1 Wednesday, 27 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecution versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 Today is Wednesday. I would like to greet everyone in this
12 courtroom. I see that Mr. Scott is back with us. I'd like to greet
13 Mr. Kruger as well, the witness, and the Defence counsel, as well as the
15 We are going to proceed with the cross-examination, and I believe
16 that Mr. Praljak will now take the floor, because he has the lectern in
17 front of him. Unless Mr. Kovacic starts. I'm not sure.
18 WITNESS: KLAUS JOHANN NISSEN [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
21 afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon, Witness. The Witness would like
22 to say something.
23 MR. MURPHY: I just saw the witness indicating he would like to
24 say something.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Colonel. Yes. I didn't
1 see you. You may speak.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would
3 like to pose the following question: The attorney yesterday evening at
4 the last part read out two rather dubious orders, and I was put in a
5 context of having to recognise these orders or say that I should have done
6 something about them and that I was not free to deny knowledge of them and
7 I should have done something. I would like to read again the last pages
8 of the minutes, if I may. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, Colonel, be rest
10 assured very often -- can't you hear?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only hear the interpretation
12 in French.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you hear the interpretation
14 in German now?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, now I can. Now I understand.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I was trying to put
18 your mind at rest, because very often the witness is not familiar with the
19 document shown to him, and that was the case with these two documents you
20 were not familiar with. However, the Judges, as well as the parties might
21 be interested in the tenor, in the contents of the document that the
22 witness might be familiar with directly or indirectly. That's the reason
23 why Mr. Karnavas put a number of questions to you with regard to the
24 contents of these documents. And here I speak from memory, these
25 documents were related to Zepce where the ABiH had started a military
1 operation, and preparations had been made, and that was stated in the
2 document. My memory's rather good, so I remember that in this document
3 the 7th Brigade was divided up into several units that were assigned
4 specific tasks, and after the attack it was stated that the captured
5 persons taken prisoner were supposed to be detained.
6 When shown these documents, you said that you were not familiar
7 with it, but rest assured it was not a way of putting you into question.
8 How could we do that since you were an observer there, and your only task
9 was to observe, to monitor, because you didn't have the necessary
10 resources to take action, to prevent any military action.
11 That's what I wanted to tell you, and I hope that it has set your
12 mind at rest.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to respond on
15 behalf of Mr. Karnavas, who is not here today, but I do know that he did
16 intend to clarify the question. He'll be in today later on, but I'd like
17 to tell the witness that it was not Mr. Karnavas's intention to put the
18 documents to him for him to take responsibility for the fact that the ECMM
19 didn't take any steps in that regard. The ECMM and other monitors did not
20 know of the existence of documents of this kind, that's quite true. And
21 I'm sure that Mr. Karnavas, when he comes into the last session today will
22 confirm that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you very much,
24 Ms. Tomanovic.
25 Mr. Kovacic.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
2 afternoon to everyone in the courtroom and to the Colonel as well. Your
3 Honours, for your own orientation the Praljak Defence has one hour and 30
4 minutes. We have been allotted 30 minutes by our colleagues
5 Mr. Ibrisimovic, and another 30 minutes from Ms. Tomasegovic, and our
6 original half hour which makes one hour -- one and a half hours in total.
7 Ah, but we have further developments. 10 more minutes that was left over
8 from my colleague Ms. Senka Nozica, which would make it an hour and 40
9 minutes in total, or thereabouts.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm being told that she's used
11 up all her time, but we'll check that. Let's not waste any time. Please
12 proceed, Mr. Kovacic.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] That is quite possible. We'll check
14 our arithmetic. But that would be basically the amount of time I would
15 need. I would start off with 15 minutes, and Mr. Praljak will carry on.
16 May we have on e-court P 9603 as our first document.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] And, Colonel --
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have two sets of
20 documents. One is thicker, one is thinner. I'm going to be asking
21 questions from the thicker documents to start off with and Mr. Praljak
22 will do the second.
23 Q. So anyway, Witness, the first document is this sketch that you can
24 see on your screen. That's it. And I'd just quickly, we don't have to
25 waste time, this is a diagram of the routes that the European observers
1 used in Bosnia. We obtained that from one of your colleagues. And if you
2 take a look at this, would you agree that that's what it is, of course in
3 a schematic form, the different teams and the different areas? I think
4 that the question can have a yes or no answer, but if anything is
5 incorrect, you can explain that to us.
6 A. I know it in the form of a sketch with the borders which have been
7 there. I don't know this, actually. I know it in a different form, but,
8 rather, taking over the southern area.
9 Q. Yes, of course. This was prepared by a colleague of yours. You
10 might have a different diagram. And I assume that you're more familiar
11 with the southern part, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, Jablanica, Konjic, Mostar,
12 Tomislavgrad, Livno. They're all places that you mention in your
13 statement and testimony. So do these roads and these points on the roads
14 more or less correspond to the area that you moved around in and not only
15 you personally but your teams, neighbouring teams, the ECMM teams that
16 they moved around; is that right? I see you nodding, but we need an oral
17 answer for the transcript.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. During the examination-in-chief and indeed in the statement you
20 provided to the investigators and Prosecutor in 6312, line 6312 of the
21 transcript, you said that you didn't move around anywhere else. Is that
23 A. I made some trips travelling to Zenica. I was also in Bugojno and
24 Kiseljak and in Gornji Vakuf, but beyond Gornji Vakuf I didn't carry out
25 any orders for the ECMM. These were usually journeys to Zenica, to the
2 Q. I don't think my question was precise enough. What I meant to say
3 was at night you didn't move around the roads; is that right?
4 A. Well, that's not really what I meant. I carried out orders up to
5 the line Prozor-Konjic towards the south, in that area, but I did travel
6 further in the north, the purpose being to visit RC Zenica using different
8 Q. Yes. Thank you, Witness. That's quite clear. But it seems that
9 I am not asking my questions clearly enough. All I wanted to know was,
10 and you said this, that you didn't move around at night. When the sun
11 went down until it went up the next day, you, the ECMM, didn't move around
12 during the night. Is that correct? I don't need any further
14 A. We didn't conduct any operations at night, but because of the
15 prolongation of some of our orders we were working in some time until
16 midnight. We didn't get back to our quarters on several occasions until
18 Q. Colonel, I'd now like to ask you a few questions based on your
19 statement that you gave to the Prosecutor. It's not actual evidence, so
20 could you just help me out there. In your statement, in the first
21 statement of the 18th and 19th of February, 1998, in the Croatian text it
22 is to be found on page 3, and in the English it is on page 3 as well but
23 higher up, and I'm going to read your exact sentence. You don't have to
24 refer to the statement, actually. The others will be able to control me.
25 But this is what you say: "[Previous translation continues] [In
1 English] ... Of my tour of duty, I got totally lost and confused about the
2 situation, and I did not had a real view on the problems that occurred in
3 the area."
4 Just a moment, Colonel. Could you just wait a moment to give the
5 interpretation a chance to translate and not overlap.
6 Now, this sentence is a quotation from your statement. It is on
7 the record, your response to the Prosecutor, but my question in that
8 regard is as follows: Is what you said there correct, and do you still
9 stand by it? And then I'll go on to my next question.
10 A. Yes, that is correct, and it referred to the first few days of my
11 mandate. Fourteen days, and then I slowly found my orientation.
12 Q. Correct, yes. Now, in that same statement, this time also on page
13 3. In the English it is towards the end of the page you say as follows:
14 "[In English] Both sides always accused the other side of attacks, but it
15 was usually unclear to us what had exactly happened."
16 [Interpretation] So that's also contained in your statement. Now,
17 I'll have an additional question, but please tell me whether that is
18 indeed what you said in your statement to the Prosecutor.
19 A. Yes, I did say this, and this is what happened every day.
20 Q. Now, further on in that same statement dated 1998, in English it
21 is the penultimate paragraph on page 3, you go on to say: "[In English]
22 On 16 to 18 April, clashes broke out in the whole area. It was difficult
23 to assess the situation because everybody was shooting everyone."
24 [Interpretation] Do you stand by that statement today?
25 A. Well, apart from the date, I would put it perhaps at the 14th or
1 15th, but apart from that the statement is correct.
2 Q. Very well.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Now, may we have document P 03554 on
4 e-court, please, Mr. Registrar.
5 Q. And, Colonel, you will find the document in my folder. It is the
6 following one, the next one in order, and it is P 03554. It's an ECMM
7 report dated the 19th of July, 1993, and the Prosecutor showed you the
8 same document with special reference to paragraph 8 where we have the
9 assessments, and I'd like to look at page 2 of the English.
10 Can you see paragraph 8 where it says "Assessment"?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In response to a question from the Prosecutor, you answered with
13 respect to the second portion of this section, but in fact there are two
14 paragraphs. The second paragraph says: "No assessment on military
15 activity [In English] is possible with only secondhand information."
16 [Interpretation] Do you agree with that assertion?
17 A. Well, at that time, and this mainly refers to Mostar, we had no
18 access to Mostar, yes.
19 Q. So may we deduce from that in general terms that in all situations
20 where the ECMM did not have any direct information no reliable assessments
21 could be made about the events? Would you agree with that?
22 A. We always tried to make -- report our own findings, but often we
23 took over reports from other organisations, but we marked them
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, to follow up on the
1 question that was put to you, in this document that I have here in front
2 of me you seem to acknowledge that the information related to the military
3 situation were secondhand information. How can we explain that as part of
4 your monitoring mission? How can we explain that you were not able to
5 have access to Mostar? Isn't it paradoxical? You -- your mission is to
6 monitor, but you can't observe. You can't monitor anything. And
7 considering those circumstances, did you report the matter to your general
8 headquarters, to Ambassador Thebault? Did you report this situation, and
9 what was told to you? Because when you have a monitor, an observer that
10 does not monitor or observe anything, that's not -- that's a bit of a
11 problem, isn't?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a major problem for us, and
13 in fact we sent reports every day that we did not have this access. This
14 was once the case in May and then again in June also, and it lasted until
15 July, and our superior offices including Zagreb knew about the situation
16 but they couldn't change it. There was a memorandum of understanding.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is this memorandum of
18 understanding that you're mentioning?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a memorandum which had been
20 agreed in 1991, I believe, with the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
21 Sarajevo, signed by President Izetbegovic.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Kovacic, please
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And to round off this topic, Colonel, from these documents and
1 also from the statements that you gave that we quoted excerpts from, it
2 would appear that you had restricted or limited possibilities to observe
3 and to gain information on the ground. Would you agree because of all the
4 factors that we've mentioned thus far? Would you agree with that?
5 A. Well, not in general. It was different in April, and it was
6 different in the regions of Jablanica-Konjic, and also there was a
7 difference between East and West Mostar. So in general terms, no.
8 Q. Thank you. So am I to understand that in the following way, that
9 in certain areas during a certain period of time, without going into
10 details, your possibilities were limited and restricted, whereas in other
11 areas you were able to come by information? Would that be the right way
12 of interpreting it?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And just one more document. It's the next one in my folder,
15 P 08425. And it's a document which you compiled in your new post in 1994
16 during Hans Koschnik's time when you were there to implement the agreement
17 that was reached in the meantime between the two warring parties, and I'd
18 just like you to focus on the first paragraph entitled "Purpose."
19 Now, Colonel, and I'll be showing you in due course a statement,
20 an assertion that was made which you can accept or refute or comment, but
21 anyway, from this portion I gained the impression - let's take it
22 step-by-step - that by this document for you own team which you are team
23 leader of in the summer of 1994, wanted to ensure by this that they gain
24 all the necessary knowledge and information about events on the ground for
25 them to be able to function properly. Was that your intention in
1 preparing this document?
2 A. Well, apart from the oral instructions this was the basic document
3 for the monitors in this region.
4 Q. Am I to understand, therefore, that you wanted to neutralise the
5 problems which you had at the beginning of your mission in 1993 when you
6 said that you came to the territory without the necessary knowledge
7 beforehand? You just had a briefing, a short briefing in Zagreb and in
8 the ministry. So did you think that this would be a tool to help you
9 improve the situation and your understanding of it?
10 A. Yes, I did think so, because my instructions were, to put it
11 briefly, rather brief, and I didn't want my successors to --
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. -- wait.
14 Q. I would have some more questions, but since my time is brief, I'll
15 leave them for another occasion.
16 I apologise to the interpreters. Yes.
17 I heard that the German interpreters hadn't finished interpreting,
18 so I wanted to make a pause. Anyway, I think they're finished now. I
19 don't want to take up any more valuable time. I'll leave that to
20 General Praljak, and I can ask my questions in due course.
21 Thank you, Your Honour.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,
23 Your Honours.
24 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel. Now, since we're not
1 quite clear on whether the Croatian army was on the territory of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina or not, this hasn't been cleared up, I'd like us to go
3 through some matters in that regard, and for that I'd like the usher to
4 help me out and to take these two maps to the overhead projector.
5 These are more precise maps than the ones shown you by
6 Mr. Kovacic. We prepared them overnight. As I say, I think the maps are
7 clearer, so would you take a look at them both on the overhead projector.
8 Yes. Can we zoom out there to show the main roads leading into
9 Mostar and where the individual organisations were located.
10 Let's look at Siroki Brijeg. That's where you were; is that
12 A. I can't see anything for the time being.
13 Q. Mostar to the right, marked with a red circle, Colonel.
14 Siroki Brijeg. There you go. It's one of the roads leading to Mostar.
15 A. I can only see it -- I can't see it very clearly, but as I know
16 the area, yes, it's Mostar and Siroki Brijeg, yes.
17 Q. Fine. Could you look further down, please. Do you see the map
18 further south and then up, the southern section?
19 A. Could you pull the map up, please. Could the usher please assist
20 me and pull the map up so we can see the bottom of the map.
21 You see, do you agree with me we see Medjugorje there. This is a
22 road to Mostar. SpaBat UNPROFOR were there, the European Monitors were
23 there, the UN monitors. Is that right when I say that all these agencies
24 were present in Medjugorje?
25 A. Yes, that is accurate, but I want to say about the technology. If
1 you ask very precise questions I would just like to point out that I can't
2 see the places very clearly. At the moment it's not a problem because I
3 know the area very well, but if you ask precise questions there might be
4 technical problems.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, you can have a look at
6 the map that is next to you, because in your earphones you will hear the
7 translation of General Praljak's question. So you can have a look to your
8 right and you'll see the map much better.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Sir, Colonel, let me ask you this: What about the border between
11 Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, north of Metkovic,
12 just north of Metkovici and Dracevo? There is the main road to Mostar.
13 Was there a company of SpaBat stationed there at Dracevo, which is just
14 north of Metkovic along the main road to Mostar? Do you remember them
15 being there?
16 A. I was only in this camp once. It was a logistic base of SpaBat.
17 I can't give any more indications than that. I can't be more precise than
19 Q. That's quite sufficient, Colonel. Thank you.
20 Could we please now place the smaller map on the ELMO, which might
21 be easier for Colonel to use, and if I could please have an AC number for
22 this map -- an IC number. Now, there's a smaller map, clearer for you I
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we need an IC
25 number for the map the larger one.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. That will be IC 612.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].
3 Q. Have a look at the map, Colonel, please. Colonel, here you see
4 the main road to Mostar, the Metkovic-Capljina-Mostar road. You also see
5 the Ljubuski-Medjugorje-Mostar road. Further, you see the
6 Siroki Brijeg-Mostar road. Siroki Brijeg-Mostar. It's the red dot.
7 That's where you were. All of it. And then there's the Tomislavgrad-Vran
8 mountain - further up towards Prozor - Road -- yes, right there.
9 Tomislavgrad, and then across Mount Vran, up to Rama, Gornji Vakuf. If
10 you take the road across Mount Vran, the Salvation Route as it was
11 referred to at the time.
12 If you look at that map, there are certain things marked on it.
13 Do you remember that the English battalion, the UNPROFOR battalion were
14 based at Gornji Vakuf, and at Tomislavgrad, just next to the road in
15 Tomislavgrad, along the road itself. Is this something that you're aware
16 of, sir?
17 A. I know that, and Gornji Vakuf, I also spent the night there.
18 Q. Sir, Colonel, fine, thank you. We'll do the quick ones. My
19 time's running out. So, Colonel, just this: Are you aware of the fact
20 that the English battalion had their engineering -- Engineers Battalion at
21 Mount Vran near the road? They helped maintain the Salvation Route as it
22 was known at the time.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let's not complicate matters any further. Do you know that even
25 in Makarska and in Neum there were ECMM teams, in both Neum and Makarska
1 that's what I'm saying it's in your documents but there's no time for me
2 now to call them all up.
3 A. Did I understand you correctly, General? ECMM you meant, you were
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note the microphone was off.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I have no time to go -- to go back to the original document. Your
8 document says that sometime in July, the European Monitors deployed both
9 in Neum and in Makarska which is Croatian territory; is that right, sir?
10 A. I was in Neum, in Makarska, I was there too when passing through.
11 In Neum I went to see the mayor, and at those times there was certainly no
12 ECMM. At a later date, at the end of July when I left the mission, maybe
13 then, but I couldn't tell you.
14 Q. Fine. Could you please look at P 03710. It's an OTP document.
15 P 03710. This bears the following date: The 26th, the 26th of July,
16 1993. That is when you left. But you still wrote this document.
17 A. I haven't found it yet.
18 Q. 03710. It's on your screen, Colonel.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] This is --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: One speaker at a time,
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. All right, Colonel. I'll skip the first portion, but in paragraph
24 2, you say: "In July '93, one team M1 Mostar and one team Split, regional
25 centre of Knin, monitored the Croatian BiH border in the area
1 Split-Sinj-Livno-Tomislavgrad-Posusje-Medjugorje-Neum-Makarska. Nearly
2 all the roads, especially mountain roads which can be used by ECMM
3 all-terrain vehicles. And then you go on to say no HV troops have been
5 Colonel, my general question is this: Given the fact that all the
6 roads in Herceg-Bosna were covered, all the roads leading up north by
7 either the ECMM or the UN observers, or perhaps SpaBat or the English
8 battalion, the fact that the Croatian border was covered by a team from
9 Croatia, do you think any sort of movement of the Croatian army in that
10 area could possibly have passed unnoticed? You say you noticed nothing at
11 all, but given the sort of supervision that was in place, the system that
12 was in place along all the roads, do you think any unit of the Croatian
13 army could have possibly gone through without being noticed and, of
14 course, based on the maps that I have been showing you?
15 A. We didn't see anyone. That's what it says at the top of the text.
16 Other units, UNPROFOR, thought that they had made certain observations,
17 but it's very difficult for me to make an assessment. I've already told
18 you that we couldn't operate at night-time. If there were major
19 movements, then we would have seen something. That's how I would like to
20 put it.
21 Q. Thank you. That's sufficient for my purposes. I have no time,
22 but I'll read you a sentence. I'll ask you about that. You don't have
23 that document. This is P 07587. This is a document produced by the UN
24 military observers, and the date is the 15th of January, 1994. It reads:
25 "It is very difficult to confirm the presence of any regular HV units in
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina."
2 When you returned to Mostar, did you have anything to indicate,
3 some sort of additional information, please, that units of the Croatian
4 army had been organised and fought in the territory of Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. When I came back in June 1994, I didn't have any indications of
7 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. Do you know where Slavonski Brod
9 A. That's in the north near to Brcko.
10 Q. That's right. Are you aware of the fact that the JNA artillery
11 and the artillery of the army of Republika Srpska around Slavonski Brod
12 and in the municipality, in the county, had killed over 500 civilians and
13 dozens of children? Is this a fact that is familiar to you, sir?
14 A. In Germany, via the press, we got daily information during the
15 war. I cannot recollect single incidents, and they're not my own insights
16 but it's information gained with the press, let's say, with the newspapers
17 or television.
18 Q. Fine. Just another question. So you watched this on TV at least.
19 The army of the Republika Srpska and the JNA occupied a whole section of
20 the Dubrovnik territory. They reached the sea coast. Dubrovnik itself
21 was eventually successfully defended. Did you know that, sir? Did you
22 have any notion of that, sir? Yes or no, sir. Don't just nod, please.
23 A. Yes, I knew that.
24 Q. You're a professional soldier of the German army, a military man.
25 There's one thing I want to know. When there are attacks from the
1 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina resulting in civilians being killed in
2 a different country, according to NATO standards what would be the rights
3 of that country in terms of defending their own civilians?
4 We have a problem there. The JNA and the army of Republika Srpska
5 are shelling Dubrovnik, the Slavonski Brod area, killing civilians. This
6 is no aggression by Bosnia and Herzegovina against Croatia, but if the
7 Croatian army go down the depth of the front tactically in order to repel
8 the enemy, that is then termed an act of aggression by the Croatian army
9 against Bosnia and Herzegovina. What does NATO's doctrine have to say
10 about things like these?
11 A. General, I cannot make a judgement here straight away, but of
12 course, we would defend. If it's about our people, we would defend.
13 Q. Thank you very much. That's quite sufficient. We'll probably
14 bring that up later on in greater detail, but there is one thing that
15 seems to be a problem here in this Tribunal. You as a soldier, would it
16 not be clear to you that if you have the Croatian border and the enemy is
17 repelled from the surroundings of Dubrovnik, the Croatian border cannot be
18 defended at the Croatian border itself because the area is simply too
19 narrow and the general lie of the land in that area? As a soldier would
20 you not have understood that sort of thing immediately, sir?
21 A. Operationally, yes.
22 Q. Thank you for that question. My last question on this: Was there
23 a single international agency there, the UN or the European Union, that
24 provided any sort of guarantees whatsoever that they would prevent
25 shelling and the killing of civilians, be it in Sarajevo, Slavonski Brod,
1 Dubrovnik, or elsewhere? Was anyone at the point strong enough to provide
2 such guarantees as to say, "You don't need to use your own army to defend
3 your own population. We are here to provide guarantees that your
4 population would not be attacked or indeed killed"? Were there any such
5 guarantees provided by any of the international agencies present in the
7 A. General, that of course did not exist.
8 Q. Thank you. I would now like to move on to a different subject, a
9 different subject, the situation around Konjic. Let me ask you this, sir:
10 Reports often refer to clashes breaking out, especially when we believe
11 that the BH army is attacking the HVO. Let me ask you this: Do you know
12 that during the attack of the BH army against the HVO in Konjic in late
13 March, in late March 1993, and for approximately as long as you were in
14 the area but certainly until April at the very latest, 85 Croat civilians
15 and prisoners of war were killed in a number of different villages, and
16 I'm not going into the specifics as far as the villages are concerned.
17 Are you familiar with that, sir? We only spoke about one small village,
18 the one named Buscak.
19 A. My teammate, the Spaniard Salamanca, when he gave me a briefing in
20 April when I arrived, he told me about that. He briefed me on that. But
21 when I came at the beginning of April, there was a break. So it was quite
22 calm at that moment in time.
23 Q. Fine. I can't now be expected to list all the victims in April,
24 and I don't think that's necessary.
25 Colonel, do you know that 10.000 civilians had no choice but to
1 leave Konjic for whatever reason? I'm not going into that now. Because
2 of killings like these, they were forced to flee the area at the time, and
3 there were about 10.000 of those. Were you aware of that particular
4 partial exodus by the Croats?
5 A. I knew about that, or I heard about it, yes.
6 Q. Did you what the ratio was between the forces of the HVO Brigade
7 in Konjic and the Muslim brigades, the brigades of the BH army in the
8 area? Did you know anything about the ratio in terms of strength between
9 the two, the ratio, the ratio of forces between the HVO and the BH army in
11 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would at this stage just
12 wish to ask is this all relevant for this case. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak, what is the
14 relevance of this?
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The relevance is reflected
16 in most elements of the indictment. The indictment claims that Croats
17 left those areas because they had been persuaded to do so by the HVO. I'm
18 trying to take advantage of this witness's presence, the Colonel was in
19 the area, to find out this 85 soldiers and civilians having been killed.
20 Now, is someone leaving this area because they're facing great danger or
21 somebody's talking them into leaving? That's one thing. Secondly, if we
22 find out about the ratio between the HVO Brigade in Konjic and the units
23 the BH army, we can try to find out who exactly attacked whom in that area
24 and what their objective might have been prior to the 18th of April, 1993.
25 So if we are familiar with the ratio then perhaps we can assume,
1 the ratio, for example, being 1 to 6 or 1 to 5, whether an HVO brigade
2 with a battalion, Klis battalion -- Konjic Battalion and a battalion in
3 Klis, then all the BH army units at the time in Konjic.
4 Your Honours, in this way we can eventually come to the general
5 situation being discussed here. Who attacked whom in Mostar? Who
6 attacked whom in Zenica? Who attacked whom in Travnik, in Vares? Because
7 that is very important in terms of what the indictment claims.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question put to you by
9 Mr. Praljak as developed by him is as follows: He wants to know the ratio
10 of forces between the HVO and the ABiH as you see it. Can you answer the
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Konjic.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give any figures, but I
14 knew and I'm also convinced that the armija forces were quite a lot
15 stronger. I'm referring to observations at the beginning of April when I
16 also had contacts with a brigade commander and when he told me about the
17 situation there and the fighting.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. Could we now please go back to
20 Mostar. Take my binder, please, and look at 3D 01015, document 3D 01015.
21 I'll ask you the following: Do you know who Brigadier Miljenko Lasic was,
22 the commander of the South Herzegovina operations area? Is this a name
23 that was mentioned to you in Mostar at any time, Brigadier Miljenko Lasic?
24 A. Yes. I don't know the Christian name, but the family name, Lasic,
25 he was the chief of the operational unit in Mostar.
1 Q. Yes. That's true. Regardless of the fact that you left on or
2 about the 6th in purely military terms, since that's something you know
3 about, can we please go through a number of documents that pre-date the
4 9th of May, 1993, the 9th of May, 1993, and then those produced after the
5 9th of May, and then I'll ask you as a soldier once you have we've gone
6 through these documents.
7 The first document the 6th of May, 1993, this is a report to the
8 General Staff of the HVO. Paragraph number 1: "Today was quiet along the
9 front for the most part."
10 Then paragraph 2: "At 1530 hours at the crossroad to Nevesinje
11 members of the BH army disarmed three civilians -- three civilian
12 policemen and two military policemen of the HVO and took them somewhere."
13 He then goes on to assume that these were Zuka's men were black
14 bandannas. He says he didn't know what those people exactly were supposed
15 to do. Did you know anything about such acts of provocation prior to the
16 9th of May, 1993, occurring in the area? Were you familiar with anything
17 like that, and were you familiar with the name of Zuka?
18 A. I've always heard report about such events. I know the name Zuka
19 very well.
20 Q. Thank you. Would we please go to the following document: 3D -
21 that's the next document in my binder - 01016. This is dated the 7th of
22 May, 1993. Again, this is a report produced by Brigadier Miljenko Lasic
23 to the General Staff. He says, "Exceptionally quiet night along the front
24 line in Mostar, and then he goes on to say that four HVO combatants, three
25 civilian, and three military policemen were taken away."
1 He goes on to state that: "At the intersection near Lucki bridge
2 the BH army members fired on the HVO vehicle returning from their shift.
3 One grenade and one Zolja were fired. Eight members of the HVO were
4 seriously wounded, and one of them eventually succumbed to his injuries.
5 Did you know anything about this sort of incident but later, at a
6 later stage, once you had returned?
7 A. At that moment in time I wasn't there. I didn't get reports about
8 such single incidents, but it was, rather, a report that mentioned such
10 Q. At any rate, when you returned you probably read all the reports
11 that had been produced based on what had been happening; is that right,
13 A. The reports that were drawn up by the ECMM in Mostar, yes, I did
14 read them in -- but I don't know in how far such report would have been
15 included in those reports. I can't tell you.
16 Q. Fine, Colonel, sir. Once I've gone through these documents, and
17 there are a number of those left, I want to ask you a very simple
18 question. These are reports written by Mr. Lasic. Will they help us to
19 see whether an operation was in the offing? And some people claim that
20 this operation against the HVO by the BH army actually took place on the
21 9th of May.
22 Can I have the next document 3D 01013, 3D 01013. It's a report
23 dated the 7th of May. We can just skim through it briefly. He says that
24 it was quiet for the most part along the front part. In Konjic, the BH
25 forced continued to burn and loot houses. He talks specifically about the
1 village of Seonica, attack on the village of Vrci. You say you know
2 something about Seonica and Vrci and what happened there, or at least
3 that's reflected in your reports. He says the situation in the town of
4 Mostar is very complex and he says following an exchange of all prisoners
5 of war at around 1530 hours, according to the overall principle, new
6 arrests of HVO members and civilians followed carried out by members of
7 the BH army. Two HVO members were arrested. One of them killed. He says
8 that on the playground of the Tihomir Misic barracks, a single shell
9 landed that had probably been fired by one of the BH army positions in
11 Let's move on to the next one, please. This is dated the 8th of
12 May. 3D 01014. Sir, this is the next document. Can you please have a
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, what was the question with regard to
15 the previous document?
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel,
17 I prepared -- I prepared two maps and said what my main question will be.
18 When we get through the documents before the 9th of May and after the 9th
19 of May, I'm going to ask this professional officer whether from these
20 documents one can see any kind of preparation on the part of the HVO for
21 an attack on Mostar, on the BH army in Mostar. And especially from the
22 documents that come after the 9th of May we can see -- or, rather, we will
23 see when we get to look at the documents, any professional can see, you
24 included, the panic that reigned in bringing in forces to help in some
25 sort of attack on the HVO.
1 The Colonel is a professional soldier. I can ask him the question
2 in general terms, and then I'll go on to specifics based on the map to see
3 what happened there. I'm going to ask him what happened before whether he
4 knows about that and then I'm going to ask him a basic question why
5 everybody said the HVO did the attacking, on the basis of what documents
6 and who was a witness to that, so I'd also like to show some video
7 footage. I promised to show the footage when we had the witness from
8 the -- from SpaBat in the courtroom. Another document where it says on
9 the battlefield in the night between the 7th and 8th of May it was
10 relatively calm, mostly it was the Serbs doing the shooting on Vranjevici.
11 He said civilians were taken prisoner and three of our soldiers were
12 massacred, BH forces attacking Croatian villages and so on.
13 Let's look at the next document. Well, not the next one; I'm
14 going to skip a few documents and look at 3D 01001. 3D 01001. It is
15 dated the 9th of May, 1993. The report was sent out at 2000 hours, and
16 Miljenko Lasic sets out the chronology of events, and he starts off with
17 1420 hours, and he says that a soldier by the name of Mario Matic was
18 killed. And then at 1440 it says that we were informed that the Lilies,
19 meaning the BH army, were attacking the prison of Celovina and that an
20 order came to target the Partizan Cinema Hall. That's on the western side
21 on -- west of the Bulevar. And then it goes on to say who was wounded.
22 And reinforcements were requested. It says that Robert Miljko succumbed
23 to his wounds and that the general situation in Mostar was very difficult
24 and fighting was still going on and the HVO was trying to reinforce its
25 positions along the Bulevar. Six defenders were killed, 17 wounded, one
1 civilian killed, four other civilians wounded.
2 Now, Colonel, when you returned to Mostar, did you accept this
3 generally known fact down there that the HVO on the 9th of May attacked
4 the BH army in Mostar, something that the international community
5 maintained? Were you told that too?
6 A. Yes. I had been told about this, too, but of course I could see
7 with my own eyes that the staff office of the 4th Corps of the armija on
8 the west side was burning. Obviously it had been shelled. And I heard
9 that the 4th Corps of the armija had been moved to the east side. This
10 was the most important thing that I was informed about on my return.
11 Q. Colonel, yes, it was the staff of the 4th Corps that was in
12 Vranica, but it says here: "The fighting is still going on. The HVO is
13 trying to reinforce its positions along the Bulevar."
14 Now, as a professional officer, tell me this: If the HVO is
15 trying to entrench, to strengthen its positions along the Bulevar then how
16 could it have launched an attack on Mostar? What kind of attack could it
17 have launched with the existing line along the Bulevar?
18 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would object. This
19 calls for speculation and I think the information available to the
20 witness, who was not there at the time, is not sufficient for him to make
21 any assessment of this. He's not in a position, Your Honour.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, bearing in mind the
23 qualifications of this witness, who is a military observer, or was, I
24 think that the question is a proper one because he is best placed to make
25 assessments of that kind, and this was permitted with previous witnesses
1 with the same qualifications as this one. The Prosecution on that
2 occasion was allowed to assess the situation of troops in a village. The
3 same question was asked, and it was asked of women that had no --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me intervene in order not to
5 waste time. You were not present on the 9th of May. We know that. Could
6 you tell us, however, when you returned from leave? When was it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 25th of May of that year.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You returned on the
9 25th of May. Were you told on your return that the HVO had attacked the
10 HQ of the ABiH, or were you told that it was the ABiH that had attacked
11 the HVO? Can you remember whether this was said to you on the 25th of
12 May? Indeed this was a major event, wasn't it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This changed the situation in
14 Mostar at the time that I was there. It was a major event. The first
15 indication was the movement of the staff of the 4th Corps of the armija to
16 East Mostar, and it really pointed out that the HVO was the initiator
17 rather than the armija. This was the results of the monitors. But they
18 said especially, and let me emphasise this, we had no further access to
19 Mostar. So from that point in time we couldn't gain our own findings and
20 observe the situation. It was very difficult for these people. This is
21 what they wanted.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you spoke to certain
23 individuals about these events and they did not see anything, did they,
24 because you said that they were not present; is that so?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say precisely, but they
1 reported that they had gained knowledge of the transfer of the 4th Corps,
2 but after that, they had no further access to Mostar.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Praljak.
5 You are a senior officer. Let me put a general question to you.
6 When you have a fighting unit, military, who launch or prepare an attack,
7 are there any orders for preparation prior to the attack? Generally
8 speaking, in a conventional army.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, such orders are always passed.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So I'm still
11 speaking to a specialist. If the HVO had attacked, would there have been
12 orders prior to the 9th of May? And if the ABiH had attacked, would there
13 have been orders by the ABiH for the attack?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe there would have been
15 orders well in advance, logistic orders to do with mobilisation, transport
16 of weapons, orders for reconnaissance troops. A whole series of orders,
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Colonel, 3D 0106 [as
20 interpreted] is the next document I'd like us to look at and see what
21 Miljenko Lasic -- what order he's issuing. 3D 01006, on the 9th of May,
23 This is what he says, his order: "In view of the situation in
24 Mostar, I hereby order that 120 well-armed and trained men urgently be
25 sent to Mostar," et cetera, et cetera. This is his order to the 1st
1 Brigade, Knez Domagoj and to the Stjepan Radic 4th HVO Brigade as well.
2 Then we have the Capljina Brigade and Ljubuski Brigade and he's asking
3 that 120 well-armed men be sent out. Do we agree that that is what it
5 Next document, please, which is 3D 01007, and then I'll have a
6 general question to ask you or, rather, that is the general question.
7 It's also a document dated the 9th of May, 1993. Once again, sent to 4th
8 Brigade at Ljubuski and it says, "In view of the situation in Mostar I
9 hereby order urgently to send a mortar platoon, 120 millimetre, with
10 combat sets and a squad RRL 107 millimetres and one rocket set -- combat
11 set of rockets to Mostar."
12 Have you seen the order, Colonel?
13 A. Yes, I have the document of the 9th of May.
14 Q. You've had a look at it, have you?
15 A. Yes, I see it in front of me. Thank you.
16 Q. Now let's move on to the next document, which is 3D 01008, also
17 dated the 9th of May, 1993. Once again an order from Brigadier Lasic. It
18 says, "In view of the situation in Mostar I hereby order that a crew for a
19 T-34 tank be sent out and that that same crew should report to the tank
20 battalion in Rodoc at Heliodrom." Can you see the document, Colonel?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the next document of the 9th of May once again, 3D 01009 is
23 the number. Another order to the 4th HVO Brigade in Ljubuski to send a
24 PZO 14.5-millimetre piece with crew and 3.000 rounds of ammunition along
25 the Ljubuski-Citluk-Vukodol village axis or route. Do you see the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And just one more document of the of 9th of May. It is 3D 01010.
4 3D 01010. "In view of the situation in Mostar, I hereby order that the
5 Grdani platoon be sent to Mostar immediately, report to ... " et cetera,
6 et cetera. So this is the last document up to the 9th of May and my
7 question to you is as follows: Would it be normal that somebody intending
8 to prepare an action of attack to write this kind of document two or three
9 days before the 9th of May? Not on that very day, the 9th of May when the
10 attack allegedly took place. So, Colonel, can it be clearly seen on the
11 basis of these documents that somebody was attacked and is facing a
12 difficult situation, and that is seeking urgent assistance in manpower
13 from the surrounding brigades, tank crews, PZO weapons and so on? As a
14 soldier, would you be able to conclude that this man had prepared an
15 action and then on the 9th of May ask that this ordnance be sent out?
16 Now, if you don't wish to answer, that's fine, but let's take a
17 look at the documents.
18 A. Well, from the number of these individual orders, I as a soldier
19 would conclude that these were reactions, spontaneous reactions to face a
20 certain situation and to rectify it. This was not a pre-planned action.
21 This is how I would assess those orders.
22 Q. Thank you. Now let's take a look at document 3D 01023 next,
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the transcript,
25 General Praljak showed several documents to the witness. These are
1 documents asking for reinforcement in manpower, in equipment and weapons,
2 ammunition, but we have to see that each document bears a number.
3 01-2902-93. Then we have one bearing the number 2903-93, then 2909-93. A
4 further one is 2910-93.
5 All these documents seem to be sequential, in order, but there's
6 no 2908, 2907, 2906, 2905, or 2904. It may be that the Defence have those
7 documents. I just wanted to point it out.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 There were a lot of documents.
10 Q. Just take a look at two more document, 3D 01023 is the first one
11 I'd like us to look at. Also dated the 9th of May. It's an important
12 document of the 9th of May, 3D 01023.
13 Once again it says, "In view of the situation in Mostar, I hereby
14 order that six ambulance teams with vehicles be sent to Mostar
15 immediately. Immediately send six ambulance teams," et cetera, "and after
16 arriving to Mostar report to," et cetera.
17 Now, when an offensive action is planned, Colonel, is it the most
18 important thing, as far as the operative elaboration of the plan of attack
19 is concerned, is that the ambulance system and medical system must be --
20 must go into operation because it is to be expected that there will be a
21 lot of wounded soldiers? So in preparing an attack, the ambulance teams
22 would have to be in Mostar, whereas on the 9th of May this man is asking
23 that six ambulance teams be sent out immediately, and he's in a panic.
24 So would you agree with me that if an action is planned the
25 ambulance teams must be deployed in set locations to be ready and waiting
1 to pull out the wounded?
2 A. Well, from a military point of view, the ambulances should follow
3 the troops very closely previously, and in particular, in view of this
4 very narrow area, this would be true.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Colonel, these questions about
6 what would have been done or the simultaneous orders that were issued, is
7 it possible to judge this if you have no document or no idea of the
8 previous planning? Isn't it also just as possible that ambulances were
9 there already and that for some reason or other, because there was more
10 resistance or resistance was expected, but there could have been other
11 possible reasons for this, or do you think that this was the only possible
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To bring up six ambulances I think
14 is a large number. To assess this more thoroughly about these -- beyond
15 these individual orders, I would have to know the orders of the other
16 side, and you would have to possibly have been actually on site, which
17 means that you would need a very intensive military observation. But the
18 picture given by these six orders gives me a picture of spontaneous
19 reaction, not planning.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the transcript, I would like
21 to point out that the last document regarding the ambulances 3D 01023
22 deals with document 2907, which I mentioned earlier on as missing in the
23 chronology of documents that had been submitted, and this document is --
24 has now been shown.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Praljak.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
4 Allowed to say one thing in response to Judge Trechsel's question, just to
5 complete the picture. The burden of proof is on the Prosecution. So far,
6 we have not seen any preparations, any orders of attack for
7 [indiscernible]. So if the document exists, it is up to the Prosecution
8 to produce it.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry [Microphone not activated] I have to
10 react to this observation because it seems to imply that I disregard the
11 presumption of innocence. That is a misunderstanding. I have only asked
12 the questions I have asked of the witness because I think it is important
13 to know whether his answer and his reaction to the documents shown can be
14 reliable without the knowledge of all other data that surround it on one
15 side and the other side, and this is not implying in any way that the
16 Defence has the burden to prove anything. I want to clear this. That was
17 a misunderstanding.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It -- I had
19 absolutely no intention of saying that, but I just wanted to caution you
20 about that. And the Presiding Judge asked the witness about this a moment
21 ago. The main document which every reasonable soldier must think exists
22 is up to the Prosecution to show. The Defence provides what it has.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very briefly, very quickly
24 before the break, Mr. Praljak, please.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Witness, would you take a look at just one more document before
2 the break. 3D 01021.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm going to
4 skip over a whole series of documents which follow on the 10th, 11th and
5 12th of May where he is issuing these orders requesting things in a great
6 panic. And the date of this document is the 10th of May, 1993.
7 Q. It is Miljenko Lasic, although somebody else signed for him, his
8 deputy Petar Zelenika, wrote to UNPROFOR in Zagreb as -- by way of public
9 information, because already on the 10th of May there were speculations
10 made that the HVO was attacking even when it was in a counter-offensive
11 and defending itself and it says, "We are surprised by the statement of
12 the UNPROFOR command concerning the area of the former Yugoslavia that was
13 absolutely supported by no arguments whatsoever, referring to the fact
14 that the HVO forces on the 9th of May started the combat actions in Mostar
15 first, having violated," et cetera, et cetera.
16 "We are amazed that Mr. Wahlgren wasn't objectively informed about
17 the fact who actually did not respect the above-cited agreement and who in
18 fact after numerous provocations started the combat actions on the 9th of
19 May on the barracks of Tihomir Misic."
20 Now, this Tihomir Misic barracks and North Camp which was taken
21 control of later on by the BH army, do you know at the time, that is to
22 say on the 9th of May, it was attacked by the BH army? Did you receive
23 information from any side to that effect?
24 A. The only thing I knew was what I experienced after I came back on
25 the 25th of July. It was -- there were gaps. The entire picture was so
1 complex that it was difficult to have an overall picture, but I don't know
2 of this letter.
3 Q. Colonel, you were down there until the 6th of May. Did you know
4 that the BH army had a completely clear -- clearly elaborated plans to
5 attack the HVO in Mostar? Did you have even the smallest information
6 about their intentions to attack along those lines?
7 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would inquire whether
8 General Praljak has specific evidence about this or whether this is
9 speculation or conjecture that he's putting to the witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, General.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know -- you,
12 sir, I don't know if you were here at the time, but precise plans and
13 orders -- well, we showed them here several times with an elaborated map
14 showing the axes of attack, how they wished to attack West Mostar. Those
15 plans were provided on the 19th of April and they're already exhibited
16 here. So they're covered in Arif Pasalic's orders and Mr. Hujka's orders,
17 and the maps and how those maps and plans should be acted upon. And
18 Mr. Pellnas, General Pellnas testified about that here in this courtroom.
19 But I think we're going take the break now and I'll go on with my
20 questions afterwards.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
22 a break. It's now quarter to. We'll resume at five past.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Praljak, you may
2 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kruger.
4 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, just before the break we were still
5 dealing with the question of whether the ABiH had indeed issued specific
6 instructions or was there evidence of planning. I would not like to
7 belabour this point, but I would certainly just wish to make the point in
8 response to General Praljak's response to this that the Prosecution is not
9 entirely sure that it's accurate to say that there is indeed evidence of
10 such planning or plans before the Court. Documents may have been shown to
11 witnesses, but as with this witness, documents are being shown and
12 witnesses are simply being requested to respond, "Have you seen this and
13 is this what the document says." But I think, perhaps, if General Praljak
14 wishes to put this question, certainly it cannot be put in categoric
15 terms, that it is should be if this is put to you, do you have knowledge?
16 Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will decide on
18 the basis of all the evidence adduced by the parties.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Praljak.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, how much time
21 do I have given the fact that I was given 10 minutes by Ms. Nozica?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In total you had one hour and 45
23 minutes. I don't know exactly how much time you've used until now.
24 Certainly one hour. But the registrar will see how much time you've used.
25 Please proceed. I'll tell you later on.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. For the benefit
2 of the OTP, I'll be using two documents, P 02000, P 02000. It's a BH army
3 document dated the 20th of April 1993. The other document is P 1978,
4 dated the 19th of April. This is an order by the 1st Mostar Brigade.
5 These documents have been used before in a very clear manner. This was at
6 a time when Colonel was there with Mr. Pellnas. At the same time, the BH
7 army drafted these orders as they are. The Chamber has these already
8 because they have been admitted into evidence.
9 Q. Colonel, can you please look at 3D 00916. 3D 00916. This is the
10 foundation: You were at Bijeli Brijeg near the hospital, weren't you?
11 You know the place, and you were there for that meeting. Perhaps you went
12 back at some point to that hilltop location in order to --
13 A. I don't have the document yet. Now I have a photograph on the
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... My binder. It's a
16 photograph, yes. These are all photographs. I'll be using a number of
17 photographs now.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Just for the benefit of the
19 Chamber, the photographs were taken on the 9th of May, 2007, some two
20 months ago.
21 Q. The SpaBat witness claimed that during the clashes on the 9th of
22 May two APCs had been at the plateau near the new hospital in Mostar. Are
23 you familiar with that area? Did you ever go up to that plateau? That's
24 in West Mostar. It's the large hospital where the meeting was held which
25 you attended.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment. The picture we
2 currently have on screen with number 168 is not in the binder, because in
3 the binder we have a picture numbered 174. So the picture -- the
4 photograph we have on screen at the moment is not in our binder.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is not a
6 photograph. This is a video of what exactly can be seen from that
7 location. The surrounding landscape, if you like. The photographs are
8 just part of the whole thing. In this photograph you can see the new
9 hospital in Mostar.
10 Q. Sir, Colonel, do you remember this building, the new hospital
11 building that you can see in this photograph and the surrounding plateau?
12 A. Yes, I know the building.
13 Q. Right. These photographs were taken in segments, one by one, and
14 then moving in a clockwise direction, or perhaps anti-clockwise. So let's
15 go through all these photographs one at a time, please.
16 Sir, as you're looking at these photographs, can you tell me if
17 what we can see here is the same thing that one can see while standing
18 outside the hospital itself? Is this the city of Mostar as seen from in
19 front of the hospital? The document numbers are the same, and the
20 photographs have been placed in a sequence. 178, 179, 180, 181.
21 Have you looked at these, sir?
22 A. Well, I could imagine that the hospital on the west side is
23 slightly higher, that the photographs have been taken from this place.
24 Q. These were taken from the flat area in front of the hospital, not
25 from the roof-top of the hospital. There was an APC there. Can we agree
1 with this: Once you reached the flat area outside the hospital and you
2 take a photograph of Mostar you get exactly what we can see in these
3 photographs. Is that consistent with your experience when you were up
4 there, Colonel?
5 A. Yes. This goes along with my memory because I was the last time
6 in Mostar in 1995, 1996.
7 Q. Thank you, sir. Colonel, we shall now see a video clip. You will
8 see it on the screen.
9 Can the video be played, please.
10 [Videotape played]
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We'll look at the panorama from that same spot. There's a car
13 that can be seen.
14 Let's move on, please.
15 [Videotape played].
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. To the right you can see the hill of Hum; do you agree, sir?
18 A. Sorry, I didn't have that translation.
19 Q. Never mind. Never mind, sir. Never mind, really. It's just the
20 lads taking the footage talking about something.
21 Can you agree with me that this footage was taken from that flat
22 area just outside the new hospital, just as the photographs were, sir?
23 A. I don't have a German translation.
24 Q. No German interpretation then.
25 A. Thank you. Now I hear the translation.
1 Q. All right. My question again. You see the flat area. Colonel,
2 can you tell us this based on your experience: That video clip and the
3 photographs were taken from the flat area outside the hospital. Is that
4 your impression as well, sir, that that is where they were taken from?
5 A. Well, I can't say precisely, but the sweep from left to right
6 corresponds to the image I have in my mind.
7 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for using a film terminology.
8 I'm referring to your German use of the word "schwenk". Thank you.
9 At this location, at least according to evidence from SpaBat
10 witnesses, there were two APCs when the clashes erupted, what everybody
11 called the HVO attack in Mostar. I asked the previous witness, and I'm
12 asking you now. Considering this location outside these buildings, the
13 buildings that are there, can you see who is standing along the Bulevar,
14 along the confrontation line that had been in place even prior to the 9th
15 of May? Looking from there can you see who is attacking whom? More
16 specifically, let's picture a man standing in that location. Is it
17 possible for that man to see any infantry combat in the centre of town
18 itself along the Bulevar and distinguish clearly who is attacking whom?
19 A. In the video I think I recognise the building where the 4th armija
20 had it's firing post starting at the left. Details about this I think you
21 cannot see. You can't see what was going on in the street. You can hear
22 noise of fighting. You can hear impacts. You can see smoke and hear
23 fire, but you can't see the troops on the ground from there.
24 Q. Thank you. That is precisely what I was trying to say. I
25 promised the Chamber that I would provide an exact image of this location
1 in order to show what can or cannot be seen from there.
2 Colonel -- rather, if I could ask the Chamber to get an IC number
3 for the map I was tendering a while ago.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, there was this
5 small map, and we did not assign an IC number to it. Can you please give
6 us an IC number for that map.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The small hard-copy map will be
8 IC 613.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. As for the time you
10 have left, before we resumed you had 41 minutes left, and you've already
11 used up 15 minutes. So in total you have 26 to 27 minutes left.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Colonel, can you please look at the map that you have to your
14 right. It's on the board. When you arrived there, were you familiar with
15 the disposition of the 2nd and 3rd HVO Brigades facing the Serbs or indeed
16 how the BH army troops were positioned in terms of facing the army of the
17 Republika Srpska, or indeed the confrontation line through Mostar down
18 Santiceva Street and the Bulevar? Are you familiar with the forces being
19 deployed in Mostar in precisely this way, and was that the situation when
20 you arrived? There was an HVO brigade to the north of Mostar and another
21 one to the south, as well in as in Mostar itself, near Podvelezje. There
22 was some units there too. The 1st Mostar of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Were
23 you familiar with the deployment of forces in the area, sir, and exactly
24 where they were positioned?
25 A. When I started, I knew nothing at all about it, but gradually a
1 picture emerged, but I must admit it was very complex. It was very
2 difficult to understand the situation and to form a judgement.
3 Q. All right. Colonel, sir, I have a purely technical, professional
4 matter to raise with you, a military matter, if you like. I'm not sure if
5 I'll be allowed to ask the question, though.
6 Look at the map, sir, please. What you see on the map is this:
7 If the HVO plans an attack on Mostar - please have a look - would the
8 attack be like this: The 2nd and 3rd HVO Brigades are to the north and
9 south of Mostar respectively, and the forces to the west which are in
10 Mostar itself, can we roughly plan an operation on Mostar like that?
11 Someone planning an attack on Mostar, would they therefore be using the
12 two brigades to the north and south of Mostar respectively in order to
13 attack the BH army forces? Globally speaking, would you raise any
14 objections to that, sir, in your capacity as a military expert?
15 A. General, this question is one which goes beyond my competence. I
16 can only say what I have to in all care. I would have to think of it
17 very, very carefully before I gave you an answer.
18 Q. Colonel, I fully understand. I've drawn a different map to show
19 how following that logic the attack would be staged, regardless of the
20 fact that you are refusing to give a clear answer.
21 Nevertheless, can we still display the other map for the benefit
22 of the Colonel where this plan is shown in a more elaborate fashion.
23 But I fully understand your reaction, sir. My question was: With
24 a bare minimum of military logic, would you attack the BH Army from the
25 south, from the north, the North Camp specifically, in the Marsal Tito
1 bridge area? Would you have a sufficient number of ambulances ready to
2 use; your logistics; the stand-by unit; at least a handful of times in the
3 town itself to crush any points of resistance? What would the most
4 elementary military logic, even that which an NCO would be in possession
5 of imply?
6 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, with respect I think it's impossible for
7 the witness to answer this question with the limited amount of
8 information. I think the witness has already said that he cannot answer
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. But the question was not
11 put to Mr. Kruger. The question was put to the witness.
12 Colonel, can you answer the question or can't you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I refer to historical military
14 examples, I could say you could besiege the place and starve the
15 inhabitants, but basically you would not attack.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Colonel, on these questions what
17 is not to be understood what is the target or what is the objective of the
18 attack? There will be several possibilities, to conquer an entire town or
19 to change the front line. And depending on what the target was, perhaps
20 you could provide a different answer to that very question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said before, Your Honour, I
22 feel that this question is one that I'm unable to answer, and so I am
23 couching my answer in very general terms. Fighting around towns and
24 cities lead to a great deal of victims, and we have examples from the
25 Second World War where we had periods of long siege, but I can't say any
1 more than that. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Colonel, I thank you for this answer. It is, of course, an
4 exceptionally complex issue. I just wanted to raise some fundamental
5 concerns for this reason simply: There was a full-blown propaganda war
6 going on down there. As of the 9th of May and then for years afterwards
7 it was a universally recognised fact that the attack had been launched by
8 the HVO. I'm just trying to show that this is simply not true.
9 Can we now please play the sniper -- the sniping video. Everybody
10 is talking about the snipers in Mostar. I would like to ask you a number
11 of questions about that, sir.
12 Did you go to the hospital in the west of Mostar? Did you speak
13 to doctors there? Did you ask them how many wounded they were admitting
14 on a daily basis, wounded by bullets, by sniper bullets? I'm talking
15 about civilian casualties. It's difficult to distinguish wounds, of
16 course, but did you at any point get information about how many civilians
17 were being admitted on a daily basis, both Croats and Muslims, who had
18 sustained bullet wounds?
19 A. Well, this sort of information was only given to me by way of
20 exception, one of which was the 30th of June where we went to the hospital
21 and talked to -- to the medical officer in charge, and he said he had had
22 five patients, but we -- in general, we didn't have some sort of picture
23 of the number of casualties.
24 Q. Colonel, have a look at the video, please. Let's play it, please.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] This is 3D -- just a minute,
3 This footage was taken in West Mostar.
4 [Videotape played].
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the video
6 shows everyone walking around in military uniform as they pleased, ladies
7 and gents alike. Everybody is wearing some sort of uniform or at least
8 parts of a uniform.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] This is 3D 01050. Your Honours, you
10 do have a transcript accompanying this video in your folder, but we can't
11 hear the sound for some reason that I am unaware of.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] That's fine. We can stop
13 the video.
14 Q. Colonel, my question is this: You were, after all, in an area
15 where there was firing. In Mostar, there are a lot of residential
16 buildings, and the area is densely populated. If you're among those
17 buildings and you're trying to track down the exact location of a sniper,
18 would the sound of a resounding shot be so powerful that somebody might,
19 for all you know, be firing from a building no more than 20 metres away
20 from you and yet, you are still unable to track down the source of the
21 fire, especially since there was a lot of din and a lot of different
22 sources of fire going on for days?
23 We all know that from crime movies, like American shootouts and
24 that sort of thing. In your experience, would it not be exceedingly
25 difficult to discover the exact location of a sniper in the middle of a
1 town like this where there's a lot of firing going on all the time? Would
2 that not be an exceptionally thankless task because of all the shooting
3 that was going on and because of the echo resounding all over the place
4 all the time? Would it not be virtually impossible to define the position
5 of a single sniper? Would your experience not suggest that, sir?
6 A. I think impacts in the proximity would be heard as a loud bang and
7 you could see where they had impacted. It's very difficult to say where
8 the shot is coming from.
9 Q. Thank you very much for your answer, sir. Just another piece of
10 footage. 3D 001050.
11 I'll ask you this, you were there after all: Do you know that in
12 June 1993 Travnik fell in a way, the BH army having taken Zenica went on
13 to take Travnik as well? Were you aware of that particular development
14 based on documents that you were receiving at the time and that sort of
16 A. General, again in general terms the time you asked me, May, Mostar
17 I was not there, and Travnik was not my area of operations. What I know
18 about Travnik are the reports that I read now and again, and I travelled
19 through Travnik a few times and I was told a bit about Travnik on site,
20 but anything everything else is something which I either read or is purely
22 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. I am asking you precisely because
23 of any information you may have received. Therefore, do you remember that
24 in June 1993 Travnik was simply taken by the BH army and that there were
25 refugees that fled Travnik at that time?
1 Could we please have the video played?
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, we have a technical
3 glitch. The video won't start. Maybe if we get help from someone.
4 Perhaps Mr. Praljak should continue with something else meanwhile.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] All right.
6 Q. Can we go to the OTP binder. The document number is P 03298.
7 P 03298.
8 Colonel, you didn't answer my question. Based on reports you
9 might have read, were you aware of the fact that Travnik had been taken by
10 the BH army and that there were refugees, some 15.000 Croats who had no
11 choice but to leave the area, fleeing across Mount Vlasic and heading for
13 A. Well, without having seen the document, I can't remember details,
14 and the reason is that in June of that year we were mainly in the area of
15 Jablanica and Konjic, and we were so occupied with many other operations
16 that any further assessments about what was happening elsewhere was
17 something we could only do to a limited extent.
18 Q. Could you please go to paragraph 6. "SpaBat sector," paragraph 6.
19 The date is the 8th of July, 1993. Paragraph 6, please, "SpaBat sector."
20 A. Can you scroll on this screen? I have it now. I have the "SpaBat
22 Q. SpaBat. All right. General situation, it reads: "Fighting
23 continued on the west side of the Neretva River in Mostar." Which we
24 know. But it goes on to say, "Fighting in Boksevica is a still heavy,
25 Jablanica and Konjic were shelled again."
1 Mount Boksevica, is it not above the Kostajnica. Do you know
2 that, sir? Near Konjic. It's the Konjic area. The village of Kostajnica
3 in the Konjic municipality and just behind is Mount Boksevica, which is
4 quite a large mountain.
5 A. Yes. I remember the mountain well. It's quite clear in my mind
6 of this terrain.
7 Q. Fine. We'll be going back to Kostajnica. But if we turn the
8 page, the next page of the same document, under 2(B) "Mostar" and then
9 (B)(2) it says, "There is still fierce fighting going on in the area of
10 Bijelo Polje."
11 You were there at the time, and you gave evidence about that.
12 However, I have a general question for you. Why is it that in each and
13 every report while the BH army are attacking Bijelo Polje or Blagaj it
14 says that fighting is going on? And in nine out of ten cases where the
15 HVO are launching a counter-offensive, it reads the HVO are attacking.
16 How come in the area of Konjic we have fighting going on, and as soon as
17 the HVO try to win back their positions or hold the line there is talk of
18 the HVO launching a counter-offensive or even an offensive? How did this
19 get twisted around? Why do we apply two different yardsticks when dealing
20 with the HVO on the one hand and the BH army on the other?
21 A. Well, for the -- I can't comment on the UNPROFOR reports. On the
22 ECMM, I can say from the example of the 30th of June where we witnessed
23 events or we heard more than otherwise, we clearly related in our reports
24 that the armija soldiers had mutinied against the HVO. And with this
25 example I'm trying to say that we tried to report everything that we had
1 seen in a neutral way without being partisan.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for Mr. Praljak,
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Now we come to see Jablanica, Konjic, and point 3 of that section
6 says according to HVO sources at least 30 soldiers were killed in the
7 fighting at Boksevica over the past three days, (3)(C). And now the next
8 document P 03494. 03494. And point 6, again -- or, rather, point 8.
9 Point 8, please. It's a document dated the 16th of July, 1993. Point 8.
10 It says in the second line: "About 200 displaced Croats arrived
11 in Capljina from Kostajnica."
12 My question is this: Do you know that the HVO -- have you found
13 the document, sir?
14 A. No. I haven't found it yet. I'm still looking.
15 Q. It's a Prosecution document. P 03494. Paragraph 8 is the one I'm
16 referring to.
17 A. Where it says "UNPAs" at the top? Is that the document?
18 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may assist.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Figure 8.
20 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, it's actually paragraph 6, "SpaBat
21 sector," and under that there are a few paragraphs numbered 1 to 8, and
22 it's paragraph 8 of that.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It starts with "The villages on each
24 bank." Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. That's right. And it says, "About 200 displaced Croats arrived in
2 Capljina from Kostajnica yesterday."
3 Now, my question is this: Do you know that the HVO at Boksevica
4 fought and had over 30 soldiers killed in order to enable civilians from
5 Kostajnica who were -- who threatened to be killed, to pull them out from
6 Boksevica and bring them to Capljina, and there were several hundred of
7 them? Do you know about that, that around the 12th of July Konjic was
8 empty and Kostajnica -- the civilians of Kostajnica were pulled out after
9 defending this axis and that they were brought to Capljina?
10 A. Before I answer, could I ask whether Capljina is in the direction
11 of Prozor, that is to the west and not to the south? Because I don't know
12 this place.
13 Q. In the direction of Prozor is west, westward. Kostajnica, and
14 then above Kostajnica you have Boksevica. So do you know that the
15 fighting at Boksevica was very heavy fighting resulting in over 30 persons
16 dead, and then from Kostajnica the civilian population was pulled out and,
17 as you report, were brought to Capljina on the 16th. Is that something
18 you knew about?
19 A. Well, these were things that I found out later, because I knew
20 Kostajnica fairly well, and I know that the area around Kostajnica had
21 been evacuated of the HVO and civilians. I know that many people went
22 across the mountains. Obviously some of them went south too. I spoke to
23 some of them who had gone over the mountains. For example, a doctor whom
24 I accompanied. And again, to conclude, I didn't find this out on that
25 particular day. It was a certain time afterwards. And I saw Kostajnica
1 when it was empty. And the destruction there was something I looked at
2 again in 1994.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have three to
4 four minutes left. If your video is ready, we might play it now and you
5 might put your question about it to the witness.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes. That's
7 the last thing that I'd like to do, to show the video.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] There is no volume. Just
10 play the footage.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] That's right, but it is 3D 00988,
12 the transcript of that footage. For some reason the video doesn't seem to
13 be working. There's no volume, no sound.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you see the column of civilians in the background passing by?
16 A. I don't have a picture in front of me.
17 Q. Stop.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] You have to press the video
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I have the picture.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Let's play the video again.
22 [Videotape played]
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Please fast forward.
24 Q. Sir, can you see that this is a Serb officer and that the people
25 from Travnik are escaping across Mount Vlasic, that is say, territory
1 controlled by Republika Srpska? My question to you is this: Do you know
2 that in this evacuation from Travnik that the Red Cross took part as well
3 as UNPROFOR and the UNHCR? Are you aware of that? Do you have any
4 knowledge about that, based on the reports that you received?
5 A. No, I can't remember that.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't want to
7 overstep the time allotted to me. I'll probably come back to this at some
8 point when the technical booth can play the video with the sound and all
9 the rest, but this is out of love for Herzegovina, 97 per cent of them
10 being Croatians, or is this just expulsion after what happened in Zenica
11 and so on and so forth.
12 Q. But thank you, Colonel, for your sincere and correct answer. I
13 would like to have gone go over several more topics with you. Well, if
14 the Judges allow me, I'd like to ask you one more question. The 41st
15 Split Brigade is mentioned somewhere there in one of the documents as
16 being present there. Do you know that all the brigades in Croatia except
17 the guards had three digit numbers for names like the 102nd, et cetera,
18 and that the guard brigades just had single digits, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,
19 4th, et cetera? Do you know about that?
20 A. No, I'm not fully aware of that.
21 Q. In Croatia, there was never a brigade which would be term the 41st
23 Thank you, Colonel.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I might have IC
1 numbers first of all for the video from the hospital, the panorama of
2 Mostar from Siroki Brijeg, and now for the video and the transcript number
3 3D 01050, and for the last one, too, linked to Vlasic with the partial
4 transcript, and that number is 500988 -- 3D, I'm sorry, 3D 900 whatever.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please give us some
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. The video panorama from
8 the hospital becomes IC 614; the sniper video 3D 01050 becomes 615; and
9 the last video, 3D 00988 becomes IC 616.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I now have the 6D
11 team. They have 45 minutes, and then we'll have 4D with one hour and 15
13 Mr. Ibrisimovic, you may proceed.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before we begin,
15 my colleague and I, Ms. Alaburic and I, want to be practical. We would
16 even be prepared to shorten our time. It depends how much the Prosecution
17 needs for redirect and the Judges' questions, and perhaps we could even
18 conclude today. So can we hear what Mr. Kruger has to say about that
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Well, at this juncture,
21 Mr. Kruger, what do you think? How much time for the redirect.
22 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, it's very difficult to say. At this
23 stage if we had to redirect now I would have been asking for probably
24 about five minutes, but it of course depends on what happens after this.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, colleagues.
2 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel Nissen, good afternoon. My name is
4 Vesna Alaburic. I'm an attorney from Zagreb, and together with my
5 colleague Mr. Nicholas Stewart, I'm Defence counsel for General Milivoj
7 I'd like to start off by trying to clarify some matters to see
8 what actually happened on the 30th of June, 1993.
9 And, if possible, could the witness be given the Prosecution
10 binder, because I'll be using Prosecution documents as well as my own.
11 Let's me remind you, Colonel Nissen, the Prosecutor asked you
12 about the 30th of June, 1993, as being an event characterised by a BH army
13 attack on North Camp. The same description on that day is contained in
14 the indictment. In response to that question, your answer was that from
15 various sources you learnt that individual soldiers of the BH army, and
16 perhaps units, too, of the BH army, but most probably individual soldiers,
17 rose up against the HVO. And now let me put my question right. Not
18 individuals in the BH army, but soldiers, individuals in the HVO.
19 Individual soldiers in the HVO. Do you remember that answer of yours,
20 Colonel Nissen?
21 A. Yes. That is the reports we received. These were Muslims, if I
22 may say so, who were serving in the HVO.
23 Q. Very well. Let's now try and see whether it was only North Camp,
24 and later on we'll try and analyse whether it was Muslim individuals and
25 what the consequences of that event were.
1 Let's start off by looking at a document in my binder. It is
2 P 03031, and it is a document of the European monitors dated the 30th of
3 June, 1993. It is a daily report in the section for Mostar. This is what
4 it says: "The army took control of the HVO north barracks, the dam, and
5 the village of Rastani, which is on the west bank. The attack was not
6 confirmed which was allegedly carried out in a more northerly area towards
7 Bijelo Polje."
8 Now, this is the monitor's report, and it would emerge that on the
9 30th of June it wasn't only North Camp that was attacked but that the
10 attack was broader in scope. Can we agree on that?
11 A. It was much larger and that it also was -- went to the south. We
12 didn't know that at that moment in time, only on the 30th of June. As to
13 how far the area was where the fighting took place in the north, we didn't
14 know about it at that time. It only transpired later on how large the
15 area was.
16 Q. Very well. In view of that answer of yours, I'm going to skip
17 over the next two documents which I had intended to put to you and ask you
18 to take a look at the following document, 4D 00621. It is a diagram in
19 colour similar to the one shown to you by General Praljak earlier on, but
20 this is in a more practical A4 format.
21 I can see that you've found it. Colonel Nissen, the blue
22 designates the HVO, the green is the BH army, the Serbian army comes next,
23 behind the red line to the right and this is the situation as it was
24 before the 30th of June, 1993.
25 To the best of your knowledge, does this correspond to the
1 situation on the ground? Does this map correspond to the situation on the
2 ground and that the BH army was in control of the town of Mostar which we
3 call East Mostar, that the BH army held East Mostar, that the HVO had the
4 2nd Brigade towards the north, touching along the Serb lines and the
5 3rd Brigade southwards towards the Serb positions. And after that in the
6 north and south we have areas under BH army control. Is that how it was,
7 Colonel Nissen?
8 They've just told me that in the south it was exclusively the area
9 of Blagaj, because in continuation southwards that was the territory under
10 the control of the HVO?
11 A. This corresponds to roughly the picture that we had at the time.
12 Q. When you say approximately, perhaps we could clear the point up
13 straight away, or do you say that because you don't have any precise
14 information about that?
15 A. Yes. For example, we didn't know exactly where the line to the
16 Serbs was. It was -- there certainly weren't that many soldiers that
17 there wasn't a proper line as such any more, I imagine. And in the north
18 I got the impression that the line of the HVO, it might be a little bit
19 further south, that -- that were my ideas when I first looked at the
21 Q. Colonel Nissen, let's take a look at document 4D 00622 now,
22 please. It shows the situation after the 30th of June, 1993. And we have
23 the axis of attack of the BH army marked here. Under 1 is North Camp then
24 we have Rastani, Vrapcici, Bijelo Polje in order and Potoci, Blagaj and
25 Buna is shown as an intended axis of attack, but the BH army did not
1 manage to gain control of that area.
2 Now, tell us, please, Colonel Nissen, to the best of your
3 knowledge does this diagram correspond to what was happening on the 30th
4 of June, 1993?
5 A. On the 30th of June we didn't have any idea about the fact that it
6 was a closed area from Mostar to Blagaj, that that could exist. I assume
7 that this picture was only -- only occurred later on, on the terrain later
9 Pointing out our reports that were drawn us -- up later on, I
10 think it was said that the picture slowly emerged of a closed link of the
11 east of the Neretva from the north to the south. This -- so this would
12 roughly correspond to this picture.
13 Q. If I understood you correctly, Colonel Nissen, what you're saying
14 is that you didn't have knowledge that that happened on the 30th of June,
15 1993, but that that was the general tendency and that it was the actual
16 situation several days later. Am I right in thinking that?
17 A. That what happened on the 30th of June in Mostar, we interpreted
18 that as we reported. It was like it was an uprising, which at that moment
19 in time we couldn't assess whether the uprising would be successful or
20 whether it would ended by prisoners being taken or there would be further
21 attacks or it would canceled out. We didn't know that at the time. So
22 only with time we got the complete picture. Beforehand, it was a bit
23 deceptive. I'm looking at in practical terms. There is a check-point,
24 then there is a small group that is fighting. In another place, you would
25 have an occupied house. It looks so operational where the things were
1 very simple, but it wasn't like that in my opinion, because very slowly
2 the armija gained influence.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic would like to
4 say something.
5 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examination by the Accused Petkovic:
7 Q. Witness, I would like to ask you the following question. This
8 situation in the south, in your opinion, is that what happened until the
9 13th of July, and do you remember your report of the 13th of July in which
10 you described that? And I refer to a Prosecution document, P 03427.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]. Colonel Nissen, I don't think you
12 will find the document in our binder, we haven't prepared it, the document
13 raised by my client just now.
14 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] It is in the Prosecution
15 binder, and the witness did refer to it.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Colonel Nissen, would you look in
17 the Prosecution binder then, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've got it in front of me now.
19 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. P 03427 is the document number. Let us look at point 3 where it
21 says "Military activity," and the document is dated the 13th of July.
22 A. I didn't get any translation.
23 Q. Let's me repeat. Point 3 of that document where it
24 says, "Military activities."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. This is what you state: "There have been army attacks in the area
2 of the Dubrava plateau, which is the region of Stolac, Capljina, and
4 Having looked at this clip, can you tell where Buna is or where
5 the general axis described here might be, having looked at the sketch?
6 A. Yes. It's a line from west to east, south of Mostar. A -- quite
7 a few kilometres south of Mostar. I'm referring to your question
8 Buna-Blagaj. And the other line, it goes roughly from south-east to
9 north-west in a slightly angular direction, if I can say it like that. It
10 would be easier to show it on the map really. But just maybe to put it
11 like this, according to the question, it's a further movement towards
13 Q. Yes. That's right. I'm referring to the map you were shown by my
14 attorney south of Mostar. Blagaj and Buna, that's the area I'm talking
15 about. And I put it to you in your document of the 13th of July this is
16 exactly how you describe it. The attack unfolded in the direction of
17 Gubavica and Buna. Gubavica is even further south than Buna, but they
18 didn't take Gubavica.
19 A. That's all I can say about this for the time being.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Any clearer now sir? Thank
21 you. Now I would like to invoke another document that you produced. It's
22 about the northern part. This is also an OTP document. This is P 03298.
23 Let us look at paragraph 6 of that document, sir. "SpaBat sector."
24 Please try to find paragraph 6, sir. There is a comment just under it.
25 Have you got it?
1 According -- according to Zuka -- Zuka is a person you're familiar
2 with. According to Zuka, the BH army can walk across the whole eastern
3 bank of Neretva from Jablanica to Mostar.
4 If the army can walk along at that line, does that not mean that
5 the army's now in control of the whole Sector North along the Neretva
6 River? I'm talking in relation to Mostar itself, having as a consequence
7 linked up with the forces at Jablanica. There is reference there to the
8 Colakovac dam, which are now where it is, don't you, sir? Near the Bijela
9 Bridge. You know where Vrdi is, and I think you know where Dreznica is.
10 Isn't that what your document says?
11 A. Yes, that's what -- I've got it in front of me. I've got it more
12 or less roughly. I looked at it. I've understood it and I can now answer
13 your questions. I got it now. Maybe you can ask the question again
14 that -- so that I'm -- that would enable me to give a more precise answer.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Back to the sketch that my
16 attorney was using. She can ask the question. Is the sketch that we made
17 consistent with the documents that you produced?
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I thank General Petkovic for his
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
21 Q. Colonel, before you go on and answer this question I would like to
22 remind you of one thing, one particular document that we've already looked
23 at in this court, where there is an explicit conclusion, and this is the
24 same conclusion that General Petkovic is drawing your attention to. It's
25 in the OTP binder and the number is 3361. 3361. Paragraph 6 of that
1 document. (6)(C)(3) reads: "It has been confirmed that the BH army
2 forces have succeeded in linking up their units from Mostar with those
3 from the Jablanica area," which is in the north of this map. This is
4 precisely what General Petkovic has drawn here, and this is precisely what
5 his question is in reference to.
6 Can we therefore conclude beyond any doubt that the east part of
7 Mostar was linked up with the BH army units that were north of Mostar just
8 as shown in this sketch?
9 A. It took me quite a while, because it looked quite operational. I
10 don't want to make any mistakes. But basically the fact that there was a
11 link, that is true. That is accurate.
12 Q. Colonel Nissen, my question was probably phrased in a way that was
13 somewhat clumsy, but I asked the question as though all of this had
14 happened just after the 30th of June, 1993, which is simply not correct.
15 Part of this happened at that time, and part of this happened over the
16 following two weeks. Therefore, this sketch would be consistent with the
17 situation on the 13th of June, 1993 -- 13th of July, 1993, based on all
18 the reports we have so far seen. Can we agree on that, sir?
19 They're telling me it might be useful to repeat the number.
20 4D 00622. That is the number for that sketch, just in case you have
21 mislaid it. So now you will be able to find it again.
22 That's right. Can we agree, sir, that this was indeed the
23 situation in mid-July 1993?
24 A. On the 30th of June or a few days later, we understood it to be a
25 picture which was very scattered, but afterwards we understood that it was
1 a cohesive line from the north, with a link to the north. It looked
2 initially like a patchwork, but then it was a cohesive line.
3 Q. Thank you. Let's see if this was really a question of individual
4 betrayal among the Muslims in the HVO or perhaps there was a broader,
5 organised action conducted by the Muslims within the HVO. Let's begin by
6 looking at P 03025, which is another ECMM report. The date is the 30th of
7 June. Paragraph 5, please. Section 4. It reads: "This morning between
8 3.00 and 4.00 the Muslim soldiers, members of the HVO battalion in --"
9 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat the numbers slowly? I don't have the
10 document in front of me. Could you give me the numbers again, please?
11 Q. Certainly. Can you look at my binder, please, my set of
12 documents, not the OTP set of documents. It's in my set under your left
13 hand. That's right. P 03025.
14 A. This is the document which goes to Zenica, the 30th of June.
15 Q. This is an ECMM document, the one I'm talking about. Look at
16 paragraph 5, please. Section 5 of paragraph 5. Describing the treason of
17 the Muslim soldiers. It says that the Muslim soldiers who were within the
18 HVO battalion Bijelo Polje attacked the Croat troops and positions in that
19 area, specifically the village of Rastani on the west bank and the
20 northern barracks of the HVO. These attacks were coordinated ahead of
21 time and enjoyed the support of the 1st Mostar Brigade, whereas the
22 commander of the 2nd Brigade, Midhat Hujdur was killed in the fighting.
23 There were 20 wounded soldiers in the HVO hospital, as well as three
24 wounded civilians and three bodies belonging to HVO soldiers.
25 Colonel Nissen, can you confirm that this is an authentic report
1 produced by the ECMM, and can you confirm the accuracy of the information
2 contained therein?
3 A. The format is slightly different so I really have to look at it
4 more closely.
5 To confirm this precisely, I would have to read it in detail
6 because the format is rather strange, but basically it looks okay, but I
7 really would have to read it. Is this a copy of our report or what?
8 Q. Mr. Nissen, what I really want to know right now --
9 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, sorry, if I may assist my colleague here
10 that this is an electronic copy of an ECMM document received
11 electronically, so it does come from the ECMM. That explains for
12 Colonel Nissen why the format would look different. Thank you,
13 Your Honour. It's already admitted as well.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Then I confirm that.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Colonel Nissen, does it not follow based on this document that
17 this was no treason by Muslim individuals in the tanks of the HVO but,
18 rather, that what was at stake here was an organised activity of a much
19 broader scope, one that was linked to the BH army, since Mr. Midhat Hujdur
20 took part, was involved in these activities and was killed in the process?
21 A. The fact that it was a planned or a major action is something
22 which we were clear about afterwards. With the events of this day after
23 we came back to the CC and we were so occupied with the formulation that
24 we couldn't make any conclusions at that point. That would have been
1 Q. Can we agree, in order not to waste time any more discussing and
2 belabouring this point, that these were not individual actions taken by
3 Muslims in the HVO but, rather, a broader operation? Any information
4 gleaned later on about this only seemed to confirm this theory, didn't it?
5 A. We couldn't confirm something that we hadn't known previously, but
6 let me say once more quite clearly at the beginning it seemed to us that
7 it was a spontaneous activity from -- on the part of individual soldiers
8 that could have taken place for different reasons, but by the middle of
9 July we thought that this could have been part of some sort of larger
11 Q. Very well. Since we're still not certain, let's look at another
12 document, an UNPROFOR document. The number is P 097 -- 02979. This is an
13 UNPROFOR document, a weekly report. Can you have a look, please, sir?
14 P 02979. It's in my set of documents, the one that I have provided.
15 A. [Previous translation continues]... documents.
16 Q. Paragraph 5, sir. 5(3) -- 5(A)(3). UNPROFOR states Muslims are
17 leaving the 1st and 3rd Brigades of the HVO and are joining units the BH
18 army. Colonel, did you have any information to indicate that Muslims at
19 this stage were leaving the HVO on a massive scale?
20 A. Well, in fact this was something that I gleaned from later
21 picture, a more complete picture, not so quickly or during the time period
22 that one could imagine. We had to react with a certain time lag, even in
23 our thoughts so that we could formulate a picture. So these were images
24 which came later, not ad hoc. And this also had to do with the fact our
25 movements were restricted, and because we could not only rely on the
1 reports of other entities like UNPROFOR, for example.
2 Q. Colonel Nissen, did you know that these Muslims as they were
3 leaving the HVO took with them weapons, ammunition, medical supplies and
4 such like, whatever they deemed might be helpful once they had joined
5 their new army?
6 A. Yes. We found this out, too, and we thought that that was the
7 case, in fact, yes.
8 Q. Sir, did you know that -- this is about the 2nd Brigade of the
9 HVO, and we saw the positions they were holding around Mostar. That in
10 the 2nd Brigade of the HVO the percentage of Muslim soldiers was about 40
11 per cent?
12 A. Well, these percentages were not known to us. We assumed, rather,
13 from the point of view of the time that everything that was around about
14 Mostar had fewer armija soldiers and that in the area left of the Neretva,
15 in this area and the brigade of Obradovic there were considerably more
16 armija soldiers. This is how we saw things at the time.
17 Q. Colonel Nissen, I'm not asking you about BH army soldiers. I'm
18 asking you about the HVO soldiers of Muslim ethnicity, of Muslim faith, if
19 you like. I'm telling you that the HVO contained 40 per cent of Muslim
20 soldiers. I'm talking about the 2nd Brigade.
21 A. Well, again percentages were unknown to us. I can only give you a
22 more general assessment. The more -- the closer the brigades were to
23 Mostar, the HVO brigades, the fewer armija soldiers were there. And the
24 further they moved to the south - this is why I referred to the brigade of
25 Obradovic - there were more armija soldiers in these brigades. The
1 reason, I would say, was that at a much later point in time I found out
2 that at least parts of complete armija brigade was in the south, something
3 which I hadn't known for a long time. They were in houses and apartments
4 and so on, allegedly. But about the numbers that you're asking, in terms
5 of actual percentages or so I can't answer.
6 Q. Let us leave these figures aside for the time being,
7 Colonel Nissen. Let us try to clarify this: I'm asking you about Muslims
8 in the HVO. Regular HVO soldiers of Muslim ethnicity. I'm not asking you
9 about the BH army, I'm not asking about any of their brigades. I'm asking
10 you about the regular HVO soldiers who happened to be of Muslim ethnicity,
11 who on the 13th [as interpreted] of June, 1993, rose up against an army
12 which had they had up to that point served? I am asking you about the
13 percentage of Muslims in the HVO. It would be quite sufficient for you to
14 tell me whether you knew about the percentage of Muslims in the 2nd
15 Brigade of the HVO, whether you knew that the percentage was relatively
17 A. This is something we found out later. I admit that at the
18 beginning we considered the proportion to be smaller, but we had no doubt
19 about it, and I refer you again to the report of the 30th [Realtime
20 transcript read in error "13th"] of June. We spoke immediately of mutiny,
21 and this means in military terms these are so soldiers of this army who
22 had risen up against the leaders in this army, that is the HVO.
23 Q. Before I move on, two corrections for the transcript. In my
24 question, page 66, line 1, the date is the 30th of June and not the 13th.
25 And the witness's answer, page 66, line 9, the witness was actually
1 talking about the 30th of July and not about the 13th of June as the
2 transcript reflects.
3 All right. Let's continue. Mr. Nissen, you wrote in your reports
4 about the fact that Colonel Obradovic had told you that in his own HVO
5 brigade, which was the 1st Brigade of the HVO, the percentage of Muslims
6 was 25, 25 per cent. Do you remember that, sir?
7 A. I can't remember so precisely because this was a number which I
8 derived from the other team. I -- I could only read about it and talk to
9 them about it.
10 Q. Very well. For those who want to check the percentages reflected
11 in P 03175. Colonel Nissen, if indeed this information is correct about
12 the 40 per cent of Muslims in the 2nd Brigade, 25 per cent of Muslims in
13 the 1st Brigade, not to mention the percentage figures as they relate to
14 other brigades, at a time when we have this treason on a massive scale by
15 the Muslims on the one hand and the HVO losing territory precisely because
16 of this on the other, because of this treason, could we then not say that
17 at this point in time the HVO was severely weakened and something had to
18 be done quickly were the HVO to preserve control over the territory that
19 was in their hands at the time?
20 A. As you are saying, apart from these percentages, if so many
21 soldiers rebel, then in this case many HVO soldiers and leaders are
22 occupied in finding out who they are, to guard them and to take them
23 somewhere else, and the troops are almost laid lame for other matters.
24 Q. Given the circumstances, the decision was made for the remaining
25 Muslims who were still members of the HVO to be disarmed and detained.
1 Following certain investigative steps, a decision was to be made and
2 proceedings were to be initiated or else they -- they would just be
3 allowed to return to their units. Were you familiar -- were you familiar
4 with that decision made by the HVO authorities at the time?
5 A. No, I didn't know that.
6 Q. Let me remind you of a document that we've been looking at over
7 the last couple of days. This is in the Prosecutor's set. P 03427.
8 03427. This is a report dated the 13th of July. There's an account here
9 of a conversation with Mr. Kresimir Zubak. Among other things,
10 Kresimir Zubak goes on to explain that it was necessary to detain the
11 Muslim soldiers within the HVO because they had committed treason. They
12 had organised or staged an uprising.
13 Does this jog your memory, sir? Do you perhaps after all remember
14 that the HVO took a decision of this nature? They informed all of their
15 collocutors about this, which included the ECMM.
16 A. Yes. Now we're again about the middle of July, and such
17 information, although I can't remember precisely what you're asking, but
18 the information as a whole of course had to come together, so we knew also
19 with the -- about the discussion with Mr. Zubak.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to break. We'll have a
21 20-minute break.
22 The Defence told us that they might conclude today. We have 1
23 hour and 10 minutes left. After the break we'll have 1 hour left. The
24 Defence told us that they wanted to conclude today, so please try to do so
25 if at all possible.
1 We'll resume in 20 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Colonel Nissen, for purposes of continuity, let me repeat and
7 recapitulate. We were talking about Mr. Kresimir Zubak who informed the
8 European Monitors about the need to arrest the Muslim soldiers in the HVO.
9 I'd like to ask you the following questions, and ask them to the best of
10 your knowledge, information you learnt then, afterwards and so on. Can we
11 agree that after the BH army in April 1993 took certain offensive action
12 vis-a-vis the HVO that absolutely nothing bad happened to the Muslim
13 soldiers within the HVO. That is to say, none of them were disarmed,
14 arrested, or anything else adverse in that sense?
15 A. Well, you have now mentioned the month of April.
16 Q. Konjic.
17 A. Of course, I have would see this month rather in terms of the
18 north, in Klis, in terms of the attacks the armija, not particularly in
19 the area of Mostar. I wouldn't bring the two together.
20 Q. Colonel Nissen, I didn't intend to link it up to the events in
21 Mostar. What I wanted to do was to look at the broader area, the area
22 that you were in charge of, and tie up some facts there, and so I wanted
23 to see if you agreed with my assessment to the effect that after the BH
24 army offensive in April 1993 on the territory of Konjic nothing bad
25 happened to the Muslims who were soldiers in the HVO. They continued to
1 fight alongside their fellow combatants, Croats, within the HVO units; is
2 that right?
3 A. Yes, I could confirm that. In spite of the attacks of the armija
4 in the north, there were no changes within the units in the south.
5 Q. Colonel Nissen, can we also agree with the following statement,
6 that not even in June 1993 when the BH army took control of the area of
7 Travnik, Kakanj, and Fojnica can anything bad happen to the Muslim
8 soldiers in the HVO, that none of them were disarmed, taken into custody,
9 or degraded in any way whatsoever?
10 A. Well, I and obviously others, other observers, saw nothing about
11 this. I'm talking about the UNPROFOR people. There were no such reports.
12 Q. I'm not receiving the interpretation. Ah, yes, I am now. Thank
14 Yes, reports of that kind or, rather, observations of that kind
15 are not contained in any of the monitor reports.
16 Now, would you agree with me when I say the following, and I think
17 we've already agreed mostly, it was only on the 30th of June, 1993, when
18 the mass treachery of the Muslims within the HVO ranks occurred, the HVO
19 decided for security reasons to disarm and arrest the Muslims in the HVO?
20 Would that be right? And you reported on that event, you and other
21 monitors. Do we agree on that point?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. I'd like us now to take a look at a Prosecution
24 document in the Prosecution binder. The number is P 0347. We've already
25 looked at it today. Maybe you don't even have to look for the document.
1 I have a simple question. It is a report from the ECMM for the 15th of
2 July, 1993, and in a part of that report it says that group M3 informed
3 that all the Muslim soldiers, 400 of them -- between 4 and 500 of them in
4 Tomislavgrad were disarmed and sent home.
5 Mr. Nissen, do you remember that part of the report? And in that
6 regard, I'd like to ask you the following question, it's about
7 Tomislavgrad: Now, Tomislavgrad, was it a town in Herzegovina with an
8 absolute majority population?
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have said, and it is so in the transcript on
10 line 15, P 0347. Are you not referring to 30427?
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The document number is 3470. Yes,
12 0 at the end. It's a document that we've already looked at, and we've
13 already heard that piece of information.
14 Q. I'd just like us to analyse this, how come that something like
15 that happened in Tomislavgrad. So my question refers to Tomislavgrad. Do
16 you know that it's a town in Herzegovina where the majority population is
17 Croatian and a town that was never any part of BH army offensives? Can we
18 agree on that point?
19 A. Yes. Although surrounding areas around Tomislavgrad certainly had
20 had a Muslim population.
21 Q. Would you also agree with me when I say that precisely for the
22 reason I mentioned earlier on there were no security reasons for the
23 Muslim soldiers to be disarmed or arrested and that that is why they were
24 sent home, as was recorded in this ECMM report?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. We saw that Mr. Kresimir Zubak had informed the
2 European Monitors of the necessity to arrest Muslim soldiers in the HVO.
3 Now, tell me, please, Colonel Nissen, did you know that other institutions
4 were informed of that as well, for example, the UNHCR, the International
5 Red Cross committee being two cases in point?
6 A. Well, whether we informed them directly I can't say, but the
7 reporting system, as such, required an exchange of documents amongst
8 ourselves. So from the normal source of procedures, I would say yes.
9 Q. Very well. We've already seen the document in court. It is a
10 Prosecution document in his binder. P 3554 is the number. And in that
11 document it says that the UNHCR was informed of the Muslims taken into
12 custody and that the HVO asked their assistance in moving the Muslim
13 detainees and refugees.
14 Now, from these documents -- well, Colonel, if you wish to take a
15 look you can. It is under point 4 relating to the humanitarian situation
16 in the document that I've just read out.
17 On the basis of all these documents and on the basis of your own
18 personal knowledge, can we agree that the HVO, without wasting time, asked
19 the assistance of the UNHCR and other international institutions in order
20 to take care of the Muslims that had been taken into custody?
21 A. At least according to this report the UNHCR had been sufficiently
23 Q. According to the documents and the witnesses who testified in this
24 courtroom, there's no doubt that the UNHCR refused to help the HVO and
25 explained this by saying that their assistance would be a contribution to
1 the so-called ethnic cleansing. I say so-called or alleged ethnic
2 cleansing because it's not a concept that has been defined by any legal
3 regulations. It is a concept used by journalists, which has come into
4 frequent use.
5 Now, do you have any knowledge about that, that is to say that the
6 UNHCR, with the explanations that they provided, refused to help in
7 solving the problem of the Muslims who had been arrested? And I think
8 that's what it says in the document that we looked at a moment ago.
9 A. It is a particularly difficult situation. We talked about this in
10 a similar form yesterday. At the moment when the HVO was burdened with
11 those prisoners that we were talking about yesterday, or unburdened,
12 rather, they're free for fighting, and the UNHCR felt that they had a
13 certain responsibility, and it removed the burden from the HVO at least to
14 concern themselves with these prisoners.
15 Q. But the UNHCR did not help the HVO, so that all these Muslims in
16 detention were left with the HVO to deal with them alone; do you agree?
17 A. Well, to say that that was absolutely true is something I can't
18 confirm, because I really don't know. But I think the principle is okay,
20 Q. Tell me, please, to the best of your knowledge the HVO never
21 prepared itself for a situation in which they would have so many Muslims
22 arrested or anybody else, for that matter. You didn't report on this,
23 that the HVO was building detention centres or getting ready for any mass
24 arrests. You agree with me there, don't you? There were no preparations
25 for any mass arrests and Muslim detentions on the part of the HVO, nor did
1 you ever notice anything of that kind? And I'm referring to the situation
2 up to the 1st of July, 1993.
3 A. We had no knowledge of anything like this taking place.
4 Q. I'm going to offer you a conclusion. If it's just speculation
5 tell me so, but I put it to you that if there were no activities towards
6 opening any detention centres or any preparations for mass arrests, and if
7 the arrests on the 1st of July were a consequence of treachery on the part
8 of the Muslim soldiers within the HVO ranks, would it be well-founded to
9 conclude that there was no plan on the part of the HVO to imprison Muslims
10 on the territory of Herceg-Bosna?
11 A. Well, I can only refer to what we discussed before. The HVO
12 presumably assumed that the Muslim soldiers would be safe because they had
13 fought on their sides, and the situation was the reverse in the north.
14 There were -- the HVO soldiers were fighting the armija, and they saw the
15 need to take particular measures, I can't judge, but to make such
16 preparations. I'm referring to these soldiers once more that we were
17 talking about.
18 Q. Let me be practical. Now, if on the 30th of June we have the
19 treachery of the Muslims, and if on the 1st of July the HVO makes a
20 decision to disarm and arrest the Muslims within the HVO, then it would be
21 well founded to conclude that there was no criminal plan of arresting
22 Muslims among HVO ranks. Do you agree with me, based on what you know?
23 A. Yes. I assume that this plan did not exist according to the
24 events, because if they had had such a plan, then they could have
25 intervened at an earlier stage to save lives. So this would have been the
1 logical consequence, and then there would have been fewer casualties and
2 fewer deaths. When I think of a family that I interviewed, refugees, from
3 the area of Bijelo Polje.
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel Nissen. I'd now like to ask you, and my time
5 is running out, to explain something that you said. It was in response to
6 a question asked by my colleague Ms. Senka Nozica. Let me remind you.
7 You told us, and in a statement to the Prosecutor in 1998 you said that at
8 the end of April 1993 you gained the impression that the Muslims were
9 trying to expel the Croats from the southern part of Central Bosnia, and
10 my colleague Senka Nozica asked you about that. Now, in continuation you
11 went on to say, "Later on I understood that that was a concept. That was
12 the conception."
13 What did you have in mind, this concept of the BH army in taking
14 control of areas which until then had been under HVO control?
15 A. During the month of April many more meetings took place on all
16 military levels than had been clear before on all levels, and then we had
17 individual sorties or visits to Jablanica, Konjic, and the area north of
18 the Jablanica lake. These were individual activities, and at that time,
19 this is why I talk about joint commissions, General Petkovic, Pasalic, and
20 Lasic, and the entire staff, they were still working. There was a whole
21 series of other people, Ramic and other peoples, who were all cooperating.
22 So that everything took place in April.
23 And then these attacks increased so that looking back, and I'm
24 being very careful here, one could say that it was almost a manoeuvre to
25 deceive each other. I think one should take this, however, very
1 carefully. But afterwards, looking back everything that was done was
2 fairly useless. All the commissions and attempts to create a cease-fire
3 wouldn't have been needed, but there were signs. And this brings me back
4 to Zuka and to the brigade commander of the armija. There were signs, and
5 there were considerable forces opposing the high-ranking military people,
6 and they wanted something different, and I think, as I said before,
7 Mr. Zuka attacked Halilovic openly, quite energetically, and said that he
8 would cooperate with the Croats and the Serbs and that he was not going to
9 go along with that.
10 Q. Colonel Nissen, for the very end I'd like you to take a look at a
11 document in my binder. It is P 02740. It is a report by UNPROFOR.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And may we go into private session,
13 because it is a document under seal. I apologise for not mentioning that
14 straight away.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 20652 redacted. Private session
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're in open session, and I'm
8 giving the floor to Mr. Ibrisimovic.
9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. As we were saying, Colonel, you know the person I mean. He was a
11 colleague of yours working in the ECMM during that period of time; is that
13 A. Yes. He deputised for me during my leave in 1993.
14 Q. It was from the 6th of May to the 25th of May, 1993, was it not?
15 And you appointed him your deputy, did you not?
16 What kind of cooperation did you have with the gentleman,
17 Mr. Milverton?
18 A. I don't know precisely how long he was in Mostar, but he went to
19 another post and he was no longer my deputy. But I think I can say on
20 this occasion I'd like to ask the Prosecutor or point out if I may,
21 Your Honour, that with regard to ECM monitors from the Foreign Office of
22 the Federal Republic of Germany, I can only limit my statements. My
23 statements are restricted on that count.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has taken due
25 note of what you said.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Ibrisimovic, taking into account what the
2 witness has just said.
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness during his evidence
4 has mentioned his name so many times that he stood in for him in Mostar
5 throughout this period of time. I'll try to ask the witness this.
6 Q. Did you see Mr. Milverton on your return to Mostar on the 24th,
7 possibly the 25th of May, 1993?
8 A. At that time I had more to do with the Dutch monitors, personally,
9 but I can't really confirm that. It would have been a matter of course
10 for my deputy to be there.
11 Q. The natural thing would be upon your return for your deputy to
12 brief you, to submit a report to you of some kind, wouldn't it? Hence my
13 question. Did you talk to him when you returned to Mostar?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. If you can remember, did you hold a meeting with him upon your
17 A. I had a meeting in Mostar west, and looking at this Croatian
18 document Peter Espensen is mentioned here. He was an UNPROFOR or UNMO
19 officer who led the meeting. He was there too obviously.
20 Q. I'm sorry, sir. Please don't look at the document before I start
21 pointing things out to you. First try to answer my questions and then
22 we'll go back to the document.
23 A. I took part in a meeting where Espensen chaired the meeting, the
24 UNMO officer, and Nigel Milverton was present.
25 Q. Is this the same meeting that you spoke of in terms of
1 representatives of the civilian authorities being there on the 25th of
2 May, 1993? It was about electricity, about water. Water and electricity
3 supplies and such like.
4 A. Yes. This is the meeting that I'm talking about, as far as I
6 Q. Can you have a look at the document in front of you now. For the
7 benefit of the transcript this is P 02512. Attending the meeting was
8 Mr. Milverton, as well as Mr. Espensen. I don't see your name there,
9 though, so what I want to know is was this the same meeting that you
10 attended or are we talking about a different meeting?
11 A. I came into this meeting quite spontaneously because I had just
12 come back, but it must have been the same meeting. Without looking at the
13 document I'm saying this.
14 Q. You can have a look, sir. It's not a long document. Take your
15 time, please.
16 You see the preamble; right? You talked about the agreement dated
17 the 12th of May, 1993, between General Halilovic and General Petkovic,
18 General Morillon and Ambassador Thebault. The agreement was reached by
19 the negotiating parties there was someone on behalf of the HVO and someone
20 on behalf of the BH army. This is a logical conclusion or continuation,
21 if you like, of that agreement, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The agreement was witnessed by the international community, wasn't
24 it? Your own associate, Mr. Milverton, as well as military observer
25 Espensen. You said it yourself, after all, that you chanced on that
1 meeting as it were, didn't you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If you look at paragraph 1, paragraph 2, and paragraph 3, you see
4 that persons were appointed to implement this agreement. The signatories,
5 needless to say, are responsible for seeing the agreement through, seeing
6 it implemented. The agreement was additionally authorised and endorsed,
7 if you like, by the international community. Isn't that right, sir?
8 A. Yes, as far as they have signed the document.
9 Q. If you go to paragraph 7 -- yes, of course. Paragraph 7. This is
10 precisely what you talked about when you saw those buses; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now I'm going back to a particular portion of your evidence. You
13 said, "We heard there was something going on. We heard rumours, so I was
14 out there myself." Therefore, you were present, one of your associates,
15 fellow monitors, was present, and this was more than just rumours. This
16 was something that you were deeply involved in, wasn't it?
17 A. It's difficult for me to reconstruct how this day went on. It --
18 things were very confused, and Nigel Milverton had prepared this matter,
19 and he was the ECMM participant in the meeting responsible and he signed.
20 And I was with the Dutch monitor out in the town, looking around the town
21 and the vicinity. We were together in one car. And we didn't grasp
22 everything that went on in the meeting, that's true.
23 Q. Well, this would seem to be an exceptionally important meeting,
24 wouldn't it? It was expected that Mr. Milverton would be briefing you on
25 the substance of the meeting.
1 The International Red Cross were involved. UNPROFOR were too.
2 That is why I'm saying these were no mere rumours. This was an agreement
3 that was being implemented based on what was eventually signed, and one of
4 your associates was there.
5 A. Well, the fact that it was a signed document like the one I see in
6 front of me now, this was something that at that time when my report was
7 made on the observations of the bus transports was something that I didn't
8 know, and this does not change the situation that I described when talking
9 about the bus transports.
10 Q. If you look at this document, you see that Mr. Pusic received no
11 assignment whatsoever to be part of this agreement, to be part of its
12 implementation. Can we please go to the other document.
13 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think these
14 documents are under seal, and I think it might be best for us to move into
15 private session.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please.
17 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You saw the agreement, sir.
22 A. Now?
23 Q. I'm asking you this question: If on the 25th of May at this
24 meeting where the agreement was signed, one of your associates from the
25 monitor mission attended. Furthermore, there was a military observer
1 involved in it, the International Red Cross, SpaBat. This was an open
2 secret, wasn't it? Why did you feel that your presence on the spot was
3 undesirable since you all knew about this going on and you were, in fact,
4 all deeply in it, weren't you?
5 A. That was the situation in front of buses, because we had been told
6 that we have nothing to do with this matter and we should go away. And
7 let me add that I don't know this document, and I'm extremely surprised
8 that General Pasalic has signed this document.
9 Q. Your associate from the monitoring mission, too, thereby in some
10 way endorsing it. It wasn't just General Pasalic, was it?
11 A. Yes. Obviously he had signed it, too, yes. To say quite clearly,
12 and I'm repeating what I said in terms of my restricted statements, this
13 is something that he should have presented to me, or he should have
14 reported this more accurately than perhaps the assessment that I had in
15 the evening with the other monitor could have turned out quite different.
16 Not in terms of what we saw but possibly in the assessment of the
17 situation. What we saw, we saw.
18 It's also possible that the affected population, I'm only saying
19 this with hindsight now, that the population affected would have reacted
20 in a different way had they been dealt with in a different way, different
21 according to the plans of what had been going on in their community.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President, this
23 is sufficient for our purposes. No more questions for us. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, do you have any
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. May I confirm that Ms. Tomic
2 and the Coric Defence have no questions?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it's over.
4 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, just two
5 matters that I would like to raise briefly.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Kruger:
7 Q. Colonel, this afternoon General Praljak showed you a selection of
8 about six or seven documents from the 9th of May, 1993, on the basis of
9 which you stated that, "Based on these documents it seems to me this could
10 be a spontaneous reaction." My question to you, Colonel, is if you had
11 more documents at your disposal pre-dating the 9th of May, would this in
12 any way -- or could this in any way affect this assessment of yours that
13 this is a spontaneous reaction?
14 A. I would like to say that it would require a much wider assessment
15 of both sides to make a final judgement. I don't know whether individual
16 documents would be helpful in this respect. I fear they wouldn't.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. The other matter that I would like to briefly
18 touch upon is last night Mr. Karnavas, he read two very dramatic
19 documents, and this morning you also raised these same documents when we
20 started the session. Now, sir, the response that you gave yesterday to
21 these documents was, in essence, that you did not personally know about
22 the events or the matters raised in those documents or described therein,
23 and also that these related to events outside your area of responsibility.
24 My question, the first one, is what, as an ECMM monitor, was your
25 responsibility, if any, regarding events which occurred outside your area
1 of responsibility?
2 A. If I read that as a report, and this would be the normal
3 situation, I had no responsibility because I would assume, according to
4 the reporting system, that all of those with responsibility in this matter
5 would have taken the responsibility. We would not normally have
6 telephoned a comrade in another office, in other institution, to
7 say, "Look, something has happened over there." This is not part of the
8 normal working situation.
9 Q. And, sir, would you necessarily have known what the precise steps
10 were which would have been taken in somebody else's area of responsibility
11 with regard to all matters that occurred there?
12 A. No, I wouldn't necessarily have found out, but perhaps with a
13 certain time delay, and I may have noted some report in the press or other
14 publications, but I wouldn't have received this on the normal -- during
15 the normal reporting system. I might have received a summary after a
16 certain amount of time.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, you raised those two -- or the issues or
18 those two documents this morning. Was there anything further you wished
19 to add with regard thereto?
20 A. I can only say that if I have received original documents, I was
21 very careful to assess whether they were forged or real. It's very
22 difficult when you're working on site. These documents, I had no reason
23 to doubt their authenticity, are hopefully being submitted to all sorts of
24 forensic investigations, but I was very careful with the documents as far
25 as their originality was concerned and also in terms of the signatures.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. KRUGER: No further questions, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for the sake of
5 general information, Mr. Kruger began with those six or seven documents
6 that Mr. Praljak had previously shown the witness, dated the 9th of May,
7 all issued by the same commander, Commander Lasic. I suppose you noticed
8 during the examination that the numbers -- document numbers are in a
9 series, which in some way shows their authenticity but some numbers are
10 missing. I've checked with my office since, and I can't quite say we have
11 all of those, but I believe we are actually in the possession of nine out
12 of ten. Maybe even all of them. I can't promise that, but we have all or
13 nearly all of those documents that's as far as the missing numbers are
15 I also received an e-mail from one of my associates, we weren't
16 planning on using those, simply because they had not yet all been
17 translated. We picked a couple of typical documents that Mr. Praljak
19 As for the other documents, we can forward this sort of
20 information to you later on, the numbers and whatever else. If there's
21 time, if there is a need, I'll be showing them to you. Even if we had
22 them in our hands, certainly we wouldn't be using all of them because time
23 was short. Perhaps we can simply serve you notice of the document numbers
24 and perhaps submit photocopies, not as evidence but merely to prove that
25 we have the entire series of documents in our possession. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
2 continues] ... for these explanations.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I wonder if I might have a moment. Yesterday, at
4 the conclusion of the session, the gentleman witness, who has been very
5 patient and very proper, was rather agitated having believed that perhaps
6 I was suggesting that he had come across these orders, and that as a
7 military man and as an observer had done nothing. And I indicated to him
8 that I would clarify the matter. I didn't want to speak to him because
9 obviously he's a witness, and I understand this was raised earlier on and
10 was raised by my colleague Suzana Tomanovic, but just to make sure that
11 the gentleman understands. First, I want to apologise if I offended him,
12 that wasn't the intention. Two, I never suggested nor am I suggesting
13 that those orders were shown to the document -- to the gentleman or were
14 available to him because obviously what the orders call for were something
15 rather horrendous and something that one would keep in confidence assuming
16 that they had intentions of putting that to plan, which is our -- our
17 belief that that was the case.
18 So -- and the purpose for showing the documents was again to
19 demonstrate that there were things happening that were, one, unavailable,
20 or unknown to the ECMM monitors but secondly there was a document that was
21 shown by Mr. Kruger to the gentleman where in the document itself the
22 commander of the army of BiH indicated to the ICRC, this is from -- to
23 BritBat, that he was no longer going to take prisoners, meaning that he
24 would give no quarter and that he would be executing prisoners.
25 So I used that as an opportunity to introduce those documents.
1 Again, I want to make sure that the gentleman understands that there was
2 no insinuation that he himself was aware of those documents or those
3 events and he did not act, and there was no insinuation that he did not
4 act properly while he was there as an observer. I want to make sure that
5 the gentleman understands and again, to the extent that I may have caused
6 you any pain, I apologise. That was not my intention.
7 Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Very well, Colonel,
9 your testimony has come to an end, unless Mr. Praljak wanted to apologise
10 as well. I don't know.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, no reason for me to do
13 Your Honour, you said before the witness began about those 95
14 binders containing 100 documents, roughly speaking, the ones that I
15 mentioned. There are over 8.000 documents contained therein. That's one
17 In answer to Mr. Kruger, documents were tendered that pre-date the
18 9th of May. I did show a number of documents to show exactly what the
19 area commander was reporting prior to the 9th of May. I did. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, since probably we won't be in session
22 tomorrow, and I should say good evening, Your Honours, Mr. President and
23 the other Judges.
24 If I could just raise one procedural matter. The Defence, various
25 Defence teams have filed various responses to the filing of the report of
1 Mr. Sudetic, and I believe we've now received, I think, all of the Defence
2 responses and I would ask the Chamber to granted us leave to reply, give
3 us an extension of five working days until next Friday to file our reply,
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, after a brief deliberation
7 the Chamber is granting you five working days.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now that my colleague
10 has raised this, the issue of deadlines, I don't want to say anything that
11 will be premature, but since we're not in session tomorrow, and just this
12 afternoon we have received two other large-scale motions from the OTP, one
13 about tendering documents in relation to a protected person, I'm not sure
14 if there is protection or not, so I dare not say the person's name. And
15 the other motion is about a 92 bis witness, something to do with Vares.
16 There's a third -- a smaller motion which is not as important, but these
17 two large-scale motions, extensive motions, require a lot of preparation
18 and analysis for us to be able to provide an adequate reply.
19 Furthermore, you know that over the past couple of days we have
20 been requesting deadline extensions since we are overburdened as we are
21 with all the motions that already exist. You have granted us an extension
22 to the 12th of July and we thank you for it. We want to clear our table,
23 as it were, before we leave. This notwithstanding we still haven't
24 managed to all sit down together as Defence teams and discuss what exactly
25 we would do.
1 My take on it is we will not be able to provide an answer, reply,
2 within a reasonable time. I don't wish to tire you with it but I think we
3 will have to request another extension in order to be able to submit our
4 reply after the break. I think we are entitled to several days' break.
5 If we don't ask for an extension to the end of July, that means we will
6 have to be working throughout our summer break. This is a lot of work,
7 and it also requires communication between the Defence teams. However,
8 may we be given an opportunity to redefine this whole thing once we have
9 managed to sit down together and look at the situation --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
11 continues] ... Work as you can see. The Trial Chamber at times issues two
12 or three rulings a day. It takes time to read them. There are filings by
13 the Prosecution, at times two or three per day as well, which means that
14 you really are snowed under. A heavy burden of motions, you have to
15 prepare for cross-examination, you must prepare for the 92 bis phase. You
16 must prepare your witnesses, which is really quite a heavy workload. I'm
17 aware of that.
18 Regarding your application on the three motions we'll have to
19 discuss this, but I'm going to do this right now. Unless Mr. Stewart
20 wants to say the same, or something along the same lines?
21 MR. STEWART: No, if I was going to say the same, Your Honours, I
22 wouldn't trouble Your Honours this evening. I'm going to say something
23 different. Your Honours, it was just on the question of the 94 bis notice
24 in relation to Mr. Sudetic. I just wanted to be clear because 94 bis (B)
25 provides for a notice. Now, the Petkovic Defence notice was in slightly
1 fuller terms than some of the others. Some of the others were just very
2 brief notices with the points, and I just wanted to be clear, Your Honour
3 that when the Prosecution have put in a reply that at that point, Your
4 Honours would, with any submissions on counsel, review where we go from
5 here. Because it's not like a full motion with a full response and then a
6 full reply.
7 The fact that it is a notice means that points are made which then
8 may require more elaborate argument. So I just wanted to put down a
9 marker, Your Honour, that I hope Your Honours wouldn't then simply be
10 proceeding without any further consideration to make rulings on this,
11 without considering whether there should be the opportunity for, for
12 example, some oral submissions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed. We were seized by the
14 Prosecution of this notice under 94 bis (B). The Defence teams are free
15 to reply, so I can't see why you're so concerned. You're free to reply.
16 Either you comply or you agree to the motion, or you challenge it, because
17 according to you it is not properly formulated under Rule 94 bis (B), and
18 you would apply for the witness to be a viva voce witness. But it is up
19 to you. You can realise --
20 MR. STEWART: I think I'm not making my point clearly enough,
21 Your Honour. The Rule requires a notice from the Defence saying whether
22 they admit or don't accept the report, whether they do want
23 cross-examination, whether they challenge the qualifications and so on.
24 And Your Honours will see in one or two cases, the notice takes the form,
25 no, we don't accept it, yes, we do want to cross-examine. Just giving a
1 very clear indication what the position is, what the Rule requires. So,
2 Your Honours, it's clear that what the Defence teams have not on the whole
3 done is attempt to set out the full submissions in the way that we
4 normally do in response to a motion.
5 Your Honour, I'm not asking for this all to be resolved this
6 evening, I'm just asking for Your Honours to bear in mind that when the
7 Prosecution are putting their reply, it may very well be that we're in a
8 position where it won't be appropriate, with respect, for Your Honours
9 simply to go straight on to a ruling without a further opportunity. I'm
10 only asking that Your Honours don't do that without the opportunity to
11 reconsider it in the future. But not at 3 minutes past 7.00 this evening.
12 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, I know it's late, but in
13 response, I do have to make a response to that, just so the record is
14 clear -- just so the record is very clear, the Prosecution indeed made a
15 filing, which is simply a notice, and I think was really all of one page.
16 It simply says, "Attached please find the report which is hereby filed."
17 Now in response to that, the Petkovic team in particular filed a
18 six-page reply, so I don't think it was not -- it was not a non-reply. It
19 was a six-page objection, extensively objecting to the receipt of the
20 report. So with that clarification, we can address the matter further if
21 and when the Chamber decides to. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Let's talk about next
23 week. As you know, on Monday, the Prosecution does not have any witness
24 available. As a result, we'll start that particular week on Monday -- on
25 Tuesday, 9.00 a.m. On Wednesday we'll be sitting in the afternoon. And
1 on Thursday in the morning.
2 Now, with respect to the time for that witness, the witness who
3 will testify during three days, the Prosecution says they need six hours,
4 we'll consider the matter because we haven't time to do so. And you'll
5 receive an e-mail tomorrow telling us what we think about this, but of
6 course the Defence will have to work out how they will spread the time
7 amongst themselves. We'll only intervene if you can't find an agreement.
8 We'll let you know about the time tomorrow, a minimum of six hours for the
9 Prosecution, a minimum of six hours for the Defence, but that's all I can
10 say about the matter now. You'll be further informed and notified
12 The witness has concluded his testimony. As a result, we won't
13 sit tomorrow.
14 Colonel, on behalf of my colleagues, I'd like to thank you for
15 your contribution after having been called here to testify by the
16 Prosecution. I wish you a safe trip home.
17 We are going to conclude, and I'd like to apologise to the
18 interpreters, because we -- it's a bit later than usual. So we'll
19 reconvene on Tuesday at 9.00 a.m.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.09 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of July,
23 2007, at 9.00 a.m.