1 Wednesday, 9 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, registrar, call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Today is the 9th of May, 2007. My greetings to all people present
13 in the courtroom.
14 Good morning, Mr. Scott. You're back with us.
15 Good morning, Witness. Good morning, Defence counsel, and all the
16 accused as well as all the people in the courtroom.
17 Mr. Registrar you have some IC numbers for us.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
19 OTP responds to the list of documents tendered by the Defence
20 teams through witness Lizde Alija shall be given Exhibit number IC 542.
21 5D has also submitted a response to the OTP objections regarding
22 the exhibits tendered through the witness Lizde Alija, and that shall be
23 given Exhibit number 543.
24 Finally, Prosecution has resubmitted a list of documents to be
25 tendered through witness Herbert Okun, and that list shall be given
1 Exhibit number 544. And also 1D has submitted a list of documents to be
2 tendered through witness Herbert Okun and shall be assigned Exhibit number
3 545. That's all, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
5 Cross-examination is going to continue. I'm now giving the floor
6 to Mr. Praljak, who is going to proceed with his cross-examination which
7 he started yesterday.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
9 WITNESS: GRANT FINLAYSON [Resumed]
10 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Witness answers.
14 A. [Microphone not activated]
15 Q. Yes, good morning. I'd like to continue, and I'd like to have
16 00347 up on the screen, please. It's a map and on that map I'm going to
17 ask you to look at some things. 3D 00347 is the number.
18 Witness, yesterday you drew the position of the house in which you
19 were located in East Mostar yesterday on that big map, although the map is
20 not very legible, but on the one we have here today -- no, that doesn't
21 seem to be the number. I want 3D 00347, and then 3D 14005. 3D 14/005 is
22 the next number.
23 Perhaps this would be faster if I were to put it up on the ELMO,
24 because otherwise I'm afraid we're going to lose quite a lot of time?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please, on the ELMO.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Would you please --
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think we
4 ought to wait for the map in colour. It's much more visible, because
5 unfortunately on this one you can't see my markings. So can we have the
6 map I asked for shown on e-court, please. I've given the numbers twice.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
8 continues] ... back to the screen.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the only map I have under that
10 reference 3D 00347 is the one that appeared already on e-court, which is
11 the view from -- of the lake.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's go back to
13 the ELMO then, please.
14 Q. Witness, you can see it better on this map, I think. You can see
15 the Neretva River. Can we pan out a bit so that we can see the whole
16 area, or zoom in, rather. No, pan out. Yes, yes. That will be fine. A
17 little more, please.
18 Do you agree that the separation line along the Bulevar up to
19 Spanski Square and then Santic Street is the area marked, and was that, to
20 your knowledge, indeed the separation line? Up at the top it says HVO on
21 the left and the BH army on the right.
22 A. No -- sorry, yes, I do agree that was the separation line as I
23 knew it.
24 Q. Thank you. And at the top there you can see the main road that
25 you mentioned running from Sarajevo to Metkovici, and it's in blue. Would
1 you now mark on the map -- you said that the house that you lived in was
2 above the road going eastwards. Could you now, looking at the Tito
3 Bridge, which is the first bridge you can see here, indicate where your
4 house was exactly, how far of above the main Sarajevo-Metkovici road.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, if you have located the
6 place where the house was, then we'll put the map back on the ELMO unless
7 you find it difficult to remember.
8 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I -- I actually do find it difficult to
9 actually pinpoint the house. Obviously the terrain was a little bit
10 confused at the time, but I would put a mark here at about the -- about
11 the level of the house, as I remember.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Very well. Would you put a number 1 there, please.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And would you put a 2 by the Tito Bridge. So number 2 for the
16 Tito Bridge down there, please. It's the first bridge as you go in a
17 straight line from your house westward.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And then in continuation we come to Spanish Square. You said
20 yesterday that the distance from the HVO lines, and Their Honours know
21 this from earlier testimony, we had a sniper expert in court, so from the
22 first HVO lines to your house it was 1.500 metres, the distance. Is that
23 right? Would that be the distance?
24 A. I -- I would agree that that would be the approximate distance.
25 Q. Thank you, Witness. You're a professional soldier, and as we've
1 heard here, you are a trained sniper shooter, and sniper shooters can
2 shoot at a range of about 800 metres as being the ultimate range for
3 highly professional people to hit their target. Would 800 metres be an
4 acceptable sort of range?
5 A. Well, firstly I must correct you. I am not a recognised sniper
6 shooter at all. Far from it. If you recall, I was an engineering officer
7 in the Royal New Zealand Navy during my time there. The range of small
8 arms, the -- the extremes of small arm range as I see it, a very extreme
9 would be around 2.000. However, the accuracy of that range would be
10 debatable or poor, rather. Eight hundred, I imagine, would be a
11 reasonably short range for a -- a good sniper.
12 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to refer to the statement you gave to the
13 Prosecutor, and point 44 of that statement where you say that fire came at
14 you from the building that was well known as the bank and was a
15 stronghold, and -- and, "In my opinion it was only the HVO that opened
16 fire at us and not the BH army. And sometimes sniper fire would be opened
17 at us while we were going up the stairs to the front of the building in
18 which we were located, so that it is thanks to our luck and the fact that
19 we were outside the range."
20 So in your opinion, you were beyond that range. Is that correct?
21 Is it correct what you say in your statement, that you were outside that
22 range? And it is only because of good luck and the long range that no one
23 was hit, you say.
24 A. That was my general assessment of why we were so lucky. And
25 the -- I guess the firing from the bank, and I haven't got my statement
1 before me at this point in time, but the firing from the bank in
2 particular was when we were travelling down the road from the Tito Bridge,
3 and in fact that was very, very close in a -- when it happened to myself,
4 and two days later a Spanish soldier was killed by the same sniper.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. In your statement, sir, in paragraph 63 of
6 the 25th of September of the daily report you say that some shells fell in
7 the hospital -- "some shells landed in the hospital area. I think that
8 the ABiH setting up mortars in close proximity to the hospital inspired in
9 action by the HVO. In general, the shelling from west to east was
10 concentrated on the front lines." That's the first part. And then
11 towards the end you go on to say the following: "Initially when we moved
12 into the accommodations in East Mostar, the ABiH would set up weapons
13 within 15 metres of our place, which of course attracted HVO fire."
14 Can you confirm the fact, and maybe later on if we have time I'll
15 go into this, that the BH army did have mortars placed in the vicinity of
16 the hospital? Can you confirm that? That's the first part of my
18 A. I can confirm they did at times.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you also confirm that according to what it says
20 here, and later on you go on to say something to that effect as well, that
21 in your vicinity where you were that they would is set up their own
22 mortars or anti-tank -- 20-millimetre anti-tank guns?
23 A. To be honest that was only very initially when we first moved in
24 there probably within the first week, and we soon got that sorted out. I
25 think my -- and I'm not too sure why I said 15 metres there. I think
1 that's a little bit short. But nevertheless, they did set up some weapons
2 in the first week that we were there, and to my knowledge they didn't
3 reappear at any time, or I can't recall it.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, the next document, 3D 00913. But before we have
5 a look at that, would you place your signature and date on the map that
6 we've just looked at. Thank you. And the next document, please, is 3D
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll first have an IC number
9 for the map.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this map will become Exhibit IC 546.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. 3D 00913. And it is a response to a letter from the observers
13 from Medjugorje. The date is the 3rd of November, 1993, signed by the
14 commander -- or, rather, a representative. Well, it was signed by Raguz,
15 and it was signed on behalf of Mr. Lasic, commander of the operative zone.
16 Could you take a look at that. It's a response to the protest
17 letter. Would you please read it, and I'd just like to focus on paragraph
18 2, and it says: "In reference to that, the HVO from its highest instance
19 issued orders and instructions about the conduct of its units and their
20 members towards the members of the international organisations." And then
21 it says: "These orders and instructions have been issued to all units.
22 In addition to that, these problems have been pointed out verbally many
23 times during meetings of commanders, and the soldiers were also informed
24 in the appropriate way through the newspaper Aktualnosti," et cetera, et
1 But would you go further down the text, and it says: "The command
2 asked the military observers not to let MOS soldiers gather around the
3 house in which they stay, as was the case so far, as has been the case so
5 Now, Witness, can you tell us whether there was any gathering of
6 BH army soldiers in -- in groups around the house or in the vicinity of
7 your house or in front your house for any reason whatsoever? Did they
8 gather together?
9 A. I never witnessed it. I don't -- I don't -- to my knowledge, and
10 I'm saying from my own point of view and from what was reported to me, I
11 have no knowledge of that happening.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak. In the English
13 translation of this letter they speak of MOS soldiers. I thought that
14 might be referred to as military observers. Are you saying that this is
15 an abbreviation for ABiH soldiers?
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel,
17 let me ask the witness the question.
18 Q. Do you know that there were Mujahedin in Mostar?
19 A. No, I never witnessed any Mujahedin activity in Mostar.
20 Q. And do you know that apart from the BH army units in Mostar there
21 was parallel activity and action from the Muslim armed forces, which to a
22 large extent were under the control of religious leaders or religious
23 officials, and their name was MOS, the Muslim armed forces.
24 A. The only reference I have to -- to their activities was as
25 mentioned yesterday, which was north of the -- or in the Konjic area.
1 Certainly within Mostar itself there was no knowledge of that by myself.
2 Q. Thank you. Tell me the following --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, I think your question was not really
4 answered, because I interrupted for the explanation.
5 And I will recall the question is whether it is true,
6 Mr. Finlayson, that ABiH soldiers used to gather around the house where
7 the MO had their headquarters, the famous house.
8 THE WITNESS: That's negative. They -- they didn't gather in
9 groups. I must say that there was one soldier living in the downstairs
10 part of the house, and obviously other houses were in close proximity, but
11 around those and around the UNMO house there was no gathering of the BiH
12 soldiers or any other soldiers.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Given your
15 answer, Witness, there is some degree of -- of ambiguity.
16 There was a soldier who lived in the downstairs part of the house,
17 but a soldier from whose -- which army?
18 THE WITNESS: BiH.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand properly, there
20 was an ABiH soldier who lived in the same house as you did. This ABiH
21 soldier, how was he dressed?
22 THE WITNESS: He was dressed in normal combat gear most of the
23 time, as were all the others in the -- in the vicinity.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you yourself, how were you
1 THE WITNESS: In combat gear with the blue hat.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we assume the
3 following situation: Some 1.500 metres away from the house that there is
4 an HVO soldier with binoculars, and he observes the house, and he sees an
5 ABiH soldier in camouflage gear. How can he make the difference between a
6 UN member, also in combat gear with a helmet or without a helmet, and how
7 can he make the difference between the UN soldier and other one before he
8 shoots? Do you have an answer for this?
9 THE WITNESS: That's a fair comment. I would just say that most
10 of the shootings in this -- their vicinity, if not all of them, occurred
11 immediately after the UN vehicle had pulled up into the driveway. So
12 bringing their attention to the fact that there was activity there.
13 The other thing was the fact that the shots through the window
14 which I described yesterday was generally also upon the first passing
15 through that window of UNMOs after their arrival, although that wasn't
16 always the case. I'm assuming that they were also using scopes on their
17 rifle, but I wouldn't be able to confirm that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question. This ABiH
19 soldier, was he armed?
20 THE WITNESS: At times he -- he would have been.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand properly, the
22 UNMOs have settled in a building in which there was a soldier belonging to
23 one of warring factions since there was a conflict at the time. Is this
24 the situation that you are describing to us?
25 THE WITNESS: It is, Your Honour. It's not ideal, and at the time
1 of moving into the accommodation it was discussed in detail with the
2 headquarters in West Mostar as well.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But wasn't the solution, say,
4 to the soldier to that he should move out so that there should be no
5 confusion between the UN and a soldier who belonged to a warring faction?
6 THE WITNESS: I think you need to understand that the soldier
7 didn't typically hang around the front of the building. They -- they
8 moved in different manner to us. If they moved out, yes, that could have
9 been an option. We don't believe that that was why we were being sniped
10 directly at every time the UN arrived.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, just a very brief
12 question. Indeed, in the document, Mr. Lasic complained about people
13 gathering or, rather, about MOS soldiers gathering. Can you confirm that
14 this soldier, who lived in the same building as you did, did not receive
15 any visit, because it did happen that the visit he would receive from his
16 fellow soldiers could be read as a gathering of ordinary people?
17 THE WITNESS: I can honestly not recall any gathering of
18 soldiers. There would -- I -- I would see neighbours passing or whatever,
19 and obviously conversation and in passing way together. However, no
20 gathering was ever observed.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So there was never any visit?
22 THE WITNESS: There were individuals, possibly in the evening
23 time, but no gathering. And I would easily -- and I would also firmly say
24 that the shots at the UNMOs never coincided with any activity of the --
25 the soldier or whatever.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Any apologies. I just wanted to
4 say that this term, the term "gathering," this particular document does
5 not denote any sort of official gathering of the BH army or any of their
6 units. It's about individuals coming to an area or to a building in order
7 to socialise for their own private purposes. That's the only thing that I
8 wanted to say.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed after the
10 questions by the Judges, because it was necessary to clear this out.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
12 Q. Witness, sir, can you please tell me this: Were you ever fired at
13 by a tank shell, a mortar shell, by howitzers, by tanks, or anti-aircraft
14 guns? Were you ever targeted with any of these weapons ever?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. Suppose the HVO wanted you to leave. You lived in
17 Medjugorje. You had your own HQ there, and that was an area controlled by
18 the HVO. Is that right, sir?
19 A. The -- the headquarters and -- sorry.
20 At the time of SMO, being when I was senior military officer
21 there, I had my headquarters in Medjugorje as the main headquarters for BH
22 South was always in Medjugorje.
23 Q. Can you say whether you had any difficulty in going about your
24 work while in Medjugorje, any particular incidents, your vehicles being
25 targeted, lots of provocation, any sort of nuisance or unpleasant
1 situations at all?
2 A. With Medjugorje, travelling around through Citluk we would often
3 have items, rocks and whatever, thrown at our vehicles. Medjugorje itself
4 we had isolated cases. However, we -- we discarded those as isolated
5 cases. We didn't worry too much. But Citluk was a particularly difficult
6 area to work through as was at times West Mostar, but it never got to
7 the -- the extremes. I think I mentioned in my diary I -- I envisaged it
8 to be something similar to what I thought Northern Ireland would have been
9 where you didn't quite know where to turn your back. The main concern
10 with working from Medjugorje was the restrictions we had had on access
11 into Mostar at times, which was talked about yesterday. Around the May
12 time, when there is activity, we were prohibited in going in to observe.
13 Q. Very well, sir. We should specify the date, of course, that sort
14 of thing. Unfortunately, I don't have time to go into that now.
15 Can we please move into closed session? I will be dropping a set
16 of questions, but then let me go through your diary.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] May have closed session for
18 that, please?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 18176-18178 redacted. Private session
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. P 00755 contains specific instructions to military observers. It
22 runs into quite a number of pages, and the page I'm interested in is page
23 10 in the Croatian version, item 8, where it says: "Relations with the
24 local population. In order to preserve the impression of not siding with
25 either party, the UNMOs should show that their attitude towards the local
1 population is a professional one. They should do their best not to
2 entertain any close links with any individuals or organisations."
3 Sir, was this part of the instructions that you received in
4 relation to how you were supposed to relate to either of the parties
5 involved in the conflict?
6 A. To be honest, I've never seen that document. However, I believe
7 that most of our relationships were with the people we were living with.
8 As you are aware, the brandy and the rakija is part of it.
9 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, sir. Thank you. You've never
10 seen the document. That's quite sufficient for my purposes, so I wouldn't
11 like to delve any further into that.
12 Can you please take these two documents to the ELMO? I'm now
13 going back to the incident on Aleksa Santica Street. These two documents
14 if possible.
15 On Aleksa Santica Street you were car was hit from the back by
16 bullets, which in your statement you ascertain had been fired by the HVO.
17 First of all, that sketch that you showed the Chamber or the OTP, can we
18 have that placed on the ELMO, please. It's a sketch that you drew. Can
19 we look at the whole thing, please, the sketch in its entirety? The whole
21 With your permission, sir, I drew the Bulevar, and I moved the
22 school building, the gymnasium, to the other side of the Bulevar. Would
23 you agree with that amendment, sir? It was on this side of the Bulevar
24 and not on the lower side, not further down. Is that correct, sir?
25 A. Firstly, I must emphasise I did not draw that sketch, but, yes, I
1 do agree. From my memory, it was on the other side of the Bulevar.
2 Q. In addition to that, I drew the confrontation line right here.
3 This is where you were moving, and it says here that this was an HVO
4 controlled territory. Would you agree with me that the HVO were
5 positioned to the right of the line along which you moved? However, you
6 moved in this direction, and the HVO was always to your left and the BH
7 army to your right. So we have the HVO above that line that I marked,
8 which is the line along which you moved, and the HVO weren't there. Do
9 you agree that this was the case?
10 MR. BOS: We have to be clear here that this was an incident where
11 Mr. Finlayson was not in the car moving. It seems that Mr. Praljak is
12 insinuating that it was Mr. Finlayson in the vehicle moving, which is not
13 the case, and I just want to make that clear.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I never said that
15 Mr. Finlayson was in the vehicle. All I said was that he testified here
16 that this vehicle was hit at the number 2 in this sketch from the back,
17 and he said quite explicitly that the bullet had been fired by the HVO.
18 If we look at the number 2, and that is the upper part of the street, that
19 was under the control of the HVO, whereas the lower part of the street,
20 this entire area was under the BH army.
21 Since we shifted the school building in this sketch, could you
22 please sign the sketch now and sign the correction or the amendment, and
23 then we can move on to the next image.
24 A. The correction of the front line I am unclear on, to be honest.
25 Yeah. So I --
1 Q. Fine. All right. Let's move on to the next image, please.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I just have a question. On the -- this sketch on
3 the right side that is circle. Does -- that circle, what does it mean?
4 What is the meaning of this circle?
5 THE WITNESS: That's been added to the drawing, Your Honour, but
6 I -- it's just circling where I believe it was indicated where the shot
7 came from.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And where would the vehicle be at the moment it
9 was hit? Is that indicated on this sketch?
10 THE WITNESS: I think it's indicated by 3, 3.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That would be halfway down this road. Right.
12 Thank you. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Finlayson, what about this circle that I drew? The upper part
15 of Aleksa Santica Street marked in red was being held by the HVO, and the
16 lower part of that street and the area in which this vehicle was moving
17 was being held by the BH army. So within the circle itself the upper
18 portion of the circle was being held by the BH army and the lower part by
19 the HVO. Can you confirm that, sir, please, yes or no?
20 A. No, I can't confirm that. In fact, just you bringing it up has
21 maybe caused a bit of confusion in my own mind. I'll be thinking about
22 it, though. But at this stage, my understanding was as it was drawn
23 originally by the person who drew the sketch was that the HVO actually
24 went across that street at that point. However, I would not sit here and
25 say categorically that that was the case, now you've raised doubt, but
1 certainly that was my opinion, my understanding.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Next one, please. Sir, we've had witnesses
3 here who drew very accurate maps.
4 Could you please turn it round. No, the other way. Vertically.
5 HVO. Upside down. That's right.
6 Please have a look, sir. This is the situation. We even agree
7 with the Prosecutor on the front confrontation line. This is the red line
8 marking the Bulevar that -- lower down from where it says HVO, and then
9 there's the street that you pointed out to us. You head right from there
10 and my drawing is quite accurate the BH army controlling this area and
11 this other area under the control of the HVO. So is it true that you were
12 moving along this Bulevar, to your left was always the HVO, you enter this
13 small street and to your right is the BH army, and then you take another
14 turn and drive into Aleksa Santica Street. At the very corner and we've
15 had many witnesses testifying to that, on the one side of the street were
16 the HVO units and facing them across the way were the BH army units.
17 Please, a brief answer. Just say, "Yes, I do know that for a fact,"
18 or, "No, I don't know that," and then I'll move on and ask you another
20 A. No, I don't know that.
21 Q. Let us assume that the fire came from this corner, as Judge
22 Trechsel asked. For what possible reasons? Somebody's in this vehicle
23 and behind them at a distance of about 20 metres there is a face-off
24 between the HVO and the BH army, both positioned behind this vehicle.
25 With what degree of certainty did your men conclude that the shot had come
1 from the HVO? Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber the logic
2 behind that particular piece of reasoning? It's the circle that I drew in
3 the last sketch, that's what I'm referring to.
4 So you travel this whole way. The HVO are on your left and
5 they're not firing. And then suddenly you arrive at this corner with the
6 HVO and the BH army facing each other across the street. A bullet comes
7 at you from behind, and you conclude that the bullet came from the HVO.
8 Can you please disclose the logic behind this reasoning to the Trial
10 A. My understanding is that the shooting started as soon as they
11 rounded that corner, and at that time they were veering to the left to
12 avoid the obstruction out -- protruding out from the -- the building,
13 which in fact put their vehicle slightly at an angle towards the HVO.
14 However, I was not on -- in the vehicle, so I can only take the report
15 I -- I got as being accurate. But certainly that's -- and that would be
16 logical looking at the sketch too.
17 Q. This is what you just told Judge Trechsel, the place where the
18 fire started coming. This wasn't the corner itself. It was perhaps 10 or
19 15 metres from the corner itself.
20 If you don't know, why don't you say, "I don't know there is no
21 logic that I can possibly use to explain this." Why can't you just simply
22 say? You are a soldier, sir, after all.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With a pointer could you tell us
24 where the vehicle was standing when it was hit by the bullet?
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I -- I would prefer to refer to the
1 report that came with that -- with that -- with that drawing. But --
2 because I've forgotten the wording of it.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have a sketch here, and this
4 is probably a Google aerial view. You have here a site map. I'm sure you
5 can locate the vehicle on this map.
6 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I misunderstood your ...
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the record, the witness has
9 marked with a dot the place where the vehicle was located at the time it
10 was hit.
11 Witness, as General Praljak says, we can see that there's HVO at
12 the top and ABiH at the bottom. A bullet hits the rear of the vehicle.
13 What enables you to say with a hundred degree certainty that the bullet
14 came from the HVO and not from the ABiH side, given that on looking at
15 this map this could also be a likelihood, couldn't it?
16 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, as I said, I wasn't in the car so I
17 can't categorically say it was from the HVO, but the driver of the car had
18 that firm opinion, and without looking at the report I can't see -- I
19 can't -- I can't link that. I think the -- there's -- there's a good
20 point here, but I can't answer it.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. May we have the next document, please, IC -- or, rather, before we
23 do that would you place your signature and the date on the map and a
24 number 1 by the point you indicated.
25 A. [Marks]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could we have an IC
2 number, please, for the said map.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This map will become Exhibit IC 547.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps for the record
5 the first sketch where the witness was asked to supply additional
6 information, that was P 02830. That was the original number, and that was
7 part of a document shown the witness the day before yesterday.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'd like my sketch to be
9 attached to this sketch, too, with an IC number, please.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, we had the sketch,
11 and Mr. Praljak had drawn a circle. Could we have a number for this one
12 too, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the sketch will become Exhibit IC
14 number 548.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, you have the floor.
16 MR. BOS: I just -- as to that sketch where several joins were
17 made up which about Praljak. I just want to be -- for the record, I want
18 it to be very clear that the witness did not make any drawings on that
19 sketch, and all the drawings on that sketch are Mr. Praljak's drawings and
20 not the witness's.
21 MR. KOVACIC: That is -- that is correct, Your Honour, but there
22 are comments in the transcript referring to the sketch, so we need a
23 number, I think.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Bench will draw the
25 necessary conclusions thereof. The sketch -- on the sketch on which
1 General Praljak had drawn a circle is sketched number IC 548.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... 10000. It's the house. May
4 we go back to that house that you lived in just for a moment. You said
5 yesterday that it was facing west, that the front of the building was
6 facing west, towards the sandbags, and that the sides were towards the
7 north and south.
8 Now, my question is this: From what point in the HVO positions
9 could a bullet arrive to hit the north side of the house? And I think
10 this is a question asked by Judge Antonetti yesterday. So from what side,
11 from what HVO position could a bullet have come hitting the north side of
12 your house and the place that you entered? Let's take a look at the house
13 again. On the left-hand side is the north side. So can you tell the
14 Court to the best of your recollections that in that direction, since the
15 Neretva is down there, there are no HVO positions and that it was all BH
16 army positions over there. Would that be correct?
17 A. As I said yesterday, the shots didn't come from the north. The --
18 the damage on the north side was from previous conflict or whatever. The
19 shots almost came from a westerly direction and always -- so -- yeah, they
20 always came from a westerly direction.
21 Q. Witness, show me on the map the number of bullets that can be seen
22 or just put number 1, 2, 3, 4 how many times was that house hit from a
23 distance at about one an a half metres, sniper shots, sniper bullets?
24 A. I -- I can't low -- I can't recall which of those spots are
25 snipers. I said most that were reported either went through the window
1 shutters or, as I say, landed nearby as either by the vehicle or by the
2 stairwell. And you'd have to refer back to the numerous times that it was
4 Q. Sir, I am bearing all that in mind. I don't think Their Honours
5 are blind. We listened to your testimony yesterday during the
6 examination-in-chief, and you mentioned a whole lot of sniper shooting.
7 So could you then point out -- or, rather when, a bullet hits a facade of
8 this kind it leaves a trace. Would you mark the number of the sniper hits
9 and traces from a distance of 1.500 metres. So take up your pencil and
10 indicate the number of bullet shots, one, two, three, four, however many
11 there are. You are a soldier, sir. You know that you count bullets, you
12 count hits, and they are visible, or traces are visible. So how many can
13 we see on this picture?
14 A. As I said, A lot of them went through the windows into the
15 sandbags and into the dirt alongside the steps. Unfortunately, we haven't
16 got a photo of the rails, but maybe they would show more. There is -- I
17 simply can't. I can show you -- I could mark every one of those and say
18 it's -- it's an impact, but there's still many that you can't see in the
19 sandbags or window shutters. Or most of them, as I said, were around the
20 vehicle and on the stairwell.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could you help
22 me out here?
23 Q. Can you see any hit, any impact on the sandbags, and what window
24 was impacted, and can you hit a window from one and a half through metres?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, on the we have before us we
1 see certain traces of impact. As far as the window is concerned, the
2 lower window on the right-hand side, we see the trace of impact. The
3 window above -- below, we see two traces of impact. We do see several
4 traces of impact on the side of this house, on the front side of the
5 house. Can you see them or can't you see them?
6 THE WITNESS: I can see those impacts but I can't see the
7 sandbags. Also I, need to mention this was taken in June, and at that
8 stage the sniping -- when this photo was taken, which was very early on in
9 my piece as team leader, the sniping at the house itself was at a very low
10 level. At a later date, the observation hole through the -- at the far
11 end was actually changed, and it was moved into the centre hole. So this
12 photo is representative of what the house was like early June. It -- it
13 doesn't reflect what happened for the next eight months.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, you are saying
15 that this photograph which we have before us is a photograph that was
16 taken in June, and which does not reflect, as far as impacts are
17 concerned, the shots that were fired afterwards.
18 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour. And I think yesterday that maybe I
19 was asked when that photo was taken, and I think it was June. And as I
20 also said, most of the impacts shown at that time were from previous
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do you know, Witness, who has taken the picture?
23 THE WITNESS: This one? I took this photo.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the record
1 I'd just like to note that these three black dots on the window are the
2 points that prevent the blind from coming down. And secondly, we don't
3 know that this was taken in June.
4 Q. And the third point, Mr. Finlayson, as a military observer, had a
5 camera, and I think it would be within the -- within your assignment to
6 take photographs in July, August, September, and to attach reports about
7 sniper fire and when your mission was targeted. So I don't want to go
8 back to that now, but may we have the next --
9 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... Just for the
10 record, Your Honour, I object to this comment by Mr. Praljak. That's not
11 a question. It's improper. If counsel did that it would not be allowed.
12 Just Mr. Praljak is asking questions does not give him broader authority
13 to make comments. It's improper. Please instruct Mr. Praljak not to
14 engage in such commentary.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in view of the fact
16 that my colleague interrupted at this point, Mr. Praljak mentioned in the
17 sentence that my colleague is objecting to that the points to the bottom
18 of the blinds are the borderline which prevent the blinds from being
19 raised, and I see that the witness gestured and confirmed that. Now, we
20 can't have gestures in the record, but perhaps it would be a good idea to
21 have an oral response, because on the photograph it -- it could be a hit,
22 a point of impact, but on the other hand it could be those points where
23 the blind is prevented from going further up or down.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak asked the question
25 that runs as follows: How come that the witness, who in a number of
1 reports has stated that several shots were fired at this building, shots
2 coming from snipers, in those months after the month of June did not take
3 a picture in support of his reports. This is a question that's been put
4 to him.
5 So I'm putting it to you now, Witness. You have drafted a number
6 of reports which we looked at yesterday, and on a daily basis you were
7 explaining that shots were fired at this building. How come that in one
8 of the reports you sent off you did not deem it necessary to take a
9 picture in support of your report and to show to those people who were
10 going to read your reports that this wall where the front part was pitted
11 with bullet holes? As you said, this photograph was taken in June, and
12 the shots were fired after that time. Why did you not deem it necessary
13 to take a picture of this in support of your reports?
14 THE WITNESS: Firstly, Your Honour, the military observers were
15 not given photographic equipment to take photos for their role as military
16 observers. All cameras there were essentially for private use only.
17 There was no means of developing them available to us.
18 I actually take the point that possibly that would have been a
19 good idea in hindsight. However, there are lots of bullet holes you can
20 take pictures of, and I would say now, I guess, if you took a photo of the
21 house it would show a great difference, but as things progressed and it
22 was a normal run of the mill thing occurring. I think an UNMOs report
23 would be substantial enough. They don't report for nothing that a
24 bullet's gone through their accommodation.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may -- if I may add a question.
1 Mr. Finlayson, we have earlier had a letter, 3D 00913 of Mr. Lasic
2 as a reaction to your protests. I do not see that in this letter the
3 sniping is actually denied.
4 Now, you have had many conversations. At the end you have even
5 said at one point that it was expressly admitted, and the HVO even took
6 responsibility for sniping. But have -- at other times, have there been
7 protests from your interlocutors with the HVO that there had not been any
8 sniping and that no shots had been fired at that time your house at all?
9 THE WITNESS: In fact, I don't believe that ever occurred, and
10 most -- on most occasions it was -- liability was not necessarily
11 accepted, but it was inferred by the fact that they tended to almost
12 without exception blame uncontrolled sections of -- of the soldiers, HVO
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. Witness, you say that the HVO took responsibility upon itself.
17 The HVO recognised that there was possible fire, although all this sniper
18 and stories about snipers, well, we'll come back to that, but did the HVO
19 actually say that it took over responsibility in the sense of an order or
20 the intention to shoot at you? That's what I asked you about the guns.
21 Or did it -- was possible that uncontrolled individuals might have shot,
22 as they did from various parts of town individually? When did the HVO
23 take on and recognise its responsibility as being done by the Main Staff,
24 the headquarters of the brigade or whatever else? Will you agree with me
25 that the HVO never recognised that? It recognised its impotence, said
1 that it was not possible for them on a battleground like that in a town
2 like that to control, keep every -- each and every individual under
3 control? Is that the right interpretation of the discussions you had with
4 the HVO?
5 A. My interpretation of the discussions we had was the fact they
6 accepted that it was their soldiers and -- and that they would continually
7 say they would issue further orders.
8 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let's have another document on the ELMO.
9 We'll come back to this event of the 9th of May in due course, which you
10 say was an HVO attack on the BH army in Mostar.
11 Now, take a look at the map on the ELMO now, please. That's the
12 situation prior to the conflict.
13 Can we have a view of the whole map, please.
14 The red is the Republika Srpska army, the green is the ABiH and
15 the blue is the HVO. We have the zone north of Mostar, the zone south of
16 Mostar. You were there. Do you agree that this is what the lines facing
17 the VRS looked like, which were held by the 1st HVO Brigade of north of
18 Mostar, or, rather, the 2nd Brigade north of Mostar, the 3rd Brigade south
19 of Mostar, and the 1st HVO Brigade towards Stolac, and the green parts
20 were held by the BH army, and within Mostar itself there was a separation
21 line which was the Bulevar at Santiceva Street. So, Mr. Military observer
22 of the United Nations, does this map accurately indicate the situation in
23 Mostar prior to the conflict on the 9th of May, 1993?
24 A. Firstly, I can't recall the individual brigade numbers. However,
25 the -- prior to the -- May the 9th I would have considered the Muslim --
1 or ABiH line to be further into the city due to the fact, as was pointed
2 out yesterday, their headquarters was further into town there. So surely
3 that was contained within the area they had control of.
4 Q. Thank you, but let me repeat my question. Regardless of the names
5 of the brigades, do you know, you were a military observer, I'm sure you
6 wondered where the lines were facing the Republika Srpska army, does this
7 map reflect the actual situation on the front line facing the army of
8 Republika Srpska, those positions?
9 A. Sorry, could I see the transcript of what he just asked me?
10 I believe those to be, to the best of my knowledge, as the
11 situation was.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you. So we then agree that to the left of Mostar you had
15 the HVO in Bijelo Polje, and to the right of Mostar towards Buna, Blagaj,
16 and so on, was, generally speaking, covered by the HVO. Is that correct?
17 A. That's generally correct. I --
18 Q. Thank you. Would you sign the map, please.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] And could the usher put
20 another document on the ELMO.
21 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm going to object to the witness signing
22 this map. Again, these are all drawings by Mr. Praljak on the map and the
23 witness has been asked on a very general map to confirm that this is the
24 situation, and I can understand that he is hesitant to do so, and I would
25 object for the witness to sign this drawing of this map.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I think that these objections to
2 introducing IC material is just a waste of time and they have no sense.
3 You have explained the techniques applied. Let me say again if we are
4 discussing a sketch or any material whatsoever which receives an IC
5 number, which is given an IC number, then it must become part of the
6 exhibit so that in one month, two months, two years, or 20 years' time we
7 can read the records and look at the image or picture, otherwise we won't
8 be able to do that. So that's the only reason, the only point.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The map has not been drawn by
10 the witness, admittedly, but on the basis of this map which has been
11 introduced by the Prosecution, the question that is put to him is that
12 whether the front line between the HVO, the ABiH, and the Serbs is the one
13 he has drawn, and the witness has answered by saying, yes, I don't
14 challenge this. I don't challenge the front line. We don't have anything
15 more than that. Whether he signs or not doesn't make any difference
16 whatsoever to what's being discussed here.
17 So, registrar, could we have a number, please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this will become Exhibit IC 549.
19 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I -- I don't understand --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos.
21 MR. BOS: -- why the witness would have to sign this document. If
22 the witness marks a document or a photograph, then I understand.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I said is whether he signs
24 or doesn't, it makes no difference. There is no point on focusing on
25 that. The own reasonable consequence we can draw thereof in the judgement
1 is there is a front line. On the one hand, there are the Serbs; on the
2 other, the HVO and the ABiH. And that's all we can infer thereof. And we
3 can draw the conclusion that the Serbs were close to Mostar. And I can
4 also draw the conclusion that the front line part is occupied by the HVO
5 and then -- the ABiH, and then the HVO. So this map may prove useful from
6 Mr. Praljak's standpoint. I don't know. It's for us to tell him [as
7 interpreted] how useful it is for him.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Praljak. We have five minutes before the
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Do you know there was something called North Camp near the railway
13 station, North Camp belonging to the former Yugoslav People's Army? And
14 do you know on that on the 9th of May, 1993, in North Camp, there were
15 units of the Croatian Defence Council located there? Do you agree with
17 A. That I -- I think I recall that, yeah.
18 Q. Now, the next document, P 02488, please. P 02488. But may we
19 have an IC number for this map? We don't need a signature. If you want
20 to sign it, you can, but we don't need one.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the signature is
22 not essential.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I don't see how we could admit this
24 map. It has not been mentioned. No reference to it has been made at
25 all. You have not asked, and the witness has not confirmed that it shows
1 the North Camp. That question was not put. At least I think the question
2 or to put that we have a link between the map and the transcript.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I think that the description of what
5 is shown on the image was given, whether the HVO was in North Camp, and
6 the witness says, "Yes, I think I recall that." So he's confirming the
8 Would Mr. Karnavas like to add anything?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I do believe that Judge Trechsel is correct.
10 Perhaps the gentleman could just look at the picture and see whether he
11 identifies North Camp. Yes or no, sir.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I just want to join in Judge Trechsel's
13 objection, and I again state for the record I don't understand some of the
14 reason why these maps are being marked. I understand the President's
15 comments, but it's no different. We don't ask -- when we show witnesses
16 a -- documents, every time we show them a document we don't have them put
17 their name on it. It's an exhibit.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It has been waived expressly. This time,
19 expressly, it's been said that the witness does not have to sign that.
20 MR. SCOTT: But the point of it is, Your Honour -- I understand
21 that, Judge Trechsel, but the point of it is, is that when we put -- if
22 the Defence wants to draw documents, put numbers on exhibits and use them
23 just like a Prosecution P number, they can show the witness exhibits, but
24 every time we show them a document, we show witnesses tens, 20, 40
25 documents. We don't have them sign every exhibit that's shown to them.
1 Having them simply put their names on documents on maps is no different,
2 and, frankly, it's -- with all due respect, it's not -- most of this is
3 nothing more than Mr. Praljak trying to shove all these maps in as if
4 they're, you know, as if it's his evidence. He's the one testifying, and
5 it's not proper. And there's no reason to follow this procedure.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, just very briefly. The gentleman can
7 look at the map that's in front of him. He can then identify exactly
8 where is the North Camp, where he believes it to be, if he can identify
9 it. If he does -- if he does mark it, identify it, then he can initial it
10 because then that is his initial to that mark. Now, if he cannot identify
11 it, the map is still useful because then I suspect that through other
12 witnesses, General Praljak is going to establish where the North Camp is,
13 and then if we have a military observer on the ground who was supposed to
14 know where everything is and can't identify them, then obviously it
15 calls -- it goes into his credibility so that's the usefulness of this so
16 he if he could just identify and mark where exactly is the North Camp, and
17 then we can move on.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the accused General
19 Praljak is showing you a map drafted by him overnight, I assume, because
20 Mr. Praljak has told us that he worked through the night, and he has drawn
21 the location where North Camp is, and he has marked it with 09/05/1993,
22 and HVO. This is the question he has put to you. Is this North Camp?
23 From memory I think you said I think so in the transcript.
24 Let me put the question to you again the map, or the picture as
25 you see it in front of you is this a fair representation of North Camp,
1 yes or no.
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, sorry. Just this whole thing of
3 signatures and not signatures. I'm quite happy to confirm that this is
4 North Camp, but the exact boundaries I can't confirm are exactly as he has
5 drawn there, so hence I wouldn't be comfortable signing it to say that,
6 but I'm quite happy for it to be mentioned in the script that that is
7 North Camp.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Lines 20 to 25 of
9 page 36, you explain that this must be North Camp, but you cannot
10 ascertain with a degree of certainty that these are the exact boundaries
11 of North Camp.
12 Could we have an IC number, registrar, please, and we have wasted
13 five precious minutes for a subject which was of no particular interest.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this map will become Exhibit IC 550.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now time to have a break.
16 Mr. Praljak, you have the floor.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Just let me repeat my
19 Q. Is it accurate that on the 9th of May, 1993, in the so-called
20 North Camp there was the HVO, regardless of where its precise borders
22 A. From memory, that is correct.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must tell
24 you openly what this is about, why am I introducing this. It's about
25 repeating the fact that the HVO were attacking Mostar. I'm telling you so
1 that you can prepare.
2 To the left in Bijelo Polje is an HVO brigade. To the right
3 there's another HVO brigade. There's the HVO in the North Camp.
4 Q. Let me ask you this: When you were near that tank over there, did
5 you see a general attack on Mostar taking place? Why were those units not
6 involved? What was the point of not getting those units involved? Would
7 not any attack on Mostar would have involved those units from the North
8 Camp from the south, from the east?
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Is this a question -- is this supposed to be a
10 question to the witness?
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: Yes, yes.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And what else but speculation can the answer be,
13 Mr. Praljak? How can the witness know something like that? I think it's
14 not a proper question, I regret, and our President has said we will have a
15 pause, and I think you should respect that.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Trechsel,
17 all I wanted to tell the witness is that after the break I will be asking
18 him all these questions. We have before us a soldier of 20 years. I will
19 be asking him all these questions. I'm asking him to give it a thought
20 during the break. If I had five hours at my disposal to go through this
21 enormous amount of information provided by this gentleman in his report,
22 well ...
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
24 continues] ... we're going to have a 20-minute break.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. As far
3 as time is concerned, you have another 15 minutes, I believe, Mr. Praljak,
4 and Mr. Kovacic will have 10 minutes. This was schedule. Is that right,
5 Mr. Kovacic?
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Praljak.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Witness, sir, if you could please answer quickly, given the time
11 limit. From your position from which you viewed the conflict in Mostar,
12 did you see any attack whatsoever from the HVO's North Camp? Did you see
13 the HVO launch any attacks in the direction, for example, of the railway
14 station, or do you simply not remember? Quickly, please.
15 A. No, I didn't witness any attacks.
16 Q. Did you see any attacks by the HVO to the north of Mostar, the
17 positions held by the 2nd Brigade, any attacks that they may have launched
18 on Mostar? Yes or no, please. From Bijelo Polje, more specifically, any
19 attacks, any movements by units?
20 A. There were none north of Mostar. There was fighting in Bijelo
21 Polje, but I'm unclear of the lines and which side was instigating it.
22 Q. Thank you. We're talking about the 9th of May and a little later,
23 but, please. What about the south side, the position of the 2nd Brigade?
24 Did you see any troops, any units, HVO units, moving and attacking Mostar
25 to the south, from the south side?
1 A. From the south side I didn't have a great view of that, but to my
2 knowledge and from what I did see, I don't believe there was any attack
3 from the south.
4 Q. Thank you. P 02488, please. This is a report of the acting
5 commander of the 2nd Brigade -- the 3rd Brigade of the HVO. The 22nd of
6 May, 1993. Page 1, please. The Judges, I'm sure, will read the entire
7 document, but I'm interested in the last paragraph on this page, the last
8 paragraph on page 1. The number of men of the 3rd Brigade of the HVO with
9 1.200 soldiers was reduced to 980 men, the reason being units of the 7th,
10 8th, and 9th Battalions were abandoned by ethnic Muslims.
11 Do you see that paragraph, sir?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. All right. Does this not indicate how many ethnic Muslims there
14 were to begin with in the HVO's 3rd Brigade?
15 A. I don't think I can confirm that.
16 Q. Do you know how many ethnic Muslims or Bosniaks were in the 2nd
17 Brigade of the HVO, the one that was stationed in Bijelo Polje? Did you
18 ever come across that piece of information, sir?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Thank you. My last question about this: You, as a soldier, would
21 you have attacked Mostar, assuming you had half the 3rd Brigade, who were
22 Muslims, 45 per cent, to be more specific, that's my information, the 2nd
23 Brigade to the north, and you would have remained still in the North Camp.
24 Do you think that would have been a legitimate offensive strategy by the
25 HVO under the circumstances? You as a soldier, would you have done that?
1 Please say, "I don't know," or simply yes or no?
2 MR. SCOTT: I object. This is pure speculation.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't think this is a proper question. It's
4 pure speculation, fantasy.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I withdraw the
6 question then.
7 Q. If we could please quickly go through September 1993. The
8 document I need is P 0 -- P 085 [as interpreted]. The date is the 15th of
9 September, 1993. P 05085. Do we have that? Page 3 is the one I'm
10 looking at. It reads: "Jablanica." It says: "10th. The fighting in
11 the battles in the Vrdi area."
12 Have you got that, sir? Page 3 of the Croatian.
13 A. Sorry, I'm just looking for reference to Vrdi. What paragraph
15 Q. This is page 3 of the Croatian version, and in the English it's
16 page 2. Page 2. It says "Jablanica." It reads: "Tense as reports of
17 fighting ..."
18 Is Vrdi far on the left bank of the Neretva? The hills behind
19 West Mostar. It's the right river bank of the Neretva River, and
20 Jablanica, and I think you took the road across Vrdi to go north
21 occasionally, did you not?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Fine. The next document is P 05234, please.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I ask whether we are supposed to have these
25 documents? I haven't found the previous one, and I don't find this one.
1 I don't think they're in your bundle, Mr. Praljak.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this is the
5 OTP bundle relating to this witness.
6 MR. BOS: We didn't use this exhibit during our direct
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you did not submit it, did you?
9 MR. BOS: Your Honours, we -- we didn't -- we didn't submit it to
10 the Court, no.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I would
12 like to explain this. I noticed when my learned friend, Ms. Nozica, was
13 examining yesterday the OTP this time around did not give you, the
14 Chamber, the same documents that they gave to us, the Defence. To you and
15 to the witness they provided a selection of the documents that were served
16 on the Defence, the selection having been made based on the following
17 criterion: Which documents will be shown to the witness certainly.
18 Therefore, we have twice or three times as many documents as you have.
19 I'm not sure if you can use that as some sort of an explanation or not.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Document P 5234, we have it on
21 the screen, and we'll manage with the screen.
22 Go ahead, Mr. Praljak.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I do have to comment. It is known
24 since Monday morning which documents the Prosecution has put at our
25 disposal, and it would have been possible to produce the other documents
1 and let the Judges have them, and I would -- I would appreciate if in the
2 future that were done in this way. Thank you.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we cannot make a final
4 plan for our cross-examination until the witness is finished. We were
5 working on the assumption that you received the same documents from the
6 OTP that we did. It was only yesterday that we discovered this, and even
7 then we weren't sure. I do have a copy of the document, though, and we
8 can have it days played on the ELMO.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: And there is an assumption being made in your
10 remarks, Judge Trechsel, that we actually know which document they're
11 going to use. We have -- well, we have all these documents, I'm forced to
12 read them, and then, I guess, through their selection process they decide
13 to use. That's their prerogative, but we don't know. And now that we
14 know that you don't have all the documents we'll try to make arrangements,
15 but we're not trying to complicate matters.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I understand that you do not have a copy of the
17 bundle we have, so you cannot know what is in there. So I withdraw this
19 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I'm not going to let it go just --
20 you know, we simply don't accept that every time there's a courtroom -- a
21 problem in the courtroom, it somehow -- it always seems to be the
22 Prosecution's fault.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Nobody's saying it's the Prosecution's fault.
24 MR. SCOTT: It sounded like it to me, at least from some counsel.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: No, it isn't. They gave us more documents than
1 they actually will use.
2 MR. SCOTT: Well.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Then they have -- there's a selection process
4 during the proofing section. They're entitled to do that. We have more
5 than you have. We don't have the actual list that they present to you.
6 If we have that list, then obviously we know exactly what you have, and
7 then we can decide to provide you with whatever we're going to use from
8 their bundle which they're fault going to use. But nobody is criticising
9 the Prosecution. They're being more than fair to the Defence on this --
10 on this matter. So I think Mr. Scott should just cool his jets a little
12 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. Karnavas, that doesn't help matters when you
13 make those kind of comments, frankly. I appreciate what -- Mr. Karnavas
14 having said that. If I stand corrected on that, I appreciate the comments
15 that apparently they agree we've been -- the Prosecution's been more than
17 But there's a second point, Your Honour, and that is that whatever
18 we do or do not do does not relieve Mr. Praljak from being prepared and
19 providing both the Prosecution and the Chamber with the appropriate
20 documents, and the fact that -- whether or not they're in the Prosecution
21 bundle, it's his responsibility, and -- when he cross-examines the witness
22 to have the documents available.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I -- for my part, first I quite agree that
24 no reproach to the Prosecution was anywhere in the air, as far as can see
25 it. But I would suggest that perhaps the OTP serves the Defence with a
1 list of documents, those that they submit to the Judges, and this makes it
2 easier for them then to know what they should add.
3 MR. SCOTT: We did that, Your Honour. A letter ...
4 Excuse me, Your Honour. I stand corrected on that point. Often
5 we do that. Excuse me. Just so the record's clear. If I'm mistaken, I'm
6 mistaken and I'll admit it in the courtroom. In some cases we do that and
7 I thought we had. I now -- understood that it was not done in this case
8 and I stand corrected indeed. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So once again we have wasted a
10 lot of time on a problem that should be easily solved. On Monday we
11 received from the Prosecution a list of documents in which we do not find
12 Exhibit P 5234. So that when the Defence counsel plan to submit a
13 document not to be found in the list, they know that the Judges do not
14 have that document because it's not mentioned in the list. So as far as
15 possible, the OTP should provide the document. That's all. It's so
16 obvious that it wasn't worth wasting so many precious minutes on this.
17 We don't have the document, but Mr. Praljak is allowed to put his
18 question during his cross-examination. We'll do with what we have. We'll
19 use the e-court system.
20 Mr. Kovacic, you even want to give us a document, or wants to give
21 it to my fellow Judge in case he needs it.
22 Go ahead, Mr. Praljak.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Witness, on page 4 of the Croatian, item (G) -- or, rather, (H),
25 it says: "Assessment of a senior military observer, team leader." Is
1 this you, sir?
2 A. Negative.
3 Q. It says: "The assessment is that behind the apparently unrelated
4 activities in Vrdi, Donja Mahala, and incursions from south Mostar towards
5 Stolac and Capljina, there is a more comprehensive plan at work. If it is
6 confirmed that BH forces are only seven to eight kilometres from Siroki
7 Brijeg, then the outflanking of Vrdi and road access from the north to
8 Mostar may no longer be a speculation."
9 Have you found this, and is that right, sir?
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, just one
11 thing. I think this is a very important document. It will be very
12 valuable for the Chamber to be able to go through the document for
13 yourselves. I have these documents prepared for my examination, and I
14 would like the usher's assistance, please, to give the Chamber now those
15 two additional documents, including the one that we are now discussing.
16 The OTP can also have a copy of their own document if this number is
17 missing from their binder. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Sir, can you answer my question, please? Is it true what it says
20 here about the BH army activities?
21 A. This report was written at a time when I was just returning to the
22 mission, so the report is not familiar to me, neither is that particular
23 day, so I can't confirm it.
24 Q. Thank you. I will round this subject off, although I could use
25 further documents that were produced after your arrival. I want document
1 IC 00427. That's the document I need right now, and this is the large map
2 that has been used already.
3 Based on your information, sir, can you say whether at the time of
4 your second arrival in late September, 1993, there was a large-scale
5 offensive by the BH army in progress towards Stolac, Hum, and Vrdi. IC
7 A. I cannot confirm that. I recall an offensive against the Hum. I
8 can't recall when that was. And the Vrdi area, certainly there was a mere
9 activity up there, offensive activity, but I could not clarify exact
10 locations of that at this stage.
11 Q. There we have the axis of attack on Hum on this map. Can you --
12 as well as the axes on Vrdi and Planinica, and you mention that in your
13 report. Can you confirm that these axes shown here on this map are
14 accurate? You have the large-scale map right behind you, just in case you
15 want to cross-reference, given the fact that you make reference to
16 Planinica in your report and your team, as well as Vrdi, even Neum, and so
17 on and so forth.
18 A. I -- I cannot -- I cannot confirm the -- the accuracy of that map
19 in the detail it's given. However, as I said before, I was aware that
20 there was offensive at that time toward those point, the Hum anyway.
21 Q. What about towards Vrdi?
22 A. The Vrdi area was very, very difficult to observe, and as I said
23 earlier, I -- there was -- there was activity up there. There was
24 offensives being conducted by the BiH, and that's all I'm prepared to --
25 to say, because I couldn't accurately portray anything else.
1 Q. Thank you very much. My last question, it seems that I won't be
2 able to go into other documents, unfortunately, already seen by the Court.
3 I need now IC 00042. This is the large map showing the offensive known as
4 Neretva '93. It will turn up as an IC number.
5 My question is: Do you know anything about the offensive
6 conducted by the BH army known as Neretva '93? It started in Konjic and
7 then moved on to Bugojno. There were operations carried out in Uskoplje,
8 and then they advanced further south. Do you, in your capacity as a
9 military observer, know anything about that offensive? If so, please, can
10 you specify what exactly IC 00042, and we have the large-scale map just
11 behind you?
12 A. I think again just to emphasise that there was activity there and
13 the map you're presenting is showing front lines, which we didn't have
14 access to either by -- due to not being allowed to pass by the HVO or the
15 BiH, so the actual position of front lines, et cetera, was -- the
16 information just simply couldn't be got.
17 Q. I understand that you weren't familiar with the front lines.
18 Anything is possible, after all. But in your reports there is an enormous
19 amount of this, and then globally speaking as a military observer based on
20 the UNPROFOR information, perhaps, or the reports that you received, did
21 you ever learn about an offensive known as Neretva '93, which started in
22 Bugojno and then they advanced on Uskoplje and Mostar and so on and so
23 forth? Are you familiar with this military blue print for this offensive?
24 I'm not talking about individual sections of the front. And what, if
25 anything, of that plan have you seen as a military observer on the ground?
1 A. I saw -- I do not know of the term Neretva '93. I don't recall it
2 at this time. I do recall the action around Bugojno and Uskoplje, but to
3 be honest, that was at the extremes of my section, and that was actually
4 being monitored very carefully towards the end directly by Kiseljak.
5 Q. Were you in charge of Rama and Uskoplje, your team, Tomislavgrad,
6 Livno, Uskoplje, Konjic, Jablanica, was your team in charge of that, sir?
7 A. It was, and -- I'm sorry, it's -- I'm just getting confused, I
8 think, on the locations. I don't think I can answer that.
9 Q. Were you in charge of Uskoplje and Rama?
10 A. That -- that area came under my area of control. Sorry, I -- I
11 just take that back. I -- I'm sorry, I'm struggling on the recollection
12 of the towns and the names of exactly where a couple of these fell,
13 whether they were inside -- they were close to my area of sector, if not
14 monitored by them.
15 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
17 Your Honours. Unfortunately, on account the time constraints I have no
18 further questions.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you proceed, I have a
21 question for the witness. I have to put this question to him.
22 Let's go back to the 9th of May, Witness. The 9th of May is an
23 important date, because it's in the indictment. It is said in the
24 indictment that on that day the HVO launch an offensive against the ABiH
25 in Mostar by taking, among other things, the headquarters of the 4th
1 Corps, which was located in the centre of Mostar in West Mostar. You were
2 at the time the UNMO who was present in that area, so I'm talking to the
3 military man in you. Your mission was to provide information to the
4 headquarters in Zagreb as to what was happening on the ground, and I heard
5 in your answers that you were moving about in armoured vehicles in Mostar
6 and outside of Mostar in order to gather information or intelligence, and
7 as you said, this was also based on observations you made from the house
8 where you were located.
9 So when there was a military offensive, and I'm talking to the
10 military here. As you know, things have to be -- have to be prepared.
11 There are plans. You can't I am improvise that altogether, because you
12 need logistics to carry it out. Also, military means have to be put
13 together. Fuel, equipment is needed. So if there is a military
14 offensive, those who are going to launch it will need means.
15 Given your position as an observer, had you noticed that there was
16 going to be an offensive?
17 I compared your diary with your witness statement, the one you
18 gave to the OTP, and I was able to see that you refer to the 6th of May.
19 There is a minor reference to the 8th of May, and apparently on the 9th of
20 may you seem to discover there was an offensive.
21 This was a long question, but I had to preface it with various
22 pieces of information.
23 So given your position as a UN military observer, had you
24 understood that the HVO was about to launch an offensive on the 9th of
1 A. Your Honour, firstly I must clarify that on the 9th of May there
2 were no UNMOs in East Mostar or in our house. At the time of the 9th of
3 May, I was an UNMO accompanying General Bo Pellnas. On the 9th of May,
4 our access to Mostar was prohibited by the HVO in the initial stages of
5 the attack. The -- we were able to gain access via a back country road,
6 and that's why I marked on a map, I think on the first day, to the north
7 the position where -- where we observed the 9th of May for. That was not
8 at the time the attack started.
9 Leading up to the 9th of May, I would say that --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm not interested in
11 the 9th of May. I want to know whether you as an observer, you had
12 information that could lead you to believe that there was going to be an
13 offensive, an attack on the 9th of May, and such information could only
14 have been gathered on the 8th, on the 7th, or in the previous day.
15 You can see that I am putting a different question to you, not
16 about the 9th of May. You expect what you saw on that day. I want to
17 know whether before the 9th of May you had information making it possible
18 for you to believe that there was going to be a large-scale offensive,
19 because if you attack the headquarters of the 4th Corps, and right in the
20 middle of Mostar, this is not a minor operation. I wanted to know from
21 you whether you had information before. Can you answer this?
22 A. At that stage we -- as we were still conducting the joint
23 commission patrols and -- at that time, so we knew the situation was
24 getting difficult. However, there was no direct knowledge that an attack
25 was going to start that day, or I had no knowledge as --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The question also
2 relates to the ABiH, because some say that it was the ABiH that launched
3 the attack, not the HVO. So here again I want to know whether you had
4 information that led you to believe or could have led you to believe that
5 the ABiH prepared an attack on the 9th of May or around that date.
6 A. I don't believe I had that information. However, I comment it
7 would have been suicidal considering the amount of equipment they had at
8 their position, and certainly there was a lot of heavy artillery on the
9 HVO side on the 9th of May which hadn't been there as a matter of course
10 over the preceding weeks.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question, which is only the
12 conclusion of my previous questions. When you discovered on the 9th of
13 May that there was an attack, because -- this is in paragraph 25 of your
14 written statement. You say that you had heard on at that date that the
15 HVO had launched an attack.
16 When you found that out, was that a surprise to you, or did it
17 confirm things? What was your feeling when you heard that there was
18 something happening?
19 A. I don't think it -- it -- it wasn't expected, but then again, it
20 didn't come as a surprise. I hope that explains. It -- it -- the whole
21 environment was so unpredictable and unstable at that point.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Kovacic -- yes,
23 Mr. Bos.
24 MR. BOS: If I just may say something before we continue, and this
25 relates to the last question by General Praljak where he asked about these
1 two areas, Rama and Uskoplje being in the area of responsibility of the
2 UNMO, and the witness appeared to be a bit in the dark about these names,
3 and just if I can also say that Rama is the same as Prozor, and Uskoplje
4 is the same as Gornji Vakuf. Would that clarify matters for the witness.
5 A. Yes, it would. Neither of those are in my section.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Bos,
7 for that clarification.
8 Mr. Kovacic.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I'm going to take you back to start off
12 with to something General Praljak asked you, and I think that you probably
13 made a slip. And may we have the following document: P 00755 on the
14 screens, please.
15 Anyway, you were shown this document and it was called
16 the "standard operating procedures-UNMO sector BH South." You remember
17 that document, I'm sure. You saw the document, and it will come up
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] For Your Honours, you have the
20 number in our files, and the number is 00755, as I said.
21 Q. Witness, can you see the document? And I'm going to ask the
22 registrar to put on 818, the last digits, relationship with the local
23 population is the title of that section, and the last digits of the ERN
24 number are 818.
25 And my first question to you, Witness is the following: From the
1 title of the document, it would appear that it was operational procedure
2 precisely for this particular sector in which you spent one year, except
3 for the times that you were in Kiseljak, the three times you were there;
4 is that correct?
5 A. That is correct. It was -- yep.
6 Q. In fact, I'd just like to draw your attention to point 2 of that
7 operational structure.
8 So may we go back to page 1 of the document, please,
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 And in point 2, it says expressly -- we have page 1 on our screens
11 now so I don't have to read it out for you. You can read it yourself. At
12 the top of the page. Point 2 at the top of the page, please. There,
13 that's right.
14 So point 2, all UNMOs, et cetera, shall familiarise, et cetera.
15 So this is in the imperative mood. It is what the observers are asked to
16 familiarise themselves with; is that right?
17 A. That's as it's written, yes.
18 Q. So do you stand by the answer you gave, that you've never seen the
20 A. I would certainly stand by I don't recall seeing the document.
21 Q. Does that mean, Witness, that you did not in fact follow the
22 instructions and orders given to you by your superiors within your
23 suborganisation or UN sector organisation? Is that true?
24 A. I followed all instructions I had from Zagreb or Kiseljak. All
25 I'm saying is I did not see this document.
1 Q. You mentioned yesterday, and from your statement it would emerge
2 that you had a certain amount of preparation first in New Zealand, and
3 then when you game to Zagreb additional training and preparation. So
4 during those preparations, were you given instructions with similar
5 contents, along the lines of what this document sets out in greater
6 detail? And this is dated the 16th of November, 1992. So the document
7 existed when you arrived in Zagreb.
8 A. This -- this UNMO sector BH South document, the standard operating
9 procedures specific to that area, I can't recall ever seeing. The
10 guidance that we got was during our training, I can't recall if we had
11 standing -- I'm -- I'm quite sure on this one. There were standard
12 operating procedures for BH command. But I mean, to be fair, they're
13 probably very similar.
14 Q. Very well. Now may we go back to the page with the digits 818,
15 and the top of the page, point 8. Could you read out what it
16 says, "Relationship with the local populace," point 1, "To maintain an
17 image," et cetera. Read it for yourself?
18 A. "To maintain an image of impartiality, UNMOs should ensure their
19 relationship with local population is one of a professional nature. They
20 should endeavour to ensure that they do not have any close ties with any
21 individuals or organisations."
22 Q. [In English] Okay. [Interpretation] Now my question is as
23 follows: Since you say that you don't remember having seen the document
24 either in Zagreb or later on, is this provision something that you learnt
25 through general training and your own understanding of your job, and did
1 you have it as a principle in your conduct and behaviour?
2 A. My principle was to maintain impartiality at all times, and I am
3 totally convinced I did that. I, to a degree, encouraged the people with
4 me to communicate with the populace, and that was at a later stage than
5 this, but that was to try and break down the horrific barriers that were
6 being created between UNPROFOR and -- and the populace in some areas.
7 Relationships in -- when you live with people or in a predicament
8 with them develop naturally, but I don't think they ever -- if I ever
9 thought, myself or any of my UNMOs, which I did at times, were become
10 being unprofessional or not -- no longer impartial, I would remove them
11 from the various teams, and that -- that -- that occurred in a number of
13 Q. Thank you for that answer. Now, Mr. Praljak read out from your
14 diary some excepts.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] May we go closed session for a
16 moment, please -- into private session, because I want to refer to that
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 18219-18221 redacted. Private session
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're become in open session, Your Honours.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Today you said, this is for the record, it was on page 6, line 3,
5 that you said two days later a Spanish soldier was killed by the same
6 sniper. You know what I'm referring to, I assume. And my question is
7 this: We have heard here testimony and saw documentary evidence about
8 that unfortunate event when that Spanish soldier was killed. We dealt
9 with that at length, and among other things we learnt that an
10 investigation was conducted into the matter. The UN police took part,
11 among others, and we learnt the investigation was never completed, and we
12 also learnt that it was never established within reason that the HVO --
13 that the Spanish soldier was killed by the HVO or that the bullet came
14 from HVO positions.
15 So how can you say in this court of law quite resolutely that you
16 know that it was the same sniper who had killed a witness two days ago?
17 Now, it is my assertion or not, so you can agree to that or refute
18 it, that you considered that that was so at the time, but, sir, can you
19 say that with any certainty, or are they simply preliminary conclusions on
20 your part at that time without any further analysis or without any
21 information and proof and evidence in the matter?
22 A. That's certainly my recollection. Firstly, I think -- I think you
23 can -- you're correct in that I can't categorically say that, and so
24 therefore I change, but the reports and the manner in which they died --
25 he died indicated from my memory of it, and discussions with the SpanBat
1 at the time was that it indicated that. It was from an elevated position
2 similar to the bank building, but, yes, you're correct. I can't
3 categorically say.
4 Q. I apologise for interrupting you. Well, thank you for that. Yes,
5 we know that. The substance of the matter was just to see whether you
6 could say with any certainty.
7 Now, for the record, and I have been told that on page 60, line 11
8 that the following was stated, who had killed a witness two days ago. It
9 was the Spanish officer who was killed. Thank you.
10 And just something else. Not to go back to your diary but,
11 generally speaking, the information you provided through it and, if
12 necessary, we'll refer back to it, but, sir, it was quite clear to you
13 when you came to Mostar in March 1993 that in the bygone period, the
14 period before, while the Yugoslav People's Army and the Army of Republika
15 Srpska or, rather, the Serbs were the active side in the aggression, that
16 they inflicted enormous damage, I think you say "enormous" at one point or
17 words to that effect, enormous damage by a Serb bombing in Mostar, by a
18 Serb shelling in Mostar. Do we agree on that point?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So that is the situation that you encountered when you arrived.
21 That's how things were; right?
22 A. Affirmative.
23 Q. Thank you. Now something else that emerges from the material,
24 without entering into detail, although we can do so if need be. Is it
25 true and correct as you say that the Serbs from time to time shelled
1 Mostar during the time that you were there, which means during 1993
3 A. In the early stages they used to shell up by the dam, and every so
4 often we tended to get the very occasional impacts from the Serbs. I
5 think from memory from -- my teams did report the odd -- a couple of days
6 where there were more than five or maybe 10. I can't recall the exact
7 number, but very -- and relative during my period, relative to all the
8 other incoming and outgoing artillery, et cetera, rounds, it was a minute
9 level, absolutely minute.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Defence is
11 addressing an important issue for the Judges. You have just said that as
12 far as you know the Serbs shelled Mostar on several occasions. What I'd
13 like to know is this: As far as you know, did the Serbs also have
14 snipers? Did these snipers shoot at Mostar?
15 THE WITNESS: I -- I didn't hear any -- have any reports of
16 snipers from Serbs except for I just say guardedly that possibly in the
17 very first month I was there, there might have been some unconfirmed
18 reports of sniping by the Serb, but that was when the armija and the HVO
19 were together. But for the bulk of the time, certainly May, June, right
20 through to the time I left the mission, I can't recall any -- any reports
21 of Serb sniping.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And just one more question in this connection. Based on your
24 knowledge of the -- of where all three parties in the conflict were
25 deployed in the area around Mostar and in Herzegovina, I assume you would
1 agree that Mostar, throughout 1993, remained within the range of the JNA
2 artillery or, rather, Serb artillery, because the positions and the Serb
3 lines did not change. Just a short answer, please. Did they remain there
4 or not, and remain within range or not?
5 A. That's correct, they did.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I want to go on to a
8 different area, but unfortunately I've taken up too much time already,
9 although I do think it would be interesting if we were to show the witness
10 his readiness, et cetera, but -- well, maybe just one more question. I've
11 been just prompted by my colleague.
12 Q. In view of the indictment and the allegations in the indictment,
13 it is clear, Witness, from what you've said so far, but I'm responsible
14 for the transcript, let me ask you, were you personally ever wounded in
15 that entire period in Bosnia-Herzegovina, actually, in Sector South? Were
16 you injured or wounded? Yes or no.
17 A. No, I wasn't.
18 Q. You obviously weren't killed either because you're here with us.
19 What about any of your colleagues, colleagues from your mission? I think
20 there were about 25 of you there. You were there for a year. What about
21 your colleagues, were they wounded or injured or anything?
22 A. During my time in BH South I had no injuries, but I'm sure looking
23 at the photographs it was more good luck at times than management. There
24 were --
25 Q. Of course, luck, this -- something emotional, mental. The fact
1 is, though, you were not wounded, and as far as I can tell it you're quite
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just for the sake of an explanation,
4 in paragraph 115 of the indictment, the -- the witness was cited as a
5 victim, whereas he was clearly not wounded. I do have to point this out,
6 although that should be sufficiently clear based on all the documents and
7 the testimony so far.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So far you've had four hours and
9 15 minutes.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned friends.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, sir, there's one thing that I would like
13 you to answer. This question was asked by my learned friend Mr. Kovacic
14 about your wounding. You said you weren't wounded yourself, but he asked
15 you about your colleagues, too, whether any of them were in Sector South
16 during their time there. We received no answer to that, so could you
17 please tell us, sir.
18 A. There were no military observers wounded. However, there were a
19 significant number of Spanish soldiers injured or killed.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I had agreed with my
21 client that he would use up the last five minutes of our cross-examination
22 for his questions. He, however, has now asked me to start, and I respect
23 his desire, so if the Chamber could please allow him the first five
24 minutes now.
25 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to
1 Your Honours.
2 Cross-examination by the Accused Petkovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon to the witness. My name is
4 Milivoj Petkovic. I conferred with my counsel about my need to ask
5 certain questions that follow from Mr. Praljak's questions about September
6 1993. I would like to ask the witness this: Sir, is it true what you
7 said in your statement that on the 21st of September you arrived in
8 Medjugorje, and you were a senior military observer ever since? From
9 Kiseljak, I mean.
10 A. There was a period of hand-over, but essentially that's correct.
11 Q. Thank you. I understand that there is always some sort of a
12 hand-over. Let me ask you about that.
13 You arrived on the 21st. I do assume that you first read the
14 reports by your colleague in relation to the previous day. Would not be
15 something that anyone would expect you to do in a situation like that?
16 A. To be honest, I can't remember if I read the report or was given a
17 full brief, but certainly I would have been made aware of that, that --
18 the occasions on the day before.
19 Q. Fine. Among other things, you received all the documents; right?
20 A. They would have been available to me, yes.
21 Q. Fine. General Praljak asked you about the 29th [as interpreted].
22 The document is P 05234. It says: "Assessment by the senior military
23 observer." And your answer was simply that you weren't there. Was that
24 your answer, that on the 29th you weren't there? That was your answer,
25 wasn't it?
1 A. Was it the 29th? I don't think so, was it?
2 Q. The 29th, yes, 1993.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, there must be some mix-up,
4 because the document that Mr. Praljak has quoted, P 05234, is dated 20
5 September. Mr. Prlic --
6 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] The 20th of September.
7 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: September 20th. When it is said in Croatian
8 it means 29th. So September 20th. General Petkovic spoke about that.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is obviously an
10 error in the transcript. Instead of the 29th it should be the 20th of 9th
11 month, the 20th of September, 1993.
12 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] May I continue,
13 Your Honours?
14 Q. Witness, your colleague who handed over his position to you the
15 next day I'll read to you what General Praljak has already read to you.
16 He concluded in relation to you that day that the assessment was that
17 there were apparently unrelated activities in Vrdi, Donja Mahala, and
18 problems in south Mostar towards Stolac and Capljina. There was a master
19 plan behind these seemingly separate activities. It is confirmed that BH
20 forces are only 7 to 8 kilometres from Siroki Brijeg, then the outflanking
21 of Vrdi and road access from the north to Mostar may no longer be a
23 Is this an accurate reading of what your colleague wrote down?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Yes. Let me now move on to a different document, dated the 21st,
1 another conclusion by a military observer. I'm not sure if that was you
2 or your colleague. The document number is P 05263. That is page 8 in the
3 Croatian, and I'm not sure about the English. This is under H.
4 Just below that it reads "Sarajevo." That's just for ease of
5 reference. I can perhaps read what your colleague or you wrote on the
6 21st in your assessment and your conclusion. "Yesterday's offensive of
7 the BH army does not appear to have resulted in the taking of much
8 territory. It did, however, cause tensions to rise among the HVO forces,
9 and it did succeed in exerting pressure on military elements. The
10 assessment is that yesterday in the Vrdi area, the BH army forces did not
11 advance to the south to the extent that was reported, and it appears that
12 in Mostar they are not in control of Donja Mahala. This uncertain
13 situation, it appears, will go on for several days."
14 So this is the conclusion made by military observer in relation to
15 the 21st. In your conclusion, do you speak about the BH army offensive,
16 or are you trying to assess its results, whether it was a successful one
17 or not?
18 A. Firstly, I -- I don't believe I particularly wrote this one, but
19 that's an assessment of the results at the end of the day I would have
20 read it as.
21 Q. Thank you. I did say that. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was one
22 of your colleagues. As a soldier, I value this assessment much more than
23 the first five points. It's a strategic assessment. You agree, don't
25 A. I do.
1 Q. Now, one thing I don't know is about P 025285. If so, I'll just
2 skip it. If not, I would like to move on to another conclusion made by a
3 military observer in order to prove that military observers make strategic
4 conclusion, assessments as to what exactly was going on as part of that
5 operation. I'm not sure if that document has been submitted already or
6 perhaps we should place it on the ELMO. Sorry? P 05285. I'm willing to
7 drop the document if the Chamber has no copies. So this is P 05285. I'm
8 not sure. Because of this confusion I do not wish to cause any problems.
9 I do, however, believe it to be an exceptionally important document. It's
10 a document produced by the military observers, of all people. Can we have
11 P 05285.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document has not
13 been prepared for your benefit. We didn't believe that we would be using
14 it. I do have an English copy, and if that could please be put on the
15 ELMO. If I could have the usher's assistance. If he could give us a hand
16 with that. Here is the entire document, but the reference will be just to
17 the final point of the document, which is the assessment itself.
18 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Fine.
19 Q. Item (C), "Meetings." That is the portion of the document that
20 I'm interested in. It's page 2 on my copy, and I'm not sure about the
22 The next page, please, (C). Under (C).
23 Witness, could we please look at (C). It says: "Meetings: MX6,"
24 which is your team, "met with LO," liaison officer. "Team informed BiH
25 forces attacked Rastani, Donja Mahala, and several other places in town
1 across the confrontation line and also trying to take Planinica." We
2 asked you a while ago about Planinica, didn't we. "Confirmed BiH forces
3 took Rastani yesterday." And this isn't substantial about you meeting in
4 Capljina with the Capljina Brigade.
5 And now on to item (H), "Assessment." You say: "The reported BH
6 attacks at Planinica, Donja Mahala, Rastani and other areas indicate a
7 gradual offensive to occupy some of the vantage mills and strategic
8 positions around Mostar. The HVO would not surrender these areas and
9 heavy fighting is expected in the next few days.
10 "BH intentions around Vrdi are not fully understood ..."
11 This is obviously your own conclusion, because on that day you
12 were supposed to be taken over. Is this an accurate conclusion made by
13 the military observers at the end of that particular day?
14 A. I believe that's an accurate conclusion. However, I must confirm
15 you're in error in assuming that it was me that wrote that report. If you
16 look at the start of the report, the SMO at that stage is still Lieutenant
17 Colonel Espensen. I don't doubt anything that is said there. It's --
18 Q. Fine. But it was produced at or -- at around the time of the
19 hand-over; right? So you were both familiar with that; right? All the
20 better, I say?
21 A. [Previous translation continues] ... that's right.
22 Q. All right. Witness, these are your documents and --
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we could just ask
24 the witness to once again repeat the answer since the answer was not
25 recorded. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You said the report was accurate; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Witness, I showed you three of your reports in which
5 you indicate that there is a BH army offensive afoot north of Vrdi,
6 Planinica, Mostar town, and to the south Donja Mahala. You know all of
7 these locations, don't you?
8 A. I'm struggling with Planinica, but I think I mentioned earlier
9 that I was familiar with an armija offensive to the north and the south,
10 so -- which confers with this, but I couldn't rather the details and I
11 still can't.
12 Q. Fine. Thank you. But you don't know, do you, that this was part
13 of Neretva '93, part of that military OP operation? You don't know that,
14 do you? It doesn't really matter.
15 A. I can't recall that name being used, to be honest.
16 Q. Please, Witness, in order to confirm the veracity of your
17 allegations, I will now show you a BH army document. This is an order to
18 carry out an attack. The number is 3D 00736. For the benefit of the
19 Chamber, this number as well as other documents have been used during
20 earlier cross-examinations. 3D 00736.
21 Witness --
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] An explanation for the Chamber
23 since I see they're trying to find the document in our own set. These are
24 General Praljak's documents. I'm not sure whether they were prepared for
25 this witness or not. So could we please start looking at that binder.
1 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, and I wish to
2 thank my counsel for assisting me.
3 Q. Witness, you have before you an order written by the -- a
4 commander in the Mostar area. He happens to be the commander of
5 operations group Centar, which you refer to as being part of the rally,
6 say, that the 1st Brigade came Centar. That's what you wrote in one of
7 your reports.
8 This order was approved by Mr. Pasalic, because it stemmed from
9 one of his own orders, which is under 3D 00740. That's for the benefit of
10 the Chamber.
11 Can we please go to item it 2 of this order.
12 Sir, item 2 reads: "The task of operations group Centar is to
13 launch an attack on the downtown area and to take over the following
14 axes." The first being quoted is the electric power plant of Mostar,
15 Rastani village, Orlac. The next one is Semovac Podhum, first elementary
16 school. The third one is the Hum facility, H-u-m facility. The fourth
17 axis is Donja Mahala-Stotina-Rodos.
18 Can you look down, six or seven lines down, where it says,
19 "Readiness for the attack by 2400 hours on the 19th of September, 1993."
20 As a soldier, when this term is used readiness by this or that
21 hour, what exactly does that mean? Does that not mean that an operation
22 might start at any time after that time? Would that be a correct
24 A. As I would read it, yes.
25 Q. Fine. Thank you. Item 4. Item 4 was always a decision,
1 according to the rules of the previous army. So this -- this commander
2 decides to carry out a vigorous attack by grouping his main forces along
3 the following axis: The Hum facility, Podhum, the Mostar water plant,
4 Rodos, and Rastani and Orlac. Those are the main forces and the auxiliary
5 forces along the following axis: Santiceva Street and retirement home. B
6 and R, I'm not sure what that means. Bulevar Naranavero Lucijer [phoen].
7 That's an abbreviation. The high school building, you were looking at
8 that today, and the health centre it. "The objective being to cross the
9 enemy forces along the axes of attack by our forces, inflicting losses in
10 terms of manpower, equipment, and materiel, while at the same time
11 creating conditions for final launching of operations to liberate the
13 Have you been following the interpretation, sir? Is my reading
15 A. Very good.
16 Q. There is no need for me to go into all the other orders. Praljak
17 is helping me, and he's suggesting to have a look at artillery, which is
18 item 8.
19 "Artillery support for this attack will be secured by the
20 battalion firing group along the axes of attack of the battalion," which
21 means that each battalion has a battalion firing group, and a -- the mixed
22 artillery decision of the 41st Brigade artillery battalion will be
23 providing fire support, according to a plan drawn up by the commander of
24 the operations group Centar.
25 So, when you link the next document up with your own report and
1 with the orders produced by the BH army, will provide us with a
2 comprehensive context.
3 Are you familiar with this? Do you know that this is what things
4 looked like at the time? Or is this the very first you hear of it, sir?
5 A. I recall the -- the attacks on -- on some -- some of these places,
6 but off the top of my head the dates are unsure, but they certainly appear
7 to match up.
8 Q. Thank you. You see the commander of operations group Centar wrote
9 this down in the log, Mr. Sejtanic. The document is 3D 00736. 3D 00736.
10 We won't be going through the whole log, just certainly elements.
11 The page is 3D 22-0387.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: 0687, correction.
13 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. For ease of command over units of the 4th Corps, the following
15 units were set up: Operations group south, operations group south 2,
16 Mostar Centar, operations group north, and so on and so forth. The one
17 that we've heard mentioned here so far is operations group Centar. I'll
18 read on. "Defence lines were established against the Serb forces but were
19 not active in terms of combat. However, the smuggling was rife along
20 those lines, smuggling including all kinds of items, especially food
21 items, that were missing."
22 And then the next page: "Based on information provided by
23 soldiers indicating that Sefer Halilovic was in Jablanica with forces from
24 Bosnia, one started singing the following song," and I won't be reading
25 the song.
1 I'll move on to the item that reads as follows: "As part of the
2 preparations for the upcoming combat activities, there was open discussion
3 of the possibility that the Serb side would help us in terms of direct
4 artillery support and in terms it of supplying necessary equipment and
5 items, particularly a large number of -- of artillery missiles of
6 different calibres." And it goes on to say: "I attended a meeting along
7 the confrontation line with the Serb forces in the village of Busak
8 [phoen] where Safet Orucevic, Fatima Lehosef [phoen], Kadjiho [phoen]
9 defined the conditions under which the Serb side would be assisting us in
10 combat activity."
11 And then I'm moving on to the next page: "As for our cooperation
12 so far, Safet Orucevic spoke to the commander of the Nevesinje Brigade,
13 Novica Gusic, and gave him a present of a nearly new Golf car, JX."
14 Now I'd like to come to the following passage where it says: "In
15 the period from the 10th to the 18th of September, intensive
16 reconnaissance work was carried out of the objects of attack, and then
17 towards the end it goes on to say: "During the 19th of September we once
18 again analysed the information obtained and looked to see how preparations
19 were conducted and became informed of the combat operations that were
20 launched by the BH army units along the axis of Dreznica, Vrdi, and
22 And then it goes on to say: "During the night, without any
23 problems, units were brought in to the town of Mostar from whence in the
24 early morning hours they were supposed to move towards the objects of
25 attack. The unit which attacked at Hum hill was led by my deputy Tahir
1 Brajic [phoen]."
2 And then it goes on to say: "The combat activities started in the
3 early morning hours of the 20th of September, and they followed planned
4 dynamics, especially along the flanks where we expected to be successful
5 and which we would use to prolong the operations on the town itself. The
6 combat operations were particularly successful at Visnjica, Hum, Rastani,
7 Jedrinje and features around Vrba [phoen]."
8 And now to the next section. It says: "The units in the town
9 nucleus scored initial success along the axis towards the Barinovac
10 [phoen] settlement," which is below you. No it isn't. Ah, it's opposite.
12 Now, listen to this, please: "And faced with strong artillery
13 Serb support, there was success in sight." And let me repeat this,
14 because you said that on that day there was a lot of bombing of Mostar,
15 and with a large-scale or strong Serb artillery support we had every
16 chance of success. On the basis of following conversations over the radio
17 link, HVO and HV [as interpreted], and they were amazed, additionally,
18 with the knowledge that the Serb side was directly assisting us in the
20 Now I'd like to skip over a section there because he says that
21 they received an order to cease hostilities, and then he says at the
22 end: "We strongly attacked Commander Pasalic for stopping the fighting,
23 and we accused and blamed him that he was in cohorts with the official
24 policy in Sarajevo an and was digging a grave for Herzegovina and that
25 trust in him as a commander --"
1 MR. SCOTT: This has been going on for a long -- quite some long
2 time, and if it's all going to mean, did I read the document correctly,
3 did I read it correctly it's not going --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would like to note that they do
5 not have the document. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petkovic.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to put
8 right an error in the transcript. On page 75, line 9, it wasn't the HV,
9 the Croatian army, but the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] And just one more sentence
11 and I'll complete that, Your Honours.
12 Q. "The consequences of the combat operations, the units of the 4th
13 Corps, were terrible. During the withdrawal to the initial positions, we
14 had more than 30 dead. About 100 were wounded, whether seriously or less
15 seriously," et cetera.
16 Now, Witness, in your reports for this period in Mostar you wrote
17 about the fighting and about HVO shelling, said that the HVO was shelling.
18 Now, from the documents, did you see that the BH army had agreed
19 to provide strong support to the Serbs or with the Serbs? Did you -- were
20 you able to see that there was this strong support?
21 A. From that document, as you read it out because I haven't seen it,
22 yes, I can see that that's certainly indicative -- indicated within that
24 Q. Thank you. Now, anywhere in your document did you make mention --
25 or in your documents, did you ever mention that you had any knowledge
1 about the contacts between the Serb and Muslim sides up at the front line?
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, this question must be split up. He
3 has not yet said that he had such knowledge. So first, did he have the
4 knowledge? Second, did he report about it, please.
5 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 MR. SCOTT: Just for the record, the question that was ultimately
7 put confirmed my concern, cause at the end of the day, the only question
8 that was -- essentially was, did I read that correctly? And the witness
9 said that appears to be what the document said. So there was in fact no
10 question, no real question to the witness. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But Mr. Petkovic raised the --
12 put the question.
13 So put the question again, Mr. Petkovic.
14 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, on the basis of your own documents and combat documents
16 of the BH army that we have seen and also the books issued by the
17 commander, can we conclude that in September the BH army launched an
18 attack on a broader area of Mostar, and around Mostar, including the town
19 of Mostar against HVO units?
20 A. The reports produced by BH South UNMO didn't indicate any Serb
21 support. That report is compiled through the reports of the observers who
22 would have been in Mostar at that time. Whether that is an error or not I
23 can't comment on, and unfortunately our reports were reliant on our people
24 reporting what they saw.
25 Q. Very well. Let me repeat my question between. From all this, is
1 it evident that in September, starting with the 20th of September, the BH
2 army launched an operation against Mostar and the area around Mostar,
3 including Vrnik [phoen]?
4 MR. SCOTT: My objection is the same as before, Your Honour. This
5 is nothing but a long speech, reading by Mr. Petkovic. There's no basis
6 for this witness to answer the question. It's not even a proper question.
7 I mean, there have been some limits, Your Honour, and today it appears
8 there are no rules, with all due respect.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the question was not
10 properly put, but the meaning of it is very clear.
11 And I'm going to ask this question of you, Witness.
12 General Petkovic read out a document that said the ABiH launched an attack
13 with the support of Serb artillery. This is the case put by Mr. Petkovic.
14 As far as you are concerned, you and the other members of the UNMO team,
15 to your knowledge did you know of the attack launched by the ABiH, attack
16 that would have been supported by Serb artillery?
17 THE WITNESS: I have to go off the reports that came from my
18 sector, Your Honour, and they didn't indicate that we were aware of it. I
19 seem to recall that the report from the UNMOs reported the offensive in
20 the north, but indicated that the offensive in Mostar was in retaliation.
21 Did I got -- I haven't got those in front of me at the moment, but the
22 document that Mr. Petkovic has just produced would tend to indicate that
23 possibly their -- their observations were incorrect, and that can't be
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 20 to 1.00. We're going to
1 break for 20 minutes. We shall resume at 1.00 for another 45 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.41 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to continue.
5 Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to thank you
7 for giving my client five minutes for the cross-examination and for
8 allowing him to extend that five minute time limit.
9 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, to start off with, I'd like to clarify
11 some details linked to your meetings with General Petkovic and when you
12 contacted General Petkovic with respect to the attacks on vehicles and
13 facilities of your own institution. Let me remind you, and please correct
14 me if I'm wrong, so far you've told us the following: That the complaints
15 about the attacks on the vehicles and facilities of your institution, you
16 relayed to General Petkovic and asked to give concrete examples. You
17 mentioned the incident at Siroki Brijeg when one of your vehicles was
18 stopped and searched, but you couldn't remember when that actually
20 Now, my questions will exclude the 18th of April, 1993, when
21 there's no doubt that you saw my client arrive at the meeting that was
22 held then.
23 Now, my summary of your testimony about General Petkovic, is it
25 A. The meetings at Citluk, I believe, I attended at least one, but
1 from memory the majority of the discussion was from my Ghanaian deputy who
2 also wrote that letter to him as a follow-up. But I think I indicated
3 earlier that I recalled having meetings with General Petkovic but
4 couldn't, in fact, remember when exactly.
5 Q. Witness, you couldn't remember a single specific event apart from
6 the incident at Siroki Brijeg, which I mentioned, and what you said was
7 recorded on pages 90 to 91 of the transcript of the day before yesterday.
8 But let's take first things first.
9 You mention a document which refers to the incident at Siroki
10 Brijeg. It is a document that we've already seen in this courtroom. You
11 can take a look in my set of documents. The number is P 05990, and it is
12 a complaint dated the 21st of October, 1993, which was sent to the head of
13 the Main Staff of the HVO in Citluk.
14 Tell me, please, Mr. Finlayson, was that the document that you
15 mentioned a moment ago?
16 A. That was one I was referring to, yeah.
17 Q. Yes. Fine. With you now take a look at another document that I
18 have selected at random for you to be able to see who was the chief of the
19 Main Staff at that time, the chief of the HVO Main Staff. So take a look
20 at document P 06091. It is a document which the Chief of the Main Staff
21 issued on the 25th of October. That is to say four days later, four days
22 after the document we talked about a moment ago, and tell me, please,
23 Witness, who is the signatory as chief of the Main Staff at the bottom of
24 the document?
25 A. Brigadier Tole, and he is who I actually recognise as being the
1 Chief of Staff. It jogged my memory there but I ...
2 Q. Tell me, please, Witness, did you otherwise have any dealings with
3 Mr. Zarko Tole? I don't know how to decline his surname, but anyway, did
4 you hear of him before? Did you have contacts with him?
5 A. Yes, I did, and I -- in fact, I only say that because I've read my
6 diaries through, and I mention it in one case where I was trying to gain
7 access to the southern part of the sector. To be perfectly honest, I
8 cannot recall Mr. Tole. I didn't meet with him often enough to be able to
9 recognise him.
10 Q. Very well. Now if I might refresh your memory, I'd like to refer
11 to the diary.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] So may we go into private session
13 for that, please.
14 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. As I was saying, since the meeting with General Tole -- with
16 Brigadier Tole was a few days after the written complaint with regard to
17 the attack on the UN vehicle, I'd like to ask you whether it is possible
18 that you might have discussed the incident with General Tole, which was
19 the subject of the written complaint.
20 A. I don't believe so. I believe, as I said before, the
21 discussion -- this particular issue was taken up with Mr. Petkovic by my
22 deputy SMO at the time. It may have come up in conversation, but the
23 primary reason for that visit to Brigadier Tole was to gain access.
24 Q. Can you explain to us, Witness, how come you would send a written
25 complaint to Brigadier Tole and after that your deputy with
1 General Petkovic discussed the issue.
2 A. It would have been priorities at the time, and I think at that
3 time the priority or that I was being requested to get sorted out was
4 the -- whether or not there was HV in the -- in the area. The -- the
5 issue of continual attacks on -- on UNMOs was very important, but it
6 wasn't, I guess, of strategic importance as far as UN strategy at the
8 Q. Can you then explain how these questions of strategic importance
9 would have been discussed with Brigadier Tole, whereas matters of marginal
10 importance you would discuss with General Petkovic? Was that the usual
11 way you would communicate or they would communicate with the UNMOs?
12 A. No. In fact, we -- I can't answer that accurately, but
13 brigadier -- we often got referred to local areas regarding getting into
14 for operations in a particular area. We found to -- typically we would --
15 an operational issue we would concentrate on the local -- the local
16 parties. We found that more effective, in general.
17 Q. Tell me, in view of what you've just said, where is the place and
18 role of General Petkovic in all this? What was he at the time?
19 A. General Petkovic at that time, I understand, was the commander of
20 the HVO.
21 Q. This notion of HVO commander doesn't mean anything to us unless
22 you specify, because Brigadier Tole, too, was also a commander. So could
23 you specify? Was he a commander for a local area or a broader area or you
24 just can't remember what post General Petkovic held at that time, which is
25 also quite understandable?
1 A. Certainly my notes had that Brigadier Tole was in fact the Chief
2 of Staff. The -- all my references, I think, to General Petkovic was that
3 he was commander, HVO, and I didn't elaborate on that, and I can't recall.
4 Certainly my understanding through all the meetings that we had had with
5 General Pellnas, he -- the understanding was he was responsible for the
6 majority of Bosnia, but that's probably a bit late in the piece for me.
7 Q. Witness, I'd like to remind you, if possible, that in April 1993,
8 when the meeting was held, the meeting where you discussed this and when
9 agreements on a cease-fire were signed, that on behalf of the Croatian
10 side, or, more exactly, the HVO, those documents were signed by
11 Mr. Petkovic, who at the time was the Chief of the Main Staff of the HVO.
12 Therefore, what you wrote during part of your term of office is one thing,
13 and it's another what happened after that. So do you know up until what
14 time General Petkovic was the chief of the Main Staff of the HVO?
15 A. I can't recall -- recall that at all, sorry.
16 Q. Very well. What I'm actually interested in is this: I'd like you
17 to be specific and precise. If you claim that your deputy contacted
18 General Petkovic, linked to the complaints about the attack on your
19 observers, can you tell us when and where your deputy met with
20 General Petkovic?
21 A. My understanding -- my recollection is he met in Citluk and -- but
22 the dates I would not be able to recall without reference to the official
23 reports from UNMO.
24 Q. Tell us, please, according to your knowledge were there any
25 written traces of those meetings, the meetings between your deputy and
1 General Petkovic?
2 A. As far as memos or a minute goes, I don't believe so. However, it
3 would have -- that would have obviously been reported in the daily
4 military observer reports, I hope.
5 Q. Tell us now, if in those daily reports we do not find a piece of
6 information about your deputy's meeting with General Petkovic, would we
7 then be able to conclude that the meeting never took place?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Although we can now definitely confirm -- well, you
10 say that you personally never had a meeting with General Petkovic; is that
11 right? Did I understand you to say that?
12 A. I believe I had one in Citluk with General Petkovic and, however,
13 I can't recall what the topic was. I just recall having a meeting there
14 with General Petkovic, and I think Colonel Lasic might have been there,
15 but at what time in my deployment I can't recall.
16 Q. Tell me, please, Witness, General Petkovic at that time was the
17 deputy HVO commander. In your diary would you have recorded a meeting
18 with the person who was a deputy or the number two man in the army -- of
19 the army?
20 A. The diary, unfortunately, that you've got, it's a personal diary,
21 and I have found that it is -- I have found it frustrating that I didn't
22 put details in on certain days, and I can only -- well, I know that on
23 certain days there are other things going on and I had little time to jot
24 something down, so not necessarily.
25 Q. Very well. Then let's move on. Witness, you mentioned an
1 incident to us with Arif Pasalic on the 8th of May, 1993, and you said
2 that he, if I'm going to reproduce this correctly, was on his way back
3 from Jablanica towards Mostar, and he was stopped at a check-point on the
4 north side of Mostar, and after that he was able to continue along his
5 way. That's what you said. And he might have got out of the vehicle
6 outside Mostar. But in brief, he was not allowed to stay in Mostar.
7 Did I interpret the incident correctly, or do you wish to correct
8 me in any part of the statement I've just made?
9 A. That's my -- my recollection of it was he was prevented from
10 returning to Mostar that evening from a joint commission meeting either
11 in -- in the Konjic-Jablanica area.
12 Q. Another time he was on his way back down the Jablanica-Mostar road
13 and on to Capljina. Is that the road he took on his way to Mostar, or was
14 it a different road that he took at the time? Did he take that road that
15 you called the Sarajevo-Split road or the Jablanica-Capljina road?
16 A. That's -- that's my understanding of it.
17 Q. Sir, is that the road you mentioned as passing near that house
18 that you rented in June where you set up an office? Is that the road?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Witness, let's assume this situation: A vehicle with Arif Pasalic
21 is stopped at a northern check-point held by the HVO. The vehicle then
22 continues down the same road through East Mostar. A six-kilometre stretch
23 of that road is -- is under the control of the BH army. Why did Arif
24 Pasalic never leave the vehicle while in East Mostar given these facts?
25 A. The -- that -- that road between Mostar and Jablanica, from
1 memory, the front line at that time intersected it probably about four
2 times where it changed from armija to HVO hands. I seem to remember we
3 used to probably go through four different check-points at various times.
4 My understanding is that he was prevented at an HVO check-point on
5 the way down.
6 Q. Witness, are you trying to say that he was not stopped at a
7 northern check-point to the north of Mostar but, rather, as he was on his
8 way out of East Mostar and on to south Mostar?
9 A. Certainly I can't comment on that. My understanding, or my
10 recollection of the reports relating to that was that he was stopped north
11 of East Mostar.
12 Q. Could we then conclude, regardless of the fact whether he was
13 stopped north or south, that in both cases Arif Pasalic would have been
14 free to stay in East Mostar, had he chosen to do that?
15 A. If he was stopped north of East Mostar, he wouldn't have been able
16 to stay in Mostar. He wouldn't have got there. If he was stopped south,
17 he would have already passed through. So obviously he would have been
18 free to stay.
19 Q. Sir, Witness, he certainly passed the northerly check-point,
20 because he was eventually driven to the south of the Mostar area. That is
21 a fact. It's indisputable. He was not returned from the northerly
22 check-point and told to go back to Jablanica. He passed on his way
23 through Mostar and all the way to the south of the Mostar area, but can
24 you please first comment on this?
25 A. You obviously have more information than I have in my
1 recollection, so I -- I would not want to comment any further.
2 Q. All right. Fine. Let us move on and --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sorry, Ms. Alaburic, but you're
4 moving on to another topic. It's important to me to raise the following
5 follow-up question with the witness.
6 We see that on the 8th of May, General Pasalic, who was the
7 commander of the 4th Corps, that is the highest authority of ABiH in
8 Mostar, as he was crossing check-points, be it in the north or in the
9 south, it doesn't really matter to me right now, he was controlled by the
11 Whilst listening to you, I asked myself whether if there is -- if
12 there was a large-scale HVO operation on the 9th of May, how come they did
13 not think of arresting their opponents on that day? For instance, for
14 catching -- to catch General Pasalic as he was crossing a check-point.
15 And if so, if there was indeed a large-scale operation to be conducted by
16 a classic army, in theory, General Pasalic, since he was crossing a
17 check-point, the HVO authority should have been informed of it and they
18 could easily have arrested him. And they had done so, that would have
19 been sort of preventing by beheading the opponent.
20 You were a senior officer. How can you explain that
21 General Pasalic was allowed to go through on the 8th of May whilst a few
22 hours later, and we've seen evidence to the effect, at 3.00 in the morning
23 there was an action that was carried out. How can you account for this?
24 THE WITNESS: I have to be careful that I don't speculate here,
25 but my -- my understanding is that he was in a joint commission patrol at
1 the time, in which case he would have been inside a Spanish APC.
2 I think I'm getting in a dangerous area here where my recollection
3 may -- may differ to -- to the facts, so we may not be wise to continue
4 too much. But that was my understanding, but I would honestly have to
5 read the -- read the reports to try and get the recollection. Remember,
6 at this stage, I -- there wasn't a team in East Mostar. However, I was
7 aware of this unfolding.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You aren't therefore in a
9 position to answer this in military terms.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, I have to ask you another question about this same
12 matter. We have just referred to SpaBat. We saw the documents. We know
13 that General Pasalic was taken to this place called Dracevac. That is
14 south of Mostar in the general direction of Capljina. What I want to know
15 is if he was on his way from Jablanica, could he have reached Dracevac by
16 taking that very road through East Mostar that was under the control of
17 the BH army?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Let us move on to the 9th of May. I'll try
20 to be relatively brief, because you have already confirmed for
21 General Praljak that you were familiar with the fact that the
22 confrontation line between the BH army and the HVO in Mostar ran along the
23 following line: Bulevar-Spanish Square-Santiceva Street. This is page
24 three from today's transcript.
25 Is my interpretation of your words correct, sir?
1 A. I think my -- my comment was generally -- I think I actually
2 mention that the precise position of the front line. At -- at what point
3 on the 9th of May are we talking about? I think I also mentioned that the
4 BiH line possibly should have been further into the city.
5 Q. Perhaps I can jog your memory. The question was this, and I'll
6 read it in English: [In English] "Do you agree that the separation line,
7 correct me if I'm wrong, the Bulevar up to Spanski Square, and then Santic
8 Street is the area marked and was that, to your knowledge, indeed the
9 separation line?
10 "No -- sorry, yes. I do agree that was the separation line as I
11 knew it."
12 [Interpretation] Could we now try to define this. When was that
13 confrontation line established separating the BiH and the BH army?
14 Could you also please have a look at a document in my binder; this
15 is 4D 557. This is a report by Arif Pasalic, dated the 20th of April,
16 1993, being sent to the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija
17 Izetbegovic, and the staff of the BH army.
18 At item 1 -- I'll just refer to this portion that is about the
19 confrontation line. The line is defined as follows: Semovac, the
20 Bulevar, and Mose Pijade Street. People from Mostar know that the Mose
21 Pijade Street was later renamed Kolodvorska street. Are you familiar with
22 that street, Kolodvorska street?
23 A. I'd certainly need a map. I can't recall the names of the streets
24 now without a map.
25 Q. I do have a map ready to use, but Kolodvorska street is not
1 particularly prominent in this map so maybe we'll use it later. But there
2 is something I really want to know right now. Let us try to ascertain
3 this. Did you have any information to suggest that as early as the 20th
4 of April, 1993, there were decisions and reports about the fact that there
5 was a confrontation line running through Mostar town itself? Were you
6 aware of this confrontation line as early as April 1993, sir?
7 A. On 20th of April I was a mere driver and I didn't know about the
8 confrontation line at that point or I can't recall it. I do recall at
9 that time that the teams were dividing or separating and developing zones,
10 but a clear definition of those I would -- I didn't have a knowledge of,
11 and I don't know if it was known by anyone in the UN at that time.
12 Q. I would like to draw your attention to the interpretation of my
13 question where the term being used is "confrontation line," which perhaps
14 is, is not the best interpretation possible.
15 It may not be possible to find a better term right now. My
16 learned friend is suggesting the term "division line." So I suggest we
17 leave it to our interpreters to judge what's best.
18 Item 2 of Arif Pasalic's report suggests the following, and you
19 were asked questions at great length by my learned friend Ms. Nozica about
20 this, the fact that all the units belonging to both armies will be in
21 their own facilities without assuming any combat positions, with the
22 facilities being guarded, guards standing outside.
23 Is this portion of the report consistent with the negotiations
24 that we discussed about withdrawing units to their respective barracks and
25 the withdrawal of the BH army to Konak and to the area known as the South
2 A. I believe it is along those lines, yes.
3 Q. Based on your memory, sir, the meeting was chaired by
4 General Pellnas. We see that in item 4. Or do you perhaps not remember
5 who was in charge?
6 A. No, I do remember who was in charge, thanks.
7 Q. Did you know anything at all about the fact that on the 10th of
8 May, 1993, Presidents Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic agreed a
9 cease-fire, and each of them issued a statement. The documents are for
10 you to consult in my binder, and the numbers are as follows: 4D 00456,
11 and 4D 00457.
12 What about Mr. Pellnas and -- and the other officers among the UN
13 military observers? Do they have any knowledge of those statements issued
14 by the two leaders?
15 A. I assume that if they were issued they would have known about
16 them. There were numerous cease-fire and numerous agreements, but to --
17 if this is a legitimate document, I would -- and there was still some --
18 the 10th of May, I'm not too sure whether we could still get into Mostar,
19 but I'm sure communications at the higher level would have ensured that
20 they had these. But that's speculation. I don't know.
21 Q. Fine. This agreement between the army leaders General Halilovic
22 and General Petkovic, dated the 12th of May, this is something you're
23 testimony with. You report this in your diary, something to that effect.
24 You remember the agreement, don't you?
25 A. If it's in my diary --
1 Q. Can we please try to verbalise your smile. That's right. Thank
3 So that's right. That would be the answer.
4 When you think back to what was going on in May after the 12th and
5 13th, could we conclude that the rest of May was relatively peaceful, that
6 there were incidents of sporadic exchanges of fire by both sides and some
7 later incidents, but said on the whole relatively peaceful.
8 As a UN military observer, would you assume that to be a correct
9 assessment of the situation?
10 A. Throughout this war the term "relatively" is -- is quite
11 misleading. Relative peaceful compared to the heavily -- sorry, heavy
12 attacks in the preceding days. Essentially it did quieten down, but I
13 think for a full appreciation of what action was still -- still occurring
14 you need to refer to some of the UNMO reports at that time, which would
15 be -- which would clarify the impacts or the activities itself. But
16 essentially the main activity was in those few days, and I don't believe
17 it increased too much until, I think, June there was another bit of a
19 Q. Sir, I'm trying to use the observations and the wording from your
20 report. For example, the reports from September 1993, those reports state
21 a full-scale war has broken out.
22 Your colleagues from UNPROFOR in their reports emphasise that the
23 events in your area were in some way related so that the events in Konjic
24 and Jablanica affected what weapon in Mostar and around Mostar. Do you
25 share those observations, or do you believe that these are two totally
1 separate areas that did not mutually affect one another?
2 A. They were -- they were always obviously related. I guess the --
3 the problem is finding out what -- what occurred first, what came first.
4 Q. A while ago you mentioned that after a relatively peaceful
5 continuation in the month of May, 1993, the situation degenerated in June
6 of the same year. Therefore, can we please look together at P 02750.
7 It's an OTP document. It's an UNPROFOR report dated the 14th of June,
8 1993. We can have a look together and see what exactly happened around
9 Mostar that might have had a bearing on what then occurred within Mostar
11 Can we start with the addendum to this memo, which is page 12 in
12 the B/C/S and page 10 in the English.
13 A. I'll have a look at that document.
14 Q. If the usher could please assist us with this. Are we all right?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you cannot
16 continue because it's time to stop, and there's a hearing in this
17 courtroom this afternoon. You will have to resume tomorrow, and you can
18 address this question tomorrow again.
19 Mr. Stringer.
20 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. If I could just trouble
21 the Trial Chamber. I would like to very briefly raise one issue while the
22 witness is present. It relates to the confidentiality of the --
23 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, we should go into private session for
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
1 [Private session]
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day
21 of May, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.