Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 41253

 1                           Monday, 8 June 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Prlic and Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the

 8     case, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon to

10     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-74-T,

11     the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.

13             Today is Monday, the 8th of June, 2009.  I would like to greet

14     Mr. Pusic, Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak also, who's

15     testifying, as well as all Defence counsel, Mr. Stringer and his

16     associates, without forgetting all the people assisting us in this

17     courtroom.

18             I will first and foremost give the floor to our Registrar, who

19     has an IC number to give us.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.

21             The fourth batch of 3D list of documents tendered via Witness

22     Slobodan Praljak shall be given Exhibit IC1025.  Thank you, Your Honours.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.

24             As you know, Mr. Praljak's testimony will come to an end.  Since

25     he has presented or will finish presenting all his arguments and

Page 41254

 1     documents, I would like to specify that you may have noticed that when I

 2     put a question, the question is rather a lengthy one.  Why do I put

 3     rather lengthy questions?  Well, this is because, as an unbiased Judge, I

 4     should not demonstrate any bias whatsoever.  Therefore, before I put a

 5     question, I make quite sure that I put a question against the backdrop of

 6     a more general context, I refer to the document already quoted, and I

 7     refer to the words of the witness or to what other witnesses have said,

 8     because I wish to be as neutral as possible.  This is why my questions

 9     are very long.

10             The witness before us must understand that the Judge before him

11     is impartial, that we are there to get to the truth.  This is what I

12     wanted to tell you, Mr. Praljak, because you must have been a little bit

13     surprised, you, like others, by my rather lengthy questions.  This is

14     because I wish to demonstrate my total impartiality, and this is why my

15     questions are sometimes rather long.

16             That said, I shall now give the floor to Ms. Pinter, who will

17     resume her examination.

18             MS. PINTER: [No interpretation]

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The legal officer has just

20     reminded me that I have an oral decision to hand down.  I had forgotten

21     about it because I was concerned about the length of my questions.  So

22     this escaped me.  This is a very short oral decision.

23             Oral decision relating to the response time of the motion filed

24     by the Prlic Defence to reopen the proceedings.

25             On the 2nd of June, 2009, the Prlic Defence filed a motion asking

Page 41255

 1     for the case to be reopened in order to hear the expert witness

 2     Schindler.

 3             On the 4th of June, 2009, the Praljak Defence supported the Prlic

 4     Defence's motion.  The Trial Chamber would like to draw the attention of

 5     the parties of the response time they have to respond to this motion.  As

 6     far as the reopening of the proceedings is concerned, the Trial Chamber

 7     expects these responses to come in 14 days after the filing of the Prlic

 8     Defence, i.e., on the 16th of June, 2009.

 9             The Trial Chamber would like to recall and [indiscernible]

10     everyone that in this particular case Rule 94 bis (B) cannot be applied.

11     This Rule stems from the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

12             Furthermore, the Trial Chamber would also like to remind all the

13     parties who wish to respond that at this juncture their submissions have

14     nothing to do with the type of witness, but can only relate to the

15     reopening of the proceedings as filed by the Prlic Defence.  So you have

16     until the 16th of June, 2009, at the latest, to submit your submissions

17     on the reopening of the proceedings as filed by the Prlic Defence.

18             That said, Ms. Pinter, you now have the floor.

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Can you hear the English?  Is

20     everything working?

21                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

22                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

23                           Examination by Ms. Pinter:  [Continued]

24        Q.   Would you turn to document P00524 first, please, and we're still

25     dealing with the binder titled "Documents to Explain."  And it is the

Page 41256

 1     minutes from the Presidential Office of the 26th of September, president

 2     of the Republic of Croatia, that is.

 3             Did you attend that meeting?  You did attend that meeting, and we

 4     see the agenda on page 1.  What can you tell us about the topics

 5     discussed and the agenda?  And what can you tell us about the problems

 6     that you had with HOS in the Republic of Croatia as well, because we

 7     already heard about that in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 8        A.   Yes, I did attend that meeting.  And in view of the time we have

 9     left, I'll go through point 1 quickly, because point 1 is important,

10     where Dr. Franjo Tudjman is talking about the addendum to the agreement

11     on cooperation with the BiH, and he summarises all the problems there.

12     He's referring to the appendix of the agreement on cooperation and

13     friendship with the BiH, and he says that Izetbegovic, at a meeting of

14     the UN, asked for a meeting with Dr. Tudjman, with the proposal that they

15     coordinate their action, military action, of course, and he even went

16     further than that and asked that the Croatian forces be ordered -- that

17     is to say, the HV be ordered to enable all the BH Army supplies to be

18     furnished; and he says that this is being impeded.  Of course, there

19     wasn't enough weapons even with the HV, let alone the HVO.  And then he

20     goes on to say that if the supplies were to go through Herzegovina, that

21     then the army would lift the blockade of Sarajevo.

22             Dr. Tudjman responded and said that he was in favour of

23     cooperation, speaking for Croatia, but as far as the HVO was concerned,

24     that was a problem, first of all, with the Croatian population in

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina, first and foremost.  And then he mentions that at the

Page 41257

 1     beginning -- that is to say, Franjo Tudjman proposed a military clause to

 2     be incorporated in the agreement between two countries and that

 3     Mr. Izetbegovic rejected that, which is also correct.

 4             Secondly, he goes on to state that Croatia does not want a long,

 5     drawn-out war, but was in favour of a political solution, and that

 6     Mr. Izetbegovic didn't want that.  And then he says that he signed a

 7     draft of an agreement just to sign it for the sake of signing it, in

 8     fact, to give him the opportunity of getting his supplies from Croatia.

 9             And he goes on to say very clearly that we're all conscious of

10     the importance of the joint interest of the two countries and the two

11     presidents, the presidents of those two countries, and that it was to

12     protect sovereignty, integrity, autonomy, of the two countries, Croatia

13     and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And he goes on to note that the Serb forces are

14     attacking from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on and so

15     forth.

16             So, in actual fact, on the following page, he once again says

17     that diplomatic and political steps should be speeded up to find a

18     political solution.  He talks about the readiness for self-defence and

19     joint defence on the part of the two countries, and that is why a board

20     was set up to coordinate these actions, and I became part of that board,

21     as was -- there was General Bobetko and so on.  It says that human rights

22     would be respected and criminals be punished.

23             And then we come to a whole series of views and assertions to the

24     effect that -- the question asked is what the international community

25     wants, and Dr. Tudjman realises that the embargo will not be withdrawn

Page 41258

 1     and that -- lifted, and that his speech, that is to say, Izetbegovic's

 2     speech at the United Nations, was geared towards war, and that's how

 3     everybody else understood it.

 4             And there's mention again about this joint board for coordination

 5     between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, because it is understood here,

 6     too, that there are disturbing incidents and that control should be

 7     assumed in the territories liberated by the HVO; that is to say, the

 8     majority population.  And he goes on to say that he doesn't agree that

 9     the question of Bosnia-Herzegovina would be solved after the war, and

10     says that at the time he's speaking, that the internal setup of

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina must be considered, which is something that I said,

12     that Izetbegovic told me at the meeting in Mostar, that -- he said, Let's

13     go and win, and then we'll reach the agreements, whereas I said that in a

14     war, had you to agree on a setup on the internal system of

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina so that the people who were fighting and losing lives

16     and being killed would know what their goal was.

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Could Mr. Praljak kindly be asked to slow down.

18     Thank you.

19             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Yes.  Just now, the interpreter asked us, asked

20     me to ask Mr. Praljak to slow down.  It is my first request to him,

21     addressed to him.  The second one, that I missed the page which he

22     referred to.  Please kindly tell us about what pages are you talking now,

23     if there is any particular page or pages which you would like us to have

24     a look at?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 0186-2841 is the first page number,

Page 41259

 1     and it goes on to 842 --

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   General, not all the pages have been translated, some of the ones

 4     that you referred to.  They're not all in English.  That's why I wanted

 5     to interrupt you, to tell you that, and also to ask you to tell us the

 6     portions that have been translated.

 7             You don't have to read the minutes.  You can tell us about them

 8     because you were there, so you know what they were about without having

 9     to read them.

10        A.   Well, I'm not really reading, but I will try and speak slower.

11             Anyway, Mr. Izetbegovic repeats here that he does not want to say

12     precisely what kind of Bosnia-Herzegovina he envisages and wants to see,

13     and then he said quite openly that he already had a 50 per cent majority,

14     and that it would be a civil state, and that they would grant rights to

15     others.  Of course, they cannot grant any rights to anybody else, because

16     those rights belong to the Croatian people under the constitution,

17     because they're a sovereign constituent people.

18             Furthermore, they went on to speak about the terrible problem

19     that the embargo was creating, fully conscious of the fact that it would

20     not be lifted, and this is something that all international factors

21     repeated.  He said that there would be no military intervention.

22             And throughout, during the whole meeting, in actual fact, two

23     states are talked about and their internal system, the internal system

24     and setup of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the desire of Croatia that the -- the

25     fervent desire of Croatia to help and to assist, but not to prolong the

Page 41260

 1     war, but to try to find a peaceful solution.

 2             So that is the gist of what was discussed at the meeting and what

 3     I can tell you.  I can't give you the page numbers, but it's a long text,

 4     and I think it is one of the more important minutes which speak for

 5     itself.  It's crystal clear, defining the political position of the

 6     entire Croatian leadership.  And later on you'll see that the government

 7     and parliament and the president of the state, the security -- National

 8     Security Council and everybody else was of this same opinion.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Let me just say for Their Honours

10     that that portion has been translated, because we were discussing point 1

11     of the agenda.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   And it was an appendix to the agreement between the Republic of

15     Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that portion has been

16     translated; that is to say, point 1 of the agenda exists in English.

17             General, you attended the meeting, and we have your portion of

18     the discussion here, when you took the floor.  Perhaps we could explain

19     to Their Honours what you said and the reason and circumstances under

20     which you uttered them.  And that is to be found on page 01862856.

21     01862856 is the number, that's right, and in English it is page 17 out of

22     71 pages, and it goes on to page 19.

23        A.   I took the floor for the first time here and I say something that

24     we're all aware of, that is common knowledge, and that is that in all the

25     information we received about the refugee centres and all their bases on

Page 41261

 1     the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and mention was made of the

 2     fact that they were allowed to walk around freely, buying weapons on the

 3     black market and so on and so forth, it was quite improper behaviour

 4     within the confines of another state.  They considered it to be their

 5     base and thought they could do whatever they liked there.  So that's what

 6     I talk about, and I say that at their staffs, those staffs of theirs,

 7     they reject any possible talks about Herceg-Bosna, both in Baska Voda, in

 8     Brela and so on, where these meetings were taking place.  And then I go

 9     on to say that the refugees who arrived on the territory where the

10     Croatian people were in Bosnia-Herzegovina either in the majority, where

11     the Croats had the majority, or almost the majority, that the picture had

12     changed and that they should be allowed to enter Croatia and to be sent

13     abroad.

14             So that's what I said, that the problem should be

15     internationalised to the maximum, because while it was only us resolving

16     it, nobody asked whether we had enough money to do that, whether we had

17     fuel for transport, whether we had vehicles to transport the wounded.

18     Everybody would come into the country, but failed to see the magnitude of

19     the problem that faced Croatia, both in material terms and military

20     terms, and in all other aspects as well.  So I say that the population

21     settled there was a sort of ethnic occupation that had taken place when

22     the Serbs expelled the Muslims.  Unless that situation was solved

23     politically, then it would be within a civil state and that no -- they

24     wouldn't have the necessary rights.

25             So that's what I'm saying, that they were talking about the green

Page 41262

 1     transversal, the green line towards the sea, and we're talking about

 2     1992, and this can be seen from the discussions held from Konjic,

 3     Jablanica, Mostar, this general line moving towards the coast, and this

 4     was a topic that was bandied about publicly.  They said that they were

 5     waiting for us to get tired of the Serbs and then they would come into

 6     action and take over militarily.  And Mr. Izetbegovic obviously saw that

 7     the international community, even after Cutileiro's plan, were

 8     recognising the state of affairs on the ground.  So if that was to

 9     succeed, nobody would worry about the rights of nations -- well, the fact

10     that the nation was a sovereign one and constituent one, and so on and so

11     forth.

12             So that roughly is what this is about and what I said, and this

13     board was set up to cooperate with Bosnia-Herzegovina; Bobetko, Praljak

14     and Koljevic, I think, were the three members put forward.

15        Q.   Thank you, General.  All the rest is in the exhibit, so we don't

16     have to go through those documents.  But look at P0 --

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I'd like to get

18     back to the beginning of this document, the very beginning of it.

19             This is a meeting which you attend.  You're one of the few

20     survivors still present, since a number of participants have died, so you

21     witnessed this meeting which took place on the 26th of September, 1992.

22     Something drew my attention, and this was the intervention of

23     Mr. President Tudjman, who says, for the United Nations, that the

24     president of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina mentioned the fact that

25     they needed to coordinate their actions, and he says there is a problem

Page 41263

 1     with the HVO, and he says the first of these problems is the relationship

 2     they have with the Croatian people.  My question is a lengthy one,

 3     because I need to set it against the indictment.

 4             When I read that, I think, and it states in the indictment, that

 5     the HVO is at the source of the joint criminal enterprise, and

 6     Mr. Tudjman admits that there is a problem with the HVO.  You attended

 7     this meeting.  What do you have to say to this?  What do you have to say

 8     about what Mr. Tudjman said about the HVO?  Was this criticism he

 9     levelled at the HVO or not?  How did you understand this?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti,

11     Tudjman did not create the HVO.  The HVO was created as a spontaneous and

12     later on organised, well, God knows to what extent, the need of the

13     people to defend themselves against the aggression mounted by the

14     Yugoslav People's Army and the Republika Srpska Army.  Here, Tudjman

15     speaks about the relationship between two states, Croatia and

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina, but he says, Mr. Izetbegovic, first of all, you

17     didn't sign the military agreement that I offered to you, the military

18     agreement between two states, but just the border and so on, lest the

19     Serbs should get offended.

20             Secondly, secondly, we are providing weapons, Croatia is

21     providing weapons, in spite of the embargo, and this is creating enormous

22     problems.  But, Mr. Izetbegovic, the problem is the internal organisation

23     of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  You have the HVO down there and the Croatian

24     people.  Explain what is the political platform for the organisation of

25     Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Make a deal with the HVO.  The HVO is part of

Page 41264

 1     the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it is an expression of the

 2     will of the people, and they are defending themselves.  They managed to

 3     defend themselves, because while Mr. Izetbegovic was telling tall tales

 4     about the Yugoslav People's Army as the guarantor of peace in Bosnia and

 5     Herzegovina, we managed to defend ourselves and the Muslims and Bosnia

 6     and Herzegovina.

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, Mr. Praljak is kindly asked

 8     to slow down.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And he has nothing to do with that.

10     And he says, Please, agree about an internal structure organisation.

11             Yes, I'm sorry.

12             Present us with a political platform, which Mr. Izetbegovic never

13     did present.  It was always said that there would be a civil state in all

14     circles, Muslims had the 50 per cent majority, and they always said, You

15     will be given rights.

16             And, Your Honour, I don't want anyone to give me -- grant me any

17     rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I have my rights under the constitution,

18     and nobody can grant me rights and nobody can strip me of those rights,

19     except by force, of course.  So this is the response.  Franjo Tudjman had

20     as much to do with the HVO as he had with the BH Army.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, thank you.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   General, could you please look at document P03821.  It's the

24     30th of July, 1993.  It's a report submitted by Goran Vucica to the

25     Petar Kresimir the IV Brigade, and it has to do with Uskoplje,

Page 41265

 1     Gornji Vakuf and Prozor area.  You are familiar with this document, and

 2     now I would like to ask you if you could tell us why is this document

 3     important?  What should we know, apart from the fact that we have the

 4     disposition of the BH Army forces?  What else should we know and what

 5     would you like to bring our attention to?

 6        A.   Well, I would like to bring your attention to just a couple of

 7     things.

 8             First of all, Mr. Vucica's report is false.  He is lying.

 9             Secondly, he is in charge of a small unit, a professional unit of

10     the HVO.

11             Thirdly, he has refused to obey his orders.  And now as to why he

12     doesn't want to obey the orders, he's just talking nonsense, saying that

13     he received some information from me and then in Rama, so in my forward

14     command post he received some other explanations, and only a liar could

15     say something like that.  And, thirdly, this report of his -- of course,

16     he refused to obey an order.  He took his unit and went home, and then

17     the brigade commander receives a report from him in which he says, Well,

18     we simply decided to do it this way and my lads agreed that I am in the

19     right of it.

20             So, Your Honours, this is what I have been saying about the

21     double chain of command.  Who is in command of this person?  Who

22     exercises command over him?  I don't know, of course, but I couldn't

23     exercise command over him.  He simply up and went.  And since it was a

24     war and I didn't have the time, it took me one month to have him removed

25     from this post because there was fighting throughout the month and it's

Page 41266

 1     impossible to deal with the problem in such circumstances, and to even

 2     just write an order and to initiate the procedure for his removal, it

 3     takes time.  I, in the end, managed to do it, but this is proof that

 4     there existed another chain of command.  And this was not the only

 5     example.  This was just the most blatant one.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm seeing this

 8     document for the first time, as are all the other people.  It seems to

 9     show that in this brigade, some officers challenged your leadership.  It

10     is obvious, since it is said here that there were several of them who

11     agreed with him, and you said that he went back home.  This may show the

12     problems you encountered exercising your leadership.

13             However, in such a situation as this, and I'm very cautious in

14     asking this question, was it impossible for you to arrest this man and to

15     have him tried, without delay, before a military court for

16     insubordination, or was it absolutely impossible for you to do so?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely impossible, Your Honour,

18     absolutely impossible.  Given the situation, it was absolutely

19     impossible.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

21             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   But Goran Vucica was removed from his post later on.  We saw a

23     document.

24        A.   Well, but it took a month.

25        Q.   Now I would like you to look at document P03971.  It's a report

Page 41267

 1     by Luka Markesic, sent to the HVO Presidency and the Rama Brigade

 2     Command.  The date is the 5th of August, 1993.  That was the time when

 3     you were in Herceg-Bosna because you were the commander of the HVO, so

 4     what can you tell us about this document?  Do you have any knowledge as

 5     to who are the higher levels or higher echelons that ordered the arrests

 6     of the Muslims?

 7        A.   Well, I have no idea.  I don't know anything about this document.

 8     This is the first time that I see it.  It was sent to the HVO Presidency

 9     and to the command of the brigade.  Why to the Presidency of the HVO and

10     Rama?  Well, it's probably the HVO Presidency in Rama, probably.  I can't

11     tell you anything more about this document, and I don't know who the

12     higher-ups or the higher echelons are.

13        Q.   But you were not among them?

14        A.   No.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Now I would like you to look at document P06203.

16     It's a document dated the 28th of October, 1993.  Colonel Zeljko Siljeg

17     is writing to the assistant head of the Defence Department, Medical

18     Section.  Are you familiar with this document and can you comment on it?

19        A.   Well, I am not familiar with this document, but I am aware of the

20     fact that this document was drafted, because I was in contact with

21     Siljeg, and I don't have any comments to make.  Well, Siljeg states quite

22     clearly here that what he received -- the fact that he received an order

23     on the 28th about the people in detention centres and so on and so forth,

24     that as far as the operational zone that he is commanding is concerned,

25     it has nothing to do with it.  He's not part of the chain of command in

Page 41268

 1     the Medical Sector, and as the commander of the operational zone he does

 2     not have the institutions and persons in question.  And he says that the

 3     brigades are only to report to the military district commander, so he's

 4     the wrong address, both as regards the form and the contents.

 5        Q.   Well, Colonel Siljeg also speaks about the jurisdiction over

 6     those centres?

 7        A.   Yes.  He says quite clearly that this is not within the

 8     jurisdiction of the operational zone, and the HVO is the military

 9     component.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Now I would like you to look at document P06937.

11     It's a document dated the 8th of November, 1993.  It's an order signed by

12     Zlatan Mijo Jelic, and your signature and the stamp are also there.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] And just for the benefit of the

14     Trial Chamber, General Praljak's Defence has also filed a motion

15     regarding this document, and we were told that we should be -- that we

16     should deal with it in the course of our Defence case.

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Sorry.  I have a question with regard to the

19     previous document, which refers to an order also, I think, of 28 October

20     which apparently was not correctly drafted.

21             Mr. Praljak, do you know what order Siljeg is speaking about or

22     writing about?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Medical Sector obviously

24     addressed him, asking him about those detention centres where detainees

25     were.  They asked him some questions, and he tells them, Well, we don't

Page 41269

 1     have such centres, we don't know about any such centres, nor can you ask

 2     something like this from us.  So in formal legal terms, you cannot issue

 3     an order to us because we're not part of your chain of command, and in

 4     terms of the contents of this order, we have nothing to tell you because

 5     such institutions are not under the jurisdiction of the operational zone

 6     commanders or the Main Staff indeed.  So that's it, quite simply.

 7             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   As regards the Main Staff, this is your addition?

 9        A.   Yes, that's what I added to it, because you cannot have something

10     in the operational zone without it being automatically under the

11     jurisdiction of the Main Staff, so I would have known about that too.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Do we have that order, that order of the medical

13     side; do you know?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The Defence was unable to find it

17     because the reference number is not listed, and there is nothing in there

18     which would make it possible for us to search for it in the EDS or in the

19     archives, so we have been unable to find it.  We only have this date, the

20     28th of October.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you, Ms. Pinter.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   General, let us go back to document P06937.  It's a document that

24     has already been admitted into evidence, and we have filed motions in

25     which we have claimed -- well, perhaps you could first tell us what you

Page 41270

 1     have to say about this document.

 2        A.   On the 7th of November, 1993, I had a meeting in Tomislavgrad.  I

 3     spent a night there.  In the morning of the 8th, I was in that area,

 4     waiting for Mr. Roso, and I spent the afternoon and the evening with him

 5     because he was supposed to take over that post in the area of Livno and

 6     Tomislavgrad.

 7             In the Main Staff Command, I came after 10.30 and I signed two

 8     documents.  One was to speed up the investigation regarding Stupni Do,

 9     and this document had been drafted by Mr. Petkovic, but I wanted tighter

10     dead-lines, because Mr. Petkovic at the time, on that day, and over those

11     days, he was in Split and he wanted to get some rest, to visit his

12     family.  And the other document is the one about, well, allowing

13     UNPROFOR -- regarding the wounded persons in East Mostar.

14             This is a forgery.  Why was this document forged, and there's

15     another one that was also forged?  Well, I don't know; probably to bring

16     me here before this Tribunal.

17             And, well, on that day, I did not -- I was not there.  I arrived

18     at the Main Staff after 10.30, around 11.00.  And for me to sign

19     "General Slobodan Praljak" below "Zlatan Mijo Jelic," well, this makes no

20     sense.  Your Honours, this has nothing to do with me.  This is a forgery

21     that was created in various forges that you know had a lot to do with the

22     work of this Tribunal.  I don't want to comment on it.

23        Q.   But let us give a territorial delineation.  The 2nd Brigade of

24     the HVO, where was it active?

25        A.   In Mostar.

Page 41271

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Very well.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you indeed

 3     indicated the list of documents of which you said they were forged.  When

 4     I ask my questions, which is going to be in two weeks' time, I do intend

 5     to return at length to this document and other documents.  This is why

 6     I'm not asking questions about this right now, but rest assured I have a

 7     whole lot of questions related to this document.

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will answer every question,

10     Your Honour.  But it is interesting to note that firing on the Old Bridge

11     on the 8th, and all of that and documents of this sort, are created on

12     the last day of my stay in that area.  But be that as it may, I don't

13     have evidence, but I do know that there are plots and conspiracies, and I

14     claim -- I claim that this is not mine.

15             I never signed anything of the sort.  And for me to sign just

16     like that, without saying "approved" or anything like that, for somebody

17     simply to forge my signature there, I don't know.  Well, in the normal

18     documents, you would normally have "Commander of the Main Staff,

19     General Slobodan Praljak," it's typed out, and here it's handwritten.  So

20     I really don't know.  It probably was photocopied from a document and

21     then appended to it.  But I really state --

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I think it's

23     better to keep this for later, because right now everything is taken from

24     your time.  So I think it's better to leave this for the time when I ask

25     my questions.

Page 41272

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Now, General, we've finished with that binder.  And since we're

 4     on the subject of Mostar, we can move on to discuss the Old Bridge.

 5        A.   Yes, we can do the snipers if you want.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Anyway, for the Trial Chamber we

 7     have prepared the documents that we're going to deal with next.  In the

 8     book, "How the Old Bridge Was Destroyed," we have a letter that we

 9     prepared for the Trial Chamber especially, which is 3D01469, and I'd like

10     to ask the usher or Registrar to hand over these documents to the

11     Trial Chamber.  That's just the letter, but we also have prepared the

12     book titled "How the Old Bridge Was Destroyed," which is 3D00374.

13        Q.   Now, General, you have the book in front of you, and you have the

14     letter, too.  But before we discuss the letter, let me say that we've

15     already heard a lot about the Old Bridge.  Do you have anything to add

16     linked to the book or the event, the incident or whatever?

17        A.   Well, yes, I do.  I claim that -- well, Judge Antonetti

18     frequently says, You're under oath, you've taken the solemn declaration,

19     and I state what I've already stated.  I protected the Old Bridge in

20     1992.  While I was the commander of the Main Staff, I did my best to

21     protect it from being shot at, although it was a military target.  We

22     were all aware of that.  I also claim and assert that I only learnt of

23     the Old Bridge's destruction in Zagreb or going on my way, after I'd

24     handed over my duties on the 9th, in the morning.  I heard it over the

25     radio, news of the Old Bridge having been destroyed, and that there

Page 41273

 1     was a -- as for the tank that was shooting at the bridge, I had

 2     absolutely no idea about that.  I was there on the 8th, but I had

 3     completed my duties.

 4             And then, Your Honours, a whole avalanche fell upon me from the

 5     international public and the domestic public, saying that Praljak and the

 6     HVO had destroyed the Old Bridge.  Now, all my attempts as a human being

 7     to state that I did not do that, that I had nothing to do with that, they

 8     all fell through, because this terrible avalanche of lies gained momentum

 9     and snowballed, we had a snowball effect, until I heard that even the

10     president of the republic, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, came to believe the

11     rumour.  And in 1997, here I am writing to him.  I don't use any -- I

12     don't say, Honourable President, or anything.  I just go on to say,

13     Mr. President, and then set out the fact that I had nothing to do with

14     the bridge's destruction.  I asked to be received by him, and I suppose,

15     obviously under this avalanche of lies, and he must have given them -- he

16     must have thought them credible, anyway, he asked all these people -- all

17     the people dealing with the secret services - let's call them that - to

18     report to him and to complete the investigation into the bridge's

19     destruction.  So this is a trial and conviction beyond and outside the

20     law, with just using pamphlets and slogans and no proper investigation.

21             And as this situation continued, Your Honours, at my own

22     initiative I started to investigate the matter myself, because I don't

23     want my name to be linked in any way to that event, or the HVO, and so I

24     went around collecting material and documents that I had access to

25     because I saw that there was some murky -- there was some murky games

Page 41274

 1     afoot.  I state quite certainly that neither Praljak nor the HVO had

 2     anything to do with the bridge's destruction.

 3             And then I took three of the best experts in the area of

 4     explosives, the best experts from Croatia, experts in explosives, and

 5     then I also contacted a professor from Germany, and gave them the

 6     assignment to investigate how the Old Bridge was actually destroyed.  And

 7     we had witness recently who testified here.  She said that she was near

 8     the Old Bridge, attending a meeting when the bridge was destroyed, and

 9     that she heard a very loud explosion, and she emphasised that, and that

10     explosion was certainly not caused by a tank; it was caused by explosives

11     that were planted underneath the bridge and that destroyed the bridge.

12     And that is the conclusion that the experts have reached, so I reject

13     having anything to do -- I deny having anything to do with the

14     destruction of the Old Bridge.  It's just been cooked up in somebody

15     else's kitchens and pots.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the record and for

17     Their Honours, this relates to Witness BD, and (redacted)

18     (redacted)

19     (redacted)

20        Q.   Now, General --

21        A.   As to the man who filmed the destruction, this Scotsman or

22     English soldier who later on went to Sarajevo, got into a plane and

23     published -- made it all public, well, Their Honours, you could ask the

24     British government to send you a report, who the man was, how he happened

25     to board the plane, how he happened to have been there, and what role he

Page 41275

 1     played in all that, and who he played that role with, and, furthermore,

 2     why nobody ever completed the investigation that had been started.  Now,

 3     in whose interest that is, I don't know.  That surpasses my powers of

 4     deduction and proof and so on.

 5        Q.   Now, General, as you mentioned the inquiry, I'd like to ask you

 6     to look at page 39 of the book, and on e-court it is page 3D16-0040.  And

 7     for the English version, it is 3D16-0119.  This is the request for an

 8     investigation to be undertaken into the whole incident.  You mentioned

 9     that.

10        A.   Yes.  The 23rd of November, 1993, is the date.  However,

11     Ms. Nika, I, at my own initiative, wrote letters and asked the

12     international community, which in a way had taken control of

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina, was in control - you had judges there, an ombudsman,

14     and high representatives and whatever - to start an investigation or,

15     rather, to continue the investigation and to establish what had happened.

16     But they found the culprit, and that culprit's name is Slobodan Praljak.

17     But I say it's not Slobodan Praljak.  Let me repeat that.  It is not

18     Slobodan Praljak.  I don't know about the shots from the tank, but the

19     destruction of the bridge was not caused by the HVO or Slobodan Praljak.

20     Who destroyed it, I don't know.  We'll probably learn about this in 40 or

21     50 years' time.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the speakers kindly slow down and not

23     overlap.  Thank you.

24             MS. PINTER: [No interpretation]

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  The Old Bridge from Hum Hill

Page 41276

 1     could have been destroyed with three shells in the space of one minute,

 2     had I wanted to do that.  Let's make that understood.  Three shells, a

 3     maximum of three shells from Hum Hill.  I was the commander there from

 4     the 24th until the 8th, in the throws of the attack, when they were

 5     attacking with large-scale offensives, when soldiers were crossing the

 6     bridge and weapons being taken across the bridge, and the Old Bridge was

 7     not shot at, because I did not let -- allow anybody to shoot at the Old

 8     Bridge.  And then they destroyed it at nine -- on the 9th at 10.00.  I

 9     left my position, but who cares about that?

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   I have to repeat the question, because it wasn't recorded.  But

12     you don't have to repeat your answer, General.  That's been recorded.

13     And the question is this:  While the general was the commander of the

14     HVO, were there any orders to shoot at the bridge, to target the bridge.

15        A.   No, and I've explained why not.

16             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Wait, wait.

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, Your Honour, please.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, could you inform the Chamber on

19     what kind of shell you are thinking about when you say that, "with three

20     of them."  Do you mean three shells hitting or three shells shot, and

21     what kind of shells with what kind of weapon?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From a 130-millimetre cannon which

23     was up on Hum Hill, Your Honour Judge Trechsel.  There are shells which

24     have delayed fire-power.  The Old Bridge is hollow, it was hollow, and

25     if, with a shell, you move this retarded or delayed charge, then the

Page 41277

 1     shell hits the bridge at the point of the arch, where the arch is,

 2     penetrates it, and explodes inside.  Now, most probably a bridge hit in

 3     that way would fall with just one shell.  Three are quite sufficient.

 4             And you saw on the photograph how, when you're up on Hum Hill,

 5     you can see the bridge as if it were on the palm of your hand, and if

 6     during the large-scale offensive that they were launching in

 7     mid-September to the 10th of October, when the bridge -- when the

 8     Old Bridge was the main military means used to transfer their forces and

 9     MTS from Hum to West Mostar and to the right bank, if you bear that in

10     mind, so not only did I not shoot, but I forbid anybody to shoot at the

11     Old Bridge, even when it was quite obvious that it was a military target,

12     and any army in the world would have destroyed it, the American Army or

13     anybody else.  So if I didn't allow anybody to shoot at the bridge then,

14     then on the 8th, 9th, I was not there, so it was organised.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, was that a written order forbidding

16     any shots being fired?

17             THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  No, it was not written.

19             Your thesis, that you hit this bridge with an artillery shell,

20     what is -- thinking of ballistics, what is -- how many shots do you have

21     to fire to be sure that you fire -- that you actually hit a target of

22     that size?  Did you calculate that?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, up on

24     that hill, if you take the photograph on page -- if you look at the

25     photograph on page -- well, you can see it.  You can use a barrel.  You

Page 41278

 1     have an artillery shot, a straight one.  You don't have to have an

 2     elevation.  You can't miss it from that distance, with that kind of

 3     visibility.  You cannot miss, you couldn't miss the bridge.

 4             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, maybe we would need an artillery expert to

 5     say how much the dispersion is, because there's always a dispersion, as

 6     you very well know as well as I do.  Thank you.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I'm going to

 8     try and save time, because this issue of the Old Bridge has been

 9     discussed for hours on end, whilst - and I'm saying this to

10     everybody - there's not even one sentence on the destruction of the

11     Old Bridge in the pre-trial brief, although the bridge is something

12     extremely relevant for all the communities in Mostar.

13             Let me tackle the issue from a different angle, in the most legal

14     and scientific manner possible.

15             There was a tank, and we know that there were three soldiers in

16     the tank, Tomo Topic, Dragan Rezic and Senaid Cavcic.  These three

17     soldiers were heard by the SIS.  They made statements.  Unfortunately,

18     we -- I do not have their statements right now, but - and this is in your

19     book - we have a note by the military prosecutor, and I always trust

20     legal institutions, even if they are military legal institutions.  In his

21     note of 22nd of November, the military prosecutor mentioned the three

22     soldiers and wrote, in black and white, that the soldiers decided of

23     their own free will, initiative, without having received any orders.  The

24     military prosecutor - his name is Mladen Jurisic - filed a request for an

25     in-depth investigation.  He added that the three soldiers decided of

Page 41279

 1     their own initiative, and the prosecutor asked them to be prosecuted.

 2             And if you look at it more closely -- I'm sorry if my questions

 3     are always lengthy, but I am very cautious and very technical in asking

 4     them, and I see that these three soldiers are members of the Convicts

 5     Battalion from Siroki Brijeg.  But as far as remember, who issued orders

 6     to that battalion for positioning men with that tank at that position,

 7     and who was in charge of the battalion?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Convicts Battalion

 9     wasn't over there.  The tank, I don't know where that -- where it came

10     from, so I can't answer those questions, I really can't.  I know that the

11     Convicts Battalion wasn't there.  Now, who manned the tank, who these

12     people were, I don't know.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Now, according to

14     you, the Convicts Battalion wasn't there, but how can you explain the

15     fact that three soldiers of that battalion were there, and not only were

16     they there, but they were in a tank?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, Your Honour, well, I can only

18     speculate.  Of course, there was mention made of some money given by

19     someone, but those are all speculations, and I don't wish to enter into

20     speculations of that kind here because I simply don't know.  All I know

21     is what I state here, and that is that --

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was the name of the

23     commander of the Convicts Battalion?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ah, well, now, for a time the

25     Convicts -- you had the Convicts Battalion and then you had a portion

Page 41280

 1     that was anti-terrorist something.  A portion of that battalion was led

 2     by Andabak, not the one we mentioned but another Andabak.  He was a good

 3     soldier and it was a decent unit, but Tuta Naletilic had something to do

 4     with this particular battalion.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see the document, 3D1469, for

 6     the first time.  If I had known, I would have brought with me the

 7     presidential minutes.  If I remember correctly - I do have a good

 8     memory - in the course of November, after the 9th of November,

 9     Mr. Tudjman, who attends a meeting together with a few prominent

10     figures - I assume Susak is there - and President Tudjman asks to have

11     information provided to him concerning the Old Bridge.  I am sure I will

12     be able to put the presidential transcripts on the screen.  And

13     President Tudjman is aware of that for the first time, and he puts the

14     following question.  This is from memory that I quote him.  Who ordered

15     the destruction of the Old Bridge?  That is the question he puts to the

16     people who are around him.  And, strangely enough, there is no answer in

17     the transcript to his question.  There is a blank, and someone said there

18     is the noise -- we hear the noise of a piece of paper.

19             As you can see, I have an excellent memory because I remember

20     that one can hear the noise of a piece of paper, so somebody must have

21     provided the answer and said who had given the order, but it is not in

22     the transcript.  It would have been interesting to know whether this had

23     been taken off the transcript deliberately, why is somebody ruffling some

24     paper, which makes a noise.  But since we never had -- since we don't

25     have the audiotape and since we will never have the audiotape, since they

Page 41281

 1     have disappeared, we will never know.

 2             General Praljak, in 1997 you write to Mr. Tudjman.  Does he

 3     answer your letter or not?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, he

 5     invited the three people who are mentioned here because he realised --

 6     well, I don't know what it was all about, but I'm telling you I was

 7     labelled as the person who destroyed the bridge.  That was

 8     generally-accepted truth.  It was written in every newspaper, Praljak and

 9     the HVO tore down the bridge.  And, of course, this bitterness, dismay

10     and anger boiled in me, and that's why I wrote this letter.

11             He invited the three people, and they complained to me afterwards

12     that there was a lot of shouting and screaming going on up there.  Nobody

13     completed the investigation, and there were all those stories, rumours,

14     circulating around.  Every journalist had his or her interpretation, and

15     they were adding stuff up -- adding stuff, making stuff up.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you knew you

17     were going to testify here, since you announced this a long time ago.

18     And since you announced this, a number of years have gone by.  In light

19     of the resources you have, even if your resources are limited, why is it

20     that you did not try to contact these three soldiers?  Why didn't you ask

21     them who had given them the order to be there on the spot, and why is it

22     that you did not go right up the chain?  That was easy enough to do it.

23     It takes, at best, one or two days.  You could have done that.  Why

24     didn't you?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, because two of them

Page 41282

 1     were already dead, a long time dead, and I couldn't trace the third one.

 2     That's why I am telling you this is a dark story.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were detained together

 4     with Tuta, didn't you discuss this issue with him?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't really talk all that

 6     much with Mr. Naletilic, not about that at all, and he wouldn't have told

 7     me anything even if he knew anything.  And we were not on good terms, so

 8     apart from some -- you know, the time of day, things of that nature, just

 9     basic courtesy, nothing more than that.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.

11             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.

12             Before we begin, could I ask that we go back to page 25 of the

13     transcript.  It's a number of pages ago now.  Judge Trechsel had asked

14     the question of the general, whether there was a written order forbidding

15     any shots being fired.  That's at line 7, page 25.  And then

16     General Praljak's answer is recorded, but it's not attributed to

17     General Praljak.  It's still listed as being part of Judge Trechsel's

18     question, that is the words "No, it is not written."  And I think that is

19     an error in the transcript, and if so, I would ask that it be clarified

20     or corrected.  Thank you.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, I can testify under oath, if need be, that

22     I have not given that answer to my question.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I answered by saying that I did

24     not.  No written orders are issued for things like that.  You talk to

25     people and you tell them, You shouldn't do that, and you explain to them

Page 41283

 1     why.  That's how it's done.

 2             Why should I issue an order not to destroy the Old Bridge?  Let

 3     me repeat, the Law of War allowed me to destroy the Old Bridge.  It was a

 4     military facility.  And this issue should not be raised before this

 5     Tribunal at all.  Americans tore down 64 bridges in Serbia, they

 6     destroyed them.  That was regarding Kosovo.  And here I'm talking about

 7     the factual truth, and legally it's a totally different thing.  I did not

 8     destroy it, I did not issue orders for it to be shelled, and this had

 9     nothing to do with me.  And now, legally speaking, a military facility

10     that is used for offensive operations, well, the Judges will confirm that

11     because they are experts, they know that much better than I do.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, as we have returned to the issue,

13     could you tell the Chamber on what occasion and to whom you gave this

14     oral order that no one should shoot at the Stari Most?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I walked around the

16     lines at Hum -- I'm not receiving any interpretation.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] We are receiving French

18     interpretation on the B/C/S channel.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do we have interpretation now?

20             So the operational zone commanders, the artillery commanders'

21     questions, that's normal.  They see from the photographs -- you can see

22     from the photographs that they can see from above that the military --

23     that the BH army is using it for military purposes, and they are asking

24     me whether we could fire around the bridge to prevent the supplies being

25     brought in, and I'm telling them, No, no, no.  And I repeated that four

Page 41284

 1     or five times.  I explained to the lads, talking to them, that this was

 2     not a military target of such importance that it would warrant the

 3     destruction of this piece of cultural heritage with such great

 4     architectural and cultural value.

 5             And then on the 20th and the 21st, there was a big attack on West

 6     and there was a shelling from the Republika Srpska Army positions.  No

 7     shells were fired on the Old Bridge.  Not even then, when I think every

 8     soldier in the world would say, Prevent the bringing in of the new troops

 9     using this Old Bridge, and I didn't allow it, and my lads obeyed me.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you remember, the

11     Prosecutor, pursuant to 92 bis, had asked for two statements of citizens

12     from Eastern Germany to be admitted.  These people were former

13     mercenaries of the HVO.  The Defence had asked to cross-examine both

14     these witnesses, and the Trial Chamber had ordered a decision to say that

15     these two witnesses could come under the condition that they be

16     cross-examined.  And the Prosecutor, for reasons that are his own, felt

17     it was not necessary to bring these two German -- East German nationals

18     to testify.  At the time, they were still being detained.

19             I remember, however, that one of the two - I don't remember which

20     one - had said that at some point it had been contemplated by the HVO, at

21     the level of the unit he was part of, to go up the river to drop an

22     explosive in that spot, and the plan had been abandoned, given that it

23     was extremely difficult to perform.  So any reasonable trier of fact, and

24     I repeat, any reasonable trier of fact, could conclude thereof that a

25     plan had been formed to blow up the bridge.

Page 41285

 1             As far as you know, the German mercenaries, had they been given

 2     orders to lay mines on the bridge?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour Judge Antonetti,

 4     I have no clue as to what they're talking about, what kind of order they

 5     could get to shell the bridge.  It's 1.800 metres from Stotina, the

 6     position where the HVO was, to the bridge, along the Neretva River, and

 7     there is the BH Army positions on the other side.  Only a fool could say

 8     something like that.  You have to have American or French special forces

 9     who would reach the bridge, pass 1.800 metres up-river to the bridge and

10     set the explosives, and then blow up the bridge.  Well, there were dogs

11     of war who perhaps might have thought of something like that, but the

12     Main Staff and we -- and I, as part of the Main Staff, did not allow any

13     fire on the main bridge up until the 9th, when somebody set up the camera

14     and set fire to the fuses and set the explosives on the left bank of the

15     River Neretva.  I had nothing to do with it.

16             Six billion people and all the judges of the world, if they were

17     to come to the other side, well, I have nothing to do with the firing

18     with the tank.  The HVO has nothing to do with it at any level.  Whoever

19     thought that up, whoever cooked that up, this was just a diversion.  It

20     was done as part of some great political game, if I may be allowed to

21     speculate, and that was to completely destroy any remnants of the good

22     relations between Muslims and Croats and to charge the HVO and myself

23     personally for some political reasons.  But these are speculations,

24     although I could substantiate those claims quite reasonably, I think.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If we are to follow your

Page 41286

 1     theory, namely, that the bridge was destroyed by an explosive under

 2     water, as was said, this was done in Mirdo [phoen], which runs parallel

 3     to the bridge - we're still waiting to hear this expert witness,

 4     Mirdo - how could the Muslims have laid mines on the bridge?  They would

 5     have to go down into the water.  How can you explain this, technically

 6     speaking?  At night, because during the day everybody could have seen

 7     them?  How can you explain this, technically speaking?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, first

 9     of all, I will not speak about Muslims as a collective noun.  Well, those

10     who participated in the conspiracy, I don't know who they were.  But,

11     number one, they did not set the explosive in the water, but in the

12     hollow parts of the bridge, and it was only the cable used to activate

13     the explosive, it was left to float down the Neretva River maybe 100 or

14     150 metres, and then they used the induction detonator to activate the

15     explosives.  You can do that in broad daylight, because the banks of the

16     Neretva River are steep and you can't see anything.  So only a chance

17     passerby would see that, so it was only chance.

18             And once it was set up, an English soldier set up his camera,

19     filmed it all.  He was escorted, as the BH forces tell us themselves,

20     down to Sarajevo, where he was supposed to hand over the tape to the

21     Sarajevo TV, and he simply got on an UNPROFOR plane, flew off, and handed

22     the tape over to the BBC [Realtime transcript read in error "B/C/S"].

23             So I leave everyone to make their own conclusions, and the only

24     conclusion that I want to say is that the HVO and Slobodan Praljak have

25     nothing to do with that.  Now, as to who actually has something to do

Page 41287

 1     with that, draw your own conclusions.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Without drawing any conclusions

 3     at this stage, you specify, nonetheless, that all of this was organised,

 4     that the cameraman had been brought there.  He filmed all that.  After

 5     that, he was escorted away.  He was placed aboard an UNPROFOR plane, and

 6     his film was handed over to Sarajevo Television.  So all of this has to

 7     do with manipulation and intoxicating people?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I am claiming

 9     that this is all a huge manipulation.  He never handed the tape over to

10     the Sarajevo TV.  All the footage that we have seen here, this was

11     actually rebroadcast from the additional BBC [Realtime transcript read in

12     error "B/C/S"] broadcast.  The Sarajevo TV, the Austrian TV, and the

13     snippet -- well, he edited it out for whatever reason, whether there were

14     two explosions or just one explosion.  We don't have the full original.

15     He didn't hand it over to the Sarajevo TV.  It was simply taken over in

16     the usual way it's done when a TV channel broadcasts something.  But this

17     was broadcast the same evening on the 9th of November; not from Sarajevo,

18     but from the BBC [Realtime transcript read in error "B/C/S"].

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] It should be "BBC," not "B/C/S. "

20     And at page 34, line 25, line 11, too, and at page 35, line 6.  It's not

21     "B/C/S," it's "BBC."

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the famous

23     Scott is not a Scott we see here.  The Scott whom you write about, how

24     did you know that his name was Scott in the first place?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, in the

Page 41288

 1     book that I published, well, I learnt his name afterwards, because I

 2     asked a German journalist to get in touch with him, if he could, and try

 3     to learn as much as he could about it.  It's a gentleman who made a film

 4     about the destruction of the Old Bridge.  It was shown in Germany, and

 5     Austria, and the Netherlands a couple of times.  I know the name of this

 6     gentleman.  He was called "Schotte."  That means a Scotsman.  So it's not

 7     that his name was Scott.  He was known as a Scotsman.  An English

 8     soldier, but he was from Scotland.

 9             And this is what the Muslim papers say.  That's at -- that's in

10     my book.  Let me show you where it is stated -- well, it's in

11     "Oslobodjenje", Thursday, 19th of June, 1997, the Croatian page is 34,

12     where this issue is discussed, and it says a Scotsman trained his camera

13     at the bridge.  He was in the town as a member of the British Army.  So

14     there were no British people down there, so I find it really strange.  I

15     don't know what a British soldier was doing in Mostar when the Spanish

16     soldiers were in charge of that area.  And it is said here that on

17     Dudakovic’s orders, this man - and Dudakovic was deputy commander

18     of the 4th Corps - headed to Sarajevo, escorted by the Military Security

19     from the 4th Corps.  So this is explicitly stated here.  But instead of

20     handing over this precious document, as had been arranged, to the

21     director of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Radio and Television, he managed to

22     get on the first UNPROFOR flight out of Bosnia.

23             This is what the Muslims are writing, not Praljak.  So these are

24     their statements quite some time after the actual event, and I can't

25     get -- I couldn't learn anything apart from that.  As to what his role

Page 41289

 1     was down there, I could give you the name and then perhaps -- well, but

 2     it wouldn't serve any purpose, really.

 3             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The English page is 3D16-0112.

 4             Before we move on, I would like to thank my colleague

 5     Mr. Stringer for the correction in the transcript.  I wanted to make the

 6     same correction myself.  It's at line 25.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before that, I think

 8     it was on the 5th of November, we had a meeting in Split; the HVO,

 9     Jadranko Prlic, Mate Boban, myself, Petkovic, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, and so

10     on, where there was a lot of discussion, and in fact President Tudjman

11     asked that we do as much as we can to calm down the tensions with the

12     BH Army to try and find a peaceful solution.

13             Now, as to who actually blew up the bridge and who went against

14     this policy and this conclusion that was generally accepted, well, that

15     goes beyond my ken.  I can speculate and make some constructions which

16     I think are quite well founded, but this had nothing to do with the

17     Main Staff, with the HVO command at any level, with myself or with

18     Petkovic.

19             Now, we should go back to the investigation, but two of the

20     people from the tank have been dead for a long time, and I don't know

21     about the third one, whether he's alive or not.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the transcript, I want to say

23     that Mr. Mladen Jurisic, that is to say, the person who made the decision

24     to launch an investigation, is now president of the County Court in

25     Mostar and a member of the High Legal Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

Page 41290

 1     according to what the Defence knows, the decision is still with the

 2     prosecutor in Mostar -- the case is still with the prosecutor in Mostar

 3     and has been there.  No progress has been made.  They cannot establish

 4     the cause for the Old Bridge's destruction, nor can they contact some key

 5     witnesses.

 6             As we've got just one minute left to the break, I don't want to

 7     move on to another area now, which is snipers in Mostar, and I'm sure the

 8     general needs more than one minute to deal with that topic.  So I suggest

 9     we have the break now.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to break for

11     20 minutes.

12                           --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

13                           --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

15             The Trial Chamber is going to hand down a ruling in closed

16     session or private session, please, Registrar.

17                           [Private session]

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 41291

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19                           [Open session]

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Ms. Pinter.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

23        Q.   General, we announced that the next topic for your testimony will

24     be snipers in Mostar and incidents of snipers, sniper fire.  Would you

25     like to add anything to what we've already said?

Page 41292

 1        A.   Well, when the expert on snipers was here, I analysed each of his

 2     cases, and I want now to repeat the cases we had here, to go through them

 3     briefly.

 4             Incident number 1, and the number is 3D00771.  I don't have the

 5     time to produce the document, but I do claim and state that the gentleman

 6     who was wounded in the leg showed how he was standing, he demonstrated

 7     that.  It is not possible that that wound was caused by fire from the

 8     positions at Stotina.  That is impossible.  It contradicts mathematics.

 9     It goes against the grain of maths.  And then further on, I say that

10     unfortunately we have seen no medical or police documents to substantiate

11     that.

12             Now, with respect to incident number 2, which I challenged,

13     3D00756 was the number of the document, and it describes how a

14     nine-year-old was fired at while they were sitting in a water-tank truck.

15     The expert was wrong in determining the location.  He was wrong by some

16     30 kilometres, and the locality that was drawn -- the position of the

17     cistern of the water truck, where it was drawn.  And the bullet that

18     shattered the glass, well, I claim that from the position of Stotina,

19     that location cannot be seen optically, and I showed that with the

20     precisely-taken photographs, the photographs I had taken with great

21     precision.

22             Now, as to incident number 3, and I refer to my analysis in

23     3D00766, it was the case of a woman killed by a shot to the head on the

24     terrace of her house, the experts failed to agree as to whether she was

25     wounded behind her left ear or her right ear.  She was found lying on the

Page 41293

 1     ground, and I don't see how anyone can establish beyond all reasonable

 2     doubt, or beyond any doubt at all, for that matter, that the bullet could

 3     have come from Stotina.  You can also claim that anybody could have

 4     killed her, including her husband.  The investigation wasn't completed.

 5             With incident number 4, with this street, Marshal Tito Street, I

 6     cannot conclude anything on the basis of what was written, so I skip that

 7     portion, because there are no elements on the basis of which except

 8     arbitrarily to say that the bullet was coming from one side or another.

 9     Well, I'm going to skip that one, then.

10             Now, incident number 5, the expert himself says that the victims

11     were in the apartment, so they could not have been visible, and that the

12     house is close to or along the line of the military positions of

13     North Camp, and that most probably it was a case of stray bullets because

14     near that house is where North Camp was situated, which is where the

15     BH Army had its positions and from which there was shooting all the time

16     at HVO lines.

17             Now we come to incident number 6.  That was 3D00 --

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  Mr. Praljak, I have to recall, as I

19     have before, that you are here as a witness.  What you are doing now is

20     presenting arguments.  From the beginning when you speak on this, you are

21     arguing, you are pleading.  And there is a time for that, but this is not

22     the time for pleadings, but the time for witness testimony.  You have not

23     been there, you are not an expert, anyway, you do not posit as an expert,

24     so I think that you should not continue in this way.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, I'll

Page 41294

 1     accept your guidance.  But I'm a super-expert here.  As a witness, I can

 2     say that what the witness said, in discussing number 6, he took a

 3     photograph of the wrong building and said that it was the Staklena Bank

 4     or "glass bank," as it was called.  This -- well, it wasn't incident

 5     number 6, it was another incident.  Let me just take a moment to find it.

 6             But as a witness, I can say the following.  I'm no longer going

 7     to testify in this way.  As a witness, I can say that in incident

 8     number 7, for instance, from the Ledara, the man couldn't have been

 9     wounded in the back of his neck, because the angle was coming in at an

10     angle of 90 -- the bullet was coming in at an angle of 90 degrees and not

11     180 degrees.

12             As a witness, I can also say, with respect to victims number 8

13     and 14, that there is no optical vision of a single HVO position at the

14     place where these people were wounded.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   Could you tell us the locality, General, for the record, or could

17     you tell us the page?

18        A.   They are victims number 8 and 14, and the incidents took place in

19     Brkic Street by the fire brigade.  So as a witness, I'm testifying that

20     there was no visibility, line of vision, either from the Staklena Banka,

21     glass bank building, or any other position where these people were

22     wounded.

23             And as far as incident number 9 is concerned, I would have to

24     present arguments, so I'm going to skip that.

25             But with incident number 10, well, I'll skip that too, because

Page 41295

 1     I'm not here to offer up arguments as to why the bullet cannot lodge at

 2     an angle of 45 degrees.

 3             But with incident number 11, I claim, Your Honours, that the

 4     witness on the photograph marked and said -- put down "glass house,"

 5     whereas that building is not the glass house or glass bank, and I say

 6     that under oath.  That is not the glass bank building.  It is a building

 7     that is at least 300 metres away from the glass bank to the north.

 8        Q.   General, could you mark that position which you claim is not the

 9     glass bank?  Could you put that on the ELMO, please?

10        A.   The image has to be turned.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  90 degrees, please.  That's better, thank you.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here you have it, Your Honours.

13     The expert wrote here and indicated that this was the glass house or

14     glass bank [indicates].  I claim that that is not right.  The glass bank

15     is in this direction over here [indicates], whereas this is another

16     building.  It's one of the buildings from the area that is referred to as

17     Centre 2.  Here we have an enlargement [indicates], he zoomed in here,

18     but that is wrong.  It is information which is not truthful.

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   General, for the record, you indicated the direction in which the

21     glass bank building actually was located.  Could you describe that to us

22     in words, for the record?

23        A.   The glass bank is over here [indicates] or, rather, this is not

24     the glass bank building [marks].  That's not it there.  And I'll sign my

25     name down at the bottom [marks].  And it's the 8th today, isn't it?

Page 41296

 1     "08/06/2009."

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Let's have a number,

 3     Registrar.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  The document just marked by

 5     the witness shall be given Exhibit IC1026.  Thank you, Your Honours.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I have

 7     prepared questions on this victim -- on these victims.  I'll only relay

 8     the questions -- or seven victims during the time when you were in

 9     command until 1993, so I'll ask the questions later.  But I have one for

10     now.

11             In these proceedings, each party carries on their own

12     investigation; the Prosecution does and you do, too.  This is the way the

13     proceedings work.  In order to carry out investigations, you have

14     resources which are granted to you by the Registry.  The Registry

15     supplies -- grants financial resources to the Defence parties.  Why did

16     you not think of reconstructing, by night with laser rifles, the case by

17     the Prosecution to see the points of origin and the points of impact?

18             I've done that thousands of times when I was working as a

19     prosecutor.  It's very easy to do, but you have to have done it at least

20     once in your life.  And even if you were not used to it, you could have

21     asked lawyers or experts to reconstruct situations like that for you in

22     order to demonstrate that what the Prosecution expert said was not right.

23     You did not do it.  Well, we take what you say into account, but you

24     should have gone by the book.  What can you say to this?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, Your Honour,

Page 41297

 1     technically speaking this is without fault.  It's mathematically,

 2     geometrically correct.  The distance, visibility, it was done by the

 3     book, by the rules.  I placed a man in Mostar at the exact position where

 4     the event took place, and he was there to film and zoom in to the place

 5     from which the expert claims the bullet had come.  Then I placed the man

 6     in the position where the bullet came from, using a camera, zooming in

 7     and out, reducing the angle of the lens, moving towards the location

 8     where the man was hit, on the basis of a diagram and a description by the

 9     expert describing how the individual stood, where he was facing, and

10     where the bullet was coming from; for example, with the little boy

11     crossing -- running across the road.  For each of those individual cases,

12     I used mathematical precision and visual precision to show that that had

13     nothing to do with any reasonable assertion.

14             It's not expertise.  I asked the man, Is he ashamed?  Well, he

15     said he wasn't ashamed, but I'm ashamed.  I ashamed for him, for how he

16     did his work.  And I set all this out in my documents.  They're precise

17     documents.  I think that for one of the cases, I didn't have enough time

18     to go into that, my time had expired, but you can ask me about that and I

19     will clearly show you, using mathematics, that the analysis of the expert

20     just does not hold water, except for the Marshal Tito Street incident,

21     where we can speculate.  I don't know.  But as to the rest, I have been

22     precise to the very last detail.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

24             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't find the

25     photographs that we attached just now during the expert testimony, all

Page 41298

 1     the positions from which it was claimed that the shooting came from in

 2     Mostar and the positions where the people who were hit were located.

 3     Unfortunately, I don't have the numbers and the photographs, but we did

 4     use those photographs and display them during the expert witness

 5     testimony.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have them all, but we don't have

 7     time.  So when Judge Antonetti asks me about this, I'll be able to show

 8     him exactly, with mathematical precision.  I will show him that the

 9     expert did his job -- well, that he couldn't care less how he was going

10     to accomplish his task.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Do you have anything else on sniper fire?

13        A.   Well, no, since I don't have -- well, I understand, Your Honour

14     Judge Trechsel, that I can't go on, but I claim that he goes as far as to

15     mark the buildings wrongly, although he had seen it.  He really doesn't

16     care.  He couldn't care less if he marks its location 100 metres here or

17     200 metres there, angles, distances, he couldn't care less, line of

18     sights, and so on.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  There's no reason to fear, Mr. Praljak.  I have

20     a very basic and pragmatic question.

21             Haven't these photos and so forth not been presented to the

22     Chamber already?  Are they not admitted into evidence?  I seem to recall

23     that we have seen a lot of material.  So it will not be necessary to send

24     them again, because they are definitely not lost.  Thank you.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

Page 41299

 1             Now we can go on, Ms. Nika.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes, we can go on.  Now I would like

 3     the Court Deputy to give 3D03566 to the Judges.

 4             Oh, I'm sorry, the general has drawn a map over the weekend that

 5     he would now like to show.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, you asked me --

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, could the witness please

 8     speak into the microphone.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- about the positions of the

10     BH Army.  I can see -- well --

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, the witness is kindly asked

12     to speak in the microphone.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, there's a problem, because when

14     look at the map, your face is turned away from the microphone, so the

15     interpreters have difficulty in understanding you.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   General, could you please repeat the number of the document that

18     this map pertains to?  Is this 3D --

19        A.   3D00929.

20        Q.   Thank you.

21        A.   Well, you won't be able to see anything from this distance.  I

22     would kindly ask that this be handed to the Judges, Their Honours, and to

23     the Prosecution, because you won't be able to see anything.  Could you

24     please give this to Their Honours?

25        Q.   General, we have to try at least for you to show, because we only

Page 41300

 1     have one copy, so we can't really distribute it before you've explained.

 2        A.   Your Honours and the Prosecution, according to the document we

 3     have written down the numbers indicating locations.  This is the

 4     translation into English, and I signed it [indicates].

 5             Your Honours, I think - and the translators also note

 6     this - there is a mistake.  The figures in the English and the Croatian

 7     did not tally by one.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  A suggestion to the technician.  Could not the

 9     camera be zoomed on this map?  Then perhaps we can see more.

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   General, this pertains to the locations in Mostar?

12        A.   Yes.  This is Mostar [indicates].  This is Northern

13     Camp [indicates], the Tihomir Misic barracks, number 1, and here we have

14     the BH Army and the HVO lines that are drawn in [indicates].  And now,

15     because of the number of positions, we marked the positions in Santiceva

16     and the Spanish Square, and here around the Old Bridge and Cernica

17     [indicates], the position that are listed in the document, and the

18     positions at Stotina and the machine-gun emplacement that is facing

19     Stotina, and so on [indicates].

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we want to

22     understand better, because we are at least 20 metres away from the map.

23             We have little white squares in the map.  What do they mean?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The small white squares indicate --

25     well, here you have the legend, number 1, number 1, number 2, number 2

Page 41301

 1     here [indicates], and we have the translation in English.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   General, perhaps for the record, you could at least tell us what

 4     number 1 is.  Is that a BH Army position, in a street, in the town, in a

 5     house; what is it?

 6        A.   Ms. Pinter, well, we've drawn this in about 30 times already.

 7     This is the Tihomir Misic barracks, the Northern Camp where the BH Army

 8     was, and here you have the lines that are drawn in and everything

 9     else [indicates].

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, you have the pointer.  Use

11     it to show us precisely where the Northern Camp is, or the North Camp,

12     because you keep moving the pointer, so it's hard to follow you.

13             THE WITNESS: [Marks]

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So say number 1 is the

15     North Camp.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the record --

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation

19     continues] ... the other numbers, then?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Number 1 is the Northern Camp.

21     Number 2 -- and then it just goes on all the way through to 23.  A square

22     corresponds to the number that is listed here, and we have the English

23     translation indicating the identity of each location.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Tell us quickly what these

25     23 sites represent.

Page 41302

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Twenty-three locations indicate the

 2     sniper positions, unit positions, machine-gun nests of the BH Army at the

 3     separation line with the HVO.  In fact, it's only number 3, Your Honours,

 4     which is Stotina, it's the HVO position at Stotina which we have

 5     mentioned so many times before.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How do you know that these were

 7     BH Army positions?  What do you have to be able to claim this?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on the document that we

 9     looked at last week.  First of all, I know that these were BH Army

10     positions, because I was quite well aware of it, but this was drawn on

11     the basis of the document, the document that you asked me about.  You,

12     yourself, asked me why I didn't draw a map, because the map that the

13     author appended to the original document is gone, it's disappeared, and

14     now, on the basis of the document, I drew this map, I made those

15     markings.  But it's undoubtedly accurate, because I know that as an

16     eye-witness of the events; not with, of course, 100 per cent precision

17     for each and every position, but --

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The document is 3D00929.  It's the

19     intelligence report dated the 11th of November, 1993, and we saw it last

20     week.

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  September.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.  General, now I would

23     like you to take -- okay.  Before we that, Mr. Kovacic has warned me that

24     we have to ask for an IC number for this map.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes.  An IC number for this

Page 41303

 1     map, Registrar.

 2             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  The map shall be given

 3     Exhibit IC1027.  Thank you, Your Honours.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you surprise

 5     us here because we did not expect to do this work, but when I look at the

 6     positions of the BH Army just off the cuff, I sense that from the

 7     position where any BH Army sniper was, he could basically hit any target

 8     in Mostar.  Is this so or is this wrong?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not any target because of the

10     buildings, but they could target any HVO position.  All HVO positions

11     were exposed to the BH Army fire, all the buildings that you can see,

12     everything that you have the line of sight.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the record, I shall revisit

14     this, but I want this to be clear already.  As I understand, your case is

15     that among the people wounded or killed, casualties attributed by the

16     Prosecutor to the HVO, your case is that the victims could have been

17     BH Army's victims.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is correct, but I

19     am, in fact, claiming just one thing with 100 per cent certainty, and

20     that is the following:  The explanation of the expert, that such and such

21     a man who was injured by the HVO sniper, as he claims, well, that's not

22     true.  That's what I'm saying with full certainty.  The explanations that

23     are provided by the expert, that, for instance, in Brkica Street, two men

24     were shot, this is not true, because there is no line of sight from any

25     HVO positions to that site, and so on.

Page 41304

 1             And if you recall, Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I asked a witness

 2     who was a victim, I asked him, Sir, do you ask yourself to this day who

 3     actually fired at you?  And he responded, Yes, General.  He's an old man

 4     and he knows to this day that -- what he has been told, that he was shot

 5     by the HVO, that this is not true.  He knows that the position where he

 6     was shot cannot be seen from the glass bank.  And then the expert says,

 7     Well, there could have been a mobile sniper position in a square which is

 8     completely open.  Well, this is something -- really something, to say

 9     that there is a mobile sniper position, somebody just driving around, and

10     the BH Army positions are 50 metres away, and all those buildings.  Well,

11     it really begs belief and it's an insult to logic.  It's really an insult

12     to basic human logic.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Pinter.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

15        Q.   General, I would now like to ask you to look at 3D03566.  It's a

16     book, "Government of Democratic Unity of the Republic of Croatia."  Now I

17     would like you to explain to Their Honours, first of all, who authored

18     this book and what the author's function was, and what was the function

19     of the Government of Democratic Unity, and then we will go on through the

20     book itself, and go through it highlighting important elements.

21        A.   Well, the book itself was, in a way, edited or put together by a

22     journalist, Milovan Baletic, but the actual editor, the person who

23     approved it, who worked on it, was the prime minister of the Republic of

24     Croatia in 1991-1992, Franjo Greguric.  The Government of National Unity

25     was set up at the proposal of Dr. Franjo Tudjman, not as a government

Page 41305

 1     that is put together by the party that won the elections, but this was

 2     the government that in those difficult times, when Croatia was on the

 3     brink of disappearance, it was barely surviving, the best representatives

 4     from all the parties, regardless of their results in the elections,

 5     became part of that government, and that is why it was called the Party

 6     of Democratic Unity in Croatia.

 7             But I would just like to highlight some things to show to Their

 8     Honours, the Judges, that the same policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina,

 9     the international treaties, respect for all the rights, the advocacy of

10     Croatian interests at various conferences by the prime minister and the

11     foreign ministers, that this policy -- also by the Parliament of the

12     Republic of Croatia and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the

13     president of the state has -- was consistent, this policy, to the effect

14     that Bosnia was an independent state and that it should be helped to

15     survive, in military terms, too, through proposals, as you will see, on

16     economic relations.  The only thing that was always brought up was that

17     in accordance with the proposals of the international community, this

18     state should be internally organised in such a way that three constituent

19     peoples should be happy with the way it is set up, so that the peoples

20     who live in that state should not feel that they're short-changed or at a

21     disadvantage in any way.  There should be a mirror-image symmetry.  And

22     that's all I have to say about it.  It's --

23        Q.   Just a moment.  For record, when you say "that state," and we

24     just have the Republic of Croatia written in the transcript.

25        A.   The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the one that I was

Page 41306

 1     referring to.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  Can you give us the page number?

 3        A.   It's 107 in the Croatian.

 4        Q.   And that is --

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please, Counsel.  Microphone,

 6     please.

 7             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   In e-court, it is page 3D41-1285, in Croatian, and for the

 9     English it is 3D41-0379 and 3D41-0380.

10        A.   The vice-premier, Dr. Zdravko Tomac, who was a social democrat

11     otherwise, informed the Government of the Republic of Croatia about talks

12     between the Croatian delegation and the delegation of the Government of

13     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  They said that the action of the

14     armed forces should be prohibited from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

15     towards Croatia because there was an enormous aggression and

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina was, not through the will of its own government, but

17     through the impotence of its own government and the impotence of its

18     president, the president of the Presidency, Izetbegovic, who wasn't

19     standing up to the Yugoslav People's Army in opposition.  So it was an

20     aggression against Croatia.  And if we look at the states, this state was

21     attacking the Republic of Croatia.

22             Now, who was doing the attacking?  Either one state attacking

23     another or it was the JNA aggression, but then we don't have a state

24     because they were attacking everyone, because they thought that all this

25     should be in the frameworks of a Greater Serbia.

Page 41307

 1             So the principle is that either we have states, and then

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina is the aggressor in that case, if that's the truth, or

 3     states do not exist in that shape and form, and then the aggressor is the

 4     JNA and Greater Serbia.  So that's it, there we have it.

 5             And then it goes on to say that it's difficult -- the situation

 6     is difficult in Kostajnica, Sisak, Dubica, Petrinja, and so on and so

 7     forth.  I was in Sisak.  I know about all this.

 8        Q.   And what time are we talking about?

 9        A.   September 1991.

10        Q.   Thank you.

11        A.   Now we can move on to page 151, and we're dealing with the

12     30th of September, page 151.

13        Q.   It is 3D41-1288, for the Croatian, and the English is 3D41-0380.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we'll have a

15     look at this, since you are showing this, but I had a question this

16     weekend and I felt it was important.

17             You've just told us that there was a national unity government.

18     Fine.  What I'd like to know is this:  At the time, was there an

19     opposition?  Did everybody agree 100 per cent with Mr. Tudjman, and they

20     supported him, or was there a form of opposition, and if so, who were the

21     people opposing the government?  I'm asking you this question because

22     contrary to what I thought initially, I thought that Mr. Praljak is a

23     military man, he doesn't know much about political affairs, and I

24     realised over time that you were also a player on the political stage, so

25     my question is a question of a political nature.  Was there a form of

Page 41308

 1     opposition to the Government of National Unity of Mr. Tudjman?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An exact answer would be just one

 3     party was in opposition, and that was the Croatian Party of Rights.  It

 4     had the HOS, H-O-S, and you saw in the documents that there were a lot of

 5     problems there to disarm them.  All the other parties -- well, that was a

 6     small party, that Party of Rights, with just 6 or 7 per cent of the

 7     electorate.  It just managed to get through.  All the other parties were

 8     in the Government of National Unity, and there was no opposition to the

 9     policy and politics waged because it was based on a national consensus of

10     Parliament, the Government, and the president of the republic, according

11     to the basic elements:  Independence; defence from the aggression; human

12     rights, as you saw over there; maximum national rights, ethnic rights for

13     the Serbs, cultural autonomy for the Serbs if they desired it within

14     Croatia; recognition of the borders of the republic with the

15     disintegration of the former country, Yugoslavia; an attempt at reaching

16     a military agreement on joint defence with Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So pure

17     democracy, the rule of law.  Anybody transgressing will have to be held

18     responsible.  And I'll show you a document from 1992, I'll show you the

19     document that I wrote myself.  So it was national consensus at this

20     point, both of the parties and the citizens.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So there was a

22     national consensus, but there was the Croatian Party of Rights, the HOS,

23     which represented, according to what you have said - I'm looking at the

24     transcript - 6 to 7 per cent of the general electorate.  You'll have at

25     least one week to think about this.  I'm not going to put this question

Page 41309

 1     directly to you now.  But as part of the questions I'm going to put to

 2     you on the joint criminal enterprise and on the Banovina, I would like to

 3     know whether, in the Croatian Constitution, the Banovina is mentioned.

 4     In Croatia, were there people who criticised this?

 5             In my country, if I were to try this kind of case, I would have

 6     read everything and I would know everything back to front, but in this

 7     case I don't read and understand the Croatian language, and I don't know

 8     if articles were published that criticised the Banovina.  When I put

 9     questions to you about this subject, I'd like you to tell me whether

10     articles were written at the time about this.  This would be of interest

11     to me when I put my question.

12             Thank you.  So reflect on this, please, but don't answer straight

13     away.  This is not the time.

14             Ms. Pinter, I'll give the floor back to you now.

15             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16             General, let me just give the right page number for the record.

17     In English it is 3D41-0380.  We've already given the Croatian page

18     number, which is 3D41-1288.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  Briefly, it says here that

20     Dubrovnik was being attacked from Trebinje, which is of course in

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that it was being attacked from Montenegro via

22     territory -- both BH territory and -- well, they were targeting

23     Dubrovnik, so Bosnia-Herzegovina was the territory from which Dubrovnik

24     was being attacked.  And this follows on from the question of what

25     happens with the south, when we raised the question of whether the

Page 41310

 1     Croatian Army will have to enter into the depth of BH territory, because

 2     you cannot liberate Dubrovnik and free them from fire from that area.  I

 3     read about this.  It's called the tactical depth, the right of entry into

 4     a neighbouring country to use tactical depth; that is to say, that you

 5     can't target the town using artillery.

 6             Anyway, let's move on to page 157 now.

 7        Q.   3D41-1289 is the Croatian number, and in English it is 3D41-0381,

 8     for the English.  And the English number refers to the next date that

 9     follows.  Go ahead, General.

10        A.   Once again, the prime minister -- or, rather, the president says

11     that they have decided to send a demand -- a request to the Government of

12     the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It always says "Government," it

13     always says "Bosnia-Herzegovina," so Judge Antonetti, there's no

14     Banovina.  Well, let me answer.

15             Anyway, what it says here -- what are they going to ask for?

16     That the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina undertake everything in its

17     power to stop the unlawful use of the state territory of

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Therefore, Bosnia-Herzegovina has state territory,

19     and that state territory is called "Bosnia-Herzegovina," and that's what

20     the prime minister says, and that this state territory of

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina should cease to be used for attacks on the Republic of

22     Croatia by aggressor units.  So that's the request that is being made

23     here.  There's no need to go into that any further.  We can move on.

24             Yes, the next page is 171.

25        Q.   It's 3D41-12 --

Page 41311

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.  General Praljak,

 2     the attack on Dubrovnik, well, I'm not very familiar with this, apart

 3     from the judgement rendered in the Strugar case.  I'm no specialist in

 4     this field, so I apologise.  I apologise for this beforehand.  This is a

 5     rather innocent question on my part, but bearing in mind what you've just

 6     said, you've said two important things:  A, that the artillery was

 7     surrounding Dubrovnik and the artillery was shelling the town; but, B,

 8     you said that you did not cross Bosnia-Herzegovina to get to Dubrovnik to

 9     support them there.  At the time, did you have any aircraft with which

10     you could have shelled the Serb artillery --

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- when you were in the

13     Republic of Croatia?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]

15     ... Croatia at that time did not have aircraft.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you have a navy with which

17     you could have shelled at the Serb positions from the sea?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The entire navy of the Yugoslav

19     People's Army was taken away by the Yugoslav People's Army to Montenegro.

20     It took the navy with it.  So at that time, we didn't have a single

21     warship.  The guys around Dubrovnik had those fast speedboats, and

22     despite the blockades set up by the JNA Navy, they managed to bring in

23     some food and ammunition to Dubrovnik, with casualties, of course.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time of the attack on

25     Dubrovnik by the Serbs, the Republic of Croatia had how many operational

Page 41312

 1     brigades?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, well, what can I say?  We're

 3     dealing with 1991?  What do you say?  Well, Your Honour, I think that

 4     there was about, on the battle-front, not more than 40.000 volunteers,

 5     four brigades of the National Guards Corps and some other brigades, but

 6     not more than 40.000 manpower over the whole front, the whole theatre of

 7     operations.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 9             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   General, the page was 3D41-1294 in the Croatian, and for the

11     English it was 3D41-0385, or page 10 of the translation.  I think it will

12     be easier for us to find our way that way.

13        A.   We're dealing with the 6th of October here, and that was the time

14     when all of Croatia was burning.  We see an overview of all the fighting

15     in Croatia.  It says that the European Community had threatened

16     Yugoslavia with a blockade if they continued to ignore the truce and

17     cease-fire.  "The warring parties," that was a terrible phrase.  We

18     weren't warring parties, we were the victims of aggression, whereas it

19     saying -- the phrase that was used all the time was "warring sides," as

20     if, if I stopped, the Yugoslav People's Army stopped.  It didn't, it

21     carried on attacking.  So these diplomatic phrases, this one being a case

22     in point, "warring sides," they were an insult to people fighting at that

23     time, but never mind.

24             Dubrovnik is mentioned again, and air attacks, and everything

25     that was set on fire.  We needn't deal with that anymore.  We can move on

Page 41313

 1     to page 191 --

 2        Q.   The Croatian page is 3D41-1295, and the English is -- I think

 3     you've got the page wrong, General.  It's not page 191, it's 201.

 4        A.   That's right.

 5             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the interpreters, this is

 6     3D41-1298 for the Croatian, and the English is page 11, or 3D41-0386.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before moving on,

 8     General Praljak, a while ago you made a comment on the fact that the

 9     international community talked about the warring parties, these are the

10     words you used when you were saying that you were the victims of this.

11     This is your version, but you know full well that the Serbs say the

12     opposite, that they were the victims because you were the aggressors.  So

13     there is an issue here.

14             Let me just give you one example.  Borovo Selo, each of the

15     parties says the other party is responsible.  Do you agree with this or

16     not?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't agree with that, either

18     with you or with the Serb side, Judge Antonetti.  Borovo Selo was the

19     territory of the Republic of Croatia, and in Borovo Selo, people were

20     captured, and the police of the Republic of Croatia had the right to

21     intervene in Borovo Selo.  And according to the socialist constitution

22     and the JNA, no, it didn't.

23             What we saw in Dubrovnik, what we saw in Vukovar, what we saw in

24     Sisak, what I experienced, there were no warring parties or factions.

25     You had the aggressor and you had the victim.  And we can open a

Page 41314

 1     discussion of whatever kind you want here and hold a debate, but Croatia

 2     did not attack Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina or Montenegro.  I did not go

 3     to war with Belgrade.  I did not go to fight in Tuzla, Sarajevo, Bihac,

 4     and so on.  I was defending myself.  Wherever I was, all I did was to

 5     defend, everywhere.  The HVO defended itself, and the Croatian Army

 6     defended itself, and I defended myself.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You are mixing up two terms.  One is the term of

 8     "aggressor" and the other is a term of "belligerent party."  As I

 9     understand it, a belligerent party is a party that is involved in war,

10     irrespective of whether it is just defending or attacking.  "Aggressor"

11     is probably what you refer to, but that is not the word used here, so I

12     wonder whether your criticism is really justified.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I fully understand

14     your remark, and it is true that there are two sides in every war and

15     that you could term them "belligerent parties" or "warring parties."  But

16     when Hitler is marching in France, then you cannot call on both

17     belligerent parties or warring factions to stop, because the French

18     Resistance doesn't have anything to stop in -- Guderian's, Rommel's, and

19     divisions have something to stop, and what is at issue here is that they

20     are saying, Stop.  Who is to stop?  The party who has 1.000 tanks or I,

21     in Sunja, with two mortars?  I would have stopped at any point, but

22     provided that what the international law decreed, that Croatia is an

23     independent state, with its borders, its constitution, and let them move

24     out and we will stop.

25             Franjo Tudjman and all of us, we didn't ask for anything more

Page 41315

 1     than that.  That's all we asked for and the only question is who can stop

 2     the war.  There are warring sides, belligerent parties, but within that

 3     term you also have the aggressor.  Germany is an aggressor, Poland is

 4     not, in World War II, and Poland -- there is nothing Poland can stop.  It

 5     was a belligerent party for one month and then it ceased to be a

 6     belligerent party because the German troops trampled all over it, as they

 7     did France.  And then those who fought, the French Resistance, became a

 8     belligerent party, but it simply wanted the other guys to go home, where

 9     they had come from.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   General, the page that we opened, I assume that this pertains to

13     this part the initiative by Montenegro Assembly rejected?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   And here this is all about what kind of borders we're talking

16     about?

17        A.   Well, this is crystal clear.  The initiative by the Montenegrin

18     Assembly is, Let's agree, let's determine the borders between Croatia and

19     Montenegro by mutual agreement.  Why?  Because they managed to capture

20     the territory all the way up to Dubrovnik and now they would like to get

21     the mutual agreement.  So they do not recognise the borders of the

22     republic as the borders of the newly-emerged states, and they say, Well,

23     we managed to take -- well, you can look at the map, Your Honours, if you

24     please.  This is the border of the Republic of Croatia at

25     Prevlaka [indicates], and they managed to take all this area all the way

Page 41316

 1     up to Dubrovnik, and now they say the Assembly decided that there should

 2     be a mutual agreement about the borders.  Of course, the government and

 3     the president and the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia rejected the

 4     initiative, because we didn't want to have any mutual agreements about

 5     borders that were established by aggression.

 6        Q.   Yes, but this speaks to the attitude of the government towards

 7     changing of the borders?

 8        A.   Yes.  Well, it says the government will persist on the fact that

 9     there cannot be changes of the internal borders of the former SFRY and

10     rejected the possibility of any talks, so they ruled out the possibility

11     of any talks about the borders changing, the borders of the republics

12     that have now emerged; no Banovina, nothing can be changed in this

13     regard.

14             There is a way in which you can change it.  Once the war is over,

15     once everything is over, and then for some reason somebody says, We would

16     like to change something by peaceful means.  When two parties agree

17     peacefully, of course you can change.  That's how it's done in Europe,

18     and this is enshrined in the Conference on European Security and

19     Cooperation.  But there can be no changing of borders by force, and this

20     is what we were dealing with, but not by the Republic of Croatia, which

21     has always had the same attitude.  The changing of the borders is not at

22     issue.

23             This cannot even be broached as a topic, so we can move on.

24        Q.   Yes.  Page 285, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, it's

25     page 13 in the English translation.  E-court pages are 3D41-1305 and

Page 41317

 1     3D41-0388.

 2        A.   Well, I don't know if this has been translated or not.  Just a

 3     couple of things.

 4             So on that date, I can read, and I quote:

 5             "The Assembly of Serbia rejected the Brussels Declaration --"

 6        Q.   What is the date?

 7        A.   The 18th of November.

 8        Q.   And can you remember what else happened on that date?

 9        A.   It was the fall of Vukovar.  And I quote:

10             "The Serbian Assembly rejected the Brussels Declaration on the

11     recognition of sovereignty of all the republics of the former Yugoslavia

12     who wish to have their sovereignty recognised."

13             So the Brussels Declaration was rejected by Serbia and by

14     Montenegro, but it was accepted by Croatia; there can be no changes to

15     the borders.  And I will go on repeating it.  I know that by heart.

16     These are political projects that stem from the 1970s or 1980s.  We never

17     wanted to change any borders.  All we wanted to have was Croatia.

18             And then he goes on to say that -- well, it is stated that the

19     Croatian Community of HZ was set up, and the purpose is to respect the

20     democratic government in Bosnia-Herzegovina for as long as there is the

21     independence of -- for as long as Bosnia-Herzegovina is independent of

22     any Yugoslavia in any shape and form.  So that was the political position

23     of that community and of the Croatian people.

24             So Bosnia and Herzegovina is recognised, as is its

25     democratically-elected government, unless that government, without first

Page 41318

 1     seeking the opinion of the Croatian people, wants to join Yugoslavia

 2     together with the Serbs.  And I didn't want that.  I don't know what the

 3     others would do, but as a member of a sovereign people, that was my

 4     right, to say that I don't want that.  "Yes" to sovereign

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina, "yes" to its democratically-elected government, but

 6     "no" to the government which would sell itself to a Serbia and to the

 7     Yugoslav People's Army for -- to serve the interests of one single

 8     people, be it Serbs or Muslims.  And that, Your Honours, is the basic

 9     problem that you must understand if you want to understand the position,

10     the desires of the HZ-HB and the Croatian people.

11             And we keep dancing about it and beating around the bush 100

12     times, "yes" to Bosnia-Herzegovina, a unified democratic state, but we as

13     a people, nobody can sell us down the river.

14             Let us move on, Ms. Nika.

15        Q.   We have a note here, "Resolution 724 is accepted," at page 341.

16     Shall we go to that?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   That's at page 14 of the English translation.  It's 3D41-1389,

19     and the Croatian is 3D41-1308.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note, the counsel is kindly asked

21     to slow down when reading numbers.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, sorry for

23     interrupting you.  I've just realised one thing, looking at this book.

24             In the B/C/S version, there are parts that are not complete, so

25     you selected some parts and we don't have some B/C/S pages.  Secondly,

Page 41319

 1     you have translated certain pages which you selected.  The reason why I'm

 2     asking you this is that I was interested in what Mr. Greguric said

 3     when -- that the HZ-HB was created on the 18th of November in Grude.  I

 4     sought to understand how, in the matter of government, Croatia assisted

 5     in this.

 6             On page 13 of the English version, you said that this

 7     community -- well, not you, but Mr. Greguric said that the community was

 8     established, but we do not know what the context was, and it would have

 9     been interesting to know whether there had been discussions in the

10     Croatian government or whether this was a fait accompli.  Did they sort

11     of guide all this remotely, as is suggested by the Prosecution case?

12             You give us a small tidbit of it, but this does not enlighten us

13     on the interest from the point of view of the Croatian government, when

14     the HZ-HB was created.  Did you realise that when you only cherry-picked,

15     you exposed yourself to some criticism?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I'm

17     well aware of that, but please believe me when I say that I would be

18     really happy -- and this is what I have been thinking about, an idea that

19     I have been toying with, the whole book that was published by these two

20     on behalf of the Government of National Unity, to have it translated in

21     full, because this would give you an overview, and if the Prosecution or

22     if anyone else wants to do that, well, that would make me really happy.

23     It was only for lack of resources that I had to cherry-pick some parts,

24     and this shows the consistency of the Croatian policies, state and so on,

25     and there was no collusion between the Government of National Unity and

Page 41320

 1     the HZ-HB.  We, down there, we were a people.  We're not somebody's

 2     dwarves.  We asked for the weapons -- for assistance in weapons, and so

 3     did Alija Izetbegovic and the other -- and the BH Army to a much greater

 4     extent.  But we were alone down there and we managed to defend ourselves.

 5             But I would be more than happy if a party -- if somebody managed

 6     to find a detail in this book, and I'm also asking the Prosecutor to do

 7     that, to prove whether my choice was meant to hide something, to conceal

 8     something.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, on the

10     18th of November, when the Croatian Community was created in Grude, I

11     guess that the Croatian press spoke about it in Zagreb.  It could have

12     been very easy for you to read the Croatian press to prove that this

13     creation had nothing to do with the Republic of Croatia, that the HZ-HB

14     was created ex nihilo, that it is something that was created by the

15     municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and not by Croatia, and you

16     could have adduced as evidence such press clippings.

17             You could also have researched, in the intelligence services,

18     documents made known to the government to the effect that in the

19     neighbouring republics, some municipalities had agreed in order to create

20     a Croatian community, and this could -- may have given rise to problems

21     in the future.  I mean, this type of information was around, it was not

22     in the Middle Ages in 1991, but you give us very little evidence, but for

23     the odd article from a book that we do not have in its entirety.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I have really

25     striven so hard to prove my innocence, it goes beyond any border.  What

Page 41321

 1     is it that the Prosecution must do, then?

 2             There were no conquests in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the press

 3     or outside of the press, with the government or without the government,

 4     with President Tudjman or without President Tudjman.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I agree with

 6     you, the onus of proof lies on the Prosecution, but you know we have a

 7     two-tier proceeding here.  We have the Prosecution case, and then you

 8     have, at the same time, the Defence case.  Of course, you could just sort

 9     of do nothing, but you do have a part to play, and as part of this role

10     which is yours, unfortunately, sir, you have to prove that you are

11     innocent, and doing so can be done by way of press articles in Zagreb at

12     the time the HVO was created, or evidence from the intelligence services

13     showing that all this happened in Herzegovina without any contact

14     whatsoever with the Republic of Croatia.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, at

16     the -- I was actually at the Military Council, in the Council of National

17     Defence.  I was the assistant minister, I received all the secret

18     reports, so why should I, given that there are five statements by the

19     government and 50 statements by Franjo Tudjman, why should I go through

20     press articles?  I knew what we were saying, what we were doing up until,

21     well -- and now I am supposed to go to newspapers to look for what

22     Miroslav Medjimorec, who was the head of the SIS, and he was also a very

23     good director, to see what he's doing, and I know what he's doing.

24             In the previous text, and Franjo Tudjman says, Don't go towards

25     Trebinje, where is this damn Trebinje here somewhere, to liberate the

Page 41322

 1     south of Croatia.  So when he's talking about conquering Bosnia, that's

 2     what he's talking about.  He doesn't even allow the units to go into

 3     Bosnia.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I do not

 5     disagree with what you're saying, but the problem is as follows:  You say

 6     that you were in this Council of National Defence, but the problem is

 7     that you are an accused here.  Even if the presumption of innocence

 8     prevails, you are in the situation of an accused.  Unfortunately, Tudjman

 9     has passed away, but he's taken as being part of the joint criminal

10     enterprise.

11             So if you had any other evidence that came from, in quotation

12     marks, "independent sources," intelligence reports, reporting about

13     political problems in other countries to the authorities, well, the

14     authors of such reports can be assumed to do their work without any bias,

15     and that can be taken into account.  Because you say that you are under

16     oath, of course we can believe you, but do not forget that you are an

17     accused here in this courtroom.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, Your Honour, this is a

19     government that is composed of all the parties in the Republic of

20     Croatia, all the parties, this government, and now the papers can only

21     report on what the prime minister has said or the prime minister who is

22     from the SDP, or a deputy prime minister who is from the Liberal Party?

23     This government is taking positions.  It is representing the Republic of

24     Croatia and its policies.  So is this parliament, and so is

25     Franjo Tudjman.

Page 41323

 1             My positions partially reflect the positions of the Republic of

 2     Croatia.  So what should I do?  Some journalists who discuss something,

 3     well, I could have done that, and we saw that in "Hrvatski Vojnik," "The

 4     Croatian Soldier."  In "Hrvatski Vojnik," you have an official overview

 5     of the Croatian policy, and the journalists who did not work for other

 6     papers, Butkovic and others, so these were sociology teachers and

 7     specialising in war, so this is the legitimacy of what we say, urbi et

 8     orbi.  This is the policy of the Republic of Croatia, of all its levels

 9     of government.

10             So there can be no changing of the borders, and you will see

11     further on that the Serbs say that they also do not recognise the

12     Brussels Declaration about the borders.  Well, I simply don't know what

13     can be done.  It was only the HSP, the Croatian Party of Rights, that

14     claimed that Muslims were Croats, and there were Muslims who claimed the

15     same thing and that there should be a state -- Croatia and

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina as a single state.  And they got 6 per cent of the

17     vote, and they were not in the government and nobody really -- well, in

18     the end, other opinions must be represented, but these are -- this is the

19     position of the three key bodies in the state, the government, the

20     parties and the president, and I don't really feel any need to go through

21     the newspapers to see if anyone objected or whatever, and the Croatian

22     people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

23             So when I cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina, I become a Croat

24     born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then I defend the interests.  And at

25     that point it is immaterial to me what Greguric would think about it.

Page 41324

 1     Greguric could think this or he could think that, and we don't dare --

 2     we're smart enough to say, Bosnia-Herzegovina, yes, we will not attack

 3     anyone, but we have the right, as a people, we have our rights.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to stop here.  If I

 5     understand, probably the reason why you submit this book is to say that

 6     this is illustrative of the policy of the Croatian government, and as to

 7     the events in 1991, 1992 and 1993, this shows the vision of the Croatian

 8     government, which is or was, as you reminded us, a government of national

 9     unity.  Is that so?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.

11             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

12             If I could make one brief comment.  I'm looking at page 68 of the

13     transcript, back around line 10, where the President indicated, at least

14     in the transcript, that the general has a role to play and that he has to

15     prove that he's innocent.  I don't know whether the President intended to

16     say it just that way or not.  I'm a little bit uncomfortable with that

17     remaining on the record as it is, without it being clarified.  It's

18     certainly not the Prosecution position --

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to clarify.  I said

20     that in the proceedings in this Tribunal, both parties play a part; the

21     Defence has a part to play, and so has the Prosecution.  The Prosecution

22     charges, and the Defence defends itself, and as part of this role, there

23     might be a part to be played by the accused, but he also can decide to do

24     nothing.  It is his choice.

25             Is it clear now, Mr. Stringer?

Page 41325

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Yes, Mr. President, I believe so.  Thank you.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  We wanted

 3     to react to that page of the transcript because we were aware of the fact

 4     that there might be a mistake.

 5             But looking at the clock now, are we going to go on or shall we

 6     going to take a break?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A break.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we can break for

 9     20 minutes now.

10                           --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.

11                           --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You wanted the floor,

13     Mr. Stringer?

14             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just very briefly, I

15     hope.

16             And I don't know whether the general's going to finish his direct

17     testimony today or not, but as we transition out of his direct testimony

18     into the questions that will be coming from the President and then from

19     the other Defence teams on cross-examination, and then from the

20     Prosecution, we went back, and it's been a long time now, but on the

21     5th of September, 2008, the Appeals Chamber issued its decision affirming

22     or upholding a decision of this Trial Chamber which granted the

23     Praljak Defence the ability to continue to communicate with

24     General Praljak throughout the time that he's testifying.  That was an

25     issue that was raised a long time ago, and the Trial Chamber agreed or

Page 41326

 1     ruled that the contact and the communications could, indeed, continue

 2     between General Praljak and his counsel throughout his testimony.  That

 3     was upheld.

 4             I wanted to ask or to clarify my understanding that now, as we

 5     move beyond direct examination, that the general will be free to continue

 6     to communicate with his Defence team and to, for example, review the

 7     documents that are disclosed in advance to the Defence prior to the

 8     cross-examination.  It would be useful to know whether, in fact, that is

 9     something that is going to be taking place as the documents are disclosed

10     to the Praljak Defence that will be used in the coming cross-examination

11     or whether, indeed -- and I don't know whether, Mr. President, whether

12     you're intending to use documents and circulate those in advance, but

13     whether, in fact, they'll have the opportunity to review those with their

14     client in advance of cross-examination.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There are two things in what

16     you said.  You mentioned Praljak's discussions with his Defence lawyers,

17     and you mentioned the documents.

18             As far as I'm concerned, I will send you tomorrow already the

19     list of documents I am going to show General Praljak.  These documents

20     have all been admitted already.  Therefore, I'm not disclosing anything

21     new.  Nothing mysterious about these.

22             They are two series of documents.  The first series is the series

23     mentioned in the Prosecutor's pre-trial brief, which you're familiar

24     with.  Since these are documents which contain footnotes, nothing

25     unexpected.  The second things I will address are the documents that have

Page 41327

 1     been quoted by Mr. Praljak, and I will give a list of these documents.

 2             Prior to that, there will be four or five documents I shall look

 3     at together with him.  These are documents which relate to the so-called

 4     forged documents.  I mentioned one a while ago, but I shall examine these

 5     so-called forged documents.  I will also address the issue of

 6     presidential transcripts, those meetings which he attended.  You have the

 7     list of all the transcripts of the meetings he attended.  This will

 8     depend on the amount of time I have.  I will also address the

 9     presidential transcripts of the meetings he did not attend.

10             We have evidence that leads us to believe that Mr. Tudjman was

11     kept informed in realtime of all the events that occurred in the Republic

12     of Bosnia-Herzegovina; namely, any event of a military nature, as part of

13     the international conflict or as part of the joint criminal enterprise.

14     So you will be getting the list of all these documents, which everyone is

15     familiar with already, since they have been discussed and addressed and

16     admitted.

17             Now, as far as the second part is concerned, i.e., whether

18     Mr. Praljak and his counsel can talk together, we must confer.  I cannot

19     give you my answer straight away.  And since we have eight days before

20     us, you will certainly have a decision by the Trial Chamber between then

21     and now.

22             Are you satisfied with my answer?

23             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the remaining time we have,

25     one hour, please try to finish, Ms. Pinter.  We have exactly one hour

Page 41328

 1     left, so finish with those documents you have.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, Your Honour, and

 3     I do believe that we'll be able to complete the examination-in-chief by

 4     the end of the day.

 5        Q.   General, let's deal with the document that we were dealing with

 6     before the break, to finish that off so that we can go on to another

 7     area.

 8        A.   341, there's just a sentence there, that Dr. Franjo Tudjman sent

 9     a peace mission to the United Nations or, rather, a letter of peace,

10     reminding them once again that Croatia was in favour of peace and

11     understanding and cooperation.  So that was one of a series of documents

12     sent out explaining Croatia's position.

13        Q.   And we've already looked at that page before the break; right?

14        A.   Yes.  Well, we can move on, then, and the number of the page is

15     419 for the Croatian.

16        Q.   It's page 15 of the English translation.  On e-court, it's

17     3D41-0390, and in Croatian it is 3D41-1317.

18        A.   Just briefly, Croatia recognised the Republics of Slovenia and

19     Macedonia.  Croatia is paying particular attention - we're dealing with

20     the 15th of February here - is following the developments in Bosnia and

21     Herzegovina with great attention, and there was an agreement offered up

22     in order to promote international cooperation.  Croatia supports the

23     referendum and the agreement reached by the three ethnic groups.  And if

24     there was a positive outcome of the referendum, it would recognise

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  It can't be clearer than that.  So let's move on now

Page 41329

 1     to 460 -- 435 is the next page, actually.  My mistake.  That wasn't

 2     translated.  Well, let's have 460, then.

 3        Q.   That is 3D41-0393 for the English and 3D41-1348 for the Croatian.

 4             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  Part of page 435 was in fact

 5     translated.  We have a passage on page 3D41-0391.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, all right.  Greguric informed

 7     the government about the events and development in the Socialist Republic

 8     of Bosnia-Herzegovina, linked to the referendum on independence and

 9     autonomy, and it's important to mention here that the Presidency of BH

10     accepted the majority of the requests of the Serbian Democratic Party and

11     stated, the Presidency of BH, that is, that the referendum held does not

12     preempt a future system and setup for Bosnia-Herzegovina.  It was always

13     a question of the internal system for BH, with assurances given that the

14     referendum still did not say what Bosnia-Herzegovina was to look like,

15     internally speaking, and we know what their wishes were.

16             So can we look at 460 now, please.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Let me just explain to

18     Judge Trechsel it was my mistake.  I skipped a page.  Now page 460 is

19     3D41-1348, and for the English it is 3D41-0393.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Could Judge Trechsel kindly switch his

21     microphone off.  Thank you.

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   Page 18 is the next page we're going to deal with now.

24        A.   The same old story, repeated parrot fashion.  Greguric is saying

25     that Croatia was always in favour of an integral BH because it considers

Page 41330

 1     that to be the only solution for that republic.  This does not mean that

 2     there was a lack of care for Croats in BH.

 3             Next this story about the HSP to the Drina, he said this was all

 4     stupid, and he was speaking in his own name, and that that wasn't

 5     official Croatian policy, and he says the government will propose that

 6     Croatia recognise BiH.  And he goes on to say that what the Serbs were

 7     doing was up to the consciousness of the international community and that

 8     they should not be indifferent to observing a repetition of the Croatian

 9     scenario, that is, the breaking up of the country.  So I have nothing to

10     add there, and we can move on to 469, please, of the 17th of March, 1992.

11        Q.   That's page 18 of the English translation.  On e-court, it is

12     3D41-1351 for the Croatian and 3D41-0393 for the English.

13        A.   Croatia, Slovenia and Georgia were accepted as members of the

14     OSCE, CSCE, and Dr. Mato Granic called upon the European Community to

15     recognise BH and Macedonia as sovereign and independent states.  So

16     that's the policy.  The Croatian representative is calling upon the

17     members of the European CSCE, the CSCE.  And we can move on to page 507.

18        Q.   3D41-165 [as interpreted] is the Croatian and 3D41-0398 is for

19     the English.

20        A.   The 8th of April, 1992.  It is the government statement about the

21     situation in BH --

22        Q.   General, I have to give the numbers.  I apologise for

23     interrupting.  They are 3D41-1365 for the Croatian and 3D41-0398 for the

24     English, and the page is 23 of the English translation.

25        A.   The introductory address of the government about the situation in

Page 41331

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, and all the ministers then took part in

 2     the debate.  And the text of the statement of the Croatian government on

 3     the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina was accepted, but that hasn't been

 4     translated.  Can we supply a translation subsequently?

 5        Q.   Yes, we can.

 6        A.   Well, it's an eight-point document of crystal-clear points,

 7     representing the positions of the Government of the Republic of Croatia

 8     about the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina; what is being recognised, what

 9     the stands and principles are, set out in eight points which, on the

10     8th of April, were compiled; recognition of an independent and sovereign

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina; genocide is already being mentioned.

12             The conclusions of Parliament in point 2 are mentioned, the

13     Croatian Parliament, the Croatian parliamentary conclusions; all the

14     houses sitting and held on the 27th of March, 1992, where the president

15     was advised that he recognise the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which the

16     president did on the 7th of April, 1992.

17             And in point 3, there is talk of mutual recognition for

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, international recognition - I

19     misspoke - of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is welcomed by the government.

20     The government welcomes international recognition, the United States

21     recognition, and so on.

22             And in point 5, the government once again lends its support to

23     the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and condemns destabilisation attacks and so on and so

25     forth.

Page 41332

 1             Please have that text translated, because it's crystal clear,

 2     speaks for itself, and we have had umpteen similar texts.  So if you

 3     could have it translated so that Their Honours can admit it into

 4     evidence.  And we can go on to page 542, which does not have a

 5     translation.

 6        Q.   And the date is --

 7        A.   The 7th of May.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, before we move

 9     on to page 542, I would like to still look at pages 506 and 507.

10             On page 506, Mr. Greguric says that the Republic of Croatia

11     recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina unilaterally as a sovereign and

12     independent state.  This is mentioned in the text.  And on the

13     8th of April, he says what follows, and I believe this is interesting.

14     He says that the HVO was set up as a sole institution to defend the

15     Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This includes a number of Muslims.  He

16     mentions the HVO.  He doesn't say that it's the Republic of Croatia that

17     created the HVO.  He says -- well, if what he says is true, I don't know.

18     He says that.  And at the same time, he talks about the HOS, so he seems

19     to establish a connection with the role played by the HOS in the Republic

20     of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21             What do you have to say to this?  You've seen this.  I don't have

22     the entire page 507 translated.  What does Mr. Greguric mean?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 506?  Ah, 507, right.

24             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   The 8th of April is the date.

Page 41333

 1        A.   Yes, the 8th of April.

 2             Now, Your Honour, as to the spring of 1992, we've discussed that

 3     at great length.  The HVO self-organised itself for defence, not only for

 4     the defence of the Croats, but of the Muslims, too, living on the

 5     territory where we managed to set up our units to resist the aggression,

 6     and Greguric is reporting to the government about that.  There are armed

 7     forces over there defending Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That's it, Muslims and

 8     Croats alike.

 9             And now we have the problem of HOS, the H-O-S, and there was a

10     major problem in Croatia until the authorities and government became

11     stabilised in that destructive war that we had down there, and we solved

12     it all together, throughout 1992, until the problem was solved, until the

13     units of HOS, as a parallel army, and I've already spoken about that.

14     But we managed to deal with the situation, both with Mr. Prkacin, who was

15     from the HOS, who came to understand that it was all we could do to face

16     the problems of one army, and now that when there are two armies --

17        Q.   The Judge was asking about the 8th of April because it wasn't

18     translated.  What else does it say under the 8th of April?

19        A.   Well, what point?

20        Q.   Well, not the decision, but the 8th of April, as a whole, that

21     whole section in the book.  The 8th of April on page 507, is what the

22     Judge is asking about.

23        A.   Well, first of all, it says that Croatia called upon the CSCE,

24     et cetera, to stop the aggression against Croatia, and that the HVO was

25     the sole institutional form of defence, including a certain number of

Page 41334

 1     Muslims.  Resistance to the Serb aggression became more organised in that

 2     way.  And the members of the Croatian Party of Right formed the Croatian

 3     Defence Alliance, the HOS, and then it says that the BiH Presidency only

 4     then proclaimed -- sounded the alarm and said that Siroki Brijeg and

 5     Citluk were shelled and that the Chetniks attacked Kupres.  We've already

 6     discussed that.  And that in Sarajevo, from the Greater Serbia bombing,

 7     30 people were killed in the space of one week; that the United States of

 8     America condemned Serbia for expanding the war to BH.  And it says the

 9     Ministry of the Republic of Croatia calls upon the pilots of the Yugoslav

10     People's Army to join Croatian military units.  So that's it, that's what

11     he says under the 8th of April.  And then it goes on to elaborate the

12     government positions.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.  We can

14     get back to --

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Your Honours, if you believe that

16     this part of the book might be useful, at the end of this page there is

17     the statement of the government, the declaration of the government, about

18     the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you can see what the

19     position of the Government of the Republic of Croatia was towards Bosnia

20     and Herzegovina as a sovereign, independent state.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I would really like this to

22     be translated.  It is a really important document.  I thought we had had

23     it translated and then it could be submitted to Their Honours, the

24     Judges.  And this is very clear and set out in eight clear points.

25             So now I would like to ask you if you can go to the next

Page 41335

 1     document.  It's the only document remaining.  That's page 542.  Oh, no,

 2     we don't have 542.

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   6th of April or 7th of April?

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  May.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no, we don't really have to.

 8     It's always one and the same thing.  But let's -- well, do you have 552,

 9     and that would be the last thing, then.

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   That's page 29 in the English translation; e-court,

12     pages 3D41-0404; Croatian, 3D41-1386.  The date is the 14th of May, 1992.

13        A.   Yes.  Well, the government, yet again, after a debate issues a

14     press release, a communique, and it is important to note once again in

15     paragraph 1 they speak about human and ethnic rights, indicating that the

16     government would support the position of the European Community vis-a-vis

17     Serbia, and asks the governments to respect Croatia's territorial

18     integrity, the Serbian government.

19             And then in item number 2, Bosnia and Herzegovina is discussed,

20     saying that Croatia was among the first to recognise Bosnia and

21     Herzegovina as a sovereign state within its existing borders.

22             Then it goes on to speak about the refugees that Croatia has

23     taken in, and then again about the territorial integrity and sovereignty

24     of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  And it is said that the Republic -- the

25     Government of the Republic of Croatia would advocate the independence and

Page 41336

 1     sovereignty of three equal peoples within the borders recognised by the

 2     international community.

 3             So this is just a repetition ad infinitum of the same positions.

 4     Each and every month, all the levels of government in Croatia, urbi et

 5     orbi, to the United Nations, the CSCE, the European Community, kept

 6     repeating and kept saying the same thing; Bosnia and Herzegovina is a

 7     sovereign, independent state.  But of course what they supported was an

 8     agreement between the three constituent peoples, equal peoples, but of

 9     course it couldn't be done because Serbs had a vast supremacy in weapons,

10     and that lasted until 1995.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On this topic, I am trying to

12     find something logical.  I don't wish to speculate.

13             If you look at page 500, on page 20 of the translated text, on

14     the 2nd of April, 1992, Mr. Greguric says as follows:

15             "The war seems to be spreading to Bosnia and Herzegovina."

16             And I read what is written here.  If it's true, I shall bear this

17     in mind.  I cannot discard this.  He says diplomacy and representatives

18     of the Republic of Croatia pledged for the recognition of ABiH in all

19     conferences, so he claims that the Croatian government is pledging for

20     the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21             First of all, is it -- does it make sense to tell the entire

22     world that the republic needs to be recognised, when there are ideas

23     about its annexation?  So I'm trying to make sense of this.

24             In April 1992, as far as you were concerned, the Croatian

25     government, let me remind you that you were vice-minister at some point

Page 41337

 1     in time, that the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina was something which

 2     was pledged by you at the time?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everywhere, at every forum, at

 4     every time, with the European Community, the CSCE, at every -- well,

 5     Your Honours, I would love the whole of this book to be translated so

 6     that all of those -- well, those would be piles of materials.  And just a

 7     few days afterwards, Croatia recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Well, of

 8     course, there's no logic, there's no logic, Your Honours, in somebody

 9     thinking that all this is being done and at the same time we wanted to

10     cheat, to trick the European Community, the CSCE, the USA.  And this

11     government, and Franjo Tudjman, and the parliament, and Praljak, are so

12     "stupid," in inverted commas, that they're saying one thing to the whole

13     world and then they manage to sell something else underhand.  Do I look

14     like a moron?  Look at me.  And what about Franjo Tudjman and all the

15     rest?  It really makes no sense.  There's no logic in it.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I remember correctly, we saw

17     a piece of evidence which was admitted; i.e., the minutes of a meeting

18     you held with French diplomats and high-ranking military in Zagreb.

19     Looking at the names of the participants, you had the highest-ranking

20     diplomats, French diplomats.  During this meeting which you attended, was

21     the fact that Croatia had a hidden agenda vis-a-vis Bosnia-Herzegovina

22     mentioned?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we were [as interpreted], and

24     it is crystal clear, Your Honours.  I told the French general, in no

25     uncertain terms, and to the French delegation at that meeting and at

Page 41338

 1     every other meeting, our interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina was some kind

 2     of a self-government, for crying out loud, but I claim now, and this is

 3     what I knew before, Serbs and Muslims, who lost because they were

 4     unprepared, and I'm not blaming somebody because they were unprepared for

 5     the war, but it is a fact that they were unprepared for the war, they

 6     didn't want to see what any blind person could see, that Serbs had been

 7     preparing for years, for centuries, for the war and lost a lot of

 8     territory.  And now that party, the BH Army, is trying to take territory

 9     from us, and that -- that's what happened.

10             Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I knew that, and that's what I said

11     there.  I said -- and that is -- I was working on achieving peace up

12     until May or June, the 30th of April, but you can work on achieving

13     peace, but please look at this document at page 500.

14             Ajanovic said in public, in April, that he and -- and he is a

15     high-ranking official in the Democratic Action Party, he says, he,

16     Ajanovic, does not believe that the army is an occupying force.  Yes,

17     Ajanovic said that the Yugoslav People's Army was an occupying force, and

18     now Mr. Izetbegovic says, I don't think that it is an occupying force.

19     If Ajanovic did indeed say that, he went beyond his powers, because he

20     did not present the position of the Democratic Action Party.

21             Well, you can hardly find something worse because on the 2nd of

22     April, Mr. Izetbegovic is claiming that the army in the Republic of

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina, the JNA, was not an occupying army.  It's been

24     shelling us, there are casualties galore, in Mostar and elsewhere, and

25     now you're all supposed to pursue a policy, you're supposed to be engaged

Page 41339

 1     in politics, and you're asking yourselves what to do.

 2             Please, put yourself in a position where you face this kind of a

 3     political view.  You are being killed, your children, your families, your

 4     people, the Muslims and everything, and now Ajanovic, who is the kind of

 5     person that he is, he says, well, they're an occupier, and Izetbegovic

 6     says, Well, no, no, they're not supposed to say that.

 7             MR. KHAN:  Your Honours, it's been said many times, but perhaps

 8     General Praljak can be reminded that if he wishes what he says to be

 9     recorded, he really must speak slowly.  It's very difficult to follow at

10     the express pace that he is intent on delivering his testimony.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  You speak very fast,

12     Mr. Praljak, and when interpreters do not express what you say, you can

13     see the sign in the transcript.  I happen to speak fast too at times, my

14     apologies for that, but do endeavour to slow down.

15             And thank you, Mr. Khan, for saying that.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Well, I can repeat.

17             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] One word was missed because of

18     the speed, and it's very important for the transcript.  That's at

19     page 84, line 15, right at the very beginning the general said, "We were

20     asked," and in the transcript it reads -- the word "asked" is not there.

21     So it should read, "We were asked."

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.  I would, of

23     course, like to finish.

24             So on the 2nd of April, 1992, a high-ranking official, the

25     spokesperson for the Party of Democratic Action, Irfan Ajanovic, said

Page 41340

 1     that the Yugoslav People's Army was an occupying force in

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the president of that same party and the

 3     president of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic,

 4     publicly denied Ajanovic's statement, saying, quote, "I don't think that

 5     the army is an occupying force."  And if Ajanovic did indeed say that, he

 6     went beyond his authority, because this is not the position of the Party

 7     of Democratic Action.

 8             Would you, all of you here in this courtroom, as individuals and

 9     as a people, let yourself be guided by this policy at the time when the

10     Yugoslav People's Army is killing you, has been killing you for months

11     throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and, as far as I know,

12     Mostar, and all other towns were bombarded from the air and shelled?

13     We've seen evidence of that.  This is incomprehensible, and you cannot

14     force any people, any nation, to accept that, to accept the army that has

15     been killing them, and to understand what Mr. Izetbegovic means when he

16     says, No, no, no, that's not true, that's not an occupying force.

17             So I don't have anything else to add to this.

18             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Let us finish with the book.

20        A.   Well, we have the last portion to go through.

21        Q.   The 8th of June?

22        A.   No, the 17th.  Let me just have a look.

23        Q.   The last one is the 8th of June?

24        A.   Well, yes, the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Yes,

25     the 8th of June.

Page 41341

 1        Q.   That's page 33 in the translation; e-court 3D41-0408, 3D41-1398,

 2     that's the Croatian version.  3D41-1398, that's Croatian, 1398, and

 3     page 33 in the English translation.

 4             General, please go ahead.

 5        A.   Well, since we should really finish this, there's nothing I can

 6     add to this.  I would just kindly ask you to read this, all of you.

 7     Again, the government, after this resolution, 758, is urging the

 8     institutions and organisations, under threat of military force, to stop

 9     the aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and says,

10     Regardless of the fact that you impose sanctions, this has been to no

11     avail.  The Government of the Republic of Croatia has several times over

12     the past year insisted that weapons of the JNA should be placed under

13     international control, and goes on to say that there was an ultimatum to

14     Croatia, to allow the pullout of the heavy weapons owned by the JNA from

15     the blockaded barracks to Bosnia and Herzegovina.  And the government

16     says, We've been telling you that this would lead to an attack on Bosnia

17     and Herzegovina.  Well, everybody knew that.  And in spite of all that,

18     the moderators of this war, the international moderators, blind as bats,

19     I don't know why, demanded that the weapons should be pulled out from

20     Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina, the JNA weapons.

21             And then it goes on to say how many refugees were taken in in the

22     course of two months and how, again from the territory of

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik, Slavonski Brod are being attacked and so

24     on, and there's nothing we can add to this.

25             I'm really sorry, Your Honour Judge Trechsel.  I'm driven by the

Page 41342

 1     desire to finish this.

 2             Well, I have nothing more to add to this.  I'm ready to answer

 3     your questions.  And we will submit the whole book to Their Honours, and

 4     if anyone wants to check whether my selection was proper, please go

 5     ahead.  Thank you very much.

 6             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness Praljak, just a question

 7     of terminology or vocabulary.  I do attach great importance to

 8     terminology.

 9             This book you are showing us is very interesting, and on this

10     page related to the 8th of June, the author speaks of -- you were a

11     general.  Is this the kind of terminology you use to describe the

12     weaponry of armed forces?  This kind of language, doesn't it show that

13     the author is biased in the way he sets out the problem?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't see it.  I can't

15     really find it.

16             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Page 582.  The date is the

17     8th of June:  "The current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina."  Third

18     paragraph.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  In paragraph 3, reference is

20     made to refugees, and there were 270.000 coming in from

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina in the space of two months, and the government says

22     that the international community was not helping enough and that Croatia

23     just couldn't solve the problem itself.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  It's the previous paragraph, Mr. Praljak.

25             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.

Page 41343

 1             I don't know that Judge Mindua's question actually -- it may not

 2     have been translated fully, because I know that the question that

 3     Judge Mindua asked is not fully in the English transcript, so it's

 4     possible that it didn't make it to the witness as well, particularly the

 5     reference to the instruments of killing.  I don't believe that that is in

 6     the English transcript, and so that may be the cause of the confusion.

 7             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'll put the question again to the

 8     witness.

 9             Witness, there is a paragraph that shows the situation, the

10     current situation, as it is said, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the date

11     being the 8th of June.  Take the third paragraph.  In this paragraph, the

12     author uses some rather harsh words, "killing instruments of the former

13     JNA," he says.  Well, I suppose that armed forces have weapons, and, as

14     such, in and of themselves, weapons are weapons.  They cannot be

15     qualified as he does here, so my question is whether this type of

16     terminology is not a sign that the author has some rather biased,

17     one-sided views of the issue.  What do you think of that?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Mindua, that's not what it

19     says there, the interpretation that I got.  This isn't the position of an

20     author.  It is the conclusion of a government, and it says there -- it

21     was sent to the international community, and it says that there was no

22     longer any justification for procrastination on the part of the

23     international community.

24             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May I intervene at this point?  I

25     apologise, but may I be of assistance.  I think we'll get through this

Page 41344

 1     quicker.  If you look at the second paragraph, he says:

 2             "The Government of the Republic of Croatia has insisted several

 3     times during the past year that the heavy weapons, heavy armament, and

 4     other lethal weapons of the former JNA be placed under international

 5     control."

 6             Judge Mindua says -- is asking whether this term --

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Well, interpreter's note, killing instruments,

 8     lethal weapons.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Let me just say that the

10     translation there is wrong in the text.  When Defence counsel Senka, our

11     interpreters here said "lethal weapons," and I think that is correct.

12     The correct interpretation is "lethal weapons," whereas the translation

13     that Judge Mindua is reading says "killing instruments," "killing

14     weapons," and that's where the misunderstanding arose.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Mindua, "ubojita sredstva",

16     meaning "lethal weapons" means all weapons that kill, so quite simply

17     it's a military term for "military arsenal."  "Lethal weapons" is the

18     correct term for "ubojita sredstvo," or "ubojita sredstva" in the plural.

19             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] This is precisely what is curious

20     to me, because we know that weapons are means of destruction, but is this

21     an honourable way of qualifying the weaponry of an armed force?  Does

22     this not show the author's bias regarding the intentions and the

23     behaviour of a given army?

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It might be better if you read

25     in your own language that part of the text so that it be interpreted

Page 41345

 1     properly.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honours, but I

 3     would have written "ubojita sredstva," the French Army, American Army,

 4     meaning "lethal weapons," that's the phrase, "lethal weapons."

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out slowly.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The Government of the Republic of

 7     Croatia has insisted several times during the past year that heavy

 8     weapons or heavy armament and other lethal weapons of the former JNA be

 9     placed under international control," full stop.

10             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I think it's much better in B/C/S

11     than it is in English, because the expression used in English is harsher,

12     so it seems to me.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, they're ordinary

14     weapons which we refer to as lethal weapons, the lethal weapons of the

15     6th Fleet or whatever other army you want to use.  The term used is

16     "lethal weapons."  There's no connotation, political or otherwise.

17     That's what these resources are called, "lethal weapons."  A rifle is a

18     lethal weapon, a pistol is a lethal weapon, heavy weapons are lethal

19     weapons, et cetera.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, isn't it simply a matter of bad

21     drafting, because I cannot see a difference between "armament" and

22     "lethal weapons."  It's pleonastic, isn't it?

23             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I would like to say, since I happened to deal

24     with disarmament for a number of years with the United Nations, that

25     "lethal weapons" is not -- cannot be equated to "armaments," as such,

Page 41346

 1     because there are certain weapons, which -- like chemical weapons,

 2     et cetera, which are considered as lethal weapons, and they are not the

 3     same like, I don't know, the kind of guns and any other, so to say,

 4     rather well-known weapons from history.  So, therefore, I think that

 5     there could be a distinction made between the two.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, as to the head

 7     of the government at the time, didn't he refer to other weaponry than

 8     tanks, or rifles, or guns?  Did he think of other types of weapons or

 9     destruction weapons, like bacteriological or chemical weapons?  Didn't he

10     rather have that sort of weaponry in mind?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

12             Your Honours, I can say with a great degree of certainty here

13     that the interpretation of His Honour Judge Trechsel is correct.  It is a

14     lot of meaning in one word, but it's just a phrase.  You can just say

15     "weapons," but then you add "lethal weapons."  It's really nonsensical,

16     but it's the customary phrase used, "lethal weapons."  That's the usual

17     term, those two words together.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It may be a little more complex

19     than this, Mr. Praljak.  Do not forget that the US intervention in Iraq

20     was connected to the presence of weapons of mass destruction, so it might

21     be a little more complicated.

22             Let's us move on, Ms. Pinter.  We have ten minutes left.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stay by -- stand by what I said.

24     I know how this was used in political speech.  All he means here is that

25     those weapons --

Page 41347

 1             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Whose weapons?

 3        A.   The weapons of the Yugoslav People's Army.  I don't have to say

 4     it 100 times.  The Yugoslav People's Army had the weapons.  And Croatia

 5     asked for something very simple; that the international community come in

 6     and then take these weapons and seal them off in the barracks of the

 7     Republic of Croatia and place them under its control; that they have

 8     soldiers there, whereas the recruits and other soldiers could go home, or

 9     wherever they wanted to go.  The Serbs did not want to agree to this, or,

10     rather, the JNA, and the international community then gave way, they gave

11     in, and gave Croatia an ultimatum; A, not to attack the barracks and, B,

12     that it wouldn't seal off the barracks with the weapons and leave them

13     where they were, but they asked that it be allowed to go to

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that had catastrophic consequences.  And I'm not

15     sure -- I wasn't sure then or -- I didn't understand then, I don't

16     understand now, who were these people who asked that of us, and what were

17     they thinking of?

18        Q.   Very well.  We've finished with the book.

19        A.   Yes, we have indeed.

20        Q.   You mentioned several times -- well, you said today that in

21     November you were in Sunja.  How -- when did you get to Sunja, and what

22     can you tell Their Honours about your stay in Sunja?  What was the

23     situation there that you found when you arrived, and what year was that?

24        A.   As a volunteer, an infantryman, I arrived in Sunja on the

25     3rd of September, 1991.  I left Sunja at around the 10th of December --

Page 41348

 1     or, rather, the 10th or 12th of March, 1992.  I have a sketch of the

 2     position there.  It's on the right bank of the Sava River.  We were at a

 3     position there, at the bridge head.

 4             May we have that on the ELMO, please, on the overhead projector?

 5     Thank you.

 6             We were there for seven or eight days, because of my involvement

 7     there.  And the gentleman who came was to go back.  They appointed me

 8     commander, anyway, so I was the commander over there for a space of

 9     six months and ten days, roughly.  It is impossible, in the short time at

10     my disposal, to tell you about Sunja, so let me just say a few sentences,

11     let me put it in a nutshell.

12             Apart from a company from the 2nd Guards Brigade over there, all

13     the rest were villagers, farmers.  These are the positions, looking at

14     this sketch [indicates].  This is the Sava River in the background

15     here [indicates].  The length of our front-line was about 30 kilometres.

16     As the crow flies, that would be 20 kilometres, and these are the various

17     villages around Sunja [indicates], and this in the middle is Sunja

18     itself, Sunja proper [indicates].  Sunja was inhabited by Croats and

19     Serbs, and according to the customary scenario what happened was that a

20     vast majority of Serbs from Sunja left and the next day there would be an

21     attack against the Croats who were there and the remaining Serbs.

22             Now, the friends and relatives and the relationships that were

23     set up between Croats and Serbs didn't inform their friends that they

24     were going to flee from Sunja during the night and that they would be

25     attacked the next day, and this destroyed the social structure of a place

Page 41349

 1     like Sunja.

 2             When you find yourself faced with a situation of that kind, where

 3     you have a few dozen units and so on, whatever laws exist in any state,

 4     as far as I know, to the best of my knowledge, laws are valid for as long

 5     as the citizens of that particular state believe in those laws.  This is

 6     something I read, written by a US Supreme Court judge at one time with

 7     respect to the functioning of American courts; it wasn't because the laws

 8     were good, but because the people believed in those laws.  So I have to

 9     crystallise the situation, in the sense of accepting legality and the

10     laws, you -- whereas you have a totally destroyed social and moral and

11     psychological situation, you have to impose -- you have to put in great

12     effort, impose a system of sanctions.  You have to talk to people, punish

13     them, forgive them.  You have to deal with this situation of complete

14     social disintegration.

15             Now, how I did this would take me days to tell you, but in the

16     space of one month I did manage to introduce a great deal of law and

17     order, both in military terms and in civilian terms.  I was both a

18     commander and I married people in churches, I distributed food, and all

19     the Serbs and Croats there received food.  They had what they needed.

20     Not a single house was touched.  I even had telephone communications with

21     the opposite side.  In a Serb house, for example, I let out the water

22     from the radiators to prevent the house from flooding, because he'd asked

23     me to do this before the winter so that the pipes wouldn't burst.

24             Anyway, Your Honours, I have witness statements from all levels

25     of witnesses, Dusko Ljustina, and Branko Vuksic and Enes Sadikovic, they

Page 41350

 1     all provided me with statements, Ranko Radovic, too, and Armin

 2     Bajramovic, and Benkovic, and Ivica Cuk, another one, Ivica Istuk, and

 3     E-i-d, a Palestinian -- Eid, a Palestinian who was a doctor down there.

 4             So is this not an example of how you create an organised

 5     structure, how a commander is supposed to behave.  And I hope you'll call

 6     me once again, once you read all this, for a testimony of one to two

 7     hours for me to give you -- supply you with additional answers, to give

 8     you more answers as to how I behaved from the beginning of the war to the

 9     end, what my conduct was.

10             The front was the best organised in Croatia, from food to other

11     things, and witnesses were Serbs and Croats and Muslims, all of them who

12     fought over there.  And when I tell you that I had two Serbs as

13     signalsmen, whose friends and families were on the other side, then what

14     I'm saying is that I trusted them.  I had confidence in people, beyond

15     any ethnic considerations.  And I also claim that no commander from any

16     Western country would have acted like that because it was too risky.  But

17     I believed those two brothers, I trusted them, and that's all I have to

18     say.

19             So you can read it for yourselves, you can read the statements

20     these men gave in a court of law.  And even if you have the smallest

21     criticism, then make your decision.

22        Q.   General, before we conclude, we have 3D03567.  I would like to

23     ask the Court Deputy to hand this document to the Judges.  This is what

24     it looks like [indicates].  It's entitled "Hemingway."

25             General, could you please tell us who Miro Medjimorec is?  Could

Page 41351

 1     you tell us who Hemingway is?

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Be quick, please, because it's

 3     already 7.00.  So in two words, tell us who this is.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, it's not

 5     "Medjimurec," it's "Medjimorec."  He's one of the best directors in the

 6     former Yugoslavia.  He worked in theatre.  He is my close friend, he has

 7     been a close friend of mine since the 1970s.  And as a volunteer, he came

 8     to Sunja a few days after I did, together with a great theatre actor,

 9     stage actor, Sven Lasta.  We did this job together.  He wrote a book

10     about Hemingway.  Well, because of my beard and because of my style, they

11     called me "Hemingway."  Throughout the war in Sunja, they used this

12     nickname for me.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   And the facts that he's describing in this part, does this

15     correspond to what you really experienced there?

16        A.   All the facts from all the statements correspond to the actual

17     situation in Sunja, developments there, and I would really urge the

18     Judges and the Prosecution to read it and then to ask any additional

19     questions they might have to clarify matters, how one can achieve

20     structure and organisation in an area, what one should do.

21             And could we please have the IC number for this?

22             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Let me just say that this is under

23     3D02994 in e-court, and you can see the title page of the book, and who

24     published the book, and all the relevant details for the book to be even

25     discussed.  And as regards the defence --

Page 41352

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we missed this.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Well, we need to get an IC number

 3     for the map.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] An IC number for the map.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]

 6     ... I mean.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, the map shall be given

 8     Exhibit IC1028.  Thank you, Your Honours.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I needed some

10     15 minutes to speak about the Mujahedin, but we'll have to skip that.  I

11     had some details from three books, but unfortunately it makes no sense

12     for me to take up any more of your time.  But let me just note that those

13     three books, two were published by the Muslims -- well, perhaps you

14     should ask me about the Mujahedin presence, how -- and about its

15     destructive influence on the relationship between Croats and Muslims in

16     Bosnia and Herzegovina.

17             But at any rate, this completes my testimony in chief.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've already spoken a lot

19     about the Mujahedin.  Since we have a pending motion filed by Mr. Prlic,

20     it is not ruled out that you might be given these extra 15 minutes, but

21     we shall discuss this among Judges.  I have no problem with that at all,

22     personally.

23             On Monday, next Monday, we can speak about the Mujahedin, and

24     then I can start with my questions, but we'll discuss this to see whether

25     my fellow Judges agreed with that or not.

Page 41353

 1             For everybody's information, let me tell you that you have used

 2     40 hours and 3 minutes, so the Prosecution will have 40 hours for their

 3     cross-examination and the other Defence teams will have 20 hours.

 4             Everybody will receive the list of the documents I intend to use.

 5     You'll receive this by e-mail, and I do urge you to read the e-mail

 6     carefully to make sure that I've sent the list, to avoid any problem next

 7     Monday during the hearing.

 8             This being said, I wish you all a good evening, and we shall

 9     reconvene next Monday.

10                           [The witness stands down]

11                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,

12                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of June,

13                           2009, at 2.15 p.m.