Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 9066

 1                           Wednesday, 3 June 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The Accused Prlic and Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the

 8     case, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon,

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

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

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.

13             Today is Wednesday, the 3rd of June, 2009.  Good afternoon,

14     Mr. Pusic, Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Stojic, and good afternoon to you,

15     Witness.  Good afternoon to the Defence counsel, Mr. Stringer and his

16     associates, and let me also greet all the people assisting us.

17             We are going to move to private session for a few moments.

18                           [Private session]

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 9067

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4                           [Open session]

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

 6     Thank you.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mr. Karnavas,

 8     I think you have something to tell us.

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Good

10     afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon to everyone in and around the

11     courtroom.

12             I was absent yesterday, although I did have a chance to look at

13     the transcript.  First, let me begin by thanking Mr. Stringer for his

14     comments, and I appreciate those comments.  Secondly, to the extent that

15     my conduct contributed to the events that occurred after the hearing on

16     last Thursday, I truly apologise.  There was no intention on my part for

17     things to escalate.  Obviously, I will take full responsibility for the

18     temperature in the room rising to the extent that some steam obviously

19     was let off after the Judges left the Bench, and again I want to

20     apologise both to the public but also to Mr. Stringer for any comments

21     that I may have made that obviously caused the incident to occur.

22             And if there is nothing further from -- I also understand that

23     I'm being asked to provide further clarification as to other matters.  I

24     will do so.  I believe the dead-line is set tomorrow.

25             We are in the process of preparing a rather complicated motion

Page 9068

 1     that will be filed tomorrow, and given that, unless there's something

 2     else from the Bench, I would like to be excused for the rest of the

 3     session.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Yes, what you have

 5     just said has now been recorded, as we recorded yesterday Mr. Stringer's

 6     comments.  You are right, yes, the temperature may rise, and it's

 7     important to make it drop.  And I do invite everybody to cool down, which

 8     is far from being easy at times, the main thing being that international

 9     justice may prevail and unfold in the best climate possible in which

10     everybody can express their views to defend their respective cases, be it

11     the Prosecution or the Defence case.  So this is what I wanted to convey

12     to you.

13             Besides this, Mr. Karnavas, your client, Mr. Prlic, is not in the

14     courtroom, and please do forward to him our condolences because his

15     father has passed away, unfortunately.  That happened last week, and you

16     know that we made everything possible for Mr. Prlic to be able to attend

17     the funeral.  Of course, some documents had to be obtained, which took

18     some time, and he was able to fly on Saturday morning to attend his

19     father's funeral.  I think it took place on Sunday.  So do convey to him

20     all our condolences for this tragedy.

21             MR. KARNAVAS:  I will do that, Mr. President.  I did fail to

22     mention that I did speak with Dr. Prlic earlier, and he wanted me to

23     convey his gratitude and appreciation for everyone that was involved in

24     making it possible for him to attend his father's funeral.  Thank you.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you asked whether

Page 9069

 1     you could be excused for the rest of the hearing.  No problem.  You

 2     decide whenever you want to attend or not.  Inasmuch as you have a

 3     co-counsel, she can stay.  We know that you have a lot of work.  The two

 4     counsel don't have to be in the court all the time.

 5             Ms. Pinter, once again a very good afternoon to you.  You may

 6     proceed for the remainder of the examination-in-chief.

 7                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

 8                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Thank

10     you very much.  Good afternoon to all.

11                           Examination by Ms. Pinter:  [Continued]

12        Q.   [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.  Before we press on

13     with our documents, there is something that we forgot to say yesterday.

14     3D02448, the e-court translation has been corrected in relation to

15     Horvatincic Brigade.

16             Can you now please go to document 3D01100, the Main Staff.  We're

17     still on the same binder, right, the Main Staff?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   3D01100, that document is to be found towards the end of the

20     binder.  There is no date.  However, it refers to the period on or about

21     the 30th of August.  Binder number 1, Main Staff.

22        A.   I have probably mislaid that one.  I don't have the document.

23        Q.   But you can look at the e-court copy.

24        A.   Yes, that is indeed my signature.  The topic is the same, submit

25     the written statement.  I think we look --

Page 9070

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, can the speakers please not

 2     overlap.  Thank you.

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   All right.  3D0 --

 5             MR. STRINGER:  I apologise for the interruption.  There was some

 6     overlapping, and we did not get a translation or interpretation of the

 7     last answer from the general.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my document.  I signed it.

 9     The topic is the same.  Over and over again, we unconditionally request

10     that orders be carried out.  This is the established practice in

11     documents such as this one.  Once you have to do a thing like this, take

12     a step like this, it can only mean one thing:  The structure is not what

13     it should be, speaking of commander's responsibility.  Disciplinary

14     measures are always proposed, time and again, and you will see when we

15     come to that, when we come to disciplinary measures and the police, we

16     punished hundreds of people.  And disciplinary measures were taken

17     against hundreds of people who spent time in prison.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Sir, 3D02758.  General, please keep looking at the screen.  This

20     is binder number 1, Main Staff.

21        A.   I have that document in front of me.  It's my document.  I signed

22     it.  This document talks about the fact that some HVO soldiers who,

23     following the BH Army attack on Bugojno, failed to leave via

24     Gornji Vakuf, rather they had to cross Serb-held territory, territory

25     under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska.  Having spent some

Page 9071

 1     time in a camp or a prison somewhere, the Serbs allowed them to head for

 2     Zepce.  It was convenient for them that the HVO was fighting the BH Army

 3     in Zepce and defending Zepce from the BH Army.  This gave rise to the

 4     revolt of the part of those men's wives who at one point laid siege to

 5     the Main Staff.  I, myself, was physically unable to leave the building

 6     because they wanted their men, their husbands back.  For that reason, I

 7     here request that a list of those fighters from Zepce be forwarded to me,

 8     as well as their bills of health.

 9             The women's strike was a large-scale one, but then

10     General Petkovic managed to deal with this in a peaceful manner, and this

11     was something that he was better at than I was.

12        Q.   Thank you very much.  Can we now please go to 3D03036.  Again

13     it's going to appear on your screen.

14        A.   The 31st of August.  I relieve Vucica of duty.  He was the

15     commander of the professional battalion.  Kresimir the IV was the name of

16     that battalion.  I here invoke the decree on the armed forces, although

17     the question of legality of a document like this is open to challenge.

18     Nevertheless, the reason for this was that it was no longer possible to

19     work with this person.

20             Could you now please call P03821, call up that document in

21     e-court?  It's not here.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, a technical

23     question that should, by the way, have been asked of you a long time ago.

24     I mean, there are so many questions to be asked, sometimes it's better

25     not to ask anything because it can bring about further questions.

Page 9072

 1             Paragraph 1 of this order, it says it is the commander of a

 2     professional battalion.  I'm somewhat surprised, because by definition, a

 3     military unit is a professional unit with soldiers, and here it's been

 4     stated as a professional battalion.  Were there non-professional

 5     battalions?  Why did you use the word "professional" in order to qualify

 6     this battalion?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, unfortunately, as

 8     we've heard a dozen of times already, those brigades that went to the

 9     front-line were normally mobilised for a 10- or 15-day period, normally a

10     battalion based on a brigade or more sometimes, and then it would go to

11     the front-line.  The entire composition or part of the brigade was

12     outside of the mobilisation structure.  They were at their homes, doing

13     their jobs, working their land, performing farming tasks, and so on and

14     so forth.  And then several days before they were due to replace a

15     battalion from the brigade occupying that position, they would be called

16     up, and then they would go.  They would leave their homes, bring along

17     their own weapons, get on to lorries or buses, and then would be taken to

18     those positions; whereas the remaining men would, in their turn, go home.

19     That was how the HVO worked.

20             At one point, we managed to set up some less professional units,

21     which means that those men were available all the time.  There were no

22     breaks, two-week or fortnight-long breaks.  They were either on the

23     ground somewhere or put up in a house, in a building somewhere, or the

24     Capljina barracks.  Their pay was slightly higher.  I'm not sure what it

25     was exactly, but it was higher.  Those were professional units.  We

Page 9073

 1     referred to them as professional battalions, professional units,

 2     numbering 50 to 100 men or so.

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

 4     your submissions better, what you said in your brief, where you said -

 5     and I shall return to the subject, trust me on that -  you said that the

 6     HVO Army was not a real army.  So through this example you have just

 7     provided, you say that there were, quote/unquote "soldiers" in the HVO

 8     that would till the land and who would at times be mobilised to go to the

 9     front-line, and then they would return home to carry on working.  And

10     then there were others, probably less of them, who were soldiers around

11     the clock, as it were.  Is that how the situation was in the HVO,

12     militarily speaking?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely so, Your Honour, but

14     there were always fewer of those.  And those other people, in addition to

15     working their land, were plying other kinds of trade, whatever they used

16     to do in their civilian lives.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question that might be

18     useful to all, including the Prosecution.

19             In percentage, in your view, in the HVO, how many were the

20     100 percent professional soldiers and how many amateurish soldiers were

21     there, so those who may be in uniform sometimes and then would return to

22     their usual occupations?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was there, speaking of

24     professional soldiers, all together the number would be under 1.000, not

25     even that many.

Page 9074

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Over 1.000 out of how many all

 2     together, approximately?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under 1.000, under 1.000.

 4     Receiving their salaries from the HVO were a total of 40.000 people, and

 5     then the BH Army, Tuzla, Posavina, all together, a total of that 40.000

 6     men; Sarajevo, Bihac, everything that the HVO covered.  Over a half of

 7     those men were under the command of the BH Army or about a half.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So now I'm keeping

 9     these important figures in mind.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I have a follow-up question, Mr. Praljak.

11             What about the officers, the cadre, non-commissioned/commissioned

12     officers?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation was very poor,

14     Judge Trechsel.  Surely you know that the commander is the linchpin.  He

15     is the center of the army, the backbone, if you like.  We had few

16     commanders, no command staff to speak of at any level.  Over a total of

17     the officers and NCOs that we had available to us, I think very few of

18     them actually had received any formal military training whatsoever.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are we to understand that out

20     of the 1.000 professional servicemen, there were about 100 officers and

21     non-commissioned officers; is that how we should understand things?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  No, Your Honour, I think you

23     misunderstand me.  I was talking about the total of officers and NCOs

24     throughout the HVO.  In my opinion, or at least as far as I know, under

25     10 percent of those had received any sort of formal a military training.

Page 9075

 1             These thousand men, there is no way there would have been 100

 2     NCOs there.  Those were minor units with a single commander or two

 3     subsidiary ones.  If there was a 40-man unit, there would be one

 4     commander.  If it was a professional unit, such as the Bruno Busic unit,

 5     it was located in four or five different places.  Its name was

 6     Bruno Busic.  A minor element was in Central Bosnia, another element was

 7     located in the Capljina barracks, and so on and so forth.  One can by no

 8     means speak of any sort of quality structure, not in the sense that there

 9     were platoon commanders, company commanders, and so on and so forth.

10     Those were simply people who had some merits to their names.  Normally,

11     those were the bravest people, and the bravest ones became commanders.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You have not actually answered my question.  It

13     went to a professional -- professionality, not as far as quality, but as

14     far as permanence is concerned.  Would the commanders also go home for

15     two weeks after two weeks in the field?  You certainly did not.  At what

16     grades did the permanence stop?  I hope I make myself understood.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, fully, and now I can answer.

18     At battalion level, he no longer -- he would go home with his men.  It

19     was the brigade commander that was permanent because there would always

20     be a battalion somewhere on the ground.  The brigade command was, let's

21     say, fully employed, full-time employed.  The battalion commander, for

22     example, would go somewhere with his men and then go back home to deal

23     with his own business until his battalions or companies were called up

24     again, and then they would go back.  There was no permanence in terms of

25     how much time he was spending in the ranks.  He would be there for a week

Page 9076

 1     or two as a soldier, and then the next two weeks he would go back to

 2     being a civilian.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question.  It's a pity

 5     that this sort of issue should be discussed three years down the track.

 6     If you have 1.000 professional soldiers in the HVO, not to mention the

 7     39.000 men who would come and go, depending on their professional

 8     occupation, elsewhere, out of the 1.000 men how many were there who were

 9     former JNA officers who had undergone military training, like

10     General Petkovic?  How many were there who came from the former JNA who

11     had been career officers?  How many of them did you have?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were 1.000 professionals.

13     And among them, I don't really know.  There were very few, next to no

14     one.  There was Mr. Dragan Curcic, who later became the number two man of

15     the Federation's command.  Speaking of this battalion mentioned here,

16     there was no one there, very few.  Your Honours, I could nearly count

17     them all myself.  Blaskic, Petkovic, Siljeg, the Canadian Army

18     Glasnovic -- sorry?  No, no.  Obradovic.  A total of under ten men

19     occupying such positions, professionals from the former JNA.  I'm talking

20     about the total, between 10 and 15.  I can't really say.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You see, once you

22     tackle a topic, there are others that would ensue.  One very last -- I

23     could go on for hours, as you can imagine, but I'm discovering -- I'm not

24     speaking about other people.  I'm speaking on my own behalf.  I now

25     discover that within the military structure of the HVO, there's just a

Page 9077

 1     handful of JNA officers, very few of them.  You've just given a few

 2     names:  Siljeg, Blaskic, Petkovic, Obradovic, so maybe under ten men.

 3             If that was so, and I suppose it was, it may be that the

 4     Prosecutor is going to challenge that, but if it was speaking of the

 5     Republic of Croatia as part of the technical, quote/unquote, "technical

 6     support" provided by it, and I'm speaking in conditional terms here,

 7     noting that there is basically no officer within the military HVO, would

 8     it not have been normal for the Republic of Croatia to second HV officers

 9     in order to support and structure the HVO.

10             You know countries that send officers in order to support armies

11     that are just in the making elsewhere.  Should that not have happened?

12     And if it didn't happen, why didn't it happen that way?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As Your Honours have seen, I

14     stopped some people.  Someone would sometimes arrive, but not because the

15     Croatian Army officially approved or okayed that.  I used my own channels

16     to get people seconded as volunteers, actually, not officially.

17             Croatia had very few men, in relation to the overall number of

18     soldiers, who were former JNA officers.  The best part of those who were

19     former JNA officers, most of those obviously did a splendid job, but some

20     wanted to remain behind in their offices.  Quite many of them refused to

21     go out and fight with their units.  Their reasoning was they should stay

22     at the back and send trained men forward to attack.  But the soldiers

23     didn't like that, and they refused to put up with that, the simple reason

24     being the Croatian Army at the time was to a large extent an army of

25     volunteers.

Page 9078

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I have to put another

 2     question, because otherwise I could be reproached with not having tackled

 3     all the facets of the issue.  I talked about the formed JNA officers in

 4     my questions, and you said there were less than ten men.  But I have to

 5     add this now:  Let us imagine that JNA officers became officers in the

 6     Republic of Croatia and that they are, therefore, officers of the

 7     Croatian Army.  Let us imagine that later on they have their private

 8     motivations, and they decide to volunteer in the HVO.  Therefore, they

 9     leave the Croatian Army to be volunteers in the HVO.  As far as you know,

10     how many officers of the Croatian Army -- how many became HVO officers?

11     I'm talking about men who had been first JNA officers or officers in

12     other armies; it's quite possible.  How many of them?

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

14     first of all this figure ten that I mentioned at first, I couldn't list

15     more than ten of them.  There may have been some others there, but

16     whether it's 10 or 12, that's for the first piece of information.

17             As for the second piece of information, well, I know almost all

18     of them that we managed to win over; Petkovic came, I came, Akrap came,

19     Poljak was there for a short while, Andabak was there for a short while.

20     They stood in for me.  Well, maybe ten --

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, could you

22     quote the numbers slowly, please, because the court reporter cannot take

23     down the names.  Please give us the names of the officers in the Croatian

24     Army that volunteered.  You mentioned Praljak, Petkovic, Andabak.  Who

25     are the others?

Page 9079

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Praljak, Petkovic, Andabak.  There

 2     are several Andabaks, but he's from the Croatian Army, and he replaced

 3     me.  He was there in 1992, but for a very short time.  Then he was

 4     replaced by Poljak for a short time, Zeljko Akrap, Zeljko.  Zeljko Akrap

 5     was there also.  And then who else?  In Central Bosnia, at one point I

 6     managed to get, in 1992, when I was up there trying to calm the situation

 7     down -- as people were saying, I managed to get four or five officers

 8     from Split using my own private channels.  They agreed to go up there for

 9     us for just a few days to assist in structuring the HVO but also the

10     BH Army.  So they were there at their disposal, too, to teach those

11     people about artillery and also to set up the books, the records.  They

12     were there for 25 days.  Now -- well, Mr. Petkovic was there for the

13     longest time.  Others were there for brief periods of time.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

15             Ms. Pinter, I'm sorry to have taken up some of your time.  It

16     seemed important to me to look into these questions in greater detail.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a note, Your Honour.  I have

18     to remind you, at the beginning of the trial I asked that, first of all,

19     we should deal with the basic military issues and then we will all be

20     able to understand the situation.  Unfortunately, this trial does not

21     allow us to do that, but you remember quite clearly this request on my

22     part that this should be the starting point.  Thank you very much.

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

24     questions never disturb or disrupt anything.

25        Q.   General, I have to tell you that the document that you have

Page 9080

 1     requested is prepared in the binder to be explained, which means that

 2     Judges would have to skip some documents.  Let us move back to the

 3     Main Staff, to binder number 2, and in binder number 2 of the Main Staff

 4     we should go to document 3D00929.  The date is the 11th of September,

 5     just to make it easier for everyone to find their way around.

 6        A.   Yes.  Yes, this document is a report that was submitted to the

 7     VOS of the Main Staff, so that's the Main Staff, and it is signed by

 8     Raspudic.  The document is comprehensive and exhaustive, and it describes

 9     the positions of the BH Army in the town of Mostar, the disposition, and

10     I wouldn't have anything to add.  But I would like to note that at page 2

11     of the Croatian text, at the very bottom of the page, there is a sentence

12     which is very important because I have been talking about those things.

13     And the sentence reads like this:

14             "As far as the political climate on the left bank is concerned,

15     our sources have told us that the people of Mostar, the locals, the local

16     population, are in favour of the cessation of the hostilities of the war.

17     They favour Mostar as an open city where they would live side by side,

18     Croats side by side with Serbs and Muslims."

19             And then it goes on to say -- well, I don't want to quote, but

20     people who have come from other municipalities, Gacko, Nevesinje,

21     advocate the policy of a Muslim Mostar all the way down to Zovnica, which

22     is on the route to Siroki Brijeg.  So here a man who received this

23     information because he had some connections with East Mostar, I don't

24     know what kind of connections, but he's saying what I have been saying

25     over and over again.  Unfortunately, the refugees were in such a mental

Page 9081

 1     state, expelled, in many cases many of them were killed, and they did not

 2     have any vision or any guarantee that they would go back to their homes;

 3     and history proved them right.  For the most part, they did not go back

 4     to their homes, at least as far as Republika Srpska is concerned.  And

 5     the international community failed them there, the UN failed them, all

 6     the declarations failed them.  And they were looking for new areas to

 7     live, and by definition, you know what it means.  And I claim that the

 8     conflict between Croats and Muslims would be much more difficult to

 9     cause, it would have less consequences, it would have been less severe,

10     had there been no such major shifts in the ethnic composition.  I called

11     it the ethnic occupation.  People - well, I fully under them - came in.

12     They lost their family members, they lost their homes, and they are

13     looking for a new place to live.  And that's it, as far as this document

14     is concerned.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel.

16             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.  I have to correct

17     the transcript at page 16, line 9.  The general said:  "I fully

18     understand these people," and that has not been recorded in this

19     transcript in this manner.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I said, because I

21     met those people, I saw those people, I found accommodation for those

22     people, and those were desperate people who revert back to the instinct.

23     Please do not misunderstand me; the animal force.  They are just looking

24     for a place to live, so I'm not being insulting here.  These are the

25     elementary forces, the instinctive forces, looking for a place to live.

Page 9082

 1     And, of course, this is engenders conflict with the area where they find

 2     themselves in because there are too many of them, far too many of them

 3     for this situation to be bearable.  And nobody ever gave them any

 4     guarantees that they would be able to go back to their homes or give them

 5     any hope, and we all know what it looked like.

 6        Q.   General, we have to go back to the first page of this document,

 7     where it says where the Command of the unit in Mahala is located.  This

 8     is a reference to the unit of what unit?

 9        A.   The unit of the BH Army.

10        Q.   And the sniper activities targeting Stotina?

11        A.   Well, there's a lot of information in this text, but it is quite

12     clear.  I'm sorry for the interruption.  Of course, all the commands were

13     located among the people of Mostar.  All the BH Army headquarters were

14     located among the civilians:  Brigade, battalion, and corps commands.

15        Q.   Well, it is not amiss to repeat it once again.  3D02578.

16        A.   Well, here Mr. Zarko Tole, a major general at the time, the 13th

17     of September, asks for a passage to be allowed for

18     Mr. Jakov Bienenfeld --

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to revert back to

20     the first document because I've discovered something which could be of

21     interest.

22             Seemingly, this report or document dates back to the 11th of

23     September, 1993.  The people who drafted this report never imagined that

24     judges sitting in an international tribunal would have a look at these

25     documents that contain some interesting information.  I have the feeling

Page 9083

 1     that in addition to this document, there must have been a map on which 24

 2     sites had been located, since on the last page of the caption that states

 3     that in such a place there was a bunker and so on.

 4             On looking at item 18, which gives us the position of a sniper,

 5     number 19, where another sniper is also positioned, and number 23, where

 6     a sniper is also positioned, these are snipers from the ABiH, I assume.

 7     It would have been interesting to see this map to position 18, 19, and

 8     23, those numbers on the map, to plot them and see what the firing angle

 9     must have been.  That was your job.  If I had conducted an investigation,

10     that's what I would have done, but maybe you didn't notice this.  Do you

11     understand me?  At numbers 18 and 19, snipers have been positioned, based

12     on the information provided, as well as on number 23.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti,

14     probably did not append the map because every man from Mostar knows

15     exactly where the restaurant Petica is, where Jagnje is, where the RTV

16     Service is.  So he gave it -- well, this pertained to the command of this

17     zone, Mostar, and every person in Mostar knows exactly the precise

18     position.  So there's no need to draw it.  Well, I didn't think that this

19     was -- well, the time is running out, and I could talk for 200 hours

20     about every single topic in great detail, but unfortunately my time is

21     running out.  So I thought that this was quite clear.

22             Of course, yes, there were snipers.  And after all, Your Honours,

23     in all BH Army positions where there were snipers targeting HVO soldiers,

24     well, these were illegal soldiers.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak, it took me

Page 9084

 1     just a few split seconds to realise this, since I am seeing the document

 2     for the first time.  And I realised instantly that at items 18, 19, and

 3     23, snipers have been positioned.  Now, if you look at number 18, maybe

 4     you are able to give us an explanation.  It says "7.9 millimetres,"

 5     "Serbian 7.9 millimetres."

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it means that the Serbs had a

 7     sniper rifle, 7.9 millimetre, and that's what he calls it.  So this is

 8     not the position from which a sniper was being active.  It's not the

 9     Republika Srpska Army position, but it is a reference to a sniper rifle

10     manufactured in Kragujevac, in a Serbian factory.  And that's why it was

11     called the Serbian rifle, Serbian sniper, 7.9 millimetre.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It says:  "18.  Position," we

13     understand that a sniper is there on and off and that he uses

14     7.9-millimetre rifle.  Either the sniper is there from time to time, and

15     he belongs to the ABiH, and he is using a rifle, a Serbian rifle, or this

16     is a soldier from the VRS who is a sniper and who is also firing.  What

17     do you have to say to that?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, here it is highly likely that

19     a BH Army soldier is using a 7.9-millimetre sniper manufactured in --

20     yes, but I know for a fact that from Serb positions, positions held by

21     the Republika Srpska Army, snipers did target Mostar.  I know that from

22     my own personal experience.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, these positions on the

24     map, it was for you to do this.  You could have, perhaps, when you were

25     conducting the cross-examination of the Prosecution witnesses, you could

Page 9085

 1     have demonstrated with this document the fact that the ABiH had

 2     positioned snipers in certain locations.  And from there, they could fire

 3     at the victims that were mentioned on our list, but maybe you didn't

 4     think of that.  You can't think of everything.

 5             Ms. Pinter.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I want to insist on this question regarding the

 7     map.  I must say that I find your answer in this respect absolutely

 8     unconvincing.  If there is a legend with certain points, that there is no

 9     way of knowing what locality they refer to; number 18 and following are

10     examples.  No one can guess what that refers to, and no one writes such a

11     legend if there is not a map attached to it.  Your Defence brought this

12     document.  Where is the map?  Where is that map, and why is it not here?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, you are

14     entirely right when it comes to this.  Apparently, you misunderstood me.

15     I said that I didn't have a map.  We didn't have a map, but this -- these

16     terms, Petica, Jagnje, and so on, everybody knows that in Mostar.

17     Perhaps I misspoke, and I'm sorry for that.  But it is true that a map

18     was appended to it, to this document, but I don't have it.

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we looked through the

20     archives, and a map was not appended to this document.  You can see that

21     this is a document that was taken from the archives, from the Croatian

22     National Archive.  And this map did not exist.  Had it existed, it would

23     have been appended to this document.  That's for sure.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As my colleague has just said,

25     I'm sure there was a map.  If you look at number 9, it says the MOS

Page 9086

 1     members "sleep here," so the place where the MOS soldiers are sleeping

 2     have been identified.  Item 10 mentions a bunker.  Item 14 says there is

 3     a bunker inside the store.  So all of this has been positioned or plotted

 4     on the map, and there must have been a map appended to this document.

 5     It's a shame we don't have it.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] My learned friend, Ms. Alaburic, has

 7     drawn my attention to the fact that the buildings are at Santic Street.

 8     Santic Street was the confrontation line along which clashes were

 9     occurring in Mostar.  All these positions are at Santic Street.  We can

10     make available to you a map of Mostar showing Santic Street.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Pinter, I don't know

12     whether Mr. Ivica Raspudic, the author of this document, is still alive,

13     but as part of your defence, you could have met him and told him, Well,

14     we have this document which you have drafted.  Together with a map I give

15     you, could you plot points 1 to 24 on this map?  This is something you

16     could have done.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] If the trial entailed fewer

18     documents, if there were fewer documents that we were dealing with.  But

19     given the amount of documents that we are facing, I admit we have not had

20     enough time to deal with this, which doesn't mean that we will not find

21     something before Monday.

22        Q.   General, 3D02578.  3D02578.  The date is the 13th of -- you

23     started talking about Bienenfeld?

24        A.   Yes, about the map.  Perhaps we could draw one.  Nevertheless,

25     along the entire confrontation line in Mostar, there were positions on

Page 9087

 1     either side of the confrontation line.  That's why I did not consider

 2     that to be of any particular importance.  We did mark a confrontation

 3     line.  On either side of the line there were BH Army positions and HVO

 4     positions.  What this is about is Mr. Jakov Bienenfeld.

 5             It is about this:  Since the end of 1992, I think late November

 6     or early December that year, when Mr. Bienenfeld came to see me, his

 7     father was a retired JNA general, and he got actively involved again in

 8     the Croatian Army.  He had a PhD in Chemistry.  He was a specialist in

 9     chemistry.  I didn't have quite enough time to introduce this.  Some

10     foreign jobs were given to him.  And he had to go to Bijelo Polje to see

11     if there were any chemical poisons being produced there, which during the

12     former Yugoslavia were being sold to Saddam Hussein, but I'm not going

13     into that now.

14             Let's go back to his son.  From the end of 1992 to October 1993

15     or thereabouts, Mr. Bienenfeld organised 10 or 11 convoys to Sarajevo and

16     from Sarajevo.  He brought medicine and food into Sarajevo.  Those were

17     Jewish organisations.  Mr. Bienenfeld is a Croatian Jew.  Jews were

18     leaving Sarajevo on these convoys in order to not remain behind and be

19     killed in Sarajevo, plus the women and children who managed to join the

20     convoys.  And then the Jewish heirloom was taken out, if I may call it

21     that, items that had to do with their tradition and civilization.  There

22     were a total of 10 or 11 convoys, I think.  All of those convoys were

23     organised with the assistance of the HVO:  Bruno Stojic, Petkovic.  I had

24     a role to play as well.  Jakov Bienenfeld described my role in his -- in

25     his statement to this Tribunal, which is available to the Chamber.  He

Page 9088

 1     describes how that worked, what it was like, and what exactly happened.

 2             Our drivers went there.  They drove across Serb-held territory.

 3     There were all sorts of unpleasant situations occurring.  In the process,

 4     most of the technical aspects where taken care of by Zarko Keza from the

 5     Main Staff.  He was a military officer in the Main Staff.  That's as much

 6     as I can tell you about that.  A total of 10 convoys were organised, and

 7     that is no mean feat.  That is how I feel.  If we had done no more than

 8     that, I think that would have been plenty to keep one busy throughout the

 9     time.

10             The Chamber can refer to Jakov Bienenfeld's statement, which

11     describes exactly my role.

12        Q.   General, these humanitarian convoys drove into Sarajevo?

13        A.   Yes, for the most part medicine and food, to the extent that they

14     could and the amounts that they could manage.  And they brought out

15     people, human beings.  We tried to save the Jews from the hell hole that

16     was Sarajevo.  If you take a historical perspective, they were the

17     victims of the greatest sufferings.  And one is naturally sensitive to

18     that sort of thing, so we tried to give them a hand.  It wasn't the Jews

19     alone, however; women and children were on those convoys leaving

20     Sarajevo, too.  There were some problems with the Serbs.  It's

21     complicated.  Let's just move on.

22        Q.   Very well.  Can we please move on to P05079.  The date is the

23     15th of September, 1993, the order to attack given by Arif Pasalic?

24        A.   Yes, that is the document.  Nevertheless, I believe this has been

25     exhibited already, or hasn't it?  This is Arif Pasalic's order to carry

Page 9089

 1     out an attack that was part of the Neretva-93 operation.  This was

 2     produced other 15th of September, 1993.  And it's exactly who should go

 3     where and what they should do.  Based on this master plan that

 4     Arif Pasalic produced, Sejtanic, being the commander of Sector South,

 5     drew up his zone plan to attack whom and Mostar and so on and so forth,

 6     so there you go.

 7             Will you please just -- can we please go back to Uzdol, 3D02415.

 8     No need, perhaps.  Uzdol is something that we've done already.  3D02415.

 9             This is a report, or, rather, a brigade, after they committed the

10     massacre in Uzdol on the 14th of September, killing 30 civilians and

11     capturing some soldiers and so on and so forth.  And then people simply

12     asserted that we were entirely naive and insane.  We were talking about

13     coexistence, and people knew that there were weapons coming in and

14     refugees being received.

15             All the while, Mr. Izetbegovic was signing away, signing false

16     declarations.  That's what they believed, and that's what I believed.  I

17     just want to say that I was in the area on those days, and we launched a

18     counter-offensive to prevent another massacre that would have been even

19     worse.  I want to say there were no acts of retaliation whatsoever.  I

20     and other people there made an enormous effort to keep anything like that

21     from happening.  We expended enormous amounts of energy.  This was a

22     village inhabited by a total of perhaps 150 people, yet 41 human beings

23     were killed.  This can only cause an enormous disruption to the mental

24     setup of this entire area.  Whoever never found themselves in a situation

25     like that would probably find it impossible to understand, no amount or

Page 9090

 1     level of education and insight.  Nevertheless, I wouldn't wish a thing

 2     like this upon anyone.  I do think that the understanding is insufficient

 3     of how a war works, what suffering means, what misery means, what mental

 4     disturbances mean that can be brought about by war situations and so on

 5     and so form.

 6             Be that as it may, let's move on.

 7        Q.   All right.  I think we should have gone through this document,

 8     nevertheless, because they're talking here about the axes of attack

 9     through Mostar and the siege.

10        A.   Sejtanic provides a very good description of this in his book.

11     I think we've covered that ground before, and I don't think there's any

12     point in --

13        Q.   Fine.  3D0 --

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, this is an

15     order to attack, a very comprehensive document, several pages' long.  And

16     that goes into detail and seems to be a draft.  You will have noticed

17     that under item 17, no date or time is given.  However, when it comes to

18     the degree of detail, everything is mentioned and said, and I'm sure it

19     did not escape your notice.  Under item 6(d), it says that a signal for

20     attack must be received.  I'm also looking at this document for the first

21     time, but I only need a few seconds to react.  It doesn't take me hours

22     to understand the scope or the extent of a document.

23             If I apply this to the Mostar attack, in your case, you claim

24     that the ABiH had planned a large-scale attack on the 9th of May.  As is

25     to be found here, there must have been a very detailed order to attack,

Page 9091

 1     but there could have been another draft or another plan, which was to

 2     attack a few locations, without going into detail.  And it may be that

 3     there was a massive response by the HVO so that from the outside one

 4     could have been under the impression that it was an attack initiated by

 5     the HVO.  So the Judges will have to look into all sorts of

 6     possibilities, based on the Prosecution evidence and your evidence.

 7             I have a very simple question.  If, indeed, there was an ABiH

 8     attack on the 9th of May, should we find a similar order to this one at

 9     the level of the 4th Corps Command?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe you

11     misunderstand this.  This attack occurred on the 15th of September, 1993.

12     This is part of Neretva-93.  The way a plan was drawn up for

13     Sector South --

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I understood that

15     very well.  I understood that this is an order from September.  Then I

16     have some kind of inductive method.  I'm saying that if there was this

17     kind of order in September, I wonder whether there was a similar order in

18     May, prior to the 9th of May.  That is my question.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there were orders just

20     like this one by Mr. Pasalic and the commander of the 1st Mostar Brigade,

21     from April 1993, orders to attack Mostar, with a large-scale map, with

22     all the axes drawn in.  I've used these in court, and I've demonstrated

23     all of this with great degree of precision for the benefit of the

24     Trial Chamber, all the axes of attack, where exactly they were attacking

25     through the two by two-and-a-half metres map, all the axes, what the

Page 9092

 1     targets were, and how they meant to go about taking those targets.  The

 2     attack took place on the 9th of September, 1993, or rather the 9th of

 3     May, 1993.  The attack was carried out, and someone was watching from a

 4     hill top and arrived three hours later, so now they suddenly knew who had

 5     started the attack.  This is erroneous information and false reports by

 6     people who misunderstood.  Obviously, five or ten minutes after their

 7     attack, the shooting started there.

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

 9     look at this famous map of the 1st Mostar Brigade of April 1993.

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] We have prepared something for the

11     Trial Chamber in relation to all the admitted documents in relation to

12     the BH Army, so you will have that in front of you so that you can see

13     everything, the orders for attacks and all these other elements.

14        Q.   General, I was going to move on to 3D0308, the date being the

15     16th of September, 1993.  That is your document?

16        A.   Yes, that is my document.  The 16th of September --

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Is it perhaps the number 3D03038?

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D03038.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  That's it.  Thank you.

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing.  The contact between me

22     and General Petkovic, who is -- Mr. Petkovic -- well, I have really no

23     idea.  We in Sarajevo, in central Sarajevo, wherever.  I think it was

24     Sarajevo.  I got my approval for him to assume any of the form of

25     authority necessary to start negotiations, especially as regarded the

Page 9093

 1     cessation of hostilities, which is what we were after, and to make sure

 2     that the interests of the Croatian population and the Croatian Republic

 3     of HB were best served.

 4             Nevertheless, this was at a time when the secret agreement

 5     between Tudjman and Milosevic was reached on the federation and the

 6     confederation with Croatia.  Confederation with Croatia, that is one

 7     thing that no one seems to be keeping in mind, just as though it was

 8     never signed.

 9             On that same day, an agreement was signed between

10     Alija Izetbegovic, Karadzic and everyone else, the famous agreement with

11     the Serbs about cessation.  There was a dual policy in terms of both

12     politics and military policy being informed.  There was a dual policy at

13     work, a double strategy, if you like.  They agreed on a partition with

14     the Serbs.  They said, Okay, there would be a referendum after a while.

15     And they said the armies would no longer continue fighting, and yet at

16     the same time -- or by this time for two months already, Sefer Halilovic

17     and his army had been attacking the HVO.

18             We can keep at this for another 500 years, and this will always

19     be true.  It will always be the only unambiguous truth.

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Page 27, line 23, General Praljak

21     was talking about a secret agreement on confederation with Croatia.  What

22     was recorded was a secret agreement between Tudjman and Milosevic.  I

23     don't know what exactly you said, General.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tudjman and Izetbegovic.  I am

25     sorry.  They were the ones who signed the secret agreement whereby the

Page 9094

 1     Croats and the Muslims would share a state in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

 2     because Mr. Izetbegovic, by this time, had understood that he had nothing

 3     on the Serbs and that the international community would not give him a

 4     hand, in terms of beginning to be on an equal footing with the Serbs and

 5     being able to fight them.  And then he signed this agreement on a

 6     federation with two components in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that this

 7     federation would become part of a confederation with the Republic of

 8     Croatia.

 9             On that same day, or thereabouts, he sat down with Karadzic and

10     Milosevic and signed an agreement to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina into

11     two parts in which the Muslims, as the agreement reads, would constitute

12     a majority in one part.  And then what was envisaged was that those two

13     parts would be separated following a referendum.  And the part containing

14     the Muslim majority would remain an independent state, with all the

15     implications that this had in terms of any international documents and

16     agreements that were signed, the UN and so on and so forth, and the other

17     part would then join Serbia.  That's what it says.  That's with the army.

18             They stopped all the clashes immediately, and they turned on the

19     HVO in their entirety in a bid to make up for the territory that had been

20     lost.  This was an act of aggression, a pure act of aggression, and

21     nothing else.  And it had been like that for at least three months.

22             We can stay here for another 500 years and try to talk about

23     this, but it will always stay what it is; an act of treason, an act of

24     trickery, and a disingenuous policy that was being implemented.

25             We made a huge effort to reach an agreement, to have a joint

Page 9095

 1     army, to remain on an equal footing.  Each and all of us, we can say

 2     whatever we like, but my opinion is crystal clear.  I have seen so many

 3     documents.  There is no one who can change my opinion in that respect.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, what you've

 5     just said comes in support of your defence case.  As far as you know, did

 6     Croatian political analysts or Bosnian political analysts share your

 7     view?  Do they say that there was an agreement between Karadzic and

 8     Izetbegovic which would account for the fact that an attack was launched

 9     against you?  Do politicians and political analysts write about this?  Do

10     we have any articles about it or is this the outcome of your thinking?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, these are

12     historical facts.  This document was made public.  It's a public

13     document.  That's not something that Praljak invented.  It's a signed

14     document, a public document.  It's not a figment of Praljak's fantasy.

15     You saw the text where the people from Rama say, We are naive fools.

16     Well, every soldier down there knew that.  People are smart, and if it's

17     about their survival, they get even more smart.  You can -- they see

18     everything.  You can see everything.

19             Hundreds of texts have been written on this topic, but only --

20     well, those who wanted the talks to be resolved in this manner, people

21     from the international community, the great powers who wanted that.

22     Because of our problems in the information part, they were saying the HVO

23     is attacking, the HVO is attacking.  Well, we've seen hundreds of

24     documents here.  We did not attack anyone anywhere.  Well, taking an

25     elevation or a tactical point that I had lost before, yes; that, yes.

Page 9096

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  One last follow-up

 2     question.  Assuming what you see as a real fact, but as a Judge I've got

 3     to be cautious, I can only have assumptions that I put to witnesses that

 4     confirm or disagree with it.  At this stage I am not supposed to have any

 5     opinion.  So based on this assumption that you are telling the truth, in

 6     such a case there was a general attack against you, against the HVO, in

 7     full agreement with the Serbs.  In taking this political and military

 8     risk, did Izetbegovic not run the risk of having the Republic of

 9     Croatia - it had, after all, military means - the risk of the Republic

10     intervening, not in an underground way by financing this score of

11     officers that came from its own ranks, but would have its brigade

12     intervened to face the ABiH?  Was there not such a possible military and

13     political reaction coming from the Republic of Croatia?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour Judge Antonetti.

15     There was no such reaction for a very simple reason; because Izetbegovic

16     knew full well that Croatia, in this [indiscernible], would be labelled

17     an aggressor, the party that attacked Bosnia-Herzegovina, and nobody

18     dared even dream of something like that.

19             You'll see a document here - we'll exhibit it here today or

20     tomorrow - that on the 24th, the day I arrived, I sent a request or a

21     demand to Franjo Tudjman and to Gojko Susak for two battalions of the

22     Croatian Army because there was an attack on Vakuf which was very fierce.

23     Bugojno had already fallen.  I didn't get anything.  I asked for two

24     battalions to cover the TG-2 line - this is what Judge Trechsel asked,

25     what TG-2 was down there - for the HV to at least take that part and

Page 9097

 1     to -- so that I could get a certain number of people for other tasks.

 2     You will see where I am asking for two cannon barrels to be replaced.

 3     I'm asking Gojko Susak to arrange it in the repairs facility in Sibenik,

 4     and that was supposed to be financed by our people in Croatia who had

 5     contributed.  Well, I am talking to him, cap in hand, asking for two

 6     cannon barrels and for 30 people.  I don't know.  There was an agreement

 7     signed between Muslims and Serbs.  That was not a secret agreement.  They

 8     made it public.  And there are signatures, I think, of some major figures

 9     from the international communities, and what is --

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, when you

11     became aware of this, you asked for two battalions.  They were not given

12     to you.  Did you then call your friend, Mr. Susak?  Why didn't you call

13     him?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I did call him.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Between -- after the question, Mr. Praljak said,

17     Yes -- no.  He said, No, I think.  But it was not translated.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it had to do with something

19     earlier, something that was said earlier.  I wanted to comment.

20             So I called Susak, and he told me quite clearly the same thing

21     that I -- Your Honours, well, when I was in Croatia, and if I had been in

22     Croatia, I would have presented the same position.

23             At that time, Croatia was not in a position to give the troop,

24     because it would be labelled an aggressor, and it would endanger its very

25     survival.  The international community was not in favour of having a

Page 9098

 1     Croatian state.  The English were not in favour of that, neither were

 2     your French, Your Honour, and other people were not in favour of that for

 3     various historical reasons.  But as an HVO commander, who is aware of the

 4     fact that he can lose the war, be defeated and to be routed, to be really

 5     well defeated; so I am asking for two battalions with a different hat on

 6     my head.  And we will find the document and the TG-2.  I didn't get

 7     anything.  He told me, Praljak -- or, rather, he used my nickname.  He

 8     didn't say "Praljak."  He said, I can't give you that.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For this to be on the record,

10     I'm asking you this:  What did Mr. Susak tell you over the phone?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He told me that I couldn't get it,

12     that he can't give it to me, that he won't give it to me, and that if I

13     could find some volunteers, that I could go.  And then I asked, Well,

14     there are some people from the 5th Brigade.  So I used my private

15     channels.  There were maybe 50 or 60 people from the 1st Guards Brigade,

16     30 people from some other brigade, and so I called the commanders using

17     my private channels, people I knew; and I begged and, Come on, man, get

18     at least 30 or 40 people together so that you could cover some of the

19     positions I have to hold because otherwise we will be routed.  And that's

20     how I managed to get the 130 people from the 5th Brigade, the

21     5th Guards Brigade.  Those were fighters from Vukovar who had managed to

22     break through the siege of Vukovar, and they joined and fought in this

23     war, and maybe some hundred people from two other brigades that covered

24     some position near Mostar at Hum and so on.  Officially, I did not get

25     anything, and officially I couldn't get anything.

Page 9099

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have another ten minutes

 2     before the break, Ms. Pinter.

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.  I would just like to

 4     tell the Trial Chamber -- you asked whether there were any documents

 5     pertaining to this agreement between Izetbegovic and Krajisnik.  Well,

 6     there is a document.  It's contained in 3D00320.  That's a compendium of

 7     all the agreements between 1991 and the end of the war.  When we started

 8     the Defence case, we went through this document, and the same document --

 9     well, my colleague Ms. Alaburic helped me.  It's under 5D1040 [as

10     interpreted].

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who co-signed it, Ms. Pinter?

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Well, it's signed by Krajisnik and

13     Izetbegovic.  And I have the pages here, but only in Croatian, not in

14     English.  But this is agreement 151.  In the book, it will facilitate you

15     finding that.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, could the speakers please

17     not overlap.  Microphone for the counsel.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  I apologise.  If I may just

19     correct the number of the document.  Page 34, line 3, the document number

20     is 4D1040, if you want to look at it immediately, and it is an exhibit.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have this document.  I

22     haven't got it here with me, but it has, indeed, been tendered into

23     evidence.

24             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's behind your back

25     in the binder entitled "The Truth about Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Page 9100

 1        Q.   General, we've discussed this document.  This document, which is

 2     3D03038.  Could you please look at 3D03039.  The date is the 29th.  This

 3     should make it easier for you to find it.  The number again, 3D03039.

 4        A.   Well, Brigadier Zarko Tole now sends a notes to UNPROFOR because

 5     a truce was signed between the HVO because obviously this offensive lost

 6     its momentum, and they realised they had not achieved anything.  But you

 7     have seen in the book -- in Hodzic's book and Sejtanic's book, that Mr.

 8     Izetbegovic says, Well try to take Stolac, because taking Stolac would

 9     mean that they could proceed down to Neum.  And in spite of this truce

10     that was signed, they go on attacking.  And it goes on for days and days,

11     and that's it.

12             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Oh, I'm sorry.

14        Q.   General, I'm sorry.  3D02322.  The microphone was not on.

15        A.   Yes.  The International Red Cross addressed me, asking me to

16     organise -- well, it's the 20th of September.  Well, the fighting -- war

17     fighting.  I don't know how else to say it.  You have seen the number of

18     shells and what it all looked like.  To organise again, this lady

19     Carla von Flue, to organise a new round of lectures on international

20     humanitarian law; and since from the IPD in Croatia, they knew that I had

21     done that, this is why she officially addressed me, and I responded, of

22     course, quite promptly.  We will see - I don't know - the document.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone is not on.

24             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   3D2673.  The date is the 26th of September.

Page 9101

 1        A.   Well, six days later.  Of course, I didn't manage to do it sooner

 2     because we were still fighting.  So six days later, I told her that I

 3     agreed fully, that I considered this to be a reasonable request, and I

 4     asked her to suggest a time slot for this to actually be done.  So this

 5     is something that I have to repeat all over again.

 6             From the very first time when I started working in the ministry,

 7     a primary concern in the Croatian Army and the HVO, to the extent that

 8     circumstances actually allowed it, each soldier, each officer, each NCO,

 9     was informed about the International Laws of War.  Of course, we did not

10     deal with the naval war or neutral countries, but all the basic things

11     when it comes to wartime.  Everybody knew that.  When I say everybody, I

12     mean 98 percent of the people had to have known that.

13        Q.   General, the number is wrong.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I don't know

15     how the Red Cross operates from within, but I'm looking at this official

16     document because it's got a stamp on it.  And I note the following:  This

17     letter was sent to you, General Praljak, Commander-In-Chief of the HVO,

18     Republic -- Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.  So you're given a title.

19     And Herceg-Bosna is, for the Red Cross, a republic.  And they are asking

20     you to organise seminars for officers to be trained based on the model of

21     what was done in the Croatian Army in April 1993, so four hours, a group

22     of no more than 30 officers.  Very well.

23             It would be interesting, for instance, to know whether the --

24     not the HVO, whether the Red Cross does the same today with fighters in

25     Iraq, Afghanistan, in Darfur.  It would be very interesting to know

Page 9102

 1     whether this is a general practice on the part of the Red Cross or

 2     whether the Red Cross operates in this way only with organs and

 3     institutions the Red Cross recognises as being legal; in which case you

 4     were part of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and you were a

 5     commander-in-chief.

 6             So how is it that you are being sent this mail, this letter,

 7     whilst we've heard many witnesses who did not seem to know you?  In fact,

 8     you didn't seem to be very well known, although here you are known within

 9     the Red Cross because we can see your surname.  We can't see your first

10     name.  We can't see "Slobodan," but we see your surname.  So how do you

11     account for the fact that the Red Cross knows you that well?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I worked a lot with

13     the International Red Cross while I served in the IPD in the Croatian

14     Army, a lot.  We published 100.000 booklets twice.  They knew that I was

15     sending those booklets to the HVO, and witnesses testified to that here,

16     that this was being distributed down there too.

17             Secondly, in 1992 and when I was in Central Bosnia, precisely

18     because I was there as somebody who was serving in the Croatian Army, I

19     didn't really tell everyone, shout it from the rooftops that I was there.

20     I tried to do my job as quietly as possible.  I would always say,

21     "General," not "General Praljak," while I was doing what I was doing in

22     Mostar.  I didn't want to --

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, the speaker is kindly asked

24     to slow down.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And why the Croatian Republic of

Page 9103

 1     Herceg-Bosna?  Because it was signed by the international community.

 2     Bosniaks and Croats signed that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be set up as

 3     a confederation of three republics, and one of them was the Croatian

 4     Republic of Herceg-Bosna.  That was its name.  And as far as the

 5     Red Cross is concerned, that was an internationally-recognised legal

 6     agreement.  And the only thing is that I was not the commander-in-chief,

 7     that was supposed to be Mate Boban.  But probably she thought -- well,

 8     she meant to say the commander of the Main Staff, but it's the kind of

 9     error that those people in the Red Cross, well, for them the supreme

10     commander of an army, they use those terms interchangeably.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How is it, then, that the

12     Red Cross had your fax number, 058-723-729?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti,

14     Your Honours, it's not about the Red Cross.  I think anyone had the fax

15     number, anyone who wanted to have it, it was available.  We never kept

16     anything secret from the journalists or anyone else.  Everyone got it.

17     Everybody got passes from the Main Staff to go wherever they pleased to

18     see whatever they pleased.

19             It was just that once there was this BBC reporter who had

20     produced an entirely false report from Konjic.  I remained angry with

21     this journalist for about two hours.  I said, You won't set foot in

22     Mostar.  You go wherever else you like.  Two hours later, however, I

23     realised already that my anger made no sense, so I just said, Well, just

24     come on over, if you like.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question and then

Page 9104

 1     we'll have the break.

 2             Isn't there a contradiction between the fact that in the eyes of

 3     the Red Cross, you are an army, and they wanted to train your officers;

 4     whereas you spent your time telling us that your army was a bunch of

 5     untrained soldiers?  Isn't there a contradiction here?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No contradiction, nor indeed did I

 7     term it the way you just phrased it, Your Honour.  Any social

 8     organisation or structure, such as an army, has all manner and shape of

 9     crystallisations within it.  The HVO, the part that responded to the

10     call-up, was brave, went out and fought.  Many of them were killed.  They

11     had within them a sense of justice.  So they stood up to things such as

12     smuggling and smugglers, or whenever they saw some municipal officials

13     giving jobs to their relatives instead of soldiers.  It was for a sense

14     of justice.  Why would I go out to get myself killed?  You stay at the

15     back, home and dry.  You do whatever you please.  I'll take your place in

16     the municipal office, and you go out and get killed.  These are different

17     crystallisations.  I'm not talking about the HVO like that, but it wasn't

18     structured the way a professional army would have been, with long

19     traditions, 100- 200-year traditions.  There was no legal system in

20     place, no judges, no telephones, no offices to go around.  But there was

21     this ferment.  It wasn't just a crowd.  I never said that.  I'm not

22     talking about those problems.  I'm not talking about the positives.  I'm

23     just talking about the number of problems created by certain disruptive

24     groups, which leaves the impression that everyone was like that.  But

25     that just isn't true.

Page 9105

 1             Those men fought bravely and honorably.  They fought the Serbs

 2     and fought the BH Army with equal bravery and honour.  Nevertheless,

 3     certain things happened that were inappropriate and should not have

 4     happened under the rules of the International Law of War.  But each

 5     individual must be made responsible for their own actions.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have our 20-minute break.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.

 8                           --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.

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

10             For the record, when I called the number 3D02763, the number

11     pertains to a document that constitutes a response of General Praljak to

12     3D02322.  We may as well just move on to that document so that we see the

13     whole picture.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My signature, my response.  I fully

15     accept this.  We are asking to know what the terms would be -- or,

16     rather, what the date would be, and there is nothing further to add.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   3D02761?

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, could all the other

20     microphones be switched off, please.  Thank you.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my signature, one of my

22     documents.  It's about Tihomir Blaskic, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.  He

23     obviously submitted some information on how chemical agents were being

24     used.  There were no chemical agents being used.  Those were irritants

25     being used, not chemical agents.  So I'm asking him to provide some

Page 9106

 1     accurate information, an organised list, and what exactly was used, what

 2     this was about, any medical findings in relation to that, and whether the

 3     UN ever established that -- they did establish that irritants were used,

 4     but not chemical agents.  This was a case of exaggeration.

 5             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   2329 [as interpreted].  The document was produced by

 7     Operative Zeljko Akrap.  3D02390.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Ms. Pinter, but if I look at the

 9     record, I see line 20 does not make sense, frankly.  I haven't found the

10     document either, because I haven't found the previous one either.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The transcript, line 22, reflects

12     3D02390.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Yes, and I asked about line 20.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Obviously, what I said was not

15     properly understood.  I probably mis-articulated and the number that

16     appeared was erroneous.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Okay, thank you.

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

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zeljko Akrap is an operative of the

20     Main Staff, one of those who came from Croatia as a volunteer.  Nothing

21     much, really.  He says that the HVO forces are tired, exhausted.  The

22     most critical situation was over in Ljubuski.  The brigade, some of them

23     had abandoned their positions without being replaced.  And goes on to

24     discuss the fighting at Zepce, where the Muslim forces had made an effort

25     to take back some positions.  There was an attempted infantry attack at

Page 9107

 1     Santic Street, and there was fierce fighting in the Podhum area.  This

 2     was a new attack in an attempt to pierce through defence lines at Mostar.

 3     This is a textbook combat report by an operative.  He received some

 4     information on that day, and he summed this information up in order to

 5     produce a collective report and the goings-on along the front-line on

 6     that particular day.  Nothing to add.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Could I please be helped in finding the date of

 8     this document?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the 24th of September,

10     1993.  The legibility is poor, but I think it should be the 24th of

11     September or thereabouts.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, so that we

13     don't have to get back to this:  This operative agent or officer at the

14     Main Staff, who is Mr. Akrap?  How long is his tenure?  Is it three times

15     eight, is that the kind of shift they have?  Or does he come in the

16     morning and leave in the afternoon?  Or is there always someone at the

17     Main Staff 24 hours a day, an officer or an operative officer?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was always an operative

19     officer who was there.  The links were always operating at the

20     Main Staff.  There were always sufficient officers there to take charge.

21     General Matic, the former JNA officer, his replacement had already

22     retired.  He was an elderly gentleman, in relative terms, but then joined

23     the HVO.  He was in charge of this.  He spent his time drawing maps.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're not answering my

25     question.  This operative officer, is he on duty 24 hours a day?

Page 9108

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We have the schedule here.  I used

 2     to work with them, drawing up these schedules.  I think there were

 3     12-hour schedules, so they took turns every 12 hours.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means that you, as a

 5     commander of the HVO, at 3.00 in the morning, for instance, you could

 6     call up this officer who was on duty to give him an order for any kind of

 7     order, and this officer on duty, does he hold a log-book in which he

 8     writes down, for instance:  "10th of September, 1993, call from

 9     General Praljak, who is asking me to send him an ambulance"?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, there was a book

11     there, a log-book, where document numbers were recorded and everything, a

12     book containing all the structural elements.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where is this log-book?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no idea.  I don't think

15     anyone else has, either.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was it destroyed?  Did it

17     disappear?  Was it stolen?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No idea, Your Honours, no

19     information whatsoever that I can provide on that.  The book is gone.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Since my questions

21     contain no traps and are not malicious in any way, if that log-book had

22     existed we would have had, for the date of the 9th of May, everything

23     that happened in Sovici and Doljani.  This would have been recorded in

24     the log-book.  And anything related to Stupni Do would have been recorded

25     in this log-book also; do you agree with me?

Page 9109

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the documents that arrived and

 2     left were recorded, as well as all the relevant elements.  Unfortunately,

 3     my previous answer is quite accurate.  I don't have that.  We looked high

 4     and low in a bid to find that book, but everything was to no avail.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.  The Defence has the

 7     log-book of the Main Staff.  This is something that we received from the

 8     Prosecutor, but that was the only thing that was made available to us,

 9     the documents pertaining to the Main Staff or reaching the Main Staff.

10        Q.   Let us now move on to P05279, 5279.  Your document, General;

11     right?

12        A.   Yes.  The date is the 22nd of September, 1993.  I specifically

13     state that disciplinary measures, in terms of detention or prison, were

14     being taken, and I, as commander, had the power to impose those, people

15     who were punished, people who saw disciplinary measures taken against

16     them, because the commanders had the power to do that, because these

17     people were the perpetrators and would now serve time in the Dretelj

18     military remand prison -- military remand and prison.  That's

19     paragraph 2.

20             Paragraph 3 states that the commanders were required, as were the

21     military disciplinary courts, in addition to the detainee, to attach a

22     disciplinary sentence -- a judgement just to make sure that that person

23     was not there by accident.  I tasked all of my commanders to do this

24     properly.  I also addressed my own immediate commanders and presidents of

25     the Military Disciplinary Court, in the first instance as well as the

Page 9110

 1     second.  I asked them to produce the relevant court papers when they

 2     bring someone in and any decisions regarding disciplinary measures being

 3     taken.

 4             Why Dretelj?  I had received many complaints from my commanders

 5     and soldiers indicating that when disciplinary measures were taken

 6     against someone, and that this person had to serve time in Livno, people

 7     would make use of their acquaintances, because the warden happened to be

 8     his brother, or his cousin, or someone else, and then they would release

 9     them to spend an evening in a pub somewhere and then go home.  And that

10     violated the authority of the commander, which in turn gave rise to

11     mutiny within the unit itself.  This man was punished, yet now he is

12     walking about town free as a bird, having a drink.  I then determined

13     that everyone was to remain in Dretelj.

14             At the same time, what this proves to me is that on the 22nd of

15     September, for me, Dretelj was a prison facility that was used for people

16     who had to be there to serve their sentences.  Therefore, I am putting it

17     to the Trial Chamber that my knowledge dating back to that time, and the

18     knowledge that we heard here, the information that we heard here, are

19     divergent.

20             On the 22nd of September, 1993, my information on Dretelj

21     indicated that this was a prison, where persons were serving their

22     sentences, HVO soldiers, soldiers, the Muslims, the Croats, officers,

23     soldiers, everyone alike; and everything was done in keeping with the

24     laws and as it had to be done.  So that's my understanding of what the

25     document states.

Page 9111

 1             If anyone has any questions regarding this, I'd be happy to

 2     answer.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I have questions.

 4             In light of what you heard about Dretelj, did you -- some victims

 5     came to tell us what had happened to them.  You are telling us today that

 6     this was a military prison.  Had you known that civilians were being

 7     detained in Dretelj, would you have sent officers or HVO soldiers to go

 8     there and be accommodated in the same prison?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had I known about Dretelj what I

10     heard here at this trial, I would not have done that.  My information on

11     Dretelj at the time was the reason that I produced this document the way

12     I did.  Had I had other information, I would not have produced this

13     document like this.  That is what is perfectly clear.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak - I call you

15     General Praljak because that was the position you held - you know that

16     when one is in charge of a command, the notion of control is important.

17     And when a commander sends out an order, he must make sure and check that

18     this order has been carried out.  Control and command, therefore, carries

19     its full weight.  Why did you not -- I mean, this is an assumption I'm

20     making.  Why did you not check on the spot whether HVO soldiers, who had

21     been punished, had been sent to Dretelj?  These had been the subject of

22     disciplinary measures.  When you went to the prison, you should have seen

23     that there were civilians, and control and command were part of your

24     duties.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation

Page 9112

 1     continues] ... for that.  First of all, the military investigative

 2     prisons were not under the control of the Main Staff at all.  These

 3     are -- these were separate, independent institution that were run --

 4     well, the Main Staff had nothing to do with them.  That's number one.

 5             Number two, and this is something I've been saying all along:  If

 6     you forget, as a symphony, Your Honours, it appears to me that we're just

 7     listening to the first violins, then we listen to the second violins a

 8     week later, and then the drums and so on, but for -- I am under attack

 9     here for two months.  This is a war.  I have 10 people killed every day.

10     I have many wounded units on the front-line.  So the question is when.

11     And even if there were, and there weren't, the question is when.  How am

12     I to send out the helicopters for medical evacuations?  How can I relieve

13     the troops that had fled their positions?  How Petkovic and I and others

14     are to make sure that the wounded are evacuated from Central Bosnia?  How

15     am I to violate the embargo and send weapons to Tihomir Blaskic or to

16     Zepce?  And it always -- it looks as if we're sitting in a room and

17     looking at the problem in a time-period, how to organise a convoy to

18     evacuate -- all right, yes, I'll speak more slowly.

19             I am claiming that I, and most of my officers that I commanded,

20     worked 20 hours a day.  And I controlled, of course, where I had the

21     right to do so, and I punished and controlled -- we punished hundreds of

22     people, and this, A, first of all, was not under my jurisdiction, and I

23     did not have the right to control it.  But let's say there is a lull in

24     the fighting and so on, and I received information that I heard here.

25     Had I had this information, then on my own initiative, not as part of the

Page 9113

 1     structure that was in place, but as I often acted.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question.  I believe my

 3     colleague also has a question.  This is my last question.

 4             You have told us that the prisons were not placed under the

 5     authority of the Main Staff, so who did the prisons report to?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will refrain from

 7     giving you an answer, because I don't want to interpret what was being

 8     said here.  No reports from the prisons reached the Main Staff.

 9     According to the establishment, we did not have the right to get involved

10     with the prisons.  The only duty that I had, the only right that I had,

11     was to send the person, the convict, with the paper stating what they had

12     done, and that's what had to be done.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  But Dretelj was a

14     military prison; do you agree with me there?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Military investigative or

16     military -- well, it is specified in the documents somewhere, what kind

17     of a prison it was.  The fact that it's a military prison does not mean

18     that it was under the Main Staff.  The fact that it was called the

19     military prison or military investigative prison, it was an institution

20     that was run by lawyers as part of an organisation.  And I don't know,

21     but according to the books that I studied, the Main Staff had nothing to

22     do with the prisons.

23             Furthermore, when I issued the "laissez passer" for the reporter

24     to get in, why shouldn't I do it?  He was turned back, and he was told,

25     Praljak had nothing to do with it.  And you have a statement by Zeljko

Page 9114

 1     Rogosic to that effect.  I thought, of course, there was no reason to

 2     hide anything there.  Let the TV crews get in.  The English reporter who

 3     testified here on the 8th of September, let Mr. Rogosic from Globus get

 4     in.  As far as I was concerned, everything was open.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, we know, in light

 6     of the evidence, and I would like to tell you that I don't wish to

 7     challenge what you are saying.  I'm just stating the facts, and I'll

 8     listen to what you are telling us.  So we have heard witnesses and

 9     evidence that stated the following:  The prison is guarded either by home

10     guards, "Domobrani," I believe in your language, either by these people

11     or by military policemen.  If the prison is guarded by military

12     policemen, the military policemen are part of the hierarchy.  At the head

13     of this hierarchy, there is a commander, the military commander of the

14     HVO, of the military police, and that is you.  What do you have to say to

15     that?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think, Your Honour

17     Judge Antonetti, that there is a complete misunderstanding here.  We're

18     completely at odds here, and I wonder whether in the three years -- well,

19     the military police has nothing to do with the Main Staff.  The military

20     police has its chief, who belongs to a separate department of the Defence

21     Department.  It has its tasks, in accordance with its documents, and the

22     Main Staff has no right to issue any orders to the military police.

23             I never received -- I or the Main Staff never received any

24     reports about any prisons.  Just a moment.  Now, whether --

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, we would like to

Page 9115

 1     try and not waste any time.  It's a shame that Mr. Coric is not here, but

 2     I'm sure his counsel will inform him.  You have told us what your

 3     position is.  That's fine.

 4             But the question I have now is:  Do you agree with me that

 5     Valentin Coric was at the head of the military police?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of an administration in

 7     the Defence Department, well, that was, to the best of my knowledge,

 8     Mr. Valentin Coric.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Valentin Coric.

10     As far as you know, was he reporting to whom?  Under whose orders was he?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know who commanded

12     Mr. Valentin Coric, who issued orders to him.  Who was the superior of

13     the chief?  Well, I'm sure that the chief of the military police could

14     not be under the command of the commander of the Main Staff.  He

15     commanded, in operational a terms, the units of the military police when

16     they were resubordinated to him during some combat operations for a

17     limited period of time.  But functionally, they remained part of their

18     own structure.  The same went for the military.  Medical service, IPD was

19     an independent service, the SIS; so they were all parallel systems within

20     what is termed the military component of the HVO, aside from the

21     political one.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

23             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Praljak, I have had

24     this question at the back of my mind for some time, but you've answered

25     part of my question.  Nonetheless, I would still like to put my question

Page 9116

 1     to you.

 2             I have understood that the military prisons did not come under

 3     the authority of the Main Staff.  That I understood.  I also understood

 4     that you did not receive any reports from the military police.  So my

 5     question is a very straightforward one.  What happens when your soldiers,

 6     who were detained in Dretelj, had problems, whatever these problems may

 7     have been, people who were taken ill, people who died, people who filed

 8     complaints because they were unhappy with the food or the medicine they

 9     had been given?  In that case, did the Main Staff that you belonged to

10     not take any notice of these men?  Were you still in contact?  Did you

11     still know what was happening in the prison or not?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, this is a

13     hypothetical question.  Had I received some reports from some lad who

14     complained about the structure or through a structure about improper

15     conduct or treatment in prison, I would definitely have done something

16     for him.  I would have stood up for him.  But I never received any

17     reports from any prisons about any improper treatment of soldiers,

18     officers, or NCOs of the HVO serving their disciplinary sentence,

19     disciplinary sentence.  Disciplinary -- these are disciplinary measures

20     that we had the right to impose.

21             Now, as for criminal offences, we, the Main Staff of the HVO, did

22     not have any jurisdiction there, any powers.  This was a separate legal

23     system.  For disciplinary measures, you simply take a piece of paper and

24     you punish such and such a person.  You sentence him to two weeks in

25     prison, and there is no trial, no defence case.  This is the

Page 9117

 1     discretionary right of the commander.  And I had the right to impose

 2     higher sentences than brigade commanders.

 3             Well, it's all stipulated which commander has the right to impose

 4     what sentence.  But if a crime is committed, then you have the court, the

 5     prosecution, the trial, the cases of the two parties, and the Main Staff

 6     has nothing to do with it anymore.

 7             And now as for the serving of those sentences, I did not have any

 8     complaints, not a single document, not a single oral or written

 9     complaint, about any improper treatment of any of my soldiers during the

10     service of their sentences ever.  Nothing of the sort ever happened.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Just a small intervention

12     regarding the transcript.

13             At page 50, line 7, the translation misses a word that

14     General Praljak said, and I was following quite carefully, and it's the

15     word "parallel."  General Praljak said that Medical Service, IPD and SIS,

16     and he also mentioned the military police, are parallel components,

17     together with the military component of the HVO.  The word "parallel "is

18     not in the transcript, and it's very important.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, these are parallel components

20     that have their own chiefs, their duties, their rights, their powers, and

21     they are performing them, and they do some things as part of those

22     things.  So if you have a doctor in a military unit, he's part of the

23     healthcare service.  But when the unit goes out in the field, he goes

24     together with them.  And then when an operation is planned, he says,

25     Well, I need such and such things.  And he asks how many casualties are

Page 9118

 1     anticipated, prepares the cars, and arrangements are made for the

 2     evacuation of the first echelon and the second echelon.  So he's doing

 3     his job within his structure.  This assists the commander of a brigade or

 4     of a zone to plan the operation as it should be done.  And this is how

 5     it's done in other armies.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, when my Brother Mindua asked you

 7     how you would have reacted if there had been a complaint, you, without

 8     hesitating, said, I would have ordered an investigation.  On what

 9     authority would you have done that?  I thought, and before you told us,

10     that you had no authority whatsoever.  Now say you would order an

11     investigation.  On what basis?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on the basis of somebody

13     mistreating my man, and then I had the power to ask why this person was

14     mistreated.  I would ask who was there.  I would ask for an explanation.

15     The right to control and to ask -- the right to ask what happened to my

16     soldier, these are two separate things, Judge Trechsel.  After all,

17     Amnesty International does not have any powers over prisons and human

18     rights violations, and yet they demand that reports be issued and that

19     they be told what is going on.  So these are two different sets of

20     rights.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I do not find this at all convincing.  I mean,

22     if you can order an investigation, you could well go and preventively

23     look whether things are all right.  That's what I must conclude.  I find

24     your contrary assertions not convincing.

25             And another point -- this was more a statement than a question,

Page 9119

 1     actually.  But of course you can react to it.  I seem to recall that

 2     earlier on in this trial, in quite a different context, you have rather

 3     proudly declared how open you were and that you had given a television

 4     team of ZDF, the second German television chain, a permission to visit --

 5     I think, it was Gabela and not Dretelj, but a prison.  Do I remember

 6     wrongly or how did you have that authority at that time?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I think that for

 8     I don't know what reason add to my words, the words that I never said.  I

 9     didn't say that I would have demanded or ordered an investigation.

10     That's not what I said, and it's really strange that you add to what I

11     have said and that you cannot create systems that divine from my words.

12     To demand that an investigation be carried out is not to order that an

13     investigation be carried out.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, it may be that

15     what you said was not properly interpreted because I heard the French

16     booth and it said that you could have ordered an investigation.  Hence

17     the question put by my fellow Judge.  What did you say exactly in your

18     own language.  Could you repeat it?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, these are very precise

20     things, and you have to understand them in that way.  If I learned --

21     whenever I learned that something was going on that was not in line with

22     the rules, the regulations, or the law, I first, A, ordered that an

23     investigation be carried out within my powers, within my purview or

24     jurisdiction; B, I demanded that an investigation be carried out in those

25     areas over which I had no jurisdiction.  And when I - we saw the

Page 9120

 1     document - demanded that those police be arrested, I did not write an

 2     order for those police to be arrested and to be put in prison.  And we

 3     saw that yesterday, but I demanded, because I had learned.

 4     Valentin Coric had not learn that.  He did not have this information.  I

 5     had this information.  And I forwarded this information to Mate Boban, to

 6     Mr. Valentin Coric, and I say here, these people, according to the

 7     information that I have, and I'm claiming that this is correct, did this

 8     or that.  And I demand, not "I order," I demand that you put them in

 9     prison.  That's one thing.

10             And, secondly, when Ms. Ivanisevic contacted me, asking me that

11     they would like to get "laissez passer."  It is true -- or Vujami

12     [phoen], whatever his name is, the British reporter, Vujami.  He says,

13     yeah, I asked that from Mate Boban's office and I didn't get it.  And

14     then I met General Praljak, and he, to my surprise - that's what he said,

15     and I asked him why to his surprise - wrote that to me.  There are two

16     possibilities here:  That I am saying what Judge Trechsel is saying.

17     This is not under my jurisdiction.  I don't care if you are going there

18     to film or not.  The fact that this is not under my jurisdiction, that I

19     did not have any power over it, did not prevent me from writing a

20     "laissez passer," and, then if it works, well it's going to work, and if

21     not, it's not going to work.

22             So I took this position:  Nothing is to be concealed.  In

23     accordance with the strictest of rules, I was not supposed to write it.

24     And they were not supposed to get in anywhere with "laissez passer."  And

25     this is what happened to the other journalists.  But when I wrote that, I

Page 9121

 1     didn't do it -- and this -- so as to indicate that I had a right to do

 2     it.

 3             So what I said, Judge Trechsel, is correct.  I couldn't order.  I

 4     could only demand, and these are two different terms.  And I always, be

 5     it within the framework of what I could do as a commander under the law,

 6     reacted if I considered that there were any violations.  But this doesn't

 7     mean that I had the right to do it or that it was my duty to do it.  It

 8     was my obligation as a human being.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, I just want to recall, Mr. Praljak, I'm a

10     bit surprised at this formalism which you present now, after having told

11     us many times that you didn't care very much about regulations; for

12     instance that you went and you said what had to be done, when you were

13     not appointed in any official way, and everybody obeyed you.  So to tell

14     us now, the Chamber, that you could have not looked at your soldiers in a

15     prison if you had wanted to, for formal reasons, I simply have to tell

16     you it is not entirely convincing.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But, Your Honour, I didn't say

18     that.  I didn't say what you just said.  I am sorry, but please tell me

19     where exactly I said that I could not send my soldiers into prison.  Can

20     you please quote me exactly?

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  There must be -- either I misspoke or a problem

22     in translation.  I was speaking about your possibility to go into a

23     prison, where soldiers which were under your command, by yourself, one of

24     your sub-commanders had been sent into the prison, that you could not

25     have gone and see whether they are dealt with in a correct way.  I never

Page 9122

 1     challenged your right to send people.  That was a misunderstanding.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But, please, I never said that

 3     either.  I never said that I could not access the prison.  I could access

 4     the prison.  And it is highly likely that no one would have been able to

 5     stop me.  All I'm saying is the following:  I did not have any reason to

 6     go there because I never received any reports or information that would

 7     have prompted me to go there.  Why on earth would I go there if I

 8     previously had seen no information that there was anything untoward going

 9     on, to my soldiers or to anyone else?  That's one thing.

10             The other thing is I had a war going on at my door-step,

11     Judge Trechsel, a war.  I have no idea what we spent the last three years

12     talking about.  What about the 7.000 dead, HVO soldiers who were killed,

13     young lads?  What about the 10.000 wounded who were there?  What about

14     all the shells that were fired?  What about all the wounded, 15.000 or

15     whatever?  I have no idea.

16             I'll tell you one thing, if I may.  For example, my refugees, the

17     Muslims, in my holiday cottage -- I spent some time there that winter,

18     and then I got in touch with a friend who was wounded.  He was a war

19     invalid from the HVO.  That winter, I bought a calf in Slavonia, and I

20     sent half that calf back home and the other half I left there.  But if,

21     at the moment of the attack on Hum everything else altogether, when I had

22     10 people who had been killed, and 15 or 20 wounded, then if you told me

23     at that point in time that poor food was being served to someone in

24     prison, at that point in time there would have been no reaction on my

25     part to poor food being served.  God forbid, for example, you have

Page 9123

 1     children and your child takes seriously ill, or someone else's child, and

 2     then someone tells you, Well, you know what, you have a leak in your

 3     bathroom.  This is only a minor manner.  At the time, obviously, if I had

 4     heard about worse things, I would have reacted.  But there's a thread of

 5     tolerance to anything that goes on even in a war.  If I need helicopters

 6     to evacuate the wounded, about 50 of those per day, even if I found out,

 7     for example, that poor food was being served in that prison, well, poor

 8     food, what can I say?  I can hardly remember what I was eating myself.

 9     It certainly wasn't proper food.  What we're talking about here is --

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we understand

11     what you say very well.  You are saying that there were 7.000 soldiers

12     HVO soldiers killed and 10.000 wounded.  Very well, nobody challenges

13     that, and not the judges in the first place.  But that's not the problem.

14     The problem is that this Tribunal has to try a case in which

15     international humanitarian law is involved, and you, as I, listened to

16     the victims who testified here at the very spot where you're sitting

17     today.  And like me, you heard some speak about the conditions in which

18     they were detained, so you know that.  The Judges will have to determine

19     whether and to what extent you may be liable for what happened.  That's

20     the basic problem.

21             Furthermore, you told us, and you showed us evidence, that you

22     authorised a journalist to go and visit a prison.  Nobody challenges

23     that.  But we have to see this authorisation that you gave within its

24     proper context.  And when I learned this, and this is quite a few months

25     back, straight away I thought this, and I'll tell you what I then thought

Page 9124

 1     straight away.  If there was a joint criminal enterprise through which

 2     civilians are being detained, mistreated, some of them killed, is a

 3     journalist going to be authorised to enter a prison facility to see what

 4     is there to be seen and draw conclusions that are going to be made public

 5     to the entire world?  That was my question back then, because everybody

 6     knows the weight of the media.  You can easily imagine that if a

 7     journalist had been to this notorious prison in Iraq, he or she would

 8     have immediately reported on what may have happened there.

 9             So when I saw this document, saying that you gave the permission,

10     I immediately made a connection with a possible joint criminal

11     enterprise.  I was planning to ask you, the question, but this is very

12     topical now.  So I may as well put my question now.  You are under oath,

13     so this will make the approach easier.

14             When this journalist came to ask you this permission to go to

15     this prison, did you, yourself, call other authorities, Mate Boban,

16     Stojic, or Prlic, to tell them, Look, there's a problem.  There's an

17     international reporter who wants to come and have a look at what's

18     happening in prison; that may cause problems.  What am I to do?  Did you

19     call them or did you say, Well, I have a human responsibility.  Someone

20     tells me they want to visit a prison.  I've got nothing to hide, and I

21     gave them leave even if this is not within my purview, because as a human

22     being I have nothing to hide?  Now, what was your position at the time?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This last inference of yours, I

24     called no one.  Within eight days, I let in three journalists, the ZDF,

25     the German crew, was the first; not really let them in, I granted them

Page 9125

 1     permission to go, and that's just it.

 2             I had nothing to conceal.  I believe, and it is my position, that

 3     nothing must be concealed.  I expect the honourable Chamber to reach that

 4     correct inference eventually, in terms of determining my responsibility

 5     regarding that.  Should the Chamber, along with the OTP, find any proof,

 6     any evidence, any information that I had at the time about what was going

 7     on over there in any of the reports, you will hand down a sentence and

 8     you will say, Praljak, you are to remain in prison for a number of years.

 9             What I'm telling you is I had no information on those detention

10     centres or prisons indicating that there was anything untoward happening

11     there.

12             In this text, the piece by the Globus journalist, I read that

13     some reclining chairs or beds were missing there.  And then I called the

14     Capljina barracks and I said, If you have a surplus, please take the

15     settees or reclining chairs over there so they can use them.  That is all

16     I knew at the time, and that is why I wrote this text on the 22nd.

17             Based on today's information, the information that I'm aware of

18     today - if what we have heard here is true, I would not go into that - I

19     would not have dispatched my own lads there, the brigade soldiers, to go

20     to prison there.  I would not have done that.  They were not under my

21     jurisdiction.  I received no reports from anyone on the situation there,

22     none at all.  And at the time, I knew nothing about that, not on any

23     basis whatsoever.

24             If you have a document or the OTP has documents proving that what

25     I'm saying is a lie, you'll write up a sentence for me.  There you go.

Page 9126

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I asked you the

 2     question, and your answer has been recorded.  Anybody can refer to it,

 3     and no doubt the Prosecutor will revisit the issue when they

 4     cross-examine you.  But I might, too, because there are many topics to

 5     address, and we don't have all the time in the world.

 6             So your conclusion, as you say, is that, I was not in the know of

 7     anything, I was not aware of anything.  That is your conclusion.  Very

 8     well.  We'll keep it in mind.

 9             Please proceed, Ms. Pinter.

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

11        Q.   General, can you please go to 3D02057 [Realtime transcript read

12     in error "3D020257"].

13        A.   Yes, I have that document.  It's a document signed by the chief

14     of SIS in Rama, Luka Markesic, on the 23rd of September.  He is taking

15     stock of the war in Rama by the 20th of September, 1993.  There is

16     nothing to add:  The number of women and children killed; the number of

17     civilian casualties; the number of soldiers wounded in a brigade that was

18     a small brigade, not a large one, 188; the number of soldiers killed, 61;

19     and so on and so forth.  This is an accurate report, very specific, on

20     what was really going on on the ground.  And this is something that I was

21     unfortunately involved in, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how

22     you decide to approach this.  Fortunately, we did not end up being the

23     losers.  They did not manage to beat us.  Unfortunately, because that

24     kind of involvement leads you to a fate like this.  But let's move on.

25        Q.   It seems that I will have to go and see a specialist about this,

Page 9127

 1     because I can't seem to get a single number right.  Can we please have

 2     the tape listened to?  This is 3D02057, the document number.  Please

 3     state the date also, because that is another error.

 4        A.   The 20th of September, 1993.

 5        Q.   Next up is P05350.

 6        A.   This is my document, the 24th of September, 1993.  It's a

 7     textbook military order at the time when the BH Army were infiltrating

 8     the saboteurs behind our lines.  I believe some of our men were killed.

 9     I think we discussed this at one point, but there's nothing to add,

10     really.

11        Q.   What about the introduction to this document, two orders that you

12     wrote?  Can you please comment on those?

13        A.   No comment.  The order is clear.  Therefore --

14        Q.   All right.  Please go to 3D01171.

15        A.   It's one of my orders.  The date is -- I can't say, but about the

16     25th of September, 1993.  Yes, the 25th of September, 1993.  There is a

17     misunderstanding between the commanders, and one still has to teach them

18     that it is their duty to communicate, to think, to do everything.  But at

19     one point in time, it is down to the commander to take a decision.  And

20     the decision must then be carried out, and then no further adieu about

21     that, no discussion.  A commander has every right to change his decision.

22     Today he makes one decision, the next day he makes a different decision.

23     He's perfectly within his rights because the situation changes on a daily

24     basis as well.

25        Q.   P05402.  Thank you.

Page 9128

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, please.  A question on the previous

 2     document.  Did we see the order that is rendered invalid here?

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] You mean 3D01171, that question, the

 4     order from the Main Staff being rendered invalid, paragraph 1?

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Exactly.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what is being rendered

 7     invalid here.  I can't be expected to remember what exactly it was I was

 8     rendering invalid at the time.  But why -- there must have been some sort

 9     of misunderstanding, quite obviously.

10             The commander and his deputy commander probably provided two

11     different bits of information.  They couldn't reach an understanding, and

12     the order of the Main Staff was probably erroneous.  But I don't think

13     that bears any relevance in relation to this document.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Nevertheless, we can look for it, if

15     there is a document like that, and then we can show it.

16        Q.   3D02082?

17        A.   Here I request from Croatia General Brigadier Imra Agotic, who

18     was the head of Croatia's air force, to make it possible for me to have

19     four pilots trained and four MI-8 helicopter technicians in the Divulje

20     base near Split.  This would take about 15 days, starting the 28th of

21     September.  I assert that this was very difficult to achieve.  Mr. Agotic

22     always had some follow-up questions to ask, and I assert it was far

23     easier to get pilots trained by the BH Army than it was for me to get

24     training for my HVO pilots from the Croatian Army.  I hereby assert that.

25     There were always follow-up questions:  Did we receive approval from the

Page 9129

 1     BH Army; did we this; did we that, leading me at one point in time, when

 2     he was stopping some of my helicopters from taking off, to act in a

 3     brutal manner and use a lot of foul language because we were looking at

 4     some wounded from Central Bosnia.  Back in his office, he simply failed

 5     to understand what the situation was about.

 6        Q.   Fair enough.  Next up is --

 7        A.   I'm sorry.  More proof yet that we are here addressing a

 8     different country, as simple as that.  There is no communality there.

 9     One country, the Banovina, the Croats.  It's like -- it's like I'm

10     addressing the Swiss Army or the French Army, asking them to train my

11     pilots additionally and charge a fee for that.  The same thing.

12        Q.   May we have your comments on document --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Nothing escapes my notice,

14     General Praljak, and something has just caught my eye.

15             You are asking here for pilots to -- helicopter pilots to be

16     trained.  Very well.  So you send a letter, and I see that in this letter

17     you refer to order 560-01/09 from the 10th of August, from the Republic

18     of Croatia.  So you're quoting a document from the Republic of Croatia,

19     whilst we know that you are on the ground.  You are everywhere, but for

20     the prisons, but that you told us already; still you signed a document

21     referring to a document coming from the Republic of Croatia.  How is it

22     that you could be informed of the document coming from the Republic of

23     Croatia?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because that document is one that

25     the minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia wrote on the basis of

Page 9130

 1     my request, pursuant to my request, to grant permission for the training

 2     of these pilots, six pilots, or additional training, I mean, additional

 3     training.  And General Agotic did not implement that.  That's one point.

 4             Let me make it clearer, Judge Antonetti, if I may.  For flights

 5     to Central Bosnia, when the BH Army blocked all the roads running into

 6     Central Bosnia, we had pilots from Russia, excellent pilots, and we paid

 7     them.  However, that too was organised by Mr. Stojic and, in part, me.

 8             Now, since they were attacked several times and targeted several

 9     times, these people just lost it - as we say without too much

10     psychology - and didn't want to fly anymore, regardless of the fact that

11     we offered them double the pay and triple the pay.  They said they

12     wouldn't be flying anymore because they were afraid to.

13             And now the Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were in the

14     Yugoslav People's Army previously, mostly flew planes, and there were

15     five or six of them, and one of them went with this Russian towards

16     Central Bosnia.  They flew to Central Bosnia because they were born

17     there.  And so they learnt how to fly the helicopter by sitting next to

18     this Russian as co-pilots.  And as there was the danger that

19     Central Bosnia or, rather, Blaskic would fall completely, I asked them --

20     I begged them on my knees -- I begged them to fly.  The pilot said he

21     didn't know how to fly the helicopter well enough yet, and so on.  The

22     situation was very critical.

23             And as we're talking about what is sometimes erroneously

24     interpreted by His Honour Judge Trechsel, at one point in time, begging

25     your pardon, I took my pants off and said, Well, I'll give you, you know,

Page 9131

 1     those things of mine if you do.  So after that, that flew hundreds of

 2     sorties, saved lots of people, and you can read this in the statements

 3     that are attached to the documents of this court.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, when you

 5     answer a question, whatever the question may be, I try to put it in one

 6     or another category, Defence or Prosecution evidence.

 7             You told us that when you asked Agotic to train some of the

 8     pilots, some of the men sometimes said, Do you have the agreement of the

 9     BiH?  You said this very quickly, and then you moved on to something

10     else.  So I said to myself that I needed to think about this before I put

11     the question to you because it's an important question.  And now I've

12     reached a stage where I can phrase my question.

13             When somebody provides an answer like this, does this mean that

14     in the minds of the people before you, they were providing you with

15     equipment under the condition that this was part of the struggle against

16     the Serbs, but that this was also in agreement with the ABiH.  And that

17     is why they then checked to see whether the ABiH agreed to providing you

18     with trainers to train the pilots?  As far as you remember, the agreement

19     with the ABiH, was this something that was sufficiently airtight, was it

20     something which you needed, and was that agreement enough, and how

21     involved was the ABiH when it came to providing authorisations to send in

22     additional supplies?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No agreement with the BH Army at

24     all.  There was none, nor should there have been, nor did we need to ask

25     permission from the BH Army.  Why?  Because the BH Army didn't ask me for

Page 9132

 1     permission.  We were on a footing of equality.  They were flying their

 2     helicopters.  These were HVO helicopters.  These were HVO pilots.  These

 3     people were born on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were

 4     volunteers of the HVO, these pilots here.

 5             And then, next, on the 10th of August, I asked the minister to

 6     enable these pilots to be additionally trained, and then he issued --

 7     well, Mr. Imra Agotic, on the 20th of September -- I repeat this, in

 8     fact.  So who is Imra Agotic, that I discuss this with him?  He -- from

 9     the representative of the civilian authorities, and the minister of

10     defence of the civil authority in the Republic of Croatia, to train my

11     men, using my helicopters for my money, as he was doing for the BH Army

12     in Split, Rijeka and Zagreb without any money?  He was a general, and he

13     has to listen to the orders he's given.  Now, for some reason of his own,

14     best known to him, he tried to side-step this.

15             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.  The general is

16     speaking much too fast, and on page 66, line 17, what the general said

17     has not been recorded, and that is that in Split and Rijeka, pilots of

18     the helicopters belonging to the BH Army were being trained free of

19     charge.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  In Split, Rijeka and Zagreb,

21     they had their logistic centres, and the pilots were trained there.  The

22     helicopters were transport -- flown across Croatia, and this was made

23     possible for the BH Army, whereas this man here was dangling me on a

24     string for a month and a half until I put my foot down and shouted at him

25     and told Gojko Susak to get him off my back.  And he got him off my back.

Page 9133

 1     So for money, this training was completed.  So why would I ask the

 2     BH Army for permission, then, when it was doing the same thing in

 3     Croatia?  Better than vis-a-vis the HVO because they were hot-heads of

 4     this type who, like many others, thought that the BH Army was the only

 5     army --

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, General Praljak.

 7     Sometimes you go off on a tangent, and I try to ask you to get back to

 8     the point.

 9             You've told us already, but it's good that you reminded us of

10     this.  You told us that the Republic of Croatia was training pilots of

11     the ABiH in Split and Rijeka.  If I understand correctly, in September

12     1993, the ABiH had trained pilots in Split and in Rijeka; is that right?

13     No?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  They had sent their pilots

15     earlier on, Your Honour, and we saw documents to that effect.  They had

16     their logistic centres at this point in time.

17             Yes, I will speak slowly.  Let me take it slowly.

18             The BH Army at this particular time had -- the Main Staff of the

19     BH Army had its logistic centres that Split, Samobor, Zagreb.  As you saw

20     from the documents, they were amassing weapons, purchasing weapons, and

21     we would allow them to pass through our territory at this particular

22     time.  And we were doing this clandestinely, secretly from our own

23     people.  But under 15 oaths here, I say that even at this time we let

24     through convoys of weapons, not humanitarian aid but convoys carrying

25     weapons and fuel and ammunition for the BH.  And you have evidence of

Page 9134

 1     that in reports by a very important man connected with armament on their

 2     side.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The ABiH was trained by the

 4     Republic of Croatia.  I assume that from the logistical bases of the

 5     ABiH, the aircraft of the ABiH had to be overhauled.  This was done by

 6     the Republic of Croatia or not?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Which means I can establish a

 9     connection with the criminal enterprise.  If there's a criminal

10     enterprise in which Tudjman, Susak, Boban, and you are included, does

11     this mean that the criminal enterprise that aims at annexing part of

12     Herzegovina, of ethnically cleansing some of the people, would it be

13     logical then to be in charge of maintaining or overhauling the equipment

14     of those people one wishes to crush so that the Croats in Herzegovina are

15     in the majority?  From your perspective, is this logical or illogical?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's an extremely illogical

17     assumption.  It is -- it cries out for want of understanding, because the

18     Croats are 90 percent in the majority in Herzegovina, more than

19     90 percent.  So there can't be more of them than there already are.  And

20     I claim, Judge Trechsel and Your Honours, that had this kind of situation

21     faced the French, if something like this was happening to the French, 50

22     million Frenchmen would have laughed out loud at an indictment of this

23     kind, that you're arming them, that you're supplying them with fuel, that

24     you're seeing to the wounded and sick, and that that then is a joint

25     criminal enterprise.  That is something that my head just can't take.

Page 9135

 1     There's never been the like in history.  But there you have it.  We're a

 2     small people, a small nation, so you can perform these illogical mental

 3     acrobatics.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.  Ms. Pinter.

 5             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 6        Q.   General, Judge Antonetti asked you about the operations duty, so

 7     look at 3D01161, which is the next document, please.  And you mentioned

 8     your order?

 9        A.   Yes, that is my order and shows what the situation was like.  Of

10     course, after all these years, with the passage of time, I, myself, can't

11     quite remember everything and things like this.  Anyway, the document

12     speaks for itself.  It speaks about combat readiness.  It says what the

13     duty mean -- what duty shift means.  It analyses the duty operations

14     officers.  And the shifts that last for seven days, they are replaced

15     every 12 hours or whatever.  And then there is a list of who takes up

16     their duties when.  The first group, Petkovic, Keza; and the second you

17     have Tole; third, Stanko Matic, and so on and so forth, officers,

18     non-commissioned officers and whatever.  It's all there, all described

19     and set out there.  It speaks for itself, and I have no further comments

20     to make.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Now the next document is P05580.

22        A.   Once again, this is my order, but I didn't sign it, but that

23     doesn't matter.  General Petkovic signed for me, and it's an order --

24     well, it says that winter is coming and that the war and the fighting

25     won't be over soon.

Page 9136

 1             Your Honours, we were fully conscious of the fact that the

 2     BH Army certainly had intentions to and would try to -- well, whatever

 3     truce or cease-fire was signed, there would be changes in the Vance-Owen

 4     and Stoltenberg plans, and all these plans that were signed and whatever.

 5     But there was no firm stand taken on the part of the international

 6     community to have what it proposed be carried out.  If they thought it

 7     was wise and logical and sustainable and so on, that it be put into

 8     practice, and then that they say that's how it's going to be from now on,

 9     as is the case with some other states, the Taliban and whatever.  They

10     say -- they put their foot down and say, This is how it's going to be.

11     But, unfortunately, we had a different fate.  Anyway, all this is set out

12     in the document.

13        Q.   3D02788 is the next document, please.

14        A.   It's the 3rd of October, signed by General Petkovic for me,

15     because it says "for," "za."

16        Q.   That means that you agreed with the document and that it was, in

17     fact, your document?

18        A.   Yes.  And it is noted here that the brigade from Posusje did not

19     take over its area of responsibility.  And the question was why, why the

20     order was not acted on.  And a request is made to investigate and to deal

21     with the matter.  So all these documents testify to the problems that

22     arose and how they were solved.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, these orders

24     show that there is a problem.  The commander of the 5th Brigade of

25     Posusje - I apologise for my pronunciation - was he someone who could be

Page 9137

 1     contacted over the telephone?  Couldn't you call him up and tell him, How

 2     is it that you haven't been deployed, rather than issuing orders on

 3     paper?  Wouldn't it have been possible to ask him to give you an

 4     explanation over the phone?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very frequently, no, Your Honour.

 6     No, we couldn't do it by telephone very often.  And it's always a good

 7     idea to leave a written trace, so this was as fast as a telephone

 8     communication.  He needn't have been in the command.  He might have been

 9     somewhere in the field, but this document would arrive and he would have

10     had to have received it.  So the telephone is a relatively unreliable

11     means of communication because soldiers don't sit in their offices.  They

12     have other things to attend to.  But, anyway, the duty officer's there to

13     receive the order, and then he hands it over to the commander once the

14     commander arrives because the commander's probably somewhere with his

15     brigade, manning a position of some sort.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, do you know,

17     but maybe this is something that you don't know, that one of the military

18     principles or tenets is that in the chain of command, between the bottom

19     and the top, there needs to be a permanent contact so that the orders can

20     be disseminated and that the leaders can be informed; and if there is no

21     such contact or the contact is lost, this can give rise to problems?  I'm

22     sure this applied to the JNA.  Was this not applied in the HVO?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, Your Honour,

24     principles are one thing, and at least in Croatian the verb and the

25     conditional "must" and "should" and so on doesn't mean a lot.  What means

Page 9138

 1     a lot is what you can do and what you have at your disposal, and all your

 2     principles fall through if you cannot realise something because you don't

 3     have the means to realise it with.

 4             Now, as for communications, and I could go on talking about

 5     communications for days, the 1st Division, the 1st famous

 6     Marine Division, which numbered 21.000 soldiers, roughly, has 28.000

 7     communication lines amongst themselves, simultaneous ones.  Now, a

 8     thousandth of that we did not have.  We had the packet link -- packet

 9     communication that was down sometimes.  We had very poor telephone

10     communications, which functioned towards Split but were very often down

11     towards other places.  So as for communication, especially if somebody is

12     out in the field, to get in contact with a company or whatever out in the

13     field at their positions, the kind of devices you need to have, and then

14     have coded communication, well, certainly not.  We didn't have any of

15     that.

16             Principles are principles.  Principles are one thing, but

17     whatever the principles are, you either have the devices or you don't.

18     You have the money for them or you don't.  And even if you have the

19     money, they're not readily available.  You can't just go out and purchase

20     some good military equipment whenever you like.

21             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   General, could you please look at document P05702.  Again, is

23     that yours down there?

24        A.   No, this is not my signature.  Somebody signed it in my stead.

25        Q.   But do you agree with the contents?

Page 9139

 1        A.   Yes.  Yes, with the contents of the document.  Again, I address

 2     Gojko Susak, and I probably told him orally, Please send this.  But this

 3     is not my signature, and I'm asking for two cannons to be replaced

 4     because of wear and tear.  I want him to give me two cannons that are in

 5     good working order, and I actually want to get him to rent me a Howitzer

 6     battery.  And this is what I'm asking for, and I didn't get it.  I got

 7     some, and I didn't get other things.

 8             And I repeat, the money for this purchase, as we heard testimony,

 9     was the money from Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina that transferred the

10     money to a joint account for the defence of Croats against the

11     aggression.  So I had the right to ask that for the money given by the

12     people who gave the money who fought down there to be given this.  I got

13     some of it, but I didn't get the Howitzer battery.  I think we managed to

14     replace the barrels.  But, again, this speaks -- yes, please go ahead.

15             MR. STRINGER:  Sorry for the interruption.  Could the general

16     please clarify the date of the document?  I'm looking at the date in the

17     top part, and both the original and the translation has too many numbers.

18     I wonder if you could clarify that.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  There's not too many numbers.

20     The date from Citluk is the 7th of October.  Sorry?

21             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Well, 24, it's too much.

23        A.   Well, 24, somebody probably just put it there.  But as I was not

24     going there, and I was contacted at the forward command post at Prozor,

25     well, that's where the forward command post was.  And it is fairly

Page 9140

 1     certain that on the 12th of October I said, Send this, regardless of the

 2     fact that I was not there, and sign it, because I agree with the request.

 3        Q.   So the date is the 7th of October?

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.  General Praljak,

 5     as far as the date is concerned --

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  Well, it's obvious that this

 7     text is written on the 7th of October, 1993.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, this request

 9     was a request which was coded or was it transmitted to Mr. Susak via

10     packet switching system?  I'm asking you this question against the

11     backdrop of what is going to follow.

12             Generally speaking, when I put a question to you, there is --

13     it's never a trick question.  You know that at the time at the UN

14     Security Council, the intervention of the Croatian Army in the Republic

15     of Bosnia-Herzegovina was being discussed.  Let's imagine that at the

16     time your request was something which was known.  In that case, we would

17     have said, There is proof of the fact that the Republic of Croatia is

18     helping the HV.  So when you send this kind of letter to Mr. Susak, this

19     is being sent in a coded fashion or don't you feel that this is a problem

20     at all because you've got nothing to hide?  You are asking to have two

21     130-millimetre barrels and so on, so as far as you're concerned this is a

22     perfectly standard request filed by the union of the republics - this is

23     what's indicated in the title of the document - of Bosnia and Herzegovina

24     and of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.  Was this 100 percent

25     confidential because on the document it says "Classified?"  Well,

Page 9141

 1     military secret and generally speaking, when the military sends

 2     something, it's always classified or a military secret.  Did you not

 3     consider that when this was being sent out, if this had been made known,

 4     this was a proof that the Army of the Republic of Croatia was helping the

 5     HVO?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  No protection, no

 7     concern.  This was sent only by fax, probably.  Of course, whoever wants

 8     to -- any well-trained organisation can get at those faxes.  We are in

 9     the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I request that the following

10     demands be met, and that's the replacement of two T-130-millimetre cannon

11     because of wear and tear.  And further on, if the Croats from Croatia can

12     send this with our cooperation to the Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

13     if we can send fuel so their helicopters can fly, making 500 sorties, as

14     they say themselves -- one helicopter did 500 sorties, so I don't see why

15     they should not assist in parallel two armed forces which are in conflict

16     at this present point in time.  And I would like to show that to

17     everyone.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We need to have a

19     break very soon.

20             Ms. Pinter.

21             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   General, could you now please look at 3D00 --

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, we could not hear the

24     number because of the noise in our microphones.

25             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The date is the 8th of October.

Page 9142

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, there was a noise in our

 2     microphones.

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D00779.  The document is dated the

 4     8th of October, 1993.

 5        Q.   It's your document?

 6        A.   Yes, it's my document, my signature.  And at that time, the

 7     cease-fire was already signed.  And I learned that at one point there was

 8     an aeroplane that was flying around without my approval.  And I say that

 9     they shall not fly without my approval or without the approval of a

10     person that I shall authorise, except when they are evacuating the

11     wounded.  And on those occasions because urgency is important, and they

12     might not be able to get in contact with me, and this has to do with what

13     Judge Antonetti asked me about the communications, then they can fly.

14     They can make that decision themselves, and then it will be approved

15     ex-post-facto.

16             And there is an order also to the effect that the artillery

17     should not fire any rounds without the approval from somebody from the

18     Main Staff, and this is lest somebody should fire at will and violate the

19     cease-fire; although you should not place the artillery under the command

20     because it is under the command of the operational zones.  This is not in

21     accordance with military logic.  But at that time, this seemed to be

22     sound to me, and they always had to inform the Main Staff if they wanted

23     to target something and explain why they wanted to target it.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  It seems to me, Mr. Praljak, that you are

25     speaking about an order which is not this one.  This one does not refer

Page 9143

 1     to artillery, so it's not very helpful because it's in the area.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I do apologise.  I did

 3     stray a bit, and I do apologise, Your Honour.  I wanted to establish some

 4     sort of a connection, but I will not do that again.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is a quarter to 6.00.  We

 6     need to have our 20-minute break.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.

 8                           --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Pinter, please.

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

11        Q.   General, could you please look at document 3D02766.  It's a

12     document of the 9th of October, 1993, and you are the signatory?

13        A.   Yes, this is my document, and I am asking -- well, this shows the

14     difference between an order and a demand or a request.  So from the

15     Military Police Administration in Ljubuski, I'm asking something.  And

16     I'm sending this to the operational zone in Tomislavgrad.  I'm asking

17     them to put at the disposal a military police unit in order to bring in

18     the conscripts from Jajce who are in the Livno municipality.  And there

19     are 191 such conscripts.  And these people should simply be brought in

20     and put into their units, because they are military conscripts, subject

21     to military obligation, and they are violating the law on mobilisation,

22     the law on draft.  That's as much as I can say about this.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I try to see

24     whether there is any contradiction in what you say.  Sometimes I do

25     notice there are some contradictions, and I tell you straight away

Page 9144

 1     whenever that is the case, to clear all this up.

 2             So in the afternoon, you explained what the HVO Army was, and I

 3     thought I had understood that it was made up of volunteers, and that in

 4     the end you had little authority over them, and now we find a document

 5     that says the opposite.  Indeed, and you said so yourself a minute ago,

 6     these are conscripts, so they could not elude their military obligations.

 7     And if they tried to, they have to be arrested by the military police.

 8     So there is an apparent contradiction between what you said this

 9     afternoon and this document.  How can you settle this?

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

11     is no contradiction.  If those people left the territory of

12     Bosnia-Herzegovina and Herceg-Bosna and went to Croatia -- or, rather,

13     this is what I'm talking about.  They could have gone, and that's why

14     those who remained there are in some way volunteers.  This is a unit from

15     Jajce.  So when Jajce fell, of course they scattered around, and some of

16     them went back and so on, but there are 191 of them.  And I am demanding

17     from the military police to bring them in, since they are there.  So the

18     first division is the division between those who could leave across the

19     border and those who couldn't.  Had these people left and crossed the

20     border, and this is why those who are left are volunteers, even if they

21     are brought in.  Why?  Because they couldn't find accommodation or

22     because their families were there.  I'm not going to go into that.

23             So a military was not a volunteer force.  There was a draft, and

24     they had to respond to the call-up.  And if they failed to do that, the

25     military police brought them in.  And there were, well, so many reports,

Page 9145

 1     that they couldn't be found, that they're not at their proper address,

 2     and so on and so forth, but when they were in the territory.  But all

 3     those who didn't want to take part simply went to Germany, Croatia,

 4     France, wherever, to stay with their friends, relatives.  And a huge

 5     number of people from the HZ-HB, Croats, had been working abroad for 10

 6     or 15 years all over Europe as workers temporarily employed abroad, and

 7     everybody could find somebody to stay with.

 8             So let me repeat, there is no contradiction, because if you --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In a nutshell, and you say

10     whether it is right or not, those who would remain in the Republic of

11     Bosnia and Herzegovina, they had to be mobilised because there were

12     conscripts; however, those that had gone abroad, when they would return,

13     they returned as volunteers; is that so?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the first part is correct.

15     Those who stayed there, who went on living there, were subject to the

16     military obligation, to the conscription.  But how could you explain that

17     in any different way, Your Honour?  If you cannot punish somebody who has

18     left, you are left with the volunteers, regardless of whether they are

19     trying to dodge the draft or not.  I think that the situation is clear,

20     because if somebody remained there and some responded to the call-up, and

21     others for some reason had to be brought in because they didn't want to

22     go at that particular time because they had some other stuff to do, there

23     were hundreds of reasons why some of them did not want to respond to the

24     call-up specifically to go out into the field on that day.

25             But let me repeat, nobody was punished for dodging the draft,

Page 9146

 1     those who had left.  There was no law in place.  You couldn't say, And

 2     now you're going to serve time in prison because you betrayed your

 3     country, in effect.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   General, did the HVO have barracks, and were all the soldiers in

 6     barracks?

 7        A.   Well, no, it just had a barracks in Capljina, one in

 8     Central Bosnia.  I don't know.  That was all.

 9        Q.   Well, where were the soldiers, then?

10        A.   At home.  We've said that a hundred times.  As soon as they went

11     back from their positions, they would go home.  They would be civilians.

12     They would do some work.  So if they received a salary, say, of 120

13     German marks, they had women, children, they had to live off something.

14     So that's what happened.

15        Q.   All right.  Now would you take a look at the next document, which

16     is 3D00975, and the date is the 12th of October, 1993.  It is the

17     Rama Brigade, the Deputy Commander Petar Kolakusic.  What can you tell us

18     about that document?

19        A.   Yes, it was signed by Petar Kolakusic.  But it was compiled based

20     on my explicit request for this type of meeting to be held, and the

21     reason is set out here; because inter-human relations had been upset,

22     there were incidents breaking out in town, and the situation was out of

23     control using the normal means and resources open to the civilian

24     authorities or military authorities or whatever.  It was out of control.

25     And then I requested that this meeting be convened, and here we have who

Page 9147

 1     attended; Guardian, et cetera, the chief, the commander of the military

 2     police, the commander of the operations zone, the president of the HVO,

 3     Mr. Jozic, who was in jeopardy over there because people kept threatening

 4     him.  And I'll address that in due course.  Well, I can tell you now.

 5     Anyway, this is a very good document for that.

 6             Your Honours, those who fled abroad from Rama, for example, then

 7     the people who stayed on would set fire to their houses, and this

 8     happened to four or five houses, Croats setting fire to Croatian houses.

 9     That is to say, a fighter, a combatant, would utter some expletives and

10     swear and say he's fled abroad.  And they were powerless to do anything

11     else, but they did set their houses on fire.  And then they would

12     threaten, asking for money, threaten him with a pistol, ask for money;

13     Mr. Jozic, that is.  And then when Mr. Jozic was threatened by this one

14     person who demanded 30.000 marks on the spot or he'd kill him, he called

15     me up, and I sent the command of the military police because the civilian

16     police force wasn't functioning properly.  I sent him out to take that

17     man into custody, whereas he asked me for 30.000 marks with a pistol

18     pointed at me, and that's how things were.

19             Now, I managed -- well, the man was quite mad and drunk, and I

20     managed to appease him.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  The sentence on lines 14, 15, up to

22     16, is not clear.  It reads:

23             "I sent him out," and him, that's the command of the military

24     police, or the commander, "to take that man into custody, whereas he

25     asked me for 30.000 marks with a pistol pointed at me, and that's how

Page 9148

 1     things were."

 2             Who asked 30.000 marks from you; the police commander?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.  I was speaking much too

 4     fast.  When the command of the military police went over there, then that

 5     man told -- put a pistol to the police chief's head and brought him to my

 6     office in Rama-Prozor.  And then he threatened me as well and said that

 7     he was to be brought 30.000 Deutschmarks on the spot, or he'd kill us

 8     all, he'll kill me.

 9             Now, a little while after that, the president of the

10     municipality, this man Jozic, Mr. Jozic, once again -- well, he just lost

11     it.  He couldn't take the situation anymore.  And he got into his car,

12     switched the engine on, and drove off to Germany and never returned.

13     Now, I understand the man.  But some people, despite all those terrible

14     problems, had to remain.  And the person who had to remain seems to be to

15     blame now for having stayed.

16             So you have witness statements about that event.  And just like

17     the events in Travnik, I filmed all this, and I'll show what it looks

18     like when some idiot is threatening to shoot you with a pistol unless you

19     give him 30.000 marks on the spot.

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   General, what were the circumstances under which this meeting was

22     held?  Did you have any private --

23        A.   Well, at this meeting and another meeting, when I managed to

24     gather a much broader circle of people together, I stayed on despite the

25     fact that I was told that my father had died.  And I had to go to Zagreb

Page 9149

 1     and see to the paperwork so that his bodily remains be brought to

 2     Herzegovina.  But despite that, I stayed on.  I didn't go to Zagreb.  I

 3     postponed going.  I asked them to wait for me because the problems in

 4     Rama had exceeded what was acceptable.  They'd gone beyond what was

 5     acceptable.  People were doing all sorts of things during the day and

 6     during the night.  So I composed this group of people.  Then I added more

 7     people.  I did that, and then you can't issue orders.  You can talk to

 8     the people and treat them, explain them, request things of them, ask them

 9     to do something, ask them to be more involved, from the priests,

10     everyone, to take part and to help out, things that have nothing to do

11     with the conduct of the army and military establishment.

12             That's the truth of it.  Now, how you're going to understand this

13     and interpret it, I really don't know.  I'm telling you how the facts

14     were, the bare facts, naked facts, in human terms.

15        Q.   Would you now take a look at the next document, which is 3D02397.

16        A.   Yes, I'm familiar with the document.  I know Mr. Brekalo.  That

17     is one of the people who went -- who came down there as a volunteer.  He

18     was also a fighter in Vukovar because he hails from that general area.

19     And he helped out in a lot of aspects, in a military and friendly way,

20     and here's what he says.  Well, I sent him to tour the front-line, and

21     he's reporting back to me and telling me what he found there.  So there's

22     nothing that I can add there.  The document speaks for itself; who were

23     the fatalities and casualties, how many people, and so on.

24        Q.   And what about the MTS, materiel and technical equipment

25     situation?

Page 9150

 1        A.   Well, he says that 82-millimetre mortars, that there were two of

 2     those, that they hadn't been cleaned properly, that the cannon hadn't --

 3     canyon hadn't been mined properly, and that the obstruction hadn't been

 4     properly carried out, and so on.

 5        Q.   Now we come to 3D02148, dated the 21st of October, 1993, and you

 6     signed that document?

 7        A.   Yes, I did sign this document.  It's one of my documents.  Once

 8     again, it says that the military conscripts from Kakanj and Vares have

 9     arrived with a convoy of refugees, and that's it.  It asks that the

10     conscripts should report and then be deployed to the brigades.  And I say

11     who should be in charge of all this and how this should be done, and so

12     on.

13        Q.   Very well.  Now let's go on to 3D02795, which is also one of your

14     documents.

15        A.   Yes, it is my signature there.  So these people from the

16     Lasva Battalion, who were in Capljina, at the barracks there, I asked

17     that they be sent on the 22nd of October to Rama and report to Siljeg and

18     Bozo Curcija and that they would be given instructions about what they

19     were to do.  That's it.  I don't need to add anything.

20        Q.   What about that piece that is handwritten down at the bottom, the

21     writing there?

22        A.   Well, this is Siljeg's handwriting, I believe, probably Siljeg's.

23     And he says that part of the men have arrived and that he is faced with

24     the problem of them not wanting to take up their positions up at the

25     defence lines.  So he's asking what to do about these people who don't

Page 9151

 1     want to man the lines.  And what can you do?  If you put him in prison,

 2     he's better off in prison than he is up at the defence lines.

 3        Q.   Now look at the next document, which is P05560, dated the 4th of

 4     November, 1993.  It is an order, your order.  At least it's your

 5     signature there.  We've already dealt with this document?

 6        A.   Yes, we have.  It's the duty operations team for the 11th of

 7     November, the commander, the deputy commander, and the other officers in

 8     the team.  It's the classical type of organisational setup in the

 9     Main Staff.  And at the time, the BH Army offensive had already become

10     less intense, so we could deal with the organisational problems.  And

11     that's what we did, and that's what we have here.

12        Q.   Now we come to 3D03047, the next document.  You signed that

13     document, too.

14        A.   What number was that, 03047?

15        Q.   It is the 6th of November, 1993.

16        A.   Yes, I found it.  On the 6th of November, my signature there.

17     This was September to Blaskic, Kordic, and Zeko.  Well, their reports

18     were becoming more and more panicked.  They would write in haste,

19     especially after the fall of Vares.  And I'm telling them that Vares fell

20     because they didn't prepare for battle properly because there was lack of

21     organisation.  They thought nobody would attack them.  They were on good

22     terms with the 3rd Corps because they supplied the 3rd Corps with

23     everything it needed.  There was a lot of black-marketeering, and then

24     rumours were going around that somebody would be leaving Central Bosnia.

25     And so here I'm telling them to persevere, that it is difficult, but that

Page 9152

 1     there is hope.  Well, it's a classical letter of encouragement.

 2        Q.   And what conflicts did you mean?

 3        A.   Well, the BH Army attacks in Central Bosnia because the conflicts

 4     were very intensive still there and had serious repercussions.  There

 5     were a lot of wounded, and the other population suffered.

 6        Q.   Now look at the next document, which is P06482.

 7             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.

 8             I might come back to this document later, and I can, but I

 9     thought that while we're on it, can I ask for a clarification and make

10     sure the translation is correct?

11             I'm looking at the sentence there that says:  "Low-spirited

12     people to be eliminated," and I want to make sure that that is a correct

13     translation from the original language of the document.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Eliminate" in the Croatian

15     language, or at least how I use it here, means to get them away from

16     their posts, positions.  Now, I don't know, in English, whether to

17     eliminate means to deprive of life, to kill.  But the way I use it in

18     Croatian, that's what I meant, to remove them from those -- the

19     positions, to replace them, have them replaced from their positions, to

20     prevent them from disseminating rumours.  To eliminate the problem means

21     to solve the problem.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, it does not mean

23     physically eliminate, meaning killing somebody?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To eliminate a problem,

25     Your Honour, means -- well, I don't know.  It's a very clear word, at

Page 9153

 1     least in the language that I use.  Whether it's a problem or -- well, you

 2     can also use a different word.  I could have written "replace him," but

 3     "eliminate the problem" is short and to the point.  Prevent them,

 4     incarcerate them, do whatever you like, just don't let panic overtake you

 5     because they had already started to panic.  They had a lot of reason to

 6     be gravely concerned, but I say, No, that's not how you should be doing

 7     things.

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   General, you didn't answer -- you haven't answered

10     Judge Antonetti's question.  Does "to eliminate" mean to kill?

11        A.   No, it does not.

12        Q.   Now take a look at the next document, which is P06482.  The

13     document is dated the 6th of November.

14        A.   Yes, I know.  That's a meeting that I convened with the

15     commanders of two operation zones that were over there, the brigades and

16     the commanders of the professional units.  And I say that the meeting

17     will be held on the 7th of November at 1800 hours in Tomislavgrad, and

18     that I am asking them to attend the meeting.  I was already leaving, but

19     that didn't prevent me from completing my task.  And the amount of

20     problems that commanders from all levels put forward was such -- the

21     problems were so great, they had so many problems, and they wanted to

22     explain the situation precisely and clearly and state what needed to be

23     changed for the military establishment of the army to be raised at a

24     higher level so that they could manage their troops and the army.  And

25     that's the problem that I tried to explain to you, although I don't have

Page 9154

 1     a lot of time.  I used the example of, well, the beginning of sociology,

 2     why Napoleon was victorious, a well-ordered army, and how the social

 3     circumstances and situation affected an army because an army is not a

 4     separate part of society.  It lives with the entire political-social

 5     situation in organisational terms and so on and so forth.  Anyway, this

 6     meeting was held.

 7        Q.   Can we please move on to 3D02029.  Another one of yours.

 8        A.   Yes.  Yes, the 8th of November, the last evening.  I think on

 9     that day when I arrived, and I arrived late - I remember that well - late

10     that evening I arrived at the Main Staff because that afternoon I had

11     stayed until late with Mr. Roso, who was to replace me the following

12     morning.  I was trying to explain to him what the situation was.  I think

13     I signed this document and another one on behalf of Mr. Petkovic to step

14     up the procedure about the investigation in Stupni Do.

15             Here I signed the commission for SpaBat to carry the wounded

16     across.  I asked that in addition to Ms. Dzenija Orucevic, and her

17     mother, Edina Orucevic, two Bosnian Muslim ladies, Josip Kordic, a Croat,

18     also be taken, who had been wounded by a shell, and this is about the

19     eastern side, to Mostar Hospital, and if needed, taken even further than

20     that.  I said that they should be given any assistance required.

21             For the first time here, I ask that a Croat be taken along, too,

22     because there had been justified complaints that had been reaching me

23     that we were taking better care of the BH Army, for humanitarian and

24     other reasons, than of our own people.

25        Q.   Can we please go to 3D00951.  The date is the 9th of November,

Page 9155

 1     1993?

 2        A.   Yes.  Again, late that evening, following this meeting that I had

 3     on the 7th, I slept there and I did not go to the Main Staff the morning

 4     of the 8th; rather, I waited to meet Mr. Roso first.  This happened in

 5     Livno and Tomislavgrad.  We toured that part over there, and then late

 6     that evening, I was back.

 7             The morning of the 9th, at 7.35 a.m., I handed over to

 8     General Roso.  He then wrote an order to the effect that at noon the same

 9     day, he would be meeting the brigade commanders in Prozor.  I state that

10     just to confirm he wouldn't have made it any other way, just to remove

11     any doubt at all that I did, in fact, hand over to General Roso on the

12     9th of November, 1993, at 7.35 a.m.  General Roso issued an order

13     immediately, and he was off to war.  It would have taken him at least

14     three hours to reach Rama.

15        Q.   3D00953, please.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, one question to this order.  Who

17     are the chiefs of service?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, an army has different

19     services.  I'm not sure who exactly he had in mind, but he probably meant

20     the artillery, the infantry, the signals, an army's components,

21     individual components, and then the chiefs of these components.  Whether

22     he meant the chiefs from the Main Staff, it's probably for the chiefs of

23     the Main Staff, the chiefs of these separate components or services.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You have to perhaps speculate because it's not

25     you who wrote this order.  Thank you.

Page 9156

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Can we now please go to 3D00953, which is dated the 9th of

 3     November, 1993.  You didn't produce this document.  It was produced by

 4     Colonel-General Ante Roso.  Can you tell us what this order says?  Had

 5     General Roso taken over by this time?

 6        A.   The hand-over occurred on the 9th of May [as interpreted], so he

 7     took over.  This order is of no interest to me in that respect.  I just

 8     wanted to ascertain the time I handed over my command duties.  The only

 9     thing that is noteworthy here is paragraph 2, where he says that he will

10     take these brigades to put together five and a half thousand soldiers.

11     Quite obviously, Mr. Roso, who had served with the foreign legion as well

12     for a long time, was thinking that the manpower levels in the brigades

13     were kept up under a different system, the system that he was used to,

14     but this figure makes no sense at all.  He was later bitterly

15     disappointed when he realised how many men were actually available to

16     him.

17        Q.   General, the transcript states that the hand-over took place on

18     the 9th of May.

19        A.   The 9th of November, 1993, at 7.35 a.m.

20        Q.   I had to ask because that's what the transcript states.  Can you

21     now please go to 3D00969.  The 31st of August, 1993.

22        A.   Yes.  It's one of my documents.  It's about the cease-fire.  It

23     was dispatched to SpaBat in Medjugorje.  Again, we are asserting that we

24     are ready to cease all hostilities in Mostar for the duration of the

25     Medjugorje talks.  The talks were happening under the chairmanship of

Page 9157

 1     General Felin, and the talks took place between the two armies, the

 2     Croat and the Muslim armies.  And I said that SpaBat and the UN

 3     observers should oversee the cessation of hostilities on both sides.

 4             Ms. Nika, Your Honours, the recurring problem was always the fact

 5     that all sorts of things were being signed all the time in offices all

 6     over the world.  But no one ever gave us a recipe as to how these things

 7     should be implemented and under whose supervision.  Each time, whenever

 8     we signed something, we asked.  Please, look at page 3.  EU observers or

 9     UNPROFOR, may they oversee both sides, supervise both sides, just to make

10     sure we know who it is that is violating the cease-fire?  But, no, the

11     cease-fire is signed.  No one was prepared to supervise its

12     implementation.  Everyone was off to a more leisurely life somewhere

13     else, to put it that way.

14             And then after that, obviously, the BH Army claimed that it was

15     us violating the cease-fire, and we were saying that they were attacking

16     us.  The fighting was becoming fiercer and fiercer, and then the

17     observers would check god-knows-what information, who started first.

18     They were probably under some political instructions or other.  Each of

19     the documents said, Now that you have recognised the Republic of Croatia,

20     place along its borders small military contingents of your own to make

21     sure that the cease-fires are upheld.

22             The UN mandate did not allow for that, and maybe no one was

23     interested, as simple as that, but we never managed to achieve any degree

24     of control in terms of any of the cease-fires signed being implemented

25     equally on both sides.

Page 9158

 1        Q.   What about the 31st of August; was there a cease-fire that took

 2     effect on the 31st of August?  Can you still remember that?

 3        A.   Probably so, for a while at least.  I don't know.

 4        Q.   At the time, do you remember what was going on in Mostar?  Let me

 5     prompt you.  There was a humanitarian convoy on its way in?

 6        A.   Oh, yes.  I remember that.

 7        Q.   All right, you don't remember then?

 8        A.   I do remember one on the 25th.  I was involved, and then later,

 9     other convoys came.  There were convoys on their way and all the time.

10        Q.   I didn't mean the convoy, but the circumstances.  But it doesn't

11     really matter.  We're done with the Main Staff now and are about to move

12     on to a file entitled "Effective Control."

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] It's not in the binder.  It's like

15     this [indicates].  Thank you.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to understand things

17     clearly, Ms. Pinter, is this your last binder or will there be other

18     binders after this one?

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes, a little more.  We have

20     Mostar-93, several documents from Mostar in relation to the snipers and

21     the Old Bridge.  We also have a number of questions left.  We have two

22     books, and we have another binder that is important.  This one has been

23     handed over to you, and we informed our learned friend, Mr. Stringer.

24     These are documents that require some explanations, and the general will

25     try and shed some light on these.

Page 9159

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I put the question

 2     to you because I was trying to understand how much time you needed still.

 3     You've had an hour and 30 minutes more.  We will most probably be sitting

 4     on Monday as well, since as things stand, we will run on until the end,

 5     until Monday, then we will have a break for the week.  And when

 6     Mr. Stringer comes back, we will resume on the following Monday.  And I

 7     will then put my questions, which means that if we include tomorrow, that

 8     would amount to three hours, and on next Monday another three and a half

 9     hours to four hours.  This means that you have approximately five or six

10     hours.  Can you finish in that time?

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  A small question.  You have referred twice, once

13     just now to a "classeur," to a binder "Mostar-93."  We have one binder

14     which is inscribed "Mostar-92."  Now, is this perhaps wrongly inscribed

15     or will we get another binder?

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] No, you will not get a binder.  You

17     will get two documents in relation to Mostar, the snipers and the Old

18     Bridge, not in the form of a binder.  It's just my way of referring to

19     it, "Mostar-93," but you won't be getting that.  You will be getting a

20     single new one.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I have understood you

23     correctly, Ms. Pinter, we will have to review all of these documents and

24     additional documents on Mostar-93; is that right?

25             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but I have just

Page 9160

 1     been informed by our case manager that we have not yet handed over the

 2     binder that I mentioned, documents to be explained.  These are all

 3     exhibits and documents that we believe the general should comment on, on

 4     the circumstances under which these documents were produced, how they

 5     came about and why.  These documents are exhibits.  We've sifted through

 6     these documents, and there aren't many that still remain.  We believe

 7     that we will be able to complete this by Monday.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies.  We're talking

11     about procedural matters.  I have two minutes to have something

12     explained.  The interpretation that I have now received is Mr. President,

13     Judge Antonetti, has the intention of asking his questions immediately

14     after the close of the examination-in-chief.  I just wanted to check

15     whether that was, in fact, the case, since the Prlic Defence is the first

16     up for cross-examination, just in order to allow us to better plan our

17     own time.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Listen.  I believe it is better

19     if I put my question straight after, and the Prlic Defence can then put

20     its questions.  Otherwise -- well, I'll think about it, and I'll let you

21     know tomorrow.  I'll tell you what my position is.  But if the other

22     accused are to purposefully cross-examine Mr. Praljak, I believe it would

23     be better for you to know beforehand what my questions will be and what

24     Mr. Praljak's answers will be, rather than intervening or taking the

25     floor and then I put follow-up questions, questions which you will not be

Page 9161

 1     able to answer.

 2             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, it

 3     was not my intention at all to challenge your decision.  All I was

 4     seeking was a clarification, no more than that.  Thank you very much.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to clarify this.

 6             I will, for instance, address the issue of the criminal

 7     enterprise with Mr. Praljak.  I will put questions to him on the kind of

 8     relationship he had with Mr. Prlic.  So as far as I'm concerned, I think

 9     it's better if he answers, and then you can put your questions

10     afterwards.  And you can turn to him and say, When you answered, you said

11     this and that, rather than if I put my questions and then you are in a

12     bit of a conundrum.

13             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand.  I fully

14     understand.  Thank you.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Your Honours, just in case you

16     get to hear the opinion of the other Defence teams, on behalf of

17     General Petkovic, we believe this to be an outstanding proposal, Your

18     Honour, for you to ask your questions right after the chief.  That will

19     make it possible for us to focus our own cross-examination on questions

20     that you will indicate as relevant in your opinion.

21             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just

22     wanted to say that prior to your decision, there were discussions between

23     the Defence teams, I even spoke to Mr. Stringer from the OTP about that,

24     and that was precisely the proposal that we were going to make to you

25     before the cross-examinations begin, precisely the decision that you

Page 9162

 1     took.  Thank you.

 2             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not just rising

 3     for the sake of saying something, anything, at all.  But if I may be so

 4     bold, I think it might be a good idea for all of the remaining Judges to

 5     ask their questions right after the Presiding Judge, which would make the

 6     cross-examination much easier for all the remaining Defence teams.  I

 7     mean if all the Judges were to ask their questions immediately after the

 8     in-chief.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To be crystal

10     clear - everything needs to be crystal clear - the Bench hasn't conferred

11     on this matter.  We don't know how we will proceed.  I have said that I

12     will put questions.  My colleagues will do what they please.  They will

13     put questions or they won't.  I want this to be very clear.  A Judge that

14     puts questions put questions under his own responsibility.  He's taking

15     the risk.  I want this to be very clear.

16             I believe I will put my questions when Mr. Praljak is finished.

17     My colleagues may do likewise or may put questions after you.  I don't

18     know.  That's for them to say.  I personally will put questions to

19     Mr. Praljak in line with the indictment.  This is what I have indicated.

20     I have said that I will first put to him questions pertaining to the

21     Prosecution's pre-trial brief and documents; and in the second part, I

22     will put questions based on the written submissions filed by Mr. Praljak,

23     his initial pre-trial brief, and his more recent submissions, so that

24     this is balanced out.  My colleagues do what they feel they should do.

25     This is their responsibility.

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 1             I know that some Trial Chambers proceed differently.  In other

 2     cases, a Judge is designated to put the questions.  This is not the way I

 3     understand international justice.  I feel that in the present case, the

 4     issues are so complex that we need to put questions.  Since we have an

 5     accused who is prepared to take the stand as a witness, well, we should

 6     benefit from this.

 7             The other accused and Defence counsel can, during their

 8     cross-examination, review or visit other issues; for instance, the

 9     relationship he had with Mr. Petkovic.  This will certainly be of

10     interest to Ms. Alaburic, and this will depend on the answers provided by

11     Mr. Praljak.

12             Mr. Stringer.

13             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm sorry, Mr. Stringer.  Simply to be on the

14     record, I would like to say that, of course, I am looking forward to the

15     questions to be asked by Mr. President.  On the other hand, myself, I do

16     not wish to ask any other particular questions.  Thank you.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  As for me, I have, for reasons of principle,

18     planned not to ask a systematic set of questions of the witness.  But I,

19     of course, may ask spontaneous questions whenever something comes up, as

20     I have done it with other witnesses.

21             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

22             Just for the record - and Ms. Tomasegovic has already indicated a

23     conversation we had - the Prosecution position on this would be that all

24     of the parties should have the opportunity to either do cross-examination

25     or at least do follow-up questions after a Judge has presented his or her

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 1     questions to the witness.  And so it doesn't matter to us so much when

 2     that happens.  So it seems to me, Mr. President, that the procedure

 3     that's envisioned, whereby the President will be asking his questions in

 4     advance of the cross-examination by any of the other parties is perfectly

 5     in line with that, in that all of the parties then would have an

 6     opportunity to cross-examine afterwards.  So it seems perfectly sensible

 7     to the Prosecution.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I'd like to thank

 9     all and every one for having concluded that my proposal makes sense,

10     which I did not doubt for a second.  It's always very comforting to be

11     supported in such a way.

12             It's just about 7.00.  As far as tomorrow is concerned, we will

13     have only one break.  We will have a break -- this is something I've

14     discussed with my colleagues already.  This first break will occur after

15     the first series of questions.  The break might be 20 or 30 minutes'

16     long.  Much will depend on the way things unfold tomorrow.  We will

17     resume and finish around 6.00.  On Monday, we will finish, so you will

18     have a lot of time.

19             For your information, you've had one hour of extra time so far,

20     so you have a lot of time left to finish on Monday.

21             As I have said already, we will have a break for a few days,

22     which means that everyone can get ready for the rest of the proceedings.

23             It is now 7.00.  Tomorrow, we will resume and address the issue

24     of effective control, and I wish everyone a pleasant evening.

25                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,

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 1                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 4th day of June,

 2                           2009, at 2.15 p.m.

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