1 Thursday, 14 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar. Today is
11 Thursday, the 14th of January, 2010. I would like first of all to greet
12 the accused, Defence counsel, all the honourable members on the team of
13 the OTP, and all the people assisting us in the courtroom. And I should
14 also greet the witness once he enters the courtroom.
15 I believe Mr. Kovacic wanted to take the floor.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, good morning, Your Honours, good morning
17 everybody in the courtroom.
18 [Interpretation] I thought practical reasons it would be a good
19 idea to resolve immediately the issue of protection of the next witness
20 because technical preparations are needed, and we shouldn't do that at
21 the 11th hour. That witness --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, we'll move into
23 private session.
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I wanted to avoid mentioning
25 names, but this is safe.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 48355-48357 redacted.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. West, you have 42 minutes
7 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, please take a seat.
10 One moment, Mrs. West, I have a question arising out of my thoughts
11 during the night.
12 Please have a seat, sir.
13 Colonel, I have a small follow-up question for you. Yesterday,
14 as you saw, we looked at a document relating to this famous meeting which
15 took place in the month of November. You were seizing the political
16 authorities during this meeting of a number of issues, and I had called
17 your attention to item 6 that related to the line of command which you
18 wanted to be unique. Since then I have thought about it some more, and I
19 must tell you this: There is a discussion on the fact whether there was
20 or not a single line of command at the time. General Praljak himself
21 explained to us that after the events on the 9th of May of which he knew
22 nothing at all, he had a discussion with Mr. Tuta. I shall not go into
23 the details of this discussion. Other elements lead us to believe that
24 there might have been a line of command with Boban, Naletilic, a direct
25 line of command between the two, without the minister of defence being
1 advised of it at all or the Chief of Staff for that matter and even the
2 commander of the operational zones or the brigade commanders. Since you
3 were an officer on the ground, you met your colleagues from time to time,
4 you held meetings with your superiors. Did you have any knowledge of the
5 existence of any other chain of command, non-traditional chain of
6 command, since as definitions go the real chain of commands goes from the
7 head of state right down to the lower levels in a traditional manner. It
8 seems that the line of command went from the chief of -- head of state to
9 a specialised unit and then other factions. What did you hear at the
10 time about the existence of a dual chain of command?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my position as chief
12 of artillery in the military district did not give me great opportunity
13 to acquire information of that sort, but to the extent that I know, and I
14 had some information which I believe was correct, and that is that there
15 was a direct line of command between Mr. Boban and that unit.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are telling us something
17 important. You learned that there was a chain of command that
18 established this line between Boban and the head of the units. Does this
19 mean that in military terms that the minister of defence was sidelined,
20 the Chief of Staff, and the commander of the operational zone were
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I would like to insist a bit on this.
1 You have been very cautious in your answer. First you've said this is
2 not something that you had much opportunity. I quote your position:
3 "... did not give me great opportunity to acquire information of
4 that sort ..."
5 And then you add that, I quote again:
6 "To the extent that I know, and I had some information which I
7 believe was correct, and that is that there was a direct line of
8 command ..."
9 Now, could you tell us where you had received such information
10 and what it consists? Could you explain us on what this putative
11 knowledge, I think it can be called, of yours is based? Did Mr. Praljak
12 tell you? Did Mr. Naletilic tell you? Did Mr. Boban tell you? Was this
13 a subject of conversation among your colleagues?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a number of members of
15 this unit share the same birthplace with me, and of course I had occasion
16 to run into them from time to time. And from contacts with them I
17 concluded that they were receiving orders directly from the president.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Which unit would that be you're talking about?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the unit that was
20 named a moment ago as Tuta's unit, but originally it was called the
21 Convicts' Battalion.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. And were there -- among these people
23 were there any higher officers of that unit, or were -- was it simple
24 soldiers that told you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if we take the middle level
1 of that unit, officers not of the highest rank but still officers whom I
2 trusted at the time. I trusted their information.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. West.
5 MS. WEST: Good morning, Mr. President; good morning,
6 Your Honours; good morning, everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 WITNESS: VINKO MARIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Ms. West: [Continued]
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maric.
11 Sir, I just want to take up where Judge Trechsel left off, and I
12 just want to clarify a little bit of what you just said. Should we
13 understand then that you've never seen a document evidencing this direct
14 line of command between Boban and the Convicts' Battalion?
15 A. I personally did not see a document that would confirm that, but
16 I said a moment ago that I had information from people who were quite
17 important in that unit.
18 Q. Let's talk about those people. Are those just two people or more
19 than two people?
20 A. Specifically it's one of the commanders who unfortunately lost
21 his life while liberating Rastani on the 24th of August, 1993. He was a
22 commander in that unit, and he's from the same neighbourhood as I.
23 Q. So you've had -- this information is based on a conversation with
24 only one person; is that right?
25 A. No, no. If you give me time I can remember some more names of
1 people who told me the same thing.
2 Q. Go ahead, what are the other names?
3 A. One platoon commander who also lost his life in a hunting
4 accident, Mr. Stojcic, a platoon commander in that unit.
5 Q. That's two people. Is there a third?
6 A. I could recall, although it was a long time ago, for example,
7 Mr. Sopta, but not the general. There were more than one person called
8 Sopta in that unit. And some more soldiers of lower ranks in the same
10 Q. This --
11 A. Perhaps a confirmation of what I'm saying could be that I as a
12 chief never had the opportunity to plan any use of artillery in direct
13 support to that unit, and it's hard to imagine that in three years of war
14 I would not have to do that.
15 Q. Mr. Maric, the individual you called Mr. Sopta, what's his first
17 A. His father's name is Vinko. We called him Dok.
18 Q. And where -- go ahead.
19 A. I've already said that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in our part of the
20 world, nicknames are used a lot more than real names, like additional
21 names for certain neighbourhoods --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
23 A. For instance, a particular neighbourhood can be called three
24 different names.
25 Q. Where does Mr. Sopta live today?
1 A. This gentleman, Mr. Sopta is no longer alive. A vast majority
2 from that unit and from the HVO are dying to this day. Just before I
3 left in order to come here, one of my fellow combatants was on his
5 Q. Mr. Maric, then you've mentioned three individuals who gave you
6 this information, but all three individuals, as I understand it, are
7 dead. But then you said some more soldiers of lower ranks in the same
8 unit, is that right, gave you the same information as well?
9 A. Well, I could probably remember if I gave it some more thought.
10 I could remember some names of persons at lower ranks. However, the fact
11 remains that this unit was very rarely in contact and in the zone of my
12 interest. So I did not have the duty to take care of the members of that
13 unit --
14 Q. Mr. Maric --
15 A. -- so it is hard to remember -- yes?
16 Q. Mr. Maric, can you give us any one name of a soldier in that unit
17 who's still alive today that gave you this information?
18 A. Robert, I can't remember his last name.
19 Q. So again, I'll repeat my question. Can you give me a first and
20 last name, a first and surname, of any person alive today who gave you
21 that information?
22 A. Names, yes; surnames, not really.
23 Q. Okay. So you cannot fully identify anyone who is alive today who
24 gave you that information?
25 A. Your Honours, I tried to remember after 17 years -- even if I try
1 to remember the names of the people who were closest to me, even with the
2 best of intentions, I need a lot of time to remember their names unless I
3 have certain documents from that time before me --
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric.
5 A. That is one matter. Secondly, please take into account the fact
6 that my health is seriously impaired, and you must trust me that I have
7 indeed forgotten certain facts regarding names and surnames.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric, we'll move on. Yesterday when we --
9 towards the end we were talking about -- yes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We will move on
11 to something else, but you gave us a technical detail that was quite
12 interesting. You said that throughout your period of command you were
13 never associated to a support to the unit commanded by Naletilic, and
14 that was a bit surprising for you. Does this mean that Naletilic's unit,
15 as far as weapons are concerned, had its own artillery, mortars, and so
16 on, and maybe they were well equipped? And because of that, notably if
17 they were acting outside the chain of command, didn't need to have
18 logistical support and artillery support provided by an artillery unit
19 that would be in the line of command under the chain -- the staff or that
20 would be also an artillery unit that depended from the operational zone?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All manoeuvre units that were
22 established in the HVO were not of extremely large capacity. But in
23 relation to infantry units and brigades, they were, within the military
24 districts, better equipped, and they had their own resources for support.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Mrs. West, you may move on.
2 MS. WEST:
3 Q. Mr. Maric, yesterday we were talking about the Old Bridge
4 some orders in regard to it. And specifically we were talking about a
5 November 8th packet order from Petkovic, and in turn a November 8th order
6 from Lasic to shell the town of Mostar
7 was the day before the bridge finally came down. I noted in my questions
8 to you that there was no specific targeting language in the November 8
9 orders, and you gave an explanation. And you're going to see that on
10 your screen, on the Sanction screen in front of you. This is from
11 transcript 48349, if you look right in front of you. I was looking at
12 the orders and I said that the order said:
13 "'Shell the city of Mostar
15 And I said:
16 "Is that language familiar to you?" And I believe we were
17 looking at the Lasic order.
18 You said: "Yes."
19 And I said:
20 "Because it appears that Lasic just took the Petkovic order and
21 forwarded it down the chain of command; correct?"
22 Your answer was: "Yes."
23 And then I asked:
24 "... whether this order specifically articulated targeting the
25 bridge or not, and isn't that exactly what happened on November 8th?"
1 You said:
2 "I don't see a reference to the bridge as a target."
3 And I said:
4 "No, that's exactly right. You don't see specific language of
5 the bridge as a target, but isn't it a fact, yes or no, that on
6 November 8th the Old Bridge
7 And your answer was this:
8 "Under item 2 it says selectively shelling."
9 You said:
10 "At that moment the HVO knew about military targets and their
11 nature, and that referred exclusively to those military targets which
12 were under the war doctrine served for the purpose of military units.
13 They were used for the planning and conduct of combat activities and
15 So, Mr. Maric, my question today for you is: Yesterday when you
16 said this, were you suggesting that these orders that say "selective
17 targeting," the reason they said that was because those military targets
18 were already so well known by the HVO that there was no reason to list
19 them? Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Don't you agree that such ambiguity in language, such unclear
22 language, could potentially lead to confusion as to what the target was,
23 yes or no?
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour, to the
25 term "unclear language."
1 MS. WEST: Your Honour, I don't accept the objection.
2 "Ambiguity" means unclear. I think the witness can determine what I mean
3 by that. I'll ask it again.
4 Q. Sir, don't you agree that such ambiguity in language, such
5 unclear language, could potentially lead to confusion as to what the
6 target was, yes or no?
7 A. There can be no confusion --
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric --
9 A. -- that is a period when -- yes?
10 Q. Now, this would -- language in an order like this would have been
11 out of the ordinary, would it not? It would have been unusual?
12 A. Your Honours, the logic of military thinking is probably rather
13 different from the logic of legal thinking. The logic of military
14 thinking --
15 Q. Mr. Maric, that's not my question. Excuse me, that was not my
16 question. Let me say it again, and you can answer. Let's try it again.
17 So my question was --
18 A. Yes, please go ahead, do repeat your question.
19 Q. -- would this language in the order, would this have been out of
20 the ordinary, would it not, it would have been unusual? The answer to
21 that question is: Yes, no, or I don't know.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, that's not really fair. The answer to
23 a question of that nature can perfectly reasonably require some
24 explanation. The witness is being asked by a lawyer about a military
25 document, and his answer, the introduction he was giving, is his answer
1 as a military person giving evidence, and it's entirely reasonable that
2 he should preface and give his explanation and answer to Ms. West's
3 question in this way. And the interruption of his answer a few minutes
4 ago was inappropriate. He should have been allowed to continue.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. West, you are a lawyer,
6 you know the law. I'm sure that the colonel has some inkling of the law,
7 but he's not a legal expert himself. So if your question has legal
8 aspects, and he says, No, I'm not -- don't think so, you can ask him some
9 additional information. If he answers, No, and then you go on to move on
10 to something else, any reasonable trier of fact will think that he is
11 right because you're not going into details, you're not pressing on,
12 which is why Mr. Stewart actually rose to his feet.
13 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. I'm going to ask you a another question instead, Mr. Maric, and
15 we're going to go to some more of the testimony from yesterday. I asked
16 you a question in regard to that very same language I was asking you
17 about, selective targeting and whether targets should be listed in
18 orders. And I said --
19 MS. WEST: If we can just have a moment, please. Thank you.
20 Q. So yesterday I was talking about the same order, and I said:
21 "It said:
22 'Shell the town of Mostar
23 "Mr. Maric, in your experience in military -- well, in your
24 experience, when orders were issued regarding offensive operations, did
25 they normally include a specific targeting information? We've seen a
2 And your answer from yesterday was:
4 Sir, do you remember that testimony from yesterday?
5 A. Your Honours, distinguished Prosecutor, I cannot remember
6 everything I said exactly, but I shall confirm that when planning assault
7 activity, it is necessary, inter alia, to point out specifically if one
8 is planning attacks with a view to taking territory of the other side.
9 Then the directions and objectives are spelled out in very specific
10 terms. In the documents from this time that are being discussed
11 yesterday and today, there were no concrete orders on attacks; namely, to
12 abandon one's own positions and to penetrate enemy territory. The term
13 used here is activity against enemy objectives.
14 Q. Mr. Maric --
15 A. That is what is stated -- yes?
16 Q. Yesterday I also showed you a document which was from the night
17 of November 8th, and it was a report from Lasic who had written that at
18 8.10 that morning the HVO tank had been firing from Stotina that whole
19 day, and it fired 50 projectiles on the Old Town
20 another document, and it should be directly in front of you. It's
21 P09992; I opened up your binder to that page. P09992. This is a report
22 from November 9th, so the day the bridge came down, and it's a report
23 from 1900 hours that evening, and it's from Lasic. Number 1 is combat
24 activity of the enemy, and then number 2 is entitled "our forces." And
25 it says:
1 "Defenders firmly hold their positions. And on provocation
2 coming from the Muslim army, they returned fire from time to time. They
3 did not return fire at the Chetniks."
4 But then the next paragraph says:
5 "In addition to the fire from infantry weapons at around 10.00 --
6 1000 hours our tank fired few projectiles at a target which was
7 determined earlier. At around 1015 hours our reconnaissance people from
8 Hum reported that the Old Bridge
9 anything about the cause of its destruction."
10 Sir, I want to focus on the language here that says "a target
11 which was determined earlier." This is unusual language in a report like
12 this, is it not?
13 A. Your Honours, distinguished Prosecutor, I shall go back a day or
14 two or several hours --
15 Q. Mr. Maric --
16 A. -- to a response I gave to one of the Prosecutor's questions
17 where I was --
18 Q. Apologies for the interruption. Mr. Maric, excuse me, stop.
19 A. Yes?
20 Q. My question was quite clear, and the answer in this case
21 certainly is a yes or no. Let's try it again. I want to focus on the
22 language here which says "a target that was determined earlier." This is
23 unusual language in a report like this, is it not? Sir, can you answer
24 that question yes or no or I don't know.
25 A. Your Honours, on the 9th of November at 4.00, I went to
1 reconnoitre --
2 Q. Sir, this has nothing to do with --
3 A. -- the southern part of the --
4 Q. Excuse me, sir, I have refrained from asking for an order for you
5 to be responsive. I have refrained from doing that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I understand that you
7 want to give us additional information to explain. I understand why
8 you're doing this, but this is a specific procedure. Here the Prosecutor
9 is entitled to put questions, but she needs an answer yes or no. A yes
10 or no answer, and if you don't agree, just say no. And if Ms. West wants
11 to know why you are saying no, then she can press on and put another
12 question to you. As I told you earlier, if she's not pressing on, I will
13 infer from this that you're telling the truth. So it's up to her to
14 conduct the game. She puts questions to you, answer by yes or no, and if
15 she wants to contradict you because she doesn't agree with your answer,
16 negative answer, then she has to provide you with additional information,
17 and then you can develop what you want to say. I know that you want to
18 explain yourself. In my own procedure in my own country, there would be
19 no problem with that, and we would spend hours on all of this. And the
20 trial would have been over ages ago. But this is another type of
21 procedure, it's very lengthy, even though we're supposed to have a quick
22 trial according to the Security Council. So, please, we have to follow
23 the procedure. So answer by yes or no, and if Mrs. West wants to press
24 on, she will. Anyway, I will have a question later on. So please
1 MS. WEST:
2 Q. Mr. Maric, isn't it true that the target determined that's
3 referenced here was the Old Bridge
4 A. No.
5 Q. And would you agree that the target determined earlier could have
6 been the subject of discussions between Lasic, the author of this report,
7 and Praljak at the meeting that took place 48 hours earlier on
8 November 7th?
9 A. Your Honours, no.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, witness, I have a question regarding
11 your previous answers. You were asked whether the target that was
12 determined was the Old Bridge
13 tanks, and you have told us that tanks are not part of the artillery.
14 How do you know what kind of order was given?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what kind of order was
16 issued to them, but if the order was given from a higher level to the
17 level where I operated, then I would have to have that order before me at
18 some point in time, either immediately or later. Because professional
19 organs had the possibility of seeing all orders that came from higher
20 instances and also all orders that were elaborated at military district
21 level and that went further down the line.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm afraid I don't find that a very clear
23 answer. Isn't it a fact that you do not really know what was the
24 previous target that is mentioned in this report? Have you seen the
25 order? You have explained that it should come down and you should have
1 the possibility to see it. That's not enough. That's not enough. You
2 have clearly said no, you don't know -- no, it was not that target, and I
3 want to know on what this was based.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I base my answer on the fact that I
5 did not see such an order and that I did not hear of such an order.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, wouldn't then the correct answer be: I
7 don't know?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know, if that's the
9 best -- I don't know, I'm not a lawyer; I'm a soldier. I don't know. I
10 don't know what's best for lawyers. I don't know.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's not a matter that you have to be a lawyer
12 to understand. Either you don't know, then you can say it was not this;
13 or, as it turns out now, you cannot positively know, and then you should
14 not give the answer that you think would be the desirable answer, the --
15 what would have been the right thing. But you have to say "I don't
16 know." Otherwise it's not the truth, what you're saying.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour ...
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, if you
19 just look at the question that was put by my colleague, Ms. West, her
20 question was: Isn't it true that, et cetera ... so the witness was
21 responding to the question as it had been put, and he answered from his
22 point of view, namely, that it is not true. Had the -- had my colleague
23 put the question in a more open-ended way, perhaps his answer would have
24 been: I don't know.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, in the document that
1 is on the screen, there is a culpatory element. It says, and I quote:
2 "In addition to the fire from infantry weapons, at around
3 1000 hours our tank fired few projectiles at a target which was
4 determined earlier."
5 You're black on white -- black and white it is written that the
6 Old Bridge
7 there is mention of the Old Bridge
8 been determined as a target. Maybe the officer in charge of drafting
9 this report did a poor job. But still when you read all this, as
10 Mrs. West is submitting, it seems that there was a plan to fire at the
11 old bridge, and here we have a report saying that this has been done.
12 There were shots, projectiles were fired, and the Old Bridge
13 was torn down. Then the person drafting the report says, We know nothing
14 about the cause of the destruction. Now, militarily-wise, I'm not
15 looking at -- thinking about liability or responsibility here. I'm just
16 thinking about what happened in terms of military -- in terms of
17 military. Can a tank fire at a bridge if this objective has not been
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, I was actually -- we try not to do a
20 double act, but my point is a separate one from the one that Ms. Alaburic
21 made, which of course I support. But when Judge Trechsel put at page 20,
22 line 19, to the witness: Well, wouldn't then the correct answer be: I
23 don't know? Which is a perfectly normal way of cross-examining, and I
24 don't mean that offensively, that is the sort of question which might be
25 put in cross-examination of a witness. But with respect it's not really
1 fair in the light of what the witness has said, because what the witness
2 is saying - and that's a clear -- I'm not arguing the case. I'm simply
3 pointing out what's on the transcript. He's saying that he bases his
4 answer on the fact that he did not see such an order, and I did not hear
5 of such an order, but that has to be linked with what he has clearly said
6 a few lines above, which is if there had been such an order, he would
7 have seen it. And on that basis the answer: No, there was no -- no such
8 order, that wasn't the position, is perfectly fair. Now, Your Honours
9 may or may not accept in the end, that's for Your Honours' judgement, the
10 ingredients that go into the witness's answer. Your judgements as to
11 whether he is or isn't telling the truth on particular points is
12 ultimately Your Honours' judgement. But the way that Judge Trechsel,
13 with respect, then put the -- and it is a cross-examination point to the
14 witness, really did not take proper account of what the witness had given
15 fairly and squarely as his answers.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just one point, Your Honours. I
17 would now like to say something about the translation. I must say that
18 I'm not sure whether the translation is good or not, so I would like to
19 ask our colleagues from the interpretation booths to look at the
20 formulation. In the Croatian text we have a neutral formation, as it
21 were, where a verb is used, and it is stated around 1015, Our
22 reconnaissance from Hum informed us that the bridge was destroyed. The
23 formulation was not that someone destroyed the bridge or that the bridge
24 just collapsed on its own. It is indefinite. But the -- the translation
25 is "was torn down." I'm a lay person as far as the English language is
1 concerned, but it seems to me that the English version suggests that
2 someone tore down the bridge, whereas the Croatian version keeps this
3 neutral formulation, that the bridge was destroyed, but that we don't
4 know -- we don't know who destroyed it or how. If I could ask Sinisa and
5 the lady to help us out with that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me return to my question
7 because the interventions from the two lawyers threw us a little bit
8 astray. So in your language it seems that the tank is firing at a target
9 which was determined earlier. Militarily-wise, when a tank is firing a
10 projectile, is it firing at predetermined targets or is -- can the tank
11 crew just fire anywhere? Are they free to fire anywhere?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, fire is opened at
13 targets that had been set.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
15 Mrs. West.
16 MS. WEST:
17 Q. Sir, we're going to move to P06564. Sir, it's in your binder.
18 It's marked on top 0564 [sic], and we're going to go to page 2 of the
19 English, and it's -- the page of the B/C/S, it's the only page. P06564.
20 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
21 Q. This is a report from November 10th, 1993, signed by Lasic. And
22 it begins:
23 "On November 9th between 1015 and 1020 the Stari Most,
24 Old Bridge
25 information that we have in connection."
1 And there's number 1 which talks about the damage, number 2 talks
2 about the Serbs. Number 3 says the Old Bridge was in the vicinity of the
3 line of separation. Number 4 talks about the bridge not being marked.
4 But then we come to number 5, and it talks about targeting. And let's
5 read that. It says:
6 "HVO units never targeted the Old Bridge
7 not the aim. Defending themselves against numerous attacks by the MOS
8 from the direction of the Old Bridge
9 church where there were many breakthroughs of the defence line, units
10 fired at the enemy's manpower and materiel near the bridge. The
11 Old Bridge
12 that area has been the scene of fierce clashes since the beginning of the
14 Mr. Maric, doesn't it appear here, doesn't it appear to you, that
15 Lasic is denying that the bridge was targeted, but at the same time gives
16 an excuse as to why the HVO brought it down? Claimed it was an accident,
17 claimed it wasn't deliberate, claims that it was the result of units
18 fired at the enemy's manpower and materiel near the bridge; isn't that a
19 correct summary, sir?
20 A. Your Honour, the question by the distinguished Prosecutor implies
21 that Lasic said that they had destroyed the Old Bridge
22 see in this document. I also have to say I'm seeing this report for the
23 first time because on the 9th, after I returned from command
24 reconnaissance in the southern theatre, 50 kilometres away from Mostar,
25 in view of my injuries and later health problems, I was bedridden for the
1 next 12 days -- 20 days. And if I have to look at a document for the
2 first time, I agree to analyse it from the military point of view, but I
3 was not a witness to these events. I didn't even see the documents at
4 the time because, as I said, I was in a bad way.
5 Q. Mr. Maric, don't you agree with me that it appears from
6 paragraph 5 that Lasic admits, concedes, indicates, that the HVO brought
7 down the bridge but he just didn't put it on paper that the HVO had
8 actually targeted it?
9 A. Your Honours, I'm reading what it says here. I don't know what
10 Commander Lasic was thinking or what he meant. I don't see it written
11 that the HVO had destroyed the bridge. Madam Prosecutor, I heard from
12 you in the last three or four hours of examination a number of terms that
13 I could have reacted to, spending more than 30 minutes of your time. And
14 trying to understand you, I tried to answer as best I could. But reading
15 someone's thoughts 17, 20 years later is very hard --
16 Q. Thank you. Let's just focus on the second sentence here. He's
18 "Defending themselves against numerous attacks," and there he's
19 talking about his own units, "from the direction of the MOS ... there
20 were many breakthroughs of the defence line."
21 And then he says:
22 "Units," HVO units, "fired at the enemy's manpower and materiel
23 near the bridge."
24 You would agree with me that what that refers to is units, HVO
25 units, firing at materiel near the bridge; correct?
1 A. Your Honours, in operations against the Army of Republika Srpska,
2 especially when crossing the bridge, I lost one man who did not belong to
3 my unit, but I know that one soldier was hit -- killed there --
4 Q. Mr. Maric, I can't begin to imagine how the beginning of that
5 sentence could be responsive to my --
6 A. One sentence, and then you will have your answer.
7 Q. Please give it.
8 A. Thus, at certain moments the Old Bridge could have been
9 identified as a legitimate military target. And it's possible that fire
10 was opened at it in order to neutralise certain parts of enemy manpower.
11 Q. So you agree with me that there's a real possibility that all
12 these orders indeed do talk about targeting the Old Bridge
13 the conclusion you're giving the Court?
14 A. No, that's not the conclusion.
15 Q. You just said it's a real -- you just said that it's possible
16 that fire was opened at it in order to neutralise certain parts of enemy
17 manpower. Fire was opened at it. It is possible, you just said, that
18 fire is opened at it. When you said "it," you meant the Old Bridge
20 MR. STEWART: I think we have to be careful because the question
21 put is not the same. There's much more in the question that Ms. West
22 just put to the witness than what he had already said. So to suggest
23 that all her question is doing is reflecting what he's already said,
24 which would raise another question as to why we're wasting our time going
25 over the same ground again, is actually not fair.
1 MS. WEST: I'm sure this can be addressed on re-direct.
2 Q. Mr. Maric, I'll continue. The next sentence is:
3 "The Old Bridge was destroyed as a consequence of combat
5 Sir, when you look at all of paragraph 5, you read the whole
6 thing, don't you agree that what Mr. Lasic is saying here is that the HVO
7 brought down the bridge, whether it was targeted or not?
8 A. I do not agree that one can conclude from this sentence that the
9 HVO destroyed the bridge.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. WEST: I'm going to move to another subject unless the
12 Chamber has any questions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, according to this
14 document which I'm looking at, Mr. Lasic provides an explanation, the
15 following explanation. He says that the Muslim units, let's say the
16 ABiH, were by the bridge and that was -- and that there was equipment
17 there. And then he said that there were clashes since the beginning of
18 the conflict, and this was a clash seen. He then adds that the ABiH,
19 because the bridge was seemingly located in the geographical area of the
20 ABiH, they did not hoist the flag of UNICEF, because had they hoisted the
21 UNICEF flag, things might have been different in that case. He then says
22 that the HVO never targeted the Old Bridge
23 added that they needed to defend themselves against numerous attacks of
24 the Muslims coming from the Old Bridge
25 I'm sure you did also, we watched the videos. There were videos of this.
1 When I see that tank firing, we can also see tracer bullets. I believe
2 the tracer bullets don't come from the tank. There are tracer bullets
3 and there are projectiles which hit the Old Bridge. But during this
4 scene I didn't hear shots coming from the ABiH. I don't have the feeling
5 that there was any exchange of fire then. I believe it is the tank that
6 is firing. There is no fighting ongoing which Mr. Lasic describes.
7 Perhaps this was actually happening and perhaps the video was not very
9 Let me get to my question now. When one needs to use the
10 artillery, whether it be small pieces of artillery or heavy artillery,
11 does one need to open fire because someone fires at you? Or can one fire
12 because it has been planned militarily, when targets have been set, prior
13 to firing; and in that case one states: At 1500 hours, at 1530, we
14 shoot, we fire, and that all this has been planned beforehand because the
15 ammunition needs to be loaded, the cannons need to cool down. And for a
16 number of reasons the shots are spaced out. So my question is a very
17 simple one: Is a cannon, artilleryman, or a tank -- member of a tank
18 group just shoot? Or is he entitled to shoot outside the shooting
19 targets or times if necessary?
20 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry, before your answer, I would like to
21 already say that on page 28, lines 4 and 5, there is a mistake in -- on
22 the screen that -- I believe that Judge Antonetti spoke not about the
23 UNICEF, which is the United Nations Children's Fund, but he spoke about
24 UNESCO, the flag of UNESCO, et cetera, et cetera, it is just for the
25 correction of the record.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If my colleague had looked at
2 the text, he would have seen that the text actually mentioned UNICEF and
3 not UNESCO. It should have been the UNESCO flag, but we are dealing with
4 legal matters here, and what we have in the document is UNICEF not
5 UNESCO, but my fellow Judge did not see the document. So this is
6 confusing, and when a question is summarised like this and I'm
7 interrupted, I lose track. Well, anyway, would you like me to put the
8 question again?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would prefer it if you could
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, right, so I shall repeat
12 my question. Generally speaking my questions are very long because I'm
13 very cautious. I must be very careful about what I say. In the document
14 we have before us a flag is mentioned, a flag which the Muslims should
15 have hoisted, a UNICEF flag, it should have been a UNESCO flag, but that
16 is a point of detail. But Mr. Lasic then indicates that fighting has
17 taken place and that the Muslims who were near the bridge were firing and
18 that there were clashes. Therefore, Mr. Lasic concludes in paragraph 5
19 that the Old Bridge
20 not destroyed with an aim and with a view to destroying the bridge, but
21 fighting took place. So one can therefore conclude that the destruction
22 of the Old Bridge
23 that, I would like to put the question to you which runs as follows. So
24 when a tank fires, when an artilleryman fires with a heavy weapon, does
25 one fire at targets which are predetermined, preset targets? Or does one
1 fire according to the events unfolding? And I would like to add that I
2 told you on looking at the videos, one has a feeling that the tank crew
3 fires at regular intervals, and on the video one cannot hear shots fired
4 from the Muslims.
5 Have you understood my question?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly what you can
7 see and hear in that footage. I didn't see it many times. I just don't
8 like to watch it. But according to the rules, one opens fire at certain
9 targets if your own life is threatened from that direction. Units or
10 assets always have to be manned, regardless of whether it's an artillery
11 weapon or an infantry weapon. So this fire targeting the area around the
12 Old Bridge
13 and the bridge as a predetermined target did not exist.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. West.
15 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Maric, we're going to go to P03899, P03899, and the pink
17 tab -- sorry, the yellow tab's at the top, we'll give you that. This is
18 a letter, August 2nd, 1993
19 this, sir?
20 A. I do, Your Honours.
21 Q. This is a resignation letter, sir.
22 A. It's a letter whereby I, among other things, offered my
24 Q. Thank you. In the first paragraph, it's a bit of an introductory
25 paragraph, but right in the middle you say:
1 "I'm very worried about the way in which a large number of
2 commanders, chiefs, assistants, clerks, and other important officials at
3 all levels have been going about their assigned tasks and duties. I can
4 no longer tolerate their total irresponsibility and indifference in the
5 face of the alarming situation both in the operation zone and further
7 And in the next paragraph you wrote:
8 "I cannot accept the fact that personal interests, cars, flats,
9 and other personal concerns should be deemed more important than our
10 principal and fundamental task of defending our homes and the territory
11 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. I can no longer accept to see
12 by my side certain individuals, with whom I supposedly share the faith in
13 our final success, whose moral and professional qualities are doing more
14 harm than good to the common goal that we are fighting for."
15 Now, I'm going to stop right there and ask you a little bit about
16 your language. You had said, "our principal and fundamental task of
17 defending our homes and the territory of the Croatian Community ..."
18 Sir, when you wrote "homes," did that include the protections of
19 Muslims and their homes?
20 A. Your Honours, I will avail myself of this opportunity to take
21 just ten seconds to answer Madam Prosecutor, a question that I didn't
22 answer a few days ago, namely, the names of some Muslim families in my
23 neighbourhood. So as part of this answer let me say that in my
24 neighbourhood, which is 90 per cent populated by Croats, there lived and
25 there still live, and they participated in the defence as part of HVO
1 units, several Muslim families, including family Palavdzic, which I
2 mentioned before, and two other families, Hazirovic, by name. Those
3 families are still in their homes, in their houses. At that time and
4 still today they had the same views as I on the defence of Bosnia
6 Now, as regards this letter, Your Honours, when I came back home
7 in the afternoon I was met by my wife, who is a colleague of yours, a
8 lawyer, and she read -- she read a copy of this letter. And she said
9 verbatim: Dear husband, from this moment on I have so much more love and
10 appreciation for you because of what you have written, that I will never
11 leave you until the day we die. But as a lawyer, I do find fault with
12 certain formulations that can be ambiguous.
13 I realise that I'm a soldier by training. I have no legal
14 knowledge, and perhaps I put some things here that may sound ambiguous
15 for somebody who's not a soldier, but at that time I was feeling like a
16 man who was aware that the time was coming when he would have to leave
17 his home and his town, and not alone but together with many other
18 families because the military situation was so bad, our manpower levels
19 were so low, we were under such threat on many defence lines, that it was
20 perfectly clear that we might soon lose large swaths of territory in the
21 environs in Mostar.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric, and I think when I asked you when you wrote
23 "homes" did that include the protection of Muslims and their homes as
24 well, and I think your answer is yes. So I'd like to move on in this
25 letter --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I -- no, no, I'm sorry, I thought you were
2 going away from the letter.
3 MS. WEST:
4 Q. So I'd like to go -- to continue on, and the next paragraph is:
5 "I cannot understand certain individuals who are complacent about
6 their own high ranks, for instance, the rank of colonel and are glad to
7 be receiving a colonel's salary. They drive around in HVO cars. They
8 have managed to get hold of flats and are enjoying all the privileges,
9 and yet their contribution to our goal remains small or even
11 Mr. Maric, when you wrote "they have managed to get hold of flats
12 and are enjoying all the privileges," can you please explain what you
13 meant to the Trial Chamber?
14 A. Your Honours, Mostar was deep in my heart, and it still is. And
15 whenever I had the time I toured positions of artillery units and the
16 front lines alike. Only few people would do that, those who were born
17 there and who knew their lay of the land and the disposition of features.
18 And when I would find a soldier who had been in the trenches for several
19 days with food supplies running late, with equipment supplies running
20 late, they would complain because they had information that in certain
21 departments there were available vehicles in sufficient numbers that were
22 perfectly able to bring supplies to the front line. And the soldiers
23 were very unhappy because bread, ammunition, or clothing was not
24 delivered in time. And some people, especially from the logistics which
25 are not known as great fighters, were trying to teach me lessons about
1 how best to use these assets --
2 Q. Mr. Maric, I'm going to stop you there.
3 A. And after the departure of a large number of Serb civilians --
4 Q. Thank you. My question was in regard to this sentence which was:
5 "They have managed to get hold of flats are enjoying all the
6 privileges ..."
7 Sir, does that mean that HVO persons were taking flats that did
8 not belong to them?
9 A. I was about to continue, Your Honours. After the departure of
10 large numbers of --
11 Q. Mr. Maric, I'm sorry again --
12 A. -- officers of the JNA --
13 Q. We can't continue. You can just answer the question: Yes, no,
14 or I don't know. It was a very simple question. Does that mean HVO
15 persons --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, we have less than --
17 Madam Prosecutor has less than six minutes left, so her time is very
18 precious. She is putting a question to you which you could expand on,
19 but you could also say: No. And she will ask you: Why? She's asking
20 you whether they occupied flats who belonged to Muslims. Then you say:
21 Yes or no.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wish to say
24 that the question of my learned friend contains a legal formulation,
25 namely, did they take apartments that did not belong to them, and that's
1 the passage that cause -- causes ambiguity and requires explanation.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I address you?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. You are in the hands of
4 Mrs. West.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to be of assistance.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please listen to Mrs. West's
8 MS. WEST:
9 Q. Mr. Maric, is your complaint here that people, soldiers,
10 high-ranking soldiers, low-ranking soldiers, were taking over flats in
11 West Mostar that were flats that were originally owned by Muslims who had
12 been evicted? Is that your complaint?
13 A. No, that was not my complaint, Your Honours.
14 Q. Okay. Sir, I would like to go to P02 --
15 MS. WEST: Yes, sorry.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to ask a follow-up question
17 regarding this letter. Did that letter -- first, did you actually send
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. I'm -- I'm glad if I
20 can in response to your question clarify what I wrote in that letter.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't need clarification of what you write
22 because I think that the letter is pretty clear. The question is: Were
23 there any consequences of this letter? Did any reaction -- you asked for
24 a reaction. Was -- did any reaction come forward?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were certain positive
1 reactions, and I was satisfied that I had written the letter.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I think I'll leave it at that.
3 MS. WEST:
4 Q. So, Mr. Maric, we're going to go to P0 --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A follow-up question. Those
6 who had an opportunity in their life to send a resignment letter, you
7 know, it always takes courage to do so. And when you write such a letter
8 you believe that people should understand that you are brave when you do
9 this. When sending this kind of letter, didn't you risk anything, to be
10 demoted or maybe expelled from the army? People would say: This is none
11 of his business. What's his problem? It's -- we should just drive in
12 our nice cars and have our nice flats, and he can be -- go on the front
13 and get killed, and we're in the rear end, and can enjoy our privileges.
14 This is a very human -- this is a reaction that can occur. You know,
15 people understand that this kind of reaction can exist. Did you do this
16 because you were totally disparate? You noted that there were no
17 ammunition, that the political and military plans were not defined
18 correctly, that your own soldiers were living in difficult conditions,
19 when others would be parading in Mostar and elsewhere, in nice
20 limousines, usually German limousines, is that why you were pushed into
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at that time I was
23 quite aware of my position and of possible adverse consequences that
24 could ensue. However, the people to whom I had addressed this letter
25 knew perfectly well who I was and what kind of man I was. And I was not
1 afraid of any adverse reactions from them. As for possible grumbling and
2 negative reactions of some colleagues whom -- who were the subject of my
3 letter, no, I was not afraid of them. That's why I wrote the letter in
4 the first place.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I think it's time
6 for the break. You have less than five minutes left, Mrs. West. Maybe
7 it would be best if you finished, and then we will break. So please
9 MS. WEST: Thank you.
10 Q. P02879. This is a document that is dated June 21st, and this is
11 signed by Mr. Coric. It's a request to issue decisions permitting
12 occupancy of apartments.
13 "We enclose a list of civilian apartments occupied by members of
14 the military police and request that the corresponding decisions be
15 issued as urgently as possible."
16 Sir, this is several pages long, there are several names, it's
17 137 apartments. Mr. Maric, would you agree with me that at the time, in
18 the summer of 1993, there was a practice, whereby the HVO evicted Muslim
19 homeowners in West Mostar from their apartment and put their own HVO
20 people in those apartments?
21 A. Very --
22 MR. PLAVEC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. This
23 question and this document pertain to topics that were not part of the
24 examination-in-chief. Civilian apartments are referred to here, not
25 Muslim apartments, as the Prosecutor had put it in her question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. West, in this text there's
2 no mention of Muslim flats, civilian flats here -- what it says is
3 civilian flats occupied by members of the military police. Now, there
4 was something he said earlier, and you didn't listen. He said that Serb
5 officers also had left their apartments. I had inferred from this that
6 HVO officers took occupancy of these flats. You have three minutes left,
7 so if you could put your question.
8 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. I put the question in the
9 words that I thought to be appropriate. And this gentleman can answer
10 the question in any which way he wants. And the question was: Would you
11 agree with me that at the time, in the summer of 1993, there was a
12 practice that the HVO evicted Muslim homeowners in West Mostar from their
13 apartments and put their own HVO people in those apartments?
14 Q. Sir, what's your answer?
15 A. The answer is no.
16 Q. Let's look specifically at 80, and if we can go to Sanction,
17 please. You see number 80 in front of you. That street that's
18 mentioned, is that your street?
19 A. Number 80 is the former name of my current street.
20 Q. Right, okay. And number 25 of your street, before the war, do
21 you know who lived in number 25?
22 A. My number is 202. That is pretty far away from number 25. I
23 don't know who lived there.
24 Q. Thank you, sir.
25 MS. WEST: I have no more questions, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will now break
2 for 20 minutes, after which we will have the re-direct, and then the
3 testimony of this witness will be over.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
7 As far as re-direct is concerned, I believe that we have Mrs. Alaburic.
8 Mr. Alaburic, you have the floor.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Since
10 many topics were raised during the cross-examination by Ms. West that
11 were not dealt with during the examination-in-chief, I will have a
12 certain set of questions for our witness, Mr. Maric. Depending on your
13 own interventions, Your Honours, it is my assessment that I should be
14 done in about half an hour.
15 Re-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Maric.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. I'm going to put a question to you in relation to the last
19 questions put to you by Ms. West. My learned friend Ms. West showed you
20 your letter dated the 2nd of August, 1993, which is document P3899. She
21 focused on the subject of apartments. After that she showed you P2879,
22 which is a letter of the military police administration dated the 21st of
23 June, 1993. In relation to that, I would like to put a question to you.
24 Did you perhaps notice who the military police administration was
25 addressing in this document?
1 A. They were addressing the office for housing and infrastructure to
2 the attention of Mr. Mario Salavarda.
3 Q. Thank you. We will get to that. But before that, please tell
4 us, what was roughly the percentage of the Serb population of Mostar
5 before the war?
6 A. I don't know exactly, but between 20 and 30 per cent. I don't
7 even know what the exact percentage of Croats was, never meant much to
9 Q. From a Zagreb
10 Muslim, and one-third Serbs, so let that be our working version.
11 One-third were Serbs. Tell us in the territory of the municipality of
12 Mostar, were there any significant units, facilities, institutions of the
13 Yugoslav People's Army?
14 A. In the area of Mostar there were some very important facilities
15 and institutions of the Yugoslav People's Army.
16 Q. If you were to describe whether there were relatively few or many
17 officers who lived in Mostar and persons who lived in the -- worked in
18 the Yugoslav People's Army, what would you say, few or many?
19 A. There were many. Mostar was a Mecca for everyone.
20 Q. Tell us, at the moment when the operations for liberating Mostar
21 were over, liberating them from the Yugoslav People's Army and the Army
22 of the Bosnian Serbs, how many Serb inhabitants remained in Mostar after
23 that? Or, rather, tell us, did most of them leave or stay behind? That
24 would do.
25 A. Most had left.
1 Q. Tell us, these JNA officers and other JNA personnel, did they
2 stay in Mostar, or did they leave with the army that had been expelled?
3 A. Practically all of them had left.
4 Q. If you were to answer the question of how many apartments stayed
5 in Mostar that had previously been inhabited by Serbs, what would you
6 say, many or a little?
7 A. Many apartments that Serbs and members of the JNA lived in,
9 Q. If you were to define the ownership of --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You added that it was socially
11 owned. We have -- we know this concept. I'm sure you know what it
12 means. An apartment that is socially owned can only be allocated by an
13 administrative entity, be it a civilian or a military entity. Is that
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Tell us, Mr. Maric, were any regulations passed on the way in
19 which these apartments would be allocated, the apartments that were
20 previously in the hands of the Serbs? Were they given to the military,
21 to civilians, to inhabitants of Mostar generally speaking who did not
22 have apartments? Let me be very specific, for temporary use?
23 A. Yes, regulations had been passed for the temporary use of
24 abandoned apartments.
25 Q. Now I'm going to ask you about this office for housing and
1 communal affairs. Was this one of the bodies that made decisions
2 regarding the temporary use of these --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Alaburic, you can put the
4 question, but I believe that my previous question solved the problem --
5 solved the problem. If you want to waste time, go ahead, but we've
6 already mentioned this. The documents were admitted. Any legal expert,
7 even low-level legal expert know exactly what happens. You want to use
8 all of your time, but I think you're wasting it right now.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope that you did
10 not want to say through that, that even the worst possible lawyer would
11 be able to handle if he or she were in my position. I simply want to
12 deal with the document that Ms. West had shown. I want to be specific
13 because there are many bodies in Herceg-Bosna that were in charge of
14 allocating apartments for temporary use at the -- commissions at the
15 level of the defence department, of the operative zone, and documents
16 that we have admitted into evidence in this regard have to do with that.
17 As far as I can remember, this particular matter had not been dealt with
18 previously, and that is why my question this time had to do with this
19 particular office, namely, whether this particular office had any role in
20 the temporary allocation of apartments.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you.
24 To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Maric, the civilian or
25 military authorities of Herceg-Bosna, to the best of your knowledge, at
1 any level did they organise the expulsion of Muslims from their
2 apartments so that Croats could move in?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Do you have any knowledge about some Muslims in West Mostar
5 having been indeed expelled from their apartments and having a Croat move
6 into these apartments?
7 A. I personally have no such knowledge.
8 Q. Have you ever heard of this problem of the Muslims being moved
9 out, regardless of their numbers in West Mostar?
10 A. That was at the level of talk, not at official meetings.
11 Q. I'm asking you now as a citizen of Mostar. Had you heard of any
12 such thing and -- well, if you haven't heard about it, then I cannot ask
13 you anything else about this. So we can just move on then. In relation
14 to the Old Bridge
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Unless I'm lost, I do not see that there is an
16 answer registered to your last question: Had you heard of any such
17 thing? And then you say: Well, if you haven't heard about it ... But
18 in between, I think one would expect an answer from the witness.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is in line 6, Your Honour.
20 Line 6 of page 43.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I was a bit confused because then you put
22 another question of -- on line 7 which is very similar, I must say. Then
23 the witness says:
24 "That was at the level of talk, not at official meetings."
25 And then you continue:
1 "I'm asking you now as a citizen of Mostar ..."
2 Either that was completely unnecessary, or there must be, again,
3 an answer. Our dialogue perhaps now clarifies, but I hope you see what I
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, basically I withdrew
6 that question because as I was following what the witness has said, I
7 realised that, except for a few rumours, he didn't really know anything
8 about this. So I kindly ask you to take this as my withdrawal of this
9 question or my conclusion. We can clarify this, rather.
10 Q. Mr. Maric, the question here now is whether you, as a citizen of
11 Mostar, at the time had heard of such a situation that Muslim was
12 expelled from his or her apartment in West Mostar and that a soldier
13 forcibly moved into the said apartment?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now a few questions in relation to the Old Bridge
16 am going to refrain from using the notion "Old Bridge
17 so please understand it that way. What -- do you know what it means when
18 a particular facility or landmark has the status of a cultural monument?
19 A. Yes, I do know.
20 Q. If you know about the laws of war and the extent to which you as
21 a soldier know the law of war, can a cultural monument become a
22 legitimate military target?
23 A. Any facility that is used for planning and executing combat
24 operations by a military formation becomes a military target.
25 Q. Tell us, the Muslim side in the conflict in Mostar, did they ever
1 suggest in any way to protect the Old Bridge and to have the zone around
2 the Old Bridge
4 A. Apart from the activities of General Praljak in 1992, I am not
5 aware of any other activities in that direction.
6 Q. Can you tell us in a single sentence what kind of activities
7 these were on the part of General Praljak?
8 A. These were activities of engineering protection provided to the
9 Old Bridge
10 General Praljak did not mention yesterday that before that the bridge had
11 been hit several times already and significantly damaged, that is to say
12 before the HVO units could physically get to the Old Bridge
13 Q. Tell us, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did it ever use the
14 Old Bridge
15 A. The Old Bridge
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina for military purposes in order to transport military
17 equipment across it and to cross it in general.
18 Q. Tell us, did the Old Bridge
19 on the west bank that was under the control of the Army of
21 A. Yes, but I don't agree that it's a small part exactly.
22 Q. Tell us, apart from the Old Bridge
23 that linked East Mostar
24 bank that was under the control of the BH Army?
25 A. In one period of time during the war, a makeshift bridge was made
1 that was used in order to cross to the right bank of the Neretva River
2 Q. Tell us, could military equipment such as weapons, ammunition,
3 et cetera, be transported across that makeshift bridge?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina have its own positions near
6 the Old Bridge
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina ever operate from positions
9 near the Old Bridge
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Now I'm going to put a few questions to you
12 in terms of the relationship between Boban and the Convicts' Battalion.
13 We've prepared a set of documents for Your Honours and for you, Witness.
14 They are a separate file here consisting of four documents, since that
15 was discussed --
16 MS. WEST: Excuse me, my apologies. Do you have a set for me?
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, we don't. We
18 have never prepared documents for you for re-direct. We never prepared
19 documents for re-direct for you, but I'm now asking my case manager to
20 e-mail these documents to Ms. West. I apologise for the fact that this
21 hadn't been done, but obviously we didn't have enough time to co-ordinate
23 MS. WEST: Well, I'm -- I mean, I don't have the documents and
24 they weren't on the original list. So, I mean, I can wait to see them,
25 but I don't know that this is -- I don't have the documents -- thank
1 you --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me give you my set.
3 MS. WEST: Thank you.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, indeed, our case has
5 been on for several months, and we never printed documents for the
6 re-direct, but we did send to our colleagues the list of documents that
7 we would use in re-direct. I am sorry. I do apologise. We would have
8 done that had we realised that our colleague wanted to have the documents
9 in paper form as well in hard copy. We can now rely on e-court.
10 Q. Mr. Maric, please look at the first document, the first document
11 2D925. This is a brief letter of Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, addressed to
12 Mate Boban. The date is the 1st of February, 1994, and here in the last
13 line Tuta says of himself, "your personal advisor."
14 Tell us, Mr. Maric, do you interpret that as some kind of a
15 direct link between Mr. Naletilic and Boban, or do you think that this
16 qualification should be interpreted in some other way?
17 A. A special link. I have no other explanation.
18 Q. Let us look at the next document, 4D618. Mr. Maric, this is a
19 diagram that was prepared by General Petkovic as a witness in the Blaskic
20 case. That was about ten years ago. Before my question, tell me,
21 Mr. Maric, while preparing for your testimony did we ever discuss the
22 Convicts' Battalion and Mladen Naletilic, Tuta?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Please look at this diagram. In this diagram the
25 Convicts' Battalion is directly under the supreme commander as opposed to
1 other units that are on the left-hand side of the diagram that are
2 directly linked to the Main Staff. In view of your own understanding of
3 this diagram, does it correspond to what you told us in court today who
4 the Convicts' Battalion was subordinated to?
5 A. Yes, it does correspond to that.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, again I would like
7 to draw your attention -- or rather, no, no, this is fine. This is fine.
8 This document is all right. Very well.
9 I just wish to say that in the English translation of this
10 document there is no direct link between the supreme commander and the
11 Main Staff, which is very important because in some questions -- with
12 regard to some questions, the Main Staff was directly subordinated to the
13 supreme commander. So please bear in mind this mistake. We took this
14 document over from the Blaskic case, and that's why we didn't intervene.
15 4D1356 is the next document.
16 Q. This is an interview by Ivan Andabak to the weekly "Globus" dated
17 17 March 2009
18 Mr. Maric?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Let me draw your attention to one passage. In Croatian it's on
21 the last page and that part alone has been translated. To the question:
22 "To whom were you responsible in terms of command during the war
23 in Croatia
24 General Andabak answered:
25 "Exclusively to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of
2 The next question is, I quote:
3 "And not to the minister of defence of Herceg-Bosna,
4 Bruno Stojic, or to the commanders of the staff, Generals
5 Milivoj Petkovic and Slobodan Praljak?"
6 And the answer of Ivan Andabak reads:
7 "We were responsible only to Susak and Boban."
8 Tell us, Mr. Maric, does this answer from the commander of the
9 Convicts' Battalion conform with what you told us in the courtroom
10 earlier today?
11 A. Yes, it does.
12 Q. The next document is P226 -- correction, P5226. This is a report
13 by the assistant head of the defence department in charge of security
14 Ivica Lucic to President Mate Boban, dated 20th September 1993. The
15 report refers to the Convicts' Battalion. Can you explain, Mr. Maric,
16 the reason why the assistant head of the defence department addresses
17 directly President Boban concerning the Convicts' Battalion?
18 A. The only conceivable reason is that the person who signed this
19 document believed or knew that President Boban was the superior of that
20 unit, of that battalion.
21 Q. To the best of your knowledge about the general opinion of people
22 in Mostar, did people in Mostar knew who commanded Tuta and the
23 Convicts' Battalion?
24 A. If I could say anything, I would say it was the president
1 Q. Could you repeat your answer.
2 A. I could say that the president was directly superior to this
4 Q. The first time did you say: If anyone commanded the unit, then
5 it was the president?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when you say "president," you mean who?
8 A. Mr. Mate Boban.
9 Q. I'll ask you a few questions now regarding the documents shown
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: Sorry to interrupt you, Ms. Alaburic. Of course
12 this question which you raised a few minutes ago is a very important one,
13 and we have already listened to the witness about this issue while --
14 while Ms. West has asked questions about who commanded the unit of Tuta.
15 Now I would also like to ask you, Mr. Maric, if your knowledge is
16 based on some hearsay or if you have had seen any documents about it,
17 because when you confirmed here upon the question asked by Ms. Alaburic,
18 you said that:
19 "I could say that the president was directly superior to this
21 So now what kind of document or a kind of a order or whatever you
22 based your position on? It is my question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, those units that were
24 under the direct command of the military district or assault units
25 commanded by the Main Staff were units that I met with frequently, and
1 there was mutual assistance between us. They were the subject of certain
2 orders and certain combat documents created at the level of the military
3 district, and that is one of the reasons why I knew that those units were
4 under the Main Staff. And this particular unit was not mentioned in
5 these documents, and there's also the fact that I knew some of the
6 members of that unit, and I had regional links with some of them.
7 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
8 Ms. Alaburic.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Tell us, Mr. Maric, have you ever seen any kind of document that
11 would indicate that the Convicts' Battalion was under the command of the
12 Main Staff of the HVO?
13 A. I think I just said something about it. No, I have never seen
14 such a document.
15 Q. In view of your knowledge of the situation on the ground
16 throughout this period, was Mr. Milivoj Petkovic able to issue orders to
17 Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, an order that the latter would obey?
18 A. I do not believe so.
19 Q. Let us now look at P1866. It's minutes of a meeting in the
20 operation zone south-east Herzegovina
21 now, Mr. Maric, if you open the file in front of you.
22 A. Could you repeat the number?
23 Q. Just let me tell you how the documents are organised. If you
24 open the file, the first documents in line will be Prosecution documents,
25 and this one is P1866. I'm being told that it's the first one. That is
1 the document you discussed with my learned friend Mrs. West. This
2 document says -- and you remember what my colleague Ms. West asked you.
3 The document says:
4 "Reports have been read from the areas of Konjic and Jablanica
5 that had arrived in the operation zone over the last two days." And
6 after that certain conclusions were adopted.
7 Let's now look at 1784 [as interpreted] to see what kind of
8 reports were discussed. It's P1874. This is a summary report for the
9 date of 13th April. And on page 2, item 3, is a report from your
10 operation zone. I will just give in bullet points the key events. The
11 Croat village of Buscak
12 and 120-millimetre mortars. Around 50 shells were fired.
13 Buturovic Polje was targeted with about 15 shells, and the shelling of
14 Kostajnica is ongoing, and attacks are starting in Konjic which is under
15 siege as is Jablanica. Then there is a second report from Konjic on the
16 same day. Buscak village is about to fall, and then Buscak has fallen.
17 We are fearing a massacre. Please send the Red Cross. And then it says:
18 Urgently act upon our previous request addressed to Prozor. It's in fact
19 a request for artillery fire on designated targets. And the next report
20 says again that there is fierce fire from mortars on Ljesovina,
21 Buturovic Polje, and Kostajnica. Conclusion: This is an all-out attack
22 on the entire zone of Konjic and Jablanica.
23 To the best of your recollection, Mr. Maric, is it true that on
24 the 13th of April the situation was as described in this report?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In para 3 of the document shown to you by my colleague Ms. West,
2 it says that tasks need to be determined especially by the staff in case
3 of clash with the Muslims. Do you interpret this -- do you read this as
4 preparations for attack or for defence?
5 A. For defence.
6 Q. My learned friend Ms. West quoted a part of your summary and
7 asked you to comment on the passage where it says that certain documents
8 can be understood properly only if you are familiar with the developments
9 in the broader area. Do I need to refresh your memory on this?
10 A. That's fine.
11 Q. The next document is P1928. This is an order from the commander
12 of the 1st Brigade of HVO Nedjeljko Obradovic, dated 17 April 1993. And
13 in paragraph 1 of this order it says that from the existing battalions of
14 the 1st Brigade, one separate unit needs to be formed, composed of Croats
15 only. In para 5 it reads:
16 "I hold commanders of the battalions answerable for the
17 implementation of the task."
18 Tell us, this term "task," is it in the plural or in the
19 singular? In para 5.
20 A. It says "commanders" individually.
21 Q. No, I meant to ask: Is it one task, in the singular, is it
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Let's see now what this task could be. Let's look at
25 document 4D1715. This is a special report from the security department
1 of the Supreme Command Staff of the armed forces, where it says - and I
2 will try to summarise briefly - it's the fourth paragraph. In Croatian,
3 it's page 2. It says that on the 18th of April, 1993, that is, a day
4 after this order was issued, a hundred HVO members took up positions.
5 And the next day, 19 April, around 15 HVO members arrived at Gubavica.
6 And then there followed an HVO attack, and the command of the HVO entered
7 the barracks and informed members of the Bregava Brigade that they had
8 militarily occupied the barracks in the area of Gubavica. And then in
9 paragraph 6 of this document, it says that on the 22nd of April the HVO
10 attacked the command which with the brigade police was breaking through
11 in the direction of Stolac, where they were ambushed near Osanice in
12 which incident all 20 of them were captured and taken to a camp along
13 with Bregava Brigade members captured earlier.
14 If you look at these documents, do they give you any reason to
15 associate this special report of the security section with the
16 assignment, the task, given by Obradovic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell us about the Bregava Brigade of the Bosnian army. Was it in
19 your area of responsibility of the operations zone?
20 A. Yes, it was in our area of responsibility, and it was under the
21 command of the military district commander.
22 Q. The next document is 4D473, and this is a document that the
23 Bregava Brigade commander of the BH army sent to the 1st Brigade
24 commander of the HVO on the 18th of April, 1993. It's just one in a
25 series of documents that form their correspondence. I had -- I have
1 shown some earlier in our case, but I'll limit myself to the passage on
2 the second page. Bajro Pizovic says to Nedjeljko Obradovic, I quote:
3 "I note, and you are aware of this perfectly well, that a large
4 number of Muslim soldiers are part of your unit, but they are Muslims and
5 they belong to this people, and it would not be good to disrupt a certain
6 organisation and the formation of your units."
7 If you had received a letter like this from a brigade commander
8 of the BH army, how would you understand it?
9 A. Well, that the commander of this brigade was very well informed
10 about the structure of personnel in another unit, and I would understand
11 this as a certain dose of threat.
12 Q. If you as a military commander in such circumstances were trying
13 to carry out an operation against the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, would
14 you try for your unit to be made up of ethnic Croat soldiers
15 predominantly or exclusively for that matter?
16 A. If one were to embark on a serious operation against the Army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it would be advisable for it to consist of mostly
18 Croats in order to prevent any trouble.
19 Q. All right. Next document, 4D36, please. This is a report of the
20 commander of the 4th Corps of the BH army to his superior command. I
21 will present the content of this very briefly. In paragraph 3 it says,
22 inter alia, that we've linked up with our people in the HVO. And then it
23 says the personnel of the HVO from Capljina have the task of taking
24 Tasovcici and the bridge in Capljina. And it says taking the town of
25 Stolac with our people. Tell us, Mr. Maric, as a soldier what would your
1 estimate be? Is the BH army counting on co-operation with the Muslim
2 soldiers of the HVO or not?
3 A. Yes, and these were the most difficult moments that could happen
4 to a military unit.
5 Q. To the best of your understanding, do these documents show that a
6 document can be understood fully only if one knows of broader
7 developments in the area?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The next document P1998 [as interpreted]. This is an order of
10 the commander of the operative zone of the 20th of April, 1993, ordering
11 the highest level of combat-readiness. If I understood this correctly,
12 this was shown to you as a sort of preparatory order for the conflict
13 that occurred in Mostar on the 9th of May. P1978, P1978. This is an
14 order of Midhat Hujdur dated the 19th of April, 1993.
15 The first question, Mr. Maric, have you ever heard of
16 Midhat Hujdur?
17 A. I heard of him and planned with him and fought together with him
18 against the Army of Republika Srpska in 1992.
19 Q. Let us see what is being planned here. For the 1st Battalion it
20 says -- I'm going to omit certain elements, and I'm going to refer to
21 what I think is most important. The Mostar Brigade, once conditions are
22 created, start attack at the crossroads of Mostar-Buna and Mostar-Blagaj,
23 Mostar-Buna and Mostar-Blagaj. In further combat activity, try to
24 link-up with the Blagaj independent company in the area of the Buna
25 village, and part of the forces should be sent to the right bank of the
1 Neretva and placed under the command of the commander of the
2 2nd Battalion.
3 Furthermore, the lines that the 2nd Battalion is supposed to take
4 are referred to, and it is ordered, inter alia, to block HVO forces in
5 the rear of that line and carry out its neutralisation. Part of the
6 forces from the 4th Company should be sent towards the command of the
7 41st Motorised Brigade to reinforce defence.
8 My question, first of all, Mr. Maric, could you as a soldier tell
9 us, when we say "neutralise HVO forces," what does that mean?
10 A. Neutralisation means to operate temporarily at these forces in
11 order to prevent them from carrying out the activity they had been
12 carrying out until then involving the -- a certain level of destruction
13 of those forces too.
14 Q. All right. Now the 19th of April, what is the Mostar Brigade of
15 the BH army planning? What is defined for the 3rd Battalion is in
16 paragraph 1.3. It says:
17 Close the axis from Vrapcic towards Mostar in the Sutina sector
18 and make it impossible to cross the Mostar dam and also fully block --
19 and fully block and take the north camp barracks. Then the tasks of
20 other units of the Ministry of the Interior are referred to, inter alia,
21 in 1.8 it says that an attack should be carried out at the premises of
22 the MUP of the HZ HB, and so on.
23 Tell us, Mr. Maric, now these axes of activity and localities, do
24 they mean anything to you?
25 A. Your Honours, all of these locations are 2, 3, and even
1 7 kilometres behind the only lines where HVO units were at the time, and
2 those were the lines facing the Army of Republika Srpska. That means
3 that taking up strategic positions and taking strategic facilities in the
4 town of Mostar.
5 Q. Another document in this context, 2D478, again Midhat Hujdur.
6 The order is of the 20th of April, the next day, that is. What is
7 ordered here is readiness to engage targets, and I'll tell you which
8 ones: In the area of Cekrk, in the area of Nova Banka and the high
9 school, in the area of Avenija Rudnik, and then Bijeli Brijeg, Rondo and
10 the faculties, and some other locations are mentioned in paragraph 2.
11 Tell me, the activity of the BH army on the 9th of May, 1993, did it have
12 anything to do with these locations?
13 A. This is an order, an order that was used by the Army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it shows exactly how an attack operation is to be
15 carried out with a view to breaking through and taking territories that
16 are held by the unit that is attacked. So this fully corresponds to what
17 happened on the morning of the 9th of May.
18 Q. Mr. Maric, in your view, do these documents confirm or deny the
19 thesis that in order to understand documents properly one has to be
20 familiar with broader developments on the ground?
21 A. Certainly.
22 Q. The next document that I'd like to hear your brief comment on is
23 D1125 -- P1125 [as interpreted], that is. 2215. [In English] P2215.
24 [Interpretation] That is the order of Nedjeljko Obradovic of the
25 7th of May, 1993. It was discussed extensively. This order mentions IZM
1 Stolac. Mr. Maric, do you know who the commander of the IZM of the HVO
2 in Stolac was?
3 A. It could have been Mr. Pavlovic.
4 Q. Mr. Pavlovic was our witness, and we talked to him about this
5 document as well. I would like to put the following question to you. To
6 the best of your knowledge, the 1st Brigade of the HVO, did it take part
7 in any way in the fighting that took place in Mostar on the 9th and 10th
8 of April -- of May, 1993?
9 A. I cannot recall any moment when the 1st Brigade took part in
10 fighting in Mostar.
11 Q. Since we discussed part of this order that has to do with
12 training in built-up areas, tell us about the towns of Stolac and
13 Capljina, are they in the zone of responsibility of the 1st Brigade?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let us look at the next document, P2209. It is an order that
16 bears the name of Milivoj Petkovic, head of the Main Staff. Please look
17 at this order, Mr. Maric, and can you tell us who signed it?
18 A. I don't know who signed it. It certainly wasn't
19 General Petkovic. I have no idea who this is.
20 Q. Try to read the name. If I tell you Ivica, would you read the
21 name Ivica in that signature? Very well. If you cannot --
22 A. I really cannot.
23 Q. We're going to have a witness who will be in a position to talk
24 about this. 3D 793 would be the next document, please. This is a
25 document that contains the conclusions of a meeting of HVO commanders.
1 Many questions were put in this regard by the Trial Chamber, and Ms. West
2 asked you whether General Petkovic attended the meeting. You said that
3 you are almost certain that he was not present at the meeting. So let us
4 deal with this and let us do away with any dilemma, although
5 General Praljak talked about it.
6 Let us look at document P6491, please. It is in English and the
7 document is dated the 7th of November, 1993. It's an UNPROFOR document
8 and it says that the commander of the UNPROFOR forces for
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina on that day met up with General Petkovic.
10 Mr. Maric, I can just ask you once again, if you give this some
11 careful thought, have you seen General Petkovic -- had you seen him at
12 that meeting?
13 A. Yes, General Petkovic did not attend that meeting.
14 Q. Now please look at document P6534. 6534. This is an order to
15 attack. That is what is most important for us in these proceedings, the
16 selective shelling of the town of Mostar
17 of General Petkovic. We do not see any signature. We've already said
18 this in this courtroom. When I reacted to my colleague's question, I
19 said that if we already have a statement to the effect that
20 General Petkovic was not in Citluk on that day, we have to be very
21 careful about that. Is it Petkovic's order, or does it just bear his
23 Now I'd like to show you 4D8334, 4D834, 4D834. This is a
24 document that was sent to Kiseljak to Mr. Rajic, to report as soon as
25 possible on what happened in Stupni Do, to report to the Main Staff about
1 that. The order -- or, rather, the letter was not signed by
2 Mr. Petkovic, General Petkovic. On the basis of what General Praljak
3 said, it was done by General Praljak himself because Petkovic was not in
4 Citluk on that day.
5 Tell us now, Mr. Maric, as a soldier if one wants to know exactly
6 who the author of a particular order is, is it important to establish
7 that said person is truly the author of that document or that he took
8 part in the creation of that document?
9 A. It is important to ascertain that.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my re-direct is
11 completed. I would like to thank you for your time.
12 Q. And thank you, Mr. Maric.
13 A. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Maric, the Trial Chamber thanks you for coming to testify for
16 the Defence of General Petkovic. We wish you a safe return home, and I'm
17 going to ask our usher to please escort you out of the courtroom.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It was very
19 pleasant to be here.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For technical reasons we will
21 break for 25 minutes, since the next witness will have -- will enjoy a
22 number of protective measures.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours.
25 [In English] Maybe I would ask for a private session for a
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move to private session,
5 [Private session]
11 Page 48416 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session. Thank
12 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm most grateful and
13 good morning. It's a very brief matter, and it arises out of Exhibit
14 Number 4D00618 that was referred to in re-examination by my learned
15 friend, Ms. Alaburic. Mr. President, as you are aware, that exhibit
16 number has another exhibit number, P11123, which was submitted by the
17 Prosecution arising out of the testimony of Filipovic. There's no
18 decision at the moment as to the admissibility of that particular
19 document. Now, the Defence for Bruno Stojic has some disquiet, as on the
20 face of the documents there is a clear disparity between the B/C/S, the
21 Croatian original, and the English translation. This has been the
22 subject of correspondence with the Office of the Prosecution, and it
23 resulted in a filing of the 14th of December, 2009, in which my learned
24 friend Mr. Scott very kindly at paragraph 3 went some way to allaying
25 some of the concerns of the Defence when he acknowledged that the B/C/S
1 version shows a line which is not on the English version, and they said
2 that it might be considered that the B/C/S version of the document is
3 more authoritative. It may be -- it might be considered -- it's not
4 really clear enough in a criminal trial, it's not good enough from the
5 Defence perspective to have a clear disparity of this nature. It is of
6 course important because the line that's missing bypasses the defence
7 department. It shows a clear direct relationship between the supreme
8 commander and the Main Staff.
9 Your Honours, I do ask the Court give consideration to ordering
10 either - and, in fact, in fairness it should be both - the Defence for
11 General Petkovic and also the Prosecution to re-file the translation so
12 that it accords to what is the original. And so, Your Honours, I do ask
13 that an order be made to the Prosecution in relation to Exhibit P11123
14 and the Defence for Petkovic arising out of 4D00618 to ensure that the
15 translation of the document accords to the B/C/S original. Your Honours,
16 I think that would make sure that there's absolute clarity and no
17 misunderstanding at all, and, Your Honour, that is my application. I'm
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me consult with my fellow
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
22 continues] ... I just want to say, we are really now spending more time
23 on this issue which is not a good idea. I just wish to say for the
24 Petkovic Defence, it's important that the current document looked exactly
25 the way General Petkovic used it in Blaskic, and we are prepared and
1 willing to prepare a new schematic with correctly indicated lines in the
2 English version and that would then be treated as a correction to the
3 English translation. We wish you to know that General Petkovic testified
4 precisely like that in those terms ten years ago and nothing has changed
5 to this day. If you allow us, we will do that without delay.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not quite sure whether I understood you
7 correctly. Are you saying that both these documents must be regarded as
8 originals because both were used in this disparate way in the Blaskic
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Both my colleagues in other
11 Defences and we simply borrowed this schematic from the Blaskic case,
12 which was admitted there. That was the point of the Stojic Defence. We
13 cannot intervene in a document we are showing to you as a document from
14 the Blaskic case, but we recognise the error in the English version and
15 we are prepared to make the same schematic with the correct translation
16 as a new document. And then you will know that the English version of
17 this document is correct. We really think it's important to show you the
18 document as it was in Blaskic; however, we cannot tender a document from
19 another case.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm afraid you have not answered my question,
21 which is a very simple one. In Blaskic were they -- were there these two
22 documents, B/C/S and English, with the same disparity? That is my
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, no. The Croatian text is
25 correct, accurate. The Croatian is not the problem. It's the
1 translation that's the problem.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
3 MR. STEWART: Sorry, I think I'm understanding it perhaps and
4 understanding where the confusion is. If there was a discrepancy in the
5 Blaskic case, which is what I'm understanding between the B/C/S and the
6 English versions, then it looks as if what ought to happen is that the
7 B/C/S version and the English version should have different exhibit
8 numbers in this case. Because otherwise if they retain the same exhibit
9 number, it rather implies that the English matches the B/C/S. So it
10 looks as if in order to be very clear which document is which, they
11 probably ought to be separately identified, but of course I support
12 everything and agree with everything Ms. Alaburic has said. But that may
13 be the practical correct technical solution.
14 MS. WEST: Mr. President, if we can just forestall any decision
15 on this until after the break. I didn't realise this document was going
16 to be used, and the Prosecution will just talk to Mr. Scott.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's break for
18 25 minutes.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
20 [Closed session]
11 Pages 48421-48427 redacted. Closed session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session. The next
25 hearing will be held on Monday at 1415. I wish everyone a nice
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.04 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day of
4 January, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.