1 Tuesday, 9 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Petkovic, Praljak and Pusic not
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you call the case,
8 please, Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today, Tuesday, the 9th of
14 March, 2010, I would like to greet everyone present, the accused, the
15 Defence teams, Mr. Scott and his assistants, and everyone else assisting
17 Mr. Scott, I believe there is something you would like to tell
19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning.
20 If I could have the assistance of the usher, please, for the
21 ELMO. Thanks very much.
22 Good morning, Your Honours, Mr. President, each of Your Honours.
23 Good morning, Counsel, all those in and around the courtroom.
24 Your Honour, perhaps it comes as no surprise, or perhaps it does,
25 but I hope the Chamber has observed that we have moved -- or I have
1 attempted to move as quickly as possible, covering some fairly complex
2 issues. I have spent days repeatedly cutting our material, including
3 late into the evening last night, to what I consider, with all respect,
4 essentially bare-bones. I've put on the ELMO a number of topics that I
5 would still hope to address, at least briefly. You'll see Prozor 1992,
6 January of 1993, April of 1993, Mostar -- matters related to Mostar on
7 the 8th and 10th of May, 1993, camps and detention, forced labour, and,
8 finally, HVO crimes and responsibility.
9 Even, Your Honour -- I will say that even with additional time,
10 it will be hard -- frankly, we'll be hard-pressed, and we'll have to take
11 these matters ever so briefly. But I am asking Your Honour, in light of
12 everything we've done -- I've tried to be patient, as much as possible,
13 with Mr. Petkovic and not cut him off any more than I felt like I had to.
14 But, in any event, Your Honour, for all these reasons the Prosecution
15 would ask to have one additional hour to complete its cross-examination.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning.
18 The Petkovic objects to this request for a simple reason: If you
19 have a look at the amount of time Mr. Scott has used to deal with the
20 issue of credibility, to deal with the issue of the presidential
21 transcript dated the 13th of April, 1999, which is P8912, if we see how
22 much time he spent on certain parts of General Petkovic's testimony on
23 the Kordic and Blaskic cases, if we have a look at the amount of time he
24 repeated his questions, we'll come to the simple conclusion that at least
25 an hour and a half too much has been spent on that subject, or in the
1 course of that hour and a half not a single new answer of substance was
2 provided. If my colleague Mr. Scott had used his time in a more rational
3 way, he wouldn't need additional time now. This is why we firmly object
4 to this request and believe that it would not be fair to allocate the
5 Prosecution more additional time, which would mean that he would have,
6 roughly speaking, 60 per cent more time for his cross-examination than
7 the Defence had for its examination-in-chief.
8 All these subjects that have been listed here, had they been
9 prepared in an appropriate way -- or if they'd been prepared in an
10 appropriate way, that would make it possible to examine General Petkovic
11 quite briefly. But if one continues repeating questions, then in the
12 next three hours we'll have a new request for additional time from my
13 colleague Mr. Scott.
14 Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. If I can respond briefly.
17 If the Prosecution, and more specifically myself, is being
18 accused of having not conducted a perfect cross-examination, then I plead
19 guilty. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect examination by
20 any party. We've certainly tried. I think the Chamber can see, over the
21 last several days, what the Prosecution has attempted to do. Has,
22 sometimes, maybe has one topic gone on longer than ideally it might have?
23 Perhaps. Again, no one is perfect. I think the Chamber has watched the
24 answers and responses of Mr. Petkovic. The Prosecution respectfully
25 submits that over and over again he has been non-responsive. If you get
1 direct answers, responsive answers, to a question the first time, you
2 don't have to keep asking the same question over and over again, you
3 don't have to intervene, you don't have to keep going back, and that's
4 what the Prosecution has had to deal with.
5 At the end of the day, Your Honours, even if the Chamber were to
6 give the Prosecution another hour, the Prosecution still would have had
7 substantially less -- substantially less time than all the examinations
8 that preceded the Prosecution taking the floor, substantially less.
9 Your Honours, you've seen -- I've put the matters up for you
10 specifically so you could see that not just speaking in abstract the
11 topics to be covered, and to attempt to do those, and with the additional
12 hour, Your Honours, I think we have some prospect, but even that will be
13 tight. But I dare not ask the Chamber for more time than I have, and I
14 would be grateful -- I would be most grateful to the Chamber to allow us
15 this additional time to continue to assist the Chamber, I hope, as much
16 as we can.
17 Thank you.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
19 permission, I'd like to respond.
20 The claim made by my colleague Mr. Karnavas, according to which
21 Mr. Petkovic didn't provide direct and brief answers to the questions
22 put, let's briefly remember the sort of questions Mr. Scott put. The
23 questions contained several factual allegations, and then he wanted an
24 answer, a yes-or-no answer. Such answers can't be provided to such
25 questions. If Mr. Scott had put questions to which a yes-or-no answer
1 could be provided, at least a yes-or-no answer for each particular
2 segment of the question, then General Petkovic would have certainly
3 answered the questions in that way.
4 Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will confer with
6 my colleagues.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has taken note of
9 the Prosecution's request for additional time, and on the basis of the
10 chart we have noted that an entire series of subjects could be invoked
11 with this additional time. The Chamber has also taken note of the
12 Defence position, which objects to additional time, because according to
13 the Defence, the Prosecution should have used its time more proficiently
14 when putting questions.
15 In addition, the Chamber notes that on a number of occasions the
16 witness did not answer the questions in a precise manner, which meant
17 that the Prosecution had to use up more time than initially planned.
18 Having put everything in the balance, the Chamber is of the
19 opinion that it would be in the interests of justice for the Prosecution
20 to be allowed to put questions that concern the subjects on the
21 Prosecution list, and as a result the Chamber hereby allocates the
22 Prosecution an additional 45 minutes.
23 Mr. Scott, so you had two hours and five minutes left, plus
24 forty-five minutes, which amounts to a total of two hours and fifty
1 MR. SCOTT: I'm most grateful to the Chamber, and I trust I'll
2 try to use the time wisely. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Is there anything the Petkovic Defence would like to say? If
5 not, we will call General Petkovic into court.
6 [The Accused Petkovic takes the stand]
7 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really have
10 nothing I would like to add. To discuss the possibility of filing an
11 appeal would be senseless, so I think it would be best to move on.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I greet you
13 on behalf of my colleagues and in person.
14 The Prosecution has asked for additional time, and the Chamber
15 has granted the Prosecution 45 additional minutes. I wanted to inform
16 you of this fact.
17 I would also like to remind you that the Prosecution is putting
18 very precise questions to you. You can answer them by saying, Yes, or,
19 No, or, I don't know. And if the Prosecution wants additional
20 information, you may then provide the Prosecution with your overall
21 vision of the events. But for the moment, I'd like to remind you of the
22 fact that you are in the hands of the Prosecution, and the Prosecution
23 can conduct its cross-examination as it deems fit.
24 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
2 MR. SCOTT: And, once again, good morning to all those in and
3 around the courtroom, with our thanks for your assistance, especially the
4 patience of the interpreters, I must say.
5 And good morning to you, Mr. Petkovic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Mr. Petkovic, we were ending the day, and I hope to finish the
9 topic of Stupni Do very quickly. That's my goal, at least. But we left
10 on the topic -- we were talking about your knowledge and the knowledge of
11 the HVO of the reputation for bad conduct that a number of the units, in
12 particular in the Kiseljak area, had, including the Maturice and the
13 Apostoli that the Prosecution puts, at least, were the units involved in
14 Vares and substantially involved in Vares and Stupni Do at the end of
15 October 1993. You indicated at the very end of the day that -- you said:
16 "Your Honour, not a single report on the behaviour of the
17 Maturice, in the sense the Prosecutor is saying, exist."
18 And I'd like you, sir, to begin by turning, please, to -- it
19 would be in the same binder we were using yesterday, I believe, P11196.
20 It's in the set of -- if I'm not mistaken, it's in the set of the two --
21 binder 2, but the set of two binders, a two-binder set, and in the second
22 binder toward the end, sir. P11196.
23 Sir, this is a report to Mr. Blaskic and others, Mr. Sliskovic,
24 dated the 11th of August, 1993. And, again, we don't have time to cover
25 as many documents as one might like, but at the bottom of the -- I'm not
1 sure where it will be in the Croatian -- the end of the document,
2 essentially, so I think it's fairly easy to find, the very bottom of the
3 document, last paragraph:
4 "In the evening of 9 August 1993, a group of Maturice JPN members
5 seriously breached rules of military conduct; namely, in the village
6 called Drazevici on the Kiseljak-Sarajevo highway. They stopped several
7 vehicles and just stood on the road drinking alcohol. This was followed
8 by verbal duals and shooting from automatic weapons in the air.
9 According to some information, several hand-grenades were thrown at a
10 nearby Muslim house where Croatian refugees were put up, was torched."
11 Now, I grant it, that may not be exactly the scope of the conduct
12 that was committed, according to the Prosecution's case, in Stupni Do;
13 but that is, indeed, one example of a report of misconduct by
14 the Maturice, isn't it? And that can be answered, Yes, or, No, sir.
15 A. Yes, but this is an internal clash between their members, nothing
16 in particular.
17 Q. The answer is, Yes. If you can please turn to P1080 -- excuse
18 me, P10809 in the same binder, also, I believe, toward the back. This
19 was an interview given by Mr. Bandic, the same Mr. Bandic who testified
20 in this case, the same Mr. Bandic who was involved in a number of
21 intelligence operations, including here in The Hague. And when
22 Mr. Bandic was interviewed by, I believe, it's "Globus" -- and I should
23 pause and say this is the same Mr. Bandic that you told us you were
24 particularly close to. You testified on direct examination about
25 Mr. Bandic at 49626:
1 "We worked in the same room and we slept under the same roof, so
2 all the information that I had access to was also available to
3 Mr. Bandic."
4 And in similar fashion, sir, I put to you, based on this
5 relationship and the roles played, all the information that Mr. Bandic
6 had was also available to you. And if you look at Exhibit P10809, on
7 page 9 of the translation, it's a section, sir:
8 "The decapitator of Kiseljak. Como brought in a dozen cut-off
9 heads of Bosniak soldiers."
10 Bandic is asked:
11 "Who are Rajic's most trusted men, those that he now shifts the
12 on to. Dominko Ilijasevic, Como
13 were real sadists and men with real criminal records. I remember that
15 and left them near a wall on the main cross roads in full view of
16 everybody. They did not escape the attention of the representatives in
17 the international community either."
18 That information was widely publicised and widely known and known
19 to you, wasn't it, sir?
20 A. No. Bandic verified this information; UNPROFOR, too. This
21 information wasn't correct. Mr. Bandic didn't discover a single case
22 that had occurred. He received information and publicised it, but it
23 hadn't been verified. Members of UNPROFOR discussed the matter for two
24 days, and they said that they didn't see anything. You should ask
25 General Filijala and General Prada. I spoke to them with respect to this
1 subject. Mr. Bandic didn't find a single piece of information. He
2 accepted someone's story, but he didn't go into the details, he didn't
3 verify this information.
4 Q. Sir, I put it to you that it was, in fact, widely reported at the
5 time and widely known at the time, and you know that full well.
6 I would like you to turn, please, to P09818, P09818, in the same
7 binder. This is an order you sent to Mr. Rajic on the 6th of November,
9 Sir, I just want to quickly point out a couple of things. This
10 is an order that you sent:
11 "1. Units from Kiseljak should urgently retreat from the area of
12 Vares ..."
13 Item 5:
14 "Do not waste time on attempting to regain the control of Vares.
15 Direct your efforts at executing the planned task in Kiseljak."
16 And I put it to you, sir, and continuing with the theme that we
17 were talking about yesterday, the reason that you told Mr. Rajic, Forget
18 about Vares, is because there was no intent and there never was any
19 intention by the HVO at this point in time to try to keep Vares. And you
20 made that point very clear twice in this order, sir, Don't worry about
21 Vares, don't go back there, don't worry about it, move on with the
22 other -- with the plan. And that's the case, wasn't it?
23 A. No. Vares fell. I wanted these units to be withdrawn, the ones
24 that arrived from Kiseljak, nothing else. And other HVO units remained
25 in the Dastansko settlement.
1 Q. If we can go back now to P10809, the interview with Mr. Bandic
2 that we were looking about -- excuse me, looking at a few moments ago,
3 P10809, page 8 of the English translation.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Petkovic, a moment ago the
5 Prosecution showed a document to you, P10809. It's an interview
6 Mr. Bandic gave for "Globus" on the 2nd of December, 2005
7 of information in the interview. We don't have time to go into
8 everything, but there is something that drew my attention. The
9 journalist asked him about the KOS
10 belonging to the KOS
11 And Bandic says that in his opinion, Tuta wasn't a KOS member, but at the
12 end of the sentence something is added. He says that there was serious
13 indicia -- significant indicia according to which Rajic was a KOS
14 collaborator under the name of Bojan Radic.
15 So what would you say about that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Such information arrived from
17 Mr. Bandic, and Mr. Bandic, even before the war, worked in Security
18 Services of Yugoslavia
19 security officer or official before the war, too. As for the information
20 he had about Rajic, I don't know whether this is correct or not, but
21 there was no official information that arrived in the Main Staff or
22 anywhere else about Rajic, about the fact that Rajic was apparently a KOS
23 employee. This is the first time he mentioned this in his interview,
24 that Rajic was a KOS
25 All the SIS documents that the Main Staff had access to didn't
1 mention that Rajic was a KOS
2 for the first time, the allegation that Rajic was a KOS collaborator.
3 And before the war, as I said, Mr. Bandic worked in the Security Services
4 of the former state.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you know nothing
6 about that.
7 Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. In the same document, sir, if we could turn to the -- I was
10 saying on page 8 of the English translation, you will find a box, if you
11 will, or part of the text which is titled "Saving a War Criminal":
12 "Susak ordered that Rajic be hidden in Croatia. Why did Rajic
13 change his name to Viktor Andric?
14 "That was Boban's order."
15 Next question:
16 "Did General Petkovic know of the change of Rajic's identity?
17 "Yes, he conveyed the order to him.
18 "How was Rajic taken away from BiH anyway?
19 "A refuge was found for him in Croatia by an order of Minister
20 Gojko Susak. They found him a job, and as I learned later, a false
21 identity was created for him.
22 "Did General Petkovic know that?
23 "He did."
24 All that is true, isn't it, sir?
25 A. As you have seen, when Rajic changed his name, he sent
1 information to the Main Staff and to myself, saying that he had changed
2 his name. That's all I knew about the change of name. As to how he
3 changed his name and why, I don't know.
4 Here we have seen a document, and it says that Rajic informed
5 this change of name to Viktor Andric. That's all.
6 Q. You know that full well, sir. You were part and parcel of that
7 entire course of events, the whole facade, the whole subterfuge of
8 Viktor Andric. You and Mr. Rajic communicated back and forth together,
9 using that name, and telling you that he had changed his name. That's
10 well known to you, sir, and I put to you what Mr. Bandic says here, in
11 this instance, at least, these four points, are entirely accurate and
12 true, aren't they?
13 A. No, I didn't know he had changed his name. He sent information
14 according to which he was changing his name. As to how this was done and
15 why, I don't know.
16 Q. All right.
17 A. There's a significant difference there.
18 Q. Sir, you've said several times that the HVO was not preparing for
19 war with the Muslims, but I put it to you, sir, that, in fact, at least
20 by the second half of 1992, they were, indeed, preparing for war with the
21 Muslims. You claim, sir -- you appear to claim that the war with the
22 Muslims began in Konjic in March or April of 1993, and I put it to you,
23 sir, quite the contrary. The war began in September/October 1992 in
24 Prozor and Novi Travnik; isn't that true?
25 A. That wasn't a war. There was situations in which there were
1 incidents - that's what we called them - and in two or three days' time
2 we gained control over the situation and these incidents no longer broke
4 Q. Well, sir, one man's incidents is another man's war, I suppose.
5 It didn't all happen and escalate overnight, but I put it to you, and you
6 know full well, that it was the views of the Croat leadership, both in
7 Herceg-Bosna and in Croatia
8 the second half of 1992 and preparations and steps were being taken to
9 prepare for exactly that war; isn't that true?
10 A. No, that's not true, not true.
11 Q. Let's look at Sanction slide 32, please. It will be on the
12 screen, and I'll read it slowly, sir, parts of it to put to you, if you
13 listen to translation.
14 Sir, some presidential transcripts, P00353, 1 August 1992
15 page 30:
16 "Tudjman: I know, but nevertheless, it has to be decided, if
17 there is no Croatian population over there, you cannot wage war in
18 another territory without declaring war. Who are you going to declare
19 war to? Izetbegovic has hardly agreed to that wording in the agreement."
20 And if I pause there, sir, far from having reached any sort of
21 agreement about this in July of 1992 or otherwise, you and the HVO and
22 the Croat leadership knew, in fact, that Mr. Izetbegovic and the BiH
23 government had not actually reached any agreement about Herceg-Bosna or
24 the HVO; isn't that true?
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd just like to ask
1 Mr. Scott to tell us what binder that's in so that we can follow the
2 document ourselves. Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT: Binder number 1 of the second set, P00353.
4 Q. Sir, and my question is pending to you. You knew -- and I'll
5 just read it to you again. Far from having reached any sort of agreement
6 about this --
7 A. I'd like to have a look at the whole document, please.
8 Q. While you're doing that, sir, I'm going to put my question to you
9 again, since we were interrupted. Far from having reached any sort of
10 agreement about this in July of 1992 or otherwise, you and the HVO and
11 the Croat leadership knew, in fact, that Mr. Izetbegovic and the BiH
12 government had not actually reached any agreement about Herceg-Bosna or
13 the HVO; isn't that true? Isn't that true, sir? --
14 A. I don't know what agreement Mr. Izetbegovic had agreed to or not,
15 because Herceg-Bosna was a political section, not a military section, and
16 I know what existed in the military section of the agreement.
17 Q. P00466 in the same binder, 11 September 1992, page 51.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I think the witness asked to be
19 able to look at the document himself.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not going to look at
21 excerpts before I can see the entire document.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] While we're looking for the
23 document, Your Honours, the document Mr. Scott showed, P353, the
24 presidential transcripts, an excerpt was read out there without us
25 knowing at all what part of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina that
1 refers to and whether it refers to Bosnia-Herzegovina at all. And
2 I think that's an important point, because it's important to understand
3 that for us to be able to understand what this excerpt that was quoted
4 refers to at all. So as has been said many times, we have to know the
5 context in which a statement was made for us to be able to comment on the
6 statement, itself.
7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, it's well established, after four
8 years, that we don't have time and we never have read long passages of
9 transcripts. There's certainly not time for that. The Chamber has --
10 the Chamber and the counsel have the page references and the full
11 transcript. I'm sure that if I misrepresent something, that Ms. Alaburic
12 or someone will correct me. I read it accurately, that's what I put to
13 the witness. I'm putting the Prosecution case to the witness, and that's
14 what I put to him.
15 Q. I direct your attention, sir, to P00466. On 11 September 1992
16 Praljak says:
17 "And war with the Muslims can be anticipated.
18 "Susak: We have been aware of that for over a week now, and we
19 made preparations on what needs to be done."
20 And I note that that's just a few weeks before Prozor at the end
21 of October 1992.
22 P00498 --
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really do have to
24 react at this point.
25 Take a look at the whole page in the Croatian, at least. It is
1 quite clear that it refers to Posavina, just like document P353. So both
2 these documents refer to the territory of Posavina
3 the transcript in front of him, and we can see what part is being
4 discussed in the three lines above that, so let's be precise. There's no
5 reason to manipulate.
6 MR. SCOTT: No one's manipulating, Your Honour. I'm confident
7 that the entire context of the conversation is much -- is broader than
8 what Ms. Alaburic has indicated. It's talking about war with the
9 Muslims, and that's the topic, and Mr. Praljak, of course, knew exactly
10 what he was talking about at the time.
11 P00498, 17 September 1992, at page 29. Mr. Prlic, it says, in a
12 meeting with Mr. Tudjman:
13 "There is still no political agreement regarding the relations
14 between the Croats and the Muslims. These relations are becoming ever
15 more tense, and certain conflicts are looming. Personally, I think it
16 will be impossible to avoid conflicts entirely."
17 17th of September, 1992.
18 P00524, 26 September 1992. I'm going to go down about halfway
19 through the article:
20 "Tudjman: We are concerned about their wishes to take over the
21 control even in those areas, Croatian areas, that the HVO has liberated
22 and where it has control.
23 "Susak --" that's at page 6:
24 "Susak: They have about 20.000 refugees in Mostar, and orders
25 come from Sarajevo
1 Capljina, in Stolac, now that Mostar, Capljina and Stolac have been
2 liberated. We will not allow that."
3 Page 18:
4 "Tudjman: We will openly tell Izetbegovic when he comes here
5 what we said in the beginning. There can be no discussion about them
6 establishing military and civilian government in areas that used to be
7 within the Croatian Banovina."
8 Sir, you know that was the state of -- that was the state of play
9 in August and September 1992, wasn't it?
10 A. No, that's not correct. In this territory, there was no
11 conflict; quite the contrary. This was the time when the Muslims were
12 joining the ranks of the HVO. So I don't know where these stories
13 originated from and who put them out.
14 Q. That's not what Mr. Susak says. One of the things Mr. Susak is
15 complaining about is that the Muslims are now forming and joining Muslim
16 brigades in Mostar, Capljina and Stolac, and Susak says, We will not
17 allow that. That doesn't seem like agreement or census to me, does it,
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, General.
20 First of all, the General said that Muslims are joining the HVO,
21 and that's a fact. Now, look at the question, look at the answer, look
22 at the following-up question. This is outrageous. This is not how
23 cross-examination should be done. I don't know what this is. This is a
24 montage where the Prosecution reads, he cherry-picks whatever he feels
25 like. It looks like a closing argument. The Bench is very passive, and
1 I'm rather shocked. I am rather shocked at this technique, after giving
2 the gentleman an hour to conduct cross-examination. This is not
3 cross-examination the likes I've ever seen in any court anywhere around
4 the world. This is improper. This is closing argument by using the
5 witness. Look at the question, look at the answer, look at the following
6 question. There's a disconnect there. And I think if Mr. Scott wishes
7 to do cross-examination, he should cross-examine. He should put his
8 case, and the gentleman can answer. But this is not a proper way, by
9 taking a montage of various, very complex presidential transcripts,
10 cherry-picking, when nobody has the time to actually look at the context
11 in which everything was said. And we're all sitting here passive,
12 waiting for the slaughter. I think this is improper.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when the Prosecutor
14 is putting to the witness an extract, a sentence which has been pulled
15 out of context, he has to give the accused -- I beg your pardon, the
16 witness enough time to locate the sentence in the text among those 15
17 binders that he has, to find the exact sentence, and to find where that
18 discussion begins and ends. And you saw the transcripts yourselves.
19 Very often it's not quite clear what they're talking about. So if the
20 witness is being put a case, Susak says this and that, then, according to
21 logics, you have to provide the witness a few minutes to find the page
22 and to see what Susak says exactly, and what was being discussed in the
23 first place; so that having done that, as a witness, he can provide his
24 opinions about it all, because this is quite unacceptable, an
25 unacceptable technique. And had we done that, I'm sure that the
1 Prosecution would have us up and the Court would have us up for contempt.
2 It's impermissible, regardless of time. If he has the time, let him
3 proceed step by step. If he hasn't, he'll have to do it another way.
4 And, anyway, he's putting his case within the Defence --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a remark.
6 Mr. Karnavas is astonished that the Chamber is not intervening.
7 As far as I'm concerned, and I think my colleagues agree with me, we are
8 listening to the questions of the Prosecutor, who, on the basis of his
9 table, is recalling that in the month of September, several people spoke,
10 General Praljak, Mr. Prlic, Tudjman, regarding the question of the
11 conflict which is looming. And Mr. Prlic, himself, announces that there
12 is a risk of a conflict breaking out.
13 P00498. The Prosecutor is showing to General Petkovic what
14 Tudjman, himself, says, saying that he will not accept the formation of
15 an authority, military and civilian, in areas which used to be part of
16 the Croatian Banovina. The Prosecutor is endeavouring, through his
17 questions, to elicit the point of view of General Petkovic on a
18 particular issue, which is the case of the Prosecutor concerning the
19 joint criminal enterprise. And in the interests of justice, it seems to
20 me important for General Petkovic to respond on the basis of the
21 documents in front of him. That is the case of the Prosecutor, and no
22 more and no less than that.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. President. If that's going to be
24 the case, then you have to give the general and the rest of us sufficient
25 time to look at all of these excerpts to see in which context, because I
1 would like to be able to object whenever something is taken out of
2 context. It is impermissible to take one line out of an entire
3 discussion and say, Based on this line from this page and this line from
4 this page, from here we can draw some conclusions. These are complex
5 discussions. The person who's being questioned certainly should have the
6 opportunity to look at in which context something was said. That's my
7 point. And since we don't have enough time, this sort of a technique is
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please continue.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. Sir, the question that was pending to you some moments ago before
12 the interruptions were: You had said you didn't know where these stories
13 came from or originated from, and put on page 17 of today's transcript.
14 I then put to you that's not what Mr. Susak says. One of the things
15 Mr. Susak is complaining about is the Muslims are now forming and joining
16 Muslim brigades in Mostar, Capljina and Stolac, and Susak says, We will
17 not allow that. That doesn't seem like agreement or consensus to me,
18 does it, sir?
19 A. Well, I'm telling you, Your Honours, that this was a time when
20 most Muslims -- when a lot of Muslims were joining the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
21 Brigades of the HVO in the Mostar area. This was also a time when you
22 saw that the Bregava Brigade, for example, was offering to come under the
23 command of the 1st Brigade so that they could carry out their assignments
24 jointly. This was also a time when, together with the BH Army, we were
25 planning and carrying out the joint operation in November. This was a
1 time when a joint operative command for defence was issued, active
2 defence, for the whole Neretva River Valley
3 Susak and the others are discussing the situation in this way. The
4 situation on the ground was not like that.
5 This was a time when at least 2 to 3.000 Muslims had already
6 joined the Croatian Defence Council and were defending positions around
7 Mostar together with us, Mostar, Stolac and Capljina, and were taking
8 part later on in operations against the Serbs, so this -- there are no
9 arguments to --
10 Q. Thank you, sir, our time is limited. I think you've given your
11 answer, as opposed to the credit of the Muslims, that they so actively
12 participated so long in the HVO.
13 But let me ask you to turn to P00479, P00479. That will be in
14 the same binder, just one or two documents previous to the one we were
15 looking at just a moment ago, P00479.
16 With these statements that I put to you in mind, sir, this is an
17 agenda prepared by the head of the Croatian Army, Mr. Bobetko, on the
18 15th of September, 1992. Mr. Bobetko says, among other things:
19 "In order to improve operative-tactical situation on the
22 An agenda. Item 1.1:
23 "Estimation of possibilities for attacks along the direction and
24 manner of securing the taken positions."
25 This is apparently assigned to you:
1 "Organised by Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic."
3 "The estimation of operative-tactical situation along the
4 directions in winter conditions of warfare to be organised by
5 Mr. Siljeg."
6 Item number 3:
7 "Basic characteristics of commanding. Authorities on Herzegovina
9 Presented by the commander of the front, and I note this
10 October -- excuse me, September of 1992:
11 "Presented by the commander of the front, Croatian Army General
13 "Because of the important of the agenda, the following civil and
14 military organs are due to attend the meeting."
15 And let's just go down the list quickly: Milivoj Petkovic,
16 Ante Jelavic, heavily involved in HVO logistics, as the Chamber has heard
17 about, Mr. Obradovic, Mr. Lasic, Mr. Akrap. Mr. Akrap was another
18 officer who was HV; isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes, he was an HV officer.
20 Q. Mr. Siljeg, chief of the Military Police Administration,
21 Mr. Coric; civilian structure, head of the Defence Department,
22 Bruno Stojic; HZ-HB Prime Minister Jadranko Prlic.
23 Virtually, sir, with a couple of exceptions, the entire cast of
24 characters, I put to you. And then Mr. Bobetko says:
25 "I will personally do my best so that Susak and Boban also attend
1 the meeting."
2 So I put to you, sir, by all indications, this was a hugely
3 important planning meeting for the HVO about four weeks before the events
4 in Prozor, wasn't it?
5 A. No, that's not correct, you're not right. This deals with the
6 southern part below Mostar. And after that, Operation Bura was being
7 prepared, and that coincides with the time when the Yugoslav Army was
8 supposed to leave the soil of the Republic of Croatia
9 nothing to do with Prozor, and don't push it into that bracket.
10 Operation Bura came out of this, and these were the first preparations to
11 move towards Nevesinje or, rather, Trebinje. And Nevesinje and Trebinje
12 are below Mostar to the south, and we have heard about that operation,
13 and these are the first intimations of it and an agreement that such an
14 operation was being prepared to push back the Serbs as far from the
15 Neretva River
16 Q. Let's go to January of 1993, sir, in the interests of time.
17 Could I ask you to look at slide -- Sanction slide number 55.
18 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I think there is a
19 problem in the transcript. On page 24, line 1, the end of Mr. Petkovic's
20 answer, I heard in original language he said, "And that has nothing to do
21 with events in Prozor." This crucial sentence, which closes his entire
22 response, is missing.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. I said that that
24 has nothing to do with Prozor. After that, preparations were underway
25 and Operation Bura was underway and the attempt to break through to
1 Nevesinje and further into Eastern Herzegovina which was held by the
3 MR. SCOTT: If I can have the assistance of the usher, please,
4 for the ELMO. Apparently these are not available in Sanction. I'm sure
5 it was probably my fault. If you could put that on the ELMO, please.
6 Q. Sir, turning briefly to January of 1993 and the events during
7 that time, you testified under oath in the Blaskic case at 24215 to 16:
8 "Yes, I wish to say that the Vance-Owen Plan was presented to us
9 in January 1993 and that it was not accepted by all three parties, so I
10 never talked to Blaskic about the Vance-Owen Plan, nor did I ever discuss
11 it with him. After all, it had not been accepted either, so I think
12 there is no point in discussing a plan that was not accepted."
13 And if we can similarly turn to what would be, I just say for the
14 record, slide 56, but we're putting it on the ELMO, you gave similar
15 testimony some months later in the Kordic case at page 26727 to 28:
16 "Your Honours, the Vance-Owen Plan to be referred to in this
17 January 1993 period is not logical, because all three parties had not
18 signed it. We cannot talk about it in January 1993. It's not a plan,
19 it's a draft plan signed by only one party. It becomes a plan when all
20 three parties sign it. So I didn't pay any attention --" excuse me.
21 "I didn't pay attention to the Vance-Owen Plan. We waited and
22 hoped that it would be signed. There was a plan, but it hadn't been
23 signed, so it is not an official document until it is signed for us or
24 for them, though we did all do our best to have it signed so that the
25 conflicts would end."
1 Now, you stand by your testimony in both the Blaskic case and the
2 Kordic case on that point, don't you?
3 A. Absolutely. It's common knowledge that all three sides did not
4 sign the plan and that the plan fell through.
5 Q. If I could ask you to turn next in the exhibits to P01344 --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, this document
7 prompts me to ask you a question which I have been thinking over
8 throughout the weekend, after seeing the video showing the formation of
9 the Republic of Herceg-Bosna. And we see that there was a meeting with
10 more than 60 people who declare the creation of the Republic of
11 Herceg-Bosna. We saw last week that you were present, and I even asked
12 you whether you had voted, and you said, no, you hadn't voted.
13 According to the video and according to the transcript of the
14 video, this meeting lasted quite a long time, and the creation of the
15 Republic of Herceg-Bosna appears to have been the logical follow-up of
16 the Vance-Owen Plan because several participants intervened and mentioned
17 the issue.
18 And now I see this page 26727 from the Kordic testimony, in which
19 you appear to say that since the plan was not signed by all the parties,
20 the conclusion could perhaps be drawn that there was no interest in this
21 plan; maybe, I don't know. But how would you reconcile your statement
22 which we have here in front of us with the creation of the Republic of
23 Herceg-Bosna, which seems to have been the fruit of the Vance-Owen Plan?
24 How can you reconcile the two?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it wasn't the fruit
1 of the Vance-Owen Plan. In June, the Serbs refused to sign the
2 Vance-Owen Plan. I think it was on the 6th of June, in actual fact, when
3 the Assembly of the Republika Srpska rejected Karadzic's signature in
5 plan, the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan appeared, and a union of the three
6 republics in Bosnia-Herzegovina [Realtime transcript read in error
7 "Herceg-Bosna"] was mentioned there, and on the basis of that, the
8 Croatian Republic
9 there was the provisional formation of the Republic of Bosna
10 done by the Muslim representatives. They held that for several days. I
11 don't know why they gave up on that.
12 So Herceg-Bosna came into being as an agreement on a union made
13 up of three republics, so that was the new plan when the Vance-Owen Plan
14 fell through. A new plan was created, the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, as it
15 was called, which speaks of Bosnia-Herzegovina as the union of three
16 republics. And it's interesting to note that at that same time in
18 was called. And that's what happened at that time in Grude, when the
19 political representatives of the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, led by
20 this plan, proclaimed the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a correction to the
22 transcript. On page 26, line 18, it says "Herceg-Bosna," and it should
23 say "Bosnia-Herzegovina," because the general spoke about that and said
24 that according to the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, three republics should be
25 formed in Bosnia and Herzegovina; one Serb, one Muslim, and one Croatian.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what the plan was,
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer, but
4 you said something that I discovered just now. You said in
6 proclaimed. If my understanding is correct, that means that
7 Mr. Izetbegovic makes a follow-up to the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan by
8 declaring the Republic of Bosna
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the Muslim side, at the time the
10 Republic of Bosna
11 this agreement that they reached they annulled that act. And you were
12 able to see that, I think, through a Prlic witness who spoke about that
13 in this courtroom.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: Were you
15 aware of the Cutileiro Plan and of the Lisbon Declaration? In fact,
16 there was three. Did you follow all this closely?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did know about the
18 Cutileiro Plan, and he spoke about three constituent peoples and three
19 constituent units, and it was a condition for people to go to a
20 referendum in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to build up a Bosnia-Herzegovina of
21 that kind, with the three constituent peoples and three constituent
22 units. And Mr. Izetbegovic, when he -- when Bosnia-Herzegovina was
23 proclaimed independent, he gave up on the idea and did not want to refer
24 to what Cutileiro's plan offered anymore, and it was a condition for the
25 referendum. And if the referendum was successful, that
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina should be proclaimed independent.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your answers show
3 that you are familiar with the subject.
4 Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. Well, indeed, sir. Based on that familiarity, you will also
7 recall that Mr. Karnavas played you a video, an interview with Mr. Prlic,
8 and Mr. Prlic at that point said -- was discussing the negotiations and
9 peace plans, and Mr. Prlic said to the effect, Talk is talk, negotiations
10 are negotiations, there's no agreement until there is an agreement, and,
11 in fact, until it actually, after some time, amounts to something. And
12 Mr. Karnavas asked if you agreed with Mr. Prlic's assessment, and you
13 said that you did, didn't you?
14 A. Yes, a complete agreement is when all three sides have signed it,
15 but all three sides did not sign it. But it's another matter that the
16 Muslim representatives -- or, rather, the Bosniak representatives changed
17 their minds after a certain amount of time.
18 Q. Again, sir, that may be the case, and we don't have to debate
19 that. But assuming for the moment that's the case, that's the nature of
20 negotiations, isn't it? There's no deal until there is a deal. And it
21 may be frustrating to one party or another, but until there is a final
22 agreement, there is no agreement, and you know full well that that was
23 frequently the case. And one of the interviewed you gave back at the
24 time, I believe it was in January of 1994, perhaps, you talked about
25 that. And you said there were so many cease-fires and so many agreements
1 that over time they were essentially worthless. And I think you said
2 something to the effect of, I would wait to at least five days after any
3 cease-fire was signed to see if it actually amounted to anything. Do you
4 remember saying things like that?
5 A. Yes, I did say something to that effect. But this agreement on
6 three republics started off, and we don't know why the Bosniak side
7 stopped short.
8 Q. Well, again, I think we could discuss that and I could help you
9 with that, but we don't have time to go into the details. The bottom
10 line, sir, is just like Vance-Owen, Owen-Stoltenberg was never agreed, it
11 was never a plan. It was just like everything else, as Mr. Prlic said,
12 Talk is talk, negotiations are negotiations. Owen-Stoltenberg was never
13 signed, and there was no agreement until finally the Washington Agreement
14 at the end of February 1994, or March; correct?
15 A. Yes, but there were indications and instructions that we should
16 start working on it, and no one called in question Bosnia-Herzegovina by
17 so doing.
18 Q. Well, let's turn, please, to P01344, which we started to go to,
19 I think, some moments ago, P01344. This is an order from you, dated the
20 29th of January, 1993, and I want to direct your attention, in
21 particular, to item number 3, an order to Mr. Siljeg:
22 "3. Point out to the other side that you have given instructions
23 for a list to be made of Muslim refugees from Gornji Vakuf municipality
24 in the Republic of Croatia
25 as possible. Quote this as my order and really do charge someone from
1 the civilian structure with obtaining a list."
2 And then if we go to -- keep that in mind, and one might want to
3 keep a finger on that, and turn to P01354, which is the very next
4 document, so it should be fairly easy, P01354. Mr. Siljeg responds on
5 the same day, or implements -- goes forward on the same day, 29 January
6 1993, to HVO Gornji Vakuf. The president:
7 "Instructions for further work. Urgently try to draw up a list
8 of Muslims from Vakuf who are in the Republic of Croatia
9 "We need this in order to so inform the Muslim delegation in our
10 negotiations with them and to threaten them that they will be returned to
11 Gornji Vakuf."
12 Sir, you and Mr. Siljeg agreed on a plan -- a more -- more
13 accurately. You order that a course of action to threaten the Muslims in
14 Gornji Vakuf in January 1993, that if they didn't do what you wanted them
15 to do, steps would be taken to round up any Muslim refugees that were
16 then in the Republic of Croatia
18 A. No, it wasn't like that. They said that the refugees had left
19 because of the fighting, and we said we'd make a list to see when each
20 person had left Gornji Vakuf, that it wasn't due to the fighting, but
21 that there were people who had fled in 1992 and before that, ever since
22 June onwards. Nobody had threatened them.
23 MR. SCOTT: Sir, Mr. Siljeg makes it very clear. Mr. Siljeg
24 makes it very clear ... [overlapping speakers]
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, Mr. Scott, just a
1 second, please. I think it will be useful for all of us for the General
2 to tell us -- "They said." Tell us, General, who were "they" so we know
3 who we're talking about. Who wanted this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Representatives of the Muslims --
5 MR. SCOTT: It's not for counsel to put questions during my
6 cross-examination. Pardon me. If she wants to come back in redirect,
7 she can. I'm conducting the examination at this point, Counsel.
8 Q. It's quite clear -- Mr. Siljeg is quite clear, sir, in response
9 to your order to threaten them, "threaten them, they will be returned to
10 Gornji Vakuf," that's what it says, and that is what you intended, wasn't
12 A. No, that is not the gist of what I had said. They had tried to
13 accuse us that the war and the conflict in Gornji Vakuf -- that is, the
14 Muslim representatives at the negotiations claimed that this was due to
15 the fact that a certain number of people had fled to Croatia, and I said
16 we'd make a list to see how many had left and when they had gone to
18 Q. Let's turn to Exhibit P01092, P01092 in the same binder.
19 Also in January 1993, sir, this is a communication from the same
20 Mr. Siljeg, dated the 10th of January, 1993. Mr. Siljeg says, in the
21 first paragraph:
22 "In recent days we have been confronted with a larger number of
23 requests by persons of Muslim nationality from Livno to leave the HVO and
24 join the Army of BiH ..."
25 Going to the second paragraph:
1 "Proposal: to allow the departure from HZ-HB territories, but
2 not outside the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 returning of weaponry and equipment which was issued to them by the HVO,
4 and take their families with them -- take their families with them and
5 not to return afterwards."
6 In other words, leave Herceg-Bosna, take your families with you,
7 and don't come back. And you responded to Mr. Siljeg in Exhibit P11212,
8 in the second -- it's the second binder, Your Honour. I guess it's in a
9 different binder from what we were just using. P11212.
10 On the 14th of January, sir, 1993, you respond to Mr. Siljeg's
11 proposal, and you say:
12 "I agree with your suggestion, and you should state it as bluntly
13 as possible."
14 You endorsed the plan, Tell the Muslims, yes, they can leave the
15 HVO if they wish, as long as they take their families, leave
16 Herceg-Bosna, and don't come back; that's what you agreed -- that's what
17 you endorsed, isn't it?
18 A. No, you're interpreting this quite wrongly. If you wish, I can
20 Neither did the Muslims leave Livno, nor did they go anyway.
21 There was no ABiH army in Livno. The closest ABiH was 50 kilometres from
22 Livno. The SDA is blackmailing the HVO --
23 Q. It doesn't matter if it was 50 kilometres away, and you're not
24 answering the question. You're doing -- you're misdirecting. The
25 question had nothing to do with where the local HVO unit was located.
1 Mr. Siljeg says quite clearly, The Muslims are leaving the HVO and want
2 to join the ABiH. I don't care if they want to join them in Livno, or
3 Tomislavgrad, or Ruda [sic] -- or Grude, or anywhere else. Mr. Siljeg
4 states a proposition, he proposes a course of action to you, and you
5 endorsed it, Yeah, let them go, in fact, tell them very bluntly, do go,
6 take your families with you, get out of Herceg-Bosna, and don't come
7 back. That's what you agreed to, isn't it? Not "agreed." You ordered
9 A. No.
10 Q. That's what the documents indicate, sir.
11 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I suggest that the witness should be
12 given an opportunity to answer. When you see the question, he must be
13 given the opportunity to fully respond, and he was responding to the
14 question. It is another thing that the Prosecutor doesn't like this
16 MR. SCOTT: Well, that's simply not true, Your Honour. I'm
17 following the same rules that we followed for the last four years, and
18 it's counsel that apparently doesn't like the evidence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
20 Mr. Kovacic, I believe that General Petkovic has answered. He
21 said that in Livno, there was no problem. Therefore, he answered.
22 General Petkovic, the document that is being -- the two documents
23 that you are being shown, there is the proposal by Colonel Siljeg and
24 your reply, and these are inculpatory documents. No one can deny that.
25 As they are presented by the Prosecutor, Colonel Siljeg is asking you --
1 or, rather, proposing to you that Muslims should hand over their weapons
2 and that their families should leave the area. And you -- this seems to
3 be agreeable to you, and you even add that this should be stated to the
4 Muslims in the least courteous possible manner.
5 When one sees these two documents, one could draw the conclusion
6 from them that the departure of Muslim families is satisfactory to you.
7 What is your comment to this?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are talking about
9 the SDA party from Livno, which tried to blackmail the HVO by saying that
10 the Muslims would leave Livno and join the ABiH. No one prevented them
11 from going, but the closest unit is 50 kilometres away. So Siljeg put
12 the question, Fine, you will go 50 kilometres away, who's going to defend
13 your families, who will you hand over your weapons to, the weapons you
14 received from the HVO? Secondly, You cannot leave the territory of BiH
15 and flee to Croatia
16 that is, the Muslims who were in command positions at certain levels in
17 the HVO in Livno municipality, and the actual position was that the
18 Muslims in Livno wanted to form a battalion consisting exclusively of
19 Muslims, and that was the trigger. But the SDA reacted in a different
20 way. It started blackmailing. And Siljeg responded, If that is what you
21 want, if you want to leave Livno, it's a territorial unit, their families
22 are there, their property is there. And when this was made evident to
23 them and when the army soldiers said they didn't want to go anywhere, but
24 that they wanted to have a Muslim battalion, and the problem was resolved
25 within 10 days, and within the Petar Kresimir Brigade all the Muslims who
1 wanted to joined to form a battalion, this battalion was given its own
2 zone of responsibility. It had full logistic support from the brigade.
3 And this battalion, consisting of 350 men, I remember well, with the
4 assistance of the HVO, grew to almost 500 men, and that was the problem.
5 The SDA either didn't have the courage or didn't know how to act and say
6 clearly, Let us have our own battalion in Livno. This was not a problem.
7 In 10 days' time, the brigade commander formed this -- resolved the
8 problem and a Muslim battalion was formed. And it was part of the
9 brigade, it was given its assignment, and the problem was signed.
10 No one left Livno, nor did they go anywhere. That there were
11 fervent discussions and upon the insistence of the SDA and not the Muslim
12 soldiers who were constantly putting pressure to bear on Siljeg and the
13 others. That is how the problem in Livno was resolved. Whether Siljeg
14 acted forcefully, why not? You're going to Jablanica to defend other
15 people's homes. Who's going to defend your homes here? And when the
16 Muslims in the HVA said, We want to have our own battalion, we don't want
17 to go anywhere else, the problem was resolved in 10 days, because that
18 was the time needed for the Muslims to rally from the whole brigade to
19 form their battalion and to go to the north-west of Livno, where there
20 was a front-line. And that is how, in Livno, a battalion consisting
21 exclusively of Muslims who wanted to join were formed.
22 No one left in January, nor later, but the correspondence was
23 very forceful, because the position taken was not a sincere one from the
24 beginning. We want to have our own battalion, and that's it. Once that
25 proposal was made, the problem was resolved in 10 days.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your reply is very
2 clear. You're saying that the problem was resolved within 10 days, and
3 no Muslim family left Livno because there was a Muslim battalion formed.
5 Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Let's go to April of 1993, sir, and I'll ask you to look at
8 Exhibit P01798, P01798. It's a loose document. I am told, Your Honours,
9 that it might, at least in the Judges' binders - I'm not sure about
10 counsel's - it may have been stuck in the front of binder number 3, but
11 it's P01798.
12 The witness might need some assistance, Mr. Usher, yes. Thank
13 you, thank you very much.
14 It's a document the Chamber -- the courtroom has seen a number of
15 times. These are the records -- these are the minutes of a meeting of
16 the HVO HZ-HB on the 3rd of April, 1993. In it, sir, there is discussion
17 of the existence of a joint statement that had been prepared, that
18 Mr. Boban had signed, but Mr. Izetbegovic had not signed. And if you'll
19 orient yourself to the document by finding -- there's a list of six
20 items. Do you see that, sir, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6? Sir?
21 A. Yes, I'm trying to find it and to read it.
22 Q. Can you find after -- can you assist us, please, by just telling
23 us, have you found where number 6 is?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, below item 6 there is this language:
1 "The HVO HZ-HB hopes that because of the enormous importance of
2 the statement, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic will sign this document because it
3 is yet further evidence of a desire for peace, which everybody wants."
4 Next paragraph:
5 "At this meeting, the HVO HZ-HB adopted the position that if the
6 aforementioned statement is not signed by the leaders of the Muslim
7 delegation in Provinces 3, 8 and 10, then the basic premise of the peace
8 plan, which states that all ethnic armed forces have to withdraw to their
9 domicile provinces should apply, and then following."
10 The next paragraph says, in fact -- stay on it a moment longer:
11 "If the joint statement is not implemented, the appropriate
12 military and other authorities of the HVO HZ-HB shall implement this
14 That's the state of play, sir, at the beginning of April 1993.
15 Now, you've told us, in the course of your testimony, that you
16 didn't know anything about an ultimatum or a decision by the HVO
17 government requesting or requiring that certain -- that the ABiH do
18 certain things by the 15th of April, 1993. That's been your position,
19 hasn't it?
20 A. Yes, my position is still the same, and I don't see where it says
21 that someone should withdraw from Provinces 3, 8 and 10. You haven't
22 read that out properly.
23 Q. Well, sir, the Chamber has the document. We've looked at it, as
24 you know, many times in this courtroom, and I'm sure we'll have time to
25 visit it again.
1 But you said you weren't aware of this and had no involvement in
2 it. I put it to you, sir, that it was widely reported at the time, as it
3 was widely in the regional media. The Chamber has seen a number of media
4 articles before, which we don't have time to go into, but for the record,
5 P01808, P09519, P10675. It was widely reported, sir, that this -- that
6 HVO had issued this decision and that there was a dead-line by the 15th
7 of April.
8 Now, with that in mind, I'd like you next to turn to P1 -- excuse
9 me, P01791.
10 A. Just a moment, please. Let us see what the obligations are given
11 in this document. There are certain obligations.
12 Q. If you will, please, sir, to Exhibit P10791. It's in binder
13 number 2 of the two-binder set -- excuse me, binder 1 -- my apologies.
14 Binder 1 of the two-binder set. There are two. P01791.
15 This is a communication from you, dated the 2nd of April, 1993
16 the day before the HVO meeting. And you write to Mr. Bozo Rajic, and you
17 say in your reply, item number 1:
18 "The HVO Main Staff accepts the suggestion of a joint meeting,
19 but only after Mr. Boban and Mr. Izetbegovic sign a joint statement
20 drafted in Zagreb
21 Number 2:
22 "The signing of a joint statement completely rounds off the
23 preliminary conditions for final and permanent solution for the relations
24 between the HVO and ABiH.
25 "3. Since we are expecting the signing of a joint statement
1 within the next 10 days, our stance is that the meeting should be
3 "Milivoj Petkovic."
4 Sir, you knew full well what the state of play was, you knew that
5 this was this outstanding matter of a joint statement that
6 Mr. Izetbegovic had not signed and never did sign. And you were
7 completely clued in to events and what was happening at the time and what
8 was about to happen, weren't you?
9 A. Yes, I expected the statement to be signed, and that is why I
10 said, We're waiting for the statement to be signed. And then I and
11 Halilovic and Mr. Bozo Rajic would be working on the basis of that
12 statement. I don't say anything else in that document. Therefore, this
13 statement on the 27th of March was discussed in Zagreb between
14 Izetbegovic and Boban, and the Main Staff and the ABiH were waiting what
15 would happen with this joint statement, and nothing more than that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, like everyone
17 else, I've read the document, and I must convey to you the question in my
19 You are writing to the minister of defence of the Republic of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that the Main Staff will not come to the
21 meeting until the agreement has been signed by Boban and Izetbegovic.
22 And when I see what you wrote, I ask myself a question in relation to
23 what you said. You said that the military is under the authority of the
24 civilian, and through this document we see that, in reality, there is a
25 confusion of roles. You say, I will not come unless it is signed, but
1 isn't it up to Mr. Boban to say, either to Mr. Prlic or to Mr. Stojic,
2 but not to you, who is only the Chief of Staff of the military? Why did
3 you write that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Bozo Rajic, the
5 minister of defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was preparing
6 a meeting between me and Mr. Halilovic. In the meantime, it was reported
7 that a joint statement was being prepared by Mr. Boban and
8 Mr. Izetbegovic, and I am informing Mr. Rajic that we should wait for
9 that joint statement which we expected would be signed both by
10 Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban, and then I and Mr. Halilovic can work on
11 the implementation of that joint statement; nothing more. Therefore, I'm
12 not refusing. I'm communicating with the minister of defence of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Rajic, and I'm asking him to wait
14 until the statement has been signed by Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban,
15 because we were informed that it was expected that the joint statement
16 would be signed. And then Mr. Rajic and Mr. Halilovic and myself would
17 meet to see what we should do after the signing of the statement. I am
18 not refusing anything. I'm just informing the defence minister.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you're
20 somebody who is very well informed and who is familiar with a broad scope
21 of subjects very well. You were trained by the JNA, and you are familiar
22 with the chain of command. And I'm astonished, because a defence
23 minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to organise a meeting which has
24 a political and military significance. At that point, why don't you ask
25 permission from your minister of defence as to the steps to be taken
1 that -- or Mr. Boban, whereas you're taking upon yourself the making of a
2 decision not to participate until the agreement has been signed? That is
3 what is astonishing me with respect to the functioning of the military of
4 the HVO, unless one may believe that your powers were quite considerable.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we're talking about
6 the defence minister of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina who is
7 communicating with me and with the Chief of Staff of the ABiH. So
8 Mr. Rajic is the defence minister of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 and he is scheduling a meeting with me and Mr. Halilovic. He's entitled
10 to do this, as defence minister. And I, too, am entitled to communicate
11 with the defence minister of the -- of BH, and he was officially the
12 defence minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I'm informing him that on
13 the 27th of March, a joint statement had been drafted in Zagreb, and that
14 we're expecting it to be signed. And then, in point 2, we will finally
15 settle relationships between the HVO and the ABiH. I didn't know that
16 Mr. Izetbegovic would not sign.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could we please ask counsel to
18 wait between the questions and answers. From the introduction, we can
19 see that this is a proposal from the Chief of Staff of the ABiH, and
20 perhaps the preamble explains the level of the communication.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have answered
22 my question.
23 We're approaching the time for the break, Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if I could have one follow-up question
25 to your question, and then I think it would be time for a break and we
1 can move to another topic.
2 Q. Just on this very point, sir, talking about Mr. -- excuse me,
3 Rajic, you told us repeatedly, and you were quite clear in your testimony
4 so far, the person who you described, in fact, in the Kordic case, as "my
5 minister," "my minister," who was higher than you, who was your superior,
6 who was more powerful than you, you said under oath, in the Kordic case,
7 your minister, defence minister, was Mr. Stojic, and your supreme
8 commander was Mr. Boban; correct?
9 A. Yes, but at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina the defence
10 minister was Mr. Rajic, and we respected him as defence minister of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Bozo Rajic was defence minister of the
12 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he had greater authority than
13 Bruno Stojic.
14 Q. Well, I don't know. That's not -- not in Herceg-Bosna, sir, not
15 in Herceg-Bosna he didn't, and you know that, surely, although we can
16 agree. And it may help to remind the Chamber that, of course,
17 Mr. Bozo Rajic was a Croat, a member of the Bosnia government at that
19 Sir, you reported on two instructions from Mr. Stojic and
20 Mr. Boban, as you've told us repeatedly under oath; correct?
21 A. Mr. Stojic and Mr. Boban were at the HVO level. Bozo Rajic was
22 at the level of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And, as such, he
23 issued orders to both me and Halilovic. He even issued an order to
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
1 Q. What we're looking at, sir, now, is not an order. It was a
2 request, a request, in fact, which you declined. You made it very clear,
3 I decline. That's not in response to an order. That's a response to
4 someone's invitation or request, sir, isn't it?
5 A. I'm replying to the gentleman and giving him a proposal.
6 Mr. Rajic could say, No, you must come to the meeting. And when
7 Mr. Rajic learned that the joint statement was dated the 27th of March,
8 then he also waited.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't refuse anywhere.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
12 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume.
15 Before I give Mr. Stojic the floor, who has a few things he would
16 like to say, I will read out an oral decision on the Stojic and Petkovic
17 requests and on the Prosecution request to have additional time for the
18 cross-examination of Witness Pero Nikolic.
19 The Witness Pero Nikolic, called by the Coric Defence, was
20 initially to appear as a viva voce witness, whose examination-in-chief
21 was to last for two hours. This witness will be now appearing pursuant
22 to Rule 92 ter of the Rules of the 25th of March, 2010. The Coric
23 Defence has informed the Chamber and the parties of its intention to
24 conduct an examination-in-chief for the duration of 30 minutes.
25 In a motion filed on the 1st of February, 2010, the Prosecution
1 requested two hours for the cross-examination of this witness. The Coric
2 Defence, as well as the Praljak Defence, responded to this request, after
3 which the Prosecution filed a response.
4 In a motion dated the 3rd of February, 2010, the Petkovic Defence
5 asked for 20 minutes for the cross-examination of the witness. The Coric
6 Defence responded to this request, and the Petkovic Defence then filed a
7 response upon leave having been granted by the Chamber.
8 In a motion dated the 5th of February, 2010, the Stojic Defence
9 filed a request for 18 minutes for the cross-examination of the witness
10 and asked that the additional time that might be allocated to it by the
11 Chamber be deducted from the total amount of time it has been granted by
12 the Chamber. The Coric Defence responded to the motion.
13 Having examined the 65 ter summary and the 92 ter statement that
14 concerns Pero Nikolic's testimony, as well as after having examined the
15 parties' submissions, it is the Chamber's opinion that the Prosecution
16 request is disproportionate, and believes that one hour should be
17 sufficient for the Prosecution to cross-examine the witness in question.
18 With regard to the requests for additional time filed by the
19 Stojic and Petkovic Defence teams, the Chamber is of the opinion that 20
20 minutes for each Defence team should be sufficient for the
21 cross-examination of the witness.
22 The Chamber also takes note of the Stojic Defence request to have
23 the additional time deducted from the total amount of time granted to it,
24 and that will be six minutes. The Prlic Defence, Praljak Defence, and
25 Pusic Defence have not filed any particular requests, and they will have
1 36 minutes that they should divide amongst themselves in order to conduct
2 their cross-examination, if any.
3 That is the oral decision concerning Witness Pero Nikolic.
4 Mr. Stojic.
5 THE ACCUSED STOJIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
6 Very briefly, I would like to inform you of the fact that I've
7 become a grandfather. I'm very happy today, and I wanted to share this
8 good news with everyone in the courtroom. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stojic, we've just found
10 out about that, and we wish you all the best for the newborn child and
11 for the child's family.
12 We will now continue.
13 Yes, Mr. Stojic.
14 THE ACCUSED STOJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 That's all.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Sir, moving to Mostar around the 8th, 9th, and 10th of May, 1993,
19 as I understand your testimony, sir, you've told this Chamber, under
20 oath, that you were in Split the entire -- that entire period -- well,
21 strike that. Not the entire period, but on the 8th and 9th, until later
22 being called and coming to Mostar, that you were in Split; is that
24 A. I went to Split
25 received information, Mr. Stojic and I returned from our trip to
1 Tomislavgrad, we returned to Mostar. It was at 1.00 or 1.30 in the
2 morning. That's when I arrived in Mostar on that day, on the 9th of May.
3 Q. When did you go to Split
4 guess we now know, just to be clear. So you've just said you returned
5 from Split
6 or 1.30. I'm not sure now, to be honest. In the morning or the
7 afternoon of the 9th? You just said, sir, at least -- excuse me, excuse
8 me, Mr. Petkovic, I apologise. Let me try to assist both of us.
9 If the transcript is correct, it says that it was at 1.00 or 1.30
10 in the morning that you returned to Mostar, is that correct, or in the
12 A. No, in the afternoon, between 1.00 and 1.30. So it was in the
13 afternoon on the 9th of May. That's when I arrived in Mostar. I arrived
14 at the Main Staff.
15 Q. And when had you gone to Split
16 A. I went on the 7th.
17 Q. And it's your testimony that between the time that you arrived in
18 Split on the 7th and the time that you returned to Mostar on
19 approximately -- at approximately 1.00 or 1.30 in the afternoon on the
20 9th, that you were not in Mostar?
21 A. No, I wasn't in Mostar. I arrived in Mostar for the first time
22 between 1.00 and 1.30.
23 Q. Would you look, please --
24 A. So eight hours after the beginning of the fighting, no, I wasn't
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Would you look, please, at P11179, which will be
2 in the -- 11179. It will be binder number 2 of the second binder set,
3 binder number 2. P11179.
4 Sir, this is a BBC
5 members of the Herceg-Bosna HVO authorities with a delegation from, at
6 that time, European Community. P11 -- three 1s, P11179, of a meeting,
8 And if I can direct your attention to the first paragraph of the
9 article, and the source of this, it's BBC, but it's reporting, if you
10 look toward the bottom of the page, for those who might be interested,
11 the actual source of the information is Croatian Radio Zagreb at 1500
12 Greenwich Mean Time on the 8th of May, 1993.
13 According to this document, sir, this report, that the
14 representatives of the HVO and the Herceg-Bosna that met with the
15 European Community delegation included Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, and
16 Mr. Petkovic, and an adviser to Mr. Boban, Pogarcic, on the 8th of May in
18 Sir, contrary to what you've told us so far under oath, you were
19 in Mostar on the 8th of May, 1993, weren't you? --
20 A. No. No, Your Honours, that's not correct. You've heard the
21 testimony of Mr. Beese. I wasn't at a meeting in Mostar on the 8th of
22 May, when there were three ambassadors present. I know about that. I
23 heard about that later. This is a report from a journalist who wasn't
24 familiar with the situation. Mr. Beese has testified here. He mentioned
25 the people who attended the meeting. I didn't.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I'd
2 like to comment on this document and draw your attention to the fact that
3 this BBC
4 1993. That's what it says. It refers to sources of the 8th of May. I
5 will correct line 5. It was broadcast on the 10th of May -- yes, it's
6 been corrected. It refers to a source of the 8th of May. And then it's
7 not clear, what the day refers to. "Today," this day, is it the day
8 which it's broadcast or some other day? I think that this has to be
9 clarified before we ask the witness where he was on that day.
10 This isn't a matter of providing arguments. We're clarifying
11 certain things. And, Mr. Scott, if you have two different dates, then we
12 have to know what "today" means, which date is concerned. Did the BBC
13 talk about what happened "today," on the 10th, or did they have the 8th
14 of May in mind, in fact?
15 MR. SCOTT: With great respect to my good friend Ms. Alaburic,
16 the article is clear, and I said this a few moments ago, but I realise
17 there's a lot going on in the courtroom. It is a BBC article dated the
19 If you go to the bottom of the text, which frequently happens,
20 one news service picks up a story from another news service source.
21 Croatian Radio Zagreb
22 the Croatian Radio reporter says:
23 "Slavko Ratko -- a report by Slavko Ratko from Herzegovina
24 president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, received
25 in Mostar today ..."
1 Now, Your Honours, I put it to you and I put it to the witness --
2 or I suggest to you and I put it to the witness that it's quite clear
3 that the reference is to the 8th of May, 1993.
4 Q. And you were at that meeting, weren't you, sir?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Mr. Scott, I'll
6 perhaps try and make a modest contribution.
7 As far as I can remember, I believe that this was a protected
8 witness, so I cannot mention the witness's name. But as far as I can
9 remember, one of the three ambassadors referred to told us that he went
10 to Mostar. It would be necessary to check the transcript, because he
11 mentioned the day on which he arrived. I don't remember that he said
12 that he arrived on the 8th of May, so we should check to see what the
13 ambassadors say -- we should check to see what the ambassador said,
14 because he participated in the meeting, attended the meeting, according
15 to the BBC
16 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. And, sir, I want to remind you that in this courtroom, under
19 oath, Mr. Slobodan Bozic, the deputy minister of defence, Mr. Stojic's
20 deputy, testified on the 3rd of February, 2009, transcript page 36267:
21 "Q. Let's go back to the 8th of May, the preceding day of 1993.
22 Do you recall where you were the day before the events of 9th of May?
23 "A. Yes, I can remember that very well. In proofing for my
24 testimony, I refreshed my memories. Of course, some dates needed no
25 refreshing. On the day of the 8th of May, European Trojka diplomas,
1 ambassadors of the presiding country of the EU, the previous holder of
2 the Presidency and the next in line to take over the Presidency of the
3 EU, came to Mostar, to Mr. Boban's office at the rector's office.
4 Together with Mr. Boban, there was Mr. Prlic, Pogarcic, Mr. Stojic,
5 General Petkovic, and myself. There was an afternoon meeting."
6 Sir, a Defence witness in this case, who came into this courtroom
7 and took an oath and told these Judges, said that you were at the meeting
8 on the 8th of May, and you were, weren't you? --
9 A. No, I wasn't at that meeting. You heard Mr. Beese's testimony
10 here, and he mentioned the names of all those who attended the meeting.
11 I didn't attend the meeting that was held on the 8th in Mostar. We can
12 also check Mr. Beese's testimony. I think Mr. Beese testified here and
13 mentioned the names of those who attended the meeting.
14 Q. Well, I'm sure that will be done, sir.
15 You also then testified that you and Mr. Stojic were scheduled to
16 meet with Mr. Siljeg on the 9th or 10th of May; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, on the 9th of May.
18 Q. In Tomislavgrad?
19 A. In Rama. Yes, it's the Tomislavgrad Military District. We were
20 to go to Rama to see Siljeg.
21 Q. And is it your testimony that you did, in fact, go to -- not
22 necessarily, perhaps not on the 9th, but around that time, that you did,
23 in fact, go with Mr. Stojic to visit Mr. Siljeg?
24 A. Yes, Mr. Stojic and I went to see Mr. Siljeg, and we then
25 received information about 9.30 or 10.00 on Mr. Stojic's mobile phone
1 according to which there was a conflict in Mostar. We then turned
2 around, returned to Mostar, and arrived about 1.00 or 1.30.
3 Q. And did you go to see Mr. Siljeg then sometime after that? Was
4 the meeting essentially, if you will, rescheduled a day or two later?
5 A. I can't remember going to see Mr. Siljeg later because of the
6 situation in Mostar. I went -- had negotiations with Halilovic and
7 UNPROFOR. That went on for a few days, and as a result we didn't visit
8 Mr. Siljeg.
9 Q. You see, sir, if you turn to -- if you'll now turn to
10 Exhibit P02166, P02166, the first binder of this two-binder set, the last
11 document in from the first binder, P02166.
12 This is a diary of Mr. Siljeg, and if I can ask you to turn to
13 the entries in his diary for the 8th and 9th of May, 1993. In the
14 English version, it will be at page -- the 7th of May starts on the
15 eighth -- excuse me, page 8. But you can find it by day, sir, in
16 chronological order. If you turn to the 7th of May, 1993, and
17 thereafter, I put it to you, sir, the Prosecution has reviewed these
18 notes quite extensively, and I put to you that there is no record --
19 there is no indication in Mr. Siljeg's detailed notes of any planned
20 meeting or actual meeting with you or Mr. Stojic on the 7th, 8th, or 9th
21 of May, 1993.
22 A. That's right, because we didn't reach him. Ten kilometres before
23 arriving, we returned, because we were provided with information
24 according to which the situation had become difficult in Mostar, and we
25 returned. So Siljeg can't say that we saw him. We didn't. We needed
1 another 40 minutes -- we would have needed another 40 minutes to reach
3 Q. Sir, you'll see, and anyone in the courtroom can see by leafing
4 through these various pages, Mr. Siljeg was a copious or detailed
5 record-keeper, day by day. And I put it to you, sir, that if your
6 minister of defence and your Chief of the Main Staff is coming to meet
7 you, that's something that's quite noteworthy and would be in your agenda
8 or your daily record. And there is nothing about any such meeting with
9 you and Mr. Stojic around this time, scheduled or planned; isn't that
11 A. I don't know what he wrote down. It's for him to decide, how to
12 write his journal, what to put in his journal. I can't influence that.
13 It's not an official document. He doesn't have a duty to make such
14 entries. We went to see him, but we didn't reach him. The meeting with
15 Siljeg didn't take place. I don't know how much time passed before
16 someone met with him.
17 Q. Sir, was it -- was it part of the plan? Was there some sort of a
18 discussion of some cover-up or plausible deniability, some might call it,
19 that all the Herceg-Bosna and HVO authorities, the governmental
20 authorities and the military authorities, you and Mr. Stojic and
21 Mr. Prlic, and seemingly about everyone else, just either happened to be
22 out of Mostar on the 9th of May, 1993, or at least claim to have been
23 outside -- away from Mostar on the 9th of May? Is that something that
24 there was discussion about beforehand?
25 A. No. It was a Sunday. On Sunday, in Mostar, there was no one,
1 apart from those who were on duty, and Mr. Siljeg -- well, four or five
2 days before, we'd worked in an area that bordered with his area, Konjic
3 and Jablanica, and Mr. Siljeg asked us to visit him to see what we had
4 been doing with Halilovic in the area of Konjic and Jablanica.
5 Similarly --
6 Q. Again, sir, you've gone -- taken off and started talking on a
7 completely irrelevant matter. I didn't ask you about any conversations
8 you had with Mr. Siljeg four or five days before about that, in that
9 respect. What I put to you, sir: Was there a discussion or are you
10 telling this Chamber that it was just coincidence that on this extremely
11 important day, the 9th of May, 1993, it appears that all the Herceg-Bosna
12 HVO leadership claims -- either was or claimed to be out of Mostar at the
14 A. Your Honours, on Friday evening, on Saturday and Sunday, no one
15 stayed in Mostar, apart from those who were on duty. People would leave
16 Mostar and go their various ways. The governmental officials would go
17 home, and in the Main Staff you just had two or three people who
18 remained. People just went home, and that was what happened after
19 working hours. And every Saturday and Sunday, that's what was done.
20 Q. Let's stay on the topic of the 8th, 9th, 10th of May, 1993.
21 There's been considerable testimony about the --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, having
23 followed the questions -- or while following the questions and answers, I
24 was going through Colonel Siljeg's notes. I had a look at the
25 handwriting. Apparently, it's the same handwriting, so it should be him,
1 it should be this person. I don't know how the Prosecution obtained
2 this. Either it's from the archives or Colonel Siljeg was interviewed by
3 the OTP and he, himself, provided these notes, but that's not my problem.
4 I see that on the 6th of May, there was a meeting in Mostar. He
5 wrote this down. The 6th of May, that's three days prior to the 9th of
6 May. The 9th of May was a Sunday, the 8th of May a Saturday, the 7th of
7 May a Friday, the 6th of May a Thursday; and, in fact, it does say
8 "Thursday" here. So on this basis, I tell myself that if there's a plan,
9 there has to be a trace of that plan. I can see two, four, six, eight
10 items listed here, eight points. You can see A, B, C. If you want to
11 have a look at the page, the page is 0402-1375, 0402-1419 in the English
12 version. There's a request for two companies. There's the request for
13 prisoners, communications, a tank. The military police has to obey
14 orders. They have to establish the army in Jablanica. And then you have
15 the Posusje Brigade. Well, when I see this, I can't see the traces of a
16 plan. I can't see anything that refers to a plan of any kind.
17 General Petkovic, have you seen this document?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, no, I haven't. This
19 is Colonel Siljeg's notebook. On the 6th of May, he attended a meeting
20 in Mostar. He mentioned certain problems, and we promised that we would
21 go to Rama, where he was, and discuss each and every problem that he was
22 facing. He made a list of his problems and of the subjects that we would
23 have to discuss, and that was the purpose to go to see Colonel Siljeg on
24 the 9th and to speak to him, and to try and solve his problems. But we
25 didn't spend much time in Rama.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, let's go to
2 the heart of the matter.
3 If the Prosecution allegation is correct that on the 9th of May
4 the HVO attacked the ABiH, I would like to know whether, in military
5 terms, on Thursday, when Siljeg was there, and he mentioned the meeting,
6 would one have technically evoked the plan and the minutiae of the
7 operations of the 9th of May? That's what I would like to know.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was no plan.
9 Colonel Siljeg has just noted problems he is concerned with, things to do
10 with the situation in his area. He's asking for 70 men, the Knez Domagoj
11 Brigade to go to Klis. He wants the engineers to come to Prozor, and so
12 on and so forth. These are things that he is requesting. He's
13 requesting the Knez Domagoj Brigade that is to the south of Mostar, and
14 if he is doing that, then there is no plans for Mostar or for anything
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The meeting in Mostar, who
17 attended the meeting, in your opinion, apart from Siljeg? Who could have
18 attended it on the 6th of May? Because in the notebook it doesn't say.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just myself. Colonel Siljeg came
20 to have a meeting with me, and he mentioned his problems, because I
21 hadn't seen Colonel Siljeg for a long time. I can't remember now, but
22 perhaps we had no contact for 20 days. I was travelling through
23 Central Bosnia
24 representatives, and two days earlier we were perhaps 30 kilometres from
25 Siljeg, when we were visiting the Konjic-Jablanica area. But we did not
1 meet Colonel Siljeg. We didn't call him to the meeting that was attended
2 by Halilovic and myself.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you have mentioned something
4 that I was unaware of. You are saying that on -- you are saying that
5 this meeting took place with you on the 6th of May, that the points
6 mentioned were referred to -- were discussed at this meeting, but you
7 didn't ask him for assistance for an operation on the 9th of May?
8 Otherwise, there would be a written reference to this?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you can see that he
10 is asking for some men from the Knez Domagoj Brigade. It's a unit that
11 belongs to the Mostar Operative Zone. You can see that it says 70 men
12 from Capljina, from the Knez Domagoj Brigade, to go to Klis. They are
13 men going to Siljeg. They're not coming from Siljeg's area to Mostar.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I would like to add two questions on
16 the 9th of May.
17 The first is: I seem to have understood, but I would like you to
18 clarify, that on the 6th of May, you made an appointment to visit
19 Mr. Siljeg, and did you make an appointment to meet him on a certain day,
20 which would be the 9th of May?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, on the 9th of
22 May, because on the 10th of May, Halilovic and myself were to continue
23 with our work in the Konjic-Jablanica area, and I think that it was on
24 the 11th or 12th that we were supposed to promote a joint command in
25 Mostar for this southern area. That's how it was.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, thank you. Now, you were on your way to
2 that meeting, and you decided otherwise. Did you inform Mr. Siljeg that
3 you would not meet him?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Siljeg was called from Mostar
5 when we returned. We called him in the afternoon, said that we wouldn't
6 be visiting him.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You say "we called him." I don't think that you
8 were more than one person on the phone, or how do I have to understand
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say "we," I'm thinking of
11 the Main Staff. They sent Siljeg information stating that the general
12 had returned, that he was in Mostar, and that he wouldn't be visiting
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. So you had someone in your staff call
15 him. Do you know who that was?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't really know,
17 Judge Trechsel. The person who was manning the telephone was given the
18 task of informing Siljeg that we had returned from our journey to Prozor
19 and that we were in Mostar because of the situation that was taking place
20 in the town of Mostar
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That's all. I'm satisfied. Thank
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Sir, we were about to turn a few minutes ago to Exhibit P02019,
25 P02019, which is in the first binder of the two-binder set that we've
1 been working with today, the first binder.
2 And while we're looking for that, sir, let me just set the scene,
3 so to speak.
4 There's been considerable evidence in the case about the
5 whereabouts of Mr. Pasalic, the head of the ABiH 4th Corps, around the
6 7th, 8th, 9th of May, 1993. And I think you will recall that on that --
7 around that time, for a time he was isolated at a SpaBat base outside
8 of -- some distance from Mostar. You recall that?
9 A. No, he wasn't isolated at the time. Mr. Pasalic and Mr. Siber,
10 as well as Mr. Filipovic, after Halilovic and I stayed in the
11 Jablanica-Konjic area, Mr. Pasalic and Mr. Filipovic, on the 8th, in the
12 afternoon, set out towards Mostar.
13 Q. Yes, sir. And in the course of those events, he was subsequently
14 isolated at a base, out of communication. HVO forces arrived and
15 prevented Mr. Pasalic from leaving and, in fact, threatened to arrest
16 him, except the Spanish Battalion commander would not allow that. You
17 recall that, don't you?
18 A. No, I don't recall that. I don't remember where they blocked him
19 and when and how the HVO forces knew that Pasalic was in Dracevo. If
20 they didn't know, you heard Filipovic say that they weren't able to leave
21 and go out anywhere.
22 Q. Exactly, sir, exactly. They were isolated. They were not able
23 to communicate, they were not able to leave. And for the rest of it,
24 we'll leave it for the Judges to recall and review the evidence,
25 including the Spanish Battalion reports on these events.
1 But if you look, sir, at P02019, isn't it the case, sir, that
2 just a few days before this event happened, in fact, you had threatened
3 to arrest Mr. Pasalic, and by doing so, to paralyse the 4th Corps of the
4 ABiH by taking its commander out of pocket?
5 A. This is a meeting of the 21st of April in Vitez, and it has
6 nothing to do with the 9th of May in Mostar, Mr. Prosecutor.
7 Q. Well, so you say, sir, so you say. But let's look at what you
8 said, let's look at what you said. In the English version of the
9 report -- this is a report from, excuse me, Mr. Blaskic to, among others,
10 Mr. Kordic and Mr. Kostroman to the chief of Military Intelligence,
11 et cetera, dated the 21st of April, 1993. And there's a series of --
12 there's notes of the meeting. The first intervention -- the first
13 comment is attributed to Mr. Thebault. Then there's Petkovic, then
14 there's Blaskic, then there's Halilovic, and then there's Petkovic again.
15 And it's the second Petkovic intervention that I want to focus on.
16 At that time -- at that time, sir, you say:
17 "I have no benefit from this piece of paper, the statement signed
18 the previous evening."
19 And I put it to you, sir, that takes us back to our topic earlier
20 today about the often worthless value of so-called cease-fires:
21 "I can see that this is a war, and, gentlemen, if you want a war,
22 we will make sure that you get it. But you must realise that then there
23 will be no Bosnian state and that you will not be able to cross the
24 Kiseljak-Busovaca-Travnik road.
25 "All we soldiers know, that troops do not move without orders
1 from a commander ..."
2 Et cetera.
3 English version:
4 "So I don't want to waste time with you, but remember that now
5 I'm going to Mostar, and if you continue to attack the HVO, I will arrest
6 Arif Pasalic and paralyse your 4th Corps, and you know I can easily do
8 And, sir, that's exactly what you did two weeks later, isn't it,
9 you and the HVO?
10 A. No, we did not arrest Pasalic. Pasalic was taken by the Spanish
11 Battalion of UNPROFOR and nobody could arrest him, so don't ascribe to us
12 what the Spanish Battalion did quite improperly. And I'm saying this
13 within the context of the arrest of Zivko Totic and my commander, Varisic
14 [phoen], so two commanders.
15 Q. And again you are taking us off subject, and you know it, because
16 as soon as you want to go on something, you want to go on and talk about
17 something else. I'm talking about Mr. Pasalic. And you know the
18 evidence in this case, you were sitting in this courtroom, you've seen
19 the Spanish Battalion reports, you've heard the evidence. Mr. Pasalic at
20 the time was bottled up -- what some might say. He was bottled up in a
21 Spanish Battalion camp, there were HV units outside that camp that would
22 not allow him to leave. An HVO officer appeared at the Spanish Battalion
23 camp, trying to arrest Mr. Pasalic, and the Spanish commander wouldn't do
24 that. Now, he wasn't physically, at that point, put under arrest, but he
25 was isolated, sir. He couldn't go anywhere. He was being held
1 incommunicado, and you know that, don't you, sir?
2 A. What I know is they could leave him in Mostar, which they did not
3 do, so let them answer why they did not --
4 Q. I'm asking you the questions ... [Overlapping speakers]
5 A. It is very important.
6 Q. No, it's not, sir. It doesn't matter what they could have done.
7 It's what happened on the ground. And you know that he was at Dracevo,
8 being bottled up by the HVO, and you know that. Don't tell me what
9 somebody else could have done on another day, someplace else. He was
10 sitting at the SpaBat base in Dracevo, bottled up by HVO forces that
11 wouldn't allow him to leave and, in fact, tried to arrest him. And
12 that's the simple truth of the matter, isn't it?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And in fact, sir --
15 A. No, it's not true.
16 Q. The HVO, also around this time-period, arrested Mr. Pasalic's
17 wife; correct?
18 MR. KOVACIC: I think that --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not true.
20 MR. KOVACIC: -- tried to provide a response when the Prosecution
21 is putting something to the witness. If you check the transcript, my
22 dear colleague first put one fact in front of the witness, then another
23 fact, and now he's going on a third fact, and the witness still didn't --
24 still didn't got the opportunity to say at least, No. Nothing was
25 allowed to him.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Kovacic. Did you look at
2 page 61, lines 13, 15? I'm not going to cross-examine you, but what I
3 read there is, "No," and then again, "No, it's not true." So I find it
4 difficult to understand why you say that he did not even have the chance
5 to say, No.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
7 MR. KOVACIC: The witness started with: "No, and ..." He wanted
8 to add, I don't know, maybe two words, maybe five words, maybe two
9 sentences. But the Prosecutor didn't give him the opportunity.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, you told us that the witness did
11 not even have the chance to say, No. Well, that was not correct, I'm
13 MR. KOVACIC: Okay, this, No, was not ... [Overlapping speakers]
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Let's go on, Mr. Scott.
15 MR. KOVACIC: ... if I may say so.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. By this time, or at least by the time we get to December of 1993,
19 the HVO was holding Mr. Pasalic's wife also, weren't they?
20 A. No, that's not correct. Pasalic's wife lived in a flat on the
21 west bank, and from the 30th of June, Mr. Pasalic lived on the east bank,
22 and that's the whole truth of it.
23 Q. Well, let's look at Exhibit P07028. It's in the second binder of
24 the two-binder set, P07028. This is a document from Rasim Delic on the
25 4th of December, 1993: Attention, 4th Corps Command:
1 "Major General Milivoj Petkovic, deputy commander of the HVO,
2 gave guarantees that he will release Arif Pasalic's wife and hand her
3 over to UNPROFOR Spanish Battalion in Medjugorje, which is supposed to
4 transport her to Jablanica.
5 "This assignment should be carried out in the next two or three
6 days ..."
7 And directing your attention to the end of that paragraph:
8 "For the purpose of carrying out this assignment, commission
9 representatives shall make contact with Mr. Berko Pusic and monitor the
10 completion of the assignment."
11 You gave a guarantee to Mr. Delic or his representative, at some
12 point in late November or early December of 1993, that you would release
13 Mr. Pasalic's wife, didn't you?
14 A. Mr. Delic talked to me about the problem of Mr. Pasalic's wife,
15 who was living on the right bank, and I said I would do anything in my
16 power for Mrs. Pasalic, if she so desires, could meet with Pasalic, her
17 husband, wherever she wants. And Delic said that the best thing would be
18 for the Spanish Battalion to be involved, and he was involved, and to
19 inform the MUP where the lady was, in what flat. And with the help of
20 the Spanish Battalion, as Delic asked, she was transferred to Jablanica,
21 and that's the truth of the whole situation about Mrs. Pasalic. She
22 wasn't imprisoned. She was living in a flat in West Mostar, and she was
23 found two or three hours later -- they reached her two or three hours
24 later, and she accepted the offices of the Spanish Battalion and left for
25 Jablanica, because that's what Mr. Delic had requested. Nothing more
1 than that, that's all. So those were my services.
2 Q. Let's go on to the subject of the camps briefly. Just a couple
3 of questions there.
4 Sir, you testified at transcript page 49578. You were making
5 reference to a conversation allegedly with Mr. Boban, and you gave this
7 "He --"
8 And I put it to you, sir, the record will clearly reflect it was
9 Mr. Boban:
10 "He said that the HVO had facilities that can put up this number
11 of men, and that it was up to the army to disarm these men in the safest
12 manner, and everybody else was somebody -- oh, sorry. Everything else
13 was for somebody else to take care of."
14 And this was all in reference to the arrest of the Muslim men,
15 starting in early July 1993. You said:
16 "Everything else -- after disarming them, everything else was for
17 somebody else to take care of."
18 I'd like you to tell the Judges, who was the "somebody else,"
19 because someone has to take responsibility for the detaining and
20 detention and holding of these thousands of Muslim men, so who was it, if
21 it's not you?
22 A. No, it wasn't me, and the Main Staff had nothing to do with that.
23 The Main Staff --
24 Q. Who was? My question is very clear: Who was?
25 A. A decree provided for the fact that the Defence Centre should --
1 Defence Department should deal with centres of that kind. And you saw
2 that we had detainees and that they were held in military investigative
3 prisons, and they were places where both prisoners were held and
4 detainees and --
5 Q. So you're saying, sir, that the responsibility for these detained
6 and imprisoned Muslim men was with Mr. Stojic?
7 A. What I'm saying is that it was the Defence Department. Now, who
8 Mr. Stojic was dealing with, that's -- that was up to him. The HVO had
9 military investigative centres and a central prison and others which, in
10 1992, prisoners and detainees -- prisoners of the Serb army and detainees
11 and members of the HVO were being held.
12 Q. Well, that's quite correct, sir, and I think it's worthwhile for
13 the courtroom to remember that. Holding the Muslims in 1993 was not the
14 first time that the HVO had held prisoners, because you were holding
15 Serbs in 1992 at many of these same camps; correct?
16 A. Yes, we were at war with the Serbs, and there were prisoners of
17 war, and they kept in military investigative prisons, not camps of any
18 kind. They were military investigative prisons that existed in the
19 Mostar-Capljina-Ljubuski area, and so on.
20 Q. Do you recall, sir, that even in 1992, various international
21 agencies and reporters, including Mr. Mazowiecki, reported abuses and
22 mistreatment in connection with the HVO's holding of the Serbs in 1992?
23 A. As far as my information goes, and as far as I was able to learn,
24 I don't think there was any abuse or mistreatment of those prisoners,
25 whether they be Serbs or anybody else; and that they were regularly
1 exchanged on the basis of negotiations and talks, and that the exchanges
2 took place, I think it was, in October of 1992.
3 Q. Let's go back to July of 1993. So you've told us that it was
4 Mr. Stojic's Defence Department that was responsible. What steps did you
5 take -- as the head of the HVO and, in fact, the head of the military
6 detaining authorities, what steps did you take to assure yourself that
7 these men, arrested under your authority, were being properly treated,
8 properly housed in proper conditions, properly classified, as required by
9 the Geneva Conventions, and properly treated? What steps did you take to
10 ensure yourself that that was going on?
11 A. Well, steps like that were not prescribed under the
12 responsibility of the Croatian Defence Council. The HVO would hand over
13 soldiers taken prisoner at places prescribed and where they should be
14 handed over, and further proceedings did not come under the HVO's
16 Q. So your answer is, sir, that to your knowledge, that wasn't done?
17 Certainly, you didn't do it, and, to your knowledge, nobody did it?
18 A. Well, I wouldn't say that they didn't do that. You can follow
19 the situation from October. The areas were toured and visited, and
20 solutions were looked into --
21 Q. No, sir. No, sir. I'm talking about July 1993, sir. And you
22 were the head -- you were still at that moment the head of the HVO. You
23 had responsibility, under International Law to take steps to ensure that
24 these men, arrested under your authority, were then housed and treated
25 properly. And I want you to tell these Judges, under oath, what due
1 diligence you exercised to make sure that that was the case in July 1993.
2 I'm not talking about October. I want you to talk to these Judges about
3 July 1993 and what specific steps you took.
4 A. I'm speaking quite specifically. My remit and authority was only
5 to hand over the detainees and isolated to the centres. I had no
6 authority under any provisions to do anything more.
7 Q. So I take it your answer to my question is: You didn't do
8 anything, correct?
9 A. It didn't come under my responsibility, and I didn't interfere in
10 the affairs of others.
11 Q. Let's go to the topic of forced labour of many of these men after
12 they were being held.
13 You were on notice throughout this period that people being held
14 by the HVO were being used for forced labour and were being injured and
15 sometimes even killed in the course of forced labour? You were aware of
16 that, weren't you?
17 A. I knew about the labour, but I had no information telling me that
18 somebody had been killed. No information like that reached the
19 Main Staff of the HVO from those who were in charge of the detention
21 MR. SCOTT: I inform Mr. Petkovic and the Chamber and all those
22 in the courtroom that we're now going to be working out of a binder that
23 is titled "Tables - Forced Labour and Military Discipline and Justice."
24 Q. Sir, if we can start, please, as everyone is orienting themselves
25 to that binder. If we can start, please, by looking at 1D02447. It will
1 probably be the last part of that first divider. There's some green
2 dividers in the binder as well, but this should be the last document
3 prior to one of the green dividers.
4 Sir, this document is -- represents or memorialises the
5 agreements of various of the parties to the recognition and application
6 of the Geneva
7 signature page, you will see that that is signed -- apologies. Let me
8 back up to the first page first.
9 On the first page, there is a list of names, and it says that for
10 the president of the Croatian Democratic Community, it says:
11 "Representative, Mr. Miljenko Brkic, president," and his representative
12 being Mr. Sito Coric. And is it correct that that's the brother of the
13 Mr. Coric that is one of the accused in this case?
14 A. That's what it says in the document. Otherwise, I didn't know
15 about the meeting. Well, I don't see when it was held, I don't see a
17 Q. If you look at the last page, on the signature page, I believe
18 that you'll see it was held and signed on the 22nd of May, 1992.
19 But, sir, you were aware then -- you said you didn't know that
20 the prisoners were being killed, but you -- that prisoners had been
21 killed, excuse me, but that forced labour was going on, and at least some
22 had been injured, to your knowledge, hadn't they?
23 A. I don't remember a single report. I'm not saying that there
24 weren't people who had been wounded, but I don't remember any report
25 addressed to me saying that something like that had happened from the
1 detention centres. I said I don't recall.
2 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P02950 in that same binder, the one we're now
3 working in, P02950. This is a report from the ICRC, dated the 25th of
4 June, 1993, addressed to Mr. Blaskic, but also copied to you, sir. We
5 see in the c.c.'s Mr. Boban, Mr. Prlic, Mr. Petkovic and others. And
6 it's reported to you, sir, and the others copied:
7 "The ICRC is preoccupied by the ongoing practice of detaining
8 authorities according to which prisoners are regularly being sent for
9 work to areas exposed to the danger of fightings. This has again led to
10 the wounding and death of prisoners held in detention places under HVO
12 Skipping a paragraph:
13 "Such a practice is a serious break --" perhaps "breach of the
15 You received that report, didn't you?
16 A. I don't remember this, and this is a report for Central Bosnia.
17 Q. I don't care where it's for. You --
18 A. May I look at the whole document so that I could look it up in
19 the binder?
20 MR. SCOTT: I'll ask for the usher's assistance.
21 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
22 apologise, but while we're looking for the document, I wanted to deal
23 with this during the break with Mr. Scott, because there's obviously a
24 mistake. I don't know whether there was a mistake in the translation,
25 too. But, anyway, in the previous document, 1D02447, mention is made of
1 somebody called Sito Coric, and it's obviously not Mr. Valentin Coric.
2 And on page 68 of the transcript, in lines 10, 11, it says -- the
3 question was:
4 "Is that Mr. Coric who is one of the accused in this case?"
5 Obviously, it's somebody different, so maybe Mr. Scott made a
6 mistake, and we could correct the transcript to avoid any
7 misunderstanding later on.
8 MR. SCOTT: If I misspoke, I apologise, but perhaps, with
9 apologies, it was just not heard correctly. I believe I said, Do I
10 understand correctly that that's the brother of Mr. Valentin Coric.
11 I think that's what was proper, and if it wasn't on the record, that's
12 certainly what I thought I said and intended to say, but not
13 Mr. Valentin Coric. I never -- I had no intention to indicate that it
14 was Mr. -- this Mr. Coric, but his brother.
15 Q. Sir, you've had a chance to look at P02950. I would like you now
16 to go to P07 --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Just to get this clear --
18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, sir.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This is of no relevance for us at all, whether
20 it's a brother, a cousin, or someone completely unrelated.
21 MR. SCOTT: Only a point of curiosity, perhaps, Your Honour.
22 Q. Sir, if you can look at P07660, a report to you, sir, dated the
23 24th of January, 1994, you and Mr. Jukic and Mr. Pogarcic and Mr. Prlic,
24 in which it is indicated, again:
25 "Sir, it is with great concern that the ICRC has learned that
1 prisoners are again being used for work on the front-line."
2 Now, do you remember that report, sir?
3 A. What date is this?
4 Q. The 24th of January, 1994.
5 A. Yes, because I'm seeing the translation as being the 11th or
6 November. Well, I can assume that this was sent to these addressees.
7 Q. If you will go, please, sir, to -- well, before we get to that,
8 as I understand your testimony, sir, you don't deny that with your
9 knowledge, forced labour of Muslim -- detained and held Muslims was
10 taking place, that the HVO was using detained Muslims, whether they be
11 prisoners, detainees, people that were not at liberty, were using
12 those -- the HVO was using those people for forced labour. I understand
13 that you are not denying that; is that the case?
14 A. No, detainees were taken out for labour. I'm not denying that.
15 Q. I want to be clear, because I maybe wasn't clear what you were
16 saying a few days ago. Were you saying that it was only detained Muslim
17 members of the HVO who were being sent for forced labour at the
18 front-line or that any and all detained or imprisoned or held Muslims of
19 any sort, so to speak, were being also sent to perform forced labour at
20 and around the front-line?
21 A. According to what I have reviewed, and seen the documents here,
22 the word used is "detainees," and these are soldiers of the HVO. That is
23 what is stated on the documents allowing those people to be used for
24 labour. We've looked at I don't know how many documents, and everywhere,
25 as far as I can remember, it says "detainees."
1 Q. Let's look, for example, at Exhibit P04020.
2 There is a -- I should have said, Your Honours, and because we're
3 trying to move -- at least I'm trying to move quickly, there is also a
4 table attached to or that accompanies this set of documents which is a --
5 has 20 -- excuse me, has 32 items entitled "Forced Labour," and
6 obviously, it goes without saying, we don't have time to go through each
7 one of them.
8 I've just referred you to P04020, which is in the table, just by
9 way of reference, at table line 9. Sir, this was an order of yours on
10 the 8th of August, 1993, in which you specifically authorised the use --
11 and I'm looking at item number 1:
12 "Fortify the achieved lines immediately. Prisoners and detained
13 Muslims may be used for fortifying lines."
14 Now, sir, that seems to suggest to me that Muslims of any sort,
15 essentially, prisoners or detained Muslims, were being used and sent to
16 the front-lines to engage in forced labour, weren't they?
17 A. It depends on what was done in the detention centre, which
18 category the people belonged to. What is important is what was done in
19 the detention centres and which were the people who were separated for
20 work, for labour.
21 Q. And what steps did you take to ensure that the proper procedures
22 were followed?
23 A. When checking these things, we can see that these were people who
24 were detained. And, secondly, these people were 15 or 20 kilometres away
25 from the closest line of fire.
1 Q. I ask the same question, sir: What steps did you take to ensure
2 yourself that these prisoners were being treated properly and that any
3 particular group of prisoners were going or not going? Because here you
4 were very clear. You talked about two different groups, prisoners and
5 detained Muslims. As far as you were concerned, they could both go and
6 fortify -- fortify the achieved lines, couldn't they?
7 A. Yes, but in the detention centre the people would be selected,
8 and when I looked at the list, these were all people who enjoyed the
9 status of detainees.
10 Q. And, sir, I'm going to put it to you -- to remind you of your
11 testimony in the Kordic case.
12 If we could have slide 30, please. At page -- transcript
13 page 26774-75, the same document was put to you:
14 "A. Your Honours, yes, I signed the order. This was in response
15 to the work of Croats in Neretva River Valley
16 digging fortifications on front-lines as prisoners ... this was my
17 response to what was happening on the other side."
18 So you were saying, sir, that, well, because the other -- at
19 least according to you or according to this statement, because the other
20 side was doing it, you were going to do it too; is that correct?
21 A. There were such instances, and unfortunately such things happened
22 too. When one side saw the other side doing something, then they also
23 would do the same. And I stand by what I said about these things.
24 Q. Well, you know full well, sir, and you knew then because of your
25 JNA training, and you certainly know after sitting in this courtroom for
1 almost four years, tu quoque is not a defence by any means. Now, whether
2 I agree -- whether we agree for the moment whether the Muslims were doing
3 it or not, taking it for the moment that they were arguendo, that
4 provided you no legal justification or justification at all for engaging
5 in that practice, did it?
6 A. It need not be, nor must they do what we were doing.
7 Q. Isn't it the case, sir, that detained ABiH members, people --
8 ABiH -- Muslim ABiH members who had been held -- were being held by the
9 HVO were being sent to engage in forced labour at the front-lines, and
10 not just detained Muslim members of the HVO?
11 A. I'm not saying that there weren't any such instances, but the
12 absolute majority of those people were members of that brigade or the
13 adjoining brigade, people who used to be in the HVO.
14 Q. Well, you might not recall the specifics, sir, and that would be
15 understandable, but I would indicate to you and to the courtroom that in
16 Exhibit P10206 and P09200, which are under seal, and I'm not going to
17 refer to any of the specific information, but the statements of ABiH
18 members, admitted in this case, who were sent to perform forced labour on
19 the front-lines, you wouldn't disagree with that, would you, that that
21 A. I was saying that there may have occasionally been such
22 instances, and I don't know how they stated that they were members of the
23 ABiH, because many who were in the HVO made statements saying that they
24 were members of the ABiH; whereas, in fact, their real status was that
25 they were members of the HVO.
1 Q. The real problem -- or part of the real problem here, sir, is
2 that, contrary to the requirements of International Law, the HVO had not
3 classified the various held persons properly, whether they were civilian
4 detainees, prisoners of war, held HVO members. That just simply hadn't
5 taken place. And, in fact, you're in no position, are you, sir, to give
6 this Chamber any assurances which of the Muslims being held were sent for
7 forced labour because they had never been classified, and you know that,
8 don't you?
9 A. The classification had started, but every member of the HVO
10 stated, himself, that he was a member, so it was possible to establish
11 with precision that he was a member of the HVO, because, after all, it
12 was in most cases former members of the HVO that were being looked for.
13 Q. "Being looked for." What do you mean?
14 A. I said that people who were looked for to work were, in the vast
15 majority of cases, members of the HVO. I'm not denying that there may
16 have been some others, but I will not confirm it either. In any way, it
17 was the people who had been in the HVO.
18 Q. Excuse me. You've told us several times now in the last hour,
19 under oath -- my apologies, Judge Prandler. Sorry.
20 Sir, you've told us several times in the last hour, under oath,
21 that once these men were arrested and disarmed, you turned them over and
22 washed your hands of them and had nothing to do with it; rightly or
23 wrongly, you had nothing more to do with them. So how can you turn
24 around and tell this Chamber and assure this Chamber of which prisoners
25 actually went out and whether they were properly classified or not? You
1 were either involved in it, sir, or you weren't. And you either took
2 responsibility and did what's required under International Law or you
4 A. No, I wasn't involved. But according to all the documents we've
5 reviewed, one can see that they were exclusively detained members of the
7 Q. So you're saying the documents you've reviewed in preparing to
8 testify; that's what you're telling us? Is that what we're to
9 understand? It's not what you knew at the time, but it's the defence
10 that you've prepared now?
11 A. I knew a part of the facts from the people who were looking for
12 their soldiers. The people I had contact with, they were all looking for
13 their soldiers, and everything else I saw from the documentation. They
14 were those who had the status of detained soldiers of the HVO.
15 Q. After your 14th of October, 1993 order, which we've seen in the
16 courtroom, in which you prohibited -- asserted to prohibit the continued
17 use of forced labour except with your approval, the reality is, sir --
18 the plain reality is that practice continued in a widespread and
19 systematic manner, and you knew about it, didn't you?
20 A. No, I didn't know about it. I sent an order, and every person in
21 charge of detention should have observed it. And we saw that in the
22 testimony of one of them, he violated my order and he gave soldiers to
23 the 3rd Brigade. According to him, this was within the compound of the
25 Q. Well, let's look very quickly, please, in the table at what -- at
1 lines 20, 21, 22, and 23, which, for the record, are respectively P07878,
2 P05882, P08043, and P05895. All documents after your 14th October order,
3 all plainly indicating the continued use of Muslims in forced labour;
4 correct? Correct, sir?
5 A. Yes, these data show that there were such instances, and we also
6 saw the documents for each specific case.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, I note two statements of yours on
8 pages 74 and 75. And as they give the impression of a contradiction
9 which you had perhaps not intended to make, I would like to give you the
10 opportunity to set this right.
11 On page 74, lines 19 and following, especially 19 to 22, you
13 "Many who were in the HVO made statements saying that they were
14 members of the ABiH."
15 And on the following page, 75, line 7 and following, I read:
16 "Every member of the HVO stated, himself, that he was a member,
17 so it was possible to establish with precision that he was a member of
18 the HVO."
19 Now, it seems to me that that's not the same, because first you
20 said that many members of the HVO said that they weren't members and
21 wrongly stated that they were members of the ABiH; whereas in the second
22 statement you seem to say that if someone said he was a member of the
23 HVO, he could be trusted, that would be true.
24 Can you clarify us on that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there must have been
1 an error. I said that members of the HVO said that they were members of
2 the HVO. They never said that they were members of the army. So who was
3 in the HVO, in his statement there he claimed to have been a member of
4 the HVO, and he said which brigade he had been a member of. Maybe
5 there's a misinterpretation. So not a single member of the HVO did not
6 say that he was a member of the army, but, rather, he said he was a
7 member of the HVO, even indicating the brigade he belonged to.
8 I don't know what the other point was.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, first you had said that there --
10 occasionally they stated that they were members of the ABiH, because many
11 who were in the HVO made statements saying that they were members of the
12 ABiH. And that, of course, is not the same. But you would then withdraw
13 this first statement, or -- if I understand you correctly.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were not members of the --
15 sorry, of the army. They stressed that they were members of the HVO, and
16 they indicated which brigade they belonged to and when they joined the
17 HVO. So these people, themselves, said that they were members of the
18 HVO, which brigade they belonged to, and when they had joined the HVO.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, as always, of course, I'm in the
21 Chamber's hands, but I'm about to start the last topic and it might be
22 just as well to take -- if it's acceptable, to take the break now and
23 then come back.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But just a question
25 before we have the break.
1 I was looking at all the documents regarding labour that are in
2 the Prosecutor's binder, and one document -- and I'll give you the
3 reference, P042, P042 [as interpreted]. Please look at this document for
4 a particular reason. It's an order, and it's addressed to the
5 operational zone. But what drew my attention to it was that you say it
6 is necessary to fortify the lines and that prisoners and Muslim detainees
7 should be used for the fortification of the lines. So we understand what
8 you're saying, but you add -- and this is rather important because it may
9 be a point of dispute with Mr. Coric, you add the following, and I read:
10 "Ask permission from the military police (who are in charge of
11 the use of prisoners)."
12 When I saw this phrase, I asked myself, What does this mean? Did
13 you have the legal capacity to say that such and such prisoners would go
14 to such and such place for labour, or you did not have such competence,
15 and who did have that capacity was only the military police? What text
16 are you relying on when you say this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document was
18 drafted by Mr. Zarko Tole. I signed it. And he felt that these centres,
19 especially Heliodrom, are within the competence of the military police,
20 and that is what he said, that the military police should be addressed.
21 And I signed such a document without, to be quite frank, looking closely
22 at what it said in the first item. But a request may be made by anyone,
23 but the warden of the detention centre is the one who may say, You do not
24 have the right to do this, and that's the end of story.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now the
1 responsibility is being sent to the director of the prison, or the
3 Let me take a case, a particular case. You need three soldiers,
4 prisoners, for cleaning the road. Do you have the ability to take them
5 from the Heliodrom to have them clean the road or do you have to have
6 permission from the military police and permission from the director of
7 the prison?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Requests were mainly addressed to
9 the prison warden. In this specific case, I don't know what the
10 procedure was, but all requests were addressed directly to the prison
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 My last question: If here the warden had said, No, could you
14 have over-stepped his decision or not?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. If he refuses to give the
16 prisoners, then you couldn't take them. Whoever was refused, he came
17 back without the requested number of soldiers. And there were such cases
18 when the warden, especially respecting my order, for a few days after my
19 order he would refuse all such requests as a matter of course.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What you have said
21 is in the transcript.
22 Yes, Mr. Scott, you wish to make a follow-up question or shall we
23 have the break?
24 MR. SCOTT: We can have the break, Your Honour.
25 But just before the break, I just want to do correct -- make a
1 transcript correction. The document that Your Honour has been referring
2 to for the past few minutes was recorded on page 79, line 1, as "P042."
3 It should obviously be P04020. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right.
5 Let's have the break now.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume.
9 Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Mr. Petkovic, before we go forward, I did come back and see a
12 couple of things that I wanted to touch on, on forced labour, before we
13 go forward.
14 Could I ask you, please, to look at P05308, which again will be
15 in the same binder that we've been working in this morning or most
16 recently, P05308, about halfway through that first section before the
17 first green -- before the first green divider.
18 While you're doing that, sir: This is a report from the ICRC,
19 dated the 23rd of September, 1993, and it appears to be, sir, directly
20 addressed to you about forced labour. You recall receiving this report?
21 A. Could you scroll up a bit, please? No, could I see the other
22 page to see to whom it was addressed?
23 Q. In the English version, for these purposes, I think you'll see
24 your name at the bottom left-hand side of the document.
25 Sir, I'd like to save some time. My question to you is just
1 simply: Do you recall receiving that report, dated the 23rd of
2 September, 1993?
3 A. It's difficult to say whether I received it or not, but here it
4 says that it was addressed to me. But I can't say whether I received it
5 or not, but as far as I can see it is addressed to me.
6 Q. And similarly, sir, if we could turn to P05967, it should be
7 fairly close by, P05967, this is a further report dated the 20th of
8 October, 1993, and I again put it to you, sir, that under the
9 signature -- information, it is again addressed to you, isn't it? It's
10 addressed to you, isn't it, sir?
11 A. Yes, I can see --
12 Q. And you recall receiving this document --
13 A. -- that it's addressed to me.
14 Q. And do you recall receiving this report, dated the 20th of
15 October, 1993?
16 A. It's difficult to remember whether I received the document or not
17 because you don't have a stamp on the document that shows that it was
18 received in the Main Staff. The reports sent by international
19 representatives were quite numerous.
20 Q. Can you agree with me, sir, that while you may not specifically
21 recall receiving these particular documents, it's likely, in the normal
22 course of business, letters coming to you -- coming in from international
23 organisations, addressed to you, that in the normal course of business
24 you would and did receive them?
25 A. Yes. If it was addressed to me, I would receive the report, and
1 if it arrived in the Main Staff.
2 Q. The last question, I believe, about camps and forced labour, but
3 more specifically camps: Mr. Praljak testified during his examination
4 that at the time of the hand-over, if you will, around the 24th of July,
5 1993, that he had no briefing from you, no conversations with you, about
6 the camps, either Heliodrom, Ljubuski, Dretelj, Gabela, do you agree with
7 Mr. Praljak or do you confirm that at the time of the turn-over, you gave
8 him no briefing on the camps, or is Mr. Praljak wrong? --
9 A. No, we didn't discuss this subject, because four hours after the
10 hand-over of power, we interrupted the briefing, Praljak then went to
11 Prozor because of the situation with Bugojno.
12 Q. Sir, turning to the area of crimes and responsibility, I want to
13 put to you, as a starting point on this, and I'll tell you and tell the
14 courtroom I believe this will be our last topic. My review of the
15 documents and your prior testimony in Kordic and Blaskic indicates, if I
16 understand correctly, sir, your basic position or your starting point as
17 to command and military discipline is that you, as a commander, had
18 authority over those in your command, and as part of that authority,
19 either explicitly or implicitly, you had the authority to take measures
20 to exercise that command, in other words, to make it real, didn't you, or
21 is that your starting point?
22 A. Yes, I had authority over my commanders. But as for legal
23 authority, no, I didn't have the legal authority to punish such a
24 commander, to strip him of his rank, to place him in detention, and to
25 take other similar measures.
1 Q. Well, let's quickly look at two of your statements in the Blaskic
3 If we can put Sanction slide 14, please.
4 First from Blaskic transcript 24145:
5 "... as commander, I proceed from the fact that all units within
6 my territory are under my command and that I have certain authority over
8 And at the Blaskic transcript 24023:
9 "So anybody making problems should be arrested and prosecuted."
10 Do you stand by both of those statements and make those
11 statements the same today as your testimony here?
12 A. Yes, that's how it should have been, that one had to know who had
13 the authority to arrest and to detain someone. That's why certain laws
14 and regulations were drafted, and it is explicitly stated what the
15 responsibility of each individual is.
16 Q. Sir, I'd like to spend a few minutes, what we have left
17 remaining, looking at another table which is titled "Military Discipline
18 and Justice." It's in the same binder that we've been working in. It
19 will be behind the first -- the green divider, so to speak, behind the
20 green divider, table, "Military Discipline and Justice."
21 Sir, I'd just like to at least like to cover the heading just to
22 confirm -- I'm hoping that perhaps these won't be matters of particular
23 dispute, at least in general, but nonetheless, under each of the headings
24 we've tried to present a number of documents that we submit support that
25 particular section, if you will.
1 Do I understand correctly that an HVO commander had the authority
2 and the ability to issue orders arresting, suspending, and holding an HVO
3 officer or soldier?
4 A. Detaining soldiers, well, the Chief of the Main Staff didn't have
5 such authority to detain soldiers, but he could issue an order according
6 to which a certain commander should be arrested.
7 Q. Well, for example, line 1, and we actually saw this earlier in
8 different context, P01344, you had issued an order to Siljeg:
9 "1. Arrest and imprison all our extremists."
10 So I take it, sir, when you issued that order, you thought you
11 had authority to do so; correct?
12 A. He did that. At least that's what it says in the report that was
13 submitted in the following few days. It said that the order had been
14 carried out and that certain men had been arrested.
15 Q. And as another example, line 4 of the table, P10308, order from
16 Petkovic dated the 15th of May, 1993:
17 "I hereby order suspension from duty for the following persons:"
18 And, in fact, you suspended, I believe, 12 HVO members on your
19 order, didn't you?
20 A. Let me just see where that is. Which document did you say it
22 Q. P10308 in that same section of the binder behind the table,
23 before the end. It's almost next to last, sir.
24 You order suspension from duty of a number of HVO soldiers,
25 didn't you?
1 A. Yes, I did, but I had to withdraw that order two or three days
2 later because here it concerns Bujo [as interpreted] Bosnjak and others.
3 Bujo [as interpreted] Bosnjak was a SIS member, and I had to withdraw
4 this order because I didn't have the authority to suspend him. Two or
5 three days later, I believe that I cancelled this order.
6 Q. Would you look at line 7, please, P01598, an order from you dated
7 the 3rd of March, 1993.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. As we are meticulous, I think it's
9 our task, you are recorded as saying that you had to withdraw the order
10 regarding Bujo Bosnjak, but there is no Bujo Bosnjak on this list. There
11 is only Zeljko Bosnjak. Was that -- did you misspeak?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it says "Zeljko
13 Bosnjak - Lujo," and I used this abbreviated name. It says, as you can
14 see, "Zeljko Bosnjak - Lujo."
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Right, I see that. And then it was understood
16 as being "Bujo," so one can see how linguistic problems can -- thank you
17 for clarification.
18 MR. KOVACIC: And if I may interrupt, there is an error in
19 transcript, page 85, 23, the response of General Petkovic until the
20 second line of the next page. He said clearly, on our language, that
21 Mr. Bosnjak was an officer of SIS. This is what I understood, and
22 I think it was also in English I heard it, but it is not in the
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I can confirm that.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. If we can go to line 7, P01598, this is an order from you, sir,
2 dated the 3rd of March, 1993, providing that:
3 "Due to reasonable suspicion that he abused his official position
4 as an HVO," I believe that's a typo, "HVO GS officer, abused the official
5 stamp, and tried forcibly to take someone's apartment, I hereby order:
6 Arrest the officer Ante Ivankovic and investigate the above-mentioned
8 You confirm having issued that order?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Before we go forward, you mentioned the other day that there had
11 been no disciplinary -- no courts had been established, no military
12 disciplinary courts, and I want to make sure that we haven't
13 misunderstood that. As I understand it, sir, and I'm asking -- you can
14 correct me if I'm wrong, when you're talking about military disciplinary
15 courts, these were military panels to formally -- if requested, to
16 formally hand out military discipline, but this is something distinct and
17 separate from the district military courts, the actual judicial courts,
18 and those did exist, didn't they?
19 A. Yes, yes. Those were misdemeanor courts -- these were penal
20 courts, and the other was disciplinary, and it was never established in
21 the HVO. That's the difference between the two courts.
22 Q. And in reality, sir, the non-existence of these disciplinary
23 courts, as opposed to what I'm going to call the military district
24 courts -- excuse me, Counsel. If I can just finish my question,
25 possibly. If it's a correction in the transcript, go ahead.
1 MR. KOVACIC: I think that it could lead to further
3 This is line 16. The transcript said "those were misdemeanor
4 courts and those were penal courts." Those which is translated as
5 misdemeanor, as it was earlier translated, those were disciplinary
6 courts, and this is the distinguish [sic] we usually have. Now, we
7 introduce misdemeanor courts, which is essentially very similar, but it
8 may -- it may create confusion. So better to stick to classification
9 which we already had. Criminal penal courts, on one side, and
10 disciplinary courts, on the other. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that would be the division.
12 There would be the disciplinary courts and there would be the penal or
13 criminal courts.
14 MR. SCOTT: All right.
15 Q. And, again, just so the courtroom is not misled, the criminal
16 courts, those did exist and were operating, weren't they?
17 A. Yes, such military courts did exist.
18 Q. And the non-existence of these military disciplinary bodies
19 really had no practical effect, did they, because essentially a commander
20 at the various levels could establish or implement or carry out the same
21 forms of discipline with or without those disciplinary panels, couldn't
23 A. Well, I wouldn't really say, sir. There's a difference between
24 disciplinary procedure and disciplinary violations. For example, in the
25 Republic of Croatia
1 with the majority of cases, but in the HVO there was no disciplinary
2 military court, and that was a significant obstacle for commanders at all
3 levels when it came to -- [Overlapping speakers]
4 Q. My time is limited.
5 A. -- correcting certain areas.
6 Q. I hear you. But as we look at this table, until we get down to
7 the actual referral to a criminal prosecutor and the military
8 disciplinary courts, the non-existence of these disciplinary bodies did
9 not prevent you or any other HVO commander from carrying out the various
10 forms of discipline that we see here; suspending officers and soldiers
11 from duty, we've already talked about that. Number 2 -- heading
12 number 2:
13 "Orders detaining an HVO soldier -- officer or soldier for up to
14 15 days.
15 "Orders imposing detention/imprisonment of more than 15 days.
16 "Orders imposing some form of physical punishment."
17 And we can see examples, in fact, as extreme as to be executed by
18 shooting, according to Mr. Praljak on the 28th of July, 1993, at line 10.
19 Number 5:
20 "Orders imposing any sort of financial penalty or fines, such as
21 withholding pay."
22 We have an example of that:
23 "Ordering relieving and removing officer or commander on duty."
24 We have examples of that:
25 "Orders disbanding a unit."
1 And we have an example and others, actually, that we don't have
2 time to get to that are in the table of that. But all those things could
3 be done, and, in fact, as indicated by the documents, were done; isn't
4 that correct, sir?
5 A. In certain cases, yes, discipline of that kind was taken.
6 Q. And finally we have:
7 "Orders and referrals for investigation and prosecution,"
8 heading, if you will, number 8.
9 And those, we can agree, when there would be something going to
10 the military prosecutor and the military court; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, along with a criminal report, it goes to the military
12 prosecutor or, rather, the military court.
13 Q. I'd like to turn now to Exhibit 4D01078, binder 3. Sorry -- I'm
14 sorry for the logistics, but it's the third binder, labelled "Binder 3,"
15 in fact. We might have to go back and forth between those two a bit. If
16 you look at 4D01078, sir, and if we can put Sanction slide 40 up as well,
17 please. This is a report that you made to Mr. Boban on the 23rd of
18 April, 1993, a fairly important period in our case; and in that report,
19 sir, to Mr. Boban, among other things -- and I'm going to work from the
20 Sanction slide, according to my notes. In that document you report to
21 Mr. Boban, among other things:
22 " ... some parts of HVO, private and village groups, incited by
23 extremists, committed terror acts against civilians and destroyed great
24 numbers of housing facilities. Actually, some settlements were
25 completely burned down."
1 You also report that:
2 "... there are occurrences of massacring of civilians."
3 You also report that:
4 "From Kiseljak to Kobiljaca, towards Sarajevo, more than 60
5 Muslim houses were burned down, men captured, and women and children left
6 in those burned areas. You also report that:
7 "Three days ago, 250 Muslims have been expelled from Vitez and
8 Busovaca. Car bomb in Vitez was sent from 'our side' into Muslim part.
9 So far there are information on 10 casualties, number of wounded persons
10 and number of devastated houses."
11 You reported that:
12 " ... the fact is that these events will cause great damage to
14 You reported that:
15 "The Muslim people, both military and civilian structures,
16 perceive HVO as enemy army."
17 You report to Mr. Boban:
18 " ... Muslim villages are taken over and each village would then
19 be burned down, and killings were committed uncontrollably."
20 Sir, you knew, when you reported -- made this report to Mr. Boban
21 toward the end of April, 1993, that the HVO was having -- had a major
22 problem with crimes being committed against Muslims, didn't you?
23 A. I didn't check everything, but I accepted the information as I
24 received it, and I informed Mr. Boban about everything that I saw when I
25 was in Central Bosnia or my observations, and also in
1 Northern Herzegovina
2 Q. You would agree, sir, based on your knowledge of these matters,
3 not in this particular report but more generally, these HVO crimes could
4 not be blamed simply on the random acts of individuals, that some of
5 these crimes -- some of these practices were being carried out on a
6 widespread and systematic basis, weren't they?
7 A. No, I can't agree with you there, because all the information
8 that I received from these people, regardless of the fact that they
9 weren't checked out, indicated that they were groups that were out of
11 Q. And, sir, that's always the -- that's always the excuse, though,
12 isn't it? That's the story. I mean, if it's your side -- if there's
13 misconduct on your side, it's out-of-control groups, but in the case
14 of -- in your case, for instance, if it was the Muslims and Serbs, if
15 there's misconduct on their side, it's all highly co-ordinated, top-down,
16 policy-driven; that's always the way it is, isn't it? And if we were in
17 a courtroom with Serb perpetrators, they'd say the same thing, that, All
18 Serb crimes were individual bad actors, but, You know, those Croats, it
19 was top-down, highly co-ordinated. I mean, that's the way it's played
20 out, isn't it, sir? Every side says, Our crimes were uncontrolled
21 elements, your crimes were intentional top-down policy-driven; correct?
22 A. No, this is information which I took on board, and people said
23 there was uncontrolled behaviour, and that Blaskic, faced with a
24 situation like that, couldn't put a stop to individuals acting that way.
25 And then I said to Blaskic that, Such individuals must be stopped, even
1 if you have to use weapons to stop them. And I presented all this to
2 Mr. Boban.
3 Q. Well, let's look at some testimony and some of your -- another
4 prior statement of yours on Sanction slide 43, please.
5 Your testimony in the Kordic case, at transcript page 26746, and
6 we may have touched on this earlier, but we come back to it:
7 "Your Honours, yes. Every unit had to be under somebody's
8 control; it could not exist on its own and act on its own."
9 And then in an interview you gave in May 1993, which is marked as
10 P00999, you said:
11 "A unit, even the smallest one, is under the control of either
12 one or the other side, so that their units, everything they do, cannot be
13 justified as being out of control."
14 That's what you said. You made both of those statements, didn't
16 A. I'm talking about units. When I say "units," they have their
17 organisational establishment, and that's the units I mean. So companies,
18 squads, whatever, they have their organisational establishment. Ones
19 that do not are the ones that I considered to be outside that structure.
20 So every organisational unit, from squads, companies, and so forth,
21 platoons, must be organised and have supervision. Those who are not
22 within that scope are out of control, and there are no two ways about
24 Q. So, sir, when this Chamber is reviewing the evidence in this
25 case, and there is an act of expulsion, or an act of killing, or an act
1 of destruction, or an act of assault or mistreatment being carried out by
2 an HVO units, those were not units out of control, they were units for
3 which you were responsible; correct?
4 A. I'm saying that the units who, in organisational establishment
5 terms, belonged to someone, they were under control. When I mentioned
6 these others, I mean units outside any control. They do not belong to
7 the HVO, in establishment terms, and are not in the establishment of the
9 Q. But I'm putting to you now, sir -- putting aside whether I agree
10 with you or not, at least as to the HVO units, the way you've defined
11 them, you agree, don't you, and I believe you've just told us so, that as
12 to the HVO units, they had to be considered and were considered under
13 control and for which the HVO command would be and was responsible;
15 A. Yes, those who were under control and were in the establishment,
16 the command is in control of them, or should be, from top to bottom and
17 bottom to top, so they are units which must have somebody responsible.
18 Each such unit must have somebody in command of it, responsible for it.
19 Q. And that responsibility then goes up the HVO chain of command,
20 doesn't it?
21 A. In such cases, yes.
22 Q. Now, wasn't it often the case, sir, talking about these alleged
23 uncontrolled units, that that was often a convenient excuse or even a
24 manipulation of events to blame things or just tell the internationals,
25 Well, you know, that was only an uncontrolled unit or uncontrolled
1 individuals? Was that often carried out as kind of a ploy?
2 A. No. We knew that the units that were under command were stated
3 that they were under command and control. Nobody lied about Ahmici and
4 said that there were some units outside that brought in or that the
5 bomb -- truck bomb was not placed by the HVO.
6 Q. The truck bomb in Stari Vitez, that's what you're talking about?
7 A. Yes, that's right, it says that it was one of our units -- one of
8 our units was there, and everything else that was out of control were not
9 those that belonged to us. So what the HVO was registered and recorded,
10 and it was presented to the internationals, and ultimately they toured
11 all the area with us.
12 Q. Very well. If you can look, please, at Sanction slide 44, which
13 comes from Exhibit P04792. This is an order issued by Zarko Tole, one of
14 the -- perhaps one might consider him number 3 in the HVO after you and
15 Mr. Praljak:
16 "Tomorrow, 5 September 1993
17 UNPROFOR at the military police check-points in your area of
18 responsibility ... prevent all movements towards Jablanica and the
19 South-East Operative Zone. These activities are to continue up until
20 1500 hours.
21 Number 2:
22 "This is to be carried out as to look as if it was the result of
23 the arbitrary behaviour of the check-point policemen, while we should
24 appear as doing everything to let them get through."
25 And you know, sir, that sort of ploy wasn't uncommon at all, was
1 it? It's all too convenient to just say, Well, you know, those guys are
2 just out of control, but that's not really what we wanted them to do,
3 but, in fact, Mr. Tole told them exactly what to do, Stop all movement of
4 UN, UNHCR, et cetera, vehicles, didn't he?
5 A. I don't know on what occasion Mr. Tole wrote that. I haven't
6 found the document to read it from start to finish, to see under what
7 circumstances he made that statement.
8 Q. P04792, it's in the same section of the binder that we've been
9 looking at -- it's in the binder 3. The document, frankly, is not much
10 longer than the parts that are on the screen. It's a very short
11 document. You can't find it. I think you have it now.
12 In fact, sir, do you recall that this was around the time that
13 Mr. Praljak was engaged in an HVO offensive around Gornji Vakuf on the
14 4th, 5th, 6th, around that time, of 1993, and it was Mr. Praljak that
15 didn't want the internationals moving around and checking on things while
16 the HVO was conducting this offensive? That's what's behind this
17 particular order by Mr. Tole, isn't it?
18 A. The HVO did not have an offensive. It was called "Neretva 93."
19 The HVO did not have any offensive, but wanted to prevent an offensive at
20 that time. So I know of no offensive in that particular month and that
21 it was linked to what Mr. Tole says here.
22 Q. Well, there's other documents that, if we had time, and perhaps
23 someday we'll get to -- concerning what Mr. Praljak was doing around that
25 Sir, can you also go to P11199, and we can also look at slide
1 number 45. This is an order from Blaskic to the Kiseljak Brigade, 22
2 April 1993, and Mr. Blaskic gives specific guidance to his commander.
3 Number 1:
4 "If you can implement the task as a response to the provocations,
5 but then do it in the most efficient way possible, accompanied with
6 sending of reports and letters of protest regarding ABiH behaviour."
7 Number 2:
8 "Take the most favourable possible and always justify my orders
9 as a response to provocations of the other side."
10 And that was just sort of standard party-line behaviour, wasn't
11 it? I mean, always say, We were only reacting to provocations, we were
12 only, you know, defending ourselves. I mean, that was just kind of the
13 standard language that commanders were basically taught or ordered, such
14 as by Mr. Blaskic; that's how documents and reports and orders should be
15 couched or postured, shouldn't they?
16 A. Well, I think I said during my testimony that there was
17 exaggeration in reports and that sometimes some things would be added on
18 both sides, let me add.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the record, the
20 document we're discussing, it wasn't released on e-court, so we can't see
21 what document it is.
22 MR. SCOTT: We'll certainly try to correct that, Your Honour, if
23 it's not. It should also be in the binder. And if that's not the case,
24 then -- if it's not on e-court, we will certainly correct that,
25 Your Honours. But I think for the meantime, it is in the binders.
1 Q. Sir, I want to move forward to slide number 48. This is an
2 excerpt from Mr. Prlic's, perhaps we'll call it, suspect interview which
3 has been admitted in this case as P09078. This is what Mr. Prlic has
4 said about HVO crime:
5 "... in referring to the HVO, the war was fought by political
6 leaders through the Main Staff of the HVO, actually through the military
7 organs." That's at page 85 of the English transcript:
8 "Now, who committed the crimes? It is quite clear that HVO
9 military units, members of military units, committed the crimes, and
10 therefore military authorities were responsible." English transcript
11 page 74:
12 "So as I said, I said that the soldiers, members of military
13 units, were the ones who committed the crimes, or actually actions which
14 could be described as war crimes, and therefore military authorities
15 should be responsible, should be answerable for that ..."
16 Transcript page 82-83.
17 Can you tell us, sir, what is your reaction to Mr. Prlic's
18 assessment and assertion that it was the HVO military, the military that
19 you were in command of as either number 1 or number 2, was responsible
20 for the crimes committed in Herceg-Bosna?
21 A. Well, I could interpret this in a different way. If he says it
22 was politics via this, I don't see why it should be the political leaders
23 that should be held responsible, because first of all he says that it was
24 the political leaders, through the Main Staff. So I don't know what it
25 is that Mr. Prlic was ultimately saying.
1 Q. Which political leaders do you say are responsible?
2 A. We have, as political leaders, the entire Presidency, the
3 government, et cetera.
4 Q. Sir --
6 Q. You know full well that various individual members of the HZ-HB
7 Presidency were not pulling the levers of power. You identified for us
8 last week, and you said, On the civilian side, the political leaders that
9 had the most to do with the military and defence matters were Mr. Boban,
10 Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Prlic. And if you're going to start talking about
11 the political leaders responsible for these matters, that's who you're
12 talking about, isn't it; Mr. Boban, Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Prlic?
13 A. They headed the structures. I mentioned the entire structures,
14 the entire bodies.
15 Q. Let's go back, though, to Mr. Prlic's statement. And I disagree
16 with you, respectfully, that you said, Well, it could be read
17 differently. I put it to you, sir, that the second and third excerpts
18 here cannot be read differently:
19 "It is quite clear that HVO military units, members of military
20 units, committed the crimes, and therefore military authorities," and
21 I think it's fair to read at least in part, Your Honour -- Mr. Petkovic,
22 "military authorities" read Slobodan Praljak and Milivoj Petkovic, "were
24 The second -- the third excerpt, at the end:
25 "... and therefore military authors," read Slobodan Praljak and
1 Milivoj Petkovic, "should be responsible, should be answerable for
2 that ..."
3 So what do you say to Mr. Prlic about your responsibility for the
4 crimes committed by the HVO?
5 A. I would not answer anything, but I would put the question: Who,
6 then, should initiate the responsibility for the military authorities?
7 The military authorities would not process themselves. Somebody must
8 initiate the proceedings against the military authorities.
9 Q. And to your knowledge, sir, did anyone in the HVO Herceg-Bosna
10 power structures ever do that?
11 A. There were initiation of proceedings, and a large number of
12 people were processed, especially in the major operation of 1994 when a
13 large number of members of the HVO were processed, detained, criminal
14 charges were pressed, et cetera.
15 Q. Well, not for war crimes against Muslims, I'm going to represent
16 to you, sir. And we'll come to that, hopefully, between now and the end
17 of my examination. But you -- I want to -- [Overlapping speakers]
18 A. [No interpretation]
19 Q. I want to pick up on your answer just now, because you basically
20 sort of, if I can put it this way, threw down the gauntlet, and you said,
21 Well, if, in fact, the military authorities, Mr. Praljak, and I and
22 others were responsible, then someone should have started -- instituted
23 proceedings against us. But nobody did, did they, sir? Mr. Boban
24 didn't, Mr. Stojic didn't, Mr. Prlic didn't. No one attempted to hold
25 you responsible, did they?
1 A. The responsibility was established of others. Why should it be
2 mine and Praljak's? We have shown you here a list of people whose
3 responsibility has been established.
4 Q. Let's look at Ahmici as one example, because it's one that we
5 know, from your prior statements, there's no dispute. You admit that
6 Ahmici was a crime, you admit that Ahmici was committed by the -- crimes
7 were committed by the HVO, you agree that the HVO units involved was the
8 HVO military police, and you also agree, sir, don't you, that not a
9 single HVO officer or soldier was ever prosecuted or punished for Ahmici?
10 A. Yes, I stated that. And in the Kordic case, I said that the
11 Ahmici case was settled in the relationship between Mr. Boban and
12 Mr. Blaskic, so Mr. Boban took the whole case into his own hands and he
13 solved it with the commander of the operative zone. And you have two
14 documents to confirm this.
15 Q. How did he solve it, sir?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, he never informed the Main Staff or anyone else
17 in the HVO. The correspondence between the two of them ended in the way
18 they had agreed at their meeting in Grude.
19 Q. Sir, you've said before, and nothing you've said just now -- the
20 reality is not a single HVO officer or soldier was ever prosecuted or
21 punished in any way regarding Ahmici. That was true in 1993, and it's
22 still true today, isn't it, by the HVO or Herceg-Bosna; correct?
23 A. Yes, yes, that is what I stated, and I don't know why it wasn't.
24 If Mr. Boban took things into his own hands, why did he conclude the
25 Ahmici case in that way? I have no information that anyone was punished
1 or held responsible for anything.
2 Q. Sir, I put it to you your knowledge goes farther than that. You
3 know full well, and you've given the account before, that you
4 specifically discussed these matters with Mr. Boban. And Mr. Boban was
5 not going to prosecute anyone for Ahmici because he felt that the Muslim
6 side was prosecuting people on their side, so, By gosh, we're not going
7 to prosecute any HVO members either. That's what you were told, wasn't
9 A. That was his position, but he concluded the Ahmici case sometime
10 in November, as far as I can remember, on the basis of the documents and
11 the correspondence between him and Mr. Blaskic.
12 Q. Sir, you keep saying "he concluded," but you continue to
13 confirm -- you affirm two things. Ahmici, he says -- or not prosecute
14 anyone, I will not, we will not because I'm not going to do it if the
15 Muslims aren't doing it. And, number 2, you confirm that no one was ever
16 prosecuted or punished -- no HVO officer or soldier was ever punished.
17 So I don't know why you keep saying it was concluded by Mr. Boban, as if
18 it was a mystery. We know exactly that it wasn't concluded. No one was
19 ever prosecuted; correct? --
20 A. I said that no one was prosecuted, but in the document which is
21 the correspondence between Blaskic and Boban, it was stated the Ahmici
22 case has been completed according to your instructions. And I can't say
23 anything more than that. None of us know what the instructions were.
24 Q. Well, maybe the instructions were, at least, in part this, if
25 that's the road you're going to take us down, sir. In fact, what
1 happened, sir, beyond this is that people like Pasko Ljubicic and other
2 suspected perpetrators of the Ahmici crimes were sent to Croatia and
3 protected in Croatia
4 into either international or national jurisdictional custody, such as
5 Mr. Pasko Ljubicic, who was originally was here at the Tribunal for some
6 time, his case was transferred to the State Court in Sarajevo
7 pled guilty to Ahmici. But that was only years after hiding and being
8 protected by the Croatian authorities; isn't that true?
9 A. I don't know exactly when he came to Croatia, but in 1993, when
10 this correspondence took place between Boban and Blaskic regarding the
11 Ahmici case, Pasko Ljubicic, still in 1994 - I'm not sure whether in 1995
12 as well - he was still in the HVO. When exactly he went to Croatia
13 don't know.
14 Q. In fact, sir, you remind me. Not only was Mr. Pasko Ljubicic at
15 that particular time still in the HVO, he had been promoted after Ahmici.
16 Not only was he not punished, he was promoted to more senior positions
17 long after Ahmici, and when you and others knew full well that he was the
18 responsible person. He was promoted, wasn't he? He moved from Central
20 A. I don't know what position he has.
21 Q. Sir, you know -- let's not hide. Let's not hide in
22 technicalities, sir. I'm not going to ask you to give us the exact
23 title, but you know full well that Mr. Ljubicic was moved -- was
24 transferred to the Mostar region and was given a more senior position in
25 the Herceg-Bosna HVO authorities, and you know that, don't you?
1 A. I don't know what position he was given. I know what position he
2 had at the end of 1993. Whether that was more senior or not, I don't
4 Q. Which position was that, sir?
5 A. In the second half of 1993, he was assistant chief for the
6 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia
7 have been given, I really don't know, and when he got it.
8 Q. Don't you know, sir, that he subsequently received a higher
9 position either in the military police or in the Ministry of Interior of
10 the HVO?
11 A. I don't know when. Tell me the year, and then -- I really don't
13 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we've come quite close, but I still
14 believe I have a bit of time, and I'm not going to be able to finish in
15 the next five minutes. And I'm somewhat changing topics, so if I can
16 please suggest that we stop there, and I will obviously finish early
17 tomorrow morning.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, quite, very well.
19 Tomorrow morning, you will continue.
20 Ms. Alaburic, how much time have you planned for your
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my colleague Scott
23 hasn't completed yet, so I can't give you a final estimate of the time I
24 will need for my re-examination on the basis of his cross-examination.
25 But according to my assessment now, roughly five hours would be quite
1 sufficient for a re-examination for all the cross-examination and the
2 Judges' questions. That is my estimate at this point in time.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
4 Mr. Scott has another 20 minutes tomorrow. If you need five
5 hours, that is going to spill over onto Thursday. And 5D has been
6 planned for 30 minutes, 4D for 15 minutes, that is, the witnesses for
7 Thursday, the Prosecutor one hour, and the other Defences 30 minutes.
8 That is the situation.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think we could
10 manage to fit that in if there are no major interventions, that is, for
11 me to complete my re-examination in the time I have planned. But what
12 I can promise is that I'll do my utmost to make it as brief as possible,
13 and I'll make some comparative checks of documents to be more efficient.
14 So I think we could continue on Thursday with witnesses for the Defence
15 of Mr. Coric, as planned.
16 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I will intimate, with the
17 leave of the Court, that there will be an application on behalf of
18 Bruno Stojic for an additional half an hour for further
19 cross-examination. The basis of this is that my learned friend
20 Mr. Scott's cross-examination, of course, raised issues that had not been
21 raised by -- in examination-in-chief. This is quite obvious from the
22 transcript. If one refers, just by way of one example, to page 64 of the
23 transcript, we will see a very clear attempt by the Prosecution to
24 implicate Mr. Stojic in the running of prisons, and it was very clear
25 that responsibility was being pushed in that direction.
1 Now, when my learned friend Ms. Alaburic conducted her
2 examination-in-chief, Your Honours will, of course, recall that there was
3 no mention at all about the responsibility for the prisons and what
4 happened therein.
5 Your Honours, it's only right and fair that when the Prosecution
6 seek to elicit evidence that is contrary to the interests of our client,
7 we have a chance to test that evidence and contradict it, and that we
8 will seek to do. It is our respectful submission that the half an hour
9 requested is fair, is proportionate, and, indeed, is very modest when one
10 looks at the time given to other parties in this matter.
11 So, Your Honours, this is our application. You are seized of it,
12 and we will raise it at the appropriate time again, should it be needed.
13 However, I would ask Your Honours to consider this matter and perhaps
14 come back with an additional ruling -- or with a ruling on this, unless
15 further submissions are needed or additional clarification required by
16 Bruno Stojic's team.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I add, if that
18 is important, that is, the position of General Petkovic's Defence with
19 regard to this request, we consider this request to be completely
20 well-founded, that it should be allowed, and that the colleagues should
21 be allowed to have a re-cross regarding the issue raised in the
22 cross-examination of the Prosecution.
23 Let me remind you of two points. General Petkovic's Defence felt
24 that it is not possible to use the witnesses of one Defence to build a
25 case against another accused, and generally the Defence counsel should
1 have enough time to protect the interests of their clients.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will deliberate.
3 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, just one additional point, with your
4 leave, and I should have clarified it so there not be any doubt.
5 The additional half an hour that we're seeking will come out of
6 the time that the Stojic team has kept in reserve for this purpose, so
7 we're not asking for additional time. We're simply asking to use the
8 time that we kept in reserve for these kind of eventualities.
9 I'm grateful.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand.
11 For Mr. Coric?
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 I just wish to ask, since we have certain obligations towards the
14 Witness Protection Service, we have been changing the timetable so many
15 times - we all know that - I would ask to know, as early as possible
16 tomorrow, what the ruling of the Chamber is so we can inform the
17 witnesses who have been planned for Thursday. Purely for these technical
18 obligations, could we be informed as soon as possible so that we can do
19 the necessary scheduling?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will convey our decision.
21 But, in any event, the witnesses for Thursday should be ready to enter
22 the courtroom at 9.00. That's quite certain.
23 [The Accused Petkovic stands down]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 10th day of
1 March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.