1 Wednesday, 10 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Praljak and Pusic not present]
5 [The Accused Petkovic takes the stand]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
8 the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Today, Wednesday, the 10th of March, 2010, I would like to greet
15 General Petkovic, first of all, our witness, the accused who are present,
16 the Defence teams, Mr. Scott, and everyone else assisting us.
17 I will now read out two oral decisions.
18 The decision, oral decision on granting time for the hearing of
19 the Witness Zvonko Vidovic.
20 Zvonko Vidovic shall be called as a viva voce witness from the
21 29th of March to the 1st of April, 2010. The Coric Defence would like to
22 have three hours for its examination-in-chief of this witness.
23 On the 1st of February, 2010, the Petkovic Defence asked the
24 Chamber for a total of one hour, or 42 additional minutes, to
25 cross-examine the witness.
1 In addition, the Chamber notes that in a memo dated the 10th of
2 February, 2010
3 an additional 30 minutes, to cross-examine the witness. In addition, it
4 requested that this additional time be charged to the total time granted
5 to it by the Chamber.
6 On the 5th of February, 2010, the Coric Defence filed a response
7 to the Petkovic motion. On the 9th of February, 2010, the Chamber
8 authorised the Petkovic Defence to file a response to the Coric Defence's
9 response, which was done on the 12th of February, 2010.
10 First of all, with regard to the Petkovic Defence request, the
11 Chamber is of the opinion that one hour for the cross-examination of
12 Zvonko Vidovic is disproportionate with regard to the events that are
13 contained in the 65 ter summary of the testimony that the witness is to
14 be giving. The Chamber believes that an additional 30 minutes should
15 suffice to allow the Petkovic Defence to protect its client's interests.
16 Secondly, as far as the Stojic Defence memo is concerned, the
17 Chamber is of the opinion that in light of the 65 ter summary of the
18 witness's future testimony, and the subjects that the Stojic Defence
19 wants to address with the witness, 30 minutes -- 30 additional minutes
20 should suffice for the Stojic Defence to conduct its cross-examination.
21 The Chamber notes that this additional time of 30 minutes shall be
22 charged to the total time granted to it by the Chamber.
23 As a result, the Chamber hereby decides to allocate the time as
24 follows: The Coric Defence shall have three hours for its
25 examination-in-chief and for any re-examination it might have. And I
1 insist on the word "and." The Prosecution shall have three hours to
2 conduct its cross-examination. The Stojic and Petkovic Defence teams
3 shall have 48 minutes each. Given that no particular requests have been
4 made, the Prlic, Praljak, and Pusic Defence teams shall have 18 minutes
6 Second oral decision concerning the Stojic Defence's request for
7 time to conduct an additional cross-examination of Milivoj Petkovic and
8 with regard to the Petkovic Defence for additional time for its
9 additional examination, for its re-examination.
10 At a hearing on the 9th of March, 2010, the Stojic Defence asked
11 the Chamber to grant it 30 minutes to conduct an additional
12 cross-examination of Milivoj Petkovic on the grounds that the Prosecution
13 had, in the course of its cross-examination, raised new subjects that
14 concern, in particular, the management of detention centres and the
15 responsibility of Bruno Stojic for such centres. In addition, it
16 requests that this additional time be charged to the total amount of time
17 granted to it by the Chamber. The Petkovic Defence has stated that it is
18 not opposed to the Stojic Defence request.
19 In addition, in the course of the very same hearing, the Petkovic
20 Defence informed the Chamber that it thought it needed about five hours
21 to conduct additional examination of Mr. Petkovic.
22 The Chamber is of the opinion that the Stojic Defence request is
23 founded, in terms of the decision of the 24th of April, 2008, and that it
24 is reasonable to demand additional cross-examination. As a result, the
25 Chamber hereby decides to grant it 30 additional minutes. The Chamber
1 notes the request of the Stojic Defence to have the additional 30 minutes
2 charged to its total time.
3 With regard to the Petkovic Defence request, and in the light of
4 the new subjects -- with regard to the new subjects raised by the
5 Prosecution in the course of its cross-examination, the Chamber hereby
6 decides that the Petkovic Defence shall have two additional hours, in
7 addition to the fifteen additional minutes already granted by the
8 Chamber, for the re-examination of Milivoj Petkovic. The Petkovic
9 Defence shall, therefore, have a total of two hours and fifteen minutes
10 for its re-examination. The Chamber notes that the two additional hours
11 granted to the Petkovic Defence shall be charged to the total amount of
12 time it disposes of.
13 Those are our two oral decisions, handed down unanimously by the
14 Judges present here as well as by the Judge who is absent today, and this
15 was done having examined all the relevant elements and having taken note
16 of all the comments made by the parties.
17 Mr. Scott, I know that you have another 20 minutes.
18 Yes, Ms. Alaburic.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 Without any great hope in the success of my request, and perhaps
21 with the Appeals Chamber -- for the benefit of the Appeals Chamber
22 perhaps tomorrow, or anybody studying this, I would like to request more
23 time for the Petkovic Defence in view of the new topics raised during its
24 cross-examination lasting nine hours and forty minutes, and a series of
25 new topics which some of the Defence teams raised during their
1 cross-examination. And up until now, the total duration is six hours,
2 which means a total duration of fifteen-odd hours.
3 I'd like to remind you that the Defence of General Petkovic had
4 at its disposal only four hours and forty minutes for its
6 Now, in view of this decision on the distribution of time, it's
7 not in conformity with the express provisions and guide-lines in these
8 proceedings. And without questioning the right of the Trial Chamber to
9 decide on the time allocated, in view of the circumstances, and to
10 deviate from what was established in the guide-lines, I would like to ask
11 you for a written explanation and an expounding of the ruling, why --
12 telling us why the Petkovic Defence is this time being given less time
13 than provided for in the guide-lines. And if, in those statements of
14 reason, there is anything except what we have heard in the
15 cross-examination as not being relevant and that we don't need to bring
16 it up again in redirect, the Petkovic Defence is now making a request for
17 leave to appeal your ruling on the allocation of time.
18 So, once again, I'd like to ask you to reassess how much time the
19 Petkovic Defence would actually need, in view of the relevancy of the new
20 topics brought up in the cross-examinations. And we sent you an e-mail
21 last night for a request for three and a half hours, which would be the
22 minimum of the minimum time required. And if you refuse, then I would
23 like to seek leave for certification to appeal the ruling.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
1 Since things are being said about appeal, and making the record,
2 and to help assist, that the record be as balanced as possible, let me
3 make just a few brief observations, please.
4 And, first of all, good morning, Mr. President, good morning,
5 Judge Trechsel, and good morning to all those around us.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott. That is
8 MR. SCOTT: And to Judge Mindua as well. Apologies.
9 Your Honours, I think -- I have no quarrel with the Court's
10 ruling, either in terms of the time that is given to the Stojic Defence
11 or to the ruling on the Petkovic Defence, so I'm not -- I don't rise to
12 my feet to quarrel with the Chamber's ruling, but just to touch on the
14 Your Honour, I think it's fair to say, and it would be our
15 position, the Prosecution's position, that no new issues were
16 substantially raised by the Prosecution's cross-examination of
17 Mr. Petkovic. I believe that everything that the Prosecution raised and
18 touched on can fairly be connected to something either raised by the
19 direct examination of Mr. Petkovic, or the co-accuseds' examinations, or
20 the Court's examinations. I'll use the one example in connection with
21 the camps that prompts -- apparently prompts the Stojic Defence to ask
22 for more time, which, again, I don't quarrel with.
23 The Chamber might recall the discussions that were had some weeks
24 ago about redirect -- the scope of redirect and what topics had been
25 raised in direct examination. It was at that time that the Prosecution
1 noted that Ms. Alaburic, in her examination of Mr. Petkovic, had
2 briefly -- ever so briefly raised the question of camps, and it was
3 basically to the effect of two or three questions to the effect of, Well,
4 who was responsible, essentially, for the camps, or what was said, or
5 what the conversation with Mr. Boban about the camps? And the Chamber
6 will recall, hopefully, from just yesterday, it was exactly that very
7 short, but nonetheless presentation on the topic, that I then came back
8 to Mr. Petkovic and said, Well, you've said that you've talked to Boban,
9 and other than disarming and arresting the men, their housing and care
10 was somebody else's responsibility. And then I asked, Well, whose was
11 it? That was a question that was left hanging, if you will, from the
12 direct exam and, I think, begged to be asked by someone. We did that.
13 So just so the record is fair, and in case anyone -- if the
14 Appeals Chamber or anyone looks at this, I just want the record to be --
15 at least from our perspective, to be added and balanced that the
16 Prosecution does not believe its injected any substantially new topic
17 into the case, other than those which had been already addressed.
18 Thank you, Your Honour.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one sentence.
20 What Mr. Scott has just said is exactly opposed to his request
21 for additional time to examine General Petkovic. I'd like to remind you
22 that my colleague Mr. Scott, in his request, enumerated 18 topics for
23 which he claimed were not raised in the examination-in-chief and that
24 that was the reason for which he was requesting additional time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll confer with my colleagues.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has deliberated,
3 has conferred, and we stand by our decision. I, personally, however,
4 would like to point out the following for the benefit of the
5 Petkovic Defence.
6 I, personally, don't believe that any new subjects have been
7 addressed. From the outset, I was of the opinion that the Petkovic --
8 that when the accused was testifying, it was obvious that the Prosecution
9 would ask questions about the entire indictment. This was to be
11 In addition, the guide-lines are quite clear. The Chamber's
12 guide-lines were adopted after an immense amount of work had been done,
13 so that we should have very useful and clear guide-lines for everyone,
14 and these guide-lines clearly state that a Defence team has to tell us,
15 in advance, how much time it requires for its examination-in-chief and, I
16 add, for re-examination. So when a Defence team tells us, I need six
17 hours, in our opinion that means that the Defence has taken all the
18 elements into account, that the six hours includes cross-examination and
20 It should be pointed out that the Defence must always have a
21 certain amount of time left for cross-examination, but this should be
22 anticipated in advance. So when we are told, We need six hours, all the
23 elements -- all the factors have been taken into account, including the
24 fact that the Prosecution, in its cross-examination, will address all
25 subjects contained in the indictment; these aren't new subjects.
1 Unfortunately, one has to point out that we are systematically
2 being asked for additional time, and this goes against the spirit and the
3 letter of the guide-lines.
4 Having said that, it is true that five hours amounts to 300
5 minutes, and two hours and fifteen minutes is not equal to 300 minutes,
6 but let's not confuse quantity and quality. In two hours and fifteen
7 minutes, it's quite possible to address important issues that require
8 additional questions. Additional questions -- additional examination
9 must be directly related to questions put in the cross-examination. So
10 that is the point of additional examination.
11 So I totally accept the Chamber's position. We stand by our
12 decision, and the Chamber doesn't take decisions at random. Everything
13 has been put into the balance, carefully considered. When a decision is
14 handed down, it is done so after having examined all the relevant
15 factors. The Judges aren't a puppet who can just change his opinions.
16 We took a decision.
17 Yesterday, we had the courtesy of informing you of the fact
18 yesterday so that you would know, in advance, what the contents of the
19 decision were. We did that. We proceeded in this manner to facilitate
20 the task for you.
21 So you will have hours and fifteen minutes, and much can be done
22 in that time.
23 Mr. Scott, you have another 20 minutes, and you should conclude
24 within those 20 minutes.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I expect to be able to do
1 so, barring any particular interventions or issues that might arise, but
2 I think we can.
3 First of all, good morning, Mr. Petkovic --
4 MR. KHAN: I do apologise to my learned friend, Mr. Scott.
5 Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 It's a technical issue, I'm afraid. It's difficult for the
7 Defence really to operate without the full technical assistance that
8 we're used to. And I see from Judge Trechsel that the Bench is
9 unfortunately in the same boat as the parties. We don't have LiveNote.
10 It's almost half past 9.00, and since the beginning of proceedings we
11 have not had LiveNote.
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar has told me that
14 this is a general problem that the Tribunal is facing.
15 Mr. Scott, we have the transcript, and everything you say will be
16 recorded in the transcript. That is what is essential.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 And as I was saying, Mr. Petkovic, good morning.
19 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
23 Q. Sir, we discussed briefly yesterday this concept, if you will,
24 that I put to you or explained to you, in terms of we seem to often have
25 this phenomenon, if I can call it that, in these cases: So when crimes
1 are committed by the so-called other side, the victim side tends to
2 suggest and claim -- and all sides, and I'm not picking on the
3 Croats -- the Serbs, the Muslims, do the same thing. When they are on
4 the victim side, they point to the other side and say, These crimes
5 against us were systematic, they were the result of a master plan, they
6 were co-ordinated from the top, et cetera. And then when one is
7 confronted with the crimes committed -- or allegedly committed by its own
8 side, if you will, then those crimes are frequently referred to or
9 characterised as, Well, these are the random acts of individual bad
10 actors, and, you know, people do get out of control, et cetera,
11 et cetera.
12 You remember that discussion, briefly, don't you?
13 A. Well, I don't remember it being exactly like that. The HVO
14 didn't hide anything. And if there was anything out of control, it would
15 be said --
16 Q. Well, let's talk about some of the crimes, some of the more major
17 crimes. Apologies if I cut across. I didn't see the -- all right.
18 Let's talk about some of the crimes, sir, that feature
19 prominently in the -- or alleged crimes, of course, that feature in the
21 The mass arrest and detention of Muslims in July and thereafter,
22 which you've now, I think, made clear was done on your order, in turn on
23 Mr. Boban's direction, the conduct and operation of the camps, the
24 conditions and treatment in the camps, and I mention one aspect, the
25 starvation of the Muslims at Dretelj, the forced labour which you
1 specifically were on notice of and approved, which we discussed
2 yesterday, large-scale expulsions, Mostar, Stolac, I remind you and the
3 courtroom of the report by Markovic to President Tudjman in the fall of
5 "Not a single Muslim left in Stolac."
6 I put it to you, sir, that could not have been simply an
7 accident; the continuous shelling of East Mostar; the destruction of
8 mosques and Muslim religious and cultural sites, the crimes at Ahmici,
9 which we talked about yesterday, the atrocities at Stupni Do, the
10 destruction of the Old Bridge
11 purpose, and I put to you that none of those crimes can be reasonably
12 characterised as the random acts of individual bad actors, can they?
13 A. Well, we should have to look at each individual case, and we
14 would see that cases like that exist too. But as for Markovic, I don't
15 know who sent him, because he wasn't from the Main Staff.
16 Q. Sir, the conducts of the camps to pick and just to pause on one
17 subject, and again our time will be limited, but no one can suggest that
18 the camps which are established and operated clearly on a systematic
19 basis, you can't say the camps are operated based on the random acts of
20 individuals. There was a system in place, there were administrations,
21 there was reporting, there was the need for resources, there were the
22 need for logistics, there was a systematic process for the taking out of
23 prisoners for forced labour. You can't possibly suggest, sir, I put to
24 you, that that is the product -- that those are the products of
25 individual bad acts, can you?
1 A. No, I didn't say that it was the act of individuals, but what I'm
2 saying is that it wasn't everywhere the way you want to describe it.
3 Q. And the reality is, sir -- and we don't have time, really, today
4 to beat around the bush, so to speak. The reality is the HVO and
5 Herceg-Bosna authorities did nothing to prosecute or punish any of the
6 crimes that I have just put to you, did they?
7 A. Well, the HVO and the authorities did prosecute quite a number of
8 people, and there were criminal reports. And this has been proved during
9 this trial for certain acts committed. So you can't say that the HVO did
10 not prosecute its own people or, rather, file criminal reports. Now, I
11 don't want to go into court procedure and how that is done further on.
12 Q. Well, we'll come to that in a moment. But if I were to represent
13 to you that, for example, based on a conversation with Mr. Siljeg, in
14 which he was asked, Did you, during the time you were the operative zone
15 commander from approximately October 1992 to December 1993, did you ever
16 request or initiate any investigation into alleged war crimes by an HVO
17 officer and soldier, and Mr. Siljeg answered that question, No, would
18 that surprise you?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. Excuse me, General.
20 I'm going to object. Where is this from? Is this in evidence?
21 Siljeg didn't come and testify. Do we have an opportunity to
22 cross-examine Mr. Siljeg? Will the Trial Chamber be bringing him? Is
23 the Prosecution intending on bringing him at some point? So I think the
24 question is unfair. And if he wishes to confront the gentleman with what
25 Mr. Siljeg said, then I suggest that he confront him with a document and
1 that that be shared with the rest of us to see whether or not I have any
2 further objections to that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, when speaking about
4 Mr. Siljeg, you must refer to a precise document. You certainly have the
5 document's number.
6 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I can only refer at the moment to a
7 consolidated transcript of his interview, which is -- which I can provide
8 in more detail. But it would be at the video page 48 -- video 4806,
9 page 2. But in the interests of time, Your Honour, I won't persist in
10 the question. But I do have a basis and did have a basis for putting the
11 question, and I don't think it has to be in evidence, Your Honour. That
12 has not been the practice in this case, that everything put to a witness
13 in cross-examination has to be in evidence. I have a very firm and good
14 basis for putting the question to the witness.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: This is a statement obviously taken of the
16 gentleman. Now, the Prosecution, in the past, has moved to get
17 statements in even though those individuals were never intended to be
18 called as witnesses. Now we have a statement being introduced that has
19 not been introduced into evidence and the gentleman is not coming. Now
20 the question has been withdrawn. I appreciate that.
21 I also wish to note, for the record, that none of the comments
22 made by the Prosecution, as far as what Mr. Siljeg said, should be
23 evidence and can be considered as evidence at any point in time.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. SCOTT: As I say, Your Honour --
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank my colleague
2 Karnavas, and I fully support everything he said.
3 If I may just add, if I remember well the interview which a
4 representative of the Prosecution of this Tribunal had with Mr. Siljeg,
5 and I think Mr. Scott is referring to that interview, which is not in
6 evidence in this case, it is not on the 65 ter list, it was never in the
7 form of a document that would be tendered into evidence in these
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm not -- I have only limited time.
10 I'm not going to persist in it, although I don't agree with the
11 objections that have been made at all. But we don't have time to
12 debate -- I choose not to debate it at this time.
13 Q. But, sir, I put to you that you said that matters -- that some
14 things were prosecuted, and we'll come to that in a moment. But I put it
15 to you, sir, that, in fact, in fact, nothing -- nothing effective was
16 done to punish or prosecute any of the crimes of the sort that I have
17 mentioned to you this morning, and that's the operation of the camps, the
18 destruction of the Stari Most, the mass expulsions of Muslims from
19 multiple places. Yes, I agree with you, if we go through the documents
20 we will find a case here and there, a random case, but not for places
21 against -- for crimes against Muslims; hardly ever, sir. And that was
22 the case, wasn't it? They just weren't a priority. It wasn't something
23 that the HVO and the Herceg-Bosna authorities were very interested in.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not sure whether this is quite correct,
25 Mr. Scott, but I seem to recall a case where a young woman was shot when
1 the family was asked to move away, and the author of that crime was, in
2 fact, prosecuted and committed, I think, to an institution. So I think
3 we should not overstate -- you should not overstate the point.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I think that's what I
5 attempted to address. I said, I'm sure there were some individual cases.
6 And if that wasn't clear, then I do make that clear. I'm not saying
7 there were not any cases.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
9 MR. SCOTT: I do think that there were a few -- a very few cases.
10 Q. That's the case, though, isn't it, sir? It just simply wasn't a
11 priority for you, it wasn't a priority for the other accused in this
12 case, it wasn't a priority for the Herceg-Bosna authorities. Prosecuting
13 HVO officers and soldiers for crimes against Muslims was just not
14 something that was considered very important or that was pursued only in
15 the most -- except only in the most exceptional cases; isn't that true?
16 A. Not, you're not right. I'll tell you that from the area of
17 Prozor, more than 20 people were prosecuted; that people were arrested,
18 they spent up to three months in prison. Then there was another man from
19 Prozor, together with 22 others. The army and the people who were
20 responsible for filing criminal reports did do their work. And a large
21 number of them ended up in detention and were prosecuted. The HVO did
22 what it could. After all, Ivica Rajic was arrested and taken to court.
23 Many were prosecuted. Even Mr. Kordic and Mr. Pasko, they were all
24 prosecuted. Criminal proceedings were instituted, so you cannot say that
25 the HVO did not do anything. I don't know how much you want the HVO to
1 do. More than 200 or 300 people were charged for various crimes.
2 Q. I don't know what crimes you're talking about or what
3 prosecutions against Mr. Kordic and Mr. Ljubicic you're talking about
4 brought by the HVO. Yes, other -- this Tribunal brought charges, and
5 maybe the State Court in Sarajevo
6 Mr. Ljubicic, but I, sir, know of no charge ever brought by any HVO
7 authority against either Mr. Kordic or Mr. Ljubicic. And you know that,
8 don't you?
9 A. I'm telling you that within the major Operation Pauk or Spider, a
10 large number of people were prosecuted, criminal reports were filed and
11 handed over to the prosecution. That is what the HVO, the Main Staff,
12 and other actors could do, and that's what we did.
13 Q. Sir, I put to you that the HVO in Herceg-Bosna did not punish,
14 for the most part, crimes against Muslims -- in particular, war crimes
15 against Muslims of the type we're talking about this morning. They
16 either weren't punished because the conduct that -- the underlying
17 conduct that was engaged in was essentially part of the programme, it was
18 part of the Herceg-Bosna project and programme of anti-Muslim policies
19 and actions, mass persecutions, expulsions, imprisonment, deportation and
20 destruction. It was either that or, at bottom, Herceg-Bosna and the HVO
21 didn't really care about crimes committed against Muslims, they just
22 simply didn't count, for the most part; isn't that the case?
23 A. No, it is not. Proceedings were instituted for rape, for
24 expulsion, for many other acts, and your witnesses, particularly from
25 Prozor, enumerated the people against whom charges were filed.
1 Q. Let's look at slide number 47 in Sanction which is part of
2 Exhibit P02802. This was a military police report on the 15th of June,
3 1993. It will be in the, I believe, binder number 3, but we have it in
4 Sanction, both hard copy -- I mean, both the full document and excerpt.
5 But, sir, what this report says, and I submit to you that this
6 summarises the attitude:
8 "No criminal acts or incidents were notified yesterday. Only the
9 ethnical cleansing of the town from persons of Muslim nationality was
11 No crimes, only the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. That was the
12 pervasive attitude of the HVO, wasn't it? We're just cleaning Muslims;
13 nothing criminal about that.
14 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you obviously didn't follow.
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
16 I object. What the Prosecution has read is his interpretation of
17 what is written there. In the report, it doesn't say anywhere that the
18 author of this report describes as ethnic cleansing that is not
19 considered a crime by the author of this report. That is the
20 Prosecutor's interpretation, and we cannot read documents in this way,
21 nor put questions to the witness on that basis.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please continue.
23 MR. SCOTT: If we can go to slide number 57, please.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
25 General Petkovic, the document that we have just seen, I don't
1 know whether it is the same document, but several months ago, maybe even
2 several years, I already put the question to a witness. I don't remember
3 who now. The document we have in front of us is a document coming from
4 the military police, and this document calls in question at unit -- or
5 accuses an ATG
6 ethnic cleansing.
7 I am faced with the following problem, which is quite a simple
8 one. If there is a plan of some scope, everybody's affected, including
9 the military police. And due to this, why is the military police
10 denouncing a unit that is doing this? And I am really asking myself a
11 question. There's something that is not functioning properly.
12 How would you explain that elements of the military police are
13 drawing attention to infractions in relation -- in an official report?
14 And as the Prosecutor says, but that is his opinion, nothing is done
15 because the military police identifies the authors. They are members of
16 the 4th Battalion and Baja Kraljevic ATG units, so all this is clear.
17 Why was nothing done? There is something which is escaping me. Perhaps
18 you can clarify this for me.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, the
20 question that is missing here has been noticed by the military police.
21 It was assigned the task of controlling the town of Mostar on the 1st of
22 June by a decision of the authorities. In this case, there has already
23 been reference to the fact that almost the entire Command of the
24 4th Battalion, headed by Mladen Misic, was suspended and relieved of
25 duty. We have released the document in this case, and that
1 Mr. Fric [phoen] Coric was appointed instead of him and a new battalion
2 command. Therefore, the command of the operative zone did take certain
3 steps, and the Command of the 4th Battalion, in June, was relieved of
4 duty and a new command was appointed. I do not recall number -- the
5 number of the document, but the document has been admitted into evidence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're telling
7 me that the commander of the 4th Battalion was suspended. Fine. But the
8 members of the ATG
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what happened to the
10 Baja Kraljevic anti-terrorist group. They are Tuta's soldiers. I can't
11 speak of them now. But I can say, regarding the 4th Battalion, that that
12 the command headed by Mladen Misic was relieved of duty in June, expelled
13 from the HVO, and a new team appointed to head the 4th Battalion of the
14 3rd Brigade.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: This
16 commander of the 1st Company of the 3rd Battalion, Mate Anicic, do you
17 know him or not ?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot personally
19 remember. I heard that Mate Anicic does exist as a member of the
20 military police, but I simply can't recall his appearance. He was the
21 commander of a company, so that was a lower level that I did not
22 communicate with. But he does exist as a commander.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to the Registrar,
24 have you one minute left, Mr. Scott.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
1 MR. SCOTT: There must be eight -- well, we disagree,
2 Your Honour, with all the interventions this morning. Thank you, I'll
3 take the seven.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Eight minutes, eight minutes.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge.
7 Q. I'd like to turn to table -- slide 57 in Sanction, which is a
8 table titled "HVO Enforcement Actions."
9 Sir, just following up on what you've said, and I put to you that
10 a review of the evidence in the case so far and a review of the available
11 documentation causes me or leads me to put these propositions to you.
12 The HVO clearly had the ability to investigate and prosecute Muslims for
13 alleged "treason and rebellion," and we have evidence of that in the
14 document cited, and it's been discussed in this case. The HVO and
15 Herceg-Bosna authorities had the ability to indict Serbs for war crimes.
16 And I will stop there and momentarily go to slide 50, if we can,
17 which is an excerpt of the report which is marked as P04699. In light of
18 what we were saying just these last few moments:
19 "Criminal police working on the prevention of crimes of special
20 state concern (war crimes and terrorism) have filed to the competent
21 military prosecutors a total of 92 criminal charges against 256 persons.
22 The breakdown of these crimes is as follows: four cases of genocide, 31
23 cases of war crimes against the civilian population, 149 cases of armed
24 rebellion, four cases of crimes committed against prisoners of war, four
25 cases of destruction of important business premises. The persons charged
1 were exclusively of Serbian nationality and all charges were fully
2 documented. In this domain, the criminal police are also continuing work
3 on documenting crimes against the Croatian population by people of Muslim
4 nationality, both military persons and civilians."
5 I put to you, sir, that the numbers -- the cases you were
6 referring to a few moments ago, for the most part, and Judge Trechsel
7 said, and to be very clear, allowing for exceptional cases, I put to you,
8 occasionally against a Croat perpetrator against a Muslim victim, most
9 these cases that you've just mentioned were cases against Serbs and
10 Muslims, weren't they?
11 A. What you have cited, I don't know whose report it is, of the
12 civilian or the military police.
13 Q. It's a report of the HVO HZ-HB, Mr. Prlic's government, for the
14 six-month period from January to June 1993. So it comes from the highest
15 authority. That's the case, wasn't it, sir? I don't have time to debate
16 with you, but that's simply the case. We can see it right here. Serbs
17 and Muslims, those were the people that were being prosecuted, not
19 A. That is not correct. [Overlapping speakers]
20 Q. The HVO -- the HVO had the ability -- excuse me, sir, excuse me,
21 sir. [Indiscernible] Mr. Karnavas, apologies, but my time is limited and
22 I do want to try to finish in keeping with the Chamber's time.
23 Item 3, I put it to you that the HVO in Herceg-Bosna could indict
24 Muslims and others for war crimes, not just the Serbs, and we see
25 examples of that below. You could round up -- invest huge efforts in
1 rounding up and prosecuting Croat conscripts not reporting for
2 mobilisation, and HVO soldiers for deserting posts and not obeying
3 orders, including some rather draconian measures. I only have time to
4 mention row 7:
5 "Stojic order directing military courts to give priority to cases
6 involving failure to mobilise," which is 4D01655.
7 Line 11, document P03700, a Praljak order, dated 25th of July,
9 "Persons disobeying to be disarmed, stripped of their uniforms,
10 detained with no food or water."
11 Line 13, 3D02798, a Bradara order from the Kiseljak area 12
12 October 1993:
13 "HVO soldiers leaving posts to be shot; commanders of such
14 soldiers to be proclaimed traitors and shot."
15 I mention, as a final example, which the Chamber may recall the
16 evidence in the case, and which you, sir, directed and mounted a major
17 operation to remove people around the Kiseljak area who were threatening
18 Mr. Rajic, and Mr. -- and you remember that, don't you?
19 A. You have chosen the things that suit you, and you didn't wish to
20 take the criminal reports against Croats drafted by certain institutions.
21 Q. Sir, you remember the operation you directed against people that
22 were threatening Mr. Rajic, don't you? You undertook a rather major
23 operation -- a major investment of HVO resources to take what was
24 effective action. You took those people out. They were no longer an
25 issue. I put it to you, sir, that the HVO and Herceg-Bosna, including
1 you, yourself, when you were sufficiently motivated, when you really
2 wanted to, you could take actions, but it wasn't, for the most part,
3 actions against the HVO for crimes against Muslims, was it?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 I didn't wish to interrupt my learned friend the Prosecutor until
7 he finished the question relating to document 4699, the number of
8 criminal reports and filed criminal reports, according to this document.
9 But for the transcript, it is important to say that these were reports
10 filed by the civilian police and not the military police, nor is it that
11 part of the report. These are reports filed by the civilian police. And
12 as Mr. Petkovic said, that he didn't know who filed these reports,
13 I think it is worthwhile for us to know who did file them.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May I, Your Honours?
15 As I don't have did time to go into this, I would just like to
16 show -- Your Honours, if you would look at this, please. This is part of
17 the document shown by Colleague Scott, half of this page, the whole of
18 this page, and up to here on the third page [indicates]. These are all
19 criminal reports for particular criminal acts. Mr. Scott showed you the
20 part relating to war crimes and terrorism. If you look at the beginning
21 of this excerpt on page 24 of the report, you will see that in other
22 chapters there are crimes; murder, rape, and the like. So this is one of
23 the examples how we can mislead the Court by asking questions in this
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the
1 Prosecutor has only two minutes, but he will be able to use them, but I
2 wish to put my question first so that, within the two minutes, he can
3 come back to it.
4 The Prosecutor tells you that the HVO did nothing regarding
5 prosecution. I remember, on the basis of two documents, and I don't
6 remember the numbers - I didn't know that the Prosecutor would be talking
7 about this - it seems to me you granted an interview regarding the
8 destruction of the Old Bridge
9 prosecutor was informed about it. So we have that document.
10 Now, regarding the events in Stupni Do, it seems to me that there
11 is a document which indicates that you also said that the military
12 prosecutor was informed.
Do you remember the interview that you gave about the Old Bridge
14 Stari Most, and the events in Stupni Do, when you said that the military
15 prosecutor had been seized by this, and in the days that immediately
16 follow, not several years later?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I do remember,
18 and it was informed not only for this case but for a host of others which
19 the Prosecutor intentionally skipped over. I think between 200 and 300
20 criminal reports were filed against members of the HVO who were charged
21 of acts linked to Muslims, and the entire area was cleansed of all
22 criminals who caused problems. And his own witnesses mentioned them by
23 name. They were all arrested, and criminal reports were filed. You
24 remember Mr. Klica, who is still a criminal, and I'm saying this quite
25 openly, though I'm afraid what could happen to my family. They, too --
1 he, too, was arrested. He spent three months there. Bradic from Prozor,
2 with 20 other men -- or was held in detention for three months in the
3 Heliodrom precisely because of his attitude towards Muslims. The Court
4 did what it did, but I am saying that those who filed criminal reports
5 did so and handed it all over to the judicial authorities, the
6 prosecutor, et cetera.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Mr. Petkovic, I can only respond that if we had more time to go
11 into the particulars, I would debate those points with you vociferously.
12 But the fact of the matter is in terms of the Stupni Do and the
13 issues raised by the President just now, the fact of the matter remains,
14 sir, the HVO, the Herceg-Bosna authorities, did not prosecute, punish, or
15 remove a single HVO officer or soldiers for any crimes concerning the
16 destruction of the Old Bridge
17 reports -- you can refer to reports all day long, sir, but the reality is
18 there were no prosecutions or punishments, and I put it to you at this
19 level, and the reason for all the material I've briefly put before you
20 this morning, Your Honour -- Mr. Petkovic, is because at the structure
21 level it didn't happen. And it wasn't just one or two cases, there were
22 a few, and I've said repeatedly there were a few. But, generally
23 speaking, the HVO structures and authorities did not punish crimes
24 against Muslims. And I put that to you quite clearly, and you know that,
25 don't you?
1 If we could have less --
2 A. That is not correct. For Stupni Do, three or four men, as the
3 main actors, together with the statements, were handed over to the
4 prosecution for further processing. And after all --
5 Q. No one was prosecuted or punished, and that was my point and that
6 is my question.
7 I move to my final question, sir.
8 A. I'm telling you what is up to me. I can't go further than that.
9 Q. Well, Mr. Petkovic, you know, it's kind of like there's some
10 modern-day weapons, they call them missiles and things, they call them
11 "fire and forget." You fire them off and you forget and they do their
12 own thing. I put it to you, sir, you can't have that attitude at your
13 level. When you're the number one or the number two officer of the HVO,
14 you have armed men out in the field, acting under your orders, under your
15 command, and you can't simply say, Well, I sent a report to someone, and
16 wash your hands of it. You have to take responsibility, you have to take
17 some individual actions, you have to exercise some due diligence to make
18 sure that the army under your control is actually being controlled, that
19 crimes are being prevented, that crimes are being punished, crimes are
20 being disciplined, and you didn't do that in any effective way, did you,
22 A. No, you're not right. We did everything we were obliged to do
23 under the law.
24 Q. My final question, Mr. President: You --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your final question, because
1 have you no more time.
2 MR. SCOTT: It is my final question, Your Honour.
3 Q. Sir, you told us about when you went to Mr. Boban, and in terms
4 of resigning your number-one position, apparently because -- something
5 about Operation Jug and the fact that someone else -- your advice had
6 been, in your view, disregarded, I simply put to you now, sir, and it is
7 my final question: Did you ever consider resigning either because of the
8 crimes that the HVO was carrying out on a systematic basis, under your
9 direction, or because of your inability to prevent and punish the massive
10 crimes being committed against the Muslims? Did you ever consider or
11 offer to resign over that?
12 A. Those are your constructions which I reject. I resigned because
13 of everything that was happening, and that included some of those things.
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, that concludes my examination. I
15 appreciate the Court's indulgence. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott. You
17 finished within the 20 minutes you had available.
18 I think the Stojic Defence has 30 minutes now, and then
19 Ms. Alaburic will conclude.
20 Yes, please go ahead.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Could the usher please come and collect some documents.
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Petkovic, you'll be given the documents now,
25 but I will start right now. Yes, those are your documents.
1 Yesterday, Mr. Petkovic, on the 9th of March, 2010, on page 64 of
2 the transcript, lines 20 to 21 -- please listen to me, because I don't
3 have much time, and I'll show all the documents so there won't be any
4 problems. So on page 64, line 20 to 21, in response to a question put by
5 the Prosecution about who was to care about individuals who were detained
6 and isolated pursuant to your order of the 30th of June, 1993,
7 number 3019, P3019, you said that there was a decree according to which
8 the Defence Department was to be -- respond to both of the centres where
9 these individuals were taken; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that is what I said, there is such a decree.
11 Q. Please have a look at P292, the first document in the binder.
12 Mr. Petkovic, is that the decree that you had in mind?
13 A. Yes, that's the decree.
14 Q. We don't have to go any further. It's an exhibit. We'll be
16 Have a look at the following document, P452. They are all in
17 order, in the order we are following. It's a decision on establishing a
18 central military prison in the territory of the HZ-HB as part of the
19 Heliodrom Barracks.
20 Mr. Petkovic, have you seen a different document that shows that
21 the head of the Defence Department, Mr. Bruno Stojic, established any
22 other prison, apart from this Central Military Prison, in accordance with
23 the decree that we've just had a look at?
24 A. Madam, I don't know who established --
25 Q. Mr. Petkovic, please be brief. I'm asking you whether you saw
1 any such document.
2 A. I saw that several military investigative prisons were
3 established in 1992, where POWs and detainees were to be kept.
4 Q. Mr. Petkovic --
5 A. This just has to do with the current situation.
6 Q. Mr. Petkovic, please answer my questions.
7 A. You asked me whether I had seen --
8 Q. No. I asked you whether you had seen a decision of any other
9 kind in which Mr. Stojic established a centre or a prison in accordance
10 with the decree that we have already seen, and I'm excluding the one that
11 we have before us. We'll deal with military prisons. I'm not avoiding
12 the subject. We'll see who was responsible for them. But I'm asking you
13 whether, with regard to these centres for POWs, you saw any other
14 documents, apart from the one that you have before you.
15 A. This is a decision on establishing a central military prison, and
16 that's all.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Petkovic. We'll move on.
18 Mr. Petkovic, with regard to the units that disarmed and isolated
19 its own members of Muslim nationality pursuant to your order of the 30th
20 of June, 1993, were these units responsible for filing criminal reports
21 against them?
22 A. Well, criminal reports had to be filed when there was a division
23 made in centres where they were gathered, but not at that point in time,
24 and SIS organs and the Crimes Services worked in that field.
25 Q. Mr. Petkovic, I'm asking you whether --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Nozica. I'm awfully sorry, but I
2 find it difficult to understand your last questions, lines 15 and
3 following. Perhaps there is a problem with the translation:
4 "With regard to the units that disarmed and isolated its own
5 members of Muslim nationality pursuant to your order of 30 June, were
6 these units responsible for filing criminal reports against them?"
7 Again whom? Against the disarmed Muslims?
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Petkovic understood it in
9 that way, and he answered my question, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Petkovic, my question was whether the units that isolated
13 them had the responsibility of filing criminal reports.
14 A. Criminal reports had to be filed by SIS employees and by crime
15 police employees, so that is, I suppose, part of their work when bringing
16 them in and processing each individual.
17 Q. Mr. Petkovic, this is the third time I'm asking you. I'm asking
18 you about the commanders of units. Were they responsible for filing such
20 A. Yes, the Crime Service and the SIS Service had to process each
21 case and file a report.
22 Q. Was that a, Yes, or a, No?
23 A. I said, no, not the commander, but the services whose work it
25 Q. Very well. Let's have a look at P4745. It's the following
1 document, Mr. Petkovic. It's an exhibit, and this is your order to the
2 operations zone and to the immediately-subordinated units. You ordered
3 them -- the date is the 2nd of September. You said that all units in
4 this operative zone should be cleansed of members of Muslim nationality,
5 they should be disarmed and isolated, and criminal procedures should be
6 instigated against those who had committed crimes, and other legal
7 measures should be taken. Mr. Petkovic, is this your order? You
8 provided it to the operative zone and immediately-subordinated units; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes, they will use the organs that are responsible for criminal
11 processing. That is quite certain.
12 Q. Mr. Petkovic, a minute ago you said that that wasn't the
13 responsibility of units. This document --
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I object to this question,
15 Your Honours, because the previous question concerned the issue of
16 whether one should file a criminal report against disarmed and isolated
17 members of the Muslim nationality; whereas this document has to do with
18 crime reports that are filed against perpetrators of crimes, so it
19 doesn't concern all Muslim HVO soldiers who have been isolated. So we're
20 dealing with two completely different issues here.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, perhaps you
22 can be of assistance to us with regard to the Muslims who were disarmed.
23 You're not a jurist, but if you're a general, you have a fairly extensive
24 scope of competence. If you have an army under your command, you know
25 that -- well, I don't have the relevant legal provisions, but there are
1 two violations; there's treason and there is mutiny. There is desertion,
2 there is desertion. You can say "mutiny" or "treason." In an army, if
3 you suspect that there might be a mutiny or treason on behalf of your own
4 soldiers, or they might try to take control of the army, could there be
5 cases of prosecution in the Penal Code of the JNA that you're familiar
6 with? Perhaps you can find the answer, but in the Herceg-Bosna code were
7 there provisions for this or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are provisions, Your Honours.
9 This is the 2nd of September, 1993, when the 1st and 3rd Brigade there
10 were perhaps 30 to 40 members of Muslim nationality who had remained
11 there, and this was a time when the people laid an ambush and about - I'm
12 not sure of the exact number - 12 to 13 members of the HVO, who were
13 Croats, were killed. The Muslims who remained in the HVO carried out a
14 task in September, but they carried out a massacre on 10 to 12 Croats,
15 and then they fled to Blagaj. So these are people who remained in the
16 HVO and who, through their acts, committed a crime. This does not
17 concern those who had been disarmed and brought into detention centres.
18 We all know what happened in the Gubavica area. It's a group of
19 Muslims that we detained. They remained in the HVO. They were supposed
20 to be loyal, but they committed a serious crime. They killed a number of
21 HVO members, and this is what the issue is here.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to the
23 September case, it's clear. But as for those whom you disarmed on the
24 30th of June and on the following days, did you disarm them because they
25 were going to commit an act of mutiny or because they were going to
1 betray you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were disarmed for preventive
3 reasons, for general security reasons, because up until the Gubavica area
4 the ABiH, with HVO Muslim members, had taken control, and their objective
5 was to go further.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Petkovic, let's move on to another document that has to do
9 with filing criminal reports, and that will partially answer the question
10 put by Judge Antonetti. The document is P5581.
11 Have you found it? In this document, Mr. Siljeg forwards your
12 order that we have seen to immediately-subordinated units. Mr. Petkovic,
13 the individuals here -- well, in fact, it has to do with cleansing units
14 of members of Muslim nationality. To be precise, you said that criminal
15 reports should be filed for those who had committed crimes. You said
16 that criminal proceedings should be instigated, and other legal measures
17 should be taken, others should be detained and isolated. So here there
18 were individuals for whom you believed that they had committed crimes,
19 and in some cases you had no reason to believe they had committed crimes.
20 A. Whenever --
21 Q. Please don't answer in general terms. I'm asking you the
22 following: You can see that two categories are at stake here?
23 A. Yes. If anyone committed a crime, that person would be processed
24 immediately. Everyone else is being processed, interviewed, heard. The
25 SIS organs and the Crime Service carries out the relevant procedure.
1 Q. Are these the organs and the units of Mr. Siljeg as it says here?
2 A. Well, you have to have a look at the order dated the 10th of
4 Q. I'm asking you --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel and the witness please slow down
6 and pause between question and answer, as the interpreter cannot follow
7 at this speed. Thank you.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Petkovic, we'll see the documents dated the 10th of August as
10 well. My question is quite specific: When you said that the SIS organs
11 and the other organs processed the others, these orders in these units to
12 whom Mr. Siljeg forwarded this order. Yes or no?
13 A. I don't know whether these are organs and units or whether they
14 are SIS centres in the field.
15 Q. Very well. You don't know, so we will move on.
16 Mr. Petkovic, did unit commanders compile records about those who
17 had been arrested and imprisoned? Do you have any information to that
19 A. They had records that were kept in the units so that they could
20 know whom their soldiers were. They didn't go to detention units to
21 compile lists there.
22 Q. Please have a look at 2120. It's an order from Mr. Lasic that
23 confirms what you have just said; isn't that correct? He says it's being
24 forwarded to all subordinated units --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Ms. Nozica.
2 I think that there is a problem with regard to the reference. I
3 just wanted to check something in the document. P5581, the order from
4 Colonel Siljeg, refers to the order from the Main Staff dated the 2nd of
5 October, 1993. I also checked the B/C/S version. The reference was --
6 or, rather, the date is the same, the 2nd of October, 1993. But when we
7 have a look at General Petkovic's order, it seems to me that the date is
8 the 2nd of September, 1993; document P4745. Have you noticed this? Is
9 it the same document?
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, yes,
11 it's the same document. They are both Prosecution documents, but you are
12 correct. In the original text, the date is wrong. That's in document
13 P5581. But you can see, by the numbers, that in P5581 a reference is
14 made to P4745. That's when you have a look at the numbers under which
15 these documents have been delivered. Is that all right?
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Petkovic, we were looking at P2120, and we said that that was
19 precisely what you were saying whereby the units keep the records. It
20 was Lasic's order.
21 A. It was up to the units to state how many people were detained or
22 not, but they don't go to the detention centres.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and pause
24 between question and answer. Thank you.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, I mean, we really lose time when we,
1 every five minutes, have to recall this. This is a matter -- I mean, I
2 understand your temperament, and it's a good thing, but it is really not
3 only not helpful, but it is a pity. Put your foot on the brake.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do understand you,
5 but my time is really very short and I have to, in a way, stop and
6 interrupt the witness if I don't need a further explanation, and that's
7 when this overlapping occurs.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Petkovic, did you issue orders on moving -- relocating
9 the district civilian prison in Mostar to the area of the investigative
10 prison at Heliodrom?
11 A. Yes, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior and the
12 Justice Department.
13 Q. Now let's look at this order, which is document P2925.
14 Have you found it, Mr. Petkovic?
15 A. Yes, I know what it's about. I've found it.
16 Q. From this document, we can see that the Defence Department was
17 not informed about it?
18 A. No, it wasn't. They were asking for the relocation --
19 Q. Mr. Petkovic, take a look at document P4188, please. This is
20 your order, and we've already seen it during the examination-in-chief.
21 Tell me now, you say here -- well, you explained why you asked for the
22 prisoners to be taken, but I'm interested in something else. Does it
23 follow from this document that you knew that the prisoners, the ones that
24 we -- that you referred to in the document, came under the authority of
25 Mr. Siljeg, and that's why you were addressing him?
1 A. No. All the nine prisons were under the authority of the Defence
2 Department, so we can stop any discussions of that kind and Mr. Siljeg.
3 This was one of the nine prisons that came under the Defence Department.
4 Q. Mr. Petkovic, I'm going to tell you under whose authority they
5 came under in due course. Just be patient.
6 Let's look at the next document, which is P1959.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
8 General Petkovic, when there is a document, sometimes one can
9 read it in two ways, incriminating and exculpatory.
10 In the document I discovered, under 2 and 1, one learns that
11 there is the European Community that is inquiring into the problem. And
12 then you speak of Prozor, and you say, Show them the detainees, but make
13 them presentable. Why do you say that? Normally, a detainee should
14 always be presentable. Why are you saying, Make them presentable?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's always meant
16 that somebody should go into the room, the premises, to see if everything
17 is in order or if there is disorder in a room. So you can only ask
18 somebody to button up his shirt if it's unbuttoned, or things like that,
19 nothing more than that. And it's the custom that when somebody is coming
20 to visit, that you see that the situation is put in order.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this sentence should be
22 interpreted as a simple instruction so that the area of the penitentiary
23 should be in order, and it doesn't apply to the physical appearance of
24 the detainees; is that -- is my understanding correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, precisely. Well, you
1 can't put a prisoner in order. All you can do is, if they're untidy and
2 if their shirt is unbuttoned, to ask them to button their shirts up, if
3 somebody's going to talk to them, and put their room in order. That's
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Take a look at the next document, which is P1959, please.
9 Have you found it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Mr. Petkovic, this one of your orders, and it's an exhibit, dated
12 the 18th of April. And in point 2, you say that:
13 "The exchange of prisoners, both soldiers and civilians, shall
14 start immediately."
15 And you're sending this order to the operative zones, and you are
16 asking them to inform all the HV units of it; is that correct?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. All right, Mr. Petkovic. We're going to move on. That's fine,
19 you've answered.
20 Now let's look at document P5138, which is the same type of
21 order, except this one is dated the 17th of September, 1993. And in
22 point 3, you say:
23 "Secure the release of all prisoners by the 21st of September,
25 And you're once again sending that out to all the operative
1 zones. And in item 5, you are asking the commanders to forward this
2 order urgently to subordinate units; is that right, Mr. Petkovic?
3 A. Yes. The declaration of Tudjman and Izetbegovic was common
4 knowledge to everybody, and I'm just translating that down to the level
5 of the units.
6 Q. So I take it that your answer is, Yes.
7 A. I'm seeing to the units, whereas the declaration was --
8 Q. Mr. Petkovic, the documents speak for themselves, they're quite
9 clear. All I want you to confirm is that whether this is a document of
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now let's look at the next document, and we'll see who was in
13 charge of --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
15 General Petkovic, we saw this morning a series of documents
16 signed by you in various areas. I note, like this one, that these
17 documents are signed, though the Chief of Staff is General Praljak, and I
18 see you signing documents which could come under the competence of
19 General Praljak; specifically, the consequences of a Tudjman-Izetbegovic
20 declaration. And I ask myself, proceeding from that, whether the change
21 of function in the month of July, did it really take place. Did you, in
22 fact, become number two, because these are important documents that you
23 are signing and which could come under the competence of number one, and
24 number one is General Praljak? How, then, did it happen that this
25 document was not signed by General Praljak? Where was he?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, in
2 this trial we saw General Praljak's permission giving me permission to
3 sign this document. And it says that I'm signing pursuant to the
4 authorisation of the commander, with the authorisation of the commander.
5 So I asked General Praljak whether I could talk to Delic and discuss the
6 military part of the Tudjman-Izetbegovic declaration, especially with
7 respect to items 1 and 3. And it says at the bottom there:
8 "With the authorisation of the commander."
9 And so I was given authorisation by General Praljak to attend
10 negotiations and to be able to sign the document, which is what I did.
11 So this was the Tudjman-Izetbegovic declaration. After the declaration,
12 the Dretelj Prison was disbanded. And it was my duty to inform my
13 commanders what had been going on, nothing more than that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I take note of what
15 you're saying. But you say that this led to the closing of the Dretelj
16 Prison; fine. I remember that General Praljak, when he was in your
17 place, told us that the prisons were not his competence. Could that
18 explain that he didn't wish to sign this type of document and he passed
19 on this competence to you? I don't know. It's a hypothesis on my part.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when General Praljak
21 arrived, then UNPROFOR was informed that I would be conducting
22 negotiations further with the three other parties on behalf of the
23 Croatian Defence Council and that General Praljak would not be attending
24 the negotiations. So he authorised me, and, for that reason, I continued
25 to conduct the negotiations. And every time I would sign in his name,
1 with his authorisation.
2 This was the Tudjman-Izetbegovic declaration mentioning the
3 release of prisoners of war, and, in item 3, it referred to mixed
4 committee meetings who would be working on the subject of releasing the
5 prisoners. And it was my duty to inform my commanders what would happen.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
7 Ms. Nozica.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Petkovic, we're now going to move on and discuss the prisons,
11 the centres for isolation in all the operative zones, to see who was in
12 charge of them, as you said a moment ago. And for that, let's look at
13 P1478, which is a piece of information conveying the order issued by
14 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic and the Command of the Central Bosnia Operations Zone
15 on the 12th of February, where it says that Mr. Tihomir Blaskic had
16 issued an order that the military prison comes under the authority of the
17 command of the operations zone.
18 Now, Mr. Petkovic, is that what it says in this document?
19 A. I don't know what the authority was, but that's what he wrote.
20 Q. All right, fine. Let's move on now to the North-West Herzegovina
21 Operative Zone. And for that, let's look at P3234, the next document.
22 This is an order from Mr. Siljeg, dated the 6th of July. It's
23 already an exhibit, and we've looked at it a number of times in this
24 courtroom, about the detention of all Muslim men aged between 16 to 60.
25 Now, Mr. Petkovic, did you know that Mr. Siljeg had issued an
1 order of this kind and detained all Muslim men, as he says here?
2 A. In this order, we can see that he didn't inform anybody about it,
3 but probably he did implement it.
4 Q. I see, probably did implement it. Right. Let's move on to the
5 next document, which is 2D268.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. The question was:
7 "Did you know that Mr. Siljeg had passed this order?"
8 And the answer was:
9 "We can see he didn't inform anybody about it, but probably he
10 did implement it."
11 That is not an answer to the question, Mr. Petkovic. The
12 question was, Did you know? I would like to hear the answer, even if
13 counsel does not.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 6th of July, I did not know
15 Siljeg had issued such an order, because he didn't send it to the
16 Main Staff.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He kept it to himself or for
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What about on the 14th of August, Mr. Petkovic? Did you know
22 about it when you sent the letter which is P4188, the meeting of the
23 heads of the European Community where you spoke about the prisoners that
24 should be brought in? Did you know that Mr. Siljeg had detained them?
25 A. I said if there were any. If there were any detainees, was my
1 wording, I believe, so take a look at the document, show them if there
2 were any.
3 Q. No, you didn't write that. You said, If there was something in
4 Prozor. And then in brackets it says "detainees."
5 A. Well, yes, if there were detainees, show them, but I didn't know
6 whether there were any. And I was saying that if there were, that they
7 should be shown them.
8 Q. Mr. Petkovic, this is precisely the reason why I couldn't follow
9 on from the question that Mr. Trechsel asked. When did you learn that
10 Mr. Siljeg actually detained people and that he had people detained who
11 were Muslim men? When did you learn about that, that that had been done?
12 A. Well, what I can tell you -- well, I can't give you the date,
13 because at that point in time, I did not know whether there were or were
14 not any Muslim detainees in Prozor. Now, the European Community asked
15 about this, and I asked to go and see, and I said that if there were any,
16 he had to show them to them.
17 Q. Mr. Petkovic, did you know about this in 1993? What I'm asking
18 you is whether, from that point in time to the end of 1993, did you learn
19 about this?
20 A. Well, I didn't go to Prozor during that time. I was handing over
21 my duty at that time, so I didn't have to know about all these things.
22 Q. Mr. Petkovic, let's take a look at who was in charge of the
23 prisons in this area. And for that, let's look at 2D268, the next
24 document, which is already an exhibit, Mr. Petkovic. And here the unit
25 commander, the commander of the Rama Brigade, is appointing a prison
1 warden, Mr. Petar Baketaric [phoen], and he is putting him in charge of
2 the detainees' security, accommodation, and so on.
3 Now let's look at the next document relating to that same topic,
4 which is P4156, and here we have the same commander. The same day, an
5 order is being issued about prisoners of war and persons temporarily
6 detained, and he's saying where the prisoners of war should be put up and
7 where the others should be put up. He speaks about security, food, and
8 accommodation; is that right, is that what we can deduce from these
10 A. But this comes under the Defence Department. Now, why would I
11 know about this on the 13th of August? I wasn't in Prozor and I wasn't
12 in command.
13 Q. Mr. Petkovic, you are here under oath. The document shows that
14 the commander of the unit had appointed a warden. Now, whether he came
15 under the Defence Department or not is speculation on your part, so we
16 can now move on, Mr. Petkovic.
17 A. It's not speculation, madam, and I ask you to put the document on
18 the table so that we can see whose authority the prisons came under.
19 Q. Mr. Petkovic, let's see what was actually going on, just briefly,
20 Mr. Petkovic; short answers, please.
21 Look at P3151, the next document, please, which is an order from
22 Mr. Nedjeljko Obradovic, dated the 3rd of July. And in this order, he,
23 referring to the Main Staff order, says under point 4, what should be
24 done with members of the Muslims in the units. And he says that those
25 whom you do not leave in the units should be disarmed and incarcerated.
1 Did you know this order by Mr. Obradovic?
2 A. Well, I and Mr. Stojic wrote the order on reorganisation. We
3 wrote it together, so of course I know about this order by Mr. Obradovic.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down. We're not able to
5 translate at this pace and overlapping. Thank you.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Now look at the next document, P3161.
8 Mr. Obradovic, by this order dated the 3rd of July, is saying
9 that there shall be no visits in Gabela, Dretelj, Heliodrom, and Ljubuski
10 prisons. He is forbidding visits, and this is a way of commanding and
11 being in charge of the prisons; is that right?
12 A. Yes, this is the last day when Mr. Obradovic was supposed to hand
13 over these prisons to somebody else, under somebody else's authority.
14 Q. Mr. Petkovic, let's look at P3197 now, please. This is an order
15 whereby Mr. Obradovic is forming a medical commission for Gabela,
16 Dretelj, and Heliodrom prisons; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The next document is the 5th of July, the date you just
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, and relax because it's not your time
21 that will be going.
22 Mr. Petkovic, shortly ago you said, and that was a document dated
23 3rd of July:
24 "This was the last day when Mr. Obradovic was supposed to hand
25 over these prisons."
1 And now we have a document dated the 5th of July, two days later,
2 and apparently he has not handed over the prison. Can you explain?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can, indeed. We've
4 seen the document of the Military Police Company in Dretelj that is
5 requesting for medical aid and is addressing the surgery in Capljina, and
6 it is normal for the -- Obradovic to intervene. And upon their request,
7 he sent a medical team there. So the documents are being shown that
8 people do not wish to connect to previous documents.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Petkovic. I probably was not
10 able to express myself properly.
11 With regard to a document dated 3rd of July, this said -- you
12 said this was the last day that Mr. Obradovic -- I'm interpreting what
13 you said, but it's difficult to read it otherwise -- that Mr. Obradovic
14 was responsible for this prison, because the next day or the same day he
15 was giving it away. So it is not normal if, two days later, when,
16 according to what you have said before, he was not in charge of the
17 prison anymore, he issues an order concerning this prison. And I --
18 maybe you were in error when you said that it was the last day that
19 Mr. Obradovic had not yet handed over the prison or something.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not in error. On the 3rd
21 of July, the order was written that the 1st Brigade had nothing to do
22 with the prisons. And on the 5th, upon the request of a military police
23 company that addressed a request to the Medical Office --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Stop. We won't waste time. You're not
25 answering the question.
1 Please continue, Ms. Nozica.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Your Honour -- His Honour Judge Trechsel is talking about
4 document 3201. It is not a military police company document, but
5 Mr. Obradovic says that, From your prison, I cannot release anyone
6 without my personal signature, in the aim of enforcing military
7 discipline. And he sends this order to the prisons Gabela, Dretelj,
8 Heliodrom, and Ljubuski; is that so?
9 A. From your prison, and it's not Obradovic's. If I say "from your
10 prison," it is not mine.
11 Q. Mr. Petkovic, we can see to whom this letter is addressed; to the
12 prisons Gabela, Dretelj, Heliodrom, Mostar, and Ljubuski.
13 Mr. Petkovic, please look at another document of the 3rd of July,
14 1993. Please look at this document, P4750. This is Obradovic's document
15 from the 2nd of September 1993, and he's addressing it to the prisons of
16 Gabela and Dretelj. In paragraph 1, he determines how the transport will
17 be carried out of the prisoners for labour. He elaborates the details as
18 to what should be done. And in point 6, he says that prisoners may stay,
19 if they stay in the unit and don't come back. And then in paragraph 10,
20 it says it is the prison warden and the commanders of the military and
21 civilian police are responsible.
22 Therefore, Mr. Obradovic is issuing an order in September and
23 making the prison wardens accountable to him; is that so?
24 A. He is warning them that he mustn't give prisoners and he will be
25 held responsible. No, I am saying this, No.
1 Q. Paragraph 10 states clearly who will be responsible.
2 And finally the last document, Mr. Petkovic, when you were shown
3 a document by the Prosecutor, document P2515, about the suspending of
4 several persons, among them Zeljko Bosnjak, you said that you annulled
5 this order because you could not suspend Mr. Bosnjak; is that what you
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let us look at the document and see why you annulled this order.
9 P2569. One can see clearly from this document, Mr. Petkovic, in
10 paragraph 3, that you annulled this not because you don't have authority
11 over someone in the SIS, but because the situation was presented in a
12 one-sided manner. And you suspended all 12 persons, and not only
13 Mr. Gruja [phoen] that you say you had authority over; is that what it
14 says in this report?
15 A. Yes. The report said that Rajic did not present the situation as
16 he should have, and I had to suspend all 12. And we spoke about
17 Mr. Gruja as the leader of this group.
18 Q. Let me tell you, in the end, that you're under oath and that with
19 respect to the isolation centre, you lied to this Court in order to shift
20 responsibility from yourself directly to Mr. Bruno Stojic.
21 Thank you, Your Honours. That ends my examination.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I just wish it to be noted in the
23 transcript that I think making such an assessment of General Petkovic, as
24 has been done by Colleague Nozica, using the term "lying," that
25 intentionally-speaking untruth, which is absolutely contrary to the basic
1 principles of a lawyer's profession, and we will see whether any
2 particular steps should be taken in this connection. I just wish to be
3 noted in the transcript.
4 As you have seen the content of the additional cross-examination
5 by Mr. Stojic's Defence counsel, I would ask for five additional minutes
6 for a redirect regarding the issue raised by Ms. Nozica.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one sentence.
8 My learned friend may take whatever steps she wishes. As the
9 counsel for Mr. Stojic and in protecting his interests, I am entitled to
10 express my views on the basis of the documents I have.
11 Q. Mr. Petkovic, this statement of mine that you are shifting
12 responsibility to Mr. Stojic to remove responsibility from yourself, is
13 that true or not?
14 A. It is not true.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you show me the order from
17 the month of August, and you didn't want to do that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Stojic Defence
19 has completed its cross-examination.
20 We will have our break, and Ms. Nozica [as interpreted] will then
21 have her two hours and fifteen minutes for additional questions, which
22 will normally bring us to the end of the day.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.51 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
1 Concerning the request for five additional minutes, and the
2 Chamber, having deliberated, rejects the request for the same reasons
3 explained earlier.
4 Ms. Alaburic, you have two hours fifteen minutes.
5 Ms. Alaburic.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I can't
7 say I'm surprised.
8 Re-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
9 Q. General, would you please look at the first document, P1474. The
10 documents are in the order. In the first binder, will you find all the
11 4D documents and a part of the P documents. And when we move on to the
12 Prosecutor documents, they are in the second binder, and I'll tell you.
13 Instructions on order in centres for war prisoners, passed on the
14 11th of February, 1993, by Bruno Stojic. General, were you familiar with
15 these instructions?
16 A. Yes, certainly I was.
17 Q. Your answers to questions put by Colleague Scott on
18 responsibility for prisoners of war, was it based on this document as
20 A. It is a general premise regarding who controls and manages
21 detention centres.
22 Q. In Article 19 of these instructions, it says that detainees may
23 be allotted a type of duty based on their psycho-physical conditions and
24 also according to the possibilities that exist in the centre for the
25 purpose of maintaining order. And in Article 28, it says that
1 supervision over the implementation of these instructions is carried out
2 by a commission of the Defence Department, appointed by the head of the
3 Defence Department. And the next article, 29, says that the commission
4 from the previous article should monthly submit a written report to the
5 head of the Defence Department.
6 My question, General, is: This commission for supervision of
7 detention centres, was it ever formed?
8 A. The commission was formed. I don't know whether it existed from
9 the very beginning, but it was formed in August. I'm aware of the
10 commission from August on. I cannot remember whether it existed before
12 Q. What year?
13 A. 1993.
14 Q. The next document is in the Prosecutor's set of documents. In
15 the third Prosecution binder. We saw it in the courtroom today, P4699,
16 4699. It is an HVO report on work in the first half of 1993. We don't
17 need to waste time looking for the document.
18 On page 25 of the Croatian text, that is, on the 16th page of the
19 English text, in the part of the report of the military police, it is
20 stated, and I quote:
21 "In the past period in the area of Herceg-Bosna, in certain
22 centres there were more than 6.000 prisoners of war. Currently, there
23 are more than 4.000 prisoners detained. Out of this number, several
24 hundred are members of the Serb Army, and a vast number are members of
25 the so-called Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A large number of prisoners
1 are taken out for labour, which help enables them to escape. There were
2 several such cases, but there is no possibility to increase the number of
3 military policemen.
4 "The processing of detainees is carried out by members of SIS and
5 Criminal Services. There are people who are in charge of the
6 co-ordination. The military police is responsible for securing the
7 prisoners. It has been noticed that there has been forcible entries and
8 forcible investigations by certain commanders. Such behaviour should be
9 definitely prohibited and prevented."
10 General, are you familiar with this report on work?
11 A. Yes, it is a report of the Defence Department, that is, the
12 segment of the military police, and we did receive such reports.
13 Q. Tell me, sir, in any other part of this report, except for this
14 part relating to the military police and the Defence Department, does any
15 organ of Herceg-Bosna submit reports on prisoners of war?
16 A. No, only here in this report.
17 Q. Next document, please, P3995.
18 Your Honours, that is a document that was handed out today
19 separately. It's not in a binder.
20 General, you can rely on the electronic device. It is dated the
21 6th of August, 1993, by Bruno Stojic, and he says, and I quote:
22 "In accordance with the need for introducing more order and
23 control, and securing detention units and prisons in which prisoners of
24 war and military detainees are being held, as well as to unify all
25 activities relating to conducting investigations, releasing from
1 detention and exchange of prisoners, I hereby order:
2 "As of the 10th of August, 1993, at commission authorised by the
3 Department of Defence is to take charge of all detention units and
4 prisons in which prisoners of war and military detainees are held. It
5 will be composed of the following: Berislav Pusic, Josip Djogic,
6 Zeljko Barbaric, Jago Musa, and Josip Praljak. The commission has the
7 authority and duty to compile a list of all detainees, sort them into
8 categories, establish control over all detention units and prisons, solve
9 the problems relating to functioning and security, regulate release from
10 detention, prisoner exchanges and the like, and any other important
11 questions relating to the work and functioning of detention units and
13 "The wardens or commanders of detention units and prisons must
14 carry out the commander's instructions and orders and work in accordance
15 with rules prescribed by the commission."
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
17 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I should call this objection
18 "much adieu about nothing." I'm objecting, because we haven't discussed
19 at all what Mr. Pusic did or did not do.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we're now discussing
21 what the responsibility of Mr. Bruno Stojic were.
22 Q. General, are you familiar with this order?
23 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it.
24 Q. Have a look under item 2, forwarded to -- it says this order was
25 forwarded to commanders of detention units and of prisons, and there are
1 nine addresses, addressees. In fact, what does the number "nine" mean?
2 A. It means at that time the Defence Department had nine detention
3 units or, rather, prisons.
4 Q. Tell me, which body of Herceg-Bosna dealt with the procedure of
5 solving the situation in detention units and dealt with closing certain
6 detention units?
7 A. The Defence Department, which was headed by Mr. Jukic at the
8 time. And there was Mr. Biskic as an assistant to the minister for
10 Q. General, have you read all the documents that have been shown in
11 the courtroom and admitted into evidence?
12 A. Yes, I have.
13 Q. Tell me, General, is there a document that might say --
14 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I object to this
15 question, Your Honours, because the witness is not here to tell us about
16 the documents he has read in this case and about the conclusions he has
17 reached on that basis. He is here in order to speak about what he knows
18 with regard to the events that he participated in, with regard to the
19 period for which he is charged. So I don't think Mr. Petkovic is here to
20 provide certain assessments of what he has read in the course of the
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic, you've
24 intervened too early because Ms. Alaburic has asked Mr. Petkovic whether
25 he was familiar with the document. He started by saying, Yes, and she
1 was going to put a question to him and then you intervened. We do not
2 even know what the question will be. We should wait and see.
3 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
4 apologise, but perhaps there was a problem with the interpretation. On
5 page 55, lines 2 and 3, there's a question:
6 "General, have you seen all the documents shown in this
7 courtroom, all the documents that have been admitted into evidence?"
8 In the course of Mr. Petkovic's testimony we have heard, on about
9 20 occasions, with regard to documents that weren't sent to his address,
10 that he hadn't seen those documents. If he is now asked whether he had
11 seen -- whether he has seen all the documents, it means whether he saw
12 them in the course of these proceedings. That's the purpose of my
13 objection. What he knows about the case is not important. What is
14 important is that he testify about the relevant period of time referred
15 to in the indictment.
16 Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, please take into
18 account what has just been said when putting your question.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, I just want to put on record that I agree
21 with the objection. I think it is -- it must be sustained, because the
22 witness is not here to assess the evidence. That's for you, in your
23 final brief.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask
25 you for just a little patience, and then you will see why I put this
1 question. I am not trying to get the witness to assess the evidence
3 Q. General, tell me, in all these commissions and in all the steps
4 taken with regard to controlling the situation in detention centres, and
5 that includes steps to close certain detention units, in all those
6 procedures did anyone participate as a representative of the HVO
7 Main Staff?
8 A. No, no one participated in those activities, Your Honours.
9 Q. My Colleague Scott has mentioned the subject of International
10 Law, and I have a few questions about that.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just one question with regard to this last
13 Mr. Petkovic, do you know whether this commission ever actually
14 accomplished the task assigned to it by the minister of defence or the
15 chief of the Defence Department?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that the commission started
17 working. As for the period during which it worked, I don't know. I know
18 that Mr. Praljak, as a member of the commission in November, wrote a
19 certain report in his capacity as the fifth member of the commission. It
20 wasn't my duty to follow the work of the commission.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, which Mr. Praljak are you referring to?
23 A. Josip Praljak, who is under number 5 here.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I'll briefly object,
1 because now we have the problem that I referred to just a while ago.
2 This is what I was afraid of. Mr. Petkovic is speaking about a report
3 from Mr. Praljak. We all know -- we all know -- well, this is the crux
4 of the matter. Why did I first object? Mr. Petkovic was asked about
5 something, and he said that he knew that Mr. Praljak, who has testified
6 here - we know who he is, Mr. Josip Praljak - he says that Mr. Praljak
7 filed a report on the commission's report. We don't know what the basis
8 for this question is, because we don't know whether Mr. Petkovic is the
9 person who received the report, nor do we know when he, in fact, read it.
10 Did he find out about this report in this case or did he read the report
11 in 1993? Because in the order we have on the screen, P03995, in this
12 order I don't see that Mr. Petkovic or the Main Staff are included as the
13 addressees. I think it would be good to clarify this to see what
14 Mr. Petkovic is testifying about. Is he testifying about what he knew at
15 the time or is he testifying about certain things he heard about here in
16 the courtroom?
17 Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, did you learn
19 about this document that we have before us in 1993 or in the course of
20 these proceedings?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, Your Honours. As the
22 Chief of the Main Staff, I had to be familiar with such documents.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, with regard to the allegations made by my colleague
1 Mr. Scott, I would like to try and see if we can clarify what actually
2 happened in Herceg-Bosna with regard to the detention centres.
3 In The Hague
4 [In English] " ... in the power of the hostile government, but
5 not of the individuals or corps who capture them."
6 [Interpretation] Tell me, General -- my colleague Mr. Scott said
7 that some crimes might have been prepared on the territory of
8 Herceg-Bosna. If the civilian authorities in Herceg-Bosna actually
9 allowed soldiers and military units to treat POWs in a certain way, is
10 that something that would have been a violation of International
11 Humanitarian Law?
12 A. Yes, because a commander cannot keep POWs. He has to hand them
13 over as soon as possible.
14 Q. General, my colleague Mr. Scott suggested that you were, in fact,
15 a politician rather than a professional soldiers. And in the transcript,
16 50455, 50455, he said, among other things, that you met with Mr. Tudjman,
17 you attended sessions of the HZ-HB Presidency, sessions of the
18 Herceg-Bosna government, you attended political meetings, et cetera. Do
19 you remember those questions, General?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Let's try and clarify some matters. Tell us, the meetings that
22 were also attended by Mr. Franjo Tudjman, the president of Croatia
23 while -- or up until the time you were in Herceg-Bosna, August 1994, how
24 many such meetings did you attend?
25 A. As for meetings with President Tudjman, well, I only attended one
1 meeting, and all the authorities from Herceg-Bosna were present. That
2 was in November. All the other meetings were meetings organised by the
3 chairman of the Conference on the former Yugoslavia.
4 Q. With regard to the other meetings, how many such meetings were in
5 the territory of Croatia
6 A. There was a meeting in Zagreb
7 Mr. Izetbegovic and Boban were co-chairpersons. I and Halilovic were
8 there. Thirty people attended it. There was a meeting on the 18th of
9 May, 1993, in Medjugorje as well, and chairs also led the meeting. There
10 was a delegation of Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Izetbegovic
11 was there and others.
12 Q. Very well. Tell me, the first meeting that you mention that was
13 in November, is that a meeting that was held on the 5th of November,
14 1993, in Villa Dalmatia
15 A. Yes, that's the meeting.
16 Q. So those were the three meetings, and there were the plenary
17 sessions in Geneva
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Tell me, General, after you left Herceg-Bosna in August 1994, and
20 up until the time of the death of President Tudjman - if I'm not
21 mistaken, that was in December 1995 - during that period of time, did you
22 ever meet him? I'll correct the year. 1999. That's correct.
23 A. I never attended a meeting with President Tudjman.
24 Q. General, in the course of your life, did you ever meet
25 Mr. Tudjman "tete-a-tete"?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. Did you have any private contact with President Tudjman?
3 A. No. I was in one area; he was in another. He had his escort,
4 his protocol.
5 Q. General, tell us, with regard to the contact had you with
6 Gojko Susak, was the contact you had with him any different from the
7 contact you had with President Tudjman?
8 A. Well, there was a meeting on the 2nd of August, 1993, when
9 Mr. Susak came because of a lot of people from Bugojno who had found
10 accommodation in Makarska, who had settled in Makarska, and were causing
11 problems. Gojko Susak then came to see whether this influx of people
12 from Bugojno to Herceg-Bosna could be stopped. So those were the
14 Q. Please be briefer. We have very little time.
15 General, I have a question about the transcript from a meeting of
16 the 24th of April, 1993, in President Tudjman's office. You mentioned
17 this meeting and said it was one you attended. The document is P2059.
18 Could you please have a look at 4D2043, General. And everyone in
19 the courtroom, it's an excerpt from that transcript.
20 General, please listen to me. Let's see what your role was with
21 regard to this transcript.
22 In this document, 4D -- Your Honour, you'll see the page of the
23 transcript I'm referring to. And very briefly I'll say the following:
24 John Wilson, at that meeting, said:
25 "We all know that there are certain technical problems in the
1 field, certain military problems. We have examined four models of
2 command in order to restructure it, achieve greater efficiency, and avoid
3 further conflicts.
4 "We did not discuss the political aspect of the issue. We
5 believe that this issue belongs to defence ministers, who are responsible
6 for it, and we should move down to lower levels.
7 "As far as I could conclude, the conclusion of both
8 General Halilovic and General Petkovic was that they would need certain
9 political guide-lines with regard to command and co-ordination."
10 And my second question, which also consists -- concerning the
11 political level from which such orders should be issued:
12 "My final comment, Mr. President, is if they get such
13 instructions, they will then be able to clearly solve all technical and
14 military problems or issues."
15 General, you said, in response to that:
16 "This is for the political level to see that there can't be a
17 conflict between the HVO and the ABiH. Everything else is a matter of
18 technical procedure, and this can be done in two days. That's all I had
19 to say."
20 Franjo Tudjman then answered:
21 "Obviously, at the military level, it's an issue of a technical
22 matter, it's a political question."
23 But Alija Izetbegovic said:
24 "Ladies and gentlemen, I agree with President Tudjman. This is a
25 question of a political kind."
1 I'll repeat Mr. Franjo Tudjman's word, because my colleague says
2 it hasn't been transcribed correctly.
3 Franjo Tudjman says:
4 "It's obvious that it's a technical question at the military
5 level, it's a political matter."
6 I think that's correct.
7 General, at the meeting, tell me, did you participate in
8 discussions on these technical and military matters or did you also
9 discuss certain other issues?
10 A. Halilovic, myself, and Brigadier Wilson discussed military issues
11 and how to re-organise the army and the joint command. We were separated
12 from the others when we discussed this matter.
13 Q. General, tell me, in your opinion, who decided about who the
14 enemy was at a given point in time, and whether there would be fighting
15 or whether one to put an end to the fighting?
16 A. According to this, we could see that it was the political
17 leaders, Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban, as far as the Croats and Muslims
18 were concerned.
19 Q. The next meeting that you mentioned, the one in November 1993, is
20 document P6454, and the date is the 5th of November. Tell us, General,
21 what was the reason for your attending that meeting?
22 A. The reason was the events in Stupni Do and that President Tudjman
23 and the rest should be informed, as best as possible, about the events
24 that took place in that area, according to what was known at the time
25 about them.
1 Q. Tell us, General, except for the report on Stupni Do and Vares,
2 did you utter a single word -- additional word about some other topic at
3 that meeting?
4 A. No, nothing but that subject.
5 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you attend a meeting at which
6 Herceg-Bosna was founded on the 18th of November, 1991?
7 A. No, I did not.
8 Q. We saw here in the courtroom that you were present at a
9 Presidency meeting of the HZ-HB on the 3rd of July, 1992; is that
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Tell us, please, were you a member of the Presidency or were you
13 a guest?
14 A. I was a guest.
15 Q. We saw your informational report on the military and security
16 situation. Now, except in that section, did you take part in discussions
17 on any other topic on the agenda?
18 A. No, that was the only topic.
19 Q. Did you take part in any decision-making on the part of the
20 Presidency of the HZ-HB?
21 A. No, I did not have the right to do so. I wasn't a member, nor
22 was I a political leader or politician in Bosnia at all.
23 Q. Now, the next meeting that -- the meeting -- next meeting that
24 the Prosecution said you attended was the Presidency meeting in August
25 1993, when the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
1 us, please, General, at that meeting, did you take the floor, did you say
3 A. No, I just sat at the back with a group of people.
4 Q. Did you make any decisions at that meeting?
5 A. No, I didn't have the right of decision-making at all on any
7 Q. Now a few questions about several meetings of the HVO HZ-HB or,
8 rather, the Government of the HR-HB. Can you remember, General, how many
9 meetings you attended?
10 A. Well, maybe five or six. I'm not quite sure. Five or six
11 sessions. It's difficult to remember them all, but maybe I could give
12 you the dates of them.
13 Q. Tell us, please, did you -- were you invited to attend those
14 meetings or did you go at your initiative?
15 A. No, I was invited to attend the meetings and told what subject I
16 was to talk about, which was generally the military situation.
17 Q. Did you attend meetings about other topics?
18 A. No. I came at the prescribed time when my turn to take part in
19 the discussion came up.
20 Q. Did you take part in any government decision on any issue
22 A. No, I didn't have the right to do that.
23 Q. General, in this trial we have 157 transcripts from the
24 Presidential Offices of President Tudjman, and we've just seen the
25 transcripts where your name comes up. Now, tell us, did you, in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina or Croatia
2 did you attend any session of some council for national security, or
3 anything of that nature, or any body that had some political authority,
4 or civilian body, or anything like that?
5 A. No, I never attended any such meeting.
6 Q. Tell us, please, General, during your stay in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 did you attend a meeting of any political party?
8 A. No. Party work had been frozen at that time.
9 Q. Now, tell us, please, apart from what I've already asked you, did
10 you attend any meeting or session which discussed any political topics
11 and that you were either actively or passively present?
12 A. No, all those meetings were recorded in one way or another, and I
13 did not take part in any political discussion at all.
14 Q. Now, my learned friend Mr. Scott put it to you, General, on the
15 basis of a statement made by General Praljak from the Tuta trial, to the
16 effect that Boban, Prlic, as the president of the government, and
17 Mr. Stojic were, in a way, superior to you, they were your superiors.
18 You remember that, don't you?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Now, tell us, please, as far as you were concerned, was the
21 supreme commander Mate Boban or was it Franjo Tudjman?
22 A. Mate Boban.
23 Q. Tell us, please, in your opinion, the government that you were
24 linked to, the one led by Jadranko Prlic, was that the one, or was it the
25 one led by Franjo Greguric in Croatia
1 A. It was Jadranko Prlic.
2 Q. Tell us, please, General, your defence minister, was it
3 Bruno Stojic or was it Gojko Susak?
4 A. Bruno Stojic.
5 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you receive, from anybody from
7 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. No, nobody gave me any instructions at all about what I should do
9 or not do.
10 Q. Tell us, please, did you -- were you in any way a go-between
11 between the authorities in Zagreb
12 A. No, I was no link between the two, between Zagreb and Mostar.
13 Q. General, you've told us quite a bit about the plans of the
14 international community for the set-up and organisation of Bosnia and
16 those plans. Now, if I may remind you of what His Honour Judge Antonetti
17 said, he said you were, to all intents and purposes, well informed and
18 understood the events on the ground well.
19 Now, tell us, please, General, this participation at negotiations
20 with the international community, was that part of your task and
21 assignment as Chief of the Main Staff?
22 A. Yes. I was invited to attend those meetings in my person, with
23 my first and last name stipulated. If I wasn't invited, I couldn't
25 Q. And tell us, please, did you do your best to read through all the
1 documents, and understand what was being discussed, and why the subject
2 was being discussed?
3 A. Well, it would be pointless for me to go if I didn't take the
4 effort to read the documents and to understand what the object of the
5 meeting was in the first place.
6 Q. General, my learned friend Mr. Scott showed you a document
7 yesterday. You don't have to look for it now, but it was P11179, and
8 that was a BBC
9 his associates in Mostar which was held on the 8th of May. And in
10 yesterday's transcript, it was on page 47. And in that same report, you
11 are mentioned as a participate in that meeting of the 8th of May. And
12 Mr. Scott, on the basis of that document, put it to you that you had
13 testified falsely when you said that on the 8th of May you were not in
14 Mostar. Now, your response to Mr. Scott was as follows, and:
15 "Look at the testimony of Witness Beese and you'll see that I
16 wasn't at the meeting."
17 I'm now going to put the testimony of Christopher Beese to you,
18 General. It is on 3150 of the transcript and 3151 of the transcript,
19 where Christopher Beese said, and I will read out the question and answer
20 in English now:
21 [In English] "Q. Mr. Beese, shortly before the break you told us
22 about a meeting in which you escorted three EC ambassadors for meetings
23 in Mostar. Can you tell us a little bit more about, well, first of all,
24 what was the date of that meeting?
25 "A. It was the 8th of May, 1993.
1 "Q. What was the purpose of this meeting?
2 "A. The purpose was for the fact-finding mission, which was the
3 three ambassadors, to meet with senior HVO officials to understand their
4 general position."
5 [Interpretation] I'm going to skip a part. And then the
7 [In English] "Q. And where was the meeting held?
8 "A. In Mr. Boban's office in Mostar.
9 "Q. Do you recall after, then, the three ambassadors and
10 yourself, who was in attendance at this meeting?
11 "A. Mr. Boban was attended by Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Zubak,
12 Mr. Bozic."
13 [Interpretation] General, when you asked Mr. Scott to look at
14 Christopher Beese's testimony, did you have in mind this particular part
15 of his testimony?
16 A. Yes, precisely that testimony, because I know I wasn't in Mostar
17 at the time.
18 Q. At the end of yesterday's testimony, Mr. Scott put an excerpt to
19 you from an interview with Jadranko Prlic, which is document P9078. Tell
20 us, please, General, do you know what Jadranko Prlic's status was when he
21 gave that interview?
22 A. I don't think he went voluntarily. Now, what his status was --
23 Q. So your answer is that you don't know?
24 A. No, I don't know what his status was at the time.
25 Q. Anyway, Mr. Scott quoted from part of that interview in which
1 Mr. Prlic said that the crimes were committed by members of military
2 units and that, for that reason, it was military persons who were
3 responsible for those crimes. Do you remember that question?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. General, did you read Mr. Prlic's interview? Have you read it?
6 A. Yes, I have read the interview.
7 Q. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions about that.
8 General, do you challenge at all that certain crimes in
9 Herceg-Bosna were committed by members of the HVO? Do you challenge that
10 at all?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. To the best of your knowledge, General, all the crimes that you
13 knew about, were they committed exclusively in combat?
14 A. Absolutely, in combat.
15 Q. I didn't understand you. In combat, you mean?
16 A. Yes, in combat.
17 Q. All the crimes that you know about?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. And what about taking prisoners of war for labour at the
20 front-line; does that have anything to do with combat?
21 A. I wouldn't place them in that group. I just meant -- I just had
22 in mind those who were -- which were directly in combat, although that,
23 too, can be brought into -- can be linked with that. But they weren't
24 exclusively a matter of combat.
25 Q. Tell us, please, combat -- tell us, please, General - let's clear
1 this up - what you're saying is there were situations whereby during
2 combat --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, excuse me. Objection.
4 We don't need a summary of what the General -- the General can
5 tell us what he thinks. I'm not interested in getting a spin from
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General -- might I be allowed to continue?
9 General, if a member of the HVO, for instance, who was on leave,
10 on furlough, rapes a Muslim woman, for example, is that a crime linked to
12 A. No, that is not a crime linked to combat, because during that
13 time he was a free civilian until he is recalled to join the army again.
14 Q. Tell us, please, if some HVO members come to a detention centre,
15 for example, and abuse prisoners therein, does that crime -- is that
16 crime at all related to combat?
17 A. No, it is not.
18 Q. Tell us, please, General, what is your understanding of the
19 following situation? As far as you're concerned, as a military
20 commander, is there a difference, in your mind, between a crime
21 perpetrated by one of your soldiers in combat, during combat operations,
22 from a crime committed by a member of the armed forces outside combat?
23 A. Well, there is a difference, because outside combat you don't
24 have any control over them. You don't know where they are, what they're
25 doing, or anything of that nature.
1 Q. Tell us, please, General, do you challenge and question the
2 responsibility of military commanders, according to the rules governing
3 command responsibility, for the crimes that their soldiers committed
4 during combat operations?
5 A. No, I don't challenge that.
6 Q. Tell us, please, General, do you challenge the responsibility of
7 military commanders for crimes committed by individual members of the HVO
8 outside combat?
9 A. Well, it's questionable whether a military commander is in any
10 way responsible for such acts committed.
11 Q. Thank you. Now look at document P2569, please, General. We've
12 already seen this document a number of times during your testimony in
13 this courtroom, and let's throw some new light on it. This is one of
14 your documents, dated the 30th of May, 1993. It is declared null and
15 void; measures of suspension. We saw it earlier on. Do you remember the
17 A. Yes, I remember it well.
18 Q. Now let's look at 4D977, the next document, please. This is a
19 report by the assistant head for SIS of the brigade in Kiseljak, who, in
20 respect of this document of yours, General, and we can see this if we
21 look at the number, says, in connection with your report of such and such
22 a date:
23 "We would like to inform you that due to combat and fighting in
24 the Kiseljak municipality, it would not be a good idea to discuss the
25 problem of crime.
1 "Now, if we link this to Busovaca, then we will sit down and give
2 careful analysis to the previous actions, whereas now it's impossible to
3 change anything at this point. The measures taken and the activities to
4 prevent all forms of crime has given certain results."
5 Now, tell us, General, that paragraph, and that position whereby
6 the prosecuting of crime should be deferred for a time when there is no
7 longer any combat going on, so to postpone all that, was that the general
8 position taken by a SIS member here? Was that the general position taken
9 in Herceg-Bosna?
10 A. Yes, it was, because fighting and combat had to be completed and
11 over with. That did not mean that we should forget what individuals had
12 done. So the prosecution phase would come afterwards, but priority was
13 given to combat and combat operations.
14 Q. General, if you remember General Praljak's vivid description of
15 the situation, if you had to choose between two alternatives, that is to
16 say, to defend territory or to prosecute crimes, that he, as a military
17 commander, would always choose the option of defending the territory,
18 because a crime can be prosecuted at all times, whereas you can't regain
19 control of a territory once you've lost it. Tell us, please, General, do
20 you agree with that line of thinking, basically, that line of thinking on
21 the part of General Praljak, or does your opinion differ?
22 A. No, I agree completely with that.
23 Q. General, Colleague Scott asked you a lot about your testimony in
24 the Blaskic and Kordic cases on transcript pages 50407 to 453 and on many
25 other pages. Tell us, General, do you remember when you testified in the
1 Blaskic case?
2 A. It is hard for me to remember now.
3 Q. In June 1999; would that be right?
4 A. I think it was June. It was in 1999, definitely.
5 Q. In line 15, the transcript page I was referring to was 50407.
6 Tell me, General, in the Kordic case, did you testify in
7 November? Which party was in power when you testified in the Blaskic
8 case and which when you testified in the Kordic case?
9 A. In the Blaskic case, it was the HDZ, and in the Kordic case,
10 there was a coalition, which means that the HDZ had lost power.
11 Q. It was a Coalition of Social Democrats.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, General, who was the president of Croatia when you
15 testified in the Blaskic case, and who was the president when you
16 testified in the Kordic case?
17 A. In the Blaskic case, it was Dr. Tudjman. And in Kordic, I think
18 it was Mesic, if I'm not mistaken.
19 Q. Tell me, General -- Mr. Scott spoke at length that in your second
20 testimony there were representatives of the Republic of Croatia
21 to control your testimony, who were there to prevent the Court in
22 establishing the full truth. Tell me, this was happening when
23 President Mesic was president of the Republic of Croatia
24 A. Quite so.
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm trying not to intervene,
1 partly in the interests of time, but that one I can't be allowed to be
2 mis-characterised. I think a fair reading of the transcripts, which the
3 Chamber, of course, has in full, was those representatives were
4 remarkably less interventionist than under the Tudjman representatives
5 that came in the Blaskic case. They were, indeed, in the courtroom, but
6 there was a marked difference in the way they approached matters than the
7 previous team. And the record will reflect -- that's not my assessment.
8 The record will reflect that.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we may go into
10 private session for a moment, please.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, private session,
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 50790-50791 redacted.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In this document, in the left column we see what Mr. Scott said
11 in putting his questions regarding protective measures, and I think
12 there's no need to repeat that.
13 In the right-hand column on page 1, there is the decision of the
14 Trial Chamber regarding protective measures for the testimony of
15 General Petkovic. And then on the next page, we have excerpts from the
16 transcript in the Blaskic case.
17 So I'd now like to draw your attention to the following: We have
18 Mr. Rifkin now as representative of the Government of the Republic of
20 [In English] "That the only answer he can give is from the
21 perspective as an HVO officer. Any issues which bear upon his
22 perspective of an HV officer I believe we agreed would not be explored in
23 this particular deposition. I just wanted to make sure he understood
24 that fact."
25 [Interpretation] Mr. Rifkin also goes on to say:
1 [In English] "In accordance with Croatia's bureaucratic
2 procedures, this particular witness received authorisation to speak only
3 about a particular facet of his experience."
4 [Interpretation] Then:
5 [In English] "He received authorisation from his defence
6 minister --" excuse me:
7 "He didn't receive authorisation from his defence minister to
8 address those issues."
9 [Interpretation] Most important of all, Judge Jorda says:
10 [In English] "Mr. Rifkin and Major Udiljak that we wish to thank
11 you fully, because you have done everything that you could in order to
12 act in such a way that General Petkovic spent the amount of time
13 necessary with us, that he take the time needed to answer the question,
14 the questions that were asked by the Prosecution, the Defence, and the
16 [Interpretation] Now my question in connection with these
18 Tell us, General, did you decide about whether your testimony
19 would last one or two days?
20 A. No, I didn't decide that.
21 Q. Did you decide about whether you would have the right to answer
22 questions about the Republic of Croatia
23 A. No, I did not decide.
24 Q. Did you have the right, at General Blaskic's trial, to answer
25 questions about the Croatian Army and the role of Croatia?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. Very well. Two questions now about the contents of your
3 testimony in these cases.
4 My learned friend Scott sought to suggest, if I may interpret
5 him - and I apologise if I'm wrong - that you actually obstructed --
6 avoided answers and prevented the Court from establishing the truth.
7 Tell us first, General, did the Prosecution, during your examination in
8 this case, did they draw attention to certain contradictions in your
9 basic positions and interpretations of events in Herceg-Bosna?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Tell me, did the Prosecution suggest that today, in this case,
12 you're saying something that differs from what you said in the Blaskic
13 and Kordic cases?
14 A. No.
15 MR. SCOTT: It's not up to the witness to assess what I thought I
16 was doing and the answers he was giving. And just so the record is
17 clear, since its been raised, yes, I think he contradicted himself on a
18 number of occasions, and that is the Prosecution position. He gave
19 distinctly different testimony in the Blaskic and Kordic cases than he
20 attempted to give here on a number of issues. And that is our issue, and
21 it's not for Ms. Alaburic to mis-characterise that.
22 Thank you.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 Q. General, you have expressed your opinion. Now let us look at
25 what happened next. We shall first look at your testimony about the
1 salary you received -- that you used to receive when you were head of the
2 Main Staff.
3 Let us look at document 4D2036. Here, in the left column, you
4 see the questions put to you by Mr. Scott. He says:
5 [In English] "It was put to you by Mr. Nice, it was put to you by
6 several of the Judges, and it was only about the eighth or ninth time,
7 when you were pressed by Judge Robinson, that you finally, finally, said,
8 'Well, I was paid approximately half my salary by Herceg-Bosna,'"
9 et cetera, et cetera.
10 [Interpretation] Then Colleague Scott said:
11 [In English] "You repeated asked the question, you repeatedly
12 evaded -- you repeatedly refused to answer the question, and it was only
13 when Judge Robinson continued to press you that you finally gave the
14 answer that, as Judge Trechsel had said a moment ago, you had needed no
15 preparation for," et cetera, et cetera.
16 [Interpretation] And again at the end, again pressed by
17 Judge Robinson, et cetera. So let's see what was happening in the Kordic
19 Unfortunately, everything is in English, so I'll have to read
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Ms. Alaburic, I'm a bit at a loss.
22 This is cross-examination, getting information from the witness. You
23 seem to be discussing the cross-examination of Mr. Scott and asking the
24 witness's opinion on this, and I do not think that is what we're
25 interested in. You can comment that. It will be for you to assess -- to
1 compare what he was asked, what he answered, and then you draw
2 conclusions for our benefit. We'll read that very attentively on what
3 that is worth, but it is not for the witness, in my view, to say now --
4 to interpret his proper answers.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I appeal to you for
6 a little patience.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. We have been quite patient so far.
8 The last time you've asked me for patience, I was not really convinced
9 then that you were right. I'm sorry.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, allow me to explain,
11 and then you can stop me doing what I'm doing.
12 Colleague Scott, through these questions, wanted to undermine the
13 credibility of General Petkovic. The gist of the question about salaries
14 was not whether the General was paid from Croatia or not, but the
15 Prosecutor wished to show that General Petkovic evaded giving answers
16 about his salary, that it was only upon pressure from Judge Robinson,
17 after seven
18 But I wish to show you that that is not true, and it is my view
19 that in this way I am contributing -- if the credibility of the General
20 has been undermined, that I'm contributing to improving it. And I think
21 that in the redirect, I'm entitled to show that it is not true, that
22 first the General answered the first question by Geoffrey Nice, and there
23 was no repetition of questions by Judge Robinson.
24 Now, if you feel that I am not entitled, in the redirect, to ask
25 about questions raised referring to the credibility of my client, please
1 tell me. I will list the issues I wanted to raise, and we can move on.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Scott, but I would like to finish
3 the dialogue, if possible.
4 Of course, it is your right, your duty, to argue -- to argue that
5 your witness and client is credible. That's not in question. But that
6 is you arguing on what's gone on in the courtroom. It appears to me you
7 are now practically asking Mr. Petkovic, Are you credible? And that,
8 I think, is rather strange and mainly, I'm afraid, a loss of time.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may.
10 In view of the little time I have been granted, please allow me
11 at least to use the time in the way I consider it necessary. And I'll
12 ask you to allow me to show, on the next page, how General Petkovic
13 answered questions about his salary, and then the theme, itself, will be
14 exhausted. If I don't do that and if it does not go down in the
15 transcript, you will not have the basis for passing judgement or, rather,
16 you will be passing judgement based exclusively on the incorrect
17 allegations by Colleague Scott. In this way, you're preventing me from
18 showing that Colleague Scott was not telling the truth.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No, I don't think that the witness can say that.
20 But I wanted to just to say the gist of my intervention is to assist you
21 in using the time which you have, and say it's too scarce, in a way that
22 I, at least, regard useful, whereas now I think you're not doing that.
23 MR. SCOTT: If I can just add my two cents on this, Mr. President
24 and Judge Trechsel. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut across you,
25 Judge Trechsel, at the beginning. Apologies.
1 Isn't, by far, the best and clearest evidence of the questions
2 and answers in the Blaskic case the transcript? And the Chamber has
3 that. If the main thrust of all this objection is that I said "seven or
4 eight times," and I have a confession to make, I may not have counted
5 correctly, but the point was the questions were put to -- the question
6 was put to him repeatedly, and I absolutely stand by that. It was
7 repeatedly put to him by the Prosecution, it was repeatedly put to him by
8 the Judges, and it was only after repeated questioning that Mr. Petkovic
9 gave the answer. And there's no reason for me to mis-characterise that
10 or for counsel to mis-characterise that. It's on the transcript, and the
11 Judges can read the transcript for themselves.
12 And I agree with Judge Trechsel, it adds nothing for the witness
13 to give a self-assessment of his own credibility and his characterisation
14 of his prior testimony many.
15 Thank you.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if that is the case,
17 if that's all in the transcript, then I really wonder why my colleague
18 Mr. Scott spent an hour on putting questions about this. And on that
19 occasion, you thought the questions put by Mr. Scott were relevant. And
20 Mr. Scott has now also falsely represented the testimony. You can have a
21 look at the following page of this document, and you will see what the
22 answer was to the question about his salary. I just have one more
23 question in relation to this document. Please allow me to put this
24 question, and then I will finish with the matter, because I believe it's
25 important for Petkovic's defence -- for General Petkovic's defence, with
1 your leave.
2 Q. General, on the following page of this document there's an
3 extract from your testimony in the Kordic case, and Geoffrey Nice put a
4 question to you as to who paid you. And then the first following
5 conclusion of Geoffrey Nice is:
6 [In English] "Your salary was paid by Croatia."
7 [Interpretation] And you immediately answer that that was the
9 Geoffrey Nice repeats the question, and Judge May says:
10 [In English] "Please answer that question."
11 [Interpretation] Judge Robinson asks you to what extent Croatia
12 participated in that, and you said that you couldn't say what the
13 percentage was for certain. Then Judge Robinson put another question to
14 you. You were asked what the percentage paid from Herceg-Bosna was. And
15 you said, Between 40 and 50 per cent.
16 My question for you, General, is: Did you have the intention of
17 concealing information on your salary before the Judges and on who paid
18 you that salary?
19 A. No, that wasn't my intention.
20 Q. Tell me, at the time -- well, in the Kordic case, you testified
21 when Stipe Mesic's government was in power; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, or rather it was at the time of Ivica Racan, who was the
23 prime minister.
24 Q. At the time that you answered the question on your salary, you
1 [In English] "That income came through assistance from the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 Croatian Assembly today."
4 [Interpretation] General, tell me --
5 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me.
6 Your Honour, this has gone on -- this has really gone on too
7 long. And, I'm sorry, I tried not to be an interventionist in the first
8 hour or so, but now we're really getting far afield. It may have been --
9 after Mr. Mesic came in to become president and after there was a change
10 of government and attitudes, at least, in part, some parts of the
11 Croatian authorities, there was a dramatically different approach to the
12 Tribunal. That's when the HVO archives finally, after -- with continuous
13 prodding by the ICTY and the OTP, and if I may say so, myself,
14 personally, on many trips to Zagreb
15 available and when the presidential transcripts were made available,
16 under the Mesic government, the ones that -- the HVO documents and the
17 transcripts the Tudjman government had not turned over. So for counsel
18 to stand up and then try to say, Well, when you came and testified under
19 the Mesic regime, if we can use that term, it was really just the same.
20 Your Honour, I was here on both -- I was here on those occasions, and
21 there's dramatic differences.
22 And, in any event, as Judge Trechsel said, we're far afield from
23 any proper redirect of the witness on these points.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my Colleague Scott
25 has confused the testimonies. Mr. Scott is referring to the Kordic
2 MR. SCOTT: You just were.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] To the Kordic testimony, at the
4 time of Mr. Mesic.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I haven't
6 intervened so far because I was following what the parties were saying.
7 Perhaps, when you put a question, you might be able to summarise
8 everything and show us what sort of an answer you are seeking from
9 Mr. Petkovic. Put a direct question to him, rather than taking these
10 strange routes. Go straight to the heart of the matter.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: And before that, Your Honour, I just want to make
12 sure that any comments made by either side concerning Mesic and who was
13 co-operating, that's -- those are opinions by counsel. That's not
14 evidence. And so I just want to make sure, because if that is the case,
15 then we can go into Mesic, who was part of the Tudjman government in
16 1991, 1992, he was heavily involved in everything, so we can't have it
17 every which way we want it with respect to Mesic. I know what the
18 Prosecution's position is, I know certain Zagreb lawyers are very closely
19 associated with Mesic and anti-Tudjman. I don't want to get into the
20 politics. The fact is, he's not here, he hasn't testified, and what
21 counsel say on either side is not evidence.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, let's move on to part of your testimony that Mr. Scott
25 spent quite a lot of time on.
1 My colleague Mr. Scott showed you a transcript from the
2 president's office, P8912 --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
4 General Petkovic, I'll put a question to you: You testified in
5 two cases, you testified in the Blaskic and Kordic case. Now, under
6 oath, would you say that you positioned yourself differently in the two
7 cases, or did you say, under oath, in both cases, the truth? Did you
8 tell the truth in both cases? Did you say exactly what happened or that
9 Blaskic was at the time of Tudjman; Kordic was at the time of Mesic? Did
10 that make a difference?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, what? Yes to what?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke the truth in both cases.
14 As to whether Mesic or Tudjman was in power, that made no difference to
15 my testimony. I had been assigned certain subjects, and I discussed
16 these subjects. Everything else was beyond me.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, you haven't listened to the question carefully. The
19 Judges asked you whether there was any difference between the testimony
20 you gave in the Blaskic case and the testimony you gave in the Kordic
21 case, and then you said, Yes?
22 A. No, there's no difference in the testimony. I didn't understand
23 that question, and I thought it had to do with who the president was. As
24 far as the testimony is concerned in those two cases, there's absolutely
25 no difference.
1 Q. Mr. Scott showed you the transcript. P8912 is the number. It's
2 a discussion dated the 13th of April, 1999. It refers to the testimony
3 you were to give in the Blaskic case. Questions were put on pages 50411
4 of the transcript, 50411 to 53.
5 In that context, Judge Antonetti, if I may paraphrase him,
6 pointed out something that was very important. It had to do with the
7 discussion between Croatian generals. It showed that the testimony in
8 the Blaskic case might show the danger of the existence of a dual chain
9 of command, and the Judge then asked you whether that second chain of
10 command could be linked to Zagreb
11 about that dual chain of command. With regard to Gotovina, you said you
12 couldn't say what Gotovina had in mind when he spoke about certain
13 matters. But tell me, are you familiar with this dual chain of command
14 thesis, which was the Blaskic Defence's case?
15 A. Yes, Gotovina insisted on that, because the Blaskic Defence team
16 had this thesis of a dual chain of command, and this was related to
17 Mostar or linked to Mostar.
18 Q. General, could you be more precise? When you say "Mostar," what
19 was the Defence thesis, the Blaskic Defence thesis?
20 A. Well, I'll give you a specific example. The Defence showed a
21 document that had to do with supplies. They wanted to say that
22 Mr. Stojic was involved in a dual chain of command, and I said that that
23 was not the case. That was the thesis. There was a document that
24 mentioned provisions in units, and they said that there was a dual chain
25 of command, but that wasn't correct.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have got 4D2033
2 prepared for you, in which you can see questions put by Mr. Nobilo,
3 Defence counsel for Blaskic. It was to do with the dual chain of
4 command, and the questions put show that their claims relate to
5 Mr. Stojic.
6 And then you have an extract from the appellant -- the appeals
7 judgement, and there you can see what the Appeals Chamber's position was,
8 and you can see that it was established that Blaskic had de jure
9 authority over the Vitezovi.
10 Q. General, if The Hague Tribunal, in its appeals judgement,
11 determined that --
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object.
13 Again, we're going to even further extremes now. The witness is
14 now to assess certain decisions handed down by the Tribunal.
15 Please allow me to finish my objection.
16 The correct way to put a question to the witness would be to ask
17 him, What did you say about that, and what do you have to say about that
18 today, with regard to the Blaskic case?
19 Two minutes ago, the witness said that there was no dual chain of
20 command and that that was a lie, so you should ask him the correct
22 We can all read the Blaskic judgement. We know what is at stake.
23 We're also familiar with the Kordic judgement. The witness is not here
24 to interpret the Tribunal's decisions.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours, I
1 don't believe that I should dignify this with an answer.
2 Q. General, did the Chamber determine what you were, in fact, saying
3 before the Tribunal?
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Are you implying that this is a
5 completely worthless objection? Your reaction seemed a bit harsh there.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may, having practiced criminal
7 law, not some other type of law, like some lawyers in this case, we all
8 know that lawyers in criminal cases, Defence lawyers, may take different
9 positions given the circumstances. They have what they call "theory of
10 cases," and the theory may shift from one case to another. In the
11 Blaskic case, the lawyers had one thing at the trial. They took a
12 different approach on appeal because the situation shifted. It's
13 entirely proper.
14 Having said that, when a witness comes, a witness cannot take a
15 shifting position. He's here to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
16 nothing but the truth.
17 Now, what they did in Blaskic, who cares? What the lawyers did,
18 who cares? That's not relevant. What is relevant is what the General
19 testified. So if counsel wants to limit the questions to what the
20 General said, and try to show that what the Prosecution was doing
21 yesterday or the day before was quite not in order with what he testified
22 in earlier cases, fine. But as far as what a trial lawyer did in
23 representing his client, who may have been following instructions from
24 the client or may have been telling the client what is the best option
25 under the circumstances, is wholly unprecedented and -- for these
1 purposes, and we're not getting any closer to the truth if that is the
2 purpose of it.
3 So if counsel is going to be here arguing for more time, then it
4 should be strictly used for proper, and I underscore "proper," redirect
5 examination, and this is not proper redirect examination.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think my
7 colleagues have misunderstood my intention, so allow me to continue.
8 Q. General, is your position today different from the position you
9 had in the Blaskic case?
10 A. My position is identical. There was no dual chain of command.
11 Q. General, the Vitezovi, under whose command were the Vitezovi?
12 A. Under Colonel Blaskic's command.
13 Q. On what basis?
14 A. On the basis of my order dated the 15th of January, 1993.
15 Q. Is that what you testified in the Blaskic case?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is that your testimony today?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. General, when testifying in Blaskic, were you defending Blaskic,
21 A. I was telling the truth about the events -- about the fact that
22 the Vitezovi were subordinated to Blaskic.
23 Q. One more question that has to do with Mr. Scott's questions.
24 My colleague Mr. Scott put a question to you about a question put
25 to you by Judge Jorda in Blaskic. It had to do with the political
1 objectives of Herceg-Bosna.
2 Your Honours, I have shown you this document. It's 4D2039.
3 You told Mr. Scott -- you asked him whether you -- whether he
4 was, in fact, talking about political objectives or political plan. You
5 wanted him to show you an extract from the transcript. Mr. Scott didn't
6 do that, so I will do that now, and then I will put my question to you.
7 So, first of all, you said:
8 [In English] "So whether they did or did not -- if they did have
9 one, they probably published it somewhere, publicised it somewhere,
10 because programmes are usually made public somewhere, but I wasn't very
11 interested --"
12 [Interpretation] General, tell me, were you then speaking about
13 the political objectives or about a political programme or plan?
14 A. Yes, I understood the question to mean whether there was a
15 political programme that consisted of 5, 10, or 15 pages. I said there
16 was no plan, there was just one page which refers to the existence of
17 Herceg-Bosna, and there is nothing else. So I asked whether the question
18 had to do with a programme, because I remember what I was asked about and
19 how I answered the question. Herceg-Bosna didn't have a plan that
20 consisted of 5, 10, or 15 pages. There is no such programme.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe it is time
22 for the break, so perhaps we could have the break now. I'll be moving on
23 to a new subject.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will have a break now. The
25 Registrar will tell me how much time remains for you. Ideally, we should
1 conclude today so that we can start with the new witness tomorrow.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.38 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. General, I'd now like us to deal with the transcript, P8912.
7 8912 is the number. It's the transcript from the meeting held on the
8 13th of April, 1999, at which President Tudjman had a meeting with
9 Davorin Domazet, Pavao Miljavac, Kresimir Cosic, Markica Rebic,
10 Zivko Zrinic, and Ante Gotovina. May I just summarise briefly what would
11 follow from Mr. Scott's question relating to this transcript on
12 pages 50411 to 53.
13 These gentlemen, it appears, were concerned about the fact that
14 you, General, would be asked about the involvement of the Republic of
16 thought -- well, it is assessed as being a hostile environment. They say
17 that the questions should be restricted to a certain area, and so on and
18 so forth.
19 Now, take a look at the first document linked to this, which is
20 4D2042, 4D2042. This is an article of the Croatian daily called
21 "Slobodna Dalmacija" of the 30th of September, 2000
22 the fact that the then president of Croatia, Stipe Mesic, retired --
23 pensioned off seven Croatian generals, and some of the participants of
24 this meeting are mentioned, of the meeting of the 13th of April, 1999
25 They were Davorin Domazet, Kresimir Cosic, and Ante Gotovina. The
1 newspapers published Mesic's explanation according to which the generals
2 had opted for politics, and then President Mesic's stand was that the
3 army must be de-politicised and that anybody wishing to deal in politics
4 has the right to do so:
5 "We do not suggest which party they should join, but while they
6 are in the army, they will not write pamphlets of any kind."
7 And then another explanation carried from the Presidential
8 Offices says that it was clear that the generals, in their letter, wanted
9 to cause additional controversy, and that the signatories of the open
10 letter shows that they were all officers who, from the first to the last,
11 whether covertly or not, were close to the Croatian political arena.
12 Now, my question to you, General, is this: Did you know that
13 President Mesic, in September 2000, pensioned off these seven generals?
14 A. Yes, I did know about that.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to ask for the relevance of
16 all this. Who cares what Mesic did back then? I mean, what does this
17 have to do with this case, what does it have to do with the General's
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't know, but wait for the
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely, Your Honour.
22 Thank you for that.
23 Q. Now, General, did you belong to this group of generals who were
24 close to this group of retired generals?
25 A. I was physically far away from these individuals, and even had I
1 wanted to, I couldn't have met them. But they were a group of generals
2 who mostly communicated with the supreme commander, the previous supreme
3 commander, that is to say, Dr. Franjo Tudjman.
4 Q. Tell us, please, General, at the time that Franjo Tudjman was in
5 power, were you his envoy at all, or representative at any public event,
6 or anything of that kind?
7 A. No, never, for Mr. Franjo Tudjman, an envoy or any representative
8 of his at a meeting or anything like that.
9 Q. Tell us, please, were you Stipe Mesic's envoy, him being the
10 president of the Republic of Croatia
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. Tell us, General, when and where?
13 A. The Sinjska Alka [phoen], the Sinjska Alka event. I can't
14 remember what year that was.
15 Q. That was the first year of Mesic's presidency, was it?
16 A. Yes, it was. I think it was in 2000.
17 Q. Tell us, please, General, what is the biggest promotion you can
18 get in your military career from the 1990s onwards, say?
19 A. You mean the rank?
20 Q. Not rank, but position.
21 A. The main inspector of defence of the Republic of Croatia
22 Q. Now, General, look at 4D807. This is a decision on your
23 appointment to the post of chief inspector of defence. The decision was
24 dated the 3rd of January, 2003, and the decision was taken by the then
25 minister of defence, Mrs. Zeljka Antunovic. Tell us, please, are you
1 familiar with this document?
2 A. Yes, I am.
3 Q. And did you take on the position of chief inspector on the basis
4 of this document?
5 A. Yes, precisely on the basis of that document, that's right.
6 Q. Tell us, please, which political party did Zeljka Antunovic
7 belong to?
8 A. The SDP
9 Q. Those are the Social Democrats; right?
10 A. Yes, the Social Democrats.
11 Q. Now, General, if you were asked to state which minister of
12 defence you had best co-operation throughout your career, what would your
13 answer be?
14 A. Well, I co-operated most and had the best co-operation with
15 Mrs. Antunovic, because I was her immediate subordinate or she was my
16 immediate superior at the time.
17 Q. At this meeting of the 13th of April, 1999 -- and, Your Honours,
18 I have provided a separate document, 4D2040, for you, if you wish to take
19 a look at it.
20 Mr. Markica Rebic, among other things, said of you, General, the
21 following, and you can listen to me:
22 "Apart from that, his position was very interesting. He was not
23 a man who could be linked to a few key matters, so he would have been
24 charged long ago."
25 I don't want to burden you with the details. There are numerous
1 details, excerpts, variations on a topic, and so on and so forth.
2 Now, my question to you, General, is this: May we have your
3 comments to what Mr. Markica Rebic says, that you weren't somebody who
4 could be connected to any key events that took place in Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. Well, I don't know. I suppose Markica Rebic followed the events,
6 and he drew that conclusion on the basis of the information he had.
7 Q. Tell us, please, General, any of the people attending this
8 meeting, or anybody else, for that matter, did they call you before your
9 testimony in the Blaskic trial and express their concern about what you
10 were going to testify about and whether you would defend Croatia in a
11 suitable manner at the trial?
12 A. No, nobody contacted me or spoke to me in that sense.
13 Q. Now, General, Mr. Scott, among other things, showed you your
14 curriculum vitae in which -- and it is document P8731, in which you
15 stated that you had been a member of the HDZ from 1992. And you said
16 that this CV was compiled in 1996 and that sometime in 1998 or 1999, you
17 were stricken from the HDZ list. Now, my question to you is: Which HDZ
18 are you referring to?
19 A. The HDZ of the Republic of Croatia
20 list, but they didn't tell me the exact date when I was stricken from
21 party membership and when I was registered in the first place, which is
22 something I asked them to do and provide.
23 Q. Now, the Stojic Defence, General, asked you a question. They
24 asked you whether Bruno Stojic could issue operative orders to HVO units.
25 And that was on page 50089 of the transcript and the next page. And your
1 answer to that was that he could have done that on the basis of
2 Article 30 of the Decree on the Armed Forces of the HZ-HB. And after
3 that, Defence counsel said, Yes, you're quite right, that possibility did
5 And let's look at document P588 briefly, P588, which is the
6 Decree on the Armed Forces. Let's look at Article 30 of that decree.
7 And in para 2 of Article 3, it says the supreme commander of the armed
8 forces can transfer the performance of certain duties of control and
9 command of the armed forces to the head of the Defence Department. And
10 then within the frameworks of his remit, the head of the Defence
11 Department shall enact regulations, decisions, and other acts and
12 documents. And the last paragraph, it says:
13 "For his work, the head of the Defence Department shall be
14 responsible to the supreme commander for the affairs given to him within
15 his remit."
16 Tell us, please, General, in mentioning Article 30, are those the
17 provisions that you had in mind, the ones I quoted?
18 A. Yes, those are the ones. They're all contained in Article 30.
19 There are no others.
20 Q. Can you interpret that last paragraph, which says that the head
21 of the Defence Department, with respect to these issues, shall be
22 responsible to the commander. What does that mean vis-a-vis the position
23 of the head of the Defence Department towards the HVO HZ-HB or, rather,
24 the government?
25 A. Well, as far as the government is concerned, that is not
1 important. The person to whom this authority is conveyed shall be
2 responsible to the supreme commander.
3 Q. I'm not quite sure -- I don't think you've answered my question.
4 What I want to ask you is this: The affairs concerning supreme command,
5 now, does the head of the Defence Department have anything to do with the
6 government or is he linked exclusively to the supreme commander for those
8 A. In those cases, he would only be linked to the supreme commander.
9 The government has nothing to do with that.
10 Q. Now, since we're looking at this document, Mr. Scott pointed out
11 Article 86 of this decree, relating to the official oath, and it is in
12 50490, the answer. General, did you ever count how many times the state
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina is mentioned in this provision, in this article?
14 A. Well, I did count. I think there are over 20 articles in which
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina is mentioned in the first place in P588, that
17 Q. General, did you take part in preparing this article?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. Do you have anything at all to do with the wording of this
20 official oath?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, General, give us your personal opinion here. Would it have
23 been better if, in that oath, mention was made of the state of Bosnia
25 A. It would have been better, but I don't think that that is to the
1 detriment of any person of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We saw the Mujahedin's
2 oath and Alija Izetbegovic's. Now, is that a state oath or not is
4 Q. General, look at the next document, please, with respect to the
5 transference of authority. 4D1276 is the document I'd like us to look at
6 next, 4D1276. Yes, that's right. And this the Croatian Law on Defence,
7 and I'd like us to look at Article 47 together, third para from the
8 bottom, in which it is stated that the supreme commander of the armed
9 forces can transfer certain affairs of command and control of the armed
10 forces to the minister, except matters relating to the armed forces --
11 the use of the armed forces.
12 Now, in your understanding of this article, could Franjo Tudjman
13 transferred to Gojko Susak the authorisations under the Decree on the
14 Armed Forces?
15 A. Yes, he could.
16 Q. Have a better read of that, more careful read of that, General.
17 Read it again. You have it on your screen, so read it carefully, please.
18 A. Can we zoom in to that, because I have trouble seeing it.
19 Q. Listen, General.
20 May we see the right-hand side of the Croatian page, the
21 right-hand column, please, in Croatian. The upper part of the page, the
22 right-hand corner of the page. Right.
23 And it says:
24 "The supreme commander can transfer to the minister of defence
25 certain affairs of control and command over the armed forces, except
1 affairs on the tasks related to the deployment and use of the armed
3 That's right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Now, Franjo Tudjman, could he transfer the deployment and use of
6 the armed forces to Gojko Susak?
7 A. No, obviously not. That is the exception.
8 Q. Now, if you know this provision on Herceg-Bosna, which is P588,
9 that restriction or limitation, was it applicable to transference of
10 authority in Herceg-Bosna? And we can go back to the document if you
11 wish to have another look at it. It is P588, Article 30. Does that
12 limitation exist or not?
13 A. In Herceg-Bosna, it says -- well, this article does not exist, as
14 it does in the original here. It does not exist and apply to
15 Herceg-Bosna. The Decree on the Armed Forces of Herceg-Bosna, that does
16 not exist.
17 Q. Now, General, the Stojic Defence asked you a number of questions,
18 among them whether Bruno Stojic ever issued an operative order of any
19 kind to you. And your answer was that he had not done so, and that the
20 two of you co-signed certain orders, but that he didn't issue any
21 operative orders to you. I'm now going to show you a few documents, and
22 I'm going to ask you to clarify what is meant by "operative" or
23 "operational orders."
24 The first of those documents is P610. This is a daily report of
25 the Military Police Administration, dated the 21st of October, 1992
1 it says:
2 "Because of the events in Central Bosnia, upon orders from the
3 head of the Defence Department, we have sent reinforcement from the
4 2nd Battalion."
5 And it goes on to say that they will continue working in
6 accordance with the Command of Central Bosnia and with the commander of
7 the 4th Battalion of the military police.
8 Tell me, General, this sending of a unit as a reinforcement, is
9 it an operative order or not?
10 A. It is, but it's not addressed to me.
11 Q. Let us now look at document P619. It is a report of the Military
12 Police Administration, dated the 22nd of October, 1992. And in the
13 second paragraph, it says:
14 "In view of the conflict in Central Bosnia, in the morning hours
15 the situation in Mostar has deteriorated. Upon orders from the head of
16 the Defence Department and based on the decision of the Presidency of the
17 HVO, during the day we have captured the following features in town: The
18 post office building, the MUP centre, the police station, and we have
19 stopped the work of Radio Mostar BH. In addition, we have also blocked
20 all the roads and took all the check-points in town."
21 I leave out a part of the document, and then I continue with the
22 report that: Participating in the operation were about 500 military
23 police, two anti-terrorist groups commanded by Andabak, members of the
24 Bruno Busic Regiment, members of the Ludvig Pavlovic Battalion, members
25 of the Ljubuski Training Centre, members of the Department of the
1 Interior, and some units of the Mostar Brigade. Tell us, General, can
2 such an order be considered an operative order?
3 A. Yes, but it was not addressed directly to the Main Staff.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I can make an
5 objection. I consider this improper examination in the redirect.
6 On page 102, in the first line, the question put to Mr. Petkovic
7 was whether Mr. Stojic had issued him any operative orders. Then she
8 went on to discuss a number of documents, that is, two documents, and the
9 witness answered in both cases that these were not operative orders
10 issued to him by Mr. Stojic.
11 I think that my learned friend, at this point, is doing the
12 Prosecution's work. She is incriminating Mr. Stojic without any basis in
13 the questions and answers in the cross-examination. I wish this to be
14 recorded in the transcript.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I don't know
16 where you're going. I understood, like everyone else, that the minister
17 of defence did not have the possibility of giving operative orders. That
18 is not so in Croatia
19 evident. But if we look closely at Article 30, we can draw the
20 conclusion that the defence minister can delegate competencies of a
21 purely administrative nature and not of an operative nature. But what
22 exactly do you wish to show, having said that, because the objection of
23 Mr. Nozica is well founded. What do you wish to show? Put your
24 question. You're wasting a great deal of time, through a large number of
25 documents, whereas the simplest procedure would be to ask a question and
1 then show him a document, and that's it.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is what I'm
3 doing now. But I wish to draw attention to a part of your statement,
4 that you and everyone else in this courtroom know that the defence
5 minister did or did not do things, that is, he did not have the ability
6 to issue operative orders.
7 If I may remind you, three years ago, in this courtroom, there
8 were allegations, that it is well known, that the defence minister in
10 why we are discussing the position and role of a defence minister in
11 trials of this kind relating to war crimes. What you're saying today
12 shows that in the past three and a half years, you haven't changed your
13 opinion, and that in spite of everything that we have tried to do in this
14 courtroom, with the aim of clarifying events, has not reached you to this
15 day. I take note of this, and in view of this, I will organise myself
16 for the continuation of these proceedings.
17 But what we wish to tell you is the following: that
18 General Petkovic has never --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you're saying
20 that, You haven't changed your opinion, but I have no opinion, I have no
21 position. Why are you saying that, You have not changed your position?
22 We don't have a position.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me quote you.
24 Page 103, lines 23 to 25:
25 [In English] "I understood, like everyone else, that the minister
1 of defence did not have the possibility of giving operative orders."
2 MR. KHAN: Mr. President --
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Let me
5 Similar observations as to what a defence minister has as his
6 competencies or not have been made during this trial, and, if necessary,
7 I can find those places from the transcript going back three years, all
8 the statements saying that it is well known that the defence minister has
9 a role or doesn't have one.
10 I fully understand a common-sense position that crimes were
11 committed by soldiers and that military commanders are, therefore,
12 responsible. Fully understanding such a common-sense position that I,
13 too, would probably have if I was dealing with a case in Rwanda or some
14 other country, in these proceedings we have tried to specify for you who
15 is competent for what, de jure, and also the situation de facto.
16 We have endeavoured, in making our case, to rely always on
17 regulations and documents. We have never shown you a document that was
18 not based on rules. And the situation, with 10.000 documents in this
19 case, is as follows: You can find a document in support of any thesis
20 you may have. What you have to do, as Judges, is to find your way in
21 this forest of documents to find what is the rule and what is the
22 exception, what is de jure and what is de facto.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I have been
24 listening to you. Does that mean - I'm trying to understand your
25 theory - is that the defence minister does have the possibility of
1 issuing operational orders? Is that what you're trying to demonstrate?
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think I've already
3 demonstrated that on the basis of the reports which Mr. Valentin Coric,
4 as head of the military police demonstration, filed in December 1992, it
5 is quite clear that this is an order of an operational nature.
6 What I wish to tell you is the following: that when we're
7 speaking of certain situations, that we have to make a distinction from
8 one situation to the next, because some combat orders may have been
9 issued by General Petkovic, some combat orders may have been issued by
10 someone in the chain of command subordinate to Mr. Petkovic, but there
11 are also situations when that is not so. And in my opinion, you simply
12 have to be informed about these things so as to assess each situation
13 individually, taking into account all the evidence, rather than having a
14 single, unified position, all crimes were committed by soldiers and the
15 commanders are responsible. You have to bear in mind the various
16 competencies of various bodies, and for this purpose one needs a very
17 detailed analysis.
18 We are aware that we have entered this courtroom with a position
19 of minus 10, that it is quite commonsensical to consider that military
20 commanders are responsible because some of their soldiers committed the
21 crimes, and we realise that our attempt to present our case in this
22 courtroom will be very difficult, that very often you will think that we
23 are thinking the responsibility to someone else, rather than trying to
24 clearly explaining the relationships.
25 We were aware that all the colleagues in the so-called civilian
1 authorities would be against us, we were aware of all this, and from the
2 first day we wanted to have a principled position in this courtroom. And
3 if someone shows me that any thesis of General Petkovic's Defence is
4 contrary to the rules and what was happening on the ground as a rule, we
5 will not say a further word in this courtroom.
6 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm most grateful.
7 My learned friend's response is perhaps revealing. I'm not going
8 to seek to dissect it, but I will make a couple of observations, with the
9 Court's leave.
10 It is, of course, not the role of a Bench to be inordinately
11 patient, to be inordinately lenient with any party, whether it be the
12 Defence or the Prosecution. It is for the Bench to navigate its way
13 through the evidence, consistent with the Rules, in a manner that enables
14 them to come to a fair determination of the matter that is being
16 Now, at times, of course, my learned friend's intervention may
17 have had the flavour of an apology somewhat as a victim, but the
18 propositions that any party comes into this court with a minus 10 is a
19 victim psychology which, in my respectful submission, has no basis before
20 professional judges. It may appease the conscience of individuals, for
21 counsel in a case, but the reality is, and the objective evidence, in my
22 respectful submission, shows that the Bench are alive to their
24 Now, on many occasions, Mr. President, you and your colleagues
25 have said, with many witnesses and in relation to many objections, that
1 you have not come to any conclusion in relation to this matter. You have
2 said it repeatedly, I think only a couple of weeks ago, that will be done
3 once the hearing is finished, and you'll adjudicate and consider all the
4 evidence in the round. But simply to repeatedly or assert that a view
5 has been taken or a view has not changed is simply a recipe for disaster
6 and is, indeed, a complete -- completely self-indulgent.
7 Your Honours, apart from the homilies that were contained in the
8 intervention, the crux of the matter, in my respectful submission, may go
9 down to something that my learned friend Mr. Karnavas says: That
10 lawyers, of course, may have a variety of theories. What is important is
11 the evidence you hear from the witness. The views of counsel will be
12 marshaled from the Prosecution and from the Defence at an appropriate
13 juncture. That juncture is not today, in this courtroom, at half
14 past one. It will be in closing briefs and in closing speeches.
15 But, Your Honours, a question was put in cross-examination to the
16 witness, who is under oath. That was unequivocal in its scope. It is
17 whether or not my client -- our client issued him operative orders. Now,
18 my learned friend can seek to -- I won't say blur the issues, but may ask
19 any question she wishes, provided its relevant and its probative.
20 Your Honour asked a very straightforward question regarding the
21 purpose of this questioning and its relevance. Your Honours, in that
22 ream of response, in that long speech that was given by my learned friend
23 for General Petkovic, of course, in his presence, a response is perhaps
24 difficult to discern.
25 Your Honours, I would enjoy, and all of us, myself included, to
1 be rather disciplined in our interventions so as not to waste the Court's
2 time and to make sure that we do what we are required, which is to enable
3 Your Honours to have the relevant information to make a proper decision.
4 Your Honours, that's all I have to say on this matter, unless my
5 learned friend Ms. Nozica has anything additional to add.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have a question, Mr. Khan. I'm not a cook at
7 all. I'm always interested in recipes. And you have spoken for a recipe
8 for disaster, which I did not quite understand. And fearing that I might
9 contribute to disaster, I'm anxious to know, as precisely as possible,
10 what you meant.
11 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I apologise if I wasn't clear. And I'm a
12 terrible cook. A cheese sandwich and an omelette, perhaps, is as much as
13 I can make.
14 But, Your Honour, what I was trying to say is when a party
15 engages on a line of questioning which may not be focused and which may
16 not be relevant, a number of consequences occur. Not only is court time
17 wasted, but collateral issues are raised which either require additional
18 time or raise the temperature in the courtroom. And, of course, getting
19 to the truth in an unnecessarily heated environment is not conducive to
20 the ascertainment of the truth, and that is one of the reasons why we
21 have rules, so that the evidence can be sifted and analysed and reviewed,
22 if not in a sterile environment, at least, as far as counsel is
23 concerned, in as dispassionate or, at the very least, in as objective a
24 manner as is possible. And that's what I was saying about a recipe for
25 disaster, if individuals simply say whatever they want regardless of
1 legal discipline and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence before this
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For Mr. Coric.
4 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would
5 like to join Colleague Khan, and I would add something.
6 I shall try not to be blunt in what I am saying, but I think that
7 each one of us following these proceedings does not understand what
8 exactly we are listening to. Is this an examination-in-chief, a
9 cross-examination of one's own witness, or a closing statement, closing
11 Ms. Alaburic has asked Mr. Petkovic a direct question, whether he
12 had received an operative order from Mr. Stojic. He answers, No. After
13 that, she shows him documents which she thinks show the opposite; in
14 other words, she is provoking an answer from him and is cross-examining
15 him. After all this, all of us in the courtroom are delivered a speech,
16 which is like a closing statement, an analysis of the proceedings.
17 And I'd just like to join Mr. Khan in saying that we have to be
18 careful in conducting our own examination. We are creating unnecessary
19 nervousness in the courtroom, and I don't think it is leading anywhere.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I am interested in is the
21 document, and a document is important, and I have a question to put to
22 General Petkovic which I believe will summarise everything.
23 General Petkovic, you have listened to all these interventions,
24 and you have understood what they wanted to say.
25 We have a document, P619, coming from Mr. Coric, related to an
1 operation conducted on the 22nd of October, 1992, linked to the situation
2 in Mostar. And we learn that buildings have been taken control of; the
3 post office, MUP, Radio Mostar, et cetera. I won't go into the details.
4 For you, this document, what is it? Is it a document of a military
5 operation, a document regarding security by the police? Does it come
6 under orders that may be issued by the head of the Defence Department to
7 officials in the military police? How would you interpret this document,
8 beyond going into the competencies of one or other involved, one or other
9 party involved? What is this document about?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the document says
11 that according to an order from the head of the Defence Department, the
12 following was done. So this is a report from the military police about
13 the tasks that they received and carried out. It's not just the military
14 police. The military police also mentioned some HVO units that were also
15 assigned such tasks. So obviously there was an order that the military
16 police acted on, as well as some of the HVO units, and the military
17 police forwarded a report as ordered.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In this event of
19 the 22nd of October, do you remember it? Was it a joint operation
20 between military units and military police units? Do you remember this
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I remember some of these
23 facilities were placed under the control of HVO forces.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. I just wish to state that I find merits in
25 the objections of both Mr. Khan and Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic, and find it
1 also difficult to see what this document has to do with the Defence of
2 Mr. Petkovic, because it seems to concern two other accused, mainly;
3 namely, Mr. Stojic and Mr. Coric. And I -- perhaps you can explain,
4 Ms. Alaburic, why you think that this is relevant to the Defence of
5 Mr. Petkovic.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, gladly.
7 I hope you have some understanding for General Petkovic's
8 position too. One of the issues that's important in this courtroom is
9 the issue as to whether orders to go into combat for any military unit of
10 the HZ-HB were orders exclusively by military commanders or whether they
11 were also issued by others. The Petkovic Defence is interested in
12 demonstrating how certain combat operations were carried out following
13 orders issued by someone else and not by a military commander, and we've
14 treated the document in this way. We've tried to show that a certain
15 combat operation was carried out on the basis of an order issued by a
16 president of a certain municipality.
17 What we want to show Your Honours is that we cannot just assume
18 that some military commander organised an action and that that action was
19 carried out because it was ordered by a military commander, because
20 perhaps that wasn't the case. So we are just trying to say that each
21 situation has to be looked into on an individual basis. When you examine
22 the conflict in Gornji Vakuf or in any other location - I just took
23 Gornji Vakuf as an example - when you do that, it will be important to
24 determine whose order was being followed when action was taken. So we
25 just want to define certain matters and bring into question the idea that
1 this assumption is incontrovertible. We want to show you documents to
2 that effect.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I might just react in one sentence.
4 I think that makes perfect sense if you are dealing with some
5 fact imputed to Mr. Petkovic. This is -- I fail to see this link here,
6 and that's why I think I was correct and you are not.
7 Mr. --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas -- Mr. Karnavas,
9 one second. I'll let you have a second, but in 25 minutes I will be here
10 again for a day that will be even worse than this morning, so please
11 hurry up.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, a part of -- the technique that's
13 being used is to sabotage the rest of us by bringing these sort of topics
14 at this stage of the proceedings. That's part of the problem. It's for
15 direct examination.
16 But also when counsel says that somehow everybody is against her
17 and she hasn't done anything contrary to the Rules, perhaps you may feast
18 on this for the rest of the day, when the general says that when a
19 soldier commits a crime after he leaves, while he's still a soldier, he's
20 still mobilised, and that the military is not responsible for that,
21 I think if we look at P00425, which is the Code of Military Discipline,
22 and when considering that the general, himself, albeit he did get his
23 grades rather quickly after being a lieutenant-colonel, was a professor,
24 himself, at a military academy, it shocks the conscience for someone to
25 say they're not under the military. This is a clear shifting of the
1 burden, which they're entitled to do. But when they do this at this
2 stage of the game, then it does cause us some concern, because the
3 question is: Are we entitled to ask for re-cross-examination? I'm not
4 suggesting that I will, but I am suggesting that if we're going to allow
5 these sorts of tactics, there are some reactions to that and there are
6 some consequences to be paid.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 I wish everyone a good day. You will be fortunate enough to have
10 a rest this afternoon, and we will resume tomorrow at 9.00. Thank you
11 very much.
12 [The Accused Petkovic stands down]
--- Whereupon the
hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 11th day of
15 March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.