1 Wednesday 30 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
7 the case number, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Case
9 number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today, Wednesday,
11 the 30th of August, I'd like to greet everyone present in the courtroom,
12 members of the Prosecution, Defence counsel. I see that Mr. Karnavas
13 isn't present. I would also like to greet the accused. And in
14 particular, I would like to greet our new registrar, who is replacing
15 Mr. Frejabue. On behalf of all the Judges I would like to welcome him,
16 and I'm absolutely persuaded that he will facilitate the work for all of
18 Today we will be continuing with the cross-examination of a
19 witness, but first of all there are a number of things I would like to
20 deal with. According to the calculations made by the registrar,
21 Mr. Praljak's Defence has another 64 minutes. Mr. Petkovic's Defence has
22 45 minutes and Mr. Coric's defence has 45 minutes. If no one takes up
23 more time than allocated to them, it should be possible for us to conclude
24 the examination of this witness today.
25 And the second point I wanted to mention is, although Mr. Karnavas
1 isn't here, yesterday he took the floor, made some submissions. The
2 Judges discussed the matter, but I must admit that we failed to understand
3 what his purpose was. When he is present we will give him the floor again
4 so he can explain himself again.
5 And then the third point. Next week with regard to witness -- or
6 with regard to the Prosecution's expert witness, the Judges discussed this
7 problem yesterday afternoon and we have reached a decision. We will allow
8 the Prosecution to have two complete days. We know they wanted nine
9 hours. Two days, that amounts to eight hours, so we would like the
10 Prosecution to limit themselves to these two days. In light of our
11 previous decisions, we have decided to grant the Defence a total of three
12 days. It is up to the Defence to reach an agreement and to see how they
13 will share this time amongst themselves. If Mr. Prlic's counsel wants to
14 take up all the time because all the other Defence teams grant him their
15 time, that's up to the Defence. Otherwise, we will have to rule. But we
16 hope that all members of the Defence will be in a position to reach a
17 decision with regard to who should take up a certain amount of time in the
19 The witness's report, the expert witness's report is structured on
20 the basis of a plan, and the Prosecution should follow this plan when
21 examining the witness, because the report contains footnotes that refer to
22 various documents, various publications such as official bulletins,
23 Official Gazettes, et cetera. Some of these documents have already been
24 mentioned or referred to so that when questions are put the witness --
25 when we decide on the admission of certain documents after the witness's
1 testimony we can move on very quickly. We can say such-and-such a decree
2 is concerned of such-and-such a date, et cetera.
3 I believe Defence counsel should discuss the way in which they
4 would like to divide the time amongst themselves, since last time
5 Mr. Prlic intervened and said that his name appeared on a number of
6 occasions very frequently in the expert's report, and he, therefore,
7 believed that he should have a sufficient amount of time to cross-examine
8 the witness or, rather, for his counsel to cross-examine the witness.
9 However, if you fail to reach an agreement -- if the Defence fails
10 to reach an agreement, the Chamber will have to rule and decide on the
11 amount of time to be allocated to each member of the Defence team.
12 Next week we will be rendering decisions concerning 94 bis. This
13 was requested by the Prosecution. We will soon be completing that
14 decision, and you will have it next week.
15 There are also two decisions that concern 92 bis, and these
16 decisions will likewise be rendered in the near future.
17 So we are not late. We are trying to render these decisions as
18 quickly as possible. We know that nature abhors a vacuum so that as soon
19 as one decision is rendered you are ready to file a motion for another
21 Mr. Scott, you have the floor. I see that you have a map there
22 that may be useful for all the parties involved.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. SCOTT: My apology. The map, I think, is for Mr. Praljak's
25 use and we will see how that goes. I just wanted to respond very, very
1 quickly to the witness next week. As the Chamber has cut our time, the
2 Prosecution's proposed time a bit, and again indicated we should move of
3 course as efficiently as possible, it would help us and assist us in doing
4 so, Your Honour, if we could clarify that the -- the expert could make
5 more frequent use or reference to his report. It seems to us again that
6 when everyone in the courtroom had the report and Your Honour had the
7 report and had a chance to study the report before the witness comes, that
8 it is most efficient if the Prosecutor can take the witness through the
9 report, highlight those most important points, to make the witness
10 available for cross-examination, of course, and for clarifying questions
11 from the Judges, but to -- actually you had the report in front of
12 everyone and to work essentially off the basis of the report. If the
13 Chamber will allow us to do that, I think we can indeed take the witness
14 more efficiently and may even be able to improve on the two full days.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Before I give the
16 floor to Mr. Murphy, Mr. Scott, I assume when the hearing of the expert
17 witnesses has been completed you will be requesting that the report be
19 MR. SCOTT: Right.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Murphy.
21 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I would ask the court to bear in mind
22 when the Prosecution conducts the case in that way, what they do is
23 essentially add to the examination-in-chief of the witness a long and
24 detailed document, in this case well over a hundred pages if my
25 recollection is correct, containing references to many hundreds of
1 documents. It's also a document, Your Honour, which I think refers
2 individually to each of the accused, and what the Court is doing, and this
3 happened in the case of Mr. Beese to some extent also, is to essentially
4 give the Prosecution an extra couple of days of examination-in-chief in
5 written form. It would, of course, take them many days to elicit all of
6 the information in that report by means of examination-in-chief.
7 So if the Prosecution is to be permitted to do that, Your Honour,
8 and to admit that document in evidence, then I would submit that the
9 Defence should be entitled to ample time to challenge not only the
10 testimony but also the detail of that report including the many documents
11 and footnotes referred to.
12 And, Your Honour, we have already had a meeting of Defence counsel
13 to discuss this situation. We hope to reach a large area of agreement as
14 to the conduct of the cross-examination, and we think we can do that
15 successfully. But I do ask the Court to bear in mind that if Mr. Scott
16 does follow that strategy, we may at some point need to ask the Court for
17 some indulgence in order to conduct a fair and efficient
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if I can have one more minute. With all
20 respect to my learned friend, I think that turns the whole process on its
21 head. The entire reason that Rule 94 bis requires that a report be
22 provided -- prepared unlike other usual witnesses, this is so that
23 everyone will have the report in the courtroom ahead of time. This is not
24 a factual witness and a victim witness in the usual sense, and there is no
25 reason -- the Prosecution submits there is no reason not to gain the
1 efficiency of using the report in the courtroom.
2 A report is prepared under the rules and then we turn around and
3 act like, we pretend that the report doesn't exist even though everyone
4 has it, everyone has had it for months, and then we proceed in a very
5 cumbersome and slow way to do business.
6 Of course, of course the Defence will have a chance to
7 cross-examine on the entire report. That's why they've had it for the
8 last three months. So there's no -- there's no -- there's no dispute
9 about that. So I don't accept or excuse me I respectfully disagree with
10 Mr. Murphy's point and we'll proceed -- and, of course, they have more
11 time than we have. Our time has been cut; their time has been increased.
12 And all I'm saying is that in order that we can do it more efficiently, if
13 we can make more direct use of the report it will be more efficient for
14 everyone, the Prosecution, the Defence, and the Chamber. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy, as a general rule,
16 and this is how things have functioned here at the Tribunal to date, when
17 there is an expert report, the Prosecution or the Defence provide the
18 other party with the report so that they can examine it, and at that point
19 in time they request that the report be admitted into evidence. Sometimes
20 the Prosecution is happy with just having the report and it's just a
21 cross-examination. When there's something contested, the report is not
22 admitted, and the Prosecution then has to conduct its
23 examination-in-chief. So this is the hypothesis we're dealing with. They
24 then need time. And on that basis the Defence cross-examines the
1 We function within a system in which the parties obtain witnesses
2 for the Chamber, but in the continental system the Chamber assigns an
3 expert. This system, the procedure we follow here is that the Prosecution
4 presents its expert who is cross-examined or examined and then the Defence
5 can also ask for its expert appear, can say contradictory things, and then
6 that expert is also cross-examined. So there is a balance.
7 This expert will be discussing the HVO structure. The Prosecution
8 will have questions for the witness as well as the Judges. You will then
9 cross-examine this expert, and if you want to add any additional
10 information to what's said on the HVO structure you will call your own
11 expert who will contradict the testimony of the first expert.
12 So as you can see, no prejudice is caused to you. But obviously
13 when you call your own witness to discuss the HVO structure, at that point
14 in time you will have a sufficient amount of time and the Prosecution will
15 have less time.
16 MR. MURPHY: I don't disagree at all with that, and we have
17 absolutely no objection -- I'm sorry, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, go ahead. Go ahead.
19 MR. MURPHY: I have no objection, of course, to the Prosecution
20 taking all the time they want in introducing this evidence. The only
21 point I make is this: As the Court is aware, this expert is an employee
22 of the Prosecution. He is going to effectively present their entire case
23 in -- in -- really in a narrative form, and for us to have the opportunity
24 to fulfil our obligations under Rule 90, to put our case fully to the
25 witness, and I think this was actually the point that Mr. Karnavas was
1 making to Your Honours yesterday, that we have that obligation. For us to
2 do that, Your Honour, it takes a certain time, and my only point is we
3 should be given time to do that in an appropriate way so that the Court
4 can understand the Defence case on this point. That's the only point that
5 I make.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic, please be very brief,
7 because time is limited.
8 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll be very
9 brief. Naturally I reject the suggestion made by the Prosecution. I
10 won't comment on your decision. It is such as it is. You probably have
11 your own reasons for it. But it's for you to decide how you will treat
12 this expert we'll be hearing next week.
13 When we have a criteria I believe we must respect it completely.
14 Yesterday you mentioned a word, "precision." This is a very important
15 word. Niels Bohr, an eminent physicist, was discussing the meaning of
16 "Wahrheit" or truth. He said it should be "Klarheit," clarity, so truth
17 must be equivalent to precision. So far the Prosecution has had the same
18 amount of time, eight or nine hours that's not much of a difference here.
19 The OTP has been dealing with such matters for over seven years. They
20 know how they'll deal with this work, whether they'll be
21 granted eight or nine hours it's not much of a difference.
22 Regardless of my request, the time for Defence is the same. And
23 now we're trying to reduce the time allocated to the Defence so that it's
24 not even necessary to do what is necessary in cross-examination --
25 THE INTERPRETER: In examination-in-chief, correction.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that this historian of the
2 19th century should be granted a sufficient amount of time to present all
3 of his arguments before the Chamber and the public so that we from the
4 Defence can put relevant questions to him. Certain rules are treated in
5 an absurd manner. For example, the discussion could have proceeded in the
6 following way: Mr. Scott could have said, I have no questions because the
7 report is quite clear. Mr. Tomljanovich, is there anything you would like
8 to say or add. And he'll say no. Everything is in the report. This
9 would have taken up 24 seconds if we divided that by six, according to
10 that rule, I'd have four seconds for my cross-examination. So it's
11 necessary to demonstrate flexibility and to base oneself on the merits so
12 all the rules have sense. Thank you.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you. Since the position of the Chamber has
14 been very clearly explained by our Presiding Judge, President Antonetti, I
15 don't want to prolong this debate but simply to add that then the Chamber
16 has made this decision. It has, of course, departed from the rule which
17 had been previously established and which was also confirmed by the
18 Appeals Chamber, and that is that roughly the time is -- usually is being
19 divided between the two parties 50/50 per cent. Now when we have allotted
20 two days for the Prosecution and three days to the Defence, it is a
21 departure from this rule, which means that the -- anyway, the Defence will
22 have about 50 per cent more time than the Prosecution has, and really we
23 believe that it is a fair treatment of the rights of the Defence for a
24 fair trial and, therefore, I believe that it should be taken into account
25 hopefully it will be followed. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll now move on.
2 Everyone has expressed their point of view. I do agree with Mr. Prlic as
3 far as precision is concerned. The Judges, when putting their questions,
4 always trying to obtain precise testimony. Justice must be precise and
5 approximations must be avoided and sometimes we need time to be precise.
6 We are fully aware of this fact.
7 We'll now continue. Mr. Praljak, as I've already said, you have
8 64 minutes left. Please go ahead.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS BJ [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. I'm going to start straight
15 away, and I should like to ask the usher to place on the ELMO Exhibit 3D
16 00365. It is a report. It's an article appearing in the Independent,
17 actually, written by a journalist who entered on the 21st of August, 1993,
18 with the convoy. And it's a very short text. The Independent paper's
19 journalist claims that when the convoy entered -- when the convoy entered
20 that the BH army soldiers from the surrounding buildings shot with snipers
21 and tried to trigger off a reaction from the HVO, because when the convoy
22 entered, there was supposed to be a cease-fire, a truce, no shooting. So
23 in that way they wanted to provoke a reaction from the HVO for them to
24 return fire and perhaps hit some of you, your men, the escorts of the
25 convoy, or perhaps civilians, to cause civilian casualties. And he was --
1 an officer of the UN was warned of this. And in the film that we saw, the
2 footage presented by the Prosecution, we saw a BH army soldier using an
3 RPG to shoot. We saw him shooting, I don't suppose at his own building or
4 his own people.
5 So, sir, could you tell me now, please, whether you, while you
6 were on the spot on that occasion, did you see at that same situation as
7 described by the lady journalist in the text that I have indicated here?
8 A. Are you speaking about the first convoy that went into Mostar or
9 was it the second one with the 60 tonnes? Which of the two convoys are
10 you referring to? Would you mind clarifying that, please?
11 Q. Yes, yes. No, the second convoy.
12 A. The second convoy, that's the one I was with. It was not shot at,
13 at all, at any time while you were going into east Mostar. There was no
15 Now, I haven't read --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was that the 28th of August, I
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Because the article
20 we have on our screens is dated the 28th of August. So if there was an
21 event that took place on the 28th of August, the Independent had time to
22 write the article and print it the same day? Is that what you're saying,
23 Mr. Praljak? Was it the convoy of the 21st or the 28th?
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I think that the journalist
25 of the Independent was not able to send off his text the same day, so I
1 assume that this was on the 25th. So the convoy was on the 25th. And we
2 had this article published in the papers three days later, and that would
3 be a reasonable time during which to expect a journalist to do his duty
4 and write his report and send it out.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I must insist on the fact that
6 even though I haven't really become totally familiar with the contents of
7 this article, if this is the convoy that I accompanied, and I think the
8 picture is of that convoy, well, there were no -- there was no firing at
9 all on that convoy.
10 Now, as to the previous convoy, I don't know. I wasn't there. I
11 don't know. I don't think there was any shooting because otherwise I
12 would know. I would have known about it. But I don't think there was any
13 shooting at that convoy either.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I'll repeat my question. There was no shooting on the part of the
16 HVO. Here it is claimed that the sniper shots came from the BH army side
17 shooting at the HVO side in order to provoke a response from the HVO. And
18 on the footage that we saw from the Prosecutor, we see a BH army soldier
19 with his RPG rifle shooting at the opposite side trying to provoke it so
20 that the HVO could respond. So what I'm asking you is, did you see this
21 same thing that the journalist described? Did you notice snipers on the
22 BH army side shooting at the opposite side, and did you see this
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you answer, just a
25 moment, please.
1 Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, two things. First of all, I think it
3 would be helpful if the Chamber could see the -- actually be able to read
4 the article. I don't know if the Chamber has the facility to enlarge it
5 or not. In the form that it's presently being displayed I'm not sure
6 anyone can actually read it except for the headlines and the largest
7 print. I think if Mr. Praljak is going to use a document everyone in the
8 courtroom should be able to see exactly what the document says or doesn't
9 say and put it in context. I don't think there's anything in the
10 article -- some of the things that Mr. Praljak has said are not
11 completely a fair characterisation of the article, number one.
12 Number two, I think it's a mischaracterisation of the evidence to
13 say that the photograph of the soldier with the rocket-propelled grenade
14 launcher, the RPG, is necessarily in the footage connected to anything
15 that happened on the 28th of -- there was -- 28th of August, 1993. As
16 other people have said, parts of the film are obviously a compilation of
17 footage. There is no indication that Mr. Praljak's representation is
18 true, that that particular event actually happened on or around that
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to take
21 note of what you said.
22 Now, you were asked a question, Witness. Would you answer that
23 question now, please?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At no time while I was with the
25 convoy going into east Mostar was I the witness of any firing or any
1 snipers or saw the BH army using snipers to provoke any type of reaction
2 at all.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. Now, could you move this article to the right, please,
5 because -- no. Other side. I made an exact mark of a portion that can be
6 read. I have singled it out, so that's what I was referring to. But
7 we've dealt with that article. It's quite clearly stated here. And I'd
8 like to tender this into evidence.
9 I should now like to ask Your Honour to tell me or, rather, I'd
10 like to ask the witness some facts from document P 5111. They are SpaBat
11 reports, and I'm asking whether this is a protected document, whether it's
12 under seal. Do we need to go into closed session, private session, or can
13 I ask the witness quite openly about it in open session?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's under seal is it? Yes,
15 it's under seal. Let's move into private session then, please.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 5760-5768 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, now that we are
24 back in open session, perhaps you could put that question to the witness
25 again if you think it's important. The question that concerned someone
1 else who had the same family name as you do.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Do you know of another man with the last name of Praljak within
4 the HVO structures apart from me?
5 A. No, I don't recall that. And also, I don't know how common that
6 surname, Praljak, is in the Croatian language, but definitely I do not
7 recall that.
8 Q. Thank you. Could we now have put on the ELMO 3D 14-003. Could
9 the usher please remove or -- 3D 14-003.
10 Excuse me. 3D 00340. 3D 00340. Excuse me. Thank you.
11 Witness, here we see a satellite photograph of an area of Mostar,
12 Potoci is towards the north. We see the river here. And at the very top
13 of the picture we see a small riverbed my question is can you recall there
14 was a bridge called Bijela at the very top of this picture, near -- over
15 the river Neretva?
16 A. Yes, there was a Bijela bridge which was along the route that was
17 taken by the humanitarian convoys taking humanitarian aid to the centre of
19 Q. Thank you. Did the engineers of your battalion repair the road
20 around this river channel after the bridge was -- was damaged and make the
21 road between Mostar and Jablanica passable?
22 A. During my tour of duty in Bosnia, no. But the next task force did
23 in fact undertake repair work on the bridge in order to be able to use at
24 that route. Not my task force, the one that came after us.
25 Q. My question was not about repairs to the bridge, but it was
1 different. When the bridge was built there was a macadam road going
2 around this arm of the river. Did you repair that road so that even
3 without using the bridge the main road Mostar-Jablanica-Konjic would be
4 passable and was that road always passable for UNHCR convoys going towards
6 A. That route was no longer used when the Bijela bridge was blown up
7 and when the Mostar situation did not allow us to use that route. So we
8 used an alternative route and not that one. Hence I do not recall any,
9 any sappers repairing that route. This is what I remember. However, I do
10 also remember that later, the following task force or the task force that
11 followed ours did some repair work, and I said this yesterday. Some
12 Slovenian engineers tried to repair the bridge and were unable to do so
13 because of the combat situations. They had no access. They could gain no
14 access to the bridge.
15 Q. I regret I can't show you all the reports about travelling to
16 Jablanica and Konjic and so on, although it says that 250 metres of
17 macadam road were repaired by SpaBat engineers. But on this map, in
18 relation to this area where Bijela was, where were the HVO positions on
19 these green hills? Can you indicate that? The positions of the HVO in
20 relation to the Bijela bridge?
21 A. [Indicates].
22 Q. Thank you very much, thank you. My next question: A previous
23 witness, and we do have the right to refer to previous witnesses, this was
24 Christopher Beese, wrote several reports saying that there was marching in
25 front of the barracks in Ljubuski. Was there any HVO barracks in
1 Ljubuski, any kind of barracks belonging to the HVO?
2 A. I'm sorry, but memory tends to fail me. I don't know the area so
3 well as you do, obviously. If I had reports in hand, the ones that I
4 drafted, I could recall other things, but speaking like this,
5 off-the-cuff, it's difficult whether in Ljubuski there were HVO barracks
6 or not. I do not remember.
7 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, sir. Electricity's frequently
8 mentioned when problems in mutual relations are spoken of, so I'll ask you
9 the following: Do you know where one of the largest transmitters was in a
10 place called Cule on the road going to Mostar from your base a little
11 before Hum hill? This was a transformer station and a representative of
12 the European Community was killed there, after which they withdrew from
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a large transformer station in Cule on the right-hand
15 My question is: Do you know what the importance was for
16 electricity supplies on an extended area of that transformer station? It
17 had 220 kilowatts, 110 kilowatts, and 240 kilowatts, and a -- three huge
18 transformers of 300 megawatts and one of 150 megawatts.
19 A. Yes, I know about the problems with electricity supplies. I can
20 say nothing about the data you're giving me about the megawatts of the
21 Cule transformers or transformer. I know there was an important
22 transformer there, but I have no more information than that. But it was a
23 problem, electricity supply was a problem in the area.
24 Q. Although this was one of the biggest centres for the 400 kilowatt
25 network in the former Yugoslavia, and it was completely destroyed by the
1 Serbs, you were not familiar with the problems in electricity supply that
2 such a loss represents. It's worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
3 A. The whole issue of infrastructure was the responsibility of an
4 engineers officer who had come straight from the UNPROFOR headquarters.
5 As it happened, he was a Spaniard. He travelled around the area, and he
6 dealt with infrastructure, roads, electricity, and sometimes he did come
7 around the Spanish area. But it was not part of our responsibility and
8 therefore I can say very little about that.
9 Q. Thank you. I know that Their Honours will ask me for the basis.
10 It was completely destroyed. Not only this plant but all long distance
11 links between the large transformer stations and the power plants on the
12 river Neretva were destroyed, and not a single organisation that was in
13 the area took into account the incredible destruction of that network.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, you are to ask questions. You are
15 bombarding us with information our witness has stated he knows nothing
16 about. It's not correct use of -- of --
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise.
18 Q. My question is as follows: Do you know that three hydroelectric
19 power plants on the river of Neretva existed, Jablanica, Grabovica, and
20 Salakovac, and that these were in the hands of the army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina? They're all a little to the north of Mostar.
22 A. Yes. I did know that they had the -- that the Muslim army had the
23 key to those installations you have just mentioned.
24 Q. How then -- thank you. How, then, with three electric power
25 plants did it come about that eastern Mostar had no electricity?
1 A. You are asking technical questions that I cannot answer. I'm not
2 an electrical engineer. I don't know how electricity supply was -- was
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can't answer that question
5 in technical terms, but when you were in Mostar, did you know that the
6 electricity supply would be cut or that there was no electricity? Is this
7 something that you experienced or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Electricity supply was a
9 problem in Mostar -- problem, sorry, in Mostar. Generally the Muslims,
10 being enemies of their enemies, did not cut off the electricity, but there
11 were some blackouts. Generators were widely used for street lighting and
12 lighting in houses because often there was no electricity supply. But
13 it's not something that I poured into in-depth nor was I was in charge of
14 that question, so I can say very little about it.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Did you in Medjugorje often have power cuts and shortages of
17 electricity? You had your own aggregates, but did you receive electricity
18 from the cables, and how often was there no electricity coming from
19 electrical cables?
20 A. I cannot with malfrequency [phoen], because we had our own
21 electricity generator when necessary. When necessary we always had
22 electricity supply. But I do not recall. It was not something that I was
23 dealing with. Yes, there were electricity blackouts, but how often I
24 cannot say.
25 Q. Thank you. When you visited there, were you familiar with the
1 fact because of your general understanding of the situation that the total
2 electric network of Bosnia-Herzegovina up to Zenica could not function
3 without cooperation with Croatia for complicated technical reasons? Were
4 you ever informed about that within the framework of this problem arising
5 on the ground in order to avoid reaching the wrong conclusions? Did you
6 hear that at any meeting or anything like that?
7 A. I reiterate this is something that did not concern the Spanish
8 Battalion. It was dealt with by the Sarajevo UNPROFOR headquarters.
9 There were engineers who toured the area who came round and so on and so
10 forth. We were given some information. I simply escorted those
11 engineers, and that was the limit of my duties. So I cannot give you
12 information. Anything I say is mere speculation.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, it would perhaps be
14 best to move on to another subject since on a number of occasions the
15 witness has already told you that he wasn't the appropriate witness to
16 answer such questions.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes. But to me it's
18 important to hear that he knows nothing about it, Your Honours, because in
19 the documents we have here, conclusions are made about electricity, and
20 blame is laid for electricity shortages out of ignorance. So this answer
21 is good enough for me. I'll move on.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you refer to the SpaBat
23 document which concerns the subject of electricity. Perhaps that would
24 refresh your memory. Perhaps it would see light.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours. Your Honours, if I
1 may assist, I think it's Prosecution document P 04423, where in paragraph
2 1.2, referring to the Mostar area, in the final part, and Mr. Praljak,
3 please correct me if you think this is not the document you're referring
4 to, it says, "We have to remember that the long-distance transmission
5 lines are passing through Bijelo Polje and --"
6 THE INTERPRETER: The counsel is reading too fast for the
7 interpreter to follow.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] "-- Bijelo Polje and that a
9 permanent cease-fire is a precondition for any repairs. At the same time,
10 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina would have to ensure electric power
11 supplies to the Croatian zone also because of the fact that they caused an
12 interruption in electricity supplies."
13 This is P 04423, and it's the comment -- one of the comments
14 accompanying the passage concerning Mostar.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Alaburic.
16 As I have very little time left --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a look at the
18 document. If we do have the document, let's have a look at it very
20 I cannot see the reference to electricity. Ms. Alaburic, which
21 item is concerned?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, the B/C/S and
23 English versions of the document don't quite correspond to each other, so
24 I can provide you with a reference that concerns the Croatian text. My
25 colleague has just informed me that it's page 7 in the English version of
1 the document. It's the third paragraph from the bottom.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it's the first paragraph in
3 the English version.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It's the fourth paragraph. It
5 starts with the word "Comment." It's on page 7 of the English text.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, there it is.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And it's page 5 in the Spanish
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you can see the
10 paragraph in the Spanish text now. It starts with the words "recordemus"
11 et cetera. Can you see it?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, no problem. I can see it
13 perfectly well.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak, put
15 your question to the witness so that he can answer it rapidly.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. My question is do you know anything about this matter and can you
18 testify that this is actually stated in the SpaBat report?
19 A. Yes. This SpaBat report is a true document, a valid document.
20 It's an intelligence report. It tells about the problems in the area,
21 although it wasn't our problem. We simply reflected the comments and
22 needs of the two parties. We were in touch with both parties, with both
23 sides. The electricity supply problem was a perennial problem between the
24 two sides, that's true, but I can add no more.
25 Q. Thank you. I haven't got much time left, so I'll move on.
1 When a mortar shell is fired, is it possible to see this from any
2 point in Mostar, if the mortar is located behind Mount Hum, et cetera? Is
3 it possible to see such a mortar shell being fired?
4 A. Well, if you see at the moment when the mortar is shot with a
5 radar, with modern means that armies have, yes, you can locate where it
6 came from. If know where the mortar has impacted on the ground, as
7 happened with Lieutenant Munoz, we could see the impact because they were
8 clearly seen on the macadam road. You can then calculate from where the
9 shot was fired and the distance, and a study was in fact undertaken on the
10 basis of the impact prints on the ground.
11 Q. I completely agree with you, sir. It's not possible to determine
12 where the shell, the mortar shell, came from. It's not possible because
13 the shell is not visible. You can't see it. And on the whole, it can't
14 be heard. Only an analysis of the impact of the shell can help one
15 determine the origin of the shell. Would you agree with my two previous
16 conclusions? If you can't see the shell, and if there is noise you can't
17 hear it either, you can't determine its origin on the basis of the sound,
18 and therefore the only possibility of determining the origin of the shell
19 is an analysis -- is to carry out an analysis of the impact of the shell;
20 is that correct?
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, you are now acting as your own
22 expert, it seems. It is not putting a question. You are giving expert
23 testimony on ballistics and the like.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, this isn't a
25 matter of complicated philosophy. The witness knows about such things.
1 He can say, "You're not right," or "you are right, Mr. Praljak." I'm just
2 asking him how it's possible to determine such a thing. There is, in my
3 opinion, only one way of doing this and the witness can deny what I've
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Without being ballistics
6 experts, you are nevertheless, both of you, high-ranking officers.
7 According to what Mr. Praljak said when you examine the impact of a shell,
8 when you examine the debris or the crater formed, it is then possible to
9 determine where this shell was fired from. That is what Praljak seems to
10 be saying. Do you agree with him as far as that point of view is
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It's exactly what I said
13 before. If we know where the shell impacted, if it's on the field it
14 would be more difficult. As it happened, this shot that we're talking
15 about, in fact, landed on the road, and therefore we could perfectly see
16 where it had fallen. It was fairly easy to determine where the shell had
17 come from. It was fairly easy to do so.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On what basis did you arrive at
19 the conclusion that the shell had been fired from the Hum hill, rather,
20 from behind the Hum hill.
21 Mr. Praljak, do continue.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. My last question, sir. We do remember the late Mr. Abasiar
24 [phoen], but we don't know whether the bullet 7.62 calibre came from the
25 left side, 50 metres -- from a distance of 50 metres away or from the
1 other side, from the side of the building at a distance of 700 metres, as
2 you said. Wouldn't it be possible to carry out an experiment at the site,
3 to put a flak jacket on something that resembled a human body? I won't go
4 into detailed descriptions of how this can be done. And then from a
5 distance of 700 metres you could have tried to open fire to see whether a
6 7.62-calibre bullet had sufficient kinetic force to penetrate both the
7 front and back part of the flak jacket which was a quality flak jacket
8 which was 15 or 16 kilos in weight and could it -- that have resulted in
9 the death of the officer. Was that not possible? My question is why
10 didn't your battalion carry out such an experiment to determine who the
11 military idiot was who killed your officer?
12 A. We did investigate the death of the official, obviously, because
13 it was quite a blow to us. The jacket wasn't bullet-proof but a fragment
14 proof or flak-proof bullet vest. It's not as resistant as the
15 bullet-proof one. Akarasi [phoen] used by the Spanish army, used also by
16 snipers, strong enough, 600 metres away to actually get right -- get
17 through a fragment proof vest on both sides. It's extremely strong, and
18 it can pierce the vest. You don't actually have to carry out that
19 experiment physically. You could have tried to test angles or
20 trajectories, et cetera. Nonetheless, my colleague who went to the sniper
21 site in order to get to that sniper site he actually laid his life on the
22 line because he was under fire, and he had to be constantly protecting
23 himself in order to get to the site from which the sniper shot. So it was
24 extremely difficult to carry out any kind of test or experiment there.
25 Constantly under fire, you see.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've just said something that
2 adds more precise information. You will said that the lieutenant was
3 wearing a jacket that was short of shrapnel proof rather than
4 bullet-proof. How is that the case? You knew there were snipers. Why
5 wasn't your colleague -- why hadn't your colleague been provided with a
6 bullet-proof vest. But whether he had a bullet-proof vest or not, given
7 the calibre used by the sniper, the result would have been the same. Is
8 that how I'm to understand the answer you have given?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not really. Had he been wearing a
10 bullet-proof vest he would not have died. But it's -- it's the same old
11 thing over and over again, you see. It's eternal story. You cannot issue
12 a bullet-proof vest to every single member on the battalion. They're hard
13 to come by. They're not really totally sophisticated yet. They're not
14 completely bullet-proof even though they're supposed to be. And it's
15 cumbersome for soldiers. Most armies still use the anti-flak or
16 anti-fragment vest which is -- which is normal issue to a soldier rather
17 than an anti -- or the bullet-proof vest.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have --
19 Mr. Praljak, have you now concluded or do you have other questions you'd
20 like to put to the witness?
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm just sorry that
22 I didn't know that the investigation the soldier was wearing was the one
23 usually worn -- was not the one that's usually worn. So anyway. I'm
24 sorry about that. And thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now 10.35. We'll have our
1 20-minute break now and we'll resume after 20 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.36 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume. It seems that
5 I made a slight mistake as far as time is concerned. Petkovic's Defence
6 will have 90 minutes and Coric's Defence 45 minutes, which means that
7 Mr. Petkovic's Defence team has until the next break, and then Coric's --
8 Mr. Coric's Defence team will have 45 minutes after the break. Please go
9 ahead. It's now 11.00, and you have until 12.30.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good day
11 to everyone.
12 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. My name is Vesna Alaburic.
14 I'm an attorney from Zagreb, and I represent General Milivoj Petkovic.
15 Witness, first of all I would like to put several questions to you
16 that directly relate to parts of the indictment that the Prosecution
17 believes you might be able to help us with. Do you remember that in
18 December, 1997, you spoke to -- in January, correction, you spoke to
19 investigators from the trial about certain subjects that have been
20 addressed here?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The month concerned
22 was November.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I'd just like to correct something. I said November, whereas that
25 is not what is stated in the transcript. I mentioned November.
1 A. Yes. I made a statement before this Chamber. I do not recall the
2 date. It could have been November, during which I stated as to the
3 knowledge that I had or I did not have during my time there.
4 Q. Witness, I'd like to refresh your memory, remind you of what you
5 said with regard to my client. On that occasion, you said the following,
6 and I quote: "I escorted Mr. Petkovic or I accompanied him when he went
7 to missions in Jablanica. My impression was that he did not wield much
8 power. I can provide you with an example. We were stopped at an HVO
9 checkpoint, and Colonel Morales asked Petkovic to tell his soldiers to let
10 us pass through. The HVO soldier refused to do so until he had received
11 an order from his immediate superior."
12 I'll now skip two sentences, and then the following two sentences
13 are as follows, and I quote: "Petkovic was on good terms with Halilovic,
14 too, and it was my impression that Petkovic didn't take any decisions."
15 And in relation to this, my question is as follows: Can you now
16 confirm before this Trial Chamber the impression that you had with regard
17 to my client?
18 A. I believe that you have to distinguish between the decision-making
19 capacity at general headquarters level within the structures of the HVO,
20 whether it is the Ministry of Defence or its headquarters, and also the
21 command power in terms of isolated troops or isolated units placed in the
22 field. But of course in terms of the field, the discipline was also not
23 terribly good within the Croat army during that time in November and the
24 soldiers on leave would obey direct orders from their immediate superiors.
25 And General Petkovic was not often listened to or paid attention to. But
1 in terms of saying that he did not have the power, well, he did not have
2 much decision-making capacity, and that's what I thought.
3 Q. Thank you. As far as the second part or the other part of the
4 indictment is concerned, I have two previous questions I'd like to put to
5 you. Did you ever attend a meeting of the Croatian leadership of
6 Herceg-Bosnia of the HVO armed forces and of political leaders from the
7 republic of Croatia?
8 A. Are you asking me whether I attended one of their meetings,
9 meetings of the leadership? If I attended one of their meetings, the
10 answer is no. It was a meeting with them, yes.
11 Q. The question concerns their meetings. My conclusion is that your
12 answer to my question is negative. And the only conclusion I can draw is
13 that if you did not attend such meetings, you cannot testify about whether
14 my client attended such meetings, and that is the purpose of my question.
15 A. Naturally. I don't know what meetings General Petkovic attended
16 within his headquarters.
17 Q. Thank you very much. And now, Witness, I would like us to clarify
18 some of your statements that concerned the HVO Main Staff in various
19 contexts, although you also discussed people and duties that really
20 weren't performed, and all of this took place within a body called the HVO
21 Main Staff. And as a result, I believe we should clarify who you have in
22 mind when you say the command or the HVO headquarters.
23 Tell us, do you know who the Supreme Commander of the HVO armed
24 forces was?
25 A. During the first times, I think it was generally General Petkovic,
1 and many negotiations, many decisions were organised or done with him. He
2 was the organiser as the commander of the HVO forces. After that, it was
3 General Praljak who took over from him and who took over the command of
4 those forces. But during many occasions decisions were not on in terms of
5 military issues, and often the negotiations, the most important
6 negotiations during which we managed to achieve more things or more
7 results was directly with the minister of defence.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The deputy minister of defence, interpreter's
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, the Supreme Command of the HVO armed forces was Mr. Mate
12 Boban. Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Praljak were the chiefs of the Main Staff, or
13 they were the first men in the HVO Main Staff. When you mentioned
14 Mr. Bozic, and you say that you met him in the HVO Main Staff, when you
15 refer to the command of the Main Staff do you actually have the Ministry
16 of Defence in mind?
17 A. The headquarters and the Main Staff or the headquarters of the
18 unit -- I'm referring to military people, not civilians, so the Supreme
19 Commander was General Petkovic, and his superior would have been some
20 civilian, perhaps in this case the minister or deputy minister of defence
21 and, naturally, the president of that republic.
22 Q. On the basis of your answer, I can draw the conclusion that you in
23 fact did not have detailed knowledge of the relationship between three
24 bodies, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, the Main Staff of the
25 HVO, and the Ministry of Defence or, rather, the government of
2 A. Normally, normally we tend to simplify matters and we deduct from
3 what is there, and we apply our knowledge in relation to what we know from
4 our own government or our own flow charts, and we take that to the country
5 we are assigned to and it happens to work along that basis. It was a
6 Western country, it was an army, a Yugoslav army that followed those
7 characteristics. I don't know whether that was the relationship but I
8 thought it was very similar to the relationship that takes place in other
10 Q. Tell us, please, Witness, whether the army in your country, for
11 instance, functions in such a way that the state bodies or, rather, the
12 civilian authorities decide on matters within their jurisdiction, whereas
13 your army does not take part in making such decisions.
14 A. Naturally in my country indeed the decisions are taken by the
15 government of the nation, and they're civilians, and they're advised by
16 the military command in terms of military issues, in terms of the
17 decisions, operational decisions that are to be carried out by the
19 Q. Could you say that the civilian authorities is the body that
20 brings in decisions, that is to say that they decide whether agreements on
21 cease-fires will be concluded or not, and whether hostilities will cease
22 or not, or whether the strategic and tactical interests of the country are
23 different and don't warrant that?
24 A. Naturally I understand that it has to be the civilian authorities
25 that have to take those decisions. Decisions are taken at all levels, and
1 one is responsible for the decisions ascribed to us, but obviously
2 decisions are taken by the civilians in charge.
3 Q. Could you confirm that on the territory of Herceg-Bosna as well,
4 what happened was that the civilian authorities would make the
5 corresponding decisions and that after then the military commanders would
6 conclude agreements and issue the corresponding orders?
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, at this point I'm going to object. I
8 think -- I haven't objected up till now. I think the witness, given his
9 background and experience is able to make some broad statements, but now I
10 think this question says, Can you confirm that on the territory of
11 Herceg-Bosna as well what happened. I think now we're getting into
12 whether this witness is an expert to talk about how this actually
13 functioned in Herceg-Bosna. Unless additional foundation is laid, I don't
14 think it's appropriate.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I was listening carefully
16 to your questions and to the answers as well, and you are getting to a
17 crucial problem, and you say that -- which is about the control the
18 civilian authorities had over the military. Now, the problem here is that
19 this witness -- is this witness the right person to answer questions like
20 that? You asked him what the case was in Spain, and he said that the
21 military authorities depend the on the civilian authorities. He answered
22 that one. Now you want to ask the same question and apply it to
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, there we risk -- run the risk of wasting time.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I, of course, agree
25 with your observation, and I do not consider that we will be wasting time,
1 because this witness and the units to which he belonged, and the documents
2 of those units, can provide us with the relevant answers to the questions.
3 And the comment made by my learned friend of the Prosecution I consider to
4 be completely unfounded because the documents that he provided to us also
5 represent military commanders and civilian authorities. And I'd just like
6 to refer to Prosecution Exhibit P 01717, and that is an operations diary
7 for the 19th of April when, in Medjugorje, a meeting was held among others
8 with General Morillon and Thelman [phoen], with Petkovic and Halilovic,
9 and the representatives of two armies were represented as representatives
10 of Mr. Ganic and Mr. Boban. So that means the representatives of the
11 power and authorities in Sarajevo and the authorities in Mostar. And from
12 that it would emerge that the meeting in Medjugorje came after a political
13 agreement had been reached.
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, to clarify my -- if -- then I suggest
15 that counsel puts the specific document to the witness then instead of
16 talking about broad conclusions.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Put the documents to the
18 witness so he can see them, please.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] This document and what I quoted
20 just now was just a pretext for me to show my own documents to the
21 witness. And I'd like on e-court to show the following document: 4D
22 00302. It is a document which unfortunately we do not have in Spanish.
23 We have the B/C/S -- or, rather the Croatian and English version. So the
24 document number is 4D 00302.
25 Q. Your -- or, rather, witness this is an order by my client which
1 was sent out to the UN headquarters in Kiseljak among others. The date of
2 the decision is the 17th of August, 1993, and at this point in time I'm
3 just interested in the introduction in which my client refers to the
4 Supreme Commander of the armed forces and also the president of
5 Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban. And the introductory portion of this order
6 reads as follows, and I quote: "Mr. Mate Boban at a -- at the meeting in
7 Geneva once again reiterated his and our approval on the unhindered
8 movement of the United Nations forces in the territory of BiH."
9 I'd now like to ask that the witness be shown another document
10 about this same topic.
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I apologise for -- excuse me.
12 I apologise --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we can see the document,
14 but what's the -- what's your question on this document?
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May I please be allowed to show the
16 witness the second document first and then put my question? My question
17 is how the political decisions came before the activities of the
18 commanders of the army, and that was my introductory question, in fact.
19 So may we have the next document put to the witness. I'd just like to
20 draw your attention to the fact that --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that's -- we continue to have our
23 objection. I fully agree that counsel has read the document accurately.
24 I fully agree that this document is also a Prosecution exhibit. We don't
25 doubt its authenticity, it comes from the HVO archive, it bears the stamp
1 on the B/C/S original in the upper right corner. I do not dispute either
2 the authenticity of the document or the counsel has read it correctly but
3 it appears what counsel is going to do is simply put certain documents
4 before the witness that the witness has no personal knowledge of and then
5 try to argue him into making some conclusions based on the documents that
6 she has shown him, and I don't think that's proper examination.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me make the following
8 observation first. I see that the addressees, that is to say where the
9 document was delivered to, says "United Nations, Kiseljak." So it is
10 quite possible that at the level of the UN system in Kiseljak this was
11 transmitted to the different areas where UNPROFOR was located. So he
12 might have known about this. So perhaps it would be better to let the
13 Defence ask the question first and then we can see.
14 And, Defence counsel, you can ask the witness whether he's seen
15 this or not and that would avoid objections from the Prosecution which
16 wastes a lot of our time.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to ask that the time
18 used by Mr. Scott for his interventions should not be deducted from my own
19 time allotted for cross-examination and that during objections from the
20 Prosecution my time is not deducted but that time made up for.
21 I'd like us to show the witness one nor document and I'll be
22 asking questions with related to both documents because, Your Honour, at
23 this point in time with respect to these two documents it is not essential
24 that he -- I don't want to introduce them into evidence, it's just a basis
25 for my questions.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead but quickly.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The next document is 4D 00303. It
3 is an order, again. The number is 4D 00303. As I was saying, it is an
4 order from my client or by my client, General Petkovic, sent to SpaBat in
5 Medjugorje. It is dated the 17th of August, 1993. And I'm just
6 interested in the introduction, and it says: "On the basis of agreement
7 between Mr. Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic on the evacuation of wounded
8 and injured from Nova Bila and Mostar," my client issues the following
9 order ...
10 Q. Now, my question to you is as follows -- from these documents, in
11 view of the fact that my learned friend Mr. Scott told me to ask questions
12 on the basis of my own documents and not his documents, my question is as
13 follows: In your understanding of the relationship between civilian and
14 military authorities, do these documents show that in Herceg-Bosna as well
15 as in your own country, for example, the civilian authorities were those
16 who made the relevant decisions after which the military commanders issued
17 their own relevant orders following on from that?
18 A. I understand that that ought to be the case but I do not have any
19 confirmation that that is the case. I understand the decisions ought to
20 have come from Mate Boban. From what it says it seems to be able to wish
21 him to maintain this structure of the decision-making -- the political
22 decision-making process.
23 Q. Thank you very much. I'd now like to move on to another area
24 relating to the control of passage and movement. Witness, I'm sure you
25 have a great deal of experience about the events that take -- took place
1 in other areas of war, in other theatres of operation. So I'd like to ask
2 you the following: To the best of your knowledge, the control of roads,
3 is that something that is usual and compulsory everywhere where there's a
4 war conflict going on?
5 A. No, not -- not obligatory. It's convenient or advisable.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you explain why you think it's a good idea to do
8 A. It is necessary to check the -- the national territory. It is
9 possible to follow up movements of goods, and you need to know what is
10 taking place in the area. We're talking about areas of conflict, areas of
11 war. This is elementary information. It is elementary or basic to
12 undertake certain checkpoints of -- over the territory.
13 Q. Tell us, please, is it precisely for that reason that along with
14 the presence of your own battalion or, rather, the United Nations, between
15 the warring parties, that is to say the Croats and the Muslims, an
16 agreement was signed relating to the control of roads?
17 A. I would like to highlight that the Spanish Battalion never came in
18 between the two parties.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
20 continues] ... the translation on the screens.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Quite obviously you didn't understand me. I was referring to an
23 agreement between Commanders Halilovic and Petkovic dated the 12th of May,
25 And I'd like us to show the witness this document. It is document
1 4D 00070, and it is an agreement between General Sefer Halilovic and
2 Milivoj Petkovic signed on the 12th of May, 1993, in the presence of
3 General Morillon and Ambassador Thebault.
4 And in point 1 of that agreement, third section, it refers to the
5 control of roads, supervision of roads and checkpoints. Control of
7 Now, in view of the fact, Witness, that you have already explained
8 to us the reasons for controlling routes and the justification for the
9 existence of checkpoints, there's no need to waste time discussing this
10 agreement in detail, but what I will do is to observe that checkpoints are
11 something that existed legally and legitimately, and they do in war zones.
12 Now I come to my question. Witness, to the best of your knowledge
13 did the BH army control the routes on territory under its control, and did
14 it also have checkpoints along the way?
15 A. For example, along the route going up to Jablanica area when the
16 Spanish Battalion arrived there the checkpoints of the armija and of the
17 HVO would alternate because there would be areas fighting the -- the other
18 parties either by the armija or the HVO, and there were checkpoints from
19 one of those two armies. Then they disappeared. When the Muslim army
20 took over in the Croat area, then the Croats remained, and then there were
21 checkpoints to control and obviously if you want the movement on the other
22 party as well.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one question. I don't want
24 to take up time, but I would like you to specify. Article 1 of that
25 agreement for the cease-fire, it states that control of routes will be
1 maintained by civilian police only. And at the end of that paragraph it
2 says that military units will not exercise control. So that mean that
3 when there is a cease-fire agreed upon by two belligerent sides, do the
4 military units give up control of the routes? That's what this agreement
5 means. If an agreement is reached, then the military units do not
6 exercise control. Would that be right, Witness?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were many other agreements
8 that were signed up until 1995. There were just, they were just worth the
9 weight of the paper. They didn't really mean anything. And in terms of
10 what General Morillon or the willingness that we had for a cease-fire to
11 actually take place between the two warring parties, well, this meant that
12 practically every fortnight we would end up signing cease-fire agreements
13 that really didn't have any power because they were not respected by any
14 of the parties.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Witness, may I then conclude that the BH army also had
17 checkpoints? In your reports you refer to checkpoints of the BH army,
18 which due to -- you were not able to pass through because you were not
19 allowed to and, therefore, you couldn't go to the area under your
21 I would just like to clarify one point. The area of Dreznica, if
22 you remember, was the area of Dreznica under the control of -- well, this
23 is a question which relates to the Prosecution document P 01717 for the
24 10th of May and the 26th of May. And my question -- I'm asking the
25 question for the following reasons because I'm trying to anticipate the
1 objection Mr. Scott is going to make. Because the possibility of passing
2 through Dreznica does not state it was a checkpoint under the
3 responsibility and the control of the BH army as opposed to the
4 checkpoints of the HVO, for example, in the report that relates to the 8th
5 of July where it says that there was an HVO checkpoint. So that is the
6 justification for my question.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that's not my objection. But again, our
9 continuing objection is to counsel giving evidence or making assertions
10 that are not in fact put to the witness.
11 On page 49, line 1, Ms. Alaburic says, "Witness, may I then
12 conclude that the BH army also had checkpoints." Probably not very
13 controversial, I suspect. "You refer to checkpoints the BH army which due
14 to -- you were not able to pass through because you were not allowed to
15 and therefore you couldn't go to the area under your responsibility." And
16 then she goes on to a question.
17 The witness is never given a chance to respond. It's not a
18 question. It's simply an assertion by counsel, which is not evidence, and
19 which the witness has had no opportunity to react to. So it's that kind
20 of a thing that we continue to object to.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Before we arrive at a
22 conclusion, ask your preliminary questions, and then looking at the
23 document you can say, "Do you answer in the affirmative or negative, based
24 on the document?" But otherwise, we might not have the witness here at
25 all. We'd just let you go on talking.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I was not able to control the
2 interpretation, but perhaps there's been a misunderstanding. I deduced my
3 observation from documents which were introduced by the Prosecutor and on
4 the basis of documents that the Prosecution -- examination -- used in the
5 examination-in-chief. So I think the contents of those documents is
6 something that we have already been through. So I didn't feel that I had
7 to present them to the witness for him to be able to confirm their
8 authenticity or anything with else with respect to these documents. So I
9 think that those documents are a premise for my own questions, the
10 groundwork for my question, and that is why I went on to observe the
11 problems that existed in passing checkpoints in the Dreznica area because
12 this is something that was contained in a SpaBat report, and after that my
13 direct question was as follows: Were those checkpoints held and
14 controlled by the BH army?
15 A. Every time we went from one zone to another one there were
16 controls. An HVO where the HVO zone ended and the appropriate one where
17 the other zone started. Problems could be presented by both parties, one
18 side or whoever was interested in creating problems, but there were always
19 controls when one was travelling from one zone to the other.
20 Q. I completely understand, but I'd just like to know who held the
21 checkpoints in Dreznica. If you don't remember, Witness, we can move on.
22 We don't need to spend too much time on that.
23 A. Probably both sides. When the HVO zone came to an end there would
24 be HVO forces, and when the Muslim zone -- where the Muslim zone started
25 there would be Muslims in charge.
1 Q. May we show the witness Prosecution Exhibit P 01717 now, please,
2 for the 10th of May. In the Croatian text it is on page 9, and in the
3 English version it is on page 59.
4 There's a portion which states as follows: "During the night, the
5 BH army took control of the checkpoint at the bridge in Dreznica. This
6 checkpoint has been established and makes it difficult for our vehicles to
7 pass through."
8 This same document, for the 26th of May, and in Croatian it is on
9 page 19 and in English it is on page -- just one moment. Let me check.
10 In English it will be on page 72, seventh line where it speaks about the
11 BH army checkpoint at Dreznica. And throughout the document it mentions
12 Dreznica as a BH army checkpoint.
13 Now, sometimes when a document refreshes your memory you can
14 answer the question, so I'd like to repeat my question. The 10th of May,
15 was Dreznica in the hands of the BH army, under BH army control?
16 A. If I'm not mistaken, the Dreznica area was under Muslim control,
17 but there was an HVO pocket which had an entrance on the Dreznica area,
18 and hence on the 26th of May entry it is said that the BH army allowed --
19 allowed people to go through if the HVO did likewise. But the checkpoint
20 was a BH checkpoint, no doubt, in this case.
21 Q. Thank you very much. In P 01717, the operative diary, Prosecution
22 Exhibit, if I read the diary carefully there was a ban on movement in the
23 direction of Mostar which is mentioned for the first time in the report
24 for the 11th of July, 1993. That's the first time that was ever
1 Could you confirm that up until that date there was no ban on
2 movement in the direction of Mostar?
3 A. Movement was -- Mostar -- as from when hostilities broke out in
4 May it was very difficult. Some days we could go through, some days we
5 could not. It depended on operations or on God knows what. We don't
6 know. And the operations were what the HVO decided, and total
7 prohibition, direct prohibition from the HVO came. Amongst other things,
8 they were infringing, of course, the agreement with the United Nations,
9 but we were told that all movement was prohibited as from that date.
10 Hence the entry in the logbook. It does not mean that before freedom of
11 movement was easy, no.
12 Q. Witness, you cannot hear me speaking in my own language. In my
13 own language I stressed the word "ban" or "prohibition" precisely because
14 I anticipated the difficulties of entering Mostar in the period following
15 the 9th of May. I am fully aware of the difficulties and the temporary
16 inability to enter Mostar in the preceding period, so my question referred
17 to a prohibition on movement in the direction of Mostar with the date of
18 the 11th of July. So was there a prohibition in place as of mid-July,
20 A. I cannot remember the date. If the logbook which we have could
21 show the actual 11th of July date, well, if the logbook says that the
22 prohibition dates as from that day, then I confirm what is there.
23 Q. On that day -- in the report for that day the prohibition is
24 mentioned for the first time. I would need a lot of time to prove that
25 there was no such prohibition in place on the previous days. Therefore, I
1 will accept your response. And in order to make the best possible use of
2 my time, I will move on to another topic relating to humanitarian aid
4 Witness, to the best of your knowledge, in principle did a convoy
5 have to receive approval for travel?
6 A. If I'm not mistaken, that is so. UNHCR, in order to allow travel
7 or to have their convoys travel, some did get in touch with whoever needed
8 to be got in touch in order to have travel permit, and I believe travel
9 permits were requested. The Spanish escorts, once they knew about the
10 itinerary of the convoy, joined the convoy in order to escort it
11 throughout its journey.
12 Q. Is it correct that this travel permit had to include information
13 about the vehicles in the convoy, the persons who would be in the convoy,
14 the type and amount of goods to be transported, the time of departure of
15 the convoy and its route?
16 A. I believe so. I do not know what relations UNHCR had with the two
17 sides, but I do know what contacts and what relations we had in order to
18 provide security. We had a control officer in Metkovic where the UNHCR
19 warehouses were situated, and we were told about the day, time, number of
20 lorries, and the journey itinerary, and we escorted those lorries or UNHCR
21 vehicles. The relation of UNHCR with the two sides I know nothing about,
22 but I suppose they would provide information too.
23 Q. Witness, I wish to show you P 01717. It's an operations log for
24 the 25th of May. In Croatian it's on page 18. I do apologise. The 26th
25 of May. It's the first passage referring to the 26th of May. Here it is
1 on the screen.
2 This first passage, yes, we have it in Spanish also, reads as
3 follows: "Isolated rifle shots could be heard in Mostar during the day.
4 Another attempt has been made today to get a humanitarian aid convoy into
5 the Muslim quarter in the city. The passage through a checkpoint was
6 banned [as interpreted] by the HVO. They insisted on checking the cargo
7 first, and then, once they had done that, to discuss who would receive the
8 cargo. Finally the UNHCR representative agreed that the convoy could pass
9 the next day, but that 60 per cent of the cargo would go to Croats and 40
10 per cent to the Muslims."
11 I will show you two reports of yours from this document and then I
12 will put my question. So for the month of June, the 10th of June, the
13 11th, 12th, and 13th of June, the same statement is made in all four
14 reports. If we can take a look at the 10th of June. It's line 4. In the
15 11th of June also. And you say that all UNHCR convoys have been -- are
16 not coming because the routes to Central Bosnia have been closed off.
17 For June in your reports there is not a single note about the
18 humanitarian convoy for Mostar.
19 And just another part of this document. With reference to the
20 17th of July, the last paragraph, which reads: "The UNHCR has stopped all
21 convoys because the HVO demanded that a certain percentage of the aid be
22 distributed to both communities before they issued the permit for passage
23 through their territory."
24 In connection with these statements in your reports, my question
25 is as follows: If in May, 1993, an UNHCR humanitarian convoy was able to
1 enter east Mostar, provided they left 60 per cent of the cargo to the
2 Croats, what happened in July which meant that UNHCR would not go to
3 Eastern Mostar? They refused to do so at any cost.
4 A. Whilst I've been here, we said that there were some 40 days, two
5 months, I'm not sure exactly about the time, there were then days from
6 beginning of July till August when the passage through -- to Mostar was in
7 fact barred and, therefore, no convoys reached Mostar. But I don't quite
8 understand your question.
9 Q. I'll clarify. Witness, in the SpaBat reports for the 17th of
10 July, 1993, it says that the UNHCR cancelled all convoys or suspended all
11 the convoys because the HVO demanded that a certain percentage of aid be
12 distributed to both communities. Two months previously, however, the same
13 organisation brought aid to Mostar, and according to your reports also
14 gave aid to the Croatian side. So logically the question follows, what
15 happened to make the UNHCR change its policy?
16 According to your reports, the situation in Eastern Mostar was
17 not -- well it was --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, "was such."
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- that the UN should have delivered
20 some aid and what you report for the 17th of July has a direct bearing on
21 the indictment.
22 MR. SCOTT: Well, again, Your Honour, counsel expresses her view
23 that UNHCR should have. It's her view that they should have delivered
24 some aid. I'm not sure that is particularly relevant to the courtroom.
25 Thirdly, it is perhaps not this witness that should explain the
1 policy or decisions made by UNHCR. It's a completely separate
2 organisation, I think.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In response to the
4 question, I would notice that there was a convoy that entered, the Muslims
5 and Croats shared the load, and Defence is asking you, and this is
6 something that the Judges are interested in too, the Defence is asking you
7 whether there were no other convoys over a period of several weeks after
8 that. Did you have an answer or not? This is what interests us.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In May there was relative freedom of
10 movement to the Mostar area, and we did get convoys in, in May. In June,
11 eastern Mostar was closed for almost two months. Now, this does not mean
12 that no convoys got through to Central Bosnia. To Central Bosnia there
13 were convoys. Not to eastern Mostar, but yes, to Central Bosnia. And it
14 was later on, the 17th of July, when my memory's refreshed, that from the
15 moment when the HVO demanded a certain percentage of the cargo UNHCR
16 decided to cancel the rest of the convoys to Central Bosnia. The UNHCR
17 warehouses were in Metkovic.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And to be more precise, once
19 more you said it was a ban, that someone had banned the convoys. Who
20 banned them? At least the French translation said banned. Were they
21 suspended or were they banned? What do you say in Spanish?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Suspended. UNHCR decision.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it's the UNHCR that suspended
24 the convoys.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] That was precisely my question. I
1 think we have now clarified this part of the report.
2 Q. Witness, I will now put a few questions to you in connection with
3 Sovici and Doljani. I assume that these two place names mean something to
4 you. Perhaps to start when we could look at P 02192. That is a report
5 for the 3rd of May, 1993, and on page 1, in the section
6 entitled "Jablanica," which is on page 3 in Croatian and page 4 in
7 English, the first sentence of the paragraph reads: "The town of Doljani,
8 completely destroyed and burnt down, was the first to be visited."
9 Do you see that sentence, Witness? The town of Doljani is
10 completely destroyed and burnt, and you visited it first with
11 Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Petkovic.
12 A. I did not visit that village. I was not at that visit at that
14 Q. Do you have any other information about the source or who it was
15 that wrote this sentence in the report? I'll tell you why I'm asking
16 this. Because from the census of 1991, I have information here according
17 to which the village of Doljani is predominantly Croatian. About
18 two-thirds of the population were Croats. So I wanted to put some
19 detailed questions about this part of the report which says that Doljani
20 is completely destroyed and burnt down. However, if you have no further
21 information about this, I'll move on.
22 A. Well, I think the situation is clear. I have not travelled to all
23 the places the Spanish Battalion travelled to. I can be responsible of
24 the documents because I know they have been drafted by colleagues of mine,
25 and, given the reliability of these documents, I can confirm that what is
1 contained therein is the truth, but it does not mean that I drafted the
2 document or that I was present at all events. In some cases I was
3 present, in some I was not.
4 In this particular case, I was not present. I did travel to
5 Jablanica to the meeting that was taking place, but I did not join the
6 meeting -- sorry, I did not join the visit to the villages.
7 Q. Witness, I wanted to ask you a few questions about what it was
8 that Generals Petkovic and Halilovic agreed on in connection to the
9 populations and Sovici and Doljani. So I will put a few documents to you
10 very quickly, and I will try to put the most relevant questions.
11 Could we show 4D 00321 to the witness. It's very short. And we
12 also have it in English. We have it in English and Croatian but not in
13 Spanish. So I will read it out.
14 This is a short letter from General Petkovic to the commander of
15 the HVO in Doljani, whose name is Stipe Polo, where it says, I quote: "In
16 Doljani and Sovici, release all the civilians found there. Keep the
17 able-bodied men."
18 The next document is 4D 00308. This is a document of the army of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It comes from the Croatian state archives.
20 Unfortunately, we still do not have a translation into English. The
21 document is in Croatian. I see it on the screen.
22 And around the middle of that document it says -- and this is a
23 document issued by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I quote: "Tomorrow,
24 an unconditional evacuation of the civilian population from Doljani and
25 Sovici has been agreed upon."
1 I'll put one more document. 4D 00312. We also have the text in
2 English. It is a document disclosed to us by the Prosecution, where my
3 client puts a question to the HVO in Doljani, asking whether "five buses
4 have arrived in Sovici and Doljani to evacuate the population (the
5 greens)" I'll explain that later, "in the direction of Jablanica," and if
6 they have, where have they come from?
7 My question is as follows: Did you learn from your colleagues or
8 in any other way what Generals Halilovic and Petkovic agreed on with
9 respect to the civilian populations in Sovici and Doljani? It follows
10 from these documents that they would be transported to the territory they
11 wished to go to, but do you yourself have any knowledge of this? Is there
12 anything you can tell us about it?
13 A. I have vague memories because I was not directly involved in that
14 operation. If I were to read the logbook and the entries for those dates,
15 I'd probably remember more. But basically an agreement was reached
16 whereby the civilian personnel from the Croat villages was going to be
17 allowed to leave by bus to be transported to a Croat zone where they would
18 be safe. Basically that's what was agreed. I can say no more. It was an
19 agreement between the two generals, Halilovic and Petkovic, reached at
20 Jablanica, hence the tour around the villages to see what was going on.
21 Q. If the translation was correct, or the interpretation, you
22 mentioned Croatian villages. At that bev -- Sovici and Doljani were
23 Croatian villages. Could you clarify whether you were referring to the
24 two villages of Sovici and Doljani regardless of whose they were?
25 A. Yes, I was referring to those villages.
1 Q. Thank you. Witness, I have a few questions about Muslims in the
2 ranks of the HVO. To the best of your knowledge, in the ranks of the HVO
3 were there any Muslims?
4 A. When we arrived in Bosnia and we took charge of the mission, the
5 HVO army was a Bosnian Croat army. They were mixed, or mingled, although
6 the headquarters were separate. But, yes, we did learn that some Muslims
7 did continue belonging to the HVO army. We have no names nor when this
8 happened, but we knew of Muslims in the HVO, yes.
9 Q. Do you have any information about whether the Muslims in the HVO
10 were really loyal soldiers of the army they belonged to, or did any
11 problems arise in time?
12 A. It would be a personal opinion. I have no information. I could
13 give an opinion.
14 Q. I think your opinion would be valuable to us, so please tell us.
15 A. I believe --
16 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... if he is going to
17 give an opinion and I haven't objected to that yet, but can we have the
18 foundation, lay the foundation before we get the opinion so we know
19 whether there is, in fact, any basis for expressing such a thing.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is the purpose of
21 your question? You have a document that would allow one to establish that
22 there were Muslims in the HVO, to establish whether these Muslims were
23 loyal or not. We have such a document. So then why don't you show the
24 witness the document?
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We do have a document. It's a
1 SpaBat document referring to this topic. I felt it would be more useful
2 for all of us to hear this witness's observations and opinions. I believe
3 we have a right to hear his opinion because every SpaBat report ends with
4 a comment which is, in fact, an opinion. If you think we could go in the
5 other order, I will do so.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead. Ask the question.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I have understood correctly, the public
8 Prosecutor wanted to know on what the opinion was based. That was
9 actually your question.
10 MR. SCOTT: That's right.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So could you first say on what basis did you form
12 the opinion and then what the opinion is.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can give you my opinion on the
14 basis of the information I had at the time. My duties did not include
15 intelligence duties. These reports, which the Defence counsel is talking
16 about, are, from the comments she's made, reports from the Intelligence
17 Unit, not from my unit. But I knew of what was said at the meetings and
18 the general opinion that existed in the Spanish Battalion at the time, and
19 on this I can base my personal opinion, which may not actual coincide to
20 the letter with the SpaBat report.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what is your opinion?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My opinion is that there may have
23 been loyal Muslims, but as war developed amongst them, they probably
24 stayed in HVO area because they were there, out of fear, because of family
25 ties, or for a thousand different reasons. But as for loyalty, I think I
1 would put that in the line.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you. Can we now show P 04698. It's page 7 in the Croatian
4 version, page 9 in the English version. And, Witness, it's page 37 to
5 page 38 in the Spanish text. Page 9 in the English version, and 37 to 38
6 in the Spanish version.
7 Fortunately, I don't know Spanish, and I can't check to see
8 whether the page I referred to in the Spanish version is the right one,
9 but the passage I want to show to the witness is as follows. Perhaps the
10 interpreters could help us determine whether this is the relevant part. I
11 quote, "What was expected happened at dawn on the 30th of June, at 3.45 to
12 be precise. The BH army carried out an attack in the direction of the
13 north and thus took the Tihomir Misic barracks in the area of Bijelo Polje
14 north-east of the town. It seems that this action was carried out in the
15 night between the 29th and the 30th of June when the Muslims within the
16 lines of the HVO 3 brigade took over the Tihomir Misic and, rather,
17 deserted the Tihomir Misic barracks together with their weapons in order
18 to join the army of BH. The Muslims took this opportunity to move on to
19 the north, and they reached Bijelo Polje."
20 My question is as follows, and it directly relates to the
21 indictment and to what my client is being charged with: Apart from this
22 situation with the Muslims, do you have any knowledge according to by in
23 certain other areas Muslims also fled or deserted? They fled from the HVO
24 with or without their weapons, and the HVO would lose certain positions or
25 certain locations because of betrayal among its own ranks.
1 A. I can't remember this -- yes. Well, my memory is being refreshed
2 as I read this, but I don't remember this happening elsewhere. It may
3 have happened. I know not.
4 With this document in hand, and if I do read everything, obviously
5 my memory would be better refreshed. This I remember, but I cannot
6 actually answer your questions saying that there were other cases. I know
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could I be informed
10 of the amount of time I still have since I'll have to skip certain areas.
11 I'd like to know how to proceed.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have 15 minutes, because
13 then we will have the 20-minute break, and then Mr. Coric's Defence will
14 have 45 minutes. Try to complete your cross-examination within 15
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I think I'll manage to
17 do that.
18 Q. Witness, at the beginning of the discussion, although we didn't
19 follow this up because there were a number of interesting things
20 mentioned, but at the beginning you also mentioned the existence of
21 certain groups and individuals who acted in the field listening to their
22 own lower command. There were certain actions that were carried out
23 during which the Main Staff was bypassed. I think you also mentioned the
24 problem of soldiers who held onto their weapons but were on leave in fact.
25 They didn't have any tasks to carry out. So could you tell us anything
1 more about such manifestations of wilful behaviour on the part of
2 individuals or groups of individuals?
3 A. Yes. That was the main problem or is the main problem with all
4 armies, that is to say, how to control its personnel, its units,
5 particularly when the command staff are not around or they're not under
6 their control. And undoubtedly there was indiscipline, and there were
7 individuals who I believe did take inappropriate action. I can share with
8 you personal anecdotes. It's not important, but I could show you personal
9 anecdotes which shows the lack of discipline with very many of the
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would be interested in hearing one or two
12 personal anecdotes, as you labelled them.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on my way back from Split,
14 around the border area between Bosnia and Croatia there was a car
15 accident. A Spanish accident, crashed against a Croat vehicle. We were
16 surrounded by crowds, very many of them soldiers in battle fatigues. I
17 don't know whether they were soldiers or not. In a threatening fashion.
18 I in fact had got off the vehicle and talked to them. I was surrounded
19 all the time. They tried to take my weapons from me. They tried to
20 attack me, and they were for ever trying to get money out of us,
21 Deutschmark. We were there for about one to two hours discussing with
22 them. The Croat police was present at that incident. There were Croat
23 officers present, too, who did not take part whatsoever in the incident,
24 did not intervene, and gradually I managed to persuade them that the
25 problem could be solved by having them come to the SpaBat barracks and
1 read our insurance policies that would deal with the problem. But there
2 were many, very many soldiers on leave. At -- the village was in fact
3 celebrating its celebrations and I can tell you that I had a pretty rough
4 time, pretty rough time.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, at the beginning of your answer you said that all armies
7 have such problems, all armies throughout the world. On the basis of your
8 experience in other countries than includes the territory of the former
9 Yugoslavia, could you tell us whether you noticed a difference of any kind
10 between such problems in armies that have existed for decades, the armies
11 that are well structured and have educated soldiers and armies where the
12 army is in fact still being formed and structured?
13 A. Well, the answer would take a very long time. It's not a very
14 concrete question, but it's a fundamental problem of armies, how to
15 control the personnel when the chiefs, when the command staff are not
16 around. This is what we tried to instil in them, that they have to obey
17 discipline even if the staff, the chiefs of staff or the command staff are
18 not around. This is achieved in some armies. In some armies it is not.
19 Q. Nevertheless, if an army is still being formed and ordinary
20 citizens who have no education or in fact the soldiers, could we take it
21 for granted that there would be such problems to a far greater extent than
22 in a well-established army in which the rules are quite clear and well
24 A. No doubt. No doubt. A rapid mobilisation army made up of
25 citizens, of course, would find it far more difficult to maintain
1 discipline than other armies.
2 Q. Thank you. You mentioned soldiers on leave and pointed out that
3 this was a particular problem. Did you know that the organisation of the
4 HVO army was based on so-called shift work or, rather, soldiers, citizens,
5 were soldiers for two weeks and then they were free citizens for the next
6 two weeks? They would take their weapons home with them. I can see that
7 you are nodding, so you are familiar with such a situation.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Ten days, not half a month
10 but 10 days.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. They would have
12 shiftwork. They would be on shift for 10 days. They didn't have a
13 barracks. They wouldn't leave their weapons at certain location as is
14 usually done in well-established armies, well established military
15 structures. What they would do is they would take their weapons home with
17 According to your own information, would this make it more likely
18 that certain incidents might occur?
19 A. It's more difficult. What doubt can there be? It is more
20 difficult to control personnel that go back to their villages with their
21 weapons. If there's no well-organised military police in the rear lines
22 in the rest areas. Of course it is more difficult.
23 Q. Thank you. I only have one more question for you, Witness. Could
24 you tell us when you arrived in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the area
25 that your battalion is responsible for, and when you left that area, was
1 the territory under the control of the ABiH a large or small one?
2 A. In the SpaBat area of responsibility, theoretically there was one
3 single army. They were together. The armija and the HVO. They fought
4 together against the Serbs. As time went on, those two armies split up
5 and hostilities broke out. Two armies came into being, but the area in
6 which we moved was basically controlled in the Croat areas by the HVO and
7 in the Muslim areas the armija. I don't know whether this was your
9 Q. Yes. My question concerned the territory under the control of the
10 Croatian army or, rather, of the Muslims. If I can extend my question to
11 the area that was under the 2nd Battalion UNPROFOR. I assume you're also
12 familiar with the reports at the level of UNPROFOR. In the area under the
13 ABiH and the HVO, my question is in that entire area which was later to
14 become the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from April 1993 up until
15 September 1993, was the territory under the control of the ABiH increased
16 or did that territory diminish?
17 If you can't answer with certainty, we'll move on.
18 A. Well, I can talk about the SpaBat area. The rest of the areas
19 were -- UNPROFOR was present and where there were variations I cannot talk
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I find this question very difficult.
22 What is small? In relation to what?
23 I would not know the criteria, but perhaps, Witness, you could
24 compare. You say -- was the larger part of the territory to which you
25 were assigned under the control of the Croatians or under the control of
1 the Muslims?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no information on square
3 metres or hectares, but the area around which we moved about, well, more
4 area was controlled by the Croats than by the Muslims. Now, if we take a
5 measuring tape, maybe I will be proved wrong, but this is my impression.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, thank you.
7 Q. I'd just like to clarify something. It's obvious that the
8 interpretation into French was incorrect. My question didn't concern a
9 large area or a small area. I wanted to know whether the territory under
10 the control of the ABiH had been increased, whether it had been increased.
11 I just wanted to know whether the ABiH carried out attacks to enlarge the
12 amount of territory under its control. That was the purpose of my
13 question, but the witness can't answer it. He can only talk about the
14 area under his responsibility.
15 Given that's the situation I won't continue with this subject, but
16 I have one final question, Witness.
17 You told us that you quite frequently saw representatives of
18 Croatian civilian and military authorities. You quite frequently worked
19 with them. You said that you'd been in the office in the Main Staff. Can
20 you tell us at any point in time, regardless of whether it was Petkovic or
21 Praljak who was the Supreme Commander, can you tell us whether you ever
22 saw a photograph of Ante Pavelic in the office of the Supreme Command, and
23 do you know who Ante Pavelic was?
24 A. Yes, I have heard of Ante Pavelic, but I'm very much afraid that
25 if I saw a photograph of him I couldn't recognise him. When I got there
1 on a courtesy visit to Petkovic that's really all I did because normally
2 speaking I would not visit the HVO headquarters.
3 Q. Did you see the photograph of anyone in that office hang on the
4 wall? Did you see a photograph of any kind?
5 A. No. Well, I don't remember having seen any photographs at all.
6 Q. I'll tell you why I'm asking you this. The witness who was here
7 before you said that in all -- almost all official premises of the HVO he
8 saw the photograph of Ante Pavelic who was the top man in the Independent
9 State of Croatia, which was state that existed at the time of the second
10 world war and was close to Germany. I think you know something about
11 that, and that's why I put this question to you. I wanted to know whether
12 when you had contact with Croats in the territory of Herceg-Bosna you ever
13 gained the impression that these people were in some way associated with
14 Nazi or fascist ideologies.
15 A. No, I never discussed the matter of ideology with them, in any of
16 my contacts with them. We never talked about ideology. We only talked
17 about day-to-day problems. That was more than enough.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I think
19 my time is up.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll now have our
22 break, and we will resume at 10 to 1.00. The next Defence team will have
23 45 minutes at its disposal, and we must conclude by 1.45 because there is
24 another hearing in the afternoon, and if we are late in adjourning, the
25 Chamber that will be having a hearing in the afternoon will be angry.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Without wasting any more time,
4 I'll give the floor to the next and last Defence counsel.
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 The time we have been allotted for our team we shall divide up between
7 myself and my client, Mr. Valentin Coric.
8 Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. My name is Dijana
10 Tomasegovic Tomic, I am an attorney from Zagreb, and in this case I
11 represent Mr. Valentin Coric.
12 There seems to be a problem. The witness can't hear the
14 Shall I try again? Perhaps we can check. Can you hear me, sir?
15 A. I'm all set.
16 Q. Fine now. I'll introduce myself. My name is Dijana Tomasegovic
17 Tomic. I'm an attorney from Zagreb, and in this case I'm counsel for
18 Valentin Coric.
19 To start before any cross-examination, I'd like to go back to the
20 first part of the examination-in-chief and what you said there. I think
21 it was on the 22nd of June when you appeared before this Tribunal for the
22 first time, and I'd just like to remind you, I don't want to repeat what
23 was already said, but at the time you talked about the reliability of
24 SpaBat reports. Do you remember that? Do you remember addressing that
1 A. Yes. Whether I was asked about what was in the documents and I
2 was asked what the meaning of that was, yes, I was asked about it. What
3 the letters and numbers were, yes, I was asked about it.
4 Q. I now want to ask you the following: Is it true and correct that
5 you said on that occasion that as to figures the figures bear out the
6 reliability of the sources and that they go from top to bottom levels of
7 reliability, from 1 to 6? So 1 was least reliable and 6 was the most
8 reliable source.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Can we have on e-court the following document: It is
11 Prosecution Exhibit 503744. P. It is a P document. P 0. P 03744.
12 Now, in the Croatian version it is on page 5, and in English it is
13 on page 6. And in the Spanish version it is on page 2. I think we have
14 everything now.
15 A. I wanted to clear something up. This is why I wanted to have a
16 look at the document. I was talking about reliability in relation to
17 numbers. No reliability [Realtime transcript read in error, "liability"]
18 is given by letters and credibility by the numbers. Reliability, the
19 source; credibility, the news item.
20 Q. Well, that's what I asked about, figures. I did not inquire
21 whether the document was under seal. I do apologise. So I'm asking now.
22 Is perhaps the document under seal?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it is under seal. So we'll
24 move into private session.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 5818-5820 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, and
6 we still have a little time left. Would the Prosecution like to ask any
7 additional questions? If we had exhausted all our time, I wouldn't have
8 asked them that question.
9 MR. SCOTT: I do, Your Honour, have about three questions since we
10 do have the time, if I may.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Scott:
12 Q. Sir, it was mentioned yesterday in connection with the
13 humanitarian convoy, I believe it was the first convoy as we referred to
14 them of the two in August, that when the convoy stopped in Citluk, apart
15 from Mr. Praljak there were a number of other officials or officers there
16 and I believe it was identified that a Foreign Minister of Croatia, Mate
17 Granic, was in Citluk at the time that the convoy was attempting to pass
18 through. Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes. But you talk about the second convoy, the one on the 25th of
20 August, because the other one was not in fact stopped.
21 Q. All right. Thank you for that. I stand corrected.
22 Did you have any information, since you were the operational
23 commander of the convoy itself overall, did you have any information that
24 day why the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Croatia, a foreign
25 country, just happened to be in Citluk at the same time that this convoy
1 was passing through?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object, Your Honour, just for the sake
3 of objecting in that he's going beyond the scope of the cross-examination.
4 And --
5 MR. SCOTT: That's not correct.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: This is a question that could have been asked on
7 direct examination. He failed to do so. So for technical reasons I'm
8 objecting. I don't have a problem with the gentleman answering the
9 question, but I just want to make sure we don't develop a habit of just
10 redoing redirect -- redirect becomes a way to introduce new additional
11 evidence that goes beyond the scope of cross.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to take up the
13 question, because yesterday it was a question that I asked myself and I
14 wasn't able to ask because of the lack of time.
15 Now, apparently there was somebody who had belonged to another
16 country who was there on the location. That might be surprising, but did
17 you know about this, or what did you learn about the presence of an
18 important person from an important country who was on the spot?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had no news that the Croatian
20 Foreign Minister was going to be at that time in Citluk, but it was usual
21 for these people to be around, so I was not surprised.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you say it's normal. What's
23 normal, usual? What's usual?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Relatively normal for a Croat
25 minister to travel to Mostar, Citluk, to visit refugees, to see the
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina Croatian area for themselves. On a number of occasions
2 we learned of the presence of ministers in the area. I cannot say how
3 many times, but we did learn of their presence in the area.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So what you're
5 telling us is that to your knowledge there were other ministers who
6 visited. Were there any ministers from any other country apart from this
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Aside from the ones that visited,
9 the Spanish ministers visiting the Spanish forces, we knew of no other
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
12 MR. SCOTT: If I can follow up on the president's questions,
14 Q. Sir, do you recall knowing or were you briefed at these morning
15 briefings or were you otherwise advised during this time following this
16 extended period of blockade of the eastern -- of the Muslim part of
17 Mostar, were you aware that there was a tremendous international outcry
18 and pressure --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection to the question, Your Honour.
20 Your Honour, I'm objecting to the form of the question. It is leading in
21 nature at this point in time. He may ask him an open-ended question as he
22 must and as he should and as he knows. This is direct examination or
23 re-direct. It is not cross-examination. He should not be leading the
24 witness with suggestions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but they are additional
1 questions. Any way, Mr. Scott, you are not cross-examining now. You
2 can't say -- you can't put something to the witness and then say
3 whether -- ask him whether he thinks you're correct. Your questions must
4 be directly linked to what emerged from the cross-examination. So I don't
5 see where you're heading at the moment. Perhaps you could rephrase your
6 question following those guidelines and procedure, the classical
7 procedure. But don't ask him whether he agrees with you. He's not here
8 to agree or not. He's here to answer questions.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, my question was not whether he agreed but
10 whether he had been briefed. The witness has advised us that there was a
11 morning briefing every time -- every day, excuse me, that there were
12 reports that were shared amongst all the SpaBat command staff. It may
13 have been that when a senior official of a foreign government was expected
14 to be in the area that day or the following day that that would have been
15 something discussed among the SpaBat command. I'm simply asking if he
16 recalls having any more information about why Mr. Granic, Minister Granic,
17 was there at that time and what the circumstances were in connection with
18 the international position or outcry at that time. If he was advised. If
19 he says he was not advised of that, then we're at an end.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I need to point this out for the record
21 because this is a sleazy tactic and I'm purposely choosing that word,
22 "sleazy," because he's talking about the outcry. He could have asked the
23 gentleman, what was the briefing about. That was his question. The last
24 part is a sleazy tactic use commonly in the United States by Prosecutors
25 and Defence lawyers when they want to sneak something in front of the jury
1 and I think this is outrageous.
2 MR. SCOTT: But your comments are outrageous, Mr. Karnavas.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am going to deal with the
4 problem. We have a Foreign Minister who was present. The question that
5 the Prosecution was asking, perhaps inappropriately put, which gave rise
6 to the response of the Defence counsel, but when you had meetings,
7 briefings, or meetings amongst yourselves, and this is directly linked to
8 what was said a moment ago about reliability, credibility, did you
9 internally among officers take note of the visit by a foreign person when
10 this convoy was moving?
11 So that's the question. You can say, "I don't remember. We
12 didn't -- we didn't make note of that," or not, well, depending on your
13 answer. Give us your answer, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was -- information was not
15 mentioned at any meeting. There was no mention of a visit by a Foreign
16 Minister nor that I was going to be around the convoy. It was just that
17 whilst we were escorting the convoy he appeared.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There we have it, the answer,
19 when Mr. Granic was there. Another question, Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir, you were asked today a question about -- you were asked today
22 a question about the fighting around Doljani in April -- mid-April of 1993
23 and whether Doljani was an area -- a village that was predominantly Croat,
24 was primarily Croat population. All that was put to you by Defence
1 Did you have any awareness, sir, that the Croat of Doljani had
2 been -- had left the area prior to the attack on the Muslim population?
3 A. At that time we knew that there had been population movements. We
4 don't know whether Croats had left Doljani, but there had been movement of
5 population around the whole area because there were combats all around,
6 but I cannot remember, well, the whole of the population, part of the
7 population that left Doljani or not. I don't remember.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. No further questions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Sir, that brings your
10 testimony to a close. I thank you for having come, asked by the
11 Prosecution, called by the Prosecution. You have answered to all our
12 questions, including those of the Judges. We wish you a happy return back
14 Before you leave the courtroom may we have the blinds lowered,
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to raise the blinds
18 now. Well, if the president could press the button, we'd gain time.
19 Since we have a little time left, there's a problem to resolve,
20 and that is the tendering of documents. I'm going to give the floor to
21 both sides and then -- but, Mr. Scott, as far as the Prosecution documents
22 are concerned, which would you like to have tendered?
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Subject to the confirmation
24 because we've just now done this fairly quickly, but subject to further
25 confirmation the specific documents that were put to this witness we
1 believe were the following: In court Exhibit, that is IC 00024, IC 00025,
2 P 01717, P 02081, P 02108, P 02192, P 02220, P 02235, P 02241, P 02273, P
3 03018, P 03597, P 03705, P 03744, P 03980, P 04423, P 04698, P 09612,
4 apparently that is related to the in court Exhibit 00025, which I already
5 mentioned, and then P 09613, P 093615, P 09676.
6 For clarity's sake Your Honour, plus -- perhaps we could discuss
7 those at the moment. I would come back to the larger collection of SpaBat
8 documents after we've first dealt with these specific documents, if that's
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, what about the
11 Defence, who is going to start off? Counsel Ibrisimovic.
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
13 Defence of Mr. Pusic presented a number of documents during the
14 cross-examination. The first that we'd like tendered is 6D 0003. It is a
15 Croatian Defence counsel document but the witness recognised what it was
16 about and the person mentioned he knows the person personally. His name,
17 Raguz Bozo, the liaison officer, and documents -- the SpaBat documents
18 were also mentioned. Then we have 21 -- 00218, P, was also presented, but
19 since the proposal [as interpreted] tendered the document as a Prosecution
20 document, then we agree.
21 As far as 2291, document 2291 is concerned, it is P 02291, a
22 Prosecution document that we discussed, our proposal was that the document
23 be translate the into English again and then to make the decision of
24 whether to admit it into the evidence or not. And I spoke about this
1 Now, another document we used was P 05220. This was not tendered
2 by the Prosecutor just now so we would like to tender it into evidence as
3 a Defence exhibit, but once it's in e-court. We didn't put it into
4 e-court so as not to repeat something that the Prosecutor had perhaps
5 already done.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
7 Counsel Nozica.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'm also
9 going to propose Defence exhibits shown to the witness yesterday. The
10 first exhibit is 2D 0017, and I'd just like to remind the Court that it
11 was information provided by Ivica Lucic. The date is the 14th of June,
13 In addition to that, I'd like to tender Exhibit 2D 0016, and that
14 is a letter by Mr. Bruno Stojic to the Defence Minister of Spain.
15 Then I'd like to tender Exhibit 2D 0018. I apologise. It is 2D
16 00118. It is a document, a letter on the civilian police dated the 13th
17 of July, 1993.
18 And finally defence Exhibit 2D 00115, which is a letter from
19 UNPROFOR Malaga, expressing gratitude. I also used yesterday four
20 exhibits; I'll give the numbers: P 0511, P 02741, and P 02761, and just a
21 moment let me check. P 01717. I'll just check that out to see Mr. This
22 as a document included by the Prosecution. If not, we will place it in
23 e-court and then determine a number. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
25 For Mr. Praljak.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of the
2 accused General Praljak would like to propose the following documents to
3 tender them into evidence: 3D 00278, 3D 00279, 3D 00280, 3D 00310, 3D
4 00363, 2 -- 3D 00366, it is composed of two parts, a DVD and the
5 transcript, the transcription of the -- of the speakers, 3D 00369 is the
6 next one, 3D 00365, 3D 00340, next two documents, two maps in fact that
7 were used and we were given a provisional number IC 00-0030, and the next
8 document is IC 00-0031, and then just like my colleague, Mrs. Senka, said
9 we would like to put forward the following Prosecution documents I also
10 consider -- I am also one of those who consider that there is no need for
11 a Defence number. They can be admitted with the Prosecution number but
12 that remains to be established. So I propose the following documents to
13 be tendered: Prosecution Exhibit P 02572, then P 05475, P 06452, P 01914,
14 and the last one P 04423. Those are all documents which either my
15 colleague Nika Pinter or General Praljak used during the
16 cross-examination, and as I said, regardless of whether they're going to
17 have P numbers be as P numbers or D3 numbers, I would like to tender them.
19 Now, when the Prosecution gave us their numbers, I don't think I
20 have repeated them, but if they've already been stipulated by the
21 Prosecutor, then of course we agree. Thank you.
22 My colleague has just told me that I should tender P 5111. And
23 that's one of the documents that there was a misunderstanding over with
24 General Praljak and so on but we'll check that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Alaburic next.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we would like to
2 tender just one document into evidence regardless of the fact that we
3 showed the witness a number of documents and that document is 4D 00070.
4 It is an agreement between General Petkovic and -- Generals Petkovic and
5 Halilovic, dated the 12th of May. The document is one that the witness
6 knew about, that he commented on, but it is otherwise a document which the
7 Prosecution disclosed to the Defence and if possible just -- I'd just now
8 like to note that I apologise to Mr. Scott if my records are incomplete
9 but according to my records the documents under P 02108 and P 09612 were
10 not shown to the witness. Now, if I'm wrong on that score I apologise in
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Ibrisimovic.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May I just make a correction my
14 colleagues have told me that in the transcript the first document was not
15 recorded that I -- the Prosecution document that I don't think was shown
16 the witness it was P 02108. P 02108. Thank you.
17 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
18 think that my colleague Ms. Alaburic made a mistake I presented that
19 document to the witness not Mr. Scott. So it is not 6D 003, so 0033 at
20 the end.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give the floor to
22 Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic, but Mr. Scott, it would appear that P 09612 wasn't
23 presented to the witness and you have asked that it be tendered into
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, our review of the transcript shows that
1 it was used in the transcript on the 22nd of June. We stand by -- let me
2 just clarify because of the various comments of that been made. We stand
3 by the list that I first read to you including that particular document
4 09612. I did omit one document and that was Exhibit P 03545.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the last member
6 of the Defence teams.
7 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I only wish to say that we
8 have no documents to tender through this witness thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Ms. Nozica.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I would
11 wish to make a correction. Instead of number 2D 00116, it says 0016 [as
12 interpreted]. So I wish to correct that. I also wish to express my
13 disagreement with the tendering of Prosecution document P 3545. It is a
14 document referring to Mr. Bruno Stojic, but the witness was unable to
15 confirm the content. It concerns a dinner where the witness says he was
16 not present.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will render a
18 decision concerning all of these documents so we have a few more minutes
19 left. As I see that Mr. Karnavas is here, I would like him to explain to
20 us what he was explaining to us the other day because the Judges failed to
21 understand anything. So could you give us an explanation. I believe that
22 you were requesting the Chamber's assistance, but in order to be provided
23 with assistance, it's nevertheless necessary to be familiar with your
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree. I agree, Your Honours. It has to do with
1 the fact that all parties are required to exercise due diligence
2 throughout the course of the trial in order to make a record, so later on
3 if there is an appeal, at least they can -- the Appeals Chamber will be
4 able to see that counsel were due diligent.
5 Now, there is one particular rule, It's 90(H)(i), which is based
6 on a common law principle found in the United Kingdom and other
7 jurisdictions that follow the UK system - unlike the United States -
8 commonly known as putting the case to the witness, and so it requires the
9 Defence, and Mr. Scott on a couple of occasions has indicated that one of
10 us had to put the case to the witness based on this particular Rule. So
11 it requires us to confront the witness with a particular set of questions
12 or documents in order to give the witness an opportunity to give an
14 I pointed out a document. I used an example yesterday from the
15 direct examination by Mr. Scott where he was looking at -- he had -- there
16 was a series of questions, and throughout his direct examination he had
17 made references to a particular operational logbook. The one set of
18 questions was related to why were the Muslims -- why did they blockade the
19 SpaBat in Mostar? Why didn't they let them leave, the convoy. And so the
20 answer that was given was -- and I pointed for the record the relevant
21 pages, but the answer was they wanted to give the UN a taste of what it
22 was like to be under siege in essence.
23 In the very same document that was being referenced by Mr. Scott
24 for other purposes, there was an entry for, I believe it was August 31st,
25 wherein it said that the reasons that they believed that they were
1 blockade -- that there was the blockade was because they wanted the time
2 to regroup in order to, at some point, to have some sort of a tactical
3 advantage obviously they were getting ready for an attack. There was a
4 clear instance where the Prosecution in my opinion should have presented
5 this to the Trial Chamber. They did not. It's an adversarial setting. I
6 understand that. But one would -- could argue that there should be some
7 sort of an affirmative duty on the part of the Prosecutor or the other
8 side as well to point out those flaws, but more so on the Prosecution
9 because, after all, we have no burden of proof.
10 Be that as it may, I chose not to cross-examine on that issue for
11 a variety of reasons and one was to make this particular point and see if
12 I'm correct. Since the gentleman did not generate the document himself, I
13 felt that there was no need for me to confront the witness and take up
14 time since I would nonetheless be able to use that portion of the document
15 in future purposes such as in the final brief to show that there's another
16 alternative plausible explanation and therefore there was no need for me
17 to confront the witness. And so -- the way I understand the Rule is, and
18 I think the way perhaps the Trial Chamber may wish to give us some
19 guidance on, that we need only put the case to the witness where the
20 document that is being referenced, for instance, is one that was generated
21 by the witness himself.
22 Of course, we would be -- we would feel free to so confront the
23 witness, but we would not be exercising lack of diligence for failing to
24 confront a witness with a document not generated by that particular
25 witness but for the sheer sake of showing a contradiction, and that's
1 where I thought that the Trial Chamber may wish to consider and give us
2 some guidance.
3 Now, I mentioned this because, if the answer is no, you must put
4 the case to the witness, then it will take up a tremendous amount of time
5 for the Defence during the cross-examination period, and under the time
6 constraints and the realities that exist, we simply don't have that time.
7 And I don't think anyone is prejudiced because the documents are there,
8 and I would say this is more of a continental approach than one might --
9 than one, say, I would exercise in my own jurisdiction, especially in
10 front of a jury, keeping in mind that we don't have a final brief in front
11 of a jury.
12 That's one point. I hope I've clarified that or perhaps, if there
13 are any questions on that. I would like to move on to another issue again
14 dealing with how we may be able to find ways to get around the time
15 constraints that would allow both parties and the Trial Chamber to -- to
16 have a fair trial in this -- in this setting. And -- and I would ask the
17 Trial Chamber to perhaps entertain, under Rule 71, it provides for
18 depositions, and I think if we look at the other Rules, obviously the
19 Trial Chamber is free to exercise its discretion. It has a wide degree of
20 discretion. And here is how Rule 71 may be of assistance.
21 Tomljanovich, from what I understand this morning the ruling was
22 that essentially each Defence team, each accused gets two hours to
23 cross-examine Mr. Tomljanovich, approximately. Give or take a minute here
24 or there. Clearly that is not enough, particularly if the Prosecutor --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. You are making a mistake.
1 This morning we said in total the Defence has three days. It's for you to
2 decide how to allocate this time. If you decide that Mr. Prlic's Defence
3 will have all that time, the Chamber agrees but if you fail to reach an
4 agreement, in that case, the Bench will have to rule. And naturally we
5 would prefer you to reach an agreement the bench would prefer you to reach
6 an agreement amongst yourselves.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: That's why I said essentially, Your Honour. I mean
8 if we divide it I'm not suggesting that -- I understand it was three days,
9 but we cannot always agree as you well have noticed by now but be that as
10 it may, 12 hours. Now, the Prosecution has indicated that they want to
11 bring in portions of the report and -- and of course -- direct examine him
12 as well. And in doing that, obviously it puts the Defence in a very
13 difficult position because we would need more time, substantially more
14 than what is being provided.
15 I understand the problems that we have, but one way to get around
16 it perhaps might be to schedule a deposition of Mr. Tomljanovich, say on
17 Friday. And we can do this with a court officers and it won't take up any
18 time of the Judges and during the deposition at least we could cover a
19 great deal of the preliminary issues. It would be under oath. You would
20 have the record. Objections could be raised. So -- and then when we come
21 into court we would have a much more useful -- we would use the time more
22 usefully by getting directly into the issue.
23 I throw that out as one example --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I apologise for
25 interrupting you, but this witness is considered to be an expert witness.
1 He shouldn't shall heard in the way that you have suggested. He's and
2 expert witness even if he's being paid for his testimony. That's the case
3 for the Prosecution. Your idea is very interesting, but he is the
4 Prosecution's witness.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I -- I --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But in any case, the witness
7 will take the solemn declaration before his testimony. He'll answer your
8 questions, the Judges's questions, the Prosecution's questions, after
9 taking the solemn declaration.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Here's the problem I'm confronted with, Your Honour
11 if, if I may use a culinary example. Anybody who knows about cooking
12 knows there is a certain procedure that needs to be followed and I'm
13 constantly being told, go directly, go directly, go directly, why are you
14 doing this? Why is it necessary to talk about that? Why? Because I need
15 to lay a foundation; I need to lock the witness in; I need to lay the
16 groundwork. It's not just by coincidence. Hundreds of hours are spent
17 preparing for cross-examination, and I dare say they're wasted. They're
18 wasted because we don't have the time.
19 The man is an expert, if you want to call him that. I choose not
20 to. I don't think he is an expert. He's a historian but he's not a
21 political scientist. But what I'm suggesting Your Honour is not technical
22 questions with relation to his expertise but rather the background. For
23 instance, I would like to know what his salary is, I want to know what he
24 has earned with the UN, I want to know what his package is I want to know
25 which -- you know, all these sorts of things that would take up a lot of
1 my time that you would not want me to take up, that time here in court,
2 and want me to get directly into the heart of the matter. I'm merely
3 suggesting this we don't have to do it with Mr. Tomljanovich. I have
4 another idea as well.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand you very well, but
6 to ask him how much he earns, how can that help? Why would that be
8 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ...
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How would that affect the
10 technical aspects of his report unless one suggests that he is being well
11 paid because he has drafted a report of a certain kind.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, there was a fine example by
13 Mr. Kovacic. Why not have Ms. Nika Pinter who has been here in these
14 cases more than anyone else in this courtroom, why not have her testify as
15 an expert witness on behalf of General Praljak? She's an expert. That's
16 what we're talking about. We're talking about an employee, a member of
17 the team, somebody who gets paid. Now, is he going to disagree with his
18 pay masters? He gets fired. The reason he keeps his job is he's part of
19 the team. He's participating --
20 MR. SCOTT: That's pure assertion by Mr. Karnavas. That's slander
21 of a human being that's in this courtroom to defend himself without any
22 basis to do so. He's said that he's put himself up for hire. Now that's
23 an allegation that is unfounded and it's outrageous for Mr. Karnavas to
24 make it. He should stop making allegations that he cannot support.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: He's part of a team. He sits in -- he sits in
1 strategy sessions he interviews witnesses he goes into the field. And I
2 can go on down the list. He is no different than having Mr. Mundis in
3 court. Why not have him testify on behalf of the Prosecution as an expert
4 witness? That's what we're talking about. There's no difference. He
5 lacks a law degree.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We've taken note of
7 what you have said. The Judges will discuss the matter. You have raised
8 an issue that shocked me personally when I first arrived in this Tribunal,
9 but Judges in other Trial Chambers have accepted such a procedure.
10 As you're a member of the Defence association, you can ask the
11 Rules committee or you can submit a motion to the Rules committee to have
12 certain Rules amended, and believe me I will fully support you.
13 Unfortunately, I have to declare the session adjourned because
14 there is another trial in the afternoon. Tomorrow the Prosecution will
15 need two hours for our next witness and as the victim is concerned the
16 Defence will also have two hours. It's for you to decide how to divide
17 this time.
18 Yes, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour I --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you up because we are
21 leaving or is there something you would like to add.
22 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour there are two things one I
23 absolutely have to do because -- well, I can take it up with the registry
24 about the protective measures requested by the witness for tomorrow. I'll
25 take it up with the registry directly.
1 Ten seconds, Your Honour. Before the Court makes any rulings on
2 the matters this afternoon I want to be -- with all respect, I want to be
3 heard on them. Mr. Karnavas has got on his feet for an extended period of
4 time and raised a number issues from A to Z. I've had no opportunity to
5 respond to them whatsoever there was another issue raised about another
6 exhibit I had no chance to respond to I also said I wanted to object -- to
7 raise the whole issue of the documents generally and, Your Honour, with
8 all respect I want to have the appropriate time to address the matters
9 that are important to the Prosecution as well so I will ask to have time
10 tomorrow to do that as well, please.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. Tomorrow you
12 will need two hours for the witness. Or perhaps you could shorten your
13 examination and than would give you more time for your intervention.
14 Thank you. And I will see everyone tomorrow at 9.00.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st day
17 of August, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.