1 Wednesday, 17 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Praljak and Pusic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 Today is Wednesday, the 17th of March, 2010. I would like to
14 greet everyone in the courtroom, especially Mr. Coric, Mr. Stojic,
15 Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Prlic. I would also like to greet the two accused
16 who are not in the courtroom for various reasons. I would also like to
17 greet the counsels. I would like to greet Mr. Bos, Mr. Scott, and their
18 fellow workers, and everyone assisting us around the courtroom.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I would also like to greet
21 our witness, Colonel Andabak, who is already in the courtroom.
22 I will give the floor to the Registrar, who has IC numbers to
23 give us.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Some parties have submitted their lists of documents to be
1 tendered through Witness Milivoj Petkovic. The list submitted by 4D
2 shall be given Exhibit IC01203. The list submitted by 1D shall be given
3 Exhibit IC01204. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
4 Exhibit IC01205. The list submitted by 3D shall be given
5 Exhibit IC01206. And the list submitted by 5D shall be given
6 Exhibit IC01207. Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
8 The cross-examination will carry on through the Praljak Defence.
9 Mr. Kovacic, you have given us three additional documents. I
10 give you the floor.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: ZDENKO ANDABAK [Resumed]
13 [The witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Let's carry on from where we left off yesterday. And the binder
18 that you received yesterday is the thick binder. 2D1367 is the number,
19 and I think it's the fourth document in order.
20 Now, we were talking yesterday about the fact that the military
21 police battalions -- or, rather, I mean on Monday; I meant to say "on
22 Monday," anyway, that the VP battalions, military police battalions,
23 didn't act independently as an army, but when the need arose, they were
24 re-subordinated to the army.
25 Now take a look at this order, and we're talking about the summer
1 of 1993. The date is the 28th of July. And look at the introductory
3 "The forces of the military police, apart from their -- or in
4 addition to their duties, are engaged with the HVO forces in combat
5 action, and so there would be no further misunderstanding, I command:"
6 And then it goes on to say, in very precise terms, that these are
7 cases where we see that all the military police units and forces are
8 being attached to the HVO forces until the assignment is carried out, and
9 that they are subordinate to the HVO, that is to say, the army. And
10 item 2 clearly states that:
11 "MP forces in this case shall perform tasks given to it by the
12 HVO commander."
13 And in item 3 it is clearly stated that the one of the purposes
14 of this order is to do -- so that there should be no more
15 misunderstanding between the commanders of the HVO and the military
17 Now, my question to you is as follows: This principle as stated
18 here, the principle of subordination [as interpreted] of the military
19 police units, that they are subordinated [as interpreted] to the army --
20 to combat units, is that it; does this say at all?
21 A. Yes, Defence counsel, that's it, precisely.
22 Q. Thank you. Now take a look at the next document, the one
23 immediately after this one, which is composed of two documents, in actual
24 fact, or two versions of the same document, if you will. And it is
25 P03068. The first version is the Paket link, but it is a very poor copy,
1 and we see all the stamps there, the official stamps, but I'm going to
2 read the original on the basis of which the first one was compiled. So
3 this is the second copy, which is more legible.
4 So this is a minor case, not terribly important, but the
5 principle is the same. On the 1st of July, 1993, Mr. Valentin Coric --
6 may we zoom down, please, for the English - is sending a document. He is
7 referring to it as reply to a request, and he's sending it to the
8 Operative Zone of North-West Herzegovina
9 military police platoon which it concerns, and he says very clearly here
10 that a military police platoon commanded by a certain man named
11 Perica Turalija, which is on assignment in Prozor, and so on and so
12 forth, until otherwise recalled, is placed under the OZ command and will
13 be used in the carrying out of combat assignments in the Prozor area.
14 Now, tell me, did you know this man Perica Turalija, whose
15 mentioned here, at all?
16 A. Counsel, I did know the platoon commander, Perica Turalija, and
17 he was the commander of the platoon attached to the 3rd Company of the
18 Active-Duty Military Police unit under the command of the Military Police
20 Q. Thank you. And do you agree that from this document it clearly
21 follows that the platoon commanded by Perica Turalija, and now I'm going
22 to use a colloquial term, he was re-subordinated, but let me use a
23 colloquial term and say that he was lent to the operative zone for a
24 certain period of time, because it says "until the unit is recalled," is
25 that right, until the explicit order is revoked?
1 A. Now, since he was already in Prozor, it means that he was
2 directly placed under the command of the commander of the operative zone
3 until this was revoked.
4 Q. Thank you. So this re-subordination, as I said in my
5 introduction when I asked you my first question, can be determined by the
6 execution of a certain task or assignment or by a time-period that can be
7 limited in time, such as, in this case, there's a dead-line; right?
8 A. Yes, that is right.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, let's skip the next document, which is 4010 --
10 or let's take a brief look at it. It's a short document and confirms
11 what we've just been saying. Could you just take a look at it? It is
12 P4010, 4010, which is the next document in line, and it's also a small
13 order dated August 1993, and it is addressed to you, in actual fact. And
14 from it, it follows that -- well, I'm particularly interested in item 2.
15 Item 1 is a description. Item 2 says:
16 "The unit shall be under the direct command of the commander of
17 the city of Mostar Defence, Mr. Mijo Jelic."
18 So when your light assault battalion was sent to Mostar, it was
19 being sent to Mostar and it was being subordinated to Jelic; is that
21 A. Counsel, this order relates to subordination again, the
22 subordination of a unit. And here it says that the unit shall be under
23 the direct command of the command of the city of Mostar, and we did, in
24 fact, report to the commander of the defence of Mostar, but the commander
25 of Mostar was, in fact, the commander of the operative zone, and we acted
1 within the frameworks of the operative zone, itself.
2 Q. Thank you. And now let's take a look at the next document in
3 that same set, linked to the same topic, which is P3778. This is a
4 document written towards the end of July 1993, so roughly the same
5 period, and there are more details here. We could read through all of
6 them, but I'm just actually interested in one point here, so I'll focus
7 on that. It was, again, an order for re-subordination, and it says
8 explicitly in the first paragraph that the unit should be re-subordinated
9 to the HVO command or the command of the respective zone authorised by
10 the commander, and so on and so forth. Now, I'm interested in a
11 particular sentence in the penultimate paragraph, which says:
12 "Assistant chiefs shall -- are duty-bound, in addition to
13 deploying the VP units in combat and their re-subordination to the
14 commander of the HVO, to secure the permanent functional links between
15 all the VP units," military police units, "as well as links to the
16 Military Police Administration."
17 So is it true and correct that units of the military police who,
18 at a certain point in time, are subordinated to military commanders,
19 whether of the operative zone or to the brigades, do they still remain
20 functionally and administratively linked and within the composition of
21 the military police?
22 A. Counsel, those who are deployed in combat are still functionally
23 linked, they remain functionally linked. Well, they go about their
24 regular military police duties, and they have their responsibilities
25 towards the Military Police Administration, so everything remains the
1 same in that respect.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, we'll be talking about brigade platoons, but --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to follow up.
4 I fail to understand. Military police units are re-subordinated
5 for combat activities under the command of an HVO military commander.
6 Are you saying that at the same time they are still charged with doing
7 their normal police duties, or is it only that for administration, such
8 as payment, certain logistical matters, perhaps, they remain with the
9 Military Police Administration?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we're talking about
11 the light assault battalions placed under the command of the HVO, so all
12 the other units in the operative zone carry out their regular military
13 police duties; that is, controlling the check-points, going out on
14 patrol, investigating crimes. And in administrative terms, they relied
15 on the Military Police Administration and were linked to the
16 Military Police Administration.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So there's a clear difference. Those that are
18 engaged in combat, they are combat soldiers, full stop, and the others,
19 they remain policemen?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let me just follow on from my previous question, and we said this
24 clearly earlier on. Judge Trechsel forgot to take that into account.
25 The light assault battalions re-subordinated for combat assignments,
1 that's what we were talking about. They're not permanently under the
2 control of the army, if I can put it that way, but they are
3 re-subordinated for a certain area, for a certain task, for a certain
4 period of time. That is what we can deduce from the answers you've given
5 us; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right, Counsel, they are being re-subordinated. They
7 were re-subordinated to carry out tasks issued to them by an HVO
9 Q. Thank you. And everything else that you stated is as you said.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have another follow-up
11 question. I listened to the questions that were put to you, as well as
12 to your answers, and I looked at the documents. For those who know how
13 it works, there is no problem to understand this. But for those who
14 don't know, there might be some issues there.
15 If I understand correctly, the military police has three main
16 tasks: assault battalions, so they are combat units; second task, they do
17 check-points on roads; and third task, they carry out investigations when
18 crimes are committed. So if I understand correctly what you've just
19 said, as for combat operations, they are under the authorities of the
20 OZ commander. As for the other two tasks that they carry out, namely,
21 manning the check-points as well as investigations, they have a link, a
22 functional link, with the Military Police Administration.
23 Is that how we should understand the way the military police
24 operates on the ground?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the active-duty
1 battalion, in addition to the light assault battalion, carried out normal
2 military police tasks, unless certain companies or platoons were engaged
3 in combat. As far as check-points are concerned and crime investigation,
4 they were also under the command then of the commander of the operative
5 zone, and they were functionally linked to the administration. If a
6 convoy -- a military convoy were to appear, or military unit, or
7 ammunition, or that kind of thing, then they would have to be given
8 instructions from the military police saying that somebody would arrive
9 at a check-point. So those are the things that they would have to deal
10 with. But that relates to check-points. Otherwise, it was the commander
11 of the operative zone who issued orders.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I hadn't quite --
13 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour,
14 for interrupting, but the witness is speaking very quickly, so some of
15 what he said was left out of the transcript. Could he repeat the final
16 part of what he said, but slowly, linked to what he said to crime
17 investigation, on-scene crime investigation? Could he repeat that,
18 because not everything was recorded. And when he was talking about
19 informing the Military Police Administration, if a military convoy turns
20 up, and that he received from the military police instructions about
21 check-points, he did explain this, but it wasn't properly recorded
22 because he was speaking extremely quickly.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 Colonel, could you please repeat slowly what you said, because
25 what you're saying is very important, and if some sentences are missing,
1 then there is a serious risk that Judges will make mistakes when they
2 assess what you've just said when doing their deliberations, which, of
3 course, as you know, are secret. So please repeat what you just said.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me repeat.
5 In the North-West Herzegovina OZ, in addition to the assault
6 battalions, there was also an active-service battalion which performed
7 regular police duties unless parts of the -- its platoons and companies
8 were directly deployed in combat. As far as the work at check-points was
9 concerned, as well as investigations, we were also subordinated to the
10 commander of the OZ, who gave us tasks and orders.
11 As far as our relationship with the MP Administration, we
12 reported to them if there were some events at check-points, also if
13 crimes were committed in the area of responsibility, and we did that
14 through our daily and weekly reports sent to them. However, all the
15 tasks were carried out and finished in the North-West Herzegovina OZ with
16 the command thereof.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second. I'm still not
18 quite clear as to what happens in the case of crime investigations. I
19 will give you a case study.
20 A crime is committed somewhere in the operational command zone.
21 From that point in time, is that the commander of the OZ who will ask you
22 to launch an investigation? But if this commander asks you to do
23 nothing, will you do nothing? Or regardless of the instructions you may
24 receive from this commander, will you, of your own accord, launch your
25 own investigation? Do you understand what I mean? Did you understand my
1 question? So what are you answering to that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if a crime was
3 committed and if the OZ commander was not informed or if nobody of his
4 associates were informed, on the assumption that we were the ones who
5 heard about that crime -- for example, if I heard about that crime, then
6 I would send the MP and the Crime Investigation Department to the site to
7 carry out an on-site inspection, but I will also inform the commander of
8 the OZ or the commander who was in that zone of responsibility at that
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll use another
11 case. The commander of the OZ has known of a crime being committed.
12 You're also aware that a crime was committed. But what I'm wondering is
13 whether the commander of the OZ can tell you not to launch any
14 investigation, and in this case you will abide by this order?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it never happened.
16 Therefore, I really don't know what to answer. I know that the OZ
17 commander where I worked, if he heard about a crime, he made sure that
18 the police did their job.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 Q. Let's just add something to the last question put to you by
22 His Honour Judge Antonetti, or, rather, let me help you with it. The
23 question was hypothetical, and you said it never happened. Bearing in
24 mind the terminology in the police proceedings -- in the crime
25 investigation proceedings that is used in our parts, I would put
1 Judge Antonetti's last question in the following way:
2 The military police, and men in the military police, did they
3 prosecute and investigate crimes ex officio or because somebody told them
4 to do so? And then if you answer that, everything will become clear. So
5 if a person -- a member of the military police learns about a crime that
6 was committed, did -- will that person go to that place on his own -- on
7 his own initiative, or would such a person wait for somebody from the
8 police -- Military Police Administration, or whoever tell them to go
9 there and investigate the crime? I would like to hear your answer to
11 A. This is a good question, Counsel. The military police are
12 duty-bound ex officio to investigate crimes.
13 Q. Thank you very much. I believe that everything is clear now.
14 And the question put to you before that by the honourable Judge is a
15 question that you also didn't answer fully. Let's try and clarify. We
16 were talking about the functional and operational links, and let's be
17 very specific and talk about the battalion under your command.
18 At the moment or during the time while you were subordinated to
19 an OZ and performing certain tasks, who was the one who was giving you
20 operative military commands and orders?
21 A. Counsel, it would be the commander of the OZ.
22 Q. Thank you. At the same time, as we have just read in Mr. Coric's
23 letter, at that same time, you had functional and administrative links
24 with your own superior, as it were, and through those links you performed
25 all your tasks and you had all your other needs met; yes or no?
1 A. Counsel, yes.
2 Q. Thank you very much. So let's summarise what you have just said.
3 Irrespective of the nature of your tasks, be it military tasks or
4 military policing tasks, your functional links were always to your police
5 administration, and the operative links could be the links of the
6 military police or the links of the OZ in this particular case; would
7 that be correct, yes or no?
8 A. Yes, correct.
9 Q. Thank you very much. I believe that we have exhausted this
10 matter and that we have managed to clarify it completely.
11 I would kindly ask you to look at the following document, which
12 is 3D03813.
13 We started talking about different forms of activities of the
14 military police, and then we focused on assault battalions. I believe
15 that this document suggests, and you can confirm whether it's true or
16 not, this is an order signed by you personally at the beginning of 1994;
17 you reacted to an order issued by Siljeg who at that moment was a member
18 of the MP Administration, no longer in the OZ, and here you send the
19 15 members of the 2nd Company to Uskoplje. You give them a very precise
20 deployment, and you say that one day they will be on the line, one day
21 they will act as police officers, one day they will act as an
22 intervention group; again, policemen, in other words. And it says that
23 your men should be subordinated to the commander, and so on and so forth.
24 Do we agree that this group of yours, in case this order was
25 carried out, that that's the way it changed its hats? One day, its hat
1 said, I'm a soldier and I'm on the line. The second day, on its hat it
2 says, I'm a military policeman and I'm in charge of order and -- peace
3 and order in the village. Is all that correct?
4 A. Counsel, first of all, you said that I signed this order. I
5 didn't. This is not my signature. Second of all, this order was based
6 by the chief of the Military Police Administration. The way we were
7 issued the order, that's how we acted, literally. The chief of the
8 MP Administration, Mr. Siljeg, issued this order, and we followed that
9 order word for word.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Are you denying the veracity of this order?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, the document we have
12 before us is problematic. Colonel Siljeg, who replaced Mr. Coric, is in
13 charge of the military police, and he gives an order assigning military
14 police officers in three different situations. One day, they're sent to
15 combat; another day, they have to deal with military police issues; and
16 then another day, they are part of an intervention group. Therefore, he
17 decides how the policemen will be assigned to various tasks.
18 In this order, I don't see that the Operational Zone commander
19 has given his agreement. However, this could be of interest to him,
20 because for him military policemen should be -- should spend two days on
21 the front-line and not just one. However, reading this order, I recalled
22 what I would do when I was in charge of the military police. I was
23 commanding hundreds of military police officers who were in charge of
24 carrying out regular military police tasks, and if I had been sent such
25 an order, this would have caused a lot of problems for me, because I
1 would have felt that I needed to be consulted first before military
2 police officers were used for military tasks, because they were used
3 before that for investigations.
4 Now, this is what I would like to know: When Mr. Siljeg made
5 that decision, he's, in fact, saying to the Operational Zone commander,
6 This is what you have to do, without consulting him?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as this order
8 is concerned, as you can see, this order was sent to the
9 Tomislavgrad Military District - you can see that under item 3 - which
10 means that the commander of the Tomislavgrad Military District was
11 informed about the dispatching of that company. And then in the body of
12 the order, under item 3, it says men shall be subordinated to the platoon
13 commander of the MP Uskoplje, and that person was subordinated to the
14 brigade commander in Uskoplje when it came to the execution of his combat
15 duties, which means that bullet point 2, item 1, where it says "one day
16 on the line," that means that the MPs were sent to the line as given to
17 him by the brigade commander.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the very fact that the
19 Tomislavgrad OZ commander was informed, was solving the problem, which
20 means that if he didn't agree with that, he would let the other person
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Mr. Kovacic, I'm being told that you have eight minutes left.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I believe two or three
1 more questions would clarify the matter completely, but I don't have the
3 Q. Could you please look at the documents that you were provided
4 with earlier today. We're talking about three separate documents.
5 I apologise, hold on, hold on. I have something else to ask you
6 before that. P1350, which was shown to you by my learned friend on
7 Monday, P035 -- P01350, this is a record of the meeting held on the
8 29th of January in Ljubuski. I'm not sure that you said, when you talked
9 about this document, that Mr. Praljak had called that meeting, or did you
10 just say that he had attended that meeting? You obviously understand the
11 difference between the two, between calling a meeting and attending it.
12 A. Counsel, as far as I remember, I said and I believe -- or,
13 rather, I said that General Praljak had called that meeting, or at least
14 that's what had been told to me. That's the information I had received
15 in my battalion.
16 Q. Who told you that General Praljak had called the meeting? Can
17 you remember that?
18 A. Counsel, I believe that it was the duty operations officer who
19 called me, but I can't remember his name.
20 Q. Was it Mr. Praljak or his secretary who called you to tell you
22 A. No, he was not duty-bound to call me. The duty operation officer
23 from the MP Administration called me to ask me to be -- to attend that
25 Q. And to your best recollection, what were you told? It was
1 15 years ago, of course.
2 A. As far as I remember, Counsel, but it doesn't have to be the
3 case, the duty operation officer of the MP Administration called me and
4 told me that on that day there would be a meeting, and that that meeting
5 was being organised by General Praljak, and that the MP Administration
6 chief, Valentin Coric, would also attend that meeting after having
7 returned from his hospital treatment. And he also told me to be
8 accompanied by several officers from the MP battalion.
9 Q. It follows from the minutes - I believe that you will agree with
10 me - that only General Praljak, who is listed first as attending, that he
11 is the only one who is not a member of the MP or the MP Administration;
13 A. Counsel, yes, that's correct.
14 Q. We also see further on in the minutes that the chief of the UVP,
15 Mr. Valentin Coric, addressed the meeting and that his words were
16 followed by General Praljak's words, that he had to answer some
17 questions, and then we see, after a short break -- and so on and so
18 forth. And my question is this: I'm putting it to you that Mr. Praljak
19 was just a guest at that meeting. Bear that in mind when I put my
20 following question to you.
21 Would it be part of our culture -- would it be part of our
22 meeting culture to have the host delivering the opening statement to a
23 group of -- a meeting of some 40 people? Isn't that a social custom,
24 that the host opens the meeting? Just say, Yes, or, No, please.
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. And, similarly, given our cultural practice, would the host then
2 give the floor to the guest, the most important guest, if there are
3 several guests; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is also correct.
5 Q. Thank you. And then after the guest's speech and after several
6 questions have been put to the guest, there was a short break; is that
8 A. Counsel, I can't remember that.
9 Q. That's what it says in the minutes. Have a look. After a short
10 break, Z. Andabak, VP commander in action from the very beginning, and so
11 on and so forth. So it's the first paragraph about the presence of
12 guests. Then it says: "At the beginning of the meeting ..."
13 Do you see where it is?
14 A. Yes, I can see that, but I don't remember a break.
15 Q. Very well. Do you remember that later, during the course of that
16 meeting -- regardless of whether you remember the break or not, do you
17 remember having seen General Praljak again?
18 A. Counsel, General Praljak was still present at the meeting.
19 Q. Can you claim that he was at the meeting all the time, to the
20 best of your recollection, of course?
21 A. Well, on the whole, I would say yes.
22 Q. I don't understand that. Could you be more precise, please?
23 A. Counsel, I don't know whether he was present until the very end,
24 but I know that he spent quite a lot of time at the meeting. If you want
25 me just to answer by saying, Yes, or, No, who the host was, and so on and
1 so forth, well, I can say that I know why General Praljak was there. I
2 came to learn about that in the course of the speeches given.
3 Q. Very well. When you read the minutes, you can see that the
4 discussion has to do about internal military police problems that have to
5 do with organisation on the whole, problems that have to do with suppling
6 people and so on and so forth. It has to do with the life and work of
7 the military police; is that correct?
8 A. Sir, that is correct. I don't know what's in dispute here.
9 Q. Very well. I need you to confirm this for the sake of the
10 transcript. You know, you're testifying, not me.
11 And the minutes also show that General Praljak no longer
12 participated in that discussion. Do you remember that?
13 A. Sir, General Praljak, as I can see in the minutes, no longer
14 participated in the discussions, but General Praljak was very familiar
15 with the field. And at this meeting, we discussed MP problems with
16 regard to materiel and technical equipment, with regard to other sorts of
17 equipment. And General Praljak was there, I believe, to hear about the
18 problems we were facing. Well, in fact, he was very familiar with these
19 problems because he had spent more time in the field than in the office.
20 So he was very familiar with the situation in the field, so perhaps he
21 was the competent person -- he was perhaps the right person to issue an
22 order to someone in his HQ and tell them to assist us when trying to
23 solve our problems.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. I just want to check something
25 with regard to the transcript.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you've run out of
2 time, so please wrap up.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I could just have
4 another two minutes to put another two questions to the witness and then
5 to conclude.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, two minutes.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
8 Q. Tell me -- tell me, according to this document, Ljubica Jukic
9 took these minutes. Do you know this person?
10 A. Sir, not very well. I can't really remember who it is.
11 Q. Do you know where she worked, for whom she worked?
12 A. As far as I can remember, she worked in the MP Administration and
13 worked in the field of supplies, logistics, for those who were wounded
14 and killed.
15 Q. In the Defence Department?
16 A. In the Military Police Administration.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no more time.
18 I've distributed some documents, 3D03814, 15, and 16. Could I just ask
19 the witness to confirm that these are the usual documents, documents that
20 exist quite regularly? I don't have time to show him, but they show what
21 sort of work the military police had to do, the typical kind of work they
22 had to do. If the witness could just have a look at those documents and
23 confirm that these are quite traditional documents, standard documents.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you know that you
25 have a lot of difficulties in tendering documents. That's the least one
1 can say. Those documents are not coming from the witness. He hasn't
2 signed those documents, so I don't know -- I don't even know whether he's
3 seen those documents. Those three documents may actually be rejected.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honours. That's
5 why I would like to ask the witness whether he has perhaps seen these
6 documents or, in the alternative, whether these are standard reports
7 drafted by the military police platoon, the kind of reports that he has
8 already referred to.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, put the question to him,
10 and the Trial Chamber will decide. I can't tell you anything at this
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Yes, of
13 course, I'm not asking you to admit them into evidence in advance, but it
14 might be a possibility if the witness does confirm these documents.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, I think there is an easier way to
16 put it. You're just asking for some more minutes, because that's what
17 it's about. You want to have the witness for a few more minutes, and the
18 President will perhaps consult with us and we give you a few more
19 minutes, because that's what it boils down to. We cannot -- we cannot
20 use a document issue to bypass the time issue, I think.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm in your hands.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have five more
24 minutes for the three documents.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I'd like to insist on this
2 so that I don't have to write lengthy opinions at a later stage. Please,
3 please, emphasise the relevant parts.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will.
5 Q. Yesterday -- on Monday, in fact, you spoke about platoons from
6 the Military Police Brigade. At one point in time, you gave an almost
7 complete description of their regular tasks, regular responsibilities. I
8 wanted to ask you some other questions about that today, but I have no
9 more time. We know what sort of responsibilities they had.
10 And if you have been able to have a look at these three
11 documents, if you've been able to have a look at what it's about, we
12 don't need to go into the details. My question would be as follows: Do
13 these three documents clearly demonstrate the regular duties -- the
14 various regular duties that the brigade military police within the
15 brigade had to perform? That's my first question, and --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
17 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since we, the
18 accused, haven't received these documents, I have no idea what we are
19 dealing with. I would like to see these documents on screen so that we
20 can follow what's going on in the courtroom. We have no idea because we
21 haven't received these documents.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] So for the sake of the transcript,
24 the documents are 3D03814, and then 3815, 3816. The second one's up on
25 the screen now -- the first one. I apologise.
1 Q. While we're being shown these three documents, I have a
2 sub-question for you. Do you know the person who signed here, the
3 platoon commander, Ivan Kristo? He signed all three documents.
4 A. Sir, as far as I can see, this is the Krajl Tomislav Brigade from
5 Tomislavgrad, and commander Ivan Kristo was the commander of the brigade
6 military police. So, yes, I know him.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Now that you've had a look at the
8 documents, tell me, all the tasks referred to, would you say that these
9 are the typical tasks that a military police platoon has to carry out in
10 the course of its regular work?
11 A. Counsel, from what I can see, they acted in accordance with an
12 order from someone from the brigade who had been authorised by the
13 commander to issue such orders. Perhaps in the last order, it says, When
14 the military police contacts you, the Intervention Platoon of the
15 Military Police went into a zone. So it was according to an order that
16 certain military police tasks were carried out that weren't really tasks
17 that were within their field.
18 Q. Very well. But when you look at the first document, 3814, when
19 you look at the duties mentioned, it says, As ordered by the Defence
20 Department, they went to inform Fejzic to report to the office. That's
21 what you mentioned, bringing in soldiers?
22 A. Yes, this is all within the domain of the brigade.
23 Q. That's correct. And could we then just conclude, not to waste
24 any more time. Did you see or would you agree that reports of this kind,
25 with such subject matters, existed in the thousands, because each brigade
1 platoon wrote such reports every day; is that correct?
2 A. Sir, the brigade military police submitted reports on a daily
3 basis to its brigade commander on its work on a given day, so there were
4 certainly reports on what they did.
5 Q. And would you say that the duties described in these three
6 documents are regular duties, these regular reports?
7 A. Sir, yes. Yes, it says bring in soldiers, leave investigations,
8 controls within the zone of responsibility, and so on.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Witness.
10 Just a minute, please.
11 Thank you, Your Honours. I have now concluded. I wanted to deal
12 with the subject of the brigade police through several documents, but
13 we'll do that on some other occasion. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Next Defence
16 Ms. Alaburic, given the thick file that has been given to us,
17 could you please remind us how much time you've been given?
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I'd first like to greet you
19 and everyone in the courtroom. Good day, Mr. Andabak.
20 Thanks to your decision that you handed down, in which you
21 granted us 20 additional minutes, we have a total of 32 minutes. I've
22 tried to organise my cross-examination so that I can cover all subjects
23 of importance. And if I fail to do so and you believe that my
24 examination is relevant, I'd like you to -- I'd like to request a little
25 more time. But I'll try and complete this in 32 minutes.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I didn't
2 receive any documents.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Well, my colleague is providing
4 them to me now. Thank you. We apologise for not reacting on time.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Andabak, I'm Vesna Alaburic, counsel from
9 If I have understood your biography, your curriculum, correctly,
10 you were the commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Military Police from
11 the 10th of February, 1993
12 correct -- end of November 1993, correction, until the end of
13 November 1993?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. When you were chief of the Department of the
16 General Military Police, your work was in Mostar, is that correct, that's
17 where your position was?
18 A. Yes, it was in Mostar and in Ljubuski.
19 Q. Mostar and Ljubuski aren't in the territory of the Operative Zone
20 of North-Western Herzegovina; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Mr. Andabak, you spoke about the term -- or used the term "zone
23 of responsibility." You mentioned kilometres, depth, and breadth, that
24 had to do with the zone of responsibility. 50943 is the page in the
25 transcript I'm referring to. My question is as follows: What you
1 said -- please listen to me, Mr. Andabak. The information you provided
2 in your answer, is such information you obtained in some sort of
3 handbook, information that was relayed to you, or information that you,
4 yourself, invented?
5 A. Madam, the zone of responsibility and its breadth --
6 Q. I'm not asking you about that. Tell me, did you read about this,
7 were you told about it, or did you invent this?
8 A. I'm telling you, madam, what it was like on the ground.
9 Q. But I'm asking you where you got the information from. Where did
10 you get the information from about this in-depth distance of
11 15 kilometres?
12 A. That piece of information I received from commanders on the
13 ground, according to how they determined their area of responsibility.
14 Q. Now, since you were a member of the military police, Witness, and
15 not the army, I'm going to tell you that as far as the army is concerned,
16 there's the zone of attack and the zone of defence, or area of attack and
17 area of defence. Now, this 15 kilometres of yours, does it refer to the
18 area of attack or the area of defence?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me.
20 Before he answers the question, I think counsel's testifying.
21 Now, she can say that a witness came in here, she can point to a
22 document, but as far as I know, she's not a witness, and she hasn't
23 served in the military. So for her to be giving -- to be telling the
24 witness what she thinks, you know, is correct, is totally improper. She
25 can point at a document. Otherwise, I object. She's leading, and she's
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Ms. Alaburic,
3 Mr. Karnavas is correct, if one follows common-law rules. It is true
4 that in your country and in mine, you could have asked such a question,
5 but here the practice is such that it is better to proceed step by step.
6 And here, in your question, you are stating that there could have been an
7 attack in a zone of defence. Before you get there, please ask some
8 preliminary question. Otherwise, you will be the one testifying and
9 Mr. Karnavas will be fully right.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to acknowledge
11 that I wasn't following the translation of my question, so I can't say
12 with any certainty whether it was properly interpreted. But what you've
13 just said that I asked, that is not what I asked. That wasn't my
14 question. I spoke about the zone of attack and zone of defence, which
15 are military terms in all military manuals.
16 Q. So, Witness, if you don't know the answer, just say so and we can
17 move on. So do you know what the concept and term "zone of attack" and
18 "zone of defence" means?
19 A. Now, what the "zone of attack" and "zone of defence" means now at
20 this point in time, I can't really tell you, I can't give you a
22 Q. Very well. Tell us, Witness, in your proofing sessions for your
23 testimony, did you decide with the Prlic Defence that you would be asked
24 questions about the concept of "area of responsibility," that term?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, we haven't met, so there's no
1 mystery about this. And, second of all, I do take offence, because now
2 my character and my professionalism is being impugned. This may be
3 appropriate in Zagreb
4 this when she's practicing the type of law that she does practice, which
5 is not criminal defence law, but this is improper.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic --
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second. You are talking
9 about proofing, but Mr. Karnavas says there hasn't been any proofing. So
10 what's your take?
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness can say
12 that he never talked to Jadranko Prlic's Defence counsel and that he
13 didn't make any agreement with them about this, and there's no problem
14 there. I don't mind the witness giving that answer and we can move on.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: There is an insinuation. There lies the problem.
16 Now, if I were in court in the United States, I would call my colleague
17 is engaging in sleazy tactics. That's what this is all about. It
18 impugns the integrity of counsel, it calls into question his ethics and
19 professionalism. It means that counsel is somehow conniving with the
20 witness. That's the implication, and I object to it.
21 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
22 Your Honours, since this is Mr. Coric's Defence witness, I have to join
23 in what Mr. Karnavas has said and say that I'm offended too, personally,
24 because this was a witness who attended a proofing session with the
25 Coric Defence, and, therefore, the Coric Defence did not make any
1 agreements with the witness with respect to what the witness was going to
2 say in the Coric Defence case, let alone anything else, because we don't
3 tell the witnesses what they're supposed to say. So we don't reach any
4 agreements with witnesses, and let alone would we do this in the
5 interests of another accused in the courtroom. And the witness can speak
6 for himself, so that I don't have to speak in his stead, whether ever
7 before coming into this courtroom he ever saw any of the Defence counsel
8 of Mr. Jadranko Prlic. Thank you.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, could I try to --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic --
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: Everybody should slow down, everyone.
12 MR. STEWART: Well, I'll certainly take Judge Prandler, whom
13 I can barely see, but good morning, Judge Prandler, around this pillar.
14 But I'll take that advice. But in an attempt to lower the temperature,
15 and sitting here, knowing and working with Ms. Alaburic and, of course,
16 knowing what it is she's trying to do, but also, like Mr. Karnavas,
17 coming from a common-law jurisdiction, he is taking unnecessary offence
18 there. There was, of course, an implicit, if you like, question in
19 Ms. Alaburic's question as to whether, in the proofing sessions, plural,
20 there was a proofing session with the Prlic counsel. That was easily
21 answered. Either the witness did have such a proofing session or he
22 didn't. But it's a fair assumption that he had proofing sessions
23 generally, and there is an important distinction here. There was nothing
24 in Ms. Alaburic's question which suggested any sort of collusion, any
25 impropriety, in relation to what answers might be given.
1 What was asked, if there was indeed a proofing session with the
2 Prlic Defence - and if there wasn't, of course, and we're told there
3 wasn't, I think, then that would be an end to the story - did they decide
4 he would be asked questions about the concept? There is nothing at all
5 wrong, in a proofing session, with discussing what questions will be
6 asked. There is certainly something wrong with priming a witness as to
7 what the answers might be, but heaven knows if you don't discuss with a
8 witness, in a proofing session, what questions might be asked, then the
9 question arises as to what you're doing having a proofing session at all.
10 So there was absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever, and I can
11 certainly speak for Ms. Alaburic and myself, as Mr. Petkovic's counsel,
12 in saying there was not the slightest insinuation of unprofessionalism by
13 Mr. Karnavas or anybody else in relation to this. And please,
14 Mr. Karnavas, don't be so thin-skinned, I say through Your Honour, and
15 jump to your feet so quickly and see such allegations made against you,
16 because they are not made.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think, Mr. Stewart, you're partly right and
18 partly wrong.
19 I agree that I did not see, in this question, an attack on
20 Mr. Karnavas' professional/ethical standing, but the question is wrong in
21 that it assumes a fact for which there is no basis. You assume that
22 there was a briefing session with the Prlic Defence, and then on that
23 basis, for which there is no foundation, you ask about the content, what
24 happened during such a questioning.
25 You ought to have asked first whether there was any proofing, and
1 then you could have gone on. But to presume such a fact, that was not
2 correct. So I think you should reformulate or go somewhere else.
3 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, may I just say the
4 reformulation, of course, is for Ms. Alaburic, who's asking the
5 questions. I'm extremely pleased to know that on the more important
6 point on what I got to my feet for, I'm extremely pleased to know that
7 Your Honour accepts what I've said.
8 As far as the question, the formulation is concerned, I did
9 acknowledge that there was implicit, in Ms. Alaburic's question, the
10 issue or the question as to whether there was or wasn't a proofing
11 session. So, Your Honour, I'm not -- on behalf of Ms. Alaburic and
12 myself, I'm not going to squabble with either part of what Your Honour
13 has just said, respectfully, but I am very pleased to know that
14 Your Honour, like me, saw nothing by way of insinuation of
15 unprofessionalism by Mr. Karnavas.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for your
17 understanding. I personally don't feel the need to response to what
18 Mr. Karnavas said. And apart from that, Mr. Stewart has said it all.
19 Perhaps I asked a rather unwieldy question, but what I was asking
20 was whether the witness had been to a proofing session, because we knew
21 that he came in on Thursday and it was quite normal that a witness
22 attends proofing sessions, just as all our witnesses did. So I thought
23 my question was proper.
24 I wanted to know whether, within the frameworks of that proofing,
25 they had any conversations with a previous Defence, and I mentioned
1 Mr. Prlic. But as I say, I don't feel the need to belabour the point or
2 ask any further questions about that. I was just interested in how you
3 came by that piece of information and whether you happened to read about
4 it in some manual.
5 But with your permission, Your Honours, I can move on.
6 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Andabak --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness raises his hand. I
8 believe he has something to say.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. With your permission, I'd
10 like to say the following.
11 I'd just like to respond to the counsel. As far as the area of
12 responsibility is concerned, books are one thing, the terrain and the
13 situation on the ground is another. So I'm telling her what my
14 experience was on the ground because that's where I performed my duties,
15 on the ground.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you, Witness. I thought that you might have referred to a
18 manual, which is known in the courtroom as the rules governing brigades,
19 Rules on Brigades, so I thought that you might have read about that
20 there. But I'll move on.
21 Witness, do you happen to know that the new leadership of the
22 Ministry of Defence, at the end of 1993, gave a negative assessment to
23 the work of the military police from its inception until that period,
24 that is to say, December 1993?
25 A. Madam Counsel, I don't know about that, and I don't know what new
1 leadership in the Ministry of Defence you're referring to.
2 Q. The first document that you have in your binder is document
3 P7169, and it is the minutes from a meeting of the military police
4 officers held on the 14th of December, 1993. And at that meeting, you
5 were in attendance, and -- or Mr. Lavric said at the meeting that the
6 assessment and evaluations of the work of the military police were not
7 satisfactory. Listen to me carefully, Mr. Andabak. They were not
8 satisfactory, and this would require a re-establishment of the military
9 police. And according to these minutes, on page 7 of the Croatian text,
10 it says that you, Mr. Andabak, wanted to know who gave you this negative
11 mark for your work up until then. And Colonel Biskic responded by saying
12 that the military police was given negative assessments and appraisals
13 for its work as a whole, but that your 2nd Light Assault Battalion was
14 given a high mark, a high assessment, by Mr. Biskic personally. So do
15 you remember now this assessment and appraisal of the work of the
16 military police in those terms?
17 A. Counsel, I'll be happy to answer that.
18 Q. Just tell me whether you remember that or not. Do you recall it
19 or not?
20 A. Well, allow me to answer. You asked me, so I'm going to answer.
21 What I remember is this --
22 Q. Sir, I'm just interested in whether you recall this, because I
23 don't have time to allow you to go into details, but you will have time
24 if the Judges want to hear about it and give me more time.
25 A. But there's something that's not been correctly observed and
1 concluded here.
2 Q. I'm only interested in whether you remember those negative
4 A. Yes, and if I need to go into details --
5 JUDGE PRANDLER: [Previous translation continues] ... with your
6 questions and with your answers. I don't know why you do not understand
7 this. Thank you.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: On another point: Witness, you are in the
9 disagreeable -- not enviable situation of being cross-examined, and
10 almost every witness must be told about the special rules that apply in
11 this. And the basic rule is that the counsel carrying out
12 cross-examination leads you and has the right to put questions that need
13 a short answer, Yes, No, I don't know, I don't remember. There may be
14 exceptions, but generally you are -- and you may regret this, and we
15 understand that you may regret this, but you do not have the right to
16 explain everything you would like to explain. So Ms. Alaburic must be
17 supported in this, and she can ask you just to limit your answer. And I
18 will invite to you comply with this, because it's in the Rules and it is
19 necessary to contain the time needed.
20 Please, Ms. Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
22 Your Honour Judge Trechsel.
23 Q. Now, tell us, Witness, at the end of 1993, were the brigade
24 platoons of the military police abolished?
25 A. Madam, I can't remember when they were abolished.
1 Q. Do you remember that they were abolished at all?
2 A. Yes, they were abolished, and I think there was a new
4 Q. Tell us, please, were they abolished because they weren't
6 A. I think that with the re-establishment, the guards brigades were
7 set up, so there was no need for them to exist anymore within the
8 frameworks of the municipal brigades.
9 Q. Do you mean to say that they were functioning or were not
10 functioning properly? The brigade military police platoons, were they
11 functioning well or not, and were they abolished because they were
12 working and functioning well or not?
13 A. Counsel, I can't really tell you, because I wasn't in the brigade
14 military police, so I can't say.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric.
16 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a
17 suggestion to make to be of assistance in these proceedings, to ensure
18 that they run smoothly.
19 Counsel is asking general questions, just like the last one
20 there, whether the brigade police platoons functioned properly or not,
21 yes or no. Can you imagine how many military platoons there were in
22 existence, and now this man here, who's a professional and a military
23 commander from the war, a practitioner, he's being asked to give a
24 yes-or-no answer, some were, some weren't, perhaps I'm speaking on the
25 assumption. But to make a general sweeping statement and conclusion,
1 only nonprofessionals can do that, not professionals. Thank you.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no need to
3 respond to that. But I was just quoting Mr. Marjan Biskic, and we had
4 occasion to hear him here as a leading military expert in the military
5 police in the courtroom.
6 Q. Mr. Andabak, my next question is this: During the
7 examination-in-chief, you were shown document P990, which is the next
8 document in your binder. It's an order from the brigade commander to
9 relieve of duty the commander of the brigade military police, Ante Prlic,
10 and your answer was that that was in keeping with the remit and
11 authorisations of the brigade commander and that you knew that the
12 Military Police Administration did not appoint commanders of brigade
13 platoons of the military police.
14 I'm now going to put to you the testimony of a protected witness
15 here, so for that may we move into private session for a few moments,
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Registrar.
18 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Tell us, please, Witness --
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Tell us, please, Witness, according to your experience with the
17 military police, was such a situation possible?
18 A. Madam Counsel, I was in the OZ for a long time, and I was also in
19 South-East Herzegovina, and I can tell you that this is not normal. The
20 brigade commander had all the authorities, and nobody from the
21 administration could interfere with his authorities to hire and dismiss
23 Q. Could you please look at the following document, which is 4D2041.
24 This is a document from the military police which refers to the dismissal
25 of the commander of the brigade military police in Citluk. And here the
1 military police say -- or, rather, Andrija Buhovac on behalf of the
2 military police, it says that the brigade commander does not have the
3 competence to hire and fire the commander of the brigade police, that the
4 brigade commander can only request from the MP Administration to remove
5 the commander of the brigade police from his duties.
6 Mr. Andabak, according to what you know, such an answer which
7 came from the military police, is this answer legal or illegal? Is it
8 lawful or unlawful?
9 A. Madam, this piece of paper is somebody's improvisation, and if
10 you can -- will allow me, I can explain.
11 Q. I just want to ask you whether this is lawful or unlawful.
12 A. This is a forgery. Somebody abused the letterheaded paper of the
13 MP Administration. I know that this is not an original. Mr. Santic was
14 removed under the request of the brigade commander, and if you allow
15 me --
16 Q. No, no, no, I'm only interested in the answer.
17 A. You have Andrija Buhovac here. This is not his signature. This
18 isn't the signature of General Jelic. Somebody forged this signature.
19 Q. Mr. Andabak, do you see here that somebody signed this on behalf
20 of that person, just like the document which contains your name and
21 somebody signed on your behalf? Is that a rule, that somebody can sign
22 on somebody's behalf?
23 A. I don't know. I don't know, madam. I don't know that the
24 commander of the defence of the city of Mostar would sign on behalf of a
25 company commander. There is no logic in that. If you look at this, you
1 can see that number 3 was added to -- next to the name of the
2 Military Police Administration chief.
3 Q. Okay. Were you stating that this document is a forgery; is that
4 what you're saying, is that your testimony? Can you please speed up.
5 A. I'm waiting for the interpretation, madam. Madam, somebody
6 actually abused the letterheaded paper.
7 Q. So it's a forgery?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Andabak, towards the end of 1993, in addition to the brigade
10 platoons of the military police --
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, I just want to draw your attention
12 to the fact that we have no translation of the relevant document here.
13 We have it in Croatian, and we are all a bit poor in our Croatian.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what
15 could be the reason. It is in e-court. There is no reason for you not
16 to have the translation. The translation has been translated and was
17 already used during General Petkovic's testimony.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I found it. I'm sorry. It was hidden from me.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second.
20 Colonel, I listened to what you say. You said it was a forged
21 document. So what would have been the interest of creating this false
22 document? Do you have any explanation for that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this
24 document from the MP Administration, Ivan Santic may have gotten a hold
25 of the letterheaded paper himself. We lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 and during the wartime there are not so many typewriters, and one could
2 get hold of any stamp. You just had to have 15 German marks to buy it,
3 which means that the company commander did not even have to have the
4 letterheaded paper of the MP Administration. I didn't have to have it,
5 as the battalion commander. I could put any heading I wanted, the OZ,
6 the 2nd Battalion, the location where I was deployed, anything.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think I understood. You're
8 saying that Andrija Buhovac, the one who is signing as the commander of
9 the 4th Company of the 5th VP Battalion, this person could not have
10 signed because he could not have had this document with a letterhead
11 "Military Police Administration," this was impossible; is that what
12 you're saying?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's correct. The
14 document, itself, when you look at it, you can see that Andrija Buhovac
15 didn't sign it, that on his behalf it was signed by the commander of the
16 defence of the city of Mostar
17 for example, have signed on behalf of a company commander in my own
18 battalion? Which means that somebody played games with this piece of
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, therefore, the number
21 024/30400/93 is actually a false number?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the number is 02-4/1,
23 but then it was made to look like a "3." This is a paper from the
24 MP Administration, which would mean that the MP Administration sent a
25 document to itself, and there is no logic to that. And that's why I'm
1 saying that this is not an authentic document.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This apart, Witness, in substance, is what is
3 written here correct? Is it correct to say that the brigade commander is
4 not competent to dismiss an officer of the military police?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the biggest
6 idiocy on the paper. The brigade commander is the one who hires and
7 fires the commander of the brigade military police, and the
8 administration have nothing whatsoever to do with that. And I say this
9 with full responsibility.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: How is this compatible with the other
11 information you gave us; namely, that as far as the functional situation
12 is concerned, the military police stays under the authority of the
13 Military Police Administration?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's still a link,
15 but it is well known what the MP Administration did. They were in charge
16 of hiring and firing commanders. It did not have any authority over the
17 brigade platoons of the military police, but it was responsible for
18 providing logistics by means of sending them uniforms, insignia, and
19 providing professional training of the brigade MPs.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Andabak, you said this document was signed by the commander
23 of the defence of the city of Mostar
24 A. Madam Counsel, the commander of the defence of the city of Mostar
25 was Mr. Zlatan Mijo Jelic.
1 Q. Are you saying that Zlatan Mijo Jelic signed this document?
2 A. Madam, I'm sure that somebody abused Zlatan Mijo Jelic's
3 signature and that this signature is a forgery. His signature was very
4 simple to forge, to falsify.
5 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Hold on, hold on. I
6 apologise. Just a moment.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Petkovic.
8 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a technical issue,
10 The witness should be shown the stamp, the big stamp. This is
11 the stamp of the MP Administration, which means that it was made and it
12 was recorded twice in the MP Administration. One has to ask him whether
13 this is an MP stamp and what he knows about signatures.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, the incoming stamp, could you please tell us whose
16 incoming stamp this is?
17 A. Madam, it's not very legible, so I wouldn't be able to tell you.
18 I can see that the number does belong to the MP Administration, and I've
19 already told you that.
20 Q. And that number on the incoming stamp, would that also be a
21 number of the MP Administration?
22 A. I'm not sure. It should be checked. In any case, it starts with
23 a "3," and it should be, I believe.
24 Q. In August 1993, what was Zlatan Mijo Jelic's function in the
25 military police?
1 A. Madam, during that period of time, Zlatan Mijo Jelic was a member
2 of the MP, but he did not have anything to do with the MP because he
3 commanded the defence of the city of Mostar
4 defence of the city of Mostar
5 Q. Are you saying that he did not have any function in the military
6 police; is that what you are saying?
7 A. Madam, I am saying that he was the commander of the city of
8 Mostar defence and that he did not have any other duties in the military
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that we
11 have reached the time for our first break.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll take a break.
13 The Registrar has informed me that you have 15 minutes left.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the meantime,
18 during the break, we have distributed a document. P3487 is its number.
19 Q. Mr. Andabak, just one question. The document in question is a
20 decision issued by Mr. Bruno Stojic on the 16th of July, 1993. And in
21 that decision it says that Zlatan Mijo Jevic was appointed as the
22 assistant chief of the MP Administration for the
23 South-East Herzegovina
24 My question is this: Did you know that Mr. Jelic had the
25 function similar to the one that you had for the
1 North-West Herzegovina OZ or the same as you had there?
2 A. Madam, I don't know whether it was Zlatan Mijo Jevic or
3 Zeljko Dzidic who was the assistant chief.
4 Q. Mr. Andabak, a few words about light assault battalions of the
5 military police. Tell us, were they abolished towards the end of 1993?
6 Do you have any information about that?
7 A. Madam, light assault brigades --
8 Q. Battalions.
9 A. Yes -- battalions of the military police were abolished as a
10 result of the new establishment.
11 Q. When it comes to those light assault battalions of the MP, did
12 they become the guards brigades of the HVO?
13 A. Madam, some of the staff of the light assault battalions did make
14 the base of the newly-established brigades.
15 Q. Mr. Andabak, according to the regulations that were in effect in
16 Herceg-Bosna, who was authorised to issue orders to light assault
17 battalions of the military police?
18 A. In my OZ, it was the OZ commander, and that was the case
19 elsewhere as well.
20 Q. In document P975 [sic], which is the next document in your
21 binder, you will see that the document was co-signed by Mr. Coric and
22 Stojic about the organisation of the military police. And it says that
23 the 1st Battalion is active duty and directly linked to the
24 Military Police Administration, and that upon the chief's orders it may
25 be deployed across the entire area of Herceg-Bosna. The 1st Company is a
1 light assault unit.
2 Tell us, please, from what I have just read to you, what can you
3 tell us? Who has the right to issue orders to a light assault unit?
4 A. Madam, we are talking about the organisation which was in effect
5 in December 1992, so I'm expecting a different question.
6 Q. Could you please tell us, from what we have just read, who had
7 the right to issue orders to a light assault unit when it was not
8 re-subordinated? The basic rule, who was in command? Could you please
9 give us the name?
10 A. The light assault company is subordinated to the commander of the
11 1st Active-Duty Battalion, and it is the Administration of the
12 Military Police who issues orders to the 1st Light-Duty Battalion.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to correct the number
14 of the document. It should be P957.
15 Q. Mr. Andabak, did you read the book "Three Years of
16 Military Police," which is P586 -- 8548 in this case?
17 A. I don't know. I haven't read the book, but I did see a copy when
18 I came here to testify.
19 Q. I'll just refer to one sentence from an article written by
20 Radoslav Lavric, and it says that light assault battalions gradually
21 developed into purely military units. Would you agree with that or not?
22 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that.
23 Q. And tell us, in 1993 was Mr. Lavric also the deputy chief of the
24 military police and then, for a certain period of time, an acting chief
25 of the military police?
1 A. Madam, I can't remember what his position was in 1993. I know
2 that he was the deputy chief for a certain period of time, but as to what
3 he was later, I don't know.
4 Q. Mr. Andabak, what was the main purpose -- the main function of
5 these light assault units? What would you say?
6 A. Madam, as far as the light assault platoons -- battalions of the
7 MP are concerned, they worked in their own operative zones and they were
8 intended to carry out combat tasks in those zones where the commander of
9 the OZ thought that they should be deployed.
10 Q. So it means that their function was to engage in combat tasks, if
11 I have understood you correctly?
12 A. Yes, combat tasks. But they would also perform other military
13 police duties.
14 Q. Very well. Mr. Andabak, now have a look at a document that you
15 have already seen on a number of occasions in this courtroom, P3778.
16 This is an order from Valentin Coric, dated the 28th of July, 1993
17 the re-subordination to the light assault platoons and to the HVO
18 commander. In the introduction, Valentin Coric refers to an order from
19 the head of the Defence Department.
20 Mr. Andabak, do you know the reason for which Valentin Coric
21 referred to Bruno Stojic's order?
22 A. Madam, as far as I can remember, so that the HVO commander
23 wouldn't have such a distance when it came to moving units of the
24 military police from one unit -- from one area to another.
25 Q. That's why Mr. Coric referred to Stojic's order, not to, for
1 example, someone else's order in Herceg-Bosna. Do you know what the
2 responsibilities were of the head of the Defence Department or, rather,
3 of the minister of defence, when it comes to the re-subordination of
4 MP units?
5 A. Could you repeat that question?
6 Q. Do you know what the responsibilities were of the minister of
7 defence in respect of re-subordinating the MP to a certain military
9 A. As far as I know, the minister of defence had no such authority
10 to send someone in or to assign responsibility to someone to carry out
11 certain tasks.
12 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honour, perhaps at this point
13 I can alert my friend, for hopefully her assistance, that care be
14 exercised in intermingling a comment with questions. It doesn't really
16 If one looks, for example, at page 46, line 18 and 19, we see a
17 comment from counsel, followed by a question, and I think at this stage,
18 in areas that perhaps are not so controversial as yet, if my learned
19 friend can endeavour simply to put clear-cut questions and don't put
20 comments to the witness. I think it would assist.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please ask questions,
22 Ms. Alaburic.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The question is clear. It
24 consists of two sentences. There are no claims.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: As there is an interruption, anyway: Witness,
1 you have given an answer that I simply did not understand. You referred
2 to -- you said why Mr. Coric referred to Mr. Stojic in that order that we
3 have seen several times, and your answer is, I quote:
4 "... so that the HVO commander wouldn't have such a distance when
5 it came to moving units of the military police from one unit -- from one
6 area to another."
7 I must confess I do not understand what you mean by this
8 sentence, so perhaps you could explain.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if the
10 2nd Light Assault Battalion of the MP went to carry out a task in the
11 operative zone in South-Eastern Herzegovina, in that case the commander
12 of the operative zone would write a request to the Main Staff, and the
13 Main Staff would deliver the request to the MP Administration, a request
14 on engaging those units, and the unit would receive an order from the
15 MP Administration for their engagement. So to have a briefer procedure,
16 in terms of the bureaucratic procedure, the commander of the HVO could
17 issue an order on his own without following the procedure according to
18 which a unit should move from one zone to another.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And was Mr. Stojic a commander in that sense?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Stojic wasn't a commander,
21 because he was the minister of defence, but this order is based on an
22 order of his which he forwarded to the MP Administration.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I fail to understand why the minister of
24 justice [sic], of whom we have often heard that he had no operative
25 functions, he would not engage troops here and there, that now he takes
1 the decision to send troops to a -- MP troops to a certain area or unit.
2 As far as I seem to have understood the system, this is something which
3 should come from the military command, being the General Staff or maybe
4 Mr. Boban even. But would the minister of defence be competent to take
5 such a decision?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the minister of
7 defence wasn't competent. At one point in time, there was the position
8 of an HVO commander that appeared, in the operative sense.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would then the answer to the question counsel
10 put to you actually be that Mr. Coric refers to an order of Mr. Stojic,
11 who, in turn, probably gave such order because there was a request by a
12 military commander?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know who made a
14 request to whom, Your Honours. But in accordance with the order, as it
15 says, from head of the department, the Defence Department, and on the
16 basis of that order, the chief of the MP Administration drafted the order
17 that he drafted. So in the field, there was an HVO commander.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I cannot help but noticing that there is
19 some fog in this area. This is really not quite clear, why Mr. Coric
20 would refer to an order by Mr. Stojic to re-subordinate military police
21 to a commander. Thank you.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Andabak, now I will show you a series of documents about the
24 authorities of the chief of the military police when it comes to
25 commanding and ordering military police units, after which I will put a
1 question to you.
2 All the parts of the documents that I will refer to are in
3 4D2056. They can be found in that document.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, in the second
5 group of documents you have the integral versions of those documents.
6 Q. Mr. Andabak, it's sufficient for you to listen to me. The first
7 document, P143, temporary instructions for the work of MP units, the date
8 is April 1992, and it says that:
9 "The MP Administration shall be organised within the HVO, and it
10 shall control and command all military police units belonging to
11 operative groups, organisational units, and the
12 Military Police Administration."
13 The following document, P837, instructions for the work of
14 MP units, dated November 1992, it also says that:
15 "The Military Police Administration shall command and order all
16 MP units."
17 P957, which we had a look at a minute ago, signed by Stojic and
18 Coric on the 26th of December, 1992, and towards the end of the document
19 it says that:
20 "The MP Administration shall command and issue orders to all
21 military police units."
22 The following document, P956, a report from the MP -- the
23 military police for 1992, and it says certain operative group commands
24 have been established and they have been placed under a single command of
25 the Military Police Administration.
1 And then P5978 [as interpreted], it's a rule book on staffing and
2 duties in the Military Police Administration. As chief of the Military
3 Police Administration -- or:
4 "The chief will issue orders to the military police units, to
5 battalions in operative zones, and to the light assault brigade."
6 That's in brackets. I'll repeat the document number, P978, 978.
7 The following, P1635, a report from Valentin Coric to Mate Boban,
8 dated the 9th of March, 1993. And it says:
9 "The command structure is headed by the
10 Military Police Administration, and the units are organised in the form
11 of one brigade consisting of five battalions."
12 The following document, P4300, Valentin Coric's order dated the
13 19th of August, 1993, states the following: It says that:
14 "The brigade military police are, by order of the day, under the
15 direct command of the brigade commander. The remaining platoons of
16 general and traffic military police are under the command of the company
17 commander who is responsible to the OZ battalion command. The chief of
18 the MP Administration shall engage light assault units at the request of
19 the assistant chief for the OZ."
20 And the last document, P8309, rules on the work and organisation
21 of the military police, issued in 1996, and the provisions are the same:
22 "All MP units are subordinated to the MO Military Police
23 Administration under the command and control of the head of the
24 MO Military Police Administration."
25 My question, Mr. Andabak, is as follows: Did you know that the
1 rules of Herceg-Bosna dealt with the manner in which military police
2 units were to be organised and led in this way?
3 Mr. Andabak, did you know about this?
4 A. Yes, madam, what you have said, well, that's contained in the
5 rules for the military police. You spoke about the rules for the
6 HVO military police.
7 Q. Mr. Andabak, is that the reason for which, on page 5094, you said
8 that Mr. Coric was the main -- or the key person or top man in the
9 military police? That's how it was translated into English. That's what
10 you said about Mr. Coric.
11 A. What are you referring to?
12 Q. To your statement that Mr. Coric was the top man.
13 A. Where is that statement of mine?
14 Q. I gave you the page reference in the transcript.
15 A. Madam, as far as I remember, I certainly didn't say he was the
16 top man. I said he was the chief of the administration and that he was
17 in charge of the administration. That was the position that he held.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just provide
19 you with the reference to the page --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait. Mr. Coric is on his
22 Would you like to say something, Mr. Coric?
23 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, I want to
24 say two things.
25 I have stood up, well, because the counsel showed documents about
1 the organisation of military police units for various periods of time.
2 That's good, but she also read out just a few sentences about my duties,
3 in a general sense. Well, this isn't a statement now. I'm not someone
4 from the HVO who would like to dismiss the military police. I'm proud of
5 what I did in the war, of my role in the war, so I'm not washing my hands
6 of this. But if the witness is examined in this way, I would request
7 that in the future this examination follow a different procedure, because
8 if the Croatian Army, for example, is now active in Afghanistan, does
9 that mean that the command of the Croatian Army in Croatia is responsible
10 for what they do there?
11 I'm not dismissing or rejecting a single military police officer.
12 I am proud of their good deeds, although there were certain misdeeds that
13 were committed, but I know that on the whole the vast majority of these
14 men were honourable men. Unfortunately, I couldn't issue orders to them
15 as was sometimes necessary. In fact, I shouldn't even have issued orders
16 or had command over the entire structure, but rather over just a small
17 part. But 90 per cent of the tasks carried out by the military police
18 were tasks for which others issued orders. Compare this to the situation
19 in Afghanistan
20 normal. If anyone knows about how armies function, this is quite a
21 normal situation.
22 Thank you very much. This was a statement. I do apologise, but
23 I wanted to assist the Chamber.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right, this is a
25 statement, a statement that you can make when you will be testifying to
1 assist the Chamber. Fine, it's been recorded in the transcript.
2 Ms. Alaburic, the Registrar has informed me that you've run out
3 of time. So you're asking for extra time now?
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you saw, in the
5 binder that I prepared, that I have three very short areas to deal with.
6 And if you would give me a quarter of an hour to be deducted from the
7 Petkovic Defence time, I would be grateful.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has
10 deliberated and think that there should be an equitable amount of time
11 given to all the Defence counsel. The Praljak Defence was given seven
12 extra minutes. You'll be allotted seven extra minutes, too, so please
13 try to wrap up in seven minutes.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Mr. Andabak, you told us that -- and you were talking about the
16 disarmament and isolation of Muslims in Livno - and on transcript
17 page 50977 - that, at any rate, the active-duty military police had
18 nothing to do with the detained Muslims. Do you remember that statement
19 of yours?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Now look at the penultimate document in the binder. It's P3716,
22 which is a report which Mr. Branimir Tucak, on the 26th of July, 1993
23 let me repeat the document number, P3716. Yes, 3716. 3716 is the
24 document number. So Branimir Tucak is sending this report to Mr. Coric,
25 and the subject is "The Action to Disarm the Livno Muslims." And it says
1 that in that action, military police units participated, and that the
2 2nd Light Assault Battalion and the 3rd Company of the 6th Battalion of
3 the Military Police.
4 Now, my question to you is this: The units -- the MP units
5 mentioned, were they within the category of the active-duty ones or not?
6 A. Counsel, these units were active battalions, and when you said
7 that I had said that they hadn't taken part, what I'm saying is they
8 didn't take part in the security of the locations they were in. That's
9 what I had in mind.
10 Q. Okay. Now look at the next document, P2202. This is an interim
11 report which you, Mr. Andabak, judging by the document, are sending to
12 Mate Boban, Bruno Stojic, and Valentin Coric, on the 5th of May, 1993.
13 Let me repeat the document number, P2202. Tell us, Mr. Andabak, is this
14 one of your reports?
15 A. Counsel, yes, that is my report.
16 Q. Could you explain to us what it says in paragraph 3 from the
17 bottom, where you say:
18 "Relations between the Livno staff and the military police is
19 bad, and the basic reason for that is that when the police needs
20 something, and that the staff can solve, the response we're given is to
21 contact Grude, Ljubuski, or Mostar for what we need, because," and in
22 inverted commas, "'we were Boban's police,' said Ante Colak and others,"
23 and, once again in inverted commas, "'who sends you into the field. You
24 are crazy.'"
25 Tell us, Mr. Andabak, was the opinion about you in Livno that
2 A. Counsel, that wasn't the prevailing opinion about us. This was
3 the opinion of the local patriots. And that's how this letter came to be
4 written in the first place.
5 Q. Tell us, Mr. Andabak -- we saw from the documents so far - and
6 you were asked this during the examination-in-chief - that the MP unit
7 that you were in command of was in combat in Gornji Vakuf in the course
8 of January 1993. Now, my question: In the village of Uzricje
9 Zdrimci, did members of the military police enter those two villages?
10 Let me repeat the name of the second village, Zdrimci,
11 S-d-r-i-m-c-i [as interpreted], Zdrimci.
12 A. In 1993, January, the military police was predominantly located
13 in the town itself, in Gornji Vakuf itself.
14 Q. Mr. Andabak, in the report on the work of the military police,
15 which is document P3090, on page -- listen to me. There's no need for
16 you to waste time searching for the document. On page 6, the end of
17 page 6 of the English, and the beginning of page 7 of the English, it
18 says that members of the 2nd MP Battalion from Livno and Posusje had
19 taken control of the village of Uzricje
20 and that the units of the military police were commanded by the commander
21 of the 1st Light Assault Battalion and the commander of the
22 2nd MP Battalion. Now, my question is this: Is this report correct or
24 A. Incorrect.
25 Q. Very well. Now look at document P610. You'll find it in the
1 second part of the binder, or look at your screen. It will appear on
2 e-court. It is Valentin Coric, a daily report for the
3 21st of October, 1992. And in the introduction, it says that:
4 "Due to the events in Central Bosnia and pursuant to an order
5 from the head of the Defence Department, we have sent a reinforcement
6 from the 2nd Battalion."
7 Now, my question to you, Mr. Andabak, is this: Do we have
8 reason -- any reason not to believe that Mr. Coric compiled a true and
9 correct report, a truthful report?
10 A. Counsel, this is good. The 2nd Battalion had already been given
11 its assignment to Jajce with a company added.
12 Q. I'm asking you whether we have any reason to doubt Mr. Coric --
13 the truth of Mr. Coric's report.
14 A. Well, I suppose he knows what he's on about.
15 Q. All right. And now the last document, because I think my time is
16 almost up, P3889, which is your report, Mr. Andabak, about the departure
17 of the military police from Livno to the location. On page 4 of the
18 Croatian version, which is page 6 of the English, it says as follows:
19 "The whole time on the ground in Gornji Vakuf --"
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat her question, because
21 there's a lot of interference and noise in the courtroom.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to repeat my question,
23 yes. I'll repeat the question.
24 Q. On page 4 of the Croatian text and page 6 of the English text, it
25 says as follows:
1 "Throughout the time on the ground in Gornji Vakuf,
2 Mr. Rade Lavric can give a report, who was also in several places where
3 the military police of Livno was located, too, as well as members of the
4 brigade, the Petar Kresimir IV Brigade."
5 And my question to you is this: What function, in January 1993,
6 did Rade Lavric occupy?
7 A. Counsel, Rade Lavric was the deputy chief of the
8 Military Police Administration.
9 Q. Thank you. And now my last question: At the end of page 4, you
10 speak about departures to Mostar, and you say that:
11 "In the fighting in Mostar, members of the military police from
12 Livno spent 18 days, so that four times more, pursuant to orders from
13 Bruno Stojic, they went to Mostar and took part in the fighting against
14 the Muslims there and rounding up deserters from the HVO of Mostar."
15 Now, is that part of your report truthful or not?
16 A. No.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
18 Your Honour. Thank you for allowing me additional time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 I'm going to ask the Pusic Defence if they have any questions to
21 put to the witness.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] None. Thank you,
23 Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 What about Mr. Prlic's Defence? Mr. Karnavas, do you have any
1 questions to put to the witness?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, sir.
3 We have no questions for the gentleman, but we do wish to thank
4 him for coming here to give his evidence.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 So all the questions have been put by the various Defence teams.
7 I have one last question to put to you, Mr. Witness.
8 During your tenure as the commander of the 2nd Battalion, in all,
9 how many casualties have you recorded there?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't give you an
11 exact figure, I can't remember, but there were quite a lot of men killed.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So can you not give us a
13 ballpark figure?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps between 40 and 50
15 killed, and maybe three times as many, if not more, wounded, seriously,
16 less seriously.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You said between
18 40 and 50. Out of about 500 military men, military policemen?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So one could say
21 that you had about 10 per cent of your men who were killed?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let's say, yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. That's
24 all I wanted to know.
25 So, Mr. Prosecutor, you have the floor for your own
2 MR. BOS
3 everyone in and around the courtroom.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Bos:
5 Q. Good morning, Colonel Andabak.
6 Colonel, you're going to get a binder of documents, and in the
7 next few hours we will discuss the documents in that binder.
8 And to start off with, I want to show you a document that Mr. --
9 the counsel for Petkovic also showed you, which is P08548. You can find
10 it in the binder. It's the publication entitled "Three Years of Military
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second, Mr. Bos.
13 In order for your cross-examination to be carried out as best as
14 possible, I would like to remind Colonel Andabak that you are in a phase
15 of cross-examination. My colleague has mentioned it before, but it was
16 dealing with counsel, so for the various Defence teams. But now you are
17 in another phase where the Prosecutor is going to ask you questions. The
18 Prosecutor is mastering his own time, which means that it will be up to
19 him to decide which questions he's going to put to you. And, generally
20 speaking, given that those Prosecutors have a common-law background, what
21 they would like you to do is to answer by, Yes, No, or I don't know. And
22 depending on your answer, they will move on or they will want to ask
23 follow-up questions. The questions may not be of your liking, but this
24 is the rule of the game. So please listen carefully to the question and
25 answer according to the way the question was put to you. This is how it
1 works here.
2 Mr. Bos, please proceed.
3 MR. BOS
4 Q. So, Colonel Andabak, if I could ask you to look at
5 Exhibit P08548, and this is a publication entitled "Three Years of
6 Military Police," and it was also briefly shown to you by counsel for
7 Petkovic. And I think you just said a moment ago that you had seen this
8 document when you arrived here in The Hague. Is that correct?
9 A. That's right, Mr. Prosecutor.
10 Q. And isn't this a publication where various prominent members of
11 the HVO and -- in 1995 were asked to submit a contribution to this
12 booklet, and that you, as well as Mr. Valentin Coric, made a contribution
13 to this booklet?
14 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yes, that is right. And it was published in
15 1995, but we were no longer members of the military police. We just gave
16 our comments as far as its work was concerned.
17 Q. Now, in this binder, we have the contributions made by Mr. Coric
18 and by yourself, and I would like you first to look at the contribution
19 made by Mr. Coric, which is on page 17 of the B/C/S version and page 23
20 of the English translation. And let me just read out a part from this
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, my learned friend, but
23 on page 61 -- oh, yes, it's been corrected, but it said that it was
24 Mr. Stojic. But that was corrected, because there's no Mr. Stojic
25 mentioned in the document. So that's all I wanted.
1 MR. BOS
2 Q. Sir, let me read out a paragraph from the contribution made by
3 Mr. Coric, and it's sort of the fifth paragraph of the document. It's on
4 the middle column on the B/C/S version, right under the photograph. Let
5 me read this out:
6 "When selecting members of the military police, we took care to
7 recruit honourable people, people committed to the Croatian cause and the
8 homeland, and I think that we were very successful in that selection.
9 Many of them proved themselves already in the first month, and some later
10 during the war, and became prominent commanders of military and police
12 Sir, you being a prominent member of the MP, were you also
13 committed to the Croatian cause and the homeland?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And could you explain to the Court what it means to you when --
16 to be committed to the Croatian cause and the homeland, could you explain
17 that to the Court, please?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that means that we aspire towards the survival of
19 the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because at the beginning of
20 the war against the JNA, and with the Serb forces, that was what we
21 aspired to.
22 Q. And what does it mean when you refer to the homeland? Are we
23 talking here about a territory?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'm referring to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the state.
25 Q. The state Bosnia-Herzegovina; okay. Well, let me -- let's move
1 on, and let's see what -- look at your contribution, which is on page 47
2 of the B/C/S version. It's the next document. It's page 72 of the
3 English version. Let me just read out what -- a few of the things that
4 you say, starting from the start -- from the top:
5 "The war was already raging in these areas when I was assigned
6 the command of the 2nd Military Police Battalion in Livno. I still
7 remember with pride the songs [sic] of Croatia, without exception,
8 voluntary joined the light assault battalion."
9 And then skipping a few lines to the third paragraph:
10 "And that is history written by members of this formation, in
11 their own blood, on every --"
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
13 In the original text, there's no mention of songs about Croatia
14 Perhaps it would be a good idea if I were to -- well, I haven't received
15 the English translation of the text, but perhaps the witness could read
16 it out and it's the -- in the Croatian version, because there's nothing
17 about these songs in the Croatian text.
18 MR. BOS
19 will clarify the problem.
20 Q. Now, sir, let's just continue on paragraph 3, what you say:
21 "And what is history written by members of these formations, in
22 their own blood, on every foot of Herceg-Bosna, everywhere where the
23 homeland called."
24 Now, sir, isn't it correct that Herceg-Bosna was part of the
25 homeland and that the homeland you've been referring to here is the
1 Croatian Banovina with the borders of the 1993 -- of the 1939 borders?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'm not talking about the Banovina here, but in
3 1993 there was the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna with a Croatian
4 population. And as far as I know, we never wrote -- if you mean the
5 homeland, the Republic of Croatia
6 title: "The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," "The Croatian Republic of
7 Herceg-Bosna" under that in all the headings and titles.
8 Q. Sir, let's move on to another topic.
9 And for this, I think we need to go into private session,
10 Your Honours, because I'd like to show the witness an exhibit which is
11 under seal.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move to private session.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 51057-51058 redacted.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. BOS
15 Q. Now, sir, this is a judgement from the Military Court in Livno,
16 dated the 25th of November, 1994, so about a year later. And we see here
17 a judgement, and we are -- in which three persons are being convicted for
18 the crime of armed robbery, and two of the names, numbers 2 and 3, are,
19 in fact, the two persons that we also saw in the first document. But
20 what I'd like to point out is that if you read their backgrounds, it
21 says -- well, I won't mention the name because I don't know whether that
22 may be protected, but it says that neither of the two had any previous
24 Sir, can we conclude from this that when these people were taken
25 in in January for the crime of rape against Muslim women, that these
1 people had not been prosecuted for that crime?
2 A. I wouldn't know that. I didn't get involved in the work of the
3 crime prevention police. I didn't check whether they were processed.
4 Our duty was to apprehend them and refer them to the Prosecutor's Office.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Bos, I'm amazed that no Defence intervenes.
6 You have concluded, from the sentence "no previous convictions," that the
7 persons concerned had not been prosecuted. These are two different
8 matters. They may well have been prosecuted and acquitted, or the
9 prosecution may have been stayed for lack of evidence, or whatever. So
10 I think you should be careful not to overdo it in the question.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: The reason there was no reaction, at least on this
12 part, is that the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof, and
13 that's why. So merely posing a question, in and of itself, is no proof
14 at all. And there was a presumption on their part, but I agree with you,
15 Your Honour. Perhaps we would be more vigorous, in the future, with our
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I was in no way criticising counsel. My
18 surprise is not based on the theoretical issue, but on previous
20 MR. BOS
21 Q. Anyway, can we conclude, at least, that these people were not
22 convicted for the crime of rape against these Muslim women, from this
23 document, convicted?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, again. At this point we don't know at what
25 stage the proceedings are. We can conclude a lot of things. One of them
1 is that we don't know. Now, if they're able to show that there was a
2 trial and that there was some sort of resolution and that after that
3 resolution we have this document, fine, but we can't jump to any
4 conclusions. We know -- all we can do is speculate, and this individual
5 has already indicated what his role is.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think you are going farther than I can go
7 along, because here it says "no previous convictions," so we can assume,
8 I think, as this is a judgement, that in the moment this judgement is
9 rendered, there has not yet been a conviction for rape. Maybe it came
10 later, but so far I think no criticism is justified.
11 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would
12 like to object.
13 The witness, himself, said that he doesn't know anything about
14 the work of the courts; he didn't know what happened to those
15 perpetrators after they had been handed over to the Prosecutor's Office,
16 who was then supposed to issue an indictment. The witness that we have
17 before us is not one who issues indictments, or prosecutes, or deals with
18 court proceedings. He could only tell us what happened to them if he
19 knew them personally. He, himself, says that he didn't know anything,
20 and we shouldn't ask him to speculate. That was not part of his remit,
21 so there's no foundation for this line of questioning.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we support that entirely. It's either
23 no conclusion can be drawn or conclusions can be drawn which don't need
24 the slightest help from this witness. The Trial Chamber can read the
25 document, as Mr. Coric's counsel said. This witness can add absolutely
1 nothing. It's a pointless question to ask him.
2 MR. BOS
3 and I just don't want to have the wrong conclusions be drawn from that
4 document, and that's why I put this to the witness.
5 MR. STEWART: That's still a matter of argument and not a matter
6 on which the witness can help at all. If something wrong has come out
7 that the Prosecution say on direct examination, well, they can argue that
8 in due course, but they can't just ask a witness a question on something
9 of which he can offer nothing of any value. That's just wasting time.
10 MR. BOS
11 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] In the
12 examination-in-chief -- just a moment, please. In the
13 examination-in-chief, the witness was asked whether he knew whether those
14 persons had been arrested and whether criminal charges were filed by the
15 military police against them. And to that, he answered that they were,
16 indeed, arrested and that criminal charges were raised -- or a criminal
17 report was filed against them, and he repeated that today. He didn't
18 say, on examination-in-chief, whether they were convicted or not. I
19 didn't ask him that, because I know that my witness is not a member of
20 the Prosecutor's Office or a member of the judiciary.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, we will proceed, but I
22 believe it would have been much simpler, given all the investigators that
23 you have at hand, to check with the case number of the Military Court of
24 Livno to check what proceedings were pending, because we have the number
25 1676. By checking those K numbers, you could have been able to check
1 whether criminal proceedings had been instigated against rape charges.
2 And in that case, it would have been extremely simple. But I'm aware
3 that you have a lot of work and that it is sometimes difficult to reach
5 MR. BOS
6 Q. Colonel, let's move to Prozor. You gave some evidence about
7 Prozor, October 1992. You testified that you were actually in the town
8 of Prozor on the 23rd of October, 1992; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. So is it correct that armed clashes between the Muslims and
11 Croats broke out on the 23rd of October and that they lasted for about a
12 day and that afterwards the HVO troops took control over the town of
14 A. Yes, the fighting lasted two days, not one.
15 Q. Sir, could I ask you to go to Exhibit P00744. And what I would
16 like to discuss with you is the period after the conflict had died down
17 and when the HVO troops actually moved into Prozor town.
18 Now, this document, Colonel, is a document from the
19 Executive Board of the Prozor SDA, and it describes the situation in
20 Prozor once the HVO troops had taken control over the town. And let me
21 read out a part of that document. This is under item number 3, which I'm
22 going to read out:
23 "After the Croat forces had entered the town, a real drama began
24 for those civilians.
25 "4: After those forces had entered the town, some 10 civilians
1 were killed. Women, children, and elderly persons were brought to the
2 location near the buildings of the Ministry of Interior and units taken
3 to assembly camps in the area of Gornja Rama. All other Muslims were
4 arrested and brought in for interrogation. All this lasted for five or
5 six days."
6 Skipping a paragraph, again continuing:
7 "Violence, general insecurity for Muslims, and all that goes with
8 it, did not allow any normalisation of relations. During all that time,
9 the said Muslim citizens were subject to ruthless plundering. It is
10 impossible to describe the quantity of hatred that was discharged on
11 everything that was Muslim in this town. Is it possible that such
12 vandalism occurs at the end of the 20th century?
13 "Almost all Muslim apartments were broken into and looted. All
14 small businesses facilities owned by Muslims were set on fire and
15 destroyed. Croats took almost all cars of all types. Several respected
16 Muslim intellectuals were arrested and kept in prison. We still worry
17 about their fate, for we don't know where they are."
18 Sir, in your evidence you say that crimes were committed but it
19 was only the HOS troops. Are you saying that whatever is described here
20 was all due to the conduct of the HOS units in Prozor?
21 A. Persons wearing uniforms also bore insignia "HOS," but as I've
22 already told you, that doesn't mean that they had to really belong to
23 HOS. I don't think they were the only ones who caused problems in
25 What you have just read out now, I can tell you that it is only
1 partially true, where it says that when the Croatian forces entered the
2 city, a real drama started. And that is simply not true. What Croatian
3 forces? The author of this text, what does he mean when he says "the
4 Croatian forces"? Who does he mean by that?
5 Q. You're saying that it may not have been only the HOS troops.
6 What other kinds of units would have been involved in this?
7 A. Maybe elements of the Rama Brigade, people who were causing havoc
8 and were responsible for the crimes. But as I have just told you, where
9 I was, I did see those men with the HOS insignia.
10 Q. Let's move to another exhibit, which is P007 --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, you know - I'm sure
12 you were told - we heard victims who testified here before the Chamber,
13 and they confirmed what is stated in the document, i.e., that they were
14 detained in the Unis building, et cetera, et cetera. I won't go into
15 details here. You've just told us that this document is partially true.
16 I can see that at the end of the document the Prozor SDA seems to have
17 adopted a measured attitude, because they're talking about mixed units,
18 with participation of international forces, to secure the municipality.
19 In other words, it seems that he does not reject the entire
20 responsibility on the HVO, since he's calling for mixed units to be
22 Now, something seems important to me. Where were you, yourself,
23 during those two days? Physically, where were you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was in the city
25 centre, and I co-ordinated with --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You were in the
2 city centre. Did you know that Muslims had been taken and brought to the
3 Unis building?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I heard that they
5 did, and this was done by members of the Rama Brigade.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see, very well. So members
7 from the Rama Brigade.
8 Now, did you know, as this document states, that interviews were
9 carried out? Because we heard some witnesses saying that they had been
10 interviewed or interrogated. Did you know that such interrogations had
11 taken place?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't know that
13 there were interrogations, but it is logical for somebody to inquire as
14 to why the conflict had happened if they believed that that person had
15 been involved actively in that conflict.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One final question, not to use
17 up the Prosecution's time.
18 Who was carrying out those interrogations, the military police or
19 the civilian police?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that the
21 interrogations were carried out by the SIS of the Rama Brigade. Perhaps
22 somebody from the MUP, but I wouldn't be sure of that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. One minor detail.
24 It may not be of interest - I'm not sure - but when I see a document, I
25 look at the entire document.
1 It seems that over those two days, 1500 shells dropped. This is
2 a huge number, 1500. But according to the SDA document, there wouldn't
3 have been any major damage. How do you account for this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really don't know
5 that so many shells had been fired. If 1500 shells had been fired, the
6 city would have disappeared.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, my apologies for using
8 some of your time, but, of course, this will not be deducted from the
9 time that's been allotted to you.
10 MR. BOS
11 Q. Witness, I'd like you to move to another document, which is
12 P00721. I think you may have already been there. This is, in fact, a
13 report from the SIS in Prozor about what was happening in Prozor town in
14 October 1992. And let me read out to you what the SIS report is. It's
15 P00721, so at the beginning of the binder.
16 This is a SIS report dated the 8th of November, 1992, "Report on
17 the situation in the town following the conflict between the HVO and the
18 ABiH." Let's start reading from the second paragraph:
19 "This conflict, although it was a brief one, has resulted in
20 something that usually occurs in every war - war profiteers saw their
21 opportunity and they took it.
22 "Large-scale thefts of both private and community properties have
23 taken place, including goods, vehicles, and even arms.
24 "The military police have done nothing in that respect, neither
25 have it issued receipts on seized items, which enabled a certain number
1 of military police to take possession of the seized items and arms.
2 "For the aforementioned reasons, the command is working on
3 appointing a new military police commander."
4 Now, sir, here the SIS is actually saying that even military
5 policemen were seizing items and arms, actually took possession of these
6 items; is that correct?
7 A. This was issued on the 8th of November, a few days after the
8 conflict. It is possible that some of the military policemen were also
9 engaged in wrong-doings.
10 Q. Sir, is it not true that you and your units also participated in
11 the plunder of goods belonging to the Muslims and that you took a number
12 of these goods with you to Livno?
13 A. Sir, this is not correct. The unit under my command was in the
14 territory of Prozor for two or three days during the conflict, itself,
15 and then what was left behind was just one company that was deployed in
17 Q. Let's have a look at Exhibit P00648, please.
18 Now, sir, this is a report from Colonel Siljeg, addressed to the
19 HVO Main Staff, the HVO Military Police Administration, and the
20 Defence Department, and it's an interim report and request to take
21 measures. This is what it reads:
22 "On 25th October, 1992, a part of the military police unit from
23 Livno and Tomislavgrad, under the command of Zdenko Andabak, which was in
24 Prozor, returned to Livno and Tomislavgrad with about 30 illegally-seized
25 motor vehicles, and there are most likely other stolen things.
1 "Motor vehicles range from cars to buses.
2 "Military police commander from Livno told me that Andabak had
3 approved all that.
4 "According to the report by the HVO Rama Brigade commander,
5 Andabak is no longer in Prozor, and there are indications that the houses
6 and property in possession of the Croats was looted."
7 Now, sir, isn't it correct that this report from Siljeg alleges
8 that you actually left Prozor with 30 illegally-seized vehicles? What do
9 you have to say to this?
10 A. If this were true, I would have been arrested and processed, I'm
11 sure. This is a lie uttered by the commander of the
12 North-West Herzegovina OG [as interpreted]. The military police went to
13 Jajce before the conflict in Prozor. We did not have the bus which is
14 mentioned here. Actually, we did have a bus, a Livno Autobus bus. And
15 120 to 130 men travelled either on buses or personal vehicles, and those
16 were all the vehicles that belonged to those units. Somebody gave a
17 false report to Commander Siljeg.
18 It is true that we did have a few vehicles that had been seized
19 from other persons in the town of Prozor
20 vehicles were subsequently returned to their rightful owners either in
21 Jablanica, if they had fled to Jablanica, or in Prozor, if they stayed
23 Q. So, sir, if I understand your question [sic] correctly, you say
24 that this is all a lie. Let's read the last paragraph of this document
25 signed by Siljeg. It says:
1 "I require the head of the Military Police Administration to
2 inspect urgently military police units in Livno and Tomislavgrad,
3 consider the situation, and take appropriate measures against individuals
4 who behave like that."
5 Sir, was there a follow-up by Mr. Coric, based on what's in this
6 document ordered by Siljeg? Did Mr. Coric follow up on this?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, as far as I can remember, the chief of the
8 Military Police Administration didn't appear in person, but some
9 commission was formed that consisted of officers who worked with the
10 military police. We made a list of the cars that we had brought and the
11 cars that had been returned to the owners, so certain measures were taken
12 on the basis of this information.
13 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit 3D00424.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I'd like to spend a
15 few minutes on this document.
16 This document could be quite overwhelming, because it states that
17 some 30 vehicles were illegally seized. Colonel Siljeg, in this
18 document, says that it is the commander of the Livno military police who
19 told him that you approved all that. In other words, you are
20 questioned -- or your attitude is questioned by the commander of the
21 Livno military police. And Mr. Siljeg reports all these facts and asks
22 for an inspection to be carried out. Why would the Livno military police
23 commander want to put your behaviour into question?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the commander of the
25 MP wasn't even carrying out a task in Prozor -- or in the direction of
1 Jajce, rather, so he couldn't have provided him with information as to
2 who had authorised what. I know where the information arrived from.
3 When leaving Prozor, another military formation was entering the area.
4 Their security officers were on good terms with Siljeg, and they told him
5 that the military police was fleeing from the area, that they had stolen
6 cars and buses, all the cars and buses, without being aware of the fact
7 that this was the property of the military police. They didn't know what
8 our real role was.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Mr. Bos.
11 MR. BOS
12 Q. Sir, could you look at Exhibit 3D00424. It's in the back of the
14 Now, sir, this is an order from Valentin Coric, co-signed by
15 General Praljak, dated the 14th of November, 1992, and it seems to be a
16 follow-up on what I just read out in that last paragraph from the Siljeg
17 order. Let's read out what this order says:
18 "All vehicles that have been taken away by the HVO military
19 police in Prozor municipality are now located at the stations of the
20 2nd MP Battalion, must be transported in an organised manner and handed
21 over to the General and Traffic Military Police Section in Ljubuski, to
22 the deputy chief of the General and Traffic Military Police,
23 Ante Alilovic, who will return the vehicles to their owners.
24 "This order must be implemented by 1200 hours on
25 17 November 1992
1 and deputy chief of the General and Traffic Military Police, Alilovic,
2 are responsible for carrying out this order."
3 So, sir, do you recall this order?
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I do remember the order, and these vehicles were
5 returned to their owners, to those who had contacted us from Jablanica
6 and some from Prozor. There were four or five vehicles in question, but
7 they were vehicles we had taken from third parties. I'll repeat that.
8 Q. Are you saying it was four or five vehicles or twenty vehicles?
9 Because in other documents there was talk about twenty vehicles and not
10 four or five vehicles.
11 A. Sir, I know nothing about 20 vehicles.
12 Q. That's what we read in one of the other reports, that it was --
13 that we were talking about. The SIS report stated about 20 vehicles.
14 But, anyway, sir, was anybody punished for this, for the fact
15 that these vehicles were illegally seized from Prozor?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, let me repeat this. Those vehicles were taken by
17 the MP at check-points after a conflict. They were taken from soldiers
18 who had seized those vehicles. We then took them away with us to guard
19 them and then returned them to their owners. So everyone knew about the
20 four or five vehicles in our possession. Therefore, no one stole any
21 vehicles and, as a result, couldn't be punished for such an act. They
22 kept -- we kept these vehicles in a car park until the time that they
23 were returned.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I'm a bit surprised.
25 You always provide explanations at the last minute. Why didn't you say
1 so earlier on when Mr. Bos started asking questions to you? Why didn't
2 you say, Out of the 30 vehicles, I must tell you that some 4 or 5 of
3 them, I can't remember, had been taken by my soldiers, my men, because
4 the drivers of such vehicles had robbed them, and therefore we took such
5 vehicles to keep them and to return them to their lawful owners? Why
6 didn't you say so at the very beginning? Why did you wait until the end
7 to say that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I answered the
9 questions put to me by the Prosecutor, and later, I said, when the second
10 or third question was put to me, what I knew, what was at stake.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question: Did you,
12 yourself, write a report on those events, with details, in which you
13 explained what had happened, why you had seized the vehicles, to whom
14 they were returned, and so on and so forth? Did you actually draft a
15 report, or an Official Note, because for me it's the same?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this certainly is a
17 report that mentions the type of car, the make, where it was seized; and
18 on the basis of that report, those vehicles were certainly returned.
19 MR. BOS
20 Q. Sir, let's move to Gornji Vakuf, January 1993.
21 On Monday, you were shown a report from Mr. Coric, dated the
22 5th of January, in which he informed Mr. Bruno Stojic on the deployment
23 of MP troops in the area of Gornji Vakuf. Do you recall that document?
24 It was document P01053, and I want to -- want you to go to that document.
25 But do you recall that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And when you were shown that document, you stated that one of the
3 reasons why the military police was deployed in that region was because
4 there were increasing tensions between the Muslims and the Croats in the
5 region, and one of the reasons why these tensions were increasing was,
6 according to you, that there were ABiH units moving from outside
7 Gornji Vakuf into Gornji Vakuf; isn't that correct? Is that what you
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Sir, could I ask you to look at Exhibit 5D028 -- 2078, 5D02078.
11 Sir, this is a report from the Rama Brigade assistant commander,
12 Petrovic, dated the 6th of December, 1992, and the document actually
13 discusses the intention of the Rama Brigade commander, Ilija Franjic, to
14 resign. And then it's something that we also discussed on Monday. Do
15 you recall that evidence?
16 Now, sir, what I am interested in is the last paragraph of this
17 report. It reads:
18 "Disgusted by this act and the conduct of the injured party's
19 relatives towards him, the commander of the Rama Brigade,
20 Mr. Ilija Franjic, wants to resign the position that he currently holds.
21 He has informed Colonel Siljeg of his intentions. Considering the
22 situation in which we find ourselves and the preparations for offensive
23 operations, I find this request impulsive and unacceptable, and
24 consequently suggest that it be denied."
25 So, sir, there's talk here about preparations for offensive
1 operations in Prozor. What kind of preparations is Mr. Petrovic talking
3 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know. This is a brigade document, and
4 the military police wasn't familiar with the activities of that brigade.
5 Q. Sir, isn't it true that in December 1992, the HVO was preparing
6 for a large offensive operation into Gornji Vakuf, and that Prozor was
7 the bases where these units prepared for this offensive operation?
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I wouldn't agree with you.
9 MR. BOS
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, you are absolutely
12 We'll take our last break for the morning.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
16 Mr. Bos, the Registrar has told me that you've used 32 minutes of
17 your time, which means that you have an hour and 28 minutes left.
18 Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, each of
20 Your Honours -- or I guess afternoon. Sorry, good afternoon, my
21 apologies - and to all those in and around the courtroom.
22 Just one procedural matter, before the day gets away from us,
23 Mr. President.
24 As you know, a number of parties have filed their IC list
25 concerning Mr. Petkovic's testimony. The Prosecution will be filing its
1 list, of course, later today. It's close to being completed. Because of
2 the number of different filings and the number of documents involved,
3 I've spoken to Ms. Alaburic and Mr. Stewart during the one of the breaks,
4 and we propose an agreement, there's no objection, if the Chamber agrees,
5 that the parties would have until close of business next Wednesday to
6 file their various objections to the various filings, if that's agreeable
7 to the Chamber, please. Thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber conferred, and we
10 give you until next Wednesday for your objections.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 MR. BOS
13 Q. Colonel, we left off before the break in Gornji Vakuf, and I want
14 to continue a little more on that. And I would like you to look at an
15 exhibit that's been shown to you also today and on Monday, which is
16 P01350. P01350. If you could find it in the binder. It's the minutes
17 of the meeting where General Praljak and Mr. Valentin Coric were also
18 present, dated the 27th of January, 1993. 1350.
19 No, you're too far back. It's P1350. Maybe the usher can assist
21 So, as I said, these are the minutes, and we've looked at this
22 document on a number of couple of occasions today and on Monday. And I
23 want to read out two parts of these minutes and ask you a couple of
24 questions about it. First is, in the B/C/S version, it's for you, on the
25 second page, the top of the second page, and I'll read it out:
1 "Lavric said that Gornji Vakuf had been a great test for the
2 military police, where they had shown their quality, and that it should
3 be the basis for reorganising and forming MP units. The MP has an
4 assault force which is respected, it can be ranked with a professional
5 army, although they lack the same MTS as the others."
6 Now, sir, Mr. Lavric here is saying that Gornji Vakuf had been a
7 great test for the military police. What did he mean by that? Why was
8 it a great test for the military police?
9 A. Mr. Prosecutor, let's say the military police was one of the
10 forces involved in the defence of the area of Gornji Vakuf, and apart
11 from combat tasks, it also carried out its regular police tasks.
12 Q. Sir, is it correct that after January 1993, there was the
13 formation of the military police light assault battalions? Was that --
14 were these created after the Gornji Vakuf?
15 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I think the light assault units were formed in
16 July 1993.
17 Q. Sir, were, after January 1993, the light assault battalions
18 extensively used in combat operations throughout 1993?
19 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I think they were used exclusively for combat
21 Q. And "exclusively," so meaning that throughout 1993 these units
22 were operating in the Herceg-Bosna area in combat operations?
23 A. Well, when I say "exclusively," well, that was their main task,
24 but in 1993 they were also used to bring in certain individuals,
25 criminal -- members of criminal groups. They were used to establish
1 certain check-points where members of the 2nd Light Assault Battalion
2 were needed, but they were used in commands of the operative zones where
3 they were active to engage in combat operations.
4 Q. Let's look at another part of the minutes. Moving up a bit,
5 going back to page 1 of the minutes, it says:
6 "Mr. Tolj stressed the success of the team led by M. Jelic, but
7 also the problem of the poor state of VP equipment levels and the tasks
8 they were given (mopping up the terrain and guarding positions) compared
9 to other units."
10 Sir, reference here is being made "by M. Jelic." Would that have
11 been Mr. Zlatan Mijo Jevic, the commander of the Active-Duty Military
12 Police Battalion?
13 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yes, the person in question is Zlatan Mijo Jelic,
14 but in this document Zlatan Mijo Jelic was then the commander of the
15 1st Active-Duty Company.
16 Q. And, sir, it says here the task they were given was mopping up
17 the terrain and guarding positions. What is meant by "mopping up the
19 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'm not aware of them having had activities of
20 any other kind apart from holding the positions reached, so I'm not aware
21 of the fact that they were involved in mopping-up operations. All I know
22 is that they held their positions.
23 Q. So you were not involved in mopping-up operations when you were
24 in Gornji Vakuf? Mr. Jelic may have been, but you weren't; is that your
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I know this for certain: The positions reached
2 were guarded. I know that Mr. Jelic did that too. He had no other
3 activities that involved mopping up the terrain.
4 Q. Sir, could I ask you to look at P01330.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second.
6 Colonel, we are looking again at a document that we've seen on
7 numerous occasions. It's document P1350, which is a Prosecution's
8 document. You were there at that meeting, and I notice that this meeting
9 took quite a long time, about three hours and forty-five minutes, if I'm
10 correct. And I was struck by the conclusion of the meeting, which is of
11 a political nature.
12 As far as you can recollect, who came up with this conclusion?
13 Look at the last four lines of the document. You said that you were
14 fighting for Croat cantons, but you have actually lost more than you have
15 gained in Geneva
16 your ranks, and you will not fire on your own people. And co-operation
17 has to happen at all levels.
18 Who has drawn this conclusion?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, I think all of us
20 who attended the meeting discussed matters in a general way. This was a
21 conclusion according to which we should protect areas inhabited by
22 Croats. So all the participants took the floor. That's why the meeting
23 lasted for such a long time. And among other things, these are the
24 conclusions that were reached.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But you do not know
1 who specifically drew the conclusion? You have say that everyone really
2 contributed; is that what you're saying?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Mr. Bos, please proceed.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If we are -- excuse me. If I may just add a
8 In this passage referred to by the President, it is said:
9 "Muslims need to know what we are fighting for. Croatian cantons
10 are a reality, but also a compromise. We lost more than we gained at
12 This could be read as meaning that what you are fighting for are
13 Croatian cantons as a reality and a compromise. Is that a correct
14 reading of this text?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know the
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
18 MR. BOS
19 Q. Sir, could I ask you to look at Exhibit P01330.
20 Sir, this is a report from the 3rd Brigade, Defence Department --
21 the SIS, 3rd Brigade, Defence Department, dated the
22 27th of January, 1993. And I would just like you to read out -- I'll
23 just read out the last part of the report, which reads as follows:
24 "Two villages with exclusively Muslim population were burned on
25 the right side of the road. These villages were burned by members of the
1 HVO military police. According to unverified information, their
2 commander was Mijo-Zlatan Jelic, from Siroki Brijeg."
3 Sir, would this have been the Mijo Jevic which you've just
4 confirmed was also in Gornji Vakuf in January of 1993?
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I apologise,
6 my learned friend, but "according to verified information," was the
7 information we received, whereas it says "according to unverified
8 information," so that's why I got to my feet.
9 MR. BOS
10 Q. But, sir, is this the Zlatan Mijo Jevic which you just said was
11 in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993?
12 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yes, that's the same man, Zlatan Mijo Jevic. But
13 this unverified information and all of this, well, I know where
14 Zlatan Mijo Jevic was. He couldn't have entered Gornji Vakuf, because
15 before Gornji Vakuf, at the Karamustafic check-point, he needed to turn
16 right three kilometres ahead to go to that village, so there's no
17 question of the military police being there at all, whereas he mentions
18 an MP unit. So for him to arrive at that village, he had to turn off the
19 road three kilometres before the check-point and before Gornji Vakuf.
20 Q. Now, sir, you seem to be saying that you knew about which village
21 this report is talking about. I don't see that the name of the village
22 is identified. It simply says "these villages were burned." Would you
23 know the name of these villages?
24 A. Mr. Jelic held a position which was called "baba," and that's
25 above the village of Zdrimci
1 entrance to Gornji Vakuf, which is where he was not, he wasn't there.
2 They are two other villages.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, do you have any indication that
4 Mr. Jelic will not, in fact, turn left or turn right where he had to turn
5 right to get to the villages? I mean, it's not really an argument to say
6 he would have turned off -- if he wanted to go that way, he would have
7 turned off.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mijo Jelic, when he
9 reported to the forward command post at Prozor with his unit, he was
10 given a local scout or escort from the area who guided him. And I know
11 that because I went that way too. There's no other route. Otherwise, he
12 would have reached the Bosniak check-point and fallen into Bosniak hands.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
14 MR. BOS
15 Q. Sir, you've testified that Valentin Coric -- during this
16 operation in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993, that Valentin Coric was not in
17 the country and that he, in fact, was in Zagreb; is that correct? And
18 I think you've said that he was hospitalised in Zagreb. Is that correct?
19 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yes, that is correct, and that's what I said. I
20 know for sure he wasn't there during all the events in Gornji Vakuf, that
21 he arrived only prior to the meeting that we had.
22 Q. In your view, when you were in Gornji Vakuf, was he still the
23 commander for you?
24 A. Well, Coric wasn't the commander. He was chief of the
25 MP Administration. He was the chief, the head. And in his absence, his
1 deputy would take over, Mr. Lakic [phoen], who performed the duty.
2 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at P01134.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second, Colonel, before
4 we move to the next document. Sometimes I'm surprised by the content of
6 Where it says that parts of the HVO are denouncing each other,
7 basically, and I could, and I'm using the conditional here, I could reach
8 the conclusion that no one really agreed, that there was not really any
9 plan. Because when you look at this document, the SIS, which is part of
10 the HVO, until proven wrong, that's the situation. And in this document
11 it says that members of the military police under the command of
12 Mr. Jelic burned down houses. So, in a way, they are implicated in this
13 matter. So how do you explain that? Within the HVO, some people are
14 actually reporting acts that were committed by others. What does this
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, as we would say,
17 I want the problems that I have to be dealt with by others, and so this
18 commander of the 3rd Brigade, for instance -- or, rather, the SIS officer
19 in question was supposed to cover his brigade. He had nothing to do with
20 the military police, and that's the problem. The fact that they did very
21 little work, they accused and shifted the blame on to the military
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this is your
24 take on events.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this isn't
2 my time for examination, but perhaps it would be useful if someone were
3 to ask the witness what operative zone does the 3rd Brigade belong to and
4 whether the 3rd Brigade was in Gornji Vakuf at all. Let's start out from
5 there so that we don't misunderstand this and think that reference made
6 here is to a local brigade.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're very right. I should
8 have thought of it, and I didn't.
9 I was wondering what Operational Zone the SIS and the 3rd Brigade
10 are covering mainly. Can you answer this question, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SIS and the 3rd Brigade -- now,
12 was it Central Bosnia or -- I don't know which 3rd Brigade is referred
13 to. The first was in North-West Herzegovina, the other one was in
14 South-East Herzegovina, and the third was, I think, in Central Bosnia, as
15 far as I know.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Does this mean to
17 say that the SIS, reporting on what is happening in Gornji Vakuf, did not
18 have a "ration illusi" [phoen] competence to intervene in this area?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, they did have the
20 competence to and the authority to report information and collect
21 information about units and what they were doing on the ground.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise, but might
23 I be of assistance?
24 In your question, it says "whether SIS." It's not a question of
25 SIS here in the document, it's a question of the 3rd Brigade, because the
1 Prosecutor said this in his question and the witness repeated that it was
2 SIS within the 3rd Brigade. From your question, one might conclude that
3 you had something general in mind, whereas this is the SIS of the
4 3rd Brigade. So may that be recorded in very precise terms in the
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, for me it's very clear.
7 It's the SIS of the 3rd Brigade, of course. So now I was wondering
8 whether the 3rd Brigade had, for area of competence, Gornji Vakuf.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 3rd Brigade did not have
10 authority -- or, rather, most probably it was attached for carrying out
11 assignments in Gornji Vakuf.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. BOS
15 Q. Witness, in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993, isn't it correct that
16 HVO units from outside Gornji Vakuf were also involved in this operation;
17 that it was just not the local units that were involved in this
18 operation, but also units from outside, including the military police
19 from Livno?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yes. And units which were not from the
21 Gornji Vakuf area, they took part in operations too.
22 Q. Could it be that the 3rd Brigade, for that reason, was also
23 involved in Gornji Vakuf?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it most probably was involved because of the lack
25 of manpower or whatever.
1 Q. Sir, I had asked you to look at Exhibit P01134, which is an order
2 from Valentin Coric, dated the 14th of January, 1993. So this is at the
3 time that the operations in Gornji Vakuf were ongoing. And it says:
4 "Due to the arisen security situation caused by the attack of the
5 units of the Army of BiH against the units of the HVO in Gornji Vakuf, I
6 herewith order:
7 "The total blockade of the border-crossings towards the
8 Republic of Croatia
9 And then it continues and it ends:
10 "I charge the commander of the 2nd Company of the 1st Battalion,
11 as barer, and the commanders of the traffic platoons of the 2nd and
12 3rd Battalions of the Military Police with the duty to carry out this
13 order. The commanders from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions of the
14 Military Police, and the officers from the Department of the Main and
15 Traffic Military Police, shall supervise the carrying out of this order."
16 And then the document is CC'd to all these commanders and also to
17 the commanders of the Operational Zone of South-East Herzegovina and
18 North-West Herzegovina.
19 Sir, now the document is -- and Valentin Coric's name is
20 underneath there, and it's true that the document wasn't signed by
21 Mr. Valentin Coric, but by somebody else for Valentin Coric. But
22 wouldn't you agree that such a big and important order would have been an
23 order that at least would have been approved by Mr. Valentin Coric, if
24 not also drafted by Mr. Valentin Coric?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, Mr. Coric certainly never wrote an order of this
1 kind. This order, once again, came from somewhere, and the person
2 signing it could not have issued this order independently. It must have
3 come from some higher level. And I know for sure that he didn't write
4 it, nor did he authorise it, because he wasn't there. But his deputy was
5 authorised to sign.
6 Q. So are you suggesting that even though that "Mr. Valentin Coric"
7 is underneath this order, that he would not have known about this order?
8 It's a very important order, I'd say. Are you suggesting that this was
9 made up by somebody else within the military police, without
10 Mr. Valentin Coric knowing about it?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that's quite certain. I do believe that
12 Mr. Coric never knew about this. If he went off for treatment, then it
13 was the person who was responsible and authorised could sign.
14 Rade Lavric couldn't call up Coric every time he needed to do something,
15 to execute something. When I was absent, my deputy would take my place,
16 act for me. So I am certain, and I'm telling you that, that he didn't
17 know about it.
18 Q. Well, sir, I don't understand how you could be so certain that he
19 didn't know about it. Mr. Coric was in hospital in Zagreb. Now, surely
20 they must have been able to communicate with Mr. Coric in Zagreb, and how
21 are you -- how can you be so certain that Mr. Coric didn't know anything
22 about this very important order?
23 A. Well, I know how the system functioned, who replaces whom and
24 acts as deputy for whom, and why, and who had what authority. And, as I
25 say, if I received an order, let's take that example, me, as a battalion
1 commander, to send the battalion somewhere, and I wasn't there, I was
2 absent, then my deputy would go ahead because he has permission from me
3 and authority to move the troops, move the battalion.
4 So if you're the Prosecutor and you're taken ill, for example,
5 somebody calls you up and asks you to what -- to ask me what the
6 situation was like, Mr. Coric could have done that. But I'm sure he
7 didn't write this order.
8 Q. Well, sir, you have orders and orders. And, you know, if it's
9 not such an important order, I can understand. But here we're talking
10 about a main order addressed to all the commanders of all the battalions
11 operating in Gornji Vakuf. It also goes to the commanders of the
12 Operational Zone of the South-East Herzegovina and the
13 North-West Herzegovina, and are you saying, Well, Mr. Rade Lavric could
14 have issued this order, being the deputy of Mr. Coric and replacing
15 Mr. Coric, without Mr. Coric knowing about this order?
16 Is that your evidence?
17 A. Yes, that is my evidence. But Rade Lavric didn't write this
18 order alone, either. It came from somewhere, from some instance.
19 Whether from the ministry or where, it doesn't refer to it. But he
20 couldn't have taken this decision on his own, either, independently. So
21 somebody ordered him to write this, but I know for certain that that
22 person wasn't Valentin Coric. He just carried out the order he received,
23 and I mean specifically Lavric when I say that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, this is an issue that
25 we already discussed in this courtroom, and it may not be entirely clear
1 for everyone.
2 Let me take an example. Imagine that you, yourself -- imagine
3 that you have to go to hospital in Zagreb. How will it work within the
4 2nd Battalion? What are you going to do?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would inform the
6 commander of the operative zone in my absence to -- that my deputy would
7 be replacing me and that he would resolve and carry out all tasks linked
8 to the operative zone, the Military Police Administration -- linked to
9 the Military Police Administration, and so on, and that he has the
10 authority to sign documents and to implement those documents.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that's the way it had to
12 work within the military police?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos.
15 MR. BOS
17 Q. Sir, is it correct that after Gornji Vakuf, the operations in
18 Gornji Vakuf in January 1993, that you and your units were -- from Livno
19 were involved in combat operations in Konjic and Jablanica in April 1993,
20 around mid-April 1993?
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor, since Jablanica and Konjic were under the
22 North-Western Herzegovina Operative Zone, we had parts -- I don't know
23 what operations you mean in Jablanica and Konjic.
24 Q. Maybe we'll clarify. Let's look at Exhibit P02202, and then
25 things may be clarified. This is another document that was also shown to
1 you by the Petkovic Defence. It's an interim report on the violations of
2 law and order in Livno on 4th of May, and it's signed by you, and it's
3 addressed to Mr. Boban, Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Coric.
4 Now, sir, it seems to me a bit out of the ordinary for you to
5 draft a report to all these high-level people. Had you been ordered to
6 submit this report, or could you give me the background for why this
7 report was issued?
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yes, I'll readily answer your question. The
9 interim report came into being with respect to the local brigade's
10 relationship towards the military police. It was duty-bound to supply
11 the military police with MTS, that is to say, ammunition, equip --
12 uniforms, and so on, and its activities in Livno. And when coming back
13 from an area of that kind, the military police would park in Livno, at
14 the bus stop there. There was a bit of shooting, and then they went
15 home. I did not know at that point in time that Mr. Mate Boban was in
16 Livno on a visit and that he was in the Gorica Monastery at the time.
17 After some time had passed, the driver -- Mr. Boban's driver came
18 to see me at home and said President Boban wanted to see me at the
19 entrance and that I should go to the Gorica Monastery near Livno. I got
20 ready and went to the monastery that I was told to go to, because
21 President Boban was waiting for me there, as well as the commander of the
22 Livno Brigade, Stanko Vrgoc, and one of the priests was there too.
23 When I arrived, President Boban asked me what was going on in
24 Livno, since he had received various information from brigade commanders,
25 the Vrgoc Brigade commander. I informed President Boban about what was
1 going on, and he told me that I should send him a report setting out what
2 I had told him, and that's what the contents of this report are.
3 While I was speaking to him, I know that he looked at me rather
4 strangely -- or, rather, the brigade commander looked at me a little
5 strangely. And when I started writing this interim report, the
6 president -- allow me to finish, please -- the report to President Boban,
7 I thought it necessary to inform the chief of the MP Administration as
8 well and the head of the Defence Department, Mr. Stojic, and I thought
9 that through their chain of command, the -- or, rather, the brigade
10 commander, through his chain of command, would be informing the
11 Main Staff about this, because this -- and that Mr. Boban would call
12 Valentin Coric or Stojic, the Defence Ministry, to ask them why they
13 don't know about this. So I addressed this to the military police
14 because it was my task to write to President Boban about what was going
16 Q. Thank you for that answer. So that give a bit of a background of
17 why you issued this order. Let's just now look at -- why you issued this
18 report. But let's look at the content of the report. We'll start from
19 the beginning:
20 "Military police units from Livno (with others) were engaged in
21 the municipalities of Prozor and Konjic from 15 April 1993 in combat
22 tasks. Around 1100 hours on 4 May 1993, following the order, they
23 returned to Livno. In keeping with tradition (like in other units), we
24 drove through Livno twice, and at the bus station we fired in the air.
25 After that, we went for drinks to the Park Hotel, and afterwards we
1 returned to the base and put down our long-barrelled weapons and MTS."
2 Now, sir, it talks about "we." Is it correct that you were part
3 of this group of MP officers that came back from the combat operations in
4 Prozor and Konjic?
5 A. I'm talking about the military police. I was not with them in
6 Prozor and in Konjic. As the battalion commander, I only co-ordinated
7 their work in the field. I know that that incident happened. I came
8 later. I did not participate in the shooting, but I know that that's how
9 it was.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise.
11 Could we draw everybody's attention to the fact that at that time
12 the witness was not in command of the 2nd MP Battalion and that he signed
13 the document as the chief of the Department of General and
14 Traffic Police.
15 MR. BOS
16 Q. But, sir, if you drafted this report, why are you drafting it in
17 such a way that it implies that you were also driving through Livno? It
19 "We drove through Livno twice. At the bus station, we fired in
20 the air."
21 Why would you report it as "we" if you were -- you were not one
22 of the soldiers arriving in Livno and firing -- shooting in the air?
23 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I received the reports from my own commanders,
24 and that's how I compiled mine.
25 Q. Very well. So you're saying that your subordinate drafted this
1 and you put it in the report to Boban; is that what you're saying?
2 Sir, against who had -- against whom had these military police
3 units being fighting in Jablanica and Konjic?
4 A. In the month of April, I believe that they were performing
5 military policing duties in Prozor and Konjic, which means that they
6 manned the check-points there and carried out other regular policing
7 duties. If there had been conflicts in Konjic, they could not have been
8 deployed there. They could not have even reached Konjic.
9 Q. Well, it talks about combat tasks. In the first:
10 "Military police units from Livno were engaged in Prozor and
11 Konjic in combat tasks."
12 Sir, isn't it true that these military police units were fighting
13 the Muslims in Jablanica and Konjic in April 1993?
14 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it's not correct. "Combat," as the term, was
15 used automatically. It was a slip of the tongue. If they had been sent
16 to fight, they would have reached as far as Prozor. They would not have
17 been able to reach Konjic, because if there had been an ongoing combat,
18 they would have had to pass through Jablanica and they would have been
19 stopped already at Prozor. There's no way they could have reached
20 Konjic. And there is no way -- no chance in hell for them to be able to
21 reach Konjic if there was a combat going on.
22 Q. Sir, the report says that, you know, "in keeping with tradition,
23 we drove through Livno twice and fired in the air."
24 What is this tradition, where, like in other units, there is the
25 tradition of firing in the air? Could you explain what this tradition
2 A. Well, let's put it this way: When units returned from the field,
3 they fired with their weapons briefly, and that's all. So whatever unit
4 of whatever brigade came back to Livno after having been in combat,
5 that's how they behaved. That was a custom.
6 Q. Some sort of a homecoming victory parade; is that the way I
7 should interpret it?
8 And, sir, let me ask you: By doing this, don't you think that
9 this -- this type of conduct was provocative to the Muslim population in
10 Livno, since they had been fighting the Muslims in Prozor and Jablanica?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that's not the case. As you know, the lines were
12 manned jointly by Croats and Muslims, and the celebratory shooting
13 involved both groups. You just said provocations and glory to the
14 homeland. Were you implying that we were trying to somehow honour the
15 homeland by shooting, our own homeland? But that was not the case,
16 because this was not a homecoming victory parade because the lines were
17 manned jointly by Muslims and by Croats, and they did everything
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise.
20 I don't think you can understand that why witness said
21 what witness said because -- if you don't know how the word "homecoming"
22 has been translated into B/C/S. The word "homecoming" was interpreted as
23 "homeland," and that's why the witness provided the answer that he did.
24 And I wanted to explain that.
25 MR. BOS
1 Q. Sir, let's just move on reading the document, because I do think
2 it goes a bit further than the way you describe it.
3 Reading out the third paragraph:
4 "In the Topolino Bar, owned by a Muslim, where Muslim extremists
5 gather, a group of our lads broke glasses that were on the tables and
6 closed the bar."
7 Skipping one paragraph:
8 "In relation to the throwing of the Muslims out of the cafe,
9 everything started after the clashes in Gornji Vakuf. All this is done
10 by units, groups, and individuals, which happens every day, and it's not
11 true that the military police do it.
12 "The military police warned the staff several times to take
13 action against Mahmut Latific, who reports for Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 and spreads lies and extremism. However, nothing has been done, which
15 stirs up indignation in the military police and other units."
16 Sir, were you there at Topolino Bar when all this happened,
17 what's been described here?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I wasn't there. But I'm telling you what
19 President Boban asked me. He had received such information, and when I
20 said "our lads," I meant the entire town of Livno, including the Livno
21 Brigade, the Bruno Busic Regiment, the military police, and I don't know
22 what other units were deployed there. I answered President Boban, and I
23 wrote along the same lines. He had already received wrong information,
24 and he had already created a wrong picture of the events.
25 Q. Well, sir, the way I read this report is that these Bosnian Croat
1 units came back home, and they wanted to teach the Muslims a lesson, so
2 they went to the bar with the intention to make trouble with the Muslim
3 owner, and which eventually led to throwing the Muslims out of the bar.
4 Isn't that what happened?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that's not what happened, not correct. There
6 were some Muslim extremists in Livno who went against the BiH Army and
7 tried to defy the Croats. Everybody knew that. And there was a man who
8 did all sorts of things under the influence of alcohol. If he had been
9 sober, he would never have done that. So there's -- there was nothing
10 organised. And I'm repeating. Croats and Bosniaks fought together, they
11 manned lines together, and you can check that.
12 Q. Sir, it says here:
13 "All this is done by units, groups, and individuals, which
14 happens every day, and it's not true that the military police do it."
15 Why is it said here that it happens every day? Did this happen
16 every day?
17 A. Well, when you have 4.000 men in uniforms, you can carry out as
18 many controls as you wish, but there will always be a fool who will
19 create problems. You can't control everybody everywhere at all times.
20 Q. Sir, was anyone disciplined for the incident that's been
21 described here in this report?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, as far as I know, the Livno Brigade did receive a
23 few reports from the military police about its troops having been brought
24 in on account of such incidents, and I know that the brigade did
25 institute disciplinary measures against such troops.
1 Q. Troops from the Livno Brigade or military police troops?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, Livno troops. And I say that with full
3 responsibility. I repeat, the military police performed their duties
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, we shall continue
6 tomorrow. You will still have 55 minutes left, according to the very
7 accurate math of Mr. Registrar. Thank you very much.
8 We will also have redirect tomorrow, which means that you should
9 have finished with your testimony by tomorrow, Mr. Witness.
10 Tomorrow, we'll be sitting in the afternoon, so we'll meet again
11 tomorrow at 2.15.
12 Thank you, everyone.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
16 March, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.