1 Thursday, 7 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 [The Accused Pusic not present in court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the case,
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
10 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
11 versus Prlic et al. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar.
13 I would like to greet the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the
14 accused, and I hope Mr. Pusic will get well very soon.
15 We shall resume with the cross-examination of the witness. In the
16 meantime, the Trial Chamber will hand down a decision of a motion filed by
17 the Prosecution on the 6th of June, 2007, on the admission of a new
18 document relating to Witness Azra Krajsik. There have been no comments on
19 the part of the Defence given the urgency in this matter. Does -- or do
20 Defence counsel have any oral submissions to make.
21 Mr. Kovacic?
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on behalf of the
23 Praljak Defence we haven't had time to consult, but we have no objection.
24 There is this one document, and I don't see that it has any specific
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, the Defence agrees
2 to the motion filed by the Prosecution. This document will therefore be
3 used when the witness comes to testify.
4 Second item: The remaining time for the cross-examination today
5 after our calculations it seems that there's an hour and 40 minutes left.
6 That said, Ms. Nozica should continue with her cross-examination.
7 Mr. Praljak and his counsel should take the floor. Mr. Petkovic and his
8 counsel should also take the floor.
9 From what I understood, Defence teams have not agreed on the way
10 in which they should share the time. Some time has been granted to one
11 and another. We don't quite know how things stand and how this time has
12 been broken down.
13 As we have the entire hearing of today until a quarter to 2.00, I
14 think it is better to start with the last item and address the issue of
16 At this stage, Mr. Scott, have you already planned to put
17 additional questions? If that is the case, how much time would you need
18 for your re-examination?
19 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Your Honours. At this point I would
20 estimate somewhere -- I hope this is an overestimate, but I would estimate
21 somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes of redirect.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, we'll -- let's
23 take it -- to be on the safe side, let's plan to have 30 minutes. I
24 should like to put a question on how information was circulated inside
25 UNPROFOR, though this won't take much time. Overall, I think we need to
1 set aside one hour for redirect and questions put by the Bench, which
2 would leave us with three hours for the Defence. So this is something in
3 which we should be able to abide by.
4 We only do this because we have a bit of extra time. Otherwise,
5 we should always abide by the time limits which are set.
6 We are going to have Ms. Nozica take the floor, then Mr. Praljak,
7 I don't know; Defence counsel Ms. Alaburic and Mr. Stewart on behalf of
8 General Petkovic.
9 I know that Mr. Murphy also wanted to take the floor, but to me
10 Ms. Nozica and Mr. Murphy are one and the same person so to speak.
11 Ms. Nozica, you have the floor.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just as
13 you've just said, I have 30 minutes left of my time. I asked for 15 to 20
14 minutes for Mr. Murphy, but I might get through my questioning faster so
15 we'll fall within that time limit.
16 WITNESS: BO PELLNAS [Resumed]
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning to you, sir.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Yesterday, we left off looking at document P 01970. And it was
21 the order for Defence dated the 19th of April, 1993, so could you take a
22 look at it again and they are going to give the binder back to you. Let's
23 just see who the order was sent out to.
24 A. Would you repeat the number, please?
25 Q. P 01970.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In the English version on the penultimate page -- no, I'm sorry,
3 the last page, let's see who the order was sent out to. If you look at
4 the list, it was also sent to the 4th Corps command. There's no doubt
5 about that; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, let us also look at P 01962, and it's the second document in
8 my binder.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. These are codes for the former order. So let's take a look at the
11 second one, which says RAK-625.
12 "When RAK-625 signal is given, launch a general attack on all
13 places and assigned axes."
14 You can look at the other two as well, but you have enough
15 knowledge about military activities to answer my question. Can we say if
16 we look at these codes or signals and the previous order as well, can we
17 say it is in fact an order which represents preparation for attack?
18 A. I am amazed by the order. As a military man, I would never issue
19 such an order. It's very complicated, very long, and it doesn't make any
20 timings for the things. It's a very unprofessional order, and it amazes
21 me that you could start it on a code-name. But if they were together, the
22 answer would be yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in Zenica - I assume you do; I just
24 want confirmation for you - that on the 29th of April, 1993, an agreement
25 was signed between Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Halilovic in the presence of
1 General Morillon and Jean-Pierre Thebault. So that was the departure to
2 Zenica by Mr. Petkovic and Halilovic the following day and you spoke about
3 that. And it's document 4D -- 2D, I'm sorry, 00470 is the document number
4 and you'll find it somewhere in the middle of my binder. You already
5 addressed the document but I'd just like to remind you of two points in
6 that document. Tell me what you've found it, please.
7 A. Yes, I got it.
8 Q. Would you turn to page 2 where we see the individuals present when
9 the agreement was signed, and I'd like to draw your attention to points 1
10 and 2. Point 1 because we discussed this yesterday during the
11 cross-examination, and it is a very important point and says that:
12 "The Bosnia-Herzegovina army and the HVO are legal military forces
13 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and are treated equally."
14 And point 2 says the following:
15 "Commanders at all levels or from all instances must respect and
16 immediately enforce absolute cease-fire on the entire territory of the
17 republic. Cease-fire violations are unacceptable regardless of the
18 reasons. Both commanders immediately issued orders to respect the
20 I'm sure your acquainted with this agreement as well. I don't
21 know whether you've seen it before, but I'm sure you know of its contents,
22 at least with regard to the cessation of hostilities.
23 A. Yes. It was about the same thing that was said in Mostar before.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. And it has exactly the same importance.
1 Q. What I wanted to hear was perhaps your comment. Do you know that
2 both the military commanders, in the presence of Mr. Thebault and
3 Mr. Morillon, agreed that the BH army and the HVO were legal military
4 forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. Yes, obviously.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry if I --
7 THE WITNESS: I had never or I don't remember having read the
8 first paragraph or seen it in this content. I did not regard them at the
9 time when the conflict started as any of them really -- I think that the
10 Muslim forces definitely regarded themselves as a legal part of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the other part, I'm not so sure that I looked at
12 it at that -- in that context at the moment. But I accept this paper. I
13 haven't seen it before.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to have a little clarification,
15 General. On line 23, you have given a somewhat enigmatic answer by saying
16 that it has exactly the same importance.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, none.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's what you meant --
19 THE WITNESS: Yes.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- none. Okay. Thank you. Could you -- could
21 you perhaps specify why you say this? Because obviously for the -- I'm
22 sorry. The Defence obviously attaches importance to it, and it's perhaps
23 a bit -- a bit unsatisfactory if you simply say no.
24 THE WITNESS: It is due to my cynical experiences of all
25 cease-fire agreements signed. They were most of the time signed by one or
1 the other party to gain time, not because it was serious. There were
2 other motives behind signing such a document. One could be to show
3 oneself better or for the international community, but most of the time it
4 was a question of gaining time for some other things. To prepare in this
5 case maybe for a war that broke out a few weeks later.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a follow-up question I'd
8 like to put to you, General. I listened carefully to what you said, but
9 the document we have before us which has been signed by General Halilovic
10 and General Petkovic, there is also the signature of General Morillon here
11 in addition to those two signatures, Philippe Morillon being at the head
12 of UNPROFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in addition we also have the
13 signature of the person in charge of the European Monitoring Mission.
14 This document is stamped "International." If you allow me to put
15 it to you this way: Had you been in the shoes of Mr. Morillon, would you
16 have signed this document, or would you have signed it, as you seem to
17 say, at the time any document was being signed and perhaps that that was
18 not so important after all? What would you have done in that case?
19 THE WITNESS: I think it is very hard to answer, because I was not
20 in the situation not together with Ambassador Thebault or the atmosphere
21 at the meeting. I would probably also have signed it to make an
22 impression that the international community and the UN -- the UN were
23 present and witnessed this signature of the two parties. So I think that
24 is all what Morillon's signature means. He verifies that he has been
25 present and a witness that the two parties has agreed to a cease-fire.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A colleague of mine would like
2 to put a question to you.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness --
4 THE WITNESS: Yes. Just let me add in paragraph 3 it says:
5 "UNPROFOR will provide all necessary help," and that could also be a
6 reason for Morillon to sign on this agreement, that he stands as a
7 guarantee for the UNPROFOR that they will undertake all necessary help.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, you said that as a rule
9 that kind of agreement was signed to gain time. I would like you to tell
10 me in relation to item 4, the chiefs or heads will attend a -- weekly
11 meetings in order to ensure close cooperation and so on and so forth. So
12 did things actually happen this way so that this agreement could be
13 implemented, or didn't it really mean anything?
14 THE WITNESS: I don't know if they met, but if so, there couldn't
15 have been many meetings, if any, if any.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I would like to pick up
18 on what has just been said and as a follow-up question. This agreement
19 which we have in front of us here, this is not to the consequence of a
20 meeting between Halilovic and Petkovic and unbiased observers who come to
21 sign the document. Right from the outset we can see that there has been a
22 joint meeting that has been chaired by General Morillon and by
23 Mr. Thebault. And when such a meeting is presided by people like this
24 conclusions are drawn, and the first conclusion that comes to mind is that
25 we acknowledge that ABiH and the HVO are the legal military forces in the
1 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and should be addressed as such, i.e., on
2 an equal footing. What do you have to say to that?
3 THE WITNESS: I suppose that it depends on how the parties will
4 interpret those lines, if they will put the stress on the word "legal
5 forces" and be treated as such or if you would put the emphasis on "legal
6 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina." There may be a slight nuance in how you
7 see this phrasing.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: There's another thing that is a bit puzzling,
9 General, but maybe it is beyond your competence and then you just say so.
10 What strikes me is that we read here that the two armies are to be treated
11 equally, but treated equally by whom? There is no third party that would
12 treat them equally, or is it that the international organisations should
13 treat them equally anyhow, I suppose. They should be neutral. And there
14 is no one that actually assumes any obligation outside those who enter
15 this agreement unless they had credentials that they were representing
16 their governments. Do you have any idea? Could you explain this?
17 THE WITNESS: Your question is well-founded, and I cannot answer
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Nozica, I apologise for
21 this, but it was important to look into this matter.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. General, linked to the last question by Judge Trechsel, who is it
24 who would have had to recognise the legality of both sides? Who would be
25 called upon to do that? Before Their Honours' questions, you said that
1 you hadn't seen the document before and that up until then the BH army
2 represented itself as being the sole legal army in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So
3 I don't want you to speculate, but can you say that in fact by this the
4 representative of the BH army -- or not the representative but the -- but
5 Mr. Sefer Halilovic, the Chief of Staff, in fact, of the Supreme Command
6 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina de facto is recognising the HVO as
7 the legitimate military force of the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
8 without a doubt both of them were on the territory of the Republic of
10 A. It overrides my legal capacity to answer that question.
11 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. You said that this agreement was one
12 of a series of agreements which was signed as a matter of course but with
13 the intention of not actually being acted on. Now, at the time that you
14 were in Mostar, did you provide conditions for a truce when you described
15 that night when, in a very dramatic way, you transported soldiers of the
16 BH army from the Mostar Hotel? Were you also convinced then, as you are
17 today, that you were just doing a job which the very next day would be
18 violated by one or the other side, and that you were risking your life for
19 something that was not going to be put into effect? Or did you believe at
20 the time that it was possible to establish a cease-fire and truce and that
21 therefore you acted accordingly?
22 A. I will become a bit emotional when I answer this one. If you are
23 met by old ladies down in the street serving you tea and cakes and asking
24 you to save their Mostar and you have almost no resources at your hands
25 and you see where things are going, you really have some motivation to
1 try. And when I went to take out this Muslim unit at the Hotel Mostar, I
2 did it because the Croats claimed that this was the obstacle for bringing
3 their troops back to the barracks. So I think it was more to take away a
4 negotiation obstacle that could at least make it more difficult for them
5 not to fulfil the obligations and the orders given by both General
6 Petkovic and Halilovic.
7 So that was the reason why I did it. And it was my very last card
8 to play because, as I said yesterday, I had to do something or give it up
9 and go home to Zagreb, and I tried to do this -- I'm not certain, in
10 hindsight, that this was a very wise moment. Probably most unnecessary;
11 it didn't help.
12 Q. General, both you and I know that these emotional reasons that you
13 described were not the reasons why you got engaged in this action, but my
14 question was the following: I know why you got involved in all of it. My
15 question was: Did you believe that there was a chance at creating peace
16 on the basis of the conditions that you described and that you tried to
18 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm going to object to -- the
19 role of counsel is to put questions to the witness and not to make
20 observations or assertions, and if she says, "Both you and I know that
21 these emotional reasons that you described were not the reasons why you
22 got engaged," well, don't make those statements and then not put it in the
23 form of a question that the witness can respond to. She has asserted that
24 he's just stated the reasons that were not the real reasons, because the
25 witness gave a very personal answer which I greatly respect saying the
1 reasons why he did what he did. And counsel's just stood up and asserted
2 those aren't the real reasons without giving him the opportunity to
3 respond. That's not appropriate. So I ask the witness to be able to
4 respond to counsel's assertion.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Nozica, the witness did
6 explain why he had acted that way, and you then said that these were not
7 the right reasons. Don't ask the witness to say things which he hasn't
8 said. If you don't agree with him, put a question to him and on what
9 basis do you disagree with him.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Antonetti, I
11 believe that I did just that. I asked the witness whether he believed
12 that a truce could be achieved, and that was as a result of his answer
13 that agreements were signed in order that they might be violated.
14 However, I give up on this line of questioning. I will move on to another
15 document that I believe is very relevant.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, this is opened and it must be closed,
17 and it might be closed by the General asking two questions.
18 First, did you do what you did motivated by the scene with the old
19 lady in the street or for some other reasons? And what was the other
21 And second question: Did you believe in a cease-fire
22 materialising and working, or did you not?
23 I think these two questions, we are entitled to an answer.
24 THE WITNESS: First of all, I did it because we had an agreement
25 by the two Supreme Commanders of the two forces, and I was there tasked to
1 promote peace in Mostar. Then I took a big chance that night which
2 probably I said was influenced emotionally because I ran the risk rather
3 than giving up. But I did it, of course, with the specific intent that I
4 thought that there was still a chance to get the cease-fire to hold, and I
5 had -- I simply had to try this thing. It has to do with self-respect
6 also. You just don't run away when you are in front of an obstacle.
7 So if I believed it or not, I think it is irrelevant. I had to do
8 it because there was still a chance.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But can you tell us whether you believed it or
10 not, or did you not even ask yourself the question whether you believe
11 it? You just acted because I think you thought that was the only thing to
12 do, or was it --
13 THE WITNESS: I thought it was my duty as representing the
14 international community in Mostar at that time.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. These were
17 precisely the questions I tried to get an answer to.
18 Q. Sir, you said that the events that you described unfolded in
19 Mostar between the 18th and the 20th. We just saw this one agreement, but
20 let's look at another cease-fire, or let's look at another document which
21 is 2D 00478, and that's the second document from the back of my binder.
22 Please let me know when you've found it.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. This is an order by the 1st Mostar Brigade. Just a moment ago you
25 said that that previous order, in your view, was not professional enough.
1 The date of the order is very important. That's the 20th of April, which
2 is the same date when Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Petkovic signed that agreement
3 in the presence of international observers and representatives of the
4 international community. I would like to refer you to item 4 first, which
6 "Tasks which were given within the command for defence by the 41st
7 Motorised Brigade commander, which relate to the anti-armoured company and
8 PAM squad remain in effect."
9 The items 1 and 2 refer to the implementation of the earlier
10 order. In other words, they specify how the artillery should act upon the
11 previous order. I'm sure you didn't know that such orders were being
12 issued at the time you were in Mostar trying to form the commission and
13 bring about a cease-fire in Mostar. Do you agree with me?
14 A. I had no knowledge of these orders, of course.
15 Q. I would like to remind you of the order of the 19th of April that
16 we referred to yesterday. Both these orders were signed by the same
17 person, Commander of the 1st Mostar Brigade, Mr. Hujdur, and this brigade
18 was definitely part of the 4th Corps.
19 Now I wish to move on to some questions that will refer to the
20 documents we saw. On the basis of these documents, and I also wish to
21 remind you of the document we looked at yesterday --
22 A. I'm very puzzled. If I remember correctly, the former order, we
23 discussed the list of recipients, saying that it was also sent to the 4th
24 Corps. Now you tell me that Midhad Hujdur is a brigade commander under
25 the 4th Corps. So I'm very puzzled if he were giving orders to the 4th
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. That's impossible. To all military logic, it is impossible. He
4 cannot issue orders to his corps commander.
5 Q. Sir, yesterday I showed you the order P 01970, and let me tell you
6 this - I don't have much time - in the introductory part of which it was
7 said that the 41st Motorised Brigade as well as elements of the units
8 which were part of the 4th Corps were to execute the order. The order, or
9 a copy of the order, was sent to large numbers of units for the execution
10 of the order and for information, including the 4th Corps.
11 I don't have much military knowledge, but I believe that where an
12 order is issued by a unit within a corps, such an order has to be sent to
13 the corps itself in order to be acted upon or for information. And I wish
14 to say that without doubt this unit belonged to the 4th Corps. But let us
15 not, either you or I, comment on these orders. I only wanted to point to
16 you in a chronological order what was going on in Mostar, in the general
17 area of Mostar, while talks were ongoing with a view to establishing a
18 cease-fire. May I proceed with my questions now?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Based on the documents shown to you and the information you had,
21 is it fair to say that there is no doubt that the army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the period between the 16th and the 21st of April,
23 1993, planned and carried out attacks in the area of Central Bosnia? In
24 saying this, I'm referring to the documents we saw yesterday, which had to
25 do with Central Bosnia.
1 A. To answer that, I would very much like to go through the orders
2 once more to see if they are orders for readiness or executive orders.
3 They obviously are not executive orders, because it should be carried out
4 on a code. So there was a preparation for it, definitely, yes. But
5 whether that meant that that was meant to go into execution or not is
6 another thing. Military people do a lot of preparations and have plans
7 for everything, and I look at the complexity of the order. It looks more
8 like a plan and than an order. But it definitely looks like there was
9 planning going on for action, and it was prepared also on a code word,
10 having read it. So in that respect, the answer is yes.
11 Q. General, I didn't ask you about the orders related to Mostar.
12 Rather, my question had to do with the orders connected with Central
13 Bosnia. And I believe that on page 15, line 22, this is entered correctly
14 in the transcript. I was going back to the report dated the 17th of April
15 and the resulting orders. That's why I specified it had to do with that.
16 Can we agree that military operations were planned and carried out
17 in Central Bosnia in the period between the 16th and the 21st of April,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. I also believe that there's no doubt about the fact
21 which we just saw that on the 18th and 20th of April, 1993, two cease-fire
22 agreements were signed, one in Zagreb and the other in Zenica. Is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. On the 19th and the 20th of April, 1993, in Mostar, Mr. Halilovic,
1 chief of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the BH army, and
2 Mr. Ganic, a member of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, were both present there. They were both present in
4 Mostar. This is also beyond any doubt, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us whether you recall that Mr. Ganic and
7 Mr. Halilovic, on the 19th of April, 1993, made a public statement for the
8 media concerning the agreement reached on a cease-fire?
9 A. I don't -- as I said before, I don't remember if Mr. Ganic was
10 present in Mostar, but I definitely think that Mr. -- General Halilovic
11 made a statement for the media. Everybody made statements for the media
12 that night.
13 Q. This piece of information I found in your statement where you
14 explicitly stated that had Mr. Ganic and Mr. Halilovic agreed with your
15 proposal and that they were quite pleased and that subsequently they gave
16 a statement to the media. This is in your statement.
17 A. No, I don't think so. When I say they agreed, that must have been
18 during the meeting with Morillon in Medjugorje when I presented my -- my
19 ideas on how to go about it. This is where they agreed, and Halilovic was
20 very much on the train to -- and positive to what I said. But I don't
21 recollect that Ganic went down to Mostar, but he might have done that. I
22 do not deny it, but I do not remember that he went down. It seems
23 unlikely because of the threat, and he was rather scared about that, that
24 we would -- that we would have brought him into Mostar that night, but I
25 don't know.
1 Q. I asked you whether the two of them together made a statement in
2 Medjugorje. In your statement you did not say where this was, but was it
3 in Medjugorje that both of them made a statement at the end of the meeting
4 with Mr. Morillon? Can you remember that?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Very well. In those two days, and we're talking about the 19th
7 and the 20th of April, 1993, two orders were issued whereby the 4th Corps
8 planned attacks upon the area of Western Mostar. Do you believe that
9 anyone in the 4th Corps had been able to do this without Mr. Ganic and
10 Halilovic knowing about it? Both of them were in Mostar at the time these
11 orders were issued.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'd like to have counsel refer back to
13 the two orders, and if we haven't seen them already to put them in front
14 of the witness so the witness can see the two orders. Secondly, beyond
15 that I think it calls for pure speculation by the witness as to what units
16 in Mostar area might have done or been able to do.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise. Both orders were shown
18 to the witness. The witness has just commented upon these two orders.
19 These are orders under numbers P 01970 and 2D 00478. Both were shown to
20 the witness. One is dated the 19th of April and the other the 20th of
22 Now, as to whether the witness is only able to speculate about
23 them or not, the witness can give his answer if he deems so. Of course,
24 if the witness cannot provide an answer, I will move on.
25 Q. My question was -- I'm being warned by my colleagues to repeat
1 it -- the question.
2 There is no doubt about the fact that 4th Corps at the time when
3 Messrs. Halilovic and Ganic were present in Mostar issued these orders.
4 We know the functions discharged by the two gentlemen. Do you believe
5 that the 4th Corps might have been able to issue such orders without
6 Mr. Ganic and Halilovic knowing of them, especially in view of the
7 agreements signed previously, and I'm referring to the cease-fire
8 agreements of the 18th and the 20th of April?
9 MR. SCOTT: I assume counsel agrees that same exact logic would
10 apply to whether the HVO orders and plans could have been entered into
11 without Prlic, Petkovic and Stojic knowing.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I think that that was a classical
14 question for redirect. The counsel should not be -- have started that.
15 MR. SCOTT: I'll be happy to ask it.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
17 General, please try to answer the question put to you by
18 Ms. Nozica, and it is the following question: Despite the fact that
19 Mr. Halilovic and Petkovic had reached a cease-fire agreement behind
20 everybody's back, the 4th Corps was in a position to make preparations for
21 an attack without General Petkovic being aware of it. This is, of course,
22 pure speculation, but you might have some idea about this.
23 THE WITNESS: Well, I suppose you mean General Halilovic knowing
24 about it and not Petkovic. There may be two options, I think. If you
25 regard this as not an executive order but a plan, then I suppose that the
1 brigade commander could make such a plan without the knowledge. But if it
2 is an executive order, it's more unlikely that he should be able to do
4 The second option is that these things were going on
5 notwithstanding the fact that cease-fire documents were signed, with the
6 full knowledge, and I think I cannot judge in this. I can say it is
7 possible and I can say it is not possible. I'm not completely familiar
8 how they acted and how the discipline and how the military efficiency in
9 these circumstances were. In a normal army with standards, neither
10 planning nor execution would take place.
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: Ms. Nozica, I would like to interrupt you for a
12 moment, and I would like also to ask a question from General Pellnas, and
13 it is the following: That we have been dealing here with two orders. The
14 first one here, it is the -- actually, number 1970, and I really believe
15 that we have to clarify, through your help and assistance, that this order
16 was meant really either for attack or for defence. Of course the very
17 title of it, it says "Order For Defence," and in the preamble of that
18 order, so to say, it is said that:
19 "Due to the worsening of the general military and political
20 situation in the territory of the Mostar municipality and because of the
21 reliable information that the HVO units supported by HV are to attack the
22 city of Mostar and its environs, I hereby order," and in the order at
23 number -- paragraph number 1 says: "To take up positions for decisive
24 defence with the task of defending allocated regions as follows."
25 If we go further, then on page 4 of that order, in paragraph 7, it
1 is the penultimate paragraph in the order, paragraph 7, and it says that:
2 "In case the enemy approaches, stop him and open fire if the need
3 arises from all weaponry on disposal simultaneously. Pay close attention
4 to expenditure of ammunition and do not waste it."
5 So I would like to ask you, General, looking at that order, in
6 your view is it a -- how would you classify it? Is it an order for
7 preparation? And previously you mentioned that of course military units
8 usually make -- are making preparations for any eventuality. Or it is an
9 order really for attack. So it is my question, because I believe it was
10 the question also asked by Ms. Nozica.
11 THE WITNESS: Well, I think you ask too much of my military
12 competence in a short time to -- in another language with a system I'm not
13 familiar, but I will try to give some answers.
14 Most of the points are definitely defensive tasks. "Take up
15 position." It does not necessarily mean that you have to attack. It may
16 be a position where you take up a position for a defensive matter. That
17 supports the first line, "Order for Defence."
18 There are, however, some -- yes, it is 1.9, when there is a task
19 for capturing Elektro Herzegovina premises. Now, whether that is an order
20 for attack or to take up a useful defence position, it could be both,
21 actually. And then my -- my consternation is due to the list. It says
22 "Just submitted to," so we don't know who received it as an order or just
23 received it.
24 And then if we go into 04 -- 00478, it was the one with the code
25 words, where the Defence counsel stated that this long order we just have
1 discussed should be put into action by a code word, which also makes me
2 wonder of the real substance of this order and how it would be executed.
3 So it is beyond my professional knowledge to really judge what
4 worth this order has. It is mainly defensive thing, but there are
5 elements in it which obviously need them to take something to be able to
6 take up the positions. So I think that is the best answer I can give for
7 the moment.
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you very much, General.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, just one last question
10 because we need to move on. One question of a technical -- technical and
11 military nature. If we have an offensive order from NATO, in the former
12 JNA or in countries with a rather strong army, when an order is given to
13 attack, should the hour of the beginning of the attack be mentioned in the
15 THE WITNESS: That would be, I think, some time lines given for
16 such an execution, but if it was to start on a code word, then the code
17 word itself could, and maybe it did, set the timing for the operation to
18 start. But I'm not familiar with this way of giving orders. I think it's
19 highly inaccurate and highly unprofessional, so I can't really answer.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, I'm being told that
21 you've used up two hours and 27 minutes so far.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I only have one document
23 to cover and one question. I tried to stay within the time allocated to
24 me, but there were many interruptions. I have just another question which
25 I believe is quite relevant.
1 Q. Sir, yesterday you said that you did not meet with Mr. Stojic
2 earlier on. Let me refresh your memory. You may have forgotten this.
3 Can you please look at document 4D 00471. Have you found it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This is a report or a record dated the 16th of January, 1993, an
6 abridged minute of a meeting held in the UNPROFOR headquarters. I
7 apologise for the fact that your name wasn't spelt correctly. But is it
8 possible that you may have forgotten this particular meeting when you
9 indeed did meet with Mr. Stojic in January of 1993?
10 I will refer you to some important information. The meeting took
11 place on the 16th of January. We can see that you were present, as was
12 Mr. Nelson, Mr. Ronksley, Bruno Stojic, and then Petkovic, Bozic, and
13 Filipovic also on behalf of the HVO. Mr. Bozic greeted you, as did
14 Mr. Stojic. He said that he was at your disposal for anything that might
15 need to be done for you. You thanked him. You said that you had been
16 there already for two months but that you spent most of your time in
18 Has this refreshed your memory in any way? Do you now recall this
19 meeting? Tell me that first and then I'll go through some of the matters
20 that I believe are important. Has the witness not found the document?
21 It's 4D 00 --
22 A. I have it. I have it. First, I should say that my answers saying
23 I didn't meet Mr. Stojic any more was after the events in Mostar in
24 April. That was the meaning of my --
25 Q. That's not what it says.
1 A. Well, that is --
2 Q. Just a moment. Let me be precise. I asked you whether you,
3 before that, had ever had any contacts with Mr. Stojic. And when I
4 say "before," I mean before the 18th of April, and your answer was no.
5 Now, I allow for the possibility that you might have forgotten, but just
6 tell us now whether you remember the following, and I'll remind you that
7 you also wrote this in your book, that you were surprised -- well, I might
8 have made a mistake. It should be 2D 471 for the document number.
9 But anyway, as I was saying, just tell me whether you remembered
10 this meeting or not. Were you at the meeting or not?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I don't
12 receive any more translation.
13 THE WITNESS: No, I don't remember this meeting, but I don't
14 dispute it at all. I think this was probably when I had lunch with
15 Mr. Prlic after in this -- at this timing, but I'm not sure. I don't
16 remember this meeting.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. May we just briefly take a look at what happened at the meeting,
19 because it's rather important for me to see whether you remember your
20 impressions, the impressions you gave at the meeting.
21 So if we take a look at page 1, you express your gratitude. You
22 say you were in Macedonia. You say you would like to hear the assessment
23 of those present of the talks in Geneva, and you say Mr. Stojic says: "I
24 personally think cooperation was good on both sides and problems were
25 sporadic. Mr. Bozic is in charge of the relations with UNPROFOR and the
1 European Union, European Community, and I'd like to invite him to tell us
2 about it while Mr. Petkovic is in charge of the military aspect."
3 Then Bozic presents his views, says there's shooting going on.
4 You ask, "What do you think? Who is shooting?" And then you go on to
5 say, "Why is my team outside Mostar?" Mr. Bozic says, "That's your team's
6 decision and they can be stationed in Mostar." And Mr. Stojic responds by
7 saying, "We're at your disposal for everything that you require and then
8 you go on to speak about the disproportion in teams on one and the other
9 side and the increase in the number of teams on this side and you say that
10 you consider your teams must be better supplied logistically, and they're
11 passing from one line to the other. Mr. Bozic says that he's at your
12 disposal for anything you might need to do, and then we have a lengthy
13 address by brigadier Petkovic about the military situation, the situation
14 in Geneva, and finally you say and you sound highly optimistic -- or,
15 rather, you say about him you sound very optimistic. I would like others
16 to do things the same way. And then at the end -- well, you can read the
17 document. I'd like us to look at it together just to remind you and to
18 confirm whether that was indeed the case and whether you remember the
19 meeting proceeding in that way, and does this reflect your position and
20 you expressed a very positive stance with respect to what the HVO was
21 doing at that time and Mr. Stojic included, and finally it says you were
22 invited to attend a luncheon which you accepted readily, and then it says
23 in continuation Mr. Pellnas and his team met with Dr. Jadranko Prlic which
24 would correspond to what you yourself said?
25 A. Yes. I am now reading a document a vague recollection of this
1 meeting, and I think the people in south -- the BH south, the UNMO,
2 probably wanted me to have this meeting to make -- open doors for them in
3 a better way. That must have been the aim of this meeting. And since it
4 was the first meeting, obviously it had a social component; to be nice to
5 each other.
6 So I recollect, but it is vague. It is vague. The lunch with
7 Mr. Prlic now falls into place. Thank you for that.
8 Q. Yes. Thank you. So we can confirm that you did attend the
9 meeting, and we can also confirm, can we not, that one tends to forget
10 certain things. So one can't always be certain about making assertions
11 because, of course, a lot of years have gone by since then.
12 Thank you, sir. I think that I have been told that we have used
13 up one hour and 30 minutes, which was the original time we were allocated,
14 one hour for our Defence and 15 minutes from two other Defence teams. So
15 I'm in the Trial Chamber's hands whether Mr. Murphy's going to be
16 allocated more time, whether you're going to tell us now or later.
17 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I'm little lost now as to what the
18 remaining time is and whether I do have time. I'm very conscious of the
19 position of the other accused, so I don't want to trespass on their time.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, and I want -- I want to make very
21 measured comments here and I don't want to make it directed to Mr. Murphy
22 at all because these are not -- my comments are not personal to Mr.
23 Murphy, who I have great respect for. The Chamber came in this morning
24 and said the Defence total would have an hour and 40 minutes. I don't
25 think that time can just continue to expand and expand and expand and if
1 the Prosecution -- if I were bring in Mr. Mundis and Mr. Stringer and
2 somebody else and said now I've used all my time, but now I want more time
3 for Mr. Stringer or Mr. Mundis, I don't think that would be appropriate
4 unless I allocated my total fixed time accordingly; but simply to be able
5 to expand time, the allocated time, by saying now I'm going to give the
6 floor to Mr. Stringer so he can have an extra 20 minutes; it's not
7 appropriate. Now its up to counsel to allocate their time appropriately.
8 I'm sure questioning from Mr. Murphy, it would have been helpful as it
9 always is, but they could have allocated that time and planned that time
10 among themselves. But instead we have a constantly expanding universe
11 when it comes to the Defence time. The Prosecution works very hard to
12 stay within the limits the Chamber imposes. The Chamber cut my time, the
13 Chamber substantially cut my time, and I came in substantially less than
14 what our original estimate was because I endeavoured to abide by the
15 Chamber's direction.
16 Now, I don't want to be put in this position. I don't like to be
17 put in the position of complaining about these things. I don't want to
18 appear stingy, but the Chamber puts me in the position where I have to
19 rise to my feet and make the points that, with all due respect, the
20 Chamber itself should police. So please let's have fairness to both
21 sides. And if the Prosecution is going to be limited and the Prosecution
22 is going to abide by the Chamber's time limits, then let's please have
23 fair play, fair play. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, fine --
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
1 to use up court time which is very valuable to us all, but I do think need
2 to respond to the comment of Mr. Scott. I think that it is quite out of
3 order to compare my colleagues Mr. Mundis, Mr. Stringer and Mr. Scott and
4 other people from the Prosection with the six Defence teams present here,
5 who -- which are completely independent and separate and do not wish,
6 because that is not their functional, to allocate time or to cooperate in
7 the way in which my learned friends within one team cooperate which is in
8 fact the Prosecution. The Defence of General Petkovic, and I suppose that
9 other Defence teams share my view, are not that interested in how much
10 time other teams have at their disposal, but --
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, sorry if I interrupt you, but you
12 are basing what you say on a misunderstanding. I think Mr. Scott was only
13 addressing the issue arising from one team speaking through the mouth of
14 one counsel and then within the same team wishing to add time for another
15 counsel. I think he did not refer to the different teams at all. Am I
16 right, Mr. Scott?
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If that is the case, I apologise to
18 my learned friend Mr. Scott, but I understood him to say differently and
19 that's why I reacted.
20 MR. SCOTT: In honesty, Your Honour, my points -- I made two
21 points, one being within the team and one being more broadly but certainly
22 I was about to say the same thing, Your Honour, in terms of -- the
23 comments in terms of it's all within the same Prosecution team, well that
24 again with all respect applies to the Stojic team, and they do both work
25 for the same client. And again, I say nothing, I say nothing about how
1 they should have allocated time among themselves, and I would invite
2 Mr. Murphy, of course, his full participation as always. But it's up to
3 them to allocate the time between themselves and not have more time added
4 at the end thank you.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Let me say a few words.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please wait a moment,
7 Ms. Nozica. Let me say a few words about time. The Prosecution has used
8 up three hours and 30 minutes. We've decided to grant four hours and a
9 half to the Defence because the Prosecution was granted 30 additional
10 minutes. Within these four hours and a half for the Defence, the Defence
11 has so far used three hours and 24 minutes. In other words, the Defence
12 has one hour and five minutes left.
13 The problem here is that we still need to hear Ms. Alaburic and
14 Mr. Kovacic or Mr. Praljak, I'm not quite sure which one of the two, and
15 we need to complete this hearing at a quarter to 2.00. My worry here is
16 as follows: Of course, I'm always very interested in hearing comments and
17 submissions by Mr. Murphy, but Ms. Alaburic, how much time do you need?
18 How much time will your cross-examination last?
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would be very
20 satisfied if I were to have an hour and a half at my disposal. I would,
21 of course, need more time to conduct my cross-examination, but in view of
22 the circumstances, that would suffice. As far as I can see, we won't be
23 able to be absolutely satisfied with the time.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] General Praljak and I -- or, rather,
1 the Defence of General Praljak had counted on the original 30 minutes,
2 plus 10 minutes received from the Pusic Defence. That makes it 40
3 minutes, and we had hoped that of the additional half an hour which the
4 Defence has been given, that we could be allocated at least 10 to 15 more
5 minutes so that General Praljak could round off the set of questions that
6 he had planned to ask. So if we were to be given a total of 50 or 55
7 minutes, we'd be very happy.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm totalling up your time, and
9 if that is the case, then we would not have enough time, because after the
10 break in 20 minutes we'll have two hours and 30 minutes left. The
11 Prosecution has requested at least half an hour for the purposes of
12 re-examination. In other words, the Defence only has two hours left.
13 If Ms. Alaburic needs one hour and 30 minutes, Mr. Kovacic, 50
14 minutes, and if we add 20 minutes for Mr. Murphy, then it does not add
15 up. Therefore, you need to find an agreement. So I think the best
16 solution is for us to take a break. You need to consult each other, and
17 of course you will have the time I said. Mr. Scott will start his
18 re-examination at a quarter past 1.00 for a half hour of re-examination.
19 So we're going to have a break now, and I will give -- then give
20 you until a quarter past 1.00, and then Mr. Scott will take the floor.
21 But please try to find an agreement between yourselves or amongst
23 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.38 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. Let me
1 greet Mr. Karnavas, who is back with us. And I'd like to ask the Defence
2 counsel whether they've come to an agreement about the remaining time.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Praljak will take
4 45 minutes. Counsel Alaburic will use five minutes less than the one and
5 a half hours she was allotted, which means one hour and 25 minutes, which
6 means that Mr. Murphy would have 10 to 15 minutes left, but otherwise we
7 have no more time. And then the Prosecution could begin redirect, as you
8 said, at 1.15.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Mr. Murphy, you will be granted 10 minutes, but no more than 10
12 MR. MURPHY: Yes, Your Honour. My understanding is I will do that
13 once the other accused have cross-examined. That way if this things go
14 wrong, we don't have --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
16 Who will start, Ms. Alaburic or Mr. Praljak's Defence? Yes,
17 Mr. Praljak. Put questions of a military nature, please.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just military
19 matters, and I'm sorry that we can't clarify them to the extent that we
20 should like to.
21 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Would you now take a look at the document again, P 01970, the 19th
25 of April order. And please try and give me brief answers because of the
1 time constraints - yes, no, and so on. But let's start off by taking a
2 look at the first sentence, "Pursuant to the order of the commander of the
3 ABiH 4th Corps," et cetera. Does that sentence mean that the order as
4 follows was made pursuant to an order of the commander of the ABiH 4th
5 Corps? Is that crystal clear as the brightest summer day?
6 A. I don't know. I can't answer yes or no.
7 Q. Thank you. Now look at point 1.1, please, the second line. "Once
8 conditions for that are met, launch an attack at the Mostar-Buna,
9 Mostar-Blagaj junction," et cetera. Take up -- does that -- does it
10 say "launch an attack" there? Is that what it says?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, paragraph 1.2 next.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please, Mr. Praljak, do not repeat this, asking
14 the witness to affirm two words or three or a sentence which is in the
15 document, because that is of absolutely no value. We all can read it, and
16 you're losing your time.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Trechsel,
18 we've been discussing this at length, whether this order is a defence or
19 an attack. If this document were clear, we wouldn't have any need to
20 discuss it further. I simply don't know whether this document is clear or
21 not, because in this document, according to military rules, rather --
22 regardless of whether they are written according to NATO standards or the
23 standards of the Swedish army. It says according to this order what the
24 BH army is intending to do on the 19th of April, 1993. And if that were
25 clear here, then there would be no need for me to ask questions. But if
1 it says here, as it does, that after the lines have been reached which
2 have not within taken control of --
3 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: It sounds more like, if I here what's been said in the
6 courtroom correctly, that Mr. Praljak says the document is not clear. The
7 witness says the document's not clear. It seems to me the inquiry is at
8 an end. Everyone agrees. The witness and the questioner agree that the
9 document is not clear.
10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I might be allowed
11 to say something. Mr. Praljak wanted to ask brief questions through the
12 contents to lay the foundations in order to ask his question after that,
13 once he had done that. So this is procedure, procedural tactics.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, Mr. Praljak.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I didn't say that the
16 document was clear. I'm wondering why something that is crystal clear can
17 be thought not to be clear enough.
18 Q. General, in the background of the positions obtained to block the
19 HVO forces and neutralise them. And then further on in the next line it
20 says: "Carry out an attack from the flanks at Semovac, Podhum, Banovac,
21 Centar 2 and Rudnik and part of the force is set aside to take control of
22 Hum hill."
23 Now, General, you have the map behind you where those positions
24 are to be found. Do you know Mostar well enough in order to be able to
25 testify that the map drawn there is very precise and shows the BH army's
1 intention to take control of Rudnik, Hum, and the other locations on the
2 map? Take a look at the map, please, and you will find the HVO positions
3 clearly indicated there, too.
4 A. I'm not familiar with Mostar enough to immediately look at the map
5 and answer questions on it.
6 Q. Please look at paragraph 1.8, the last line or penultimate line.
7 It says: "Troops to be used in the attack on the MUP building and the
8 Mostar police station are to be on standby in the Mostar Hotel." "... on
9 standby in the Mostar Hotel," it says. Now, those forces, the troops
10 referred to, are they the troops which, pursuant to a request from the
11 HVO, you pulled out of Mostar which were supposed to take control of what
12 it says here? Are those the same troops?
13 A. I suppose so, that they are. They must be since the dates are
14 very close. So these must be the troops that I took out. So obviously
15 they were not to be used in the attack since they were taken away.
16 Q. Because quite obviously by your presence you prevented the
17 execution of this order. But look at paragraph 2 now, please, point 2,
18 and the absurdity of the text as it stands. It says:
19 "Be on standby for the defence by 1700 hours on the 19th of April,
20 1993, by which time the transfer of men and ordnance from one bank of the
21 Neretva River onto the other should have been completed."
22 Now, in military terminology, "standby for attack," does it mean
23 that by such-and-such an hour all the units must be at the position for
24 attack? Is that what "standby" means?
25 A. It actually says "standby for defence" and not for attack. And I
1 don't know from which bank of the Neretva we are talking about. I don't
2 understand it quite. If they are pulling back to the east of Mostar or if
3 they are going over the river to the west of Mostar, it's not clear to me.
4 I'm not trying to evade your question. It's just that I don't
5 want to be pressurised to answer a complicated question in a minute with a
6 document I'm not fully familiar with.
7 Q. Very well, General. Thank you. The transfer of manpower and
8 ordnance from one bank to the other, from the right to the other, I don't
9 think is in question, but I'll move on.
10 Now, when you arrived in Mostar, did your assistants inform you
11 about the military situation in and around Mostar facing the Republika
12 Srpska forces, the deployment of sources? As a UN military observer, were
13 you informed of the military situation in the city of Mostar and to the
14 left and right of it? And looking at the map as well. That's a simple
16 A. I had a very vague idea about the situation. It was not a good
17 orientation given by anybody.
18 Q. Thank you. Now may we have the next map on the easel.
19 A. May I just add one point I just noticed? Paragraph 7, last
20 line: "Pay close attention to expenditure of ammunition." It doesn't
21 seem to be an army just going to attack.
22 Q. Tell me what the logic there is, how you come to conclude that?
23 Pay attention to expenditure is a classic form of order issued to any army
24 not to waste ammunition, especially to an army that has ammunition
25 shortages. So can you link this to defence or attack, the expenditure of
1 ammunition? So could you explain that to me, please, and to the Trial
3 A. Yes. It takes a lot more ammunition to go to attack a position
4 than to defend it.
5 Q. Well, undeniably, but tell me, what has the fact that somebody has
6 to save ammunition if because of the embargo on the importation of weapons
7 and ammunition there is a shortage of ammunition? You're making
8 conclusions on the basis of logics which I fail to understand. If
9 somebody is saving ammunition and paying attention to expenditure, that
10 that necessarily means it is a defence operation rather than an attack
11 one. I don't follow you there.
12 A. I don't make much conclusions. I just thought it worthwhile
13 pointing at this line. It has some importance, though.
14 Q. Thank you for that observation. Take a look at the map behind
15 you, the small map which shows the deployment of units. Green is the BH
16 army, the red is the army of Republika Srpska, and the blue is the HVO.
17 Did you know that the deployment of forces in Mostar at the point
18 of your arrival was as it is indicated on the map, although other
19 witnesses have confirmed that? Did you know the deployment of the forces
20 of the three sides - the ABiH, the HVO, and the Serb forces?
21 A. In broad line, yes.
22 Q. The south of Mostar was covered by the 3rd HVO Brigade. That's
23 what it says on the map. Do you know -- did your assistants, who should
24 have known the situation and the events, convey to you that in the 3rd
25 Brigade of the HVO, 50 per cent of the composition was made up of Muslims
1 in the HVO ranks? Did you know about that fact?
2 A. No.
3 Q. General, did you know that in the 2nd HVO Brigade holding
4 positions north of Mostar facing the army of Republika Srpska, that 35 per
5 cent of all the soldiers were Muslims, Bosniaks, wearing HVO uniforms?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Can you take a look at document 3D 00998.
8 A. Can you say again, please? 3D 00 --
9 Q. 3D 00998.
10 A. Yep.
11 Q. The document is dated the 29th of December, 1992, and the
12 commander of the operative zone, Brigadier Miljenko Lasic, is informing
13 the Main Staff of the HVO what artillery weapons they have and number of
14 tanks they have at their disposal. T-34, 7 tanks; T-55, 7 tanks, and so
15 on. And the launchers, rocket launchers, 107-millimetre, 128-millimetre,
16 and so on and so forth, they've been added at the bottom.
17 Now, did the military observers ever send in reports telling you
18 what artillery weapons and pieces the HVO had at their disposal in
19 December 1992?
20 A. No. And if they had knowledge of it, they would not have reported
21 it in -- by means of communication. Hopefully not, because it could
22 easily be snatched up and we would be accused of making intelligence. So
23 these were the things that were probably not reported or taken in.
24 Q. General, you only need to tell me whether you knew of this or not.
25 A. No.
1 Q. Could you please read this. One tank, T-34, is at the Konjic
2 theatre in the ranks of the -- has been transferred there by the BH army
3 units. Does it not transpire from this that in December of 1992, the HVO
4 gave to the BH army one tank that was transferred to the Konjic theatre
5 for the purposes of fighting the Serb forces there? Is this what this
6 reads, and did you have any information to that effect?
7 A. I'm not sure I'm reading the right document.
8 Q. It's the same document, 3D 00998. There is one remark beneath the
9 list of artillery which says that one T-34 tank has been transferred by
10 the -- has been transferred to the battlefield of Konjic by the BH army
11 units. Were you aware of this and is this true?
12 A. I was not aware, and I don't know whether it is true.
13 Q. You don't know that they were trying to lift the siege of Sarajevo
15 Let's look at the next page of the same document, which is also
16 dated the 29th of December, 1992. Well, you didn't know that that tank
17 was used for the purposes of lifting the siege of Sarajevo. So the 29th
18 of December, the next document, Colonel Zeljko Siljeg informed the Main
19 Staff of the HVO of the artillery pieces he had at his disposal and
20 they're listed under items 1 through 21. Do you see the document?
21 A. I find it very hard to understand what documents from December has
22 any bearing about the military situation when I enter Mostar on the 18th
23 of April. Of course I have no information about the December situation
24 when there was still war waged against the Serbs. So I cannot answer
25 documents relating to December with the background of arriving there on
1 the 18th of April. I find it useless to answer these questions.
2 Q. General, my question is a simple one. Did you know about these
3 figures or not? We don't need your explanations. We've heard them. My
4 question is simple. Did you know about this?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please take a look at the map behind you
7 showing the disposition of forces. Can you testify that this is roughly
8 what the situation was, as you were aware of it when you arrived in Mostar
9 in April of 1993?
10 A. Yes, it corresponds to my rough idea about how the forces were
11 located - the Serbs up in the mountains and the Croats holding on to the
12 mountain ridge and the west part of Mostar.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can we have an IC number for
15 the map and can we show the next map, please.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have an
17 IC number please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this will become IC 596.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. While we're waiting for the map to be set up, I have this question
21 for you: Do you know that after the BH army, based on your great efforts,
22 left the Mostar Hotel, do you know whether the HVO personnel was
23 transferred to North Camp in Mostar on the left bank of the Neretva?
24 Therefore, is it true to your knowledge that the HVO, as per the agreement
25 reached, went to North Camp and was to experience what we later saw they
1 indeed experienced? Is that true?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. General, you're a professional soldier. On this map here, the one
4 you see up there behind you, there is a modest plan of attack, as far
5 modest as could be, which the HVO had to use to capture -- to have control
6 of Mostar. You can see the different axes to the north, west, east, and
8 Now, as a professional soldier, would you approve one such map of
9 the HVO's possible attack on Mostar? And I'm asking you merely as a
10 soldier, and this is a hypothesis, of course.
11 A. I can't answer that question.
12 Q. Very well. Part of the artillery that the HVO had in the
13 different areas, if you were to attack Mostar, would you pull in some of
14 the tanks into the town to destroy strongholds? Would you prepare
15 logistics, communication systems? Would you bring in the back-up forces
16 into the Mostar area? Would that form part of the normal procedure of
17 preparation for an attack on Mostar?
18 A. It is an impossible question to answer in this time frame and with
19 the things presented. I don't have the time; I don't know the map; I
20 don't know the forces; I don't know the relations. I don't want to
22 Q. Is any of this, and you know nothing of this except for the fact
23 that everyone knows who attacked Mostar on the 9th of May, 1992, based on
24 the movements of logistics, artillery, and so on and so forth -- or,
25 rather, was any of this information on any possible movements of units
1 conveyed to you by your assistants? Did you talk about any such
2 information there?
3 A. There was quite a lot of rumours and information coming about
4 movements in the Mostar area before the 9th of May, which I don't think
5 much was substantiated or verified. But there were a lot of reports
6 coming in about movements. I do not remember, actually. We --
7 Q. Can you refer to a single report by the European observers or the
8 UN military observers or UNPROFOR that would substantiate your words,
9 except for the stories or rumours that you referred to? Any report, and
10 can you cite the author of the report and the date of the report. Perhaps
11 the Prosecution can be of assistance in that.
12 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, just a clarification of the
13 question. Substantiate your words. Which words of the General did
14 Mr. Praljak want him to substantiate? It's not clear to me and, I
15 suspect, not clear to the witness.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Of rumours, if rumours went round. And we constantly keep hearing
18 about rumours and stories going round, and I hope sincerely that we're
19 speaking about facts here. Therefore, my question: Which facts, that's
20 to say reports from UNPROFOR, European or UN military observers, do you
21 have which would substantiate the stories of moments of HVO troops, tanks,
22 artillery pieces, and so on and so forth would you be able to present
23 here? I'm asking for at least one such fact.
24 A. It is 14 years ago. I was under constant briefing in the UNPROFOR
25 headquarters of all the regions in Bosnia, of all the events taking place
1 in Croatia proper, and of course I cannot put forward one single report
2 about this case, unless you present me with the actual documents or the
3 situation reports from Mostar area. So the answer to your question is no,
4 I cannot.
5 Q. Thank you. According to the testimony of your military observer,
6 he reached one particular position, at a bend, at 1200 hours on the 9th of
7 May, 1993. Based on which fact or which logic could a general opinion
8 have been formed that on the 9th of May the HVO launched an attack on the
9 BH army in Mostar? I'm interested in the facts that led to that opinion
10 and the logic which provided the general sense to these facts, all of
11 which led to your conclusion, a widely shared conclusion, that on the 9th
12 of May, 1993, the HVO attacked the BH army in Mostar.
13 A. I think one of the facts that persuaded us that this was a planned
14 action was the swiftness with which the people were taken first to the
15 stadium and then brought to the helicopter factory. It was a very swift
16 and efficient action. So it had all the bearings of a pre-planned action.
17 I think this is one of the major things that made us conclude that it is
18 well -- it was well-prepared. It was efficiently done.
19 Q. General, look at this map of Mostar. There you will see a
20 rectangle which stands for the Mostar Hotel and one rectangle which shows
21 the position of the 4th Corps of the BH army and their 41st Brigade.
22 That's in the depth of the western area. Can you locate these two
23 features on the map?
24 A. I can locate two rectangles, and I guess that the headquarters is
25 the one closest to the river maybe.
1 Q. Can you mark that one closer to the river with number 1. That's
2 the Mostar Hotel. And the other one which is closer to the bottom
3 left-hand corner, which is the Vranica building. That's the staff of the
4 4th Corps and the 41st Brigade of the BH army.
5 MR. SCOTT: So do I understand, Your Honour, that --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
7 MR. SCOTT: -- Mr. Pellnas is to make the markings that Mr. Praljak
8 tells him to make whether General Pellnas has any knowledge or evidence to
9 give on this or not? He's simply to make the markings that Mr. Praljak
10 tells him to make. I don't think that's appropriate. The witness has
11 said he can't and doesn't know the map. He's not familiar. He can assume
12 that some of the rectangles are certain things. The one closer to the
13 river might possibly be the headquarters. I don't think it's appropriate
14 to tell the witness what markings to make.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I would like
16 you to indicate and mark number 1 and 2, those two rectangles which were
17 military facilities. Did you know these locations personally, or can you
18 not recognise these locations?
19 THE WITNESS: I know of the locations for what they were, but I
20 cannot locate them at the moment on this map. I will need a normal street
21 map, I think, to be able to read other things. Even so, I think after 14
22 years if you had asked me to put money on betting which is Hotel Mostar
23 and which is the headquarter, I would not probably put my money on that.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps it should be made clear for the record
25 that what is referred to as a map is in fact not a map at all. It is an
1 aerial photograph.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, and in a rather bad shape.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the witness cannot
4 answer your question.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] That's sufficient for me.
6 Q. After having left the Mostar Hotel, the witness said in the
7 examination-in-chief that he came with Mr. Pasalic to the Vranica
8 building. In the Mostar Hotel there were some 60 to 100 people, and
9 that's in the hotel and in the general surrounding according to what the
10 witness said, which the HVO snipers had in their sights. My question
11 is: How come the HVO snipers did not shoot and kill the staff of the 4th
12 Corps, which is much closer to the HVO positions? Because until the month
13 of September 1995, the people were able to walk through that area which
14 was supposed to be the notorious area covered by the HVO snipers. Isn't
15 it quite illogical, General, the fact that the Mostar Hotel was so blocked
16 that the BH army was unable to leave it, whereas in the immediate vicinity
17 of that area there were -- there was the BH army 4th Corps headquarters
18 where people went normally about their business without being disturbed?
19 Isn't that illogical?
20 A. Yes, it is perhaps illogical, but I can assure you that General
21 Pasalic was extremely scared running around Hotel Mostar. I didn't see
22 any snipers. There was no sniping fire. But it was your commander of the
23 operational zone telling me that they could not control your snipers
24 outside Mostar. Having said that, I had to anticipate that there were
25 snipers. They never denied that there were snipers around Hotel Mostar.
1 On the contrary, they said they could not control them.
2 Q. General, that wasn't what my question was asking for, and I was
3 asking you about the positions of the 4th Corps and about the fact that
4 none of the staff there until the outbreak of hostilities in Mostar had
5 been wounded or killed, but let's move on.
6 In your statement, you said that as you went into Mostar the
7 second time, you were using the road from the south and that you were
8 appalled at the destruction inflicted on by the HVO forces. My question
9 to you is the following: Did you ever use that road before when you were
10 in Travnik? Did you go through Mostar to the east bank in daytime and see
11 the devastation inflicted upon that area before the outbreak of
12 hostilities there? In the month of April, did you cross that road and
13 head along that road southwards?
14 A. I don't quite remember how we went. I came from Travnik and went
15 down to Dubrovnik area. And how we actually passed the Mostar area I
16 don't know. I don't know.
17 Q. If on the first occasion you used that road as you did the second
18 time, how were you able to know which armies inflicted the damage or the
19 devastation there; whether it was the HVO or the Serb forces? According
20 to your statement, except for the pull-out of the BH army forces from the
21 Mostar Hotel, except for that part, you did not go into east Mostar.
22 Isn't that right?
23 A. But if we are discussing the sniper fire at my car, I base my
24 assumptions on the fact that you don't --
25 Q. General, please. Please.
1 A. Now, you --
2 Q. The sniper fire --
3 A. Yep.
4 Q. I'm asking you about the devastation you saw when you entered
5 Mostar the second time. In a response to a question by the Prosecutor,
6 you stated the devastation was quite extensive and you accepted that the
7 HVO was responsible for that. If you were unable to compare the situation
8 to what it had been before the outbreak of the conflict with the HVO, what
9 led you to conclude that it was the HVO artillery that was responsible for
10 the damage you witnessed there? That's my question.
11 A. Yeah. It was based and all the reports and all the situation
12 reports we had at the time that the fire in East Mostar was mainly carried
13 out by the HVO.
14 Q. Thank you. Did a single assistant of yours stay in Mostar for the
15 full 24 hours and, with military precision, count how many shells landed
16 on the east bank and how many on the west bank and where the shells
17 originated from? Did you, therefore, count how many shells landed and
18 where they were fired from? And I'm just asking for a yes or no answer.
19 A. There is no yes or no, because, you know, pretty well the UN
20 observers were blocked from entering Mostar for a long, long time, during
21 a number of months. It wasn't until the hostilities started to cease that
22 we were able to enter, as far as I remember. I can't mention the dates
23 when they were blocked and when they were let in again, but it was a long
24 time, during the main part when the hostilities took place.
25 Q. Very well. That's a different form of responsibility. But fact
1 remains that if they were not there, they were unable to see where the
2 shells were coming from and how many of them landed on the east and on the
3 west bank. Is that right? They weren't there. They didn't know the
4 facts. Is my reasoning logical, yes or no?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. As you were heading toward the south on the second
7 occasion you entered Mostar, you say you came under fire or, rather, an
8 English officer told you that the fire was opened from the Hum hill; is
9 that right? You said it was the -- the calibre was roughly 7.62.
10 A. I don't know. He just pointed at the hill, and I don't know the
11 name of it.
12 Q. As a senior army officer, did you ask him how far the hill was
13 removed from the road you were driving along? And that's the only road -
14 I can't show it to you now - but that's the only road entering Mostar from
15 the south. Did you ask him how was it possible for someone to fire with a
16 weapon of 7.62 calibre from that position if that position was indeed that
17 of the HVO? And did you ask him how distant that particular hill where
18 the positions purportedly were was from the road? Did you ask him these
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you know that between the road you were driving along and the
22 foot of the Hum hill the BH army units were positioned? And that's to say
23 they were positioned in the same direction from which the fire was
24 opened. Were you aware of this fact?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Would you not agree with me, then, General, that inferences were
2 made on the basis of the broader picture, which was whoever opened fire
3 upon UNPROFOR and European observers was the HVO? This is what the
4 information was that came from Sarajevo and so on and so forth. There was
5 no need to make any inquiries about it. Any fire that was opened from a
6 range of a kilometre or a bit more came from the HVO. Nobody pursued this
7 matter any further or made any inquiries about it.
8 A. You have a point, but I don't think that I, in my book, have
9 stated who actually sniped at us. I just made a statement that it was
10 sniper fire. I hope that is the case. That does not contradict that I
11 thought it was HVO, because my people said so, and they were the ones who
12 knew the area and knew the sniping going on. So I had no reason not to
13 trust this information. And we both know that the 4.62 millimetre will go
14 about several thousand metres, but you won't be able to hit anything.
15 Q. Thank you. I have two questions left.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can we have 3D 007958. This
17 is the document dated the 10th of September, 1992, signed by Sefer
19 Q. Have you found it, General?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The document is relatively lengthy. I should like you to look at
22 the first paragraph, somewhere in the middle, which says:
23 "In the five months of war, the aggressor has not achieved its
24 objectives, and because of the fierce fighting of the BH army and other
25 forces, it was forced to stop at the lines reached."
1 Now, the lines are mentioned as being those of Lasic, Kupres,
2 Sujica, Podvelezje, Snijeznica, Hrgud. From what you know of the
3 geography of the area where you were the military officer, do you know
4 that Kupres, Sujica, Podvelezje, Hrgud, and so on and so forth, that all
5 these localities were defended by the forces of the Croatian Defence
6 Council and that it was solely the HVO that occupied those lines?
7 A. I would object to this. I'm now asked to answer a question about
8 a document issued even before I came to the former Yugoslavia. It was
9 issued a month -- two months before I came down.
10 Q. General, that's quite clear to me on the basis of what you said.
11 However, I'm asking you this: When you got there, your assistants and
12 those who were your predecessors, did they prepare for you the maps of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the forces deployed on them? Did they inform you
14 about the course of armed activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, about the
15 strength of the HVO and BH army units, as well as the strength of the Serb
16 units? Did you receive any of that information as a soldier when you took
17 up your position? Did you receive all the information that you required
18 in order to properly discharge your duties in the area?
19 A. I most certainly went through a number of briefings all concerning
20 the situation around the first week in November, which could have been
21 completely different from the situation on the 10th of September. And I
22 also -- because the briefings were not entirely concentrated to Bosnia.
23 We had a lot of problems at the time in Croatia. I was sent immediately
24 to Macedonia, which took up part of my time.
25 So I would just say that you have a general knowledge, and there
1 are so many facts, and this was a completely different situation.
2 Q. Very well. But anyway, we can conclude that you did not have an
3 overview of what was happening from 1991 in Bosnia-Herzegovina onwards.
4 Now, the document that I just showed you, which you say you are
5 not able to comment on, in no part does Sefer Halilovic mention the HVO
6 and what the HVO did in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. If you leaf
7 through the document, and Their Honours will, too, there is no mention of
8 the HVO anywhere. And my last question for you, sir, is this:
9 Despite that, despite the fact that you did not have exact
10 information about what was going on, here in the courtroom during the
11 examination-in-chief you stated that the HVO units and BH army units
12 together liberated Mostar, Stolac, Capljina, et cetera. Can you tell me
13 now, how many soldiers did the BH army have participating in those
14 operations and how many did the HVO have, roughly, or give us the ratio.
15 How many was the -- soldiers did this joint force number expressed in
17 A. No.
18 Q. Thank you, General. I am very sorry that we can't bring in a
19 military expert here to clarify some basic concepts here that we all need
20 to know about and I think Their Honours, too, for us to be able to
21 understand what this is all about. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
23 Ms. Alaburic.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Your Honour, General, good afternoon. I am
2 Defence counsel together with Nicholas Stewart for General Petkovic, and I
3 hope that over the next hour and a half I'll be asking questions that I
4 consider to be relevant for our defence, and I'm going to start off with
5 questions raised by His Honour Judge Trechsel, who, if I might be allowed
6 to assess the value of the questions asked by a Judge, I consider to be
7 very important and interesting.
8 Now tell me General, the UN observers, did they consider the BH
9 army to be an army which was defending Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. No. They were defending their own interests, which might in
11 political level be Bosnia and -- united Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. Tell me, General, please, when you say united, do you mean
13 unitary? Or when you say united, did you have another concept in mind?
14 A. I don't have a concept. I think they had a concept for it, and
15 that was their idea of it. And I don't think -- but then what my concept
16 was is not interesting. It was what their concept was of Bosnia and
18 Q. Yes. But when you say that they fought for what you referred to
19 as united Bosnia and Herzegovina, I'm interested in what you think they
20 considered to be implied by the term "united."
21 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina ruled by some sort of administration in
22 Sarajevo I think was in their interest. What that solution implied, and
23 it depends on all the negotiations what -- that were going on. We had
24 been shown numbers of examples from the Vance-Owen, the Stoltenberg-Owen
25 negotiations. And I was asked yesterday if I shouldn't have known about
1 the Vance-Owen Plan, and I should add to that it is natural that
2 negotiators do not publish their documents because they have to keep it to
3 their breast while they it are negotiating. So there were so many ideas
4 about the united Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Tell me, General, did you consider the BH army to be a legal army
6 on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Did you consider the HVO to be a and legal army on the territory
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Thank you. Tell it us, please, do you have any knowledge to the
12 effect that the conflicts in April 1993 between the HVO and the BH army
13 were the first more serious conflicts between these two armies? If we
14 make the exception of Gornji Vakuf for a moment in January 1993.
15 A. Yes, except from the order, they started fighting in Central
16 Bosnia. I think this was the first account between the two parts as far
17 as I know it. Up till then, the Serbs had been the common enemy.
18 Q. But those conflicts in Central Bosnia that you're mentioning also
19 took place in April 1993, did they not?
20 A. Yeah, but a couple of days before maybe.
21 Q. Very well. Thank you. So we can agree on that score, that before
22 that there were serious conflicts in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993.
23 Tell me now, do you have any knowledge about those conflicts?
24 A. Very little, because it was under the -- it was almost completely
25 a problem for the Bosnia-Herzegovina UN command.
1 Q. Do you know that that conflict ended with an agreement? And they
2 agreed to cease-fire and an order was issued to cease the conflict.
3 A. Yes, I believe I do.
4 Q. General, if within that context we now try to make a conclusion
5 together, that is to say what somebody, including you, might have thought
6 in April 1993 about the peace negotiations and attempts to effect a
7 cease-fire through agreement, would it be logical to expect that both you
8 and Generals Halilovic and Petkovic and other individuals considered this
9 possible and realistic, that is to stop the conflict in April 1993?
10 A. I cannot really answer that, because then I have to go into their
11 souls and minds. If they wanted to stop it, I think they should have
12 thought it could be possible to do it. If they didn't want to do it, then
13 the question falls, and I don't know really what the real aims were from
14 the two parties at this time. We were, anyway, very worried about -- that
15 the conflict should start.
16 Q. General, you told us here that in April 1993 you did not believe
17 in the possibility of a cease-fire to be reached through agreement and
18 that in a way it was all a waste of time. I'm simplifying this in
19 paraphrasing your words, but what I want to ask you is this: What would
20 be the factual basis for the opinion in April 1993 to the effect that it
21 wasn't possible to resolve the conflicts between the BH army and the HVO
22 through negotiation and agreement?
23 A. I think that there was such a strong political division between
24 Sarajevo and the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina. To my knowledge, not
25 least Mate Boban and people in Zagreb who at that moment, I think, were on
1 the verge of creating the independent state of Herceg-Bosna in one way or
2 the other. And that was the basis, because I thought it would be
4 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, can I just ask the transcript
5 be corrected that -- the witness has clarified he was talking about the
6 independent state of Herceg-Bosna when he talked about the leaders of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I take it that the reference was to the leaders of
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Tell us, please, General, do you have any knowledge about the fact
12 that Generals Halilovic or Petkovic would start negotiating a cease-fire
13 without sincerely believing in that being possible and without investing
14 their all to bring that about? So do you have any concrete facts?
15 A. Not exactly what actually happened.
16 Q. Tell us please, General, from today's standpoint, or maybe just a
17 few years later after these events, can we jointly conclude about the
18 intentions and possibilities that were open in mid-1993? Can we do that
19 from that distance of time?
20 A. I think we can do it better now than we could at the moment
21 because we have the result of events. But that does not give us the right
22 to judge what people thought two weeks before a certain event. So it is
23 possible that there was an openness and that it could have happened, but
24 the experience tells us otherwise.
25 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to move on to specific documents, and I
1 see you have my set of documents before you. So I'm going to deal with
2 the meeting of the 18th of April, 1993, in Mostar to start off with.
3 In connection with this meeting, you said of General Petkovic that
4 he refused to negotiate with Arif Pasalic because Pasalic was of a lower
5 rank. Did I interpret your words correctly, General?
6 A. Yes, but I understood that perhaps General Petkovic was not just
7 referring to rank but rank with position. He was not in the position to
8 negotiate about this. So it is a bad expression to say he was of too low
9 a rank. He was not -- he had a rank, but combined with his position, it
10 did not made it proper to negotiation with.
11 Q. Would it be correct to interpret your words in the following
12 manner, then: If General Petkovic considered that at that point in time
13 the focal problem was Central Bosnia, while Arif Pasalic did not have
14 authority and competence -- and competence over Central Bosnia, that it
15 was precisely for that reason that he wasn't the proper collocutor to
16 discuss military conflicts in Central Bosnia?
17 A. Yeah, but I don't think he was even on the position to discuss it
18 in Mostar with the military leader of Herceg-Bosna. So I give General
19 Petkovic credit for his refusal in that way. I should have done the same.
20 Q. Let us take a look at four documents now, General, that I have
21 prepared for you to take a look at. I think we'll be able to get through
22 them quickly.
23 The first document is P 01205. We all have the documents, so we
24 don't need to dwell on them for long. It is a letter from Arif Pasalic to
25 his superior, Sefer Halilovic, and in the introductory portion Pasalic
1 says that on the 19th of January, 1993, in the presence of the European
2 Community, an agreement was reached with Mr. Petkovic on a cease-fire in
3 Gornji Vakuf. From this document it would emerge that Mr. Pasalic and
4 Petkovic had agreed a cease-fire in Gornji Vakuf. Can we agree about
5 that, General?
6 A. That's the first time I see it, and --
7 Q. I think that most of the documents you're going to see are ones
8 you're going to see for the first time, so I'd just like to draw your
9 attention to that introductory part where Arif Pasalic says he made an
10 agreement with General Petkovic.
11 A. If we can trust Arif Pasalic, yes.
12 Q. And if we can't trust Arif Pasalic, perhaps we can trust the
13 European observers. So let us take a look at the next document, P 1215,
14 in which in point 2 the following is stated, actually 2(A):
15 "Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Pasalic agreed that in order to reduce
16 tensions an order should be issued jointly by the BiH and HVO commands to
17 the local commanders in Gornji Vakuf."
18 So from this document, it would appear that Mr. Petkovic and
19 Mr. Pasalic reached an agreement concerning Gornji Vakuf. Would that be
21 A. Yes, but I have two comments. Still we are --
22 Q. General, I apologise, but can we leave the comments to the end for
23 the time being, because I have limited time at my disposal and I'm not
24 sure I'll be able to get through my cross-examination, and of course we'll
25 welcome your comments later on.
1 Let's look at the next document --
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm supposed to answer yes or no on
3 things which I would just like to comment so there's some sort of
4 background to my yes or no. I will be very short.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: General, the rules of this -- it isn't a game, of
6 course, but it has rules like a game has rules, and one of them is that
7 the witness may be required by the Defence on cross-examination just to
8 answer yes or no, and possibly the Prosecution in redirect can solicit
9 your explanations. Although it is very unpleasant for you, I quite
10 understand this. I think Ms. Alaburic is entitled to have the yes or no
11 answers without the commentary.
12 THE WITNESS: In that case, it's yes.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, let's take a look at the next document. P 1238 is the
15 number. It's an order dated the 20th of January, 1993. And on the last
16 page, if you take a look there, it was signed on behalf -- in the name of
17 the HVO by Milivoj Petkovic, and in the name of the BH army, Arif
18 Pasalic. So the document is P 1238. P 01238. It is an order, as I said,
19 signed by Petkovic and Pasalic.
20 I'm going to ask you my question after showing you the next
21 document, which is P 01710. It is an order, once again, a combination of
22 the Bosnian and Croatian language there, dated the 23rd of March, 1993,
23 signed in the name of the HVO by Milivoj Petkovic, and for the 4th Corps
24 of the BH army, Arif Pasalic.
25 Now, General, unfortunately I don't have time to show you any more
1 documents about the contacts, agreements, and cooperation between my
2 client, General Petkovic, and Arif Pasalic. However, I do wish to ask you
3 on the basis of these two documents whether it is well-founded to conclude
4 that Milivoj Petkovic did indeed cooperate with Arif Pasalic on matters
5 relating to the area of responsibility of the 4th Corps of which Arif
6 Pasalic was in command.
7 A. Yes. Rank was obviously not an [Realtime transcript read in
8 error "new"] obstacle.
9 Q. How do you mean rank was an obstacle? [In English] It was not.
10 [Interpretation] Yes. I was reading in the transcript, because in the
11 transcript it says: "Rank was obviously new obstacle." Not an obstacle.
12 Right. Thank you.
13 Now, General Pellnas, my colleague Senka Nozica showed you a
14 series of documents which indicated the conflicts that took place in
15 Central Bosnia. From your answers here today, I conclude that now you do
16 have knowledge that the conflicts in Central Bosnia were in fact something
17 that was the burning problem of the day. Did I understand you correctly
18 on that score?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Very well. Fine. I'm not going to show you some of the documents
21 that I've prepared in my binder relating to the activities of the BH army,
22 but I would nonetheless like us to take a look at certain documents which
23 I consider you might know about or you would have had to have known about.
24 The first one is P 01942. It is a report by the European observers for
25 the 18th of April, 1993. That is to say the day when the Mostar meeting
1 took place. So let us take a look at the first section of point 1 where
2 it says that fighting is taking place throughout the whole of the area of
3 responsibility of BH Central Bosnia. The worst fighting and of greatest
4 intensity is taking place within this area where both sides are using all
5 available means against each other. And then it mentions Travnik, Zenica,
6 Capljina, Mostar. And as far as Mostar is concerned, it says that the
7 situation is dangerous and tense, but no mention is made of any combat
9 Now, tell me, this document and the portion I read out. Does it
10 coincide with what you know about Central Bosnia as the focal point of the
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let us now take a look at another document, P 9619 is the number,
14 for us to see what my client might have thought on the 18th of April,
15 1993, what the focal problem was in relations with the BH army and the
16 HVO. And in point 2 which relates to Central Bosnia of that comprehensive
17 report by the Main Staff, it refers to attacks launched by the Muslim
18 forces with the objective of destroying, routing the HVO in the area of
19 the Lasva River valley. And because I don't have much time I won't go on
20 with the documents -- or, rather, the sentences, but we can leaf through
21 this document together and when we do so we shall see that in Central
22 Bosnia at that period of time the HVO casualties were 31 soldiers and a
23 large unknown number of civilians, and it is assessed -- I've been told
24 that the number hasn't been recorded. 31 soldiers. Ah, you mean the
25 number of the document, P 1961 is the document number. And the document
1 I'm referring to is P 01961. The number of the document was mistakenly
2 recorded in the transcript. And it is about the attack on the part of the
3 Muslim forces in Central Bosnia.
4 The portion relating to Vitez states as follows: That the most
5 dramatic events occurred in Zenica.
6 Tell me now, please, General, at the meeting of the 18th of April
7 in Mostar a decision was made to go to Zenica in order to calm the
8 conflict there; is that right?
9 A. Yes. It had already been decided before the 18th.
10 Q. Tell me now, please, this decision, was it made precisely because
11 the most dramatic situation was taking place in Zenica as it says in this
12 consolidated report?
13 A. I don't know, but it is logic.
14 Q. Very well. Just one more document for us to look -- see the
15 importance of Central Bosnia and one sentiment -- sentence from that
16 document the number of the document is P 01981. Once again an ECMM
17 document. And in the first sentence it says that the situation in Central
18 Bosnia has deteriorated precipitously during the week. The conflicts
19 between the Croats and Muslims have expanded considerably.
20 Now, tell us, please, General, does this observation, and I think
21 it does, coincide with what you told us about the conflicts in Central
22 Bosnia. Isn't that right?
23 A. Yeah, but it describes a completely different picture than General
25 Q. We'll come to that, the different picture, but tell me this first:
1 On the basis of these reports and your subsequent information about
2 Central Bosnia being the focus of the conflicts, would it be logical to
3 conclude that the Croatian delegation at the meeting held on the 18th of
4 April did not insist upon resolving the problem in Central Bosnia in order
5 to draw attention away -- draw attention away from Mostar as you said but,
6 rather, because Central Bosnia was truly a crucial problem?
7 A. I didn't say they tried to. I say I experienced it from my point
8 of view looking upon Mostar as the most important part, as an effort to
9 draw attention away from Mostar. I experienced this like that in my
10 negotiating situation.
11 Q. General, I'm not quite clear now on what you're saying. You said
12 you didn't say that the Croats tried to draw attention away from Mostar
13 but that that's how you experienced it, that you thought they were drawing
14 attention away from Mostar. So your experiences and your opinions as
15 presented here, your positions and stands, need not correspond to what
16 actually happened. Would I be right in understanding you to say that?
17 A. Yes, of course. It was -- you base your thinking about what
18 you're out to -- to achieve. I was there to achieve to get Mostar into
19 negotiating, and they kept talking about other things. And they may have
20 had all the reasons in the world for doing that, but in my situation I was
21 not able to accept those facts fully.
22 Q. Very well, General. I understand. You didn't have sufficient
23 information, so at that point in time you didn't realise the importance of
24 Central Bosnia.
25 Now, I don't wish to burden you with documents from the BH army
1 because my colleague --
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that's not what the witness said. The
3 witness didn't say that that he didn't have sufficient information to
4 say. He gave an answer, and it shouldn't be recharacterised.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Ms. Alaburic, I was
6 thinking exactly the same thing. The witness has not said in his
7 conclusion what you've just said yourself.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree that my
9 sentence was inappropriate, but I believe that the witness said this
10 because he confirmed here that it was only subsequently that he learned of
11 the problems in Central Bosnia. Nevertheless, I apologise to my learned
12 friend, Mr. Scott.
13 Q. Still, we can clarify this, General. Did you at that time in
14 April of 1993 have relevant knowledge of the events in the area of
15 responsibility of both the HVO and BH army and that Mostar was not indeed
16 the focus of the problem?
17 A. I had information to this sort, yes, but I stayed to solve the
18 Mostar problem. So that was my focal point.
19 Q. I fully understand that. Let us look at two documents of the BH
20 army which I believe can help us clarify matters further. The first one
21 is 4D 599, which is a combat report by Esad Ramic from the 4th Corps. I
22 wish to draw your attention to the very end of the report, to the very end
23 of the penultimate paragraph.
24 A. May I have the number once again, please?
25 Q. Yes. 4D 599.
1 A. The combat report?
2 Q. That's the last document, yes. Look at the very end of the
3 report, the penultimate paragraph, which says: "There is no doubt that
4 this is the case of an open aggression of Serbs and Croats against a
5 sovereign Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We will finalise its liberation
6 toward the east and west. Please do not stop us, and do not send us any
8 The report goes on, but I will not read that since it is not
9 relevant to my question.
10 Q. General, can we agree that if what this combat report says is
11 true, and it's dated the 17th of April, 1993, that the BH army was
12 resolute in its decision to carry out attacks in order to, as they put it,
13 liberate Bosnia-Herzegovina from Croats and Serbs?
14 A. I cannot answer that question.
15 Q. Very well. Let us look at another document, 4D 00089, again by
16 the commander of the 41st Motorised Brigade of the BH army, Mr. Hujdur.
17 This order which falls into context with the order that my learned friend
18 Nozica showed you, shows that, so it seems, on the 20th of April Mr.
19 Hujdur issued several orders relating to preparations for certain combat
20 actions. At that point in time, General, you were helping pull out the BH
21 army from the Mostar Hotel. At that time you believed that the BH army
22 was honouring the agreements that had been reached with them; is that
24 A. Yes. I had every reason to believe that, even if there was
25 obviously strong divisions among them about it.
1 Q. Finally, in relation to this meeting, I would like to put the
2 following question to you: If we agree that Central Bosnia was the
3 crucial problem and that Arif Pasalic was not the competent commander for
4 Central Bosnia, isn't it logical for the Croatian delegation to be
5 insisting at that meeting, in particular my client, General Petkovic, that
6 the negotiations continue with Sefer Halilovic, man number one of the BH
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Now that we've come to the issue of
10 Mostar --
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: As we are with this document, maybe you will
12 again say that you cannot answer the question, but you were asked the same
13 question with regard to other orders. Does this order look to you like an
14 order for attack or preparation of attack or any other operation that
15 could be characterised?
16 THE WITNESS: Well, I'm a bit confused because in paragraph 4 it
17 says that they should be carrying out the combat operation on the code
18 word RAK-625, which obviously refers to the long, long order which was
19 issued on the 19th, I believe it was. So it's a number of orders, and I
20 can't really judge how serious they are and in what context they are
21 doing. This "You will infiltrate behind the enemy lines," that could be
22 part of a defensive operation to disturb the enemy. But "Carry out attack
23 in the direction of Hotel Mostar" is definitely then an offensive action.
24 So this order contains both sides, and I don't like to comment upon it
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic.
3 Cross-examination by the Accused Petkovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one question. It seems to me
5 that when documents are being read, that those items that speak about
6 facts more than the witness wishes to speak are diverted from. Item
7 number 1 says that an attack has been launched and that the headquarters
8 of the 41st Brigade have to be reached. The witness knows the distance
9 between the Bulevar and the 41st Brigade's headquarters. This is several
10 hundred metres that have to be covered in order to cross the distance.
11 Isn't that right, sir? How else would you have come to the
12 headquarters of the 41st Brigade other than by forcing the HVO forces
13 from -- to pull out of that area? And I'm speaking of the town of Mostar.
14 A. If they really intended to go forward to the headquarters, then it
15 would be attack, definitely. If you didn't -- if you were not in the mind
16 of letting them go there peacefully.
17 Q. Thank you, General. Evidently you always wish to add something
19 The second question: Infiltration between the enemy front line
20 constitutes defence to you. Is that according to the NATO standards? You
21 are pulling out forces into the east bank, and they wish to transfer their
22 forces to the west bank. Since when does a sabotage line deep behind the
23 enemy lines constitute defence according to NATO standards?
24 A. I don't know so much about NATO standards, but I can assure you
25 that in Swedish defence of our nation we would definitely take up action
1 behind enemy lines.
2 Q. Thank you. Just another question. Don't you realise that while
3 you in Mostar sent Lasic and Pasalic to sign an agreement, did -- did you
4 do that?
5 A. Yes. I think I received an agreement by them, yes.
6 Q. At the same time while Pasalic was signing an agreement with Lasic
7 and troops were going into the barracks, his brigade commander, with his
8 approval, was planning something quite different. Isn't that obvious from
9 the documents?
10 A. It looks like that, yes.
11 Q. General, another question. Did you, perhaps, and other
12 representatives of the international community who came to Mostar, General
13 Morillon, Mr. Thebault, and Mr. Halilovic, did you prevent these orders
14 from being materialised in Mostar?
15 A. With what should I have prevented that?
16 Q. With your presence and your talks.
17 A. What can I say? I did my very best.
18 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Thank you, Witness.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you haven't exactly
21 answered the question put to you by General Petkovic, a very relevant
22 question. The question runs as follows and I'll put it to you again: You
23 were there, conducting negotiations with the parties to achieve a
24 cease-fire and taking actions for that purpose, and here we have document
25 after document that seem to be establishing that the ABiH in the back of
1 the negotiators, so to speak, are preparing an offensive action. And the
2 case of the Defence is that this operation was to be launched, was to take
3 place, and General Petkovic is now asking you whether the fact that
4 General Morillon, Mr. Thebault, and yourself were there on the spot in
5 Mostar on that 19th day of -- 19th of April, 1993, did that not prevent
6 the ABiH from conducting its attack? What can you answer?
7 THE WITNESS: First of all, we had, of course, no knowledge of any
8 such planning taking place. I found on my account that Pasalic was more
9 cooperative than HVO, which could have been wrong.
10 Secondly, I personally forced the Spanish Battalion into Mostar
11 against their will. And there was later a question in the Security
12 Council if we had acted against the mandate, because the Spanish Battalion
13 had only a mandate to support the logistic transports from the coast up to
14 Sarajevo. That was their task. And they were not willing at all to
15 interpose between the parties.
16 So considering, I think, I did more than anyone could expect. And
17 Morillon and Thebault immediately left for Zenica. There were no military
18 resources. And I reported afterwards to my commander that unless we took
19 action there would be a war in Mostar, and there were no actions taken to
20 stop this.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a small point of clarification. You
22 said, "I personally forced," it's on line 15, "I personally forced the
23 Spanish Battalion into Mostar against their will." Whose will are you
24 referring to?
25 THE WITNESS: The battalion commanders.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The Spanish Battalion commanders.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: I gave orders.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
6 Q. General, you're telling us that Mr. Pasalic was cooperating more
7 than Lasic and others from the HVO, that he was more forthcoming. I wish
8 to present to you a part of the testimony of one of the witnesses we heard
9 in this courtroom on the 18th of January, earlier this year. This was
10 protected Witness CV, who was at the Mostar Hotel as one of the soldiers
11 you were pulling out of there.
12 At page 12593 of the transcript, he told us that admittedly they
13 pulled out of the Mostar Hotel, but that next they changed into civilian
14 clothes and returned to the area of Cernica, to the separation line
15 there. He said that they had changed into civilian clothes because as
16 soldiers they were not allowed to move about pursuant to the agreement,
17 also thanks to the mediators.
18 Did you know that these soldiers whom you helped move out of the
19 Mostar Hotel changed into civilian clothes and went back to the separation
21 A. No, I have no idea.
22 Q. Thank you. I should like us to clarify --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, it's 10 past
24 12.00. We need to have a break now, a 20-minute break. We will resume at
25 half past 12.00. According to my calculations, you will then have until
1 five past 1.00 or 10 past 1.00 to conclude. I'm not sure whether
2 Mr. Murphy will be able to take the floor, because Mr. Scott needs 30
4 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, before we start, if I may take one
7 moment just in case we run out of time. It's on a slightly different
8 matter. The Prosecution filed a -- a motion under -- oh, for the UN --
9 for certain UN documents to come in, additional documents, 47 documents to
10 come in. It was filed, I believe, on the 29th of May, if I'm not
11 mistaken. We would like to file a joint response. There will be several
12 annexes to that with each Defence team individually responding to the 47
13 documents, but there would be one sort of joint response to the legal
15 Could we have until the end of the month? We could have until the
16 end of the month as an extension, because the documents are rather
17 lengthy, and in order for us to go through them, and the Prosecution has
18 provided rather specific answers as to why the documents should come in.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have considered the matter,
20 and we grant your application. You will have until the end of the month
21 to respond, unless Mr. Scott wants to object.
22 Mr. Scott?
23 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, under the time -- unfortunately,
24 under the timing that we're all working under that seems to me to be an
25 extremely long period. That's a better part of the month. If that's what
1 the Chamber wants to do, but I-- that does concern me. There's going to
2 be a number of Prosecution filings like that in the next few weeks,
3 tendering documents, and of course those will all have to be dealt with
4 before the Prosecution can rest its case, and if we give a month here and
5 a month there, then that takes a lot of time.
6 Obviously, again as I said with Mr. Stewart yesterday if, you
7 know, again if we can expect such extensive Defence responses, then I
8 anticipate the Prosecution will seek leave to reply. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, then you will file replies
10 when time comes to do so.
11 Ms. Alaburic.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, on Monday you said about my client, this is recorded on
14 page 61 of the transcript of the day, that on the 30th of April a meeting
15 was held in Zagreb where you explained the proposal jointly put forth by
16 the Joint Command of the BH army and the HVO. You said that General
17 Petkovic was not actively participating in the talks, and you concluded on
18 the basis of that that he was not interested in the subject of the
19 meeting. Have I interpreted your words correctly?
20 A. Yes, that was my conclusion.
21 Q. Please look at document P 02155. This is a joint order by
22 Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, issued on the 30th of April, 1993, in
23 Zenica. Tell me, General, does it appear from this document that on that
24 date Generals Petkovic and Halilovic were in Zenica?
25 I see that the witness is still looking for the document. The
1 document number is P 02155.
2 A. Yeah. I got it.
3 Q. Fine. You see that the document is quite simple. It's an order.
4 Generals Petkovic and Halilovic jointly issued the order. It says Zenica,
5 the 30th of April, 1993. Have you found it, General?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let's look at it together. Does it emerge without any doubt from
8 this document that on the 30th of April General Petkovic was in Zenica?
9 A. Apparently, yes.
10 Q. Is it not logical that if he was in Zenica on that date he could
11 not have possibly been in Zagreb at the same time?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can we agree, then, that your statement referring to that meeting
14 taking place in Zagreb on the 30th of April, 1993, cannot stand because on
15 that date my client, General Petkovic, did not attend any meeting in
17 A. The date I stated was obviously wrong.
18 Q. Before we try to establish what the actual date was, let us look
19 at the order that I referred you to. Can we agree that the intention
20 behind this order is to materialise the agreement within the framework of
21 a Joint Command of the BH army and the HVO? We can see that this relates
22 to the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps and the operation zone
23 Central Bosnia. The seat was supposed to be in Travnik. Let us not read
24 it any further. Can we not agree, therefore, that this order refers to
25 the implementation of the agreement on the establishment of a Joint
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let us try and find out what was the meeting you were referring
4 to. My colleague Karnavas asked you yesterday whether you were mistaken
5 in believing that it was the 30th of April. He suggested that it may have
6 been the meeting of the 24th of April in President Tudjman's office in
7 Zagreb. Your answer to him was, "Probably, yes."
8 A. We were not in President Tudjman's office. We were at
9 Intercontinental Hotel in Zagreb with this meeting.
10 Q. Tell me, you're talking about the meeting of the 24th of April?
11 A. Obviously I'm not certain of the date. I'm just referring to the
12 meeting during these days that took place under the leadership of David
13 Owen and Vance and when Brigadier John Wilson and myself met Petkovic and
14 Halilovic discussing the matters of a joint command in Zagreb.
15 Q. General, let us look at document P 02059. P 02059. These are
16 minutes from the meeting which took place in President Tudjman's office.
17 This meeting -- at this meeting a previous meeting between Generals
18 Petkovic and Halilovic was referred to. I would like to draw your
19 attention to these relevant portions of the minutes to see whether this
20 was indeed the meeting we were interested in. Let us look at page 4,
21 paragraph 5. I will be interpreting from the English text, and I
22 apologise if my interpretation is wrong.
23 "Generals Petkovic and Halilovic have spent several hours together
24 this evening along with three objective, impartial advisors, more
25 precisely two UNPROFOR generals and my personal military advisor" - that's
1 what Lord Owen says - "and my personal military advisor." Therefore, they
2 spent several hours together.
3 What follows next is John Wilson's intervention or speech, and I
4 will be quoting it in English:
5 "[In English] There was an exchange of views between General
6 Halilovic and General Petkovic with some remarks on our part."
7 [Interpretation] It goes on to paraphrase the substance of the
8 agreement, and at the end of page 5:
9 "[In English] The conclusion of both General Halilovic and General
10 Petkovic was that they would need certain political guidelines with regard
11 to command and coordination. That is also another issue which refers to
12 the political level from which such instructions would come. And my final
13 remark, Mr. President: I think that if they get the right instructions,
14 they will be able to solve all technical and military problems and issues
15 clearly and appropriately."
16 [Interpretation] Before I put my question to you, I will show you
17 one more detail from the minutes. On page 35, the words uttered by Lord
18 Owen were recorded, paragraph 3 from the bottom of the page, which says:
19 "[In English] For several months I talked both to General Petkovic
20 and General Halilovic. I monitored their participation in talks. I
21 received reports from their joint meetings, and I had the feeling that
22 they could lead and command in the operational sense together."
23 [Interpretation] Tell us, please, General, these conclusions
24 presented in this transcript, do they correspond to what went on at the
25 meeting between Generals Halilovic, Petkovic, and the military
1 representatives of the international community in Zagreb on the 24th of
2 April -- or, rather, the 20th of April, 1993?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Very well. Because I don't have much time, I'll conclude with the
5 details. I find that answer satisfactory.
6 Now, General, let us take a look at what it was that Generals
7 Petkovic and Halilovic did in that third decade of April 1993, believing
8 that they could bring about peace in the area.
9 My colleague Ms. Senka Nozica showed you their agreement dated the
10 20th of April in Zenica. I would now like to take a look at what happened
11 in the ensuing days, so to do that, let's take a look at document P 2016.
12 It is a document of the European Monitors in which on page 2, towards the
13 end, mention is made of Central Bosnia, and it is said that Busovaca and
14 Gornji Vakuf joint commissions [In English] "... continues to be
15 challenged and are doing excellent work."
16 [Interpretation] I'm going to skip over the next portions and look
17 at the 18th of April, on page 3, last passage where it says:
18 "[In English] The result was the establishment of two joint
19 operation commissions consisting of ECMM, UNMO, HVO, and BHD in Mostar and
20 Zenica. The first meeting was held on the 19th of April in Mostar after
21 several preparatory meetings."
22 [Interpretation] And now on page 4. I don't want to read it
23 because it's a lengthy passage, but we can see what they are trying to do
24 in Zenica, that is to say, Generals Halilovic and Petkovic, what they're
25 trying to do. So the second and third portion on page 4. And in
1 conclusion, following the agreement:
2 "[In English] In the morning of 20 April, General Morillon,
3 Vice-President Ganic, ECMM, UNPROFOR, together with HVO and BH military
4 and civilian representatives, went to Zenica to establish the Zenica Joint
5 Operation Committee."
6 [Interpretation] Tell me, please, General, from this document,
7 does it indubitably emerge that Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, along
8 with the assistance of representatives of the international community, did
9 in fact go to Zenica in order to implement the agreement on the
10 establishment of a Joint Command?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Let us now take a look at a joint statement by
13 Izetbegovic and Boban on the 25th of April, and it is document P 02088.
14 It is a document compiled on the basis of a conversation, the transcript
15 of which we were looking at a moment ago. We've already seen this joint
16 statement in this courtroom a number of times, so let us focus on
17 attachment 1, the military attachment, signed by Izetbegovic and Halilovic
18 on the one side and on the other Boban and Petkovic.
19 So, General, let us look at point 1 which states that the BH army
20 and the HVO will retain their individual identities and the establishment
21 of their commands, and in point 2, they will set up a Joint Command which
22 will be responsible for controlling operations of the military districts.
23 On number 3, the Joint Command will consist of two Supreme Commanders,
24 Halilovic and Petkovic, et cetera, et cetera.
25 Now, tell me, General, did you know that on the 24th -- between
1 the night of the 24th and 25th this document was signed and that in fact
2 the parties decided at top level to form a Joint Command?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And did you know about the joint statement that was signed on the
5 basis of this agreement in the presidential offices of President Tudjman?
6 A. I believe so, yes.
7 Q. Am I understand you correctly? Are you saying that you knew about
8 the joint statement but not the military attachment to that joint
9 statement? Is that what you're saying?
10 A. I believe so, yes, but I'm not quite certain about it.
11 Q. Very well. Now let us take a look at what my client did on the
12 following day together with Mr. Stojic. So look at document P 2097. And
13 you will see in the introductory part that the signatories are
14 representatives of the defence department Bruno Stojic and General
15 Petkovic, and they are referring to the agreement that we looked at a
16 moment ago reached in Zagreb on the same day, and they are issuing an
17 order by which all offensive action is to cease, that there should be a
18 cease-fire. And let me ask you, General. Do you know that the Croatian
19 side issued the necessary orders straight away with a view to implementing
20 the agreement reached in Zagreb?
21 A. No, I haven't seen this.
22 Q. Very well. Now let us look at the next document, which is
23 P 02114. It is an appointment by General Petkovic, dated the 26th of
24 April, 1993. Once again in order to implement the agreement reached in
25 Zagreb, and it relates to the appointment of individuals to the Joint
1 Command of the HVO and the BH army. At a general level, then for Mostar,
2 Central Bosnia, and Tuzla.
3 Tell us, General, did you know that the Croatian side immediately
4 undertook the appointment of its representatives to the Joint Command in
5 conformity with the agreement reached in Zagreb?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Now let's look at the next document. 4D 00333 is the number. And
8 it is a joint order by Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, dated the 29th of
9 April, 1993, also in Zenica, on the release of all detained civilians and
10 the sanitization of the battleground.
11 Tell me, General, did you know that Generals Petkovic and
12 Halilovic, towards the end of April, were still in Zenica in order to try
13 and put the agreement on a peaceful solution to the conflict into
15 A. No.
16 Q. Now, General, if we cast a glance back on the basis of this --
17 these documents, would it be proper to conclude that from the 19th of
18 April to the end of April General Petkovic was with his colleague General
19 Halilovic throughout that time and that in Zenica and Zagreb they
20 endeavoured to find a peaceful solution to the conflict between the two
22 A. I would conclude that orders were given to this, or at least
23 formulated to this extent it, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. I now have two more topics which I think I'll have
25 time to go through.
1 General, you told us that it was agreed that four teams be set up
2 to tour the crisis spots in Jablanica and Konjic, the Jablanica and Konjic
3 areas, and one of these teams set out towards Doljani, came across a group
4 of soldiers wearing black uniforms who had swastikas on them. Did I
5 understand you correctly?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Tell us, please, General, where do you get this information about
8 the swastikas from?
9 A. From Major Grant Finlayson, my New Zealand UNMO.
10 Q. That man was heard here as a witness, General, and he made no
11 mention of any swastikas, nor did we in any other document come across
12 this piece of information according to which certain soldiers wearing
13 black uniforms also supported swastikas, so can I ask you whether you --
14 whether you can with certainty that you received information about these
15 swastikas, or did you conclude that in view of the fact that these people
16 were wearing black uniforms? Did that lead you to conclude that they also
17 had swastikas?
18 A. No, that did not lead me to that. I must have had the
20 Q. Now, Mr. Finlayson and others, were they together with the
21 representatives of the Spanish Battalion? Is that right?
22 A. No, I don't think so.
23 Q. How did they happen to set out towards Doljani then?
24 A. We formed teams, and they were accompanied by officers, as far as
25 I know, from the BiH and the HVO. I'm not aware of any officers from the
1 Spanish Battalion. If that was the case, it was without my knowledge.
2 Q. I'm going to show you some documents, and since they are documents
3 which are protected, which are under seal, I'd like us to move into
4 private session. The first document --
5 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Your
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for
1 thinking about the public, it would appear, more than the present Defence
3 Q. But anyway, it would appear, Witness, that you positioned armoured
4 transporters in the night between the 21st of April. The Muslims managed
5 to keep themselves there up at the line on the west bank. Do you agree
6 with that, General? Do you remember it and would you confirm it today as
8 A. We positioned along the line agreed by the parties, and I of
9 course then anticipated that this was the division line between the
11 Q. And now to wind up, General, let us look at document 4D 00557, in
12 which Arif Pasalic, on the 20th of April, 1993, informs his superiors and
13 in so doing mentions what we discussed a moment ago, that the line, he
14 says that in point 1 --
15 A. Excuse me, is this 557?
16 Q. [In English] 557, yes.
17 A. Yep.
18 Q. [Interpretation] He is reporting that on the 20th of April, a
19 meeting of the representatives of the BH army and HVO was held, and that
20 in the first point it was agreed to set up a separation line along the
21 axis of Semovac, Bulevar, and Mose Pijade Street. Tell me, to the best of
22 your recollections regardless of the passage of time, is that indeed the
23 separation line that was established at the time and which was held until
24 the end of the conflict in Mostar?
25 A. I believe so, yes.
1 Q. Thank you very much, General.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank Your Honours for
3 giving me extra time. I just have one more question.
4 Q. It is this, General: General, have you heard about an offensive
5 entitled Neretva 93; and, if so, what were the objectives that were
6 supposed to be obtained with that BH army offensive?
7 A. No. I can only say that Neretva is a very strategic valley
8 opening up for the Adriatic, and of course that was of big value both for
9 the Croats and could be for the BiH if they wanted to have access to the
10 Adriatic. So Mostar is a strategic defence point for such an action.
11 Q. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that you don't know
12 about this offensive, an offensive under that name.
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, and I'd
16 especially like to thank you for extending my time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think that you would like to
18 take the floor, Mr. Murphy. You have until a quarter past 1.00.
19 MR. MURPHY: Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Murphy:
21 Q. Good afternoon, General.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. You're a very experienced military officer, aren't you?
24 A. I'm an old officer anyway, yes.
25 Q. You were commissioned into the Swedish army, I think you told us,
1 in 1961.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did Grant Finlayson serve under you as a United Nations military
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you form any opinion about Mr. Finlayson's professional
7 capabilities in that position?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What was that opinion?
10 A. I think he is extremely stable, psychologically, mentally, and I
11 trusted him 100 per cent. He was one of my best in that region.
12 Q. Is it important at all in your opinion for a United Nations
13 military officer to be impartial as between the warring parties?
14 A. As a principle, yes, but it is also important to stand up against
15 war crimes and so on.
16 Q. But you would agree that it's important for a military observer to
17 demonstrate an impartiality as to the issues in the conflict?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And not to give the impression of taking sides?
20 A. No, not -- not while you are serving. You definitely should not
21 try to.
22 MR. MURPHY: May we go into private session just for a moment,
23 Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's move into private
1 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
24 MR. MURPHY:
25 Q. I just have one or two questions, General, further questions about
1 your operation in evacuating the members of the armija from the Mostar
3 You gave evidence that for the purpose of transporting some of the
4 soldiers you made use of an ambulance or at any rate an APC marked with
5 Red Cross insignia.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. On the face of it, that would not be a proper thing to do, would
9 A. You cannot use the Red Cross transporting in a wartime, but my
10 legal viewpoint in a split-second decision was that we were not in war and
11 I was making this with the consent of both parties. So that was my legal
12 defence for it. Perhaps shaky, but that was what I took at that time.
13 Q. Well, it was that answer about not being at war that I wanted to
14 come back to.
15 You also testified that you arranged for General Pasalic to wear a
16 blue United Nations helmet during that operation.
17 A. Yep.
18 Q. Is that right?
19 A. Yep.
20 Q. That's also something that on the face of it is not a proper thing
21 to do. Would you agree?
22 A. Yes, I would agree. It's not the proper thing to do.
23 Q. The explanation you gave for that was that you wanted to keep him
25 A. Yes, and above all I wanted to keep his head above the protection
1 so he could guide us.
2 Q. Do you see any contradiction there between that answer and the
3 answer that it was okay to use the ambulance because you were not at war?
4 A. Well, it depends -- it hangs on the definition of "war." If
5 snipers are shooting, if that is war, then perhaps. But on the other
6 hand, we were not a party of the war, if it existed.
7 Q. All right. I need to move on very quickly.
8 In 2003, General, did you give an interview to a Swedish newspaper
9 called Aftonbladet?
10 A. Perhaps.
11 Q. Perhaps?
12 A. Perhaps.
13 Q. Let me remind you. Did you at any time make a comment to a
14 newspaper in Sweden to the effect that the United States, and I'm going to
15 use the words attributed to you, "had fabricated evidence against Slobodan
17 A. No.
18 Q. You did not?
19 A. I said that Madeleine Albright showed photographs in the Security
20 Council concerning my border mission, which we knew at the time could not
21 have been taken at this time and the spot they were produced to be.
22 Q. All right. For reasons of time, I'm going to just quote from a
23 document that is available on the internet, and I can put details on the
24 record later. The interpreters do have it, so I'm going to, on the first
25 page of this document, the fifth paragraph down, I'm going to quote what
1 is said in this report from Aftonbladet.
2 "In an interview with Sweden's leading newswire, TT, retired
3 Brigadier Bo Pellnas claims that the United States faked evidence to suit
4 their own interests."
5 Did you use those words, sir?
6 A. I have -- the base for this is an article I wrote for Dagens
7 Nyheter, and if we are to quote me, one has to take the article in Dagens
8 Nyheter and not quoting one of our worst papers in Sweden. But I stand by
9 the fact that Madeleine Albright presented in the Security Council
10 photographs which we fully believed were not taken on the spot or on the
11 date which they were presented with. And I went immediately to the
12 American ambassador in Belgrade and to the British ambassador and asked to
13 have the photographs so we could act on it, and we were never given any
14 further comments on this.
15 Q. Well, the only the -- the only purpose of my asking this question
16 is this: I'm sure you're aware that until his death last year
17 Mr. Milosevic was an accused in front of this Tribunal.
18 A. Yes. Mr. Milosevic was not involved in this process at all. It
19 was completely between Madeleine Albright or the United States and my
20 border mission, which was a border mission set up by the International
21 Conference in the Former Yugoslavia. It has absolutely nothing to do with
23 Q. All right. One final matter then. In your experience as a
24 military officer since 1961, have there been occasions other than the
25 former Yugoslavia where you were in a situation where people were shooting
1 at each other?
2 A. Yes, in Afghanistan.
3 Q. At any time during your service since 1961 when in those kinds of
4 situations, have you ever heard people -- have you ever had a person
5 threaten to kill somebody else other than on the 18th of April, 1993?
6 A. Not really.
7 Q. Never?
8 A. Not -- not by words, no.
9 Q. Not in all that time?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Whatever Mr. Stojic said, by the way --
12 A. But they have killed each other.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Whatever Mr. Stojic said, by the way, you heard through an
16 interpreter, didn't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. MURPHY: Thank you Your Honour, very much. I have no further
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, Mr. Murphy mentioned to
22 you the issue of the photographs. We know nothing about this whatsoever.
23 What were these photographs --
24 A. It has --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- all about?
1 A. Yes. It has to do with a completely different thing. It has to
2 do with my border mission when we were to check whether the Yugoslav
3 government had closed the border to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there was a
4 lot of criticism about this, because if they -- we confirmed that they had
5 done, then sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro would be lifted. So
6 there was quite a lot of interest to make sure that they were not
7 fulfilling their obligations. And the photographs were at the check-point
8 where we had observers 24 hours a day, and probably -- most probably also
9 American observers. And so we concluded that the photographs were taken
10 on another occasion. I used this when I wrote about the opening of the
11 war in Iraq as an example that also democratic States sometimes use
12 evidence in the Security Council which are not fully correct.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: And this had to do with the US looking for a
14 pretext to actually engage NATO?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
17 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour, what is the relevance of all
18 this? My time -- I hate to think that this is just simply to provoke
19 further questions - and including questions from the Chamber - using this
20 time photos on an irrelevant issue about photos about -- at the border on
21 some other period of time which have nothing to do with even the
22 credibility of this witness. That cannot even be the basis. So I object
23 to this entirely.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Earlier I just made a request for an extension of
25 time to respond to 47 documents, UN documents, which the Prosecution wants
1 to bring in as if they are true, accurate, and correct. Now we have a
2 witness for the very first time who on several occasions has indicated
3 that misinformation or wrong information often is presented before the
4 Security Council. I think it is vital, and I wish to thank the gentleman
5 for coming here and providing that very vital information to us. Thank
6 you very much, sir.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question, General. In
8 your own chain of command, who were you accountable to? I thought I
9 understood that you were under the authority of Mr. Wahlgren, who was in
10 Zagreb. Is that correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Now, as for the mission
13 of the UN observers on the ground, we saw a document that was produced
14 when Mr. Grant Finlayson, your colleague, came to testify. It was Exhibit
15 P 487. We might show this document on screen, on the screen. It's
16 document P 487. You don't have it in your documents. It was used with
17 another witness, and in that document there was the definition of the
18 mandate of the observers. They were to patrol to ensure a liaison between
19 the parties, conduct negotiations, and support humanitarian missions. But
20 there's something that I found extremely telling in this document.
21 At paragraph 6 it was stated that the observer teams were placed
22 under the operational control of each battalion. I believe that -- or
23 when listening to you, I heard you make a few comments about the SpaBat.
24 Were the observers independent from the battalions, or were they under the
25 control of the battalions? Because that's what seems to be meant in this
1 particular document that was produced on the 16th of September, 1992, by
2 General Wilson.
3 A. They were under the control of the battalions who could issue
4 orders and task them. The only thing they would do was the reporting, but
5 I was also responsible for manning of the -- of the observers and the
6 personnel matters. And I certainly had a great influence on how they were
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that the battalions
9 were in a position to give you orders. What type of orders are you
10 talking about?
11 A. They could direct the UNMOs where to patrol, for example, and
12 where to take up positions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. There are
14 many other questions I could put to you, but I don't want to take any of
15 Mr. Scott's time. Mr. Scott you have the floor.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Scott:
18 Q. General, we're going to have to move fairly quickly here and
19 hopefully I'll just be able to put a few questions to you.
20 In connection with your knowledge of the -- what was happening in
21 Mostar during -- around this time, and when I say "around this time," at
22 the moment I'm talking about the spring and the summer and indeed into the
23 fall of 1993. Mr. Karnavas asked you a question and the word he used was
24 that essentially everything you knew about Mostar at that time was based
25 upon your "excursion" in April 1993.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Mischaracterisation of what I said. He can quote
2 from the record.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. All right at page 33, line --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, in order to avoid any
6 problem, you know that as soon as you start re-examining witnesses the
7 Defence counsels get on their feet.
8 MR. SCOTT: Yes, I know.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So please quote the exact words
10 of the Defence counsel.
11 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I'm not sure I can do that in every
12 instance but I will try. I don't think that's absolutely -- I don't think
13 that's necessary, but I'll do my best.
14 Q. On page 33 of yesterday's transcript, starting at line 22,
15 Mr. Karnavas's asked this question to Mr. -- to General Pellnas: "So what
16 I'm saying when you refer to your excursion the universe, if we want to
17 put it that way, of your experience, hands on experience, in dealing with
18 Croat-Muslim problems was that period when you went in April 1993;
19 correct? That was the question.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Could we get the answer to that?
21 MR. SCOTT: And the answer was "Yes, correct."
22 Q. And my coming back to you, sir, I don't think -- perhaps you sell
23 yourself a bit short. Sir, you've shown us on a number of instances, is
24 it correct that both before and after your time in Mostar on that occasion
25 that you were receiving virtually daily reports from both UNMOs and
2 A. Yeah, but we also learned today, somebody refreshed my memory that
3 I was obviously down there having a meeting with General Petkovic and
4 Bruno Stojic before this event on the -- in April. But because we had
5 daily reports, but I must admit they were not focused necessarily on
6 Mostar in my mind, but we had reports and we knew about the situation.
7 Not only did we read situation reports, there were daily briefings within
8 the headquarters.
9 Q. And as -- just one example of that and to pick up on a question
10 put to you today by Mr. Praljak at page 46, line 1: "Did a single
11 assistant of yours stay in Mostar for the full 24 hours and with military
12 precision count how many shells landed on the east bank and how many on
13 the west bank and where the shells originated from?"
14 MR. SCOTT: And if I could ask, with the assistance of e-court, if
15 I could have Exhibit P 07255 put on the screen, please.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I should like to tell my learned
17 friend that in addition to quoting question, he should also quote the
18 answer given by the witness.
19 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. This is not -- this is not required.
20 This is absolutely not required, and it's just to harass me to use the
21 limited time that I have to put questions to the witness.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I believe it is important.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, and this is also
24 for all the Defence counsel, you're not a popular jury here. We are all
25 professionals in this courtroom. We understand the case. We understand
1 this case. We've been working on this case for more than a year. We have
2 the documents in front of us, and we've been listening to the witness here
3 for three days. So when a question is put to the witness, we can correct
4 it if there are some things that are not quite clear. So do not start
5 harassing your colleagues. This might be something that could impress a
6 popular jury, but this will not work with us professional Judges.
7 Of course if the Prosecutor makes a mistake, you can intervene,
8 but let him do his work.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Sir, if you have that document in front of you, and this is in
11 fact an UNMO report that the Chamber has previously seen, dated the 19th
12 of December, 1993, just as an example, would you look at -- would you go
13 to F, would you go to section F on page 2 with the usher's assistance,
14 please. In F and number 3 under F -- excuse me, no, I'm sorry. Number 2:
15 "Warring party conflict activity: BiH authorities reported infantry
16 attack by HVO across the confrontation line in the early hours of the
18 Now, in order to save time going to the end of that: "Between
19 1400 and 1440 hours HVO fired 25 tank rounds into East Mostar."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yep.
22 Q. Is that an example of the type of a specific example of a report
23 that you would receive about shelling in east Mostar?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really believe that
1 this has nothing to do with cross-examination. We were talking about the
2 month of April and the summer of 1993. This is the document dated the
3 19th of December, 1993. We were referring here to at least 15 different
4 wars with different hallmarks. I believe that this report cannot serve as
5 the basis for gauging the number of shells because it dates back to the
6 month of December 1993. We were speaking about the period far earlier
7 than that.
8 MR. SCOTT: Again, the mischaracterisations and the harassment
9 continues. I quoted exactly what General Praljak put to the witness and
10 he challenged this witness: Give me one report, give me one report, where
11 this was reported. And in the 15 minutes of time I had available during
12 the break, I found at least one report where he says 25 tank shells fired
13 by the HVO into East Mostar on that day. That is one example in response
14 to the questions that were put to the witness. I'm giving the witness a
15 chance to respond to --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, please.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] But at a critical point in time.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The Chamber will know what to make of this
19 document and now let the Prosecution do the re-examination. This really
20 gives the impression of a manoeuvre to sabotage. I'm sorry.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course the Trial
22 Chamber knows its position, but I do not know what your position will be
23 and that's why I have to draw your attention to the fact that this goes
24 beyond the scope of cross-examination, because Praljak was referring to a
25 different time period.
1 MR. SCOTT: No time period was indicated in his questioning.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Sir, you were also referred by Defence counsel to Defence Exhibit
5 1D 01543.
6 MR. SCOTT: If we can please have that in e-court quickly,
7 please. 1D 01543.
8 Q. Sir, if we could go to -- if we could go to the -- excuse me, to
9 this next page, please. Well, in the interests of time, let me just say:
10 This was a document that you were shown by the Defence in connection with
11 this agreement between Izetbegovic and Tudjman from mid-1992 -- or excuse
12 me, in November 1992, as we see on the screen now.
13 Sir, you also -- and I just put that into context -- I point that
14 out for the context of my next question. Despite this letter having been
15 sent by the Croatian representative to the UN on this day, we also looked
16 during your direct examination at Exhibit 75 -- P 00752.
17 MR. SCOTT: If we could have that, please. If he has the binder,
18 the binder may be faster. Yes, thank you very much.
19 Q. Sir, if you could quickly find Exhibit 752. I think you have it.
20 A. Yep.
21 Q. Sir, this document was issued by the Security Council -- Security
22 Council Resolution 787, just a very few days after the document we were
23 just looking at. As we looked at before, the -- if we go to paragraph
24 number 5 on page 3 of the Resolution, of the document, please.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Page 5.
2 A. Yep.
3 Q. Toward the end of that, and I'm going to ask you a couple of
4 questions based on this particular language, starting on the third line
5 from the bottom of page 5:
6 "Including the requirement that all forces, in particular elements
7 of the Croatian army, be withdrawn or be subject to the authority of the
8 government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina or be disbanded or
10 Now, my question to you: During this time period, during your
11 period of involvement with the former Yugoslavia, can you tell the Judges
12 any time you're aware of when any element of the Croatian army was put
13 under the command of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you know of any time where any Croatian army that was operating
16 in Bosnia-Herzegovina was disbanded or disarmed?
17 A. No.
18 Q. By the way, the previous exhibit that we were looking at, that was
19 shown to you by Defence counsel, at the last paragraph refers to -- that
20 was Exhibit 1D 01543. On the last page of that letter sent by the
21 Croatian representative to the UN that we looked at previously, on the
22 last page of that document it lists Slobodan Praljak as General Major in
23 the Croatian army and Deputy Defence Minister of the Republic of Croatia.
24 Let me just ask you, and also based upon the questions that
25 Mr. Praljak put, did you ever have any dealings with Mr. Praljak during
1 the time that you were involved in these matters?
2 A. Not that I remember.
3 Q. You were asked questions by Defence counsel about Mr. Ganic and
4 others, perhaps Muslim politicians, what term we would like to use,
5 representatives of the BiH government, seeking support, financial and
6 otherwise, in the United States and other international locations. Did
7 you ever have occasion to look at whether Croatian politicians and figures
8 were also doing the same thing?
9 A. I believe so.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object. I don't believe we
11 were asking -- we ever indicated financial support. Obviously, Mr. Ganic
12 was, and in fact the Office of the Prosecutor investigated him on that,
13 but that wasn't the gist of our question. We pointed out that Mr. Ganic
14 was seeking political support primarily from the United States in order to
15 engage or to get the United States army involved -- armed forces involved
16 in the conflict. That was the gist. It had nothing to do with financial
17 support, although we do agree that Mr. Ganic was going around the Arab
18 countries and all sorts of other places, establishing -- getting funds in
19 order to break the embargo, purchasing weapons, and so on and so forth.
20 But that wasn't the gist of our question.
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, I would like to join the Presiding
22 Judge, Judge Antonetti, and my fellow Judge, Judge Trechsel, to ask you
23 and all the Defence counsel really to let the Prosecution finish its
24 redirect. Thank you.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: But the questions posed, Your Honour, have to be
1 correct. He cannot misquote me. I never indicated that it was for
2 financial support. It was for political support, and there's a big
3 difference in trying to engage the United States. That was my objection.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, this support,
5 according to the Defence, there was never any talk about any financial
7 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. Karnavas just told us that that is in fact
8 their position, but let me rephrase it because I want to save as much time
9 as possible.
10 Q. General, I put my question to you in the form of -- in particular
11 focused on financial support because --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object, because now it goes beyond the
13 scope of cross-examination.
14 MR. SCOTT: No. Mr. Karnavas just said the scope of
15 cross-examination was political support, so now in response to the
16 objection I'm going to put my question based on political support, which
17 is what Mr. Karnavas just said was his cross.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Fine.
19 MR. SCOTT: I said that I asked before -- I said I'm rephrasing my
20 question now.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Go ahead. Rephrase.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please rephrase.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Let me rephrase my question to you, and that is: Based upon your
25 knowledge and involvement with these issues at the time, is it fair to say
1 that all the parties to the conflict were seeking political support for
2 their positions in the international community?
3 A. Absolutely.
4 Q. I don't think that should be a controversial point, but one never
6 You were asked by counsel for, I believe, Mr. Stojic whether
7 Mr. Halilovic made a statement for the media following the meetings on the
8 19th. I believe it was the second day, the 19th of April, 1993. And
9 again just so the record is balanced, did Mr. -- to your knowledge or
10 information, did Mr. Petkovic and representatives of the Bosnian Croat
11 side also make statements to the media around that time?
12 A. I think I answered. I said everybody made statements to the
14 Q. Sir, you were shown a great deal of -- number of orders by a
15 number of Defence counsel, military documents and orders by the ABiH side
16 about possible preparations for military operations. You were sent down
17 to Mostar specifically for the purpose because the international
18 community's assessment at the time was this was about to blow open into
19 open war; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would it surprise you - would it surprise you - to find documents
22 on both sides, on the HVO and on the ABiH, talking about preparations for
23 military action in that environment?
24 A. No.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm putting myself at
1 risk to being criticised by you, but I really believe that this question
2 is not proper. The Prosecutor should say -- should show the witness a
3 document instead of saying, "Would it surprise you," because the
4 Prosecutor is speculating on the HVO in that period of time. The witness
5 might answer, "I wouldn't be surprised," but we haven't seen the documents
6 that are relevant for the question. He should show these reports.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Ms. Nozica's comment is on
8 line with what I said myself a long time ago. I believe that I said a
9 long time ago that when you have an order to attack, you will find
10 documents -- if the ABiH is conducting an attack, you will find documents,
11 and if it is the HVO, you will also find documents. It seems to me that
12 it's something I said following a discussion on the 9th of May. We had
13 said that if there had been an attack by the HVO, then there must be
14 documents, because attacks do not happen out of the blue.
15 Mr. Scott.
16 MR. SCOTT: My question, Your Honour, was, would it surprise the
17 witness in this situation that there would be military orders on both
18 sides making military preparations, and I think that there's no objection
19 to that question. His answer was, "There's no surprise."
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should really ask for
21 your ruling on my objection. I believe the question an improper one,
22 calling for speculation. The Prosecutor may first show the witness
23 relevant documents and then put the question on that basis. Thank you.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think it's a hypothetical, a hypothetical
25 question. If there should be, would it surprise you. I do not think it
1 is necessary to show such a document, in fact.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in addition to that -- thank you, Judge
3 Trechsel. In addition to that, I will appeal to the Chamber's knowledge
4 of all the documents and exhibits that they have seen to date on these
5 matters, and I certainly don't have time in the next four minutes to put
6 them all in front of the witness.
7 Now, can I ask the witness please to be shown in e-court Exhibit P
9 Q. Sir, as one example, and there's other like it and I'll just say
10 for the record, there's a similar article that is -- I'm not calling it up
11 but at P 01808. Do you recall it being reported and do you recall having
12 information around the time, and I'm directing your attention - if the
13 usher could please scroll down a bit so we can see more of the middle of
14 the page: "The HVO set an April 15th deadline for Bosnian" -- "The HVO
15 set an April 15 deadline for Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic to sign a
16 joint communique ratifying the withdrawals."
17 Now, do you recall there being a deadline set by the HVO around
18 the 15th of April, 1993?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Let me ask you another hypothetical. If Sweden was threatened
21 with attack and someone gave Sweden and said, You have until the 15th of
22 April to take some course of action, would the government of Sweden
23 prepare, take military steps to prepare, in connection with that?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I think -- I think now we're going way beyond what
25 a hypothetical should be in this particular courtroom.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't believe so at all.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: We should stick to the facts of the case. And to
3 the previous question, whether he was aware of it or not is irrelevant.
4 MR. SCOTT: Well, I agree with that point. It is irrelevant
5 because that's the evidence in the case, was he aware of it or not. But
6 the point of the matter is, Your Honour --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Scott's
8 question was a question of a military nature. Should an army of any kind
9 try to prevent an action that is going to take place?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, let's put it into context. We're in Mostar.
11 The ABiH is asked to remove their headquarters. There's already
12 intelligence information that the ABiH are about to launch an offensive.
13 Obviously, the gentleman wasn't aware of any of these facts. So if you're
14 going to pose a hypothetical, we need to pose it with all the facts and
15 cannot just assume facts or choose and cherry-pick the facts that we find
16 helpful. So if he wants to pose a hypothetical based on all the relevant
17 facts, then I have no problem. I tried to do that yesterday and I was
18 attacked vigorously by the Prosecution.
19 MR. SCOTT: The hypothetical is a very simple one and simply made
20 to make the point and is a very basic one that this general can certainly
21 explain and respond to, and that is simply -- and I used exactly the date
22 from this article.
23 Q. If Sweden was threatened with some action by the 15th of April,
24 1993, would the government and the military forces of Sweden take actions
25 or prepare to deal with such a threat?
1 A. I surely hope that we had taken actions long before the threat was
3 Q. In a similar fashion, sir, you were asked the question, and this
4 is from -- by Counsel Nozica on page 19 of the transcript today, line 3,
5 whether the 4th Corps of the ABiH would not have been or could not have
6 issued orders without Ganic or Halilovic knowing about and being involved
7 in such orders or plans.
8 Sir, as a military man, again, would the same logic apply to
9 military orders issued by the HVO at a large-scale level, at an
10 operational level, that they would not have or could not have been issued
11 without the knowledge and participation of people such as Stojic, Prlic,
12 and Petkovic?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I'm going to object at this point. There's
14 absolutely -- let me finish first. There's absolutely no evidence, none;
15 in fact, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Dr. Prlic had nothing
16 to do with military matters. Now, posing that question assumes a fact
17 that's not in evidence. It's basic, it's elementary, and it's improper
18 for the Prosecution to pose a question in that fashion and he knows it. I
19 wasn't here during the morning session and nobody stood up to object to a
20 very objectionable question -- to respond to the objection by the
21 Prosecution. Now I'm here; I am objecting.
22 MR. SCOTT: That's exactly the question --
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I also have to object.
24 The Prosecution has already done that once and Mr. Stojic's name was
25 recorded in the transcript. I must say that Mr. Ganic's and
1 Mr. Halilovic's function in no way are comparable to the function and post
2 of Mr. Stojic held at that point in time. The Supreme Command of the HVO
3 was Mr. Boban and not Mr. Stojic. Therefore, bringing the two into
4 connection, Mr. Stojic, with a knowledge of the orders, is absolutely out
5 of order. The Prosecution can ask questions, questions can be answered,
6 but I want to point this out: It is an intentional mistake.
7 MR. SCOTT: It was a question of inference from the documents and
8 it was simply a logical question, and there is no more different basis for
9 the questions that counsel put to him on that point than the foundation
10 that I'm talking about. Simply as matter of military logic. And if the
11 Defence can ask that question on exactly the same basis, then the
12 Prosecution can ask the same question as a matter of military logic and
14 MR. KARNAVAS: The problem is, Your Honour, Izetbegovic is the
15 Commander-in-Chief of the ABiH.
16 MR. SCOTT: And Mr. Stojic was the Minister of Defence and
17 Mr. Prlic was the President of the government, and Mr. Petkovic was the
18 head of the HVO.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. Prlic, as the President of the government, has
20 nothing to do with the military and the gentleman knows that. Who's --
21 MR. SCOTT: Well, that's --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. Who is the Supreme Commander? It's
23 Mate Boban. Now, I don't see that name being mentioned. Why? Because
24 Mr. Mate Boban isn't here.
25 MR. SCOTT: I will be happy to include him. And Mr. Boban.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: The point is, unless he can lay a foundation, he
2 cannot just ask a question and assume a fact that's not in evidence. And
3 that's basic. Whether it's continental or whether it's common law, it's
4 basic. And that's why I object to the form of the question. It's an
5 insinuation. He has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that
6 Dr. Prlic had control over the military, and asking hypothetical questions
7 is not a form of proving that. So he can ask it until he's blue. He's
8 got to prove it. And so far, thus far, one year into the case, not one
9 single shred of evidence.
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, that's Mr. Karnavas's position which we don't
11 share. But in any event, Your Honour, I think the point is made and I
12 think the Trial Chamber can draw the conclusions that the same logic would
13 apply to both sides.
14 Let me go on because we're already over time, but if I can finish
15 my last question or two.
16 Q. The time that you -- when Mr. -- which has much been discussed,
17 the intervention of Mr. Stojic on the meeting of the 18th of April, 1993.
18 In connection with that, and not only that but other parts of the
19 cross-examination, the Defence counsel have put a great deal of emphasis
20 on the last few days on what was happening in Central Bosnia. Let me ask
21 you this, sir:
22 When Mr. Stojic intervened on the 18th of April, 1993, or when you
23 met with him again the following day, on the 19th of April, at the
24 Ministry of Defence, on either occasion when he was talking about Central
25 Bosnia and all the terrible things that were happening, did he ever
1 mention to you the HVO atrocities committed in Ahmici on the 16th of
3 A. No.
4 Q. There is in your report of these -- of your mission, it says that
5 on the 19th of April, when you met with Mr. Stojic, he complained to you
6 about the British Battalion. Now, the British Battalion was based in
7 Central Bosnia, so the complaint presumably was about something that had
8 happened in Central Bosnia involving the British Battalion. Do you recall
9 what that was about?
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a question about the
11 British Battalion was not a question raised in cross-examination and
12 therefore I consider that the questions being asked now are outside the
14 MR. SCOTT: Let me make the connection, Your Honour. Let me --
15 allow me to make the connection.
16 Q. Sir, in your report, and I'm looking specifically at the report,
17 it says: "He complained about the behaviour of the British Battalion and
18 I told him to give me all such complaints in writing."
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] But, Your Honour, that's not what I
20 asked. I did not ask that. You can put questions like that in an
21 examination-in-chief and I don't know where Mr. Scott is going and I don't
22 know if it's essential or not, but we must respect the rules. His
23 questions can only relate to issues raised during the cross-examination.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
25 MR. SCOTT: There's no translation.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What did you want to
2 establish -- what did you want establish talking about Ahmici and the
3 British Battalion, and Ms. Nozica did not address this issue during her
4 cross-examination. She did not discuss the interview between Mr. Stojic
5 and the witness on this particular point, and Ahmici and the British
6 Battalion were not mentioned. What is it you wish to establish?
7 MR. SCOTT: It's quite clear, quite relevant, Your Honour,
8 because the Defence have spent a great deal of time, a number of them, the
9 last two days talking about Central Bosnia and everything that was
10 happening there and how that was, you know, everything that was happening
11 and at then at this particular meeting on the 19th Stojic complains about
12 the British Battalion, something that the British Battalion did in Central
13 Bosnia. So obviously he had something, he had knowledge of Central
14 Bosnia, he was complaining about Central Bosnia, he was complaining about
15 the British Battalion in Central Bosnia, and my question to the witness is
16 in spite of all, that in spite of all that, did he ever mention to you
17 that on the 16th of April the HVO had committed atrocities in Ahmici. So
18 he knew about something the British Battalion had done, but he didn't
19 complain, he didn't complain or acknowledge the fact that these horrendous
20 HVO crimes had been committed.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Prosecutor is now
22 parading in the courtroom and that cannot be allowed. Quite simply,
23 despite my objections and your cautions he is insistent in putting forward
24 his thesis about what he would like to have the meeting described as.
25 However, in the report that the Prosecution is quoting from, there is no
1 mention of Ahmici at all, and this is being construed now. He wishes to
2 leave the impression that certain things happened against the HVO in
3 Bosnia that's the witness acknowledged that he didn't have this
4 information, but once he was shown the documents he accepts that that's
5 how it was.
6 Now, would you please tell the Prosecutor to continue his
7 questioning based on the questions raised in the cross-examination. If he
8 abides by that I won't rise to my feet to object any more.
9 MR SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... the relevance is
10 this Your Honour, the relevance is this: And what happened in Ahmici is a
11 matter of Tribunal adjudicated fact and judgements that have been
12 sustained on appeal. There is no question about that. There is no
13 question about that. The relevance of the question is they've tried to
14 justify Mr. Stojic's outburst and everything he said on the 18th and 19th
15 and in his meetings, and I think the Chamber should be aware of the time
16 that he was protesting these things and raising, not once did he see fit
17 to deal with the issue of Ahmici. Not once. And I must follow a similar
18 question to that and it's quite relevant.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No. Your Honour, Your Honour, by
20 your leave.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] A lot has gone into the transcript,
23 the record, can I just add that the general should be asked whether
24 Mr. Stojic told the general about the 16 civilians killed in Trusina on
25 the 16th of April 1993. If he's mentioning Ahmici, then just ask him --
1 may he be asked about --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: At this moment in the proceeding the Prosecution
3 can put questions. It's not for the Defence to tell the Prosecution which
4 questions they should ask.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I gave an example but did not receive
7 a reply. Is it possible for the -- for the Prosecution to ask questions
8 outside the scope of the cross-examination? The Prosecution has now laid
9 the foundations, but did Mr. Stojic speak about the other crimes that took
10 place against the Croats? The crimes were not mentioned by Mr. Stojic at
11 all during that conversation. So in that context may what I had to say be
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
14 ... of the question was as follows: You meet Mr. Stojic on the 18th of
15 April. During that period, the question we have to put to you is this
16 one: Did Mr. Stojic discuss with you what might have happened in Central
17 Bosnia or did he not mention anything whatsoever? As you recollect, of
19 THE WITNESS: The only reference to Central Bosnia, as I refer,
20 was his complaint about the British Battalion behaving badly and one other
21 aspect. I don't remember which one for the moment.
22 MR. SCOTT: It's in the reports, Your Honour. It's in the ECMM
23 reports that all sides have put in which in Stojic came in, complained
24 about what was happening in Vitez, Novi Travnik, Busovaca. The Chamber
25 has seen all those orders. And it's simply to balance -- it's a fair
1 comment to clarify with this witness that at the same time that Mr. Stojic
2 was launching into a tirade against Mr. Ganic on these points, he did --
3 he failed to mention the HVO atrocities committed in Ahmici at the same
4 time on the 16th of April, two days before this meeting. And my last
5 question to the witness on this:
6 Q. And, sir, my final question to you on this point and similar
7 question: At any time during either the 18th or 19th when you were
8 meeting with Mr. Stojic and the other HVO leaders, did any of them mention
9 to you the HVO atrocities committed in Sovici on the 17th of April, the
10 day before?
11 A. No.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you. I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. General, you have
14 now finished your testimony. I'd like to thank you for having come to The
15 Hague to testify. I wish you a safe journey home.
16 Before adjourning for the day, I'd like to turn to Mr. Scott.
17 Mr. Scott, I believe you are going to be calling a witness who will be
18 heard for four days, from what I understood the 92 ter Rule would apply,
19 which would enable Defence teams to have three days for their
20 cross-examination. Is that right?
21 MR. SCOTT: Well, I don't think that should be the -- Your Honour,
22 just because -- I don't think the time for cross-examination expands to
23 fill the available space. I don't think that's the proper rule, in my
24 respectful submission.
25 We do have a witness scheduled for Monday. We do intend, as much
1 as possible, to present the witness via 92 ter in whole or in part. There
2 may be some viva voce testimony; there may be some from 92 ter and
3 exhibits that we will put to the witness. We're prepared to proceed next
4 week and I think fully prepared. But again, I have to object, Your
5 Honour, if -- the logic of that argument is that the more efficient -- the
6 more efficient and fairly the Prosecution operates, the more time the
7 Defence gets for cross-examination and I object to that rationale. If
8 it's four hours on one side, it can be four hours on the other side, and
9 just because we finish on Monday doesn't mean they get three days or the
10 rest of the week. I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, in light of the
12 document which you have prepared, you expected to hear this witness for
13 four days. I'm not saying anything more than that. This is a document
14 which I'd like to show you.
15 I'd like to thank all and everyone. We shall meet again next
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 11th day
19 of June, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.