Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10599

 1                           Tuesday, 7 July 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The Accused Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness entered court]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

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

 8     case, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning,

10     everyone in and around the courtroom.

11             This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et

12     al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

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

14             Today is Tuesday.  I would first like to greet Mr. Praljak, and I

15     would also like to greet the accused, as well as the counsels, and

16     Mr. Stringer and all the members of the OTP.  I shall not forget

17     Mr. Coric, and I hope that he gets better soon, because as you are aware,

18     he will not be in this courtroom for quite a while.  I would also like to

19     greet everyone who is assisting us, the court reporter, the interpreters,

20     as well as everybody else in this courtroom.

21             We shall resume the cross-examination of Mr. Coric

22     [as interpreted], represented by his counsel, and I give her the floor

23     immediately.

24                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

25                           [The witness answered through interpreter]


Page 10600

 1             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 2                      Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic: [Continued]

 3        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Praljak.  Good morning to all.

 4             At the beginning of my cross-examination today, I would like to

 5     go back to something that the President asked yesterday, and that is why

 6     I have distributed a new binder, in a bid to shed more light on a

 7     particular situation.  May the binder please be handed to the witness.

 8     It consists of a mere two documents.  I will try to use these two

 9     documents to demonstrate my point, and demonstrate it through the

10     examination of Mr. Praljak.  Otherwise, I would, myself, be testifying,

11     which is certainly not my intention.

12             Mr. Praljak, first of all, may I ask you to look at the names of

13     both these documents.  The first document is 2D00906.  This is the

14     Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

15     Mr. Praljak, are you aware of this law and its existence?

16        A.   Yes, I am.

17        Q.   Can we please move on to 2D00907.

18             Mr. Praljak, is this the Criminal Code of the Socialist Republic

19     of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

20        A.   Yes, that's what it says, madam.

21        Q.   Let us now go back to the first document and look at Article 7 of

22     that document.  Have you found it?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   Article 7 reads:

25             "Provisions of the general part of this Code are applicable to


Page 10601

 1     all criminal acts defined in the laws of the federation, republics, and

 2     autonomous provinces."

 3             Mr. Praljak, you were a citizen of the Socialist Federal Republic

 4     of Yugoslavia, were you not?  Therefore, what I would like to know is

 5     whether you knew of the existence of criminal acts defined by the federal

 6     laws as well as those criminal acts defined by the laws of the republics

 7     and autonomous provinces, as stated in this Article.

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Can we now please go to Article 104 of that same law.  Have you

10     got it?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Paragraph 1 of Article 104 reads:

13             "Yugoslav criminal law applies to anybody who has committed a

14     criminal act on the territory of the SFRY."

15             Were you aware of this, Mr. Praljak?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Can we now please go to Article 110 of that same law, paragraph 1

18     of that Article, which reads:

19             "Criminal codes of republics and autonomous provinces apply to

20     anybody who, on the territory of the republic or autonomous province,

21     commits a criminal act for which the law provides a punishment,

22     regardless of where he is tried for the act."

23             Mr. Praljak, were you aware of the existence of the Criminal Code

24     of the republics and autonomous provinces that were applied in relation

25     to crimes committed in those same republics or autonomous provinces?


Page 10602

 1        A.   Yes, I was aware of that.  In relation to the first Article, that

 2     the law being applied -- the local law being applied whenever a crime is

 3     committed in a particular area, I was not aware of that.

 4        Q.   Let us move on to our following document, 2D00907.  Article 3,

 5     please.  Article 3 reads -- this is the Criminal Code of the Socialist

 6     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Article 3 reads:

 7             "In the application of the provisions of this law, and provisions

 8     of other laws of the republics that contain provisions of the criminal

 9     law, provisions of the general part of the Criminal Code of the Socialist

10     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are also to be applied."

11             Mr. Praljak, do you know what this means and were you aware of

12     this?  Do you agree with me that this means that at the same time, both

13     these laws are applied that we are looking at, each in its own respective

14     domain?

15        A.   I don't see that written as clearly in Article 3.  The

16     Article reads that a certain set of laws applies, but also the general

17     provisions of the Criminal Code.  I find this counter-intuitive, because

18     the provisions in relation to the first law and then the other law are

19     not specified.

20        Q.   Very well, Mr. Praljak.  The Chamber is aware of the law behind

21     this, and they will be looking into that.  I do not expect you to

22     interpret these regulations.  All I want to confirm is that you, as a

23     citizen, were aware of both these laws.

24             We shall be dwelling on this, but let us for a moment go back to

25     the document where it all began, and that is in my binder number 2,


Page 10603

 1     3D03027.  It is the binder that you have in front of you.

 2             While we're looking for that document, Mr. Praljak, and this is

 3     something that the Prlic Defence has been using, you are aware of the

 4     fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HZ-HB adopted both these laws

 5     through their own provisions, are you not?

 6             You didn't hear me?

 7        A.   Yes, yes, yes, I knew that the laws were adopted.

 8        Q.   Have you located this document, 3D03027?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Let us try to look what there is right after number 1.  It reads:

11             "Criminal reports for violent behaviour, as described under

12     Article 204, paragraph 2, of the adopted KZSRBH, Criminal Code of the

13     Federal Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were filed against Ranko

14     Milicevic, Branko Milicevic, Davor Trogolic [phoen] ...,"  and so on and

15     so forth.

16             Mr. Praljak, what about this abbreviation, KZSRBH?  That should

17     read "Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina";

18     right?

19        A.   That's right.

20        Q.   All right.  Let's move on for a moment to the 907 document, it is

21     the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2D0907.

22             We saw that this is a document by Colonel Blaskic about violent

23     behaviour.  Could you please locate Article 204 in the last document, the

24     law of the socialist -- the Criminal Code of the Socialist Republic of

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and tell me as soon as you've got it.  It reads


Page 10604

 1     "Violent Behaviour," and what the Article describes is that particular

 2     criminal offence.

 3             Mr. Praljak, am I right in stating that the criminal offence in

 4     relation to which a criminal report was filed in D03027 is in relation to

 5     the crime described in Article 204, defined here as violent behaviour?

 6        A.   Yes, that's right.

 7        Q.   Thank you very much, Mr. Praljak.  You can leave the binder

 8     containing the two laws aside for the time being.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, counsel has

10     stated that Article 204 had to do with violent behaviour, but while

11     commenting on Article 3 of this law, you asked yourself a series of

12     questions and discover, as things are going along, that you are a legal

13     expert yourself.  If I understand correctly, as regards the Criminal Code

14     of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the law is applicable in

15     all the republics, but in each and every republic you could have

16     autonomous laws that could solve -- or that could deal with certain

17     behaviours.

18             Now, when dealing with the refusal to execute an order, which

19     appears in the federal code, Article 204, the JNA has a role that

20     stretches over all the republics.  So as far as you are concerned, the

21     behaviour of a JNA soldier who would be positioned in Mostar and who

22     would refuse to execute an order from General Perisic, if we assume this

23     for a moment, would this behaviour be dealt with by Article 204 of the

24     federal code or would it be dealt with by a specific text from the

25     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, when we deal with a soldier from the JNA?


Page 10605

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The federal law alone, Your Honour.

 2     No republican or provincial laws apply to the army.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 5             Let us move along where we left off yesterday.  That's in the red

 6     binder.

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Could counsel please speak

 8     closer to the microphone.  We can't hear counsel properly.  Thank you.

 9             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] P03409.  I do apologise

10     to the interpreters.  I wasn't sufficiently close enough to the

11     microphone.  3409.

12        Q.   Have you got that document, sir?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   This is a decision to launch a disciplinary investigation,

15     adopted by Commander Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, addressed to the assistant

16     commander for the SIS of Central Bosnia Operations Zone.  If we look at

17     the first two paragraphs, they read:

18             "1.  I nominate and appoint Mr. Anto Sliskovic to conduct a

19     disciplinary investigation of the 4th Military Police Battalion

20     commander, Mr. Pasko Ljubicic."

21             Your Honours, there's something going on with the transcript.

22     It's not running.  Oh, it's running again now.

23             "I nominate and appoint Mr. Anto Sliskovic ..."

24             Paragraph 2:

25             "Task:  Establish the factual situation, including a written


Page 10606

 1     record of the interview with the perpetrator of disciplinary offence and

 2     report accordingly to the superior officer."

 3             And then we go on to point 3, which gives the dead-line by which

 4     this order is to be carried out.

 5             And point 4 says that upon completion of the investigation, the

 6     disciplinary file, report and proposal are to be forwarded to the

 7     superior officer.

 8             At the top of the document, before we see the title "Decision,"

 9     it says that the decision was passed pursuant to the Code of Military

10     Discipline, and it refers to some articles within that Code.

11             Tell me, please, Mr. Praljak, did you know of cases of this kind,

12     and was this the procedure, in your opinion?  Was this procedure in

13     conformity with the Code on Military Discipline to which Colonel Blaskic

14     refers?

15        A.   I, of course, did not know about this specific case, and you

16     should always say, Oh, I'll do that, say which document you're going to

17     ask me about, whether it's when I was there, when I was the commander and

18     chief of the Main Staff, and which documents you'd like to hear my

19     comments on about what I knew of the functioning of the overall system of

20     the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

21             So yesterday we were looking at a document on discipline,

22     disciplinary measures and disciplinary rules, and disciplinary procedure,

23     in fact, applies to all the members of the armed forces of the HZ-HB.

24     Let me make myself clear.  I could have punished, for example, in

25     disciplinary terms, General Petkovic and all the members down the line


Page 10607

 1     below General Petkovic in the Main Staff, and I could also discipline the

 2     zone commanders, the area commanders.  Of course, the area commanders,

 3     those of the brigades, battalions, companies and so on, those commanders,

 4     of course, punished and discipline their own soldiers, but a disciplinary

 5     procedure also applies to the military police battalions and companies

 6     and all those who had military ID cards.  It wasn't limited to only the

 7     military part of the HVO.

 8             Now, as far as this is concerned, you have two things here, two

 9     points.  First of all, the form of the document and the form, well, of

10     the security services, which had assistance of the head of the Department

11     for Security, for instance.

12        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I do apologise, but we've already heard all those

13     explanations in response to Ms. Alaburic and Ms. Nozica's questions, and

14     indeed during the examination-in-chief.  All I'm interested in is to hear

15     whether, to your -- in your opinion, did Colonel Blaskic act properly and

16     was this in keeping with the rules and regulations and code governing

17     military discipline?  That's all I'm interested in.  This document does

18     not date back to the times that you were there, but the same provisions

19     and rules held true during your time.

20        A.   If Mr. Blaskic considered that Pasko Ljubicic, for example, had

21     violated something that he considered to come under the Code on Military

22     Discipline, then here he asks the assistant SIS commander, which

23     according to establishment terms, he acted properly.  He asked that this

24     commander, who was supposed to be in a superior position to the military

25     police, should act in such a way as that after conducting disciplinary


Page 10608

 1     investigations, a disciplinary sanction should have been pronounced.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we've seen

 3     this document and we've seen other documents yesterday, and there's a

 4     major point that the counsel of Mr. Coric is trying to bring to light,

 5     and it is the following:  The military police was reporting to whom?  Was

 6     it reporting to the brigade commander or was it an autonomous entity, not

 7     reporting to the brigade commander?  Depending on the answer, the legal

 8     or criminal liability according to Article 7.3 will be different, so this

 9     is what is at stake here.

10             We have a document before us, drafted by Mr. Blaskic, and it is

11     obvious that he has handed down a decision asking to have a fact-finding

12     mission or to issue a report, so it seems that he has decided to have

13     control over this matter.  But I'm going to choose another case.

14             Let's assume that the military police of a brigade, whatever that

15     brigade may be, sees that soldiers are basically distributing watches and

16     wallets that have been stolen from people who were the subject of a

17     military operation, and the military police have several options.  They

18     can say, Well, this is war booty, and if it is war booty, then a list

19     should be drafted.  There's an entire procedure that you have to go

20     through, and I thank you very much for giving us this information

21     yesterday, for those who were not aware of this.  But as you said

22     yesterday, a procedure should be followed, and in that case the military

23     police realises that the soldiers are not following this procedure and

24     that they are basically sharing the booty.  My question is the following:

25     Should they start, proprio motu, an investigation, inform the SIS and


Page 10609

 1     wait for the SIS to refer it to the military prosecutor and leave the

 2     brigade commander in the dark?  The other option would be that they could

 3     rush to the brigade commander and say, We have seen that some soldiers

 4     were basically taking watches, money, wallets, and so on; you have to

 5     give us some instruction in order to find out whether we should start an

 6     investigation or not.

 7             So you see that the situations may be different.  So according to

 8     you, do you think that the military police -- and I've already asked you

 9     the question, but we have to go back to this question, so I'm going to

10     rephrase this.  The military police, would they refer or report to the

11     brigade in its daily activities, which is also to make sure that law and

12     order is upheld, or do you think that the brigade commander has no

13     authority over the military police?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, I

15     know that this is a very important issue and has to be fully clarified,

16     and I did do my best to do that.

17             The military police is an autonomous organisation which has its

18     chief, it has its professional component, it is to be found in the

19     military police battalions, divided into companies, and part of the men

20     are to be found in the brigade, which is called the brigade military

21     police.  Now, the brigade military police, as far as the brigade

22     commander is concerned or the area commander is concerned, performs his

23     daily duties.  He doesn't have to ask permission on a daily basis as to

24     who's going to stand guard over a command post, for example, or a forward

25     command post, or whatever, who will escort a convoy of soldiers up to


Page 10610

 1     their positions or from their positions, and the like, or who is going to

 2     set up a blockade on a road if an operation is underway, and so on and so

 3     forth.  So tasks of that kind, as far as the brigade commander is

 4     concerned, or the commander of the operations zone, is performed by the

 5     military police as their daily tasks, but the military police, with

 6     respect to its composition, appointments, the salaries the men receive,

 7     and the duties performed by the military police, in those terms the

 8     military police is duty-bound to take all steps and action described

 9     within their daily tasks, within their tasks generally; that is to say,

10     to take down the particulars of individuals, to take people into custody,

11     to request an investigation, and so on and so forth.  And as we're

12     dealing with HVO soldiers in this case, or an officer, or whatever, they

13     have to inform the commander of a brigade, or battalion, or whoever else.

14             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.  I just

15     would like to say that we have a technical hitch in the courtroom.  The

16     transcript isn't working properly, or, rather it stopped at 11.22.  So we

17     don't want to lose what Mr. Praljak said, although the transcript that we

18     see on our screens is working properly.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, could you

20     please finish your answer.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  I don't know what has been

22     recorded and what has not.  Everything I hear -- I'm being told that

23     everything is recorded on the transcript that we see on our screens.

24             So as I was saying, that part of the SIS and the military police,

25     according to its establishment and its competence and authority and its


Page 10611

 1     duties, was one body, a single body in charge of security.  And at the

 2     head of that body, there was the assistant head of the Defence

 3     Department, or should have been.  I don't know why that didn't exist.

 4     All we had were the chiefs for the SIS and the military police who, in

 5     turn, had to maintain close cooperation in security matters, overall

 6     security matters.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, let me discuss

 8     another case even more specific.  This is a very important topic, and we

 9     don't want to make mistakes.  When Judges will have to deliberate on

10     this, they want to have all the information at hand.

11             So say there's a military operation going on in a village called

12     X.  It's an operation with orders and everything is done regularly.  In

13     the framework of this operation, the brigade commander is asking the

14     military police to do its job, as it usually does.  So the military

15     operation is carried out, the enemy is captured, and in this village

16     there are civilians that are hiding in their houses.  And then a number

17     of soldiers enter into a house, carry out crimes, for example, let's say

18     they rape a woman.  They leave the body in the house, and they just leave

19     the premises and go about their military operation.  The military police

20     then enters after them, enters into the village after them, check what is

21     happening, and when they enter into this house they see that there is the

22     body of this woman.  It's a civilian, and obviously she was the victim of

23     a crime.  But at this very moment, the brigade command is not aware of

24     the fact.  He's in his headquarters and he has no idea that anything went

25     on.  But the military police has noted that a crime was committed.


Page 10612

 1             If the military police decides to do nothing and remains silent,

 2     and decide not to report to the brigade commander, nothing will happen,

 3     or maybe the military police can decide to carry out an investigations to

 4     find out who entered the house and then they report to the brigade

 5     commander that a war crime was committed.  The brigade commander now is

 6     informed.

 7             Now, as far as you're concerned, were you ever confronted with

 8     this kind of situation?  Did you ever run into this similar -- and in the

 9     example that I described, what should the military police do and what

10     should the brigade commander do?  After an operation of the kind, isn't

11     the brigade commander duty-bound to check whether collateral damage

12     occurred or not?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander is duty-bound to do

14     something; to check and see if that is at all possible, if there's no

15     fighting going on.  Now, that's a question.  But if he did learn about

16     something like this having taken place, if he learned about it

17     personally, he's duty-bound to inform the military police about it.

18             Let's look at it this way:  If he happened to be fighting, came

19     across a situation of this kind, then pursuant to Article 20 whatever,

20     he's going to secure the location, place two soldiers to stand guard

21     there, and then he's going to wait for the military police to arrive or,

22     rather, the crime section of the military police, to take down the facts

23     on site, and the brigade commander himself does not go any further than

24     that.  He just secures the spot.

25             Now, once the military police has established the facts, it


Page 10613

 1     launches an investigation against perpetrator or perpetrators unknown, if

 2     they are unknown, and it is the SIS that goes on to pursue the

 3     perpetrators, and this is when an investigation is actually launched

 4     because the person perpetrating the crime --

 5             MR. STRINGER:  I apologise sincerely for the interruption,

 6     Mr. President.

 7             My colleague, Ms. Nozica, was right.  A few minutes ago, anyone

 8     who's trying to work in e-court with LiveNote is not able to do so, I

 9     don't think.  I'm getting some nods from around the courtroom, which for

10     those of us who are trying to do that, it's highly frustrating, and I

11     wonder if we could get that fixed while the general continues his

12     testimony.

13             Thank you.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, just for the record, I've informed

15     the IT Department and they're currently working on the issue.  Thank you.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We'll take this

17     technical aspect on board.

18             General Praljak, please continue with your answer.  You told us

19     what would happen if the brigade commander was informed of the situation.

20             Now, let's imagine the case where he was not informed.  Is he

21     duty-bound to check, himself, that anything happened or is he supposed to

22     just trust the military police, at the risk of not being informed?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I don't understand your

24     question.  How can he take action if he doesn't know about something?  He

25     has to receive information either from soldiers -- he must have the basic


Page 10614

 1     information, and only once he has the basic information concerning a

 2     particular case can he react in one way or another.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I understand your

 4     surprise.

 5             Let's imagine a situation where the brigade commander, the

 6     commander of the operational zone, or yourself, as HVO commander, are

 7     busy with a number of activities, but that on the field -- but you're not

 8     kept abreast of what happened on the field.  In the example I gave, you

 9     know, let's say that the military police turns a blind eye and decides

10     not to do anything.  So my question is the following:  Isn't the brigade

11     commander duty-bound to check for himself to make sure that his order was

12     correctly executed and that, for example, there were no civilian

13     casualties, and so forth and so on, or does he just blindly trust the

14     military police, at the risk that the military police could not do the

15     job properly or could decide to hide a number of facts from the military

16     commander?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how precisely to

18     answer this question.  For instance, when I was in combat, I verified the

19     facts where I was.  This is supposed to be done by the brigade commander

20     if he's taking part in a fight and receives reports that this -- and this

21     has happened, if the SIS has given information.  Most frequently, for

22     example, we would receive information that -- in Rama, for instance, it

23     happened to me.  The chief of the SIS centre, Luka Markesic, would

24     approach me, and he was a very responsible person in that respect.  He

25     would learn of a crime.  Most frequently behind the front-line, when


Page 10615

 1     there's fighting going on, usually there is no civilians in the area

 2     where the two armies clash.  And he would tell me, desperate, that he'd

 3     learned that something had happened in a certain village.  I would ask

 4     him, Okay, who committed the crime?  Now the chase for that perpetrator

 5     begins.  But it means to have people within the structures who are

 6     working for you.  Perpetrators will not volunteer their identity.  They

 7     did it in the dark, with a mask on.  They removed number plates from

 8     their vehicle.  They're trying to cover up their tracks.  But after

 9     certain statements are given, identification is organised, or people may

10     blurt out something after drinking in cafes and something will be

11     learned.

12             Investigation, in a case of murder or a rape, takes some time.

13     The commander would be familiar with this because they would be informed

14     along the command line of the SIS and their departments, and

15     investigation starts.  And once the prosecution is involved in a certain

16     way, then the commander of the brigade or some other unit has nothing to

17     do with it, doesn't have the time to deal with it.  Of course, if they

18     have information, they will furnish it.  I see no complication in terms

19     of who does what and what is the respective purview of each structure.

20             What you asked me about, if a brigade commander, military police,

21     or SIS, were to see something and some structures want to white-wall a

22     piece of information or some facts, then they have to report to their

23     superior officer and the superior officer of that military police unit.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

25             Ms. Tomic.


Page 10616

 1             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 2             I meant to visit all these issues in good time.  His Honour

 3     Antonetti pre-empted my endeavours in that respect.  I will revisit some

 4     of those issues on the basis of some documents in the binder.

 5             Let's take a look at document P044 -- P04494.

 6        Q.   Mr. Praljak, on several occasions during your testimony, you

 7     answered questions.  The number is P04494.  On several occasions, you

 8     said that operative commanding is one thing, and it's another thing to

 9     have a commander positioned in terms of reporting, and this is what you

10     explained in the case of the military police; is that right?

11        A.   That's correct.

12        Q.   Now let's take a look at this document.  This is a document dated

13     25th of August, 1993, dating from the period while you were in charge,

14     authored by Tihomir Blaskic again.  Mr. Blaskic says that:

15             "Pursuant to Article 34, paragraph 2, of the Bylaw on the

16     Military Forces, and pursuant to the authority of the commander of the OZ

17     Central Bosnia, he appoints as commander of the 3rd Light

18     Assault Battalion Military Police, Mr. Vlado Cosic," date of birth,

19     et cetera, and there's the date of this order.  It says that it appears

20     to be addressed to the addressee, to the Main Staff of the HVO, and the

21     PPP.  I do not know what it understands for.  It's PPP of the OZ SB.

22             Are you familiar with the fact that such situations occurred,

23     Mr. Praljak?

24        A.   Madam, such cases did occur in the Central Bosnia Operations Zone

25     because Mate Boban, the supreme commander of the armed forces of the


Page 10617

 1     HZ-HB, through a particular and special order of his, authorised

 2     Tihomir Blaskic, entitling him to appoint brigade commanders and

 3     commanders of light assault battalions, because this is more of a

 4     military unit.

 5             MR. STRINGER:  I apologise for the interruption.

 6             Mr. President, just a clarification for the record, because

 7     I think it's an important one.

 8             We have in the English transcript that the general has just said

 9     that Mr. Boban issued a special order authorising Tihomir Blaskic to

10     appoint brigade commanders, and I see the document relates to a

11     battalion, and I don't know whether there was -- whether it's "brigade

12     commander" is the word the general said or whether there was a

13     translation issue there.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, what did you

15     say, exactly?  I thought I understood, in French, that Mate Boban had

16     delegated the authority to Blaskic to appoint brigade commanders, whereas

17     normally it was a remit of Mate Boban.  Is this what you wanted to say?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, and I meant to

19     continue; brigade commanders, battalion commanders, et cetera.  And to

20     the best of my knowledge, in that order Colonel Blaskic received

21     authority to execute operative command over military police and the light

22     assault units without seeking permission from Valentin Coric,

23     Bruno Stojic, et cetera.  So whether, in that order, there was his

24     entitlement to appoint commanders of light assault battalions, that I do

25     not know, but I do know that he was authorised to appoint and organise


Page 10618

 1     the army as it should have been structured according to rules and

 2     regulations and to execute operative command in terms of using the

 3     military police units in Central Bosnia.  Whether he was entitled to

 4     appoint commanders of light assault battalions or not, I do not know

 5     that.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, what you're

 7     saying is not unconsequential.  Let's imagine we're in a situation where

 8     the commander of the HVO personally notes that one of his subordinates,

 9     i.e., Colonel Blaskic here, is directly in contact with Mate Boban and

10     gives himself the authority to appoint whoever he wants, without you

11     having anything to say in this.  This means that you, as commander of the

12     HVO, are placed in a delicate situation.  Is that the situation you

13     encountered, when it comes to Colonel Blaskic?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I wouldn't be placed in an

15     inconvenient situation for the simple reason that Central Bosnia was

16     completely cut off from the rest.  It was physically impossible to reach

17     that area to execute control, inspect.  People were not known.  And in my

18     opinion, Mr. Boban did the right thing.  I could not personally appoint

19     brigade commanders, and Mate Boban did the right thing by giving him such

20     authority.  Central Bosnia was completely encircled.  There was no time

21     for correspondence.  The telephones were down.  On occasions, he had to

22     react militarily within five minutes, and in such situations it is only

23     logical to delegate authority to somebody to increase military

24     efficiency.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I fully


Page 10619

 1     understand what you're saying.  Unfortunately, the reality of military

 2     events does not coincide with international law.  Normally, you have a

 3     chain of command, with the commander of the HVO and all his subordinates.

 4     Now, here you're telling us what probably happened.  In reality, we'll

 5     see that later, you know, at the end of the cross-examination.  But

 6     you're developing a case according to which Central Bosnia was fully

 7     encircled, that there was a direct connection between Blaskic and Boban

 8     without anyone like you, General Petkovic, or maybe Mr. Stojic or

 9     Mr. Coric, having anything to say in this, because the situation was an

10     emergency, and because of this emergency there was a direct chain that

11     had been set up between Blaskic and Boban.  I can understand that, you

12     know, when it comes to military operations are concerned.  The question

13     now is whether the law should be applied or not in this kind of

14     situation.

15             If events occur in Central Bosnia, for example, war crimes, and

16     the normal chain of command is totally bypassed,

17     Mr. Bypass [as interpreted] is directly in contact with Mr. Boban, and

18     senior officers can say, Well, I wasn't told about anything, I wasn't

19     kept informed, I wasn't aware of anything; you're raising a new problem.

20     And I believe that the Judges will have to deliberate on this, and during

21     the cross-examination I'm absolutely sure that Mr. Stringer will come

22     back to this.

23             So I'll stop here.  We understand exactly what you said, but as

24     far as conclusions are concerned, we'll see that later.

25             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I may facilitate things.  I've


Page 10620

 1     held myself back, but it may be helpful to point out that the document

 2     P04494, which is at the basis of this, has been mistranslated into

 3     English.  There are serious deficiencies, and this is the gist of my

 4     intervention.

 5             In the introductory sentence in the Croatian language, Blaskic

 6     says:

 7             "On the basis of Article 34, paragraph 2, of the Bylaw on the

 8     Armed Forces of the HVO HZ-HB," a consolidated version, "and pursuant to

 9     the authority of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of HVO HZ-HB,

10     number 396," et cetera, but in English the second leg of the second

11     ground has been omitted.  So the grounds are not just Article 34,

12     paragraph 2, but also the legal grounds for adoption of this document was

13     the authority or authorisation given by the commander-in-chief, and this

14     is what General Praljak rightly pointed out.

15             So unlike other commanders of operation zones, Mr. Blaskic had

16     such authority, and this is an atypical.

17             Furthermore, the order of things has been mixed up later in the

18     document, and you do not have to know both languages to notice that this

19     is a very shabby translation, translated by the Prosecution.  We should

20     not rely blindly on them.  So that authorisation that Mr. Blaskic

21     invokes, and that authorisation coming from the commander-in-chief, has

22     been adduced as an exhibit as P00280.  I believe had we noticed this at

23     the very beginning, it would have shortened the discussion on this.

24             I apologise, but I first had to check whether this was correct or

25     not.


Page 10621

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, Mr. Kovacic is

 2     saying that there's a translation problem.  He's telling us that the text

 3     in B/C/S says that Colonel Blaskic appoints Vlado Cosic in application of

 4     Article 34, but according to the order of June 27, 1992, written by

 5     Mate Boban, and this is P0280.  This text can be found there.  Do you

 6     agree with this analysis of the document, because then Colonel Blaskic

 7     would be acting according to the powers that were given to him directly

 8     by Mate Boban?

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction.  At page 21, line 12,

10     replace "Mr. Bypass" with "Mr. Blaskic."

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And this is what I said,

12     Your Honour.  Because of the situation, Mr. Blaskic had such authority

13     and he acted on it.

14             If I may add on what you said.  In wartime circumstances, there

15     are two options or two possibilities.  Either you face up to the facts

16     and the reality, and adjust your structures to such reality in order not

17     to use the war to reduce the level of evil, or, as you say, say, No, the

18     structure will be as it is and I will stick to it, irrespective of

19     whether it's functioning or not, for millions of reasons.

20             I would like us to -- to give me a minute to be more precise in

21     my explanation.

22             So if at one place three houses are burning and three people are

23     standing there, one can escape abroad and he's not guilty.  The other

24     waits for the fire brigade to arrive, but they're not arriving for some

25     reasons.  And the third one will jump and into the flames, he will put


Page 10622

 1     out the fire, although this is not his duty.  He will rescue the people

 2     from those houses.  And when he emerges, all singed and blackened, he

 3     will realise that he hasn't put out the fire in the third house.  He may

 4     face the situation that, You are guilty because you have not saved all

 5 three houses, and this is the essence of the war.  Unfortunately, for many

 6 reasons, the essential structures of organisations did not function.  Either

 7 people did not know how to do those things, they're incompetent, they lack

 8 either courage or energy or funds or manpower, et cetera, et cetera.  And

 9 then you find yourself in a situation - let me finish this - to see that the

10 structure does not function, and you react.

11             For instance, you remember the convoy in Citluk.  So it was the

12     civilians that stopped the convoy.  For the convoy to go through, one

13     should first talk to the civilians, and the person to do that should have

14     been Mate Boban.  So that was a political issue.  But Mate Boban fails to

15     appear for the talks, so Dr. Jadranko Prlic addresses the crowd.

16     Dr. Jadranko Prlic fails because they're not listening to him.  The next

17     one up should be the head of the civilian police, because this is a

18     crowd, it's got nothing to do with the military.  Nevertheless, for one

19     reason or another, the minister of the civilian police is just not

20     around.  Maybe he doesn't want to know about it or whatever.  The whole

21     situation is not working.  Maybe the military police was in charge of

22     making sure the convoy got through.  I don't know.  But I know that it

23     wasn't the commander of the Main Staff who was in charge of making sure

24     the convoy got through.

25             Nevertheless, when they, for whatever reason, not necessarily a


Page 10623

 1     bad reason, fail, what I will do in a situation like that is get onto

 2     that convoy.  I will run the risk of being shot by an angry parent,

 3     perhaps, but I will make sure the convoy gets through.  In the process,

 4     I'm not changing anything structural about the fact that I am not

 5     technically the person in charge of that.  I assume upon myself a duty

 6     that is outside any legal norms as to who should be doing what, exactly.

 7             So what happens is the following, Your Honours:  The next problem

 8     crops up again.  It's nothing to do with my job description.  They

 9     realise that I took care of the previous one, so they come to speak to me

10     again, the international community and whoever.  Two options:  You say, I

11     refuse to do this, I don't care whether the convoy ever gets to Mostar or

12     not, and people will go hungry; or you go back again and do something

13     that you feel is your duty, although not necessarily under the law,

14     because the commander of the Main Staff is in no way duty-bound to climb

15     all over convoys and make sure they get through.  But it was my duty as a

16     human being, and that's what mattered in this war.  When there was

17     something that wasn't working, whoever is in a position to take over in a

18     bid to save something, this doesn't mean -- it is not tantamount to

19     relieving of his duty another person who should have done this in a line

20     of his or her duty.

21             Unfortunately, there were a great many situations like that, and

22     I dealt with them myself, quite a number of those.  I had to do someone

23     else's job and assume upon myself someone else's duties, because for all

24     sorts of reasons that other person was not willing or able to perform

25     their task.


Page 10624

 1             These are the facts as we know them, and I will be telling you

 2     more about that later on.

 3             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your

 4     Honours.

 5             First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Kovacic for setting the

 6     English translation to right.  Regardless of the English translation,

 7     I think everyone will agree that my reading of the Croatian document was

 8     accurate, the way I read it into the transcript.  Therefore, everybody

 9     had a chance to hear what the phrasing was in the original text.

10             We see here Mr. Blaskic invoking the authority of the supreme

11     commander, and we know the document number as well.  I have not lined up

12     this document in my binder because I didn't believe that it would be of

13     any relevance, but could we please call it up briefly in e-court.

14     I think it would be useful for everyone here to see P00280 briefly, at

15     least.

16        Q.   Mr. Praljak, the e-court copy is somewhat poor.  Can you actually

17     read the document?  If not, we'll try and tackle the English, and then it

18     will be interpreted to you by our interpreters.

19        A.   I see it, I see it.

20        Q.   Oh, so you do.  Fine.  Mr. Praljak, I want to know about

21     paragraph 2.  Paragraph 2 reads:

22             "The main commander appoints commanders of the HVO in Central

23     Bosnia and is fully responsible for a complete articulation."

24             All right.  What I've been meaning to ask you is this:  We've

25     heard you say several times that the military police, with the exception


Page 10625

 1     of combat operations outside the HVO's military structure.  Nevertheless,

 2     in paragraph 2 we see no mention of the military police.  There is talk

 3     there of HVO commanders.  I want to know:  Is that in reference to the

 4     military police as well or is the military police simply not included in

 5     the substance of this order?

 6        A.   Madam, the order is poorly written and it lacks the required

 7     technical background.  What exactly is meant here by a complete

 8     articulation, good heaven knows, or the late Mate Boban.  I have no idea

 9     who lined this document up for him.  I really have no clue.  It says what

10     it says.  I personally find it unclear.  The commanders of this or that,

11     a complete articulation.  I don't think we would be getting very far if

12     we looked further into that.  Only the people who actually produced this

13     could tell us.

14        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I'm not interested in this bit that says "a complete

15     articulation."  I'm interested in the bit about the commanders.  You said

16     a while ago that you knew Mr. Blaskic had the authority to appoint

17     military police commanders based on this order.

18        A.   No.

19        Q.   Please allow me to finish.  That was my understanding of your

20     answer at the time.  That is why I'm coming back to it.  I'm looking at

21     this document, I'm looking at paragraph 2, and I see no mention there of

22     the military police.  What about these HVO commanders?  Does the category

23     include HVO military police commanders or does it only include ordinary

24     commanders in ordinary, regular units?  That's what I want to know.  Had

25     you not said that any authority Blaskic had derived from this order by


Page 10626

 1     Mr. Boban, I would never have thought to ask the question.

 2        A.   I think there is another order by Mate Boban, a later one, a much

 3     later one, issued sometime in the spring of 1993.

 4        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I don't --

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we have an

 6     order the 27th of June, 1992, and it raises a few issues.

 7             We could understand that Colonel Blaskic has been appointed as

 8     chief of staff of the HVO, but there's a clarification that the person in

 9     charge is Ante Roso, but he is in charge of Central Bosnia, so he's

10     wearing two hats.  And as the person in charge of Central Bosnia, he's

11     going to appoint the brigade commanders.  Was that the situation?  Was

12     that how things had been split between the various people then?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I don't know.

14     Paragraph 1 of this order is clear.  Paragraph 2 is unclear.  I'm unable

15     to comment on the meaning of this word here "articulation."  Quite

16     simply, you're asking me to interpret something that I find unclear.  I

17     did tell Ms. Tomic that I knew of Blaskic's authority in relation to the

18     appointment of brigade commanders.  He also had the power to use the

19     military police in an operative way.  Nevertheless, I said nothing about

20     his power to appoint military police commanders.  I didn't say it because

21     I didn't know it.  I did know, as a matter of fact, that he had the

22     following two powers:  A, to appoint HVO commanders, without necessarily

23     seeking anyone's approval; that was the other thing, to use the military

24     police in an operational sense.

25             Your Honours, I only know what we see here.  Mate Boban appoints


Page 10627

 1     the operation zone commanders and brigade commanders following proposals,

 2     nominations, you know, the usual procedure.  We know all of the rest.

 3     What General Ante Roso was doing in this context is not something that

 4     I can tell you about.

 5             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Mr. Praljak, something brief about this document.

 7             A while ago, you told us you believe that there was a later

 8     authorisation written by Mr. Boban in relation to Mr. Blaskic.  Can you

 9     look at this document, please, by Mate Boban.  It's 396, it's right there

10     in the header, and the date is the 27th of June, 1992.

11             Can you now please go back to the other document authored by

12     Mr. Blaskic, the appointment document.  That is P00 -- P04494.  I think

13     we all have that one in front of us, but I think it invokes this specific

14     document, 396, dated the 27th of June, 1992.

15             Isn't it only logical -- hold on a minute.  I'm about to ask you

16     a question, because we're looking at this and we can all read, thank

17     heavens.  What I want to know is the following:  Following this,

18     Mr. Blaskic received another authorisation from Mr. Boban.  Had that been

19     the case, would he not have invoked the later order?

20        A.   Ms. Tomic, I said that with great precision.  I said "perhaps."

21     I didn't actually assert that there was another one.  I said perhaps

22     there was another one.  Why did I say that?  I actually talked to

23     Mr. Boban about this in March 1993, following my return from Central

24     Bosnia.

25        Q.   Yes, you told us about that.


Page 10628

 1        A.   Well, there you go.  That's why I said "perhaps."

 2             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have P --

 3     D04089.  That's the next one up.

 4             Again --

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  I would like to see whether I

 6     understood the last passage of this testimony.

 7             I seem to see that Tihomir Blaskic here appoints someone who

 8     normally he would not have the competence to appoint, and he refers to an

 9     order of Mate Boban which, in turn, is totally unclear and has a term

10     "articulation" which at least the witness cannot make any sense of, and I

11     will confess that I am in the same situation.

12             Do I correctly wrap up what has been your testimony now,

13     Mr. Praljak?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, quite correct.  I have no idea

15     what "articulation" means.  Again, I have no idea what the word

16     "articulation" means or what Blaskic's interpretation of that expression

17     was.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

19             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC:  [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I

20     do apologise.  In a technical sense, I don't think it really matters

21     whether Praljak understands this or not, or anyone else, for that matter.

22     The main thing is Blaskic understood Mate Boban's order.  He invoked that

23     order and he made the appointments.  We cannot question whether Blaskic

24     understood something or not just because Praljak didn't understand.

25     Blaskic understood, and he made 150 appointments pursuant to this order.


Page 10629

 1     We've seen them all throughout this trial.  Blaskic understands full well

 2     that Mate Boban, firstly paragraph 1, authorises him to exercise command

 3     over Central Bosnia and, paragraph 2, to appoint all the commanders

 4     there.  I'm not going into anything else, but in a technical sense

 5     Blaskic does a great job understanding the order, and this applies

 6     throughout.

 7             We've seen at least 100 documents here.  He stands by this order

 8     dated June.  The fact that Mr. Praljak fails to understand this order,

 9     well, that is a problem related to Praljak's understanding, not

10     Blaskic's.  Blaskic did nothing against the law; quite the contrary.

11     Boban vested him with certain authority, and Blaskic used that authority.

12     Whether Praljak understands this or not is entirely beside the point.  It

13     is not my intention to offend anyone, but that is not material.  Praljak

14     doesn't understand.  That doesn't necessarily mean that Blaskic didn't

15     understand.  We're not supposed to --

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Overlap between two

17     speakers.  We have not been able to interpret this, thank you.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, but I had to try to stop this because

19     I think this is not correct.  You are now pleading here and making

20     explanations, and that should not be done.  And, furthermore, what you

21     are doing is a classical [Latin spoken].  You say that

22     Mr. Tihomir Blaskic understood well because that's what he did, but the

23     question, of course, is whether he did understand well and whether what

24     he did here was, indeed, lawful.  But that is something for the Chamber

25     to decide, if necessary, and for the lawyers to argue.


Page 10630

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, if I may

 2     correct the transcript on page 30, line 15.  It was a statement made by

 3     Petkovic, not by Pusic, as recorded in the transcript.

 4             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Counsel, Your Honours, I

 5     do apologise.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second.

 7     General Praljak, there was a question I wanted to ask, and if I'd asked

 8     this question maybe the witness would -- the accused would not have stood

 9     up.

10             You look at this document, this document is signed by Mate Boban,

11     but also General Ante Roso, and you will notice that the document is

12     coming from the Main Staff, so this document was drafted by General Roso

13     and it has been signed by himself, and it was also signed by Mr. Boban,

14     which means that Mr. Blaskic's authority had been determined in full

15     agreement by Mr. Roso and Mr. Boban.  And I understand the intervention

16     of General Petkovic because this happened in 1992, and you know,

17     General Praljak, that before you took office it was General Petkovic who

18     was the commander of the HVO.  And so you followed him in this position.

19             When you took office on the 24th of July, were you aware that

20     General Blaskic had this authority or not, and had General Petkovic

21     failed to tell you that?  This is what we are trying to ascertain here.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew about the authorisations

23     that Colonel Blaskic had in the Central Bosnia Operations Zone, and he

24     acted according to and pursuant to the order as he understood it, and he

25     issued orders, made decisions, appointed people, suspended people, in the


Page 10631

 1     way in which he understood the order giving him authorisation to do so.

 2     Nobody complained, nobody had any objections, so that functioned

 3     according to the military system in place.

 4             The fact that I don't understand what the word "articulation"

 5     means here is quite irrelevant, unimportant.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I would -- just to avoid any misunderstandings,

 7     I'm, of course, not in any way suggesting that Mr. Blaskic did something

 8     wrong, but I thought your point, Mr. Praljak, was that as he was

 9     completely isolated and had no contacts to his superiors, it was a sheer

10     necessity for him to take the acts that were called for, including

11     appointments which had to be made.  Isn't that your point, the point you

12     have tried to explain to us?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Judge Trechsel.  The

14     situation was such in Central Bosnia -- well, because Busovaca-Travnik,

15     then an interruption, and then Kiseljak over here, or rather

16     Busovaca-Kiseljak.  Anyway, you cannot command and issue orders there

17     unless you're there.  It was only the people who were there that could do

18     that.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you, Mr. Praljak.  I think that is a

20     sensible proposition.

21             Excuse me, Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic.  You can go on.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that Judge Mindua had

23     a question to ask.  No?  Okay, then go ahead.

24             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,

25     I'd just like to make one observation, and I'm referring to the remark


Page 10632

 1     made by Judge Trechsel when General Petkovic intervened and was on his

 2     feet.

 3             I agree that in procedural terms, that was perhaps improper, and

 4     I share Judge Trechsel's opinion there because it is difficult to say in

 5     what role General Petkovic intervened at that point in time.  We all know

 6     that, and we're not challenging that.  However, I do consider that it

 7     would be really negative if a message was to be sent out to the accused,

 8     or one of the accused or all of them, who for three and a half years have

 9     been sitting in this courtroom, to prevent them from intervening when

10     they understand and see that the situation is quite unclear and that

11     we're discussing something unnecessarily.  And this is what

12     General Petkovic felt, and he pinpointed the problem straight away.  He

13     saw where the problem lay.  And so this specific reaction on

14     General Petkovic's part, and these are my feelings and my sentiments,

15     without a doubt helped us all to understand the situation because, if

16     nothing else, he at least reminded us that he saw appointments of this

17     kind, at least 150 of them, on the basis of that order.

18             So please don't misunderstand me, but I do feel that we should

19     not, a priori, reject any interventions which were not exaggerated.  He

20     did not stand up too frequently during this trial, and as far as I

21     remember, they were always useful.  They always contributed to the

22     efficiency of the trial and to establishing the facts.

23             So I should just like to prevail upon Judge Trechsel and ask him

24     not to de-stimulate reactions of this kind for as long as they're not a

25     problem, and they aren't a problem.


Page 10633

 1             Thank you.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you, Mr. Kovacic.

 3             I must say I agree with you, I agree with you.  I did not want to

 4     blame Mr. Petkovic.  I had the feeling that it went a bit long on, and

 5     that's why I then stopped him.  But on principle, we are in full

 6     agreement.

 7             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, I sincerely apologise to all, and

 8     I'm going to be very sort of candid, because we're here and we've been

 9     discussing about these last two documents, and what I'm going to ask for

10     is a clarification from the witness.  And I do this with full

11     acknowledgment that it is probably something that is more procedurally to

12     be done on cross-examination, and so if counsel objects or if the Trial

13     Chamber prefers that I wait, I will happily do that and come back to it.

14             But since we're all here, this is a clarification that I would

15     seek from the general.  The general started when the general indicated

16     there was an order from Mr. Boban that gave General Blaskic the authority

17     to appoint brigade commanders, and I don't see that language in this

18     document, and I know that the general's indicated he doesn't understand

19     the language of the document.  The document is also from a fairly early

20     period, June 1992, when the conflict between the Croats and the Muslims

21     really had not fully developed into the situation the general is

22     describing of an encirclement and the rest.

23             So the clarification I would seek, and I can -- I will withdraw

24     the question and come back to it later, if that's what is decided, the

25     question would be whether the general is aware whether any subsequent


Page 10634

 1     orders may have come from Mr. Boban to General Blaskic, defining his

 2     authority, as the situation between the Croats and the Muslims developed

 3     throughout 1993.

 4             So, again, I'll accept whatever treatment the parties and the

 5     Trial Chamber wish to give to my request.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stringer.

 7             I do not see, from a personal point of view, any objection for

 8     you to ask a clarification immediately, because we will gain time.  And I

 9     would like to thank General Petkovic to have taken the floor, even if,

10     according to the Rules and Regulations, it is not really provided for.

11     But when you look at the normative text, they can say anything and

12     everything, but in fact nothing prevents the accused from taking the

13     floor and to say what he has to say.  The only issue at stake is to know

14     what the Judges will do with the probative value and that will have to be

15     attributed to this sort of event where an accused is taking the floor.

16             And I agree with counsel as well that we should not stop an

17     accused from wanting to contribute and to make things clearer by stopping

18     him from taking the floor.  As you know, I would like everyone to be

19     present in this courtroom, and very often when I have the feeling that

20     accused do not understand or have the feeling that Judges are not

21     listening to what they're saying, I do not feel comfortable, because this

22     is not the concept of justice that I share.  I feel that everyone should

23     be free to express themselves, and of course within the framework of the

24     normative texts that are upon us.  But the normative texts allow us to do

25     quite a lot of things.  So it has happened in the past that Mr. Prlic


Page 10635

 1     took the floor to clarify certain things, as well as Mr. Stojic, and

 2     I think it was always beneficial to the proceedings.

 3             We see that there is an issue which has been also raised by

 4     Mr. Stringer, namely, it's an order dating back to June 1992, and the

 5     question is whether Central Bosnia, as the general was saying, was

 6     encircled.  And we understand very well what the situation is, so

 7     Mr. Stringer is making us understand that there might be a real issue at

 8     stake here, and waiting until the cross-examination to get a

 9     clarification could also be detrimental to the proceedings.

10             So, Mr. Praljak, you have heard what everyone has said, and I

11     also had the same line of thought as Mr. Stringer.  We were wondering

12     whether, in June 1992, Central Bosnia was encircled in such a way that

13     Boban had only this solution.  But you didn't tell us this.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, in June, Central Bosnia

15     was not under an encirclement to the extent that you couldn't reach it.

16     I said this in very precise terms, and let me repeat it for the benefit

17     of the Prosecution.  I was telling you what I know about, and it is this,

18     and you have some documents to bear that out, and you are going to ask me

19     about them, I assume.

20             In March 1993, I was in Central Bosnia after an agreement had

21     been signed to calm the situation down and so on and so forth, and at the

22     time Mr. Blaskic asked me to convey to Boban, Petkovic, and so on that

23     according to his forecasts, the BH Army was getting ready to attack the

24     HVO.  Now, it was a very difficult situation.  It was difficult to move

25     along the roads.  I was in a car with an escort, and they said, If we


Page 10636

 1     come across a BH Army check-point, for example, Paraga, one of Paraga's

 2     units, the car behind me had to stop 50 metres away from me, and if they

 3     saw me reaching for my rifle, that they should start shooting straight

 4     away because it was very easy to be killed by some murderers, some

 5     killers.  And upon my return, I asked Mate Boban -- on the way back, I

 6     asked Mate Boban to enable Tihomir Blaskic, because communications were

 7     down, in actual fact, to enable him, in operational terms, to deploy,

 8     without having to have us down the chain of command and ask the military

 9     police, to deploy for military purposes the military police.  Mate Boban

10     told me that it had all been dealt with, that it was all settled.  So it

11     was on the basis of that piece of information that I'm able to tell you

12     what I'm saying here and now.  So that's the truth of it.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if we understand correctly,

14     because you could have said that earlier on, the text that we have before

15     us is a mere consequence of a discussion you had with Mate Boban, you had

16     realised the ABiH was going to launch an attack, and therefore you had to

17     give Mr. Blaskic the full authority to react to any attack.  And the

18     document that we have before us has to be understood in this context;

19     namely, the request that you had put to Mr. Boban?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.  I made the request in

21     March 1993.  I didn't even know that this document existed, but obviously

22     Mate Boban said it's all been settled.  Well, he probably thought that it

23     had already been issued or whatever.  So there's this difference in time,

24     from the time I made my request to Tihomir Blaskic and Mate Boban's reply

25     that it had been dealt with or would be settled.


Page 10637

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  But how is it that

 2     in June 1992, Mate Boban is giving his -- is vesting Blaskic with the

 3     power to appoint people?  Is there a political reason for this?  If it's

 4     not because Central Bosnia is encircled, what's the reason behind all

 5     this?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So you want my interpretation of

 7     events.  I don't know what the reason could have been, but I can tell you

 8     what I think the reason was or might have been.  So I ask the

 9     interpreters to use the correct tenses there and say what I'm saying.

10             The HVO is being created, established, so in that area, and there

11     was major fighting going on with the Serbs, so probably they didn't have

12     time to provide information, CVs, go into various checks, verifications

13     and so on, because the army was growing at such a great rate because of

14     the battles in Jajce, in Vlasic, and so on and so forth.  Mate Boban most

15     probably, and that is my opinion, most probably says, Go ahead, appoint

16     commanders over there according to your selection, your choice.  So what

17     would it mean if somebody were to send him in a proposal for an

18     appointment or send in a nomination when that person knew nothing about

19     the area?

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For what it's worth, it's an

21     explanation.

22             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] We're coming up to the

23     break, but I have one more document.  May I go ahead with that, related

24     Mr. Blaskic and so on?

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Show your document and then


Page 10638

 1     we'll have the break.

 2             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Document 5D04089.  It's

 3     the next document in the set, and this document is a commendation signed

 4     by Tihomir Blaskic.  5D04089 is the document number.  As I was saying,

 5     it's signed by Tihomir Blaskic.

 6        Q.   The document is dated the 18th of April, 1993.  That means before

 7     your arrival, before your arrival there as commander of the HVO, and this

 8     is a document in which Mr. Blaskic is issuing commendations to the

 9     members of the 4th Military Police Battalion and their commander for the

10     valour and courage they showed in carrying out their assignments.  Do you

11     know about this, and is it in conformity with the authority that Colonel

12     Blaskic had and the kind of authority that we've just been discussing?

13        A.   A, let me say that I don't know of this document and, B, the

14     authority and powers of -- well, we have two things here; first of all,

15     Blaskic's authority to deploy the 4th Military Police Battalion in the

16     first place for military purposes.  And the third point, point C, is his

17     right to commend somebody for having taken part in a battle and for

18     fighting bravely and well.  So there are three points there.  He could,

19     of course, commend individuals.  I could commend individuals, too.  I

20     could commend any military police unit while it was taking part in the

21     military operations, and I happened to notice that they were good guys.

22     I could do that, but it just so happened that I did not.  But this is

23     quite a usual commendation.  There's nothing contentious there.  He

24     considered that they merited commendation.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, April 18 is


Page 10639

 1     two days after Ahmici.  I don't know whether the 4th Battalion was

 2     involved in Ahmici, I don't have the judgement at hand, but I did note

 3     that it was two days after Ahmici.  Did you?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, now that you've told me about

 5     that, I see that it is, indeed, two days after Ahmici.  I don't know if

 6     the 4th Battalion took part, I do not know that, but I interpreted and

 7     was responding to the questions asked by Ms. Tomic.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a 20-minute break.

 9                           --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.

10                           --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.

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

12             Let me tell the counsel, Mr. Coric's counsel, that she's already

13     used one hour and seventeen minutes.

14             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

15             Before I continue my examination, I would like to ask everybody

16     in the courtroom, and I believe that this is the best interests of the

17     Defence of Mr. Coric, as follows:  There is a precedent by Mr. Karnavas.

18     This is reasonable, and the Prosecution, I believe, did the same.  I'm

19     trying, in my cross-examination, just as the Prosecution has done, trying

20     to put forward the case for Mr. Coric, I'm going to -- I'm trying to

21     proceed slowly and bring the witness, step by step, to the point I'm

22     trying to make.  What I'd like to ask is as follows:  After each issue

23     that I'm going to finish, and they're not going to be long, to stop and

24     break and give the opportunity to everybody in the courtroom to ask

25     questions, object, because if we proceed in this way I'm afraid that even


Page 10640

 1     though I may exhaust the list of my questions, they may be lost and my

 2     point would be lost.  So every time I think I've accomplished what I

 3     tried to accomplish, I'm going to say, I'm done with this subject, does

 4     anybody else have any questions?  And I would be very grateful if we

 5     could proceed this way.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will try, but you must

 7     understand us, when we have a document on the screen, sometimes there are

 8     follow-up questions regarding the document.  Of course, we don't know

 9     what you intend to do.  Of course, we have the binders.  So if I notice

10     that in the document there is an answer, I don't put the question.  We'll

11     try to do what you've asked us to do.

12             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13             Following up on the issue that we discussed before the break, I'm

14     going to work on two documents in succession, and it will be easy for you

15     to revisit them after I'm done with them.

16        Q.   Now, please, Mr. Praljak, let's take a look at document 5D04394,

17     in the same binder, the following document.

18        A.   I've got it.

19        Q.   It purports to be your document, dated 31st of July, 1993,

20     addressed to the Main Staff of the HVO Mostar, to the Military Police

21     Administration at Mostar, attention of Mr. Valentin Coric and Mr. Perica

22     Turajlija.  It is entitled "Instructions for the VP Administration" or

23     "Military Police Administration," and it states as follows:

24             "The order that you issued on 29 July 1993, number ...," I'm not

25     going to read it out, "... on the suspension of the platoon commander of


Page 10641

 1     military police, Perica Turajlija, and his relief of duty will not be

 2     implemented.

 3             "Perica Turajlija's military police platoon is under my

 4     operational command and is carrying out all its assigned tasks.

 5             "Relief of duty will be carried out by you only after the conduct

 6     of an investigation with the presentation of solid evidence."

 7             Mr. Praljak, could you please tell us whether you remember this

 8     incident and whether I've read out what it really states in the document?

 9        A.   What is written in this document is true.  I authored it, I

10     signed it, and I dispatched it.  I can provide you with an explanation

11     now.

12        Q.   I'm going to tell you what I'm interested in.  At this point, I'm

13     not interested in whether you were right or Mr. Coric was right, who was

14     trying to relieve Mr. Turajlija of his duty.  What I'm interested in is

15     whether you thought that you had the right, in circumstances where you

16     did not see that there was evidence for somebody breaching disciplinary

17     procedures and the commander is under your operational command, that he

18     could not be relieved of his duty, although Mr. Coric wanted to do so.

19     This is what I'm after.

20        A.   Under circumstances obtaining, I believe that this was so for the

21     simple reason is that what I'm stating in this document is that Mr. Coric

22     was not doing the job properly.

23        Q.   So you deemed that Mr. Coric was not doing his job properly.

24     Right.  Okay.  I'm not challenging or wanting to discuss who did what and

25     whether they did their job properly.  My intention is that you, when you


Page 10642

 1     thought it was right, you had the right to do so.  And you answered my

 2     question, and let's proceed to another question.

 3      A.   Mrs. Tomic.

 4      Q.   Mr. Praljak, I…

 5      A.   Allow me, please. Your interpretation of law follows from the state

 6  of facts based on which I take that right. This is not scholastics, but war.

 7        Q.   Mr. Praljak, please don't be cross.  You've answered my question,

 8    and I'm following with another document, P03934.  Let's take a look at it.

 9             This document was dated later, dated the 4th of August, 1993,

10      concerning the relief of units of duty.  It is addressed to Gornji Vakuf

11     units.  This is another of your documents, and among the addressees you

12    see Military Police Turajlija as one of the addressees at the end of list.

13             What I'd like to ask you about this document is:  Is it apparent

14     from this document, and was this really so, that Mr. Turajlija continued

15     performing his duties under your operational command?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Just one question in relation to that.  Mr. Praljak, do you know

18     that as per establishment of the military police of the HVO, there was no

19     unit entitled "Military Police Turajlija"?

20        A.   There was a military police platoon under the command of

21     Turajlija, and this is why I labelled it so, because the Commander

22     Andabak, up to that point, had fled from his position for four times.

23        Q.   You've already mentioned that person.

24        A.   It's not only that.  On the 1st, so when I regained the positions

25     in Vakuf, at a meeting Mr. Prlic attended, as well as I did, and after


Page 10643

 1     almost panic reigned after the fall of Vakuf, which I regained with my

 2     lads, I reacted very strongly, seeing Andabak there, and said to Coric,

 3     That person will have to face court-martial for leaving his positions

 4     four times, as far as I knew, about four times him leaving his positions,

 5     and nothing happened.

 6        Q.   Mr. Praljak, Mr. Andabak will be another issue.  We are going to

 7     deal with it.

 8             I would like to tell Their Honours that I am finished with those

 9     two documents, and now I give the opportunity to everybody to ask about

10     those two documents.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, in the last

12     document on the screen, I was looking at the recipient list.  I see

13     there's "HV Hrvatinic Brigade, brigade Hrvatinic."  What is it exactly,

14     please?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the Brigade Hrvoje

16     Vukcic-Hrvatinic.  There was some confusion about this brigade

17     being Croatian. These are remnants of a brigade from Jajce, residual

18     manpower of that brigade who did not leave the territory of Bosnia-

19     Herzegovina.  It was called "brigade," but in terms of its strength, it

20     could not meet the requirements of a company.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second question.  This is

22     August 4th, almost two weeks after you took command.  I see the number on

23     this document.  At "1147," does this mean that in 15 days, you signed

24     1147 documents or did you just take over the numbers after Mr. Petkovic's

25     command?


Page 10644

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Numbers were taken over.  No, maybe

 2     I wrote 10, 15 orders in that time-period.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you recollect, how

 4     many documents did you sign a day, on average?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, it's very

 6     difficult for me to say.  One, two documents, not more.

 7             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 8             Let's take a look at three documents in a row, and this will

 9     bring to a close my cross-examination concerning disciplinary

10     proceedings.

11        Q.   Mr. Praljak, answering my learned friend Alaburic's question and

12     Judge Trechsel's questions, recorded on page 42483 of the transcript, you

13     said that military disciplinary courts were never established, that you

14     were not in charge of their establishment, and that Mate Boban did not

15     establish them either, presuming, therefore, that it was incumbent upon

16     Mate Boban to do so, looking up -- at the model of the Republic of

17     Croatia.  And you stated that on several occasions on the same page.

18        A.   For what I know, military disciplinary courts did not function.

19        Q.   Now let's take a look at document P05279.  This is a document

20     that's been repeatedly shown to you during examination-in-chief and

21     examination of the Presiding Judge.  This is your order on serving of

22     disciplinary detention prison sentences imposed by the commander.  You

23     addressed this order, this document, to all operation zones and directly

24     subordinated units of the Main Staff, and presidents of military

25     disciplinary courts of first and second instance.


Page 10645

 1             Mr. Praljak, when taking into account, after seeing this

 2     document, the fact that you said that there were no military disciplinary

 3     courts, could you please explain now that you're issuing an order to

 4     military disciplinary courts if they did not exist; alternatively, that

 5     you knew that they did not exist?  I don't understand that, and I'm not

 6     helped by the document.

 7        A.   It is not clear, based on this document.  I have to say that I

 8     would draft such documents, and most frequently General Matic would write

 9     them down.  I would give him the gist of the order, and the deputy

10     commander of the Main Staff, General Matic, who signed many of those

11     orders.  As a general in the JNA, he was trained to draft such orders.  I

12     did sign this document, I drafted it.  It is true that it states that

13     there were military disciplinary courts, but I maintain, irrespective of

14     my signature here, when I asked commanders of companies to mete out

15     disciplinary sanctions, they did so, but there was no procedure in terms

16     of three officers sitting on a bench and hearing evidence.  Nothing of

17     the sort happened.

18        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I presume that you read this document before you

19     signed it.  This order, I mean.  And I'm interested in this:  Did you ask

20     General Matic why military disciplinary courts have been mentioned here

21     if they did not exist?

22        A.   I agree there is a discrepancy between what is written here and

23     what the reality was, but on the 22nd of September, when I had some ten

24     minutes for the business of Main Staff, because this is the time of the

25     Neretva-93 offensive, I could just scan the document, see "Dretelj


Page 10646

 1     Prison," some key words, and then sign it.

 2        Q.   Let's take a look at the second document, P2 -- 002022, P00 --

 3     5D, correction, 5D02022.  This is a document signed by

 4     Mr. Ante Govorusic.  He's deputy commander of the Herzegovina operation

 5     zone, and it's addressed to all commands of Operation Zone of Western

 6     Herzegovina.  From the heading, we can see pursuant to an order of the

 7     Main Staff, and the content of the order, we see that it refers to your

 8     earlier order that we discussed a minute ago, in terms of meting out

 9     disciplinary sanctions.  The among the addressees, we can see that there

10     are brigades, 6th Military Police Battalion, 2nd Light Assault Battalion

11     of Military Police, and Lateral Battalion, Prozor, et cetera.

12             Tell us, Mr. Praljak, did you know whether this document was

13     distributed down the chain of command to operations zone and their

14     subordinate units within the area of responsibility of those zones?

15        A.   This is supposed to be so, as per regulations.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Let's take a look at the last document concerning

17     this, P07361.  This is a document dating after the time while you were in

18     charge.  At the time of this document, Ante Roso was chief of the

19     Main Staff.  It's dated 28th December 1993.  It is addressed to all

20     military districts.  And in this document, Mr. Roso says as follows:

21             "Pursuant to the regulations of Article 52, paragraph 2, of the

22     Rules of Procedure on Military Discipline, and regarding the formation of

23     a court of military discipline, I hereby issue an order."

24             Item 1:

25             "To establish a court of military discipline for the military


Page 10647

 1     district."

 2             Item 2:

 3             "The court of military discipline shall sit with a chamber of

 4     three judges."

 5             And then it follows to list the president and the members of the

 6     chamber.

 7             In item 3, what is discussed is the appointment of the registrar,

 8     and in item 4 it is said military district commanders are going to be

 9     responsible for the execution of this order, and they are duty-bound to

10     submit a written report on this by the 3rd of January, 1994.

11             Mr. Praljak, I'm not going to ask you whether you've seen this

12     document because it was generated after you left your duty, but it is

13     based, as we can see, on the Rules of Procedure of Military Discipline,

14     and my question is as follows:  Can you explain to us how it is that

15     Mr. Roso thinks that it was incumbent upon him, as chief of the

16     Main Staff, to issue such an order on the establishment of courts of

17     military discipline, and you, yourself, stated that you did not see it as

18     incumbent upon you to do so and that they did not exist?

19        A.   I still think that I don't know exactly.  Nevertheless, if you

20     look at the Croatian Army model, my conviction remained that the courts

21     of military discipline had to be set up by the army's supreme commander.

22     It is quite obvious that the chief of the Main Staff, who followed in my

23     steps, in my footsteps, Ante Roso, thought differently.

24             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm done on

25     the subject of discipline and am about to move on to a different topic.


Page 10648

 1     I'm not sure if anyone has any questions.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.

 3             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] My next subject is

 4     criminal proceedings.  There are three documents in your binder.  Four,

 5     as a matter of fact.  I misspoke.  Four documents.

 6             First of all, could we please have 4D01317 pulled up in e-court,

 7     a document conveniently put together by the Petkovic Defence, containing

 8     a number of relevant provisions from the Decree on the Military District

 9     Courts and the Law on Criminal Procedure.

10        Q.   Mr. Praljak, Maitre Alaburic asked you about the authorities of a

11     commander when criminal proceedings are in progress.  Essentially, you

12     responded that the duties of a commander are only in reference to

13     situations in which the perpetrator isn't identified, when a perpetrator

14     was caught "in flagrante" while committing an act, caught red-handed, as

15     it were.  Whenever the perpetrator remained unidentified, this ceases to

16     be the job of the commander.  Rather, it was the security bodies in the

17     armed forces that would have been in charge of situations like these.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to my

19     learned friend.  I think this is an inaccurate summary of witness

20     testimony.  Thank you.

21             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I don't think this is

22     inaccurate, and Mr. Praljak is perfectly free to correct me if I'm wrong

23     and whether the whole thing is inaccurate.  But during the next break,

24     I can bring you the transcript pages that I'm talking about.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I can clarify, if you'd like me


Page 10649

 1     to.  At no point in my cross-examination did I say anything about a

 2     perpetrator being caught "in flagrante."  I was only talking about the

 3     responsibility to prevent any perpetrators from hiding or escaping.  The

 4     only logical conclusion would be that the perpetrator was in the

 5     commander's hands, but there was nothing being said about a perpetrator

 6     being caught "in flagrante" or during the commission of a criminal

 7     offence.

 8             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I will correct myself,

 9     then, and I will say let's leave all of this aside, although I do believe

10     that Mr. Praljak used the term "in flagrante."

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was later on.  It wasn't

12     during Ms. Alaburic's cross-examination.  It was later on I said, in

13     addition to something else, that this was in reference to a fact that you

14     lawyers would tend to call "in flagrante."  That's precisely what I said,

15     what you lawyers would call that.  When a brigade commander comes

16     across -- the commander of a company or a battalion, comes across

17     something like this, he is duty-bound to take steps pursuant to this

18     paragraph.

19             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   That's what I was about to say.  He needs to know who the

21     perpetrator is.  If that is not the case, then it's down to the security

22     organs within the armed forces to track down the perpetrator?

23        A.   Not just those from the armed forces, but also the civilian

24     police, the Ministry of the Interior.

25        Q.   Briefly, any kind of police whatsoever, plus the SIS?


Page 10650

 1        A.   Yes, that's right.

 2        Q.   That's what I was driving at.  I was just taking a shortcut in

 3     order to avoid wasting more time.

 4             Nevertheless, let us go to paragraph 25 now, please.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

 6             On another topic, let's move to a private session just for a few

 7     seconds.

 8                           [Private session]

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)


Page 10651

 1     (redacted)

 2                           [Open session]

 3             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 5        Q.   Ms. Alaburic was showing you Article 25, which is on the next

 6     page of this document 4D, Article 25 of the Decree on the District

 7     Military Courts.  The Article states, as you were shown by

 8     Ms. Alaburic -- the last part of the Article states that according to

 9     this decree, it would be the authorised officials of the security organ

10     of the armed forces that would be in charge of these activities.  You do

11     remember that, don't you?

12        A.   Yes, indeed I do.

13        Q.   All right.  I would like to move on to Article 151 on that same

14     page to see what the Law on Criminal Procedure says as far as it defines

15     the job of the Ministry of the Interior and its various bodies.  Let's

16     look at Article 151.  It reads:

17             "If there are grounds to suspect that a criminal act that is

18     prosecuted ex officio has been committed, the law enforcement agencies

19     must take all the steps necessary to locate the perpetrator of the

20     criminal act, to prevent the perpetrator or accomplice from hiding or

21     fleeing, to discover and secure any criminal evidence or, indeed, items

22     which might be used in evidence, and to gather any information which

23     might be of use to an effective conduct of criminal proceedings."

24             Mr. Praljak, I will now ask you a hypothetical question in

25     relation to the Article that we just read.  If it is true that all these


Page 10652

 1     jobs that I have just specified, in terms of uncovering a crime and any

 2     further steps that are taken following the commission of a crime, is

 3     something that would have been incumbent upon the security organs of the

 4     armed forces, then it is not necessary to pass any other regulations,

 5     with the exception of Article 25, which is the one that we read a while

 6     ago, stating that any jobs that, under the Law on Criminal Procedure, are

 7     done by bodies of the Ministry of the Interior, would be done, as far as

 8     the military disciplinary courts were concerned, by the security organs

 9     of the armed forces, themselves; am I right in stating that?

10             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would like to object to this

11     question and this whole line of questioning.

12             This material was prepared in order to obtain a parallel view of

13     the Law on Criminal Procedure, on the one hand, and the law passed by the

14     HZ-HB.  Why?  If I may invoke Mr. Buntic's testimony.  I'm trying to

15     simplify, but that is the general message.  When a law talks -- for

16     example, a military court, the regular law that existed before the war,

17     then the HZ-HB, in its regulations, normally specified the military court

18     in question, because the old military court from the pre-war law is no

19     longer around.  Yugoslavia broke up; we all know that.

20             Nevertheless, why am I saying all of this?  This requires a legal

21     analysis.  Mr. Buntic was in a position to testify about that.  We can

22     have another expert witness, or perhaps we can use the presence of a

23     witness that might be in possession of relevant knowledge.  Nevertheless,

24     Mr. Praljak is certainly not that witness.  How this was resolved under

25     the Law on Criminal Procedure of Bosnia-Herzegovina and how a certain


Page 10653

 1     legal institute was adopted to form part of the HZ-HB regulations in

 2     order for the existing laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be used, merely

 3     those elements and those institutes where something was being adapted,

 4     which military court, which authorised official, and so on and so forth.

 5     Mr. Praljak is certainly not the person to tell us about that.  He's

 6     simply not qualified for that.

 7             Ms. Alaburic's questions were of a different nature.  She said,

 8     How do you understand this, or, Are you the person, but we cannot have a

 9     comparison of this kind.  Ms. Alaburic made this comparison just for us

10     lawyers to understand what she was talking about, or at least that was my

11     reading of the situation.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you had your

13     counsel stating that given the legal complexity of the questions, he

14     feels that he has to raise an objection.  As far as you are concerned, do

15     you feel in a position to answer or is it really beyond your knowledge,

16     and did you know that if there were a prosecutor, a president, and judges

17     at tribunals, but we should not go further into details?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not wish to go

19     beyond that.

20             Before the war, during the war and after the war, I knew exactly:

21     A, what would have constituted the criminal responsibility of a citizen;

22     B, what violations of the Law of War were, all of them; and, C, I knew

23     exactly what military commanders were to do about this; D, take

24     disciplinary procedure, be it prepare a report protecting someone whom

25     they may have found, bringing someone in, or if they weren't up to it,


Page 10654

 1     leaving all of this to the military prosecutor or to a civilian, a

 2     military service, an investigation of an unknown perpetrator, for

 3     example.  But that's where I left it.

 4             My job was to teach any and all commanders I came across what the

 5     Rules of War were, the rules of engagement, and what they were to do

 6     whenever they came across violations of that law.  Bring them in, if you

 7     can; if not, just report them whenever you learn something, and then

 8     leave it to all the other institutions that were in charge of just that.

 9             Zoran Buntic was there for it.  There were other people who were

10     dealing with that.  I'm reluctant to make any comparisons.  Was it down

11     to a civilian body?  Who was the perpetrator?  A soldier who had left his

12     position along the front-line and simply gone home, I really can't say.

13     This is outside the scope of what I can talk about or address with any

14     degree of precision whatsoever.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16             Counsel, questions can be of a complex nature.  Counsel Kovacic

17     raised an objection, and General Praljak said that his knowledge was

18     limited to main principles, so he does not wish for you to go into

19     details because it could mislead the Chamber or himself.  So please ask

20     very simple questions, and please do not go too much into legal details.

21             I will give you an example of what not to do; namely, who has

22     authority or jurisdiction if a crime is committed by a soldier on a

23     civilian or by a soldier on another soldier, what does the civil police,

24     what does the military police?  This would go beyond his area of

25     competence, so please ask very simple questions.  Thank you.


Page 10655

 1             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will do my

 2     best to simplify, as much as I can, in asking my questions.

 3     Nevertheless, I just read an article of the law, which is precisely the

 4     same thing that Ms. Alaburic did.  At the time, Mr. Praljak did not

 5     declare himself to be incompetent, but I'll try to ask simpler questions

 6     in order to avoid this sort of situation.

 7             Now I will just simply read the articles out and I will say, Did

 8     you know about this?  I will not compare anything.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomic, please don't

10     misinterpret my words.  I said I know what the duty of a commander is

11     when he realises or is aware of the fact that during his operation or

12     after his operation, a crime is committed.  This perfectly clear.  He

13     must secure the area and secure any evidence that is there.  Whenever

14     able to track down a perpetrator, he must do just that, isolate the

15     perpetrator and then throw him in jail.  He must then leave it to all the

16     other institutions to prosecute, to sentence, to convict, and all of

17     that.  The part that I'm familiar with, I am perfectly familiar with.

18             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] That's precisely what

19     I'll be asking you about.

20             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have another objection, in that

21     case.

22             We know what the purpose is and what should be covered by

23     cross-examination.  Since my learned friend has just made this very

24     specific, this cross-examination is about those subjects and theories

25     that were the subject of another cross-examination, that of the Petkovic


Page 10656

 1     Defence.  This is not a cross-examination.

 2             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I do not agree with my

 3     learned friend Mr. Kovacic.

 4             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, just a minute,

 5     please.

 6             I do agree -- I do believe that my learned friend should be

 7     asking questions about subjects that were raised in-chief, or link her

 8     own questions to issues raised during the chief, such as the Chamber's

 9     questions, but this is a second cross and it's simply unrelated.

10             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Since Mr. Kovacic raises an

11     objection that I wanted to make, and actually he refers to my

12     cross-examination, but I'll refrain from reacting, I would like to raise

13     an objection of principle with respect to the Coric cross-examination of

14     this witness because it is cross-examination of General Petkovic's

15     cross-examination.  We would like to -- well, we would like the Trial

16     Chamber to rule whether this is the kind of cross-examination that is

17     allowed.  And this cross-examination on the cross-examination of another

18     Defence team is allowed in this court, if that is what the ruling is,

19     then I would like to ask for additional time for my own kind of redirect

20     to this cross-examination of a cross-examination.

21             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to

22     respond?

23             General Praljak, I will respond to that.  I am very astonished

24     that Mr. Kovacic is objecting and saying that my cross-examination was

25     not linked to the examination-in-chief, and he failed to object to


Page 10657

 1     Ms. Alaburic, because if my cross-examination was not linked to the

 2     examination-in-chief, but was linked to the cross-examination of

 3     Ms. Alaburic, then it would follow that it was Ms. Alaburic which went

 4     beyond the scope of cross-examination.  That's my first point.

 5             My second point is this:  With respect to the authority and what

 6     the authority and powers of the military police was, and whose job it was

 7     to find the perpetrators of a crime, and whose job it was to table

 8     criminal reports, is something that General Praljak talked about in

 9     response to questions raised during the examination-in-chief and during

10     Judge Antonetti's questioning, so during my cross-examination, I do have

11     the right to put to him the provisions and rules for him to explain who

12     was authorised to do what.

13             Now, Mr. Praljak can say that he didn't know about these rules

14     and regulations or that it says something else there, but as regards

15     Ms. Alaburic's direct and redirect, then I'd like to raise the question

16     of whether, in fact, Ms. Alaburic conducted an examination-in-chief and

17     then I am conducting a cross-examination, or what.  I don't know what

18     we're talking about here.  All I know is that I referred to Ms. Alaburic

19     because she was the last person to ask that question, and Mr. Praljak

20     gave the same answers to Judge Antonetti as he did during the

21     examination-in-chief.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel kindly slow down for the benefit

23     of one and all.  Thank you.

24             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I be allowed to

25     contribute to this discussion and present General Petkovic's position in


Page 10658

 1     just one sentence?

 2             My objection did not relate to the topics discussed, because

 3     during the examination-in-chief it is true that a whole series of

 4     subjects were broached, so we cannot say with any certainty about any

 5     subject, that it was not covered in one way or another in the

 6     examination-in-chief.  My objection exclusively referred to my learned

 7     colleague referring to my questions and responses given to my questions,

 8     and the summarisation of something that was represented as being the

 9     cross-examination of General Petkovic of this witness.

10             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] May I respond to

11     Ms. Alaburic first, Your Honour, please?

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Please wait.

13             General Praljak is fretting about, and so I will give him the

14     floor, and then you can take the floor.

15             So what did you want to say, General Praljak?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I want to say, Your Honours,

17     regardless of what your ruling is going to be, that I am ready to answer

18     any question put to me by anybody.  I can say I know about that, I don't

19     know about that.  I can tell them what my knowledge was, why something

20     was done at a given point in time.  So I'm ready to do that.  But all I'm

21     asking is that I be allowed to finish my answers and give a complete

22     answer.  If I don't know about something, then I state that loud and

23     clear, I say, I don't know.  But if I do know something, then I would

24     like to be allowed to answer.  So you can all ask any questions you wish

25     to ask, regardless of whether the issues were raised during the


Page 10659

 1     examination-in-chief or whenever.

 2             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, all I

 3     wanted to say was this:  I didn't know that it would lead to such a

 4     heated debate and be reduced to formal terms, that I'm referring to what

 5     Ms. Alaburic said during the cross-examination, particularly because she

 6     addressed the Stojic Defence and would say, The Stojic Defence put to you

 7     such and such.  So I didn't think there were any restrictions for me to

 8     go on and ask and refer to what Ms. Alaburic had asked during her

 9     cross-examination.  But as I say, in future I'm not going to do it that

10     way, I'm not going to say, As Ms. Alaburic said.  I'm going to present my

11     case with the essential points, without linking it to the Petkovic

12     Defence, but I will just refer to what was stated in the

13     examination-in-chief.

14             Thank you.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, what is the

16     position of the Prosecution on the fact that an accused can cross-examine

17     another accused during this phase, the Defence case, for the Defence

18     case?  Is it possible, is it not possible; what is your position?

19             MR. STRINGER:  Well, Mr. President, I think that my first

20     observation would be that the witness, having been testifying now,

21     I think, for nine weeks, there isn't really anything that I can think of

22     that is outside the scope of what has been raised before, and so I think,

23     as the general himself as indicated, really, his own intention -- and

24     I think that procedurally we're in a place that really everything is

25     within the scope of something that's been raised before by one team or


Page 10660

 1     another or by the Trial Chamber, itself, in its own questioning.

 2             In terms of allocations among the Defence, as the Trial Chamber

 3     knows, the Prosecution is usually hesitant to get too involved in that.

 4     It's essentially a trial management issue.

 5             I think that I would agree with something.  I think that it may

 6     have been Judge Trechsel or another member of the Bench said it at one

 7     time earlier, which is that -- I think it was during the

 8     cross-examination by my learned friend Ms. Alaburic.  There was an

 9     observation whether General Petkovic's interests were aligned with those

10     of General Praljak on an issue, and I think that that is a point that's

11     worth bearing in mind, that as between all of the Defence teams there are

12     issues in which some of them actually may be in alignment, whereas

13     obviously there are going to be other issues where their interests are

14     not in alignment and where there are going to be issues which give rise

15     to what, in our view, is genuine cross-examination, and that's what's

16     happening here.  So I guess the Trial Chamber, I think, is clearly seeing

17     that.

18             If this is now cross-examination in response to an issue that was

19     raised by Ms. Alaburic in what might be more correctly thought of as a

20     friendly examination, if I may put it that way, and this is a phrase that

21     the Prosecution has used previously, then if it's friendly, then maybe

22     it's more in the field of direct, and if so there may be a situation

23     where the Trial Chamber might want to allow another Defence team to come

24     back with follow-up questions in the way that another team might want to

25     follow up on questions that come from the Trial Chamber.


Page 10661

 1             So -- but, again, this is obviously primarily a trial management

 2     issue, and so beyond that I don't think the Prosecution has a position.

 3             Thank you.

 4             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you, Mr. Stringer.

 5             I seem to recall that we had this kind of discussion a number of

 6     times here.  From both sides, there have been objections, but we have

 7     always pointed out to the Rules of Procedure, which say that in

 8     cross-examination, any party may take up a point which is important for

 9     that party's case.  And I think we have always been rather liberal in

10     this respect, and I would say that in this case, too, there's no reason,

11     really, to stop Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic in continuing in the line that she

12     has started.  I wonder whether my colleagues agree.

13             MR. KARNAVAS:  I just wanted to say, Mr. President, that if

14     there's going to be a ruling on this, we certainly would like to be

15     heard, and I think the rest of the Defence teams should be heard on this

16     matter, since the Prosecution has stated its position.  So that's all I

17     wanted to say at this moment.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we are really wasting

19     time, while we have an accused who is only asking one thing, is to answer

20     questions that he's in a position to answer, so this is really an obvious

21     matter.

22             But there's something that I have really not understood.  I would

23     like to know why Mr. Praljak and Mr. Petkovic would be in conflict or in

24     opposition or would have any dissenting opinion on one point or another.

25     I haven't had this feeling until now, but maybe counsels are in conflict


Page 10662

 1     between themselves.  But I don't have the feeling that, between the two

 2     accused, that there is a conflict.

 3             As to trying to identify the topic, Ms. Tomic could have said,

 4     Well, by answering the question from Ms. Alaburic, you said this, that,

 5     and that on page such and such.  So we have to be in a position to frame

 6     the issue very carefully.  As for your answer, the answer you said, that

 7     it is not in agreement with Article 148 or 127, I don't know.  I will

 8     show you the article, what do you think?  This is the way you could have

 9     phrased the question, because maybe that from the outset Mr. Praljak is

10     not in a position with Mr. Petkovic.  Maybe he did not answer a question

11     properly because he made a mistake.  But it seems that it immediately

12     triggers objections.  Counsel Karnavas stands up and says everyone should

13     be able to have a position, whereas, in fact, in the judgement it will

14     never be touched upon because we have spent quite a lot of time on this

15     and it will not be relevant.

16             So what I would like to know for my own understanding, Ms. Tomic,

17     is:  What is the problem here, what is the issue here?  Could you please

18     tell me what was the issue that you wanted to bring to light here?

19             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, had I

20     managed to go from Article 151 to Article 27 of the Decree on District

21     Military Courts, then we would have seen what the problem was, but I

22     haven't reached that point yet.  So might I be allowed to do that.  I'm

23     not going to ask for any further interpretations or what follows from

24     what, but I'm going to ask about what is quite obvious and whether

25     General Praljak knew about it or not, so in the next questions five


Page 10663

 1     minutes you are going to understand.  It's going to be made clear what

 2     I'm actually getting at, am talking about.

 3                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber rejects the

 5     objection of Mr. Kovacic.  We did not feel that everyone should be

 6     consulted, and we are asking Mr. Coric's counsel to carry on with the

 7     questions.  But we ask her not to ask questions of a too-legal nature

 8     because it is obvious that his limited legal skills will not allow him to

 9     answer certain questions if they were put in that way.

10             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

11             Since we've been having this debate for quite some time now, I'd

12     like to remind the Court of what it says in Article 151 because it's

13     important.  This Article regulates the affairs of the organs of the

14     interior, and it says that they are duty-bound to take all necessary

15     steps to find the perpetrator, to prevent him from absconding or going

16     into hiding, and to uncover and secure the traces and evidence, any

17     objects that can be used in evidence, and to gather all other necessary

18     information.  So that was from the code governing criminal proceed.

19             Now I'd like us to go back to the first page of this document,

20     where we will find Article 27 of the decree or provision governing

21     military district courts, and it says there, in para 1, the commander of

22     a military police unit or military institution must take all necessary

23     measures to prevent the perpetrator of a crime under official prosecution

24     from going into hiding or from escaping, and they must attempt to

25     preserve all the traces of the crime and all other objects that may serve


Page 10664

 1     as evidence.  They must also gather all information relevant to the

 2     criminal proceedings.

 3        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, when we look at Article 151 that I read out a

 4     moment ago of the Law on Criminal Procedure, and Article 27, para 1, of

 5     the Military District Courts, and if you compare the two, would you agree

 6     with me when I say, and did you know about it, that the commander, under

 7     the provision governing military district courts, has the duty of seeing

 8     to all those affairs and duties which are listed under Article 151 of the

 9     Code on Criminal Procedure, which by that Article, it was the organs of

10     internal affairs that were duty-bound to conduct those duties, except for

11     uncovering the perpetrator?

12        A.   Yes, that is correct, and that is, in fact, the essential point,

13     to find the perpetrator.  That is at the crux of the problem.

14        Q.   Yes, we'll come to that.

15             I'd just like to say that on page 65 of the record, of the

16     transcript, on line 13 it says that in paragraph -- it says that the

17     commander of the military police [as interpreted], well, where it says

18     "military police unit," I said "the commander of a military unit."

19        A.   Yes, that's what it says there, and I'd like to add that we're

20     dealing with the commander of a military unit and within the remits of a

21     military unit, who's going to secure the site and who's going to

22     apprehend a perpetrator in Mostar, Rama, whatever municipality?

23        Q.   Yes, we'll come to that.  We're not at odds, you and me.  We'll

24     come to that.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I think that


Page 10665

 1     you understood a difficult question that was put to you by counsel, but

 2     in order for me to understand your answer, I have a few questions.

 3             Counsel made a comparison, and she talked about Article 151,

 4     which -- as states that the investigating services have the duty to look

 5     for perpetrators of crimes and to look for suspects, so of course we

 6     think of the civil police, the military police, the investigating

 7     magistrates or judges, the military prosecutor, as well as the

 8     investigating judges.  And there is this text from Article 27, which says

 9     that it's the brigade commander who has then to fulfill a number of tasks

10     immediately to make sure that the suspected perpetrator absconds and to

11     make sure that the scene of the crime is preserved by taking all

12     necessary measures.  So the counsel is asking you whether Article 27

13     doesn't mean that the brigade commander has a responsibility which he

14     didn't used to have, and you answered by "yes."  Did you understand that

15     exactly, which means that the brigade commander, as a result of this

16     normative text, must, as soon as he's been made aware of a crime, give

17     orders to the military police and actually also to soldiers to preserve

18     the scene of the crime and to arrest the perpetrators if they are caught

19     in the act?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, and I see

21     nothing -- no discrepancies there.  You have your area of responsibility,

22     the front-line, an action or operation.  Now, if a commander -- well, if

23     the military police learns about it, then it's their duty.  If the

24     commander learns about it, then it's his duty, but it is not his duty to

25     uncover the perpetrator of a crime.  He has no possibility of doing that,


Page 10666

 1     and that's the essential difference.

 2             If I catch somebody who has committed some act, then I grab him

 3     by the neck and I wait for the others to come and get him.  It's very

 4     simple.  I don't see why we are having all this discussion.  If somebody

 5     in this courtroom commits any untoward act, I'm the strongest one here in

 6     the courtroom, I would apprehend him and then hand him over to the

 7     guards, and then all the other institutions do that.  That is my civic

 8     duty.  I did this as a civilian before the war.  For example, I had

 9     occasion to run faster than somebody who was involved in a traffic

10     accident and caused a traffic accident, and I apprehended him.  Here it's

11     the commander's duty, if he knows about it, if he knows an act has been

12     committed and he can do something about it, but that is 0.1 per cent or

13     0.01 per cent of the cases.  Everything else happens in the rear at

14     night, clandestinely, and so on and so forth, and a commander cannot

15     investigate such matters.  He can only learn of them by chance.  And if

16     he happens to learn of them by chance, once again it is his duty to

17     convey that information to the investigative organs.  And there you have

18     it.

19             For instance, in Ljubuski people get drunk at a cafe, having

20     returned from a 30-day stint at the front-line.  Their offences are

21     exchanged, tempers rise.  Somebody takes out a gun and shoots another

22     person.  And if a commander is there, then he would apprehend the

23     perpetrator, and this is the "in flagrante" situation.  That's clear.

24     There have been such cases, and all perpetrators were apprehended.  But

25     the other cases which this court deals with were, unfortunately,


Page 10667

 1     furtively perpetrated, as criminals are inclined to do, and I'm talking

 2     about violations of international humanitarian law.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Now that we have Article 27 on the screen, let's take

 4     a look at paragraph 2, which reads:

 5             "All of the information referred to in paragraph 1 of this

 6     Article, commander of a military unit or military institution is

 7     duty-bound to deliver such information to the district military

 8     prosecutor or their immediate superior officer."

 9             Mr. Praljak, does it follow from this, and whether you knew about

10     this, that a military commander was duty-bound to inform the military

11     prosecutor on what he had done and that the military prosecutors take

12     over?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Reading further, we are discussing here information and not a

15     criminal report?

16        A.   Well, this is the extent of my understanding.  There can't be

17     talk of any criminal report.  He reports, he delivers the information,

18     and then criminal reports follow an investigation, and everything else

19     will be done according to the law.

20        Q.   On the same page, we have Article 148 which has a heading

21     "Criminal Report."  Let's take a look at the bolt, paragraph 3, which

22     reads:

23             "In launching an allegation, government agencies and

24     organisations of associated labour, and other self-management

25     organisations and communities, shall present evidence known to them and


Page 10668

 1     shall take steps to preserve traces of a criminal offence, objects upon

 2     which or with which the criminal act was committed, and other evidence."

 3             Do you agree with me, and whether you knew about that, that what

 4     follows from this is that everybody was duty-bound to file criminal

 5     reports, not only commanders, but all organisations of associated

 6     labour -- there is this term "socialist," but we know what we're talking

 7     about.  All bodies and organisations were duty-bound to file criminal

 8     reports, furnish documents or evidence corroborating their report?  I'm

 9     trying to simplify things here.

10        A.   I don't know, Madam Tomic.  One thing is to inform and quite

11     another thing is to file a criminal report.

12        Q.   I concur, I concur.  This is why I've shown you those two

13     articles.

14             Now let us take a look at document 4D01105, please.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I listened to

16     what you said, but you have already answered my question.  I don't really

17     see what is the added value of the questions put to you today, but

18     Defence can do what it wants.  But let me come back to this.  You already

19     told us when answering my questions.

20             You told me that for you, crimes were usually done at night or on

21     the field, but after the military operation.  As far as night is

22     concerned, we know that there were cases, like in Prozor, where people

23     would come at night to take the prisoners.  We're aware of this.  Now,

24     what I'm more interested in is what happens after the military operation.

25     Fighters go elsewhere to continue the military operation, but then in --


Page 10669

 1     after when we have other soldiers that come about, or civilians, or

 2     paramilitaries, and this is when the problems occur.  That's when the

 3     houses are torched, that's when there's rapes, looting, and so forth and

 4     so on.

 5             According to you, should the military commander also check what's

 6     happening after the operation, knowing that this kind of behaviour is

 7     probable?  Isn't he supposed to secure the area, telling the military

 8     police to stay on site to make sure there will be no looting, no rapes,

 9     no crimes, or is the troop just marching on without really caring for

10     what's happening behind them?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this question is a

12     rather hypothetical one concerning while I was on duty.  Well, we used to

13     lose and regain or retake some positions, this hilltop, that hilltop,

14     this elevation, that elevation.  There were no operations such as the

15     Neretva-92 operation, when we made progress.

16             Combatants have their stints of combat duty of 15 days, 30 days,

17     and when they're replaced they go home and cease to be soldiers.  They

18     have to respond to another mobilisation call-up.  In the meantime, others

19     replace them, and the same rules apply to them as well.

20             A military commander does not occupy a certain territory.  He's

21     just responsible for the events at the front-line or, if he deems it

22     necessary to do so, maybe behind the front-line because of infiltrating

23     groups or such things.  But military commanders cannot control the

24     territory in depth.  It is not their duty, and they are in no position,

25     in terms of resources, to do so.


Page 10670

 1             For instance, in Rama, there were civilian authorities, the HVO,

 2     civilian police, civilian authorities, civilian structures, and they are

 3     supposed -- and now we are dealing with conditionals -- supposed to,

 4     depending on their mental state, to do such things.

 5             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me expound on this for

 7     the benefit of the President of the Chamber.

 8             When there's an order to close down cafes, to prohibit alcohol

 9     being served, then the civilian police were supposed to maintain law and

10     order, or the military police was duty-bound to apprehend drunk people,

11     et cetera, but it's not the duty of the military commander.  They command

12     their troops.  Many things are clearly delineated in a military

13     organisation, just as in the US Army.  When there is an incident,

14     military policemen will come and apprehend the perpetrators, and there is

15     the appropriate procedure for them being punished, et cetera.

16             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

17        Q.   I'm very glad that we still have on the screen these provisions,

18     Article 148 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which states who is duty-bound

19     to file criminal reports.  It says:

20             "All government agencies, organisations of associated labour,"

21     et cetera, et cetera.

22             In terms of criminal offences prosecuted ex officio, that they

23     were informed of all that they learned about in other ways.  You know

24     about all this.  Criminal offences is the subject matter, not the

25     perpetrators.


Page 10671

 1        A.   You said "a criminal report being filed."  They report, and not a

 2     criminal report, because there's a legal difference between reporting and

 3     filing a criminal report.

 4        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I do believe that there is no difference.  There is

 5     only one criminal report as a notion.  But let me deal with the matter of

 6     perpetrators unknown to see whether we've drawn an erroneous conclusion.

 7        A.   In paragraph 3, there's no mention of criminal reports.

 8        Q.   But paragraph 1, let's take a look at the heading, "Criminal

 9     Charge."

10        A.   But to report on criminal offences does not mean to file criminal

11     charges.

12        Q.   Read paragraph 1.

13        A.   Let's read.  They report that a criminal offence is being

14     committed.  To the best of my understanding, this is not a criminal

15     charge or a criminal report.  You will allow me that I do know some law,

16     myself.

17             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I did not want

18     Mr. Praljak to interpret law.

19             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise for

20     having to intervene.  We were revisiting this issue of interpreting law.

21             I served as a judge for almost ten years applying this criminal

22     procedure act.  In Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia these were almost

23     identical.  This provision of Article 148 is not what should be done in

24     terms of asking Mr. Praljak to give his answer.  The ratio of this

25     provision in the Criminal Procedure Act that we have to know in its


Page 10672

 1     entirety to be able to understand it was -- well, the law imposed a duty

 2     to a certain circle of persons who, if they learned that a criminal

 3     offence is being perpetrated, a criminal offence, indictable offence, or

 4     prosecutor ex officio, in other words, more severe form of criminal

 5     offence, they were duty-bound to report it.  And the act of a reporting

 6     did not have a prescribed form or formal requirement.  It was just a

 7     report.  Somebody could pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1, Something has

 8     happened, send the police.

 9             The point of this Article is that certain entities or

10     organisations or persons are duty-bound to do so.  Why?  Because in

11     socialism, because of the constitutional guarantees and provisions, law

12     may not have prescribed every citizen to be duty-bound to do so, as some

13     other legal systems prescribe.  So the lawmaker found the middle ground,

14     accepting that not all citizens can be forced to report, but stating that

15     at least the comrades listed here, who perform a responsible duty, as the

16     law states, organs, organisations of associated labour and other

17     entities, they are duty-bound to react because they are, in a way, part

18     of the system of government.  And that is the rationale for this.  And

19     now we cannot discuss who is duty-bound, the military or the civilians.

20             And, of course, the second part of this story:  I'm very saddened

21     that I have to intervene.  I do not feel proud.  But such examination

22     leads us nowhere.  Mr. Praljak may be a perfect physician and starts

23     examining me about nutrients, that would be a scene.  I apologise, but I

24     do believe that you have to understand that.  At the very least, please

25     hear my message.  The rationale of this article is something completely


Page 10673

 1     different, and we cannot even discuss it.  This debate, this discussion,

 2     is completely irrelevant.

 3             Thank you.  And I apologise once again.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I believe that my learned

 5     friend misunderstood me.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You may have seen that I wanted to say something

 7     for some time.

 8             MR. KOVACIC:  [No interpretation]

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Please sit down and calm down a bit.

10             I would like the Chamber to be enlightened about the importance

11     of the difference between what formerly is usually seen as a criminal

12     report, which is a technical paper, which normally follows specific

13     rules, or the criminal report in a broad, informal, untechnical sense,

14     which is an information and which, it seems, is meant here.  But where's

15     the importance of that difference in the light of our proceedings?

16             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may

17     explain.  This is my cross-examination.

18             Your Honours, I do not see the problem, and I don't see the

19     difference and whether this difference is relevant at all.  I wanted to

20     say what Mr. Kovacic said, that everybody was duty-bound --

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There can be a difference,

22     there really can be a difference, Counsel.  I tried to understand what

23     General Praljak was telling us.

24             A brigade commander who has just been informed that a crime or an

25     offence was committed, if he has any clues or any evidence at hand, then


Page 10674

 1     according to Article 27 he is duty-bound to seize the prosecutor.  So he

 2     has to file a criminal report in due form.

 3             Now, on the other hand, and we're going to Article 148, if the

 4     brigade commander has little information or hardly any information, and

 5     he believes that this is not of his jurisdiction, he believes it's up to

 6     the investigating magistrate or the prosecutor to do something, then he

 7     can just report on this, just saying, This is what I heard, this is what

 8     I learned, I have no other element about this.  So there he's just

 9     reporting the information.  So, on the one hand, you can file a report,

10     the brigade commander can file a report, and other -- or he can just

11     signal, he can just report, he can say there were rumours.  He can bring

12     this to the attention of the authorities, of the competent authorities.

13     I believe that this should be -- this can be interpreted, and this is

14     actually how I would interpret Article 148.

15             Ms. Alaburic.

16             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, given the fact that

17     we've been talking this much about it, and I think we are disrupting my

18     learned friend Dijana's cross-examination, which I do apologise for,

19     given the fact that I was the person who authored the document that we

20     have on our screens right now, and given the fact that I selected these

21     four Articles from these two laws, if you deem it useful for us to know

22     what the author of this document wanted to know, I can tell you in a

23     couple of words.

24             I wanted to compare a law that applies, in terms of criminal

25     procedure, but before ordinary courts, as opposed to what applies before


Page 10675

 1     military courts.

 2             As for the Articles on page 1, I wanted to say this:  For

 3     example, you have the Defence Ministry.  Now, what does it need to do in

 4     relation to criminal offences that are prosecuted ex officio, in relation

 5     to an ordinary civilian criminal procedure?  This applies before military

 6     courts in relation to military unit commanders.  These Articles are

 7     comparable.  What state organs do before ordinary civilian courts will be

 8     imposed as a special duty on a military commander before military courts.

 9     Page 2 shows a comparison between bodies whose task it is to track down

10     the perpetrators of criminal offences, gather any information, and

11     initiate criminal proceedings.  The comparison is about this:  Everything

12     that civilian police do before civilian courts is exactly what authorised

13     officials of the security organ do before military courts.

14             The footnote clearly states, if you look at it, that under the

15     provision of the Law on the Armed Forces, the security forces are the SIS

16     and the military police.  I think this is crystal clear, and I would be

17     glad, indeed, for us all to finally understand this.

18             Thank you very much.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have to finish off this

20     topic.

21             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it all

22     started -- it all started for the following reason:  I believed it was

23     necessary, and I really can't go back to this now, to compare Article 151

24     with Article 27, paragraph 1 in both cases.  They are identical, which is

25     plain for all to see, with the following exception:  Article 151 reads


Page 10676

 1     "track down the perpetrator of a criminal offence," whereas Article 27,

 2     the Decree on District Courts, does not contain that.  And then I wanted

 3     to build upon that, what happens when a perpetrator remains unidentified.

 4     Whose duty is it then to track him down?  And I was about to wrap it up.

 5             I would like to ask Ms. Alaburic -- she has just explained this

 6     for our benefit, and the Chamber can go ahead and read it themselves, is

 7     this actually in the documents or not, what I've just read out?  Because

 8     how this comes across is the following:  We all testify, Mr. Kovacic,

 9     Ms. Alaburic, and I do, when we are offering our legal opinions in terms

10     of law and from the finer points of law, and I would really use this one

11     example to try to explain what it's about --

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The first time around I did not

13     intervene, and now I would like to say the following --

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You forget the interpreters.  You speak much too

15     fast, and you start speaking long before the interpreter has been in a

16     position to translate the previous sentence.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the first time

19     'round, when Ms. Tomic said that the provision of Article 151,

20     paragraph 1, was identical to Article 27, paragraph 1, with the exception

21     of tracking down the perpetrator, this was a misinterpretation, and the

22     first time around I did not stand up to this, I did not oppose this.  I

23     will have to do this this time around, however.

24             Article 151 contains another essential difference:  Discover any

25     evidence of a criminal offence or any items that might be used in


Page 10677

 1     evidence.  Article 27 does not, in fact, comprise that.  It merely reads

 2     that the duty is about preserving evidence.  Therefore, something that is

 3     already there must be preserved.  As for discovering evidence or

 4     discovering the perpetrator, any items that might be used in evidence, we

 5     only find that in Article 151.

 6             Claiming that these two legal provisions are identical is, in my

 7     opinion, tantamount to misleading those who are doing their best to

 8     understand the respective competences of the players in

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise, and I

11     apologise to Ms. Tomic as well.  This is my first interference, but I do

12     believe that there is an interest of the Stojic Defence at stake here, in

13     terms of clarifying this law.

14             I would like to ask one thing, if at all possible, in the best

15     interests of the Stojic Defence, for Ms. Tomic to be allowed to finish

16     her cross-examination and for my other learned friends to refrain from

17     legal interpretations.  I have not witnessed anything like this in this

18     courtroom, nor indeed have I done this myself.

19             When Ms. Alaburic talked about the SIS annual reports, the word

20     was recording she used, and the actual word was "discovery."  I did not

21     stand up to object, because I believed that the Chamber was in charge of

22     reading these documents.  They have the documents in front of them.

23             What I would like to remind everyone at this juncture is:  No one

24     is to teach the Chamber about law.  The Chamber has the documents right

25     in front of them, and it is their duty to comment on these documents and


Page 10678

 1     interpret them.  I think it would really be in order for us to allow our

 2     learned friends to press on with the cross-examination as envisaged.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomic, as Ms. Nozica just

 4     said, you have to finish your cross-examination.  You could have the

 5     floor.  I think I understood that the point was to know who was competent

 6     when it comes to apprehending the perpetrator of a crime, if this

 7     perpetrator has not been identified.  I think that's the crux of the

 8     matter.

 9             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, and I was just

10     getting to that, I was building up to it.

11             I would like to tell the Chamber one thing.  I know this comes

12     across as very inconvenient, and I do apologise to Mr. Praljak for making

13     him face this situation, going through all these various situations with

14     him and analysing them.  That was not my original intention, nor indeed

15     did I believe this would be the subject of his evidence, but eventually

16     it did turn out to be the subject of his previous evidence.  The Coric

17     Defence will be bringing a witness somewhere down the line who will be

18     qualified to tell us about the interpretation of these regulations, but I

19     faced this situation.  I had no choice at all.  I had to see what

20     Mr. Praljak actually knew about this.  That was my intention.

21     Mr. Praljak might as well tell me that he doesn't know, that he doesn't

22     remember, or that he doesn't agree with me, or whatever.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to answer this

24     question by saying the following, and then I may as well be interrupted

25     if I go wrong.


Page 10679

 1             In my interpretation, Article 27 and Article 151 are

 2     substantially different.  I underline this.  "To preserve" means that you

 3     already have something you're in possession of, something, and therefore

 4     you can preserve it.  That's what Article 27 tells us.  The word "to

 5     inform" in the Croatian language, at least, means I go in there and I

 6     say, Honourable Judges, I hereby inform you that this or that happened,

 7     and I have the body of evidence in my possession.  That is the subject of

 8     a report.  For example, the commander of a military unit should use that

 9     and preserve that.  When he has it, he preserves it and informs others.

10     In the other case, one must first find something or discover -- track

11     down a perpetrator and discover any evidence available that was used in

12     the commission of a crime.  This is obvious even to a layman's eye.

13             I tried to give the best evidence that I could based on my

14     understanding of what a military commander, including me, was supposed to

15     do in a situation like that.

16             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Mr. Praljak, thank you very much.  Let me give you a very simple

18     example right now.

19             Mr. Praljak, first I'll ask you this:  Did you ever hear or did

20     you know about the fact that a criminal report could be filed against an

21     unknown perpetrator?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Yes, all right.  Mr. Praljak, I'll give you an example in which a

24     commander is aware of a crime that was committed but is unable to find a

25     perpetrator because he finds no one there on the scene.  For example, a


Page 10680

 1     commander comes across a house that was set ablaze and looted.  At this

 2     point in time, he does not know who set fire to the house, whether it was

 3     soldiers or civilians.  He just happens to stumble upon it, and there it

 4     is.  Is my conclusion right, that regardless of all of this, he is

 5     duty-bound to preserve any evidence and inform the relevant prosecutor?

 6     I don't mean he, personally -- if he has any soldiers available they will

 7     do that for him, or an element of the military police, if he's not

 8     involved in the fighting, he comes across this house, his duty is to

 9     preserve any evidence and to inform the relevant prosecutor?  Is that the

10     meaning of Article 27?

11        A.   No.  If he comes across a house that was set ablaze, he has his

12     own assistant for the SIS, he'll go up to him and say, Listen, lad,

13     you're in charge of looking into that.  He will probably go over there.

14     He'll record all of that.

15        Q.   And he will inform the prosecutor; right?  That is what

16     Article 27 claims?

17        A.   He'll inform the prosecutor and he'll inform his own superior.

18     He'll probably appeal for assistance and so on and so forth.  This is the

19     procedure that --

20             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I really I cannot tolerate this anymore.  I

21     really do not understand.  We have been asking you every time, every

22     morning, every afternoon, to stop, in a proper way, and to listen to the

23     questioning and then to answer.  And I believe that actually everybody

24     makes a mistake, this probably even myself, I do.  But, on the other

25     hand, it is really now we are torturing this very poor colleagues of


Page 10681

 1     ours, the interpreters, so I really don't understand why shouldn't have

 2     this empathy to act accordingly and to wait and to follow whatever is

 3     happening here.

 4             Thank you.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Prandler is very right.

 6     Please slow down.  Unfortunately, we also are responsible, and given that

 7     we have very good interpreters and they can be very fast, and given that

 8     the Judges can understand very quickly, we can follow almost in realtime,

 9     despite the fact that we speak three different languages in this

10     courtroom, but this is because we have very good interpreters.  And

11     despite that fact, you seem to go even faster because you have the

12     feeling that you are speaking before Judges who speak your language, who

13     come from your country, and you have the feeling that we understand you

14     directly.  And, indeed, sometimes we may understand things before you ask

15     a question, but all the same, please slow down, because interpreters are

16     subjected to tremendous efforts and sometimes they do send signals and

17     they try to alert us.  And we also have our court reporter, who is very

18     good, but you can see that there are sometimes signs which show that he

19     cannot really take down everything that is being said in this courtroom.

20     So please slow down.

21             I know that you are very passionate.  Mr. Praljak talks, and the

22     counsel then talk immediately after him, and things get heated up.  So I

23     suggest that we all calm down.

24             We have 20 minutes to calm down, and we'll resume after 20

25     minutes.


Page 10682

 1             Thank you.

 2                           --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.

 3                           --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to resume our

 5     hearing.

 6             Mr. Stringer, you wanted to take the floor.

 7             MR. STRINGER:  Just to inform the Trial Chamber and the parties

 8     that Exhibit P04494, which was the order from General Blaskic which had

 9     been poorly translated, the translation has been corrected, and we'll be

10     uploading that in e-court as soon as the people can get that processed.

11             Thank you.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,

13     Mr. Stringer.

14             Ms. Tomic, you have the floor.

15             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16             Mr. Praljak, the last thing we stated was that a criminal report

17     could, indeed, be filed against an unknown perpetrator.

18             Can we now please go to 4D01105.  This is the Law on Criminal

19     Procedure.  Can we please go to Article 153, paragraph 2, of that law?

20        Q.   Mr. Praljak, have you got that?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   Thank you.  It reads:

23             "If a public prosecutor cannot conclude, based on the report

24     itself, whether the allegations contained in the report are plausible, or

25     if information contained in the report does not provide sufficient basis


Page 10683

 1     to decide whether to launch an investigation or not, or if the only thing

 2     that reached the public prosecutor was a rumour to the effect that a

 3     criminal offence was committed, and particularly if there is an unknown

 4     perpetrator involved, the public prosecutor shall, unless unable to take

 5     action himself or through other bodies, request bodies of the Ministry of

 6     the Interior to gather necessary information and take any other measures

 7     that are required to uncover a crime or track down a perpetrator.  The

 8     public prosecutor may at all times request any bodies of the Ministry of

 9     the Interior any measures taken."

10             Before I ask you my next question, I would like to go to

11     Article 155.  It's on the same page.  It reads:

12             "When the perpetrator of a criminal offence is unidentified, the

13     public prosecutor may request for a body of the Ministry of the Interior

14     to take investigative action if, in relation to the circumstances of a

15     case, it deems necessary to take any such action even before an

16     investigation is launched.  If the public prosecutor believes that

17     certain investigative steps must be taken by investigating judge or,

18     indeed, if there is a post-mortem or an exhumation to be performed, he

19     shall make a proposal to the investigative judge to take such action.  If

20     the investigative judge does not agree with that proposal, he will be

21     requesting a decision of the chamber."

22             Mr. Praljak, why am I showing you these two Articles?  The reason

23     is to ascertain what happens when we are dealing with an unknown

24     perpetrator, and when a prosecutor has been informed of a crime but the

25     perpetrator remains unknown.  It follows from this that he should then


Page 10684

 1     get other bodies to prosecute this.  In this case, it is the MUP, and in

 2     case of the military courts, it would be the security bodies of the armed

 3     forces, meaning the military police and the SIS.

 4             Mr. Praljak, were you aware of the fact that the procedure was as

 5     described here?  Did you know that this was what went on, and did you

 6     know that these were the Articles being applied, describing what the

 7     appropriate course of action would have been in terms of who got

 8     involved?

 9        A.   I was aware of the best part of all of this; not down to the

10     minutest detail, but I did know that investigative bodies, such as the

11     prosecutor and the investigative judge, had certain powers, and that is

12     precisely what it says.  I have nothing to add.

13        Q.   I will try to conclude this subject with the last document in

14     this binder, P06137.  This is an order by Mr. Petkovic, dated the 26th of

15     October, 1993, titled "The Implementation of an Investigative Procedure."

16     I will briefly read the order.  It was addressed to the commander of

17     Operations Group 2, Central Bosnia Operational District, Mr. Ivica Rajic,

18     as well as to the commander of the Bobovac Brigade in Vares, Mr. Emil

19     Harah.  I'll start reading from paragraph 2, which reads:

20             "A powerful media campaign is being waged on BH Radio and

21     Television against Vares and Kakanj-based HVO units.

22             "They are being accused of abusing the civilian population,

23     torching family homes and businesses.  In this way, attempts are being

24     made to tarnish the reputation of HVO units.  In the interests of

25     establishing a situation that occurred after and during combat in this


Page 10685

 1     Stupni Do sector and pursuant to Article 59 of the Rules of Military

 2     Discipline, I hereby order:

 3             "1.  Conduct a complete investigation into the aforesaid event

 4     and, in particular:  A, which units and which commanders participated in

 5     combat tasks; B, in what way was the area of the village of Stupni Do

 6     taken; C, how the civilian population of Stupni Do village treated if

 7     there were any civilians found in the area; D, in what state were

 8     residential and business buildings found, and what was done with them

 9     after the area was taken; E, did any HVO members behave in contravention

10     of regulations, tarnishing the reputation of HVO units, and if there was

11     any such behaviour, the perpetrators should be identified."

12             Paragraph 2:

13             "In the course of the investigation, involve without fail the

14     competent organs and work constantly with them until a light has been

15     shed on all the circumstances that arose after the village of Stupni Do

16     was taken."

17             Paragraph 3:

18             "After the completion of the investigation, submit a written

19     report and full documentation on the investigation, as well as any

20     findings by the competent organs, by the 15th of November, 1993, at the

21     latest."

22             Paragraph 4:

23             "The following commanders [as interpreted] shall be directly

24     responsible to me for implementation of this order."

25             Mr. Praljak, what I wish to ask you is the following.  I have two


Page 10686

 1     questions for you.  I'll put them both together, and then you can answer

 2     both at the same time.  My first question:  Based on this order, does it

 3     not follow that the only thing that reached the commander issuing the

 4     order through the media was a mere rumour that something or other might

 5     have happened somewhere; nevertheless, at the time he issued this order,

 6     he was not in possession of any other information regarding that?

 7             My other question:  Is this the way a responsible commander would

 8     act, in keeping with Article 59 of the Rules of Military Discipline and

 9     in keeping with everything else that we have witnessed so far in the

10     course of this cross-examination?

11        A.   In response to your first question, I advise you to look closely

12     at what General Petkovic is writing here, in terms of how he found out

13     about this.

14             In response to your other question, these are exactly the steps

15     that a responsible commander would take.  At his own level, he requests

16     that military commanders submit information that he would then be

17     including in a report forwarding to the relevant bodies in charge of the

18     investigation.  That's perfectly clear.  This is exactly what a

19     responsible commander is supposed to do; seek information and involve any

20     relevant bodies.  He will be forwarding information to them, and they

21     will go on working together on this.  He requests a written report to be

22     submitted on this, as well as an opinion from the relevant bodies, who

23     will then go on and establish the final truth on an event that occurred.

24             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC:  Thank you very much, Mr. Praljak.

25             All right, I'm done with this subject.  I was about to say that.


Page 10687

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  A correction to the transcript --

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  Mike, please.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 4             On page 87, line 4, I think it reads "the following commanders,"

 5     but in fact it's "the above" and not "the following."

 6             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the

 7     Croatian reads "those mentioned."  I think that boils down to the same

 8     thing that you said, but it reads "those mentioned."

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  And this translation is "the above," but it's

10     the opposite to the following, and nothing follows, so thank you.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, now the

12     counsel has concluded her questioning, I have some follow-up questions to

13     ask you regarding this document.  The first one is the following.

14             I would like to know why you were not the one to issue this

15     order.  Why was it General Petkovic, who was number two, who signed this

16     order?  Why did you not sign this order yourself?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, for several

18     reasons.  First of all, I command General Petkovic, and he commands

19     everybody else except for me.  He's my deputy, and his orders are

20     executive unless I rescind them.  This is the first point.  He's number

21     two and is entitled to issue orders to everybody except to me.

22             The second point.  General Petkovic was in Kiseljak at the time.

23     He was closer to the events.  He was up there, he was close to the

24     events, to the venue, and it would be only logical and normal for him to

25     request an investigation, being there, and he would be quicker to receive


Page 10688

 1     any information than I, who was 200 kilometres away as the crow flies.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 3             Second question.  In a military setting, this type of request is

 4     what we call a command investigation.  Would you agree with that?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  He orders that the military

 6     structures collect all the information; who was there, who were the

 7     commanders, what they knew, to receive information.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 9             In a command investigation, where the higher authorities want to

10     be informed of what happened, as far as you're concerned, do you think it

11     was advisable to ask Mr. Rajic and Mr. Harah to launch their own

12     investigation or to carry out their own investigation while they were a

13     party to what happened, perhaps?

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

15     says here, Those who were there, there are no others, will provide me

16     with the information about the facts, but the competent organs should be

17     involved, and the competent organs will carry out an investigation in a

18     broader circle of people, other than those who may be involved in the

19 mistreatment in Stupni Do. These are two levels.  He will provide these

20 competent organs with the information that he could get from the people who

21 were there.  But this is not a closed set of information.  If they want to

22 prevent disclosure of some information, then the responsible persons, as him,

23 would involve SIS, the military police, and he cannot skip them.  They have

24 to give their information about what happened there.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In paragraph 2 of this order,


Page 10689

 1     I can see that the relevant authorities had to be informed of this

 2     investigation.  I was wondering whether the military prosecutor also had

 3     to carry out its own investigation.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is exactly what it means:

 5     Military will carry out an investigation.  This, what is described, is

 6     only support to the military investigator so that he may get to the

 7     truth.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 9             This order is dated 26th of October, 1993.  Did you learn

10     immediately that Mr. Petkovic had asked an investigation to be carried

11     out by a Mr. Rajic?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew that Mr. Petkovic demanded

13     an investigation to be made, and we at the Main Staff -- I believe I was

14     the one who signed it, or Tole.  But upon learning about this, we

15     demanded as well that an investigation be carried out, and that document

16     has been shown here, as far as I can remember.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But given the text of the

18     former JNA, and even if you look at the text of the ABiH or the HVO,

19     usually when you have a military operation, don't you have to also

20     include at some stage the military police?  In the orders that are

21     issued, don't you always also bring on board the military police?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.  In any military

23     operation, the military police have their duties to perform.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as regards General Petkovic

25     or yourself, when there were some rumours that were going around stating


Page 10690

 1     that something may have happened in this town, as it is mentioned in the

 2     document, because it says there has been a media campaign, I was

 3     wondering whether you didn't ask yourself what the military police did.

 4     Were they there, what did they do, or you actually didn't ask yourself

 5     this question?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked myself all of

 7     these things, but you have to conduct an investigation to get to the

 8     facts who did what, to which extent.  You have my orders, you saw them,

 9     demanding that procedures be stepped up and accelerated, everything that

10     could be done under the circumstances.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, this operation

12     regarding this village, which was an intricate operation to carry it out

13     because you needed to have the agreement of the Serbs in order to cross

14     their lines, so it was not a small military operation, in this type of

15     operation I was wondering whether you shouldn't have included the

16     military police from the outset.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was not an extensive military

18     operation, Your Honour.  Some 30-odd members of the Army of BiH defended

19     that village.  But irrespective of what the extent was, military police

20     is usually involved in military operations and has a role to play in

21     military operations.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very well, except that in

23     this very example, they were not part of the military operation.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, but it is equally

25     correct, Your Honours - I don't know how many times do I have to


Page 10691

 1     reiterate - the communication between Vares and the Main Staff were

 2     simply to the effect that information received through packet

 3     communication -- well, I don't know how to reply.  This was an enclave

 4     encircled on one side by the Serbs, being attacked on the other side by

 5     the Army of BiH.  I could work on or act on information at my disposal.

 6     When I received the information about disorder, I reacted by demanding

 7     that merciless action should be taken to bring HVO ranks back to order,

 8     and I requested from General Petkovic, not as an order but as a request,

 9     that these had to be removed, but unfortunately that came in too late, at

10     least with respect to Stupni Do.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that you were not

12     involved, you mentioned this, for Ahmici, but you had heard about what

13     had happened in Ahmici.  And when you realised that in Stupni Do the same

14     type of events may have occurred, did you not realise at that stage that

15     you should, yourself, go on the ground in order to display the fullest

16     degree of transparency because you knew that the international community

17     would look at this very closely?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Petkovic is a

19     highly-educated officer.  He enjoyed my full support and my full trust,

20     as my deputy, and I had no reason to believe that he would not carry out

21     all the duties and all the steps as if I were there.

22             The second thing.  It was not an easy task to get there.

23     Petkovic reached that area via either an UNPROFOR helicopter or an

24     UNPROFOR APC.  You couldn't just simply take a vehicle and go to Vares.

25     It had to be organised 10 to 15 days in advance, if it was successful.


Page 10692

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 2             I will now give the floor to Ms. Tomic.  I'm sure she'll move to

 3     the third binder now.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your

 5     Honours.

 6        Q.   While we're putting the binder into place, Mr. Praljak, by way of

 7     an introduction, I'm going to ask you this:  So far you've discussed that

 8     military police took part in combat operations, as far as I could

 9     understand you.  You said that in the case of combat operations, military

10     police was under operational command of the commander in charge of the

11     operation in question.  And when we talk about combat operations of that

12     kind, we mean and we say that military policemen would be fighting at the

13     front-line, just like any other troops, and perform tasks as given.  Did

14     I understand you correctly?

15        A.   When I got there, I received such powers that, in operational

16     terms, military police units would be my subordinates, in operational

17     terms, which means that they were still military policemen when they were

18     not engaged in combat operations.

19        Q.   Very well.  Mr. Praljak, apart from being involved in military

20     operations or combat operations, the military police had to perform their

21     everyday military police duties; to man check-points, fight crime.  Can

22     we agree that these would be everyday tasks of the military police?

23        A.   That's correct, daily tasks of brigade military police and those

24     serving in an operation zone or area.  And let me not repeat all the

25     tasks that I've already mentioned.  And, of course, the military police


Page 10693

 1     had all those other duties that you mentioned.  This is not contentious.

 2        Q.   Let's put aside brigade military police and not deal with it.

 3     Let's deal with the military police battalion within an operations zone.

 4     I do not mean the light assault battalion, whose priority task was a

 5     combat one, but your regular military police within an operations zone.

 6     They, too, have their everyday military police tasks to perform; is that

 7     correct?

 8        A.   That's correct; to provide security, to provide sentry duty for

 9     their headquarters of the operation zone, command, but not too many.

10        Q.   Does it have any other task?

11        A.   Well, maybe to guard a warehouse, et cetera.

12        Q.   Would it also have tasks concerning check-points and crime?

13        A.   That's correct.  These are not everyday -- oh, I'm sorry, I'm

14     sorry.

15        Q.   Military police tasks, let me put it this way, one of the

16     everyday tasks would be what they're issued every day as tasks to perform

17     within their military police work; is that correct?

18        A.   That's correct.

19        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I've repeatedly shown in this courtroom, and I

20     failed to prepare this because you said that you did not deal with

21     structures specifically.  Those documents have been adduced into

22     evidence.  You don't have them in the binder.  I can now show it to

23     everybody subsequently, but I believe that you will recall what I'm

24     talking about.

25             The document in question is the structure of the military police


Page 10694

 1     of the HVO from December 1992, which is -- which entered into force in

 2     January 1993, and prepared by Mr. Coric.  That would be P00957.

 3             Mr. Praljak, please tell us, in that document, it is stated - and

 4     you will tell us whether you knew about that - that commanders of

 5     military police battalions within operation zones, in performing their

 6     everyday tasks, would be immediately subordinated to the commander of the

 7     operations zone and would carry out all orders concerning the execution

 8     of military police tasks and are in compliance with the purview and

 9     authorities and powers of the military police.  I can give you this

10     document as a print-out.  It is not essential to me whether you knew what

11     was written in that document, but whether you knew that this was so and

12     that it functioned in this way.

13        A.   I should read it first.  To be fair, I think it somehow slipped

14     my mind.

15        Q.   We can see on e-court the last page of the document, the

16     penultimate paragraph, so we can all read it.  It is stated that the

17     Military Police Administration manages and commands all military police

18     units, and then there is text describing everyday tasks of the military

19     police, the penultimate paragraph, the one that I just read out.

20        A.   Yes, I can see that.

21        Q.   Were you familiar with that?  Do you know other commanders were

22     informed of that, and whether they really issued orders for daily duties

23     which the military policemen had to perform the way that it is stated

24     here in this document, and whether this mechanism functioned?

25  A.   Well, this is a two-pronged test.  Military commanders could issue


Page 10695

 1   orders in the execution of military-police tasks pursuant to the powers and

 2   responsibilities of military police.  Therefore, they could do their job.

 3        Q.   Exactly, Mr. Praljak.  I did not want to state anything different

 4     from that.  You know why I showed you this document?  Because on several

 5     occasions you stated today that commanders had to seek special permission

 6     from the Military Police Administration - I apologise, I'm speaking too

 7     fast - to be able to issue such duties as we see described here, and I

 8     just want to remind you that there was no need for any special orders

 9     when this was regulated by a general document entitling them to do so.

10     This was my sole intention in showing you this document.  And I repeat

11     that these are daily duties of the military police.  I'm not discussing

12     combat operation duties of military police.

13        A.  I do not recall saying that they had to seek special dispensation.

14        Q.  I apologise.

15        A.  I do not recall saying that they had to seek permission from

16     anybody to issue orders to military police to do their job, if they were

17     not doing their job already.

18        Q.   I understand, Mr. Praljak.  I was afraid that this is being

19     misunderstood, and this is why I wanted to clarify that.

20             In the third binder, the last binder, let us take a look at some

21     documents which I believe will demonstrate what the execution of everyday

22     military police tasks is, and how orders are issued, and how this whole

23     thing functions.  We will start with this first document --

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I'm still

25     looking at the previous document, and I have questions about the last


Page 10696

 1     paragraph of this document.

 2             Mr. Stojic and Mr. Coric seem to say that the military police

 3     battalions present in the operational zones are directly subordinated to

 4     the commander of the zone, so in this document it says that when there is

 5     a military action underway, the military police battalions are directly

 6     subordinated or depend directly on the commander of the operational zone.

 7     This connection which exists between the battalion and the operation zone

 8     commander, I would like to know whether this coordination could go all

 9     the way to investigation, or it just means that they can be involved in

10     combat?  If it means that they should be involved in combat, doesn't that

11     risk to jeopardise the commander of the brigade, because he's executing

12     the orders of the operations zone commander, but in combat he's supposed

13     to be in total command of his troops?  So how can you -- how can this fit

14     in with what should happen and what actually happened on the field?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up until the point in time when the

16     situation on the battle-field became very bad for the HVO, and that was

17     even prior to my arrival and at the time of my arrival, the military

18     police had not been involved in any military or combat operations.  I

19     then sought and received those powers.  As of such a time, a commander,

20     me or anyone else, was in a position to use military police on a combat

21     mission.  Otherwise, we would simply have been defeated by the BH Army.

22     It's as simple as that.  Had I not received those powers, I would never

23     have taken over my role as commander of the Main Staff.  It's that

24     simple, really.

25             Among the military policemen, the military police battalions and


Page 10697

 1     light assault battalions, there were some extraordinarily brave,

 2     well-trained lads who fought well.  Prior to that period, however, and

 3     when they were away from the front-line, they were still military

 4     policemen structurally linked to the chief of the military police,

 5     performing all of their tasks which they were supposed to perform by

 6     virtue of being military policemen, unlike what we might term an ordinary

 7     soldier; once his own stint at the front-line was over, he would be away

 8     on leave and go home until he was called again.  Military police officers

 9     never went home.  They were professional units, and they would sleep in

10     compounds when they were not somewhere along the front-line, going about

11     their own work, because it was their duty or else a zone commander was in

12     possession of some special information on something or other, and then he

13     would say, Please investigate this or that because something happened,

14     there was a brawl over there, something or other was stolen.  And then

15     they would go out and do it.  It's perfectly simple.  There is nothing

16     complicated about that at all.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, in the --

18     according to the theory of the military police, and you -- Mr. Coric is a

19     specialist in that because he had some role in the military police, so

20     according to the case of the military police, military police battalions

21     are subordinated to the highest-ranking officials at the Ministry of

22     Defence.  We can understand that.  But we have this document which has

23     been signed by Mr. Stojic and Mr. Coric, and it changes the situation

24     slightly, stating that when there is an operations zone, so when you have

25     an operation on the ground, the military police will be directly


Page 10698

 1     subordinated -- it says directly subordinated to the operations zone

 2     commander, that's what it says in English, which means that Mr. Coric and

 3     Mr. Stojic may well say that when you carry out a military operation, We

 4     are too far away from the front-line, it is up to the operations zone

 5     commander to take charge of the military police control.  Otherwise, why

 6     would there be this sentence in this document?  What's your take on this?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here, I'll repeat this.

 8             One thing is when they go on a mission, they receive their

 9     military assignment, You're to cover this or that territory, We'll be

10     taking over this line or that hill, You'll take back this hill or that

11     hill lost to the enemy by someone or other three days before.  That's one

12     thing.  The other job would entail the powers and competences of the

13     military police, because they have both, the powers and competences and

14     duties.  This is something that the military police must perform.

15     Nevertheless, the commander has every right to point this out to them in

16     case he knows something about this.

17             Back to your question.  For example, you happen to see some

18     houses that were on fire.  You would then go back to the military police

19     and the SIS, the assistant for the SIS, to try and investigate how that

20     came about.  These are the powers and competences of the military police,

21     and he has every right to ask them to do this.  On the other hand, the

22     commander of that battalion also has the duty to take this action

23     himself, as well as a number of other steps, some of them daily, such as

24     protecting a convoy, or escorting a UN convoy, for example, or a military

25     convoy, an HVO convoy, or indeed block a road leading to the front-line


Page 10699

 1     in order to prevent someone approaching the soldiers along the front-line

 2     from the rear.  There were daily tasks, practical tasks, such as these.

 3     There were other tasks, too, stemming from their powers and competences.

 4     Those were specifically defined, the powers and competences, I mean, in

 5     military police documents.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question, and then I

 7     want to give the floor back to the counsel.

 8             I believe you know this more than anybody else.  When there is a

 9     military operation, it is very likely that some prisoners will be taken,

10     and those prisoners will be apprehended and watched over by the military

11     police.  And if they are under their custody for a while, it is very

12     likely that during that period it will be the military police that will

13     be in charge of that.  But if there is a document, such as the one we

14     have before us, which states that they are directly subordinated to the

15     operations zone commander, as far as you are concerned regarding the

16     prisoners, who has authority, the operations zone commander, because of

17     this document, or will it go to higher authorities such as Mr. Coric or

18     Mr. Stojic, when dealing with logistical issues?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not the military police that

20     necessarily captures prisoners of war.  Any HVO soldier may capture a

21     prisoner of war, or indeed a military police officer who happened to be

22     involved in an operation where someone simply surrendered to them.  The

23     moment a POW surrenders to the military police, the operations zone

24     brigade commander’s concern about these POWs ceases.  At this point

25     in time, they are handed over to whichever relevant body is in


Page 10700

 1     charge of looking after these POWs from there on.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what would be this relevant

 3     body in our case here?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of the military police,

 5     the Security Service, the prisons.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see that we are looking at

 7     a core issue here.  If you have what I would call military prisoners from

 8     the ABiH, so they are military prisoners, and if I understood you

 9     correctly, you said that the role of the military police will stop there

10     and they have to be handed over to the relevant body.  I asked you what

11     is the relevant body, and you tell me the chief of the military police,

12     the Security Service, or the SIS, or the prisons .

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not "or," I didn't say "or."  The

14     moment POWs are taken charge of by the military police, the military

15     commander is no longer in charge of those prisoners.  That's what I said.

16     They are then taken to prison, no alternative, probably to be

17     interrogated by the SIS.  I won't speculate on this.  But a prisoner that

18     is handed over to the military police is no longer in the charge of the

19     military commander.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.  I think that your answer

21     is crystal clear.  According to you, as soon as you have military

22     prisoners or prisoners of war, the brigade commander is no longer the

23     relevant authority.  You have reiterated that at several instances, so we

24     will have that in mind.

25             Counsel Tomic, I do not know how much you've got left, but we


Page 10701

 1     only have a few minutes left for today.  The Registrar tells me that you

 2     have used two hours and nine minutes, which means that, in theory, you

 3     have a further two hours and thirty-six minutes, since you had four hours

 4     and forty-five minutes to start with, which means that if there is no

 5     objection, no incident, you should be able to conclude tomorrow.  Were

 6     you planning to conclude tomorrow, Ms. Tomic?

 7             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is very

 8     difficult for me to plan.  I think it doesn't really depend on me, and we

 9     could see that today.  There is so much going on in this courtroom.  I'm

10     understandably not fully in control of the situation as to how long my

11     cross-examination will take.  I can tell you how much time my questions

12     will take.  As to anything else that might go on in the courtroom

13     tomorrow, I really can't say.

14             Anyway, I think there is too little time left for me to embark on

15     a new document.  That's best left for tomorrow, I think.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17             A point of clarification, Counsel, because as far as I was

18     concerned it was clear, but there might be some doubt.  You had four

19     hours.  I thought that you had asked, like the other teams, four hours

20     and forty-five minutes.  So the total should be four hours and forty-five

21     minutes or is it four hours?

22             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, four hours

23     and forty-five minutes.  I did say at the outset, when I started

24     cross-examining, and that was granted by you, that if I failed to deal

25     with everything in the four hours and forty-five minutes allotted,


Page 10702

 1     whether I would be given the right to use Mr. Coric's Defence time, and

 2     that was granted me at the beginning of my cross-examination.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If there was some delays linked

 4     to objections, as things stand, are you still on target and are you still

 5     planning to conclude in four hours and forty-five minutes?  Because as I

 6     said to you, you will have two hours and thirty-six minutes to conclude

 7     tomorrow.

 8             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the way

 9     things are going, and if I manage to work according to plan, if documents

10     are found at the rate I envisage, then I will be able to finish within

11     the four hours and forty-six minutes, but it's difficult to predict.

12     Sometimes General Praljak's answer is lengthier than I expect.  It's very

13     difficult.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

15             I will have to leave this courtroom, because in less than 25

16     minutes I will be in another trial.  So I wish you a very good afternoon,

17     and we'll meet again here at 9.00 tomorrow.

18                           [The witness stands down]

19                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,

20                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of July,

21                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.

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