1 Thursday, 24 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
11 Mr. Registrar.
12 On this Thursday I would like to greet all the parties who are
13 present. I would like to greet Mr. Scott, the counsel for the Defence, as
14 well as anybody inside this courtroom and outside the courtroom. We are
15 now going to finish the hearing of this witness, and contrary to what was
16 said after erroneous calculations, it would seem that Mr. Praljak has two
17 hours and not two hours and 20 minutes, as we thought, since he gave back
18 to Ms. Nozica 20 minutes, which means that he has two hours, but that is
19 sufficient enough, I believe.
20 So, Mr. Kovacic, how are things going to look today? Are you
21 going to begin and then Mr. Praljak will intervene with regard to military
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
24 and bearing in mind your recent ruling, I should like to ask your
25 indulgence for Mr. Praljak to start first, and I think he'll cover
1 everything since the areas that I had in mind have already been covered,
2 and he has justified reasons for conducting the cross-examination. As you
3 well know, the witness spoke about the fact that they met several times in
4 persons, and there are a number of significant facts related to the events
5 in which Praljak was involved himself personally, and there are various
6 military and technical matters that the witness mentioned indirectly, and
7 Mr. Praljak would like additional information. So that is why I would
8 like to leave the cross-examination to Mr. Praljak and, if necessary, I
9 can ask a few questions after that to round it off. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
12 MR. SCOTT: Good morning Mr. President, Your Honours, and all
13 those in the courtroom. Again, just so the record is clear, and we'll
14 just say this -- I'll I won't make this same objection today in the
15 interest of everyone saving time, but, just for the record, the
16 Prosecution continues to object to this mode of presentation. It appears
17 to the Prosecution, with all respect, that there is simply no limits
18 whatsoever on Mr. Praljak's participation in questioning or in other
19 comments in the courtroom. Despite the fact that there's been some
20 apparent reference or talk about there being some limitation, there does
21 not appear to the Prosecution to be any limitation whatsoever. Any topic
22 is fair game, any comment that Mr. Praljak wants to make is fair game.
23 It's not limited to technical matters, and we simply note our continuing
24 objection to this procedure. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your objection is
1 noted, but, as the Chamber stated, the accused may intervene when he is
2 personally concerned, since he met the witness, he assisted to various
3 meetings, which is the case in this particular case, since is the witness
4 did meet Mr. Praljak. And whenever there are technical questions to be
5 dealt with, the accused who is an expert in that matter can intervene
6 because he knows the matter better than his lawyer.
7 So, Mr. Praljak, you've heard my intervention. You may begin.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'd
9 just like to say something with respect to time. I wasn't given time from
10 Ms. Nozica. You gave, out of your benevolence, 15 minutes to Ms. Nozica,
11 so I have two hours and 20 minutes according to my calculations. That's
12 one point.
13 And secondly -- may I be allowed to finish. And we're dealing
14 with questions that I took part in, Offensive 93, the participation of the
15 Croatian army, the brigade questions, and so on and so forth. So
16 Mr. Petkovic and I have information about questions of this nature, and
17 they are technical ones, precise questions, and I have been mentioned on a
18 number of occasions in this connection. So I don't see why I would not be
19 able to ask these questions, and the Prosecution did touch upon technical
20 issues. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Before handing the
22 floor to Mr. Scott, with regard to the 15 or 20 minutes, yesterday I was
23 told that during the cross-examination at one point Ms. Nozica stated that
24 the Defence of Mr. Praljak could give her 15 or 20 minutes. I don't know
25 any more. We would have to read the transcript. Then she turned towards
1 Mr. Praljak, and at that point there was tacit agreement and an agreement
2 was concluded. Maybe I'm mistaken.
3 Ms. Nozica, is that what happened? We're not going to, of course,
4 listen to the video again. Yes, Ms. Nozica.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
6 morning. I also understood it that the Trial Chamber allowed me to
7 complete my cross-examination, and Mr. Praljak didn't give me any of his
8 time. All I said was that, as we have 15 minutes left, may the Trial
9 Chamber -- will the Trial Chamber allow me to complete my
10 cross-examination today before Mr. Praljak begins. I did not ask for time
11 from Mr. Praljak, nor did I get time from Mr. Praljak.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, again I don't want to waste time, but
13 there is a certain point to this. I think there's some matter of
14 principle in this. I'm really quite surprised to hear counsel say that.
15 It was quite clear to me. My observations in the courtroom were exactly
16 as the President's. At the time when the Trial Chamber reminded counsel
17 for Mr. Stojic that time was up, counsel turned to Mr. Praljak asking for
18 more time. Mr. Praljak nodded, gave the indication that he was willing to
19 give up some time to her, and that's what happened. That's exactly what I
20 saw in the courtroom. Really, again, I'm very surprised to hear to the
21 contrary. 20 minutes is 20 minutes. It's not going to be the end of this
22 case either way, but, Your Honour, I mean, time always seems to expand on
23 and on without being controlled in any meaningful way when it comes to the
24 Defence side of the case. I'm sorry to say that, but 20 minutes was given
25 up and I don't think this 20 minutes has to come from somewhere.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if we could just proceed and perhaps,
2 if there's need for -- based on relevancy, then the Bench can obviously
3 reconsider its position. I think we're wasting time by having this
5 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I'm sorry. It's not a waste of
6 time unless -- unless the time limits don't matter. Time limits are put
7 on the Prosecution all the time, and we don't turn to another counsel and
8 say, Can we have 20 more minutes from somebody else, and that's clearly
9 what happened yesterday. And out of fairness and out of some sort of some
10 courtroom decorum, some rules should be applied.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have found the place in the transcript. It's
12 page 100, line 23, I think, and it was a bit ambivalent indeed.
13 Ms. Nozica turned around and said, "Well, my time's up." If Mr. Praljak
14 would like to continue. And then there was sort of a silence which he
15 understood as being allowed, and the Presiding Judge in fact let her go
16 on, and I think it is defendable to say that this was a gift out of the
17 endless generosity of the Chamber.
18 So I just want the Defence teams to realise how extremely generous
19 we are, and I have a good understanding for the Prosecution thinking that
20 we are being too generous. But in this specific case, I think, as there
21 is some ambivalence indeed, I think we assume that we take that on
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 So, Mr. Praljak, you have two hours and 20 minutes. Go ahead,
25 please. We've already lost 10 minutes on this.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 WITNESS: PHILIP ROGER WATKINS [Resumed]
3 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Watkins.
5 A. Good morning Mr. Praljak.
6 Q. I'm happy to see you again. I'd like to start off with documents
7 for my first question. Now, while you were in Central Bosnia or later on
8 in Mostar, ever heard had of an operation called Neretva 93?
9 A. Yes, I have heard of that operation.
10 Q. Would you now look at the documents. 3D 00931 is the first one,
11 please. 3D 00931. It is a document dated the 28th of August, 1993, and
12 they are conclusions and tasks from a consultation of the senior offices
13 of the Main Staff army of Bosnia-Herzegovina held in Zenica on the 21st
14 and 22nd of August, 1993. Do you have that, sir? Conclusions and tasks
15 adopted at the meeting of senior officers and corps commanders, et cetera.
16 A. I have the document. I'm just seeing if there's an English
17 version of it. Yes, I have the document.
18 Q. Would you now take a look at who was present from the Supreme
19 Command Main Staff. Take a look at the names and the names of those
20 present from the corps, and then I'm going to ask you this: You were
21 there for quite a long time. Now, the names of these commanders from the
22 Main Staff, the Supreme Command and Corps, was there anybody there who
23 wasn't a Muslim?
24 A. I do remember meeting one military commander who wasn't a Muslim,
25 but I -- I don't see his name here and I can't recall it. So from what I
1 can see here, I would say that these are all Muslims.
2 Q. Thank you. Now let us take a look at the conclusions, and
3 conclusion number 1 first. It says that the war was waged for 17 months
4 against the Serb and Montenegrin aggressor and the former JNA, and that it
5 was -- that's how it was, and then it says, "a war imposed by the
6 extremist portion of the HVO is in fact a stab in the back to the BH
7 army." So they claim that the HVO stabbed them in the back. Do you see
9 A. Yes, I see that.
10 Q. Now take a look at point 2,"The goals and objectives of our army
11 remain the fight for a Bosnia-Herzegovina state and a uniform state within
12 the recognised borders."
13 Now, when it says "united" here, and if borders are mentioned,
14 then it denotes a political project of one man, one vote. Did you know
15 these objectives, to have --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak --
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] -- an integral state.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Where does it say in one man, one vote? It does
19 not say in the official translation here, unified or something. It says
20 "indivisible," and that's not quite the same. Perhaps we need the
21 assistance of the interpreters. It's certainly not unitarian. It's
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. Maybe there's a
24 translation error. Could you please tell us in your language the word in
25 B/C/S, because indivisible is one thing and to unify is another thing.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] United.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Number 2, "the goals of our
3 army's fight remain the same, a struggle for the state of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina, united --"
5 THE INTERPRETER: Or, interpreter's note, "integrated."
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] "-- and within recognised
7 borders." Now, if in the sentence it says, "within recognised borders,"
8 then the word "jadinstre no [phoen]," in the Croatian language means
9 precisely what I'm asking the witness. "Jadinstre no," "united," in the
10 political sense means one man, one vote. Now I'm asking the witness
11 whether he knew of this position taken by the BH army. That's not there,
12 but there's no reason to write that. There's no need to use the word
13 "jadinstre no--"
14 THE INTERPRETER: Meaning "united" or "integrated," interpreter's
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] -- and within recognised
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are interpreting this, this
19 way, but please put your question to the witness.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, that's what I'm asking
21 the witness.
22 Q. Do you know that will the term "united," a united
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina army, was being prepared by a political goal of one
24 man, one vote? Just say yes or no, if you know that or not, because I
25 have a lot of documents to get through.
1 A. My understanding of the Bosnian army's position is, as it is
2 translated in paragraph 2, that they wished to retain the state of Bosnia
3 which had been recognised, Bosnia and Herzegovina, indivisible within its
4 recognised borders.
5 I can't contribute to the debate about united. It was very
6 clear: They wanted to maintain what the international community had
8 Q. Very well. Thank you. Although both in the Bosnian language and
9 Croatian language, the word "cjelovita [phoen]," "integral," is
11 And now look at point 3: "The war for territories will continue
12 even if peace on the basis of the Geneva agreement is reached."
13 What do you know about that, their position that they would
14 continue the war even if peace were achieved on the basis of the Geneva
15 Convention -- agreement? And then it says the continuing war will be
16 aimed against both types of Fascism, Serbian-Montenegrin and Croatian.
17 What do you know about their position according to which Fascism is
18 mentioned, Serbian-Montenegrin and Croatian and that both have been
19 equated in that sentence there in their position?
20 A. Certainly it was regularly expressed to us by the armija forces
21 that they felt that the Serbs who they were fighting against were of
22 fascist in nature and also the Croatian HVO forces.
23 Q. Thank you. Now we'll skip over certain points where they say how
24 things developed on a military level, but let us focus on paragraph 8
25 first and then 9. It says that, "the purchase of weapons, ammunition and
1 military equipment, despite complicated delivery across the aggressor's
2 territory, may be effected through the involvement of all available
3 factors and methods, from friends to enemies, from patriots to war
4 profiteers, and traitors from the aggressor's armed units."
5 Now Mr. Watkins, I'm asking you the following: You're a soldier.
6 When you were seeing that the BH army had weapons, did you see them have
7 tanks, mortars, helicopters? Did you see all that? Did you observe all
8 that, that they had those weapons?
9 A. I observed that they had mortars and helicopters. I don't
10 remember seeing any tanks.
11 Q. Very well. Now, did you see the artillery pieces, any artillery
13 A. No. I only saw mortars.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, please, when as a soldier you saw all
15 this and were wondering where they were firing from, and -- did you wonder
16 where the weapons came from and what enemy territories were they referring
17 to, the Serbs, the Croats, Herceg-Bosna? Did you wonder about all these
19 A. Yes. We were very interested to understand trade in weapons and
20 indeed other elements, and over the period of my time in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina I came across some extraordinary alliances and
22 seemingly unlikely trading deals. I would evidence myself at a meeting
23 where Muslims were meeting Serbs in the town of Turbe to the north of
24 Travnik where a deal was being done, supply of steel by the Muslims in
25 return for humanitarian aid, and I think I've already given some
1 indications previously of trade between Croat forces and Serb forces, and
2 there were some extremely interesting relationships in other areas of
3 Bosnia, such as the Bihac pocket where Fikret Abdic was striking deals
4 with anyone. It was a case, as stated here. I think quite interestingly,
5 they were prepared to deal with anyone and anything -- anybody, to get the
6 weapons they felt they needed to survive.
7 Q. Thank you for the answer. Now take a look at paragraph 11, where
8 it says that, "the organs of state authority"-- paragraph 11, please --
9 "of the BH army during the time that an armed conflict was going on were
10 at a divergence with the general guidelines for an armed struggle. State
11 authority was only partially placed in the function of war, which had as a
12 result an inadequate logistical support for the armed forces."
13 So from that -- those consultations would you agree that the BH
14 army, according to your information, not only thought that regardless of
15 the political agreement in Geneva that the war would continue but that it
16 was dissatisfied with its political authorities?
17 A. I can draw conclusion from paragraph 11, which is similar to the
18 situation I described. Certain armija Muslim forces were quite distance
19 physically and in terms of communication from Sarajevo, and certainly I
20 think there were elements of sort of independent thought and action.
21 Q. Now, if we look at tasks, chapter 2 and point 5, it says: "The
22 combat morale of soldiers and units shall be built up on patriotism and
23 the traditions of the Bosnian nation and heroic examples of combatants and
24 units from this war."
25 The Bosnian nation, is that Croats, Serbs, or just Muslims?
1 A. I don't think we could draw any specific conclusion. It could be
2 the state we've described earlier of a nation of all those constituent
3 groups. Equally I agree that one could interpret, if you chose to, that
4 it was very specifically Muslim but it's ambiguous as it's translated.
5 Q. I see. Thank you. Now next document, 3D 00932, please.
6 A. I have the document.
7 Q. It is dated the 7th of September. Let me first ask you whether
8 you know the name at the bottom, Arif Pasalic. Do you know who that was?
9 A. Yes. He was the commander of 4th Corps based in Mostar.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, you see that here in point 2, last paragraph, he
11 said -- he says the following: "As agreed, one or two companies of the
12 7th Muslim Brigade of the 3rd Corps of the BH army are supposed to be
13 September to the zone of the 4th Corps," et cetera. And in paragraph 4 he
14 goes on to enumerate the units to be attached to Operative Group North 2,
15 or Cijevevet [phoen] 2 for the full implementation of tasks. And in order
16 to clear the enemy forces in the Neretva River valley, he proposes that a
17 dominant feature of attack be in the HVO forces in the area of Cordina
18 Kula and Jedrenje.
19 Do you consider that from this we can see that mop-up operation of
20 HVO is being planned in the Neretva river valley? Is that what it says
22 A. Yes, that would be my interpretation.
23 Q. Now the next document 3D 00933, please.
24 A. I have the document.
25 Q. It's a document dated --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, there is something which -- which
2 strikes me in the point 4. Mr. Pasalic writes "I propose," and that
3 strikes me as a very unmilitary language. He proposed to whom, and who is
4 going to decide? Perhaps you could enlighten us to -- on that. Perhaps
5 it is again a matter of translation.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you're quite
7 right. I'm going to present documents and then we'll go into that. This
8 operation, Neretva 93, it was Sefer Halilovic who commanded the operation,
9 the chief at the time. We'll come to that very -- later on, and he is
10 proposing -- the proposal is made to Sefer Halilovic.
11 So next document, 3D 00393.
12 Q. Do you know that the commander who took on from Arif Pasalic,
13 Budakovic, signed his name as Tetak, that that was his nickname? He was
14 also known as Tetak, or "uncle," in translation?
15 A. No, I didn't know that.
16 Q. Very well. Once again, it is sent to Sefer Halilovic, the forward
17 command post, Sefer Halilovic, and Zulfikar Alipasic [as interpreted], and
18 it says, "20 soldiers from," et cetera, et cetera. "Zulfikar unit will
19 attack towards the hills from the direction of Solakovac-Jedrinje towards
20 you. I have assigned the task for Karadza to invest all efforts to use
21 artillery fire from the hill in the Ustasha depths south of Vrdi," et
22 cetera, et cetera.
23 Now, Witness, is it clear from this that they are attacking and
24 that they do have artillery weapons to fire into the opposite side's
25 territory and depth? Is that what is clearly -- what clearly follows from
1 this paragraph?
2 A. It does clearly suggest that an attack is being organised. I
3 would just be careful about assuming that artillery is tube artillery, and
4 I myself, as an artillery officer, have already in the course of the last
5 few days used the word artillery when I might more specifically have meant
6 mortars. So I think we just have to be quite careful about that. But it
7 doesn't preclude the fact that this could be tube artillery.
8 Q. Mr. Watkins, we've already heard other witnesses here and
9 documents about that but we'll see. Let's look at document 3D 00931.
10 It's dated 5 September 1993, again addressed to Sefer Halilovic, Chief of
11 Staff of the main command of the BH army.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Correction, Your Honours. This
13 should be document 934.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes. I misread. 00934.
15 THE WITNESS: I have the document.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, why don't you give
17 a stand to your client? It might be easier for him then to conduct his
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Microphone not activated]
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right. Look at the members of the main command, Rifet,
22 Damadje [phoen], and others. It says, "We received a reply from Vaho
23 explaining that they will not be able to send any soldiers due to the
24 recent developments.
25 "Sefer, we need to find and pull out other soldiers from Sarajevo
1 because we cannot do the job without a reserve of 200 soldiers."
2 Is it clear from this that in the operation which is being
3 prepared, and which is in fact under way, help is required from Sarajevo,
4 units from outside are being pulled in? Is that obvious from this?
5 A. Yes. I would draw that conclusion.
6 Q. Thank you. Next document, 3D 00935.
7 A. I have the document.
8 Q. Dated 9 September, with a request for the minister of the
9 interior, Bakir Alispahic to come to that area because he has a meeting
10 with Mahmutcehajic. That's written by Sefer Halilovic. Do you know who
11 Bakir Alispahic was?
12 A. Only by reference to this document. He is the Minister of
13 Internal Affairs.
14 Q. Thank you. Document 3D 00936, please.
15 A. I have the document.
16 Q. Dated 13 September, security organ of the 6th Corps. We see from
17 this that there is a 6th Corps, which some of your documents deny, and it
18 says here: "Commander Musfet Cahic -- sorry, Nusret Sahic. Have you ever
19 heard of him?
20 A. No. It might help if I -- could you just orient me to where the
21 name is on the page? Oh, sorry, right at the bottom. No, I don't know
22 the name.
23 Q. Let's look at the document. It says, "On the 10th of August,
24 1993, I was in Jablanica to check and assist the work of the subordinated
25 unit, Jablanica military police company," et cetera. It says then:
1 "While I was in the department for service, commander Djelmo Zenaid
2 informed me that allegedly a genocide over Croatian population occurred in
3 the town of Grabovica perpetrated by a person unknown from the ranks of
4 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We immediately went to Grabovica and
5 found out that in fact genocide did happen and that on that occasion
6 around 20 civilians were slaughtered and killed."
7 Have you heard about the crime in Grabovica that happened in
9 A. Yes. When I got down into Mostar, it was one of the issues that
10 was raised, and I believe it was raised by Slobodan Bozic and also
11 Mr. Prlic, and we were asked to carry out our own investigation. I don't
12 remember us getting any detail. It is an interesting confession here that
13 it has happened.
14 Q. Next document then, 3D 00937. It's a document dated 1st
15 September, 1993, and as you will see at the bottom, "Rasim Delic,
16 commander of the Supreme Command of the armed forces orders the
17 establishment of the 6th Corps to include units such as Black Swans,
18 Zulfikar silver fox, Akrepi, Muderiz," and others. It also deals with
19 military issues, who was subordinated to whom. But at any rate, do you
20 know that at this time the 6th Corps was set up and certain units were
22 A. The 6th Corps was, as you pointed out, something of a mystery to
23 us. We have reported, and indeed I remember seeing yesterday one of our
24 teams, Mike 1, talking to somebody, and we acknowledge he was talking to
25 somebody from 6th Corps, but we couldn't establish where the boundaries
1 were, and I do agree with you, Mr. Praljak, that somewhere I remember
2 doing a sort of summary of calls, and we conclude that had 6th corps
3 didn't exist, but -- so we were getting mixed messages on it. But this is
4 pretty clear if this is an official document that it did exist with those
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry.
7 If there is a pause, Witness, we have before us an order. How do
8 you know that the order was executed? You state this as if it -- as if
9 this were evidence of the existence, and I read it as evidence of someone
10 ordering this formation to be created.
11 THE WITNESS: That is a very good point, Your Honour. I did --
12 the only assumption that I made was that this was an official document,
13 but you're right, it's about an order that it should happen rather than
14 it is formed.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. All right. What matters more to me in this document -- in fact,
18 let us look at 938. What matters more to me is the discrepancy between
19 your knowledge - and of course you tried hard - about what happened on the
20 ground and what you managed to include in your documents.
21 Now, document 938, dated 7 September 1993, signed by Arif Pasalic,
22 and you said you knew that he was commander of the 7th corps. And he
23 orders certain units here pursuant to a previous order that we saw. The
24 Supreme Command Staff issued an order pursuant to which the following
25 units are placed under the command of the 4th Corps: Zulfikar, Muderiz,
1 Akrepi, and silver fox. With a zone of responsibility, Operative Group
2 North 2, north Jablanica south [as interpreted] excluding the hydro power
3 station Salakovac. Do you know where that hydro power plant was?
4 A. Yes, it's to the north of Mostar on the river Neretva.
5 Q. Thank you. Next document, 3D 00939. It's signed by Sefer
6 Halilovic, Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of the BH army, dated 6
7 September 1993. And it says, attaching certain maps: "With regard to
8 previous 6 Corps unit's task and combat operations in the 4th Corps' zone
9 of responsibility, and the engagement of the Zulfikar
10 reconnaissance-sabotage brigade on the axis Vrdi village-Goranci village
11 towards Mostar, the following units are resubordinated or seconded to this
12 brigade, including certain artillery weapons, 120-millimetre mortars, two
13 of them, one 105-millimetre howitzer and one 132-millimetre howitzer, two
14 76 millimetre B-1 cannon, and one 107-millimetre rocket launcher system."
15 You see how the artillery was organised only on this axis. Do you
16 believe that this was the only artillery in the possession of the BH army
17 if they are employing all of this only on the Vrdi village axis? Was
18 there any difference between what you were reporting and what existed in
19 reality? You can give me a simple answer such as, "I wasn't aware of
20 this," or --
21 A. I would like to look at a map to comment about the access Vrdi,
22 but the point with regards to the weapons system is, here is a statement
23 of weapons, which I did not see, which it appears, if this is accurate,
24 that they had.
25 Q. Sir, let's be simple. I'm not claiming that you saw them. I'm
1 just saying that on one single access of attack, and I'll show you Neretva
2 93 later, on just one axis of attack they have this artillery. You said
3 you didn't see them. You said they only had 20-millimetre mortars.
4 In the last paragraph, "On Neretva, regulate the time and the
5 method of releasing water from the reservoir of the hydro power plant
6 Salakovac, which is one of the crucial issues in executing the following
7 tasks." Have you ever heard about using water from the reservoir to flood
8 the lower field to achieve some of their combat tasks in that area?
9 A. No, I haven't. Could I just return to this issue --
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. -- of the access of attack and artillery? Artillery, of course,
12 one of the flexibility of the weapon is that it is able to engage on many
13 fronts or several fronts from a single position because --
14 Q. Please, Mr. Watkins, we will see on the map where Vrdi village is
15 and where other BH army units are elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We
16 cannot assume that somebody was going to haul artillery from Vrdi village.
17 We just saw that it was employed on one axis, and as for other axes, we
18 will see that from other documents.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a brief interruption. We
20 have two 120-millimetre mortar, one of the 105, two of 76, one rocket
21 launcher. Here we have a list of weapons. With that list, can you tell
22 us if a military unit that would have these weapons, would that unit have
23 very important or high firepower, a medium firepower? What is your
24 assessment, because you are an artillery officer. What we see here on
25 this document, is that the sign of very high artillery fire capacity?
1 What is your assessment until.
2 THE WITNESS: I would say this is a significant gathering of
3 artillery in terms of the scale of warfare in Bosnia. It wouldn't equate
4 to any Western army in terms of very much artillery, but in these
5 circumstances it is a collection of artillery. And the point I was making
6 with General Praljak, although General Praljak and myself and one or two
7 others here understand the use of artillery, artillery is an asset which
8 is usually held at a high level of command, and it is allocated to units
9 as they need it. And because of its range, it can be in such a position
10 to support several units at any one time.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may add a question. It is -- is it normal
12 and usual to mix such a sample of all different kinds of cannons, in the
13 broadest sense, to form mixed artillery units, or is this, rather,
14 something which is -- looks as being scraped together here and there?
15 THE WITNESS: I think the latter, Your Honour, because it is an
16 interesting mix, and I think it's a case of what weapons did they have
17 and, yes, to gather them together, it is not normal to have such a range,
18 as you can imagine, logistically for an artillery battery or regiment.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Document 3D 00940. We see actually from the previous document
24 that it was resubordinated from the 4th Corps especially for this task,
25 but it's written in the document. I cannot waste too much time on it
2 Let's move on to document 3D 00940 [as interpreted] and then
3 document 941.
4 A. I have 940 and 941.
5 Q. 941. We'll skip 940, because it deals with similar things. Let's
6 move on to 941. It's a report, actually, on an incident mentioned
7 previously as the massacre in Grabovica. It's a large document, and on
8 page 2 there is a passage in the middle of the page where it says: "The
9 said situation in Grabovica is under control, and a contributing factor
10 was that Ramiz Delalic executed his own soldier after this. Information
11 about it is kept confidential to the extent possible, all with a view to
12 completing the combat operation which is being prepared."
13 So a combat operation is being prepared, and the information about
14 the Grabovica incident is kept confidential. Is that written in the
15 document, sir, and what do you have to say about that?
16 A. Well, I'm just quickly looking at the document. I just want to
17 check the question.
18 Yes, a combat operation is being prepared and I just need to find
19 where it says about keeping the information confidential. I couldn't find
20 it while you were saying it but I'm not saying it isn't here.
21 Q. Just below. It says: "Information is kept confidential to the
22 extent possible." So they are not releasing any info about the
23 investigation because that could disrupt preparations for an operation.
24 A. Yes, I see that.
25 Q. Thank you. Can I now have Exhibit 3D 00942? It was used in
1 another case before this Tribunal against Sefer Halilovic. This is a book
2 written by a journalist, Sefko Hodzic, called "A Sealed Envelope." Could
3 we go quickly through the document to see -- this was published in
4 Sarajevski List newspaper and Oslobodjenje, and it was regularly broadcast
5 over Radio Sarajevo as a live broadcast of sorts of the Neretva 93
7 Do you have the document before you?
8 A. I have the document entitled, "The Last Supper at Ark."
9 Q. Correct. All my questions will be to the effect did you know
10 about it, and if you didn't, then your reports would be seriously
12 Saturday, 4 September 1993, and at the end of the paragraph it
13 says: "Pasalic wrote that HVO is preparing an all-out attack on Mostar.
14 Expected within seven days. Sefer says we'll attack them first. Units
15 will be assembling on Sunday. Reconnaissance will be on Monday and
16 Tuesday and Wednesday will be the attack.
17 Third paragraph from the bottom it says: "Sefer ordered Karavelic
18 therefore to go to Herzegovina --" sorry, "to send to Herzegovina the
19 Delta brigade parts of the 9th and 10th mountain brigades." It says, "If
20 you believe that the defence of Sarajevo will be damaged by this I take
21 personal responsibility."
22 So it is clear from this that he's weakening the defence of
23 Sarajevo in order to conduct this operation in the Neretva River valley.
24 Do you interpret this the same way that I do?
25 A. Yes, I would.
1 Q. Next page, please, the middle of the page. It says: "They
2 returned to the Zulfikar unit base in Jablanica where Delic, commander of
3 the BH army, arrived previously, as well as Vran, Bilajac Suljevic, Karic,
4 Zuka. They held a meeting." And if it goes on to say, "All these units
5 needed to be integrated and placed under the command of the Zulfikar unit
6 in the Neretva operation." We see that that is the name of the operation
7 they are preparing, Neretva. Do you see the same thing?
8 A. No, sorry, could you just orientate me on that page? I'm on page
9 2 -- no, sorry, 3.
10 Q. "We returned to the base of the unit Zulfikar in Donja Jablanica."
11 A. I see that now.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, it's page 3 -- page 2.
13 THE WITNESS: I can find it on the screen, the court support. I
14 have it in front of me now on the page. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].
16 Q. So we see a reference to this operation as Neretva; correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Let's move on to the next page now. In your text it's page
19 number -- just a minute. I'm skipping over a portion. Your page 3, last
20 paragraph on that page. "We discussed battles and commanders. I asked
21 Delic if he believed these negotiations on peace would really bring peace
22 or were they simply ornaments of the war."
23 And the next sentence reads: "I think they are merely decorative
24 and the war will of course go on."
25 Answer Delic: "It goes on. Negotiations are only hurting us,
1 lower the troops' morale."
2 Did you see this, namely that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 demonstrates through a number of documents that peace negotiations are in
4 fact something they do not agree with? Could you please give me an
5 answer? Is that correct? Do we see that from the documents you have
6 before you and the ones we saw previously?
7 A. I'm afraid after all the praise yesterday, when you start I'm not
8 orientated on the page. I cannot see that. So I think to avoid me keep
9 going back we need to establish carefully where you're starting. I am on
10 page 3, according to my translation, but I don't see the words that you're
11 relating to. If you can just point me on to the document then I'll be
12 able to answer your question.
13 Q. All right. Page 3, last paragraph, the bottom of the page. Page
15 A. Yes, starting "The chief of Ark."
16 Q. "We discussed also both battles and commanders. I asked Delic if
17 he believed that these peace negotiations would really bring peace --"
18 A. No, I'm sorry, General Praljak, I'm not able to follow that. I am
19 on page 3, and the last paragraph does not start as you say.
20 Q. 3D 25- -- 3D 25- --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, can you please
22 repeat the page number. 3D 25, what is the number after that? You see
23 that at the bottom of the page we have various figures, various numbers,
24 482, 483. What page are you talking about?
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It's in e-court now. It's
1 on the screen now.
2 THE WITNESS: General Praljak, I now have that. It's on my page
3 4, which is the cause of confusion. Or using the reference of the numbers
4 at the end, 0483.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So we were also talking about battles and commanders. I asked
7 Delic if he believed that these peace negotiations were really going to
8 bring peace or they were just war ornaments, and the reply is: "I reckon
9 they are ornaments and that the war continues," he replies. "From
10 negotiations we suffer damage only," Sefer added. "The morale of the
11 fighters is dropping.
12 "Sefer, and what you say: We will reach Ploce too. Delic,
13 smiling, says to Sefer, alluding to the recent statement made by Sefer
14 that our army was going to reach Ploce. Hat statement raised a huge
15 outcry in the Croatian press. Sefer, also smiling, explained how that
16 gaffe had occurred. 'I took the stage at a rally in Podrinjaca,' [phoen]
17 he narrated to us. I was talking about how we were going to liberate
18 every part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, how our army was going to reach
19 Bosnian borders, reach Neum ... that someone from the --"
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot see the page any more.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you hear such statements that they were going to go as far as
23 the western borders, including Ploce in Croatia? And my first question is
24 in fact: Is it clear to you from these documents and the previous ones
25 that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not believe -- did not have
1 any faith in the negotiations, that regardless of them the war was going
2 to continue?
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this time. Number
4 one, there's no foundation. There's no way that this witness can add
5 evidentiary value to the mere -- once again we are back to reading
6 documents. I expect Mr. Praljak can read books to the witness all day
7 long and ask him whether he's ever seen the book or not. It doesn't add
8 anything. The witness cannot speculate as to the motives or policy of the
9 Bosnian army.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] On the other hand, Your Honour,
12 specifically focused on this detail, the witness did mention some
13 political statements with respect to Ploce, but what is even more
14 important is that the witness quite obviously is very well-informed, and
15 we heard his excellent testimony, and if we read out an assertion from a
16 document or another source and he is asked whether that corresponds to
17 what he knows about it, then I think this is an absolutely acceptable
18 method employed by the Prosecution as well.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will myself deal with this
21 Witness -- you've stated your objection. What would you like to
22 add? You stated that you did not agree. You were objecting, right? Is
23 this what you wanted to say?
24 MR. SCOTT: If I could make a further comment in respect -- in
25 response to counsel, I would very much appreciate it. Your Honour, the
1 point, we could simply stand here all day and read from book -- there's --
2 endless books have been written on Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we can put --
3 read out statements to the witness all day, and it just simply is not a
4 proper way to proceed unless it is something that specifically involved
5 the witness. I understand if there is a book that says -- if there's a
6 book that gives an account and says On such-and-such a day, observer
7 Watkins attended a meeting, and he can then comment on that and say, yes,
8 in fact, I was at that meeting and all that, but this is just general
9 material that can be put in front of the witness all day long from
10 hundreds of books.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just briefly in
12 response, if I might be allowed to do so. The Prosecution brought in this
13 witness. It selected the witness. It chose the topic of discussion for
14 the witness, and the area of discussion is extremely broad. We have
15 received excellent information from this witness at a very global level
16 spanning more than one year, highly relevant information, and by that very
17 fact, the fact that the Prosecution included this in its material opened
18 the door to the Defence to go even broader in conformity with the rules
19 and regulations and to present its lines of defence therein. So if the
20 Prosecution has problems with the breadth of the cross-examination and in
21 putting certain sources to the witness, then they must change their
22 tactics and bring in witnesses that will just focus on little bits and
23 pieces, and then we will be more succinct. But when they bring in such
24 broad-based witnesses testifying about such a broad area then they have to
25 take as much as they get from us.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were an observer of the
2 European Union at the time, and you drafted many reports. We were able to
3 notice that some paragraphs are entitled "Political," so you have
4 knowledge in politics, we conclude. You've also stated that you were
5 following the Vance-Owen Plan and the way it was progressing and
6 implemented. Now, there is a book, and Mr. Praljak could read you
7 paragraphs. Maybe he could have put a simple question to you.
8 So there is a book in which we see that very important people from
9 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina are indicating that they are preparing a
10 military operation and that they would go almost to the borders of
11 Croatia. The accused, Mr. Praljak, wanted to put the following question
12 to you, and this could be an interesting question and could be relative.
13 As an observer of the events that were taking place at the time,
14 are you able to assess or analyse the situation and tell us that if on the
15 one hand the parties who were on the ground are making agreements,
16 cease-fire agreements, they're negotiating for peace, they're making
17 statements, such statements, whereas in this document we see that they
18 have the intention to go very far on a military plan. Isn't there a
19 contradiction in terms here, a contradiction in things, if at the time as
20 an observer you knew this book? If you had read this book, if you knew
21 the contents of this book, what would you have said at the time?
22 THE WITNESS: Sir, I don't think it is such a contradiction.
23 Looking at this page and seeing the conversation, we see two senior armija
24 discussing the extent of their military activity and the suggestion that
25 the military thrust would be as far as Ploce. What is also, I think,
1 clear from this statement is that Mr. Delic considers that he is rather
2 being perhaps a little silly in making that statement and refers to how it
3 happened. It is not uncommon that military personnel make statements, and
4 sometimes their political masters then disagree or keep them in check.
5 I think any military commander in this war at this time, be it HVO
6 or armija, were planning actions to take territory, and so I'm not
7 surprised that at the time that we have the Geneva discussions going on,
8 we have military commanders planning activity and doubting their political
9 masters. It is a very common thing that military, while they do obey or
10 should obey their political masters, will always be questioning the wisdom
11 and the likelihood of the success of the other strand of activity, i.e.,
12 the political negotiations. So we have political negotiations going on at
13 Geneva, uncertainty here in the case of the armija forces as to whether
14 that's going to be successful or not; meanwhile, they're prosecuting their
15 element, which is either holding or taking more territory. And here, a
16 statement that it will go as far as Ploce but then the commander saying
17 that he hadn't sort of meant to but somebody shouted it out, and he in a,
18 maybe a rush of blood to the head, said, "Yes, and Ploce too." But he's
19 already -- the fact that he's indicated as smiling and so on, I think he
20 thinks he knows that that was a step too far.
21 Sir, I don't know whether that helps.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, with all -- with great respect to this
24 witness, who is indeed very knowledgeable and very articulate, but if you
25 look at the answer we've just given, it's just a comment on what's been
1 read in a book on meetings that he didn't attend, and "he said with a
2 smile," so-and-so said with a smile, and all -- again, we can read these
3 kind of material all day long. It does not add any evidentiary value
4 for -- to do that, and plus, on a specific point of contradiction, if --
5 if there was specific material that contradicted something the witness
6 said, then that should specifically be put to the witness and the
7 particular material should be put to the witness, but, again, to go
8 through books and then say we're putting this on for the purpose of
9 contradicting the witness, I don't think it's improper -- I think it is
10 not proper, Your Honour.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may briefly respond, Your Honour. First of
12 all, the Prosecution does this all the time with its documents, showing
13 documents to witnesses where the witness did not generate the document,
14 wasn't present at any meetings where the document was generated, and so on
15 and so forth. So we've objected. The Trial Chamber has indicated that
16 the Prosecution can go forward. So I don't see why the Prosecution now is
17 making a fuss of this.
18 Secondly, and more importantly, the Prosecution through this
19 gentleman has elicited certain testimony. Also, the gentleman wrote
20 certain reports because he was in the field at the time and had access to
21 relevant information, although, as we established earlier, particularly in
22 the cross-examination that I did, that the gentleman was labouring under a
23 situation where he did not have access to all of the information.
24 Now what General Praljak is doing is providing further information
25 to the gentleman and asking him, based on his own experience both in the
1 field and his background, and the gentleman has eight years in the British
2 Army, so based on that, now he's being given an opportunity to have
3 further information and to give further opinions as to what might have
4 been happening. I think this is very relevant. I think this is a proper
5 way of proceeding, and I see nothing that Mr. Praljak is doing that I
6 would not do if I were granted the time to do this. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Mr. Praljak, you may proceed. The witness answered your question.
9 You may go on.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]. Your Honour, now why is
11 this basic and the foundation? I want through witness, who was there and
12 provided information, to show -- well, I showed him documents, and the
13 book arguments -- the documents, and -- there was an offensive which went
14 on for one month, and that's what it says in the book. So I have to ask
15 why there's nothing about that in the report they compiled.
16 Q. Now, if you look at another excerpt, which begins on Friday the
17 10th of September, 1992, and it is entitled, "A Story Told by the Boys
18 that Survived." Yes, I will find the page for reference. And we'll skip
19 over the first three pages.
20 [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What page, what document number,
23 MR KOVACIC: [Interpretation] The number of the document is the
24 same, but I'm being told that there's no further translation because
25 originally Mr. Praljak had not intended to go that far. So it does not
1 exist in translation.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. But let me ask you this Sefer's words about our offensive are
4 talked about a lot. Do you know whether the offensive existed or not?
5 Just give me a yes or no answer.
6 A. Yes, I was aware of this.
7 Q. Do you know that Sefer said, referring to the offensive, that it
8 is the largest BH army operation to date, and that if the offensive is
9 successful it will completely change the strategic situation in the
10 country and he also said that President Izetbegovic would have trump cards
11 up his sleeve at the negotiations with that. Do you know about that?
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, these are two issues each time.
13 First, you say, but without any foundation, that someone said something,
14 then you ask the witness whether he knew. But we would first, I think,
15 have to know whether in fact these statements have been made. This is
16 a -- this book is hearsay, of course. It's just a journalist who says
17 that he has heard it.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, I said that it said in
19 the book that all those reports were broadcast over Radio Sarajevo and
20 published in the paper Oslobodjenje. But I'll give up on the rest and
21 just show the document about Neretva 93, and the document number is as
22 follows 3D 00885. Let me repeat. 3D 00885 is the document number.
23 Q. Have you found the document, sir?
24 A. I have the document.
25 Q. Take a look at it, and my first question is this: Do you know
1 that the offensive lasted for a month, roughly a month, from the 12th of
2 September, 1993, to, let's say, the 10th of October, 1993? Do you know
3 about that? Yes, no?
4 A. At this time I was in -- further up in Central Bosnia, so I wasn't
5 aware of the timing specifically of the month.
6 Q. Mr. Watkins, please, we know you were in Central Bosnia, but try
7 and answer the question. Do you know about that offensive, and do you
8 know that it lasted a few days under a month? Yes or no?
9 A. You've asked me two parts of a question, so yes or no wouldn't be
10 adequate. Yes, I knew about the offensive. No, I did not know that it
11 lasted a few days under a month.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, do you know that the offensive stretched from
13 Makljen and the attack on Gornji Vakuf right up to the attack towards
14 Mostar, Siroki Brijeg, and towards the south, from Mostar towards Blagaj,
15 Capljina, et cetera? Is that something that you know about, that the
16 front was 200 kilometres long?
17 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you know of any BH army offensive against the Serbs
19 before this date and after this date which would be even half as intensive
20 in terms of manpower and unit involvement?
21 A. I'm aware of the large-scale fighting that took place in 1992 with
22 armija and HVO together fighting the Serbs, if that's what you're drawing
23 me towards. I'm aware of that.
24 Q. No, I wasn't thinking of that. I was just thinking of one BH army
25 action, but let's move on.
1 3D 00945 is the next document I'd like us to look at. 3D 00945.
2 Have you found it?
3 A. Yes, I've found the document.
4 Q. It's a document dated the 17th of September, and take a look at
5 the page and you'll see that Stjepan Siber was signing standing in for the
6 commander, and he says deputy BH commander and look at the preamble.
7 "Accepting the principles of the London conference and determined to
8 cease hostilities and create conditions for peace," et cetera, et cetera?
9 A. I can see that.
10 Q. It says, "The president of the Presidency of the Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, the president of the so-called SR
12 Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, the president -- President of Montenegro,
13 Momir Bulatovic, and the president of the so-called Republika Srpska,
14 Radovan Karadzic, signed a joint declaration in Geneva on the 16th of
15 September, 1993. With a view to the realisation of that I hereby order
16 that the units of the BH army should immediately and at the latest by the
17 18th of September at 12.00 noon cease all hostilities against paramilitary
18 Serb aggressor formations in conformity with the agreement reached on the
19 30th of July.
20 Does it follow clearly from this that they are establishing a
21 truce, a cease-fire, ceasing hostilities against the Serbs, in the throes
22 of what you're talking about, that is an attack on the HVO Neretva 93. So
23 is this a document which says that conflicts with the Serbs are ceasing at
24 the same time when all the documents, and unfortunately we would need
25 Vorad [phoen] to analyse this, they in Neretva 93 want to mop up the
1 Neretva River valley and come up to the borders of the HVO. Do you know
2 about that and is that something that this document shows? Did you know
3 about it? Were you aware of it at the time?
4 A. No, I wasn't aware of it at the time, and just -- you mentioned
5 right at the beginning when you started cross-examining me about whether I
6 saw any signatories of any commander other than a Muslim, and I mentioned
7 that I had met armija commanders who weren't Muslim. I couldn't remember
8 the name, but I see it here. It is Stjepan Siber.
9 Q. [No interpretation]
10 A. It is signed here Stjepan Siber, and he is the person that I was
11 referring to. I believe that he is a -- of Serb origin, serving in the
12 armija forces.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, within the frameworks of the document we've just
14 been reading from, did you know that during the '93 offensive the BH army
15 on the territory of Mostar brought in artillery support from the Serbs
16 against the HVO in the offensive?
17 A. I did not know that but I am not surprised by that.
18 Q. Their Honours have already seen this document, so we'll move on.
19 We still have some time, and I'd like to show a video on another subject
20 and then we'll discuss it once we've seen the video.
21 [Videotape played]
22 Voiceover: "One month after the war started in 1992 --"
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] This is Mostar.
24 Voiceover: "The Mujahedin arrived in the land of Bosnia and formed
25 two jihad camps. The first was in Central Bosnia. The second was
1 situated in an area called Meholic [phoen], which is close to the city of
2 Travnik. There was also a presence of Mujahedin brothers in Turbe and
3 Radine [phoen], which lie between Travnik and Doniva [phoen]. These
4 efforts were carried out under the leadership of Sef Habu Abdul Adiz
5 [phoen], who was one of the first people to arrive in Bosnia from the
6 Arabian peninsula. There he met the Mujahed Sef Anwar S'Aban [phoen], and
7 together they agreed on the importance of initiating and carrying out
8 jihad efforts in Bosnia to give victory to the Muslims and repel the enemy
10 "The second group kidnapped a vice commander of the Croat forces
11 in Bosnia, along with six Croat soldiers. The news of the kidnap spread
12 quickly and the disbelieving United Nations began to search for the
13 kidnappers. They blockaded the roads and began to search everywhere.
14 This meant that the brothers had to remain and hide in the forests despite
15 the snow, the intensive cold, and the loss of communication with the
16 command centre Mehovic. The plight of the Mujahedin prisoners did not
17 concern the UN, fairly illustrating the hypocrisy. The UN accused the
18 Mujahedin of being terrorists and war criminals. The command then came
19 from the Bosnian army to release the Croatian prisoners but it was not
20 obeyed. The next day, whilst the commander of the Croatian forces was
21 driving to work in Zenica, the Mujahedin blocked off his route from in
22 front and behind him with the objective of taking him and those with him
23 as prisoners, but his personal bodyguard started firing at the Mujahedin.
24 The Mujahedin sprayed the car with gunfire, killing everyone inside with
25 the exception of one person. And here, Allah's will, we demonstrated in
1 that the Croat commander remained alive and what was written by Allah
3 [No interpretation]
4 Voiceover: "During this period the brothers gathered for a debate
5 and discussed the recent events, and Wahiudeen, Allah have mercy upon him,
6 handed over the leadership to Dr. Adul Harith [phoen] From Libya, due to
7 him having the necessary qualifications and characteristics for this role.
8 This gave Wahiudeen more time to concentrate on military affairs.
9 Political associations and. Abdul N'Ali [phoen] took over leadership of
10 the Mujahedin in Zenica. Dr. Abul Harith approached the Muslim forces and
11 asked them to inform the world of the kidnap operation but they failed to
12 do anything. Abul Harith then approached the UN forces present in Zenica.
13 There was a great uproar and the disbelieving United Nations moved quickly
14 now, attaching high priority to this issue.
15 "Negotiations then took place concerning a prisoner exchange under
16 the supervision of Wahiudeen, Nabu Nari [phoen] and the ranks of the
17 Mujahedin. In the May of 1993, the prisoner exchange took place. It was
18 a historical event which will never be forgotten, and the brothers being
19 released from the Croatian prison and their feet touching the land of
20 jihad once again, the brothers prostrated to Allah upon their release
21 thanking Allah.
22 "[No interpretation]
23 Voiceover: "In Guca Gora, those brave enough to venture outside
24 were preparing to bury their dead. Seven in all killed in yesterday's
25 battle. There was no priest there, and so the army chaplain took charge
1 of the funeral service. The gunmen in the surrounding hills tried to
2 prevent these people from paying their last respects, but as British Army
3 snipers took cover, the chaplain read on.
4 "The attack continued until the army replied with 340 rounds from
5 their chain guns. It was then that the commanding officer decided to
6 evacuate the monastery, giving orders for the families to be transported
7 inside the its armoured warriors.
9 Voiceover: "After capturing Guca Gora, the Mujahedin advanced to
10 capture a fortified mountainous area under the leadership of Hasam Abdin
11 [phoen], Allah have mercy upon him."
12 [Videotape played]
13 Voiceover: [Interpretation] "... by Bosnian Muslim soldiers during
14 the conflict with Bosnian Croats. Those crimes has stayed virtually
15 unknown to the general public overshadowed bit media and political cliche
16 that Muslims were the only victims in the war against Bosnia-Herzegovina."
17 "But one negative consequence of the war certainly has been the
18 increasing radicalisation of the Muslim population and that's probably not
19 a -- not a good sign because it does not -- does not help Bosnia integrate
20 itself within Europe.
21 "[No interpretation]
22 "[No interpretation]
23 [Videotape played]
24 "[No interpretation]
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did you know, witness, that this is the Muderiz Brigade in
2 Jablanica, this crew here?
3 A. No, I didn't know that.
4 [Videotape played]
5 Voiceover: [Interpretation] "The 4th Light Muslim Brigade."
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Microphone not activated]
7 THE WITNESS: Is that unit also known as the Black Swans?
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. It was known as Muderiz. A religious person, a cleric, led it.
10 It's true they were in the same area as Jablanica.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] A break, please.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll need to have a break, Mr.
13 Praljak. Do you have a question to put to the witness about the video
14 footage we've just watched?
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 Q. Witness, here's my first question. I'll show you a document
17 demonstrating how many Mujahedin they listed, but were you really aware --
18 after seeing this footage, were you truly aware of the strength of
19 Mujahedin in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. I was asked in 1994 by the French Presidency of the ECMM to
21 investigate the extent of Mujahedin activity. I wrote a special report,
22 and I believe that report is available to this Court. And as I described
23 yesterday, there were various units which one could attribute more extreme
24 views right from those people that we -- some of those people we saw from
25 externals who would, I think, fit anyone's description of Mujahedin, and
1 we also saw elements there, I believe, of 17 Muslim Brigade, who were the
2 indigenous. So I was certainly aware of the Mujahedin. In fact, I think
3 I recognise one of those that I had an encounter with myself at Opera, and
4 I was aware of the specific Muslim brigades that had a reputation for
5 having a religious impetus to what they were doing and as something a
6 little bit different from your mainstream armija, which you would have in
7 most --
8 Q. Mr. Watkins, please. Please.
9 A. I seem to be upsetting you, General Praljak. I don't know why.
10 Q. Look, you're a soldier. Do you know the number of Mujahedin
11 present then in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. I don't remember the number, but I do believe that I may have in
13 that report made an estimate. I just can't pull it from my mind. So I
14 don't know the number and can't give you a number at the moment, but there
15 are documents in this court that -- where I think I have made an estimate.
16 Certainly there were two specific Muslim brigades, so we are talking there
17 in the region maybe of 500 in each brigade, so a thousand. Then we have
18 some externals. I don't know how many externals, but I did make an
19 estimate in that report.
20 So it depends on your definition of Mujahedin, whether you mean
21 those from outside of the country, indigenous. It is quite a difficult
22 issue, and that's why we took some care in writing a report about it. But
23 they were there, if that's the point. They were there, we knew they were
24 there, and on those videos I saw them operating in those areas. I was at
25 Guca Gora on that day. I was bearing those people. We were giving first
1 aid to the survivors. I was in that church. So I was a witness to that.
2 I went to Maline. I wasn't to the areas where the Mujahedin operated,
3 where we had not previously had access. So I was aware of them. We tried
4 to get as much information as we could about them, and I wrote various
5 reports about them.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to have a break.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. Let's
10 talk about time. You've used more than 70 minutes. In other words, you
11 have one hour and 10 minutes left, at the most.
12 Second thing, when we are dealing with text in a document, a very
13 long portion of text, rather than reading out the text, when you put the
14 question to a witness just say, "In this document it is stated
15 such-and-such things," summing up the text. Everybody has the text in
16 front of them and they can check that the summary you're giving is
17 accurate. Because if not, we're going to waste a lot of time reading out
18 long portions of text because -- before putting your question. So just
19 give us a summary of the text and then put your question to the witness.
20 Yes, Mr. Kovacic, you wanted to comment on something?
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let's not forget about
22 this. I wanted an IC number for this video.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I remember correctly, there
24 are four videos. Mr. Registrar, can we have numbers for the videos, IC
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the four videos that were shown by
2 the Defence will be IC numbers 576 through IC 580 -- or 579. I stand
3 corrected. IC 576 through IC 579.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And that's in the
5 order of the videos that were played to us, video one, two, three, and
7 Mr. Praljak, you can proceed.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Watkins, on these pictures did you recognise any high-placed
10 official of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the inspection of units
11 crying "Allahu Akbar"?
12 A. Yes. I saw Alija Izetbegovic.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you see in this video footage, at least three
14 tanks of the BH army in Zenica, and later on two more?
15 A. I saw images of tanks. I forget the exact number.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you see that at Guca Gora members of the BH army
17 desecrated the fresco above the altar in that church?
18 A. Yes, I saw that.
19 Q. Thank you. Could we now see 3D 00920. It's a document that was
20 already produced before this Court, but I would like Mr. Watkins to see it
21 too. It's a reply by the Ministry of Defence of the Federation of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina sent to our Defence team, and it is a list of foreign
24 Have you found it, Mr. Watkins?
25 A. I have the document.
1 Q. It's a simple document. It's a list of foreign nationals, members
2 of the 3rd Corps, and a list of foreign nationals in the Handzar Division.
3 I wanted only two of these, although there are more.
4 You can add up these two numbers, 1.774 and 717. That makes 2.491
5 foreign nationals, and it's signed by Major Hajrudin Grabovac, dated 15
6 July 1990 -- sorry, 2005.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, in order to check
8 the veracity of this statement of yours, you're saying that all these
9 people listed here are foreign nationals, but I see that number 224 is
10 called Adilovic Besim, and that he is from Travnik. In other words, we
11 don't have only foreign nationals on this list.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Correct. Correct. I was
13 mistaken, Your Honour.
14 So the people listed are those who declared themselves as
15 Mujahedin, and they include both local residents and foreign nationals. I
16 probably added this up correctly anyway.
17 Q. Just one question. Do you believe this list is complete, and do
18 you think that in their training camps there were many more people who are
19 not on this list?
20 A. My reaction to this is that it's a much longer list than I would
21 have expected. My own estimation of foreign nationals would be in the
22 hundreds and not, as you've totaled, 1.774 plus, in fact over 2.000. I am
23 surprised, but I have no way of verifying this is accurate or not. It's
24 not what I saw on the ground in terms of numbers of foreign Mujahedin.
25 The numbers in total, picking up the point which was made by
1 Your Honour, I gave a number of brigades, the Muslim brigades, and
2 mentioned that there were two that I was aware of with numbers round about
3 500. So if you were to add those to a thousand and then my estimation I
4 think in what report is -- is a couple of hundred externals then, perhaps
5 the figures get a bit closer. But as many externals as you are saying,
6 this is a surprise to me.
7 Q. Thank you. Just for the record, I want to say that there are
8 books by foreign authors to dealt with the subject, and the number is
9 usually between 4.500 and 5.000, but we'll deal with it later.
10 Can we now just see P 02849. It's among the Prosecution exhibits.
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Just before we move on from
12 the last exhibit. Perhaps I missed it. If I did, I apologise. What are
13 the dates of this? What are the relevant dates in the last document as to
14 the members of the alleged -- members of the alleged foreign nationals? I
15 don't see any date on the document except 2005. The time period this
16 relates to. Perhaps Mr. Praljak could assist the Chamber with providing
17 the information for what time period this information is supposedly
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Our request was to list
20 foreign nationals in the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it says
21 clearly members of foreign nationals in the 3rd Corps, in the 4th Muslim
22 Brigade, in the --
23 MR. SCOTT: And as of what time, in 2005 or in 1993 or in 1999, or
24 what time period does this information relate to?
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation]
1 MR. SCOTT: There's no translation.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the transcript, I wanted us
3 to save time. As for document 3D 00920, we have two lists here. The
4 first list refers to the 3rd Corps with 717 people, individuals, the
5 majority of them being foreign nationals from Yemen, Saudi Arabia,
6 Palestine, et cetera, and we have a second list with 1.774 individuals.
7 It is entitled "El Mujahedin." I suppose that's the El Mujahedin unit.
8 And for the dates now, we have a column here. One of them is "in" and the
9 other one is "out." For example if we look at number 1, Mr. Aba Ktab, who
10 is from Saudi Arabia, we see that he entered or saw he came in on the 22nd
11 of July, 1995 and he left on the 22nd of December, 1995.
12 MR. SCOTT: Do I understand, then, that Your Honour is talking
13 about second list?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the second list.
15 Mr. Aba is number 1 on the first list, the El Mujahedin list.
16 MR. SCOTT: My question - my request remains, Your Honour, as to
17 the date of the first list, which doesn't appear to be any dates
18 indicated. All I'm asking is that it please be pointed out.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, as for the first
20 list, do you have any dates or don't you?
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, I don't have dates.
22 This is what I officially received.
23 As far as the second document is concerned, the date is not when
24 the person joined the unit but when he was put on record. It's only in
25 1995 they started to include these persons in their lists of troops, after
1 the creation of the Federation. They started making a list, and the list
2 of course is not complete, because by that time many people had left, but
3 I'm facing time constraints here, and anyway --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a very brief interruption.
5 It seems that the first list is drawn up from the second list, because in
6 the second list we find the name of Aba Ktab at number 1 and this person
7 is found in the other list except with the difference that the date of
8 birth is stated here, 1974. So the first list must have been drawn up
9 from the second list, and in the first list we have 717 people drawn from
10 the second list. But, Mr. Praljak, I gather that you do not have any
11 additional information to give us about the dates.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Another observation must be made with regard to
13 the second list. If you look, for instance, at page 3DT at the bottom,
14 number 1736. You have Trsemovic [phoen] Osman, who is indicated with the
15 dates 17 September 1993 to 18 September 1993. So he seems to have been
16 there one day, and it is quite clear that this is not a list of the
17 foreigners that at one particular moment in time were all together serving
18 with the ABiH.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Correct. I didn't claim
20 otherwise. I just said this is a list I received through official
21 channels, although the information in our possession says that by the time
22 when this list was made most the foreign nationals had already left the
24 Q. But now I would like us to move to P 02849. It's a report from
25 your service, dated 19th June -- sorry, 5th June 1993. Do you have the
1 document before you, Witness?
2 A. Yes, I do. I have that document. Sorry, mine is dated the 19th
3 of June. Sorry, yes, the 19th of June.
4 Q. Yes, 19th of June, 1993. The report says, if you look at it, that
5 television depicts obviously a different reality, that the report was made
6 by an Englishman, a Swede, and a Greek, and it says, "Was it deliberate as
7 many examples of collusion between Serbs and Croats before the events
8 intend to demonstrate it or only the use of and opportunity at a time when
9 Bosnian Croats want to reach their final goal, the recognition of
10 Herceg-Bosna as a separate state?"
11 And in the following paragraph we read: "Some people could wonder
12 how Croats could accept to drive their own people to despair for political
14 And it says: "... the Bosnian Croats are not going to be allowed
15 to make completely disappear millions of Muslims whatever their wish and
16 temptation to follow the example of the Serbs may be." Et cetera, et
18 This report signed by Jean-Pierre Thebault, and you will probably
19 see it on the third page of the English translation, it says:
20 "Fact-finding has begun about devastation in Guca Gora village. One
21 hundred eighty-one Croat civilians found shelter in the church. One
22 civilian was found wounded."
23 My question is -- I'm going to show you another document, since
24 you are mentioned here. What were those Croatian acts that drove their
25 own civilians to despair, or is it the case that the other side drove
1 Croat civilians to despair and made them leave their homes?
2 A. It's a very interesting question, General Praljak, and I believe
3 it's not such a simple answer. The feeling was, and I think Jean-Pierre
4 Thebault, the French head of -- the French head of the regional centre, is
5 noting something which is that it appeared that the Vance-Owen Peace Plan
6 was advantageous in terms of territorial allocation to the Bosnian Croats,
7 and we noted earlier that they were quick to sign up to delivering the
8 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and that would see certain cantons, and forgive me,
9 I think it was canton 10 was based on -- on Travnik. It gave them a
10 particular advantage in terms of running that municipality.
11 The part of the Vance-Owen Plan, or at least part of the way it
12 seemed to be interpreted on the ground was that there was a requirement by
13 the majority army force in that canton, so in the case of canton 10 being
14 allocated to the government by the Croats then, that the HV would be --
15 HVO, sorry, very clear clarification, HVO would be the military force
16 there and that other soldiers would be required, i.e., armija soldiers
17 would be required to lay down their weapons.
18 Now, what we saw in Central Bosnia when the Vance-Owen Peace Plan
19 collapsed seemed to be that there was a -- an attempt in Central Bosnia
20 initially for the HVO to gain territory, but that was unsuccessful.
21 Perhaps there was an overestimation of the HVO capability in Central
22 Bosnia either to take territory or to enforce this compliance of armija
23 handing over their weapons, and there was certainly never any intention
24 from the armija that we came across that they were going to lay down their
25 weapons or join the HVO forces.
1 So what we then saw was, as so often happens when there are
2 negotiations going on or even preceding or just after, military activity
3 to seize territory, basically on the principle of who holds that territory
4 has bargaining chips. So the attempt to establish the Vance-Owen Peace
5 Plan, its organs of civilian and military infrastructure around Travnik,
6 didn't happen, and the consequence there was that armija went on the
7 offensive, and that then led to the things that you see me describing in
8 the reports and that I've characterised earlier, which is in fact that the
9 Bosnian Croat community, instead of being on the offensive and on the
10 ascendance in central Travnik, it comes straight into the defensive
11 position. They are defeated militarily in certain areas. Novi Travnik
12 we've mentioned earlier, and later the fighting between Zenica through
13 Maline, Guca Gora, down to Travnik, and we see those forces that were in
14 the Travnik HVO units going into the pockets, and we get to a stage when
15 there's a balance of forces again, and, as I described yesterday in this,
16 what was largely infantry exchanges, we find concentrated pockets where
17 the HVO, protecting the Bosnian Croat population, get to a stage when
18 there is enough force within that pocket to resist any further attacks.
19 Now, in that we saw some interesting things happening. In
20 Travnik, when will the Muslims were successful -- sorry.
21 Q. I'm going to stick to documents and may we move on, because we've
22 heard that yesterday. I do apologise. However -- well, you mentioned
23 Maline. Now, in this same document there is the mention of Bando [phoen]
24 Bukovica that you mentioned, Han Bila, Maline, and so on. Now I'd like
25 you to take a look at 3D 00322, please. 322 are the last digits.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] And I'd once again like to
2 tell the Judges that this can't be considered quid pro quo, that this is
3 information, facts about what happened on the ground, and the Prosecution
4 case mentions this, whether the people actually fled from realistic danger
5 and how the war evolved. But anyway, the document I'd like to focus on
6 now is 3D 00322.
7 Q. I'm just going to ask you what you know about it. Look at Konjic,
9 A. I have not found the document yet.
10 Q. 3D 00322. It's a separate document. Have you found it?
11 A. No. I have a separate document, but that is 374.
12 Q. 322.
13 A. I appreciate you're asking me to look at 322, but I --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's the first -- third from the end.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for Mr. Praljak,
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes. Look at Mostar, please. You can see Grabovica on the 9th of
19 September, 1993. Thirty-two victims in Grabovica. Did you know about
20 that crime, or whatever you'd like to call it, on the 9th of September,
22 A. Yes, I was aware of it. This is the one we referred to earlier.
23 Q. Thank you. Now turn to Jablanica municipality, please.
24 A. Is there a document -- sorry, a page number that you can help me
25 get there quickly?
1 Q. Jablanica. It's the next page. It says Jablanica. So look at
2 Jablanica, Doljani. That will speed matters up.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, it would be easier
4 if you would just give us the last three numbers of the page so that will
5 enable us to go directly to the page.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, it
7 goes in order: Mostar, Jablanica, then it says Doljani. Now, as to page
8 numbers 3D 13178. 178 are the digits.
9 Q. Page 173, Doljani, the 28th of July, 1993, 63 victims, 63
10 casualties. Did you know of that event?
11 A. General Praljak, I'm being very slow this morning. You just need
12 to pause for one second while I find that page and then I'll be able to
13 help you.
14 Q. 178.
15 A. I have the document and the page.
16 Q. My question is this: During that time or immediately after it did
17 you know anything about this occurrence?
18 A. No, not Doljani.
19 Q. May we now look at the next part, which is Konjic, and the page
20 number is 180. On that page we have Gostovici, Gorani, Trusina, Radesine,
21 and those places and others. Did you know about any of those places as
22 being the localities where 85 individuals of Croatian nationality were
23 massacred? And you can look at the following pages as well.
24 A. I was -- I was aware of allegations of Trusina, Zabrdje, and those
25 are the only ones I recognise.
1 Q. Thank you. Now turn to page 185, which is Prozor. Uzdol and
3 A. Yes I was aware of Uzdol and referred to it earlier in giving
5 Q. On the 14th of September, 1993, in Uzdol, 41 fatalities, and
6 that's on page 186 you'll find that figure, during the operation of
7 Neretva 93. And on page 187, Udolsko [as interpreted] two days later, 24
8 fatalities. Did you know about Hudotsko?
9 A. No, not Hudotsko, but I know the village well, Uzdol. It was
10 central to earlier discussions at the beginning about January February
12 Q. Now open the page to 1793, which is Bugojno.
13 A. I have the page.
14 Q. Take a look at the names there, Bugojno, Kula, Gravica, Vuci Polje
15 [phoen], et cetera. Did you know that in those localities 118 persons
16 were killed, and do you know any of the names of places mentioned here.
17 And you can look at the next page, too.
18 A. I know Vrbanja and obviously Bugojno itself.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, if I can inquire. Just so the
21 record is clear and to assist the witness, the Chamber knows by this point
22 in the trial that a number of towns and villages have different names.
23 They may have a Muslim name. They may have a Croat name, and perhaps
24 Mr. Praljak can assist us in any -- if any of these villages or places
25 have another name by which the witness may know them. Because when he
1 says he doesn't recognise a name, maybe it's a completely different name
2 than the one he knows. So it's not completely fair to suggest that he
3 doesn't know these locations.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, if you know the
5 equivalent name of a village, if you know two different names of a
6 village, you may do so. You may tell the witness what they are.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just two names
8 are different in Croatian and according to the Bosnia. Prozor and Rama
9 and Uskoplje and Gornji Vakuf. Those are the equivalents. All the other
10 place names are the same for Croats and Muslims.
11 Q. So, Mr. Watkins, would you look at 197 now, please, which was
12 Travnik municipality. You were there at the time and take a look at the
13 place names. You'll see Maline mentioned. You'll see Dolac Bila. And
14 then the following pages the number of fatalities, and tell us what you
15 knew about this and what you reported on, and you can glance at the dates
17 A. Well, looking at the names Mehurici, Travnik obviously, Orasac,
18 Guca Gora, Maline, Novi Travnik going further on, yeah. So that's it.
19 Oh, Rudnik.
20 Q. Very well. Very you knew that crimes had been committed there.
21 A. We knew there were allegations, and I then investigated and wrote
22 reports about them. Maline is a good example of where we've tried very
23 hard to establish what had happened there, but we did not come across the
24 mass graves.
25 Q. Now we're going to skip over some things and go to page 233, which
1 is Kakanj municipality, which in June 1993, after an attack by the BH
2 army, led to the population leaving the municipality, and all this turned
3 out to be under the organisation of the political leadership of the
4 Croatian Defence Council. So take a look at what happened at that time in
5 Kakanj municipality. Take a look at -- on the 18th of May, nine
6 fatalities; three fatalities in Trubici on the 13th of June; Lijeska,
7 Balici, seven fatalities there; Kraljeva Sutjeska, 13th to the 23rd of
8 June, six victims; Zlatnice, five on the 30th of June. Can you see all
9 that, Witness?
10 A. Yes, I can.
11 Q. Now, as you've seen all this information, tell me, please, what
12 was it that made the Croats -- or let me ask you this: Do you know how
13 many soldiers of the 3rd Corps the BH army had?
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. Do you know how many soldiers the 2nd BH army corps had?
16 A. No, I don't.
17 Q. Do you know how many soldiers there were under the command of
18 Tihomir Blaskic in Central Bosnia, including Zepce, Kakanj, et cetera?
19 What was the total number of men he had under him?
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. Do you know of a single order which would be characterised as
22 offensive to his army, which we saw later numbered some 10.000 soldiers to
23 attack nine to ten times stronger army that had surrounded him? Would
24 this professional soldier as you called him engage in such madness? Do
25 you know of any offensive axis of attack in Central Bosnia towards the
1 Muslims except in defence, for defensive purposes?
2 A. I'm not aware of any order. We saw tactical attacks.
3 Q. Yes, correct, tactical attacks. Now, while you were in Mostar and
4 up there, do you know whether I issued any order which was an offensive
5 order against the BH army, except for one which was Rastani when we wanted
6 to gain control there? A single HVO offensive against the BH army, or was
7 it only defence from the Neretva offensive 93?
8 A. I'm not aware of any specific orders.
9 Q. Now, is it true and correct and it says in your reports that after
10 the fall of Bugojno, as we interpret it, there was a continuous attack by
11 the BH army launched against Gornji Vakuf towards Prozor which lasted
12 between five and six weeks?
13 A. Yes, I was aware of that. I spoke to the armija commanders, and I
14 believe at that time, sir, that I met you.
15 Q. Yes, thank you. Now, can you tell me during that period of time,
16 and all these operations, action from Bugojno towards Gornji Vakuf and the
17 offensives, how many times the road that you called Diamond stopping the
18 passage of international humanitarian aid or when it says in your reports
19 Diamond was opened or when there were strong fighting around Makljen, when
20 that route was closed to humanitarian aid?
21 A. It was something of a lottery when one travelled from Central
22 Bosnia to Herzegovina. It was regularly closed but not always by one --
23 not always by the Croat forces; sometimes by the armija.
24 Q. Thank you for the answer, but my question was very precise, and we
25 can read that in your reports that Diamond was opened. From the south
1 side, the Croatian side, apart from when there was intensive fighting near
2 the road at Makljen, when was that road closed, and did the convoys going
3 into Central Bosnia, were they able to move unobstructed from us? Tell me
4 when that was.
5 A. No. There were regular obstructions coming up into Central Bosnia
6 of convoys. I have to look at the documents or you -- someone would have
7 to produce them, but you'll see where we stated that they are closed.
8 There was no way that one travelled from Herzegovina up into Central
9 Bosnia and anticipated clear routes and unobstructed. You were often
10 stopped. I spent quite a few hours at Makljen ridge myself. I think most
11 of the time it may have been local issues, but never mind, we were
13 Q. Yes, I'm not challenging that, that there were local issues, but
14 each and every convoy with its problems, were the problems solved so that
15 the convoys could actually reach their destination ultimately? Is that
17 A. I would say yes with delays. There were some significant things.
18 Not at the Makljen ridge but like the movement of the hospital, which I
19 don't think was resolved, or at least not for a long, long time.
20 Q. Thank you. Now P 05356 is the next document I'd like us to look
21 at, please. 5356. It is a daily report for the 24th of September.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. A daily summary, as I said. P 05356 is the document number. It
25 is a document by your service, and the date is the 24th of September,
1 1993. It was signed by Mr. Martin Garrod and relates to talks --
2 A. I don't have this document. One moment, please. I'm looking in
3 the Prosecutor's file.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's in the other one, Witness. It's in the
5 other one.
6 THE WITNESS: I have the document. The Prosecution took me to the
7 Prosecution file. Sorry about that.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].
9 Q. Now, it says here under point 2, Political Activity, "M9." Who
10 was M9?
11 A. At this time, 24 of September, that would have been -- that would
12 have been either Jesus Amatriain or Martin Garrod. I can't remember
13 exactly when Jesus Amatriain took over from Martin Garrod.
14 Q. Very well. It says that there was a meeting with me.
15 A. Sorry, I can clarify that. If we go to the end of the document
16 you will see that it is Martin Garrod who is HCC Mostar. And HCC, their
17 call-sign was Mike 9. So this is Martin Garrod meeting me, sir.
18 Q. In your document it says that I said over there that I would turn
19 off the water supply if winter sets -- when winter sets in, and that I
20 would not allow humanitarian aid to go through. I don't know who
21 translated for you, but my question is this, and we saw the maps
22 yesterday: Had I wanted to cut off the water supply, had I been that type
23 of warrior, tell me what place could you cut off the water supply to the
24 opposite side? Where? What place would that have been where you could
25 have shut off the water supply?
1 A. Could I first begin by saying this is not my report, but in my
2 earlier testimony it I did state that you said that. Well, you have a
3 certain characteristic style of engagement, and in that engagement you
4 told me that you disliked intensely, in fact I believe the word translated
5 as "hated" the armija. You wanted to defeat the armija, and you would do
6 so by whatever means you had, stop water, stop humanitarian aid. It was
7 just what was translated to me. You could stop humanitarian aid. I would
8 need to look a little bit at where water sources were, and supplies too,
9 to be able to answer this, your specific question about water.
10 Q. So that was what was translated for you. I don't know what was
11 translated, but what I'm asking you is this, because I don't think I can
12 be considered an entirely stupid man: Tell me, where could you shut off
13 the water even if I had wanted to, or do you think it's a nonsensical
14 sentence, because there is no possibility of doing that there because
15 Kruscica was under BH army control, so there wasn't a single locality
16 where the HVO could shut off the water supply had it even wanted to do so.
17 But let's move on. If you can't remember a place where the water supply
18 could have been cut off, if you can't name a place name, then never mind.
19 I remember I spoke about fuel, but we'll come to that in due course.
20 Can you name a single place where the HVO could cut off the water
21 supply, shut down the water?
22 A. That's where I said I would need to look at -- I can't remember
23 off the top of my head, but there were some interesting underground
24 connections around the lakes around Prozor and down towards Jablanica.
25 I'm not quite sure where the water was flowing, but that's what I -- in
1 terms of Kruscica, you're absolutely correct in that particular case. In
2 Central Bosnia we were regularly dealing with issues of water being cut
3 off, and in that case it was the Muslim community cutting off the water to
4 Vitez, but also, of course, it effected their own population in Zenica.
5 That's all I can give in regards to water supplies.
6 Q. Thank you. That is sufficient for me. Now, I speak at length
7 here about the fact that Croatia offered Ploce, which were built for --
8 well, I won't go into that section. All I want to ask you is this, and
9 that's something that you refer to as well, and that is the question of
10 the helicopter which took a girl from Rumbok, who suffered from leukaemia,
11 and her parents to Split. And in this document it is to be found -- let
12 me just take a moment to find it. I can't find it.
13 But do you remember that an HVO helicopter took a girl and her
14 parents from Rumbok near Prozor or Rama to Split during the time that you
15 talked to me? So that was a Muslim family and their child.
16 A. I do not remember this.
17 Q. It's in the report somewhere, because I've read it. Look at this
18 conversation about the BBC, page 2, 2 of 4, where it says that at one
19 point I demanded that the BBC go first to Konjic and Bugojno. I spoke
20 about Dretelj as a bad thing, and then it goes on with and commentary that
21 "Praljak, after that, let the BBC go, but he only wanted to emphasise the
22 need to establish who was responsible for those crimes."
23 It's on page 4 of 4. "Praljak obviously gave in when BBC
24 addressed him personally as suggested by the chief of UNHCR. BBC has the
25 freedom to and plans to stay." Just the last sentence. "Bearing in mind
1 his emphatic statements, it's interesting why General Praljak changed his
2 mind about BBC's entry into Mostar. The most likely explanation is that
3 he had the opportunity to emphatically state his views to the BBC crew as
4 to what they were doing wrong, in his opinion, and he used that
5 opportunity. Having done that, he was prepared to give them permission to
6 enter. That would have been in character for him from what we were able
7 to see at the meeting."
8 Do you know that the BBC did indeed receive permission to film
9 what they wanted, and do you believe it is indeed in character for me to
10 state my views strongly but that my conduct was perfectly normal?
11 A. I didn't know about the BBC. I do believe that you state your
12 position strongly, and I do remember in my own reports of meeting with you
13 that I asked for access to the imam of Prozor, for instance, and that that
14 did happen afterwards. Not consistently from that point ever on, but
15 certainly I did get access.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have 30 minutes
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. That should be
20 Q. Let me find another document. P 04431. P 04431.
21 A. General Praljak, will I find that in your file?
22 Q. No, Mr. Watkins. That's a Prosecution exhibit.
23 A. I have the document.
24 Q. I would just like to refer to paragraph 1 of this document of the
25 20th of August, where it says a hunger strike was going on at the hospital
1 in Toplice, that the strike has begun to draw attention to the suffering
2 of Croats wounded in Central Bosnia, and so on.
3 Were you aware that, due to the reporting, such as it was it,
4 seriously wounded persons in hospitals in Toplice and elsewhere went on a
5 hunger strike in order to force somebody, at least, to start reporting in
6 a more unbiased and truthful way what was going on in Central Bosnia?
7 A. Yes. I think this links in with this whole discussion about
8 trying to make sure that the Bosnian Croat voice was heard more
9 effectively, and in this case it seems to be that those who are obviously
10 distressed are going on strike and that will gain immediate attention, and
11 it is part an attempt to get your perspective across. The reference to
12 the hospitals in Travnik and Vitez, I was directly involved in organising
13 the evacuation of the first evacuation of Nova Bila by convoy down through
14 Herzegovina. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful at the same time to
15 evacuate the hospital from Travnik to Zenica. I was prevented to do --
16 from doing so by HVO forces, who I believe were reporting directly to
17 Dario Kordic.
18 Q. Very well. Look at P 04363.
19 A. I have the document.
20 Q. Political activity. That's number 2. "Beba the security officer
21 of the BH army said that the army would never allow for a helicopter
22 evacuation of Bila because HVO helicopters were frequently seen unloading
23 ammunition." Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I see that.
25 Q. Look at the next page, 2 of 2. "Civilian police in Bugojno
1 identified 145 Muslims and Croats that were killed in -- during the
2 fighting." It doesn't say how many were Croats, how many Muslims, and
3 whether all of them were fighting men. Do you see that? It's the first
4 line on page 2.
5 A. Viktor 2 finally gained access to the Muslim population and
6 prisoners in Prozor. Yes.
7 Q. It says they discovered -- it's about Bugojno. They discovered --
8 I don't know if we are looking at the same document. P 04363 of the 20th
9 August 1993.
10 A. Yes. I am looking at that document, Mr. Praljak, and when I turn
11 to the second page of that document, the first --
12 Q. About Bugojno?
13 A. No, I don't have that, interestingly. I have Viktor 2 finally
14 gained access to the Muslim population. It appears that it's on the first
15 page in the copy I have. Yes, I've now found what you're referring to.
16 "Civilian police in Bugojno have identified 145 bodies, Croat Muslim,
17 killed in the fighting."
18 Q. It does not say how they were killed. The report does not specify
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. But it mentions 167 prisoners in an engineering school, Croats, of
22 course; is that correct?
23 A. No. I believe that we're now talking about Viktor 2 finally
24 gained access to the Muslim population and prisoners in Prozor. They
25 revealed 167 prisoners being held at the tech school. So that's Prozor.
1 You're holding them, Mr. Praljak, but you have given us access to them.
2 Q. Correct. Correct. In passing, one -- in one report you say that
3 after the crime in Uzdol, the one -- and the one two days later, there was
4 no retribution and the situation in Prozor remained quiet. Do you
5 recollect that after those two crimes you got access to the imam and there
6 was no retribution whatsoever?
7 A. I do remember writing a report about there being no retribution.
8 I cannot definitively say in the same report that that's when we got
9 access to the imam, but, as I say, you did give us access to the imam.
10 Q. Thank you. In this document under item 8, "3rd Corps of the army
11 obstruction many initiatives, be they from the HVO or international
12 organisations in cases of exchanges of --"
13 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Praljak needs to read more slowly. We did
14 not get that.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. All this has to do with the helicopters for which we have no time.
17 Is it correct that there were major obstructions created by the 3rd Corps
18 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. Yes. We had regular issues with regards to freedom of movement
20 and access issues. And the comment here is that, "it's on the increase
21 and probably on the back of hardening attitude that developed following
22 their military successes in the Vrbas Valley and the Lasva valley," or
23 least the north end of the Lasva Valley.
24 Q. Could we now see document P 04363.
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, just before we go to the document could
1 I request a short break? I just need to go to the loo. It is well known
2 I have a very small bladder.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 12.00. We will have a
4 20-minute break and resume in 20 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.03 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.22 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
8 You have 25 more minutes, Mr. Praljak.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Watkins, P 05162. It's a Prosecution exhibit.
12 A. I have the document.
13 Q. It's a report by your organisation, dated 17 September 1993.
14 Under General Situation it says: "Situation relatively quiet in Central
15 Bosnia except in Gornji Vakuf, which has seen fierce fighting in early
16 morning. Diamond route continues to be open."
17 A. I see that.
18 Q. Can we then agree that fighting in Vakuf and towards Prozor
19 continues to go on and the route is still open? Is your report correct on
21 A. This is a report written by one of my teams and sent to me, and on
22 that day it is open, yes.
23 Q. And how would you comment this: "... continues to be open"? That
24 implies that it was open before. This is not the only document speaking
25 of this. Regardless of difficulties that I do not deny, but it does say,;
1 "Continues to be open."
2 A. Yes, in my translation -- or in the original, rather, it is "Route
3 Diamond remains open." It is interesting that the bothered to put this
4 in. If there was no problem then they wouldn't have put it in at all. I
5 also note under the Political Situation a reference to trying to gain
6 access to the imam of Prozor.
7 Q. All right. Do you agree that you did get access to the imam in
9 A. We did. The specific comment says, "Croat authorities in Prozor
10 making it difficult for V2 to visit the imam of Prozor and is being
11 isolated from the community," and one of the things we're looking to build
12 confidence is it appears that the team is trying to involve the Roman
13 Catholic priest. So we are saying there was difficulty on that day, but I
14 am also clearly stating, and have earlier, that we did get -- after me
15 asking you, we did get access to the imam.
16 Q. Thank you. It says up here, Political Situation, "the population
17 in Prozor calmly accepted the massacre in Uzdol and so far there have been
18 no cases of mistreatment of the Muslim community. Tensions are growing
19 and Muslims feel there is a growing danger of violence against them."
20 You noted those two massacres over two days resulting in over 60
21 people killed. You have a lot of experience, after all, in these matters.
22 Do you think it was simple to prevent and stop retribution over those
23 incidents in two villages that have a total population taken together of
24 600 in a war like that?
25 A. It wouldn't have been easy.
1 Q. Does it seem logical to you that a person in that situation placed
2 the imam in isolation and under protection waiting for a couple of days
3 until hundreds of talks are conducted, and until all that has been reduced
4 to a tolerable measure after a crime like that? Does that sound
5 reasonable to you?
6 A. It's -- I'm not perhaps understanding the question directly, but
7 basically I think what you're asking is is it unreasonable in those
8 circumstances we found it difficult to get to the imam. I would accept
9 that, but I would also suggest that it would -- we would also, and you
10 would have also have known, that the Muslim community would have been
11 very, very fearful and that an international community visiting them at
12 that moment would have been of some succor to them.
13 Q. I agree, sir, but tell me: There was fighting in Gornji Vakuf.
14 The other side was attacking. Did you get access to the imam? Did imam
15 after that visit some Muslim families? Is all that correct? Did I, when
16 I arrived, of course, back from the field, give you access to the imam?
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That question is answered --
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, you did.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. Do you believe it was
21 unreasonable for me to place guards around the imam in a situation like
22 that, and does it seem logical to you that hundreds of meetings had to be
23 held to prevent retribution after these two massacres? Let me address you
24 in person and in the first person singular.
25 A. No, I do not believe it was unreasonable to place guards, but
1 having that protection there would also have been no reason why we
2 shouldn't have visited as well.
3 Q. Well, you did visit him after I came back from those meetings, but
4 never mind.
5 Let us look at number 4, Humanitarian Activity. It says:
6 "Team V2 visited the child suffering from leukaemia that the HVO
7 transported to Split. Mother and child are well and found accommodation
8 in town. The HVO brought the family to the hospital and left them there
9 without extending any assistance as had been agreed earlier."
10 So can we note that somebody from the HVO ordered a helicopter to
11 fly, in the situation as it was, to bring that mother and child to Split?
12 Is that correct?
13 A. I see no reference to a helicopter, and I see no reference to the
14 ethnicity of the -- of the family. I merely see that the HVO facilitated
15 the family move. It might have been a Bosnian Croat. I don't know. It
16 must have been a Muslim. I don't know. It may have been by air. It may
17 have been by road.
18 Q. In one report that I cannot locate at this moment has to do with
19 Mr. Martin Garrod. It says clearly helicopter and the nationality is
20 indicated. The intention was to go to Zurich. Do you know that somebody
21 of Croat nationality was intending to go to Zurich after that rather than
22 stay in Zagreb in the hospital? The objection here is that -- or seems to
23 be that we brought that little girl and left her without extending any
24 further assistance. What assistance can be expected, could be expected
25 after bringing that child to the Split hospital?
1 A. I don't read any criticism. I'm just reading an explanation of a
2 movement of a child suffering from leukaemia by the HVO. I don't see it
3 as being criticised in any way, but neither, as I say, do I see any
4 indication of the mode of transport or the ethnicity.
5 The other report to which you refer of Martin Garrod's, I'm not
6 aware of that report. It does not ring any bells for me, I'm afraid.
7 Q. All right. I will owe it to the Court to demonstrate that it was
8 indeed a helicopter.
9 Look at number 5. Violence against the Muslim minority that we
10 expected at the outset has not occurred yet. So you, too, expected that
11 after something like that a retribution might occur and slip out of
12 control, because both the troops and the people who were killed were
13 closely related by family ties.
14 A. For the record, I believe you mean paragraph 8, Assessment. "The
15 initial expected violence against the Muslim minority in Prozor has not
16 yet happened." Yeah, we anticipated after the massacre of Croats at Uzdol
17 there may be some reaction in Prozor, and here we're stating it hasn't
19 Q. Did any retribution occur later, according to the information you
21 A. We had, and it was referred to earlier in the evidence that I've
22 given, of a large-scale movement of population from Prozor down to
23 Jablanica, and I made some comment about whether this was -- how this was
24 organised, whether the Muslim authorities in Jablanica were ready to
25 accept them. I forget the exact dates, but I do believe it probably is
1 after these dates.
2 Q. All right. We'll see from documents later that this occurred
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Usher, would you please put
5 this on the ELMO before the witness.
6 Q. You mentioned having clearly seen some unit of the Croatian army
7 or, rather, a truck with writing on it indicating Osijek. Witness, how
8 many trucks or buses have you in fact seen or did you see at that moment?
9 A. I think I listed them or gave some indication in that report. I
10 can't remember off the top of my head. I do remember listing some
11 vehicle-mounted multi-barrel rocket launchers, some towed artillery, some
12 coaches, I think, with -- yes, coaches with soldiers on and one or two
13 other bits. Overall, my estimation, without going back to that report, we
14 probably saw where between, I don't know, 25, 35 vehicles. A large
15 number, a unit. A regiment perhaps.
16 Q. How many small vehicles and how many large vehicles were there?
17 A. Would it be useful for us to go back to that document where I do
18 list certain elements of equipment? I've given you my rough estimation.
19 We're talking about a mixture of vehicles. We are talking about vehicles
20 that are towing equipment. That would be heavy goods vehicle, lorry-type
21 equipment, some moving without towing any equipment, the specific
22 artillery I've mentioned, and transport with -- for people, i.e.,
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Look at this paper in front of you where I
25 wrote, "a standard for a motorised brigade," and you see that the
1 motorised brigade consisted of three motorised battalions, one armoured
2 battalion, two artillery battalions for support, one anti-air defence
3 battalion, one engineering battalion, one support battalion. That is the
4 standard, approximately.
5 The strength you have such a unit would be 4.600 to 5.000. The
6 number of vehicles it has ranges from 6 to 800. And when these vehicles
7 move in a convoy, which is intolerable, by the way, such a unit has 10 to
8 12 echelons with 50 to 70 lorries -- sorry, and it's 50 to 70 kilometres
10 A. Yes. I have had the pleasure in my army service of leading such a
11 convoy, but what you're describing here is a brigade move, and a brigade
12 consists of, as you say, three battalions. I mentioned a -- a unit and
13 called it a regiment.
14 For those that are not of military background, certainly in the
15 British forces a regiment would equate with a battalion, and what I'm
16 saying is I saw about a regiment, a battalion. So one-third of all
17 that you're describing at maximum. So I didn't see a whole brigade
18 move. I saw a unit move, which I've estimated to be - maximum size - a
20 Q. Thank you. Please look at an armoured brigade, 3.200 to 3.500
21 soldiers. The total number of vehicles is 400 to 500. The length of
22 convoy movement is 40 to 50 kilometres. Just tell me whether this is
23 correct from all you know.
24 A. Broadly speaking that would be an order of battle for the movement
25 of a brigade.
1 Q. Because of time constraints I cannot call all the documents I
2 wanted, but from that document we will later derive -- first of all, we
3 don't know what it was up there and who was moving, but from what I read
4 it was not a battalion. It was a company. So what you could have seen
5 was a company, 170 to 200 soldiers; is that correct? Much closer to a
6 company than to a regiment.
7 A. I would -- I would estimate it was more than a company size which
8 I saw. I do mention a brigade number of 5 brigade, but, of course, that
9 doesn't mean that the whole brigade is moving. Brigades, as you know,
10 general, don't have to move in one unit, and what I saw here was less than
11 a brigade, considerably less than a brigade, possibly a regiment,
12 certainly more than a company. And for those that are not of military
13 background, there are usually three fighting companies to a regiment plus
14 a support company. So about four companies per regiment.
15 Would you agree, General Praljak?
16 Q. Correct, militarily speaking, but we shall come back to the exact
17 estimate of the vehicles enumerated there and see if that's correct.
18 Do you know how many tanks were captured by the HVO in liberating
19 the barracks at Capljina, if you know that?
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. Do you know how many tanks and artillery we captured in liberating
22 Mostar? Do you know that?
23 A. No, I do not know that.
24 Q. Do you know how many howitzers, 152-millimetres, were in Travnik
25 in Bratstvo at the beginning of the war that was split half-half with the
1 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. No, I do not know that.
3 Q. Do you know in the same factory how many multiple-rocket launchers
4 there were that we last split half/half with the BH army?
5 A. No, I do not know that number.
6 Q. Do you know how many coastal B-1 cannons there were in the same
7 factory that we gave to Croatia and got in exchange something that was
8 again split half/half with the BH army?
9 A. No, I do not know.
10 Q. Do you know how many tanks and artillery pieces Colonel Siljeg had
11 in his operative zone? Before you saw the column, that is.
12 A. No, but I did see on one occasion a T-54, 55 in Prozor. So I only
13 ever saw one -- or a couple of tanks in that area. One that I can
14 distinctly remember.
15 Q. Thank you. Now the next document, 3D 00954, please. 3D 00954 is
16 the number of the document. Did you --
17 A. Sorry, what -- I have the document.
18 Q. My first question is this: Did the BH army, while you were up
19 there, have cars? We saw they had tanks, helicopters, small vehicles.
20 They moved around in vehicles. Is that right?
21 A. Yes, including my ECMM vehicle.
22 Q. Tell me, please, does Bosnia-Herzegovina have petroleum sources?
23 Oil fields.
24 A. Not in Bosnia-Herzegovina but, yes, up in Croatia.
25 Q. Now, here we have documents from the Ploce port, the port of Ploce
1 in Croatia. Take a look at them, please, and you'll be able to see the
2 dates of the dozens of documents that I have. I've just prepared a few by
3 way of information. You'll see the oil refinery mentioned, and you'll see
4 the letters of import/export operations, bills of lading, the 14th of
5 August, 1993, the 15th of August, 1993, you see fuel, diesel fuel. All
6 that is recorded here.
7 A. Yes, I see that.
8 Q. Do you know that uninterruptedly throughout the war the BH army
9 had fuel supplies coming in for helicopters, tanks, vehicles generally,
10 and other types of fuel, and did you wonder where they were getting this
11 from? Did you know that it went via Croatia and via the HVO check-points
12 in those convoys that moved around? Were you aware of that?
13 A. We -- it was of interest, and I was aware of various routes in,
14 including through Serb territory and deals done with the Serbs.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, excuse me. I find this a bit
16 difficult. You refer in a very general way to a bunch of documents which
17 cover various merchandise. I looked at one of them. It is it the page 3D
18 25-0589, enterprise port Ploce Kardeljevo, I think. And I find no
19 reference here, but I may not be alert enough. I do not find any
20 reference here to -- to Bosnia or to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or
21 anything else that would link the document to the case before the Chamber.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel,
23 as far as the port of Ploce is concerned you have metre long documents on
24 every detail, but I just want to ask a specific question to it a
25 professional soldier, which Mr. Watkins is.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak. I don't have metre-long
2 documents. I have one here that you have presented the witness, and
3 that's the one I'm talking about. We cannot talk about metres of
4 documents that we do not have here. But I think Mr. Kovacic would like to
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes. I hope I can be
7 of assistance. Since we have no reports showing one document which shows
8 that merchandise X arrived on such-and-such a ship and continued along its
9 route to the person it was being taken to, this set of documents that have
10 been attached here as a good exam you always have to tie yourself to up a
11 one good document. You have a document that applies to the port of Ploce,
12 then the hauling country [as interpreted], et cetera. So you always have
13 some link. You can either see the date, number, or the number of the
14 document. Of course, from each individual document you won't be able to
15 get the necessary information, but if you look at them as a set, as linked
16 documents, then you will see exactly how the merchandise came in, what
17 ship brought it in, what route the merchandise took, and so on and so on.
18 But you're right. You can't see it from one document. That's why we put
19 them into these packages or sets.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are you -- are you then suggesting, Mr. Kovacic,
21 that it is for the Chamber to sort of link these together like a puzzle?
22 I've often heard this is your case, so I would expect documents to be
23 presented in a way that the Chamber sees the link, and so far these
24 documents do not permit me to see it. I'm not saying it doesn't exist,
25 understand me well, not at you will. But I cannot see it in this.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour,
2 take a look at document on the incoming and outgoing fuel of 4.773.132
3 kilogrammes, D2. It arrived from the USSR to BiH, and the importer was
5 Q. And my question to you, sir, is this: The company Energopetrol,
6 was it a firm in Sarajevo under the control of the authorities of the --
7 or political authorities of the Muslims, of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 Energopetrol, a Sarajevo-based company, as it says in the document, who is
9 taking over the goods, who is importing the goods, and the importer in
10 this case is Energopetrol. It was brought in by the ship called Columbia
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] And that's what it clearly
13 says there, Judge Trechsel. The only state company in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 Q. Do you know about that, Mr. Watkins?
16 A. Yes, I do know -- I do know about Energopetrol. Indeed I -- when
17 I set up that company after the war I tried to trade with Energopetrol and
18 also with HINA. But how can I help further with this? If you were saying
19 there was normal, regular economic transactions during the period of
20 conflict, I would find that difficult to support and substantiate. If
21 you're saying that deals and money was passed, and people made a lot of
22 money out of moving goods outside of any legitimate customs and trading
23 system, then I would certainly agree with you.
24 Q. No, sir. This followed the regular customs routes with all the
25 control and paperwork attending it. There are no shortcomings. There's
1 the Bosnia-Herzegovinian Muslim importer. You have the name of the
2 supplier. You have the port of Ploce. You have the beneficiary, and all
3 this is passing through Herceg-Bosna in the throes of the war. Now, do
4 you agree with me it was merchandise that was not humanitarian aid but was
5 used to put into motion the war machine of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which at
6 that time was engaged in the Neretva 93 offensive. Then we had the
7 offensive on Gornji Vakuf, Makljen, and so on towards the western
8 frontiers. So can you tell me where that example exists anywhere in the
9 history of warfare that you were taught at school? So those are my
11 A. I'll pick -- there are several bits in there but let me say that
12 it would have been very strange indeed when the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian
13 Muslims were fighting to have allowed this regular traffic to be taking
14 place. So one has to look at under what circumstances. I do not know. I
15 see no reference in here, but this could well have been one of the fuel
16 supplies that was brokered by UNHCR and would be part of a wider deal
17 about distribution of humanitarian aid, because certainly fuel was taken
18 under the auspices of the UN into Bosnia, and that would have arrived in
19 Ploce and it ultimately would have been going into armija forces. So
20 that's the only time I could -- could accept and understand that there was
21 a regular ship arriving, unloading, taking its produce through -- sorry,
22 it's cargo through, if there was some international supervision.
23 Otherwise there would have been a lot of money exchanging hands. It is
24 constant support -- surprise, indeed was to me, just the amount of trading
25 that was done between those people who were fighting. It was
1 extraordinary that somebody would be on a front line and be fighting each
2 other, and yet trade was happening in order to pass ammunition to the
3 troops on the front line to do that fighting. Extraordinary, but I
4 witnessed it myself.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your time is up, Mr. Praljak.
6 We are going to move on to the Judge's question before the redirect.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you, sir. You are in fact interpreting it this way. The
9 cisterns, water tanks were passing throughout the war. Do you know that
10 in Zagreb, with the recognition of the Croatian state and the defence
11 ministry that there were places where UNHCR canned goods were opened,
12 ammunition put in, and with our knowledge carried throughout had the war
13 to the BH army? Do you know about that or not?
14 A. Yes. On earlier testimony I've said I believe there were
15 substantiated cases sometimes where UNHCR vehicles had been found carrying
16 something. But there were also just legitimate movements of petroleum as
17 organised by UNHCR.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
20 have no further questions.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, redirect.
22 MR. SCOTT: Yes, based on the comment you made a moment ago, I
23 wasn't sure if the Judges were going to ask questions first or if the
24 Prosecution was. Either way, I will have a few questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I only have one question to put
1 to the witness. It shouldn't take too much time.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you told us that you
4 went to Mostar. You saw what was going on there. At various points you
5 dealt with shelling, fire being opened, et cetera. You mentioned that.
6 We've heard many witnesses talk to us about shelling and exchange
7 of fire. At this stage it seems that some units were stationed around
8 Mostar. These were HVO units, Muslim units from the ABiH, and there were
9 also Serb units.
10 At the time when you were in theatre, did you hear of or did you
11 yourself see that sometimes the Serbs would open fire on Mostar?
12 A. No, sir, I didn't other that in the time that I was there. But I
13 do not discount the fact that could have happen. I just didn't observe
14 it, sir.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. That was the only
16 question I wanted to put to you.
17 Mr. Scott.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Scott:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Watkins.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. Just a few more questions before I hope we will be able to -- to
22 let you go on about your business and life.
23 You were asked a couple of questions or a number of questions for
24 a time about some military decrees and who in the HVO chain of command,
25 for example, you may remember there were questions about who could relieve
1 a brigade commander, who could -- and could you tell the Judges, if you
2 know, concerning Colonel Blaskic, at the time you knew him, he was the
3 commander of something that in the HVO structure was called an operational
4 zone or operative zone; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct. Operational zone middle Bosna.
6 Q. And do you know either by name of position, that is by structure,
7 the box or the line on the chart, if you will, or by name, if you know,
8 who during that time, during -- I think the questions were being
9 particularly put to you around the time of Stupni Do in October of 1993,
10 who Colonel Blaskic's superior was? And again either by function or if
11 you know who held at that position at the time, please tell us.
12 A. I believe at that time it was General Praljak.
13 Q. And that --
14 A. As the Supreme Commander of HVO. You could argue that his first
15 communications would have been with the staff at Citluk --
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. -- where the Chief of Staff may be -- or would be present, or
18 should be present.
19 Q. You had a number -- if I understand you correctly, you had various
20 dealings with Colonel Blaskic during this time. Did Colonel Blaskic --
21 when I say "during this time," it's -- let's talk about perhaps the second
22 half of 1993. Did he indicate to you who he considered to be his
23 commanding officer, the person who he was reporting to and taking orders
24 from at that time?
25 A. I only person that I ever heard Colonel Blaskic refer to as
1 commander was General Petkovic.
2 Q. All right. If I could ask the witness --.
3 MR. SCOTT: In connection with a couple of questions I'd like to
4 put to the witness, if the witness could please be shown the Prosecution
5 book of maps, which is Exhibit P 9276. I believe it's in e-court as well.
6 I can't assist with much more than that except that it should be under --
7 in e-court as the same exhibit, P 97 -- excuse me, P 09276.
8 Q. I don't believe you'll have it, sir. They should provide it to
9 you, I hope.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, please. Before
11 letting you go on, I have some doubt now in my mind following the answers
12 I've heard given by the witness.
13 The Prosecutor asked you whether Colonel Blaskic was the one in
14 charge of the operational zone. You said yes. Then the Prosecutor asked
15 you who was above him, and your answer is General Praljak. Then the
16 Prosecutor at line 6, page 78, asked you who Colonel Blaskic was reporting
17 to, and here your answer is General Petkovic. I do not understand. I'm
18 confused. Is it General Praljak or General Petkovic. If in the
19 operational zone Colonel Blaskic is in command, who is above him?
20 THE WITNESS: Sir, the only time I ever heard Colonel Blaskic
21 himself refer to a senior commander was General Petkovic. Depending on
22 the time that we're talking about, it would either be General Petkovic,
23 but when General Petkovic hands over to General Praljak, then Colonel
24 Blaskic's ultimate commander would be General Praljak. The intermediary
25 that I introduced to the Citluk headquarters is that there would be a
1 chief of staff there. During the period when Colonel Blaskic was
2 reporting to General Petkovic, I am unsure as to who was the Chief of
3 Staff of the HVO. When Colonel Blaskic would have been reporting to
4 General Praljak, my understanding is that General Petkovic at that time
5 was the Chief of Staff.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's still not very clear to me,
7 but let's proceed.
8 Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Now, if you have the book of maps there. You've made an
11 interesting point a couple of times and I would like to come back to.
12 It's perhaps -- it's perhaps appropriate that we look at a map of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is the first map in the book of maps that you
14 have there.
15 MR. SCOTT: And I say particularly appropriate, because I believe,
16 if I'm not mistaken, today is the 15th anniversary of the admission of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a member state of the UN.
18 Q. And in that regard, sir, if you have that map?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. If you look at that map, could you tell it us is that the map --
21 are those the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina that -- the international
22 recognised borders that existed prior to the war, to the best of your
24 A. Yes, they are.
25 Q. And are those the internationally recognised borders that also
1 existed, if you will, after the war?
2 A. Yes, they are.
3 Q. So, sir, can you assist us in this: Prior to the time, for
4 example, that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna declared its
5 existence in November 1991, did Bosnia have access to the sea?
6 A. There was a -- there's -- part of the physical border is at the
7 sea; that is Neum. In terms of trading it would have gone out of its
8 border and into Croatia and primarily through Ploce, but, yes, there is an
9 international boundary that is to the Adriatic at Neum.
10 Q. And would it be fair to say that at the time of the -- prior to
11 the war and prior to the conflict with the HVO that Bosnia-Herzegovina,
12 the territory of the internationally recognised entity Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 included not just part of Mostar but all of Mostar?
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. And likewise, and my final question on this point, just taking the
16 example of Central Bosnia, all of Central Bosnia was possessed by and part
17 of the internationally recognised territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is
18 that correct.
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. So in terms of the Muslims wanting access to the sea and the HVO
21 granting them access to the sea, that's something they already had; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. I would like you to -- you were asked questions and if I
25 understood some of the cross-examination, the suggestions at least in some
1 instances seemed to be that either your reporting, your personal
2 reporting, or the reporting of the ECM was somehow biased against the
3 Croats or in -- or in favour of the Muslims or that certain things that
4 happened to the Croats were not adequately reported or reported at all,
5 for that matter. I would like to give you an opportunity to further
6 address that, and my question to you, Mr. Watkins, is: Do you consider
7 that during your tours of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina, your tenure there,
8 did you attempt to report developments, facts on the ground on all sides
9 as they related to all sides to the best of your ability?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object to the form of the
11 question. The gentleman's integrity has never been in question. No one
12 has intimated that this gentleman was in any way, shape, or form was
13 subjective to one side or the other. While there may have been
14 insinuations that members within the ECMM or within other international
15 agencies were biased one way or another, under no circumstances, and I
16 want the record to be clear that -- that the Defence has challenged the
17 integrity of this particular witness. In other words, I have gone out of
18 my way to praise this witness as being one of the very few that we've
19 seen, perhaps the only one that we've seen thus far, who'd been objective,
20 and his reporting speaks of that. What we have challenged is that he has
21 operated with less than all the information, given the circumstances.
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't -- with all respect to my good
23 friend, Mr. Karnavas, he may have -- that may be his position. That is
24 not the suggestions and the attacks that I heard on the witness through
25 all of the cross-examination. And in fact, even what Mr. Karnavas has
1 just said apparently is that even other ECMM witnesses apparently have
2 been less than -- had been less than candid with the Court. So while we
3 have Mr. Watkins here, I'd like him to tell us his view to the best of his
4 knowledge about the balanced nature of ECMM's reporting in general, to the
5 best of their ability, and to your own, sir.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: There's where I -- now there's a different twist.
7 If he wants to ask the gentleman about his balanced approach, of course he
8 can comment. As far as the ECMM I don't see how he can comment on other
10 MR. SCOTT: He had number of other people under his command who
11 made reports on a regular basis --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: [Speakers overlapping] If I may, Your Honour, if I
13 may. First of all this was developed on cross-examination how they would
14 go about gathering information, so it's not necessary. It's before the
15 Trial Chamber. So it's really in the appropriate redirect examination.
16 So I think we've counted it. We've heard other witnesses. Other
17 witnesses have been challenged for their bias in reporting. This
18 gentleman has not. If he wishes him now to ask again to reopen his direct
19 examination as to what his approach was, that's fine, but I think it's
20 irrelevant. The documents presented to the gentleman that he generated
21 speak for themselves, and I for one have never challenged the gentleman's
22 reporting system.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Without going into a
24 debate about the absence or not of bias, the interesting question that we
25 could put to you is the following, Witness: When an ECMM member drafted a
1 report, would he or she draft that report as independently as possible, as
2 impartially as possible, without taking into account the involvement of X
3 or Y? You yourself have drafted a number of reports. You know your
4 colleagues. What can you tell us about this?
5 THE WITNESS: The aim was, sir, that each monitor should report
6 impartially, and I believe that the product of our work was our reports,
7 and getting accurate and fair assessment was our main aim. It was clear
8 sometimes that monitors that spent a long time in one particular area, be
9 that within the armija area or within HVO area, they would sometimes begin
10 to accept at face value what was presented to them, and to use an English
11 phrase, perhaps go native. And so I was always very careful to rotate
12 monitors, and if I detected anything that looked bias then would take the
13 appropriate action. But I do believe that the quality of the ECMM
14 reports, certainly it's varied, but overall it was -- it was impartial.
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I was going to take the
16 witness through several other of his reports -- other of his reports as
17 examples but given the answer he's just given I won't do that.
18 Q. But I would like to ask you this as my final question or two. If
19 I could ask you to look, if you still have the Prosecution bundle, at
20 Exhibit P 02849, which is early in the binder 2849. Mr. Praljak at one
21 point, among others, perhaps, was asking you about.
22 A. I have the document.
23 Q. I'm told they're in both bundles but as long as you have one or
24 the other. 2849. This is the report dated the 19th of June, 1993; is
25 that correct, sir?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. If you can ask you to look please at that fourth paragraph on the
3 first page and that says, and this is the same one Mr. Praljak referred
4 you to: "Some people could wonder how Croats could accept to," and I'm
5 just reading from the page, "to desperate their own people for political
7 Now, you began to give a full answer to that question and about --
8 and if you want to look on to orient yourself to the rest of that
9 paragraph and on over to the next page, and let me just stop for a moment
10 and ask you -- if you turn over the next page you'll see the paragraph
11 that starts about the demographic argument?
12 A. Yes, I have that paragraph.
13 Q. Do you see that where says, "the demographic argument helped to
14 understand today's situation. Herzegovinian Croats need to have a
15 reinforcement of Croat population, Herzegovina," et cetera. Do you see
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Now, I'd like to give you a fuller opportunity to answer the
19 question that Mr. Praljak put to you in this regard, if you recall, and
20 you weren't really given a chance to give your full answer. Can you
21 comment on the report by -- that's been made in this document and the
22 language that Mr. Praljak had directed to you?
23 A. Yes. This is a report, just noting it's Jean-Pierre Thebault's
24 report, the head of the regional centre so I'm commenting on what's
25 written, and we believed that we were seeing the collection of the Croat
1 community into areas of, first of all, immediately safety, and that's when
2 I referred, sir, to your -- to the earlier comment of when there was
3 fighting and when the Croat population was under pressure in places like
4 Travnik and Bugojno, you saw them move literally, as we all imagined,
5 convoys or we've seen on television convoys in the Second World War.
6 People moving out en masse to another area. And there were several things
7 going on. Some were coming into the pockets, and others were going out
8 through the Serb-held territory, which I keep coming back to the
9 cooperation which must have been evident for that to happen. But on top
10 of this is a political overlay as to if there was going to be a third --
11 sorry, a division of Bosnia into three independent republics, clearly
12 those borders and boundaries would have to be drawn somewhere, and it was
13 always interesting to know what would be acceptable from the Bosnian Croat
14 perspective. And we established and believed, and indeed my discussion
15 with General Praljak suggested that Central Bosnia, Vitez, Busovaca,
16 Kiseljak, those were to be inside the boundaries of a republic which may
17 be formed but at the consequence of other Croats who lived further to the
18 north, Zepce, Zavidovici, Tuzla, that they may be -- for them -- for their
19 population to be safe, the best thing to do would be to bring them into
20 secure territory inside of this self-styled republic. And so when we saw
21 movements from Central Bosnia, and particularly from Zepce down from --
22 from Vares, sorry, down into Herzegovina, it seemed to be a collection of
23 the Croat community beyond that boundary which may or may not be
24 established as an -- one of the three republics.
25 So what's being commented on here by Mr. Thebault is, were some of
1 the Croat population in Central Bosnia -- they were certainly being pushed
2 by the armija forces. I think that's been fairly established -- clearly
3 established. They were being pushed, but was there also another force, a
4 political force on the Croat side that was pulling them into secure areas?
5 I think in Central Bosnia it is very straight forward it's for their
6 protection, but it was movements from Central Bosnia into Herzegovina
7 which, I think, that he's commenting on here, or that he is commenting on
9 Q. As my last question to you, I believe, sir, can I just direct your
10 attention the next immediately following paragraph, where it says -- where
11 Mr. Thebault says, "It seems Machiavellic, but it is only Balkan.
12 Everybody who has met regularly the top Bosnian Croat leaders (Boban,
13 Stojic, Kordic, Valenta) in various situations and on various subjects,
14 where their paranoia and their extremism were not hidden, can easily
15 believe it?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this as well.
17 Now we have this gentleman who I guess is supposed to be a diplomat saying
18 that it is only Balkan. What does that mean? That in and of itself. I
19 think it's a wide pejorative insinuation of the people who live in the
20 Balkans, and the Balkans stretch down to Greece. And I for one am
21 offended by this -- by this comment that somehow the Balkans are a race of
22 people, including the Croats, that somehow they've -- have a particular
23 mind set, and I think that to ask this gentleman to comment on this is
24 wrong and inappropriate, particularly in an international tribunal.
25 MR. SCOTT: [Overlapping speakers] Your Honour --
1 MR. MURPHY: [Overlapping speakers] Your Honour, I would like to be
2 identified with that, and I would also like to add that it was the same
3 Mr. Scott who about an hour ago objected to Mr. Praljak putting documents
4 to a witness he hadn't seen before with a request to comment on them, and
5 now we're having some hearsay put to this witness who is asked to give
6 pejorative comments about these accused, including my client, when -- when
7 clearly this witness has no basis for doing so, and I join Mr. Karnavas's
8 observation that for the Prosecution to be using this pejorative language
9 is completely out of place.
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, for, one, Your Honour, I'm not using the
11 language --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I will give you the
13 floor, but before the document that we all have before us, the document
14 that was drafted on the 19th of June in 1993, by Ambassador Thebault ...
15 So this document, Mr. Witness, at the time -- had you read this
16 document at the time or are you discovering it today?
17 A. I have seen this document before, sir, yes. I read it at the
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So since you had
20 seen it, you had read it, you can make comments on this document.
21 Now, secondly, regarding the objection made by Mr. Karnavas.
22 Mr. Scott, you wanted to take the floor because I was under the
23 impression that there was an exchange, perhaps a misunderstanding. So you
24 have the floor.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honour, first of all,
1 it shouldn't be the Prosecution that's being accused of using this
2 language. This is evidence that was contemporaneously produced in 1993.
3 The Prosecution doesn't select what words somebody used in 1993 anyway --
4 any more than we use -- select any other offensive language that might
5 show up in a number of documents.
6 Further just in quick response to Mr. Karnavas, yes, I did object
7 to some of the things that Mr. Praljak was doing and my objection was
8 overruled. So unless there again is one set of rules for the Prosecution
9 and a different set of rules for the Defence, I think I should be allowed
10 to ask the question, and that follows on again that that follows from the
11 very cross-examination put by Mr. Praljak.
12 Q. And, sir, the language that you've now seen and heard discussed in
13 the last couple of minutes, can you make further comment on that in light
14 of the answer you gave to us a few moments ago?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, again I'm going to object and here is
16 a different reason: There has been no testimony from this particular
17 gentleman, and I'm now speaking about at least one of the accused,
18 Mr. Stojic, that there was an observation from this particular gentleman
19 that Mr. Stojic was characterised in any way as being a paranoid or
20 extremist or that he was -- and he didn't hide these qualities. I think
21 he's being asked to speculate about what somebody else might have believed
22 or observed or thought of.
23 Now, if they wish to elicit this sort of testimony, then I suggest
24 they bring this particular gentleman here and then we can have access to
25 the cross-examination of that gentleman. So again not only is this
1 improper but it also violates the rights of confrontation that are
2 enshrined in Article 20 and 21 of the -- of the ICTY Statute.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm -- I'm -- frankly I'm astounded. I'm
4 astounded by these objections in light of everything that I've heard from
5 the Defence in the last six or seven hours, and the nature of the
6 questions that were put to this witness, and the opinions that were asked
7 of him on any wide range of topics. This is no different whatsoever. And
8 again, unless we have two sets of rules in this courtroom then I believe I
9 should be able to answer -- ask the question. The witness should be able
10 to finish his testimony by giving us his observation on this.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Technically speaking, when
12 we have a criminal case we have a document, the author of this document is
13 not present. This document was given to -- shown to the witness. The
14 witness was -- part of the same department of the same service where this
15 person, the author of the person [as interpreted] was, and in this
16 document four people are mentioned, Boban, Stojic, Kordic, and Valentin
17 [as interpreted]. It was not something that the witness said. It is
18 something that the witness -- that the author of the document said, and
19 the witness told us that he met those people at the time, some people,
20 some important people. I remember that he mentioned Valenta.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Not Valentin but
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Prosecutor can ask the
24 witness those questions because he can put the question to the witness and
25 say: This is what was said at the time. Do you agree or disagree with
1 this, and then the Judges of this Chamber will see what -- will debate on
2 this or will be able to conclude.
3 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Watkins, I don't think I have to repeat the matters further to
6 you. Do you have any comment or observations you can make in concluding
7 your testimony on this?
8 A. I directly met and knew well Mr. Kordic, Mr. Valenta, and
9 Mr. Boban. We've established that I met Mr. Stojic but not well.
10 In the case of the three that I do know, I would describe them as
11 the ideological voice of the Bosnian Croat community. And in the case --
12 in each case taking something of what I would describe broadly as a more
13 extreme view of solutions to the fighting and the political structures of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And this is a particular reference and -- to
15 Mr. Valenta and his maps. We've heard the origin of those maps, which I
16 didn't know, but one only had to meet Mr. Valenta to hear him describing
17 these movements of population and seeing them as desirable solutions to
18 the fighting in -- or the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And it wasn't
19 one where the future was being embraced in the legitimate, internationally
20 recognised bodies. It was about a new order, a separation, and part of
21 that separation was creating a geographical physical area which has a
22 boundary and collecting in that the Croat people. It was very clear to me
23 that that was an aim of Mr. Valenta, and my impression would be also of
24 Mr. Kordic and Mr. Boban that that was what they were trying to achieve.
25 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Watkins, on behalf of the Prosecution I'd like to
1 thank you once again for coming to The Hague and giving your testimony.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I'm going to make a motion that the --
4 at some time convenient to the Trial Chamber Mr. Watkins be recalled for
5 further cross-examination by Mr. Stojic. We have been ambushed by this
6 testimony. It's completely illegitimate and I'm entitled, I think, to
7 cross-examine as to the basis of this opinion that he has expressed.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy, the witness just
9 stated there were four people. He talked about the three people that he
10 knew well, but he didn't really say anything about Mr. Stojic. He didn't
11 say anything. He talked about the three other people, and he just said
12 that he had met Mr. Stojic but he did not include your client in the group
13 of the three other people, unless you understood differently. But this is
14 what I understood.
15 MR. MURPHY: If --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand that you can get up
17 and make objections, but you have to listen to what the witness has
18 stated. The Prosecutor talked to him about four people. He said there
19 are four people in this paragraph. "What is your comment?" And the
20 witness said, "I met those four people," but he only talked about the
21 three. He did not say anything about your client.
22 MR. MURPHY: If I have the Trial Chamber's assurance that's their
23 understanding, then, of course, I'm -- I'm content with that, but the fact
24 is that if there is any doubt about that, because Mr. Scott could easily
25 have avoided that line of re-examination that did not arise from anything
1 that was said in direct or by cross-examination by Mr. Stojic, then we are
2 entitled --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The doubt will be lifted
4 immediately. I will put the question to the witness.
5 Witness, you just heard this exchange. The Prosecutor asked you
6 to make some comments on this paragraph where it is -- where Mr. Boban,
7 Mr. Stojic, Mr. Valenta are mentioned. The author of the document is not
8 yourself. It is Mr. Thebault. And Mr. Thebault, therefore, the author of
9 this document, says that there are various situations on various topics.
10 He talked about the paranoia, the extremism. The Prosecutor wanted you to
11 know what you think of it, and you said, "I met Boban, Stojic, Kordic, and
12 Valenta." And then you stated, regarding Valenta, Boban, and Kordic, you
13 said what you said about them. And then with regard to Mr. Stojic, you
14 mention that you only met him once, but I was not under the impression
15 that you put him in the group, that you include him in that group. So
16 could you please state your thoughts on this.
17 THE WITNESS: Sir, your interpretation is exactly correct.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is what I
19 thought so -- as well.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, just very briefly because the record has
21 been made, let me also be very clear about the record, and I've just gone
22 back in the transcript. Today at page 46, line 17, Mr. Praljak put
23 exactly this document and this section of the document to the witness and
24 asked him about that, and I -- the one reason -- the reason I came back to
25 the document, in fact, is because in my observation Mr. Watkins was
1 attempting to go give a fuller answer to it, and at one point he was cut
2 off by Mr. Praljak. It's on page -- it's on page 46 and that was
3 completely within cross-examination and completely appropriate for
4 redirect to give Mr. Watkins a chance to give a full answer to the
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, that's slightly disingenuous
7 because -- because the latter part that has just been brought up by the
8 Prosecution, they could have done that on direct examination, first and
9 foremost. Secondly, Mr. Praljak was not addressing whether somebody was
10 Balkan or whether they suffer from paranoia or extremism. That was
11 something that the Prosecution decided to bring on in redirect and it
12 is -- it's improper. It is not your classic redirect based on the
13 cross-examination. Obviously, they had every right to ask for fuller
14 answer to a question that was cut off, to an answer that was cut off
15 during cross-examination, but then they went beyond the pale. But in any
16 event, the document speaks for itself. It's -- it's in the evidence and
17 the Judges can draw whatever conclusion. And since we don't have this
18 gentleman here, I suggest that little or no weight be given to the
19 document until the gentleman comes here so he can be thoroughly
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
22 might I be allowed to say something? I'd just like to give a brief
23 explanation and ask your indulgence for me to ask two or three questions
24 with respect to this document, because I want to make it quite clear to
25 the Trial Chamber that this document was something that the Prosecution
1 didn't use in the examination-in-chief, and for that reason some of the
2 observations made, which do not refer to any qualifications but to events,
3 what happened at that time in Kakanj and Travnik and those events can, in
4 a way, overthrow those qualifications, and for that I had prepared to ask
5 this witness something, but as the Prosecutor failed to show the document
6 and present it during in chief, it was only Mr. Praljak who brought did up
7 in the cross-examination. And the Prosecution has referred to it. I would
8 like to ask you if I might have a few moments to ask the witness something
9 more. The witness was in the area mentioned in the document, and it is
10 Travnik, and the area around Travnik, so may I be allowed to ask him a few
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, no. The Prosecution
13 only mentioned this famous paragraph with Kordic, Valenta, Stojic, and
14 Boban. Nothing else was mentioned by the Prosecution during the
15 re-examination. Furthermore, I am under the impression that we'll have
16 the opportunity to look at this document again at length, it seems to me.
17 Now we have to conclude. Witness, on behalf of my fellow Judges I
18 would like to thank you -- yes, Mr. Praljak. Mr. Praljak, I hate being
19 interrupted. I think that everything has been said. What do you want to
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Microphone not activated]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Alaburic.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In view of
24 the fact that my learned colleague Mr. Scott asked redirect question with
25 respect to the chain of command, although my questions were not linked to
1 the chain of command but exclusively to the subject of authorities for
2 appointing and replacing individual commanders of their duty, I consider
3 that with this witness, who has very good knowledge about the events on
4 the ground, it would be a good idea to clarify three additional questions.
5 So may I be allowed to do so? It will only last a half a minute, and you
6 can see for yourself whether you consider it important or not.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have other witnesses, more
8 qualified witnesses who will talk to us about the chain of command. No.
9 We would just be wasting time.
10 Mr. Praljak --
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, I would
12 just like to ask for half a minute just to have these questions of mine
13 recorded. You needn't allow for them to be answered, but this witness
14 said that the Supreme Commander, in the month of October 1993, was
15 Mr. Praljak, and we all know that that's not true, and I think that we
16 ought to give the witness a chance to say who in fact was the Supreme
17 Commander of the armed force of Herceg-Bosna. That's the first point.
18 Secondly, the witness said that on the basis of a conversation he
19 had with Colonel Blaskic about the fact that he defined Petkovic as his
20 superior, one could conclude that Petkovic was more or less the sole
21 superior officer. And I think it's relevant to ask him: Does that mean
22 that Mr. Blaskic denied the superiority of the Supreme Command of the
23 commander of the HVO.
24 And the third very important question and the witness spoke about
25 this at length in the Blaskic trial is the -- a question linked to the
1 possibility of communication, control, and command on the territory of
2 Central Bosnia for which reason, according to his words, if I have
3 interpreted them correctly, Colonel Blaskic was the person who referred to
4 or reported to Dario Kordic, and Dario Kordic was the person who de facto
5 had control over events in Central Bosnia, and I think that this witness
6 has a lot of knowledge on ALL these questions and that his answers would
7 contribute to a better understanding of the facts in these proceedings.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We've taken good
9 note of your statement.
10 Mr. Praljak, I just wanted to tell you that I didn't want to
11 interrupt you, but for me we had come to a conclusion here. I don't want
12 you to have the feeling that we don't want to listen to you, but what did
13 you want to say when you stood up?
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't want
15 to do anything special. All I wanted to say was that I think that
16 Mr. Watkins is an objective person, but I wanted to show by use of
17 documents to show that unfortunately they do not -- did not possess the
18 kind -- the information that was commensurate to the situation. So you
19 can be objective, but if you don't have the necessary information you
20 can't interpret a situation. So I don't want you to misunderstand me and
21 think that I said that he was unobjective, an unobjective observer.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you very much.
23 As I was saying, thank you very much, Witness. On behalf of my
24 fellow Judges, thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for
25 testifying throughout the week. I'm going to ask the usher to escort you
1 out the courtroom.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, let's talk about next
5 week. As you know, we have a bank holiday. Therefore, we'll only resume
6 the proceedings on Tuesday. We'll be sitting in the afternoon. We have a
7 witness scheduled. The examination in chief is scheduled to take five
8 hours. At this stage we have decided to grant six hours for
9 cross-examination. The time should normally be divided equally amongst
10 the Defence team, subject of course to review made -- that the Trial
11 Chamber will make on Tuesday morning. So we might reconsider that. But
12 theoretically each and -- each Defence team should have one hour, and it's
13 up to you, of course, to divide and spread the time amongst yourselves as
14 you see fit, what you've done when this particular witness.
15 So if I'm not mistaken, Mr. Scott, next week we have one witness
16 to be heard by the Chamber.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Scott, please.
18 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. Your Honour, if we might go into private
19 session, please.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session.
21 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are in open
21 session. The proceedings will resume on Tuesday at 2.15.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.41 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day
24 of May, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.