Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10498

 1                           Monday, 6 July 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Prlic and Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness entered court]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please

 8     call the case.

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

10     everyone in and around the courtroom.

11             This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et

12     al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

14             This is Monday, July 6th, 2009, and I welcome first Mr. Praljak.

15     I apologise to Mr. Praljak for having forgotten his name last week.  I

16     must have been thinking about the other accused.  Well, I also greet

17     Mr. Pusic, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Stojic.  I also greet all the Defence

18     counsels, Mr. Stringer, Mr. Scott, and their assistants, and of course I

19     greet our Registrar, our usher, our court reporter, and of course our

20     interpreters and security guards.  I don't think I forgot anyone.  If I

21     did, you know, you could raise your hand.  Well, no one is raising their

22     hand, so it seems everyone's been included.

23             Let me read a short oral decision.

24             Oral decision on July 6th, 2009, on the letter sent by Accused

25     Jadranko Prlic to the Judges of this Trial Chamber.  On July 4th, 2009,

Page 10499

 1     sent a letter to the Trial Chamber in which it seems that he's asking for

 2     the Trial Chamber to review its decision of June 29, 2009, called

 3     "Decision on a Request by the Prlic Defence to Review the Decision on the

 4     Admission of Evidence."

 5             The Trial Chamber reminds the accused Prlic, as well as his

 6     counsel, that the only avenue allowed to challenge such a decision is to

 7     make a request for certification of appeal, filed in due form by the

 8     counsels of the accused.

 9             That was the oral decision.

10             We were also informed by the Registrar that Mr. Prlic decided to

11     attend the hearings, and the Trial Chamber is quite happy about this.

12     Mr. Prlic will come into this courtroom after our first break, because

13     he's on his way and we only were told about the fact that he wanted to

14     attend about ten minutes ago.  So he'll be with us after the first break.

15             I think I understood that Mr. Karnavas had something to say.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, good afternoon, Mr. President.  Good

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

18     courtroom.

19             Mr. Prlic had made his decision to come as a result of my

20     conversation with him on Friday, based on the Trial Chamber's decision

21     with respect to ADC, a decision which was filed -- it was an order, as I

22     understand.  It was filed on a confidential basis, although I do believe

23     that for the sake of transparency, these sorts of issues should be held

24     in open public.  But for those reasons, Mr. Prlic will come here, and at

25     that point in time I will address the Court, prior to Mr. Prlic taking

Page 10500

 1     the floor, to express his given position.  Unless you want to hear my

 2     position at this point in time, but I would prefer for Dr. Prlic to be

 3     here so he can listen to it as well.

 4             And I should also note that on my way into the building, I

 5     stopped in at the ADC to see whether they received anything.  It appears

 6     that nothing has been received by them.  And I would also add, as having

 7     been the former president of the ADC, that the order is misdirected.

 8     What we're actually asking for is an advisory opinion from the

 9     Disciplinary Council.  That's where the order should be directed to, and

10     not the Amicus Committee.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We'll be waiting

12     for Mr. Prlic after the break, and you will take the floor when he will

13     be in the courtroom.

14             Ms. Alaburic, I believe that you have a few minutes left, and now

15     you have the floor to finish your cross-examination.

16             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good afternoon to you

17     and everybody else in the courtroom.  I think I still have some ten

18     minutes left.

19                           Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:  [Continued]

20        Q.   So, General Praljak, I suggest we deal with Mostar.  How far

21     we're going to go, we'll see in these ten minutes.

22             Anyway, good afternoon to you, General Praljak.

23        A.   Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom, and good afternoon

24     to you, too, Ms. Alaburic.

25        Q.   On Thursday, we left discussing the shelling in Mostar and the

Page 10501

 1     fighting there, and I'd like to round off that area with just one more

 2     question.

 3             Tell me, please, did the HVO have observers who observed and

 4     supervised the firing of certain mortar shells or any similar artillery

 5     action?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   Tell us, please, depending on the information sent back by the

 8     observers, were corrections made in shooting, in conformity with the

 9     rules of warfare in built-up areas?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   The next topic relating to Mostar is an allegation made in the

12     indictment that I'd like to address by which the separation lines that

13     we've discussed a great deal in this courtroom, and I assume we're all

14     well aware of that, are the result of the conflict on the 9th of May,

15     1993.  So tell us now, please, General Praljak, is that right or was that

16     separation line established on some other day?

17        A.   The separation line was established earlier on, while

18     General Pellnas was doing the mediation.

19        Q.   General Pellnas, during his testimony in this courtroom, said

20     that that separation line was set up based on an agreement reached in the

21     night between the 20th and 21st of April, 1993.  And that was recorded on

22     page 19760 of the transcript.  Tell us now, please, General Praljak, to

23     the best of your recollections, was that the date of the separation line

24     and --

25        A.   Yes, that is correct, and I took part with General Pellnas in

Page 10502

 1     those negotiations.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  Now, General Praljak, I'd like to ask you something

 3     about three documents that are to be found at the end of the second

 4     binder in the section titled "Mostar."  And you will be able to find the

 5     documents on your screen.  They'll be called up on e-court.  4D1344 is

 6     the first document.

 7             And while we're waiting for that to come up on our screens, tell

 8     us, General, you did mention some Muslim-Serb agreement, did you not,

 9     which was reached in the conflict in Mostar on the 9th of May; is that

10     right?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Could you tell us what it was that you talked to us about?

13        A.   To the best of my knowledge and information, an agreement was

14     signed --

15             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm very unpleased that I have to do this again

16     and again.  Please kindly wait for the question, and then wait and pause

17     and then answer.  So it is -- I believe that it is not so difficult to

18     understand this and to act accordingly.  Thank you.

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

20        Q.   Tell us, General.  You started your answer.  Go ahead.

21        A.   I am just waiting for what we've said to come up on the screen.

22             Now, according to the information I had at the time, and it was

23     public in a way -- well, yes, it was publicised, that an agreement had

24     been signed between Ratko Mladic and Sefer Halilovic on the 8th of May,

25     1993, about a cease -- immediate cease-fire throughout the territory of

Page 10503

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina between the BH Army and the Army of Republika Srpska

 2     on the other side.  Now, the witness was General Philippe Morillon.

 3        Q.   Now, General, please look at the document.  4D1344 was the

 4     number, and it is an agreement --

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, just a minute.

 6     The document we have here on the screen, in which General Morillon

 7     obviously is a witness - he's a witness very often - well, it seems that

 8     this is a cease-fire agreement between Halilovic and Mladic, between the

 9     Serbs and the Muslims.  Now, I'm looking at the date, May 8th, 1993.  I'm

10     sure you know that May 8th, 1993, is just a day before May 9, and because

11     of this, I have a couple of questions that come to mind.

12             If Mostar was actually attacked by ABiH and not by the HVO, which

13     is the case that you've been putting forth since the inception of this

14     trial, I say if the ABiH is not even allowed to -- not allowed to attack

15     against the HVO, they might as well be quiet with the Serbs in the

16     meanwhile, and so there could be a reason for having a cease-fire with

17     the Serbs, with a witness that can be instrumented, i.e.,

18     General Morillon.  Then the Serbs are no longer doing anything, and the

19     Muslims have -- are entirely free to the attack the HVO.  Is this

20     possible or is this pure speculation?

21        A.   Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, it's not guess-work.  They signed

22     the cease-fire on the 8th with the Serbs, and I claim that they attacked

23     the HVO in Mostar on the 9th.  And similarly in September, they signed a

24     complete cease-fire with the Serbs, and then they directed the fiercest

25     part of the Neretva-93 offensive toward the HVO.  So that wasn't

Page 10504

 1     the first time, nor was it the only time, to ensure their rear and to

 2     sign an agreement with the other side without asking General Petkovic or

 3     the HVO or them taking part as the regular army.  So this kind of

 4     one-sided cease-fire agreements were to the detriment of the third party

 5     always.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   General Praljak, from your answer just now, I can conclude, can I

 9     not, that the document we have up on our screens is precisely the

10     agreement between Mladic and Halilovic; is that right?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Very well.  Now let's go on to look at the next document, which

13     is 4D1345, and that is a document which represents the operationalisation

14     or implementation of the agreement between Mladic and Halilovic, and the

15     order was issued by Enver Hadzihasanovic, the commander of the 3rd Corps.

16     And here for that area of responsibility, based on the agreement that

17     we'd mentioned a moment ago between Mladic and Halilovic, an order is

18     being issued on the cessation of all combat operations against the Army

19     of Republika Srpska.

20             Tell us please, General Praljak, did you know that it was on the

21     basis of the Mladic-Halilovic agreement that orders were issued for

22     individual areas of responsibility of the corps to cease combat against

23     the Serb Army?  Can you comment on the contents of that document?

24        A.   Yes, that is logical.  That is what was done, and I did know

25     about it.

Page 10505

 1        Q.   Very well, thank you.  Now let's move on.

 2             We're going to skip a period of time and deal with --

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you know, I

 4     try to integrate all the documents that we see and try to tie this up

 5     with what happened on the May 9.  Obviously, this document, which comes

 6     from the 3rd Corps, is obviously implementing what we saw on the previous

 7     document, but there could be another assumption, which is the following,

 8     and I'm going to tell you about this idea, and I would like you to tell

 9     me what your position could be.  Let's say that -- actually it's the

10     Prosecution's case, which is right, and it is the HVO which attacked the

11     ABiH, but that the intelligence service of the Serbs and of the Muslims

12     found out about the HVO that was getting ready for an offensive.  I mean,

13     there is military intelligence going on at the time.  So if the HVO -- if

14     suddenly --

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- if the ABiH learns that the

17     HVO is going to attack, they might say, Well, we might as well mobilise

18     our forces against the HVO and not the Serbs.  Then they decide on May

19     8th to sign an agreement, the cease-fire agreement, because they've

20     obtained intelligence a few days earlier about a possible attack of the

21     HVO.  Now, is this totally ludicrous or is this -- do the elements that

22     you had from the field, can they grant this hypothesis or not?

23        A.   There's not a single element, Judge Antonetti, which would

24     confirm that hypothesis.  Quite the reverse, in fact.  You have seen

25     documents dated to April 1993 in which the BH Army has a completely

Page 10506

 1     elaborated military plan of attack against the HVO in Mostar, and that

 2     plan was quite obviously not implemented, in part due to my involvement

 3     and General Pellnas's involvement, who invested every effort to prevent

 4     an attack by the BH Army at that point in time, and they wouldn't have

 5     been able to carry out the attack in front of him, with him there.  And,

 6     secondly, my transfer to East Mostar was an element in that it wasn't a

 7     logical move, in view of the fact that there was great tension all

 8     around, and the fact that I sat down to drink a cup of coffee with

 9     Mr. Pasalic and went to the SDA party, asking them -- asking people there

10     who were still not supporting a conflict to come out into the town and

11     state their views.  But obviously the Military Section, together with

12     Sefer Halilovic at its head, implemented its plan on the 9th of May.

13             Now, hypothetically, your assertion, I suppose, could be taken as

14     being possible, but there was no element -- no HVO plan to attack on the

15     9th of May, no previous order or elaborated military action, no troops

16     were brought in, or anything else that would support that either on paper

17     or through a witness.  It's not a simple operation to carry out, so it

18     would have needed a great deal of preparation.

19             So I claim, once again, that after the 9th of May, after the

20     agreement was had been signed with the Serbs, it was the BH Army which

21     attacked, according to all the information I had and all the discussions

22     and talks I had up until that date and later on.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question, and I

24     believe it's important.

25             The agreement signed between Halilovic and Mladic on May 8th,

Page 10507

 1     witnessed by the international community, represented by the famous

 2     General Morillon, okay, this cease-fire is well known, so if the ABiH

 3     attacks the HVO, didn't the international community -- wasn't the

 4     international community instrumented by the ABiH, were they duped,

 5     because, on the one hand, the ABiH is pretending to have a cease-fire,

 6     but, on the other hand, it's getting ready to attack the HVO and actually

 7     attacking the HVO?  What's your take on this?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said this many times already,

 9     and I will again.  Regrettably, the international community, primarily

10     because of the situation in Sarajevo, accepted any information from the

11     BH Army indiscriminately, without even meaning to look at the facts.  It

12     was for that reason alone that inaccurate information was being conveyed

13     throughout, and that is why the HVO was accused.

14             You saw Mr. Drekovic's book which talked about the lines against

15     the Serbs to the north and south of Mostar, and he called those lines

16     mere guard posts, described them as being at that level.  If the VRS was

17     the arch-enemy of the BH Army, which would have been logical, whereas the

18     HVO, an army which based on all documents and principles and pure reason

19     should have been a partner, that it's impossible to explain why they

20     would have set up mere guard posts facing the VRS and never, ever took

21     any action whatsoever in that direction; not only in that area, but

22     nowhere at all, not in terms of the corridor, not in the direction of

23     Srebrenica, and so on and so forth.  I have said this a number of times

24     already.  I'm still waiting to be refuted.

25             Mr. Halilovic, in his book, claims that Neretva-93 operation was

Page 10508

 1     the one major real offensive ever launched by the BH Army against its

 2     partners.  He had 200.000 men, and the big question is what he possibly

 3     would have achieved fighting the VRS.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   General, let's look at the following document in relation to the

 6     30th of June, 1993.  The document number is 2D1389, 2D1389.

 7        A.   And whereabouts is that?

 8        Q.   It's right after this one, in the same section.  I do have to

 9     skip some documents because I have reorganised my cross-examination a

10     little.

11        A.   The ones coming up next are all marked as "4D."

12        Q.   One of them should be 2D1389, but there we have it on our

13     screens.  Page 2, please, of the Croatian, the last paragraph on page 2

14     in the English.  The last paragraph on page 2 in the English.

15             This document is entitled "Information on the Course of Conduct

16     Activities on the 30th of June," put together by the Staff of the Supreme

17     Command of the Armed Forces in Sarajevo.  The paragraph is entitled "Area

18     of Responsibility of the 4th Corps."  It reads as follows.  Simply

19     because it's very significant, I will be reading the entire paragraph.  I

20     quote:

21             "Our forces successfully repelled yesterday's attack by Ustasha

22     units and captured some very important strongholds in a counter-attack,

23     Sjeverni Logor, Rastane, Vrapce, Bijelo Polje, Salakovci and Rosci.

24     Among other things, we hold all the hydroelectric power-plants along the

25     Neretva River, except for the one in Capljina.  About 100 soldiers

Page 10509

 1     surrendered to our forces, and several hundred captured civilians have

 2     been freed.  The BH Army seized a large booty consisting of weapons and

 3     ammunition in the North Camp.

 4             "Based on the report of the 4th Corps Command, the units

 5     yesterday linked up with the forces of the 6th corps, which will have a

 6     favourable effect on any further progress of combat activities."

 7             End of quote.

 8             General Praljak, can you confirm the accuracy of this report, to

 9     begin with?

10        A.   No, I can't.

11        Q.   What's inaccurate about it?

12        A.   All of the BH Army reports, as evidenced by the journalist who

13     was in charge of covering Neretva-93 operation, start off on a false

14     note.  The Ustasha forces attacked us, and then we launched a

15     counter-attack, that was false.  Therefore, with the exception of this

16     very first sentence, that the Ustasha - and that was us, that's what they

17     called us - without holding anything back or any reservations whatsoever,

18     this was a vial, sly, underhanded, treacherous attack, not just by the

19     BH Army, but also by the Muslims within the HVO.  It was a synchronised

20     attack.

21        Q.   General Praljak, let's try to interpret the meaning of the last

22     sentence for the benefit of the Chamber.  The 6th Corps, which area of

23     responsibility would that be or which geographical area?

24        A.   Jablanica-Konjic, and then the surrounding areas as well.

25        Q.   And what about the 4th Corps, which area would that be?

Page 10510

 1        A.   The Mostar area.  Those two corps, following this operation,

 2     linked up along the Basta Bijelok [phoen] road which they had controlled

 3     up until that point in time.  Many stories about Mostar's isolation and

 4     being besieged have no basis in facts.  It's as simple as that.

 5        Q.   General, based on your information, after that day what about the

 6     BH Army in the Mostar area?  Did they keep receiving assistance, in terms

 7     of manpower, ammunition, and weapons, unhindered from Jablanica and

 8     further into Bosnia and Herzegovina, further inland?

 9        A.   Yes.  There was the military depot in Visoko which we kept

10     replenishing.  That particular depot kept furnishing the 4th and the 6th

11     Corps with weapons incessantly.

12        Q.   Two brief questions about my own client, General Petkovic.

13             General Praljak, you said that at the time that you were the

14     number-one man of the Main Staff.  There was an internal distribution of

15     tasks under which General Petkovic was in charge of Central Bosnia,

16     contacts with the international players, and the commanders of the Muslim

17     and Serb armies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Is that a fair summary of

18     what you said?

19        A.   Yes, that's right.  Needless to say, when he was there, he had a

20     task, but then he was also given a special task to press on with the

21     talks, because he had been in charge of that earlier on as well.  He did

22     a brilliant job in each and every way.  And then he had a special task of

23     looking after Central Bosnia.  The focus of his work, as one normally

24     puts it, was to remain in Central Bosnia.  To the extent that he could,

25     he was in charge of keeping Kiseljak alive, in particular, as well as

Page 10511

 1     trying, doing his best, to link up with Busovaca.

 2        Q.   You say that Mr. Tole was particularly in charge of the Mostar

 3     area, he was the chief of the Main Staff in your time; right?

 4        A.   Yes, that's right.  It was counter-intuitive for the BH Army to

 5     score a success in Mostar and in the south without previously taking

 6     Uskoplje and Rama, Gornji Vakuf and Prozor, and then further

 7     south towards Vrde, in order to reach Mostar and the right riverbank

 8     from behind.  That is why I took over that particular area, because

 9     according to military logic, this was the most fervent -- difficult area,

10     whereas Mr. Tole got a special assignment to look after Mostar and its

11     south.  That was an internal division or distribution of tasks that we

12     had.  I'm talking about what the focus was for each and every one of us.

13     If I headed south and I was involved in the fighting there, then

14     obviously I was the one taking the decisions.

15        Q.   General Praljak, given the fact that my time is running out, I

16     have one final question for you.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your time has already expired

18     by already five minutes, so all the time that will be devoted will be

19     taken down.

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   General Praljak, one final question.  When you told us about how,

22     on the 30th of June, 1993, a total, all-out war broke out between the

23     BH Army and the HVO, my question is an attempt to clarify the following:

24     Did this all-out war occur precisely because of the linking up of the 4th

25     and 6th Corps, resulting in a possibility that enormous forces from

Page 10512

 1     Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Central Bosnia, might be caught up in

 2     defensive [as interpreted] activities towards Mostar and further south

 3     towards the Adriatic coast?

 4        A.   From a military viewpoint, that is correct.  Units from the

 5     1st Corps could have been dispatched there and added to the existing

 6     forces, and this was exactly what was being done.  Nevertheless,

 7     Ms. Alaburic, the most difficult problem we were facing was the HVO

 8     psychology.  Up until that point in time, we had held out hope, to some

 9     extent, to the effect that there would be no all-out war and that they

10     would not get what they were driving for.  Regardless of how many

11     elements were opposing this opinion, the hope was still alive.

12             After the treason by their own men within the HVO, the most

13     important element caved in, what we refer to as the moral backbone in

14     men.  The men there felt betrayed not just by the BH Army but in part

15     also by their own leaders, who throughout this time and despite their

16     justified assurances that the BH Army were up to something, and we

17     actually knew this ourselves, we were all adamant, nevertheless, that

18     there should be an amicable approach, that the weapons should be handed

19     over to them, that there would be no clashes erupting and so on and so

20     forth.  And this was something that was much more difficult to deal with

21     than the military aspect, which of course allowed the BH Army, for three

22     or four months, to go on with their offensive all the way from Bugojno in

23     order to eventually reach the Adriatic coast, thereby resolving the

24     Serb-Muslim problem within the BH Army.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I thank you for

Page 10513

 1     your answer.

 2             And, Your Honours, if I may just correct the transcript.

 3     Page 14, line 23, it's about to disappear off our screens, I was talking

 4     about the offensive activities of the BH Army towards Mostar and down

 5     towards the Adriatic coast, whereas the transcript says "defensive

 6     activities."  If it was a slip of the tongue on my part, I do apologise.

 7             Your Honours, I thank you for the extra time I have been granted

 8     to cross-examine General Praljak.  Thank you very much for your kindness.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since the Judges have been

10     faced with two cases, the one from the Prosecution and the one from the

11     Defence, every time that I get a document with a military origin, I'm

12     trying to look at this document and to see how it compares with your case

13     and the case from the Prosecution to try and understand and to reach the

14     truth.

15             In the document that we have before us, which is coming from the

16     ABiH, it says that the aggressor, namely, yourself, the Chetniks and the

17     Ustashas, it says that you use seven tanks as well as some armoured

18     vehicles to attack the town of Zepce.  If this document is true, you are

19     not in a defensive operation, because you have always said that as far as

20     the HVO was concerned, they were defending themselves and they were never

21     attacking.  But what this document states is that you were the attacking

22     party and in quite substantial means, with seven tanks and other armoured

23     vehicles or armoured carriers.  Therefore, you're not in defensive mode,

24     all the more so because, according to this document, you ask for Zepce to

25     surrender.

Page 10514

 1             So as far as you can recollect, has there been an attack in Zepce

 2     with seven tanks and some sufficient means to carry out this attack, or

 3     do you feel that this document is not reflecting the current situation of

 4     then to justify their own behaviour?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document is entirely inaccurate

 6     in terms of the information that it offers.  Zepce was entirely

 7     surrounded by the BH Army.  The 111th Zepce Brigade did not have seven

 8     tanks, no way.  These are bare-faced lies, which is something that

 9     happens in a war.  But the truth was this:  Zepce was surrounded on all

10     sides.  It had no contact with any other unit, with the exception of that

11     brigade that was surrounded by the BH Army throughout.  It was far away

12     from any other source of support from the HVO that it might have

13     received.  They were attacking Zepce constantly, and every time after an

14     attack, they would say, The HVO launched an attack to which we responded

15     by a counter-attack, and so on and so forth.  Zepce was surrounded,

16     suffering heavy, enormous losses.  It could hardly do anything else but

17     defend.  There was no possibility of a breakthrough.  Anyone to link up

18     with was far too far away.  There was nothing at all, no avenue that was

19     open to them.

20             I could show this to you on a map, but I believe you know this

21     already.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, yes.

23             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] At the expense of my own time,

24     just a single question which I think might be helpful, in terms of

25     clarifying this particular answer to your question.

Page 10515

 1        Q.   The question is:  General Praljak, the Zepce area, was that a

 2     Croatian enclave in Central Bosnia?

 3        A.   Yes, and those people fought bitterly to not be wiped off the

 4     face of the earth, such as Vares and Kakanj.  And they actually

 5     succeeded.  They only had a small area to go on.  They were suffering

 6     enormous losses, and they did it.  Seven tanks, come on.  Not even a

 7     ten-year-old child would buy that story.  We were barely able to dispatch

 8     some infantry weapons, small arms, to them, and RPGs for them to defend

 9     themselves with.  Again, we had to do this across Serb-held territory,

10     which we had to pay for.  Needless to say, the VRS saw it as being in

11     their best interests for the BH Army and the HVO to clash.  That is why

12     they allowed us to use their territory, and we paid them in money and in

13     fuel as well.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.  I will give the

15     floor to the counsel of Mr. Coric.  But before I give him the floor or

16     give her the floor, I would like to advise you that the Registry has

17     informed me that Mr. Prlic has arrived, so he will join us after the

18     break.

19             I should also like to inform Counsel Karnavas, who is going to

20     take the floor later on, in order to avoid any mistake, because he was

21     talking about a disciplinary procedure, I would like to remind Counsel

22     Karnavas, given that you wanted publicly to touch upon this issue, that

23     in a decision that was handed down by the Chamber, it was said in the

24     preamble, and that I will mention immediately in order to avoid any

25     mistake, it said:

Page 10516

 1             "Whereas the Chamber was wondering on the accountability of such

 2     a behaviour of the Prlic Defence, in conformity with the Rules of

 3     Procedure and Evidence and the Code of Ethics; whereas the Chamber feels

 4     necessary to have the opinion of an amicus curiae ..."

 5             So the Chamber is still looking into the case.  And in order for

 6     this thinking to come to fruition, we have asked for an opinion from the

 7     amicus curiae.  So there is no disciplinary measure that has been decided

 8     upon as yet.

 9             Very well.  So we are now going to move to Mr. Coric's Defence.

10             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your

11     Honours.  Good afternoon to you, too, Mr. Praljak, and everybody else in

12     the courtroom.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Counsel.

14             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] While we're waiting for

15     the usher to hand out the binders, I'd like to deal with two technical

16     matters.

17             I have four hours and forty-five minutes at my disposal for my

18     cross-examination.  However, to avoid any time constraints and pressures,

19     and at the request of my client, Mr. Coric, I wanted to ask the Trial

20     Chamber to give me equal opportunity as they afforded to the Petkovic

21     Defence; that is to say, that if I don't complete my cross-examination

22     within that time, that I can use the Coric Defence time allotted.  I do,

23     however, think that I will be able to end my cross-examination within the

24     four hours and forty-five minutes, but I just wanted to request that.

25             The second point has to do with the binders.  Everybody has been

Page 10517

 1     given three binders, that is to say, the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution,

 2     and the witness, and we'll start off with the small, thin binder which

 3     actually looks like this [indicates].  That's what we're going to start

 4     off with.  I'll take a moment and wait for all the binders to be

 5     distributed.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar is handing out

 7     the various binders.  I would like to know whether there are three

 8     binders, including a small one, and then two red ones; is that correct?

 9     Very well.

10             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Judge, and

11     we're going to start off with the small one, because I'm going to move on

12     to another larger area, whereas we'll be able to get through the small

13     one, I hope, by the break.

14                           Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:

15        Q.   [Interpretation] My first question for you, Mr. Praljak, has

16     nothing to do with the binders and documents, but is linked to something

17     that you said when questioned by Ms. Alaburic.  And in view of everything

18     that you said on direct, I think that there was a slight misunderstanding

19     at one point, and I'll tell you -- I'll put it to you, what you said, and

20     you can tell us whether that is what you actually thought and wanted say

21     and whether it's a misunderstanding.

22             Asked by Ms. Alaburic, and the question was recorded on

23     page 42427 of the transcript and 42428 of the transcript, whether the

24     SIS, the military police, and the IPD were established as parallel

25     systems to exercise political control, and I emphasise "political,"

Page 10518

 1     political control over the army, your answer was in the affirmative.  Now

 2     I'm going to ask you this one again.  Was there a misunderstanding or do

 3     you claim that the military police was established in order to exercise

 4     political control over the army?

 5        A.   The military police did not exercise political control over the

 6     army, nor did the SIS exercise political control over the army, nor again

 7     was political control exercised over the army by the IPD.  And even with

 8     parallel systems, I explained in quite exact terms what is meant by a

 9     parallel system, so I don't think that there can be any misunderstanding

10     on that score.  Let me state again, there was no political control from

11     the head of the Military Police Administration or whatever you like to

12     call him.

13        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Praljak.  Now, my next question relates to a

14     document shown to you by Judge Antonetti, and I think that it was one

15     that was put to you during the examination-in-chief.  It is P01350, and

16     it is the first document in your binder.

17             I'd like to read something out from that document.  It is the

18     fourth paragraph from the top, and that paragraph begins with the

19     following words:  "From the proposal made by the chief ...," and it says:

20             "In Gornji Vakuf, the military police had the task of protecting

21     the military police of the area, the population, and securing safe

22     traffic.  That task was soon expanded to include the following in the

23     chief's absence, but everybody recognises that the military police bore

24     the greatest burden and the greatest sacrifices."

25             Now, Mr. Praljak, these are the minutes from a meeting, and I

Page 10519

 1     think that you said that you attended at least part of that meeting, so

 2     I'd like to know whether what I have just read out was the truth and

 3     whether you were aware of that.  Do you happen to remember?

 4        A.   Yes, I did attend this meeting for a time, in part, and, well,

 5     there were a lot of questions that were raised, and I took the floor.  It

 6     is true that the military police took part in the fighting in Uskoplje,

 7     as far as I know.  I wasn't the commander of that particular operation,

 8     so I don't know about all the details.  I was just there.  I was there to

 9     be in the final stages of that operation.  But as I've said loud and

10     clear, I did not have -- now, whether I could have is another matter, but

11     I did not have the possibility and opportunity to challenge the arguments

12     put forward by the commander of that particular action about the fact

13     that it was necessary after the BH Army had fully blocked the HVO in

14     Uskoplje.

15        Q.   Tell me now, please, do you remember that this is what was stated

16     at the meeting, the portion I read out and quoted?  If you can't

17     remember, just say so.

18        A.   Well, yes, of course, madam, rest assured that that is what I'll

19     do.  But I can't remember, so that's my answer.  It's been a long time,

20     and I don't know whether I left after making my speech.  That was

21     probably it.  I probably did go, did leave.

22        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Praljak.  Now let's look at another document,

23     5D0054 --

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, when I have a

25     military document, I always look at it and I make an analysis, putting it

Page 10520

 1     back into the context.  And sometimes the document provides very

 2     informative details.

 3             On page 4 of the English version, there is Mr. Petrovic that is

 4     taking the floor.  Several people seem to take the floor.  And

 5     General Petrovic talks about the importance of the team from the guard on

 6     duty or the officer on duty, and he says that he has to be aware of the

 7     entirety of the situation on the theatre, and this has to be done at all

 8     times.  Could you please confirm that when there was a military

 9     operation, what happened, necessarily, was that you had a duty officer or

10     an officer following up the military operation, and this officer had to

11     be informed in realtime about everything that was happening on the

12     ground, on the theatre of operations?

13             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, might I be

14     of assistance with the terminology?  I don't think that the interpreter

15     had the Croatian version in front of them, but we're talking about the

16     duty operations officer.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question is the duty

18     operations officer.  So, General Praljak, was there always a duty

19     operations officer who was accounting in realtime about the situation?

20     He was informed and then he would feed back the information?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With more important operations,

22     there was the duty officer, but unfortunately the information that came

23     into him in realtime was very scant and not sufficient, either no

24     information at all or very scant information.  And the reasons for that

25     was that the lines of communication were in a terrible state:  There was

Page 10521

 1     no proper communication on the ground between the individual units, the

 2     commanders of operations, or the axes of operations, and they had to make

 3     due with -- well, I can explain what they used and why the system wasn't

 4     actually functioning properly.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, that's not really what

 6     I'm interested in.  I'm going to go back to the 9th of May.  Let's take

 7     on board the case of the Prosecutor; namely, that it is you, the HVO, who

 8     is attacking.  If there is an HVO attack, and it means that you take over

 9     the headquarters of the BiH, which is not a small matter, do you think

10     that if that was the case, you had a duty operations officer within the

11     headquarters who had written down on some document, of some log, 5.00,

12     this and that, 10 past 5.00, this and that action so and so, and so on

13     and so forth?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.  When you have a very

15     important operation, then you had to have all the information, a complete

16     plan, the beginning and end of an attack, the sign given to launch the

17     attack, the artillery and how it was going to be deployed, when you had

18     managed to take control of a certain area, and so on and so forth.  And

19     you were able to see from June 1992, Your Honours, the two documents that

20     I provided.  When information of that kind comes in, it comes in every

21     two or three minutes, giving an update.  This happened here, Praljak said

22     that, ordered this.  So it was a very dense log-book that you had to

23     keep, because information was coming in all the time when any major

24     operation was underway.

25             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 10522

 1        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, let's look at the next document, which is

 2     5D00548, and it is a document that is already an exhibit, and we've seen

 3     it several times in this courtroom already.  It was signed by Mr. Coric,

 4     and it is titled "Request for Re-Examination of the Engagement of Units

 5     of the Military Police on the Front-Lines."

 6             There's no need for us to read through the entire document.  I'd

 7     just like to read the first paragraph and the last three paragraphs.

 8     Here is what it says:

 9             "On several occasions, we have warned, and we are doing so by

10     this request as well, that the Administration of the Military Police, due

11     to intensive and non-stop involvement of the units of the military police

12     on the front-lines, and also due to the impossibility of replenishing the

13     units with new troops, it is unable to perform the military police tasks

14     according to its competence."

15             Now we can move on to the last three paragraphs, the end of the

16     document:

17             "Terror and crime of all kinds is on the increase and, therefore,

18     worrying, and threatens that on the free territory of the HR-HB, that it

19     will lead to anarchy and lawlessness.

20             "I hereby announce, with full responsibility, that the military

21     police forces which remain after the units of the military police have

22     been deployed to the front-lines, we will not be in a position to perform

23     even our regular military police tasks, let alone the complex

24     interventions and other significant military police tasks.

25             "Because of the above, we demand that there be a re-examination

Page 10523

 1     of the involvement of the military police up at the front-lines, and we

 2     suggest that the military police units should be withdrawn from the

 3     front-lines so as to be able to carry out military police activities and

 4     that only -- that they be sent to the front-lines only in exceptional

 5     situations."

 6             Now, Mr. Praljak, I recall that during the examination-in-chief

 7     you confirmed that you were aware of this particular problem.  Am I right

 8     in saying that; is that right?  Did you know about it?

 9        A.   Yes, you are right, madam.  I was informed of this problem, and I

10     fully subscribe to what it says here.  I would put my signature at the

11     bottom of that document in the place of Mr. Coric.  And this document, in

12     fact, illustrates what I said on many occasions in this courtroom, and

13     that is that after the attack on the 9th of May, and especially after the

14     30th of June, in military terms and, to a certain extent, in the moral

15     sense, the HVO system disintegrated, I mean the people, the population,

16     everything, so that Mr. Coric is quite right when he says that deploying

17     the military police units considerably reduced their possibility to do

18     their proper job.  But I followed a different logic.  That's the only

19     thing --

20        Q.   No, well, we'll come to that, Mr. Praljak, in due course.  You do

21     remember that Mr. Biskic testified in this court, don't you?  At

22     transcript page --

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, just a minute.

24     Before we go into Mr. Biskic's testimony, let me go back to this

25     document.  I'm discovering it, actually, 5D00158.

Page 10524

 1             General Praljak, a few years -- a few months ago, even years ago,

 2     I wondered why there was so many casualties among military police people.

 3     We've seen a number of documents where we noted that there were a lot of

 4     casualties and fatalities, and I was very surprised by this.  Now, here

 5     in this document, it was written by Mr. Coric, this problem is actually

 6     mentioned.  He says that if the military police is placed on the

 7     front-line, then it will be exposed and there will probably be

 8     casualties, which is why he's mentioning them.  But he's saying something

 9     else which is extremely important, as far as his liability under

10     Article 7(3) is concerned.  He says the very fact of placing these

11     military police people on the front-line, because of this there is an

12     increase in terror and crimes, and chaos reigns, as well as anarchy.  So

13     he's obviously blowing the whistle.

14             I'm sure that you haven't read the entire case law of the

15     Nuremberg trials.  There is case law, but it has to do with the

16     responsibility of generals in occupied territories.  Unfortunately, the

17     jurisprudence is not extended to the combat zone.  But at least in the

18     case law we have from the Nuremberg trial, the general in charge of the

19     occupied territories is responsible of absolutely everything, everything,

20     from A to Z, including order in the streets and including all crimes that

21     may be committed in the streets.  And, obviously, here Mr. Coric is

22     telling you about this, since you are a recipient of this letter, as well

23     as Mr. Tole and Mr. Stojic.

24             So when you have this kind of military report, when you obtain

25     these kind of military reports, what measures did you take to help

Page 10525

 1     Mr. Coric and to make sure that the military police went back to its own

 2     traditional job and only that, or did you not do anything because you had

 3     no seasoned fighters and you only had these military policemen at hand,

 4     and they were -- at least they knew how to handle weapons, they were

 5     disciplined, they obeyed orders, and at least they made it possible for a

 6     defence to be carried out?

 7             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my

 8     apologies, but let us try not to confuse the general.

 9             The figure that was entered was not accurate.  You asked for

10     5D50048 [as interpreted], and the one in the transcript is "158."  I

11     don't think the general really knows which to be document to be looking

12     at.  5D00548, that's the correct document number.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The correct

14     document is the one you mentioned earlier, 5D00548.

15             General Praljak, can you answer my question?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly.  Not only is it a fact

17     that 30 years ago I read a lot of those documents and some important

18     books on the Nuremberg trials, moreover I was, for different reasons, an

19     avid student of these chaotic states of human society in my capacity as a

20     sociologist, and that was the case more than once.  As for a general's

21     responsibility in this occupied territory, there was no occupied

22     territory in my case.  There was fighting along the front-line.

23             Secondly, when we do encounter occupied territories, there are

24     vast differences between an occupation by a structured, well-organised

25     army and the forces sufficiently competent to maintain order, on the one

Page 10526

 1     hand, and the chaos, on the other, that ensues when a war is in the

 2     process of being lost or a battle is in the process of being lost, be it

 3     the escape from Moscow, in Napoleon's case, or the escape from Moscow in

 4     World War II when everyone was smashing things up, and stealing, and so

 5     on and so forth, be it following Katherine or Katrina.

 6             In this case, Your Honours, I was aware of the problem, but there

 7     were two options -- two avenues that were open to me.  One was to return

 8     the military police to Mr. Coric and for the BH Army to reach the

 9     Adriatic coast.  There were no more than two options.

10             These were splendid fighters, 39 killed, 191 seriously wounded.

11     They were holding their lines and fending off any attacks.  At these most

12     difficult times, that's what I was talking about.

13             At a time like this, I took a decision which I still recognise as

14     my own today.  I made a request and obtained a signature from Mate Boban

15     entitling me to use military police for operative tasks, simply because

16     that was the military situation that prevailed at the time.  As soon as

17     the situation was sorted out, the military police went back.

18             I assert, Your Honours, that everything that we can read in the

19     indictment is not there because the explanations in the indictment are

20     what they are, but rather because the offensive launched by the BH Army

21     was a fierce one, fearful.  Even worse, there were drawn-out negotiations

22     underway, and on top of that the Muslim treason in the area.  People

23     reached a stage known as the decomposition of the moral backbone.  In a

24     way, we have been deceiving them and convincing them that something

25     entirely different was, in fact, the case, but then the people, who had

Page 10527

 1     been saying all along that this would eventually occur, ended up saying,

 2     There, see, they attacked us eventually, they are double-dealing, they

 3     betrayed us, same as back in 1944, history repeating itself.

 4             There were a lot of independent players, so to speak, there were

 5     free shooters emerging in a situation like this, and the pressure exerted

 6     by the BH Army, in the military sense, was such that the military police

 7     as well as components of the civilian police had to get involved, as well

 8     as each and every human beings in that area.

 9             I stand by my decision.  It was exactly the course of action to

10     be taken in a situation like that.  As for those who committed any

11     wrongdoings in a situation like that, there will always be time later on

12     to bring those men to face justice.  Had I returned the military police

13     there to do their job, they would have been left without anything to do,

14     simply because we would no longer be -- we would no longer have remained

15     in that area.

16             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is

17     precisely what I was trying to say what Mr. Biskic said when he

18     testified.  In his evidence -- well, let's not waste any time quoting all

19     the transcript pages, but it's there for all to read, Mr. Biskic's

20     evidence, and he said that the country's defence was the top priority.

21     It was perfectly normal and necessary for the military police to get

22     involved and in the way just described by General Praljak.  He also said

23     that after he took up his position there, he asked the then chief of the

24     Main Staff, General Roso, to issue an order to withdraw the military

25     police units from the front-line, and also confirmed what Mr. Praljak

Page 10528

 1     said, that it was eventually done, except he said it was done sometime in

 2     mid-December 1993, when the conditions were finally ripe for a move like

 3     that.  I was trying to ask further questions to get there, but --

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.  You're

 5     testifying.  You're testifying, Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic.  I'm sure this is

 6     why Mr. Stringer is on his feet.  You should rather say, Mr. Biskic says

 7     this and that, and General Praljak can confirm.

 8             Mr. Stringer, is this what you wanted to say?

 9             MR. STRINGER:  In a sense, yes, Mr. President.  I understood that

10     counsel was repeating what she was saying was the testimony of

11     Mr. Biskic, and I'm not doubting that, but I was going to request that

12     counsel give the page numbers of the transcript because I might go back

13     to read that later, and it would help me find it.  That's all.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The page, please.  Would you

15     please give us the page, please?

16             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I'll provide the page

17     numbers.  First, what I was trying to say is that my questions were to

18     follow.  I was going to talk to General Praljak about this, and ask him

19     if he remembers this, Mr. Biskic saying that, whether he agrees with what

20     Mr. Biskic said.  And, of course, I can first ask the question and

21     afterwards I can proceed and give you the pages numbers.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.  Of course I

23     remember.

24             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Page numbers from the

25     transcript are 15181, 15186, 15242, 15261, 15265, 15267, 15274, 15279,

Page 10529

 1     15282, and 15309.

 2        Q.   Mr. Praljak, let us please move on to the two last documents in

 3     this binder, the first document being P03117.

 4             This is an order by the commander of the South-East Herzegovina

 5     Operative Zone, Brigadier Miljenko Lasic.  The date is the 2nd of July,

 6     1993.  The order is addressed to two HVO brigades, a military police

 7     battalion, the Operative Zone Logistics Section, the sector commanders,

 8     and yet another addressee, ONOZJIH.  Probably you'll know what that

 9     stands for, but I don't think it's of any relevance at this point in

10     time.

11             The order reads, and I'll just read the sentence before the word

12     "order" itself:

13             "With respect to the duties to be carried out in the Central Zone

14     of Responsibility, the Mostar Defence Zone, I hereby order ..."

15             And then the zones of responsibility are defined.  What I'm

16     looking at is paragraph 2, reading:

17             "The zone of responsibility shall be divided into three

18     sectors ..."

19             And then a list of these sectors.  So this is the second zone of

20     responsibility.  Under paragraph 2, the second zone of responsibility:

21             "I hereby appoint Mr. Mijo Jelic sector commander, who is also

22     the commander of the military police."

23             If we look at paragraph 4, it reads:

24             "Daily reports, in a written form, reflecting the situation as at

25     1800 hours are submitted by sector commanders on a daily basis by 2000

Page 10530

 1     hours.  Telephone reports are to be submitted by 730 and 1700 hours.

 2     Interim reports are submitted as required or as dictated by necessity."

 3             A single question in relation to this document:  Mr. Praljak,

 4     were you familiar with that?  Were you aware of the fact that Mr. Mijo

 5     Jelic was appointed commander of the 2nd zone of responsibility in Mostar

 6     in this way?

 7        A.   No, madam, I wasn't there on the 2nd of July.  I did know that

 8     Mr. Mijo Jelic had been appointed commander of the city of Mostar by an

 9     order signed by Tolic, chief of the Main Staff, but it wasn't until at a

10     much later stage that I actually saw the document.

11        Q.   All right.  Let us try to move on to the later document, P03983.

12     The document is dated the 6th of August, 1993.

13             As you have told us, this is about the appointment of Mr. -- of

14     Mr. Jelic as the defence commander of Mostar.  Paragraph 2 reads:

15             "All of the units in Mostar are hereby placed under the command

16     of Mr. Mijo Jelic."

17             Further, regulating a request -- or, rather, a proposal to set up

18     a staff or a headquarters, how reports will be submitted on the

19     implementation of this order.  You told us a moment ago you knew about

20     this; right?

21        A.   Yes.

22             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC:  Thank you very much, Mr. Praljak.

23             Your Honours, I'm looking at the clock.  I'm about to move on to

24     a rather substantial topic.  I would like to take the break now, if

25     possible, because I wish to attain a certain degree of continuity

Page 10531

 1     covering that subject.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 3             So we will have our 20-minute break now.

 4                           --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.

 5                           [The accused Prlic entered court]

 6                           --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The court is back

 8     in session.

 9             The Trial Chamber welcomes Mr. Prlic.

10             I believe that Mr. Karnavas has something to say.

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.  Good afternoon again, Mr. President, Your

12     Honours.

13             On Friday, we received the -- I believe it's titled "Order" that

14     was submitted to the Association of Defence Council practicing before the

15     ICTY, known as ADC, which is our professional association, with an

16     order/request to the Amicus Committee.  It appeared that the order was

17     requesting what we consider or what other Trial Chambers have considered

18     as an advisory opinion, an advisory opinion based on a factual setting

19     which, quite frankly, and with all due respect, I find to be incorrect

20     and somewhat misleading, because it doesn't lay out all of the facts as

21     we presented.  So there are some factual issues.

22             But be that as it may, based on what we were able to glean, and

23     that when I say "we," I speak for Ms. Tomanovic, we came away with the

24     impression that the Trial Chamber finds these two lawyers to be

25     unethical, unprofessional, deceitful towards the Trial Chamber, and that,

Page 10532

 1     I categorically, along with Suzana Tomanovic, we categorically deny these

 2     allegations, as they seem to be framed in the questions as put by the

 3     Trial Chamber.  At all times, we've acted professionally, ethically,

 4     conscientiously.  At all times, we have been consulting with our clients.

 5     At all times, we did what we thought was best under the circumstances.

 6     And as I indicated in my supplemental submission, we were provided

 7     documents on the basis that we would abide by the requests of the

 8     sources.

 9             We will have ample time to address those issues.  I will be

10     asking the ADC to request from the Trial Chamber to make its findings

11     based on the record, the entire record, or, in the alternative, to ask

12     the President of the Tribunal to select three Judges for an independent

13     and impartial panel of Judges to determine the facts in order to

14     determine whether, indeed, this particular team has acted in an

15     inappropriate manner.

16             I'm also going to be requesting the ADC to consult with leading

17     experts in the field of ethics and professional conduct, primarily from

18     the adversarial system, since we are engaged in an adversarial system,

19     and presumably these experts would be able to provide and edify us with

20     the responsibilities of Defence lawyers in conducting investigations on

21     behalf of their clients in an adversarial setting.

22             Based on what we read, I was quite concerned, as was

23     Mr. Tomanovic, and so I went to see Dr. Prlic on Friday, between 6.00 and

24     8.00 p.m.  It was our concern that in light of what it appears are, from

25     the reading of -- and we're going through our unofficial translation, but

Page 10533

 1     we have good interpreters and translators.  It appears that we no longer

 2     enjoy, if we ever did, any credibility in front of this Trial Chamber.

 3     And in light of that, I informed Dr. Prlic that it may be in his best

 4     interests if I were to come to court and ask that the proceedings be

 5     suspended until such time as this cloud is lifted over our heads.

 6             Ms. Tomanovic and I are fully confident that we have not done

 7     anything illegal, improper, unprofessional, and that we will be cleared,

 8     but we are concerned that henceforward whatever we do or say, and perhaps

 9     even in the past, in light of the Trial Chamber's findings from the facts

10     as it puts it, that we are deceitful lawyers, and in that -- given that,

11     we are not able to plead his case and conduct our business in his best

12     interests.

13             So I suggested that we suspended the proceedings.  The

14     alternative would be to ask the Registrar to appoint independent counsel

15     to represent him during this interim period and for us to withdraw or

16     step aside until such time as this matter is cleared.

17             Dr. Prlic is of the opinion that the trial should continue.  He's

18     also of the opinion, which I do not particularly share, but this is his

19     opinion, that he is fully capable to take over, in a sense, any

20     questioning in the court very much as General Praljak has done on

21     numerous occasions.  As I understand it, he will be addressing you, but

22     we fully enjoy his support and his confidence.  He wishes for us to

23     continue in our capacity as his lawyers and to assist him, but until this

24     time, until this sword of Damocles, if you want to put it, is lifted from

25     our heads, Mr. Prlic is suggesting that he be permitted to act as his

Page 10534

 1     counsel in court for the purposes of asking questions to the witness

 2     while we continue in our capacity to draft motions, do the research, do

 3     everything that we normally would do, except we would not be necessarily

 4     either objecting or be making any pleadings in the court.

 5             And in light of the Trial Chamber's timetable, and in light of

 6     the upcoming break that we have, and the fact that we have already

 7     cross-examined General Praljak, it would appear that during this interim

 8     period there would be little to do as far as in-court presentation on

 9     behalf of Dr. Prlic, who of course we would be -- we would be assisting.

10             But in any event, my concern was for this.  I did at one point

11     suggest that I withdraw completely from the case, because my interest is

12     his best interest.  And if the Trial Chamber thinks, and I put it to him

13     very bluntly and very crudely, it appears the Trial Chamber sees his

14     lawyers as "sleazy," this is how I put it, this is how I interpret this,

15     that somehow we are less than honest with the Trial Chamber.  This is the

16     very first I've ever been called by the Trial Chamber to answer to

17     anything with respect to these sorts of allegations as I find here today,

18     and I find them extremely serious and extremely regrettable.

19             So, in any event, our position is that the matter be suspended

20     until such time as we clear this issue.  Dr. Prlic has other opinions, it

21     is his case.  However, I advise against him representing himself, even

22     during this interim period, but I am in your hands, as well as he is in

23     your hands, and he is here and he is prepared to address the Court.

24             Thank you.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I'll give the floor

Page 10535

 1     to Mr. Prlic, but I believe that there's -- you make a small mistake,

 2     Mr. Karnavas.

 3             It's not the ADC and amicus curiae.  In its decision, the Trial

 4     Chamber asked the ADC to play the role of amicus curiae.  It's a single

 5     entity.  There isn't two entities; there's only one.

 6             Secondly, the Trial Chamber, having noted a potential technical

 7     problem, is requesting the ADC for its enlightened opinion.  In the

 8     decision, we gave them one month, we gave the ADC one month, to give us

 9     its technical point of view on three issues.  I'm almost sure -- I don't

10     really know how the ADC works, but if I refer to the practice in other

11     states, the ADC will take a look at the problem, might appoint a

12     rapporteur, and then will come to you for explanations, and then will

13     give us its enlightened opinion on these three questions.

14             Right now, the Trial Chamber is wondering about many things, is

15     asking for advice, is trusting the ADC.  We could have asked someone

16     else, you know, to give us an enlight ened opinion, but we wanted to call

17     on the best specialists for this, and they will give us their enlightened

18     opinion, their advice, telling us, There is no problem, There is a

19     problem.  I don't know what they'll say.

20             As of now, we are in the dark.  We're waiting for the enlightened

21     opinion of this -- and this informed opinion.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you, Mr. President, and I understand that.

23             As I've indicated, the manner in which we see the facts as being

24     presented, and the facts which are -- the questions are predicated upon,

25     which we find to be incomplete, give rise to a different opinion from our

Page 10536

 1     perspective.

 2             But be that as it may, if I may be of some assistance, given that

 3     you're asking for an enlightened opinion concerning ethical behaviour,

 4     the ADC has, within the various committees, has a disciplinary council,

 5     and in the past they have provided advisory opinions which have assisted

 6     Trial Chambers in resolving issues such as conflicts.  I believe that was

 7     the primary one that comes to mind at this point.  So you may wish to

 8     redirect that.

 9             And, furthermore, as I've indicated, as of today they have yet --

10     the ADC has yet to receive your decision or order or request, so you may

11     wish to have someone from the Registry provide that to the ADC so they

12     can act as expeditiously as possible.  But this is our reading of it,

13     Your Honour, and I don't want to take up any more time, but we do take

14     grave exceptions to some of the characterisations that are being made

15     here, and we do believe there are issues of fact as well, which is

16     perhaps why we are concerned that we no longer are able to do our job on

17     behalf of Dr. Prlic, because we're here for him.  We're not here for

18     ourselves, and the moment that we are here as an obstacle and not as a

19     benefit to one of the -- to our client, it's time for us to step aside.

20     I mean, that's my professional responsibility, that's how I see it.  It's

21     not about money, it's not about ego, it's not about reputation; it's

22     about the client.

23             Thank you.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

25             Mr. Prlic, I will give you the floor.  Let me tell you that,

Page 10537

 1     personally, I'm very glad to see you back in the courtroom, and I hope

 2     that you will stay with us.  You have all the information at hand.

 3             The Trial Chamber has issued a decision.  I'm sure it was

 4     translated into English and probably into B/C/S also.  In this decision,

 5     it is said that the Trial Chamber has asked for advice from the ADC on

 6     three technical issues, and we're waiting -- we gave the ADC one month to

 7     provide us with their advice, and then we will see how to proceed later

 8     on.

 9             Now, given this, Mr. Karnavas just told us this morning that you

10     would attend the hearing this afternoon, we've heard Mr. Karnavas now,

11     and he told us that you wanted also to give your opinion.  So now you

12     have the floor.

13             THE ACCUSED PRLIC:  Thank you.  I haven't seen you for a while.

14             I'm going to address a few issues, and I've prepared what I want

15     to say.  And if you want to give it to interpreters, this is going to

16     make their life easier.

17             [Interpretation] I'm here today because of this newly-arisen

18     situation with respect to my Defence counsel and my Defence team as a

19     whole.  I'm here to try and find a solution so that the trial does not

20     suffer.  I don't want a spot of blemish to be on my Defence team, and

21     nothing that is not founded on the highest ethical criteria.

22             Now, at the same time, since Judge Antonetti raised a number of

23     issues, Judge Prandler also intervened, allow me to respond to them.

24             My request has been very simple from the very beginning, and that

25     is that I have a proper and correct trial, and I stated this on several

Page 10538

 1     occasions.  When my Defence case was completed and when I saw that during

 2     those proceedings I did not have a role to play, I simply ceased to come

 3     into the courtroom, not only without having uttered any bad word, but

 4     without uttering any word at all.  I did not want to impede the

 5     proceedings that evolved without me and suffered no major problems

 6     because of that.

 7             When I was not able to do anything else, I resorted to silence, I

 8     chose silence, and the prison to which you convicted me without a

 9     conviction, because at the end of the Defence case I asked to be allowed

10     to be provisionally released until a judgement was reached instead of

11     having no judgement and remaining in prison for another two years.  For

12     two years, even if only for -- two years, if only for procedural issues,

13     is not -- no little time.  And before that, I had not missed a single

14     second of the trial in court, either during the Prosecution case or

15     during my Defence case.  Therefore, I showed every respect for the Trial

16     Chamber and for the Tribunal, and that is why I do have the right to

17     speak about this Tribunal, more than anybody else in this courtroom,

18     regardless of my position at this point in time.  I do not earn a living

19     from it, as opposed to other people in this courtroom, with the exception

20     of the accused, of course.  So it is in my interests that this Tribunal

21     functions and functions properly.

22             You have your records.  You can see that I always supported the

23     ideas and ideals of this Tribunal from the very beginning in 1993, right

24     up until the indictment.  I even supported it when it was dangerous to do

25     so and when one was considered a traitor if one did support it, and even

Page 10539

 1     when it became quite clear that it wasn't achieving the role it set out

 2     to achieve.

 3             I signed the peace agreement in Dayton, and part of that

 4     agreement was cooperation with the Tribunal, as a member of the state

 5     delegation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I represented that country and its

 6     victims in the world for more than five years.  I attended sessions for

 7     six years of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and for the most

 8     part I spoke about the importance of this Tribunal, the meaning it has,

 9     and I took part at the Rome Diplomatic Conference about the establishment

10     of a permanent international criminal court.

11             Dozens of times in interviews, I stated that I would always

12     respond if the Tribunal asked me to do so.  And on the same day when the

13     indictment arrived, and it was handed to me in Zagreb and not in

14     Sarajevo, where it also arrived, but it was intentionally not handed over

15     to me there when I was actually in Sarajevo, I handed myself over and

16     came here straight away, and that is why I want this Tribunal to be a

17     success and that there should be no trial which should not be shown to be

18     efficacious and credible.  And I am conscious of the fact that there is

19     going to be collateral damage, the damage I'm suffering myself already.

20             Now let me respond to some of Judge Antonetti's questions.

21             Judge Antonetti says that I perhaps consider that the trial is a

22     farce, a mock trial.  Now, bearing in mind the character of the

23     indictment itself and how the entire proceedings were organised, instead

24     of a direct answer at this point in time, I'm going to resort to a

25     sentence that was uttered in Brussels during our last conversation before

Page 10540

 1     he was killed, a sentence used by Zoran Djindjic, the prime minister of

 2     Serbia, and I quote:

 3             "When you hop on to the wrong train, then all the stations are

 4     wrong stations."

 5             And let me say that I have always presented my views.  On the

 6     21st of March, 2007, for instance, I said that I did not wish to take an

 7     active part in the trial because I considered the indictment to be

 8     unjustified, and I feel it to be in an adverse position when I have to

 9     justify myself and respond.  And I think raising an indictment of this

10     kind is a great error on the part of the Prosecution.

11             Although I received information well ahead of time that I would

12     be indicted, that information reached me in Tehran, Iran, in 1994.  And I

13     asked where the information came from, and I was told, We are controlling

14     all that.

15             Whatever I asked for from this Trial Chamber, I was refused.  I

16     was refused a laptop, and the Registrar even agreed, when talking to me,

17     that it was no problem for me to be able to use a laptop during the court

18     proceedings.

19             I took the floor in this courtroom several times, but nothing

20     happened.  For example, I made a request for additional time to examine a

21     few of the Prosecution witnesses, Tomljanovich, Manolic, Okun, Galbraith,

22     and a couple of those from protected organisations.

23             On the 16th of April, 2007, I made another request.  I asked that

24     we should not be treated as a group by you.  Judge Antonetti last week,

25     on Thursday, in actual fact, said on page 42304 of the transcript, that

Page 10541

 1     you were very generous in allotting time for cross-examination and that

 2     that, in the Karadzic trial, will only amount to 60 per cent.  I agree,

 3     had I had 60 per cent and had the Prosecution had 60 per cent in their

 4     examination, which of course is not the case.  The Prosecutor has 100 per

 5     cent, and I don't mind, I have nothing against that.  My Defence team has

 6     just one-sixth of that.

 7             I also requested a separation of trials and I was refused, a

 8     severance.  And I spoke about the problems of adjudicated facts, which

 9     challenged the credibility of this entire proceedings, and I addressed

10     the matter of agreed facts as well, and I spoke about the problems of the

11     documents and evidence that the Prosecution had.  I also spoke of the

12     trial itself and said that my Defence counsel was using only 10 per cent

13     of the questions I suggested that he ask or the material he tendered into

14     evidence, in addition to other things, to prove the following:  Whose JCE

15     it was and who supports that joint criminal enterprise today.

16             Now, let me remind you that on one occasion, I asked an IC number

17     for a certain document and some time calculation, and that certain

18     portions of these proceedings should not be done in private session,

19     should not be confidential.  None of that was -- I was not allowed to do

20     any of that.  My requests were rejected, and, finally, in addition to my

21     statement, after which I left the courtroom, although before you rejected

22     our requests, we had decided to request provisional release to the end of

23     trial.

24             As I've already said, the decision to make a statement was taken

25     just a few days prior to the beginning of the Defence case, bearing in

Page 10542

 1     mind your decision about the time allotted to the Defence from the 25th

 2     of April, 2008.  You know that I publicly gave up on my right to an

 3     expeditious trial.  I publicly renounced that right in order to give the

 4     Prosecution enough time for whatever it deems necessary.  And that

 5     implied the same for my Defence, too, but I received almost nothing in

 6     return.  The time requested for my Defence case was only partially

 7     permitted.  But that's gone by, too, and we didn't complain, we didn't

 8     object, because we were conscious of the fact that the Appeals Chamber

 9     would change nothing, and that is indeed what happened.  Nothing changed.

10             Therefore, I decided to go ahead with an introductory statement

11     that I prepared during the seven days of provisional release that you

12     allowed me to take last year, and not with my testimony, so that within

13     the time allotted, the other witnesses, who had already been scheduled,

14     could be examined and present their testimony.  So we used up all the

15     additional time, and it was no easy matter to plan our time.  And,

16     Judge Antonetti, you were able to see that during the examination and

17     cross-examination of General Praljak.

18             Yes, I wrote in -- a response to the Tomljanovich expert report,

19     and as I said last year, several hundred pages, with 1.500 footnotes.

20     All the accused here watched me writing this over a period of many days.

21     And I wrote a response to the expert report on the presidential

22     transcripts as well.  That was a lengthy response, too, with 1500

23     footnotes again, but you did not accept that expert report, so that I

24     wasn't able to put forward that part of what I had prepared.  And let me

25     just add that I also wrote responses to the expert report by Professor

Page 10543

 1     Ribicic, and I suppose I will have to leave that for some later date in a

 2     book I might publish.

 3             I'm saying this to tell me you that I did intend to take part in

 4     these proceedings indirectly, and not directly through questions and

 5     answers and the like, because, after all, that's why I have my Defence

 6     counsel.

 7             The annex which you rejected, I could have read out here in the

 8     courtroom today, just as I'm doing now, and taken up a week of court

 9     time.  So it's not only a week; it's actually a million dollars.  I

10     decided to save the UN the expense of that million dollars, and as

11     opposed to you, who took the decision to use that same million and

12     continue our stay in prison during that time.

13             I did not ask you to give any weight or relevance to my response

14     to the expert witness report, just to read it instead of listening to me.

15     It's up to you, what weight you give to it.  But you said that you did

16     not even wish to read it.  I understood that.  I understood that as

17     saying that you weren't interested in it.  So you gave precedence to form

18     rather than substance, whereas you accepted evidence and you're using it,

19     and you accepted the aggressive discussion in the same tone that this man

20     Tomljanovich used in his dealings with me.

21             I informed one of my Defence counsel with response to your

22     request with respect to his unethical behaviour.  He wants to clear this

23     matter up in principle, and he has all my support on that score.  He also

24     informed me, and I'm conscious of the fact, that there is fear, that

25     people are afraid of this institution, unfortunately, and some people

Page 10544

 1     don't want to have anything to do with this Tribunal.  Once again, I say

 2     "unfortunately so," but their request must be respected.  Their respect

 3     for anonymity must be respected.  However, throughout the subject of

 4     documentary evidence, this is not important, bearing in mind the fact

 5     that all the documents have been asked to be reconsidered and, therefore,

 6     receive proof of authenticity by those who were ready to do so publicly.

 7     Since I have gone through all those documents, I can say that they are

 8     very trivial documents, just like hundreds of others that have been

 9     admitted into evidence here.

10             My Defence team has no hidden agenda except to ensure a fair and

11     just trial.  And my Defence counsel put forward two variants; one, to

12     interrupt the trial until all these questions are resolved, because, as

13     he said, he considers that in the meantime, but to the end of these

14     proceedings, my Defence, bearing in mind all your requests, is losing on

15     credibility, part of its credibility, or to appoint a temporary

16     representative.  None of these two options are acceptable to me, and I

17     told him so on Friday night.

18             I don't want this trial to be interrupted.  I don't wish the

19     court proceedings to be interrupted.  I wish to be part of the solution,

20     not part of the problem.  And a new representative, I don't think that is

21     realistic.  So I don't wish the trial to be suspended.

22             Now, whatever happens, with all the variants put forward, it is

23     always I who am going to have to pay the bills, and I made another

24     proposal.  In looking for a solution, I looked at the Praljak example.

25     Perhaps I could take part in the proceedings, ask questions, give

Page 10545

 1     answers, perhaps at the beginning of September until the request is

 2     resolved.  We are coming up for a summer recess, and looking at -- we are

 3     in the course of General Praljak's cross-examination, so I don't expect

 4     my Defence team to take any more significant role in the trial at this

 5     stage.  Of course, the proceedings will continue, but I would intervene

 6     if the need arises.  I sincerely believe that I won't need to do so,

 7     because my Defence team have already completed their job.

 8             I am proposing this, and I think you will find that acceptable,

 9     because I don't wish the credibility of my Defence team to come into

10     question at no point, and I would like to repeat that.

11             I have to return to the question posed by Judge Antonetti, do I

12     believe that this trial is a farce.  What is one supposed to think about

13     the fact that seven years after entering prison, one is still waiting for

14     a first sentence to be issued in the trial, the main problem in the

15     entire proceedings being a shortage of time?  Take my word for it, I'm

16     unable to explain this to anyone who might bother to ask.  You have all

17     the records showing what I did and in what I was involved throughout my

18     career.  I do possess certain knowledge and certain experience.  Believe

19     me, all of this could have taken no more than a couple of months if there

20     had been a logical interdisciplinary procedure.

21             One cannot pose complex social, economic, demographic, political,

22     financial, international-law-related, sociological, national and

23     historical questions and deal with them in a procedure that is envisaged

24     for a criminal trial, no matter how good that procedure is.  This is

25     simply impossible.  I said once, while agreeing with a comment made by

Page 10546

 1     Judge Trechsel on page 17110, I quote:

 2             [In English] "Since it is not possible to establish the truth, I

 3     am not participating in the trial."

 4             [Interpretation] Judge Prandler has shown that he knows a lot

 5     about the region.  As for how Bosnia and Herzegovina functioned, a single

 6     example suffices:  The visit of your own boss -- I'm not sure if you were

 7     a member of the ministry at the time - the foreign minister, Laslo Kovac,

 8     his visit to Sarajevo in 1994 or 1995.  Hungary was presiding over the

 9     OSCE at the time, and it was followed by Switzerland.  This was a point

10     in time when I worked with Minister Flavio Koti, it's just that I wasn't

11     sure about the exact year, 1994 or 1995.  At the end of the meeting,

12     Kovac, in occupied Sarajevo at the end of this meeting, as a token of

13     assistance from his government, gave us a package containing 60.000 marks

14     in cash.  What follows from that was that there was no domestic currency,

15     there were no functioning banks, and there was no communication.  There

16     was no nothing.

17             There, this explanation has taken under a minute.  We've resolved

18     that, and we are now free to move on.  That would be my style, roughly

19     speaking.

20             If we only look at these questions and other -- a more than

21     well-known questions, such as the country's economy, the currency, the

22     cash-flow, we've lost months and months of work in our time in prison on

23     these issues.

24             I would like to say a couple of words now about documentary

25     evidence, which is a key issue.

Page 10547

 1             Judge Antonetti, at the beginning of Mr. Praljak's

 2     cross-examination, explained that he had accepted the wording of the

 3     indictment in early March, 1994, when confirming the indictment in a very

 4     formal way.  You said this -- you see that I'm reading the transcript,

 5     although I'm not physically present at the trial, at pages 41359-41360.

 6     And then my own documentary evidence was refused, again for purely formal

 7     reasons, as it seemed to me.

 8             During the Prosecution case, one must constantly bear in mind the

 9     fact that the onus is on the Prosecution, or at least that's what we were

10     told.  You will be bringing your own evidence during the Defence case.

11     But then Rule 98 bis was applied to take into account only Prosecution

12     evidence and not any Defence evidence, which, in my opinion, makes no

13     sense at all.  That is why we did not file any 92 bis motion.  Had the

14     situation been different, had we been given sufficient time for our

15     cross-examination during the Prosecution case, and had the request to

16     acquit been considered during that stage, following all the evidence that

17     had been tendered and admitted, I am deeply convinced that no defence

18     would have been necessary at all.  At least we would not have been

19     adamant that we should have a defence.

20             Then our time was reduced for Defence, and we submitted a request

21     for documentary evidence, all of them of course from the 65 ter list,

22     most of them from the list of witnesses scheduled -- from the list

23     scheduled for my own testimony.  And now we have finally received your

24     ruling last week, the refusal of nearly a thousand documents.  And may I

25     remind you in most cases, most trials before this Tribunal, the total

Page 10548

 1     number of documents put forward by both the Prosecution and the Defence

 2     teams never exceeded that, regardless of any possible or alleged formal

 3     areas by the lawyers, which is a separate procedure right now.  For me,

 4     all of this is deeply unjust.

 5             Therefore, please allow me to say one thing, because I have been

 6     invited to speak sincerely.  Had I, myself, passed an unjust decision

 7     like that, and you have all of that, the records, the rulings, it's all

 8     in the files, I stand by all of my decisions, even now I would have been

 9     greatly concerned.  Fortunately, I didn't do any such thing.  I did not

10     make a single decision that resulted in such unfair consequences.  That

11     is why I'm entirely at peace with myself, awaiting the sentence.  That is

12     why I wrote the letter that I did last week, a letter that is not exactly

13     in compliance with the procedure, although I do agree that procedure

14     matters.

15             I studied portions of your book, Judge Trechsel.  I would not

16     mind you applying any of what you wrote here, especially as regarded the

17     rights of the accused.  Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the

18     case.  You threw out all the video recordings of my interviews aired

19     officially by the state television and watched by millions of people.

20     Interestingly enough, we allowed the same person to do work based on

21     those video recordings that actually produced the transcripts in the

22     office of President Tudjman.  This person is, as a matter of fact, still

23     working in President Mesic's office.

24             All of the presidential transcripts for which there was no audio

25     recording were accepted; not just the audio recordings, but the video

Page 10549

 1     recordings.  They are clean as a whistle and can be endorsed by the state

 2     television.  Feel free to compare them to the video recordings tendered

 3     by the OTP, which you admitted, and the form in which they were

 4     submitted.  Those recordings tell you what I said in public at the time

 5     relevant to the indictment.  What can one possibly conclude?  That you

 6     have no interest in knowing what I actually said during my public

 7     appearances at the time relevant to the indictment.

 8             How can you possibly stand by any decision that you are about to

 9     make.  I simply fail to understand that.  You refused as unauthentic the

10     regulations from the Official Gazette of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a member

11     country of the UN, and all the while this Tribunal is supposed to bring

12     peace and stability back to the region.  You refused to admit documents,

13     the official lists of municipalities, showing that, to all practical

14     intents, all the municipalities did the same thing.  All of these are

15     documents important to understand the overall context.

16             What I want to know is this:  What, then, can possibly be used as

17     documentary evidence if not, by definition, documents from

18     Official Gazettes?  I even said that in April 2007 in this very

19     courtroom, when I opposed, in a general sense, the principle itself of

20     documentary evidence, unless presented in a very restricted form.

21     Nevertheless, the Prosecution was allowed to go ahead with that.  What I

22     want to have is the same sort of approach, even if the bar is raised even

23     further up.

24             Or, for example, you refused certain minutes from meetings of the

25     HVO, corroborated by those involved in those meetings, while, on the

Page 10550

 1     other hand, you accepted the transcripts without any witnesses being put

 2     forward by the OTP.  The objective of my Defence is to show and submit

 3     any minutes taken by any of the bodies that I chaired and any decisions

 4     taken there.  This is the only way to have a proper foundation for a good

 5     and fair decision.

 6             There is one remark I would like to make.  I fail to understand,

 7     based on what documents bearing a seal, referred to as the seal of

 8     Croatia's State Archive, are taken with no reservations at all as

 9     authentic, but not those presented by my Defence.  Neither the HVO, as a

10     provisional body of executive government, nor the Government of

11     Herceg-Bosna, had any relation at all to that institution which was in a

12     different country, nor, indeed, during an overview of all the files

13     contained in that archive, does the word "Government of Herceg-Bosna"

14     appear.  You refused documents in relation to which those involved in the

15     actual events confirmed their authenticity by their signatures; for

16     example, the vice-president of the Republika Srpska, the director of a

17     state television, and the security minister of that same country.  Those

18     aren't documents that would eventually decide the trial.  These are

19     perfectly ordinary documents, such as hundreds of others that have been

20     admitted in this trial.

21             There is no individual document in this type of trial -- that

22     exists in this type of trial where the dominant factor is the power of

23     various scenarios written about these or similar facts to actually

24     convince anyone.

25             I repeat, the one thing that I ask of you is to admit into

Page 10551

 1     evidence authentic documents that will help you to pass a just and fair

 2     decision.  This is in the best interests of everyone, as I said in a

 3     letter, including the Prosecutor, bearing in mind the Prosecutor's

 4     mandate, in the interest of the international community and the victims

 5     alike, because take my word for it, the victims would not like to see

 6     convicted someone who is blameless.

 7             You, too, need authentic documents.  Refuse any document that you

 8     believe to be unauthentic or useless, for example, because something has

 9     been sufficiently argued already.  I will not be asking a single question

10     about that.

11             Nevertheless, documents have been thrown out or refused at this

12     late stage for formal or unknown but certainly not essential reasons.

13     These formal reasons are now being dealt with through a special procedure

14     which provides you with room to do what is only logical.  In principle,

15     now is not the time to decide on their relevance, given the fact that you

16     could still refuse all those documents and decide not to admit them at

17     the end of trial.

18             My last topic.  Judge Antonetti says, and I believe that his

19     intentions were good, last Thursday, that he understands that I may be

20     desperate, that psychologically the situation is difficult and that's why

21     I am not appearing at trial.  You cannot have me face a situation like

22     that, given the three hours of waiting today.  A man with faith can never

23     be desperate.  Needless to say, no one likes to be in prison.

24             I am disappointed, although I know how the world works and what

25     it's like.  That is no news to me.  I am unafraid.  I experienced the

Page 10552

 1     entire European history of the 19th and 20th centuries in a mere 10

 2     years.

 3             As my own minister of the interior in the BH government,

 4     Jozo Leotar, used to say, who incidentally was killed in Sarajevo, and

 5     the killer was never found, I quote:

 6             "I have no room for fear left after everything that I've already

 7     been through."

 8             I do not seek your understanding or your mercy.  I only seek what

 9     is no more than logical and just.

10             I do understand that yours is not an easy task.  In this trial,

11     the indictment being what it is, 126.000 alleged rulings that you need to

12     make, bearing in mind the responsibility that is incumbent upon you,

13     believe me, I would always prefer to be an accused rather than a judge.

14     You could commit errors.  I'm no longer in a position to make any errors.

15     Since most of us don't have the experience, believe me, there is no

16     sensation of equanimity more beautiful or more complete than to feel

17     blameless and yet be in prison.

18             In these five months, in addition to reading the transcripts from

19     the trial and anything else related to the trial, I had more time to

20     spare than before.  I'm not undergoing all these checks and transports

21     every day.  Perhaps you don't know this, but each and every day four men

22     in uniform, such as our guards, would check us head to toe, including all

23     of our cavities.

24             I am now finishing the manuscripts for two of my new books.  I

25     also organised an installation -- an exhibition of pottery.  I started

Page 10553

 1     playing music after 35 years.  I'm setting up a band with my guards.

 2     Therefore, I'm not desperate, and I'm not shaken or, indeed, stirred.  I

 3     have never taken a single pill throughout these five years.  I am telling

 4     you this because it's been a long time since we last saw each other, and

 5     among other things, the Trial Chamber is supposed to take into account

 6     the overall situation of an accused.

 7             Nevertheless, now that I am speaking about this, allow me to say

 8     one thing that I do mind.  I would mind if you considered me to be a

 9     criminal who would run away if provisionally released.  Even when one is

10     allowed to leave for a couple of days for purely documentary reasons, one

11     is to remain under house arrest, regardless of any guarantees offered by

12     a country that happens to be a member of the Security Council of the UN

13     and NATO.  You cannot consider me to be a criminal until I have been

14     convicted.  You don't have that right, and I don't want to know about any

15     jurisprudence of any Appeals Chamber of this Tribunal.  This is simply

16     not to be found in any of the fundamental documents establishing this

17     Tribunal.  The presumption of innocence prevails and has the better

18     overall of your bises, ters, and quaters.

19             In the Prosecution's opinion, I constitute a risk in terms of

20     escape, and humanitarian reasons are not sufficient for them.  For

21     example, I was not provisionally released for a week during the winter

22     break.  As you all know, my father died subsequently.  I thank everyone

23     for their compassion.  I'll skip this portion.

24             My Defence has been completed, and there is nothing that can be

25     changed about it, nor indeed would I wish to change anything about it.

Page 10554

 1     Again, I impose no conditions, and I do not seek anything.  My failure to

 2     appear here was not meant to exert pressure on anyone.  It's just what I

 3     wrote.  Please consider all documentary evidence.  I've gone through all

 4     of it again just this last weekend, and I don't see anything problematic

 5     about it.  I don't see anything that was not justified in keeping with

 6     your remarks; thousands of pages, very comprehensive, with all the dates,

 7     that the paragraphs of the indictment that this was in relation to, why a

 8     document was important, reasons for a document to be reviewed or

 9     reconsidered, how this was related to the indictment.  And then in a

10     particularly comprehensive annex, I stated the document's importance in

11     relation to the paragraphs of the indictment.  I also asked that you read

12     the addendum to my statement.

13             It is entirely up to you how you are going to treat this.  You're

14     professional Judges, you're not a jury.  I'm prepared to by doing what I

15     propose to do throughout this time to allow for a continuation of the

16     trial and in this way be of assistance to this Trial Chamber.

17             All I ask of you, I repeat, is to be given a chance to tender

18     relevant evidence, even if the bar is set far higher up than in the case

19     of the Prosecutor, evidence that might help you to make a good and just

20     decision.  I do not understand why you deprive yourselves of these

21     documents that might help you to establish the truth.  If that proves to

22     be impossible, then my answer to your question about the character of

23     this procedure is very explicit.  Do not allow for me to lose my last

24     illusion that this is, in fact, the case.

25             I do apologise.

Page 10555

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Prlic.

 2             I could just say, well, the Trial Chamber will deliberate and

 3     we'll give you our position later on, but I want to assume our own

 4     responsibility, and because of that I want to answer.

 5             As I told you earlier in the preamble, I'm very glad to see you

 6     back.  Your departure a few months ago, and I said so at the time, seemed

 7     to be a disproportionate response to the problem at hand.  Even if you

 8     could follow the trial from your cell, still it is best for you to be

 9     there.  It's more useful for you, as well as for your co-accused.

10             Secondly, in your statement we see that the main problem for you

11     is the admission of documents.  Now, on this issue, you know what my

12     personal position has been.  I stated it over and over again.  I wrote a

13     number of dissident opinions.  I even wanted the Appeals Chamber to rule

14     on the merits on the following question:  When a Judge wants a document

15     to be in the procedure, can a majority rule against it?  The

16     Appeals Chamber decided not to answer this question, saying that Trial

17     Chamber decisions can only be made as a majority.  So the question that I

18     had raised was not answered by the Appeals Chamber.  And because of this

19     the Trial Chamber has admitted unanimously a number of documents and has

20     also sometimes rejected a number of documents according to a majority

21     rule, and it's always been the practice.

22             Then, suddenly, we had the issue of the document you had written,

23     could we admit it, "yes" or "no," and the Trial Chamber here issued a

24     unanimous answer.  We could not technically admit this document, even

25     though this document could be easily reintroduced.

Page 10556

 1             And I can now deal about the problem of time.  Your counsel and

 2     yourself complained a number of times for not having enough time.  Let me

 3     remind you, Mr. Prlic, that the Trial Chamber had given you 95 hours to

 4     present your case.  I can tell you that at the time, this was a great

 5     challenge for the Trial Chamber.  In order to determine the time that you

 6     would be allotted, we had to take a great number of parameters into

 7     account.  There is one parameter that we did take into account, which was

 8     the fact that you would testify.  We really thought that you would come

 9     and testify, which is why we allotted you 95 hours, whereas the others

10     only had 55.  We believed that you were supposed to have 40 hours extra,

11     compared to the others.  But I remind you that the liability and the

12     responsibility that you incur is exactly the same as your co-accused.

13     But we believed that you were going to testify, which is why we allotted

14     95 hours to the presentation of your case.  We were very surprised to see

15     that you didn't testify, and in place of that you called other witnesses.

16     This was your defence strategy.  It's your problem, your business.  But

17     if you had testified, as you must have noticed, with Mr. Praljak's

18     testimony, I would have put questions to you, just like I put questions

19     to him.  And thanks to that, I'm sure that we would have scanned the

20     entire amount of questions possible.  Maybe I would have asked questions

21     for 12 hours, not 6 as with Mr. Praljak, but maybe 12 days, but you did

22     not, so I was not in a position to put questions to you.

23             Now, you telling us that you would ask for a disjunction of this

24     case.  You know that the Trial Chamber made a decision and the

25     Appeals Chamber confirmed it, so it was absolutely impossible to disjoin

Page 10557

 1     this case, especially when there is an accused who is allegedly a member

 2     of a JCE.  Technically, it was impossible, so the decision of the Trial

 3     Chamber was confirmed by the Appeals Chamber.  But you can, of course --

 4     you mentioned this again, telling us that this for you was a problem, but

 5     I think that the problem was ruled on.  The question of time was also an

 6     issue that was ruled on.

 7             Now, you say that you didn't have -- you weren't allotted enough

 8     time.  You gave us a few examples.  Very well, I'm not challenging the

 9     examples that you chose to give us.

10             And now there's a new problem, the question related to your

11     counsels, and you are providing us with a solution.  Of course, the Trial

12     Chamber will take a look at this solution.  I cannot say what possible

13     solution will be chosen.  The Trial Chamber will have to deliberate on

14     this and rule on this.  I don't believe that I'm competent at the moment

15     to say anything.  We have to wait for deliberation to have a joint

16     decision.  But you know that I've always been in favour of allowing an

17     accused to put questions.  What you said actually is very much in line

18     with my concerns.

19             Then there's another issue, the fact of all of this work that you

20     did, the thousands of pages that you worked on, and you feel that Judges

21     just didn't even read it, just discarded it.  It was discarded for

22     technical reasons, that's true, but everything was read, and it is still

23     technically possible to reintroduce this document maybe through a

24     witness.  So nothing has been decided once and for all regarding this

25     issue.

Page 10558

 1             Let me tell you that the examination and cross-examination of

 2     Mr. Praljak can allow to readdress elements that are introduced and

 3     presented in your document, and this at any time.

 4             So to sum things up, I believe first that it is a good thing to

 5     have you with us, it's a good thing to be able to hear what you have to

 6     say.  I note with great satisfaction, because I was a bit worried at one

 7     time, that psychologically you are doing well, you're following -- and

 8     you're able to follow this trial.  Very good.

 9             Now, you talked about provisional release.  Let's be clear on

10     this point.  Requests for provisional release while waiting for the end

11     of the trial has been rejected unanimously by the Trial Chamber and

12     confirmed by the Appeals Chamber.

13             Then you also mentioned the pending request.  You know that the

14     Trial Chamber gave a favourable answer to this, but the Prosecutor is

15     appealing this decision, and it's up to the Appeals Chamber to rule on

16     this.  So let's wait and see, serenely.  But the Trial Chamber gave a

17     favourable answer to your motion, and this is evidence that the Trial

18     Chamber is using presumption of innocence to your benefit, and fully,

19     fully so.  I really want you to be absolutely sure of this.  This is

20     absolutely present in my mind, as well as in the mind of my fellow

21     Judges.  Otherwise, we would never have granted this motion.

22             Now, regarding Rule 98 bis, you told us that you didn't really

23     understand what had happened, but I'm sure that your counsel told you

24     that it is an Anglo-Saxon procedure.  Normally at this stage in the

25     trial, you only look at the Prosecution case and Prosecution evidence and

Page 10559

 1     nothing else, you take look at the Defence case or the Defence exhibits,

 2     that's just the way it is.  It was actually written in our decision, and

 3     in the decision on Rule 98 bis, what you said was not taken into account.

 4     The Trial Chamber only looked at the Prosecution exhibits and evidence,

 5     which is actually the spirit and the letter of the law regarding this

 6     Rule, anyway.  And let me -- and the Appeals Chamber said in its ruling

 7     that this decision had no impact on any guilt or -- verdict of guilty or

 8     not guilty that could occur in the end.  So that's for Rule 98 bis.

 9             But what's essential for the moment is to know whether you will

10     take the floor later on, when we have -- for the rest of our witnesses,

11     Mr. Praljak and Mr. Praljak's witnesses, and so forth, but we have to

12     wait for the ADC to render its decision.  They should do this within a

13     month, and we will have enough time to issue a decision regarding this

14     point while we're waiting for the answer from the ADC.

15             This is what I wanted to say, Mr. Prlic, right away.  This has

16     not been thought out, you know, it's a very spontaneous response.  I

17     don't know if this is reassuring or concerning, as far as you are

18     concerned.  I don't know.  But let me tell you, it's very important to

19     have you here.  I believe it's very important to have you here in the

20     courtroom so you can listen to what's happening, so you can give advice

21     to your counsels, notably when there are witnesses testifying, testifying

22     either against you or for you.  I mean, it's very important for you to be

23     here in order to contribute to the manifestation of the truth.

24             You reminded us that you were an advocate of this Tribunal, that

25     you took part in the Rome Conference, and you've always been -- you've

Page 10560

 1     always said that you supported this Tribunal.  Unfortunately, you end as

 2     an accused, and the Trial Chamber, using the indictment and using the

 3     elements presented by the Defence, will have to deliberate on all this

 4     and rule on your guilt or innocence.  We're not there yet, anyway.  We

 5     still have about a year's worth of work before we can actually end this

 6     trial, at least end the presentation of the cases.  Then there will be,

 7     of course, some time for the drafting of the judgement.

 8             In a nutshell, this is all I had to say, Mr. Prlic.

 9             Mr. Karnavas, do you have anything to add?  Otherwise, if not, we

10     could continue with our questions, but --

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  Just a point of clarification, Your Honour,

12     because I don't want the record to reflect --

13             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I wonder if I may interrupt you, because I also

14     would like to say a few words.  And afterwards, of course, then you may

15     rise.

16             As the President explained at the beginning of his statement, of

17     course, the Trial Chamber will deliberate and we are going to study the

18     statements made by Mr. Karnavas and also Mr. Prlic, and definitely, as

19     also the President used to say, as a reasonable judge, "juge

20     raisonnable," we have to look in all, very seriously, all arguments which

21     we have heard today.

22             I take the liberty to say only a few words because my name was

23     also mentioned by Mr. Prlic, and also because Judge -- not "Judge" but

24     Maitre Karnavas has made a certain reference to the Trial Chamber's

25     approach and how the Trial Chamber regards the work of the Defence.  And

Page 10561

 1     here what I would like really to emphasise very categorically:  This

 2     Chamber, and I'm sure that I speak for my fellow Judges, but of course

 3     they are invited to comment whatever I am going to say, we have always --

 4     we are sticking to the very basic principles of our procedure, the very

 5     basic principles of the fail trial, and we are doing our best really to

 6     follow all those rules which are, inter alia, are also included into

 7     Judge Trechsel's book which was mentioned by Mr. Karnavas as well, and we

 8     do not want to depart from those principles in the future, as in no other

 9     time and in the forthcoming trial of the trial.  Now, it is my first

10     point.

11             My second point is that Mr. Prlic mentioned that he doesn't want

12     to have a spot of blemish on his Defence team, and I do share his

13     concern, and I believe I may say, really with all firmness, that this

14     Trial Chamber doesn't want to blemish -- to blame, rather, the team, of

15     course not only Mr. Karnavas but the team as such, the co-counsel as

16     such, as well, and therefore it is my final remark that we are not

17     looking at the Defence team as, and I quote Mr. Karnavas "deceitful

18     lawyers," and we do not regard them, again I quote Mr. Karnavas, "lawyers

19     as sleazy lawyers."  So no Damocles sword is being hung above your heads.

20             Mr. Karnavas and the team, you may rest assured that this trial

21     will be continued with all insistence on the well-accepted principles of

22     international national criminal law, and we are going to do our best to

23     see to it that this trial is to be concluded in this spirit.

24             Thank you.

25             MR. KARNAVAS:  Just two quick points of clarification,

Page 10562

 1     Mr. President, because I want the record to be very clear.

 2             When we were provided with the amount of hours ultimately that we

 3     would have, it was at that time that a decision was made for Mr. Prlic

 4     not to testify.  We did not choose to call other witnesses in lieu of

 5     Dr. Prlic's testimony.  Our problem was we couldn't have our cake and eat

 6     it, too, as it were.  We couldn't have all the witnesses that we thought

 7     were necessary and Dr. Prlic take the entire amount of time.  We couldn't

 8     have Dr. Prlic testify and then delete half of our witnesses, and we felt

 9     that we needed all of those witnesses in order to put on a complete

10     defence.  So I just wanted to make that very clear.  So it wasn't as if

11     we called others in order to fill in the gap.  This was a full

12     complement.

13             And then we understood -- Ms. Tomanovic and I understood that the

14     Appeals Chamber was unlikely to change the Trial Chamber's decision

15     regarding time.  Others appealed; we did not.  We did not because we knew

16     that this was a discretionary matter, and we decided that we would have

17     to live by those hours and make the necessary adjustments.  So

18     adjustments were made, and as in any trial the situation is dynamic, you

19     make changes as you go along.  We made changes that we thought were

20     necessary at the time, and unfortunately one of the problems was

21     Mr. Prlic's work regarding Tomljanovich was not able to come before you

22     either through his testimony or through him reading it, and that -- so I

23     just wanted to put that -- make that very clear.

24             And just secondly, just very briefly, the 98 bis, the motion for

25     judgement of acquittal, I would agree with you that this is an

Page 10563

 1     Anglo-Saxon procedure, had it been kept the way it was meant to be kept

 2     initially.  But since the Rules were amended, in my opinion, it's nothing

 3     more than a reconfirmation of the indictment when you don't consider

 4     anything that was presented.  And, unfortunately, on the one hand, it is

 5     rather meaningless, to be very blunt, to have a 98 bis.  I would just do

 6     away with it completely.  It's a waste of judicial time and effort.  On

 7     the other hand, the Appeals Chamber then turns around and says, Now that

 8     we've had the 98 bis judgement of acquittal, and nobody's been acquitted,

 9     now you are more of a security risk, and therefore the bar goes up with

10     respect to other issues, such as provisional release for humanitarian

11     reasons.

12             So that's -- I just want to make it clear that the Rule, as it is

13     today, is not Anglo-Saxon.  I don't know what it is.  And I would be the

14     first one to say let's just get rid of it and save the time and energy

15     and just go right into the Defence case after that.  It would just save

16     everybody time.  Initially, it was meant that all of the evidence would

17     be taken into consideration, if a judgement was, as in the Blagojevic,

18     one-third of the case was eliminated, it wasn't appealed.  So then we put

19     forward a defence based on the two-thirds that remained.  But be that as

20     it may, I just wanted to clarify that point.

21             And we appreciate the comments and the courtesy and the

22     consideration provided by everyone from the Bench today.

23             Thank you.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, would you like to

25     take the floor on the fact that Mr. Prlic would like to put questions

Page 10564

 1     during this interim phase, after Mr. Praljak's testimony, maybe up until

 2     October, while we're waiting for a Trial Chamber decision regarding the

 3     opinion it asked from the ADC?

 4             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, I think that on that, I would

 5     request -- I'd like to confer with my colleague, Mr. Scott, and perhaps

 6     others in the Office of the Prosecutor to see what the Office's position

 7     would be on that.  And it's obviously not a terribly urgent matter, and

 8     I think it's something that we could come back to the Trial Chamber about

 9     at a later time.

10             If I could add, however, I think that I can say that the

11     Prosecution would oppose a suspension of the trial, which I know

12     Mr. Karnavas has mentioned.  And I know that there is disagreement among

13     the Defence team about that, but the Prosecution position -- and I think

14     at this particular stage procedurally, with one of the Defence teams

15     cross-examining, perhaps one more cross-examination by the Pusic Defence

16     team, and then moving into the Prosecution cross-examination, and then of

17     course the summer recess beginning the week after next, I think

18     procedurally we're in a safe zone, if I can put it that way, and that

19     it's perhaps not an issue that would arise in any event over the next few

20     days, and that would give us all time to consider what our position would

21     be.

22             Thank you.

23             MR. KARNAVAS:  Just to be clear, I stated what I believe should

24     be the case.  However, I defer to my client.  My client gives me

25     instructions.  My client did not categorically give me the permission to

Page 10565

 1     insist and thereby placing the Trial Chamber in some sort of a conundrum.

 2     I stated my position.  I leave it to the Trial Chamber's discretion to

 3     decide what to do, whether to suspend or whether to allow Dr. Prlic, if

 4     it becomes necessary, to ask questions.  But perhaps I wasn't as

 5     articulate as I could have been in stating that position.  So we're

 6     not -- I am not, as his counsel, insisting on that.  That is my position.

 7     I do tend to believe that no one should be representing themselves in

 8     court.  I mean, that's -- we have that old adage, a lawyer who represents

 9     himself in court has a fool for a client.

10             Now, that's not always the case, because I've seen people who

11     represent themselves who do a better job than their lawyers.  But we are

12     concerned, but we leave it to Your Honours' discretion, and we are

13     certainly not going against the wishes of our client.  We defer to

14     whatever Mr. Prlic wishes the outcome to be.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So the Chamber will

16     hand down a decision on this issue.

17             Yes, Mr. Prlic.

18             THE ACCUSED PRLIC:  I didn't propose that I represent myself.

19     This was not my idea, and it's not necessary to call a big legal

20     procedure about it.  My proposal was just that I will be public face of

21     my defence in this period of time until this solution would emerge

22     regarding this request to the chamber of lawyers next to this Tribunal.

23     Just to be very clear on that, I am not going to take this possibility to

24     represent myself.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic, in your proposal, to

Page 10566

 1     be very clear, from what I understood, you are going to want to ask

 2     questions, but I would like to know whether your counsels would also have

 3     the possibility to ask questions.  Are you saying that during this

 4     time-frame, you will be the only one to be able to ask questions?

 5             THE ACCUSED PRLIC:  The questions would be asked by me, or if I

 6     decide, it would be asked by someone from my team whom I authorise to do

 7     that, so this is not a big deal.  But frankly speaking, I don't expect

 8     that any question is going to be put, but we'll see.  I don't want to say

 9     no before such a situation emerged.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic, let's just assume

11     for one moment that in a few minutes the counsel of Mr. Coric takes the

12     floor and talks about the HVO authorities and of yourself, and then

13     Mr. Praljak will answer the questions, and at that juncture you feel that

14     you would like to ask some clarification to Mr. Praljak, but at the same

15     time Counsel Karnavas says, Well, actually, I would also like to ask a

16     question.  At that point, should Mr. Karnavas ask for your authorisation

17     before he can take the floor and ask a question?

18             THE ACCUSED PRLIC:  I'm not lawyer.  I used to be diplomat.

19     There is one rule in diplomacy.  Never ask a hypothetical question.  I

20     don't know how to answer on that, but basically I would be asking -- I'm

21     not able to now to say what is going to happen, but we just want to be

22     clear that before dissolution of that, I understand position of my

23     attorney.  He doesn't want to be this public face without resolving this

24     issue.  So my attempt is just to find a solution, to be part of solution,

25     not to make a problem of that.  And let's not make a problem by not -- by

Page 10567

 1     trying to find a way how it's not going to function in such and such way.

 2     Let's think about that constructively.  This is my --

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you very much.  Mr. Prlic, we certainly

 4     appreciate your cooperative attitude.  I just think perhaps the matter is

 5     not yet entirely clear.

 6             Do we understand, Mr. Karnavas, Ms. Tomanovic, that you will

 7     immediately, from this moment, cease to act in the courtroom on behalf of

 8     your client?  Was that what you were telling us?

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, what I am saying is from this moment on

10     until this matter is cleared, Dr. Prlic will be asking the questions, and

11     this is in order to ensure that if Dr. Prlic says something or makes a

12     representation, that it is accepted.  Given -- as I noted before, given

13     what we've read and how we've read it, and we've analysed it and tore it

14     apart, we saw the forms of the questions, we saw some things that we

15     thought were some insinuations, we believe that we are essentially

16     hurting his case, not helping his case, and that is our concern.  The

17     moment I make a representation, if the Trial Chamber does not have

18     confidence in me being a truthful advocate, that's the moment that I no

19     longer belong in the case.  And at this moment, at least there are

20     allegations of truthfulness and deceitfulness, as we see them, and we

21     want to make sure that this matter is cleared so then we can move on,

22     because we are of the opinion that we did nothing wrong, we followed

23     instructions given to us, we consulted with our client in advance.  We

24     provided the Trial Chamber what we believed was the entire truth.  The

25     Trial Chamber, on the other hand, said that we were content to just give

Page 10568

 1     vague answers.  Well, when you look at it, cryptically what the Trial

 2     Chamber is saying is, we lied, to put it bluntly.  So if that's the case,

 3     I'm concerned that when I stand up and I make an objection or I put --

 4     make a representation, the Trial Chamber has less confidence in me.

 5             If you may recall, Judge Trechsel, when another accused made

 6     references about me and there was no reaction, I responded publicly in a

 7     very aggressive manner.  Why?  Because I felt that at that point in time,

 8     either the gentleman should put up or shut up.  He should either

 9     demonstrate or he should be reprimanded.  And that's why -- and my cause

10     for reacting was that I believe that by not reacting, the impression was

11     that the representation being made by the gentleman, the accused in the

12     other case, were true, accurate, and complete.

13             And so we take this very seriously, I can assure you.  I spent

14     the weekend consulting with lawyers, and I'm prepared to fly in experts,

15     if necessary, to resolve this issue, because I take my professional

16     responsibilities quite seriously.

17             Now, I may be very aggressive in court.  It may not be up to

18     everyone's style.  But when it comes to ethics, I know where the line is,

19     and I certainly don't cross it.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  This is not actually what I wanted to discuss,

21     and I do not wish to discuss it now, of course, it would be, I think,

22     improper.  But I would like to know what your attitude from now on, until

23     this matter is closed, will be.  Will you continue to be in the

24     courtroom?  Will you continue, as the case may be, to make objections,

25     for instance, which is the typical lawyer's work?  And Mr. Prlic has just

Page 10569

 1     said that he's not a lawyer.  Or will you actually withdraw and not be

 2     present?  It would be helpful to know what we have to expect.

 3             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, no one is withdrawing from the case.  I

 4     cannot withdraw without permission, one, from the Trial Chamber and, two,

 5     from the Registry, most importantly.  I think that's pretty established

 6     case law in this Tribunal.  You know, I was the one that established it

 7     in another case, in fact, with a client insisting on me withdrawing and I

 8     was not -- and it was Ms. Tomanovic and I remained in the case

 9     throughout.  So we're not withdrawing.

10             Does that mean that both of us will be in the proceedings the

11     entire time?  The answer to that is "no," and the reason for that is as

12     this case is rather complicated and there are other things that need to

13     be done, when one of us is not in here it's because we're either working

14     on other matters related to the case.  When both of us are here, it's

15     because we feel that it is most necessary, because we are in a process,

16     I can assure you -- I don't think it's a major secret, but we are in the

17     process at this moment of -- the early stages of looking and organising

18     ourselves for the final brief.

19             So we are not withdrawing, I can assure you.  Dr. Prlic is not

20     going to be left to dangle in the wind without legal protection.  I can

21     assure you of that.  But -- and for the purposes of the Court, Dr. Prlic

22     had a suggestion.  I think this is his way of trying to assist his

23     counsel in this hour of need, because we feel that we are damaging his

24     case, and therefore he's stepping up to the plate to take over any

25     questioning in court, if necessary, while we assist him and continue to

Page 10570

 1     assist him in our full capacity as his lawyers, counsel and co-counsel.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I may be very naive, and I don't know,

 3     Mr. Karnavas, but my -- my question is very simple.  I was not thinking

 4     of a withdrawal from the case at all, because what you told us is not

 5     news to me.  The question is actually:  Are you going to be represented,

 6     one, the other, or both, in the courtroom?

 7             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Yes?

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you will be perhaps acting

11     for Mr. Prlic when you think an objection must be made?

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.  I act whenever I think anybody needs

13     assistance on the Defence side, to be honest with you.  That's my nature.

14     I've even done that when I wasn't in the courtroom, if I was sitting in

15     the back, in the audience.  I've always believed that accused deserve --

16     if they need help, I'm willing to pitch in.  So if I -- but having said

17     that, we don't believe, at this stage of the proceedings, in light of

18     what is happening in the courtroom right now, that we need to be active.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  So you are going to go on representing Mr. Prlic

20     a little, but not for questioning?  Is that the result?

21             MR. KARNAVAS:  It's not a little.  I can assure you, we work six,

22     seven days a week, Your Honour, and that's the work that -- we will

23     continue to work that.  We will continue.  In the courtroom, Dr. Prlic

24     wishes to be a more active player henceforward, and I think this is --

25     this is good.  Now, to the extent if, for instance, it becomes necessary

Page 10571

 1     for us to step in, we will step in.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Oh, okay.  Then practically what's going to

 3     happen is that 1D will become Praljak-ised, it will be more or less what

 4     Mr. Praljak has been doing so far?

 5             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, I guess you could say that.  You may recall

 6     when we first -- the motion, we were the team that filed the motion,

 7     actually, to allow accused to ask questions, in addition to their

 8     lawyers.  But the answer is "yes."  My reaction, to be very frank, I

 9     would like the proceedings to be stop, because I do think that this cloud

10     needs to be lifted.  My client does not want under any circumstances for

11     the proceedings to stop, and so -- and he's suggesting that he assist

12     while, you know -- while the proceedings continue.  And, of course, this

13     is his case, it is his skin, and he's entitled to assist in his own

14     defence, so he wishes at this point to be a more active participant in

15     the proceedings.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  This question is before the Chamber now.

17             MR. KARNAVAS:  Right.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  So it will be deliberated.

19             I think now we have gained some clarity on what we have to expect

20     from --

21             MR. KARNAVAS:  I apologise for not being as clear as I could have

22     been.  Thank you.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You certainly did your best.  Thank you.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, in order for me

25     to understand properly, you are going to carry on assisting Dr. Prlic,

Page 10572

 1     and if Dr. Prlic feels that he should ask questions, he will.  If you

 2     feel that you would like to raise an objection, you will also take the

 3     floor because you're counsel.  So this is very clear as far as we are

 4     concerned.  Well, actually, as far as I'm concerned.

 5             Mr. Scott.

 6             MR. SCOTT:  Good afternoon, Your Honours, each of Your Honours.

 7     My name is Ken Scott, and I appear for the Prosecution sometimes.

 8             Your Honour, I think what's been demonstrated quite clearly in

 9     the last few minutes, that -- this hearing, with the greatest of respect,

10     has turned into largely a proceeding of everyone thinking out loud.

11     Various things have been said.  They change from minute to minute.  In

12     response to Judge Trechsel's questions, things develop further, things

13     are clarified, not clarified.  It's very likely, Your Honour, that no

14     matter what happens in this situation, no matter what the Chamber rules,

15     there will likely be an appeal by one party or another.  This is not a

16     matter that lends itself to off-the-cuff, unpremeditated thinking or

17     deliberation.

18             As, Your Honour Mr. President [Realtime transcript read in error

19     "President Putin"] you said a few moments ago, everyone in this

20     proceeding except for Mr. Prlic and Mr. Karnavas who, with great respect,

21     have obviously given the matter great thought in advance of coming here

22     day, but neither the Chamber has had a chance prior to the last few

23     minutes to consider these matters, nor the Prosecution.  We are all

24     essentially making unconsidered comments at this time, except for

25     Mr. Prlic and Mr. Karnavas.

Page 10573

 1             The Chamber has said several times it will expect to rule.  We

 2     understand, of course, that in all these matters, the Prosecution -- the

 3     Chamber will not rule until the Prosecution's had a full opportunity --

 4     after a fair opportunity to consider these matters, which has just now

 5     been raised now for the first time, to prepare a timely written response,

 6     and in fact we would suggest, Your Honour, given the seriousness of the

 7     matters raised, given the seriousness of a need to make a record for

 8     appeal, that Mr. Karnavas and Mr. Prlic, if they deem it necessary, both

 9     individually to make written submissions as exactly to what it is how

10     they propose to proceed, because, again, just as Judge Trechsel was

11     indicating a moment ago, we're now dealing with a moving target.  The

12     rules are going to be this one day, the rules are going to be this

13     another day.  That is not a court of law.  A court of law does not make

14     up the rules as we go.  There are rules that apply every day in advance

15     that all the parties can live by and predict and prepare their behaviour

16     accordingly.

17             So, Your Honour, the Prosecution's position on this, and our

18     request at this time, is that before anything further is done, written

19     submissions be made by Mr. Karnavas and by Mr. Prlic, if necessary, the

20     two of them, that they outline their positions very clearly in writing,

21     that the Prosecution, under the Rules, has a fair opportunity to respond

22     to those submissions in writing, and then, of course, the Chamber will be

23     better postured to make a reasoned decision.

24             Thank you, Your Honours.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The Trial Chamber

Page 10574

 1     will deliberate on this motion.

 2             A small correction in the transcript.  Page 75, line 2, I'm not

 3     yet President Putin.  I don't know, there is something on the record that

 4     is strange.

 5             We'll now break for 20 minutes.

 6                           --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.

 7                           --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to hand down an

 9     oral order regarding the submissions.

10             The Chamber is asking the parties to send written submissions to

11     the Chamber, and the Chamber will ask the Prlic Defence to submit the

12     written submission by Wednesday, at the latest, and is asking the

13     Prosecutor and other Defence teams to also submit their written

14     suggestions by Monday, 9.00, 9.00 a.m., at the latest.  Mr. Karnavas will

15     send us his written submission before Wednesday, and the Prosecutor and

16     the other Defence teams will have until Monday, 9.00 a.m., to make

17     suggestions before us, and this is Monday, 9.00 a.m., once again.

18             So I believe everything is clear, and I'm going to give the floor

19     to Ms. Tomic.

20             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel speak into the microphone,

22     please.  Thank you.

23             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] We're going to move on to

24     the second binder, and it says "Binder 2."  So I hope you'll be able to

25     find it, and let's start off with document P00309.

Page 10575

 1        Q.   Mr. Praljak, this is a document which is already an exhibit, as

 2     my colleague Ms. Alaburic has already told you, and she put it to you

 3     during her cross-examination.  It is a mandatory directive on the

 4     application of current regulations and possible pronouncement of final

 5     sanctions for acts committed against the armed forces.  This directive

 6     was passed by the head of the Defence Department, at the proposal, as it

 7     says at the top, of the president of the judiciary, and I'd like us to

 8     focus on the crimes listed, crimes against the armed forces.

 9             Among the crimes listed there, the first crime is:  "Failure and

10     refusal to carry out orders."  And the term of imprisonment there which

11     can be prescribed is from three months to ten years.  Can you see that,

12     Mr. Praljak?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Before I go on with my questions, I'd just like to mention, to

15     avoid all misunderstanding, is that I'm going to use the word

16     "zapovjednik," "commander."  When I say "zap ovjednik," I don't have any

17     single commander in mind or the senior commander of the army, but I have

18     in mind commanders from the level of squads and then up the structure.

19             Do you agree with me, Mr. Praljak, that carrying out orders is

20     the basis for discipline in every army?

21        A.   Yes.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I would like

23     to come back on this document.  I wanted to ask you a question the first

24     time around we looked at this document, but because we didn't have a lot

25     of time I decided to not ask you the question then.  But since Ms. Tomic

Page 10576

 1     is touching upon this, I'll seize this opportunity.

 2             Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but this document talks about

 3     the articles of the former Penal Code or Criminal Code of the former

 4     Yugoslavia.  These are articles from the former Yugoslavia, normative

 5     instruments, and you can see -- it can't have failed to your attention

 6     that Article 226 is also added with a comment.  It says that in

 7     peacetime, imprisonment sentence can be handed down, but in wartime it

 8     can go up to death penalty.  So this is very good, nothing to add to

 9     that.

10             However, there is something missing, I believe.  When you read

11     the text, you have the feeling that it only applies to acts committed

12     against armed forces of the HZ-HB, so I put myself in the shoes of a

13     private who hasn't done a lot of studies and who is, however, able to

14     read, and say, Okay, this will apply if an act is committed against

15     myself or against my fellow privates.  However, if they are acts

16     committed the against the ABiH, there is nothing.

17             So what is your take on this?  Is it a mistake by the drafters or

18     was that done on purpose, or did this fail to the attention of the

19     lawmakers of the time?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was a mistake, or omission,

21     rather, because it says the -- for example, the federal law, et cetera,

22     et cetera, the federal law that applied to the Yugoslav People's Army.

23     And so apart from the true desire on the part of Mr. Stojic, who signed

24     this directive, and the opinion of the judge who probably helped him or,

25     rather, the lawyer who helped him draft it, this is applicable to the

Page 10577

 1     Yugoslav People's Army that existed during Tito's day and in some army

 2     that exists when a state exists, in the full sense of the word "state,"

 3     as a legal state, a lawful state, and so on.  So not only as far as the

 4     HVO is concerned and the BH Army is concerned, but this was not

 5     applicable even in the Yugoslav People's Army during the two years,

 6     because even before -- or, rather, at the beginning of the armed

 7     conflict, or, rather, the JNA's attack on Croatia, a large number of

 8     officers from the JNA left, senior officers as well, and soldiers alike,

 9     they fled, a large number of Muslims fled, too, and a large number of

10     Serbs, for that matter, dozens of thousands of Serbs.  Young men from

11     Serbia who were military recruits left and went abroad.  Anybody who had

12     any money or had anybody abroad did so, escaped.  So the whole system

13     collapsed; not only the HZ-HB, but Yugoslavia collapsed.  So that apart

14     from the very good wishes to do something along these lines, to be quite

15     frank, from start to finish this was completely unrealistic.  You could

16     not put this into practice at all.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

19        Q.   Now, my previous question, and you answered in the affirmative,

20     was that every army is based on the soldiers carrying out orders.  Now,

21     my next question is this:  A commander who has issued an order is the

22     person who knows that his subordinate refused to carry that order out or

23     chose to ignore the order; am I right?

24        A.   Yes, you are.

25        Q.   Let's now look at the next document, which is P00293, and they

Page 10578

 1     are the rules governing military disciplinary measures.  And let's look

 2     at Article 3 of the rules of military discipline.

 3             In Article 3, we see stipulated what is considered violations of

 4     the military rules, apart from the definition of the violation itself,

 5     and let's look at point 7, which says:

 6             "Punishable actions for which proceedings are initiated

 7     ex officio."

 8             Tell me, please, Mr. Praljak, are you acquainted with that

 9     provision?

10        A.   No.  That the commission of a criminal act would come under

11     military disciplinary measures, no, I can't understand that.

12        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I'm going to make an additional comment, but

13     could -- I think one of the Judge's microphone is on, because it creates

14     a noise in the courtroom.  Thank you.

15             Now, Mr. Praljak, I'm going to be quite frank with you.  Until

16     Ms. Alaburic cross-examined you, I wasn't going to deal with rules and

17     regulations, and I wasn't going to ask you about that, because during the

18     examination-in-chief you said that you didn't have time to read any

19     rules, nor did you read them, nor are you informed of them.

20        A.   In part, the essential parts which had to do with the

21     functioning.  But -- that I studied them, no, I did not, I didn't do that

22     at the time.

23        Q.   However, you did comment on some rules and regulations in

24     response to Ms. Alaburic, so I'm only going to address those same rules.

25     And one of these sets of rules are the rules on military discipline that

Page 10579

 1     we're looking at now.

 2             Now, let's look at Article 8.  We saw that criminal acts come

 3     under military discipline, and in Article 8 -- may we have Article 8 on

 4     our screens, please, and the last two sentences there, where it says:

 5             "If a criminal act," and here the Croatian term is the same, "the

 6     perpetrator can be responsible before military disciplinary courts if

 7     this is required by the special interests of the service.  The procedure

 8     before a military disciplinary court evolves regardless of the outcome of

 9     the penal proceedings."

10             Did you know about that?

11        A.   No.

12        Q.   Let us now look at Article 14.

13        A.   I don't understand this, if I can be quite frank.  I don't

14     understand what you've just read out and what it means.  How can a

15     criminal act be dealt with by military disciplinary courts and penal

16     proceedings?  I don't understand any of that.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  General Praljak, this is a

18     very complex issue; I realise that.  And this may have consequences on

19     Article 7(3) of the Statute.

20             Since you were the commander of the HVO and you know that

21     officers can hand down disciplinary rulings and sentences; for instance,

22     the brigade commander can say to his soldiers, You are going to be sent

23     to prison for ten days as a disciplinary measure because you did not show

24     respect to your superiors, so he will be in a military confinement for

25     ten days as per the sentence, and as the text states, and,

Page 10580

 1     General Praljak, there are also disciplinary sanctions that are no longer

 2     the remit of the brigade commander, but of a higher disciplinary entity,

 3     namely, the disciplinary tribunal or court, hence your query.  You say,

 4     Well, if a crime has been committed, why should there be a disciplinary

 5     sanction, and you are very right, because when we deal with crimes, if

 6     you just said to a soldier, You have killed a civilian, and therefore you

 7     are going to be sent to prison for 15 days, this would be an outrage, and

 8     this is why the prosecutor gets to know the matter; hence, for a brigade

 9     commander to be fully aware of what is in his own responsibility or remit

10     and what is the remit of the military prosecutor.

11             As HVO commander, were you faced with this sort of situation

12     where you did not know whether the sanction or the recourse was of your

13     remit?  Say, for instance, a soldier had stolen a car, was that a

14     disciplinary sanction or should it be the remit of the military

15     prosecutor?  Were you faced with this sort of situation, and if that is

16     the case, how did you solve it?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I did find

18     myself in situations like that, and it was very clear to me.

19     Disciplinary measures have to do with offences, so if a soldier got drunk

20     or committed some minor offence or misdemeanor, or if he wasn't

21     performing his duty in the trenches properly, that kind of thing.  But I

22     was quite clear on the fact that theft and everything above theft, crimes

23     above theft, were criminal acts and, therefore, needed to be reported so

24     that criminal proceedings could be initiated.

25             On one occasion, for example, in Sunja I captured a soldier -- or

Page 10581

 1     a soldier was brought to me who had stolen something.  I escorted him to

 2     the prison in Sisak, and then from my own money I paid for defence

 3     counsel to defend him.  So I'm not a layman.  I knew the procedure.  Of

 4     course, I'm not an expert, but I'm not a complete layman either.  So I

 5     took him into custody, took him to the prison there, and then I paid

 6     defence counsel to defend him, to represent him.

 7             So all criminal acts are dealt with by the courts.  They can't be

 8     dealt with by commanders, not even the commander of the Main Staff, the

 9     chief of the Main Staff.  They can't get involved in anything that the

10     law sees as a criminal act, starting with theft, or brawls, or grievous

11     bodily harm, where grievous bodily harm was inflicted, and so on.  If

12     they just have a brawl in a bar, that's a different matter, without any

13     consequences.  Then, disciplinary measures could be applied, but

14     otherwise not.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another example that might give

16     you some clarification.

17             Let's assume that you realise that a soldier is wearing a Swiss

18     watch.  In his pocket, he has some Hungarian delicatessen, and then he's

19     wearing a jacket from a French designer, and you're asking him, Where

20     does it come from, and he says, It's war booty, what do you decide?  Is

21     it a disciplinary sanction or will it be the jurisdiction of a military

22     prosecutor?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That of a military prosecutor.  He

24     can't keep this war booty by just seizing it.  That is theft.  That's how

25     the offence should be classified.  And as was the case with the policeman

Page 10582

 1     in Ljubuski, would report him.  I would sit down to it, I would say, Such

 2     and such a person did this or did that, ranging from that policeman to

 3     anyone at all, if the elements are there.  I reported such cases.  This

 4     is not a disciplinary measure.  It's not about that.  This is an offence.

 5     It's not war booty.  War booty, when it comes to weapons and other such

 6     items, must be declared.  If a soldier comes across something like this

 7     in an abandoned house or something like that, he has to declare this to

 8     the brigade, to the military police, to the SIS, or indeed his own

 9     commander, and then the commander would have to make a note and pass this

10     along.  We cannot just have war booty by allowing individuals to take

11     whatever they like.

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] If my learned friend Dijana could

13     please forgive me, page 81, one thing that was not recorded was the

14     answer by General Praljak when he was speaking about disciplinary courts.

15     The last thing that was recorded was that he said he didn't understand

16     this, but the general also says:  "I'm not sure if that even existed."

17     If we listen to the tape, we can check that very easily, but I don't want

18     it to go unrecorded.  And then we could ask the general whether he said

19     that.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as a matter of fact, I know

21     that.  There was simply no lawyers anywhere around, and that's why

22     military disciplinary courts did not operate.  I'm not sure if that

23     decision was taken or not, but there weren't any lawyers who could work

24     on that.  How do you make a decision?  There were no lawyers.  They had a

25     hard time setting up the military criminal courts, or whatever that was

Page 10583

 1     called, to the extent that they did.

 2             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your

 3     Honours.

 4        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I would like to press on for another couple of

 5     minutes with this same issue that I started off with.

 6             What happens when, at the same time, we have something that is a

 7     disciplinary infraction which also amounts to an offence?  The last thing

 8     I asked was to look at Article 14, paragraph 4 which reads:

 9             "The Statue of Limitations on a disciplinary infraction which

10     also constitutes an offence takes effect at the same time as the Statue

11     of Limitations in relation to an offence."

12             Are you aware of this, sir?

13        A.   No, I'm not.

14        Q.   Now, please, let's move on to Article 29.  Article 29 reads:

15             "When an authorised official assesses that there has been an

16     infraction of military discipline leading to the commission of an

17     offence, the case shall be handed over to an authorised prosecutor

18     through official channels.  If it is believed to be in the interests of

19     the service, the officer shall undertake measures to initiate

20     disciplinary proceedings in this regard."

21             Were you aware of this, sir?

22        A.   No, madam.  I took a different approach.  When there was a

23     disciplinary procedure, whenever an offence was committed, this would be

24     handled by a court, or at least that's what I thought at the time.

25     Regardless of this paragraph, I think that is still the case.

Page 10584

 1        Q.   The next paragraph in that same article:

 2             "When a violation of military discipline represents a punishable

 3     act against the armed forces which, pursuant to the Penal Code, is

 4     subject to disciplinary proceedings, the superior officer shall transfer

 5     the case to the officer authorised to decide on the breach of

 6     discipline."

 7             Were you aware of this?

 8        A.   Madam, I don't understand this.  If there is an infraction of

 9     military discipline that constitutes a criminal offence, then it's a

10     criminal offence; right?  I fail to fathom this, to be perfectly frank.

11     And then we don't have disciplinary proceedings or steps because we are

12     dealing with a criminal offence, and this is something that should be

13     handled by a court.  I simply fail to understand how a disciplinary

14     infraction might have the features of a criminal offence and then be

15     treated as such.

16        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I'm in no position to furnish any explanations or

17     clarifications here.  I'm just trying to shed light on what actually

18     applied at the time, what regulations, and I'm trying to work through

19     this with you in a bid to learn whether you knew about some things or

20     not, or maybe you were uninformed on a number of issues.  Had you been

21     properly informed, you would have taken different steps, as opposed to

22     the ones you did.  That is the intention of my cross-examination.  I

23     can't change the regulations that once applied and were in force.  At

24     this point in time, it is quite irrelevant whether you or I find them

25     logical.

Page 10585

 1        A.   I would not have acted differently even if I had been fully aware

 2     of all these.  Even if I had been fully aware of this entire document, a

 3     disciplinary procedure would have still constituted a disciplinary

 4     procedure, and a criminal offence would always have remained a criminal

 5     offence.

 6        Q.   All right.  Let us now look at Article 69, which reads:

 7             "When a disciplinary infraction is committed by the same act as

 8     the criminal offence --"

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before Article 69, there is

10     Article 63 that could allow you, General Praljak, to answer some of your

11     queries.  Do you see Article 63?  It states that if, during the

12     investigation, another type of proceedings should be launched, then the

13     officer will decide to refer the case to the relevant authority.  So it

14     is possible for an officer to make a mistake and to launch an

15     investigation of a disciplinary nature, and then eventually they realise

16     that it should be the jurisdiction of a military disciplinary court.  So

17     do you think that Article 63 could solve this problem?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am being perfectly

19     clear, speaking about what I did and what I said to my own officers.

20     Discipline is discipline.  You shall punish anything that amounts to a

21     criminal offence.  Will you report this, and criminal proceedings will be

22     initiated.  There you go.

23             Now, as to whether this article sheds any light on that, that is

24     a legal issue for you to deal with.  What I can say is what my position

25     was when I led the soldiers and what I said to my officers.  Discipline

Page 10586

 1     to the extent that it is possible.  I'm talking about intentions here.

 2     Anything that constituted a criminal offence should be handled by a

 3     court.  It wasn't down to officers to rule on anyone's guilt whenever a

 4     criminal offence was committed.

 5             At any rate, international law, which is something that I try to

 6     hammer into the heads of each of Croatia's and HVO's soldiers, and I must

 7     say that each and every soldier at one point or another was familiarised

 8     with the provisions of International Humanitarian Law or Law of War, they

 9     all knew that there were a number of provisions -- standards that had to

10     be met to have a fair trial once they ended up facing a trial chamber.

11     There are 16 or 17 paragraphs there, actually; the public nature of the

12     trial, the right to a defence, and so on and so forth.

13             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

14        Q.   Article 69, this is the last article on this topic.  Article 69

15     reads:

16             "When a disciplinary offence has been committed in the course of

17     the punishable action, the officer authorised to bring the offender

18     before the military disciplinary court shall decide whether the service's

19     special interests require that the offender also be brought before the

20     military disciplinary court for the disciplinary offence.

21             "If service interests do not require that the offender be brought

22     before the military disciplinary court, the officer, as described in

23     paragraph 1 of this Article, shall suspend the disciplinary proceedings

24     and bring the punishable action to the authorised public prosecutor."

25             Were you aware of this, sir?

Page 10587

 1        A.   Neither was I aware of this, nor, indeed, do I understand it.

 2     This is outside my ken.

 3        Q.   Can we move on to the next document, please, 3D03027.  This is a

 4     document produced by Colonel Blaskic, dated the 31st of August, 1993.

 5     The document was sent to the HVO Main Staff, the Citluk Forward Command

 6     Post.  The document reads:  "Report," and then I'll go on to read certain

 7     portions; not all of the names, though.  That will take too long.  But

 8     where it says:

 9             "On the 13th of August, 1993, I launched a disciplinary

10     investigation against," and then a list of names, "who on the 10th of

11     August, 1993, broke into the offices of the civilian police, disarmed the

12     policemen there, and took their weapons and vehicles.

13             "Once the investigation was completed, the following steps were

14     taken:

15             "Criminal reports for violent behaviour, as described in

16     Article 204, paragraph 2, of the adopted KZ SR BH were filed ...," and

17     then a list of perpetrators?

18             Item 2:

19             "Ranko Milicevic, the deputy commander, was relieved of his

20     duties."

21             General Praljak, I wish to ask you the following.  I'm slightly

22     confused after all your answers, saying that you didn't know that a

23     disciplinary infraction might have continue constituted a crime and what

24     happened next.  I'm somewhat confused, but please tell me if you agree

25     with me that this document illustrates precisely a situation of that

Page 10588

 1     kind, what I described a while ago.

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Could all the other

 3     microphones not being used please be switched off.  Thank you.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   And the authorised officer decided that there should be

 6     disciplinary measures taken relieving the officer of his duties?  Do you

 7     agree with me?  This is an example that best illustrates this kind of

 8     situation.

 9        A.   Indeed, madam, he was relieved of his duties.  But a person who

10     is being charged with something cannot retain his or her position.  It

11     would have been illogical for them to say, And because of this, another

12     30 days in prison.  That was my understanding of the previous "..."

13     Obviously, if there is a criminal procedure on the way against someone,

14     that person cannot remain in his position as the commander of the HVO or

15     anything.

16        Q.   That, indeed, is my understanding as well.

17             Let us please briefly go back to P0029, the disciplinary "..."

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the example

19     chosen probably illustrates the difficulty of the thing.  Colonel Blaskic

20     is reporting to the headquarters.  He's reporting on the behaviour of a

21     person who disarmed the policemen.  And here we have Article 204 that is

22     mentioned, but when you look at Article 204, it is disobeying an order.

23     Maybe, after all, this soldier was ordered not to take into account the

24     civilian police, but here the civilian policemen are disarmed and their

25     weapons and vehicles are taken away from them.  It could very well be a

Page 10589

 1     military action dealing with the civilian police or it could be -- it

 2     could just be plain theft.  So you could really have a double reading of

 3     the case.  If the private disobeyed an order, then this can come under

 4     the jurisdiction of a disciplinary sanction because this order was not

 5     supposed to deal with the civilian policeman and actually did.  But if he

 6     just wanted to steal the car and the weapons, then this is criminal

 7     conduct.  It's different.

 8             Were you ever confronted with this kind of situation where you

 9     could have a double reading of the event?

10             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, just a

11     minute.

12             I think there's been some confusion.  Judge Antonetti,

13     Article 204 is not from the military discipline rules.  It's from the

14     Criminal Code.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't hear counsel because two

16     speakers were overlapping.  Thank you.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is exactly what I'm

18     saying.  Disobedience is on P0034, Article 204.  This isn't what I'm

19     saying, Ms. Tomic.  Normally, I don't make mistake.  I am saying that

20     Article 204 deals -- is an article that we have in document P00-309, and

21     that Article 204 deals with disobeying an order, punishable by up to a

22     three-year prison sentence.

23             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what you are

24     reading from P00309 is an excerpt from the Criminal Code of the Socialist

25     Federative Republic of Yugoslavia which applied throughout the territory.

Page 10590

 1     What I was reading from, Colonel Blaskic's document, is from the Criminal

 2     Code of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which also

 3     applied.  In the former Yugoslavia, there was the Criminal Code of the

 4     Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia which applied throughout all

 5     of the republics, regulating one set of issues, and then some other

 6     issues were regulated by the criminal codes of each of the respective

 7     republics.  In Bosnia and Herzegovina, both criminal codes applied before

 8     the war and during the war.  The one that I read from, 204, is from the

 9     Criminal Code of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we

10     are talking about violent behaviour.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree with you, Ms. Tomic,

12     but I'm absolutely sure that Article 204 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia

13     and Herzegovina is exactly the same one as the one we would have for the

14     Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.  It's the same Article, but

15     that's not where the problem lies.

16             Mr. Praljak, when a military commander is confronted with this

17     kind of situation, he doesn't know whether an order was not correctly

18     abided by or whether it isn't actually an offence, isn't there a doubt

19     there as to what sanction needs to be given, whether it's up to the

20     military courts to be seized or whether it is up to the commander to

21     actually sanction the soldier?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour

23     Judge Antonetti.  Colonel Blaskic knows perfectly well that these five

24     persons broke into the premises of the civilian police, disarming police

25     officers and seizing weapons and vehicles.  Had he issued this order for

Page 10591

 1     whatever reason, obstruction of a military action and so on and so forth,

 2     then because of classified information having been given away, he would

 3     have had those military policemen prosecuted.  Nevertheless, they did

 4     this at their own initiative, quite obviously, so he was taking some

 5     specific and clear steps there.

 6             In a legal sense, this is both logical and fair.  He returns the

 7     goods that were seized, relieves of his duties the commander of the 3rd

 8     Battalion, and hands over the entire case to the military judicial

 9     authorities; the prosecutor, more specifically.  It would strike me as

10     counter-intuitive for me for him to say here that he would punish

11     Ranko Milicevic by imposing a punishment of 20 days in the military

12     remand prison.  He should be prosecuted for violent behaviour for a

13     criminal offence that he committed, and the sentence was likely to be

14     much more considerable in that case.  That was what I failed to

15     understand about those paragraphs.  What is a procedure that is both

16     disciplinary and criminal at the same time?  That wasn't clear.  But this

17     one is crystal clear.  They report that he's dispatched to the

18     Main Staff.  There is nothing to add.

19             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

20        Q.   Mr. Praljak --

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel speak closer to the microphone.

22     Thank you.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

24             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note, could counsel please speak

25     closer to the microphone.  Thank you.

Page 10592

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, this got completely lost.  You have

 2     to go three steps back and then start again.  If you look at the

 3     transcript, there's nothing here.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Mr. Praljak, it appears that the interpreters were not -- my

 6     question was what the intention was of Mr. Blaskic when he took these

 7     steps as described in this report.

 8        A.   Blaskic did the right thing.  In a legal sense, in the military

 9     sense, this was logical.  He did exactly what a commander would have been

10     expected to do.

11        Q.   I'd like us now to take a look at the military disciplinary rules

12     once again, please, for a brief moment.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic has asked:  What were the

14     motives of General Blaskic?  The answer was:  "He did the right thing,"

15     but that is not really an answer to that question.  But it's a question

16     that asks for speculation, and maybe, therefore, you say, How should I

17     know what was the scope of Mr. Blaskic's action.  But you are expected to

18     answer this, Mr. Praljak.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document shows what the motive

20     was, and the motive was to punish the person who violated the law.

21             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.

22     Judge Trechsel is quite right.  I asked the question in one way and then

23     I was interrupted, so I asked it in another way.  So this was because of

24     technical reasons.

25             But let's go back to P000293, the Rules on Military Discipline,

Page 10593

 1     and we can look at Article 24 for my next question.  Let's look at

 2     Article 24, which says that the commanders of units or, rather,

 3     institutions -- the commanders of garrisons, and then it goes on to list

 4     who the garrison commanders are, pronounce disciplinary measures for

 5     other perpetrators that are not in their organic composition, if they are

 6     necessary in order to preserve law and order and discipline.

 7        Q.   Were you informed about that?  And let me tell you straight away

 8     that I interpret this in the following way:  When a commander commands

 9     units, in the operational sense, which are not his own units but find

10     themselves under his command, because of law, order, and discipline, for

11     example, up at the front, is authorised to exercise disciplinary

12     measures -- to take disciplinary measures against them.  Is that how you

13     understood this article?

14        A.   Probably you understand this better than I do.

15        Q.   Were you -- did you know about this article?

16        A.   No, I did not.  I was not informed about this.

17        Q.   Now let's go forward and look at P -- 5D04039.  5D04039 is the

18     document number.  This a document from the commander of the 4th Battalion

19     of the Military Police, Mr. Pasko Ljubicic.  This is before your time,

20     the 8th of July, 1993, before you took up your duties, but I'll show you

21     the document and put it to you nonetheless.  It is sent to the brigade,

22     HVO Bobovac Brigade from Vares, to the commander, Emil Harah, in person.

23     Pasko Ljubicic says the following in this document:

24             "Members of the military police, according to orders issued so

25     far in the sense of command, are subordinated exclusively to the

Page 10594

 1     commanders of the brigades in their zone of responsibility.  Military

 2     police units must comply with the mentioned order.  Each member of the

 3     military units who oppose your orders or do not carry them out should be

 4     punished by you, just like other soldiers in your unit.  According to

 5     your judgement, you have the right to exclude persons from the military

 6     police unit whom you consider to have a negative influence."

 7             Tell me now, Mr. Praljak, did you know of situations like this,

 8     and does this document reflect the situation as described in Article 24

 9     that we saw a moment ago linked to the composition of the units and

10     command?

11        A.   Well, partially, and let me explain this.

12             In March, I was in Central Bosnia, and at the time Mr. Blaskic

13     had already very clearly assumed, just like all his services, that the

14     situation would come to a head with the BH Army and that a conflict would

15     break out, or, rather, that the BH Army would launch an attack.  That was

16     his assumption and his forecast.  And going to Central Bosnia already at

17     that time meant a great risk for every HVO member, it was risky, because

18     apart from the regular BH Army check-points, if I can call them that,

19     there were those check-points that had been set up by the man Paraga, for

20     example, where he could kill you without giving it a second thought.

21             So when I, in March 1993, went up there, Blaskic asked me that

22     because of the foreseeable future, I should discuss the return with

23     Mate Boban and the rest, and that because of the specific position that

24     Central Bosnia had, Vares and all the other places, that two things be

25     enabled, that he be enabled to do two things: first of all, to appoint

Page 10595

 1     commanders, which otherwise was not the case because there was no

 2     communication and he could not communicate either with Petkovic, or

 3     Stojic, or anybody else; and, secondly, that he be allowed to use the

 4     military police, because if there was an attack, he could not go through

 5     the lengthy procedure of sending in a request and then be given

 6     permission to deploy the military police.  By that time, he could have

 7     lost a whole series of positions that he held.

 8             Now, after my return, I certainly talked to Mate Boban and

 9     conveyed this to him, and I considered this to be a good idea.  I also

10     talked to General Petkovic, who considered it to be a good idea.  I don't

11     know if I discussed it with Mr. Stojic.  I don't want to venture into

12     that.  But, anyway --

13             JUDGE PRANDLER:  General Praljak, I wonder, if I may, interrupt

14     you, because we are going to finish in ten minutes and two of us here

15     would also like to ask questions.  But if you have something very

16     important to say, tell us in the next two minutes, and then we will

17     proceed.  Thank you.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was saying, we're dealing with

19     Central Bosnia, this is Central Bosnia and Pasko Ljubicic couldn't

20     communicate with Vares, and this is what led to this letter being

21     written.  We didn't have the possibility of doing that, I didn't have the

22     possibility to do that -- I'm giving you the right, brigade commander,

23     to take steps which are not permissible in an army against the military

24     police, which is doing bad things.  That's how it should be understood.

25             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you.

Page 10596

 1             I would like to ask you a question, and afterwards also my fellow

 2     Judge Mindua.  My question is the following: that in that very document,

 3     in the last paragraph, there is a reference to certain unhonourable acts.

 4     Let me read the final part of that sentence:

 5             " ... drew attention to all members of the MP that they are

 6     members of the professional unit and that at certain times rigorous

 7     measures will be taken against all if they have committed any

 8     unhonourable acts, as Mr. Vlado Knezevic plans, et cetera."

 9             So I would like to ask you if you knew about -- of this certain

10     Vlado Knezevic, and what kind of plans did -- he submitted or pursued.

11     It is my question.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Prandler, on the 8th of July

13     I was not the commander of the Main Staff of the HVO, and I don't know

14     about this event.  And we must bear in mind the map.  Pasko Ljubicic was

15     a long way off from Vares, and he had no communication with Vares, and he

16     says, If we can't gain all the information and undertake criminal

17     proceedings, remember that the time will come when you will be held

18     responsible and taken to task because of your actions.  This shows two

19     things.  First of all, we don't have the power to discipline and sanction

20     because of the military situation, at least not in the way we would like

21     to enforce it; and, secondly, you're not going to go unpunished because

22     this military situation will pass ultimately.

23             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Mr. Praljak, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but,

24     really, when you said in the first sentence, and I quote you, that:  "I

25     do not know about this event," so then, therefore, I would like to invite

Page 10597

 1     my fellow Judge, Judge Mindua, to ask his questions, if any.

 2             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness Praljak, I have one very

 3     short question.  I'm sorry I'm a bit late in putting this question to

 4     you, but I think that Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic went a bit fast.

 5             I would like to go back to the transcript page 95.  You were

 6     asked a question about Article 24 of the Rules on Military Discipline.

 7     The question was the following:  "Were you aware of Article 24?"  And I

 8     believe that your answer was:  "I was not informed of it."

 9             I don't really understand.  You were not informed of Article 24,

10     regarding rules on military discipline, drafted by President Mate Boban?

11     Am I supposed to understand that you didn't know anything about the

12     military procedure, military rules?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Mindua, Your Honour, I said

14     that I knew mostly and the essential points.  Well, so it wouldn't be

15     true to say that I didn't know.  Even if I hadn't read it, I did know

16     this: that if a certain military unit, for example, which was attached to

17     some other military unit, or if the military police was attached to me at

18     a point in time, and if that military policeman -- if a military

19     policeman commits a disciplinary act, just like my soldier, an offence, a

20     disciplinary offence, that I will punish him, regardless of whether I

21     actually read this article or not.  I knew the essential points of the

22     law, and I don't want to avoid that.  There's no doubt about that.  I

23     knew the essential points.

24             JUDGE MINDUA:  Thank you.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, just a few

Page 10598

 1     seconds from 7.00 p.m., so I think it's time to finish.

 2             We'll continue tomorrow.  We only have a short night, because we

 3     are sitting in the morning.  So we'll start at 9.00 a.m.

 4             I wish you all a pleasant evening.

 5                           [The witness stands down]

 6                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,

 7                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of July,

 8                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25