Siljeg, he was one of your senior officers from the very
20 beginning, the documentation seems to show, from about the same time that
21 you arrived. He took over very quickly as head of the -- or the
22 commander of the North-West Operative Zone for most of the time, at
23 least, relevant to this case; correct?
24 A. Your Honours, Colonel Siljeg was there for a long time. When I
25 arrived, he was already in the area. Later, he was the commander of the
1 North-Western Herzegovina Operative Zone.
2 Q. So, sir, the answer to my question would be, Yes. As you know
3 already, time is precious. So you've repeated back to me the question I
4 put to you, essentially the same information, but I do appreciate that
5 you have confirmed Mr. Siljeg's role at the time.
6 Mr. Siljeg was another JNA -- former JNA professional officer,
7 wasn't he?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. And like Mr. Filipovic, you found him to be a good, professional,
10 and reliable officer, didn't you?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. He had his own special field.
12 Q. Well, I must tell you that in the probably thousands, if not tens
13 of thousands of documents that I've seen over the past few years
14 including those in communications between you and Mr. Siljeg, I have
15 never seen any complaints or criticisms that you directed towards
16 Mr. Siljeg or his conduct during 1992/1993. Would you agree with that?
17 A. It's difficult to remember these things now, but there probably
18 wasn't any criticism. There were probably just certain requests that
19 were made.
20 Q. In your Kordic testimony, you described the time when you arrived
21 in Bosnia
22 and used the words "it was an embryonic time in the establishment of the
23 HVO armed forces"; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And you likewise testified in Kordic that prior to your arrival,
1 there had been no one there to prepare and organise the HVO military;
3 A. Not at the level that I later occupied, but at other levels in
4 municipalities, yes, there were people who were responsible for
5 organising the army.
6 Q. Sir, you said in Kordic, at 26691:
7 "There was no one at the time to prepare and organise the
8 Croatian Defence Council"; correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct, that what I had in mind was higher levels,
10 not levels below the Main Staff in the HZ-HB.
11 Q. Well, you heard Mr. Filipovic testify here, and Mr. Filipovic
12 testified that when he came into the situation, he found the situation
13 chaotic and almost nothing functioned properly. You would agree with
14 that assessment, wouldn't you?
15 A. Yes, fully. It was the beginning. I don't really want to say
16 that it had to be that way, but that's how it was.
17 Q. And I don't think we need to pause and stop and look at it, in
18 the interests of time, given your testimony, but I'll just mention, in
19 fact, you gave an interview on the 31st of December, 1994, which, if the
20 courtroom does wish to look at it, is P11167. And in that interview, you
21 said then, many years ago, 15 years ago almost, what you said just now:
22 "The Croatian Defence Council was neither organised nor
23 structured. They lacked officers at the command level"; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And you saw your responsibility, on arriving on the scene as a
1 former professional JNA officer -- you remained a professional officer, I
2 suppose, but not in the JNA any longer. You said, about as your primary
3 responsibility or activity, is organising the HVO as a military force;
5 A. Yes. In addition to carrying out ongoing combat, the task was
6 also to organise the HVO in a more efficient manner.
7 Q. In the operative zones or what became the operative zones, for
8 example, Mr. Blaskic had been appointed commander or head of the Central
9 Bosnia Operative Zone by late June 1992; correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. In June 1992, he was appointed as the
11 commander of -- what was it officially called? Well, yes, we can say it
12 was Central Bosnia.
13 Q. And by the fall of 1992, sir, these forms of organisations that
14 had existed previously, and I think you may have mentioned it a moment or
15 two ago, the municipal staffs, so the crisis staffs, by the fall of 1992
16 you had been successful in largely abolishing those, with a new structure
17 based on brigades being put in place; correct?
18 A. Yes, but that came to an end towards the end of the year. We
19 started doing this in the autumn, and it came to an end towards the end
20 of the year.
21 Q. Well, there may have been different stages in different places, I
22 agree, sir. But as early as September, you were giving orders to
23 Mr. Blaskic, for example, as part of this new structure, weren't you?
24 A. Yes, that's correct. There was the Central Bosnian Operative
25 Zone, but not all the units of the Municipal Staff had been transformed
1 into brigades. This was the case in 1993. At the end of 1992, as far as
2 I can remember, we had moved on to a brigade structure.
3 Q. All right. Then can we agree to this much and then move forward:
4 And you I might not agree on an exact date, but you would agree, and we
5 do seem to agree, that by late 1992, the brigade -- the HVO brigade
6 structure was in place and going forward; correct?
7 A. Yes, that's what I said, at the end of 1992, and that's the
8 system that was in place in 1993. So in 1992, as far as I can remember,
9 these municipal staffs were completely dismantled.
10 Q. And during this same period of time, sir, the new BiH government
11 forces, initially called the Territorial Defence, not the old Territorial
12 Defence under the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but under the new
13 Territorial Defence established by the BiH Presidency on the 8th of
14 April, 1992, and then later became known as the ABiH or the Army of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, during this period that armed force was also being
16 established and organised, April, May, June 1992; correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. And in June, I think that was when they
18 went through the last stage. It went through several stages. I think it
19 was in June that the official term for all the forces was the ABiH.
20 Q. Thank you, sir. And during this time, the BiH -- these BiH
21 forces - let's just call them that for the moment - TO, ABiH, but they
22 were essentially doing many of the same things, they were trying to get
23 organised, they were looking for -- they were recruiting a number of
24 former JNA officers, they were really doing a lot of the same things that
25 the HVO -- that you were doing on the HVO side; correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. The procedure had to be identical because
2 everything had to be done from the very beginning on both sides. No one
3 was in a position to just come across units.
4 Q. Mr. Filipovic testified in the Kordic case, and I believe again
5 here, that on the ABiH side, during this period April to July 1992 or so,
6 there were actually more former JNA officers on the ABiH side, if you
7 will, than in the HVO. Would you agree with him?
8 A. Yes, that's correct, I fully agree, because most of the Muslims
9 in the JNA were from the territory of the then Republic of Bosnia
11 Q. And Mr. Filipovic also testified that by June 1992, the
12 Territorial Defence or the ABiH had developed actually into a much larger
13 force, at least in terms of personnel and manpower, than the HVO; is that
15 A. Yes, that's correct. The territory where it was being
16 established was also larger and its population was larger. When I refer
17 to "territory," I'm referring to the territory of Eastern Bosnia
18 covered by units of the ABiH. There were no HVO members there, apart
19 from in the Tuzla
20 Eastern Bosnia
21 THE INTERPRETER: The witness mentioned another town. The
22 interpreter didn't hear the name. Could the witness please be asked to
23 speak up, as he's speaking very softly. Thank you.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. Mr. Petkovic, I think you will have heard that the interpreters
1 would appreciate if you could speak a bit more loudly, please.
2 Mr. Filipovic also said, sir, that as of the June 1992, the ABiH
3 carried its part of the burden and responsibility and was on an equal
4 footing in its ability to fight at the defence lines obviously against
5 the Serbs. You also agree with that?
6 A. Yes, I fully agree with that. Once it was formed, they took up
7 certain positions, they were responsible for certain lines, and they were
8 more or less capable of defending themselves.
9 Q. All right. Can you turn, please, in the binder to P11219,
10 P11219. It's loose, it's one of the loose ones, Your Honours, and the
11 courtroom. I think it's right next to you there, sir. I can see it.
13 Just very briefly, sir, this is a copy of a decision of the BiH
14 Presidency, I believe, on the 18th of August, 1992, where they also were
15 going through various organisation and reorganisation, and it was around
16 this time that they went to -- just as you went to your structures, they
17 went to a structure involving corps, correct, essentially regional corps?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Scott, sorry, but at least myself, I haven't
20 found it. Binder 1, you said?
21 MR. SCOTT: It's loose, Your Honour. It's one of the loose
22 exhibits. My apologies.
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. And in particular, sir, the fourth -- I'm going to direct your
1 attention and the courtroom's attention to, under Article 1, Roman
2 numeral I: "The 4th Corps, Mostar," and you see that. And if you turn
3 over, I don't know about in the Croatian language version, but in the
4 English version, below the second -- below the middle of the second page,
5 and I'm sure you'll be able to find it, the area covered by the 4th Corps
6 is described, and it says:
7 "The 4th Corps, the headquarters of which is in Mostar."
8 And then it covers these following areas: Bjelica, Capljina,
9 Citluk, Gacko, Grude, Jablanica, Konjic, Ljubuski, Mostar, et cetera.
10 You see that?
11 A. Yes, I do, item 4.
12 Q. And would you agree with me, sir, that the 4th Corps covered not
13 all, not all, but much of the territory or municipalities claimed to
14 comprise the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
15 A. First, I should say something about the date. The 4th Corps was
16 formed at the beginning of November 1992. On paper, it covered this
17 area, but in no other way. So on paper, yes, it had these
18 municipalities, but none of its forces were present in those
20 Q. Well, there was a Muslim formation in the Mostar region, wasn't
21 there, in 1992?
22 A. Yes. We can mention which municipalities these are. I think
23 that would be fair, if you agree.
24 Q. Well -- no, let me just focus on Mostar, for example. There
25 was -- wasn't there something called the Independent Battalion, or the
1 Mostar Brigade, or Mostar Battalion, that was primarily a Muslim unit, if
2 you will, or ABiH unit?
3 A. Yes, exactly. That was the 1st Mostar Brigade at the time, which
4 had been established some 20 days ago. It started -- establishment
5 started in July 1992. All these other places, except for Jablanica and
6 Konjic, were places where there was no one soldier of the ABiH to be
8 Q. Well, if we have time, we'll come back to some of that
9 eventually, perhaps. But we have the 4th Corps established, and we see
10 the area which it was at least intended to cover.
11 Now, we can stop briefly, perhaps, and this will be in the
12 binder, on 4D00830. I think it's the last document in the first binder
13 that we're using today, 4D00830.
14 While you're looking for that, sir, just for the record, I'll say
15 that this is your report on the work of the HVO, essentially from the
16 time you arrived, it says on page 1 -- the report itself -- let me back
17 up and say the report, itself, is dated February 4th, 1993, covering the
18 period April 14, 1992
19 you look through that, and we're not going to stop and look at the
20 document in detail at all, but simply for you to know and for the
21 courtroom to see that many of the things we've talked about in the last
22 few minutes are, in fact, covered in your report. You talk about the
23 organisation of the brigades. Under the second heading overall, not
24 number 2, but at the end of, I guess, end of unit 1, you say:
25 "General conclusion. Nowadays, HVO forces successfully hold
1 under their control 90 per cent of the area mapped out as HZ-HB, and they
2 are capable and ready to defend it, provide they get better material
4 Item number 3:
5 "Organisation of HVO forces. HVO forces were organised in the
6 course of combat activities throughout the entire territory of HZ-HB.
7 Organisation of HVO forces through temporary formations is almost
8 finished, and nowadays we have the following scheme:"
9 And then you lay out that scheme, basically, the HVO General or
10 Main Staff for operational zones and the brigade structure in each of the
11 zones. And we're going to come to that in just a few minutes.
12 At the last item before number item 4, if you can find that,
13 there's a section titled "4" that says "Personnel Issues and Drafting."
14 We can use that, please, as a landmark, and if we look immediately above
15 that, you say in your report:
16 "Formation of brigades cancelled municipal staffs, and this added
17 to commanding quality while units gained mobility"; correct?
18 A. Yes, that's what I stated here, that by this means and at that
19 moment, a small step toward a better organisation had been made.
20 Q. Well, it wasn't such a small step, was it, sir? It was a rather
21 large step, and largely you're responsible for it, to your credit. You
22 had achieved, in a relatively short time, improving the HVO military
23 organisation rather substantially. I don't think you have to be unduly
24 modest in this situation. You did that, didn't you?
25 A. Yes, I did that, but this couldn't have been a step of five
1 miles. These were only the first steps. Like this, we let the
2 municipalities know that they were not supposed to interfere, but to keep
3 out of that. But certainly the fact that at least on paper we took away
4 the extensive powers that the municipalities had had before was certainly
5 a step forward.
6 Q. And you would agree, sir, again, with the view expressed by
7 Mr. Filipovic, that:
8 "By the end of 1992, the HVO was fairly organised and represented
9 a significant fighting force"?
10 A. The HVO had its organisational structure on paper. Our
11 assessment was that we had up to 45.000 men, and that was the utmost that
12 the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina could rally, not more than
13 that, because simply there weren't enough Croats.
14 Q. With that background and that foundation laid, let's look,
15 please, at Exhibit P11123.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, one small question.
17 As regards the last document, the 4D0830, do you intend to refer
18 to Prozor again in future, because this document provides an explanation
19 for the events in Prozor. If you get back to it, I will not put a
20 question, but if you don't, I would like to put a question.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'd have to say the honest answer to
22 your question is, given the time constraints and the evolving nature of
23 the cross and how time goes, I don't know for sure that we'll come back
24 to it. So if you would like to ask your question, of course, I invite
25 you to.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, this is an
2 extremely short question I'd like to put to you.
3 I discover in this document, in paragraph 5, you explain the
4 events in Prozor, and I read what you have written, that the Muslims
5 attacked in Prozor, they attacked, in fact, because they wanted to take
6 control of the hydroelectric power-plant. This is what you have written.
7 Can you confirm this or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can confirm that,
9 Your Honour. I confirm everything I wrote here under item 5, and that
10 refers to the Prozor region.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that in
12 Prozor, it was the Muslims who attacked, because they killed one of your
13 soldiers. This is what you write. And the purpose was to control the
14 hydroelectric power-plant. You explain that the HVO intervened and that
15 extremist -- Muslim extremist groups were still provocative and fueling
16 the conflict. It's always interesting to look at the document. And you
17 add all of this for the benefit of KOS.
18 What did you mean by this; that the Serbs were behind all of
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, when I
21 say "KOS
22 Croats, Slovenians, Muslims, Macedonians in their ranks too, everybody
23 who had been citizens of Yugoslavia
24 Serbs. They may have been the majority because they were the most
25 numerous group, but KOS
1 want to do join KOS
2 affiliation. Or, rather, only those would be allowed to join who had
3 been assessed by the KOS
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, the floor is yours
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 If we could then turn, please, if you haven't done so already, to
8 P11123, P11123, in, again, the first binder or the binder we're using
10 Q. Sir, this is a chart that I think it's come up before, and I mean
11 to spend a lot of time on it, but I did want to touch on it in leading to
12 something else. This was a chart that you prepared and was prepared and
13 used by you in connection with your Blaskic testimony; correct?
14 A. Yes, I think so.
15 Q. And I take it, sir, that you again stand by this diagram or
16 chart, if you will, as continuing to be true and accurate, according to
18 Page 3 of the e-court. Yes, thank you.
19 You stand by it, don't you?
20 A. Yes, Your Honours, I stand by this schematic I drew back then or,
21 rather, which I drafted.
22 Q. I might just say for the record, sir, because we'll, again, not
23 have time to cover everything that we might otherwise, but I think we're
24 probably pretty much in agreement on most of the chart, you and I. And I
25 will just note that the Prosecution does not accept or agree with the
1 placement of the Convicts Battalion, but I'm not sure we'll come back to
2 that or not. But overall this shows the structure from the supreme
3 commander, and I take it that's Mr. Boban; correct? Mr. Boban; correct?
4 A. Yes, it's Mr. Mate Boban, this box which reads "Supreme
5 Commander." And at that moment, he was alone there, without anybody
6 around him.
7 Q. And beneath him we have the "Defence Department," and that was
8 headed by Mr. Stojic; correct?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Stojic was there until the 15th of November, 1993, I
10 believe, from the 3rd of July, 1992, if I'm not mistaken. If I am,
11 please correct me.
12 Q. I think that's right. And the Main Staff, of course, through
13 1992 and at least up until about November of 1993, the head of the
14 Main Staff or the command -- the number-one commander, so to speak, was
15 either you or Mr. Praljak; correct?
16 A. We can be more accurate. That would be better. On the 24th of
17 July, 1993, I handed over my duty to General Praljak. And on the 9th of
18 November, 1993, he handed it over to General Roso. That was his last day
19 on duty. He left on that day.
20 Q. And we can agree and confirm that the special units, at least, or
21 special units called the Bruno Busic, the Vitezovi, and the
22 Ludvig Pavlovic, were linked to and, some would say, the assets of the
23 Main Staff; correct?
24 A. They are units subordinate to the staff, that's what they were
25 called, in the Yugoslav People's Army. So they were at the disposal of
1 the Main
2 to the operative zones.
3 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you now to look and the courtroom to look
4 in Sanction at an excerpt of your Blaskic testimony on this matter. And
5 the Chamber's seen this before, but I must say I did find it to be a
6 rather good and concise outline of these matters that you presented. I
7 just want to go through it with you briefly.
8 We've already talked about your measures to accede to and speed
9 up the establishment of brigades of the Croatian Defence Council, and
10 then it goes on to say:
11 "Furthermore, there was a reorganisation of the military
12 territorial division or, rather, the creation of operative zones.
13 "Therefore, I now wish to present to you a diagram of the
14 structure of the HVO in the period from 1992 until the end of 1993,"
15 which has been marked in this case as the document we just looked at,
17 "The Decree on Armed Forces stipulated that the
18 commander-in-chief was at the head of the army.
19 "His administrative office comprised the Defence Department, and
20 within the Defence Department, as an operative department, was the
21 Main Staff of the Croatian Defence Council.
22 "So I shall repeat this. The supreme commander was at the head
23 of the army. The administrative section was called the Defence
25 Now, let's pause there. Everything -- you agree with and stand
1 by your Blaskic testimony as to all those matters?
2 A. No, I didn't put it like that. I didn't say that the
3 commander-in-chief was in the Defence Department. The Main Staff was in
4 the Defence Department, but the supreme commander was outside, and that's
5 how it is represented here.
6 Q. Excuse me.
7 A. The Main Staff is an integral part of the Defence Department.
8 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Well, it may have been translation, sir, because
9 what's on the page, I'll be corrected, I'm sure, if I'm wrong, is a
10 verbatim taken -- lifted directly out of the transcript of your
11 testimony, so with apologies to interpretation, it may have been
13 "The supreme commander was at the head of the army, the
14 administrative section was called the Defence Department.
15 "Within the Defence Department, there was a Main Staff as the
16 operative part."
17 You agree with all that?
18 A. Yes, that's correct, I agree.
19 Q. "The Main Staff had direct communications with the commands of
20 the operative zones. There was the operative zone with its seat in
21 Mostar, the operative zone with its seat in Tomislavgrad, the operative
22 zone with its seat in Vitez, and the operative zone with its seat in
24 "A certain number of brigades, battalions, and other units were
25 directly linked to each operative zone."
1 And we're not going to go through those now:
2 "As for the Main Staff, the first professional units of the
3 Croatian Defence Council were directly linked to them, that is to say,
4 the Bruno Busic Regiment, the Vitezovi, the Ludvig Pavlovic Battalion."
5 And you stand by all that, don't you, sir?
6 A. Yes, I do, and that's why I drew the schematic the way I drew it.
7 But if you want me to add, the Operative Zone of Orasje, on the 15th of
8 October, 1992, was integrated into the command structure of the
9 Main Staff. Until that time, it was separate and part of the Bosnian
10 Posavina community.
11 Q. All right. And before we leave this particular aspect, and if we
12 had -- we don't need to look back at it, necessarily. But when you had
13 the "Supreme Commander" box that we had up before, that was Mr. Boban
14 from at least the time that you arrived in April of 1992, and continued
15 to be the case until at least the end of 1993; correct?
16 A. I think it would be more correct to say February 1994. I believe
17 that he was replaced by Mr. Zubak then.
18 Q. That's correct, sir. And I did say "at least until the end of
19 1993," just to try to avoid getting into a debate with you, but you're
20 absolutely right. February 1994, and I believe he was actually replaced
21 by a presidential council, of which Mr. Zubak was the head; is that
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. If we could look -- pause briefly on Exhibit P11124, the next
25 exhibit after the one we were just looking at a moment ago, P11124.
1 In your Blaskic testimony, you likewise presented a chart of the
2 organisation of the Defence Department, headed by Mr. Stojic. Do you see
3 that? Do you see that, sir, and do you still stand by that as an
4 accurate portrayal of the structure?
5 A. No, this is not an accurate portrayal of the structure. It
6 wasn't my intention here to present the structure of the Department of
7 Defence. I only wanted to show how an administration was organised;
8 namely, the Military Police Administration --
9 Q. Well, you don't disagree, sir --
10 A. -- because there are elements missing here, such as assistants,
11 et cetera. Some administrations were added that are of no special
12 significance, but the Military Police Administration has been
13 highlighted. But this isn't the original structure of the Department of
14 Defence, nor was it my intention to present it here, because lots of
15 things are missing; assistants, deputy, et cetera.
16 Q. I'm going to cut you off for now. Sorry, you know our time is
18 This is the chart that you presented under oath, titled "Chart of
19 the HVO Structure, 1992-1993." And I understand, sir, almost any chart
20 could show more detail. But as far as this chart goes, you previously
21 confirmed it under oath as accurate, and you would agree with that today,
22 wouldn't you?
23 Excuse me. I don't think we need any answers from the Defence.
24 Mr. Stojic just said, no, out loud in the courtroom.
25 THE ACCUSED STOJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was waiting,
1 but this isn't the way it was. You know yourself -- we've been here for
2 four years on trial. You know that there wasn't such a structure. Thank
3 you very much.
4 I apologise for butting in like this.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer.
6 As far as I remember, I didn't say that --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, General Petkovic.
8 The Trial Chamber is asking the other accused not to interfere in
9 the cross-examination. Mr. Scott is putting a question to the general,
10 and it is for the general to answer. Now, if this does have a
11 side-effect, that is another matter.
12 General Petkovic, the document Mr. Scott is showing you is
13 seemingly a document which you presented when you testified under oath?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can see that the figure 9 is
16 mentioned here. This means that you must have prepared several
17 documents. I always look at the documents in your language to see
18 whether they've been translated properly into English. In your language,
19 I discover that as far as what you said regarding the military police,
20 where it says "HVO" and the operative zones in the document, in your
21 language you have put a dotted line between the operative zone and the
22 battalions of the military police. In the English version, this is not a
23 dotted line. This is a hyphen. Why was there a dotted line in the text
24 in your language?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is how I wanted
1 to show the provisions of the Decree on the Structure of the Military
2 Police, as adopted in December 1992, which means that the 2nd Battalion
3 was carrying out its duties in Tomislavgrad OZ, the 3rd Battalion in OZ
4 Mostar, the 4th Battalion in the territory of OZ Vitez
5 wasn't a battalion at the time, only a company, and it was active in OZ
6 Orasje. That's the meaning of these dotted lines. This is in accordance
7 with the document adopted on the 26th of December, 1992.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for having clarified
9 this. Let me finish.
10 I listened carefully to the question put by the Prosecutor
11 concerning the documents, and the Prosecutor re-read to you what you had
12 stated during your former testimony. I must say that this made me
13 reflect on this.
14 You said that the supreme commander, Mr. Boban -- everybody
15 understood that. But then you added that the administrative section was
16 called "Defence Department." I understand what this is. But then you
17 added, and Mr. Scott read this out slowly, what you stated, you said that
18 within this there was the Main Staff regarding operational issues. And I
19 don't understand this, because you are saying that the Defence Department
20 is administrative, but inside it there is an operational component of the
21 Main Staff which is part of the Defence Department. I must say that I
22 don't understand this.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, if you
24 read the Decree on the Armed Forces of the HZ-HB, you will read that the
25 Department of Defence carries out staff duties for the president or the
1 Presidency or, to simplify, for the commander-in-chief. And then there's
2 another item for the carrying out of staff duties. In the framework of
3 the Defence Department, the Main Staff is established or shall be
4 established. It is logical that the Main Staff inside the Defence
5 Department proclaims itself -- and it doesn't need to proclaim itself
6 because it is a staff body, an operative body, and will carry out such
7 activities upon the request of the commander-in-chief. And that's what
8 the Decree on the Armed Forces says. And in the first part, it is also
9 graphically represented like that.
10 You may be confused by the fact that I didn't place the
11 Main Staff inside the same box as the Defence Department, and instead
12 draw a line between them showing a link. The Main Staff is a staff body
13 and an operational body doing such work for the commander-in-chief. We
14 can return to that and check, and you will see that it is an accurate
15 depiction of the situation.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: In the
17 Croatian Army and in the JNA, was it -- was there the same structure?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In the Croatian Army, there
19 was a main staff organised in the same way. It was an operative body of
20 the supreme commander. In the JNA, there was the so-called -- there was
21 the so-called Main
22 Supreme Command. The JNA had a supreme command at the time, so there was
23 some of them who formed part of that Supreme Command, and this General
24 Staff -- Main Staff was the operative body to produce at the lowest
25 level. So you can understand this, it was like a staff within an
1 operative zone or staff within a brigade. It was involved in operative
2 duties on behalf of the supreme commander in the HVO and in the Republic
3 of Croatia
4 and this staff performed duties -- worked for the needs of this Supreme
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the sake of completeness,
7 was it the same structure in the ABiH?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the ABiH, yes, there was this
9 General Staff or, rather, they called it the Staff of the Supreme
10 Command. We called it the Main Staff, and the Serbs called it the
11 General Staff. The JNA used this term that was, for example, the nature
12 of the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. General Halilovic
13 was the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command, I was the Chief of Staff
14 of the HVO Main Staff, and I don't know who occupied that position in
16 General Staff, or perhaps it was someone else. All these bodies were
17 staff bodies. They were involved in work that was carried out on behalf
18 of the supreme commander.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 I think there might have been -- either Mr. Petkovic may have
22 misspoke, or there may have been a mistranslation, but I don't believe
23 Mr. Halilovic was ever the Chief of the Main Staff of the HVO. Or maybe
24 I misheard.
25 Q. Is that correct, sir? In any event, that's what I heard at one
1 point. You were talking about --
2 A. General Halilovic was the Chief of the Main Staff -- of the
3 General Staff of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Perhaps there was
4 some confusion.
5 Q. If I can ask you to turn to Exhibit P04527, P04527.
6 A. Is it at the beginning of my binder?
7 Q. We're not going in numerical order, sir, and I'm not sure I can
8 tell you exactly. Probably more in the second half. 4527.
9 A. It's a bit difficult to find.
10 Q. I understand. Sir, my question here is not so much about the
11 content of the document, other than the list of names that we see here.
12 For the record, this is a communication or order from a commander
13 in the military police, dated the 26th of August, 1993. And if you look
14 at the nine names -- let me first ask -- let me first pause at
15 Mr. Stanko Matic. Can you just remind us of the position held by
16 Mr. Matic as of the 26th of August, 1993?
17 A. Stanko Matic was General Zarko Tole's deputy, the deputy of the
18 commander [as interpreted] of the Main Staff. You knew that at the
19 Main Staff we had a commander. That was the structure at the time. So
20 he was the deputy, General Tole's deputy.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really have to
22 correct the transcript. Line 16, it says "Commander of the Main Staff,"
23 whereas the general, in fact, said "the Chief of the Main Staff." So
24 Stanko Bozic [as interpreted] was Zarko Tole's deputy or, rather, he was
25 the deputy of the Chief of the Main Staff.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stanko Matic, not Bozic.
2 MR. SCOTT: Correct.
3 Q. Sir, putting aside the military police --
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. The translation in
5 line 22 is wrong again. I said Stanko Matic was the deputy of the Chief
6 of the Main Staff.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Putting aside, sir, the military police, would you agree with me
9 this list of nine persons gives us a -- essentially a list of the very
10 top of the HVO military and defence structure, as of August 1993, either
11 in the Defence Department, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Bozic, Mr. Lucic, or in the
12 operations of the Main Staff, Mr. Praljak, Mr. Petkovic, et cetera? This
13 gives us really the main players, doesn't it?
14 A. These are the main players in the Defence Department or in the
15 Main Staff.
16 Q. I'd like to ask you a few questions in this relation -- excuse
17 me, in relation to this structure and what we've been talking about so
19 From the documents that I've seen, sir, the HVO command and
20 reporting structure essentially involved a daily report up the chain.
21 And by "up the chain," I mean if you want to say starting at the lower
22 levels, and I won't go too low, but for present purposes, you had a daily
23 report from the company commander to the brigade commander, from the
24 brigade commander to the operative zone commander, from the operative
25 zone commander to the Main Staff; correct?
1 A. That was a principle that one had to abide by, but there were
2 cases in which this principle wasn't respected. But that was the
3 principle that was in force in the HVO.
4 Q. And it was required, wasn't it, that the commander at each level
5 would have to sign off on this report or approve the report, the content
6 of the report, or, of course, if the commander, himself, was not
7 available, then someone who was authorised to act on his behalf, a deputy
8 or some such person, a person in authority would have to sign off that
9 the content was, so far as they knew, at least, true and accurate;
11 A. Your Honours, it depended on the nature of the report. If it was
12 treated as a regular operative report, then it would be drafted by an
13 operations officer who was on duty at the time. Sometimes he would put
14 his name at the bottom of the document, because it was really the
15 operations officer, and sometimes the commander's name would be put down,
16 and it would be sent in that form. So operative officers would sign
17 reports when they were on duty, and they would forward them up the chain
18 of command from brigades to the operative zone and then up towards the
19 Main Staff. The commander of an operative zone would, on occasion, sign
20 the document if he was present there, if his name was placed on the
21 document. But usually those in the operative service on duty had to
22 draft these reports, and they had the right to forward such reports, only
23 the reports they received from others. They didn't have the right to
24 assess certain situations or draw conclusions. They would draft the
25 final reports and then forward them.
1 Q. If Mr. Siljeg represented the situation this way, that he, as the
2 operative zone commander, if he was present at the time, it would be he
3 that would sign off on the reports before they went out, or if he was not
4 there, then his deputy would do that for him, that would be the general
5 practice, wouldn't it?
6 A. Your Honours, if it was an operative report, then Mr. Siljeg's
7 name could be there, without him having signed the document, and it would
8 then be sent. The operative officer would sign operative reports. At
9 the end of his shift, he would draft an operative report. He would then
10 inform Siljeg of the report, or, rather, any other commander present.
11 Siljeg might sign it, but not necessarily. It could have been signed on
12 his behalf, and then it could have been forwarded in that form. So it
13 wasn't necessary for each such report to be signed by the commander of
14 the operative zone. The operative officer communicates with the
15 operative officer in the Main Staff, and they send these reports to each
17 Q. Thank you, sir. And you and Mr. Praljak, at the time that you
18 were either number one or number two, so to speak, you were generally
19 available to your commanders, weren't you? They could reach you if they
20 wanted to, normally, by telephone, by radio, by some means; you were
21 generally available to your commanders, weren't you?
22 A. Each and every commander who felt the need to come and discuss
23 certain matters would have to be received. If a commander said --
24 Q. Excuse me, sir. I'm going to have to begin -- you know our time
25 is precious, and I'm trying to be patient and I haven't been cutting you
1 off, but I'm going to have to begin doing that more, I'm afraid. I'm
2 sorry if that's discourteous.
3 But not just to come to you, sir, but you were available to -- by
4 communication. For example, Mr. -- if Mr. Siljeg represented that he
5 was, for the most part -- and of course there were exceptions, but for
6 the most part he was able to pick up the telephone at any time and reach
7 you by phone, you would agree with that, wouldn't you?
8 A. He would phone me. He had a phone. His duty was to phone
9 whenever he felt that he had to have contact with me.
10 Q. My apologies, but the answer to my question is, Yes, one word,
11 Yes, he did.
12 A. Yes, yes. But you're talking about him coming by using the
13 phone. That's not how it's done.
14 Q. Well, sir, there could be any number of means. I started my
15 question to you, and I'm not going to spend time arguing with you about
16 his, but I first simply asked you: You were available to your commanders
17 by various means of communication, whether it was telephone, radio, face
18 to face, you were generally available to your commanders. I believe you
19 said, Yes. I further put to you that, in addition, generally speaking,
20 one could pick up the phone and reach you, and your answer just now was,
21 Yes; correct?
22 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, in the course -- we've heard in the course of
24 your testimony, and in the testimony of others, for that matter, that you
25 obviously weren't sitting at your desk at the HVO headquarters all the
1 time. We know you were in Geneva
2 you were in Grude, you were in Vitez, you were in Kiseljak. When either
3 you or Mr. Praljak would not be physically present at HVO headquarters,
4 how would people trying to reach you or needing to be in communication
5 with you, how would they reach you or communicate with you?
6 A. Well, it was possible to find out through the Main Staff where we
7 were at the time. And if there was a phone number, they could find out
8 where we were, and they would then phone the number. If I was in
10 reached. But if I was in Citluk, then he'd have a look in the telephone
11 directory and phone the number in Citluk and ask the commander if the
12 general was there, Can I speak to him, he would say, and that's how he
13 could establish contact.
14 Q. Well, sir, I dare to say you could be reached in Geneva and other
15 places. I mean, people could find you if they wanted to. Mr. Petkovic
16 is attending meetings in Geneva
17 Croatian Ministry of Defence, he can be reached at Hotel so-and-so.
18 Surely people could reach you. You're an important man. People needed
19 to be able to reach you, didn't they?
20 A. No one phoned me throughout that period of time, no one was
21 provided with the number. When necessary, I would go to the Croatian
22 Embassy and establish contact. On the 21st of January, for example, with
23 the HVO --
24 THE INTERPRETER: On the 24th of January. Interpreter's
25 correction, sorry.
1 MR. SCOTT: My apologies for cutting across.
2 Q. Let's just talk about some of the locations you did go within
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina. You spent -- you made a number of visits, from
4 the documentation, to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. You went to
5 Vitez and met with Mr. Blaskic on occasion. How many times can you tell
6 us that you were in Vitez in 1993?
7 A. Six or seven times. I might be able to remember the dates when I
8 was there. There were conversations, discussions, with Halilovic --
9 Q. You've answered my question.
10 A. -- in Zenica.
11 Q. Six or seven times. And can I ask you, approximately how many
12 times in 1993 were you in Kiseljak?
13 A. I couldn't give you a number. I went to Kiseljak quite
14 frequently because of the duties I had with regard to UNPROFOR or,
15 rather, the international community, and also to get out the wounded,
16 because we had a base where we had received the wounded, and this base
17 was located in Kiseljak, and that's where we evacuated them from in
18 Central Bosnia
19 Q. A dozen times, 15 times, 20 times?
20 A. Twenty times for sure, perhaps even twenty-five times.
21 Q. And when you were in Vitez or in Kiseljak, how would the people
22 at your headquarters operations in Herzegovina, how would they
23 communicate with you?
24 A. There was a telephone line between the Kiseljak Main Staff and
25 the Vitez Main Staff. It has been shown here in these proceedings.
1 Q. Well, not just between the Kiseljak Main Staff and Vitez, but
2 there were phone communications between headquarters in Herzegovina
3 Vitez, the Central Bosnia Operative Zone headquarters, and communications
4 directly from Herzegovina
5 A. Yes, there were two lines with Central Bosnia. One was with
6 Vitez, and the other was with Kiseljak.
7 Q. And apart from -- or in addition to telephone communications,
8 sir, between the Herzegovina
9 Kiseljak, there was Paket communication, wasn't there? And we've seen
10 many of those in the course of this trial.
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. And I take it, sir, when you travelled on your official duties
13 through Bosnia-Herzegovina, you would keep your headquarters operations
14 informed as to your whereabouts and where you could be reached. It would
15 be irresponsible to do otherwise, wouldn't it?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. So if you were travelling, for example, in one of your 20 or so
18 trips to Kiseljak, you would have said to your duty officer or your aide,
19 whoever, or more than one, probably, you would say, I'm going to
20 Kiseljak, I'm going to be there for the next three days, I can be reached
21 through the Kiseljak HVO or through the operations there, something like
22 that; correct?
23 A. Your Honours, it would have been sufficient to say, I'm going to
24 Kiseljak. Everyone has the telephone directory for Kiseljak and knows
25 the number in Kiseljak, and that is the number that would be used. It is
1 not necessary to mention anyone. It would be sufficient to say, I'm
2 going to Kiseljak -- or, rather, it was my duty to tell my commander, I'm
3 going to Kiseljak, or I'm going to Sarajevo, I'm going here or there, and
4 then they could know how I could be reached.
5 Q. I want to touch, sir, moving forward, to subordination. And
6 there's been quite a bit of testimony on that, and it may be -- it may be
7 that it seems relatively clear, at least from your perspective, so I'm
8 not going to spend a lot of time on it. But subordination involved
9 one -- putting one unit that was not normally under someone's command in
10 the day-to-day course of events, but putting that unit subject to the
11 command and control of somebody else; correct?
12 A. Yes, correct. A unit that wasn't a part of a given structure,
13 but was sent to the structure, would then be subordinated. It was a unit
14 that was part of Establishment A, and it was then sent to Establishment
15 B, and it would be subordinated to Establishment B. So it wasn't part of
16 that structure, but it had to temporarily, at least, become part of that
18 Q. And you would agree with me, wouldn't you, sir, that, in fact, in
19 the HVO every unit had to be under somebody's control; it could not exist
20 on its own and act on its own?
21 A. If you have an HVO organisational unit, it has its own commander,
22 it has its command structure, and if that is the case, then naturally
23 it's under the control of the person who is at the head of that body.
24 Q. If we could look, just to clarify or confirm that point, at -- in
25 Sanction, it's number 4, for my case manager. This is what you said in
1 Kordic, sir:
2 "Every unit had to be under somebody's control; it could not
3 exist on its own and act on its own."
4 And you stand by that, don't you?
5 A. Only organisational units that listed as HVO units. If there
6 were any other units of any other kind, well, then they weren't part of
7 our structure.
8 Q. In terms of professional and special units, I believe, again, we
9 can touch -- pass through that quite quickly. But, again, the principle
10 was essentially the same. As we spoke, excuse me, a few moments ago --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I have a major
12 follow-up question.
13 General Petkovic, the Prosecutor's question was an important one,
14 and you answered it. Well, to make it clearer, listen carefully. In the
15 geographical zone of a brigade, if there is a Unit A, a Unit B, a Unit C,
16 or possibly a unit that would be a D unit, in your view, is it so that
17 the brigade commander in this zone has authority over A, B, C, and D
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it would be necessary
20 to discuss the location in question. If it's a separate municipality and
21 there's a brigade commander and another HVO unit that isn't his unit,
22 well, then he would be in command of that unit. Naturally, it would be
23 necessary to draft the relevant orders stating that they were being
24 subordinated to him. However, if we take the Vitez area, it's a specific
25 area. There's a brigade there, the military police headquarter is there,
1 there's a special purposes unit there. In such a case, the brigade
2 commander wouldn't have authority over those units in Vitez, and police
3 would be the higher command or the commander of the operative zone who
4 would have such authority. So it depended on the situation. It was
5 different, depending on the location. As a rule, all the units in a
6 given area should be placed under the command, at least temporarily while
7 they are there, of one commander. No one should act independently and as
8 they saw fit.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, we have a few
10 minutes left before the break.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Just to touch briefly, then, because I don't want to spend too
13 much time on it, but on the professional units, if we could go to -- in
14 Sanction, to slide 5. I think this sums it up. Again, sir, from your
15 testimony in the Blaskic case:
16 "Professional units were linked to the Main Staff, and they could
17 have carried out assignments issued by the Main Staff, but they could
18 also have been subordinated to a certain commander to carry out
19 assignments on his orders in a certain zone ...
20 "So I'm claiming and stating that they were linked to the
21 Main Staff and the Main Staff had either the right to use them on their
22 own or to subordinate them to another commander, a commander of an
23 operative zone who could use them on the basis of his own needs and
24 tasks, and we know what the subordination of a unit means. This
25 subordination involves the responsibility of the commander and the
1 responsibility of those who are being subordinated to him."
2 And you would stand by that, wouldn't you?
3 A. Yes, I stand by that.
4 Q. And as an example, just to take one example, and I think it came
5 up, perhaps yesterday, or some day in the last day or two -- it wasn't
6 yesterday, but it came up. The Vitezovi unit, which was one of these
7 professional units that was in Central Bosnia, and I believe you
8 testified in both Blaskic and Kordic that the Vitezovi, for example,
9 during most of 1993, was subordinated to Mr. Blaskic, but, in any event,
10 that there was no one who could have controlled the Vitezovi during that
11 period except you and Mr. Blaskic; correct?
12 A. From the 15th of January, Colonel Blaskic had exclusive control
13 over Vitezovi. I couldn't have control over them, because from April, I
14 couldn't gain access to that territory to gain an idea of what was
15 happening. That's why it was subordinated. If you haven't got an
16 overview of it, then it has to be subordinated to someone who can have an
17 idea of the situation, and this was the commander of the Central Bosnia
18 Operative Zone. It's the order of the 15th of January, which you have,
19 which refers to all elements of combat organisation.
20 Q. I fully agree with you, sir. But it's also your testimony, and
21 you made it very clear in Blaskic, that throughout that time-period, as
22 the commander of the Main Staff, as the Chief of the Main Staff, you also
23 retained, throughout that time-period, responsibility. It was
24 subordinated to Blaskic, but you also maintained responsibility and
25 authority over that unit, didn't you?
1 A. I testified that I did not separate it from the Main Staff,
2 because if I had done that, it would have become part of the structure of
3 OZ Central Bosnia
4 Main Staff, as shown earlier. So I maintain that it still was a unit of
5 the Main Staff.
6 MR. SCOTT: If I can finish this topic, Mr. President, before the
7 break. I just have one or two more questions, and then I'll be changing
9 Q. Just finishing on this concept, then, of control, as much as
10 we've been able to cover it so far this morning, we sometimes hear of
11 units being out of control. But in reality, sir, units were under
12 always -- virtually always under somebody's control. They couldn't, in
13 fact, act on their own; isn't that correct?
14 A. I said earlier, and I'm still saying, and you can find that in my
15 documents, all organised units. And when I say "organised," I mean those
16 that were established in the HVO in its official documents, they were
17 under control. All units or groups of persons that were not established
18 that way were not under the control of any commander of the HVO.
19 Q. Let's look, please, on Sanction -- in Sanction at slide number 6,
20 your testimony in the Kordic case under oath, page 26746:
21 "Q. So there can be no question, can there, of units operating
22 in Vitez terrorising the local inhabitants and being out of control
23 because they were either under your control or they had been specifically
24 subordinated to Blaskic, you would say?
25 "A. Your Honours, yes. Every unit had to be under somebody's
1 control; it could not exist on its own and act on its own."
2 And you stand by that now, don't you?
3 A. Yes, these are HVO units that must be under control. Outside the
4 HVO, we have no control over units. So this referred to HVO units,
5 irrespective of their size or name, but they were HVO units that must be
6 under control. Other units that we did not establish or didn't provide
7 rules for them in our documents could -- could act otherwise. We could
8 have -- there could have been incidents with them, et cetera. So I was
9 referring to HVO units, our units.
10 MR. SCOTT: I understand.
11 Your Honour, that would be a time to break.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's have the break.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe the Stojic Defence
16 has something to say about a technical question relating to a document.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Thank you.
18 I didn't want to interrupt Mr. Scott. I would just like to point
19 it out to the Trial Chamber and have it recorded in the transcript that
20 the document that he showed, and that is document 11123, which is a
21 schematic of the structure of the HVO for the period from 1992 to 1993,
22 is mistranslated into English, and that document is an exhibit as 4D618.
23 And the correct translation has an IC number, 1169.
24 Thank you, Your Honours. That's what I had to say, for the sake
25 of the transcript.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, thank you.
2 Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. And there is no dispute
4 about that. It's been -- counsel have discussed it before. The
5 Prosecution has taken the position that since it was -- if it's an
6 admitted exhibit in another case, that we couldn't unilaterally change it
7 because it's a matter of Tribunal record. But we agree that's what it
8 would properly show.
9 Q. Sir, I'd like to turn to something that you touched on your very
10 first day, and that is you agreed that -- in fact, Ms. Alaburic put the
11 question to you this way:
12 "In a well-organised society, do civilian authorities exert
13 control over the military?"
14 And your answer was:
15 "The civilian authorities do excerpt control the military."
16 And that was the case in the HVO, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes. It was set up that way to provide for the possibility of
18 controlling the military.
19 Q. And if we just pause briefly a little bit further, a lengthier
20 part of your testimony on slide number 7 in Sanction:
21 "Q. Still, if we are trying to defined the position that applies
22 to other social communities, irrespective of the concrete situation in
24 authorities should, indeed, control the military?
25 "A. Absolutely. It would be bad if it was the other way around
1 or if the army controlled itself. That army would be good for nothing,
2 or far be it for anybody from the military to control the civilian
3 authorities. That would be bad."
4 Staying on that topic, sir, would it be fair to say, and I'm
5 going to put it to you, that in connection with the civilian control of
6 the HVO military, that the three principal civilians having such power or
7 control were Mr. Boban, as the president of Herceg-Bosna, as
8 commander-in-chief, Mr. Stojic, as head of the Defence Department, and
9 Mr. Prlic, as head of the government? That would be the case, wouldn't
11 A. Mr. Boban had the right to directly control. Mr. Stojic was in
12 the system of the military, and Mr. Stojic could exert indirect control
13 through the Department of Defence.
14 Q. And Mr. Prlic, as head of the government, exercised substantial
15 authority or influence over defence and military matters, didn't he?
16 A. Mr. Prlic was -- headed the provisional authority of the HVO, and
17 his influence was limited by the Decree on the Armed Forces and by the
18 organisational structure of his administrative bodies.
19 Q. Well, sir, I'm not talking now about, necessarily, issuing
20 directly military orders, but you'd have to agree with me, wouldn't you,
21 that in the HVO authorities, as relates to military and defence matters,
22 there couldn't be three more powerful people than Mr. Boban, Mr. Stojic,
23 and Mr. Prlic, could there?
24 A. That's how it is set out in the -- laid out in the Decree on the
25 Armed Forces. It defines the powers of the head of the Department of
1 Defence and other government officials.
2 Q. In fact, sir --
3 MR. KHAN: I'm sorry, Mr. President. I'm sorry, my learned
4 friend Mr. Scott.
5 Your Honour, can I just say for the record that slide number 7
6 refers to transcript page 49297-98 [Realtime transcript read in error
7 "4929798"] it would be useful, perhaps, and a matter for my learned
8 friend, either to have all the extracts that are in Sanction with the
9 slide number labelled, then would obviate the need to refer every time to
10 the transcript number. Or, alternatively, always when my learned friend
11 refers to the Sanction slide number, also to give the transcript page
12 number. Sometimes today it's been given, sometimes we haven't got the
13 record. I'm grateful.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, well, it might be
15 useful if when you give the number of the slide and you give us the
16 transcript page number, please.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll endeavour to do that.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: On the transcript, we have many, many pages, but
19 we don't have 4 million, as indicated here, almost 5 million. Perhaps it
20 would be good to repeat.
21 MR. SCOTT: That's true. In terms of the current slide, which I
22 believe is slide number 7, it should be transcript 49297, continuing to
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
1 Q. Sir, what I was about to put to you was: In fact, Mr. Stojic, in
2 a sense, had -- in terms of the structures that you've told us about and
3 what we otherwise know, Mr. Stojic had a relationship to Mr. Boban, as
4 commander-in-chief, but at the same time Mr. Stojic was the head of an
5 executive department that was part of Mr. Prlic's government, wasn't he?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And when Mr. Stojic want to do have funding, and logistical
8 support, and guns and food and medical supplies, it was through the
9 government -- he had to go through the HVO government, the HVO HZ-HB, to
10 seek those resources, didn't he?
11 A. The funds for procuring everything were provided at the level of
12 the HVO authorities.
13 Q. Now, returning -- or staying on Mr. Stojic for a moment,
14 Mr. Stojic -- you considered Mr. Stojic, in fact, to be your superior and
15 a person in the structure of things who had more power than you did;
17 A. He was my superior. That is normal, because I was in the
18 structure of the Department of Defence. I was responsible to him for my
19 duties. And by virtue of his being a member of the Cabinet, and I'm not
20 sure which positions you mean, but clearly due to that he could -- he had
21 wider scope of powers and was able to carry out more activities than I.
22 Q. Now, just to clarify for a moment, to avoid possible objection,
23 we do know, and I think we can agree, that the proper terminology until,
24 perhaps, late 1993 was he was the head of the Defence Department. And it
25 wasn't until some later reorganisation that these were renamed ministries
1 or the "Ministry of Defence." But you frequently refer to Mr. Stojic as
2 "minister," didn't you?
3 A. It is correct to call him "head" for the time-period until the
4 ministry was established. From that point on, he was minister. I'll try
5 to call him "head" in one period and "minister" in the period when
6 ministries were established, when -- that is, at the time of the Croatian
7 Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
8 Q. And if we can go to slide number 8, which is your --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, excuse me.
10 Mr. Petkovic, you have said that Mr. Stojic had authority over
11 the military indirectly. Could you specify what you mean by
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Stojic was no
14 commander, so he didn't have direct authority, but he was at the head of
15 the Defence Department. So in line with his position, his
16 responsibilities and duties, he had links with the military and duties
17 with respect to the military.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. On that point, sir, if we could then look briefly at slide
21 number 8, which is some of your testimony from the Kordic case;
22 transcript page 26749. You testified under oath in that case, sir, and
23 you said:
24 "... Bruno Stojic, who was above me, because he was my minister,
25 and his powers were much larger than mine."
1 And that remains your position and your assessment; correct?
2 A. It is quite logical that a person in that position has greater
3 powers than me. I had powers within the chain of command, and he had
4 powers with regard to the Department of Defence, which later became the
5 Ministry of Defence.
6 Q. And I take it from everything you've said so far, sir, that you
7 accepted -- in fact, on a regular daily basis, if you will, as your
8 regular practice, you accepted Mr. Stojic as your superior?
9 A. By virtue of his position and my position in the Department of
10 Defence, it is clear that he was my superior.
11 Q. And would it also be fair to say, sir, that you had a good
12 relationship with Mr. Stojic, or the two of you together, both
13 professionally and personally?
14 A. You mean that this originates from the position? Well, people
15 are not necessarily in good relations because they are in certain
16 positions, but, yes, we did have.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I have an intervention with regard
18 to the transcript. Page 46, line 3, in Mr. Petkovic's answer, the end is
19 missing. He said "he was my superior with regard to certain matters."
20 This "certain matters" part is missing in the transcript. Mr. Petkovic
21 can confirm whether I'm right or not.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say "superior," the minister
23 of defence is the superior of the chief of Main Staff, because the
24 Main Staff is an integral part of the Ministry of Defence, and that is
25 why the Department of Defence is headed by one person, which makes that
1 person the superior of everybody else in that department.
2 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I wish to support
3 Ms. Nozica. This was an incomplete interpretation of General Petkovic's
4 sentence, and I can confirm that Ms. Nozica is right. The last part of
5 this sentence is missing "in certain matters," and the general was only
6 asked to corroborate whether or not he said that.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said there were some matters
8 in which I was directly responsible to the head of the Department of
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. And I suppose, sir -- based on these interventions, can you tell
12 us those matters in which you were directly responsible to, if you
13 will -- the word you just now said, you said, I was directly responsible
14 to the head of the Department of Defence in some matters. Which matters
15 were those?
16 A. I can give you a simple answer. Everything but operative
17 matters; that is, the entire activity of the Department of Defence,
18 except for operative matters, where a person in my position was linked to
19 the supreme commander at that time.
20 Q. All right. And staying on this leadership -- civilian leadership
21 group, Mr. Praljak testified in the Tuta Stela case under oath, and we've
22 seen it before in this courtroom, that it was, indeed, Mr. Boban,
23 Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Prlic who were the prime players in that respect.
24 Would you agree with Mr. Praljak?
25 A. Yes, they were the highest-ranking persons.
1 Q. I'm just trying to cut through a few things, sir. Sorry for the
3 Just following on this topic, then, you also testified on your
4 first day that the objectives -- the overall strategy of Herceg-Bosna,
5 the overall objectives were set by the civilian authorities and
6 communicated to the military; correct? And we can look at -- we can look
7 at slide 9. That comes from your testimony in this case, 49292-93. You
8 agree with that and stand by it? It's your testimony in this very case,
9 so I assume, sir, you stand by that.
10 A. Yes, I do, I stand by that.
11 Q. Can you briefly explain to the Judges, sir, how were these
12 objectives, then, set by the civilian authorities, how would they be
13 communicated to you in the Main Staff? In other words, how did you get
14 your marching orders?
15 A. The basic objective at the political level was the defence of the
16 Croatian people in the area where Croats live in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 That was the basic objective, and that is why, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
18 later on in the part called Herceg-Bosna, the defence of the Croatian
19 people against the Serbian aggression was organised then. That was the
20 basic objective of the creation of Herceg-Bosna and of the establishment
21 of its structures. It is normal that defence will be performed, for the
22 most part, by the armed forces, and others will participate in line with
23 their capabilities.
24 Q. But beyond that, sir, there must have been times in 1992/1993,
25 apart from, Go forth and defend Herceg-Bosna, that certain policy
1 decisions were made, certain strategic decisions were made, Let's go in
2 this direction, Let's go in that direction, Let's launch a major
3 offensive, Let's put most of our eggs in this basket over here, or, Let's
4 go in the other direction over here. When those decisions were made by
5 the civilian authorities, how would they be communicated to you? How did
6 you -- did you get a telephone call from someone, did you receive a memo,
7 did you go to meetings of the government where these decisions were
8 announced to you? How did you get your marching orders?
9 A. I'm not sure which offensive you mean. I don't think we can make
10 up offensives here. We should be specific.
11 Q. Excuse me. I don't want to lose time debating that with you at
12 the moment. Operations. There was a military operation, and someone
13 decides there has to be, at a broad strategic level, at least as far as I
14 know -- my understanding of how most armies work during war -- World War
15 II, do the Allies -- do they land at Normandy
16 up from Italy
17 politically. Roosevelt and Stalin and Churchill, they would decide and
18 they would say, Here's the basic plan, this is what we're trying to
19 accomplish. So who -- how were those decisions communicated to you by
20 your civilian authorities?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may just launch an objection at this point.
22 That example, for instance, now, Mr. Scott is testifying, and
23 there's a certain presumption. We actually don't know that, who was
24 actually making the decisions at that level. So if this is just an
25 illustration, I think Mr. Scott would need to demonstrate that he has
1 actual personal knowledge and from where he's getting this information.
2 I don't think this is so notorious of a fact that we all can just assume
3 it and that the Trial Chamber can accept it as an adjudicated fact, as it
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, Mr. Karnavas
6 is questioning the fact that during World War II, the Normandy landing
7 was not decided by Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt. Maybe he forgot
8 about General de Gaulle, but maybe he was right to forget about him.
9 Whatever the case may be, the question is a very interesting question.
10 When a marching order is given under military authority which
11 stems from the civilian authority, Mr. Scott is asking you how things
12 work, and he illustrates this by providing a well-known example drawn
13 from World War II. What do you have to say to this? It's your answer
14 that is interesting.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I
16 believe a better example would be one from Herceg-Bosna or
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina than an example from the Second World War. We had to
18 defend the western part of Herceg-Bosna first, and Mr. Boban took the
19 decision that this part must be defended. And so we started to set up
20 defence lines around Livno and Tomislavgrad, et cetera. When we had to
21 cross the Neretva and liberate some areas occupied by the Serbs, the
22 decision was taken to launch such an operation, and then preparations
23 began and the operation was launched. When events unfolded, when the HVO
24 in certain areas was in a poor situation, then measures were sought to
25 defend Croats in these areas. So there are specific activities in each
1 area. And, of course, the authorities of Herceg-Bosna followed the
2 events and took decisions to defend some areas and defend the interests
3 or start negotiations with the other side to stop the conflicts between
4 the ABiH and the HVO. This is what went on in Herceg-Bosna at the level
5 of government, at the level of the military, et cetera.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Let me be a bit more concrete, based on that. And if we have
9 time, sir, we'll get to -- we'll have to get to some of these documents,
10 but isn't it the fact that you attended a number of government meetings,
11 and when I say "government" now, I'm talking about the body headed by
12 Mr. Prlic, the HVO HZ-HB, and you would give a briefing on military
13 matters and defence matters. And there were times then the government
14 would come back to you and say, All right, thank you for this briefing.
15 Here's what we want to do, and go forth and implement this decision.
16 That's how it worked, isn't it?
17 A. I attended three or four governmental sessions that I was invited
18 to. I briefed them on the military situation in certain areas. At
19 certain points of time, decisions were taken by the government according
20 to which the HVO and other forces should take measures in order to
21 protect the interests of the Croatian people in that area in order to
22 mount a defence and to discuss matters with the other side, in order to
23 find an overall solution to the problems we were dealing with.
24 Q. All right. If we have time, sir, I'm going to suggest to you
25 that it was more than three times. I think it was a significantly larger
1 number than that. But if we have time, we'll come back to that.
2 I want to then go back to --
3 A. I wasn't there less than three times. Perhaps it wasn't five
4 occasions. I accept that I was at every meeting that I attended. We can
5 go into that in detail. I have the time to do so. We have the time to
6 do so.
7 Q. All right. Mr. Petkovic, there's no doubt that I wish we had a
8 lot more time. I don't think there's no one in the courtroom that doubts
10 I want to go back to the question of HVO command and control.
11 And you basically agree, sir, that during at least 1993, because I don't
12 want to debate the entire time-period with you, but certainly in 1993,
13 there was a working system of command and control in the HVO, wasn't
15 A. The system, as such, existed on paper. However, on numerous
16 occasions, the system wasn't implemented in the way it was intended to be
17 implemented. So there were quite a few problems when it came to
18 implementing that system, to actually bring that system to life.
19 Q. Sir, no one's suggesting that it was perfect, and I suspect
20 that -- everyone always wants to talk in here about NATO armies, and I
21 suspect even in NATO armies, so-called, they are not perfect systems.
22 But it was the case, wasn't it, that a chain of command had been put in
23 place, and it was in working order, and you've said so before, and that's
24 true, isn't it?
25 A. A chain of command had been established. As to whether it was
1 functional or not, well, that is debatable. It was functional to the
2 extent that it was possible to make it functional at that time.
3 Q. Let's look at slide number 10, please, slide number 10, which
4 comes from your testimony in the Kordic case, transcript page 26861:
5 "Q. And that shows, General, if I may suggest to you, that the
6 chain of command was well identified, that it did what it was supposed to
7 do, and that it operated in the manner that you would expect a military
8 chain of command to operate in April of 1993. Would you agree with
10 Milivoj Petkovic's answer under oath:
11 "Your Honours, I have always claimed that the chain of command
12 had been put in place and that it was in working order. I continue to
13 affirm that."
14 And you continue to affirm your testimony under oath in the
15 Kordic case, don't you?
16 A. Yes. I had in mind the level that I functioned at with my
17 immediate subordinates, so the Central Bosnian Operative Zone was what I
18 had in mind and the headquarters there. So it was in that sense that the
19 chain of command had been established. I didn't discuss lower levels. I
20 was describing Blaskic and the problems of command he had, and I
21 emphasised all the problems from that level, and at lower levels too.
22 Q. Well, actually, that's not -- that wasn't your testimony in the
23 Blaskic case, because you said in Blaskic -- you said in Blaskic that, in
24 fact, Mr. Blaskic never complained to you about lack of command and
25 control; that, again, as far as you knew and as far as Mr. Blaskic
1 represented to you, there were no complaints. Do you remember that?
2 A. That concerned the Blaskic-Kordic relationship, but you should
3 read what I said about Mr. Blaskic. I said there were command problems
4 that he had. He took certain measures, he couldn't go there, there were
5 poor communications, so he took measures in order to have operation
6 groups to make it easier to command. So quite a lot was said about the
7 command problems that existed.
8 Q. Well, sir, we don't have a slide of this, but this is what you
9 said in Kordic at page 26883:
10 "And it's also true, General, I believe, that Blaskic made no
11 comment about any kind of lack of command or control over the 4th
12 Battalion of the Military Police, its sub-units, or the Vitezovi?"
13 Milivoj Petkovic's answer:
14 "No, Your Honours, there was no comment to the effect that he did
15 not have control over the Vitezovi or the 4th Military Police Battalion.
16 I never received any report until then or after that that either the
17 military police or the Vitezovi were uncontrollable."
18 That's the testimony you gave, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, and I stand by that. But the system of command -- the chain
20 of command doesn't involve only these two units; far more than that. But
21 as far as these two units are concerned, I stand by what I testified
22 about them.
23 Q. Well, Mr. Petkovic, not to get too bogged down in this, because
24 we have many other things to talk about, but the reason those particular
25 two units were so important was because those were two of the units that
1 were accused of committing many of the crimes in Central Bosnia. It was
2 the 4th Battalion Military Police, by your own assessment, that committed
3 the crimes in Ahmici. It was the Vitezovi which committed many crimes
4 against Muslims in Central Bosnia in 1993. And you came and told this
5 Tribunal that you never received any complaints from Mr. Blaskic in 1993
6 that either of these units were out of control, didn't you?
7 A. Yes, I said that they were under control, but I didn't say that
8 the Vitezovi had committed numerous crimes. All I said is that the
9 Vitezovi were not in Ahmici, that they provided security for the command
10 building for Colonel Blaskic.
11 Q. The Vitezovi may not have been in Ahmici on the 16th of April,
12 1993, but Pasko Ljubicic and the military police certainly were, weren't
14 A. Yes, that's what I said. You misunderstood me. I wanted to say
15 that the military police was there, but the Vitezovi were not. According
16 to what I was aware of at the time, they weren't in Ahmici. That's what
17 I said in the trial, and I stand by that. I said that at the time the
18 Vitezovi were 200 or 300 metres in front of the hotel, and it was at that
19 line that they were providing security for the command of
20 Colonel Blaskic, because he was 300 or 400 metres away from the ABiH
21 towards the old part of Vitez, and that is where that hotel is, in fact,
23 Q. And, in fact, sir, just to finish on this specific example, not
24 only -- not only was there no complaint from Mr. Blaskic about control of
25 the Vitezovi and the 4th Battalion Military Police, but according to your
1 testimony in Kordic at page 26885, Mr. Blaskic, after the actions in
2 mid-April 1993, commended the behaviour of both of those units, didn't
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. There's been some issues raised in this case about alleged local
6 political interference with or control of the HVO military. But in fact,
7 sir, as you've already testified today, and in your experience, that
8 wasn't true, was it?
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to object to
10 this question now, because if my memory doesn't fail me, this is not what
11 the witness said. However, if I'm mistaken, could my colleague Mr. Scott
12 give us the necessary reference in the transcript?
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, for one thing, and I'll move on to his
14 testimony in the other cases, but one of the things he said this morning,
15 for example, was he had put an end to the municipal staffs and to
16 municipal control of the militaries, and that was what the reorganisation
17 of the HVO military and brigades was partly all about. And he said he
18 had brought that to an end.
19 Q. And, sir, if we can go to slide number 10 -- let's look at the
20 Kordic case, let's look at the Kordic case, slide number 11, and Blaskic.
21 In the Blaskic case, slide 11, page 24025, Milivoj Petkovic,
22 under oath:
23 "I wish to state the following: Civilian officials did not have
24 any powers whatsoever in terms of commanding the military police or any
25 units of the Croatian Defence Council."
1 Your testimony in the Kordic case, 26675:
2 "In my command, I never received any objection from any of the
3 commanders under me that they received some orders from outside, that is,
4 outside the HVO military chain of command structure."
5 You testified not on one occasion, but on two occasions, under
6 oath, that there was no outside political interference, didn't you?
7 A. Your Honours, I testified about two levels, a military level in
8 the operations zone and another level which was the political level that
9 had to do with Mr. Kordic, and I said, and I stand by what I said, that I
10 never received information from Blaskic about that level. And you can't
11 include Mr. Kordic in the municipal level. I never received information
12 that that level had influence on Mr. Blaskic. But in the case of
13 Blaskic, I said that in Vitezovi [as interpreted] they didn't believe
14 that he was the commander of Vitez. That means that the people from
15 Vitez didn't accept him as such. So let's leave the levels that I have
16 testified about; Blaskic, the operations zone; Kordic, politics, which is
17 higher than the municipal level. And at that level, with regard to the
18 command of the operative zone, Siljeg, Lasic, or Blaskic couldn't be
19 influenced by politics. But there were local brigades and so on and so
20 forth, and then the relationship between the political structures and the
21 brigade remained very strong there. So I wanted to clarify this matter
22 of level.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to correct
24 something. Line 4 on the current page, it says that the witness said "in
25 Vitezovi," whereas the witness said "in Vitez," in the town of Vitez
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, we all accept that -- we know the context of the Kordic and
3 the Blaskic cases involved directly Central Bosnia, but I put it to you,
4 sir, that your testimony was broader than that. It evolved into a
5 broader discussion, and you weren't distinguishing that. And I put to
6 you, and I'm not going to read them to you again, but everyone can see
7 them on the screens, you said, generally, civilian officials did not have
8 any powers:
9 "I never received any objection from any of the commanders under
10 me that they would receive orders from outside."
11 And as you have just said, that included Siljeg, Lasic, Blaskic,
12 all the operative zone commanders, and none of them ever complained to
13 you that they were getting local political interference, did they?
14 Sir, you just said so; right?
15 A. Yes, that's what I said, and I mentioned the relevant levels. I
16 know what I said in my reports. I never said that someone was exerting
17 an influence on Siljeg or Blaskic and Lasic, but at the level of
18 operative -- or, rather, at the level of brigades, in each and every
19 report it said that there was interference in the influence of the
21 Q. Well, that's not really exactly true, is it, sir, because
22 Mr. Filipovic testified in this case, and Mr. Filipovic testified both in
23 the Prlic case and in the Kordic case that, again, at the brigade level,
24 he never received any directions or interference from outside the HVO
25 chain of command. In Kordic, he said that at page 17070, as to military
1 matters, the organisation, especially conduct, were "always within the
2 chain of command, they were not commanded by politicians."
3 Now, that's at the brigade level, sir, by a witness you called in
4 this case, Mr. Filipovic; correct?
5 Also, sir, while you're considering that --
6 MR. KARNAVAS: We're waiting for the translation.
7 MR. SCOTT: I know that, Mr. Karnavas. I'm trying to save a
8 little bit of time here.
9 Q. While you're considering that, sir, Mr. Filipovic said also in
10 Kordic, 17138, that he never took orders from, he was never subordinated
11 to any political or municipal leader. And you agree with that, don't
13 A. Yes, I do, and I never said that the chief was in command. I
14 said there was influence that was exerted in various kinds. The chief
15 didn't command the brigades. I was in charge. But we have said that
16 influence was exerted on the brigades in various ways, but no one drafted
17 orders for the brigades. But I can stand by what Filipovic said. When
18 we refer to orders, we know what is at stake. When we say exerting an
19 influence in various other ways, well, this means something else. That
20 is not an order, but it is a manner of influencing the brigades in a
21 different way.
22 Q. Let's look, please, at slide number 12, your testimony in the
23 Kordic case at page 26805-06. Answer to the question:
24 "Your Honours, the orders followed the chain of command
25 vertically from the supreme commander down to the Main Staff. I didn't
1 receive any orders outside of that.
2 "Q. Did you receive orders or directives from other politicians
3 other than Mr. Boban at any time during your service as head of the armed
4 forces of the HVO?
5 "A. No, Your Honours. Nobody outside this vertical chain of
6 command, Boban, Stojic, issued orders to me or the army."
7 And that's the case, isn't it?
8 A. Yes, I'm saying no one issued orders to me outside that chain of
9 command. But you should understand the following: It has to do with
10 issuing orders.
11 Q. I'm going to -- I'm going to have to, Mr. Petkovic, with
12 apologies, begin to start cutting you off somewhat, because our time is
13 just too limited. I wish I could allow you more time.
14 But let me be clear here. When you're talking about the chain of
15 command in this instance, you're talking about the chain of command
16 Boban, Stojic, Main Staff, correct, as you say in your answer here at
17 page 26805-06 of Kordic?
18 A. Yes, that's correct, and lower down to the operation zone.
19 I think I said that. I must have said that.
20 Q. In fact, sir, just to finish on this topic, let me put some other
21 testimony from Mr. Filipovic to you, and I'll ask you if you agree.
22 More generally than this, would you agree -- do you recall that,
23 in fact, the HDZ political party, as of June 1992, in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 was not particularly active, and, in fact, as Mr. Filipovic said in
25 Kordic at page 17038, the HDZ party at that point in time, for practical
1 purposes "had ceased to exist." You agree with him, wouldn't you?
2 A. The HDZ had frozen its activities. I don't think that it had
3 dismantled itself, but it had frozen its activities. So the HDZ didn't
4 gather any levels at the lower, mid levels, or higher levels. So in the
5 course of the war, it quite simply ceased to operate. But I don't think
6 that that is tantamount to dismantling the HDZ, because after the war it
7 continued with its work, it froze its work, suspended its work. It did
8 not gather, it did not work, it didn't assemble, and it didn't take any
10 Q. And, in fact, to close on this topic, if we can go to slide
11 number 13, your testimony in Kordic at page 26804-05, the question which
12 might have been put even in this case:
13 "Q. Some of the international observers have speculated that the
14 HVO army affairs were subject to pervasive political control exerted by
15 the HDZ BiH? Is that true, that there was such control exerted by that
16 political party?"
17 Milivoj Petkovic, under oath:
18 "Your Honours, that is not true. It is another matter that our
19 supreme commander, Mr. Boban, was both the supreme commander and the
20 president of the Croat community, subsequently Croat Republic
21 Herceg-Bosna, and that, in point of fact, he was the man number one of
22 the HDZ. But I do not see that the HDZ ever ran the army or the HDZ, as
23 such, as a party, imposed itself on the military. And as far as I know,
24 I think that the work of the party was frozen for a while."
25 Which is actually consistent with what you said just a moment
1 ago; correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. The people who were making the decisions in 1993, sir, was the
4 military leadership inside the HVO Main Staff, and the HVO government,
5 led by Mr. Prlic, wasn't it?
6 A. Could you please read that out again, please?
7 Q. Certainly. The people who were making the decisions in 1993,
8 sir, because we've been talking about the HDZ as a political party, the
9 people making the decisions was the military leadership inside the
10 Main Staff, that is, you, Mr. Praljak, other senior staff perhaps, and
11 the HVO government, and I'm talking about the HVO HZ-HB, headed by
12 Mr. Prlic?
13 A. Yes, everyone took the relevant decisions within his own sphere
14 of competence.
15 Q. Staying in the political arena a bit, sir, I'm a bit confused, in
16 fact, and we've touched on the HDZ, whether you were a member of the HDZ
17 or not. You seem to -- I don't remember if you specifically addressed
18 the question in this case or not. But, sir, in the Kordic case you
19 testified -- and if we can look at slide 16. In the Kordic case, you
20 testified, at page 26804: "Your Honours --" under oath:
21 "Your Honours, I was not a member of any party at the time,
22 because the decree even specified that we were prohibited from joining
23 parties or creating parties. The only party at that time was the HDZ,
24 and I was not a member of the HDZ."
25 But when we have your curriculum vitae from the Croatian
1 government or Croatian Army, which is marked as P08731, you say:
2 "Since 1992, I have been a member of the HDZ."
3 So can you tell us which of those statements is true and which
4 one is false?
5 A. Both are true. At the time that I gave my testimony in the year
6 2000, I was no longer a member of the HDZ. That's what that refers to.
7 In the Croatian Army, the work of the HDZ had been prohibited. I'm not
8 sure when I was struck from the list, whether it was in 1998 or 1999.
9 All of us who had become members of the HDZ were no longer members in the
10 Croatian Army. I don't know whether it was in 1998 or 1999 our
11 membership was terminated. I know that this, however, continued in the
12 year 2000, when everyone had to leave the political parties. At the time
13 that I gave that testimony, I wasn't an HDZ member, but I did join the
14 HDZ, and I was also taken off the list of HDZ members at a subsequent
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
17 General Petkovic, I'm listening to your answers whilst
18 remembering the questions put by the Prosecutor on the military police
19 and on Ahmici. In the Blaskic case, you testified - this is well known
20 because all this is now in the public domain - and the Prosecutor
21 cross-examining you was Mr. Kehoe, unless I'm mistaken, who's now one of
22 the Defence counsel for General Gotovina. And he asked you, at
23 page 22524 in the French version - I don't have the English version,
24 unfortunately, with me - and he asked you what Mr. Blaskic told you over
25 the telephone as to what had happened in Ahmici. And this is what you
2 "Well, he assumed that among the police officers, at least among
3 those who were in Ahmici, there were some who had behaved
4 uncontrollably," out of control.
5 What did this mean, exactly, because the Prosecutor is now asking
6 questions as to the chain of command, and Blaskic, the commander of the
7 operations zone, says that there are policemen who behave out of control.
8 What did you mean in saying so?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I received this
10 information when visiting Central Bosnia, information according to which
11 there was a group that was out of control, they acted willfully, and they
12 didn't carry out the tasks assigned to them by the commander who was in
13 command of the operation in Ahmici. I had Mr. Ljubicic in mind. So
14 there were groups that were out of control and failed to act in
15 accordance with the tasks assigned to them. That is what one has in mind
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But back then, you were
18 the Chief of the Main Staff. You were the superior of Mr. Blaskic,
19 hierarchically speaking, so also superior to these policemen that had
20 been assigned to Ahmici?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is an unjustified
22 conclusion. The Main Staff didn't command that way, nor did it command
23 the action in Ahmici. The chain of command went as far as the operative
24 zone. The Main Staff got involved to stop the operation in Central
1 personally and calm down the situation to bring it back to normal.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time in April 1993, did
3 you know that within the HVO, in all of its components, the military
4 police, the military component - I won't go into detail on that - but
5 that there were uncontrollable elements, rogue elements?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, you cannot know
7 that some elements are out of control. If we were able to identify them,
8 we would remove them from the HVO or take other adequate steps.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I understand it, when
10 Mr. Blaskic told you that the policemen in Ahmici were out of control,
11 that was something you just learned, that was first news for you. Was it
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I received that
14 information only upon my second visit to Bosnia on the 28th or 29th of
15 April, 1993. My first visit, on the 20th and 21st, wasn't an occasion
16 when anything was said about Ahmici or anybody's behaviour there.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Sir, in your CV you say, and it's P08731 and --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric, what do you
21 mean to say?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. We cannot really hear
23 Mr. Coric.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you have to
25 turn off -- switch off your microphone, because when there are too many
1 mikes on, it doesn't work.
2 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [No Interpretation]
3 [Interpretation] I switched it on. Is it better now? We can
4 hear now.
5 General, do you know that --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Now we can no longer hear anything.
7 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour, I don't know whether
8 Mr. Scott's going to object, but what is -- what is happening here? We
9 don't understand that the procedure simply allows some cross-examination
10 by interjection.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Coric, I thought you
12 wanted to take the floor to address a problem in the transcript, but
13 you're not allowed, at this stage of the proceedings, to ask questions of
14 the witness who's testifying; namely, General Petkovic. If you have a
15 substantial problem, you can address that when you call your own
16 witnesses or when you testify in person. So as to substance, the general
17 answers questions, gives his point of view, and you may contradict him
18 later; but not now, and now is the stage when we have the Prosecutor and
19 General Petkovic.
20 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti,
21 I'm intervening --
22 THE INTERPRETER: We can no longer hear Mr. Coric.
23 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [No Interpretation]
24 [Interpretation] We'll try this one.
25 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot work this way. We're getting strong
2 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Is it better now? Yes, it is
4 Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I reacting to the question you asked
5 about Ahmici. You asked such questions, and comments were made that are
6 contrary to the decisions of some Trial Chambers and the final decisions
7 of the Trial Chambers of this Tribunal. I'll be specific.
8 This is about the Bralo case, a man who was directly involved in
9 the Ahmici operation, who was not a member of the military police. And
10 together with all Croats, he was released from prison during the night
11 preceding the Ahmici operation and was a commander at Ahmici with other
12 military police.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, this is not acceptable. It's the
14 microphone that had the right idea by cutting off Mr. Coric before he
15 started. It's absolutely impermissible, in our submission, and he is not
16 allowed to argue, he is not allowed to throw in comments, he's not
17 allowed to interject questions.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, according to our
19 procedure, you are not entitled to interject. My question was a very
20 simple one. During Mr. Kehoe's cross-examination relating to a meeting
21 between General Petkovic and Colonel Blaskic, Colonel Blaskic mentioned
22 this, and General Petkovic told him what Blaskic had said. Now that the
23 Tribunal ruled otherwise, that is another question, and you can submit
24 your arguments then, when the time comes. The only point of interest now
25 is to know what Blaskic had told General Petkovic, and General Petkovic
1 confirmed that that was, in effect, what Blaskic had told him. Perhaps
2 Blaskic had made a mistake, perhaps that was wrong. That is a totally
3 different issue. You can address that when the time comes. This is not
4 the right moment.
5 Do you understand that?
6 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Ahmici isn't part of the
7 indictment, and we shouldn't be discussing that at all.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a problem with the
10 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [No interpretation]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: The microphone isn't
12 functioning properly. We cannot hear Mr. Coric.
13 MR. STEWART: Mine is functioning, and I sustain my objection,
14 Your Honour. We invite Your Honour to tell Mr. Coric specifically that
15 he is to sit down and say no more.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, you must sit down
17 and not say any more about it. There is no justification for this right
18 now. You may address this issue when the time comes. This is not the
19 right moment.
20 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. I'm afraid, Mr. Petkovic, we now have to go back some minutes to
24 the topic we were talking about, and that was your membership in the HDZ
1 I want to suggest to you, sir, with great respect, that when you
2 testified in previous cases, no one was particularly interested at that
3 time about whether you were a member of the party in 1988 or 1999, that
4 the important time was the time of these events in 1992, 1993, perhaps
5 1994. And if we look at your CV, and it is P08731, unfortunately the CV
6 itself doesn't bear a date, but I've been scanning through it, and about
7 the last date that I can see, a little below halfway down the second page
8 in English, is you make reference to -- and you'll remember this, you'll
9 know. This is your biographic -- this is your bio. You know:
10 "In November of 1996, I assumed the duties of the deputy head of
11 Osijek Military District."
12 So we know the CV must have been written at least sometime after
13 November of 1996, but you say on the last page, on the last line of the
14 entire CV:
15 "Since 1992, I have been a member of the HDZ."
16 Now, I read that to mean that this document was created sometime
17 in or after 1996 -- November 1996, that at least as of since 1992 and
18 continuing since then, you were a member of the HDZ. Weren't you? Or as
19 I said before, which of these statements is true and which one is false?
20 A. This was written in December 1996, I believe, this CV of mine,
21 because I was required to submit it to the Personnel Administration. And
22 I was a member of the HDZ starting from 1992, but I believe in 1998 or
23 1999, it was at the time when I was already in Dubrovnik, serving in
25 because as the general --
1 Q. My apologies, but time is precious, and I don't really care, for
2 these purposes, what you did in 1998 or 1999.
3 You were a member of the HDZ, you tell us now, even though you
4 told the Court in Kordic -- and clearly you were talking about the
5 importance -- once again, we have the whole transcript here and we can
6 read out pages of context, if need be. We have the whole transcript
7 right here. What you were talking about at the time was 1993:
8 "I was not a member of any party at the time."
9 Now, sir, you either lied to the Kordic Chamber or you lied on
10 your curriculum vitae. Now, which one is it?
11 A. In 1998 or 1999, I ceased to be a member of the HDZ.
12 Q. Sir, I don't care about 1998 or 1999. In 1993, you say -- in a
13 document you say you created in -- excuse me, you say you created it in
14 December 1996, and in that document you say:
15 "Since 1992, I have been a member of the HDZ."
16 And when you testified in this case -- in the Kordic case, and
17 they were asking you about your membership at the time in question, you
18 said that you were not. You gave false testimony to this Tribunal,
19 didn't you?
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honours. The
21 question in the Kordic case was not specific with regard to the time at
22 which the general was or wasn't in the HDZ. I ask my learned friend not
23 to misrepresent General Petkovic's statement.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated then that I was no longer
25 an HDZ member, because in 1998 or 1999 I was -- I ceased to be a member
1 of that party because, as a high-ranking officer of the Croatian Army, I
2 couldn't be a member of a political party, and my status until then was
3 frozen. We all were deleted from the list of members.
4 When I gave evidence in the year 2000 - I don't remember which
5 month it was - I really wasn't a member of any political party. But
6 since 1992 or 1991, whenever the war started, the army didn't accept for
7 its officers to have positions in a political party. I'm not saying that
8 I wasn't an HDZ member ever, because I was, but all my documents --
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. You were since 1992, sir, by your own CV:
11 "I have been a member since 1992."
12 And, again, I have the transcript, and I beg to differ with my
13 good friend Ms. Alaburic. I'm looking at page 26803. Questions are
14 being asked about June 1992. Later on, Blaskic takes a different
15 position in May 1994, whether there were some political officers in the
16 army. And they're not talking about 1998 and 1999, sir. They're talking
17 about the events in question. And you told -- you told Judge May and
18 Judge Bennouna and Judge Robinson under oath in the Kordic case that you
19 were not a member of the HDZ, when in your curriculum vitae you said you
20 were. That's just the simple truth of the matter, isn't it?
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this question has
22 been answered, and, therefore, I object.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During -- or at the time that I
24 gave evidence, I had already been deleted from the listed members of HDZ.
25 I joined that party in 1992, and I'm not denying that. That's why in
1 1996 -- or, that is, 1998, I wrote that I was deleted from the list of
2 members, because, as a general, I couldn't have a status in a party. And
3 we all got a document that we had been deleted. In 2002, at the very
4 latest, everybody had to leave the party. So I was a member of the HDZ.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. Excuse me, we're not going to go on on this topic. We're going
7 to end this topic except for this, my last question to you on this topic,
8 unless the Judges want to pursue it further --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me what the
12 exact page number in the Kordic case is where he stated that he was not a
13 member of the HDZ, because I have transcript page number 26803. Could
14 you give me the exact page number, please?
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I can assist. It's page, actually, 26804, lines
16 17 following:
17 "Your Honours, I was not a member of any party at the time,
18 because the decree even specified that we were prohibited from joining
19 parties or creating parties. The only party at that time was the HDZ,
20 and I was not a member of the HDZ."
21 I must say, Ms. Alaburic, your objection is wholly unfounded.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I merely want to say
23 that the time reference was not precise, because if the witness, in 2001,
24 speaks about something that happened in 1998, that was also an event in
25 the past.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I
2 understood the Trial Chamber, when I gave evidence in the Kordic case, I
3 was not a member of the HDZ. For two or three years, I had already been
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You are trying our patience, because you are
6 always repeating that, and you have been told many things that -- many
7 times now that this is not the issue. And if you look at the page just
8 quoted, one speaks of August 1994 at the top of the page, and there is --
9 and then again mid 1994, and you say "at that time." So it's really you
10 should stop insisting in that case. I think your explanation, simply, it
11 will not hold water. I'm very sorry.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that I understood the
13 Trial Chamber to mean what I have shown, and that's how I gave evidence.
14 Why would I be afraid to say that I was a member of the HDZ? I'm not.
15 I, of course, didn't meddle with the transcript. And when I appeared
16 here to give evidence, I was not an HDZ member.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Moving forward, sir, your political party membership being
20 whatever it was, you were a part of the top Herceg-Bosna HVO
21 governmental/military leadership in 1992/1993, weren't you, the very top?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And at that level, sir, you would agree with me, wouldn't you,
24 that you were more than just a political/military technocrat; you really
25 were wearing a political hat as well as a military hat, weren't you?
1 A. No, I didn't have a political hat of any kind.
2 Q. Sir, isn't it the case in virtually every system that the more
3 senior a military officer becomes, in terms of his position, and
4 especially at the very top, there is an increasing political dimension or
5 cross-over to the political and policy side; isn't that true, sir?
6 A. That can be true, but I never went to -- into politics, nor did I
7 ever have a political function until I came to the Detention Unit.
8 Q. Sir, I'm not talking about, now, whether you were, again putting
9 aside the HDZ political party at the moment. I'm talking about political
10 at a broader level, the policy level.
11 Give you another example, if I can hazard this as a hypothetical.
12 In the United States, during Desert Storm, the first Desert Storm, the
13 first Iraq operation, not the most current one, Colin Powell, commander
14 of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but at that point he was no longer acting
15 as a soldier, technocrat, he was sitting at the political policy table,
16 he was sitting across from President Bush and others and involved in
17 those decisions, wasn't he? You would agree with that?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I'm going to object on technical reasons,
19 we don't know that. There was some controversy between him and Cheney at
20 the time, so --
21 MR. SCOTT: Exactly, that makes my point, Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, as a soldier. As a soldier, he was the
23 chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so obviously he's going to be
24 talking to the Secretary of Defence. But I don't think that Mr. Scott
25 should be in a position of testifying as to what was going on over there.
1 Otherwise, he's personally injecting himself into the picture. These are
2 not historical facts that are so notorious that you can just accept them
3 as adjudicated facts.
4 MR. SCOTT: I don't want to get bogged down in this, Your Honour.
5 It's not -- I don't want to use the time to debate it with Mr. Karnavas.
6 Q. The point is, sir, you would agree with me, wouldn't you, that in
7 many military situations, and I take it the same is true in Croatia, the
8 closer you get to the top, the more political and policy-oriented your
9 position becomes, doesn't it? You're no longer just talking about how
10 many bullets the guy gets in the fox hole; you're talking about broad
11 policy and political matters, strategy, budget requests, funding the
12 army, political support for the military strategy? Isn't that true in
13 virtually every military organisation, whether it's the United States,
14 France, Switzerland, I dare say Hungary, and -- the United States and any
15 of the others? Isn't that true, sir?
16 A. No. But why not mention Croatia. In 2000 and something, only
17 due to the request of a number of generals for the supreme commander to
18 receive them, he removed them all from their positions because he said,
19 You have -- you shouldn't meddle with politics, you have nothing to do
20 with politics. And 12 Croatian generals were -- simply had to retire.
21 Q. You want to talk about Croatia, let's talk about Croatia. You
22 used -- you gave two examples in your testimony on the 11th of February.
23 On the 11th of February, at transcript page 49296, on the one hand, you
24 said that your first deputy, when you took one of your positions in the
25 HVO -- excuse me, the Croatian Army:
1 "My first deputy soon joined the Office of the President of the
2 Republic, and there were also announcements that the commander would also
3 leave and join the Ministry of Defence."
4 People moved from the military side at those levels, they moved
5 from the military side to the policy side, and that's -- look, there's
6 nothing surprising or uncommon about that, is there?
7 A. No, my deputy was a military official in the Office of the
8 President of the Republic, because there is such a thing, and he monitors
9 events in the army and nothing else. That's all his job. And my deputy
10 was supposed to move to a position in the Ministry of Defence of Croatia,
11 in which case he would have become a civilian, because at that time
12 assistant ministers of defence were changing status from soldiers to
13 civilian persons. And my deputy had a position in the president's
15 MR. SCOTT: I apologise for cutting across the interpretation,
16 but I do have to try to bring Mr. Petkovic's interventions sometimes to
17 an end, and I apologise to the interpreters.
18 Q. Sir, let's move forward with your exact involvement. You
19 attended, in fact, both -- or the only two sessions of the HZ-HB
20 Presidency between July 1992 and August 1993, where important decisions
21 were made and laws were adopted, including in July 1992, for example, the
22 Decree on the Armed Forces. You attended both of those important
23 sessions of the Presidency, didn't you?
24 A. Can you show me both so I can tell exactly which I attended?
25 Q. I can tell you, sir, I will if I have time, but you were at the 3
1 July 1992 meeting. You were there, you spoke there. You spoke about
2 defence military matters. It was at that session that the Decree on
3 Armed Forces was adopted. You were also present at the Presidency
4 meeting on the 24th -- or the 28th, excuse me, of August, 1993, when the
5 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was declared. And if we have time
6 later, I'll show a video of that, and you'll see yourself in the video.
7 These are two of the most important -- in fact, there were only about
8 four or five in the entire history during this time, but these were the
9 two most important meetings of the HZ-HB Presidency, and you were
10 attended and acted in both of them, weren't you?
11 A. I attended that meeting as a guest. My role was to inform
12 everybody else, but otherwise I didn't have the right to speak.
13 Q. Well, you certainly spoke at one of them, sir, and, again, we'll
14 get there if we can, because it's in the record.
15 You also attended sessions of the --
16 A. Yes, I spoke about the military aspect, and that's why I was
17 invited, to familiarise everybody with the military aspect. But I don't
18 have the right to vote at these meetings. So I can only say what is
19 required of me, and that is the military situation.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Line 24 on page 76, it was translated, and now
21 again the general said he didn't have the right to speak. I think it's a
22 linguistical problem. He said he didn't have a right to vote. And it
23 should be -- and that is why the next question was put. I guess it was
24 misunderstanding between speakers.
25 MR. SCOTT: I was certainly reacting to the English translation.
1 If it was "did not have the right to vote," then I accept that, and
2 that's not really my point.
3 Q. You were there, and you participated, sir, whether you voted or
4 not; correct?
5 A. Yes, I participated, and I informed those present about the
6 military situation at the time.
7 Q. And in terms of Mr. Prlic's government, you attended at least --
8 at least five of those sessions, didn't you? On the 17th of April, 1993,
9 on the 26th of May, 1993, the 31st of May, 1993, the 22nd of July, 1993,
10 and the 9th of October, 1993?
11 A. And in October, too. Yes, those are all those sessions.
12 Q. And as part of all this, one of the things you did was provide
13 reports and information to the government - again, no surprise - about
14 what was happening militarily and on defence matters, and you would give
15 reports about that, didn't you -- wouldn't you?
16 A. I had to write biannual reports, and as part of the Defence
17 Department's reports, they were sent to the government.
18 Q. Well, let's look, as an example, at 2D -- in your binder, please,
19 2D01353 at the very -- toward the end of the binder, I believe, 2D01353.
20 This is a report -- while you're finding that, sir, and to save a
21 little bit of time, this is your report to the Defence Department, dated
22 the 21st of September, 1992, and in the first paragraph you say:
23 "Following a request of the HZ-HB government," that's Mr. Prlic's
24 government, "for a report on the implementation of the priority duties
25 and tasks regarding the establishment of the HVO Main Staff and the
1 re-establishment," or "reorganisation" I believe might be a better
2 translation, if I my be so bold, "of the existing units, we report as
4 So this is an example, sir -- this is an example -- you were
5 specifically requested by Mr. Prlic's government to report to it on
6 military matters; correct?
7 A. Yes, that's a report that I drafted at the request of the
8 government, and I sent it to them.
9 Q. And if we go to 1D02423, 1D02423, this is a record of one of the
10 meetings I mentioned to you a few moments ago, the 17th of April, 1993.
11 The session was attended by, among others, Dr. J. Prlic, president, who
12 chaired the session. We can also see Mr. Stojic there, and down toward
13 the end of the line we see "Mr. Petkovic":
14 "Agenda: Item 1. Discussion of the military and security
15 situation in the area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
16 There's a report -- obviously a report given. This is April of
17 1993, a pretty critical time, April 1993. You were at that time the head
18 of the Main Staff.
19 And if I can draw your attention to the second-to-last paragraph
20 of the document, in English page 2, first paragraph starting on that
21 page; but, sir, in the Croatian version, if you find your way, please,
22 to -- it's the next-to-last paragraph, obviously a report -- an
23 assessment had been given, and it says this:
24 "In accordance with these assessments, then, HZ-HB HVO adopted
25 the position that the military organisation of the HVO and its
1 Main Staff, along with the HZ-HB HVO Department of the Interior, should
2 take all available measures in order to protect the Croatian population,"
3 et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
5 "The HZ-HB HVO requires the HVO Main Staff and the HZ-HB HVO to
6 organise an effective defence and full protection," et cetera, et cetera,
7 et cetera.
9 this is an example, isn't it, where you go to a session of the
10 government, you give a briefing, and the government makes decisions and
11 gives you direction; correct?
12 A. That's what I've already said, yes.
13 Q. Well, I just want to make that, I suppose, very, very clear, sir.
14 Will you go to P04 --
15 A. I would just like to add that the government won't contact me
16 directly. It would go through its bodies that are responsible for
18 Q. Well, sir, when you were there on the 17th of April, you were
19 there physically, apparently, according to this, and you were dealing
20 directly and, I suppose, face to face with Bruno Stojic sitting there and
21 Jadranko Prlic sitting there. So that seems pretty direct to me; isn't
23 A. I was sitting in the area where all these present were. I
24 provided them with information on the ABiH attack in the territory of
25 Konjic, and this has to do with that area. It was my duty to brief the
1 members of the government when I was invited to do so.
2 Q. Of course it was, of course it was. And if you can go, please,
3 to P04343 sir, this is a -- just a very short document, but this is
4 Mr. Nussbaum, who is the secretary of the HVO HZ-HB, the HVO government.
5 And Mr. Nussbaum on in this case was sending a report of the minutes of a
6 working meeting held on 18 August 1993 for your use to Zarko Tole. So
7 isn't this another example of the government communicating directly with
8 the military at the HVO Main Staff, communicating and sharing information
9 back and forth, making reference to a working meeting on the 18th of
10 August? That's what it says, doesn't it?
11 A. Yes, that's what it says. How else would you appear at a
12 meeting? You can't just turn up. You have to be invited.
13 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I think we're at the time of the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's have a break.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.39 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
19 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Sir, had you occasions -- at least two occasion, perhaps more,
22 but I know of at least two, you had occasions to actually attend meetings
23 with President Tudjman in Croatia during 1993, didn't you?
24 A. I remember November 1993 in Split.
25 Q. Well, you met with him once on the 24th of April in Croatia,
1 again a pretty important time-period, and you also met with him on the
2 5th of November, 1993, just a few days after Stupni Do, didn't you?
3 A. Yes, I was invited to the meeting, and we went to Split.
4 Q. Mr. Tudjman -- President Tudjman, he considered you, in fact, one
5 of the leaders of Herceg-Bosna, didn't he?
6 A. No, he couldn't have considered me as one of the leaders. I was
7 the Chief of the Main Staff in Herceg-Bosna. As to who the leader in
8 Herceg-Bosna was, that is well known.
9 Q. Well, sir, I put to you that being the number-one military
10 commander of almost anything makes you a pretty important leader, doesn't
12 A. It's an important role at the head of the army. As to how that
13 should be compared with leaders outside the army, who occupy positions
14 within the governmental hierarchy, well, that is a different matter.
15 Q. Well, let's go to slide 17, which is an excerpt of a presidential
16 transcript on the 2nd of July, 1993, which is Exhibit P031112 [sic],
17 page 54 of the transcript. President Tudjman talking:
18 "Anyone else --"
19 A. Let me find it, please. Just a minute.
20 Q. It's on the screen, sir. You'll only see it on the screen and it
21 will be translated to you. My apologies. If you want to turn to the
22 transcript, it may or may not be in that binder. The full excerpt is on
23 the slide. Do you have it?
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. In the transcript, there is one "1"
25 too many.
1 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. 3112. My apologies.
2 Q. I think if you want to look -- do you have it now, sir? If you
3 want to look at it, you can, but everything I'm going to read to you is
4 on the screen.
5 The Usher's assistance, I'm sorry. Does he have it?
6 I'm trying to assist you, sir. You'll have the Croatian
7 transcript there in front of you.
8 President Tudjman:
9 "Anyone else? All right, gentlemen, let's finish.
10 "With regard to sanctions, I do not think that in such a
11 situation they pose a serious threat ... but we must be careful not to
12 give them any direct cause to serve as an excuse for their policy.
13 Clearly, we must not do this. But at the same time, we must take steps
14 to protect Croatian interests in the territorial sense, too. And, you
15 two, please, Minister Susak, General Bobetko, see about this and meet
16 with Herceg-Bosna leaders there, with General Praljak, Petkovic, and
17 Ambassador Sancevic, and their leaders there, with Boban and Prlic, to
18 discuss exactly what should be done. But it goes without saying, do not
19 lead the operation in such a way as to make it a direct involvement."
20 I come back to you a question I put to you a moment ago, sir.
21 President Tudjman considered you to be one of the leaders of
22 Herceg-Bosna, didn't he? Praljak, Petkovic, Sancevic, Boban, Prlic;
24 A. It doesn't say "leader" anywhere here.
25 Q. Well, certainly in English it does, sir. And if it doesn't in
1 Croatian, then you have me. But it says here:
2 "You two, please, Minister Susak," the Defence Minister Susak,
3 "General Bobetko," the head of the Croatian army, "see about this and
4 meet with Herceg-Bosna leaders there," leaders there, "with
5 General Praljak, Petkovic, and Ambassador Sancevic, and their leaders
6 there, Boban and Prlic ..."
7 He talks about leaders twice, doesn't he, including you?
8 A. Here it says with the leadership of Herceg-Bosna, and then
9 there's a comma, and then it says -- or adds "with General Praljak and
10 Petkovic," and then, "Ambassador Sancevic and their leaders there, with
11 Boban and Prlic." So General Praljak and Petkovic aren't included in the
12 category of leaders. There is a comma, after which you have the names
13 "Praljak" and "Petkovic."
14 Q. I'm happy to leave it with the Judges.
15 Sir, you were also a member of the Bosnian Croat delegation at
16 number of peace negotiations and conferences, weren't you?
17 A. Yes, it was the Croatian delegation from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Q. Approximately how many times did you attend such conferences or
19 sessions, just approximately?
20 A. There were four conferences held in Geneva, and there were four
21 meetings. The political aspect was dealt with in Geneva, or there were
22 political meetings in Geneva, and military ones in Sarajevo.
23 Q. And finally, sir, on this set of topics, you also frequently
24 represented the HVO in front of the media, didn't you? You gave
25 interviews, you had press conferences, and, in fact, you controlled the
1 HVO's military's contact with the media, didn't you?
2 A. I alone gave interviews for the media, but I didn't establish
3 contact with the media, as you are saying. On occasion or from time to
4 time, I would give interviews. So I only gave interviews for the media;
5 I didn't establish contact with them.
6 Q. Well, you controlled access -- the media's access to the HVO,
7 didn't you, at least the HVO military?
8 A. I don't know what you mean, "access to the HVO."
9 Q. Well, the Chamber can certainly stop and look at them, if they
10 wish; but, for example, 2D00687 is an order that you issued on the 24th
11 of November, 1993, prohibiting all HVO military contact with the media
12 without your permission. Exhibit P00679, your order dated the 31st of
13 October, 1992, right after Prozor, prohibiting contact with the media, or
14 expressing -- forgive me, expressing your concern about the media, that
15 "the coverage of some of these events were causing great problems for us
16 in the foreign media," you were cognizant and paid attention to the
17 media, didn't you?
18 A. Yes, that was my duty. Not each and every commander or officer
19 or HVO member should contact the media and give them statements of any
20 kind. Information provided from the army, well, one knows who can
21 provide such information, under what conditions.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could I just make a brief
23 correction. On the previous page, line 21, the year for the document is
24 wrong. It should say "1992."
25 MR. SCOTT: Counsel may be right, Your Honour, if I can just
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. SCOTT: Is counsel referring to --
4 MR. KOVACIC: Mr. Scott, I would be happy to help you. It is the
5 wrong number, if you -- if you looked at the screen, this document has
6 nothing to do with media.
7 MR. SCOTT: I think, unfortunately, we're a document behind. The
8 document -- counsel's correct. On 2D00687, it should be "1992." I
9 misspoke, and I apologise.
10 Q. But as you said just now, sir, and it's again nothing surprising,
11 you can't just have everyone meeting and talking with the media
12 willy-nilly, so to speak, and you controlled and you set a rule in place
13 that there shouldn't be contact with the media without your permission;
15 A. Yes, I said that contact shouldn't be established with the media,
16 because on item number 3 it is specified who can have contact with the
17 media. Not just anyone can have the idea of contacting the media. And
18 I think in all armies throughout the world, there are such provisions.
19 Q. And in similar fashion, sir, you also controlled access or
20 communications with the international organisations, didn't you;
21 UNPROFOR, ECMM? Those communications could only take place with your
23 And again while you're thinking about that, I'll refer to P00797,
24 again dated 24 November 1992, your order, sir:
25 "There can be contacts with UNPROFOR and --"
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic -- one moment,
3 General Petkovic, you have this document on the screen. You ban
4 any contact with the media. This is in the three paragraphs, but in the
5 reasoning you say that it is because individuals from the HVO have
6 revealed military secrets. What did you mean by that? Is it because --
7 were you controlling the media by revealing military secrets?
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, we did not receive
9 the interpretation of your question.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to check. I'm going
11 to ask the question again, sorry, because I didn't check. You see,
12 usually when I ask a question, I look at the person I put the question to
13 and don't look at the transcript. That's my mistake, because I'm not
14 used to using the transcript, as such.
15 So, General Petkovic, we have a document here in front of us.
16 You say that you control -- or any contact with the media must have your
17 prior approval. And this document shows that apparently the rationale is
18 that there were individuals from the HVO who apparently revealed military
19 secrets. What do you exactly refer to here?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you know that
21 information on the army -- on anyone's army is confidential, it's a
22 military secret. The commanders who spoke about all sorts of things,
23 they weren't educated, they weren't well informed. They also provided
24 information that did not fully correspond to the actual situation. They
25 tried to emphasise their own importance and diminish the importance of
1 others, and such a manner of communicating information is not permissible
2 in any army. I then drafted an order, and I said if it is necessary for
3 someone to establish contact with the media in a given area, then I will
4 be the one to provide permission for that, because no one can simply
5 decide on how to provide information to the media in any army. People
6 simply didn't take into account the things that they were to speak about,
7 the quantity of weapons, the situation in the army, et cetera, et cetera.
8 Such matters are confidential, military secrets, and that is why we
9 decided at all press conferences, and you can see this under item 3, we
10 said that all press conferences would have to be permitted by the IPD,
11 Defence Department. They knew how information should be provided to the
12 media. You know, the press conferences are organised, and not each and
13 every soldier can provide information or contact the media.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Sir, my pending question to you before was: You also controlled
17 communications with UNPROFOR and the international organisations, didn't
19 A. I didn't have control over that. I had contact with UNPROFOR
20 representatives, and at their request I would instruct my men as to how
21 to establish contact with UNPROFOR.
22 Q. Well look, please, at P00797, which I began to refer to a few
23 minutes ago, 24 November 1992, your order:
24 "The commanders of the zones, staffs, and units can have contacts
25 with UNPROFOR and the European Community members, as well as provide the
1 latter with certain information, only with the permission of the chief of
2 the HVO Main Staff"; correct?
3 A. That's correct. That procedure had been a procedure that had
4 been agreed on with UNPROFOR and other bodies.
5 Q. The bottom line, sir, is that you played a very significant role
6 in whatever information was provided to the media and whatever
7 information was provided to the international organisations, didn't you?
8 A. I had contact with international organisations, at their request,
9 and therefore I knew how I was to proceed, what I was to do. And you
10 also don't allow anyone to write anything, so the army also has the right
11 to protect itself and not to allow hundreds of people to provide
12 information for the benefit of the media; therefore, yes, I stand by
14 Q. In fact, sir, throughout this time-period and what we've talked
15 about in the last hour or so, coming full circle, what I put to you an
16 hour, an half ago was: You were not some apolitical soldier, technocrat;
17 you were a political policy actor as well, controlling access to the
18 media, controlling access to international organisations, attending
19 meetings of the government, attending meetings with President Tudjman,
20 attending meetings of the HZ-HB Presidency; you were a major political
21 actor; and, in fact, you felt often during this time more like a
22 politician than a soldier, didn't you?
23 A. No, I wasn't a politician. I was a soldier who, at given points
24 in time, went to certain meetings, when invited. I wasn't a politician
25 at the time, nor am I a politician now.
1 Q. Well, let's look at -- this is a loose exhibit, not in the
2 binders, a loose exhibit, P11167. And we can also put it up on Sanction,
3 slide 18. This is from Exhibit P1167 [sic].
4 Sir, you gave an interview to "Glas Slavonije" on the 31st of
5 December, 1994, and the very first paragraph, easy to find:
6 "Major-General Milivoj Petkovic is remembered by many for his
7 frequent television statements in the time of the fiercest conflicts in
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993, when he was Chief of Staff of
9 the Croatian Defence Council. Asked whether he felt more like a soldier
10 or like a politician in that time, he replied that it seemed to him that
11 he was more politician than soldier ..."
12 That's what you said in the interview on the 31st of December,
13 1994; correct?
14 A. This does seem strange, the statement that I'm more politician
15 than soldier. I really don't see myself as a politician.
16 Q. Well, you may not, sir, but that's not what you said on this
17 particular day. And I put it to you that given all your involvements
18 that we spent the last hour and a half talking about, you were much more
19 than a soldier, sir, weren't you?
20 A. I was a general, sir, not a soldier, and I attended several
21 meetings which were political in nature or of an international nature
22 sometimes. And if we add all that up, apart from doing military
23 business, I also participated in the -- in many meetings.
24 Q. Sir, because of your high level of involvement in all these
25 matters at both the military and the political level, the Tudjman
1 government was very concerned when you were subpoenaed to testify in the
2 Blaskic case, weren't they?
3 A. I don't know how concerned they were. None of them ever told me
4 that they were concerned. But they invited me and gave me the summons,
5 and they also took some steps for me to give evidence under certain
7 Q. Oh, sir, I bet you anything that you knew they were concerned. I
8 bet they told you how concerned they were, because in their own words,
9 they thought, Petkovic is the man who knows too much, and for him to go
10 to The Hague and testify raises all sorts of risk, because Petkovic knows
11 too much. That was their concern, wasn't it?
12 A. But they didn't say that to me. I don't know why they didn't.
13 If they were concerned, they were obviously speaking about that among
15 Q. Well, let's see. When you were summoned as a Court witness in
16 the Blaskic case, you also received a set of questions or topics from the
17 Court prior to your testimony, so you knew what questions were going to
18 be asked; correct?
19 A. Yes, that is exactly correct.
20 Q. And the Tudjman government, or some of its representatives,
21 helped you to prepare the right answers to those questions known in
22 advance, didn't they?
23 A. No, Your Honours, they did not assist me in that. You could
24 easily call up the questions that I got from the Trial Chamber, and I was
25 the only one who knew the answers to those questions, and not the
1 representatives of the Croatian government. It would be good if you
2 could show me the questions that I received during the proofing.
3 Q. Receiving those questions or topics in advance, in fact, was a
4 condition of the Croatian government allowing you to testify at this
5 Tribunal, wasn't it?
6 A. No. And in the second instance, I also received the questions in
7 advance, because the Trial Chamber thought that I needed some time to
8 prepare. In the second instance, also, because the Croatian government
9 was even less concerned.
10 Q. Sir, our time is precious. You were accompanied and attended in
11 your Blaskic testimony by an American lawyer named David Rifkin and a
12 Croatian intelligence officer named Stefan Udiljak, weren't you?
13 For the record, Udiljak, and my apologies if I've mispronounced
14 it, U-d-i-l-j-a-k?
15 A. You obviously did, but you mis-positioned the American lawyer,
16 because he represented the Croatian government, rather than
17 General Petkovic. He obviously considered me a hostile witness, and he
18 was another party to the proceedings.
19 Q. I'm not sure he considered you hostile, but he certainly did
20 represent the Croatian government and I agree on that. But Mr. Udiljak
21 was a member of the Croatian intelligence services, and it was
22 Mr. Udiljak who contacted you about being a witness in the Blaskic case,
23 didn't he?
24 A. No, he didn't contact me about being a witness in the Blaskic
1 Q. Mr. Udiljak, sir, had become extensively involved by that time,
2 in 1999, he had become extensively involved in matters concerning this
3 Tribunal's efforts to locate and obtain the HVO archive, hadn't he?
4 A. I don't know about the HVO archive. I don't know anything about
5 that. I left the HVO in 1994, and the archive stayed behind in the area
6 where I was at the time. I have no idea where the archive was.
7 Q. This was during the time, sir, and you know this, that the
8 Tudjman government was concealing and keeping those archives from this
9 Tribunal, wasn't it, and Mr. Udiljak was extensively involved in that;
11 A. I don't know about that. As far as I know, there was an inquiry
12 sent to Mr. Jelavic - that's what I learned from the media - who at the
13 time was a minister of defence, or whatever he was. And the Federation
14 of BiH and about the rest, I don't know. At the time, I served in
15 Osijek, or maybe I was in Dubrovnik already. I'm not quite sure.
16 Q. Sir, at this time -- and the Chamber has heard this name now
17 several times, but you knew there was a man named Markica Rebic, who was
18 the head of the Croatian intelligence service called SIS, and he was also
19 the head of something called Operation -- or OA Haag, Operation Hague,
20 wasn't he?
21 A. I don't know. I learned about this for the first time from the
22 newspapers. And about this Operation Hague, I heard for the first time
23 here in this Tribunal, when there was a witness, but I have no knowledge
24 about the Operation Hague. And as far as I know, in that document nobody
25 has mentioned Petkovic.
1 Q. This was the same Mr. Rebic who was also convicted by this
2 Tribunal for contempt of court for disclosing protected witness
3 information, wasn't he? In March 2006, this Tribunal issued a judgement
4 of contempt against Mr. Rebic, and this was the man who was handling you
5 in connection with your testimony in the Blaskic case; correct?
6 A. No, Mr. Rebic never contacted me. The contacts in the Blaskic
7 case were maintained by his Defence, and that's -- that applies to --
8 that's usual for any Defence.
9 Q. And you and Mr. -- excuse me, strike that. Mr. Rebic and
10 Mr. Bandic, who was a witness in this case in open session -- Mr. Rebic
11 and Mr. Bandic were, in fact, conducting intelligence operations against
12 this Tribunal, weren't they, trying to discover protected information,
13 trying to develop sources inside the ICTY; correct?
14 A. I don't know about that. You should have punished them if that's
15 what you found out. I cannot detect an intelligence man, especially in
16 this Tribunal.
17 Q. Did you come to know, sir, that, in fact, Mr. Bandic at some
18 point, because of his activities, was encouraged -- encouraged to leave
19 the Netherlands?
20 A. I really don't know that.
21 Q. This is the same Mr. Bandic that you travelled with in Central
22 Bosnia and the same Mr. Bandic who participated in the investigation
23 concerning Stupni Do; correct? Your personal bodyguard, an intelligence
24 operative, the man you travelled with repeatedly when you went to Central
25 Bosnia, Mr. Bandic, and that's the man you put in charge of the Stupni Do
1 investigation, one of your closest, most loyal lieutenants?
2 A. You couldn't say that. Especially when he was appointed to
3 various diplomatic positions, I had no more contacts with him, and I
4 didn't know what he was doing here in The Hague, whether he was with the
5 Tribunal or with the embassy.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I waited for
7 Mr. Petkovic's answer. But I really would like a reference for what the
8 Prosecutor is saying. This is the same Bandic who participated in the
9 investigation concerning Stupni Do, I don't know the origin of that
10 reference: For this, as far as I know, nobody has said anything like
11 this in the courtroom before.
12 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. It's in one of the investigative
13 reports by Mr. Bandic, and I would be happy to provide it. I can't give
14 counsel the number at the moment, that Mr. Bandic was one of the persons
15 who authored one of the reports.
16 Q. Sir, Mr. Bandic testified in this case, and he said that he was
17 the one that whenever you travelled to Central Bosnia, he went with you.
18 This is at 38245, 38246, 38259 to 60. One function was to be his
19 bodyguard and then to actually conduct intelligence operations:
20 "I was a member of the secret Counter-Intelligence Service, and
21 this was part of my job. If we were going to Central Bosnia, very often
22 it was only the two of us, Mr. Petkovic and I, and I drove."
23 In any event, sir, let's turn to -- we only have a few minutes
24 left, but at least hopefully we can start on this. Let's turn to Exhibit
25 P08912 --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But we haven't said everything.
2 Bandic's departure from Herceg-Bosna is also his departure from Petkovic.
3 I never again had the opportunity to meet him again. So please don't
4 link somebody's activities in one period to another period. We have
5 nothing in common. He is not my superior, I am not his superior. We
6 never co-operated.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the
8 Prosecutor is putting questions to you on the circumstances in which you
9 testified in the Blaskic case. I have listened to you, and you said that
10 you testified freely, without any problem whatsoever. Fine.
11 On looking at your testimony in the Blaskic case, there was a
12 problem at one point regarding the time. The Trial Chamber had taken
13 some time and advised you of the fact that the hearing would resume on
14 the following day, and that's when the problem arose. The Presiding
15 Judge asks you for your opinion and asked you whether that would be a
16 problem for you if the hearing were to resume on the following day, and
17 this is what you said:
18 "Your Honour --"
19 This is in the French text, so page 22502:
20 "Your Honour, when I was told last night that this would only
21 last one day, my minister was informed and told me this: You may go
22 there for one day."
23 The answer you gave to the Presiding Judge seems to indicate that
24 the minister of defence was following this very closely, since he said
25 that you were only entitled to go there for one day. He's on a
1 first-name basis with you. Do you remember this?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I told you that the
3 Croatian government tried to agree with the Tribunal, and finally did so,
4 and was represented, among others, by a Mr. Udiljak, and I was told that
5 these persons would interrupt me and were entitled to do so if a question
6 were to be asked to me concerning the Republic of Croatia or anything
7 about it, and I knew that.
8 At the same time, the Croatian government, in communicating with
9 the Tribunal, said that Petkovic would give evidence for an entire day in
10 that trial, and it was accepted as such. However, many questions were
11 still left, and the President of the Trial Chamber asked whether the
12 evidence could be extended for another day. At that moment, Counsel
13 Rifkin said, Well, I had received guarantees for one day, I have no
14 guarantees for anything else. And then the President of the Trial
15 Chamber addressed me, Mr. Petkovic, take my word for it, you have my
16 guarantee. And I accepted that. So I stayed and gave evidence for as
17 long as the Trial Chamber wanted.
18 My evidence, as I said, had been agreed upon without anybody
19 asking me anything about it. How the Croatian government was able to
20 strike that agreement, I don't know. And it also got the right to be
21 represented there by its lawyer.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But before testifying, you were
23 in contact with the Croatian minister of defence, weren't you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. The Croatian
25 minister of defence received a summons for my testimony, and I received
1 the summons from the Ministry of Defence, because I didn't receive it
2 personally. It was sent to the Croatian government, imposing an
3 obligation on them to hand it to me. And the minister of defence invited
4 me to come to see him, and I travelled from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. That's
5 when I found out that Croatia would be represented by Mr. Rifkin and
6 Mr. Udiljak. There was a conversation with the minister of about one
7 hour, and they explained to me that they had the right to protect the
8 interests of the Republic of Croatia and that they would intervene if a
9 question were to be asked concerning the Republic of Croatia to which I
10 didn't have the right to answer, because that was what the agreement was
11 about. And I believe during my examination, there were two such
12 interventions. Later on, everybody respected that and I was asked no
13 more such questions.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, when I put
15 these questions to you about your testimony, I asked you whether your
16 presence was subject to the approval of the Croatian authorities. Since
17 the Trial Chamber had prepared a whole list of questions, and you stated
18 what you had said, what I want to know is whether what you said had been
19 "controlled," quote/unquote, by the Croatian authorities.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, nobody controlled
21 that testimony. I basically spoke about the military police and the
22 authority over it. That was the central topic of my testimony, and there
23 were also the special purpose units. The Croatian government didn't
24 influence me in that respect. And, anyway, I knew the subject matter
25 better than anybody else. And I testified to the best of my knowledge,
1 and the President of the Trial Chamber said to me, General, you gave a
2 brave statement, and he thanked me.
3 The Croatian government displayed no interest whatsoever in the
4 contents of my evidence. The minister of defence only spoke to me about
5 Mr. Rifkin's representing the interests of Croatia during my testimony.
6 That's the entire communication.
7 And I can add that I asked the minister, at the end, whether I'm
8 going there to testify in the Blaskic trial or in a trial where Croatia
9 is being tried. So that was all my communication with one person only,
10 and that was my then minister of defence. I believe his name was
11 Mr. Miljavac.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, it's just about time
13 to stop for today. There's one minute left. Would you like to put
14 another question? It's up to you.
15 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, thank you very much. I'm about to
16 start -- we would start another major document, and it would be better if
17 we start tomorrow. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of course, as you all know, we
19 will be sitting tomorrow in the afternoon. We will have only one break
20 tomorrow afternoon.
21 I wish you all a good afternoon.
22 [The Accused Petkovic stands down]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 4th day of March,
25 2010, at 2.15 p.m.