Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 49276

 1                           Thursday, 11 February 2010

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.00 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.

 9             This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor against Prlic et

10     al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.

12             Today is Thursday.  I would first of all like to greet the

13     accused, Defence counsel, all the members of the OTP, as well as all the

14     people assisting us.

15             I would, first of all, like to read out an oral decision handed

16     down by the Chamber.

17             Oral decision regarding time allocation in light of

18     Milivoj Petkovic's testimony.

19             On the 28th of January, 2010, the Praljak Defence asked to have

20     two hours overall to cross-examine Milivoj Petkovic.  In addition, the

21     Stojic Defence and the Coric Defence have both asked the Chamber, in two

22     applications filed on the 5th and 9th of February, 2010, respectively, to

23     have an extra hour, in addition to the time that would be allocated to

24     them by the Trial Chamber, pursuant to Practice Direction number 5 of the

25     decision of the 24th of April, 2008, to cross-examine Milivoj Petkovic.

Page 49277

 1     The Petkovic Defence indicated that it did not object to the Praljak

 2     Defence application, nor to the Stojic Defence application, and two

 3     replies filed on 5th and 8th of February, 2010, respectively.

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  "Not practice

 5     direction," but "guide-lines," please.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On 9th of February, 2010, the

 7     Prosecution also filed a reply to the Praljak and Stojic Defence

 8     applications, in which it asked the Trial Chamber, first of all, to amend

 9     its practices as regarded time allocation at the hearing when the Defence

10     witnesses were to testify.  It objects, and that is the second point to

11     the Praljak Defence and Stojic Defence applications.

12             And, lastly, if the Trial Chamber were to grant these two

13     applications, it would ask the Trial Chamber to grant it extra time to

14     cross-examine Milivoj Petkovic, i.e., 50 per cent of their overall time

15     that has been accorded to the Defence teams for their cross-examination.

16             On the 10th of February, 2010, the Petkovic Defence indicated

17     that it objected to the extra time application of the Prosecution, as

18     well as an amendment of the guide-lines as far as time allocation was

19     concerned during the cross-examination of Defence witnesses.  The Trial

20     Chamber notes that all the other parties have not filed a response to the

21     applications filed by Praljak and Stojic Defences and the Prosecution.

22             In addition, due to the fact that the application was filed

23     rather late by the Coric Defence, the Trial Chamber feels that it is not

24     necessary to wait for the answers, if any, by the parties regarding this

25     application.

Page 49278

 1             After having looked into the positions of the various parties,

 2     the Trial Chamber notes that in light of the 65 ter summary of the

 3     testimony of the accused Petkovic, nothing justifies extra time to be

 4     allocated to the parties, pursuant to the decision of 24th of April,

 5     2008, to conduct their respective cross-examinations.  Consequently, the

 6     Trial Chamber decides to dismiss the applications filed by the Stojic

 7     Defence, the Praljak Defence, the Coric Defence, and the Prosecution.

 8             The Trial Chamber, therefore, decides to allocate the time in the

 9     courtroom as follows:  The Petkovic Defence will have six hours to

10     conduct its examination-in-chief of Milivoj Petkovic.  The Prosecution

11     will have six hours to conduct its cross-examination.  The Prlic Defence

12     and Stojic Defence teams, Praljak, Coric, and Pusic Defence teams, will

13     have, all in all, three hours, i.e., 36 minutes each to be shared between

14     them.  The Trial Chamber recalls, however, that the Defence teams can

15     agree between them on how these three hours need to be allocated, and

16     invites them, thereby, to inform the Trial Chamber of the way they wish

17     to proceed, if necessary.

18             Registrar, you have a few numbers to give us, I believe.

19             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  Thank you.

20             Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered

21     through Witness 4D-AA.  The list submitted by 4D shall be given

22     Exhibit IC01170.  The list submitted by 3D shall be given

23     Exhibit IC01171.  And the list submitted by the Prosecution shall be

24     given Exhibit IC01172.  Thank you, Your Honours.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In addition, the Trial Chamber

Page 49279

 1     has been seized, on the 10th of February, 2010, of an application to add

 2     on the 65 ter list documents which are in the annex.  The Trial Chamber

 3     is, therefore, asking the parties, Prosecution and Defence teams, to let

 4     us know today what their positions are on this application to add 16

 5     documents.

 6             I think, Ms. Alaburic, that you had something to say.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

 8             I have to say that I have nothing to inform you about.  I'd just

 9     like to thank you for your decision, and I am pleased to see that we're

10     going to start with the examination today.  But I think Mr. Scott wanted

11     to say something.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.

13             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour, and thank you, Counsel.  Good

14     morning to Your Honours.  Good morning to everyone in the courtroom.

15             Your Honour, I can give the Chamber the Prosecution's position on

16     the additional exhibits now, and I'm happy to say, perhaps especially in

17     light of some of the exchange in the written pleadings that were filed on

18     the other issue, the Prosecution has no objection to those.  And as far

19     as the Prosecution is concerned, they can be added.  Thank you.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

21             We shall, therefore, bring General Petkovic into the

22     courtroom [as interpreted] -- bring him to the witness stand.

23             General, I hope your microphone is working.  For the transcript,

24     I would like to greet you once again.  I would like you to give us your

25     first name, last name, and date of birth, please.

Page 49280

 1             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning to everybody

 2     in the courtroom.

 3             I'm Milivoj Petkovic.  I was born on the 11th of October, 1949,

 4     in Sibenik, the Republic of Croatia.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Like I proceed with other

 6     witnesses, I would like to know from you what your occupation was.

 7             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at present

 8     I'm retired.  Otherwise, I spent my whole working life as an army man,

 9     and the last post was the chief inspector in the Army of the Republic of

10     Croatia.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  General, have you

12     testified before a court of law on the events that unfolded in the former

13     Yugoslavia?  And if that is the case, which court did you testify before

14     and in what case?

15             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I testified

16     before this Tribunal in two cases, the first being the Blaskic trial, and

17     the second was the Kordic and Cerkez trial.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the Blaskic case, were you a

19     Prosecution witness, a Defence witness, or a witness of the Court?

20             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in both

21     cases I was a Court witness.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like you to read the

23     solemn declaration.

24             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I

25     will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Page 49281

 1                           WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC

 2                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  You may sit down.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, what I'm going to tell

 6     you is going to be short, since it is only the third time that you are

 7     taking the stand, so you know full well how all of this takes place.

 8     Moreover, you have attended the proceedings in this courtroom for a

 9     number of years now, so there is nothing new for you.

10             You will have to answer the questions put to you by your counsel,

11     Ms. Alaburic.  After that, I believe I will put some questions to you.

12     Other Defence counsel will then put questions to you, and then the

13     Prosecutor, Mr. Prosecutor, I believe in this case, will cross-examine

14     you.  Ms. Alaburic will undoubtedly take the floor again for her

15     redirect.  This, all in all, should take a few weeks.

16             This is what I wanted to share with you, and I would like to

17     welcome you once again.

18             Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, once

20     again.  And, once again, good morning to you.

21             Once again, good morning to you all.  Good morning to the

22     Prosecution, and particularly Mr. Scott.  Good morning to everybody on

23     the Defence and everybody else who is with us today.

24             I would like to inform you at this point that the Defence of

25     General Petkovic, or, rather, my colleague Mr. Nicholas Stewart and

Page 49282

 1     myself, will not be having any contacts with our client during his

 2     testimony, not even during the examination-in-chief, and our

 3     communication with General Petkovic will be reduced to technical matters,

 4     if he needs a document or any other technical assistance.  And in all

 5     such -- if I do have any such communication, I shall inform the Trial

 6     Chamber so that you know exactly what our contacts with the general have

 7     been, if any.

 8                           Examination by Ms. Alaburic:

 9        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, General.

10        A.   Good morning.

11        Q.   Let's start off with some information that is pertinent from your

12     curriculum vitae.  You know the procedure.  I'm going to read that out,

13     and you're either going to confirm them, if they are correct, or say so

14     if they're not.

15             You said, General, that you were born on the 11th of October in

16     1949, and you were born in Sibenik in the Republic of Croatia?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   As far as your education is concerned, I think it's important for

19     the Trial Chamber to hear that you have -- you graduated from the

20     Pedagogical Gymnasium and then the Military Academy for the Land Army in

21     Belgrade.  And in Belgrade, you studied from 1968 to 1972.  You completed

22     specialist training for missile and anti-armoured units in 1976.  Next,

23     in 1979 you graduated from a training course for military personnel at a

24     military school in Sarajevo.  You graduated in 1983 from the Command

25     Staff School of the JNA.  And in the Republic of Croatia, you took part

Page 49283

 1     in three workshops on the work of NATO command and staff, and those

 2     workshops were organised by retired officers of the United States Army.

 3             General, is the information I've presented correct?

 4        A.   Yes, it is.

 5        Q.   The following information is important for your career.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, we've heard a witness

 7     whose name I won't mention, because he was a protected witness.  He told

 8     us that he also underwent training with American generals.  When he told

 9     me that, I thought that it might be training initiated by the United

10     States of America as part of co-operation with Croatia, or was it some

11     private organisation that had had former US officers to "sell,"

12     quote/unquote, a training course to all those people who wanted to attend

13     this course?  This course you had in these three workshops, this was part

14     of what?  Why was it organised?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was organised at

16     the level of the two defence ministries, the Ministry of Defence of the

17     Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Defence of the United States of

18     America.  The school, made up of retired officers - in this case it was

19     General Vuono who headed it - offered its service all over the world.

20     But the contract wasn't made with the school directly but with the

21     ministry of each individual country, so that General Vuono and his team

22     worked in the Republic of Croatia for many years, starting with the

23     Guards Army and the units there, and the other was with superior

24     commands -- or, rather, the superior commands worked with the superior

25     levels of command and control, from brigadiers onwards, regardless of

Page 49284

 1     whether they were commanders of brigades or whether they were in the

 2     staff of the operative zone or in the Main Staff.  That's how the groups

 3     were formed.  And this same group - let me just finish - for

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina, this same group led by General Vuono, according to

 5     the programme, it was called "Equip and Train," and after the Dayton

 6     Agreement it provided services to officers in the Republic of

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina, or now rather the Army of the Federation.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just to finish off with this

 9     question, can you tell me on what date you started this training course

10     as part of the signature of an agreement between Croatia and the United

11     States of America?  When did you start your training?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the training course

13     in the Republic of Croatia started -- I think it was in 1976.  I'm sorry,

14     I said "1976."  I meant 1996.  That was when it started, with the lower

15     structures, that is to say, the units, and then the following year it was

16     continued at the command levels, according to a Ministry of Defence plan,

17     and the plan was adopted by the group.  And I became part of it in 1996.

18     And since there were several subjects that were offered - you could

19     choose between several subjects - I chose three relating to the staff

20     command and NATO structures and so on and so forth, and that went on for

21     seven or, rather, ten days.

22             Perhaps General Praljak can put the date right.

23             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I don't want to say

24     anything leading, but I think that General Petkovic has said "1996"

25     twice, so I'd like him to think again about when the general started

Page 49285

 1     working in Croatia.  Thank you.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I started in 1996.  They started in

 3     1994.  So 1994 was the beginning, and various structures were operating,

 4     and I became part of that in 1996, in the latter part.  There were others

 5     after me, but I thought it was sufficient to complete that part.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I asked you a question about

 7     the date, it was because it was important, if I asked you a question

 8     about the date.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] The translation hadn't been

10     completed, and, General Petkovic, you are speaking extremely fast.  Could

11     you slow down, please?  The interpreters would be very grateful if you

12     would slow down, please.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, please slow

14     down.

15             What I wanted to say is this:  If I put this question about the

16     date, it is because it is important.  And I am discovering that this

17     training started in 1994.  You attended in 1996, but the training course

18     was actually organised in 1994.  Was this training organised in 1994,

19     when the conflict still existed between the HVO and the ABiH?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in 1994 I did not

21     attend that training course.  On the 5th of August, 1994, I left the HVO,

22     and the first time I attended the course was in 1996.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question.  I'm not

24     going to dwell on this.  Maybe you are unable to answer the question.  If

25     that's the case, please let us know.

Page 49286

 1             When you started your course in 1996, which was an official

 2     course since it was part of an agreement between two governments, as far

 3     as you know, did the US government select the Croatian people going on

 4     the course or did they accept all those people who signed up for the

 5     training course, without the Americans selecting anyone?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the choice was made

 7     by the representatives of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of

 8     Croatia, and a part of us who had completed the JNA schools joined up

 9     only at the end.  They said we didn't need the first part, the part of

10     the course which was taught at lower levels.  So the Republic of

11     Croatia -- rather, the Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff, based on

12     the development plan for the Personnel Department and each individual

13     officer, they selected the people to attend those courses.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, thank you.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   General, now a few words about your career.

17             You became employed in the Yugoslav People's Army, and you were

18     in Slovenia.  You served in Slovenia from 1972 until 1979.  Then you

19     transferred to Zadar, and you were at the Military Academy there from

20     1979 to 1991, and you worked there dealing with the training of artillery

21     cadres.  Your last rank in the Yugoslav People's Army was a

22     lieutenant-colonel.  You left the JNA in July 1991, and on the 1st of

23     August, 1991, on the basis of a decision terminating your service, the

24     status of officer of the JNA was equally terminated officially.  You next

25     joined the Croatian Army, and you co-operated with the Croatian Army

Page 49287

 1     since the 26th of July as a volunteer.  Yes, July.  And we said on the

 2     1st of August, 1991, you officially left the JNA, and you officially

 3     became a commander for the defence of Sibenik, first of all, on the basis

 4     of a contract with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of

 5     Croatia, and from the 1st of December, 1991 -- or, rather, November 1991,

 6     with the Republic of Croatia Ministry of Defence.

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel repeat the date, please.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   On the 15th of November, 1991, you were deployed to the Command

10     of the Split Operative Zone in the Operations Department or for

11     Operational Affairs.  And on the 14th of April, 1992, you were deployed

12     to Grude, to Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the Forward Command Post of the

13     Southern Front, as deputy commander to Janko Bobetko.  And from that time

14     onwards, on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you spent until the 24th

15     of July, 1993, as chief of the Main Staff of the HVO.  And after that

16     period, until the 9th of November, 1993, you were deputy commander of the

17     Main Staff of the HVO, that is to say, General Praljak.  And after that,

18     from the 9th of November, 1993, until the 26th of April, 1994, you were

19     deputy chief of the HVO Main Staff, Ante Roso.  And from the 26th of

20     April, 1994, to the 5th of August, 1994, you were chief of the Main Staff

21     of the HVO.

22             At that time, you left Bosnia-Herzegovina to return to the

23     Croatian Army.  And from the 1st of November, 1994, you were deployed as

24     chief of staff of the Military District of Osijek.  And six months later,

25     you were transferred as deputy commander of the Osijek Military District.

Page 49288

 1     After that, from the 23rd of March, 1996, to the 3rd of January, 2003,

 2     you were commander of the Military District of Ston, with its

 3     headquarters in Dubrovnik.  And from the 1st of January, 2003 -- or the

 4     3rd of January, 2003, until April of that same year, you were the chief

 5     inspector of defence of the Republic of Croatia.  You retired in July

 6     2004 as colonel of the Croatian Army.  That was your last rank.

 7             Is that information correct, General?

 8        A.   Yes, it is.  Perhaps I could make a correction.  I officially

 9     left the JNA on the 1st of August.  That's when I received my papers from

10     the JNA.  The fact that I left several days before was their goodwill to

11     allow me to leave the barracks.  They said, Leave the barracks and you

12     can wait for your papers to arrive.  So although I was still in the JNA

13     for a few days, I wasn't actually working, and that was a sort of gift

14     from them.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Let me just correct the

16     transcript, because the last rank you held in the army was

17     colonel-general of the Croatian Army.  Yes, that's fine now, thank you.

18        Q.   Tell me, General - you have corrected me - when we discussed your

19     CV, you mentioned that you left the JNA based on an official decision.

20     What was the reason for your insistence on the paperwork to be done in

21     accordance with the rules?

22        A.   Your Honours, I had the right to leave the JNA after eight years

23     of service because my contract that I signed with them only stipulated

24     that I stay twice the length of my military training or education, and

25     that only lasted four years.  So after eight years, I could have applied

Page 49289

 1     to be discharged, but I held out until 1991.  That was the year when

 2     Slovenia and Croatia were announcing their departure from Yugoslavia.

 3     Croatia was already facing a three months' moratorium.  The Artillery

 4     Training Centre in which I served, on the 22nd of June started relocating

 5     some of its elements outside the Zadar Garrison for reasons of security,

 6     as they said.  And then the School of Reserve Officers, to which I

 7     returned, for security reasons was relocated to the Benkovac Garrison,

 8     which was the center of the rebellion in Croatia.  You can imagine, in

 9     Zadar, a predominantly Croatian city, the army feels unsafe and moves to

10     Benkovac.  Other elements of the Training Centre were preparing to

11     relocate to Sarajevo.  That was the first option, and if that would prove

12     unfeasible, Belgrade was the second option.

13             It became clear to me that, in practice, there were no real

14     negotiations about the reorganisation of Croatia.  Being a Croat and born

15     in Croatia, where all my relatives are, it was unimaginable to me to

16     leave Croatia to go with the JNA to Macedonia, or any other place, to

17     continue living there and make a living that way as then already things

18     started happening that shocked the Croatian public, such as the events at

19     Plitvice, where allegedly rebel Serbs who actually came out of JNA APCs

20     attacked the police force of Croatia, and then Borovo Selo.  Behind all

21     these incidents, there was the JNA, because it is obvious from the

22     footage made that these weren't Serb volunteers or rebel Serbs, but

23     rather the JNA.

24             So in Zadar, we raised the question why the railroad lines out of

25     Benkovac, Knin, Gracac, Zagreb was blocked and why the army did not

Page 49290

 1     unblock that important railroad line in Croatia.  The reply we received

 2     was that it wasn't for us to worry about that, that there was a general

 3     staff, the so-called SSNO, who was monitoring the situation and would

 4     take adequate steps.  In the meantime --

 5        Q.   General, I just want to ask you to cut short this part because

 6     we'll run out of time.

 7        A.   All right.  So, basically, the JNA in the Zadar Garrison was

 8     planned to leave Zadar and move out of Croatia, and that didn't suit me.

 9     I was born neither in Serbia, nor in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and without

10     Croatia there could be no Yugoslavia in which I wanted to live.  I didn't

11     want to run away, which some people had done, and there was a

12     recommendation by the federal secretary for everybody to leave who felt

13     like that, and that's what I did.  I was even escorted by my commander to

14     the gate.

15        Q.   Tell us, General, until that time, until the late 1980s, were you

16     satisfied with your life and work in the JNA?

17        A.   Your Honours, yes, I certainly was.  The salary wasn't high, but

18     the salaries were still higher than those paid out in the private or

19     social-owned economy.  My wife -- or, rather, I even was allotted an

20     apartment within three months.  Others had to wait for years.  My career

21     advanced rapidly.  So I was, all in all, satisfied, but the time came

22     when I had to leave the JNA, which became what it became at that time.

23        Q.   You told us, General, that in 2003 you were appointed chief

24     inspector of defence of the Republic of Croatia.  Tell us, was that a

25     promotion or not?  Was it an advancement in your military career or

Page 49291

 1     something else?

 2        A.   With regard to everything I had gone through in Croatia until

 3     that time, it was an advancement in my career.  Having said that, I would

 4     like to add that I left the HVO as chief of main staff of an army, that

 5     was my title, and I returned to the Croatian Army, to zone of operations,

 6     as a third man there, because they said to me, Well, you'll be given the

 7     post of operations officer, and your next post will be that of a staff

 8     officer.  Take it or leave it.  I accepted.  And where I had left off in

 9     the Croatian Army, that's the same level at which I started again after

10     this interval.

11        Q.   Who was the minister of defence at that time, General?

12        A.   It was Mr. Gojko Susak.

13        Q.   No, in 2003.

14        A.   It was Ms. -- I'm stalled.

15        Q.   Zeljka Antunovic?

16        A.   Yes, Zeljka Antunovic, a member of the SDP.  Before her, it was

17     Mr. Rados, who was also from the coalition government.

18        Q.   "SDP" stands for the Social Democratic Party; right?

19        A.   Yes, that's what they say.

20        Q.   Tell us, who was president of Croatia at that time in 2003?

21        A.   Mr. Stipe Mesic.  He still has a few days left and then he'll be

22     leaving.

23        Q.   Tell us, General, do you consider yourself a professional

24     soldier?

25        A.   I most certainly do, because I have everything it takes to be a

Page 49292

 1     professional soldier.

 2        Q.   Tell us your personal view, General.  Does the quality of work

 3     of -- or can the quality of work of a professional soldier depend on the

 4     programme of the ruling party?  Or, in other words, you will be a good

 5     soldier/officer if the Christian democrats are in power, but you will be

 6     less good if the social democrats are in power?  What do you say to that?

 7        A.   Your Honours, the quality of your work only depends on what you

 8     know and how you go about your work.  Another issue is whether the party

 9     that is in power at the time appreciates it appropriately.  There were

10     instances of people being selected by computer to retire because there

11     was a down-sizing process in place in Croatia that included officers,

12     NCOs, and soldiers.  I must add that the political suitability also

13     played a role in that respect, and that is how the computer recognised

14     them.  And when I say "computer," that's, of course, a metaphor.

15        Q.   Speaking from the point of view of a professional soldier, should

16     he go about his job regardless of who is in power or will he behave

17     differently depending on that element?

18        A.   There can be no difference.  We all know what it means to be a

19     professional, and in your working hours you must go about your job

20     professionally, irrespective of who is in power.  Another issue is how

21     that will be appreciated, because the criteria can be different, you

22     know.

23        Q.   Tell us, General, what's your opinion?  Should the objectives of

24     an army be set by the civilian authorities or can the army, itself,

25     define the reasons of its existence and the objectives of its actions?

Page 49293

 1        A.   Your Honours, it is clear that these objectives are set by

 2     politics rather than the military.  The military must implement these

 3     decisions.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, regarding where you

 5     were positioned, I have two questions to ask you.  The first one is the

 6     following:

 7             When you were within the JNA, were you a member of the Yugoslav

 8     Communist Party?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  I joined the

10     League of Communists during the second year of military academy.  And to

11     be honest, when I left the JNA I forgot to leave the League of

12     Communists, but probably when I left the army I probably automatically

13     ceased to be a member of that organisation.  But throughout my army

14     career, except for the two years at the beginning of my training, I was a

15     member of the League of Communists; that is, 21 years in all.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when you were a member of

17     the League of Communists, was it because it matched your ideals, or did

18     you have to become a member if you wanted to reach higher ranks?  In

19     other words, was it not possible to reach higher ranks if you were not a

20     member of the League of Communists, so did you join for that reason, or

21     did you join because of ideological reasons?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me explain.

23             When you are admitted to a military academy, they start

24     monitoring you, they say, You're studying well, and so on, and the party

25     is present in your platoon, your company, in your generation.  It's

Page 49294

 1     there.  You cannot do anything without the party being involved.  Once

 2     you complete a training that lasts for a month, it is normal to analyse

 3     that training subsequently, and the military structures take part in

 4     that, but there's also the party that has its say and points out how

 5     party members fared in that training and how they influenced others, who

 6     were not party members, to go about their duties and responsibilities.

 7             So you couldn't make a single move in your unit without the party

 8     being present.  So sometimes there were the three levels talking about

 9     the same thing; the military collective, then the command structure of

10     that collective, and the party, and there was a fourth.  That was the

11     Union of Socialist Youth.  It was also present in the military and

12     military schools.  So there were two political structures that also had

13     its say about all of us.

14             For example, toward the end of my first year in military school,

15     the party also assessed my performance, what I could have done better, or

16     worse, or whatever.  So the party was present everywhere, and what -- and

17     I want to say something else, too.

18             It was essential to your career to be a party member, so people

19     considered that -- well, that party sanctions are a more serious

20     impediment to your advancement than disciplinary punishment.  If you were

21     thrown out of the party, you could remain in the JNA, but you wouldn't be

22     promoted for 50 years, and they would find you a position somewhere out

23     of the way.  So the party basically determined your development and your

24     advancement.  You couldn't become a division commander without being a

25     member of the League of Communists, or even battalion commander.  You

Page 49295

 1     could be company command, because they would think, Well, he's still

 2     young, he still has time to join the party.  But at the meetings of that

 3     organisation, they would try to induce you to join.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a second question to put

 5     to you.

 6             When you left the HVO, you said that you went back to the

 7     Croatian Army, and you were the third man or number three in an operative

 8     zone.  And I believe I understood, but perhaps I'm wrong.  Through what

 9     you said, I had the feeling that, in a way, you were rather disappointed.

10     Perhaps you found that given that you had a very high rank within the

11     HVO, you could have expected to have a similar rank or position, whereas,

12     in fact, you were only number three.  And you also specified that at the

13     time, the minister of defence was Mr. Susak.

14             Could you perhaps tell me if this appointment did not take into

15     account the role you had within the HVO?  Given that you were a volunteer

16     within the HVO, the Croatian Army, did it have to take this on board?

17     Was that some sort of a sanction, or was there any other reason for this

18     appointment?  Could you perhaps tell us what is your personal opinion as

19     to why you were appointed at that position?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wouldn't say that

21     it was any sort of punishment or me being ignored.  At that time, Croatia

22     had a lot of its own commanders and generals who had been in war in

23     Croatia all that time, so it would not have been appropriate,

24     irrespective of the fact that I'd been the chief of the Main Staff there,

25     to have people removed because of me.  I was very glad that neither the

Page 49296

 1     minister of defence nor the chief of staff made such moves, although I

 2     had been promised that I would be in charge of military education.  That

 3     was one of the options.  But there was a person there who had two years

 4     until retirement, after having worked there for three or four years, and

 5     they didn't want to eliminate them, and that was okay.  I accepted the

 6     post of the chief of staff in the Military District Osijek because I'd

 7     been told how the professional developments would go there.

 8             My first deputy soon joined the Office of the President of the

 9     Republic, and there were also announcements that the commander would also

10     leave and join the Ministry of Defence.  So within a very short period of

11     time, I would become the commander of the military region.  However, it

12     didn't happen that way.  The commander stayed on a bit longer, and in the

13     meantime the Croatian Army was reorganised and a new military district

14     was set up in the south of Croatia under number 4, Military District 4,

15     and what was offered to me was either to wait for the commander in Osijek

16     to be reassigned and then for me to take his position, or I was offered

17     to go to Dubrovnik.  Being a Dalmatian, I accepted to go to Dubrovnik,

18     and in Dubrovnik I established a military district.

19             And then after seven years, due to a new reorganisation of the

20     Croatian Army, I closed the military district.  And I hold the record in

21     those terms, because I was a military district commander for seven years.

22     I didn't object to being the commander of that district, because

23     Dubrovnik is a wonderful place.  I don't like big towns like Zagreb.  I

24     had peace and quiet over there.  And at the end of the day, when I was

25     offered that position -- or, rather, when I was offered to become the

Page 49297

 1     inspector of defence, I had two or three more years before retirement,

 2     and that's why I accepted that position.  And I remained in the position

 3     until I was transferred to Scheveningen, to the Detention Unit, and here

 4     I don't hold any function or positions, as you know.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 6             Ms. Alaburic, please proceed.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   General, what is your position?  In a well-organised society, do

 9     civilian authorities exert control over the military?

10        A.   The civilian authorities do control the military.  I -- as the

11     chief inspector of defence in the Republic of Croatia, I was not

12     subordinated to the supreme commander.  I was subordinated to the

13     minister of defence, and the minister of defence is a member of the

14     Government of the Republic of Croatia, i.e., a member of the civilian

15     authorities, which means I was not subordinated to the supreme commander

16     and I didn't fall under the category of those who were members of the

17     armed forces.  I was in charge of a department that, as a whole, was a

18     department of the Government of the Republic of Croatia; i.e., a civilian

19     department which controlled the armed forces in Croatia.

20        Q.   Still, if we are trying to define the position that applies to

21     other social communities, irrespective of the concrete situation in

22     Croatia, would you say that it is normal and that the civilian

23     authorities should, indeed, control the military?

24        A.   Absolutely.  It would be bad if it was the other way around or if

25     the army controlled itself.  That army would be good for nothing.  Or far

Page 49298

 1     be it from anybody for the military to control the civilian authorities.

 2     That would be bad.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I listened carefully

 4     to the question put to you, and I listened even more carefully to your

 5     response.  If I understand correctly, you're saying that the Ministry of

 6     Defence in Croatia was controlled by civilian political authorities, and

 7     if there were any military actions, they would be under the remit of

 8     political authorities.

 9             At the time of the events that unfolded that are mentioned in the

10     indictment, the president was Mr. Tudjman, army general but also

11     president of the Republic of Croatia.  Would this mean that everything he

12     may have done and everything that the HV may have done has always been,

13     as far as you are concerned, controlled by the civilian political

14     authorities?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the supreme commander

16     of the army has its authorities within the system of control and command,

17     and you can't control him, as such.  However, all the other segments in

18     the army are under the control of the civilian authorities.  In Croatia,

19     for example, the government issued a decision on the reduction of the

20     strength of the military.  It was not the commander -- the supreme

21     commander who issued that decision.  It was the Croatian government that

22     took into account its budgetary constraints and issued a decision for the

23     Croatian Army to be reduced firstly by 30 per cent, then in the second

24     period by a further 20 per cent.  Therefore, a decision on the reduction

25     in numbers was issued by the Ministry of Defence, and the Main Staff was

Page 49299

 1     just the operational segment that had to respect dead-lines and implement

 2     the decision on the reduction of the strength of the Croatian Army.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stream-line my question.

 4     It is an important question, in my view.  And every time I put a

 5     question, remember, it is always an important question after four years

 6     of trial.

 7             If the Croatian Army intervened in the Republic of

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina, does this mean, according to you, that this falls

 9     within the exclusive competence of the supreme commander, namely, at the

10     time President Tudjman, or does this have to be approved by the civilian

11     authorities, either the government, parliament, or the people, through

12     elections?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll try and be even

14     more careful in answering your question.

15             The Croatian Army, with all of its elements that it had, did not

16     intervene in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means that it didn't send its

17     formations as they existed and as they were.  It never established a

18     command structure that would have been in charge of all that.  The

19     Croatian Army at first, which was also the time when I joined, sent a

20     group of officers to organise, prepare, and deploy forces which existed

21     in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.  During the war,

22     there were some elements that belonged to the Croatian Army, but they

23     were volunteers.  The chain of command finished with the Main Staff of

24     the Croatian Defence Council.  Their command chain certainly did not go

25     to the nearest operative command in Croatia or even the central command

Page 49300

 1     in Zagreb.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You must have noticed that when

 3     I put my question, I started off by saying "if," so this was a

 4     hypothetical question.  And you answered by saying, if I have understood

 5     your answer correctly, you ascertain that the Croatian Army did not

 6     intervene in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This is what you're

 7     saying, isn't it?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's exactly what I said,

 9     because when I think about the Croatian Army, I think about the

10     organisational form, with all the elements belonging to it.  For me, the

11     organisational structure of the Croatian Army are not 100 or 150 men that

12     arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a majority of them were -- or

13     99 per cent were nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina who had fought in

14     Croatia and then returned to their homeland.  It's an entirely different

15     thing, to my mind, than when we say Croatia and the Croatian Army.

16             Let me tell you, in the month of October, we had 10.000

17     something -- I don't know the exact number.  We had about 10.000 soldiers

18     who hailed from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  They were

19     absent for a reason, because they still had their status and there is

20     only three in the Croatian military.  If the HVO had been more active,

21     they could have had two or three more brigades composed of such troops of

22     volunteers.  So when we say "the Croatian Army," then one has to take

23     into account a system that is capable of performing a task, a system

24     which has its head and a tail, it has its organisation in the command

25     structure.

Page 49301

 1             Since we have touched upon that, let me tell you that those

 2     elements that found themselves around the borders between

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, they pursued the principles of war

 4     because they opposed an army that would have consisted a whole in the

 5     Republic of Croatia, in its south, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  It was the

 6     OG-2 of the JNA under the command of General Strugar, and in Herzegovina

 7     the commander of one part was General Perisic, and in Croatia from

 8     Dubrovnik to Neum, the commanders were Admiral Zec and Jokic, I believe.

 9             So that was one military, a military that had taken an operative

10     and strategic area and included Bosnia and Croatia, and from there it

11     carried out maneuvers and attacks against the territory of the Republic

12     of Croatia.  In those cases, the Army of the Republic of Croatia did

13     cross over the border into the territory that belonged to the Republic of

14     Bosnia and Herzegovina, quite justifiably so, but it was not at the very

15     beginning.  It was only from November 1991.  And then, on the 6th of

16     December, 1991, when the Croatian Army finally took some 15 kilometres of

17     the front-line south of Stolac, the so-called Stolovi, and then we called

18     that area "TG-2," you will remember that, it was only then that the JNA

19     forces did not manage to fool the defence of the Republic of Croatia

20     which, up to then, exclusively defended itself in a narrow part of the

21     Republic of Croatia; whereas, from its rear, from the territory of

22     Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was attacked by the forces of the JNA.  And it was

23     only when somebody realised that that territory of defence had to be

24     extended 10 kilometres deeper into Herzegovina because those were the

25     same forces, both in Croatia and Herzegovina.  It was only then that it

Page 49302

 1     was stopped.  They didn't manage to take Neum.  They were stuck there for

 2     several months.  And then in 1992, they were pushed back towards

 3     Dubrovnik.  And in the month of October of that year, they were chased

 4     away to the territory of the then Yugoslavia, currently Montenegro.

 5             I believe that somebody else will ask me about that.  I certainly

 6     hope so.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Rest assured, there will be

 8     other questions.  Thank you for your answer, anyway, which, unless I'm

 9     mistaken, enables me to understand that you are saying that the Croatian

10     Army intervened on a distance of 10 kilometres because of the action

11     conducted by the JNA, but that on the 6th of December, 1991 - you are

12     very precise - one should consider that the Croatian Army put an end to

13     its action and did not take part in a military action in the Republic of

14     Bosnia and Herzegovina, which you define by giving us all its components.

15             Have I summed up your position adequately?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the 6th of

17     December, the Croatian Army stopped the advancement of the JNA from

18     Stolac across a sector called "Stolovi," in the direction of Metkovic and

19     the Neretva Valley, and along the Croatian literal [as interpreted] down

20     to Neum, which means that on the 6th of December the JNA forces were

21     finally stopped on that line and never again after that.

22             Not only did they not cross that line, but also in the month of

23     May 1992, the Croatian Army launched an offensive to push the JNA forces

24     towards the very south of the Republic of Croatia.  And then on the 15th

25     of October - I believe that I am not mistaken about the date - the

Page 49303

 1     international community intervened.  Your fellow countryman

 2     General Morillon conducted the negotiations between General Strugar and

 3     General Bobetko on the Invincible, and it was then agreed that the JNA

 4     would be given a possibility to retreat with dignity, that the Croatian

 5     Army would stop its advancement and allow them to retreat.

 6             And then the international community sent military observers on

 7     the border with Montenegro, which was in Yugoslavia at the time, and the

 8     peninsula of Prevlaka, and I had the honour, as a commander who had

 9     arrived in 1996, to co-operate with the military observers.  Truth be

10     told, they came to me, to my command post.  I couldn't go to their

11     command post, because their command post was in the area which was under

12     the UN mandate, and not a single Croatian soldier, including generals,

13     was allowed to go to that territory.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know, to be very

15     specific, on what date exactly did the HV, with its flags and banners and

16     car license plates and soldiers, crossed over the border again of the

17     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?  On what date, exactly?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croatian Army, that was

19     sometime at the end of November 1991, after the fall of Slano, a place

20     called Slano, and then Smokovljani and Visocani - it could not be

21     defended in that narrow part because there were attacks from the flank -

22     put part of its forces, let's say some 10 kilometres away from its

23     border, to cover the area towards Stolac because the JNA was attacking

24     from that axis.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you're a specialist,

Page 49304

 1     and my questions are extremely specific.  Try to answer my questions very

 2     specifically.

 3             My question was as follows:  According to you, on what date,

 4     exactly, did the HV cross over the border again of the Republic of Bosnia

 5     and Herzegovina?  That's my question.  Either you know or you don't know.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I'll tell you is this:  In the

 7     second half of November -- now, what date it was exactly, I don't know,

 8     but it was 1991 -- I can't give you an exact date.  That's the most I can

 9     do, because on the 15th of November I arrived in the Split Operative

10     Zone, and then several days later -- but, anyway, on the 16th I came out

11     onto the area where the JNA forces were stopped.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I have understood what you

13     are saying, on the 1st of January, 1992 -- I'm just taking this date

14     randomly.  On the 1st of January, 1992, you state that in the Republic of

15     Bosnia and Herzegovina, within its boundaries as part of the Yugoslav

16     Federation, there wasn't a single soldier of the Republic of Croatia

17     left?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that's not what I said.  What I

19     said is this:  In that southern part in the second half of November 1991,

20     it entered, and it stayed there right up until May 1992, when it moved

21     from those positions towards the JNA and towards Dubrovnik to liberate

22     the area.  And then they penetrated 300 metres or 1 kilometre, depending

23     on the configuration of the terrain, how far in depth they went, to allow

24     them to stop the attacks coming from Eastern Herzegovina, or, rather, it

25     was Bosnia and Herzegovina, because the Croatian Army, as it attacked

Page 49305

 1     along the borders, suffered onslaughts from the Serbian Army and the JNA

 2     until it withdrew from the flanks from Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So that's how

 3     it had to position itself, and that's what General Beneta said, too.  He

 4     was in that region along Popovo Polje right up until the hinterland of

 5     Dubrovnik.

 6             And now the Serb side always insisted on the Croatian Army

 7     withdrawing from that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on the 6th of

 8     April, 1993, there were negotiations in Sarajevo, and the three

 9     commanders from Bosnia were invited, three of us.  General Cervenko came

10     on behalf of the Croatian Army to negotiate with Mladic, and then he

11     said, When you withdraw from there, we will withdraw, too, from the 100

12     metres or 200 or 300 metres, because it's a narrow belt down there.

13             So that's what happened, and that's how it stayed right up

14     until -- well, I left the area, myself, by the Dayton Agreements.  And

15     then after the Dayton Accords, in that area, which is where the Croatian

16     Army was, soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council entered because they

17     were now the legal army in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  So it's this

18     Popovo Polje area that was taken over by the soldiers of the HVO, and in

19     that way the Army of the Republic of Croatia was no longer in that part

20     of the territory.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Petkovic --

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With your permission, I'd just

23     like to correct the transcript to avoid any misunderstandings.

24             General, what was interpreted was that you stayed until Dayton.

25     We're not quite clear.

Page 49306

 1        Q.   When you mentioned the Dayton Accords, how did you link the

 2     Dayton Accords up?

 3        A.   The Croatian Army, in that border belt towards Dubrovnik, that is

 4     to say, this very narrow belt towards Dubrovnik, it stayed there -- it

 5     remained there at positions which entered into Bosnia-Herzegovina for a

 6     bit until the Dayton Accords, up to the Dayton Accords, because then the

 7     army of the Croatian Defence Council was sent into the area, which was

 8     then the legal army of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the

 9     Croatian Army left.  So it was no longer down there; it was just along

10     its border.

11             And let me tell you that in 1996, in June, I, as the commander,

12     was -- demobilised the last 1.000 soldiers of the Croatian Army and

13     handed over the border to MUP.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, thanks for

15     your answers, which are now very specific.

16             I think I understand that the Croatian Army stayed in a border

17     area which was approximately 100 to 200 or 300 metres long.  We're not

18     going to measure this.  The army remained in this border area until the

19     Dayton Accords.  And then after the Dayton Accords, the Croatian Army

20     left the area and got replaced by the HVO; is this right?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.  And I think that

22     after that, it was the MUP forces that arrived, because I met one of us

23     here.  It was Valentin Coric, actually.  He was the chief of MUP of that

24     district.  And from the other side of the border, he deployed the forces

25     of the civilian police there, so that the problem was definitely solved

Page 49307

 1     there, the civilian police on the Croatian side and the civilian police

 2     on the side of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, until the

 4     Dayton Accords, the international community knew that you were there in

 5     this border area, and it tried, together with the Serbs and the Muslims,

 6     to settle this issue.  But clearly this issue was only settled after the

 7     Dayton Accords?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, you couldn't

 9     have any guarantees from the Army of Republika Srpska.  That was the

10     situation.  You couldn't expect any guarantees from them as to what they

11     would do at any point in time, because you just had the elevation from

12     which you were defending yourselves, and if you left those positions you

13     were in the sea.  There was no depth, nothing.  And let me just tell you

14     of one particular detail.

15             When the Yugoslav Army, in mid-October 1992, had to pull out

16     pursuant to an agreement, then they thought up something, and that was

17     that the Army of Republika Srpska should enter the region they had to

18     leave, regardless of the agreement confirmed by General Morillon, so --

19     and that was the game they were playing.  However, General Bobetko saw

20     through that and arrived at that part of the border before them.  And

21     I think that they were pushed back towards Trebinje.  And then the JNA

22     forces and volunteers from Serbia were transferred to the Nevesinje and

23     Bileca area, because had they lost the sea belt, they wanted to go back

24     to the Neretva River.  And in that case, we keep talking about

25     Operation Bura, but nobody says why that was undertaken.

Page 49308

 1             Now, the volunteer forces from Serbia-Montenegro were transferred

 2     to the Eastern Herzegovina region to try and get back to the

 3     Neretva River Valley because they had lost the access to the sea when

 4     they had seized the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and that is why

 5     this Operation Bura that we keep mentioning had to be undertaken, to

 6     attack the concentration of these forces that had prepared to move

 7     forward, and that's when these forces were routed.  The volunteer forces

 8     were very small in number in Eastern Herzegovina, anyway.

 9             I thought I was speaking slowly.

10             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Now, General, you see how it's very difficult to speak slowly.

12             Now, to go back to General Antonetti's [as interpreted] question,

13     does that mean that along that border belt of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the

14     Croatian Army was there after the Washington Agreement was signed?  Is

15     that what that means?

16        A.   Yes.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A correction to the transcript.

18     I'm not a general.  I'd like this to be corrected.

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was told that I did

20     not make a mistake, but I apologise if I misspoke anyway.

21        Q.   So it was after the Washington Agreements.  Now, the presence of

22     the Croatian Army in that border belt of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the

23     Muslim side of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was that a problem of

24     any kind for them?

25        A.   No, Your Honours, it was no problem at all.  If you look at

Page 49309

 1     Sefer Halilovic's directive, then we can see that he wished to tie in the

 2     forces of the army in Herzegovina with the forces of the Republic of

 3     Croatia and plan to take Bileca with them, or, rather, Nevesinje, Bileca,

 4     and Trebinje, and in the western parts against -- towards Livno and

 5     Grahovo.  And in his directive, he is tying in the forces as his

 6     right-hand neighbour, the forces of Croatia, and is counting on their

 7     support and reinforcement to take control of the Nevesinje, Bileca, and

 8     Trebinje area.  That is what the directive was for the defence of

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We've seen that directive here in the courtroom, and

10     we studied it.  But he referred to the Agreement on Friendship and

11     Co-operation for the two neighbouring countries.

12        Q.   Tell us now, please, General, give us the date of the document,

13     Sefer Halilovic's directive for defence.  What date was that?

14        A.   I think it was September 1992.  I can't remember the exact date,

15     but we can take a look at it on the document and see.

16             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] For the record, I'm going to say

17     it's 4D1240.  That's the document number.  It's not in your binder.  The

18     date of the document is the 10th of September, 1992, and it has the state

19     of a sovereign exhibit.

20        Q.   General, you also mention the Agreement on Friendship and

21     Co-operation.  Now, can you tell us what that agreement was?  What kind

22     of document was that, and when was the agreement reached and signed?

23        A.   The agreement was signed in July 1992.  Whether it was the 21st

24     of July, I'm not quite sure, 1992, as an inter-state agreement between

25     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.  Now,

Page 49310

 1     before that notes of goodwill -- of an intention of goodwill were

 2     exchanged, because Mr. Izetbegovic couldn't leave Sarajevo at the time,

 3     and this was the first time he left going to Zagreb to sign the Agreement

 4     on Friendship and Co-operation.

 5             And I think that in point 8 of that agreement, it talks about a

 6     joint enemy and an attack on Croatia from the territory of

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there's mention of co-operation along the border

 8     between the two countries.  And it was on the basis of this agreement

 9     that I became a member of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The

10     HVO was recognised as a component part of the armed forces of

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That was the position.

12        Q.   Well, we'll deal with that in due course.  But one more question

13     to you, General, as a professional soldier.

14             For a professional soldier, where does -- at what point do you

15     have the right to refuse to carry out an order?  Where is that line

16     drawn?

17        A.   At all times, if in complying I would be consciously committing a

18     crime, and if the person who was conscious of his order being a crime,

19     the person issuing it, and if I am conscious of the fact that if I were

20     to carry out the order, I would be committing a crime.

21        Q.   You've given us a lot of elements there, and it is a subject for

22     a more extensive discussion, I would say.  Perhaps we'll do that on some

23     other occasion, but let's start off with the first topic that we decided

24     to discuss during your testimony, and that is your arrival in

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Page 49311

 1             Yes.  My colleagues tell me it's time for the break, so perhaps

 2     this is a good moment to take the break.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you are going to address

 4     this topic, we shall have the break now, a 20-minute break.

 5                           --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.

 6                           --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Court is back in session.

 8             Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   General, we have so far used up 27 minutes, so I would like to

11     ask you to be concise, and I also remind you to speak slowly because it

12     would be a shame for the transcript not to record everything you said.

13             To the question of Judge Antonetti, you have explained rather

14     extensively the circumstances of your arrival in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

15     which is our following topic.  I believe that we can start with a map

16     right away, because that will be easiest.

17             I would like to call document 4D2024.  I don't know whether you

18     have my binders next to you.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, when there is a

20     new document, I've just discovered that we received three binders, but

21     when there is a new document which hasn't been admitted, please tell us.

22     Please say that it's a new document, a new exhibit, and in that case

23     I can look more closely at those documents.

24             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we always mark the

25     documents in your binders with stickers in two colours, yellow and

Page 49312

 1     orange, yellow for the documents that are not exhibits, orange for those

 2     that are.  I believe it will be clear, and I hope no mistakes have been

 3     made.  Moreover, in the lower half of the document, you will see a mark

 4     showing the status of the document.

 5        Q.   General, can you see the documents in front of you?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   You're looking at it on the screen.  Tell us, General, do you

 8     know this map?

 9        A.   Yes, Your Honours, I know this map.  I drew it, personally.

10        Q.   Tell us, General, what exactly does this map show?

11        A.   Your Honours, in this map I wanted to show you the connection

12     between that part of the Republic of Croatia, where the zone of

13     operations is, with the free area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So if you

14     allow, I can comment what I have marked.

15        Q.   General, let us try and not describe the map, because it is

16     all -- all markings are clearly explained.  This southern part of

17     Croatia, you say that the southern part of Croatia was occupied and that

18     the HV had to enter BiH territory in order to defend Croatian territory.

19     Show us which territory we are talking about.

20             Perhaps we can enable the general to mark on the map.

21        A.   I don't know if you can see it.  I'll mark it blue and place a

22     "1" next to it [marks].  So this red stretch next to this blue marking is

23     the southern part of Croatia which was occupied by the JNA with part of

24     the VRS from Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This round spot here [indicates] is the

25     city of Dubrovnik, which was under siege, but it was not taken by the

Page 49313

 1     JNA.  To the west - it isn't clearly visible, though - there's the line

 2     that the JNA and the VRS has been able to reach.  That is close to Neum.

 3     That is the part of Bosnia-Herzegovina that is on the sea, and here

 4     there's the JNA and the VRS.

 5        Q.   Please place a number 2 next to the line where the JNA and the

 6     VRS were stopped.

 7        A.   [Marks]

 8        Q.   Now explain to us, General, when we say in this courtroom that

 9     this territory of Southern Croatia and the neighbouring area in

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was not occupied, constitute a single theatre

11     of war, what does that mean?  And please circle it.

12        A.   [Marks].  This is the single theatre of war in which Operative

13     Group 2 of the Army of Yugoslavia acted.  It included the entire area of

14     Eastern Herzegovina, the western parts of Montenegro, where JNA units

15     were deployed, and the occupied part of the Republic of Croatia.  This is

16     a hole in which one force is active, and that is the JNA.  It's the same

17     forces in Croatia and outside of Croatia.  These forces are under a

18     single command, and this is called an operational strategic territory.

19     The JNA called it "theatre of war."  And there was the Groups of

20     Operations number 2 with the Belgrade Corps, the Titograd Corps, and -- I

21     don't need to enumerate them.

22        Q.   In answering to Judge Antonetti's question, you said, General,

23     that the Croatian Army stopped the onslaught of the JNA in late 1991.

24     You mentioned the month of December in 1991.  Is that the time when the

25     events you marked with a number 2 happened?

Page 49314

 1        A.   Yes.  I placed a number 2 next to it.  I can also add, although

 2     it will be difficult to see, I can add an arrow above the number 2.  This

 3     is the line where the offensive of the JNA was stopped [marks].  They

 4     were advancing on Croatian territory, and there were also forces from

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina that attacked Croatian territory.

 6        Q.   When you are saying "from the flanks," please show this with

 7     arrows, and put a number 3 next to them.

 8        A.   [Marks]

 9        Q.   So the number 3 represents attacks from the flanks by the JNA and

10     the Serbian forces from Bosnia-Herzegovina against the Croatian

11     territory?

12        A.   Yes, from BiH territory.

13        Q.   General, please place today's date on this map.  It is the 11th

14     of February, 2010.

15        A.   [Marks]

16             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And I would like an IC number.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, in order to avoid that

18     this document is rejected, you drew this map with colours, et cetera.

19     This corresponds to the state of play exactly when; which month, which

20     year?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this situation, I

22     will mark here [marks], is that of the 6th of December, 1991.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  When I look at this

24     map, and if I'm mistaken, please correct me - you're free to do so - if I

25     understand correctly, in December 1991 the JNA, in the area of the

Page 49315

 1     Operative Group 2, was launching an action aiming at occupying the

 2     entirety of the area circled in blue, with an added intention to seize

 3     Dubrovnik, and you have circled the city of Dubrovnik in blue as well.

 4     This would mean that if there had been successful, militarily speaking,

 5     the entirety of this area as well as the coastal area would have been

 6     under the control and the influence of the JNA, and as a result of this

 7     part of the Republic of Croatia's territory would have been cut off,

 8     especially the coastal area; is that correct?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right, Your Honour.

10     Let me just add that in this situation as shown here, the JNA forces

11     reached the Neretva and also controlled the eastern part of the city of

12     Mostar.  I may have drawn the line off the River Neretva.  So they were

13     on the banks of the Neretva.  They held the east of Mostar and the

14     southern part of Croatia.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, General Praljak, I believe

16     it would be better for you not to intervene because we have

17     General Petkovic testifying here, and any clarification or any changes

18     can be done during the cross-examination by the Defence team of

19     General Praljak, unless there is really a mistake.  But I don't believe

20     that is the case.

21             So, Ms. Alaburic -- just a second.  My colleague wants to take

22     the floor.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Petkovic, I am still a little bit confused,

24     because you have shown this map and commented on it, and it is supposed

25     to be a view of a specific point in time, 6 December 1991.  Now, as the

Page 49316

 1     map is drawn, the yellow part, which is South-Eastern Herceg-Bosna, and

 2     the coastal part, which is in pink, according to the legend, are areas

 3     already occupied by Serb forces.  On the other hand, you have put two

 4     arrows pointing roughly in a south-western direction.  But I do not

 5     understand.  If that territory along the coast is already occupied by

 6     Serbs and the VRS, why should there be any operations planned?  Perhaps

 7     you can clarify.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was requested to

 9     show the directions of the succession of advancement.  When the

10     conquering of the south of Croatia started in October 1991, then

11     operations began simultaneously here from this part and from up there,

12     and that's how it went on until the 6th of December, 1991, when the

13     entire area became a single occupied whole.  Certainly, at that moment

14     there was -- there were no more operations from the flanks.

15             In early October 1991, it started -- attacks started from the

16     south and from the flanks.  On this day stated here, the entire area is

17     controlled by the JNA, including the territory of Croatia.  But most of

18     the area in Bosnia-Herzegovina was controlled by the VRS because the JNA,

19     due to a Security Council resolution, started pulling out of that

20     territory in 1992.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Just to make sure that you actually

22     confirm my conception, it is not entirely correct to put the date "6/12"

23     for this whole map, because what the -- the arrows marked as number 3

24     refer to a previous period when they were still fighting to get to the

25     coast.  Is that correct?

Page 49317

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.  This started in

 4     mid-October 1991.  There was an attack from the flank, followed by the

 5     next one, and then another attack.  And then it all stopped, the attacks

 6     were stopped.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you want an IC

 8     number?

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a few more

10     words about the map before we do that.

11        Q.   General, let's be very precise.  The date refers to the situation

12     as it was on the territory of the Republic of Croatia; is that correct?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   On that day, did this territory of the Republic of Croatia which

15     is marked by pink, was it occupied by the JNA and the Serb force?

16        A.   Yes, it was.

17        Q.   On that date, the 6th of December, 1991, the Republic of Bosnia

18     and Herzegovina was still an integral state, there were no occupied

19     territories?

20        A.   Yes, it was an integral state in Yugoslavia.  I did not draw any

21     occupied territories.  I drew something that, in military terms, is

22     called the theatre of war.

23        Q.   If we look at the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina alone, and if

24     we look at the territory which is coloured orange, and the rest of the

25     territory, which is not coloured, for which you said that it was a free

Page 49318

 1     territory, what could one say about such a division of Bosnia and

 2     Herzegovina, and what period did that apply to?

 3        A.   This was the situation in April 1992.

 4        Q.   Very well.  General, when you say "a free territory," what are

 5     you referring to?  Is this the free territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 6        A.   Yes, this is the free territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In

 7     the map, that part is not coloured.

 8        Q.   Who controlled that part of the territory?

 9        A.   That territory was controlled by the BiH Army and the HVO or the

10     Territorial Defence and the HVO, and it depended on the municipality.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could I please now be given an IC

12     number for the map.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, I seem to get confused again and

14     again.

15             Now you have said -- I refer to page 42, line 9.  The question

16     was:

17             "On that day, the 6th of December, 1991, the Republic of Bosnia

18     and Herzegovina was still an integral state, there were no occupied

19     territories?"

20             And you say:  "Yes."

21             But if one looks at the map, Stolac definitely is in the area

22     painted orange, which according to the legend is an area occupied by Serb

23     and VRS forces.  And you have then said that this refers to April 1992.

24     Is there still another period covered by the map, or do you correct what

25     you have said, that Bosnia and Herzegovina was entirely unoccupied on the

Page 49319

 1     6th of December?  It cannot very well be both, can it?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the 6th of

 3     December, 1992 [as interpreted], Bosnia-Herzegovina -- or, rather, in

 4     1991, I apologise.  The yellow part of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the area

 5     where the forces of the JNA were deployed, as they were pulling out from

 6     Croatia, as well as those that had pulled out of Slovenia, but that was

 7     still part of the Yugoslav territory.  When Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed

 8     its independence, the pink territory became an occupied territory for

 9     Bosnia and Herzegovina.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  I think the pink areas are not part

11     of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  They are part of Croatia on this map.  But it

12     seems that you confirm --

13                           [Overlapping speakers]

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Please do not interrupt me.  It's not because

15     it's impolite - I'm not so touchy - but it is because the interpreters

16     lose what you say and what I say at the same time, so we have to apply

17     some restraint.  I may not always be correct, myself, and then I

18     apologise.

19             But the result of this exchange now is that you must correct the

20     statement on page 42, line 9, 10, 11, 12, according to which, when you

21     said that on the 6th of December the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

22     apart from the fact that it did not really, as such, exist then, was

23     still an integral state, there were no occupied territories, that was

24     wrong, correct, or the map is wrong?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, correct, that was an

Page 49320

 1     integral state.  And this yellow territory was where JNA units were

 2     deployed, those that were pulling out from Croatia and previously from

 3     Slovenia.  When Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed its independence in

 4     April 1992, and when they proclaimed the JNA a hostile army, the yellow

 5     territories, as they are drawn here, became occupied areas for Bosnia and

 6     Herzegovina.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, I will not -- I will not insist now, but

 8     it seems a bit confused, I must say.  Thank you.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could you please

10     allow me to do my job properly and bring my examination about the map to

11     an end, and then everything will become clear.

12        Q.   This date, 6th December 1991, refers to what you marked by

13     numbers 1, 2, and 3 on this map; is that correct?

14        A.   Yes, that's exactly so.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can we now be given an IC number

16     for the map, and then we will put another clean copy of the map, and then

17     we will discuss the map in the light of a different date, the 6th of

18     April, 1992.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could give an IC

20     number, please.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, I still need the map.

22             Ms. Alaburic, now, you've said the 6th December refers to 1, 2,

23     and 3, but a short while ago the general accepted on my question that

24     number 3 refers not to the 6th of December, but for a period previous to

25     the 6th of December.  I'm not pleased with your observation that we are

Page 49321

 1     hindering your examination, because there are contradictions which the

 2     Chamber must clarify.  I'm sorry.  And you have again contributed to the

 3     confusion, I'm sorry to say.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, very well, I

 5     apologise.  Well, let's take things one at a time.

 6             Your Honour, the problem is I'm losing my minutes on your

 7     questions, and I'm not going to be able to do what I planned to do.  And

 8     my analyses show that I have to spend about 20 to 25 per cent of my time

 9     to follow up on the Judges' questions, which prevents me from working the

10     way I should.  That's why I intervened.

11        Q.   Number 3, General, shows the axis and directions of actions that

12     resulted in an occupation as it was on the 6th of December, 1991; is that

13     correct?

14        A.   Yes, it is.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And now could we please be given

16     an IC number for this map, and then I am going to call up for a clean

17     copy of the same map.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to give an IC

19     number, but I have a question to ask.  So please give an IC number, and

20     then I'll ask the question.

21             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.

22             The marked version of Exhibit 4D02024 shall be given

23     Exhibit IC01173.  Thank you, Your Honours.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

25             General Petkovic, based on this map, you have let us know how,

Page 49322

 1     according to you, the JNA and the Serbian forces were positioned on the

 2     6th of December, 1991.  And you gave us loads of details, and this is all

 3     in the transcript.  And upon the request of your counsel, you also

 4     pointed out that the JNA had positions in the coastal areas, and they had

 5     taken up those positions in October.  And you put the number 3 there.

 6     That's all very well.

 7             However, we have to look at the words that are used, because as a

 8     legal expert, I have to make sure that the correct language is used.

 9     When we talk about occupied areas, "occupied" has a legal connotation, of

10     course.  And unless I'm mistaken, on the 6th of December, 1991, from an

11     international point of view, we had a Yugoslav federation made of several

12     socialist republics which were members of this federation.  Therefore,

13     the All People's Army or the JNA, in December 1991, while the Republic of

14     Croatia was not recognised internationally, nor was it the case for the

15     Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so I would like to know if I'm

16     mistaken in saying that the JNA deployed its forces in areas which

17     belonged to the territory of the Yugoslav state.  And I'm using the word

18     "deployed," and not "occupied."

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that's how one

20     could say, strictly speaking, and looking at the period up until Croatia

21     proclaimed its independence on the 15th of January, 1992, or, rather,

22     when it was recognised as an independent state.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So if we use

24     military jargon, we have to use the word "deployed"?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if troops are deployed as a

Page 49323

 1     result of combat, then you can't use the term "deployment."  Deployment

 2     is something that is done peacefully, freely, and you just send troops to

 3     certain areas.  That's deployment.  However, if you start from the border

 4     and engage in combat, then this is not deployment.  And although Croatia

 5     was still officially part of Yugoslavia, the JNA carried out attacks

 6     against the forces which were deployed in the area, which were mostly the

 7     police forces of the Republic of Croatia.  So we can't be talking about

 8     peaceful deployment of the kind practiced by an army in peacetime.  It

 9     was combat, irrespective of the fact that it was still the territory of

10     their common state.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I fully understood

12     what you say.  But to clarify this point, I'll take an example.

13             Let's assume that today, in the Republic of Croatia, part of the

14     territory is facing some problems, and the new president, and unless I'm

15     mistaken it's Ivo Josipovic, the new president decides that the Croatian

16     Army will position itself on those territories, where there will be some

17     strife or something happening.  According to you, do you think that the

18     Croatian Army would deploy itself or would occupy those territories?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croatian Army would be deployed

20     in such areas.  However, if to do that it had to engage in combat, then

21     that area would be placed under control by military action.  Deployment

22     is free and peaceful, and if, on the other hand, there is something that

23     I'm not happy with, then I engage in action.  When, on the 6th of

24     December, the JNA torched the entire Konavle Valley and did in Dubrovnik

25     what they did, it is not deployment.  It is not in the spirit of what our

Page 49324

 1     -- the militaries do to deploy their troops.  This is an entirely

 2     different matter.  The JNA did not arrive and deploy its troops in six,

 3     eight, or ten locations in the south of Croatia, but rather they had

 4     engaged in combat for several months using the territories of both the

 5     Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  And then

 6     on the 15th of January, when independence was proclaimed and when the JNA

 7     was still there, it became an occupational force from what could have

 8     been a force that only deployed its troops.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   General, please focus.  On the 15th of January, 1992, did Croatia

11     proclaim its independence or was it internationally recognised on that

12     day?

13        A.   On that day, Croatia was internationally recognised.  Its

14     moratorium expired sometime in the month of November.

15        Q.   October?

16        A.   Yes, October.  And according to that --

17        Q.   Hold on, hold on, hold on.  I'll take things one at a time.

18             When we speak about the three-month moratorium, could you please

19     explain to the Trial Chamber what it means?  When was it that Croatia

20     actually proclaimed its independence, and what is the meaning of the term

21     "Croatian moratorium"?

22        A.   Well, Croatia, I believe it was in June that Croatia proclaimed

23     its independence, and then, at the incitement of the international

24     factors to have the situation resolved more easily, allegedly, that that

25     should be frozen for a period of three months.

Page 49325

 1        Q.   Now, when you say "June," what year is that?

 2        A.   1991.

 3        Q.   And was it then that the presidents of the former Yugoslavia,

 4     pursuant to a proposal from the international community, that they

 5     decided about the independence of Slovenia and Croatia, to freeze that

 6     for three months, their independence, in order to achieve some agreement,

 7     and that was the moratorium; is that it?

 8        A.   Yes, precisely.

 9        Q.   Tell us, please, officially, what is the official date of

10     independence for the Republic of Croatia?  Is it the 8th of October?

11        A.   Yes, that's right, the 8th of October is Independence Day for

12     Croatia.

13        Q.   Therefore, General, since when was the Republic of Croatia an

14     independent state?

15        A.   From the 8th of October, 1991.

16        Q.   The Yugoslav People's Army, on the territory of the Republic of

17     Croatia in December 1991, can it be considered to have been an

18     occupational army then?

19        A.   Yes, absolutely.  I apologise for the misunderstanding earlier

20     on.  The 8th of October, the day Croatia was declared independent, is

21     when the attack started; in 1991, that is.

22        Q.   Thank you.  Let's go back to that same map that we were dealing

23     with a moment ago, and I'm interested, General, in what the situation was

24     like in April 1992.  So we're now going to speak about April 1992.

25             The parts of the territory of the Republic of Croatia coloured

Page 49326

 1     pink here, and we're just referring to the territory in the Split

 2     Operations Zone, was that territory under the occupation of the JNA, or,

 3     rather, the forces of the Croatian Serbs?

 4        A.   Yes, that's right, they were under occupation.

 5        Q.   Tell us, please, General, on the -- or, rather, in the month of

 6     April 1992, the territory in orange or yellow, was that territory under

 7     the control of the Yugoslav People's Army and the forces of the Bosnian

 8     Herzegovinian Serbs?

 9        A.   Yes, that was it exactly.  That territory was controlled by the

10     VRS and the JNA.

11        Q.   Now, General, please, could you tell us whether, at the beginning

12     of April 1992, you had any knowledge about any combat plans of the

13     Yugoslav People's Army and the forces of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs?

14     And if so, could you draw that in on this map, please?

15        A.   The forces of the Yugoslav People's Army and the army of the

16     Bosnian Serbs, in April 1993 --

17        Q.   1992, you mean?

18        A.   Yes, 1992, undertook the implementation of a plan that had been

19     devised previously at the level of the JNA, and it meant this:  From the

20     west, Kupres, Livno, Tomislavgrad --

21             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Might we provide the general with

22     a felt-tipped pen so that he can mark this in on his screen?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to draw a circle 'round

24     that territory [marks].  And then they moved across Herzegovina down the

25     Neretva River Valley, and another branch towards the Republic of Croatia

Page 49327

 1     and Split.

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   General, could you put a number 1 for this plan of invasion, plan

 4     of occupation?

 5        A.   [Marks] The second part of the plan was for the forces located in

 6     the Neretva River Valley to continue the advancement towards Ploce,

 7     Metkovic, Makarska, that is to say, Croatia, and another branch to

 8     continue and link up with the forces -- to continue the advancement and

 9     link up with the forces coming in from the western part, Livno,

10     Tomislavgrad, and Kupres, who were moving eastwards [marks].

11        Q.   General, could you put a number 2 for those axes?

12        A.   [Marks]

13        Q.   And let's state this once again.  What period are we talking

14     about for these plans?

15        A.   It was April 1992.

16        Q.   Tell us, please, General, had these plans been carried out, what

17     would have happened to the Republic of Croatia?

18        A.   The Republic of Croatia south of Split would also have been

19     occupied, just as the southern-most part of the Republic of Croatia,

20     which means the entire region south of Split would have been under the

21     occupation of the JNA and the Army of Republika Srpska.

22        Q.   Tell us, please, in that area, would the state of

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina or the free territory of the state of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina, would it border on the Republic of Croatia?

25        A.   No, it would not.  The territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina would also

Page 49328

 1     have been cut across, cut off, and the corridors from -- well, north of

 2     Mostar, Posusje, would have been an enclave under siege in the Central

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina, without any access to any of the states surrounding

 4     it, which in this case is just one, Croatia.

 5             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

 6     questions on this map.  Now, before I tender it into evidence or ask for

 7     a number, do you have any questions?  If not, may I have an IC number for

 8     this map, please.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can we have an IC

10     number for this map, please.

11             THE REGISTRAR:  The second marked version of Exhibit 4D02024

12     shall be given Exhibit IC01174.  Thank you, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question,

14     General Petkovic.

15             We have just seen two maps in quick succession.  You've explained

16     how the JNA took up its position and how the troops were positioned on

17     the ground.  I assume that your counsel will ask for these two maps to be

18     admitted.  Can you tell me, according to you, in what way these maps are

19     relevant to understand the military situation resulting from the

20     indictment?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, based on the

22     indictment raised and the assertions made with respect to the involvement

23     of the Army of the Republic of Croatia with the events in

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina, this map is highly relevant.

25             The situation in the Republic of Croatia was tied in with the

Page 49329

 1     situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The general territory between the two

 2     red occupied territories in the Republic of Croatia was not

 3     [indiscernible] by Croatian forces, but for moral and psychological

 4     relationships towards Bosnia-Herzegovina, not to be considered closed

 5     off, but the defence was based on joint resistance to the Serb forces and

 6     the Yugoslav People's Army.

 7             Now, these events, from April 1992 onwards, in the west, which is

 8     number 1, I showed the direction taken by the forces, and then later on,

 9     with the liberation of the eastern part from Neretva to Stolac, the

10     liberation of East Mostar, in my view, led to a joint agreement between

11     President Izetbegovic and President Tudjman, and an Agreement on

12     Friendship and Co-operation which was reached.  And in point 4, it

13     emphasizes the need for trans-border military co-operation, because it

14     was noted that both Bosnia-Herzegovina -- that Bosnia-Herzegovina and the

15     Republic of Croatia had come under attack exclusively from the territory

16     of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that Croatia was being attacked from BH, and that

17     the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, just a few days after independence

18     had been proclaimed, did not have the necessary number of troops to help

19     the Republic of Croatia to repel and prevent attacks by Serb forces on

20     Croatian territory and thereby to block entry into Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21             Therefore, these events, which took part in the first part --

22     took place in the first part of 1991, tells us that Croatia did not have

23     its own interest, but the joint interest was to stand up to a joint

24     adversary in the trans-border region, the border belt between

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.

Page 49330

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, this is a

 2     question I'm putting to you and which I shall not put to you again.  It

 3     might be the most crucial question.

 4             To understand the indictment, should one only look at the

 5     conflict between the HVO and the ABiH, or should one consider this

 6     conflict including the Serbs?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, looking at

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and only the conflict there between the HVO and BH,

 9     would not be complete.  You mustn't leave the Serbs out from this

10     equation and from the overall conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That means

11     that they are the ones who must be considered a component of the

12     conflict, and not to leave them aside and then just look at the conflict

13     between the HVO and the BH.  Why?  Because the part of the territory that

14     we are looking at now, we have, on the one side, the Serbs doing what

15     they're doing, occupying territory and so on, and on the other side you

16     have the HVO and the BH Army and certain other forces of the Republic of

17     Croatia helping them to stand up to the Serb aggression and to prevent

18     the closing off the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina and, therefore,

19     jeopardising -- thus jeopardising the Republic of Croatia.

20             So all three sides are linked up.  You can't exclude the Serbs in

21     this equation.  Had there not been the Serbs, there wouldn't have been

22     any need for activities on the part of the HVO, BH, and so on.  We would

23     just be sitting in Geneva and negotiating.  Everybody would have waited

24     for the negotiations to end, and nobody would have resorted to rifles.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.

Page 49331

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   General, let's move on.  We'll skip the next map in your binder,

 3     and let's look at P162 now, please, which is an order dated the 16th of

 4     April, 1992, from Commander Janko Bobetko, on the establishment of a

 5     forward command post and southern front in Grude.

 6             Tell us, General, does this order have anything to do with the

 7     map we've just looked at for April 1992?

 8        A.   Yes, it has an important connection.  Because of the situation,

 9     the forward command post was set up in Grude, which, since the forces

10     were less well organised in this part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it took on

11     the role of the organiser for the establishment of these forces, for

12     deploying them along the lines, and for commanding the troops in the

13     battles against Republika Srpska and the JNA, and that is the sole reason

14     that the forward command post in Grude was set up in the first place.

15        Q.   Now let's look at the next document, which is P163.  It is also

16     an order from Commander Janko Bobetko about the composition of the

17     command at the forward command post at Grude.  And, General, you are

18     stipulated here under item 1?

19        A.   Yes, that is true.  Now, this is -- these are the specifics,

20     listing the names of the people making up the command post.  And there

21     were a total of 11 of us, and those people were responsible for these and

22     forthcoming expected operations in this territory in April, May, and June

23     of 1992.

24        Q.   Tell us, please, General, when did you arrive in the territory of

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Page 49332

 1        A.   I arrived on the 14th, in the evening.

 2        Q.   "The 14th," meaning what month?

 3        A.   The 14th of April, 1992.  And I was officially recorded as being

 4     there on the first -- next day, on the 15th.  So the first day was sort

 5     of reconnaissance, but I always list the actual date of my arrival,

 6     although I actually took up my duties on the 15th.  So it would have been

 7     more correct to say, perhaps, the 15th of April, 1992.

 8        Q.   Tell us, please, General, in arriving in Bosnia-Herzegovina, did

 9     you expect any main staff to exist over there or anything like that, any

10     HVO Main Staff, or the Main Staff of any other Croatian and Muslim

11     forces?  What did you actually expect to find?

12        A.   Well, I was told that a main staff existed.  I didn't know in

13     what shape or form.  But I was told that as it was, the Main Staff, from

14     the 4th to the 10th of April, commanded the HVO force in the battles

15     against the JNA and the Serb forces at Kupres, Tomislavgrad, and Livno,

16     and we did expect to find this Main Staff in place.  However, what

17     happened was that the man who headed it and some other men had left,

18     allegedly to return.  However, I actually never saw them.

19             And let me just add that I was surprised, upon my arrival in the

20     area, to see that the BH authorities, south of the line running from

21     Prozor to Jablanica, which is a long line of Eastern and Western

22     Herzegovina, the central authorities had no operative command.  It had no

23     units whatsoever, except for an independent battalion in Mostar.  So in

24     that respect, I was really surprised to find that, because I had expected

25     at least two or three brigades of the Territorial Defence, but there was

Page 49333

 1     nobody there.

 2        Q.   Tell us, General, what about Herceg-Bosna?  What existed of

 3     Herceg-Bosna in that area when you arrived?

 4        A.   Well, it's like this, Your Honours:  If I were to be asked about

 5     that particular day, I can tell you that I couldn't find my bearings at

 6     all and I didn't know anything.  It was only later on, after the 24th --

 7     after the fighting in Livno, that I sat down and talked to Jozo Maric,

 8     discussed the situation.  He was the head in Grude.  He was a professor,

 9     and he explained to me about Herceg-Bosna, which was an organisation of

10     Croats for the defence of the territory.  He said, We have these troops

11     in the municipalities and so on.  And then I asked him, All right, now

12     Boban and the others, who else was there?  Well, they couldn't point to

13     anybody.  Anything that was said, they would say, That's Boban, the HDZ,

14     the Presidency, nobody around him allegedly leading the HVO.  And around

15     him you, you had three men in a hotel in Grude.

16             Now, I expected in those first 10 days that I would meet at least

17     15 people who meant something, but, no, that wasn't the case.  I had the

18     feeling that Boban was quite alone in all that territory, so that I

19     wasn't acquainted with the structure, I never saw any of the people that

20     made it up until, say, August 19 -- well, in 1992.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, your answer

22     is an important one, and it merits one spending time on it.

23             On the 16th of April, 1992, you go to the forward command post in

24     Grude because there is going to be fighting with the Serbs.  And when you

25     arrive there, you say, I thought that there was a staff of the HVO, and

Page 49334

 1     there was nothing there.  You don't see a single HVO member anywhere.

 2     Then after the fighting in Livno, you talk to Mr. Maric, who talks to you

 3     about the HVO and who says that there is Mate Boban.

 4             When I listened to you, I had the feeling that before the 16th of

 5     April, 1992, you had had no contact whatsoever with Mate Boban and all

 6     the people from the HVO, and now, in this instance, you are discovering

 7     that it actually exists after the fighting has taken place.  Is that what

 8     you're telling us?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, not exactly.

10             In late March 1992, while with a team from the Split Zone of

11     Operations, I visited the area, the areas that were shown in red where

12     the Serb attack was stopped, by mere chance at a hotel in Metkovic, I ran

13     into Mate Boban.  My assistant for logistics from the zone of operations

14     stood up and greeted the man.  They were hugging each other, and he

15     introduced him to me as Mr. Boban and introduced me to him as

16     Mr. Petkovic, the operations officer in our zone.  That's how we met and

17     sat down, and then I drew my conclusions from the ensuing conversation.

18             This assistant of mine was a manager of a hotel chain in Split,

19     whereas Mate Boban was the manager of a company -- of a wholesale company

20     in Imotski, and they did business together.  And I believe that Boban's

21     brother was also in logistics in the navy.

22             The conversation took about an hour, and we spoke.  What the

23     situation was like here, will Neum fall, what will happen, those were his

24     questions.  And I asked him to tell us what kind of forces can be found

25     along the Neretva from Capljina to Mostar on which we were leaning, in

Page 49335

 1     Croatia, as forces that could provide security to us, and that's how the

 2     conversation ran.

 3             And then at one point he said, You commanded the defence at

 4     Sibenik.  It would be good if you could come to help us out and see what

 5     kind of structure we have and what kind of forces we have.  And I said,

 6     No problem, I can come and visit for two or three days and see what you

 7     have set up, and it would be good if I could meet two or three of your

 8     people who know something about that.  He insisted on me coming to join

 9     their ranks, but I didn't.  That's when we met first.

10             We never spoke about Herceg-Bosna at the time or anything else.

11     He told me that the Croats organised themselves by municipalities,

12     whichever way they thought fit or were able to implement, and he needed

13     someone with experience, because in the war in Croatia I commanded the

14     defence of Sibenik, I was in the zone of operations.  And that's where we

15     broke off.

16             After three or five days, three of their men arrived who worked

17     for the defence and gave us information about where the HVO was, what

18     they had, et cetera.

19             My following contact was a phone conversation, when Kupres came

20     under attack.  I believe it was on the 4th of April, 1992, when he

21     requested help from the zone of operations, but we were unable to provide

22     it.  We were just saying we were monitoring the situation and see what

23     was happening.

24             Those are my contacts with him in 1992.  I met him for the first

25     time when we spoke for about an hour at the hotel in Metkovic.

Page 49336

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the document we have before

 2     us, those 11 people who are mentioned, under point 7 I see that this is a

 3     civilian by the name of Bruno Stojic.  Is it the same Bruno Stojic who is

 4     sitting here in the courtroom?  And if that's the case, why is the term

 5     "civilian" used for someone in the forward command post?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, indeed, under 7 there

 7     is "Bruno Stojic."  It is stated that he's a civilian.  He was charged

 8     with the logistics in this forward command post.  As far as I know, for

 9     some time prior to that he was involved in some logistical activities

10     which were under the authority of that Main Staff that was or was not in

11     existence, and everybody else, except for the last person mentioned, were

12     considered members of the Main Staff, and they are all the people from

13     the Main Staff I met.  The chiefs had gone to Zagreb or wherever, and I

14     never saw them.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This civilian by the name of

16     Bruno Stojic, who was in charge of logistics, was this someone whom you

17     knew already or was it someone you met in April 1992?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I only met him then.  Except

19     for the person under 2, Jure Zadro, I met him sometime in late March or

20     early April.  And I met Zarko Keza at the same time as Zadro, because

21     Boban had sent them off to Ploce to present the situation in Herzegovina

22     to us.  I didn't know the others, except for number 11 because he was

23     from the Croatian Army also.

24             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Tell us, General, when you went to Bosnia-Herzegovina, if we

Page 49337

 1     disregard the JNA officers who worked there and who you didn't know them,

 2     did you know anybody else in Herzegovina; relatives, business partners,

 3     anybody close to you?

 4        A.   Your Honours, I knew nobody in Herzegovina.  In my military

 5     career, as far as Bosnia is concerned, I was in Sarajevo and in

 6     Kalinovik, and it took me -- or, rather, I travelled through Mostar when

 7     I travelled from Sarajevo.  I spent 15 minutes at the bus station there

 8     and continued.  That's all I know about Bosnia-Herzegovina, although I

 9     was a soldier for 23 years.

10        Q.   When you went to Bosnia-Herzegovina, sir, did you have your own

11     concept of the internal structure of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

12        A.   My concept?  I never thought about these things, because it

13     wasn't for me to do so, nor did anybody care to hear my opinion.  But I

14     did hear that the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina talked, and I thought

15     that it would be best for them to accept what the international community

16     was offering them in 1992 and 1993, because at that time solutions for

17     the situation in that country were being put forward then.

18             Three peoples lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I thought that

19     each people must have the same rights, irrespective of their share in the

20     overall population.  And that, to my mind, would have been a well-ordered

21     state.  Anything else, I thought, would not have been a good outcome,

22     because the one with lesser rights would not have been satisfied.  But

23     they could've reach any agreement at all.  If they had decided to turn

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina into a monarchy, it would have been fine by me.  I

25     would have saluted that king.

Page 49338

 1        Q.   General, if I understand you well about -- or, rather, you mean

 2     to you, as a professional soldier, any solution the leaders of the three

 3     constituent peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina come up with would have been

 4     all right with you, even a monarchy?

 5        A.   Yes, absolutely, even today.

 6        Q.   Now, let's be brief, General, because we have heard much about

 7     these things in this courtroom before.  Were the attempts to stop the

 8     onslaught of the VRS around Livno successful?

 9        A.   Yes.  On the 24th of April, 1992, a large operation of the VRS

10     and the JNA still at the time was launched, focusing on the town of Livno

11     and the municipality of Livno, but also on the remoter parts of the

12     municipality of Tomislavgrad.

13        Q.   Tell us, to Janko Bobetko, what was the most important thing at

14     the time?

15        A.   At that time, it was extremely important to him to stop the Serbs

16     at lines beyond Livno at any cost.  The fall of Livno-Tomislavgrad were

17     not an option.  That's why orders were given that the towns of

18     Livno-Tomislavgrad be provided with concrete blocks to make impossible

19     traffic along the roads.  So Janko Bobetko was determined to stop the

20     attacks of Livno, because that would have -- that meant making impossible

21     further attacks on Herzegovina and on the parts of Croatia south of

22     Split.

23        Q.   Tell us, under these circumstances, was it possible to start

24     considering the liberation of Dubrovnik and the occupied part of Southern

25     Croatia that we saw on the map?

Page 49339

 1        A.   No, by no means, because any effort to liberate Dubrovnik and the

 2     other territory we saw on the map, with someone being in the position to

 3     attack you from behind was, militarily, not an option, so we first had to

 4     do what I've just mentioned and then go south toward Dubrovnik.

 5        Q.   The towns you mentioned, General, were not recorded in the

 6     transcript.  You're speaking too fast.  When you say "attack you from

 7     behind," which territory do you mean?

 8        A.   Speaking about Croatia, the towns of Split, Makarska, Ploce, all

 9     the way to Metkovic; that is, the Neretva Valley.

10        Q.   Which liberation actions were organised in that period?  We are

11     now referring to May and June 1992.

12        A.   After remedying the situation in the area of Livno-Tomislavgrad,

13     and setting up a firm line of defence, which can also be termed a major

14     defeat of the VRS and the JNA, it was General Bobetko's assessment that

15     at the moment when the JNA, in May, started leaving the territory of BiH,

16     in a way, and handing over authorities to local forces, and those who

17     belonged to the JNA but crossed over to those local forces, he assessed

18     that was a convenient moment to do something and undertake an offensive

19     action while they are re-positioning their forces.

20        Q.   Tell us, in one sentence, which area was liberated.

21        A.   The eastern banks of the Neretva River from the town of Capljina

22     to Mostar, the eastern part of Mostar, Bijelo Polje, the Dubrava Plateau,

23     and the municipality of Stolac.  Some parts of that municipality, we were

24     not able to liberate.

25        Q.   Let us now take a look at the following document, P279.

Page 49340

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I've been listening to

 2     you carefully.  And based on the documents that we had had, I seem to

 3     understand the following:  The Serb forces occupy the Dubrovnik area, and

 4     this causes a great deal of an issue for the Croats.  In military terms,

 5     General Bobetko is launching a military action in sector Mostar,

 6     Bijelo Polje, the Dubrava Plateau, as well as the municipality of Stolac,

 7     in order to take up positions and to allow the Croatian Army in the area

 8     of Dubrovnik -- to allow this army to fail any attempt of the JNA.  And

 9     in April 1992, there is a military operation that is directed against the

10     Serbs.  This is what I seem to understand from what you're saying.

11             But in the indictment, which I'm sure you've read, you are aware

12     that the Prosecutor claims that you were part of a JCE with

13     General Bobetko, and in fact this joint criminal enterprise had the

14     following purpose: either to take the control of municipalities by ethnic

15     cleansing, and so on and so forth.  I'm not going to go into the details.

16     Based on that, one could think that in 1992, the forward command post in

17     Grude was part of this plan.

18             And here you are giving us an explanation of a military nature.

19     So to summarise, you're saying to us that the Croatian Army, in April

20     1992, had only one objective; namely, to launch a military action against

21     the Serbs.  And if I understand the way you're looking at this, the

22     question of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina or anything to do with

23     Muslims was not really the main purpose of this action.  Is that correct?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, you're absolutely

25     right, this is exactly how it was.

Page 49341

 1             When we liberated the eastern bank of Neretva, Mr. Izetbegovic

 2     proclaimed a state of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and on that day we gave

 3     him a gift of a large part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, some 70 kilometres'

 4     long and 30 kilometres' wide, from Capljina to Stolac.  That was the

 5     largest area that was liberated in 1992 and 1993 from the Army of

 6     Republika Srpska and the remains of the JNA.

 7             After these events, General Bobetko continued acting in the

 8     territory of the Republic of Croatia towards Dubrovnik and liberated the

 9     southern part of the Republic of Croatia, and the HVO, which had already

10     acted in concert with the 1st Brigade of the BiH Army, took it upon

11     itself to secure the newly-liberated line in the newly-liberated area.

12             In July 1992, General Bobetko withdrew elements of the

13     Croatian Army from that territory and deployed them in the direction of

14     Dubrovnik.  The only group that remained was the TG-2, which changed

15     sides every three months.

16             And let me say just one more thing.  After the operations which

17     were carried out in the southern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to be more

18     specific, in the eastern part of Herzegovina, which were all either

19     actions to liberate the territory or to defend the territory, there was a

20     meeting between Tudjman and Izetbegovic which resulted in an agreement on

21     co-operation and friendship.  I believe that Mr. Izetbegovic would not

22     have come to Zagreb if he thought that somebody had occupied Bosnia and

23     Herzegovina, and he would not have signed the agreement on co-operation

24     with the Republic of Croatia in that case.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

Page 49342

 1        Q.   General, according to what you know, the engagement of the

 2     Croatian Army on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time, did it

 3     have even the least note of animosity or hostility towards the peoples of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 5        A.   No.  On the contrary, Muslims also participated in those

 6     operations, together with the Croats and the Croatian Army and the Croats

 7     in the HVO.  Therefore, all militarily-capable men who wanted to do so

 8     took up arms and joined the operation.  Do you think that the 30 per cent

 9     of the Muslims who were in the HVO would have participated in those

10     operations if they didn't want to?  They would have said, No, we don't

11     want to wage a war.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you see how

13     difficult it can be for an international judge.  If we had before us the

14     documents of the Main Staff, the Croat Main Staff, documents dealing with

15     all operations under the remit of General Bobetko, given the case that

16     you're putting forward here, namely, Dubrovnik and what happened there,

17     perhaps a reasonable judge would have better understood the situation if

18     they had everything before them.  Unfortunately, as I've already said, we

19     only have what is given to us, what the Prosecutor is lodging, what the

20     Defence teams are lodging, and based on that we have to ask questions,

21     question that are intricate, that are very sensitive sometimes, and, in

22     fact, we have some pieces of the puzzles that are missing.

23             And to really be very precise, General Petkovic, in this sort of

24     case when you have military operations being carried out, as far as I'm

25     concerned, we should have all documentations dealing with the Croatian

Page 49343

 1     Army as well as all documentations regarding the VRS and the JNA, as well

 2     as all the documents from the BiH.  And I believe that it's after having

 3     looked at all those documents that we could really shed some light and

 4     see the truth.  But if we have only part of those documents, only part of

 5     the truth, only part of the facts will be known and it will be very

 6     difficult to find one's way through this.  And this is why sometimes I'm

 7     asking you long questions, because I'm trying to fill some voids.

 8             Sometimes -- well, I remember that the issue of Dubrovnik was

 9     mentioned at the beginning of the trial by General Praljak, and there

10     were some objections from the Prosecution and I didn't quite understand

11     what was at stake there, and now I listen to you and I understand better.

12     And, of course, I would have understood even better if I had before me

13     all the documents from the Main Staff of the Croatian Army, as well as

14     all the documents from the JNA, and anything relating to General Mladic

15     as well.  So, unfortunately, I don't have all this, and so, please, I

16     apologise if sometimes my questions are long, but I'm trying to uncover

17     the truth and sometimes it's very complicated.

18             Ms. Alaburic, please proceed.

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.

20        Q.   General, let's look at P279, please.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Sorry.  I just observe, and it's the second

22     time, Mr. Praljak sending a message to Ms. Alaburic, who is not his

23     counsel.  Communication is possible between an accused and his counsel,

24     but not with an accused and other counsel.

25             MR. STEWART:  With respect, Your Honour, we do take issue with

Page 49344

 1     that.  There is no restriction on that.  He is perfectly entitled to do

 2     that.  He can do it through his counsel to us or he can communicate to

 3     us.  There simply is nothing in principle, in the Rules, in any sort of

 4     practice to prevent that.  Provided it's done politely and not

 5     disruptively, he should be entirely free to communicate information to

 6     us.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I think he ought to do that through counsel.

 8             MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, perhaps that could, in practice,

 9     conveniently be done, but we maintain our position, Your Honour.  It's

10     not -- unless there is some security implication, which is another matter

11     altogether, Your Honour, he is entitled to do that.  And I would say

12     this, Your Honour:  Then, we would invite a ruling on that, because that

13     is our firm position.  And if the Trial Chamber is going to rule against

14     us on that, then we do wish to have that very clearly indicated, either

15     unanimously or by a majority.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The Chamber will deliberate about this.

17             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for the record,

18     I would like to support what my learned friend has just said.  I would

19     also like to remind you that this has been a communication problem all

20     the time.  We, from the Praljak Defence team, have discussed that, and

21     every time we need to communicate about a mistake in the record, some

22     imprecision in questions that were put, we discuss whether

23     General Praljak would call the special usher, who would then come to

24     Mr. Praljak, and then the usher would come to me, and then I would send

25     that to Ms. Alaburic.  I think it's unnecessary, because there is no ban

Page 49345

 1     on communication between Defence teams, and we believe that we are free

 2     to communicate.  If you intend to impose a ban, I believe you should

 3     state clear reasons for that, and we will abide by the decision.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me, I

 5     would like to share my position on that with you.

 6             General Petkovic wants to say something.  Maybe he should be

 7     given the floor.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wouldn't talk about

 9     that.  I would like to answer your previous questions about the

10     documents.

11             I can claim that most of the documents already exist, and we have

12     complete documentation for the liberation of the east bank of the

13     Neretva, from the initial order to the last order.  We've also

14     demonstrated from the same time, I believe, two or three orders issued by

15     General Perisic or, rather, the Army of Yugoslavia.  So some of the

16     documents have already been tendered.  The only one that is not is the

17     one issued on the 28th of May.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, about the

19     communication, I believe that this is an important issue, and I think

20     it's good that Judge Trechsel shared his position with us.  I can tell

21     you what my position is.  And I personally handed over a paper to

22     General Praljak containing a note on something that I deemed relevant,

23     and my reason for that was this:  If I have reached an agreement with a

24     Defence team that we can communicate freely and that that communication

25     does not necessarily have to go through the Defence lawyer of the accused

Page 49346

 1     that we want to address, that we can take a short-cut in communication,

 2     as it were.

 3             I would consider it inappropriate that if somebody communicates

 4     with an accused without a previous consent with their Defence team, and

 5     it is part of our legal ethic, but if the Trial Chamber wishes us to

 6     communicate only with our peers, who will then be mediators in our

 7     communication with the accused, then I will abide by that decision and I

 8     will apologise for my previous communication with the other accused,

 9     including Mr. Praljak.

10             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Yes, I believe that we have to thank the

11     contributions by Mr. Stewart and also Ms. Alaburic and others.  And as it

12     was already stated, the Chamber will deliberate on this matter, and of

13     course it will make its decision.  Thank you.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  In view of that, it might be good to hear what

15     the Prosecution has to say to it.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Until further notice, I'm still

17     the Presiding Judge in this Trial Chamber, and so I will give the floor

18     to Mr. Scott.  And, Mr. Scott, I was going to ask you what was your point

19     of view on all this.

20             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Mr. President.

21             I was really going to hold my fire on this, just as a matter of

22     peace in the courtroom.  But since so much has been made of it and since

23     the Court has now said that it's going to actually deliberate on the

24     matter, I think the Prosecution has to then, in these circumstances, make

25     at least one or two observations.

Page 49347

 1             And I say this with some reluctance, but given the issue that was

 2     raised earlier today and some of the things that have been said and some

 3     of the pleadings filed in the last two days, I do have to note the

 4     Prosecution has raised a number of times that many of these

 5     examinations -- many of the relationships are very friendly ones and

 6     friendly examinations, and when the Defence continually protest that we

 7     are all single, individual units that don't co-operate with each other

 8     and have their own individual interest, this flies a bit in the face of

 9     that.  I fully understand that they're entitled to co-operate, to a

10     reasonable degree.  I understand that.  That's common sense.  But I do

11     want to note for the record, and if the Court is going to deliberate on

12     this, I think it's rather noteworthy.  It's a little bit akin to

13     Mr. Praljak passing a note and saying, Here, ask this question.  That

14     sound like the sort of independence that we're sometimes led to believe.

15             Thank you.

16             MR. STEWART:  Can I just comment on that, Your Honour, that,

17     actually, one needs to look bit carefully at what Mr. Scott has just

18     said, because in principle, he is supporting our position.  That's quite

19     clear.  He's having a little bit of a complaint about where it leads, and

20     he's having a little bit of a whinge about what we said about previously

21     filings and so on, but he is basically supporting our position.  He

22     doesn't say anything to suggest that there is anything, in principle,

23     which prevents us from having this sort of communication, and that is, in

24     fact, quite clear from what he's just said.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I hope that some of

Page 49348

 1     our friends from the OTP can confirm that whenever I noticed a Prosecutor

 2     misrepresenting a document or having any problem with a document, I sent

 3     an e-mail to my colleague from the OTP to draw their attention to that so

 4     that they didn't have to be publicly admonished.  I believe that it was a

 5     friendly gesture.  And if I do the same thing vis-à-vis my colleagues in

 6     the Defence teams, that doesn't change the fact that my accused is

 7     independent -- that my client is an independent person, enjoying all the

 8     rights as if he were tried independently.

 9             And as for the remark that Praljak suggests questions that I

10     should put, I hope that Mr. Scott did not mean it seriously, because I

11     believe that Mr. Scott knows that I don't need anybody to suggest

12     questions to me and what I should ask.

13             MR. SCOTT:  Mr. President, I'm not going to belabour it any

14     further.  I just -- I do want to respond to Mr. Stewart, who I have great

15     respect for, but I don't appreciate him talking about the Prosecution

16     whinging.  And as to the characterisation of my comments, the words speak

17     for themselves.  I'll leave it to the Chamber, but I do not want them to

18     be characterised by Mr. Stewart as what I agree with or don't agree with.

19     I simply made the observation for the record, as invited by the Chamber,

20     and I did think it was something that had to put on the record.

21             Thank you.

22             MR. STEWART:  Well, I can withdraw the word "whinge."  I've

23     corrupted my language with adopting an Austro-Asian word.  I'll

24     substitute "complaint" for that.  It wasn't intended in the least bit

25     offensively, but it is a legitimate point that, in fact, it has been a

Page 49349

 1     complaint about other things.  That's neither here or there, but I'll

 2     take the word back.  It wasn't meant impolitely at all.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it was actually time to

 4     have the break.  The Trial Chamber will confer, and after the break we

 5     will give you the position of the Chamber.

 6                           --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.

 7                           --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will hand

 9     down its decision regarding the communication between an accused and

10     other counsel.

11             The Trial Chamber states that an accused cannot address any kind

12     of communication to other counsel, only to his counsel, and the latter

13     will decide whether that information has been to be passed on to other

14     Defence counsel, who will then pass it on to their client.  In short, if

15     Mr. Praljak has something to tell the other Defence counsel, he should

16     address this to his counsel.  That is why there is somebody there whose

17     role is to pass on the messages.  And his counsel will then see how this

18     can be passed on to his colleagues.

19             Have you understood, Mr. Praljak?

20             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I have

21     understood your decision, and of course it is a final decision, having

22     been taken by the Trial Chamber.  However, every time I need to hand over

23     a message that I consider to be important, in the sense of allowing the

24     right decisions to be made in this trial, I'm going to ask for a break to

25     see whether they have read the message, to give them time to read it and

Page 49350

 1     consider it, and then afterwards to be able to hand it over to the next

 2     Defence team, which will also need a few minutes to read through the

 3     note.

 4             So I have to respect the ruling, of course, but unfortunately I

 5     have noticed, and with the Court's permission I'd like to be allowed to

 6     say, that at this Tribunal and in this trial, decisions are being made to

 7     the detriment -- great detriment, in my opinion, of the fairness of this

 8     trial, and that prejudices are being formed, and I will give this some

 9     thought and decide what steps I'm going to take, if any.  And I'll be

10     able to inform Your Honours when the conflict began between the Judges

11     and others, and how certain military matters are being discussed, and why

12     there isn't a military expert here throughout, because there is a great

13     lack of knowledge when it comes to military matters, generally speaking.

14             Thank you.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

16             In future, turn to your counsel, give them your comments, and

17     they will deal with it.  Like that, this kind of problem will not arise.

18             Let's resume, Ms. Alaburic.

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

20        Q.   General, third try.  Let's go to P279.  Third go.  Third time

21     lucky.

22             Now, this document is signed by you and is titled "Preliminary

23     Report," and my question to you is:  Did you write this text?

24        A.   Your Honours, this text was written by three people; by myself

25     and two of my associates.

Page 49351

 1        Q.   Tell us, please, what services were these associates of yours

 2     from?

 3        A.   There weren't many services at the time, but Zarko Keza was an

 4     intelligence officer throughout, and Mr. Zadro, as the senior person, was

 5     the communications man, but he held the highest rank, and he was in the

 6     JNA previously.

 7        Q.   Tell us, please, General, did you deliver this preliminary

 8     presentation or introductory presentation?

 9        A.   No.  It was never presented because I wasn't provided with the

10     right information as to what was actually the object of the meeting.

11        Q.   Tell us, please, what did you think your role ought to be at this

12     meeting?

13        A.   The information that reached me told me that -- led me to believe

14     that I was to chair the meeting and that I was the person to choose the

15     topics.  That was the information I had, as far as preparations for this

16     meeting were concerned.

17        Q.   Tell us, please, and who was supposed to attend this meeting?

18        A.   The meeting was supposed to be attended by Mr. Boban,

19     General Bobetko, and the commanders of three -- well, three to four

20     commanders of the municipal staffs of this region along the Neretva

21     River, and two or three people from the South-East Herzegovina Operations

22     Group.  So that would make a total of 35 to 40 people overall.

23        Q.   Tell us, please, was Arif Pasalic supposed to be at the meeting,

24     as commander of the Mostar unit of the BH Army?

25        A.   Yes, the delegation from Mostar brought Mr. Pasalic with it as

Page 49352

 1     battalion commander.

 2        Q.   Tell us, please, when did you learn that the meeting was not

 3     going to be the kind of meeting that you thought it was going to be?

 4        A.   The meeting started, I think, at 4.00 p.m. in Medjugorje, and

 5     sometime between 1.00 and 2.00 General Bobetko arrived.  He arrived after

 6     talking to Boban.  He came to see me.  That's where the forward command

 7     post was.  And he asked me whether I was prepared for the meeting.

 8             On the wall, there was a large map, 1:25.000 was the scale, and

 9     he said -- and I said it couldn't have been a better map and that the

10     written document would be typed out shortly.  And when we received the

11     written document, the general took a look at it, and he said to me, Do

12     you think that I'm going to sit in the front row while you chair the

13     meeting?  And I said, Well, that was the information I received.  And

14     then he said, The meeting is a military meeting.  I'm not interested in

15     any of the civilians.  They have Mr. Boban, so they can discuss it with

16     him, and I don't have time to spend an hour and a half at a meeting like

17     that.  Then he looked at number 2 -- item number 2 and said that there

18     was no need to discuss the matter, especially since at that time the HVO

19     had no documents, so we couldn't discuss the establishment of brigades or

20     anything without any documents governing that type of organisation.

21        Q.   So what was your actual role at that meeting?

22        A.   Well, it was defined -- my role was defined as being the first

23     person to present the military situation in the territory east of the

24     Neretva River, including Stolac, Capljina, East Mostar, or, rather, the

25     lines facing the Army of Republika Srpska, and I would do this by

Page 49353

 1     pointing out the exact positions on the map, to give the exact number of

 2     soldiers, who they belonged to, and the support system in general, with

 3     the exact number of tanks and everything else.  And I also had the task

 4     of assessing what the -- what Serb forces we would encounter in front of

 5     us.  So that was my task, and I was supposed to present that information

 6     at the meeting.

 7        Q.   Tell us, please, whether that is what you did.  Or, rather, did

 8     you have a written speech or did you speak from your head?

 9        A.   Well, when General Bobetko said that he didn't feel the meeting

10     should discuss the items on the agenda, I simply took a map to the

11     meeting, placed it in the room that we were in - I had a wooden pointer -

12     stood before the map, and spent 35 minutes explaining the different

13     positions and situation by pointing to the map.

14        Q.   General, would you explain to us how this document had no

15     registration number?

16        A.   Well, when this document -- I can't use the word "rejected," but

17     when I was told that there was no need to have it processed further, that

18     it should stay the way it was, so we didn't give it a registration

19     number.

20        Q.   I see, thank you.  Now, tell us, please, General, at the meeting

21     did you see General Beneta?

22        A.   Yes, General Beneta was there, and there were four other people

23     from the Municipal Staff of Capljina, led by Mr. Luburic, I believe.

24        Q.   Tell us, please, General, as far as Bobetko was concerned, what

25     did he see as being the most important thing at that point in time?

Page 49354

 1        A.   Well, General Bobetko made two conclusions.  The first conclusion

 2     was this:  He asked to have in writing, first of all from me, and then 10

 3     other commanders from the Municipal HVO Staff, that we should put down on

 4     paper and guarantee that the line established facing the Serbs had been

 5     secured and that no Serb forces would be able to break through the line

 6     and advance to the Neretva River.  So that was the first assignment he

 7     gave me, the first guarantee he asked of us -- of myself and the other

 8     people there, and I did sign that.  And he said, Right, I have this down

 9     on paper now with your signature, and I'm going to hold you to it.

10             And, secondly, the second conclusion that he made was the

11     following:  He said, Think about having the remaining portion of the

12     Croatian Army which I have to withdraw, think about how you're going to

13     introduce the HVO army, and, secondly, set aside part of the forces and

14     train them for further attack operations so that you are ready, if I'm

15     successful and manage to route the Serb forces, that you could seize that

16     opportunity.  So be ready.

17             And the third task was that there should be a firm link between

18     positions in Herzegovina and positions of the Croatian Army along the

19     borders of the -- the Croatian Army along the border towards Dubrovnik,

20     to prevent anybody from infiltrating along that line.

21             So those were the two main conclusions and assignments.

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is not my

23     intention to discuss the document further.  But if Your Honours have any

24     questions, feel free to do so.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I have a

Page 49355

 1     question, because the situation in June 1992 is what I address it from,

 2     and then Bosnia and Herzegovina has been recognised by the international

 3     community and is a state.  And you know better than anyone that a state

 4     has an army.  And on that day, you organise a meeting, as it is indicated

 5     in the document, together with General Bobetko and some -- there are some

 6     commanders of the HVO from certain units, and political figureheads.  And

 7     if I understood you correctly, you also said that Pasalic was there.  And

 8     as the document states, you are setting forth the situation.  And you

 9     take the floor.  Your speech is structured.  And on reading this

10     document, I realise that the HVO has roughly a thousand men.  You detail

11     their strengths per locality.  In Mostar, you say 3.500 to 3.700.  That

12     would total 10.000 in all.  That would make up a division.  And then you

13     even add that there is the HOS that provided 80 to 100 men.

14             And you then come up with a proposal - this is in

15     paragraph 3 - based on the professional unit of Mr. Pusic, and you state

16     that the army should become more professional and give the HVO soldiers a

17     status.  This is under item 4.

18             You can read this document both ways.  How is it, when a state

19     has been created, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that you never

20     say that there should be a professional army under the banner of the

21     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and so on, you don't say this at any

22     point in time, why was this not mentioned?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, we're dealing

24     with June 1992 here.  The Presidency of the Republic of

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina at that point in time did not organise a single force

Page 49356

 1     in this territory here, except the independent battalion that was called

 2     "Mostar," and we paid all due attention to that.  Now, in previous

 3     documents from the Ministry of Department [as interpreted] of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina, all recruits -- all conscripts should contact the

 5     municipal defence departments, be registered there, so that their units

 6     could be set up.  Now, the Croatian Defence Council reacted to that and

 7     acted upon it.

 8             Now, at this point in time I did not have a single BH Army

 9     officer, except the independent battalion, as I said, not one single

10     brigade or any kind of unit which was close to me and with whose

11     commander I could reach an agreement.  Therefore, all that existed was

12     the Croatian Defence Council.  There was part of the Croatian Army that

13     helped liberate this area from the Army of Republika Srpska.  And at that

14     point in time, first of all, I did not know what was to the north of the

15     army that was under the establishment of the Presidency of

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I considered that since he sent this call-up for

17     a general mobilisation, declared a situation of war, that is to say, the

18     president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that all people, myself and everybody

19     else, all the other forces, were the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

20     because otherwise he would have set up a force which he would have

21     commanded.  They did not do that.  So most probably they counted upon the

22     fact that in this area there were quite a number of troops that had

23     already been established.

24             And if you remember the documents from May onwards,

25     President Izetbegovic was, in fact, establishing certain detachments and

Page 49357

 1     brigades, but they were all located in Central Bosnia, around Bihac, and

 2     nothing in this area.  So as far as I was concerned, this meant to me

 3     that he had accepted the Croatian Defence Council fully as it was

 4     established in this territory here.

 5             On the other hand, as far as I remember, in this particular

 6     document I make no mention of Herceg-Bosna at all.  I am -- I arrived in

 7     these parts two months prior to this, and I said straight away that items

 8     2, 3, and 4 were my thoughts, comprised my thoughts, and they were not

 9     taken to the meeting.  They were left behind for a more auspicious time,

10     because I couldn't speak about professionalisation without a single

11     document telling me what should be done and what legal foundations I

12     would have.  So that item was left for another time.

13             And then I gave some thought to what had happened in Croatia and

14     thought that it might be a good thing to apply something of that to

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So I didn't mention Bosnia-Herzegovina at all, or

16     Herceg-Bosna, for that matter.  And, secondly, none of the municipal

17     leaders came to attend the meeting.  And I had been informed that they

18     would be there, but they failed to arrive.  So that was it.

19             And in my opinion, as somebody who led part of the operation, all

20     of us, to my mind, took part in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And,

21     ultimately, the five of us were given the order of the Golden Lily in

22     Sarajevo later on, regardless of the fact that my colleague, Halilovic,

23     never came to congratulate me in the Presidency building that I was in.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, a while ago, before we

25     saw this document, I must say that I had listened very carefully to the

Page 49358

 1     demonstration you gave us on the question of the action conducted by the

 2     Croatian Army as regarded the Dubrovnik area, and you explained in detail

 3     what had been done and what you had done, and you said that you

 4     successfully managed to liberate some of the territories.  I remembered

 5     this.  And now we see this document, which is dated a few weeks later,

 6     and this doesn't seem to be saying quite the same thing.

 7             As you can see, if you look at item 1, you are saying that an

 8     offensive was launched in the south-east area by the HVO, with

 9     considerable assistance of the Croatian Army.  When I listened to you a

10     while ago, I had the feeling that it was the Croatian Army which had come

11     because you were the only one there facing the Serbs, and now we discover

12     in this document that there were HVO forces that took part in the

13     fighting, with the assistance of the Croatian Army.  The word

14     "assistance" is in there.  I had understood, from what you were saying

15     before, that the Croatian Army, to protect its own interests, had stepped

16     in to protect those interests.  So I believe there is a contradiction

17     here.

18             Can you explain this?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.

20             It may be good to show the map again.  The area in question is an

21     area along the Croatian border, and you heard General Beneta's testimony.

22     The Croatian Army was on a stretch of territory along the Croatian

23     border.  The depth of that territory was from 7 to 10 kilometres.

24             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we just show the

25     map for Mr. Petkovic to show you.

Page 49359

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to show you how it went.

 2             This direction [marks] is parallel to the Croatian border, and it

 3     is the direction of movement of the HV.  Everything further north from

 4     this [marks] were directions of movement of the HVO, and thus we reached

 5     this line [marks].  That is the area along the border.  Beneta was south

 6     of Stolac.  Units of the HV were moving here, and from Stolac along the

 7     Bregava River and further north to Mostar, these were the directions of

 8     movement of the HVO.  And here in the area of Mostar, they were also

 9     joined by this independent battalion of the BiH Army.

10             And with your leave, once the HV and the HVO reached this line,

11     the Croatian Army was in a position to move toward Dubrovnik more freely

12     because its left flank is completely secured.  That is, a part of the

13     Serb forces was pushed back from the Croatian border, this border being

14     protected by major forces, and the flanks of the HV are no longer open to

15     operations of the VRS.  And, thus, the HV got a manoeuvre capability to

16     move forward to Dubrovnik.  And that's what General Bobetko meant, that

17     he needs a secure line as to have a safe flank, and it mustn't happen

18     that the enemy move down the Neretva Valley and attack our forces from

19     behind.

20             And in July, in connection of Resolution -- whichever number it

21     was, the Croatian Army started leaving this area and only stayed in the

22     immediate vicinity of the border.  On the 13th of July, General Bobetko

23     ordered a pullout of the Croatian forces and the HVO forces were required

24     to move in, because Bobetko wanted to move south toward Dubrovnik and

25     didn't have other forces to count on.

Page 49360

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's give this an IC number.

 2     My colleague has several questions.

 3             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.

 4             The third marked version of document 4D02024 shall be given

 5     Exhibit IC01175.  Thank you, Your Honours.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I have only one question, Mr. Petkovic, on this

 7     document, and we do not need the map for that.

 8             It refers to page 3 in the Croatian version, under number 3,

 9     "Profesionalizacija Vojske."  In the first bullet point, the question is

10     raised:

11             "Which territory would such a professional army cover, the entire

12     territory ..."

13             And the word here is "prostor."  It's not "territory" as in the

14     first time when the word comes up.

15             " ... the entire territory or just a part of it?"

16             I would like you to explain to the Chamber what you meant by

17     "entire territory."

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I was drafting

19     this, I meant exclusively the area of the 10 municipalities along the

20     Neretva River, to put it that way; namely, the municipalities of Grude,

21     Citluk, Siroki Brijeg, Mostar, Capljina, Stolac, Neum, Ravno.  I may have

22     left out one.  I don't know.  Anyway, my idea was that in this area there

23     should be a professional unit, a regiment or a brigade, exclusively in

24     this area.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  You may have left out Siroki Brijeg.

Page 49361

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, I believe you're

 2     right.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  That completely answers my question.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A last question for you,

 5     Mr. Petkovic.

 6             At this meeting, you said that General Pasalic was there.

 7     Perhaps other Muslims were there also.  I don't know; maybe, maybe not.

 8     But General Pasalic, who was listening to you talking about professional

 9     units, about a professional army, well, all that may be right for him.

10     But you were a colonel of the Croatian Army.  He could have thought, Why

11     is he looking after our future army, because the Republic of

12     Bosnia-Herzegovina exists.  Maybe the Presidency of this republic should

13     look after this, perhaps.  Why is it that this Colonel from the Croatian

14     Army is looking after this?  Nobody made any comment in that regard?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, there were no

16     comments to that effect.  You're reading this off the paper, but it

17     wasn't discussed at the meeting at all.  I said that everything after

18     item 2 was given up on.  And there was no reason for Pasalic to foster

19     misgivings against me, because his chief of Main Staff was from Serbia,

20     so Bosnia was between the two.

21             Halilovic, by the way, is not a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22     He was born in Sandzak, which is in the then Socialist Republic of

23     Serbia.

24             But nobody would mind somebody coming to help, and that applies

25     to Mr. Pasalic, too.  And I believe that he was well informed about the

Page 49362

 1     structure of his battalion, brigade, and so on, how much of that he owed

 2     to the HVO.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you take the floor before

 4     these elected officials in the municipality, were you aware of the

 5     political situation locally?  Did you know anything about the ethnic

 6     breakdown?  Did you have any idea of the census of 1992?  Did you have

 7     any idea about the sensitive issue of Mostar?  Did you know about this or

 8     didn't you?  And you took the floor as a military who had conducted an

 9     action, and you are making proposals so that this military assignment be

10     conducted by others?

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  1991.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I had a view of the

13     situation in these municipalities, so that I knew that in the

14     municipality of Grude the population is almost

15     inclusively [as interpreted] Croatian and that the Croatian party had won

16     the elections.  The same applies to Siroki Brijeg.  When I say

17     "elections," I mean the legal elections.  In Citluk, there was an

18     absolute Croatian majority.  I also believe that the Croatian political

19     party won the elections.  Ljubuski, I wasn't sure of the relative shares

20     in the population, but, anyway, the Croats were the majority and the

21     Croatian political party had also won the elections.  At Capljina, the

22     situation was that the Croats were somewhat more numerous in the

23     municipality, and I believe that in Capljina there was a coalition

24     government of the HDZ and the SDA.  I don't know what their respective

25     shares were.  At Neum, almost 100 per cent Croats.  Again, Croats won the

Page 49363

 1     elections.  Ravno, also 100 per cent or maybe 95 per cent of the

 2     population was Croatian.  I'm not sure which villages are in the

 3     territory of the municipality.

 4             At Stolac, there was no local government at all, and earlier, as

 5     far as I knew at the time, Croats, Muslims, and Serbs were represented in

 6     government.  Now only the Croats and Muslims only remained, but they were

 7     unable to establish government.  In Mostar, the HDZ and the SDA

 8     participated in local government.  I believe there was a share of Serbs.

 9     I don't know how many, though.  But, basically, the HDZ and SDA were in

10     power, and a decision was taken to entrust defence-related issues to the

11     HVO.  And the relative shares of the ethnicities in the former Mostar

12     municipality, I think, was such that the Croats were slightly more

13     numerous than the Muslims, and the Serbs were third, constituting half

14     the share of either the Muslims or the Croats.

15             I knew that and tried to consider all that, but it didn't -- it

16     wasn't a problem for me because all the Muslims willing to fight were

17     joining the HVO.  The units were multi-ethnic.  There was some mention of

18     Herceg-Bosna, but nobody heeded that much at the time.  What mattered was

19     to be successful against the Serbs and then let them come to whatever

20     agreement they can reach.

21             At the time I am referring to in 1992, there were no obstacles in

22     that part of Herzegovina, but, mind you, I didn't know about the

23     situation in Central Bosnia because I never went there.  And apart from

24     that, I didn't have any authority to interfere with things in Central

25     Bosnia.

Page 49364

 1             And it may be interesting for you to hear that Mr. Keza, who

 2     assisted me in drafting this item 1, said that it didn't really matter

 3     whether you say "Croatian," or what, because the people didn't mind much

 4     and they lived together in that area anyway.

 5             Later on, things may have changed, but while I was there for

 6     these two months, there was no reason for me to count people.  So the

 7     information received from people was recorded by me, and I accepted what

 8     they had put down in writing and never opened a discussion about that.

 9             As for the term "Croatian," if anybody said "Croatian Mostar," of

10     course, that could be understood to mean that no Muslims are there.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you know that

12     a document is read and then will be interpreted by the Judges, and the

13     Prosecutor will also interpret all that.  And I look at point 4, and you

14     say that it's Keza who drafted this, and perhaps he was not very careful,

15     and you took over from him.  We have four points, 1, 2, 3, and 4.  And

16     point 4, it says that rules should be established in all municipalities.

17     When we read that, we have the feeling that all municipalities in the

18     area should be regulated by rules, but those rules should be for Croats,

19     and we know that they are Muslims and Serbs as well.  Is that a drafting

20     mistake, or was that really the intent, or did it fail the attention of

21     everyone?

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If I may intervene on a linguistic question.

23             I think "rule" is not properly translated by "regle," but it is

24     "dominance," it is the control.  But perhaps the interpreters want to

25     confirm or contradict.

Page 49365

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Look at your document.  What is

 2     the word that was used?  And as my colleagues said, perhaps there is an

 3     issue of translation from the original language.  Could you perhaps read,

 4     in your own language, point 4 so that we have the translation

 5     immediately?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Reading item 4:

 7             "Establish Croatian rule or authority on municipalities."

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just wait a second.  You can

 9     clarify this.  But in your own language, it was translated into French

10     and into English, and we have very good interpreters, it said:

11             "Establish the Croatian powers in all municipalities."

12             This was the translation that I got in French, so it goes beyond.

13     There is a real power, isn't there, a real Croatian power?  So my

14     question remains the same.  Is this a mistake in the way it was drafted

15     by Keza?  Did he not see the implications?  Was that part of a definite

16     intent or is there another explanation?  I don't know.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we look at item 4,

18     it reads "in all municipalities ," but if we look at which particular

19     municipalities this is referring to, then it doesn't make sense, because

20     there are authorities in these municipalities.  They were established in

21     1991, and since that time they've had the HVOs or whatever they were

22     called.  So this can be understood to mean that there are no authorities

23     in Ravno, Neum, Capljina, Citluk, Ljubuski, et cetera.  But there are

24     authorities everywhere so that the only municipality with that authority

25     is Stolac.  This is not in line with the reality, because there were

Page 49366

 1     authorities in all municipalities apart from Stolac, and the authorities

 2     were elected in 1991.  We saw how the process went of transforming those

 3     authorities into the HVO rule.  So there were authorities, there was

 4     rule, so that this item 4 is out of sync with reality, because this can

 5     be understood to mean that in all 10 municipalities there are no

 6     authorities.  In fact, there was only one such municipality, and that is

 7     Stolac.

 8             In all other municipalities, there were authorities established

 9     long before my arrival to those parts.  I don't know when the elections

10     were in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990.  That's when authorities were

11     established.  The only municipality without legal authorities was Stolac.

12     And you know that General Beneta said that a crisis staff was formed

13     which had Muslim and Croat representatives, and that's when that

14     municipality received authorities.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Petkovic, listening to you, one gets the

16     impression that it was a matter of course that the authorities would be

17     Croat, but that may be the issue, to establish Croat rule even where

18     previously, as in Stolac, there was not a Croat rule and even a clear

19     Muslim majority in the population.  I think that was the point that the

20     President was raising here.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I'm

22     talking using plural, and I said that at that moment the only place where

23     there were no Croatian authorities was the municipality of Stolac.  On

24     the 26th of June, 1992, only Stolac municipality did not have any

25     authority at all.

Page 49367

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment.  Let me immediately

 2     correct.  The general didn't say did that there was no Croatian

 3     authorities.  He said that there were no authorities at all.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't mention the word

 5     "Croatian."  All those municipalities, save for Stolac, already had

 6     established authorities.  Your Honour, those authorities had existed long

 7     before I arrived in the area.  So why am I using plural?  I really don't

 8     know.  Why is this plural, I don't know.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We understand what you're

10     saying, but you are not a legal expert, nor a drafter of a document.  But

11     you say that point 4 was only dealing with Stolac.  Very well.  I have no

12     reason not to believe you.  But if this is the case, and this only

13     applies to Stolac, why not say to establish in Stolac authorities with

14     all political components of the municipality; namely, the SDA, the HDZ,

15     and so on?  Why not draft it that way?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's not up to me to

17     think about that.  At that moment, I was faced with the fact that the

18     army had liberated Stolac and that there was nobody to hand over the

19     power to, and that was that.  The plural is used by mistake.  There was

20     nothing to change in Grude, Capljina, because the authorities were well

21     established in all the other places.  The only place in question is

22     Stolac.  And as I've already told you, this was taken off the typewriter.

23     Nobody really looked at it twice.  But let me say again that all the

24     municipalities, except for Stolac, had legally-elected powers.  And it

25     was a well-established fact that in 75 per cent of -- in all those

Page 49368

 1     municipalities, Croats constituted more than 75 per cent of the

 2     population.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you said there was a

 4     mistake, and it was only dealing with Stolac.  So it's in the transcript.

 5             Ms. Alaburic, you have 10 minutes left.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   General, let's be very clear and say:  Was this document read at

 8     that meeting or not?

 9        A.   No, Your Honours, that document was not read.  It could not have

10     been read.  It remained in Grude, and the meeting was held in Medjugorje.

11        Q.   General, you've told us that the persons who participated in the

12     drafting of the document was Keza, Zadro, and yourself, and that the

13     document was then read by Janko Bobetko; is that correct?

14        A.   Yes, it is.

15        Q.   Did anybody, except for the four of you, know about this

16     document?  Did anybody read it?

17        A.   No, except for the lady who typed it.

18        Q.   Very well.  And now, General, could you please tell us, do you

19     remember when Dubrovnik was liberated?

20        A.   In the first half of August 1992, that's when the blockade was

21     lifted.  It was always a free town, but what happened on that day, the

22     blockade was lifted and it was linked up with the western part of

23     Dubrovnik municipality.

24        Q.   Thank you for the clarification.

25             Please, let's look at P479.  This is an invitation issued by

Page 49369

 1     Janko Bobetko and sent to people from Herceg-Bosna to a meeting in order

 2     to clarify certain circumstances regarding the military situation in the

 3     territory of Herzegovina.  General, are you familiar with this document?

 4     Did you see it before?

 5        A.   Yes, I saw it before, because I participated in the meeting and I

 6     had been given a task to deliver a keynote address and tackle certain

 7     issues.  Items number 1 and 1.1 are my items, the ones that I discussed.

 8        Q.   In the autumn of 1992, did Janko Bobetko stop being active in

 9     that part of the front-line?

10        A.   Yes, one could say that at that moment General Janko Bobetko

11     turned completely towards the liberation of the small remaining part of

12     Croatia that was not liberated at the time, and then after that he left

13     for Zagreb.

14        Q.   General, you also mentioned that you received a Golden Lily and

15     that Halilovic never came to shake your hand and congratulate you.  What

16     were you talking about?  Is that a decoration, the Golden Lily?

17        A.   When they gave it to me, they told me that it was a decoration

18     for those who played a prominent role in the defence of

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  It was handed to me by Mr. Ganic, in the presence of

20     Kljujic, Siber, and three or four lower-ranking officers.

21        Q.   When you say that "they explained to me, they told me," who were

22     you referring to?  Who are "they"?

23        A.   Mr. Ganic, the vice-president of the Presidency of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Stjepan Kljujic, a member of the Presidency of

25     Bosnia and Herzegovina from the ranks of the Croatian people, and

Page 49370

 1     Stjepan Siber, of course, who was the deputy chief of staff of the BiH

 2     Army.

 3        Q.   Who was the decision-maker for that decoration?  Was it the

 4     Presidency or some other body?

 5        A.   They told me that the decoration had been established and awarded

 6     by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 7             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Counsel.  I apologise if I missed it, but

 8     I don't recall and I don't see on the transcript that we ever got a date

 9     for this reward.  It's come up several times, and it would be nice --

10             MS. ALABURIC:  My next question, my next question.

11             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you very much.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Since I have to take things at a

13     time, it seemed to me that it was more important to clarify the

14     significance of the decoration and then to deal with the date.

15        Q.   When was it, General, when you were awarded?

16        A.   It was on the 7th of October, 1992.

17        Q.   General, which state were you defending at the time?

18        A.   Bosnia and Herzegovina.  There was no other state.

19        Q.   In 1993, when you were in the territory of Bosnia and

20     Herzegovina, which state were you defending at the time?

21        A.   There was just one state, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

22        Q.   And in the first half of 1994 when you were in Bosnia and

23     Herzegovina, which state were you defending at the time?

24        A.   Again, the only state in existence was Bosnia and Herzegovina.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, earlier on I

Page 49371

 1     fully heard the fact that you mentioned that you got the Golden Lily

 2     award, and you know that we [as interpreted] obtained it on the 7th of

 3     October, 1992, so the date is very clear.  But as far as I can recollect,

 4     when you are given an award like this, a decree is drafted.  And I assume

 5     that in a decree to grant you this Golden Lily award, this must have been

 6     issued by the president of the Presidency, namely, Mr. Izetbegovic.  In

 7     this case, did you receive this decree that was published in the

 8     "Official Gazette"?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know what

10     they did in terms of administration and paperwork.  However, at the end

11     of the meeting they first approached me and the other of my five men.

12     They gave us the Gold Lilies.  And they gave one to me to pass on to

13     Mr. Boban, and there was something else with it, a copper pot or

14     something, and I gave the two to Mr. Boban.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but he got another present, as

17     I just told you.  It was a hand-made work of craft as a symbol of

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Sarajevo, the famous "Bastacija" [phoen].

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  When you are given

20     an award, it is for service rendered, as it were, and what is it that you

21     were awarded it for?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at a meeting held in

23     the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Ganic thanked the Croatian

24     Defence Council for all that had been done from the month of April 1992

25     up to then, in terms of the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He

Page 49372

 1     particularly emphasised the significance of the operation to liberate the

 2     eastern part of Bosnia, or, rather, the eastern bank of the Neretva

 3     River, including the town of Stolac.  Mr. Ganic apologised for their

 4     failure to present the whole situation well to the general public in

 5     Bosnia and Herzegovina.  To be honest, I held it against him, to a

 6     certain extent, but he promised that he would put it right.

 7             And then a new meeting with the UNPROFOR was scheduled for the

 8     12th of December, and then Mr. Ganic asked me if he could send me an

 9     invitation to that meeting instead of UNPROFOR, and I said,

10     Mr. Kljujic [as interpreted], sure, why not, we will come.  And I did

11     come on the 12th of October, and those who had sent me the invitation

12     never turned up.  And then I said to General Morillon, Let's go back to

13     the old way of doing things.  You send me the invitation.

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a small

15     correction.  The first time the date was mentioned, it was the 12th of

16     October, but there is a mistake.  Instead of "October ," we have the

17     month of December.  Just to avoid confusion.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we have a bit more

19     time left, we can also talk about December, the next invitation for a

20     meeting in Sarajevo.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will have time next week.

22     It is time to close this session.

23             We'll carry on next week and will resume our session Monday at

24     quarter past 2.00.  And I thank everyone in the courtroom.

25                           [The accused Petkovic stands down]

Page 49373

 1                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,

 2                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of

 3                           February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.