Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 40395

 1                           Wednesday, 20 May 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The Accused Prlic and Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning,

 9     everyone in and around the courtroom.

10             This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus

11     Prlic et al.

12             Thank you, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

14             Today is Wednesday, May 20th, and I would like to say good

15     morning to Mr. Praljak, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Pusic, ladies

16     and gentlemen, Defence lawyers, Mr. Stringer and his team, as well as all

17     those helping us in the courtroom.

18             Before we go on, I believe Mr. Karnavas has something to say.

19             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

20             Good morning, Mr. President.  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good

21     morning to everyone in and around the courtroom.

22             Prior to coming into court, I distributed to the Prosecution and

23     to members of the Bench an e-mail exchange.  I did so as a result of a

24     response that was filed by the Prosecution yesterday.  Since then,

25     Mr. Stringer has looked at the e-mail exchange, and I believe

Page 40396

 1     Mr. Stringer wished to address the Court on this issue, because our

 2     position -- I was going to ask for leave to file a reply on this issue as

 3     to whether we were timely in filing a motion for reconsideration.  Based

 4     on this e-mail exchange, it's quite clear, because I -- immediately upon

 5     getting the Court's decision, we asked for clarification, because we

 6     wanted to make sure that we would have been in a timely fashion.  As you

 7     may have noticed, we have filed a motion for reconsideration with

 8     approximately 1.300 pages of commentary which we had to work on, and we

 9     were in the process of doing that when this decision came out, and as a

10     result, we wanted to make sure that we were timely.  And I believe

11     Mr. Stringer, upon seeing this e-mail exchange, which apparently he

12     wasn't aware of because he's been very busy getting prepared for

13     General Praljak, may wish to add something.

14             MR. STRINGER:  Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours,

15     Counsel, and everyone else in and around the courtroom.

16             This relates to the motion for reconsideration filed by the

17     Prlic Defence in respect of a number of documents.

18             Last evening, the Prosecution filed its response to the motion

19     for reconsideration, and we relied substantially on a recent decision of

20     the Trial Chamber in which it imposed conditions or limitations on the

21     filing of motions for reconsideration.  And were we filed our response

22     yesterday, I had forgotten about an e-mail exchange from the 27th of

23     March, which I did see at the time, in which the Trial Chamber clarified

24     that the Trial Chamber's subsequent decision, which imposed the

25     limitations on motions for reconsideration, that that decision would not

Page 40397

 1     apply to the motion for reconsideration that the Prlic team was in the

 2     process of preparing at the time the decision came out.  And this was

 3     from the 27th of March.  I saw it at the time, and to be perfectly candid

 4     with the Trial Chamber, I forgot about this exception that had been -- or

 5     this clarification that had come from the Trial Chamber's legal officers.

 6             And so what that means is that the Trial Chamber should disregard

 7     the response that the Prosecution filed yesterday, because it's not going

 8     to really be very apt under the circumstances.

 9             My recollection is that the Prosecution's dead-line for filing

10     the response falls later this week, I think on Friday.  I could be wrong,

11     and I'll check at the break.  My proposal would be that if that is the

12     case, if the Prosecution's dead-line for filing a response to the motion

13     for reconsideration -- if the dead-line has not yet passed, then I would

14     simply propose to withdraw the response that was filed yesterday and to

15     consider whether we would file a corrected one within the time-frame that

16     already applies.  We're not going to be seeking an extension of time for

17     that.

18             Thank you, Mr. President.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.  That's

20     perfectly clear.  The Chamber has taken note of your various comments on

21     both sides as regards that matter.

22             Madam Pinter.

23                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

24                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

25             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Good

Page 40398

 1     morning to you and all my colleagues, and everybody else in and around

 2     the courtroom.

 3                           Examination by Ms. Pinter:  [Continued]

 4        Q.   [Interpretation] General, yesterday we left off discussing an

 5     excerpt from a book, the book by Sead Cupina.  Do you have anything to

 6     add or may we move on?

 7        A.   Let's move on.

 8        Q.   All right, thank you.  Now take a look at document 3D02855,

 9     please.  It is a document dated the 20th of May, 1992, and it is an order

10     to the Command of the Mostar Brigade from the commander,

11     Major-General Momcilo Perisic.

12        A.   Ms. Nika, could you give me the number again?

13        Q.   3D02855.

14        A.   Thank you.

15        Q.   The documents are in their order in the binder, from the smaller

16     numbers upwards.  Have you already seen this document?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   What would you like to draw the Court's attention to in this

19     document?  First of all, Major-General Momcilo Perisic, that's the same

20     person that we talked about yesterday, when we spoke about the taking

21     over of the barracks in Grabovina, and you mentioned him as being

22     somebody who you had contacts with or, rather, somebody who decided upon

23     that and engaged in the landing?

24        A.   He was the commander of the forces of the Yugoslav People's Army

25     and, as far as I know, the other units which attacked from the left bank

Page 40399

 1     of the Neretva River.  Well, on the right bank as well.  And here --

 2     well, the document speaks for itself.  It's absolutely clear.

 3        Q.   I'd like to draw your attention to point 2, the last paragraph --

 4     the last point on the first page.  Point 2, please.

 5        A.   Yes.  This is a classical order, the order of a commander to his

 6     soldiers.  He says he's going to prepare all the bridges for destruction.

 7     All the bridges that were built in Yugoslavia, and I don't know whether

 8     this refers to anything else, were constructed in such a way that they

 9     had within them -- they contained -- in construction terms, they had

10     holes where you could place explosives and, by doing that, blow up the

11     bridge.  And that's something that the Yugoslav People's Army did,

12     according to this order.  And then in May and June, on the Neretva River,

13     with remote control, it destroyed all the bridges, as we've seen a number

14     of times.

15             So he's just preparing -- he's just issuing an order for

16     preparations for an attack, and he is saying what should be done, the

17     obstacles to be set up, how the units should be prepared.  He is

18     referring to the deployment of the artillery and so on.

19        Q.   Under point 4, "Engineering support," as we're between Mostar and

20     Capljina, I'm talking about 1992, he refers to the east bank of the

21     Neretva?  Point 4.

22        A.   Well, obviously they thought that on our side there were a lot of

23     soldiers, and things are always exaggerated.  Most probably, he knew what

24     manpower we had.  Of course, if we had more soldiers, we would have

25     behaved differently.  But apart from preparing for an attack here, he

Page 40400

 1     says that the east bank should be secured and all the bridges should be

 2     prepared for destruction.  And then he says that when the order is given,

 3     the bridges are to be destroyed, especially the bridge across the

 4     River Buna in a place called Buna, and that was because that bridge, if

 5     it were destroyed, would cut off communications between Mostar and

 6     Capljina.  So the attack on both banks of the Neretva River in June,

 7     well, I paid attention to that.  And we managed, along the

 8     Sarajevo-Konjic-Mostar road, Capljina towards the sea, we managed to take

 9     control of the bridge before they blew it up, because it was very

10     important strategically.

11        Q.   Thank you.  We can now move on to the next document, which is

12     3D03050, and it's a document dated the 25th of May, 1992, signed by

13     Momcilo Perisic, the commander, once again.  It's an order for action.  I

14     assume you've already seen this document.

15        A.   Yes.  This is more or less the same thing.

16             On the 25th of May -- or, rather, on the 10th of April, 1992, the

17     military situation in Herzegovina was not good, and you were able to see

18     that, the way the army was organised, and especially on the 10th of

19     April, 1992, the Croatian Defence Council or, rather, their units lost

20     Kupres, which was a very important strategic point for an attack towards

21     Split and Herzegovina down there.  The Yugoslav People's Army, on a

22     Kupres field, which is ideal for tanks, and tank manoeuvres were always

23     conducted on that plateau, in that area, they managed to take Kupres, and

24     we had many losses.  There were quite a lot who were killed, wounded and

25     captured, and the entire situation, well, it looked the way you saw,

Page 40401

 1     organisationally speaking.  We had to work in two sections; first of all,

 2     to establish and set up the Main Staff, and this is something

 3     General Petkovic took upon himself, to join up all the groups and areas

 4     that had to be armed and that were armed, and in certain segments there

 5     were people working there, where I worked, for example, in the area of

 6     Capljina, Mostar and northwards.

 7             On the 15th of May, 1995 [as interpreted], we managed to take

 8     control of Stolac.  That is to say, the Serbs, after the first refugees,

 9     especially Croats, left Stolac, a lot of Muslims stayed on, however; and

10     the Serbs wanted to establish some sort of joint army with them, joint

11     police force and so on, and they would tell them that they would be safe

12     there.  Of course, they didn't believe that because there'd already been

13     killings, especially by the reservists, who were drunk and so on, and had

14     escaped control.

15        Q.   Who do you mean?

16        A.   Of the Muslims, the reservists of the Yugoslav People's Army.

17             Now, on the 15th of May, the Serbs expelled from Mostar almost

18     everyone from the east bank.  The people jumped into the Neretva River.

19     They escaped across the bridge.  They shot at some of these people, and a

20     woman was killed on the bridge, for example.  And also from Stolac, after

21     the first wave of refugees, we had another enormous wave of refugees, and

22     we've already spoken about that.  And those refugees reached the left

23     bank of the Neretva River in the area of Sevac Polje and Pocitelj, and

24     then they tried to move towards Capljina, advance towards Capljina along

25     the main road.  And then from Capljina, to use the old railway bridge,

Page 40402

 1     the narrow one, narrow railway track that was still working in one

 2     direction, it was a one-way, and the main bridge had already been

 3     destroyed from the explosives that had been planted underneath it.

 4             The Serbs didn't allow them to go through, and then, and we've

 5     already discussed this with a previous witness, I issued the order to

 6     organise urgently how these people were to be taken in.  And according to

 7     the document that's already an exhibit, we managed to transfer about

 8     15.000 people with two barges.  That is to say, we used the river

 9     currents there.  They didn't have a motor or anything.  And this was used

10     to transport about 15.000 people.  And then we transported 3 thousand

11 small cars.  As the Serbs did not advance fast enough, in those two-three,

12 four days of extraordinary effort, and I must say that every recognition must

13 be paid to the people who engaged in all this.  We haven't managed to

14 transport some heavy trucks.  There were some ten heavy trucks left, and

15 thousands of cars, all on these rafts. Like usually you have the boats which

16 are able to -- ferries transporting about 50 vehicles, but we used rafts to

17 do this.  And the people who didn't go to Croatia, the men, they were

18     asked -- they were told to report - and I'm referring to Muslims here -

19     they were told to report for training.  And of the group that we trained

20     and armed, and so on, with all the logistics, Stojic and the others, we

21     managed to arm them, train them.  And of that group of people, the

22     Bregava Brigade was later formed, which was composed exclusively of

23     Muslims.  And this brigade, the Bregava Brigade, after the liberation of

24     Stolac in June, the beginning of June 1992, crossed over to the left bank

25     and, together with the HVO, took up its positions facing the lines which

Page 40403

 1     we had reached by that time.  So this liberation of Stolac, and the

 2     operation -- well, when there was the main onslaught from Capljina, was

 3     led by General Petkovic.

 4             And I would like to add also that in the drive to the operation

 5     to liberate Dubrovnik from the right side, from Metkovic, there was a

 6     Croatian Army brigade, and I think Beneta was the commander, and they led

 7     this operation.  Actually, it was a joint operation, and the Croatian

 8     Army did this in order to liberate Dubrovnik, which had been under a

 9     complete siege.  Well, the siege was close -- the encirclement was close

10     up.  You could even target the town using a pistol.  Anyway, they went

11     directly from Capljina to Stolac, and in the final stages, or, rather,

12     the second half of that operation, I came in to help, as best I could.

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel, please.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   This document is actually an assessment by the commander of the

16     Herzegovina Corps with regard to the intentions of the HVO.  Under item

17     2, immediately after number 1, it says that the goal is the territory of

18     East Herzegovina in the area around Dubrovnik.  You have just mentioned

19     that that goal or objective was in the direction of Dubrovnik?

20        A.   I mean, I am always going to repeat something that is abundantly

21     clear, and that is that the Yugoslav People's Army, in order to implement

22     their political plan, did not attack Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia,

23     each of them separately.  They just wanted to carve up the territory, and

24     they wanted to take the territory which, in their heads, they proclaimed

25     the future state of Yugoslavia, Serbia.  It is crystal clear from all the

Page 40404

 1     documents that the republican states, recognised states or not recognised

 2     states, is not something they considered relevant at all.  For them, it

 3     was one theatre of war, and the objective was one and the same.

 4        Q.   I've just been warned that in -- on page 7, line 6, it says that

 5     these events took place on the 15th of May, 1995.

 6        A.   1992 is the right year.

 7        Q.   Thank you very much.  And I'm just going to ask you, with regard

 8     to this document, and that again confirms what you have been telling us

 9     so far, where is the village of Slano and where is Popovo Polje?  These

10     two places are listed as the future points of attack.

11        A.   Slano is in Croatia, and the border between Bosnia-Herzegovina

12     and Croatia goes through Popovo Polje.

13        Q.   Thank you.

14        A.   If I may add to that, after the liberation of Stolac, all Muslims

15     returned slowly to that area, and we established or, rather, facilitated

16     the establishment of the Muslim Brigade Nere...I mean, Bregava, that was

17     then deployed in Stolac.

18             What I'm saying is this:  This is contrary to any desire on

19     anybody's part to cleanse the area from the Muslims.  When the Serbs

20     attack -- attacked, Muslims left, and if any commander or anybody in the

21     HZ-HB wanted this to be a banovina or a Croatian area, they would have

22     not armed a Muslim brigade and allowed it to return back together with

23     the population.  They would have simply told them, You can't go back.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, you again get into arguing.  That

25     was all argument and speculation, and, if not this, then that, so please

Page 40405

 1     stay with the facts.

 2             As I have interrupted, I have two small questions for you.

 3             First, you have said, and this is on page 6, line 15, with regard

 4     to this document:

 5             "On the 25th of May or, rather, on the 10th of April, the

 6     military situation was not good."

 7             Why do you speak here of the 10th of April, while we before had

 8     already a document of the 20th of May, which was also such an order, and

 9     you have not made any such observation there?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I said

11     that the situation on the 10th of April already was rather bad, and it

12     got even worse as a result of the fact that the Serbs or the Army of

13     Republika Srpska and the JNA had expelled the entire Muslim Croatian

14     populations from the eastern bank of Neretva, from Konjic and from

15     Mostar.

16             At the time in Mostar, we had tens of thousands of refugees, as

17     well as in Capljina and Medjugorje, and this is what I'm talking about.

18     This is what I've been saying all the time.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

20             And the other question relates to the letterhead.  There is a

21     line which says "To" and then "Command," but not what kind of command; is

22     there an explanation?  To whom is this addressed?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, such

24     orders are first prepared, and then when a date is set for the launch, an

25     order is issued and sent to the various commands concerned for execution.

Page 40406

 1     So this is an order which was never sent for execution.  I suppose that

 2     we received a new one.  However, I did not have at my disposal the

 3     entire -- or, rather, we probably managed to capture this from somebody,

 4     but I suppose that at the moment when the moment of execution came,

 5     addressees are added, as Honourable Judge Trechsel, Honourable

 6     Judge so-and-so, and sent to these people.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  It would then be something like a

 8     preparatory order, in German called [German spoken].  Maybe you're not

 9     conversant with that terminology.  Thank you.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely true, Your Honour.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   General, could you please --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A moment ago, Mr. Praljak, you

14     said something that needs to be discussed in further detail.

15             We have seen two military documents signed by General Perisic,

16     relating to the situation in the month of May.  When we read these

17     military documents, which are quite lengthy, and I might even say that

18     amongst all of the documents we've seen, this is probably the most

19     detailed military order that we've seen thus far, the result is that

20     there is a situation of conflict and that the Serbs have taken all

21     measures in order to deal with the situation.  Without going into the

22     technical aspects of this order - we could spend a lot of time on

23     that - I'd like to refer to something else.

24             A few moments ago, you said that there were many Muslim refugees

25     who went to Mostar, and then you went into the details of setting up a

Page 40407

 1     Muslim brigade, et cetera.  Now, if the Muslims leave a particular zone,

 2     zone X, that is, where they were living, and they go and they leave

 3     without any hope of coming back, is this departure, in your opinion, the

 4     sole result of the Serbs?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Serbs only.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If these Muslims do not go back

 7     to their region, can we say that it was due to the HVO?  Does the HVO

 8     have any responsibility in their not going back?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no way.  The HVO liberated the

10     area, and a free return was guaranteed to one and all, including the

11     Bregava Brigade, which returned after we helped it to be armed and to be

12     trained.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As part of the evidence you're

14     going to show us, because we haven't got everything, we've still got time

15     left for this, have you planned to show us a map of Bosnia and

16     Herzegovina which shows where the Muslims were, and that the Muslims left

17     because of the Serbs, and left the territories under Serb control and

18     perhaps even under the control of the HVO after that, areas where there

19     were no more Muslims?  Do you intend showing us such a map or not?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course I can show

21     you that in a very simple map, in the entire area east of the Neretva,

22 Mostar, Blagaj, the Dubrava Plateau, Buna, Stolac.  I can show you the whole

23 area, because I was -- just as I said it, I issued the order.  Of course, I

24 did not have the right to issue the order.  Let's be clear on that.  However,

25 given the communications the way they were at the time, I took upon myself

Page 40408

 1 the role to issue the order to receive all the refugees, and we accommodated

 2     them.  And all those who wanted to return, including the armed troops of

 3     the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, returned to the area of Stolac,

 4     Mostar, and the village of Buna; and tomorrow I'm going to prepare a map

 5     and provide it for your perusal.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We'll see this

 7     later on.

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   General, we have to clarify some localities that are mentioned in

10     the document.  A reference is made to Slano, Zavala, Dubrovnik, Peljesac

11     and Sipan.  Where are all these places?

12        A.   All of them are in the Republic of Croatia.  Sipan is an island.

13     Well, you know, all of these places that you've just mentioned are in the

14     peninsula.  Peljesac is the big peninsula that you can see here.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be provided

16     with a pointer?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I've got it somewhere here.

18     I've got it, I've got it.

19             Your Honour, this is Peljesac in the Republic of

20     Croatia [indicates].  This is Dubrovnik [indicates].

21             MS. PINTER:  [Interpretation] The Judges have got a map.

22             THE WITNESS:  Can I get something to mark?

23             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   No, you can't because I don't have it.  It is in e-court.

25        A.   What number is that?  What does it say on the map?  What is it?

Page 40409

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D003545.  If we can have that on

 2     e-court.  But in that case, could we please ask the usher to provide the

 3     general with the facilities to draw on the device.  3D0010 -- 3D03545.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We always have maps.  Where are

 5     they now?

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] We used them all.  3545, 3D03545.

 7        Q.   While we are waiting for the map to appear, General, the places

 8     we have just mentioned and here is the map, very well.  And now you can

 9     use it to show us, and you were talking about Dubrovnik, Slano, Zavala.

10     We were also talking about Peljesac, the peninsula of Peljesac, and also

11     about Sipan, Slano and Popovo Polje.

12        A.   This is a very small map.

13        Q.   It can be blown up.

14        A.   Here is Sipan [indicates].  I apologise.  Sipan [indicates],

15     Peljesac [indicates].

16        Q.   Can you please put a number 1 next to Sipan?

17        A.   Sipan, 1; 2, Peljesac; Slano, 3; Popovo Polje is here, 4.  Very

18     simply, from Popovo Polje or from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

19     they attacked the way we have established it already a dozen times, and

20     it's not that they were attacking.  Those areas had to be liberated.

21     Dubrovnik was under siege.  I have already demonstrated that.  You can

22     reach Dubrovnik only by boat.  There was a fantastic team with some boats

23     that managed to avoid the blockade of the JNA and managed to help the

24     city survive all that time until it was liberated by the Croatian Army.

25     So in order to liberate all that area, the Croatian Army had to take this

Page 40410

 1     route from Metkovic to Stolac in order to free the flank for -- the

 2     movement towards south.  When they were liberating Stolac, they were

 3     under the command of Beneta; and from Capljina to Stolac, their operation

 4     was under the command of General Petkovic:  5, Beneta, 6, Petkovic.

 5        Q.   Then we may conclude at bullet point 2 of the order for further

 6     action, as a matter of fact, speaks about the intentions of the

 7     Croatian Army or, rather, the HVO - I apologise - and the axis of

 8     operation by the HVO, and the preparations to counter all the activities?

 9        A.   Yes, Salakovac, Klepci, obviously the defence that they were

10     preparing against the HVO, all you can see further up north.

11        Q.   General, when we're talking about all these things, and with

12     regard to the question put to you by the Honourable Judge Trechsel, what

13     is your knowledge about that?  Did you learn about all that subsequently

14     or is your knowledge immediate, dating back to the time when the events

15     were taking place?

16        A.   From -- dating back to the time when the events were taking

17     place.

18        Q.   You were there?

19        A.   I was a participant.  I was an active participant, and I

20     participated in the way that I described.  Regardless of that, of the

21     fact that I was not formally in command at the time, I would go to Zagreb

22     every now and then, and I prepared the military, both in organisation and

23     morale terms.  I was telling them that we had the strength to defend

24     ourselves, that we will defend ourselves, and that we will launch an

25     offensive at one point and liberate the left bank of the Neretva River.

Page 40411

 1        Q.   And now let's finish the answer to the question that was

 2     connected with the document regarding the addressee.  Could you please

 3     turn to page 2 in this document, and in the left lower corner there is a

 4     list of all the addressees.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you asking to have an IC

 6     number?  We'll ask for an IC number.

 7             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I wanted to finish with this

 8     document and then link the document up or, rather -- yes, I would like an

 9     IC number.

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, the marked version of document

11     3D03545 shall be given Exhibit IC1011.  Thank you, Your Honours.

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Thank you, General.  What does the IKM mean, Mostar-Mrkonjici.

14        A.   The forward command post IKM, forward command post Mostar,

15     forward command post Mrkonjici.  I think I could spend hours on a

16     document like this, so we don't have time to go into details like that

17     during my testimony.

18        Q.   But we had to ask -- we had to explain who the document was

19     addressed to.  But not to the HVO?

20        A.   No, not to the HVO.  And if General Perisic

21     signed it, then it's clear who it is addressed to, whether it goes to one

22     brigade or another is immaterial in this respect.

23        Q.   All right, now look at 3D --

24             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel repeat the numbers, please.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to

Page 40412

 1     correct a mistake on the transcript.  In line 16, it was General Perisic

 2     and not General Petkovic, as was recorded.  General Praljak said

 3     "General Perisic."

 4             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The translation was "Petkovic," however.

 5             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  I'm quite certain that

 6     General Praljak said "General Perisic," but we can ask him.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, "General Perisic,"

 8     General Perisic.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   General, 3D03064 is the number of the next document.

11        A.   As far as this document is concerned, it's a report from

12     Zarko Keza, who was the chief of the Military Intelligence Service within

13     the HVO, and its aim was to learn what the enemy has, what its forces

14     are, what the enemy intentions are, where the command posts are, and all

15     the information and intelligence relating to the enemy that had to be

16     gathered.  And somebody called -- well, at the head of the HVO was in

17     charge of that.

18             And in this document, apart from everything else, I think it's

19     important to mention something that we knew, and that is that among the

20     Serbs who remained on our side, and there were about 4.000 of those in

21     Mostar and Capljina and so on, that among those people there were quite

22     certainly many of those who were left there to carry on working as

23     counter-intelligence, as provocateurs, as somebody working for KOS,

24     K-o-s, and here he says it was the Serb intention, and that was always

25     their intention throughout and is something they always did continuously,

Page 40413

 1     that is to say, the Serbs, that they use all means available to help sow

 2     the seeds of discord and disunity among the Croats and the Muslims; and

 3     that any even very minor conflict and clash, individual, to try to turn

 4     it by using propaganda into something that would serve their own ends and

 5     cause an even greater conflict, that propaganda again increase the

 6     conflicts and so on.

 7             And in that respect, they were certainly successful.  Their

 8     services did that kind of work very well, and then they used their

 9     artillery to shoot at the Croats and the Muslims.  And then suddenly

10     rumours would go 'round that it was the Croats shooting at the Muslims,

11     and vice versa, and those rumours -- there were so many rumours going

12     'round in that area, just rumours and rumours, and the fight against

13     those rumours were -- was a task that each individual had over there.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Now one more document.  3D03228 is the number, and on

15     e-court it is 3D36-1646, and in English it is 3D36-1662, which is an

16     article by Camil Salihovic about the 6th Fleet from the Neretva.  Now,

17     I'd just ask you to focus on one portion, that is to say, the answers of

18     Mirsad Zuhric, who was the commander in the Dubrava area.  Well, we can't

19     say that he belonged to the BH Army because they were already within the

20     composition of the HVO, but, anyway, I'd like to focus on that portion

21     and especially the part where he says that they had gained great respect

22     within the HVO.  You've already spoken about the cooperation between the

23     HVO and the Muslims and you said that they fought together, and you said

24     how the young man, Luburic, brought in lilies for the fighters, Muslim

25     fighters, and this article speaks about that.  It says that the Muslim

Page 40414

 1     soldiers carried lilies and that there were no problems on the HVO side.

 2     And your experience is the same, is it?

 3        A.   Yes.  Well, not my experience, but that's what I did.  I worked

 4     there.  I -- well, as far as those lilies are concerned, well, this

 5     newspaper, "Hercegovacki Vojnik" dates back to February 1993, so already

 6     in February 1993 the Muslims write this way about the Croats.  We were

 7     very much together at that time.  It was a common struggle, and he

 8     confirms what I was saying; that in Medjugorje, 250 people who received

 9     weapons from the HVO and had undergone training formed the nucleus of the

10     future Bregava Brigade, which later crossed over -- anyway, as

11     Judge Trechsel said, I'm not making conclusions as to what it did over

12     there, but it was returned to the Stolac area.  Well, it just left, went

13     back to its territory.  It wasn't a question of returning.  And I

14     provided them with the lilies.  Somebody manufactured these lilies, and

15     Mr. Luburic sent them on further.  So there was no doubt about what

16     people would be wearing, because it was one army, the Army of the

17     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in a common struggle.  And how things

18     developed, I'll show in due course.

19        Q.   And to round off this Capljina and Stolac-92 issue, look at

20     document 3D00682 now, please.  And for the record, it is a document which

21     was -- is tendered in order to refute the testimony of Witness CU, who

22     testified before this Court on the 15th and 16th of January, 2007.  3D682

23     is the number, 00682.

24             General, it says to remind Mr. Praljak.  What kind of document is

25     this?  Who wrote it?

Page 40415

 1        A.   My secretary at the IPD in Zagreb.

 2        Q.   May we know her name?

 3        A.   Gasevic.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Now, according to this document, it says that on

 5     Saturday, the 6th of June, 1992, at 9.30, there was a meeting at the

 6     president's.  I know it's difficult to remember the dates and whether you

 7     attended that meeting or not, but that is why we have another document,

 8     3D01538.  And on 3D29-1458, on that page, it follows that

 9     Mr. Slobodan Praljak, on the 4th of June, 1992, and the 6th of June,

10     1992, was recorded as having visited the offices of the president of the

11     republic.  And from this, we can conclude that you were not in the area

12     of Capljina municipality on the 6th of June, 1992.  And I'm going to ask

13     you now --

14             MR. STRINGER:  I don't think it's intentional, but I've not

15     objected after hearing a series of leading questions, and I think counsel

16     is starting to lead too much, and that's our objection.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Pinter, I know that you are

18     trying to do your best, but it would be better if Mr. Praljak reached his

19     own conclusions, rather than you, because this was leading.

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I agree, but we already had the

21     document and it was rejected because we were waiting to have

22     General Praljak come in.  It's not something new.

23        Q.   But, yes, you tell it in your own words, General.

24        A.   It is true and correct that I was asked whether I was at

25     President Franjo Tudjman's on the 6th of June, and I couldn't say with

Page 40416

 1     any certainty whether I was there or not, 1992.  But I know full well

 2     that the statement of (redacted)

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] May we have that redacted, please.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, we need to

 5     redact line 20 on page 21.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I'm not going to mention the

 7     name.  The witness who claimed that I, on the 6th of June, 1992, was at

 8     the Command in Capljina, that he saw me and heard me there, whereas I

 9     didn't see him, he was hiding behind a post or pillar, first of all, that

10     he could have entered the Command as he said is a lie.  Second, if at

11     such small -- in such small headquarters, small room, that he could be

12     hiding behind a pillar without being seen is a stupid lie.  And, third,

13     that he said he heard me explaining something about the Serbs shooting,

14     and that we're going to provoke the Serbs so that they should shoot the

15     Muslims, that is a notoriously stupid lie, because I took 15.000 Muslims

16     across the Neretva River, I helped arm them, train them, and so on.  And

17     then subsequently through these documents, we see that I was at the

18     presidential offices.  So this man is lying very stupidly.  If you're

19     going to lie, you might as well lie intelligently, but not lie blatantly

20     and so stupidly.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, as a judge I need to

22     assess your version, that of the Prosecutor, and what the witness has

23     said, and it is in light of all this that a reasonable trier of fact can

24     draw his or her conclusions.  We are today the 6th of June at 9.00 in the

25     morning.  That is the day you meet President Tudjman, 9.30.  If the

Page 40417

 1     meeting lasts one hour, perhaps even two, this means that it is by then

 2     11.00 or 12.00.  And from a technical point of view, that's quite

 3     possible, but when you are a judge in a criminal proceedings, you have to

 4     work on assumptions, and it's quite possible that you said to

 5     President Tudjman, I've come to see you at your request, but my duty

 6     would mean that I should be in Capljina.  Then President Tudjman may have

 7     said, No problem, you can have one of my helicopters to go back to

 8     Capljina.

 9             Is that a likelihood or not?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour Judge Antonetti,

11     not at all.  Hypothetically, it is possible that after the meeting at

12     10.00, say, I got into my car, but even if you drove at a mad speed,

13     maniacally, you would have to go 'round about, cross on a ferry, and even

14     if you drove your car at full speed you would need a lot of time to get

15     there.  So I wasn't in Capljina on that morning.  It would require at

16     least ten hours.  So the man is lying, and he's stupidly lying.  And he's

17     lying stupidly because he was saying that I was going to organise some

18     shooting in Stolac or whatever, and 15 days prior to that, we did our

19     utmost to transport 15.000 people.  I mean, it's so stupid and so

20     underhand that I can't even talk about it.  3.000 cars, and this document

21     that is an exhibit already, it's something we've talked

22     about, but it's quite beyond any logic, and it's an insult, actually.  So

23     I find it difficult to address the matter at all.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you didn't answer my

25     question.  You said by car it would take you ten hours.  That's not my

Page 40418

 1     question.  I asked you whether a helicopter couldn't bring you back from

 2     Zagreb to Capljina.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why not?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no helicopter ever

 6     transported me a anywhere.  I don't know that we had a helicopter at all

 7     at that time.  I suppose we might have done.  Well, we're talking about

 8     1992.  I don't know whether the Croatian Army had helicopters at all, but

 9     at that time I never rode in a helicopter, I never flew in a helicopter.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you know nothing

11     escapes me.  In these two documents that we have seen earlier, signed by

12     Mr. Perisic, it is mentioned that there are helicopters and that the

13     Croats do have helicopters.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't say they

15     didn't have any, but I didn't know whether they did or didn't.  It wasn't

16     something I was aware of.  But the fact is that I never went down there,

17     nor did the president ever -- well, let me tell you, I didn't even tell

18     the president that I was going down there.  I didn't dare tell him that,

19     because I went down there secretly.  I had to go secretly.  And even that

20     operation, Operation Neretva, I didn't complete because he asked to see

21     me to have a meeting with me and I didn't tell him I was actually going

22     down there.  So I didn't tell him I was going down there.  I had to go

23     incognito, clandestinely.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Let's assume that

25     what you are saying was what actually happened.  Why would the witness

Page 40419

 1     have said this?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Politically, to politically blacken

 3     the Croats, and to make the rift between the two nations even deeper.

 4     And that's something that is being done today as well.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7        Q.   General, to follow up on the honourable Judge Antonetti's

 8     question, please look at 3D00684, again to remind Mr. Praljak about the

 9     8th of June, 1992.  It's another reminder.  What can we conclude, based

10     on this document?

11        A.   I have told you, loud and clear, at the time when the witness

12     said I had been there, I wasn't there.  I came later towards the end of

13     the operation to liberate Stolac.  In other words, I was there, but I was

14     there later.  I did assist with some things down there, but as to that I

15     had talked about pounding the Muslims, I just refuse to discuss that.

16     And this is the last thing I have to say about that.

17        Q.   And my last question:  In 1993, when you were the commander of

18     the Main Staff of the HVO, did you ever go to Capljina and Stolac

19     municipalities and their territories as the commander of the Main Staff

20     of the HVO?

21        A.   In 1993?

22        Q.   Yes, in 1993.

23        A.   Only on one occasion, at one point in time, which was on the 15th

24     of August, 1993, or, rather, between the 14th and the 15th, when an

25     attack of the BH Army was underway against the territory of Buna and when

Page 40420

 1     they had recorded some successes at the beginning, at the time when the

 2     convoys could not pass through to Mostar because this was going on.  In

 3     that round of fighting, I went there as a commander.  I participated in

 4     restoring and returning the territory that we had lost.  And I remember

 5     this very well, because the 15th of August is our ladies' day, which is

 6     the ladies very much revered by the Catholics in Herzegovina.

 7             And since we're talking about that, on the 15th of August, when

 8     we managed to return the positions, the command staff in Citluk was

 9     visited by Mr. Stojic, who -- on that day, it was very hot, as it

10     normally is around that time, and he was so exhausted.  He fainted, and

11     he almost died.  His heart stopped, so I had to administer what I know

12     about first aid.  And then he was sent to hospital, I sent him to

13     hospital to save him.  That was that one time when he fainted out of

14     exhaustion.  And there was another such occasion when he fainted.  He

15     just fainted, there and then in that room.

16        Q.   Thank you very much, General.  I believe we can move on to the

17     following topic, which is Mostar in 1992.

18             The honourable Judges have the binders.  The binders are marked

19     as "Mostar 1992."

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I've been thinking

21     about what you're saying, and sometimes it takes me a few seconds to

22     react.

23             You've just said that Mr. Stojic came on August 15th, 1993, and

24     it was very hot, and he became ill.  Fine.  But in August of 1993, was

25     Mr. Stojic minister of defence?

Page 40421

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The head of defence of the HVO.  He

 2     was the head of defence, not the minister.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  He was in charge of

 4     the Department of Defence.  When he goes there, when he came, he was --

 5     he went to control military operations or did he go for logistics

 6     purposes?  What was the purpose of his visit?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He did not actually control

 8     military operations.  He just came to seek information as to how things

 9     were.  The military operations were led by the commander of the

10     operations zone and the brigade commander and myself around that time,

11     for that day and a half when I was down there, and he came when I

12     returned to inquire about the situation.  And it was not the heat that

13     made him faint.  He was exhausted.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You say he came to

15     be informed.  Well, in military parlance, each word has a precise

16     meaning, and when you use a particular word, it has military meaning.  He

17     was to inform himself, to become informed.  I'm trying to determine the

18     position of Mr. Stojic in his defence.

19             When you say he came to be informed, do you mean that he -- well,

20     if you gave him information that he didn't agree with, could he have told

21     you at that point in time in August, General Praljak, you mustn't do

22     this, you must do that?  Could he have told you that at that point?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why is that?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I was not under

Page 40422

 1     Bruno Stojic's command.  Only Mate Boban could have told me something to

 2     that effect, not Bruno Stojic.  Bruno Stojic, to be honest with you,

 3     Bruno Stojic came, and of course as much as you may want, and I

 4  understand the reasons, as much as you want to structure the army, which was

 5  the case; however, communication at that moment between the two of us was

 6 not as – it was not that the Defence Department head came to inquire, but out

 7 of human decency I – well, the Defence Department head knew what this was all

 8 about, but this was not my duty, I did not have to do it and he was not in

 9 a position to tell me, you did something badly and you have to rectify that.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You said, at line

11     18 on page 27, that you were under the command of Mate Boban.  I'm going

12     to ask you one more question, because I do have to clarify this.

13             If Mr. Prlic had also come to take stock of the situation, to be

14     informed, could he have told you, General Praljak, things mustn't be done

15     this way, but rather that way?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Prlic could not have done

17     that.  Mr. Prlic could come to see me and inquire.  He could have asked

18     me, and I would have told him about the situation, as I did.  However, he

19     could not issue orders, he could not ask me to report to him, and I'm

20     talking about the structure that was in place.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, then I have the same

22     question.  Why couldn't he give you orders?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because the Main Staff was not tied

24     to the government.  The government, through Mr. Bruno Stojic, did have

25 some competences over one part of the army.  They had to ensure that they had

Page 40423

 1 clothing, food, that the mobilisation was in place.  We've already said that.

 2     However, when it comes to the operative use of the military, how it was

 3     used in combat, how it was used to attack and defend itself, that was the

 4     duty of the Main Staff, which at that time was me, or of course,

 5     lower-ranking officers along the lines of the structure as it was.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 7             Madam Pinter.

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 9        Q.   General, when you were talking about Capljina and May 1992, you

10     mentioned the situation in Mostar as well.  Would you like to describe

11     for the Trial Chamber the situation in Mostar in 1992, when you arrived

12     there?

13        A.   We won't spend too much time on that, because the situation was

14     the same everywhere.  There was a state of chaos, and it was particularly

15     awful in Mostar because the commander of the HVO forces in Mostar, the

16     only forces that existed at the time before my arrival, was a certain

17     Mr. Perak, and at one point, because he was a KOS man in the HVO, which

18     means that the Serbs had staged the game in such a way as to put their

19     own person as the commander of the HVO, and at one point, on the order of

20     the enemy side, issued an order for the troops and the people to withdraw

21     from Mostar.  His explanation was the fact that the JNA was too strong,

22     that they would pound the city, and Perisic did that, of course, and at

23     the time had arrived for everybody to move out.

24             Luckily enough, the army of that kind does not always obey

25     orders.  First you have to deserve respect and gain respect for your

Page 40424

 1     orders to be obeyed.  So the nine HVO commanders, military commanders who

 2     were in Mostar, refused to obey his order because they smelled a rat

 3     there.  They didn't understand why they should leave the town.  They

 4     refused to obey the order.  Mr. Perak fled after that, and he is still

 5     residing in Serbia, if he is still alive.  His attempt failed, obviously.

 6             However, if you find yourself in a situation like that, after

 7     that there is a lot of mistrust against you, as a new person, and you are

 8     compared to Perak.

 9             And then something important happened, which is not documented by

10     any document, is the psychological feeling.  Who the hell is Praljak,

11     what does he want?  And people tend to trust only their neighbours,

12     people from their street, people with whom they grew up and had lived

13     with for 20 or 10 years.  They are the only ones to trust.  They will be

14     willing to accept you, albeit very slowly, when they see that you are

15     willing to die for them.  That's what the Judges asked me yesterday.

16             To put it simply, I had to demonstrate not that I was a general.

17     The fact that I was a general, they were not phased with that.  I first

18     had to take the road to Mostar and expose myself to Serb bullets, and if

19     I managed to get into Mostar alive, then I have won the right to command,

20     because they tend to say, Oh, this one takes

21     all the chances because he's as mad as we are.  And then gradually

22     as I started touring the front-lines, I gradually gained the right to be

23     in command.  And then you organise them, which I did, and that's how you

24     create something -- it was the beginning of some sort of a

25     crystallisation, and then all of a sudden people start -- good people,

Page 40425

 1     good lads, start rallying around you, and that's how the organisation

 2     grows, and room for rumours and lack of discipline is reduced.  And this

 3 gains momentum, naturally, up to a point. It all depends on the situation, on

 4 your capabilities, whether you're going to survive or not, how things

 5 develop.  But I repeat, the fact that a general arrived, that was not

 6     instrumental in them obeying you or in listening to your orders.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you've just mentioned

 8     Mr. Perak, saying he was an agent from the KOS.  To your knowledge, the

 9     HVO, and its various civilian and military bodies, had it been

10     infiltrated by the KOS?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand what you asked

12     me.  Which two wings, Your Honour Judge Antonetti?

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, there's a military

14     component in the HVO as well as a civilian component.  In these two

15     components, to your knowledge, had the K-O-S, the KOS, infiltrated both

16     these components or in all of the HVO?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Save for this Perak, who was a very

18     clear case because he was a career officer and he was chosen because he

19     knew how to command, because most of the others did not have any military

20     training, to be honest, Your Honours, I don't think so.  I don't think

21     that later on nobody -- because of course there was a screening process.

22     Let me tell you this:  There were some complaints about Mr. Prlic about

23     some people because he was once secretary of the Communist -- League of

24     Communists, and there were a lot of complaints about Blaskic when I went

25     there because he had been the commander of a battalion in the

Page 40426

 1     Yugoslav People's Army in Slovenia, and then as the war broke out, he

 2     left the JNA and fled to Austria, and he did not get involved in the war

 3     in Croatia, and then he arrived in Central Bosnia across the Serb

 4     territory.  And when I came up there after the fall of Jajce, there was a

 5     lot of mistrust vis-a-vis Blaskic and questions as to how come he was

 6     there, why was he not involved in the war in Croatia, why did he arrive

 7     through the Serb territory.  There was a lot of mistrust that had to be

 8     overcome, and explain that all this is stupid because he is an honest

 9     man.  And then every command could prove that this was not the case,

10     because they went to the front-lines, where they could be killed.  And if

11     they survived, then they could become lads who could be trusted, because

12     if he had been an agent, he would have not gone to places where he could

13     be killed.

14             However, my answer is not really conclusive.  I can't say either

15     yes or no with any degree of certainty.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   When you were talking about Perak, I would like to ask you this:

18     Is this the same person that is mentioned in Mirsad Cupina's book that we

19     discussed yesterday?  He mentioned the traitor, Vladimir Perak.  Is that

20     one and the same person?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   General, you were in charge of the operations to liberate Mostar.

23     Do you want to tell us something about them?  Do you want to tell us how

24     you organised those operations and how they took place or do you want to

25     follow documents?

Page 40427

 1        A.   Well, the thing is very simple.

 2             After the 15th of May, 1992, the situation was not good.

 3     However, I was preparing the troops for the operation to liberate Mostar.

 4     I instilled that idea in their heads.  I was telling them that we were

 5     able to do that.

 6             And secondly, I was drafting some plans and because of the fact

 7     that I knew that if I had presented such plans in a meeting, as would

 8     have been case in any normal army, that somebody will talk and that

 9     Perisic or whoever was there will learn about those plans.

10             I never, ever revealed the whole plan to anybody.  I took a

11     group, including Puljic, who was supposed to go to the north of Mostar

12     for some talks there, some lads who were supposed to cross the Neretva in

13     Mostar, and with Arif Pasalic, I also conducted some talks with each of

14     them separately.  I also talked to the lads who were supposed to cross

15     the Neretva south of the Buna River.  I held separate meetings with all

16     of them, and there is nothing to add to that.

17             Both operations were successful.  We carried them out, and then

18     first the right bank and then the left bank were liberated, both, and

19     then the fields called Bijelo Polje north of Mostar was also liberated a

20     bit later.  The operation in Bijelo Polje was held by Miro Andric, who

21     hailed from Bijelo Polje.  He was an officer in the Croatian Army.  Him

22     and his group were volunteers in the HVO.  I managed to persuade them to

23     join the HVO.

24             And it is important to mention that at the time, Petkovic and

25     myself, and I also spoke with Susak about that, and we managed to

Page 40428

 1     persuade Jasmin Jaganjac, who is a Muslim and who was in command of a

 2     brigade or a brigade composed of reservists in Imotski on the border of

 3     Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to there; and he was in the Croatian Army,

 4     we persuaded him to join us, a volunteer, and become the commander of the

 5     defence of Mostar.  This was my idea.  We wanted to demonstrate to the

 6     Muslims that they have Arif Pasalic over there, but that the HVO is also

 7     under the command of a Muslim.

 8             I know that Jaganjac had a lot of relatives in Mostar.  I don't

 9     know whether he, himself, was born in Mostar.  And he was the commander

10     of the city of Mostar at the time.  Under his command was also

11     Arif Pasalic, and there was no problem there at all.

12             And the third thing that I would like to say:  The first

13     morning/night -- the third night, amidst that operation, when this

14     operation was successfully underway, I had to leave the command post

15     because President Tudjman inquired after me and wanted to have a meeting

16     with me.  I joined the operation without ever having informed anybody

17     that I was going down there, and the operation had already been prepared.

18     I had to be there.  However, I had to abandon the final stages of the

19     operation and hand over to Jasmin Jaganjac, who brought it to a

20     successful end, and returned to Zagreb.  And this is all I can say about

21     that, save for the fact that on the 15th of May, Serbs expelled everybody

22     from the eastern side.  Bridges were destroyed.  The city was in rubbles.

23             And what needs to be mentioned here is also the fact that at the

24     time when we crossed over to the eastern bank, or the day before, of all

25     the people who remained there, Croats and Muslims, a total of 150 people

Page 40429

 1     were killed in two separate locations.

 2        Q.   Sutina and Borak?

 3        A.   Yes, Sutina and Uborak, Uborak, which obviously, once we crossed

 4     over, that is one thing that had to be done, and keep on hammering to

 5     everybody that there would be no retaliation.  And there was indeed no

 6     retaliation against the Serbs in Mostar.  There may have been individual

 7     cases of retaliation, but not on a mass scale.  There were 4.000 Serbs

 8     who remained in West Mostar, and there was no retaliation against them.

 9        Q.   We can now move on and look at the documents.  So the first

10     document in the binder is 3D02543, and I'd like to draw your attention to

11     the date of the document, which is the 13th of December, 1991.  Have you

12     found it, General, the first document in your binder?

13        A.   What did you say the number was?

14        Q.   3D02543, and it is a document from Milan Torbica, who was a

15     major-general.

16        A.   I can't find that.

17        Q.   I can provide you with my copy.

18        A.   Just a moment.  You said "02543 "?  I've found it.  Yes.

19        Q.   The date is the 13th of December, 1991, and it's an order for

20     engineering support.  Yes, go ahead.

21        A.   We've already said all this.  In 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army

22     took control of all the positions around Mostar, Hum Hill, Orlovac, and

23     everything else, and encircled Mostar.  It was completely under siege.

24     So I have nothing to add, that's 1991; and since then, they have been --

25     they were abusing the town -- that is to say, they used the reservists

Page 40430

 1     whom they had brought in.  The map is 3D02553, a map I'd like to look at

 2     next.

 3        Q.   All right.  Is that Pantelic --

 4        A.   Pantelic, Milojko.  Milojko Pantelic.  It shows the positions of

 5     the JNA around Mostar, the 10th Motorised Brigade specifically.

 6        Q.   On e-court, it is 3D32-0637.  We have it on e-court.  It's up on

 7     our screens now.

 8        A.   Your Honours, you can see that they penetrated deep into the left

 9     bank of the Neretva River.  I don't know what you want me to say.

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Can we zoom into that general area,

11     please.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think we need waste time on

13     this.  It's clear, it's quite clear.  The map is there for all to see, so

14     we can move on.  Give it an IC number, and if anybody has any questions,

15     I'm ready to answer them.  But the map is self-explanatory.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The map does not need an IC number, because no

17     signs have been -- nothing has been done to it.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   General, I know that you would like us to speed up, but I think

20     it is important to speak about certain documents because they're going to

21     show the ultimate result that was achieved through the orders issued by

22     Momcilo Perisic and the other JNA commanders.

23             So please look at document PD0191 [as interpreted].

24        A.   What number did you say?

25        Q.   5D01091.  5D, 5D01091.  It should be towards the end.  It's a

Page 40431

 1     document from the other Defence teams.

 2        A.   What number did you say?

 3        Q.   01 -- 0191.  Let's not waste time on that.  We can move on.  It's

 4     on e-court.  It's come up on our screens.  It is a document from

 5     Momcilo Perisic, dated the 19th of April, 1992.  It's an order from him.

 6     You've already said what you know about the opening of artillery fire in

 7     Mostar.  What more can you tell us?  Anything to add?

 8        A.   We've already seen this document in this courtroom.  I showed it

 9     and explained it.  Can we move on?

10        Q.   But we have to address this.

11        A.   No, let's show the results, how he destroyed the town.  If I had

12     a hundred hours, I would explain everything, but, please, I can't deal

13     with Perisic any longer.  Don't be angry at me.  Let's leave it up to the

14     Judges to see how the town was destroyed.  And it's the break now,

15     anyway, so we're not going to have time to do that.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] All right.  May we take the break

17     now, Your Honours, so that we can prepare a videotape.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  We shall have a break and

19     resume in 20 minutes.

20                           --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

21                           --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

23             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

24             Following your guide-lines or, rather, request, we have prepared

25     a video.  It is 3D03130 and shows Mostar in 1992 after the military

Page 40432

 1     operations by the BH Army.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO.

 3                           [Video-clip played]

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Your Honour, just to correct the

 5     transcript.  The correction was not the BH Army, but the JNA, whereas in

 6     line 12, it says "the HVO."

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "This is the panorama of a sunny

 8     Mostar.  The panorama view of bright and sunny Mostar in firm embrace

 9     will --  with the luring Neretva whose coast in the town itself were

10     connected through five beautiful bridges will remain only in hearts and

11     memories of the citizens and all the enthusiasts of this remarkably

12     wonderful town.  Mostar, the city of bridges, remained without its

13     symbols in an unprecedented destruction of a mad enemy.  The banks of

14     Neretva nowadays connected only through the old bridge, one of the most

15     beautiful and most magnificent bridges in the world.  This 'petrified

16     crescent,' as the poets used to call it, emerged in 1566 from the

17     workshop of the famous architect, Mimar Hajrudin, and it represents a

18     masterpiece of Turkish architecture.  This world's heritage historical

19     site on which one can see the protective blue-white UNESCO flag

20     fluttering is endangered by enraged Serbian-Montenegrin violent soldiery.

21     The bridge has already been hit by several artillery projectiles.  It has

22     been damaged and well shaken, whereas a radio message has also been

23     caught in which criminal General Perisic still commanding, however from a

24     greater distance, seeks from his sightless executers to kill the soul of

25     Mostar, the bridge which is a part and name of symbol of this town.

Page 40433

 1             "There is hope, though, that this horrible crime will not take

 2     place after all.  In order to protect the bridge, it has even been

 3     covered with planks, but each hope vanished regarding other bridges of

 4     Mostar, which was dying one after another, creating an illusion to

 5     enraged killers that they might create some new borders on the left

 6     Neretva bank, Lucki Bridge, or bridge of Mujo Komadina, beloved mayor of

 7     Mostar from the last years of the Austro-Hungarian reign, died first.

 8     Mujo Komadina built this bridge, located only some 100 metres down river

 9     from the Old Bridge with his own money.  Shortly after that, the bridge

10     of Marshal Tito was also killed respectively, the King's bridge, as it

11     used to be called during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the most frequent

12     town bridge which connected the beautiful hotel Neretva built in a Mauro

13     style, a hotel which died in flame, celebrating its 100 anniversary and

14     on the other side the significantly newer hotel, the Bristol, which also

15     burned down.  And then on the 11th of June, in a fierce assault of the

16     liberators of the troops of the HVO from Mostar, Siroki Brijeg and Citluk

17     consisting of Croatian and Muslim combatants completely cleansed the

18     right bank of the Mostar municipality, the enemy tore down other bridges

19     in a panic escaped.  First the Carinski Bridge, also a magnificent

20     Austro-Hungarian establishment, which was located at the northern

21     entrances in the town; and then the youngest bridge of Hasan Brkic at the

22     southern exit of the town.  Along with these four, a day later the enemy

23     brought down the fifth one, the so-called Avijaticarski Bridge.  In the

24     southern Mostar suburb, which connected military airports Ortijes and

25     Jasenica.  Taking into consideration previously-destroyed railway and

Page 40434

 1     road bridges from Jablanica to Capljina, the River Neretva, in the part

 2     of some 80 of its long bed, has lost no less than 13 bridges.  Only this

 3     information speaks enough about the terrible destruction and huge war

 4     damages, which were caused by the brutal aggressor in this part of

 5     Herzegovina in less than two months.

 6             "It is staggering to learn that the former JNA, having mined the

 7     bridges two and a half years ago, speaks about long-term preparations for

 8     a genocide scenario, which was created in the minds of paranoiacs,

 9     whereby the so-called national army already then had an active role in

10     the realisation of the aforementioned.  The bridges were brought down by

11     remote control, and it was therefore not possible to protect or defend

12     them.  However, by the destruction of these bridges, Mostar and the

13     Neretva Valley were not split, but on the contrary, they got even more

14     connected, because there is no and there will be no right and left side

15     of Neretva River."

16             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me.  Could we get the time-frame when the

17     footage was shot, because that's not indicated in the video or on the

18     exhibit list.

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The general wants to answer.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The introductory shots of Mostar,

21     showing the town, they were taken from a helicopter.  I don't know when

22     that was filmed.  It was before the war, whereas this footage was taken

23     in August or September, thereabouts, 1992, because I managed to get in

24     Zagreb, from the then mayor of the city of Zagreb, Boris Bozancic, who

25     was an actor, he's an actor to this day, anyway, he became a mayor in the

Page 40435

 1     war, and he managed to procure 1.000 metres of some Kodak negative, and

 2     then I sent one of my employees from the IPD, up to Pavelic there, and

 3     Goran -- a cameraman, Goran Mecava.  I managed to procure a camera and

 4     sent them to Mostar to film what they could down there; just an archive

 5     documentary.  And this is the result.  These are shots from that

 6     material.

 7             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I'd like to add an explanation.  We

 8     have the raw material, that is to say, the raw material film, which we

 9     provided to the OTP, where all these scenes can be seen, but then there's

10     no text and no explanation, just the raw footage.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Another thing, Your Honours.  A lot

12     more was burnt down than was destroyed.  This building, for instance, is

13     still standing.  The walls are still standing, but it's been completely

14     burnt down inside.  It's the cathedral on the west bank.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   Is that the cathedral?

17        A.   Yes, it is.

18        Q.   I think we can stop the video there.  General --

19             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me.  I apologise for the interruption

20     again, but it seems to me the record is not clear on this.

21             I'm looking at the exhibit list, and there is reference to two

22     videos with two different numbers.  We have number 3D03130 in the

23     transcript, that's the number that was given at the beginning of the

24     first video; and if I understand correctly, the general said he does not

25     know when that footage was shot.  Now, we have a second video that

Page 40436

 1     I think that we've just seen, which I believe, and I wanted to confirm,

 2     is 3D03556, which, according to the exhibit list, is indicated as being

 3     various video footage of ruined Mostar in 1992, taken by Goran Pavelic

 4     and Goran Mecava.  And so I wanted to just clarify, if we could, whether

 5     3D03556, which is the Pavelic video, is the video that we've just seen,

 6     the second clip, that was taken in, I believe, the general says,

 7     September or October of 1992.

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Let me explain this technically,

 9     General.  Yes, the original video, the raw material, is 3D03556, but in

10     order not to just show the raw video, without any soundtrack, we played

11     3D3130 [as interpreted], which was on our 65 ter list with the additional

12     audio.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the footage of Mostar was taken

14 before the war from a helicopter, and that was taken probably from some

15 previous documentary, televised or whatever.  Everything else, the destroyed

16 town of Mostar, the bridges and what you see here, was filmed by this crew,

17 the crew I sent down there.  Now, whether there were some shots and frames

18  that were inserted there, I was not the only one who filmed it -- there was

19  a group of people that compiled the "Urbicide of Mostar" book, but, anyway,

20  I provided all this material to Zagreb Television, hoping that they compile

21  it and edit it. Other crews were there filming as well. But, anyway,

22  it's all 1992, the end of August, beginning of September, or thereabouts.

23             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your permission,

24     I apologise to Mr. Praljak, but I noticed a detail which you might have

25     missed.

Page 40437

 1             At the beginning of 3D3130, this tape, it says "Izudin Sehovic,"

 2     the reporter, and his voice is other portion where the destroyed bridges

 3     are shown, and that was a journalist of Television Bosnia-Herzegovina who

 4     at that time made these reportages, and that refers to the first portion

 5     where all the bridges are shown; Izudin Sehovic from BH Television, and

 6     it shows the destroyed bridges.  So this is from -- footage from

 7     Television Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There you have it.  It says "Prepared by

 8     Izudin Sehovic," who was a journalist at TV BH in 1992 who sent out

 9     documentary reports of this kind.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Nozica.  All I know

11     is I sent a crew down there and provided this 1.000 metres of negative,

12     which is an hour and a half of filming.  Of course, they did the cutting

13     there and whatever else, and that's -- that was done by Izudin Sehovic.

14     I didn't do the filming myself, so I don't know what went into the making

15     of this whole footage, and I suppose other people went down to film as

16     well.  I wasn't the only person.  But I wanted to be sure that this

17     record would remain, and that's why I sent a crew to document it all.

18             Now we can look at the footage further and see just how much was

19     destroyed.  Well, everything was destroyed.

20             This was set on fire.  This building was burnt out inside.

21             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Just one more piece of information

22     while we're watching these images.  The raw material from VHS to DVD, we

23     gave that to the OTP, and that lasts one hour and fifteen minutes.  Now,

24     the Court asked us to show just 15 to 20 minutes of this video footage,

25     and so we chose this one, but we have the raw material, the actual taping

Page 40438

 1     by Mecava and Pavelic, the original source raw material, and it shows the

 2     clap, the number, take 1, take 2, et cetera.

 3        Q.   And while we're watching these images, General, you mentioned

 4     "Urbicide."  What do you know about the book entitled, "Urbicide," which

 5     is 3D00785 otherwise?

 6        A.   Yes, I do know of the book.  I know how it came into being.  I

 7     know they had exhibitions dealing with "Urbicide" in Split, Zagreb, and

 8     elsewhere.  And what I am testifying to -- and in Paris as well.  In

 9     September -- well, I can't remember the date.  Anyway, I toured the left

10     and right banks of the Neretva River, and I personally saw for myself the

11     kind of destruction that Mostar suffered at the hands of the JNA and the

12     Army of Republika Srpska.

13             This is the gymnasium, the secondary school, and it was burnt

14     down from the inside, because apart from the destruction of the buildings

15     on the outside, there was even more destruction down on the inside from

16     the fact that buildings had been set on fire and burnt down from the

17     inside.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the record, the number of the

19     book "Urbicide" is 3D00785.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I can testify that everything

21     contained in the book "Urbicide" is something that I, myself, saw and

22     experienced when I walked around.

23             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   If we were to compare these images from the video with the

25     pictures found in the book "Urbicide," would they be the same, would they

Page 40439

 1     coincide?

 2        A.   Everything that these guys filmed -- this is the western part of

 3     Mostar, what you see up there is the hospital.  Let me repeat.  It was

 4     particularly the old part of Mostar that was destroyed, the small houses,

 5     the Mahala, the central part of town.  Of course, the residential

 6     buildings are made of concrete, so a grenade just pierces them and sets

 7     them on fire.  They don't fall down.  They remain standing, but burnt

 8     out.  I saw the mosques that were destroyed, and the two, I think, that

 9     remain standing but were greatly damaged, so I walked around and saw all

10     that with my very own eyes.

11             I don't think we need waste any more time looking at these images

12     now.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] All right.  We can stop the video

14     there.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, a while ago when we first saw what

16     you said was the cathedral, a modern structure, you said it was burnt

17     inside, and then we saw pictures from inside and I did not see any traces

18     of burning.  Do you still maintain that it was burned inside, as you have

19     said before under oath here?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I didn't say the

21     cathedral.  I was indicating the previous one.  The cathedral was

22     significantly damaged, but it wasn't set on fire.  You just saw the Old

23     Bridge, and I claim and maintain that what you see around the Old Bridge,

24     the armour, the cover, the second night we crossed across the Neretva,

25     that 40 to 50 people from the HVO put up an armoured cover and planks

Page 40440

 1     over the Old Bridge, and we erected that structure in the heat of a

 2     battle, pursuant to my orders.  And you have all these statements on the

 3     subject that will be presented to the Court.  And the main man was the

 4     logistics person who --

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I want to quote to you what you are recorded of

 6     having said here.  Of course, there are always the errors that we know

 7     can occur.  It is on page 40, line 9:

 8             "Your Honours, a lot more was burnt down than was destroyed.

 9     This building, for instance, is still standing.  The walls are still

10     standing, but it's been completely burned down inside.  It's the

11     cathedral on the west bank."

12             And then the question:

13             "Q.  Is that the cathedral?

14             "A.  Yes, it is."

15             So this was not what you wanted to say?  Okay.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's exactly what I said,

17     Judge Trechsel, indicating the structure with the walls, the building

18     with the walls.  And then the next image came up, and I said, That's the

19     cathedral.  So, well, this is where I was saying it.  This is the

20     building which was burnt from the inside, and it was far more burnt on

21     the inside than was destroyed on the outside.  And then next is the

22     cathedral.

23             Can we continue with the footage?

24             And then I said that's the cathedral, and it turned out that I

25     said that the cathedral had been burnt down.  I didn't say that.  I meant

Page 40441

 1     the previous building.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  My recollection is a bit different, but I will

 3     not insist here.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] We can repeat the footage, and you

 5     will see --

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.  I said it very correctly.

 7             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  We don't have to go back on it.  It's not really

 9     that important.  It struck me, because even from the outside I saw no

10     traces, and that's why I wondered how this -- whether this was really

11     burnt inside.  But we can go on.

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] If there are no more questions with

13     regard to this video footage and the book "Urbicide," I would like to

14     show just one more document about Mostar.  This is 3D00004.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Could you please comment upon this document for us?

18        A.   There are two things that are important with regard to these

19     document.  The first is the stamp.  This is the stamp of the Independent

20     Battalion of the Defence of Mostar.  This is the same battalion which was

21     at the origin of the 1st Mostar Brigade and then the 4th Corps of the

22     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  At that time on July 19, 1992, they had

23     their own stamp which depicted what we advocated all the time, a common

24     coat of arms of the Croatian and Muslim people's joint struggle and joint

25     command.

Page 40442

 1             And the second thing is this:  Here they show one of the things

 2     that permeate along the whole war.  According to the list, they have

 3     1.625 men and only 87 are in positions.  On standby are 456 men or 466,

 4     but it's neither here nor there.  So when you add to those figures the

 5     wounded, the sick, and those on leave, you can see that there are 600

 6     people missing.  They're not on standby, they're not on leave, they're

 7     not on positions, and so on and so forth.  They reported fictitious

 8     people as being members of their units, although didn't exist, and from

 9     the very outset this was not fair on their part and this was not good for

10     our common relations.  And there were too few of their men on the

11     positions.  Eighty-seven men, that's just two bunkers, because they had

12     to work in shifts.

13             So much about that.

14        Q.   And after June 1992, did you return to Mostar in the course of

15     1992?

16        A.   Yes, I did.  I had a long meeting with Mr. Izetbegovic.  But

17     before that, I have to say that the success of the HVO, with the

18     participation of Muslims in the HVO plus the Independent Battalion, who

19     also participated in all that, really meant a lot to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

20     This had been a major military operation, a successful military

21     operation, which raised the morale of all those who fought for

22     Bosnia-Herzegovina to a very high level, because up to then we knew

23     nothing but failures, and this applies to both the BH Army and the HVO.

24     This is why this was significant, and that's how I became significant as

25     somebody who never made any distinction between Muslims and Croats who

Page 40443

 1     wanted to have a joint army and worked towards that goal.

 2             And when Mr. Izetbegovic came to talk, and he talked to Prlic and

 3     so on and so forth, he also approached Mr. Hadziosmanovic, in order to

 4     arrange a meeting with me, and we met in a flat in Mostar, and we had a

 5     lengthy conversation which lasted for almost an hour and a half.

 6        Q.   What was the topic of that conversation?

 7        A.   There were a number of broad topics, but they all boil down to

 8     two or three elements that I found very significant.  The first element

 9     was lifting the blockade of the city of Sarajevo.  I said to

10     Mr. Izetbegovic that after the operations, the BiH Army and the HVO were

11     strong enough to be able to lift the blockade of Sarajevo from the

12     directions of Kiseljak and Hadzici.  I did not develop the plans in

13     military terms, but that would have been my plan.  I was surprised to see

14     the lack of interest in my proposals.

15             I am a very persistent person, and I keep on repeating things and

16     putting questions in order to receive an answer.  However,

17     Mr. Izetbegovic evaded that.  Neither then nor now do I fully understand

18     whether this was because he was not willing to lift the blockade of

19     Sarajevo, or maybe he didn't want the HVO to play such a role in the

20     lifting -- in lifting the blockade of Sarajevo.  My arguments were that a

21     lot of people had already been killed in Sarajevo, and he was convinced

22     that the international community would intervene very quickly because

23     they would no longer be able to watch the number of dead and killed.  My

24     argument was as follows:  If the international community had wanted to

25     intervene, they would have intervened already.  And if they did not

Page 40444

 1     intervene after the first thousand dead and then after the second

 2     thousand of dead, they would never intervene.  And I was saying that the

 3     siege would continue.

 4             I don't know whether Mr. Izetbegovic was afraid that after the

 5     blockade was lifted of Sarajevo, maybe people would flee the city

 6     together with the military, but this would be in the realm of

 7     speculation.  However, he did not want to listen to my proposal to launch

 8     an operation to lift the blockade in Sarajevo in a joint action between

 9     the BH Army and the HVO.

10             Another important thing was my explanation according to which

11     after every -- even the littlest instance that was necessary to take

12     place between the two militaries, the rift would deepen and there would

13     be a lot more mistrust and that this would grow at an exponential rate

14     with time.  I claimed then, and I keep on claiming now, when it happened

15     at the outset that somebody did something harmful upon somebody else, it

16     was still not looked from the position of ethnicity.  It wasn't important

17     whether it was a Muslim or a Croat who did that bad thing.  However, as

18     time elapsed, when a Croat harmed a Croat, that was part of the war

19     tactic, but if by chance in a pub, a Croat harmed

20     a Muslim, it was purported that there was a group of us against the group

21     of them.  So instead of an individual, you all of a sudden have a group,

22     and that group with time would grow.  One individual would become a big

23     group, and this would lead to a situation that would go beyond control.

24             I claimed then and I claim now, because this is science, this is

25     scientific proof, that if this is not prevented on time, it will become

Page 40445

 1     self-inflammatory, without any additional reasons, and it will lead to an

 2     even bigger problem and an even lesser possibility to control such a

 3     situation.  That's why I implored Mr. Izetbegovic and I told him that it

 4     was necessary for him to say publicly what kind of a Bosnia and

 5     Herzegovina he intended to create and what his project with this regard

 6     was.

 7             I claimed then, I keep on claiming, that Mr. Izetbegovic never

 8   put forth a public proposal of internal organization Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I

 9     claimed then and I claim today that this was absolutely necessary,

10     because every Bosniak and every Croat, and some of the Serbs as well,

11     would have been able to understand correctly what kind of a state they

12     were fighting for.  His reply was this, Let's fight the Serbs together

13     and win in the war, and then we will agree.  My answer then and now is,

14     Let's first agree, and then we will win in the war.

15             And in that respect, I've just remembered, and I will quote

16     Clausewitz maxim, which says:  A war does not belong in the realm of

17     skills and science, but rather in the realm of a social life.  War is a

18     conflict between major interests which are resolved in a bloody way, and

19     only in that war may be distinguished from trade.  Politics are the belly

20     in which the war grows like an embryo.  It delineates and forms its

21     future shape.

22             The third thing that we discussed at the time was for them to

23     seek a political solution, but while they were doing that my proposal was

24     to have a joint command between the BH Army and the HVO, because if we

25     didn't create a joint command, people would not be able to talk, they

Page 40446

 1     would not know each other, and people who carry arms and they know that

 2     those arms can kill another person, become mistrustful, and that mistrust

 3     grows.

 4             When you see a person carrying arms, you have to be absolutely

 5     certain that he's your friend.  Otherwise, if you see an unknown person

 6     carrying arms, you perceive him as an enemy because you don't know what

 7     his intentions are.  This instills fears, and fear results in crazy

 8     reactions.

 9             Again, I did not receive any answer.  The answer was very

10     evasive, it was, Yes, no, we'll do our best, we'll try.  Although in that

11     respect, I believe that Mr. Izetbegovic was much more inclined to a joint

12     command.  He did have good intentions with this regard.

13             Subsequently, when I was in Central Bosnia, I learned that

14     Sefer Halilovic and the people who surrounded him did not want that.

15     They would not have accepted that in a million years.  And he did not

16     have the power against Sefer Halilovic and other players, he didn't have

17     the power to resist them.  And I'm going to show this in the books that

18     these people wrote about that, and these books have to be admitted into

19     evidence.  You have to read the parts there in order to understand why

20     our efforts failed for the army to function as well as it could while

21     political solutions were being sought, and this would have prevented a

22     conflict.

23             A conflict is something that happens very easily in an army.

24     Somebody opens fire, the other responds, and then there is all-out

25     shooting.  Everybody claims that the other person started first.  The

Page 40447

 1     commander obviously has to react without being able to verify every

 2     instance of shooting, and it's a tug-of-war.  It takes two days for the

 3     situation to calm down.  The third day is calm.  The fourth day, it

 4     starts all over again.  And this is all perpetuated if a joint command is

 5     not set up.

 6             This stamp on the document should have been the basis of

 7     something that already existed on the ground, and in that respect I and

 8     Jasmin Jaganjac, and Petkovic, and so on and so forth -- you've seen

 9     hundreds of cease-fires and attempts.  I claim and I will prove that

10     Sefer Halilovic, Muslimovic and people from the 3rd Corps and the

11     Mujahedin, prevented any attempts to create a joint command.

12             So much about that.

13        Q.   Thank you.

14        A.   Let's talk about Bura.

15        Q.   Yes, this is what I was going to ask you.  As regards Operation

16     Bura, what is it that you can tell us?  3D03159 is the map, and the name

17     of the operation is B-u-r a, Bura.

18        A.   While this is being produced, I can say that the conversation

19     that I had was very pleasant.  We talked like two gentlemen.  I gave him

20     a gift of a military vest.  He was in a military uniform.  It was cold.

21     He was getting ready to go back to Sarajevo, and I told him,

22     Mr. President of the Presidency will be cold.  Why don't you take this

23     vest as a gift.  Of course --

24             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me.  I apologise for the interruption.  Can

25     we just get a clarification on the time-frame?  The general's been

Page 40448

 1     talking about a meeting he had with Mr. Izetbegovic.  He indicated at the

 2     beginning that this occurred sometime after he returned to Mostar in June

 3     of 1992, and I had the impression that the meeting had occurred around

 4     that time.  But now he's just made a statement indicating that the

 5     weather was cold, and so perhaps he could just tell us exactly when that

 6     meeting took place.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how this is being

 8     interpreted, but I'm very precise in everything I'm saying.  I'm saying

 9     it will be cold in Sarajevo.  Mr. Izetbegovic was getting ready to go to

10     Sarajevo, and at that time it was cold in Sarajevo, not in Herzegovina.

11     And the exact date is the date when he spoke with Prlic and the others.

12     The date has been repeated here.  You can find it in all the documents.

13     I can't remember the date exactly.  However --

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   October 1992?

16        A.   Well, there you go, October 1992.

17             We have a map of Operation Bura.  I don't know whether

18     Mr. Petkovic will testify.  He knows a lot more about Bura because he was

19     the one who prepared it and conducted it.  I participated in Bura as an

20     aid on the ground.  Operation Bura was carried out on the 8th of October

21     or thereabouts in 1992 - it's neither here nor there, one day before or

22     later doesn't make such a difference - in order to repel the forces of

23     the Army of Republika Srpska even further afield.  And the operation was

24     only partially successful.  However, it was successful in that it

25     inflicted a lot of losses on the enemy, and also the strength and power

Page 40449

 1     of the HVO was demonstrated to them.  Some muscle was flexed to show them

 2     that they could not play games like they did at the beginning of the war.

 3     And some parts of the BiH Army and all the Muslims in the ranks of the

 4     HVO participated in the operation.

 5        Q.   Thank you, General.  I think we can round off with Mostar in

 6     1992, or rather we finished with that part, and we can move on to 1992 in

 7     Prozor.  And for us to do that, would you take up something that the

 8     Judges have been given; that is to say, two files entitled

 9     "General Praljak calms the situation down" or "quells the situation."

10     These are the documents.  They look like this [indicates].  They're not

11     in a binder, but they're a set joined together on their own.

12             General, when did you arrive in Prozor?

13        A.   The conflict in Prozor broke out -- was it the 23rd of October;

14     is that right?  Yes, the 23rd of October, 1993.  I described exactly --

15        Q.   1992?

16        A.   Yes, that's right, 1992.

17             President Franjo Tudjman learnt about the conflict in Prozor.  He

18     called me.  I don't know the two dates, Uskoplje and the other one when

19     Izetbegovic was there, but it's more likely that Izetbegovic was there on

20     the 15th of January.  And he requested that I go there to help calm the

21     situation down.  And he said that a war with the Muslims must be avoided

22     at all costs.  I didn't go in a helicopter, Judge Antonetti, no, I

23     didn't.  I got into my car and drove down there and reported to Petkovic,

24     of course, or Stojic, and Arif Pasalic.  And then Arif Pasalic and I --

25     well, the corps hadn't been set up yet.  It was still the 1st Mostar

Page 40450

 1     Brigade, and he was the commander.  Anyway, we went together towards

 2     Prozor on the main road, and that's when he gave me a BH Army ID.

 3             We reached Jablanica, and in Jablanica some Muslims who had left

 4     Prozor were already pouring in.  We tried to take the road towards

 5     Prozor.  However, there was shooting from unknown directions along that

 6     road.  And as we weren't able to set up any communication lines, we

 7     weren't able to come into contact with any of the parties, so he asked

 8     that we return to Jablanica.  And in Jablanica, we held a meeting

 9     together with some people who had escaped from Prozor.  They were

10     Muslims.  And this was in the hall of the hydroelectric power-station of

11     Jablanica.  They told us their story.  They complained and said that many

12     of their cars had been confiscated.  I talked to them.  I said that I

13     would do my best to go up there, break through up there, and that we'd do

14     our best to have them returned home.  I did not, of course, promise that

15     their cars would be returned because people who steal cars, it's

16     impossible to catch them, to catch those people.  And one should always

17     be realistic, so I said to them at the time that we didn't have the

18     means, the military police or anybody else, we didn't have the means to

19     catch those scoundrels, but we would certainly find some of them and some

20     of the cars.  And then I said that the HZ-HB would most probably find the

21     money to pay them out in the form of damages, and I think that this was

22     done to a certain extent by Dr. Prlic.

23             We returned, and then I used the roundabout road through --

24     across Vran, Mount Vran, and I arrived in Prozor that way, and the

25     situation was completely chaotic.  There was fighting going on.  Shop

Page 40451

 1     windows had been broken.  There was glass and shards on the road.  And

 2     there were some groups over there who were not HOS, not the H-o-s.  They

 3     were quite defined groups.  I came into contact with Siljeg and Franjic

 4     and the people who were there.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  I would like to ask you a question

 6     and interrupt this as long as we still see it.  It relates to page 55.

 7     On line 5, you tell us that people from Prozor complained that their cars

 8     had been confiscated, and then you speak about your response, and there

 9     you speak of cars being stolen.  Now, maybe there is a problem in

10     translation, but confiscation is one thing and theft may be a polemic

11     expression after cars have been unlawfully confiscated, but basically

12     between confiscation and theft, there is a clear difference.  Could you

13     explain what you were talking about?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was quite

15     certainly not confiscation.  They weren't confiscated.  These

16     individuals, these groups outside the HVO, the HOS, and these undefined

17     groups, they either took somebody's car by expelling them out of the car;

18     or, B, they broke into a car that was on the road and drove it off

19     because the owners had left the area.  So I do understand terminology,

20     but when I say -- well, they were left car-less, without a car.  I didn't

21     investigate into what ways these were seized.  There was certainly

22     vehicles that were seized and those that were stolen.

23             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Look at 3D00424 now, please.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, I'm not quite finished.

Page 40452

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise, Your Honour.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just to make sure that I understand your

 3     narrative correctly, and complete what you have told us, these people

 4     came and told you, Our cars have been confiscated, and you translated the

 5     term "confiscated" into "stolen" because you did not believe them, that

 6     anything like a confiscation had taken place?  Is that how we have to

 7     understand it?

 8             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.

 9             General Praljak is receiving the wrong interpretation.  When you

10     say "confiscated," the correct translation of that is "konfiskovana"

11     whereas the B/C/S was wrong, and I wanted to explain what Judge Trechsel

12     meant.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you very much.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's one problem, one part

15     of the problem.  The other problem was there were a group of people

16     there, 50 or 60, who were shouting because they had been mistreated.

17     Now, the terms and expressions they used, Judge Trechsel, the language

18     they used, now, in all that chaos, well, I understand that you want to

19     hear the exact words they used, but it was all chaotic.  I don't know.

20     They remained without their cars.  They were left without their cars.

21     What they actually said, what words they used, well, I don't know.

22             I know that when I arrived in Rama, I saw a group who had taken a

23     car away from someone, and some witness spoke about that.  I cocked my

24     pistol, they cocked theirs, and it was all I could do not to shoot and

25     have the car returned to the rightful owner.

Page 40453

 1             Now, you're going to deal with all these legal matters.  I'm just

 2     telling you about the facts, and you’ll do the legal stuff. So, in that

 3     conflict, who stole the car and who seized the car, I don't know...and I

 4     wouldn't like to go into all that.  I just told them that we would

 5     search for the vehicles, that it was certain that we wouldn't be able to

 6     find all the vehicles, and that I would do my best, to the best of my

 7     ability, to ensure that they were paid out damages.  That's the general

 8     gist of my conversation with them, and that --

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

10             Paradoxically, by telling us it was not so clear, what you said,

11     you have clarified the matter.  Thank you.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And what I said was, We'll calm the

13     situation down and you'll be able to go home.  But, you know, at meetings

14     of that kind, well, it's not an academic discussion.  Let me just say

15     that.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I have a question in

17     order to clarify what's been said.

18             You said that this event in Prozor took place on October 23rd.

19     As far as you know, before October 23rd, had there been, in

20     Bosnia-Herzegovina, other places where there had been conflicts between

21     Muslims and Croats that maybe weren't as serious as in Prozor, but where

22     there had been tensions between the two groups which became very serious

23     and then calmed down?  Were there other signs of prior tension?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour Judge Antonetti.

25     I was informed through various channels about the tensions in Prozor,

Page 40454

 1     which started significantly earlier, and the tensions in Uskoplje and

 2     Gornji Vakuf, which also began much earlier, and about the tension in

 3     Novi Travnik, which broke out over some petrol pump or whatever.  So it's

 4     on the basis of those facts that I talked to Mr. Izetbegovic in the way

 5     that I did.

 6             I don't have time to bring in an expert from social psychology

 7     here so that I could explain how difficult it is to patch up a lack of

 8     confidence that suddenly occurs, a rift in confidence.

 9             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise once again, but on

10     page 58, the general was wrongly interpreted.  On line 25, the general

11     said that he would bring in an expert.  In the transcript, it says he

12     doesn't have time to bring in an expert.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I had understood, because the

14     French interpretation is better, and there's never a problem with the

15     French interpretation.

16             General Praljak, the reason I've asked this question is that

17     there was something behind my mind here.

18             Prozor, in the eyes of the OTP, was part of the joint criminal

19     enterprise, and therefore the point that needs to be decided by the trier

20     of fact is:  Was this a typical example of this joint enterprise or was

21     it something that occurred that day, where the persons responsible were

22     local and not the leaders of the HVO and, even less, people in Zagreb?

23     That is what we must determine, and that is why I have asked you whether

24     there had been events elsewhere, and you've said, yes, there had been a

25     few, and that is why you discussed with Mr. Izetbegovic.  So if I've

Page 40455

 1     understood correctly, you have confirmed that before Prozor, there had

 2     been problems in other localities - maybe not as serious - but

 3     nevertheless there had been tensions between the Croats and the Muslims?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  There had been

 5     tensions between Croats, there was tension between groups of Croats

 6     themselves.  The people down there killed eight Croats in Herzegovina,

 7     HOS with Kraljevic.  In Ljubuski, they -- the Croats killed more people

 8     amongst themselves than Muslims who were killed.  So the army, an army of

 9     that type, especially when it's not in the barracks and not undergoing

10     exercises, and when we don't know the aims, it's impossible to prevent.

11     The very fact that there are weapons increases human aggression two and a

12     half times, if you just put someone in a room where there's an experiment

13     going on, and that's why I'm going to discuss this with a

14     social psychologist and explain that the situation was inflammatory as of

15     itself, of its own accord.

16             And, Your Honours, in Prozor, along with the support of the

17     entire leadership of the HZ-HB and HVO, I pissed blood in my efforts to

18     try and deal with the situation.  Now, I'd been asked from Zagreb.  I had

19     Petkovic's support.  Well, not Petkovic.  He issued orders.  I came to

20     Prozor and I talked to the Muslims, but there were some groups over

21     there, and quite simply you didn't know who they belonged to.  There were

22     a lot of them.  They were armed, and I had to run after them in Rama with

23     a pistol.  And just at one point, when I saw that it was -- it couldn't

24     be dealt with only at the level of the army, just one meeting -- not just

25     one meeting, I had dozens of meetings, but at one meeting I invited 150

Page 40456

 1     people, the most important people from all the villages.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think we can stop there.  I

 3     would like to leave it up to your counsel to ask the questions now.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Your Honour, if I may just

 5     intervene.  On the transcript, I understood General Praljak differently

 6     to what was recorded on the page, lines 12 and 13.  What it says here is:

 7     "I had Petkovic's support.  Well, not Petkovic.  He issued orders."

 8     That's how it reads.

 9             General Praljak, would you explain to us in what sense you had

10     Petkovic's support, what you said with respect to orders because from

11     this, it would follow that you didn't have Petkovic's support.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was more than support.  He was

13     the commander.  He simply wrote down all the orders upon which the army

14     was to act.  I helped him.  I assisted him.  It was vice versa, the other

15     way around.  I was a worker in the field, somebody who shouts over there,

16     tries to settle things that way.

17             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  General, we have a problem with

18     the record again.  So what you just now said, would you say it slowly

19     enough so that all the words uttered can be recorded in the transcript.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is how things stand:  It's not

21     Petkovic who was support to me.  I was support to Petkovic and the rest

22     of the HZ-HB leadership.  I was what is called a worker in the field, out

23     in the field, on the ground, implementing policy, which means I entreated

24     people.  I held meetings.  I shouted at people.  I threatened people.  I

25     shouted at the top of my voice.  I would get out my pistol, things like

Page 40457

 1     that.  So in that respect, I was a good worker in the field, because I

 2     tried to manage and harness chaos.  It's not something that can be

 3     resolved structurally.  It was chaotic, and because of what I used to do

 4     previously, as being a producer and director, I knew how to deal with

 5     chaos better.  It was part of my profession.  So they -- I was a worker

 6     in the field, on the ground.  I had to pull out my pistol every so often,

 7     grab people.  At meetings, which I explained everything to them, at one

 8     point in front of 150 people I took off my jacket and said, If anybody

 9     wants to have a fight with me, he can step outside and I'll fight them,

10     if somebody wants to go to war with me.

11             So that's what the situation looked like.  That's what the

12     atmosphere was like.  And then I claimed that staying down there in the

13     field in that territory, this is true for Jajce and the rest, I remained

14     there until the conflict in Rama, Gornji Vakuf, and the entire area,

15     Konjic, Prozor and so on; and I managed to hold the situation under

16     control as much as that was possible, but without a political solution,

17     A, and, B, without a military joint command, and, C, with all the

18     elements we had whereby many in the BH Army wanted to have a conflict

19     with us, you can keep the situation under control for just so long and

20     then it will erupt again.  And unfortunately nobody had absolute power in

21     that respect.  You can do your utmost and work yourself to the bone, but

22     unless you have the right foundations, your house will topple ultimately.

23        Q.   General, in response to Antonetti's -- Judge Antonetti's

24     question --

25             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I have another question,

Page 40458

 1     Mr. Praljak, as regards the event that took place in Rama.

 2             I see that you were very active in the field, according to what

 3     you've just told us.  In front of a group of people who had confiscated a

 4     vehicle, you took out your gun, and apparently you were the -- they did

 5     too, and you were the stronger of the two.  Yesterday, you told a story

 6     whereby you put your gun into someone's mouth, a person who was reticent,

 7     and that you were successful.

 8             Now, the question I would like to put to you is as follows:  Over

 9     and beyond your individual effort, what about your superiors; couldn't

10     they have given more men to help you, armed men, to be able to deal with

11     these situations?  In other words, was there military police or was there

12     any kind of military justice to be able to deal with these special

13     situations?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me explain this.

15             Well, with the car, there was that one isolated case in Rama.  I

16     managed to seize the car from the three men that were trying to take it.

17  You did have the military police, but - you know what? – the conflict had

18  just stopped, and certain positions were still being held when I arrived.

19  In other words, someone has to be there as a litmus test for -- if two

20  groups had fought and there were three or four fatalities on both sides

21  or whatever, there is mistrust, and it's impossible at that time to

22  reconcile parts of the army, the HVO.  The Muslims were wary and you needed

23  somebody to come in, and that was me, and it's impossible to join the armies

24     straight away.  What I tried to do was to join up the civilians first.  I

25     asked that 150 people be brought from the villages, prominent villagers,

Page 40459

 1     people who were prominent in their villages and trusted and respected in

 2     their villages.  So you would have to -- it's a heated atmosphere and you

 3     have to instill reason into the people's minds, and it's very difficult

 4     to establish a dialogue, to begin with.

 5             From this document, you can see that a military police did exist,

 6     because many of the cars were found.

 7             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   What do you mean is that?

 9        A.   3D00424, and that's ten days after my arrival.  Here we have an

10     order that I signed.  And it was also signed, of course, by

11     Valentin Coric, although I don't think this is his signature.  It's the

12     order to return the vehicles which had been -- which were located at the

13     stations of the 2nd Military Police Battalion.  I think that was in

14     Livno.  So they had been collected, and the ones that they managed to

15     seize from those types over there, that they be returned.  So this

16     required 10 or 12 days of diligent work.  I don't think that all the

17     vehicles were uncovered, but here you have the order whereby they should

18     be returned to their owners.  And by this time, the situation had already

19     calmed down and most of the people who left their homes came back to

20     Rama.  The town was cleaned up and set to right and so on.

21             I did have assistance.  Well, Petkovic wrote an order, Siljeg

22     wrote orders, Franjic wrote orders, and the situation did calm down from

23     one hour to the next, from one day to the next.  And after there's been

24     shooting, it's a slow process, especially so as there were groups still

25     afoot.

Page 40460

 1             And you can see from a document -- well, from the documents that

 2     I looked through and that are in this file, the BH Army was preparing an

 3     attack on Rama and Prozor, and, well, there weren't many of them.  Well,

 4     the problem burgeoned from one month to the next in Rama.  First of all,

 5     it was a problem of weapons, then the school, then the language, then the

 6     fact that they weren't going up to the front-lines, and this grows and

 7     grows, and then they had a meeting where all these questions were to be

 8     resolved.  Someone from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the BH Army, killed one or

 9     two HVO members, and then everything erupted.

10 So you know, Judge Mindua, it doesn’t start just like that, there's always a

11 preparation of several days, months...Preparing for war always takes several

12 years.  There's something that is cooking inside, and then it erupts, and

13 then people say, That's when the war began.  But all these things and wars

14 always begin much earlier on and grow little by little, and the greater the

15 conflict, the longer it is in preparation, whether preparations for World War

16 II, or the aggression in Yugoslavia, or the conflict in Rama.  It grows.

17             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

19        Q.   General, let's continue going through the document about the

20     meeting that took part with 150 people.

21             Please go to 3D00291 and tell the Trial Chamber about the

22     meeting.

23        A.   M'mm-hmm.  Well, here the Security Information Service, the SIS

24     of the Defence Department, explains this.  This was on the 1st of

25     December.  A meeting was held of the operation zone, and after that there

Page 40461

 1     was a meeting with the extremists from among those who had staged the

 2     conflict and hailed from the territories of other municipalities.  I had

 3     collected information, and based on that information I asked, requested,

 4     demanded, shouted out to everybody to come and talk to me.

 5             And then Mr. Salih Ruvic, whom I remember very well, whom I know

 6     very well -- I found there's some people who had been arrested and

 7     imprisoned.  Of course, one did not care whether this was done with a

 8     good cause or not.  I didn't care one way or the other.  I let them go

 9     home.  Somebody wrote that they participated or not.

10             At that moment, well, here you go Your Honour Judge Trechsel,

11     this might interest you, I simply used forceful order issuing to let

12     these people go, and then somebody beat Mr. Salih Ruvic up on his way

13     out.  It was in the evening.  I talked to him.  We agreed that he would

14     go home, that he would gather people, and that he would come back for a

15     joint meeting.  And then when I was supposed to -- when they came to the

16     meeting, at first Ruvic wasn't there, and then after he turned up, he was

17     black and blue after having been beaten.  Now, as to who beat him up, not

18     in a million years can you learn that, but there was a lot of outrage.

19             I cancelled that meeting and called another meeting after that,

20     and at that meeting, now what did I say, what was I talking about?  I

21     talked about all sorts of things.  At the end, I threatened everybody

22     that they will have to face me.  I know that I ended the meeting by

23     removing my coat and said, If any of you fools and idiots want to fight,

24     I'll be outside, and whoever can muster the courage to fight me, please

25     step out.  This was done in order to bring things down from very high

Page 40462

 1     political and military spheres to the level where things were actually

 2     happening on the ground.

 3        Q.   So this is the meeting in the motel?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   With the elderly and respectable people?

 6        A.   Yes.  I called elderly and respectable people.  I let everybody

 7     go from prison.  I managed to patch things up very well and put things in

 8     order.  However, science will show that the next long conflict -- for a

 9     next conflict to happen, it takes a lot less than for the previous one.

10     This is part of social psychology.  If people had found themselves

11     embroiled in something, in a situation like that, the second time 'round

12     it takes a lot less for a conflict to break out than the first time, and

13     this is how the things spiral out of proportion.

14             And then I would add to that, rumours about Travnik: this

15     is happening in Travnik, or, the other thing is happening in Vakuf,

16     Muslims saying that we are strangling them, Croats saying that they have

17     attacked us, those rumours were killing us, killing the whole situation.

18        Q.   Up to Prozor, were there any armed conflicts between the HVO and

19     the BH Army or rather the Territorial Defence --

20        A.   As far as -- there weren't.

21        Q.   There were just tensions?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   And now I would like to ask you, since you were talking about

24     this -- I apologise.  I apologise.  The question was whether these were

25     only tensions.

Page 40463

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   Likewise, it hasn't been recorded that you answered my question,

 3     and my question was:  Before Prozor, were there any armed conflicts

 4     between the Territorial Defence and the HVO?

 5        A.   As far as I know, there weren't.

 6        Q.   Very well, then.  Could you please look at 3D00418.  You may have

 7     to use the e-court.

 8        A.   No, I can see it.

 9        Q.   Very well, then.  What can you tell us about the events described

10     in the document?

11        A.   The document was sent by the TG Konjic to Mr. Sefer Halilovic.

12     This was written by Muslim commanders, and they wrote about their view of

13     the situation in Prozor and how things had transpired, according to them.

14     The document is a lengthy one, but I can, for example, say those things

15     which are true and correct.

16             This was my fifth departure up there with various peoples, fifth

17     or sixth maybe.  I arrived there with Mr. Bozo Rajic and the local

18     commanders and three unknown members of the HVO, as they say.  I really

19     don't remember, myself, whom I took up there, whom I took there to talk

20     to other people, and demanded them to talk to them.  However, this report

21     was issued on the 4th of November, but I believe that it applies to the

22     situation that transpired a few days earlier, the 1st or the 2nd day.

23      It says here that the HOS, and it's obvious that they were grilling lamb

24  on a spit and that they were kicking a lily flag in the mud, which is true,

25  they did it, and they said that I did not have the authority and they did

Page 40464

 1     not listen to me, and this is also true.  There were a lot of them under

 2     arms, and all of my attempts -- I managed to deal with them later on, but

 3     at that very moment those drunken youth with that lamb, I could not deal

 4     with them, I couldn't do anything.  And it is also true that I was

 5     visibly up pleasant.  And then I started issuing orders and giving

 6     commands, and so on and so forth.

 7             And what else is there?  It says here under 3 that on several

 8     occasions the general pointed out that the HVO held only Izetbegovic in

 9     any esteem, and that's true.  I was telling them that their commanders,

10     Hanefija Prlic [as interpreted] in Vakuf and some commanders simply were

11     working against the HVO, and I saw this with my own two eyes.  And it was

12     obvious that Sefer Halilovic and the team around him played a double

13     game.  While they were talking to us about calming the situation down,

14     simultaneously they were sending orders according to which Prozor had to

15     be taken.  Divjak raised that.  The documents have already been admitted.

16             So this is a very dirty, double game.  On the one hand, they were

17     talking to me and I was working as a dog, trying to calm the situation

18     down; and, on the other hand, he writes that Prozor had to be taken from

19     the direction of Here.  Zejnil Delalic was also the same kind

20     of player.  He was saying one to me and doing another behind my back.  We

21     thought that he is just stupid, and he couldn't see things.  We were

22     wrong.  The same thing was done by the BH Army in Rama.  They had two

23     plans.  I received them, and they took it; Plan A against the Chetniks,

24     and Plan B was against the HVO.  And they had been preparing those two

25     plans for months.  And when people see that, it's very difficult to

Page 40465

 1     establish any sort of cooperation.

 2             After that, if you see somebody playing double games, games that

 3     are not played with an open heart, and I also had a very hard time,

 4     although I deliberately turned a blind eye to some things.

 5             Look at the documents.  All these documents have already been

 6     admitted in this case.

 7        Q.   P00708, for example, is one of them.

 8        A.   It seems to me that this document also bears two stamps.  We

 9     believed at the time Mr. Jaganjac, who had already become

10     Mr. Izetbegovic's adviser for military issues, who also arrived in the

11     area up there -- it's very difficult for me to give you the exact date.

12     I recognise the dates in the documents.  A joint stamp was crafted a bit

13     later.

14             On the 6th of November, I issued this order, and I believe that

15     it was the basis of all my talks with regard to the joint command.  And

16     the elements were as follows:  Firstly, that there should be order, order

17     should be installed to roads.  Not every fool should have been allowed to

18     step out on the road, establish a check-point, and control whoever they

19     wished.  If there were check-points, the check-points had to be manned

20     jointly by the HVO and the military police of the BiH Army.  The

21     composition at the check-points had to be determined based on the

22     so-called ethnic parity or equal representation.  Joint check-points had

23     to be established within the next 48 hours.

24             Ms. Nika, I can't see the rest of the document for the life of

25     me.  Can you help me out, Ms. Nika?

Page 40466

 1             While this is being done and while you're looking for a document

 2     that will help me out, I am going to see bullet point 5.  This is

 3     something I drew everybody's attention to.  A set of village guards in

 4     the villages, composed of people who were not in military units and

 5     issued necessary weapons to them.  I knew well in advance -- well in

 6     advance that as the tensions mounted and when individuals and groups out

 7     of control, members of the HVO and BH Army who were not on positions, who

 8     were on furlough at home and had not handed over their weapons, it was

 9     impossible.  I'm sure that this would be happening.  It is a statistical

10     given that I was sure that they would go to a village and commit a crime,

11     and that crime would be described either to the BH Army or the HVO.  And

12     it was not a crime of the HVO or the BH Army, but a crime committed by an

13     individual.

14             In order to prevent this from happening, there should have been a

15     joint command in place so as to provide for the establishment of village

16     guards.  In mixed villages, there were elderly people over the age of 60

17     who were to protect the villages from rift-raft, because none of the

18     armies had at any level of administration or power to protect 50 or 60

19     villages in the municipalities of Rama from some rapist or a murderer who

20     would creep into the village during the night.  But that's why the

21     necessary prerequisite was to arrive at a joint command.  And then I also

22     said that the weapons had to be handed over.  There were plenty of

23     weapons around.  Everybody was armed to the tooth.  Order had to be

24     introduced to prevent anybody from turning up in any -- anywhere outside

25     the front-line carrying arms.

Page 40467

 1             I believe that this document that I issued as a commander,

 2     although I repeat, you can see that I was tolerated both by the BiH Army

 3     and the HVO, they accepted me as such, I obviously -- in legal terms, I

 4     was not in a position to sign such a document.  I did, however.  I had

 5     drafted it.  I adhered to it to this very day.

 6             And I go on to say that 64 members of the joint military police

 7     had to be provided to Prozor municipality, with a half/half composition,

 8     although there were more Croats there, but this is not how things should

 9     have been looked at.  I managed to do some things, and some I failed.

10     First we had some successes.  Then it all crumbled, and then we would

11     have to start all over again.

12        Q.   The part that you couldn't read refers to the military police

13     that were supposed to escort convoys and mixed joint patrols, but you've

14     already spoken about that?

15        A.   Yes, I did.

16        Q.   I would now kindly ask --

17        A.   I claim once again that this was the basis or should have been

18     the basis of the way of thinking on the part of the HVO and myself, as

19     the forward representative of the HVO, and then this is how the relations

20     between the HVO and the BiH Army should have been regulated.  I did not

21     meet with anybody's understanding.  I would have installed order into the

22     HVO, but Hanefija Prlic [as interpreted] and other such people in the

23     BH Army -- I'm not saying that everybody in the BH Army was something

24     like that.  There were people in Bugojno for example with whom -- or

25     partly in Travnik, there were people who wanted all this.  There were

Page 40468

 1     people in the BH Army who sincerely wanted this, but there were also

 2     others who sincerely didn't want this, and there were a lot of them and

 3     their numbers grew by the day.  And that's how the Mujahedin came, and as

 4     they kept on coming, the situation deteriorated.

 5        Q.   Just for the record, General, could you please repeat the name of

 6     the person who could not be put under control?  You said "Hanefija" --

 7        A.   Prijic.

 8        Q.   Prijic, did you mean Prijic?

 9        A.   Yes, Prijic, also known as Para.  And some others in Vakuf were

10     of the same kind.

11        Q.   And now could you please look at document P00727 --

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, the document we have

13     before us has two stamps.  The 6th of November, 1992, and there's a

14     number also, 01-2496/92, this document is addressed to all HVO and ABiH

15     members.  When we read these documents and we look at the stamps, we may

16     have the feeling that are a self-proclaimed commander of the joint

17     command and you are giving orders to the HVO and the ABiH Army.  These

18     orders are detailed in items 1 to 11, and you impose a cease-fire in

19     Prozor between 6.00 p.m. until 6.00 a.m.

20             So far, you have told us, until this morning, that you went to

21     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then you went back to Zagreb, and you

22     were there to give a "helping hand," in inverted commas, to

23     General Petkovic.  This document does not fit in with this theory whereby

24     you were providing support or aid.  This is a document from a commander,

25     a chief, somebody who is taking drastic measures and who orders a whole

Page 40469

 1     series of things.

 2             How can you reconcile your mission as a volunteer, coming to give

 3     a helping hand to your comrades, with this document?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's just one explanation that

 5     is truthful, and this is as follows:  In that job to create a joint

 6     command, I was accepted both by the Muslims and the Croats; hence, this

 7     was a job that already involved Mr. Jaganjac, working together with me.

 8     He had already been appointed an adviser to President Izetbegovic, and

 9     from his speech, I could conclude that at least verbally I was supported

10     by Mr. Izetbegovic.  Arif Pasalic had nothing against it.  I believe that

11     he stamped the document, but I'm not sure.  Petkovic had nothing against

12     this, because he was involved in the same job, he was trying, via

13     Sarajevo, and I'm going to show today -- maybe today, if the book is

14     prepared, when he went to Sarajevo to meet with Mr. Sefer Halilovic, who

15     wouldn't meet with him, and said to his deputy, Croat, I don't want to

16     talk to this Ustasha, they're all Ustasha down there.  I'm going to show

17     you this in a book.

18             However, in legal terms, Your Honour Antonetti, you're absolutely

19     right.  There was no basis for me to sign this.  This was the violation

20     of the organisation of the army that you are familiar with.  That's true,

21     you are correct.  However, given the state of chaos that reigned up

22     there, I did, with the permission, meaning nobody objected, they gave me

23     tacit support, I issued orders in the hope -- well, they did have a

24     certain effect, they were successful, but my ultimate hope was that they

25     would result in a joint command.  In any other military, I would have

Page 40470

 1     been put into prison for having done a thing like that.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that's precisely why I put

 3     the question to you.

 4             You give us a small detail.  You said that Arif Pasalic put the

 5     stamp on here.  Arif Pasalic, of course, is dead, and he will not be able

 6     to confirm this.  Since you are under oath, do you ascertain that

 7     Arif Pasalic stamped the document as well?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  I think he did.  After such a

 9     long time, I don't remember.  I can't be sure that Mr. Pasalic -- the

10     late Mr. Pasalic did it.  What I'm saying is it seems to me that he was

11     the one who did it, but --

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question of a technical

13     nature:  Why this document, which is an important one, and you mentioned

14     what you wanted to do with it, why was this document not signed by

15     Muslim, a Muslim, Arif Pasalic, Jaganjac, or some other person?  Why

16     didn't you think of having this signed by a Muslim authority?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, from later documents

18     you'll see that there are some signed by Mr. Jaganjac and by me and that

19     there are other documents where I appoint a command for the return and

20     liberation of Jajce, but all the documents are of the same type.  Some

21     are joint ones, with joint stamps.  I don't know why this particular one

22     wasn't signed by anybody.  I can't remember the circumstances and the

23     reason.  But, anyway, they're identical documents, documents of this type

24     that we're going to show later on referring to Central Bosnia, which, in

25     view of my informal role, would be impossible in any other army.  They

Page 40471

 1     wouldn't have had validity, and somebody would have locked me up if I

 2     were to write them of my own accord.

 3             But it is true and correct that Mr. Jasmin Jaganjac, and he was

 4     Izetbegovic's military adviser, and I, that we had - how shall I say

 5     this? - support, I from the HVO and he from certain BH Army structures,

 6     to try and do that.

 7             So you'll in the documents that I'm going to show you the extent

 8     to which this upset Sefer Halilovic and what he did until the end of

 9     April.  He sent Jasmin Jaganjac packing, never to return to the army or

10     politics, and that's when our final efforts fell through.  And this went

11     on for months.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

13             We have to have a break now.  It is just about 12.30.  We shall

14     have a 20-minute break and return in 20 minutes' time.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note, please replace "cease-fire"

16     by "curfew."

17                           --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.

18                           --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall resume.

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

21        Q.   General, turn to document P00720.  If it's not legible, you can

22     see it on your screen.  That's your signature?

23        A.   Yes.  I gave it some thought, and I'm almost certain that at the

24     time when I signed this previous document, Mr. Jasmin Jaganjac had

25     already taken the oath for the BH Army and that he had become -- he

Page 40472

 1     became the military adviser to President Izetbegovic.  And we worked

 2     together, and we speak about an agreement to form a joint command, and

 3     that Juka Prazina's units should be placed under a joint command to be

 4     coordinated by Slobodan Praljak and Jasmin Jaganjac.  So at that time he

 5     was quite certainly already the military adviser to

 6     President Izetbegovic, and in that respect I had the legitimate authority

 7     to sign orders of this kind because, quite simply, well, there was no

 8     opposition to that, especially since I had an ID from the BH Army.  So,

 9     in a way, I was in both armies.

10        Q.   Would you now turn to document P00727, please.

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   This was also signed by you; is that right?

13        A.   Yes.  And we had to save Travnik after the fall of Jajce, because

14     there was complete chaos, and after all the soldiers that were routed and

15     stormed through Travnik and the enormous quantity of refugees, and the

16     defence of Travnik, and then from the whole of Central Bosnia towards

17     Sarajevo did not in actual fact exist.  And I'll talk about that later

18     on.

19             But, anyway, I appoint a temporary commander, Blaskic.

20     Ante Prkacin, who was a HOS general, that's how he represented himself,

21     and he was confirmed as -- by Izetbegovic as a member of the BH Army.

22     And then the third man was Mr. Arif Pasalic, who had arrived from Mostar

23     and at that time was up there together with me.  And this stamp on the

24     left was made as a stamp of the joint command, and Jasmin Jaganjac issued

25     instructions that this stamp be made up.

Page 40473

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Now look at document P00776.

 2        A.   The deputy chief of the Main Staff of the Supreme Command of the

 3     BH Army, Mr. Jovan Divjak here, in actual fact he confirms my order, and

 4     it says:  "Signed by General Praljak" up there in the introduction.  And

 5     he goes on to say that pursuant to that order, the HVO and the BH Army,

 6     he then issues a similar order for Jablanica, or Konjic and Jablanica.  I

 7     don't know.  Anyway, the essential point in this document is the fact

 8     that he conveys and confirms that my order was legal and lawful.  And

 9     through the merits later on of General Petkovic and so on, we managed to

10     move towards setting up a joint command, at least with some people.

11        Q.   In the introduction to this document, it says that this was based

12     on an agreement reached at an expanded meeting of the representative of

13     the BH Army and representatives of the HVO Staff.  Now, General, have you

14     already spoken about that meeting to us here today?

15        A.   I don't remember.  It's difficult to remember all those meetings,

16     there were so many of them.  All I want to say is that I did not act as

17     some idiot individual who came to meddle in affairs that didn't concern

18     him.  I went from Zagreb -- I left Zagreb because Franjo Tudjman

19     certainly had agreements with Alija Izetbegovic, and then down there I

20     managed once again, together with Jaganjac and Petkovic and Arif Pasalic

21     and Prkacin, to try and do something, and I managed to defend Travnik

22     successfully.  And at that time, there were no conflicts.  The conflicts

23     were stopped.  Some joint actions were decided and launched.  We defended

24     Travnik together, and until after the new year of 1993, that whole

25     period, followed the right road, and gave us hope that we would be

Page 40474

 1     successful.

 2        Q.   General, you mentioned Stjepan Siber's book.  You wanted to refer

 3     to it.  We haven't prepared for it today.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you know that I'm always

 5     very much interested in the documents, and this is an important document

 6     which credits the other documents that we examined earlier.  But to be

 7     absolutely certain, could you tell me exactly what the function of

 8     Jovan Divjak was within the BH Army?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The deputy chief of the Main Staff,

10     the third-ranking person in the hierarchy or, rather, the second-ranking

11     person in the hierarchy, because over there the chief was

12     Sefer Halilovic, he was number one, and his deputy was Jovan Divjak.  He

13     was number two in the hierarchy of the BH Army at that particular moment.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  Now, the document comes

15     in with the stamp from Jablanica on the date of November 20th -- to

16     Jablanica, at the BH in Jablanica; is that correct?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right there.  In the

18     subsequent document, you will see that at that time Jovan Divjak came to

19     the area.  I believe that he was even arrested by some elements of the

20     BiH Army, obviously those who -- Jovan Divjak is a Serb, he's a Serb.  As

21     far as I know, and there are documents to that effect, he was charged

22     with something, and they kept him in custody, in prison.  The Army of

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina did that.  Some renegade commanders from Konjic

24     arrested him.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

Page 40475

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   General, below the title of the Staff of the Supreme Command, it

 3     says "IKM Konjic."  What does that mean?

 4        A.   It stands for the forward command post.  Every time when the

 5     Main Staff of the BiH Army sent a high representative to a place, the

 6     place where that person was sent was established as a forward command

 7     post.

 8        Q.   And this order was sent to Jablanica, in the direction of

 9     Jablanica?

10        A.   Yes, this is an order.  He is ordering whatever he is ordering.

11     I don't want to go on reading.

12        Q.   But the honourable Judge asked you whether he was in Jablanica.

13        A.   I don't know.  He was in Konjic.  He was in Konjic, that's for

14     sure.

15        Q.   As a representative?

16        A.   Yes, at a forward command post there.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

18             Your Honours, we have not prepared copies of Stjepan Siber's book

19     for you.  The general wants to refer to just one part of the book.  The

20     book will be prepared when we talk about Central Bosnia.  However, if

21     it's in well with the hitherto presentation of his --

22             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, the book's not in the e-court with

23     a translation.  The Prosecution objects to its being used at this time.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Madam Pinter, there's a

25     technical difficulty here, but you can get around that by asking the

Page 40476

 1     question about the book which was published by Mr. Siber and what was in

 2     that book regarding the topic we're discussing.  You can deal with it

 3     that way.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I will avoid that, but I'm going to

 5     give you the page number in e-court, which is 3D40-1167 in the English

 6     version.  The document number is 3D03535.  I've already said that, and

 7     the English page number is 3D40-1167.

 8             MR. STRINGER:  Sorry, that's 3D0 -- I think what we have in the

 9     transcript has too many digits in it.  Is it --

10             MR. KOVACIC:  One "0" too much.

11             MR. STRINGER:  It's 03535?  Thank you.

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   General, in Stjepan Siber's book, you wanted to point to a

14     chapter that fits in nicely with what we have been discussing so far?

15        A.   Yes.  We will come back to the book, which is the war diary for

16     the year 1992.  The title of the book is "Deception, Misconceptions and

17     Lies."  I would like to refer you to a very short chapter that you said,

18     and this is the 7th October 1992.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter's correction:  "Deception,

20     Misconception and the Truth" is the title of the book.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Siber, who was person number

22     three in the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, he says that for that day a

23     meeting was scheduled with a representative of the HV.  In the morning, I

24     was trying to convince Sefer Halilovic he had to persuade him, because I

25     was informed that Petkovic would also be there, that he would also

Page 40477

 1     participate in the talks.  Sefer turned this down, he refused to listen,

 2     and now he quotes:

 3             "Sefer, I don't want to talk to any Ustasha.

 4             "They're all Ustasha down there except for you."

 5             This is what Sefer says to Siber.  Siber is a Croat, and that's

 6     why he's telling him that.  He goes on.  Siber answers Sefer, and I

 7     quote:

 8             "Sefer, what's your words?  If you think that that statement of

 9     yours is something that I find appealing, then you are terribly wrong.

10             "Very well.  I was just joking," replied he with a cynical smirk.

11             And then Siber kept on insisting attending the meeting which

12     would also be attended by Ganic, Kljujic and others; and it would be

13     pointless for him, Sefer, not to be there.  And Sefer Halilovic replies:

14             "Lie, Stjepan.  Use any lie you want.  Tell them I'm sick, that I

15     have a high fever.  Get me out of this mess."

16             Vehbija Karic and Bena Fabijan [phoen] went to the meeting, and

17     on behalf of the Herzegovina HVO, as they call it, which was not the

18  Herzegovina HVO but just the HVO. We came to the building of the Presidency

19  of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, Milivoj Petkovic,

20  also Blaskic, Kostroman, Zarko Keza from VOS, who has already been mentioned

21  here as the chief of VOS in the Main Staff of the HVO, and Bandic, the same

22  Ivan Bandic who testified here not so long ago.  And on the other side,

23  there were Ganic, Kljujic, Dahic, Hebib, and a team from the BiH

24  Army, minus Sefer Halilovic. He goes on to say that the meeting was joined

25  by Generals Morillon and Razzak [phoen] --

Page 40478

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me.  Mr. President, I don't know that

 2     Ms. Pinter has found a way to get around the technical difficulty that

 3     the President identified a few moments ago.  What is happening here is

 4     the general is reading a book, which, unless I'm wrong, somebody can

 5     maybe correct me, but I don't see any English translation anywhere, so

 6     he's just putting into the record, into the transcript passages of a book

 7     that we don't have translations for.  It's unfair to do this to any

 8     party, including the Prosecution.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, from a technical

10     point of view, you are right, but the fact is we do not have the book in

11     the e-court system.  General Praljak is under oath.  You can imagine that

12     he's not going to run the risk of reading anything different from what is

13     on the page so that we then discover that there's been perjury.  So when

14     he is reading out of the book, he must be reading word for word.

15             Now, as regards the translation, he's reading in his own

16     language.  The interpreter in the English booth has translated into

17     English and in the French booth into French, so we're able to follow.  Of

18     course, if we do not have the book, with a full translation, we shall not

19     be able to admit it as such.

20             The question is whether or not this meeting took place.

21     Apparently, yes, because Siber says that was the case.  And when you

22     interrupted General Praljak, I believe I heard that General Morillon was

23     also present.  You interrupted him at that point, so I'm not quite sure

24     exactly what he intended to say at that point.

25             This being said, there is a mistake in the transcript, but I

Page 40479

 1     don't remember which line it was.  At a given point in time in the

 2     English text, it's stated "VONS," whereas I believe General Praljak

 3     referred to someone from the HOS.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] VOS, the Military Intelligence

 5     Service which was part of the Main Staff of the HVO.  Zarko Keza was its

 6     representative.  And in addition to General Morillon, there was also

 7     General Razzak Korvazak [phoen].  The book has been translated.  I

 8     just -- since we are discussing this thing, I just wanted to show, and I

 9     did it on purpose, who was the one who was undermining all the efforts.

10             When it comes to Mr. Sefer Halilovic, the chief of the Main Staff

11     of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, his colleague from the JNA,

12     General Petkovic, and all of us here, he sees all of us as Ustasha.  And

13     you will see later, in his other statements, for him we are Ustasha.

14     Nothing could be established with this man.  He was, and I can bring

15     proof to that effect because the BH Army interviewed him, he was a KOS

16     associate, the associate of the Counter Intelligence Service of the

17     Yugoslav People's Army.  This is what I'm trying to demonstrate, how the

18     efforts fell through and why.

19             Petkovic and his team, they all went to Sarajevo.  Obviously,

20     Morillon was aware of that.  And then Sefer says, Lie, I'm not going, I'm

21     not talking to Ustasha.  He's going to repeat that in Geneva and

22     everywhere else.  This is the crux of what I am saying here.

23             How come that painstaking efforts, which lasted for months, fell

24     through, and why there was no cooperation between the Muslims and Croats,

25     this sentence goes to prove that.

Page 40480

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand.  You're saying

 2     that Halilovic played a game, so to speak, that wasn't along the same

 3     lines as Mr. Izetbegovic.  That's what I've understood.  But did he agree

 4     with the Young Muslims that we talked about yesterday, or was he

 5     dependent on the Serb KOS, K-o-s, or was he playing some other game?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A, he was not a Young Muslim, as

 7     far -- B, he was totally opposite to Izetbegovic and he undermined all of

 8     his efforts, and he says so in his book.  And another BiH general,

 9     Muslimovic, also writes about that.  He used the most derogatory terms

10     when he talked about Izetbegovic.  He called him an old fart.  And this

11     is the Muslim generals who talked about all that.  He played his own

12     game.  Before the war, he was a member of KOS.  Whether he remained that

13     during the war, I leave it to others to be the judge of that.

14             However, it is things like that that resulted in the attack of

15     the BiH Army on the HVO, him and the like-minded people.  For him, we

16     were Ustasha.  All Croats were Ustasha for him.  And if he possibly

17     signed something, he did it in bad faith, he did it only if he had to,

18     under duress.  Everything he did in the war until Neretva-93, 1993,

19     everything was against the Croats, against the HVO; and this is what I am

20     claiming, and this is what has been demonstrated.  It's not that Praljak

21     is confirming this.  Siber is confirming this.  General Muslimovic does

22     it, too, in his own book.  And Sefer Halilovic also confirms this in his

23     book.

24             And this is what I'm going to introduce, and I just wanted to

25     show the honourable Judges why everything that I will go on exploring,

Page 40481

 1     why the whole efforts involving Jasmin Jaganjac and others fell through,

 2     not because the HVO wanted it to be so, but rather because these people

 3     from the BiH Army produced the conflict and attacked the HVO.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Just for the information of the

 5     Chamber, the English translation is 3D02647.  However, the page from

 6     which the general was reading is 3D40-1167.  I misspoke, because we have

 7     two numbers for the back.  One is for the Croatia version and the other

 8     is the English version, and that's why I made a mistake when I quoted the

 9     number of the first document.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Pinter, when you quote

11     numbers, please go a bit more slowly, because there are numerous

12     mistakes.  So please slow down when you read out numbers, because our

13     interpreters do excellent work, but there are times when it's very

14     difficult to follow at high speed.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I'll do my

16     best, really.

17             Document number 3D02647, this is where you will find the English

18     translation of the book.

19             MR. STRINGER:  I appreciate counsel is giving me the reference,

20     now that the general is finished reading from the book.  It would have

21     been useful five or ten minutes ago, but thanks anyway.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I was not able to

23     find it sooner.

24        Q.   General, could we now move to your testimony about Jajce, about

25     the events preceding the fall of Jajce, during the fall of Jajce, and

Page 40482

 1     following the fall of Jajce, and your activities in that respect?

 2        A.   Thank you.

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the Trial Chamber, we have

 4     submitted a short file.  The title is "Jajce 1992."

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to recount briefly and

 6     refer to the global part.

 7             After the lull of Rama, Konjic, Vakuf and so on, I went back to

 8     Zagreb for a short time to deal with the affairs there, and then

 9     Dr. Gveric turned up, and of course I had heard the information, too,

10     that Jajce was about to fall.  Dr. Gveric asked for assistance with

11     respect to the armoured bus, a monstrom [as interpreted] of a bus to pull

12     out from Jajce, a monster.

13        Q.   And Dr. Gveric was where?

14        A.   The Gveric from the HVO, from the Main Staff, the Health Service.

15             Anyway, after we tanked up the bus and it set off, knowing what

16     the situation was, I went, too, I went down there.  The situation --

17     well, there was a repeated meeting with Petkovic, a hasty one, and then

18     we tried to see if there was any chance of sending units which would help

19     save Jajce.

20             General Petkovic gave permission for some HVO units to advance

21     towards Jajce.  Secondly, some parts of the military police of the

22     BH Army from Mostar were also supposed to -- or, rather, wanted to move

23     towards Jajce.  And, third, Prkacin, who was a HOS general and recognised

24     by Izetbegovic as part of the BH Army, brought in a group of 400 people,

25     400 men, to Capljina, who somewhere from Croatia had reported as

Page 40483

 1     volunteers and said they wanted to go and defend Jajce.

 2             So this group of 400 men was more than 70 percent Muslim.  In the

 3     Capljina barracks they were supposed to be equipped.  And this matter

 4  with General Prkacin was done together with Bruno Stojic to provide clothes

 5  for them, to give them weapons if they needed some extra weapons and weren't

 6     equipped properly.  And once they were equipped, they advanced on Jajce.

 7     And then -- and of course we have a precise report about all that.  An

 8     unbelievable situation took place whereby the BH Army did not want to

 9     allow and, in fact, stopped these smaller units and this bigger one,

10     because it was 400 strong.  They would not allow them to pass towards

11     Gornji Vakuf, and especially not from Gornji Vakuf onwards, where they

12     held control.  They didn't allow these units to advance and defend Jajce.

13     That was, A, quite incomprehensible, and if there was any desire on their

14     part to fight a joint battle, and, B, this was an indication that

15     something was amiss, seriously amiss, in that whole play of theirs, and

16     that they consider us anything else but their foes.

17             And Prkacin, we'll come back to his report.  We see how he --

18     what he tried to do.  Anyway, these people were mistreated along that

19     route for days, and they weren't able to break through at all and had to

20     return ultimately.  And the military police that was sent up there to

21     help were unsuccessful; the HVO military police, that is.  They weren't,

22     nor was the BH Army police able to pass.  They sent them back, too.  So

23     you can understand it from a different perspective altogether.

24             Now, I, myself, managed to get through.  I passed through all the

25     check-points.  Well, I know -- well, if somebody stopped me, I would

Page 40484

 1     shout at them, and while they would find their way, I would pass through.

 2             Anyway, the situation in Travnik was terrible.  There was

 3     soldiers who had stormed through the town and left, and the HVO soldiers

 4     went to Herzegovina.  Nobody could stop them.  The BH Army soldiers went

 5     towards Vakuf.  That's the brigade -- the Jajce Brigade that was set up

 6     in Jajce later on.  But nobody stayed in Travnik.  In Travnik, there was

 7     some BH Army command there, some sort of headquarters in a house that was

 8     called "Plave Vode," or "Blue Waters," and the command of

 9     Tihomir Blaskic, and the defence line simply did not exist.  And when he

10     managed to send his unit back because he wasn't able to get through,

11     Prkacin did eventually get through.  So Prkacin sent his men back, but he

12     managed to get through.  And then later on, quite a bit later on,

13     Arif Pasalic arrived.

14     At the beginning, I was alone with Blaskic, and then at my own initiative

15  I took over the management of the chaos and the defence of Travnik.  I tried

16  to contain the chaos, because Blaskic was a trained soldier who commanded a

17     battalion, and he had his remit.  For example, after we toured the

18     positions at which a line was to be set up to prevent the Serbs from

19     breaking through, and the Serbs were advancing slowly - they would do a

20     bit of shooting, then stay in the village and drink, so they didn't use

21     military logic that a Western unit would take; otherwise, they would have

22     passed through Sarajevo without any problems - and then this left the

23     possibility open to us to establish something.

24             Anyway, I asked Blaskic, and we'd established where we were going

25     to do this, to take some work platoons and to dig trenches in the area,

Page 40485

 1     to put up a proper defence, and he knew how to do this.  This was

 2     something that he knew how to do.  But when he asked the people to come

 3     and help him out with planks of wood or whatever, some construction

 4     material, he would come back to me and say that nobody wanted to provide

 5     those materials and that they wanted to be given receipts for the

 6     issuance of those goods.  I, of course, said, Well, fuck receipts.  Write

 7     down whatever you want, man; threaten, force, do whatever you want.  And

 8     at two exits to Travnik, I set up -- I put some people there who I saw

 9     were brave.  I put some brave people there and said that nobody was going

10     to leave Travnik unless they had a permit from me.

11             The first person sent back from the check-point was the deputy of

12     the number-one man in Travnik.  He was a Croat.  The number-one man was a

13     Muslim.  The number-two man was a Croat.  So they asked him, Have you got

14     a permit from Praljak?  He said, No.  They sent him back, and that was

15     the group of people.  And when he returned, there was a group of people

16     standing around there to see what was going to happen.  And when I asked

17     the man, All right, where -- which direction did he go in, he said, I

18     went to Split to start the defence preparations of Travnik.

19             So here you have a political leader who is fleeing, and he has

20     the gall to say that he was going to Split to begin preparations for the

21     defence of Travnik, if you please.  I kicked him in his ass, in front of

22     all those people, to tell him, and to send a message to others of course,

23     “I have positioned myself as the commander here and no fucking

24     politician is going to fuck with me.  I'm going to defend this town with

25     these guys.”

Page 40486

 1             And we managed to dig the trenches, and let me tell you that

 2     shells were falling from the Serb side, Vlasic and elsewhere, on Travnik,

 3     and there was a hell of a noise.  And knowing that the units -- well,

 4     there was some great guys on the Muslim side, Leho, a case in

 5     point from Turbe, but there were also those who couldn't care less one

 6     way or the other, whatever happened.

 7             And as I realised that the units that we would take out to take

 8     up these positions after the fall of Jajce would be very fragile and weak

 9     and would not be able to repel a Serb attack, I asked Blaskic go to the

10     Bratstvo company, which was a manufacturer of military goods, to gather

11     100 men there the very next day.  It was a matter of hours.  You had to

12     work quickly, to produce 100 guided mines, they are called "MRUD" in

13     military terms, that can be placed 50, 60, 70 metres underneath the

14     first -- the front-line positions, and electricity is used to activate

15     them.  They have a strong impact, and I was certain that when this

16     explosive was laid down and that when the brave men, the men who were

17     bravest, managed to ignite them and they exploded, that this would repel

18     the Serbs and that this would give us a day or two to organise ourselves

19     further.

20             Now, it was 2.00 a.m., picture this, 2.00 a.m., no sleeping.  I

21     had just returned from a village beneath Mount Vlasic, where I went to

22     see my men, and I found Blaskic talking over the phone obviously to the

23     general manager of this company, and this went on for ages.  It was a

24     long conversation, and I asked him, Who are you talking to at such

25     length, man?  And he told me the name of the man from this company,

Page 40487

 1     Bratstvo.  I took over the telephone receiver and told the managing

 2     director, because he had been given orders to go and produce this --

 3     produce these explosives, and he asked me do I know what the time is, as

 4     if we were socialising and how come somebody dared wake him up at

 5     2.00 a.m.

 6             Now, you have to know that the company was a major manufacturer

 7     of weapons in the former Yugoslavia and he was god there, so who are

 8     these Blaskics and Praljaks and whatever in -- to disturb him at that

 9     time of night, because he was a big boss.

10             And after he said all this, after he uttered all this, and in

11     Europe it is considered that the Hungarians have the worst swear words,

12     as well as the Croats and the Italians, so I assume these swear words

13     were made up of all those three nations, the swear words of all those

14     three nations, the words that I uttered, and I said that I had sent the

15     military police to arrest him, to take him to his company, to tie him to

16     the radiator, and that at 8.00 in the morning I was going to execute him,

17     shoot him.

18             Now, Your Honours, of course I didn't execute him, and I had a

19     cup of coffee with him a few days later, but at moments like that he had

20     to take on responsibility.  You had to take on responsibility and issue

21     these orders and get results.  Not only did I get these 100 MRUDs, these

22     devices, but I got hundreds more later on.

23             We set up our defence, to cut a long story short.  The defence of

24     Travnik was successful, and they did not manage to break through.

25             And just one more detail.  I don't know that we'll have time to

Page 40488

 1     look at it today.  But, anyway, there was a unit made up of young men.

 2     They were up at positions.  Two shells fell, I assume, and they fled.  So

 3     that's just briefly, because you'll be able to see that on the footage.

 4     They're the films that I took later on as documentaries.  I lined them

 5     up, I asked them why they were fleeing.  I threatened them.  I asked them

 6     who their officers were.  A few men stepped forward and said that they

 7     were the commanding officers.  And I said, Well, you go straight to

 8     prison, then.  And the others said, Well, we'll go to prison, too,

 9     because they didn't want to go back, they wanted to go to prison.

10             Now, faced with a situation of this kind, I thought, well, I'll

11     send them to prison, but they can take off their uniforms, because they

12     were uniforms of the Croatian people.  So once again I had to threaten

13     them.  I said, Strip.  And once they took their clothes -- their uniform

14     off - it was cold - then they started backtracking, said they didn't want

15     to go to prison, that they were ready to go back.

16             Now, you have to turn the whole thing 'round.  You did a bit of

17     threatening.  Then you had to become a paternal figure.  And then I said

18     to them, You're brave young men.  You're going to do it.  So these aren't

19     military skills.  They're only partially military skills.

20             In this general disarray, and I'm telling you the facts and the

21     events as they took place.  And that completes my brief portrait of this

22     picture.  I managed to move the HVO and part of the BH Army to get them

23     going, although certain parts, Refik Lendo, for example, who said that

24     there were three reserve battalions, I wasn't able to get that at all.

25     They hid them.  Anyway, at meetings that we had, I was very precise and

Page 40489

 1     said that obviously they were keeping those battalions for settling of

 2     accounts with us because they didn't want to deploy them in the battle

 3     against the Serbs.

 4             The result was that Travnik was defended successfully, that

 5     Central Bosnia, that had no defence up to Sarajevo, was defended, and the

 6     way in which this is done I have described to you fully.

 7        Q.   General, we have time.  The film has been prepared.  If you wish,

 8     maybe we can watch it.

 9        A.   Yes, we may.

10        Q.   This is Exhibit 3D03114, transcript number 2.  This was

11     submitted --

12             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] One moment, please.  There's a

13     question before that, Ms. Pinter.

14             Well, Witness, Mr. Praljak, once again I'd like to get back to my

15     previous concern.  The end result, well, was good.  Order was established

16     in Travnik.  You obtained the weapons you wished to do have, but what I'm

17     worried about is the method you used because you arrested the big boss,

18     you tied him to the radiator, and you threatened to execute him.  Of

19     course, you didn't execute him, because on the following morning, or a

20     few days later, you had a cup of coffee with him.  But the question I

21     have is this:  Is this not something that is like a threat in the minds

22     of your men?  Were your soldiers also entitle to threaten people, to

23     threaten to execute them?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, no.

25             First of all, my soldiers, or the ones that remained, saw that

Page 40490

 1     there was somebody -- first of all, I received almost 1.000 MRUDs without

 2     which we would not have been able to carry out intention through.  Second

 3     of all, the threat was just acting.  Third of all, I appeared in public

 4     with that same man only two days later, and everybody knew that -- the

 5     most important thing.  It is true that under normal circumstances I could

 6     be charged with threatening somebody, but this was a war, and somebody

 7     refused to obey an order after mobilisation.  Your Honour, he was well

 8     due for execution.  In any normal military, he would have been executed.

 9             The state was in a war.  That company was not his private

10     company.  It was the property of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The general

11     mobilisation had been called.  The state of war was proclaimed.  I could

12     have easily executed him for having refused to participate in the defence

13     of the state.  Of course, this has nothing -- in a normal military, for

14     example, in the Second World War in France or somewhere else, that same

15     person would have been executed, court-martialed.

16             My soldiers knew me too well, and really nobody in their right

17     mind could think that I could really threaten somebody.  So my joint

18     appearance with him, the coffee, and another director from Vitez and so

19     on and so forth, I stand by my behaviour.  This was the matter of

20     seconds.  If I had given in to this man and if I had engaged in a

21     discussion, like Blaskic did, Travnik would not have been defended.  They

22     would have marched on all the way to Sarajevo.

23             I would have repeated all of my decisions, I've already told you,

24     because my decisions are the expression of my way of thinking.  Of what

25     you are asking, a war is a war, decisions have to be made, I stand by my

Page 40491

 1     decisions, because between a threat to an idiot, who is a traitor of his

 2     country, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, 100.000 people in

 3     Central Bosnia or, in other words, Bosnia would have been divided in

 4     half, I did not think twice.  This was the expression of my morale, of my

 5     military morale, of my idea of how to defend the country, anything like

 6     that.

 7             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

 8             MR. KARNAVAS:  Mr. President, I listened to the question and I

 9     listened to the answer, and I'm not sure the answer was quite consistent

10     with the question itself, because as I understand, the question was

11     whether, through your actions, it would have given the wrong impressions

12     to the soldiers, in other words, the green light for them to behave in a

13     like manner.  I believe that was the essence of the question.  That needs

14     to be answered, which wasn't answered, as opposed to what you indicated,

15     which was for your own behave.  So for that -- could we concretely

16     answer, it could be beneficial to you and to others as well.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, General.  The question put

18     to you by my colleague was a question which aimed at the following:  If a

19     commander sets the example and flies off the handle, this can have an

20     impact on his men.  And as regards this particular aspect of the

21     question, you did not answer.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] True.  The example said by a

23     commander is the most important thing in a war.  However, you have to

24     look at all of the examples said by that commander, and my soldiers were

25     aware of all the examples of my behaviour in Capljina, in Mostar, in the

Page 40492

 1     defence of Travnik, and so on and so forth.  They knew only too well how

 2     their commander was acting and behaving.  An isolated example could have

 3     been wrong.  However, the soldiers talk among themselves.  All the HVO

 4     commanders and a majority of the soldiers of the BiH Army knew what my

 5     behaviour was from Capljina, on to Mostar, and then to Konjic and

 6     elsewhere, and they were talking about that.  And my overall behaviour

 7     and my example was the way it was, the way you saw it.  I would have

 8     given my own life to prevent somebody from committing a crime before my

 9     eyes.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall adjourn for today,

11     since there are only a few seconds left.

12             But before doing that, I wanted to ask Mr. Kovacic this:  A few

13     weeks ago, I asked you to provide me with the list of documents which,

14     according to you, are fake or forged.  Since I am getting prepared for

15     those questions I want to put to Mr. Praljak, I would have found it

16     useful to have these documents.

17             MR. KOVACIC:  Yes, Your Honour, of course we are aware of that,

18     and we are working on that.  Unfortunately, the problem was we were not

19     able, for quite a long time, to identify all the documents mentioned in

20     Mr. Praljak's testimony in the Naletilic case.  There seems to be some

21     confusion with numbers.  We definitely know there was one which was in

22     our case, but we have some problems in identifying some numbers in

23     Naletilic which are those numbers in this case.  We need like maybe -- I

24     hope that in three days at most, we will do that.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

Page 40493

 1             We have already overstepped our time.  As you know, we shall meet

 2     again tomorrow at 9.00.

 3             For Mr. Praljak's Defence, I would like you to know that you have

 4     already had 23 hours and 40 minutes.  Thank you.

 5             And we shall reconvene tomorrow.

 6                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,

 7                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day of May,

 8                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.