1 Thursday, 4 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 2.16 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
8 case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
14 Today is Thursday, the 4th of March, 2010. I would like to
15 welcome General Petkovic, first of all, the accused who are in the
16 courtroom, Mr. Prlic, Coric, Stojic, and Pusic. I would like to welcome
17 Defence counsel, Mr. Scott as well as all his associates, and all the
18 people assisting us in this courtroom, and also the security guards.
19 I have two oral decisions to hand down, which I shall hand down
20 straight away. These are long. I believe too formal, but whatever the
21 case may be, relating to the application by Stojic and Petkovic Defence
22 teams to be granted additional time to cross-examine Witness 5D-AB.
23 The Witness 5D-AB presented by the Coric Defence team will
24 testify as a viva voce witness from the 12th to the 14th of April, 2010,
25 according to the latest schedule that has been filed. The Coric Defence
1 has informed the Chamber and the parties of its intention to have two
2 hours for the examination-in-chief and redirect, if any, for the witness.
3 In its motion on the 1st of February, 2010, the Petkovic Defence
4 asked to have one hour, i.e., an extra 48 minutes, as opposed to the time
5 which would be allocated pursuant to Guide-line number 5 to cross-examine
6 Witness 5D-AB. The Coric Defence team has responded to this on the
7 5th of February, 2010. The 9th of February, 2010, the Trial Chamber
8 authorised the Petkovic Defence to file a reply, which it did on the
9 12th of February, 2010.
10 After that, it was notified on the 10th of February, 2010, by the
11 Stojic Defence, that requested an extra 20 minutes from the Chamber to
12 cross-examine the witness. It requested, furthermore, that this
13 additional time be taken off the overall time which had been allocated to
14 it by the Chamber.
15 After having looked at the 65 ter summary relating to the
16 testimony of 5D-AB, the Trial Chamber holds that the additional time
17 application filed by the Stojic Defence is founded and proportionate.
18 The Trial Chamber, therefore, states that it can have 20 extra minutes to
19 cross-examine the witness, which means that the overall time of its
20 cross-examination will be 32 minutes.
21 The Trial Chamber also notes that the Stojic Defence has
22 requested to have 20 minutes' time taken off its overall time.
23 As far as the application filed by the Petkovic Defence is
24 concerned, the Trial Chamber feels that an extra hour to cross-examine is
25 disproportionate, in light of the material in the 65 ter summary of
1 Witness 5D-AB. The Trial Chamber holds that 30 minutes of extra time is
2 enough to enable the counsel to protect the interests of their client,
3 which means that the overall time of their cross-examination will be
4 42 minutes.
5 Accordingly, time allocation will be broken down as follows: The
6 Coric Defence will have two hours to conduct its examination-in-chief and
7 redirect, if any. The Stojic Defence will have 32 minutes for its
8 cross-examination. The Petkovic Defence will have 42 minutes for its
9 cross-examination. In the absence of any specific application, the
10 Prlic, Praljak and Pusic Defence teams will have 12 minutes each to
11 cross-examine, if need be. And, lastly, the Prosecution, pursuant to
12 Guide-line number 5, will have two hours for its cross-examination.
13 I would like to say that this very long decision could have --
14 could read as follows: In light of the parties' submission, the Trial
15 Chamber decides to allocate two hours to the Coric Defence team,
16 30 minutes to the Stojic Defence team, 40 minutes to the Petkovic Defence
17 team, and 12 minutes each for the other Defence teams, and two hours to
18 be allocated to the Prosecution. This is what I would have said, had I
19 been on my own.
20 Oral decision relating to the Prosecution's application, and
21 Petkovic and Stojic Defence teams to have extra time to cross-examine the
22 Witness Mate Jelcic, relating to the time allocated for the appearance of
23 this witness.
24 Please be patient. This going to take a long time.
25 Witness Mate Jelcic presented by the Coric Defence team must come
1 as a witness pursuant to Rule 92 ter of our Rules of the 24th of March,
2 2010. The Coric Defence team has informed the Trial Chamber and the
3 parties that it intends to examine in-chief this witness for 30 minutes.
4 In its motion -- confidential motion filed on the
5 1st of February, 2010, the Prosecution has asked to have two hours to
6 cross-examine this witness. The Coric Defence responded to the motion on
7 the 3rd of February, 2010. On the 3rd of February, 2010, also, the
8 Praljak Defence joined in the response filed by the Coric Defence. On
9 the 14th [as interpreted] of February, 2010, the Prosecution asked to be
10 entitled to reply and to be entitled to reply to the -- and responded.
11 Furthermore, the Petkovic Defence filed a confidential motion on
12 the 4th of February, 2010, in which it asked to have 30 minutes to
13 cross-examine Witness Mate Jelcic, i.e., an extra 18 minutes. On the
14 15th of February, 2010, the Coric Defence responded to the motion. The
15 Trial Chamber authorises the Petkovic Defence to file a motion in its
16 oral decision of the 16th of February, 2010. This reply was filed on the
17 17th of February, 2010.
18 Lastly, the Stojic Defence team has filed a confidential motion
19 on the 5th of February, 2010, in which it asks to have 24 minutes, i.e.,
20 an extra 12 minutes, to conduct the cross-examination of this witness.
21 It asks, in addition, that the additional time that has been requested be
22 taken off the overall time which was allocated to it by the
23 Trial Chamber. The Coric Defence responded to the motion on the
24 15th of February, 2010. As a preliminary matter, the Trial Chamber
25 decides to authorise the reply by the Prosecution filed on the
1 4th of February, 2010, as far as Witness Mate Jelcic is concerned.
2 The Trial Chamber notes, furthermore, that this witness,
3 initially on the 65 ter list of the Coric Defence, was listed as a
4 viva voce witness, with an examination-in-chief lasting two hours.
5 In light of the submissions presented by the parties, in light of
6 the 65 ter summary of the witness, and the practices of the Chamber with
7 regard to time allocation to cross-examine a witness that testifies
8 pursuant to Rule 92 ter of the Rules, the Trial Chamber has decided as
9 follows: The Coric Defence will have, for its examination-in-chief and
10 redirect, if any, 30 minutes. The Trial Chamber grants the request filed
11 by the Prosecution and grants it two hours to cross-examine
12 Witness Mate Jelcic. The Trial Chamber also decides to grant the
13 Petkovic Defence application and to grant it, all in all, 30 minutes to
14 conduct its cross-examination.
15 Then, and in light of the sole topic addressed by the
16 Stojic Defence, which intends to address with the witness of the Court,
17 will have 20 minutes to entitle it to conduct its examination-in-chief.
18 The Stojic Defence has asked the Trial Chamber to take this time off,
19 i.e., eight minutes off its overall time. The Prlic, Praljak, Pusic
20 Defence teams that have not filed any particular application will have
21 36 minutes each to be shared between them, if they wish to cross-examine
22 this witness.
23 This decision could have been read as follows, in light of the
24 submissions presented by the parties: The Trial Chamber is to grant the
25 Coric Defence 30 minutes, the Prosecution two hours, the Petkovic Defence
1 30 minutes, the Stojic Defence 20 minutes, and the other Defence teams
2 36 minutes. That said, those questions that haven't been planned will be
3 taken off their overall time; i.e., eight minutes for the Stojic Defence.
4 I hope everyone has understood.
5 Mr. Scott, you have the floor, and I give you the floor with
6 pleasure. You may start by continuing your cross-examination.
7 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
8 [The witness answered through interpreter]
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Thank you to all of Your Honours, and good afternoon to all of
11 you, to counsel, and to everyone in and around the courtroom.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Petkovic.
14 Sir, I'd like to go back to -- and do a very small bit of review,
15 based on where we left off yesterday.
16 We were talking about the circumstances surrounding your being
17 called to The Hague to testify in the Blaskic case. I had put to you,
18 sir, that upon receiving information that you were going to be called, or
19 at least were being considered to be called, that the Tudjman government
20 was very concerned about this. They were very concerned about what you
21 might say if you came to The Hague and gave testimony. And, in fact,
22 they were concerned because -- and we'll see, I think, in a few minutes
23 that they considered that you knew too much. You knew too much. It
24 would be dangerous for you to come from [sic] The Hague, because things
25 might come to light that the Tudjman government would prefer not to. And
1 in the course of your conversations with the Tudjman government and its
2 representatives about coming here, you knew that, didn't you?
3 A. No, Your Honours, I didn't know why they were concerned or why --
4 I only knew that they had contact with the Tribunal, and I was standing
5 aside, and I only heard about the outcome, nothing more than that.
6 Q. All right. Well, as further review, before we move forward, if
7 I can ask to -- in Sanction, if we can display slide 33, please. There's
8 just a small -- a few items from your related testimony on this
9 yesterday, sir.
10 You had indicated that Mr. Rebic, Markica Rebic, who we've talked
11 about before and which the Chamber, I think, has come to know, to some
12 extent, that he never contacted you. Your evidence -- you said:
13 "My evidence, as I said, had been agreed upon without anybody
14 asking me anything about it."
15 "No, Your Honour, nobody controlled that testimony," you said.
16 "The Croatian government didn't influence me ..."
17 "The Croatian government displayed no interest whatsoever in the
18 contents of my evidence."
19 Now, with that in mind, sir, I think in the course of the
20 afternoon you mentioned the man -- the man Pavao -- or maybe it was
21 morning, I suppose, Pavao Miljavac, Miljavac, excuse me. He was the
22 Croatian minister of defence in April 1999; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. Miljavac was minister of defence of the
24 Republic of Croatia.
25 Q. And in that sense or in that position, he was your superior at
1 the time. And when you mentioned a couple of times yesterday talking to
2 someone or getting permission, et cetera, you were talking, in
3 particular, about Mr. Miljavac?
4 A. I don't know which permission I spoke about, but I said that
5 Miljavac was the minister of defence of Croatia and that he had summoned
6 me when the government had received the notification that I had to
7 testify, and he handed me the summons, because the summons didn't come to
8 me, personally; it was addressed to the government.
9 Q. And a man named Kresimir Cosic was the deputy defence minister at
10 that time, wasn't he?
11 A. Yes, I think so.
12 Q. And what position did the man named Davorin Domazet hold in the
13 Croatian government or military in -- at the time of your summons or
14 subpoena in 1999?
15 A. I think that he was Chief of Main Staff, unless I'm mistaken. If
16 not, then he was deputy chief. One of the two.
17 Q. President Tudjman's view, at least initially, was that you should
18 not be allowed to give testimony at this Tribunal, wasn't it?
19 A. I don't know President Tudjman's position. He never spoke to me,
20 and he didn't make his opinion public so I'm not familiar with it.
21 Q. You talked with Mr. Miljavac -- I'm sorry, it's a hard one for me
22 for some reason. You talked with him for at least two hours, didn't you,
23 after the ICTY summons arrived?
24 A. I stayed for up to two hours in his office, when he had summoned
25 me to come, to hand me over the subpoena.
1 Q. And in the course of that conversation, sir, you told
2 Mr. Miljavac that you could come to The Hague to testify and there were
3 any number of things that you could say or any number of interests you
4 could serve, and you were essentially asking for guidances to the effect,
5 What do you want me to say, which interest should I serve?
6 A. No, that is not correct. You are twisting what I said with
7 regard to the contents of Mr. Miljavac's intervention of what he said to
9 Q. When President Tudjman ultimately decided that that you would be
10 allowed to testify in the Blaskic case, various steps were taken to
11 prepare answers to the questions that were provided in advance by the
12 Court, weren't they?
13 A. No, that is not correct, no steps were taken. On the contrary,
14 not even Minister Miljavac knew what questions I was supposed to answer.
15 They were only interested in how their legal counsel would represent
16 Croatia in that trial.
17 Q. Well, for example, sir, President Tudjman said you would only be
18 allowed to testify if you testified that the Croatian Army was not in
19 Central Bosnia. If you said that, you would be allowed to testify;
21 A. I don't know to who Tudjman said that, but he certainly didn't
22 say it to me. The first thing to establish is that I wasn't present at
23 that meeting that you're speaking about, so I don't know what Tudjman
24 said or how he said it.
25 Q. Sir, there was a team that was put together that was making
1 special preparations and working with you around that time, prior to your
2 Blaskic testimony, to prepare you for your testimony, wasn't there?
3 A. No, no team worked with me. The team you're mentioning, I don't
4 know based on what they would prepare me to answer the questions that I
5 had received.
6 Q. Well, let's look at Exhibit P08912, sir.
7 MR. SCOTT: And for the courtroom, this is one of the
8 Presidential transcripts from a meeting on the 13th of April, 1999. It
9 is provided in hard copy, but we're also going to provide it and view it,
10 Your Honours, by way of Sanction, and I believe the first page is on the
11 screen now. But it's P08912, or slide 19.
12 If we can go to -- this is a meeting, you'll see on the cover
13 page, on the 13th of April, 1999, at the offices of President Tudjman, as
14 I've mentioned already. The particular conversation starts on page 31.
15 I'll pause and give people a chance to find that.
16 Q. Starting on page 31, sir, Mr. Miljavac says:
17 "One more thing, Mr. President, which is coming up. Nobody has
18 paid much attention to it, and I thought I should bring it to your
19 attention. General Petkovic has received a summons to testify.
20 "The President: To testify, where?
21 "In the Blaskic case. In my opinion, this could be a huge trap.
22 He could go there ..."
23 And if we could skip over to page 33, about the middle of the
24 page. The conversation is continuing. We don't have time to go through
25 the entire transcript, word for word:
1 "Now, it is a matter of negotiations with the Tribunal about
2 General Petkovic's status while he is testifying. We have analysed the
3 situation thoroughly and asked for a status conference at which we can
4 reach agreement on clear conditions under which General Petkovic can
5 testify and what he can testify about ..."
6 "The President: And no other questions can be posed there, if
7 that is agreed."
8 To page 34, and the deputy defence minister, Mr. Cosic, comes in:
9 "In this regard, Mr. President, I would like to point out one
10 thing: General Petkovic is a person who spent the most time down there
11 and who was there from the beginning, always at Mr. Boban's side, and
12 covering the whole area of Sarajevo and Central Bosnia during the
13 Croat-Muslim conflict.
14 "Therefore, he is one of the Croatian generals, you will agree,
15 Admiral, you know that, who probably knows the whole story best. There
16 is a high risk that some questions which need not be related to Blaskic
17 at all could be unacceptable for us. General Petkovic knows too much,
18 and taking into account everything he has been through as a soldier, an
19 honourable soldier, and a general, I would not be inclined to put him so
20 lightly in an environment which is still hostile to us."
21 Continuing to the next page, Mr. Rebic comes in. Skipping the
22 first paragraph, Mr. Rebic says:
23 "Furthermore, we have been in direct touch with General Petkovic
24 for three and a half years, for three and a half years we have been
25 working with Petkovic on these things. He has been our associate and
1 helped us to clear up some things while preparing Blaskic's Defence,
2 et cetera.
3 "So he has been in touch with us in continuo, and now he has been
4 undergoing special preparations for several days with a team working on
6 I ask you again, sir, when and where did you meet with this team
7 that was preparing you?
8 A. No team prepared me, Your Honours. I received my summons, I
9 spoke to the minister for up to two hours, and left Zagreb to go to
10 Dubrovnik. This is what they were saying to President Tudjman, who at
11 that moment wasn't even aware of my going -- or my coming here to
12 testify. And Markica Rebic hasn't -- didn't actually prepare me for
13 testifying in the Blaskic case. Rebic took very little part in that.
14 And you know how Blaskic's defence -- to what it came.
15 All these stories they told to President Tudjman are totally
16 unfounded. The Republic of Croatia was able to get a status that gave
17 Mr. Rifkin the right to interrupt me at any moment.
18 Q. I'm going to stop you, sir --
19 A. I don't know why they were saying this.
20 Q. I'm going to stop you there, sir, because our time -- I must
21 continue forward.
22 MR. KOVACIC: Excuse me, colleague.
23 I believe -- I'm not quite certain, but I believe that there
24 was -- that something is wrong in the transcript. There is a sentence in
25 line 7 which says:
1 "Rebic took very little part in that."
2 This is not what I understand General Petkovic said. He said
3 Rebic took no part in that, or he said that he didn't have any contact
4 with him. I didn't remember how exactly he said it, but I guess that he
5 should be asked about that, because this is a substantial thing.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that Mr. Rebic didn't have
7 any contact with me, nor did any team have contact with me, as he said.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. The transcript continues, sir -- sir, I'm going to cut you off,
10 and I'm going to have to do that more today. And I'll tell you that in
11 advance, sir, and I apologise for that, but the time simply does not
12 allow either you or I --
13 MR. KOVACIC: I think this is not fair --
14 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me -- excuse me, Counsel.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I think it --
16 MR. SCOTT: Don't interrupt me. Excuse me, Counsel.
17 MR. KOVACIC: The witness should be given an opportunity to
18 correct the transcript, and --
19 MR. SCOTT: He just did.
20 MR. KOVACIC: -- the counsel is interrupting witness in half of
21 the sentence when he's doing exactly that.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I allowed the witness very
23 specifically to answer the part where he said Mr. Rebic did not, in his
24 view, according to him, did not play a part in that, and I allowed him to
25 give that answer. And then he's going on about other matters, and I
1 don't have the time. If the Chamber wants to give me more time, I'm
2 happy to take it, but I cannot allow Mr. Petkovic to go on and on about
3 everything that he'd like to talk about.
4 [Overlapping speakers]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
7 ... to trap me, Prosecutor, and I can't accept that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're on your feet because --
9 the Defence counsel are on their feet because you answered in your
10 language. Since the Defence counsel know both languages, English and
11 B/C/S, they are saying, Be careful, there is a problem on the transcript.
12 That is why you're on your feet, Ms. Alaburic?
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Exactly, Your Honours. I just
14 wanted to make my -- make the objection of Mr. Kovacic more specific.
15 Page 12, line 7, I believe, Mr. Kovacic said, the continuation of
16 the answer about Markica Rebic was that Rebic was not involved in the
17 preparation of the Defence of General Blaskic, either, and that the
18 Prosecution at this trial knows best how things ended up with Rebic and
19 Blaskic. That's what the general said, and I believe that it is in
20 everybody's interest that we be accurate.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I said, that he
22 didn't take part in Blaskic's Defence.
23 MR. SCOTT: And that's exactly what I allowed --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: That's exactly what I allowed the witness to say.
1 Q. If we continue over to page 36, please, in the transcript,
2 Mr. Tudjman comes back in:
3 "This should be done in advance. Therefore, the general can go
4 and can answer only these questions in writing."
5 And it might be of some interest, but we won't take time to read
6 it all, but Mr. Gotovina apparently was opposed to your coming to
7 The Hague, Mr. Petkovic.
8 And we'll continue over on to page 38. On page 38, Mr. Domazet
9 says, about the middle of the page:
10 "So, this is clear. If it is decided that General Petkovic
11 should go, he will be in an even more difficult situation than I was,"
12 I think that should say, "that is clear. The questions and answers must
13 be defined exactly and precisely. Nothing beyond that."
14 Now, Mr. Domazet makes it very clear here the questions and
15 answers must be defined exactly and precisely.
16 I put it to you, sir, that that's exactly what happened. Isn't
18 A. No, Your Honours, that's not what happened. The Republic of
19 Croatia is in no position to prepare the Tribunal's questions and answers
20 so Petkovic can go back to them and read them back and forth. I think
21 this is ridiculous, the very idea that Croatia should be preparing the
22 Q and A and then Petkovic would be appearing in court and start off
23 saying, Your Honours, this is a question by the Republic of Croatia, and
24 then this is the answer. Come on. Have you ever seen evidence being
25 given like that before this Tribunal? Is that your idea of how things
1 work here?
2 Q. Sir, it wasn't apparently a joke to these men. I'm not making
3 this up. I'm reading to you from the official record of the meeting.
4 That's what they thought should happen. These aren't Ken Scott's words.
5 And, yes, it could happen -- no, of course you wouldn't be expected to
6 say, Well, I was told by the Tudjman group to say this, but you could
7 come to the Tribunal and say exactly what you were told to say, couldn't
8 you, sir?
9 A. No, that didn't happen.
10 Q. On page 40 --
11 A. No.
12 Q. Top of page 40, Mr. Miljavac says:
13 "I talked to him for two hours --"
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. "I talked to him for two hours when the summons arrived --"
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, let Mr. Scott ask his
17 questions. You are to answer them.
18 Please continue, because I will have a question after you.
19 Mr. Scott, please.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. "I talked to him for two hours when the summons arrived, and he
22 said the following:"
23 Now, he says these are your words, not his, sir:
24 "You know that I can go and testify in Blaskic's favour or in the
25 favour of the Republic of Croatia. You must decide:"
1 A. [No interpretation]
2 Q. "You must decide --" stop interrupting me, sir.
3 MR. SCOTT: I ask the Chamber to instruct the witness to stop
4 interrupting my questions.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, please listen
6 to the Prosecutor first, because he's reading out what Mr. Miljavac said.
7 So please listen carefully. He's going to put a question to you and then
8 you can answer and give your point of view.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. "You know that I can go and testify in Blaskic's favour or in the
11 favour of the Republic of Croatia. You must decide. I asked him what he
12 meant. Just that, he said, because I know everything. It is a matter of
13 deciding what to build our defence on. He said, it is very risky for me
14 to go."
15 And that's the conversation that you told us about a few minutes
16 ago, that you said when you meet with Mr. Miljavac about the summons, and
17 you met with him for approximately two hours, which is exactly what he
18 says here, that's the conversation you had with him, isn't it?
19 A. No, this has nothing to do with what I actually talked to
20 Mr. Miljavac about. As I've already told the Trial Chamber, I met
21 Miljavac, and he was in charge of this conversation, saying that the
22 Republic of Croatia made sure it had a legal representative, and should
23 anyone ask any questions at all about the Republic of Croatia, this legal
24 representative would have the right to stop it.
25 After about an hour and a half of talking to him, I asked
1 Mr. Miljavac, Mr. Miljavac, tell me, please, am I on my way to give
2 evidence in the Blaskic case or is this a case against the Republic of
3 Croatia? The question simply suggested itself. He didn't ask me how I
4 was feeling, what sort of evidence I would be giving. He kept telling
5 me, We have a legal representative who'll be doing this and doing that,
6 and you will hardly get a chance to answer.
7 I didn't know what questions I would be asked, I didn't know what
8 answers I would be giving. And the questions about the Tribunal -- the
9 questions that I got at the Tribunal have nothing whatsoever to do with
10 the Republic of Croatia. It's a matter of public record. If you want
11 to, you can go back to the transcript on that trial and read it for
13 It is another matter [overlapping speakers] --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. Mr. Petkovic, you want to be heard and
15 understood, and that needs interpretation. You are simply speaking too
16 fast. The interpreters have difficulties, and then you don't come
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Sir, are you suggesting that Mr. Miljavac, the minister of
20 defence -- this is no small person. This is the minister of defence of
21 the Republic of Croatia, who at least at the time thinks he's having an
22 important private meeting with other senior officials of the Government
23 of Croatia, including President Tudjman, and are you suggesting he just
24 made these words up; that he gave this account of what you told him in a
25 conversation and he just made this up in telling the other people in the
1 meeting, including President Tudjman, what you had told him in your
3 A. What I said to Miljavac at the meeting does not tally with what
4 it says here. I'll stand by this for as long as you keep asking
5 questions about it.
6 Secondly, the gentleman could have invited me to that meeting and
7 not say, Petkovic is off to Dubrovnik. And they went to see to
8 President Tudjman -- to a particular meeting, and suddenly it crossed the
9 minister's mind to say, Mr. President, you know there's a letter saying
10 that Petkovic should go and give evidence, and the president had no idea
11 about that, he had no idea that a letter had arrived. And then the whole
12 story began. Each of those involved there would give their own version.
13 Meanwhile, Petkovic was 600 kilometres away, on his way to Dubrovnik.
14 That is what I'm trying to tell you.
15 Q. President Tudjman says:
16 "At this moment, I'm in favour of a decision banning Croatian
17 generals from going to The Hague, either as witnesses or as accused
19 Continuing on to page 41, Tudjman says again:
20 "If you will, he can go and testify about whether there were
21 regular Croatian units in the Lasva Valley, if his answer to that is, No,
22 he can go, but nothing else."
23 And that's part of the instructions you were given, isn't it?
24 A. No, Your Honours, it isn't. I was given no instructions. No one
25 else was, either. Tudjman cannot impose questions on a Trial Chamber.
1 Obviously, President Tudjman had no idea, either, how business was
2 conducted before this Tribunal. He would have been in no position to set
3 any conditions for the Trial Chamber. Nevertheless, President Tudjman
4 and the Croatian government managed to ensure the services of a legal
5 representative. It was the first time ever in that trial that Croatia
6 enlisted the assistance of a legal representative. I don't know how they
7 were granted the power to do that by this Tribunal, but this legal
8 representative had the right to stop me at any point throughout my
10 Croatia did not need Petkovic. Croatia got itself a legal
11 representative, who turned up, appeared there, and stepped in twice,
12 maybe as many as three times, when an extension of my evidence was
13 required spilling over into the following day.
14 Q. Page 42, sir, it says Ante Gotovina says:
15 "Our soldiers fought in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. I was
16 the commander of the Livno Municipal Staff of the HVO. Therefore, this
17 cannot be hidden ..."
18 This can't be hidden, this can't be kept from the Tribunal.
19 Skipping to the next paragraph:
20 "Therefore, they are taking him to The Hague because they have a
21 plan, while Blaskic's Defence is defending only Blaskic, not the
22 interests of the Republic of Croatia."
23 "If Blaskic is trying to save himself and get out as soon as
24 possible, good for him, but we must keep in mind that there are
25 definitely attempts to involve the supreme leadership of the Republic of
1 Croatia. If we give them every time ..."
3 "You in The Hague group, OA Haag, you in The Hague group, go
4 ahead and deal with it. I do not have a definite position. I am
5 inclined to say that no Croatian general should go there, neither as a
6 witness or as an accused person."
7 And then skipping over -- skip over to page 44, toward the end of
8 that page. Mr. Rebic is talking again. Mr. Rebic then -- they go
9 further, even, sir. Actually, pardon me. Rebic, at the beginning of
10 that page 44, Mr. Rebic says:
11 "There are no signs Nobilo did not shift any blame to the
12 Croatian state so far, not to the state. To some parallel structures
13 down there, yes ..."
14 And the Croatian Defence Minister says:
15 "Markica, six of one, half a dozen of the other, you know."
16 The people in that meeting had no trouble understanding that to
17 talk about Croatia, on the one hand, and to talk about Herceg-Bosna, on
18 the other, was six of one, half a dozen of the other. They knew they
19 were one and the same thing, didn't they ?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I would be objecting -- I will be objecting at
21 this point in time. I'm told that there's a translation problem, but now
22 he's -- the general is being asked to give an opinion as to what others
23 thought. He can talk about what he thought, but at this point in time,
24 I think for the general to be giving an opinion as to what they thought
25 or what this particular individual thought about Croatia and Herceg-Bosna
1 is improper. It not only calls for speculation, but it's asking him to
2 divine what exactly they meant at that meeting, at which he was not
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. I'll come back to another
5 topic, Your Honours. I'll come back to it.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Continuing on, Mr. Rebic, toward the bottom of the page, says:
9 "... how Blaskic defines the command system is intended to remove
10 the blame from himself, but it is not true. It is a material falsehood."
11 Continuing over to the top of page 45:
12 "There can be a collision there. If General Petkovic goes there
13 and speaks the truth, they will have to pull down part of Blaskic's
14 position, because Blaskic quite unsuccessfully went into that double
15 subordination ..."
16 And the president says:
17 "... Unnecessarily" -- my apologies, "quite unnecessarily went
18 into that double subordination ..."
19 The president:
20 "But if there is a collision between Petkovic and Blaskic, things
21 get more complicated. Thank you, gentlemen. Goodbye."
22 Sir, you said yesterday afternoon, and you said again today, the
23 Croatian government displayed no interest whatsoever in the content of
24 your evidence, it was never agreed with anyone, no one controlled your
25 testimony, no one influenced you. And, sir, I put it -- it become very
1 clear from this meeting that the Croatian government, at least these
2 people around Tudjman, were extremely concerned about the content of the
3 testimony that you would give if you came to The Hague, and you knew
4 that, sir. You knew these people. One was your minister. You'd met
5 with Tudjman before. You were a senior leader of Herceg-Bosna, as we've
6 talked about yesterday. You knew what these concerns were. And when
7 they said you knew too much, you knew that to be exactly the case, didn't
9 A. No. They held this talk without me. Anyone talking in my
10 absence -- well, what they're talking has nothing to do with it. This is
11 their story. What bearing does this story have on this trial or any
12 other trial before this Tribunal? None at all. They simply are entirely
13 unaware of how things work, in a procedural sense. They were talking to
14 each other, and that concerns no one else. It would have been logical,
15 after this meeting, for someone to call me up, Petkovic, come over, let's
16 have a talk, but there was nothing there. All you have is what they said
17 on that day, the exchanges that went on, and that's all you've got. The
18 day I was supposed to testify, there was no one there. The government
19 representative took me to the UNPROFOR base, left me there, and I
20 remained there with a secretary and a technician from the Tribunal.
21 There was no one to ask me any questions that afternoon.
22 Q. Because Mr. Rifkin [overlapping speakers] --
23 A. This is what they said at that meeting, and you know full well --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... because Mr. Rifkin and
25 Mr. Udiljak were sitting in the courtroom here, protecting the interests
1 of the Government of Croatia, and you knew that. You just told us, sir.
2 But don't pretend that they weren't involved. They were sitting in this
3 courtroom, deciding on what questions you could answer and which ones you
4 couldn't -- wouldn't be allowed to answer.
5 A. [No interpretation]
6 Q. Judge Jorda was the Presiding Judge, and he was listening and
7 dealing with them. And they would tell him, Well, you know, he can
8 answer this question, he can't answer some other questions, weren't they?
9 That's how it was.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, that's the way it always is.
11 We had an American ambassador, and, as I recall, we had a couple of
12 American -- young, bright American lawyers working for the State
13 Department here. We had from other governments, and I don't need to
14 mention them. They all brought their lawyers. Holbrooke, when he
15 claimed that he was going to come here, he want to get his marching
16 orders from Washington, and they were going to work out the modalities as
17 to what he would be willing or able to talk about. If you asked the
18 American government for any information, they neither confirm nor deny
19 that they have it, because of national security interests. Even when it
20 isn't a national security interest, that's the way it is. A government
21 is entitled to have their representative when an ambassador, or former
22 ambassador, or somebody in an official capacity is giving testimony, so
23 there's no difference.
24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I didn't suggest that there was or
25 that this was a unique situation, but what I was responding to was
1 Mr. Petkovic's -- some attempts to suggest that he was left by himself,
2 fending for himself at an UNPROFOR base in Zagreb, and that wasn't the
3 case at all. And that was my point.
4 Of course, I'm fully aware of what Mr. Karnavas has said, but the
5 Chamber does know -- the Chamber does know, by the transcript it has just
6 read, the fuller picture of what was going on.
7 Q. Now, sir -- and that's the way it was. And, in fact, following
8 this meeting it was Mr. Miljavac who successfully limited your
9 appearance, at least initially, to one day only, and that was
10 specifically for the purpose of limiting the amount of questions that
11 could be put to you and how much information might be gathered from you,
12 wasn't it?
13 A. No, I have nothing to do with that. As I've told the Chamber
14 already, the Republic of Croatia was in charge of the entire procedure.
15 I was in Dubrovnik at the time. I was informed at one point in time
16 under what conditions I would be giving evidence. As soon as I learned
17 of that, I was to fill a form and send it off to the Trial Chamber, as I
18 did. The Chamber's reply was a positive one, so I came and testified.
19 No one can prepare a Q and A session for something to happen before this
20 Tribunal and tell a person what responses to provide. Don't say that,
21 because it didn't work like that. As to what the Croatian government
22 did, well, it's their problem, not mine. I realised how things worked.
23 At one point in time, I sat down, I said that I was off to The Hague
24 myself, on my own, without the assistance of the Croatian government, and
25 that I would be testifying on my own.
1 Q. When did you last speak or have any involvement with Mr. Udiljak,
2 this Croatian intelligence officer?
3 A. First of all, Mr. Udiljak was a member of the Council for
4 Co-operation with The Hague Tribunal, which at the time was headed by
5 Croatia's prime minister at the time and some ministers. He was a member
6 of that body, and I --
7 Q. That really wasn't my question. You're using my time.
8 When was the last time you had contact with -- answer my
9 question, sir. When was the last time you had contact with Mr. Udiljak?
10 A. I can't specify the time. While this whole procedure was in
11 progress, prior to my testimony and after my testimony, Mr. Udiljak would
12 ask whether I was reading the papers and what they said about how people
13 were testifying, and that was the extent of Mr. Udiljak's questions to
14 me. And I said, Yes, I'm following the media. And what do you think, he
15 said. I said, It's not my problem, is it? Let each man testify --
16 Q. That wasn't my question. You're not answering my question and
17 you know it. I said when is the last time you had contact with
18 Mr. Udiljak. It has nothing to do with his questions about whether
19 you're reading the newspapers in 1999. When was the last time? Prior to
20 today, prior to right now, when was the last time you had contact with
21 Mr. Udiljak?
22 A. I can't remember the last time prior to this day. How could I
23 possibly remember when I was in touch with Mr. Udiljak, who retired five
24 or six years ago, perhaps more? He's now retired.
25 Q. Has Mr. Udiljak been involved in the preparation of this case or
1 providing assistance in connection with this case?
2 A. Certainly not to me. He provided no assistance to me and was no
3 part of my team.
4 Q. My question isn't limited to you, sir. Has he been providing
5 assistance in this case?
6 A. Not to me, not that I'm aware of. I'm not sure if my Defence
7 team can contribute whether they were perhaps in touch with Mr. Udiljak.
8 I think he was in contact with an altogether different Defence team, and
9 I don't think he could possibly have been in contact with two different
10 teams at the same time.
11 Q. Well, I told you once, sir, my question wasn't limited to your
12 Defence. So if Mr. Udiljak has been involved in this case, tell us about
13 his involvement.
14 A. I don't know. As far as I know, he was helping General Praljak's
15 Defence. I'm not sure about the extent, though. Mr. Udiljak was at no
16 point in time in touch with the Petkovic Defence, that is, my Defence,
17 or, indeed, offer or give any assistance.
18 Q. And, sir, this was the same Mr. Udiljak who was coming to this
19 Tribunal at a time when the Croatian government was telling this Tribunal
20 it didn't have the HVO archive, when, in fact, it was sitting in the
21 basement of the Croatian Intelligence Service, wasn't it? HIS, H-I-S.
22 A. I don't know what Mr. Udiljak told you at this Tribunal.
23 Q. That wasn't my question, what he told me. It was the same, and
24 you knew it, sir. You've been close to these events. Mr. Rebic said,
25 We've been working with Mr. Petkovic for three and a half years, and you
1 knew what was going on, you knew the lay of the land. And you followed
2 these matters close enough to know that for a long time, the Tudjman
3 government was denying it had the documents, was coming before this
4 Tribunal, was appearing before Judge Jorda and others, and saying, We
5 don't have any documents. But they did, and they were sitting in the
6 basement of the Intelligence Service. And they knew that, and you knew
7 that, didn't you?
8 A. No, I did not know that, Your Honours. I wasn't living in Zagreb
9 at the time. I wasn't [Realtime transcript read in error "was"] living
10 with them there. I wasn't meeting those people at the time, nor, indeed,
11 was that any of my concern.
12 MR. SCOTT: Unless the Court has any --
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a correction.
14 Line 16:
15 [In English] "I was living with them there."
16 [Interpretation] Whereas, the General clearly said he wasn't.
17 General, is that right? What exactly did you say?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said I wasn't living with them
19 there. I was at Croatia's far end, 600 kilometres further south, in
20 Dubrovnik, whereas they were in Zagreb at the time. Therefore, I didn't
21 belong to the circle of people doing intelligence work or anything like
22 that. What they did was their own worry. I had no part in that, nor,
23 indeed, was I interested. I only know that I walked away from
24 Herceg-Bosna at one point and the documents remained there, the same
25 place where I left them. I'm not sure for how long, though.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, let's move on. And if the Judges have questions on this
3 topic --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. General Petkovic, given
5 the topic which is an important one, and do you agree with me on that
6 point, I have a few questions for you.
7 First of all, the Prosecutor's shown you a document. Were you
8 aware of it? Had you read it before you started testifying?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I was not aware of
10 it. I received my summons, and then no one approached me again before
11 the Blaskic trial began.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could you please
13 just specify which evidence you mean? Today's evidence or the one that
14 occurred 10 years ago?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, General Petkovic, I
16 wasn't precise enough. I'm speaking about the document that the
17 Prosecutor showed you, this Presidential transcript, and now you're
18 testifying here now before us. I'm not talking about the Blaskic case
19 10 years ago. When you started, were you aware of the document?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not sure how long
21 after exactly, but the magazine called "Nacional" published some of this.
22 Other than that, I've not seen the document nor did anyone inform me of
23 what occurred. "Nacional" wrote about this document. I'm not sure at
24 what point in time exactly.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
2 Your Honour Judge Antonetti asked about the transcript, whether
3 you knew about the transcript before you took the witness stand here.
4 Did you read this transcript during this trial? Were you aware of it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not now. The transcript, you
6 mean? I read it because it was part of my material. I thought you were
7 asking whether someone informed me of it. No, no, I did that at my own
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, did you
10 expect the Prosecutor to ask the question he's just asked you or are you
11 totally taken by surprise?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I expected with
13 a degree of certainty that they would be asking questions on this.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I move to the
15 substance - I'll get there - but I see that Judge Trechsel --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to clarify a point, Mr. Petkovic.
17 In the transcript here, on page 29, line 9, I read:
18 "The transcript, you mean?" You speaking, "I read it because it
19 was part of my material."
20 Are you referring to the transcript that was put to you by the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We received parts of this
23 transcript as part of our materials. I believe some of these were
24 published in book form in Croatia at one point, but we received them as
25 part of our batch of documents for this trial.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I did not want any explanation. I just wanted
2 to be sure that there was no mistake in the transcript. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, before we
4 move to the substance of the document, and you'll see why this is
5 important soon, when you were in Croatia, when you learned that you were
6 supposed to testify, you were called to testify by the Blaskic Trial
7 Chamber, regardless of the part of the Croatian Defence Ministry, you,
8 personally, did you go and see a lawyer in order to explain what the
9 situation was about, that you'd been summoned, and ask that lawyer what
10 he thought of it, or did you not see any lawyer and did you just have
11 meetings with your ministry?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not have a
13 lawyer, myself. I prepared when I received the summons, and then I
14 reported to Zagreb to take delivery of my summons. I did not have any
15 legal representative or counsel, nor, indeed, was I minded to take one
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You saw the document, as I did,
18 and you listened to the Prosecutor as he was reading out some excerpts.
19 There are two points in this document that are clearly emphasised, and
20 you said so yourself regarding the first part. General [as
21 interpreted] Tudjman discovered that the Tribunal sought to hear you,
22 because he says, Where? So obviously he discovered this. I'm talking
23 about him, President Tudjman. I don't know about the others, but he
24 seems to discover the problem.
25 Secondly, and this is said by President Tudjman in person, he
1 said that there's a so-called Hague group. Now, when you received the
2 summons, did you know of the existence of a so-called Hague group?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I only knew that
4 there was an office of the Cabinet of the Republic of Croatia, an office
5 for the co-operation with the ICTY. And as far as I know, the
6 vice-prime minister was the head of that office.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I were not to -- if I didn't
8 put to you this question, I wouldn't be doing my job. You are a
9 professional in the military, and I'm a professional in legal matters. I
10 must put to you the following question, which has to do with the
11 substance of the document: On looking at this document, we see that a
12 number of people take the floor as regards the question of people taking
13 the stand and the accused, because Gotovina, who is well known, takes
14 part in the discussion. This is what the document states. On reading
15 the document, we can see that President Tudjman hesitates. First of all,
16 he doesn't want the General to testify, but, on the other hand, those
17 people attending the meeting are saying that it's difficult not to go.
18 And then there's General Gotovina, who, for technical reasons, seems to
19 be totally hostile. This is what the document states.
20 In this document, you can also see that Mr. Rebic says that there
21 is a preparation which is being done with you. Any reasonable trier of
22 fact has only two assumptions to consider. Either Mr. Rebic is talking
23 nonsense to the president, which is quite possible, either for personal
24 reasons or to put himself forward, I don't know, but that could be an
25 assumption. The second one is that there was this preparation.
1 To try and understand, when I listened to the Prosecutor and your
2 answers, I looked at page 22.617. As you know, General Petkovic, I've
3 been preparing for your testimony for the last two years, and I had some
4 pages at the ready, and these are public pages or pages heard in open
5 session, since everything is public.
6 22.617, I apologise to the English speakers, I shall read out the
8 Judge Shahabuddeen, whom you know, retired after having worked a
9 number of years in this Tribunal. He did draft a number of dissenting
10 opinions, so he's quite well known in the Tribunal. This is the question
11 he put to you. Listen carefully:
12 "General, another issue, if you'll allow me."
13 Mr. Shahabuddeen was an extremely well-behaved gentleman and
14 asked you whether he would be allowed to put this question to you:
15 "When you were head of the Main Staff, were you paid by the HVO
16 authorities or by the Croatian authorities?"
17 So he's doing his job, he's putting to you a question of a
18 technical nature. Your answer, listen carefully. I shall read it very
19 slowly, because I believe it's important:
20 "Your Honour, in the course of my preparation, I was never faced
21 with such a question. The representative of the Republic of Croatia is
22 present in the courtroom. If he wishes to answer, he may do so. As far
23 as I'm concerned, as well as all the other witnesses, we have received
24 instructions to only answer the questions that have been given to us
25 beforehand, but the representative of the Republic of Croatia may take
1 the floor. If he instructs me to, I shall then answer."
2 Mr. Shahabuddeen then says this:
3 "General, my position is that I would like to avoid embarrassing
4 the representative of the Republic of Croatia. I shall withdraw my
6 And President Jorda, quoted by Mr. Scott, the Judge then withdrew
7 his question:
8 "Thank you."
9 So two things follow from your answers. A, you say, In the
10 course of my preparation. When you say, In the course of my preparation,
11 this means that you accept the idea that you were preparing beforehand.
12 B, you said, We received instructions, which means that the Ministry of
13 Defence did monitor your answers.
14 Do you remember your answers? Do you say that you are -- or that
15 you testified freely and that you weren't prepped in any way?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the very
17 question I've wanted to answer.
18 When I started answering a short while ago, there was a
19 misunderstanding between me and the President of the Trial Chamber, and I
20 said, Well, then I -- there's a misunderstanding between you and I with
21 regard to the questions I received to prepare. Do you wish me to start
22 this way or move on to a specific question? And the President said,
23 Let's move on to specific questions, but he allowed me an introduction.
24 These questions I mentioned were the questions I received from the Trial
25 Chamber and based on which I prepared. And I replied that in my
1 preparation and in my questions, there was nothing concerning matters
2 contained in the question asked by the Judge to me. So I thought the
3 questions that I had received from the President of the Trial Chamber
4 were the ones to which he wishes to hear answers, and I prepared based on
5 these questions. And that is why I said, Your Honour, I didn't deal with
6 such questions during my preparation because such questions weren't given
7 to me by the Trial Chamber, and we can go back to the list of questions,
8 and you will see that -- what they were.
9 And then I continued to say to the President of the Trial Chamber
10 that I had been informed that the legal counsel of the Republic of
11 Croatia is the one to decide whether I will answer any questions
12 concerning the Republic of Croatia. And, of course, I obeyed because
13 that was the agreement between Croatia and this Tribunal. I had no role
14 in that.
15 So when I refer to questions, I mean the questions that I
16 received from the Trial Chamber. I got some questions, I gave them a
17 thought, sketched out my answers to them, and hence I said that I didn't
18 prepare to answer this question because it wasn't one of those that were
19 given to me.
20 I had been told by the Republic of Croatia, We managed to get the
21 right to be represented by a lawyer, and that there was an agreement
22 giving that lawyer the right to interrupt me. In other words, he would
23 be the one to listen to the questions and say, Yes, the General can
24 answer. And that was what I said in the first few minutes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I note that under oath you
1 are saying that there was no preparation. You prepared your testimony in
2 the Blaskic trial all on your own, based on the questions which the
3 Trial Chamber had forwarded to you, and nobody intervened. This is what
4 you've said. I have noted this.
5 One last question. In the document, we have seen -- perhaps you
6 will be able to shed some light on this, because I haven't quite
7 understood what General Gotovina's role was here. He is worried about
8 Blaskic and you. He is concerned about the twofold subordination. I'm
9 not quite sure what this means. Could you shed some light on this,
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that
12 General Gotovina at that time had a position in the inspectorate of the
13 Croatian Army. Whether or not he was chief inspector, I'm not sure. And
14 that was a group of generals who constantly contacted Mr. Tudjman, who
15 went to see them; Mr. Miljavac, Mr. Domazet, and I don't know who else.
16 So it was a group that went to see the president every once in a while.
17 They discussed with him. What they discussed was never made public.
18 Why General Gotovina said what he said and what he had in mind, I
19 simply don't know, because in the Blaskic case, I know that the Blaskic
20 case has a substantial bearing on me. There was no way I could get away
21 from that. I was fully aware that, based on the questions I had
22 received, I had to speak my mind and the truth during that testimony, and
23 nothing else but that. I never burdened myself with questions apart from
24 those that I had received. Of course, I don't know what you are about to
25 ask me now or at any other time. Nobody can know in that in advance.
1 On the other hand, Your Honours, President Tudjman and everybody
2 else could have said whatever they wanted, but they knew that I had to
3 come here to testify, irrespective of what they said, whether they would
4 allow it or not. They knew that, and I knew that, too, because I had
5 followed how things worked here. So all this time they spent at the
6 president's office was wasted. They even received a summons without
7 informing President Tudjman.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I would like
9 to discuss this twofold subordination. I'd like to remain technical in
10 my question, because this could be understood two ways.
11 There is a chain of command which is a traditional chain of
12 command; Boban, you, Blaskic. That would be the standard form of
13 subordination. Do you agree with me? But there could also be, and that
14 might be another way of seeing things when Gotovina mentions this dual
15 subordination, there could be the other side that could be Blaskic and
16 Boban, in direct line, and you are on the side-line. What do you think
17 of that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He obviously thought that apart
19 from what I call the normal line, possibly another line of commanding may
20 have been introduced. Gotovina knows, because he was at high positions
21 in the Croatian Army, too, what the line of -- the chain of command was,
22 so he may have wondered whether a parallel chain of command had come into
23 being. He probably meant some other chain of command apart from the
24 regular one.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As this meeting took place in
1 Zagreb between high-ranking Croatians, could there not be a connection
2 with the chain of command that would be in Bosnia-Herzegovina, right up
3 to Zagreb? Is that a possibility? Is this something which one could
4 consider or was it a crazy idea?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, you can't even make up in your
6 mind such a chain directly from Central Bosnia to Zagreb. I can't even
7 imagine such a chain of command that would go directly from Vitez to
8 Zagreb. It's impossible for me even to envisage it or assume that it
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I shall put
11 my last question to you, which follows from your answer.
12 I understand full well that you are telling us that there's only
13 one chain of command, which is the internal Bosnia and Herzegovina chain
14 of command. If that is the case, why do they all seem so worried? Why
15 is Tudjman worried? Why is the minister of defence worried? Why is
16 Gotovina worried? Why is Rebic worried? Why are they worried?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that none of
18 them really followed the Blaskic trial. Blaskic selected his own team
19 that followed it. Everybody else was -- wasn't really involved. Blaskic
20 had been extradited, and nobody else seems to have thought that they had
21 anything more to do with that.
22 I was one of the witnesses at a high level, and everybody else
23 was at a lower level inside the Central Bosnia OZ, so I was one of the
24 most highest-ranking witnesses, and I had returned to the Croatian Army,
25 so I was actually a Croatian official.
1 And there was some confusion about the transcript, so contact had
2 been set up with the Tribunal as to what should happen next. This was
3 the first instance when there was a lawyer representing Croatia. I don't
4 think that this was repeated after my testimony, either. So the
5 technical conditions were agreed upon by them, not by me, and I informed
6 the Trial Chamber, who simply accepted. I don't know why. They could
7 have refused. But the President of the Trial Chamber accepted the
8 conditions, and that's how I came to The Hague to testify.
9 And the second time around, as soon as I received the summons, I
10 drafted a letter, myself, to the Trial Chamber, saying that I would come
11 to The Hague. I never contacted anybody in Zagreb about that. And
12 that's how it went, because I had decided to -- to decide myself about
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, I have a small question which goes
15 back to the scene where Judge Shahabuddeen asked you, Who paid for your
16 salary? And then you refused answering, if I understood you correctly,
17 giving two reasons. First, you were not prepared for this question, and,
18 second, it was not one of the questions you were expressly allowed to
19 answer. Now, the second point has been argued. I will not refer to
20 that. But the first point I find difficult to understand. In what way
21 could the answer to that question need preparation? Did you not know who
22 had paid for your salary?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew who was paying out my
24 salary, but I had already noticed that the lawyer was rising, asking for
25 the floor, when that question was asked. I was going to say that this
1 wasn't one of the questions that I had received from the Trial Chamber,
2 and I referred them to the lawyer who had already stood up to object.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So, in fact, lack of preparation was not an
4 argument that you raised. That makes sense. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. We'll start with the last point just made, touched on by both
8 Judge Trechsel and Judge Antonetti.
9 Sir, that wasn't the last time the salary question was put to
10 you. And as was just said by the Judges, you certainly didn't need any
11 preparation. You knew how you were being paid and where it was coming
13 When you came back and testified in the Kordic case, you were
14 again accompanied by representatives of the Croatian government, weren't
16 A. As far as I know, they were only Croatian Embassy staff, no
17 lawyer or anybody.
18 Q. That wasn't my question, sir. That wasn't my question and you're
19 wasting time, to be honest, General.
20 My question was: You were represented by a representative of the
21 Croatian government? And the answer is, Yes. The answer is clearly,
22 Yes. We have the appearances on the record. They stood up in court,
23 introduced themselves as representing the Croatian government, so there's
24 no mystery about that, sir.
25 And on that occasion, sir, you were also asked about who would
1 pay your salary --
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do have an
3 objection now, because the situation is very different.
4 If representatives of the embassy are present here to represent
5 the Croatian government, that's one thing, and another thing if they are
6 present as representatives of General Petkovic before the Tribunal.
7 There's no reason for us to confuse these two situations, and there is no
8 reason why Mr. Scott should put forward false statements.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and these people didn't
10 intervene. They were sitting in a corner back there.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. That wasn't my question. And my position, I believe, unless I'm
13 not mistaken, and if I am, I apologise, but I thought I was clear. I
14 said to you, sir, you were attended on that occasion again by
15 representatives of the Croatian government, and you were. And that's --
16 and it's just purely that simple, isn't it? I don't care if they came
17 from the embassy, I don't care if they came from Zagreb, I don't care if
18 they came from Split. You were attended by representatives of the
19 Croatian government, representing the interests of Croatia; right?
20 A. I have met these people in the courtroom. I didn't know --
21 Q. The answer is, Yes, sir? Sir, the answer is, Yes.
22 A. Yes, the answer is, Yes. They were from the embassy here.
23 Q. Thank you. And you were asked again about your salary, seven or
24 eight times, at least, in the transcript. You wouldn't answer the
25 question. The question was quite clear. You're an intelligent man. You
1 knew the question would be asked. It was put to you by Mr. Nice, it was
2 put to you by several of the Judges, and it was only about the eighth or
3 ninth time, when you were pressed by Judge Robinson, that you finally,
4 finally, said, Well, I was paid approximately half my salary by
5 Herceg-Bosna and the other half or 60 per cent by Croatia, didn't you?
6 A. Yes, but not five or six times, as you say.
7 Q. Well, sir, if we can look -- the Judges have your transcript from
8 Kordic, and they all follow it, and if we need to, I'll put out the pages
9 later. But you were repeatedly asked the question, you repeatedly
10 evaded, you repeatedly refused to answer the question, and it was only
11 when Judge Robinson continued to press you that you finally gave the
12 answer that, as Judge Trechsel said a moment ago, you'd needed no
13 preparation for. You finally were pressed to give the answer you didn't
14 want to give, and that was 50 to 60 per cent of your salary was being
15 paid by Croatia, wasn't it?
16 A. Yes, I said that, but I also had to think --
17 Q. Why didn't you want to tell the Court that, sir? Why did you
18 take so long? Why, in the Blaskic case, could you not answer the
19 question? Why, in the Kordic case, were you asked five, six, seven
20 times? Why didn't you want the Court to have that information?
21 A. I was thinking about my payment transactions, because money had
22 been paid to my savings account and that doesn't allow you to see who
23 paid in money. And when it came to Herceg-Bosna, I was promised that
24 money would be taken care of. And when somebody pays onto a savings
25 account, you had to remember who it was.
1 Q. You knew full well, because when you couldn't avoid it anymore,
2 you gave the answer, you gave the answer, and you knew it all the time.
3 It didn't just spring into your mind on the seventh or eighth time. You
4 knew the answer, and you only gave it when you really had no other
5 choice, sir, I put it to you, and you knew that, and those were part of
6 the instructions that you had received from the very beginning, When you
7 go down there, sir -- when you go up there, I suppose, When you go to
8 The Hague, don't talk about your connection to Croatia when you were in
9 the HVO, don't talk about the HVO's relation to the Croatian Army, don't
10 talk about those connections. And you followed your instructions, and
11 you refused to talk about it until you were finally -- on the second
12 court appearance in the second case, pressed by Judge Robinson, you
13 finally gave up that information, didn't you?
14 A. No. I was thinking, trying to remember whether I could
15 reconstruct the payments affected onto my account and where that payment
16 had come from, because once I had arrived to Herceg-Bosna I wanted to
17 resolve the financial matters. And I was promised that there would be no
18 problem about that -- with that and that I would be entitled to some
19 additional benefits.
20 Q. We have your position, sir. We have your position. You said a
21 few moments ago, in response to Judge -- the President's question, about
22 whether there was concern about, in fact -- part of the concern being
23 whether the chain of command could be traced back to Zagreb, and you
24 were -- I'm not sure why, but you were so quickly dismissive of that, as
25 if it was -- and you said, and I have it marked at page 37 of today's
1 transcript, line 8: "No, you can't make up in your own mind such a chain
2 directly from Central Bosnia to Zagreb, I can't even imagine such a chain
3 of command."
4 Well, sir, I can imagine a chain of command. It goes from
5 Blaskic, to you, to Boban, to Susak, and Bobetko to Tudjman. I can
6 imagine it real easily, and I don't know why you find that so difficult.
7 And that's exactly what Zagreb, and what Tudjman, and the people sitting
8 in his office on the 13th of April, 1999, that's what they were so
9 concerned about, isn't it?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Well, they say so, sir. They say so. At page 42 of the
12 transcript, P08912, Gotovina talking, second half of the page, I read
13 this before, but apparently it didn't sink in:
14 "Therefore, they are taking him to The Hague because they have a
15 plan, while Blaskic's Defence is defending only Blaskic, not the
16 interests of the Republic of Croatia. We should see it that way for the
17 time being. If Blaskic is trying to save himself and get out as soon as
18 possible, good for him, but we must keep in mind that there are
19 definitely attempts to involve the supreme leadership of the Republic of
20 Croatia. If we give them every time," and I think what he's saying, "If
21 we give in every time ..."
22 And then Tudjman jumps in:
23 "Nothing to imagine, sir."
24 Mr. Gotovina put it there in black and white, didn't he?
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask
1 one thing, please. Let's try to be as specific as we can when we phrase
2 our questions, and let us not draw the conclusion that Gotovina said
3 something he did not, in fact, say.
4 All of us here are well familiar with the Blaskic case. We know
5 his theory on the parallel chain of command and what it leads to. There
6 is no need at all to refer to anything that wasn't actually said in the
7 Blaskic trial or in the present trial.
8 MR. SCOTT: I quoted the transcript, Your Honours, word for word.
9 I didn't make up anything.
10 Q. Sir, it was widely regarded -- in fact, it was widely regarded,
11 after you returned to Zagreb -- excuse me, after you finished your
12 testimony in the Blaskic case, and I should say -- maybe it hasn't been
13 clear and maybe it may have been a point of some confusion. You gave
14 your testimony by videolink. You were in Croatia, and the people here
15 were in the courtroom, and Croatia's representatives, Mr. Rifkin and
16 Mr. Udiljak, were sitting in court. You were connected by videolink,
17 correct, just so that's clear?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And when you finished your testimony, sir, and we all know --
20 everyone in this room or many of us knows that there's quite an active --
21 I suppose in most countries, active media, you had "Nacional," you had
22 "Globus," you had all the local newspapers, and it was quite extensive
23 coverage, albeit it was supposed to be in closed session, but there was
24 quite extensive coverage to the effect that you had come here and
25 committed perjury. That's what the newspapers said. You had come here
1 to protect the interests of Croatia, and if that meant possibly doing
2 damages to Mr. Blaskic's case, so be it, but your marching orders had
3 been to come to The Hague, protect the interests of Croatia and the
4 Tudjman government, and that's what you did; correct?
5 A. No, not correct. The newspapers said what they said. You should
6 perhaps ask the newspapers how they know what I testified to. Since I
7 testified in closed session, there was no way for the media to get wind
8 of it. This was something that was down to Mr. Nobilo, the Defence
9 counsel in that case, and those newspapers that favoured him such as
10 "Nacional" and other sources like that. There is no way these newspapers
11 could possibly get wind of something that goes on in closed session.
12 Yet, they arrived at the conclusion that I gave evidence here. How is
13 that possible?
14 Q. How about a copy of your transcript, your closed-session
15 transcript that would have been leaked to the media, because that
16 happened repeatedly, didn't it? In fact, even Mr. Mesic's testimony,
17 when Mr. Mesic came and gave closed-session testimony, it very quickly
18 found its way on the papers in Zagreb, didn't it? Didn't it, sir,
19 statement? You know that.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm really not sure
21 whether Mr. Scott is perhaps insinuating that General Petkovic was the
22 person who handed over the transcripts to the media, particularly those
23 criticising him, including the transcript of Mr. Mesic's evidence. I
24 really have no idea what these insinuations are supposed to achieve.
25 General Petkovic knew the transcript that bears the date of the
1 17th of January, 2008. That's when it became an exhibit. He knows every
2 single word in this case. He's prepared to clarify and explain any
3 question at all. I would ask the Chamber, however, to please caution
4 Mr. Scott to run his examination in a fair manner, to not dispute facts
5 that are beyond dispute.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I did not have
7 the impression that he was -- Mr. Scott was insinuating that Mr. Petkovic
8 would have leaked the transcripts. I don't know whether my colleagues
9 don't agree or not. They would say so if they are. He just said that
10 the media wrote or reported on what was said in closed session, but he
11 didn't say it came from a certain person. Never did he say such a thing.
12 Well, that's how I understood it.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] The same thing for me.
14 Let me address a point that was discussed twice. On one
15 occasion, I put the question, myself, about the salary. You answered on
16 page 39, line 1 of the transcript. Since I'm going to quote the
17 transcript, I'm going to return to English:
18 [In English] Your answer was:
19 "I knew who was paying out my salary."
20 And some minutes later, asked the same question by Mr. Scott and
21 asked for explanation why you took so long to give an answer on this, you
22 suddenly came up with all sorts of difficulties and things that you did
23 not know, and that was later than the Blaskic trial. Can you explain
24 this, please?
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: Actually, before this explanation, I would only
1 like to say that, as it was indicated already by our President,
2 Judge Antonetti, I have never felt that Mr. Scott's question was in a way
3 insinuating that those information was leaked out by Mr. Petkovic. Thank
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I'll answer Judge Trechsel's
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please, please. You must, actually.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed. That's why I was asking
10 I was receiving my salary through a bank called Privedna Banka.
11 I would receive this at my home address, and not in Herzegovina, where I
12 was staying at that time.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I'm not interested in that at all.
14 I'm only interested in the fact that to my question, you simply answered,
15 I knew who was paying out my salary, and when Mr. Scott asked you, Didn't
16 you know who paid your salary, you said, In fact, it was difficult to
17 find out. I had to think, and I -- only after being asked several times
18 did it occur to me how it was. And I find it difficult not to find a
19 discrepancy between the first answer and the second answer, and it's only
20 this that I ask you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because the questions are
22 phrased differently and then I provide different answers. That's why. I
23 paused for a while there and tried to think back. I had agreed that
24 payments would be made from Grude, which is where I was at the time, and
25 then I paused to think whether I could form an idea in my head as to
1 whether the money actually arrived from Grude or from Croatia's Defence
2 Ministry, which had been the case up until then. Having thought about
3 it, I realised that -- please.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Petkovic, you are not answering
5 my question, but I will not insist. I think it's time for the break,
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Before the break, if I may --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Don't interrupt me just like that,
9 for all sorts of reasons. I don't think it makes any sense at all.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think the General
11 should be allowed to complete his answer. This is far from being the
12 first time that Judge Trechsel interrupts the General, expresses his
13 dissatisfaction at the answer, and says all sorts of things --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Which counsel proceeds to quote in English,
15 interpreter's note.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [In English] I will leave the Prosecution to clear
17 up the matter.
18 [Interpretation] I really think that is entirely unfair, and the
19 General should be allowed to provide any answers that he thinks he
20 should. You can take his answer or leave it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
22 Judge Trechsel is going to answer, but let me say this: You are
23 now saying that my fellow Judge interrupted the witness because he was
24 not satisfied. How can you say this? The Judge asked a question, and he
25 expects an answer. Apparently, there's a problem in the interpretation?
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I understand. This was a
2 misinterpretation. I'll try to say slowly what I just said.
3 I said I believe this is not the first time that Judge Trechsel
4 interrupts an answer by the General and expresses his dissatisfaction at
5 the answer. Nevertheless, he always says he would leave it to the OTP to
6 clarify matters and take them as far as necessary. I believe the witness
7 should be allowed to complete his answers, to complete what he's trying
8 to say. It is down to the Judge to evaluate his answer as a valid one or
9 not. It never even crossed my mind to say that the Judge was
10 interrupting because he was unhappy, and I didn't say that, to begin
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, Ms. Alaburic, in a way, I was unhappy,
13 because I heard a story where I wanted an explanation on a very narrow
14 point. You seem to introduce new rules here. We have always, and
15 rightly so -- everyone in the courtroom, I think, insisted that when a
16 question is asked, the witness cannot say what he wants to say, but he
17 has to answer the specific question. And if he goes astray and speaks of
18 something which the person who has put the question does not recognise as
19 leading to an answer to the question, it is his duty, in order to save
20 time, to interrupt the witness and try to lead him back to the track on
21 which he has been set by the question.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may. Something different, because I'm not
23 going to get into this discussion. Rightly or wrongly, my opinion
24 doesn't matter.
25 But what I am concerned is the line of questioning by the
1 Prosecution, and I agree, he was not insinuating that it was
2 General Petkovic who was leaking the material, so that was my
3 understanding as well, but it would appear that the government, or
4 through its representatives, may be doing all these harmful things. The
5 problem is the government is not on trial. The Croatian government
6 doesn't have a representative here to defend Croatia. And how do I now,
7 representing Dr. Prlic, challenge this line of questioning at this stage,
8 if you are to then accept the Prosecution's line of questioning, that the
9 Croatian government was doing all of these things? This is a Tribunal of
10 individuals. We don't have countries here, but I think this is something
11 that needs to be taken into consideration.
12 Now, I understand the joint criminal enterprise, it has
13 individuals. We're talking about Tudjman, we're talking about -- they're
14 not here to answer, and nobody's here to defend them, and Croatia hasn't
15 sought leave to have a representative over here to protect the interests
16 of Croatia, but it puts us in a very difficult position. And I would ask
17 the Trial Chamber to think about this and, perhaps, at some other point
18 have a discussion, because I'm concerned.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I take your point.
20 My conception or my understanding of this line of questioning is
21 that it is all about the credibility of the witness and not about what
22 the moral quality of the actions of the Croat government is, not -- I
23 don't see that, really, as the issue. I only see it as an issue of
25 MR. KARNAVAS: That's fine, because I'm thinking joint criminal
1 enterprise, that's where my mind is racing, and international armed
2 conflict, you know, might be tied into that as well. So that's my
3 concern. I can only defend my client based on what the evidence is
4 there. But now, if we're going to go into what somebody in the
5 government did that we don't even know, and I'm not contesting that those
6 events weren't occurring, because it was rather obvious that something
7 was being leaked, but how do I defend against that, because my client has
8 nothing to do with it and it's not part of the indictment? Thank you.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I'd
10 like to follow up in relation to what Mr. Karnavas said.
11 I, personally, hesitated -- I'm waiting for the interpretation.
12 I, personally, hesitated to say anything of that kind, because my
13 client is before us at the moment and I didn't want this to influence on
14 his testimony. I absolutely understand that the Prosecution has the task
15 to put each and every question that concerns Mr. Petkovic's credibility,
16 but to follow up on what Mr. Karnavas said, why put questions -- why
17 interpret Gotovina's words or the words of a participant of a meeting
18 that wasn't attended by Mr. Petkovic? If we want to challenge
19 Mr. Petkovic's credibility, we should then ask him about what he said in
20 the Blaskic or Kordic case. If he said something that wasn't true in
21 Kordic or Blaskic, if he said something different from what he has been
22 saying in this case, then that is what will challenge his credibility as
23 a witness.
24 I don't believe that the objective is primarily to challenge
25 General Petkovic's credibility. It's rather a matter of speaking about a
1 meeting and saying that there was a joint criminal enterprise that was
2 involved. You might think this is legitimate, Your Honours, but we don't
3 believe that this is a legitimate means of examining the witness.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have our break.
5 It's going to be the only one, and, well, the tapes were just about
6 empty. So we'll resume in 20 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 4.03 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.29 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Sir, I'd like to move forward to another topic at this point.
12 And in your binder, I think toward the front, behind the index, and for
13 all those in the courtroom, under, I think, a green tab, I'm told, there
14 is a table titled "Herceg-Bosna and the HVO." Binder number 1, the same
15 binder that we've primarily been working on.
16 A. Is that number 1 or --
17 Q. I can't say that I can see from where you -- the Usher can help
18 you -- will assist you, sir, or he has it separately, I guess, in this
19 case. Maybe not, sorry.
20 I will raise certain parts of it with you, sir, and of course
21 we'll be assisted. This is the schedule, there are the documents behind
22 it. We will -- of course, there will be translation. But the point I
23 want to put to you, sir, in introducing this topic, and it goes really
24 back, again, to your testimony in the earlier case, and in Blaskic in
25 particular, as Judge Jorda's name has been mentioned several times this
1 afternoon, and Judge Jorda asked you this question in Blaskic, and you
2 gave the following answer. This is at transcript page 24221-22.
3 Judge Jorda:
4 "I have very few questions, General Petkovic, very few questions.
5 I have a political one. I'm saying this so that Mr. Rifkin," the
6 representative of Croatia, "I'm saying this so Mr. Rifkin will be
8 And then he says:
9 "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, did it have a political
11 And you answered:
12 "No, it did not have one, and I did not attend a single meeting
13 of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Herceg-Bosna."
14 And, sir, I'm putting to you and we're going to talk for some --
15 probably some time, once again, sir, your answer, under oath, in response
16 to Judge Jorda, was fundamentally false and misleading, wasn't it?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Everything we've covered so far in the cross-examination, sir,
19 your role, your extremely high level and role, far beyond being a
20 soldier, to being a politician, which you, yourself, had indicated you
21 felt more like a politician than a soldier, your involvement in
22 government meetings, your involvement in meetings with Mr. Tudjman, you
23 knew full well what the political programme of Herceg-Bosna was, and when
24 you answered Judge Jorda, No, you testified falsely, didn't you ?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why are you on your feet,
1 Ms. Alaburic? Is there a problem in the question, a mistake in the
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to intervene
4 with regard to a false claim in the question, that the witness felt he
5 was more a politician than a soldier, because Mr. Scott is quoting an
6 introduction to an interview shown yesterday. Those were the words of a
7 journalist. They weren't the words of General Petkovic. That's all I
8 wanted to say.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the journalist was reporting on the
11 conversation with Mr. Petkovic, in which Mr. Petkovic, according to the
12 journalist, made that statement.
13 Q. Sir, if you look at this document, I'm going to start with -- and
14 I can't go through all of these because, again, we don't have enough
15 time, but, sir, if you'd look down -- if you'd look at item number 1,
16 Exhibit P0079, item number 2, P00151, these are the documents -- some of
17 the documents establishing Herceg-Bosna and Croatia, and they all talk
18 about Croatia this and Croatia that.
19 The first article, P0079, talks about the territories. We see
20 the list of territories claimed. We hear about the seat of the Croatian
21 Community of Herceg-Bosna being in Mostar. We see the establishment of
22 the Croatian Defence Council, the sovereignty of the territories of the
23 Croatian Community, to protect the Croatian people.
24 Sir, if there was no political objective or if this was just
25 motivated by loyalty to and protection of Bosnia-Herzegovina in general,
1 why the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, why the Croatian Defence
2 Council? Why not All People's Defence Council? Sorry --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, I would like to draw your attention
4 to the fact that you have used the term "territory," but we have had many
5 objections because of that. It is "podrucje," which probably false to be
6 translated as "area," and I think it would be better to avoid unnecessary
7 and repetitive discussions about that. So I think it would be a good
8 idea if you used that term.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. But my point remains, sir. Why Croatian this and why Croatian
11 that? Why did you have to rename the university in Mostar the Croatian
12 university? Why change the name of Prozor to Rama? Why change the name
13 Gornji Vakuf to Uskoplje, if there was no political objective?
14 A. No, there was no political objective such as you interpreted. I
15 didn't refer to any political objectives. Could you please precisely
16 quote my answer to the Judge's question? Perhaps we could have a look at
17 what the Judge asked me when I testified, because I don't have my
18 testimony in front of me and I wouldn't like to speak off the top of my
19 head. So could we take that as our starting point?
20 Q. The starting point, sir, is what I read to you, and I'll read it
21 to you again. Judge Jorda asked you this question:
22 "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, did it have a political
24 "A. No, it did not have one."
25 A. Was it a political objective or a political programme? Which
1 term was used in the question?
2 Q. A political objective, sir. It did, didn't it? Herceg-Bosna had
3 plenty of political objectives, and you knew it. That's what you were
4 fighting for.
5 A. The political objective of Herceg-Bosna was to protect the
6 Croatian people and others in areas where the Croats were in a majority,
7 and also in areas where they were in a minority. So it had to do with
8 engaging all the Croats to defend themselves against an act of
9 aggression, and that was the sole purpose of Herceg-Bosna.
10 Q. If you were acting to protect everyone, sir - I go back to my
11 question before - then why Croatian Defence Council, why
12 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna? Why not All People's Defence
13 Council, for example? I'm not going to repeat all my questions to you
14 three or four times, but I have asked you this now. So why, sir?
15 A. Well, you should ask those who, on the 18th of November, took
16 that decision. I was far away from Herceg-Bosna on the 18th of November.
17 Q. Sir, you were there at the Presidency meeting in July 1992, when
18 the decision establishing the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was
19 amended. You confirmed that yesterday. You were there, you spoke, you
20 participated. So don't pretend that you don't know. It doesn't help
21 you, sir. It doesn't help to you pretend things that you don't know when
22 you know that you do.
23 You went to work for these people. You worked for Bruno Stojic,
24 you worked for Mate Boban. You knew what their political objectives
25 were, didn't you?
1 A. [No interpretation]
2 Q. Let's go to item number 3, let's go to item number 3.
3 A. I've answered the question. I said that the political objective
4 was to protect the Croats and everyone else in the area, and that has
5 been recorded. It was recorded at that meeting that I attended. You can
6 read that. Nothing else was written. The areas of certain
7 municipalities that constitute the HZ-HB were protected, and the
8 possibility of everyone else joining up was there. It wasn't a
9 territorial definition. Anyone who wanted to join could join.
10 Q. Why did it say, sir, in the establishment of the HVO, in item
11 number 3, P00154, that the Croatian Defence Council will have exclusive
12 supreme command of the Herceg-Bosna armed forces, that this body is the
13 only legal body, the only legal military, that all other military
14 formations in the area of Herceg-Bosna, the alleged or so-called area of
15 Herceg-Bosna, are illegal or enemy formations? Sir, that doesn't sound
16 to me like the language of someone who's trying to reach out and be
17 inclusive of everyone, but to be quite the contrary, to be exclusive and
18 to exclude, doesn't it?
19 A. No. Read out the first sentence. You skipped that deliberately.
20 You do that whenever you refer to this document. If you do read out the
21 first sentence, you'll see that it says that the Croatian units and
22 Croatian soldiers can only be in the HVO and in no other units. And then
23 there's a criticism of Izetbegovic wanting the TO, but no one is
24 preventing Izetbegovic from having his TO. Here, it is said that the
25 Croats who are organising themselves can only be called the HVO, be part
1 of the HVO. You can't claim what you are claiming, that no one else is
3 Q. Sir, that's not what it says at all. That's not what it says at
4 all. It purports to establish the exclusive and only legal armed force
5 on the so-called area or territory of Herceg-Bosna. It doesn't say
6 anything about recognising that, well, the Muslims or the BiH Army can
7 have its units too. It's, No, absolutely not, this is Herceg-Bosna, and
8 the only legal army is going to be the HVO, and everybody else is the
9 enemy. That's what it says, isn't it -- doesn't it?
10 A. Only the army of the Croats, no, that's not correct. No, that's
11 not what it says here. Read out the first sentence. Allow me to do so,
12 if I may.
13 Q. Go ahead.
14 A. "Since the start of the aggression on the Croatian territory of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina, there has been inconsistency in the use of the
16 name for the Croatian forces in Herceg-Bosna."
17 This means that there are problems because the Croats, who
18 organised their army, use several terms. They say --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he just
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's why the Presidency of the
22 Croatian Community took a decision on the 8th of April, 1992, that the
23 supreme body of Croatian defence in Herceg-Bosna should be called the
24 HVO, the Croatian Defence Council. So in this document, it says that the
25 Croats, who are organising themselves, can organise themselves as part of
1 the HVO. If the Croats organise themselves into some other unit, this
2 won't be accepted by the HVO, or the Main Staff will not accept them as
3 such. They won't be allowed to be an integral part of the Main Staff.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... it doesn't say that at all.
6 It doesn't say that at all. Specifically --
7 A. That is what it says here --
8 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ...
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please, please, please. Mr. Scott is in charge.
10 You can stop the witness, but you should not talk both at the same time,
11 because it's like if no one were speaking. It's only noise.
12 MR. SCOTT: My apologies, Your Honour. My apologies to you, and
13 my apologies to the interpreters.
14 Q. But, Mr. Petkovic, I don't need to be counselled --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Mr. Prosecutor. If you're going to ask
16 him to interpret, and he's giving an interpretation, then have you to
17 allow him to interpret.
18 MR. SCOTT: I don't have to --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I think that's what he was doing. Now, maybe if
20 the question is rephrased in a closer fashion, you know, you can cut him
21 off. But the way the question was phrased, he was answering that
22 question, and there lies the problem.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Karnavas, he asked me to read something, and I
24 said he could read it, but I'm not going on for five minutes. And you
25 know and I know that we're all operating under severe time-limits, so I
1 cannot allow -- with respect and courtesy to Mr. Petkovic, I cannot allow
2 him to sit here and let him read for 10 minutes, which -- in a
3 non-responsive way, ultimately. I wish that maybe it was otherwise, but
4 it's not.
5 Q. Sir, this -- Mr. Boban, in this document, responds very
6 specifically. In the second paragraph, he rejects the action of the
7 Presidency in accepting the Bosnian state armed forces:
8 "The decision of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina is
9 politically expedient," et cetera, and he goes on.
10 He's specifically reacting to the establishment of the state
11 armed forces, and Boban is saying, Absolutely not, we will have no part
12 of it. The only legal armed force on the territory or on the area of the
13 so-called Herceg-Bosna is going to be the HVO. Everyone else is illegal
14 and the enemy. Right?
15 A. No, that's not correct. The Croats can --
16 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ... didn't ask you for any other answer.
17 Stop. You've answered the question, sir. You said, No. That's your
19 Then I'm directing your attention to item number 5 in the table,
20 and P00185.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I'm very
22 confused regarding the last paragraph in this document. It is stated
23 there that apart from the HVO, there cannot be any other formation,
24 because any such formation would be illegal. So I'm asking myself, What
25 about the 4th Corps, what about the 1st Mostar Battalion, what about the
1 embryonic ABiH? If we are to read this paragraph in a strict fashion,
2 well, it could be that it was poorly crafted, or does this translate the
3 will to have nothing else but the HVO? That's the question, isn't it?
4 And you have to shed some light on this, even if you did not write this
5 document, yourself.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, my
7 starting point is that Mr. Boban said that when the Croatian forces were
8 organising themselves in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the term to be used was
9 "the HVO." In his opinion, the Croats shouldn't use any other term. If
10 they were to use a different term, the Main Staff wouldn't accept them as
11 their own men. And it says that the Main Staff only accepts those
12 Croatian units that are called the HVO. The Main Staff will not accept
13 the HVOS or any other unit formed by Croats, and that is what is at stake
14 here, that's the problem. The ABiH or the TO can establish or organise
15 itself. No one prevented the formation of these units.
16 In Mostar, you saw that a month and a half later, I wrote to
17 Vakuf and Konjic and said that the TO and the HVO were the same armed
18 force, so this -- there's an attempt to interpret this erroneously. The
19 TO wasn't attached to the Main Staff. Units that had been formed by
20 Croats were linked to the Main Staff, and Croats would only recognise the
21 HVO as an organisation, and no other organisation. So that is the
22 substance of this order issued by Mate Boban.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think I was right in asking
24 you this question, because you answered that this text does not prevent
25 the ABiH from being created, but it should be read only through the HVO
1 units. Is this what you're saying?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it doesn't prevent that.
3 Mate Boban, Your Honours, is speaking about the organisation of Croats in
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina here. The army is established on a principle.
5 The Croats can only organise themselves using the term "the HVO." Boban
6 is not prepared to accept Croat organisations in any other form, as part
7 of the Main Staff. Therefore, it was possible for there to be some other
8 Croatian unit, but he said, I won't accept that, and you won't have ties
9 to the Main Staff. Mate Boban in no way prevented Mr. Izetbegovic from
10 establishing the Territorial Defence in the manner he thought
11 appropriate, and afterwards you can see that there was a TO and an HVO in
12 all municipalities. So how did he prevent this? He didn't do anything
13 to prevent this. Boban quite simply said, and that's in the first
14 sentence, The Croats shall organise themselves within the HVO, and
15 nothing outside of that framework will be accepted. So he is only
16 objecting to Izetbegovic for accepting the TO since it's been
17 compromised, but he's not preventing Izetbegovic from having a TO if he
18 wants it. A few months later, Izetbegovic thought this wasn't a
19 satisfactory state of affairs, so he introduced some changes. In this
20 document, Boban has done nothing to prevent others establishing units of
21 a certain kind. He is addressing Croats, and no one else here.
22 The Croats didn't accept the HOS. Mate Boban didn't want the
23 Croats establishing units of their own that would be called the
24 Territorial Defence. He quite simply didn't want that. If the Croats
25 establish units, they can be called "the HVO." Establish other units in
1 the municipalities, if you like, but you won't fall under the Main Staff,
2 and that is what is at stake. No one is preventing anyone from
3 establishing a Patriotic League, for example, a Territorial Defence,
4 establishing Green Berets, or any other units. Each municipality had a
5 Croatian organisation within the framework of the HVO, and there was an
6 Muslim organisation in the TO, in the Territorial Defence, or in some
7 other formation. They spontaneously established these units.
8 Why would we co-operate with Pasalic in Mostar, for example, if
9 we wanted to implement this? Pasalic organised the Muslims, the
10 Bosniaks. No one prevented him from doing this. But as for the Croats,
11 Boban wanted them to organise themselves within the HVO. If anyone else
12 wanted to form units of another kind, that was fine, but they wouldn't be
13 tied to the HVO.
14 And that is the essence of this document. One has been trying to
15 interpret it as a document that says we're preventing the Presidency from
16 doing certain things. No, that's not the case.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You took a long time to explain
18 the substance of this document, but it's now been recorded.
19 Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
21 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
22 Q. Let's go on to Exhibit P00185, which is item 5 in the chart. I'm
23 not going to read the entire conversation, but this is a conversation
24 between Mr. Stojic and some of the Serb leadership figures. Maybe you
25 can remind the Chamber who Mico Stanisic is and what role he played in
1 May of 1992.
2 A. Your Honours, I have no idea as to who Mico Stanisic is.
3 Q. In this conversation, Mr. -- toward the end of the part that's in
4 the table, it says Mr. Stojic refers to -- they're talking about coming
5 to an agreement, and Mr. Stojic says:
6 "There is the 1939 one and none other. I'm dead serious."
8 "We need to see what is realistic there and sit down and make a
11 "Only the 1939 borders, and no bargaining. Ha-ha."
12 Now, this is the man, sir, that you described in your previous
13 testimony, and you confirmed here again, this was your minister. This is
14 the man that you said was your superior. This is the man you said was
15 more powerful than you. And you knew, sir, from all your dealings with
16 him in 1992 and 1993, from him and others, that the territorial
17 objectives of Herceg-Bosna, and of Mr. Tudjman, and of Mr. Susak, were to
18 establish -- re-establish the Banovina borders of 1939, weren't they? --
19 A. No, that's not correct. Tudjman didn't establish a banovina of
20 any kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. We look in going to Exhibit -- item 6, P00199. This was an order
22 by Bobetko, which you signed on his behalf, and Boban, appointing the
23 Mostar HVO, appointing Mr. Jadranko Topic and others. By what authority
24 did Mr. -- did a Croatian general, Bobetko, and Mr. Boban -- by what
25 authority did they have to establish the government in Mostar?
1 A. Mr. Boban has the powers to appoint authorities in Mostar. Why
2 he appointed the commanders as listed here is the military aspect, and
3 whereas item 1 refers to the civilian authorities.
4 Q. Let's start --
5 A. Mr. Boban --
6 Q. We'll come back to Mr. Boban, but let's start with Mr. Bobetko.
7 What authority did the general -- did the head of the Croatian Army, the
8 Republic of Croatia -- what authority did Bobetko have to issue an order
9 appointing the government in Mostar?
10 A. Bobetko had no authority to appoint government, but --
11 Q. But why is it on this document, sir, and why did you sign for
12 him? Why didn't you say, General, you've asked me to sign this document
13 for you, and surely you have no authority to do this. I'm not putting my
14 name on this because you have no authority to issue such an order, I'm
15 not signing this.
16 A. Then, I was commander, and I had the right to sign that.
17 Q. But what gave you the authority to appoint the government of
19 A. I was accepted as a member of the HVO, and thus received the
20 authority to sign for the commanding structures. About -- for items 1
21 and 2, I had no authority over these, but for the following items, yes, I
23 Q. What gave the HVO the authority to appoint the Mostar government?
24 A. The constitutional right of a people to organise itself to oppose
25 an aggression.
1 Q. Who gave the HVO the authority to do that?
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I just have a correction of the
3 transcript. I believe that this is very important. This refers to
4 line 6 and 7. General Petkovic said, I had no authority to appoint
5 people under item 1, only Boban could do so, but I did have the authority
6 to appoint those under items 2, 3, 4, et cetera. General, it was
7 recorded in the transcript that you said the following:
8 [In English] "About -- for items 1 and 2, I had no authority over
9 this, but for the following items, I did."
10 [Interpretation] Tell us what you actually said.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that I had no
12 authority over the position in item 1, whereas for the commanders of the
13 municipal staffs, which are items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, I did have the right to
14 sign because at the time I was in a commanding position.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. The command of what, sir? Were you still acting, in May of 1992,
17 as a Croatian general, or an HVO officer, or both?
18 A. I was not a Croatian general. I was an officer of the HVO. I
19 had been relieved of all my duties in the Croatian Army. You have that
20 document from my personnel file, so you can read it any time.
21 Q. And what gave the HVO the authority to appoint the Mostar
22 government, or Mr. Boban?
23 A. The HVO is just another name of the authorities that were
24 established pursuant to the elections.
25 Q. What authorities, sir?
1 A. Well, first there were the election results, and then the
2 authorities chose to call themselves HVO, so this was a continuation of
3 the previously existing authorities.
4 Q. Certain authorities decided to call themselves the HVO.
5 Mr. Boban was never elected mayor of Mostar. He had no legal authority
6 over Mostar whatsoever. When was there an election? When did the Muslim
7 members of the territory claim to be Herceg-Bosna? When was there a
8 referendum? When was there a free election by which the Muslims said,
9 Yeah, we want to be part of this, we sign up voluntarily? Tell me --
10 give me the date, and where those polling booths were, and where that
11 election was held.
12 A. Well, don't speak about elections during the war.
13 Q. You just did.
14 A. The war had started. The elections were before.
15 Q. Excuse me, sir. You said, in paragraph -- you said, in page 66,
16 page 66, line 8 and 9:
17 "The HVO is just another name of the authorities that were
18 established pursuant to the elections."
19 A. As far as I know, there were elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
20 1990, but not during the war.
21 Q. When was Mr. Boban elected to be the president of Herceg-Bosna,
22 which gave him, according to you, apparently, the authority to appoint
23 the government in Mostar?
24 A. Given the fact that the central authorities didn't function --
25 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question. Tell me when he was elected?
1 A. -- Boban organised provisional authorities.
2 Q. Tell me when he was and by what process he was elected and given
3 this power.
4 A. Mr. Boban was provisionally elected president of the HVO.
5 Q. By who? By who, sir?
6 A. Before I got there, by the representatives of the Croatian
8 Q. By the representatives of the Croatian people. But you didn't
9 answer the question I put to you five minutes ago, sir. When did the
10 Muslim people who lived within the borders that Herceg-Bosna claimed,
11 when they said, Our borders go all the way to Vares, and our borders go
12 all the way to Gornji Vakuf, and our borders go to Grude, and Stolac, and
13 Mostar, and Jablanica, and Konjic, when did all the Muslims living in
14 those borders -- when were they given the opportunity to vote and say, We
15 freely choose to be part of this?
16 A. The Muslims, as far as I know, accepted the provisional
17 authorities of the HVO in those areas, and they co-operated with each
18 other. They knew that the central authorities didn't function and
19 couldn't function.
20 Q. They co-operated. Is that why they --
21 A. It is possible to establish provisional authorities in the war.
22 Q. -- were rounded up on the 9th and 10th of May, 1993, and put in
23 the Heliodrom, because they co-operated and went along? Is that why all
24 the Muslim men, in July 1993, were arrested and put in prisons, because
25 they went along?
1 A. No, I was speaking about 1992 now. Many things happened before
2 1993. Do tell me when the central authorities organised elections --
3 Q. No, sir. You're answering my questions.
4 A. -- in these areas?
5 Q. You're answering my questions, and you can't presume that the HVO
6 just somehow sprung into existence with legitimacy. It was simply
7 self-declared by a certain group of people who were acting to create
8 their own state, sir, a Croatian state. Isn't that the truth?
9 A. No, there was no state of any kind. There was a need to organise
10 oneself and defend oneself against the aggression that had already begun
11 in those areas, only that.
12 Q. Let's go to item 8 in the table, P00279. This is a report, and
13 this is your own document. This is a report that you wrote to the
14 municipal leaders and commanders of the HVO units. And you say, in
15 number 1 --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As regards the last document,
17 General Petkovic, I must tell you that I have a question mark when I see
18 the name of Bobetko in it. There are several assumptions we can make.
19 It's a typo, it was your name that should have been there, and "Bobetko"
20 was put in there instead. That's a possibility.
21 Second assumption: There's an agreement between Mate Boban and
22 Bobetko, as far as all these appointments are concerned, and you, who are
23 at the HVO Main Staff, since it is written here, you signed this. That's
24 a possibility. I don't know.
25 If I look at the names of the people who have been appointed,
1 Mr. Topic is seemingly a civilian. I don't see why he would be appointed
2 to a civilian position unless one holds that the president of the HVO in
3 Mostar is a military position. That's also a possibility. I don't know.
4 Jaganjac, commander. From what I understood, this would come
5 under Mr. Boban's authority. If that is the case, why would your
6 signature be needed in that case?
7 What I'm interested in is this: Why is Bobetko mentioned in this
8 document? What business does he have to be there? The Trial Chamber
9 will have to draw its conclusions. Why is his name in this document, and
10 what does it mean?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, whoever drafted this
12 document for Mr. Boban obviously didn't know what this was about. The --
13 General Janko Bobetko was never commander of the Main Staff of the HVO,
14 but somebody wrote it that way. Mr. Boban didn't want it changed, and I
15 signed it because, well, after all, I had accepted a commanding function
16 in the HVO.
17 Why this unknown person put General Janko Bobetko's name under
18 the heading "Commander of the Main Staff of the HVO," I don't know.
19 There's no reason for mentioning Bobetko here, because he never called
20 himself or proclaimed himself commander of the Main Staff of the HVO. I
21 placed my signature there. It would have been better if we had removed
22 that, but such were the times. Anyway, this is my signature, not
23 General Bobetko's.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So by way of an explanation,
25 you are telling us that this was a mistake and that you didn't correct
1 it. It's as if someone asked me to sign a judgement, and it says
2 Ms. Alaburic -- stating that Ms. Alaburic is a judge, and then I sign
3 because it doesn't matter.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, possibly, but I don't think
5 anybody would like to go back to those times. It would have been
6 important to remove that, but it didn't happen, so it remained.
7 Mr. Boban thought it sufficient for me to sign it as it was, and I
8 signed. But Mr. Bobetko was never the commander of the Main Staff of the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If it had stated at the bottom
11 of the document "General Colin Powell," would you have signed, all the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course not, but because that man
14 wouldn't have been there. And, Your Honour, this is the 10th of May,
15 1992. There is no document that regulates any kinds of relations in the
16 HVO, and yet such documents are drafted. That was the problem, that the
17 HVO had not yet adopted any decrees, laws, regulations, nothing. All we
18 had was an order dated the 10th of April which is half a page long. The
19 relations were not clear, but it was important to appoint people to
20 commanding functions -- to commanding positions and organise the defence
21 of Mostar. And we can't compare this with Colin Powell or anybody else.
22 This was done a month after the fighting at Kupres, and the risk of
23 having half Mostar occupied.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. Sir, we were about to go to --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. SCOTT: Apologies.
4 Q. We were about to go to P00279, line 8 in the table. This is your
5 report, sir, and, among other things, you say, on -- in a number of
6 items, you say:
7 "To put under control the remaining area of Croatian
9 Number 3:
10 "To establish Croatian rule over all municipalities.
11 "Our intentions are, among other things, to prepare ourselves,
12 and through offensive activities, liberate the remaining Croatian
13 territory or area."
14 But, in any event, "to liberate the Croatian area or territory."
15 Now, if this was just one big happy family, all for one, one for
16 all, why didn't you just say "to liberate all of Bosnia and Herzegovina"?
17 Why just "the Croatian area"?
18 A. We did liberate Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of it. The
19 introductory part was drafted by somebody who lived there, unlike me, but
20 that doesn't mean that we claimed all of Bosnia-Herzegovina or part of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina to ourselves. We always acted in accordance with the
22 principle that it was the common country of Croats and Muslims.
23 Q. Sir, why didn't you say that, then? Why didn't you just say
24 that? Why did you say "the Croatian municipalities," "to establish
25 Croatian rule over municipalities," "to liberate the Croatian areas"?
1 It's very simple, sir, and in response to the questions -- answers you
2 just made to the President and questions -- answers to my questions, you
3 can't say, sir, every time that, well, Someone else drafted the document,
4 they weren't your words, and it was all a mistake, and now you wish you
5 had said otherwise. This is your document. It's very easy to say.
6 You're an educated man. You're a professional soldier. You could have
7 very easily said, sir --
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 Q. Excuse me, sir. You could have very easily said, Let's put
10 under -- let's put under -- let's get the Serbs out of here, let's
11 re-establish the Bosnian authorities in this area, let's liberate the
12 remaining territory of BiH. There are all sorts of things you could have
13 said that are far more inclusive, but it was "Croatian, Croatian,
14 Croatian." Now, why did you say that?
15 And I remind you, sir, that we started this topic because you
16 told Judge Jorda, under oath, that Herceg-Bosna didn't have a political
17 objective. Why "Croatian, Croatian, Croatian"?
18 A. The municipalities mentioned here are Neum, Ravno, Ljubuski,
19 Citluk, Siroki Brijeg, and they are purely Croatian municipalities. In
20 others, the Croats are the majority. That's why they're called Croatian
21 municipalities. And they were ruled by the HDZ, and that's what they
22 were called.
23 The second thing here --
24 Q. Well, let's go to another [overlapping speakers] ...
25 A. -- is part of the area of the Ravno municipality. Let me just
1 explain. In part of the Ravno municipality, which is almost exclusively
2 Croatian because the Croats are the absolute majority there, but a part
3 of it was still not liberated. In the Stolac municipality, there was an
4 area called "Stjepan Kriz," by which name we can judge its nature --
5 Q. Sir, I'm now going to cut --
6 A. -- and there was --
7 Q. I am cutting you off now, sir, sorry. If we go back to
8 article -- let's go back to line 1, or P00079. Look at the list of
9 municipalities there, page 1, row 1:
10 "Kakanj, Gornji Vakuf, Konjic, Jablanica, Stolac."
11 Those are all Muslim-majority municipalities. Those aren't Croat
12 majorities at all. Mostar has a Muslim plurality.
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 Q. It's simply false, what you said a moment ago. It's simply false
15 what you said, these were Croat majority -- just the Croat-majority
16 municipalities. They weren't at all, were they, sir?
17 A. Yes, the municipalities Neum, Ravno, Capljina, Ljubuski, to the
18 greatest part, Citluk, Siroki Brijeg, these are the municipalities I'm
19 talking about, not Kakanj. And I'm speaking about the remainder of the
20 municipality of Stolac and part of the municipality of Ravno, which were
21 yet unliberated. And those were areas mostly inhabited by Croats, and
22 that's why we said that we must --
23 Q. Let's stop there --
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I believe
25 there is a misunderstanding between Mr. Scott and the witness, because
1 Mr. Scott spoke about a document that we see on our screens, whereas the
2 witness is referring to another document, P279, and that's why they are
3 talking about different municipalities.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, 079 has nothing to do
5 with this report here.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Regardless of which list you look at, sir, regardless of which of
8 the lists you look at, you know full well that there were a number of the
9 municipalities claimed by Herceg-Bosna, and we're going to get there in
10 just a moment, we're going to get there. But you know full well that
11 there were a number of these municipalities that weren't Croat-majority
12 municipalities at all; right?
13 A. Yes, I know --
14 Q. Well, let's go back to your -- so you answered my question.
15 A. -- and nobody in the HVO disputed that.
16 Q. Well, we'll see. And then let's go back to the position you said
17 just a moment ago, because there's really two separate things now going
19 You said, Well, we were trying to establish Croatian control in
20 these particular municipalities, these were the Croatian municipalities.
21 Well, there again, sir, what difference did that make? Why did you only
22 want to establish control in certain municipalities and liberate certain
23 municipalities, but not others?
24 A. Your Honours, you cannot liberate everything in one operation.
25 Have you to start with one part and proceed to the second, third, fourth,
1 et cetera. So it wasn't possible to conduct operations in all of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The HVO did what it could, based on its
3 capabilities, so they liberated areas that had -- that previously hadn't
4 been liberated. If you want -- you seem to want us to have liberated all
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at once. That was impossible.
6 Q. That's not at all what I said.
7 Let's go to the next document. Let's go to line 9, 1D01670. And
8 as we go into this, and I refer you to your participation, we talked
9 yesterday about how you had participated in this meeting. This is a
10 meeting at the HZ-HB Presidency. This is the same meeting where the
11 Decree on Armed Forces was adopted. This is the same meeting where the
12 declaration of the existence of Herceg-Bosna was amended and approved,
13 and you participated in it. And before I put the next statement to you,
14 I remind you and I remind the courtroom of what you said a few moments
15 ago, Well, the Muslims went along. It was okay, it was okay with the
16 Muslims. Well, let's see what you said, sir, in July 1992. Page 4, item
17 10. Page 4, item 10.
19 "Relations between the Muslims and Croats are poor in the better
20 part of the territory. Efforts have to be made to return the situation
21 to normal. We are the ones who did all this, and they," referring
22 obviously in the context to the Muslims, "are the minority ethnic groups
23 in these parts."
24 You go on to say:
25 "Care must be taken to avoid territorial fragmentation."
1 Well, again, sir, it's simply not true that the Muslims were the
2 ethnic minority in all of those parts. It's not true, is it?
3 A. Let me just see where you're reading from. Can item 10 be
4 enlarged so that I can read it?
5 I'm saying that outside the area of HZ-HB, adequate resistance
6 isn't offered to the aggressor. That's a statement. Unfortunately, I
7 don't know the balance of forces, but in Eastern Bosnia, one area is
8 falling after another. And then I go on to say the relations between
9 Muslims and Croats in the better part of the territory are poor. Efforts
10 must be made to normalise the condition. We are the ones who did all
11 this, and they are the minority people in these areas. The burden of
12 defence was shifted to municipalities in the outskirts, whereas the
13 others are acting as in peacetime. The line on the Neretva is not safe.
14 Q. Sir, we're not going to read the entire document. I'm sorry
15 we're not going to do that, we're not going to [overlapping speakers] --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I don't know where --
17 MR. SCOTT: Maybe the Chamber can give additional time, but we're
18 not simply going to start reading documents now.
19 Q. My question to you, sir, and in reference to the last document we
20 looked at in line 8 of the table, and now in line 9, you repeatedly, sir,
21 are talking about what you're interested in and what the Herceg-Bosna and
22 HVO authorities are interested in is establishing Croatian rule over the
23 so-called Croat municipalities, which you said -- which you say were
24 Croat municipalities or Croat majorities; isn't that the case, sir?
25 A. And the municipalities I mentioned, as far as I know, are -- have
1 a majority-Croat population, and some of them have 100 per cent of
2 Croatian population.
3 Q. If we can shift to Sanction, please, and we have map 9 from the
4 book of maps, which is marked as Exhibit P09276. The book is P09276.
5 Map number 9.
6 Sir, Kakanj is Muslim majority; Gornji Vakuf is Muslim majority;
7 Konjic is Muslim majority; Jablanica is Muslim majority; Travnik is a
8 Muslim plurality; Bugojno is a Muslim plurality; Konjic is a Muslim
9 plurality; Mostar, itself, is a Muslim plurality; Stolac is a Muslim
10 plurality. Those aren't Croat-majority municipalities at all, are they?
11 A. No, but the Croats didn't take the entire municipality with them
12 and joined it to the Herceg-Bosna. The HVO wanted to join the
13 Herceg-Bosna, and if the Muslims didn't want that, well, they would
14 remain in their municipality and go on living there. The HVO didn't take
15 away the territory from a certain municipality and take it to
17 Q. Well, sir, they could go on -- the Muslims could go on living
18 there if they accepted HVO control and Herceg-Bosna control. Sure, they
19 could continue living there. We're going to be the masters, we're going
20 to control the government, it's going to be our army, it's going to be
21 our taxes. Yeah, they can continue living there under your terms. Isn't
22 that what you're saying?
23 A. No. You are not putting it properly. Take a look at who had the
24 authorities. In Konjic, there was the Crisis Staff, in which the HVO,
25 Croats and Muslims, are participating. Wasn't there in Jablanica a
1 Crisis Staff manned by Croats and Muslims? In Kakanj, there was also a
2 Crisis Staff --
3 Q. Sir, the HVO in municipality after municipality was throwing the
4 Muslims out of the authorities. They were just like the document we saw
5 40 minutes ago. They created the Mostar government, Bobetko -- you
6 signing for Bobetko, and Boban saying, Here's the Mostar government, as
7 we see it. We don't want -- well, you know, the Muslims, well, you know,
8 you can go do your own thing maybe, but this is our government and we're
9 in charge, and this is our army, and it's the only legal one. That's how
10 it was, wasn't it?
11 A. No, no, that wasn't so. We can analyse the authorities in any
12 municipality. There were Crisis Staffs in which there were both Croats
13 and Muslims. What is being put forth here is a construction. Let's take
14 Jablanica or Konjic. There were Crisis Staffs manned by Croats and
15 Muslims. We had a witness from Jablanica and from Konjic, Muslims who
16 were in Crisis Staffs. HVO is another thing.
17 Q. Well, if that's the case, sir -- if that's the case, then we're
18 jumping ahead of ourselves. But when we get to March and April of 1993,
19 and you say, Well, the Muslims, yeah, they had the right to control their
20 own fate, then why is it -- why do you blame and resist -- why does the
21 HVO resist the Muslims in Konjic and say, Oh, they started the war in
22 Konjic, and it's terrible because the Muslims aren't doing what we want
23 them to do? According to you, the Muslims have every right not to do
24 what the HVO wanted them to do, and they did, didn't they? I came back
25 to what I put to you 45 minutes ago, sir. When did the Muslims vote for
1 Herceg-Bosna? And you never did answer that question, by the way. When
2 did the Muslims vote for Herceg-Bosna?
3 A. The Croats didn't vote for Herceg-Bosna either. You don't --
4 Q. You're absolutely right, sir. No one elected Boban -- no one
5 elected Boban, or Prlic, or Kordic, or Bender, or Boras. No one elected
6 them legitimately to any of these positions. Power was taken and seized
7 and asserted, with the help of the Government of Croatia, wasn't it?
8 A. No, that's not correct, no. I said that no elections were held,
9 but the representatives of the Croatian people and the authorities under
10 the municipalities organised provisional authorities in that way. And
11 don't talk to me about Konjic and other municipalities, where there was
12 participation in power. Nobody had seized power. The HVO existed in
13 Konjic and participated in power, and then Mr. Cibo comes along and blows
14 everything apart.
15 Q. Well, we'll come to that if we have time, sir. Why Croatian
16 symbols? Why Croatian -- why a flag that looks almost identical to the
17 Croatian flag ? Why insignia and badges that look almost the same as the
18 Croatian Army? Why the Croatian university? You never answered my
19 question. Why Rama instead of Prozor, why Uskoplje instead of
20 Gornji Vakuf?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Before he answers, on the Croatian University of
22 Mostar, and I stand to be corrected and I welcome the opportunity, but we
23 haven't seen a single document where it says that that university was
24 changed from the name that it had to Croatian University of Mostar. It
25 was University of Mostar. And I invite any member of the Bench or the
1 Prosecution, or anyone on the planet, to show me where in the record is a
2 document that states that. So let's be accurate. Now, everything else
3 Mr. Scott is entitled to put, but let's be accurate with the record.
4 MR. SCOTT: As to the -- Your Honour, Mr. Karnavas, I won't
5 persist at the moment in that, because I don't want to take the time to
6 do it. I will search for and I believe I can produce that document.
7 Q. But in the interests of time, in the interests of time, take
8 Croatian University out of it. Why Croatian symbols, why Croatian
9 insignia, why Croatian flag, why the Croatian national anthem, if this
10 was a territory and area for everybody?
11 MR. KOVACIC: Well, I don't -- Your Honour, again similar
12 objection. I don't remember that ever anybody mentioned "Croatian
14 MR. SCOTT: It's been played before in court --
15 MR. KOVACIC: Yeah, yeah --
16 MR. SCOTT: -- and I will find the exhibit. And I will find the
18 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, I agree, but not the anthem. The national
19 songs people were singing there for centuries.
20 MR. SCOTT: I disagree with counsel on that.
21 Q. But, in any event, why Croatian symbols --
22 MR. KOVACIC: Anthem is something in the law.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Why Croatian symbols, why all these insignias? We can do this
25 all afternoon, if that's what people want to do, but my question remains
1 to you, sir: Why all these things that were Croatia?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, again, they're not Croatian, they're
3 indigenous. These are for Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's the
4 importance, not Croatia proper, the Republic of Croatia. We're talking
5 about symbols that the Croats of that area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, these
6 are their national -- there is a distinction, and keep in mind that we
7 are dealing with constituent peoples. That's the important aspect of
8 this. It may not be important to an American, because we don't have that
9 notion in the United States, but in this part of the world, for better or
10 for worse, it exists, and these are symbols that are designed for those
11 people living there, not from some other country. So if we're going to
12 be accurate, let's be accurate and then pose the question.
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, first of all, I don't think --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
15 MR. SCOTT: First of all, I don't think Mr. Karnavas needs to be
16 testifying and telling us which -- what the source of these are.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Based on the evidence.
18 MR. SCOTT: In any event --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, perhaps you should
20 highlight with your question, if it's possible, a difference between the
21 local symbols, Croatian symbols, from Croatian symbols. I think what you
22 have in mind are those symbols that relate directly to the Republic of
23 Croatia. Maybe that's what the issue hinges on. Through your questions,
24 he might say that he agrees or disagrees with you.
25 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, if need be. After almost four
1 years of trial, I think everyone should be familiar, all of us, with some
2 of these things. But if it's necessary, by Monday I'll try to bring in a
3 picture of the Croatian flag and a Herceg-Bosna flag, and the HV badge
4 and the HVO badge, and the songs that were sung, and the Croatian names,
5 and the name of the university. I'll try to bring all those in, if
6 that's what it's going to take. But --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, in the
8 interests of time, you know that we've seen documents in this courtroom.
9 What do you say? You've heard Defence counsel making points, presenting
10 submissions. You've heard the Prosecutor's question. What do you say?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, those aren't the
12 symbols of the Republic of Croatia. They are the symbols of the Croatian
13 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They used them even at the time of the
14 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They had such a flag at that
15 time, and they kept it. And the flags are not the same. The sequence of
16 the colours, red, white and blue, doesn't mean that the flags are the
17 same. The flag of the Republic of Croatia differs from that of
18 Herceg-Bosna. And the military insignia were also different. We had
19 insignia saying "HVO," so I don't see where that similarity is. It was
20 completely different, and we cannot say that something is similar if it
21 isn't. I cannot say that Mr. Scott resembles Mr. Stringer because they
22 are both Prosecutors, because they are different. And along the same
23 lines, the flag of Herceg-Bosna is not the same as that of Croatia.
24 All these symbols and insignia were those of Herceg-Bosna. I
25 removed all my insignia and placed HVO insignia instead. So there were
1 differences between the symbols. They were the symbols of the Croats in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Sir, all right. You've just said it. These are the -- it's on
6 line -- sorry, that's what I was trying to do, Mr. President. I'm sorry.
7 Page 82 of today's transcript, line 13:
8 "All these symbols and insignia were those of Herceg-Bosna."
9 Well, that's exactly the point. They were the symbols and
10 insignia of Herceg-Bosna. These were the symbols you said a few moments
11 ago of the Croatian people, but how about the symbols of the Muslim
12 people, the indigenous symbols, as it was referred to a few moments ago?
13 Why did you pick -- why did the HVO -- why did Herceg-Bosna pick only the
14 Croatian symbols? Why didn't you have a flag with a chequer-board on it
15 and a lily? Why didn't you call it the All People's Defence Council?
16 Why Croatia -- the same question, sir, that I've been asking for the past
17 hour. Why "Croatia, Croatia, Croatia," if there was no political
18 objective, as you told Judge Jorda?
19 A. That was not our political goal. It was an impetus for the
20 Croats to organise and defend Bosnia and the areas where they lived. If
21 no commander in Tuzla minded having an HVO brigade with Croatian
22 insignia, why would anyone have minded?
23 Q. Well, they did mind, sir. They did mind. They did mind. Maybe
24 not in Tuzla, when they put themselves under the local -- under the
25 authority of the national government, but in Herceg-Bosna they did. The
1 Muslims kept telling you over and over again. Izetbegovic kept telling
2 you over and over again, We're not buying it -- well, we'll get to those.
3 Throughout -- through a number of the meetings, including the so-called
4 friendship meeting, Mr. Izetbegovic and others tell Mr. Tudjman over and
5 over again, We don't accept Herceg-Bosna. And if anyone wants to read
6 one transcript, and I believe it's P00336, read it. Read it four times,
7 because Mr. Izetbegovic tells Tudjman and the others, over and over
8 again, We don't accept Herceg-Bosna, we're not joining, we're not on
9 board. And we'll get to those documents on Monday or Tuesday, if we have
11 Sir, you know full well that when you describe something as
12 Croatian, such as "Croatian Mostar," the implication is -- the meaning of
13 that -- the connotation is that it is Croatian and nothing else, that
14 Croatians are in charge, Croatians are in control, Croatia -- it's
15 Croatia, and you know that, don't you?
16 A. It is not correct. Croats and Muslims in those areas, starting
17 with Southern Mostar and all around Mostar, were together, and they did
18 not mind. They crossed the Neretva together, and they didn't mind being
19 in the HVO and the HVO being called that.
20 Q. They might not have in May of 1992, but they did soon thereafter.
21 You said in your own report, a few minutes ago -- we looked at it, and
22 you said relations between the Muslims and Croats by July of 1992 were in
23 most parts poor, and you said it the other day.
24 Let's go to slide 22, please, in Sanction. This is your
25 testimony on the first day, sir:
1 "As for the term "Croatian,' if anybody said 'Croatian Mostar,'
2 of course, that could be understood to mean that no Muslims are there."
3 You gave us your definition of what that meant on the very first
4 day of your testimony under oath. There it is. If something is called
5 "Croatian Mostar," that means no Muslims are there. And that's what you
6 meant when you said "Croatian territory," "the Croatian Army," "the
7 Croatian government," "the Croatian republic," "the Croatian HVO."
8 That's what you meant, isn't it?
9 A. No, that's incorrect. The Muslims were there, and they lived
10 together with Croats, and they fought together.
11 Q. Line 13 in the table, P00307, the Book of Service Rules. These
12 are the service rules of the HVO, the army of which you were the
13 commander. Page 1, a part of the -- a part of the objectives and
14 strategy of -- or the goals of bringing young men into the Croatian Army
15 of Herceg-Bosna:
16 "Develop love for and loyalty to HZ-HB.
17 "The independence and territorial integrity of the HZ-HB.
18 "To protect and defend the sovereignty, independence, and
19 territorial integrity of HZ-HB."
20 Again on number 3:
21 "To protect and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity
22 of the HZ-HB."
23 Number 8, continuing to the top of -- or it's in the same row,
24 excuse me:
25 "The independence and integrity of the HZ-HB."
1 Not Bosnia, not Bosnia and Herzegovina, not the territorial
2 integrity of Bosnia, not the independence of Bosnia, not the sovereignty
3 of Bosnia, but the HZ-HB. That's what you were fighting for, isn't it --
4 wasn't it?
5 A. The HZ-HB in Bosnia. We were the majority army, and we had
6 initiative over the Serbs at the time. We were defending our parts,
7 whereas the Army of B and H were defending Eastern Bosnia and the
8 Tuzla Corps area. Therefore, we were defending the HZ-HB, and thus were
9 defending Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. You weren't the majority army, sir.
11 A. We, indeed, managed to defend it wherever our troops were.
12 Q. You weren't the majority army. We went through -- we looked at
13 the map a few minutes ago. There are all sorts of municipalities within
14 the HZ-HB that were not Croat at all; correct?
15 A. You misunderstood me. I said where we fought the Serbs, that's
16 where we were in the majority. I did not mean to dispute the fight of
17 the Muslim people, be it by themselves or alongside us. In these areas,
18 we put up fierce resistance to the Serb aggression, and thanks to that we
19 kept the area, and thus we preserved Bosnia-Herzegovina. Had we not
20 managed to defend it in the southern part, it's highly questionable as to
21 what would have happened with it until the end.
22 Q. Let's go to line 14 -- let's go to line 14 or row 14, P00588.
23 This is from the Decree on Armed Forces . Article 21 says:
24 "The HZ-HB Armed Forces shall protect the sovereignty of HZ-HB
25 and defend its territorial integrity."
1 Article 86 establishes the oath, and we've heard this oath in the
2 courtroom. We saw the video of the swearing-in ceremony in Zenica, or
3 around Zenica, the Jure Francetic Brigade, and we saw -- I believe
4 Mr. Kordic was there, and I think Mr. Praljak was there, and we heard the
5 HVO soldiers taking the oath. And what the oath says is, as indicated
7 "I shall protect and defend my motherland of Herceg-Bosna, its
8 sovereignty, territorial integrity, and all its citizens."
9 Not Bosnia, not the motherland of Bosnia, not the sovereignty of
10 Bosnia, not the territorial integrity of Bosnia, but Herceg-Bosna. That
11 was the oath that HVO soldiers had to take, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, that was the oath, but it did not negate the notion of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina; quite to the contrary. We were a part of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we waited for the Presidency of the B and H to
15 forward an oath that we could use, but nothing of the sort took place in
16 the meantime.
17 Q. You're not serious -- you're not serious about that?
18 A. [No interpretation]
19 Q. It was Bosnia -- it was the authorities of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, it was their fault that they didn't send you a different
21 oath? You really want us to take that seriously, Mr. Petkovic?
22 A. Tell me, what did the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina ever send
23 to the Croats? Let's see Alija Izetbegovic's document and how he tried
24 to implement the Zagreb Agreement with the Croats. Let's discuss that.
25 Q. They offered you, sir -- they offered you membership in --
1 A. [No interpretation]
2 Q. -- the joint armed forces. They offered you, and we'll get
3 there eventually, and again if we have time, we'll go through the
4 documents, and they said, You want to be part of us, you can join us.
5 We're happy to have you, but you become part of this armed forces, under
6 our command, and of course the HVO would have no part of it, would they?
7 No, they didn't?
8 A. Yes, yes, yes, that's incorrect.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, an ancillary
11 Did you take an oath?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why not?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 temporarily. There was no need for me to take the oath.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, I'm looking at this
17 document presented by Mr. Scott. There may have been a problem. If you
18 wanted to protect your motherland of Herceg-Bosna, this was not your
19 mother country.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was not my mother country, but
21 I put myself at the disposal to others to help them in defending the
22 areas where they lived. A mother country or a homeland is a narrower
23 concept to me. Dalmatia, for example, could be my homeland. By creating
24 our community there, we did not try to disrupt Bosnia-Herzegovina, as
25 such. We waited for their government to sit down and start regulating
1 matters, some of which they never did.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At any rate, now you know that
3 you did not take this oath.
4 Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. Following up on this, sir, I want to go back to something that
7 Judge Trechsel put to you on the first day of your testimony, on the
8 11th of February, because it really rings true, at least to me. It
9 resonates again today of what you've been telling us all afternoon.
10 Judge Trechsel said:
11 "Mr. Petkovic, listening to you, one gets the impression that it
12 was a matter of course that the authorities would be Croat, but that may
13 be the issue, to establish Croat rule even where previously, as in
14 Stolac, there was not a Croat rule, and even a clear Muslim majority in
15 the population. I think that was the point that the President,"
16 referring to a question by the President, "was raising here."
17 And I put it to you -- and I adopt that question or that comment
18 and I put it to you again. The problem, if I can put it to you this way,
19 sir, what your position is, you just presume that there was some sort of
20 legitimate claim of these HVO authorities springing into existence and
21 having some sort of legal claim to do everything that it did, and
22 dominate the Muslims, and establish -- and for Bobetko and Boban to
23 appoint the mayor -- the government of Mostar, and to establish which
24 territories and armies they want, with all other armies being illegal.
25 You just presumed that that's the case; isn't that the case?
1 A. You are not right. I don't know when I presumed that. How come
2 Mr. Izetbegovic had no problem with coming to Zagreb and to sign the
3 Agreement on Co-operation and Friendship? It was all happening early on.
4 Q. Well, sir, again you take that out --
5 A. He went there to sign it.
6 Q. You say that as if that's all the case, but that friendship
7 agreement, so-called, number 1, says absolutely nothing about -- it came
8 out of the same meeting we were talking about 20 minutes ago, in which
9 Izetbegovic told Tudjman and all those others present, We don't accept
10 Herceg-Bosna, we will not accept Herceg-Bosna. You can see Tudjman
11 getting frustrated with Izetbegovic, but Izetbegovic sticks to his
12 position, We will have nothing to do with Herceg-Bosna. If the HVO, as a
13 military force, wants to put itself under BiH government command, we will
14 accept that happily and we will fight together, but you come join us, you
15 put yourself under our command. We will do that. And you didn't do
16 that, did you, because that wasn't part of the political objective? The
17 political objective was to establish your own little Croat statelet,
18 under your control and with the borders that you wanted. That was the
19 political objective, at least in part, wasn't it, sir?
20 A. No, that was not the objective. We waited for Mr. Izetbegovic to
21 come so that we could continue further elaborating the plan. Why didn't
22 he come? He came to --
23 Q. Why didn't you go to him, sir?
24 A. I went to see him at the Presidency.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. He's entitled to answer the question.
1 That was a very long question, with all sorts of predicates. He's not
2 entitled to do that and then cut the witness off. It is impolite, and it
3 is unethical, in my opinion. Now, he should be entitled to answer that
4 question, even if it's going to take a little bit of his time.
5 Otherwise, go step by step.
6 MR. SCOTT: No, I'm not going to do that, sir. He said -- I'll
7 take it -- his answer is -- his attitude towards it is, Why didn't
8 Izetbegovic come to us? And I accept that as his position.
9 Q. Sir, let's go to exhibit -- line 24 --
10 A. [No interpretation]
11 Q. Let's go to row 24 of the table, P01032, and this is a video.
12 And I'd like to --
13 MR. SCOTT: If we can set -- get that ready to present, please.
14 This is the video of the session -- of the meeting of the Presidency on
15 the 28th of August, 1993, where the Croatian Republic, not the Community,
16 but the Croatian Republic was established. And among others, Your
17 Honours, I'll watch -- and some of it goes very quickly, but if you watch
18 very carefully, you'll see Mr. Petkovic there, you'll see Mr. Boban,
19 you'll see Mr. Prlic. I think you'll see Mr. Stojic. But this is at the
20 meeting of the Presidency on the 28th of August, 1993.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. SCOTT: "Those in favour of the republic ..."
23 [Video-clip played]
24 MR. SCOTT: The booth should have a transcript as well, I
25 believe, if that would assist.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. So you just saw yourself, didn't you, Mr. Petkovic?
4 A. Will you mark it?
5 MR. SCOTT: If we can go back, please. Go ahead and play it
7 [Video-clip played]
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. I think you're in the back there, Mr. Petkovic.
10 MR. SCOTT: Go back for just a second.
11 Q. Against the wall there, please, is that you there, sir?
12 A. Yes, it is. I wanted to see where I was in the footage.
13 MR. SCOTT: All right. Continue on, please.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. SCOTT: Sir, it's almost 6.00, and I want to try -- at least
16 I want to try, if I'm able, to finish this particular topic this evening,
17 subject, of course, to questions from the Judges.
18 Q. But as I said -- as I said an hour and a half or so ago, and I
19 put it to you again in closing out this topic, when you sat here in this
20 same building in the Blaskic case, under oath, and when Judge Jorda asked
21 you whether the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna had a political
22 objective, and when you said, No, that was not really a very accurate or
23 fair answer, was it?
24 A. He asked about a political programme and not about any
25 objectives, as far as I recall. The programme was, and one could say
1 "objective," to defend those areas from the Serb Chetnik aggression.
2 MR. SCOTT: I think that's an appropriate place to stop,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, we're going to call it
5 a day, but I just have one tiny question.
6 Looking at this, did everybody vote? Did you vote?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I held no right to vote. Only the
8 delegates who came could vote. I was there as a guest.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's what I wanted to
11 It's now 6.00. The tape has run to its end, or just about.
12 We shall reconvene, as you know, on Monday at 2.15. Thank you.
13 [The Accused Petkovic stands down]
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.00 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of March,
16 2010, at 2.15 p.m.