Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 43373

 1                           Tuesday, 18 August 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness entered court]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

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

 8     call the case.

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

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 Tuesday, August 18, 2009.  I welcome everyone,

15     Mr. Praljak first.  I also welcome our accused, the Defence counsels, all

16     the representatives of the OTP, and all those helping us in this

17     courtroom.

18             We're a bit late because of a computer problem, but we'll now

19     resume with our hearing and I will give the floor to Mr. Stringer.

20                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

21                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

22             MR. STRINGER:  Good morning.

23             Thank you, Mr. President.  Good morning, Your Honours, Counsel,

24     everyone else in and around the courtroom.

25                           Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:  [Continued]

Page 43374

 1        Q.   And good morning to you, General.

 2        A.   Good morning, Mr. Stringer.

 3        Q.   General, yesterday, when we finished, we were talking about

 4     Exhibit 3D00482 and I want to continue with just a few last questions on

 5     that exhibit.  Do you have that document in front of you?

 6        A.   Yes, I do.

 7        Q.   And if you recall, these are the minutes of the meeting in which

 8     you participated on the 13th of January, 1993, with members of the French

 9     Army delegation that came to visit with you and others of the Croatian

10     Army in Zagreb, and on -- yesterday we were talking about the text on the

11     second page of the English version in which you -- your position is

12     reported, and I'll read your words or the words that are attributed to

13     you:

14             "The Croatian position has been clear from the very beginning.

15     The territory that belongs to the Croats matches the borders of the

16     Banovina Hrvatska from the 1939 division of Yugoslavia synchronised with

17     the 1981 census --" I'm sorry, "... synchronised with the 1981 census.

18     The 1991 census is not valid."

19             General, just a few questions on the census issue that you refer

20     to here.

21             Would you agree with me that if one were to have relied on the

22     1981 census figures, that that would have resulted in a greater

23     proportion of Croat persons living in the territories that had been a

24     part of the Banovina in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

25        A.   There were a few more Croats in the 1981 census than in the 1991

Page 43375

 1   census, that is correct. That difference is not great.  The 1991 census was

 2   simply not completed, according to the law, although it is still seen as

 3 authoritative. In other words, because of the war, a final assessment of that

 4   census was never made by the competent authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 5        Q.   I think you answered my question, and actually I think we're in

 6     agreement that there would be some difference as between 1981 and 1991,

 7     but perhaps it would not be a hugely significant difference.  But let's

 8     take this opportunity to look at a few of the numbers on this, because I

 9     want to try to flesh out what you're saying here, in terms of how the

10     territory would be synchronised with the census figures for 1981.

11             Were you telling the French delegation there that territory from

12     the Banovina would be abandoned or given up if it were found to be a

13     territory that did not contain a sufficient number of Croats?

14        A.   I am afraid I didn't quite understand your question.  What do you

15     mean, abandoned, an abandoned territory?  Could you please define in?

16        Q.   Well, here you say that territory belonging to the Croats matches

17     the borders of the Banovina Hrvatska, synchronised with the 1981 census.

18     Now, my understanding of that is that you start with the borders of the

19     former Banovina and that there would be an adjustment of those borders

20     based upon the relative populations as they existed in 1981.  Is that a

21     correct understanding?

22        A.   I can state my position clearly and precisely, starting with the

23     initial thoughts I had when Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised, and

24     starting with the initial Cutileiro plan.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a

25     condition for the referendum, should have comprised three constituent

Page 43376

 1     bodies, and the relative proportion of inhabitants should be honoured by

 2     such principles.  One of such constituent units was supposed to be the

 3     unit in which Croats were in absolute or relative majority.  This was

 4     supposed to be based on the 1981 census, although as I said, that is not

 5     completely correct either, given that many Croats who emigrated did not

 6     respond to that census.  Such census, truth be said, is not fully valid

 7     either, but that was precisely because Croats kept moving out and their

 8     numbers dwindled in Bosnia-Herzegovina, irrespective of the fact that in

 9     1939, when the government in Belgrade was forced to recognise the

10     Croatian issue in the then Yugoslavia --

11        Q.   Sorry to cut you off, but you're moving a little bit beyond the

12     territory that I'm trying to keep us in, in terms of this discussion that

13     you're having with the French.  Maybe the best way to do this is to look

14     at some of the numbers.

15             In your binder, toward the end, you should be able to find

16     Exhibit P10519, and this is a collection of the census data from

17     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Yes, you've got it there.  Keep going.  That's

18     right.  And you'll see that what this has is the census data for all the

19     municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina for three decades; 1971, 1981, 1991.

20     So it gives us an opportunity to discuss the numbers that you're

21     referring to with the French.

22             Let's look at Stolac in the census because Stolac is a place

23     that, whether you're talking about 1981 or 1991, had a relative majority

24     of Muslim people living there.

25             Now, we also know - I don't think there's disagreement - that

Page 43377

 1     Stolac falls within the territory that used to be part of the Banovina

 2     from 1939, and of course Stolac also falls in the territory of the

 3     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  So now I just want to make sure.

 4     When you're telling the French that the territory of the Croats matches

 5     the Banovina synchronised with the 1981 census, you're not telling them

 6     that the Croats were prepared to abandon Stolac, simply because that was

 7     an area in 1981 that did not contain a relative majority or an absolute

 8     majority of Croats; correct?

 9        A.   Only partially, Mr. Stringer.  Stolac was an administrative unit,

10     a municipality, to which some villages were annexed so as to -- well, you

11     can see the figures of Croatian population dwindling from one year to the

12     next in order to arrive at a Muslim majority.  The municipality of

13     Stolac, as a banovina municipality in 1939, is no longer the same, Stolac

14     municipality, as the one formed in the Socialist Republic of

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was done to regulate the percentages of

16     population in several municipalities.  But you see, see the difference

17     between 7041 Croats and 7113 Muslims in 1971

18     was not all that significant.

19             For the municipality of Capljina, three villages were supposed to

20     be annexed to the Stolac municipality to have a relative majority of

21     Croats, but no one talked about ethnically-pure areas.  Sarajevo was

22     24 per cent Croats 30 years ago, in Zenica 30.000, but none of the units

23     or cantons were envisaged as ethnically pure but something that would be

24     approximate to satisfy the principle of some sort of balance between all

25     of the three peoples.

Page 43378

 1        Q.   Well, and then, of course, within the Croatian Community of

 2     Herceg-Bosna -- and in your binder you should be able to find the map

 3     which may be of assistance to us, P09276, which is, I believe, just

 4     behind the census, that's the map that was prepared that shows the

 5     borders both of the HZ-HB and also the Banovina from 1939, I mean if you

 6     look right in the middle of all of it, you see the municipality of

 7     Jablanica, which, of course, has always been a very high absolute

 8     majority of Muslim population, so there's really no way, is there, to

 9     synchronise the Croat territory with the 1981 census or the 1991 census

10     in the way that you're proposing to the French delegation, is there?

11        A.   That is not correct, Mr. Stringer.  That is simply incorrect.

12     For the municipality of Jablanica, that is so, but it also goes for

13     Jajce, which throughout history had a Croat majority, but at this point

14     in time it was no longer so.  Herceg-Bosna that you are talking about is

15     not what I am talking about.  "Herceg-Bosna" is a term, as you could

16     see -- well, at least half of the HVO soldiers were not under command of

17     the headquarters of the HVO.  The Zenica Brigade was formed, the Bihac

18     and other units were formed, in order to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina.

19     Let us not mix apples and pears.  This was based on the propositions put

20     by the international community by which ethnically-pure areas were not

21     envisaged.

22             Kakanj, as well as Vares, used to be territories with a

23     significant Croat majority, and here they were merely units --

24     administrative units in which Croats would be one of the constituent

25     peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This changed throughout the negotiations.

Page 43379

 1     A number of Muslims and Serbs lived --

 2        Q.   The fact is that what you are proposing to the French as being

 3     the position of the Croats is something that was completely unworkable

 4     because, in fact, throughout the area of what used to be the Banovina,

 5     you have Muslims, Croats and, of course, Serbs as well living, and the

 6     majorities and the locations and the concentrations of the different

 7     peoples is highly mixed throughout the Banovina area, and there's really

 8     no way, is there, to synchronise territory with the demographic situation

 9     that prevailed either in 1981 or 1991, at least not without moving

10     people; isn't that true?

11        A.   First of all, no one asked for any people to be moved or an

12     ethnically-pure territory.

13             I have a question for you.  Why don't you bring here those who

14     drafted the Dayton Accords, because I find it a much worse solution, much

15     less logical solution, than the one I am representing?  Dayton split that

16     country in a far worse manner than this principle would have.  Do bring

17     in the American president and his men who drafted that to answer those

18     questions.

19             My thinking was logical, along the lines of how to organise a

20     state respecting civic and genealogical principles, and I still stand by

21     that no matter what you think.  There were no ethnically-pure areas

22     foreseen.  There were only majorities which, based on the principle of

23     reciprocity, could function at the best possible -- in the best possible

24     way, the way it is regulated in Switzerland.  There are cantons there

25     housing three peoples, and they have a good life.  Thank you.

Page 43380

 1        Q.   Again, I'm sorry to cut you off, but you've expressed your views

 2     about Switzerland already and what I'd like to do is keep this moving to

 3     the next document, unless there are more questions about this one from

 4     the Bench.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I looked at

 6     this document very closely, as I look at all documents very closely, but

 7     notably this one.  Now, contrary to what the Prosecutor is saying, this

 8     is not a meeting with the French Army.  This is a very high-level meeting

 9     in France, because there's a number of ministries involved.  We have the

10     French ambassador, so it's France, actually, that is meeting up with you.

11     So I'd like to know, as far as you know, whether this delegation also met

12     President Tudjman.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, Your Honour

14     Judge Antonetti.  As you know, two days later I went back to

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I am not familiar whether they met up with

16     President Tudjman.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  In the document, we

18     see in brackets that the 1991 census is not valid.  That's in brackets,

19     and it seems that this is something you uttered.  So why wouldn't this

20     census have been valid, according to you?  I'm putting this question to

21     you because in all trials we've had in this Tribunal, this census -- this

22     1991 census is used as a reference, and you're saying it's not valid.

23     Could you please explain why?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is legal regulation in place

25     for a census to be declared valid.  The final act in such a process of

Page 43381

 1     conducting a census is the adoption of such a census by the Assembly of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This never happened.  Legally speaking, that process

 3     is never completed, irrespective of the fact that it is widely used here.

 4     That's one thing.

 5             Another thing, Your Honour.  The beginning of the war in Croatia

 6     had already taken place.  A great many Croats in Germany, Switzerland,

 7     and elsewhere did not attend the census.  They did not provide their

 8     data, because people were simply afraid to go back.  Given that the

 9     Croats are the smallest nation in terms of numbers, although in terms of

10     immigration they have the greatest figures among the three, it is a very

11     sensitive issue.  Imagine that all the Croats abroad responded to the

12     census.  That is why this 1991 census is not fully true and is not valid,

13     and I believe this Tribunal should not take it as such unless this is

14     only by way of information.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, I understand what

16     you said.

17             Mr. Stringer.

18             MR. STRINGER:

19        Q.   General, the next exhibit is P01788.  The last document was from

20     January of 1993.  We're going to move forward now to April of 1993.

21             And for the record, Mr. President, you'll note that the English

22     translation for some reason does not contain the date, but the date is

23     found in the original language version, the 2nd of April, 1993.

24             General, these are minutes from a meeting of commanders of

25     brigades and special-purpose units from the Central Bosnia Operative

Page 43382

 1     Zone.  You'll there see at the top that it has you present, together with

 2     Mr. Kordic, Mr. Kostroman, Tihomir Blaskic, and also Mr. Coric.  Do you

 3     remember being present at this meeting that was chaired by you?

 4        A.   I was present at the meeting, but I did not chair it.

 5        Q.   Okay, because it says right under the names that the meeting was

 6     chaired by you; is that not correct?

 7        A.   It says so, but I only provided explanations during that meeting.

 8     I don't remember chairing it.

 9        Q.   Is it --

10        A.   I don't think that is all that important.

11        Q.   Can we agree that at this period of time, you were a major

12     general of the Croatian Army and, in that sense, were the highest-ranking

13     person among those present?

14        A.   I was a major general of the Croatian Army, but although it says

15     here that I was a general for them, I was Slobodan Praljak who came from

16     Croatia, as a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to explain my view of the

17     situation and the way I thought the authorities stood on the issue.

18        Q.   Let me put it to you, General, that in fact you were also an

19     assistant minister of defence for Croatia and that your role there was to

20     act as an interlocutory person whose presence -- you were coming with a

21     high level, a high position, and that you were there to inform all of

22     these people what the positions and the policies of the Croatian

23     government were in respect of the events that are being discussed here.

24     Isn't that the main reason why you were there is to inform them of the

25     policies and the developments coming from the highest level?

Page 43383

 1        A.   Not quite so, not quite.  I went there once the Vance-Owen Plan

 2     was signed.  I was what I was, that is correct, and people -- the people

 3     there knew it was so.  However, much was said on my own initiative, and I

 4     asked for initiative from Mr. Izetbegovic.  If you recall, I waited in

 5     Mostar for him to send two prominent Bosniaks, Muslims, for us to go to

 6     Central Bosnia, which in a way represented a political challenge, so that

 7     we could discuss with the people there, tell them that the plan had been

 8     signed, and what things needed to be done to end the war and come up with

 9     a peaceful solution for Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Unfortunately, my wait in

10     Mostar was in vain.  Therefore, I set off with some other people.

11        Q.   Now, I'm going to move to the second paragraph on the first page,

12     where -- well, just for background here, I think we're talking about the

13     meeting opens and you inform those present about the arrival of five or

14     six commissioned officers from Herzegovina.  You report on the signing of

15     the plan, which I take to be the Vance-Owen Plan, and you continue your

16     briefing, if I can call it that.

17             And moving to the second paragraph, you say:

18             "The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic's

19     option, is finally out of the question.  He has signed.

20             "The international community wanted two of the sides involved to

21     agree so that the third side would be under greater pressure.  The

22     Serbian side will hardly be able to resist the pressure, but they will

23     have to sign."

24             Now, that turned out to be incorrect, didn't it?  In fact, the

25     Serbs never signed Vance-Owen, and the plan itself never came to pass;

Page 43384

 1     isn't that true?

 2        A.   Well, it says that the international community insisted that they

 3     reach an agreement, that is to say, the Bosnian -- Bosniak and Croatian

 4     side in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that they then will exert pressure upon

 5     the Serbs for them to sign too.  Unfortunately, they didn't have enough

 6     skill or goodwill or interest or force to persuade the Serbs to sign the

 7     plan, and they did not.  That is true.

 8        Q.   And so as a result, then, the plan never came into existence, did

 9     it, because the three -- not all three parties to the plan agreed to it;

10     correct?

11        A.   It is correct that all three sides did not sign the plan, but

12     that still did not mean that two sides, which had signed the plan, should

13     not stand by the principles elaborated in the plan, and that remaining

14     true to the principles and the general agreement reached, that they

15     should not act together and force the third side, in the military and

16     political sense, to sign.

17        Q.   Now that -- continuing down a few lines, you say:

18             "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna will remain.  It will

19     have its own assembly and the provincial government will rule the

20     country.  The central government will have nothing.  The Sarajevo

21     province will not stay the way you see it now."

22             So what you're saying here is that the policy or the effect of

23     Vance-Owen, from your perspective, is that now this so-called temporary

24     body, the HZ-HB, or a temporary executive authority that was running it,

25     which was the HVO, would, in fact, now remain in place permanently and

Page 43385

 1     would rule the country, the country being the Vance-Owen territory that

 2     you're referring to, isn't that true, and that the central government

 3     would have no role to play in that territory?

 4        A.   I quote the Vance-Owen Plan quite exactly, with all the cantons

 5     that were established according to that plan or that should be

 6     established, and most of the functions of the state were transferred to

 7     them.  Of course, the central power and authority was -- well, it

 8     remained.  It was the army, Foreign Affairs and so on.  But everything

 9     else to do with the daily life and running of the country would be

10     located in the cantons, who had power and authority comparable to the

11     population in the canton itself.  And that was precisely set out there

12     and signed by Mr. Izetbegovic, and Mr. Boban, and all the others who

13     attended those negotiations.  So the plan was signed by the

14     representatives of the two nations from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there was

15     no reason to leave it behind, as Mr. Izetbegovic did immediately

16     afterwards, meddling with the plan and so on and so forth without any

17     actual desire to see it take effect.

18        Q.   Now, on the next page of your version, General, you continue,

19     saying that there would only be 1 per cent of Croats left in the whole of

20     Bosnia-Herzegovina due to moving out and population of the Muslims and

21     Serbs:

22             "Salvation lies in protecting the population and enhancing the

23     birth-rate."

24             You say:

25             "Our population outside these provinces will have a hard life.

Page 43386

 1     The Muslims are not aware of their losses."

 2             Now, General, when you say that "our population," meaning the

 3     Croat population, "outside of these provinces will have a hard life,"

 4     isn't the message there that Croats who are living outside of this

 5     Croatian area you're referring to should move into the Croatian area that

 6     you're referring to because it's going to be difficult for them to live

 7     outside that area within Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 8        A.   No, Mr. Stringer.  You must bear in mind the fact that I am a

 9     professor of sociology, dealing with questions of migration and so on and

10     so forth from ancient times, and I know how certain political solutions,

11     as a general rule, result in population migration either towards North

12     America, South America, whether we're dealing with the Aztecs, or the

13     Indians, or the Aborigines or whatever.  Or the Germans, indeed after

14     World War II, there are patterns.  If you do something poorly, then

15     migrations necessarily arise, and this is how Yugoslavia was set up and

16     how the Croats left.  The Ottoman Empire was established in that way, the

17     Croats left.  And the way in which Bosnia-Herzegovina has been

18     established, it is the weakest nation that is disappearing, so people who

19     bring bad political solutions, this results in that kind of consequence.

20     So I have a lot of knowledge in that area, and I'd like to propose

21     that --

22        Q.   Okay.  So your political solution, General, then, is to create

23     this Croat area where Croats living outside are going to have a hard

24     life, and the Croats living inside are going to have a nice life, and

25     therefore the Croats outside should come live in the Croat area that

Page 43387

 1     you're talking about; isn't that the political solution that you're

 2     proposing, everybody live in a separate place, and move, if it's

 3     necessary, to achieve that?

 4        A.   No, that's not correct.  It doesn't say that anywhere, and I

 5     didn't say that anywhere.  All I said was that a solution of this kind

 6     would --

 7        Q.   Sorry to cut you off.  Let's continue with the document.  I put

 8     it to you; you disagreed with me.  We can move on.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  May I ask a question.

10             What strikes me here, Mr. Praljak, is that you seem -- you speak

11     of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this seems to refer to that part of Bosnia

12     and Herzegovina which does not include Herceg-Bosna; isn't that the case?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is right, I'm talking

14     about Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a large portion of the Croatian people who

15     would stay on either in cantons with the Serbian or Bosniak majority, and

16     precisely this proportionate ratio will enable the protection of one and

17     all.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  It just struck me, and I raise it because it is

19     not very easy to reconcile with what you told us yesterday, that Bosnia

20     and Herzegovina and Herceg-Bosna were identical, practically, or used for

21     the same term.  Here, it seems quite clear that there is an enormous

22     difference.  It's "either/or" in your use of the language in this

23     sentence, it seems to me.

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

25     misunderstood me.  Here -- no, I didn't put it that way yesterday.  I

Page 43388

 1     don't know what the interpretation was.  But in the books in which

 2     Franjo -- the books written by Franjo Tudjman and the history books, very

 3     often Herceg-Bosna and Bosnia-Herzegovina mean the same,

 4     they're tantamount to the same, but that is not correct in this case.

 5     Here, "Herceg-Bosna" is understood as a political/military organisation

 6     on the territory of the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina which was inhabited

 7     by Croats and which was set up as a defence alliance.  Now, in history

 8     books very often the two terms do mean the same, but in addition to this,

 9     Herceg-Bosna here is conceived differently.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I do not want to proceed in that direction.

11             Mr. Stringer.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

13        Q.   General, continuing on with this document, you're talking

14     about -- this is page 52 in the English at the top.  Are you talking

15     about, again, Croats who would be coming from outside this Croat area,

16     and you say:

17             "All those who came will be refugees.  Croats will be able to

18     come to their own provinces from wherever they want and in whichever way

19     they want.  The Muslim provinces will be over-populated.  Religious

20     fanaticism will emerge in them, that is inevitable.  There will be moving

21     out and resettlement, and the population will homogenise."

22             Then you go on to talk about de-militarisation if the Serbs sign

23     the agreement.

24             I'm going to skip down a few lines.  You say:

25             "Talks with the BH Army in Sarajevo are about to begin.  We shall

Page 43389

 1     ask for HVO government in our provinces.  Those who choose not to submit

 2     to that can leave our territories."

 3             So again, General, you're laying out for all of these people in

 4     Central Bosnia, on the 2nd of April, 1993, the official interpretation --

 5     the official policy of Croat -- the Croatian people, or at least those

 6     whom you're speaking for, in respect of how Vance-Owen is going to be

 7     implemented on the ground, and that's going to mean resettlement,

 8     homogenisation of populations, a bad life for Croats who don't live in

 9     the Croatian province, and HVO government which you either take it or

10     leave it; is that your view?  Isn't that true, General?  Isn't that the

11     official interpretation of what Vance-Owen was going to mean on the

12     ground?

13        A.   No, Mr. Stringer, you've got that quite wrong and you don't

14     understand the situation.  You think that certain political will can

15     solve all political problems in the field.  I'm speaking here as a

16     scholar, and everything I said here, absolutely everything, is actually

17     coming to pass in Bosnia-Herzegovina today.

18             A few days ago in Zenica, for example, there were 30 marriages

19     conducted according to Sharia law of the refugees coming from Libya.  You

20     have 210.000 fewer Croats in the Republika Srpska that was set up in

21     Dayton.  So this is history, this is history, and this is what is going

22     to happen --

23        Q.   Well, you say you're speaking as a scholar, but in fact you're

24     speaking to these military personnel in the heart of Bosnia-Herzegovina

25     in April, just before the conflict starts viciously between the Muslims

Page 43390

 1     and the Croats on the 16th of April in Central Bosnia.  You're not

 2     talking as a scholar to these military personnel.  You're speaking to

 3     them as an assistant minister of defence for Croatia and a major general

 4     of the Croatian Army, and you're laying out the vision -- the official

 5     vision and the policy on implementation of Vance-Owen.  That's what this

 6     is about, isn't it?  You're not there to give a scholarly talk to some

 7     academics.

 8        A.   Why would a scholarly talk have to be a talk to professors, to

 9     academics?  I am foreseeing events, and in fact the events happened as I

10     foresaw them.  And those who foresaw that events would come to pass

11     according to the wish in Dayton have no idea what "nations" mean and they

12     couldn't care less.  So everything I foresaw did take place, along with

13     support from the international community, and if this is wrong, then

14     you've got the wrong people sitting in the chair here.  This is what

15     I think is going to happen.  That's what I was saying.

16        Q.   Well, let's talk about what really happened, not a couple of

17     years later in Dayton and not what's happening today.  Let's talk about

18     what happened two weeks after this meeting, when the conflict was

19     launched in Central Bosnia, the massacre occurred in Ahmici.  Hundreds of

20     Muslims throughout Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, were rounded up and

21     arrested by HVO, held in Kaonik Prison and elsewhere.  You know all about

22     that, and that all happened because the Muslims and the ABiH did not

23     accept this Vance -- this interpretation of Vance-Owen that you were

24     passing on to your subordinates in Central Bosnia.  Isn't that the fact

25     of what really happened?

Page 43391

 1        A.   No, this is an interpretation of -- this interpretation of the

 2     Vance-Owen plan is very precise and correct, and my interpretation has

 3     nothing to do with the BH Army attack later on, sir.  And this Court has,

 4     for ten years, thought that it was executed by an unarmed people, as was

 5     stated in the Blaskic case.  That is just not true.  It is the aggression

 6     by the BH Army that started and was launched towards the Croats and

 7     against the Croats, and everything else that happened from Vares,

 8     Kiseljak, and so on and so forth, precisely because an ethnically-pure

 9     area was what was wanted because Vance-Owen was wrongly interpreted.  In

10     the Croatian interpretation of the Vance-Owen Plan, there was no ethnic

11     cleansing, there was just -- there were just forecasts that if a war

12     broke out, what would happen would happen, there would be a population

13     migration whether you liked it or not.  That was a rule, general rule,

14     and it didn't depend on Praljak.

15             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Mr. Praljak, I'm really sorry to interrupt you,

16     but again and again it is my primary issue and question, and let me ask

17     you really to slow down and to help the interpreters.  Sometimes it goes

18     also for Mr. Stringer as well, but mainly you, Mr. Praljak, is indeed

19     speaking very fast, and it is almost impossible to follow you.

20             Thank you.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the Prosecutor is

22     putting this to you.  It is very important and, I think, requires

23     accurate answers on your part, and this should be done slowly.

24             The Prosecutor is putting to you the following idea:  There is

25     the Vance-Owen Plan which you, as assistant minister of defence of the

Page 43392

 1     Republic of Croatia, you are going to spell good news to the Croats in

 2     the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the document we have before

 3     us shows that you attend a meeting and you discuss the Vance-Owen Plan.

 4     The Prosecutor says to you, "Mr. Praljak, you are interpreting the

 5     Vance-Owen Plan."  The Prosecutor then adds that a few days after this

 6     meeting, the events in Ahmici are going to take place.  Everybody is

 7     familiar with these events.

 8             According to the Prosecutor, there is a connection.  In other

 9     words, you are the spokesperson for the Croats, and then the events

10     occur.  So what he is saying is important.  I think this requires a

11     precise answer on your part and a qualified answer.

12             What do you have to say to this?

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

14     of all, this kind of interpretation of history, whereby a benign

15     negotiation about my projections for the future should be linked up with

16     the events that followed, I think, would lead all the politicians that

17     exist in the world today into the chair of the accused.  I consider that

18     to be absurd.

19             Now, I'm not interpreting the Vance-Owen Plan fully and

20     completely, because it was signed and it stated quite precisely how the

21     elections were to proceed, how the assemblies were elected for the

22     cantons, what authority they had, and everything else.  All that was

23     signed up to by the representatives of the Bosniak Muslim people and

24     representatives of the Croatian people as well.

25             And as far as the Croatian people are concerned, that is to say,

Page 43393

 1     why we needed to go there, well, that's what I asked Mr. Izetbegovic.

 2     There was a war on, there were many Muslims, following that logic, stayed

 3     on to live in the Croatian cantons, if I can call them that, and they

 4     weren't satisfied, just as a portion of the Croats from Vares or Kakanj

 5     weren't satisfied for not -- because they weren't in a Croatian canton.

 6     So you had to explain to these people that it was precisely this

 7     cantonalisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in which, let's say, one where the

 8     Croatian people were in the majority, that the other nations would be

 9     protected there, the Serbs and the Muslims, and that this would be --

10     there would be reciprocity.  They would be protected if they were outside

11     a Croatian canton.  That was my basic message.

12             And the other fact that I say is something that we know from

13     history, that there will be people who will no longer want to live in a

14     canton where the Serbs were in the majority if they had suffered at the

15     hands of the Serbs.  That's not my desire or will, it's just a historical

16     fact that has been repeated again and again.  History repeated itself.

17     So I say those people who didn't want to live there could move to a

18     canton where the Croats were in the majority.  It wasn't an invitation or

19     anything.  It was just how the facts were, the facts as they were played

20     out in Bosnia-Herzegovina with catastrophic effects.  Look at Republika

21     Srpska, for example.

22             And there's nothing I can add there, Your Honour.  I don't know

23     what is set out here.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.  As far as the other

25     issue is concerned which was put to you by the Prosecution, there is a

Page 43394

 1     cause-to-effect relation between this meeting and the events in Ahmici.

 2     What do you have to say to this, because this is a very serious matter?

 3     The question is a very serious one.  What do you have to say to that?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have nothing to say.  It's an

 5     absurd absurdity, the height of absurdity.  It's just pure speculation of

 6     the lowest kind of thinking about what I am saying about history and the

 7     facts, and it goes against all my rational thinking and is an insult to

 8     me, because there's talk of de-militarisation here, as they promised us

 9     UNPROFOR would be bringing in 60.000 soldiers and so on, and ultimately

10     they would guarantee that what was signed would be put into effect.  But

11     nobody took any notice.  The spiral of war started out, and it spiraled

12     as we know.  And we saw that the international community could have

13     whatever documents signed it liked without helping to allow it to take

14     effect.  And the Serbs made their own conclusions, the Muslims made their

15     conclusions and said they would seize from the Croats what they could not

16     seize from the Serbs, and then they attacked us.  What happened in Ahmici

17     is not my problem, and with indignation I reject any link of this kind.

18             I signed up to this meeting [as interpreted].  It was a logical

19     step.  Whether everything was written properly and recorded properly, I

20     don't know, because I know what I said.  Whether it was recorded

21     properly, I don't know.  I'm talking about de-militarisation and so on.

22             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] There's been a big mistake.  On

23     page 22, line 15, the general said, "I don't know how all this was

24     written, recorded."

25             [In English] I signed up to this meeting.

Page 43395

 1             [Interpretation] The translation was, "I signed up to this

 2     meeting."  Could the general repeat what he said?  Thank you.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it very difficult to read

 4     this handwriting.  It was rather illegible, and the man who wrote it

 5     down, I don't know whether he managed to catch everything I said.  I know

 6     exactly what I said, and that was to implement Vance-Owen as it was

 7     signed, with some of my thoughts about what would happen in the future,

 8     what would unfortunately happen in the future.

 9             And these are rules that we see in sociology and anthropology,

10     these laws and rules, and those who don't know the natural laws of a

11     science cannot deal with political issues and the establishment of state

12     seriously, because it's not true that anything that somebody thinks up

13     will necessarily be implemented on the ground.  And it is through this

14     lack of knowledge that catastrophes of this kind took place in these

15     negotiations and guarantees by the international community because this

16     was all done by people who, unfortunately, do not have enough knowledge

17     about the human society and man as an individual being.  They are unaware

18     of their fears, desires, anxieties, and so on and so forth.  They have

19     none of that knowledge.

20             So I'm very sorry that that is the case, and I stand by every

21     sentence that I uttered.

22             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I really believe that your monologue has been

23     done and is enough, and so, Mr. Stringer, you may continue.

24             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

25        Q.   General, I'm going to take you back to one thing you said in the

Page 43396

 1     past few minutes.  You were talking about, if I can put it this way, your

 2     interpretation of Vance-Owen, and you said:

 3             "This cantonisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in which, let's say,

 4     one where the Croatian people were in the majority, that the other

 5     nations would be protected there, the Serbs and the Muslims, and that

 6     this would be -- there would be reciprocity."

 7             Now, that's what you're telling us now, General, but what you

 8     were saying to all of those in Central Bosnia in April of 1993 was that

 9     those who choose not to submit to that -- let me back up.  You say:

10             "We shall ask for HVO government in our provinces.  Those who

11     choose not to submit to that can leave our territories."

12             Now, two things.  First of all, the HVO is not going to protect

13     anybody but Croats, isn't that true, in terms of ensuring democratic

14     participation and government when it's a structure which is purely

15     Croatian in its -- from its inception and in which there is no --

16     virtually no participation or opportunity for participation among other

17     ethnicities?  Secondly, it's really ridiculous to suggest that any

18     non-Croat person would feel that the HVO would, in fact, protect his or

19     her interest in these territories?  Isn't that both true?

20        A.   First of all, I was not interpreting the Vance-Owen Plan, because

21     it was very clear and precise, very clear and precise.  I wouldn't fully

22     rely on my words being correctly conveyed by the person taking the notes.

23             In any case, Mr. Stringer, in the cantons there are democratic

24     principles, in terms of the organisation of government.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You are again going into lengthy talks.  This is

Page 43397

 1     a simple question that Mr. Stringer has put to you.  Why don't you just

 2     answer it?  You always go astray.  You lead us in -- God knows where.

 3     You speak of Libyan couples and things like that that have nothing to do

 4     with this.  Why don't you just look at the question and answer the

 5     question, full stop, instead of lecturing us?

 6             Please look again at the question.  The question was whether, in

 7     fact, non-Croats could trust that they would be protected, that their

 8     interests would be taken into account, in Croat cantons.  That's got

 9     nothing to do with interpretation of the Vance-Owen Plan.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is incorrect, Your Honour

11     Judge Trechsel.  What sort of a question is it, could they trust?  Is

12     this a judicial question?  What is trust?  It's a psychological category

13     which is strictly individual.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Come on Mr. -- don't lecture again, please.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please.  Of course I will.  What

16     trust?  The Vance-Owen Plan was a plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina in which

17     democratic institutions were supposed to be elected according to the

18     democratic principles of most other states.  That was the Vance-Owen Plan

19     signed by two parties.  Here we are now carrying out a hypothesis as to

20     whether someone could have trusted --

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  This is all very far from being a clear answer.

22     Let's put it in another way.

23             On what basis would a Muslim, living in an area that would be

24     within a Croat canton, trust that Muslim minority interests or even

25     national interests, as you like to stress, would be respected, on what

Page 43398

 1     basis?  Where does he find any guarantee, in what text, in what

 2     declarations, does he find something that gives him assurance that he

 3     will be protected?

 4             That's how I understood the question, but I stand to be

 5     corrected, Mr. Stringer.  I do not want to make a question of my own of

 6     it.  I would just like these proceedings to be a bit less baroque.

 7             MR. STRINGER:  The question is fine with me, Your Honour.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is a twofold answer.  There

 9     were strictly-prescribed guide-lines on the election of government in the

10     Vance-Owen Plan, as well as on the functioning of the cantons and the

11     central government.  All those questions were widely discussed and signed

12     as part of the plan.

13             Secondly, this question should be put to either Mr. Vance or

14     Mr. Owen, because they drafted the plan.  Croats and Bosniaks merely

15     signed it.  This was supposed to be implemented.

16             Thirdly, psychologically speaking, the Muslims could expect such

17     a procedure because, from Croats, both as refugees and the wounded and

18     members of the HVO, they were always treated equally, so at these three

19     levels one could provide an answer to the question.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

21             Please, Mr. Stringer.

22             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

23        Q.   General, continuing down, I believe this is on page 45 of your

24     version, the bottom quarter of the page in the English, it says

25     Colonel Blaskic opened the discussion with the commanders, and then a

Page 43399

 1     question was asked about Vares.  Do you see that?  Borivoj Malbasic asked

 2     a question about Vares?

 3        A.   Yes, I see it.

 4        Q.   And then at that point, you said:

 5             "There is no policy that can enable us to have everything.  If

 6     you think there is, tell us."

 7             What's happening here is that even as early as April of 1993,

 8     there is recognition on your part that Vares is so far to the north and

 9     so far to the east that it is not going to be a territory that you'll be

10     able to keep within this Croatian province and, in fact, did not fall

11     within even the Croatian province that was envisioned under Vance-Owen,

12     so essentially here is a recognition that Vares is going to have to

13     ultimately fall outside whatever Croatian territory exists; isn't that --

14     isn't that what you're saying?

15        A.   This is a bit strange.  Mr. Stringer, the Vance-Owen Plan was

16     drafted by Vance, Owen, and the international community.  Under that

17     plan, Vares was not in those territories conditionally termed "Croatian

18     provinces."  Of course, the people of Vares did not see that as a good

19     solution, and no one -- I say no one in Bosnia-Herzegovina was able to

20     satisfy all the appetites.  This was a compromise.  Precisely so.  A

21     great many Croats would stay outside the Croatian canton, and the same

22     goes for the Bosniaks and Serbs, but this is all conditionally speaking.

23     And this is the way Bosnia-Herzegovina was to be set up, to be both a

24     national or ethnic and a civil state.  This is not Praljak's plan, but

25     Vance-Owen Plan.

Page 43400

 1        Q.   Continuing down, I'm going to move down about six lines, you say:

 2             "Now we have got what we want, the homogenisation of our

 3     population continues.  We can only fence off what is ours and build there

 4     our own space, our own state.  It is all as clear as noon on a spring

 5     day."

 6             Now, General, those are your words, aren't they?  This is your

 7     vision for Vance-Owen, homogenisation of population, population movement,

 8     ultimately where the peoples are living separately in homogenous --

 9     ethnically-homogenous zones?

10        A.   This was not my plan or my vision.  This was my scientific

11     forecast which came about in full, with our without Praljak sitting in

12     The Hague.  Just look at today's Bosnia-Herzegovina and you will see that

13     in totality my scientific forecast came about, in terms of the postwar

14     migrations, as we could also witness after the First World War, the

15     Second World War, and so on and so forth.  I think I was fully right at

16     that time, as I am now.

17             MR. STRINGER:  Unless there's more questions about this --

18             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Excuse me for interrupting you.  Before you

19     proceed further, I would also like to ask a question about these two last

20     lines in English on that very page, 52, and both you and Mr. Praljak

21     spoke about the homogenisation.  My question is that -- to Mr. Praljak,

22     by which methods did you think that homogenisation is going to continue,

23     as you put it there?  And my second question is relating to the very last

24     line in the English text, to the very last line here, when it says -- and

25     when you said that:

Page 43401

 1             "We can only fence off what is ours and build there our own space

 2     and our own state."

 3             And here I would like to ask you:  What was your idea about

 4     your -- to put your words, I quote again, "our own state"?  So what did

 5     you think about that, and how did you want to achieve this goal, that is,

 6     to "build our own space and our own state"?  Thank you.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will first respond to your second

 8     question, Your Honour.

 9             I do not agree that this person interpreted my utterance well,

10     the creation of our space and building our own state, because it was not

11     supposed to be a state.  As here, the pace of my speech was a problem for

12     him as well, and I don't think it was correct.  As far as I recall, I

13     never discussed a state or the fencing off of a territory.  This goes

14     against what I had previously said.

15             Secondly, to respond to your first question, I did not discuss

16     homogenisation at all by certain means.  I foresaw that this would come

17     about as a natural consequence of the war and the growing problems.  Much

18     as the natural consequence of homogenisation would be -- or, rather, was

19     in Hungary, Romania, et cetera, there is natural migration, and then

20     after the war with Turkey there was a situation with Ataturk and Turkey,

21     where half a million people were moved about, then half a million of

22     Germans after the Second World War.  These are simply scientific facts

23     that I have no impact on, and this is what occurred in

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Look at the homogenisation process in

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina nowadays.  210.000 Croats in Republika Srpska are not

Page 43402

 1     there, they are not coming back.  Sarajevo has 95 or 96 per cent of

 2     Muslims, and this is so.  These are natural laws coming about after wars.

 3             Every year, in terms of statistics, 10 per cent of any expelled

 4     population is not going to return.  If you fail to return them by the end

 5     of five or six years, they will no longer return.  These are world

 6     statistics that I'm familiar with, nothing more than that.  I was just

 7     saying what the consequences of the war would be, independent of my will.

 8             As a lad said --

 9             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Mr. Praljak, thank you very much for your

10     answer.

11             Mr. Stringer, please.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

13             Mr. Praljak, I don't want to put you in a difficult situation,

14     but you're saying that the young man who made the minutes might have

15     misinterpreted your words.  That might have happened.  Things happen.

16     But when looking at the text, a number of questions spring to mind.

17             Before all this, you say that there is no state without a nation,

18     so you're already mentioning this question of state.  You're mentioning

19     the state on several occasions, which is why my fellow Judge put this

20     question to you, and I was going to put exactly the same question to you.

21             According to the Vance-Owen Plan, the only state is the Republic

22     of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There is no other state than that one, so why are

23     you talking about a state?  You seem to say that there's no state without

24     a nation, but in the background you're talking about the Croatian nation,

25     so those who do not have your standing, your education, your culture,

Page 43403

 1     might listen to you and interpret by saying, "Well, Slobodan Praljak is

 2     telling us that there's a need for a Croatian state."

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  The Vance-Owen Plan, luckily

 4     it failed.  Well, Croats started moving out en masse, Your Honours.  They

 5     were given Croatian citizenship at the outset, and as this guy told me,

 6     he said, Mr. Praljak, for the third time my family is rebuilding its home

 7     in this century, and I will not do it the fourth time 'round.  These are

 8     people who were expelled, who were at war, who were being killed.  They

 9     didn't want to live there anymore.  If they had relatives in France or

10     Germany, they went.  If they had someone in Croatia, they did go.  We

11     were fighting for the survival of the minimum number of Croats who were

12     still there, which in the meantime the figures of which were halved.

13     People flee unless they are protected, unless there is -- their national

14     and citizen identities are protected.  These are facts.  Anyone dealing

15     in sociology knows this.

16             Croats happen to be a nation with the greatest number of emigres

17     among nations.  People in Vares said, Well, we'll no longer live there,

18     so what can I do?

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As my fellow Judge Trechsel

20     told you earlier, you're not directly answering my questions or his

21     questions.  I had a very specific question.  I was asking you whether

22     during this meeting you uttered the word "state" on several occasions,

23     and instead of answering my question, and everybody agrees with you,

24     you're saying in this kind of situation some people migrate.  Fine, we

25     can only agree with you on that, on that statement of facts, but you're

Page 43404

 1     not answering my question.  I wanted to know whether you uttered the word

 2     "state."  You're saying, well, the young man who took the minutes made a

 3     mistake.  He might have made one mistake, but making the same mistake

 4     over and over again, because the word "state" occurs in that text many

 5     times, you must have talked about state.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, it was about

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  You saw hundreds of documents referring to

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina, but unless the Croatian people are specifically

 9     protected, we would disappear.  This specific protection was entailed

10     within the Vance-Owen, Cutileiro, and Stoltenberg plan.  They were based

11     on the protection of the least numerous nation.  Unfortunately, the last

12     plan, the Dayton one, no longer protected it, and I don't think there are

13     more than 450.000 left.  This is about Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had to

14     be set up to protect the basic principles:  One, the right of a nation to

15     exist; and the right of a citizen to enjoy his or her rights.  And that

16     was not done.  The smallest nation, albeit they have their national

17     state, were forced to leave the other one because they could not enjoy

18     all of the rights and privileges because they were not protected.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

20             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, concerning your

21     latest two questions, and this is something that was discussed even

22     before that, we discussed the value of this note or these minutes.  This

23     is not a transcript.  These are notes.  For technical reasons, I wanted

24     to have on the record that on the 5th of September, 2006, the same topic

25     was discussed, when we saw this document for the first time with Witness

Page 43405

 1     Tomljanovich.  The question is whether the words of the participants were

 2     conveyed truly and fully.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honours.  And here

 4     it says "and we have it now."  This means we have the state of

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  It comes right after "there is no state without a

 6     nation."  It is clear.  If there are no inhabitants, then all the rest is

 7     in vain.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.

 9             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President.

10        Q.   General, since you challenged the text that's being attributed to

11     you here in this meeting, I want to come back to this issue for one

12     moment, these words:

13             "Now we have got what we want, the homogenisation of our

14     population continues, we can only fence off what is ours and build there

15     our own state --" I'm sorry, "our own space and our own state.  It is all

16     as clear as noon on a spring day."

17             Now, General, if you would look at the screen, I'm going to show

18     you some transcript of your testimony in this trial on the 4th of June,

19     2009, page 41242.  We've got it in Sanction.  I'll read to you beginning

20     from line 21.  These are your words in the transcript:

21             "At this point in time, we are in Stolac --"

22             Let me interrupt here.  You were talking about one of the

23     presidential transcripts, where there was discussion with President

24     Tudjman about how far you should fight or defend, and you said:

25             "At this point in time, we are in Stolac and we stopped right

Page 43406

 1     there.  It's about the president saying, don't move further from there,

 2     don't launch a defence war.  We defended all the areas from Republika

 3     Srpska and from the JNA, the Muslim and Croat majority areas, and stopped

 4     right there."

 5             Continuing on to the next page, you say:

 6             "These are the facts of the matter, and that's as clear as a

 7     spring day."

 8             Now, General, it's interesting that the phrase you used two

 9     months ago in this trial, "clear as a spring day," is, in fact, the same

10     phrase, virtually, that's attributed to you by the person who took these

11     minutes, and I'm going to put to you, General, that, in fact, the person

12     that wrote these minutes down wrote them accurately and that, in fact, he

13     accurately reported your words that you said on that day in April 1993.

14     Isn't that true?

15        A.   It seems your knowledge is immense if you know that a person

16     could take down everything I said, even though we have professional

17     interpreters here who constantly object to the pace of my speech.  As for

18     someone taking down my phrase, saying that something was as clear as the

19     noon on a spring day, cannot mean that -- or does not mean that he

20     correctly recorded the sentence preceding that.  In any case, I stand by

21     the fact that my political and scientific position is clear, and that is

22     that this young man could not take down correctly everything I said and

23     that hundreds of other documents expressing -- containing my views can

24     amend or serve as an addition to everything I said, in terms of the

25     official Croatian policy and the policy of the HZ-HB.  This was said on

Page 43407

 1     numerous times.  Yes, Bosnia-Herzegovina; yes, three constituent peoples.

 2     And the state was supposed to be set up to the benefit of all three and

 3     not to the detriment of any.  Unfortunately, this did not materialise.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the Prosecutor

 5     did not put a question to you, but in the text we see that Mr. Kordic is

 6     it taking the floor to talk about Zenica.  Take a look at it and look at

 7     what he says.  After that, you will leave the meeting with Mr. Coric, but

 8     he's talking about creating a municipality in Zenica, and he's saying

 9     that instructions were given.  In Zenica, there's a Muslim component.  So

10     how can you reconcile all this?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you look at the census, in

12     Zenica there were 30.000 Croats, Judge Antonetti, 30.000 Croats in

13     Zenica, approximately.  This was a rather compact area.  For example, the

14     Jura Sema [phoen] Canton in the Federation, I think in 1965, separated

15     and became an independent unit without undermining the foundations of the

16     Swiss state.  Well, if something like that existed, then there was no

17     reason not to implement such a good model of organisation of a state in

18     the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  These incredible experiments were

19     conducted there.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we have the

21     census figures for Zenica.  This is in document 10519.  In 1991, in

22     Zenica, there's 145.517 people; 22.000 Croats, 80.000 Muslims.  So if

23     elections are held, the 80.000 Muslims will lead the municipality.

24     They're in the majority, and the Croats are in a minority.  You can't

25     deny that.  So why is Mr. Kordic saying that there's a need to create a

Page 43408

 1     municipality?  The figures don't allow for this.  How can you interpret

 2     what Mr. Kordic is saying?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This homogenisation, Your Honours,

 4     that we discussed did take place in Bosnia-Herzegovina on a miniature

 5     scale.  The number of Croats kept coming down.  The Croats in Zenica

 6     lived in a relatively compact area.  We can annex them to Jajce

 7     municipality or to Travnik and thus realise an absolute or maximum Croat

 8     majority, leaving the rest of the territory to Muslims, where they would

 9     have 98 per cent.  You can draft borders in such a way all across

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina and that you would always end up with a relative

11     majority of Muslims.  But the Vance-Owen simply foresaw elections.  For

12     example, in Jablanica --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, if I'm wrong,

14     please correct me.  The Geneva meeting, all the work done, the

15     Vance-Owen Plan, all this was done based on statistics that came from the

16     census figures; you agree with me on this.  So when they decided to

17     create Cantons 3, 8, and 10, where there's a Croat majority, they base

18     themselves on statistics.  So unless I'm wrong, in the international

19     community people integrated the fact that elections would be held in

20     these cantons and those who were in a majority would remain in the

21     majority.  Do you agree on this?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I fully agree.  This is Kordic's

23     idea of sorts.  I cannot interpret him.  I agree with you in full, that

24     this was the basic plan of setting up Bosnia and Herzegovina from

25     Cutileiro onwards.  That was the guiding thought.

Page 43409

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 2             THE ACCUSED PRLIC:  I don't know is it proper or not, but this is

 3     already in evidence.  We introduced evidence as Vance-Owen Plan and all

 4     documents.  It is not true that this democratic strict principle is going

 5     to be applied.  For every province is envisaged how many in government.

 6     For instance, 10 of them should be Croat, Serb, or Muslim.  So those

 7     right are going to be protected.

 8             I just want to add something which was already in evidence.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  We will refer to

10     that.

11             It may be time for the break.  It's 10.30.  Let's break for 20

12     minutes.

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

14                           --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.

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

16             Mr. Stringer.

17             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

18        Q.   General, before we continue with the next document, I want to

19     take a short -- hopefully what will be a short detour and take you back

20     to a little piece of your testimony from yesterday.  This is when we were

21     discussing the videotape that showed the oath-taking ceremony for the

22     Jure Francetic Brigade in Zenica in December of 1992.  Do you recall when

23     we looked at that video yesterday?

24        A.   Yes, I do remember.

25        Q.   And in response, I believe, to a question from His Honour

Page 43410

 1     Judge Antonetti, you were asked about whether there was a flag for the

 2     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna - this is page 72 of yesterday's

 3     transcript - and you said:

 4             "Well, I don't think that any decree proclaimed it as such, that

 5     the Republic of Herceg-Bosna -- Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna

 6     proclaiming that.  It didn't have a hymn or a flag.  It was a flag of the

 7     Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, quite simply, nothing more than

 8     that."

 9             So you were describing the flags that were being shown during

10     that ceremony, and I wanted to clarify this, General.  Are you saying

11     that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna did not have a flag, to your

12     knowledge?

13        A.   I don't know, really.  First of all, it's not the Croatian

14     Republic of Herceg-Bosna.  That came later with a proposed agreement on

15     the part of the international community.  As far as the

16     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna goes, I don't know whether there are

17     any documents proscribing any form of state flag.

18             MR. STRINGER:  With the Court's permission, I'd like for us to

19     take a look at P00772.  Mr. President, it's just something -- it's

20     already admitted into evidence.  It's a decree from the Narodni List, and

21     I'm simply proposing that since it's already in evidence we can show it

22     in e-court on the screen just to make this brief point.

23        Q.   General, do you see the document on the screen in front of you?

24     Do you see this is the decree on the coat of arms for the

25     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

Page 43411

 1        A.   Yes, I see that.

 2        Q.   And this is from 1992, prior to the time of this -- about a month

 3     prior to the time of this celebration or this ceremony in Zenica.  So I'm

 4     not suggesting that you did know, General, either way whether or not

 5     there was a flag, but would you agree with me it appears that, in fact,

 6     there had been a decree on a -- what we could call a coat of arms and

 7     flag of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

 8        A.   Yes, I see that a decree existed on the use of a coat of arms and

 9     a flag of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  However, at the same

10     time it's always important to mention that the Croatian Community of

11     Herceg-Bosna was within the frameworks of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it says

12     here, and that it was established as a temporary solution for the defence

13     of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14        Q.   All right.  General, we can move back to the binder for what

15     I think is going to be the last exhibit in this set, and I'd like to take

16     you to Exhibit P02719 which is one of the presidential transcripts from

17     the 11th of June, 1993.  2719.  It should be behind the document that we

18     were just looking at, although I may have skipped one.  P02719.

19             General, if you don't have it, tell us, and we can -- we can --

20        A.   I'm afraid I can't find it.  I don't have it.

21             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Mr. Stringer, we do not have it either, I

22     believe.

23             MR. STRINGER:  I referred to the same transcript earlier.  It's

24     in, I think, the next previous binder, and so we probably didn't include

25     it again.  But if it's not handy, I'm actually inclined to skip over it

Page 43412

 1     at this point, rather than taking a lot of time.

 2             Could I propose, since this is from one of the presidential

 3     transcripts, perhaps we could try to work off e-court, and if the general

 4     is able to do that and if that works okay with everyone, it's just one

 5     reference to this transcript I'd like to go to and then we can move on.

 6     So this is P02719, if we could get that up in e-court.  It's a record of

 7     a presidential -- meeting at the Presidency.  I'll start over again.

 8     It's the minutes -- it's the record of the meeting between

 9     President Tudjman and others, together with President Izetbegovic and his

10     contingent, in Zagreb on the 11th of June, 1993, and I want to go to

11     page 17 of this transcript.

12             Just actually for reference, so that we can remember, if we look

13     at page 16, we'll see -- and this is the part we looked at earlier in

14     your cross-examination, General, where President Izetbegovic was

15     questioning President Tudjman about the role or the activities of people

16     like Mr. Boban, Mr. Kordic, Mr. Kostroman, and Tudjman says here on

17     page 16 that the only message that they were receiving from "us," that

18     is, the Croatian side, in Zagreb was to cooperate.  So that's the part

19     that we looked at earlier.

20             And now turning the page, I want to go with some of the

21     statements of President Izetbegovic on page 17.  He's talking about

22     events and tensions between the Croats and the Muslims in

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he says, and I'm going to go to about the middle

24     of the page:

25             "How it all came about and how it came in such a response, the

Page 43413

 1     bitter cup overflowed, overflowed with that behaviour with Mostar,

 2     Ahmici, Prozor, convoys with food, convoys with weapons, that was all

 3     stopped, plundered day after day; they have been enduring all this for a

 4     year, in the middle of their own country they have to come, an HVO pass

 5     is signed for 50 marks, all this is endured until it comes to this, and

 6     then this happens.  I condemn these things, but I am simply trying to

 7     explain how such excesses occur.  Believe me that the violence

 8     perpetrated down there by the HVO, the arbitrary acts perpetrated down

 9     there by the HVO - and they were better armed than our people - exceeds

10     all bounds ..."

11             And then Izetbegovic asks Tudjman:

12             "Did you recognise a parallel army?  We said, okay, we have to

13     recognise it, and then we continued to fight the Chetniks, et cetera, and

14     we said that it was a lawful army and that cost us.  Now it goes a step

15     further.  Boban, instead of accepting, recognising the army, now wants a

16     state as well; he doesn't want any Bosnian signs there; he wants to

17     cleanse the population.  The Muslims move.  Then invents that there are

18     100 or 200.000 more because of the refugees, that this upsets the

19     demographic structure.  They have to be cleansed, et cetera.  This other

20     argument of yours, perhaps it explains some things.  It says there were

21     Muslims, their percentage was such and such, now it has changed because

22     of the refugees.  So what should be done?  They should be cleansed,

23     driven away.  You know what happened in Mostar.  They came up to people

24     who were not refugees, to people who lived there from way back.  The

25     Ustashas did not do that, Mr. Tudjman.  Mostar was under the Ustashas for

Page 43414

 1     four years.  There was Bajedic's [phoen] house, that very same Bajedic

 2     who was with the partisans up there.  The family remained behind, and

 3     nobody drove them away in those four years, while Boban's men drove out

 4     thousands of families from their homes in Mostar, occupied the houses,

 5     and ..."

 6        Q.   Now, we are now in June of 1993, General.  We're two months after

 7     this meeting that we were just talking about that you participated in in

 8     Central Bosnia.  We're two months after Izetbegovic's signing the

 9     Vance-Owen Plan, and yet still he's continuing -- or he's complaining

10     about expulsions not only of refugees, Muslim refugees, but now long-time

11     Muslim residents of places like Mostar, and I've got two questions here.

12             First of all, the fact is now that we know that on the ground,

13     these so-called protections of the Muslims or the minorities that you've

14     been talking about that were going to take place under Vance-Owen, in

15     fact, never came to pass and that the only thing that happened post-April

16     1993 was the continued expulsion of Muslims from the so-called Croatian

17     territory; isn't that true?

18        A.   It is wholly untrue, everything that Izetbegovic says and

19     everything that you're saying, quite untrue.  In April in Mostar, it

20     wasn't the HVO making any plans to attack the BH Army.  It was Pasalic

21     who made plans to attack -- just a moment, I beg your pardon.  My answer

22     is that Izetbegovic -- yes.  Well, I said it's incorrect.  All that is

23     not true.  It's just a lot of rattling, blah-blah-blah, that's all it is.

24        Q.   So you deny that large numbers of Muslim inhabitants of Mostar

25     were being evicted and driven away by the HVO during June of 1993?

Page 43415

 1        A.   Sir, I don't know what it is that Mr. Izetbegovic is speaking

 2     about here.  I know that on the 9th of May, the BH Army attacked Mostar

 3     and the HVO, and it was -- the situation was precisely the reverse.  It

 4     was on the side controlled by the BH Army that only 140 Croats were left,

 5     whereas on the other side more than 7.000 Muslims remained, and those are

 6     the facts.  So Izetbegovic is not telling the truth.  He is doing a bit

 7     of political manipulation here.

 8             And, secondly, when he speaks about the Ustashas, he forgets to

 9     say that --

10        Q.   You're not answering my question.  I'll put it to you again.  Do

11     you deny that large numbers of Muslim inhabitants of Mostar were being

12     evicted and driven away by the HVO during June of 1993?  Do you deny that

13     or do you accept that that was taking place?

14        A.   Tell us how many.  What large numbers?

15        Q.   General, you're playing games with me, and we're not going to

16     play games.  You've sat in this courtroom for the past three years.

17     You've heard the evidence.  You've heard the witnesses come talk about

18     what happened to them in Mostar.  You've heard others who were there, who

19     were acting as internationals.  I'm asking you, and I'm talking about

20     hundreds of Muslims from Mostar being driven out of flats, out of

21     apartments, in June, driven across to the eastern side of Mostar.  Do you

22     accept that that was taking place or do you deny it?

23        A.   According to what I heard here, and only according to that, I

24     could agree that 200 to 300 Muslims from the western side, which was

25     controlled by the HVO, was, by groups outside anybody's control, expelled

Page 43416

 1     to the eastern side.  Whether it was 200 or 150, I don't know.  But I

 2     also know that the organised HVO protected more than 7.000 Muslims who

 3     throughout the war remained on the west side.  So that's why I'm asking

 4     you what numbers you're referring to.

 5        Q.   Very well.  When Izetbegovic here, in this conversation, regrets

 6     recognising an army, a parallel army --

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Stringer.  I

 8     believe Mr. Petkovic wants to say something.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.  Could the microphone be

10     adjusted.  Thank you.  The microphone does not seem to be working.

11             The microphone is still not working.  We can't hear

12     General Petkovic.

13             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can you hear me now?  Yes,

14     thank you.

15             A technical question would be in order related to the 11th of

16     June, 1993, the day when Mr. Izetbegovic was in Zagreb.  That would be

17     interesting.  I think that General Praljak has forgotten this, so you can

18     refresh his memory and he can confirm or deny it.  Did Travnik definitely

19     fall into the hands of the BH Army on that day, whereas Mr. Izetbegovic

20     said not a word about that to Mr. Tudjman?  That's all I have to say,

21     because we have to tie in the context of that meeting and those talks

22     with everything else.  I don't know if Praljak is aware of this or knows

23     about it or not.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do know that, and I'm

25     claiming that Izetbegovic is just telling political lies here and is

Page 43417

 1     referring to Boban and the Croats.  First of all, his interlocutor was

 2     not Franjo Tudjman but a legally -- the legally elected representatives

 3     of the Croatian people.  The fact that the convoy did not pass through,

 4     well, who did he fight against?  You saw hundreds of documents to the

 5     effect that we provided weapons, and we took care of all the refugees and

 6     transported all the wounded people.  These are blatant lies by a man

 7     leaving the Vance-Owen Plan and preparing an all-out attack by the

 8     BH Army, because the BH Army at this particular time expelled all the

 9     Croats from Travnik.

10             What are we talking about here?  Those are the facts.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.

12             General Praljak, what Mr. Petkovic said drew my attention to this

13     meeting which took place between President Tudjman and Izetbegovic on the

14     11th of June, 1993.  I realised that this took place at something like

15     1.00 in the morning, so a meeting that takes place at 1.00 in the morning

16     is a serious meeting.  There must be a valid reason for that.

17             What happened on the 10th or the 11th of June which led to the

18     fact that Mr. Izetbegovic had to meet Mr. Tudjman past midnight?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I know that on

20     the 11th, the BH Army launched a mass attack expelling the HVO and the

21     people from Travnik.  I know that on the 9th of May, after preparations

22     in April, that it attacked Mostar, that is to say, the HVO in Mostar.

23     And I also know, and I said this several times, that they were preparing

24     to take over Croatian territory or territory from the Croatians because

25     they did not wish or could not fight the Serbs.

Page 43418

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, if we admit

 2     that on the 11th of June the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina drive out the

 3     Croats in Travnik, how is it, then, that on the same day Mr. Izetbegovic

 4     meets Mr. Tudjman?  Is it to talk about this, to discuss it?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  Obviously, he wasn't telling

 6     him anything.  Everything that Izetbegovic is saying here is a lie.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're looking at the

 8     transcript of this conversation, like I do, because Mr. Izetbegovic is

 9     complaining about the behaviour of the HVO and the attacks.  If there had

10     been the Travnik attack, Mr. Tudjman should have told him then, Well,

11     what are you complaining about, since you have just attacked us, attacked

12     me, attacked the HVO in Travnik?  But this does not figure here.  Does

13     this mean that he didn't know about it, because he doesn't mention it?

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for

15     getting up, but I'd just like to draw your attention to the fact that we

16     don't have the transcript in front of us, at least most of us don't.  But

17     if we look at the second page of the transcript, then we'll see that

18     President Tudjman is speaking about the fact that the BH Army attacked

19     certain Croatian villages, and then about the events taking place on the

20     territory inhabited by Croatians.  So on the basis of just one page of

21     the transcript, we're not going to be able to establish everything they

22     discussed on that particular day, unless we look at the rest.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partiality in this way won't lead

24     us anywhere.  Well, it will lead us somewhere, but not in the right

25     direction.

Page 43419

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Stringer.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  For the record, first, if we look at the

 3     beginning of this meeting, we see that Mr. Izetbegovic is complaining

 4     because on TV he says he has seen HVO soldiers, Croatian fighters,

 5     received by the Serbs, and singing the praise of how well they were

 6     received.  So one must assume that Alija Izetbegovic was fearing some

 7     kind of treason.  Whether rightly or wrongly, I will not speculate at

 8     all.

 9             And, second, if there was an attack on Travnik on the 11th of

10     June, it is not very reasonable, I think, to expect that Izetbegovic or

11     Tudjman were informed of this at 25 past midnight, because that's the

12     first minutes, and I cannot imagine, for the life of me, how at that

13     moment they can already be informed of an attack which it is said took

14     place on that day.  So I think we better not speculate.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, Serb

16     Television or, rather, television of the Republika Srpska, was all too

17     happy to broadcast that particular evening how refugees from Vlasic were

18     escaping to Serb territory.  That was televised, so people knew about it.

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I'd just like to ask us -- I'd just

20     like to ask you to provide General Praljak with the entire text so that

21     he can follow, because just extracting a single page or passage, without

22     showing the whole text, I don't think will lead us to the right

23     conclusions.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Actually, the observations I made are not

25     opening a new discussion, but, on the contrary, showing that first there

Page 43420

 1     is an answer to the question the President has raised, there is an

 2     explanation why they met at that time, and, second, the logical

 3     difficulties in assuming that they might have known about the attack on

 4     Travnik.  That's all, and I do not think that one has to have a document

 5     to take cognizance of this, and I think we can go on.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, I did

 7     not get up following on from your intervention, that was far from my

 8     mind.  I was up on my feet before you started speaking and then I sat

 9     down, and I just wanted to ask the Prosecutor, very kindly, to provide

10     General Praljak with the integral text if -- of the transcripts if he's

11     going to discuss them.  Just that, thank you.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I should, then, apologise for having

13     interrupted you or taken precedence.

14             Please, Mr. Stringer.

15             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16             I would propose, actually, to move on.  I have got a hard copy of

17     it here.  The transcript was in the previous binder, but I think that

18     I've exhausted my questions on this issue, and --

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Mr. Stringer, but in

20     which previous binder?  We have been given three binders, so which one?

21     It's not in any of those.

22             MR. STRINGER:  The one just before this, the first of the JCE

23     binders.

24             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Before the summer recess; is that

25     what you mean?

Page 43421

 1             MR. STRINGER:  That's right.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The one we were given before the

 3     recess; right?

 4             MR. STRINGER:  Correct.  But --

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If I may assist, it's a binder labelled

 6     "List 3."

 7             MR. STRINGER:  I wonder whether we really need to stay with this.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move on.

 9             General Praljak, I would like to have a clarification on

10     Mr. Izetbegovic's personality.  Sometimes you've said good things about

11     him, sometimes bad things, and just now you did not say good things about

12     him.

13             Thanks to my colleague, we have been able to determine that on

14     the 11th of June, there could be no question about the Travnik attack

15     because a meeting was held after midnight.  So had there been an attack,

16     the attack would have taken place on the morning of the 11th of June.

17     And in the transcript, we can see that Mr. Izetbegovic is complaining

18     about the behaviour of the HVO.  I see here -- there's no need to look at

19     the text.  You can trust me.  On page 12 of the English, Mr. Izetbegovic

20     says:

21             "Last night I ordered a cease-fire, a unilateral cease-fire."

22             So he says to Mr. Tudjman, I have ordered a cease-fire.  And a

23     few hours after that, they attack.  How can you explain this?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Izetbegovic did not have

25     control of his army, or Halilovic in particular, on many counts, or the

Page 43422

 1     commanders in Zenica.  So whether intentionally or not -- well, whether

 2     he's telling the truth or lying, I can't go into that, but the facts

 3     refute what he says completely.  So as -- nobody listened to his orders

 4     on the cease-fire, none of the BH Army, if he actually did issue those

 5     orders, or perhaps he just said he did.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I just be

 7     allowed to say one more sentence?  Is it possible that -- it is possible

 8     that you didn't understand what General Petkovic said.  General Petkovic

 9     did not say that on that day, that is to say, the 11th of June, is when

10     the attack on Travnik began, but that Travnik fell, that is to say, that

11     the BH attack had been completed in such a way as Travnik fell.  The

12     attack went on for several days, so both President Izetbegovic and

13     President Tudjman knew of the attack.

14             Thank you.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But the answer to Judge Antonetti

16     would be this:  On page 2 of the transcript, for heaven's sake,

17     Mr. Izetbegovic says that he watched television that evening, and

18     President Tudjman says he didn't see anything -- he wasn't watching

19     television, and he says the armies of the Serb Republic are receiving the

20     Croatian fighters who are boasting.  Of course, they have to boast to

21     prevent them from being killed.  They say how they were taken in.  And he

22     says, We could have foreseen this a long time ago, because this

23     cooperation has existed for a long time.  This is morbid.  It's a false,

24     morbid lie.  I can accept that Mr. Izetbegovic really doesn't know what

25     was going on there, that they attacked Travnik, massacred the people, and

Page 43423

 1     that he says that was because of cooperation with the Serbs.  That's just

 2     idiocy.  So that's his level of information.  Now, what he knows, what he

 3     doesn't know of the situation, I don't know, but it's all morbid, very

 4     morbid.

 5             And then he says that we didn't provide any food.  Well, for

 6     heaven's sake.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.

 8             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 9        Q.   General, you can put away that binder.  Actually, you can put

10     away both of the binders that are in front of you, because we're going to

11     move to the next one.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Perhaps the usher can help you and bring you the

13     next binder which I believe she has.  This would be a binder that says

14     "List 5," binder 1 of 2.  These were distributed to everyone yesterday.

15        Q.   Okay.  General, we're shifting gears.  We're going to talk for a

16     while about the HVO military and how it was structured and how it

17     operated, and we're going to talk a bit about your position as commander

18     of the HVO.

19             And I want to start off with the testimony that you gave a few

20     years ago, when you were a defence witness in the Naletilic-Martinovic

21     case, Tuta Stela.  This is from -- your testimony is Exhibit P10980, and

22     on page 9419 of that transcript, and I know you don't have it in the

23     Croatian language because we don't have that, so we're going to put it on

24     the screen and we can -- I can read you the parts, and you can take the

25     interpretation.

Page 43424

 1             You were asked -- actually, while we're there, General, why don't

 2     you turn to the next document in your binder, which is the chart that you

 3     were writing on when you testified in the Tuta Stela case.  There you go,

 4     you've got it.  There's an organisation chart that should have your

 5     handwriting on it, if you turn one more page.  That's right.

 6             Okay.  And so for the record, the General's testimony from the

 7     Tuta Stela trial is, for our case here, marked as P10980, and then the

 8     organisational chart that the general worked with when he was testifying

 9     as a witness in the Tuta Stela case, our exhibit number for that is

10     P09324, just so that we don't confuse those numbers with the exhibit

11     numbers from the Tuta Stela case.

12             So, General, let me ask you -- I'm going to read some of your

13     testimony to you, and we will refer also to the chart that you had in

14     front of you at the time you testified back in April of 2002, and this

15     was on your direct examination.  And at that time, Mr. Krsnik, who was

16     the lawyer for Mladen Naletilic, was asking you some questions about the

17     HVO organisation, and he says - this is page 9419 of the Tuta Stela

18     transcript at line 7:

19             "And I will start now by asking you about the structure of the

20     HVO at the time when you arrived, as of the 28th of July -- 27th of July,

21     1993, onward."

22             And let me stop there, General.  Now, these have indications that

23     you took command of the HVO on the 27th of July, 1993, but I believe

24     we've established, actually, that it was the 24th of July which is the

25     day you took command; is that correct?

Page 43425

 1        A.   Correct.

 2        Q.   All right.  And you were first asked about Mladen Naletilic, and

 3     you were asked if you knew him personally, and you said, yes, you knew

 4     him personally.  You had known each other since childhood.  And so as

 5     you've already testified, you knew each other when you were school-aged

 6     children, and then you met again many years later after he returned from

 7     abroad; is that correct?

 8        A.   From your question, one could conclude that we attended school

 9     together.  We attended school in the same building, but he is younger

10     than I am.  We were not in the same class.  I think there were two years

11     of difference between the two of us.  At that time, it was quite a

12     difference, because I always tried to hang out with those older than me.

13     In any case, I did know him.  Everyone knew everyone else in that small

14     place.

15        Q.   And then turning the page of the transcript, Mr. Krsnik is asking

16     you about this chart here which we're looking at, which in the Tuta Stela

17     trial was marked as Exhibit D1/82, and he says to you or he asks -- asks

18     you to look at the chart.  And you say:

19             "This is more or less an accurate chart of the HVO structure in

20     1993."

21             And he asks you to be more specific, and then this is what you

22     say:

23             "First comes the supreme commander, then the Defence Department.

24     Then below it is the Main Staff.  The military police units are attached

25     to the Defence Department.  The Main Staff has command over four

Page 43426

 1     operative zones, Operative Zone Mostar, Tomislavgrad, Vitez, Orasje.  And

 2     directly tied to the Main Staff are units attached to the Main Staff, and

 3     special purpose units and professional units are directly related to the

 4     Main Staff through the Defence Department and then on, that is upward, to

 5     the supreme commander."

 6             And then you're asked about special-purpose units or the

 7     so-called ATGs, which in English stands for "anti-terrorist group," and

 8     you say:

 9             "Yes, I'm familiar with the term 'ATG.'  These are mostly units

10     that would go to the front-line at a particular point in time, perform a

11     task, and then go back home, in point of fact, because there were no

12     barracks.  And in those instances when they stayed on the front-line,

13     then they would be subordinated to the commander of that particular

14     front-line."

15             Okay.  General, just first question on what I read to you so far

16     is:  What you said under oath in the Naletilic-Martinovic case back in

17     April of 2002, do you still consider that to be a correct general

18     description of the HVO structure for our purposes today?  And we're going

19     to talk about this in more detail, obviously, and so I'm just trying to

20     get a general response from you as to this sort of overview that you've

21     provided to Mr. Krsnik.

22        A.   Mr. Stringer, I said that it was more or less correct.  It is

23     because on the 24th, I was appointed commander of the Main Staff, not of

24     the HVO, as you put it, and I was immediately in the midst of the war and

25     the effort to defend ourselves against the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I

Page 43427

 1     was familiar with what was going on in the field.  I didn't participate

 2     in the making of -- drawing up of any structure or hierarchy of the HVO,

 3     in military -- in the military sense.  Therefore, I'm not the right

 4     person to ask general questions of.  I can tell you only whether at that

 5     moment I could command a unit or not, and I can explain why.

 6        Q.   Well --

 7        A.   The entire structure was created earlier.  I was put in the midst

 8     of the war, and while I was there it was fierce.  The only thing I asked

 9     for was for the Main Staff, the four men -- well, allow me to tell you

10     the basic thing.  Later on, you'll move on to areas to which I won't be

11     able to give you answers to and some things that I won't be able to

12     clarify.

13        Q.   Let me try to break it down to come back to what you told the

14     Judges back in April of 2002 in the Tuta Stela case, and we can walk down

15     the chart.

16             First of all, do you remember that the writing here is writing

17     that you made, that you were asked to make on the chart when you were

18     testifying in that case?

19        A.   I made the notes, according to my best knowledge and

20     recollection.  But when I said "more or less accurate," that is

21     important.  I'm not certain of any schematics.  I simply didn't

22     participate in the drawing up of those.

23        Q.   All right.  So that from your Tuta Stela testimony, when you said

24     that this is more or less accurate, then you continue to hold that view

25     today?

Page 43428

 1        A.   More or less accurate, yes.  I don't know whether it's accurate,

 2     though.  I know some things for sure, such as operational zones,

 3     et cetera, but as I've said several times about certain professional

 4     units, well, I can answer to the best of my ability.

 5        Q.   We'll get to that.  Well, then, just to break it down a little

 6     bit, here at the top of the chart we have a box for the position of

 7     supreme commander, and can we agree that actually at all times during

 8     19 -- during 1993, that Mate Boban was the supreme commander of the HVO

 9     military?

10        A.   While I commanded the Main Staff, Mr. Boban was the commander of

11     the army.

12        Q.   And then on the chart, moving down, then we have the Defence

13     Department, and here you indicated, back when you testified before, that

14     Bruno Stojic was the head of the Defence Department, and can we agree

15     that that was the case during the time that you were commander of the HVO

16     Main Staff?

17        A.   While I commanded the Main Staff of the HVO, Mr. Bruno Stojic was

18     head of the Defence Department of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

19        Q.   All right.  Now, just a couple of questions about the time prior

20     to when you took command of the Main Staff.  You were present in Prozor

21     in October of 1992, shortly after the conflict took place there; correct?

22        A.   Correct.

23        Q.   We know that you spent a lot of time in that Prozor-Tomislavgrad

24     region throughout the earlier part of 1993, before you took command of

25     the Main Staff; isn't that also true?

Page 43429

 1        A.   We can't agree about this being a lot of time.  I was specific as

 2     to when, where, with what purpose, and what I said.  You are referring to

 3     Tomislavgrad, but I didn't go there often.  There is precise information

 4     about when, where, in what time, and with what purpose.

 5        Q.   You were in Mostar, I believe, on the 11th or the 10th of May,

 6     correct, 1993?

 7        A.   On the 11th of May, 1993.

 8        Q.   You were involved in combat activities in the Boksavica area in

 9     June and early July of 1993; correct?

10        A.   Correct.

11        Q.   You were in the Gornji Vakuf area in mid-January of 1993;

12     correct?

13        A.   Between the 15th of January and the 23rd of January, in the

14     morning, in Rama, and only a bit in Uskoplje to see what the situation

15     was and to share with the commanders there what my view of the situation

16     was, as well as to carry out the task, or, rather, I consented to going

17     there with a certain purpose in mind.

18        Q.   We know, from the document we looked at earlier today, that you

19     were present in Central Bosnia in the early part of April of 1993, when

20     you were participating in the meeting with Colonel Blaskic, Dario Kordic,

21     and the others.  So we agree you were in Central Bosnia in -- on the 2nd

22     of April, 1993?

23        A.   Yes, we can.

24        Q.   So all of this is to simply suggest to you that even before you

25     took command of the HVO Main Staff on the 24th of July, you had a great

Page 43430

 1     deal of contact and involvement in the HVO so that you are able to tell

 2     us that, in fact, Bruno Stojic was the head of the Defence Department

 3     during this entire period of time that we've been talking about,

 4     beginning from October of 1992 onward, correct, until --

 5        A.   I can't tell you that.  Contacts and actual knowledge are two

 6     different things.  I was in contact with Mr. Stojic, but as to what he

 7     became at what time and when he was appointed to what position, I don't

 8     know.  You have documents based on which you can conclude that.  I don't

 9     want to speculate.

10        Q.   And then on this chart, underneath the Defence Department we've

11     got the Main Staff, the "Glavni Stozer" which you took command of in --

12     on the 24th of July, 1993.  Now, can we agree, General, that the

13     Main Staff within the structure was a part of the Defence Department?  I

14     don't want to talk about who had authority to order or the differing

15     responsibilities and roles that were played, but in terms of the

16     organisational structure, can't we agree that the Main Staff fell within

17     the Defence Department?

18        A.   We can, and yet we cannot.  That is not completely true.  The

19     command structure of the Main Staff started with Mate Boban and with me,

20     but parts of that structure also rely on the Defence Department, which

21     entails a number of functions in relation to the army.  This was widely

22     discussed.  This is linked to Mate Boban and Main Staff and the Defence

23     Department and then, in turn, to the government.  One cannot simplify

24     matters and twist them so that they become untrue.  We can only discuss

25     them to the point at which the true nature of mutual relations are --

Page 43431

 1     become distorted.  Once we're there, that is no longer true and it is no

 2     longer a simplification but cheating.

 3        Q.   The Defence Department's responsibilities in respect of the

 4     Main Staff included such things as logistics and mobilisation; is that

 5     correct?

 6        A.   That is correct, but not only that.

 7        Q.   And then when we talk about the Defence Department --

 8        A.   Just a moment.  Mobilisation?  I don't know exactly who was in

 9     charge of that.  I don't want to tell you anything I'm not sure of.  I

10     cannot answer precisely who was in charge of mobilisation, its

11     implementation, et cetera.  I'm not sure.  Therefore, the Main Staff was

12     not in charge of mobilisation.  That is what I can tell you for certain.

13     As to who was in charge, I don't know that.

14        Q.   Well, let me ask it this way, then, since you were in charge of

15     the Main Staff from the 24th of July:  Did the Main Staff look to the

16     Defence Department to -- as the responsible organ for logistics?

17        A.   That is correct.  We received that from the Defence Department.

18        Q.   And --

19        A.   Well, actually, we turned to the Logistics Department.  When

20     units required supplies, they always asked that from the Main Supplies

21     Base, and I guess the base, in turn, received its supplies within --

22     Mr. Stringer, I can precisely answer your technical questions, but in

23     terms of organisations of this type, I'm not the best interlocutor for

24     that, believe me.

25        Q.   Are you telling us, General, that at the time you were commander

Page 43432

 1     of the HVO Main Staff, you don't actually know what entity was

 2     responsible for logistics for your army?

 3        A.   That is not true.  The Main Logistics Base of the HVO was the

 4     organ in charge.  The various units turned to it when they needed

 5     supplies.  The operational zones asked for supplies, in terms of staffing

 6     and weapons, et cetera.

 7        Q.   All right, General.

 8        A.   That is what I know.

 9        Q.   Is it the Defence Department that ran the Logistics Base, that

10     was responsible for ensuring that the required logistics were taking

11     place?

12        A.   The correct answer would be that the Logistics Base was not run

13     by the Main Staff.  It is highly likely, according to the information I

14     have, that it was run by the Defence Department.  It is correct that it

15     was not run by the Main Staff, and most likely it fell within the Defence

16     Department.

17        Q.   Well, there's no other place for it to fall, isn't there?  If

18     it's not the Defence Department, then it's -- there's no other body

19     that's going to be responsible for that.  General, I'm going to suggest

20     to you that you're not being candid with me on basic issues such as this.

21     Don't we both know that logistics and Logistics Centre fell within the

22     jurisdiction of the HVO Defence Department and Bruno Stojic, at least

23     from the 24th of July, 1993, to the 9th of November, 1993?

24        A.   Mr. Stringer, I'm being completely candid.  I simply want to be

25     mathematically precise.  The man in charge was for sure not appointed by

Page 43433

 1     the Main Staff.  I say that it is highly likely -- well, if you tell me

 2     to put my life on that, that it was the Defence Department, well, I'd

 3     rather not.  I didn't have time to study this in detail, and you better

 4     ask someone else to get a precise answer.  I know, with mathematical --

 5     if I knew with mathematical certainty, I wouldn't try avoiding any

 6     question.

 7        Q.   Can we agree that as we move down the chart, that the four

 8     operative zones that you testified about, that you identified in the

 9     Naletilic-Martinovic trial, that the operative zones, and the brigades,

10     and the units falling under those operative zones, were directly

11     subordinated to the Main Staff?

12        A.   Correct.

13        Q.   Now, let's move off to the side, then, and talk about a more

14     complicated issue which relates to the professional units -- special

15     units, professional units, and perhaps these anti-terrorist groups.

16             Now, as I understand from your testimony in the

17     Naletilic-Martinovic case, and this is at page 9576 of that transcript,

18     you've said, and I'm looking at line 12 -- you're being asked about these

19     ATGs or professional units, and you've said that you had two such units,

20     that was the Bruno Busic and the Ludvig Pavlovic Brigade, as being two

21     professional units that were directly subordinated to the Main Staff.  Is

22     that a correct statement?

23        A.   Not brigades, but regiments.  Therefore, that were less men.

24     That is correct.  With Bruno Busic and Ludvig Pavlovic, those were the

25     two units that I could command.

Page 43434

 1        Q.   And as I understand from your earlier testimony, these two units

 2     were professional, in that the members of these two units stayed attached

 3     to the unit all the time, they didn't go home, for example, and over time

 4     they were staying -- or that they stayed in barracks together, as opposed

 5     to going home.  Is that something that distinguished them from other

 6     units of the HVO that were not professional units?

 7        A.   Yes, correct.  One of the things that distinguished them was that

 8     when they weren't up in at their positions in an action of some kind,

 9     they were -- well, the Ludvig Pavlovic Battalion in Capljina,

10     Mr. Stringer, they were dispersed.  They weren't in one part.  They had

11     their parts in Central Bosnia and so on.  So when I say this, it turns

12     out that the entire regiment, as many as they were, that they were all in

13     one place, which is not true.  They weren't, while I was down there, of

14     course, as opposed to the others who, when they did their seven-day

15     shifts or twelve-day shifts, would go home and become civilians.  The

16     members of these two units, on the other hand, were always at the

17     disposal of who needed them.  You didn't have to mobilise them all over

18     again.

19        Q.   And if you needed them and if you needed to deploy members of

20     these two units into combat operations, you had the authority to do so

21     directly?  You didn't have to consult, for example, with another body,

22     such as the Defence Department, in order to coordinate such a deployment;

23     is that correct?

24        A.   Correct, I did that myself.

25        Q.   And that is different from other units that did require some

Page 43435

 1     coordination or approval from the Defence Department before they could be

 2     deployed; is that true?  For example, a military police unit?

 3        A.   When I arrived, I received approval, at my request, so that the

 4     military police units, because of the situation, in the military sense

 5     could be subordinated, and those units of the military police which

 6     were -- well, the battalions, military police battalions, the

 7     professional ones, I could send them out into an action without having to

 8     consult anybody further because I was given a general approval, an

 9     overall approval, from Mate Boban through Bruno Stojic, or the two of

10     them together, whatever.  And once I received this overall approval, the

11     military police battalions, made up of professionals, well, I could

12     deploy them, I could send them to the battle-front, without having to

13     seek additional authority from anyone.

14        Q.   Is that the situation that was in existence throughout the entire

15     time that you were commander of the HVO Main Staff, that you or the

16     Main Staff could deploy military police battalions as though they were

17     one of the other units that was directly subordinated to the Main Staff?

18        A.   Mr. Stringer, I can't really answer your question because it's

19     been a long time since then.  Perhaps it's true that sometime in October

20     1993, perhaps, that decision was declared null and void, and when the

21     1993 Muslim offensive was completely routed and when there was not only a

22     cessation of hostility but when the situation became calmer, I can't

23     actually remember whether at that particular point in time that right was

24     rescinded, the right to deploy the military police.

25        Q.   Maybe it's more accurate to say that this special arrangement,

Page 43436

 1     where the Main Staff could directly deploy military police units, is

 2     linked to the situation with the Operation Neretva and the needs that

 3     arose in connection with that ABiH operation, so that as the needs

 4     diminished over time, then it may be that this special arrangement was no

 5     longer needed and, therefore, no longer in force?

 6        A.   That is highly possible.  I am not sure of that.  But let's not

 7     refer to it as a special arrangement.  It was a logical military

 8     development.  Once you have defence as the basis of every such system and

 9     when there was the danger that we, from Central Bosnia to the south of

10     Mostar, could be routed, and that the BH Army, which wished to emerge

11     along the western borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was afoot, then it is

12     logical to use all your elements of defence, including the military

13     police, in your defence against the attacker.

14             MR. KHAN:  Your Honours, I'm sorry to intervene.

15             I wonder if I could ask the Registrar's assistance in getting

16     somebody from the computer help desk.  My LiveNote has frozen, and I've

17     tried restarting it.  So if we could get some assistance, I would be most

18     grateful.

19             MR. STRINGER:

20        Q.   General, to your understanding, then, this -- the arrangement --

21     the approval, I should say, the approval that you obtained from

22     Mate Boban to directly deploy military police units was not an

23     arrangement that was in effect prior to the time you became commander of

24     the Main Staff; is that correct?

25        A.   Most probably that is correct, but I don't know whether it is

Page 43437

 1     wholly correct.  I know what I told you, that that is what I requested

 2     and that is what I was given.  What happened before was probably

 3     different.

 4        Q.   The -- in all likelihood, the arrangement or the system in place

 5     prior to Operation Neretva was one whereby if the Main Staff wanted to

 6     deploy or to have military police units at its disposal, it would seek

 7     the approval of the head of the Defence Department in order to deploy

 8     military police; isn't that true?

 9             MR. KHAN:  Well, Your Honour, I do object.  In my respectful

10     submission, this has been asked and answered.  General Praljak said at --

11     in the last question, his answer is the answer he's already given, and

12     he's not sure about what happened previously.  Your Honour, it seems to

13     be that my learned friend is seeking the witness to speculate beyond the

14     area that he is willing or able to speak about, so I don't know if this

15     is of assistance to the Court and to Your Honours in going further on an

16     area where the witness has already spoken at least twice about the scope

17     of his knowledge.

18             MR. STRINGER:  I can rephrase.

19        Q.   General, prior to 24 July 1993, were you aware of any similar

20     authorisation by made Boban or anyone else that permitted the Main Staff

21     to directly deploy military police units without at least coordinating it

22     with the Defence Department?

23        A.   As far as I know, that authorisation was given to

24     Tihomir Blaskic, not the Main Staff but the head of the Central Bosnia

25     Operative Zone, because he was in that kind of military situation whereby

Page 43438

 1     most probably seeking authorisation all the time wouldn't have been

 2     actually viable.  But as I say, I requested authorisation and was given

 3     authorisation to -- for military deployment, that is to say, up at the

 4     lines for certain military police battalions.

 5        Q.   And since we're talking -- excuse me.  Since we're talking about

 6     Operation Neretva, then, we're talking about deploying military police

 7     units into the South-East Herzegovina Operative Zone?

 8        A.   That is correct, yes, they were deployed.  Not all of them, and

 9     not all at the same time, of course, because they had to have shifts and

10     so on, but a part of the military police was attached to the operative

11     zone which was commanded by Miljenko Lasic.

12        Q.   And since you sought the authorisation of Mate Boban in order to

13     do that, can we then agree that this was -- this was a change, this was

14     something that required a special arrangement or an authorisation for

15     Boban, because under normal circumstances the Main Staff could not deploy

16     military police into that operative zone without the approval of the

17     Defence Department?

18        A.   Yes, I could agree with that as being a logical conclusion.

19        Q.   And would you agree with the same premise if it was applied to

20     the North-West Herzegovina Operative Zone commanded by Mr. Siljeg?

21        A.   The same rule would apply.

22        Q.   Excuse me again.  And as you've said, because of the different

23     circumstances in Central Bosnia, a different authorisation had been given

24     to Tihomir Blaskic whereby he could directly use military police units in

25     that Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

Page 43439

 1        A.   As far as I remember, so to the best of my recollections, I think

 2     that he had such authorisation, in view of the fact that, in

 3     communication terms, he was in a very difficult position, so he wasn't

 4     able to -- well, the military situation would sometimes dictate that a

 5     certain number of military policemen should, of course, take part in the

 6     defence of the area and territory.

 7        Q.   We're going to talk about the military police more at a later

 8     time, but one final question on this -- on this topic, because on the

 9     chart we can see -- we've been talking about this box off to the right

10     which relates to the professional units or the ATGs.  Off to the left, we

11     have the military police units.  And at any time, can we agree, General,

12     that whenever a unit was deployed into an operative zone, whether it was

13     a military police unit or whether it was a professional unit or an ATG,

14     that no matter where they came from, they were going to be directly

15     subordinated to the command of the operative zone?  Isn't that true?

16        A.   There were several ATG groups, and I didn't command them.

17     However, when they were in the operative zone and when they were given

18     their assignment, in the operations sense, they were subordinated to the

19     operative zone commander, or sector, or whatever, whatever geographic

20     division according to the military situation in place.

21        Q.   And the same holds true for a military police unit that is

22     deployed into an operative zone; isn't that also true?

23        A.   Yes, that's correct.  If the military police were deployed, then

24     they would come under, in the operational sense - let me repeat that, in

25     the operational sense - under the command of the commander of that

Page 43440

 1     particular operative zone.

 2        Q.   And again we'll talk about this in greater detail later, but when

 3     you're -- you're emphasizing the operational sense, and what that means

 4     is that these units remain linked to or they remain within the structure

 5     of the organisation that they came from?  For example, a military police

 6     battalion remains within the military police structure even if it's been

 7     deployed to a position in an operative zone; correct?

 8        A.   Correct.

 9        Q.   General, the next document in your binder is another one of these

10     charts, and this is one of the ones that was shown to you during an

11     earlier part of your testimony.  I think it was during

12     cross-examination --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question

14     before we move on to the next document.  I'm still on the document which

15     you authenticated when you signed it and testified in the Naletilic case.

16     This is Exhibit P904 in the Naletilic case.

17             As I understand the organisational chart, the professional units

18     are attached to the Defence Department, because there's a line there.

19     You say, when you answered Mr. Stringer's question, that when these units

20     are on the ground, they report to the operational zone.  So I heard what

21     you said, and I compare this with the situation in Mostar in the month of

22     May.  When Mr. Naletilic's units, perhaps military policemen even, arrest

23     Muslim people, are they then placed under the operational control of the

24     person commanding the operational zone in Mostar?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they weren't.

Page 43441

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why not?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because they wouldn't be placed

 3     under anybody's control.  What I'm saying holds true under the assumption

 4     that they agreed to be under somebody's control, like the Ludvig Pavlovic

 5     professional unit and the other one.  What, what do you say?

 6     Baja Kraljevic, yes, and Bruno Busic and so on, those.

 7             As far as I know, and I do know, Mr. Naletilic, while I was in

 8     command, was not under my command, so he wasn't under anybody's control,

 9     the control of any commander who was under my control.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, to be crystal clear,

11     because this is an essential issue - I'm sure you've understood this - in

12     the organisation chart we have before us, according to you there is a

13     difference to be established between the professional units, i.e., those

14     under the control, and you quote Pavlovic, for instance, from those that

15     are not placed under any control, that of Naletilic, for instance, i.e.,

16     the Convicts Battalion.  That's right, isn't it?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

19             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC:  [Interpretation] I apologise,

20     Your Honour, but I'm afraid that there might be some misunderstanding.

21     Perhaps it's due to the English interpretation, but on page 68, line 9,

22     it says that your question was "when the units of Mladen Naletilic,

23     perhaps even the military policemen," and as it was recorded in the

24     transcript, it appears that you placed the military police into

25     Mladen Naletilic's units.  So when Mr. Praljak answered the question, it

Page 43442

 1     was no longer clear whether he said that in Mostar you could not command

 2     the units of Mladen Naletilic or you could not command the military

 3     police units, so I think there was a whole confusion there probably due

 4     to the English interpretation.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, we need to clarify

 6     this.

 7             In the Mostar operation, during which people are arrested, we

 8     have evidence that establish that some military policemen played a part

 9     in this sometimes.  You told us that you weren't there, so you can't have

10     been aware of what may have happened.  But as far as you know, if

11     military policemen arrested people, could they be placed under the

12     operational control of the operational zone in Mostar?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge at that

14     time, no, and I'm saying from the time that I arrived the military police

15     units, the battalions, were placed -- well, the possibility was there for

16     them to be deployed, and they were deployed, and they were under the

17     commands of the operative zone on the territory they were on.

18             Now, while I was down there, I was not able to command, nor did I

19     command, Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, and everything that he considered to

20     be his unit, although this is a very dubious concept, what his unit was,

21     and I don't know who could command him.  I did not, and I don't know who

22     did or who could have.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

24             Mr. Stringer.

25             MR. STRINGER:

Page 43443

 1        Q.   General, the next exhibit --

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, Mr. Stringer, please.

 3             MR. STRINGER:

 4        Q.   The next Exhibit is 4D01280, and, General, you can -- should be

 5     able to find it in your binder there.  It's a chart from the Petkovic

 6     Defence that I believe was shown to you during their cross-examination of

 7     you, and -- well, let me just read you your testimony about this.  I've

 8     just got a limited number of questions.  And I'm looking at page 42417 of

 9     the transcript, General, your testimony on the 2nd of July of 2009, and

10     Ms. Alaburic is asking you about this document.  And she says:

11             "So look at this diagram.  It was made strictly in keeping with

12     the Decree on the Armed Forces.  Take a look at the structure of the

13     Defence Department.  Does this structure correspond to what your

14     knowledge is of the organisational structure of the Defence Department?"

15             And you say:

16             "Yes, I'm familiar with this document.  This is the composition

17     of it, this is that diagram."

18             I just wanted to clarify that, General, your testimony on that is

19     that this is an accurate depiction of the structure of the HVO, or this

20     part -- these parts of the HVO, I should say?

21        A.   It's like this:  I have no reason, sir, to doubt Ms. Alaburic,

22     especially not General Petkovic, because he is far better acquainted with

23     all of these things than I am.  So it is -- what I know is quite certain,

24     that there was an assistant or that there should have been an assistant

25     for security, and then under him the SIS administration and the Military

Page 43444

 1     Police Administration below that.  And I certainly know that there was a

 2     Sector for Morale Guidance and that there was a Health Sector, too.

 3             Now, of course, this Administration for Procurement, Technical,

 4     whatever, I've heard of all of this, but with a great deal of certainty,

 5     although not absolute certainty, I know about -- these three main sectors

 6     did exist within the Defence Department.  Now, for every one of these

 7     ones, I don't know.  As to the -- I know that repairs had to be made.

 8     Somebody had to find the money to do that, that there was a general

 9     public competition for the construction work that needed to be done, so

10     these construction sectors, yes, probably they existed.

11        Q.   And, actually, in your testimony you used the word -- actually,

12     it was put to you by Ms. Alaburic.  She used the word "parallel"

13     services, that within the Defence Department these were all parallel

14     services within the Defence Department, which included the Main Staff,

15     the Security Sector and these others.  Would you agree that that's an

16     accurate way to characterise this chart, all of these as parallel

17     components within the Defence Department?

18        A.   I don't understand.  Which parallel structures are you referring

19     to?  What does "parallel" mean?  I didn't understand what "parallel

20     structures" actually means.  There were structures.  I don't know what

21     parallel structures there were.

22        Q.   Well, that within the Defence Department, there are different

23     components, and we see all these components, and each component has its

24     own role and responsibilities, and that they're operating under the

25     umbrella of the Defence Department in a parallel way, that is, each

Page 43445

 1     taking care of its own job.  Can we agree on that?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   You, in the Main Staff, you had your job.  The people over in the

 4     Security Sector, they had their job.  Correct?

 5        A.   Well, it's not actually correct.  It's like this:  The

 6     Main Staff, of course, has quite a lot of links to the Defence

 7     Department, but it's not on a par with the Sector for Moral Guidance, for

 8     example, or Morale.  According to the line of command, I'm responsible to

 9     Mate Boban, so it's a little more complex as far as the Main Staff is

10     concerned.  Bruno Stojic cannot appoint me or replace me, for instance.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.  I have a question

12     to put to Mr. Stringer.

13             The organisational chart we have before us is an organisational

14     chart which the OTP has prepared, isn't it?

15             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, this chart is not prepared by the

16     Office of the Prosecutor.  It's prepared, I believe, by the Petkovic

17     Defence.  It's Exhibit 4D01280, and it was used by Ms. Alaburic in her

18     cross-examination of the general.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Thank you for

20     providing us with this precious piece of information.

21             If I compare this organisation chart with the one we have seen

22     earlier, which you authenticated in the Naletilic case, the position of

23     the Main Staff is very different.  The Main Staff, according to the first

24     organisation chart, is placed under the Ministry of Defence, whereas in

25     the second organisation chart it's on the same level as Civilian

Page 43446

 1     Protection, Logistics, Healthcare.  Do you agree with the organisation

 2     chart of the Petkovic Defence or don't you agree with it?

 3             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, before

 4     General Praljak answers this question.  I wanted to say that these two

 5     organograms are incomparable.  They show completely different things.

 6     The organogram that was drafted in the Naletilic case in a way speaks of

 7     the chain of command.  If you look at the organogram drafted by

 8     General Petkovic's Defence, then you see that it shows the various organs

 9     or, rather, bodies of Herceg-Bosna which were tasked in certain aspects

10     with the issues of defence.  It is drafted based on the Decree on the

11     Armed Forces.  This was prescribed by regulation in Herceg-Bosna.  I

12     don't think these two organograms can be compared at all or that one can

13     be rejected in favour of another. They simply serve a different function.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  What matters is

15     what General Praljak thinks of the organisation charts.  And the second

16     one, do you agree with the second organisation chart, or do you have any

17     comments to make?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, it is

19     precisely what was said.  When we need a car or equipment or something,

20     then I or my assistant turned to Bruno Stojic.  But when I was supposed

21     to deal with the chain of command, I didn't deal with Mr. Stojic, but

22     with Mr. Boban.  The Main Staff was within the Defence Department, of

23     course, and it relied on it in various matters such as healthcare, but in

24     terms of functionality, Bruno Stojic was not my superior, he did not

25     command me.  One cannot simplify it then to say one thing or the other.

Page 43447

 1     For each thing, we need to ascertain who was competent for what.  For

 2     example, if one needed a pair of shoes, then it's Bruno Stojic.  When I

 3     needed to check whether an order is fine, then I had to go to Mate Boban.

 4     So it's both, but one thing is in terms of function and operational use,

 5     such as with the military police; for example, who was in charge of

 6     personnel, who was in charge of promotion, commendations, et cetera.

 7     It's all separate.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 9             We need to have a break now - we are running a few minutes late -

10     and we shall resume afterwards.  We shall have a 20-minute break.

11                           --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.

12                           --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session,

14     and, Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.

15             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

16        Q.   General, staying with this Exhibit 4D01280, 1280, one last

17     question or so about it.  If we look at this in the colour version, the

18     middle section, which is the Defence Department, which is itself a part

19     of the Government of the HZ-HB, and then moving down, actually, to the

20     bottom, where we have the Armed Forces of the HZ-HB, would you agree with

21     me that this is an accurate -- this chart is accurate, in that it

22     indicates or suggests that all of these various departments or, I should

23     say, sectors, as well as the Main Staff, all of these branches of the

24     Defence Department basically exist in order to administer or to regulate

25     or to ensure the effective operations of the armed forces, they all have

Page 43448

 1     that function which in some way relates to running or supporting the

 2     Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

 3        A.   The Department of Defence was there precisely for defence, but

 4     "defence" is a much broader term than the armed forces themselves.

 5        Q.   All right.

 6        A.   I think an over-simplification does not amount to anything good.

 7     I really don't know how to answer this, to be honest.

 8        Q.   Well, I'll put it to you this way: that each of these branches of

 9     the Defence Department had a role to play in the operation of the armed

10     forces.

11        A.   That was their function, to assist the armed forces, that is

12     correct.  However, the armed forces is not only the army.  The armed

13     forces are a broader term than the HVO itself.

14        Q.   Well, on that, I mean, when we talk about the armed forces,

15     what's indicated here are commands, operative zone -- well, strike that.

16     Actually, we'll probably talk about that more when we look at the Decree

17     on the Armed Forces, so I think we can just leave it at that.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.

19             Mr. Praljak, on this same chart we find, in the yellow sector,

20     with the government and the ministry, in the Security Sector, reference

21     to Military Police Administration and head of Military Police, whereas

22     the Military Police itself we find in the blue sector that is the

23     Armed Forces sector.  Could you explain how come that the Command and

24     Administration of the Military Police are, according to this diagram,

25     always placed within the Department of Defence, which basically is a

Page 43449

 1     civilian organisation, whereas the Military Police itself is separated

 2     and figures with the Armed Forces?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I don't

 4     see that.  Where do you find that?

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If you take the yellow sector, you have first

 6     the Department of Defence.  Then you have two lines, the first giving the

 7     title of the separate sectors.  Then in the next line there's just the

 8     word "assistants" four times.  It doesn't figure in the first chapter.

 9     And then in the Security Sector, which is the second column from the

10     left, you have a separation in two columns.  One is the SIS, and the

11     other says "MP Military Police Admin," administration, and "head of

12     Military Police."  But then if you go to the blue sector, the second line

13     here, the second department -- there we find "Military Police."  In other

14     words, we have the Administration and the head of the Military Police in

15     this civil body, but the Military Police itself in the military, and I

16     find it a bit puzzling.  And if you can, I would be grateful for an

17     explanation.  If you cannot, that's it.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Croatian Army, and this

19     should have been the same, there should have been an assistant for

20     security.  Then that assistant administered both the SIS and the Military

21     Police, because one body is in charge of detecting crime and the other

22     one of submitting criminal reports, investigating.  They share the same

23     technical base for research and investigation in order to gather

24     evidence.  However, all those within the structure, including the

25     Civilian Protection and so on, can at a certain moment represent

Page 43450

 1     something that is generally known as the armed forces.  It is the HVO and

 2     all those bearing arms.  If there is such a situation which general

 3     defence is required, then, for example, in my case I was allowed to use

 4     the military police for operational purposes as well.  That doesn't mean

 5     that it came outside its structure in terms of supplies, personnel

 6     policy, disciplining, et cetera.  I believe this is the same in other

 7     armed forces of the world and in other civil states.  One body provides

 8     for the budget and administrates, and the other body dictates the use of

 9     such units prescribed under the law.  I don't see, Your Honour, anything

10     wrong there.  The military police is, with the armed forces, taking care

11     of security, traffic safety, and everything they had to do, but once

12     there was an all-out attack, then the military police could be used, by

13     virtue of a decision, could be attached.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  This is repetitious.  I simply find it a bit

15     strange that the head of the Military Police is in one corner and the

16     Military Police, itself, is in the other one.  But you have commented on

17     this, the administration, and that I have no problems with at all, but

18     I think I leave it at that.

19             Mr. Stringer.

20             MR. STRINGER:

21        Q.   General, the next exhibit that I'd like to take us to is P00965.

22     This document is from the 31st of December, 1992, so it's before the time

23     that you became commander of the Main Staff, but it's during the period

24     of time that you were involved with certain HVO commands and activities.

25     It is a report from Mr. Primorac, Ivica Primorac, on the situation in the

Page 43451

 1     professional structure of the HVO.  It's directed to the head of the

 2     Defence Department, Bruno Stojic, and also to Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic,

 3     who was the commander of the HVO at that time.  And it states that the

 4     following form a part of units in the professional structure of the HVO.

 5     And then right off the bat it starts with the professional units we've

 6     talked about already, which is the Bruno Busic unit and the Ludvig

 7     Pavlovic special-purpose unit.  And my question is, General:  You've

 8     indicated that at least from the 24 July, 1993, these two units were

 9     directly subordinated to or within the structure of the Main Staff.  Do

10     you know whether these units were in the Main Staff structure during this

11     period of time, December 1992?  Were they a part of the Main Staff or did

12     they fall somewhere else?

13        A.   You said something to the extent that I was busy with some of

14     these things, whereas I wasn't.  I can't answer this question of yours.

15     I don't know.  This document is something I see for the first time, and I

16     can't say anything about it.  I'm not familiar with it.

17        Q.   Well, in October of 1992, when the events occurred in Prozor,

18     where you were present and were commanding, in a de facto capacity, HVO

19     personnel and units, do you know whether in October of 1992 the Bruno

20     Busic Regiment or the Ludvig Pavlovic Special Unit were -- formed part of

21     the structure of the Main Staff, or were they more linked closely -- more

22     closely linked to the Defence Department, or do you not know?

23        A.   Sir, first you state something like "when you were in Prozor,

24     commanding," so you're not asking me but stating something, and then you

25     move on and put the question at the end.  And when I say "yes" or "no," I

Page 43452

 1     am supposed to include all of your question/statement in my answer.

 2     Please state a question and leave the comments for some other time.  If

 3     you're asking me whether I commanded and then everything that followed,

 4     then I'll simply ask you to break down these lengthy explications that

 5     you are seeking answers to.

 6        Q.   In October of 1992, at the time of the events in Prozor, do you

 7     know whether the Bruno Busic and Ludvig Pavlovic units were attached to

 8     the Main Staff?

 9        A.   I don't know.

10        Q.   Do you know whether they were attached to the Main Staff in

11     December of 1992, 31 December, the date of this document?

12        A.   I don't know.

13        Q.   Would it be correct to say, General, that you only know that from

14     24 July 1993, these two units were attached to the Main Staff, as you've

15     already testified?

16        A.   I can state that with certainty.  The rest would be speculation

17     which may or may not be true.

18        Q.   Now, if you'll turn the page, actually, turning the page in the

19     English version, there are four more units that are referred to here:

20     The Vitezovi, the Baja Kraljevic ATG, Convicts Battalion, commanded by

21     Mario Hrkac, and the Tvrtko II.  Now, let's talk about the period of time

22     after the 24th of July, 1993.  General, do you know whether these units

23     were attached to -- directly subordinated to the Main Staff, of which you

24     were the commander?

25        A.   At that time, I commanded the Ludvig Pavlovic and Bruno Busic

Page 43453

 1     units.  As for Vitezovi, I don't know what was going on up there.

 2     Blaskic asked for assistance concerning this Darko [as interpreted]

 3     Kraljevic.  As for this Tvrtko unit, this is the first time I hear about

 4     it.  I did not command the Convicts Battalion, but I did command the unit

 5     called Baja Kraljevic which was in charge of --

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not catch the name of the

 7     commander of that unit.  Could the witness please repeat the end of the

 8     answer?

 9             MR. STRINGER:

10        Q.   You were just talking about the Baja Kraljevic ATG unit, General.

11     Is that the unit that was commanded by Predrag Mandic?

12        A.   I probably know that Predrag Mandic commanded a unit, and I do

13     know that, as far as I know, that he was a good soldier and he carried

14     out orders.  Probably the unit was called Baja Kraljevic.

15        Q.   The Baja Kraljevic ATG, then, during the period after you became

16     the commander of the HVO, are you saying that that is a unit that is like

17     Bruno Busic, that was always directly a part of the Main Staff?

18        A.   I cannot answer that question completely, to tell you the truth.

19     There was such a unit, the commander of which was Predrag Mandic.  As for

20     the structure and whether it shared the status of the Bruno Busic or the

21     other unit, I don't know.  It was a smaller unit with -- whose structure

22     I'm not familiar with.

23        Q.   Well, General, you just told us that you did command the Baja

24     Kraljevic unit, so are you telling us that that's because it was directly

25     subordinated to the Main Staff?

Page 43454

 1        A.   It is true that I could command the unit that Predrag Mandic was

 2     in charge of.  They did obey, that is correct.  But I had no time, save

 3     for the two units, I had no time to ascertain who was subordinated to the

 4     Main Staff and who was not.  It was such a war in which I had no time for

 5     that.  I can only tell you that Predrag Mandic carried out orders.  As

 6     for the exact name of that unit, I don't know.  Well, I guess it was the

 7     Baja Kraljevic unit.

 8        Q.   Well, General, what I'm getting at is this:  If we go back to the

 9     chart from your testimony in the Tuta Stela case, which is our

10     Exhibit P09324, this one [indicates], in your handwriting you put this

11     "ATG" letters and you, with the arrow, are putting the "ATG" into the box

12     for these professional units and units for special assignments, and

13     you're doing that on this chart that you've approved or that you've

14     written on, which directly links those particular units to the Defence

15     Department.  So I'm asking whether, in fact, the Baja Kraljevic was --

16     because it was an ATG, was a part of the or linked directly to the

17     Defence Department, but that it could be deployed by the Main Staff if

18     the necessary arrangements and coordination took place with the Defence

19     Department.

20        A.   Sir, I told you precisely.  The unit commanded by Predrag Mandic

21     was a unit that I could issue orders to.  I can't tell you anything more,

22     for the simple reason that I was not familiar with the things as they

23     were on paper.  The war had begun.  We had a large offensive of the

24     Muslim forces along a 200-kilometre line, and I had to come up with

25     people who would carry out my orders without fleeing.  That's it, to put

Page 43455

 1     things short.

 2        Q.   General, then, if I understand correctly what you're saying, the

 3     Baja Kraljevic unit, which you commanded at the time you were commander

 4     of the HVO Main Staff, is a unit which you don't know where it would fit

 5     within this diagram; is that how it goes?  You don't know whether it goes

 6     down here under the Main Staff or you don't know whether it fits out here

 7     with the special units; all you know is that you commanded them?

 8        A.   Correct.  It carried out orders.  If one sent an order, the

 9     commander would implement it.

10        Q.   All right.  Well, let's go a bit farther into this document.  But

11     continuing on, this indicates that at the time this document was written,

12     the Bruno Busic Regiment was in the process of relocating to the

13     Heliodrom.  I'm going to skip over a couple of these other units that we

14     haven't talked about, but others are being relocated to the Heliodrom as

15     well.

16             And then turning the page in the English, I want to go to the

17     Ludvig Pavlovic Special Purpose Unit.  It says:

18             "Ludvig Pavlovic Special Purpose Unit, Capljina, has a completely

19     professional attitude toward all assigned tasks.  It is well equipped

20     materially and well trained.  Its relocation from the Gabela Barracks to

21     the Bozan Simovic Barracks of Grabovina has ensured the conditions for

22     this unit which is organised militarily in excellent fashion to be

23     reinforced and to become a formation of battalion strength."

24             So is that an accurate statement, based on what you -- let me put

25     it this way:  Did you know anything about the Ludvig Pavlovic unit before

Page 43456

 1     you took command of the HVO Main Staff in July of 1993?

 2        A.   Yes, I did.

 3        Q.   Well, tell us, what did you know about them?

 4        A.   For the first time I encountered the Ludvig Pavlovic unit while

 5     Bozan Simovic was its commander.  He was killed in 1992, during an

 6     operation in which the HVO was pushing the Serbs back in October 1992.

 7     I think it was called Operation Bura.  I was very familiar with their

 8     commander, who is today a general, Dragan Curcic.  I fought alongside

 9     them in Capljina against Republika Srpska.  It has always been an

10     excellent unit, well organised, well behaved, and they acted

11     professionally.  At this point in time, they comprised several hundred

12     men.  They were at the level of battalion.  As for their commanders,

13     military discipline, executing orders, and courage, as well as the number

14     of losses they sustained, based on all that, one can say all the best

15     about that unit.  I also fought alongside them at Boksavica and later --

16        Q.   All right.  When you were fighting along them in Boksavica, now,

17     are you talking about the period of June and early July 1993?

18        A.   End June, early July, yes, and in some other places.

19        Q.   This is shortly before you took command of the HVO Main Staff.

20     Do you know whether, at Boksavica, this unit was attached directly to the

21     Main Staff or whether, as a professional unit, it was more directly

22     linked to the Defence Department?

23        A.   I don't know.  We were together up there.  As for the basis for

24     of their presence there, I don't know.  A smaller part of that unit was

25     there, including Mr. Curcic.  They sustained losses.  Some of their men

Page 43457

 1     were captured.  This unit was at first called "Krajl Tomislav," and at

 2     first it was under Mr. Izetbegovic.  And then when it was under

 3     Mr. Daidza, a lot of Muslims went through that unit who later joined the

 4     Army of B and H.  An excellent unit, excellent commanders, completely

 5     professional in the military sense and moral in every aspect.  The same

 6     goes for the Bruno Busic unit, which was later under Mr. Luburic, whom I

 7     had brought from Vukovar as a volunteer.  He arrived there with me.

 8        Q.   All right.  So as to Bruno Busic and Ludvig Pavlovic, then, just

 9     to finish those off, what we can say with certainty is that those two

10     units were directly subordinated to the HVO Main Staff during the period

11     that you were the commander of the HVO Main Staff?

12        A.   While I commanded the Main Staff, they were subordinated to me,

13     and I could direct them, in the military sense.  I don't know anything

14     about anything else.

15        Q.   Now, the next unit that's referred to here, Convicts Battalion,

16     Mostar, Heliodrom.  During the time that you commanded the HVO

17     Main Staff, was that unit directly subordinated to the Main Staff?

18        A.   I don't know.  There was a unit which was under the command of

19     Mr. Andabak, and there was some contentious names there.  Now, I met

20     Mr. Andabak in 1992, in Capljina, on one occasion.

21        Q.   That's all right, General.  I'm not going to ask you about that.

22     If you don't know if the Convicts Battalion, Mostar, was attached to the

23     Main Staff, do you know if it fell within the group of units that was

24     attached or linked to the Defence Department?

25        A.   I don't know, sir.

Page 43458

 1        Q.   All right.  Same question about Baja Kraljevic Anti-Terrorist

 2     Group, Mostar.  Main Staff, or Defence Department, or do you know?

 3        A.   When I asked Mandic to go to the front to fight, he obeyed, and

 4     that's a fact.  Now, what belonged to whom, I didn't have time to

 5     investigate things like that.  I wasn't interested.  I was just

 6     interested in knowing which units and commanders were capable of carrying

 7     out an order and in what way, and I can give you a precise answer to

 8     things like that.

 9        Q.   Well, then, did they have the same status as the Bruno Busic and

10     Ludvig Pavlovic?

11        A.   I don't know, but I don't think so.  I don't know.  The correct

12     answer would be I don't know, but -- well, I can't say exactly.

13        Q.   Okay.  General, the next thing -- unless there's any questions on

14     this document, I'm going to move to the next --

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, let me come

16     back to the anti-terrorist group, the Baja Kraljevic Anti-Terrorist

17     Group.  It seems a bit fuzzy, all this.  The Prosecutor is asking you

18     whether this group is attached to the Department of Defence, and you

19     can't answer, so let's assume -- let's assume two things.  First

20     assumption:  It is attached to the Department of Defence, which means

21     that Mr. Stojic is on the front-line here, he's the one in charge of

22     deciding to send this ATG on different locations.  Second assumption:

23     This group is not subordinated to the DOD, but falls within the

24     Main Staff.  When you took command in July, did this anti-terrorist --

25     did you have to give any orders to this anti-terrorist group?

Page 43459

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't remember that I

 2     issued direct orders to Baja Kraljevic.  It was too small a unit, and

 3     probably that went via -- well, I don't know.

 4             Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, let's be quite clear.  I don't know

 5     whether somebody else could have commanded that unit.  That's what I

 6     don't know.  I know what I do know, that I would see Mr. Mandic, and his

 7     nickname was Lija, and that dates back to the Prozor days and my days in

 8     Konjic and Jablanica and so on, and he listened to the oral order and

 9     acted upon it.  Now, whether he carried out somebody else's order, I

10     can't know that.  Anyway, Ludvig Pavlovic, Bruno Busic, and Baja

11     Kraljevic, I could issue orders to those men, and those commanders,

12     Curcic, Luburic, Mandic, would carry them out, and as far as I know, they

13     were good units.  That's what I know.  Now, as to all the rest of it,

14     whether somebody else could issue orders, whether there were more of

15     them, I don't know that, I can't know that, nor did I have time to

16     inquire and investigate it.  It was -- we had a war on for three months.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I believe

18     you've answered this already.  We would have to leaf through these

19     thousands of pages of the transcript, and so let's go straight to the

20     point.

21             An anti-terrorist group, well, what was its main purpose?

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

23     these people quite simply wanted to be called by some special name,

24     probably having watched too many movies or whatever.  Anyway, they were

25     just people who were a little better fighters than the ones who were

Page 43460

 1     mobilised, so if they need -- when the lines fell, for example, if there

 2     was a breakthrough in the lines and we had to stop that onslaught and

 3     retake control of the lines again, then you would call in one of these

 4     units.  Now, what they were called, ATGs, anti-terrorist, blah-blah-blah,

 5     or whatever, it doesn't matter, it's immaterial.  But, anyway, they were

 6     people who were chosen as being better fighters.  So whether you needed

 7     to take back control of the lines or take some feature and elevation, you

 8     would solve that problem with them, you would do so with them, because

 9     they were better than the rest, better than the other units that had been

10     mobilised 10 or 15 days before that and stood guard at the line, and very

11     often they would lose the line, lose a battle, and then you would have to

12     use better units to regain control; that's as far as the war goes.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

14             MR. STRINGER:

15        Q.   General, actually, I'm going to stay with this for just a couple

16     more minutes and ask you an open-ended question.

17             Back to P09324, which is the chart that you were marking on when

18     you testified in the Tuta Stela case, here, for the box on the right,

19     which is for units -- for special assignments and professional units, you

20     wrote "ATG" and you pointed an arrow pointed at that box.  Can you tell

21     us what ATG units you were referring to?

22        A.   Well, it's what I'm telling you today, and I'm saying that these

23     three units -- I'm telling you very precisely about how it was when I was

24     in command of the Main Staff, who, in the military sense, I could rely on

25     most in critical situations on the ground.

Page 43461

 1        Q.   Well, I'm actually -- I'm asking you a different question,

 2     because we're looking at a box here that's linked directly to the Defence

 3     Department and not to the Main Staff.  It's a chart that you accepted as

 4     more or less accurate when you testified, so I'm asking you:  When you

 5     wrote the "ATG" here and you made -- and you pointed the arrow at the box

 6     on professional and special units, what -- can you name the ATG units

 7     that you are linking to this box on special units?

 8        A.   Mr. Stringer, if you skip my introductory sentence which says, in

 9     response to that question, that I don't know about this with any

10     certainty, so if you skip that sentence, then, of course, you follow

11     along your argument, and this lack of security on my part, in my

12     knowledge, you want to turn that into something else.  I drew this along

13     with the sentence that I stated at the very beginning, with caveats and

14     provisos, and I'm going to explain them.  And I mentioned three units

15     with which I, when I was commander, was able to command, and that's all.

16     That's all I have to say.  So try -- don't try and read more into it than

17     I'm telling you.  Read the first sentence, then go on with your

18     questions.

19             So along with that caveat, but it -- so I have to use that

20     caveat, and I say "ATG," Baja Kraljevic, commander Predrag Mandic, for

21     example, he was a good commander.  That's a small unit, and he would have

22     obeyed an oral order given.  That's all.

23        Q.   Well, here, on the other side of this box on professional and

24     special units, you wrote "KB," which stands for "Kaznjenicka Bojna,"

25     which is the Convicts Battalion, so is it correct, General, that the

Page 43462

 1     Convicts Battalion belongs in this box on professional and special units?

 2     That's what you said under oath back in April of 2002, isn't it?

 3        A.   I wrote "KB," that is to say, Convicts Battalion.  You don't have

 4     to remind me that I said this on oath.  I also stipulated my caveat on

 5     oath, that my knowledge is not certain.  So that sentence was uttered

 6     under oath, too.

 7             Now, the unit commanded by Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, was not

 8     one that was under my command.  There you have it.

 9             Now, as to the Predrag Mandic unit, whatever its name was, and

10     I'm not sure of what that was, I could have commanded that, and that's

11     the truth of it.

12        Q.   Let me take you back to your testimony from Tuta Stela,

13     page 98 -- I'm sorry, page 9580, beginning on line 9.  I'll read the

14     question, and this is on cross-examination from Mr. Scott, and he says --

15     we can put this up in Sanction on the screen, if anybody wants to follow

16     it.

17        A.   But could I have the Croatian in front of me so that I can read

18     through it to look at all the nuances of what was said?  I think that

19     would be in order, that you give me a copy of the document that you're

20     referring to in the Croatian original, and I think that is your duty.  It

21     is your duty to provide me with that text so that I can see all the

22     shades of meaning, because otherwise I'm in a second-rate position

23     because I can't refer to the second sentence, which is the key to

24     understanding all of this.

25        Q.   Unfortunately, we don't have transcripts in your language of your

Page 43463

 1     testimony at proceedings at the Tribunal, and so we have to work as best

 2     we can.  So I've put it up in English, which I know doesn't assist you

 3     very much, but your counsel can follow along, and I'm just going to read

 4     this part to you and you can comment on it, and I'm sure the Judges will

 5     take into account the fact that you don't have it in your own language.

 6             The question from Mr. Scott is this.  He says:

 7             "You testified a few moments ago that Bruno Stojic was the head

 8     of the Defence Department.  Now, does this chart indicate -- could he

 9     call up and issue commands to a professional unit without going to the

10     Main Staff?"

11             And this is your answer.  You say:

12             "Well, he could have done it, but it was usually done by

13     agreement.  He could not command that unit once it had arrived at the

14     front-line - defence line, excuse me - with somebody because of poor

15     communications or because I was too far away, because Mr. Petkovic was

16     somewhere far away, that Mr. Tole was somewhere on the ground, and the

17     situation made it imperative.  Then it would -- then one could go through

18     Mr. Stojic to ask him to send a unit.  But once that unit arrived at the

19     front, it would become a part of the structure commanded by somebody from

20     the Operative Zone or that front-line to which they had come, more

21     narrowly speaking."

22             So, General, is that more or less an accurate statement of how it

23     worked, and that Mr. Stojic did have the ability or the authority to

24     order units to go somewhere if the situation required it?

25        A.   I described exactly under what circumstances this was, so it

Page 43464

 1     wasn't a situation when I could come into contact only with Bruno Stojic

 2     and Petkovic was in Central Bosnia or whatever, and I couldn't contact

 3     the Main Staff, for example.  Then I could ask him to issue an order to

 4     Ludvig Pavlovic to set out somewhere, to go somewhere.  That's bypassing

 5     the system.  So I'm talking about the time I was there.

 6             In a special situation during a war, where you have very poor

 7     communications, where the front is a long one, and where our defence

 8     forces have been stretched out, stretched to the limits, and a weak --

 9     the party attacking is strong, the offensive has been going on for

10     months, then the variants that I stipulate here are possible, they are

11     possible.

12        Q.   General, let me ask it this way.  I'm having trouble getting

13     something that I can understand, and I don't know whether it's my fault

14     or yours.  I think we -- let's start with the military police.

15             Can we agree that apart from this situation that related to

16     Operation Buna, that the normal procedure was that if an operative zone

17     needed a military police battalion to be deployed for operational

18     purposes, it had to get the permission of Bruno Stojic to do that?  Can

19     we agree on that?

20        A.   Yes, we can.  So the military police was not -- which is why I

21     asked permission.  The military police was not under the command of the

22     Main Staff up until the point until this was settled in general terms.

23        Q.   So then the question becomes:  Were there other units that fell

24     under that same category, whether we call them ATGs or special-purpose

25     units or professional units?  Were there any other units that the

Page 43465

 1     Main Staff had to go to Mr. Stojic for -- about before those units could

 2     be deployed into an operative zone structure?

 3        A.   While I was commander, I didn't ask for any permission like that.

 4        Q.   All right.  So the answer is you don't know; is that a correct

 5     way to frame your answer, that you don't know?

 6        A.   No, you can't understand my answer in any other way except in the

 7     way I said it.  During the time I was in command, I would issue a direct

 8     order to the Ludvig Pavlovic unit if I was able to come in to contact

 9     with it.  If I was not able to communicate with them for any reason, and

10     there were many reasons why not, then I could have conveyed this and

11     said, Mr. Stringer, would you convey a message to Mrs. Pinter, for

12     example, to tell Pavlovic to get out of bed straight away because such

13     and such had occurred.

14        Q.   I'm asking you, General, a different question.

15             We've agreed on what the situation was with military police

16     units.  I'm simply asking you whether the same situation applied to any

17     other units that you're aware of.

18        A.   If I give you an answer, that answer would not be correct,

19     because I can't answer the question because I don't know.  I claim that

20     during the time that I was in command, I could -- and don't let's go back

21     to that question.  I'm going to repeat this ten times, and you're going

22     to try and make something of me that you will never succeed in doing.

23     You will never get me to give you erroneous information or information

24     that I'm not sure about.  So my answer is I don't know.

25             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, I'm finished with this line, and it

Page 43466

 1     probably would be best to finish today before I open a new one.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right.

 3             I had just one follow-up question, which is a very brief

 4     question.

 5             When you testified in the Naletilic case, a question was put to

 6     you on the word "ATG."  You answered by saying:

 7             "I know what this means."

 8             And you explained that when the ATGs met on the front-line, they

 9     were then placed under the command of the commander of that zone on the

10     front-line.  Does this mean that whatever the status of these

11     professional units was, when these are placed in a combat zone they are

12     automatically placed under the command of the person exercising military

13     authority in the combat zone?  Can you answer the question or not?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.  If it arrived in a

15     regular way, it was under that command, but they might come and go

16     according to how they wanted to.  They weren't under my command or the

17     operative command, and I didn't know whose command they were under.  If

18     you see people coming and going whenever they felt like it, and you saw

19     these examples, all you can do is write up a report, and that's where it

20     all ends.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I am sure we will

22     have the opportunity to get back to these questions in the next few days.

23             The court stands adjourned, since I have another hearing in

24     another case, and we shall meet tomorrow at 9.00.

25                           [The witness stands down]

Page 43467

 1                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

 2                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of

 3                           August, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.