Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 22947

1 Tuesday, 2 October 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the case,

6 please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

8 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar. Today we

10 are Tuesday the 2nd of October 2007. I'd like to greet the

11 representatives of the Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused and all

12 the people giving us a helping hand.

13 It so happens that due to an error in our calculations, the

14 Prosecution has had 20 minutes less than it should have. Therefore, the

15 Prosecutor was not able to introduce some of the documents he wished to so

16 we have a very simple solution to this. After the cross-examination, and

17 as part of the redirect, the Prosecution will be able to adduce those

18 documents that are connected to the questions raised in the

19 cross-examination, and if necessary, ask for these documents to be

20 tendered by making submissions in writing.

21 As we have a little extra time, once we will have completed the

22 cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic defending -- and Mr. Praljak, and

23 Mr. Stojic's Defence team, I will give the floor to Mrs. Alaburic again so

24 that she can ask a few additional questions. But if her questions will

25 have been raised by other Defence counsel, then that will not be the case.

Page 22948

1 Much will depend on what happens here this morning. Then the Prosecution

2 will have time for redirect and can adduce new documents if need be. This

3 is how we are going to proceed this morning.

4 Would it be at all possible if we were to finish earlier than

5 expected, could we hear the next witness today, Mr. Poryvaev?

6 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I'm not sure because the witness came

7 a little bit later yesterday, not in the morning, and he has been working

8 with our assistants preparing for the trial. I don't think it's possible.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

10 Yes?

11 MR. KHAN: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. In relation

12 to the error in calculation that the Prosecution have been given 20

13 minutes less, it's our respectful submission that the error should be

14 remedied at the earliest possible opportunity. Of course, the Prosecution

15 is master of its own examination-in-chief and it may well be the case that

16 the questions asked go beyond merely admitting documents, but they would

17 perfectly be within their rights to ask questions on substantive issues.

18 In order to prevent proceedings becoming a jack in a box with then the

19 Defence seeking to stand up and cross-examine on those new issues, it

20 seems sensible, in our respectful submission, that as we are yet to start

21 the next cross-examination for the Defence, that my learned friend now, at

22 this juncture, continues his cross-examination -- examination-in-chief and

23 then we cross-examine as normal afterwards. Your Honours, that's our

24 respectful submission.

25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of General

Page 22949

1 Petkovic supports that proposal.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For once a Defence counsel agree

3 with what the Prosecution has said. We then feel that the Prosecution can

4 take the floor. Defence counsel feel that there might have been important

5 questions which you would have liked to put to the witness, and in that

6 case, if those questions have not been put, this might prejudice you, as

7 we have quite a lot of time today and 20 minutes is not much of an issue.

8 We entitle you to put other questions to the witness for 20

9 minutes. So we shall drop the blinds and bring the witness into the

10 courtroom.

11 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much, Your Honour.

12 [Trial chamber and legal officer confer]

13 [The witness entered court]

14 [Representative of Spanish government entered

15 court].

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall move into closed

17 session again. So as to be able to display the logo.

18 [Closed session]

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 22950

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 [Open session]

10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecution, you have the floor.

12 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you, Your Honours.


14 [Witness answered through interpreter]

15 MR. PORYVAEV: I will take an opportunity in proposing some

16 rectifications in the transcript because I noticed there were some

17 mistakes. First of all, page 33, line we should read Exhibit P02570. The

18 same page, 33, line 19, we should read instead of P0 -- P0502582, we

19 should read P02582. That's my rectifications to the transcript.

20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I see that that last but one figure

21 is P0502582 and that -- although we have many documents that I think is a

22 bit too much.

23 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes, yes, yes. I agree but we have corrected. It

24 should be read P02582. Okay. It's --


Page 22951

1 MR. PORYVAEV: Sorry, I'm getting a little bit lost.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Poryvaev, yesterday I

3 noticed that we had this very long number, a great number of digits. I

4 did not say anything because I think it was obvious to everyone that you

5 were talking about 02582, but you are quite right to mention it and to

6 give us the right number. Please proceed.

7 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour.

8 Further examination by Mr. Poryvaev:

9 Q. Witness, yesterday we started talking about Ljubuski, but due to

10 lack of time we had to wind it up and finish at some point and I've -- now

11 I would like to address you to your -- to logbook entry of the 15th of

12 August 1993. Have you found it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Here we have that you had contacts with UNHCR to discuss the

15 problem of expulsion of 150 Muslims from the area of Ljubuski. Is it

16 correct?

17 A. What this information reflects is that members of my section were

18 at that meeting with the UNHCR, yes, that's correct.

19 Q. On the following day, on the 16th of August, UNCIVPOL and UNHCR

20 requested the presence during the night in the village of Gradska where

21 there were 50 Muslim families, 250 women, children and elderly, 92 men of

22 aged between 18 and 60 taken to Heliodrom. And you just stated that you

23 at some point got involved in this problem. What were your actions?

24 A. In theory, this was quite established practice. The UNHCR

25 requested, because they needed the information, the support of UNPROFOR

Page 22952

1 for technical reasons. In practice, I seem to recall that they requested

2 that there be a military presence in that town that night, and I don't

3 remember very well but I think that that presence was provided. I don't

4 remember the details. But my mission was to analyse the request from the

5 UNHCR, and we decided to provide the information to UNCIVPOL and

6 everything necessary was done so that this would be carried out. Thank

7 you.

8 Q. Now I will turn you to Exhibit P04214. This is binder 3. English

9 page 3. 04214.

10 A. Yes, I have it before me.

11 Q. Here we have that on the 15th of August, the section received

12 information concerning the expulsion of Muslims. Is it the same

13 information you've just told the Trial Chamber about?

14 A. Yes. I understand that this concerns the same information.

15 Q. And let's go back to the 24th of August, to your logbook, where

16 you stated that on that day, 24th of August you received information that

17 over 800 Muslim refugees, mainly women, children, elderly have been taken

18 by the HVO to the Vrdi zone in buses, and forced to come towards Dreznica,

19 Muslim zone, and I would like now -- we discussed it yesterday, but I just

20 used to these entry just to remind you of the situation. And now I would

21 like you to turn to Exhibit P04472, 4472, binder 3?

22 A. M'hm.

23 Q. This is page 5 English and page 2 Spanish.

24 A. Yes. I have the document before me. I confirm that this is an

25 official document which is INTREP 352 from the 24th of August and it

Page 22953

1 states that there is a reconnaissance patrol from SpaBat there and this

2 was patrolling in the region of Dreznica, and there we had about 1.000

3 refugees, mostly women, children and elderly heading towards Dreznica

4 taken by HVO. Currently, transport is being conducted outside of the

5 area.

6 Another INTREP confirms this information. It was quite frequent

7 for patrols in the region to come across groups of civilians who had left

8 an area of conflict, escaping fire, and therefore, the patrols would try

9 to deal with any requests for help at that time. This was mainly -- I

10 remember one particular case where there was a child wounded by a bullet.

11 Q. And then you have Exhibit P04623, binder 3. This is INTREP 278,

12 dated 29th of August 1993. Have you found it?

13 A. Yes, I have found it. I have found the document.

14 Q. Do you authenticate this document?

15 A. Yes, I authenticate this document.

16 Q. Then here we have today about 600 refugees crossed Dreznica-Vrdi

17 confrontation line, men aged 20 and 70, they look pathetic and show signs

18 of starvation. They come from the prisons of Dretelj, Gabela and Prozor.

19 According to BiH army a group of 1500 refugees had to cross the

20 confrontation line at Slatina. My question is here we have 29th of August

21 and before we just discussed the situation with just Muslims on the 24th

22 August. Perhaps we can clarify, was it the same group or -- of Muslims

23 mentioned on the 24th and 29th or different?

24 MR. KARNAVAS: Before the gentleman answers the question, just for

25 technical purposes, is there a foundation? The gentleman is

Page 22954

1 authenticating documents saying that this is an official document. It

2 then goes on to read the document as if he was present there, as if he had

3 generated the document, and then says well, this is what happened.

4 In other words he's reading hear say and then he's authenticating

5 not just the document but also the content as if the content is true,

6 accurate and complete. Now the same thing is happening on the 29th of

7 August. My question is was the gentleman present? Does he have any

8 firsthand knowledge? Otherwise the document speaks for itself. He

9 authenticates the document, the document comes in, you may need to bring

10 in another witness to discuss the content. But unless he has personal

11 knowledge I would object to the gentleman simply reading a document and

12 saying this is what happened. I'm not suggesting that --

13 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, could I explain? I'm sorry.

14 Yesterday, I showed the witness his logbook. All these dates. And number

15 of Muslims were mentioned, and now I ask questions in development of my

16 yesterday questions. He confirmed the entries in his logbook.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: If the gentleman can confirm that he was present

18 and has actual knowledge, we can move on. Otherwise, I don't think it's

19 very beneficial to have someone read official documents and then verify

20 the contents of the documents unless he has some sort of independent

21 knowledge of it. That's all I'm saying Your Honour, and I think that's

22 called a foundation.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will put the question to him

24 directly. Witness, this document, 4623, bears INTREP number 278. This

25 document was drafted on the 12th of August 1993. So my question is a very

Page 22955

1 simple one: When you were at the time fulfilling your function, did you

2 see this document, INTREP 278.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. All the documents that

4 came from the 2nd or 3rd section were distributed to all the other

5 sections. So that all the circumstances would be known to all units. So

6 hours after its drafting I was aware of it.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time, had you read this

8 document?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, it was my duty to

10 do it and I did it.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So everything mentioned in this

12 document was something which you had direct or indirect knowledge of at

13 the time; is that right?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed,

16 Mr. Poryvaev.

17 MR. PORYVAEV: Thanks, Your Honour.

18 Q. Just, witness, I would like to you answer my question. My

19 question was, was it the same group of detainees that was seen on the 29th

20 of August?

21 A. What has to be understood is that this was a different group. It

22 wasn't the same group because we are talking about different dates. The

23 INTREPs, which are intelligence reports, cover one specific day or a

24 specific time frame and so it reflects that particular point in time.

25 So I understand, when I read these two differently dated

Page 22956

1 documents, that they refer to two different groups.

2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, may we get some clarification? Is the

3 gentleman then speaking from personal actual knowledge or is it something

4 that is inferred from the document itself? Which of the two? And that's

5 my -- that was the purpose of my objection, Your Honour. Because the

6 documents do speak for themselves. We don't need to have the Prosecutor

7 read the document to us. We can read them and I know where he's going

8 but -- so that was my objection.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, when I put you

10 the question -- when I put the question to you whether you had direct or

11 indirect knowledge of this, I anticipated that Defence counsel would react

12 this way. So what can you say to respond to what has just been said? Was

13 this direct or indirect knowledge? Was this something you heard about

14 because somebody told you? Did you learn it from hear say or not?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, obviously not the whole

16 section is on the confrontation line. This is information which comes

17 from certain officers who were present at the confrontation line. This

18 comes from the appropriate channels and is reflected in the second section

19 which was then distributed to the other sections but I cannot, for

20 example, say whether there, the state of the prisoners was pathetic

21 because I didn't see it with my own eyes. What I can say is that the

22 information came to us via the second section on the day.

23 Now why did we receive this information? Because our duty was to

24 inform the NGOs, part of our duty to understand the situation on the

25 ground and inform the NGOs, but I was not part of that group. If that is

Page 22957

1 what the Defence counsel's question is, because I was -- I did not

2 actually see it with my own eyes, if that answers your question, sir.


4 Q. My next question is let's go back to logbook, 8th of September,

5 and this is page 44 -- maybe it's Spanish -- they say that on that day

6 SpaBat participated in the negotiations to evacuate 300 displaced persons.

7 Have you found it?

8 A. Yes. Yes. I've found it. I think it's page 50 in the Spanish

9 version. The 8th of September, in the sixth paragraph they are talking

10 about managing the 100 displaced people towards Patkovinca [phoen] yes.

11 Q. Sorry, one moment, I'm sorry. The last paragraph "Negotiations to

12 evacuate 300 displaced persons," yes?

13 A. Yes, yes, that's correct. I identify this as an entry in the

14 logbook of the section. I can clarify that I personally did not perform

15 this management because I was involved in the aerial evacuation of

16 individuals from Mostar, but I can say that I was involved also in the

17 solution of medicines problems in the region of Mostar. I had had that

18 written in my personal diary. So I can confirm that this document is

19 correct.

20 Q. Okay. My next question, let's take a look at Exhibit P04870.

21 This is binder 3. English page 7. Have you found this document?

22 A. Yes, yes. The document, yes, but now I have to find the page.

23 What page was it, I beg your pardon?

24 Q. Page 4 in Spanish.

25 A. Yes.

Page 22958

1 Q. Do you recognise this document?

2 A. Yes, yes. This is a document which has the 289 INTREP which

3 corresponds to the date 8 of September, yes. Yes, and here in the third

4 point, under miscellaneous, other information they talk about some 300

5 refugees hoping that they can be evacuated the following day when the HVO

6 enables this to be possible, and then they were saying that it would be a

7 question of days before the HVO secures the area. So this was a technical

8 analysis of what was happening in situ at the time.

9 Q. Next Exhibit, 04905, binder 1. INTREP 290, dated 9th of September

10 1993. English page 3, Spanish page 4. Topic Jablanica. They state here

11 that "This morning SpaBat evacuated refugees." Do you know about this

12 fact?

13 A. Yes. I recall that this evacuation took place.

14 Q. And my final question, Your Honour, now I will turn you to your

15 personal diary, to the 9th of June.

16 A. Yes. 9th of June?

17 Q. Yes, yes.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did you preside over a meeting in Medjugorje? They are talking

20 about in this document? What kind of meeting was it and what issues were

21 discussed?

22 A. Yes. Yes. In theory, every week, on a certain set days, but also

23 in case of need when there was a relevant event, all the representatives

24 from all of the organisations would meet in Medjugorje to have a briefing

25 about the situation. In that meeting the technical situation was

Page 22959

1 discussed. Risks were also presented. What were the statutes or the

2 statuses of the roads and any other relevant information for the NGOs, and

3 I presided over that meeting.

4 In this particular case on the 9th of June we expounded a major

5 problem which was in the Vlata [phoen] region. It hadn't been -- it had

6 been difficult at that time to reach a compromise among all of the

7 organisations so that humanitarian aid could be delivered to that region

8 because the NGOs were saying that until there was a cease-fire, they could

9 not bring the aid. Thank you.

10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] You are talking about the 9th of

11 June but in the document we are talking about the 9th of July, witness.

12 Can you please confirm this?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Spanish document that I have

14 before me, in my personal diary, we are talking -- if we are talking about

15 the same document, we are talking about the personal diary, is that so?

16 It is the 9th of 6, Your Honour. In my personal diary.

17 As I said, I carried my personal diary to remind myself of what

18 was happening in every day -- well, thank you for that but I was talking

19 about, that I understand that in the English version, it needs to be

20 corrected.


22 Q. Witness, please could you repeat the region? Because it didn't

23 come out in the transcript, the region of the problem you were discussing?

24 A. Yes. The official region that we knew was Donja Mahala

25 neighbourhood, the Donja Mahala neighbourhood.

Page 22960

1 Q. And then I will turn you to Exhibit 02593. I think that it should

2 be binder 2. 02593. Have you found it?

3 A. Yes, yes. I've found the document. I'm looking at the Spanish

4 part. This document is an INTREP 139, dated on the 23rd of May -- sorry,

5 INTREP 189.

6 Q. Sorry, the date, please?

7 A. Yes. It's the 23rd of May, quite come -- sorry, the 31st of May

8 at the end of the day, it was written. I'm referring to 2593, is that

9 correct? Or have I got the wrong document.

10 Q. SpaBat INTREP 189, yes?

11 A. Yes, that's correct, INTREP 189, page 3, yes, I have it before me.

12 Q. "The town council of Muslim quarter Donja Mahala have sent a

13 letter." Have you found this document?

14 A. Yes. Yes. It discusses the situation. It talks about the

15 council Chambers of Donja Mahala and its negotiations with SpaBat in which

16 we are trying to -- 2500 displaced people. These people were accommodated

17 in -- these refugees were accommodated in council Chambers.

18 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. This was my final question. Thank

19 you very much for your generosity and patience.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Ms. Alaburic, you

21 may want to resume, since the Prosecution dealt with some new subjects.

22 You have the floor.

23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, does that mean that I

24 may continue my cross-examination before my colleagues carried out their

25 cross-examination?

Page 22961

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, normally you could

2 continue with your cross-examination but related to the questions raised

3 in the last 20 minutes.

4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will not have any

5 additional questions related to the questions raised in the last 20

6 minutes.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As for the rest, Ms. Alaburic,

8 you needed how many minutes for the remainder of your cross-examination?

9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that we are

10 losing a relatively large amount of time on interpretation, I think up to

11 40 minutes would be sufficient for me to complete my cross-examination,

12 but I will be satisfied with less if any time remains after my colleagues

13 are finished.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Ibrisimovic do

15 you wish to proceed on the basis of the new questions?

16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have

17 no intention of putting additional questions.

18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] We do not have additional

19 questions either, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us proceed with

21 the cross-examinations. Mr. Karnavas?

22 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President, good morning, Your

23 Honours. Good morning everyone in the courtroom.

24 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:

25 Q. Good morning, sir. I have just have a very few questions to ask.

Page 22962

1 Hopefully in five minutes we can get through this.

2 Now, I'm going to be referring to the statement that you gave on

3 the 2nd, 3rd and 6th of July 2007. I believe that's Prosecution document

4 P10217. Now, if we look at paragraph 161 -- incidentally I should have

5 introduced myself. My name is Michael Karnavas. With me is Mrs. Ana

6 Tomanovic, and we represent Dr. Jadranko Prlic; hence why we're going to

7 paragraphs 161 and 165. So if we could start of with 165 and then we'll

8 go to 161.

9 In your statement you say on August -- "On the 24th of August, we

10 stated in our summary that a high level meeting was held between my

11 commander, Mr. Thornberry bring, Prime Minister Prlic, Bruno Stojic and

12 Jerry Hume." Now, just to make sure that I'm clear on this, you did not

13 attend that particular meeting; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, that's correct. I organised the meeting but my president --

15 my commander was there, Mr. Thornberry and the other names were there so

16 that's correct. I did not actually discuss the issues there.

17 Q. Right. There is documentation, I suspect, concerning that

18 particular meeting. But as far as you know -- well, let me ask you this:

19 Were you debriefed afterwards concerning that particular meeting? Did you

20 get a debriefing from your superior, your commander?

21 A. Yes. Naturally. Not only that but I also had orders to organise

22 a convoy.

23 Q. All right. Very well.

24 Now, let's go back to 161 now, paragraph 161. I just want to

25 clarify one point here. Here, it's unclear whether we are talking about

Page 22963

1 the 19th, the 20th, or the 21st of August. But you talk about a meeting

2 after a meeting with Prlic and Thornberry an agreement was reached and

3 eventually they gave permission so that on Friday a convoy could go

4 through.

5 Now, again, let me ask this question. Were you present at this

6 particular meeting?

7 A. No. On the 19th, the date is there to describe the process. On

8 the 19th I met with Mr. Thornberry, I met with him officially, and then we

9 organised the convoy with supplies on the 20th. On the 21st, we prepared

10 the convoy. In this meeting with Thornberry and Mr. Prlic I wasn't there.

11 I wasn't of a high enough level to be present.

12 Q. Okay. Well, I'm wondering how is it that you place Mr. Prlic at

13 this meeting? Because if I look at your diary, and we're talking about

14 document P10269, and we go to page 10 of it in English, what we have is

15 the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st, you have some entries there, there is no

16 mention of Mr. Prlic.

17 On the 20th of August, for instance, you note that there was some

18 sort of a meeting between Mr. Thornberry, Mr. Benabou, Mr. Stojic,

19 Mr. Bozic, where there was a discussion of the UN convoy with medical aid

20 for Mostar. But as you would -- you would agree with me there is no

21 Mr. Prlic either on the 19th, 20th or 21st?

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, to solve this problem,

23 Mr. Karnavas, you have the Exhibit 4472, which shows, on page 5.

24 MR. KARNAVAS: 4472, Mr. President, is regards August 24th. That

25 was the document that the gentleman was shown. But we are talking about

Page 22964

1 August 19th, 20th or 21st, and since the gentleman has it in his diary --

2 in his statement, this is why I'm asking the question is how is it that

3 he's placing Mr. Prlic at a particular meeting when in the document, in

4 the exhibit, which is 10269, the gentleman's diary itself, there is no

5 mention -- there is an August 20th, we see, he says that he participated

6 together with Mr. Thornberry, Mr. Benabou, Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Bozic in a

7 meeting which discussed plans for UN convoy with medical aid for Mostar.

8 Q. Do you see that, sir? Sir, I'm asking you a question if you could

9 be so kind as to just direct your full attention to my question as opposed

10 to looking at documents?

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yes, please, look at

12 the counsel and then you can look for the document.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

14 MR. KARNAVAS: Like in the army we have to abide by orders and

15 there is a particular order -- [Speakers overlapping]

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand perfectly. I thank you

17 for mentioning my personal diary because I usually put things in my

18 personal diary that I'm personally involved in. In the logbook, on the

19 20th of August, the first -- one moment, please.

20 Q. Excuse me, excuse me, sir?

21 A. Well --

22 Q. Excuse me, sir. Here I'm the commanding officer, and I'm giving

23 the orders, and I'm asking to you look at the document? One document at --

24 [Speakers overlapping]

25 A. Very well.

Page 22965

1 Q. My way not your way, okay? Now, I don't mean to be aggressive but

2 I'm trying to just do my job. And I'm not going to let you do what you

3 did yesterday to Mrs. Alaburic, I'm sorry. So in your personal diary,

4 looking at 20th August, there is no mention of Mr. Prlic there, yes or no,

5 just answer that question, and then we'll go step by step. I'm not going

6 to mislead you, sir.

7 A. I understand, Your Honour, that I have to do as the Defence is

8 asking.

9 Q. Absolutely.

10 A. Obviously, in my personal diary there is no reference, you're

11 right.

12 Q. Thank you. And may I remind you that when you came in here, the

13 president instructed you on how the direction is going to be -- how we

14 question over here, okay? So I understand that you might be used to a

15 different system in Spain or wherever else you may come from, but this is

16 the procedure. Please abide by it.

17 Now, if we look at the next document, which is P2108, now, that's

18 the daily information summary, you see, we are going to go step by step.

19 I'm going to be very fair to you, sir. Now, if we go, for instance, to

20 August 24th, which would be on page 39, we clearly see that there was a

21 meeting, and we clearly see that Mr. Prlic is at that meeting on the 24th.

22 On the 24th. Okay? Which is page 39 of English.

23 Now, if we -- and the reason I'm pointing at the 24th because

24 clearly we can see that, you know, even though you indicated you were not

25 at that meeting on the 24th, we have a document which was referred to

Page 22966

1 earlier, 4472, now we look at this document, P2108, and we clearly we can

2 connect the dots and show that on the 24th, Mr. Prlic was at this meeting.

3 Now, if we look earlier, you see, this is why there was no need

4 for you to look for it because I've already done the work for you, if you

5 look at the 19th and the 20th, on the 20th, for instance, we see that

6 there are some meetings, we see some names. You would agree with me, sir,

7 would you not, at least in the English part on page 38, there is no

8 Mr. Prlic at any meeting?

9 A. This is correct. He's not mentioned.

10 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I have no further questions.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but, Witness, did you say

12 at some point in time that Mr. Prlic had taken part in a meeting on the

13 20th of August?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether I said it or

15 not. I don't think I have enough elements to say that he was there that

16 day. We know that Mr. Thornberry had high level meetings, but I don't

17 know because I can't see anywhere that the meeting was with Mr. Prlic. If

18 that is the question. Right now, I don't remember or I don't know what

19 the dates were. Many things happened at that time.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are now going to

21 proceed. Now who is it? Whose turn is it? I can't remember.

22 Mr. Kovacic?

23 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, it is Ms. Nozica, I'm sorry.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sorry, Mrs. Nozica.

25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, thank you, Your Honour.

Page 22967

1 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:

2 Q. Good morning, sir. I'm Defence counsel together with my

3 colleague, Karim Khan, for Mr. Stojic. And yesterday, I noticed that in

4 the courtroom, there was somebody who for once speaks faster than I do

5 because I've been accused of speaking very, very fast. So I'd like to ask

6 you to slow down, both of us to slow down, to give the interpreters a

7 chance and not make it a problem for them.

8 In your statement of July 2007, and that is document P0217, you

9 don't have to look at the document, I will ask you to focus on the parts I

10 would like to deal with. I hope that the witness has a copy of my binder

11 and that everybody else in the courtroom does too, the Prosecution, Their

12 Honours. So we are referring to statement P10217, but as I say there is

13 no need for you to look at it. You can listen to my questions, and I'll

14 tell you when you need to look at the document. Anyway, in paragraph 113

15 to 120, you spoke about the contacts you had with Mr. Bruno Stojic, with

16 respect to the release of four interpreters, Muslim interpreters,

17 associates or, rather, assistants of the military observers, and of the

18 International Red Cross, the UNHCR, who were kidnapped on the 16th of June

19 1993 in the Konjic pocket.

20 Now, sir, in the courtroom, we've discussed this topic very many

21 times. However, we now have someone here who took part in this directly

22 and that person is you. So I would like to go through certain matters and

23 clarify certain things step by step, and I don't think there will be any

24 problems there. In paragraph 113 of your report, you said the following:

25 You said, on the 17th of June, I had contact with Minister Stojic, during

Page 22968

1 six hours of negotiations in which I had to pressure him to free four

2 Muslim interpreters. That's what it says, word by word. Am I right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, in paragraph 120 of that same statement, you say the

5 following: "I would not say that Stojic, as a commander, was not able to

6 solve the problem with the interpreters. He simply did not have the means

7 of communication in order to make proper and sharp or convey proper and

8 sharp decisions and also, according to what he said, the Croats from

9 Konjic acted independently." Have I stated that correctly?

10 A. It is correct.

11 Q. Sir, let's try and clear up some things together, some of the

12 observations you make in your statement, and they are the following: What

13 pressure did you exert on Mr. Stojic for six hours? Was this kind of

14 pressure necessary? Just listen to me. Let me finish. Was he the

15 commander? And the third point is this: Was it only according to his

16 statement that the Croats in the Konjic pocket acted independently?

17 Now, through my following questions and the documents we are going

18 to look at, I'm sure we'll arrive at answers to all those three questions.

19 Now, my first question is this: Did you know that the UNHCR, on the 16th

20 of June 1993, immediately upon the arrest of these interpreters, sent a

21 request for their release to the Office of the President of HZ HB, who was

22 Mr. Boban? Did you know that? Were you aware of that?

23 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I think the witness is completely lost

24 because I see at least four questions put in a run. Which one should be

25 answered now?

Page 22969

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, please try to ask

2 one question at a time, otherwise it's difficult to keep track.

3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think I said it

4 clearly enough but I'll repeat. We have three questions, three things we

5 are challenging, and we'll arrive at the answers step by step.

6 Q. Now, the question that I'm asking the witness now is this: Did he

7 know, was he aware of the fact that the UNHCR on the 16th of June straight

8 away, after the interpreters were arrested, sent in a request for their

9 release to the Office of the President of the HZ HB?

10 A. My answer is no, I didn't -- I wasn't aware of that situation.

11 Q. Let's now look at a document. It is P02793, and it is a document

12 you'll find in my binder which is the pink binder. Is that it? I see

13 you've taken it out of the pink binder but it is the third document from

14 the top. Tell me when you've found it, please.

15 A. I found the document. I have the English version.

16 Q. For the Trial Chamber, I'd just like to say that you have yellow

17 stickers which mark the documents having the status of exhibit, so as you

18 say, this is a document you've never seen before. You're looking at it

19 for the first time now. Now would you look at its contents, please?

20 Look at the first page of the document, and although it has

21 exhibit status, this first page has not been translated but it's easy to

22 conclude that we are dealing with the 16th of June, that that is the date,

23 and that this document was sent to Mr. Bruno Stojic and Bruno Pesic

24 [phoen] and it says at the bottom, "Mr. President, I would like to hear

25 your stand with regards to this issue of Vlado Pogarcic," and then it says

Page 22970

1 "urgent" underneath.

2 Did you ever meet Mr. Vlado Pogarcic, sir?

3 A. No. I don't know that person.

4 Q. Very well.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, there may be a

6 mistake. You said that this document was sent to Mr. Petkovic. I'm

7 looking at the people who were supposed to receive it. There is Boban,

8 General Petkovic, Mr. Prlic, SpaBat and ECMM. I can't see the name of

9 Mr. Stojic.

10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the original

11 document, it says to Mr. Pogarcic in person and at the bottom it says who

12 it was also sent out to. Now, in an attending letter, and this is a

13 Prosecution document, this is it, it is an additional document attached to

14 the first, and it says that the Office of the President sent this copy to

15 Mr. Stojic, in the cover letter.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And that was not translated; is

17 that correct?

18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] That's right. Your Honour, this has

19 the status of exhibit but this page has not been translated. That's quite

20 right. We'll see about that in due course because that was an omission

21 when the exhibit was admitted.

22 Q. Anyway, sir, you don't know that it reached the Presidency so

23 let's move on. Let's look at your report, P02794, dated the 16th of June

24 1993. It is in the Prosecution binder on page 4 of both the English and

25 Croatian versions. 02794 is a document that you were shown yesterday by

Page 22971

1 the Prosecutor.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, I'd like to refer to two points to see if you can confirm

4 them. It is your report, right, dated the 16th of June? And it says that

5 this report relates to a period ranging between the 15th of June, 1830

6 hours, to the 16th of June, 1830 hours. On page 4, it says, well, we are

7 dealing with the 16th of June, and I'm referring to the portion related to

8 Jablanica-Konjic. It says that it seems that the HVO soldiers who

9 captured the interpreters did this without the knowledge of the commander

10 of that pocket, who previously had meetings with the presidents because

11 they even threatened the HVO escorts that was -- escort that was with

12 them.

13 Now, on the second page, after the names of these interpreters, it

14 says that contact was established with the HVO and that two letters were

15 prepared from General Lasic and Mr. Stojic, and that at 845 hours a

16 Jablanica platoon received orders to take the letters and try to have the

17 prisoners released.

18 Therefore, sir, can we agree that from this report, it follows

19 that you, already on the 16th of June, straight after these interpreters

20 had been captured, concluded that this capture was most probably

21 perpetrated without the knowledge of the commander of the pocket? Would

22 that be right?

23 A. This is correct.

24 Q. Furthermore, from this report, it would follow that, already on

25 the 16th of June, so that same day, when the interpreters were arrested,

Page 22972

1 General Lasic and Mr. Stojic sent two letters to the commander of the

2 Konjic pocket requesting that the interpreters be released. Is that also

3 correct?

4 A. Yes. It's correct. I don't know whether request is the right

5 word or to order. I don't know that. In the translation of his words, I

6 don't know whether to say, "Request" or "order" would be the right word,

7 to order the release or to request the release. I'm not quite sure.

8 Q. Well, for the moment, well, your intervention is in order but

9 we'll get to that. We'll deal with who can issue an order and who can

10 issue a request. We'll come to that in due course.

11 Let's look at your report now, once again it was shown by the

12 Prosecutor, it is in the Prosecution binder, P02804. It is also a report

13 dated the 16th of June 1993. But it was -- the time is 2250 hours, and

14 I'd like to focus on what it says on page 2 of that document. So it's a

15 report written on the same day but later on that day, and it says, I'm

16 looking at the routes and then the subtitle, information, and it says, and

17 once again refers to the arrest, when the meeting was finished, a group of

18 HVO soldiers, it seems without the knowledge of their commander,

19 threatened by force of arms and captured and once again all the four

20 names, all the four commanders are mentioned, and then it goes on to say

21 that SpaBat, in the area, brigadiers Lasic and Stojic, and Mr. Stojic

22 promised that he would release them the following day.

23 Now, sir, you've read the report. You know what it's about. From

24 this report, we can see once again that this was perpetrated by a group of

25 soldiers without the knowledge of the commander of the pocket and that

Page 22973

1 Mr. Stojic acted immediately after he learned of their arrest and took

2 steps; is that correct?

3 A. This is correct.

4 Q. Let us now look once again at the Prosecution document P02808

5 dated the 17th of June, and the time is 1830 hours. It's in the

6 Prosecution binder. Tell me when you've found the document.

7 A. I've found it.

8 Q. I'm referring to what it says on page 4 of both the Croatian and

9 the English versions. Now, sir, here we have a whole sequence of events

10 under the heading, "Jablanica" and you say, we are talking about the date,

11 it's very important, the date was the 17th of June, and you say that steps

12 were taken to release the interpreters, the headquarters of the HVO was

13 contacted, and as the result of that, they issued an order for release.

14 They decided to send Zarko, Keza, to the Konjic pocket and after

15 that, it says that the Bosnian army, the BH army, did not authorise his

16 passage through their territory. And that's why he wasn't able to pass

17 through. Then it says at 1300 hours, in Masat, two in Masat telephone

18 lines were placed at the disposal of the command of the Konjic pocket and

19 the HVO Minister of Defence, Stojic, for communication to be established.

20 When it was established, Commander Zuhric that's where it says

21 here, told the captain of SpaBat that he would receive an answer with

22 respect to the release or non-release of the prisoners at 1700 hours. At

23 1700 hours, the communication was established once again and it was said

24 that they would reach an agreement by 1700 hours the following day, and

25 then a final attempt was made at 1830 hours of that same day. This is a

Page 22974

1 report dated the 17th of June, when you, in your report, stated that you

2 held negotiations with Mr. Stojic and the negotiations lasted for six

3 hours, during which you had to exert pressure on him to release the four

4 interpreters.

5 Now, sir, from this report, can we see that Mr. Bruno Stojic did

6 not have any communication links, was not able to come into contact with

7 the HVO, members of the HVO, in the Konjic pocket?

8 A. No, this is not right. He established communication with the head

9 of the pocket of Konjic; i.e., the pressure I exerted and the pressure

10 that we had to do, if you allow me to explain myself, is that the letters

11 were no good, didn't have any effect.

12 Q. You didn't understand me, sir. It is indisputable that he did

13 establish contact. Please follow what I'm saying. But did he have the

14 means to do so, the means of communication? Or was it up to you to ensure

15 the means of communication? I'm not challenging the fact that contact was

16 established, but did he have the means to do so or did he have to do it

17 through you?

18 A. Well, surprisingly, we discovered that they didn't have or that's

19 what they told us, they didn't have any means of communication with the

20 pocket of Konjic which surprised us. So the decision that I suggested to

21 my head was that UNPROFOR provided a means, the radio of UNPROFOR which

22 was the situation completely not normal at all. But we thought it was

23 important in order to manage to get these people, these four people,

24 released. And they had been captured for two days already.

25 So he said that he didn't have those means. So we tried to solve

Page 22975

1 the problem with the means that were at our disposal, after letters and

2 after trying to have the head of the counter-intelligence involved, i.e.,

3 after certain actions that we didn't think that the Minister of Defence

4 had to do. So what he had to do was to issue orders, not to request. He

5 had to issue an order in order for these people to be released.

6 And to have the head of the counterintelligence involved

7 through -- well, wasn't acceptable by the Armija, and they didn't accept

8 this solution, so there was a delay. And they were using the problem of

9 the interpreters to obtain certain advantages. That is something that we

10 couldn't -- we couldn't allow, as UNPROFOR. Our obligation was that the

11 members of the Red Cross and other organisations weren't used in such a

12 manner.

13 Q. You said what you wanted to say, but we would have got to that

14 point but let's take it step by step. From the report itself, it emerges

15 that from the first to the last contact through the communication you

16 enabled, that six hours elapsed; is that right?

17 A. Well, what I mean by these six hours is that there were not six

18 hours in a row. Many things happened, many movements, many goings to the

19 headquarters in order for them to see the importance for the international

20 community of the release of these members. With Mr. Stojic or, well, when

21 my commander asked me to go to the headquarters with the help of my

22 interpreters, of course, and the pressure we were trying to exert was for

23 him to realise that we had to be hasty and that there wasn't a lot of time

24 at our disposal.

25 Q. Sir, you're not answering my question once again. I understand

Page 22976

1 your frustration, that that was a lot of time for you. But we are trying

2 to establish now what it was that Mr. Stojic endeavoured to do, what he

3 could have done, and whether he did everything that was asked of him. I

4 understand that as far as you were concerned, it was a long time, but we

5 are trying to establish what the facts were. What he had at his disposal,

6 who listened to him, who didn't listen to him, whether you were satisfied

7 with that amount of time, I'm clear on the fact that you were not, but

8 please try and focus on what Mr. Stojic did do during that period of time.

9 Now, you were present during this communication, this special line

10 between Mr. Stojic and the representative in the Konjic pocket, right?

11 A. Yes. I was there, and with the help of my interpreter, he was

12 trying to tell me what was going on.

13 Q. You're not challenging the fact that Mr. Stojic demanded the

14 commander of the pocket to release the interpreters, but the man refused

15 to do so during those three conversations over the communication line

16 while you were present?

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you were present with

18 Mr. Stojic or with the pocket commander, Mr. Zaric? You were present with

19 whom?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we went where our satellite

21 was and Mr. Stojic picked up the phone and by means of satellite, he

22 talked to the interpreter. Obviously, I didn't understand what they were

23 saying but my interpreter well, gave me a summary of what he had said, and

24 the -- and minister Stojic tried in several occasions to release -- for

25 these prisoners to be released, and he also asked about the situation and,

Page 22977

1 et cetera.

2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Yes. Thank you. However, the commander of the Konjic pocket

4 refused to do so, to release the interpreters, that is, during all those

5 six hours and three contacts, conversations?

6 A. Well, this was our impression and finally they were released, but

7 it was very, very hard, for Mr. Stojic to make the pocket realise or the

8 commander realise that it wasn't in the interest of the HVO to upkeep that

9 situation. This is correct. I saw the pressure he tried to exert and

10 this is what I reflect in my statement. As I said, everyone had their own

11 activity calendars, if you will.

12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, just to make sure, in your -- in your

13 statement, one gets the feeling that you say you had to exercise a lot of

14 pressure on Mr. Stojic, and now it seems that you say that Mr. Stojic

15 exercised a lot of pression, and we have not heard much concretisation on

16 what you yourself had to do as the means of pression.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Please

18 allow me, because the -- the system of just answering yes or no just

19 doesn't allow us to tell you about all the nuances. In my report, what we

20 tried to tell Mr. Stojic or that whatever the letters that were sent or

21 that the commander of conic doesn't take any notice, and even if we tried

22 to have the head of the counter-intelligence of the HVO involved, for him

23 to go personally to this pocket which is not accepted by the other part,

24 well, that wasn't an excuse for him to issue an order to solve the problem

25 for once and for all.

Page 22978

1 So my pressure on the minister, who had many other important

2 things to do on those dates, that wasn't the only thing in his agenda, was

3 to make him realise the importance that for the international community,

4 and we were responsible -- UNPROFOR was responsible for that -- so the

5 importance of this very fact. Mr. Stojic, well, through his interpreter,

6 said, "Yes, I do understand but the problem is I've done everything that I

7 could do." So I thought that there was a means of communication, radio

8 communication, but it seems that this wasn't the case, and the fact is

9 that I suggested that if I helped with radio communication, he said

10 okay,. So we asked for this from Medjugorje and I saw him exercise

11 pressure, I saw him, but to that point, to that moment, the pressure I --

12 it was me who was exercising that pressure. And the situation wasn't easy

13 for him, and the Konjic pocket had felt isolated from the HVO

14 headquarters. I don't know whether I've been clear enough, Your Honour.

15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16 Q. You have just explained, if one might summarise, that you exerted

17 pressure on Mr. Stojic, you didn't know whether he could get this done or

18 not. When you realised he didn't have communication with the pocket, you

19 enabled him to have that communication, and then he continued exerting

20 pressure on the commander of the Konjic pocket until the people were

21 released. Am I right?

22 A. Yes, the summary is correct.

23 Q. Well, we'll just dwell on this a little while longer, very

24 briefly, do you remember whether the commander of the Konjic pocket asked

25 for some kind of assistance from Mr. Stojic in order to release the

Page 22979

1 interpreters?

2 A. I don't understand what you mean by some sort of assistance.

3 There were requests related to Konjic staff, but I don't know whether they

4 tried to connect Konjic with the area controlled by the HVO. But I don't

5 quite understand what you mean when talking about assistance because there

6 was a Spanish patrol waiting to get into the pocket and to get the

7 interpreters. I don't know whether you mean this or not. If that's what

8 you're talking about, I don't know.

9 Q. I'm referring to assistance in food, medicines, and similar items

10 that they were short of, because the very word "pocket" indicates that

11 they were isolated and surrounded. Do you know whether they asked for any

12 specific assistance in food or medicines, at that point from Mr. Stojic?

13 A. I don't remember in detail, but obviously in the Konjic pocket all

14 the organisations working with humanitarian aid were doing everything they

15 could to try to help and that's why I was there in that meeting.

16 Q. Sir, please let's look at a document in my binder. It's P02826.

17 It's the third document from the top, page 2 in Croatian, page 1 in

18 English. This is a report as we can see of UN civilian affairs. The date

19 is the 18th of June, and I will just show you what it says at the top,

20 that the interpreters were released on the 17th of June at 2000 hours, and

21 then it says over the past four months, the commander in the Konjic pocket

22 did not have any communication, he did not cooperate, he acted on his own

23 without instructions or coordination with the HVO staff, he -- they were

24 desperately short of food and medicine, and Mr. Stojic took on the

25 obligation of going with me to that area in the next three months with a

Page 22980

1 convoy of necessities, and the report was signed by Mr. Albert Benabou.

2 Did you know that he was aware of this whole activity concerning

3 the release of the interpreters?

4 A. Yes, naturally, and I can see my name on that report.

5 Q. Can you confirm, then, that that's precisely what happened, the

6 commander of the Konjic pocket evidently desperately needed assistance and

7 made use of this situation, to ask for assistance for soldiers who were

8 encircled and who had no communication with the HVO?

9 A. It is correct what's reflected here, but one of the sentences

10 referring to vagabonds is quite different, but I think that that's --

11 that's an issue that's marginal to this particular question.

12 Q. Thank you. We'll come back to Mr. Benabou later on.

13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just have one more

14 question to round off this set of questions, this topic, and then we could

15 take a break.

16 Q. Sir, I think we've clarified the questions I put at the beginning,

17 whether the Croats in the Konjic pocket were isolated, acting without

18 coordination with the HVO, and I think we've clarified what sort of

19 pressure you exerted on Mr. Stojic and what sort of pressure he exerted on

20 the commander of the Konjic pocket and what remains now is the following:

21 You said that Mr. Stojic was the commander, but it seems to me that

22 whether he was the commander or not, and what you mean by this, is

23 explained in your statement of December 1997. I will read -- it's

24 P010270. It's page 7 in English. The fourth paragraph from the top and

25 page 7 in Croatian, the last paragraph. I will read this to you very

Page 22981

1 briefly.

2 You say, "Minister Stojic said that he did not have full control

3 over HVO -- the HVO soldiers in the Konjic area. Owing to the fact that I

4 enabled him to have SpaBat satellite radio equipment, he was able to issue

5 a direct order for the hostages to be released. At that meeting, I

6 understood that Minister Stojic was really not in control of the situation

7 and it was very difficult for him to issue an order."

8 Does this reflect fully the impression you gained on that day?

9 A. Yes. Of course. It reflects the feeling that I had about him,

10 his feeling of frustration that did he not have the means to exert his

11 authority as minister.

12 Q. Thank you, sir. We will continue after the break and I hope that

13 after this explanation, I won't have to go back to the Konjic pocket.

14 Thank you.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall have a 20

16 minute break and resume at 11.00 until 12.30.

17 --- Recess taken at 10.41 a.m.

18 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Nozica, you have the floor.

20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I omitted to

21 state at the beginning that I had 80 minutes for my cross-examination. My

22 own 30 minutes, 30 minutes from Mrs. Tomasegovic, and 20 minutes from

23 Mr. Karnavas. So according to my calculations I've used up 35 minutes

24 thus far which leaves me with 45 minutes. Your Honour, I'm sure you're

25 aware of the fact that I have to get through a lot of topics.

Page 22982

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas had five minutes,

2 so you have therefore 25 minutes.

3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. I just wanted to say that

4 I'll do everything possible to get through the important topics as far as

5 the Stojic Defence is concerned. If I don't manage to do that I'll let

6 you know, and if I can get additional time I'll be very grateful to you.

7 Q. Now, sir, I'd like to move on to another topic, Colonel Jesus

8 Fernandez. In your statement of July 2007, and it is your statement,

9 P10217, am I right, is everything working? We were talking about the 11th

10 of June events, 11th of June 1993, when Lieutenant Jesus Fernandez was

11 killed.

12 Now, you speak about that in your report or your diary. So I'd

13 like us to take a look at the document, it's a Prosecution document

14 P10269. And the date is the 13th of June. Have you found that?

15 A. 13th of June?

16 Q. Yes. Now, on that date, the 13th of June, you noted that after

17 meeting military officials of the Croatian Defence Council, permission was

18 granted to go to the front line in -- at the Bulevar in Mostar, and you

19 also speak about the fact that you climbed on to the roof of the highest

20 building on territory controlled by the Croats, and you also said that

21 from there you photographed the areas that could be seen from that vantage

22 point, and that empty casings were found. And you said that several hours

23 later, this video material, photographic material, was handed over to the

24 UNPROFOR team of international experts who were preparing an official

25 report on the killing of the Spanish lieutenant. Do you remember that?

Page 22983

1 A. Perfectly.

2 Q. I'd like you now to look at your operations diary, and it is

3 P02108, and the entry for the 14th of June. For the 14th of June, this is

4 what you say: "A meeting in Mostar between the Deputy Minister of the HVO,

5 Ivica Lucic, and the commission, in order to clarify the cause -- or the

6 circumstances of the death of Lieutenant Aguilar." Now, you attended this

7 meeting; is that right?

8 A. Yes, on the 13th.

9 Q. I'd like you now to take a look in my binder, document 2D 00117.

10 And you'll find a yellow sticker in the middle of the document. Thank

11 you. As you can see, this is a report from the meeting signed by

12 Mr. Lucic dated the 14th of June 1993, which you mention in your diary.

13 And your name is mentioned there as well. It says that a meeting was held

14 and that it says, as it says here, the assistant minister and everybody

15 present, (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right. Registrar,

22 please.

23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise. I think that while we

24 are dealing with this document it would then be go a good idea to go into

25 closed session because mention is made of the witness again, so perhaps it

Page 22984

1 would be better to go into closed session.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]

3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I haven't received an answer. I'm

4 just referring to the fact --

5 [Closed session]

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 22985











11 Pages 22985-23007 redacted. Closed session















Page 23008

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 [Open session]

25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

Page 23009

1 Q. Dr. Bagaric, I mean, Dr. Bagaric. Did you have any contacts with

2 him regarding evacuation or anything like that? You can't remember,

3 right?

4 A. Possibly, I knew him but right now I can't place a face to that

5 name, no.

6 Q. In my binder, I had prepared some documents which were

7 correspondence between the two of you. That would probably jog your

8 memory but I won't have time to go through that, but you drew up a report,

9 a professional report, on that dinner. Regardless of the fact that it was

10 a private dinner, you compiled a report, right?

11 A. Obviously, when Mr. Soljud [phoen] had his -- explained to us of

12 his own bad operational initiatives, then I together with the other two

13 Spanish officers, we came up with this report, and it was a political

14 report, yes.

15 Q. Very well. Now, can we take a look at that report of yours? May

16 we take a look at that report of yours, P03545 is the document number.

17 It's in the Prosecution binder. I assume that it's one of the top-most

18 documents. 3545. Have you found it?

19 A. Yes, yes, I've found it.

20 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Going to ask you some

21 questions. In the report, you state the following: Mr. Stojic's words

22 and your comments. You say that Mr. Stojic said that he was certain that

23 his people could solve the situation, once and for all, and he confirmed

24 the loss of territory in certain areas as part of a previously designed

25 plan.

Page 23010

1 Now, your comment to that was that Mr. Stojic might have been

2 attempting to justify his losses at the beginning. Is that right?

3 A. My comment was that perhaps he was -- maybe that or maybe he was

4 saying the truth. That's all there is to it. We thought that, yeah,

5 maybe it could have been the truth or a justification, but maybe I should

6 read the whole paragraph through.

7 Q. Please, we all have the document in front of us and unfortunately

8 I don't have much time. I said that it was one of your comments. You

9 made two comments, one of which was what I read out. I don't have time to

10 go into the whole of it, but let's try and get to the goal as soon as

11 possible, and what I want to ask you as a final question. You go on to

12 say that Mr. Stojic said that there was some plan to exert maximum

13 pressure from the southern axis leaving open one communication line for

14 the withdrawal of the forces in the direction of Jablanica towards the

15 north, and your comment was that this pressure from the south, as well as

16 the shelling and isolation of the Muslim part of town, would certainly

17 make the population leave the town. Is that right? Persuade them to

18 leave the town, right?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. Can we now move on? This is what Mr. Stojic said among other

21 things, he's also said some other things, but let's see whether we can

22 move on and see what was actually going on at that point in time in

23 Mostar, and what was happening over the next 20 days. For us to be able

24 to check and see whether Mr. Stojic was talking about a realistic plan or

25 whether it was just justification, as you say, for territory that had

Page 23011

1 almost been lost.

2 So may we take a look at that same report of yours and look at

3 page 8 of that report in the English version, and it is page 5 of the

4 Croatian, where he speaks about this area of Mostar, so it is that day,

5 and what -- let's see what was happening in Mostar. He says, "Fighting in

6 the Mostar area continues, but their intensity is relatively low." Have

7 you found that portion? It is the subtitle of Mostar part 1.

8 A. Yes, I found that part.

9 Q. Now it says under point 2 there are very few vehicles and soldiers

10 seen moving about in that area, and then number 3, according to all the

11 indicators, it is possible that the HVO most certainly took control of the

12 village of Buna.

13 Now, what I want to ask you is this: Do you know, do you have any

14 knowledge, or awareness, of what happened on the 13th of July 1993? Or,

15 rather, do you know that the BH army did take control of these areas on

16 the 13th of July and that in actual fact, the operation which is described

17 in this report of the 17th was just a counterattack to what was done by

18 the BH army on the 13th? Did you know about that?

19 A. On a daily basis we received a briefing of the situation. I don't

20 remember anything coming -- information coming from the confrontation line

21 on the 13th of June. I remember movements around the Buna village, for

22 example, but I don't remember the details. I don't remember.

23 Q. Sir, sir, I consider -- well, my colleague asked you about certain

24 events that took place in Mostar, and I consider that this is the date

25 which judging by the intensity of the operations, and I'm saying this as a

Page 23012

1 layman, whereas you're a professional soldier, should be something that

2 would you have had to have known about. But let us look at a document in

3 my binder, P03416 is the number. It is the 6th document in line from the

4 top. And it is a document dated the 13th of July 1993, the date is the

5 13th of July --

6 A. [No interpretation]

7 Q. And we can look at page 2 of the English, where it says the

8 following: "AB and B this morning attacked Buna" and on page 3 of the

9 English version, it says, "ABH attack on Buna is perhaps an attempt to

10 isolate Mostar from the south. If ABiH -- we succeed attacking also from

11 the office of the HVO in Mostar will be completely isolated, cut off. On

12 the other hand, this attack may be an army, Armija attempt to conquer as

13 much terrain in direction to the sea as possible."

14 I'm asking you, and I wish to jog your memory with this report:

15 Do you know that this happened just five days before that dinner? And did

16 you know anything about the efforts made by the BH army to gain control of

17 the territory to the sea from the north? Did you know anything about

18 that? The 30th of June to the 13th of July, did you or did you not? Just

19 give me a yes or no answer.

20 A. Of course, yes. We knew that that was the Armija's objective,

21 yes.

22 Q. Excellent. So that day, when you attended the dinner, when you

23 were there with Mr. Stojic, having dinner, you knew that before that,

24 several days before that, the BH army had taken control of certain

25 territory from the south of Mostar. Can we put it that way?

Page 23013

1 A. That is correct. That's why we understood that the idea of

2 Mr. Stojic of this idea of losing territory temporarily might have been,

3 I'm not sure how to say it, a justification as to why there had been these

4 losses in the area. We knew that this was a -- the decision of the ABiH

5 at that time. We knew that.

6 Q. Correct, yes, sir. That is what you say in your report. Now, I

7 would just like to ask you to tell me this: Well, we followed the

8 military situation, to the best of your knowledge did the HVO exert

9 pressure from the south of Mostar to liberate the north and an exit from

10 Mostar as Mr. Stojic said over the following 20 days or one month or in

11 general terms, do you remember that the HVO did realise what allegedly

12 Mr. Stojic said or boasted that the HVO would do? Do you remember any

13 operations like that?

14 A. I seem to recall that the HVO in some moments had conducted

15 initiatives in the south, but I don't think it ever actually recovered the

16 lost territory, not in its entirety, maybe some, but I heard this was a

17 tactic, we weren't sure if this was a tactic or not a tactic and that's

18 all I can say about the dinner.

19 Q. Okay. You said "undertook something, did something." Is that a

20 limited operation or an all-embracing, comprehensive operation? Could you

21 be a bit more precise because it's very important. You say the HVO did

22 something, undertook something. Yes, we can see from the report that it

23 did undertake something in that direction, but can you say that the HVO

24 undertook any large-scale offensive? Can we put it that way? Perhaps

25 it's easiest that way? To the best of your knowledge, there were a lot of

Page 23014

1 witnesses, we have established a lot of things already, but as far as

2 you're concerned, in your opinion.

3 A. I'm going to be sincere. I wrote my diary because there was some

4 reason I can't remember. I remember there was an offensive, but I don't

5 remember the dates and I wouldn't be able to stipulate which dates, if

6 that's your question, no. I remember there was a offensive but I don't

7 remember the dates. At the time, if you want to know if it happened in

8 the following 20 days, I can't confirm that, no.

9 Q. I followed your diary and unfortunately there are a lots of notes

10 in it about who you met with and very little information, otherwise the

11 30th of June was not recorded and the BH army attack on the HVO, the 13th

12 of July. Once again there was not recorded. So it's not in your diary.

13 If it were I would have shown you, but just finally let's look at a

14 document linked to this topic, it is P03615 and it is a document from the

15 Prosecution binder, 3615 is the number, once again, it has to do with the

16 dinner. Tell me when you've found it, please.

17 A. Yes. I've just found it.

18 Q. We can take a look at it together. The date of the document is

19 the 19th of July 1993. And it is in fact a message -- yes, go ahead.

20 What did you want to say?

21 A. Excuse me, I can see that it's the 21st of the -- of July, 3615.

22 It's the 21st of July; is that correct? That is a report from the meeting

23 with Paparovi [phoen], is that what you're referring to? Yes. The one

24 that's on the screen; is that right?

25 Q. That's right. The meeting was on the 19th of July. The meeting

Page 23015

1 was on the 19th of July? Am I right? And it says report from the

2 meeting --

3 A. Yes. And this is a writ from Berebon Flamon [phoen] and yes, the

4 meeting took place on the 19th, yes.

5 Q. Can you and I agree that the meeting was held on the 19th, which

6 means barely two days after the dinner you had at Mr. Stojic's house?

7 Isn't that right?

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 Q. I would like to ask you to have a look at point 5 in this letter

10 together. Obviously, this is a courtesy meeting. It says, "At an

11 informal private meeting between myself and Boban," this is written by

12 Mr. -- by General Briquemont. Immediately after the meeting he suggested

13 that he mediate in order to have an immediate cease-fire among all the

14 parties, and he said that this would have the unqualified support of the

15 Croat peoples and the HVO and could be a precursor to lasting peace. Do

16 you know what Mr. Boban's exact position was in the HVO? Did you know

17 that he was commander in chief at the HVO?

18 A. Yes. Naturally, I knew who Boban was.

19 Q. So it stems from this document that Mr. Boban offered to

20 Mr. Briquemont at that moment to have a cease-fire established, right?

21 That is unequivocally clear on the basis of this document.

22 A. It could be interpreted that way, yes.

23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to

24 conclude with two very brief questions, but could we move into private

25 session, please, because I need to mention a few names.

Page 23016

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Closed session.

2 [Closed session]

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 23017











11 Page 23017 redacted. Closed session















Page 23018

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 [Open session]

20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we are interrupt the hearing

22 and resume again at quarter -- half past 2.00.

23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.33 p.m.

24 --- Upon resuming at 2.29 p.m.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us resume the hearing.

Page 23019

1 Mr. Kovacic, please tell us very briefly why Mr. Praljak is going to be

2 putting questions to the witness.

3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can inform you of the

4 following. I shall be the first to put some questions to the witness, and

5 then, with your leave, Mr. Praljak. I think that the arguments are quite

6 obvious. The witness speaks of a series of events where Mr. Praljak was

7 directly involved. For example, the witness himself mentioned even four

8 or rather three events in his statement, and one is mentioned in one of

9 the documents. These are direct encounters with Mr. Praljak, and I

10 believe that this fits into your previous decision; namely, that

11 Mr. Praljak should be given an opportunity to ask about various matters

12 particularly what happened in Mostar at the time. If I may start, I am

13 ready, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please.

15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

16 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:

17 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are in open session.

19 MR. KOVACIC: Sorry, Your Honour, it seems there was some

20 confusion with the documents, but I think he received them. Thank you. I

21 apologise.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, for my colleague,

23 Judge Mindua, do you have a set of documents?

24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Witness, I'm going to put a few questions to you. I am Defence

Page 23020

1 counsel for General Praljak who is present here. In your statement, from

2 2007, that is to say P02107, in paragraph 24, you said that you first saw

3 General Praljak at a meeting held on the 29th of April in Medjugorje. You

4 said here that also in attendance were Mr. Stojic and Mr. Bozic, and the

5 next paragraph, 25, you say that that meeting was held in order to prepare

6 for an official visit of a commission of the Croatian parliament to

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

8 I would like to remind you that an identical statement is made in

9 document 10269, in the notes for the 29th of April, and the 2nd of May

10 1993. My question is as follows: Let us try to save time. On the basis

11 of these entries, paragraphs 24 and 25 in P2107, can we conclude that this

12 meeting was held in order to do what is necessary or, rather, in order to

13 prepare the official visit of the delegation of the Croatian parliament to

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina? A yes or a no answer will suffice.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to ask you to look at a document

17 that is in my binder, that is the first one, 3D 00566. Here, you will see

18 a letter of the assistant Foreign Minister of the Republic of Croatia

19 addressed to General Wahlgreen, and I would like to ask you the following.

20 Through your own channels of communication, were you informed about the

21 arrival of this delegation and had you been given certain assignments in

22 relation to that?

23 A. I didn't know about this document. We received orders to prepare

24 the meeting on the 29th of April for a future visit. That's what we were

25 ordered to do and that's what we did.

Page 23021

1 Q. Very well. Now, when you see this letter, do you relate it in any

2 way to that order, this meeting? Is it obviously the same topic, the same

3 story, so to speak?

4 A. Yes, obviously, it speaks of a multi-party parliamentary visit,

5 and it's a visit of goodwill to the region, yes.

6 Q. And you then took part in the preparations for and realisation of

7 that visit; is that right?

8 A. Yes, that's correct, my responsibility was to make sure that the

9 meeting room, the necessary interpreters, the security measures, were all

10 operational and functional, yes, that's right.

11 Q. Thank you. But let's leave details aside. The core of the matter

12 is that you participated. That's what matters. So did this visit

13 actually take place?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Tell me, in relation to the further realisation of that visit, did

16 you have any role to play, or did you have any assignments in terms of

17 opening contacts with the other side too, the Muslim side, that this

18 delegation also wished to speak to?

19 A. If I remember rightly, no. I think they did that themselves.

20 Q. Do you remember that there were certain problems when the

21 delegation asked for certain contacts with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

22 and East Mostar? Were you supposed to provide a security escort for them?

23 Do you remember that?

24 A. I didn't take part in that part. I know that there it was a

25 problem but I wasn't part of that. I think the commission did actually go

Page 23022

1 across to the other side.

2 Q. All right. So you cannot discuss details, but you remember that

3 they did cross over to the other side as well, and that there were some

4 problems in that regard. We can agree on that, can we not, without going

5 into any further detail?

6 A. Yes. To the best of my memory, that is correct.

7 Q. Thank you. You talked to the people who worked on preparing this

8 visit, like you, I'm primarily referring to the people from the HVO and

9 then the delegation themselves when they arrived. During these contacts,

10 did you learn of some information to the effect that this goodwill mission

11 took place, the visit of this delegation took place, at a previous

12 initiative of General Praljak's in Zagreb? Did you hear anything about

13 that?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Also in terms of the realisation of this, did you learn that the

16 Republic of Croatia also officially notified the Bosnian authorities about

17 this through their embassy?

18 A. I suppose. That it is a standard procedure.

19 Q. I would like to ask that you look at the next document in my

20 binder. That is 3D 01092.

21 A. I understand, 091?

22 Q. 01092. You will see the exact number on the screen. We see a

23 diplomatic note here sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the

24 Republic of Croatia to the embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic

25 of Croatia, the same persons are referred to, information is provided on

Page 23023

1 that same visit. Can you link that up with this visit as well?

2 A. I understand that, yes, that this refers to the same people, yes.

3 Q. Thank you very much. Let us just go through a minor point here.

4 In the paragraph we already referred to, paragraph 24 in your statement

5 from 2007, and yesterday, the day before yesterday, you said that you

6 heard about this, or rather that you knew about it from the newspapers.

7 It was your understanding that General Praljak was the chief of the Main

8 Staff of the Croatian army. You said yesterday that you actually learned

9 about this from the newspapers. Can you assert that that was the post he

10 held or was that just your impression?

11 A. The impression that I had was not based on direct contact with

12 him, because I didn't have any at that time. It's just what I read in the

13 local press about him.

14 Q. Very well. I'm going to show you a document now, P1889 [as

15 interpreted]. It's also close to this one. It's the fourth document in

16 my binder. You have two documents here.

17 A. I found it.

18 Q. So from these documents, you can see that in the same month, in

19 April 1993, the position held by General Praljak in the Ministry of

20 Defence in Croatia is quite different. He is assistant Defence Minister

21 for political activity.

22 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Kovacic, I'm sorry to interrupt you, only one

23 small issue of the transcript. In your -- when you referred to the your

24 document, I believe it should have been P1859, but in the transcript, it

25 is P1889. So the P1889 should be corrected as P1859. That one is --

Page 23024

1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] You're right, Your Honour. The

2 witness is looking at the right document so it's actually two documents.

3 Q. Witness, now that you saw that the position of General Praljak is

4 described in a completely different way, can you agree that your idea at

5 the time that he was chief of General Staff of the Croatian army at the

6 time was wrong?

7 A. As far as we knew, we based our idea on the local press, and the

8 local press talked of a high-ranking officer of the chief of Main Staff,

9 and we saw that he was an important person. But it's irrelevant to me

10 whether or not my idea was correct or not. At the time, I believed, and

11 the press coincided in that he was a member -- chief of Main Staff. So my

12 attitude toward General Praljak doesn't actually change.

13 Q. Witness, my question is a simple one. You had the idea that you

14 had, and you've just repeated it for the second time. I'm showing you a

15 document, proof that your idea was obviously wrong. My question is do you

16 agree now that you see this well-founded document that asserts something

17 completely different? Was your initial assessment wrong, yes or no? We

18 know, we understand, why it was that your initial assessment was wrong but

19 it's just yes or no.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. You told us and it is beyond doubt from your

22 statements that the area of responsibility of responsibility of the

23 Spanish Battalion in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time included inter alia

24 the area of Jablanica; is that right?

25 A. That is correct.

Page 23025

1 Q. Thank you. In your statement, in the first one, in 1997, for

2 example, on page 8, English number 4, you don't have to look at it now,

3 I'm going to remind you, you said that actually you did not know what the

4 quality of the information was that you, in the SpaBat, gathered in the

5 field, but certainly the quality of information improved over time because

6 you came in April when the conflict just started. So this is a general

7 assessment that you made. Do you stand by it?

8 A. In any process where people are involved, depending on the people

9 who get to know the situation better, the quality of the information

10 received and disseminated improves. So therefore I can say the same for

11 this situation.

12 Q. Very well. Thank you. In accordance with what you confirmed just

13 now, you, I mean SpaBat, I'm referring to SpaBat, not to you personally,

14 did you have any information about Croat victims in Doljani, in the area

15 of Jablanica, on the 28th of July 1993, when 63 persons were killed,

16 massacred? Did you hear of this incident? Because I cannot find it

17 anywhere in your reports.

18 A. Not all details are necessarily going to be included in all

19 reports. This was a well-known -- if this was a well-known incident to my

20 SpaBat, then it -- everyone would have known about it. I don't know if

21 the date was right or the number of people were right, but I know that

22 officials in our company were informed. I received a document concerning

23 the Croatian victims, and this was in English, and it went to the UNHCR,

24 if I remember correctly, but the details of these incidents are no longer

25 in my memory right now.

Page 23026

1 Q. Very well. Let's not go into any greater detail because you're

2 not aware of any detail. Also, practically there is no information in the

3 SpaBat reports about an incident that took place on the 8th of September

4 1993, that is to say at the time when you were supposed to have better

5 information. In the village of Grabovica, can you tell us something about

6 that?

7 A. I go back to what I said before. I don't have in my head

8 everything -- all the details of what happened in different towns or

9 villages. I'm sure the information would have been there at the time.

10 But all the information that SpaBat had at that time was verified and then

11 sent to the relevant authorities and to the NGOs concerned. We had no

12 reservations in -- we did not hold back any relevant information. That I

13 can stipulate. Personally, I was involved in handing in a document that

14 you gave us concerning certain massacres that took place. I can say that

15 much.

16 Q. Nevertheless, I would like to ask you to look at document

17 3D 00936. The fifth or sixth document in this binder. The fifth or the

18 sixth one. Oh, you found it. Thank you.

19 A. Yes, the fifth, I have it.

20 Q. We don't have time to show you more documents but please look at

21 this information written by a Bosnian army commander in Konjic in

22 September 1993, and he writes about what he learned at that point in time

23 about the incident. Does this jog your memory? Because you did say that

24 you had this information to a degree.

25 A. This is the first time that I've read this document. I think that

Page 23027

1 it refers to elements related to that incident.

2 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let's not go into this any further. It

3 won't be necessary. Just another small question. In your report, P04401,

4 that you have in the Prosecution binder, but you don't have to look at it

5 now, you will remember, some information is referred to, that is to say

6 the report of the 20th of August 1993, stating that a certain Juka had

7 been relieved of his command and expelled from the HVO. Do you know who

8 this Juka was?

9 A. Yes. I remember that in the second section, they showed me some

10 photos that they had. They also called him "El Rubio," in Spanish, the

11 blond one. And I remember that someone told us that he had been expelled

12 from the HVO. Yes, that's right.

13 Q. Thank you very much. Did you perhaps receive any more

14 information? I'm going to put the Defence proposition to you and then you

15 tell me. Did you ever find out that General Praljak, in agreement with

16 Mr. Stojic, that is to say the Defence department, and with the approval

17 of Boban, ordered that Juka be relieved of his command and expelled from

18 the HVO precisely due to lack of discipline? Have you heard about that?

19 A. I hadn't heard of that, but I'm pleased to hear that, if that was

20 the case.

21 Q. Very well. Thank you. For the record, I would just like to deal

22 with the following. Similar information is contained in P2902. Juka is

23 mentioned there as well.

24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, I would

25 like to cede the floor to Mr. Praljak now so that he puts a few questions

Page 23028

1 in this regard. Thank you.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Praljak?

3 Cross-examination by Mr. Praljak:

4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good

5 afternoon, sir. Of course, I shall abide by the instructions given by the

6 Trial Chamber and stick to technical military questions only and things

7 that have to do with me personally.

8 Sir, let us go back to the 11th of May 1993. You were stopped at

9 a curve right by the entrance into the town of Mostar when you were going

10 to help a soldier of yours; is that right?

11 A. That is correct.

12 Q. Before I continue, due to the volume of material that I have to

13 deal with, I'm going to put very technical military specific questions, so

14 please, without providing any big explanations, give me answers that are

15 as short as possible to those questions. Is it correct that at that point

16 in time, I came by in my car on my own, alone?

17 A. Yes. You appeared quickly.

18 Q. When you say "quickly," it seems that you called me, but we were

19 not communicating. As far as I can remember, I just happened to come by.

20 Isn't that right?

21 A. My understanding was that I was asking for some authority or

22 commander to come when you appeared. To my understanding, it was a gift

23 from the heavens. You were the solution I was hoping for. Whether or not

24 it was planned or chance, I actually can't say. But you appeared, that is

25 true, and in my declaration, I said that I was stopped and you appeared.

Page 23029

1 Q. Thank you very much. So we are not going to go into that now, who

2 was called and how it came to my arrival. Did you pass by? Did I -- did

3 I have to behave as if I were in a parlour or did I have to yell and

4 scream in order to get my point across?

5 A. I lost part of the interpretation but I'm reading it. You did

6 raise your voice at some point, but the people who were there present

7 obeyed you as if by instincts. They obeyed you naturally and I was very

8 surprised. It's clear that they had no doubt, you said let them go

9 through, and we went through. That was very clear.

10 Q. Just another question in relation to this topic. Do you know what

11 I was doing in that area in the spring and summer of 1992? Did you know

12 any of that?

13 A. I don't know it.

14 Q. Thank you very much. Now, well, sir, you had a look at these

15 documents that are Prosecution documents, and you testified to their

16 authenticity. Now, through some of these documents -- well, I'd like to

17 go through some of these documents quickly. You don't have to look at

18 them. I'm just going to ask you about some things that are contained in

19 these documents, whether you personally know about that. Not what these

20 documents actually state. Of course, the honourable Judges have that.

21 They will read that.

22 When you saw me there on the 11th, was I wearing a camouflage

23 uniform and on the basis of what did you conclude that I was a member of

24 the HV, the Croatian army, at the time?

25 A. The first observation that I made of you was that you were wearing

Page 23030

1 the uniform. It wasn't a field uniform, but it was just a general uniform

2 of the Croatian army. That's why I thought that you were a high-ranking

3 officer of the Croatian army, and we said among ourselves that -- that you

4 are one of Tudjman's close aides. I also stated in my statement that I

5 remember more your face than your uniform. I remember your facial

6 characteristics. I also remember, on the 16th, when I made my report

7 concerning the events surrounding the lieutenant, I made those statements.

8 Q. Sir, in your statement you do not say that I told you that I was

9 one of Tudjman's men. Did I tell you there that place, that I was

10 Tudjman's man or where?

11 A. No, no, no, no. I never said that. I said that in the local

12 press, and through the interpreters, the impression that I got was that

13 you were one of Tudjman's most important men, or one of the most important

14 Croatian military men. That was the idea. Until the 11th of May, I had

15 never met you, never spoken with you.

16 Q. Thank you. Now take a look at your first statement, or rather,

17 you don't have to look at it, I'll read it out. This is what you said.

18 "I'm convinced that the presence of General Pasalic in Mostar was

19 not just by chance. General Pasalic was perhaps there because he was

20 conscious of the fact that there would be an HVO attack." That's on page

21 8 of the Croatian text. And then it goes on to say that the Muslims had a

22 good intelligence service which was infiltrated into the -- had

23 infiltrated the structures of the HVO.

24 So Pasalic was there because he was fully conscious of the fact

25 that there would be an attack on the HVO. Now, in your second statement,

Page 23031

1 39, you say, "Initially they did not want to allow them to enter Mostar.

2 They wanted them to take the direction to Dracevo." That's what you say

3 in paragraph 39. It was only after these talks with Bozic that they could

4 finally enter Mostar. And Their Honours have heard about this.

5 My position was that Pasalic should have been authorised in. The

6 Croat part, counterpart, should not be prevented from moving freely. And

7 then an important sentence follows: "In my opinion, Pasalic's presence in

8 Mostar on time could have prevented the conflict."

9 So we're dealing with the 9th of May 1993, and in a paragraph that

10 I've read out, it says that Pasalic was there because he was aware of the

11 fact that there would be a HVO attack, and the second time, it is claimed

12 that the presence of Pasalic in Mostar could prevent the conflict. Now,

13 is that a contradiction? I think it's quite obvious we needn't analyse it

14 further, but is it obviously a contradiction, written in this way? No

15 explanations are necessary, just as it stands, is it a contradiction?

16 A. I think that -- I can't hear. I don't think this is a

17 contradiction, Your Honour, because each sentence has its own stand-alone

18 meaning. I'm not getting into the conflict on the 9th but if I were

19 leader of one band --

20 Q. Witness, please, I do apologise, but on the 9th of May -- well,

21 the conflicts -- please. If you say it's not a contradiction, that is

22 enough for me. I just don't have the possibility, because of the time

23 constraints, to go into that. If you say it wasn't a contradiction, it

24 wasn't a contradiction, right.

25 My next question is this: If, as is claimed in the documents, the

Page 23032

1 HVO attacked on the 9th of May, the BH army, how, then, would the timely

2 presence of Pasalic have prevented -- how could the presence of Pasalic, a

3 soldier of the 4th Corps, could have prevented this attack, the HVO, if

4 the HVO had decided to attack? Then Pasalic's presence couldn't have

5 prevented this, could it? So would it be logical, judging by this

6 sentence, that the Pasalic's presence could have prevented the BH army

7 from attacking the HVO on the 9th of May? Might it have been that way

8 around?

9 A. In my opinion, no. In my opinion, in my opinion if Pasalic had

10 been there, maybe the HVO would not have attacked, and he came quickly

11 because there was an attack.

12 Q. Sir -- sir, please, the HVO attack, launched this large scale

13 action when it saw that Pasalic wasn't there, otherwise it wouldn't have

14 attacked because Pasalic was there, that's what you're saying? All right,

15 fine. Now, take a look at document 22 -- just a moment, please, 2241,

16 P02241, actually.

17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, please excuse me Mr. Praljak. Please

18 excuse me. In the transcript, I noted what I conceive as a contrast or a

19 contradiction between page 13, paragraph 24, when it is written that

20 Mr. Pasalic was in Mostar because of an HVO attack; whereas, a little bit

21 farther down, page 14, I think, it is line 3 or something like that, it is

22 written an attack on the HVO. And the first time one thinks if one reads

23 it that the HVO would attack, and the second time that the HVO would be

24 the object of an attack. I think it would be useful if this could be

25 clarified.

Page 23033

1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] My question, as I put it,

2 was simple. If somebody claims that the presence of Pasalic in Mostar

3 would prevent an attack, then my question, based on that fact is this: The

4 commander of the 4th Corps can prevent an attack of his own army, the 4th

5 Corps commander of the BH army can't prevent an attack of the HVO,

6 particularly such a large-scale attack on a town like that. So I was

7 going to ask the witness whether he thinks that is logical. And the fact

8 that what is claimed is that the fact that Pasalic isn't there created and

9 led to an attack. So quite obviously it was a BH army attack because when

10 the opposite army opposing army decides to attack, it must prepare for an

11 attack and as Judge Antonetti asked, it means a lots of troop movement,

12 logistics movement. It's not just three houses in a village.

13 So that was my question. But as the witness does not feel that

14 there is any contradiction that Pasalic is in Mostar or not in Mostar,

15 then unfortunately not because I wouldn't like to clarify the point but

16 because of my time constraints, and I have to get through a lot of things,

17 then I'd like us to move on and look at 2241, P02241, the next document,

18 please. It's page 3 of the Croatian text, 1, 2, and it's the Mostar area.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have it.

20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

21 Q. You have found it, 2241?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Just witness sentence I want to read out here and it this: Under

24 Mostar, the heading of Mostar, it says, "Shelling" and then it goes on to

25 say, "At 0500 hours from the positions of [indiscernible] an attack on the

Page 23034

1 Muslim sector, the HVO forces broke through and reached the Muslim part of

2 the Bulevar." So the HVO forces broke through and reached the Muslim part

3 of the Bulevar.

4 Now, as we can't get a military expert to testify here or haven't

5 as yet, I'm asking you, as a soldier, if the separation line was at the

6 Bulevar before that, then how -- now, on the 9th of May 1993, against what

7 forces did the HVO have to break through to reach the Bulevar? Unless

8 somebody had passed the line towards the HVO and then the HVO forces in

9 their turn managed to reach the Bulevar again and break through the

10 opposing army's forces.

11 Is what I'm saying logical? And is that the sentence? It says

12 "They broke through and reached the Bulevar. "

13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Now, Your Honours, I'd like

14 to remind you of another document. Thank you, where it was stated that

15 the BH army forces were withdrawing to the Bulevar, but I haven't got time

16 to go into that.

17 Q. Thank you, sir. Now take up my set of documents, my binder. I

18 think your answer was yes; is that correct? Did you say "yes," witness?

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which of the questions --

20 Witness, please, in the indictments, the date of the 9th of May is a

21 critical one. This is the reason why for nearly over 18 months this is a

22 recurrent date. You yourself, where were you on the 9th of May?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 9th of May, I was in the

24 Medjugorje headquarters. I was woken up at 6.30 in the morning, and we

25 were told that there were attacks in Mostar. We got the chain of

Page 23035

1 commander up and running, we received information from the units that we

2 had in the area, they had to leave the area and that's where activities

3 began, from about 8.00 in the morning when we had a first meeting with the

4 colonel, and we met together with the NGOs who had also left the area, and

5 I think by 8.00 that night we were in Mostar with the ambassador so yes,

6 we were aware of the situation.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the level of SpaBat, the

8 analysis that you had to carry out of the events as they were occurring,

9 what did it say? Did you think it was a HVO attack or was it an ABiH

10 attack? What was your estimation? Based on the information you had.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the INTREP that

12 Mr. Praljak mentioned it says, and this was signed at 8.00 that evening,

13 it says shelling at 5.00 in the morning. There were attacks, mortar

14 attacks, on the Muslim areas by HVO and from there, the situation

15 developed. So from the beginning, we had some doubt because it seemed a

16 little bit contradictory. We heard from the HVO that it was the ABiH was

17 attacking and so we -- yes?

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. This is the first

19 time I've been hearing this. You are saying that there were ABiH

20 officials that called you? HVO officials, who called you to say that it

21 was the ABiH that was attacking. This is the first time I'm hearing this.

22 Who called from the HVO to say that it was an ABiH attack?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The information came from people in

24 the field who had contacts with HVO elements, who were the ones saying

25 that there was shelling. I can't recall -- I personally did not receive

Page 23036

1 that information because it was not part of our mandate. However, during

2 the first two hours we did not know who had started the shelling because

3 it was in the midst of battle. We didn't know. As time went on, the

4 incognito, in fact, was dissipated.

5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Sir, it says here a mortar attack was carried out. Now, a mortar,

7 is it an anti-infantry weapon, first and foremost, that is to say a weapon

8 most frequently used to prevent the penetration of certain forces so when

9 forces are out in the open and when they are attacking, mortars are used,

10 are they not, against infantry men, against an infantry attack? Would

11 this be correct militarily speaking?

12 A. Yes. Against defenceless infantry.

13 Q. Now, that's right, yes, yes. Now, take up my binder that you've

14 been given, and let's open it to the last document, 3D 00628.

15 A. I've got it.

16 Q. The 10th of May 1993 is the date of the document. And it says,

17 the conflicts in Mostar -- well let me ask you this: Do you know about

18 Mr. Andric, that he was a member of the Main Staff of the HV at the time?

19 Have you heard of the name, Miro Andric? He negotiated with you.

20 A. Yes. I did meet Colonel Andric. He came with me to Jablanica to

21 solve some of the HVO -- some of the HVO problems.

22 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, let's focus on this. He says, "These

23 conflicts began with an attack on the 9th of May at 0500 hours, with an

24 attack of the BH army against the Tihomir Misic barracks. Also the Muslim

25 forces attempted to break through and reach the building of the Office of

Page 23037

1 the President of the HZ HB and that was successfully repulsed." And so on

2 and so forth. Well, it goes on to say that there are a large number of

3 false information, a large number of false information being disseminated

4 through Radio Sarajevo. Did you hear about any of this from your men,

5 that the BH army reached the Rondo and deep into the HVO lines and a

6 barracks where Mate Boban was at the time or rather, the office building

7 of the president of the HZ HB, Mate Boban? Do you know about any of this?

8 If not, I'd just like to go through the document, sir?

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, there is an interruption here,

10 the number of the document is 4D, 4D 00628.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I remember perfectly that I

12 received information at the command post whereby we knew that the building

13 of the Presidency where Mate Boban had been lodged from the night before

14 had been attacked. Yes, I remember that comment.

15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Thank you, sir. Now take a look at the next document, the third

17 from the end, 3D 00898. It is a document dated the 7th of May, that is to

18 say two days before the clashes. Did you know -- 3D --

19 A. Just a moment. I do not have that document.

20 Q. 3D 00898. It is the third from the bottom in my set of documents.

21 A. Fine, fine.

22 Q. Do you know anything at all about the things mentioned in this

23 document, that is to say that in the afternoon, as it states in the last

24 sentence, the BH army police took away 13 HVO members from the point

25 mentioned, and this is a BH army document, sir. Please note that, a BH

Page 23038

1 army document. Do you know anything about that? About the incidents --

2 incidents like this that took place earlier on, where, from joint

3 check-points, people were taken away? Now what happened to them, we can't

4 go into that now, but do you know about any of this?

5 A. I recall that the HVO headquarters informed us at times that these

6 things had taken place. We did not get details, but we knew there had

7 been problems at check-points with BH elements.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, before I continue, is it true that on the 25th of

9 August 1993, I, together with you, on your APC, took through a

10 humanitarian convoy to the BH army check-point at the entrance to Mostar?

11 A. Yes, completely correct.

12 Q. Sir, you're a military man. Now I'd like to go through a series

13 of documents with you signed by Brigadier Miljenko Lasic, the commander of

14 the operative zone in which Mostar is located. Well, do you know Mr.

15 Miljenko Lasic. Let me ask you that first. You've written about him so I

16 assume you've heard the name.

17 A. Yes, of course I do know Brigadier Lasic.

18 Q. Thank you. Now after we go through the documents I'll ask you a

19 question at the end so let's look at 3D 01006 first, please. It's the

20 ninth document from the beginning, dated the 9th of May 1993, "Based on

21 the development of the situation in the town of Mostar," so the person who

22 should lead the HVO attacks says, "In view of the developments, orders

23 that 120 well-armed and trained men be urgently sent to Mostar and that

24 they should report to" so and so, et cetera, and this was sent to the

25 first Knez Domagoj Brigade and the Stjepan Radic fourth HVO Brigade. Is

Page 23039

1 that what it says in this document from Milenko Lasic?

2 A. Yes, it's what I can read in the English version of the document.

3 Q. Yes. That will suffice. Now look at the next document 3D 01009

4 is the document number. And in fact it's the next document that you come

5 upon. Once again the date is the 9th of May and once again it was sent to

6 the 4th HVO Brigade, and he is asking that PZO anti-aircraft Defence

7 weapon be sent 14.5 millimetre along with 3.000 rounds of ammunition. Is

8 that what it says there, sir?

9 A. Yes, that's correct.

10 Q. Now, let's look at the next document, 3D 01023. Once again dated

11 the 9th of May 1993 signed by Miljenko Lasic, brigadier, issues an order

12 to immediately send to Mostar six ambulance teams with vehicles. Once

13 again, it says who to report to. Is that what it says, six ambulance

14 teams with vehicles?

15 A. [No interpretation]

16 Q. Next document, please, sir.

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. 3D 01008 is the document number, dated the 9th of May once again,

19 1993. Once again, it is Brigadier Lasic issuing an order to the 4th

20 Brigade to urgently send a T-34 tank crew, that's an old Russian tank,

21 this T-34, and he says that they should report to the commander of the

22 tank battalion, is that what it says?

23 A. Yes. It's correct. All these documents are from the 9th of May.

24 Q. Thank you. And now on to the next document, 3D 01007.

25 A. [No interpretation]

Page 23040

1 Q. Once again the date is the 9th of May 1993. The same story,

2 urgently send to Mostar a mortar platoon --

3 MR. PORYVAEV: I must object. I don't understand the point of

4 these questions. To read the documents.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Well, the relevance

6 is quite clear. It's absolutely relevant. Why do you raise an objection?

7 MR. PORYVAEV: But I don't hear any questions to the witness.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, but the witness cannot

9 answer as to the documents, but I'm sure that a question will be put to

10 him that sums up all the don't. At least that's what I suppose.

11 Mr. Praljak?

12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, quite right, Your

13 Honour. My question will be a clear question at the end. The gentleman

14 is a soldier -- well, I can ask my question straight away, so he can think

15 about it.

16 Q. If somebody were to see these documents of the 9th of May and the

17 other documents that I'm going to read out, would the commander who was

18 supposed to lead an operation against the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

19 an attack against a town in the morning, in the morning hours, would he

20 write a document like this in which he is asking for all the possible

21 weapons, mortar, tanks, ambulances, because his men are dying and so on.

22 So my question is a military one, although we've never brought in

23 a military expert here to testify, but I want to show that even a layman

24 would find it quite clear, a military layman, that either an idiot would

25 launch an attack like that. And if it wasn't a mad man then there was no

Page 23041

1 HVO attack because these documents quite obviously show the kind of

2 situation that the commander found himself on the 9th of May and that will

3 be my question at the end after we've looked through all the documents.

4 Now let's go on to the next document, 3D 00107 dated the 9th of

5 May again. Where once again Mico Lasic is issuing an order to send him a

6 120 millimetre mortar platoon and some light rocket launchers,

7 107-millimetre ones. So is this a document that you can see in front of

8 you now, sir?

9 A. Yes, yes, I can see the document.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, take a look at 3D 01001, the next document,

11 please. The 9th of May is the date, the report was at 2100 hours. It

12 starts with a chronology of events at 1420 hours because the rest of it

13 seems to be lost and here Miljenko Lasic is reporting on what actually

14 happened. At 1420 hours such and such a person was killed, he was forced

15 to attack the cinema, the Partizan cinema, and Vicjina [phoen] Street.

16 Now do you know that the Partizan cinema and Vicjina Street were at the

17 very separation line between the HVO and BH army?

18 A. Yes. I remember that was said.

19 Q. Now, let's look at the end of this document. It says the general

20 situation in Mostar is very difficult and the fighting is still going on,

21 the HVO will try to fortify positions on the Bulevar. So it says. The

22 general situation very difficult and the HVO will try to fortify its --

23 the positions along the Bulevar.

24 So if somebody is trying to fortify and strengthen positions at

25 the Bulevar at 1400 hours, which was the separation line, then would you,

Page 23042

1 sir, and your professional soldier, exclude the fact that somebody had

2 already broken through towards the eastern part of town? Or, rather, what

3 I want to say is this: Towards the western part of town, whereas somebody

4 is trying to fortify positions that he had earlier and did not expect an

5 attack? Is that quite clear from what it says here? Can we understand

6 that in any other way than I have just put to you?

7 A. Having a look at these documents, which I see for the first time,

8 I see the major problem faced by Major Lasic, whether you were the ones

9 that led the offensive or whether it was the Armija, and the solutions

10 adopted to wit to request men, well trained and armed, and artillery, and

11 the information that arrived at SpaBat, if you're interested, Your Honour,

12 in how I interpreted key events on the 9th of May, we understood that you,

13 with your weaponry, were better organised. But when it comes to the

14 infantry, perhaps the Armija infantry attained some immediate successes

15 locally.

16 If you look at the death toll, we are talking about six killed and

17 17 wounded people. So there were problems, major problems in Mostar. We

18 are talking about the beginning of hostilities. In the different

19 documents signed by brigadier Lasic, the other documents in which he asked

20 for weaponry, he also issued orders to close a number of roads. Quite so.

21 I agree with you, General Praljak, that it's not quite normal for

22 somebody who is supposedly prepared an offensive on the very same day of

23 the offensive to request support troops. The logic that you are following

24 is crystal clear. But this does not exclude that I support the

25 information that SpaBat provided via the chain of command on the basis of

Page 23043

1 the information that we had at the time which is of course not these

2 documents.

3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness -- if you just allow, witness, you have

4 emitted now a hypothesis, what could be the explanation for this? Would

5 another hypothesis be that an attacker is surprised, taken by surprise

6 because he meets with much more resistance than he had expected, for

7 instance, for bad intelligence.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we believed that is

9 what happened. We believed that the side that did not lead the attack did

10 acquire a tactical low-level tactical advantage at the infantry level. It

11 is not usual for an attack of the BH infantry would take place against the

12 building in which the Presidency of Mate Boban was housed. That's not

13 normal. There was a tremendous lack of foreplanning, forward planning,

14 but these are conjectures that I'm not about to make 14 years later.

15 That's not my responsibility.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are a senior

17 officer and usually you are able to answer military-type questions.

18 Following the documents that have been submitted to you, we are in the

19 very heart of the military issue. There are two theses. One which is the

20 case by the Prosecution that says that on the 9th of May at 5.00, the HVO

21 attacked the headquarters of the 4th Corps and took the Vranica building.

22 That's the Prosecution case.

23 On the other hand, you have the case put forward by General

24 Praljak, based on document 4D 628, a document from Colonel Andric, sent to

25 Tihomir Blaskic, who commands the Central Bosnia operational zone, also

Page 23044

1 telling what happened. So the scenario presumably is the following. At

2 5.00, the ABiH attacked the Tihomir Misic barracks, but they are

3 successfully repulsed. Then the HVO, as a counteroffensive, is going to

4 take the building in which the headquarters of the 4th Corps is located.

5 So as part of this scenario, we have a series of documents showing

6 that not on the 7th, not on the 8th, but on the 9th of May, a tank is

7 being called urgently, as well as ambulances, material, equipment, and

8 these documents might suggest that then, led by Mr. Lasic, there is a

9 military system that is put in place to face the ABiH attack. You, you

10 were not in Mostar proper, but outside Mostar. Which of these two

11 scenarios do you think is more credible, the more sort of

12 true-to-military-doctrine?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you refer to the

14 Andric document there are two things that should not escape your

15 attention. It's an answer to a request and it's signed on the 10th of

16 May, that's to say the following day. Mention is made of the 5.00 in the

17 morning attack and that a number of front lines and attacks against the

18 presidential building have taken place but were repelled, and that the

19 Armija building was taken over by the HVO including the 4th Corps building

20 which was in the Croat zone, and that there is false information being

21 aired by Sarajevo Radio.

22 If this is all the basis to state that they did not take the

23 initiative, I do not believe that it's successively accurate. The

24 UNPROFOR analysed in situ, and we even had some people infiltrated to see

25 what was actually happening with the shots, and on the very same day, on

Page 23045

1 the 9th, not the 10th, we said that we understood that the initiative had

2 been taken by the HVO. Having said this, I also agree with General

3 Praljak's position to say, well, what sort of foreplanning was there

4 within the HVO troops if they had to request more things on that very same

5 day. The documents of Lasic have no time given, so we don't know;

6 whereas, the UNPROFOR documents always, always, state the time. Both the

7 time and the date and these for military purposes. But of course it's not

8 up to me to judge this.

9 In my opinion, and to answer your question, Your Honour, the

10 criterion of the Defence which coincides with the information that

11 UNPROFOR provided in the area on the same day of the attack is more

12 consistent than the position adopted by General Praljak and his Defence

13 counsel.

14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, witness, is this indeed what you want

15 to say, that the point of the Defence is more convincing than the points

16 of Mr. Praljak, who is one part of the Defence?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you have said the Defence. I

18 meant the Prosecutor's side. What I meant to say was that of the two

19 options that the president of the Court provided relating to the reports

20 of Mr. Andric, this is what I want to say, and I apologise for my mistake.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one last question and then

22 Mr. Praljak will be able to proceed. When you have to do with a military

23 offensive of the type you can see unfolding on the 9th of May, in such a

24 setting, prior to the offensive, aren't there any orders being given,

25 preparatory orders of logistics, material, various equipment, weaponry,

Page 23046

1 health, doctors, orders that were to prepare for the attack, whether it

2 was organised by the ABiH or the HVO? In 1993, so this is not back in the

3 Middle Ages, that's only -- well, close to 14 years ago, back then, did

4 you not have to prepare for an attack with orders, with preparatory

5 orders, or was it done just casually, randomly. You were on the ground.

6 You met with generals, with senior officers, with ministers. What was

7 your feeling as to the factions and armies in presence? Were there

8 professional armies that were able to prepare attacks according to the

9 rules of warfare or were they doing just anything?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, obviously in 1993, both

11 sides involved in the conflict had professionals with knowledge of the

12 situation or with knowledge as to how to organise a military operation.

13 UNPROFOR never received internal information as to what was being

14 prepared, obviously not. We never had that information. Had we had that

15 information, we would have passed it on to the appropriate authorities, to

16 Kiseljak. I think that the management or direction of combat was not

17 particularly good on either side, but the feeling, the general feeling in

18 UNPROFOR was that the HVO side relied on its artillery to a large extent

19 whereas the Armija had better infantry. Perhaps there was a lack of

20 balance.

21 In former -- in former combat against the Serbian army, this is

22 what used to happen. Mostar is a different kettle of fish. Mostar is not

23 an open battlefield. The artillery is not as useful and perhaps it was

24 infantry that was needed most, but I am not familiar about the preparation

25 for the attack. I do not know whether it was in fact an attack that took

Page 23047

1 place simply because it was known that the generals in charge were not

2 there, but General Pasalic in fact comes quickly in order to enter Mostar

3 because he is in fact the one that brings together the 4th Corps of the

4 Armija. And it is clear that the Armija did attack in the area of the

5 Presidency, the president's building, and there was a large movement of

6 troops and that UNPROFOR had to leave the area. All this is correct.

7 All the information we had led us to believe that as professionals

8 with more experience perhaps than the people there, led us to believe that

9 the attack came from the HVO side, and this is why we wrote that.

10 Otherwise we would have written something different.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please proceed.

12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Sir, I'm interested in the following: Out of your people, who was

14 in Mostar on the morning of the 9th of May? To cut this short we thought

15 we concluded, we inferred, what have you not. In Mostar on the 9th of May

16 who was where from SpaBat? Do you know or do you not know? Please don't

17 look through these papers. Just tell me if you know or don't know?

18 A. On the 9th of May in the morning, the unit stationed in Mostar

19 left Mostar. This information I can give you. Also, I can give you that

20 we got information from inside Mostar through some of the Spanish

21 intelligence people who remained in Mostar, to protect soldiers, well, we

22 have also elements that act isolated, and we receive information from

23 these people.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Please let me

25 intervene because you said that already yesterday already and nobody

Page 23048

1 picked that up or grasped the extent of what you were saying. You said

2 that SpaBat left Mostar, but you also say on page 101 that there were

3 elements that stayed. I was going to say were they spies for you who

4 would give you information, or were they SpaBat members who had stayed

5 inside Mostar under the guise of -- some guise, and who would inform you

6 as the events were unfolding? Could you let us know how you had organised

7 information to get to you?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that day, or about that day, I

9 have no details. However, elements of the reconnaissance patrols, command

10 posts, specialised, with electronic means, could be in areas which were

11 not controlled by any side but that could observe the situation. It's

12 habitual practice in western armies, and of course we cannot discount the

13 possibility that we had these. We cannot say whether we had more than

14 two. I cannot say.

15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Please, could have, whatever. Really, we're speaking in the

17 conditional now, what could have taken place. Electronic surveillance

18 could have done this and that. Sir, this is a classical attack in the

19 street, somebody either saw that or did not see that.

20 If someone saw it, it could have happened only at a certain place

21 at a certain time. Let us stick to logic. I am very well versed in

22 Spanish literature. We can talk about Cervantes but this is not that.

23 This is a military matter. Who concluded on the basis of what, on the

24 basis of fact, that someone from the HVO started that attack in

25 contravention of everything that I'm going to prove through the documents,

Page 23049

1 but please look at your report on the 8th of May, number 36.

2 On the 8th of May 1993, in the evening, we brought the British,

3 French, and Spanish ambassadors to Mostar. Oh, yes, where Mate Boban was.

4 They had a meeting with Mr. Stojic and Mr. Bozic. The meeting was held in

5 the building of the Presidency of Herceg-Bosna. On the same day we

6 secured an escort for Mr. Pasalic from Kiseljak to the eastern part of

7 Mostar. So on the evening of the 8th of May, you sat in Mostar. You were

8 there yourself, right?

9 A. Yes. I was in Mostar.

10 Q. Yes. Now, an experienced soldier -- well first of all, if an

11 offensive was being prepared for the 9th, why would they let you in on the

12 8th? Secondly, where is the army? The military is supposed to be there,

13 preparations, mortars, rocket launchers, tanks. Aren't you a soldier?

14 How can one get into Mostar near the actual front line that would

15 later be attacked by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you don't see

16 anything on the evening of the 8th? No one sees a thing? You talk quite

17 peacefully with three ambassadors, everything is peaceful, calm, and the

18 next morning, the HVO launches an attack, and you conclude that through

19 electronic surveillance, how, who, where? Can you give me an answer to

20 that? If not I would just like to deal with a few more documents and then

21 we're going to move on to our next topic.

22 A. The night of the 8th was a very surprising night for me because

23 there were plenty of patrols and soldiers.

24 Q. Sir, please, tell me did you see any preparations on the evening

25 of the 8th that were involved in an attack? Yes or no. Tell me that.

Page 23050

1 Patrols were there for the ambassadors.

2 A. My mission was to bring the APCs, take the ambassadors to the

3 Presidency building and hand them over to Mate Boban. I waited two hours

4 outside, and I had the opportunity of talking to some soldiers. I saw so

5 military preparations or what I would consider military preparations.

6 That is the answer. I saw no military preparation, correct.

7 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, sir. Please look at this

8 document, we have 3D 01001. It says, "Around 1700 hours, an attack by the

9 Bosnian army to get back to Hum was repelled." That's what is written

10 here, do you know where Hum is? 3D 01001. You will see here even Babic

11 got killed, and right under that, around 1700 hours, an attack -- an

12 attempt of the BH army to climb the hill of Hum was repulsed. You have it

13 on the screen, sir. If you wish you can have a look at the screen.

14 A. Yes, I have the document.

15 Q. Do you see that written there? Now that we are on the subject of

16 Hum, you were still in Mostar at that time. Do you know about this major

17 offensive of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 20th of September 1993,

18 against West Mostar, inter alia against the hill of Hum, the 20th of

19 September 1993? What do you know about that? If you don't know anything,

20 then I'd like to move on.

21 A. Sorry, I've misunderstood. You're talking about the 20th of

22 September? You're talking about an attack against the hill on the 20th of

23 September?

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. There is a mistake here.

25 The document is dated the 9th of May. It's a report which was drafted at

Page 23051

1 8.00 p.m. and this report explains that at 5.00 p.m. the HVO repelled an

2 attack by the ABiH army which was trying to take control of the Hum hill.

3 I think in military terms, this does mean the same thing.

4 What do you have to say to this? Is it surprising? Is it normal?

5 How do you react? How do you respond to this? I must say this is a bit

6 of a quandary for me because we know that they were positioned on the hill

7 of Hum, and if this attack took place, this attack must have been prepared

8 beforehand. What do you have to say to this?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, obviously, who controlled the

10 Hum hill had a perfect vantage point over Mostar, so I could well

11 understand that one side would have the control and others would try to

12 storm or take over that control point. And we did have information

13 whereby the attack against the Hum hill was taken place from Donja Mahala.

14 I can confirm that this is true.

15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Thank you very much. Sir, now I wanted to ask you about a

17 different date concerning an attack on Hum. I'm talking about the 20th of

18 September 1993. Do you know about that attack of the BH army at Hum? Yes

19 or no.

20 Sir, you don't need to look at documents. Sir, please, just what

21 you know. You were down there. Do you know, do you know that there was

22 an attack launched by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 20th of

23 September 1993 against Mostar, the hill of Hum, and so on? Do you know

24 about that? Oh, all right. Let's skip that question. This is my last

25 document, 3D 0 -- 3D 01000. That's the last one that has to do with this

Page 23052

1 topic. 3D 01000.

2 A. [No interpretation]

3 Q. The 10th of May. Miljenko Lasic, because of a conflict between

4 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO, he's asking for 82-millimetre

5 mortars, 120-millimetre mortars and so on and so forth. And he's asking

6 for that as urgently as possible. Can you see that document? Is this

7 correct, what is stated here?

8 A. I can see the document.

9 Q. 3D 01021, the last document. Miljenko Lasic --

10 A. [No interpretation]

11 Q. Is writing to the commander of UNPROFOR, Zagreb, the 10th of May

12 1993. Do you see the signature of Miljenko Lasic? And he says, "We are

13 surprised by the totally unfounded assessment of UNPROFOR that allegedly

14 HVO forces on the 9th of May 1993 started combat actions in Mostar and

15 that in this way, they violated the three last agreements between Croat

16 and Muslim commanders under the protection of the UN. We are surprised

17 that Mr. Wahlgreen wasn't objectively informed about who actually did not

18 respect the above-cited agreement and who, in fact, after numerous

19 previous provocations, started combat actions precisely against the

20 Tihomir Misic barracks located on the left bank of the Neretva River in

21 which the BH army is already tidying up as an area where only Muslims will

22 be living."

23 He says that "The Republic of Croatia has nothing to do with it."

24 And he also says, "It is true that the HVO units responded to combat

25 action, of the BH army, with a single objective in mind, to defend the

Page 23053

1 city and its population." Have you ever seen this document that was sent

2 obviously through your UNPROFOR, Zagreb?

3 A. From this document, our colonel head of operations had told us of

4 it, but I don't think we ever actually saw the document itself. But I

5 think we were aware that the document had been produced. I thought that

6 it wasn't Lasic. I thought that it was Minister Stojic. That was what

7 believed until now.

8 Q. Sir, do you know that on the 30th of June, the barracks of Tihomir

9 Misic were attacked by the BH army inside and outside to cut things short,

10 they took the barracks and they continued their combat operation a month

11 later? Do you know about that? On the left bank of the Neretva near the

12 railway station in the northern part of town?

13 While we are waiting, could the usher please put this on -- oh,

14 you know that, thank you.

15 A. Yes. For us, for UNPROFOR, it was a known fact that the

16 importance of the northern and southern barracks that enclosed the city

17 were very important for both sides. I remember receiving information

18 periodically concerning some.

19 Q. [No interpretation]? [Speakers overlapping] Time is running out.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Praljak. It

21 is 4.00. We have to have a 40 [as interpreted] minute break now, and we

22 shall resume at 20 minutes past 4.00 accused.

23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Just have a look at these

24 two photographs so that will be all right? Would that be possible?

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, all right, but

Page 23054

1 very quickly, please.

2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].

3 Q. Sir, please look at the photograph of this big building? Could it

4 please be placed on the ELMO, the photograph of this building, oh just

5 leave it, leave it on the ELMO.

6 Sir, could you please put it where it was? Thank you, and I

7 apologise to the interpreters. Is this the building where you went up

8 when you were investigating the death of your officer?

9 A. If my memory serves me correctly, it is this building, and can I

10 have a pointer? And here, you can see the corner -- I think it's this

11 corner, one moment.

12 Q. Mark that, please. Please mark that corner.

13 A. Yes. I think.

14 Q. The corner where you were.

15 A. This photo doesn't actually help me very much because I saw it

16 from the bridge, but I think that this is the building, and I think it was

17 this part right here, you can see this top corner. This is where the

18 house was where formerly we had the elevator.

19 Q. Please mark that. Please mark where that would be. Please put

20 number 1 there?

21 A. [Marks]

22 Q. Please, number 1, by that.

23 A. [Marks]

24 Q. So that is where you went up, and you saw something like an

25 elevator and you found some casings; is that right?

Page 23055

1 A. No, no. There was no elevator. There was a hole at that point,

2 and I think something would have been there beforehand. But yes we did

3 find shells there.

4 Q. There could have been one, of course there wasn't a lift an

5 elevator, but you were in that building in that place and you found a

6 casing or casings; is that right? Would you place the date and your

7 signature to the photograph? That's customary in this Court. Or rather

8 your initials. You needn't write your name and surname. Your Honours

9 would you explain to the witness what he should do?

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please write in the initials DV,

11 please, DV, and write today's date.

12 THE WITNESS: [Marks]

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 2nd of October 2007.

14 THE WITNESS: [Marks]

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could we have an IC

16 number, please?

17 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours, the document shall be

18 given Exhibit number IC 673. Thank you, Your Honour.

19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Now take a look at the second photograph. Can we see the entire

21 photograph, please? Move it up a bit. Now, along this street, if you go

22 down this street, by the cars, if you carry on further down to the left

23 part of the photograph, would you get to Tito's bridge where there was an

24 APC, a SpaBat APC, just draw in an arrow? You go down this street and you

25 get to Tito's bridge; is that right? That's right, in that direction; is

Page 23056

1 that correct? That Tito's bridge is to be found there? And if so, place

2 an arrow, please.

3 A. [Marks]

4 Q. So following the direction of that arrow, you would find Tito's

5 bridge; is that correct?

6 A. That is correct.

7 Q. Witness, this photograph, well, along with the buildings, the

8 buildings there today, nothing can be changed, but this photograph was

9 taken from approximately the position or rather this photograph is more to

10 the advantage in a way of the Prosecution, but my position is this: In no

11 way, not then, not now, from that building, could you see the location at

12 which your officer was located when he died. Is what I'm saying the truth

13 or not? Is it a lie or is it the truth? And that's my last question

14 before the break.

15 A. That is incorrect. From the top of the building, there is

16 another -- there is a different panorama, different visibility. I'm not

17 saying that it's wrong. It's just that I filmed and photographed the

18 panorama from the top of the building, and this was done at the time.

19 It's not a recent piece of evidence.

20 Q. But why haven't we got this panorama view, panoramic view?

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The photograph was taken from

22 the highest point, the one where you were standing. From there, one

23 cannot see the bridge. That seems pretty obvious. What we see here, in

24 the light of what we have here in front of us, we can't see the bridge on

25 the photograph. So could one see the bridge from another vantage point in

Page 23057

1 the building? Because you are saying that you could see the bridge from

2 where you were standing.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The bridge exactly can be seen from

4 what we call the left wing, which is the metallic bridge which goes into

5 the Muslim part controlled by the Armija. That could be seen and the

6 trees could be seen, yes. But this particular photo might be taken from

7 the same building, but it has a completely different angle and it's not

8 the same as what I saw.

9 Both photos could be put side by side to compare the two. The

10 Spanish Battalion, I know, has copies of the photos. I'm not sure about

11 the video but the photos, yes. On top of that, the photos were sent to

12 the national press and it was marked on the photo where the death

13 occurred. But this photo, albeit taken in the same building, from the

14 same building, it's neither the -- it shows neither the height that I

15 remember or the position that I remember. I'm not saying that -- well,

16 I'm just saying it doesn't actually show what I saw when I climbed the

17 building.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have to have a 20 minute

19 break now. We shall resume at half past 4.00. Mr. Praljak, according to

20 my calculation, there are 70 minutes left. How much time will you need

21 after the break?

22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as much as you

23 give me. The question of the wounded, the injured, and perhaps the

24 military situation which the gentleman is aware of.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to finish at 5 p.m. So

Page 23058

1 please reflect on those questions which you wish to put to the witness and

2 we should finish at 5.00 p.m. We shall now have a 20-minute break and

3 resume at half past 4.00 sharp.

4 --- Recess taken at 4.08 p.m.

5 --- On resuming at 4.29 p.m.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, I'd like to ask

7 the Prosecution how much time they will need for their redirect.

8 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I don't think that I need it.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak, you

10 still have 20 minutes. We will give Mrs. Alaburic five minutes for her

11 additional questions and that will wrap it up. So you have 20 minutes

12 left.

13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

14 That's going to be sufficient for my purposes. I hope that we will see

15 the photograph that the Spaniards took and that the Prosecution will make

16 it available to us. Could we mark this one the same way we marked the

17 previous one, with initials and a date?

18 Q. Would you mark it, please, Witness? Could you please initial this

19 photograph and your secret initials, that is, and then could we have the

20 date, today's date?

21 A. [Marks]

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could we have an IC

23 number for this photograph, registrar, please?

24 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated] Your Honour, the

25 document shall be given Exhibit number IC 674. Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 23059

1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Witness, would you look at your diary, P02108, now, please, and

3 we'll go through some things and look at the 27th of August 1993, that

4 entry?

5 A. 27th of August, yes, I have it.

6 Q. Look at the end of the page in Croatian, the departure of five

7 children plus four relatives from the Muslim part of Mostar in order to go

8 to Split by helicopter, plane from Split, Zagreb, Mec. Now, that

9 evacuation was can carried out?

10 A. Yes. It was conducted.

11 Q. Thank you. Now, do you remember the evacuations that went from

12 East Mostar, UNPROFOR transport to Medjugorje, a helicopter to Split and

13 then further on to Turkey by plane? Do you remember those evacuations?

14 Just to go through them quickly now.

15 A. There were many evacuations during my time in the task force, I

16 don't know which ones you're referring to, but I remember the process of

17 evacuations, yes.

18 Q. They are the ones that went to Turkey. We have the documents from

19 earlier on but now take a look at your diary, and the entry of the 1st of

20 September 1993 when the evacuation was agreed upon to Mostar and Nova

21 Bila. Do you remember that, that the agreement reached was about parallel

22 evacuations? Or simultaneous evacuations from Nova Bila, that is Croats

23 there and Mostar and the other wounded?

24 A. I recall the problems that we had in getting people out of the

25 hospital in Mostar, yes, and Nova Bila.

Page 23060

1 Q. Now, look at that same document, the entry for the 3rd of

2 September 1993. This is what it says, or what you say here. That the HVO

3 completed its evacuation to Split, two helicopters, and then you say that

4 the evacuation from Mostar by helicopter to Zenica was not carried out

5 because of the bad weather conditions. Isn't that right?

6 A. Yes. If that's in my personal diary? What I have on the 3rd of

7 September is that the agree [as interpreted] was concluded and then there

8 was -- there was the Nova Bila evacuation and the one from Mostar was

9 abandoned because of bad weather, yes.

10 Q. Very well. Now take a look at the 6th of September. This is what

11 you say. 31 wounded persons were transported, that's the first

12 evacuation, to Zenica. Then on the 7th of September, the evacuation of 3

13 children and their mothers from Jablanica. On the 8th of September, the

14 evacuation of 38 wounded persons by helicopter from East Mostar. Then the

15 10th of September, it says -- no, the 8th, there was a medicines transport

16 to both parts of Mostar, and the main UNHCR office to East Mostar, then we

17 come to the 11th of September entry, 34 wounded persons from the Muslim

18 part were evacuated from Medjugorje to Zenica by helicopter together with

19 five wounded prisoners who were in the HVO hospital at Bijeli Brijeg. And

20 then that same date, and then we have the 12th of September, the

21 evacuation of 38 persons, wounded Muslims from the Muslim hospital in

22 Mostar, taken to Medjugorje, transported by helicopter to Zenica.

23 Is all that correct? Everything it says there, is that correct?

24 A. It is correct, and it reflects the summaries.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, may we have on e-court P04857, please? P04857 is

Page 23061

1 the document number. It is a report dated the 7th of September 1993,

2 signed by Dr. Ivo Sandrk. It will appear on e-court. And while we are

3 waiting for the document to come up on our screens, I'd like to ask you

4 the following: Sir, did you ever, were you ever prevented by the HVO from

5 carrying out any person from East Mostar or Jablanica, mother, a child, a

6 woman, the wounded, anybody? Were there any obstacles to pulling those

7 people out, for your mission to take place, the transport of wounded

8 persons to Medjugorje, were there any attempts to prevent that or make it

9 impossible in any way, any obstacles at all?

10 A. Absolutely not. I remember the positive attitude that I met with

11 in order to carry out the evacuations. I was grateful for it at the time

12 and I'm grateful now.

13 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now take a look at the next document, if --

14 P04857, if we have it up on our screens. Anyway, it's a long document, I

15 won't be able to look at all of it but with Dr. Sandrk according to what

16 we have in our records, you talked to Dr. Sandrk. Did you negotiate with

17 him and Thornberry and the other people at these meeting held on the 1st

18 of September 1993 and the 2nd, 3rd of September, the 4th, 5th, et cetera,

19 did you attend those meetings? You confirm this earlier on but once again

20 we have it here.

21 A. Yes, yes. I believe that I recalled that Dr. Bagaric was in

22 charge of the hospital, and so I think the medical part of the HVO, I

23 can't remember in detail, but I had many meetings in the hospital. And I

24 remember that everything was carried out quite frankly under good

25 conditions.

Page 23062

1 Q. It says here on the 4th of September, well, the second page in the

2 Croatian text of this document, that Dr. Mira Camidzic, a lady doctor was

3 seriously wounded and transferred to the HVO hospital and from thence to

4 Split. Do you remember that?

5 A. No, this particular fact, no, I don't but remember from Mostar to

6 Split it was quite an easy transfer. It was quite easy to make that

7 transfer.

8 Q. Yes, of course. Now look at the next sentence, Sandrk says,

9 "I'm going to Mostar in order to be present when the MOS wounded were

10 loaded up. There was an MOS attack on the town controlled by the HVO."

11 On that occasion, 18 civilians were wounded, of which five

12 children. There were five fatalities, two children amongst them. And

13 among the wounded civilians, eight were Muslims, eight persons were

14 Muslims. It is quite clear that the attack had, as its aim, to depict MOS

15 to the public in that way and that the evacuation could not have been

16 carried out for security reasons. On that same day, two helicopters

17 evacuated 29 seriously wounded HVO members to Split and some ten children

18 from Nova Bila.

19 Do you remember that mortar attack?

20 A. Yes. I remember -- and I think it wasn't the only attack. I

21 remember, yes, that there was a problem on several occasions, security

22 problems.

23 Q. This document, among other things, says that the Muslim side kept

24 changing its negotiating team, that Dr. Milavic did not appear and so on

25 and so forth. Did you ever notice at those meetings that the HVO were in

Page 23063

1 a moment -- that it wasn't ready to do everything in its power so that the

2 wounded citizens or injured citizens should be pulled out and taken to

3 Zenica or Mec, the American hospital in Zagreb or to Croatian hospitals?

4 You answered this earlier on, but did you ever notice that there was not

5 the readiness on the part of the HVO to do anything like that?

6 A. No. Absolutely not. I found that they were fully available, and

7 I always came across people with the appropriate authority to solve the

8 problems, the concrete problems, that we encountered at that time.

9 Q. Thank you. I have one more document now. At the beginning, you

10 said that you weren't sure what I was doing in July, August, and September

11 over there. Do you know which position I had in the HVO in July, August,

12 and September? What was my post, function?

13 A. I didn't say that I didn't know what you were doing in July,

14 August, and September. I said I didn't know where you were on the 11th of

15 May. That's what I was asked. Later with the information we received

16 through the local press, we inferred what your rank was and that you were

17 in charge of military coordination of activities. As for your exact post,

18 I wasn't familiar with that. But I remember that I have the videos and

19 you met with other generals, with General Petkovic, but I didn't know your

20 official title.

21 Q. Now, sir, tell me this: Since, as you say, you had your -- well,

22 let's call them spies or people who provided you with information, since

23 you had a battalion with a lot of officers, how come you didn't know that

24 I was the commander of the Croatian Defence Council? Isn't that a little

25 strange, that an organisation like your own, with so many information

Page 23064

1 sources about what was going on in Mostar, whereas in the space of three

2 and a half months, you weren't able to obtain information about what I

3 was? And I was the commander of the Main Staff of the Croatian Defence

4 Council, the HVO. That's what I'm telling you. How is that possible?

5 That's my first question. Can you explain to the Court how that is

6 possible?

7 A. I reiterate that we didn't have a copy of your official title. We

8 knew that you had an important post and that you could deal with problems

9 that came up, for example, evacuations, et cetera, but we didn't know what

10 your exact title was, your exact post.

11 Q. And tell me this, please: Which press, local press, existed at

12 the time in the area? Give me the name of any paper that you could have

13 read at the time.

14 A. Just a correction. I didn't read the papers. It was my

15 interpreters who read the local press. It was the interpreters who read

16 the local press, whatever local press that was available that they could

17 get their hands on. And at that time there was no internet there at that

18 time, so we didn't have that access to information, I'm not sure, but I

19 remember that we bought three or four publications.

20 Q. Now, sir, you say that you received information from your

21 interpreters. Now, to learn about what the Main Staff commander did and

22 his existence, you learnt about that through interpreters and some local

23 press, which, actually, did not exist there. Is that right? Is it right

24 that the information -- that information about my function and position --

25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you enlighten the Chamber as to the

Page 23065

1 relevance of these questions? I do not quite see where in the indictment

2 they find any root, nor do I find them very pertinent as far as the

3 credibility of the witness is concerned.

4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, they are linked

5 to the credibility of information. The information coming in from the

6 battalion, which numbers almost 2.000 people, which is a professional army

7 within NATO, and they say that information about the main operative part

8 of the army, the head of it, that he learnt that from interpreters reading

9 the -- reading the local press. I think this is highly relevant for us to

10 be able to understand what information they had at their disposal, and the

11 relevance and credibility of that information among other things, about

12 the attack and conflict on the 9th of May in 1993 in Mostar.

13 So I have every respect for the gentleman, and we had very good

14 contacts.

15 Q. But any way, let's look at this document, P03812. It's a

16 document, a Prosecution document, and the date is the 30th of July 1993.

17 30th of July 1993. Take a look at it, sir.

18 You went through this document with the Prosecution. It is signed

19 by the commander of the Main Staff, General -- Major General Slobodan

20 Praljak, and then it says, "For, signed for, General Matic signed for him,

21 and it was sent to the headquarters of the Spanish Battalion, Medjugorje,

22 to Colonel Morales in person, and it says the commander of the HVO Main

23 Staff, Major General Slobodan Praljak. And information about this

24 incident when something exploded and one of your soldiers were killed, and

25 there were 11 wounded, whether more or less seriously.

Page 23066

1 This was a very troubling event, but you can see what I have

2 written about it. It's a piece of information. I first of all take note

3 of what occurred and then I say the Muslim forces, as I'm sure you know,

4 in the past few days, undertook an offensive against certain settlements,

5 et cetera, et cetera, and then it said they were successful in taking

6 control of the village of Doljani, the important elevation of Pisvir, and

7 they launched attacks against the villages of Sovici, Hudosko, and

8 Slatina. They took a tank and a mortar belonging to the HVO. We do not

9 know which artillery weapons they had at their disposal before this

10 offensive, and what weapons they have at their disposal now. But from

11 their previous positions and the ones they took control of, they were able

12 to target your base with great precision, and then I go on to say, "We do

13 not claim that this was done by the Muslims. However, we cannot accept

14 responsibility -- take responsibility for the fact that this was

15 perpetrated by HVO soldiers without an in-depth investigation to prove

16 it."

17 And then I go on to say that I express the fact that

18 "Arbitrariness cannot be excluded from wars, that we know your position,"

19 and go on to say that "We wish to warn you of the increasing attacks

20 against UNPROFOR perpetrated by those who wish to create even greater

21 chaos and possibly military intervention from the air in order to protect

22 the peace forces. In actual fact, those who want to extend this war are

23 attacking because they see in it a chance to attain their goals.

24 Gentlemen, that is not the Croatian Defence Council that tries through

25 political negotiations to reach an acceptable solution to all three

Page 23067

1 warring parties in the BiH.

2 "Now, I ask you in order to see what the circumstances were under

3 which your base in Jablanica was attacked, the HVO is ready to make

4 available to your experts our artillery positions as well as our artillery

5 weapons. Once again, we express our regret," and so on and so forth.

6 First of all, my first question: You said that you read the

7 documents that arrived in your base. Were you supposed to know my post

8 already then quite clearly? Isn't that true, in accordance with this

9 document, that my position is stated quite clear. That is the first

10 question. And secondly, if you didn't know that, how come you didn't know

11 that? How come you missed that? You didn't read all the documents? You

12 read only some documents? Tell us whatever.

13 A. Yes. Your Honours, this might be a problem of timing. On the 9th

14 of May I knew about it from the press but on the 30th of July, I read the

15 letter that you sent to the colonel, and we were grateful for that letter

16 in which your opinions on the attack on Jablanica were expressed. But we

17 didn't actually have it clearly understood what the situation was. I just

18 want you to know that in the course of my duty, it was only when you let

19 the [indiscernible] convoy through, that was the last time that I saw it.

20 But if not in Grenostonje [phoen] I was -- I just associated you with

21 General Petkovic.

22 In other words, your position -- it's not that I didn't know your

23 elevated post. It's just that I didn't have any direct dealings with you.

24 I want to publicly recognise that this letter was mentioned by the

25 colonel. It was acknowledged and we were thankful for it, but obviously

Page 23068

1 it was dealing with one of our fatalities so I could not -- I cannot say

2 before this Chamber what happened exactly. I want to remind us that in

3 the Jablanica base this was an area controlled by Muslims and

4 theoretically could have been a target by the HVO. I'm not saying that

5 that was necessarily what happened.

6 Q. My last question in view of the fact that our time is up. Did you

7 ever answer this question for me, or rather did you ever answer this

8 letter? And if you did not, why did you not respond? Why did we not

9 establish a commission in order to investigate the matter fairly, so if

10 not why did you not respond? And if you did, tell me that you did.

11 A. I don't remember in detail. I remember that Colonel Morales

12 responded to Stojic, but I don't remember myself. I remember there were

13 many meetings. I remember the situation in Jablanica was very delicate

14 and perhaps I was trying to -- perhaps the HVO -- perhaps setting up a

15 commission in Jablanica with the HVO was not actually easy and Colonel

16 Andric knew that at the same time there was a lot of activity in Mostar.

17 Therefore, I don't know, I think Colonel Morales is normally well

18 mannered and replies to all letters, and all I know is that Minister

19 Stojic received a reply from our headquarters, and I can't say in detail,

20 and I lament that 14 years later.

21 Q. Thank you. Very well. Sir, I don't dare say what your rank is

22 but thank you very much for the exhaustive answers, and I thank you the

23 Trial Chamber?

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The floor to Ms. Alaburic, I

25 believe that Judge Mindua wanted to ask something.

Page 23069

1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed just for

2 clarification. I did not want to intervene while General Praljak was

3 speaking in order not to interrupt him.

4 Witness, let me come back to the issue of the uniform worn by

5 General Praljak, page 10, line 11 of the transcript, and also page 12,

6 lines 5 and 6. You mention this problem. It's very important to me,

7 because you know that in the matter of the law and -- laws and customs of

8 war, a person in weapons depending on the uniform they wear, can be

9 identified as part of an organised group under sole command and also and

10 more importantly you can know which nationality that person is and which

11 government gives them their orders, unlike a person who would be armed

12 with a weapon but who would be part of a rioting group or a rogues' band

13 and that would be then under strict criminal law.

14 So I followed the exchanges between you and General Praljak

15 initially, I thought it was about a camouflage uniform but it was not so.

16 Had it been a uniform, a camouflage uniform, that would be the cause of a

17 lot of problems for us because indeed at that time both civilians and

18 military, both HVO and ABiH members, wore that type of clothing. But it

19 seems that it was a sort of strict uniform, and this is my question,

20 because when you see a military wearing that sort of official uniform you

21 look at the insignia and then at the ranks as shown on the uniform.

22 Here's my question: If the insignia and the ranking signs were -- were

23 they different depending on whether you were in the HV or in the HVO? And

24 if this was the case, which were the insignia and the ranking signs found

25 on the uniform worn by the defendant Praljak?

Page 23070

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's true everything

2 that you're saying and as I already said, in the task force, we received

3 information, in fact we received a whole book, and I'm not sure if this

4 has been submitted to the Chamber. There was a book that was submitted to

5 all of the soldiers in which there were explanations of ranks and

6 insignias used by all warring factions.

7 In this case, we are talking about HV, BSA, HVO, and obviously not

8 the -- not -- I mean, there weren't explanations of Turkish insignias, for

9 example, but with the -- the similarity between the insignias between the

10 Croat army and the HVO, were quite significant. When I met Mr. Praljak,

11 who I didn't speak to in that moment, I saw him, and I was quite impressed

12 by him, but I was told, no, no, no, he's a general from Zagreb. And so

13 therefore I assumed that he was a general from the HV. The second time

14 that I met him, this time I spoke with him, not only saw him, was at the

15 check-point, and he allowed our ambulance through to pick up the wounded,

16 and at that particular time, I don't remember how he was dressed, but I

17 remember thinking -- I couldn't actually say clearly, I couldn't actually

18 swear as to what he was wearing, and I was very concerned about evacuating

19 the people -- about getting authorisation to pass through that

20 check-point; and the third occasion where I met him personally he was

21 wearing a uniform, and I don't actually recall the uniform because I only

22 saw him from behind.

23 And I thought at that time he jumped up on to the front part of

24 the convoy of nearly 30 vehicles, he jumped on to the highest part of the

25 vehicle, as if it were a horse, to call for our passage to be opened up,

Page 23071

1 and we went through for quite a few kilometres which I thought was

2 actually quite dangerous because anyone could have fallen off the vehicle.

3 And that was practically the last time I saw General Praljak. And there I

4 remember that he was wearing a campaign uniform, and I can't stipulate

5 what insignias or rank markings there were. I don't know if I've answered

6 your question, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, witness.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you have five

9 minutes.

10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours for these

11 five minutes.

12 Q. Witness, let us try to use them as best we can. Let us clarify

13 one particular topic in relation to a Muslim document and a Croatian

14 document. We had the Muslim document in our hands yesterday, but we

15 didn't manage to analyse it properly. I suggest that we save time and

16 that we simply look at what is displayed on our screen.

17 MS. ALABURIC: So could we please have on e-court 4D 00614? Until

18 this appears on the screen, I would like to remind all in court that this

19 is a letter from Mr. Ramo Maslesa. Here it is from the Croatian version

20 from the centre of security services of the Ministry of the Interior of

21 Bosnia and Herzegovina from Mostar. That is to say that this is an

22 institution of the Muslim authorities.

23 Q. This is a letter in which Mr. Maslesa informs the International

24 Red Cross in the first sentence that we dealt with yesterday, that on the

25 19th of May 1993, all detained civilians were released from the Heliodrom

Page 23072

1 prison. This document, as we can see from the bottom of the page, was

2 submitted to UNPROFOR as well under number 1. Witness do you see that?

3 Can you confirm to us --

4 A. Yes. I see it and I confirm that I received this document. It

5 took a couple of days but it was received.

6 Q. Very well. Can we agree that the Muslim authorities, I'll put it

7 that way, simply informed the international institutions, including

8 UNPROFOR, that the obligation of releasing all detained civilians from the

9 Heliodrom was carried through? Is that right?

10 A. All the civilians were released, yes, that is correct.

11 Q. All right. Let's look at a Croatian document now, 4D 00307. That

12 is a document in which my document -- which my client, General Petkovic,

13 on the 20th of May 1993, informs UNPROFOR about the implementation of the

14 agreement for Medjugorje.

15 I see that we have Croatian text on our ELMO and soon we'll have

16 the English too. The first sentence reads as follows. I'm going to read

17 it, although we don't have the English text yet. "In accordance with the

18 agreement from Medjugorje, the HVO released all civilians that were in the

19 barracks." I'm leaving out all the other parts in order to save time.

20 Witness, since this letter was sent to UNPROFOR, can you confirm

21 whether this indeed does involve the persons to which this letter was

22 addressed, who do come from UNPROFOR? Mr. Wahlgreen and Mr. Morillon, are

23 they from UNPROFOR?

24 A. Of course, but we have to remember we are talking about Zagreb and

25 Kiseljak, we are not talking about Medjugorje.

Page 23073

1 Q. Yes, yes. I know we are talking about Zagreb and Kiseljak. I

2 confirm that it is UNPROFOR. Tell me, to the best of your knowledge, did

3 UNPROFOR have information from the Croatian side that this agreement was

4 carried through from Medjugorje concerning the release of civilians from

5 the Heliodrom? Did you receive that kind of information in Medjugorje

6 from the Croatian authorities?

7 A. Of course. Yes, and on the 20th, we visited the Heliodrom,

8 General Prado and myself, as I mentioned earlier.

9 Q. Just a final conclusion. Can we on the basis of these two

10 documents conclude in a well-founded fashion that there was no dispute

11 between the Muslim and Croat authorities, that all civilians were released

12 from the Heliodrom in the second half of May 1993?

13 A. We always understood that there was an agreement and that this was

14 implemented without any problem, any obstacle from either party concerning

15 the Heliodrom. There might have been problems in other areas, but in the

16 Heliodrom we saw a satisfactory solution and the Red Cross was also

17 present.

18 Q. Thank you very much.

19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is directly

20 related to one of the counts in the indictment where it says that only a

21 majority of the civilians had been released. Thank you.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If there are no further

23 questions, the Bench would like to thank you for having assisted us with

24 your testimony. We are going to leave the courtroom in a few minutes. I

25 would like to ask the usher to drop the blinds.

Page 23074

1 As far as tomorrow is concerned, the hearing, as we are still in

2 open session, I shall not quote any names. These will be 92 ter witness.

3 The Prosecution has planned to hear this witness for two hours. The

4 Defence team will have the same time and 30 minutes each, three hours. We

5 will hear this witness tomorrow and the day after, from 9.00 to 12.30 and

6 from 2.30 to 5.00. I don't know whether you will be questioning the

7 witness or the other person at the back of the room, but your witness is

8 ready, is he?

9 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes, he is.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is now 10 minutes

11 past 5.00. We shall meet again tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.11 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of

14 October, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.