Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 8871

 1                           Thursday, 28 May 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The Accused Prlic, Pusic, and Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation][No interpretation]

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

 9     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-74-T,

10     the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar, this is

12     Thursday, May 28, 2009, and I welcome Mr. Petkovic, I also greet

13     Mr. Stojic and Mr. Praljak.  I wish the best to Mr. Pusic, who is not

14     with us today.  I also greet the counsels for Defence, as well as

15     Mr. Stringer and his associates and everyone helping us.

16             I would like our usher to please move to closed session if

17     possible.

18                           [Private session]

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 8872

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Page 8879

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 7                           [Open session]

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mrs. Pinter, have

10     you found any trace of the documents that I was asking for?

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I looked for them

12     yesterday, looked for the traces; and I'll be able to provide you with a

13     definite answer on Tuesday after I've carried out some additional checks.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You have the floor.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] You will receive my answer on

16     Tuesday.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor.

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

19     morning to you and everybody else in the courtroom.

20                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

21                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

22                           Examination by Ms. Pinter:  [Continued]

23        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, General.  We left off yesterday

24     dealing with page 164 of the book or page 3D33-1027, and 3D33-1028,

25     3D33-1029, 3D33-1030, and 3D33-1031; which in the English version is

Page 8880

 1     3D40-0864 to 3D40-0868 of document 3D02648.

 2             Go ahead, General.

 3        A.   Thank you.  I, too, noticed that because of the time, I suppose

 4     that I omit to say good morning to everybody in the courtroom and to the

 5     Judges.  So I'd like to put that right and say good morning.

 6             This is the last document that we're going to look at from this

 7     book, and it is, "The tasks of the Republican Supreme Staff, Supreme

 8     Command Staff," as Mr. Sefer Halilovic calls it.

 9             In spite of the fact that the Presidency of the Republic of

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina and the government of the Republic of

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina did not prepare for a war that was quite obviously

12     burgeoning from everything that we have seen and every -- and -- but,

13     however, Alija Izetbegovic didn't think that a war would actually break

14     out.

15             But as you see here, and this is something that we've seen from

16     the previous documents, the Patriotic League in Bosnia-Herzegovina had

17     already been formed, and at the head of the military section of the

18     Patriotic League was Sefer Halilovic.  And here he speaks about how the

19     preparations had started for the meeting at which the tasks were set out.

20     It began at the end of 1991, the preparation for the meeting, and the

21     meeting at which these plans were put forward was held on the 7th and 8th

22     of February, 1992, in a place called Mehurici near Travnik.  And it is

23     the Mehurici which was one of the main bases of the Mujahedin later on.

24     And there he mentions that the conclusions they made there -- well, they

25     rounded off their opinions and made their conclusions in Sarajevo in

Page 8881

 1     February, and -- on the 25th of February, and he says that Rifat Bilajac

 2     and Zicro Suljevic helped his advisors, but it remains unclear as to why

 3     he says that the task of the Republican Supreme Staff, that that's what

 4     they were when it was the Patriotic League, because nobody officially, at

 5     that time, had appointed any Republican Supreme Staff, but be that as it

 6     may.

 7             Now, in point 1 what is interesting is that he's doing -- well,

 8     he's doing something that's militarily quite clear, but he says that on

 9     the maps, the ethnic structures should be marked for all the settlements,

10     villages, local communities and so on.  And he says also how Serb and

11     Croat villages ought to be marked and how Muslim villages ought to be

12     marked.  Of course the SDS units and their possible way of -- modus

13     operandi should be indicated as well, and he says where sabotage should

14     be carried out.

15             And the most important point is perhaps that he foresees planning

16     for the areas and villages and local communities, the Muslim people will

17     be pulling out, and the withdrawal route, as he says, to see who secures

18     that, and the location for their reception and accommodation.

19             So we're dealing with the beginning of 1992 when it became quite

20     clear to this group of people that there would be expulsions, and they

21     are planning this in advance; but they are planning it for the Muslim

22     population because it was a Muslim organisation.

23             And further on in point 5, he confirms this and says that

24     regional plans need to be harmonised, and the plan of defence of

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and also this should apply to the Muslim people.

Page 8882

 1             Although on page 166, for instance, in the directive for the

 2     defence of sovereignty, which is a component part of all this, he goes on

 3     to say that the main be points of support, the forces of disintegration

 4     in the Banja Luka region, and in Eastern and Western Herzegovina; and the

 5     protagonists are the SDA with the Yugoslav People's Army and the

 6     extremist wing of the HDZ.

 7             So at a time when the HDZ and the SDA party were acting jointly

 8     in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were sitting in the

 9     Presidency together, the Croats and the Muslims, the Croats appointed by

10     the HDZ and the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the government of

11  Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as far as Mr. Sefer Halilovic is concerned, already

12  then in Western Herzegovina you had the extremist wing of the HDZ, the basic

13     element together with the SDA, SDS, was the fact -- main factor of

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina's disintegration.  So as far as he's concerned, the

15     Yugoslav Army troops which arrived --

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, sir, you have to try

17     and focus on the essential.  If you hadn't dealt with this page, I would

18     have asked some comments with you because I've been reading this since

19     4.00 in the morning, and I had a question in mind for you.

20             He is taking stock of enemy forces, of the JNA, the 6th Army

21     Corps, the SDS forces, and then something extremely strange to me, HDZ,

22     extreme forces, one to two battalions.  I'm really surprised.

23             When he's taking stock of the enemy forces, Croats only have one

24     or two battalions?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the translation

Page 8883

 1     is, but what he says is one to two brigades.

 2             Your Honours, I don't know what exactly happened in February

 3     1992, but I do know that in -- but I do know that in April 1992, the HVO,

 4     which he would call extremist HDZ forces, were much stronger by that

 5     time.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put aside the semantics,

 7     please.  Just talk about facts, military facts.

 8             There are two HVO brigades.  Could you tell us how many troops

 9     that would amount to?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between 2 and 2.500.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly

12     then, on the ground there are six army corps, six JNA army corps.  That's

13     thousands of men.  And in front of that, the Croats only have 2 to 3.000

14     people?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In February 1992, yes.  Later this

16     number significantly increased.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Now I understand.

18     Thank you.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour

20     Judge Antonetti.  I believe that it is essential for me to reiterate what

21     the opinion of Sefer Halilovic in 1992 was.

22             First of all, they should have the Patriotic League to defend the

23     Muslims only and that the HDZ party they cooperated with, which won the

24     elections, he spoke about that party in the way he spoke about the Serbs.

25     Such an opinion is the cause of everything that followed.

Page 8884

 1             Be that as it may, in item 2, in point 2, he says that already

 2     then the Patriotic League already had 120.000 people, and that number

 3     would increase to 150.000 men when the volunteers arrived from the JNA

 4     and when forces of the Muslim people outside B and H territories came.

 5     So he was expecting them to come.

 6             This is in point 3 of the document where he says that once the

 7     actions, the operations start, the people of Sandzak, Kosovo, and

 8     Macedonia should be called to add to solidarity with their just trouble

 9     and to launch combat actions themselves, so that war should be also

10     launched in Kosovo, Sandzak, Macedonia, in order for them to tie down the

11     enemy's forces.

12             There is nothing to be said for such an idea except that it is

13     totally divorced from reality.

14             At the same time, he also says the contacts should be established

15     against -- with the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina against the

16     common enemy.  It is unclear with which Croats in B and H he was going to

17     establish contacts when he says that the main political party which won

18     the elections with over 70 percent of the votes of the Croatian people

19     was an extremist party and viewed it at the same level as the SDS and the

20     Yugoslav People's Army.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm trying to help you focus.

22     What we have above point 2, we -- you did not say anything about that.

23     General Halilovic developed his political theory on how things would take

24     place, and he says that there are two phases.

25             The first phase, you have without Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There is

Page 8885

 1     some sort of confederation.  So what he sees in his mind is a

 2     confederation with Serbia and Croatia.  And the second phase is the

 3     achievement with the Greater Serbia and Greater Croatia, and to achieve

 4     that, he describes how this would take place with bomb tents, people

 5     being kidnapped, et cetera, et cetera.  And this is his analysis.

 6             This analysis, in 1992, according to you, was that his personal

 7     assessment of the situation, or was this something he -- that was in the

 8     mind of the former Communist Yugoslavs, or was it something that was in

 9     the mind of some Muslim people who thought this was the way things would

10     take place?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The doctrine of those people, and

12     as far as I know, and I know that from Croatia, included assassinations,

13     kidnappings, something which in their minds they thought allowable,

14     permissible, and normal.

15             Thank you very much for your assistance, Your Honours.  It is

16     very difficult for me to actually determine what is essential, and I am

17     begging for your assistance in this regard.  I'm trying to answer all

18     questions but also skipping over some things for the sake of time.

19             Well, at any rate, they expected that action would be taken as

20     you saw in the previously adduced example when he asked how some Serbs

21     could have left Sarajevo.  Because in his conception of war, it was quite

22     normal that people could be kidnapped as was the case with the brother of

23     Nikola Koljevic, who was in the leadership of the SDS, and I stress this

24     in particular.  And that is confirmed here.

25             This was a normal form in their book, a normal form of combat.

Page 8886

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The problem I personally have

 2     with these two notions of Greater Serbia and Greater Croatia, if what

 3     Mr. Halilovic says is true, and I repeat "if," how could he, at his own

 4     level, solve the problem of the Serbian Krajina in Croatia?  Does that

 5     mean that for Greater Serbia, Croatia will be losing all its territories

 6     where there are Serbs but in Croatia?  How can he solve this problem?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no idea, Your Honour.  This

 8     kind of thinking is a total enigma to me on a logical plane.  To me this

 9     is a "contradictio n subiecto."  It is illogical thinking, and I cannot

10     work it out.  I cannot figure it out.  I don't know how can a Greater

11     Croatia and a Greater Serbia exist at the same time.  That is unclear.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

14        Q.   General, we are through with this book you say.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  I still have a question with regard

16     to this book, and we -- the part we are dealing with, and it refers to

17     what is numbered page 3D40-0869.  It is the speech Sefer Halilovic gave

18     to the Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at their first

19     session.

20             He does not, it appears to me, but perhaps you can show the

21     opposite to me.  He does not refer in this speech - as I have rapidly

22     read it - to Croats as an enemy, unless, unless; but it would be for you

23     to explain what it means, he means Croats when he speaks of the local

24     Nazis.

25             MS.  PINTER: [Interpretation]

Page 8887

 1        Q.   General, it is on page 177.

 2        A.   Yes, yes.  Here he refers to -- he again speaks about some things

 3     from history.  The Greater Serbian idea with starts with Garasanin.  He

 4     says Moljkovic.  It is not Moljkovic.  It is Moljevic.  Obviously, he

 5     prepared himself or have heard about it, some things at the very last

 6     minute.  It is not Slaven Moljkovic, but it is Stevan Moljevic.

 7     Obviously, he was ignorant of that fact; and prepared in haste and was

 8     told by someone about that quickly beforehand.

 9             I can see in this document it says that they started a defensive

10     war and stopped the strategic advance of the enemy and put in a new

11     offensive, liberated new territory, et cetera.

12             Your Honours, you can see that he's just telling a story.  There

13     is no strategic stopping of the advance of the enemy, except that by the

14     HVO where there were also Muslims.  And they did succeed in that and

15     there was some action of that kind around Sarajevo.

16             Of course when he speaks to the Assembly, he has to mention the

17     Croats, but in documents -- in the documents which he prepares outside

18     that, he speaks in item 1 about the sovereign, unified, and indivisible

19     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  So please understand this.  The

20     concept of unified, single, sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina was never

21     contested.  It was never disputable.  That is what every country can be

22     once it is sovereign; indivisible, meaning that it might be divided by

23     Serbs who would pull chunks of it into Serbia.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You are talking, Mr. Praljak, but you are not

25     referring to what I was intent on asking you.

Page 8888

 1             If you go on page 179, you have two bullet points that belong to

 2     the previous list of objectives.  And then you have a sentence, at the

 3     end of which he refers to -- I'll try to pronounce it so you can identify

 4     it, "domacim nacistima."

 5             What does he mean with that?  Can you -- can you give an answer?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I -- Your Honours, I have -- cannot

 7     know what he thought; but before that, he said Nazis are the enemies:

 8     The SDS, the SDA, and the extremist wing of the HDZ.  What the extremist

 9     wing of the HDZ is, he never explained.  The HDZ is a legitimately

10     elected political party.  And if Sefer Halilovic says that the HDZ had --

11     had an extremist wing, he should say who those people were.  These are

12     just platitudes of a petty Communist mind.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, in this speech, unless I have been

14     mistaken, he does not refer to HDZ extremists.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour, but I

16     cannot know whom he means when he says Nazis.  We have to link it up with

17     the previous document.  I can only explain it in that way.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  That's perfectly okay.  I don't want to ask you

19     to speculate.  I was just wondering perhaps you knew that.  Thank you.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, since we will

21     put this book aside, and I have no intention to go back to the book

22     later, I have three questions I would like to ask.  And I would like to

23     give you the page number for the English version, 1D290300.  3D40-0876,

24     that's the English version.

25             The document is dated April the 24th, 1993.  It was sent by the

Page 8889

 1     Supreme Command and sent to the Bosnia-Herzegovina republic, and it

 2     concerns the reshuffling and the reorganisation plan for the army.  And

 3     my attention was drawn to one point.

 4             In point number 1 in his draft, he says that the Presidency, the

 5     RBH Presidency, will represent the Supreme Command of the armed forces.

 6     Fair enough.  So far there's nothing to say, but the rest is interesting.

 7     And between brackets, what -- here are the armed forces, and he mentions

 8     them in the following order:  The BH Army, the HVO, and the MUP.

 9             Fair enough.  We are in April 1993.  Mr. Halilovic, in this

10     document includes the HVO in the armed forces, and you know as well as I

11     do that there has been a constitutional debate regarding the legality of

12     the HVO.

13             According to you, General Praljak, your counterpart,

14     Mr. Halilovic, did he consider that the HVO was a legal component of the

15     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or that -- did he consider that you were an

16     illegal formation such as a paramilitary formation or any other

17     formation?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the armed forces here

19     quite clearly, and I've been claiming this on the basis of a whole series

20     of documents, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO are equal, and

21     others are also included, MUP forces and all other entities.  They are

22     listed in places, H-O-S, HOS, et cetera.  So in all the documents which

23     Mr. Halilovic signed or Mr. Izetbegovic and Tudjman, or Halilovic and

24     Petkovic, it is extremely stated that they are equal forces which make up

25     the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their struggle against the

Page 8890

 1     joint enemy.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will now show you two

 3     documents which, according to me, are contradictory with what Halilovic

 4     says.  Please have a look at the first document.  The sequence is the

 5     following:  It's a document dated March.  It goes back to March when he

 6     speaks before the BH parliament, and it's document 3D40-075 -- 0875.

 7     Sorry.  0875.

 8             So he speaks before the parliament.  He once again mentions the

 9     Nazis, but this is not what --

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 209.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he -- the second paragraph

12     of this page, he explains his own view about the Vance-Owen Plan.  And he

13     says that:

14             "We consider that the Vance-Owen Plan considers -- contains,"

15     sorry, "a lot of dangers for Bosnia-Herzegovina."

16             This is what he says before the MPs, and then he goes on

17     developing his arguments.  And I would like you to look at another

18     document when he spoke to, three weeks later, which is document 3D40 --

19     3D40-0877.

20             So there was a delegation from the Bosnia-Herzegovina republic

21     sent to Zagreb, and it seems that this is what was said.  From the very

22     beginning it starts by saying:

23              "Gentlemen, the peoples and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

24     as well as the legal organs of the various authorities, have given their

25     full agreement or support to the Vance-Owen Plan ..."

Page 8891

 1             So a few weeks later, he says the opposite.  First, he says that

 2     there are dangers in the plan; and secondly, he says that everybody

 3     agrees now.  How can you explain this different position?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've tried to

 5     demonstrate that throughout.  There's a double became being played here.

 6     One is when he's forced to make a public statement.  It's another thing

 7     when he signs five or ten agreements with Petkovic.  And yet another is

 8     the fact that he doesn't want to be with the HVO, nor does he recognise

 9     Vance-Owen or Stoltenberg or anything else except a unitary

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And throughout, in looking at the excerpts from

11     these books, I have tried to demonstrate that we were on opposite sides,

12     a partnership side with the BH Army, that we were dealing with people who

13     constantly changed and shifted their positions as they saw fit.

14             The HVO would be a criminal organisation; then it would be one

15     that liberated the territory; then we're going to do this with the HVO;

16     then we're going to take the weapons; then you're the enemy; then there's

17     the right wing, the extremist wing of the HDZ, who are, in fact, Nazis;

18     and so on and so forth.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So looking at the same page, I

20     would like you to read paragraph three of this page, the end of this

21     paragraph three when he talks about contacts between Croats and Chetniks.

22     And what he says is the following:  He has reliable information,

23     according to contacts at the highest level, between Chetniks leaders and

24     HVO commanders.  And he goes on saying, "... and we also have concrete

25     evidence of this at the lowest levels ..." and he mentions the following

Page 8892

 1     areas:  Kiseljak, Vares, Maglaj, Zavidovici, and elsewhere.

 2             So here things are clear for him.  He accuses you also of having

 3     ties with the Serbs.  So what do you respond to that?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is what I have to say to that:

 5     The fact of the number of people who died in these places fighting the

 6     Serbs.  You can't have dead people and be up at the front lines and then

 7     collaborate with them as well.

 8             Later on, when the BH Army began attacking the HVO, I said, yes,

 9     there was a certain amount of cooperation in the sense of medical

10     treatment in the Vares -- the Vares area.  And to be quite frank, at my

11     insistence, express insistence, that we draw up an agreement about the

12     treatment of fighters with the Serbs and the possible defence the area,

13     because the BH Army became an aggressor.  And I say that very openly and

14     publicly, but I also add only at the point in time when they began

15     attacking their allies and only in limited scope.

16             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but there is -- the

17     interpreters obviously didn't understand what Mr. Praljak was saying, so

18     that on page 21, line 24, it said, listen, Mr. Praljak, the agreement on

19     the treatment of fighters with the Serbs and possible defence of the

20     area.

21             General Praljak, the interpretation was that you sort of said

22     that there was an agreement with the Serbs about the defence of the area.

23     Did you say that?  Because it's important.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  There was never any agreement

25     about the defence of the area with the Serbs, and no joint action with

Page 8893

 1     the Serbs was ever planned or carried out.  But here, for the area of

 2     Vares, we reached an agreement with the Serbs at a very high price that

 3     in the hospital at Ilidza, they would treat the wounded, because that's

 4     the only place they could have been transported to, that they would sell

 5     a certain number of bullets and place that at the disposal -- I think

 6     they took two tanks and that this cost half a million marks.  You had to

 7     place a guarantee of half a million marks if something happened to the

 8     tank, and so on and so forth.

 9             However, as we're speaking about this text, we're discussing the

10     text now --

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute.  I have one last

12     question, and I will conclude then -- that will conclusion my questions

13     on this book.

14             There was the last paragraph of this page which seems to

15     summarise Mr. Halilovic's position regarding the HVO.  It's the paragraph

16     before the last one; and this is what he says, at least this is what is

17     written:  He says that the combats which had started in, Puvo [phoen],

18     Busovaca, Novi Travnik, Konjic, Jablanica, and Mostar, and elsewhere are

19     the consequence of the creation of Herceg-Bosnia.  And he says that the

20     ethnical cleansing of the Vance-Owen Plans for provinces 8 and 10.

21             So when you read that, you have the feeling that according to

22     him, all the fights and the combats that took place and which apparently

23     come from -- from your side follow dual rationale, which is, on the one

24     hand, that you have to fortify Herceg-Bosnia; and, secondly, the

25     implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan through the -- through ethnical

Page 8894

 1     cleansing in provinces 8 and 10.  So what do you say about this

 2     accusation made in this statement made in April 1993.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, in the conflict in

 4     Prozor, with the planned attack by the BH Army and one man killed, well,

 5     that took place a month and a half ago before the Vance-Owen Plan.  So

 6     that's a notorious lie.

 7             The clash in Gornji Vakuf started six months before, but it was

 8     developed from the 11th of January, that is to say before the

 9     Vance-Owen Plan, before there were any intimations of signing a

10     Vance-Owen Plan.

11             Now, as far as Busovaca, Konjic, and Jablanica is concerned, and

12     Novi Travnik, Your Honours, there the relationship -- the ratio between

13     the BH Army and HVO soldiers was 1:6, 1:10, to the advantage of the BH

14     Army.  And the number of inhabitants was -- the ratio was 1:3, to 1:4.5

15     after the refugees arrived to the advantage of the Bosniak people when

16     the Muslims arrived as opposed to the Croatians.  Now, how they could

17     clear up the whole area from an army like that, only Mr. Halilovic could

18     give you an answer to that.  Secondly, in April 1993, Your Honours, there

19     was still no conflict in Mostar, and in the south, as you've seen and as

20     you know full well, and this speaks about the man.  It's blatant

21     propaganda and lies.  And, in fact, he is toppling Vance-Owen because if

22     he recognised Vance-Owen, and the Croats were more than satisfied with

23     that, why would they cleanse and clear up?  I can't understand this.  I

24     can say what I think about this, and I'm thinking the same thing as I

25     think about Sefer Halilovic, and that is that it's a man who had

Page 8895

 1     absolutely no idea -- well, he knew what he wanted, but he would say one

 2     thing today and something else tomorrow.  And he saw himself as a

 3     liberator of Bosnia-Herzegovina in which the Croats and Serbs -- only

 4     those Croats and Serbs he liked would remain.  And he took over this

 5     mental frame -- frame from the JNA, which means that if you don't agree

 6     with me, you can buried under the earth.  You can go back to Croatia, or

 7     you can go into -- go to prison.  So if you fail to agree with

 8     Sefer Halilovic and his political options, you had three possibilities:

 9     Either move out and go to Croatia; or, I'm going to kill you and bury you

10     deep in the earth; and the third variant was send you to prison.  So

11     those were his options in dealing with his opponents.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I no longer have any questions

13     on this book.

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, and I apologise to my

15     colleague, Mrs. Nika.  But I think we ought to correct the transcript on

16     page 17, lines 10 and 11.  I didn't get to my feet earlier on because the

17     general was expounding, but I think it will be important.

18             General Praljak, for the consistency of your testimony, on page

19     17, in the lines that I mentioned, 10 and 11 of the transcript.  It says

20     as follows:

21             "That the concept of a unitary united sovereign BH was never

22     questioned."

23             I remember what your sentence was and when you placed a new

24     subject, introduced a new subject into that sentence.  But could you

25     clarify what you meant?  Could you tell Your Honours what you meant and

Page 8896

 1     what was contested and what was not contested?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What was contested was united.  It

 3     was contested then, and it is contested today.  None of the other terms

 4     were contested, either that it was an integral area or a sovereign area,

 5     but whether it was united.

 6             Now, in the Serbian and Croatian languages, and, indeed, in the

 7     Bosniak, too, in a political context, the word "jedinstvena", "single", has

 8     always been considered to mean "one man, one vote" in a civic state.  And in

 9     that way, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, when we speak about unified, it is the

10     nations that are denied, when the citizens become the protagonists of

11     overall and complete sovereignty; and by that, the majority nation, the

12     majority people, in fact, takes over in the theoretical mathematical

13     model and sense.  If you have 51 percent of citizens of one ethnic group,

14     you can take over all the functions in that particular state because

15     you've won.  You're the majority nation, and you go ahead.

16             So this concept, and you know this full well, was completely -- a

17     completely terrible concept in Yugoslavia.  Although the Communists tried

18     to improve some national -- the situation with national quotas, and so on

19     and so forth.  But in that way, it was the Serbs who ruled in Yugoslavia,

20     and I was desperate with that kind of set-up for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21     And, of course, well, wars were waged because of that because it was

22     supposed to be set up on the basis of a bourgeois state with the

23     protection of national interests, that is to say with a body where

24     nations through their electorate can call for --

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you must be brief.

Page 8897

 1     If you start talking about unifying a single people, and so on and so

 2     forth.  You could speak about this forever.

 3             Mrs. Alaburic thought that -- noted that there was something

 4     missing in your answer, and you've provided the additional information.

 5     Thank you.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] precise.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We couldn't agree with the term

 9     united, and I don't think the Croatian politics could agree.  Sovereign,

10     yes.  Integral, yes.  And that's why the Vance-Owen Plan existed and

11     Cutileiro's plan and Stoltenberg's plan and so on and so forth.  I have

12     nothing further to add.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   The word "unitary," can that be equated to "united"?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   We have prepared document 3D00942 as well.  The author is

17     Sefko Hodzic.  And I'm going to ask you to tell us who Sefko Hodzic is

18     first and what this book is about or this document.  And it is entitled

19     "An Unsealed Envelope," "Otpecaceni Koverat."

20        A.   Mr. Sefko Hodzic was a journalist, and his reports were read out

21     on Radio Sarajevo.  And when possible, this was on television, when you

22     would watch television in Sarajevo, and it was also published in the

23     papers.

24             Now, as far as this document is concerned, Mr. Sefko Hodzic wrote

25     every day -- well, he takes it from one day to the next and explains

Page 8898

 1     the -- how the Operation Neretva 93 evolved.  And together with

 2     Halilovic, in the field, on the ground, he very precisely explains what

 3     happens -- what is happening with the BH Army and its commanders; what

 4     they think; what they are they are doing; which axes of attack they are

 5     attacking; what forces they using in the attack; how long this went on

 6     for; what the goals of the operation were; what the intention of the

 7     fighting -- what the intensity of the fighting was.  So an overall

 8     picture, an image, of Neretva 93 was described, and, of course, broadcast

 9     before that and published as the book written by this gentleman.

10             Now, why is it important for these proceedings and important to

11     me?  Well, for the simple reason that Their Honours can see what the

12     opposite side was concerned about, as well as Slobodan Praljak from the

13     4th of September, 1993, up until the 10th or 12th of October, 1993, what

14     their preoccupations were over this period of a little more than one

15     month.  And from that, I can actually see what actually was going on, how

16     much time was spent on what.  And that's how I'll be able to answer

17     questions about some other matters that might be raised.

18             I drew a map of the Neretva 93 attack, but this gives a precise

19     explanation.  And Your Honours, you'll be able to see -- well, we'll have

20     too many maps if I were to look at each of these attacks with the various

21     elevations and features.  But from the text you'll see that everything is

22     quite clear.  The operation went from -- stretched from Gornji Vakuf to

23     the south of Mostar, and it went on for more than one month and ten days.

24     Well, with preparations.  We prepared ourselves too.  And in that whole

25     story, you can see how many people were involved and the front line

Page 8899

 1     stretched for around 200 kilometres roughly.  So that would be it.

 2        Q.   General, have we had a witness so far who could tell us the

 3     details of Neretva 93 on the opposite side and to clarify matters?

 4        A.   No, Mrs. Pinter.  Unfortunately, the Prosecutor brought not a

 5     single person from any military structures, whether from the BH Army or

 6     the HVO.  And all the documents that we received and looked through,

 7     there were discussions with Siljeg for hours and hours, with Mico Lasic

 8     for hours, and with other people, but nobody either from the BH Army,

 9     except the fire brigade or whatever, the firefighters.

10             So during my examination of witnesses -- or Prosecution

11     witnesses, I didn't have a valid collocutor.  I didn't have anybody to

12     talk about to the conflict and the army and so on and so forth.

13        Q.   General, I will ask you that as you go through the book and when

14     some people are mentioned, could you provide us some details about them;

15     for instance, who Muderiz is.  Okay.  We talked about Cibo.

16        A.   Well, Ms. Pinter, almost all the relevant names have already been

17     mentioned here.  As I went through -- well, all the names:  Delic,

18     Pasalic, Cibo, Muderiz.  We spoke about him.  He's the commander of the

19     Jablanica -- brigade in Jablanica.  We saw a video-clip of the line-up of

20     this brigade, which was completely fundamentalists and Islamic in its

21     tone.  But the others are not so important.  Pasalic, Delic, we know all

22     about them.

23        Q.   Could we please have -- do we need the map right now?

24        A.   No, no, no.

25        Q.   Then could we please have -- could you please tell us what

Page 8900

 1     portion of the book would you like to discuss first so that I can give a

 2     reference.

 3        A.   161, 62, 63.  That's the pages that I want to discuss.

 4             Your Honours, I will very briefly say -- if I could have 165,

 5     page 1 -- 161 through 165.

 6        Q.   So in Croatian that's 3D25-0414 through 3D25-0418.  And the

 7     English text is 3D25-0480 through 3D25-0486.

 8        A.   May I proceed?

 9        Q.   Yes.

10        A.   Well, here this begins with the 4th of September, 1993.  They

11     gathered in the house or in front of Dr. Safet Cibo's house in Jablanica.

12     These are the then-commander of the BH Army Main Staff, Halilovic, then

13     Bilajac, Suljevic, and so on.  Of course, the preparations of such an

14     operation, first of all require that the other side be accused of

15     preparing an attack.  And Halilovic is saying that the HVO is preparing

16     an attack on Mostar, an all-out attack that is expected to take place

17     within days.  This is just the pretext.  You can see that they are always

18     laugh -- they're already laughing about what they're saying.  It's always

19     the HVO that's attacking.  And, unfortunately, the -- most of the

20     international community, without checking in the field, accepted the

21     statements made by the BH Army that the HVO was preparing attacks.  And I

22     am saying that we did not prepare any attacks or anything.

23             At that time, we defended against their attacks from Vakuf and

24     Prozor, which lasted from the fall of Bugojno until the very beginning --

25     well, there was no let-off in this offensive that was launched in

Page 8901

 1     Bugojno.

 2           And now they're saying that the Chetniks were amassing forces at Igman

 3     and Bjelasnica.  And at the next page, they are talking about the fact that

 4     Delic's arrival really upset Sefer because they really didn't like each

 5     other.  They couldn't stand each other.  And then Sefer says to Cibo,

 6     Please tell Delic to go away, because he didn't need him there.  And then

 7     mention is made of the units that would take part in Neretva 93

 8     operation:  Zulfikar, Akrepi, Silver Fox, Handzarci, and so on.  That

 9     they would be under the commander of Zulfikar.  There is a problem with a

10     man called Dzeki, who is obviously an Albanian Muslim because he says, I

11     fought in Croatia, and now I have come with my unit to Bosnia and

12     Herzegovina.  But he's waiting for the real war in Kosovo.

13             And then on the next page, it says Delic and Sefer sat side by

14     side in pleasant chitchat, and a few days before Commander Delic had a

15     tete-a-tete with Mladic, and there was some speculation as to what they

16     were talking about.  And when asked what they were talking about, Delic

17     says that Mladic -- Mladic's position was one of force, and he's saying

18     that he is much more important than Karadzic.  And they spoke about

19     whether the negotiations that are propelling Bosnia towards peace would

20     real little result in peace or whether this is just the usual

21     ornamentation of the war.  And Delic, of course, said, I think it's just

22     the ornamental elements of the war, and I think that the war will go on.

23             And then they asked Sefer about his statement that he would reach

24     Ploce; of course, Ploce, it's a port in Croatia.  It's at the mouth of

25     the Neretva River.  And then he explains how and why he said that.  He

Page 8902

 1     said it at a rally of the people from Podrinje, Muslims who live in the

 2     Drina River basin.  And he said that at that rally, he said that he would

 3     liberate every inch of Bosnia and Herzegovina and would reach the borders

 4     of Bosnia, including Neum, and some man said, Well, Ploce too; and then

 5     he said, Okay, Ploce too.

 6             I don't know what Delic spoke about with Karadzic, but you have

 7     to bear in mind that some ten days after that, the agreement on -- the

 8     agreement between Alija Izetbegovic and the Serb side was signed, and the

 9     military agreement on -- that the fact that there would be no attacks

10     with the red lines [as interpreted] was also signed.

11             And they say that a journalist wanted to have a joint interview

12     with Sefer and Delic, but Sefer resolutely refused.  He said that he

13     didn't want to.

14             Then there's talk about meetings with the unit commanders and

15     they talk about units that should be ready.  And in the end, at page 165,

16     we learn that the Laste, which would reach Mostar and would fight in the

17     offensive down there, that he met Bakir Alispahic there.  And that's a

18     respond to Judge Antonetti whether the BH Army units were able to enter

19     Mostar.  Yes, Your Honour.  This unit, Laste, came to Mostar together

20     with some other units, and they participated in Neretva 93 operation from

21     Mostar.

22        Q.   Okay.  Thank you.  Now, on this page there is mention about the

23     offensive on the Prozor axis.

24        A.   Yes, that's what I said, Mrs. Nika.  This offensive along the

25     Prozor axis went on for the whole of the second part of the -- second

Page 8903

 1     part.  It started in late July, and it never stopped.  It abated a little

 2     bit around the 25th of August, 1993, and then it resumed again as part of

 3     this.  So that's what I said right at the beginning.

 4        Q.   And Laste, who are they?

 5        A.   It's a unit commanded by Alispahic.  I think -- well, I think

 6     they were MUP units or something, or MUP unit.  Well, Mrs. Nika, I can't

 7     really explain who Laste are.  We don't have time.  Your Honours, this is

 8     my time.  All you need is here.  We talked about Laste, Muderiz.  This is

 9     all about the offensive, and I want to show the intensity, the

10     time-frame, and the forces that were involved on the part of the BH Army

11     and what the objective was.

12        Q.   General, I asked you about -- I asked you about that because of

13     the record because then you would think that these are birds.  Laste

14     means "swallows" in English.  Please don't get mad.

15        A.   Well, I'm sorry, I really have to go through this.  Let us move

16     on to page 166, 7, 8, and 9.

17        Q.   That's from 3D25-0420 in Croatian through 3D25-0423, and in the

18     English version that's 3D25-0487 through 3D25-0490.  And the title of the

19     book is "Why did Caco get" -- or, rather, the chapter is "Why did Caco

20     get angry?"

21        A.   Well, this is the continuation of the story about Caco.  It says

22     here how he first agreed to come, then refused to come.  And they were

23     trying to persuade him to take part in the operation, but why did they

24     fight?  They fought over the theft of sheep because the fighters were

25     stealing sheep from the refugees, and then one guy prohibited the theft,

Page 8904

 1     and the other one wanted to have all the loot for himself.  And this

 2     really tells us all we need to know about that.  And Caco changed his

 3     mind, and then they say that Caco tells -- Caco tells a reporter that he

 4     did take people out to dig and that it was better for them in his -- at

 5     his place than at their own homes.  And then he says that he enrolled the

 6     children of his fighters to the university.  And when he was refused at

 7     one point, Caco wrote a letter.  We don't know what was in the letter,

 8     but we do know that all the children were enrolled, probably after the

 9     dean of the faculty read the letter from a commander of the BH Army, the

10     Caco brigade.

11             Sefer says well, Caco is waging his own war, and there's nothing

12     we can do here.  So this tells us what this looks like.

13             And could we please have page 178.

14        Q.   3D25-0425.  The English version is 3D25-0492 through 3D25-0498.

15     I don't know why that's -- it's that way.

16        A.   Well, it's probably continuing on to that page.

17             Well, here I can only say that they're taking about Grabovica,

18     the massacre of Croats in Grabovica.

19        Q.   The time-frame?

20        A.   Well -- well, I don't know.  We'll see later.  I'll just skip the

21     dates now.

22             At first, of course, they thought it was just some persons --

23     personal revenge against Croats, but it will turn out later that -- well,

24     the investigation probably never yielded any results, although dozens of

25     people were killed there.

Page 8905

 1             Okay.  We'll talk about Grabovica.  It's page 179, 80, 81, and

 2     82, 83.

 3        Q.   That's 3D25-0426 through 3D25-0430.  That's the Croatian version.

 4     And the English version is 3D25-0492 through 3D25-0498.

 5             Please go ahead.

 6        A.   Here it's Friday, the 10th of September, 1993, and everybody was

 7     unhappy when they heard about the murder of Croats in Grabovica, and we

 8     can believe that because we cannot really assume that the commanders of

 9     the BH Army would engender such a crime.  I don't really think so that

10     Sefer or Zulfikar would do that.  Of course, I can't say anything about

11     Caco, but one can assume that regardless of their political opinions and

12     their views of what the state should look like, there's no reason to

13     believe - that's what I think personally - that they would order, or in

14     any way allow or aid, or that they wouldn't investigate a crime of this

15     kind.  And they say that those people in Grabovica were modest people and

16     that the -- they provided the BH Army soldiers with whatever they needed.

17     But they think that some fighters had come in from Sarajevo, probably

18     Celo's men.  He is a guy similar to Caco.  And then they took about two

19     boys who -- whom Zuka took under his wing, and, of course, we can accept

20     that unreservedly.

21             And then -- this is a bit strange.  One of the lads, one of the

22     BH Army soldiers says that he can't sleep for two days.  He has been

23     unable to sleep or eat for two days because he was an eyewitness to the

24     crime.  And he says they took them out of their homes, lined them up, and

25     killed them.  He said they went from house to house and killed them.  And

Page 8906

 1     when he is asked what they did with the bodies, he says that they were

 2     thrown into a lake, and that's why many of the mortal remains of the

 3     victims have never been found.  He says there were three or four of them,

 4     and the only miracle is why this man, who saw those people, didn't assist

 5     them in identifying and finding the killers.

 6             Again at page 182, those boys that Zuka took under his wing say

 7     that they would be able to recognise the killers, that they had seen them

 8     and that they would be able to recognise them.

 9             So this event threw a spanner in the works in terms of when the

10     attack could be launched.  And there is even the question of whether, in

11     fact, this plan should be postponed.  But Sefer Halilovic and Cibo are

12     quite resolute, and they say that it -- that according to them, 100.000

13     Bosniaks in Herzegovina are under threat and that they have to liberate

14     this whole area and reach the borders.

15             There's nothing more there.  We can go to page 184 through 188.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since it's almost time to have

17     a break, it is more appropriate to stop now before you continue with the

18     other pages.  We'll take a 20 minutes' break.

19                           --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.

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

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation][No interpretation].  We can

22     resume.  I repeat what I said.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Sorry, the interpreter was on the wrong

24     channel.  Sorry.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the Chamber has

Page 8907

 1     listened with attention your answer to the question put to you, but for

 2     the time being, we do not see what you're trying to demonstrate.  So

 3     please really go to the essentials, because here there was a military

 4     operation in September that we see very clearly.  It's on the BiH army

 5     side.  What is it that you want to demonstrate here?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is it that I wish to

 7     demonstrate?  Your Honours, I wish to demonstrate precisely what I said;

 8     namely, on the basis of this entire document, I can only demonstrate what

 9     seems to me to be the most important; namely, that the Army of Bosnia and

10     Herzegovina, and I shall confine myself to just one axis, attack,

11     Bugojno, the HVO in Bugojno in July, and the attack went on.  And on the

12     24th of July when I came as commander of the Main Staff, it culminated

13     along the axis of Gornji Vakuf in the direction of Prozor.  It culminated

14     on the southern side, namely from Jablanica, also directed at Prozor,

15     that this lasted up -- intensively up until the 20th of August, 1993;

16     that on the 13th of August, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina attacked

17     strongly the southern part of Mostar towards Capljina, and then this

18     offensive 1993 up to Neum, as they put it, was, according to the words of

19     Sefer Halilovic, their biggest operation up to that time.

20             This is, namely, what I consider important:  The fact that this

21     was their biggest operation; that they had engaged two corps, the 6th and

22     the 4th, in this operation; that they attached units from Sarajevo and

23     partly units of the 1st and 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and

24     Herzegovina as well; that this operation was finished around the 10th

25     despite the signed truce which was on the 20th of September, 1993.  The

Page 8908

 1     operation, nevertheless, continued up to some time in October 1993.  The

 2     brunt of the operation had been repelled, but it continued in segments.

 3             Then it also says that they had a helicopter which had over 500

 4     sorties of a flight, which means that it transported oil which came from

 5     Croatia over the -- through the HZ HB.

 6             Also of importance is the fact that the reporter says here that

 7     always the -- after the HVO attack -- I mean, this was their general

 8     position.  They would always say, "After the HVO attack, we would

 9     respond."  And they are always laughing at this propaganda ruse.

10             Then that in Sarajevo a member of the -- a representative of the

11     international community said that on the 20th of September, we bombed

12     Mostar, an artillery regiment in Mostar; whereas I wish to demonstrate

13     that it was them who very heavily shelled Western Mostar and carried out

14     an attack in the direction of Hum, and that they were given artillery

15     support by the Army of Republika Srpska in that attack.

16             It is, namely, quite certain that you, too, Your Honours, you as

17     well as the Prosecution, will be asking me question about events in

18     Mostar and things which happened there such as the expelling of certain

19     families to the other side.  And you will be asking me, Praljak, did you

20     know about that?  Were you aware of it?  If you were, where -- why did

21     you not take any measures?

22             I should like to say to that that I and my staff, in that period,

23     were, at least I, myself, on the hill at least 90 percent of the time,

24     moving from one position to another, from one trig point to another; and

25     that the scope of this operation, and the relatively weak forces that we

Page 8909

 1     had on the other side, demanded a formidable engagement on our part at a

 2     time and with this passionate desire to defend the place as well as

 3     courage on our part.

 4             That is why I wish these documents to be presented, exhibited,

 5     and read, because if the inclinations of anyone coming from the West - do

 6     not misunderstand me - to the effect that a general sitting in his office

 7     with the maps that he's perusing and that he's receiving correct reports

 8     at all times, which is, of course, not true, I just want to portray the

 9     reality of the time for you.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just to make sure there's no

11     confusion, you know that military have to obey the law and the internal

12     rules.  You know that the Bosnia-Herzegovina republic and Herceg-Bosna

13     have published certain texts.  That is one thing.  And secondly, you know

14     that there is a humanitarian international law as well as the protection

15     of prisoners and civils in -- and civilians, sorry.  So all the questions

16     I ask are the questions my colleagues may put to you, the Prosecution, or

17     the counsels put to you.  You have to remember that there's always this

18     filter underlying the questions.  The fact that a high-ranking officer is

19     lost in the hills does not mean that he does not have obey the law, his

20     national law, and the international law.  But with our questions, we will

21     have the opportunity to come back to this issue.

22             Ms. Pinter, Mr. Praljak told us what the purpose of the book was.

23     He explained that.  So I give you the floor, and you may go on.  You may

24     proceed.

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

Page 8910

 1     that the purpose of the book is also to show and to respond to the

 2     Prosecution's claims.  And as we have had no people to talk to, we have

 3     to use the participants and hearsay.

 4             So using this book, we shall talk about the siege of Mostar, and

 5     we shall be able to obtain information about the number of the wounded

 6     who were admitted to Mostar hospital during the period in question.  And

 7     this book also will refute partly the statements of Madam Tabeau, the

 8     expert witness.  And as we had no other options, we just resorted to what

 9     we had at our disposal.  And in addition to that, the general is also

10     giving his own information which he -- as supplementary information to

11     explain the statements in the book.

12        Q.   General, we are on page 184.

13        A.   To 188.

14        Q.   Yes.  So the pages are 3D25-0432 to 3D25-0436.  And in English

15     3D25-0500 to 3D25-0505.

16        A.   Yes.  Sefer is asserting that --

17        Q.   Please, can we call up in e-court the map of operation Neretva

18     3 -- 93, which is 3D00885.

19        A.   So Sefer claims that this is their biggest operation, and that

20     that operation would completely change the strategic situation in Bosnia

21     and Herzegovina, and that Mr. Izetbegovic will then have a strong trump

22     card for the first time in his negotiations.  This laches on to what I

23     said before that he wished to conquer territory and that the

24     international community would then confirm the situation in the field.

25             It is incredible that in 1993, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Page 8911

 1     launched against the HVO against -- according to the words of

 2     Sefer Halilovic, the first and biggest operation.

 3             That is my -- what I meant when I asked my question:  What about

 4     their fighting against the Army of Republika Srpska?

 5             Then he goes on to say that the Croats would be moving out

 6     Muslims from Kostajnica according to some documents, and there was not a

 7     single Croat there because I was there on the 9th and 10th of -- no, in

 8     July.  I was there in July 1993 after all the Croats had departed

 9     Kostajnica:  Men, women, children, the elderly.

10             It goes on to say -- to talk about the operation, saying that the

11     war will be waged for ten years, and there will be no division of Bosnia;

12     referring, of course, to the proposals of the international community

13     tabled up to that point.

14             It goes on towards the end to refer to the fact that there had

15     been no bigger operation since the beginning the war.  And Sefer says

16     that this was their first offensive, which is also testified -- which

17     also confirms my own statements that they had launched no offensives

18     against the Serbs.

19             He then says that Cibo was imitating war reports because tomorrow

20     they will be listening to how the Ustashas are attacking in full force

21     and our people are courageously fighting against them; of course he is

22     joking because this is how they began their reports.  So he is imitating

23     the style of the journalist's reporting.  To illustrate the war

24     propaganda of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he is always saying how the

25     Ustashas are attacking and calling on the NATO Alliance to come in.

Page 8912

 1             Can we move to pages 189 to 192.

 2        Q.   3D25-0438 to 3D25-00441 [as interpreted], and the English,

 3     3D25-0507 to 3D25-0510.

 4             Yes, General.

 5        A.   This refers to fighting at Prozor, Makljen, how fierce the

 6     fighting was; how they did not -- that they were not exactly successful;

 7     how they were pushed back after initial successes; also, how possibly the

 8     scope of the operation could be restricted, but Sefer refuses; and about

 9     the problem of a certain Buza having failed to set out on time, so that

10     this also contributed to the unfavourable outcome.

11             Could we now go to 193 in Uzdol up to 196.

12        Q.   3D25-0442 to 3D25-0445.  English, 3D25-0511 to 3D25-0514.  Yes.

13        A.   So on the 14th of September, 1993, there was a massacre in Uzdol

14     where about 40 Croats were killed, some of them soldiers.  The report

15     which they have says that they surprised the Ustashas in the school, that

16     they found them in their pyjamas and killed a very many of them.  They

17     say nothing about the crime.  It was only realised later.  And I was

18     there.  And in a counter strike, we managed to prevent further massacre.

19     Thereafter, we had this problem which was mentioned by Their Honours,

20     about how of the -- such a crime in a very small place where they

21     actually killed half of its population, how to prevent retaliation.

22             I should like to say that I'm perfectly acquainted with war law,

23     et cetera.  But between the law of war and human psychology, there is in

24     peacetime and in wartime, there exists the same phenomena.  And the

25     prevention of such phenomena, including for the commander of the Main

Page 8913

 1     Staff and for Slobodan Praljak and for the minister of the police of any

 2     state, they are all confronted with the same problem.  In other words,

 3     how to ensure that those who are under him, and the people of some

 4     country, a country - whether it be the USA or France - be permitted from

 5     committing any crimes.

 6             Of course there exists a law, and I explained at length the

 7     provisions of the law to my troops; but the moral decompensations of a

 8     war of this type are explained by social psychology so that I will answer

 9     questions to that effect within the limits of my knowledge.

10             I have nothing more to say about Uzdol.  Everything else is known

11     or -- I can only add that in Rama, thanks to me, myself, and two other

12     people whom I managed to motivate, there was no retaliation at all.  And

13     this is also established by the international community.  And their

14     representatives say that they are surprised at the fact, and I quote as

15     far as I can remember from a report, that they are surprised by the fact

16     that the Croats peacefully, calmly, reacted and comported themselves

17     after such a crime.

18             We can skip over this Sena's [phoen] last battle, 202.  Let's go

19     to 205, 206, 207, 208, up to 210, please.

20        Q.   3D25-0450 to 3D25-0455.  English, 3D25-0518 to 3D25-0523.

21             Yes, General.

22        A.   Here he's talking about Saturday, the 18th of September, 1993,

23     the battles for alleged elevation points, which are of no consequence for

24     us at this point.  He says that the reporter states that he had sent a

25     report via radio ham operators about the successes of the Neretva.  It

Page 8914

 1     says that the length of the front line was 200 kilometres.  And also, it

 2     further refers to the fact that in the afternoon on the 18th of

 3     September, battles continued in the direction of Mostar and then how

 4     Mount Medved was taken which is some 12 kilometres away from Siroki

 5     Brijeg or 8 kilometres as the crow flies.

 6             And the reporter is expecting them to very quickly march into

 7     Mostar and resolve this in a military way.  He refers to a

 8     misunderstanding between Sefer Halilovic and how Sefer Halilovic had

 9     given the commander of the 1st Mostar brigade between 300 and 600 German

10     marks, how Pasalic never knew anything about it, about some shady deals,

11     some underhanded transactions that were going on.  And amongst those

12     people, there were some large sums of money being exchanged that nobody

13     knew where they came from.

14             They said that they had liberated Hum.  I really don't know about

15     that myself, but anyway, I do know they attacked with force.

16             And that on page 209, the Laste, which arrived in Mostar,

17     mentioned again, Swallows.  And I said -- I told Judge Antonetti that

18     those units were able peacefully to enter something that the Prosecutor

19     called the siege of Mostar.  And fatigue is mentioned, the fatigue of the

20     operation.

21             We can now move on to pages 211 to 214 -- or, rather, 211 to 214.

22     We'll go through that quickly.

23             MR. STRINGER:  Just apologise for the interruption.  Could we get

24     a reference to the English page, because I've not been able to follow

25     along here with the reference to the Swallows that the general just made.

Page 8915

 1     English page reference for the Swallows.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll give you the Croatian page and

 3     then Mrs. Nika can find it.  In Croatian, it is 209.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] And the English should be 3D25-0520

 5     or 0521.  I read that out at the beginning, but I seem to have omitted

 6     that.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Anyway, Pasalic says there that he

 8     asked that units come into Mostar, that were parts of the 7th Muslim

 9     Brigade with Halil Brzina as reinforcement and in the psychological sense

10     as well.  But he observes that the unit was not actually sent to Mostar

11     and says only the Laste or Swallows arrived led by Alispahic.  So that's

12     only the Laste arrived led by Bakir Alispahic.  That's in the Croatian

13     version.  So his request for part of the of 7th Muslim to come in was not

14     acted on.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   Now, it is 3D25-0522 in the English version.  And you've reached

17     page 211; is that right?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And that is 3D25-0457 to 3D25-0460.  And for the English it is

20     3D25-0525 to 0528 -- no, 29.  3D25-0529 is the correct number.

21        A.   I just want to say, and I'll come back to this later on dealing

22     with another book, that Eichmann, Eichmann, who was the UNPROFOR

23     spokesman, William Eichmann, at a press conference in Sarajevo, informed

24     the public about the events at the Herzegovina battle-field.  And he said

25     that on the 20th, Eichmann said that there was fighting along the axis of

Page 8916

 1     Vrdi-Dreznica.  And he also said that the entire area of Dreznica towards

 2     Mostar was now in the hands of BH Army, and that the HVO units were under

 3     siege by the BH Army.  And most probably because of that the HVO, almost

 4     throughout the whole day, which was a Monday, the 20th, shelled Mostar

 5     and Jablanica during the whole day on Monday.  So would you remember that

 6     date, please, because when we come to look at the next book by the

 7     commander of Sector South in Mostar, Sejtanic, we'll come back to that to

 8     see who shelled whom in actual fact.

 9             He goes on to say here that on that day, the journalist met

10     Dr. Safet Cibo, who was on his way to see Sefer, and that Cibo told him

11     that Mr. Izetbegovic was fairly belligerent.  The president was

12     belligerent, he said.  And as he said, that is, Izetbegovic said to Cibo,

13     and I quote, "Liberate Stolac as soon as possible."  And he added, "Hurry

14     up with that.  Hurry up."  Because, of course, already at that time, the

15     truces had already been signed officially.  And so this was done

16     covertly, and he was conscious that this should be done as soon as

17     possible, before anybody thinks differently.

18             Then he goes on to speak about some misunderstanding, perhaps --

19     probably in Sarajevo and Delic, well they understood that nothing much

20     would come from all these offensives.  And they go on to say that on

21     Radio Mostar there were broadcasts all the time about the battle for

22     Medved, and that in Western Mostar all -- there was general panic with

23     people fleeing.  So that's what I have to say about that.

24             Now may we have page 215, please, to page 218.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  May I just briefly refer to page 3D25-0530.  On

Page 8917

 1     the second -- the third paragraph, there is a reference to detainees from

 2     Dretelj camp who were just released and who were swinging like skeletons.

 3             Would you like to comment on that, Mr. Praljak?

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Page 218 of the book.

 6        A.   Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I had absolutely no idea at that time

 7     about --

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I heard that.  I hope you -- remind that you are

 9     speaking under oath.

10             You may continue, Ms. Pinter, please.

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

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, in while

13     preparing my questions, it was my intention to ask you this question.

14     But since the question has already been put to you, I will continue along

15     the same line, which will save us time.

16             I do not have the video number, but I have it in -- I remember it

17     very clearly.  You have seen, as well as I did, the detainees who had

18     been freed, and they had lost a lot of weight, and they were very thin.

19     You could see their bones.

20             When you saw that, what was your reaction?  What did you tell

21     yourself at the time?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, would

23     you please allow me to state what the situation was?  On the 1st of

24     September, 1993, just by chance, I happened to be in Grude, and from

25     Capljina a lady contacted me.  Her name was Mrs. Ivanisevic;

Page 8918

 1     Mira Ivanisevic.  That's right.  She called me up on the phone and

 2     said -- she's from Croatia, from Split.  And said that she was taking a

 3     CDF German television crew -- ZDF, and that they were going to either

 4     Dretelj or Gabela to do some filming.  I don't remember which exactly.

 5     Anyway, that they weren't being allowed to enter and what could I do

 6     about it.  I said I could not do anything about it except to write an

 7     order to let them in.  I could do that, I said.

 8             So I sent a fax with that order, and quite obviously, it was on

 9     the basis of that order, although there was no official validity, but you

10     write it, and if it -- it passes, it passes.  Anyway, as far as I was

11     concerned, in my head, I considered it to be a prison, because that's

12     what it actually was.  And that's it, nothing more.  And in an offensive

13     like that, I sent that out and went into battle.

14             I did not see what was broadcast over there.  There was nowhere

15     where I could see this.  But anyway, on the 6th of September, 1993, a

16     journalist came to see me of the then-paper "Globus," and his name was.

17        Q.   Rogosic?

18        A.   Yes, Zeljko Rogosic.  He was as slim as the other one.  This one

19     was Zeljko Rogosic.  And I assume he saw what the ZDF broadcast because

20     it was broadcast to the world.  And I wrote him out a permit allowing him

21     to enter the detention centre.  However, at the door, at the entrance

22     they said to him, We couldn't care less about you or Praljak, and he's

23     not authorised to write you a permit to allow you to enter.  So he came

24     back.  He returned.  I wasn't in the same place any more, so he repeated

25     his request to the Chief of Staff Tole, that is the number-three man in

Page 8919

 1     the hierarchy.  Tole, just like me, had absolutely no idea.  So Tole

 2     wrote him the same chit that I had written him.

 3             Now, since the guard at the entrance had probably changed, so he

 4     wasn't able to enter with my permit, but with Tole's permit, he did

 5     manage to enter and then filmed what he saw there and reported on it.

 6             Now, how many days later I saw this appear in the journal, I

 7     don't know, with the photograph.  Perhaps it was six, seven days later or

 8     ten days later.  Somebody brought in the papers, and I saw what they

 9     contain.  But anyway, in the article, I read it quickly, speed-read it.

10     Anyway, in that article, it didn't seem to me to be as dramatic as what

11     we found out later, because the people that he filmed, yes, they were

12     thin, but no mention was made except for that, of anything else.

13             And to be quite frank, I didn't see.  Well, of course the

14     situation I was in with 20 or 30 dead every day and 30 or 40 wounded,

15     because the war was being fought in Central Bosnia and so on.  On the 9th

16     I happened to meet this journalist, Vulliamy, who testified here.  I

17     don't think it was in confidential session, so I can say that.  And I

18     wrote him too, permit to enter.  I would have written him a permit to

19     enter anyway because I was of the opinion that everyone should see

20     everything.  It was quite -- I had a simple stand that I took:  You have

21     the right to see.  So I signed this permit for him, and that was the

22     beginning of September.  And that's when the offensive started.  And then

23     right up until -- well, I think at one point, when I saw the article

24     appear in "Globus," I think it said that they slept on the floor there.

25             At one point, I called the barracks up in Capljina and asked

Page 8920

 1     someone to send them some mattresses if they had any available, send them

 2     some mattresses because according to the information that I just read,

 3     the worst thing was that they had nowhere to sleep.

 4             So that is the exact information about all that.

 5             Now, the video footage was something I saw only once I'd left the

 6     territory, left the area.  But while I was down there I hadn't seen them,

 7     hadn't seen this footage.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, so we record under

 9     oath that you say that you did not know anything about the situation as

10     it might have occurred later on.  This is now noted down on the

11     transcript, and we'll see later on.

12             I put this question to you, because, you know, Mr. Praljak, I'm

13     very transparent and candid.  I'm not here to trap you, to trick you.

14     I'm just saying things as they come.  Earlier you talked about Uzdol.

15     You know that Sefer Halilovic was indicted for Uzdol in this Tribunal,

16     and he was acquitted.  And you know exactly why he was acquitted because

17     I'm sure you read the judgement.  He was acquitted because the

18     Prosecution could not prove that he was in command of the units who

19     perpetrated the crimes in Uzdol and Grabovica.

20             And secondly, this is also in the judgement and I'm sure -- and

21     you should read it because it's a public judgement, and everyone can

22     discuss it.  Well, in this judgement, Judges also noted down that

23     Mr. Halilovic, as soon that he found himself in Uzdol and found out what

24     happened, required an investigation to be carried out.  According to

25     Rule 7(3) of the Rules, you know, he did what he was supposed to do,

Page 8921

 1     which was why I put this question to you regarding the detainees in

 2     Dretelj as they are mentioned in the document that we have on the screen

 3     now.

 4             Mrs. Pinter, you may proceed.

 5             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.

 6        Q.   General, you want to speak now about this new trick at Neretva.

 7        A.   Yes, 215 to 218.

 8        Q.   And then we'll go back to the Main Staff.  3D25-0461 through

 9     3D25-0464.  And in the English version we have only the page 218 that has

10     been translated, and that's 3D25-0530.

11             So if you are talking about that, please do it slowly so that it

12     can be recorded in the transcript.

13        A.   Well, there's no need.  It says here that the commander of the

14     6th Corps, as early as on the 29th of September, 1993, and according to a

15     peace agreement that had been signed before, ordered his units to

16     implement that document on peace on -- as of the 30th of September, 1993,

17     at 1800 hours, but that simply did not affect Sefer in any way.

18             Now he is cooking up this famous trick, the ruse.  He says that

19     he's going to attack the Salvation Route between Rama and Tomislavgrad -

20     the one that we talked about so much - and then the HVO units would have

21     to regroup towards that axis, and then he would attack Mostar.  And it

22     says also that 150 soldiers arrived from Sarajevo, from the 1st Mountain

23     Brigade, as reinforcements to assist them.  And now we go on to what you

24     said has been translated.

25             They say that they have a helicopter, and that it had 500

Page 8922

 1     sorties - and that's what I'm saying - and all 500 sorties used the fuel

 2     that came from Croatia.  And Sefer says here that the offensive would be

 3     relaunched to the Salvation route, and when the reporter tells him that

 4     there's a cease-fire in effect and that orders had come in to cease

 5     hostilities, Sefer says, Well, I don't know anything about that.  I

 6     didn't get anything.

 7             So that's it.  We don't need to go into that at all.  So now we

 8     go to the last portion, if I remember correctly.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I take this

10     opportunity -- Mr. Halilovic had a helicopter, which is why earlier you

11     were surprised when I asked you whether you were able to fly back to

12     Jablanica with a helicopter.  Do you now understand my question?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  Who could go back to Jablanica

14     by helicopter?  You asked me whether I could go back from Zagreb to

15     Mostar by helicopter.  Well, Your Honour, yes, I could go that way by

16     helicopter, but I did not go there by helicopter.  I never, ever, at that

17     time, road on a helicopter - that the HVO had one - for a very simple

18     reason:  Those two helicopters were use, A, to fly to Central Bosnia and

19     to evacuate the wounded from Central Bosnia, and those helicopters flew

20     in defiance of the no-fly zone that was in effect.  And I secretly loaded

21     weapons for Blaskic in order for the Croats to be able to survive into

22     those helicopters.  I will add might quite calmly to all the things that

23     I did during the war.  I violated the embargo in any which way I could in

24     order to defend Central Bosnia against the BH Army.

25             These helicopters evacuated thousands of wounded from up there.

Page 8923

 1     I evacuated the wounded from Rama, among other places, by helicopter, but

 2     I never could take my turn to ride on a helicopter, because there was

 3     always a more important mission for the helicopter.  The first time I

 4     took the helicopter was in 1994 when I had to deal with the situation in

 5     Rama.  And at that time, I did not have any function at all in that area.

 6     I just happened to be there, and I'll explain that later.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Your position is in

 8     black and white and is really clear.  Thank you.

 9             Ms. Pinter.

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

11        Q.   These accusations levied by the commanders at each other, do you

12     want to tell us something about that?

13        A.   It's page 219 through 225.  Did you provide the numbers?

14        Q.   No.  That's 3D25-0466 through 3D25-0475.  And in English,

15     3D25-0532 through 3D25-0539.

16        A.   Well, that's the 1st of October.  The cease-fire was signed, but

17     that doesn't bother Sefer at all.  He is expressing the attack and then

18     there is talk about the sorties flown by the helicopter and who is being

19     transported on the helicopter.

20             At page 220, we should note that the journalist states that

21     last -- the night before, over the radio, there were constant -- constant

22     reports that the cease-fire was in effect as of that day at 1800 hours,

23     and now he says, and I quote:

24             "At that time, the rules on war reporting were in place still."

25             And now in quotation marks:

Page 8924

 1             "'They always attack first, and we're always defending

 2     ourselves.'"

 3             So the journalist says that this is the rule to report always

 4     that the Ustashas are attacking first and they are always defending

 5     themselves.  And so the continuation of the offensive will also be

 6     treated in this manner.

 7             Well, we sign the cease-fire, but we can't stop now because the

 8     HVO, the extremists, the Ustashas are attacking us.

 9             And here they say again that Sefer disagrees with Delic, who

10     wanted to calm the situation down a little bit, and they were fighting

11     over Pisvir.  What is important here is that he is talking about 7.000

12     people in the Neretvica valley who are not moving while Ustashas are at

13     Gasino Brdo.  So we, the Ustashas, are at the Gasino Brdo and the 7.000

14     of them cannot take Gasino Brdo and Pisvir.

15             It is important further on that Mufti Smajkic, who testified

16     here, came back from Sarajevo.  And the journalist testifies that

17     Mufti Smajkic had visited Izetbegovic and he told him that Arif Pasalic

18     would soon be replaced or removed from his post.  And then they talk

19     about the conflicts between Sefer Halilovic and Arif Pasalic.

20             And we now move on to page 234 through 236 and that's the last

21     portion of this book, and so we will be finished soon.

22        Q.   3D25-0474 through 3D25-0476.  The English version is 3D25-0541

23     through 3D25-0543.

24             Please go ahead.

25        A.   This is the 4th of October, 1993.  And it says here that Sefer

Page 8925

 1     will not stop, and the journalist says that his reports about the

 2     offensive are no longer published, that the papers would no longer

 3     publish them.  And Sefer and Haris Silajdzic, in fact Haris Silajdzic

 4     speaks with Sefer using communications equipment; and he says, Sefer,

 5     tone down the operations because they're not in line with the peace

 6     initiative launched by President Izetbegovic, and he said that you know

 7     that the president is involved in peace talks with President Tudjman.

 8     And Sefer replies and I quote:

 9             "But the HVO attacked us first, and we had to respond."  We

10     laughed.  They laughed in the face of this heinous lie, and Silajdzic

11     says again:

12             "Reduce the activities and if possible stop them, because there

13     is an chance that we might be able to sign a cease-fire agreement with

14     the Croats and that chance must be taken."

15             And then it says that the operation was stopped, once and for

16     all, at 1900 hours on the 4th of October, 1993.

17             Well, it wasn't stopped.  They continued, but the intensity was

18     somewhat reduce and that's it about the book.

19             If the Judges have any questions, I will be more than happy to

20     answer them.

21        Q.   Could you please -- will you be showing anything on the map?

22        A.   No.  The map is here on the screen.

23        Q.   Oh, it's been removed.  I'm sorry.  I saw the map on the screen.

24     3D00885.  Perhaps you might just show where Pisvir and other mountains

25     that you were talking about were located.

Page 8926

 1        A.   Well, Mrs. Pinter, we can't do it here.  The map is too small

 2     scale, but Vakuf is here.  Well, you can't really see it.  Well, I can't

 3     see the upper part.  Yeah, you need to lower it down.  No.

 4             Well, this is an attempt to take Vakuf and then towards Rama to

 5     the right.  Thank you very much.  This part here Medved-Vrdi an attempt

 6     to break through to Mostar, to South Mostar, West Mostar.  So this is an

 7     operation that took as long as it took, and then it was extended for a

 8     couple of more days quite intensively from the 4th onwards.  And at the

 9     beginning we -- in the end, we were at the same positions that we were at

10     the beginning.

11             Well, that's it.  And each side counted its wounded and killed,

12     and you will see the losses of the 4th and 6th Corps, the number of

13     wounded and killed in a book that I'm going to go through.  I don't know

14     the exact figures for the HVO because I didn't have time to deal with

15     that, but we've explained everything.  There's no need for us to revisit

16     this map.

17        Q.   Well, we have two brief excerpts from two books.  One is 3D00749.

18     That's Esad Sejtanic's book.  The title of the book is "Herzegovinians at

19     Fiery Gates of Bosnia."

20             General, what did you want to look at this book, and why do you

21     think that this excerpt from this book that we've prepared is important

22     for the Judges?

23        A.   Well, here's why:  You saw a report by Eichmann about how

24     according to him and information that he received from Army of Bosnia and

25     Herzegovina, of course, that Sarajevo, at the press conference, he says

Page 8927

 1     that the HVO on the 20th, because he has a press conference on the 21st

 2     of September, 1993, how on the 20th, the HVO shelled Mostar heavily

 3     because the HVO units were encircled.  And this was supposed to be a

 4     desperate move on the part of the HVO commander.  And could you please

 5     look at pages 182 through 184, and we'll deal with it very briefly

 6     because we've already discussed it.

 7        Q.   3D22-0688 and 3D22-0689.  That's the Croatian version.  And in

 8     the English version that would be 3D22-0692 and 3D22-0693.

 9             Please go ahead, General.

10        A.   Well, at page 182, he says that they expected a lot from the

11     cooperation with the 14th Mountain Brigade that was tasked with attacking

12     a key installation in Croatian defence, the Hum hill, which dominates

13     Mostar.

14             Mr. Sejtanic was the commander of that part of the battle-field.

15     That was called battle-field south.  And then he goes on to say that on

16     the 19th of September they went through all the tasks again.  They

17     analysed them all again.  And they learnt about what the BH Army was

18     doing at the Dreznica-Vrdi-Goranci line.  And he says that in the course

19     of the night, without any problems, the units were brought in to the town

20     of Mostar, and in the morning, they were supposed to start towards the

21     Hum hill.  And he says that the combat operations began in the early

22     morning on the 20th of September, and everything went as planned, and

23     they expected that they could achieve their success and reach the very

24     heart of the city.

25             And now he says that the units in the town centre initially had

Page 8928

 1     some success towards the Balinovac neighbourhood.  And Balinovac is deep

 2     on the right bank of the Neretva River at the very entrance to the town

 3     of Mostar from the direction of Siroki Brijeg.  And I quote:

 4              "And with fearsome Serb artillery support, the success looked to

 5     be the likely outcome."

 6             He continues saying that they received an order to stop and that

 7     in that action, when pulling out, they had 30 dead and 100 wounded,

 8     gravely or lightly.  It was not on account of the pull-out that they had

 9     such casualties but because simply in their action they failed.

10             However, obviously Eichmann's report to the effect that HVO was

11     shelling Mostar is incorrect, because what happened was a heavy artillery

12     cannonade from mount Srb of the Army of Republika Srpska with which they

13     had concluded an agreement.  They had assistance to conquer the western

14     part of Mostar, and he spoke about that assistance earlier.  And it is

15     already an exhibit, as far as I have been informed.  And I have nothing

16     more to say on this subject.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you pre-empted

18     one of my questions but not completely.  This book that you're showing us

19     was written by a person from the other side.  It's not a person that's on

20     your side; right?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we agree.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This person who's on the other

23     side is talking about the events, and I presume that he is telling the

24     truth, because he's writing for history.  We can hope that he's writing

25     the truth, but, of course, we're not sure a hundred percent.  But he is

Page 8929

 1     stating in black and white that there was a substantial support from

 2     Serbian artillery.  Fair enough.

 3             When he was writing this, there must have been an agreement, a

 4     preliminary agreement between the BH Army and the Serbian forces.

 5     Theoretically, that seems to be what is inferred.

 6             Now, you are stating, and you've already started to state that -

 7     and you're repeating it now - that in 1993 there were moments where the

 8     Serbs and the ABiH joined forces.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, Your

10     Honours, this man was the commander of that part of the front, commander

11     of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  That's one thing.  Secondly, he

12     writes in his book, and we have exhibited that here already, that in

13     earlier agreements between Safet Orucevic and a lady whose name eludes me

14     on behalf of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they had attained and

15     agreed contacts with the Serbian side.  And that the Serb -- that they

16     gave the Serb side a new vehicle, a new automobile, a Volkswagen Golf,

17     and probably, thereby, paid for the number of shells that were going to

18     be fired.

19             So this man knows that he will be getting artillery support, and

20     I know that that artillery support was such that Mostar was ablaze.  I

21     know what the magnitude of the artillery support was.  I know that they

22     lost that battle.  And from his book, which testifies to historical

23     events, it is obvious that they agreed, that they paid for it, and as a

24     symbol of friendship they gave this Golf car to one of their commanders.

25     And this is written on these pages in the book.

Page 8930

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the transcript, could you

 2     say what was the month exactly?  You said it, but I believe you have to

 3     repeat it.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the 20th of -- 20th of

 5     September.  So it was the 20th of September, 1993.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Earlier -- I wanted

 7     you to give us the date because you said earlier that after this

 8     artillery fire, Mostar was ablaze.  This is what you said in your own

 9     words.  So if, as you're saying on September 20th, 1993, the Serb

10     artillery actually fired, did it fire all-out on Mostar, on Mostar east

11     as well as Mostar west; or did they only target Mostar west?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just the western part of Mostar,

13     Your Honours.  Only the west part, especially along the directions that

14     they moved along, Balinovac, Rondo, was the first strike, towards Hum,

15     Rodoc.  I don't have the maps now, but those were the main axes.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is it possible that while they

17     were targeting West Mostar there could have been collateral damage on

18     East Mostar because fire was not very accurate or the poor assessment of

19     the target?  Militarily-wise, is it possible that you miss your target by

20     few metres or few hundred metres, you know, that the shell that was

21     supposed to target one place actually hits another place a hundred metres

22     away and that there is collateral damage because of that?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour Judge Antonetti.

24     In the artillery, if you let us assume, a mortar shell is supposed to hit

25     this table here, and it hands 50 metres away from that table, that is

Page 8931

 1     considered a hit.  The -- how large the distance between the target and

 2     the artillery, the error margin is the greater, the possibility of making

 3     a mistake.  It depends on the make of the shell.  The weather also

 4     affects it, the pressure, whether it is raining, how the barrel has been

 5     trained.  There is always a mistake in artillery.  After a large number

 6     of shells having been fired, there will always -- there will always be a

 7     shell that will be off the mark.  If one is firing from a distance of,

 8     say, 15 or 20 kilometres and is wide off the mark by 300 metres, that is

 9     considered a bull's-eye hit; and, of course, this is affected by numerous

10     factors.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question.  This

12     document should be connected with the -- with what we saw earlier on

13     Operation Neretva 93.  While I'm listening to you, and I'm trying to

14     follow your logic, it seems that the BH Army launched a major offensive

15     to capture a number of settlements like Bugojno, but its final objective

16     could have been Mostar, and it eventually maybe you have an outlet on the

17     sea.  As the British say, why not, after all.  But there's one thing that

18     I just don't understand.

19             At the time Sarajevo was besieged, Mr. Izetbegovic's government

20     in Sarajevo is encircled, encircled by the Serbian forces.  So as far as

21     you know -- you were on the field.  You -- militarily-wise, rather than

22     going to attack the HVO through Central Bosnia to get an outlet on the

23     sea, couldn't they rather go to Sarajevo, possibly joining forces with

24     the HVO to attack the Serbian forces and to unlock Sarajevo?  Was it

25     technically impossible given the presence of Serb forces in Sarajevo?

Page 8932

 1     Was it that the BH Army militarily and technically could only go to

 2     Central Bosnia to go and -- through Mostar to get to the sea?  Was it the

 3     only possibility at the time?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  That was the

 5     political will, obviously, of certain echelons, including

 6     Sefer Halilovic, because he, simply speaking, did not oppose the Serbs.

 7     When people say that in 1993, when he -- somebody says that in 1993 they

 8     were mounting the largest, the biggest military operation against the

 9     Croats, whereas at the same time Gorazde is encircled, Srebrenica is

10     encircled, Bihac is encircled, that is folly or stupid, we can say.  Or

11     perhaps it is a political decision to the effect to strike at the weaker,

12     and I claim that this is the second variant, and I'm trying to logically

13     prove that throughout this session.

14             I said so to Mr. Izetbegovic at the meeting in Mostar in October

15     1992.  Had they wanted to lift the siege of Sarajevo with half of the ABH

16     forces and with half of the HVO forces, without attacking the HVO, we

17     went from the direction we -- of the south to Sarajevo, the road leading

18     from Konjic to Sarajevo via Bradina hill, and from the direction of

19     Kiseljak, we could have.  So going from these directions, we could have

20     lifted the blockade of Sarajevo relatively painlessly without too much

21     effort, relatively speaking.  Just as we have crossed the Neretva.  It

22     was incomparably much more difficult in 1992 to cross the Neretva River

23     and liberate Eastern Mostar and deep into territory towards Stolac, than

24     to lift the blockade of the thin Serb lines around Sarajevo.

25             This was not the depth of territory.  These units were exposed or

Page 8933

 1     were amenable to very -- to be penetrated very easily.  And I claim that

 2     that was so, but it is hard to say.  I think, that they didn't want to do

 3     that, because -- for two reasons:  I believe that the people would have

 4     fled, and then the army would have also seeped through the breach.  And

 5     it is possible that through the victims, on the basis of the victims in

 6     Sarajevo, they were making political points, scoring political points.

 7     That is also a difficult statement, but I believe that that also

 8     accounted for their behavior.  As for their wish to have Bosnia and

 9     Herzegovina, an operation of this kind is contrary to all conceivable

10     logic.

11             And the consequences, Your Honours, which I will tell you under

12     double and triple oath, these helicopters came from Croatia and 90

13     percent of the shells they fired in this offensive came into the hands

14     with my great assistance and my approval.  And I say on this triple oath.

15     I shall swear to it seven times.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Pinter.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

18        Q.   General, we have -- I see that you have of closed your book.  But

19     we have to go back.  Just for the record, I'm going to read the exact

20     quotation on page 56 of the record, line 12, the quotation which the

21     general was reading from the book reads:

22             "Units in the heart of the city had initial successes along the

23     axes in the direction of Balinovac settlement, and with formidable Serb

24     artillery support, their success was likely."

25             Because it is not exactly reflected in the record.

Page 8934

 1        A.   Madam Nika, while we are on the subject.  Page 181 also I'm going

 2     to read it out until you find it.  That is the first page at the

 3     beginning of the English text.  The author says:  I was present at a

 4     meeting at the line of contact with Serb forces in the village of Busak.

 5        Q.   General, are we talking about Sejtanic?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   I don't have this page I have 182.

 8        A.   Where Safet Orucevic, Fatima Leho, and Sefkija Dziho defined the

 9     conditions under which the Serb side would assist our combat actions.

10     And as a token -- as a token of attention [as interpreted], of favour for

11     the cooperation provided so far, Safet Orucevic gave the commander of the

12     Nevesinje Brigade, Novica Gusic, an almost brand new car, a Golf YJX.  So

13     they defined the price for this and that they were continuing their

14     theretofore successful cooperation, and that had given a Golf car to the

15     commander of Serb brigade.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction.  It is not a token of

17     attention but a token of appreciation.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.  This is on page 22-692,

19     what the general has just now read out.  22-0692.  3D22-0692.

20             MR. STRINGER:  And for the English?

21             MS. PINTER:  That's English.  [Interpretation] I said that I

22     didn't have the English -- oh, that is English.  That is the English

23     version.

24        Q.   All right.  Now we are dealing with document 3D03562.  You said

25     that you would be talking about this document in order to show what the

Page 8935

 1     fate was of members of the units of the 6th Corps and other ones.  And

 2     this is in the book of General Drekovic's.  Let me just finish General.

 3     So the number is 3D03562.  And I shall kindly ask you to refer us to the

 4     portions which you considered relevant for Their Honours, and to tell us

 5     who General Drekovic's was?

 6        A.   General Drekovic was, first of all, initially the commander in

 7     Bihac of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO; and then he became

 8     the commander of the 4th Corps in the relevant period.  So I shall just

 9     like us to see pages 439 [as interpreted], 430, and 431.  We shall be

10     very brief and shall deal with just bits of -- a couple of bits of

11     information.

12        Q.   The page is 3D41-1095 in Croatian.  In English, it is 3D41-1107.

13     Yes, General.

14        A.   I should just like to illustrate the relations which prevailed in

15     the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We are talking about the autumn of 19 --

16     1992 when Mr. Izetbegovic, the president of the Presidency, arrived in

17     the zone of responsibility of the 4th Corps to survey the situation in

18     Mostar.  He visited -- he visited Buturovic Polje and the positions of

19     the brigade there.  With him were General Delic, Bakir Alispahic, the

20     minister of the MUP, as well as Drekovic and his collaborators.

21             Before the meeting was held in the offices of the brigade --

22     brigade commander, Homeini stepped forward; and Homeini was the nickname

23     of the 45th brigade commander Hakalovic.  And he said literally - so this

24     Homeini said - the commander, whatever his name was, shall have and

25     meeting with only the president.  No one else can be present.  So Delic,

Page 8936

 1     Alispahic, and Drekovic, who was the commander of that area, were not to

 2     be present, could not attend the meeting.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  Mr. Praljak, am I correct in

 4     understanding that this happens in the autumn of 1994, that is to say a

 5     time not covered by the indictment any more?  I'm not -- I'm not

 6     commenting on whether it may be relevant.  I'm not saying that.  I just

 7     want to be sure that I understand correctly.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, yes, you did

 9     understand it correctly.  It was, indeed, autumn 1994.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Thank you.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my introduction, I showed what a

12     review of the brigade looked like in Jablanica, and this man Homeini as

13     he's called.  And here I say that the brigade was completely Islamistised

14     [as interpreted] in its manner of thinking, manner of fighting, and

15     manner of dress.  And I hope that some of the Defence counsel here will

16     show us what they look like.  And I also say at that President

17     Izetbegovic at the time, and I claim that this happened earlier on, quite

18     calmly, pursuant to a request from a brigade commander, without minding

19     about his Main Staff commander, Delic, and the corps commander, Drekovic,

20     within whose composition the brigade was, talks to Homeini along the

21     line -- along the lines of a religious discussion, far more religious

22     than military.  And Drekovic says this in his book.  He said:

23             "We looked with astonishment.  Is this possible, I asked

24     General Delic.  We heard that with disbelieve."  And he says, "Well, as

25     you can see, it appears to be the case."  And nothing more than that.

Page 8937

 1     Just what the military establishment was like and all the parallel lines

 2     in that BH Army that existed.  And Delic and Drekovic found this

 3     completely incomprehensible, because after all, they had come from the

 4     Yugoslav People's Army, so they at least knew what establishment meant.

 5             And I just want to show Their Honours something, and that is that

 6     the numerical state of the 6th Corps, as of the 19th of January, 1994,

 7     that is to say at the time they were attacking the HVO as well, was 8.463

 8     men, 63 strong.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   Just a moment, General.  I have to give the page number.  It is

11     3D41-1097, and in English it is 3D41-1108.

12        A.   May we have page 446 now, please.

13        Q.   3D41-1099 is the Croatian version, and 3D41-1109 for the English.

14     Go ahead, please.

15        A.   Here General Delic gives a review of the losses suffered by the

16     6th Corps until the 19th of January, 1994, which is when the worst

17     attacks had been completed against the HVO.  And he says that in 1992,

18     there were 103 fatalities and 99 wounded.

19        Q.   General, not Delic.

20        A.   Yes, not Delic.  I meant Drekovic.  And in 1993, the number of

21     fatalities was 312; 523 were wounded.  And then a total due to the attack

22     against the HVO, because at the time the lines weren't active facing the

23     Army of Republika Srpska, so the number of fighters killed was enormous,

24     312 and 523.

25             Now, would you look at page 449, please.

Page 8938

 1        Q.   It is 3D41- -- just a moment, please.  Just a moment.

 2             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.  Could we -- I just want

 3     to make sure the record reflects correctly what the witness is saying.

 4     He's attributing these losses in the ABiH to operations solely against

 5     the HVO, even though the -- the 6th Corps was in an area where there were

 6     Serb units as well.  So I think it's important to distinguish exactly

 7     what's in the book that the witness is reading versus what is the

 8     commentary that the witness is adding as an additional layer to that so

 9     that he's not misstating what is in the book or overstating what might be

10     in the book.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the Prosecutor is

12     right.  The table you have shown showing the losses of the 6th Corps, are

13     these losses all due to the conflict with the -- with the HVO, or are

14     some of these deaths also due to the Serbs?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about 1993, and for

16     1993, to the best of my knowledge, and I think that I have sufficiently

17     good knowledge about that, that the vast majority of those losses were

18     due to attacks against the HVO, because the lines facing the Serbs were

19     quiet.

20             Of course it could happen due to some odd shots or skirmishes

21     that somebody might have been killed, but not in 1993.  They weren't

22     inflicted by the Army of Republika Srpska, nor did the BH Army undertake

23     any military operations in that area vis-a-vis and facing the Army of

24     Republika Srpska.

25             Well, look at their agreements.  If you look at their agreements,

Page 8939

 1     and you'll see what the gentleman says about this further on.

 2             May I have page 449 and 450 now, please.

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   It is 3D41-1100, and 3D -- I've lost it.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  41-1110.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes.  Thank you, Your Honour.  I

 7     thought the numbers were the same in the Croatian and the English, so I

 8     just took a moment to check.  Thank you.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was the Stojic Defence

10     that presented documents about this and about how the officers -- or,

11     rather, the municipal officials, Salko Gusic and members of the -- and

12     commanders of the BH Army offered the HVO, who in those three small

13     enclaves that remained in the Konjic area - Turija, Zaslivlje, and

14     Zabrdje - to give them money -- money -- they gave them money.

15             They gave them money to relinquish their weapons and to leave the

16     area and that acting as go-between was Silajdzic.  Well, not to mention

17     Silajdzic -- General Drekovic didn't mention Silajdzic here, but he says

18     they were offered 350.000 German marks which they did not accept.  And

19     then they were forced with their heads bowed down to leave the area that

20     he had been occupying until then.  And he says ironically that they never

21     even thought of German marks.

22             And so, Your Honours, from Konjic, they were expelled.  The

23     Croats, the last vestiges of the HVO, were expelled from the area within

24     the frameworks of the existing plan.  So that's all I have to say on

25     that.  May we now move on to page 457.

Page 8940

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Which is 3D41-1102 and 3D40-1111.

 3        A.   Here we just have a table.  Once again, the date is the 19th of

 4     January, 1994.  We're now dealing with the 4th Corps here, and the

 5     4th Corps had 8.544 men, which means that the 6th and 4th Corps together

 6     had -- were about 17.000 men strong according to General Drekovic, just

 7     to give you an overview.

 8             And then 457 next, please.  Yes, 457 -- oh, 467.  The next page,

 9     467.

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, counsel, please.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I don't have 46.  I have 457.

12        A.   I think it's 475.  It's a table.

13        Q.   Yes, I do have 475.

14        A.   Well, it probably hasn't been translated, but I'll read it out.

15     I'll read 467, and I quote.  I'm reading from page 467.

16             MR. STRINGER:  I object to reading from text that's not

17     translated, Mr. President.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   General, just tell me, please, was that while touring the units?

20     Is that what it says, because I don't have the page number, but I do have

21     the English and I'll give the English number in just a moment.  The

22     Croatian text is 3D41-1103, and in English it is 3D41-1111.

23             Go ahead, please.

24        A.   It's a very short paragraph, and General Drekovic, who was in

25     Bihac, and who knew the kind of fighting he had to launch with the

Page 8941

 1     army -- the fighting he had to go into with the Army of Republika Srpska,

 2     and who knew how much and in what way he received from the Republic of

 3     Croatia, he says that while visiting the units he came to understand that

 4     positions facing the Serbian-Montenegrin aggressor - and he says that

 5     rightly - are more guard-duty than any military action going on.  That's

 6     the first point.

 7             He was surprised to see this, he says.  And not only was it in

 8     the area of responsibility of the 6th Corps, but it was especially marked

 9     in the area of responsibility of the 4th Corps.  And he says that in the

10     6th Corps area of responsibility, with little areas in Konjic except --

11     with the exception of this area of Konjic, the Prenj area was completely

12     uncovered.  It was not covered with units, just like the broader part of

13     Treskavica.

14        Q.   Where is Prenj, General?  We have to say that.

15        A.   Mrs. Nika, the important thing is that all this is facing the

16     Army of Republika Srpska.  Whether it is Prenj or Mrenj or whatever, the

17     important thing is they had no units facing the Army of Republika Srpska

18     except for a guard-duty type in that whole area.  And he goes on to say

19     it seemed that there had been an agreement on mutual non-attack.  So he

20     must have been informed of something when he talked to his commanders.

21     And up until then, that was inconceivable as far as he was concerned.  He

22     couldn't understand it, because up until then, he had been fighting the

23     Serbs heavily.

24             Now, that these agreements and cooperation did exist --

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, you speak about that "whole area."

Page 8942

 1     Would you be so kind and indicate where the area is?  Ms. Pinter has

 2     quite rightly asked you the question.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Give me a map.  Give me a map.

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, counsel, please.

 5             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   3D003544.

 7        A.   I'll indicate this on the map, but let me just finish what I was

 8     saying.  He understood at that there had been agreements like that, that

 9     ammunition had been purchased along with weapons and other equipment from

10     the Chetniks and that there was even coordinated artillery action on the

11     positions -- towards the positions of the HVO on the right bank of the

12     Neretva.  So that's where he agrees with Sejtanic.

13             And then, Your Honours, it's quite clear that the number of

14     fatalities in 1993, in fact, relates to the number of people killed, that

15     they suffered when attacking when the HVO, the number of fatalities they

16     suffered when attacking the HVO.  But if you give me a map, I'll show

17     you.

18        Q.   General, for the record, let me state the number it is 3D03544.

19        A.   Turn it round, please.  Thank you.  Zoom in this portion here

20     under Sarajevo.  So below Sarajevo zoom in, please.  That's fine.  Thank

21     you.

22             Number 1 -- just a moment.  What did you say?  No, no, that's

23     fine.

24             This is Prenj, number 1.  And he says it's completely -- the area

25     is not covered at all.

Page 8943

 1             Number 2 is Konjic.  He says that only in a narrow area is this

 2     area covered facing the Army of Republika Srpska.

 3             This is Jablanica, number 3.  Up until Blagaj.  We'll use the

 4     blue marker pen for that.

 5             So this would roughly be the position of the BH Army units.  If

 6     they wanted to confront the Serbs.  So this would be the ABiH, number 4.

 7     And then the units of the Army of Republika Srpska, the VRS, would follow

 8     this line.

 9             In this whole area of Prenj, as he said, and Podvelezje down

10     there they only had guard duty and some men around Konjic.  That's what

11     he writes.  Prenj.  Blagaj is here, and they're the last units there,

12     Blagaj.  And that would be number 4.  And the HVO units were, of course,

13     on the other side.  And it's as I have claimed.

14             Since they had just guards and the area was uncovered, there was

15     no siege of Mostar.  The HVO units facing the BH Army units, and these

16     units attacked the HVO in the second half of 1993.  And I'll put today's

17     date, which is the 28th of May, 2009, and my signature.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please give this

19     a number, and then we'll have the break.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  The marked version of document

21     35 -- Your Honour, the marked version of document 3D3544 shall be given

22     Exhibit IC1022.  Thank you, Your Honours.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one more table

24     and then we've finished with the book, Judge Antonetti.  So can we do

25     that before the break?  It will just take a minute.

Page 8944

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.  Go ahead.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So it's page 475, and the table

 3     shows the losses suffered by the 4th Corps until the 19th of January,

 4     1994, when Mr. Drekovic took over duty.

 5             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Just a moment, General, it is 3D41-1104, and for the English it

 7     is 3D41-1113.

 8        A.   I'll just concentrate on those killed in 1993, 579 men; and 1.168

 9     were wounded.  With a great deal of certainty I can say that at that

10     time, 90 percent of those killed and wounded were killed and wounded

11     attacking the HVO.  And that, Your Honours, is something you can compare

12     to the figures produced by Madam Tabeau, I believe.  And she says that

13     civilians were killed over there, whereas I claim that of these 1.168

14     wounded, which the BH Army suffered, that over 90 percent in one way or

15     another were wounded across the HZ HB, ended up in either Croatia or some

16     other American or foreign hospital.  Thank you.

17             I have nothing further to state.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe you said a

19     break.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a 20-minute break.

21                           --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.

22                           --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Pinter, you have the

24     floor.

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

Page 8945

 1     take up the binder entitled "Main Staff of the HVO," it says on the

 2     binder.  It's binder 1.  There are two, but we're going to start off with

 3     number 1.

 4        Q.   General, the first document is 3D02469.  I'm sorry, I made a

 5     mistake.  I got the wrong page.  3D01272 is the number.

 6        A.   You read out the right number.

 7        Q.   But it's 1992 and not connected to the Main Staff in that

 8     respect.

 9        A.   I see.  Thank you.  It's a report dated the 24th of July, 1993,

10     signed by Commander Ivica Tomic.  It is TG2.  And that was the line

11     facing the Army of Republika Srpska maintained by the HVO to the western

12     south of Stolac, to the -- facing the borders of the Republic of Croatia.

13             And that, Your Honours, was always what the argument was about

14     between us from the HVO and the Croatian army.  We never saw eye-to-eye

15     as to who should man that line.  We claimed that we weren't defending

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina there, but in actual fact, we were defending Croatia

17     there; and that it would be militarily in order if the HVO were to take

18     that over -- or, rather, the HV.  But that was the problem as it was in

19     1992, which led to the UN Security Council Resolutions on the presence of

20     the Croatian army on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And then the

21     HVO, we the HVO, had to take over those lines, although, as I say, I

22     stand by my opinion that that should have been the Croatian army there

23     regardless of the fact that it was on BH territory.  But if they were

24     there, they would, thereby, be defending their borders because it's

25     almost at the border, a little beyond, to be honest.

Page 8946

 1             But anyway, Tomic goes on to observe that the quantity of bread

 2     was insufficient.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.  You have used in the

 4     beginning of this speech or answer the abbreviation, TG2.  And it would

 5     be nice if you could explain what is hidden behind it.  Perhaps the other

 6     question is answered, thereafter; but I would like you to localise the

 7     placement of this defence line.  Where -- where is it?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is Tactical Group 2, TG2.  And

 9     if you provide me with a map, I'll be happy to show you.  The map of

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina south.  The southern portion.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   It is 3D0554 -- no, I apologise.  3D -- yes, 44.

13        A.   While we're waiting for the map -- well, anyway, Tomic is

14     informing here that the anti-armoured unit, the group of people that

15     should -- that should there be a tank break-through, that they are on the

16     ready, and he says that they had gone home, and that there was general

17     laxity on the part of people up at the line, and that there were few

18     people manning the line.

19        Q.   General, I have to repeat the number because the map doesn't seem

20     to be coming up.  It is 3D03544.

21        A.   He goes on to issue a military report saying that this armoured

22     company had left because there was no replacement, and the T12 is a

23     cannon, hundred millimetre, specially devised and constructed for

24     antitank warfare.  And that tank was supposed to be up at the position,

25     up at the line.  But he notes that it isn't there, and that the line

Page 8947

 1     wasn't properly designed, and that the problem of having too few people

 2     there would arise.

 3             The HVO people there, well, that was constant.  And it was

 4     insurmountable problem.  It was a constant problem and insurmountable, as

 5     far as all of us down there were concerned.  And that problem was that,

 6     in fact, you couldn't do anything if the people didn't respond to the

 7     mobilisation call-up.  You weren't able to do anything if the men left

 8     the line.  And you couldn't do anything either if they don't come to take

 9     up their shifts.

10             And that was one of our basic problems, a problem that the

11     establishment of the HVO faced, which changed the sense and meaning the

12     word "army," because any other army that we're going to refer to here,

13     something like that just wouldn't have been possible.  That is to say

14     that you can proclaim a mobilisation but couldn't put it into effect and

15     that people could leave the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and go

16     when they liked, where they liked, conscripts, I mean, and when they

17     liked.  They thought that you needn't come and report for duty up at the

18     lines, that you could leave the lines, and that nobody knew in actual

19     fact what steps could be taken to prevent that or what you could do to

20     punish those people.  You could round them up using the military police

21     and punish them, but that was very difficult because it was difficult to

22     find them, and even if you do find them and put them in prison, then

23     they're in prison.  They have somewhere to sleep and somewhere to eat,

24     and then the others complain and say, Why is such and such allowed to

25     languish, be in a prison and receive board and lodging whereas we have to

Page 8948

 1     go and fight?

 2             So please bear that in mind when we're talking about the HVO as

 3     an army, for the simple reason that the commanders are placed in this

 4     difficult situation when the men don't turn up.  And if you compare it --

 5     well, it's practically impossible to compare it to any other army.  So

 6     there you have it.

 7             This is Stolac --

 8        Q.   All right.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, on several

10     occasions you said this:  You said HVO is not an army like any other.

11     But unfortunately, General Praljak, the law applies to each and every

12     one.  You don't have a law that can be applied to this kind of army and

13     another law that applied to another kind of army.  And the law coming

14     from Article 7(3) of the Statute, the superiority of --

15             THE INTERPRETER:  The responsibility, interpreter's correction.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- command is applied here.

17             So you said this over and over again.  But let me remind you that

18     we can take this into account, but we also have to take the law into

19     account; and in this respect I would like to draw your attention to

20     something I just noted on this document.  TG2 command, 13 officers, 3

21     couriers, 3 civilians.  It's on page 3 of the English version.  In your

22     document in Croatian, it's on page 2.

23             So I see mention of two civilians.  Could you explain how -- what

24     civilians do in an army?  Unless it's a poor translation.  In your own

25     language it says "osobe."

Page 8949

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see that.  Where does it

 2     say that?

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this document on page 2.  We

 4     have a chart with figures.  It's chart 19 -- we have a chart for TG2.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, two citizens.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are these two citizens or two

 7     civilians?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know really.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   It says "gradjanski osobe."

11        A.   That would be the citizens or civilians doing certain duties.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are they civilians or are they

13     military?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, civilians in the army.  You

15     have civilians in the army, in every army, helping out the army.  They're

16     not the soldiers establishment-wise.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's assume a situation so you

18     can understand the difficulties that we might run into.  Let's imagine

19     that these two citizens climb aboard a truck, and on this truck there are

20     military, and there's these two persons.  And the truck is shot at.

21     Everyone is killed.  The body of these two citizens or civilians is left

22     aside, and the bodies of the military are taken away.  Then international

23     observers can arrive on the spot.  They'll see two civilians in blue

24     jeans with a sweatshirt or something, and they'll say civilians were shot

25     at, were killed.

Page 8950

 1             Did you ever run into this kind of situation on the field?

 2             I assume that in my example when the truck is shot at, the people

 3     shooting at the truck believe there's only soldiers on board that truck.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had every right to shoot,

 5     Your Honour.  But you needn't call up somebody, some civilian, to a

 6     mobilisation, but you can just take them -- use them to drive the

 7     soldiers to a certain area.  You don't have to promote a driver civilian

 8     into a soldier.

 9             When I drove the captured JNA in the bus from Capljina, I had a

10     civilian driving the bus.  He was a civilian bus driver.  Of course, if

11     somebody had done some bombing, or Perisic had used planes to hit and so

12     on, the person would have been killed.

13             But, anyway, to go through the entire procedure, the kind that

14     you have in mind, Your Honours, and Judge Antonetti, in particular, well,

15     but I can call up somebody and they issue a mobilisation call.  That

16     would last for four days under those circumstances whereas I had to

17     resolve the problem of 30 people whose lives were under threat within

18     the space of five minutes.

19             But, Judge Antonetti and Your Honours, if you want to say,

20     Listen, we have laws.  And if you want to transpose our system into your

21     system, there are rules in Africa and in South America and in

22     Scandinavia; but they're not applied in the same way.  You have a

23     problems with 7(1) and 7(3).  But I have the problem that that's not how

24     things worked and that I couldn't implement the law.  You might want to

25     enforce the law and proclaim me and the others guilty if you like.  You

Page 8951

 1     can proclaim the ministers of the interior in France.  Well, the citizens

 2     of France have to respect the law, but they don't respect the law and the

 3     rules, and they end up in prison.  But it's not the minister who ends up

 4     in prison, it's the citizens who violate those rules and laws.

 5             So if you want your interpretation of the army to prevail then

 6     there's nothing more we can talk about.  There's nothing more I can say.

 7     I can tell you that's not how things were, and faced with the situation

 8     as it was, and I couldn't change it with all the efforts that I invested,

 9     Your Honour Judge Antonetti.  So as to your interpretation of the army,

10     and the facts that rules and laws should be expected, and the fact that

11     the situation was different where we were, and I couldn't react that way,

12     I cannot agree with that.  We're saying -- we're talking about two

13     things.  We're saying two things.  Just as the laws after Katrina didn't

14     apply, you could call in anyone and have any wishes and desires you like,

15     but you couldn't change the situation on the ground.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I reminded you of

17     the applicable law, the law that is applied to armies.  You explained

18     that in the case I mentioned that these two people were citizens who were

19     called.  You don't really know how they were called, in what

20     circumstances they were called, but we'll see.  I just wanted to ask you

21     for an explanation on this example just for illustration purposes.  But,

22     Ms. Pinter, we have a great number of documents to go through, so you may

23     proceed.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in the direction of

25     Trebinje, I believe.  That was TG2 there; 1 is Stolac; TG2 was around

Page 8952

 1     these parts.  We asked for the Republic of Croatia to be defended there

 2     and for the Croatian army to man those points.  It was, in fact, the

 3     international community which prevented this.  There were US objections.

 4     They wanted the HV units moved from there.  That was disputable, and we

 5     changed that twice under pressure because Croatian army was not permitted

 6     to be in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but they were defending the

 7     border, the border of Croatia.  So we spent there the few people, the few

 8     men that we did have.  We posed them there.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   General, when to His Honour Judge Antonetti's question, you

11     replied that the HVO was not an army just like any other army.  What do

12     you mean?  How was it possible -- what possibility did you have to

13     control all the men that you had under you?

14        A.   I have said, Madam Pinter, and I will repeat, an army is implied

15     to mean the previous existence of a state, prior to that.  Prior to the

16     existence it of an army, there should be a state set up with all its

17     structures; one of the structures of the state is the army.

18             First of all, it should have a long-standing tradition, regulated

19     laws, a very clear punishment system, a very clear system of what is

20     permissible, a very clear mobilisation system, and also of what penalty

21     one is to expect for failing to respect the call-up.  You remember when

22     Muhammad Ali did not want to respond to the mobilisation call for

23     Vietnam.  There was a trial that dragged on for 10 or 15 years --

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I am a bit late, but I do not really think that

25     this is a question to put to the accused as a witness.  He is here as a

Page 8953

 1     witness, and now he's giving us a lecture of explaining why he thinks,

 2     what his criteria are of what an army is.  That's not testimony, I'm

 3     sorry.  I suggest that we go on.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your permission

 5     to would be important to clarify.  I must admit that I understood

 6     differently the statement of Mr. Praljak's.  He wanted to indicate to an

 7     element which is very important to establish whether there existed or did

 8     not exist effective control.  And that is one of the most important

 9     criteria according to which responsibility is determined according to

10     7(3) Rules, command responsibility, in other words.  So I believe that

11     General Praljak wanted to point precisely to facts which will be of

12     relevance to you when you consider the issue of the existence versus the

13     nonexistence of effective control.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The Chamber -- the Chamber, Ms. Alaburic, has

15     heard quite a lot on that.  We have heard that.  We've heard what

16     Mr. Praljak has said now.  I don't think there was one word that we have

17     not heard before from his mouth and from others here.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.  If men who were

19     supposed to be by the weapons in order prevent a possible tank

20     penetration to TG2, in those positions then I claim that nobody knew what

21     is to be done nor was there any possible punishment for that.  What was

22     possible to do?  A, report the case to the military police, then the

23     military police, according to the order of Mr. Stojic would go to catch

24     those people, then apprehend them.  They would not find them at home if

25     they had gone to another country.  So there you are.  Nothing would

Page 8954

 1     happen.  If they were found in some place, you could sentence them to a

 2     certain term of imprisonment and nobody would care.  They would sit in

 3     gaol for a while, and that would be it.  And you keep him in gaol for 15

 4     days, and then what do you have?  You have no one manning the positions.

 5     That is that in a nutshell.

 6             The same thing happened with Mr. Izetbegovic in Sarajevo.  He had

 7     the same situation.  If he punished Caco prematurely then he has lost

 8     Sarajevo, and then what?

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   Please look at document 3D01527.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need an IC number for this

12     map, Registrar.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The date is the 28th of July.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What was the number?

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for counsel, please.

16             THE REGISTRAR:  Excuse me, counsel.  Do you still require an IC

17     number for the map that is marked on the screen?  Okay.

18             Your Honours, the map marked on the screen, which is document

19     3544, shall be given Exhibit IC1023.  Thank you, Your Honours.

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Sorry, I skipped some pages.  Actually, the number is 3D01460.

22     And this is a document, a request to resolve problems which is signed by

23     Zeljko Siljeg.

24        A.   This is the 24th of July when I became commander.  Obviously

25     Mr. Siljeg had not been informed of that yet, and he says that he met

Page 8955

 1     with a number of people and that he had problems.  Namely, nothing had

 2     been organised to receive the men.  He is obviously referring to men from

 3     Bugojno of whom there were above 15.000, over 15.000.  He said that the

 4     men -- people were not replying, responding to calls to join the army.

 5     He said that people were fleeing, especially those from Travnik and

 6     Novi Travnik.

 7             As for Delic, I don't know.  No one is leading the people.  This

 8     is a mass of a crowd which was completely out of any conceivable control.

 9     Conscripts from Central Bosnia, military conscripts, are freely roaming

10     around Croatia.

11             He tried to address representatives of the Central Bosnia office

12     Croats in Split, but obviously that was like throwing salt into the sea.

13     It was futile.

14             He then proposes that the people should organise in Rama.  I was

15     up there, and I immediately went there.  And I arrived there in the

16     evening of that same day.

17             We had a formidable problem of having 15.000 men in this --

18     billeted in a small place and then taking them on towards Herzegovina on

19     hundreds of buses and on to Croatia from there.

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, General.  Can we see

21     this document on the screen in the e-court system, because the accused

22     are unable to follow it.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note:  And the interpreters don't

24     have it either.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He speaks about all the things that

Page 8956

 1     I have been talking about throughout.  Siljeg is desperate, in other

 2     words.

 3             I arrived there in the evening of that same day.  There were

 4     between 15.000 and 20.000 broken men, desperate, humiliated, wretched.

 5     There were about a thousand, 1.200 combatants who no longer were

 6     fighters, who were completely desperate, utterly desperate.  Their eyes

 7     were hollow.  You could not order those people.  It was only a humane

 8     word that helped.

 9             This is something that I said also in respect of other wars, but

10     I leave it to Their Honours to see what happens when the shell is broken,

11     when Humpty Dumpty is broken.  When there is no other option but just to

12     talk to someone as a human being.

13             Then Siljeg refers to Cildanac.  I know this lad.  They were

14     expelled from Sebesici.  This was one of the first strikes of the Army of

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And I have mentioned the banishment of Croats from

16     Sebesici in my book.  Excuse me?  It was mentioned in the book of this

17     general from the Central Bosnia.

18        Q.   Alagic?

19        A.   Yes, Alagic.  He talks about the Croats were expelled from

20     Central Bosnia.  Then Alagic goes on to say that these units should be

21     removed and transferred from Tomislavgrad because Bugojno had been

22     falling for a number of days by that time already.  But nobody was able

23     to make those units comply with orders.

24             He also asked the Republic of Croatia for military conscripts to

25     be deported from Dalmatia, which of course was an absurd request because

Page 8957

 1     nobody had the right to do that nor did anybody want to do it.  It was,

 2     in fact, impossible.  It was impossible both legally and technically.

 3     And --

 4        Q.   But asking for persons from the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 5        A.   Yes, of course, but what comes here, what matters is point 6.  He

 6     asks that matters should be regulated with the main HVO staff, that --

 7     that soldiers from Central Bosnia should be sent to protect their own

 8     homes.  And he indicates the brigade in question.  And he believes that

 9     he knows some 30 experienced fighters from the Republic of Bosnia and

10     Herzegovina in the 4th Guards Brigade of the HVO, and that these men

11     should be let go and told to go and -- and protect and defend their own

12     homes and retain a status in Croatia.

13             The last one can be taken hypothetically as His Honour

14     Judge Antonetti says.  But if there existed several brigades of the

15     Croatian army that fought on the side of the HVO, why would he have

16     placed this request for 30 men?  And the Prosecutor is claiming that I

17     don't know how many brigades are fighting within the HVO.  If he had at

18     his disposal HV brigades, he would not have asked for 30 men, which, by

19     the way, he did not get.

20             And secondly -- what else do we have here?  Well, nothing.  This

21     is enough.  This would be it as far as this text is concerned.  It

22     basically deals with the same problems that every HVO commander is

23     confronted with.

24             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, could we clarify the transcript.

25     Because I'm looking at point 6 of the document, which in the English and

Page 8958

 1     I think in the B/C/S, both refer to HV, which I understand to be Croatian

 2     army.  Now, I'm looking at the transcript, page 84, line 19, where the

 3     general refers to point 6, but in that transcript he indicates that these

 4     are -- he makes reference to a 4th Guards Brigade of the HVO.  And I

 5     don't know whether he said HVO or there was an interpretation error, but

 6     could we clarify, first of all, whether the document mentions HV and

 7     whether that was the general's intention, to refer also to the HV?

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Thank you, learned

 9     colleague.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Siljeg, understanding the people

11     from the HZ HB were leaving to Croatia, departing for Croatia at will; of

12     course, soldiers and civilians from Bugojno, from Travnik, those

13     defeated, Novi Travnik, et cetera.  So he knew that 30 experienced

14     fighters from the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina were in the 4th.  He

15     says brigade, but it is the 4th HV Brigade, Guards Brigade, from Split.

16     And he asks, Could it at all be arranged for these 30 fighters to return,

17     to be sent back to fight for their own homes; and, of course, he did not

18     get them because that could not be arranged unless they wanted to go

19     voluntarily, and obviously voluntarily they didn't go.  They didn't

20     report to voluntarily go.

21             But he also says that it was incredible that someone would ask for

22     30 men, beg and implore, while having at his disposal in that area these

23     brigades of the HV that were supposed to fight, as is often referred to.

24             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Please open document 3D00660.

Page 8959

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  While we're trying to improve the transcript, at

 2     page 85, line 5 following, we read the following:

 3             "And the Prosecutor is claiming that don't know how many brigades

 4     are fighting within the HVO.  If he had his disposal HV brigades, he

 5     would not have asked for 30 men, which by the way he did not get."  This

 6     reads as if the Prosecutor asked for 30 men, and that is certainly not

 7     the case.  So it should probably -- the word, "Siljeg," I think ought to

 8     be inserted, instead of "he" in the second sentence on line 7.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Siljeg.  Yes.  Thank you,

10     Your Honour Judge Trechsel.  Siljeg asked to get 30 men, and the rest of

11     it I've explain.

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   I'll repeat the number.  3D00640.  The document is already an

14     exhibit.  However, General, I'd like to ask you to explain the reason

15     this document came into being in the first place.

16        A.   Well, on the 25th of July, in the Vakuf area, you had hell,

17     militarily speaking, after the fall of Bugojno.  Just to paint a picture

18     in your heads of what it looked like when 15 .000 and more people were

19     expelled and left without anything.  They didn't know where their nearest

20     and dearest were.  And then they heard tales of bad things happening in

21     Bugojno going round.

22             So anyway, militarily speaking and humanitarianly -- and in

23     humanitarian terms and organisational terms, there was almost a complete

24     catastrophe.  And I'm writing this letter to General Petkovic because

25     these units from Kostajnica that we talked about, because the people had

Page 8960

 1     pulled out and some soldiers had escaped earlier on from the area, and

 2     those who followed the people out also went God knows where, probably

 3     somewhere in Herzegovina, I assume from this.  And then I say that this

 4     Commander Sagolj and his unit should prepare to go to Rama and Prozor, to

 5     the forward command post there where I was.  And all my lines were down.

 6     There were terribly few soldiers, and of course, as the commander, I say,

 7     "Petkovic, if they don't carry out this order, strip them.  Take off

 8     their HVO clothes.  Arrest them.  Keep them without food or water until I

 9     get back."  And that's the truth of it.

10             Well, in different armies -- in real armies I saw orders of this

11     type issued, because these actually were deserters.  But I can do nothing

12     to these deserters except arrest them, to round them up.  And this is an

13     attempt to bring law and order.

14             Of course, in a well-ordered army there are rules and regulations

15     and other soldiers to replace these.  They will be court-martialed.

16     Legal proceedings would be taken against them, and that's how they'd end

17     up.  But I had no choice.  The main access of defence, Vakuf-Rama, would

18     have fallen.  And that's what any military strategist would tell you,

19     that if that line to fall, our chances to stop the attack by the BH Army,

20     well, the likelihood of that was very poor.  And the Croats would have to

21     ultimately leave the whole area if that were to happen.

22             Now, I stand by this order today.  It is what it is.  But I'm

23     testifying that the situation at the battle-front was critical and that

24     they should keep them without food and water until I came back to see if

25     they would see reason or not and whether they would become a proper army

Page 8961

 1     or not, Your Honours.

 2             So those were, of course, gestures and steps which I took in

 3     faced with that kind of situation, and I'm sure that faced with the same

 4     situation you'd do the same because there was no other way.

 5        Q.   All right.  Thank you.  Now turn to document --

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have to stop now because

 7     Mr. Stojic Defence has some things to tell us.  So it's almost the end of

 8     our session, and we have to deal with the few various issues we have to

 9     deal with and which are still pending.  And we will continue on Tuesday

10     next week, because as you know Monday is a Bank Holiday, so we'll

11     continue next week on Tuesday.

12             Ms. Nozica, there was something you wanted to say.

13             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I'd like to

14     say good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom.

15             According to your instructions or, rather, the dead-line given --

16     you gave to the Prosecution to provide a response to the documents filed

17     by the Stojic Defence for adoption, that is something that the Prosecutor

18     has done.  And we received the response today.  I would like to ask the

19     Trial Chamber for position -- for permission to -- for us to respond to

20     the Prosecution motion.  And I'm saying this because we're not working on

21     Monday.  And also at the same time, if possible, if you agree to our

22     request and allow us to respond that we be allowed to do so up until the

23     11th of June, that the dead-line be the 11th of June of this year.  I

24     talked to Mr. Stringer about this, and I have his permission.  If he

25     wants to add something, he will do so, I'm sure.

Page 8962

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.  Sorry.

 2                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 3             MR. STRINGER:  I apologise.  Just to clarify for the record, the

 4     Prosecution has today filed its response to document motions filed by the

 5     Stojic Defence.  So what -- what's being proposed now is that the reply

 6     be filed by June 11.  So just that clarification.  It's not a response of

 7     the Stojic Defence but, rather, the reply.

 8                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has conferred and

10     believes that the Stojic Defence can reply to this request at the latest

11     on June the 11th.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  I hope we're not going too fast.  We

13     allow the extension of the dead-line, but we can only allow the reply

14     when we see the reasons for it, of course.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Nozica, this reply, what

16     are the reasons for this reply?

17             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was only today in

18     court that I managed to see what the Prosecutor's objection was to

19     certain documents.  Now, I feel that we would need more time -- is that

20     the Prosecutor's objections relate to the source of the documents, and

21     for that we'll need a little more time to reply.  So that is why I

22     requested this.  That will be the reason for our response and the reason

23     for the dead-line that we asked.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I would propose that we -- we extent the

25     dead-line and you -- you file.  If you find that you have to, the

Page 8963

 1     request, and then we decide on the request and on the merits at the same

 2     time as we have taken the habit of doing, especially with the number of

 3     motions by the Prlic Defence.

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

 5     That's what I meant.  You will decide upon the merits once you receive

 6     it, of course.  You can't do that without.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into closed session,

 8     Registrar.

 9                           [Private session]

10   (redacted)

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Page 8964

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Page 8968

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10                           [Open session]

11             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, we're back in open session.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The -- today's

13     hearing is adjourned.

14                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.

15                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day

16                           of June, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.

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