1 Thursday, 11 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Praljak and Pusic not present]
5 [The Accused Petkovic takes the stand]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
8 the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Today, Thursday, the 11th of March, 2010, I'd like to greet
15 General Petkovic, our witness, the accused, the Defence teams, Mr. Scott,
16 his collaborators, and everyone else assisting us.
17 I will now hand down an oral decision concerning the Petkovic
18 Defence's request for a statement of reasons in writing, or, in the
19 alternative, a certification of appeal of the oral decision of the 10th
20 of March, 2010.
21 At the hearing held on the 10th of March, 2010, the Petkovic
22 Defence requested that the Chamber provide additional grounds for its
23 oral decision of the 10th of March, 2010, concerning the allocation of
24 two additional hours for the additional examination of Milivoj Petkovic
25 or, in the alternative, it requested that the Chamber certify the appeal
1 that it intends to file against the said oral decision. The Chamber
2 notes that the request for a statement of reasons -- an additional
3 statement of reasons for the oral decision of the 10th of March, 2010,
4 has no grounds, as the decision in question has been duly justified.
5 With regard to the request for certification of appeal against
6 the oral decision, the Chamber notes that the Petkovic Defence has failed
7 to provide reasons for its request, in the light of the conditions of
8 Rule 73(B).
9 As a result, the Chamber hereby dismisses the request.
10 Concerning General Petkovic's testimony now, I believe that 54
11 minutes remain for Ms. Alaburic, if I'm not mistaken.
12 You have the floor, Ms. Alaburic.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
14 morning to the Prosecution, the Defence, the accused, and to you,
15 General, and everybody else in the courtroom.
16 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
17 [The witness answered through interpreter]
18 Re-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] General, a few questions to start off with with
20 respect to the cross-examination conducted by my learned friend Mr. Scott
21 dealing with the co-operation between the HVO and the Army of
22 Republika Srpska. And this topic was dealt with on pages 50564 of the
23 transcript. And, among others, Mr. Scott asked you the following: Did
24 the HVO and the Army of Republika Srpska conduct joint combat operations
25 against the Muslims? Do you remember that part of the examination,
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. One of the documents that Mr. Scott put to you was document
4 number P1643. General, we can use e-court. It will make it faster. It
5 was a report by Ivo Lozancic from Zepce, dated the 10th of March, 1993,
6 sent to Mr. Mate Boban and Mr. Bruno Stojic. And Mr. Scott focused on
7 the following sentence:
8 "It is necessary to open negotiations with the third party as a
9 possibility of resolving the question for us and Usora."
10 Now, I had the impression, General, that you wished to explain
11 the context in which that was written, and that you also wanted to tell
12 us whether it had anything to do with individual joint operations manned
13 by the HVO and the Army of Republika Srpska against the Muslims. Tell us
15 A. No, there was no joint combat. These areas were under a total siege
16 and you couldn't reach them. Zepce was the furthest, and from the south
17 side it was blocked by Zenica, Veliko Srediste, and a large number of
18 units, and Zepce and Usora had no contact with any HVO unit. We could not
19 access it, we couldn't get within reach of 100 kilometres, because the BH
20 Army was around about. So that was one of the most difficult problems to
21 resolve, Zepce being left as one of the most difficult enclaves of the HVO.
22 Q. Now, General, 4D566 is the next document I'd like us to look at,
23 and it's the map which you, yourself, prepared showing the situation on
24 the territory of Central Bosnia and part of the North-West Herzegovina
25 Operative Zone. So let's have a look where Zepce is, exactly, and what
1 it is you were talking about.
2 That's the map.
3 Tell us, please, General, does Zepce border on territory
4 controlled by the Serbs, in part?
5 A. Yes, it does border on that to the west, that is to say, north of
6 Zenica, which is where the Serbs were in contact with part of the Zepce
8 Q. Tell us, please, General, according to your estimation, this
9 Croatian enclave, could it have survived had it not had the possibility
10 of communicating with the outside world through the territory under Serb
12 A. No, it couldn't have survived, no chance whatsoever of it
14 Q. The next document that you were shown by Mr. Scott in this
15 context is document P2931, which is an order of yours, General, sent to
16 the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade and Rama Brigade and to Mr. Siljeg in Prozor.
17 And in item 3 of that order, which was sent on the 24th of June, 1993,
18 you state:
19 "I forbid support to our present [as interpreted] allies."
20 And then in point 4, you say:
21 "Provide support to the new allies."
22 So you're withholding it from the old allies and provide support
23 to the new allies. Tell us, General, the former allies, that is to say,
24 up until this order was issued on the 23rd of June, 1993, who were those
25 former allies?
1 A. Well, that was figuratively stated. They were members of the
2 BH Army who, up until that date, had taken control of Travnik, expelled
3 the Croats, taken Kakanj, expelled the Croats from Kakanj. Those were
4 the former allies. And these new ones, new allies, were those who took
5 over the Croats on their own territory and succeeded in organising them
6 and transporting the civilian population, in part, to the Republic of
7 Croatia and through Kupres to Livno. That's what that was about.
8 Q. Tell us, please, General, you've already told us this, but you
9 can remind us, when, in your opinion, did an all-out, total war begin
10 between the HVO and BH Army?
11 A. Well, total war began in June, to all intents and purposes, and
12 it reached a peak on the 30th of June, because it was in June that
13 Travnik was attacked, taken control of, Croats expelled, Kakanj
14 continued, Fojnica continued, and further on, so the whole of Bosnia and
15 the whole of the HVO in Bosnia was totally blocked and being attacked
16 from all sides, and we had no prospects at all. And that is why we had
17 5.000 dead -- 5.000 dead in the clashes -- well, if we call them former
18 allies up until then of the BH Army, members of the BH Army.
19 Q. Now, the next topic, General, re-subordination. My question to
20 you is this: Is there any automatic re-subordination? For example,
21 Tuta, with 50 members of the Convicts Battalion, comes into the territory
22 of Gornji Vakuf, so does that mean that he is automatically
23 re-subordinated to Zrinko Tokic, who was the commander of the brigade in
24 Gornji Vakuf?
25 A. No, not unless Tuta had been sent by somebody and an order
1 written that he was being re-subordinated. He could come there and say,
2 I am re-subordinating myself. So for re-subordination, there must be the
3 proper documentation to back that up.
4 Q. You mentioned and said that Tuta, as a unit being re-subordinated
5 possibly, must have been informed about that. Now, what about the
6 brigade commander; would he have to have been informed?
7 A. Absolutely. He has to know who he was getting, and somebody
8 getting into the area can only work on his own bat if they're not
10 Q. Now, the next topic is this: Mr. Scott, on page 50683 of the
11 transcript, mentioned several of your agreements and the permission you
12 gave for labour on the part of detainees, and he said that that
13 permission was given following your order of the 14th of October, 1993.
14 So let's look at that order now of the 14th of October, 1993. The number
15 of the document is P5873. Tell us, General, how come you issued this
16 order in the first place? Can you explain the circumstances of that?
17 A. Well, on that day I received a delegation from the International
18 Red Cross Committee because we were supposed to decide about the holding
19 of two meetings, one in Tomislavgrad and the other in Mostar, which would
20 involve about 100 officers and NCOs, and the ICRC would talk about
21 International Humanitarian Law. And that was arranged, and the people
22 from the ICRC spent two days in Mostar on both sides, both banks. And
23 they went with me -- they came to me to talk to me, and they said that
24 they had been to the east bank, and asked them there to regulate
25 questions of human labour. And then they told me that it would be a good
1 idea if I were to issue an order, and that's what I did. That's how I
2 drafted the order forbidding any more such people to be taken for that
3 purpose, and, if necessary, then the Main Staff would make the decision
4 and it would be far off from the front-line so as not to bring anybody
5 into jeopardy.
6 Q. Now let's look at P7075, the next order. Well, I apologise, it's
7 not an order; it's actually a document. It's a document dated the 18th
8 of December, 1993, signed by the then assistant minister of defence,
9 Marijan Biskic. And towards the end of that document, it says that:
10 "I forbid, without permission from the Security Sector, the
11 taking out of prisoners for labour."
12 Now, my question to you, General, is this: From that time on,
13 the Security Sector, did it issue permission for prisoners to be taken
14 out for labour?
15 A. The Security Sector took it upon themselves to supervise and see
16 where the people were being taken -- prisoners were being taken out for
17 labour or not. And as far as I remember, they gave permission for some
18 people to go out to work in certain localities.
19 Q. Now, the next topic, let's move on: The military disciplinary
20 courts. The page of the transcript is 50283. Tell us, please, General,
21 the legal system in Herceg-Bosna, with respect to the new provisions, was
22 it similar to the system applied in the Republic of Croatia?
23 A. Yes, it was mostly similar, and all the documents and material
24 was used, the documents issued in the Republic of Croatia, to be adapted
25 or copied out for other purposes -- these other purposes.
1 Q. Now look at 4D1331, the next document, 4D331 [as interpreted].
2 It's a decision on establishing military disciplinary courts. It's the
3 14th of November. Franjo Tudjman took the decision. It has to do with
4 the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Army. Tell me, did Mate Boban
5 ever issue a decision or a similar one in Herceg-Bosna?
6 A. No, he never issued a decision on establishing military
7 disciplinary courts. And the year is 1991.
8 Q. Now for the following subject. On transcript page 50077 and
9 50078, the Stojic Defence showed you document 4D348. This is a report
10 from Mr. Miro Andric compiled on the 27th of January, 1993. General, can
11 you confirm the authenticity of this document?
12 A. Yes, Mr. Andric compiled this document. It's authentic, and all
13 the people mentioned under 1 to 5 were with him in Gornji Vakuf; in fact,
14 in Prozor.
15 Q. Have you read this document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. To the best of your knowledge, does it correctly depict the
18 situation in Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. Yes. Mr. Andric described all the events from the 12th of
20 January. He described all his meetings, everything that was going on
21 until he left the area of Gornji Vakuf or, rather, until the time that he
22 was wounded.
23 Q. On page 50326 of the transcript, 50326, Judge Antonetti asked you
24 how it is that the Defence Department was an administrative organ that
25 had the Main Staff as one of its components, which was an operative
1 organ. General, my question is: Is the Defence Department, as you
2 understand it, just an administrative body?
3 A. Well, if you have a look at it as a whole, if you have a look at
4 the Main Staff within the framework of the Defence Department, then it's
5 an administrative and an operative organ, because you can't exclude the
6 Main Staff from that body.
7 Q. On page 50098 of the transcript to 50133, you were asked about
8 assistant commanders of operative zones and brigades and battalions, for
9 the medical corps, security, and for information and propaganda. My
10 question is: Who appointed these assistant commanders -- these deputy
11 commanders, in fact?
12 A. Well, they had to be appointed within the chain of command by the
13 highest-ranking levels of the Defence Department, by the body responsible
14 for appointing such people. They made such suggestions.
15 Q. General, let's have a look at 2D567. This is a decision on the
16 internal organisation of the Defence Department, dated the 17th of
17 October, 1992. I'll go through certain provisions very quickly.
18 In item 4, it says that deputy commanders for security in the
19 commands of operative zones shall be appointed by the representative of
20 the Defence Department, as suggested by the deputy commander for
21 security, and also deputy commanders for brigades. Item 5, this also
22 concerns the health sector, the chief of the medical corps in the
23 brigades shall be appointed by representatives of the Defence Department.
24 Then we have the Sector for Morale. That's item 6 of the document. And
25 for the Sector for Morale, apart from deputy commanders, it also says
1 that all other officials and operative officers in the Sector for Morale
2 shall be appointed by the deputy representative for morale, with the
3 acceptance of the head of the Defence Department or someone authorised by
4 that person.
5 General, as far as you remember, was that the actual situation?
6 A. This was how one had to proceed. These are the provisions.
7 Q. Let's have a look at P601, General. This is a programme of work
8 for the Sector for Morale for 1992. It's dated the 19th of October,
9 1992. The programme was established by the assistant for the Defence
10 Department then, Mr. Bozo Rajic. In the document, there are a number of
11 important items. It's already an exhibit. I'll just draw your attention
12 to one part of the document towards the end of the introductory part,
13 before the numbers 1, 2, 3 on the next page in the Croatian version.
14 I think it's the same in the English version. In that part, it says that
15 they suggest -- the authority for appointing all officials shall be the
16 authority of this sector, and you can influence -- they can influence the
17 officials appointed. Subordination and control shall also be
18 established, because "appointment" also means the right to dismiss
19 certain employees, and so on.
20 General, did you know that the initiative for this decision came
21 from the Sector for Morale, itself?
22 A. Yes. They followed the usual guide-lines.
23 Q. Very well. We'll move on to the next subject.
24 General, General Praljak asked you questions about combat and
25 non-combat components of the military structure; page 50186 of the
1 transcript to 50190. Amongst non-combat components of the military
2 structure, you included the military police. My question is whether all
3 units and services of the military police are part of the non-military --
4 the non-combat, correction, component of the HVO.
5 A. The military police, amongst its tasks -- well, didn't mention
6 that the military police was a combat unit, but at certain periods of
7 time there were certain tasks, so to speak, where parts of the military
8 police were declared to be combat components, but the tasks never
9 actually stated that the military police had to perform combat
10 operations. After a certain amount of time, there would be certain
11 changes within the structure, and then the possibility would be given,
12 through orders and through other documents, for part of the police to be
13 used in combat.
14 Q. The Coric Defence, on pages 50223 to 5, showed you P960, document
15 P960. These are instructions from Mr. Bruno Stojic on implementing the
16 reorganisation of the military police units. The date is the 28th of
17 December, 1992.
18 And now for the following document, and then I will put my
19 question. Have a look at document P957. This is a decision on the
20 structure of the military police of the HVO. The date is the 26th of
21 December, two days earlier. It was taken by Mr. Coric and Mr. Stojic on
22 that date.
23 General, my question is: As Chief of the Main Staff, did you or
24 anyone else from the Main Staff participate in this decision on the
25 organisation of the military police?
1 A. No, we quite simply received this decision as a "fait accompli."
2 Q. On page 50229 of the transcript, it says that you were shown a
3 document, 5D5106, 5D5106. It's a decision on appointing a commander of a
4 platoon of the brigade of military police in the Frankopan Brigade. The
5 date is the 9th of April, 1993. Do you remember having seen this?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Have a look at 4D2041 now. This is a decision from the military
8 Police Administration, dated the 21st of August, 1993, in which one is
9 reacting to the replacement of the commander of the Brigade police of the
10 Knez Branimir Brigade in Citluk. It says:
11 "Having examined order number 693, we are obliged to inform you
12 of the following:
13 "You do not have the authority to appoint and dismiss the brigade
14 police commander.
15 "2. If you believe that the brigade police commander is not
16 performing his duty responsibly, you can request that the Military Police
17 Administration of the HZ-HB relieve him of duty, providing the necessary
19 "3. Should your request be approved, you will be able to propose
20 a candidate for the new commander.
21 "Send any remarks concerning the work of the brigade police to
22 the Military Police Administration of the HVO."
23 General, according to this document on the dismissal of the
24 police commander of the Knez Branimir Brigade, who is responsible for
25 appointing and dismissing brigade police commanders?
1 A. Well, it's the Administration of the Military Police. Everything
2 else would be against the law.
3 Q. On pages 50228 and 9 of the transcript, it says that you were
4 shown your warning, P4262, P4262, your warning dated the 17th of August,
5 1993, on responsibility for command in the brigade military police.
6 General, does this have the value of an order, this document of yours?
7 A. No, it doesn't. It was just a warning to prevent spreading blood
8 amongst military police. This document that we saw previously was
9 created three or four days after mine, so this is contrary to what I was
10 claiming here.
11 Q. Very well. Let's have a look at P4922 now. This is an extract
12 from instructions on the work of the brigade military police. It is --
13 it has the force of an order. On the 10th of September, 1993, it was
14 issued by Mr. Valentin Coric. In that order, amongst other things --
15 well, I'll just mention a few items. It says military police platoons
16 and brigades carry out the orders of the brigade commander within the
17 framework of their responsibility. I'll skip another paragraph:
18 "The HVO military police is a single body and is linked to
19 battalions and companies under the command of the chief of the Military
20 Police Administration. The structure of the military police in brigades
21 is not permanent. Brigade platoons, within the framework of military
22 police companies and battalions, can be used for general military and
23 police affairs, under the command of the company commander, with the
24 agreement of the brigade commander, and at that time their
25 responsibilities towards the brigade shall cease."
1 This extract from an obligation of a force of an order, as one
2 says, was forwarded, as we can see, to all brigades. And it also says:
3 "To military police platoons." That's handwritten. Was this extract
4 also forwarded to the HVO Main Staff, General?
5 A. No, it wasn't forwarded to the HVO Main Staff, but this was also
6 an attempt to normalise the relationship of the police within the HVO.
7 Q. On page 50225 to 31 of the transcript, it says --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: With regard to the last document, Ms. Alaburic,
9 could you tell us where you have the source to affirm that "10/09" is the
10 10th of September, 1993?
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, thank
12 you for the question. I was expecting it.
13 If you have a look at the second page of the Croatian version,
14 you'll see that it was also forwarded to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and
15 8th Military Police Battalions. By the 1st of July, 1993 -- up to the
16 1st of July, 1993, there were five military police battalions, and in the
17 second half of 1993, this was reorganised and there were eight military
18 police battalions. So this document was forwarded to eight military
19 police battalions, and as a result, the document is from 1993, without a
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And probably I'm not 100 per cent sure. For
22 1994, Mr. Coric would not anymore be in the position as chief of the MPA?
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Already in
24 November 1993, Mr. Coric was no longer in that position, but I'm not
25 talking about 1994.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm just trying to exclude any possibilities
2 that the document is from somewhere else, and that's fine. Thank you.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So, General, you have been shown P1099, 1099, which is a table
5 showing the structure of the brigade. You were shown the first page of
6 that document, General. It is a table, but not the actual formation of
7 the brigades signed by Mr. Stojic. Tell me, General, was this table
8 signed by Mr. Stojic?
9 A. I don't know how I can confirm whether it is a part of the whole.
10 I'm just --
11 Q. No, General. I'm just asking you whether he signed it.
12 A. No, he didn't.
13 Q. Will you please find that document in our set of documents in the
14 first binder. Please leaf through this document quickly and find where
15 Bruno Stojic planned that the brigade military police would be part of
16 the brigade structure. Can you do that quickly, please?
17 A. What is the number of the document?
18 Q. P1099. You can find it because the documents are in order.
19 The question, General, is whether this diagram corresponds to the
20 structure of the brigade passed by Mr. Bruno Stojic.
21 A. Yes, this is a schematic. It says here that it should be signed,
22 though I can't see the signature.
23 Q. Will you please find where it says that the brigade military
24 police is part of the brigade structure?
25 A. No, it can't be found.
1 Q. Is it indicated anywhere?
2 A. No, but then we have to look at all the appointments.
3 Q. So it does not exist. Let us now look at document P957. We had
4 it in our hands a moment ago. It is a decision by Mr. Bruno Stojic --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes?
6 THE ACCUSED STOJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
7 I do apologise. Could you please ask the witness just one
8 question: Whether all the brigades had the same structure? Counsel has
9 just found one brigade formation, but all the brigades did not have the
10 same structure. Thank you. If you could, Your Honours, please ask this
11 of the witness. If not, I apologise.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's not possible for you, but
13 it's an interesting question.
14 We have an organigram, a typical organigram of a brigade.
15 General Petkovic, did all the brigades have the same organigram or the
16 same structure, or is this a special case?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the exception may be
18 as to whether brigade has two, three, or five battalions; that is, what
19 differed one brigade from another. Some had two battalions. For
20 example, Ante Starcevic had 1.300 men. It cannot have three. The
21 Knez Domagoj at first had five battalions because it was numerically
22 strong, and it may have had two independent companies. So the difference
23 was in the number, and the greatest difference was the number of
24 battalions that a brigade could form.
25 And, secondly, another difference was whether the brigade had a
1 sufficient number of artillery pieces or did it just have five mortars in
2 a brigade, so you couldn't call it a division. The rest is more or less
3 the same.
4 So the main difference was the number of battalions. Depending
5 on the strength of the brigade, the number of battalions was formed.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, document P957. It's a decision on the structure of the
8 HVO military police, which is from December 1992.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Just a moment.
10 Ms. Alaburic, I apologise. Still talking about this document,
11 P1099, when we look at the organigram that we have in front of us, I see
12 in the first line, under the heading "Brigade Commander and Command," on
13 the first line, I shall read, "Protection Platoon." What is the MP
14 Platoon, what does it stand for? Witness, is that still the military
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Mindua, this a
17 formation designed much earlier, so that if you have a military police
18 platoon, you don't need a protective platoon. This was a structure that
19 was set up at I don't know what level, and, as such, there is no need to
20 have a protective platoon, because the need to protect the command will
21 be done by the military police. So this was a structure from the very
22 beginning. It was later revised, and many of these things were also
23 revised later on. And what is shown with dotted lines, that was subject
24 to changes; for instance, battalions and independent companies. And this
25 depended on the possibilities regarding manpower in a particular
1 municipality, whether they were sufficient or not.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: Thank you very much.
3 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I do have a request, if you
4 could ask the witness a question.
5 Since he is denying all the diagrams that are being shown, and in
6 the last year we have seen some prepared here in The Hague, could you ask
7 him whether he had an organigram of the Main Staff of the HVO of which he
8 was the head? And if he did, let us see the position of the military
9 police in the brigade.
10 And an additional request: Why was this not called the NATO
11 military police rather than the brigade military police? And I was a
12 person who studied these matters at some length. Perhaps it would be
13 better to call it the NATO military police rather than the brigade
14 military police. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, due to the
16 procedure, clearly, Mr. Coric could not ask this question later. He
17 could ask another witness. But you were at the head of the HVO, and as
18 he has already testified, he can't ask you any more questions. So I will
19 take up this question, and could you answer it, please?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can, Your Honours.
21 The Main Staff has its own structure which is prescribed, and, as
22 such, it was adopted in September 1992. It was amended at the end of
23 1993, when General Roso took over as commander, perhaps two months after
24 he took over. Up until then, it had an established structure. And we
25 even saw lists of names of people who held certain positions. Therefore,
1 the Main Staff did have its organisational structure and it had persons
2 performing duties. You had the Witness Jasak, who pointed out his
3 position on the diagram. A new change occurred at the end of 1993, when
4 General Roso, Minister Jukic, and others came over. The Main Staff was
5 reorganised, and the number of people in the Main Staff increased. So
6 the Main Staff, of course, does have its structure, which we have seen
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, I did not find your answer to
9 Mr. -- to my brother Mindua's question very, very clear. He pointed out
10 that here we have an element, a protection platoon, and then there is
11 also a platoon of military police. Now, you seem to be saying that all
12 this is not really reliable, it changed over the course of time. That
13 may well be so. I will, of course, not dispute this. The question is
14 whether, then, it is convincing for the whole time that there is no place
15 for military police in the structure of the battalion and whether what is
16 here indicated by a platoon could not later on then be more important
17 units of military police.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one is denying that there was a
19 military police in the brigade. This is the first scheme, designed at
20 the beginning, and it was changed. This protection platoon was simply
21 left out, was scrapped, because it was not necessary in the structure of
22 the brigade. By a decision on the structure of the military police of
23 the 26th of December, one can see that there are military police platoons
24 that are attached to the brigades.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the following
1 documents we will be answering Your Honour Judge Trechsel, and we will be
2 referring to all the points you have just raised, Your Honours.
3 Q. When you were talking about the structure of the Main Staff, tell
4 us, who prescribed the structure of the Main Staff?
5 A. The Defence Department prescribed all the structures, including
6 the Main Staff.
7 Q. But "the Defence Department" doesn't mean anything, so tell us.
8 A. The head of the department, that is Mr. Stojic. No one else
9 could sign them.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would you please wait for the translation,
11 because you have been totally overlapping now. And this is addressed
12 also to the witness. You -- as soon as the last word had left counsel's
13 mouth, your mouth opened, and that's not the way that works. Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, let us look at document P957 to see what was prescribed
17 regarding brigade military police platoons. In the section relating to
18 the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Military Police Battalion, let us look at the text
19 for the 2nd, which applies to all the battalions. It says:
20 "The 2nd Battalion of the military police based in Tomislavgrad,
21 covering the operational zone of North-Western Herzegovina."
22 It consists of: The command, three companies, and six brigade
23 platoons of military police.
24 Tell us, General, according to this provision, what would you
25 say? The military police platoon of the brigade, which does it belong
2 A. It belongs to the battalion of this operational zone.
3 Q. Let us look further down. As part of the battalion, there are
4 six independent brigade platoons of the military police which are a
5 component part of the brigade in the Operative Zone of North-Western
6 Herzegovina. Tell us, please, General, this sentence, how do you
7 interpret it? The platoons of the brigade military police, who do they
8 belong to?
9 A. They belong to a certain battalion of the military police, be it
10 the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Battalion that we have come across here, or
11 companies in Posavina.
12 Q. Tell us, then, how would you interpret the fact that it says that
13 those platoons are also within the framework of the brigades?
14 A. We have a single unified military police -- and they are, by
15 assignment, attached to brigades. And then they become brigade military
16 police, but they also belong to the military police battalion. This is a
17 decision which is important.
18 Q. Let us now look at the next document, P1707, 1707. This is a
19 document of the head of the Military Police Administration, dated the
20 23rd of March, 1993, addressed to Bruno Stojic. It is a request for
21 funds for the payment of salaries to the military police for February
23 Under B, as we see in this document, there's mention of the
24 brigade military police. And if we look at the table, we will see that
25 Valentin Coric is seeking funds for the salaries of members of the
1 brigade military police in the 3rd Battalion and the 4th Battalion of the
2 Military Police. Tell me, General, on the basis of this document, to
3 which entity the brigade military police belongs.
4 A. It is to the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the military police.
5 Q. Will we please look at the next document, which is P2020. This
6 is, again, an order by Valentin Coric - I withdraw the word "again," from
7 the 22nd of April, 1993. And in the second paragraph, Valentin Coric
8 orders from members of the military police from the 2nd and 3rd Brigade,
9 intervention groups should be formed which, together with the military
10 police, that is, the Mostar Brigade of the Army of BiH, jointly patrol
11 the town. What does it emerge from this order? Is Valentin Coric in
12 charge of the brigade military police?
13 A. Yes, he is, because he says that the military police from the 2nd
14 and 3rd Brigade should form intervention groups, together with the
15 military police of the 1st Mostar Brigade of the ABiH, and that they
16 should jointly patrol the town of Mostar.
17 Q. Let us look at the document P2310. This is an information on a
18 meeting that -- with Pero Markovic and the members of the civilian
19 authorities of Capljina. A meeting was held with the representatives of
20 military police, that is, representatives of the military police of the
21 HVO, with the civilian authorities of Capljina municipality. And in the
22 middle of the second page of the Croatian text, which is again the second
23 page, paragraph 5, it is said as follows:
24 "The first command of the brigade military police is given by the
25 commander of the brigade, and it comes under the authority of the
1 Administration of the Military Police, who reports on its work."
2 Does this conclusion from the meeting agree with what you believe
3 things should be like?
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Mr. Petkovic, this was a bit a
6 lump-sum question and answer. If I understand correctly, but I find it
7 difficult to follow at that speed, I must admit, this could also be read
8 as marking an exception. Normally, the MP of the brigade is under the
9 authority of the commanders, and here it's excluded, and this might be an
10 exception. What is your view on this?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's not an exception.
12 The brigade will work on the affairs that the brigade commander received
13 and issued, but it is duty-bound, in its work, to inform its superior
14 organ, which is the military police battalion to which it belongs, in
15 organisational terms; well, the police. But the battalion first is
16 informed, and then it goes further on. It has to table a report on its
17 work within the brigade to the superior organ of the military police.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. We have this on record. I'm sure we
19 will have the occasion to go into this matter later also.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we can just
21 clarify the beginning of the general's answer.
22 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would
23 like to go back a bit to the document presented by my learned colleague
24 several minutes ago. It is document P01707, to make things proper. The
25 first paragraph of that document, and she omitted to read a sentence from
1 that, the sentence which says salaries were not calculated for military
2 policemen in the brigade platoon of the Brigade of Knez Domagoj, the
3 Bruno Busic Regiment, and the brigade platoons from the Operative Zone of
4 North-West Herzegovina which were paid through those units. I just
5 wanted to read that sentence out.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Now, General, remind us of your answer. What was it that you
9 A. I said that in certain areas, salaries were guaranteed for
10 brigade platoons. Where it wasn't, then the military police asked the
11 Defence Department to provide the salaries, because I know that
12 individual municipalities paid soldiers and, by the same token, paid the
13 military police in certain municipalities.
14 Q. Now let's look at P31 -- yes, my colleague Ms. Nozica has
15 reminded me of a point. I wanted you to give me some explanation that --
16 you probably misspoke in line 8 of the previous page. When you started
17 answering Judge Trechsel's question -- yes, I have very little time.
18 That's why I'm speeding up, so I apologise to everybody.
19 Judge Trechsel asked you about the brigade military police, and
20 you said that the brigade will perform tasks pursuant to orders from the
21 brigade commander. Did you mean the brigade or did you mean the brigade
22 military police?
23 A. No, I meant the brigade military police. It will perform its
24 tasks in the brigade, but up the chain of command it must inform the
25 military police what it was it did within the brigade.
1 Q. Tell us, please, General, do you in any way challenge the fact
2 that the brigade military police performed the defined daily military
3 police tasks and assignments pursuant to an order from the brigade
5 A. No, I'm not challenging that. That is what it did do.
6 Q. Now let's look at document P3116, which is a report of the 4th
7 Brigade Military Police. The commander is Ante Prlic, and it is a report
8 dated the 2nd of July, 1993. And I'd like us to focus on the last
9 sentence there, or the two last sentences, where it says the following:
10 "Around Mostar, the brigade military police is on the alert and
11 is in the police station, and is regularly implementing all the orders it
12 receives from the brigade and the Military Police Administration. In the
13 course of the past day, there were no problems."
14 Tell us, General, a situation of this kind whereby orders are
15 received both from the brigade commander and from the Military Police
16 Administration, does that correspond to the actual situation on the
18 A. Yes, it does, absolutely.
19 Q. Just one more document staying with that topic, and it is P5497.
20 5497 is the document number, which is a monthly report on the work of the
21 5th Battalion of the Military Police for the month of September 1993.
22 And on the last page of that document, we have a review of the strength
23 of the 5th Military Police Battalion, and mention made there is platoons
24 in seven brigades and the brigade platoon in Konjic.
25 Now, looking at this document, General, the brigade police, was
1 it within the 5th Battalion of the Military Police?
2 A. Yes, these platoons did come under the composition of the
3 5th Military Police.
4 Q. What happened to the brigade military police when, at the head of
5 the Ministry of Defence, we had Mr. Jukic, and in the Security Sector,
6 Mr. Biskic?
7 A. It was abolished.
8 Q. Can you tell us what the general conclusion was about the
9 institution of the brigade military police as it was organised hitherto,
10 if you know? Was it given a positive assessment of its work or not?
11 A. Well, all the problems in the work of the brigade military police
12 were reviewed, and so the new leadership decided to abolish the brigade
13 military police forces in all the brigades and carried out a
14 reorganisation of the overall military police.
15 Q. General, Judge Trechsel said, on page 50254 of the transcript --
16 he said:
17 "We had the impression that the military police was integrated in
18 the operative zone and that a command and order to the operative zone
19 included everything that came under the operative zone commander,
20 including the military police."
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note they do not have the
22 exact words of Judge Trechsel.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now, in view of that, I'm going to quote the example of the
25 Operative Zone of South-East Herzegovina in order to try and answer that
1 question, and I hope, thereby, contribute to a clarification of the
2 issue. Let's see what units existed in the South-East Herzegovina
3 Operative Zone, to begin with, and to whom one of your orders sent to
4 Miljenko Lasic for combat operations would refer.
5 Tell us, in the territory of that operative zone, was the -- was
6 there a special unit, Ludvig Pavlovic, and its headquarters?
7 A. Yes. It was headquartered in Capljina.
8 Q. That unit, was it directly subordinated to the Main Staff?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. On the territory of that operative zone, did the 1st Light
11 Assault Battalion of the Military Police have its headquarters too?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And to whom was the 1st Light Assault Battalion of the Military
14 Police subordinated?
15 A. To the Military Police Administration.
16 Q. In the territory of that same operative zone, did the
17 3rd Battalion of the Military Police have its headquarters?
18 A. Yes, it did, that's correct.
19 Q. In the territory of that same operative zone, did the brigades in
20 municipalities incorporated by the operative zone have their
22 A. Yes, certainly.
23 Q. Now, General, let's look at the situation. The commander of the
24 operative zone was issued an order by you for some combat operation. You
25 don't specify anything. It simply goes to the operative zone, to
1 Miljenko Lasic personally. Now, tell us, an order of that kind, would it
2 refer to the special Ludvig Pavlovic unit as well?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Does the that order refer to the 1st Light Assault Brigade of the
5 Military Police?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Does that order refer to the 3rd Battalion of the Military
9 A. No.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to correct the
11 transcript in line 19. I was asking a hypothetical question, that
12 General Petkovic, as Chief of the Main Staff, issues an order
13 hypothetically to Miljenko Lasic, who was the commander of the North-East
14 Herzegovina Operative Zone. So that was a hypothetical I was putting to
15 the general, to avoid any misunderstanding.
16 I think my time is almost up. May I know how many more minutes I
17 have left, if any?
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I give you a bit of time to reflect by putting a
19 question to the witness.
20 Mr. Petkovic, I find it difficult to understand how this --
21 militarily, how this works. We have a commander of the operation zone.
22 In this operation, there are units which, you say, are not under his
23 authority, and you give him the order to carry out an operation. Now,
24 does the commander of the OZ have a possibility to somehow engage these
25 elements or does he have to go to the Military Police Administration and
1 consult with Mr. Coric, for instance, to say, Look, I would like to do
2 this with this light assault unit; do you allow or could you order them?
3 I would like to know how this works, because I cannot really imagine it.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the units do not
5 come within his composition, that is, the operative zone composition, he
6 cannot issue them any assignments, regardless of the fact they had their
7 headquarters in the same operative zone. They're not his units. What?
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Who's the "he"? Tell us who is the "he."
10 A. The commander of the operative zone. So he cannot issue an order
11 for an assignment, just those who come down within the schematic of his
12 units. Everything else, if necessary, he must ask me for -- about
13 Ludvig Pavlovic and for the light assault battalion, to deploy that. So
14 he doesn't have the right to deploy those forces. And today, in many
15 armies throughout the world, you have within the territory of one area, a
16 number of units which are not, organisationally speaking, linked to that
17 particular commander. So if you want to deploy the unit, you have to ask
18 permission, because he does not have authority over all the units located
19 in a particular territory. So that's where the problem lies. So he has
20 to ask the Main Staff for Ludvig Pavlovic, Bruno Busic, and so on. He
21 can't deploy them himself, whereas they're very close by, they're in his
22 vicinity. And also he can't deploy the light assault battalion, either,
23 because he has to be given permission and approval to deploy those
24 troops. He doesn't have the right, himself, to deploy such and such a
25 unit, but he can ask for permission and he can be granted approval and
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you are saying that it is his initiative.
3 He must analyse the order and then determine whether he wants to engage
4 these additional forces that are within his zone, but not under his
5 command, and then come back and ask for permission?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, once he receives an
7 order, it's his duty to assess what forces he has at his disposal, and
8 then he says, I'm lacking something, I'm lacking Ludvig Pavlovic, for
9 example, it would be a good thing if we had that. And then he will
10 contact the Main Staff, explain why he needs the Ludvig Pavlovic, and
11 will then ask for Ludvig Pavlovic. But the Chief of the Main Staff will
12 have to assess the situation and, once again, whether to give him the
13 whole unit, or 50 per cent of the men, or whatever. And the situation
14 can be the reverse. If you give him such an order, then you can say, In
15 addition to your unit, you have the right to deploy the Ludvig Pavlovic
16 or whatever, the Bruno Busic, or anything else that the Main Staff has at
17 its disposal. So he can be given permission for that, but mustn't take
18 the men himself. If he's lacking in manpower, he has to ask for manpower
19 and permission. So that's what the situation was.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This second scenario, that you, in giving an
21 order, also, of course, make an analysis of the forces needed, and then
22 directly on your initiative, also give the authority from the outset.
23 But then still there is the issue of the military police unit, and wasn't
24 it rather complicated and not very practical that the chief of the
25 operations zone must then address himself to Mr. Coric to ask for
1 permission to use this light assault unit if he thinks he needs it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, regardless of the fact that
3 it's complicated, that's what he has to do. The deployment of the police
4 in combat does not come within the remit and authority of the commander
5 in the operative zone. So he has to ask permission if he's going to use
6 the police in combat. And that's where his powers are limited. He
7 doesn't have the right to take that decision himself. Once he's given
8 permission, then he'll deploy that contingent for combat and will be
9 responsible for it while he is using it. Otherwise, himself, he doesn't
10 have the right to make this decision.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's Mr. Coric on his feet.
13 I wish to tell the Petkovic Defence that you have another six
14 minutes left.
15 Yes, Mr. Coric. Please do not forget that you will be testifying
16 too, so we can come back to these points. What did you want to say?
17 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.
18 Your Honours, the same witness told us a few days ago, on the 9th
19 of May in Mostar he enumerated all the units which took part in the
20 operation of the 9th of May. He mentioned the military police,
21 Bruno Busic, Ludvig Pavlovic, precisely the units that were there. And
22 the witness said how it came about that this operation took place, so it
23 would be realistic if we were to ask him now whether at the time this
24 establishment of his, referring to the main task as presented by him, was
25 it functioning that day, was it operative on that day? Did anybody ask
1 the chief of the Military Police Administration whether the military
2 police would be taking part?
3 Let me just tell you the military police lost 12 of its men that
4 day, and there were 40 wounded, on the 9th of May alone. So I'm going to
5 ask him: At that time, did he or anybody else from that system, which
6 was our system and establishment as well, any request to the military
7 police, the Ludvig Pavlovic, which, as he said, on that day they took
8 part in the combat and situation that took place.
9 Let's be practical. Let's leave stories, as people recount them,
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, that will
12 certainly be Mr. Coric's last question.
13 With regard to the events of the 9th of May, I just discover that
14 there were 12 MPs killed and 40 wounded. The combat was very intensive,
15 it appears, given the figures that have been mentioned. The description
16 of the 9th of May, does it tally with what you have said?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was an exceptional
18 situation. When there was this emergency situation in Mostar, we are
19 talking about a regular situation. For all other units, the commander of
20 the operative zone deployed everybody he could to defend Mostar, and then
21 the Main Staff was informed, and everything else. So this was an
22 emergency situation that cropped up suddenly and we had to react. In
23 Mostar, you had the military police at the time. To the south, in
24 Heliodrom, you had the Bruno Busic and so on. But this was an emergency
25 situation, and given this emergency situation, the commander of the
1 operative zone took that step.
2 And we were talking about procedure a moment ago, when you issue
3 normal orders to the commander of the operative zone and tell him what he
4 has to do and so on. But he could have given up, said, I don't have the
5 authority, and allowed Mostar to fall into the hands of the BH Army.
6 However, the forces and men he had in Mostar, he used to the last man,
7 including the 1st Light Assault Battalion in certain sections in the town
8 of Mostar.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 You have six minutes left.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. General, since Mr. Coric raised this subject, tell us, on the 9th
13 of May, 1993, when you returned to Mostar, did you speak to Mr. Coric?
14 A. Yes, I did. I met him in Mostar. We spoke to each other about
15 everything that was happening in Mostar. And as far as I know, he spent
16 the night in Mostar, that night in Mostar.
17 Q. My last question concerns a question put to you by Judge Trechsel
18 again; paragraphs 76, 77, and 78 of the indictment. I have an overview
19 of what I believe is relevant. Document 4D -- it's in English, 4D2034.
20 It's in English, so don't look for it, General.
21 General, Judge Trechsel asked you about those paragraphs. You
22 started saying -- well, let me just point out that these are paragraphs
23 in the indictment that concern Sovici and Doljani. I have, in fact, the
24 Croatian text of the paragraphs.
25 Could we please show the general this extract? Could the usher
1 assist me so that the general can see what we are speaking about?
2 General, you first mentioned a group of people who were in the
3 school in Sovici, and together with their families, they were evacuated
4 on the 5th of May, 1993. Judge Trechsel then said, No, that is not
5 right. He mentioned the numbers mentioned in these paragraphs of the
6 indictment; 70 to 90 military-aged Bosnian Muslim men. You then started
7 answering on page 49505, and you said that they were members of the ABiH
8 who had surrendered on the 17th, and they were provided with
9 accommodation in the school, and on the 18th they were taken to the
10 Ljubuski Prison.
11 Judge Trechsel concluded his questions with the following words,
12 I'll quote:
13 [In English] "I am not quite convinced that we are talking about
14 the same. But I will leave it at that, and if the Prosecution wants to
15 take this up, I will let them. I just wanted to give you an opportunity
16 to state your view. Thank you."
17 [Interpretation] General, given that I would really like to
18 assist in determining the truth in this case, you have these paragraphs
19 from the indictment before you now. Could you please comment?
20 And, Your Honours, in this document that I mentioned, 4D2034,
21 I've also shown you some of the adjudicated facts that relate to these
22 paragraphs of the indictment. We haven't dealt with this because we
23 thought that this was indisputable.
24 Paragraph 76, General, the Prosecution says that a certain number
25 of Bosnian men tried -- or Muslim men tried to defend those villages.
1 Were they civilians or were they members of a certain army?
2 A. They were members of the 44th Brigade from Jablanica. The
3 4th Battalion was before Sovici, in front of Sovici. We saw a list of
4 all the members of the 4th Battalion. We saw who had what sort of
5 weapons. That's an exhibit in this case.
6 Q. Which army is concerned, General?
7 A. The ABiH.
8 Q. And then the paragraph further says that late in the afternoon on
9 the 17th of April, 1993, they surrendered; is that correct, according to
10 your information?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. The 4th Battalion of the ABiH, or most of
12 them, up to 90 soldiers, surrendered. I don't know where the others
13 went, though.
14 Q. Let's have a look at paragraph 77 now. It says that on the 17th
15 to 18th of April, the HVO collected and detained approximately 70 to 90
16 military-aged Bosnian Muslim men at a school in Sovici. General, are
17 these the members of the ABiH?
18 A. Yes, they are members of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina. Their commander signed for their surrender, Mr. Ovnovic.
20 Q. This report further states that the HVO forces killed at least
21 four Bosnian Muslims near the Sovici school, and the HVO soldiers also
22 beat, mistreated, and abused other men. General, in the Main Staff did
23 you receive a report on such treatment meted out by HVO members towards
24 ABiH members?
25 A. No, we didn't receive such report. We received information
1 according to which about seven members of the ABiH had been killed, two
2 were wounded, one of which was moved to the HVO hospital in Tomislavgrad.
3 Q. Let's have a look at paragraph 78 --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And then that will be the end.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We'll then conclude.
6 Q. General, so I just have one final question in that case, General.
7 My colleague Scott -- Mr. Scott completed his cross-examination by
8 claiming that you participated or you were one of the participants -- you
9 failed to process and punish HVO soldiers who had committed crimes in the
10 area of Herceg-Bosna. My final question, General, is as follows: In
11 your opinion, in fact, in Herceg-Bosna, who strove the most to solve the
12 conflict with the Muslims through negotiations, through agreement?
13 A. I think I was the one who did that. I met with them on the most
14 numerous occasions, spoke to them, and negotiated with them.
15 Q. We saw an interview you gave for "Srna" in which you said that it
16 is better to negotiate for two years instead of to spend one day waging
17 war. General, tell me, is that your position?
18 A. Yes, that's my position, because when I saw what could be done in
19 wartime, naturally it's better to discuss matters and to allow everything
20 to be solved on a political level.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
22 no more time. Thank you for the additional time you granted me.
23 With your leave, I would like to thank the interpreters, all the
24 interpreters, for their co-operation, and I apologise for driving a
25 little too fast on occasion. I would, in particular, like to apologise
1 to the English booth. If we sometimes had comments about the
2 interpretation and failed to make these comments with tact, that really
3 wasn't our intention. We just want to do have a faithful transcript.
4 And thank you, and I do apologise if we have offended them.
5 Thank you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 Mr. Kovacic.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wanted to
9 intervene with regard to the transcript. On page 35, line 20, it says
10 that General Petkovic said:
11 [In English] "About seven members of the ABiH had been killed."
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I heard him saying about seven
14 members of the ABiH were killed in combat, two were wounded, and one was
15 moved to the HVO hospital. That's what it says. They weren't killed;
16 they died in combat. That was how it was put.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they died in combat.
18 To conclude, Your Honours, I just have half a minute. Yesterday,
19 my counsel asked me about a meeting with Susak, and forgot to mention a
20 date, and I would like to mention it now.
21 In December 1993, at the invitation of Minister Jukic,
22 General Roso, the HVO discussed about how to reorganise the
23 Guards Brigades, and at a meeting, at that discussion Mr. Susak was
24 present with two or three Croatian Army officers. They were to give
25 instructions as to how we should organise the Guards Brigades, because we
1 had no experience. So as to my meeting with Mr. Susak, well, that's what
2 I would like to add, what happened in December 1993. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's in the
4 transcript now.
5 Mr. Scott.
6 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. President, good morning to each of
7 Your Honours. Good morning to counsel, good morning to all those in and
8 around the courtroom.
9 Your Honours, before we break, and just to close out the record,
10 so to speak, on Mr. Petkovic's testimony, it seemed to us, in further
11 reflecting on wrapping things up on this, that as to the various tables
12 that the Prosecution submitted, that for the purposes of the record they
13 should be at least identified -- if nothing else, identified, because
14 they were used fairly extensively at some places. We would ask to give
15 an IC list to each of the tables.
16 And we've raised this with the Registry, and perhaps the easiest
17 way for me to do this is to give the title of our tables, and the
18 Registry can assist us by assigning an IC number. And then I have one
19 other very brief matter to raise. If we could just do that, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 The first table that we tendered -- well, not tendered, my
23 apologies, we used with the witness --
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Before you start
25 enumerating this, could we just express our position?
1 The Petkovic Defence, Your Honours, is against this request,
2 because so far the rule has been that IC numbers should be given only for
3 documents with regard to which a witness has made certain comments. My
4 colleague Mr. Scott wants IC numbers for documents that he compiled, and
5 they are a compilation of a number of documents, and this would then fail
6 to comply with the obligation that for documents that aren't exhibits, in
7 accordance with your rules, he should show why there is a good reason to
8 use those documents now, although he didn't use them before, although
9 they aren't 65 ter list documents. If IC numbers are given to these
10 documents, to these documents compiled, which weren't commented by
11 Mr. Petkovic, I think this would be contrary to the rules.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, we won't start a
13 discussion about that now. Given your documents -- your documents, your
14 charts, you can list them on a document, and then in conformity with our
15 guide-lines, ask for them to be admitted. The Defence will then object
16 or will refer to page 34 for its objection, and then the Chamber will
18 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour, and I do appreciate that.
19 And it sounds to me, at least, if I can be bold enough to say, I think
20 the Chamber and the Prosecution, at least in this respect, are on the
21 same page. I think my good friend Ms. Alaburic has jumped the gun, as
22 often happens. We haven't tendered them into admission yet, but there is
23 a basic practice of identify matters that have been used in the
24 courtroom. And if I compare this to the number of maps and other items
25 Mr. Praljak has had -- among others, has had marked in the courtroom, I
1 don't see any distinction whatsoever.
2 If the Prosecution tenders them into admission, if we do, then,
3 of course, there will be a separate phase in which those issues can be
5 So for purposes that they are in the record, so to speak, and
6 they are identified, we used a title -- table titled "Herceg-Bosna and
7 the HVO," and I would ask for an IC number to be provided to that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll confer with my colleague.
9 You agree? Yes, the Chamber agrees.
10 MR. SCOTT: May I proceed, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 MR. SCOTT: Do you want to do them, Mr. Registry [sic], one by
13 one, or -- either way is easiest for you.
14 We have: "The HV Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina";
15 "Serb-Croat Co-operation"; "HVO-Serb Co-operation in Vares"; "Forced
16 Labour"; "Military Discipline and Justice." There should be one more.
17 There should be one more, Your Honour, I'm sorry, the one we used at the
18 end of the day yesterday. Sorry, Your Honour, there's one stapled
19 together. My fault. And then there was one called "HVO Enforcement
20 Actions." Those are the tables we used, Your Honour.
21 We would also tender, as a group -- sorry, strike the word
22 "tender." We would also ask to identify as a group, again for purposes
23 of being identified in the record, the actual slides that we used with
24 the witness which we would tender as a group. And in the interests of
25 time, I can provide those particular slide numbers to the Registry.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have a
2 collective number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
4 For each of the documents just mentioned by the Prosecutor, I
5 shall give IC01195, 01196, 01197, 01198, 01199, 011200 [sic], and for the
6 consolidated slides, I shall give it IC01201. Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Small correction. 01200 will be the last one,
8 not 011200.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, in the final item and I know it's
11 getting a bit past the normal break time, but then we can hopefully
12 start -- finish -- start clean after the break.
13 The Chamber will recall, perhaps, that with some of these more
14 extensive witnesses, I think its been a practice and we would certainly
15 ask that we have a little bit of additional time to provide the IC list,
16 and this would apply to all parties, not just the Prosecution, in terms
17 of the documents actually being tendered. I spoke about this with
18 Ms. Alaburic a couple of days ago. It was an agreement that all the
19 parties could tender their IC lists for Mr. Petkovic not later than next
20 Wednesday, if that would be agreeable to the Chamber.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber agrees.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thanks.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 General Petkovic, we will now have our break. You will now
25 return to your former place that is to my right, and then we will be
1 calling the Coric Defence witness.
2 So we will have a 20-minute break now.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
7 Ms. Alaburic, you have no more witnesses. As we are living in a
8 certain formalism, it is necessary to say, for the benefit of the
9 transcript, that you have no more witnesses.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we do not have any
11 further witnesses. We have completed our case with the testimony of
12 General Petkovic. We assume that nothing out of the ordinary will happen
13 in the meantime. We do not intend to appeal for certification of witness
14 statements under 92 bis. We do, indeed, intend to file a request for
15 documentary evidence. And could you give us a dead-line that would be
16 until the end of this month of this year, if possible, for the filing of
17 this motion?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Witness, will you stand, please.
20 Could you tell us your first and last name, and date of birth,
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm Miroslav Desnica. I was born
23 on the 10th of December, 1957.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm currently unemployed.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified in a
3 court of law on the events that took place in ex-Yugoslavia or is this
4 the first time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time for me to
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you please read the solemn
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: MIROSLAV DESNICA
12 [The witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. You may be
15 I wish to bid you good day once again. Let me give you some
17 You are going to answer questions that will be put to you by the
18 counsel for Mr. Coric. After that, Mr. Kovacic may have some questions
19 for you. I don't know; this is possible. It's also possible for the
20 other counsel to have questions for you. After that, the Prosecutor will
21 have an hour to ask you questions. The Judges before you may also ask
22 you questions.
23 As we have a very tight agenda, if everything evolves normally
24 and there are no problems linked to objections, your testimony may be
25 completed today. Should there be problems and objections, then it is
1 possible that we will continue with your testimony on Monday.
2 That is what I wanted to say, hoping that everything will evolve
3 as planned.
4 Without further adieu, I give the floor to Defence counsel.
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
6 Good day to everyone in the courtroom. Good day, Mr. Desnica.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day.
8 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] With the permission of
9 the Trial Chamber, I have already spoken to Mr. Scott about this and they
10 don't mind, I would like, as an introduction, to put a leading question
11 to you linked to your curriculum vitae, if I get permission from the
12 Chamber so as to save time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, no problem.
14 Examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Desnica, is it true from 1972 until 1976,
16 you attended a secondary school in Zagreb?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. I will read out the places that you were in so that you will
19 answer all of these questions at once.
20 Is it true that from 1976 until 1980, you attended and completed
21 the Naval Military Academy in Split?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. After that, until 1990, you were a member of the Yugoslav Navy,
24 from which you left with the role of lieutenant of a military vessel in
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it true that from 1990 until 1991, you were a teacher in the
3 Naval Centre in Split, teaching the subject of special equipment and
5 A. Yes, that is right.
6 Q. Is it also correct that from 1991 until 1997, you were employed
7 in the MUP of the Republic of Croatia, the Police Administration for
8 Split and Dalmatia, the Department for Defence Affairs, with the title of
9 independent inspector?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Is it also right that in 1997, you left the MUP of the Republic
12 of Croatia?
13 A. Yes, that is right.
14 Q. That's all. Mr. Desnica, will you please look at the documents?
15 Could we have the assistance of the usher? Could he give the
16 witness the documents, please?
17 Mr. Desnica, would you look at the first document in the binder.
18 That is document PD05109 [as interpreted] -- 5D5109. Tell me, is this
19 your statement, Mr. Desnica?
20 A. Yes, it is my statement.
21 Q. Did you have occasion to read this statement in its entirety?
22 A. Yes, I did, in its entirety.
23 Q. Tell me, do you stand by everything you said in the statement or
24 do you wish to change or add anything to it?
25 A. I wish to stand by this statement in its entirety.
1 Q. If you were to testify once again about the facts that you
2 testified to in your statement, would your testimony be the same to what
3 is contained in the statement?
4 A. Yes, my statement would be absolutely the same as that contained
5 in this statement.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Desnica. Now let us have a look at a few more
8 Will you please -- to remind you, you have your statement in
9 front of you, and in paragraph 8 of that statement you mention the
10 literature that you used in the training process. So in that connection,
11 I'd like us to look at a few documents. The first is PD05113
12 [as interpreted] -- 5D0 -- 5D5113.
13 Tell me, please, Mr. Desnica, what kind of document is this, and
14 are you familiar with this document?
15 A. It is a textbook for police officer, and it's entitled "Command
16 and Combat Tactics in the Police."
17 Q. You have seen paragraph 8 of your statement, so look at the pages
18 and paragraphs linked to the training. What could you tell us about this
20 A. This document -- or, rather, these paragraphs discuss the use of
21 police forces in peacetime and exceptional conditions, that is, in
22 possible wartime.
23 Q. Look now at document PD0 -- 5D -- 5D05114, and tell me, again,
24 what kind of a document this is.
25 A. This is also a handbook for the training of policemen, and it
1 deals with subjects linked to the lawfulness of the activities of the
2 police forces.
3 Q. The next document, please, 5D05115. The same question again.
4 What kind of document is this?
5 A. It is the Law on Internal Affairs or the Constitutional Law of
6 the Republic of Croatia, and the main thesis or the main topic is linked
7 to humaneness, that is, the principles underlying the law.
8 Q. On page 3 from the beginning, you have a section relating to
9 human rights and freedoms. In your statement, you said that you used
10 this in training. Why did you use this?
11 A. Because we sought to underline, through the Constitutional Law as
12 the fundamental law of any state, though this was in another state, but
13 this is an example from our own state, linked to the human rights and
14 freedoms, which are the fundamental principles of such a law, based on
15 international conventions on the protection of human rights, et cetera.
16 Q. Let me caution you. You have to slow down a little. You're
17 speaking too fast.
18 Look now at the document 2D00751. And tell me what you know
19 about this document, but slowly, please, very slowly.
20 A. This is a handbook regarding the rules of behaviour for
21 combatants, which was not our own edition, but we came across -- or,
22 rather, the trainees had these handbooks in their possession.
23 Q. And now please look at the last document in the binder, P0007,
24 and tell me if you have seen this document before and whether you know
25 what kind of document this is, and did it have any connection with the
1 training you referred to in your statement?
2 A. These are rules on the application of International Laws of War
3 in the Armed Forces of the SFRY. In view of the fact that we didn't have
4 any other literature linked to International War Law, we used textbooks
5 from the former SFRY; that is, the Yugoslav People's Army.
6 Q. Does this mean that you used this particular handbook?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Desnica.
9 Your Honours, that concludes our examination-in-chief.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
11 For the Petkovic, who asked for some time with this witness, are
12 there any -- I'm sorry. Yes, Ms. Alaburic.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there were
14 other Defence counsels before me that have some questions. But our
15 agreement is that when a new Defence starts, that Mr. Prlic's Defence
16 should be first. Could I ask the other Defence counsels whether they
17 have questions? If they have none, I can start.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
20 Your Honours, good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom.
21 I did not come prepared to ask any questions, but it is because
22 of one answer yesterday, I'm compelled to ask a couple of questions of
23 the gentleman. So I'll need about five minutes.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
25 Q. Good morning, sir.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. A hypothetical: A soldier, he leaves the combat area, and now
3 he's going home to visit his mother or to do whatever. Is he a soldier
4 at that time or is he a civilian; if he's on leave, that is?
5 A. He is definitely a soldier.
6 Q. All right. Now, if that soldier, who is on leave, then commits a
7 crime, rapes a civilian woman, kills an elderly civilian, are the
8 civilian authorities responsible for that soldier's crime, who's on
9 leave, or is the military commander responsible for that soldier; to do
10 something about it, that is?
11 A. In principle, it is always the military authorities that are
12 responsible, but they may defer the case to the civilian authorities.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much, sir. I have no further
14 questions, and I want to thank you for coming here to give your evidence.
15 No further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 The next Defence, please.
18 It seems that Ms. Alaburic wishes to be last.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Alaburic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Desnica.
21 Your Honours, in the meantime we will distribute the documents
22 that we have prepared for the cross-examination of this witness.
23 And while that is being done, tell me, Mr. Desnica, when
24 answering the question from Mr. Karnavas whether, for a particular crime
25 committed by a soldier, when he's not on duty, whether it is the civilian
1 or the military authorities that are responsible, or, rather, the
2 military commander, your answer was that, in principle, it is the
3 military authorities, but that it is possible that this can be dealt with
4 in a different way --
5 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
6 I apologise. I think Madam Alaburic was paraphrasing the answer
7 given by the witness incorrectly. I think it would be best for us to
8 look at the transcript and read what the witness actually said.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Tell me, Witness, when you spoke of the military authorities, who
11 did you have in mind? Which military authorities?
12 A. The military authorities that are responsible for that person.
13 Q. And who is that? Is it the minister of defence, the military
14 police, the SIS, the commander of his brigade, or who? Who is the
15 authority responsible?
16 A. From the standpoint of prevention, there is the responsibility of
17 his own command. They have responsibility to prevent any kind of action.
18 Q. The question was not about prevention. The question was of a
19 particular situation when a soldier, who is not on duty, who is going to
20 visit his mother at home, commits a crime. Who is responsible? Who will
21 deal with the investigation of that crime?
22 A. The military police.
23 Q. When you said "military authority," "responsible military
24 authorities," did you mean the military police?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Tell us, Mr. Desnica, a soldier in a brigade, for example, in
2 Mostar, has his mother living in Prozor, and he goes to visit his mother
3 in Prozor and he's not on duty, and he commits a crime in Prozor --
4 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to
6 From the witness's statement, it does not follow anywhere that
7 the witness is familiar with the structure or any kind of regulations of
8 the HZ-HB that were in force at the time. One shouldn't laugh. It's not
9 funny. And we are asking him a specific question about a specific area.
10 Colleague Karnavas put a hypothetical about a soldier anywhere in the
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, this escaped me.
13 The witness was a military policeman in the Croatian Army. Therefore, he
14 is not familiar with the HVO, a priori. So it's better for you to put to
15 him a hypothetical question. If a soldier is living in Zagreb and going
16 to see his mother in Split, for example, or in Dubrovnik, that would be
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
19 I think there's been a misunderstanding. The witness was never a
20 member of the Croatian Army. He was in the Yugoslav Navy, and after that
21 he was a policeman in the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of
22 Croatia. So a civilian policeman and a police inspector. He wasn't in
23 the military structures of Croatia at all.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, you're right, you're
25 right. All the more reason.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Go ahead, Mr. Desnica. When responding to questions from
3 Mr. Jadranko Prlic's Defence, what did you base your answer on?
4 A. I based it on practice in Croatia.
5 Q. Does that mean that you do not know what the provisions were in
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. You mean you don't know?
9 A. No, I don't know.
10 Q. Does that mean that you don't know what the practice was in
12 A. I don't know what the practice was, no.
13 Q. Now, staying with Croatia, a member of a brigade in Split, for
14 example, goes to visit his mother in Vukovar, and in Vukovar he commits a
15 crime. What is the responsibility, if you know - if you don't, tell
16 us - of the -- what is the responsibility of the commander of his brigade
17 who's in Split, that is to say, some 700 kilometres away from Vukovar in
18 which the soldier was at the time he committed the crime? What is the
19 responsibility of his military commander under those circumstances?
20 A. I didn't understand your question. How do you mean
22 Q. Criminal responsibility. To what extent is his commander
23 criminally responsible for the crime committed by his soldier who was on
24 leave visiting his mother? If you don't know, just tell us.
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Mr. Desnica, I'm going to ask you a few questions now with
2 respect to tuition within the military police, and I have prepared two
3 documents on the topic.
4 Can we provide the witness with the documents? He's already got
5 them, right.
6 So take a look at P3090, which is the first document, please.
7 This is a report on the work of the military police, and what I'm
8 interested in is to be found on that page. In the upper right-hand
9 corner, the page number is 0153-6239, the digits at the top. And it's a
10 report on the work related to the Training and Tuitional Centre at
11 Ljubuski. Have you found the page, Mr. Desnica?
12 A. Yes, I have.
13 Q. Tell us, please -- you can read this passage. It's relatively
14 short. The Training and Educational Centre at Ljubuski, is that the same
15 centre that you referred to in your statement?
16 A. Probably it is. But may I take a few minutes to read through the
18 Q. Were there two training centres in the military police in
20 A. I don't have any knowledge about that.
21 Q. Now, in the third section, it talks about training for crime
22 technicians. Tell us, please, do you have any knowledge about
23 training -- the training of crime technicians? Are you familiar with
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Now, in para 5 -- no, para 6, I apologise, in the
2 report by the Military Police Administration, it says the following, and
3 I quote:
4 "At our request, the training of snipers was conducted, because
5 the problem occurred in Mostar -- there was this problem in Mostar
6 whereby the opposite side had exceptionally good snipers, which led to
7 the blockade of our units. We, therefore, trained six pairs of snipers,
8 and at the end of the training session they had five times better results
9 than when they started their training. One of the problems with the
10 training was that we did not have weapons of sufficient quality, or
11 enough time, because this is a very complex issue. All the trainees were
12 extremely pleased, and now the sniping score in Mostar was 6:1, to our
13 advantage, in our favour."
14 Now, my question to you, Witness, is this: Do you have any
15 knowledge about the training of snipers in the Training Centre of the
16 Military Police in Ljubuski?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us, when it says "at our request" the training of
19 snipers was conducted, so whose request was it? Who asked that snipers
20 be trained? Who made that request?
21 A. Obviously, somebody who signed this document, which I can't see
22 now because I've never seen this document before.
23 Q. Well, I'm talking about the training of snipers. Do you know who
24 made the decision that in the Training Centre of the Military Police in
25 Ljubuski, snipers should be trained?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Very well. Now, at the end of this document -- or let's move on
3 to the next document.
4 The next document that you have in your binder is P957, which is
5 a decision on the establishment of the military police of the HVO, which,
6 on the 26th of December, 1992, was passed by Mr. Valentin Coric and
7 Mr. Bruno Stojic. At the beginning of this document, Mr. Desnica, we see
8 mention of the 1st Military Police Battalion, and it is said that it was
9 active duty and directly linked to the Military Police Administration or,
10 rather, the head, and pursuant to an order from the head, it is active in
11 all the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. This
12 1st Battalion was composed of the command, with the Communications
13 Department and three companies, and the 1st Company was the light assault
14 unit specially trained and equipped to carry out the most difficult
15 intervention tasks or, rather, anti-terrorist activity. The members of
16 the 1st Company are professionals, and it is composed of the command, two
17 anti-terrorist platoons, and two squads with combat armoured vehicles.
18 Tell us, please, Mr. Desnica, do you have any knowledge
19 whatsoever about the true activities on the ground of this 1st Company of
20 the Light Assault Battalion of the Military Police?
21 A. No knowledge whatsoever.
22 Q. All right. Now, tell us, in the Training Centre at Ljubuski,
23 were military policemen trained there for even the most complex tasks of
24 intervention or anti-terrorist activity?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It says here -- well, two squads are mentioned with combat
2 armoured vehicles. Can you tell us what kind of combat armoured vehicles
3 these were?
4 A. I said that I have no knowledge about any of this.
5 Q. Well, then, I misunderstood you, because you said that in
6 Ljubuski, people were trained in anti-terrorist activities.
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. But you don't know what equipment they had, is that what you are
9 telling me?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. In the Training Centre in Ljubuski, did you train members of the
12 military police in the use of mortars?
13 A. No.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
15 questions. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Praljak Defence.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Mr. Praljak Defence will not have any questions for that witness.
19 Thank you, Witness, for coming.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the Stojic Defence.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] The Stojic Defence has no questions
22 for this witness either, and we'd like to thank the witness for coming
23 into court.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Pusic Defence?
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions. Thank you,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Counsel, the Prosecution has an hour, in accordance with the
4 decision handed down by the Chamber. You have the floor.
5 MR. STRUGGLES: Good afternoon, Your Honours, and good afternoon
6 to everyone else in and around the courtroom.
7 If we can have the assistance of the usher, please, to hand out
8 the binder, please.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Struggles:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Desnica. If I can ask you first to turn to
11 your own statement. This is Exhibit 5D05109. And if I can ask you to
12 look at the very last sentence of your statement. That's paragraph 9,
13 the very last sentence.
14 On the side of the documents that you have beside you, you'll see
15 a series of tabs, and you'll see one is numbered 5D. And so you'll find
16 the B/C/S versions in there behind the English.
17 And if we can look at the very last paragraph, very last
19 In this paragraph, you say that in 1992, in Neum, an instructor
20 used the term "balija," during a class, and after which he was removed
21 from Bosnia-Herzegovina and returned to Croatia, and at that time he was
22 relieved and degraded. I wonder if you can give us a few more details
23 about this incident. Specifically, who did the instructor work for?
24 A. He was a MUP member of the Republic of Croatia.
25 Q. And presumably this happened in the fall of 1992, in late 1992,
1 is that correct, after the Neum Training Centre had been established?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 Q. Can you please tell us the instructor's exact words and in what
4 context this happened?
5 A. As to the exact words, I can't tell you. But during the
6 discussion, the man used the word or term "balija" in a platoon where
7 most of the members were Muslims. And after that, it was decided to
8 remove the person from the centre. This was done discreetly. And when
9 one of those cycles ended, he was removed and didn't turn up for any more
11 Q. And who exactly removed him from the centre?
12 A. The centre's command.
13 Q. And which exact organisation was that? Was that the MUP of
14 Republic of Croatia or was that another organ?
15 A. The centre was headed by members from Bosnia-Herzegovina or,
16 rather, from the military police. So in co-operation with our team that
17 conducted the training, they took the decision to remove that person from
18 the training centre.
19 Q. And you say that not only was he sent back to Croatia, but that
20 he was degraded, or that's the word we have in the translation.
21 Presumably, you mean demoted.
22 A. Yes, demoted, stripped of his function, of his rank. He was
23 assistant commander in the traffic police, and he taught the subject of
24 traffic. And after that, he became a regular policeman and did not
25 occupy that post anymore.
1 Q. So this was a matter that was taken extremely seriously? The
2 instructor lost his job, he was sent back to Croatia, and he was demoted?
3 A. Well, not his rank, but just his position. His rank remained the
4 same, but he did not -- no longer occupied the position he had previously
6 Q. It's my fault. When I said "his job," I mean he lost his
7 position as an instructor.
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. So we can conclude from this, I think, that it is unacceptable
10 for an instructor to use the term "balija"; is that correct?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Indeed, I think you would agree with me that it's unacceptable
13 for anyone to use the term "balija."
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. But as an instructor, he was a person in authority?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And it's because he was a person in authority that this was taken
18 so seriously?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And as a person in authority, by using this term, he undermined
21 the control climate -- he set the wrong tone and undermined the control
22 climate of the military police; is that correct?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. And I think you would agree with me that, similarly, if a senior
25 HVO officer was to use the term "balija," it would be equally
1 unacceptable, and for the very same reasons.
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Desnica. If I can ask you to clarify one point
4 from your statement.
5 At no point in your statement does it say exactly who you were
6 training, and can I take it that you were training the HVO military
8 A. Yes, we trained the military police of the HVO, that's right.
9 Q. Thank you. And if we can turn now to the type of training that
10 you provided.
11 But first, just before that, if you can give me an overall
12 figure -- an approximate overall figure, if you can, of the number of HVO
13 military policemen who, by the middle of 1993, had completed the type of
14 training you were offering or you offered, you and your colleagues.
15 A. If we include -- well, if you mean the training from 1992, you
16 want the total figure, do you mean the total number of people?
17 Q. If you can, sir, if you can give us an estimate of what
18 percentage of the HVO military police had completed training by the
19 middle of 1993.
20 A. Roughly, about 400 persons.
21 Q. And you say in paragraph 6 of your statement, which is on the
22 start of page 3 in the B/C/S, you say that no one could successfully
23 complete their training without acquiring knowledge of the Geneva
24 Conventions and the International Laws of War. That's correct; right?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. And this would have, therefore, meant that each military
2 policeman who left your course would have known, for example, the
3 following things: that no one should be detained arbitrarily?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Nobody should be detained simply on the basis of their ethnicity?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. And there was an obligation, on the part of those detaining
8 others, to detain them always in -- always humanely?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And that would include -- the humane treatment of detainees would
11 include ensuring that those detainees were not subject to cruel treatment
12 or torture?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. That they were protected from physical violence?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Their basic human requirements as to food and water were met?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. And one last example, that they would know that detainees should
19 not be compelled to do work of a military or dangerous character; for
20 example, working at the front-lines?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. And all of this would come from -- well, they would know all of
23 this because they had been taught this while on your course?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Mr. Desnica, if we can look now at paragraph 4 of your statement.
1 This is in the middle of page 2 in both the English and the B/C/S.
2 In paragraph 4, you state that you provided training in Mostar,
3 Ljubuski, and Neum. You state that the Ljubuski Training Centre was set
4 up in April 1993 and you provided training during the summer of 1993.
5 What was the last date that you provided any training to the HVO
6 military police in HZ-HB; do you recall?
7 A. I haven't understood your question.
8 Q. What was the last date that you provided any training to the HVO
9 military police?
10 A. I would say around June 1993.
11 Q. So you provided no further training after June of 1993?
12 A. I personally didn't, but some training was still provided for
13 forensic experts.
14 Q. I'd like you now to turn to the exhibit which is marked P01752.
15 That's the very first exhibit in your bundle. It's the very first
17 A. 10752 [as interpreted], yes.
18 Q. For the record, it's P01752.
19 Mr. Desnica, this is an order from Valentin Coric, from
20 March 1993, and you'll -- if we can read it together, you can see that
21 pursuant to a decision to set up a centre for training, military
22 policemen in Ljubuski and Dretelj, Mr. Coric appoints
23 Colonel Mate Bradacic as instruction supervisor in the
24 Military Police Administration, and his appointment is to begin as of the
25 29th of March, 1993. Did you ever meet with Mr. Bradacic?
1 A. Not with Mr. Bradacic, but with Mr. Bradasic [phoen], yes. So
2 the name hasn't been correctly spelled here.
3 Q. My apologies. And did you have contact in general with the
4 Military Police Administration during this period in respect of training?
5 A. Yes, I did. We had contact with them at the time.
6 Q. And would that have included contact with Mr. Coric?
7 A. As he was in the centre, there was contact with him. But I
8 personally had no contact with him, but with the leadership or the
9 management of the centre.
10 Q. So on no occasion did you meet Mr. Coric or communicate with him?
11 A. Unofficially, yes, I did.
12 Q. Can you tell us when that was?
13 A. It was while the centre was working in Ljubuski. It was
14 unofficial, not in the sense of co-ordinating the work of the centre. It
15 was unofficial, in that we met by chance in that centre and had lunch
17 Q. And had you known Mr. Coric from before that time?
18 A. This also had to do with training in Neum, because he would also
19 go to Neum. And upon completion of that training, he would issue certain
20 diplomas to the participants, to those who had attended the training in
21 the centre and who had been successful.
22 Q. If we can turn now to the training that you provided. You've
23 told us that you provided training at the Ljubuski Training Centre? And
24 that, presumably -- sorry, there is no answer in the transcript.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness's
2 MR. STRUGGLES:
3 Q. Can you repeat your answer, please? I think you nodded, sir, but
4 you didn't see anything. You told us that you completed --
5 A. I apologise. Could you please repeat the question? I've lost my
6 bearings now.
7 Q. You've told us that you provided training at the Ljubuski
8 Training Centre; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And, presumably, you provided that training, therefore, between
11 April to June of 1993.
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And did you, similarly, provide training at the Dretelj Training
14 Centre during this period?
15 A. I never heard of a training centre in Dretelj. I personally
16 never heard of that.
17 Q. Well, we see, in the document that we were just looking at, that
18 it was decided to establish a training centre for military policemen in
19 both Ljubuski and Dretelj.
20 A. I personally never went to Dretelj.
21 Q. But had you heard of that training centre being established?
22 A. No, I hadn't heard about it, nor had I ever seen a document of
23 this kind.
24 Q. If we can turn back to Ljubuski, then. How many times did you
25 provide training in Ljubuski during the period from April to June of
2 A. There was training that was continually provided during that
3 period of time. There were short breaks between groups that lasted for
4 perhaps one week.
5 Q. So would you come to Ljubuski specifically for the training or
6 were you living in Ljubuski during this period?
7 A. While training was being provided, we had accommodation in the
8 Military Police Center in Ljubuski. That is where the training was
10 Q. Can you tell us the exact location of the Military Police
11 Training Centre in Ljubuski?
12 A. I think that it was in a building that used to be some sort of a
13 correctional centre or a prison. I'm not sure what it was called, what
14 it was before. I don't know exactly how I could explain to you where the
15 location of that building was. If you had a map, I could show you.
16 Q. Well, was that the same building as the headquarters of the
17 Military Police Administration?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. It was in the same building, that's right.
19 Q. So, presumably, while you were at the headquarters, at the
20 Military Police Administration building, you would have spoken with
21 regular military policemen at that time?
22 A. Yes, that's correct, in my free time.
23 Q. So in your free time, you would socialise with the policemen, the
24 military policemen from Ljubuski?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I want to talk now about the Ljubuski Prison. There was a prison
2 in Ljubuski where detainees were kept. Do you know of the prison I'm
3 talking about?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You're not aware that there was a prison in Ljubuski where
6 detainees were kept in the period while you were there in Ljubuski?
7 A. No, I had no such information.
8 Q. So in each of the -- when you were discussing with the military
9 policemen -- sorry. When you met and had conversations with the local
10 Ljubuski military policemen, they never once spoke about the
11 Ljubuski Prison?
12 A. No, that subject was never discussed.
13 Q. So you would, therefore, say that you were unaware of anything
14 that might have been happening at that prison?
15 A. No, I had no information about the prison or about events that
16 took place in the prison.
17 MR. STRUGGLES: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Does the Defence have any re-examination?
20 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. Thank
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So on behalf of my colleagues,
23 I would like to thank you for having come here, as requested by the Coric
24 Defence, to shed light on the training provided in Neum and Ljubuski.
25 I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 For the Coric Defence, next week we will be starting with
4 Mr. Andabak, if I'm not mistaken. Everything has been planned for, there
5 are no problems. He will be arriving, you will meet him, and you will be
6 proofing him?
7 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 If everything goes well, everything is fine, Mr. Andabak has
9 already arrived, I don't have any information according to which things
10 have gone wrong, but if everything has gone according to plan, he should
11 be at Schiphol, provided that snow hasn't prevented the plane from
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's hope that the snow hasn't
14 caused any problems, and let's hope that he's already here.
15 Mr. Scott.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Since we have a bit -- well, it's nice to have a bit of extra
18 time, I suppose, but since we do have a moment, I thought it would be
19 appropriate to raise -- and I guess it falls to me to raise it, but I
20 know from various conversations it's something that a number of people in
21 the room are thinking about.
22 In looking ahead at the Coric trial schedule, we note, as it
23 currently exists, that on the 8th of April, which was a day that we were
24 going to sit that week, there is no -- there is no witness scheduled.
25 That's not meant in any form of criticism. The Prosecution understands
1 the difficulties sometimes encountered in scheduling a witness. However,
2 perhaps to state the obvious, and I don't think anyone needs to be
3 concerned about the fact that everyone's been working hard, and willing
4 to do so, but it would seem perhaps to raise a question about the value
5 of having that court day scheduled and requiring people to come back from
6 a week of -- possible week of holiday when there is no witness scheduled
7 for that day. Perhaps the Chamber could consider that and give us some
8 additional guidance for the days ahead.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's correct. In April,
10 there won't be any witnesses for two weeks, that's correct. The week
11 that starts the 5th and ends the 8th, no witness, and the week that
12 starts the 12th, so from the 12th to the 18th, there will be no witnesses
13 either. So the Coric Defence has provided everyone with a schedule. It
14 seems perfect.
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 And I think on this occasion, perhaps I can say a thank you on
17 behalf of all those in the courtroom for that clarification.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That will allow
19 everyone to have a rest and to prepare for the witnesses, because it
20 involves a huge amount of work. The Chamber is currently working on the
21 Praljak Defence motion for the admission of documents into evidence.
22 It's a lot of work, and then we'll have to do the same work for the
23 Petkovic Defence. So I do understand that everyone has an enormous
24 workload, given all the problems that we have to deal with on a daily
1 We will meet again on Monday. And let's hope that the plane has
2 landed, but one should have faith. Thank you.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.01 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of March,
5 2010, at 2.15 p.m.