1 Thursday, 3 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is in session.
7 Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar.
12 This is December 3rd, 2009, and I greet everyone here, the
13 accused, the Defence counsel, Mr. Scott and his associates, the witness,
14 and everyone helping us.
15 I first have an oral decision to read. I'll read it slowly.
16 Oral decision on the principles governing the admission of
17 evidence which at first sight would come under tu quoque.
18 During the hearing of November 24th, 2009, the Prlic Defence
19 asked the Trial Chamber to specify which -- what type of evidence came,
20 in its view, under tu quoque. Petkovic Defence joined itself to this
21 request. Prosecution recalled that the jurisprudence of the Trial
22 Chamber was very clear and that there were a great number of decisions
23 rendered by the Trial Chamber which clearly defined the tu quoque.
24 The Trial Chamber recalls that it has rendered a number of
25 decisions on tu quoque which define what is required for evidence coming
1 at first sight under tu quoque to be admitted. The Trial Chamber reminds
2 the Prlic and Petkovic Defence that it clearly stated the principle
3 according to which tu quoque cannot be used as a defence under
4 international humanitarian law. As mentioned in Rule 140 of the ICRC's
5 study on customary internationality humanitarian law, the Trial Chamber
6 notably recalled this in its order of September 27, 2006, in its oral
7 decision of February 16, 2009, in its order of May 5th, 2009, in its
8 decision of July 21st, 2009
9 its decision of October 14, 2009
10 However, there are cases, as mentioned on several occasions by
11 the Trial Chamber, where evidence dealing, for example, with atrocities
12 conducted against the Bosnian Croats or to tensions and conflicts
13 existing between the HVO and the BH Army, might be admissible. However,
14 this is only possible if this evidence might -- might refute one of the
15 allegations formulated in the indictment, and to demonstrate this, the
16 Defence must establish a very specific connection between this evidence
17 and the crimes -- alleged -- and the crimes alleged in the municipalities
18 in the indictment and/or with the alleged responsibility of the accused
19 regarding these crimes.
20 This is our oral decision, and you can take a look at it later
22 Today we are going to continue the cross-examination, but until
23 6.00 p.m.
24 For technical reasons, we're going to need a 30-minute break.
25 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon each of
2 Your Honours; good afternoon to all counsel in all the courtroom and to
3 those assisting us.
4 WITNESS: FILIP FILIPOVIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Filipovic. Sir, I think, although there
8 could be a few more details of the -- of the type that I was putting to
9 you yesterday afternoon that we might cover, I believe in the interest of
10 time we will move forward to some other topics. We may come back to some
11 of the others as we go.
12 I would like to turn briefly to the topic, please, of the
13 political dimension of the military, if you will; that is, in most
14 militaries around the world ultimately the military is subject to what's
15 often called civilian or political control. You understand that concept
16 when I say that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when you testified in the Kordic case, when that question was
19 put to you, do you accept that the overall command of this war was
20 political? You gave the answer:
21 "Every side had a political decision or, rather, was under
22 political administration."
23 Would that be your same answer today?
24 A. If you mean sides to the conflict, yes.
25 Q. Well, perhaps to keep it simple and perhaps what we've been
1 talking about in the course of this case, on the Croat side, so to speak,
2 on the Muslim side, on the Serb side, each side had its political
3 dimension and political leadership; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And when you were asked further in the Kordic case to say
6 specifically who on the Croatian side, you said it was the president of
7 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and the government of the Croat
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna. And would you stand by that?
9 A. I'm not sure I said the government, because I didn't know of any
10 government in existence, but I did know about Mate Boban.
11 Q. Well, I believe you did say, sir, at least that's the way it was
12 interpreted in the English transcript of your testimony. There was the
13 president --
14 "There was the president of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna
15 and there was also the government of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna
16 as political bodies of that side."
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned friend
18 Scott. Would I like to intervene into the transcript and my colleague
19 Suzana also mentioned it. In the transcript it reads:
20 [In English] "I'm not sure. I said the government ..."
21 [Interpretation] The witness said: "I'm not sure I said the
22 government." This should be one sentence, and I believe that it's very
23 important and it should be rectified. Thank you.
24 MR. SCOTT: All right. Thank you for that, Counsel.
25 Q. Let me restate my question. Sir, what I understood you to say a
1 moment ago was that you don't recall -- or perhaps whether you've said in
2 your previous testimony in the Kordic case, government -- mentioned the
3 government or not, I will refer you and if any in the courtroom wishes to
4 inquire to page 17127 of the Kordic transcript where the answer you gave
5 to that question was:
6 "There was the president of the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna and there was also the government of the Croat Community of
8 Herceg-Bosna as political bodies of that side."
9 Now, that's the quote of the record that -- in a courtroom just
10 like this that you gave in your earlier testimony.
11 Now, would you agree with that today, stand by that today?
12 A. Could you please specify the time. Three and a half long --
13 years of war were too long. I don't know whether there existed a
14 government in April, May 1992. This is the time I refer to. But I'm --
15 I was sure that in 1993 there was a government.
16 Q. Very well, sir. So let me -- I'm happy to assist. By the latter
17 part of 1992, let's say, by the second half of 1992 and at least through
18 all of 1993, would your answer be that on the -- in terms of political
19 leadership or political control of the military that involved the
20 president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which I think there
21 would be no dispute was Mate Boban, and also the government of the Croat
22 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
23 A. I'm sure about 1993.
24 Q. And when you mentioned before the government of the Croat
25 Community of Herceg-Bosna, that was sometimes called the HVO HZ HB;
2 A. HVO HZ HB was everything, both the government and the military
3 and the whole system. This is how I understood it to be.
4 Q. The government that you mentioned before and that you're
5 mentioning again today, the president of that government was
6 Jadranko Prlic?
7 A. In May 1993 the president of that government was Jadranko Prlic,
9 Q. And why do you happen -- why do you associate that in particular
10 with May 1993?
11 A. Because I was there. I personally felt that.
12 Q. Personally where?
13 A. I was in that area, in Mostar, after having spent some time in
14 the premises of the Spanish Battalion. We were taken to Medjugorje, and
15 then before I finally returned to Bosnia for ten days I was there and I
16 was able to experience the activities of those -- of that government.
17 Q. Well, sir, I'm not going to let you off quite that easily, I'm
18 afraid. During the examination by the various Defence teams, you
19 provided all sorts of information. There was at least one question,
20 because I timed it, there was one question that took nine minutes to ask,
21 covered pages of material, many, many different facts, many, many
22 different events, and you're only too happy to confirm yes, all that's
24 Now, sir, you were the deputy commander of the Central Bosnia
25 operative zone. You were the number two most senior commander in that
1 area. You were fighting with these people. You were fighting in a
2 command structure, and you're certainly not going to sit here and tell
3 these Judges that during 1992 and 1993 you didn't know who the president
4 of the Croatian government was, the HVO government? Are you really going
5 to tell the Judges you didn't know that?
6 A. I know about the area of the Lasva Valley. I spent 10, 12 hours
7 every day to fight, to be on the front lines. I would go to Jajce, stay
8 there for a couple of times.
9 There was a government at the municipal level. There were
10 attempts to organise a county-level government. I know that a cabinet
11 was prepared for the county prefect in Travnik, but, sir, I as deputy
12 commander, I was visiting the front lines. I was touring the front
13 lines. I was in the trenches. I'm not your typical deputy commander of
14 a typical army which has its staff, all the elements, et cetera, and this
15 is why I'm sometimes uncertain about other things. I will provide
16 precise answers about things that I'm certain about.
17 Q. Well, let me see if this might help you. Mr. Praljak has
18 testified under oath at this Tribunal that three senior Bosnian Croat
19 political leaders who exercised leadership in connection with the HVO
20 armed forces were Mate Boban; Jadranko Prlic, head of the HVO government;
21 and Bruno Stojic, head of the HVO Department of Defence. Now, would you
22 agree with Mr. Praljak on that?
23 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a second, please. If
24 Mr. Scott could refer to the page of the transcript where Mr. Praljak
25 allegedly said that. I believe that this is customary procedure when a
1 witness is confronted which by other testimony, and this is proper
2 procedure and I ask for it to be honoured.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I would like to refer to that. I
4 can hear Mr. Praljak. I know his style, and he just confirmed that he
5 never said that in this courtroom.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Well, let's turn to Exhibit P10007, please. P10007. You can
8 turn there, please, sir. They will be in numerical order, and I suspect
9 it's going to be back -- toward the back of that binder.
10 MR. SCOTT: If we could have the assistance of the usher, please,
11 just to try to save some time. 10007. We might need a second binder.
12 This is going to be too slow. We're having problems here.
13 Q. Sir, if you will turn to page 9637 of that transcript, just so
14 you'll have a frame of reference. I'll read this to you and the
15 translators will be kind enough to help us. They should have a copy --
16 the booth should have a copy of this. If not, I'll try to be as clear as
18 At page 9637, the interpreter interpreting a tape of an interview
19 of Mr. Praljak setting up questions that follow:
20 "At the time of the conflict in Prozor or the conflict in Vakuf
21 or the conflict in Travnik, we were strong enough militarily at the time
22 to, say, take a territory that could become a banovina or some features
23 of that. We were definitely strong enough, but we did not have
24 permission to strike first.
25 "Mr. Scott:
1 "Q. Do you recall saying that, sir?"
2 Then we get into a page or so of discussion between counsel and
3 the Court.
4 Toward the bottom of page 9638 the question continues:
5 "Well, my only further question on that, sir, based on what
6 you've just said and based on the transcript of his prior interview,"
7 interview he gave to the interview to the BBC, Mr. Praljak, it says that:
8 "We were not allowed to hit first. Who decided or who made the
9 decision according, to you, that you were not allowed to hit first?
10 "A. The decision -- the decision about that we were not to
11 strike first was taken by the political leadership of the Croat community
13 Skipping to line 8 on that page:
14 "Q. When you say the political leadership of the Croatian
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna at that time, can you just name for the Chamber
16 some individuals that you would have included in that leadership?"
17 And once again there's discussion between counsel and the Court.
18 If I can direct the courtroom's attention to page 9643, line 10.
19 Mr. Boban -- excuse me, my apologies. Mr. Praljak resumes giving an
21 "I will limit to only one name which was superior to me in
22 military terms and that is Mr. Mate Boban, of course, needless to say I
23 knew others personally, but as the information about the structure of the
24 civilian part of the HVO, the political part, that is, is very precisely
25 expounded in the many documents. Allow me not to mention their functions
1 at this moment.
2 "Q. Well I appreciate that, sir, but I'm going to press you
3 a moment longer, because I do think you gave an answer to the Chamber and
4 I think the Chamber should be provided a bit more information. Now,
5 clearly this group was not simply Mate Boban acting alone."
6 Going to page 9644, line 1:
7 "A. Bruno Stojic was first head of the office, head of the
8 defence office of the HVO. Mr. Jadranko Prlic was the Prime Minister of
9 the HVO. Mr. Bagaric was head of hospitals or what you call it,
10 medicine, not only military healthcare and military hospitals of the HVO.
11 "Q. All right, sir. You would include all those individuals
12 within the political leadership that you stated --"
13 And this all started with -- the question is:
14 "What political leadership did not give you permission to strike
16 "You would include in that -- within the political leadership
17 that you stated included in your answer a few minutes ago; is that
19 "A. Yes. They were the political leadership, a part of the
20 political leadership."
21 So that's the foundation of my question, sir. Would you agree
22 with Mr. Praljak that the political leadership most directly connected
23 with the HVO armed forces were Mr. Boban, Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Prlic?
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one remark. It
25 seems to me that it would be fair for the Prosecutor to use -- to use
1 Mr. Praljak's testimony before this court and not this one. This is
2 Tuta -- Tuta and Stela case. My learned friend, it would be much fairer
3 to confront -- to have confronted Mr. Praljak with this section while he
4 was examining --
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, I'm rather amazed. Is it for you
6 to tell the Prosecutor how the Prosecutor is to conduct its
8 MR. KOVACIC: No.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Can you put anything here that would warrant an
10 objection that the Chamber should say this was not correct?
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you allow me to
12 respond to your question. Of course of it's not up to me to decide. It
13 is up to you to decide. I'm going to explain, if you allow me, why I
14 raised this objection. If you let -- may I finish? You're not allowing
15 me to finish.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I do not think that we should listen to such an
17 explanation, because it is not for you to give advice. It's not for us
18 either, as long as things go within the rules. We respect both sides.
19 The parties decide on how they conduct their examination and the
20 cross-examination. We often think that something else might perhaps be
21 more useful, but we -- if we start to allow such discussions, can you
22 imagine where we get and when we finish, because everyone has ideas of
23 what would be fairer or more effective and all that. I think it's an
24 improper intervention, Mr. Kovacic. I'm sorry.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
1 position, Your Honour. If you do not allow me to finish my objection or
2 explanation of the grounds for that objection, then I obviously do not
3 have the right to express that. If you allow me to finish my
4 explanation, then you can decide whichever way you choose, because that's
5 your prerogative. So if you forbid me to explain, I will sit down. If
6 you allow me, I will explain what I started explaining and was
7 interrupted before I finished my sentence.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I do not stop you.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. So I may
10 finish my sentence. My objection is to this: First, for purposes of
11 fair trial, this transcript or the statement of General Praljak from the
12 Naletilic case, if the Prosecutor thinks that this is in discrepancy with
13 what Mr. Praljak said while examined here, then he should have confronted
14 General Praljak with that statement while he was being examined. That's
15 the first objection.
16 The second: Does anybody in this courtroom think it was -- it is
17 reasonable to believe that this witness, having listened to this
18 quotation from the transcript, could understand what it's all about? So
19 my second objection goes to this: May the witness be confronted with
20 those relevant statements in Croatian so that he could understand? I had
21 difficulties following what was being said without a hard copy. Witness
22 is now being brought into situation where he cannot find his bearings and
23 does not know what is going on.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Just one short objection. My
25 learned friend's question recorded on page 10, 18 -- lines 18, 19, and 20
1 where he asks the witness whether you agree that Mr. Praljak said that
2 the political leadership direct -- was directly tied to the military part
3 of the HVO, that they -- those numbered Prlic, Boban, and Stojic, but
4 let's look at the pages that my learned friend showed to the witness.
5 Mr. Praljak, on page 9643 of the transcript shown to him today
6 from the previous testimony, at line 10, 11, expressly stated that his
7 immediate superior was Mate Boban.
8 Furthermore, whatever was read out is quoting Mr. Praljak as to
9 who were the political leaders of the HVO HZ HB, but he expressly stated
10 in those lines that the only person immediately superior to him was
11 Mr. Boban, and my learned friend's question is misleading to the witness
12 because it doesn't -- what he says doesn't follow from what is recorded
13 in the transcript.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wanted to say the following:
16 As a rule, I, and I'm not the only one in this Tribunal,
17 President Robinson said so in another trial, I do not like objections
18 very much because they are a waste of time. You don't have a jury here.
19 You have professional Judges in front of you, and all of the Judges have
20 taken part in trial proceedings and they know what a question is and what
21 an answer to a question is. That's the first thing.
22 In this instance, Mr. Scott put a very simple, innocent question
23 to the general. He asked whether the witness was able to say whether the
24 military structure was controlled by the political structure. It's a
25 very classic question in any democracy. Is there a control of the
1 political over the military? And the witness answered, "I don't know,
2 because at the time I was fighting on the front line." Very good. That
3 may have been so, but it is rather surprising that somebody of his rank
4 and importance, he was a colonel or lieutenant-colonel in the former JNA,
5 that he should not know that the political leadership controls the
6 military leadership. That in and of itself is surprising, but you never
7 now. And then Mr. Scott continues and says, "Look, when General Praljak
8 testified, he was asked a question and he answered that among the
9 political figures of the time there was Mate Boban, Mr. Prlic,
10 Mr. Stojic, et cetera. That's all. That's all General Praljak said.
11 So General Praljak knew when he answered Mr. Scott back then that
12 there was the military power and the political power, and Mr. Scott is
13 trying to convey to the general -- to this witness the following: If
14 General Praljak said that, can this witness confirm this or not? And now
15 we have a whole host of objections, and I'm at a loss, I must say.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Sir, I've just read extensively from the prior sworn testimony of
19 Mr. Praljak at this very Tribunal, and the specific question that led to
20 those answers was: What political leadership would not give permission
21 to strike first, if the army had sufficient strength, could take a
22 territory that could become a banovina, but, "we did not have permission
23 to strike first," which led to the question of: Well, who -- who had to
24 give that permission? That led to questions about the political
25 leadership. When pressed, Mr. Praljak named four people at least,
1 Mr. Boban, Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Bagaric.
2 Now, does that assist you, sir, in remembering the political
3 people who were over your chain of command as the number two commander in
4 the Central Bosnia operative zone?
5 A. May I remind you that I am a layperson and that you've worked on
6 this case for years. I have been read and quoted many things which I do
7 not have before me, but doesn't matter.
8 I repeat, it is very important that you pinpoint the period that
9 your question refers to. What I know for certain is that Prlic was the
10 president of the government in May 1993, because in one case when we
11 visited Konjic and Jablanica with respect to refugees, we had to
12 coordinate our actions, and then Zubak and Stojic and Prlic, as far as I
13 could remember, and Tadic, they attended that meeting, that coordination
14 meeting. So I personally experienced that they were those in charge of
15 civilian matters pertaining to refugees, and this is what I can testify
17 Q. Well, perhaps we'll come back to that in a bit. I don't want to
18 stop and spend more time on it just at this moment. I put it to you,
19 sir, that your knowledge, however, is substantially more than you're
20 leading this Court to believe.
21 Now, when did you become, by the way, the head of the Central
22 Bosnia Operative Zone, or what by that point may have been called the
23 Vitez Military District, because sometime in the spring of 1994,
24 Mr. Blaskic left to take a senior position in Herzegovina. When did you
25 become commander of that zone or military district?
1 A. In April 1994 I became commander of the Operative Zone of Central
3 Q. And do you recall who appointed you to that position?
4 A. I think that it was Soljic or maybe Zubak. I don't know exactly.
5 Q. And you remained in that position, then, as head of the Central
6 Bosnia Operative Zone or Vitez District for how long?
7 A. Almost a year, until April 1995.
8 Q. During the first several months that you were in that position,
9 during the period -- let's concentrate because you've asked about time,
10 so I'll try to assist you. Focusing in particular on April, May, June of
11 1994, when ranks or positions in the units subordinate to you in the
12 Central Bosnia
13 can you tell us what the process was for determining and awarding ranks
14 when you were the commander?
15 A. In May 1994, first ranks were awarded in the HVO at the proposal
16 of brigades through the military district and the Government of
17 Herceg-Bosnia took the decision. Soljic, it was him. He was the
18 president of the government.
19 Q. Soljic was the president of the government or president of the
20 Defence Department who succeeded at some point -- well, strike that.
21 What was -- what did you know of Mr. Soljic's position at that
22 time? He was president of the HVO government?
23 A. I think that he was president of that government, yes.
24 Q. And your role as commander, what would you do? Did you propose,
25 initiate, approve? "I have brigade commanders under my command. I have
1 a vacancy. I need a new commander of one of the brigades. I think that
2 this man should take that post. I propose or I put him forward to
3 someone or -- for approval." So did you have the authority to do that,
4 and if you did, was it to Mr. Soljic that you made that application
5 during that time?
6 A. As far as ranks were concerned and proposals, I did have
7 authority to propose commanders of brigades and deputy commanders of
8 brigades. When it came to lower ranks and positions, I would consult
9 brigade commanders. That was forwarded to the Government of
10 Herceg-Bosnia. I do not know exactly who was there, but when the first
11 promotions came, then I was promoted to the rank of brigadier when that
12 first wave of promotions came in May 1994.
13 Q. And who put you forward or appointed you the rank of brigadier?
14 A. I was probably put forward by Blaskic. Blaskic, yes.
15 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to turn to the topic of the Serbs --
16 the Serbs and JNA again for just a few moments.
17 As I recall, sir, from various documents that I reviewed, in the
18 spring of 1992 you arranged for the JNA in the Travnik area to withdraw
19 from their barracks peacefully and take their weapons with them; is that
21 A. I agreed that the JNA should leave the Travnik barracks and that
22 each individual should take their personal weapons with them.
23 Q. Approximately when did that occur, sir?
24 A. On the 6th of May, 1992.
25 Q. And, sir, can you tell the Judges whether -- was that around the
1 time that Mr. Boban and Mr. Karadzic reached their agreement in Graz
2 A. I don't think that that has anything to do with it, but I don't
3 exclude the possibility either.
4 Q. Well, if you're at war with the Serbs at the time, which you've
5 told us yesterday and throughout your testimony that you were, why would
6 you allow them to leave peacefully and take their arms with them unless
7 there was some sort of agreement?
8 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. We don't need comments from the other
9 side of the courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Travnik the barracks takes up a
11 whole valley in the town and I had to pass by that way, and I was
12 considered to be an enemy by the Serbs, but I thought that it was -- that
13 they should leave, and I think that it was dignified to allow soldiers to
14 take their weapons with them, because their main purpose was to leave
15 Travnik, and five Croats and five Muslims, leading ones - I was among
16 them - we were hostages guaranteeing that they would be able to pull out
17 freely from the Travnik municipality. I could go into details, but I
18 don't think that's relevant. Karadzic, Graz, and all the rest it has
19 nothing to do with it. It was a purely military affair.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. You say that now, sir, but a moment ago you said you weren't
22 sure, and the timing is that that's exactly around the time that Graz
23 occurred, and we can look at those -- the Chamber can look at those
24 documents when we have time to do so.
25 Sir, the point did -- let me ask you this: How many JNA soldiers
1 were allowed to leave the barracks peacefully with their weapons at that
3 A. There were about 500 or 600 soldiers.
4 Q. Now, I'd like to jump to another question related to the Serbs on
5 the JNA. You've also told us through the course of your testimony -- and
6 I'm now going to focus on a very specific time period, sir, and again
7 you've asked me to do that. So please keep this in mind. Here's my
8 question: After the fall of Jajce, which is about the 29th of October,
9 1992, after 29 October 1992
10 talking about something like perhaps a 16-month period, in Central
12 deputy commander, can you identify to the Judges the instances in which
13 there was significant actual fighting between the HVO and the Serbs
14 during that time period in that area?
15 I'm not talking -- let me further clarify. I'm not talking about
16 people -- soldiers on each side serving in shifts on a confrontation
17 line. That's not what I'm talk -- I'm talking about actual combat
18 operations where there was significant fighting between the HVO and the
19 Serbs. Can you identify those instances, please?
20 A. For example, the operation that I led myself personally sometime
21 in February 1992 against the villages of Potkra [phoen] and Dzalilovac
22 where we wanted to regain control -- or, rather, these were activities in
23 a depth of four to five kilometres, and we wanted to regain control of
24 those two villages, from Turbe to the end of Dzalilovac.
25 Q. You either misspoke or there may have been an error or you were
1 outside my time period. You said February 1992. I asked you
2 specifically from the end of October --
3 A. 1993. 1993.
4 Q. And how long did that particular operation last?
5 A. The operation lasted from 1.00 a.m. to 9.00 or 10.00 a.m.
6 Q. And how many soldiers were involved in that on your side?
7 A. Forty soldiers.
8 Q. Okay. Any other instances between October 29, 1992, and February
10 A. Well, yes, there were others, lots of them, but I have to recall
11 them all now. In Turbe, for example, the operation towards Vocnjak
12 together with the BH Army.
13 Q. And that's in Central Bosnia?
14 A. Well, it's all the Travnik municipality because over those four
15 or five months I was exclusively in Travnik mostly. I was also commander
16 of the Travnik Brigade. So Travnik was the turning point. After the
17 fall of Jajce we already said that we had to do everything to stabilise
18 our defence.
19 Q. All right. Let's just stay on that one just for a moment. On
20 Turbe then, how many -- how many soldiers were involved on your side in
21 that operation?
22 A. About 80 soldiers were involved and about 120 from the BH Army,
23 and they were led by Lajko. It was a synchronised operation.
24 Q. And can you tell me approximately -- did you say when that
25 occasion, when the Turbe event was, please?
1 A. I think it was in January 1993.
2 Q. Sir, we don't obviously have time to go through -- to spend as
3 much time on this as I -- as I would like otherwise my -- if my time was
4 more -- or, excuse me, less limited, but I put it to you, sir, we've
5 heard an awful lot about how busy the HVO was fighting the Serbs in
6 Central Bosnia and Herzegovina during this time period and, in fact, sir,
7 there was very little combat operations between the HVO and the Serbs in
8 1993; isn't that correct?
9 A. That's not correct at all. The intensity of the fighting was
10 like that throughout, from April 1992 to about June 1993.
11 Q. Can you tell us, please, about the instances that you're aware of
12 where the HVO and the Serb side co-operated in the terms of where the HVO
13 could contact the Serb side, request artillery support, to buy materiel,
14 could -- could move across each other's territory? Could you tell the
15 Judges about that, please?
16 A. In the area under the Tactical Group that I was in and the
17 Travnik Brigade, there was no such case.
18 Q. How about --
19 A. Not a single one.
20 Q. You were the deputy commander of the zone, and again, sir, you
21 had no trouble in the last few days talking about things expansively,
22 happening all sorts of places, and Judge Trechsel even asked you a couple
23 of times is that all second-hand information, is that all hearsay, and
24 you had no problems speculating and giving secondary information.
25 Now, you were the deputy commander in this zone, and you were
1 surely aware, for example, when the -- some of the Croats left and when
2 Ivica Rajic crossed to go from Kiseljak to Vares. He crossed through
3 Serb territory. He had the permission of the Serb commanders to do that.
4 You know that, don't you?
5 A. Ivica Rajic, for at least three months, was on the Travnik
6 battlefront as reinforcement to the HVO in their struggle against the
7 Serbs. So after the fall of Jajce we stepped up our defence and that's
8 where Ivica Rajic was, and that's what I know.
9 Q. That wasn't my question, sir. That wasn't my question. My
10 question is by co-operation with the Serbs -- and you know full well, you
11 know full well that there was frequent time -- frequent instances - and
12 if we have time we'll put the documents in front of you - frequent
13 instances in which there was co-operation between the VRS and the HVO;
15 A. To the best of my knowledge, until June
16 [realtime transcript read in error "do you know"] 1993, I don't know of a
17 single case of contacts with the Serbs, except an exchange of prisoners
18 that took place or liaison officers. In one particular instance, my
19 liaison officer came across Mladic at Mount Vlasic. He happened to be
20 there, and Mladic asked to see his documents for the hydroelectric power
21 station of Jajce. He said he didn't have them, but, if I find them, what
22 do I get for that? And he said, "I'll keep your church safe in
23 Milajac [phoen]." And he said, "Well, I don't need you to do that. I'm
24 taking care of mine in Travnik, and you can destroy it." But there could
25 not have been any co-operation.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a correction to
2 the transcript. Line 4. It is recorded that -- that witness said until
3 do you know 1993. The witness said until June 1993. To the best of my
4 knowledge until June 1993 I don't know of a single case of contact
5 between and so on.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Sir, let's turn to another topic. In terms of the Central Bosnia
8 operative zone and Mr. Blaskic, you will agree, won't you, that
9 throughout the time that Mr. Blaskic was commander of that zone his
10 immediate superior from 1992 until he left that position in 1994 was
11 initially Mr. Petkovic, then for a time Mr. Praljak, then for a time
12 Mr. Roso, and then for a time Mr. Petkovic again; correct?
13 A. Yes, his immediate superior, that's right, but Boban could, as
14 the president, do something, but yes, this is correct.
15 Q. And can you confirm, sir, that by June of 1992, the HVO, with
16 your help, you've told us about, the HVO had established sufficient
17 organisation and command, and I'm quoting your Kordic testimony now that:
18 "You could exercise command and control but there was not enough
19 time to set up a full military organisation as of June 1992."
20 Is that correct?
21 A. At the end of June 1992 we had communication with all the units,
22 and we did have the ability to command and to be kept abreast, reported,
23 and so on. So it was a normal system of command and control.
24 Q. I'd like you to turn to -- it might be -- no, I believe it's in
25 the binder. Excuse me. 4D00830. 4D00830.
1 Sir, while you're looking at that, I'll say for the record this
2 is a report over the name of Milivoj Petkovic, dated February 4th, 1993,
3 a report covering the period from April 14, 1992, through December 31,
4 1992. So the balance of the year 1992 starting on April 14. Which is
5 about the same time that you arrived in the Lasva Valley
6 Sir, if I can direct your attention, I'll try to assist you as
7 much as I can. If you can turn your attention, please, to paragraph --
8 yeah, paragraph or section numbered 3 entitled "Organisation of HVO
9 forces." I'll read this to you, please:
10 "HVO forces were organised in the course of combat activities
11 throughout the entire territory of HZ HB
12 through temporary formations is almost finished and nowadays we have the
13 following scheme."
14 Now, I'm going to come back to the scheme in a few minutes, so
15 we're not going to get into that just at this moment, but is it correct,
16 sir, that there was ongoing organisation and reorganisation of the HVO
17 military from April 1992 and into the summer and that by the fall of 1992
18 the HVO brigades -- the brigade structure had replaced what had formally
19 been known as municipal staffs?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And on that very point in the same document that we were looking
22 at, if I can ask you, please, to turn to the fourth page; at least it's
23 in the fourth page of the English version. I'll try to give you a
24 reference point, sir. The last entry -- the last paragraph above the
25 heading numbered 4. There's a number 4, "Personnel issues and drafting,"
1 but it's the previous last paragraph, and Mr. Petkovic reports:
2 "Formation of brigades cancelled Municipal Staffs, and this
3 added to command control while units gained mobility."
4 Do you see that? Do you see that, sir? Sir? Do you see it?
5 It's one sentence. Do you see it, sir?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And would you agree with that statement, formation of brigades
8 cancelled municipal staffs and this added to command and quality while
9 units gained mobility. Do you agree with Mr. Petkovic's assessment?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, related to this topic, in the Kordic case you testified and
12 you said that the political party known as the HDZ BiH, the Bosnian wing
13 of the HDZ, that that political party as of June 1992 was not active,
14 that it had at least effectively "ceased to exist." Would you stand by
15 that testimony today?
16 A. In the area in which I was in it was stated that it froze its
18 Q. All right. And in another place in the -- your same testimony on
19 that, you said: "In the summer of 1992, the parties officially ceased to
20 function." So that relates to what you told us just now also?
21 A. Yes, that it froze their actions. They were on ice.
22 Q. Now, following the reorganisations that we were talking about a
23 moment ago I showed you -- first I asked you your opinion then I also
24 showed you the report from Mr. Petkovic, following those reorganisations
25 to the brigade structure, would you agree with Mr. Petkovic that local
1 civilian authorities had no power to command HVO units?
2 A. The local civilian authorities did not have the power to command
3 the units or brigades.
4 Q. And would you agree that in your experience, applying this to
5 both yourself and Mr. Blaskic, as to military matters the organisation
6 and especially combat were, according to your Kordic testimony, "always
7 within the chain of command." They were not commanded by politicians.
8 Do you stand by that, sir?
9 A. In the territory where I was, nobody could command except
10 Blaskic, myself, and the brigade commanders.
11 Q. You never took orders from, you were never subordinated to any
12 political or municipal leader in terms at the local level; correct?
13 A. I was not subordinated. All I asked for was co-operation, but
14 not from the position of subordination but from the positions of needs
15 and requirements.
16 Q. Now, any time when you -- in any of your positions in Central
17 Bosnia Operative Zone, from 1992 until the spring of 1994, did you ever
18 take a military order from a political or municipal leader? An order.
19 A. No.
20 Q. Would you agree that by the second half of 1992 the HVO was a
21 substantial armed force capable of carrying out military operations
22 across the territory of what was called Herceg-Bosna?
23 A. It was capable of -- throughout the territory of Herceg-Bosna
24 conducting -- well, wherever units existed. The Travnik Brigade in
25 the -- in Travnik, the Novi
1 Brigade in Zepa, and so on and so forth.
2 Q. If I can ask you to look again at Exhibit 4D00830, Mr. Petkovic's
3 report. And if I could ask you to go to -- there's a section -- it's at
4 the end of section numbered 1, section numbered 1, but there's a last
5 concluding paragraph of that section. It says "General conclusions."
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Zepce, not Zepa.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. General conclusions stated by Mr. Petkovic:
9 "Nowadays HVO forces successfully hold under their control 90
10 per cent of the area mapped out as HZ HB, and they are capable and ready
11 to defend it provided they get better materiel support."
12 Would you agree with that assessment?
13 A. I wouldn't agree with that assessment, no.
14 Q. What part wouldn't you agree with?
15 A. Well, I don't agree with the percentage of the HZ HB territory,
16 because I never actually -- it was never clear to me the territory of
17 that -- the HZ HB. I don't know what it incorporated. There were no
18 borders, frontiers, or I never saw it or knew about it. So this 90 per
19 cent, as far as I'm concerned, is a virtual percentage.
20 Q. Well, when Mr. Petkovic -- we only have the words on the page,
21 but in the reports over -- over Mr. Petkovic's authority, apparently
22 there was no problem in expressing that it was the area mapped out as
23 HZ HB. So you -- is it your position that Mr. Petkovic knew more about
24 the territory claimed to comprise Herceg-Bosna than you did?
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Scott. I am a bit confused. I
1 thought you were still working with document 4D00830.
2 MR. SCOTT: That's correct, Your Honour, I am.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And I have the conclusions on the -- in the
4 English text -- well, it's the page that has 1106 on the bottom right.
5 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour. There's an earlier
6 conclusion specifically under section 1 of the report. There's a series
7 of sections. It should be on page -- the second page of the English
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, because in the last conclusion, 70
10 per cent is mentioned, and that is what confused me.
11 MR. SCOTT: My apologies, Your Honour. I thought I had indicated
12 the location, but if I didn't, I apologise.
13 Q. My question to you, nonetheless, sir, stands. Is it your
14 position, then, that Mr. Petkovic knew more about the territory of the
15 HZ HB than you did?
16 A. Possibly he did know, but I know about the territory of Central
18 fallen so that we were not in control. We didn't control more than 5
19 per cent of Herceg-Bosna, and that's the context in which I said that it
20 couldn't be 95 per cent and that I don't agree.
21 Q. Again for present purposes, sir, I'm not going to spend more time
22 on that at the moment.
23 Would you agree that by the end of 1992 the HVO was a fairly
24 organised and significant military force? As you testified in the Kordic
25 case at page 17007.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just an objection to
2 the way in which that question was asked, from the transcript in the
3 Kordic trial as far as 1992 is concerned.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. And the answer you said, sir, if I understood you correctly, was
6 that was correct. The HVO was a fairly organised and represented a
7 significant military force by the end of 1992.
8 A. Yes, compared to the beginning. April 1992 and the end of 1992
9 there was a vast difference.
10 Q. All right.
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I need the Chamber's guidance on
12 something for a moment, and it may be best to at least temporarily go
13 into private session.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before moving to private
15 session I have a follow-up question on this last document. It will be
16 very short.
17 On page 1 of this document, under "Combat activity in the
18 territory of Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna," it -- the following is
20 "The HVO forces are assuming offensive activity in these area on
21 November 8 1992
22 And this has to do with the Serbs. General Petkovic writes that
23 the HVO has assumed offensive activities.
24 We heard General Praljak and a number of other witnesses telling
25 us that as far as the BH Army was concerned, the HVO was always in a
1 defensive mode. Sometimes, of course, when it was attacked. When they
2 were under attack, they would launch actions or initiate actions, but it
3 was always defensive action, and now I see this document, and I also
4 think about everything we've heard so far. It seems that when it comes
5 to the Serbs, there's offensive actions that are initiated. However,
6 when it comes to the Muslims, it's only defensive action, and I would
7 like to have your opinion on this.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In our territory we didn't launch
9 any large-scale operations again the Serbs, because in 1992 the
10 artillery-shell ratio was 1:800 in favour of the Serbs. You couldn't --
11 there was so many shells falling you couldn't move. In 1993 and 1994,
12 the ratio was different, but operations and actions in the sense of an
13 intervention platoon and in the sense of regaining control of a village
14 or trenches or things like that, they were active, but they were on a
15 smaller scale, small-scale operations. And against the Muslims, as far
16 as the Muslims are concerned, we were allies at all the lines or many of
17 the lines we were -- we set up a mixed defence there. So any conflicts
18 were out of the question, except for the fact that there were incidents
19 in-depth involving people who weren't up at the front line defending.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move into
21 private session. Registrar, please.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 47698 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Excuse me one moment.
24 Q. Sir, I told you a few moments ago, if you might recall, it
25 doesn't really particularly matter if you do or not, that we would come
1 back to the scheme or the outline of the organisation as outlined by
2 General Petkovic, but rather than use that particular document, I would
3 like to put to you something from the -- his testimony in the Blaskic
5 MR. SCOTT: And if counsel wishes to check me on this it could be
6 found at pages 24012 to 24013 of the Blaskic case. I can have the
7 assistance of the usher to put something on the ELMO, please.
8 I'm not getting anything yet. There it is. Thank you very much.
9 If you can move it down just so we can see the top for a moment, usher.
10 We might have to move it at least once in the course of doing this.
11 Thank you very much.
12 Q. Mr. Filipovic, this is taken from Mr. Petkovic's testimony in the
13 Blaskic case. I have broken it down into smaller pieces, if you will,
14 but all the language I will represent to you and to the courtroom is a
15 direct quote from the transcript except in those few instances where
16 you'll see something in brackets which we may have used an abbreviation
17 or made a point of clarification.
18 Now, I'd like to just take -- go through you with this and ask
19 you some questions.
20 In July 1992 the Department of Defence, the HVO Department of
21 Defence was established. Do you agree with that or have any reason to
23 A. Is that question addressed to me?
24 Q. Yes, it is.
25 A. Your Honours, I find it difficult to find my way through those
1 documents which I do not understand. I cannot answer such questions.
2 Could you repeat the question, please?
3 Q. Sir, if you'll look at the -- if you look on the screen ahead of
4 you and you listen to translation, I will be very clear, I hope I will be
5 very clear and that's why I've spoken it down into smaller parts. So
6 I'll say it again. In July 1992, the Department of Defence was
7 established; correct?
8 A. How could I know that that was true?
9 Q. Because you're the deputy commander of the Central Bosnia
10 Operative Zone. That's why, sir.
11 A. I don't know whether this is accurate. I may be dimwitted, but I
12 don't know that.
13 Q. "In the same month a decree was passed on the armed forces of the
14 HVO. In the month of October 1992, this decree was amended and the new
15 decree was of a higher quality than the previous one."
16 Can you assist us on that? Can you confirm that?
17 A. I know that documents governing the relationships among the army
18 reached us and we welcomed that, but I cannot tell you precisely when
19 that was. Maybe it was in the summer or the late summer of 1992, yes.
20 Q. "At the same time, I took measures to accede to and speed up the
21 establishment of brigades of the Croatian Defence Council."
22 And I believe, sir, that is the topic that we were discussing
23 just a few moments ago, isn't it?
24 A. Well, with respect to the brigades, yes, it was in the autumn
1 Q. "Furthermore, there was a reorganisation of the military
2 territorial division or, rather, the creation of operative zones."
3 Is that true?
4 A. Yes. In summer of 1992, yes.
5 Q. Now, for these purposes I'm going to skip over the diagram and
6 just stick to the text of the testimony. And then it says:
7 "The decree on armed forces stipulated that the
8 Commander-In-Chief was at the head," and my apology, "at the head of the
10 Do you agree?
11 A. Yes, if you mean the supreme commander who was Boban.
12 Q. All right. And then it says:
13 "His administrative office comprised the Defence Department, and
14 within the Defence Department, as an operative department, was the Main
15 Staff of the [HVO]."
16 Do you agree? Or to put it differently, do you have any basis to
17 disagree with General Petkovic on that?
18 A. I have no grounds to disagree with the testimony of
19 General Petkovic.
20 Q. "The administrative section was called the Defence Department."
22 A. [Indiscernible] know.
23 Q. "Within the Defence Department there was a Main Staff as the
24 operative part." Do you have any reason to disagree with
25 General Petkovic on that?
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. About the transcript, I see on page 35,
2 line 6, the answer registered is "no." I thought I heard "ne znam,"
3 which would mean I don't know.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
5 Q. Sir, my last pending question was:
6 "Within the Defence Department there was a Main Staff as the
7 operative part." Do you have any reason to disagree with
8 General Petkovic about that?
9 A. Well, as my understanding went, Main Staff meant commanding the
11 Q. "The Main Staff had direct communications with the commands of
12 the operative zones."
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. "There was the operative zone with its seat in Mostar, the
16 operative zone with its seat in Tomislavgrad, the operative zone with its
17 seat in Vitez, and the operative zone with its seat in Orasje."
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. "A certain number of brigades, battalions, and other units were
20 directly linked to [each operative zone]."
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And just not to leave the last line hanging, there was a diagram
23 in which I believe it says: "I present all the brigades under each zone
24 were listed," but we don't go into that for these present purposes.
25 Excuse me one moment. If I could have the usher's assistance.
1 If we could remove that item, please, and I'd also like to turn to the
2 topic of -- but -- don't leave us just yet, please. I'd like to turn to
3 the topic of subordination, and I'd like to proceed in a similar way.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we just saw a document
5 which faithfully reflects what Mr. Petkovic said in the Blaskic case.
6 Reading this document is a bit complex. General Petkovic says that
7 there's -- there's -- Mate Boban is at the head of the army, at the head
8 of the command, and he -- and he -- they -- then he's got the Department
9 of Defence. Fine. But within the Department of Defence Mr. Petkovic
10 says that there's the Main Staff which has an operative role.
11 Anyone with a logical mind reading this text would feel maybe I'm
12 wrong. Maybe I'm misreading General Petkovic or maybe there was a
13 mistake in the translation, but it seems from reading the text, just to
14 show to us by Mr. Scott, that we have Mate Boban, then the Department of
15 Defence, but within the Department of Defence there is an entity called
16 the Main Staff, which is integrated into the Department of Defence. Then
17 there is another line after that saying that the Department of Defence
18 has an administrative -- is an administrative section. Now, I would like
19 to know exactly what General Petkovic meant.
20 You were in the field, so can you understand what is said in this
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm confused. I do
23 not know. First of all, I did not prepare myself in term of -- terms of
24 reading the document. As far as the relations in Mostar or in the
25 Supreme Command, that is something I simply and literally do not know
1 anything about. You keep telling me that I'm at a high level position.
2 Well, high-level positions are in the mountains between two trenches.
3 I'm not saying that I'm not responsible for what was going on in the OZ
4 of Central Bosnia, because I was quite informed about what was going on
5 there. Although I never went to Zepce which was also Operative Zone of
6 Central Bosnia
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In -- in one word, as I
8 understand, regarding the structure of the Defence Department and the
9 Main Staff, you can't say anything as to their relationship because I
10 understand that you were a man working in the field. You were a fighting
11 man, and you were not concerned by this. Is that what you mean?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not only that. It -- I was not
13 involved in that. The changes of regulations and departments and offices
14 did not affect me. What I was concerned was whether things ran smoothly.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Very well.
16 Please continue, Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, as often happens in trying to save time,
18 it may have been less helpful rather than more, so let me direct the
19 witness's and the courtroom's attention indeed to Exhibit P11123,
20 Exhibit P11123, which is the chart that accompanied Mr. Petkovic's
21 Blaskic testimony in this respect.
22 Q. If you turn, you should --
23 MR. SCOTT: That's all right. It looks like he'll --
24 Q. If you turn to the chart, there should be a Croatian-language
25 version there, sir. Turn down a page or two, please.
1 Sir, this is the chart that I'll represent to you and the
2 courtroom that General Petkovic had in front of him and was displayed in
3 the Blaskic courtroom at the time he was giving his testimony that we
4 just reviewed. Perhaps this will assist further in -- in connection with
5 the questions that His Honour Judge Antonetti was just asking in terms of
6 the relationship between the supreme commander, the Defence Department,
7 and the placement of the Main Staff.
8 Directing your particular attention to the Vitez Operative Zone,
9 would you look down at the brigades under the Vitez Operative Zone and
10 can we agree that the Vitez Operative Zone for these purposes would be
11 another name for the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?
12 A. [In English] Yep.
13 Q. Can we get a translation, please?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the brigades that are listed under the Vitez Operative Zone,
16 did those coincide with your knowledge and experience of the brigades in
17 that zone?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Travnik Brigade, of course, you were very familiar with, and we
20 know that's from Travnik. Some of them are -- just to assist the
21 Chamber, some of the more --
22 A. And the Frankopan Brigade.
23 Q. And Frankopan was also in Travnik. The Vitez Brigade presumably
24 was in Vitez. Can you tell the Judges where the Zrinski Brigade was
1 A. It was supposed to be at Kresevo, Fojnica, or Kiseljak.
2 Q. Wasn't it, in fact, that throughout most of this time period in
4 A. Yes, but it also included Busovaca and Fojnica.
5 Q. And the commander of that brigade during much of that time period
6 was Dusko Grubesic; correct?
7 A. For a time Niko Azinovic, yes, but then the person you mentioned
8 was the command -- brigade commander.
9 Q. All right. Now, we'll keep that chart handy, I hope, the
10 Chamber -- well, I'm about to ask again to go into somewhat related
11 topic, but before I do, Your Honours, if there's questions about the
12 chart I'll pause.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, the chart we have
14 here was done by Mr. Petkovic in person; is that right?
15 MR. SCOTT: It was used by him in the courtroom, Your Honour. I
16 can't -- I wouldn't want to pretend to say that -- whether he put the
17 letters on paper himself, but when he testified under oath, that was the
18 document that he was explaining to the courtroom.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one short technical
21 General, looking at this chart, there's something that strikes
22 me. I'm looking at the Convicts Battalion, and I look where it is
23 positioned. It seems to be depending exclusively on Mate Boban as it is
24 presented here. It is under Mate Boban alone.
25 What do you say to this.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the organisational charts it is
2 represented in a correct manner, yes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Based on the organisational
4 chart. But in military terms, when the Convicts Battalion was in action,
5 it was in action following an order by the supreme commander and by him
6 alone; is that right?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, I cannot claim anything
8 concerning the Convicts Battalion. I related to you what Stjepan Polo
9 told me concerning the area of Sovici and Doljani.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And back to what
11 Marco Polo, that was this nickname, wasn't it, what he said to you, does
12 this sort of fit with this chart that we can see here?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, again I don't know. I know
14 what I learned later on at meetings, but that was in 1994, 1995. I
15 learned that Tuta was the top man in Herzegovina and Mostar, and most
16 probably this chart is correct, but I do not know. In the Main Staff or
17 in the units up there I do not know the relationships.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, let's just very quickly
19 take a hypothesis. This is always the way I work.
20 Let's imagine that in the Vitez operative zone where you were the
21 commander you might have needed this Convicts Battalion because they were
22 very good men, well-equipped men, and very brave men. Were you in a
23 position and were you allowed to ask them for support and help, or did
24 you have to go through the chain of command to do so or turn to
25 Mate Boban in person, because the way I look at the chart, those men were
1 directly under him. So what would you have done?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I learned that a
3 group is about to come from a Convicts Battalion or any other unit, and
4 if I hear a nickname Klica [phoen] or somebody else, I would move closer
5 to the front line because they were not on the front lines. I could have
6 been killed by any of them in the area of responsibility, and that is the
7 truth. There were individuals and groups for whom Colonel Filipovic
8 meant nothing.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you didn't listen to
10 my question. That's not the first thing [as interpreted] I noticed that.
11 You're not listening to the questions put to you. You are in your train
12 of thought all the time. My question was a simple one. In the Vitez
13 Operative Zone, let us assume that a unit is needed and straight away.
14 You think of the battalion because they are very competent men. For them
15 to come to help you, do you have to go through Mate Boban in person, or
16 do you have to go through the chain of command, so through the Main
17 Staff? That's a very simple question. That's all.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a hypothetical question.
19 It's supposed to go through the Main Staff in terms of letting them know
20 about our requirements. We had the -- at nights we had many problems
21 with them let alone with Convicts Battalion. This was inconceivable for
22 us. In technical terms through packet service -- radio packet or other
23 communications, we communicated with the Main Staff.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For you it was natural to go
25 through the Main Staff. So you see, that's very clear.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Scott. We're going to need a break in a few
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Maybe we could finish one
4 other part of this before the break then, with your indulgence.
5 Q. On the topic, in fact, of what's called subordination, which
6 relates to some of the things you were just talking about with
7 Judge Antonetti, the President --
8 MR. SCOTT: Could I ask the ushers please to put another -- to
9 help me with the ELMO again, please.
10 Q. Sir, I'm going to show you in a similar fashion another excerpt
11 from Mr. Petkovic's testimony in the Blaskic case, because this topic has
12 come up quite a bit, and I think perhaps you're in a position, given your
13 senior position, to confirm some of these things to us, I hope.
14 Subordination, this is what General Blaskic said in the Blaskic
15 case on that topic --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You said that's what General Blaskic said. I
17 think you wanted to say that's what General Petkovic said.
18 MR. SCOTT: You're correct, Your Honour. That's what
19 General Petkovic said in the Blaskic case, and my apology.
20 Q. "When a unit is subordinated to somebody, that means that it is
21 not within his organisation and set-up. By determining units of this
22 kind and by establishing them while a situation is underway, the
23 commander to whom a unit has been subordinated takes over all the
24 obligations and responsibilities towards that unit just as if it was
25 within the composition of his own organisational entity."
1 Would you confirm that as a correct statement on the principle
2 and operation of subordination, sir?
3 A. Subordination generally in an army implies that this statement is
4 true. I do not know whether we resubordinated any units in the HVO, or
5 at least I don't know about such cases in my operative zone, but in
6 principle that is true.
7 Q. All right. That -- for -- for the moment -- excuse me. For the
8 moment - I'm just talking about principle here - we may see some
9 instances or may not, but we're talking principle here.
10 Just for clarification's sake, when it says, "When a unit is
11 subordinated to somebody," that means that it is not within his
12 organisation and set-up. So the record is very clear, and we understand
13 that to mean that unit is not within that person's regular organisation
14 and set-up. It's not the normal organisation but some unit coming in, if
15 you will, from outside.
16 A. Correct. But the worst thing is to be a subordinated unit,
17 because your life depends on another unit, but generally speaking this is
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, that's the last point on that for now
20 that I have.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, just before the break, may we ask
22 that we could have either now or at the beginning or end of the next
23 session, entirely whatever is most convenient for Your Honours, just to
24 have one minute in private session without the witness.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely. We're going
1 to do this. We're going to have a break now and then we'll resume. He
2 can stay outside and you can have the floor.
3 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So unlike what I said, we're
5 going to have a 20, not a 30-minute break. It will be 20 minutes long.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Recess taken at 4.02 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.28 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, I suppose that you
10 want to move into private session?
11 MR. STEWART: Please, Your Honour, yes.
12 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Sir, before we conclude with this set of materials, if I can show
8 you one more similar item, and it continues that -- really the topic of
10 MR. SCOTT: And I'm sorry, usher, I'll need your assistance. If
11 you could put that on the ELMO, please.
12 Q. I'm now showing you, sir, a third excerpt, if you will, from
13 Mr. Petkovic's testimony in the Blaskic case, and as I say, it continues
14 the point of subordination, but specifically in connection with the
15 so-called professional units.
16 MR. SCOTT: And if the courtroom still has the chart also at
17 hand, Mr. Petkovic's chart that we were looking at a few minutes ago, for
18 the record, P11123. We can see that on Mr. Petkovic's chart the
19 Bruno Busic Regiment; the Vitezovi Special Purposes Unit, or Knights; and
20 the Ludvig Pavlovic Battalion are all linked to the Main Staff box, if
21 you will.
22 Mr. Filipovic, if I can ask you to look, and again I'll read this
23 slowly and then I'll ask you a couple of questions or so. This comes
24 from Mr. -- as I say, it comes from Mr. Petkovic's testimony in the
25 Blaskic case.
1 "Q. General, as we speak about special purpose units, you
2 said that the Vitezovi, in a way, were subordinated to Blaskic as
3 commander of the operative zone; although, on that diagram you put them
4 under the command of the Main Staff, except for the battalion that was
5 under the command of the supreme commander."
6 Which appears to be a reference to the Convicts Battalion.
7 "Could you tell me how these professional units were regulated
8 and who commanded them under, under what circumstances?
9 "A. Professional units were linked to the Main Staff, and
10 they could have carried out assignments issued by the Main Staff, but
11 they could also have been subordinated to a certain commander to carry
12 out assignments on his orders in a certain zone. That was the case of
13 the Vitezovi. I issued an order subordinating them to the operative zone
14 of Central Bosnia, and they carried out all orders issued by the
15 commander of the operative zone. He's responsible for them, and they
16 report to him in connection with the discharge of these duties.
17 "So I'm claiming and stating that they were linked to the Main
18 Staff and the Main Staff had either the right to use them on their own or
19 to subordinate them to another commander, a commander of an operative
20 zone, who could then --" excuse me, "who could use them on the basis of
21 his own needs and tasks, and we know what the subordination of a unit
22 means. This subordination involves the responsibility of the commander
23 and responsibility of those who are ... subordinated to him."
24 I'll stop there for a moment.
25 Sir, based upon your professional military training both in the
1 JNA and then later in the HVO and your experiences, does that again state
2 general principles of subordination and in this particular instance as
3 applied to certain units that were in -- part of the HVO structure?
4 A. Yes. This is correct in principle. Now, as to the details and
5 the Vitezovi, that's another matter.
6 Q. Well, one of the reasons I selected the Vitezovi is because they
7 were operating in your zone. They were in the Central Bosnia Operative
8 Zone, at least often; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So if we go to the second part of the excerpt. Let's continue,
12 "Q. So if we look at it this way, apart from you and
13 specifically Blaskic," question -- you being Petkovic, "apart from you
14 and specifically Blaskic, could anybody else have commanded the Vitezovi
15 in 1993?
16 "A. Nobody could have commanded them, if we look at the
17 structure of command. Somebody could have abused it, but it is difficult
18 to believe.
19 "Q. There seems to have been an error in the interpretation.
20 What I asked is this: General, apart from you and Colonel Blaskic, could
21 anybody else have commanded the Vitezovi in 1993?
22 "A. Nobody could have. Nobody else could have commanded
23 them, because the Vitezovi were linked to the Main Staff and through my
24 order they were subordinated to him. So it is only those two instances,
25 the operative zone and the Main Staff, which could have commanded. In
1 the diagram that I showed, it is visible that nobody above the Main Staff
2 was linked to the special purpose units; that is to say, the three units
3 that I showed you and indicated yesterday."
4 Again, sir, is that generally an accurate description of
5 subordination as to special purpose or professional units in the HVO?
6 A. Correct.
7 MR. SCOTT: And before leaving this topic, unless the Judges have
8 some questions, I would like to have each of these three items marked,
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, one theoretical
11 question. Speaking about the Vitezovi, let us imagine that a brigade
12 commander needs them, and as we stated here by General Petkovic, the unit
13 is subordinated to the brigade commander. The Vitezovi are then under
14 the chain of command, but in the first place under the brigade commander,
15 and then the brigade commander, not giving any name, let's take any
16 brigade commander, and he says to the unit that they have to go to a
17 certain location because that's where the enemy is. The Vitezovi carries
18 out the order and go to the said location. And we've got the three-C
19 rule, control, command, and communication.
20 The operative zone remain in constant contact with the unit, but
21 on location there is fighting, a given village is taken over, and the
22 members of that unit commit crimes, but they did not report the crimes to
23 their higher command, to the brigade commander, to be more specific. And
24 of course the commander of the operative zone is not informed and neither
25 is the Main Staff. The unit has not received any orders to take civilian
1 prisoners or to kill them, no order whatsoever, and they were just told
2 to go to a specific location to see what the situation was like, and if
3 there was any enemy on location to respond to enemy fire.
4 So given this hypothesis, in your view, what about the chain of
5 command? Where does it start? Where does it end?
6 So I chose a theoretical example on purpose.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And a practical example. The
8 Vitezovi come to the Travnik Brigade, for instance, or part of the
9 Vitezovi, when I returned on the 10th of June, sometime around the 13th -
10 I know about this particular operation - they arrived, they reported to
11 me, and throughout the time that they were with me I was responsible for
12 that unit.
13 Now, if they are given an assignment apart from me, from Blaskic,
14 for instance, then they can go or can do something else, but while
15 they're there, while they're carrying out their tasks and while they're
16 there, I am responsible for the Vitezovi or any other unit that is there,
17 for that matter.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree with you. So you
19 wanted to take a practical example. Let's take it. They were with you
20 in Travnik, and then you told them to go to the road that was 10
21 kilometres away to see whether the enemy was there, just carry out a
22 check there. If ever the BH Army fires on you, you have to respond. So
23 these are strict orders given by you.
24 So they go to the road and, unfortunately, 10 kilometres from
25 there they carry out abuse but you don't know about it, and when they
1 return they say everything went fine, but it's not true what they told
3 In such an eventuality, are you responsible for what happened or
4 not? If we go by the rules, by the JNA, HVO rules, in your view would
5 you be responsible for them or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Their commander is responsible,
7 first and foremost, but I am co-responsible, because at the time they
8 were in combat operations around the Travnik Brigade. As soon as I learn
9 of a crime, whether he informed me or not, it is my responsibility to
10 take steps in that regard.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So as soon as you hear of a
12 crime being committed you have to take steps. And let us imagine that
13 you hear nothing about them.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If they leave the area of
15 responsibility, my area of responsibility, I can't do anything. I can't
16 undertake anything.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, but as part of your
18 responsibility, don't you have the obligation once a military operation
19 has been carried out to check whether your orders have been carried out
20 properly or not?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because throughout the time it
22 is my duty to monitor the situation and to control the situation.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. It's
24 very clear.
25 Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: And to conclude on this part, as I was saying a
2 moment ago, if I could have the usher's assistance one more time, and I
3 would like to have the three overheads, if you will, displays given IC
4 numbers and have the witness please mark and date each of those, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can just sign what
6 I've answered and what I've understood. Is it proper that I should sign
7 the whole document?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There seems to be a problem,
9 because it is a document in English, Mr. Scott, and the witness does not
10 speak English. You're asking him to sign a document that is not in his
11 own language, so that's a problem, isn't it.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Furthermore, furthermore, Mr. Scott, with maps
13 we only accept that it be signed if the witness has done something to
14 them. The witness hasn't done anything to these documents, so I think
15 it's not proper that he sign it.
16 MR. SCOTT: If that's the Chamber's view, I understand that. My
17 memory -- my memory would be somewhat different, and I would have thought
18 that would have been the practice, but in the last four years -- or three
19 and a half years we've marked all sorts of things, IC numbers, where the
20 witness made no contribution whatsoever, so I was trying to get with the
21 flow, if you will, and follow courtroom practice, but if that's the
22 Chamber's view, I won't -- I will not persist.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No blame on you.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But you can ask an IC number.
1 MR. SCOTT: I will. So I will give those -- extra copies to the
2 usher, please, and just so we have it for the record. For the
3 registrar's assistance, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record, the three documents
5 shall be given Exhibit IC01141, 01142, and 01143. Thank you, Your
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 Q. Mr. Filipovic, I'm next going to direct your attention to the
10 MR. SCOTT: And for the courtroom, I'm going to show -- and with
11 reference to, for the record, Exhibit P11118, P11118. It is a video with
12 an accompanying transcript. Because of time I'm only going to show or
13 propose to only show the first couple of minutes of it because I think
14 the overall video's approximately 20 minutes, and I don't want to take 20
15 minutes to play it, to be honest, but I'd like to show the first few
16 minutes it and then go to a transcript to some specific -- one or two
17 specific parts of the accompanying transcript, but perhaps the Chamber
18 can get a flavour of it. So if we can play that. This is from the
19 Kordic case.
20 Q. And, Mr. Filipovic, you may recall, because the same clip we
21 showed to you in the Kordic case. It is a meeting, if you will, a public
22 meeting on approximately the 16th of January, 1992, in connection with
23 the declared independence of the State of Croatia in -- but the meeting
24 taking place in Busovaca. Dario Kordic and others.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] To begin with, I will just say, I
2 wish all of us the best with the Independent State
3 "Long live Croatia
4 MS. NOZICA: [No interpretation]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] French. French. I understand some
6 French, but I'm getting French.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We are getting B/C/S, so it's equality of arms.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't need the French, just to
9 hear the original.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you. Maybe --
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, I would -- I would suggest that we
12 also hear the original, because we have subtitles. We don't need the
13 translation, and it's nice to have the sound and atmosphere.
14 MR. SCOTT: I was about to say the same thing with apologies to
15 the translation booths. But I think we could just listen to it. We're
16 only go to play the first couple of minutes anyway, unless the Chamber
17 wants to see more. If we could just maybe play it again from the
18 beginning, please.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MR. SCOTT: Can we stop there, please.
21 Q. Sir, then if you can turn in your binder to Exhibit -- by the
22 same number, but you should find a transcript which is P11118. And I'm
23 going to ask you, sir, if you can look for the -- about the fifth --
24 about the fifth intervention attributed to Dario Kordic if you will.
25 You'll see at the very beginning Mr. Kordic speaks in the transcript,
1 starts speaking, and again we see the audience reaction. If you continue
2 on down several paragraphs, will you please find the portion that says:
3 "Dario Kordic: When I said that the Croatian people waited for
4 nine centuries ..." which is on the bottom of page 1 of the English
5 transcript. Tell me, sir, when you've been able to find that.
6 A. I don't have it in my own language, but I did listen to what he
8 Q. It should be there. Well, then I'll read it to you and I'll have
9 it translated. We'll see if -- I will read it, with my apologies. I
10 will read it slowly, please, and ask for the booths to assist, please.
11 "Dario Kordic: When I said that the Croatian people waited for
12 nine centuries for this fulfilment, we must remember the tens of
13 thousands of people who died and the dear lives, words inaudible,
14 centuries for the Croatian state. Therefore, for all those who
15 throughout centuries sacrificed their lives for their homeland and those
16 couple of thousand Croats who lost their lives in this dirty war waged by
17 the aggressor, the Greater Serbian Army against the Croatian nation, I
18 would like us to observe a minute's silence for the sake of eternal peace
19 for all those people, Croats who gave their lives for what we've
20 experienced today. Dear lord may they rest in eternal peace," and then
21 words apparently spoken by the audience inaudible.
22 "Dario Kordic: Now that I have said some words about Busovaca to
23 begin with, let me say that this Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
24 which includes Busovaca, also has the right to celebrate the big day of
25 the realisation of the Croatian state. I would also like to say that
1 today we are not becoming part of a Rump Yugoslavia in which there still
2 remains four republics, that we here clearly and unambiguously say that
3 the Croatian people will not be part of any other creation. This is
4 Croatian soil and that is how it will be."
5 The audience applauds.
6 Sir, when that same clip was shown to you in the Kordic case, and
7 you were questioned on this by Mr. Nice, you were asked whether you
8 agreed and what your reaction to that speech would have been, and you
9 testified in the Kordic case that you agreed and that had you been there
10 you would have also applauded Mr. Kordic's speech; is that correct?
11 A. Your Honour, the date was the 16th of January, 1992. Kordic was
12 wearing civilian clothes. I do not see any flags or any problems there.
13 I was in the JNA at the time, but this was after Vukovar. Unless
14 I'm very much mistaken, this was a ceremony to mark the [as interpreted]
15 recognition of the Croatian state by some 20 countries. Then as now, I
16 have no objections to any of the words he uttered.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May I react to the transcript,
18 line 12. The witness said that this was a ceremony with respect to the
19 international recognition of the Croatian state, and then I'd like to
20 react to Mr. Scott's question on page 53 when he said that it was a
21 ceremony of the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Croatia
22 It wasn't the proclamation of independence. It was just as the witness
23 has said, the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia
24 sovereign state.
25 MR. SCOTT: I certainly accept that, Your Honour, and I certainly
1 didn't mean to offend our Croatian friends or -- I'll accept that as a
2 proper statement, of course.
3 Q. But, sir -- and so you agree that -- and as you testified in the
4 Kordic case, and I'll just quote this particular part it again just so
5 we're clear:
6 "I would also have clapped my hands, applauded at this."
7 And that's your position today as well; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. As a professional soldier, sir, would you agree that an
10 oath-taking ceremony, when a soldier joins and swears his oath of
11 allegiance or what have you for the first time, that is an important part
12 of a soldier's life?
13 A. Important for them, yes.
14 Q. You also testified in the Kordic case under oath that you
15 attended one or two HVO oath-taking ceremonies where Mr. Kordic was also
16 present. Can you confirm that again today?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And on those occasions I take it that the soldiers -- the HVO
19 soldiers who were taking the oath swore the statutory oath that is found
20 in the Herceg-Bosna decree on armed forces which, for the record and
21 which the Chamber has seen before, is Exhibit P00588. Let me read that
22 to you, and can you -- perhaps you can confirm --
23 MR. SCOTT: Actually, with the usher's assistance, I have one
24 more piece of paper for the ELMO. Drop it down just a little bit,
1 Q. Sir, this is the statutory oath that's found in Article 86 of the
2 Herceg-Bosna decree on armed forces, which is the exhibit I referred to a
3 moment ago, and I'll again -- once again I'll read it to you. Please
4 listen to the translation, and I'll ask you a question or two.
5 "I --"
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Just a moment,
7 please. Your Honours, in the binder, the Prosecution binder, we do have
8 this law. So I think it would be a good idea if the witness could read
9 what it says for himself in Croatian, because it's easier when you read
10 something for yourself rather than listen to something. So it's a
11 document, P588, to be found in the middle of this binder.
12 MR. SCOTT: I have no objection if that's -- the witness would be
13 more comfortable with that on this occasion.
14 Q. Witness, if you can turn in your binder to P00588. It's a rather
15 bulky document, and I was hopefully trying to save a few minutes of time,
16 but we'll do it this way.
17 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps the usher can assist. I'm sorry. P00588.
18 Q. It's Article 86.
19 Do you have it, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, I will nonetheless read it just for the record.
22 You can follow along in Croatian. Decree on armed forces, Article 86:
23 "I swear that I shall faithfully and honourably perform the
24 duties required of me as a member of the Croatian Defence Council, and
25 that I shall obey official commands and orders conscientiously and
1 responsibly. I swear that I shall defend and protect my motherland of
2 Herceg-Bosna, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and all of its
3 citizens even if my life is at stake."
4 Now, sir is that -- on the occasions where you attended an HVO
5 oath-taking, whether in the presence also of Mr. Kordic or on other
6 occasions when you might have been at such an event without Mr. Kordic,
7 is that the oath that was taken by the soldiers?
8 A. Yes. Yes, that was the oath.
9 Q. In your Kordic testimony, sir, you referred to Muslim soldiers,
10 it appeared to be in a general way, not simply the 7th Muslim Brigade but
11 in general as Mujahedin. And was that your view, sir, that all Muslim
12 soldiers were Mujahedin?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, Mr. Scott is moving on
14 to something else, but I would like to stay with this oath, because you
15 said that you did take that oath, Article 86. I look at this article,
16 and it seems that there is something missing here. Just -- a few words
17 should have been added. There is no reference to the Republic of Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina
19 following, it says:
20 "I shall defend within the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 motherland, my territory of Herceg-Bosna."
22 Why is there no mention of the Republic of Bosnia
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Herceg-Bosnia is part of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There's no dilemma about that. On all documents it
1 was written Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then Herceg-Bosnia.
2 Herceg-Bosnia specifically was a way to defend them -- for the Croats to
3 defend themselves, to organise their life. Why there's no mention of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Well, in that Bosnia-Herzegovina we have the
5 Republika Srpska. By that time we'd started fighting the army of
6 Republika Srpska in Republika Srpska. For Bosnia-Herzegovina to exist
7 one had to fight for it through Herceg-Bosna, therefore there is no
8 dilemma for me.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, what is your concept the term
10 "sovereignty"? What does that mean?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is state sovereignty. There
12 are other sovereignties. But sovereignty is that in the territory or at
13 home or anywhere else one can live freely, perform their duties. To live
14 freely and to work freely. This is the concept.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So would you say that Alabama is a sovereign
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Alabama
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a state of the United States
20 of America
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Here you find it necessary to specify within the
22 United States. The oath does not specify within Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 That is what is -- is striking or remarkable.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. You were surprised
25 in terms of Bosnia-Herzegovina sovereignty. For you the notion of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina is something which has its borders, which emerges, but
2 for me Bosnia-Herzegovina is a framework for me to live in back in 1992
3 and today in 2009. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a sovereign state, but I, for
4 instance, cannot enjoy anything in Republika Srpska. So
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina is what it is. If it were -- is it ideal, can it be
6 comparable to other states, that's another question altogether.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And would you today also say that Herceg-Bosna
8 is a sovereign state?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It wasn't a state at the time
10 either. It was Herceg-Bosna. It's a community of the Croatian people in
11 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a means to survive.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You're quite correct in correcting me. The word
13 "state" does figure here, but would you say that today, I say carefully,
14 Podrucje, the area of Herceg-Bosna is sovereign?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not. Today, for instance,
16 we have the armed forces of the -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There's no
17 ABiH, no HVO. There are the armed forces of the BiH.
18 In 1992, Yugoslavia
19 nothing. So how to organise, how to defend oneself. What to do. I
20 wouldn't have minded for the text to read: "As a component of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina" or "for our Bosnia-Herzegovina," because it was. But
22 Herceg-Bosnia was a way to self-organise, to survive.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're saying
25 that it wouldn't have been a problem for you if there had been mention of
1 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maybe the person who wrote the
2 decree didn't see all these problems. I want to be fair with everyone.
3 And please take a look at Article 106 of the same text. There is a
4 reference made to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina here.
5 Can you confirm that there is mention of the Republic of Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, "... or other threats to
8 Herceg-Bosnia, Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of Croatia
9 cetera. This is what I implied, and this is what is clear.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So under oath you are telling
11 us that if the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been mentioned that
12 wouldn't have bothered you? At least that's what I understood from what
13 you said.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we're discussing the soldiers'
15 oath, it wouldn't have bothered me, but it didn't bother me in this way
16 either because no reference was made to Montenegro but
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was implicitly known.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.
19 Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Well, you know, excuse me, sir, but it's all well and good for
22 you to sit here today and say that in 2009, but when Mr. Kordic made his
23 speech in 1992, the one that you said that if you had been there you
24 would have applauded, he said nothing, he said absolutely nothing about
25 this being part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. What he said was, in part, that:
1 "We are here --" I'm referring to the part -- one of the parts I
2 read to you a moment ago, "We here clearly and unambiguously say that the
3 Croatian people will not be part of any other creation. This is Croatian
4 soil and that is how it will be."
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, no.
6 No. [No interpretation]
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that there's
8 no need for this. We will calm the situation down. Let's clarify very
9 precisely what it's all about. This is January 1992, a time when
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina is part of Yugoslavia
12 a half months later, a referendum was established and that
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina became an independent state only after that.
14 What is Kordic is referring to is Yugoslavia. There is still no
15 independent, sovereign, free Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state. Now,
16 these are facts and this is an objection to your question.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
18 MR. SCOTT: I'm reading -- I'm reading the words off the page.
19 I'm not interpreting or arguing a case. This is what Dario Kordic said.
20 We can play the tape if they want to play the tape, but that's -- this is
21 what it says and the rest is argument, and I understand, counsel can
22 argue their case in the future if that's her interpretation but that's
23 not the evidence.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, perhaps we should have assurance
25 linguistically, because very often we have found that the terms -- that
1 translation of terms is in dispute. I'm not saying that one side is
2 right or the other.
3 Mr. Kovacic, I think you wanted to refer to this; right?
4 MR. KOVACIC: I don't want to continue this argument, but if
5 you --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. KOVACIC: I don't want to continue this discussion, but it
8 will help, just one word.
9 It is a matter of what was said on video. Kordic said that
10 appropriate moment this is about -- now I'm missing an English word. I'm
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I can help you. "This is Croatian soil. "
13 MR. KOVACIC: Yeah, yeah, he said on English "Rump Yugoslavia
14 In Croatian, [Interpretation] "Rump Yugoslavia," [In English]; thus, he
15 is clearly describing the situation exactly as Ms. Alaburic said. And I
16 also want to join what Ms. Alaburic said. It is the fact. This is not
17 argument. This is not discussion. We know the fact. We know and we
18 have the evidence when the Bosnia-Herzegovina became independent state.
19 Thank you so much.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think we must give it to Mr. Scott.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Overlapping speakers]... it's an adjudicated fact.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And we must give it to Mr. Scott that at the end
23 of the second paragraph of page 2 of this transcript we have here Kordic
24 is reported as saying: "This is Croatian soil."
25 So unless the Defence has good cause to say that it's the wrong
1 translation, it is not correct to protest this.
2 Please, Mr. Scott.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. We will check in -- in the
4 office -- we just got it. We were not able to -- to check the
5 transcript. We will, of course, but I'm talking about what Kordic said
6 on the tape. And when we were watching video, it was agreed that the
7 witness also will be hearing original text, not the transcript. So it is
8 in evidence. This is what it said. It might be requested from CLSS to
9 do -- to do a proper transcript. It's not our duty.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. We must stop this.
11 MR. KOVACIC: It is the duty of the party who submitted the
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott go on.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. The video is in evidence
15 and -- my apologies, the video is in evidence, or at least it's being
16 tendered - the entire video - and the Defence can play it as many times
17 as they like. I'm happy -- I'm happy if there is a translation error, of
18 course. The Prosecution does not want to put any evidence before the
19 Chamber that there's a transcription -- a translation error, of course
20 not, but we will deal with that. What I have in front of me - and what
21 I've been assured is an accurate translation, there can be errors - is
22 what it says in the part that we put to the witness, and there is nothing
23 in that statement by Mr. Kordic that talks about being part of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, nor is there anything in Article 86. And as I said
25 now to go back to my question to the witness.
1 Q. It's all well and good, sir to, say sitting here in front of the
2 Court in this particular circumstance in 2009 it wouldn't have bothered
3 if some additional language had been added to the both but that's --
4 sorry, sir, we say the cow is out of the barn. In 1992 and 1993, this is
5 the oath that was taken. This is the oath. You said so a while ago.
6 You were at oath-takings and it was these were words, and it didn't say
7 anything about being part of Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
8 A. Taking an oath is a solemn occasion in any country of the world.
9 So it was one in the case of the HVO then. There's no contention
10 concerning Herceg-Bosnia in relation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, at least in
11 my opinion. And the video footage of Mr. Kordic, from what I could judge
12 on the basis of what I said, I could have applauded. I said that one --
13 ten years ago I would have said it the same. Croatian soil is Croatian
14 soil, not Croatian state. It was my field, my road, my home. And in
15 terms of notions that we hold, I see nothing contentious in that.
16 Q. Well, sir if we go on then, in light of the -- in light of the
17 things -- what's been said and the controversy that's been raised, let's
18 go --
19 MS. TOMANOVIC: I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, but I think the
20 transcript has to be corrected here. [Interpretation] On page 65, lines
21 13 and 14, the witness said in the sense this was an atmosphere that we
22 lived in. We believe that notion that we hold is a mistranslation. He
23 referred to the atmosphere in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the people's
24 attitude towards the soil. I believe that the witness can confirm that.
25 MR. SCOTT: If it's a translation -- again if it's a
1 transcription error, I certainly don't disagree.
2 Q. Sir, in light of what I was saying a moment ago and in light of
3 things that have been said, let's continue on, then, in the transcript,
4 and again I'll have to read it to you, and I apologise for there not
5 being a Croatian version, but I will read to you a bit more. And now I'm
6 turning to Mr. Kostroman, Mr. Kostroman being the second person who
7 speaks, and I'm on page 3 in the English version middle of the page,
8 Ignjac Kostroman, he starts by addressing the audience or the crowd after
9 Mr. Kordic is finished:
10 "Dear citizens of the State of Croatia." In his -- the third
11 paragraph below that:
12 "Ignac Kostroman: We will build a state -- we shall build a
13 state of citizens," et cetera.
14 At the end of that intervention:
15 "We are Croats and this is our Croatian state."
16 Page 4 of the English version, middle of the page, Kostroman
18 "I believe and maintain that we are an integral part of the
19 State of Croatia
20 The audience applauds. Skip a line.
21 "Ignac Kostroman: We will be an integral part of our dear State
22 of Croatia
23 Now, sir, would you also applaud those words?
24 A. The way you interpreted them I would not. They were baseless.
25 Kostroman can say whatever he wants and be responsible for his words. I
1 don't want to comment, first of all, something I did not hear. I'm
2 referring to what you say, how you interpret it, and I would not applaud
3 to that.
4 Q. Let's go back and let's -- let's go back to the question that I
5 took you to some minutes ago now. In your Kordic testimony, sir, you
6 referred at -- on some instances to Muslim soldiers as Mujahedin, and my
7 question to you was: Was that a general term that you used for all
8 Muslim soldiers, kind of like the Greens you said. Well, you didn't
9 think Greens was really a derogatory term. And did you refer to all
10 Muslim soldiers as Mujahedin?
11 A. I precisely knew who was Mujahedin. I felt the consequences of
12 them being in that area, but far be it from me that I would call all
13 Muslim soldiers Mujahedin. When we discuss the term the Greens, this was
14 a brief way to describe the parties to the conflict.
15 Q. And your testimony to the Chamber is that the only time you used
16 the term "Mujahedin" was in reference to somebody that you considered to
17 be a particular extremist or in a particular unit and that you did not
18 use that term to describe Muslim generally. Is that your testimony?
19 A. Yes. I used the term "Mujahedin" for Mujahedin who were
20 different from the others. It was clear who was Mujahedin and who was
22 Q. Sir, arising out of all this in the last few minutes and the
23 Kordic speech, the Kostroman speech, the swear -- the oath that we talked
24 about, you saw Mr. Kordic as a hero, didn't you, and you came to testify
25 in his defence in The Hague
1 him personally because you considered him a hero.
2 A. Your Honours, when I spoke yesterday of insinuations this is one
3 of them. Kordic for me was never a hero. He was not a political leader
4 that I would follow, come to speak of that. And my testimony is my
5 individual attitude towards the Court to help the court take a very
6 difficult decision in this and in other cases. I was an immediate
7 witness, much more than others, and to put me into imagined groups or --
8 of individuals, this is -- I do not allow. I will answer any question,
9 but this -- well, I understand this as condemnation. Why did you testify
10 in Kordic? Why are you testifying in this case? I don't know how to
11 take it.
12 Q. Sir, you came and testified in Mr. Kordic's defence, claiming
13 that he had no military power, no -- was not a military commander, had no
14 military involvement in Central Bosnia. You came and you took that
15 position under oath. You maintained that position when Mr. Nice showed
16 you document after document demonstrating Mr. Kordic's military
17 involvement, and you persisted in that, in your position, to defend
18 Mr. Kordic, because you felt he was a hero; correct?
19 A. Mr. Nice called me a liar on several occasions in that case, but
20 I ascribed that to the lack of proper procedures at this court. I repeat
21 again: Kordic did not command in this operational zone of Central
23 it. I spoke so then, and I'm saying this now, and particularly I did not
24 consider him to be a hero.
25 MR. SCOTT: Could I have the usher's assistance, please, to place
1 another document on the ELMO. Drop down there, so we can see the top
2 part, please. Maybe the whole -- maybe we can get the whole thing on
3 there. Just about. Almost. Yeah.
4 Q. Sir, you testified to the positions that I've outlined briefly to
5 you in the last few minutes. The Kordic Trial Chamber didn't find your
6 evidence particularly persuasive. This is an excerpt -- these are
7 excerpts from the actual judgement. It's an official record of this
8 tribunal, and in paragraph 585 of the Trial Chamber's judgement the
9 Kordic Chamber, the President in that case being Judge May, said:
10 "On the other hand, the defence in answer to the Prosecution
11 evidence about Mr. Kordic's role points to a number of milinfosums and
12 other documents which refer to others as commander of the HVO in Busovaca
13 in the relevant period, December 1992 to February 1993. The defence
14 maintains that Kordic had no military power, did not and was not in a
15 position to order military attacks. To this end, a great deal of
16 evidence was called to show that Kordic played no military part in the
17 conflict and simply wished to help his people: The defence relies on
18 this evidence in respect of Kordic's alleged role in the Busovaca
20 The Trial Chamber then in footnote 1069 listed the evidence that
21 the Defence put forward to support that position. First among that
22 evidence as you'll see here in footnote 1069, Major General
23 Filip Filipovic.
24 Now, let's contrast that Defence position in which you were cited
25 in support of to the Trial Chamber's actual findings, paragraph 586.
1 "The Trial Chamber finds that Dario Kordic was implicated in the
2 attack on Busovaca as a leader exerting both political and military
3 authority. The Trial Chamber draws this inference from the evidence of
4 the audiotape, the documentary evidence, and the evidence of the
5 accused's use of a headquarters and his control over the roads. The
6 Trial Chamber is satisfied there is no truth in the evidence put forward
7 by the Defence that the accused played no military part in the conflict
8 and was simply helping his people."
9 I put to you again, sir, and as demonstrated here by the Trial
10 Chamber's assessment of your evidence, you came here to defend Mr. Kordic
11 and gave evidence that was just totally contradicted by other evidence in
12 the case, and you persisted in giving that evidence, taking your position
13 even in the face of evidence that Mr. Nice put in front of you; correct?
14 A. Your Honours, what was shown to me in that -- those proceedings,
15 well, nothing which could indicate that I would have a separate opinion
16 concerning a certain area. It cannot be that Kordic commanded in the
17 military district of Vitez. He may have influence over certain
18 commanders. He had some charisma and power in certain areas, but I can
19 tell you this: He could not command in Travnik, in Vitez, in
21 Kiseljak, in the area of Kiseljak. He could not command anybody. I
22 don't know what the Trial Chamber found maybe on the basis of documents
23 and testimonies, but what I can tell you is that Mr. Kordic did not
24 command HVO units, and I will hold this opinion until I dead -- I die.
25 Q. Sir, you considered, you personally considered the indictments
1 against Mr. Kordic and Mr. Blaskic and others to be an act of political
2 aggression, "political aggression [realtime transcript read in error
3 "address"] by this Tribunal"; correct?
4 A. Could you please tell me when I stated that?
5 Q. Well, perhaps you would like to turn to Exhibit P11131, P11131.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In the meantime, the transcript is a bit watered
7 down. It reads on line 20 of page 70, political address by this
8 Tribunal. I think you spoke of aggression, not address. Is that
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel, it's aggression.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel.
12 MR. SCOTT: Aggression, a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-o-n.
13 Q. If you have Exhibit P11131, sir, perhaps you'll recall an
14 interview that you gave to the Croatian state news agency HINA in Zagreb
15 based in Zagreb
16 service, Novi Travnik, 18th of November:
17 "The commander of the joint headquarters of the federal armed
18 force of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Major General
19 Filip Filipovic said yesterday that six leaders of Croat people in
20 Central Bosnia
21 men. General Filipovic added that he believed that Croats in the Lasva
22 Valley would resist as 'political aggression.'"
23 Skipping down to the end of the article quoting you: "'To me
24 this is the third aggression (following the Serbian and Muslim) against
25 Croats in Central Bosnia. This one has been conducted by the
1 international community,' General Filipovic said."
2 That's your view. That was your view at the time. That was your
3 view when you came to defend Mr. Kordic in his case, and that's your view
4 today, isn't it?
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have an objection
6 to that question, and I'd like to suggest that we define what indictments
7 we're dealing with and who the six mean are accused before this Tribunal
8 for a statement of this kind to be given, because otherwise joining up
9 part of the story about Dario Kordic with this statement we could arrive
10 in a situation where we don't know who we're talking about. Perhaps they
11 were Croats who were accused but acquitted at this Tribunal. So which
12 six leaders of the Croatian people give rise to this statement.
13 THE PROSECUTOR: I'm most happy to assist. The six were
14 Dario Kordic, Tihomir Blaskic, Mario Cerkez, Mr. Aleksovski,
15 Pero Skopljak, and Ivan Santic. Mr. Kordic, Mr. Blaskic, Mr. Cerkez, and
16 Mr. Aleksovski were all convicted following trial. Mr. Skopljak and
17 Mr. Santic, the indictments were withdrawn by the Office of the
18 Prosecutor and the case did not go forward.
19 MR. KOVACIC: Well, this is not quite correct information. The
20 Prosecution said that those people were high-ranking HVO or HZ HB
21 functionaries in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is not correct. Five of them
22 are definitively only related to very limited area of Central Bosnia
23 Better to say one of municipality in Central Bosnia and that is Vitez.
24 Mr. Kordic only is perhaps --
25 MR. SCOTT: Only.
1 MR. KOVACIC: -- a little bit on the higher level, but not other
2 five. And beside, many others were indicted in the same or very similar
3 indictment. Some of them acquitted even -- even before the trial starts
4 and some during the trial. This is not, of course, mentioned.
5 Thank you.
6 MR. SCOTT: And to what end? That's --
7 MR. KOVACIC: So --
8 MR. SCOTT: So --
9 MR. KOVACIC: It shows that it is very different. Sometimes you
10 got the case and sometimes not. So it doesn't look like it was black and
11 white. Thank you.
12 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. Kovacic, but that's -- to the extent
13 you're casting aspersions on the Office of the Prosecutor on this
14 Tribunal, that's just not correct. It was a quite entirely ethical and
15 entirely responsible; in fact, not political aggression at all. The fact
16 that the Office of the Prosecutor had the good ethical and honest sense
17 to withdraw certain indictments as not sufficiently supported was not a
18 political decision, it was a legal one, and the reality is that
19 Mr. Kordic was convicted. He was the most important -- this man, in
20 fact, testified in the Kordic case that he was the most important
21 politician in Central Bosnia. He was no small fish. Mr. Blaskic the
22 head of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, one of the four most senior
23 officers below the Main Staff and all of the HVO, no small fish, and he
24 was convicted. There were four of them convicted and two of the
25 indictments with withdrawn, and I'm happy to say that. I feel no doubt
1 or question about that.
2 MR. KOVACIC: Well, I didn't expect such a rude respond. Let's
3 take Blaskic as an example.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I think -- I think
5 this -- this is rather distracted and taking the attention away from what
6 is at issue. I think Mr. Scott has first put this interview to the
7 witness and now asks him whether he has the same attitude today, and I
8 think that's a proper question and whether the -- how high ranking the
9 others were, this is really not relevant. It doesn't help, I'm sorry.
10 MR. KOVACIC: I entirely agree with exactly what you said, but
11 then he should ask on that way, but the Prosecutor is trying to create
12 artificially and without base atmosphere in which the witness has no
13 other choice but to say, well, yes, sir. I mean, this is -- this is kind
14 of pressure to the witness. And by the way --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It is.
16 MR. KOVACIC: -- factual representations by the Prosecutor should
17 be guarded.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Overlapping speakers]... Mr. Kovacic --
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Overlapping speakers]... for example, the last
20 thing that he said for Blaskic, Blaskic is on the end sentenced and tried
21 for -- well -- allow me licensa poetica. For a traffic offence in
22 comparison what he was indicted.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic --
24 MR. KOVACIC: So he was not [overlapping speakers] a big fish.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, I quite agree that the witness is
1 put under pressure. I absolutely agree with you. I share this
2 observation. But, Mr. Kovacic, this is the essence of cross-examination.
3 It is a very unpleasant exercise whether exercised by Defence or by the
4 public prosecutor. Unfortunately, this is the system that is applied
5 here. So I think we should allow Mr. Scott to go on.
6 MR. KOVACIC: I agree, Your Honour, but --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 MR. KOVACIC: -- this pressure on cross should have a very, very
9 sensitive border. We cannot be too aggressive. On the end, we depends
10 on the witnesses. I wonder who we will get in the future. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, here in these trial
13 proceedings we're not having again Blaskic or Kordic at the accused
14 stand. We're not retrying them here.
15 Just one technical point submitted by the Prosecutor regarding
16 you. It was the part, the military part that Mr. Kordic possibly played.
17 You said no, Kordic was a political man and had no military role. That
18 is what you say. And I was listening to you, but always thinking,
19 because I don't hide anything. I'm absolutely 100 per cent transparent
20 for everybody, for the Prosecution, for the witness or the Defence. It's
21 absolute transparency on my part. So I take the Prosecution case. The
22 Prosecutor says that Kordic had a military role. So I translate -- I'm
23 trying to put him in the chain of command.
24 As I understood it, we have Mr. Blaskic, and you told us that in
25 the four operative zones you were in the Vitez Operative Zone. So I'm
1 wondering whether -- assuming that Kordic has a military role where he
2 would be in this chain of command. Where could he be placed in theory?
3 Would he be at your level or close to -- next to Blaskic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me clarify. In
5 the context of Kordic and my testimony here in the Kordic trial, I was --
6 it was said that I had said -- or that's how I understood it, that I had
7 used this political aggression or whatever, and then a newspaper article
8 is pulled out from 1995 and presented to me, and as I heard presented
9 here, it said -- well, what I want to say is that the conduct towards me
10 is improper. If that is proper procedure at this Tribunal, then fine.
11 I've become accustomed to living under pressure, but it is improper on
12 the part of the professional sitting here in the courtroom. That's my
13 opinion. You can't conduct a trial in that fashion. You can't speak
14 about Kordic, exhibits, my testimony during the Kordic trial, and then
15 use the term "political aggression" taken from a newspaper article.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I asked you a
17 question. It was a technical question that does not call for any
18 comments. So I have the Prosecution case which I compared to your
19 position. The Prosecutor insists on saying that Kordic had a military
20 role. So that's the Prosecutor's case. And you say I don't agree with
21 it. So I'm trying to really sort of see what is truth in all this. I
22 try to understand everybody's position and I'm asking you this: If
23 Kordic had any military role, where would he be positioned in the chain
24 of command, at your level or next to Mr. Blaskic. This is what I'm
25 trying to understand, you see.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
2 JUDGE PRANDLER: General Filipovic, I also would like to say the
3 following: As a matter of fact, I do not want to be, of course, kind of
4 a teacher for you and also I would like to be very transparent, but I
5 would like to tell you that now here you are not here to tell us and to
6 tell the Prosecution what kind of questions you would like to answer, but
7 as my fellow Judge, Judge Trechsel, a few minutes ago explained to you,
8 you are to be here, as a matter of fact, to answer the questions
9 according to your best knowledge and -- and in a fashion which, of
10 course, quite -- should be quite -- to have equilibrium. You may say
11 that do you not know about it. You may say that you do not understand
12 the question. You may say that you do not agree with it, but you -- your
13 opinion, this or that, but anyway, you have to answer the questions. It
14 is the rule of the game, and I hope you will understand it. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So please answer my question.
16 Otherwise, we're getting lost.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said many times Kordic did not
18 command. He's not in the chain of command, and you can't put him
19 anywhere in the chain of command, absolutely nowhere. I think that's a
20 concrete answer.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was nowhere. I hail from
22 a country that is mainly characterised by logics, and so I'm thinking
23 aloud here in front of you.
24 Mr. Blaskic was tried. Mr. Kordic was tried too. You are a mere
25 witness never you -- were you indicted or convicted for anything. But
1 let us take Mr. Blaskic and Mr. Kordic. You, at any rate, you would be
2 in the chain of command but only under them, because you cannot be put
3 between Kordic and Blaskic otherwise you would have been tried too. Is
4 that wrong?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the number two man in the
6 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that in
8 Blaskic's operative zone you were number two, so there cannot be anybody
9 between you and Blaskic; is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there couldn't have been
11 anybody between me and Blaskic.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. You see, I'm trying to
13 understand from what a logical point of view. I'm trying to understand
14 why Blaskic and Kordic were indicted in a case whilst the number two was
15 not, because you were the number two. At least that's what you say.
16 Unless we think that Mr. Kordic was number two and you were number three.
17 But you say no, no, no, you were number two. I don't know whether this
18 shed any light on your case, Mr. Scott.
20 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know that
21 when we come to cross-examination, as Judge Trechsel said, it is
22 legitimate to exert pressure on the witness; however, I think that
23 regardless of the fact that there is pressure it must be fair pressure.
24 Now, if we are putting to the witness an alleged statement of his given
25 to some interview to some journalist, we have to establish first of all
1 what this was and say that was your position then, now, and what will it
2 be in future? We heard it earlier on in the Kordic trial. So this is
3 something that was carried by the BBC
4 agency HINA. Now, HINA could have taken the article from any journalist,
5 perhaps from Bosnia-Herzegovina. So I think it would be fair to ask the
6 witness whether he remembers giving this interview in the first place and
7 whether he remembers saying that. And then, once we hear the answer, the
8 Prosecutor can go ahead and ask him if that is his position, and then the
9 Defence counsel can prepare themselves to re-examine, so we need to know
10 who the author of this article is and who it is who claims that
11 Mr. Filipovic said what said -- made this statement in this article.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think we have a witness before us who is
13 controlled, intelligent, courageous, and I have the confidence that he
14 would have said immediately, "I never said that," but he did not. So I
15 think, Mr. Scott -- Mr. Scott, I think you should continue.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] You should sit over there
17 and see what kind of pressure is upon you. I do have some rights here,
18 Your Honour. First of all, the Prosecutor conveyed this completely
19 erroneously. The Prosecutor first of all put Kordic's statement where he
20 said we're not going to stay in a Rump Yugoslavia at the time when
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina was in Yugoslavia
22 and it is up to this Tribunal to establish the truth. There are so many
23 lies stated here and so much pressure is exerted that it's a catastrophe,
24 and that's what it is, Judge Trechsel. Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, whenever
1 sensitive issues are addressed by the Prosecution, you react to them.
2 You've just said that the Prosecutor misstated, mischaracterised Kordic's
3 words. It may be right, it may be wrong, but there's one thing you
4 should not forget. This witness is a witness for the Petkovic Defence.
5 The Petkovic Defence called this witness to testify. Next week they will
6 have time for redirect. Obviously, if the Petkovic Defence is of the
7 view that the Prosecutor mischaracterised those words, it will say so
8 automatically. So please let the lawyers do their jobs, because this
9 witness is not your witness. He is a witness for General Petkovic. So
10 let the lawyers do their work. If Ms. Alaburic feels that there's been
11 mischaracterisation, she will say so, and there will always be time to
12 change and correct things.
13 I don't know. We saw some video footage. We saw people
14 applauding, shouting Croatia
15 Obviously, it was a very important moment. I've heard the Defence say
16 that this video footage had to be put back in the then context, which was
17 a context of the independence of the Republic of Croatia
18 seen that Mr. Kordic spoke about Germany
19 that Germany
20 independent country of the Republic of Croatia
21 Mr. Kordic spoke about the Pope and thanked the Pope as well. So this is
22 what I have read in the statement.
23 The Prosecutor has his own view, his own take on things. That's
24 his job and that's what he's doing as part of the cross-examination, and
25 the witness can say no, I don't agree with you Prosecutor. That's what
1 the witness has not stopped saying. So why do you have to speak on top
2 of that? The Judges are here. They listen. They can read. I don't
3 think we're dumb. Well, I hope and I claim I'm not dumb. I may be
4 wrong, but, please, let us work in peace.
5 You see, I put questions before in order to see where Kordic
6 could be positioned, because the Prosecutor said that he was a military
7 man, and if he is, he should be in a chain of command. And the witness
8 said, "Well, there was number one Blaskic, and then number two it was
9 me." So please stay calm, because you really jump out of your box, and I
10 think you're going to have a heart attack. You frighten me. Please calm
11 down and let the lawyers do their work. You've got excellent lawyers.
12 Everybody's excellent, so let them do their work. And sometimes we ask
13 you to take the floor. You're allowed to ask questions of witnesses.
14 Well, maybe not for this one because you've done it already, but next
15 time you could revisit the issue and say, "Well, yes, this was said," so
16 you can tackle the topic again.
17 This is what I wanted to tell you, Mr. Praljak.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do hope that
19 I will have a heart attack. I sincerely hope so, whether you believe me
20 or not, precisely because -- well, you say untruths. I'm saying lies,
21 and I want that to be crystal clear. Lies were stated there. The
22 Defence counsel didn't hear properly what Kordic said. I'm sitting far
23 away from the counsel.
24 Erroneous facts cannot be presented at this Tribunal whether it
25 be done by the Prosecution or whoever, and if somebody has portrayed
1 something erroneously, then he must be cautioned and told.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I believe that we
3 need for the situation to cool down. We should all stay collected,
4 prepare for the rest of the questions. I believe Ms. Alaburic also must
5 also prepare for her redirect. Our witness probably needs to have a
6 rest. He's been in the witness seat for three days now, and it's very
7 tiring to answer questions all the time.
8 I believe that next week will be -- we'll finish this witness,
9 and then -- well, I believe Mr. Scott has about an hour left for his
10 cross-examination. I can tell you exactly how much time he has left.
11 So far you have used two hours and 31 minutes, so you have one
12 hour and 30 minutes left. We're sitting for four hours tomorrow. I
13 believe that between the cross-examination and the redirect we should be
14 finished with this witness, and then we'll have the other witness for
15 Tuesday and Wednesday. That's just to give you an idea for the schedule
16 for next week.
17 Ms. Alaburic, do you agree?
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know whether
19 there was a mistake, but we do not have any information whereby we would
20 be working tomorrow. Tomorrow is Friday. We're not working tomorrow.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It was Monday, not
22 tomorrow. Interpreter's correction: Monday, not tomorrow.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we'll continue on Monday.
24 Monday Mr. Scott will have one hour and 30 minutes left. Then we'll have
25 the redirect.
1 So, Witness, your testimony will be over on Monday, and then
2 we'll have another witness for Tuesday and Wednesday. Witness, remember
3 my advice -- my instructions, actually. You're not supposed to contact
5 And I wish everyone a pleasant evening.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.55 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of
8 December, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.