Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 45234

 1                           Monday, 28 September 2009.

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

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

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call

 8     the case, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours; good afternoon

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

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

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

13             Today is Monday.  I would like to firstly greet the witness.  I

14     would like to greet the accused, the Defence counsel, the members of the

15     OTP, as well as all the people assisting us.  I shall first of all give

16     the floor to the registrar who has an IC number to give us.

17             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.  The Petkovic Defence has

18     submitted its response to the Prosecution's objections to documents

19     tendered through expert witness Josip Jurcevic.  This list shall be given

20     Exhibit IC1051.  Thank you, Your Honours.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you, registrar.

22             On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I would like to read out an oral

23     decision.

24             Proprio motu oral decision on the filing of the Praljak Defence

25     motion pursuant to guideline 9 of the Trial Chamber's decision on the

Page 45235

 1     24th of April, 2008.

 2             The Trial Chamber recalls its decision in which it adopted the

 3     guidelines on the presentation of the Defence case handed down on the

 4     24th of April, 2008, in particular paragraph 35 on guideline 9 which

 5     states that any motion on the admission of documentary evidence must be

 6     filed as soon as possible after the presentation of all evidence on a

 7     given municipality or a specific topic.

 8             The Trial Chamber notices that to date the Praljak Defence has

 9     not filed a written motion on the admission of evidence pursuant to

10     guideline 9, and the Trial Chamber knows nothing about what it intends to

11     do in that regard.  The Trial Chamber recalls that the Defence teams must

12     not wait for the end of their case to file such motions.  The Trial

13     Chamber therefore requests the Praljak Defence team to kindly let the

14     Trial Chamber know before midday on the 1st of October, 2009, what it

15     intends to do as regards the filing of one or several motions pursuant to

16     guideline 9, and if it intends to do so, on what topics and in what

17     time-frame will it file such requests.  In other words, the Trial Chamber

18     is asking the Praljak Defence team to let it know whether it has any

19     intention of filing such motions with a view to having documentary

20     evidence admitted.  We would like this to be done, therefore, before the

21     1st of October, 2009.  The deadline is midday.

22             Mr. Kovacic, you have understood me well, have you?

23             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for that

24     reminder.  It is my honour to inform you that about an hour ago we did

25     file a notice where -- with the general information.  It still hasn't

Page 45236

 1     been received, but I do see that it was sent out to the Registry, so in

 2     an hour or half an hour it will be received, and then we can inform the

 3     Trial Chamber about some additional matters, but we took advantage of the

 4     opportunity you gave us a few days ago to provide plans for Witness 3DA,

 5     and then we also informed you with respect to guideline number 9, but

 6     you'll see all that in the course of the day and if necessary we'll add

 7     on to it.  Thank you.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second point:  You have also

 9     told us on the 28th of September, i.e., today, that Witness 3DA is not

10     going to be coming, which means that your last witness, according to the

11     schedule you have given us, will be coming on Tuesday, the 13th of

12     October.  After that, we will have no witness on the 14th, 15th of

13     October, and then in the following week, and we shall resume on the 26th

14     of October, and we will then be hearing the witness of the Petkovic

15     Defence team.

16             Mr. Kovacic, is that what has been scheduled or not?

17             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely, Your Honour.  And

18     I've just remembered that we sent your assistants a courtesy copy, but

19     obviously you already have it in your hands.  But in the last paragraph

20     we just, in brief, set out what our intentions are with respect to the

21     motion for documentary evidence in conformity with guideline number 9.

22             Thank you.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We will therefore

24     resume on the 26th of October.  We have a problem, however, with our

25     schedule.  This would be at quarter past 2.00 on the Monday, but on the

Page 45237

 1     26th of October this is the date when the elections for the President of

 2     this Tribunal are being conducted, and this starts at 2.00 in the

 3     afternoon.  This may be quick or it may not.  It depends how many

 4     candidates there are, one, two, or three.  Much will depend on that.

 5     Therefore, we have every reason to believe that we will start our hearing

 6     on the 26th of October at 4.00 most probably.  At 4.00 p.m., normally

 7     speaking, the elections should be over.  So please pencil this in so that

 8     we can make our arrangements.

 9             Initially, as I am a permanent Judge and since I need to vote, I

10     felt that there was no point in going, but since my colleagues would like

11     to attend, we will therefore start at 4.00 p.m.  There will be a slight

12     gap, but we can't work it out any other way.

13             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Mr. President, I simply would like to say that

14     there was a mistake when you mentioned that we should only finish on that

15     very day of 26th of October.  It is written here that at 4.00, normally

16     speaking, the elections should be over, but the -- what I believe you

17     also added that we would then finish our sitting at 1800 hours, meaning

18     at 6.00 p.m.  So 6.00 p.m. should be inserted here, because then it is

19     when -- if I understood correctly.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No.  On the transcript in

21     English, 1800 hours was never mentioned, 6.00 was never mentioned, and I

22     never talked about 6.00 p.m.  Let me remind you that the elections for

23     the president of this Tribunal start at 2.00 p.m.  This should take two

24     hours.  This means that we will finish that at 4.00.  We will therefore

25     be able to start hearing the expert witness on 4.00 that afternoon.

Page 45238

 1     Everything's clear.

 2             Ms. Alaburic still had questions, since you have the lectern.

 3     According to our timing, you should have 15 minutes left and no more, but

 4     before I give you the floor, let me address the witness.

 5                           WITNESS:  ZVONIMIR SKENDER [Resumed]

 6                           [Witness answered through interpretation]

 7             Witness, thanks to these few days we have had between your

 8     testimony last week and today, I was able to reflect on a number of

 9     matters, and I have two technical questions to put to you.

10             With hindsight one is able to realise sometimes that it is

11     important to clarify a number of points.  In French, on several

12     occasions, you used the expression "military region."  In your language,

13     we had the expression "operational zone" and not "military region."  When

14     in French you say "military region," are we to understand that this means

15     the same thing as operational zone, or is this something different?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This means operational zone.  A

17     military region or district, as far as I'm concerned, would be

18     Tomislavgrad for instance.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it means one and the same

20     thing.  On looking at a number of documents, I realised that in some of

21     the orders operational zones were mentioned, OZ for short.  And sometimes

22     the word "military district" was used, ZP for short.

23             OZ and ZP, does it mean the same thing?  Is it the same thing?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember exactly what ZP

25     means.

Page 45239

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This should mean military

 2     district.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Zborno podrucje," I believe this

 4     means military region.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So basically it's the same

 6     thing.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is the same thing.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second question of a technical

 9     nature.  As far as the military police is concerned, last week you told

10     us that there was the real military police and then there was also the

11     military police incorporated in the brigade.  Does it mean this:  Does it

12     mean that there is a military police which comes under the authority of

13     the military police administration in a chain of command, and that would

14     be the real military police, and then there are also military policemen

15     inside the brigades who, as you have told us, are soldiers who are called

16     military police soldiers inside the brigades; is that right?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is quite right, Your

18     Honour.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question now, also of a

20     technical nature, General.  Did you know that during the fighting some

21     units of the real military police, the military police that was a part of

22     the chain of command and not included in the brigades, had sometimes been

23     subordinated to brigades and that these took part in some of the

24     fighting?  Did you know about that?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The real military police was never

Page 45240

 1     subordinated to the brigades, but these men did take part in the

 2     fighting.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you are telling us is

 4     important, General, because General Praljak told us the opposite.  Let me

 5     explain this to you.  General Praljak told us as follows:  For combat

 6     operations a brigade commander or an operational zone brigade may ask the

 7     military police administration to subordinate some of their men who are

 8     then placed under the authority and the sole authority of the brigade

 9     commander.  This is what he has told us, and now you have just told me

10     the opposite.  Could you clarify this for us, and why is there a

11     difference?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that when the military

13     police was brought to a combat area, they then reported to the command of

14     a military region and reported directly to the military police.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that they then

16     reported to two commands.  Do you mean from an operational standpoint, or

17     do you mean from its authority if an investigation needed to be

18     conducted?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From an operational standpoint.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you have just told us is

21     now on the transcript, but so far we have understood the opposite.  I

22     understood.  Perhaps the other members of the Bench may like to say

23     something on this subject.  What I understood is this:  When a unit of

24     the military police is sent to a unit, let's say X, and is to conduct

25     military operations.  It's then the commander of the brigade who is

Page 45241

 1     exercising full command over his men, and yet he tells them then that you

 2     are going to take up such-and-such a position, you're going to do this

 3     and that, and these military policemen have only one commander.  That is

 4     the commander of the brigade.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander of a brigade gave the

 6     orders on the ground, but let me repeat, despite that the military police

 7     also took its orders from the head of the military police.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I don't think it is -- this is

 9     possible.  We need to clarify this.  If there are two commanders who can

10     give orders that both are entitled to do this, this will be rather

11     disorderly.  Could you not clarify this for us, please?  In

12     administrative terms, the military policemen were still part of the

13     police administration, whereas as far as their work on the ground while

14     they are part of the brigade, it is only the brigade commander who tells

15     them what they must do on the battle-field.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I think this has made things

18     clear, and we have been able to iron out some of these differences we

19     had.  Thank you.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answers.

21     These questions were, in my mind, important ones.

22             Last question which has to do with your credibility and

23     personality.  At the beginning of last week, you said that it was

24     Filipovic who had asked you to come and join the HVO.  From what I

25     understood, Filipovic was a former legionnaire, as was Kapular, as was

Page 45242

 1     Gotovina, as was Roso, and there are other men in the same case.

 2             Inside the HVO, weren't you a conglomerate of former

 3     legionnaires?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  Filipovic was a

 5     sergeant in the Foreign Legion.  Kapular was never part of the

 6     Foreign Legion.  And Filipovic phoned me up when I was in Corsica to ask

 7     me whether I was prepared to come to Croatia, and I came.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what about Ante Roso?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ante Roso was also a

10     non-commissioned officer in the Foreign Legion.  But as I was in the

11     Foreign Legion, I never met him because we never served in the same

12     regiments.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  Ms. Alaburic, you have

14     the floor.

15             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and

16     everybody else in the courtroom.  Good afternoon to the witness too.  And

17     just for the correctness of the record, I want to say that during my

18     cross-examination on the 24th it said that I would continue my

19     cross-examination.  That was what was on the record, but I'd like to

20     thank the witness and inform the Court that I have no further questions

21     for this witness.

22             Thank you.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24             Ms. Alaburic.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and

Page 45243

 1     good afternoon to Mr. Skender and everybody else in the courtroom.

 2                           Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:

 3        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Skender, before I ask you my first

 4     question --

 5             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] -- I'd like to clarify a point,

 6     Your Honour, about time, the time I have at my disposal.  If you recall

 7     on Wednesday, I think it was last Wednesday, my learned friend Ms.

 8     Senka Nozica informed you on behalf of both of us that the two -- that

 9     two defence teams were interested in cross-examining General Skender and

10     that we would divide up the time that was allotted to us, which was 45

11     minutes, and that after holding consultations it is highly likely that

12     we're going to need some additional time, too, in order to be able to

13     clarify all the questions that we consider could be of benefit to this

14     Court and could be answered by the general.

15             So Ms. Nozica and I divide up the 45 minutes, and if my

16     arithmetic is correct, we both have 22 minutes, 22.5 minutes, and so any

17     other time would go -- would be deducted from the Petkovic Defence.

18             Now, if possible, can we do it that way, and that if I need a few

19     more minutes than the time I have at my allotment, may that be deducted

20     from my overall time, by I would like to request that you allow me to use

21     additional time and I think it will be of benefit to one and all in the

22     courtroom and that we'll have some valuable information from Mr. Skender.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, normally

24     speaking, as you know, you -- Ms. Nozica and you have been granted 45

25     minutes.  Ms. Nozica has had 31 minutes so far, which means that normally

Page 45244

 1     speaking you should only have 14 minutes left.  If you exceed this time,

 2     this will be deducted from your overall time credit.

 3             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to support

 4     what me learned friend has just proposed.  I don't think ten minutes

 5     should and problem, but I did ask that everything over 22.5 minutes be

 6     deducted from my time and everything over 22.5 minutes deducted from her

 7     time.  I know that I did make that proposal and that we did adhere to it.

 8             Thank you.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.  Let's take our

10     calculating machine.  Since you've had 31 minutes and since you had 22

11     minutes and 30 seconds, this means that you have 9 minutes and 30 seconds

12     which will be deducted from your time, and Ms. Alaburic will have 22

13     minutes and 30 seconds, and if she exceeds this will be deducted from her

14     allotted time.

15             Before coming to the hearing, it is important to do your math

16     again to make sure you don't make a mistake.

17             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank my colleague

18     Ms. Nozica and thank you, too.

19        Q.   Now, General Skender, before I ask you a few questions, let's

20     just inform the Trial Chamber and our colleagues from the Prosecution and

21     everybody else in the courtroom, have we met before during the proofing

22     session?

23        A.   Affirmative.

24        Q.   And did I tell you of the topics I'd like to discuss with you?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 45245

 1        Q.   But before I ask you what I said I would be asking you, prompted

 2     by the questions raised by Their Honours today I have a few additional

 3     questions for you, and the first of those relates to the difference

 4     between General Praljak's testimony about the military police and what

 5     you have told us about the military police, what you told us in -- on

 6     Thursday, in fact.

 7             Now, General Skender, do you know that at the end of December

 8     1993, a reorganisation took place of the military police, which scrapped

 9     brigade platoons and that the brigade military police was integrated into

10     a brigade, and that the light assault battalions of the military police

11     which were intended for combat were abolished as units of the military

12     police, and the men were then transferred to the guards brigades.  Are

13     you aware of that, of the fact that the military police was organised in

14     that fashion?

15        A.   Yes, indeed.

16        Q.   Now, since you arrived in Herceg-Bosna in July 1993, do you

17     happen to remember, perhaps, when the name operative zone, for example,

18     North-west Herzegovina, was changed and was called a military district of

19     North-west Herzegovina and later on the military district of

20     Tomislavgrad?  Was that in the second half of 1993?

21        A.   I don't know.  I believe it was in the second half.

22        Q.   Very well.  Just one more question with respect to your testimony

23     on Thursday, and what I am going to ask you about was recorded in the

24     transcript on pages 45216 and 45217.

25             Judge Antonetti asked you something and you said what a soldier,

Page 45246

 1     a commander would do if he were to learn that his soldier had committed a

 2     crime, that one of his men had committed a crime, and that

 3     Judge Antonetti asked you whether the military commander after handing

 4     the case over to the SIS or the military police, whether he has the

 5     responsibility of following the case up further and monitor and to see

 6     what happened and how the -- his -- his men were punished, and you said

 7     that he should be at least informed about what was going on with respect

 8     to the sanctions taken against one of his men.

 9             Now, my question to you, Mr. Skender, is this:  Who is it who

10     would have to inform the military commander about what was going on in an

11     investigation undertaken against a soldier from his unit?  Who has that

12     responsibility and duty?

13        A.   I did say that the commander of the area needed to be informed,

14     but I don't know who needed to inform him, because -- whether it was

15     between the military authority or the civilian authority.  In that case

16     the commander of the area was no longer responsible.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I would just like to

18     make a -- a correction.  To my surprise, without my having put the

19     question to you, you said that when the brigade commander seized the

20     competent body of this matter he needed to follow it through, and I was

21     quite surprised by what you said.  I didn't put the question to you.  You

22     yourself mentioned this.  And Ms. Alaburic is now saying that this was a

23     question I had put to you, which is not the case.  This is something you

24     said when you answered a question.  And now when you answer you answer

25     somewhat different yet again.

Page 45247

 1             You say that if a given body is seized of this or of a particular

 2     matter, the brigade commander has nothing to do with it anymore.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  He's got nothing to do with

 4     it anymore.  Once the military authorities is dealing with then he's got

 5     nothing to do with it anymore.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Witness, you are testifying

 7     under oath here.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] When you say one thing on the

10     Thursday and when you say something else on the Monday, we would like to

11     have an explanation for this.  I -- I share the view of the President of

12     this Chamber, who was very much surprised.  You told us that he needed to

13     be kept informed because he needed to follow it through.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once he had handed this over to the

15     military police or to another authority, then he didn't need to follow it

16     through.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] There seems to be a

18     contradiction here.  Either he needs to check and make sure to see what

19     has happened.  You said if the order had been carried out -- maybe I got

20     this wrong.  I thought you said that the commander needed to make sure

21     that the order had been carried out.  When did you mean when you said

22     that?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant is when a military

24     commander gives an order dealing with a criminal affair concerning a

25     particular individual to the military police, he then is to make sure

Page 45248

 1     that this person has been properly transferred to the military police.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] And who tells him?  Who -- where

 3     does he get his information from?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] His command, to know whether the

 5     person's left or not.  Otherwise, I don't see how else it can be done.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   General Skender, I will be using part of my time to try to show

 9     the Chamber that you are today telling us the same thing that you were

10     telling us on Thursday in essence.  Nevertheless, my understanding was

11     that there was a certain degree of misunderstanding between the Trial

12     Chamber and you.  General Skender, at page 45216 we have the following

13     recorded -- 45216 is the page number.  You are recorded as saying that a

14     military commander must react immediately to stop anything negative going

15     on.  He must also call in the military police and hand the case over to

16     them.  At 45217, we see this, and I'll quote in English.  It's about the

17     responsibility of the military commander.  The General said:

18             [In English] "He should at least be informed about what happens

19     after.  [Interpretation] General, I think that clarifies the matter.

20             I would like to pursue my original line of questioning now --

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, General.

22             I thank Ms. Alaburic for having tried to shed some light on this

23     by just recalling what you said Thursday, but this doesn't solve

24     everything.  The -- say that the brigade commander will seize the

25     military prosecutor, but let's imagine that the military prosecutor does

Page 45249

 1     nothing for some kind of reason that we don't know, even though a crime

 2     was committed.

 3             Now, according to you, do you think that the brigade commander

 4     must absolutely do something, or since the military prosecutor's not

 5     doing anything he decides to do the same thing and do nothing.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to me he must do

 7     something.  He must act.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But what is he supposed to do?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's supposed to arrest the person

10     who committed the crime with the help of the military police he has under

11     his ranks, in his brigade, and to gaol that person in the military gaol.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but your answer is

13     making things even more complicated.  Let me try to sum things up.  Let's

14     imagine that a crime was committed some place.  The brigade commander is

15     asking the military police to carry out an investigation.  The military

16     police does the investigation, writes the report, and sends its report to

17     the military prosecutor, and Mr. X, Y, or Z, are the authors of the crime

18     or the perpetrators, but the military prosecutor decides to do nothing,

19     just stays idle.

20             Now, you tell -- you're telling us that the brigade commander who

21     followed the case, when he notes that the military prosecutor did

22     nothing, that the investigative magistrate was not seized or did nothing

23     also, then according to you, the brigade commander must arrest the

24     perpetrator.  Is this what you said?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've never experienced such a

Page 45250

 1     case where the competent military authority did not react and did

 2     nothing.  I said that the brigade commander should, but I've never

 3     experienced this case.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So you don't have a

 5     hands-on case to tell us, but if it had happened, that was the way it was

 6     supposed to work.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to me that's the way it

 8     was supposed to work.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'd like for the record and not to let any

10     misunderstanding come up, say that as far as I'm concerned, these

11     questions of law relate to the law applicable on the battle-field in

12     Herceg-Bosna.  The Court is not asking the witness to explain

13     international public law to the court and to tell the Court what the law

14     of command responsibility under Article 3 -- 7, paragraph 3 of the

15     Statute means.  That would not be appropriate because jura novit curia,

16     we are supposed, and I think -- I hope rightly so, that we know the law.

17             I just wanted to -- to make this clear so that no

18     misunderstanding could come up when someone reads the records.  Thank

19     you.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  However, General,

21     when you answered my question, I would like to know when you answered in

22     the position of a brigade commander wherever he may be, in Herceg-Bosna,

23     Croatia, Beijing or anywhere, so was your answer a general answer stating

24     what a brigade commander is supposed to do in such a case, whatever the

25     country, or could you tell us whether the answer you gave us was very

Page 45251

 1     specific and only applicable to Herceg-Bosna?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said what he was supposed to do.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What he was supposed to do

 4     wherever he may be.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's what I had understood in

 7     your answers.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   General Skender, to pick up on this, I have several questions

10     alone the same lines.  You said you never encountered a case like that in

11     Herceg-Bosna and you can hardly say what would be done in practical terms

12     based on your knowledge.  Is that a fair understanding of what you said?

13        A.   Absolutely.

14        Q.   And what about the three or four months, roughly speaking, your

15     time as commander of the Tomislavgrad District?  Did you familiarise

16     yourself with the criminal laws and other applicable laws in

17     Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time?

18        A.   No.  I did not familiarise myself with these documents because I

19     didn't have any time.  I was on the field day and night 'round the clock.

20        Q.   All right.  Would that mean that what you told us about the rules

21     of behaviour that applied to a military commander result from your

22     experience of what a military commander should be expected to do, and was

23     that not a result of your experience both in the French Army and your

24     direct experience upon your arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina regardless

25     of any regulations that might have applied?

Page 45252

 1        A.   Yes, its my personal experience.

 2        Q.   When you say "personal experience," do you mean your extensive

 3     experience in the French Army?

 4        A.   In the French Army we didn't experience this kind of problem.

 5     Whenever something happened, it was automatically solved between the

 6     command and the gendarmerie.  They would work it out together.

 7        Q.   Fine.  General, let's try to go back to my original line of

 8     questioning.  You are a professional soldier, and as such I wanted to ask

 9     you this:  What in your opinion is the relationship between the army, on

10     the one hand, professional soldiers, and the civilian authorities on the

11     other?  Is the army responsible for carrying out certain tasks regardless

12     of which political party happens to be in power at a given time in a

13     given country?

14        A.   The army must obey the politicians.  The army must obey any

15     political decisions made.

16        Q.   In your opinion as a professional soldier, is there a limit?  How

17     far should a soldier obey orders by civilian authorities?  Will you

18     always obey any orders by any civilian authorities no matter what as a

19     professional soldier?

20        A.   No.  Just like in any other armies.  Whenever an order might lead

21     to abuse against civilians, you are not supposed -- you're not forced to

22     carry out this order.

23        Q.   General, is it just about abuse against civilians, or perhaps

24     does this definition entail other crimes and criminal offences as well?

25        A.   Any action that could be sanctioned.  Any action that is banned

Page 45253

 1     by the Geneva Conventions.

 2        Q.   Fine.  So, for example, you receive an order to commit a crime.

 3     In your capacity as a professional soldier, it is your duty and

 4     responsibility to say, "No.  I refuse."  This runs counter to law.  It's

 5     against the law; it's a crime.  Is my understanding correct, sir?

 6        A.   Yes, absolutely.

 7        Q.   General, during your time in Herceg-Bosna, was there ever a

 8     situation in which you received an order from someone to do something

 9     that might have constituted a crime or an offence?

10        A.   No, never.

11        Q.   Fine.  I'll be asking you several document-based questions next.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have the usher's

13     assistance?  I would like to show the witness a small set of documents.

14        Q.   The first one up is an OTP exhibit, P11033.  11033.  Again,

15     P11033.  It has now been recorded accurately.  Thank you.

16             The Prosecution used this document to finish their

17     cross-examination of General Praljak.  We can have a look together.  This

18     is an order by Brigadier Ivan Kapular, dated November 1993.  The order is

19     about punishing a number of soldiers for refusing to go to the southern

20     front.

21             Have you had a look, General?  I've no questions about this

22     document but about the southern front generally based on my following

23     document.  Could you please look at the next document then, please,

24     4D01293, item 2.1.  It's a document signed by Croatia's defence minister,

25     Gojko Susak.  In March 1996.  It's about mobilisation and deployment of

Page 45254

 1     Croatia's armed forces.

 2             The mobilisation plan of the armed forces.  Item 1, Croatia's

 3     minister orders that the command of the southern front be abolished as

 4     part of the general mobilisation plan of the armed forces.

 5             Based on a document like this, it would seem, General Skender,

 6     that the southern front was indeed in Croatia and that there was such a

 7     thing as a command of the southern front that was part of the

 8     mobilisation plan of the Main Staff of Croatia's armed forces.

 9             General Skender, could you please tell us what you know about the

10     existence of a southern front in Croatia's territory?

11        A.   Yes.  The southern front, I believe it went from Split to

12     Dubrovnik.

13        Q.   That's fine.  I just wanted to have that clarified for the

14     Chamber's benefit.

15             Now a question about an answer you gave about the confrontation

16     lines and the army's responsibility vis-a-vis what was going on along the

17     confrontation lines.  I would like to show you a map now showing the

18     Municipal Boarders across the Tomislavgrad district.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I apologise to interrupt,

20     Ms. Alaburic.  I'm a bit surprised.  You talked about -- you talked about

21     document P11033 and then said that you had no questions to put regarding

22     this document.  So why did you show it?  Probably not to tender it

23     because the witness said nothing about this document.  It looks like

24     you're wasting your time, but -- and now that I'm asking a question,

25     we're wasting even more time.  But maybe in the future, so I could

Page 45255

 1     understand better what you're doing, because I know counsels always do

 2     something with a reason, it would be nice if you could tell us what the

 3     reason was for showing this document.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was trying to save

 5     some time.  I therefore omitted some information that may be significant.

 6             The last document is a document used by the OTP in their

 7     cross-examination of General Praljak.  By using this document, the

 8     Prosecution were trying to prove that the southern front was in

 9     Herceg-Bosna and that the soldiers of the Croatian Army who refused to go

10     to the southern front were subject to disciplinary measures.  It was my

11     mistake not to explain about that part of the cross-examination.  We

12     believe that this was an important matter, the matter being it was

13     Croatia's army actually present in BH territory.  If so, under what

14     circumstances.

15             I have now brought up this new document in a bid to show that the

16     southern front was actually in Croatia.  That was my intention, and I

17     apologise if I was not sufficiently clear about that.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Could all the other

19     microphones not being used please be switched off.  We can't hear

20     counsel.  Thank you.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Thank you.  It's now extremely

22     clear.

23             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can the usher please hand this map

24     to the witness.  Can we have it placed on the ELMO.  And then we'll have

25     the witness point out a number of things to us.

Page 45256

 1             Could we please pull it up a little.  Thank you.

 2        Q.   General Skender, let's try to point out a number of things for

 3     the benefit of the Chamber.  For example, Tomislavgrad municipality, and

 4     then we'll move on from there to Siroki Brijeg.  What about Tomislavgrad?

 5     Was there an HVO Brigade in Tomislavgrad?

 6        A.   Yes, it existed.

 7        Q.   We're looking now at Tomislavgrad municipality, and can you

 8     please show where exactly the front line was along, which defence tasks

 9     were being performed by the Tomislavgrad Brigade?  I'm talking about 1992

10     and 1993.

11        A.   I wasn't there in 1993.  I only arrived at the end of 1993.

12             THE INTERPRETER:  I wasn't there in 1992, interpreter's

13     correction.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But the Tomislav Brigade was

15     towards Kupres.  The line went towards Kupres, and there was always

16     reinforced towards Prozor in front of Gornji Vakuf.

17        Q.   And what about Tomislavgrad municipality specifically?  Could you

18     please use the marker and draw the front line that ran through

19     Tomislavgrad municipality.

20        A.   It was like this, if I remember right.

21        Q.   Could you point out roughly for us where the town of Tomislavgrad

22     was exactly within the municipality?

23        A.   It was right there.  About there.

24        Q.   What about the town itself?  Was it covered by the area where the

25     Tomislavgrad brigade was active?

Page 45257

 1             I'll repeat my question.  Because I think it should be

 2     interpreted differently.

 3             Did Tomislavgrad find itself -- was the Tomislavgrad --

 4     [In English] Was the Tomislavgrad situated on the area of combat

 5     activities of the HVO Tomislav Brigade?

 6        A.   There was no combat and no fighting in Tomislavgrad itself but

 7     only in the northern border and also towards Prozor.

 8        Q.   [Interpretation] General Skender, can you look at Siroki Brijeg

 9     municipality now, please.  What about the area of Siroki Brijeg

10     municipality?  Was there any combat going on there, or was there a

11     confrontation line between your forces and the enemy, whoever the enemy

12     happened to be?

13        A.   North of Siroki Brijeg there was a line that went through Mostar

14     and that went south.

15        Q.   General Skender, what about the area of Siroki Brijeg

16     municipality itself?

17        A.   There was no fighting in the Siroki Brijeg region.

18        Q.   General, would it not be fair to say, then, for example, that in

19     the area of Siroki Brijeg municipality the HVO Brigade had no defence

20     tasks?  Simply because there was no front line to speak of, there are no

21     clashes with the enemy?  Would that not be a fair description of what the

22     municipal brigade had to do in the area of Siroki Brijeg municipality?

23        A.   No.  North of Siroki Brijeg there was a front-line against the

24     Muslims, and they held these lines, probably.  I don't know exactly how

25     many men held these lines, but there were -- there was a line that went

Page 45258

 1     all the way to Mostar.

 2        Q.   Was that the line that was already in the area of Mostar

 3     municipality?

 4        A.   It was the line that followed the Neretva.

 5        Q.   Fine.  Thank you.  Thank you, General.  I think we now understand

 6     about the front line.  Could you now please use this map to place today's

 7     date on it, the 28th of September, 2009, and could you please initial the

 8     map.  I will then be asking the registrar to have a number for this map.

 9        A.   [Marks]

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] IC number please,

11     Mr. Registrar.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Which date?

14        A.   What is today's date?  28th.

15             MR. LAWS:  Mr. President, good afternoon.  Sorry to interrupt.

16     Might the witness also date the map as to which date it's actually meant

17     to represent in the conflict.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   General, about the question posed by my learned friend from the

20     OTP.

21             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, for the record the document just

22     marked by the witness shall be given Exhibit IC1052.  Thank you, Your

23     Honours.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this is a map with the front

25     lines from August to December 1993.

Page 45259

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Thank you, General.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Witness, at that time you were

 4     not on the field; right?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was south of Mostar at the time

 6     as a -- as observer.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Right.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have said so.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] But you weren't -- you didn't

10     command any units yet?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  I had no command at that time.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   General, let us try to use another two documents to show the

14     Chamber what the confrontation line was and the area in which the army

15     was active.  Could you please look at the next document in my set,

16     4D1364.  1364.

17             This is a report signed by the commander of the Mostar defence

18     sector, Zlatan Mijo Jelic.  Let's look at this together.  What exactly

19     does this expression mean, the confrontation line in Mostar in the

20     central part?  There is talk here of the confrontation line

21     Staklena Banka being held by the members of the Mostar police station,

22     meaning civilian police.  The line is being held by a total of 12 police

23     officers.  Along another line another 12 policemen are on standby.

24             The question, General Skender, is this:  The other line mentioned

25     here, is that not the first or nearest fallback position, or is the

Page 45260

 1     meaning of this other line something entirely different?  Could you

 2     please shed some light on that?

 3        A.   According to me, this can only be a fallback position.

 4        Q.   And the next line is around the Stara Gimnazija or old school,

 5     held by members of the 1st Battalion of the military police, and then the

 6     third line is between the old secondary school, the Stara Gimnazija and

 7     the health centre, and that is held by an HVO battalion.  And then we go

 8     on to the next line around the health centre held by members of the ATG

 9     or anti-terrorist group called Mrmak, and then another line from

10     Aleksica Kuca to Zahum held once again by the HVO battalion, and each of

11     those lines has reserve positions too.

12             Tell me, General Skender, to the best of your knowledge this

13     description given in the report for central Mostar and the confrontation

14     line, does it correspond to what you have described to us here in court

15     as being the confrontation line?

16        A.   That's right.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, when there's a

18     document which is a military document, I then read it and I listen to

19     your answer, and then I place this document against the background of the

20     whole case.  This is a document which I see for the first time.  It

21     hadn't made a marked impression on me so far.

22             If I have understood correctly, this is an HVO document from the

23     1st Battalion of the military police in Mostar, dated 14th of July.  The

24     document states that there is a first line with 12 policemen and then a

25     second line.  What I'm interested in is what is mentioned afterwards.

Page 45261

 1             It seems that this document says that there's a sniper who is in

 2     a building, the Optika shop.  Militarily speaking, if there is an enemy

 3     sniper somewhere, in military terms what must the other side do to

 4     neutralise this sniper or to annihilate him, without speculating, of

 5     course.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the other side needs to place

 7     another sniper in order to neutralise the man.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the HVO commander, if he is

 9     competent, must place a sniper to neutralise the other sniper.  Do we

10     agree on this?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's quite right, Your

12     Honour.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your answer is clear to me.

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   General Skender, let's look at the next document now, please,

16     which is 363.  No.  I apologise.  1364.  The next document is 4D01364.

17     1364, yes.  And it's a document by the same author.  Let me repeat the

18     document number.  4D1364 -- 63.  1363.  Right.  1363, dated the 13th of

19     July, the same author, sector commander, the defence of Mostar,

20     Zlatan Mio Jelic, and we have there identical descriptions of the

21     confrontation line in Mostar.

22             Now, General Skender, would you take a look at the description

23     for those lines and tells us whether this document corresponds to what

24     we've heard from you here in the courtroom -- or, rather, did you

25     describe the confrontation lines in the same way?

Page 45262

 1        A.   Yes.  The combat lines went right through the city centre.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  I'm now going to ask you a few more questions,

 3     General Skender, about Prozor at the time when you were the commander of

 4     the military district of Tomislavgrad, and for us to do that let's look

 5     at the next document which is 4D1357.  4D1357.  It's a document signed by

 6     Luka Markesic, the chief of the SIS headquarters in Rama, and it

 7     describes the situation in Rama along with an incident which took place

 8     on the 25th of February, 1994.

 9             Tell us, General, were you informed about this incident?  Did you

10     know about it?

11        A.   Yes, I did, since the Rama Brigade surrounded my command post.

12        Q.   We'll come to that incident, but look at the next document first,

13     please, and it's 4D1358.  4D1358.  It's a document issued by you,

14     General Skender, on forbidding the bearing of long-barrelled guns.  Is

15     this your order?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Can you tell us why you issued this order?

18        A.   It's very simple.  The men leaving the front line went home to

19     Prozor, because generally speaking, this was the Rama Brigade, and I had

20     prohibited them from going into town in light of the incidents that

21     occurred on a daily basis in the bars.

22        Q.   Now look at the next document 4D1456.  Tell us, General Skender,

23     did I give you a chance to read through that document after our talk last

24     Wednesday, I believe?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 45263

 1        Q.   Thank you.  It's a plan of activities of the administration of

 2     SIS and the military police of the HVO to restore law and order in the

 3     Uskoplje Rama area.  The document dates to 1994, March, and it was

 4     compiled by Mr. Marjan Biskic, and we've had an opportunity of meeting

 5     him here in the courtroom.  Let's look at some of the elements of the

 6     plan of activities for the SIS administration of military police.

 7             In the third paragraph it says, and I'm going to paraphrase it,

 8     it's relatively difficult to establish law and order at a time when

 9     fighting is going on against the enemy forces.

10             Was that your experience, too, that it was difficult to establish

11     and control law and order and to control the general situation in town

12     while there was fighting going on, while enemy activities were under way

13     and fighting was going on?

14        A.   That's right.  It was very difficult to maintain law and order

15     whilst fighting at the same time.

16        Q.   Now, in the next paragraph, as a negative factor of this

17     difficult situation, mention is made of a large number of mini units with

18     self-proclaimed commanders who, throughout that time were in fact not

19     subordinated to anybody, but joined the combat operations exclusively and

20     in accordance to their own volition and assessment.

21             Tell us now, General Skender, a description of the situation of

22     this kind in this part of Herceg-Bosna, is it correct?  Were there really

23     these mini units with self-appointed commanders who were not subordinated

24     to anybody?

25        A.   That's right.  These were the small chiefs, as I call them, who

Page 45264

 1     had organised small combatant groups and who obeyed -- who were a law

 2     unto themselves, in fact.

 3        Q.   Now, on the next page, General Skender, if we look at the fourth

 4     paragraph on the second page, the incident with you is mentioned.

 5     Anto Bradic, Banjaluka, under threat of arms, is being taken out.

 6     Anyway, General Skender, is that the event that you described to us in

 7     this courtroom about how you were taken into custody in this manner by

 8     this soldier?

 9        A.   That's right.  I believe we talked about this on Friday.

10        Q.   It was Thursday, I think, yes.  It don't matter.  Yes.

11             Now, General Skender, I'm going to ask you something now with

12     respect to the statement you made to the Praljak Defence, and if I

13     remember or understood you correctly, in your statement you try to

14     explain that it was difficult to achieve the purpose for sanctioning and

15     punishing a soldier, taking disciplinary measures against a soldier when

16     there was fighting going on, and that there were certain situations where

17     it was more important to use that soldier, who should otherwise be

18     sanctioned, to be used in a combat in the unit.

19             Can you tell me, to begin with, whether I understood that part of

20     your statement correctly, or do you think I misunderstood it?

21        A.   You understood me perfectly well.  It is very difficult to take

22     men out of a combatting or fighting unit, to impose penalties, because it

23     is quasi-impossible to impose sanctions straight away.

24        Q.   Now take a look at the next document, General, which is P293.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, this document which we

Page 45265

 1     have before us is a document dated March 1994.  Your command in

 2     Tomislavgrad was a command you exercised until when?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I took up my command in

 4     December 1993, and I left in beginning of March 1994 because I had -- I

 5     was on leave and I went back to Corsica.  I was then called by the

 6     minister of defence, Susak, who asked me to come to Zagreb and to be the

 7     second in command of the 1st Croatian Guards Corps.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your command from December

 9     to March was Prozor part of your area of responsibility or command?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have heard witnesses from

12     Prozor who have told us a number of things.  We have seen a great number

13     of documents that demonstrate that in this Rama Brigade there was a whole

14     series of problems.  In this document we have before us now, the document

15     states that there was this Kinder platoon which committed a whole series

16     of acts against civilians, amongst other people.

17             When you were in command was this something you were aware of or

18     not?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was told that things

20     had happened just the way you have just described them, but nobody ever

21     came to file a complaint, whether it be civilians or military.  Nobody

22     came to me to do this.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I don't wish to put

24     you in a tricky situation.  This is not my intention, but I need to do

25     what I am here for, and I need to put into perspective a number of things

Page 45266

 1     which are mentioned in the indictment, and I need to ask you your opinion

 2     on a number of issues.

 3             In the indictment, it says that in December 1993, in Prozor,

 4     there were 500 to 600 Muslim civilians.  In the indictment, it also says

 5     that at the end of December these civilians had been detained or sent to

 6     areas controlled by the ABiH or had gone abroad.

 7             On reading the indictment, one has the feeling that there were

 8     hardly any Muslim left in Prozor, and the few Muslims that had remained

 9     were detained.  This is what the Prosecutor says in its submissions.

10             Now, what is your position vis-a-vis the Muslim civilians?  What

11     do you have to say to that?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew that there were a number

13     Muslim civilians in Prozor, but I didn't know how many there were there,

14     and I knew even less whether they were going abroad or to other places.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you yourself, did you go to

16     Prozor?  Did you visit the town or did you never go there?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in Prozor all the time, Your

18     Honour.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you meet any Muslims or

20     not.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the streets, very few.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And this was not a problem to

23     see that there were hardly any Muslims in town?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assumed that before my arrival

25     they had either left, but I was not astonished not to see many Muslims

Page 45267

 1     there.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 3             Ms. Alaburic.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Tell us, please, General Skender, at that time -- if you could

 6     just describe the situation to us in Prozor.  Was Prozor in fact

 7     chock-a-block full of soldiers, or was there an equal number of soldiers,

 8     civilians, and then Croatian civilians too?  Well, generally speaking,

 9     who moved around the streets of the town of Prozor at that time?

10        A.   We could see a great number of soldiers.

11        Q.   And in the streets, for example, did you see civilians who were

12     Croatian?

13        A.   Very few.

14        Q.   Very well.  Now, let's get back to that last document that I have

15     prepared for you.  P293 is the number, and they are Rules of Military

16     Discipline.

17             We haven't had an opportunity to go through them in any detail

18     here in court yet, and, General Skender, you told us that you didn't have

19     time to deal with rules and regulations, so let's just clear this

20     situation up.  I assume you haven't had time to read these rules on

21     military discipline either; is that right?  Would that be right?

22        A.   That's right.

23        Q.   Never mind.  Let's take a look at Article 7 anyway.  "Decisions

24     on Military Discipline."  It is the penultimate page of this document,

25     and I'd like to draw your attention to several articles.

Page 45268

 1             In Article 102, and I quote, it says:

 2             "Discipline measures and punishments which, given the

 3     circumstances and conditions of their administration, cannot be carried

 4     out or whose carrying out would be purposeless shall not be pronounced in

 5     wartime."

 6             And its in the section "Decisions on Disciplinary Reliability in

 7     Wartime."  So that's the quotation.  And then we have Article 105,

 8     para 3, which reads as follows, and I quote:

 9             "Disciplinary measures of military detention or disciplinary

10     punishment of detention shall be suspended or postponed if so required by

11     the tasks of the unit, i.e., the institution or for reasons of security

12     and protection of individuals as described in para," et cetera, in para 2

13     of this article.

14             And one more provision.  That is to say Article 109, para 1.  It

15     says:

16              "If the individual against whom a military punishment has been

17     pronounced shows courage or distinguishes himself in service, the

18     disciplinary punishment may be reduced, mitigated, or remitted."

19             Now, since the measures and punishment could have been proclaimed

20     by a court or -- what we've just read out as being a rule, does that

21     coincide with what you were talking about when it came to priorities when

22     looking at punishment and when there's combat under way?  Is that along

23     the lines of what you were saying?

24        A.   I'm not familiar with these rules, but I applied it to the letter

25     as the rule states.  I applied it to Banjaluka.  In other words, the

Page 45269

 1     punishment of the person in question was postponed.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, to make sure that

 3     everything is clear, as far as disciplinary measures are concerned, these

 4     are usually taken by the brigade commander; isn't that right?  Do you

 5     agree with this?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it comes to small sanctions,

 7     yes, of course, Your Honour.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as far as disciplinary

 9     measures are concerned, which are a more serious matter?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is referred then to the

11     military police, for the military police to conduct its investigation and

12     understand exactly what has happened or what's behind it.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me give you a theoretical

14     example.  A soldier that has burnt down a house, for instance, when he

15     has not received an order to burn down the house; so a soldier that kills

16     a civilian, for instance; a soldier that rapes a woman; a soldier that

17     takes a car, the television set, and the fridge of another person; and so

18     on.  According to you, this type of behaviour, is this something which

19     would require a disciplinary measure to be taken by the brigade

20     commander, or does this kind of behaviour need to be referred to another

21     authority other than the brigade commander?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This should be referred to the

23     military police.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In light of the seriousness of

25     the military situation, the military police, as far as you are concerned,

Page 45270

 1     don't you think it should arrest the offender and despite the military's

 2     situation it should, don't you think, arrest the offender or not?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was supposed to arrest the

 4     offenders, but in light of these rules, this could be postponed.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your interpretation of the text

 6     we have before us, in certain cases do you think that the military police

 7     can postpone the arrest because of the military situation, which means

 8     that there is a reason, a valid reason to, postpone the arrest.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I think it does, but it still

10     investigates into the case.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that completes my

13     cross-examination, actually.  I'd just like to thank General Skender for

14     his answers and thank you, Your Honours, for giving me additional time.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now 20 to -- quarter to

16     4.00.  We shall have our break now, and after the break the Prosecutor

17     will start his cross-examination.

18                           --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.

19                           --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Laws, you have the floor.

21             MR. LAWS:  Thank you.  Good afternoon, Your Honours, and to all

22     in and around the courtroom.

23                           Cross-examination by Mr. Laws:

24        Q.   And good afternoon to you, General Skender.  May I just first of

25     all please, and I'll be clear with you, about how came to be in

Page 45271

 1     Herzegovina in the summer of 1993.  All right?

 2        A.   I arrived in Zagreb --

 3        Q.   I'm just introducing the topic.  I'm going to ask you the

 4     questions in short pieces so we that understand each other clearly as we

 5     go.  No, it's my fault.

 6             I want to look at it in two parts, please, Mr. Skender.  First of

 7     all, coming to Croatia, number one; and then number two, going to

 8     Herzegovina as you told us, to Citluk.  All right?  Yes?

 9        A.   Yes.  I arrived in Croatia at the end of June, in Zagreb.

10        Q.   Okay.  I'm going to cut you off.  Again, it's my mistake.  I'm

11     just introducing the topic to you.  I just want to make sure I've got it

12     clear with you.  There was a Croatian officer who you had met in the

13     Foreign Legion who contacted you and who asked if you wanted to give a

14     helping hand to the Croatians to defend their country; is that right?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Thank you.  And he was called Filipovic.  Is that also right?

17        A.   Absolutely.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Once you were in Croatia, you were then asked by

19     someone from the Ministry of Defence if you would volunteer to go to

20     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Is that also right?

21        A.   Someone from the Ministry of Defence.  Not the minister of

22     defence but someone from the entourage of the Ministry of Defence, and I

23     said yes.

24        Q.   Yes.  And just so that we're clear, that was my question:  You

25     were asked by someone from the Ministry of the Defence if you would

Page 45272

 1     volunteer and that's the position, yes?

 2        A.   Absolutely.  I guess it was someone from the ministry.

 3        Q.   Were you in contact with General Praljak at all before going to

 4     Croatia or to Bosnia?

 5        A.   No.

 6        Q.   He had no involvement at all in your deployment to Bosnia; is

 7     that right?

 8        A.   Absolutely.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  I'm going to read to you and to everybody else a

10     short passage from the evidence that General Praljak gave on June the

11     18th of this year, sitting where you were.  It's page 41645, at line 14,

12     and the General was being asked questions by His Honour Judge Antonetti,

13     particularly about members of the armed forces of Croatia who had gone to

14     fight in Bosnia.  All right?  And one of the things that General Praljak

15     said about that was in relation to you.  He said -- I think it's possible

16     to show it on the screen.  I think it's on the screen.

17             The question is at line 11 to do with officers in the army of

18     Croatia who are part of the HVO and who had volunteered but who still

19     remained, from a military standpoint, part of Croatia.  And

20     General Praljak said this:

21              "That's what I claim, Your Honour.  And I know for sure that

22     Mr. Skender ... well he's a French national and lives in Corsica, and I

23     contacted him and he expressly asked to go to the battlefront and into

24     the HVO as a volunteer to Bosnia-Herzegovina."

25             Just hold on a moment.  I'm going to ask you a question now.

Page 45273

 1             Those two versions of how you came to be in Bosnia are very

 2     different, are they not?

 3        A.   I don't remember General Praljak contacting me.  I repeat,

 4     someone from the ministry of defence in Croatia contacted me asking me

 5     whether I would volunteer to go.

 6        Q.   Yes, you said that.  I want to, if I may, ask you the question

 7     again with respect.  The two versions are quite different, aren't they?

 8     One has you coming, Filipovic having spoken to you, then the Ministry of

 9     Defence; the other is Mr. Praljak apparently contacting you and you

10     volunteering to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Just a moment.  I want to --

11     I've asked a question, I wonder if the witness could answer the question.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, just a minute.  Do

13     not raise an objection right away just to interrupt.  The Prosecutor is

14     doing his job.  He's noting that there is a discrepancy and he's asking

15     the witness about it.  What do you want to take the floor for?

16             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Nonetheless, Your Honours, before I

17     place an objection on the record, given your remark I believe that the

18     witness, without wanting to lead the witness to say or think anything,

19     the Prosecutor and the witness are not talking about the same thing.

20     These are two different representations, and in my attempt -- and in my

21     opinion an attempt to mislead the witness.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we'll see clearly where

23     we're going once the Prosecutor is done with this line of questioning.

24     Please continue.

25             MR. LAWS:  I can assure that -- everybody I'm not intending to

Page 45274

 1     mislead a person, particularly not the general.

 2        Q.   The quotation that I read from -- from the transcript appears to

 3     suggest that General Praljak is saying he was the one who contacted you

 4     and he was the one who asked you if you would come and you volunteered to

 5     go to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That's what the transcript appears to show,

 6     General Skender, and I'm asking you to confirm whether in your

 7     recollection of these matters that is wrong, for they cannot both be

 8     correct, can they?

 9        A.   It's wrong.  Let me repeat.  I got a call from Mr. Filipovic in

10     Corsica.  I arrived in Croatia and that's when Bugojno fell, and someone

11     from the Ministry of Defence asked me.  I don't know who it was, I don't

12     know his name, but asked me whether I would volunteer to go to

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina --

14             THE INTERPRETER:  To Herzegovina interpreter's correction.

15             MR. LAWS:

16        Q.   Very well.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If I may just add a question.  Is it possible,

18     Mr. Skender, that the person from the ministry was Mr. Praljak?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  No.  I don't think that it was

20     Praljak.  I really don't think so.

21             MR. LAWS:

22        Q.   Because you would remember if General Praljak was the person from

23     the ministry.  So far from misleading anybody, can we leave it like this,

24     General Skender:  You can't help us at all with these two different

25     accounts.  You can't help us with why there should to be two different

Page 45275

 1     accounts of you coming to Bosnia.

 2        A.   I don't know, but I -- I maintain with -- I maintain what I said.

 3        Q.   Yes.  Very well.  Would you look with me, please, on this topic

 4     at the statement that you provided to the Praljak Defence and look at

 5     page 2, please, in the English, at page 4 in the B/C/S.

 6             Can you find on page 4 -- ah, you're going to need some help.  I

 7     think the statement is right at the back of the Praljak bundle.

 8             MR. LAWS:  I wonder if the usher could assist.  Or right at the

 9     front, in fact, in that one.  Thank you.

10        Q.   That's the statement that you provided, I think, to the Praljak

11     Defence.  Could you look at the fourth page of that statement in the

12     Croatian, please, and find the paragraph that deals with you deciding to

13     help to create -- help and defend an independent Croatian state.  It's at

14     the top of page 4 in the Croatian.  Can you see a paragraph that reads:

15             "Being a born Croat and a retired officer of the French Army

16     observing what was going on in the former Yugoslavia ...," can you see

17     that?  And the next paragraph starts:  "In the summer of 1993..."

18             Can you see those two paragraphs?

19        A.   Yes, I found it, "Being a born Croat."  I found it.

20        Q.   So the paragraph that has "Being a born Croat," ends with these

21     words:

22             "I had decided to return to Croatia to help defend and create an

23     independent Croatian state."

24             Can you see that?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 45276

 1        Q.   And the next line says:  "In the summer of 1993, I went to

 2     Herzegovina where the Muslim-Croat conflict had been going on."  Can you

 3     also see that?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   By the summer of 1993, Croatia had declared its independence and

 6     been recognised by the United Nations, had it not?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   And Bosnia-Herzegovina, likewise.

 9        A.   I guess so, yes.

10        Q.   And you were in Bosnia fighting the Army of the Republic of

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina, were you not?

12        A.   No.  I wasn't -- I didn't see things from that angle.  I was here

13     to help the Croatian people who were fighting against the Muslims at the

14     time.  I had no afterthought whatsoever.

15        Q.   Well, General Skender, there aren't two ways of looking at it are

16     there?  You were helping the troops who were put into the field by the

17     HVO to fight the troops who were put into the field by the Republic of

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Is there another way of looking at it that -- that

19     is exercising your mind?  It's just that, isn't it?

20        A.   Well, I did not see things as you're telling them.  I was there

21     to defend the Croatian people who was fighting the Muslims.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, one thing escaped me

23     and I thank Mr. Laws for highlighting this.  There is a terrible sentence

24     in this document.  You said that you came to create an independent

25     Croatian state.  This is a very important sentence.  When you made your

Page 45277

 1     statement, did you write it in Croatian or did you write it in French?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Croatian.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You wrote it in

 4     Croatian.  And you're fluent in Croatian.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In Croatian when you write "to

 7     create an independent Croatian state," what does it mean?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Croatia, but I made a mistake,

 9     because Croatia had already been recognised.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because when you read the

11     sentence as it is, any reasonable trier of fact can very well say he's

12     coming there to create within the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina an

13     independent Croatian state.  You can really see things from this angle.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it could be interpreted in

15     such a manner but it was not my intent at all.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're absolutely sure?  You're

17     under oath.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, under oath, I'm absolutely

19     sure.

20             MR. LAWS:

21        Q.   Well, I'm going to suggest to you for you to consider that the

22     reality, the reality of the situation that you and others like you were

23     in was that you knew that it was in Bosnia-Herzegovina that the borders

24     of Croatia were being drawn.  That is the truth, isn't it?

25        A.   No, absolutely not.  I repeat.  I maintain what I said.  I went

Page 45278

 1     to Herzegovina to help the Croatian people, but without any idea, a

 2     separation or any other idea.

 3        Q.   Very well.  We're going to move on now to look at the evidence

 4     that you have given to this Court in respect of discipline problems

 5     within the HVO.  All right?

 6        A.   Very well.

 7        Q.   If I understand you correctly, General, you're saying that there

 8     were very bad discipline problems within the HVO.  That's the first

 9     proposition from your evidence, is it not?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   And secondly, it was very difficult to deal with this situation,

12     because the priority was keeping men available for combat.

13        A.   Yes, that's what I said.

14        Q.   If you put them in prison, you reduce the numbers available for

15     combat, and you also, and I think this might be an additional part of

16     your evidence, you risk upsetting their fellow soldiers who might not

17     want to fight alongside you anymore.  That's also part of it, isn't it?

18        A.   Yes, I said that.  As I repeat, all these people were volunteers

19     and only volunteers.  So if you sent one of them to gaol, there were

20     always some of his friends or buddies who decided not to go to the front

21     line anymore.

22        Q.   All right.  Well, we're going to come back to volunteers in a

23     minute, but the background to these problems is a shortage of manpower,

24     isn't it?  A shortage of people to deploy in your front line.  That's

25     what it comes down to.

Page 45279

 1        A.   Absolutely.

 2        Q.   And although it was inevitable that law and order had to suffer,

 3     the choice was made that people should not be punished.

 4        A.   Well, it wasn't always the case, but, yes, most of the time it

 5     was the case.  For example, when you had deserters who did not answer the

 6     call-up to go up to the front line, were not sanctioned, but they were

 7     just -- once they were recaptured they were sent to the front line but

 8     without being sanctioned.

 9        Q.   Well, I'm going to ask you about deserters as a specific category

10     of people committing what might be called crimes, but as a general

11     proposition, if you don't punish the criminal, he is likely to carry on

12     committing crime.  Do you think that's fair?

13        A.   Well, when I'm talking about deserters --

14        Q.   No -- I'm sorry.  I'm not talking about deserters.  I'm talking

15     about people who are committing crimes against civilians, people who are

16     raping women, as we're going to look at in due course, people who are

17     committing murders, crimes being committed against civilians.  The men

18     who were doing that, if you leave them free, they are likely to carry on,

19     aren't they?

20        A.   During my command in Tomislavgrad, I never experienced such a

21     case.

22        Q.   Very well.  We'll look at that too.  Now, volunteer army is

23     something that you have been stressing.  Badly trained --

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A follow-up question first.

25     The Prosecutor is putting questions to you, questions which I've already

Page 45280

 1     put to you, but I think he's going further into details.

 2             We have seen a good number of officers here to testify, but you

 3     are one of the only officer with a dual experience.  You already fought a

 4     war in Algeria, and then you fought a second war, quote unquote, war in

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So you have a dual experience, and there aren't that

 6     many officers who have been through two wars.

 7             Starting from this, we know that you've been in the military

 8     career for several years in -- during the Algerian war, and I'm sure that

 9     during this war in Algeria you must have experienced a number events

10     which you experienced again in Bosnia-Herzegovina, notably the problem

11     with deserters.

12             We say, say that the Foreign Legion in Algeria were -- were all

13     people who came from Indochina and that there was a good number of

14     deserters at the time.  So I am sure that you are well aware of this

15     problem of desertion.

16             As far as you recollect, what happened in Algeria when a deserter

17     was recaptured?  Was he sent to gaol or was he sent to the front line to

18     fight.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Foreign Legion most

20     desertions occurred during the training, and once the deserter was

21     recaptured he was sent to gaol.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you never experienced a

23     situation where you had a deserter who was incorporated in a combat unit

24     as a sanction?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never experienced that in the

Page 45281

 1     French Army.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 3             Mr. Laws.

 4             MR. LAWS:

 5        Q.   Well, should we -- I was going to deal with this topic later, but

 6     as it's been raised, shall we turn to deal with the question of desertion

 7     now and look in the binder that you've just been given, in the new

 8     binder, at document 4D01655, and I think it's the last document in the

 9     binder.  Right at the very, very back, General.  It's document dated the

10     11th of October 1993, and signed by Bruno Stojic.  And I don't want to

11     take up too much of our time with it, but we can see from the very first

12     paragraph of the order that it directs the district military courts and

13     district military prosecutor's office to give priority to cases related

14     to the failure to respond for general mobilisation and to wilful

15     abandonment of military units.  All right?

16             So can you see that, paragraph 1?

17        A.   I'm reading.  I'm reading it.

18        Q.   All right.  Well, you won't need to read all of it.  Does that

19     accord with your recollection of how things were, that the district

20     military courts and the district military prosecutor's offices were

21     specifically told that the priority was to deal with cases relating to

22     failure to respond to the general mobilisation call and to people who had

23     abandoned their units?

24        A.   I didn't see this document, but all deserters, all military

25     people who did not answer -- respond to the call were recaptured by the

Page 45282

 1     military police.

 2        Q.   Yes.  And what I'm going to suggest to you is that it shows us

 3     that where the vital interests of the HVO are concerned, it is possible

 4     to set priorities.

 5        A.   I don't see this priority.  All I was -- all I am saying is that

 6     soldiers who failed to respond to the call were recaptured by the

 7     military police.

 8        Q.   If you go back one document in the binder to 3D02798, we can see

 9     a document also from October of 1993 which has some orders to give about

10     people who abandon their positions and defence lines.  Can you see that?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   And it says that the sanction is going to be shooting of the

13     unit, 1(a).  "Commanders of the units are to be proclaimed traitors of

14     the people and convicted by the most severe punishment, which is shooting

15     before the unit."  Can you see that at 1(b)?

16        A.   Yes, I see this written.

17        Q.   So the suggestion being made by this deputy commander is that

18     where the offence relates to people who have abandoned the front line,

19     the suggestion is that they should be shot.  Can you see that?  That's

20     what it's saying, isn't it?

21        A.   Yes, that's what it seems to say.

22        Q.   So to go back to the issue of crime and law and order, some

23     things that the soldiers do are going to be met with very severe

24     punishment indeed, aren't they?

25        A.   It's -- it's written, but that's not the way it was to be,

Page 45283

 1     generally speaking.

 2        Q.   Generally speaking.  All right.  But we don't see, do we, a

 3     reaction of that kind to the Kinder Vod or to Ante Bradic, also known as

 4     Banjaluka.  We're going to talk a little bit about them in a moment.  The

 5     crimes that they might be committing are not dealt with in this way, are

 6     they?

 7        A.   I don't know anything about the Kinder Vod, but as far as

 8     Banjaluka was concerned, it was sanctioned but it's true that the

 9     sanction was postponed, but the military court did eventually punish the

10     perpetrator.

11        Q.   I want to ask you about that.  You told us on Thursday that you

12     were told that shortly after you went back to Zagreb that Banjaluka had

13     been sanctioned for this crime that he committed against you.  Do you

14     recall saying that on Thursday?

15        A.   Yes, I did say that.  I was even asked whether I wanted to

16     withdraw my complaint, but I said no and everything went on.

17        Q.   And when had you returned to Zagreb so that can try to date this

18     information about Banjaluka being prosecuted?

19        A.   I left for France early in March, and when I -- I was -- when I

20     came back to Zagreb, I was -- I was detached to another unit of the

21     Croatian Army.  When I came back to Zagreb.

22        Q.   All right.  Well, we're going to look at a couple of documents in

23     relation to that.  Let's go back to that day.  Ante Bradic had the

24     nickname Banjaluka, and we can see from document 3D00414 that the date is

25     the 12th of January of 1994.  All right?  And it's important for us to

Page 45284

 1     have that date clear.  So if you come back from the document you're on

 2     just four tabs backwards, you'll come to 3D00414.  If you go back four

 3     tabs in that binder we can find the date without difficulty.  12th of

 4     January.  All right?

 5             As you describe in your statement -- if you want to follow it in

 6     your witness statement it's page 3 in both languages, the last paragraph.

 7     What he did that day involved him firing a gun at the ceiling of the

 8     refectory that you were in.  You thought he had been taking drugs whilst

 9     he was doing that, and then he took you away at gunpoint.  That's a

10     summary of what happened on the 12th of January, is it not?

11        A.   Yes, absolutely, except it was an assault rifle and not a pistol.

12        Q.   An assault rifle.  Thank you.  On the face of it, it was an

13     extremely serious thing for him to have done and also exceptionally

14     dangerous.  Do you agree?

15        A.   Yes, it was dangerous.  He could have killed people.

16        Q.   In -- in the Foreign Legion, for example, what would the

17     punishment had been for opening fire in one's own refectory then

18     kidnapping a commanding officer at gunpoint and driving him away?

19        A.   Well, you'd go to the military court, prosecuted to the military

20     court, and immediately arrested by the gendarme.

21        Q.   Let's look together, then, at what happened in his case, and if

22     you turn to P11015.  And from the document that you were on, it's back

23     just two tabs.  If you go back two tabs, General, you'll find P11015.

24     Very short document signed by you.  You haven't been shown it so far in

25     your evidence, but it will help us.

Page 45285

 1             I'm so sorry.  From the document that you were on in the binder.

 2     It's the last one with a P on it if that helps.  It's further in than

 3     that.

 4             MR. LAWS:  I wonder if the General could be given some

 5     assistance, please.  It's not an easy binder to find one's way around.

 6     It's the last P document.

 7        Q.   That's really a two-line document in which you agree to postpone

 8     the arrest and taking into custody of Mr. Bradic, also known as

 9     Banjaluka, until the operation Tvigi 94 is finished since that operation

10     is currently in process; is that right?

11        A.   Yes, absolutely.

12        Q.   And that was an operation which was offensive or defensive,

13     Tvigi 94?

14        A.   It was an offensive.

15        Q.   Which I'm right in saying didn't, in fact, succeed; is that

16     right?

17        A.   Well, actually it never started because there was a shortage of

18     troops.

19        Q.   That's exactly right.  There was a shortage of troops and you

20     couldn't get this operation off the ground.  But in order to try to give

21     it a chance, you were prepared to allow Banjaluka, for example, to be

22     free, yes?

23        A.   Yes.  If I -- by freeing Banjaluka or by locking up Banjaluka, at

24     least that way I made sure that about 20 troops didn't leave the unit,

25     that they stayed on.

Page 45286

 1        Q.   All right.  Turn over to the next document, please, in your

 2     binder, which is -- I'm so sorry, Your Honour.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Do you plan to go on with Banjaluka?

 4             MR. LAWS:  Yes.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Okay.

 6             MR. LAWS:  We're going to stay with Banjaluka for a few more

 7     documents.

 8        Q.   The next one is the very next document in the binder, General.

 9     So from the page you're on now, if you turn to 3D00414.

10             3D00414.

11        A.   I can see it.

12        Q.    I'm so sorry, that's my mistake.  I've misled.  The very next

13     document is the one I mean, it's 3D00113, not 114.  So back one document,

14     do forgive me.  The document dated the 20th of June of 1994 from

15     Tomislavgrad.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  For the record, it may be useful to state that

17     it is document 3D01098.

18             Is that correct, Mr. Laws?

19             MR. LAWS:  I'm so sorry.  The transcript didn't show what

20     Your Honour said.  I'm so sorry.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  3D01098.

22             MR. LAWS:  No, it's 3D00113.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

24             MR. LAWS:

25        Q.   And if we look at the foot of that page, I think we can see that

Page 45287

 1     Ante Bradic, also known as Banjaluka, describes how he captured you,

 2     shooting over your head, and how he has still not been brought into

 3     custody to this day.  Can you see that?  This is June of 1994, some five

 4     months after this incident and after you've been to Zagreb, as you've

 5     told us.

 6        A.   I was not familiar with these documents, but I'm sure that

 7     Banjaluka, at least that was -- I had been told, had been punished.

 8        Q.   Well, the author of this document appears to take a different

 9     view in June of 1994; namely, that nothing's been done about him.  He's

10     just still a free man at liberty to create any sort of trouble that he


12        A.   I don't know.

13        Q.   Were you aware that he had already been in trouble once before

14     and already once before escaped punishment?

15        A.   No, I didn't know that.

16        Q.   Well, let's have a look --

17             MR. KOVACIC:  I'm sorry to interrupt my dear colleague, but could

18     you please enlighten us where exactly in this document is passage you're

19     referring to?  It's a multipage document, and I don't know whether the

20     witness found it.  You never made any reference to that.

21             MR. LAWS:  It's at the foot of page 1 in the English, a paragraph

22     beginning:

23             "Ante Bradic, aka Banjaluka, captured the commander of the

24     Tomislavgrad ZP, Colonel Zvonimir Skender.  Took him at gunpoint to the

25     Rama Brigade."

Page 45288

 1             MR. KOVACIC:  Thank you.

 2             MR. LAWS:  It's -- I'm so sorry, it is a Praljak document, but I

 3     should have pointed it out to you and I apologise for that.  I hope

 4     that's clear.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Laws, could you give us the source for a

 6     previous misdeed of Mr. Banjaluka which you had just mentioned?

 7             MR LAWS:  I'm going to show --

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Okay.

 9             MR. LAWS:  -- the Court some documentation to that straight away.

10     It's P04836.  And again I think it might help if the general has some

11     assistance with this.  P04836.

12        Q.   This would have happened not very long after you arrived in

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina, General, and we can see it's a criminal report about

14     the same man, Ante Bradic, also known as Banjaluka.  Can you see that?

15        A.   Yes, I can see this document.

16        Q.   And under the heading criminal report we have a paragraph about

17     his background which doesn't concern us.  The next paragraph says that in

18     May and June of 1993, on unknown dates, he did two things, and we'll look

19     at them separately.  He transported persons of the Muslim faith from

20     Prozor to Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno without permission from the competent

21     organs in order to acquire illegal material benefits.  Look at that.  And

22     two, that he illegally traded in weapons which he owned illegally.  Can

23     you see that?

24        A.   No.  This is not mentioned in the document I have.

25        Q.   P04836, I think, is the one that does have those words in it.

Page 45289

 1        A.   836.  All right.

 2        Q.   Can you see in the middle of the page the words "Criminal

 3     report"?  In big letters, "Criminal report."

 4        A.   Yes, I believe so.

 5        Q.   Then there's the paragraph which starts "Against Ante Bradic, aka

 6     Banjaluka..."  Don't worry about that paragraph just read the next

 7     paragraph which tells you the two things that he's trouble for.  All

 8     right?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   And then if you -- if you come down two paragraphs from that

11     paragraph you can see we get a little more detail about who the people

12     who are being transported are.  The above-named transported women of the

13     Muslim faith from Prozor to Gornji Vakuf charging a hundred Deutschmarks,

14     making six trips.  And then the last paragraph tells us that he also

15     traded in weapons illegally, rifles, pistols, and other sidearms.  All

16     right?

17        A.   Yes, I can see that and it doesn't surprise me.

18        Q.   No.  And he gets -- it doesn't surprise you because from your

19     short but illuminating experience with Mr. Banjaluka.  He was a

20     thoroughly dangerous man, wasn't he?

21        A.   I didn't understand your question.

22        Q.   Well, let's not worry about it too much.  Can you help us,

23     please, with -- with this:  The women who were being transported by him,

24     were you aware that there were any restrictions in place at any time in

25     1993 restricting the movement of Muslims in this area?

Page 45290

 1        A.   I was not aware of that.

 2        Q.   You were not aware that there were such restrictions and that

 3     people were effectively turning to people smuggling to try to make money

 4     out of their situation?

 5        A.   I was not aware of that because I was south of Mostar, not in

 6     Prozor.

 7        Q.   Well, I think you -- I think you told us that you did some

 8     touring of the front as well, did you not?

 9        A.   At that time I was south of Mostar, yes.

10        Q.   Very well.  If you turn on, and we'll do this so that it's easy

11     for you, I hope, because I know it's not a straightforward binder.  4836

12     is the one we're on.  If you turn with me to P05889.  You'll need to turn

13     just three tabs from where you are now and you'll be on 5889.  All right?

14     I'm going to give you just a moment to read that document, particularly

15     the part headed "Statement," and then we'll have a look at it together.

16     All right?  If you want to read it to yourself.  We all have it in front

17     of us.  It deals with his account of being freed in respect of the

18     charges we've just looked at of people smuggling and arms dealing.

19        A.   Yes.  I see that he was held in the Heliodrom and that he was

20     asked to pay out a lot of money.

21        Q.   And he was freed as a result of agreeing to join the Convicts

22     Battalion, and he fought in Rastani on the 22nd of September of 1993.

23     You saw that as well, did you not?

24        A.   I know where Rastani is, and I heard about

25     Kazanicka Vojna [phoen], but I don't know in what circumstances this took

Page 45291

 1     place.

 2        Q.   Well, all right.  The man who kidnapped you in January of 1994

 3     had -- I'm going to use a colloquial phrase, had the slate wiped clean

 4     for him in September by agreeing to join the Convicts Battalion and was

 5     fighting the very next day for the HVO.

 6        A.   Yes.  I read this document.

 7        Q.   And if you go back two documents to P5303 -- P05303 I should have

 8     said.  If you go backwards from where you were two documents.  We see --

 9     do you have that, General?

10        A.   Yes, the document dated the 23rd of September?

11        Q.   That's the one.  We see that Bruno Stojic is citing for

12     extraordinary valor the Convicts Battalion and Tuta in respect of the

13     fighting at Rastani amongst other places.  Do you see that?

14        A.   Yes, I can see it, Mr. Prosecutor.

15        Q.   So if we put all of that together, the policy of tolerating

16     crime --

17             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please, Counsel.  Microphone.

19             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I let the witness respond to the

20     question from my learned friend, but I really do have to object to this

21     kind of examination where my colleague is trying to use this situation

22     with this particular man, Ante Bradic, nicknamed Banjaluka, and the fact

23     that he left prison to bring this -- to connect this with the

24     commendation from Mr. Bruno Stojic, and that is unacceptable based on the

25     documents.  I'm going to be quite precise:  In document P5889, this man,

Page 45292

 1     Banjaluka, says that from Heliodrom prison -- that he left Heliodrom

 2     prison on the 21st of September, 1993, and that on that same day he

 3     joined the Convicts Battalion.

 4             The commendation from Mr. Bruno Stojic is dated the 23rd of

 5     September, 1993, and refers to an operation, namely the BH Army attack on

 6     Rastani, Vrda, and Mostar, which we have shown during Mr. Praljak's

 7     cross-examination pursuant to orders for attack from the BH Army, and

 8     that is document P5079, and a report by the chief of PUPD HVO,

 9     Ciro Grubesic, and the number of that is 2D338, and even if under

10     2D338 -- or, rather, even if we were not to rely and refer to those

11     documents, it is clear -- the question is clear.  How could

12     Mr. Bruno Stojic know that somebody, two days prior to that, prior to his

13     commendation, joined some unit?

14             Now, if the Prosecutor wishes to demonstrate that, then he had to

15     connect these two documents, the documents he's referring to.  In this

16     way, he's just leaving the impression in court that Mr. Stojic knew that

17     the person in question, Banjaluka, joined the Convicts Battalion and took

18     part in these events.

19             Thank you.

20             MR. LAWS:  Well, that's not an impression that I've created in

21     the slightest, with the greatest of respect.  What I've done is to show

22     that Banjaluka took part in an attack on the 22nd of September, which is

23     referred to in the document P05889, and it is that incident that

24     Mr. Stojic cites for its valor the following day.  I'm not suggesting

25     that Stojic knows Banjaluka personally.  It's to demonstrate that within

Page 45293

 1     the HVO the Convicts Battalion is recognised as being unit.  Banjaluka is

 2     therefore in a recognised unit, and therefore we have, as I am going to

 3     put it to this witness, in effect, revolving doors on the prison.  We go

 4     in, we come out, we fight.  That's the point of it.  The objection not to

 5     something -- to an impression that I've created at all.  If my learned

 6     friend fears that there is of that kind coming, there isn't.

 7             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but it

 8     seems that the Prosecutor is attempting in an identical manner to bring

 9     this -- to connect the two, because the Prosecutor now says that

10     Banjaluka was a member of the Convicts Battalion, and in document P5889,

11     which are the minutes of his interview, and in paragraph 2 he says that

12     he joined up on the 21st of September, 1993, that he joined the

13     Convicts Battalion then, and that was my objection.  That is to say, two

14     days before the document in which Bruno Stojic is commending the Convicts

15     Battalion.

16             So Mr. Bruno Stojic, even if he knew each and every combatant of

17     the Convicts Battalion, certainly could not have known who joined this

18     unit -- a person who joined the unit two days before he issued this

19     document of his.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I am not going to go

21     into the details of Mr. Stojic, which is ancillary at the moment.

22             Well, we have a soldier who has been gaoled on the 23rd of

23     September, 1993, in the Heliodrom, and lo and behold on the 21st of

24     September an officer whose name he quotes, Bozo, who belongs to the

25     Convicts Battalion, comes to see him in prison and says to him, "If you

Page 45294

 1     join us, there will be no disciplinary measures, no sanctions imposed on

 2     you.  These will be annulled."  He agrees to it, but he's not the only

 3     one who agrees to it, because in -- in the next paragraph we can see at

 4     that there are 20 or so men who join the Convicts Battalion.  He goes to

 5     the battlefront, and then on the 23rd of September, he will be

 6     congratulated.  This is what the document we have before us says.

 7             When I see that and then I see what happened to you when this

 8     famous Banjaluka in the refectory threatened you, takes your revolver and

 9     takes you to the Rama Brigade.  We don't know why, but perhaps you will

10     tell us why.

11             This soldier named Banjaluka, who moves around in total impunity

12     since he has been asked to go and join the Convicts Battalion and what

13     happens or what has happened will be set aside.  Do you believe in your

14     position that this is normal?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not at all normal.  I knew

16     nothing about his past.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why were you taken hostage by

18     him?  Why were you taken to the Rama Brigade?  What did he tell you?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once I was in the Rama Brigade, he

20     told me that in town someone had taken his pistol off him, and after that

21     he was told that the order had been given by the commander of the area,

22     i.e., me.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After an incident of this kind

24     where the top man in the area, and I would say was ridiculed by a mere

25     soldier, if this is not sanctioned, don't you think this wouldn't

Page 45295

 1     discredit the army?  Don't you think this weakens the command?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are right, Your Honour.  Yes.

 3     This is a way of discrediting the commander.  But in light of the

 4     situation, I needed all my soldiers at the time because we were preparing

 5     an offensive.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that you had

 7     rather not impose a sanction on him straight away because you needed him.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, Your Honour.

 9     Nonetheless, the case was referred to the military police who then

10     prosecuted him afterwards.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You knew nothing about his past

12     in the Convicts Battalion.  You knew nothing about that.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew nothing about that.  It's

14     the first time I hear about it today, as I read this document.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I have two questions for you,

17     Witness.  First of all, did you try to find out what had happened

18     afterwards or whether there had been any proceedings against this person

19     or not?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember exactly when, but

21     I had been asked whether I wanted to withdraw my criminal report, and I

22     was told that he had been tried and sanctioned.  That's all I know.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Can you tell us exactly when you

24     heard about this?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe this was around the month

Page 45296

 1     of June in 1994.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Another question.  When this man

 3     named Banjaluka entered the mess, were you alone there?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were a lot of men there, and

 5     everyone was armed.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Did you take any measures

 7     against the other people who, in a cowardly way, enabled this to happen

 8     and didn't do away with the man?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave the order, and I said that

10     no one should shoot.  Had people started shooting, a lot of people would

11     have got hurt.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I believe you have told us --

13     told this already.

14             I'm sorry, Mr. Laws.

15             MR. LAWS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16        Q.   See, as I understand the effect of the evidence that you've been

17     asked to give here, it is to say to us that it was very difficult to

18     impose law and order because the area was full of criminals.

19        A.   Yes, quite right.

20        Q.   But if the policy that's being pursued is not to prosecute them

21     or to let them go as soon as you catch them, then it's fair to say, isn't

22     it, it's no good you saying that to us.  This is a problem entirely of

23     the making of the HVO, isn't it?

24        A.   I don't know whether this was a more general problem, but

25     whatever the case may be, in the Prozor area this is how things were.

Page 45297

 1     There was a lot of corruption.  There was a lot of other things.

 2        Q.   All right.  The other episode that you've been asked to talk

 3     about involves an incident that started in a cafe and involved two units

 4     ending up in a fight and people being shot, and that's in February of

 5     1994.  Do you remember that?  You've told us about it on Thursday.

 6        A.   Yes, I remember.

 7        Q.   And if we look together at 3D00113, which is the document we

 8     looked at in which -- dated June of 1994 in which we learned that

 9     Banjaluka hadn't been prosecuted by June, but it also has something to

10     say about this episode in February.

11             MR. LAWS:  I think General Praljak wants to attract the attention

12     of the Chamber.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar --

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, they're not receiving

15     any interpretation.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI:  [In English] It's okay?

17     [Interpretation] Please proceed.

18             MR. LAWS:  Can everybody hear now?

19        Q.   In the second paragraph of that document we have a description of

20     what's called the well-known event of the 25th of February of 1994, which

21     deals with this same incident, a clash in the town of Prozor between the

22     Garavi unit from Bugojno and the Kinder Platoon in which two members the

23     Kinder Platoon were killed.  And on that occasion members of the Kinder

24     Platoon also arrested a minister in the government of the Croatian

25     Republic of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Zuljevic.  And that's the incident that you

Page 45298

 1     described which led to your barracks being surrounded and you deploying

 2     the military police.  All right?

 3        A.   Yes, that's right.  This was part of my area of command.

 4        Q.   It's the very next month after you have been taken prisoner, and

 5     I'm going to suggest to you that it has some obvious similarities.

 6     People are firing weapons and somebody appears to have been kidnapped in

 7     this incident well.

 8        A.   I don't know anything about this.

 9        Q.   You don't know anything about the man who's been, as it's put

10     here, arrested, the minister that's taken by the Kinder Platoon?

11        A.   I have no knowledge of a person being kidnapped in that

12     situation.

13        Q.   All right.  What you do have knowledge of is the way in which a

14     lawless bunch of young men came to your headquarters with weapons and

15     surrounded it, yes?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   And you were able to call-out the military police to deal with

18     the situation, and you were also able to enlist the help of

19     General Praljak; is that also right?

20        A.   Yes.  Military -- the military police arrived quickly, and the

21     general also arrived pretty quickly.

22        Q.   One of the units involved in that disturbance was the

23     Kinder Platoon, and you said it, I think a few moments ago, that you were

24     not even aware of the name of the Kinder Platoon; is that right?

25        A.   I didn't know that -- I had never heard about this Kinder Vod.  I

Page 45299

 1     never said that.

 2        Q.   The Kinder Vod were a lawless bunch of young men who fought for

 3     the HVO but also committed offences against the civilian population.  You

 4     say you were not aware even of their existence?

 5        A.   I knew that the Kinder Vod existed.  I knew that they were

 6     fighting with the HVO.  Now, as to the abuse they committed, I knew

 7     nothing of it.

 8        Q.   Well, we've heard evidence given in this courtroom about them

 9     being a group of men who, for example, raped Muslim women in the houses

10     at Prozor where the Muslim women had been kept separately in Duge.

11             Were you at any time aware, General, that Muslim women had been

12     kept in houses away from their menfolk?

13        A.   No, never.

14        Q.   I wonder if you'd look with me, please, at document P04307.  If

15     you go to the front of the binder, it's, I think, the seventh document

16     in.  And this document, I should say straight away, is under seal, as is

17     the next one.

18             If you can find the paragraph that starts -- it's about the

19     seventh paragraph in:  "We have also been informed that the Muslims in

20     Prozor have all been moved into three areas of the region."

21             Can you see that?

22             MR. KOVACIC:  I'm kindly asking my dear colleague to take the

23     number of paragraph first.  There are a couple of chapters in this

24     document.  It should be -- be easier for everybody.

25             MR. LAWS:

Page 45300

 1        Q.   The last numbered paragraph is "Humanitarian activity," number 4,

 2     but after that they don't have numbers.  So if we count on from that

 3     paragraph, can you see "4.  Humanitarian Activity"?

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance.  The

 5     paragraph that my learned friend has in mind, General Skender, is on page

 6     2 of the Croatian.

 7             MR. LAWS:  Yes, it is.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It's paragraph 4 looking from the

 9     top of the page down.

10             MR. LAWS:  I'm grateful to counsel.

11        Q.   It's the fourth paragraph both counting from the top and up from

12     the bottom.  And I'm not going to read the whole thing out.  You're

13     capable of reading it yourself, General, but you can see the last

14     sentence of that paragraph says that there are indications that HVO

15     soldiers come into the area at night and rape the women they wish.  Can

16     you see that?  All the men between 16 and 60 are gone.  They're very

17     frightened as to their future.

18             Can you see that, General?

19             MR. KOVACIC:  I think it would be fair for the witness if -- if

20     he would be first asked a question about whether he was there at that

21     time.

22             MR. LAWS:  Well, I think first we'll ask him to read the

23     document, and then we'll take it from there if we don't mind.

24             MR. KOVACIC:  Yes, but then attention on the date of the document

25     should be -- okay.  Certainly that would be normal procedure, but

Page 45301

 1     however ...

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you have four

 3     professional Judges sitting on this Bench and they note all this.  No

 4     need to stand up to say all this.  I mean, we're no fools.  We

 5     understand.  We know very well that in August 1993 the witness was not in

 6     command.  Just let Mr. Laws put his questions and we'll see.

 7             Please resume, Mr. Laws.

 8             MR. LAWS:  Thank you.

 9             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I may have been

10     overly-hasty.  I said it would be fair to show the witness the document,

11     not the Chamber.  Of course the Chamber is bound to see the document, as

12     have I.  The proper thing to do would be to ask the witness first whether

13     he was there at the time.  In order to do that first, he would have to

14     state the date, but if he wants to go straight to the heart of the

15     matter, well, he might as well do that.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Laws.

17             MR. LAWS:

18        Q.   In August of 1993, there were Muslim women who had been confined

19     to a number of houses in villages in the Prozor area, and they were being

20     raped.  One of the units that took part in those rapes was the

21     Kinder Vod, and witness -- a witness here in this court, a Witness BN,

22     has given evidence about that.  So I'm giving you, if you like,

23     General Skender, some background information.

24             The Kinder Vod you said you knew to be troops who fought for the

25     HVO.  They acted with impunity in this area, did they not?

Page 45302

 1        A.   Possibly.  Maybe so, but I'm not aware of it.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I should have put a

 3     question to you, but I forgot to do so.  In December when you took over

 4     your command, the command of this operational zone, who were you

 5     replacing?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was replacing Siljeg.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel Siljeg, could you tell

 8     us whether he handed over the command?  Officially, did you meet with him

 9     and did he brief you on the situation, or was he already gone when you

10     arrived.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He didn't brief me.  He left for

12     his new post without telling me anything.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  But Siljeg must

14     have had deputies.  Could -- did you ask that -- his deputies to at least

15     brief you on the situation?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I asked his deputies to brief me on

17     the situation on the front line, to brief me on the situation on the

18     front line.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But no one at that time told

20     you that there were big problems in Prozor?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  No, but I knew about it,

22     because I noted right away that there were very important command

23     problems, very serious command problems.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you didn't know about the

25     rapes?

Page 45303

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, this is a document

 3     under seal, so I will not say who wrote it or where it came from, but I

 4     thought I understood that international representatives had sent liaison

 5     officers, and the international representatives would say to the liaison

 6     officers, This is what's happening, and normally the liaison officer was

 7     supposed to feedback this information up to the command.  Is that the way

 8     it happened?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my zone there was a British

10     Battalion.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  A British Battalion

12     in your zone.  So there was liaison office.  There must have been a

13     Croatian liaison officer with this battalion.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I don't remember his name,

15     but this person did exist.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  As far as this

17     document we have, document which was written before your arrival, so I'm

18     not going to ask you what you were -- what you should have done.  I'm

19     going to ask you a theoretical question.

20             There is a report of this situation made in August.  I assume

21     that normally in any army worthy of this name the foreign commander

22     should have told the liaison officer, "Listen, there's a very serious

23     situation on the ground."

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  I suppose that they must have

25     told them so.

Page 45304

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when you took your command,

 2     did the British commander come to meet with you to take stock of the

 3     situation with you?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  He came to introduce himself.

 5     That's it.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But he never told you, "We've

 7     heard, we know that a number things happened"?  He said nothing of this

 8     sort?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely not.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

11             Mr. Laws.

12             MR. LAWS:  Thank you, Mr. President.

13        Q.   And it wasn't just the internationals who knew.  SIS knew all

14     about it as well.  Let's look at one of their reports, P04177.  It's five

15     documents in from the beginning of the folder.  If you go right from the

16     beginning and count five you'll be there.  It's page 2 of the English.

17     It's page 1 in the B/C/S, General Skender.  It's the final paragraph on

18     page 1 in the Croatian, and it deals with exactly the same finding as the

19     internationals that we've just looked at.  Can you see the final

20     paragraph every day, women and girls are taken out from the collection

21     centres at Podgrade, Lapsunj, and Duge, which are not secure, taken to

22     houses where they are raped.  Can you see that?  And it deals with other

23     humiliations as well, which I needn't go into.

24             Do you see those words written by the SIS officer, Luka Markesic?

25        A.   I see the document, but I didn't have time to read it in full.

Page 45305

 1        Q.    You don't need to read it in full.  I'm dealing with one part in

 2     which it's clear, I'm going to suggest to you, that the SIS officer

 3     writing this report in August of 1993 is spelling it out, that SIS know

 4     exactly what's happening within these collection centres to these women.

 5     That's all you need from that document.

 6             Are you saying that you never heard about this when you took over

 7     from Siljeg who was commander at this stage?  You're saying no one ever

 8     mentioned it to you?

 9        A.   No one told me about this.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, when you took over

11     your command in the operational zone, could you tell us whether in the

12     operational zone command there was a person from SIS?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And he didn't brief you to say

15     in August there was a report, nothing is happening?  This is happening.

16     Now that you're here, we hope that you're going to do something about it.

17     He said nothing of this sort?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely nothing.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But if he had told you so, what

20     would you have done?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I would have tried to solve

22     the problem, you know, with the meager possibility I had, but I must

23     repeat I was absolutely not aware of any of this.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

25             Mr. Laws.

Page 45306

 1             MR. LAWS:

 2        Q.   But they weren't meager possibilities.  Let's leave you out of

 3     the picture.  Anybody in a command position in this area could have done

 4     what you did when there was a problem at the cafe that ended up at your

 5     barracks.  Call out the military police.  Have the place surrounded.

 6     That was an option that you exercised in the example that you gave us,

 7     was it not?

 8        A.   Yes, I did.

 9        Q.   And I'm going to suggest to you simply this:  When it touched the

10     vital interests of the HVO, there was always a way to see to it that what

11     needed to be done was done.  And when it was Muslim women in the house

12     being raped, everybody knew.  Nobody did a thing.

13             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, by whom?

14             MR. LAWS:  The rapes in the house?  They're by the HVO.  They're

15     by the Kinder Vod.  That's the evidence that there's been adduced in this

16     trial.

17             MR. KARNAVAS:  The question as suggested, it talks about the

18     entire HVO.  So now this is pretty broad.

19             MR. LAWS:  Well, I think it's specific enough for the witness to

20     answer it, with respect.

21             MR. KARNAVAS:  In that event, Mr. President, in that event I

22     suspect the allegation that is lodged in this question also goes to this

23     gentleman, that now he's being accused of taking this approach, because

24     he's a member of the HVO and he's just accused him of allowing rapes

25     while he was in command.

Page 45307

 1             MR. LAWS:  No, I haven't.  And the transcript --

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  If he hasn't, then I suggest he retract that

 3     comment and he rephrase the question appropriately.  Thank you.

 4             MR. LAWS:  The question is entirely appropriate.  I said, "Let's

 5     leave you out of the picture."  It can't get clearer than that with

 6     respect.  "Anybody in a command position in this area could have done

 7     what you did when there was a problem at the cafe that ended up at your

 8     barracks."  I specifically left this witness out of the equation, and I

 9     appreciate my friend's sensitivity on this point, but I hope he'll agree

10     it's misplaced on this occasion.

11        Q.   It was possible, General --

12             MR. LAWS:  Well, I'm sorry, what's happening now with respect is

13     that an effort is being made, I'd respectfully submit, to insulate this

14     witness from the question, which is a fair one.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the witness has answered

16     all the questions up until now and he will answer, but Ms. Pinter, you're

17     on your feet.  Why?

18             MS. PINTER:  I just wished to remind the Chamber the Praljak

19     Defence presented a document showing that those persons were prosecuted,

20     I thank my learned friend, Ms. Dijana, who handed a document number to

21     me, in all that haste, 3D00422.  Therefore, what the Prosecution now

22     submits has no foundation in anything we've seen in this trial so far,

23     quite the contrary in fact.  But since they've decided to embark on the

24     topic saying that the HVO reacted when it was in their interest and

25     allowed those Muslim ladies to suffer, I think that is an unfair

Page 45308

 1     representation that is being made to the witness now.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I draw the attention of everyone to the fact

 3     that all this, in the transcript, is attributed to Judge Antonetti.  You

 4     simply went much too fast.  I also suspect that not little of what you

 5     have said is not correctly recorded either.

 6             I would suggest that you start anew at a speed a bit reduced.

 7             MS. PINTER:  [Interpretation] This is a particularly demanding

 8     task for me.  I'll try to keep it as slow as I can.  My objection is to

 9     the questions asked by the Prosecutor and the misrepresentation of the

10     facts made to this witness.

11             During the Prosecution case in front of this very Chamber, the

12     lady witness that the Prosecutor is now referring to was examined on the

13     21st of September, 2006.  At the time, she was shown 3D00422, which

14     indicates that two persons were prosecuted for acts that they committed.

15     Therefore, this runs counter to what my learned friend from the OTP has

16     been showing the witness.

17             My objection was about that, about misrepresenting facts.  One

18     cannot simply state, as my learned friend Mr. Karnavas said, that the HVO

19     in its entirety only had its own interest in mind, thereby neglecting any

20     other circumstances that may have been involved.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's on the transcript now.

22     Mr. Laws, do you want to reformulate your question or do you want the

23     witness to answer your question.

24             MR. LAWS:  Could I just reply very briefly to say that the

25     Trial Chamber also admitted the witness statement of Witness BN, and it

Page 45309

 1     is perfectly clear that she describes an ongoing series of events, and

 2     the fact, if fact it be, that later some people were brought to account

 3     for it was, we respectfully submit, precious little assistance to the

 4     women in those houses during that period when they were being preyed

 5     upon.  That's the point that I'm making, and I submit that that point is

 6     a perfectly fair one to make.

 7             So I'm going to move on to a different topic in just a moment,

 8     and that might be --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.  Put your

10     question again, please, the one on the HVO, because Mr. Karnavas made an

11     objection unless you withdraw your question because...

12             MR. LAWS:  I certainly don't withdraw my question.  My

13     question --

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Well, then put it again to the

15     witness, and we'll wait for the answer from the General.

16             MR. LAWS:

17        Q.   My question to you, General, is this:  That the HVO were

18     perfectly capable of deploying the military police or taking any other

19     measures that might assist them where their own interests were at stake,

20     their attitude to crimes committed against civilians was entirely

21     different.  Do you agree with that from your experience of being on the

22     front line and throughout Herceg-Bosna in 1993?

23        A.   No.  I'm against any rape, any abuse against any civilian, and

24     I'm aware that the military police intervened whenever it was told about

25     these situations.

Page 45310

 1        Q.   Even after I've shown the document from Luka Markesic saying

 2     every day, every day women and girls are taken out from the collection

 3     centres and they're raped?  It was going on all the time.  Nobody did

 4     anything, and I'm suggesting to you that that's because it simply wasn't

 5     a priority.

 6        A.   I don't know.  I don't even know if there were criminal report.

 7     I don't know anything about any of this.

 8        Q.   And if that is an appropriate moment to take a break.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  It's 20 to 6.00 we'll

10     break for 20 minutes.

11                           --- Recess taken at 5.40 p.m.

12                           --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.

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

14     As far as the IC list for tomorrow, the Petkovic Defence team, you may

15     give us your IC list in the course of the morning.  Since we will start

16     tomorrow morning at 9.00 you might not have time, so you will be able to

17     file your list in the middle of the morning tomorrow.

18             The Prosecutor, in addition, has 34 minutes left so we shall give

19     him the floor.

20             MR. LAWS:  Thank you, Mr. President.

21        Q.   General, in 1993 or in 1994, did you ever hear that the HVO were

22     using forced labourers to do military work?

23        A.   No, Mr. Prosecutor.

24        Q.   If you turn to the document that I hope is open for you in your

25     bundle, because I asked for some assistance over the break so that it be

Page 45311

 1     ready to go, P08014.  We can see a letter from the Red Cross which deals

 2     with the issue of prisoners being made to do military tasks.  Have you

 3     got that letter, General?

 4        A.   Yes, I do.

 5        Q.   During its recent visits to Prozor, it's been noted that in spite

 6     of repeated oral and written interventions, so it goes on.  It's a letter

 7     complaining about people being used for forced labour.  There's a list of

 8     names, and then the paragraph beneath the list of names:

 9              "According to information received, several groups of civilians

10     of the Muslim minority have been brought by force to the front line where

11     they've had to work for several days."

12             Can you see that?

13        A.   I can see that, Mr. Prosecutor.

14        Q.   One the people to whom this was copied, General, was you as you

15     were then Colonel Skender, commander of the south-west operational zone,

16     HVO, Tomislavgrad, Prozor.  Do you remember receiving this letter?

17        A.   No.  This note certainly reached the commander of the military

18     area in Tomislavgrad.  I was never in Tomislavgrad since I was day and

19     night on the front line.

20        Q.   Well, it was addressed to you and to three other named people.

21     You're saying that you simply never received it.

22        A.   I said that I never read it.  If this note arrived, it must have

23     reached Tomislavgrad.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, your answer is

25     somewhat surprising.  You are on the front line.  Very well.  Nobody

Page 45312

 1     challenges that.  And then the International Red Cross sends you a letter

 2     because your name is on this letter.  The letter is opened in

 3     Tomislavgrad, so an officer must have read the letter.

 4             They didn't call you up to tell you, We have a problem.  The

 5     International Red Cross is sending us this?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, because

 7     Tomislavgrad is quite a long way away from Prozor, and there was no

 8     administrative link between Prozor and Tomislavgrad.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were on the front

10     line, you could not communicate with your headquarters in Tomislavgrad,

11     with the officer who was on duty?  You weren't in contact with him?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Over the phone?

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Over the phone didn't he tell

14     you that this letter had just reached them?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  This was the time

16     when I was getting prepared or perhaps I had even left for France.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.

18             Mr. Laws.

19             MR. LAWS:

20        Q.   Well, if you turn the tab it's not the only time that the ICRC

21     wrote to you about a totally different topic.  There's nothing in this

22     next letter of any interest at the moment, but P08089 is another letter

23     to you in the same month.  Did you receive any letters from the ICRC?

24        A.   No, never.

25        Q.   So they were -- they didn't know it, but they were just wasting

Page 45313

 1     their time trying to contact you in this way.  Is that what it comes to?

 2        A.   I must admit that I didn't have time to look after this, even if

 3     there were serious problems.  I didn't have time to deal with

 4     administrative matters.  I only stayed there for two months, and I could

 5     only deal with the front line.

 6        Q.   Well, did any of the other people there named, Skender or -- I'm

 7     so sorry, I mean in the previous document, Skender, Roso, or Biskic, did

 8     any of them get in touch with you and say -- sorry, I do apologise.

 9     Roso, Siljeg, and Biskic, did any of them get in touch with you and say,

10     We've had a letter from the Red Cross complaining about forced labour.

11     Do you know anything about it?

12        A.   Never anybody.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I can understand that

14     you were not aware of this, but the General Ante Roso, General Ante Roso

15     received the letter and he was the commander of the HVO.  He could have

16     called you up to tell you, Well, Skender, what is happening?  He didn't

17     phone you up.

18             THE WITNESS:  [Interpretation] He could have, but he didn't.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Laws.

20             MR. LAWS:

21        Q.   And if you go back two documents, we can see

22     P07812 [Realtime transcript read in error "P02712"] is an order from

23     General Roso in which he is commissioning the use of forced labour.  It's

24     February 5th of 1994.  It's an order.  One hundred green ants had been

25     taken away to go to work.  After the work has been completed, the

Page 45314

 1     commander of ZP Mostar regularly returned the ants to the anthill.  And

 2     if we're in any doubt about what the anthill is, over the page we have

 3     the name "Heliodrom."

 4        A.   I don't know what the anthill means, and the Heliodrom was the

 5     former Heliodrom next to Mostar.

 6        Q.   Well, the true position was this, was it not:  Roso was somebody

 7     who you said you knew by reputation from the Foreign Legion.  You didn't

 8     know him personally, but you knew that he and you had both served in the

 9     Foreign Legion; is that right?

10        A.   That's right.

11        Q.   And he never spoke to you about the use of forced labour?

12        A.   Never.

13        Q.   And Siljeg.  I'm not going to look at the documents for him, but

14     Siljeg, similarly, never spoke to you about forced labour?

15        A.   Siljeg not either.  He never mentioned anything about forced

16     labour.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just in order to get the record straight, it's

18     got the wrong number for the last document, and I think you misspoke.

19     The number is 7 -- P07812, whereas the one mentioned is P02712.  It's --

20     I invite everyone, repeatedly, to be careful about this, because the

21     wrong number misleads us in looking for the document, so we cannot

22     entirely follow.  Thank you.

23             MR. LAWS:  Thank you very much.  I'm sorry for that.

24        Q.   The position, General Skender, was -- I'm going to suggest to you

25     that it was simply common knowledge.  It was very well-known by everybody

Page 45315

 1     who had any command position that the HVO were using forced labourers.

 2     It was common knowledge.  What do you say about that?

 3        A.   Maybe, but I was not aware of that.  I never saw a forced

 4     labourer on the front line or elsewhere for that matter.

 5        Q.   Let's look at one Siljeg document then.  It's P04877.  He's

 6     another one of the people we've seen who's been written to by the

 7     Red Cross.  Do you have that document --

 8             MR. LAWS:  Perhaps the witness could have assistance.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 04 -- I didn't see the number.

10     04 --

11             MR. LAWS:

12        Q.   04877.  You've not had a chance to look at that, so please look

13     at that order from your predecessor.  Have you had a chance to look at

14     that document, General?

15        A.   I have just read it now.

16        Q.   And we're told that in number 3, that whilst performing forced

17     labour the -- and a derogatory term is used for the Muslim workers:

18             "... they should not be maltreated while performing the work, but

19     reports are to be made of the number of wounded or killed prisoners for

20     the purposes of records."

21             This is a forced labour programme that has casualties built into

22     it, isn't it?

23             I think you might be waiting for a question.  I was -- sorry,

24     waiting for an answer.

25             You've seen Siljeg, your predecessor there, saying don't mistreat

Page 45316

 1     them, but if they get injured or killed, do make a report about it.

 2             He was treating this forced labour programme in a way that made

 3     it clear that casualties were inevitable, wasn't he?  You can tell that

 4     from the document, can't you?

 5        A.   Yes, it was true to fact my predecessor who gave this order.  I

 6     was not aware of this since at the time I wasn't there.  And when I

 7     arrived there, when I assumed the command, I did not know that there were

 8     any prisoners.

 9        Q.   But I'm putting to you that it was routine and that the

10     commanders all knew.  And we'll look at another one.  Let's look at

11     P04119.

12             It's the fourth document from the beginning of the binder,

13     General.  P04119.  And if you can find paragraph 6, we can see that

14     another colleague of yours, Ivan Primorac, is also talking about using

15     Muslim prisoners of war to work on the front line.  Can you see that?

16        A.   Yes, I can see this document.  I'm actually reading it.

17        Q.   And it's a document dated the 12th of August of 1993.  You were

18     with him just four days earlier, on the 8th of August.  If you go back

19     two tabs in your binder, P04062.  You're out with him touring and

20     inspecting.  It's the first paragraph of that document, inspecting the

21     front line and the troops.  It's the third document in from the

22     beginning.  It records on the 8th of August you and he were touring and

23     inspecting.

24        A.   Yes, that's right.  I can see the document.

25        Q.   And you're saying about him, too, that you never learnt that he

Page 45317

 1     was ordering that prisoners of war be used on the front line?

 2             You don't -- with respect, General, you don't need to read any

 3     more of the document than that.  I'm asking you really the simple

 4     question that in relation to that gentleman who you toured the lines with

 5     on the 8th of August, he's writing an order four days later for the use

 6     of prisoners of war.  I'm asking you whether you ever learnt from him

 7     that --

 8        A.   No.  If you read this document, this minutes refers to military

 9     problems.  I never saw a prisoner there.

10        Q.    I'm not suggesting that the document says that you saw a

11     prisoner.  What I'm saying is that the people you're spending your time

12     with, the people all around you, are authorising forced labour, and you

13     happened to be one of the people the Red Cross write to about that

14     problem as well, and I'm suggesting to you that it was common knowledge.

15     People in your position, those around you, knew all about it, didn't

16     they?

17        A.   It's possible, but I didn't know.

18        Q.   Well, we have your answers.  I'm going to suggest to you,

19     finally, this, that the use of forced labour goes back to the same

20     problem that the HVO had that led to their policy of not enforcing

21     discipline or law and order.  Shortage of troops, the easiest way to get

22     round that have is to force the other side's captive combatants to help

23     you, isn't it?  That's exactly what was going on here I'm going to

24     suggest to you.

25        A.   I don't know.  I shall repeat what I have already said.  I never

Page 45318

 1     saw a prisoner working on the front line.  As far as I know there may

 2     have been some.  That's all I can say.

 3        Q.   Were you short of troops for any reason in particular?

 4        A.   Of course there was a shortage of troops.  The fighters never had

 5     enough men.

 6        Q.   Was it the position that the soldiers sometimes were very happy

 7     to defend their villages but did not want to be sent further away to

 8     fight against the Muslims in Herceg-Bosna?

 9        A.   That's right.

10        Q.   And they did not share the enthusiasm of other people in

11     Herceg-Bosna for this war, did they?

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  Objection.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  Excuse me.  Who are these other people who are

15     sharing -- who have this sentiment about war?  I mean, this is rather

16     vague, I must say.

17             MR. LAWS:  Well, there are some sitting in the dock.

18             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, I object to that as well.

19             MR. LAWS:  Well --

20             MR. KARNAVAS:  And I think it's a repugnant statement to make in

21     a court of law.  We're still on trial, and he's suggesting that the

22     gentlemen sitting in the dock were all for war and all for killing and

23     all for raping and what have you.

24             MR. LAWS:  That's --

25             MR. KARNAVAS:  And I find that repugnant.

Page 45319

 1             MR. LAWS:  No, I'm not.  No, I'm not.  I've put the Prosecution's

 2     case, I hope, fairly and squarely.  The general has already answered.

 3        Q.   Some of the people in the HVO who were soldiers sent to fight

 4     didn't want to do it, did they?

 5        A.   Not wish to go and fight too far away from their villages.

 6        Q.   And their morale fell away when they were deployed in that way,

 7     didn't it?

 8        A.   That's right.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I have a follow-up

10     question for you.  You told us that you were on the front line quite

11     often.  I believe that you talked to the soldiers that were there.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honour.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you talked to the soldiers.

14     Did they tell you why they were there, as far as you remember.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.  They just said that they

16     had been called up and that with the brigade they went up to the front

17     line with some elements of the brigade.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But they didn't say that they

19     were there to defend their homeland, the Croats of Herceg-Bosna, or

20     whoever?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You never discussed what had

23     prompted them?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I never discussed what

25     motivated them.  I only discussed the facts, what happened on the front

Page 45320

 1     line, what had they done, what had they seen and so on.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And these soldiers, didn't they

 3     ask you, "Colonel, what are we doing here"?  Nobody put that kind of

 4     question to you?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody ever put me that question,

 6     "What are we doing here?"  No.

 7             MR. LAWS:  I have no more questions.  Thank you, Mr. President.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, do you have any

 9     redirect?

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

11                           Re-examination by Ms. Pinter:

12        Q.   [Interpretation] General, just a couple of questions for you and

13     then we'll be finished.  Open P8889.  You have the document -- P5889 is

14     the document number.  Could you have a look at that, please.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Perhaps we could ask the usher to

16     help you out so that we can move faster and finish today.  The number is

17     written in a felt pen.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What number is it?

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   P5889.

21        A.   Okay.

22        Q.   To whom is this document addressed?  Look at the top there, what

23     it says on the stamp.

24        A.   This was addressed to the military police and the SIS centre.

25        Q.   Don't know -- I don't know where you see "military police," but

Page 45321

 1     anyway.  It's "military secret."

 2        A.   That's a document dated the 15th of October, 1993, isn't it?

 3             MR. LAWS:  If it helps, I don't object to my learned friend

 4     reading what it says, and the witness can agree it -- when he sees it

 5     it'll save time.  It's obvious what it says.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   I don't want to ask any leading questions.

 8             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] May I be of assistance

 9     because on page 85, lines 19 of the transcript, two document numbers

10     appear, so I don't know which document the witness is looking at.

11     Perhaps my colleague could repeat the document number.

12             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   P5889 is the number of the document.  Was this document sent to

14     the Main Staff of the HVO?

15        A.   P05889.  I only see that the military police is mentioned.

16        Q.   Very well.  Does it say that it was sent to the Main Staff of the

17     HVO?

18        A.   I see "vojna tajna" instead of "policija."  That's quite

19     possible.  SIS centre.  I don't see who it's addressed to here.

20        Q.   My question was:  Was it addressed to the Main Staff?  Was it

21     sent to the Main Staff?

22        A.   No.

23        Q.   Now take a look at another document.  P4177 is the number.

24        A.   P4177?

25        Q.   Yes.  Was this document sent to the -- sent to the Main Staff of

Page 45322

 1     the HVO?

 2        A.   A priori I don't see that it was.

 3        Q.   What about the incoming stamp?  Does it show that it was received

 4     by the Main Staff or the operation zone?

 5        A.   No, it's the S-I-S, the SIS, but I don't see anything regarding

 6     the staff.

 7        Q.   Indeed.  Thank you for that.  Let me ask you this:  Let's start

 8     at battalion level, brigade level, zone level, Main Staff level.  For a

 9     commander to start any procedure whatsoever, to take any steps

10     whatsoever, with respect to types of conduct that are not permitted, what

11     exactly does he need to know?

12        A.   Well, first he needs to be made aware that there is a problem.

13        Q.   Fine.  Let's assume that he is.  What else does he need to know?

14        A.   Assume that he knows of a problem, then immediately he must turn

15     it over to the military police.

16        Q.   That's right, but turn over to the military police just what?

17     Does he need to know who, where, when, and so on and so forth?

18        A.   Well, he will give information on the cases that he's learned

19     about, the fact that there was a brawl, for example, that their house was

20     torched, that someone was killed.  If -- when the unit commander knows

21     about this, is told about this, then he asks for the military police to

22     come over and he explains what he has just learned.

23        Q.   Fine.  Thank you.  Now, General, could you please look at 3D0113.

24     I'll try and help you find the document.  And it's towards the middle or

25     towards the end of the binder.

Page 45323

 1             Was this document delivered to you, General?

 2        A.   I don't think so.  At the time I was already deputy commander of

 3     the 1st Guards Corps in Zagreb.

 4        Q.   Fine.  Thank you.  As for this document, could you please focus

 5     on the following:  My learned friend from the OTP asked you about

 6     paragraph 2, talking about the showdown in Prozor town between the Garavi

 7     unit from Bugojno and the Kinder Platoon, with two members of the Kinder

 8     Platoon being killed in the clash.

 9             During your examination-in-chief and during your cross today, you

10     referred to this event.

11             During this showdown between the two units, one from Bugojno and

12     the other from Rama, was there a shoot-out?  Were there any wounded?  Was

13     anyone killed?  Was the situation dangerous?

14        A.   Well, there was one deceased and a number of injured people.  And

15     the situation was very dangerous, because some elements of the brigade

16     were leaving the front line to go to Prozor.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm sorry to

18     interrupt.  I believe I should have interrupted earlier, but I needed to

19     think about the question I wanted to put to you.

20             You said that you were the deputy commander of the 1st Guards

21     Corps in Zagreb, line 1 and 2 of page 88.  Up until now we've understood

22     that the HVO was short of troops, of professional troops.  But I mean you

23     are a professional soldier, and you left the HVO to go to Zagreb.  So how

24     can you explain this?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's because President Tudjman

Page 45324

 1     decided to set up a special corps who would also take into account his

 2     own security, and it was the first is --

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not catch it.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the chief of this unit was not

 5     a military, and I guess that that is the reason why the minister of

 6     defence deputised me with this person, so that this unit could operate

 7     properly, this unit called the HGZ.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 9             Ms. Pinter.

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

11        Q.   General, we'll be going back to the showdown between Garavi and

12     Kinder Vod.  Just before the Presiding Judge's question, you mentioned

13     that the situation was serious and difficult.  The situation being what

14     it was, you called in General Praljak; isn't that right?

15        A.   Exactly.

16        Q.   Can you describe what General Praljak did?  Was there any

17     shooting going on when he first came, and how did the entire showdown

18     end?  How did things go back to calm and quiet?

19        A.   He answered and said he was going to come immediately, and he

20     arrived quickly.  I don't know how long it took him, but it was quick.

21     The military police also arrived quickly.

22             There was no shooting at the time, but my command was encircled

23     by the people from the Rama Brigade, and I believe that General Praljak

24     was accompanied by a minister.  I can't remember his name.

25             Then we started talking, negotiating, actually, with the brigade,

Page 45325

 1     with the people who came over to get the person who was allegedly -- who

 2     had allegedly committed murders.  They wanted me to hand them over, but I

 3     knew that it meant immediate death for him, so I decided that I wouldn't

 4     give in.  Then after a few hours, we managed to calm things down, but we

 5     told them that this man who was in custody would be handed over to the

 6     military police.  There was even a military judge who came over.  And

 7     that's how the showdown ended.  And all I know is that the alleged

 8     perpetrator was convicted and sentenced, but I don't know what the

 9     sentence was.

10        Q.   Was he taken away by the military police, or was he released at

11     the time?

12        A.   No.  He left.  He was escorted by the military police to some

13     military gaol, but I don't know where it was.

14        Q.   On that occasion did General Praljak not put himself in the way

15     of danger in order to put the situation back under control, which is

16     something that not even the military police could do?  Did you know

17     anything about that?

18        A.   Yes.  General Praljak negotiated with them and said that he would

19     not turn this man -- turn over this man.  There was also one of his

20     security detail that was with him.  And everything -- and this guy stayed

21     at the command.

22        Q.   General, based on what you knew during your time with the HVO,

23     was it ever the case that there was a perpetrator, a murderer, a rapist,

24     or proven as such, was released with the procedure pending or with the

25     procedure against him already underway?

Page 45326

 1        A.   As far as murder is concerned, no, absolutely not, but we had the

 2     example of Banjaluka.  Only Banjaluka was report.

 3        Q.   Banjaluka was about you.  He captured you.  That's how he treated

 4     you.  Am I right?

 5        A.   Yes, absolutely.

 6        Q.   So throughout all of your time, the four or six months that you

 7     spent in Herzegovina, this was the only proceeding that was still pending

 8     that you were aware of, right, or that was postponed?

 9        A.   Yes.  And I repeat, I did not know his resume.

10        Q.   All right.  The Prosecutor put something to you during one of his

11     questions, and I will ask you to respond to that now.  While asking one

12     of his questions he said that the HVO policy was not to bring back law

13     and order and that there policy was to back behaviour, types of

14     behaviour, that were not permitted.

15             During your six months in the HZ HB, did you notice anything

16     indicating that this was in fact the case, that the HVO were doing

17     everything to lend support to all forms of criminal behaviour, or indeed

18     that this was their official policy, to back such behaviour?

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, Counsel, that is not what was said.

20     What was said was that by -- by not prosecuting criminals, that was

21     an effect that was created, but I look up the -- if you think I'm wrong,

22     I apologise.

23             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I was listening and writing down my

24     questions because this is something that stuck with me, so I believed

25     immediately that this is a question that needs to be asked of the

Page 45327

 1     general, whether the HVO was implementing a policy that promoted crime.

 2     I thought to myself immediately this is a question I need to raise, and

 3     right now, I'm unable to track it down; nevertheless, my learned friend

 4     Mr. Kovacic can perhaps give me a hand with that.  We were discussing

 5     P7812, that was the document we were discussing at the time and that's

 6     when this occurred.

 7             I have --

 8             MR. LAWS:  As it's the suggestion that it's my question, I

 9     respectfully disagree.  I suggested that a policy was adopted which had

10     the result -- produced that result, not that that was the intention of

11     it, that it was low down the list of priorities and it was keeping people

12     at the front line that was priority.  That's what I suggested, and I hope

13     that's being clear.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I'll do my best to track down the

15     reference in the transcript, but I could perhaps rephrase my question at

16     any rate.  I know that's what I heard.  That's what I saw.

17        Q.   General, in your opinion, while you were down there in the HZ HB

18     monitoring the lines and the HVO and exercising control over there, could

19     you conclude that the HVO deliberately favoured a policy of not punishing

20     perpetrators and of promoting indiscipline among the ranks of their own

21     men?

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor told everyone

23     what his question was, and the question that you're putting to

24     Mr. Skender is a bit different, because the Prosecutor told us that as

25     far as he was concerned, the HVO's priority was the front line, and all

Page 45328

 1     the rest was no priority, was none of his business.  That's what I

 2     understood anyway.  But the question that you're put something is at a

 3     different level.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's very difficult to

 5     be rummaging through the transcript all the time and remaining in charge

 6     of my re-examination.  I know it was my mistake, not taking down the page

 7     number, but it was a general question and that submission was part of the

 8     question.  That's why I asked the general the question, but I'm prepared

 9     to drop that question anyway.

10             All right.  I'll move on.  I'll move on.

11        Q.   General, I'm not showing it to you because you don't have it in

12     front of you, but my learned friend, Ms. Nozica, showed you P01077.  This

13     was a document when you talked about the questions whether there was some

14     positions of command to which persons were appointed who were not up to

15     it, who were not sufficiently qualified, to be commanders or assistant

16     commanders.  P1077.

17             The only reason I'm invoking that document is to bring up a

18     number of topics that were mentioned during cross-examination.

19             You said that certain situations occurred where certain

20     persons -- persons were appointed to certain positions simply because

21     there was no one else available, or perhaps these people came to be in

22     those positions through some contacts that they had.

23             Well, what I'd like to ask you is based on your experience and

24     your knowledge what do you believe if we have persons who are not

25     sufficiently qualified to work as commanders or assistant commanders or

Page 45329

 1     exercise any command function at all?  Was the only thing that mattered

 2     not for them to have the proper qualifications and education?

 3        A.   No.  This was a kind of war where what was important was to be

 4     intelligent.  The operations were complex, were complicated.

 5        Q.   General, do you believe that General Praljak was not a skilled

 6     commander and that he was not in charge of leading the HVO simply because

 7     he had not received appropriate military training?

 8        A.   No.  I believe that he was very competent.

 9        Q.   Thank you very much?

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

11     questions.  Thank you.

12             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I would like

13     to place an objection.  I will not be asking any questions since I do not

14     have the right to do that.  I'm talking about document P04177.  My

15     learned friend brought it up on redirect, talking about who received

16     Mr. Luka Markesic's report on developments referred to by the Prosecutor

17     during their cross-examination.  The document was drafted by the

18     assistant brigade commander Rama for security and information, and the

19     only thing that I'm trying to do, and this must be about the third time

20     that I'm doing it in this courtroom, the last time that happened

21     during -- it was towards the end of the cross of Mr. Praljak, I'm

22     pointing out page 2 and page 3 in the English where we find the following

23     expressly:

24             "Regardless of who received this document, the author of this

25     document claims that the brigade commander, too, had been informed of all

Page 45330

 1     these developments."

 2             I don't believe this is something my learned friend did on

 3     purpose or deliberately, I think it was due to an oversight, but within

 4     the larger framework of all the questions that she asked, I would like

 5     yet again to draw your attention to that particular detail in this

 6     particular document.  Thank you.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  Your comment is now on

 8     the transcript, and the Judges will take it into account.

 9             General, your testimony is now over.  On behalf of my colleagues

10     and myself, I thank you for coming to testify here for the Praljak

11     Defence and helping us -- helping justice.  I wish you a safe return

12     home, and I will ask our usher to please escort you out of the courtroom.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

14                           [The witness withdrew]

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have just a few minutes

16     left.

17             Mr. Kovacic first.  Earlier you answered by -- and told us that

18     you sent a written submission today regarding the question I put to you

19     earlier on the question of the admissibility of documentary evidence.

20             We've looked at your submission, written submission, but you're

21     not answering the question that was put to you.  We want to know which

22     topics you will address and when you will address these topics, and

23     there's nothing -- no mention of this in your submission.

24             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I sent document

25     before you raised the question today.  As I said, I have answered some of

Page 45331

 1     the points that you raised today.  Anything else I can answer tomorrow in

 2     an organised manner and calmly and instead of improvising and leaving

 3     something unsaid.

 4             At any rate, as the document is, which is something that you've

 5     seen, we believe we cannot move by place and location, which something

 6     that you indicate but in no binding way in guideline number 9 unless I'm

 7     wrong, but we can do this in an organised manner tomorrow and tell you

 8     what topics we'll be raising.

 9             One thing I can certainly say is we shall do our best to simplify

10     the entire matter and make it easier for everyone.  Our plan is to write

11     one motion, a consolidated motion, if you like, instead of several

12     motions, which will then have annexes arranged by subject matter.  There

13     will be several topics, eight or nine, as I currently believe.  Some of

14     these may be further subdivided, but each subject will be defined by

15     particular relevant points what the relevance is of a certain topic, and

16     then there will be a list of documents, too, document sources, relation

17     to the indictment and so on and so forth.

18             If you would like me to, I can brief you on all of this in an

19     organised manner tomorrow.  I don't think that should be a problem at

20     all.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When do you intend to give us

22     this document?

23             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] We are certain that we can do this

24     by the 26th of October, which is the date you set as the start of the

25     next Defence case.  We very much hope that we can get this done much

Page 45332

 1     earlier, but we simply cannot be held to something that we can't really

 2     promise.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.  Thank you for

 4     this information.

 5             You know that tomorrow we will start at 9.00.  We know that the

 6     witness is ready.  So we'll resume tomorrow.  I wish you all a pleasant

 7     evening.  It's almost 7.00 p.m., unless Ms. Pinter would like to take the

 8     floor.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] One second, please.  Page 82, line

10     25, and page 83, lines 1 through 3.  The question was recorded exactly as

11     I put the question to the witness by the Prosecutor previously.  It was

12     just for the transcript.  I didn't just come up with that question.  This

13     is what it says:

14              "Finally, I'm putting it to you that the use of forced labour

15     was ..." on page -- or, rather, "went the same way as the HVO had when

16     they were implementing their policies of not supplying discipline, order,

17     and law and order."

18             Therefore, the question was asked.  I didn't just make it up, but

19     it was part of a rather long question.

20             Just for the transcript.  Just to make sure that it reflects the

21     fact that my quote was accurate.

22             MR. LAWS:  May I reply to that as well.  The transcript will show

23     that that's nothing like the question it was suggested I had asked.  So I

24     just want to be clear about that.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The hearing is

Page 45333

 1     adjourned 'till tomorrow.

 2                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.,

 3                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day

 4                           of September, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.