1 Thursday, 4 April 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you. I only have one brief
10 comment. I know sometimes in the courtroom strong statements are made by
11 all sides, and I think most of the time, respectfully, we submit, that I
12 think the Prosecution states a truthful and correct position, often
13 forcefully. I do owe, however, the Defence at least a partial apology
14 concerning some documents yesterday. Some of the maps we found had been
15 provided to us. Not all of them. We did not have all the documents that
16 were used yesterday by Defence counsel, including, for example, the HVO
17 organisational chart that was used. But some of the maps, like the 1992
18 maps and that sort of thing that -- apparently had been provided to us,
19 and so to that extent, I give my apology to the Defence for saying we had
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
22 Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Your
24 Honours, I don't know if you have received this. Five minutes before the
25 start of trial for today, we received this big binder, which quite
1 obviously the Prosecution intends to use in the cross-examination. For me
2 to become acquainted with all the documents contained in this binder, I
3 would need at least two hours. They are documents which were never used
4 in this courtroom before, nor were they ever proposed and put forward as
5 evidence and exhibits, because I believe that he didn't have many of the
6 documents until today, that is to say earlier on. Some documents we don't
7 know the source of, others are statements, articles and so on. I just
8 don't understand. Had I done this in my cross-examination -- before my
9 cross-examination, had I given him a binder as thick as this to use just
10 prior to the examination of the witness, it would not have been in order.
11 We don't know the origins, we don't know the source, we don't know what
12 they are about, and we received this five minutes before the start of
13 proceedings today. Nor did the Prosecution ever present these documents
15 They are the Prosecution, Your Honours. They are the ones who
16 have accused the clients so it is up to them, and that was the same case
17 with the previous two binders. Are we going to continuously receive new
18 documents which have never been tendered before? Your Honours, I should
19 at least like to be given time to become acquainted with the contents of
20 these many documents. Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott. First of all, I want to know whether
22 the Chamber has been provided with those binders of documents.
23 MR. SCOTT: I'm told that you have been, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
25 MR. SCOTT: To respond very briefly, Mr. President, Your Honours,
1 well, I see we are back -- I see we are back to the old situation. Your
2 Honours, during the Prosecution case, we were never provided any documents
3 prior to cross-examination. The Prosecution has, as a courtesy -- and I
4 don't think there is any requirement -- the only thing the Chamber had
5 required of us before was to provide a list at some point. That's the
6 only ruling this Chamber has made in that respect. And we have done much
7 more than that. After -- as a result of a tremendous effort on our part,
8 we have amassed and put together, to assist the Chamber and the Defence
9 and the witness, the documents -- many of the documents or most of the
10 documents that would be used during cross-examination. Indeed, it may be
11 that we will not, in fact, use all of these given time constraints, but
12 nonetheless, that is a binder. Not only have we not -- in our respectful
13 submission, Your Honour, not done anything wrong, we have gone over and
14 above what's required of us to facilitate these proceedings.
15 And finally the only other comment I would make is that, in fact,
16 many of these exhibits have been previously admitted and simply -- but are
17 nonetheless very relevant to the examination of this witness and are not
18 new materials. But even if they are, even if some materials are new, Your
19 Honour, we submit this is entirely appropriate for cross-examination.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, frankly speaking, I'm very
21 sympathise with you because maybe we are from the same legal system in
22 which that all the documents should be disclosed before the trial.
23 The other day, this Trial Chamber made an order asking for the
24 list of the documents be provided before the cross-examination. We
25 believe that we made this ruling during the Prosecution's case in chief
1 with the sole purpose to facilitate the proceedings of the trial. There
2 is no substantial change of the jurisprudence before this Tribunal. We
3 are very glad that the Prosecution provided us with this binder of
4 documents so that we could know what he will be talking about during his
6 Mr. Krsnik, this is his cross-examination, not direct examination,
7 which is entirely different.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am absolutely and
9 fully conscious that this is cross-examination. But Your Honours, I
10 remember when I was in the position of doing the cross-examination what I
11 had to do vis-a-vis the Prosecution, what I was supposed to do. And that
12 was quite recently. There is your ruling, your decision, when I had to
13 provide written documents and furnish them to the Prosecution, the
14 documents that I was going to use in my own cross-examination. I had to
15 inform them on time. And this is the same procedure. But in this case,
16 the Prosecution, in my opinion, is privileged.
17 Plus, Your Honour, I see that some of these documents are taken
18 from the famous Zagreb archives. Do they mean to tell us that they came
19 by those documents only yesterday?
20 And it is the position of the Defence -- my position and the
21 position of the Defence in its cross-examination was not the same. That
22 is my own personal view and my line of thinking. Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you have to bear in mind that we
24 made that ruling during the direct examination from the Prosecution. So
25 it applies to both parties.
1 As I have already said, that the purpose for providing us with the
2 list of documents is solely to facilitate the proceedings of the trial.
3 There's no substantial changes of the jurisprudence of this Tribunal. So
4 no matter you or we like it or not, we have to live with it because that's
5 the cross-examination, not the direct examination. In a direct
6 examination, you have the obligation to provide all those documents
7 beforehand but not in the cross-examination.
8 I have already said that I quite sympathise with you because maybe
9 we are from the same legal system. But there are some people in this
10 trial, including your co-counsel, Mr. Meek, who is much more familiar than
11 us with this kind of procedure.
12 Yes, Mr. Scott, could you tell us how long you're going to take
13 for your cross-examination. Well, I understand that you mentioned several
14 times during the direct examination by the Defence counsel about the
15 principle of the tu quoque.
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Mr. President, my goal -- and obviously I have
17 not timed this by any means. But my goal is to take significantly less
18 time than the direct examination, which by our measure was approximately 6
19 hours and 40 minutes. Having said that, I fully expect that at least part
20 of the cross-examination will take us into tomorrow, which should be --
21 even by tomorrow morning would be only about half of the time that the
22 Defence took.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we received a written filing by the accused,
24 notice for additional time for direct examination. They asked for five
25 hours. But because in the very exceptional situation, they lasted a
1 little bit longer, as you calculated, 6 hours and 40 minutes. So the
2 wrongdoings of the other side is not a good excuse for you to have the
3 same period of time.
4 MR. SCOTT: Of course not. But --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But I'm not going to limit your time. I'll just
6 try to advise you that you have to do your cross-examination as concise as
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Usher, shall we have the witness, please.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness, can you hear me?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you. Good morning,
13 Your Honours. Good morning, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Today we will have the
15 cross-examination by the Prosecution.
16 WITNESS: SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes Mr. Scott?
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. May it please the Court.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
21 Q. Mr. Praljak, good morning.
22 A. Good morning, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 Q. I'm going to comment, sir, that because of the configuration of
24 the courtroom, I'm not always going to be looking directly at you or it
25 may seem that my questions are not being directed to you in a face-to-face
1 way, but unfortunately, because of the way the courtroom is laid out, it's
2 difficult to do that and also use the microphone. So it's not any
3 discourtesy to you if I don't always turn towards you, please.
4 Sir, from the first to the last, from March 1992 to November 1993,
5 you were a senior army in the -- senior officer in the army of the
6 Republic of Croatia, sent by Franjo Tudjman, the HDZ political party and
7 the Croatian government to do their bidding in Herceg-Bosna in support of
8 the goal of a greater Croatia. Isn't that true, sir?
9 A. That is completely untrue, Mr. Prosecutor.
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Usher, could you please provide the witness with a
11 copy, in particular, the B/C/S version of PT-7?
12 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, there are about six particular statements
13 of facts which could be separate questions in that statement. I mean, is
14 this witness denying every single bit of it: That he was a senior officer
15 in the army of the Republic of Croatia; two, that he was sent by Franjo
16 Tudjman; three, that it was also associated with the HDZ political party;
17 four, the Croatian government -- it is a very complex statement. Does
18 Mr. Praljak disagree with every aspect of it or some of it?
19 MR. SCOTT: Judge Clark, in the course of today and perhaps
20 tomorrow, we will probably go through all -- each of those items in some
21 detail, and simply, with the Court's leave, as an introductory question, I
22 put the overall proposition to the witness.
23 Q. Sir, I'd like for to you please look at what's been admitted into
24 evidence as Exhibit PT-7.
25 MR. SCOTT: And for the record -- and perhaps the usher could
1 assist us by putting, if you have it, the English version on the ELMO.
2 This is a transcript of a meeting in the offices of the President of the
3 Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, on the 8th of March, 1993.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik? I'm sorry, I could not see you.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a technical
6 comment. May we give Mr. Praljak enough time to look through the
7 document? Because he's seeing it for the first time and he didn't have it
8 to read over last night.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. That's a reasonable request.
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, the -- Mr. President, the entire document -- I
11 only intend to take the witness to a small number of excerpts. The entire
12 document is approximately this long. So if you would like to have him
13 read it, I suppose we could have a recess and come back and proceed with
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may direct the witness to a particular page
16 or paragraph which concerns with your question.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Sir, I'm going to direct your attention to the first page of the
19 B/C/S version. It should be the first page that's in front of you now.
20 MR. SCOTT: And if I could ask the usher to please put on the
21 overhead or the ELMO the first page in English.
22 Q. Just to orient you, sir, and the Court, I'm going to direct your
23 attention to the first part. This is a meeting held by President Tudjman
24 with members of -- representatives of the Central Bosnia HVO and
25 Mr. Tudjman -- President Tudjman starts out by saying, "Gentlemen, I wish
1 to welcome the representatives of the Central Bosnian municipalities with
2 whom we are having this meeting at their request, in the presence of the
3 President of the HVO of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Boban, a member of the
4 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mirko" -- perhaps it should be Miro --
5 "Lasic. Minister Susak will also be coming when this meeting is over.
6 We agreed just now that you from the Central Bosnian municipalities should
7 set out your problems. Be brief, be accurate and truthful so that this
8 remains as a document."
9 Now, sir, let me direct your attention, please, to in your
10 version, page 4/2, in the English version to what's been --
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to refer, for reference, to
12 the last two digits of the numbers on the upper corners -- upper right
13 corner of the page, and the reason for that is because the translations of
14 some of these documents were done in segments, and in some instances the
15 page numbering starts over again on the bottom. So I will simply refer
16 to -- for instance, I'm going to refer now to page 12, which in the upper
17 right corner in the English version -- the full number, so that the record
18 is clear, would be R0180812. But if the Court -- with the Court's
19 permission, in the future, I'll just refer to that number as page 12.
20 Q. Sir, if you have 4/2, I'll direct your attention to this. And the
21 reason I'm directing your attention is I will put some questions to you
22 about this. This is Zoran Maric speaking. He says, "However, we are
23 working on this since they have seen what the extremist part of their
24 party has done. I would ask, we in Busovaca, or rather in the central
25 part of Central Bosnia, do not have any educated men. While Mr. Praljak
1 was in Travnik, things were moving along fine. But as soon as he left,
2 things changed for the worse and the situation turned for the worse.
3 There is no military discipline. Crime became prevalent and some military
4 commanders have taken over the civilian authority and behave like that.
5 That is why I would ask that Mr. Praljak be returned to help us with
7 If I can direct your attention to, in your copy, sir, page 8/3,
8 and in the English version page 47, can you please find this part on the
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott?
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
12 JUDGE LIU: We could not find the place. Would you please give us
13 more indications?
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Again, as I was trying to do, if
15 you look for page 47, using the number in the upper right corner of the
16 page, the last two digits of the transcript of that number, page 47.
17 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, there is some problem here. Our first
18 case, if you're talking about the draft translation number, is R0181149,
19 and it's called, on the bottom right hand corner, Exhibit PT-7.
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
21 JUDGE CLARK: We don't have a page 47.
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it is in -- and again, the numbering,
23 just because of the way it was translated, is a bit -- admittedly a bit
24 confusing. But if you'll leaf further back in the document, not forward
25 but leaf back, you should find a number R0181147. If the usher -- does
1 the usher have that on the ELMO? All right.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could -- we'd like to
5 know where the meeting was held, on what date, how, when, et cetera.
6 Could the Prosecution inform us about that, please.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. SCOTT: Of course. It's on the first page of the transcript.
9 This was a meeting. At the first page, a meeting of the president of the
10 Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman with the representatives of
11 Central Bosnian municipality and of the HVO of Herceg-Bosna with their
12 associates, held on the 8th of March, 1993, beginning at 11.15 hours.
13 Presiding, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, President of the Republic of Croatia.
14 Q. Now, directing your attention, sir, to page -- what we're calling
15 47. Perhaps in the future we'll try to work out some better paging
16 system. Direct your attention to this part on that page, and in your
17 version 8/3. President Tudjman says -- for the English readers, it's
18 toward the bottom half of the page: "Therefore the HDZ -- if it been for
19 the HDZ, the firmness which has rallied the majority of the Croatian
20 people, we would not have been able to pursue this policy. We would not
21 have Croatia. Of course, the issue of the Croatian people who remain
22 outside our provinces is a very delicate one. But once we get to -- once
23 this agreement is reached, then we shall see, and then we will have to be
24 on the basis of reciprocity and security for those people guarantees
25 there, or in some areas there may be voluntary relocations. The HDZ is
1 safeguarding, in other words, as the political force which enabled us to
2 pursue this policy."
3 Top of the next page, or continuing your version, sir: "We will
4 get Praljak back and see who else we can get back of the
5 Bosnian-Herzegovinan people."
6 I believe there's one last reference. If I can ask the Chamber to
7 go to page 28. It's towards the end of the document again.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise, but I
10 haven't got the transcript in front of me and I have understood that
11 Mr. Praljak was not at the meeting at all and now he is asked for his
12 comments and to speculate. That's my first point.
13 And second, you can't extract from the overall context a portion
14 of a text. Could the witness be informed about the entirety of the text
15 he's being questioned about. They're asking him to speculate, point A.
16 And second, only certain portions are read out to him out of context. I
17 think it would be fair to inform the witness of the whole document, as
18 he's being asked to comment on it.
19 JUDGE LIU: In my understanding, there's no question to this
20 moment. We are still waiting for the question from the Prosecution. Then
21 we'll make the decisions on this respect.
22 Yes, Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Sir, directing your attention to page 9/4 of the B/C/S version,
25 again page 28 of the English version. And this is the last excerpt that I
1 will direct you to for these purposes before my questions. And this is --
2 this is the Minister of Defence, Gojko Susak speaking, speaking on --
3 towards the top page 28.
4 "Your meeting today is going to be useful to you in that you can
5 go back to your place and say over there in Busovaca, Novi Travnik, or
6 Vitez that you were with the president of the state - this is his view -
7 and they will trust you more than if you were to say you were interpreting
8 something or trying to explain who was the one supporting you. That is
9 the essence of today's meeting with the president. You will do everything
10 else with Mate or Mate will work with us. There is not much beating about
11 the bush here."
12 And then Susak continues: "Two things. Praljak warned me about
13 what you've just mentioned, that there is no commander. We did not
14 withdraw Praljak. Praljak has to go -- had to go to a seminar in the
15 Netherlands that had been agreed six months before. He is coming back
16 Wednesday evening, and he's going back there on Thursday morning. Praljak
17 is permanent down there. Praljak was not withdrawn but came here for a
18 purpose. He had a military seminar in the Netherlands which we have to be
19 present at, and he was the one proposed to attend it six months ago. We
20 will send Praljak -- we will send - excuse me - Praljak has made a list of
21 names of several colonels and majors including the young Luburic to send
22 down there. The work of the party."
23 Now, sir, going back to the opening question that I put to you, is
24 it not true, sir - I ask you again - that you were sent to
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina both in 1992 and continuously in 1993 by President
1 Franjo Tudjman and you knew and others knew that you were acting at the
2 direction of the Croatian state? Isn't that true?
3 A. Although the Prosecutor asked several questions framed in one, to
4 make my answers more precise I have to split them into several questions
5 so as to be able to answer.
6 Before this Honourable Court, I never denied that prior to going
7 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was an officer -- a high ranking officer in the
8 army of the Republic of Croatia. I did not deny that other people in the
9 army of the Republic of Croatia, including the young Mr. Luburic, who's
10 mentioned here, went to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina because they
11 had been born there, because they had lived there, because that is where
12 their families were, to fight against the Serb attack, which was clear,
13 obvious, and ruthless. I am not aware of this meeting. I was not present
14 at this meeting.
15 Q. Well, let me interrupt you, sir. My apology. But I'm not
16 suggesting and nor should you understand that I'm suggesting that you were
17 at the meeting. My question to you, however, is: This meeting reflects
18 what in fact was true, doesn't it? You had been sent by Tudjman to Bosnia
19 before and you were being sent back by him again; isn't that true?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, here we have President
22 Tudjman's transcript. And you know that the Defence has been challenging
23 the authenticity of this document. Now, the Prosecution refers to it as
24 if it were authentic and authenticated and as if what was said at this
25 meeting is true, and on top of it all invites the witness to comment on
1 this. I do not think that cross-examination can be conducted in this
2 way. And before that, a witness needs to be warned that this is a
3 transcript of the president of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman,
4 that this was done in his office, that this transcript was obtained in
5 this and that way and -- because the witness must be told which documents
6 are being used and read from.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think the question is the
8 Prosecutor asked the witness whether he had been sent by Mr. Tudjman to
9 Bosnia before and whether he was being sent back by him again. That's
10 a -- that's a simple question.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, that is right. But then why
12 read this transcript, which the Defence challenges and says they are
13 counterfeit? Why -- why didn't he then ask him: Did President Tudjman
14 send you to Bosnia? Why then read from the transcript?
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, because from this transcript, the Prosecution
16 have some doubts about that. So he wants to ask a question to this person
17 whether he was sent by Mr. Tudjman or not. That's very simple.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you. Well, the Defence has a
19 different view, but we shall abide by your decision. Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness, you may answer this question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first part of the answer is very
22 clear, but I think it goes beyond this. I was not sent down there. I
23 placed myself at the disposal of my own free will. And I was always so
24 ready to go down there. And even in this document, which has not been
25 verified, even this document showed that I was always ready to help with
1 the good, not with the bad. So for instance, such officer -- officers of
2 international forces were also down there.
3 Sir, under the international auspices of all the members of the
4 United Nations, for instance, there wouldn't have been this massacre in
5 Srebrenica had everybody gone there. And I wasn't there -- I wasn't sent
6 there. And from all this that we see, we do not read that I was issued an
7 order to go down there. But people are asking for -- to go down there to
8 do good. And it was for moral, for ethical reasons, not to try to
9 restrain evil and suffering. That is why I went down there. And I'm not
10 denying this. But not under the order of either President Tudjman or the
11 Minister of War, Susak.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Sir, I put it to you that you were playing semantics with the word
14 "order." You went down there at the direction of your president, your
15 president, to serve the wishes of him and his government. And that's the
16 truth of it, isn't it?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The witness has answered this
19 question. And these are -- my apologies. I merely wanted to hear what
20 Mr. Meek had to tell me. The witness has answered this question in full,
21 and this now is turning into a -- into an argument, into a discussion.
22 This is what the Prosecution is doing now.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe the witness is going to
24 answer this question. Let us hear him again.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is the nuances which
1 determine the heart of the whole matter.
2 Sir, would you from dozens of meetings that President Tudjman held
3 with Mr. Alija Izetbegovic --
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Sir, my question --
6 A. -- also try to draw conclusions --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... any question has nothing to
8 do with Mr. Izetbegovic. My question was very simple. You went to Bosnia
9 not only once but on a number of occasions at the behest of President
10 Tudjman and the Croatian government, did you not, sir? Yes or no?
11 A. Sir, if you use the word "nuance" as the gist of the problem that
12 you are talking about, then with no interruptions will you be able to
13 obtain from me the answer that will suit you. And sir, I will go back to
14 the gist of your question, and that was I did not go there on the basis
15 following an order. I went there of my own free will. And I never used
16 an interpretation with nuances. I will answer as is proper for the sake
17 of the truth and not to please you. I'm very sorry, but that's how it
18 will be.
19 Q. Well, I can assure you, sir, that I'm not here to ask you to give
20 answers that please me but to tell the Chamber the truth. And that's the
21 only purpose for your being here.
22 Sir, you've been very critical of the Muslims in various
23 respects. You have -- you and others have complained that the Muslims
24 were slow to react to the Serb aggression and in fact that they were
25 passive. Is that your position as well?
1 A. What do you mean by the words that you used, "very critical"?
2 Q. Sir, that's plain English, and I hope the translation is adequate
3 for you. You have complained about -- you -- you and others have
4 complained about that the Muslims were too slow and too passive in
5 reacting to the Serb aggression. And you know full well what I'm talking
6 about sir. Correct?
7 A. Well, others. I do not know who they are, so let us exclude
8 that. I will speak in my own name.
9 Q. Please do.
10 A. I was not rather critical. I was critical as much as it
11 corresponded to the truth, a rational judgement, a rational assessment and
12 facts. Unfortunately --
13 Q. So --
14 A. -- the Muslims --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you were critical of the
16 Muslims for being too passive towards the Serbs.
17 A. My answer is critical insofar as the truth as facts necessitated
19 Q. So what you're telling this Chamber, sir, is that in fact the
20 Croats were more proactive militarily and in fact that the Croats were
21 more aggressive militarily than the Muslims were. Is that correct?
22 A. The first part of your question, I already answered that one in
23 this Court once, because the Croat people, before the war, in the Republic
24 of Croatia, had already experienced all the forms and crimes of the Serb
25 aggression. It was more ready, not more aggressive but more ready, better
1 prepared, for the defence. This defence started with stopping tanks and
2 singing around those tanks in -- when they set off towards Polog. The
3 standing ovation to President Alija Izetbegovic when he came to see that
4 the tanks of the Yugoslav People's Army be let through from Polog to
5 Kupres, and that was the answer and clear evidence that there was no hate,
6 that the Croat people felt no hatred towards Mr. Alija Izetbegovic or the
8 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question, and I can tell you and the Chamber
9 we will indeed be here a long time if you do not answer my questions. The
10 question is this: The Croats, then -- you're saying the Croats were more
11 proactive militarily than the Muslims were?
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I object to this
14 interpretation of the witness's answer by the Prosecution, because if the
15 Prosecution asks complex questions, conditional questions, then the
16 witness must be allowed to answer them in the same way.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the witness went into the answer about
18 Izetbegovic and at the end talking about there was no hate -- that the
19 Croat people felt no hatred towards Mr. Alija Izetbegovic. That has
20 absolutely nothing to do with the question I put to the witness.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, yeah, I agree with you, but I believe that this
22 witness has answered your question already.
23 MR. SCOTT: If that's the case, Mr. President, I will move on, if
24 the Chamber understands that and is satisfied.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, in 1992, is it not the case that there were a high percentage
3 of Muslims in HVO units?
4 A. In the territory of Mostar and around Mostar, where I was, the
5 percentage of the HVO units -- the percentage of Muslims in the HVO units
6 was rather high.
7 Q. In fact, sir, weren't the Muslims less nationalistic in joining
8 the HVO in very substantial numbers and fighting against the Serbs with
9 the Croats?
10 A. Will you please be so kind as to explain to me the meaning of the
11 word "nationalism"?
12 Q. No, sir, I won't. I think you understand that word well. If
13 there is a Muslim unit -- a Muslim HVO -- excuse me, an HVO unit that was
14 50 per cent Muslim, let's say - and you said that many had a high
15 percentage of Muslims - and if that unit participated in liberating, for
16 example, Mostar, from the Serbs, then you would agree, wouldn't you, that
17 the Muslims then are at least 50 per cent responsible for liberating
18 Mostar, weren't they?
19 A. If we say --
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm also afraid that this examination
22 will last for a very long time if the Prosecutor continues this way. This
23 question -- and I was objected to by the Prosecution that this witness was
24 not an expert and that he had not come here to testify as an expert.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think your objection is well directed,
1 Mr. Krsnik. At this moment --
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But the witness is asked to
3 speculate, to make some hypothesis.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. I agree on this point.
5 Well, Mr. Scott, you could not ask this kind of question.
6 MR. SCOTT: I'll ask it differently, Your Honour.
7 Q. Sir, you said a moment ago that in the HVO units around Mostar -
8 and I'm looking at line 23 - that there was a high percentage -- excuse
9 me, it's higher up. It's in line 14 on page 19: That there was a high
10 percentage of Muslims in HVO units, it was rather high. Now, whatever
11 that percentage was, sir, whether it was 20 per cent, 35 per cent, 50 per
12 cent, 60 per cent, to the extent that was true, the Muslims played, to
13 that extent, just as much a part in liberating Mostar, as an example, than
14 the Croats did, didn't they?
15 A. A while ago, the Prosecutor said that assuming that they
16 constituted 50 per cent, that then -- that then they would have played a
17 50 per cent role in the liberation of Mostar. In the second question, he
18 completely changes the drift of his first question and says, "If they
19 participated, then they played as much a part in liberating to the extent
20 to which they participated in the HVO." And my answer to that is
21 correct. Yes. They should be paid their due for the liberation of Mostar
22 in so far -- to the extent to which they participated in the liberation of
23 Mostar, and that is not more than 35 men. And it is precisely because
24 unfortunately because -- unfortunately they were less ready
25 psychologically and therefore less prepared militarily for it because
1 their leadership kept telling them that it would not be their war, and
2 that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina would be avoided.
3 Q. So, sir, you're going back -- you're confirming your earlier
4 answer that the Croats, rather than the Muslims, were more proactive
5 militarily and more aggressive than the Muslims; correct?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, how can you join equality -- how can you put
7 together proactivity and aggressiveness? What do you mean by the word
9 Q. Sir, we will move on. We do not accept your number of 35 men but
10 we will move on with that. You've also said - and you are were shown a
11 series of exhibits - that the Croatian government gave approvals and
12 facilitated the movement of arms and supplies to the Bosnian Muslims;
14 A. Croatia enabled the supply of foodstuffs and weapons.
15 Q. Well, sir, I'm going to ask for an example -- I'm not going to
16 take -- we don't have the time to go through every one of these exhibits
17 again, but I'll ask the usher to please put before you Exhibit D1/51.
18 JUDGE LIU: By the way, Mr. Krsnik, are you going to furnish us
19 with a list of the documents you used? Because we got a little bit
20 confused with all those documents.
21 Yes, Mr. Meek?
22 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, as I indicated earlier or yesterday,
23 because we start trial at 9.00 a.m., the Registry does not open until
24 9.30. I have these. They will be filed at the first break.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. But I have to remind you that
1 you had the whole afternoon yesterday.
2 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honours, and we had much work to do and we
3 completed it last night, and we will file it at the first break. Thank
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Now, you've said a moment ago, sir, that Croatia enabled the
8 supply. Sir, can you tell the Chamber who was Ivan Cermak who approved
9 the particular shipment that is reflected or transfer that's reflected on
10 page -- excuse me, D1/51?
11 A. Ivan Cermak was Assistant Minister of Defence of the Republic of
12 Croatia, responsible for logistics.
13 Q. And why would he have to be involved -- just explain. Not being
14 critical. Just explain why would he have to be involved in approving a
15 shipment of arms or ammunition to the Bosnian Muslims?
16 A. Because the Croatian army, together with Muslims, in Zagreb was
17 working towards -- that all the -- to transport all the things that were
18 being collected, from clothing, all sorts of wear, and weapons, that they
19 be transported through Croatia, which was in the state of war, in a safe
20 manner, and as these convoys have to make very many detours and follow
21 very difficult routes because of the attacks on Sibenik and Zadar, then in
22 order to ensure their safety, the army was the most desirable segment of
23 the Croatian state for that purpose.
24 Q. Sir, in terms of your direct testimony, are you telling the
25 Chamber that it's your testimony that the Croatian government, throughout
1 the period of the war, had -- including through 1993 and into 1995, that
2 the Croatian government was consistently and freely allowing the passage
3 of arms and supplies to the Bosnian Muslims?
4 A. With the Court's leave, I would like to give a more extensive
5 answer. Namely, in spite of the embargo on the delivery of weapons,
6 certain international forces and powers allowed a certain form of
7 violation of that embargo, and the military aid was received from some
8 countries by -- and it arrived by air to Rijeka and Zagreb airports. A
9 part of this aid was intended for Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Throughout the war, the assistance to Muslims never stopped, either
11 humanitarian or military, although -- although at times it was very
12 difficult to achieve, and I do not deny that there were certain problems.
13 The Honourable Court saw yesterday how, for instance, when I had to climb
14 the APC of the United Nations in Citluk, and contrary to the will of the
15 people, how I had to break through -- pave the way for the humanitarian
16 convoy intended for Muslims in Bosnia.
17 Q. Sir --
18 A. The correct answer --
19 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... the answer has
20 gone on for some 10 or 15 lines and we are far away from my question,
21 Mr. President.
22 Q. Sir, the question to you was rather simple. Is it your position
23 -- you're telling the Chamber that throughout the fighting in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, including 1993 and thereafter, that the Croatian
25 government was consistently allowing the free flow of arms and ammunition
1 to the Bosnian Muslims? Yes or no?
2 A. What do you mean by the word "consistently"?
3 MR. SCOTT: Could the usher please hand the witness Exhibit
5 Q. Sir, this is a document that -- a map that was used in your direct
6 examination yesterday. And I want to direct your attention -- and I can't
7 point -- really point to it very well in a way that will show you, but if
8 you find Zenica, which is approximately in the middle of the map, and you
9 look immediately above Zenica, there are two blue areas. Do you see
10 that? Do you see those areas?
11 A. I do, yes.
12 Q. And also then somewhat to the right, quite a way -- a bit -- well,
13 whatever, to the right of those two, there is another blue area around, I
14 believe, Tuzla. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Now, when you've talked about the shipments, in connection with,
17 in particular, the ones we were shown yesterday, Exhibits D1/51 through
18 about 64 -- /64, do you have any information -- can you assist the Chamber
19 in any way by telling them what the destination of those shipments were?
20 Do you know that, in fact, they were not going to either those two blue
21 areas or to the blue area around Tuzla?
22 A. I tried to explain this yesterday, but the map is
23 self-explanatory. There is only one and only way in which the complete
24 armament could get into this territory, and that is the Republic of
25 Croatia Herzegovina onward. And if the convoy went past Mostar or next to
1 Rama by Prozor, then its further fate was determined by the Muslim forces
2 which received that convoy. Bihac -- Croatia shipped whatever was
3 necessary to Bihac by air, and after the conflict broke out, in the Lasva
4 Valley, we sent -- we used helicopters.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... isn't it true, number 1, you
6 don't know -- you cannot verify that one single of those items, one
7 bullet, in fact, got to Muslim military force, can you?
8 A. I'm not clear what the question means.
9 Q. You have no personal knowledge that you can share with this
10 Chamber that a single one of the items reflected in these many letters,
11 rocket-propelled grenades, RPGs, 82-millimetre rounds, 107-millimetre
12 rounds. You have no personal information to provide this Chamber that a
13 single one of those items in fact reached the Muslim armed forces, do
15 A. I know that that reached the Muslim armed forces because I
16 personally many times was there when the convoy was let through. And in
17 1992 in the spring of that year, I personally armed the Muslims, organised
18 the training of Muslim units --
19 Q. In 1992, sir; is that correct?
20 A. In 1992, yes.
21 Q. And did you --
22 A. And later --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... did you personally -- just to
24 follow up on your answer just now, did you personally observe and
25 participate the transfer of weapons to Muslim armed forces in 1993,
2 A. Well, once again, the question arises: Transport, participate,
3 supervise. Now, did I know? Was I personally there in some of the
4 transports? Sir, your questions are so generalised that whichever answer
5 I give, it won't be an entirely accurate one.
6 Q. Sir, the answer I put -- the question I put to you - excuse me -
7 was quite direct. You answered a previous question by verifying when I
8 asked you for personal information that you were personally present and
9 involved in some of these transfers. I'm simply following up on your own
10 answer. And you said this happened in 1992. And in the words of your own
11 previous answer, did you so participate personally any time in 1993?
12 A. Yes, I did participate in the course of 1993 in letting pass
13 certain transports of food and arms. And you saw one of those convoys
14 yesterday on the film.
15 Q. You're saying that convoy that we saw yesterday was not only
16 humanitarian aid. You're telling this Chamber that that was also a
17 shipment of arms.
18 A. No. That particular convoy did not consist of weapons. I
19 precisely stated that that convoy was carrying humanitarian aid alone.
20 But I did say that on several occasions when we examined the humanitarian
21 convoys, we uncovered a certain quantity of weapons.
22 Q. Well, I'll come back to that in a minute, sir. Isn't it true --
23 and the reason I -- one of the reasons I showed you this map -- isn't it
24 true that there were certain areas that despite the conflict around
25 Busovaca and Vitez and despite the conflict around Mostar and that region
1 between the Muslims and Croats, that there were other parts, including the
2 area around Tuzla, where the Croats and the Muslims fought together
3 against Serbs throughout the war. Isn't that true?
4 A. It is true -- partially true.
5 Q. And do you have any information, sir, that the armed shipments,
6 for instance, that you're talking about did not -- were not going to those
7 areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina where throughout the war the Muslims and
8 Croats were fighting together against the Serbs?
9 A. There was a HVO brigade in Tuzla which the Muslims had disbanded
10 at the beginning of the conflict between the Croats and Muslims. It is
11 correct that humanitarian and military aid went to those areas.
12 Q. Now, sir, I want to go back to your question about the smuggling
13 of weapons as part of humanitarian aid convoys. Help me with this, sir:
14 If it is your position before this Chamber, as you said yesterday and
15 confirmed again this morning, that the state of Croatia openly and fully
16 facilitated the shipment of arms to the Bosnian Muslims, why would anyone
17 have to smuggle them in humanitarian convoys?
18 A. Because there was always a lack of weapons of that kind. The
19 states of the former Yugoslavia were under an embargo, and the Republic of
20 Croatia under those circumstances and conditions was not even able to
21 procure sufficient quantities of weapons for itself either. So the
22 procurement of weapons was something that everybody engaged in, the Croats
23 and Muslims alike, outside the country by collecting funds for the
24 purchase of weapons throughout Europe and the world on the black market.
25 Q. Well, I was going to ask you about that, sir.
1 A. And then they had to smuggle them in every possible way, not only
2 through Europe but through Croatia as well.
3 Q. Sir, if you've told this Chamber that the -- there was a free flow
4 of weapons and supplies -- and you've suggested -- I put it to you --
5 you've suggested to these Judges -- you're trying to tell these Judges
6 that Croatia freely supported the Muslims in Bosnia throughout the war and
7 were sending arms and shipments and supplies. And I'm putting it to you,
8 sir, that's simply not true, is it?
9 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that's your problem. I claim the following -- and
10 I can put it in a nutshell in one sentence: Never in the history of
11 warfare has one country and one nation, one peoples, assisted another
12 nation so much by training it, by receiving it, by arming it, in order to
13 prepare it and raise it to the level of the ability to attack part of the
14 Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. And there was so much assistance, as you just said, that in fact
16 you searched -- you had to search humanitarian convoys to make sure that
17 no weapons were getting to the Muslims; correct?
18 A. Because, Mr. Prosecutor, at the same time they were in a very
19 difficult position. Croatia wanted, and the Croatian people wanted, to
20 preserve the remains of what remained after the Serbs, what the Serbs had
21 not taken. Simultaneously it was very difficult to know that the arms
22 that were let through would be used against the Serbs, would be used
23 against those who were supplying those weapons, which were the Croats, the
24 Croats that were either supplying them or letting them pass. So it was a
25 duality. The situation was very precarious. We let convoys pass, but we
1 had this dilemma: What was ethical, what was moral, and what was
2 militarily advantageous in a situation of that kind?
3 Q. The last document you've given us in the Defence case on this is
4 dated the 30th of March, 1993; is that correct?
5 A. Which document? Could you tell me please.
6 Q. I believe it is, sir -- it's D1/64.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The witness can't find his way.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I can find my way.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] What I meant, Witness, was that the
10 witness can't find the document and hasn't got the number D1, et cetera.
11 So I think that we ought to say which document we mean and quote its
13 MR. SCOTT: I believe I just did, Mr. President.
14 If the usher could assist us, please.
15 Q. Can you just confirm for me, sir, that the date of that document
16 is the 30th of March, 1993?
17 A. Yes, the date is the 30th of March, 1993. That's what it says on
18 the document.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I see we're a couple of minutes earlier
21 than the usual break time, but I'm about to switch to another topic. And
22 with the Court's leave, this might be a good time to break.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.12 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
1 JUDGE LIU: Bring in the witness, Mr. Usher.
2 Yes, Mr. Scott. Please continue.
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, as of the end of July, 1993, you were the senior HVO military
5 commander, that is over the entire HVO military apparatus; correct?
6 A. I wasn't senior. I was an HVO commander.
7 Q. Well, who above you, sir, in terms of an HVO officer, who was
8 above you in the chain of command, if it wasn't you, if you weren't the
10 A. In military terms, I was at the top, and above me was Mr. Mate
12 Q. And are you telling this Chamber then that you reported directly
13 to Mate Boban as your superior?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. And sir, isn't it true that in the capacity of the senior HVO
16 officer, you presided over the mass arrest and expulsion of Muslims from
17 the Stolac municipality in July and August, 1993?
18 A. No. I was not in command, nor did I preside over or implement the
19 arrest of Muslims that you just mentioned.
20 Q. Sir, on the 28th of July, 1993, you issued an order -- you issued
21 an order to all HVO units in the southeast Hercegovinian operative zone to
22 raise combat readiness to the top level and take up positions in their
23 area of responsibility, didn't you?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may we see the order and
1 allow the witness to read it?
2 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I don't have time to give -- I can put
3 facts to the witness, respectfully, I submit. I can put facts to the
4 witness. He can either agree or disagree. If we have to go every single
5 document, this binder will be about four times as fat and we will be here
6 for some weeks.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, shall we ask the witness whether he issued this
8 order or not first? And later on, if there is need for that purpose, you
9 have to show that order to this witness.
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, that was exactly the question I put to
11 the witness.
12 Q. Isn't it true, sir, you issued an order on the 28th of July, 1993,
13 to raise the combat readiness of the entire HVO southeast Herzegovina
14 operative zone to mobilise them for a campaign?
15 A. In view of the fact that we are dealing here with very serious
16 accusations, and that I am testifying to the truth and wish to testify to
17 the truth, I am personally ready to remain here several weeks, if that is
18 what is needed. I would like to see my order. Would you show me my
19 order, please?
20 Q. In terms of the time, Mr. Praljak, that of course is entirely up
21 to the Chamber and I cannot give you an answer to that. Sir, isn't it
22 correct that the action started on approximately the 1st of August, 1993?
23 On the 1st of August, four mosques in Stolac were destroyed and during the
24 following night, the night between the 1st and 2nd of August, 1993, HVO
25 trucks went around the town of Stolac, picked up all the Muslim women,
1 children and old people and took them away?
2 A. In what way, Mr. Prosecutor, do you think I can know those facts
3 from here? I would like to have a map to show you all the problems that
4 existed in commanding over such a large territory and specify dates,
5 because during those times, I was at many places, so I do not have the
6 facts at my disposal which you are referring to. The order of combat
7 readiness --
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the date, sir, are between
9 approximately the 1st -- well, the mobilisation was on the 28th of July,
10 and the action continued until approximately the 5th or so of August. And
11 sir, the reason I asked you about this and the reason I expect you to know
12 this, if you do, is because you were the commander of these forces. And
13 you've told this Chamber in great detail yesterday and in the direct
14 examination, could speak in great detail about events and actions. I'm
15 asking you to speak in such equal detail on cross-examination. So I put
16 it to you again, sir, that what I said to you is true, isn't it? On the
17 1st of August, 1993, four mosques were destroyed in Stolac and Muslim
18 women, children, and elderly were collected and put on trucks; correct?
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are not conducting
21 an investigation. This is a cross-examination. I don't recall the
22 Prosecution providing any witness to testify to the destruction of the
23 mosque or the expulsion from Stolac. That's the first point.
24 The second point is that we have here a witness, who as far as I
25 understand is at the disposal. And he said himself that he is ready to
1 testify as long as is necessary. I consider that it is necessary to
2 clarify matters. And if the Prosecutor is bringing up issues of this
3 kind, let him produce the orders, because he has not produced witnesses to
4 testify to that and I don't know where he gets his facts from.
5 May I -- I would like to see an order dated such and such where so
6 and so happened, so many women were taken off. And if that happened, then
7 I'm sure the Prosecutor has the document to show the witness and the
8 witness will then be able to comment on it. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that this question is very
10 simple. The Prosecution is just asking the knowledge of this witness,
11 whether he knows or not about this operation. And if he knows, what kind
12 of a role he played during that incident. That's a very simple question.
13 Let us hear this question. If the witness said -- if the witness --
14 sorry, if the witness said he does not know at all about this incident, so
15 it's over.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I agree, if we proceed in that way.
17 But that was not how I understood the Prosecutor to accept answers. I
18 agree precisely with what you just said, Mr. President. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, sometimes your question, I must say,
21 is up to the point, but it's very complicated. You know, because of the
22 translation and because of different cultural background, there will be
23 different interpretations of your question. So would you please split
24 your question into small pieces and ask one question after another so that
25 to come across a very clear message to the Chamber.
1 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Mr. President.
2 Q. Sir, it's true, is it not, is that on the 1st of August, 1993, the
3 HVO destroyed four mosques in Stolac?
4 A. I know nothing about that, Mr. Prosecutor.
5 Q. It's true, is it not, that on the 1st of August, 1993, the HVO
6 collected the Muslim women, children, and elderly in Stolac, put them on
7 trucks, and took them away?
8 A. I know nothing about that, Mr. Prosecutor.
9 Q. On the 4th of August, 1993, approximately 2.000 Muslim civilians
10 were taken -- collected in Stolac and taken to Blagaj through Buna, on
11 buses and trucks. That's true, isn't it?
12 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I know nothing about that.
13 MR. SCOTT: If I can ask the witness -- if the witness has the
14 binder -- can be given the binder of exhibits, please. And I will direct
15 everyone in the courtroom to Exhibit 559.2. And I will tell everyone
16 that -- I hope this may be a rare occasion. It is not the first. It is
17 the last exhibit in the binder because of some changes that were made this
19 But it is the last exhibit in the binder, Mr. President, 559.2.
20 And in particular, if the witness could be shown the B/C/S version
21 of that document.
22 Q. Sir, Mr. Miljenko Obradovic was one of your commanders, wasn't
24 A. Obradovic, yes. But I don't think his first name was Miljenko.
25 Q. Sir, a brigade -- a battalion commander -- if you were the chief
1 and the senior HVO officer for all of Herceg-Bosna, which you said you
2 were, then this battalion commander fell under your chain of command and
3 responsibility; correct?
4 A. The commander of the battalion is a subordinate to the brigade
5 commander, and the brigade commander is subordinate to the commander of
6 the operative zone, and the commander of the operative zone is subordinate
7 to myself.
8 Q. Sir, I put it to you that on the 4th of August, 1993, one of your
9 subordinate officers, as part of the campaign which you yourself mobilised
10 on the 28th of July, 1993 issued this order, in part:
11 Number one, round up the Muslim population in the wider territory
12 in the depth of the area of responsibility of the 3rd Battalion.
13 Two, when rounding them up, do not pay attention to age.
14 Three, gather detained persons in two collection centres.
15 Four, on completion of the task, report to superior command.
16 Five, in case of resistance by them, respond by opening fire from
17 personal weapons.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all three of us here are
20 controlling the indictment, looking at the indictment, and want to see
21 where this is stated, where the Prosecutor is making these charges. This
22 is not an investigation. He can't have a cross-examination on something
23 that he has not set out as being a charge in the indictment, although, of
24 course, the witness is ready to answer. But I am objecting because I
25 don't see this in the indictment. Nor did the Prosecution present
1 witnesses. And now he is asking the witness to state his views on
2 something he doesn't know about, so perhaps he's opening an
3 investigation. He could have done that seven years ago, and he's waiting
4 for the Defence to bring witnesses forward in order to do this.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Seric?
6 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I have a further objection,
7 Mr. President. And that is that the question asked by my learned
8 colleague, the Prosecutor, is such a long one, complicated and involved,
9 that it is debatable whether the witness is able to give a yes or no
10 answer to the question as it has been posed by the Prosecutor and as the
11 Prosecutor requires. Because a complex question requires a complex
12 answer. So my question -- my objection is this, and I should like to ask
13 the Prosecutor to ask simple questions and questions that are easy to
14 understand and that will put us back on track, thank you.
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President. I can't -- number 1, I'll save that
16 for another time. I can't think of anything, respectfully to the Chamber,
17 that could be more important than the credibility of this witness. And if
18 this witness -- and I represent to the Chamber I have very good
19 foundations for asking these questions and I will take this witness to
20 some additional documents momentarily.
21 But nothing could be possibly more relevant to this Chamber in
22 assessing the evidence of this witness than his credibility, and this goes
23 directly to the witness's credibility.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, we agree with the objections issued -- raised by
25 Mr. Seric. It is a complicated question. We do not agree with the
1 objections raised from Mr. Krsnik. In this aspect, I think the
2 Prosecution is entitled to test the credibility of this witness.
3 Mr. Scott, could you please put your question another way?
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Sir, you've asked to see an order, and I've shown you an order,
6 559.2, which I put to you is one of your subordinate officers', and simply
7 ask: That's the order; that's what it says; doesn't it? And that is, in
8 fact, what happened in the Stolac area in early August, 1993; correct?
9 A. Let me repeat: I was the commander of the army. Let me repeat:
10 That army had a defence line stretching 2.000 kilometres. Let me repeat:
11 It is possible that I issued an order to raise the combat readiness in a
12 certain locality because that is part of the daily orders issued by every
13 army commander. But I don't see the connection between my possible order
14 on raising combat readiness and the order -- an order signed by the
15 commander of a battalion, of one brigade, of the Croatian Defence Council.
16 Q. Are you telling this Chamber that the President of the Republic of
17 Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, knew more about what was going on on the
18 confrontation line in Bosnia, knew more about the details and what had
19 happened there during these days, than you did?
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric?
21 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. I object to
22 that question. It is more than obvious that this is purely speculation
23 which is contained in the question and in a possible answer to it.
24 MR. SCOTT: There is no speculation --
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, it's not a proper question.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, there is no speculation whatsoever. I
2 ask the witness to be shown Exhibit PT-10 and you'll see Mr. Tudjman's own
3 words. There is no speculation at all. Can the witness please be shown
4 Exhibit PT-10?
5 For the record, while that's happening, Mr. President, to try to
6 save sometime and to respond to counsel's earlier question, this exhibit,
7 admitted into evidence already, is the record of a meeting in the Office
8 of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, in Zagreb, on
9 the 21st of September, 1993, beginning at 1830 hours, chaired by, on the
10 first page, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, the President of the Republic of Croatia.
11 Q. Sir, I'm going to direct your attention, please, to what would be
12 in the B/C/S version, 2/1.
13 MR. SCOTT: And to the Chamber, please, what would be, again using
14 the same system as before, the last two digits of the number appearing in
15 the upper right corner. I would ask the -- ask that this also be put on
16 the ELMO. It's page 74.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] While the witness is reading, Your
19 Honours, we have studied the order signed by Miljenko Obradovic, and this
20 document has been tendered for the first time, and we are just checking
21 but we think that it is in the last two binders that the Trial Chamber
22 rejected. But we are checking to see whether it is incorporated into the
23 last two binders of exhibits that the Trial Chamber refused. We don't
24 know the origins and source of the document, whether it is an authentic
25 document, whether it is a falsified document or not, a forgery. I don't
1 see that it has a stamp or anything else. All that I see is that it says
2 the Zagreb Croatian State Archives. And we know all about those
3 archives. Now, I don't think, Your Honours, that we can allow every
4 document to be introduced which the Prosecutor might see the use of
5 without us knowing its origins and source.
6 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the Defence selects its witnesses.
7 They called this man here to testify, not the Prosecution. When they did
8 that, they made a bundle of much information, highly relevant to this
9 Chamber. Now, I don't know, I don't think this is included in the last
10 two binders of exhibits, but even if it were, we submit, it would make no
11 difference. It's valid to be used for cross-examination to this witness,
12 and it's directly responsive to the allegations that have been put before
13 him. He asked to see an order and we gave him an order.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. No matter whether it's admitted or not in
15 the Prosecution's case, we have to use these documents because it's a
16 request from the Defence counsel.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could we know the source of this
18 document, the origin? Can we know that this is not a forgery? How can
19 the Prosecutor claim that it was not planted on him by somebody? The
20 question of the origin of this document -- the Prosecutor can now put
21 thousands of such documents before the witness and then this will turn
22 into what, cross-examination or something else, Your Honours. As far as I
23 know, I was always asked about the origin of a document, whenever I
24 conducted cross-examination, and I always provided an answer to the
25 Court. If this is not a tactic -- if this is not tactical behaviour of
1 the Prosecutor, but the Prosecutor's Office needs to prove something.
2 They are not in the same position as the Defence. I claim that this
3 document is a forgery, that it's false.
4 JUDGE LIU: Maybe Mr. Scott could shed some light on this.
5 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I object to this. This is not a proper
6 way to proceed. In fact, counsel tendered many documents during
7 cross-examination, not with any prior witness, if -- having authenticated
8 any of them, providing no foundation. In cross-examination, documents are
9 tendered to a witness for purposes of cross-examination. Now, to
10 understand what Mr. Krsnik -- to take what Mr. Krsnik is saying to heart,
11 what we would have to do is before we could proceed with
12 cross-examination, I would then have to call a series of additional
13 witnesses to authenticate the documents that I would then put to this
14 witness. Now, that is not the procedure in any system I'm aware of.
15 Plus, number 2, this is as it plainly says, the document from the HVO
16 archive. It bears the stamp in the upper right corner. The Chamber has
17 heard witness testimony on a number of occasions, from Mr. Prelec and
18 others, about those identification marks and the documents collected and
19 the process of collecting the documents from the Zagreb archive. It is
20 blatantly clear on the face of the document and the testimony that the
21 Prosecution has already tendered in this case.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, well --
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I please?
24 JUDGE LIU: One minute.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I respected witnesses that the
1 Prosecutor authenticated and to have this document authenticated, we need
2 Mr. Miljenko Obradovic. He's the only one that can do it, and I'm afraid
3 this man does not exist. So the Defence needs to conduct additional
4 investigation and the defence needs to be allowed to do that, and I
5 believe the Prosecutor has closed his case and he may not seek for
6 additional witnesses, because if he does so, then the defence needs to be
7 allowed to conduct further investigation. We promise to bring in the
8 author of every single order. And the Prosecutor, I do not think, has
9 ever produced any single author of any single order. He uses his
10 investigators who are part of the Prosecutor's team and are sitting now in
11 the gallery and watching what is going on here because they obviously are
12 very interested in this. Through third persons, they are trying to prove
13 the authenticity of documents. And going further than that, they're
14 trying to use them in the cross-examination as authentic documents. But
15 the Defence puts it to the Court that this document is false and that it
16 may not be used in the cross-examination.
17 JUDGE LIU: Let's hear what the witness is going to tell us.
18 Mr. Witness.
19 MR. SCOTT: Sir, I've directed you to page 2/1 --
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, let's hear the witness first.
21 MR. SCOTT: In answer to what question?
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this witness asked for the floor to tell
23 us about this document.
24 MR. SCOTT: Okay. Thank you, Mr. President.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About the document.
1 Your Honours, I've read the document, and I can explain why I
2 think that this document is not authentic. To begin with, I have never
3 heard of Miljenko Obradovic. There was a brigade commander called
4 Nedeljko Obradovic.
5 And the second important point is the following: The name of the
6 place mentioned in two places Sevac Polje. That is what it says, Sevas
7 Polje, in the third and first part -- or rather, the first item of the
8 order. But the name of that place is Sevas, with an "S" in the end. So
9 that it is very difficult to imagine that somebody coming from the area
10 could twice misspell the name from which that person comes. There is no
11 Sevac Polje. That is Sevas Polje. These are the first and the third
12 items of the order.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. Mr. Praljak, perhaps the person didn't come from the area.
15 Perhaps this person came from some place in Croatia?
16 MR. SCOTT: I will proceed, Mr. President.
17 A. The Obradovics comes from the Stolac area.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, the Prosecution, you may proceed with Exhibit
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Sir, I'm going to bring you to 2/1; and again for those having the
22 English version, page 74.
23 Sir, I'm going to put this to you, and then I'll have some
24 follow-up questions. Didn't President Tudjman say at this time: "Stolac,
25 I know the importance of Stolac, both as the president of Croatia and, if
1 you will, as a soldier. I know that Stolac and the entire former
2 Jablanica, Kotar were included in the Croatian Banovina in 1989. These
3 are arguments I have upheld since the first day. However, they say that
4 Stolac was predominantly Muslim, and therefore ethnic cleansing has taken
5 place and the Muslims should have been -- what else did he say? Should
6 have" -- and then he changes to Posavina. "Clearly we again tried and did
7 everything in the attempt to preserve the solution from 1939, Derventa,
8 Gradacac, et cetera. You know that we used the Croatian army to the then
9 Bosanska Posavina for a long time."
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I will stop there to indicate that is a
11 separate area bordering on Croatia in the north-east part of Bosnia, the
12 Posavina, as opposed to the Banovina.
13 Q. Let me direct your attention next, sir, to page 3/1, or page 77 in
14 the English version.
15 MR. SCOTT: And that can be put again on the ELMO, the bottom half
16 of that page, 77.
17 Q. President Tudjman says: "We tried to sign, as you know -- I
18 signed an agreement with the Muslims in the summer of last year -- on 12
19 July last year in talks with Turkovic when we signed the agreement. We
20 posed a military agreement to Izetbegovic that would allow the legal
21 engagement of the army. He did not accept it. As far as engagement was
22 concerned, especially there, in the Posavina area, we were fettered from
23 that point of view. Since we did not have a military agreement, we are in
24 a delicate position with our Croatian soldiers. We were at war and we
25 must not say we are at war; however, we are sending them there. The
1 people would not have it, and they deserted, et cetera. We cannot take
2 them to court because that is the way it is politically."
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down when he's
4 reading. Thank you.
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes. My apology.
6 Q. And finally, I believe, sir, if I can direct your attention to --
7 JUDGE DIARRA: Mr. Scott, please ...
8 MR. SCOTT: Slow down.
9 Yes, Your Honour. My apology.
10 Q. If I can next ask you, Witness, to look at 5/2 and 5/3. I'm
11 sorry. Yes, pages 84 and 85, the bottom of page 84.
12 President Tudjman is still speaking. The bottom of page 84:
13 "Therefore, not to bring into question just the Croatian state, we had to
14 agree to it. But go now because I too have told our people please settle
15 these refugees in those areas, Tosavici, Stolac, et cetera, to be Croats."
16 On the top of the next page: "So that Croatian people are present
17 there. Then we will in practice the demarcation, and in the future, it
18 will then be important who is there," et cetera.
19 And finally to page 74 and 75 in B/C/S, and page 17 in the English
20 version. Pero Markovic then responds to President Tudjman:
21 "Mr. President, only two questions. When it comes to the territory south
22 of the Buna down to Stolac and back to Capljina, this is an area of
23 approximately 250 kilometres square. There is not a single Muslim there.
24 Croats live there. And we have brought 3.000 Croats from Kakanj, from
25 Travnik too, and Croats from Konjic. All the houses that are sound are
1 full. Their priests have followed in their steps too. President, wait.
2 I said that the containers too and that too -- Pero Markovic,
3 Mr. President, in Tosavici, we have about 100 cottages."
4 If you want to skip down to the next paragraph: "In the Stolac
5 area too my cousin, Dr. Azaco knows more about it, but we have already
6 filled the Stolac area to capacity. Our troops have been holding the
7 unchanged line" --
8 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, I'm slowing down.
9 Q. "Are holding the unchanged lines for 15 months already, where in
10 view of the security we did not settle them close to the line. And now,
11 20 kilometres from Stolac, maybe even more, from Blagaj, there is not a
12 single Muslim."
13 Now, sir, this was being discussed in the office of the president
14 of the Republic of the Croatia in September 1993, a few weeks after these
15 events happened on the ground. I come back to you, sir. Your subordinate
16 officers knew about it and your ultimate superior officer, Franjo Tudjman,
17 knew about it. And it's true, isn't it?
18 A. After your 15-minute speech, I do not know what is true and what
19 isn't, and I do not know what you are setting out to prove. If the
20 Honourable Court allows me, I will analyse this in a manner in which I
21 think it should be analysed.
22 MR. SCOTT: I'm in the Chamber's hands, Your Honour. If the
23 Chamber wants us to take the time.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may. You may explain to us, Witness.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the document is true - and I do
1 not know if it is - then we can interpret it.
2 President Tudjman is saying what he thinks was the Banovina. And
3 the Banovina existed in the former Yugoslavia. If Banovina was in Konjic
4 and Jablanica, then why didn't the HVO attack Konjic and Jablanica -- if
5 Mr. President Franjo Tudjman thinks so. The discussion about what was
6 Banovina and what was the strategic point, I really do not see wherein the
7 crime. It is a fact that in the place of Stolac itself, there were more
8 Muslims than Croats, but the vicinity of Stolac and villages around Stolac
9 are mostly populated by Croats.
10 In the next item -- under the next item, we go back to the thesis
11 that I mentioned earlier: The Croatian army could not be ordered to go to
12 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that includes Posavina, the Sava
13 valley. So what it refers to is that there were very many deserters, that
14 is, men who refused to cross into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 into the -- into Posavina, although they were fighting there against Serbs
16 and for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Thirdly, mention is made here that thousands of Muslims expelled
18 from that area have arrived there to that territory, and they needed
19 accommodation. Then reference is made to the fact that Alija Izetbegovic
20 refused to sign a military agreement which would allow for a high grade of
21 defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I think that this attacks again
22 corroborates all my earlier theses about the manner in which the war was
23 conducted in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the expulsion of the Croat population
24 from [Realtime transcript read in error "Bosnia-Herzegovina"] Central
25 Bosnia, and participation of the Croatian army which could never get such
1 an order and deserters were not punished.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Well, sir, the reason -- isn't it a fact that the reason deserters
4 couldn't be punished, the people who -- some of the people who had refused
5 to go to Bosnia, is because for those deserters to be prosecuted, Croatia
6 would have to admit in a public forum that it was indeed sending its
7 troops into Croatia?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] For the transcript, the witness did
10 not say that the Croats were expelled from Bosnia-Herzegovina but from
11 Central Bosnia. Only for the record.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. My question stands, sir: Isn't that true? One of the problems --
15 in fact it was the transcript we just read. And they talked about the
16 problem. And Tudjman says: "We can't prosecute the deserters because
17 then we would have to admit that we really are there." Isn't that true,
19 A. That we are at war, not that we are there. That is, Croatia was
20 fighting a defensive war against Serbia, mostly because the International
21 Community requested that, by setting up the UMPA zones in Croatia and
22 wishing to at the same time -- to guarantee the safety of the people who
23 remained in those zones. Several hundred people were killed in those
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... with the question that I put
1 to you, and I will move on to another topic. The Chamber has the
2 transcript and will be able to find the place where -- I'm looking for it
3 again now. The bottom of page 77 of the English version where President
4 Tudjman talks about "We can't take them to court."
5 A. Which page?
6 What is meant here is Croatia's war and not the war of Croatia
7 against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Croatia never declared war on Serbia, nor did
8 Serbia and Yugoslavia declare war on Croatia. It was a war without the
9 declaration of war.
10 Q. Well, sir, that's your interpretation of it and you asked for the
11 page number. It's --
12 A. These are facts.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... 3/1, the Chamber has that,
14 and we'll see the context in which that's mentioned. Now, sir, you are a
15 citizen -- are you a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but can
18 the witness read page 3/1? Could he be shown page 3/1 first and then
19 allow the witness to read through it because it is the witness that is
20 testifying and not the Prosecutor.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
22 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I join my colleague in that objection,
23 the objection made by Mr. Krsnik. And let me add one more reason why the
24 objection is in order. The Prosecutor has just said that the context
25 speaks for itself. It is telling the Trial Chamber something which means
1 he opposes the thesis contained in his question with the witness's
2 answer. I think that the witness should be allowed to see the context and
3 be allowed to comment on it. I think that this sounds complicated but it
4 is indeed, in fact, simple, and just and fair towards this witness. Thank
6 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President --
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, from the answer of this witness, I believe that
8 the witness has already read that paragraph. Is that true? If not, you
9 have an opportunity to read that paragraph.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 MR. SCOTT: It was read before, Mr. President.
12 Q. Sir, do you want to read it again?
13 A. Well, I've read the paragraph. I was in Posavina too. I know
14 which units did not want to cross over. I know that an order could not be
15 issued. I also know that we are talking here about a war which Croatia
16 never declared. It did not declare war on Yugoslavia, and that there is
17 no military agreement with Alija Izetbegovic, which the Croatian
18 president, from the start, as far as I know, wanted so as to be able to
19 defend themselves against a common foe.
20 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
22 Q. Sir, Croatia never declared war on the Bosnian Muslims either, did
24 A. Never.
25 Q. Sir, are you a citizen of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. I am today a citizen, both of the Republic of Croatia and of the
2 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And if you're asking about those times,
3 it was all Yugoslavia and we were all citizens of Yugoslavia. And we
4 remained as such for considerable time, until the basic papers were set in
5 order which would testify to one's citizenship.
6 Q. When did you become a citizen of the Republic of Croatia?
7 A. Sometime in 1992 or 1993, when I succeeded in collecting all my
8 papers together for the newly established state. Before that, I was a
9 citizen of the Socialist Federal Republic of Croatia within the frameworks
10 of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. And when did you join the HDZ political party?
12 A. I was not a member of the HDZ, Mr. Prosecutor.
13 Q. Well, can you tell the Chamber, please, did the HDZ leadership in
14 Croatia control the HDZ party also in Bosnia, if you know?
15 A. The political problem of the relationship between the two parties
16 was not something of interest to me, and I don't wish to discuss the
18 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what military training you had received
19 prior to going to Bosnia in approximately, as you told us yesterday or the
20 day before, in March, 1992?
21 A. I was not military-able for the military service in the Yugoslav
22 People's Army, and after three months of it, I was sent home. In the war
23 in Croatia, near Sisak, I went as a volunteer, as being a professional
24 theatre and film producer and director before that.
25 Q. Well, are you saying --
1 A. I did not have any military training, although I think that I was
2 a talented commander.
3 Q. Well, sir, and I mean -- I sincerely mean -- I don't question your
4 personal courage at all, for getting on that armoured personnel carrier,
5 for instance, but I do ask you this question. How did someone with no
6 prior military training or experience, who had never before been an
7 officer, become, first of all, the Assistant Minister of Defence of the
8 Republic of Croatia and the most senior military officer in the HVO?
9 A. If the Court doesn't mind, Their Honours don't mind, let me say
10 that I am sufficiently well-educated and sufficiently well-capacitated in
11 organisational terms. I was a sufficiently sure of the ethics and morals
12 of my actions, and I probably progressed and went up the ranks as
13 Napoleon's soldiers perhaps had done before me.
14 Q. Sir, as you told us now, your experience, your whole professional
15 life, was primarily in the theatre. That was your prior qualification,
17 A. Both as an electrical engineer, graduated from the university, and
18 as professor of philosophy, I generally dealt with the problems of
19 society, social problems, communist lack of freedom, closing up, arrests,
20 persecutions, and mutilation of every personal, civic and civilian rights
21 and others. But I have read enough --
22 Q. Sir -- go ahead, please continue.
23 A. If war is a phenomenon, and especially war in Croatia, because of
24 the difficult inheritance of the regime of 1941 to 1945, that burden, and
25 the difficult state of affairs in a country with a communist system, I, in
1 trying to answer one of the more difficult questions that humanity is
2 faced with, and that is the problem of war, in trying to answer that
3 question, I read enough books and literature on the subject from
4 Clausewitz to literature on World War II, to Zhukov, Kontev, Paton, and so
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yet a few minutes ago, you
7 couldn't tell us what "nationalistic" meant. You remember that?
8 A. I beg your pardon, Mr. Krsnik, allow me. Let me respond.
9 I have to say to you, Mr. Prosecutor, that I could hold a two-hour
10 lecture on the subject here and now. I know full well what nationalism
11 is, what it means. But there is the content of a word as a concept in
12 linguistics. So for us to use a word, we must know exactly what that word
13 means, what its contents are. Otherwise, you will be speaking about one
14 thing and I will be speaking about another. If you have enough time --
15 Q. I'm going to cut you off there. I put it to you, sir, that the
16 reason that you were put in these very senior military positions with a
17 total absence of prior training and qualification was because President
18 Tudjman viewed you as someone who would be loyal to him and would do his
19 bidding. Isn't that true?
20 A. No. I went to the battlefront voluntarily, and my capabilities
21 and knowledge and skill was checked out, and you can check it out, if you
22 bring qualified professionals to do that, which I think, Mr. Prosecutor,
23 you yourself are not.
24 Q. Sir, in -- on approximately the 14th of March, 1992, you were
25 appointed the Assistant Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia; is
1 that right?
2 A. May I have the date? I can look it up here, yes. Roughly
3 correct, yes, more or less correct.
4 Q. And who appointed you to that position?
5 A. The Defence Minister of the Republic of Croatia.
6 Q. Who was?
7 A. Mr. Gojko Susak.
8 Q. On the 25th of April, 1992, the Croatian Army General Bobetko
9 issued an order to you when you were serving in the position in Bosnia,
10 having command of the sector Siroki Brijeg, Citluk, Ljubuski and
11 Capljina. Do you recall that? Let me just put it this way: Do you
12 recall receiving orders from General Bobetko in approximately April,
14 A. On the 10th of April, 1992, I became commander of the operative
15 zone -- of the southeast operative zone, and I did not receive orders from
16 General Bobetko.
17 Q. All right. Well, sir --
18 A. Nor was I subordinate to him.
19 Q. All right. Well, let's look at a few documents, please. Can I
20 first ask you to look at the first document in the binder, if you have
21 that, is Exhibit 121.1, just to clarify for the record, because you said,
22 I think, a moment ago that Mr. Susak appointed you, and in fact you were
23 appointed Assistant Minister of Defence by Franjo Tudjman, weren't you?
24 A. I don't challenge that. Let's say it was Dr. Franjo Tudjman.
25 Q. And if I can ask you then to go to Exhibit 124.1, the next
1 document in the binder? Is that not an order from Janko Bobetko to Major
2 General Slobodan Praljak dated the 25th of April, 1992?
3 A. I don't know whether this is an order by General Bobetko, Janko
4 Bobetko, but I say, with a full responsibility of telling the truth, that
5 General Bobetko did not command me. I was not under his command. The
6 papers he sent, I did not read, and that in that respect, I have explained
7 the specific way in which General Bobetko considered that he was playing
8 the role of commander of the southern front in Croatia.
9 Q. Sir, this indicates that you were a major general. You were a
10 major general in what army at that time?
11 A. Major General in the Croatian Army.
12 Q. And yet you were serving as the command of the sector for Siroki
13 Brijeg, Citluk, Ljubuski and Capljina; correct?
14 A. You mean over there in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Yes, I was the
15 commander there. But that rank, if that's what you had in mind,
16 Mr. Prosecutor, was worthless except that my -- the people called me
17 General and addressed me as General.
18 Q. Did you --
19 A. I had the insignia of commander there.
20 Q. Sir, did you tell, at some point, when you got a number of orders
21 from Janko Bobetko -- and again, sir, we simply don't have the time,
22 unless the Chamber wishes otherwise, to go through every single piece of
23 paper I could possibly put in front of you. Did you ever contact Janko
24 Bobetko and say, "General, I keep receiving orders from you, but by the
25 way, in so many words, take a hike, because you're not my superior
1 officer"? Did you tell General Bobetko that?
2 A. Yes. On several occasions, I did have verbal, if I can put it
3 that way, verbal conflicts with General Bobetko. But you see, I liberated
4 the Capljina barracks, and there is certainly no order from General
5 Bobetko ordering me to do so. I led the liberation of Mostar, and once
6 again there is no order to herald -- to unleash an operation of that kind
8 Q. We'll come to that in a moment, sir. Now, on approximately the
9 10th of September, 1992, as reflected by Exhibit P172.1, the next document
10 in the binder - there is a B/C/S version which follows - on the 10th of
11 September, 1992, you were appointed once again by Dr. Franjo Tudjman as
12 members of a Council of People's Defence of the Republic of Croatia. You
13 can see a substantial list - well, I say a substantial list, but a list of
14 14 people - including Gojko Susak, including Janko Bobetko, including Ivan
15 Cermak, a man you identified earlier today, including yourself, and can
16 you tell us in what capacity you served as a member of the Council of the
17 People's Defence of the Republic of Croatia when you were the commanding
18 officer, as you just told us, in Siroki Brijeg, Capljina, et cetera?
19 A. I said that I was the commander of the operative zone - that is
20 exactly what I said - the southeast, until the 10th of April, 1992.
21 Q. And you continued being in Bosnia after that, didn't you?
22 THE INTERPRETER: From the 10th of April; interpreter's mistake.
23 A. No. I would go to Bosnia occasionally. I was the commander for a
24 month or a month and a half, although each time when I went down there -
25 and I went down there whenever I could - without any official, formal
1 signatures, through the force of my own authority, quite certain in the
2 morality of my actions, and I would take over a certain measure of
3 command, and the operation to liberate the right bank of the River
4 Neretva, and later on Mostar, too, and this started --
5 Q. Sir, you're telling us, you just said it, that you went down to
6 Bosnia, and you're saying with no rank or position, you simply went there
7 and were accepted as the commander in such a way that you then, in your
8 own words, led the liberation of Mostar, led the liberation of Capljina.
9 Is that what you're telling this Chamber?
10 A. However much you try to change the meaning of my words, I think
11 that my concentration, which emanates from the facts which are in my head,
12 is so great that you will just be losing your time -- wasting time.
13 Q. Sir --
14 A. I am ready, precisely, specifically and exactly --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if the Chamber wants to cut
16 me off or correct me, I'm sure they will do so. Can you please answer my
17 question? On what authority did you lead the liberation of Mostar and the
18 liberation of Capljina?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm afraid that the
21 Prosecutor -- that is to say, had I behaved the way the Prosecutor is
22 behaving now during my cross-examination, and had I addressed witnesses in
23 this manner, I don't think that -- I think that the Prosecutor would be on
24 his feet all the time. I don't think that this can be done, interrupting,
25 not interrupting. The only people that can interrupt here are Your
1 Honours, and I think that once the witness starts giving an answer, I
2 think that he should be allowed to finish. And that is something that
3 Your Honours always insisted upon. You would always allow the witness to
4 finish his answer or finish explaining the thought he was putting
5 forward. And I think that this principle should be respected now as
6 well. So I should like to ask the Prosecutor from refraining -- behaving
7 that way towards the witness.
8 And another question here, we are dealing -- bringing up the
9 Narodne Novine or People's Gazette, I don't know whether they are in fact
10 the Narodne Novine of the Republic of Croatia, that publication. We see
11 just one page and this is the decision on the nominations for the
12 appointments of members of the Council of People's Defence of the Republic
13 of Croatia. I have no confirmation that this is originally taken from the
14 Official Gazette. The Official Gazette is a publication which publishes
15 laws, enacted by the Sabo or assembly in the Republic of Croatia. Thank
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, as to the last issue you mentioned,
18 we believe that all we need is judicial notice of the existence of this
19 official document. There is no need to testify on the authenticity of
20 this document. That's the first issue.
21 Mr. Scott, my advice is that you have to be a little more
22 patient. Maybe the answer of this witness will answer your next
24 MR. SCOTT: Maybe, Your Honour. Mr. President, I'm being, I
25 assure the Chamber, 100 per cent sincere in what I'm about to say. The
1 witness can give as long answers as he wants. We can spend the next
2 several weeks taking testimony from this witness. And I'll be happy to do
3 so. I'll stand here every day and go through the documents, and I'll put
4 witnesses -- I'll let him talk as long as he wants, but I'm in the
5 Chamber's hands. So if the witness -- if the witness is not going to give
6 responsive answers, with all respect, then either I have to cut him off,
7 which has been the practice in other cases and the practice before Judge
8 May in the Kordic case and other cases, or, Mr. President, you can cut him
9 off. But I'm in the Chamber's -- completely in the Chamber's hands. And
10 as I say, we can take as long as we need be to do it.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I just want to remind you to show some courtesy
12 to this witness.
13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: And you may proceed with your question. I don't think
15 the last question is answered.
16 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. The last question was, I believe .
17 Q. Sir, you've said several times that you went down to
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and you led several very substantial military actions.
19 And yet you've told us, I believe, in the last few minutes you had no
20 rank, position, or formal mandate if you will from anyone. You had no
21 assignment or task either from the government of Croatia or from, what
22 you've told us so far, anybody. So on what authority did you go to
23 Croatia -- excuse me, go to Bosnia and lead these actions?
24 A. I said at the beginning, Mr. Prosecutor, that my going to Bosnia
25 was something I did voluntarily. I sought no authorisation to do so, and
1 there was no authorisation. I didn't ask for authorisation from anybody,
2 nor was I able to get it -- nor could I have got it from anybody.
3 Q. When you got down there, there were all these soldiers gathered
4 around you, submitting themselves to your command and took part in these
5 very significant military actions. Is that what you're telling us?
6 A. What I wish to tell you is that when I arrived in a territory at a
7 given time - and I can tell you during that time, from month to month - I
8 did have the authority of a commander, and I did --
9 Q. From who? Who gave you the authority as a commander?
10 A. Authority is not something that is given, sir. Somebody either
11 has authority or does not, authority within himself. Whereas, I received
12 authorisation from nobody. And I am repeating that for the third time
14 Q. Well, I'm sorry. Just explain that. To help the Chamber with
15 this, how can you just assume authority without any basis for doing so --
16 having it?
17 A. Which authorisation, Mr. Prosecutor? I take over responsibility,
18 not authorisation.
19 JUDGE CLARK: Can I interrupt. We're going round and round in
20 circles. Could you ask this witness when he went to Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina and took over command of the liberation of Mostar, what was
22 his position in Croatia as assistant minister, what was his position in
23 the Croatian army, had he resigned from those positions, how was he paid,
24 and follow that line of inquiry in short directive questions.
25 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Judge Clark. Thank you.
1 JUDGE CLARK: I don't mean that to be critical, but we can go
2 round and round in circles. Because General Praljak, or the former
3 General Praljak, is obviously very emotionally involved and intellectually
4 bound with the position that he's in. And obviously we have to treat him
5 as a person who is a partisan in the conflict.
6 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Judge Clark, absolutely.
7 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] And I should like to add that
8 authority is a situation of fact which evolves juridically, a circular
9 decree, an order. Otherwise you can't just appear on the scene and be
10 imbued with authority, empowered with authority, unless there is a legal
11 basis for that. So could you concentrate your questions on the legal
12 basis, the legal foundations for that authority. Thank you.
13 MR. SCOTT: Judge Diarra, thank you. That's exactly what I have
14 been trying to do in response to your question, comment.
15 And in response to Judge Clark, I couldn't -- I fully agree. And
16 in fact those questions -- those very questions are in my outline.
17 Q. So sir, we will just proceed that way. So when you went to
18 Herceg-Bosna to do these -- carry out these actions, were you still a
19 member of the army of the Republic of Croatia at that time?
20 A. A member of the Ministry of the Republic of Croatia who
21 voluntarily was leaving that post and going to another state.
22 Q. Well, that's part of the question. That's a different answer to a
23 different question. But were you still an officer in the Republic of
24 Croatia army, the HV?
25 A. I had the rank of an HV and was an officer of the HV.
1 Q. Your rank at that time, was it correct, as we saw earlier, major
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And when you were operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you carry
5 any other rank or title or position other than Major General in the
6 Croatian army?
7 A. No. Down there I did not have a rank. Down there I had just the
8 command -- just command responsibility.
9 Q. And how were you paid during this time?
10 A. In different ways. Sometimes through the HVO and sometimes, if I
11 was in Zagreb, through the Ministry of Defence.
12 Q. Well, when you were served -- when you liberated Mostar, who were
13 you being paid by?
14 A. I couldn't give you an exact answer to that question for that
15 particular period of time.
16 Q. When you liberated Capljina, who were you being paid by?
17 A. For about two months, I received my salary down there in the
18 south. And as to the rest, I couldn't give you an exact answer.
19 Q. You received a salary from whom or what?
20 A. From the institution representing the Department of Finance of the
22 Q. And do you know where the HVO was getting its money at that time?
23 A. From many sources. In view of the fact that it wasn't a state, in
24 view of the fact that it was an -- the organised people. In view of the
25 fact that that was the beginning of the -- a minimum degree of
1 organisation, the money arrived from hundreds of thousands of people
2 living abroad as aid and assistance. It was coming in from the taxes that
3 the HVO had probably succeeded in raising on oil, petroleum, and other
4 high tariff goods.
5 Q. Are you indicating -- excuse me, sir, but are you indicating that
6 you -- what you just said a moment ago, that a non-state -- a non-state
7 was collecting taxes to finance the war effort?
8 A. When I say "from states," then it's just like me saying -- when we
9 say the difference between a child -- a still unborn child and an adult, a
10 fully grown man. And the road travelled -- that is to say, the beginning
11 of something which over the next 20 years will become a state in the
12 organisational sense of the word. That is the path traversed. So
13 unfortunately, the answer to that question of yours, the question of when
14 inception took place, when a man was conceived -- is a child an adult
15 because it has all the adult's -- all the attributes of a future man, of a
16 future adult? I don't want to complicate the issue, but --
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, as evidence of -- I'll let the Chamber
18 decide whether that -- judge for itself whether that is a responsive
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott --
21 MR. SCOTT: We are at the break I understand too. Maybe we should
22 take a break now.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll resume at 12.30.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Bring the witness, please.
2 Yes, Mr. Scott. You may continue.
3 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, throughout 1992, whenever you were in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you
5 continued to be a senior officer in the army of the Republic of Croatia;
7 A. Yes, when I was in Croatia, and then I was a high-ranking officer
8 in the army of the -- of Croatia.
9 Q. My question to you is whenever you were in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 throughout that time period, you continued as an HV officer, didn't you?
11 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Prosecutor, I wasn't an HV officer but
12 a volunteer who went there of his own volition because my mother -- my mom
13 and dad were in Mostar, because my uncle was in Mostar, because my sister
14 and her husband were in Sarajevo, because in Capljina, next to the
15 barracks, my second uncle lived.
16 Q. Did you resign, then -- are you telling this Chamber that whenever
17 you went to Bosnia-Herzegovina during 1992, you resigned from the Croatian
19 A. No. I did not resign, because the Croatian army tolerated
20 departures and the struggle against evil in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. Now, sir, you told us in your direct examination that there were a
22 couple of times when you happened to say the United States found out about
23 the presence of Croatian units or at least the alleged presence of
24 Croatian units in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and on both occasions objected;
1 A. I never went to the United States of America. I have never been
2 to the United States of America, nor could I -- nor did I ever make such a
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this witness never said
6 before this Court that he had been to the United States.
7 MR. SCOTT: That wasn't the question. It's not on the question.
8 It was never -- it's not in the question and it wasn't the question,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe there is some misunderstandings.
11 MR. SCOTT: I'll say it again.
12 Q. Sir, you testified during your direct examination that there were
13 at least two separate occasions when some representative of the United
14 States government objected to the presence or alleged presence of HV
15 forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] In the direct examination, the
18 witness testified only about two cases, not at least two cases, to avoid
19 any misunderstandings in the interpretation, repeatedly the witness said,
20 when I asked him, on only two occasions when the HV presence was referred
22 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... referred to two
23 cases, two occasions.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. On two occasions, sir, the American government objected; correct?
1 A. I do not know. What do you mean by "the American government"?
2 But I quoted the exact name of the man who came from the Embassy of the
3 United States of America in Zagreb, and it was a Mr. Zorelis, who objected
4 to the presence of the Croatian army in April 1992, on the 12th of April.
5 And I will repeat, it was 164 men who had come to a specific area. And I
6 described it next to Medjugorje in Herzegovina, Tepcici and Slipcici.
7 Q. I didn't ask you any of that information. You've already
8 testified in direct examination. My question was quite simple, I think .
9 And the Chamber has counselled me about asking simpler questions, which I
10 understand. And my question was very simple. On two occasions, a
11 representative of the United States government objected to the presence of
12 Croatian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina; yes or no?
13 A. A representative of the Embassy of the United States of America in
14 Zagreb. I do not know who is the --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... a responsive answer.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Why, Your Honours, I believe it is
17 all very simple. The witness is testifying about a man that he talked
18 with, and he's trying to say that he has no idea what is the American
19 government or whose representative. He's talking about the man whom he
20 saw. And he repeated where that man came from and what his name was. I
21 think this is very simple. He cannot answer any hypothetical questions of
22 the Prosecutor. He says I received the objection of Mr. Zorelis and he
23 came on behalf of the embassy, and he testified twice about that.
24 Oh, excuse me. I'm very sorry. I was too fast. My apologies.
25 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, you really shouldn't answer for your
1 witness. Mr. Praljak, as he keeps telling us, is a very well-educated man
2 and he's well able to answer questions. If he's avoiding the question,
3 then we'll step in. He appears to be deliberately avoiding answering the
5 Mr. Praljak, were you aware that a representative of the United
6 States government complained on two occasions about the presence of
7 Croatian troops in Herzegovina? That's a simple question. Were you aware
8 that the government of the United States by whatever way complained to the
9 government in Zagreb about the presence of Croatian troops in
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really want to
12 answer that question, but all I can say is that those were people from the
13 American Embassy. And I really cannot say American government. I do not
14 know any further links between the American Embassy and the state
15 department. I do not know that.
16 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] I think that the Judges of this
17 Court are sufficiently aware about the kind of relation that exists
18 between embassies and governments; and therefore, I think we can move on
19 with regard to this answer.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Diarra.
21 Q. [Microphone not activated] Sir, in 1993, I put it to you that by
22 that time, your status in the Croatian army had become - and others - had
23 become more of an issue. And is it correct, sir, that on about the --
24 give me one moment. I'm sorry - in June 1993, you were granted official
25 leave from the army of the Republic of Croatia? And I would direct your
1 attention to Exhibit 458.2. It should be the next -- I may in the
2 interest of time have to skip a few exhibits. But if you go down one
3 exhibit or two, I believe you'll come to Exhibit 458.2.
4 If you see that document, sir -- again, in the interests of time,
5 do you agree with that document? Do you agree that that in fact states
6 what happened in connection with your request for departure?
7 A. Yes. Yes. What this document says is correct, and I agree with
8 the document. It is truthful.
9 Q. But sir, at no time prior to the 15th of June, 1993 had you ever
10 previously departed from the HV or your HV rank, had you?
11 A. As officially as this? No.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to skip Exhibit 534.1, except
13 simply to point it out to the Chamber that it is the -- recognises -- it's
14 communication about the appointment of this man to command of the HVO main
16 It's true, isn't it, sir, that around the 15th of July, 1993, you,
17 at least formally, became again, as we have discussed earlier today, the
18 senior or chief military officer of the HVO; correct? As reflected in
19 part by the communication by General Petkovic? I guess we didn't skip
20 it. Sorry, Mr. President, maybe we should just confirm that. Is that
21 correct, sir? 534.1.
22 A. Yes. This document is correct.
23 Q. And if I ask you to go, then, to 578.1, I simply ask you, can you
24 inform the Chamber as to why, on about the 1st of September, 1993, you
25 were removed from a committee, the State Commission for UNPROFOR and the
1 PMEZ? Why were you removed from that committee or commission?
2 A. I really cannot answer that. I do not know.
3 Q. Very well. And would you then go, please, to Exhibit 654.2? Is
4 that a document, sir, by which you, on the 20th of October, 1993,
5 requested reinstatement to the Croatian Army?
6 A. Yes. This is correct, and there is my full signature.
7 Q. All right. Well, with that in mind, let me go back then to the
8 questions we talked about earlier today. Can you just please try one more
9 time to tell what was your status on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 between January of 1993 and your appointment to chief of the HVO in
11 approximately mid-July, 1993? What position or authority did you have in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina during that period?
13 A. For reasons that I already stated, my departures were voluntary.
14 I had no official appointment at -- in that regard, I had no official
15 responsibility and duty. I went there whenever I could to help in the
16 defence of the integrity and the rescue of lives.
17 Q. So you can't help the Chamber with any more understanding as when
18 you were in Bosnia-Herzegovina in January, 1993, and led the attack on
19 Gornji Vakuf, on what position you held at that time?
20 A. It was not an attack on Gornji Vakuf.
21 Q. Sir, I don't want to mince words with you on that at this
22 particular moment. During the action, during the armed conflict that took
23 place around Gornji Vakuf in January, 1993, what was your position?
24 A. I enjoyed no official position.
25 Q. What was your de facto position, sir? You commanded the HVO
1 troops in that action, didn't you?
2 A. I was helping the commander of that action in everything, both by
3 virtue of the respect that I commanded, I therefore also enjoyed the
4 commanding powers.
5 Q. Well, sir, you don't remember being interviewed by the BBC and
6 saying in that interview that you, Slobodan Praljak, commanded the HVO
7 action at Gornji Vakuf in January, 1993?
8 A. I remember well that BBC's programme.
9 Q. And you admitted or you stated in that interview --
10 A. And I still say that officially that was not the case, but that
11 simply because of the respect that I commanded, I had the commanding
12 power. Not denying it, Mr. Prosecutor.
13 Q. So what you're telling this Chamber, then, sir, is that one can
14 have very substantial de facto power and authority whether one has a
15 formal rank or not? Is that right?
16 A. Yes, sir, that is so.
17 Q. You yourself are telling this Chamber that you led men in battle,
18 commanded armed engagements, without any formal title, rank or position;
19 is that correct, sir?
20 A. In certain, yes, strictly specified actions, yes. For the simple
21 reason that it was an armed people there, with very little of what a
22 normal army would consider an organisation, a system.
23 Q. Sorry, excuse me, sir. We have to move forward. In Mostar, in
24 May, 1993, when you were there, did you have a formal position?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness be
2 allowed to finish his answer?
3 JUDGE LIU: No. I think that the witness has already finished his
4 answer. Did you?
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No. He was about to go on and the
6 Prosecutor interrupted him.
7 JUDGE LIU: Witness, did you finish your answer to the question
8 put forward by the Prosecution? If not, you may continue.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One needs to understand what it
10 means, an armed people, and absence of the organisational forms of a
11 state, if one is to understand what it means to assume personally the
12 responsibility and what authority or rather the respect one can command
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Sir, when you were in Bosnia-Herzegovina between January and the
16 middle of July, 1993, who was your superior?
17 A. I always placed myself under the command of the Chief of the Main
18 Staff, General Milivoj Petkovic.
19 Q. So during that time, you're telling the Chamber that Milivoj
20 Petkovic was your superior commanding officer?
21 A. Yes. I endeavoured to act always in line with, and I listened to,
22 and we consulted with General Milivoj Petkovic.
23 Q. And who were your subordinates? I asked you about your superior.
24 My question now is who were your subordinates during that first six and a
25 half month period in 1993?
1 A. Are you suggesting that for the first six months of 1993, I spent
2 that whole time in Bosnia-Herzegovina? But I was not there all the time
3 during the first half of 1993.
4 Q. Sir, I don't want to argue with you about that right now. When
5 you were there -- listen to my question, please. When you were there in
6 the first six and a half months of 1993, who were your subordinates?
7 A. Oh, when I was there, then my subordinates were only those who
8 would at that particular point in time come to that front line, ready to
9 fight, just as I was ready to do it.
10 Q. Sir, you were a very senior commander. You seem willing to use
11 the term "commander." You were a very senior commander. Now in most
12 military organisations, even those that are relatively ill organised,
13 senior commanders have deputy commanders and people that they act through
14 and with. Who did you -- who were your immediate subordinates that you
15 acted through and with?
16 A. Former commanders in well-regulated armies have precisely
17 specified forms of responsibility and command. In my case,
18 Mr. Prosecutor - I will repeat - I was the commander of only those men who
19 at that moment, together with me, in a certain area defending their part
20 of the turf against the aggressor, as a combatant and as a commander and
21 in a manner in which, as you could see, I had to take a stance. Even
22 though I was a commander of the HVO, I nevertheless had to climb APCs.
23 And that, I think, is unimaginable in the case of some American general or
24 the commander of the 101 Marine Division.
25 Q. Sir, I'll disagree with you about that. But name one person. You
1 said on the times -- all the things you've just said. When you were in
2 the field on some particular --
3 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't
4 really understand the answer. I do not know whether it was an
5 interpretation problem or what. About climbing what? I didn't really get
6 that part of the answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I climbed the APC to let the
8 convoy through. I was the commander of the entire HVO. And it is
9 unimaginable in a well-organised army such as the Prosecutor is referring
10 to -- it is unimaginable that such a role could be played by a commander
11 of a brigade, let alone a commander of an army.
12 MR. SCOTT: Judge Diarra, does that assist you?
13 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Well, sir, again, I don't want to argue about that. I think any
16 number of armies could tell stories about senior officers doing very brave
17 things in combat. But the point of it is this: Name one of these
18 subordinates. Just name one.
19 A. Where?
20 Q. Wherever you were, sir. You said that you in the first six and a
21 half months --
22 A. In Vakuf.
23 Q. All right. We'll use that one.
24 A. [Realtime transcript read in error "Ian Smith"] Jurgen Schmidt, a
25 Croat with a German surname.
1 Q. That came across in the transcript as "Ian Smith," sir. So
2 perhaps you could spell that, if you will.
3 A. Not Ian. "J" -- Jurgen, Jurgen -- Deutsch, German. J-U -- with
4 an umlaut -R -- and Schmidt, Jurgen Schmidt.
5 Q. And can you name another one? How about in Mostar in 1993?
6 A. In Mostar, in May -- 1992 you mean. Do you mean 1992?
7 Q. No. I mean May 1993.
8 A. But I don't remember being in Mostar in May 1993.
9 Q. Well, sir, maybe we'll get to Mostar in May 1993 eventually.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Just to go to basics. In 1992 when General Praljak
13 was a general in the Croatian army, and he said that he went to Croatia as
14 a volunteer --
15 MR. SCOTT: To Bosnia.
16 JUDGE CLARK: To Bosnia, sorry, as a volunteer. Who did he report
17 to? Who did he volunteer? How did he know where to go? Let's go back to
18 very basic questions.
19 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour, my apology. I asked -- I think
20 the record will show that I asked exactly that question and never did get
21 an answer. But perhaps he'll be more responsive to your question,
22 Judge Clark.
23 JUDGE CLARK: Well, do you mind if I pose the question, because
24 normally we wait till the very end of cross-examination and
25 re-examination. But sometimes the questions are so out of context, it
1 just opens a whole new arena. So forgive me if I ask this question now.
2 When you left Croatia and you went to Bosnia-Herzegovina -- I
3 think we understand fully that the problem at the time was the Serb and
4 Montenegrin aggression and that you, as you told us, as a person with very
5 strong family contacts in Bosnia-Herzegovina felt a loyalty, a duty, and
6 an ethical duty to go and do something. You said that you went as a
7 volunteer. Who did you report to when you volunteered? I mean, when one
8 goes as a volunteer, you just don't turn up in a town and take over a
9 command. There might be somebody there already in command. So obviously
10 there were a few steps that you had to go through before you arrived at
11 somebody who was respected as a de facto commander. And we're curious
12 about that. Who did you actually go to and report your presence to when
13 you first volunteered in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would
15 take my car in Zagreb or somewhere else. At times, I'd take my weapon
16 with me in the boot of the car; at times I would go without it. And then
17 upon arriving down there, I'd report to the command, to General Petkovic,
18 and ask him, "Well, where are the problems? Where is it difficult? Where
19 is the trouble? Where's the fire?" And if I went without a rifle, then
20 in Gruda, I would be issued with a rifle, change the uniform if -- that
21 is, if there were any uniforms, go to a particular area, and there with
22 groups of men from different units try to see what could be done at that
23 particular moment. That is how it was literally.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. Sticking for a moment longer on the first six and a half months of
2 1993, following up on Judge Clark's question, and again, as asked you
3 earlier, who paid you during the time you were in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. I think, Mr. Prosecutor, that I have already answered that
5 question. The exact answer is as follows: My wife received the money
6 that throughout the war I didn't have any need of nor did I see it at all,
7 see any of it.
8 Q. Well, that wasn't my question, again, sir. I didn't say anything
9 about your wife receiving the money. Where did that money come from?
10 A. I have already answered that question. But let me repeat. Part
11 of the money came from Croatia. As the HVO began to be better organised,
12 so it was able to take on all the forms of financing. It was a poor form
13 of financing, but that was what the times were like and hundreds of
14 other -- from hundreds of other sources as well in something that is
15 called a general national uprising against aggression. It is difficult --
16 Q. I thank you. You've answered my question, and I do have to go
18 Was there a time during any of your time -- let me strike that.
19 During any of the time that you spent in Bosnia-Herzegovina, whether in
20 1992 or 1993, was Zelkjo Siljeg ever one of your subordinates?
21 A. Yes, he was.
22 Q. In what circumstances? Was he a deputy? Was he an immediate kind
23 of aide de camp? A deputy to you? Was he a brigade commander? How was
24 he subordinate to you?
25 A. Mr. Zelkjo Siljeg was commander of the operative zone from
1 Tomislavgrad to Bugojno and Konjic, and later left that operative zone in
2 1992. At that time, in that territory, I spent quite some time, from the
3 fall of Jajce in April, right up until the end of 1992, reinforcing and
4 strengthening the front line towards the Serbs and developing cooperation
5 with the Muslim units.
6 Q. Was he a direct subordinate to you? By that I mean without any
7 intermediate officers or commanders, did he report -- when you became the
8 chief officer of the HVO, did he take orders from you and report to you?
9 A. My direct subordinate was the head of the Main Staff of the HVO.
10 Brigadier Tole was his name. And it was through him, when I was commander
11 of the HVO, that correspondence took place with the zone commanders, that
12 we corresponded with the zone commanders. At that time, 1993, from June
13 until October, he was not my direct subordinate, my immediate
14 subordinate. There was a level in between us.
15 Q. And that was Mr. Tole, is that what you're saying?
16 A. Zarko Tole, yes.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'd like to go back for a moment. My
18 colleague has indicated in the transcript, I think this name should be
19 correct, Zeljko Siljeg. The spelling is - and I'll ask the witness to
20 confirm if this is true. I believe the spelling is Z-e-l-j-k-o, S with a
21 diacritic, i-l-j-e-g.
22 Q. Is that correct, sir?
23 A. That's correct, Zeljko Siljeg.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Siljeg was another one of these men who had
25 come from the HV to take on a senior role in the HVO; correct?
1 A. Mr. Siljeg came from the Yugoslav People's Army. He had come from
3 Q. You don't recall him being in the 115th HV Brigade prior to coming
4 to Bosnia?
5 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I don't know that. But I do know that
6 he was born in Ljubusko and that is where his family lives. It's in
8 Q. And do you remember General Bobetko appointing Zeljko Siljeg on
9 the 14th of July, 1992, to commander of the Tomislav Brigade?
10 A. In 1992, the commander, the Chief of Staff of the HVO, was Milivoj
11 Petkovic. General Bobetko wrote out his orders and distributed them
12 without any real links with reality, although as a co-fighter in the
13 antifascist struggle during World War II and a general of the Yugoslav
14 People's Army and an elderly man, he was listened to, people listened to
16 Q. Apparently except you. Is that right?
17 A. I was a little tougher, harder, precisely because I considered
18 that there ought to be more law and order and less personal, putting
19 oneself forward personally on paper.
20 Q. Sir, do you recall -- do you recall yourself, on the 12th of
21 November, 1992, addressing a letter to Ivan Cermak, who you identified
22 earlier as a senior HV officer, requesting for Siljeg to coordinate salary
23 for the regulations of the ministry of the Republic of Croatia and to pay
24 the remaining amount? Do you remember sending that letter to General
1 A. No, I don't remember that, but if you show it to me, I will
2 certainly testify to its authenticity, if it is indeed authentic.
3 Q. And you also then don't recall saying in that same letter that
4 Siljeg was registered in the 115th HV Brigade at that time? Is that
6 A. No, I don't remember that, Mr. Prosecutor.
7 Q. All right. Now, how many other senior HV officers were there
8 similar to you and Mr. Siljeg --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just like I myself in
11 the cross-examination, when I claimed something, you would draw my
12 attention to the fact that I should show the documents. So I now ask the
13 Prosecutor to show us that letter.
14 JUDGE LIU: Do you have that letter available at your hands,
15 Mr. Prosecutor?
16 MR. SCOTT: Not in my hand, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Why?
18 MR. SCOTT: Because I didn't make every single piece of paper an
19 exhibit, Your Honour, or this binder would be much bigger.
20 JUDGE LIU: I believe it's an important letter, since you come
21 across this issue during your cross-examination.
22 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour, I'll seek to make it available
23 to the Chamber.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this answer allows me to
1 say that then this is trying to trip the witness up, an attempt to trip up
2 the witness, and I was cautioned, when I conducted my cross-examination,
3 but if proceedings evolve in this way, then I can safely say that they are
4 trying to trip the witness up.
5 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, let me respond, please, to that
6 briefly. That is not correct. The Chamber will know - particularly Judge
7 Clark, I think, will know - that response -- the responsibility of counsel
8 is to put questions for which there is a good-faith basis to do so. I
9 have done that. And I can and I will seek to provide that document to the
10 Chamber. But I can put facts -- I submit respectfully I can put facts to
11 this witness and see if he agrees or not. He either remembers -- if he
12 doesn't know and he doesn't remember, he can say so. There is no
13 requirement that I put every piece of paper in front of the witness.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, but Mr. Scott, as you know, you've now been
15 challenged by the Defence to say, "Produce this document." And in normal
16 circumstances, you ought to be in a position to produce it. And also the
17 witness has said to you, "If you show me the document, I might be able to
18 see if I recall the contents." So I think in fairness -- obviously,
19 you're going to be in trouble with us if, as Mr. Krsnik alleges, that you
20 were setting a trap. That's not allowed. If the document exists and it
21 says what you say, and I trust you that it does, then, yes, what you're
22 doing is correct. But once the witness has asked for an opportunity to
23 see the document, and Mr. Krsnik is suspicious about the bone fides of the
24 document, in fairness, you should produce it. But I appreciate that, you
25 know, you have a lot of documents, but the President did say to you if you
1 thought it was important enough to cross-examine the witness on it, you
2 should have had the document in court.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President -- Mr. President and Judge Clark, I
4 appreciate that. I'll seek to make that document available before the --
5 this witness is concluded.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one second more.
7 I should like to see the order, the alleged order, of the 28th of July,
8 for full combat readiness for Stolac. The situation is the same, is
9 identical, from the beginning of the cross-examination. When we asked
10 where the order was, could we see it, we didn't get it. We weren't shown
11 it. Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
13 MR. SCOTT: I will seek to do that, Your Honour. I guess I must
14 say that, perhaps if the Court will allow me to defend myself for one
15 moment, there does seem to be a difference in practice. I'll certainly
16 abide by the practice here, but not consistent with the practice where I
17 come from. But I will seek to make both those documents available.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, the Prosecution has promised to bring those
19 documents so I think this matter is over.
20 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge.
22 Q. Sir, my last question to you before the objection was, how -- is
23 it correct, then, that there were a number of senior HV officers who went
24 back and forth to Herceg-Bosna, the same as you and Mr. Siljeg? For
25 instance, was the same true for Milivoj Petkovic?
1 A. As did many others too, from that territory, who had families like
2 I did. And the correct answer is, I don't know, when you say larger
3 number, ten, 15, 20, then I can give you a more precise answer, but, yes,
4 they did.
5 Q. So you're saying as to Mr. Petkovic, yes? Do I have your answer
6 correctly, yes?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Ante Roso?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Miljanko Crnjec? And forgive me if I say that incorrectly,
11 Miljanko Crnjec?
12 A. Miljanko Crnjec.
13 Q. Yes?
14 A. Miljanko, M-i-l-j-a-n-k-o, Miljanko.
15 Q. Yes. Was he one of these senior HV officers who went to
17 A. He did, yes, at the very beginning, that is to say in April, 1992,
18 he, for a brief, limited period of time, yes.
19 Q. Zdravko -- excuse me again, Z-d-r-a-v-k-o Andabak, not to be
20 confused with Ivan?
21 A. Zdravko Andabak.
22 Q. Was he another one of those senior HV officers?
23 A. Yes, he replaced me in Mostar, in 1992, in May.
24 Q. How about Miro Andric? Was he a senior HV officer who went to
1 A. Miro Andric, born in Bijelo Polje by Mostar, came as a volunteer.
2 He went down there voluntarily, after the Chetniks had burnt his village
3 and killed more than 20 people there.
4 Q. And did he go, sir -- did he go there being, having been and
5 continuing to be, a senior HV officer?
6 A. He continued to be Miro Andric there with a command
8 Q. Sir, isn't it true that from the beginning of the HVO in April
9 1992 at least until the end of 1993, every senior commander, every --
10 well, by senior commander -- excuse me - the top commander, the person you
11 became in the middle of July 1993 -- everyone who held that position had
12 been a senior HV officer and continued to be? Isn't that correct?
13 A. No. Many of them, like myself, went for longer or shorter periods
14 of time and later went to the Croatian army to --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... question, please. And we'll
16 take as long on this as we have to today. You said that Milivoje Petkovic
17 was the senior officer, if I heard you correctly, in 1992 and in the first
18 six and a half months of 1993. Is that correct?
19 A. I think that Milivoje Petkovic left the Croatian army as soon as
20 he joined the HVO -- came to the HVO.
21 Q. Sir --
22 A. And that -- as opposed to me --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... as the Chamber has reminded
24 me to do. Milivoje Petkovic, whatever else you want to say about him, was
25 the - you're telling us, if I've understood your testimony - the top HVO
1 commander, the position of -- the equivalent of the position you took
2 later, in 1992 and the first six and a half months of 1993; is that
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. And Mr. Petkovic came from being a very senior officer in the HV,
6 did he not?
7 A. He did come. And before that, he was the commander of the Sibenik
8 Brigade. But I think that Mr. Petkovic had -- said that he would like to
9 be relieved of his duties in the Croatian army in April 1992, that he did
10 that in 1992, just as I did in July 1993.
11 Q. Then, sir, you became from approximately mid-July 1993 until - you
12 tell us - late October, sometime in November 1993, you were the chief of
13 the HVO; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. When did you leave that position?
16 A. I would have to look at the date.
17 Q. Well, approximately, sir. Mid-November 1993?
18 A. Not the middle. I handed over duty on the morning of the day when
19 the old bridge in Mostar was destroyed. Two days before that was the
20 beginning of the takeover and assumption of duty.
21 Q. All right. Well, perhaps we'll come back to that again later.
22 But in any event, then, if the old bridge was destroyed on approximately
23 the 9th of November, 1993, it was around that time that you ceased being
24 the chief commander; correct?
25 A. Not approximately but exactly. On the morning -- on that morning,
1 I signed with General Roso, who came after me, a paper on the taking over
2 of duty. Two days before that, I was relieved of my duties as the main
3 commander of the HVO. And for two days this handing over of duty took
4 place. It lasted for two days. And at 9.00 -- or rather, 8.30 on that
5 morning, I set out for Croatia.
6 Q. And the person who took over this top position was Ante Roso; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. He also came from the HV. A senior officer in the HV, wasn't he?
10 A. He was a senior officer, first of all, of the Foreign Legion of
11 the French army from where he had -- came to Croatia first of all to
12 defend his homeland, Croatia, and then later on his second homeland,
14 Q. So the answer to my question is yes.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And how long did Mr. Roso stay in that position as the head -- as
17 the chief commander of the HVO?
18 A. You would have to ask Mr. Roso that.
19 Q. You have no idea, sir, you're telling this Chamber that you can
20 assist us with?
21 A. Well, I could be of assistance to the Chamber, but it would be an
22 approximation. You have the exact dates. The dates exist. So I don't
23 think that either the Trial Chamber or you think that it would be
24 difficult to find documents for an exact date. I -- all I would do would
25 be guessing. It would be guesswork on my part.
1 Q. Well, don't guess. But give us the approximate date.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that the witness
4 has already answered that question. Asked and answered. And the witness
5 does not wish to testify secondhand or to make guesses. So I think he
6 answered that question twice, in fact, already.
7 JUDGE LIU: No, I don't think so, Mr. Krsnik. He said -- he said
8 he will give an approximate date, not exact date.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Then the interpretation was wrong or
10 the transcript was wrong, Your Honour. I have to draw your attention to
11 that. The gentleman in the Croatian language said he did not wish to make
12 approximations, which means he did not want -- wish to hazard a guess.
13 That's what the witness said in Croatian.
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, is that an important issue?
15 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I think this witness should be able
16 to assist the Chamber with that, but I'll move on. It's not -- no, it's
17 not worth stopping over.
18 A. Believe me, Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know that. Eight years have
19 gone by since then. Mr. Roso came after me. I started doing other
20 things. And it really would be guesswork on my part.
21 Q. Now, throughout the time period that you were -- that you've told
22 us about today so far, between March 1992 and the time in early November
23 when you ceased being the senior commander of the HVO -- during that time
24 period did you ever cease, stop, being the Assistant Minister of Defence
25 for the Republic of Croatia?
1 A. At the time when I left the army of the -- left the HV, I ceased
2 to be the Assistant Minister of Defence for the Republic of Croatia.
3 Q. Would you send some resignation letter to Gojko Susak or somebody
4 or Franjo Tudjman to that effect?
5 A. A document exists in which I requested that. And we looked at it
6 a moment ago. I requested to be relieved of my duties.
7 Q. Sir, that was as an HV officer. What you indicated earlier today
8 was perhaps the rank of major general. My question to you now is as the
9 Assistant Minister of Defence.
10 A. Acting military service at the time including the fact that I
11 would cease to be Assistant Minister of Defence.
12 Q. Sir, aren't there a number of civilians who are Ministers of
13 Defence or Assistant Ministers of Defence? You don't have to be a
14 military person to have that role.
15 A. I don't have to, but that's how it was. It wasn't necessary, but
16 it was customary at the time.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if you'll give me just a moment. I'm
18 trying to figure out the best way to use the next 15 minutes.
19 Q. Well, sir, let's start this topic today. We probably won't
20 conclude it. But your dealings specifically with the man Mladen
21 Naletilic. You said you were childhood friends; is that correct?
22 A. I said that I've known him since my childhood, that we at times
23 played together, and our relationship can be described as a childhood
25 Q. So the answer to my question was again yes?
1 A. We're not too close because he was slightly younger, but in -- in
2 a way, yes.
3 Q. And during the time period that you've been talking about
4 primarily in your testimony, from about March 1992 until the end of 1993,
5 can you tell the Chamber, give the Chamber some idea of the extent of your
6 dealings with Mr. Naletilic during that time. Did you see him many times,
7 a dozen times, less than a dozen times in that approximately, let's say,
8 20-month period?
9 A. Well, about a dozen times. Yes, I did see him.
10 Q. In what capacities?
11 A. I've already mentioned one capacity, concerning the vantage point
12 above Mostar, that is, Orlovac. I saw him twice, I believe, at the time
13 of religious festivals that we mark, around the Assumption Day. I also
14 saw him several times at funerals. I saw him, and I saw his children
15 too. Once I visited him at his place. I also saw him in Zagreb.
16 Q. How many times did you visit him - just now you said "at his
17 place" - at his home in Siroki Brijeg?
18 A. I think only once, sir. Just to see if he'd built his house
20 Q. When did you see him -- strike that. How many times did you see
21 him in Zagreb?
22 A. Not more than twice.
23 Q. And can you describe to the Chamber, if you can, the circumstances
24 during which you saw Mr. Tuta twice in Zagreb. Were these meetings that
25 you saw him in, or how did you see him there?
1 A. No. Both times it was by chance. Once in Jelacic Square, and
2 another occasion I think in a hotel or something.
3 Q. You saw him at Orlovac, in connection with Mostar in, would you
4 agree, approximately June 1992; is that right?
5 A. I think so. It could have been either the beginning of June or
6 perhaps late May.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. I'm not sure.
9 Q. What did you see Tuta doing at that time in connection with
11 A. The evening before that -- on the eve of the liberation of
12 Orlovac, he invited me to Siroki Brijeg. And there in the Convicts
13 Battalion unit, they showed me the plan of the attack against that
14 feature. And then they asked me that the next morning -- they asked me to
15 be present the next morning when that plan was to be put in action, and I
16 was there.
17 Q. You referred just now a couple of times to "they." Who were the
18 "they" that you were talking about? You said "they showed me the plan of
19 the attack."
20 A. Well, now, I can of course say that it was Ivan Andabak or that it
21 was Hrkac whose nickname was Cikota. And then I'd stopped there because
22 it was simply too long ago. And I cannot really say with certainty who
23 else happened to be in a room one evening. But it was the Convicts
24 Battalion. It was Mr. Andabak, and Mr. Mladen Naletilic was present.
25 Q. I'm sorry. Can you please assist us, sir, with -- give the first
1 name of the man Hrkac, nickname, I believe, Cikota. But just for the
2 record, if you could give us his first name.
3 A. Mario Cikota.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, you talked about seeing the attack plan the night
5 before. Did you see then -- what did you see the next day? You said you
6 were asked to be at the attack. What did you see then?
7 A. They didn't request that. They asked me to be there, invited me
8 to be there. I saw a well-prepared and well-executed successful operation
9 which ended in the liberation of the right bank of the Neretva. It drove
10 away the Chetniks from the remaining elevations and significantly reduced
11 the number of people killed in that area by Chetniks.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... carried out this action?
13 A. I do not know if in addition to the Convicts Battalion there was
14 somebody else. I do know that that battalion took part.
15 Q. It included the Convicts Battalion, correct, sir?
16 A. I said that I do not know who else was there.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. Because I did not pay any attention at that time, nor do I do it
20 Q. And what did you see Tuta do on the day of the attack itself?
21 A. He stood next to me. That is, I stood next to him. Or rather, we
22 stood there together. We were standing there observing, following the
24 Q. Where were you standing?
25 A. Next to a house, a small one.
1 Q. Well, sir, you know, just generally speaking, were you in a
2 particular village, were you on a geographic feature? Where were you
3 approximately standing along with Tuta?
4 A. To answer that question exactly and precisely, you would all need
5 to have before you Mostar and hills and the position of Mostar. I was
6 standing on the ground near that feature, at a place from which -- which
7 commanded a good view of that area and was not exposed in a manner in
8 which you could get easily killed there.
9 Q. And did you stay with Tuta throughout the duration of that
11 A. Afterwards, when we saw that the action was getting ahead very
12 successfully and when the information arrived from the guys who were --
13 who had gone forward, that the Chetniks were fleeing, then on my own
14 initiative, having assessed the situation, I ordered Mr. Jasmin Jaganjac,
15 who at that time was a commander in Mostar, or the commander in Mostar,
16 and all the soldiers of the Croat Defence Council towards Capljina, to
17 launch a forceful offensive in the direction of the Neretva, and there,
18 owing to the successful Orlovac operation, at 8.00 or 9.00 in the evening,
19 we chased away the Chetniks and the Yugoslav People's Army and they never
20 managed to put fire to two large plants, the aluminium plant and the sock
22 Q. I'm going to cut you off there because it goes far beyond the
23 question I asked you. Who did Tuta report to that day as his superior?
24 Was he reporting? Were you there standing next to him as his superior
1 A. No. What you are trying to suggest, Mr. Prosecutor, did not
2 happen, and I'm sorry, I have to say that. I simply am trying to explain
3 that it wasn't such an army as you are persistently trying to show, that
4 there was an organised army, that there was a structured army, such as you
5 find in the armies of well-organised states which had been set up 500 or
6 600 years ago. I shall keep repeating the truth about it, about how it
7 really was.
8 Q. You do not have individual -- so I put it to you, sir, you did not
9 have individual soldiers acting at random on that day, and you indicated a
10 moment ago that at least quite possibly there was even another unit
11 besides the Convicts Battalion involved in that. Now, who was organising
12 this attack and who did Tuta report to, if not to you?
13 A. Nobody needed to report to me, because I could see what happened,
14 and the form of reporting about successful operations, we did not have
15 that at the time, and Mr. Naletilic --
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we will come back to it
17 tomorrow if we have to. Who was Mr. Naletilic's superior at the time of
18 the attack on Orlovac?
19 A. Nobody.
20 Q. Who was your superior on that day?
21 A. That day, regarding that decision, nobody.
22 Q. Final question, then: As of that time, or perhaps any time --
23 well, let's take it one step at a time. As of, then, late May, early
24 June, 1992, what is your answer to this Chamber, sir, about what was
25 Naletilic's relationship to the HVO?
1 A. I don't understand. In what sense? Do you mean was he within the
2 HVO structure?
3 Q. Was he part of the HVO or was he just running his private army?
4 A. In 1992, as far as I know, the Convicts Battalion was under the
5 command of Mr. Andabak, Ivan Andabak, as far as I know.
6 Q. Well, sir, once again, you, I submit to you, intentionally have
7 not answered my question. Was the Convicts Battalion part of the HVO in
8 late May, early June, 1992? I'll put it that way, slightly different, to
9 you, if that assists you.
10 A. It is not true that I do not -- that I decline to answer the
11 question, Mr. Prosecutor. The number of units, the number of independent
12 units, the number of organised village teams, was so large, in addition to
13 HOS, that I simply cannot give you a precise answer to that question. I
14 can give you a precise answer to that question only with regard to the
15 time when I was commander of the HVO.
16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I suggest we can stop there for the
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness, I'm afraid we have to call you back
19 tomorrow. The usher will show you out of the room.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 Mr. Scott, would you please inform us how long you are going to
22 take at tomorrow's sitting?
23 MR. SCOTT: At least all day tomorrow.
24 JUDGE LIU: We have to sit late tomorrow afternoon again?
25 MR. SCOTT: I don't know, Your Honour. That's up to the Chamber,
1 whether you want to --
2 JUDGE LIU: You have to give us approximately how many hours so
3 that we could arrange -- we could decide whether we could sit tomorrow
4 afternoon or not, because it is the Chamber's intention to let this
5 witness go to spend the weekend at home.
6 MR. SCOTT: If that's the Chamber's wishes, then I suspect that
7 between my continued questions, redirect examination, and presumably the
8 Judges' questions, I suspect that we will be here until late tomorrow
10 JUDGE LIU: My question is how long your cross-examination will
12 MR. SCOTT: I would say at least four hours, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: So we will rise until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, excuse me, before that,
15 this witness does not mind -- as far as I could understand, this witness
16 will not mind staying here over the weekend, because we are working so
17 hard, and if we again have to work until 7.00 this Friday? The witness
18 does not mind. He can resume on Monday. Your Honours, I don't know how
19 many times do I have to repeat this and how many times I have to ask you
20 that. We are really exhausted. Last week we worked until 7.00. This
21 Friday, we shall work until 7.00, when the witness can stay over the
22 weekend? Let him stay, even, of course, it will complicate matters for us
23 further with the Victims and Witnesses Unit, but what can we do about
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I have to say that we are far behind
1 schedule. During the first two weeks, we only had two witnesses. We are
2 far behind schedule. We are very worried about that.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my apologies. I will
4 take the liberty to say the following: I think that we are the only ones
5 who are working very, very fast. I am looking at other cases who started
6 on the same day as we did. The Prosecutors have not gone through 14
7 witnesses yet. And we have, I think, finished a large chunk of our work
8 and we are working very fast. And witnesses are as they are. There are
9 many objections. We work only in the mornings and we waste -- we spend a
10 lot of time watching tapes and objections and apologies, with all due
11 respect, but I think that this Chamber, this case, is moving ahead very
12 quickly when compared to other cases in this Tribunal. And even if such
13 witnesses take more time, I think it is -- it does serve the interests of
14 truth. And I really do not object to -- of course, whilst respecting your
15 rulings, but I have nothing against my learned friend examining this
16 witness as long as he likes, because that will be in the interests of the
17 truth, even though he should have done that six years ago, but what can we
18 do now?
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, there is no comparison between
20 various cases before this Tribunal. The different cases have different
21 situations, as you know. But what I am concerned is that we are far
22 behind schedule. We have our schedule for this case. That's why we
23 denied your motion for a break.
24 Anyway, we will rise until 9.00 tomorrow morning.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m., to
1 be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day of April, 2002,
2 at 9.00 a.m.