1 Monday, 5 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in the court. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 Today is Monday, the 5th of November, 2007. I would like to greet
12 the Prosecution, the Defence, as well as the accused.
13 After a few days of interruption, we resume the proceedings in
14 this case. The Trial Chamber will now deliver a number of decisions, and
15 I will read them out slowly.
16 Decision regarding to the admission of P 09781. In a decision
17 dated 14th of February, 2007, under Rule 92 bis the Trial Chamber decided
18 not to rule -- or to stay its ruling regarding the statement of the 4th of
19 July, 1994, of Becirovic, expecting the production by the Prosecution of
20 an English translation, of a proper English translation of the statement.
21 The statement dated 4th of July, 1994, is marked P 09781. It is annexed
22 to the 92 bis statement of Dzevad Becirovic. That statement was admitted
23 by a decision taken on the 14th of February, 2007.
24 In a motion filed on the 4th of October, 2007, the Prosecution
25 submitted a new translation, a new English translation of Exhibit P 09781.
1 In so doing, the Prosecution stated that this translation, the translation
2 thus submitted, was the integral or complete translation in English of
3 P 09781, whereas the first translation that had been submitted was a
4 summary in English of the B/C/S version of the document.
5 The Prosecution explained that this summary was submitted with its
6 previous motion because only the summary had been certified by the
7 presiding officer as part of the proceedings provided for by Rule 92 bis.
8 The Trial Chamber notes that the Defence has not responded to the
9 motion filed by the Prosecution. The Trial Chamber has decided to admit
10 Exhibit P 09781 because it shows indicia of reliability, probative value,
11 and credibility.
12 The Trial Chamber states that only the complete translation in
13 English of Exhibit P 09781 should be -- should be found in the e-court
14 system, and therefore we invite the Prosecution to make sure that this
15 document is uploaded into the system instead of the summary of the B/C/S
16 version of the document.
17 For obvious reasons related to the probative value of the
18 evidence, the Trial Chamber invites the Prosecution only to submit full
19 translations of the exhibits it seeks to tender.
20 The Trial Chamber will now hand down a new decision related to the
21 extension of time for -- to respond to six motions filed by the
23 On the 30th of October, 2007, the Defence requested an extension
24 of time of two weeks to respond to six motions filed by the Prosecution.
25 On the 1st of November, 2007, the Prosecution responded. The Chamber's
1 legal officer told you about it last week. She announced that the
2 Trial Chamber had decided to grant the request partially and to give two
3 additional weeks except for two motions, and I'm now going to deal with
4 these two particular motions.
5 The first motion relates to -- is the motion by the Prosecution
6 requesting the admission of Exhibit P 09848. This motion was filed on the
7 25th of October, 2007. The Trial Chamber has decided that the Defence
8 should respond by tonight, by midnight at the latest.
9 Second motion, it's the motion filed by the Prosecution requesting
10 an addition to the 65 ter list, addition of Exhibit P 10327. This motion
11 was filed by the Prosecution on the 26th of October, 2007.
12 The Trial Chamber requests the Defence to respond at the latest
13 tonight at midnight.
14 A further decision related to the motion filed by the Petkovic
15 Defence in order to be granted enough time for the following witness. On
16 the 30th of October, 2007, the Petkovic Defence requested five hours in
17 order to cross-examine the witness, Witness Pringle. The Prosecution, on
18 1st of November, opposed that request.
19 Following the reading of the expert report submitted by the
20 witness, the Trial Chamber believes that it will be sufficient to grant
21 one hour to the Petkovic Defence, one hour to the Praljak Defence, and 30
22 minutes to the Defence of the other four accused. As a result, the
23 application made by the Petkovic Defence is dismissed.
24 Let me add that the other Defence teams are free to offer their
25 time to the Petkovic Defence if they believe that the Petkovic Defence
1 team would be in a position to conduct the entire cross-examination of the
2 Witness Pringle on its own.
3 Let us now go into private session. Let me add that each of the
4 other four accused will have 30 minutes each.
5 Private session, please.
6 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Further oral ruling related to
22 the application made by the Prosecution to upload in the e-court system
23 Exhibit P 00626. On the 8th of October, 2007 the Prosecution asked to be
24 authorised into the e-court system Exhibit P 00626. The Trial Chamber has
25 decided to grant this request. However, we would like to ask the
1 parties -- we would like to ask both the Defence and the Prosecution to
2 check in the future, together with the Chamber's legal officer and the
3 representative of the Registry, therefore to make the necessary checks
4 before submitting such motions. Technical checks should be made
5 beforehand in order to avoid any mistakes.
6 Let me also tell the Defence that a few minutes ago the
7 Trial Chamber filed a decision related to the -- the application made by
8 the Prosecution to admit a number of testimonies under Rule 92 bis. This
9 is related to Stolac and Capljina. This decision is about 30 pages long,
10 and it was filed and registered with the Registry.
11 Before I give the floor to Ms. Alaburic, I would like to ask the
12 registrar to go back into private session for a few minutes.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 23978-23994 redacted. Private session
10 [Open session]
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours. We're in open
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With regard to the oral decision
15 rendered today, according to which the Defence will be allocated a certain
16 amount of time, the Petkovic Defence is aware that there is no legal
17 remedy with regard to the decision taken today, and we submit a request to
18 file a complaint in relation to that decision.
19 I'd like to remind the Chamber, I assume that they are informed of
20 the fact, I'd like to remind you that General Petkovic's Defence, as soon
21 as they were informed about the time allocated to the various Defence
22 teams, filed an application to file the complaint on the 1st of December
23 [as interpreted], and we stated in a number of pages that the rights of
24 our client had been violated, the right he should have if he were to be
25 tried on his own. His right to appropriate time for cross-examination has
1 been violated, so has his right to a fair trial has been violated.
2 We will submit a written version of the complaint. I don't want
3 to spend any more time on presenting my arguments, thank you very much --
4 THE INTERPRETER: And the date was on the 1st of November,
5 interpreter's correction.
6 MR. STEWART: I was going to mention that as well, Your Honour,
7 but can I just say that I don't think that the translation here or the
8 interpretation does complete justice to Ms. Alaburic. It was just, to
9 make it clear, it was an application for certification to appeal against
10 the rejection of our application to have more time for cross-examination
11 of this witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation] Let's
13 introduce the witness now.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Several parties have submitted lists of documents
15 to be tendered through Witness Ray Lane. The list submitted by OTP shall
16 be given Exhibit number IC 700. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
17 Exhibit number IC 701. The list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit
18 number IC 702. The list submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit number IC
20 One of the parties have submitted lists of objections to document
21 tendered by the OTP through Witness Ray Lane. The list submitted by 5D
22 shall be given Exhibit number IC 704. The OTP has also submitted a
23 response to exhibits tendered by accused Praljak for witness Ray Lane.
24 The list submitted by OTP shall be given Exhibit number IC 705. Thank
25 you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The registrar will
2 now introduce the witness.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 WITNESS: ANDREW PRINGLE
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hello. I hope that -- that you
6 understand what I'm saying translated into your language. You were asked
7 to come here by the Prosecutor's office to testify for the needs of the
8 transcript please give us your name, surname and date of birth.
9 THE WITNESS: Andrew Pringle, 9th of October, 1946.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your professional
11 present current occupation.
12 THE WITNESS: I'm a retired military officer, currently a
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were retired military man.
15 What level, what grade, what rank.
16 THE WITNESS: I retired as a major general.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, have you ever testified
18 before this court before or is this the very first time?
19 THE WITNESS: I have testified before this court on two other
20 occasions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you remember which cases you
22 testified before?
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. The first case was the Dubrovnik
24 case and the second case was the Vukovar case.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. I would like you to
1 read out the solemn oath.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
3 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. You can sit
5 down now.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, there's some very quick
8 data. This is the third time you have come before this Tribunal. You are
9 aware of the procedure. In the first place you will be answering
10 questions raised by the Prosecution, and I think you met with a member of
11 the OTP on the basis of a report that you drafted and on the basis of
12 various documents that are given to us in two files that you have before
13 you, normally. And after that series of questions the Defence, which is
14 on your left, there are many lawyers there, generally there's only one
15 lawyer for one accused, and sometimes the accused themselves take the
16 floor because of the highly technical nature of the matter we are dealing
17 with, so they will be asking you questions in the framework of the
19 The four Judges that you have before you, they are not military
20 personnel, but they do have some knowledge of these affairs. They, too,
21 will at any point in time be asking you questions, but they would in fact
22 prefer that the parties involved have priority except for documents that
23 require immediate elucidation.
24 We will be having breaks every hour and a half so that you can
25 rest, and this will also give us an opportunity to change the tapes. If
1 at any point in time you do not feel well please make it known to us, and
2 I will interrupt for that purpose. And if you wish to ask the Judges any
3 questions, please do not hesitate to do so.
4 So those are, in general terms, the way that we shall proceed. We
5 have three days ahead of us, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, three
6 hearings, except that tomorrow we will be having our hearing, unless I'm
7 mistaken, in the morning, whereas on Wednesday -- well, actually, on
8 Wednesday in the morning, too -- or, rather, the afternoon. I'm not quite
9 sure. I think it's the afternoon. So in any case, tomorrow morning we
10 shall be having the hearing at 9.00 and you will be come back here, and
11 Tuesday at 14.15. We have three days in all.
12 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examination by Mr. Scott:
15 Q. Good afternoon, General Pringle. Are you reasonably comfortable
16 there? I don't know if your chair needs to be --
17 A. No, I'm comfortable but I don't have any files here.
18 Q. We'll get those to you shortly. We might not need them for a few
19 minutes perhaps, but in any event, they will be brought to you at the
20 appropriate moment.
21 General, I would like to discuss briefly this afternoon a little
22 bit about your background. Unfortunately, given the time that's available
23 to all of us we cannot cover your considerable CV and accomplishments in
24 detail, although that has been provided in full to all the parties and the
25 Judges. So they will have the benefit of a much longer treatment, if you
1 will, of your curriculum vitae than we will have a chance to cover in the
3 MR. SCOTT: I do state for purposes of the record, Mr. President,
4 that his CV is essentially in the report which has been marked as Exhibit
5 P 09549.
6 Q. Having said that, sir, if I could just lead you through a few of
7 the perhaps more pertinent aspects of your background for purposes of your
8 testimony here, and you have been called as a Prosecution expert witness
9 for the purposes of talking about command and control concepts in a
10 somewhat in an international setting. So for that reason I'm going to
11 focus on a few features of your background to touch upon command and
12 control and on your international experience.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] To save time perhaps, Your Honour,
14 some of the time that we spent earlier on, on behalf of General Praljak's
15 Defence, I would like to say that in this portion of the curriculum vitae
16 and the professional qualities of the witness, we won't mind if the
17 Prosecutor uses leading questions to save time, and I'm sure the other
18 Defence counsel will agree with me but of course that stops after the
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, yes. We have the CV of
21 the witness, so please go to the essential points you want to highlight
22 for us.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I think the Chamber may know
24 from my past practice that on these background matters I do generally tend
25 to ask leading questions for these purposes.
1 Q. So, General, if you'll allow me and I'll just ask you what you've
2 just heard described as leading questions, if you could just confirm some
3 of the more pertinent aspects of your experience, please.
4 Of course we know that you're a retired major general from the
5 British Army. You retired in 2001 after 37 years of active service; is
6 that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Your first operational tour of duty was in -- was part of a United
9 Nations force in Cyprus; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. What was the approximate time period of that deployment?
12 A. That was 19 -- it was for six months in 1967, I think it was.
13 Q. Following that, you did a number of tours of operation or duty, if
14 you will, in Northern Ireland, I think 1971, 1972, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980,
15 and 1981, 1983; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. You also had a command position for a time in Berlin, and I
18 understand that during that time you exercised regularly with the French
19 and American units of the Allied Powers Berlin; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Then I understand that you also spent time commanding the Royal
22 Green Jackets, a unit for the British Army, again in Germany and in the
23 UK, and in these circumstances you also had close contact with the German
24 army and was exposed to German army doctrine and operating procedures.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. You also completed a one year course at the Royal College of
2 Defence Studies, and my understanding is that this course was made up half
3 of members of the British military primarily, perhaps some other police
4 and other governmental positions always well. The other half of the
5 course was drawn from around the world, predominantly from persons in
6 military positions. The course content was set at the strategic level and
7 involved considerable study about the political military interface in the
8 defence environment; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And the courses speakers and daily interaction provided a greater
11 understanding of common military issues, common military doctrine, and
12 ways of operating; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Moving to another command position in Germany in 1994, you then
15 served for a time with the US peacekeeping force or Implementation Force
16 in 1995 being the commander of UN Sector South west based in Gornji Vakuf;
17 is that correct?
18 A. It was with the UN force, not the US force, and I was the UN
19 commander Sector South-west.
20 Q. If I misspoke, my apology. The UN force. And at that tour lasted
21 approximately how long?
22 A. Six months.
23 Q. Is it correct, sir, that you then returned for a second tour in
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period 1997, 1998?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. What was your position or function at that time?
2 A. I was the commander of multinational division south-west based in
3 Banja Luka.
4 Q. And in the course of your military experience, sir, is it correct
5 that you have commanded troops not only from the United Kingdom but in
6 fact troops from Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, Canada, the United
7 States, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, and Malaysia?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Is it also correct that you have cooperated closely with
10 headquarters and troops from Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway,
11 and Finland during the course of your career?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. During the course of your military career, sir, and in particular
14 as part of your courses at the Army Staff College, you received particular
15 training in military law and the international laws of war, or armed
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Is it correct to say that as part of your military career you have
19 taught and lectured on a number of occasions to senior military officers
20 on command and control?
21 A. That's correct, and I've also carried out a number of studies on
22 command and control for NATO.
23 Q. And, sir, what I've tried to highlight this afternoon very briefly
24 in your curriculum vitae is that in addition to your time in the British
25 Army, is it fair to stay you have been exposed to a number of
1 international settings and the military doctrine of a number of armed
3 A. Yes, I think that's fair.
4 Q. And finally, sir, just to bring us up to the current time, I think
5 you mentioned briefly, you are now doing some sort of consulting work?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And is that related to defence industry?
8 A. That's defence industry related and a lot of contact current
9 contact with the Ministry of Defence.
10 Q. And just finally again in your -- it's in your CV but is it
11 correct for the Judges to understand that you have essentially commanded
12 troops yourself at all, essentially all unit levels from the level of a
13 platoon up to the level of at least a division?
14 A. I have commanded at every level from platoon to division, yes.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Now, moving beyond your military background
16 just to touch on a couple of other matters. The president has already
17 asked you but I'll just confirm again that you previously gave testimony
18 in the Strugar case concerning Dubrovnik; is that right?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And you also gave testimony, expert testimony, in the Mrksic case
21 which you described a few moments ago as the Vukovar case; is that
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Now, in your report itself,?
25 MR. SCOTT: And I think perhaps now is as good a time as any if we
1 could provide the witness, please, with the two binders of documents.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. You may not need to refer to your report now, but I am referring
5 to what is set out in paragraph 2, just to talk about the taskings that
6 you were given by the Office of the Prosecutor, the scope of the work you
7 performed, and is it correct that you were asked to look at essentially
8 three principal questions, one being to explain the nature of command and
9 control in military organisations by drawing on personal experience;
10 number two, comment on the normal military-political interface, in general
11 between senior military commanders, civilian Defence Ministers and
12 commanders in chief; and three, offer professional opinions on the
13 military significance of a number of documents provided by the
14 Prosecution? Is that a fair summary of your taskings?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Before moving on, sir, in this same regard it may be helpful to
17 point out, ask you what was not within the scope of your report, and the
18 Judges will not see in your report but nonetheless just to make clear.
19 General Pringle, there maybe some who would see that one potential
20 role of a military expert witness would be someone who would look -- study
21 particular facts, look at maps on a board, look at perhaps figures
22 representing armies on a board and explain past campaigns, past battles,
23 military history in that sense. Now, you've not been asked to do that; is
24 that correct?
25 A. I have not been asked to do that in this case and have not been
1 provided any material to do that with either.
2 Q. And as part of the work you've done for the Office of the
3 Prosecutor in this case, have you looked at any specific operations or
4 battles, if you were -- if you would, within the context of the conflict
5 between the HVO and the ABiH in the time period 1992, 1994?
6 A. I have examined a number of documents that were given me, but all
7 more in the context of command and control and the three subjects you
8 raised earlier rather than in any context of detailed battles or the
9 conduct of those battles.
10 Q. All right. And I take it from your CV and some of the facts that
11 we covered just a few moments ago that while you did have two tours of
12 duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you were not in theatre so to speak between
13 1992 and early 1994?
14 A. That's correct. That's -- well, I visited -- I was not in
15 operational command between 1992 and 1994, although whilst I was serving
16 in the cabinet office I did pay a visit to Sarajevo in 1992, I think.
17 More as a fact-finding mission rather than anything else.
18 Q. Now, with that in mind and turning specifically then to the
19 content of your report, can you confirm to the Judges that the content,
20 the observations, the conclusions that you state in your report are your
21 conclusions and yours alone? There's not been any particular direction
22 or -- in that respect given to you by the Office of the Prosecutor?
23 A. That's correct. Everything I have written in this report is --
24 is -- are my own thoughts, reflections, and my own work.
25 Q. Now, if you can turn - I think you perhaps already have - to a
1 copy of your report that's in the binder which again is Exhibit P 09549.
2 Just looking at that for a moment, and I'm sure you've seen it in the last
3 few days, is that a true and accurate copy of the report that you prepared
4 in connection with your work for the Office of the Prosecutor in this
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. And on the face of the report I see that it was originally signed
8 by you, I believe, on the 26th of March 2006; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Can the Judges correctly understand that since finishing your
11 report at that time in March 2006 that you have had occasion perhaps from
12 time to time and again more recently to look at that report?
13 A. I have refamiliarised myself with this report recently, that's
15 Q. And do you continue to stand by the observations made and the
16 conclusions stated in report?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. If we had more time, General, and if I were to take you through
19 your report essentially in a line-by-line fashion, can the Judges
20 understand that what is written in your report would essentially be the
21 testimony that you would give in the courtroom?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. All right. Sir, now with that background in mind I would like
24 then to turn to some particular questions about your report, recognising
25 again that all the other participants in the courtroom, the Defence and
1 the Judges themselves, of course, will be able to ask you any other
2 questions about your report if I don't.
3 If I can -- I'm going to march through it pretty much in the order
4 of the paragraphs. With a few exceptions we might jump around but I can
5 ask you and direct the courtroom's attention to paragraph 16.
6 In the first section of your report you talk about the concept of
7 doctrine, and in paragraph 17 you say, and what I'll do in some instances,
8 I'll just read you some part of your report and ask you if you can clarify
9 or comment further, you say: "Put most simply, doctrine is what is
10 taught. NATO describes doctrine as 'fundamental principles by which the
11 military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It is
12 authoritative but requires judgement in application.' Doctrine has its
13 foundation in history and derives its authority from being the
14 distillation of much hard-won experience. Doctrine is enduring but it is
15 not unchanging. Doctrine is not dogma."
16 Now, when you say, for example, when you say that doctrine was --
17 or the definition that's given here or your words or somebody else's, when
18 you say doctrine is "a distillation of much hard-won experience," what
19 does that mean?
20 A. That means doctrine drives future conduct, learning from the
21 lessons of the past and -- and forming mindsets, tactics, equipment
22 requirements and everything that follows on from that.
23 Q. In connection with doctrine, then, did you spend a substantial
24 amount of the work that you did in preparing your report looking at the
25 doctrine of the Yugoslav People's Army or what would be called the JNA?
1 A. Yes. I referred to quite a large number of such documents which I
2 have in some instances referenced in this report, and all of which I would
3 describe as doctrine.
4 Q. And perhaps you can just briefly describe why in this context you
5 particularly looked at JNA doctrine.
6 A. Well, JNA doctrine is readily available. I had think it was
7 formulated in and around 1988. It was the basis of the Yugoslav army's
8 doctrine, and therefore anybody that had been educated, whatever their
9 ethnicity, in the Yugoslav army would have been brought up on that
11 Q. Is it correct, sir, that not all, certainly, but perhaps a
12 substantial majority of the officer corps that joined either of the three
13 armies, and when I say three armies, whether they be Croatian, Serbian or
14 Muslim, that large number - excuse me - of officer corps came out of the
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour. Your Honour, could we have a
17 foundation for that? How can the gentleman answer that without a
18 foundation? What did he do to make -- to be able to answer this factual
20 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour, if it's really necessary, if
21 this is really a disputed point. I'm quite surprised, but if it is.
22 Q. Sir, let me talk about your times, your two tours in Bosnia, for
23 example, other courses that you've been involved in. Did you have any
24 reason to understand the history of military doctrine in the former
25 Yugoslavia? When I say history, I mean recent history, in the past 20
1 years or so?
2 A. Can you formulate that question again?
3 Q. Sure. You've heard the objections of Defence counsel and I'm just
4 asking you if you can explain to us what familiarity you have with JNA
5 doctrine and what relationship, if any, it has to the armies that evolved
6 out of the JNA.
7 A. I met a large number of officers from all ethnicities during my
8 two tours in Bosnia who had started life in the JNA and who were then
9 serving as either in the Bosnian Serb, Bosnian Croat, or the Armija. They
10 had been brought up as JNA officers. They'd been educated in JNA schools.
11 And whilst I cannot put numbers to your previous question, it's quite
12 plain to me that the foundations of those ex-regular officers of the JNA
13 who now found themselves in one of the three armies had been brought up to
14 JNA doctrine and principles.
15 Q. And in looking at military doctrine as we're discussing it this
16 afternoon in reference to the former Yugoslavia, can you identify to the
17 Judges any other foundation or basis for military doctrine that would be
18 more logical for us to look at other than -- rather than the JNA?
19 A. No, I can't, and I think I've stated in my report that given the
20 rapidity with which this war broke out, and in particular the Bosnian
21 Croat and Bosnian Muslim factions, simply would not have had time to
22 formulate comprehensive doctrine of their own although -- although from a
23 study of the documents that process was beginning, I concluded as an
24 assumption that their actions would be based on the original JNA doctrine.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a
2 technical question. The witness said that this doctrine was brought in in
3 1968 -- 1998 --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpret's correction: '88.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] So what was the difference
6 between only two generations of officers could have been trained on the
7 basis of that newer doctrine if that was indeed when it was introduced?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this question goes even
9 further into your answer. Can you answer that? When you talk about the
10 military doctrine, is it timeless or did you see variations depending on
11 the dates? Did they vary from one time to the other? This is a
12 cross-examination question normally, should be, but perhaps to save time
13 we could -- so in your opinion was that doctrine timeless or did you feel
14 that there was slight variations with time?
15 THE WITNESS: No. I think I said that the number of documents I
16 think had the date 1983. Perhaps it could have been 1988, but it was
17 around about that period. And let me quote one particularly, the very
18 good doctrine, a JNA doctrine on the application of the international laws
19 of armed conflict. That is timeless, and that -- the doctrine that would
20 have been evolved by the JNA around about that time would, I assume, have
21 been still extant when the war in the former Yugoslavia broke out.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There are several generals here,
23 and there's another one that has just raised his hand. General Petkovic.
24 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for
25 giving me the floor. I'd like to ask the question the following way: A
1 doctrine is a written document, so the doctrine of every country is a
2 written document. Now, if the witness worked on the doctrine that he
3 mentioned, could he tell us more about the doctrine of 1988? So there's
4 no doctrine passed on by word of mouth. A doctrine is a written document;
5 that's the first point. And secondly I think the witness is mixing up
6 doctrine with rules and regulations, so a doctrine is a view of the state
7 not a textbook. When you study doctrine, then you study doctrine on the
8 basis of practice and all the rest of it. So I'd like to refer the
9 witness to the 1988 doctrine where a written document must exist to show
10 that that doctrine was in existence.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My learned friend has reminded
12 me that this should be part of cross-examination since now the OTP is
13 doing first examination. Of course the general is hopefully acquainted
14 with this type of subject, and we run the risk here of losing time.
15 General, General Petkovic is making a distinction between doctrine
16 and rules. The rules are something that is -- are enshrined in a written
18 Now, are you mixing the two up, or in your view does military
19 doctrine -- is it, too, enshrined in a document? Is -- can we superimpose
20 doctrine and rules?
21 THE WITNESS: Yes. In my earlier statement, in my report, I said
22 put simply doctrine is what is taught. Now, doctrine can be enshrined in
23 documents. It will then be taught in military schools. It will be
24 verbalised. It will become taught practice.
25 Regulations or rules might well be or almost certainly are part of
1 doctrine, trying to achieve the same aim. And if I refer once again to
2 the regulations on the application of international laws of war and the
3 armed forces of the SFRY, introduction, very first sentence, "The
4 objective of this book is to acquaint the members of the armed forces of
5 Yugoslavia with the rights and duties of combatants in armed conflict."
6 That is exactly the same as a doctrinal publication on that subject.
7 MR. SCOTT: If I might, Your Honour, and I think to further
8 demonstrate the wisdom of letting the direct examination proceed and
9 saving these kinds of questions and observations and arguments, for that
10 matter, for a later time, the next two exhibits are exactly the written
11 documents, including the 1988 document. So we could have done this ten
12 minutes ago had there not been the improper interventions.
13 Q. If I can ask you, sir, to look at Exhibit 0 -- P 0007.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me interrupt you Mr. Scott.
15 You're quite right, but your answer confuses the issue a little bit.
16 General, if I refer to Mao Zedong's writings in the area of
17 military usage, one can consider that for the Chinese army, Mao Zedong had
18 the biased doctrine, and Mao Zedong, well, his opinion was embodied in
19 rules and regulations.
20 Now, concerning the JNA, is there a military thinker, generals,
21 that devised military doctrine for the JNA and that this was thereafter
22 reflected in regulations or the doctrine as you would have it, is that
23 more the fruit of experience of generations of military men previously and
24 the legislative power inherits, as it were, rules such as the JNA rules.
25 Could you clarify that? When you talk about military doctrine, I'm
1 wondering whether in your mind these are rules or whether you are
2 referring to thinkers in this area, and that -- if that is the case, that
3 could take us very far indeed. Could you perhaps very quickly answer my
5 THE WITNESS: Yes. Doctrine is formulated usually in a department
6 of the General Staff of whatever army or navy or air force we're talking
7 about to describe a - drawing on experience and previous practices - to
8 describe the conduct of operations currently and into the fairly near
9 future but not the far future. And it is on those writings that
10 everything that follows in terms of the training and conduct of operations
11 and equipment procurement for the armed services is -- is derived.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Scott.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. General, if you could then turn, please, to Exhibit P 00007. Four
16 0s, 7. Which I believe will be the 1988 document that there has been
17 reference to in the past 10 or 15 minutes. And can you tell us -- can you
18 look at Exhibit 7 and tell us what that is, please.
19 A. This is a document that was drawn up by the JNA in 1988 to
20 describe the impact of the international laws of war on the conduct of
21 operations by the armed forces of the SFRY. It draws heavily, obviously,
22 on those international laws of war and associated conventions, including
23 the Geneva Convention, and turns it into a very, in my view, cogent and
24 well-written description of how the armed forces should conduct themselves
25 if they are to be in compliance with those laws to which the SFRY had
1 signed up.
2 Q. Now, we're going to look at that document in various more detailed
3 respects in the course of your direct examination. But before we do that,
4 just to round out the documentary foundation, if you will, of this, could
5 you please look at Exhibit 5, P 00005. And when you have that, General,
6 can you tell the Judges, just confirm for the record what that document
8 A. This is the command and control doctrine issued in Belgrade on
9 behalf of the JNA in 1983. So this is laying down best practice on all
10 aspects of command and control.
11 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say, General, and I think we're
12 coming up on the first break but perhaps I can finish just on these two
13 documents, did both of these documents serve as two of the important
14 foundational documents for the work that you did in this case?
15 A. Yes, they did, and both of these documents, despite their
16 difference in title, would be what I am referring to as doctrine.
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I told you
19 that the questions should come up during the cross-examination. If you
20 raise your hand that means there's a major issue. What is this major
22 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, there's
23 a big problem. The task of the expert was different. Expert -- the
24 expert is using document 00005. It's not even doctrine. It's for cadets
25 in military academies. It is commanders of batteries, et cetera. So high
1 officers can't deal with such textbooks for cadets. Military academies
2 for company commanders. And I regret that the expert didn't go to the
3 academy in the former Yugoslavia. He's talking about a textbook that is
4 studied in academies. The JNA has more important documents than this one.
5 MR. SCOTT: This is-- this is ridiculous.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, the question that
7 you've raised is a question for the cross-examination. So we take note of
8 that. It's been taken note of, but Mr. Scott must go on. But in any case
9 he will be continuing after the break because we must stop for 20 minutes,
10 and we shall resume in 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you wanted to
14 address the Chamber.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't want you to
16 think that I really said what you can see in the transcript, page 23,
17 because there are a few sentences that are quite incorrect. I want to
18 correct this.
19 So on page 23, line 13, I didn't say that there was no legal
20 remedy against the decision on the time for cross-examination. I said
21 that there wasn't an effective means of legal remedy, because the decision
22 taken today is applicable on the day it is rendered.
23 Secondly, I did not say that the request -- that the application
24 for certification to appeal was filed on the 1st of December. I said it
25 was filed on the 1st of November of this year. And thirdly, I did not
1 mention a complaint, a legal remedy as a complaint. I mentioned a legal
2 remedy that is called application for certification to appeal.
3 So this clarifies what I wanted to say. Thank you very much. I
4 an I apologise for this.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. General, I don't want to get too bogged down in this issue about
9 doctrine and regulations, but just before we move on, if you look back
10 at -- if you have still in front of you Exhibit 5. On the cover page. At
11 the bottom of the cover page, if I'm not mistaken it has this language:
12 "To be used in teaching the subject the basics of command and control at
13 military academies of the Yugoslav People's Army."
14 Now, I take it is it correct, General Pringle, that doctrine is
15 indeed taught at all the major military academies? I suspect that if we
16 went to the military academy in the UK, Sandhurst, or if we went to
17 West Point in the United States or perhaps if we went to Saint-Cyr in
18 France, you would, one of the things they teach their up-and coming
19 officer corps is military doctrine; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct. And the doctrine taught is applicable to all
21 levels. To suggest what is taught at a military academy is not
22 appropriate to a senior officer is absurd, in my view.
23 Q. Now, just moving on and in paragraph 21, in reference to that, on
24 this point before moving forward is it fair to say that in conducting your
25 work you found that JNA doctrine was the most relevant and most readily
1 available material for purposes of looking at the evolving or present
2 doctrine of the armies or military forces coming out of the JNA?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And if I can direct your attention in particular to paragraph 22,
5 you gave us some examples, I believe, where you said that some of the
6 terminology, in fact, is closely paralleled between the, for example, the
7 JNA doctrine -- the JNA document that is marked as Exhibit P 000005 with
8 an HVO document which is marked, and we'll look at in a few minutes,
9 P 08128, that the types of functions, for example, the terminology was in
10 fact almost the same. Is that fair to say?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. It -- it appeared to me that the evolving
12 HVO doctrine was very closely derived from the existing JNA doctrine.
13 Q. In -- just continuing on, in paragraph 23, for example, you say
14 that the HVO doctrine that's stated in Exhibit P 08128 lists the
15 principles of command -- the basic principles of command and control as
16 centralisation, resilience, cohesion, continuity, flexibility, being
17 operational, and security. And again did you find that to be closely
18 parallel to what you found in the JNA documents?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. And in fact, sir, even more broadly than the JNA would those
21 elements be common to most military doctrines at that basic level?
22 A. Yes. Those -- those notions are readily recognisable.
23 Q. So you'd recognise those principles or notions, if you will, for
24 the British Army as well?
25 A. Exactly. Exactly, yes.
1 Q. In that respect if we could in fact turn to Exhibit -- in the
2 second of the binders, the smaller of the two binders, I believe, but to
3 Exhibit P 08128. And there is a cover of communication to a document
4 that's titled on page 3 of the exhibit, Section I, Command and Control.
5 And if you look at page four of that document, in fact, do you see the
6 words listed under "Principles," the words that I just referred you to a
7 few minutes ago?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. And looking down that same page towards the bottom of that page,
10 for example "Norms," we have another list what has been described here or
11 at least what has been translated: "Norms: One man command,
12 subordination, cohesion," et cetera. Once again, is all that terminology
13 consistent with what you saw in the JNA documentation?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. And if I can move forward to paragraph 24, just for clarification
16 purposes. You say in that paragraph: "The overall military commander
17 exercises the authority vested in him for the direction, coordination, and
18 control of military forces."
19 When you used the term "overall military commander" in this
20 context, what position -- what position are we talking about? I'm not
21 necessarily talking about which human being but what position in the
22 system are you referring to?
23 A. Well, really I'm talking there about the military commander at any
24 level from junior to the top-most senior commander. He's -- each one of
25 them is exercising authority based on his legal and constitutional
2 Q. Let me ask you to turn, please, in the -- I believe we'll have to
3 go back to the first binder to Exhibit P 00289.
4 You reference this document which is, for the record, "the decree
5 on the armed forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna." And you
6 refer to this, among other places perhaps, in paragraph 25 of your report.
7 You say in reference to paragraph 25, first of all of you include
8 in statement coming from the document itself. It says:
9 "The defence system of the HZ HB shall be a uniform form of
10 organisation of the armed forces administrative bodies and legal entities.
11 In effect this enshrines political control over the military as one
12 would expect."
13 When you say enshrines military control as one would expect, what
14 do you mean?
15 A. Well, hang on. I say, "enshrines political control over the
16 military as one would expect," that is to say, it certainly is the norm in
17 Western militaries that the military is subservient to the political. So
18 that's what I would expect to see.
19 Q. Moving on to paragraph 27, you say that "Command refers to the
20 authority vested in an individual for the direction, coordination, and
21 control of military forces. It therefore encompasses the authority,
22 responsibility, and duty to act."
23 Now, my question is you refer to the authority -- not only the
24 authority to act but the "responsibility and duty to act." What -- could
25 you tell us a bit more what you mean by the responsibility and duty to act
1 as separate or something different than the authority to act?
2 A. Yes. The authority to act is the authority again from the legal
3 provisions, but in terms of exercising command and a commander's
4 responsibility, therefore, for the direction, coordination, and control of
5 military forces, he not only has the legal authority but the duty or
6 responsibility to execute it.
7 Q. So is it correct to say it's not enough simply to have the
8 authority to act but there are instances in military -- in the military
9 where you absolutely have the responsibility and duty to actually carry
10 out that authority in other words?
11 A. Absolutely correct.
12 Q. You also mention in that paragraph 27, you say that: "Command
13 also involves accountability."
14 What do you mean by that?
15 A. I mean by that every commander is accountable not only for his own
16 actions but for the actions of his subordinates. That's part of the
17 duties of command.
18 Q. In paragraph 29 you refer to an exhibit -- a document which has
19 been marked as Exhibit P 00095, and you have that, sir, if I can first
20 direct your attention to the first paragraph of the document. It says:
21 "Members of armed forces are required to carry out the orders of
22 superior officers pertaining to service, except for those orders whose
23 execution would constitute a criminal act."
24 Can you comment on that and whether that would be consistent with
25 your experience with most modern armies at this time, including, for
1 example, the British Army?
2 A. Yes. That is a fundamental statement to which all military would
3 be familiar, that is say that being part of the military carries with it
4 the duty to carry out orders, except for those orders which constitute a
5 criminal act as written here. That codifies the notion of an illegal
6 order. If a soldier is given an illegal order, he is -- he is not
7 required, indeed he is absolutely not required to carry it out.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you. I apologise
11 for interrupting, but I believe this is the time for the Prosecution to
12 provide us with information. Perhaps we received this document, but the
13 document doesn't have a date. There is no signature on it. The expert
14 has used it, but to know which period it relates to, to know the date of
15 the document, we ought to know the source. We should at least
16 approximately know what the date is. All that we have as a date in the
17 document is a reference on the first page to disciplinary and material
18 responsibility. It says: "All members of the armed forces are subject to
19 such measures," and there's also a reference to a decision of the Ministry
20 of Defence dated the 18th of June, 1991. So quite obviously they're
21 referring to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bosnia and
23 Our Defence team has tried to determine the date, to determine the
24 source of the document. We haven't had success.
25 Since the expert refers to it, we should know the date, the
1 source, and who signed the document. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. That's exactly what I was
3 thinking myself. There's no signature here. As for the dates, we have
4 temporary instructions here. I saw that on the stamp in the B/C/S version
5 on the top right corner there is the archive stamps, on the upper right
6 corner of the document.
7 Could you please tell us where this document comes from, where it
8 was found? Was this document disclosed to you by the authorities?
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think everyone in the courtroom,
10 between you and counsel, have indicated essentially the knowledge, the
11 information that we have about the document. It does in fact come from
12 the Croatian State Archive. It was produced to that extent by the
13 Republic of Croatia. It does have a reference to a document dated in
14 1991. That doesn't mean this document's in 1991. It does talk about the
15 establishment of various groups that we're familiar -- I think we're
16 familiar with at this point, the operation zone, the brigade commanders,
17 which seem certainly consistent with what we see in the HVO and it's
18 generated by what's simply described here as the HZ HB commander and
20 "This instruction comes into effect immediately and will be
21 applied temporarily. Alongside this instruction earlier regulations which
22 are not contrary to the constitution and other HZ HB regulations may be
24 And that, Your Honour, that's the only other information I can
25 provide to the Chamber.
1 Q. Be that as it may --
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise. Your Honours, then the
3 conclusion or the answer to my question as to whether the Prosecution
4 knows the date of the rules, well, we don't know the date of the rules.
5 So it's very difficult to ask anything about these rules since we don't
6 know when they existed and up until what time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We get the point.
8 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. General, there's really -- using the document primarily just to
11 have you address a couple of general points for us which frankly, I think,
12 could be addressed independent of the document, but at the end of the
13 second paragraph, I do want to ask you about this. It says:
14 "When issuing orders, military officers are required to take into
15 consideration the level of training of their subordinated for the
16 execution task stemming from the orders."
17 Can you explain to the Judges why that would be the case and what
18 that would mean in practical terms?
19 A. Well, I regard that as a very common-sense statement saying that
20 when orders are given the commander giving those orders must be cognisant
21 of the abilities of those who he is giving the orders to. Are those
22 orders within their competence? Have they conducted the right training?
23 Is he happy that they could carry them out? Now, that's particularly
24 relevant in this sort of situation with hastily raised forces of varying
25 degrees of competence and training commanded by officers of varying
1 degrees of background themselves.
2 Q. Can you give us -- I don't know if you have -- yes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Scott.
4 What you're saying is extremely interesting, but I have the
5 following question about this: We may understand this in the -- in the
6 British Army. The commander has to check that the officer he's going to
7 give the order to will be in a position to execute these orders, to comply
8 with these orders. But in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the situation was quite
9 different. It was a war situation. Civilians had been mobilised, and by
10 definition, these civilians have not received the same military training
11 as members of the British forces, and overnight these people receive a
12 rifle, a uniform, and -- but without having received any kind of training.
13 Therefore, we are talking about very particular circumstances.
14 In those circumstances, should this type of document apply?
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, my view on that is that under those
16 circumstances, the onus on the commander is even greater, because he will
17 be aware of the limitations of the forces and, therefore, he must be
18 extremely cognisant of what he's asking them to do, or the supervision or
19 extra help he gives them to do it as a result.
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I don't think they're getting
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The accused don't have any
24 I believe that the question was translated but not the answer.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. General, let me just go back if I might and then hopefully go
2 forward. You said a few moments ago, I believe you said:
3 "Your Honour, my view on that is that under those circumstances,
4 the onus on the commander is even greater, because he will be aware of the
5 limitations of the forces and therefore he must be extremely cognisant of
6 what he's asking them to do or the supervision or extra help he gives them
7 to do it as a result."
8 Is that correct?
9 A. That's what I said, yes.
10 Q. And in fact, if you go to paragraph 31 of your report, I believe
11 you essentially address just the point that was just made. You say there:
12 "The more ad hoc the forces raised, the more difficult all this becomes,
13 because effective performance is the product only of considerable training
14 and preparation. In this respect, the HVO would have had a problem since
15 there was a shortage of time to conduct proper and thorough training.
16 This would have been apparent from the start and therefore would or should
17 have been foremost in the minds of those responsible for delivering a
18 properly trained force."
19 Now, in light of what's just been said, can you comment further on
21 A. Well, at the risk of repetition, I think that that says it all.
22 Under these circumstances, I understand all too readily the problems that
23 the HVO would have had, but therefore the responsibilities of the
24 commanders to bear -- to bear the shortcomings and limitations of their
25 forces in mind in the conduct of operations is even greater.
1 To give an example, it might be all right to launch an
2 inexperienced militia with armament against a opposing trenchline, but if
3 you want to be certain that when the trenchline is captured all the
4 prisoners aren't slaughtered because that's what the inexperienced and
5 uneducated soldiers think is right, then you better be alert to that and
6 take the appropriate actions in terms of command and control and prior
7 briefing, et cetera, to ensure that doesn't happen. I mean, that's just
8 an example.
9 Q. Just a following up on that. So to make that a bit more concrete,
10 what then would be -- in that situation what would be the duty and
11 responsibility of the commanding officer when he knows he has poorly
12 trained and perhaps poorly disciplined troops under his command?
13 A. Well, I think, first and foremost, realising and acknowledging the
14 shortcomings of his troops he should draw on his own experience and ask
15 himself, Well, what are the most likely things that are going to go wrong?
16 And ensure that properly briefing or orders which doesn't necessarily
17 entail too much time and effort are given.
18 So for example, these untrained forces could be well-told in the
19 preparation for an operation that the following things are against the
20 laws of armed conflict and are absolutely forbidden and severe
21 disciplinary action will be taken against anybody that indulges in such
22 practices. Such practices include, A, shooting prisoners once they have
23 surrendered; two, raping women; three, setting fire to all the houses;
24 four, treating civilian community in an inhumane way.
25 That doesn't take very much time and effort, and it's the sort of
1 briefing that could be given prior to an operation. And also in the
2 training for any operation, those key essential points could be stressed
3 and exercised.
4 Q. All right. Now, so far when I've asked you this question about
5 being -- the commander being mindful of the limitations of the soldiers or
6 troops under his command, and we've talked about that in the context of
7 perhaps being poorly trained, but let me extend the -- my question to what
8 is the responsibility of command -- of the commander when he has troops
9 under his command which he knows from prior reports or information have a
10 tendency to engage in misconduct?
11 A. Well, if he has troops under his command who he knows have a prior
12 tendency to indulge in misconduct, first of all he has, as required by his
13 own doctrine, the responsibility to take action against them in advance of
14 them doing it next time; and secondly, if there's not enough evidence but
15 he has suspicions that they may behave in an irregular manner, to ensure
16 that he takes whatever steps are necessary to prevent that, which may --
17 which may mean either not using them at all or putting them under a very
18 powerful commander who can impress his personality on them and ensure that
19 it doesn't happen, or put military police in with them to observe what's
20 happening, or any one of a whole range of issues he could take action on.
21 Q. General Pringle, I think we're being asked to slow down.
22 Judge Prandler is indicating that we need to slow down a little bit, I
23 guess for the sake of interpretation.
24 We're getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but since this topic has
25 come up, let me again stay with it a step longer. Can you tell the Judges
1 what's the effect on command and control or on the discipline of an army,
2 if, for example, the commander continues to use troops that are known to
3 engage in this conduct but continues to use them over and over again?
4 What message does that send?
5 A. Well, this impinges on what in my report I've described as the
6 command climate which is really -- stems from every act and action of the
7 commander. If a commander uses irregular forces that are known to carry
8 out atrocities and continues to use them when it's widely known that they
9 carry out atrocities and he continues to use them without taking any --
10 any of the required legal actions to prevent that, then the command
11 climate he is creating is one where that sort of action is fair game and
12 that sort of action is condoned by the commander and that sort of action
13 is the way we're going to be reacting from now on.
14 Q. Just before moving on, we're still tying a number of different
15 things together here, but toward the end of paragraph 32, just to come
16 back again to what you see in various documentation, both the JNA
17 documents and the HVO documentation that you reviewed for the purposes of
18 your report, you say at the end of paragraph 32: "In reading SFRY
19 military doctrine, I've been struck by its thoroughness and its general
20 similarity with, for example, British and NATO doctrine."
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interrupting
22 Mr. Scott because you're referring to a new paragraph. I have a question
23 myself about the measures, including the first measures. I'm going to
24 read it out in English. [In English] Members of armed forces are required
25 to carry out the orders of superior officers pertaining to the service
1 except for those orders whose execution would constitute a criminal act."
2 [Interpretation] Because here you referred to illegal orders --
3 or, rather, you refer to irregular soldiers or individuals who tend to
4 commit crimes, and you talked about the responsibility of the superior
5 officers, but I'd like to ask the reverse question to the expert witness.
6 Witness, of course I don't want to dwell too much on the legal
7 assessment of an order, whether an order is illegal or legal. It's a very
8 complex issue, a very theoretical issue if you talk about blind or
9 intelligent bayonets, but my question is a practical one.
10 You have very long experience as a commander officer. You've
11 commanded platoons and up to divisions. You've commanded battalions and
12 brigades, and you've been sent on tour to various regions in the world.
13 Considering this, can you tell me if you are aware of practical cases --
14 of cases where soldiers, subordinates refused to obey the orders of their
15 superior officers because these orders were illegal? And I'm thinking in
16 particular of a situation where -- in the field, because I know that if
17 you look at the judicial -- military judicial system, if a soldier refuses
18 to obey an order, sometimes he does this and he might be sentenced to
19 death. So do you have any examples that have kind?
20 THE WITNESS: I don't have any personal experience serving in the
21 British Army of any officer or soldier, to the best of my knowledge, that
22 has refused to obey an order on the basis that it was illegal, but I'm
23 absolutely confident that if, for example, British soldiers, having
24 captured an enemy position, were told to take the prisoners round the back
25 and shoot the lot, they would refuse.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Just returning to the question that I was putting to you a few
4 moments ago. At the end of paragraph 32 you say:
5 "In reading SFRY military doctrine I have been struck by its
6 thoroughness and its general similarity with, for example, British and
7 NATO doctrine. JNA doctrine on command and control, on the roles and
8 duties of commanders, on proper conduct and on adherence to international
9 laws would be readily recognisable in any NATO army, and would be familiar
10 to HVO (and HV) former officers of the JNA."
11 And is there any further comment you can make about that?
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise. I
13 have an objection with respect to the beginning of Mr. Scott's question.
14 He said that paragraph 32 relates to the documentation of the HVO as well.
15 Line 23, page 56. Which is not correct. What it relates to is the
16 documents of the JNA, and it is assumed that former JNA officers who
17 transferred to the HVO or HV knew the doctrine.
18 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I accept that, but I was
19 modifying -- I was expanding the question on my feet to include references
20 to the evidence that the witness gave earlier this afternoon that he found
21 in the HVO documents that were very similar, expressing the same doctrine
22 and same principles as the JNA doctrine. But be that as it may.
23 Q. Can you comment further on the quality of the JNA doctrinal or
24 guidance material that you saw?
25 A. Yes. As I've said in my report, I was struck by what I think is
1 the excellence of the JNA doctrinal material. It's very comprehensive.
2 It's very thorough, and it's ready recognisable to anything that I have
3 been taught or experienced in my own military career.
4 Q. Now, moving forward again to --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic.
6 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have an
7 objection. JNA doctrine is being discussed and so on and so forth. Now,
8 could we look at the doctrinary documents of the JNA which the witness has
9 studied? So could the witness tell us which documents he studied relating
10 to doctrine from the JNA?
11 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, can I say this is cross-examination
12 material, absolutely appropriate for cross-examination. That's fine if
13 counsel wants to do that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. General Petkovic, this
15 question may be asked as part of the cross-examination to challenge the
16 credibility of the witness. That's part and parcel of the
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, with respect, we -- we support, of
19 course we do generally support but specifically we strongly support what
20 our client has said on this. It is part of examination-in-chief and fair
21 examination-in-chief to make it clear to the Defence what is being said,
22 what sources are being used, and what is the basis of the evidence that's
23 being given. If it's left to the Defence then to flush out this material,
24 in effect what's happening, apart from anything else, cross --
25 examination-in-chief time is in effect being transferred to the Defence
1 because we're being made to do the Prosecution's work for them. But
2 General Petkovic's request is an entirely fair and reasonable one,
3 Your Honour.
4 It should be made clear as we go along if the witness is being
5 asked to refer to material exactly what material it is he's drawing his
6 views and conclusions from and what material they tie together with. It
7 is a fair request, Your Honour, and with respect Your Honour should
8 endorse and support it and require the Prosecution to do just that.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you're aware of the
10 problem. I might ask the question myself, but you can do it too. What
11 the Defence is saying is -- or asking is on what basis the witness can say
12 that the JNA doctrine is similar to a NATO doctrine in these matters.
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm operating on the
14 assumption that everyone has read the report and I don't have to cover
15 everything that's in the report since I tendered that at the very
16 beginning. And if Mr. Stewart hadn't had a chance to read the report yet,
17 maybe he can do that over --
18 MR. STEWART: I'm not going to get as thin-skinned as Mr. Scott
19 about it; of course I've read the report. That isn't the point. The
20 point is whether the accused themselves as we go along and all the counsel
21 should be able fairly to follow it. Of course we've all read the report.
22 General Petkovic has read the report many times. Of course he has, and we
23 all have but we are entitled to know to what particular documents the
24 witness's statements and conclusions are tied, not on every detail we're
25 not asking that but in -- in broad terms and on important documents, on
1 these important views and conclusions expressed by the witness, again
2 General Petkovic's request is fair.
3 MR. SCOTT: Now about Exhibit P 00005, Exhibit P 00007,
4 Exhibit P 08128, how about all the documents, the exhibits are cited in
5 the report? How about that?
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission
7 I'd just like to say one sentence which sums it up. What can be
8 considered JNA doctrine is the right of the JNA to defend the socialist
9 federal set-up of Yugoslavia, to defend Yugoslavian territory and its
10 territorial community, to further the policies of the League of Communists
11 of Yugoslavia and so on and so forth. So that is the crux of JNA
12 doctrine. And if we use the concept of JNA doctrine as something that
13 held true for the armies engendered on the territory of the former
14 Yugoslavia, then our clients have the right to ask these questions. What
15 doctrines or parts of the doctrine are we dealing with? We're not
16 challenging certain portions related to command and control that existed
17 in the sense of guidelines, textbooks, rules and regulations governing the
18 Yugoslavia but when we're talking about the doctrine then this must be
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand that is very
21 complex issue. Yes, I understand, Mr. Stewart. I'll put the question
22 myself and your concerns will be addressed.
23 Yes, Mr. Stewart.
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, on a slightly different point, I
25 apologise. We both wanted to speak at once and say slightly different
1 things. Of course, I support Ms. Alaburic but returning to what Mr. Scott
2 said when he started listing how about exhibit number, exhibit number
3 exhibit number, and all the documents exhibited -- that are exhibited in
4 the report.
5 That's precisely our point: If you don't differentiate, if you
6 don't actually link particular documents to particular answers and
7 particular conclusions as you go along, it's not a fair
8 examination-in-chief because just to say see the report and see all the
9 exhibits, that's absolutely hopeless. He's given the game away, that's in
10 effect what they're doing. They're just dumping this stuff on -- the
11 accused have got to deal with it as well. They're highly intelligent men,
12 but they're not trained lawyers, Mr. Petkovic is a military man and we've
13 all got to be able to follow from our different perspectives what's going
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I get the point.
16 General, Ms. Alaburic said that the three documents given by the
17 Prosecution on number 5, number 7, and 8128 are according to the Defence
18 documents that are related to the doctrine of the former Yugoslavia, but
19 the Defence added that at the time military doctrine had one objective,
20 which was to defend the political system of the time and you're familiar
21 with that system just as I am.
22 According to the Defence, this particular political system is
23 reflected in these documents, but the question that they put to you is on
24 what basis based on the doctrine you derived from these three documents on
25 what basis can you say that this also applies to the HVO and to draw a
1 comparison with the NATO doctrine? Do you understand the logic applied
2 here? You are saying that the HVO doctrine is almost the same as the NATO
3 doctrine, and you use these three documents as well but what the Defence
4 is saying is that these three documents reflect a completely different
5 doctrine, a doctrine related to a time when the Cold War was raging and
6 all this. We could spend hours on this; it's really interesting, but it's
7 not really the point here.
8 Therefore, on what basis can you move from the JNA or HVO
9 documents to the NATO doctrine? Did you get the sense of what the Defence
10 of General Petkovic is saying here?
11 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, in my report I have made a statement to
12 the effect that it is a -- my working premise that the JNA doctrine formed
13 the basis of the doctrine that was used by all the constituent parts of
14 the former Republic of Yugoslavia in their break-up and in the course of
15 the war for a number of reasons, including the fact that all the members
16 of the ethnicity armies who had been former JNA officers would have been
17 trained and educated to that doctrine. I went on to say that in reading
18 the doctrinal articles that I had been supplied with, all of which are
19 referenced in detail as footnotes to my report, that I had not seen
20 anything there with which I was not familiar or in fundamental
21 disagreement, and I went on to say that my overall impression is that
22 doctrine originated by the JNA and I assumed taken on by the likes of the
23 HV, HVO, VRS, and et cetera, because their ex-regular officers would have
24 been trained to that would be readily recognisable in a NATO context.
25 That's not to say it's exactly the same, but there was nothing that struck
1 me as being fundamentally contrary to anything that any French, German,
2 Italian, Spanish, British, et cetera, officer would recognise.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleague is going to take
4 the floor but before let me just say if you're saying this doctrine --
5 well, the vectors of this doctrine with the HVO were the former officers
6 of the JNA that had been trained in former Yugoslavia and who then went on
7 to be either part of HVO or VH or whatever, and because of their training
8 what they would do is apply what they had learnt in the former system.
9 So perhaps I can quote an example that will support this. It's a
10 bit like the British Army that trained officers in India, and when India
11 became independent, well, the military doctrine of the former British
12 Empire was perpetuated in India. Would -- is that how we should construe
13 your reply, i.e., that the doctrine goes on because of the training of
14 former officers that have gone from one army to another?
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, in part, but I think also we should
16 bear in mind that HZ HB, for example, was coming into being at the very
17 same time as they were beginning to conduct a war, and under those
18 circumstances you don't have the luxury of sitting back and churning out
19 your own doctrinal manuals, and therefore you are most likely to grasp
20 what is in existence already and what you have been trained to.
21 Now, over time you may adapt that doctrine to be your own
22 particular HZ HB doctrine. Over time, and when you have the time, and
23 probably when the war is over. That's -- that's what I'm saying.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Prandler will be asking
25 the question now.
1 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to say the following. I really feel
2 that many of the questions which were raised by the Defence, they belong
3 to the -- to the question of the cross-examination period, and without any
4 attempt, let me emphasise, without any attempt to hamper the Defence to do
5 its job, I really feel we have to give the time and the opportunity to the
6 Prosecution to -- to have his case submitted and their questions to be
7 asked, and then afterwards in the time and during the time of the
8 cross-examination you will have ample opportunity to do your job and to
9 ask your questions.
10 I really do not feel, even if some of your -- some of your Defence
11 colleagues are asking probably, and they are against this interpretation,
12 I am firmly convinced that there is time for the Prosecution and there is
13 a time for the Defence. If there is any major problem, then of course you
14 are free to ask questions. You may have every opportunity to do so, but
15 even you are taking away from your own time now with the procedural
16 questions and other issues, the very time which will be given to you
17 during tomorrow and the day after tomorrow's sittings. And it is what I
18 would like to emphasise, asking for your cooperation. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is the unanimous
20 interpretation of the Judges. This has just been expressed by
21 Judge Prandler. All the questions, as I've already pointed out, all the
22 questions that the Defence has raised could be raised during the
24 Mr. Scott, please go on.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. General, just before moving on, just to try to address some of the
2 comments or questions that have been raised, if you look at paragraph 33
3 of your report in which you go on -- you talk about a number -- the
4 paragraph starts -- it says: "For example, in discussing the elements of
5 successful command and control, JNA doctrine emphasises ..." and then
6 continues on from there.
7 Now, I don't think there's any mystery about it, but can you just
8 look at paragraph 33 of your report and the footnotes to that paragraph,
9 and do all these give references to, for example, Exhibit number 5 and
10 Exhibit 4142?
11 A. Yes, and Exhibit 00095.
12 Q. So in response what you are relying on, you have cited that
13 material in your report; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. I have reference -- where I have drawn a conclusion that one
15 doctrine is similar to another, I have referenced it at the bottom of the
17 Q. Could I ask you then hoping to move on to some of the HVO
18 documentation, if you could look at P 04142. And that will be in the
19 second binder. And if we can look at the -- if you have that, sir. I'll
20 give you a chance.
21 A. I have it.
22 Q. This document is titled "Training programme. Basic military
23 training and education of soldiers of the Croatian Community of
24 Herceg-Bosna Department of Defence, Mostar, 1993." And if I can turn at
25 least in the English version to the third page. Do you see that this
1 training programme was endorsed and sent out by General Slobodan Praljak
2 to become effective on the 12th of August, 1993?
3 A. Yes, I see that.
4 Q. Now, when you look at this set of materials, can you tell us again
5 did you see similarities to what you would expect -- what you saw in the
6 JNA doctrines -- or excuse me, the JNA materials, or for that matter
7 material that you might have expected to see in other -- the materials of
8 other Western armies?
9 A. Yes. I -- let's put it round the other way. I don't see anything
10 in here that is fundamentally different to anything that would be derived
11 from the JNA doctrinal documents, and moreover, what is in here is in a
12 very familiar -- the sort of training that would be very familiar in any
13 Western army.
14 Q. All right. If I can ask you to go in particular to -- let me make
15 sure I have the page references correct. I'm sorry. Paragraph -- pages
16 69 to 70.
17 At the bottom of -- starting at the bottom of page 69, it says:
18 "A good and capable commander is characterised by knowledge, both
19 tactical and technical, and an ability for exemplary command. The
20 commander, the way he communicates with men, his appearance and conduct
21 influence the creation of the image in the minds of the unit's members
22 that he is a reliable and capable commander."
23 Now, can you comment again on that and how that fits in with what
24 you'd expect to see in a modern Western army manual?
25 A. Well, that is readily recognisable, and in my report it fairly
1 falls into the whole arena of what of I've described as command climate.
2 It's got a rather nice choice of words here, I think. And it's also,
3 although probably not in the same words, but it also reflects what you
4 would read on -- in the -- on the same subjects, in other words, about
5 commanders, their personalities, their persona and conduct of operations
6 that you find in the -- in the JNA doctrine. So it's -- it's -- it's
7 recognisable to JNA doctrine and it's recognisable to - shall we call it -
8 Western doctrine.
9 Q. All right. Now, immediately above the part that I just read and
10 directed your attention to a moment ago, the previous paragraph says:
11 "The commander's most responsible task is commanding a unit. His
12 basic duty is to check everything. During tactical operations, he is
13 required to make decisions. In action he needs to assume a position from
14 which he can observe the entire situation."
15 Now, let me stop there and we can take this to mean in a tactical
16 situation, if I can use that terminology, if the commander takes a
17 position in the field, perhaps a high point where he can observe
18 everything going on, ideally, but let me expand that to a more conceptual
20 What is the role or responsibility of the commander in assuming a
21 position, again this more conceptual position, of informing himself as to
22 the situation that he's dealing with?
23 A. The commander's duty or role is to command whatever level of unit
24 or formation he's in command of. In order to do that, he is fundamentally
25 reliant on information, however that is received, either through personal
1 observation or through radio communications and the like, and in executing
2 his command he is assisted by his staff whose principal responsibility is
3 the control and coordination of all actions required in order to execute
4 the commander's orders.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you develop this notion of
6 control? If I take the example of a unit that's not properly trained,
7 whose officer -- senior officer is not very good in the field, an issue, a
8 problem arises and the problem is not brought to the knowledge of the
9 superior authority, what will happen here? What should the superior
10 authority do in this case?
11 THE WITNESS: If irregular conduct or illegal conduct is -- is
12 brought to the attention of the commander in whatever way, then the
13 commander has a duty to act on that information. How would he act? That
14 would depend on what the information he receives is. So he would have to
15 assess the information, decide what it was he needed to do to ensure that
16 those, if it's illegal acts that we're talking about, were not conducted
17 in future and, moreover, to bring the perpetrators of those current
18 illegal acts to the -- to the system of justice in place at the time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And if the senior commander
20 does -- gets no information, he didn't have any debriefing, no reports
21 were sent to him, he is totally unacquainted with what went on in the
22 field, he simply doesn't know, in that case what should the senior command
24 THE WITNESS: Well, if and when the commander finally discovers
25 what's going on, he should reflect on the effectiveness or lack of
1 effectiveness of his command. It is conceivable that some acts may happen
2 which don't reach the ears of the commander or reach the ears of the
3 commander very late. It is conceivable. It's unusual because most things
4 permeate either up the chain of command or come across the television or
5 appear in the newspapers or information comes into the public domain one
6 way or the other, but it is conceivable that he may not know at the time,
7 so the test of him as a commander will not be the fact that the actions
8 have happened but what he does about them when he does discover that
9 they've happened.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. In that regard, in fact, General, if we can continue on in the
12 same exhibit, 4142, and if we go to the bottom of page 71 and continuing
13 over to the top of page 72. The bottom of page 71: "After successfully
14 completing the exercise, feel free to praise yourself by saying, I did
15 this well." But on the top of page 72 and to follow up on the comment
16 that the president just made: "You need to be dissatisfied with failure,
17 lack of training and determination, unruly conduct of soldiers, them being
18 physically inadequate or unfit for combat because you contributed to it as
19 well, didn't you?"
20 Can you comment on that? What is the point being made?
21 A. Well, it's written rather nicely, isn't it, in rather a chatty
22 fashion, but what the point he's making is you, the commander, are
23 responsible for everything, good or ill. If it all went well, then say to
24 yourself, "Well done." But if it didn't go well, ask yourself what role
25 you had to play in that.
1 Q. Let me then turn -- move forward and to paragraph 35, and in
2 particular the next document I'd like for you to look at, please, is
3 Exhibit P 00095.
4 I'm sorry, General, we've already looked at that document. I was
5 looking at the wrong number. My apology. If I could ask you to go to
6 Exhibit P 00307.
7 And for these purposes and to orient you and the courtroom I will
8 have to ask you -- because we have a table of contents and if I could
9 direct your attention to the first page of actual text in the
10 introduction, and does it say -- is it correct that it says: "The book of
11 service rules of the armed forces is a principal book of regulations
12 determining all significant issues of internal organisations, work,
13 relations, rights and obligations, as well as the conduct of the members
14 of the armed forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna"?
15 A. It does.
16 Q. And just as we look at this document is this another one of the
17 documents that you look at in trying to establish either the doctrine or,
18 more generally, the principles or rules of conduct that applied -- that
19 existed applying to the HVO?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. Forgive me, General. I'm just trying to see what we've already
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As Mr. Scott looks for this,
24 General, we're talking about this document now that Mr. Scott has just
25 brought up, document 307. I can see in paragraph 140 of that document --
1 what we see is the on-duty officer for a single operation -- right. This
2 document appears to say that when there is a military operation, there is
3 always an officer on duty to be informed as to what is going on in the
4 field when an offensive is taking place or when a military operation is
5 taking place, whatever its type. Is that part of military systems in
6 general, i.e., is there always this duty to have a duty operations
8 THE WITNESS: Yes. This -- this encompasses the fundamental duty
9 of the staff at each level where at each level the commander will be
10 assisted in the execution of the tasks he has given out by duty staff
11 officers or operations officers manning an operations room - let's call it
12 an operations room - into which all sources of information come by radio,
13 telex, radio relay, et cetera, and where the staff pass that information
14 to the Chief of Staff who then assesses what needs to be done, what the
15 commander needs to be told, what actions need to be given, what orders
16 need to be given. It's all part of the command and control system. So
17 that is readily recognisable in any army.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question in the --
19 along the same lines. If a military operation in the field is defective
20 in terms of communications with the duty officer, there's no radio,
21 there's no telephone, there is a problem with communications, or perhaps
22 the site doesn't allow for communication. Well, in this case does the
23 operation continue to be implemented with the risk that the senior command
24 will not be informed in -- immediately or in good time? What's your point
25 of view on this? Or should the on-duty officer, the one who is in the
1 operations room, should he be connected in realtime with all the units
2 that are in the field? And if there's a breakdown in this connection,
3 this could cause a real problem.
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, you're right in saying that a breakdown
5 in communications causes problems, but in my experience a breakdown in
6 communications is not -- does not necessitate a ceasing of operations.
7 Why? Because the operations will have been subject to orders given by the
8 commander and passed down the chain of command in which the commander will
9 have stated who is to do what and why and will have laid down the
10 parameters under which the operation will be conducted. Those orders
11 could be passed either verbally, that is to say the subordinate commanders
12 are brought into the headquarters and briefed verbally, or they could be
13 passed in written form either by -- passed by courier or by telex or
14 whatever, but those carrying out the operations would have started the
15 operation on an order which would specify the task, the reason why, and
16 any other coordinating instructions. So they would know generally what
17 they had to do. And it is not unknown that communications sometimes break
18 down. In fact, militaries training for that -- for those circumstances
19 when, for example, communications are deliberately blotted off the air
20 by -- by jamming, for example.
21 So whilst it makes operations more difficult, it doesn't
22 necessarily -- well, it certainly doesn't require a ceasing of operations.
23 What it would do is put an onus on the operational headquarters to
24 re-establish communications as early as they could in whatever way they
25 could even if it was couriers on motorbikes, but somehow they would get
1 communications back again.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, I have also looked at this document,
4 and I find that considerable parts have not been translated into English.
5 This includes a part, page 9, "Carrying out the orders," and I would have
6 been interested to know whether there is any rule here that corresponds to
7 the rule that we have found in the document on P 00095. I wonder whether
8 it is possible to answer the question.
9 MR. SCOTT: I'm looking, Your Honour, to see whether there's more
10 of the document in e-court loaded, and I don't know the answer to that
11 without looking. No, apparently not.
12 I am afraid, Your Honour, that we don't -- you're absolutely
13 right, we don't have a full translation. We can certainly look at it
14 further and see.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We do have the Croatian text.
16 MR. SCOTT: We have the Croatian text.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes.
18 MR. SCOTT: I'm not able to work with it, I'm afraid.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Thank you.
20 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour.
21 Q. Just to follow on, though, this particular document, what we do
22 have on paragraph -- on page 4, paragraph 4, if you could look at that for
23 a moment.
24 It talks -- this talks about the commanders of units, institutions
25 of the HZ HB army are responsible for, and just to mention three of these,
1 about the third one down -- well, actually the second one as well, combat
2 education and training, military discipline, skipping down perhaps five,
3 development of a correct attitude towards citizens and society. And
4 skipping one and then adherence to the provisions of international law and
5 Customs of War. And I know this sounds like a similar question I've asked
6 you a number of times this afternoon, but again would that be the sort of
7 the obligation of a commander you would expect to see in any Western army?
8 A. Yes, those encompass the commander's responsibilities and indeed
9 this document to commander of a unit, paragraph 4 would be a very nice
10 little checklist for him to run down and see, now, have I actually
11 executed all those things or do I need to take action on some of those.
12 Q. Now, moving on to the next series of paragraphs in your report
13 under this heading, it says: Explain the concept of command climate how
14 it's created and its importance/impact on military operations.
15 Now, this has already come up several times, but now we -- now we
16 really have arrived at it. Can you tell the Judges what you mean by
17 "command climate"?
18 A. Yes, in my report I've described it as the atmosphere created by a
19 commander, and I've said it involves, inter alia, inspiration and
20 guidance, discipline, interpersonal relationships, a sense of right and
21 wrong and a setting of example. Turning away from my report, a commander
22 in command is in a -- is by definition in a senior and responsible
23 position, and everything that he does, or she, every action that he takes,
24 every response he gives to a question, every view that he gives on a
25 subject creates what I have described as a command climate. That is to
1 say to his subordinates they get the measure of the man, how he thinks,
2 how he operates, what he finds acceptable, what he doesn't find
3 acceptable, what he does under certain circumstances. Does he turn a
4 blind eye? Does he not turn a blind eye? To the subordinates that
5 becomes very clear, very quickly, and therefore it's important that the
6 commander realises this and actually as illustrated in JNA doctrine his
7 conduct will be very carefully observed by his subordinates, his actions
8 will be very carefully observed, and the whole atmosphere that he creates
9 will flow down the chain of command and impact on the actions of his
10 subordinate commanders and subordinate units.
11 Q. If I can ask you to go to -- in fact, on some of these things
12 you've just addressed, on paragraph 40, you say in the second sentence,
13 after some introductory language you say: "The commander will invariably
14 set a command climate within which staff and subordinates operate."
15 And in skipping down several sentences: "Some commanders will be
16 known for proper conduct and a strict adherence to the Laws of Armed
17 Conflict. Others might be known for turning a blind eye to atrocities. A
18 commander, by his personal behaviour and standards, sets the example and
19 leads the actions of staff and subordinates."
20 Can you comment further on that?
21 A. Well, let me -- let me give you an example as -- as a form of
22 comment. Let us take the hypothetical example that a commander has in his
23 formation a unit of irregulars who are known to commit atrocities at every
24 opportunity ranging from throat cutting to raping, looting, burning,
25 whatever you like. Let us say hypothetically he has that sort of unit in
1 his command, and everybody else knows it, and all his soldiers know it,
2 and let's say hypothetically that the commander takes no action and allows
3 that unit to continue to operate in that way. Then the message that he's
4 sending to all in his command is -- is to operate in that way is
5 acceptable to the commander, and under those conditions it will not be
6 surprising if others start to operate that way.
7 Conversely, if at the first example of such conduct he takes
8 strict disciplinary action, removes the unit from the field, implements a
9 military police investigation as required by his own doctrine,
10 investigates the atrocities, brings those who have conducted them to
11 justice, then he will be known as a commander who will not tolerate such
12 actions, and that will send a contrary message down the chain of command,
13 and anybody will realise that if they, too, choose to act like that they
14 are liable to be brought to count.
15 Q. Now, we're going to keep coming back to this concept of command
16 climate, but we'll just move forward in the document. And I don't want to
17 get too bogged down in this like we did earlier with some of the
18 documentation, but if I can just direct your attention to paragraph 41 of
19 your report, General. Did you find in your review of the JNA literature
20 that this concept of command climate, whether that exact term was used or
21 not, whether you whether you found that concept in JNA materials?
22 A. The term "command climate" is not used, and indeed I'm not sure if
23 that term is used outside, may be used in the American forces but I'm not
24 sure, but it may be a particular British terminology, but the notion is
25 readily evident in the JNA doctrine that I read, and I've quoted a number
1 of examples here.
2 Q. All right. Now, one particular example in Exhibit 5, and if I can
3 save everyone's time, if we can refer to your report without all having to
4 go to the document because you quote some of these materials actually on
5 the face of your report, but in paragraph -- but in Exhibit number 5, on
6 page 11 it says:
7 "Human problems are various and constant. They cannot be resolved
8 once and for all. They need to be addressed on a permanent basis. It is
9 crucial for a senior officer to predict human problems that might arise
10 and thereby prevent any undesirable outcome."
11 Now, when the language is used, "they need to be addressed on a
12 permanent basis," did you comment on that?
13 A. Yes. In setting the command climate it's constant. It's not just
14 a question of giving an order that this is acceptable and this is not and
15 then sitting back and relaxing and getting on with life as normal. It
16 needs to be constantly followed up, constantly supervised, constantly
18 I think -- I may not have quoted it here, but General Patton in
19 World War II, the famous commander is often quoted as saying: "Giving the
20 order is the easy part. Making it happen, now, that's more difficult."
21 Now, what he's saying there is, yes, you give the orders but then the
22 commander has to drive it through the system. It doesn't just happen by
23 automatic. And he has to take the necessary actions as appropriate and
24 where necessary where his intent is faltering and is not being executed to
25 ensure that it is.
1 Q. All right. Now, we've talked about the general concept as you've
2 experienced it and learned about it in the British Army. You think that
3 even that term might be used in the American military, and you saw at
4 least the concept if not the terminology in JNA materials. Let me ask you
5 if you refer back to paragraph 39 of your report did you see that concept,
6 not necessarily the terminology, but did you see that concept reflected in
7 HVO or Herceg-Bosna materials?
8 A. Well, I've quoted it here in paragraph 39. I quoted -- it's
9 Exhibit 307, I think, where JNA doctrine says:
10 "A good and capable commander is characterised by knowledge both
11 tactical and technical and an ability for exemplary command. The
12 commander, the way he communicates with men, his appearance and conduct
13 influence the creation of the image in the minds of the unit's members
14 that he is a reliable and capable commander."
15 Now, here is the notion of command climate. It's using different
16 words but that's exactly what it's talking about.
17 Q. If we can just see what we're talking about. It's maybe -- not to
18 get in too much of a hurry. If you do in fact turn to Exhibit P 04142 in
19 the second binder. I think actually you saw this language earlier if I'm
20 not mistaken. Yes, we did. In fact when we looked at this earlier in
21 4142 and it was at the bottom of page 69 and 70 and that is the document
22 sent out by Slobodan Praljak in August 1993; is that correct? You've
23 found that again?
24 A. Yes, I've found that again. Yeah, that's correct.
25 Q. Now, moving forward, particularly staying on the HVO or
1 Herceg-Bosna documentation, as we turn more to that specifically, can I
2 ask you to go to Exhibit P 00292, and for purposes of following along in
3 your report I'm now going to paragraph 44. P 00292.
4 This is a decree that is titled "Decree on the treatment of
5 persons captured in armed fighting in the Croatian Community of
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And in Article number 1 it talks about essentially people that
10 apparently are in conflict, may be in conflict with the Croatian Community
11 of Herceg-Bosna, that is, members of the JNA and others, other persons
12 captured in armed fighting against the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
13 shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva
14 Convention relevant -- relative - excuse me - to the treatment of
15 prisoners of war dated 12 August 1949. Do you see that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And by the way, in reference to this question of the adoption or
18 use of JNA materials, can you point -- can you look at the citation that's
19 given immediately after 1949?
20 A. "Official Gazette of the SFRY, issue number 24/1950."
21 Q. Specific reference to the Official Gazette of the SFRY publication
22 or law that would apply to the JNA; is that correct?
23 A. Correct. And now being adopted by Croatian Community of
25 Q. And in reference to Article 3 in terms of making sure that in fact
1 prisoners are treated in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva
2 Conventions, can you tell us what Article 3 indicates?
3 A. Well, it says: "The Defence department shall be in charge of the
4 facilities stipulated in Article 2 of the decree above, shall designate
5 the locations where prisoners shall be kept in accordance with the
6 provisions of the aforementioned convention." So I would read that that
7 the -- that the guarding and setting up and running and administration of
8 prison camps would fall to the defence department.
9 Q. Now, moving on to paragraph 45, and the reason I'm -- as I look at
10 the paragraphs of your report, General, one reason I'm hesitating is when
11 I return to one of your paragraphs I see that you've already essentially
12 addressed it, and so I'm not trying to cover the same ground too much.
13 For example -- to give you a further example, in paragraph 45 you say in
14 the first sentence: "Given these clear instructions, which it should be
15 noted also recall original SFRY doctrine as appropriate, command climate
16 will become confused if instructions are issued that violate them."
17 I think you've given some examples of that but perhaps, I don't
18 know if there's anything further you want to comment about how the command
19 climate will become confused if instructions are issued that violate.
20 A. Yes, if instructions have been issued that operations are to be
21 conducted strictly in accordance of the laws of armed conflict and then
22 specific orders are given which contravene the laws of armed conflict, the
23 recipient can only be in a state of confusion as to what is right and what
24 is wrong.
25 Q. Moving to paragraph 46, and again you've touched on this but
1 you've come back to it in your report and in reference to the HVO you say:
2 "Where a force has been rushed into being and doctrine is still
3 immature, or previous doctrine is being applied amidst a confusing
4 situation, commanders have a responsibility to ensure that training is
5 concentrated on the essentials in priority."
6 Can you comment further on that?
7 A. Yes. In compiling this report I was very conscious of the demands
8 and challenges facing the HVO in terms of the speed with which forces were
9 being raised, the immature state of training and et cetera, and therefore,
10 you know, in -- in applying analysis one should not be thinking of them as
11 a well-trained extant professional army, but the point I'm making there is
12 that therefore the commanders have got to really think about what are the
13 real essentials in priority that must be driven home to their forces and
14 what needs to be exercised before operations and what needs to be stressed
15 in the conduct of operations, and I've previously -- you know, that's not
17 You know, the most obvious one is prisoners will not be shot. You
18 can go on to say, you know, you will abide by the laws of armed conflict,
19 which means basically that everybody, once they are taken prisoner, is
20 treated in a humane way, and you can amplify it. But you can cut through
21 the laws of armed conflict and Geneva Conventions very quickly if you need
22 to and start drilling the soldier in the absolute essentials of what is
23 permitted and what is not.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to have a break. It's a
25 quarter to 6.00. We will resume at five past 6.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Scott, you may
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. General Pringle, before the break we were talking about the
7 importance of training, and you were saying about giving priority to the
8 actual absolute essentials in training and essential principles for
9 soldiers to follow, which you indicated at the end of the day are
10 pretty -- in reality, fairly straightforward and can be conveyed fairly
12 A. Yes, I did. I agree with that.
13 Q. And just to stay on the topic of training for a moment, if you
14 could look briefly at Exhibit P 00172, 172.
15 Just -- this is a document dated the 23rd of April, 1992, issued
16 by Mate Boban, and do you see, sir, in the first paragraph the statement
17 that: "All HVO and municipal staffs must begin the training and
18 supplementary training of combatants ..."?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Did you find throughout -- in looking at the HVO materials, the
21 Herceg-Bosna materials, that whether or not they were carried out or not
22 that there are frequent references to training manuals, the requirements
23 for training, et cetera?
24 A. Yes, I did, and some quite detailed training programmes, if I
1 Q. And in that regard, if we can turn next to -- I'm afraid we have
2 to jump into the other binder. 5 -- P 05968. This is an order by
3 Slobodan Praljak issued on the 20th of October, 1993. "Making of the plan
4 for accelerated training of soldiers." Do you have that?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Can you comment on the level of direction and the information
7 given in this order in terms of, you know, the training that needs to be
8 conducted, how it would be carried out, et cetera?
9 A. Well, it's specifying that training should be carried out on the
10 basic infantry weapons and that that training should include firing on the
11 ranges, hand grenades, rifle launch grenades and -- et cetera. It's not
12 very detailed, but what it acknowledges in using the term "accelerated
13 training," it's really going back to what I was talking about, deciding
14 the priorities for training in -- in recognition of the fact that time is
15 short and, therefore, priorities must be given to those essential training
16 tasks that need to be carried out if the HVO is to be able to conduct
17 operations at all.
18 Q. Now, you made reference earlier this afternoon, and then you
19 ultimately gave the -- an example or a statement apparently by
20 General Patton. You said it's easy to issue the orders. It's the
21 carrying them out that is the real trick, so to speak, and is it fair to
22 say the same comment can be made about training manuals or regulations?
23 You can issue a good manual?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's not General Patto - I'm
25 looking at the transcript - but General Patton.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Sir, is it correct that the same logic and common sense would
3 apply in fact to the issuance of a manual; you can write a good manual but
4 is that the end of the story?
5 A. Yes, absolutely the same applies. You can have an excellent
6 manual, and you can give the order that the training should be carried out
7 in term -- in -- as -- as outlined in the manual, but then if you don't
8 follow up and ensure that that is actually happening and the required
9 resources are allocated and the required - for example in this case the
10 weapons issued, the ammunition is issued, the range is made available, you
11 know, issuing the order is easy but it's only effective if it's followed
12 up and is made to happen.
13 Q. Moving on to paragraph 49 of your report, again on the concept of
14 command climate you say: "As discussed above, any commander by dint of
15 his authority creates a command climate. It is not something he chooses
16 to do or otherwise. It is part of his persona and conduct. In my
17 judgement, it cannot therefore be described as a 'requirement'. It is
18 more a fact, an integral and inescapable part of command."
19 Can you comment further on that?
20 A. Yes. Command climate is something that all commanders should be
21 alert to. I mean, it's really common sense, but -- but there's no harm in
22 bringing it to the attention of commanders in terms of the impact on his
23 command that his every act doing, saying, and whatever will have, and by
24 dint of his authority every commander at every level, whether he's a
25 platoon -- section commander, platoon commander, battalion commander,
1 brigade commander or whatever, all will create a command crime of his own
2 in exactly the same way as Your Honour creates a command climate in this
4 Q. Would you look in this regard to Exhibit, please, P 04399.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
6 comment, General. I hope that the level of command is excellent.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. If you -- if you have that, sir, please.
9 A. I'm sorry, what was the paragraph?
10 Q. P 04399.
11 A. 4399. Oh, yes. Right. Got it. I have it.
12 Q. All right. Now, sir, this is a report from a commander, an
13 assistant commander for information and propaganda in the HVO to the HVO
14 Main Staff, dated the 21st of August, 1993. And there's just a couple of
15 passages I want to direct your attention to, and then I'll have some
16 follow-up questions.
17 In the first paragraph the report says -- well, let me just start
18 at the beginning:
19 "Since the last report to date, very much changes have occurred
20 about which I would like to inform you. These primarily include the fall
21 of Bugojno and the near fall of Gornji Vakuf. My information from talks
22 with IPD staff, but also with many soldiers and civilians is: That
23 Bugojno was not even defended properly. We had been gripped by a
24 dangerous disease of handing over towns without any major resistance
25 (Travnik, Sebesic, Rostovo, Bugojno) while the fall of Gornji Vakuf was
1 prevented only through decisive intervention by General Praljak."
2 Now, keep that in mind and if I could then ask you to go on to the
3 second page in the English version. About the middle of the second page
4 there's a paragraph that starts with the words "I spent the past week in
5 the field in Prozor and Gornji Vakuf." If you go to the end of that
6 paragraph I think you'll find this language: "This stems largely from the
7 knowledge that General Praljak, who has imposed much more order and work
8 and who visits the front lines daily, is in that sector."
9 Now, I show you this report from this officer in the HVO. Does
10 this indicate to you anything about, for example, the command climate
11 created by General Praljak in this instance?
12 A. This would indicate that General Praljak is an active and
13 effective commander who is spending much time at the front, would have a
14 very good idea of what is going on both by personal observation and by
15 talking to those at the front, and in so doing part of his -- the command
16 climate that he would be creating is that of active commander up front
17 in -- in tune with the troops, et cetera. That's what I would get from
18 this particular document.
19 Q. All right. If we can move forward, then, to paragraph 53 of your
20 report. And again as I read these paragraphs I'm trying to cut through
21 anything that perhaps we've already covered sufficiently, but at the end
22 of that paragraph you make this statement: "If a commander issues orders
23 himself to use prisoners in contravention of the international laws of war
24 as described above, it will confuse the command climate and others can be
25 expected to follow his example and ignore their legal obligations."
1 Is there anything further comment you can make on that other than
2 perhaps what you said earlier this afternoon?
3 A. If the force has signed up to operating in accordance with the
4 international laws of war and those orders have been passed down the chain
5 of command, if subordinates receive orders that are absolutely
6 contradictory to the international laws of war, that sends a certain
7 message from the commander that there are some laws that need to be obeyed
8 and there are others that need not.
9 Q. In paragraph 54, in the third sentence, I'm not going to read the
10 entire context because everyone in the courtroom has it, but I believe in
11 the third sentence, or perhaps it's the second, the first sentence being
12 quite long, it says: "He will also make clear what sort of actions will
13 not be tolerated and the consequences of disobedience." Now, once again,
14 you've mentioned this to some extent already this afternoon, but can you
15 tell the Judges a bit more about what sort of actions would be available
16 to a commander to indicate to his subordinates in a very unequivocal way
17 what conduct would be tolerated and what conduct will not be tolerated at
19 A. Yes. A commander can do this through a series of mediums.
20 Plainly he can write directives and it can be included in written orders,
21 but where there are issues that are of particular concern to a commander
22 or need particular personal stressing that is where active commanders, the
23 like of which we've just even in the example of General Praljak visiting
24 forward formations, that's where he would look his subordinate commanders
25 in the eye, poke them in the chest if necessary and say, "Now, listen.
1 What I'm really concerned about is that your troops are going to get out
2 of control. You must take every," et cetera, et cetera. So he's really
3 impressing his personality on his subordinate commander in a way that the
4 subordinate commander realises that he really means it.
5 Q. With this additional -- excuse me.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Paragraph 30 -- 53 and 54 of
7 your report, we should read paragraph 54 in light of paragraph 53, of
8 course. Let me put a very crucial question to you.
9 You mentioned prisoners of war and their status in terms of
10 international conventions. You have a very long experience, and therefore
11 on that basis can you tell me the following: When a soldier is taken
12 prisoner, what can the -- the one who has taken the prisoner order him to
13 do in terms of work? Is it something that is taught in the UK military
14 academies, or is it a question that is never raised, and in the NATO
15 context is the use of prisoners of war to do work, for example, is it
16 something that has been addressed?
17 THE WITNESS: Well, Your Honour, in general terms the treatment of
18 prisoners of war is laid down in the international laws of war and the
19 Geneva Conventions, and in the preparation for war and in general
20 training, that would be part of the curriculum that soldiers would be
21 taught and that they would perhaps be exercised in -- on field exercises
22 where simulated prisoners of war would be taken, and they would have to be
23 treated in the way in terms of the international laws.
24 In specific terms, the way prisoners are treated is laid down in
25 JNA doctrine in how they can be used and how they can't be, and we could
1 find that document, I'm sure, if you required it, but it is there in the
2 JNA doctrine. And to give an example, one of the ways prisoners cannot be
3 used is to use them in any areas where they are going to be vulnerable or
4 exposed to danger, and another way in which they cannot be used is the
5 digging and preparation of military fortifications. And in those two
6 respects where we were talking earlier about the issuing of an illegal
7 order, that order was specifically ordering the use of prisoners on those
8 two tasks specifically against the laws of armed conflict.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. In that regard, if I can take the moment to -- in following up on
11 the President's question, in fact, tying back into what we were trying to
12 do earlier in terms of the JNA materials, if I can ask you to turn to
13 Exhibit -- back -- all the way back to Exhibit P 00007. In other words,
14 Exhibit 7. And if I can -- when you have that, General, if I can first
15 have you stop -- pause momentarily at page 60, section VIII, "Prisoners of
16 War", starting with paragraph 200. Do you have that?
17 A. I have that.
18 Q. Now, with that in mind, if I could then ask you to go specifically
19 to -- sorry, something else caught my eye just as we were -- for example,
20 let's pause for a moment on paragraph 210. "Humane treatment. Prisoners
21 of war should be treated humanely. In particular, they must be protected
22 against violence, insults, and intimidation."
23 And then going specifically to paragraph 231. I think this is --
24 you said you could find it if we needed to. Perhaps I can satisfy you on
25 that. Paragraph 231, "Prohibited work. "Prisoners of war may not be
1 assigned to jobs which are directly linked to war operations (manufacture
2 and transport of weapons and ammunition, digging of trenches and such
4 And again, this is in a very long and detailed manual that you
5 looked at as part of your research; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct. It is long and it is detailed, but it's
7 also extremely clear. I would draw your attention to paragraph 213:
8 "Capture. It is prohibited to wound or kill a member of the enemy armed
9 forces from the moment he stops offering resistance and," et cetera. So
10 to answer Your Honour's question, the -- how prisoners are treated is laid
11 down here in accordance with the doctrine what -- how they should be
12 treated, what they are permitted to be -- to do and what they're not
13 permitted to do, et cetera. It's all codified there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, could we go back to
15 paragraph 231, please.
16 Please have a look at the second paragraph here. What do you have
17 to say about this?
18 THE WITNESS: Where it says: "Prisoners of war may not be
19 assigned to jobs which are dangerous or harmful to health, unless they
20 volunteer for such work. Mine clearing and similar tasks are considered
21 dangerous work," is that the paragraph that Your Honour is referring to?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. When reading this
23 passage I have a feeling that this opens the possibility for prisoners to
24 volunteer for some work even if it's potentially dangerous for them to
25 carry out this work. What is your conclusion here when reading this?
1 It's true that if you look at the first paragraph of 231 work is
2 prohibited, but when you look at the second paragraph you get the feeling
3 that a prisoner of war may, if he volunteers to do so, may carry out work.
4 THE WITNESS: That is what it says, Your Honour. My comment on
5 that for what it's worth is I would look immediately at the word
6 "volunteer" and consider whether it was a freely volunteered -- freely
7 volunteering his services or whether any degree of duress was being -- was
8 being applied in order to get him to "volunteer."
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When -- connected issue. When
10 you have combat you have wounded and dead people, and one of the factions
11 may ask help to transport the wounded or to retrieve the dead. When the
12 combat -- combat operations have stopped, is it possible for a prisoner of
13 war to assist the -- the ones or the party that has taken him prisoner to
14 go and retrieve the bodies of people who fell on the -- in the
16 THE WITNESS: Yes. One would fall back on the -- on the
17 international laws and what they say, but if you want my instinctive
18 judgement without referring to them, the important part of Your Honour's
19 statement was that after combat has ceased and all danger has passed, then
20 you may say that the prisoners are being asked to carry out a humanitarian
21 task to help collect the wounded and the dead. And providing there is no
22 danger involved, in other words, they're not liable to be shelled or come
23 under fire or have to cross minefields or whatever, that, subject to a
24 careful consideration of -- of the laws, may be considered a reasonable
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, you have a very long
2 experience of these matters. To your knowledge, during the Second World
3 War at some point when the British Army took German soldiers prisoner, did
4 the British Army use German prisoners of war to carry out humanitarian
5 work or similar tasks? Did that ever happen during the Second World War?
6 Did any of the armies use some of the prisoners to carry out some work? I
7 have no idea myself. I'm asking the questions -- question to you. You
8 may be able to answer.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes. From general knowledge, I think on all sides
10 captured soldiers were required to work on specified and acceptable tasks
11 and, for example, if my memory serves me rightly, not that I was there at
12 the time, but captured German soldiers spent quite a lot of time working
13 the fields and on the farms in the UK. There are well-documented and
14 rather less savoury examples of captured British soldiers and Australians
15 and New Zealanders being put to work by the Japanese in very inhumane
16 circumstances. So yes. And the provisions of the international laws of
17 war which, of course, have been refined since World War II in some
18 instances do allow for prisoners of war to work. Not officers,
19 incidentally, but soldiers.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You've given an example,
21 and you've just stated that in Great Britain some captured German soldiers
22 worked the land. In other words, according to you a prisoner of war may
23 be asked to carry out farm work. That's what you've just said. But I
24 just want to be perfectly sure that I've understood you correctly.
25 THE WITNESS: That is what I said, and if we look at paragraph 230
1 of the document we're looking at the moment, it talks about permitted work
2 and in paragraph 231 prohibited work, and permitted work includes there in
3 number 1 agriculture, for example.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: General, would it not be convenient to refer
5 directly to the Geneva Convention. The convention on prisoner of war in
6 Article 50 lists the allowed works, and the first one is agriculture.
7 Then you have industry, transport, et cetera. And in Article 52 you have
8 a reference to volunteers who may be asked to perform dangerous or
9 unhealthy work.
10 Are there any -- are you aware, General, of any standards as to
11 who can be regarded as a volunteer?
12 THE WITNESS: First of all, I think the first thing that has to be
13 said is as you -- Your Honour has helpfully suggested, the source base
14 material are the Geneva Conventions from which, plainly, this document has
15 been derived.
16 I'm not aware off the top of my head of how you -- how you.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Define.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you. How you define a volunteer, but a
19 volunteer would mean to, I think, any reasonable person reading these laws
20 and articles to be volunteering freely of his or her own will without any
21 form of duress.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: What -- what about the promise of some
23 remuneration which he otherwise would not get?
24 THE WITNESS: That depends on, in my view, whether that could be
25 described as duress. Help clear these minefields or you will not get any
1 food, if that's the remuneration, would in my view be duress.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But in my view it would certainly not be
3 remuneration. Remuneration in my view would be you get a thousand kuna
4 each day to buy cigarettes and chocolate if you go to work in the
5 minefields and trenches. Are you aware of any practice on this, of any
6 decisions anywhere? It's a legal question.
7 THE WITNESS: I'm not. I cannot answer that from a legal point of
8 view, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's perfectly all right. Thank you, General.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm going to take a
11 very straightforward example. Let's imagine that we have a detention
12 centre with prisoners of war. Soldiers, not officers, because they have a
13 special status, and therefore they're not forced to work.
14 Let's imagine that someone arrives in this detention centre and
15 asks, "Are there any volunteers to go to do some painting, to retrieve
16 bodies, to do farm work, to transport the wounded, to collect fuel? Raise
17 your hands if you're -- if you volunteer." If some of the people
18 volunteer because they believe that it's not such a bad idea to be able to
19 leave the prison, is that an authorised practice from your point of view?
20 THE WITNESS: Again, without detailed examination of the articles,
21 my instinctive reply to that would be if those are -- if that is work that
22 does not carry any form of danger and if there is no form of duress, I
23 would instinctively think that that is acceptable.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in the case the person
25 looking for workers, so to speak, explains, "Well, there can be an element
1 of risk because, well, the enemy, we don't know exactly where they're
2 located. There might be snipers. And who knows, there might be mines,
3 and the personnel mines, and we don't know where they're located, and in
4 spite of all these risks are there still volunteers?" And if that turns
5 out to be the case, people say yes, let's go ahead, is that possible? Is
6 that acceptable or not?
7 THE WITNESS: I would say that's bordering on the unacceptable
8 because the asker or the demander is putting prisoners in a position where
9 he is seeking volunteers where he knows that they may be going into
10 conditions which -- where -- which are prohibited according to the
11 articles of law, whether they volunteer or not.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And what would be the basis of that prohibition,
13 General, in view of the fact that the Geneva Convention prohibits certain
14 works with the proviso unless they volunteer?
15 THE WITNESS: Well, you're the lawyers, Your Honour, but if you
16 look at paragraph 231, it says: "Prisoners of war may not be assigned to
17 jobs which are directly linked to war operations," and it gives some
18 examples, digging trenches and such like. It then says: "Prisoners of
19 war may not be assigned to jobs which are dangerous or harmful to
20 health -- dangerous or harmful to health unless they volunteer for such
22 Now, I'm sure there would be legions of lawyers that could work
23 out whether the subparagraph is in accordance with the pre-paragraph or
24 whether the pre-paragraph precludes the subparagraph. My instinctive
25 answer remains the same.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: If it may be of any assistance, Your Honours, the
2 British Army normally has lawyers engaged in the ground giving
3 instructions or advice to the commanders, a luxury that perhaps was not
4 available to others, but the British Army, the Canadian army, they're very
5 well-known for having very -- highly trained lawyers who are also officers
6 providing information.
7 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, just one matter, as a matter of
8 construction of course, this is a legal argument and there may well be a
9 clear and obvious distinction between assignment and volunteering.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. In the
11 circumstances whereby the prisoners of war are asked to go and repaint the
12 prisoner commander's apartment or an officer's apartment, or a guard's
13 apartment, to go to those premises and paint it, change the carpets, et
14 cetera, in your opinion is that possible or not?
15 THE WITNESS: In my opinion providing the location of work is not
16 exposing them to danger and referring in this instance to paragraph 230,
17 they are being asked -- or they're being directed to carry out permitted
18 work in trade or artavistic [phoen] activities. Paragraph 234. So that
19 would be okay.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Mr. Scott, I'm sorry to go into this detail, but these are
22 important questions.
23 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, thank you. It's fine. And I just --
24 I don't want to belabour the point now, but one of the thing Mr. Kruger
25 has been sitting here assisting me with is going through the Geneva
1 Conventions as Judge Trechsel had mentioned a few minutes ago and of
2 course we could get into that but that would take a lot of time and the
3 witness's time, Your Honour, and those are arguments, obviously, that
4 presumably will be made at some point.
5 The purpose of this witness is to look particularly at the JNA and
6 HVO materials and what they say about these sorts of issues and in that
7 regard if we could just momentarily go back again to Exhibit 292, P 00292,
8 which we looked at earlier today, but just to refresh our recollection.
9 This was in fact the HVO decree dated the 3rd of July, 1992, which very
10 specifically says: "Prisoners shall be treated in accordance with the
11 provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners
12 of war dated 12 August 1949." We went on to then observe that the actual
13 citation for that is a SFRY authority.
14 Q. And on that point then, General, I asked you now, it's been some
15 minutes ago, but at the end of paragraph 53 of your report I asked you
16 about the language I said in tying all the questions that the judges put
17 to you, if the commander issues orders himself to use prisoners in
18 contravention of the international laws of war as described above, it will
19 confuse the command climate and others can be expected to follow his
20 example and ignore their legal obligations.
21 Now, with all of this in mind, if I can ask you, please, to turn
22 next to Exhibit P 04020.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have an objection to
24 this question. Could my colleague Scott, before he continues to show this
25 document as an illegal document that has negative influence on command
1 climate, could he determine why this is a legal document, because it's
2 quite clear. There's no reference to the use of prisoners here, nor is
3 there reference to the use of civilians.
4 Secondly, reference is made to procedure that is prescribed and
5 according to all the documents we have access to it's clear that the
6 treatment of the prisoners is regulated so that POWs are treated in
7 accordance with the Geneva Conventions, whereas the other rules of
8 military prisoners and furthermore when this order was issued motion of
9 the prisoners were HVO detainees. So even if they were of Muslim
10 nationality they were not military prisoners, they were HVO prisoners, and
11 the Geneva Conventions we have mentioned so far don't refer to them.
12 So this decision is not illegal per se. So before we continue to
13 discuss this document in relation to the idea of illegality, I'd like us
14 to clarify what the illegality consists of. I'd also like to add that
15 It's also not known whether when it was necessary to fortify these lines
16 there was any combat in that area, nor is it known where the prisoners
17 were forcibly taken away whatever the category of those prisoners may be.
18 Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Document 4020 signed by General
20 Petkovic -- no, sorry, by the deputy. This relates to work on front
21 lines, but the -- no mention is made of prisoners of war. So how do you
22 approach this question, because they could be civil -- civilian
23 prisoners -- or prisoners under civil law rather than prisoners of war.
24 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honour, if I
25 could -- if I can -- I don't know the nature of this, the objections, or
1 of the testimony that's offered by Ms. Alaburic as to who the prisoners
2 were or were not, of course none of what she says is evidence. The
3 document speaks for itself on this point and that is it says this,
4 paragraph number 1: Issued the 8th of August, 1993. I think the Chamber
5 at this point in the proceedings knowing full well what was happening in
6 Herzegovina during July and August 1993 and how many Muslims were being
7 held the various camps, Heliodrom, Dretelj, Gabela, Ljubuski, et cetera.
8 And it says this very clearly: "I hereby order - number 1 - fortify the
9 achieved lines immediately."
10 We can all argue about that but when it says "achieved lines
11 immediately," these are the conflict line, the confrontation line that's
12 apparently just been achieved.
13 "Prisoners and detained Muslims may be used for fortifying lines.
14 Ask for authorisation through military police administration (in charge of
15 utilising prisoners)."
16 My question to General Pringle is what kind of message does this
17 send in terms of command climate.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic is still standing
19 up. You have just heard the answer. Paragraph 1, there are prisoners and
20 Muslim detainees. So -- so there seems to be two categories.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll clarify this. If
22 we have a look at the second sentence which says or rather the third
23 sentence: Use, ask for authorisation through military police
24 administration. And then if we have the document that I'll show in the
25 course of the cross-examination P 00514, these instructions on the work of
1 the central military prison in Mostar issued by Mr. Coric, and he clearly
2 defined the concept of a prisoner of war and military prisoner, and he
3 defined the work of both categories of detainees and there is no doubt
4 that as far as PO -- as far as the POWs are concerned they should be
5 treated according to the Geneva Conventions and with regard to the other
6 category of prisoners other rules are enforced.
7 Thank you very much.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. General, if I can ask you a question --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. May I proceed? Thank you.
12 Q. General, my question to you, looking at paragraph number 1,
13 knowing what you've told us about the last -- the conversation that we've
14 had over the past hour in fact about the Geneva Conventions and the
15 questions being put to you by the Judges, can you tell us, please, can you
16 tell the Judges what is the effect of this order in terms of command
17 climate, the issuance of this order by General Petkovic in August 1993?
18 A. I --
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I repeat my objection,
20 because we're prejudicing the legality of this decision. I'd like to
21 establish the basis for saying that this decision is illegal and within
22 the context that I have just elaborated on.
23 Thank you very much.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we're not here to have legal argument.
25 We have a witness. Why don't we put questions to the witness and let the
1 witness comment on it and go on. If we want legal arguments. We'll have
2 legal arguments at some point. We can dismiss the witness.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, could you not put the question as a
4 hypothetical, assuming that prisoners includes POWs?
5 MR. SCOTT: Well, it seems to say that, Your Honour, and that's
6 the problem. I don't understand nature of the objection. I understand
7 Ms. Alaburic doesn't like the exhibit but I don't understand the nature of
8 the objection. But it says what it says, I'm not interpreting. It says
9 prisoners and detained Muslims. Now does anyone in the courtroom read it
10 differently than that?
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think Ms. Alaburic agreed with my -- with
12 my proposal of a compromise formulation.
13 MR. SCOTT: Which is?
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Which is assuming that prisoners includes POW.
15 MR. SCOTT: I'll let Your Honour put the question.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, something I don't
18 follow here. This document is an HVO document from the advanced
19 commanding post. There is a stamp and the registration numbers. There's
20 a signature. Where is the illegality of this document? What do you mean?
21 Is this a -- a counterfeit document? What do you mean by that?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document was
24 submitted to the military expert as an illegal document, given its
25 contents, or rather as a document that is contrary to the Geneva
1 Conventions and the rules of the JNA and HVO documents. You can see from
2 the expert's report that he's discussing this document as an illegal order
3 that contravenes the Geneva Conventions and the rules that were enforced.
4 That's what I mean when I say illegal or when I say that this illegality
5 should be proved. Furthermore, I quite agree with the suggestion made by
6 Judge Trechsel according to which we should discuss this as if it were a
7 hypothetical, that it concerns the use, hypothetically, of POWs for
8 prohibited labour. Thank you very much.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I just want to clarify one point. As
10 long as we're all clarifying the record here. Ms. Alaburic said on line
11 14, "Your Honours, this document was submitted to the military expert as
12 an illegal document."
13 Well, I don't there's any support for that fact. The witness was
14 provided various documentation for the purposes of asking not whether it
15 necessarily was illegal but the effect of this document on command
16 climate. So, again, as long as we're all being careful about what's being
17 said, there is no basis for saying that it was submitted to the expert as
18 an illegal document.
19 And I -- and I'm sorry, Judge Trechsel, I wasn't trying to be
20 flip, but I mean, maybe I'm a bit tired but perhaps you can put the
21 question much better than I.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's perfectly all right. I made a proposal.
23 I better carry it out. I think the question of whether this could be
24 regarded or was labelled as an illegal document is really of very
25 secondary importance, if at all. If you would agree, Ms. Alaburic, I
1 think it is time to put the question and not beat about the burning bush
2 any longer. Would you agree?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I absolutely agree with that
5 proposal. I'd just like to add the concept of an illegal order was used
6 in the previous testimony of this witness when we talked about the
7 paragraph 45 in the expert report. So it's not a concept that I have
8 created. I was just using this concept used by my colleague.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I will. [Interpretation] It will be the last
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The best is probably for
13 His Honour to ask the question himself.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you see here a sentence which says:
15 "Prisoners and detained Muslims may be used for fortifying lines." We
16 have no evidence at this moment that prisoners is the same as prisoners of
17 war, but assuming for the sake of your answer that they were prisoners of
18 war, would such an order then to that extent have an influence on command
20 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, assuming that these prisoners are
21 prisoners of war, this I would clearly regard as an illegal order. Why?
22 Because it says: "Prisoners," let's leave out the detained Muslims for a
23 moment, "may be used for fortifying lines. Ask for authorisation through
24 military police."
25 Well, we've already referred to the Geneva Conventions and the
1 prohibited forms of work and digging military fortifications was one of
2 them, and then we got into a detailed legal argument about what happens if
3 you volunteer. I see nothing here that says prisoners may be requested to
4 volunteer to fortify lines. I only see an instruction that they may be
5 used for fortifying lines and you organise that through the military
6 police. So to me it is absolutely plain that that, assuming they are
7 prisoners of war, is an illegal order -- illegal order.
8 As to the detained Muslims, whether they can be regarded as
9 military prisoners of war or civil I don't know, but the ways in which the
10 civil community can and cannot be treated, including their assignment to
11 work, can, for example, be found paragraph 261 of Exhibit 5. 00005, I
12 think it is. It says: "In turn persons may be assigned to work only if
13 they so wish."
14 Further up -- and I realise that the situation we're finding
15 ourselves in here is not necessarily the situation that was envisaged when
16 the Geneva Conventions were written this is not state-on-state war and
17 there are all sorts of legalities involved in that but there is a
18 statement in paragraph 259 that says national of enemy state may be
19 assigned to work duty on tasks which are not directly connected with the
20 conduct of military operations. Whether you wish to define detained
21 Muslims in the spirit of nationals of an enemy state, I don't know.
22 That's another legal argument. But there are pointers there to what is --
23 what is -- shall we say what is reasonable and what is unreasonable, and I
24 would read this order here to be, on the assumption that prisoners means
25 prisoners of war, utterly illegal, and in the knowledge -- without the
1 knowledge of what detained Muslims means, I would say that I would have
2 very much concern that that is an acceptable order.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We only have a few seconds left,
4 but let us approach this question differently, on a different level.
5 Let's assume that the HVO has arrested a villager. We're not talking
6 about a soldier. We're talking about a villager, someone aged between 18
7 and 65. This person is led to a prison, and this villager is being asked
8 to go and carry out some work.
9 In such a case, according to you, what is the situation? Are we
10 talking about an illegal order, a legal order?
11 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm not a lawyer. All I can give you
12 is my instinctive reaction set in the context of the time. If that
13 civilian has been arrested, on what basis I do not know, maybe just
14 because he's a member of the wrong ethnicity, then my alert mechanisms
15 would immediately attune to anything he's being asked or ordered to do in
16 terms of whether it could be considered reasonable or unreasonable.
17 Whether he can be considered as a civilian detainee in accordance with the
18 Geneva Conventions under these circumstances I think is for the lawyers to
19 argue about, but I as a military officer in a pretty unclear environment
20 would always fall back on my instincts of what is right, what is wrong,
21 what is reasonable, and what is unreasonable.
22 So you ask a very hypothetical question, Your Honour, and without
23 detailed knowledge of the circumstances, I can really only answer it in
24 terms of how I would approach the issue, and it is for reasonable men to
25 judge whether what this civilian is being asked to do in the circumstances
1 and in the circumstances of his arrest, whether that was acceptable or not
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
4 lengthy answer.
5 It's five past 7.00. We have to stop here. General, you've taken
6 the solemn declaration. As a result, you're not allowed to have any
7 contact with the OTP because you're now a witness of the Court.
8 We'll resume tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. in Courtroom I.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 6th day
11 of November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.