1 Tuesday, 6 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning everyone
9 in the court. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
10 et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We are going to
12 proceed with the hearing. Let me greet the Prosecution, as well as the
13 witness, the Defence counsel, the accused, and all people who assist us.
14 I'm now going to give the floor to Mr. Scott to proceed with the
15 examination-in-chief; but before I do so, Mr. Scott, I have a very brief
16 question to ask.
17 I spent part of the night pouring over the documents you disclosed
18 and the documents we discussed yesterday, and I identified the following
19 problem: Looking at document 301, Rules of Military Discipline, this is
20 document that was produced by Mr. Boban. It is a document that your
21 investigator, Mr. Simon Leach found, and he stated that he had made a
22 photocopy of the original copy of a document that is to be found in
24 The photocopy in B/C/S of these documents relates to a number of
25 articles. But if we look at the English translation, Articles 5 and 6
1 have not been translated. It's something that should not have escaped
2 you. You should have seen that Articles 6 and 7 had not been translated.
3 If you look at the version in B/C/S, we have part of the document that has
4 been whited out.
5 So what happened? Is it your investigator who did a proof
6 photocopy of the document, or was the original document that way?
7 However, we seem to have to deal with an official document; therefore,
8 you should have been in a position to find the original of this document
9 in order to allow us to have a full translation of this, because I'm not
10 in a position now to say what Articles 6 and 7 are all about. Here I just
11 see "illegible."
12 I'm not asking you to answer this question just now, but I wanted
13 to draw your attention on this point.
14 MR. SCOTT: First of all, good morning, Mr. President, Your
15 Honours, and to all those in the courtroom, in and about the courtroom,
16 including our translation staff.
17 Your Honour, I can make further inquiry into it. I certainly
18 can't say off the top of my head. Well, what I can say, based on some
19 years of experience in dealing with these matters, is that it's very
20 likely that was the best copy available, and that's, you know, in
21 investigation, you take the documents, you take the evidence as you find
22 it. Sometimes you can improve on it; sometimes you cannot.
23 Having said that, I'll be happy, of course, to make further
24 inquiry on whether an additional version of this document can be found.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 WITNESS: ANDREW PRINGLE [Resumed]
2 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
3 Q. Good morning, General Pringle.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. I trust you had a reasonably pleasant evening.
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. If you still have the documents in front of you, and if you could
8 go back to where we left off yesterday, at least in terms of the same
9 document, I want to move to a different topic, and if I can direct you to
10 P 04020.
11 Again, I'm moving past paragraph number 1; although, I suspect
12 there will be further opportunity to discuss that. But if you look at
13 paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, and just in this particular respect, in each of
14 those paragraphs, and I believe the fourth line of the second paragraph,
15 the second line of the third paragraph, and what would be the third line
16 of paragraph 4 or the first - at least in the English version - the first
17 line on the top of the second page, the word "Balija" is used.
18 Do you see that?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Now, let me -- hoping to avoid perhaps some of the issues that
21 were raised yesterday, assuming, assuming that "Balija" is a very
22 derogatory term towards Muslims, and assuming that as of August of 1993,
23 the HVO is in armed conflict with the ABiH and the Muslims, can you tell
24 us what effect on the command climate it would have for a senior officer
25 to issue an order using the terminology repeatedly, "Balija"?
1 A. Well, in my opinion, it would give the impression that the senior
2 officer issuing the order was certainly being derogatory about, in this
3 case, I assume, Muslim forces. It would be the equivalent if one reflects
4 back to the Vietnam War of perhaps an order being given about dealing with
5 the Gooks or something like that.
6 Q. Can you tell the Judges what is the effect on troops when senior
7 officers use that sort of terminology, in terms of what sort of message
8 does it set or what effect does it have on discipline?
9 A. Well, it's clearly sending a message that the -- that the senior
10 commander regards the foe in a rather derogatory and dismissive way, and
11 that can also send a subliminal message that therefore they can be treated
12 in a way perhaps that is commensurate with their lowly status.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I -- Your Honour, if I could -- Your
14 Honour, unless the gentleman can read minds, I suspect we should have some
15 foundation on this. Clearly, you know, what he's talking about, the
16 "subliminal message," unless he can tie this down factually, I think this
17 should be stricken from the record. I find it offensive that we would
18 have an officer of the British Army, retired be it, to be making these
19 sorts of speculative and unfounded comments.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, Mr. Scott tried to
21 exemplify your theory or your explanations about climate command. He used
22 the example of this document where we see the word "Balija." In your
23 statement, you stated that, by using derogatory terms, there can be an
24 impact on those who have to obey the orders. You referred to the Vietnam
25 War, and you stated that the -- when the American forces or the American
1 forces used the word "Gooks" to identify the north Vietnamese, that could
2 have an impact.
3 In military colleges or academies, as part of the doctrine, as
4 part of NATO or military studies, has any thought been given to the use of
5 words, of certain vocabulary in orders? Is it your personal opinion, or
6 are you talking on the basis of work, research that's been conducted
7 before on the use of certain terms in -- in orders?
8 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm drawing on my own experience of the
9 impact that the commander's conduct makes on his subordinates. So if he
10 refers to enemy forces in a derogatory or dismissive way, then he can
11 expect his subordinates to receive a message through that, that he thinks
12 of them in a derogatory and dismissive way, and that is likely to affect
13 the way they in turn treat those enemy forces.
14 So whilst I'm not saying that it, in my experience, that it is
15 taught in military academies how you refer to military -- to enemy
16 forces. What -- what is taught and discussed, as we discussed yesterday,
17 is what we -- what I've described as command climate, which is the impact
18 that every action of the commander makes on his subordinates. The sort of
19 language and the views he takes and the opinions he expresses, as I said
20 yesterday, is all part of that formation of the command climate.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. And then, on another final topic on this still, the same document,
24 in reference to paragraph number 5, it says in three sentences: "While
25 the task is being completed, the Main Staff, artillery and rocket
1 regiment, shall provide artillery support to the best their ability
2 (ammunition availability.) I am sending Mr. Miro Colic from the Main
3 Staff POVRS officer with whom you can discuss the possibility of using the
4 Maljutka and TF8 FAGOT systems. " Forgive my pronunciation, if I said
5 those wrongly.
6 Then: "Air support will continue to be provided, as agreed by
7 Mr. Miro Lovric, Chief of the Main Staff, Air Force."
8 Now, in each of those references, there is a reference General
9 Petkovic to certain actions being taken or approved or services provided
10 by, if you will, the Main Staff. Can you comment on the significance or
11 whether in some issues -- some instances the Main Staff itself can
12 directly control certain assets or make certain operative decisions?
13 A. Yes. In this case, it's quite normal in the military
14 organisations for either scarce assets or perhaps assets with long range,
15 such as these rocket launchers and air, to be held centrally at a high
16 level rather than penny-packeted out to lower levels. In that way the
17 commander retains flexibility and can reinforce wherever he wants,
18 whenever he wants, according to the circumstances.
19 So, in this case, I would read this to mean that the rocket
20 regiment has been held centrally and is allocated and controlled from the
21 Main Staff, and that is what it's referring to and why, I believe.
22 Q. Continuing on using the terminology of assuming, and the Chamber
23 will draw upon the evidence that it has heard to date, but as you
24 mentioned a moment ago, I'm just looking back at your answer just now on
25 line 13, you said, "for either scarce assets or perhaps assets with long
1 range," et cetera.
2 Assuming that the heavier - I'm using the terminology heavier
3 weapons, such as perhaps tanks, larger artillery; that is, artillery other
4 than typical kinds of infantry support weapons, small calibre mortars - if
5 in the HVO, heavier weaponry was, if you will, a scarce or precious
6 commodity, would that reinforce your view that these would be then more
7 likely to be controlled by the Main Staff?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this. It calls
9 for speculation. Where is the factual basis? He's asking him to
10 speculate. These may be important assets, but here we're going about
11 concrete military equipment, and he's trying to get the gentleman to
12 divine from this particular -- these particular passages as to whether
13 other major assets were being controlled by the Main Staff.
14 Now, I don't represent the Main Staff, but I am offended as a
15 lawyer sitting here asking a witness to speculate. Now, if he can show
16 the document, then it can be tied in; but it's purely speculative at this
18 Now, the general has given us an answer from which the Trial
19 Chamber can discern whether these assets were scarce and, therefore,
20 perhaps, if there's some sort of factual basis, it can be tied in. But
21 without any factual basis, we're asking for circumstantial evidence based
22 on speculation. I think it's clearly objectionable.
23 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. If I can respond briefly.
24 Yesterday - and I think quite correctly after I further ultimately
25 understood what was being said; and I was slow on the uptake, perhaps, and
1 I apologise for that - on the question of assuming, and that's why I led
2 off this morning, this is an expert witness. I put to him not, not
3 speculating but assuming, and the Chamber will recall and will know the
4 evidence in the case and decide whether the facts -- whether the facts fit
5 or not.
6 But assuming that these were scarce or precious commodities, I
7 simply asked the general in reference to this document, and there will be
8 at least one more similar document, to indicate a view on whether that
9 would reinforce his view that such assets in those circumstances would be
10 more likely to be controlled at a senior level.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I perfectly understand the nature of asking
14 hypothetical questions; and, yesterday, in the context in which it was
15 asked, and in which Judge Trechsel invited the parties to consider as a
16 mode of going forward, was perfectly proper. In my opinion, a
17 hypothetical has to be framed in such a way that either the facts are
18 already in or there is a good faith basis that the facts will be in. But
19 you simply cannot ask hypotheticals where there are not facts in evidence
20 or there's no good faith basis in order to tie it in, because that's the
21 purpose of asking the hypothetical.
22 Now, unless there's a good faith basis on the part of Mr. Scott
23 that's going to tie it in somehow, or it has already been tied in, fine;
24 otherwise, I don't think that the gentleman can answer the question. I
25 have no problem with him being asked hypothetical questions as long as the
1 facts are based on -- or the hypothetical, that is, that based on facts
2 already in evidence or facts that will be in evidence, but not facts that
3 are fanciful.
4 MR. STEWART: Could I make a separate point --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
6 MR. STEWART: It will tie it together, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would --
8 MR. STEWART: Sorry --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. I think we can get perhaps a step further
10 if we lift the issue to a more general level.
11 You are an expert on doctrine, on how battles are conducted, how
12 troops are led. Can you tell the Chamber whether it is a general rule
13 applied in all armies, that the lower you get in firepower, the more in
14 quantity you have; and that always the heavy stuff like air force, heavy
15 weapons, are relatively a scarce commodity. How -- are there general
16 rules on how the command will deal with these, irrespective of whether it
17 be in Africa, in Europe, or wherever?
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, every army organises itself as it
19 wishes. But in my experience, scarce assets and, as I've said, assets
20 with long range, it is very common to find those held centrally at a high
21 level where the commander can allocate them with much greater flexibility
22 than had they been allocated to lower levels.
23 He does that so he can provide reinforcement in firepower over and
24 above what a particular formation might be able to produce for itself, and
25 he can apply is the military is called main effort. In other words, if
1 his main concentration is in a particular area, he can reinforce that area
2 with as much long range or scarce asset firepower as he himself controls
3 at his own level. If it had been sub-allocated, he wouldn't have been
4 able to do that.
5 Now, in this case, in this case, what is written in this order is
6 that General Petkovic is sending, in the first instance, an officer called
7 Mr. Miro Colic from the Main Staff anti-armour multiple rocket system
8 branch, with whom you can discuss the possibility of using the Maljutka,
9 TF8 FAGOT systems.
10 Now, I would assume that is because those systems are held
11 centrally and controlled by Main Staff, and that is why a Main Staff
12 officer, with specific responsibility for those systems, has been sent
13 forward to discuss it, in exactly the same way "air support," it reads,
14 "will continue to be provided as agreed by Mr. Miro Lovric, Chief of Main
15 Staff, Air Force."
16 Now, it would indicate to me that the air force is being
17 controlled by a branch in the Main Staff for the reasons I have said.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
19 Mr. Stewart, I'm sorry that I have --
20 MR. STEWART: Yes. I was just going to comment that whatever
21 questions Mr. Scott is able to ask, that he does take a little bit more
22 care in the phrasing of the views he attributes to the witness, because we
23 got -- and as it happens, Your Honour Judge Trechsel's questions have
24 really gone specifically and very helpfully to this point. But, quite
25 normally, military organisations for assets to be held centrally at a high
1 level became, that it was more likely, it became the witnesses view, that
2 it was more likely to be controlled by Main Staff.
3 I would invite Mr. Scott to take a little bit more care when he's
4 translating a previous answer in to a view that he puts the witness.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: He will be sure to do that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness has not answered my
9 fellow Judge's question. We clearly understand that resources may be
10 controlled by the Main Staff. But know if we talk about tanks, assuming
11 that the number of tanks is limited - you're not talking about hundreds or
12 thousands of tanks; you're talking about only a few tanks - in your
13 opinion, would the use of tanks in such a case come under the Main Staff,
14 the commander of the operation zone, the commander of the local brigade
15 who normally is in charge of these tanks?
16 In what chain of command is that controlled? Who, talking about
17 these tanks, will make the decisions? Can these decisions be made at the
18 level of the Main Staff, of the Chief of Staff?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I haven't got in front of me an
20 organisation chart of how the HVO formations and units were arranged. If
21 I did have, I could answer your question very specifically, so I will have
22 to answer it on the basis of hypothesis. And to put it in context, the
23 HVO were not very well equipped with heavy weaponry, tanks, rocket
24 systems, et cetera. Under those circumstances, where ad hoc formations
25 are being formed, I would expect it to be sensible for the higher
1 commander to keep those, let's call them, heavy assets centralised and
2 under his immediate command where he can allocate them as necessary.
3 So if, for example, there were but a few tanks where you can put
4 any number on but a few, but let's say 30, as opposed to several
5 battalions or regiments of tanks of 50 or 60 tanks each, that would be
6 normal in a -- a normal Western military organisation.
7 If you, let's say, hypothetically you've only got 30 tanks, then
8 you may sub-allocate them if you see fit, or you may hold them centrally,
9 or you may sub-allocate some and hold some back in reserve. You know,
10 those are all hypothetical answers to a hypothetical question, but the
11 concept of holding scarce assets at a centralised high level is perfectly
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: I achieved only a very modest rank of lieutenant
14 of infantry, in the reserve of course, when I served in the Hungarian
15 army, but really I do not feel that we have a problem here. Anybody knows
16 that there are special units which are attached to, let's say, a regiment
17 level or other major level which the army has at its disposal. So,
18 therefore, I do not see here the problem.
19 No doubt that the -- the Chief of Staff or his deputy has the
20 power to allocate troops here and there and then to send them; and, of
21 course, on the battlefield that is a special responsibility of the
22 commander who is there, let's say, a commander of the regiment or
23 whatever, battalions, et cetera.
24 So I'm sorry to take the floor now, but I really feel that
25 sometimes we blow-up certain problems which are not really problems as
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that Judge Prandler is
4 perfectly right, but let's complete the discussion on that point.
5 When resources are requested at the Main Staff or from the Main
6 Staff, should that be done through a written document or orally for the
7 higher command to provide officially air support or something else?
8 Should there be official communication between the requesting level of
9 command and the level where such things are decided?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, and those communications can be in
11 a variety of ways. They could be transmitted by radio or fax or courier,
12 or they could be transmitted in the written word, rather depending on
13 whether it is a pre-planned operation or a current operation that is
14 running very quickly.
15 I would -- I would expect a forward commander, who is requesting
16 tank support in an ongoing battle, to simply call for it on the radio to
17 the higher headquarters, and he would be informed by the higher
18 headquarters as to whether it was available or not and the routes and
19 timings, et cetera, by which it would be arriving.
20 So all, all those mechanisms can be used in a more formal
21 pre-planned operation. One might expect a formal written operation order
22 from the higher headquarters, detailing tasks and resources to the
23 subordinate formations, so that they all know who is getting what,
24 particularly additional resources being allocated from a higher level.
25 So any one or all of these methods could be used.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 If we could then turn next to Exhibit P 03414, which will be in
4 the second of the binders.
5 Q. Going back -- stepping back now to the question that we ended on
6 yesterday in terms of the use of prisoners or detainees in forced -- in
7 labour. Strike the word "forced" now, just in labour. We'll argue about
8 that later.
9 If I can show you this document from the warden of the Heliodrom,
10 Mr. Stanko Bozic, being sent to, among others, Mr. Valentin Coric,
11 Mr. Berislav Pusic. This report says that: "On the 12th of July, 1993,
12 with the approval of the officer for control of the military police,
13 Mr. Berislav Pusic, 40 detainees were given for work."
14 He goes on to say: "On returning from work, the same military
15 policemen informed us that detainee, Mili Isailovic, has been wounded by
16 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
17 Now, continuing on, again, the discussion we had had yesterday,
18 about using prisoners in dangerous conditions, et cetera, can you tell us
19 how a responsible commander could be expected or should act on receiving
20 such information, that a prisoner or detainee who has been used in labour
21 has been wounded by opposition forces?
22 A. Well, I any there are various issues --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
24 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to say that,
25 as opposed to the case of the document that we had before us yesterday,
1 this document clearly mentions or refers to the word -- uses the
2 word "detainees," so there's no confusion as to whether we're talking
3 about prisoners, POWs, or detainees.
4 When such a question is put to the witness, I think it should be
5 put to him precisely, because if we're dealing with detainees, they could
6 be detained HVO members and not members of enemy forces. So we should
7 have both these ideas in mind. If it's one's own soldier, can we use such
8 soldier for work purposes. I think that's sufficient.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're right.
10 Mr. Scott, the word "detainee" that we see in this document may
11 refer to various things. It may refer to HVO detainees, to regular
12 prisoners who happened to be here. These might be people who are serving
13 a sentence after being convicted by the relevant military judiciary. We
14 might be talking about prisoners of war or civilians. We don't know.
15 This should be taken into account.
16 Please proceed, keeping that in mind.
17 But I see that Mr. Pusic's lawyer wants to take the floor, since
18 this document was sent to Mr. Pusic.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 I wanted to add something. Given what Mr. Scott said about
21 Mr. Pusic's position, it seems that, on the 12th of July, he was doing
22 something quite different from what is stated in the indictment. If we
23 have a look at paragraph 13, 14, we can see that Mr. Pusic, on the 5th of
24 July, 1993, was involved in other things, and he wasn't an officer for the
25 controlled military police.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm forced at this point to respond to a
2 number of aspects of what's happening here. Number one, again, what the
3 evidence is and the arguments and the inferences and conclusions to be
4 drawn from the evidence will, of course, be what all the parties will have
5 to discuss in their closing written and oral submissions.
6 Now we're getting into arguments about what the evidence is or
7 isn't, and what the evidence does or does not mean.
8 Now, the document -- if I use the word "prisoner" loosely, I'll
9 try not to do that. Everyone in the courtroom has the document in front
10 of them. Everyone knows that it says repeatedly detainees, 40 detainees
11 et cetera, et cetera.
12 Now, I have to observe, at this point, that we're almost 40
13 minutes into the first session; and, by now, I've had actually about five
14 minutes of time. So we are really approaching a situation where I don't
15 even know if I will finish my direct examination today. If I only get
16 five minutes in 40, we will not be able to do that.
17 So I just simply make that observation to the Chamber. There will
18 be -- there is time for cross-examination to ask these kinds of question;
19 that is, of course, allowing that there is enough time left for
20 cross-examination when the direct examination is concluded.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, continue.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Now, if I can ask you, sir, going back to it, I don't know if you
24 remember. I'm just going to start all over, again, I'm afraid.
25 I put this document in front you, and I asked you: How would a
1 responsible commander react to receiving this information, that a
2 detainee, while being used in work, had been wounded by opposition forces?
3 A. Well, in accordance with the doctrine that we were referring to
4 yesterday, a responsible commander, receiving this report from the central
5 military remand prison, would raise a number of questions. He would note
6 that 40 detainees were given for work; no question of volunteering or
7 being asked there. He would note that they were under military escort,
8 and he would note that one of them had been wounded and been taken to
10 Therefore, he would probably assume that the work they were being
11 given to do was at least in a place where they were vulnerable to enemy
12 fire, or at least fire from the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And, in
13 all that, he would ask himself, Is this in transgression of the laws of
14 armed conflict? And if I consider that it is, I better do something about
16 Q. Thank you, sir.
17 MR. SCOTT: And can we then go on to -- excuse me one moment. If
18 we could then go on to Exhibit 4792, P 04792. My apology. Let me catch
19 up with you.
20 Q. Sir, in this order by Zarko Tole, on the 4th of September, 1993,
21 given to the North-west Herzegovina operative zone - that would be the
22 zone commanded by Mr. Siljeg - he says: "1. Tomorrow, 5 September 1993,
23 stop all movement of UN, UNHCR, and UNPROFOR at the military police
24 check-points in your area of responsibility."
25 Paragraph number 2 goes on to say: "This is to be carried out so
1 as to look as if it was the result of the arbitrary behaviour of the
2 check-point policemen, while we should appear as doing everything to let
3 them get through."
4 Now, can you tell to the Judges, again in terms of command
5 climate, maintaining discipline and order in units, et cetera, what is the
6 effect on subordinate troops when the commander -- when a commander would
7 give that kind of an order?
8 A. Well, it's -- it would be fairly clear to a recipient of this
9 order that, first of all, the issuer of this order is ordering all
10 movements of UN, UNHCR, and UNPROFOR to be prevented, which he would know
11 would be in contravention of the UN agreement. But he would be
12 particularly interested in para 2, where there is obviously an element of
13 deception and deceit coming into it, and he would probably be asking
14 himself, Well, I wonder why we're doing this and what we're help to be
15 preventing the UN from seeing.
16 It's obviously something is going on between the time we've got to
17 stop all movement tomorrow until 1500 when we can let it go again, and
18 he'd be asking himself the question, Well, I wonder what on earth is going
19 on? Is there something nasty and illegal happening? Perhaps he might ask
21 He would, therefore, draw the conclusion that the issuer of the
22 order was potentially conniving in something that he certainly did not
23 want the United Nations to see, and he might, therefore, ask himself, Why
25 Q. If we -- in the interest of time, if we could just touch upon --
1 go quickly forward and touch upon paragraph 55.
2 You're moving on to, again, talking about principles -- the
3 application of principles of command and control, but you mention in
4 paragraph 55, and some of the following paragraphs in particular, the
5 support of staff, the staff function.
6 If I can just point out one particular or two sentences at
7 paragraph 55 in the middle, it says: "The staff has no authority by
8 itself. It derives authority from the commander and only exercises it in
9 his name. Thus, all the activities of the staff are undertaken on behalf
10 of the commander."
11 Perhaps you could just comment briefly on that.
12 A. Yes. This is highlighting the authority vested in the commander.
13 It is the commander who has the authority to issue orders to his
14 subordinates; and in order to help in the execution and the organisation
15 of those orders, he has a staff to assist him. The staff issues orders on
16 behalf of the commander, not in its own right.
17 Put another way, the commander has full authority and carries full
18 responsibility and is assisted by his staff in the execution of his
20 Q. Based upon the research you've done and your overall knowledge and
21 experience of these matters, can you say whether that basic principle or
22 practice applied to the HVO Main Staff?
23 A. From what I've read, the HVO Main Staff applied those principles
24 in the traditional manner, with the staff supporting the commander in
25 executing his command.
1 Q. And the commander in this instance being the top military
2 commander, and, again, perhaps we can assume or perhaps the Judges know by
3 now, during 1993, that being primarily either Mr. Petkovic or Mr. Praljak;
4 is that correct?
5 A. I believe that's correct, yes.
6 MR. SCOTT: If we can go forward, please, to Exhibit P 00502.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry if I briefly interrupt, Mr. Scott.
8 In the documentation that we have and what we hear, the generals
9 that are here accused today are holding the title of Chief of the General
10 Staff. Now, the Chief of the General Staff is part of the staff. He is
11 not normally the commander. The Commander-in-Chief of the HVO, we heard
12 many times, was Mate Boban.
13 Are you aware of this, and how can you associate this, link this,
14 to what you have just told us according to which these generals were the
16 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm aware that there are potential
17 confusions and difficulties in the titles: Chief of the Main Staff,
18 Chief of Staff, Supreme Commander. I believe that those titles were used
19 in different ways at different times to describe different functions.
20 The traditional title "Chief of Staff" would be the chief of the
21 commander's staff. That's the traditional title and the traditional way
22 of understanding it. However, in the UK, for example, the Chief of the
23 General Staff is the head of the army, so -- and sometimes commanders are
24 known as Chiefs of Staff.
25 So who was doing what under what title at what time, I think,
1 bears examination from the facts, rather from -- rather than from perhaps
2 the title.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
4 MR. SCOTT: If we could -- I think we were about to turn to
5 Exhibit 502.
6 Q. Do you have that?
7 A. I have it, yes.
8 Q. This is a document that appears to have gone out over the name of
9 Bruno Stojic as head of the HVO defence department. I note, at the
10 beginning, when one compares the English translation to the original
11 document, the date has been -- there's a mistake in the date. It's not
12 the 18th of September, 1993. It's the 18th of September, 1992.
13 It says over the name of Mr. Stojic: "Pursuant to the provisions
14 of Article 1 of the Decree on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community
15 of Herceg-Bosna, I issue a short-term formation of the General Staff HVO,
16 effective immediately."
17 Now, can you just briefly look through that document, and of
18 course you've seen it before. What kind of a document is this and what is
19 it doing? What is the function of this document?
20 A. This is what would be described as a staff table of the
21 headquarters, which line by line delineates each appointment in the
22 headquarters, starting with the chief and going through every member of
23 that headquarters down to including clerk. So it's a comprehensive staff
24 table of every position in the headquarters.
25 Q. Now, I note as well, just in passing, before we move on past the
1 document, that in the chart, we move across the column from left to
2 right. If you get to column number 11, you say that a rank is linked to -
3 not in every instance but in most instances, in many instances - a rank is
4 then connected to that particular post. Do you see that?
5 A. I do.
6 MR. SCOTT: If I can, in light of this document, ask you to turn
7 to Exhibit P 01683.
8 Q. And if you have that, sir, can you tell us what has and how that
9 document, if at all, that kind of document would relate at all to the one
10 we were just looking at.
11 Let me rephrase my question. Is this a further, then, breakdown
12 of the actual names of staffs, persons on the positions -- in positions
13 related to the HVO Main Staff?
14 A. This appears to be a list of officers on the Main Staff. Whether
15 it's all officers, I can't be certain. But it's certainly some officers
16 on the Main Staff with their appointment or job and their name, which ties
17 back into the document we were just looking at previously.
18 Q. All right. Just to follow up on Judge Trechsel's comment, we can
19 see even here that in item number 1, in reference to Milivoj Petkovic, the
20 term that is being used in a document over the name of Mr. Petkovic
21 himself is "Chief of the Main Staff of the HVO," at least as of March
22 1993. Do you see that?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. In reference to the discussion we were having earlier today about
25 certain Main Staff assets, do you see, for example, in item number 16 on
1 the -- on the Main Staff, you have the chief of artillery.
2 A. That's on the second document. Yes, I do. Chief of artillery,
3 Marko Stojcic.
4 Q. Then you have later on number 19, the chief of the artillery
5 rocket unit. Correct?
6 A. I see that. Yes, Bozic.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you look at 34
9 and 35, please.
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, 34 and 35 of what?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Turn over the document.
12 MR. SCOTT: 1683.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you seen this document
14 before or is this the first time you're seeing it today?
15 THE WITNESS: I don't recall seeing this document before.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. Well, in this list of the
17 members of staff, there are two officers who apparently belong to a
18 different staff [as interpreted].
19 Is it common in armies for this possibility of an outside officer
20 coming in to a Main Staff? Is that surprising to you in any way?
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, a correction. There is a correction in
22 the translation. It said coming from, at line 24, a different state, not
23 a different staff. Different state.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Officers from a different
25 state, not a different staff. A different state. Miro Prce, an officer
1 of the HV, the Croatian army; Josip Speranca, an officer of the Croatian
2 army. Is it common in staffs to see temporary addition of officers coming
3 from a different army?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, that's very common, particularly
5 when the headquarters is dealing very closely with the nation represented
6 by, in this case, officers of HV. I would take those to be Croatian army
7 liaison officers, in exactly the same way as, for example, when I was
8 Director of Operations, Chief of Staff at the permanent joint
9 headquarters, we had officers from the American SANCOM [phoen]
10 Headquarters, the Dutch headquarters, the French headquarters.
11 So it speeds up the link back to those countries. The fact that
12 there are two HV officers in the -- attached temporarily to the General
13 Staff - they obviously don't appear on the General Staff's staff table
14 because they're not HVO officers - would be a clear indication to me that
15 that headquarters has direct communications and dealings with the HV.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
17 MR. SCOTT: If we can then move on, please, to Exhibit P 04131.
18 Q. Continuing on in terms of the command structure of the HVO, and
19 now we're looking at a document the 12th of August, 1993, issued over
20 the -- at least the typed name and stamp of Slobodan Praljak.
21 It indicates that: "Pursuant to the provisions of the HZ HB armed
22 forces, defence forces, Official Gazette," et cetera, "I hereby order:
23 "The GS Main Staff of the armed forces, or defence forces of the
24 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, shall be directly subordinated to the
25 Supreme Commander of the HZ HB armed forces.
1 "The General Staff exerts direct command over the operative zones,
2 south-east, north-east, central," et cetera.
3 Do you see that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. And just stopping, pausing there, is that not an uncommon form of
6 military organisation where you have again the very top military commander
7 or commanders and then military districts or military zones directly
8 subordinated to the senior command?
9 A. Yes. I find nothing training in that. That is simply laying out
10 the chain of command from the Supreme Commander through the Main Staff
11 down to the operative zones. That's unity of command as professed in the
13 Q. All right.
14 And then continuing on, and touching once again on one of the
15 topics of this morning, it also says that the General Staff has: "Direct
16 command over professional units, the Bruno Busic, the Ludvig Pavlovic
18 Do you have any knowledge or experience on -- based on your
19 military career that, in addition to such things as artillery or rocket
20 forces or air force, there may be certain specialised units or
21 profession -- the terminology of "professional units" that may be directly
22 commanded by central high command?
23 A. Yes. Whilst I have no knowledge of what the Bruno Busic and the
24 Ludvig Pavlovic Regiments are, I can readily equate this to, for example,
25 special forces being held centrally under command of the highest
1 headquarters, for example.
2 Q. All right.
3 Now, in the interest of time we'll just go through this very
4 quickly. I just mention in passing, because the Chamber will have heard
5 evidence in recent weeks, for example, about the logistics, the main
6 logistics centre in Grude, which is referenced in paragraphs 3 through --
7 well, paragraph 3 in particular.
8 Then if I can direct your attention to item 6, General Praljak's
9 order says: "I strictly prohibit any violation of the command system as
10 regulated by this order in the Herceg-Bosna armed forces. I hereby
11 designate the commanders directly subordinated to me and the individual
12 organs of the HVO Main Staff responsible for the consistent execution of
13 this order."
14 Any comment on that?
15 A. That is simply stressing that there is one chain of command, and
16 that is the chain of command designated in this order. In other words,
17 Supreme Commander, Main Staff, operative zones, and that's the chain of
18 command that should function at all times.
19 Q. Let me -- yes?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I listened to you, and
21 it's a bit difficult for me. You talk about the chain of command at line
22 18 of page 25. You talk about the Supreme Command, the Main Staff, and
23 the commander of the operational zones.
24 As far as I understood earlier on, the Main Staff does not have
25 responsibilities when there is a Supreme Command that is in operation.
1 Can you perhaps elucidate that?
2 In this chain of command, what does the Main Staff do? Is it
3 below or alongside the Supreme Commander?
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the Main Staff supports the top
5 military commander, and the top military commander is subordinate in turn
6 to the Supreme Commander.
7 Now, I understand that there is also some difficulty in the
8 nomenclature here that Supreme Commander, in accordance with other
9 documents, could well be the president himself. So the president -- the
10 chain of command goes from the president through the top military
11 commander supported by his Main Staff down to the operative zones.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I've understood you
13 properly, Mate Boban is the Supreme Commander; and below him, there is the
14 person who issued this order, Major General Slobodan Praljak; and below
15 that, there are the commanders of the operational zones. Is that the
16 chain of command?
17 THE WITNESS: That's the chain of command as I understand it from
18 this document, yes.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That would mean, to get it exactly precisely,
20 where it says "General Staff," one must understand Mr. Praljak.
21 THE WITNESS: I think one understands -- I'm not sure what his
22 exact title is. But chief of the Main Staff is not the Chief of Staff of
23 the headquarters, but chief of the Main Staff is, let's call him, the top
24 military commander, General Praljak. In his staff, he would have a chief
25 of staff with some slightly different title.
1 It is a bit confusing, but that's how I understand it.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, and excuse me,
3 Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Not at all, Your Honour. If I can just briefly
5 comment. I do understand the Chamber's questions. But I have to say, at
6 this point, some of the confusion is a result of the historical language.
7 It wasn't, of course, the Prosecution that chose the titles that were used
8 and the terminology that was used.
9 Of course, the Chamber will have a large, as it already does, a
10 large amount of documentation in fronts of it to -- to ultimately make
11 those determinations. But to the extent that that language is not
12 documents, we can't change that.
13 There was a terminology change in mid-1993 in which they -- what
14 had been the chief of the Main Staff was then termed to be the commander
15 of the HVO armed forces.
16 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, it has not been --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please. Microphone.
18 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, it hasn't been alleged today at all that
19 any of this confusion regarding nomenclature is the fault of the
20 Prosecution. There is no need for a defensive position here. No
21 allegation has been made against my learned friend.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic wanted to say
24 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning
25 to you. I have an objection to make with respect to the way in which the
1 Prosecution has prepared the witness; that is to say, they have not
2 prepared him with the documents at his disposal.
3 Now, Supreme Commander, commander. Somebody is just dancing and
4 here, and it's up to the Prosecution. The Prosecution has had access to
5 all the documents, to look at the transformations that the HVO went
6 through. So the witness should have been presented with documents to show
7 all this, not to have to discuss whether it was Tole, Petkovic, Praljak
8 who was Chief of Staff or who was Chief of Staff.
9 So it's not the witness's fault for not having been provided the
10 documents on time and showing the different structural changes and
11 organisational changes along the way.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, to briefly respond, my point -- the point
13 of the comment that I made a moment ago, and I appreciate counsel's
14 comment. I wasn't trying to be personally defensive. I was just trying
15 to further assist the Chamber in the state of affairs on this one. Also,
16 if I was defending anyone, I was defending perhaps the witness because
17 it's not the witness's choice of language that we're dealing with. It's
18 the choice of language in the documents.
19 As Mr. Petkovic well knows, from having been involved in this
20 system, those are the words that are found in the documents, I can assure
21 you that if you go through documents, you will see Supreme Commander used
22 in name of different ways. We have had these conversations since April
23 1996 with a number of witnesses.
24 So, the Chamber, of course, assisted by all the evidence and
25 assisted by this witness as much as possible, will ultimately, of course,
1 have to make those determinations, with hopefully the assistance of the
3 Q. Now, if I could ask you to turn in your binder to 1D 01246, at the
4 end of the second binder, please.
5 A. Sorry, I'm not there. Say the number again.
6 Q. Yes, of course. 1 D -- it's a bit different nomenclature, but 1D
7 01246. It may be the last document in your --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is indeed the last document.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Just continuing on, sir, we've proceeded in this particular
11 respect largely chronologically, by showing you a number of command
12 documents from earlier in 1993 to the middle of August 1993 of different
13 commanders, both during the time when Mr. Petkovic was the top commander,
14 the time when Mr. Praljak was the top commander, and now by the middle of
15 November, 1993, the top commander has become Ante Roso.
16 Tying back some of these things to issue of command climate and
17 control of troops and discipline, I would ask you to look at the third
18 paragraph of the document in particular.
19 And I should say at the top, it says "To all units," "To all units
20 and members of the Croatian Defence Council."
21 "Subject: Warning," third paragraph, "Because of the historical
22 responsibility before our own nation, we are determined to immediately
23 punish any act of murder of civilians, elderly people, women, children,
24 arson and looting, rape, and other acts of violence against people and
25 their property within execution by firing squad."
1 Now, can you comment on not only that document -- that paragraph,
2 but to the extent that you've been able to scan the document in toto, can
3 you comment on that order as an instance of exercising command and
4 establishing command climate?
5 A. Well, any recipient of this document would realise that they now
6 have a commander in command who takes a very strong view on the sort of
7 barbarities described in chapter 3, and goes on to say that - I assume
8 it's shorthand and rhetoric and it's within the military manuals of law
9 and et cetera, et cetera - but if convicted, anybody found guilty of those
10 offences will be executed by firing squad. I assume that that was allowed
12 It goes on to say: "The crimes and genocide perpetrated by the
13 Muslim terrorists against Croats do not give us the right to respond in
14 kind. The future Croat generations must not be ashamed of their fathers'
15 inhumane conducts."
16 Here is a commander who is getting a very tight grip of barbaric
17 behaviour and making certain that everybody knows what his view is. He's
18 addressed this order it all units.
19 And, lastly, going back to discussions we had yesterday, giving
20 the order is easy part. Making it happen is more difficult. One would
21 expect - I have no knowledge of it - but one would expect this commander,
22 Ante Roso, to have followed that up vigorously, if there were instances of
23 the sort of thing that he is drawing everybody's attention to, that he
24 will simply not tolerate.
25 Q. The very last sentence, just before we move on, says: "This
1 warning must be read in front of the formations."
2 Can you comment on that?
3 A. Yes. I mean, that's a nice example of the first instance of
4 making it happen. So if every soldier is going to have had this read to
5 him by his immediate commander, in the first instance, General Roso could
6 at least be satisfied that his message has got down to the very lowest
7 level, and that everybody knows what his position is.
8 After that, it's up to General Roso to make sure his position is
9 carried through in the event that any instances of the sort mentioned here
10 actually happen.
11 Q. All right.
12 Let me move on to a series of paragraphs in general, starting with
13 paragraph 58. I'm not going to have time to discuss much of that, but I
14 do want to ask you about one topic on this, because the Chamber has heard
15 other evidence touching on some of these things.
16 From the perspective of a military commander, what information,
17 such as media reports, reports on the television, reports on radio,
18 reports in newspapers, open sources, what sort of role does that
19 information play in the information being received by a commander and how
20 does a commander deal with that?
21 A. A commander will receive information from what is described as all
22 sources. He will receive reports and information coming up the
23 traditional military chain of command. He will receive information from
24 his own staff officers visiting forward to units and reporting back. He
25 will receive knowledge from his own visits.
1 In addition to that, in today's world, all commanders will be very
2 conscious of the media, the pervasive nature of the media. It is not
3 uncommon, for example, if you go into military headquarters, to find CNN
4 and BBC World playing on the wall. That is very much part of life today,
5 and it is part of the -- it forms part of the sources of information that
6 a commander and his staff would be receiving.
7 Q. Taking one further example of that, assuming, assuming for the
8 moment, that this same information had not have been received by the
9 commander up his own chain of command, for whatever reason, but assuming
10 that an atrocity or some issue -- some event in Bosnia was reported in a
11 Zagreb newspaper and that information came to the information of the
12 commander, what would be the responsibility of the commander on hearing
13 that information?
14 A. At the very least, the commander would start asking questions
15 and -- and institute an investigation into the veracity of that report. I
16 say "would." Should.
17 Q. If I can then move on to paragraph 62. In that paragraph, I
18 think, for the first time in your report, General, you introduce a concept
19 that you call "two up and two down." Could you please explain that
20 briefly to us?
21 A. Yes. Starting with the notion of "two down," commanders think two
22 down in order that when they -- when they issue tasks and allocate
23 resources, they're doing so with a fundamental understanding of what is
24 required, and I think I gave an example. Yes.
25 So if a brigade commander, for example, is -- has a number of
1 battalions, one of which has taken serious casualties and it only has two
2 of its four companies operational, then he by thinking two levels down
3 from brigade, battalion, company, then he would realise that that
4 battalion is only half as capable perhaps as the other battalions, and,
5 therefore, he would give them different and lesser tasks than the other
7 Thinking "two up" is all about commanders understanding where they
8 are in the wider course of events. What is their higher commander's
9 intent, what is it he's trying to achieve, and what role in it he has to
11 Q. All right. General, I think we'll have to move on, then, to
12 paragraph 66; and starting in that part of your report, you're discussing
13 more specifically military discipline.
14 You say at the beginning of paragraph 66, you say: "Military
15 discipline is codified to ensure that soldiers operate in active
16 operations in a disciplined and effective manner."
17 And if I could -- and you reference in that paragraph, among
18 others, Exhibit P 00301, so if we could please go to Exhibit 301.
19 MR. SCOTT: And I believe Mr. President, if I'm not mistaken, this
20 is the document that you raised earlier today, and I believe -- I have
21 some indications that there is in fact a better version of the document
22 available, which I would certainly provide to the parties and the Chamber,
23 Your Honour.
24 I believe it's actually marked as Exhibit P 00425. It's a better
25 copy of the same document. It's not in the binders because I'm just
1 responding to the Chamber's -- to the President's inquiry or point, and we
2 can take further steps on that. We will have to work with 301 at least
3 for now.
4 Q. In -- in conducting your work, sir, did you have a chance to --
5 well, you've cited in your report, so I suppose the answer is obvious, but
6 you had an opportunity to review and consider the content of Exhibit 301?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And what kind of a comment -- what comment can you make in terms
9 of the quality of this document at least as a document? Is it the sort of
10 a codification of military discipline that you would expect?
11 A. Yes. This is a comprehensive document. I think it has 112
12 articles in it, covering a wide range of subjects, which, taken together,
13 would create the disciplinary parameters within which the HZ HB military
14 forces would be required by law to operate.
15 Q. All right.
16 MR. SCOTT Could I ask then to also then turn to Exhibit P 00282.
17 It should be reasonably close by, a few exhibits earlier.
18 Q. If you have that document, this says: "Excerpt from the rules on
19 military discipline." How does that document compare -- or what role does
20 that document play in setting out further a disciplinary system, if you
22 A. Yes. I read this to be a sort of abbreviated aide-memoire,
23 concentrating attention on the essentials, and it rather harks back to
24 what we were talking about yesterday, in terms of the HVO was being set up
25 and conducting a war all at the same time.
1 The previous article was 112 -- the previous document was 112
2 articles long, extremely complicated and detailed. But an officer
3 receiving this rather succinct four-page document could quickly read this
4 and grasp the essentials of -- of discipline and the disciplinary code he
5 was required to basis actions on. So it's a helpful aide-memoire, resume
6 of the previous document.
7 Q. And just as an example, on at least on page 2 of the English
8 version, one of the things set out is which disciplinary measures may can
9 be taken, ranging from warning, to caution, to confinement to barracks, to
10 military detention. Do you see that?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. All right. Perhaps, we can just finish on this before the break.
13 You then, having those documents in mind, in paragraph 67, at
14 about the middle of the paragraph, you give the example. Well, actually
15 earlier in the paragraph as well, you talk about a sentry who falls asleep
16 on watch.
17 You say, in the middle of that paragraph, and you go on to
18 say: "But a soldier who falls asleep on watch on training is likely to be
19 severely punished simply because he must realise the seriousness of his
20 actions if he conducts himself like that on active operations."
21 Can you comment further?
22 A. Yes. When the -- when the military undergo training, they train
23 as for war and they make it as realistic as possible. Sleeping on sentry,
24 as an example, is a very, very serious offence either on exercise or on
25 operations: On operations, for obvious reasons; but on exercise to
1 impress on all the seriousness of the offence.
2 Whether it -- whether it be in peace or war, it is -- one is
3 operating under the same legal code; although, that said, in wartime there
4 may be some extra provisions added on top of -- of the code. But,
5 basically, military discipline is the same in peace as it is in war.
6 Q. Well, let me ask you. Perhaps you can assist us a bit further.
7 When you say in your report "severely punished," let's take both
8 situations, and we'll draw on the British Army.
9 If that happened in the British Army, a soldier who was on sentry
10 duty during a training exercise, a training exercise, fell asleep, was
11 found to have fallen asleep at his post, what would be the disciplinary
12 action that would be taken?
13 A. I have known soldiers who have fallen asleep on sentry be charged,
14 and, when found guilty, committed to gaol for 28 days, which is the
15 maximum a commander officer at that time could give. And, interestingly,
16 in the document we just noted, I see that the HVO had a 30-day detention.
17 That was not uncommon.
18 Q. And if I change that scenario to that same conduct occurred in
19 actual wartime conditions, would that change or what would the punishment
20 likely be in that situation?
21 A. The punishment would be -- well, that would be up to the court to
22 decide, but what is usual is that a commanding officer has a limitation on
23 the level of punishment that he can issue to convicted -- guilty soldiers.
24 If he was not satisfied that that punishment met the crime, then
25 he could refer the -- the accused to a higher court or a court-martial,
1 where heavier sentences were -- were available.
2 So it would be up to the commander to -- to decide how to deal
3 with that.
4 MR. SCOTT: If the Chamber will allow me just to hopefully finish
5 on this point before the break.
6 Q. Is it -- you just said something just now. I want to be accurate.
7 The punishment, well, it's translated here, in line 13, that the
8 punishment met the crime, or it might have been fit the crime, but that's
9 my question. In military justice or military discipline is there
10 generally a concept that the punishment should fit the crime?
11 A. Certainly.
12 Q. And if a soldier falling asleep on duty would warrant being thrown
13 in the brig for 28 days, what kind of punishment could be expected in
14 connection with the severe mistreatment of civilians?
15 A. Well, in the first instance, the severe mistreatment of civilians
16 is -- would be contrary to the laws of armed conflict, and it is probably,
17 therefore, most certainly well beyond anything that the local commander
18 could deal with.
19 So, in the first instance, that soldier would be arraigned before
20 his commanding officer, and the commanding officer would then refer it to
21 a -- a higher court, if I can put it like that, a court-martial, where
22 sentences are Draconianly heavier if found guilty or the availability of
23 much heavier sentences is there.
24 Q. And while that he process is playing out, would that particular
25 soldier accused of such a severe offence, would he continue to be used in
1 ongoing military operations, for example, where further contact with
2 civilians could be expected?
3 A. Again, that would -- that's up to the commander's discretion,
5 If this is a soldier who is habitually known to mistreat
6 civilians, then he would probably be remanded in custody, perhaps, or at
7 least removed from the scene where he would have the opportunity to do
9 If, on the other hand, you know, everyone is innocent until proven
10 guilty, there is -- there is an element of discretion and decision that a
11 commander must apply there, according to the circumstances.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the question was put
13 in a certain way and a certain answer was given that corresponded to the
14 question. It's clear to me that the expert witness is talking about the
15 situation, I assume, in the British Army.
16 But when you have a look at the entire text, three months later,
17 when someone goes through this, it won't be clear. So, perhaps, my
18 colleague could be more specific and state that it's just an example of
19 how things might work in the British Army, because it's quite obvious that
20 he's not speaking about the HVO.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely.
22 Witness, for the sake of argument, let's assume that, in the
23 British Army, we have a soldier who is guarding a prison and who mistreats
24 prisoners. What would happen in such a case in your army?
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, regrettably, we have had some of those
1 instances recently in Iraq, and the accused were brought before their
2 commanding officer and were subsequently committed for trial by
3 court-martial. Not all, I'm happy to say; in fact, very few were found
4 guilty, but the due process of law was seen through.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Time has come to take the
6 break. We are going to have a 20-minute break.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I
10 understand that Mr. Karnavas wanted to take the floor for three minutes in
11 private session, so we'll stop him at -- we'll stop just before the end of
12 this session, and then you'll have the floor once the witness has left the
14 Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I do apologise to the
16 courtroom. I'm afraid I wasn't watching the clock closely enough. My
18 Q. Sir, just to pick up on where we left before the break, I don't
19 want to leave the wrong impression, and, of course, you find yourself
20 sitting in a room full of lawyers and Judges, all of whom are very much,
21 of course, in favour of due process.
22 But, again, I want to make it quite clear, if a commander, faced
23 with a scenario. Let me give you a scenario. The commander has just
24 received a command from one of his subordinate commanders, a junior
25 officer, that information is coming back that civilians in a village are
1 being executed, by any side. I don't care if it's the HVO, the ABiH, the
2 American army, the British Army. And this information comes to the
3 commander's attention.
4 Now, you've talked about invoking the military justice system:
5 Calling the military prosecutor, calling the military police. But what
6 does the commander do on the spot? What does the commander do? Well,
7 I've called the military prosecutor. He'll get here in three months. In
8 the meantime, just go on about your business? I mean, what does the
9 commander do in that situation?
10 A. Well, there are commanders at all levels. The commander at the
11 level where this atrocity is being carried out, assuming he's not part of
12 the atrocity himself, would have the perpetrators arrested and would pass
13 them back up the chain of command, where the senior and appropriate
14 commander would decide what they were going to do with him.
15 If it was a clear case of, let's say for the example, you know,
16 burning houses and raping women or something, then one would expect the
17 perpetrators to be brought before the justice system very quickly,
18 remanded in gaol, so that they couldn't do that again, and would -- and
19 due process would then -- would then click in.
20 They would then be brought before the senior commander who is
21 permitted to deal with them. He -- he would hear the evidence. He would
22 decide whether he could deal with them or whether it should be passed to a
23 higher level, a higher court, and et cetera.
24 Q. All right.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I
1 apologise to Mr. Scott, too, but could we clarify something? With regard
2 to the hypothetical situation, does it concern the killing of civilians in
3 a village that is being defended or a village that is not being defended?
4 And in such a hypothetical situation, are we dealing with the killings of
5 civilians linked to some sort of military events or not?
6 Thank you very much.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, could I ask that be left, please, for
8 cross-examination so that I can continue?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please proceed.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Going on to paragraph 68, continuing to talk about discipline, in
12 the second sentence, you say: "If a commander is seen not to impose
13 discipline when disciplinary action is called for, then he will be
14 regarded as weak, or conniving, or both."
15 And can you comment on that further, and in particular, can you
16 comment on when you say "or conniving," what do you mean by that?
17 A. Well, in an army that is signed up to the international laws of
18 armed conflict - as mine has and as the HVO had, it would appear -
19 everybody would know that they were expected to conduct themselves in
20 accordance with the Geneva Conventions and laws of armed conflict; and, in
21 particular, they would know or they should know that certain very obvious
22 crimes are not tolerated and are against the law, such as barbarity to
23 civilians, shooting prisoners, the sort of thing that we've been talking
25 Now, if those actions are being perpetrated and the chain of
1 command is taking no action, then that sends a very clear message to both
2 the perpetrators and the observers, that this sort of behaviour is
3 acceptable. I've used the words, "the commander will be regarded either
4 as weak," in other words, he's not confident or strong enough to take
5 action for whatever reason; "or conniving," by which I mean that he does
6 not disapprove of the actions, in fact may even approve of the action.
7 But, in any way, he is complicit in it because knowing that these
8 actions are taking place, he is not taking -- he is not taking action as
9 he is required to do, in accordance with his own doctrine, to bring the
10 perpetrators to - what's the word am I looking for? - to account.
11 Q. All right. Thank you for that.
12 MR. SCOTT: With these -- some of these questions in mind, if we
13 could then turn next to P 00856.
14 Q. This appears to be an order issued again by, or at least over the
15 name of Mr. Petkovic, on the 4th of December, 1992.
16 Can you just -- this appears to be an order to establish, I'll say
17 generally, public order or to control the discipline of troops. Can you
18 just look at that and comment on that as an order, in terms of trying --
19 regaining control over unsoldierly -- in the first paragraph, it
20 says "unsoldierly behaviour, demolishing facilities," et cetera, and
21 comment on this as an attempt to gain control over that situation?
22 A. Yes. This is an order that is presumably based on a concern that
23 off-duty soldiers are remaining armed, many of them becoming under the
24 influence of alcohol and getting quite out of control as a result.
25 And in the light of that, the commander, Petkovic, has issued an
1 order to subordinate units, detailing how he hopes this can be avoided in
2 future, laying down procedures for handing in weapons before off-duty
3 soldiers go off to the cafes, and et cetera.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. Having said that, I'll return once again to: Giving the order is
6 the easy part. Making it happen is more difficult.
7 This would have to be followed through, and, indeed, there is an
8 attempt to put into position a reporting system, which is part of
9 following through. But I would -- I would expect this commander to
10 eyeball his subordinate commanders and poke them in the chest and impress
11 on them, you know, that he thought it was important and they ought to get
12 a grip of it.
13 Q. All right. That last comment, to some extent, perhaps not
14 physically poking them in the chest, maybe he did; but in number 1, at
15 least somewhat figuratively, is it fair to say he is first off starting by
16 saying, all commanders and assistants are obligated to essentially get
17 control of the situation?
18 A. Yes. What he's saying here is as commanders, each and every
19 commander in the chain of command, that is, down to the lowest level,
20 section commander, should be explaining to their men the consequences of
21 this sort of actions.
22 Q. And then, in reference to such things as the code of military
23 discipline that we were referring to before the break is item number
24 4: "Commanders are obligated to finally start taking measures regulated
25 by the disciplinary code."
1 So at the level of disciplinary measures available to the more
2 local commanders, I mean, can you give us some ideas of the kind of
3 disciplinary measures that would be available to the local commander to
4 address this situation?
5 A. Well, when reviewing one of the earlier documents, you pointed to
6 a number of tabulated measures which range from fairly mild, confining to
7 barracks, then there would be issues like additional work, you know,
8 metaphorically peeling the potatoes, rather than going out to play, down
9 to the measures of severity to -- to detention.
10 Q. And just -- you've said a moment ago, you looked ahead - I'll
11 refer you specifically to paragraph number 8 - and you said one of things
12 you would expect an officer to do is then implement a system to monitor,
13 if you will, the implementation of his order, so that the information, the
14 reports are coming back up the chain of command; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. And those will be being received by the staff and the
16 headquarters periodically and as necessary and appropriate brought to the
17 attention of the commander.
18 MR. SCOTT: Could we then next go to Exhibit P 02 --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I --
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: There's one point that strikes me here. It's in
22 number 6, where the order is to prevent in a most vigorous manner the use
23 of alcohol over Christmas and New Year.
24 Now, is this a realistic general order? Would other armies have a
25 ban on alcohol during holidays?
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm not sure that that's what it
2 necessarily means. I mean, the -- I read the substance of this order to
3 be about off-duty soldiers carrying weapons, combined with the use --
4 excessive use of alcohol.
5 I'm not sure whether this means Christmas and the New Year has
6 been cancelled this year.
7 MR. SCOTT: If we could then go on to Exhibit P 02036.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. SCOTT: My apology.
10 THE WITNESS: Could you say the number again?
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Yes, of course. P 02036. In other words, 2036.
13 This is, again, an order over the name of Milivoj Petkovic, dated
14 the 22nd of April, 1993.
15 Perhaps, again, you can scan through the six paragraphs of the
16 order and comment on, again, this as an effort to gain control over troops
17 in a particular situation.
18 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps if I can be a bit more specific, it may assist
20 Q. Let me ask you to look particularly at paragraph number 2, in
21 light of some of the conversation we've had so far this morning.
22 Again, Mr. Petkovic in this situation, at the end of paragraph,
23 says: "Render commanders at all levels responsible for the conduct and
24 actions of their soldiers." What -- what is the commander in the position
25 of Mr. Petkovic doing to say render -- make sure the commanders at all
1 levels know that they are responsible for dealing with this?
2 A. Yes. Brigadier Petkovic is obviously facing here a rather
3 difficult situation in that that appears to be a pretty widespread and
4 general breakdown in discipline, and he cites failing to carry out orders,
5 taking their own decisions on the basis of their own judgement, planning
6 conducted their own operations, terrorising civilians, obstructing
7 UNPROFOR, and so forth.
8 This sounds like a force that is almost out of control. In order
9 to try and get it back into control, he's trying to energise the chain of
10 command by reminding commanders at all levels of their responsibilities.
11 I mean, this is a general breakdown in discipline at every level, where
12 commanders at all levels appear to be pretty ineffective.
13 This is obviously worrying to Brigadier Petkovic, who is now
14 trying to get it back into control, and has issued this written order.
15 But this is perfect example where the presence of the commander is now
16 required in a very energetic fashion, as I've said metaphorically, poking
17 the chest of his subordinate commanders, to make sure they get a grip, if
18 that's possible.
19 Q. And, again, in light of some of the discussion this morning about
20 what actions would be -- what immediate or short-term actions would be
21 available to the commander, other than ultimately some military
23 I direct your attention to paragraph number 3, and Mr. Petkovic
24 says: "Immediately set about arresting individuals or groups who have
25 gone totally out of control."
1 So he is there, in fact, sanctioning again, at least by this
2 order, the immediate arrest of such persons; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 In fact, he goes further in the next paragraph: "Use all
5 available means, including the means of force, to stop," and here he's
6 citing really serious incidents, "torching and destroying civilian
7 buildings, and whose actions are sheer terrorism."
8 So, yeah, he wants these people brought to account, and he wants
9 them brought to account rapidly.
10 Q. All right.
11 Let me --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm reading the
13 introduction to the order, where we have the explanation of why he issued
14 this order. Obviously, there was an inspection of the HVO units, and this
15 order is also based on a number of reports that must have been sent by the
16 brigades. That's the reason why he has issued this order.
17 According to you, in such a situation, should he have then made
18 sure that his order had been obeyed; or, as he says at paragraph 6, was it
19 enough to say that he held all levels of command responsible for
20 implementing these tasks?
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, paragraph 6 is where it starts. It
22 certainly is not where it ends. Yes. He is right in saying, "I hold
23 levels of command responsible for implementing these tasks," and now he
24 will be taking much interest in seeing how they effectively carry that
25 out. And in the event that they're not carrying it out, then taking the
1 necessary actions in terms of removing commanders and replacing them with
2 more effective commanders or whatever is required.
3 So it's not sufficient just to leave it at paragraph 6, and then
4 sit back and relax. If -- if the state of affairs is as serious as this
5 order would suggest, a high-level commander would be extremely energetic
6 in ensuring that it was carried out.
7 MR. SCOTT: If we could then go to Exhibit P 00679.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
9 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] -- I'm sorry for interrupting.
11 My question relates to Exhibit 2036 in the order issued by
12 Brigadier Petkovic. At paragraph 5, we see that he requests energetic
13 measures against any individual obstructing UNPROFOR's activities, as well
14 as the UNHCR and other international institutions or organisations.
15 This draws my attention because I draw a parallel with another
16 document we examined this morning, P 04792, where another one of the Chief
17 of Staff, Zarko Tole, stated at paragraph -- the first paragraph that all
18 movements of the UNHCR and UNPROFOR should be stopped. And at paragraph
19 2, he says that this should not be seen as a measure coming from the upper
21 My question to you, based on your experience, is that to me these
22 seem contradictory orders coming, first, from officers working at very
23 high levels in the Main Staff. So we have contradictory messages sent.
24 Does this affect the behaviour of troops on the terrain or the
25 behaviour of lower-level commanders? Could this have an impact on the
1 conduct of operations? What do you think?
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, you put your finger on exactly what I
3 was alluding to, when we dealt with the previous document where orders
4 were given to prevent UNPROFOR's freedom of movement, when the recipients
5 of those orders would know that that was contrary to the agreements with
6 the United Nations. I hesitate to use the word"illegal," but it was -- it
7 was an order that they would know was contrary to the agreements.
8 You then compare that with the order we've just seen, which is
9 quite correct, which says that UNPROFOR, et cetera, should be given total
10 freedom of movement.
11 Now, what that means is when you have an officer who is issuing
12 orders that are plainly contrary to either the law or agreements, you are
13 beginning to create a command climate of total confusion, and the soldiers
14 don't know what's right and what's wrong, or what's being enforced and
15 what isn't.
16 That was exactly the point being made on the previous document,
17 where they were had being specifically ordered to prevent UNPROFOR's
18 freedom of movement, and then exacerbated by some sort of deceit and
19 deception cover story as to why they're going to do that until 1500 hours
20 and then let them move on.
21 You put are finger on exactly the point.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. General, if I could then ask you to look at P 00679, which, again,
25 is an order over the name of Mr. Petkovic, dated the 31st of October,
2 Item number 1 says: "We have reports that (Muslim) houses in the
3 municipality of Prozor are being torched and destroyed."
4 And in point number 3, he goes on to say: "These incidents will
5 cause great problems for us because they are writing about this in the
6 foreign media."
7 Now, one of the questions I asked you this morning was the impact
8 of public media, if you want to call it, whatever one: The open source,
9 the newspapers, CNN, what have you. Does this document appear to be that
10 Mr. Petkovic is, in fact, aware of and alert to the problems caused by
11 such reporting?
12 A. I'm sorry, I think I missed the question.
13 Q. My apology.
14 Can you just comment in terms of the discussion that we had
15 earlier this morning on the role or effect that reports in public media
16 can have upon the conduct of a commander?
17 A. Well, plainly, the media has focused the attention of Brigadier
18 Petkovic in this event, but the thing I really find striking about this
19 order is notwithstanding the fact that Muslim houses in the municipality
20 of Prozor are being torched and destroyed, notably absent is any form of
21 statement like "in direct contravention to the international laws of armed
22 conflicts and I will not tolerate this," or words to that effect.
23 It is wrapped up in, These incidents are going to cause us great
24 problems because they're appearing in the foreign media. Now, that sends
25 a pretty subtle message, in my view; not that I am particularly -- not
1 that the author, Brigadier Petkovic, is concerned necessarily that Muslim
2 houses are being burnt and torched. What he's concerned about is it's
3 causing him embarrassment and problems, because it's coming to the
4 attention of the media.
5 So this -- this order might have been written in a very much
6 different and much more effective way if it was serious about trying to
7 prevent Muslim houses, in general, being torched. A recipient of this
8 order could easily take the view that, Ah, well, the commander obviously
9 wants us -- if we're going to do this, we've got to make sure the media
10 aren't there and we've got to cover it up. This would be the assumption
11 that could easily be made from such a document.
12 Q. If we can then go, jump to paragraph 55 of your report. Excuse me
13 for a moment. I may have made -- sorry, paragraph 72. My apology. Wrong
15 It starts about halfway through paragraph 72. You find this part
16 of your report that says: "Responsibility for the action of subordinates
17 follows: An officer is personally liable for violations of the laws of
18 war, 'if he knew or could have known that units subordinate to him or
19 other units or individuals were planning the commission of such
20 violations, and, at a time when it was still possible to prevent their
21 commission, failed to fake measures to prevent such violations.'"
22 And then going on to say: "Personal accountability is also
23 emphasised if an officer, aware that violations of the laws of war have
24 been committed, fails to institute disciplinary or criminal proceedings
25 again the offender, or fails to report the violations to his superior
2 Now, some of those who practice in this institution might find
3 that language to be closely parallel to one of our statutes, but you're
4 here quoting a JNA document, Federal Secretariat for National Defence
5 Regulations from 1988, Exhibit 7, that we were looking at yesterday; is
6 that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And as a statement of general principle, and if you compare that
9 to what you might find in the British Army, for example, would you
10 consider that to be pretty common language of that sort about the
11 responsibility of a commander?
12 A. That is completely in accord with -- with the instructions,
13 teaching, doctrine of any army that is duty-bound to abide by the
14 international laws of war. The way it's phrased is extremely good, I
16 Q. Excuse me. If I can next direct your attention then --
17 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry for the pause, Your Honour, but I'm trying,
18 because of the time, I'm trying now to read through both the report and my
19 outline to see what we could possibly -- either it's already been covered
20 or, unfortunately, can be skipped at this stage.
21 So I apologise for the pauses.
22 Q. I think, General, I could perhaps next ask you to look at Exhibit
23 P 03019.
24 This, again, appears to be a document issued over the name of
25 Milivoj Petkovic, dated the 30th of June, 1993, which the Judges may
1 remember that particular date and what happens around that time.
2 Just to set the scene, General, if I can direct your attention to
3 paragraph number 8, which in the English version, at least, is at the top
4 of page 2.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. This
6 document has already been admitted into evidence, and I myself used it a
7 number of times. I don't mind at all analysing the document in a million
8 different ways.
9 However, I'm raising an objection because this time the witness -
10 and in the introduction, it says he doesn't know what the situation was
11 like on the battlefield and what was happening on the territory in 1993 on
12 the territory of Herceg-Bosna, and that is why he cannot testify about the
13 facts - is now being shown a document which cannot be understood unless
14 one is well acquainted with the facts on the ground and the circumstances
15 on the ground in connection which this order was issued.
16 Therefore, if this witness does not know what was going on on the
17 30th of June, 1993, and if he does not know the conduct of the BH army
18 towards the Muslims in the HVO in the first six months of 1993, then this
19 witness cannot interpret this document in a proper manner, and that is why
20 I object to having the witness comment on these documents without
21 previously establishing whether the witness does, indeed, have the facts
22 at his fingertips, with respect to the situation on the ground in 1993.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges will decide whether
24 the witness may answer the question or not.
25 Mr. Scott, please put your question to the witness. The witness
1 will answer your question. The Defence will cross-examine if they see
2 fit, and the Judges will draw their own conclusions.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. In reference to paragraph number 8, it says: "All Muslim
6 soldiers, who are still active in some units, should be disarmed and
8 "In the places, within the area of responsibility where there is a
9 Muslim population, all military-capable Muslim men should be isolated.
10 Women and children should be left in their houses-apartments."
11 Now, my question to you is not to address whether you know the
12 specific facts that happened at that time; but as a military commander,
13 apart from other things, if this issue was ordered, and assuming that
14 there are thousands of Muslim men in this area, what logistic steps, what
15 logistics issues does this raise when the general of the army, the supreme
16 commander raises --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
18 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, in order for the
20 witness to be able to answer, he has to be told that the Muslim soldiers
21 are members of HVO units; otherwise, the witness might think that it's the
22 ABiH members that have to be disarmed. He has to be told about the
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I will amended my scenario.
25 I was simply reading the document, but I will amended the document by
1 adding the language.
2 Q. General, you can -- I don't there will be any dispute in the
3 courtroom, I hope, at this stage that, when it says "all Muslim soldiers
4 who are still active in some units," the reference there "in some units"
5 is in HVO units, "should be disarmed."
6 Of course, in the remaining part of the paragraph, it talks about
7 the Muslim population and the military-capable men, regardless of whether
8 they're in any units of any army or not.
9 Now, the questions I put to you, and assuming that there are
10 thousands or tens of thousands of such persons in this area, were General
11 Petkovic to give this order, what were the logistic implications of
12 implementing and carrying out this order?
13 You said to us there has to be "two up and two down" thinking.
14 What does General Petkovic have to do to expect this order to be carried
16 A. Well, this order carries with it a number of implied tasks. Those
17 who are being arrested or detained have presumably got to be taken to
18 somewhere where they will be kept in secure conditions, so they will need
19 transport. They'll need guards.
20 And once in the location to which they are being tank, there will
21 have to be due concern shown for a roof over their heads, food, water,
22 sanitation, and everything like that.
23 Now, I don't know what the numbers are involved are here, but you
24 said assume there are thousands. This is a potentially very serious
25 logistic issue, which -- which would need some preparation in advance to
1 get the witness right; or if there was not time or not the intent to
2 prepare in advance, then it would require a lot of activity after the
3 event to get the conditions right.
4 Q. All right.
5 And, again, because we have to move with some haste at this point,
6 let me just add about another part of the order.
7 Just in terms of chain of command, and in terms of passing a
8 command's orders down from the top to the bottom, so to speak, can I ask
9 you to look at the bottom after Mr. Petkovic's name.
10 Do you see there is a further instruction at the end of that
12 A. "We submit this order to the chief of the HVO Main Staff for your
13 information and for its implementation..." That one?
14 Q. Sorry, sir. You'll have to be a bit slower for translation.
15 A. Do you mean the is sentence underneath the Petkovic signature
17 Q. Yes. Then, there's another block that starts: "Mostar, 30 June
19 "We submit this order of the chief of the HVO Main Staff for your
20 information and for its implementation," over the name Miljenko Lasic,
21 commander of the south-east operative zone, submitted to 2nd HVO Brigade
22 and 3rd HVO Brigade."
23 A. Yes, I see that.
24 Q. Now, is that an effective way of transmitting an order from your
25 commander down through your own command? Essentially, is General Lasic,
1 Mr. Lasic saying, I received this order from General Petkovic. I'm now
2 passing it on to you.
3 A. In that instance, it is a thoroughly ineffective way to pass on
4 this order because it details no tasks, it details no logistics support,
5 it details no hows, whys, and wherefores.
6 This is, obviously, going to be an extremely complicated and
7 sensitive operation, which requires the allocation of resources, none of
8 which is mentioned here. The order is simply passed on and the 2nd
9 Brigade and the 3rd Brigade are presumably just left to get on with it.
10 Q. So, for instance, following up on what you said earlier, in
11 passing the order down his chain of command, does -- does the Commander
12 Lasic provide any orders, direction, guidance, information as to where the
13 prisoners should be -- detained persons should be taken, how they should
14 be provided for, how their needs should be met, what vehicles will be
15 provided for transporting them to wherever they're going to go?
16 Does Mr. Lasic provide any such information?
17 A. Not in this document, no.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I've listened to your
19 answer very carefully. When reading this order, I find that there's a
20 situation deriving from this order. At paragraph 1, there's the request
21 for fortification or enforcement of units. Paragraph 2, 3, 4, all these
22 paragraphs relate to units that are in theatre, in the field.
23 At paragraph 7, we see the problem arise, appear. It is that the
24 ABiH troops have infiltrated some of their men and losses have resulted
25 from this. It seems, but I might be mistaken, it seems that paragraph 8
1 has to be connected or related to paragraph 7.
2 "This is an emergency situation," we see it mentioned here in
3 this document, "therefore, it is requested that Muslim who are members of
4 the HVO should be isolated," whereas, initially, the order aims at
5 reinforcing the lines.
6 According to you, despite that the main thrust of the order is to
7 reinforce the line and with the information about in the infiltration of
8 the enemy forces in the lines, do you believe in this context that the
9 fact of disarming the Muslim soldiers should have led to an additional
10 order related to logistics and all that?
11 You've mentioned it yourself. Did this not come under the purview
12 of Lasic? Was the operational man in the field?
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, my understanding, when you combine
14 paragraph 7 with paragraph 8, is that there is plainly concern,
15 understandable concern, since now the HVO are being engaged by ABiH Muslim
16 defence forces, that the Muslim soldiers within the HVO may no longer be
17 reliable. I could understand that. I could, therefore, understand a --
18 an order to disarm them and isolate them.
19 What I would expect to see after that is some form of -- well,
20 certainly all the logistics considerations of how that's going to happen,
21 where it's going to happen, how they're going to be cared for, looked
22 after, et cetera. I would expect to see at some stage some form of
23 investigative procedure to -- to ascertain whether those Muslim soldiers
24 were a risk or a threat or not.
25 But I stand by what I said previously: If large numbers, for
1 whatever reason, of Muslim soldiers and Muslim males are being rounded up,
2 that is a severe logistic problem that must be taken into account.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission.
4 I do apologise to my learned friend Mr. Scott, but I have to say that I
5 consider this witness put in military logic to interpret what was behind
6 the order and point 8 of that order.
7 I think we should explain to the witness briefly what happened on
8 the 30th of June, 1993. What happened was the following, the situation
9 was as follows, General Pringle: The area of part of Mostar --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you're going to be
11 taking time now. Perhaps you could do this during the cross-examination.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the hour available
13 at my disposal, I won't be able to go through all the areas where my
14 client's name is mentioned. But I think that in just a couple of
15 sentences we can say that on the 30th of June, the HVO lost control over a
16 certain portion, key portions of Mostar and to the north of Mostar, thanks
17 to the treachery of the Muslim soldiers in the HVO and their linking up
18 with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Armija.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
20 ... the witness has understood that this relates to paragraph 7. Right.
21 Go on, Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. That was exactly the point
23 that I was going to make. I thought the witness was quite, quite clear in
24 indicating his interpretation of paragraph 7, and went on to say something
25 to the effect, "I could quite understand in those circumstances."
1 So it seemed to me there was a fair contextual reading of the
3 If we could then go on, please, to P 04756.
4 Q. Well, I'll let you find the document. I do have one further
5 questions for you about the previous topic; although, they're actually
6 related to the next document as well.
7 Again, trying to tie together now some of the concepts and
8 principles that we've talked about for the last two days, once General
9 Petkovic issued the order, 3019, that we were just talking about, I mean,
10 is that the end of his responsibility; or as a senior commander, once
11 you've given that order, what is further incumbent upon you to do?
12 A. This order could only be seen as a -- I mean, as far as rounding
13 up the Muslims are concerned, it's -- it's almost what we would describe
14 as a warning order or an initial order, because it carries no detail at
15 all of how it's to be done and how it's to be supported.
16 So if, for whatever reason, the order goes out like this, then I
17 would expect the Main Staff to be working frantically to follow up that
18 with supplementary orders, is what we call them, supplementary orders,
19 amplifying the detail of how this should be conducted, what the logistic
20 arrangements would be, where the camps are going to be, who is going to
21 provide food, water, et cetera et, cetera et, cetera.
22 So this is not the end. This is just the beginning.
23 MR. SCOTT: Now, having gone on then to Exhibit 4 -- P 04756.
24 Q. This -- these are the minutes of a defence department meeting held
25 on the 2nd of September, 1993.
1 And for present purposes, well, let's stay on the topic of the
2 operation of detention facilities.
3 If I can direct your attention to page 4, about halfway down the
4 page in English under -- it's item number 3. And, then, going about
5 halfway down the page it makes reference -- well, just so we can see who
6 is talking, it's talking about Coric and the head, Stojic, and then Coric
7 it says: "Coric then put forward some of the problem encountered by the
8 military police."
9 And in that context, skipping several lines, it then
10 says: "Military prisons are another example of very bad work. The head,
11 then the document is referring to Mr. Stojic, "the head took the floor and
12 then said, 'My opinion is that we have two military prisoners, Heliodrom
13 and the military prison at Ljubuski. As the other places where detainees
14 are held, Gabela and Dretelj, I do not consider them as military
15 facilities and refuse to personally endorse the work of these
17 Now, my question to you on that point, General, is tying this back
18 into, again, Exhibit P 03019. That order, having been given, 3019, can
19 you comment on the statement attributed to Mr. Stojic, which says
20 essentially, "I don't take on any responsibility for at least these other
21 facilities, Gabela and Dretelj"?
22 A. Yes. Well, there appears to me to be a mismatch here, because the
23 initiating order, if I can put it like that, signed by chief of the HVO
24 Main Staff, Major General Petkovic, initiating the rounding up of these
25 people into places unspecified in that order was a military order issued
1 to military units.
2 It would be, therefore, my assumption that those military units
3 carried out those orders and are now in charge of the detainees. I don't
4 know, but that's what the assumption from that very brief order would be.
5 And, therefore, all the -- these people that are being detained are --
6 whether they're in a military prison, are not are the responsibility of
7 the military and, indeed, are the responsibility of the initiating officer
9 Q. All right. If we can then move further, just actually a couple of
10 days later, this document is dated concerning a meeting on the 2nd of
11 September [Realtime transcript read in error "December"], 1993.
12 And if we could move to another set of minutes, Exhibit P 04841,
13 for the 6th of September [Realtime transcript read in error "December"],
14 1993, four days later.
15 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my
16 colleague Mr. Scott, but I think there's an error in the transcript. It
17 says "December" in the transcript instead of "September," so perhaps that
18 should be corrected.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right. It is,
20 indeed, September.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, counsel. I don't know if I misspoke or if
22 it was a matter of translation or transcription. In any event, counsel is
23 correct. The dates were in September.
24 Q. With that in mind, General, if you have -- if you've been able to
25 find that document, P 04841, you will see on the -- excuse me. Bottom of
1 page 1, there's an agenda given, then there's something that's been
2 written here as AD1. I don't know if that's Article 1.
3 But, in any event, it says: "On the basis of verbal reports and
4 insights gained into the manner of executing punishments and conditions of
5 detention of persons capture as active-duty and reserve enemy forces and
6 persons preparing an armed rebellion, the situation was declared
7 unsatisfactory..." --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, slowly.
9 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
10 Q. "...the situation was declared unsatisfactory and harmful to the
11 reputation and interest of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
12 "It was also concluded that the responsibility for the present
13 situation does not lie with the HVO of the HZ HB (government of the HR
14 HB). However, in order to avoid the situation being used in ways that are
15 adverse to the political and other interests of Herceg-Bosna, valid
16 principles of international law of war and international humanitarian law
17 need to be observed in executing punishments and implementing other
19 These were in a meeting as indicated here with Mr. Prlic presiding
20 and signing the minutes as -- on the last day -- on the last page as
21 president of the government.
22 I just want to put the question to you, similar to the question
23 about the minutes of the earlier meeting involving Mr. Coric and
24 Mr. Stojic. I note that in this same meeting, if we look at the first
25 page, those in attendance, if the record is correct, Mr. Stojic was also
1 at this meeting.
2 When it makes a statement that was concluded that "the
3 responsibility does not rest with us," can you comment, again, on the --
4 where -- what responsibility did the HVO, having gone down this road, take
5 on? For holding and caring for these prisoners and detainees, persons
6 that were being held, what responsibilities had been undertaken at that
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, General. Just one second.
9 Now, when he's talking about the HVO. What exactly is he talking
10 about? The military or is he talking about civilian government? The
11 gentleman, there is to foundation thus far, that he has explored and
12 understood and is able and is capable to discuss how the civilian
13 government was structured. Now he's being asked to look at a particular
14 document, and from there to drive certain conclusions based on his
15 military expertise. I dare say there has been no foundation laid.
16 Also, in the very last paragraph of this document, it clearly
17 shows: "Since Mr. Boban the Supreme Commander of the HR HB armed forces
18 has not been consulted on the matter, it was decided that he should be."
19 Now, obviously, there are all sorts of events going on. I have no
20 objections to the gentleman giving opinions based on military matters.
21 But when he's asked to give an opinion as to a document such as this,
22 without having, at least in my opinion, having laid a foundation that he
23 is capable of rendering a decision, based on knowledge of how the civilian
24 government functioned vis-a-vis the military, I think that is beyond the
25 scope of the witness's ability to answer and, therefore, I object.
1 MR. SCOTT: If I can address, Your Honour, perhaps with some
2 additional foundational questions. I hope not to take too much time.
3 Q. But in the reports - and, of course, as I said yesterday, we
4 haven't had the time to go through every part of your report in detail -
5 but in terms of your curriculum vitae, which we discussed yesterday, is it
6 correct, sir, that a substantial amount of both the training that you have
7 received and the training you have given to others has involved, I think
8 it was put at one point, dealing with the senior military political
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And what is your -- what is the general experience or information
12 you can provide to us in terms of how in this instance, for example, let's
13 start with 2, the military head, and that is in this instance either
14 Mr. -- because we're now talking about a period that spans from the end of
15 June to September of 1993, first Mr. Petkovic and then Mr. Praljak as the
16 military held, the top military officer, how that person then relates to
17 the top civilian defence official, the head of the defence department,
18 Mr. Stojic? Let's start with that in your experience?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, if I may, and I don't mean to be disruptive
20 of the proceedings, but, again, a foundation needs to be laid because
21 there's a transitional period. You have the Croatian Community, then you
22 have the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
23 Clearly, the gentleman is capable of discussing how it is, how
24 things are in the UK or perhaps in other Western European countries or
25 NATO government, because he has had some experience, but we're dealing
1 with a unique situation. What I'm saying here is: Before he gets to
2 answer those sorts of questions, at least a foundation needs to be laid as
3 to what documents he's reviewed. What is his basic knowledge with respect
4 to this particular government, the way it's set up, this system. And then
5 from there, if we're satisfied, I have no objections.
6 But I think that we're getting a lit bit ahead of ourselves to
7 simply say: Since he's been trained on how civilian governments interact
8 with the military, therefore, in this instance, this is the way it
9 operated. First, he must demonstrate that he has knowledge of how this
10 particular political system, such as it was, at least de jure existed.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, there is a document
12 that we all have before us. I presume what you want to ask the military
13 expert is something of a military nature, and that is why you're
14 presenting that document. What is the actual question that you wish to
15 raise? Because here we're talking about the government meeting under the
16 Presidency of Mr. Prlic at Mostar on the 6th of September, 10.00 a.m., and
17 the meeting ends at 12.00 noon.
18 So this is a government meeting. What is the military question
19 that you wish to ask the witness?
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I'm just referring in sort, so that
21 I can deal with the foundational questions, perhaps at least very, very
23 The Chamber may refer to, in the general's report, for example -
24 and I will not have found all of them in the last two minutes as I have
25 you've stood here on my feet - but, for example, at paragraph number 10.
1 About halfway through paragraph number 10, he talks about the
2 course content was set at the strategic -- strategic level. This is at
3 the Royal College of Defence Studies. The course content was set at the
4 strategic level and involved considerable study around the
5 politico-military interface.
6 Then, beyond that, I think there's a number of other places where
7 he talks about that. In paragraph 14, he also -- at the end of paragraph
8 14, he also talks about the military-political interface.
9 Then, when we get further into his report, in effect --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what is the question?
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
12 Statements having been made, just very, very briefly. In
13 paragraph 25, he talks about the decree on armed forces and says, in
14 effect, this enshrines political control over the military as one would
16 And, in paragraph 26, he talks about the consultation. The
17 overall military commander would be expected to interact directly or
18 indirectly with the political commander-in-chief.
19 Then, he talks about: "In the HZ HB, it is my opinion that the
20 overall commander would interact with the head of the defence department
21 on a regular basis and with the president as Supreme Commander."
22 So just so it's clear, in the report, the expert has addressed
23 these points.
24 Q. The point in showing the current exhibit, P 04841, is to ask,
25 first of all: Would it surprise you, sir, at the most senior levels at
1 the military-political level that a serious problem would be discussed not
2 only by -- on the military side, but that would carry over onto the
3 political leadership as well?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I maintain my objection. I'll just -- I'll let it
5 stand. I have a moving objection, a continuing objection to this line of
6 questioning. A foundation has not been laid. He's being asked -- I have
7 no objections with the gentleman having a background on the interface.
8 I'm sure he's had to deal with, you know, the Defence Minister in
9 the UK, whatever the situation may be, but that's not the point. The
10 point is: We're dealing with a particular political structure on the
11 ground. Has he looked at the way it functions? Has he looked at these
12 documents? Is he capable of giving an opinion? Because he's being asked
13 these very specific questions.
14 I have a continuing objection to the competency of this witness to
15 provide these sorts of answers, and I will sit down for the sake of going
16 forward; otherwise, I would be objecting to every question of this nature.
17 MR. SCOTT: Well --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, what I don't really
19 perceive is what is it exactly you're getting at.
20 MR. SCOTT: Well --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just ask the question, because
22 that will make things clear.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you. Thank you Mr. President.
24 In reference to the language that I read out of these minutes some
25 time ago, and I'm not presenting as hypothetical, I'm reading a document,
1 I'm reading an HVO record. In attendance, among others, are Mr. Prlic,
2 Mr. Stojic, and others as listed on the minutes, and I've read the part of
3 the record on the second page of the English version, starting really at
4 the bottom of the first page.
5 Q. I guess, really, after all this discussion, my question to the
6 general is: General, does it surprise you that at -- if there is a
7 sufficiently serious level that would come up on the military side, that
8 ultimately would find its way, as it does here on the 6th of September,
9 1993, being discussed at a level of government that involves both the
10 president of the government and the defence minister and others -- or the
11 Head of the defence department?
12 A. It doesn't surprise me that it's being discussed at all. We seem
13 to have the situation in accordance with the previous document, where a
14 military order has been given to military units, to round up large numbers
15 of Muslim people. I don't think anyone has questioned that.
16 What we have questioned is whether there was sufficient logistic
17 support for that operation. It would appear from this document that there
18 is now, as a result of that happening, severe concern that things had are
19 going wrong, and the international laws of war and humanitarian law are
20 not being complied with.
21 What strikes me as surprising is that military order, having been
22 given and carried out, and Mr. Boban being the Supreme Commander of the HR
23 HB armed forces as well, is that this meeting concludes that really this
24 has nothing to do with us, seen in light of the military is subservient to
25 the political.
1 Q. And if we can then continue on --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I?
3 MR. SCOTT: Yes, of course.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just have a clarification on this point.
5 Do you read this passage, the second paragraph on page 2 in the English
6 version, as saying that the political authority, the government, says it's
7 none of our business, implying that it is the exclusive responsibility of
8 the military? Is that your interpretation of this paragraph?
9 THE WITNESS: I think that's how I am reading
10 this: Responsibility of the present situation does not lie with the HVO
11 Croatian Defence council of the HZ HB government. That is what I'm taking
12 that to mean.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Just to follow on --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Scott, please.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Just to follow on and finish this particular set of documents, if
19 you could then go on to --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment. I'm a little bit
21 troubled by the answer that was just given.
22 General, we are talking about the document 4841. That is a
23 conclusion from which -- that is the document from which you derive your
24 conclusion; is that right?
25 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this document, as we see
2 it before our very eyes, relates to a government meeting that was held
3 under the presidency of Mr. Prlic, who was the president. There is an
4 agenda for that meeting. It is set out here; and, in item 1, they're
5 going to deal with the question of the situation arising from the measures
6 to be taken to isolate persons, prisoners of war, to implement
7 International Law on War. And then item 2, miscellaneous.
8 Then we see that item 1 is based on verbal reports and that there
9 are going to be decisions taken by the government or -- or in point 1, in
10 the conclusions, the place for the detention of prisoners of war must be
11 determined, and the Ministry for Defence is going to be in charge of that,
12 and it has 15 days to do so. But people must be punished.
13 Here, again, the Ministry for Defence and for Justice and the
14 administration are responsible, and they have 15 days, and the Office for
15 Expelled Persons and Refugees, et cetera, is also. Here, we come back to
16 logistics: Take measures concerning quantities of food, sanitation, et
18 And on -- in point 2, under miscellaneous, there are other
19 secondary topics relating to students and so on and so forth.
20 So where do you see that nothing has been decided? That's what I
21 don't understand.
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I was simply referring to the second
23 paragraph on page 2, where it said: "It was also concluded that the
24 responsibility for the present situation does not lie with the HVO
25 Croatian Defence Council." I said I found that quite surprising.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: It should be noted, however, that we find it quite
2 surprising that the gentleman hasn't read any of the documents concerning
3 how the government was structured, then that might cause a surprise that
4 he has right now. That's part of the problem.
5 When he's talking about government, what is he talking about?
6 What is his understanding of the council vis-a-vis Mr. Boban and the
7 Presidency? What is the distinction? There lies the problem. So he's
8 looking at it from the UK mind frame. He's looking at it from the
9 traditional approach that he understands how government functions in the
10 UK, not in the way the government was functioning back then.
11 I go back to my earlier discussion. I have no objections to the
12 gentleman opining on this, but we need to lay a foundation. He's simply
13 not competent. He lacks the knowledge, and he lacks the knowledge because
14 he wasn't provided with the necessary information by the Prosecution, if
15 he was going to go into this area.
16 I also raise an objection, and the objection is this, Your
17 Honours --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've understood.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... he prepared a
20 report. Now he's being shown documents that were outside of what he was
21 shown in preparation of the report.
22 We're entitled to notice as -- if he's going to be going into
23 documents and opinions as an expert.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To end, General, and then I'll
25 give the floor to Mr. Scott, when you say reading paragraph 2 of page 2,
1 that it is up to the HVO, is there a political connotation here?
2 Doesn't that mean that it's responsibility for the events that
3 occurred, and that has nothing to do with themselves taking on their own
4 responsibilities? Because later on they do take decisions.
5 If they were not responsible, why would they later on take
6 decisions? Aren't you interpreting things somewhat in paragraph 2?
7 Although, I do, of course, understand given the little time you've had,
8 that you've come to those conclusions.
9 THE WITNESS: I'm simply saying, Your Honour, that the original
10 order for rounding up all these people was a military order. It would be
11 reasonable, I believe, to expect that order to have been given, not as an
12 isolated military action but as a politico-military action.
13 And in the light of that, the fact that the HVO Croatian Defence
14 Council now declares that it doesn't seem to have got any response for
15 what's happened so far, even though, using its own words, "there are
16 transgressions of international law plainly taking place," I find
18 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I do -- I do apologise for rising, but a
19 point does come where the level of assumptions must be explained. It
20 can't simply be stated and taken as anything approaching anything that
21 you -- Your Honours can rely upon without a foundation or without
22 something further being explained.
23 I do note, of course, and it is a matter that I won't belabour
24 now, that there does appear to have been movement in relation to the
25 witness, because Judge Trechsel's comments, with respect, was very clear.
1 The witness spoke in relation to that. He answered that, and he says
2 later on, in relation to Mr. President's question, that he found that
3 state surprising. That does appear to be an evolution in his account.
4 But, Your Honour, the assumptions that the detention came from the
5 political side of -- of control needs to be explained. It hasn't been.
6 It's simply an assumption, and it's there that I think Mr. Karnavas does
7 have point.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Scott, if I take this a bit
9 further, but perhaps there is a possibility to reconcile the views.
10 On the one hand, we have the sentence that astonishes the
11 witness. And if you look at what it talks about, it is the present
12 situation. It is looking backwards. Then, with the conclusion, the
13 government is looking forward and is devising measures.
14 I find that to -- to be clearly visible in the document itself,
15 and I do not see that it is in any way speculative to read it as it is
17 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, all these, of course, are matters for
18 closing speeches and for arguments, but what is objected to is without --
19 Your Honours need to be assisted by having an expert opinion from an
20 extremely able army officer that has proper foundations that Your Honours
21 are clear about.
22 Now, the evidence so far is that Bruno Stojic has said that only
23 two prison camps are part of his responsibility, or that there are two
24 prison camps. Then he also states in this political meeting that they
25 abhor violations taking place. Then we seek to jump into a million miles
1 and say, Well, the order of detention is a political decision. It seems
2 to fly in the face of the facts on the documents before you.
3 Now, if the witness then seeks to speculate, the basis of that
4 speculation must be based upon an understanding of the context that Your
5 Honours are deliberating upon, rather than just an abstract understanding
6 of what happens in a regular organised army.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps you could help me out. I do not see any,
8 any sentences here attributed to Mr. Stojic, except for the passage
9 regarding students. Maybe I missed something.
10 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, the inference from the Prosecution - and
11 this is why I understand that my learned friend Mr. Scott emphasised that
12 Mr. Stojic was present at this meeting - it's seeking to impute the
13 actions in the field and the detention that took place to the political
14 side of the community of Herceg-Bosna.
15 Now, that needs to be explained, because --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, counsel.
17 You have just said that here Mr. Stojic said this or that about
18 the problem we are interested in. We're not interested in a student.
19 I'm asking you where does it say here that Mr. Stojic said this or
20 that? I think you're making an assumption here. Where is it here in
21 this , in this report on the meeting, except for page 3 at the bottom,
22 where is it said that something has been stated by Mr. Stojic?
23 MR. KHAN: Well, Your Honour, lead counsel very helpfully provides
24 P 04756.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We're dealing with 4841. That's the document
1 we're talking about.
2 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, it was very clear, in my respectful
3 submission, from the evidence elicited by the Prosecution at page 59, line
4 17 -- bear with me. I think it's line 17.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Of what?
6 MR. KHAN: Of the LiveNote transcript, and this was the reference
7 between Bruno Stojic, that there were only two prisons, Gabela and
8 Dretelj, that were considered as military facilities.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That was not -- that was of not this meeting,
10 Counsel. I am sorry. I think we should go on now let Mr. Scott continue
11 his cross-examination, because we're --
12 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, you must give me a chance, because what my
13 learned friend, Mr. Scott, quite clearly was seeking to do was to
14 compare -- it was a specific question. He was seeking to compare the
15 political meeting --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not reading his mind.
17 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, let me go to Mr. Scott's question. It's
18 very clear, because he was cross-referencing that suggestion by Bruno
19 Stojic with his presence in the meeting, and seeking to obtain conclusions
20 in relation to that.
21 Your Honour, that's all I've got to say. The question can be put.
22 I've put my remarks forward, but it goes down to the lack of foundation in
23 relation to attributing the detention that took place to the political
24 events that took place in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
25 It is as simple as that, and it goes down to my learned friend
1 Mr. Karnavas's question regarding proper foundation.
2 Your honour, I can't take it further. I think it is very
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to make a correction.
6 I tried to tell my colleague Ms. Nozica, but I didn't succeed. I think
7 that Mr. Kahn made a slight mistake, because Bruno Stojic in the document
8 we mentioned acknowledged as authority over prison Heliodrom and Ljubuski,
9 and not Gabela and Dretelj, as was recorded in the transcript on page 73,
10 line 15 of the transcript.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Just before putting the next question to the witness. Just to be
14 ever-so brief in my time in comparison to the Defence time on these points
15 will be ever-so short.
16 The reason that the -- the connection between -- there were all
17 sorts of objections and issues being raised about the connection between
18 the political and the military. The reason was -- part of the reason
19 showing these documents to the witness and asking these questions, in an
20 abbreviated way, because one of the problems, of course, is we can't
21 present the entire case through this witness, and all the other documents
22 and all the other meetings which took place between the end of June and
23 September. We can't do that. We'd be here for days.
24 Now, ultimately, maybe we'll all have an opportunity to go through
25 day by day all: The international demands that were being made, the
1 testimony by Ambassador Galbraith raising demarches about the conditions
2 in this, before this meeting took place. There's all sorts of evidence we
3 don't have time to consider today.
4 The only point here is to say, in this particular respect, in this
5 particular chain of documents, and it's not I don't think it surprises
6 anyone, you have the link between the top military commander, at this time
7 being either Mr. Petkovic or Mr. Praljak, Mr. Petkovic being the person
8 who gave the order we looked at earlier, and the head of the -- the
9 political head, the civilian head of the defence department, in one
10 meeting; and then going to another top government meeting, the meeting of
11 the HVO government, at which Mr. Stojic then goes from the earlier meeting
12 with his commanders, with the people in the chain of command, Coric and
13 others, then goes to another meeting at the top of the government in which
14 also Mr. Prlic and other ministers are other heads are involved.
15 I don't think that should surprise anyone, and that was the reason
16 for bringing Mr. Stojic in. I don't think that there's any interpretation
17 of the structures of government or anything. That's what the record is --
18 it's what these documents say, and that's the only point that we were just
19 saying it, up to the point of then what the President's already covered
20 and Judge Trechsel, and that is that the witness's reaction to looking at
21 those particular minutes.
22 I think we have answered it now and we can go forward, but I just
23 wanted to make it clear that I just think some of the objections are not
24 well-founded, Your Honour.
25 Now, if we could go on to finish up on this particular set of
1 documents to Exhibit P 05104.
2 In fairness to everyone, at the end of that meeting there was
3 reference to the fact, well, Mr. Boban isn't here, so we should consult
4 with Mr. Boban. Well, this is the Prosecution trying to be fair and
5 trying to continue the story. A few days later on the 15th of September,
6 about nine days later, Mr. Boban apparently issues an order, calling for
7 all the HVO military and armed forces to make sure that they're complying
8 with all the stands of international law, et cetera et cetera.
9 Item 3, General, if you have that - I'm sorry, in my haste I've
10 gone quite quickly - but if you now turn to Exhibit 5104.
11 If I can direct your attention to the second page of the English
12 version, paragraph 3: "In the prisoners of war detention centres, where
13 the conditions required by the International War of Law," presumably, "and
14 the Geneva Conventions are not ensured, they should immediately be
15 introduced, and prisoners of war must be treated in accordance with
16 provisions of the Geneva Convention and other humanitarian standards."
17 Now, is there anything surprising to you, General, about the fact
18 that it would be recognised or further recognised that the Geneva
19 Conventions and the Laws of War would apply to the holding of either
20 prisoners of war or other detained persons?
21 A. My impression on this is full marks to Mr. Boban for taking a grip
22 of the situation and ensuring that the correct conditions are applied in
23 accordance with the laws required.
24 Q. And, in further, on this issue that we've gotten into in the last
25 hour, perhaps, on the political-military interface, can I ask you to look
1 at item 7 of Mr. Boban's order: "The HVO Main Staff will inform all
2 subordinated commands and units of this had order and provide professional
3 help in its implementation."
4 Is that the sort of -- my question to you, having read that, is:
5 Is that the sort of military-political interface that you might expect in
6 this situation?
7 A. Yes. This is the chain of command that we referred to earlier on
8 this morning, starting with the president. Here we have Boban, as the
9 president of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, issuing orders down
10 through the HVO Main Staff for implementation down to the units.
11 Q. Now --
12 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] In point 7, it says that
16 that should be implemented, but what? What is to be implemented in its
18 MR. SCOTT: Well, I think it says "this order," Your Honour.
19 Your Honour, I see it's 12.30, and what might be the most
20 efficient way is now what I would like to be able to do is to focus
21 exactly on the final documents I'd like to put to the witness, if I could
22 do that during the break.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, do you want to break
24 now or do you want to go on?
25 MR. SCOTT: I think it might be most helpful and efficient, Your
1 Honour, if we took the breakdown, so I could then identify the final
2 several exhibits to put to the witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. You will have 30
4 minutes left, because you've already used up three hours, 30 minutes, and
5 a few more.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, and I think that we've
11 abbreviated the final Prosecution questions, and I think we can finish in
12 the next few minutes.
13 Before I do that, if I can just deal a couple of outstanding
14 matters that the Chamber has raised. In connection with, Your Honour
15 Mr. President, your point this morning about Exhibit 301, we have indeed
16 confirmed that Exhibit P 00425 is a much better and complete version of
17 that same document.
18 We can certainly -- we can either tender both or we can tender
19 P 00425 in place of P 00301, whichever suits the Chamber. But there is,
20 indeed, a much better and full copy of that, number one. That's just
21 been -- that has been provided to the Chamber, I think, handed out a few
22 moments ago and should be -- and also to the Defence.
23 Secondly, Judge Trechsel yesterday, I believe, if I have this
24 correct - I may be mistaken, but we also try to be responsive to the
25 Judges' questions and inquiries - in connection with Exhibit P 00307, it's
1 the one in which unfortunately we only had limited translation, we did
2 find in that same document, which the Prosecution does indeed tender in
3 its entirety, an explicit reference in chapter 2, Article 26, chapter 2,
4 Article 26, on page 9 of the Croatian or B/C/S version, and it may
5 correspond to something that Judge Trechsel raised yesterday.
6 It's a matter of reading the document. I'm sure I will be correct
7 if I misrepresent the document, but that reference appears to state: "A
8 military is not obliged to carry out orders directed against the
9 constitutional order of the HR HB and is not obliged to carry out other
10 actions that are unlawful and have characteristics of a criminal offence."
11 Q. I believe, if I put that in the form of a question to the
12 witness: General Pringle, I think yesterday you said there was -- at one
13 point I showed you a document, and you said something to the effect that
14 that more or less reflected or enshrined the general principle in modern
15 armies, that a subordinate is required to carry out the orders of a
16 superior except for an illegal order.
17 A. That's correct. In fact, he has a duty not to carry out an
18 illegal order.
19 Q. And the reference to chapter 2, Article 26 of Exhibit P 00307 that
20 I've just read out would be consistent with that; is that correct?
21 You won't have it in translation, I'm afraid, sir. We haven't had
22 a chance to --
23 A. As you read it out, that's consistent with that, yes.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: You're welcome, Your Honour.
2 Q. Finishing on two just -- very quickly on two exhibits. They both
3 relate to topics that have been raised in the last two days, if I can ask
4 you to look, please, at P 05134.
5 My question, General, is really quite limited. But in light of
6 the conversation we've had today about the Main Staff of control of
7 certain assets, this is a report from a duty operations officer, dated the
8 16th of September, 1993. And on the first page, on the first two items,
9 if I can just direct your attention to a decision on operations: "An H203
10 shelled Jugobanka, self-propelled cannon fired on Pucine, and a hand-held
11 rocket launcher fired on the theatre, a T-130 fired on Gornje Selo and
12 Nazdrijica Mahala, as authorised by the chief of artillery of the Main
14 The next item: "An H122, a Garista, fired on a convoy of lorries
15 entering Blagaj as authorised by the Main Staff."
16 So can I just simply ask you: Would that be consistent with your
17 earlier statements to the Chamber about the Main Staff control of heavier
19 A. That would be consistent with the Main Staff having control of
20 these sorts of weapons, yes.
21 Q. And if I can ask you to go to Exhibit P 07044.
22 MR. SCOTT: Again, Your Honour, on this one, I'm afraid, with
23 apologies again, that we have -- the date has been mistranslated. It
24 should say, if you want to correct it, it should say 6 December 1992.
25 I'm sorry I've been corrected, too. I apologise, Your Honour.
1 Apparently, It's not the first time. Yes.
2 Q. In any event, the point being -- the only really point of this
3 being, General, if you can look at that exhibit, 7044, again, this is a
4 document issued over the name of Milivoj Petkovic: "Order: Number 1,
5 send regular daily combat reports twice a day as follows: A morning
6 report by 0800 hours," in other words 8.00 a.m., "and an evening report by
7 2200 hours," or 10.00 p.m., following the list of directives in attachment
9 We can look at it, if anyone wants it, it's the guidelines for --
10 in fact, if we look at the attachment 1, several pages down in the English
11 version, it says: "Guidelines for daily combat report with list of
13 In just looking at this General, and not just those parts but if
14 you scan through the rest of the document, would that put -- be putting
15 into place a form of command reporting, coming up the chain of command
16 that would -- you would find nothing unusual about that?
17 A. No, nothing unusual. That's exactly what you would expect to see.
18 That's how the higher headquarters gets a good handle on what is going on
19 and what needs to be done, what logistic resupply needs to be done.
20 That's how the higher headquarters controls the support required
21 for subordinate units.
22 Q. All right.
23 Then, in terms of the distribution, we have it going out to
24 essentially all military districts and then some of the more specialised
25 units that we've talked about earlier today; for example, Bruno Busic,
1 Ludvig Pavlovic, the Artillery Rocket Regiment, et cetera.
2 Do you see that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. General, in conclusion, I'm going to direct you to paragraph 79
5 and 80 of your report and ask you: In recognising as you do the -- some
6 of the challenges and difficulties facing the HVO in the situation that
7 existed at the time, you conclude at the end of paragraph 79: "A working
8 governmental system, with a military answerable to the civilian leadership
9 and with orders and instructions flowing down the chain of command from
10 the Presidency via the department of defence and the Main Staff to the
11 operational commands," essentially in your opinion, that existed at the
12 time; is that correct?
13 A. From the documents that I have referenced and read, that is my
14 opinion, yes.
15 Q. And since you wrote the report in March and you signed it, I
16 believe, in March of 2006, you continue to stand by those conclusions,
17 again, based on the documents and information available to you?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. In paragraph 80, you -- you likewise then conclude: "A working
20 army subject to laid down military code of discipline was plainly in
21 existence." Skipping a couple of lines. "That said, there are doctrinal
22 documents, particularly those pertaining to compliance with the
23 international laws of war, that had they been followed would have resulted
24 in reasonable military behaviour. The onus on commanders to set a proper
25 example and insist on proper standards of discipline was great."
1 Do you continue to stand by that conclusion?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. General Pringle, on behalf of the Prosecution, I want to thank you
4 for coming to The Hague and providing your evidence to the Chamber.
5 Thank you very much.
6 A. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the
8 Defence for cross-examination, I'd like to draw your attention to Document
9 8128, Mr. Scott.
10 It's a document we were shown yesterday; and, overnight, I
11 realised that the annex -- the documents annexed to this exhibit,
12 organisational charts, that they had not been translated into English.
13 In other words, I do not have the translation in English of the
14 documents that are to be found in the B/C/S version of the document, and
15 these documents relate, among other things, to the chain of command.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, excuse me.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need these documents. You
18 requested the admission of Exhibit 8128, and I'd like to know what is
19 written in these boxes in these charts --
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- or in these squares or
23 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I can assure the Chamber -- I
24 assure the Chamber that you will have a full translation as soon as
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Now for the Defence, who will start?
4 Ms. Nozica.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'd like to
6 say good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom, and I'd like to ask the
7 usher's assistance. Could he please distribute the documents that I'm
8 going to use in the cross-examination. The first three copies are for the
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Pringle.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. My name is Senka Nozica, and together with Mr. Karim Khan, I am
14 Defence counsel for Mr. Bruno Stojic.
15 That is my binder of documents, and I'll move on to the documents
16 very quickly.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] But before we begin, I'd like to say
18 that I have 30 minutes for my cross-examination, and I have been given
19 another 15 minutes from Mr. Karnavas from Mr. Prlic's Defence team. I
20 hope that will suffice and will take us to the end of business today. If
21 not, then we'll go on tomorrow morning. But I say this because I know
22 Mr. Karnavas asked for a little time to be left over for him to say
24 Q. Sir, when it comes to the internal set-up and organisation of the
25 defence department, the Prosecution showed you two documents as far as I
1 was able to note, and could you look for it, please.
2 It is document P 0729, and it is the third document from the
3 bottom, from the end, P 0729. Just let me know what you've found it,
4 please, P 0729.
5 A. I've got P 0729. I assume there's an English translation at the
6 back, is there? Yes. Okay. Got it.
7 Q. Fine. Now, in attachment A, to your findings, are documents are
8 mentioned that you received from the Prosecution in order to write your
9 report; and on that list, that list includes this document and the date
10 when it was filed is mentioned. It is the 20th of May, 1993.
11 Now, in the original, in the Croatian version of the document, as
12 we can see, you don't have page 1. You don't have the first name -- first
13 page, but translation is complete. At the end of the original document in
14 Croatian, and we can see this on e-court as well, on our screens, the date
15 is the 10th of November, 1992.
16 There's a number there, which is 666/92. And in the translation
17 of the document, on number 1, the date is stated as the 20th of May, 1993;
18 whereas, on the last page the date is the 1st of June, 1993, and the
19 reference number is 007/93.
20 Now, Mr. Pringle, quite obviously, you were given the wrong
21 translation of the document. That's something we noticed, and we informed
22 the Prosecution thereof. In fact, what you received was the translation
23 of another document, a different document, which you did have an
24 opportunity to see. It is, in fact, a document dated the 20th of May,
25 1993, and the number is P 02477.
1 Now, I'd like to ask you to take a look at the translation of the
2 document which you were supplied the wrong translation of, and we
3 translated the document. I'm sure that the Prosecution will also have its
4 own translation in due course. But for the purposes of our
5 cross-examination we translated the document, so it is 2D 00567.
6 That's the number of that document, and you will find it in my
7 binder. It is the last document. So would you have a look at that
8 translation, which is the last document. You have the Croatian version
9 first, and following that you have the translation in English.
10 Have you found that document?
11 A. I have the English translation here, yes.
12 Q. Now, sir, this is a decision on the internal organisation of the
13 defence department, as it says. The date is the 17th of October, 1992,
14 and I'd like to draw your attention to just a few important points in that
15 decision. To begin with, the preamble, where it says that the decision
16 follows a provision or article --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Excuse me, Ms. Nozica. But as you
18 started off with the dates, I cannot help noticing that in the end here,
19 where Mate Boban signed, the date is 10th of November. Now, you're
20 certainly able to explain this.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have very little
22 time, and I consider this to be a very important matter. There are quite
23 a number of things that might not be clear, but I'll explain them in due
24 course when I get to them.
25 Q. Now, sir, in the preamble, it says that this decision is based on
1 Article 14 of the decision of the president of the HZ HB on the basic
2 principles of organisation of the defence department, number 599/92, of
3 October the 15th, 1992.
4 Now, my question is this: Were you shown this basic decision,
5 upon which this decision on internal organisation was founded? So were
6 you shown the decision of the 15th of September, counsel said, 1992? Yes,
8 A. I really don't know. If that's one of the references in my
9 report, the answer would be yes. If it's not, the answer may be yes or
10 no. But straight off the top of my head, I really don't know.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you.
12 I'll show you the decision in due course, and then you can tell me
13 whether you remember having seen it or not.
14 Now, to move on, this decision, in paragraph I, regulates the
15 internal organisation of sectors, administrations, office, and the Main
16 Staff of the Croatian Defence Council's defence department.
17 Another thing I'd like to mention regarding this decision is that
18 the decision was brought by the -- the head of the defence department,
19 Bruno Stojic, in agreement with the president of the HZ HB, Mate Boban.
20 He approved it.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, that is the only
22 logical explanation that this reference number of Mr. Boban and the date,
23 the date that he signed this decision, that that's it, and when he gave
24 his approval. I consider that to be logical.
25 Q. As I said, this relates to internal organisation in 1992. That is
1 the 1992 decision. And in the attachment to your report, you were able to
2 see the following decision, which comes after this one, and that is the
3 decision which was numbered P 02477, which in my binder is marked with a
4 yellow sticker. It's the third yellow sticker.
5 Sir, you can just take a look and see if you have already seen
6 this decision and can comment. I'd just like to remind you that it is the
7 decision whose translation -- the translation of which you saw, but it was
8 wrongly attached to P 00729.
9 Do you remember having seen that decision before?
10 A. Again, not specifically, but I would keep referring you back to my
11 report and to see whether it's one of the reference documents. You
12 remember that I wrote that report in March 2006, I think it was.
13 So you're showing me a document from cold and you're asking me if
14 I've ever seen it before. That's quite difficult. If it's referenced in
15 my report, then I would have seen it before.
16 Q. Sir, it's very important for me to ask you that for the following
17 reason: In your findings, you comment on certain relationships between
18 the Supreme Commander, the Main Staff, and the defence department.
19 So all I want to do is to establish which documents you used which
20 helped you to provide your opinions, and the document, as I say, is in one
21 of your references --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, wait a moment.
23 Document P 0729, are you sure it exists? Because if we look into the
24 e-court system, this document does not appear to exist.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] P 02477 is the document number, Your
1 Honour. P 02477.
2 THE WITNESS: P 024467, you've got it numbered as.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Yes.
5 Would you look at the end of that document? We have the document
6 on e-court; and at the end of that document, it says that the document of
7 the 17th of October is placed adacta, and Bruno Stojic took the decision,
8 and Mr. Mate Boban agreed that it shall no longer be effective.
9 Now, let's look at another document which was the basis for the
10 enactment of these two other documents. Let's look at it together.
11 It is P 00586, and it is the second document from the beginning of
12 my binder?
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Ms. Nozica. If you planned to leave
14 these documents, it would be helpful to point out the difference between
15 one and the other, because there is one number more in one of them, in
16 this -- this one we had last, which has 15 and the other has 14 numbers.
17 Which is one that is additional? Because if it's -- there must be
18 something relevant to it in order to give the difference between the
19 documents a meaning.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these documents speak
21 about the internal organisation of the defence department. One is dated
22 October 1992, and one is dated May 1993.
23 Now, there was certain changes with respect to organisation, and
24 so some additions were made, new sectors, new offices, and so on. But I
25 did not consider that that was essential for this cross-examination. I
1 didn't feel it necessary to point out the changes and amendments.
2 All I want to learn from the witness is which documents he was
3 presented with, in order to see how the defence department was organised.
4 So for the purposes of this cross-examination, I didn't point out the
5 differences. They will come into play later on when I shall point them
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'll be interested to see that. Thank you.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Have you found the document P 00586, sir?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Fine. Now, I'm going to ask you to look at the title page and the
12 first page. It says the 17th of October, 1992, does it not, but this is
13 the attending document. I'd now like to move on to the actual first page,
14 where we see that this is a decision on the internal organisation of the
15 defence department, and we've already seen this in court.
16 It has the status of an exhibit. Let's look at the date on the
17 last page when this document was passed -- compiled and passed; and as we
18 see, it is the 15th of September, 1992.
19 But this decision was taken by the president of the HZ HB, Mate
20 Boban, so it is a decision on the basic principles of organisation of the
21 defence department, as it says.
22 I'll give you some time to look through it if you need it, because
23 I think it is a fundamental document which relates to the organisation of
24 the department and the relationships of the Supreme Command of the
25 department and the head and the Main Staff.
1 What I want to know how is, first: Have you seen this document
2 before? Was it shown you when you were asked to find your findings and
3 report, and does it remind you of anything?
4 A. Can I just say that if you're going to continuously ask me from
5 cold if I've seen a document before because you're referring to something
6 in the report I've written, maybe you could refer me to my report and I
7 will see whether it's footnoted, and then I will be able to give you a
8 sensible answer on that.
9 Just being shown a document and being asked have I ever seen it
10 before, I can't give you a sensible answer to that.
11 So you probably know whether I've been shown it before because you
12 would have read my report and you will have know seen it was footnoted or
13 not. So if we work from my report, I'll be able to give you a sensible
14 answer on whether I've seen it before.
15 That said, would you like know now to read this document? Is
16 there any specific part you want to draw my attention to?
17 Q. From your report, it appears that you have not seen this document
18 before. Let me make that clear straight away, that from your findings it
19 does not follow that you've seen this document before.
20 I would like to drawn your attention to two facts. First of all,
21 it is a document of the president of the HZ HB, that it was passed in
22 September, that you were shown the document on the basic principles of
23 internal organisation of the defence department, which was passed on the
24 basis of this particular document.
25 So now take a look at paragraph 9 of the document, which relates
1 to relationships between the Main Staff, the Supreme Commander, and the
2 defence department or the head of the defence department, and then I'll
3 tie that up with certain things you say in your report, so that we can see
4 whether the descriptions given in the document are, in fact, the
5 relationships that you describe in your findings.
6 So that is the reason that I'm showing you this document.
7 A. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you please, would you
9 please speak close to the microphone.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The wrong
11 microphone was switched on.
12 Q. Tell me, sir, I'm just interested in paragraph 9 or point 9; and
13 once you've read through it, I'll ask you some questions about it.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. This is a document regulating these relationships; that is to say,
16 relationships between the Supreme Commander, the head of the defence
17 department -- and the head of the defence department of the Main Staff.
18 Now, you dealt with that in paragraphs 25, 26, and 79 of your
19 report. You addressed that issue. Would you like to refresh your memory?
20 If so, those are the paragraphs, 26, 25 -- or rather, 25, 26. I'm
21 referring to the last portions of paragraph 25 and 26, where you refer to
22 the president of to the defence department and the political leadership up
23 to the Main Staff.
24 In paragraph 79, this was something that the Prosecutor asked you
25 just a little while ago, you say towards the end that the orders and
1 instructions were passed down the chain of command from the Presidency to
2 the defence department, the Main Staff, and the operational commands.
3 Now, my question to you is as follows: The relationship you
4 described there, is it in keeping with the prescribed relationship as set
5 out in the document you've just looked at?
6 A. Well, let's examine paragraph IX: "The chief of the Main Staff
7 shall head the Main Staff." Okay?
8 "The chief of the Main Staff shall be responsible to the head of
9 the department," and then it specifies for what sort of tasks, "proposing
10 and implementing measures, for all administrative tasks, and issues
11 relating the budget and material supplies, and the consumption of general
12 organisation of civilian life, as well as wartime organisation of the
13 armed forces."
14 The next paragraph says: "The chief of the Main Staff shall be
15 directly responsible to the president of the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna, for all issues relating to the Supreme Command unit
17 organisation, strategic and operative plans, and the use of the armed
18 forces in times of war and peace."
19 So I think this is beginning to establish the chain of command
20 from the president through the chief of the Main Staff who heads the Main
22 It then goes on to say: "The chief of the Main Staff shall
23 exercise superior authority over the command of the Croatian Defence
24 Council within the scope of general and specific powers vested in him."
25 "Brigade commanders shall be subordinate and responsible to the
1 president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as the
2 commander-in-chief of the armed forces."
3 So I think that is the -- that appears to me to be the same chain
4 of command that I've referred to, from president through the chief of the
5 Main Staff down to the subordinate formations.
6 Q. Thank you. That was my question, in fact. So you agree that the
7 conclusions that you drew in your report were more or less identical to
8 the contents of this document which you had not previously seen; is that
10 A. I think that's a fair statement.
11 Q. Please, could you tell me the following: Have you ever seen a
12 document about when and where military cabinet was established?
13 I'm referring to 25 -- paragraph 25, of your report. Have you
14 ever seen such a document?
15 A. Which part of paragraph 25 are you referring me to?
16 Q. Practically, the penultimate line. Reference is made to the
17 military cabinet -- war cabinet appointed by the Supreme Commander. It's
18 at the end of 25?
19 A. [Previous translation continues] ... I've referenced that as
20 footnote 5, which appears to be Exhibit 00289.
21 Q. No, sir. It's -- 289 is a decree on armed forces. I'm just
22 asking you whether you can remember this. If not, just say so. But have
23 you ever seen a document on the basis of which a war cabinet was
24 established, and when was such a cabinet established?
25 289 is a decree on the armed forces of the HZ HB, the Croatian
1 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
2 A. I've referenced the decree on the armed forces of Herceg-Bosna as
3 footnote 4, and I have therefore seen it. In fact, I go on to say, in
4 effect, this enshrines political control over the military as one would
6 Q. And that is why I'm putting this question to you. You referred to
7 the decree on the armed forces, which prescribes for the establishment of
8 a war cabinet. But now I'm asking you whether you ever saw a single
9 document about whether a war cabinet had been established and when?
10 That's all I'm asking you. Did you ever see such a document?
11 A. If I haven't referenced it or mentioned it, then I assume I did
12 not, but that's -- I'm talking about how it was set up here. Whether it
13 was actually set up, I don't know.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you. That's your answer.
15 Have you seen a document establishing a defence council? You
16 refer to such a defence council in paragraph 26, the penultimate sentence
17 of your report.
18 A. Yeah, I assume I have.
19 Q. I'll put the question to you again.
20 A. Go on.
21 Q. I don't understand your answer. You assume what, that you saw a
22 decision on establishing the defence council? I'd just like to remind you
23 that that is not stated anywhere in the footnotes.
24 A. I've written here: "The military and political aspects of defence
25 would be integrated in the defence council and the defence department.
1 "The Main Staff would be responsible for performing the stipulated
2 tasks in accordance with defence policy."
3 I assume I have written that -- I assume I have written that based
4 on the documents that I have seen.
5 Are you telling me it's wrong?
6 Q. I can't tell you that it's wrong. But if you saw any such thing,
7 my question would be where. That sentence is very important, so I'm
8 asking you whether you have ever seen a document, on the basis of which
9 military and political aspects of defence were adopted by the defence
10 council and defence department. Have you ever seen such a document?
11 This is an assumption, and you haven't provided a basis for it.
12 I'm asking you whether this is just your assumption, or did you ever have
13 the opportunity to examine some document that you haven't referred to in
14 your report?
15 I'm referring to the sentence we have just read out. So are you
16 making an assumption, or have you seen the basis for such a claim?
17 A. I believe the Defence has been provided with a list of the
18 documents with which I was furnished.
19 Q. Yes, sir. I received them, and I read through them very
20 carefully, and I came to the conclusion that there wasn't a single piece
21 of evidence, and you didn't refer to any such evidence in your footnotes
23 There wasn't a single piece of evidence that would demonstrate the
24 origin or the basis for this sentence. We all have your report, and we'll
25 judge it ourselves. But can you remember whether this is an assumption or
1 can you refer whether this is just an assumption or were you shown a
2 document that force the basis for this conclusion?
3 Let's be clear about this. I am a Defence lawyer, and I have to
4 verify the credibility of your report. Your report is here, and it's very
5 important for us to know whether you are making an assumption here or
6 whether what you claim here is based on some regulations or on some
7 document that you may have had the opportunity to examine?
8 A. What I have written will have been based on the documents that I
9 read, and you have a list of the documents I was furnished with.
10 Q. Your answer is that you cannot now remember whether you ever saw a
11 document of any kind or whether this sentence that we see here is a
12 conclusion of a personal kind that you came to?
13 A. You will recall that I wrote my report in March 2006. I was
14 furnished with a long list of documents. I read and studied those
15 documents. I wrote my report.
16 It's now November 2007. I cannot remember in detail which
17 document I -- I read to make that statement. It doesn't mean I did;
18 doesn't mean I didn't.
19 Q. Sir, I'm really examining you in your capacity as an expert
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I am a bit lost. I find this
22 reference to the defence council in paragraph 25 and 26, and there is a
23 reference to exhibit 00289, Article 9. I looked that up and there it
24 says: "The Croatian Defence Council shall," and then a lot of tasks are
1 You seemed to have said that there was no such thing as a defence
2 council, or that it didn't figure anywhere. I must have misunderstood you
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] The difference is between what is in
5 the rules and what actually took place. I'm just trying to ask the
6 witness a question. I know that it's contained in the rules on the
7 military forces, but I'm asking the witness whether this sentence is based
8 on the rules and regulations one can consult or whether he saw a document
9 which is the basis for establishing this defence council.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you. I apologise for interrupting, Your Honour.
12 Judge Trechsel just made part of the point that I wanted to make. I think
13 that the report, read on its face, says quite clearly in paragraph 25,
14 where at that point, he says a range of powers would normally be vested in
15 some form of defence council.
16 He's stating, in that particular context, a concept in that
17 particular instance. He does go on to talk, to make other references to
18 Defence council and then later to war cabinet. But as Judge Trechsel just
19 pointed out, those concepts can, in fact, be found in P 00289.
20 And with great respect to my friend Ms. Nozica, there are two
21 separate questions that are being mixed together here. One is she keeps
22 asking the witness: Did you see a document to that effect? Well, Exhibit
23 P 00289. Then, she says: But I am asking him, whatever the paper says,
24 that it really exists in practice.
25 But those are two completely separate questions that are being
1 mixed to the, I'm afraid.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prlic.
4 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] I think there's a translation
5 error that's quite clear, and what Judge Trechsel said makes this clear.
6 We're talking about a military council here. The translation is
7 defence council. It should be military council, because the regulations
8 provide for a military council. That's why there is a misunderstanding,
9 because the Defence asks whether he saw a document showing that such a
10 defence council was established.
11 So there's, obviously, a translation error here, which makes one
12 thing of a different body.
13 Thank you.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank Mr. Prlic, but here
15 this is one thing that is very important.
16 The expert witness has provided his opinion on the relationship
17 between the political aspects, the Supreme Command, the defence department
18 of the Main Staff. This was on the basis of some documents he was
19 provided with. He provided his assessment of the situation in 25 and
20 26 -- in paragraphs 25 and 26, and paragraph 79 of his report.
21 He provided the assessment of those relationships. These
22 relationships could have existed on paper, but they could also have been
23 implemented, and this is a different matter. So I'm now asking the
24 witness this question.
25 It's true that this is what it says in the decree on the armed
1 forces, but I'm now asking him whether he has drawn his conclusion on the
2 basis of the decree or on the basis that such a situation was, in fact,
3 brought about. That was the purpose of my question.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, that clarifies.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] That seems very logical to me.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Once you answer, then we'll have
7 to stop here because we're coming to the end of the hearing.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes. My report is written and referenced on the
9 basis of the decree referenced as 00289, from which I drew the
10 information. You may say I made the assumption that the decree, having
11 been written, it was executed.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, General, sir.
14 Tomorrow, Mrs. Nozica, your questioning will continue tomorrow,
15 and we'll see how much time you have left.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me now ask the usher to
18 please take the witness back.
19 General, you will be returning here tomorrow for the hearing in
21 Let's go into private session now.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If I may, before we move into
23 private session, I'll just need a few seconds.
24 Before listening to the examination-in-chief of this military
25 expert, I believe that the Judges understood the reasons for the Petkovic
1 Defence for requesting additional time for cross-examination, because on
2 the basis of the prepared documents, it was quite clear that many orders
3 would be discussed, orders signed by my client, General Petkovic.
4 Therefore, I would now like to orally repeat my request to be
5 granted additional time, and I would appreciate it if you could reconsider
6 your decision on allow the Petkovic Defence to have more than an hour for
8 In the transcript, it is Vesna Alaburic on behalf of General
9 Petkovic, not Ms. Nozica.
10 Thank you.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll wait for -- I'll wait for the signal.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 24186-24187 redacted. Private session
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
13 November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.