1 Wednesday, 1 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number IT-04-74-T, the
8 Prosecution versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'd like to greet
10 everyone in the courtroom. We have to move on rapidly. Time is short.
11 I'll read out two decisions; one concerns the admission into evidence of
12 documents relating to Witness BS. This witness appeared on the 11th of
13 October, 2006.
14 The Chamber, given the requests made by the Prosecution, notes
15 that P 09685, 687, and 688 have already been admitted into evidence. The
16 Chamber admits the following into evidence: P 08405, P 08409, P 08701,
17 P 08900, and P 08901, and P 08903.
18 In addition, the Chamber will admit the following Defence
19 exhibits: 2D 00200.
20 The Chamber also indicates that the following documents must be
21 under seal: P 08405, P 08409, P 08701, P 08900, P 08901, P 08903, and
22 2D 00200.
23 The Chamber has another decision to render, and I would like both
24 parties to listen very carefully. The Chamber will now render a decision,
25 and it invites the parties to make known their positions with regard to
1 the necessity of adopting new measures in order to complete the
2 proceedings within a reasonable time limit.
3 At a hearing held on the 16th of October, 2006, the Chamber and
4 the parties addressed the issue of the time for the proceedings as decided
5 by the Registry in October -- on the 12th of October, 2006. Following the
6 discussions on the basis of the information provided by the Registry, the
7 Trial Chamber notes that given the pace at which we are working, the
8 Prosecution case will not be completed before the end of March, 2008. The
9 Chamber intends to render a decision in the very near future, a written
10 decision, in which certain measures will be taken in order to complete the
11 Prosecution case within a more reasonable time limit, either before --
12 before the court recess in the summer of 2007.
13 The Chamber intends to reduce the number of hours allocated to the
14 Prosecution for the presentation of its case. We intend -- the Chamber
15 intends to reduce the number of hours by one-fourth. The Chamber also
16 intends to modify the procedure used when calculating the time used at
17 hearings. The Chamber intends to deduct the time used for raising
18 objections from the time allocated to the party raising the objection in
19 question. The Chamber would similarly like to encourage the parties to
20 have recourse to written motions, especially when these motions concern
21 protective measures and tendering documents into evidence. Prior to
22 adopting such measures, the Chamber would like to hear the parties' oral
23 submissions on -- next Monday, and we should also note that the
24 Prosecution will have 15 minutes at its disposal to make their position
25 known, whereas the Defence will have the same amount of time, roughly
2 Very briefly, the Prosecution and the Defence have until Monday to
3 reflect on the oral submissions that you will make, and on Monday at 2.15,
4 the Prosecution will take the floor for 15 minutes to inform us of their
5 position, and I will then give the floor to the Defence for 15 minutes.
6 Its's up to you to see how you're going to divide this time amongst
7 yourselves, or perhaps you'll select one representative of the Defence to
8 speak on behalf of all the Defence teams. And in the coming days we'll be
9 rendering a written decision.
10 Our intention is to complete the Prosecution case in July.
11 No comments. You have been provided with all the necessary
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, just one observation, Mr. President. You say
14 that the Chamber intends. Would appear that there's a fait accompli here.
15 I'm wondering whether it's being just -- the Chamber is thinking of it or
16 whether the Chamber has made the decision and we're supposed to respond to
17 this decision.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you are well aware,
19 intentions can be modified. This intention of ours could be modified in
20 the light of the submissions that you will be making. We could render a
21 decision now, but since we are all in favour of adversarial proceedings,
22 we would like to hear the positions of the parties. But we do have an
23 explicit intention and it would be desirable to complete the Prosecution
24 case before court recess in July. And as I have already noted in the
25 decision, that would mean reducing the time allocated to the Prosecution
1 by 100 hours.
2 Mr. Mundis, you'll inform Mr. Scott of everything that has been
3 said. He must be following the proceedings in front of his screen.
4 MR. MUNDIS: He is indeed, and I've already received an e-mail
5 from him to that effect. We will certainly be in a position to make the
6 Prosecution's position very well known to the Trial Chamber on Monday
7 commencing at 1415 hours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I don't want to use up time
10 unnecessarily, but perhaps Your Honour would allow me to make one
11 observation very briefly.
12 Recently Mr. Karnavas made a suggestion that perhaps the time had
13 come to hold a Status Conference or a 65 ter Conference to consider a
14 number of matters arising about the conduct of the trial. Obviously the
15 decision that Your Honours are thinking of taking has considerable
16 ramifications, both for the Prosecution and the Defence. There issues of
17 fairness will arise to both sides. And in addition, the Trial Chamber has
18 already instructed us to make submissions about modifications of the Trial
19 Chamber's decision on evidence of the 13th of July.
20 And, Your Honour, if I may respectfully make the submission that
21 perhaps the time has come to -- to take up Mr. Karnavas's suggestion and
22 devote perhaps a little more time than 15 minutes per side, and perhaps
23 that could be done at a time when it would not interrupt the normal
24 working of the trial. If the Court has some time where we could even meet
25 perhaps in a meetingroom as opposed to the courtroom if that would be
1 helpful. But, Your Honour, the issues here are very serious, and we would
2 ask for a more leisurely exchange of views than the Trial Chamber has
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Last time the
5 Chamber asked Mr. Karnavas to provide the Legal Officer with a list of the
6 issues that he wanted to address. So far we haven't received such a list,
7 I'm quite persuaded that Mr. Karnavas is working on it and it will be
8 provided to us. But a meeting might be useful for the implementation of
9 the decision that will be rendered. We really have to bring the witness
10 into the courtroom now.
11 We will now ask the usher to bring the witness into the courtroom.
12 Mr. Mundis has 40 or 45 minutes left at his disposal, and the
13 Defence teams have one hour for Mr. Petkovic, an hour for Mr. Praljak, and
14 35 minutes for the other Defence teams, unless you agree on dividing the
15 time amongst yourselves in a different manner. But the hearing will be
16 adjourned tomorrow at 7.00 p.m; that is absolutely necessary.
17 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
18 Mr. Kovacic.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before we call the
20 witness into the courtroom -- or before he comes into the courtroom I'd
21 like to mention an exhibit that I should tender with relation to the
22 witness Kurbegovic. It concerns the list of those wounded or killed among
23 the HVO members. It was signed by a certain Kraljevic. It's an HVO
24 brigade document, the Ante Starcevic Brigade document. You asked us
25 whether we'd be tendering this document into evidence; we said we would.
1 It's in the e-court system now and the number is 3D 00476 and I would like
2 tender this document into evidence, in particular because this is a
3 document that will probably be used with this witness too.
4 Since I have interrupted the Bench, I'd also like to mention that
5 we have in e-court 3D 00463 document. This is a document you asked about
6 when Mr. Praljak tendered the map number IC 42 it was used for
7 Witness Hauenstein. On that occasion you asked us to provide you with the
8 markings for the legend for the map, the legend is according to NATO
9 standards, but when we were investigating matters we found another
10 document 3D 00465 is the number of that we have it in the e-court system.
11 In case the Bench would have reasons to go into this subject matter, then
12 this other document might be of assistance it hasn't been translated
13 because it's quite voluminous and it wasn't possible to do that. But
14 document 463 is the one that you asked about, so perhaps it could be
15 linked to document IC 42 and I think we have now done what we wanted to
17 Mr. Praljak will be using a map today, and again the same symbols
18 will be used. Thank you.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 WITNESS: FAHRUDIN AGIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have 45 minutes.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Examination by Mr. Mundis: [Continued]
1 Q. Good afternoon, Brigadier Agic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. I see that you still have the bundle of documents in front of you,
4 and to avoid wasting any further time I would ask if you could please turn
5 to document 1172.
6 Sir, when was the first time you saw this document?
7 A. When I came to The Hague.
8 Q. Now, yesterday you were discussing with us the types of weapons
9 that were used in Gornji Vakuf. Can you comment on this document, 1172,
10 in light of what you told us about yesterday?
11 A. I think this concerns the nitroglycerine rifles.
12 Q. Now --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a question that I would
14 like to put to you. The rifles that used nitroglycerine or nitroglycerine
15 bullets, are they sanctioned by the International Convention on Arms, are
16 they authorised -- is their use authorised by this convention?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I wouldn't know how
18 to answer that question.
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Now, Brigadier Agic, this document bears the name of
21 General Praljak at the bottom. Were you familiar or aware of any other
22 names that General Praljak went by?
23 A. We would call him Brada.
24 Q. Can you perhaps tell us why he was called Brada.
25 A. Well, for a while when he used the communications system he had
1 this secret name, Brada, and that's why we took this to be
2 General Praljak's nickname.
3 Q. What does the name Brada mean in your language?
4 A. It doesn't mean anything in particular. It means the man has a
5 beard; "Brada" is "beard."
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please turn to exhibit --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying something that's
8 quite interesting, so I can't pass over what you've just said. You said
9 it's because of the communications system that you found out that when
10 General Praljak had contact with other officers he used this secret name
11 "Brada" or beard. So can I assume that the ABiH had the technical means
12 to intercept the communications, the radio or telephone communications or
13 other forms of communications used by the HVO?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My unit didn't have those means, but
15 other armija units did. If you're on the same frequency when carrying out
16 investigations, yes, it's possible to intercept such communications; it
17 really isn't a problem.
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. Thank you. Sir, could you please now turn to document 1183. And
20 again, Brigadier Agic, as a preliminary matter when was the first time you
21 saw this document?
22 A. When I came to the proceedings.
23 Q. And in light of your testimony yesterday, can you comment on this
24 document, particularly the reference to an attack on Gornji Vakuf from the
25 direction of Makljen.
1 A. Well, here they're referring to the evacuation of the wounded from
2 Bugojno. You should be aware of the fact that at the beginning of the war
3 a joint war hospital was established in Bugojno, and it was used to treat
4 the wounded of the armija of Bosnia and Herzegovina and members of the
5 HVO. As far as combat in the direction of Makljen is concerned, well,
6 that was during a certain period, the 18th of January. The HVO was making
7 efforts to gain control of the town. And the threat referred to here,
8 well, that's probably a message for Bugojno, because the telegram went to
9 the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade in Bugojno.
10 Q. Can you please turn to the document marked 1213. Sir, when was
11 the first time you saw this document, 1213?
12 A. When I came to The Hague.
13 Q. Okay. I'm not sure -- because I can see the document you're
14 looking at, I'm not sure, sir, if we're on the same document. I'm now
15 going to ask you to look at 1213.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Just to be clear for the record, when was the first time you saw
18 this document, 1213?
19 A. When I came to The Hague.
20 Q. Now, again yesterday you were talking about some of the villages
21 around Gornji Vakuf. Can you comment on this document, in light of what
22 you told us about yesterday.
23 A. I'm familiar with this. I was familiar with this at the time of
24 the conflict. It's true that Dusa was set on fire. I think 12 civilians
25 were killed. The armija didn't have any soldiers in this area. We had
1 soldiers in the village of Uzricje. We managed to withdraw some of them
2 in an organised manner in the course of an intensive attacked launched by
3 the HVO. We managed to withdraw some of the men in the direction of
4 Uzricje; Kuk, the repeater; and Gornji Vakuf.
5 Q. Thank you, Brigadier Agic, can you now turn to 1226, please. When
6 was the first time you saw this document, sir?
7 A. When I came to The Hague.
8 Q. And again in light of your testimony yesterday and earlier today,
9 can you comment on this document relating to Gornji Vakuf.
10 A. This document from the 3rd Corps command was drafted on the basis
11 of an operative report that the 317th Brigade had forwarded, forwarded
12 such reports to the Cikotic Brigade since they were in UNPROFOR and they
13 were constantly trying to put an end to the conflict in Gornji Vakuf.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you've been discussing the conflict in
15 Gornji Vakuf, and yesterday you mentioned a number of efforts concerning
16 cease-fire discussions. Can you tell us, sir, if there came a time when
17 any cease-fires came into effect in January 1993?
18 A. A cease-fire came into effect on -- on the 21st, but on the 22nd
19 it wasn't respected. The UNPROFOR and a delegation was visited by
20 General Morillon. He tried to explain to the delegation within UNPROFOR
21 that the political delegations of the Croatian and Bosniak people were
22 preparing to have a meeting in Geneva, and as a result it would be good to
23 maintain the status quo in Gornji Vakuf while the high-level political
24 state bodies were trying to solve the issue of provinces.
25 General Praljak [as interpreted] responded by saying that he
1 wouldn't withdraw with his troops. He said that he had the authority to
2 regroup and that it wasn't necessary to fill in the trenches because he
3 had taken them. And then General Morillon warned Colonel Siljeg and told
4 him that he had to abide by the order issued by General Petkovic. I don't
5 know what kind of order was in question, but he told him that he had to
6 respect General Petkovic's order.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since we know what the
8 witness has already said about this document and since we're familiar with
9 his statement, I assume that he mistakenly said General Praljak. I think
10 he's referring to Siljeg. Perhaps my learned friend could check this.
11 It's at the beginning of the paragraph, line 20 on this page.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was it Colonel Siljeg who
13 answered General Morillon, or was it General Praljak?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. General Praljak wasn't present
15 there; it was Colonel Siljeg who answered.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You made a mistake.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I made a mistake. I apologise
18 to General Praljak.
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Now, Brigadier Agic, this cease-fire that came into effect on the
21 21st of January, 1993, what preparatory steps were taken in order to reach
22 that agreement?
23 A. For the agreements of the 21st following the visit of
24 General Morillon for these decisions to be implemented on the ground,
25 certain commissions were formed, a commission for supervising the
1 cease-fire and commissions that would supervise the digging -- the filling
2 in of the trenches. And a part of the personnel from the HVO in Bugojno
3 and from the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also from Bugojno, were
4 deployed on different sides, that is, army representatives went to HVO
5 units and representatives of the HVO came to army units in Gornji Vakuf.
6 However, on the ground then couldn't carry out everything, because I know
7 for certain that certain officers who were in Pidris, in the evening
8 UNPROFOR pulled them back because it was impossible for them to work and
9 they were in danger.
10 Q. Let me stop you there, sir. My question perhaps wasn't as clear
11 as it should have been. I'm interested in knowing the developments in the
12 few days before the agreement came into effect; in other words, what
13 steps, if any, were the parties taking that resulted in the 21 January
14 1993 cease-fire?
15 A. Such efforts were made throughout January, ever since the conflict
16 started, to put an end to it; but on the 20th it was actually agreed that
17 conditions should be ensured for a cease-fire. Discussions were held at
18 the UNPROFOR base headquarters, and the chairperson on behalf of the
19 European Union was Ambassador Bousseau and Colonel Stewart represented
20 UNPROFOR. Present on behalf of the army was Selmo Cikotic, and on behalf
21 of the HVO Colonel Siljeg and two new officers who I did not know at the
22 time. And the discussion was about the first steps that should be taken.
23 Siljeg's response to Ambassador Bousseau was, "If you had come 24
24 hours later, there would have been no need to discuss this cease-fire."
25 Throughout the time Colonel Siljeg behaved as if he had power and support
1 behind him and he could do whatever he wanted and achieve his goal, and
2 that is to control Gornji Vakuf. However, an agreement was reached for
3 the cease-fire to come into force on the 21st, I think at 1200 hours. And
4 this cease-fire signed on the 21st, in spite of all efforts that had been
5 made to stop the fighting, did not hold.
6 Q. Sir, can you please turn to document 1203. When was first time
7 you saw this document?
8 A. I didn't see this one, but with respect to this report, after this
9 report we received an order ordering what was suggested here.
10 Q. I'd like to turn your attention, sir, to the paragraph that begins
11 in your language "prijedlog o prekidu." Do you see that, the proposal on
12 cease-fire in Gornji Vakuf.
13 A. Yes, I do. This related to the preparation of a draft agreement
14 before Ambassador Bousseau arrived. This was done because an UNPROFOR
15 member presided; if it wasn't Colonel Stewart, then it would be
16 Major Colm Doyle in Gornji Vakuf who would preside over the meeting.
17 Q. This document from General Hadzihasanovic indicates the proposal
18 on cease-fire in Gornji Vakuf should be accepted. And my question to you,
19 sir, is, if you know: Who put forward this proposal?
20 A. This was a proposal made at a commission meeting, and probably a
21 part of this report by General Hadzihasanovic for the Supreme Command
22 Staff was based on a report sent to him on a daily basis by a member of
23 the corps who was at UNPROFOR, and that is Selmo Cikotic.
24 Q. Brigadier Agic, can you now turn to document 1229, please.
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry for this technical failure.
1 I would only like to clarify one issue here. On page 2 of
2 document 1203, the very first line in the English version the sentence
3 reads that: "To return all soldiers from Livno, Duvno, Posusje,
4 Tomislavgrad, and Split without exceptions."
5 Probably it is due to my failure in -- in the -- to knowing the
6 places over there, but I found Split -- is it Split in the Croatian side
7 that is Split, the sea, or there is another smaller province, one of
8 township Split, and in that -- in that place which is around, I believe,
9 Gornji Vakuf, et cetera? That is my question, only geographical issue.
10 It is what I would like to ask the witness Brigadier Agic about it. Of
11 course this -- this order was issued by Enver Hadzihasanovic, so I believe
12 it is Split which is not related to the Split of Croatia. But anyway, if
13 you could confirm this. Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is Split in Croatia.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question is to Mr. Mundis.
16 In document 1229, you were going to ask the witness about an agreement
17 signed by Siljeg, Cikotic, Bousseau, Stewart, and I note that the English
18 document has no signature and the document in B/C/S has no signature.
19 Apparently the B/C/S document is a translation.
20 What is the -- where is the original of this document?
21 MR. MUNDIS: I'd have to make some inquiries on that, Your Honour,
22 but perhaps the witness might be able to assist us with that.
23 Q. Brigadier Agic, do you have 1229 before you?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. Sir, were you present at any meetings when this document was
1 discussed and/or drafted?
2 A. I saw it written, and this is how it was compiled. It was a
3 cease-fire that was signed, and that should have come into effect on the
4 21st of January at 1200 hours. It says here the 22nd, but I think it's a
5 mistake. I think it was meant to come into force on the 21st, but I said
6 that General Morillon came on the 23rd, and the cease-fire was not
7 achieved on the basis of this agreement.
8 Q. And, sir, if you -- could you take a look, please, at paragraph A
9 of this document.
10 A. I can see it. It says that it should start at 1700. As far as I
11 know, it should have started at 1200 hours, because I received an order to
12 that effect.
13 Q. And, sir, you mentioned that this cease-fire was signed. Did you
14 actually see a signed version of this document?
15 A. I think I did. It was no secret. All those present were very
16 glad to have it. At least that was my opinion. Maybe there were certain
17 individuals who were an exception. It was signed, and at the time it was
18 a relief for everyone.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you document that you saw,
20 was it in English or B/C/S?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw a version in the language that
22 I understood, and that is the B/C/S language.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have the
24 signed document, and I can provide it later.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Now, sir, can you tell us, did this cease-fire take effect for any
3 period of time at all?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Please take a look at document 1291. Have you seen this document
7 A. Not this one, but I saw another document regulating the admission
8 of these two new persons, Esad Ramic and Emin Bijedic, members of the
9 1st Corps. My assignment was to ensure through UNPROFOR their arrival in
10 Voljevac for them to be brought to UNPROFOR headquarters in Gornji Vakuf,
11 and this was done.
12 Q. What was -- first of all, who were Esad Ramic and Mr. Bijedic?
13 A. Esad Ramic was a commander of Municipal Staff in Konjic, and
14 Emin Bijedic was a member of the command of the 4th Corps. And I think
15 there were sent to Gornji Vakuf for the negotiations to benefit from
16 earlier experiences, and I think General Pasalic's proposal was accepted,
17 that he sent these two officers in the hope that some progress would be
18 made in the negotiations, because General Pasalic and General Petkovic had
19 resolved certain similar matters in this way in Herzegovina.
20 Q. And, sir, how long were these two individuals, Mr. Ramic and
21 Mr. Bijedic, in Gornji Vakuf?
22 A. I think I won't be wrong if I say that they stayed until about the
23 20th or 24th of February, 1993, and they were part of a team who prepared
24 the cease-fire, which you will see eventually was signed by
25 General Petkovic and General Arif Pasalic on behalf of the armija and
1 General Petkovic on behalf of the HVO.
2 Q. This cease-fire -- this cease-fire that you're referring to that
3 was signed by Generals Petkovic and Pasalic, when was that document
5 A. It was signed -- I didn't understand the interpreter. I think it
6 was signed on the 14th or the 15th of February at UNPROFOR headquarters.
7 Q. Let me return, sir, to this document 1291 and what's reported in
8 this document. My question for you, sir, is: During the time period that
9 these two gentlemen, Mr. Ramic and Mr. Bijedic, were in Gornji Vakuf, did
10 you at any point in time brief them on the situation in Gornji Vakuf?
11 A. I didn't have the authority to brief them, but they were briefed
12 by the team of the armija. I think Mr. Cikotic informed them about the
13 stage of the negotiations and the general situation in the territory of
14 Gornji Vakuf.
15 Q. Sir, let me draw your attention to a couple of points that are
16 made in this document. If you could look at the bottom of the first page
17 you'll see towards the very bottom references to a number of villages in
18 Gornji Vakuf municipality. Can you take a look at that part of this
19 document, please.
20 A. You mean Pidris, Mackovac, Baban?
21 Q. Yes. Can you comment on that part of this document, what's
22 reflected in this document?
23 A. I think that the facts are correct and these are the locations
24 where the strongest HVO units were deployed.
25 Q. If you look a little bit farther down you'll see references to
1 other villages including Zdrimci, Dusa, and Uzricje. Do you see that part
2 of the document? It was actually I believe on the bottom of the first
3 page, sir.
4 A. Two lines are missing in my copy, but in those days, the 24th of
5 January, Zdrimci and Dusa and Uzricje were captured by the HVO, the houses
6 torched, the population taken away.
7 Q. Sir, could you please take a look at document 1333. When was the
8 first time, Brigadier Agic, that you saw this document?
9 A. I saw this document when I came to The Hague.
10 Q. Can you comment, please, on the part of this report under
11 paragraph number 1.
12 A. I think the figure of 110 persons from Hrasnica is not correct. I
13 think it was 120 or 121 persons. In Zdrimci, I think the number is
14 smaller. According to my information, it was between 13 and 15 persons.
15 As for Uzricje and Dusa, I'm not sure, but I believe it wasn't 40 [as
16 interpreted] persons that were killed in Dusa. I think between 8 and 12,
17 so I'm not sure. But I'm sure about Hrasnica, that the number was 121,
18 because during the exchange in March that was how many people we
20 Q. Now, just to be clear here, sir, this document is referring to the
21 capture and detention of Muslim civilians, but the transcript just
22 indicated that you -- at least in English that you were referring to 40
23 persons that were killed in Dusa. Were 40 persons killed in Dusa, or were
24 40 persons detained -- captured and detained in Dusa?
25 A. Twelve persons were killed in Dusa according to the army's
1 records. As for the detained persons, it couldn't be 40 because there
2 weren't 40 people there. I have to say this with some reservation for the
3 following reasons: In these settlements there were refugees who were -- I
4 won't say out of control - but on their own initiative or through their
5 relations came there after the conflicts in Jajce and Donji Vakuf when the
6 Serbian Montenegrin aggressor captured those towns, and then those persons
7 came to Gornji Vakuf through their own personal connections. So I can't
8 be very specific when talking about these numbers.
9 Q. Can you please, sir, look at the information contained right after
10 the reference to Dusa where there's reference to 222 persons. Could you
11 comment on that part of this document, please.
12 A. I think there were more persons detained in the furniture factory
13 and the secondary school in Prozor, counting the people who at the
14 beginning of the conflict who were stopped on the road and detained,
15 people who were returning from visits to the family and other people who
16 happened to be on the road and were detained for no reason. So that I
17 think the number was more than 220. But what I can say with certainty is
18 that in Hrasnica there were 121 persons who were detained and taken away.
19 Q. Please take a look, sir, at document 1433. And again, when was
20 the first time you saw this document, sir?
21 A. I saw it when I came to The Hague.
22 Q. With respect to the information set forth in this combat report,
23 can you please comment particularly with respect to the information
24 concerning Uzricje, Zdrimci, Dusa, and Krupa?
25 A. This was regular practice. When a territory was captured, fires
1 would burn all night, and I think that HVO soldiers by using incendiary
2 bullets and -- wanted to torch as many buildings as possible, and thus
3 cause fear and have a negative impact on members of the armija to help
4 them decide to withdraw from Gornji Vakuf as soon as possible.
5 Q. Can you please take a look, sir, at document 1567. When was the
6 first time you saw this document, sir?
7 A. When I came to The Hague.
8 Q. Can you look, please, at the bottom of the document under the last
9 bullet point according to the report. Do you see that portion of the
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Can you comment, sir, on that aspect of this document in light of
13 the situation in Gornji Vakuf.
14 A. This was after the cease-fire, and then commissions were
15 persistent. There were some minor problems because people returned to
16 their burned homes because they had no where else to go, and there were
17 some minor excesses, but by joint efforts the situation was placed under
19 Q. Now, Witness, before I show you the last document, let me ask you
20 this: You testified yesterday about the presence of HVO military police
21 units in Gornji Vakuf; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you -- did there ever come a time, sir, when you learned the
24 identity of those military police officers from the HVO who were present
25 in Gornji Vakuf?
1 A. With respect to identity we didn't know, but we knew that these
2 were units of the military police of the HVO who had come from parts of
3 Herzegovina, from western and eastern -- no, not eastern, Tomislavgrad and
4 Livno, but we didn't know their identity. We knew that a part of the
5 personnel came also from the region of Gornji Vakuf, because the
6 Ante Starcevic Brigade had its own military police, and we knew those
7 police officers whom we had cooperated with. These were all former
8 members of the TO who before the war had attended exercises jointly. So
9 in Vakuf people knew who were strangers and who were locals who came from
10 some any other area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is something that it
11 is hard to conceal in Bosnia-Herzegovina; people know.
12 Q. Brigadier Agic, I would like to show you one final document which
13 is numbered 1298. Now, sir, when was the first time you saw this
15 A. When I came to The Hague.
16 Q. The document is rather lengthy. I would ask you, sir, if you
17 could please turn to the page in your language bearing the numbers that
18 end in 22 at the top. This is page 2 of the English version of the
20 Sir, do you recognise the names of any of the individuals listed
21 on this page of this document?
22 A. The person under number 6, Ivan Peric, could be from Gornji Vakuf;
23 also, the person under number 14, Kristo; and also the person under 16,
24 Ivica Jurcevic. The other names are not inhabitants of Gornji Vakuf. You
25 can't find these surnames in the census of the population of
1 Gornji Vakuf. I assume that the unit was manned on an ex-territorial
3 Q. And, sir, if you could finally then turn to the page of this
4 document in your language bearing number 33 at the top. This is page 12
5 in the English version.
6 Brigadier Agic, do you recognise any of the names of these
8 A. Yes. Number 1, the commander of the military police in
9 Gornji Vakuf, Miro Bandic, from the village of Podgradje; a pre-war
10 policeman from Bugojno. All the other names are people from Gornji Vakuf,
11 from the area of Gornji Vakuf, and I know many of these who are more or
12 less my age. There are a few individuals such as the Branislav Subasic
13 under number 24; he wasn't in Gornji Vakuf. There were no Subasics in
14 Gornji Vakuf. Number 38, Barisic, the Barisics aren't from Gornji Vakuf.
15 The individual under number 39, Herceg, wasn't from there. All the other
16 family names are family names from Gornji Vakuf, from the municipality of
17 Gornji Vakuf.
18 Q. Brigadier Agic, I'd like to thank you for answering our
20 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further direct examination.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you could perhaps
23 inform us of the numbers of the exhibits that you'll be tendering and then
24 we will have the break after that.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We will tender
1 documents -- and I'll just read either the last three or four digits to
2 avoid confusion: 643, 712, 1087, 1107, 1132, 1126, 1131, 1174, 1146,
3 1135, 1139, 1172, 1183, 1213, 1226, 1203, 1229, 1291, 1333, 1433, 1567,
5 And if the Trial Chamber would just indulge me for one moment,
6 Your Honour. We have one issue arising from a document that was shown to
7 the witness Andrew Williams, which was again shown to the witness but
8 which one of my colleagues unintentionally neglected to tender, that was
9 P 1311 [Realtime transcript read in error "311"], which was again was
10 shown to the witness Williams a few days ago. And also just prior to the
11 break, I'd like to inform the Trial Chamber and all the parties that prior
12 to this current session we distributed the calendar of scheduled witnesses
13 that will take us through to the winter recess on the 14th December. And
14 I've provided that to the Chamber's Legal Officers as well and I wanted to
15 inform the Chamber as well, so we have the court schedule through the 14th
16 of December. Thank you.
17 My colleague informs me that the document for Williams wasn't
18 reflected it should be 1311. 1311 was the document that we showed to the
19 witness Williams.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have it in the e-court
21 system? Yes or no? This document is a document you want to show the
22 witness so that he can recognise it?
23 MR. MUNDIS: No, Your Honour. I just wanted to, before a decision
24 was taken on the Williams exhibits, inform the Chamber that we had shown
25 that to Mr. Williams but unintentionally didn't tender that document
1 formally, so we would ask that that be admitted into evidence. We have no
2 more documents for this witness; we have no more questions for this
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, counsel.
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 We object to tendering P 0 -- P 10 -- P 1298 for a number of reasons
7 because it's a very voluminous document and the two pages of this document
8 was shown to the witness, and the request is being made for the entire
9 document to be admitted. If you have a look at the B/C/S version, you can
10 see that this document consists of a number of documents in fact, so it's
11 very difficult to determine the period that the document relates to, and
12 in particular because two of the pages that were shown to the witness
13 don't bear any dates so the time-period that the list relates to. The
14 Intervention Platoon of the military police in Gornji Vakuf is the title,
15 but we know which time-period is concerned, there is no stamp, no
16 signature. And on the page that refers to the composition of the military
17 police in Gornji Vakuf it's also impossible to find a date. So we don't
18 know how the witness could identify it and in relation to which period it
19 will be possible for him to do so.
20 Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We take note of
22 that. It's 20 past 3.00. We will have our 20-minute break, and then the
23 Defence can commence with its cross-examination.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.20 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have the first Defence
2 team now.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President.
4 [French on English channel]
5 We have no cross-examination for the gentleman, though this
6 decision not to cross-examine should not be interpreted, as was suggested
7 by Mr. Mundis that yesterday I was conducting my cross-examination during
8 his direct through my objections. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas, for
10 that information.
11 And now for the next Defence team.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
13 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, good day. My name is Vesna Alaburic,
15 I'm a lawyer from Zagreb, and I represent General Milivoj Petkovic in
16 these proceedings. I have some questions I'd like to put to you, and I'm
17 sure that you will help us understand the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 If I have understood you correctly, yesterday you were saying that
19 a Croat, Mr. Mladen Kovacevic, was elected as the head of the TO in
20 Gornji Vakuf, and you directly link this to the multi-party elections that
21 had been held and that recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an
22 independent state. There are just a few details that I would like to
23 clarify because I don't believe it's been clearly noted in the transcript.
24 The first elections were in November 1992; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At a national level -- I'm waiting for the transcript. It was
2 both at a state level and at a local level; is that correct? These
3 elections were held at the same time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. There's a multi-party agreement in the area of Gornji Vakuf, and
6 as a result the head of the Territorial Defence was supposed to be an HDZ
7 member. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That means that at the end of 1990, Mr. Mladen Kovacevic was
10 appointed as the, or rather, chief of the Gornji Vakuf TO. Is that
12 A. No.
13 Q. Can you tell us when he was appointed.
14 A. On the 1st or 2nd of April, 1992.
15 Q. And who held that position in the meantime?
16 A. I did.
17 Q. So according to this multi-party agreement, how is it that the
18 main position in the TO went to an HDZ member? Were you an HDZ member?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Does that mean that the multi-party agreement wasn't respected?
21 A. May I clarify this?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. The multi-party agreement was respected, but I remained in that
24 position until the end of March 1992. I was relieved of my duties
25 pursuant to a decision of the Municipal Assembly on that day, and the
1 president of the Executive Committee, Mr. Miro Batinic, had the authority
2 to take a decision and allowed me to continue performing my duties for a
3 certain period of time. There are two reasons for that.
4 Q. I apologise. This is not really important for us. At the moment
5 the reasons aren't that important. I just want to know why that happened.
6 I'd also like to clarify something for the Judges with regard
7 to -- to the establishment of the Territorial Defence of the independent
8 state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We mentioned that subject yesterday, and
9 I'd like to discuss this in relation to certain documents now.
10 Please have a look in my bundle of documents at document number
11 4D 00414.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have that document
13 on the screen.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the number.
15 MR. ALABURIC:
16 Q. 4D 00414. This is a decree on disbanding the Republican Staff of
17 the Territorial Defence and on establishing a staff of Territorial Defence
18 in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the document that I
19 mentioned yesterday that was adopted on the 8th of April, 1992, by the
20 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you familiar with this decree?
21 A. Yes, I am.
22 Q. Can you confirm that this is in fact the decree that was issued,
23 that was implemented, that was adopted?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now have a look at 4D 00411. This is a decision from the
1 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on linking up all the
2 armed forces in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have it on
3 the screen in the e-court system.
4 According to that decision, all armed units and individuals were
5 requested to report to Territorial Defence Staffs in order to be placed
6 under a single command. That's what's stated under item 1.
7 In item 4, the date is mentioned by which this task should be
8 carried out. The date is the 15th of April, 1992.
9 Were you familiar with this decision, with the contents of this
11 A. Yes, and on the 15th of April -- well, that's when -- that's the
12 official date on which the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
13 established. That's correct. We'll see that's this is also confirmed by
15 Q. When this decision was taken on the 9th of April, which armed
16 forces were in existence? Which of the armed forces that were to report
17 to the Territorial Defence staffs, since one day earlier the former
18 Territorial Defence had been disbanded? In other words, could you
19 confirm that on that day the following armed forces exist: The
20 Green Berets. Were the Green Berets present as an armed force in
22 A. Not in Gornji Vakuf.
23 Q. And in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Was there a force called the Patriotic League?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And these armed forces, the Patriotic League and the Green Berets,
3 did they respond to this decision and did they become part of the army of
5 A. The members of the Patriotic League in Gornji Vakuf did respond,
6 and they placed themselves under the command of the Territorial Defence.
7 Q. Thank you. Let's now have a look at 4D 00407. This is a decree,
8 decree -- 409. I apologise. This is a decree with the force of law on
9 armed forces on the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was adopted on
10 the 20th of May, 1992, and in Article 36 it says that on the 15th of
11 April, or rather, the 15th of April shall be taken to be the day on which
12 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established, just as you have
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. I think that's sufficient to clarify certain matters,
16 to show that in fact the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in a certain sense was
17 composed of the armed forces of the Patriotic League, of the Green Berets,
18 and other armed forces. These are units that responded to the request to
19 place themselves under Territorial Defence staffs by the 15th of April.
20 Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Now, could you please have a look at 4D 00404. This is an order
23 from the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was adopted
24 at a meeting held on the 23rd of June, 1992. And in this order it decided
25 to change the name Territorial Defence into the Army of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. Are you familiar -- were you familiar with the contents of
2 this order?
3 A. Item 2 says: "The Territorial Defence shall be changed into the
4 Main Staff of the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
5 Q. Yes. Item 1 says: "The name Territorial Defence shall be changed
6 into Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the armed forces
7 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be established."
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I know what the difference between armed forces and an army is,
10 but on this occasion I don't think it's of much importance for me. If the
11 Judges would like to discuss the matter, I have all the rules on the armed
12 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina at hand.
13 I would now like to discuss a document that relates to my client,
14 General Milivoj Petkovic. It's a document that you mentioned yesterday --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. One of
16 the documents we have seen states that all the forces should be recorded.
17 I think it's Article 4. It says that all those who fail to be recorded
18 would be considered as paramilitary units and may be susceptible to
19 punishment, et cetera. As far as you know, were there any forces that
20 didn't become part of the Territorial Defence at the time that they were
21 obliged to comply with this request?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know about other
23 areas, but that was not the case in Gornji Vakuf; there were no such
24 forces in Gornji Vakuf.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So at least the
1 situation is clear as far as Gornji Vakuf is concerned. It's clear in
2 light of what you have said. Perhaps the Defence has other information.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I think that we could discuss the subject of the HVO and the
5 relationship with the Territorial Defence. I'll deal with that perhaps if
6 I have time to address those issues too.
7 Please have a look at Prosecution Exhibit - you have it in the
8 bundle of Prosecution documents - P 01087; it's an order from
9 Milivoj Petkovic dated the 9th of January, 1993. The order concerns
10 raising the level of combat readiness because of the negotiations to be
11 held in Geneva.
12 A. 1087, or rather, are you referring to this brief order, this short
14 Q. Yes. If I understood your testimony correctly, you commented on
15 this order and said that it was a document that showed that the alleged
16 attack by the HVO on Gornji Vakuf had been planned. I'd like to draw your
17 attention to a number of facts. Can you tell us who this order was
18 forwarded to?
19 A. I can see that there are three operative zones mentioned here.
20 Q. So it was forwarded to all three operative zones and not just to
21 the operative zone in Gornji Vakuf. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now have a look at the bundle of documents that I have provided
24 you with. Have a look at 4D 00416 we don't have this document in the
25 e-court system; if necessary we could place the document on the ELMO. The
1 Judges and the Prosecution have copies. This is an order in Zeljko Siljeg
2 dated the 9th of January, 1993. He refers to General Petkovic's order
3 that we have discussed and says because of the upcoming negotiations in
4 Geneva he orders that the level of combat readiness be raised, and this is
5 because the Chetniks have reinforced their units in certain sectors.
6 That's what it says in that order.
7 Do you have any information according to which the HVO and perhaps
8 your armija were raising the level of combat readiness because of the
9 negotiations in Geneva and also in relation to the activities of the
10 Republika Srpska army?
11 A. No. At the line towards Kupres that we held - and the HVO was to
12 the left of us - in that area there were no signs that the Army of
13 Republika Srpska was raising the level of combat readiness and preparing
14 for combat. But General Petkovic in his order to raise the level of
15 combat readiness -- well, in the preamble he mentions that this should be
16 done because of the negotiations that are upcoming in Geneva and not
17 because of the aggression of the Serbian and Montenegrin aggressor.
18 Q. I think things will be clearer when we have a look at documents
19 from your armija, document 4D 00394; we also have it in the e-court
21 A. I apologise. Could you please repeat that.
22 Q. Yes. 4D 00394. This is a warning from the commander of the
23 4th Corps, Arif Pasalic, and it also has to do with the peace conference
24 in Geneva. Have a look at the fourth line from the bottom; it has to do
25 with the document from the chief of the armed forces of the Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina dated the 5th of January. And in this warning
2 Arif Pasalic is also warning of the possibility of the Serbian army
3 engaging in military action. The entire document is important, but I'd
4 like to draw your attention to the third paragraph.
5 "Given the experience to date with the aggressor, one should
6 expect that the aggressor up until the continuation of the negotiations
7 will try to be militarily successful and will intensify combat in the
8 battlefields that we are already familiar with." In brackets we have
9 certain names. "As a result, it is essential to take certain measures to
10 raise the level of combat readiness and to ensure that we are not taken by
11 surprise. Wherever possible, it's necessary to launch attacks because any
12 military success is a significant contribution to military and political
13 victory over the aggressor."
14 Tell me, were there similar thoughts in your operative zone?
15 A. Such a warning or an order can -- related to a warning from the
16 Main Staff is not something that I receive. Here they mention Gradacac,
17 Brcko, Tesanj, and particularly Sarajevo and East Bosnia. They never
18 mention battlefields in Central Bosnia.
19 Q. Yes, but it is -- it does concern the commander of the 4th Corps.
20 Nevertheless, you quite frequently mentioned that General Petkovic and
21 Pasalic tried to reach agreements, solve problems in a peaceful way. Did
22 they also agree on issuing such orders and warnings with regard to raising
23 the level of combat readiness?
24 A. Well, I have no reason to doubt that.
25 Q. Thank you. Would you please look at a Prosecution exhibit in the
1 Prosecution set of documents.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, this document of
3 the 6th of January, which refers to another document, top secret, of the
4 information service, document VKOSRBH, number 443 of the 5th of January,
5 1993. Have you studied this document? Have you had this document?
6 Because it says here that this warning was taken or issued on the basis of
7 this document. In view of the fact that the witness says that this had to
8 do with the Serbs, but in the area of Gradacac, Brcko, Tesanj, but not
9 Gornji Vakuf. So it should be interesting to see whether the document
10 which has inspired General Pasalic, does this document have a general
11 bearing on the situation or an area that was not -- that would not include
12 Gornji Vakuf? Well, I'm just telling you about it. Perhaps you will have
13 time to study this document yourself, because I don't have it. But I have
14 just discovered that it exists.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] In my introduction to my question I
16 said that the Commander Pasalic issued this warning precisely on the basis
17 of this document. Unfortunately, I do not have that document at my
18 disposal. It is an order by Mr. Sefer Halilovic, and I hope that in due
19 time we will obtain that document and we will be able to tender it to
20 Your Honours. So we know that it refers to the Chief of Staff of the
21 Supreme Command of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it would be
22 logical to assume that this order applies to the whole territory under the
23 control of Mr. Halilovic.
24 I am told, quite rightly, that this document was addressed to all
25 units, so therefore it's not a question of just locations.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. But a little
2 question on my part: The 317th Brigade, when it was formed did you depend
3 on the 4th Corps or the 3rd Corps of General Hadzihasanovic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The armed forces in Gornji Vakuf
5 were constantly subordinated to the 3rd Corps throughout this period.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And was it normal then for you
7 to receive documents of the 4th Corps which was not in your chain of
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And were -- were you familiar with the activities of
12 Mr. Arif Pasalic, who was commander of the 4th Corps?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, just a moment, please.
14 General Petkovic perhaps will clarify things for us.
15 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in this order
16 Arif Pasalic is listing the localities of the most probable attacks by the
17 Serbs; they're not in the zone of the 4th Corps. He's just drawing
18 attention to his forces that there may be attacks here but also in their
20 Secondly, Sefer Halilovic sent an order to the entire army of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina; therefore, the commander of the 3rd Corps must
22 have issued a similar order. It's another matter that we can't gain
23 insight into the documents of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Sefer Halilovic at that time felt that Brcko, Tesanj, and those places
25 were in the greatest danger, but he doesn't exclude the possibility of
1 such attacks all over the front, Kupres, Bugojno, Jajce, in
2 Eastern Herzegovina, et cetera. Therefore, all corps commands were
3 addressed by this order. He refers to the general order of
4 Sefer Halilovic dated the 5th of January.
5 That is my explanation, because the places Pasalic mentions are
6 not in the area of his corps. But it is the assessment of the political
7 and military leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina that during the talks
8 the Serbs may attempt to gain control of these parts of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but attacks on other parts are not excluded.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Petkovic, for
11 your contribution.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We can now look at this new document, Prosecution Exhibit that we
14 discussed yesterday; the number is P 01135. It is an order by
15 General Milivoj Petkovic, who was in those days still a brigadier, dated
16 the 15th of January, 1993. And yesterday we spoke about the preamble of
17 this order referring to the aggression of Muslim forces throughout the
18 territory of Herceg-Bosna.
19 A. You said 1135?
20 Q. Yes, 1135. Mention is made of dozens of dead and a large number
21 of wounded, the burning of Croatian houses, and the expulsion of Croats as
22 a reason for issuing this order. I see you have it in front of you.
23 From the contents of this order as we mentioned yesterday and from
24 the indication on page 2 as to who are the addressees, one can conclude
25 that this is an order applying to the entire territory of Herceg-Bosna; is
1 that right? It was addressed to all operative zones.
2 A. I assume so.
3 Q. In view of your interpretation yesterday of this preamble, were
4 you aware that in other municipalities in the territory of Herceg-Bosna --
5 A. Yes, I was aware of the situation in Prozor, Novi Travnik, and
7 Q. What other municipalities of Herceg-Bosna? You were not aware of
8 the situation there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Tell me, do you have any information about the number of killed
11 and wounded fighters of the HVO when this order was issued in January
13 A. I do not.
14 Q. Did you have or do you have now the figures regarding the number
15 of Croatian houses burnt?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you have facts about the expulsion of Croats in those days?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Is it possible to conclude, then, that you have no information
20 about the facts on the basis of which this order was issued?
21 A. I am not aware that a single Croat house in the municipality of
22 Gornji Vakuf was torched up to this date.
23 Q. Let us now look at documents on the basis of which this order was
24 issued, but point of clarification first.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm wondering -- you
1 appear to have said that you are familiar with the situation in
2 Gornji Vakuf but you didn't know what was happening elsewhere. You
3 belonged to the 3rd Corps in January, and the leader was
4 General Hadzihasanovic. And General Hadzihasanovic, did he rally his
5 brigade commanders to review the situation in the whole zone covered by
6 the 3rd Corps, and then with your colleagues, commanders of other
7 brigades, you would discuss and present your -- the local situation?
8 Unless you never attended a command meeting at the level of the 3rd Corps
9 in Zenica.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I told Defence counsel
11 that I was familiar with the situation in Prozor, Novi Travnik, and
12 Bugojno; these are neighbouring municipalities. After the new year, that
13 is after the 1st of January, 1993, until this period, I did not go for
14 briefings to the 3rd Corps because in those days it was difficult to get
15 there for me.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. That is why I won't show you documents relating to other
18 municipalities in Herceg-Bosna, but let us look at the documents that
19 reached the Supreme Staff of the HVO. Tell me, when commander
20 Sefer Halilovic, for instance, writes a report or an order or something
21 relevant to a particular area, does he do so on the basis of reports that
22 he receives from his subordinates in the area?
23 A. Yes, among other things.
24 Q. So the reports going to the higher command, are they important for
25 the decisions taken by the commander?
1 A. Yes, but other data are used too. High levels have other
2 possibilities and ways of collecting information and passing decisions.
3 Q. Certainly they will use information from all possible sources.
4 Let us look first at the report in my set of documents, 4D 00352, and this
5 is a report of the information service in the operative zone of
6 North-western Herzegovina. And for Gornji Vakuf, it says briefly that the
7 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- which is referred to as an ally, and
8 please note this - that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina is deploying
9 members of their troops in several places in the municipality, in
10 Voljevac, 50 to 61 persons; in Odvode, one unit; and in Voljica, a unit of
11 200 men in the elementary school.
12 Tell me, are these figures about BH units in Jajce correct?
13 A. They are not. This unit in this period of time, it numbered
14 between 300 and 400 men, and Rahman was not a person of any authority.
15 The commander of the 305th Brigade was Mr. Halil Dedic, who was a pre-war
16 active-duty officer. And the 305th Brigade started to be formed on the
17 basis of an order, and on the 5th of January it was totally disarmed.
18 They had no weapons whatsoever. And in that area when they were given
19 permission to deploy, they discussed with Gornji Vakuf. Approval was
20 given by Zrinko Tokic as well.
21 Q. I am not trying to say anything. Just tell me. In the territory
22 of Gornji Vakuf there were members of the BH army from Jajce, were there
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Look now at another document, 4D 00354; it is an order
1 by the Chief of Staff, Brigadier Petkovic, to Zrinko Tokic, asking him to
2 describe relations between the HVO and its allies, that is the BH army, to
3 report about the arrival of fresh forces of the armed forces of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and if there are any blockades of the passage towards
6 Tell me, were you aware of attempts by the Main Staff to collect
7 complete information about the situation in the territory of Gornji
8 Vakuf? Did you perhaps talk to Mr. Zrinko Tokic about this?
9 A. This is the 11th of January, so I assume that -- this was
10 something that General Petkovic was interested in, that is the situation
11 in the municipality. However, I think this first sentence describe
12 relations between you and the allies does not apply to the armed forces of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because in the second paragraph it says, "Inform us
14 whether there have been fresh forces of the armija," and I think this
15 applies to your question.
16 Q. But tell me, who are the allies then?
17 A. The units that had arrived, that is HVO units.
18 Q. How can HVO units be allies of the HVO?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. If that is your interpretation of an alliance.
21 Will you look at the next document, 355. It is a report about the
22 situation in Gornji Vakuf to the Main Staff in connection with the issue
23 we discussed a moment ago. I suggest you read it, and in the meantime I
24 will highlight four points, though there are others.
25 They are reporting to the Main Staff that there is concentration
1 of forces and especially of the BH army, who are deploying in their
2 settlements, Voljevac, Grnica, Vojska, Uzricje, and in the city itself.
3 Then it goes on to say that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the
4 9th of January, received an order from superior commands, that is from the
5 3rd Corps headquarters --
6 A. I'm sorry, I don't know which document you're referring to.
7 Q. 355.
8 A. I can't find the text you're referring to.
9 Q. I see it on the screen. This is the wrong document. Please look
10 at the screen. Maybe it hasn't been marked properly. I will read it.
11 I started by saying: "On the 9th of January, they received an
12 order from the superior command, that is the 3rd Corps command, that no
13 motor vehicles with troops with move through the territory of Gornji Vakuf
14 without the approval of the 3rd Corps command."
15 Then a little lower down, the third row from the bottom that we
16 see on the screen --
17 A. I'm sorry, could it be moved for me to see.
18 Q. "Today on the 11th of January in Marsal Tito Street in front of
19 the old hotel, which is in their zone, they have fortified with logs and
20 they have housed the Staff Command in a building there."
21 And in the sixth or seventh row it says: "In addition BH army
22 units in Gornji Vakuf are on full alert, and in the evening they are
23 taking control of certain features."
24 Can you tell us, please, with regard to the contents of this
25 report, if you could very briefly, tell us just what is correct and
2 A. I think the commander of the 317th Brigade is well placed.
3 Q. So nothing else is correct?
4 A. It is not true that they came from Travnik and that they were at
5 check-points, it is not true that there was so much movement, and it is
6 not true that units from Jajce were deployed there.
7 Q. You said that it is not true that there was so much movement.
8 Then tell us: How great was the movement?
9 A. I think on this day, or maybe a day earlier, there was a change of
10 shifts at Radusa. And because of problems in communications, they had to
11 take a roundabout route, and what is claimed here -- could I have it
12 enlarged, please.
13 This reference to the order banning passage is partially true.
14 The corps command did issue such an order.
15 Q. Very well. As time is running out, let us move on to the next
16 document, number 4D 0044. This is again an -- a report. As the number is
17 just 44, it should be at the beginning of your bundle.
18 A. It's an order.
19 Q. No. No. It's an intelligence report.
20 A. No. In my bundle it's an order to change the name of the armed
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher assist for us to
23 place it on the ELMO.
24 Q. If you can read it from the screen we can give you a hard copy as
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could it be enlarged, please.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. So it's an intelligence report of the Dr. Ante Starcevic Brigade
4 dated the 12th of January, and it says: "The Muslim forces have blocked
5 the communication between Ugljen and Gornji Vakuf in places called Drazev
6 and Duratbegovic Dolac. Units from Granica have captured five soldiers
7 from the Ludvig Pavlovic unit in Jajce where fierce battles are taking
8 place. Units of the BH army from Voljica, Osidruk [phoen], using
9 82-millimetre mortars, are pounding the neighbourhood of Trnovaca.
10 Units -- 30-strong units from Voljevac has been sent to Makljen Vakuf, and
11 the town is completely blocked and the settlement of Uzricje has to be
12 cleared to allow entrance into the city. And the order has been received
13 to prepare for an infantry attack. Infantry units are attacking from the
14 town, and in the centre there are strongholds of the army, the BH army at
15 Rajici has received reinforcements. They have a mortar above
16 Duratbegovic. At 1550 fierce shelling has started of the town and the
17 surroundings," and then it goes on to talk about the concentration of
18 forces. I don't want to paraphrase the whole document.
19 Tell me, what is true from the report?
20 A. I can see who wrote it, but I think a major part of this report is
21 either a justification or somebody showing off. It is true that we
22 blocked the Duratbegovic Dolac, that we tried to defend ourselves from
23 Dolac because Colonel Siljeg ordered all-out attack on Gornji Vakuf. It
24 is not true that on the 12th of January we fired a single shell into the
25 area inhabited by Croats. It is not true that Trnovaca was shelled. And
1 my parents were captured at Trnovaca on that day. If we had been ready to
2 attack the HVO, surely I would have sent my parents away from Trnovaca.
3 Q. Very well. How people would have acted is a moot point; some
4 remained in their homes in spite of the military activity and tried to
5 defend their homes. But do you know Mr. Pero Mejdandzic?
6 A. He was the first commander of the HVO in Gornji Vakuf, the top
8 Q. How would you describe your cooperation with him and how would you
9 assess him as a commander?
10 A. Well, he wanted to cooperate; there were no problems.
11 Q. And you considered him to be a serious and responsible
13 A. Well, yes, he was a serious man; that's what I thought at least.
14 Q. Thank you. Have a look at the following document now 4D 00341.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question.
16 In this document it says that a thousand soldiers had massed in
17 Vakuf. What do you think of this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in Gornji Vakuf a thousand
19 men -- well that figure just can't be correct.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell us, when it was formed how many men about the 317th Mountain
22 Brigade have?
23 A. I said that the armed forces in Gornji Vakuf consisted of 2.560
24 men; they had a brigade and Municipal TO staff and a total of 2.560
1 Q. What about the 317th, is that the number for the 317th?
2 A. No. For the total number of the armed forces.
3 Q. What about the 317th Brigade?
4 A. Well, it was up to establishment strength and it had 2.137 men.
5 Q. If you added to that number the members of the armija of Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina from Jajce who were in Gornji Vakuf?
7 A. Well, I said that the 1st Battalion was formed and the command of
8 the 305th, and they had their command positions and they were with their
9 battalions in Voljica. The brigade wasn't in Vakuf at the time that you
10 are mentioning. The brigade had a battalion and a half at the defence
11 line facing Kupres. The other part of the unit was positioned from
12 Voljevac up to Duratbegovic Dolac.
13 Q. Voljevac is in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let's have a look at 4D --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, so as not to waste time
17 given the Defence hypothesis according to which it was the ABiH that
18 launched the attack not the HVO - well, this is a hypothesis that the
19 Judges will have to assess in the light of the evidence presented - but if
20 one assumes that this hypothesis is real, if one is launching an attack in
21 military terms, aren't those who are on leave called back? You said that
22 the brigade had a third at the line, a third in reserve, and one-third of
23 its men on leave. So if one assumes that the Defence hypothesis is
24 correct, if one assumes that the ABiH was bringing reinforcements,
25 wouldn't that mean that those men who were on leave should have been
1 called back?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, counsel didn't put that
3 question to me, but all the commanders called back the men who were on
4 leave, but it doesn't make sense to have a thousand men in town; it's not
5 wise in military terms because the artillery.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So where did you keep these men if it wasn't wise to keep them in
9 A. Well, look. The 1st Battalion was being brought up to strength in
10 town and it had between 500 and 600 men, and there was a military police
11 company there; and those were the men who were present in town. But you
12 must be aware of the fact that the 1st Battalion and one of its company
13 was in Vrse; the other was at the entrance to Gornji Vakuf, in the part of
14 town we call the Gornja Mahala; and the third company was in the lower
15 part of town so to speak, whereas the 3rd Battalion was in the lower part
16 of the municipality, to the left of Radusa and to the right towards
18 Q. Thank you for that explanation if the general has anything other
19 to ask you about, he may do so. I would now like to have a look at the
20 documents on the basis of which General Petkovic's order dated the 15th of
21 January was issued very briefly.
22 A. Which document?
23 Q. 4D 00341. It's a regular combat report from the command of the
24 North-western Croatia operative zone dated the 13th of January, 1993.
25 I'll just mention two matters here -- North-western Herzegovina my
1 colleagues have told me that I made a mistake. It's a report from the
2 command of the operative zone of North-western Herzegovina, and I quote.
3 It says: "In the village of Luzine Croatian houses were torched and
4 Croats were expelled towards the positions held by our units."
5 Tell me, do you have any information according to which houses
6 were torched and Croats were expelled from that village?
7 A. On the 13th of January, that evening I went with Mr. Zrinko Tokic
8 to the village that you had to pass through to Pajic Polje; I think that's
9 where the battalion command was located. I couldn't leave the vehicle
10 because they couldn't guarantee my safety. Zrinko told me that they
11 couldn't guarantee my safety because an HVO member had died; that's what
12 he said when he got into the vehicle. I can't remember his name, the name
13 of his soldier. I knew his brother though. Apparently he had been
14 massacred. I even asked him how he had been massacred, and then he said
15 that he had been circumcised in the Muslim way, cut up in the Muslim way,
16 but I know that there are two Croatian houses in the village of Luzine
17 itself. Nothing happened to anyone else. Luzine has a Bosniak majority,
18 there are only two Croatian families.
19 Q. You're saying that nothing happened to anyone else. You're saying
20 the inhabitants of those two houses suffered a certain fate. Is that
22 A. No. I'm talking about this soldier, but those soldiers attacked
23 Luzine from Pajic Polje, and that's why we went to Pajic Polje, to Grnica,
24 and to Hrasnica, and to Duratbegovic Dolac, and to Drazev Dolac that
1 Q. We'll clarify that later. Let's have a look at the next document,
2 4D 00356. It's an extraordinary report, an interim report, from
3 Zeljko Siljeg dated the 13th of January. I'll just emphasise two items.
4 "The passage from Vakuf and the entry to Vakuf has been blocked,
5 and in the course of the night fighter -- fire was opened from infantry
6 weapons and mortars from the direction of Zelene."
7 A. Which is the number?
8 Q. 356. Tell me, do you have any information according to which
9 there was such a blockade?
10 A. Yes, the HVO had implemented that blockade; the town was under
11 attack. On the 13th of January, the town was attacked and as a result it
12 was under a blockade.
13 Q. So you have no information about ABiH activity?
14 A. Yes, the armija was defending itself.
15 Q. You were defending yourselves; the HVO said they were defending
16 themselves. We'll see what the documents say. We're now discussing the
17 13th of January. Are you aware of the fact that after all these events
18 the Main Staff of the HVO tried to find a peaceful solution to the
19 problems in Gornji Vakuf. You mentioned the arrival of Colonel Andric.
20 Are you aware of any other attempts that were made?
21 A. Yesterday in answer to a Prosecution question I said that yes
22 attacks were carried out, but today I said that it wasn't possible to talk
23 to Colonel Siljeg about that subject; he only made threats.
24 Q. What about the other HVO officers that you had contact with? Were
25 you able to reach any agreements with them to discuss matters to try and
1 find a peaceful solution to the problems?
2 A. I first spoke to Tokic, Zrinko, since I knew him well; he told me
3 that no one asked him about anything.
4 Q. If I have understood you correctly, you also cooperated
5 well with Colonel Andric. I'd like to show you an order issued by my
6 client, General Petkovic. P 01115 is the number in my bundle. It's an
7 order dated the 13th of January.
8 A. What's the number?
9 Q. P 01115. It's an order on avoiding incidents and a request is
10 made to find a peaceful solution to problems to establish contact with the
11 Muslim side. Were you familiar with this Main Staff attempt to find a
12 peaceful solution to the problems in Gornji Vakuf?
13 A. I wasn't familiar with this document dated the 13th of January.
14 But given what was being done by UNPROFOR -- well, yes, attempts were
15 made, I can't say that wasn't the case, but you'll have to ask
16 Colonel Siljeg about this.
17 Q. I'll show you just an another two documents that preceded this
18 order dated the 15th of January. The first one is number 4D 00349.
19 Please have a look at the document. It's a report from the
20 Dr. Ante Starcevic Brigade dated the 14th of January, and I'd like to draw
21 your attention to two parts of the document. Have a look at the middle of
22 the page. It says: "In the ABiH there are many soldiers from Jajce who
23 have lingered in Gornji Vakuf together with their equipment and materiel,
24 and when withdrawing, when Chetniks were taking Jajce, there were soldiers
25 from Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, and Kupres. There are many men under arms on
1 the Muslim side."
2 And then in the last -- in the penultimate paragraph it says:
3 "From 1500 to 1700 hours scores of business premises belonging to Croats
4 were set on fire in the lower part of the village of Bistrica."
5 There are other important passages but we don't have time to go
6 into all the details in the document.
7 Can you comment on the strength of ABiH members in the area of
8 Gornji Vakuf? I'm not just referring to the town of Gornji Vakuf but to
9 the entire municipality.
10 A. I said there was a battalion in Voljevac.
11 Q. What about Donji Vakuf, Bugojno, Kupres?
12 A. What's your question?
13 Q. What about the units from that area?
14 A. Well, no. During that period of time there wasn't a single unit
15 from Bugojno and Donji Vakuf in Vakuf.
16 Q. I'm referring to refugees and able-bodied men from the area?
17 A. I said that was a negligible number because when the army was
18 established in Bugojno the Defence secretariats returned all individuals
19 from Donji Vakuf and they formed a Donji Vakuf unit in Bugojno.
20 Q. What about torching of business premises belonging to Croats in
21 the village of Bistrica, do you have any information about this?
22 A. I don't know whether you know Bistrica. There aren't even ten
23 houses in the lower part of Bistrica. I don't know which facilities you
24 are referring to.
25 Q. Unfortunately I can't answer that question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I need a clarifications.
2 The soldiers from Jajce who came to Gornji Vakuf, how many of them
3 were there?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The number changed from day-to-day.
5 There were -- there weren't under 400. At the time the battalion had 400
6 men, perhaps more.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 400. Did they have a commander?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had a commander.
9 Mr. Halid Dedic was the commander but they weren't armed.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the 400 soldiers under the
11 command of the -- of Halil Deric weren't armed?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can claim with full
13 responsibilities that many they weren't armed.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In such a situation,
15 who provided or who represented military authority? Was it yourself or
16 Deric who had come from Jajce, who was from Jajce? This battalion from
17 Jajce, were -- was it subordinated to you or was it in fact simply in your
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in Voljevac and Halil
20 reported directly to the 3rd Corps commander. It was never subordinated
21 to the 317th or to the TO Staff.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How far is Voljevac from Gornji
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Twelve kilometres.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Twelve kilometres. Is it
1 possible - and this is what the Defence seems to be suggesting on the
2 basis of this document - is it possible that parts of this battalion
3 committed acts of -- or excessive acts in Bistrica?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they weren't in Bistrica. They
5 couldn't have reached Bistrica because --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what is stated in the
7 document is false?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's false.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. One more document. 4D 00350. The document is also from
11 Dr. Ante Starcevic's brigade dated the 15th of January, and it, among
12 other things, refers to an artillery attack from the direction of Muslim
13 villages on villages inhabited by Croats. Can you tell us anything about
14 that day, that is the 15th of January, whether the information contained
15 in this report are correct or incorrect?
16 A. They are incorrect, because units in this area didn't have a
17 single artillery weapon.
18 Q. Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We, the Judges, who are used to
20 documents, we see that there is a series of documents that -- who -- the
21 contents of which is being disputed, and therefore we are told about
22 events that did not take place. As far as you are concerned, what would
23 be the reason for this type of reference? What would be the aim? Those
24 who compiled these reports, why would they contain erroneous information?
25 Do you have an explanation for that? Was it because the collected
1 information was not reliable? Was it because it, as you appear to have
2 said, they wanted to make progress and went beyond what was actually
3 happening, or were there any other reasons that we're not aware of?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm looking at these documents for
5 the first time, and as far as I'm able to judge, they are incorrect. But
6 I do know that from Drazevo, Duratbegovic Dolac, and Drazeni, on the 15th
7 here no artillery fire could have been opened because the units there
8 didn't have artillery weapons. The signature here is my former teacher
9 Ivan Kraljevic. I'm sorry that we don't have a document in which he says
10 that 12 civilians were killed in Dusa, and it doesn't say what was
11 undertaken. However, the behaviour of Colonel Siljeg during the
12 negotiations, because there were negotiations in this period of time as
13 well at UNPROFOR headquarters, show that the documents were a
14 justification for the situation imposed by the HVO in Gornji Vakuf.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
16 assistance. The brigadier, when referring to artillery, has in mind more
17 than a hundred millimetres. Maybe the report refers to 82-millimetre
18 mortars. Could 82-millimetre mortars have been positioned there which he
19 considers artillery and you do not?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General, the company in Drazev Dolac
21 and Duratbegovic Dolac and the company from Zrnci [phoen] that covered
22 Luzani didn't have 82-millimetres at the time. The mortars of this
23 battalion were near Raduski Kamen, as you know, in the period referred to
24 by this report.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I thank General Praljak. I was
1 going to ask that question.
2 Q. Brigadier Agic, tell us, since these HVO documents contained
3 certain erroneous information, do you believe that the HVO of Gornji Vakuf
4 provided false information about the situation on the ground to the Main
5 Staff of the HVO?
6 A. I don't know that; you'll have to ask them.
7 Q. In view of the fact that you have reviewed these documents and
8 judged them in this way, I would like -- my question is to summarise all
9 your answers. If you wish to make a comment. If you don't wish to answer
10 that question, we can move on.
11 I should like to show you another document relating to the
12 numerical strength of the BH army in the area of Gornji Vakuf. So look at
13 document 4D 00375. From the operative zone of North-western Herzegovina
14 on the 17th of January containing the following fact: 2.900 soldiers,
15 317th Mountain Brigade; then the army staff of 300 men; the military
16 police, 150 men; and the reserve police force, 150 men.
17 These units of the 305th Mountain Brigade from Jajce have been
18 added. You -- there is a mention of the figure of 500, I think you said
19 400. Then there are the Green Dragons, 100 men. And then another unit
20 arrived last night numbering 30 persons from Bugojno and nine others from
21 Novi Travnik.
22 Tell us, are these figures about the numerical strength of the BH
23 army on the 17th of January correct?
24 A. I'll have to have a closer look. There's a mirror here. The
25 brigade had three battalions. The commander of the 1st Battalion was
1 Sero Edin [phoen], correct; 2nd Battalion, Milanovic; and the 3rd
2 Battalion -- but there was no 4th battalion. Mr. Fuad Zec was in the 3rd
3 Battalion, deputy commander.
4 Q. Can we please limit our comments to the numbers.
5 A. The units from Jajce was not in Crnica --
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: You cannot expect us Judges to follow --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: I will repeat. So please try to understand. You
9 cannot expect us Judges to follow everything those numbers when you are
10 speaking in your mother tongue and you are very fast, and simply when we
11 see first time these documents in English - even there are some documents
12 which have not been translated - you cannot expect us to make a real
13 judgement if those numbers are correct or not or they are in good -- they
14 are really showing something very important to us. So I would ask the --
15 actually Ms. Alaburic to -- merely to single out some of the most
16 important elements which she thinks that it is very important for us, also
17 for the Bench to know. And after this we will make our own judgement.
18 But if you are having a dialogue between you, Ms. Alaburic, and also
19 Brigadier Agic, it will not help too much if you are just answering to
20 each other and competing with each other. So it is my advice to cool down
21 a bit, to slow down a bit, and then only to talk about the most important
22 elements. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, in view of what my
24 colleague has just said, what is important for us quite clearly is to
25 examine this document and to check against what you are saying. In this
1 document there are figures. The description given by HVO of your unit,
2 does it correspond to the situation such as you knew it to be? If not,
3 tell us where the mistakes are or the estimates.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no 4th Battalion. There was
5 no Green Dragon unit in the area of Gornji Vakuf in this period of time.
6 The first unit that came to Gornji Vakuf from outside its territory was on
7 the 19th of January, just before Bistrica fell. A platoon came from
8 Bugojno consisting of 24 men. The commander of that platoon was
9 Faruk Aganovic known as Jupi, and there were no other units in this area
10 at the time.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Agic, one more question in connection with this document dated
13 the 17th of January. It will help in understanding the relations.
14 In the lower part of the page there's a sentence which reads, you
15 will find it, I hope: "In Voljica from the positions in Radusa and Skrte,
16 soldiers withdrew and regrouped."
17 Is this a situation when the BH army withdrew from positions
18 towards the Serb army?
19 A. No. It just reduced the strength of the unit.
20 Q. The brigade commander withdrew a part of the men for the conflict
21 with the HVO. Is that right.
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could I be told how much time I
24 have left so I can decide how to proceed with my cross-examination,
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've used 49 minutes.
2 Normally you are entitled to one hour, unless there are other counsels
3 who will give you some of their time.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that two
5 Defence counsels will not have any more questions, we have shared amongst
6 ourselves their time, so I will have another half an hour.
7 Q. Mr. Agic, tell me, please, after the 18th of January and the
8 events in Gornji Vakuf, I have a large number of documents, but perhaps we
9 need not go into each of them, how did the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina act?
10 A. Up until the 19th and the signing of the cease-fire, the army was
11 mostly defending itself because we were inferior in every respect except,
12 perhaps, in certain areas in numerical strength; but in terms of equipment
13 we could not compare.
14 Q. So as far as manpower is concerned, you were not inferior?
15 A. I said "in certain places."
16 Q. Tell me, were there any artillery or mortar actions by the BH army
17 against certain HVO positions?
18 A. Until the 20th of January, no.
19 Q. Will you please look at document 4D 00391; it is a document of the
20 command of the 3rd Corps dated the 18th of January, 1993. It is a report
21 on the units of the HVO which says, among other things: "Information
22 with relations of the HVO.
23 "During the morning and in the evening an order was issued to the
24 artillery of Novi Travnik to open fire on targets defined by the command
25 of the 317th Mountain Brigade and the municipal defence staff of Gornji
2 Can you tell me whether this sentence is correct or not?
3 A. I said that the army, until the 19th, did not fire with
4 artillery. This is correct, because a request was addressed and aid was
6 Q. Next sentence: "From Bugojno a Sabotage Detachment was sent
7 towards Gornji Vakuf to cover Pajic Polje, Trnovaca and two sabotage
8 groups were infiltrated into Raznik and Drazen Polje to assist the Bugojno
9 detachment," which means that that detachment was already there. Tell me,
10 is this true from this paragraph?
11 A. With exception of these two infiltrated groups, the rest is
13 Q. Then it says that: "The command of the 317th Mountain Brigade and
14 the municipal TO Staff of Bugojno propose that a unit be addressed to
15 Makljen to arrive in the morning. It could change the situation in Gornji
17 Tell me, did you ask for aid to capture Makljen?
18 A. No. That is out of the question. We would need much more to
19 capture Makljen.
20 Q. Will you now look at document 4D 00360; it is an order by
21 commander Arif Pasalic dated the 19th of January, 1993. Ordering to the
22 Neretvica Brigade, together with units of the Prozor battalion, capture
24 Did you have any knowledge of this order?
25 A. No, I see this for the first time, but I know with full
1 responsibility that no such attempt was ever made.
2 Q. Look at document 4D 00361; it is a document of the commander of
3 the 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic, to the command of the 4th Corps
4 saying: "I have asked for an answer whether Neretvica has been sent on
5 assignment and has it arrived." Did you expect aid for Makljen?
6 A. It was an unrealistic assignment at the time, and I didn't know
7 that such an order was existed but -- such an assignment existed. Well, I
8 see from this document that it did, but it was unrealistic.
9 Q. Will you now look at document under Prosecution number, but in my
10 set of documents, P 01210, an extraordinary combat report by Cikotic on
11 the 19th of January.
12 A. What number did you say?
13 Q. 01210. So let us jointly examine certain parts of that document.
14 In point 1 it says: "In activities so far we have lost the
15 villages Uzricje, Dusa, lower part of Hrasnica." Can you tell me what
16 does it means "we have lost those villages." Does it mean that the army
17 held them until then?
18 A. It is true for Uzricje and the lower part of Hrasnica, but not for
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. In paragraph 2 it says: "The plan is that we execute sabotage
23 actions during the night in several directions."
24 So I repeat paragraph 2 says that: "The plan is that we execute
25 sabotage actions during the night in several directions," and certain
1 directions are mentioned. Is that true? Tell us please.
2 A. Partially, yes.
3 Q. Could you read paragraph 3 for us, please, these five requests.
4 A. Should I read them aloud?
5 Q. Yes, and will you comment on them straight away to see whether
6 they're right or not, or is Cikotic speaking falsely.
7 A. "To ensure a man who will reach the village of Bistrica, take-over
8 command of the anti-armour company from Novi Travnik, Mujahedin forces
9 from Bistrica, and together with them carry out an attack along the
10 direction check-point Bistrica-Franjkovac-Krupa-Ziza-Gornji Vakuf. Link
11 up with forces in town and provide us with the TMS that is already there.
12 "2. From the direction of Konjic provide all kinds of aid and
13 supply from Voljevac."
14 Q. Could you slow down, please, for the record.
15 A. "3. Lendo should accept our requests and open artillery fire upon
16 indicated targets, but from Bugojno Sabotage Detachment under command of
17 Jupi should be designed to reach Gornji Vakuf - he knows along which
18 route. Also convey to the people of Bugojno that reinforcements in
19 manpower should be sent by them together with command staff and that they
20 should not return before executing their task.
21 "5. Send the infantry weapons to the fighters of the
22 305th Brigade."
23 Q. I have to admit that I'm not quite sure whether everything has
24 been recorded in the transcript. I see that item 4 hasn't been recorded.
25 Perhaps there was someone who was follow the transcript. I'll repeat what
1 item 4 says, since it hasn't been recorded in the transcript.
2 Item 4 states the following: "From Bugojno it is necessary to
3 urgently send anti-Sabotage Detachment, commanded by Faruk Aganovic,
4 Jupi. Its task will be to break through to Gornji Vakuf. He knows along
5 which axis this should be done. Similarly, convey to the people of
6 Bugojno that they are sending reinforcements together with the necessary
7 command staff and they should not return before the task has been carried
9 My question is: Were these requests met, and is that how the ABiH
10 acted in military terms?
11 A. Item 1 wasn't implemented. Item 2 was the main line of -- for
12 supplies in -- during that period. Item 4 was partially carried out.
13 Q. Very well. At the time of this combat activity, were ABiH
14 representatives involved in negotiations with the HVO in order to find a
15 peaceful solution to the conflict?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I don't know if it's time for break now, or perhaps I can continue
18 with the cross-examination. I've lost track of time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd just like to clarify
20 something because the Judges will have decide whether it was the HVO or
21 the ABiH initiated the conflict.
22 This is dated the 12th of January -- the 19th of January --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- 1993, 1530 hours. It's a
25 special report, a special combat record. In the first paragraph it says:
1 "In the afternoon hours the HVO forces launched an attack in the
2 direction of the village of Vrse which was shelled," et cetera. There was
3 other action and Uzricje and Dusa and parts of Hrasnica were lost. Given
4 the contents of the document, we seem to have a description of the events
5 that were unfolding -- or it was the HVO that had taken these villages
6 subsequent to shelling, et cetera.
7 In the second paragraph there seems to be a suggestion made by
8 Cikotic to counter this action, to take action in the night between the
9 19th and the 20th, and engage in sabotage action in number of directions.
10 And the third item concerns requests, various requests, submitted
11 to the 3rd Corps.
12 So how do you analyse this document? Is this a document that was
13 sent to the 3rd Corps in order to describe the situation, to inform them
14 of the fact that you're going to react and also to ask for support,
15 various kinds of support. What is your point of view as far as this
16 document is concerned? This document comes from the 317th Brigade.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in this part of the report,
18 sir -- well, they wanted to say that the situation was dramatic. At the
19 time the town was about to fall.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that is the first paragraph;
21 that's the part of the document that you're referring to. And what about
22 the second paragraph? Is this an action plan for the 317th in order to
23 face up to the HVO?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't remember this being the
25 317th's plan or a plan conceived by its commander because this item seems
1 quite unrealistic. It would have been difficult to comply with what's
2 stated in this item.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why has this been noted if
4 you believe that it's not realistic?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I suppose it was to
6 justify the requests being made.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question. I see that it
8 mentions the Mujahedin. Could the Mujahedin have been of any use as
9 reinforcements for ABiH units?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about these Mujahedin,
11 because at the time in Central Bosnia there wasn't a single Mujahedin
12 unit. I don't know which Mujahedin being referred to. The El Mujahid
13 unit was formed after this period of time.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, in light of that is -- point of
15 clarification. Is the gentleman saying under oath that there were no
16 Mujahedin at this period of time? That's what I want to know. I'm not
17 talking about a unit. I'm talking about Mujahedin, because they were
18 coming and going, they were working in groups, and, as we all know, on
19 both sides they were feared. So I want -- I want a clear answer on this,
20 Your Honour.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am declaring under
22 oath that during this period of time, and even later, not a single
23 Mujahedin participated in combat in Gornji Vakuf.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 Yes, General.
1 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like
2 to ask you to put a question to this witness or allow me to do so.
3 Mr. Agic, as the commander of the defence staff in Gornji Vakuf --
4 well, that was the command of the 317th Brigade there. It was stronger
5 than his -- than him, and in Gornji Vakuf his superior command was through
6 Selmo Cikotic. I'd like to know who the top commander in Gornji Vakuf
7 was. Was it you, or was it the commander of the 317th Brigade, or was it
8 Selmo Cikotic? Could you answer that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jusuf Heljic was the brigade
11 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not asking who he was,
12 but who was the most responsible or highest-ranking commander in the area
13 of Gornji Vakuf. Was it you at the time, were you in command of the 317th
14 Brigade and the Janjac Brigade and all the other sabotage forces? Or was
15 it the commander of the 317th Brigade who was in charge? Or was it
16 Selmo Cikotic, who was your superior because he was from the 3rd Corps and
17 he was sent there by the corps commander?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By order of the corps commander when
19 these -- this fighting broke out, I was only responsible for the town.
20 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] We're talking about the
21 municipality of Gornji Vakuf. Who was spot responsibility for the entire
22 area of Gornji Vakuf.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For -- well, he was responsible for
24 the brigade. Heljic, Jusuf, was responsible for the brigade. He was in
25 command of the brigade; that didn't change.
1 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] I know who was in command
2 of the brigade. Who was in command of the territory of the municipality
3 of Gornji Vakuf? Who was in charge of your brigade and yourself and all
4 the units who arrived there? There were three of you there. Let me
5 assist you. You were there. You weren't in command, you said. There was
6 the 317th Brigade command and there was Selmo Cikotic from the 3rd Corps.
7 Who is the highest-ranking officer? Only one such person can exist. Can
8 you provide us with a name?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't answer your question in that
10 way. By order issued by the corps command, I was appointed for the
11 defence of the town. You'll probably be able to find that order
13 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Who did the 317th Brigade
14 have to report to?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the 3rd Corps.
16 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Who was in Gornji Vakuf
17 from the 3rd Corps?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Selmo Cikotic.
19 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Did that mean that Selmo
20 Cikotic was responsible?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He had to report to Enver
22 Hadzihasanovic as the commander of the of the 3rd Corps.
23 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Did the 317th Brigade and
24 its commander have to report to Selmo Cikotic? And therefore -- through
25 him, did they have to report to the 3rd Corps?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partially.
2 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] It can't be partial.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever Cikotic suggested as a
4 member of the corps command had to go to Zenica, and then this had to be
5 returned to him with a signature.
6 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Let me ask you the
7 following question: Who was senior in terms of their position, you or
8 Selmo Cikotic at the time?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Selmo Cikotic.
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: I don't want to interrupt again, but please be so
11 kind to slow down; the interpreters are begging you. And don't interrupt
12 each other when you speak, but please wait until the interpreters will
13 actually interpret one of the statements and then you continue. Thank
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic is putting a
16 very important question to you, and this is what we all have to know. On
17 the 19th of January, who was the highest-ranking military officer in the
18 317th Brigade, was it Mr. Cikotic or yourself?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Cikotic wasn't from the 317th;
20 he was in the territory of the municipality of Gornji Vakuf on behalf of
21 the corps command.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In military terms, who was the
23 most responsible individual?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was for the town. For the units
25 outside the town it was the brigade commander, Jusuf Heljic.
1 Selmo Cikotic was there on behalf of the corps command, and it was his
2 responsibility to coordinate certain activities. He was didn't have the
3 authority to issue orders.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That is your
5 military analysis, and it's in accordance with the rules and regulations
6 of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina that were in force at the time.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
8 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have one brief question.
9 Selmo Cikotic is more senior than you, yes or no?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Sir, why -- how is it that
12 you have a right to comment on a report of someone who is senior to you?
13 I don't understand. How do you have a right to comment on a report
14 drafted by Selmo Cikotic in this way?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as a member of the corps he
16 didn't have the authority to issue orders. One knew who had the right to
17 issue orders in the corps.
18 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I know who issued
19 orders in the corps. Selmo Cikotic forwarded certain information to the
20 3rd Corps, and he obtained this information from you, the commander of the
21 317th Brigade, from the commander of the Jajce Brigade, and from all the
22 other forces; and he unified all this and sent it to the commander of the
23 3rd Corps. And now you are saying that your superior wasn't telling the
24 truth. I can understand that in the case of the Ante Starcevic Brigade,
25 but in the case your own superior, to say that he wasn't telling the
1 truth --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General, I did not say that he did
3 not gather information. I'm not saying that he didn't obtain
4 information. I said that he was not in command, and I also added -- and
5 I'll repeat this now. I'm not sure what he meant when he said the
6 "Mujahedin." You tell me which area he they could have come from.
7 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Let me tell you, from
8 Ravno Rostovo.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. There was a platoon of the
10 7th Muslim in Ravno Rostovo, and we know who the commander was.
11 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] We'll deal with that later,
12 but Selmo Cikotic was superior to all of you, whether you agree with that
13 or not and you -- you know that.
14 That's all I'd like to say, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you have a look at the
16 document in B/C/S signed by Cikotic. Have a look at the top, and to the
17 left I can see that it says the 317th Gornji Vakuf Brigade and there's a
18 number 01/3693. In the 317th Brigade you filed reports or orders. How
19 was it possible to record this document in the list of documents of the
20 317th Brigade? Can you explain that to me?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The brigade had packet
22 communications, where all documents received and sent were registered.
23 Mr. Selmo Cikotic was entitled to use such packet communications because
24 he regularly reported about negotiations, and with his signature he was
25 entitled to use the packet and send a report in this way.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in brief, when he sent this
2 report to the 3rd Corps you were not informed at all of the contents of
3 this document. He didn't speak to you about it? He didn't ask you for
4 your opinions on?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Many of the reports that he sent I
6 was aware of. I also was aware of certain discussions with UNPROFOR. I
7 wasn't in the brigade command then; I was somewhere else then -- I didn't
8 know if I was somewhere else. And I wasn't present when he may have sent
9 certain reports.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but apparently you
11 discovered this report quite recently. You were not aware of its
12 existence on the 19th of January, 1993.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This particular one I did not see.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because if you had seen it, you
15 would have told him that the sabotage activities in the zone as described
16 here were unachievable? You would have told him that in military terms?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have. We discussed similar
18 things. A moment ago, in fact, I said what General Pasalic asked with
19 respect to Makljen -- it's unrealistic to talk about Makljen. In the
20 chain of command, I don't have --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have to have the break now.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps, Mr. President, before we go for the break
23 it seems that it's still unclear. In one zone of responsibility we have
24 two, perhaps three, commanders and that is illogical. The military
25 doesn't function this way; anybody -- everybody should know that. Perhaps
1 we could ask a question to -- to the general: How is it they have three
2 commanders in one zone of responsibility at the same time?
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps we could deal
4 with the problem as follows: Mr. Agic during the break could think things
5 over and draw for us the hierarchy, the man from the 3rd Corps, the
6 commander of the 317th Brigade, and the commander of the municipal defence
7 staff; they all belong to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If he could
8 list them in order of significance, of seniority, during the break.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't need a break for that. I
10 can tell you straight away. The commander of the 3rd Corps is
11 General Enver Hadzihasanovic --
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Not that. I'm talking about
13 Cikotic, Selmo Cikotic. You and the commander of the 317th Mountain
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Selmo Cikotic does not have command
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the municipality of Gornji
18 Vakuf, show us the hierarchical chain.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Heljic, Jusuf, was in command of the
20 brigade. I was in command the municipal TO staff. On the 13th of
21 January, the commander of the 3rd Corps, General Hadzihasanovic, appointed
22 me as the senior officer in charge of the defence of the town.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 Yes, Mr. Praljak, go ahead.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I can't understand why we're
1 all trying to insist on the existence of a model that don't exist. Simply
2 what exists in the French, English, or American army did not exist in
3 Gornji Vakuf. It is true that Mr. Agic was in command of the town. It is
4 true that Cikotic was his superior according to the hierarchy, but he
5 couldn't give him commands but only Hadzihasanovic could. And again, you
6 couldn't command to the brigade commander and so on. Isn't that so?
7 Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, General Praljak knows
9 that the corps commander can compile a temporary set-up, and he may
10 appoint a commander. In this particular case, he subordinated to me the
11 1st Battalion from the brigade, and I was in command of it because it was
12 in town. Outside the town Colonel Heljic, Jusuf, commanded the units, and
13 that is the truth. I think General Praljak is aware of the truth. And
14 that is why I, as the most responsible person in town, was called to
15 attend negotiations whenever there were problems within the area of the
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] But on the other hand, this
18 was a great problem for the HVO negotiators, who they would negotiate it
19 with and whether an agreement would be implemented. I'm not talking about
20 the psychology of Colonel Siljeg. I'm just saying that Colonel Andric and
21 others found it very difficult sometimes to know exactly who is
22 responsible for what, whom he has agreed with, and who he can criticise
23 for not implementing a decision.
24 Do you know that after the 14th or the 15th Colonel Andric never
25 came to attend negotiations in UNPROFOR headquarters?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's true.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] We'll discuss that later.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, can we make a provisional
5 conclusion that you are in agreement with what has just been said by
6 General Praljak with regard to the chain of command?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said I stand by it. I was in
8 command of forces in town and the chain of command was as I have described
10 MR. KARNAVAS: But, Mr. President, the last point that Mr. Praljak
11 made was extremely critical, and I think we find this in Mr. Beese's
12 account as well, where he says that the internationals constantly were
13 trying to figure out who they had to deal with from the armija's side, who
14 was in command, who was in charge; and I think this goes to the issues of
15 negotiations. We need an answer from the gentleman on that aspect, that
16 it would have been difficult from HVO to figure out who it is that is
17 supposed to be negotiating, who has the ultimate authority, because this
18 is the lack of confusion [sic].
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very briefly. In your opinion,
20 did the HVO have difficulty in knowing who was in fact in charge and in
21 command on the ground?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, from the behaviour
23 and statements of Colonel Siljeg, he knew very well who was in charge. It
24 depended on his mood or the situation on the battlefront. He conducted
25 the negotiations from the beginning to the end by Mr. Cikotic, and the
1 agreement that was eventually signed by General Petkovic and
2 General Arif Pasalic was prepared by Mr. Cikotic on behalf of the army.
3 And all the documents then he signed could easily be implemented within
4 the territory of Gornji Vakuf municipality there were no difficulties in
5 that respect.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
7 a 20-minute break and we will resume then.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Brigadier Agic, may we try and summarise what we discussed before
12 the break, and it refers to the documents. You told me that the HVO
13 documents that we discussed contain untruthful information, and that you
14 told us that the documents of the BH army also contain erroneous
15 information. Does that mean that all these documents of a military
16 nature, regardless of the side they belong to, are not truthful?
17 A. I didn't say that. I said that some of them were unrealistic and
18 that they do not reflect the real state of affairs.
19 Q. About unrealistic plans that are mentioned in Selmo Cikotic's
20 report, the question was not whether they were realistic or unrealistic
21 but whether they were plans or not. We need you to tell us that those
22 plans existed.
23 A. They were not all plans.
24 Q. So we don't need to make any kind of conclusion. Let us look at
25 the documents which confirm what you have already told us and let us see
1 that through the documents that attempts were made by peaceful means to
2 deal with the conflict and that orders were issued to cease fire.
3 Would you please look at my set of documents, P 01211. It is a
4 Prosecution document. It is an order by Mate Boban. In my set of
5 documents, Brigadier Agic. In --
6 A. I found it.
7 Q. Tell me, please, do you know who Mr. Mate Boban was?
8 A. The late Mate Boban was president of the Croatian Republic of
10 Q. Did he have a position in the HVO?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Let me tell you. He was the Supreme Commander of the HVO. So
13 Mr. Mate Boban, dated the 19th of January, 1993. "With a view to stopping
14 conflicts between the Croatian and Muslim peoples I hereby issue an order
15 prohibiting offensive operations."
16 Tell me, please, were you aware of the fact that the Supreme
17 Commander of the HVO had issued such an order?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Would you be kind enough to look at document D01238 -- P, sorry
20 P 01238. I hope you will be familiar with this document. You mentioned
21 it. It is an order, which on the 20th of January, 1993, was signed by
22 Milivoj Petkovic and Arif Pasalic, ordering a cease-fire establishing
23 contacts for a peaceful solution of the conflict and so on. Were you
24 aware of this order?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you very much. I should now like to draw your attention to
2 document 4D 00048. It is an order --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I wish
4 to go back to the previous order, the order signed by the 20th of
5 January -- on the 20th of January by General Petkovic.
6 In point 1 it says that combat operations between the HVO and the
7 BH army must simultaneously and unconditionally be ended in the entire
8 territory of Gornji Vakuf. I see after that there's an order to stop the
10 Does this document show that the HVO had artillery at its
11 disposal, which is described in the same line in English, field gun, MB
12 mortar, and tanks. The artillery described by General Petkovic, does it
13 correspond with the an artillery the HVO had on the ground?
14 A. I agree with the rest. Only the multiple rocket-launchers are
16 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I make an
17 additional remark. This order is not simply signed. There are two
18 signatories on this order. In the paragraph you are quoting, it doesn't
19 say who the equipment belonged to, and no mention is made who they
20 belonged to, nor their numbers or quantities; therefore, it is not my
21 order. It is an order by Arif Pasalic on behalf of the Supreme Command
22 Staff. So he signed this command, together with me, on behalf of
23 Sefer Halilovic. So I just wish to add that these are -- this is not my
24 order or my equipment. That is the equipment of the HVO. This applies to
25 the equipment on both sides.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I don't think there is any dispute
2 over the co-signatories.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. General Petkovic
4 has clarified a point. He tells us that the materiel and the artillery
5 belong to both parties.
6 Did the BH in Gornji Vakuf have a tank?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Not only in Gornji Vakuf, but
8 in the territory of the whole municipality there wasn't a single tank.
9 The army did not have a tank.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I asked you to look at document 4D 00048. If you can't find it --
12 A. Is it a report?
13 Q. It's a short order dated the 24th of January, 1993.
14 A. Would you repeat the number.
15 Q. 4D 00048. You have it now in electronic form. You can look at
16 it. It is an order by Milivoj Petkovic. On the 24th of January he
17 was in Geneva attending negotiations, and it has -- on the future
18 structure of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And he issued an order
19 of the following contents: "HVO units in Gornji Vakuf shall stop
20 offensive activities against units of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 And under 2: "The order issued by the president of the HZ HB,
23 Mate Boban, issued on the 19th of January, 1993, shall be fully obeyed, as
24 well as my order of the 20th of January, 1993."
25 Tell me, did you know that on the 24th the military leadership of
1 the HVO issued such an order from Geneva on the cessation of hostilities?
2 A. A cease-fire agreement was signed after this, that is on the 21st.
3 Q. Will you please look in -- at a document in my set, P 01329. It
4 is a joint statement by Alija Izetbegovic and Mate Boban in Geneva. So:
5 "The supreme commanders have agreed on the cessation of the conflict
6 between the BH army and the HVO. The commanders of the Main Staff of the
7 army and of the HVO are called upon to determine the responsibility for
8 the outbreak of the fighting at all levels and form a Joint Command
9 without delay."
10 Tell me, were you aware of this joint statement in Vakuf? Were
11 you informed about it?
12 A. A similar order was issued after the order issued by
13 General Petkovic and Arif Pasalic, a similar order was issued by the 3rd
14 Corps on an unconditional cessation of hostilities and there was a truce
15 signed on the 21st.
16 Q. Have a look at 4D 00358. This is an order issued by
17 Milivoj Petkovic, as the chief of the HVO Main Staff, and with regard to
18 this joint statement from Mr. Boban and Mr. Izetbegovic and HVO units
19 forbidden to launch attacks of any kind and they asked to negotiate. You
20 mentioned a similar order issued by the ABiH corps. Were the contents of
21 the order similar?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Would the Bench now allow my
25 client, Mr. Milivoj Petkovic, to put a few questions to the witness?
1 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Agic.
2 Cross-examination by the Accused Petkovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Agic, I've few questions. Let's back to the
4 year 1992. The neighbouring municipality of Gornji Vakuf is Kupres?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Through Radusa and Dolac?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know when the Serbs and the JNA attacked Kupres?
9 A. I don't know exactly, but I know the time-period. It was the
10 first day of Bajram; it was in March.
11 Q. When?
12 A. In March.
13 Q. Can I correct you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It wasn't in March. Let's agree that it was in the first half of
17 A. I thought it was at the end of March.
18 Q. Very well. Did you send your forces in to confront the JNA forces
19 and the Serbian aggressor?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You didn't. Where is Kupres located, in Croatia or Bosnia and
23 A. Kupres is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. So the JNA launched an attack, expelled the Croats and the Muslims
25 from Kupres. About a hundred Croats were captured, about 50 were killed,
1 and you were sitting in your municipality calmly?
2 A. We didn't take any decisions at our level as to whether we would
3 go to Kupres or not; that was an issue for someone else.
4 Q. Very well. After Kupres had been taken, tell me whether Bugojno
5 and Gornji Vakuf and Prozor were a threat, and I won't even mention Livno
6 and Tomislavgrad.
7 A. Well, I think that it would be realistic to say that Bugojno was
8 under threat; Vakuf, to a lesser extent; and that's also the case with
10 Q. That's what you claim. Now, tell me, after the fall of Kupres,
11 did you take over the lines towards the Army of Republika Srpska, let's
12 say in the direction of Radusa?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Tell me, what happened around the 20th of June when there was a
15 clash or an incident between the HVO and the TO?
16 A. I don't understand the question.
17 Q. Let me be specific. Did you withdraw your forces from Radusa to
18 go into a conflict with the HVO on the 22nd?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you receive an order to return your forces to Radusa?
21 A. Yes, at the juncture with HVO, because the armija or the
22 Territorial Defence had withdrawn to the right, so Voljica was empty.
23 Q. Let's have a look at 4D 00378.
24 A. I apologise could you repeat that.
25 Q. 4D 00378. I think it will appear on the screen. Are you familiar
1 with this document? It's the president of the Municipal Assembly of
2 Gornji Vakuf, and it says: "We hereby order the TO command in Gornji
3 Vakuf to return its armed forces to the area of Radusa. The commander of
4 the TO in Gornji Vakuf is responsible for carrying out the order."
5 Is that what it says: Is it a correct document?
6 A. Yes, I believe that this document is in order. I must admit that
7 I haven't seen this document before. The then-commander of the TO must
8 have received it, but I can claim that some of the positions to the right
9 of Radusa, the Dragus -- Raduski Kamen up to Oglavak had been abandoned.
10 That's a fairly wide area that was taken back later.
11 Q. Very well. That was after the decision for you to return.
12 Do you know that a day prior to the conflict in Prozor from the
13 Idovac position the ABiH in fact abandoned that position and reported to
14 the troops in Vakuf, and Mr. Grujic commanded those forces?
15 A. I'm familiar with that. He reported to Voljica.
16 Q. Very well. You told us that at the time of the conflict in Prozor
17 you visited that area, the area of Mejnik, Crni Vrh, Makljen, et cetera.
18 A. At the time of the conflict?
19 Q. Later.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know that a witness who has appeared here said that the
22 HVO, or rather, the ABiH in Prozor didn't killed the HVO soldier, and that
23 was apparently the reason for the conflict. He said that it was troops
24 from Gornji Vakuf. I don't know if they were under your command at the
1 A. Even if that had been -- and that was the reason for the conflict
2 in Prozor.
3 Q. It provoked the conflict.
4 A. I know that the commander of the staff was in Gornji Vakuf earlier
5 on, Muharem Saric, and there were no signs that there would be a conflict
6 in Prozor. I know that you had joint people from Radusa to Zvindeca
8 Q. Did Sabic come to see you to implement the so-called plan B?
9 A. I can claim with full responsibility, General, that that was not
10 the case.
11 Q. We have evidence here and we have other documents, according to
12 which your forces from Gornji Vakuf were bearing down on Prozor from
13 Crni Vrh, Mejnik, and Vakuf. We'll prove that.
14 A. I'm not familiar with that plan.
15 Q. Very well. Perhaps you didn't participate in it.
16 Do you know that up to the 21st when the military police and the
17 forces led by Prkacin -- well, who issued an order according to which they
18 shouldn't be allowed to pass through Vakuf?
19 A. On the 21st?
20 Q. The 21st of October, 1992.
21 A. On the 21st of October, I issued an order and this had been issued
22 by the commander of the 3rd Corps, because a conflict in Novi Travnik had
24 Q. You say it was no Novi Travnik, but we are saying that
25 Ante Prkacin on the police were sent September to Jajce, but you say you
1 stopped them?
2 A. Yes, we stopped them because they were ordered to be stopped
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down for the
4 interpreters, please.
5 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. It's good to know that; that's a historical truth.
7 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have
8 finished now.
9 Q. Thank you Mr. Agic.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No more questions on behalf of
11 General Petkovic. I'll now give the floor to the other Defence teams. We
12 have another 50 minutes.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Praljak will be
14 conducting this cross-examination. We believe that it would be more
15 appropriate for a soldier to cross-examine a soldier. We think it will be
16 more useful for the Chamber.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you Your Honours.
18 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, sir.
20 A. Good day.
21 Q. I hope we'll both be able to move along quickly and that we'll be
22 able to clarify certain contentious issues. Given time restriction, I'd
23 be grateful if you could provided brief answers; and if we require
24 explanations, I'll ask you for such explanations.
25 Do you know that immediately after the conflict in Prozor I went
1 to that territory?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you know that after that event I stayed until the 24th of
4 December, 1992, in the area of Rama and Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, Novi
5 Travnik, and Travnik?
6 A. Yes, because on the 4th of December you were at a meeting in
7 Gornji Vakuf at Bozo Rajic.
8 Q. Do you know -- I believe that you don't, but I'll ask you this
9 question after all. Do you know that I was in that territory at the time,
10 as agreed with Mr. Alija Izetbegovic and Mr. Franjo Tudjman?
11 A. No, I didn't know that.
12 Q. Do you know that I tried to calm down that situation that was
13 simmering all the time; we'll see what way in the documents. Do you know
14 that I asked for Mr. Andric, who was from Bijelo Polje near Mostar and who
15 did excellent work in Bijelo Polje, do you know that I transferred him to
16 Bugojno in order for him to calm the situation down and try to establish a
17 Joint Command? Were you familiar with these attempts?
18 A. I met Mr. Andric, and I do believe that he was in favour of such
20 Q. Do you know at the time I insisted on the establishment of a Joint
21 Command? Do you know that we had a joint stamp, a stamp that we used in
22 common, and I asked for Sefer Halilovic to come, and we were aware of the
23 fact that if two armies didn't join up a conflict would break out between
24 them because of various individuals, et cetera? Were you familiar with
1 A. With some of it, yes, but not all of it. But I know that attempts
2 were made; whether these attempts were in good faith. Whether the
3 attempts to establish a Joint Command were done in good faith I don't
4 know, but I know that attempts had been made.
5 Q. I will refer to the map that I've drawn also later on, but for the
6 moment I'd like to clarify some other issues. You know that an aggression
7 was launched by the JNA and the Serbs in 1991. This also included
8 paramilitary formation and it was directed against Croatia?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you know that from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the
11 time, or rather, the territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time was used
12 to launch attacks against Croatia from that territory?
13 A. Yes, I know that.
14 Q. You also know that at that time Croatia was burning, it had lost
15 about a third of its territory, and there were many Muslim Bosniak
16 refugees at the time who had been expelled from the territory of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina and they had found refuge in Croatia, that included the
18 sick, women and children, et cetera. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. At the time throughout the year 1991 in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
21 for reasons that we can understand, for reasons that Mr. Izetbegovic had,
22 well, Bosnia and Herzegovina remained passive. It didn't join in the
23 war. It didn't issue mobilisation orders. It didn't ask for its citizens
24 to remain in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to remain in a
25 state of readiness. Is that correct?
1 A. Well, you know that the collective head of state in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina found it difficult to take such decisions. I know that
3 many citizens did take in Croatian citizens, provided them with
5 Q. Believe me, I know about all of that.
6 Let's have 3D 00539 on the ELMO or on the screen.
7 A. I apologise. I can't see that document.
8 Q. It will appear on the screen.
9 A. What's the number?
10 Q. 3D 00539. That's my document. At the request of my Defence - and
11 this was also my desire - I obtained the following information. I'd like
12 to clarify an important problem that has appeared before the Court. It
13 concerns the Croatian army in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a recurrent
14 issue. Sir, I'd like to demonstrate how many citizens of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina participated in the defence of Croatia when the attack was
16 launched in 1991 and 1992, up until the time that war broke out in Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina, although this had already started in Unista, et cetera.
18 Here it says: "Out of 490.000 who were Croatian defenders, 58.065 were
19 born outside of the Republic of Croatia, out of which 41.097 were born in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina." As for 8.929 individuals there is no information you
21 can see that here?
22 A. Yes I can.
23 Q. Out of a total of 163.954 volunteers - we're talking about
24 volunteers, people not mobilised by the state because the state of Croatia
25 department exist in legal terms at the time - out of that number 16.802
1 were born outside of Croatia, of which 12.436 were born in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's what it says here?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And could we have a look at the following document, please
5 3D 00540. And similarly, we have this document here in the MUP of the
6 Republic of Croatia. There were 2.246 members born in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
7 that's what it says here. In the defence of Dubrovnik, 320 members of the
8 MUP were participants and they were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nine out
9 of this total number were killed. So was Zrinko Zuljevic Klica one of
10 such men who went to Croatia and then returned?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. He said something about you -- or he told you initially that he
13 had come to defend Kupres in fact. That's what he said?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know that in 1994 he lost his leg at Kupres?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Well, now --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Mr. Praljak, a
19 minor question. I was looking at this document with interest, the
20 document addressed to your lawyer by the Republic of Croatia, and I
21 noticed that the document 540 mentions highly confidential, or rather,
22 secret, very secret. The Government of Republic of Croatia has authorised
23 you to make this document public? Because we are in open session the
24 document is on the screen.
25 Mr. Kovacic, as far as the question of secrecy is concerned?
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Ministry of Justice
2 and the Republic of Croatia has established a rule, according to which
3 these documents are secret until they are disclosed to the Defence that
4 has the right to use them in court. They're not asking for these
5 documents to remain secret. This information is no longer classified; it
6 should be treated as confidential, but that is not the case when these
7 documents are being used at court.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, but the
10 fact that certain documents are secret will be very detrimental to our
12 Could we see the following documents: 3D 00438 -- 483, 3D 00483.
13 I apologise.
14 Q. In this document you will see that there is a battalion,
15 Bruno Busic, that has the name of Ahmet Memisevic, a Muslim, a Bosniak.
16 Could we see that on the screen, and the date is the 20th of June, 1992.
17 And that it says: "Today in the territory of Gornji Vakuf" --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the registrar tells
19 me that this document has not been registered in e-court, so if you wish
20 to show the document under the ELMO, it should be placed under the ELMO.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, please. Could I ask
22 the usher for his assistance.
23 Your Honours, do you have the English translation of this
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. It's not in the binder
1 of documents.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]. Can we see the document
4 Q. "In a four-hour-long struggle, two members of the HVO were killed
5 and several wounded." So there was a conflict with two men dead and a
6 member of the unit was also killed. Does it say that here?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So there was a conflict.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next
10 document, please, 3D 00490, 3D 00490.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is it a report?
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Yes, a report on the events in the territory of our municipality
14 from the 20th to the 21st of June, 1992. And it says the following -- I
15 will ask you whether it is correct.
16 "We didn't have any particular plan of armed conflict claims the
17 HVO. Immediately before the attacks by the so-called Green Berets between
18 02 and 04, a major incident occurred when they broke into apartments
19 searching and mistreating the inhabitants. They captured a civilian --
20 civilians of Croat ethnicity, used them as a human shield. They did this
21 to travellers going to Austria, taking them off buses. All this was done
22 by the Green Berets. The behaviour towards the inhabitants has certain
23 elements of Chetnik policies. Before the attack, the TO pulled out all
24 the manpower with its weapons from the sector of Radusa, where they were
25 securing the lines against Chetnik attacks."
1 That is what it stated in this report. Do you remember?
2 A. I remember the day, and I can claim, at least for our side, the
3 TO, that we didn't have any concrete plan and I believe that the HVO
4 didn't either. But I cannot agree that they behaved in this way and that
5 they broke into houses; I claim with responsibility that they didn't do
7 Q. Brigadier, I have no doubt -- reason to doubt what you're saying,
8 I'm just reading this report. Now, this brings us to something that we
9 need to clear up. In answer to a question from Judge Antonetti as to who
10 first started shooting in town, your answer was the HVO.
11 A. On this date it was the HVO who started shooting first.
12 Q. But not on this day, in January in town?
13 A. There was shooting in June in town, in October, in November, but
14 on the 12th or 11th of January occurred. And this was confirmed on the
15 12th of January.
16 Q. My question is: Were you on the spot when the shooting started?
17 Were you personally on the spot when the shooting started?
18 A. Which one?
19 Q. Any one.
20 A. On the 11th of January, I was in the street close to the shells
21 that fell.
22 Q. I'm not talking about shells; I'm talking infantry fire.
23 A. The shooting in the centre of town came later.
24 Q. So when your lower-level commanders and fighters said without any
25 doubt when asked who started first that it was the HVO?
1 A. Just as yours told you that it was the army.
2 Q. When Tokic or someone else asked: For heaven's sake, who started
3 shooting? They say the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina attacked us. Is that
4 right? Is that so?
5 A. I assume it is.
6 Q. And you yourself said here to calm down those conflicts the
7 commanders invested a great deal of energy. When they calmed one set, a
8 new fire would break out in Novi Travnik; then it went to Gornji Vakuf,
9 from Gornji Vakuf to Prozor, and so on. Was it like that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Not only was -- did the conflict spread. And another matter that
12 we know happened, a third of the army was on the lines, a third was on
13 leave, and a third was on the alert, and many of them sat around in bars
14 waiting around. Is that true?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And they talked. And as an incident occurred, the stories became
17 worse and worse and more damaging for the opposite side. Is that right?
18 A. Probably so.
19 Q. Things were exaggerated, weren't they?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then you would hear sentences such as these, because the
22 Judges need to hear them. They would read something like this -- I wrote
23 them down so I can read them for you. The Croats would say something like
24 this: Fuck their balija mothers. Look what they're doing to us. They
25 don't stick to their word. They will trick us.
1 Is this what the Croats would say frequently? Yes, Mr. Agic.
2 We're entitled to say these things.
3 A. The people I worked with never said such things. I didn't go to
4 bars, but I assume that was so.
5 Q. Mr. Agic, believe me, you should have been in bars.
6 A. I can explain why I wasn't.
7 Q. We'll deal with that on another occasion. On your side they would
8 say: Fuck their Ustasha mothers. Look what they're going to do to us.
9 They're going to expel us. They're going to kill us.
10 A. Yes, I can confirm that because I heard statements of that effect.
11 Q. And every time there was more -- a greater and greater lack of
12 confidence. And the commander had nothing in common with the image we
13 have of commanders in armies such as the States, France, Britain, but he
14 also had to be the father and the mother and political commissar to
15 explain system. He had to be a psychologist. He also had to be brave,
16 not to be afraid, to at least partly control those units. Is that true?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I see. As no political solution was found and armies didn't have
19 a Joint Command, they didn't know who was to the left, who was to the
20 right, what kind of equipment they had, this also contributed to lack of
21 confidence between units and commanders. Is that true?
22 A. The main problem, after all, was that they didn't want a Joint
24 Q. That's quite right. Do you know that Mr. Franjo Tudjman in 1992
25 literally appealed to Mr. Izetbegovic when the agreement was signed in
1 Split: Let's make a military agreement for the simple reason that we'll
2 have one enemy and one theatre of war. If there is one enemy, then the
3 theatre of war is one and the same, and those who are fighting that enemy
4 must be linked together under a single command with the same logistics and
5 so on. Are you aware of that?
6 A. I know why this was not implemented.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said do you know why this
9 was not implemented. Why?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the end of July in the territory
11 of Central Bosnia Mr. Tolo arrived. I can't remember now his first name,
12 but I remember the man and what he said. He had an order from
13 General Bobetko which said that joint units be formed or commands and that
14 units in the brigades should be mixed; and that in areas with a majority
15 Bosniak population the commander should be a Bosniak; and in areas where
16 the majority population are Croats, the commander should be a Croat.
17 This was partially implemented in Bugojno, and that command
18 survived for about a month in Bugojno, but nowhere else in Central Bosnia
19 was this achieved, because in my town the HVO did not want that. I say
20 that with full responsibility. And Mr. Tolo, after a meeting in Bugojno,
21 was brought to Rodic by the HVO, and he was allegedly released to go to
22 Gornji Vakuf. And he reached the Serb army in Kupres, and I think he was
23 detained there until the end of the war. And that is those discussion --
24 that is when discussions along those lines were discontinued. And the
25 army even gave him the best vehicle we had because of his good -- because
1 of our good intentions.
2 Q. Yes. He was released a little earlier, but that's not so
3 important. You have testified about my efforts over two months to have a
4 Joint Command. Let me ask you now: Are you aware that what we have been
5 discussing at length, and that is the order on the resubordination of
6 units, that this order was signed by Bozo Rajic, a minister in the
7 Government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. I'm not aware of that. I know that there were commissions, and
9 you were a member of one such commission.
10 Q. And at the meeting in Gornji Vakuf on the 4th of November, you
11 signed that agreement, among others, and I was informed about it. One of
12 your obligations in forming joint units was to return weapons to the army
13 in Prozor. Is that true?
14 A. But none of that was carried out.
15 Q. Let's not did into that. I'm talking about joint commands. Joint
16 Command you can achieve only if the army commanders agree. We can make
17 endeavours and, if you can remember, I think we achieved some good
18 results, at least in my opinion. In Ramo, people were returned. For two
19 months there was absolutely nothing more than perhaps village quarrels. I
20 think Central Bosnia was stabilised to a certain extent. I don't know
21 whether you're aware that I had joint actions with Mr. Merdan at Komar.
22 Do you know about that?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Are you aware of my role in the defence of Travnik after the fall
25 of Jajce?
1 A. That evening I was at Plava Voda, you may have forgotten, when
2 General Prkacin and Jasmin Jaganjac, and General Merdan, and Arif Pasalic
3 were there. I was there that evening, and I remember that meeting.
4 Q. Somewhere up there nothing was achieved. We did achieve up to a
5 point, but I could not reach Sefer Halilovic and this was a question of
6 politics, not us. A political solution should have been imposed on the
7 military. Do you know that I in Zagreb just before that had lengthy talks
8 with Mr. Izetbegovic, begging him to allow the so-called resubordination -
9 and I will ask you what that means in military terms - because unless that
10 is done and a political solution is delayed, inevitably military conflicts
11 would break out and no one will be able to prevent them. Are you aware of
13 A. No.
14 Q. Let's us move on to the next document dated the 26th of October
15 after the -- after the conflict. 3D 00484. It is a report of
16 General Prkacin. And when I say "General Prkacin," he is not an HVO
17 general. He's not an HV general. He's a general of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you aware that Ante Prkacin, a Croat, was a
19 general in the BH army?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Here's the document -- no 3D 00484.
22 A. We don't have it --
23 Q. On the ELMO now. It's a lengthy document. Just look through it,
24 and I will ask you whether you're aware of the following -- may I speak
25 while you're reading?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. After the fall of Jajce, in the month of October 1992, what was
3 the structure of the HVO and the BH army in Travnik, Novi Travnik,
4 Busovaca, Vitez?
5 A. Brigades started to be formed.
6 Q. So that was the embryo of the army in other words, and there was a
7 very realistic danger for the Serbs after the fall of Jajce simply to
8 march through and reach Sarajevo. In -- in a military sense, was that a
9 realistic danger?
10 A. I don't know when that stampedo started from Jajce. I can give my
11 own comment, but I don't think they would have reached Sarajevo.
12 Q. Brigadier, you're professional soldier, but the word "I don't
13 believe" does not exist in the army. There's a real estimate of the
14 forces up there. They were poor, disorganised, and they were in embryo
15 form. Is that true?
16 A. The structure of the -- of the army was not bad. In Busovaca it
17 was poor; in Vitez, too; but I think Travnik was well-organised, in my
19 Q. Unfortunately, we don't have time, but I would be glad to discuss
20 it with you. And then Ante Prkacin, general of the ABiH, a Croat,
21 gathered a great force and in Capljina we equipped them, armed them
22 completely, and sent them to assist Jajce to Turbet, to Vlasic, to the
23 front lines. And this was done in order to prevent the very possible
24 breakthrough of the Serbs. And what happened? They were stopped
25 immediately after Gornji Vakuf; that's what it says here. They were
1 maltreated for three days and returned without having been let through.
2 A. Well, this was in Bugojno, General.
3 Q. Well, I'm saying after Vakuf. That's what I said. It was on
4 those routes up there. They were sent back. Not only were they sent
5 back, a group of military policemen was also sent back. Do you know that
6 I managed to get through because I'm a big man and I make a lot of noise;
7 I'm theatrical. Do you know that I managed to get through a group of men?
8 And naturally, I took over the command of the HVO in Travnik, and my
9 cooperation with ABiH in Plava Voda was excellent. We quickly dug
10 trenches around Travnik. Are you aware of any of this?
11 A. I know that you were in Travnik.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you understand how this worked, the Croats with
13 the HVO? People had armed themselves somehow, but they didn't receive any
14 salaries. They would buy equipment for themselves. Some men had boots,
15 others didn't, they had their own clothes; but those people weren't parts
16 of military structures or the armies that we're referring to, do you know
17 how they reacted to the fact that 400 men had been sent back? 400 men who
18 were sent to assist were sent back because the ABiH wouldn't let them
19 through in October, and 80 per cent of those who got through were
20 Muslims. Can you imagine the feeling that provoked? And this was just
21 the result of a lack of trust.
22 A. Is that question addressed to me?
23 Q. Yes. Can you answer that?
24 A. How did the Bosniaks -- well, how do you how think the Bosniaks in
25 Prozor felt after that and the Bosniaks in Central Bosnia?
1 Q. Not well.
2 A. If we had matters in Prozor, that would have been prevented. A
3 lot of Prozor -- a lot of people in Prozor went missing and we don't know
4 where they are.
5 Q. Yes. In Prozor, in Bugojno, throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 that is the case. There are a lot of people who went missing. But now
7 I'm talking about what you were talking about, about the causal
8 relationship, how oil was added to the fire. Everything had a cumulative
9 effect, and much force was needed to keep things under control for several
10 months while waiting for a political solution at whatever level. Is what
11 I'm saying correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let's have a look at the following document -- I don't know what
14 the number is right now. Could we place it on the ELMO, please.
15 P 00413. I found the number. P 00413. On the ELMO. The 28th of August,
16 1992, is the date. This is two months before the conflict in Prozor.
17 Zejnil Delalic issues the following order on the basis of a problem or an
18 incident he says that occurred on the 27th of August, and this is ordered
19 to some of the problem.
20 He says: "Withdraw all the forces from Prozor from the joint
21 positions and establish a defence, line us immediately in front of the
22 town in the direction from which you were expecting the enemy to make a
23 breakthrough. And evacuate the Muslim population from Barde, Bacevo
24 Polje, and from other hamlets, and find accommodation in the town of
25 Prozor. Fortify access routes by using traditional means unless armoured
1 units try to make a breakthrough, and link up the disconnected defence
3 Zejnil Delalic was an important commander in Konjic and the
4 surroundings at the time, and in Prozor. Is what is stated here correct?
5 A. I know that Zejnil Delalic was the commander of the
6 Tactical Group 1 on Igman, and I know that Prozor wasn't part of his zone
7 of responsibility. I don't know how it is that he had the right to issue
8 such an order.
9 Q. I don't know either, but these orders are terrible. This was two
10 months before the conflict in Rama, two months before he was preparing for
11 possible problems. My question is: Both sides on every day was looking
12 in -- at what the other side was doing in its own backyard and wondering
13 what they would do. This is a tradition military fear. One is afraid of
14 someone who isn't under Joint Command, and everything is still open, all
15 possibilities are still open. Is that correct, sir?
16 JUDGE PRANDLER: Excuse me, both of you. Frankly, when I read
17 this order I do not see that this order was in a way kind of inciting
18 further incidents, because, for example, in paragraph 4 the order says,
19 and I quote: "Try to make the Prozor War Presidency and the HVO municipal
20 headquarters in Prozor coordinate their separate lines of defence."
21 Although it is true that the order speaks about separate lines of defence,
22 but anyway, it also speaks about coordination, which in my view is a
23 positive sign.
24 And also, the very last sentence says, and I quote: "Write up a
25 detailed report on the causes and perpetrators of the incident on either
2 So for me it is -- it is not a kind of belligerent approach, but
3 it -- probably the intention was to go along and -- with the -- and to be
4 a kind of cooperation between the two sides, but it is my interpretation
5 it. I wonder if General Praljak or Brigadier Agic could confirm that.
6 Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] With all due respect, Your
8 Honour, in wartime nothing is so sensitive and so terrible as abandoning
9 positions at joint lines of defence. This amounts to betrayal, and it's
10 quite inconceivable within the army. This provokes a maximum lack of
11 trust, because men's lives are at stake. You are at line and there is an
12 order and it says withdraw from the line because there is a problem.
13 Everything else is quite simple according to my interpretation. Perhaps
14 the brigadier could also tell us whether this is an extremely difficult
15 and incomprehensible form, not of violating military discipline, but this
16 is an extremely incomprehensible way of acting. People can be executed in
17 the army because of this.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a document here signed
19 by Delalic, but apparently it's said that he didn't have the authority to
20 send orders to Prozor but let's leave that aside for the moment. Well,
21 this document states, as General Praljak has pointed out, it states in
22 paragraph 1 that the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina requested -
23 and these forces were under the command of the municipality of Prozor -
24 these forces requested to withdraw from the joint positions, the positions
25 facing the Serbs.
1 As a soldier, what is your opinion of that? What did this in fact
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the person who signed this
4 didn't have the right to sign such an order; that's the first thing. I
5 don't know whether General Praljak will believe me, but this is the first
6 time I've heard of an incident in Prozor on the 27th of August, an
7 incident that provoked this. Sabic never informed us of anything of the
8 kind. In Prozor things were functioning as well as possible at the time,
9 because I know there were two soldiers manning howitzers; I'm aware of
10 that fact and this order surprised me.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Was this person a spy, an agent?
13 A. I can't answer that question.
14 Q. Let's read through the following: "Consultations with the Supreme
15 Command of the armed forces in Sarajevo ordered." So those consultations
16 with the supreme command of the armed forces being urgently ordered.
17 A. It's not necessary for me to comment on that.
18 Q. Naturally, but here's another question to clarify something.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's another issue that is
20 very important. This order issued by the Supreme Command of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina in Sarajevo states that villages should be evacuated and three
22 villages are mentioned. They state that the -- it states that the Muslim
23 population should be evacuated from these three villages, because there
24 was allegedly an incident on the 27th of August. As far as you know, at
25 the time was there any movement of Muslim -- of the Muslim population as a
1 result of an order issued by the Territorial Defence? That's what this
2 document seems to indicate.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's not the supreme
4 command that issued this, it's the commander of the Tactical Group,
5 Zejnil Delalic, who issued this order and I really don't know about this.
6 I'm not aware of this incident in Prozor either. This wasn't in the zone
7 of responsibility of the 3rd Corps; this was outside their zone of
8 responsibility, the zone of responsibility of the District Staff in
9 Zenica. I believe that this did happen, but I'm really not familiar with
10 this event.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. That answer is quite correct. I'm just trying to find an
13 explanation for the way in which the war is provoked by referring to
14 documents, the fear people felt, alcohol abuse, et cetera, et cetera. I'm
15 just trying to clarify certain issues with you, and I'm interested in
16 clarifying this for both sides. Let's understand each other. I'm just
17 talking about pouring oil onto the fire, those sort of things. But I have
18 another question I would now like to put to you, and I will show you a
19 document that relates to this question.
20 Could we have the following document on the ELMO, please -- how
21 many ABiH officers came from the JNA in the late autumn and summer of
22 1992, after they had spent the entire war against Croatia in the JNA, do
23 you know the figure?
24 A. I don't known the figure. I know the figure for the armed forces
25 in Gornji Vakuf. We had a total of five officers who were former JNA
1 members; four officers were concerned and one non-commissioned officer.
2 Q. I have a document we could place on the ELMO here. Here's my
3 question: Mr. Selmo Cikotic was a Montenegrin Muslim before the war and
4 he was in the air force?
5 A. Yes, in the PVO, anti-aircraft defence.
6 Q. Mr. Pasalic arrived in April. Mr. Mendevac [phoen], Merdan,
7 Hadzihasanovic, all the men we have mentioned here. Mr. Halilovic is from
8 Sandzak, from Serbia. At the time of the attack of the JNA, they were all
9 members of the JNA under the command of General Kadijevic and others. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. I -- I'm not familiar with all the details.
12 Q. And they were also under the command of Mr. Stipe Mesic for a
13 certain period of time.
14 Can we place this document on the ELMO?
15 In this document that you will have a look at --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a number?
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I received it today,
18 Your Honours. We'll -- it will be given a number.
19 Could you please place it on the ELMO.
20 Q. The date is the 5th of August, 1994. Decision on promoting within
21 the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and was signed by
22 Alija Izetbegovic. There are 227 names, and not a single name can be
23 found that is not a Muslim, Bosniak, name. Is there a single name that
24 isn't the name of a Muslim or a Bosniak?
25 A. Yes, on page 1, under C, the first name.
1 Q. Which one?
2 A. Abu Mali.
3 Q. Do you know -- that Abu Mali was one of the al-Qaeda terrorists
4 who is on the list of terrorists established by the Security Council of
5 the UN?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Read through another two names. What did he command? It says
8 which unit he commanded. Could you read it through.
9 A. The El Mujahid detachment.
10 Q. There are two others. Someone for morale and religious affairs,
11 and there's another individual from El Mujahid. So we have three from the
12 El Mujahid brigade, and they were made regular officers of the ABiH. Is
13 what I have said correct?
14 A. I assume it's correct. This has been signed by the
15 Supreme Commander.
16 Q. Since we're addressing this issue let's clarify the matter --
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Or perhaps we don't have any
18 more time, Your Honours, unfortunately. It seems it's late. We can
19 continue tomorrow.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll clarify this
21 tomorrow. It's now 7.00 p.m., and it's time to adjourn.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I invite everyone to return
25 tomorrow. The witness shouldn't take any documents away with him, so as
1 to avoid being influenced; and if everything goes well, the
2 cross-examination should be completed tomorrow.
3 Thank you. And I will see you all tomorrow.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day
6 of November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.