1 Thursday, 21 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The Accused Pusic not present in court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
8 the case number, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Case
10 number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 I'd like to greet everyone present in the courtroom. Mr. Pusic
13 still hasn't returned, but I've been told that he should be with us on
15 I'll be rendering a model decision that will slightly modify a
16 previous decision rendered on the 19th of September with regard to the
17 admissibility of an exhibit relating to the witness Islamovic.
18 Apart from the number of the exhibit, P09701 will also be
19 admitted, but we will withdraw from the list that I have referred to two
20 exhibits that were not shown to the witness, Exhibit P03091 and P09863 --
21 463, interpreter's correction. The last exhibit is P09463.
22 There we have it.
23 WITNESS: WITNESS BM [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak has 30 minutes for
1 his cross-examination today. Mr. Praljak, put your questions, and please
2 do not plead. Put questions to the witness so that he can answer yes or
3 no. Yes.
4 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Mr.
5 Pusic's Defence counsel has granted its 20 minutes to General Praljak, so
6 that these additional 20 minutes should be taken into account.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We thought that Mr. Pusic's time
8 had already been used by Ms. Nozica. We cannot extend that time.
9 Ms. Nozica.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'd like to
11 inform you that I used up 10 minutes of the time that I had been granted
12 by my colleague, colleague -- my colleague Ms. Alaburic, and 10 minutes
13 that I'd been given by Defence counsel for Mr. Coric. So I didn't use Mr.
14 Pusic's time.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, could
16 you do the necessary calculations, please.
17 Yes, Mr. Praljak. Please go ahead.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Witness.
21 A. Good day to everyone present.
22 Q. Thank you. As you have noticed, we have severe time restrictions,
23 so please --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, as the witness has
25 been granted protective measures, don't refer to the functions he held,
1 the positions he held. We don't want him to be identified. If you feel
2 it is necessary, you should request that we move into private session.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll take care, Your Honour.
4 Q. Witness, please answer my questions by saying yes or no, I don't
5 know, or I can't remember or something to that effect.
6 Would it be correct to say that only the 18th and 19th of October,
7 1993, a conflict broke out between the Croats and the Bosniaks in Novi
8 Travnik. In 1992.
9 A. Yes, in 1992.
10 Q. Thank you. Would it be correct to say that information spread
11 throughout the -- the field, the information on war?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Would it be correct to say that the Croats claimed that it's the
14 Bosniaks that provoked the conflict?
15 A. According to the information I received, yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Would it be correct to say that the Bosniaks claimed
17 that the Croats had provoked the conflict?
18 A. Please repeat the question.
19 Q. Would it be correct to say that the Muslims, the Bosniaks, claimed
20 that the conflict in Novi Travnik had been provoked by the votes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Would it be correct to say that of -- as of the 23rd
23 of October -- or from the 23rd of October until the 29th of October the
24 final conflicts were underway for Jajce, and on the 29th of October Jajce
25 was taken by the Serbian forces?
1 A. I couldn't really tell you anything about the exact date, but I
2 saw with my very own eyes what the situation in Konjic was. I saw the
3 forces in Konjic that were withdrawing from Jajce, that had withdrawn from
4 Jajce and were heading southwards.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Would it be correct to say that after the
6 fall of Jajce the Croats accused the Muslims of not having fought well
7 enough and that it was their fault that Jajce had fallen?
8 A. Yes, there was such information. I couldn't claim whether the
9 information was correct because I'm -- I wasn't there.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Would it be correct to say that the Muslims
11 accused the Croats of not having fought well enough in Jajce, and they
12 said that it was the Croats' fault that Jajce had fallen? Were there such
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So please confirm this once more. On the 23rd of October there
16 was a conflict in Prozor.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Similarly, the Croats -- or my question is, did the Croats claim
19 that the Muslims had provoked the conflict and the Bosniaks claimed that
20 the Croats this provoked the conflict?
21 A. I can claim with full responsibility that the Croats provoked the
23 Q. Look, I'm asking you the following now: Did the Croats say one
24 thing and the Muslims, the Bosniaks another thing?
25 A. Yes. Both those statements are correct.
1 Q. Thank you. Would it be correct to say that after the fall of
2 Jajce about 30.000 displaced persons left Jajce, they set off from Jajce?
3 Could the usher please put this map on the ELMO so that we can
4 have a look at it. Could you please put it on the ELMO.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the registrar has
6 told me that when you put the question, you should turn the microphone
7 off. You should then allow the witness to reply and then put the
8 microphone on again.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Sir, my question is: Were there about 15.000 to 17.000 Bosniaks
11 who left Jajce and settled somewhere in Central Bosnia, Bugojno, Travnik,
12 Zenica, in that wide area?
13 A. Well, they fled to those areas. I don't know whether that's the
14 right number or whether the number was larger. I don't know.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Would it be correct to say that the same number or slightly
18 smaller number of Croats passed through Central Bosnia, through Rama,
19 during the period we're referring to, the end of October, and they went to
20 Livno, to Croatia, et cetera?
21 A. Those who passed through Prozor -- well, it wasn't possible for me
22 to see them because I wasn't there, but I know for sure that they did pass
23 through via that corridor.
24 Q. Thank you. And there is one more question since you were involved
25 in military matters as well. Do you know what the defence situation was
1 after the fall of Jajce, at least as far as the breakthrough of the
2 Serbian forces is concerned on the Travnik-Novi Travnik-Busovaca-Kiseljak
3 and Sarajevo axis?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Let's move on. Do you know that there were
6 people who were severely wounded in Jajce, and they had been taken out by
7 an armoured bus that came to assist them from Zagreb?
8 A. I haven't got any reliable information about that, but I couldn't
9 deny what you have said.
10 Q. Thank you. Well, that's my first series of questions, and I thank
11 you for your brief answers. I will now move on to the second series of
12 questions I have to put to you. This relates to what you said in your
13 statement about my role within the context of the events in Rama.
14 Could you please show the witness another piece of paper. Here
15 you are. Thanks.
16 Could you please read through this text.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, what is this
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It's a telefax. It's a fax.
20 It's from the ABiH. And on the 25th of October, 1992, it was sent from
21 Mostar to Igman. It's the Tactical Group 1, Konjic. We've mentioned
22 this. And the deputy commander of the 4th Corps, Mr. Budakovic, sent it.
23 His nickname is Tetak, and the text reads as follows -- can I read it or
24 should the witness do so? He can control it. A message from Mostar from
25 Tetak the Mostar Brigade. General Praljak has informed us that ABiH
1 forces and HVO forces in the territories of the municipality of Jablanica
2 and Konjic should move away from each other to avoid a conflict. It was
3 conveyed to Dr. Rusmir and the staff in Konjic and Jablanica were informed
4 of this fax.
5 Q. Do you know who Dr. Rusmir was?
6 A. Yes, I do. He was the chief of the Konjic municipality. Dr.
8 Q. Hadzihuseinovic --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the booth please
10 interpret, because I'm not receiving any interpretation.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Dr. Ruzmir Hadzihuseinovic?
13 A. Yes. He was the chief of the Konjic municipality, the head of the
14 Konjic municipality.
15 Q. Thank you. Does this date, two days after the conflict in Prozor,
16 and could we agree that I had already had meetings in Mostar and that I
17 had requested that the units in Konjic and Jablanica move away from each
18 other so that the conflict in Prozor wouldn't spread beyond those
19 boundaries? That's what this text here says. Do you agree with me?
20 A. That's what it says here.
21 Q. Thank you very much. I'd just like to establish the date of my
22 arrival in Rama.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Just to make one thing clear, you,
24 Mr. Witness, have answered, "That's what it says here." Does this mean
25 that you learn about this by reading this document, or did you know so at
1 the time in 1992?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the contents of this
3 document are concerned, well, I wasn't familiar with them, but I do know
4 that there was contact at the level of the armija and the HVO so that this
5 could be done, and so that what Mr. Praljak said could be treated as the
6 objective or, rather, the objective was what Mr. Praljak said. They
7 didn't want the conflict to spread beyond those boundaries.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you very much. Now for my following question: You are from
10 Rama, and you probably know -- or do you know that I went to primary
11 school in Rama from 1951 until 1955?
12 A. Sir, you lived in Prozor, not in Rama, but that's still Prozor
14 Q. Okay. Prozor. From 1951 to 1955.
15 A. I know that you were in Prozor, and I know that you were there
16 because your father worked in the Ministry of the Interior at the time, in
18 Q. In UDBA.
19 A. Yes, in UDBA.
20 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
21 apologise. I believe that the accused have a problem. They aren't
22 hearing the witness. There must be some technical problems.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In your statement it says but for the 29th and 30th of October I
25 was seen in Prozor. My question is as follows: Did you ever see me in
1 Prozor before the 29th or the 30th of October, 1992?
2 A. No. I didn't see you.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we now see 3D00418. Could we please have 3D00418.
4 There it is. Please enlarge this. Could we enlarge it, the first part of
5 it. There it is. We also have the English translation, of course, for
6 the Judges.
7 Do you want me to read it out or should you read it out?
8 A. I will.
9 Q. Aloud or --
10 A. "There is a great deal of chaos and tension from Igman-Konjic,
11 Jablanica, Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, Novi Travnik and we can see a
12 marked change in the conduct of the HVO on the whole territory but also
13 very murky activity amongst the ranks of the independent platoon or -- no,
14 independent leaders as well as voids --"
15 Q. It says "like Juka Prazina" if I can say what it says there.
16 A. All right. "Juka Prazina MUP and everywhere -- and everywhere, in
17 all places there are one to two independent commanders from the ranks of
18 the army, which intensifies -- is intensifying its destructive activity."
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the English be placed on the screens,
20 please. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
22 Q. My question to you is as follows: First of all, that there is
23 tension. We've read that out. Then that Juka Prazina is causing problems
24 and he has a brigade, almost an entire brigade in the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
1 A. Well, Juka Prazina, for a time, was a very positive individual,
2 but afterwards he became more of a renegade and he did and acted according
3 to other people's instructions.
4 Q. Thank you. And can we read the date? It is 04/11/1992, is it
5 not? And it says that there are certain renegade commanders in all places
6 which are intensifying their destructive action. That's what it says.
7 Thank you.
8 Shall I read point 4 and you can follow point 4 if I get something
10 A. But I can't see point 4.
11 Q. May we zoom in on point 4, please? "Our first meeting today was
12 in Jablanica at 1130 hours with refugees from Prozor. We determined that
13 about 80 Muslim houses were destroyed and torched. In addition to all
14 these difficulties, there is a list going around of individuals who they
15 intend to arrest or kill as soon as they return to Prozor, and these are
16 all fighters which gave any kind of assistance, armed assistance or
17 logistics assistance to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Prozor. We will
18 learn the exact names tomorrow."
19 So the situation as you said yourself in the Prozor and in the
20 Rama municipality was not a good one, and there was certain threats,
21 various threats, being hurled.
22 Now, point -- we come to point 5, and Ms. Nika Pinter spoke about
23 this yesterday. She said that in Prozor the situation was very serious
24 and that one of the groups there that was a renegade group and escaped
25 control was the HOS, the H-O-S. It had escaped all kinds of control.
1 A. Since I wasn't there I can't really say, but I had some previous
2 information which testified to the fact that that might be possible, but I
3 can't confirm the correctness of that because I didn't see it. I didn't
4 experience it. So I can't say either way.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, please, do you know that the HOS at the
6 time was recognised as a regular army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, I have a few more points to look at here. May I
9 look at paragraph 8 on the next page. 8, please. Yes, thank you. May we
10 zoom in on point 8. Here it is. I'm going to read it slowly.
11 "On several occasions the general stress that the HVO, and he
12 respected only Izetbegovic and the Supreme Command -- he doesn't know the
13 Supreme Command of the armed forces of BiH and expects to see Sefer
14 Halilovic tomorrow or the following day at the meeting in Jablanica. He
15 also emphasised that the BH army command -- that he would ask of the BH
16 army command that they exclude certain members of the military command and
17 that energetic measures be taken to do so, and it was evident that he was
18 alluding to Sefer and of the lower command especially Zejnil." And in
19 brackets it says, "Which would be a good service as far as I'm concerned
20 says the signatory of this text. He agrees that we should solve the
21 problem of joint commands and the schedules for them including the forward
22 command post."
23 Now, from this text can we see that we invested a great deal of
24 effort to come into contact one way or another with Sefer Halilovic and
25 that I claim that Zejnil, who was later arrested and escaped to Germany,
1 wasn't working probably, wasn't doing good work in bringing Muslims and
2 Croats closer together? Would that be correct?
3 A. Well, I could accept some of those assertions. However, I don't
4 have reliable information to the effect that Zejnil Delalic was an
5 impediment to cooperation but I can't say that there were not obstacles on
6 both sides and lack of trust on both sides.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, Their Honours will be able to read the text for
8 themselves, so I'd just like to read out point 11. It says: "In
9 Jablanica where general -- where they referred to us, General Praljak said
10 that there should be a meeting with refugees from Prozor at 2100 hours.
11 He was calm and able to give guarantees that the relations in Prozor would
12 be set right quickly."
13 And then point 10: "In Gornji Vakuf the two previous commissions
14 continued their way to Bugojno and we, Amidza and I, started out for
15 Prozor, and a fighter who had been detained was release from Gornji Vakuf
16 according to promises made in Vakuf."
17 Now, do you know how many meetings I had at that time in that area
18 in Vakuf, Jablanica, Konjic, Prozor with all parties concerned?
19 A. I can't tell you the number of meetings. I don't know, but I do
20 know that you were active during that period of time.
21 Q. Thank you. I'd like us to see another text on the ELMO.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for having
23 to intervene, but I think there was a mistake in the translation on page
24 12, line 5. The witness's answer was that there was interference and lack
25 of trust on both sides, and I think that "interference" -- the word
1 "interference" was left out.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request that if an
3 English text exists, could it be placed on the ELMO so that we could read
4 the text that already exists. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could we have 3D00291, please. May we zoom in on the text,
8 We saw in the previous document -- that the previous document
9 claimed that the situation in the area changed. It was improving quite
10 obviously with respect to relations between the army, et cetera. Now, can
11 we read the report? It is probably compiled by the information service
12 which says: "In the last few days, after General Praljak's arrival, many
13 things in Prozor changed. General Praljak, on the 30th of December, 1999,
14 arrives in Prozor and, immediately after his arrival, he orders the
15 release of a group of prisoners, including Salih," and then the name. Et
17 Now, since in your statement you speak about this extensively,
18 what the situation was like, I'm going to ask you just two things. Do you
19 remember that when you were in Prozor you were returned, and when they
20 beat you up on the road towards Here and when you were insulted by a young
21 man from HOS, do you happen to remember that I ran after that idiot with a
22 gun in my hands and I was almost ready to shoot at him? Do you remember
24 A. Sir, I remember that, but he wasn't a member of HOS. He was a
25 member of the HVO, and I know his surname as well. I know who it was.
1 Q. Thank you. Unfortunately, I was not informed.
2 A. Well, I know his name.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, do you know --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. You said
5 that you knew the idiot's name. Can you give us his name?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nikola Maric, nicknamed Nidja. He
7 was a pupil of mine.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You know that after that conflict they collected up all the
10 Muslims' cars and took them -- drove them off. Now, do you know that as
11 far as a green Mercedes was concerned that belonged to a prominent Bosniak
12 Muslim from Prozor, a prominent citizen, I seized it and returned the car
13 to the gentleman, and that this almost caused shooting between myself and
14 those people who against this, what I did. Do you know that happened?
15 A. I know whose car it was, too.
16 Q. Well, you say if you like.
17 A. Well, if you want me to say, I'll say. The car belonged to Emir
18 Delilovic. It was a Mercedes. His Mercedes was seized and a member of
19 the HVO stormed the garage to do so. Do you know that there was -- I
20 don't know about that but I don't doubt it. I'm sure that he was ready to
21 do what he wanted. He wanted to prevent you from returning the car
22 because it was big booty for him.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. Could we look at the next document
24 3D00419, please. Thank you.
25 It says here "the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Main Staff
1 Mostar, the 6th of November, 1992." And on the right it says "To all HVO
2 and BH army members."
3 Now, there's quite a number of points there, and on page 2 it is
4 signed by Major General Slobodan Praljak. There are two stamps, one which
5 was the Joint Command.
6 Now, do you know that at the time we invested great efforts to set
7 up a Joint Command and that we devised a joint stamp for that too?
8 A. I know about the joint stamp, although I didn't see it, but I do
9 know that an agreement was almost reached, but even if an agreement was
10 reached, it was never put into practice.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, from this order it has been translated and the
12 Court can read it for itself. I'd like to read point 3. "The transport
13 of weapons for the need of the military will be escorted by HVO and the
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina army members."
15 Is that what it says? "Transports of weapons for military units
16 shall be escorted," et cetera. And under 5 it says "village watches
17 should be formed in all villages of people outside military units and they
18 should be issued with the necessary weapons." That's what it says; right?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Praljak.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And to issue the necessary weapons to them. Issue them the
22 necessary weapons. Have you found that? It's in 6. In every village
23 establish village guards composed of, et cetera.
24 A. This order was never put into practice.
25 Q. I completely agree with you, sir. All I'm saying is can we agree
1 that from this order of mine, it is evident that I know or that we know
2 what was going to happen in the depth of the territory if the situation
3 was allowed to develop and become worse. And this point testifies to
4 that, and it says that it would be necessary to establish village watches
5 in order to avoid uncontrolled, completely uncontrolled individuals and
6 groups to do something that this Court here is going to deal with for the
7 next three years. And do we agree that this was impossible without a
8 Joint Command, because it would be very difficult for one side to do this
9 itself? So do we agree that that was the intention and spirit of this
10 point of the order?
11 A. Well, from the contents of this document, we can see that ways and
12 means were sought to overcome the conflict. However, what was to happen
13 afterwards confirmed either that you didn't have the capability of
14 implementing it or that you gave up on it and did not implement it.
15 Q. Thank you. We'll come back to what I was and what I did at the
16 time down there, but let's just look at another document now. I haven't
17 got it in my hands -- or, rather, I'd like to ask the usher to hand the
18 document to the witness for him to read out. They are two documents, the
19 first and then the second.
20 "Department of Defence, military police, I hereby order" -- and
21 this is an order that all the vehicles confiscated from Prozor should be
22 collected up, and the commander of the 2nd Battalion and the head of the
23 traffic police, Halilovic, are charged in doing what we did as follows.
24 Now, do you know how many confiscated vehicles were returned to
25 the people who returned to Prozor themselves, the ones that we could
1 reach? Do you know anything about that, any facts and figures?
2 A. No, but I think very few.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, may we zoom down. Yes. Scroll down.
4 At the bottom here I added something to this order. It says to
5 Colonel Zeljko Siljeg. Act upon the order. I just think that the date is
6 wrong. It should read the 19th of November.
7 A. It says 19th of December, by 2000 hours, to be executed by 2000
9 Q. Yes. But since all the documents relate to November, I think that
10 the -- a mistake was made with the date, but can you see my signature
11 where I order that that should be done?
12 A. I see a signature, and I assume it's yours.
13 Q. Yes. Thank you. Let's have the next document, please.
14 This is again an order issued by Mr. Valentin Coric, the military
15 police administration. And in this order, one of the points in my order
16 that mixed military police be formed in Travnik and in Prozor where
17 conflicts had erupted, here he implements it.
18 Can we scroll down a bit. It says: "From the 5th Company of the
19 3rd Battalion to the intervention company for Prozor, I assign 20 military
20 policemen to be designated by the company commander, and according to
21 ethnic affiliation, they should be 10 Croats and 10 Muslims."
22 A. Yes, that's what it says here, but it was never implemented.
23 Q. Are you sure it was not implemented? Are you certain of that?
24 A. Yes. I know there was no joint police, that nobody in the Bosniak
25 command approved this or agreed to it.
1 Q. There were many Muslims in the military police of the HVO. It
2 doesn't say here that these were Muslims from Rama. There was
3 proportional representation of Muslim Bosniaks and Croats who were all in
4 the military police of the HVO. Do you know anything about this?
5 A. All those who were in the HVO carried out exclusively the orders
6 of the HVO and not any orders issued by any organ of the army of
8 Q. Look, sir --
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: Yes. The French interpretation just stopped. I
10 would like to request again both Accused Praljak and the witness to be so
11 kind and to slow down. They have to understand that they are somehow in a
12 heated debate which I do not think is the right thing to do. They are not
13 to debate each other. They have to ask questions and give answers in a
14 calm atmosphere, and they have to take into account that there is
15 interpretation going on, and therefore I try to ask you to follow this
16 advice. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I usually speak quite
18 loudly when I speak, and as far as I know, so does Mr. Praljak.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you very much. Now we're on the topic. Can you testify
21 that the things that occurred in Rama, according to your statement, I
22 solved not by speaking loudly but by yelling, shouting, howling?
23 A. Yes. That's what I said in my statement, sir.
24 Q. Thank you. Whether this functioned or not we'll establish in due
25 course. We can remove this text now. And please look at 3D00289.
1 We were speaking about Jajce. Jajce had fallen, and there was
2 great fear that the Serbs would cut through Central Bosnia and arrive at
3 Sarajevo and cut Bosnia-Herzegovina completely into two parts. For this
4 reason, a volunteer formation was sent to Jajce consisting of 400 armed
5 soldiers who were armed in Capljina.
6 Do you know, first of all, that among these 400 soldiers who were
7 armed and sent to help Jajce there was 80 per cent Muslims who were
8 volunteers from the Republic of Croatia?
9 A. I don't know about this particular instance, but I do know that in
10 other cases Bosniaks arrived from Croatia to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know, and it says so here -- this is
12 signed by myself and the head of the defence department, Mr. Stojic, and
13 it says the following: "So far this group has been prevented twice by
14 Muslim units from moving towards Jajce. Today, I agreed that
15 representatives of the HVO and the SDA should go together and that they
16 should accompany the units of the HVO and the armed forces of the
17 Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to solve the problems
18 which have arisen and that our group should be allowed to go in the
19 direction of Jajce. Do your utmost to smooth out any disagreements with
20 the Muslims in Novi Travnik and Fojnica and to influence the Muslims to
21 ensure unhindered passage to Jajce from their side."
22 Are you aware that these people were sent home and that they never
23 actually managed to arrive and help Jajce?
24 A. I don't know whether they were prevented, but I do know that the
25 forces which were in Prozor were deployed from the 19th of October - I may
1 be wrong about the precise date - until the outbreak of the conflict in
2 Prozor. They wanted to proceed towards Jajce but were prevented from
3 doing so.
4 As for your question, I was unable to obtain such information in
5 the place where I was.
6 Q. Are you aware that these are the same forces, the so-called
7 Prkacin forces? Do you think these are the same forces or different
9 A. Well, they may be the same or they may be different.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Could we now answer the following: Do you
11 know from the 29th or 30th of October, over the following two months, I
12 was staying in the areas of Jablanica, Konjic, Prozor, Novi Travnik,
13 Travnik, and Busovaca, and what my role was there until Christmas 1992?
14 Did you have any information about this?
15 A. I had partial information. And we met once. If I'm correct about
16 the date, it was on the 17th of November, in the museum in Jablanica. We
17 spoke at length then --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Praljak has not switched on his microphone.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a follow-up question. You
20 have just said that you met General Praljak on the 17th of November. How
21 was he dressed?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] How was he what? I'm sorry, I
23 didn't hear the question.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How was he dressed? What was he
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I think -- I think I'm
2 not wrong, I'm rarely wrong, I think he was wearing a military uniform.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did he have any insignia on his
4 uniform? Did he have any HVO insignia on his uniform? What could you see
5 if you remember, because this was quite a long time ago.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think if Mr. Praljak, when he
7 arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina from Croatia, he was wearing HV insignia.
8 It's more likely that he was wearing HV insignia than HVO insignia, but I
9 couldn't swear to that. I know, however, where the gentleman came from.
10 So I'm telling you my opinion. I didn't really pay attention at that
11 point in time, but in my opinion it was more likely to have been an HV
12 insignia than an HVO insignia. I'm not certain I'm right about this,
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]. Well, I fully agree with
15 the witness.
16 Q. Can you say, Witness, what the problems concerning uniforms were?
17 Very often I didn't have more than one uniform. And can you confirm that
18 it wasn't matter of insignia but of what I could find to put on? Do you
19 find such an idea convincing?
20 A. Well, it may be your fault for not demanding that you get the
21 appropriate uniform.
22 Q. Thank you very much. At that point in time it didn't seem to me
23 to be -- well, let's look at your statement. On page 3 you say, "as I
24 wasn't a member of the Municipal Board I don't know whether the issue of
25 illegal army was raised at the meeting of the Municipal Board." This was
1 the arming of the HVO.
2 Do you know that in 1991 the Security Council, consisting of
3 permanent and non-permanent members, issued a decision that Croats and
4 Muslim Bosniaks had no need to defend themselves against the Serbs and
5 that they should be denied the opportunity of obtaining weapons? And from
6 this it follows that any kind of procurement of weapons was illegal and
7 punishable by law?
8 A. Well, this is correct for more than one reason. If you want me to
9 explain what I mean by this, I'm willing to do so.
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to say that in the question which
11 was raised by General Praljak, it is probably in a way not a good
12 approach. I know that you spoke about the position of Resolution of the
13 Security Council which actually denied access of Bosnia and Herzegovina or
14 everyone and everybody in the former Yugoslavia to get weapons. That is
15 true. On the other hand, we have to say that in that Resolution it was
16 never said what you've said, that is that issued a decision -- and I quote
17 from your question, "That the Security Council issued a decision that
18 Croats and Muslim Bosniaks had no need to defend themselves against the
19 Serbs and that they should not -- should be denied the opportunity of
20 obtaining weapons."
21 This kind of sentence has never figured in the Security Council
22 Resolution. I do not have it before me, but I am sure that it was not in
23 that way formulated, and therefore I would like to ask you probably to
24 refrain from this kind of opinion, which may be interpreted in the way as
25 you did, but I do not think that it is the task of yours or ours now to
1 judge how the Security Council decided at that time. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] With all due respect, Your
3 Honours, I stand by my opinion, to which I have a right. I know what the
4 consequences of that were, but I will not mention it any more.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If it is your opinion, you say, "It is my opinion
6 that," but you cannot say the Security Council said so-and-so and then you
7 are told, no, the Security Council did not, and then you say, "But it is
8 my opinion." This is the difference, and I think my colleague was quite
9 right with his observation.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was only
11 trying to ask whether it was illegal to procure any kind of weapons in
12 view of the Security Council Resolution.
13 Q. Was every procurement of weapons illegal?
14 A. Yes, it was illegal, but under that Resolution the hands of the
15 Bosniaks and the Croats were tied. The army had vast amount of weapons,
16 and the year before that all the weapons of the Territorial Defence were
17 withdrawn from the municipalities to the military depots, so that both of
18 the Bosniaks and the Croats were unarmed, were disarmed by this. So that
19 is exclusively the army that had more than 90 per cent of all the weapons.
20 Q. It was not my intention to accuse anyone, least of all the
21 Security Council, but such a decision had terrific consequences. It had
22 repercussions on this whole problem of renegade groups.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it had
24 dreadful repercussions because chaos ensued and it was very difficult to
25 keep it under control because everything became illegal.
1 Q. Witness, do you know that I arrived there on the 29th or 30th of
2 October a few days before this to Jablanica as the assistant of the
3 minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia?
4 A. That's what I was informed and told, yes.
5 Q. Did you know that -- or are you aware that anyone whether, Mate
6 Boban or Jadranko Prlic or Bruno Stojic or anyone else ever gave me any
7 document appointing me in charge of anything? Are you aware of me
8 receiving any kind of document either from the Croatian authorities or the
9 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to do what I was doing there?
10 A. I don't know anything about documents and decisions, but I know
11 that we were told that you had arrived from Croatia to assist, that you
12 had arrived in the area and that you were authorised and that your
13 authority was greater than that of the local commanders. That was what
14 the Bosniaks understood. I'm not saying whether you had or didn't have
15 any such powers.
16 Q. Thank you very much for your very correct reply, but you are not
17 aware that anyone ever appointed me in charge of anything. If what I am
18 saying is true, I was completely illegal up there throughout those two
19 months up to Christmas. Would then this have been an illegal sojourn
21 A. Well, according to what you say, yes. But judging by your
22 behaviour on the territory of Prozor municipality one wouldn't think so,
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Praljak, please. Microphone,
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you characterise my activity, the energy I invested as
3 something that contributed or substantially contributed to resolving the
4 misunderstandings and conflicts with the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 from the 23rd of October until the end of the year?
6 A. Your public statements, the ones I know about, would lead to such
7 a conclusion, yes.
8 Q. After the 23rd, when the conflict in Rama erupted, until the end
9 of 1992, were there any conflicts in Jablanica, Konjic, Prozor, Vakuf,
10 Travnik, Novi Travnik or was the situation relatively good and peaceful?
11 A. Well, the situation might be described, conditionally speaking, as
13 Q. Thank you very much. If, then, I acted in that manner and these
14 men here who are accused were -- or, rather, interpreter's correction.
15 Had these accused here been opposed to this activity of mine, would they
16 not have sent someone there to arrest me or obstruct me or ask for my
17 authorisation and stop me from doing all this? Wouldn't that have been
18 normal if they had disagreed with my activities?
19 A. I personally am convinced that the gentlemen you mentioned knew
20 about your activities. That's my opinion, because if it had not been the
21 case, you would have been removed just as some other people had been
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one follow-up question.
25 And could the registrar also calculate the time, please. In this period
1 of October and November, during this period when there were visits, when
2 such as the visits of General Praljak who was the deputy minister in
3 Croatia, did the local media give accounts of these visits? Were there
4 any articles published in the press that related to this subject?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where I was located, Mr. Praljak
6 knows what the situation is. The others don't, or they do from hearsay
7 information. I didn't have any access to the information or to the media.
8 It wasn't possible for me to gain access to such information. All I know
9 is that at that time certain media and the Croatian television, for
10 example, caused a special kind of disturbance. Sarajevo television,
11 Smirko Sako, that's his name. He wasn't in favour for -- of an end to the
12 conflict. He enjoyed the opportunity of speaking about negative things
13 rather than having to speak about positive things.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you've used up 58
15 minutes. Ms. Pinter has taken up 10 minutes. That amounts to almost an
16 hour and 10 minutes.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I have another two brief
19 Q. On page 4, you said: "The Serbian Montenegrin forces towards the
20 end of 1991 in the municipality of Prozor, there was an evident danger of
21 war. The Serbian and Montenegrin forces, we call them Chetniks, arrived in
22 Kupres. That's a municipality that borders with Prozor to the west. And
23 you say that the Serbian and Montenegrin forces consisted of one tank unit
24 from the area of Mostar. This unit was stopped in the area of Siroki
25 Brijeg, because the Bosnian Croats in that area did not want to let them
1 pass. After our President Alija Izetbegovic had interfered, the tank unit
2 was allowed to proceed towards Kupres."
3 Could we agree that Mr. Izetbegovic came, he was applauded, and
4 the public described out, "Alija, Alija," and did he ask the Croats to let
5 this tank unit through? Can we agree on that?
6 A. That's a fact. We could disagree but that was a fact.
7 Q. I have only have two minutes. Do you know that that tank unit
8 destroyed Kupres with other forces and killed scores of Croats and then
9 attempted a breakthrough from Livno to Split? Are you aware of those two
11 A. As far as the second event is concerned, no, I'm not familiar with
12 that one, but I do know that in autumn 1992 they shelled Prozor from
13 Kupres quite frequently and a number of Croats were killed and there were
14 a number of wounded.
15 Q. We won't even address the subject of Kupres now.
16 A. I know there were victims in Kupres. That's well known.
17 Q. And one more subquestion, a minor psychological question. Could
18 you say how one can explain to Croats who had a lot of victims? They say,
19 for example, we were killed by that tank unit which we let through at the
20 request of Alija Izetbegovic.
21 MR. PORYVAEV: I object.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll withdraw that question.
23 I'll withdraw that question.
24 MR. PORYVAEV: [Previous translation continues] ... which are not
25 welcome here.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll withdraw the question.
2 Although such questions are very important because in fact they
3 demonstrate what the essence of the matter was.
4 Q. One more matter because you claim I was involved in propaganda
5 with Siljeg. Did you hear or see that I had at anyplace or at any time in
6 any newspapers or on radio station in Rama, after Rama, ever say anything
7 insulting about Bosniaks or Muslims? Did I ever say anything that might
8 provoke war?
9 A. As far as your acts are concerned, within that context, no, I
10 never heard anything of that kind, but on the basis of the information
11 that we received, perhaps it was intentioned information received. But on
12 the basis of that information you weren't referred to that frequently but
13 I know that Siljeg was a hard-liner and it was far easier to debate
14 matters with you rather than with Zeljko Siljeg.
15 Q. That you never heard me say anything of that kind?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Thank you for assisting me in determining the truth.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I regret the
19 fact that although we have an honest witness here and we're dealing with
20 complicated matters, because that's when this war was brewing and there
21 were efforts made with regard to this Joint Command, but I regret the fact
22 that I don't have sufficient time to question this witness. I don't want
23 to hold speeches or put myself in the limelight here, but I would just
24 like to attempt to demonstrate why a different route was subsequently
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I just say something?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, rest assured you
3 will have the opportunity of calling all the witnesses you wish to hear so
4 they can support your position. Unfortunately, we are limited by time.
5 We'll now have another Defence team and they have 25 minutes for
6 their cross-examination.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 25 minutes. Not 250 minutes.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I forgot to
10 put a question that Ms. Nika didn't put. Your Honours, may I put one more
11 question to this witness?
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] You may use my time.
13 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. My name is Vesna Alaburic. I
15 am a lawyer from Zagreb and I represent General Milivoj Petkovic in these
16 proceedings. I will put just a few questions to you since I only have 15
17 minutes, since I have granted 10 of my minutes to my colleague Ms. Nozica.
18 Before I put my questions to you, could you just clarify something? It
19 concerns an answer that you gave to General Praljak.
20 When you discussed weapons and the sort of weapons that -- the
21 army took from the Territorial Defence and when you said that 90 per cent
22 of the weapons ended up in the hands of the army, we all know which army
23 you have in mind, but it must be recorded in the transcript.
24 A. Well, the former JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army.
25 Q. That's what I wanted to clarify. Thank you very much. The JNA.
1 In your statement, you said where you were on the 22nd of October.
2 You said that you were at the front line facing the Serbian army. This is
3 on page 8 of the B/C/S version of your statement. It's the last passage,
4 and it's at the beginning of the 9th page. And in the English version
5 it's the middle of the page 8. If I may summarise what you said, you said
6 that on the 22nd of October, you were supposed to be relieved. A shift
7 was supposed to relieve you. This did not happen. You reported to your
8 commander, Muharem Sabic. Your commander told you that you should leave
9 those positions and head in the direction of Prozor. The HVO commander
10 ordered you to hold to positions without this HVO commander being aware of
11 the fact, and he held the neighbouring positions. You headed off in the
12 direction of Gornji Vakuf.
13 Have I correctly summarised what you stated about what happened on
14 that day?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. On the basis of that statement of yours, would it be correct to
17 draw the conclusion that on the 22nd of October you and your unit left the
18 front line, which was no longer defended? You left the front line facing
19 the Serbian army.
20 A. I didn't leave that line. If I hadn't left the line, then, two
21 hours later I would have been arrested, and together with that unit I
22 would have been held hostage because the situation in Prozor had become
23 more complicated, and the best proof of that fact is that the day after
24 there was an attack launched in Prozor.
25 Q. And in your Prozor [as interpreted] you mention a slightly
1 different location but that's not important now. In your statement you
2 said if you had remained at those positions, and I quote: "That would
3 have meant that we wouldn't have been able to help Territorial Defence
4 units in Prozor when the HVO started attacking Prozor." This is on page 9
5 of the Croatian version, and it's page 8 in the English version.
6 As far as that is concerned, how did you, when you were leaving
7 the front line facing the Serbian army on the 22nd of October, set off in
8 order to help Territorial Defence units --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you leave the front line or
10 not, because initially you said no. Now Defence counsel is telling you
11 that you left the front line. Were you at the front line or did you leave
12 the front line? And if you did leave the front line, where did you go, on
13 the 22nd of October?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 22nd -- on the 22nd of
15 October, it was a Thursday. At about 1300 hours a shift was supposed to
16 arrive to relieve us, a joint shift. We were up at the positions -- that
17 we were holding four positions facing Kupres. That's the Idovac area.
18 There were four positions where these positions were being held. No shift
19 arrived to relieve us, but the Croats were relieved.
20 I asked the new commander, Mr. Ante is his name.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Misic?
23 A. Ante Misic. He was a good friend of mine. I even knew his late
24 father when he was a policeman because we were from a neighbouring
25 village. I suggested to him, let's see what the situation is. I'll be
1 relieved. We were using the same communications centre. We slept
2 together. We were at the positions together. There's nothing usual up
3 until then.
4 He went to phone my commander, and he told me that Sabic had
5 received an order and said that at 1800 hours, after the shift had been
6 relieved, I shouldn't send a new shift. I should line up the soldiers and
7 head towards Prozor.
8 I'd like to thank Misic, because he said, "Professor, teacher,
9 I've been instructed and told that you shouldn't leave here. Do not
10 leave. I'm not allowed to leave. Don't leave, because there's the
11 regular army two kilometres in front of Jaklica Staje."
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But what did you do?
13 Witness, what did you do? Did you leave or not?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At 1800 hours there was a vehicle
15 with this shift. I headed off towards the position, but this person had
16 told me that I shouldn't go down there, because if I did I would be
17 attacked and disarmed. So as ordered by the commander Sabic, I turned the
18 troops around and went to Voljice in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you left and headed off to
20 Gornji Vakuf. Very well.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Voljice is the name of the village.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Would it be correct to conclude that you reached an agreement or
24 you were ordered by your commander Sabic to leave the front line facing
25 the Serbian army, and you set off in the direction of Gornji Vakuf?
1 A. You can interpret this as you will, but I followed my orders.
2 Q. Yes, but these were orders and that's what you did.
3 A. I obeyed the commander. I always obeyed my superior officers. I
4 never disobeyed orders issued by my superiors. I did what I was ordered
5 to do, and if someone had to suffer the consequences, the person who
6 provoked the entire situation should have suffered the consequences.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when you went to this
8 village, were you alone or with the soldiers who were with you? How many
9 of you set off in the direction of this village?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were 30 soldiers, 32 soldiers,
11 but I had let two of the soldiers go home. So there were 30 soldiers. We
12 arrived in Voljice. I contacted the commander of the Municipal Staff from
13 Gornji Vakuf, Mr. Agic. He asked me to come to Gornji Vakuf. I told him
14 that I wouldn't get through because of the HVO. I sent my commander who
15 was the commander of that shift in Idovac.
16 He went to Gornji Vakuf. He established contact, and I was
17 ordered by Mr. Agic from Gornji Vakuf, the commander of the Municipal
18 Staff, to stay at that position until the following day, to rest there, to
19 wait for orders.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the truth.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Sir, I'd like to remind you of an exhibit shown to you yesterday
24 by my colleague, Ms. Pinter. It was a criminal report filed against you.
25 I'd just like to remind you of it, because we don't have time to analyse
1 the contents of the report, but do you remember that a report was
2 submitted against you because you were suspected of having committed the
3 crime of having abandoned your combat positions?
4 A. Madam, on the 30th of November, when Mr. Praljak came to Prozor
5 with Begic to fetch me, I was arrested in the village of Pajic together
6 with another 12 or 13 soldiers. Please, you'll be given your answer.
7 Then Mr. Begic and Mr. Praljak reached an agreement. They had
8 reached an agreement earlier on. Mr. Praljak convoyed an order to me --
9 Q. I apologise. I really have very little time. That is not the
10 answer I want.
11 A. Another minute, you'll receive your answer.
12 Q. I just want to know whether you can confirm that a criminal report
13 was filed because you were suspected of having committed the crime of
14 abandoning your combat position. That's all I'm interested in right now.
15 If you can't remember the contents of the criminal report, we'll move on?
16 A. I never read it, nor did I receive it, but on that day when Mr.
17 Praljak ordered that I be released and that I should bring 30 men from
18 villages to normalise the situation. Well, that's what happened. The
19 gentleman arrived. He said, "A report has been drafted. We have to take
20 him to Grude so that he can be heard." Mr. Praljak exploded and told
21 him, "Sir, I'm in command here. You aren't."
22 Q. Very well. It's not necessary to repeat that. I think the
23 report, the criminal report concerned that crime. What I'm more
24 interested in is one of your sentences. You left the front line facing
25 the Serbian army. You set off in another direction. And in your report
1 it says -- in your statement it says this meant that we wouldn't be able
2 to help the Territorial Defence units in Prozor when the HVO launched an
3 attack on Prozor.
4 Please tell us how it is that you had information that the HVO
5 planned an attack on Prozor and that that was the reason for which you
6 left your positions facing the Serbian army and you set off in the
7 direction of Gornji Vakuf? Where did you have information of this alleged
8 attack that the HVO was going to attack?
9 A. Because that statement was drafted a lot later. At that point in
10 time when I was ordered to go towards Prozor, to the Lapsunj settlement,
11 on the basis of the information of the HVO, I knew that positions would be
12 taken there. I had information. I could use the phone freely. There was
13 information according to which a lot of forces had massed in Prozor. The
14 situation was apparently tense, and on that day, on the 22nd, the
15 negotiations were under way that continued on the following day.
16 Q. Can you confirm that your commander, Sabic, ordered you to leave
17 the front line and to set off in the direction of Prozor?
18 A. You should ask him that, what he meant, but as the situation
19 reached a head and they said that there was chaos reigning in Prozor, most
20 of the time from June up until that date, 80 per cent of the day I spent
21 in Idovac within different shifts. And I got on very well.
22 Let me just give you an example to bear out what I'm saying. I
23 think -- just half a minute. Half a minute. One minute. Can I just be
24 allowed to answer.
25 Q. Now, if you need to say anything additionally, you can do so
1 during the Prosecution time, whereas I would like to use my time for other
3 In the documents that you referred to yesterday shown to you by
4 the Prosecutor, there is in my mind certain contradictions with respect to
5 the facilities that were shelled, with respect to the casualties, and with
6 respect to the duration of the attack on Prozor. So I'd like to clear
7 that up, clear the circumstances up.
8 Now, with respect to the facilities targeted, what did the reports
9 say that you were aware of since you weren't in Prozor yourself? What was
11 MR. PORYVAEV: I would like to clarify what order is meant? What
12 report is meant by the counsel? So that we could follow what is the
13 question about.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What report?
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't think I need mention
16 that because the Prosecution showed a large number of -- did not show a
17 large number of documents, but it was P00744. And another exhibit P01656.
18 Now, as far as the casualties were concerned, there was an additional
19 document and it was P01542.
20 So three documents in all, not many, where contradictory facts are
22 I don't think I need show the witness the documents. I'd like the
23 witness to the best of his recollection to give us answers to the
24 questions I ask him. And if those answers coincide with some of the
25 information presented in the report, we'll move on and not waste any time.
1 Q. Now, my question is as follows: Which facilities or buildings in
2 the town of Prozor were shelled on that day, the 23rd or 24th of October,
3 1992? What buildings?
4 A. According to my information, information received from the then
5 commander of the headquarters of the staff and many refugees, the shells
6 fell all over town, especially in those parts of town which were inhabited
7 by the Muslims.
8 Q. Did you receive information that certain facilities were special
9 targets of attack?
10 A. Special targets of attack were places where the command was
11 located, the Staff Command and certain parts of the Staff Command that
12 were not all put up in the post office or fire brigade or cultural centre
13 or whatever it was called, and in some parts of town where they had
14 relocated. So that's what was shelled and targeted. And as the
15 population did not expect anything like that, there was general chaos.
16 All hell broke loose.
17 Q. Now, what about residential buildings? Were residential buildings
18 largely damaged?
19 A. I can't confirm that because I didn't see them afterwards, so I
20 can't say. But most probably some of the buildings had to be -- must have
21 been destroyed, because afterwards, after the war, the centre or what did
22 we call it, where the post office is now, the cultural centre or whatever,
23 500.000 Deutschmarks were spent to rebuild it.
24 Q. Witness, without showing you the documents again, but of course we
25 can if we need to do so, I would like -- if I say that in document P00744,
1 which is a report on the situation in Prozor municipality dated the 14th
2 of November, 1992, if I tell you that that report states that that there
3 were no major damages to residential buildings. And that's on page 2 of
4 the Croatian text and page 3 of the English text. And that in document
5 number P01656, and that is the report on the situation in Prozor
6 municipality dated the 12th of March, 1993, it is noted on page 9 of the
7 Croatian text and 10 of the English text, and I quote: "That despite the
8 shelling there were no major damages to residential buildings."
9 Tell us now, please, whether these reports that I mentioned, and
10 do you consider that -- them to be truthful and correct or not?
11 A. Well, I can't say. I didn't see those buildings at the time, so I
12 can't say. But it is possible. It is possible that some of those
13 buildings after that were devastated. Well, armies are very similar to
14 each other. Whenever you get soldiers coming into a building, they do
15 what they like, and it's -- you can't control it. You can agree with that
16 or not, but that's how things stand.
17 Q. Since you have defined yourself as one of the co-authors of those
18 reports, I assume that you're not challenging the correctness of the
19 information in them.
20 Now, as far as casualties are concerned, can you tell us whether
21 during the night of that attack took place whether there were any civilian
23 A. Yes, not many. But the first information that received us because
24 there was general chaos said that there were dozens of casualties.
25 However, the total -- over those two days there were just seven or eight
2 Q. I'd like us to show P01656 to the witness now, please, and page 9
3 of the English version.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That will be the last question,
5 because your time is up. You've already stepped over your time limit.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May I be accorded the right to ask
7 an additional question and then a concluding question? So that would make
8 two additional questions, please. I don't think I'll make up too much
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. This is the last question.
11 This must be your last question.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Now, following on from what we were talking about a moment ago,
14 may witness be shown page 9 of P01656, the Croatian text, that is. And
15 page 10 of the English text. Because I don't have time, I'll just tell
16 you that in the document, it is a report on the situation in Prozor
17 municipality on the 12th of March, 1993. It says: "During the brutal
18 attack there were no civilian casualties."
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, did you say -- did I hear 20 March,
20 1993? That would be quite a time jump, because we were in October 1992.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. It is a report
22 which the Prosecution showed us with that number and that date, and then
23 we have P00744. That's the other exhibit, where on page 2 the following
24 was recorded, and I quote: "During that attack, there were no civilian
1 A. Which attack, madam? Which attack?
2 Q. What did you say?
3 A. Which attack? On the 23rd or what?
4 Q. We're just asking about a single attack, one single attack. And
5 now my last question. How long did that attack last, days or hours?
6 A. The attack on Prozor started approximately, give or take five
7 minutes, the 23rd at about 1525, or let's say 1530, and the conflicts
8 ended at the end of the next day, the 24th, in Prozor.
9 Q. During the night?
10 A. No. I'm talking about the 24th. They went on to the night of the
12 Q. Now, my concluding question. Would you agree with me, then, that
13 in the document that we saw yesterday, the document P01542, it was a
14 request by Omer Hujdur, dated the 23rd of February, 1993, for defining the
15 status, and in that document something is stated incorrectly, that the
16 conflict, the shelling that we discussed a moment ago, was a bestial
17 two-day shelling with the help of all available artillery weapons?
18 A. When this report was written, that is to say in November, 1992,
19 all the reports coming in from the refugees indicated -- led us to
20 conclude that general chaos reigned in Prozor.
21 Q. Sir, I'm talking about documents --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's the end of it. We have
23 to stop there. Sit down. Who will be the next Defence team? How many
24 more have we got for the cross-examination? For Mr. Prlic, you will have
25 25 minutes, and another 25 minutes, which makes it 50 minutes.
1 It is now a quarter to 4.00 -- gone a quarter to 4.00. We're
2 going to have a 15-minute break because we have one more witness. So
3 we're going to have a 15-minute break and reconvene at approximately two
4 minutes past 4.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First Defence team, 25 minutes.
8 Cross-examination by Ms. Tomanovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir?
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. My name is Suzana Tomanovic. I'm a lawyer from Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 and I am a Defence counsel defending Dr. Jadranko Prlic here. I'd like
13 you to answer as briefly as possible to my questions so I can conclude in
14 the time allotted me by the Court. Since the two of us are fairly close
15 to each other and my microphone can pick up your voice, if I notice that
16 you have not understood my question, I'll give you a sign so that I can
17 switch on and switch off my microphone.
18 A. I can hear your voice, but I can't hear you through the
20 Q. We'll see what the problem is. Perhaps your headset isn't working
21 properly. Can you hear me now?
22 A. Yes, I can.
23 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] May we go into private session for
24 a two minutes, please, first.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session.
1 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
1 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I'm going to ask you a few questions linked to the functioning of
3 the Executive Board and the way in which decision-making took place.
4 Since this is something that you know very well, you can just give me
5 "yes" or "no" answers to my questions. The authority of the secretariat
6 for defence was among others to implement the republican law on total
7 national defences such as self-protection and the other bylaws related to
8 that law.
9 A. Yes, because it was enacted in 1978.
10 Q. The municipal Assembly also in conformity with this law was
11 responsible for drafting provisions in the sphere of social
12 self-protection and national defence?
13 A. Yes, it could take decisions but it could not issue provisions.
14 Q. Just yes or no, please, and we'll get through this very quickly.
15 A. Fine.
16 Q. Let's see what the procedure was like if the Municipal Assembly
17 was supposed to bring in certain regulations from national defence. In
18 the Secretariat for National Defence, for example, a draft decision would
19 be compiled; is that right?
20 A. Yes, but I have to add a certain tense. I'm sorry. I have to say
21 something more for it to be able to function there was the national
22 defence alliance.
23 Q. We don't need those details thank you. The secretary would send
24 in its decision to the Executive Board for it's deliberation; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At its meeting the Executive Board would discuss the decision and
2 then it would put it to the vote and the majority vote would pass the
3 provision; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Most of the votes in this case meant an absolute majority so one
6 more than half the number of members in the Executive Board?
7 A. This was regulated by the rules of procedure, yes.
8 Q. Fine. Now, if the Executive Board agreed with the text of the
9 decision it would propose that the decision come up on the agenda for the
10 next Municipal Assembly session; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The Municipal Assembly would then discuss the decision at its
13 session and once again take a vote, the majority vote would mean that it
14 would go through if not it would not go through is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If the decision were adopted by majority vote, the president of
17 the Municipal Assembly would sign it and it would then be published in the
18 Official Gazette of the Municipal Assembly; right?
19 A. Yes, precisely.
20 Q. The Executive Board was also in charge of making certain decisions
21 in the sphere of total national defence; right?
22 A. Right.
23 Q. The procedure was the same. The Secretariat of National Defence
24 would draft the text. It -- these would be sent to the Executive Board
25 for debate and discussion, and the Executive Board once again would take a
1 vote on whether to pass the decision or not.
2 A. Before that decision, the defence alliance would first of all
3 discuss it and then the procedure would be as you have described it, but
4 the defence council would first look at it.
5 Q. I don't know whether the interpreters heard your answer. Yes,
6 they have. Anyway, that was the procedure. After that, the president of
7 the Executive Board would sign a conclusion about the decision and
8 depending on the degree of confidentiality of the document and this was
9 regulated by a separate regulation, would either published the decision in
10 the Official Gazette or not publish it if it was highly confidential?
11 A. If it was not confidential and secret on the basis of these
12 provisions it would be published. Anything confidential would not be
13 published in the Official Gazette.
14 Q. At any rate, there was a special rule and regulation dealing with
15 what could be published in the Official Gazette and what could not be
17 A. Yes, but it would in conformity with the state law that was in
18 force at the time.
19 Q. So that republican law was in conformity with the state law.
20 A. It had to be, otherwise it couldn't function. And I think lawyers
21 know that full well.
22 Q. At any rate, the essence of decision-making in the Executive Board
23 and in the Municipal Assembly was that a vote would be taken and the
24 majority vote would prevail.
25 A. Yes. And -- but usually it was unanimous. The vote was
2 Q. But it could also have been issued by out-voting.
3 A. Yes, because that's what the rules of procedure provided for.
4 Q. Very well. We spoke about the time when there was a one-party
5 system and the manner of voting in the administrative organs, assemblies,
6 and Executive Committees in the municipalities. In 1990, the constitution
7 was changed; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In order to make it possible to introduce a multi-party system,
10 the election laws were changed; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I have an excerpt here from a book written by Mr. Suad Arnautovic
13 entitled, Elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990. He analysed the voting
14 or election process. Do you know who Suad Arnautovic is?
15 A. No.
16 Q. I'll tell you briefly. He is a political scientist who graduated
17 as such from university, and in 1995 and 1996 he was a lecturer at the
18 University of Sarajevo. He was among a group of experts --
19 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. I cannot understand --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the importance of that,
21 counsel? What relevance does it have?
22 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] We provided this document when Mr.
23 Karnavas was supposed to cross-examine Mr. Tomljanovich, but we realised
24 there was no point in presenting this document to (redacted)
25 (redacted) --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I allow you to continue,
2 what are you trying to prove? What are you trying to demonstrate?
3 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour. It must be redacted. I mean, page
4 46, line 25.
5 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. It's my mistake.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. That was a big mistake.
7 May we have that redacted.
8 All the questions that you have raised, we find them in the rules.
9 Now, what do you wish to demonstrate?
10 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to challenge point 26 of
11 the indictment, and this count is listed in the proofing chart along with
12 this witness. It says the HVO took control of [Previous translation
13 continues] ... [In English] services removing or marginalising local
14 Bosnian Muslim leaders. Herceg-Bosna --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MS. TOMANOVIC: -- and forces to control over the media and
17 enforce the Croatian --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. If I understand what
19 you're saying, you wish to demonstrate that through elections the Croats
20 took control of matters, is that right, in the municipality, the regular
21 elections. Go ahead, ask him the question.
22 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. We can have it in e-court. 1D00920. And while waiting for it to
24 show up, I'll put a question to you.
25 Mr. Suad Arnautovic on page 3 of his book and in e-court, that's
1 page 3 in Croatian and page 3 in English, and I'll ask you whether you
2 agree with this or not. In his book, he reached the following
3 conclusion: "The elections were significantly determined by the mixed
4 electoral system. The model and structure of the Presidency of the
5 republic and the predetermined ethnic quotas and in the Socialist Republic
6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to certain formulas. These same
7 elections were held simultaneously for local assemblies.
8 And in the third paragraph in both languages on page 3 in e-court
9 he says: "The electoral laws and other rules and regulations promoted a
10 completely new and (old) political profile ethnic affiliation as a badge
11 of political legitimacy. This law prescribed ethnic affiliation as a
12 prerequisite in the electoral process for all organs and bodies in the
13 republic. In other words, it is evident now that in these elections the
14 voters of Bosnia and Herzegovina ceded their sovereignty as citizens to
15 their national sovereignty."
16 Do you agree with this statement by Mr. Arnautovic, who is now a
17 member of the electoral commission for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. Well, if he wrote it down, what does it matter whether I agree
19 with it or not? I cannot influence anything.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to save time, the 1990
21 elections for Prozor, do you know the results of them? Because they're in
22 the document.
23 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] With all due respect, Your
24 Honours, I was just about to ask this.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was just ask -- wondering
2 whether you were going to ask him that, but go ahead.
3 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have page 14 in Croatian
4 in e-court, and page 15 in the other language. In the English language
5 it's 1D300135.
6 Q. You have here on the screen a table published by Mr. Arnautovic in
7 his book, and you can find Prozor there. Can you see it? It's the fifth
8 row. Do you see Prozor?
9 A. Yes. Posusje, Prnjavor.
10 Q. Under Prnjavor there's Prozor?
11 A. Yes, I can see it now.
12 Q. As you can see in this table of election results, there were 48
13 seats in the Prozor Assembly. Of these, the HDZ won 31 seats. The Party
14 of Democratic Action won 14 seats and the League of Communists of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Socialist Democrat party won 3?
16 A. Social Democrats.
17 Q. Social Democrats, yes. Now, there's something I'm interested in
18 here. According to the census of 1991, in Prozor municipality, at least
19 according to what is in the indictment, there were 62 per cent Croats, 33
20 per cent Muslims, and 2.5 per cent others.
21 A. How many Muslims did you say?
22 Q. 36.5 per cent.
23 A. In the municipality, not the town?
24 Q. Yes. That would be approximately the case, but --
25 A. Well, if that's the census result, then it must be valid.
1 Q. Very well. If we calculate the percentages and see how many seats
2 each party won in the Assembly, we have 64.58 per cent for the HDZ, which
3 is almost 3 per cent more than there were Croats in Prozor municipality.
4 For the SDA, 14 places corresponds to 29.1 per cent, which is about 6 per
5 cent less than the number of Muslims in the municipality. And the 3 seats
6 won by the League of Communists would correspond to some 6.25 per cent.
7 Can we conclude from this that in Prozor municipality people who
8 were not ethnic Croats also voted for the HDZ?
9 A. No. I'll explain this. I was directly involved in verifying the
10 electoral lists for these elections. In these -- the electoral register,
11 that is. And many Croats who did not reside in Prozor municipality but
12 originated from the municipality voted. These people moved out after the
13 Rama power electric -- hydroelectric power plant was built. I'm a hundred
14 per cent certain of this. But as this is an official report --
15 Q. We'll discuss these details most probably with an expert.
16 A. Well, I'm not interested in that. That's the past.
17 Q. What I'm interested in now is the following: The electoral system
18 changed, but the manner of reaching decisions in the organs of government
19 and the authorities remained the same. It was an absolute majority that
20 decided; is that correct?
21 A. Well, yes, but ...
22 Q. With 31 seats in the Assembly, the HDZ did not need to enter into
23 a coalition with any party. They could always have both an absolute and a
24 relative majority, and they could have adopted most decisions without the
25 participation of any other party.
1 A. Yes, and that's what they did.
2 Q. In your statement on page 2 -- in your statement on page 2, you
3 comment on this manner of adopting decisions. You seem to have felt that
4 it was not fair that the Croats, through the HDZ, issued most of the
5 decisions, although there were 37 per cent Muslims in the municipality.
6 A. That's correct. But it's true that all decisions were made in the
7 way the HDZ wanted.
8 Q. But that was the existing system. That was what the constitution
9 provided for. Nothing could be done differently; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. And that's why things were as they were.
11 Q. Would you agree with me that this kind of system where there is
12 one man, one vote, cannot be the appropriate solution for multi-ethnic
14 A. Well, in my view the current electoral law is no good either.
15 Q. Yes, but I'm asking you about the system that existed then. Did
16 you feel it was fair or not?
17 A. No, I didn't think it was fair then, and I don't think it's fair
19 Q. Would you be surprised to hear that the basic demand of the
20 representatives of the Croats in all the negotiations at the international
21 level after the outbreak of the war was that they did not want a unitary
22 state where decision-making would proceed according to the same system,
23 one man, one vote? The Croats were a constituent nation, and they had
24 only 17.5 per cent of the population in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they felt
25 that this kind of electoral system, this kind of voting and
1 decision-making unfair; is that correct?
2 A. Well, they know whether they felt that way or not; I don't. But
3 in my view, I would change the electoral law if I could, but the Croats
4 probably wouldn't like my law either.
5 Q. Will you agree with me that the Croats were right in asking --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Time's up. No more questions.
7 We'll move on to the next Defence team. We have to be very strict when it
8 comes to time.
9 The next Defence team has 25 minutes.
10 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:
12 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic. I am an
13 attorney at law from Zagreb. And in these proceedings, I'm Defence
14 counsel for Mr. Valentin Coric. In view of the nature of my questions
15 which will be brief, can we move into private session, please?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Private session,
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 7106-7118 redacted. Private session.
8 --- Recess taken at 4.58 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.25 p.m.
10 [Closed session]
11 Pages 7120-7132 redacted. Closed session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now that we're in open
25 session -- yes, the Prosecution.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, the Prosecution
2 would like to tender the two documents. May I do that now? Thank you,
3 Your Honour. The --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do.
5 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution wishes to tender the
6 statement of Witness BN, and it is available under the number P09700, and
7 the section document is P08268. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Defence counsel, you
9 are asking if there are any documents to be admitted into evidence?
10 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour. Your Honour, my apologies. May I also
11 request that these two documents remain under seal. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Defence counsel.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] General Praljak's Defence, as you
14 requested, we can read out all the exhibits that concern the previous
15 witness BM, and one document concerning the last one, the last witness,
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's first deal with Witness
18 BN, with this witness. Could we have the number?
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] For the last witness, we have only
20 one document, 3D00422.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we admit into evidence
22 P09700, P08268, and 3D00422.
23 And now for the previous witness. First the Prosecution.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours. The
25 Prosecution would tender the following documents which were shown to the
1 witness BM P00640, P00657, P00744, P01188, P01542, P01656, P02180, P09376,
2 P09429, P09482, P09487, P09694, and P09702 which we would request be
3 placed under seal. That is only the last exhibit under seal, P09702.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Just one thing. As far as
6 the numbers for the previous P09700 and 3D0042 are under seal of course.
7 Yes, and now Defence counsel. Ms. Nozica.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. Stojic's
9 Defence wants to tender two documents, 2D00054, and 2D00148. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And for the next
11 Defence team now, please.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Praljak's Defence
13 would like to tender the following documents for the previous witness.
14 The first document used was 3D00291, which has already been tendered into
15 evidence. So it's not necessary to repeat. Then we have 3D00418, which
16 was used a day earlier. It was marked for identification at the time, so
17 we now want to tender it again. Then we have 3D00419, 3D00420. This
18 document has also been marked for identification because it was tendered a
19 day earlier and a decision wasn't rendered at the time. Then we have
20 3D00290. We'd rather have 3D00419 used as number for this document. Ms.
21 Pinter produced this document. It also bears the stamp of the Croatian
22 state archives whereas 3D00290 is an identical copy of the document but it
23 doesn't have the stamp. That's why we'd rather have the number 419 for
24 this document.
25 Then we have document 3D00289. This was earlier admitted as an
1 exhibit. And then we have P00898. A day earlier it was used. It was
2 marked for identification. And then we have three documents that General
3 Praljak placed on the ELMO today. They're in the e-court system under
4 3D00423, under that number, and under 3D00424, and 3D00425.
5 And perhaps I should just briefly describe the documents as they
6 were on the ELMO. The first one, 423, is dated the 25th of October, 1992.
7 It's a message from the ABiH from the person called Tetak. 424, the
8 second document, is dated the 14th of November, 1992. It's an order that
9 mentions the seizure of a vehicle in the municipality of Prozor. It was
10 signed by Praljak and Coric. The last document 425 is a document dated
11 the 30th of November, 1992. It is an order signed by the accused Coric.
12 As far as this number is concerned, it was P00898. It was in the
13 transcript a minute ago. I must make a correction. 889 is the correct
14 number, P00889.
15 And those are all the documents that Mr. Praljak's Defence would
16 like to tender.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I remember that when Mr. Praljak
18 commenced his examination he showed a map where one could see a corridor,
19 the direction of movement. This map seemed very interesting to me. You
20 are not requesting that this document be admitted into evidence? We don't
21 have a number for that document.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we'd like to tender
23 this into evidence, but since it was prepared by the Defence as -- as a
24 document that could assist us when we cross-examine witnesses, we hadn't
25 intended to tender it into evidence but we would be glad to do so.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perhaps you could do so next
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. If you have any
4 desires, Your Honours, we'd be very interested in using such maps with
5 such witnesses, with these kind of witnesses. You also mentioned the
6 fact, but it seems we haven't found a technical solution for this for the
7 moment. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. And now
9 for the next Defence team. Are there any requests in that case? I thank
10 you. Yes, go ahead Defence.
11 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender the following:
12 1 -- 1D00920. This is Mr. Arnautovic's book on the elections in Bosnia
13 and Hercegovina.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which page exactly? Pursuant to
15 our decision, it is necessary to indicate the pages or paragraphs.
16 Because we're not going to admit the entire book into evidence. Okay
17 about the elections. Very well then, Defence counsel.
18 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] We have a complete series. P09702
19 is another document I'd like to tender into evidence. It's a witness
20 statement we were promised, an amended version with the correct names, but
21 we haven't received it yet.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is that all? Very well thank
23 you. No more requests? Mr. Murphy.
24 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, there is one other matter if I could
25 raise it briefly. I would apply for a brief extension of time within
1 which to file a response regarding -- or a document regarding the
2 documents produced or referred to by the witness Mr. Tomljanovich. Your
3 Honour's present order is that we should file it by the end of this week
4 which I take to be tomorrow. Your Honour, I would like some further time
5 to confer with my colleagues on this matter. In particular, Mr. Karnavas
6 has not been here this week as Your Honours have even. If we could have
7 until Tuesday. I don't think any prejudice would be caused to the
8 Prosecution by that. I would be very grateful.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your request shall
10 be granted.
11 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as next week is
13 concerned. Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I was just passed a note by
15 my case manager whose efficiency always amazes me. With respect to
16 Witness BM, I missed one Prosecution Exhibit which was P01425 and we would
17 ask that be admitted. That was another document which was shown to
18 Witness BM.
19 With respect to next week, Your Honours, Monday through Wednesday
20 we have Witness BA, that's Bravo Alpha, who will testify. Mr. Scott
21 earlier submitted a letter to the Defence counsel with a copy to the
22 Chamber's legal officer informing everyone that we would offer much of
23 Witness BA's evidence by way of her written statement, in order to
24 expedite things and so that there is sufficient time for the Defence to
25 cross-examine that witness. Mr. Scott also indicated in his letter that
1 he anticipates, barring any unforeseen developments, he anticipates
2 completing or concluding the examination-in-chief of Witness BA by Monday
3 afternoon leaving Tuesday and Wednesday for questions from the Defence
4 and/or Your Honours. And then we have following that witness -- we have a
5 witness scheduled for Thursday of next week who -- that would be Witness
6 number 269 on the Prosecution exhibit list. This is the witness that was
7 previously listed for September 28. That witness will be appearing and
8 testifying on Thursday of next week.
9 So we have Witness BA Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by
10 the witness listed as number 269 on the Prosecution's 65 ter list and that
11 should take us through a full week of witness testimony for next week.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as Witness BA is
13 concerned, if I am understanding this correctly, you would like to use the
14 procedure that comes under Rule 89(F). You'll be asking for his written
15 statement to be tendered, and you will examine him with regard to the
16 documents, and then on Tuesday and Wednesday we'll have time for the
17 cross-examination. Have I understood you correctly?
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, Your Honours, Mr. -- as I indicated,
19 Mr. Scott will be dealing with this witness, but my understanding is that
20 we will be predominantly relying on the written witness statement of the
21 witness, but perhaps, asking a few questions concerning certain parts of
22 that written statement so that that evidence can be led viva voce. But
23 again, there are a number of documents and those documents will be the
24 primary subject matter that Mr. Scott will be dealing with with the
25 witness. And again, we believe that with two days of cross-examination,
1 there should be adequate opportunity for the witness's credibility and
2 other matters to be tested when Witness BA appears in court.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Initially, if you had conducted
4 your cross-examination for Witness BA, how much time would you have needed
5 or how much time would you need if you were to conduct your
6 examination-in-chief for this witness?
7 MR. MUNDIS: I believe, Your Honours, that we had initially
8 indicated 3.5 hours for a full direct examination of Witness BA. I -- I'm
9 looking, as I speak, at the calendar that was provided, and that indicates
10 3.5 hours. I don't recall if that number matches what was on the 65 ter
11 list or not. As a general rule, the calendar times match the 65 ter list
12 but not always.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So as far as Thursday's witness
14 is concerned, how much time had you planned on using? Because we have to
15 determine how much time the Defence has.
16 MR. MUNDIS: I anticipate with the witness on Thursday that we
17 will be taking two hours or slightly less time than that. I am
18 endeavouring to try to get the direct examination of that witness down to
19 one 90-minute court session so that by the end -- by the first break on
20 Thursday, hopefully, hopefully, I'll be done with the direct examination
21 of that witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If you complete your
23 examination before the first break on Thursday, it means the Defence will
24 have almost the exact amount of time after the break.
25 Ms. Pinter -- I apologise. As you are both blonde, that's why I
1 confused your identities.
2 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] As far as the -- as far as
3 Monday's witness is concerned, if you have a look at her summary
4 statement, if you have a look at the proofing chart, the witness talks
5 about the joint criminal enterprise. It goes to the heart of the
6 indictment. It concerns, above all, the alleged responsibility of my
7 client, Dr. Prlic, his responsibilities for the events he is charged with
8 in the indictment. So to summarise her statement has no justification
9 since he has the right to a fair trial and to cross-examination of this
10 witness. So we object to tendering into evidence any part of her
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But there is no summary. The
13 Prosecution believes that the Defence will have two days, and they
14 apparently won't be using the entire day.
15 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] As far as I have understood, they
16 want to tender parts of her statement into evidence rather than have her
17 direct testimony. If I have misunderstood something, I apologise.
18 MR. MUNDIS: No, I don't believe that Ms. Tomanovic has
19 misunderstood. Mr. President, as we expressed yesterday when this issue
20 arose, was that this is a mechanism, whether it be the old 89(F) or the
21 new 92 ter, these are mechanisms for expediting the introduction of
22 evidence before Your Honours. By taking less time with the witness's
23 direct examination and tendering her written statement into evidence, more
24 time is made available for cross-examination by the Defence teams given
25 the limited amount of time that is available for this witness's overall
1 testimony. So that -- so that our position -- the Prosecution position,
2 let's be very clear about this with respect to all the remaining 92 ter
3 witnesses that we call, whether we lead parts of their evidence viva voce
4 and tender their written statement into evidence or whether we rely
5 entirely upon their written statement pursuant to 92 ter, as long as
6 sufficient time is provided for cross-examination, there should be no
7 hindrance to that type of procedure. The less time the Prosecution takes
8 on its direct, the more time is available for the Defence to cross-examine
9 the witnesses.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I wonder whether we have really a substance for
11 dispute, because you have said, Mr. Mundis, that you would need for direct
12 three and a half hours. You have already said that by proceeding the way
13 you proposed, you would finish by Monday evening.
14 Now, Monday afternoon's session amply covers three and a half
15 hours, so I fail to see the interest in departing unless your three and a
16 half hours are not serious.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, there are of course a number of factors
18 that -- that can affect the time that we estimate. We estimate three and
19 a half hours. That does not -- that estimate -- when those estimates were
20 made does not envision any objections, any interventions by the Defence.
21 To be quite open and transparent, those estimates did not include any time
22 where Your Honours may intervene to ask questions of clarification, et
23 cetera, so that our three and a half hour estimate of direct examination
24 is three and a half hours of Prosecution direct examination time.
25 Our experiences have shown, and I believe the numbers kept by the
1 registry would bear this out, that three and a half hours of direct
2 examination time tends to be much longer than three and a half hours of
3 real running time. So if we were to take three and a half hours of direct
4 examination as the counting mechanism has been used in this case, that
5 would take us well into Tuesday, thereby cutting into the amount of time
6 that's available for the Defence teams.
7 To be honest and transparent, that seems to be the experience, and
8 we've been tracking these numbers quite carefully for these very purposes.
9 So that what we're trying to do is to ensure that the Defence have
10 adequate time to cross-examine, and that means cutting down the amount of
11 time we spend, while at the same time, meeting our duties and obligations
12 will require us at times to tender the statement but also ask questions
13 about certain parts of the statements as well as the documents that we
14 think the witness is in a position to testify about in order to get those
15 documents into evidence as well.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. To respond to what
17 was said a minute ago, we rendered a decision on the duration of
18 cross-examination. You know that the Defence should have the same amount
19 of time as the Prosecution when we're talking about base crimes, and when
20 we're dealing with joint criminal enterprise, we have decided that the
21 Defence will have 50 per cent additional time. According to these
22 calculations, if you have two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, you have even
23 more time than that, so I don't see why you should complain.
24 Now, if you're worried about Mr. Prlic's situation, it's up to you
25 to reach an agreement with your colleagues, and you can perhaps take all
1 the time for you to reach an agreement. We won't be sitting -- or we
2 don't sit on Fridays, and this allows the Defence teams to meet and to
3 discuss the strategy that they will employ to discuss how they will act in
4 future, and it also allows you to see your clients and to plan for the
5 weeks to come. It's up to you to reach agreements, and if you fail to
6 reach an agreement, you must inform us of the fact and then the Judges
7 will decide, but the Judges would prefer you to reach agreements. With
8 regard to certain witnesses, yes, perhaps one Defence team might take up
9 most of the time and then the other Defence teams might use up the rest of
10 the time. This could be done if you reach an agreement, but if not, it
11 will be difficult.
12 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I do understand what you are
13 saying, and I must say that I'm grateful to all of my colleagues, because
14 we often grant the other Defence teams our time, and they do the same when
15 it is useful. However, the time we need for cross-examination -- well,
16 we'll need more time if part of a statement is introduced into evidence.
17 If two pages are introduced into evidence, for example, because you have a
18 lot more information in two pages than when you have 15 minutes of
19 examination. So the question is how much time is adequate for
20 cross-examination? We have raised this issue a number of times. It
21 concerns introducing a hundred pages of transcript as evidence, for
22 example. That's what's at stake. We don't have any problems when it
23 comes to reaching agreements, but what is important is how much documents
24 are tendered and whether we have sufficient time for cross-examination
25 given the documents tendered.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're not going to
2 start debating a decision that has already been rendered. A decision has
3 been rendered, and going back to the matter is out of the question. But I
4 personally can say that on the basis of my experience in the last few
5 months, sometimes the cross-examination is very interesting and very
6 relevant, and sometimes the questions, the purpose of which one fails to
7 understand. Perhaps we're not seeing the entire picture, but sometimes
8 one wonders what you are trying to prove. So try to make a distinction
9 between what is essential and what is of secondary importance. You
10 certainly have a certain objective, but it's necessary to explain your
11 objective to us.
12 As an example, you put some questions about the elections. These
13 are problems we are familiar with because the subject has already been
14 raised, but before putting the question it's better to tell us, "I'm going
15 to put a question about the elections," and then we'll understand your
16 objective. Otherwise, we're here. We'll listen to you. And we wonder
17 what you're trying to prove and in fact sometimes we feel that time is
18 being wasted.
19 I know it's difficult, but you should be aware of the fact that
20 your questions must be of use to us. We have to render a reasoned
21 judgement, and the reasons must be based not only on oral information but
22 on documents too. And this goes to the issue of responsibility with
23 regard to what happened.
24 I'm not going to mention anyone, but when we go back to the
25 question of the interviews between or agreements or discussions between
1 Milosevic and Tudjman, all that's very interesting. We have already
2 addressed this matter. We've had experts here. But in the course of
3 cross-examination, we re-address such issues, and I then wonder why.
4 Perhaps there is a reason. But very often you put questions to witnesses
5 that have already been asked. Perhaps with time this will improve. This
6 will certainly improve with time.
7 So as far as the duration of cross-examination is concerned, we
8 have rendered a decision and it's necessary to abide by that decision. We
9 have to be very strict because unfortunately we have time limitations and
10 our main concerns go to the heart of the matter, to the heart of the
11 problems, and to do so sometimes we have to take very complicated routes,
12 but if you want to take complicated routes to go to the heart of the
13 matter you have to explain this to us so we can understand better why
14 you're asking certain questions in the course of your cross-examination.
15 I'd like to thank you. This completes today's hearing. You
16 should meet on Friday to discuss all these problems and to see your
17 clients. I hope that Mr. Pusic will be back here on Monday.
18 So I will see you all on Monday at 1415, but you should know that
19 the week after we'll be having hearings in the morning.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.23 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 25th day
22 of September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.